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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 pictureAlina Gersib

Green Bean Casserole Taste Test

Happy Foodie Friday! These recipes come courtesy of Penny and Eleazar Martinez.

Each of our Taste Test Reviews comes with the original recipe and the tester's notes/changes listed with the ingredient list in blue. We hope you enjoy!

Green Bean Casserole is one of my favorite Thanksgiving dishes. My family has always used canned or fresh green beans to make the dish but using frozen made putting it together quick and easy! I enjoyed the added step of whisking the soup and milk together. In the past, I have stirred the two ingredients together with a spoon but whisking them brought some extra airiness to the final product.

Since the beans are frozen it was difficult to gauge how much salt and pepper to add to the mix while I was preparing it, and I ended up adding a good bit after it was cooked. Growing up my mom taught me that if you are unsure of how much salt to add, it is always best to err on the side of undersalting while cooking as you and your guests can add the desired amount during the meal.

Green Bean Casserole
Download PDF • 2.34MB

Makes 8 to 10 servings

Preparation Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time: 35 Minutes


*2 cups canned cream of mushroom soup

*1 1/2 cups milk

*Salt and black pepper, to taste

*2 pounds frozen cut green beans

*2 cups French’s crispy fried onions


*Preheat oven to 350F.

*In a mixing bowl pour in the cream of mushroom soup and milk. Whisk well and pour into a large baking dish.

*Stir in the green beans and 1 cup of the crispy onions.

*Bake for 30 minutes, then top with remaining 1 cup of crispy onions and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until onions are golden brown

Recipe and Taste Tester - Alina Gersib

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