Entertaining

Learning how to ENTERTAIN is an important aspect of life. It gives you the opportunity to bring together family and friends in a situation meant for good fun, good food and good conversation - what could be better? This group of articles will give you party ideas, decor ideas, recipes and more.

Rustic Birch Tree Napkin Rings

Birch Napkin Rings

Birch tree napkin rings seem like a fall to winter item to me, but if you have rustic style decor in your home, Shari seems to think they’d be fine all year-long.  Well, that sounds even better to me because once I make them, I really would like them to be used! Birch tree napkin…

Autumn Centerpiece in a Muted Palette

Autumn Centerpiece with Eucalyptus - MattandShari.com

So often at this time of the year we see an autumn centerpiece and wreath in “autumn” colors of gold, red and brown.  This combination of colors is beautiful for the season and I’m definitely not knocking it. However, this year I wanted to try something different for my autumn centerpiece. I started with a…

Cloth Napkins are Elegant and Easy

Apple Pattern Cloth Napkins

You might not call my “apple” cloth napkins elegant, but they certainly were easy and you can create any ambiance you like by selecting fabrics that portray the look or feeling you are going for. When you select your cloth napkin fabrics, make sure they are of an absorbent fiber like cotton. Materials for 2…

Cloth Napkin Folding Ideas

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Little is as impressive as the results of napkin folding on your dining table. Your guests will marvel at the unique origami shapes you are capable of creating. Relax though, they are easier than you think, but let your guests think otherwise! How about starting your napkin folding expertise with the bird of paradise?  Here’s…

Easy to Make Chic Dining Room Centerpiece

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What do quartz stones, river rocks, Spanish moss, a dinner plate, a salad plate and a silk flower have in common? Give up? They are the materials needed to create an elegant dining room centerpiece. Matt and I recently redecorated a dining room. Our homeowners wanted more than just function; they wanted elegance. Since beautiful…

Quickly Create this Stunning Orchid Centerpiece

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Orchids are beautiful stems full of exotic flowers and you can submerge them in a tall vase of water for a special effect. I received a beautiful orchid for Mother’s Day this year and it reminded me of a project that Matt and I did with orchids that was just stunning. You might be able to…

10 Seasonal Table Setting Ideas to Try

Blue Table Setting

If you have a party coming up or just want to surprise your family with a special table tonight, here are some ideas to get you started. A year has gone by and my church had its annual ladies event where we have a speaker, share appetizers, salads and desserts, and many of us offer…

Try A Fun Tasting Party For Something Different

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It sounds like there won’t be enough to eat, but there will be plenty left overs if you’ve done it right! What is a tasting party?  Well, the ladies will get it, but the guys will think there’s just not going to be enough food!! Here’s the idea, offer up a larger variety of foods…

Fall Table Setting Ideas That Bring Compliments

Fall Foliage Centerpiece

With a little extra effort you can create fall table settings that look like they are on display in a store front window or in a designer showhouse. I think we get extra interested in decorating our homes in the fall because we’ve just finished the summer season where we’ve spent so much time outdoors. …

Move Indoor Rooms Outside for Seasonal Events

Move Indoor Rooms Outside

To some this is a crazy idea but to the adventurous, it’s brilliant.  Give it a try for a special event, I guarantee you’ll do it again! There are several ways to “charge up” your exterior spaces for the season and this year you should try it at least once!  Instead of cleaning off the…

Try These Simple Summer Floral Centerpieces

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Add style to your summer table settings by gathering up flowers of the season and putting them in single center vases or using a variety of small ones together in a grouping. Summer is a great time for entertaining.  Somehow food just seems to taste better when it is served outdoors.  But you don’t have to…

Creamy, Cheesy, Bacon Dip for Potatoes

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This is the perfect party dip because you are forced to share it and not eat it all up on your own! No one person needs all these tasty calories. When you are taking drugs to help keep your arteries clean, it’s tough to justify making dips like this!  However, once in a great while, I indulge. …

Make a Holiday Cookie Exchange a New Tradition

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Tis the season for cookies!  And, if you put together a holiday cookie exchange, you can enjoy a dozen different varieties of cookies without all the work!  Sure, you have to make a lot of the cookie you decide to make for the party, but it’s so much easier to make dozens of just one…

Host a Recycling Party and Discover Treasures

Host a Recycling Party

 You’ve heard that one man’s trash is another’s treasure, well the same goes for recycling, and having a party brings out all the best stuff! There is something really rewarding about fixing something old up to look new again or just finding a new way to use something that may have been tossed out by…

11 More Seasonal Table Setting Ideas to Try

Summer Table Setting Idea

Many of these table setting ideas work great for summer dining, but there are a few for other seasons and holidays mixed in as well.  As you must know by now, Matt and I do this because we enjoy sharing the ideas and inspiration that we find around us, with you!  Well, this is just…

Tasty Homemade Salsa for Your Mexican Fiesta

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What better to go alongside homemade guacamole than homemade salsa?  Or, if you are just interested in salsa….that works too! I have only made this a couple of times and I continue to revise the recipe to the desires and tastes of my family.  You know how that goes, someone wants it a bit tangier,…

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a Special Dinner

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There are many ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, or the 5th of May, but creating a special dinner is one of my favorites. The fifth of May has become a day of celebration here in the United States mainly because of the influx of Hispanic people to the states.  Also, I think we Americans…

Enjoy Fragrant Fruit and Floral Centerpieces

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Instead of just putting your citrus in a bowl, add silk flowers and use it as an arranagement for your dining table or counter. Do you need a spring centerpiece in less than an hour?  Well, fruit and floral centerpieces are a snap to put together as long as you have the materials on hand.  Even…

Embellish Glass Serving Pieces for Parties or Gifts

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Don’t save all the really cool projects for the holidays, you can put together all sorts of interesting embellished kitchenware and serving pieces any time of the year!  Sure, the holidays are the seasons for celebrating, but if you’re anything like Matt and me, you enjoy entertaining throughout the year to enjoy the company of your family…

Add a Homemade Leaning Wine Rack to Your Home

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This wine rack is a very simple project and it’s a great way to display your favorite bottles of wine. What a pretty display this wine rack makes in a dining room where we often have an empty corner.  It’s just as much artistic as it is functional and it is a fairly easy project to…

Create a Star Studded 4th of July Table

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Stars hung from the chandelier are the hero in this inexpensive table decor, adding class to simple paper plates and paper napkins. This festive table setting gets it’s charm from layering and attention to detail. However, it isn’t complicated, it is put together with three easy pieces.  The center piece, number 1, is nothing more…

Ideas on What to Do for Entertainment This Summer

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These are simple ideas for saving money, reducing stress, and just enjoying the simples pleasures of summer for a change. Not long ago I wrote a story about the “Perfect Thanksgiving”.  It was mostly about the pressure I was putting on myself to recreate the perfect Thanksgiving that my Grandmother had made for us all…

Decorate Your Door and Table for Memorial Day

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Memorial Day decorations can be very cost effective if you keep them around for all the summer holidays like 4th of July and Labor Day! This Memorial Day I decided that I didn’t want to go crazy with the red, white and blue because that to me is The 4th of July!  Instead I wanted…

Restaurant Style Refried Bean Nachos

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Everybody loves nachos, and this is a great nacho recipe.  It’s rich with beans, cheese and all the fixin’s.  It goes together easily, though it would be difficult to take to a party without fixing part of it there.  Even so, it makes a great appetizer and it’s so filling it could be an entire…

Make Deviled Eggs for Picnics and Parties

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In my family, deviled eggs are like gold because there are never enough of them to go around! There are a couple of basic recipes to know around Easter time, mainly because there are so many hard boiled eggs around at this time of year!  Deviled eggs are a favorite for both of my kids, and…

Ideas for Hosting a Super Bowl Party

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Hooray, when the Super Bowl is upon us, that is great because it means party time! What could be more fun than having a bunch of guys over to watch the game, yelling and carrying on and breaking up your furniture?  Hahaha, oops, did I get carried away there?  Actually, I enjoy the Super Bowl…

Swedish Meatballs are a Party Favorite

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Swedish meatballs are always a party favorite.  Who doesn’t like eating their food with a toothpick! These treats are very flavorful and captured the heart of my “meat lover” little boy.  I have a feeling I’ll be making these again soon, party or not! Ingredients List:  1 lb. ground beef (Use ground turkey for a…

Sweet & Sour Chicken Wings Make Great Finger Food

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Adults and kids alike will love these tasty chicken wings.  Just make sure to have plenty of napkins around to wipe up sticky fingers! The honey in this recipe gives these wings a very satisfying sweetness.  The recipe calls for Tyson frozen wings which I couldn’t find so I used my grocer’s brand and they…

Ideas and Options for Setting the Table

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Have you ever noticed that a well set table seems to make food taste better? Even simple meals can seem like culinary delights when served in an interesting setting. Matt and I have decorated countless dining rooms and kitchens. With so many tables under our belts, we’ve come up with some tips to consider when…

Create Easy Mini Cornucopia Place Cards

Miniature Cornucopia Place Cards - MattandShari.com

Place cards are a great idea for special dinners with lots of people because it saves the confusion of who site where – one less thing to think about!  Although I only have about 6 people for dinner on Thanksgiving, this year I’m up to 8! My husband’s parents are going to be able to…

Seasonal Appetizer Bowls Made From Autumn Squash

Seasonal Appetizer Bowls - MattandShari.com

I wasn’t always creative with my party décor because I was always too busy with work and kids to really get anything done. Well, now I’m still busy, I just care more and these bowls made out of autumn squash prove it!! These appetizer bowls are made out of both acorn and butternut squash. The…

10 Easy-To-Make Autumn Centerpiece Ideas

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There’s no excuse for bare table this fall with these ten different centerpiece ideas to choose from! Centerpieces indicate that you are placing something at the “center” of attention. And, when we put a floral arrangement or candles in the center of our dining tables we are doing just that. We are bringing attention to…

Pretty Table Settings for the Thanksgiving Table

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You don’t need to go out and buy beautiful dinnerware for Thanksgiving, improvise with what you have! One of my favorite things to decorate is my dining table. There are so many possibilities when you combine placemats, chargers, different dinnerware, napkins, napkin rings and let’s not even get started on the centerpieces and candles!!! I think…

Use Dining Table Pedestals for Buffets and Parties

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If you are planning a party or small get together, why not display your cooking talents or table decor with these easy to build pedestals that are the perfect table top size. What a great way to show off your green bean casserole, or special pumpkin pie. Shari will be the first to tell you…