Thursday, February 23, 2012

My Favorite Way to Fold a Napkin

One of my favorite little niceties in life is beautifully folded napkins.  It's the little things, right?  This is one of my favorite ways to do it.

 Lay the napkin out, right side down.  If you wanted to get all fancy, you could even iron the napkin.

Fold the bottom half up.

Then fold the top layers down on either side (one on top, one behind).

Start folding it accordion style from one side.

Fold it all the way across and pinch the pleats together.

Stick the whole thing in a glass or a napkin ring.

Pull the front layer down.

So the next time you serve something a little too, er, creative, just dazzle and distract your dinner guests with fancy-schmancy napkins in their glasses.  Bon Appetit!

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Good Day

At first it was a bad day.  The kids were finally in bed, and I felt overwhelmed by all that had not gotten done today.  Or rather, things that I had 1) not gotten done or 2) done, and then were undone very quickly.  There was the loft full of clean laundry (earlier it had been folded and put away, then more stuff got dirty), there was the 100th sinkful of dishes (I had already done them a dozen times today, then I cooked more food), there were the million, billion, zillion things that had not gotten picked up, or had been dragged out by my conspiring 3 year old and 1 year old and were now strewn about my house. In short, it looked like we'd gotten robbed, even though I had busted my tail all day trying to 'take back the house' as I like to call it. I felt so frustrated, so inadequate.  I'd given it my best, and my best just wasn't good enough.  A little bit of "Why do I even try???"  And maybe a smidge "Crazy, here I come."  The day was a complete failure.

And then a tender mercy.

Into my head flowed a list of things I had gotten done. Like...

I refilled my vitamin prescription.
All the kids got baths.
I made a "heart healthy" gameboard and bean bag for Girlie's Valentine's party tomorrow.
I wrote some love notes to people I love.  And actually got them mailed off.
I made beautiful bouquets of chocolate-dipped-sprinkled marshmallows for teacher valentines.
I called my (step) Grandma, who was having a lovely lucid moment.  Today would have been her anniversary with my dear Grandpa.  We talked and cried and I told her how glad we were that she was in our family and how much we love her.
I had a family meeting on "how to properly load the dishwasher."
I flirted with my husband.
I played the piano for my kids to go to sleep.
I snuggled and kissed the heck out of my baby.
I finished up the adorable valentine's that my kiddos are going to give to their friends.
I braided my daughter's hair so that it would be wavy in the morning.
I made a shrimp-pepper-red-onion-snow-pea-quinoa concoction for dinner.
I made arrangements to watch a friend's children so she and her sweetie could enjoy Valentine's day.
And I'm currently making mini blueberry muffins for my son's breakfast Valentine's Day party.

And all of a sudden I realized that it was actually a very good day.  Despite the fact that the whole first paragraph is completely true, maybe the day wasn't a waste.  Maybe I put some goodness, some love, out into the world.  Maybe someone's day was better because I was busy not getting my laundry done.

I'm so glad I had today.