Truffles Magazine

Posts Tagged ‘Entertaining’

Room Functions

In House & Yard, Life, Life @ Home on November 2, 2012 at 10:25 am

Over the years houses styles have changed and room functions have as well. Most people in the USA have a home of approximately 2,500 square feet. Depending on where you live may determine the specifics (basement, attic, crawl space), however many people have moved toward more informal living arrangements and now prefer the open concept. There are pros/cons to both. If your a messy person sorry but you don’t belong in an open concept house just picture it when you open the front door it would look like one big mess had engulfed the entire space. What about rooms that didn’t exist years ago? Well many people didn’t use home offices (unless they were self employed or worked from home) moms usually paid all the bills from the kitchen table thereby eliminating an extra bedroom just for surfing the web and bill paying. The formal dining room that gets used only on Thanksgiving or Christmas is wasted space – for the regular entertainer who spends time dining with their guests its a necessity. So here are some ways to make the open living concept work for your family…and yes sometimes open concept means feeling more spacious even though there can be a lack of storage.

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A sofa table can provide great extra storage, serve as extra lighting for reading, use solid baskets to hide the stuff so shelves don’t look crowded. And during the holidays its an easy place to reach to put up some extra Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations.

For those of you who find yourself always eating in the kitchen or family room and find the dining room as the black sheep of the house then by all means try re-purposing it into something useful for your family. Here’s a few suggestions: even if your eliminating your dining room table (if you have one in the dining room) make sure to have some built ins designed for the space (whether they’re ikea or custom is up to your style/budget)

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Why the built ins? well you unless you have a massive kitchen or plenty of closet space a built in provides the extra storage for those items that can be seasonal (turkey platters, carving boards) and for all those wedding gifts that don’t have space in maybe a small kitchen. Also with the floor space freed up you still have storage so you can turn the dining room into a library (built ins are great for books) or a home office for the self employed.

Or maybe your in the opposite position and find yourself without the formal dining room and your kitchen, dining room, great room are really one big space…talk about open concept challenges. I suggest removing your kitchen set and having just a larger dining room set. If you have a table that has leaves then it can easily go from 6 people for family dinners to 10 or 12 for holidays.

Consider what rooms you use and how often and for what – ignore the labels for a moment and see if that basement can be turned into the kids playroom or that dining room into the home office for the self employed or maybe an attic can provided needed storage for a hobby room.


Sand Keeper

In House & Yard, Life, Life @ Home, Travel, Urban Dweller on August 29, 2012 at 7:00 am

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So maybe you love the beach (okay I know I LOVE the beach to me there is something so amazing about being there) and yet your trying to recapture every vacation you go on. Well I came across this sand keep and I think this is one simple, cheap DIY anyone could do. All you need is a water bottle, vase and sand of course. Read more here

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

In Food on August 20, 2012 at 9:00 am

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Do you love cookies? Cookie Dough? And yes we all know how much people advise against eating raw cookie dough so here is a safe no cook cookie dough recipe to enjoy. Read / Print the recipe here

Buffalo Chicken Poppers

In Food on August 18, 2012 at 9:00 am

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Looking for that perfect snack for game season this fall? Maybe something new to try when having friends over? Or the perfect snack for after school kids? Whatever the reason these buffalo chicken poppers are not hard to make and why not try your making the sauce with it both from IGE. 

40 Cloves and A Chicken

In Food on July 14, 2012 at 8:00 am

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I try to always feature tasty recipes using everyday ingredients and ones that you will all enjoy and will end up making over and over again. I picked today’s recipe because it will give you some free time while its cooking in the oven to enjoy some time with your family or guests. This recipe below is courtesy of Alton Brown and Food Network.

Total Time:

1 hr 40 min


10 min


1 hr 30 min

Yield:6 servings


  • 1 whole chicken (broiler/fryer) cut into 8 pieces
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 40 peeled cloves garlic
  • Salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Toss with a 2 tablespoons olive oil and brown on both sides in a wide fry pan or skillet over high heat. Remove from heat, add oil, thyme, and garlic cloves. Cover and bake for 1 1/2 hours.

Remove chicken from the oven, let rest for 5 to 10 minutes, carve, and serve.


Watermelon Lemonade

In Food on July 13, 2012 at 11:47 am

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Its hot out there and boy the days are in the triple digits seem like there staying around for awhile so I figured maybe it was time to share this perfect drink for the summer- watermelon lemonade. Doesn’t that glass just make you day dream even for a moment of swimming in the water on a bright sunny day with a nice breeze family and friends all hanging out together and kids playing. Everyone is enjoying the beautiful outdoors! For a moment you almost forgot how HOT is … I said almost and for those of us who haven’t here’s the recipe

If watermelon lemonade isn’t for you try this one

Rustic + Modern Living

In House & Yard, Life @ Home, Urban Dweller on July 13, 2012 at 8:42 am

Are you trying to marry two different styles into a room? Maybe you and your other half have completely different ideas on decorating and while most men don’t love decorating they don’t love pink rooms (any more than most women want a full sports living room.) So here’s some ideas try this rustic + modern design. Some people think you can only have 1 style or that your decorating style inside your home must match the architectural style of your home and this is just not true. Blend this style by adding some traditional pieces with more neutral tones, use more modern paint color combinations (grey + yellow or a beige + teal could be really nice) and shop for modern fabric for pillows at the fabric store then just make them into a simple envelope slip pillow costing much less than fancy modern pillows at home furnishing stores. I hope this will inspire you to create a lovely a space for your family.

West Elm’s  Essex Upholstered Ottoman $299.00 – this comes in so many color/fabric options  I like ottomans because they double as a coffee table or sitting space.

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West Elm’s Tree Stump Side Table – $199.00 – its eco-friendly and add a rustic natural charm

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Have Children? Well then you know sometimes a sofa could get really dirty so go ahead and try this slip covered more traditional style from Ikea its the Ektorp Corner Sofa in Vellinge Beige for $999.00

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When you place a tray on an ottoman it can be used for so many things: holding magazines, books, the remote. It also is a great opportunity to add color to your room. This lacquered tray is from West Elm and retails for $22.00

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West Elm’s Lourdes Sanchez 8×10 rug $599.00

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Total cost $2,122 – so next time your at one of those furniture stores that tries to sell you a whole room package that is identical to thousands of other people’s living rooms consider how easy it is to put together your own unique room.

Peach, Mozzarella, & Basil Salad

In Food on July 11, 2012 at 11:41 am

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Looking for something refreshing to eat? Maybe something new to make when entertaining or something that doesn’t require lots of time and ingredients then this is for you. This salad looks so good and is sure to be a hit when entertaining since most friends won’t be putting this out. Get the recipe here

Strawberry Tarts – the perfect summer dessert!

In Food on July 9, 2012 at 9:00 am

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Are you looking for that perfect summer dessert? One of the greatest things about summer is the warm weather and abundance of fresh produce available…specifically strawberries for this recipe. If you planted strawberries or just buy a lot of them at the grocery store, farmer’s market or produce stand then this dessert may be the perfect one for you to try. I hope your enjoying your summer with family and friends or exciting travels!

Decorative Tray

In House & Yard, Life @ Home, Urban Dweller on June 17, 2012 at 7:00 am

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Let’s face it eventually the cookie / baking  sheet is no longer useable and your not sure how to reuse it or recycle it, well relax I have the perfect way. I came across this article in Martha Stewart and had to share it. If you like the idea above (the decorative tray) then read the article on how to reuse your baking sheet and turn it into this awesome decorative tray in any color, style, or pattern.