Thursday, May 24, 2012

In Memory of...

R.I.P. my friend.  
I will miss you greatly!

Such a great companion.  Always wanting to be close to his mommy.

I went home with a friend one day in college and her kitchen was filled with kittens.
They were climbing all over me and he caught my eye.
He was sitting next to the leg of a wood stove just watching me.
I had to take him home!!!
He stayed with me in my college dorm room for the rest of the year 
and he has been with me every step of the way 
until yesterday... He was almost 18 years old.

He was always a part of the group.  

This is shortly after we moved from D.C. to FL.

As usual, Gus loved to get into boxes or even my luggage.  
Whenever I would travel, he would get in thinking 
he could come too!  
Just a few weeks ago when I was getting packed for Dallas... 
there he was all curled up in my luggage.

He LOVED to cuddle.  He used to sleep with his head on 
one pillow and with the blankets up to his neck.  
Just like his mommy.

 What a great friend.  I will miss you bubba!
Here he is with his pal Chloe.
She already misses him too!

He is now in kitty heaven.... 
forever to be missed.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

What is Etiquette?

Today, I thought it would be great to give a little brush up on 

Have you ever sat and watched people as they were eating?

I have, 
and it is not only comical, 
& disgusting at points 
but, in some cases it is thrilling to see someone 
who is actually using proper etiquette.

It may seem a little "old school" but I love the formality of it all!

I looked up the meaning of Etiquette and this is what it said:

It's a system of rules and conventions that regulate social 
and professional behavior.

Why do most people only bring out their manners 
when they know people are watching???

Why not use them all the time?


A formal dinner consists of 7 courses - in this order: 
soup, salad, fish, sorbet or pallet cleanser, meat or fowl dish, 
dessert and coffee.

Here is a great picture that I found of a proper place setting. 

Explanation of above: 
starting clockwise

1. Stemware - limited to 4 (as shown).  
Wine is poured from right to left.  
Do not overfill glasses. 
positioning - top left - water glass, top right - red wine glass, 
bottom left - white wine glass, bottom right - champagne flute.

2. Cutlery - 3 knives & 1 spoon.
positioning - left - Meat knife, Fish knife, salad knife, soup spoon.

3. Napkin - once everyone is seated the host takes his/her napkin, 
then guests follow and place their napkin on their laps.

4. Plates - 2  
top is for salad, bottom is for main course.

5. Cutlery - 3 forks.
positioning - left - Salad fork, Fish fork, Meat fork.

Rule of thumb with Cutlery - Use from the inside out, 
once a utensel has been used it should not touch the table again.

Rule of thumb with flatware - The number of silverware pieces 
indicates how many courses are to be served.  

6. Bread dish & butter knife - tear bread into bite sized pieces on the 
bread dish and butter each piece just before you are to eat it.

7. Salt & Pepper shakers - they should be passed together 
even if asked for separately.
Taste food before salt & peppering.

8. Place card - Never switch or change seating arrangements already planned by host.

9. Dessert spook & fork - when dessert is served with a fork & spoon, the fork is the pusher and the spoon is used for eating.


Now on to a few more essential need to knows:

 1. When eating soup - tilt the spoon away from you.
When getting to bottom of the soup - tilt the bowl away from you to spoon up the last bits.

2. When holding utensils - knives & forks are held in a relaxed manner.
When holding the meat knife, place your index finger about an inch down from the handle to help press down firmly.  Hold the fork in your let hand, prongs down.  Cut only enough food for each mouthful.

3. Foods that you can and should eat with your fingers - 
asparagus, corn on the cob, artichoke, bread, hors d'oeuvres, 
chips, cookies, fruit, sandwiches with fries.

4. Resting positions - (image of knife and fork on plate)
When stepping away from the table your knife and fork 
should be crossed in one of the positions shown.

When stepping away from the table, leave your napkin loosely on the chair.

5. Finishing positions - (image shown with plate cup and napkin)
The dessert spoon should be resting on the saucer not the cup.
At the end of the meal, the knife and fork should eb at 11 o'clock position.

Rule of thumb with finishing - Wait for the host to loosely place 
his/her napkin to the left of his/her place 
setting when the meal is finished.


Proposing a Toast!

The custom of clinking glasses originally was used to drive away evil spirits.
If you clink, do so with care, especially with fine crystal.
For the most part, simply raise your glass in the direction 
of the person being toasted.  
Toasts should be long enough to cover the subject but short 
enough to be amusing *about a minute.

Toast people in their native tongue:
Spanish - Salud (SA Lud)
Irish - Slainte (SLAWNT tche)
Yiddish - L'chaim (leh KHY yim)
German - Prosit (PRO sit)
Japanese - Kanpai (KAHN pi)
French - Sante (SAN tay)


Well, I hope that helped... or even made you feel like going out 
and trying out your skills. 
I love fine dining and I love food.  
I will be sure to sharpen my skills at my next outing.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Drumroll Please!

Every Monday, I find myself clock watching.

I sit in anticipation 
of the new showing 
of my favorite TV show.

I am not sure if any of you out there have seen it... 
but if you have not,
it is A MUST!

I was laying in bed one Sunday afternoon 
playing on my Kindle Fire & bumped into an HBO trailer.

It was all about the creation of the show, 
the fashion, 
the characters 
the whole idea behind the plot.

I was sucked in & lay in bed all day and night 
(until 3am to be completely honest)
watching the whole first season.

S kept telling me I was crazy but, I could not get enough!

At the end... I have to admit, I did cry a tear or 2.

I was so into the characters, story lines & what was happening 
 that when it was over 
I found myself searching to see when the next season would air.

I was in luck! 
The next season started only 2 weeks away.

I called my cable company the next day & ordered HBO.
A few days later I came home and found S on the couch watching the series 
He was sucked in too... 


We are now into the second season 
& we can not wait to see what is going to unfold.


I did a little research and found that the story line
has come from a series of books.

Now, mind you, I usually am not the type of person to read a series of books.
I tried that years ago with Harry Potter and lost interest when
the first movie came out.

This series I am going to read though!

The author is George R. R. Martin & 
the series consists of 7 books.

1. A Game of Thrones
2. A Clash of Kings
3. A Storm of Swords
4. A Feast for Crows
5. A Dance with Dragons
6. The Winds of Winter (not yet released)
7. A Dream of Spring (not yet released)

The plot is clever, the characters are impeccably chosen &
the producer has a marvelous eye for detail.

It feels like you are watching a movie that never ends!


My favorite characters from season 1 are:

Of Course, you have to love Eddard Stark, "Ned"
He is the protector & honorable man of WinterFeld.


Khal Drogo is my second in line.  
The Dothraki leader... need I say more.

He marries Khaleesi (Daenerys Targaryen).
The rightful queen.

(that whole situation is HOT!)


My next favorite is "The Imp"

Tyrion Lannister, little guy but packs a punch!


Then, finally "The Bastard"
Jon Snow

There has to be something said about him getting the
Sh** end of the stick his whole life.


Game of Thrones airs Monday nights on HBO at 9pm.

Watch it and let me know what you think.

Or, if you are already a fan
leave me a comment and let me know who your favorites are!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Just do it!

This is for all of us who are 
struggling to get in shape!

Sweat a little... 

You may like it!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012