Fall, Flowers, Summer

Heavenly Hydrangeas

My friend, Susie Poneman, owns and manages a floral design studio in the Washington, DC area called Heavenly Hydrangeas.  Her business grew from a love of entertaining and gardening; in fact, she has over 100 of the flowers in her home garden and took the name of her business from her own heavenly hydrangeas.  Since 2005, when a donation of flower arrangements to a charity auction received such rave reviews she was encouraged to begin her business, she and her team of […]

Salad with lamb and figs
Entrees, Food, Gluten-Free, Summer

Ottolenghi Lamb and Fig Salad

My husband really hates to exercise.  In fact, he prefers not to break a sweat under any circumstances, and if possible, to avoid exercising outdoors at all times.  If I can persuade him to take a walk with me, we have a negotiation over the route: he will walk if we stay on the sidewalks, but if I suggest we go through the woods in Dumbarton Oaks Park, he’s out.  These are the minor quirks of a long-married couple, but […]

Wine bottle with red and white note
Etiquette, Formalities

Hostess Gifts

It’s not the thought that counts; it’s how thoughtful the thought is… The other day I was wrapping a few hostess gifts and thinking they needed a little pizzazz.  They were perfectly acceptable gifts, but it’s not enough for me to give a gift; Ineed to see that the giftee really, really likes it. There’s no pleasure in giving something that elicits a meh. Gift-giving can be a source of anxiety in modern life.  Too many people confuse the cost […]