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Always be prepared for the unexpected guest. Whether it is a friend stopping by after work or neighbors gathering on the front porch for an impromptu drink, here are a few tips so you are always party ready.

Whether you are entertaining overnight guests or friends just dropping by, the powder room is the one area all will ask to visit. Have you taken inventory of this part of your home lately? Make your bathroom boutique beautiful by implementing our top points below. 

May can be a crazy month with the chaos of end of school activities, home projects, and travel plans. But we need to hit pause for one day to celebrate the special mom in our life. With hearts of gold and putting others before themselves, we have gathered a list of ideas to help you honor the special lady in your life.

A few years back my husband and I attended a play that was an adaptation of the classical movie Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, which originally starred Sidney Poitier, Katharine Hepburn, and Spencer Tracy. It was a beautifully written, and quite comical, story based on the difficulties families faced in the 1960s with inter-racial marriage. The scene that stood out the most to me was when the son was trying to bring both families together for dinner. In the last line of the last act, he turns to his father and says, “Dad, we need you at the table.” With that, the father joined the others, and the audience was left with the understanding that healing had begun.

Giving a party requires a great deal of work. If you have been fortunate enough to be included in a festive soiree, it is nice to arrive with a gift for the hostess. The typical present will cost anywhere from $15-$100. What you spend will be determined by your relationship and the type of event. Is it a formal dinner? A backyard BBQ? Also, when possible, know the likes and dislikes of your hostess. If she is allergic to flowers, you probably will not arrive with a bouquet in hand.

1. Choose the table. Will you use a round that seats four or a rectangle that seats twelve? This decision will determine your centerpiece.

Warmer weather will be arriving soon, and I am seeing more of our four-legged members making an appearance in the dog parks and on walking trails. With pets taking more prominent roles in our lives, I thought it would be good to brush up on basic dog etiquette and ownership responsibilities.

Meeting friends for dinner after work, grabbing coffee with your girlfriend or just ordering pizza on a Friday night with neighbors. We all have a deep desire to be connected in a world that often forgets the importance of relationships. Many of us have the desire to entertain, but we let our circumstances keep us from extending hospitality. Often it revolves around our lack of confidence in our ability to host events. I get this!

A toast may be offered in any setting and made to an individual or a group. Increase your confidence at your next social gathering by learning the ins and outs of this ancient tradition.

A perfect entertaining year for me would be hosting a different themed party each month! Will I do that? No. Will I dream about it? Yes! If I cannot have a party every 4 weeks, I can at least help my Lisa Lou family with ideas so hopefully a few of you can carry the torch of hospitality for the rest of us.

  • Writer's pictureLisa Lou

China and porcelain and pottery, oh my!



Remember this definition: Ceramic is a product made of clay and hardened by heat. What does this mean for all the different types of plates? They all fall under the umbrella of a ceramic. China is a ceramic; porcelain is a ceramic; earthenware is a ceramic; stoneware is a ceramic because they are all made of clay and hardened by heat. (Not to confuse you, but pottery and ceramic mean the same thing. Ceramic comes from the Greek word keramos, which means potter’s clay. You may use the words ceramic and pottery interchangeably.)


If they are all made of clay, then why is there such a variation in quality? Just as a painter might use finer tools, pigments, and canvas, so, too, do artisans of ceramics. But ultimately, the difference in the final product is due to the varying degrees of temperature used, the glaze applied, and the décor and artistry incorporated before or after firing.


What is considered the highest quality ceramic? Here is a breakdown from least to most expensive:

*Earthenware (terracotta is an earthenware): very fragile and porous.

*Stoneware (most restaurants use stoneware): stronger than earthenware and less porous.

*China and porcelain are practically the same product: both are created with the highest quality material consisting of a very fine clay called kaolin. China is sometimes more fragile than porcelain as it has been fired at a slightly lower temperature. Many vendors will use the words china or porcelain, but it means the same thing.

*Bone china: Bone china is what we tend to think of when we think of elegant, exquisite china. Bone china is china/porcelain that is mixed with bone (traditionally bone ash from cows). Adding bone creates a more durable porcelain that is less prone to breakage, and it is what creates the milky white appearance we love. For china to be considered authentic bone china in the U.S. it must contain a minimum of 25% bone. Bone china is considered the most expensive of all the products.


An old trick many of our southern mammas taught us was to lift a china plate to the light. Bone china is more translucent than china (also referred to as fine china). If you hold bone china to the sky, you will see the light shine through.


*Tidbit: Kaolin clay gets its name from Gaoling, a small village in China, from which the mineral was discovered. It is here where the creation of porcelain was developed in the 7th century. This is why porcelain is often called china because it is where the product originated. When referring to china as a product, the “c” is left as a lowercase, because it is not referring to the country. It is referring to a product. “The china I found for my wedding registry came from China.”


Together with you,

Lisa Lou

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