December 31, 2013

25 Cocktail Party Must Haves


Friends are coming for cocktails tonight.

25 things to have on hand:
  1. hand size snacks such as -  popcorn, cheese, pickles, crackers, wasabi peas, Cheezies, or other nibbles - nuts with a vintage nutcracker are always a hit, make sure you have a bowl for the shells
  2. ice, ice and more ice
  3. cocktail napkins and regular napkins
  4. coasters
  5. vintage serving bowls
  6. tea lights, candles, lighter
  7. ice bucket or two
  8. soda, tonic, juice (cranberry, orange, tomato), pop, cold flat or carbonated water
  9. cocktail straws, cocktail picks
  10. garnish -  lemon, lime and good cocktail cherries (check what your drink recipes call for)
  11. extra toilet paper
  12. whiskey, bourbon, rye, rum, vodka, gin, dry and sweet vermouth, cognac, two bottles of both white and red wine, beer, bubbly
  13. clean cloth to quickly wipe up spills
  14. plenty of clean hand towels in the washroom
  15. bottle opener and corkscrew
  16. a game - personally I can't stand games but some people love them at parties
  17. burgundy glasses, beer glasses, martini glasses, rock glasses, champagne flutes
  18. list of cocktail recipes - check the drink section of my blog, or Art in the Age and MasonShaker have some of my current favourites
  19. clean house slippers if you insist your guests take their shoes off
  20. organized front closet with empty hangers (no wire hangers)
  21. bitters, simple syrup (easy to make - boil two parts sugar, one part water or 1:1 shaken until sugar dissolves)
  22. an empty garbage under the sink
  23. cocktail shaker
  24. phone number for a cab or designated driver service - the host should pay or prearrange
  25. appropriate music
originally published September 24th 2008


    image from the collection of Stacy Reynaud

    December 29, 2013

    Top Read Posts 2008 - 2013

























    stacy reynaud

    December 26, 2013

    Hot Buttered Rum with Apple Cider


    What you need:

    • 2 tbsps butter
    • 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
    • 2 tsps pumpkin pie spice
    • 2 oz dark rum
    • 12 oz hot apple cider - my recipe
    • Serves two


    What you do:
    • Whip butter, brown sugar and pie spice
    • Chill until firm
    • Divide butter mixture and rum between 2 six ounce mugs
    • Stir in hot cider

    stacy reynaud


    December 20, 2013

    How to Uniquely Wrap a Gift



    I promise I won't say eco or upcycle. However, seeing as I'm of the make do mend persuasion a vintage silk scarf used to wrap a gift suits me just fine.


    Voila - Japanese furoshiki. Interested in more techniques using scarves as wrapping, bags or apparel check out the furoshiki site.
    stacy reynaud

    December 18, 2013

    Crowdfunding for Purchase and Maintenance of Mid Century Modern Binning Home

    Crowdfunding is my latest proposal to save the Binning Home for the public - as Mrs. Binning had bequeathed. Remember I suggested the District of West Vancouver purchase the Binning Home as a marketing and communications expense to compliment the forthcoming West Vancouver Centre for Art and Architecture?  Well, only two individuals have stepped up - heritage advocate Kathleen Staples (of the Staples Residence) and Bruno Wall, the nephew of real estate developer Peter Wall - whom has been labeled 'partially responsible for Vancouver's City of Glass reputation'. Staples offered up a cheque of $1 million dollars on Friday December 13th - $600,000 short of Wall's offer of $1.6 million.

    On December 13th, the judge (Madam Justice Shelley Fitzpatrick), residing over the BC Supreme Court fight for the house stated:

    The rubber hits the road in terms of who's prepared to write the cheques to maintain this property. Where are they? Where are all these people? Who's prepared to come and make a concrete proposal? At the end of the day, unless you have government standing behind these types of projects, someone has to pay for it.

    So, who's with me on this? For purchase, necessary repairs, continuous maintenance, marketing and administration of the home I suggest a goal of $5 million. Come by the Bijou Living Facebook page to share your ideas.

    Read more of my Binning posts from the past three years by searching Binning at the top of the page.

    Read the Supreme Court affidavit filed by The Land Conservancy November 13, 2013.

    "The rubber hits the road in terms of who's prepared to write the cheques to maintain this property," she said.
    Fitzpatrick added that despite wide media coverage, no one besides Wall and Staples has stepped up with formal proposal to take over the house.
    "Where are they? Where are all these people? Who's prepared to come and make a concrete proposal? At the end of the day, unless you have government standing behind these types of projects, someone has to pay for it."
    - See more at: http://www.nsnews.com/living/11th-hour-offer-for-binning-house-1.759819#sthash.CSz5ES5i.dpuf
    "The rubber hits the road in terms of who's prepared to write the cheques to maintain this property," she said.
    Fitzpatrick added that despite wide media coverage, no one besides Wall and Staples has stepped up with formal proposal to take over the house.
    "Where are they? Where are all these people? Who's prepared to come and make a concrete proposal? At the end of the day, unless you have government standing behind these types of projects, someone has to pay for it."
    - See more at: http://www.nsnews.com/living/11th-hour-offer-for-binning-house-1.759819#sthash.CSz5ES5i.dpuf
    Mr. and Mrs. Binning
     Mr. Binning's studio with original works as well as unfinished ones


    Note the high windows to let in the south sunlight on the upper left 

    The Binning's original Danish furnishings.

     South facing back yard.

     Mrs. Binning's room to the left, washroom centre and Mr. Binning's room and studio to the right.
    The mural was hand painted by Mr. Binning

    Mr. Binning's studio


     Mrs. Binning's Bedroom - with all her belongings - would they be sent to the Salvation Army if the home was sold?


     Original address plate

     Mrs. Binning's last entry in her day planner dated Friday May 27th 2007.
    She died later that year at 101.

     Front entrance with one of Binning's murals

     Front entrance from the street.
    Note the high windows. Mr. Binning's studio is to the right.

    South facing back yard - view of Burrard Inlet beyond the mature trees - would they be destroyed to improve the view?

     The entire contents of the home belonged to the Binnings - where would it go if the home was sold to a private citizen?

     Back yard with trellis and original windows

     Every kitchen needs a window. Private west facing kitchen window

     Original kitchen cupboards

    Entrance hall - the Binnings were collectors of Japanese ceramics - where would the collection go?

    BC Binning's desk drawer - as he left it before he died.

    all images © Stacy Reynaud









    Quote of the Week - Henri Poincare

    Science is built up of facts, as a house is built of stones; but an accumulation of facts is no more a science than a heap of stones is a house.


    image from the collection of Stacy Reynaud

    December 17, 2013

    10 Tips for the Party Host

    Untitled

    When your hosting skills are brought to the test, don't fail.
    1. Take your guest's coat. Do not put them on the bed.* Hang them up. Small, unrealistic closet? Rent a sales man's rack or invest in one (I have two).
    2. Your guest's shoes are part of their outfit - allow them to keep them on. I bring fancy house slippers with me just in case the dreaded pile of shoes is at the door.
    3. Offer your guest a drink after you've taken their coat and before they're more than five steps in the door. Tip: have non-alcoholic drinks (soda, tonic and juice), red wine, white wine, bubbles, beer, vodka, rum, rye, scotch, tequila, gin, sweet and dry vermouth and cognac. Don't forget fresh ice, cocktail napkins, lemons, limes, olives and cocktail straws.
    4. Never introduce your guest's boyfriend, girlfriend, fiance, spouse or whatever, as such. They have an identity of their own.
    5. You are responsible for your guest's safety. Read my post, How to Deal with Drunk Guests.
    6. Keep the lights and the music low.
    7. If you're a couple, work tag team. Lay out each of your defined 'duties' before hand and cover each others backs with refilling drinks, conversation starters, toilet paper and hand towel checks, lit candles, cleared plates and stocked ice.
    8. Never let them see you sweat. As far as your guest is concerned you're already the monarch of the mingler - they don't need to see the dirty dishes. Get some of those big plastic crates with tops and hide your dirty dishes in there until the guests leave. Throw a table cloth over it and they'll never know. I used to hide stuff in the bath tub of my ensuite.
    9. Accept that you'll have a guest that snoops in the medicine cabinet of your bathroom. You know what to do with that stuff.
    10. To prevent guests from over staying, lay out a start and end time in your invite. If there are still stragglers start unloading those crates with the dirty dishes in them.
    * Back in the old days laying coats on the bed was considered faux pas due to bed bug infestations.

    image from the collection of Stacy Reynaud

    Originally published December 27, 2010

    December 16, 2013

    9 Christmas Gifts for the Intergalactic Traveler

    in case they get lost - Galaxy Sweatshirt Bittersweet

    to find their way home - gemstone globe
    self explanatory - Louis Moinet Astralis
    metallic make up case for those evenings in the stars - Mulberry
    metallic pens for doodling - Athas!
    large solid gold Tiffany's flask self explanatory - 1st Dibs
    to keep the clothes in - vintage Gucci duffel bag Stated Style

    December 4, 2013

    Quote of the Week - Albert Einstein

    from the collection of stacy reynaud
    The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.




    December 3, 2013

    10 topics I've been meaning to write about but haven't gotten around to



    It's much easier to publish with one's pseudo-opposable thumb than ten digits.
    I've had a month long case of insomnia (brought on by stress), which in turn aggravates my moods - hence many Tumblr and Instagram posts but no blog updates. Post ideas have been coming and going through my thoughts but that's it.

    Here are some things that have been floating around:
    1. Have you watched the Upstairs Downstairs remake on Netflix? The set design and costumes - oh my cat - wrap me up in them! Those silk velvet gowns -  purr.
    2. How about Mr. Selfridge? I say we need more Roderick Temple.
    3. Society women in Edwardian times
    4. Gong meditation
    5. Finding the perfect wasabi chick pea recipe
    6. The phrase, 'Nothing personal, it's just business.' Screw that. Business is personal.
    7. Only Lovers Left Alive
    8. Predictive analysis
    9. Out of body experiences 
    10. Mallard green interiors






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