Thursday, September 15, 2011

Dining Room Redo on a Budget

My husband and I were lucky enough to receive a lovely dining room set from his grandmother when we moved into our home several years ago. It's the only formal room in our home and while I love the furniture and having a place to show off my china, crystal and silver, we're not really formal people.

This summer my mission was to "casualize" our dining room while allowing the furniture and our china, silver, and crystal to shine. And of course, I was on a tight budget!

Thank goodness for Home Goods and Whole Foods! I spent a grand total of $80 and reinvented my dining room table! I bought:
  • a pink and white indoor/outdoor table runner
  • 3 electric candles
  • a large hurricane style glass vase
  • green lentils and mung beans
  • Leaf PlaceTiles

I filled the vase with the mung beans and lentils to add some green to the pink of the table runner. The leaf tiles add just the right touch, plus I can fill them with zinia from my garden, or any other flowers. I love using the natural elements of the beans and leaves to soften the look of my dining room. These items allowed me to bring out the pinks and greens in my china and set a much more casual tone for my dinner guests.

In celebration of the new dining room, I served a delicious seafood stew from Food and Wine. I've made it several times now and the beauty of the dish is that the time consuming part can be made a day ahead. Then when your guests come over, just heat it up and add the seafood. The dish is impressive and you don't have to spend half of your evening in the kitchen!

I served it with grilled sourdough bread and made strawberry shortcake with fresh whipped cream for dessert.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Mantras Are Good

Think positive. Breathe. Write more. Move forward. Exercise. Grow. These are a few examples of my mantras or motivational messages. I write these on my PlaceTile® place cards and my MessageTile® message boards. I strategically place them around my home or office to inspire me to focus or act. They help me get through my day, hectic or otherwise.

Many people, including motivational speakers, leaders, fitness gurus, and clerics, believe writing down your goals, and concentrating on them, will manifest them. 

In the year 2000 when I first started my business, I received a Chinese fortune cookie message that really helped me focus on succeeding in business. I taped it to my computer and looked at it daily so I could remember to keep trying no matter how hard it got. The message was, “You will be unusually successful in business”. Fortunately, the fortune came true! 

I need different mantras at different times, some to help move me forward with work, and some to help me keep perspective.  The good news is that the PlaceTiles and MessageTiles can be wiped off easily and I can replace my mantras whenever needed.

So what are some of your mantras?

Yesterday’s Goal: Write more. And here it is.
Today’s Goal: Reflection is good.

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