kinda genius: serve it up cakestand

This little gizmo seems to be following me. Every time I open a magazine, there it is telling me how badly I need it in my life. I’m finally going to surrender and add one to my utensil drawer. It’s the Serve It Up cake stand pedestal, which has a porcelain base and suction cup top. It comes in two sizes ($30/$20) and will hold on to the surface of an shiny, flat or non-porous plate. This past weekend, I brought a Bundt cake to a block party and was desperate for a nice way to transport and display it. This little number would have done the trick! Plus, it will give me an excuse to hit the yard sales in seplace of cute one offs.

From our partners

kinda genius: finger food plates

Who hasn’t experienced that unfortunate party conundrum when one is forced to choose between a cocktail and a plate of hors d’oeuvres? My solution is to often to shove any offered food into my mouth so fast, that companions are left wondering why I am just smiling and nodding in silence. These finger food plates from perpetualkid.com attempts to solve the dilemma. The small plates slip onto your finger like a ring, creating a perfectly tiny perch for that little canape to rest while you speak your mind. At $10 for ten of them, I think they are worth buying just to as a conversation starter. (Warning, the fat fingered may be out of luck, they are one size fits all.) Click here for more info.

From our partners

going retro for a mad men viewing party

We don’t know which is more exciting, seeing the Hunger Games at the movies this weekend or finally getting Don Draper back into our Sunday nights with the return of Mad Men on AMC. True, neither will quite fill the cultural void left after the end of Downton Abbey, but we’re still psyched none the less. As far as menus go, deviled eggs and martinis sound much more tasty than roasted squirrels. We might be leaning more towards a retro party than a post-apocalypical one. For inspiration on a Mad Men themed party, check out this gallery on iVillage food (thanks @LisaCericola!).

From our partners

sip & see: crazy for the kitchn’s downton abbey cocktails

Having just started season 2, I admit to being a happy passenger aboard the slow train to Downton Abbey. While the delay means I can’t talk about it with anyone, it has also afforded me the great fortune of stumbling upon the Kitchn’s Downton Abbey Cocktails series, which dedicates a drink to each Crawley daughter. Concocted by Nancy Mitchell of The Backyard Bartender, each recipe is fairly simple, containing only three ingredients each for Edith and Sybil, and four for Lady Mary, perhaps the most complex of the three. I’m excited by the splash of gin in Sybil’s St. Germain and Champagne combo, but for the sake of reporting will honestly will have to try all of them, probably multiple times, while I finish season 2. Have you been watching? Which daughter and drink is your favorite?

Season 1of Downton Abbey is streaming on Netflix and Season 2 is available on PBS.org, but hurry; it expires 3/6!

From our partners

steal this idea: herbs instead of flowers on tables

I went to the lovely Green Table for lunch the other day, and was immediately struck by a refreshing aroma when I walked in. No, it wasn’t the squash soup or the insanely good chicken pot pies, but something lighter. Sitting down I noticed little bell jars of rosemary on all the tables. It smelled better than any candle or oil you could buy. I replicated the effect last night during our Oscar shin dig, and it did wonders to get rid of the slightly doggy smell our house had.

What do you like to set out on tables to make your place smell good?

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