SUMMER DINNER PARTY on Americas-Table.com
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SUMMER DINNER PARTY

Summer comes early in Washington, DC. By late April we need air conditioning, and any thought of outdoor parties has to be put away until the fall, unless you manage to spontaneously catch a rare cool night. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t summer parties here, though it helps if they involve alcohol and light clothing as distractions. Washington was built on a swamp; in fact, British diplomats who served here in the 19th century were given extra pay for […]

PICNIC ETIQUETTE on Americas-Table.com
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PICNIC ETIQUETTE

Is there an etiquette to picnics, that most casual and relaxed of summer get-togethers? Sadly, yes – just a little – because wherever humans gather in groups of more than one, the potential for thoughtless behavior exists. It’s a bummer, I know, but just a little bit of self awareness and forward planning can help ensure that your next sunny day in the park or out in the backyard with friends will be as much fun as you imagined it […]

APRIL FLOWERS on Americas-Table.com
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CANCELLATION POLICY

Recently I planned a farewell lunch for a good friend of mine who was moving to Europe. The RSVPs were in, the caterers lined up, the silver polished, the menu and place cards already on the table, and buckets of flowers waited to be arranged. On the morning of the party, the minor precipitation predicted became six inches of a wet, heavy snow surprise that made our street impassable, and most of Washington’s roads treacherous. It doesn’t take much for […]

MANNERS FOR KIDS on Americas-Table.com
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MANNERS FOR KIDS

Many years ago, while out shopping with my four-year-old daughter, I ran into an elderly friend and stopped to chat. There was a large fake rubber tree that was part of a clothing display nearby, which Liddy started to climb. I tried to catch her eye to make her stop, and kept throwing her dirty looks as I attempted to keep the conversation going with my friend. Liddy looked up at me and said loudly, “Why are you looking at […]

White House Christmas 2015
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White House Christmas 2015

One of the perks of being a former White House Social Secretary is that we’re invited back for a Christmas luncheon each year by current White House Social Secretary, Deesha Dyer. It’s a chance to dish with my friends, admire the holiday decorations, and enjoy the warm hospitality of Deesha and the White House staff. We had a beautiful dessert service in the Green Room (with visits from White House Executive Chefs Cris Comerford and Susie Morrison), after lunch in […]