A Night with McGuire Furniture

McGuire FurnitureLast month, I was thrilled to be asked by McGuire to design a table for a celebration of their Fall 2016 Introductions, which includes pieces by the talented designer Steven Volpe, an AD100 recipient, and McGuire’s first lighting collection in over a decade, designed by Jonathan Browning.

McGuire Furniture McGuire FurnitureThe dinner was held at the McGuire showroom here in San Francisco and a group of talented designers and publishers came to celebrate the launch of the collection. The task at hand was to design a table that complemented McGuire’s newest introductions and the more modern look and feel embodied by the current showroom.  The table was set under Jonathan Browning’s stunning Muir Chandelier for McGuire, and we then used various McGuire styles for chairs.  Although they represented seasons past and present by a mix of McGuire’s master designers including Steven Volpe, Barbara Barry, Orlando Diaz-Azcuy, and Laura Kirar, the chairs were all a soft grey hue McGuire calls Matte Smoke.  The result was a beautifully cohesive table that had far more interest than having all the same chairs, and they served as great conversation starters.

McGuire FurnitureMcGuire FurnitureMcGuire has always been a favorite showroom for me and they are well-known for their quality, use of natural materials and fine craftsmanship.  Since some of the conversation got sidelined by recent current events, we learned that McGuire has been in almost every White House since JFK – now that is something!

McGuire Furniture McGuire Furniture

In my plans for the table, I wanted to create a warm and inviting atmosphere with gray tablecloths in velvet, ivory and gold plates, wooden carved chargers, and brass flatware. Flowers were made to look as if they had just been picked in a country meadow and they were placed in wooden vessels. I also used two dozen brass candlesticks and mercury glass votives to help the table glow in the evening light.

McGuire Furniture McGuire Furniture

This is always a favorite time of year for me to think about entertaining and how to put together a perfect table. I hope you’re also having fun with the tabletop design as you have friends and family over at this time of year!

Photos of tabletop by Andrea Posadas for Sacramento Street

Caring for the Planet

SodaStreamI am the daughter of an environmentalist who always made it clear to me that we could all take steps to be kinder to our world. We share the planet and need to take individual steps to make as small of an impact as we possibly can.

Check out SodaStream video Shame or Glory. And consider a SodaStream for yourself or to buy it as a gift this holiday season!

SodaStream SodaStream SodaStreamHere are some ways all of us can help to improve the planet:

  1. Turn off lights when you leave a room. You can also lower the brightness of your bulbs and save energy – and the great thing is that you’ll save money!
  2. Use reusable bags when you shop. I keep a stack in my trunk. It’s easy to do and you won’t be wasting paper.
  3. Consider buying items in bulk. You won’t be wasting packaging and you will need fewer trips to the grocery store.
  4. Try to make a habit of buying produce directly from the farmer. There are arrangements you can make to have boxes of produce delivered once a week or if you don’t do that, consider visiting your local farmers market.
  5. Finally, avoid buying drinks in plastic bottles. They often end up in landfill and are also a key factor in the pollution of our oceans.

SodaStreamOne solution I have found for my love of mineral water is to use SodaStream. No more heavy bottles to lug up my stairs and then back down to the recycling bin. I can have my mineral water and not harm the environment in the process. It’s a simple way to take tap water and make mineral water in an eco-friendly manner. I usually add a slice of lemon or lime (I pretty much use them in everything) to my mineral water for a perfect way to keep hydrated. 

This post is a partnership with SodaStream. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting sponsored posts that keep Sacramento Street doors open.

Photos by Andrea Posadas for Sacramento Street

Friendsgiving: How to Organize the Perfect Gathering

American Express - Friendsgiving It must be something about the shorter days that has me thinking of ways to gather with friends to celebrate and spend time together. I can’t think of a better way to do this, than to host a Friendsgiving. As a host, organization is a key element in having a good time yourself.

american-express-friendsgiving-1 american-express-friendsgiving-4 american-express-friendsgiving-5Here are 5 ways to host a flawless gathering:

  1. Set the table ahead of time. I will often set the table the day before we are having friends over. You can get it completely set up, with the exception of flowers and greenery. Prepare those closer to the event – especially if you are using greenery directly on the table!
  2. Consider having a potluck where everyone brings something. That way you aren’t stuck in the kitchen for days!
  3. If you don’t like the idea of a potluck but you’re still short on time for preparation, you can always buy some items prepared and then make others yourself. I often buy some parts of a meal already prepared. Let’s face it: we are all busy at this time of year! But the last thing you should do is be stuck in the kitchen and your guests left to fend for themselves!
  4. Consider a signature drink. You can have wine and mineral water as alternatives, but a fun cocktail can break the ice.
  5. Finally, choose your outfit ahead of time so you don’t have to think about it the day of your party.

american-express-friendsgiving-2 american-express-friendsgiving-6I always do my shopping, buy my flowers and anything else including my outfit, well before the day I host the event. I have loved using my American Express Blue Cash Everyday Card to purchase everything I need. And the great thing is that it gives you cash back on what you care about, including 3% at U.S. Supermarkets, 2% on Gas and Department Stores, and 1% back on everything else. This is the only card to add “epic” into your everyday, whether it’s your own Friendsgiving or a night on the town! Go to American Express Epic Holiday Hosting, for a collection of holiday recipes (my fav!) and DIY inspiration!

All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting sponsored posts that keep Sacramento Street doors open.

Photography by delbarr moradi

On the Menu: Smashed Cauliflower

Smashed CauliflowerThe last recipe before Thanksgiving arrives. Jessica is sharing an alternative for mashed potatoes. When I tasted this Smashed Califlower I could barely tell that they weren’t potatoes. You can even dress them up a little by adding cheese or herbs. Hope you’ve enjoyed Jessica’s cooking tips and recipes  – she’s quite the chef.

 Smashed Cauliflower

Smashed Cauliflower


Ingredients

1 Large head of Cauliflower
1/2 cup chicken or veggie broth
1 tablespoon of butter or Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon of Worchestire sauce
1-2 Teaspoons of salt
1 Tablespoon of Chives
Cracked Pepper

Directions

  1. Remove green leaves from cauliflower and wash head well. Cut into 8 wedges, leaving the core and stem intact.
  2. Place cauliflower and stock of choice in pot and bring to a boil. Immediately turn to a simmer, place lid on pot and let cauliflower steam until completely soft, about 12-15 minutes.
  3. Drain access liquid, and using a potato masher (or a large whisk) mash the cauliflower until it’s the consistency of mashed potatoes. Season with butter or oil, worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.
  4. Sprinkle with chives before serving.

Serving Size: 4

Tip: This is a great ‘blank canvas” recipe that people can dress up however they want. I love to add goat cheese, charred scallions or crispy sage. Obviously, a much lighter alternative to mashed potatoes and I have had people tell me they can’t taste the difference.

Photography by delbarr moradi | Food by Jessica Robertson

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