Etiquette

“If you care and respect others, you have etiquette.” ~ Alexandra

We all follow forms of etiquette in our daily lives. Saying hello, shaking hands, smiling, holding the door open are all small forms of etiquette. Here we will discuss the etiquette behind vegan hosting. Whether you are a vegan or non-vegan we must remember to care and respect our friend’s and family’s dietary lifestyle choices.

When hosting a vegan feel free to ask questions about the lifestyle with friendly curiosity.

A vegan should try and refrain from the mention of processed animal products unless asked.

HOSTING ETIQUETTE

“When writing your invitations, do make sure that you have spelled all names correctly.”

“When sending invitations, send them at least seven days in advance. This is a good time limit because your guests should be able to RSVP with confidence.”

“If you know that one of your guests has food allergies or requirements contact them in advance so you clearly understand how they prefer to eat.”

 

“When creating a vegan menu, always offers something gluten-free, nut free, and if possible make a raw dish – that way all the guests are happy!”

“Always make sure that your table cloth and napkins are wrinkle free. Sometimes and iron is just the trick.”

“Always polish any candle sticks, silverware, and stemware before your dinner.”

“Don’t forget to wipe down your silverware so no spots are present.”

“When cooking make sure to never cross contaminate items. Keep the soup utensils with the soup, and the dessert utensils with the dessert. Cross contamination can have serious side effects.”

“Do set the table for the amount of guests that replied. If someone doesn’t arrive, neatly remove their spot before dinner is served.”

“Always offer your guests a drink when they arrive.”

“Serve dinner at the time set forth on your invitation. It is polite to be mindful of your guests’ time.”

“Do make enough vegan food for everyone to be satisfied after dinner.”

“Don’t let a guest begin to cause issues. If an issue arises, ask them if there is anything you can do to help. If they continue, you can ask them to leave.”

“Thank your guests for attending.”

BEFORE YOUR GUESTS ARRIVE – vegan cleaning products

img-4841_1When preparing for guests to arrive the first manner of business it a clean house! I am focused on everything vegan hosting related, so I thought it was appropriate to share my favorite products to use while cleaning in preparation for guests.

Yes, we even need to watch out for the cleaning products we use! More often than not, cleaning products aren’t considered vegan because they are tested on animals. This is a sad and unfortunate practice that regulation services must adhere to. We hope that this cruel practice will end soon. However, no need to fret because there are many vegan and cruelty-free cleaning products that are popping up at your local shopping center or online. Making the switch to becoming a vegan household takes some work at first, but in the end you will feel better knowing that your house isn’t contributing to cruel and environmentally damaging lifestyle.

One of the first rules for cleaning products is if it will remove stains! A major stain I always have is a coffee stain on my counter. I just can’t help but spilling it almost every morning!

The first cleaning product we will talk about if a surface cleaner! I love Melaleuca’s all purpose cleaner. I know that there has been some discrepancy on whether or not this company is cruelty-free. I have done a lot of research and feel confident in using their products. Please always do your own research and make sure that you continue to check up on the product as their regulations may change. I also use this cleaner on our floors and they come out feeling squeaky clean!

I have had a hard time finding a good dish soap brand. I required a vegan dish soap that didn’t leave white spots and actually left my pots and pans looking and feeling clean. My favorite product (which is divinely scented) is Meyer Lavender Dish Soap. This product reminds me of the abilities of Dawn dish soap, but without the horrific testing on animals.

The dishwasher is another story. This one was hard to find, because I had the same requirements of clean with no spots. The cruel dish washing soap has it down, but finding a vegan version was a long process until I found Method Dish Washer Tablets and Melaleuca’s Diamond Brite Automatic Dishwasher Detergent. We have harder water because we have a well, which leaves a lot more water stains than we want, but but of these soaps haven’t given us any trouble in that department.

The second product we will talk about is for scrubbing. This one is really simple. All I use is distilled white vinegar with Bob’s Red Mill Baking Soda. Why do you need to buy Bob’s Red Mill Baking Soda? Answer: Arm and Hammer baking soda is tested on animals. If you are cleaning your tub or toilet, sprinkle about 1/4 cup of baking soda around the area and then poor in about 1/2 a cup of vinegar. The mixture will foam and bring oxygen to the surface making stain or grim come off with a minimal amount of scrubbing. Plus, this mixture is very inexpensive and way better for the environment. You are being three times the conscious user if you use vinegar and cruelty-free baking soda!

Switching my home to a eco-friendly and vegan household was very important. The process has been long with a lot of trial and error, but I am happy with the products I have found so far. I will always keep you updated on new products I find so that we can all live in a better world!

 

WHOM TO INVITE TO A DINNER PARTY? my 5 step process

When hosting a dinner party the first step is to invite your guests! But who should you invite? How many makes a good party? How to compile your list without hurting feelings? These are all great questions and depending on the occasion the answers can be different. Below is my 5 step process on how to create the perfect guest list:

    1. How large is the designated dinner seating area? If you can only fit 8 comfortably around your table, then 8 is your magic number. If you need to invite more I suggest holding your dinner party at a larger facility or changing it to a cocktail party.

 

    1. What is the occasion? Let’s say it is your birthday. You and your husband count at 2. You have 6 place settings to go. In a natural situation in today’s world, you invite your mother and her significant other to join you. With 4 places left, you offer the invite to your brother, who you tell to bring his girlfriend. Lastly, you invite your two best friends who you saw got along well with your brother’s girlfriend and your mother at a different party. The key behind picking and choosing is to acknowledge how many of your guests can get along with one another to make the evening enjoyable.

 

    1. But my boyfriends sister, who is also a really good friend will feel left out. What do I do? This is the beauty of entertaining. You can either throw another dinner party where your other friends can join you to celebrate, or you take this particular friend out for lunch. In either circumstance you are telling your friend you care about them and will make time for everyone. If they are a really good friend they will understand without any explanation.

 

    1. Who will enjoy this meal the most? Let’s say you really want to try a new Indian style dinner. You know that the spices can be for a particular palette, so you invite your friends and family who enjoy new dining adventures or are able to handle spices well. In this instance you may just be picking your guest list on who will enjoy the dinner more without necessarily matching personalities. The brilliance of this instance is that you are introducing people to one another that they may or may not have had the pleasure of communicating with before!

 

    1. If you are hosting a small dinner party, try not to invite all couples except for two guests with the hope of setting them up on a blind date. This is never a fun game to play where you have created an audience for your intentional set-up. In this situation, if you are looking to introduce two people in a public setting try hosting a cocktail party instead. You can invite as many people as can move about the room comfortably, but also invite other singles who can interact with the group.

 

I hope that the next time you invite people to your dinner party that this list will help you pick the perfect list to enjoy your dinner!

WHY PLACE CARDS ARE IMPORTANT


Why are  place cards important? When entering the dining room chaos can erupt! Depending on your desired serving style, whether sit down or buffet, a little guidance can make a meal run much smoother. When assigning your guests seats you are helping your guest feel less confusion and giving them confidence in where their person ought to be in an unfamiliar environment. This also gives you the chance to place two people next to one another who might enjoy each other’s company. Now, guests, changing your name card with another is a rude gesture toward your host. Your host put a lot of thought into their dinner or meal setting and its important to remember to be thankful and grateful for the work they put into hosting you.

Your level of formality and who is invited to your event will depend on how to address your guests names on the place cards. If you are hosting a formal event include your guests salutation (Mr., Mrs., Sir, Lady, etc.) with their full name (Sir John Smith, III). If you guests are attending a less formal meal you can simply put their first names, unless you have two people with the same name, then adding their last name helps the process of dining your seat immensely.

Deciding where to place your guests at the table can be a tricky business! My first rule is to try and place your guests in the traditional style of lady, gentleman, lady, gentleman, etc. This helps you with one less headache. Next, think about your guests. Are there couples coming? Is it a stag party? Here is another quick tip for either circumstance. Place a person next to your guest that they know and then on the other side someone they don’t. This gives them one person to talk with comfortable and one to get to know. Who knows, you could have helped form a life long friendship at your party!

Guests, as I mentioned before, please refrain from switching your place card with another’s. Your host put a lot of thought into who they wanted to place you next to for the evening. If you find yourself next to someone that you know is not a good match, let you host know. They can probably make arrangements, otherwise be as polite as possible to your dinner mate and make the best of the evening.

When planning your next party remember to make your guests feel at ease by helping guide the evening in a detailed manner.

Here are a couple of my place card picks:

Gold Trimmed

Silver Trimmed

Pearl White

Chalk Board