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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

Irish Soda Bread

Crumbly, slightly sweet, and beautifully crisped, this Irish Soda bread is a wonderful addition to breakfast, lunch, or dinner. A super easy recipe to throw together and then bake, you’ll have delicious home cooked bread in under an hour! My favorite way to enjoy is with a pat of butter and a few slices of Kerrygold Irish cheddar.

Irish Soda Bread
Download PDF • 516KB

Makes 10 servings

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes


*4 1/4 cup all purpose flour

*1 teaspoon baking soda

*3 tablespoons sugar

*1/2 teaspoon salt

*5 tablespoons salted butter, chilled and cubed

*3/4 cup raisins

*1 3/4 cups buttermilk


*Preheat oven to 400F.

*Whisk flour, baking soda, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl.

*Using your fingers or a fork mix in the butter until it has crumbed to the size of peas in the flour mixture.

*Add the raisins and stir until combined.

*Pour in the buttermilk and fold the dough together gently.

*Once combined pour the crumbly dough onto a lightly floured surface.

*Pull the dough into a ball and knead for 30 seconds or until the flour has moistened. (If too sticky, add a bit more flour.)

*Place the dough on a prepared baking sheet or large cast iron skillet.

*Use a sharp knife to cut a 1/2 inch deep X into the top.

*Bake for 50-55 minutes until the bread is golden brown. If the top of the bread starts to brown too much tent aluminum foil around it until the internal temperature reaches 190F.

*Let cool for 10 minutes outside the oven before moving to an aluminum rack.

*To serve top with your desired spreads or cheeses of choice. Enjoy!

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