Are your cupboards and closets PACKED with all your fancy entertaining goodies? When was the last time you actually used your "good stuff"? Are you still waiting for an excuse to pull out the china, crystal, silver… your best place settings? Do you still have your wedding gift serving pieces tucked away under the bed?
Okay go look… Aha I knew it! I bet you don’t even remember what it looks like!
Well if this is indeed the case… What are you waiting for?
It is remarkable to me how many extraordinary people I have met that fiercely protect their meaningful and precious things for ‘special company’ – meanwhile these dear souls allow themselves to dine like second class citizens. What’s up with that? You know how hard you work, how much you give to your kids, partner, job, friends – how many times a day you suspend your own needs to take care of someone else’s. As a mom, wife, and a hard worker, this is what we do right?… and therefore there is no one more ‘special’ than YOU!
So here is what I say, START treating yourself like ‘special company’ and SURROUND yourself with BEAUTY! Whether you’re hosting tout sol, your family or a bunch of fabulous friends – creating a beautiful ambiance is just one way to make sure you feel special and turns everyday into a special occasion!
Here are some simple and quick ideas/reminders to inspire you:
1. Clear the table! – That means NO mail, magazines, homework…pets? A clean canvas is your starting point to bringing focus to a beautiful setting (sans distractions) and sets the stage to honor the moment.
2. Set the table! – Pull out your best table cloth, place mats, chargers, dishes, stemware, flatware and USE them! Remember: It’s not about expensive. It’s about your best! Are you feeling special yet?
3. Pick-up some fresh flowers – You don’t need to wait until someone brings you flowers. Cut some branches from outside or get some fruit, whatever you have to put in a vase or bowl. Bringing some COLOR to your table adds natural vitality and life.
4. Create some dazzle and break out the candles – Candles add tremendous ambiance to any table. A cluster of votives, pillars, or candle sticks in the center or on each end of the table says ‘special’ and casts a beautiful glow on you and your loved ones.
5. Music please! – Beautiful music can transition you quickly from frazzled to festive. Even when my 5 and 6 year old are moments from a full blown argument at the table, I find myself calmer when I tune into the music. I call it my ‘medication music’!
Is it really possible to dine this way every night?, you may ask. I say, if you look at this simply as a way of giving back to yourself, making yourself feel valued, special and recognize that you are deserving of being treated well, then this becomes a WELCOMED and BEAUTIFUL ritual instead of just one more thing on the ‘to-do’ list.
Ultimately treating yourself this way poses as an exquisite model for our children and what it means to value ourselves!
Happy Mother’s Day!
Liza Utter is an award winning celebrity restaurateur and beloved host. Her unique gift for making people feel welcome and bringing life to any party has earned her an expert reputation as being one of America’s most sought after hosts. Visit Liza America’s Host for all your hosting, entertaining and lifestyle needs or follow her on Twitter @LizaUtter and Facebook for her favorite tips, insider secrets and inspirations that help turn everyday into a celebration!