"What can I bring?" The question asked by any good guest upon receiving a party invitation.
Wine, an appetizer, dessert...are all appreciated, but here's another simple and well-received offering—a pitcher of cocktails!
Premix the ingredients at home (I made a batch in a 60 oz. juice pitcher with a lid). Bring a cocktail shaker and garnishes with you. Hopefully your host will have appropriate glassware. If not, bring your own (confirm ahead and also ask if they have ice).
At the party, shake with ice, and strain into a glass. Run an orange wedge around the rim of the glass and then pop it in. Serve to guests as a "Welcome Drink."
This fruity concoction is easy to make in large batches.
Currant Martinis (makes 12 drinks)
18 oz. vodka
9 oz. triple sec
6 oz. fresh lime juice
6 oz. cranberry juice
6 oz. Ribena black currant juice (available at most grocery stores in the juice aisle)
Orange wedges for garnish
Combine ingredients in pitcher and chill (both the drink and you) until party time.
Cheers! ~Party Mummy, straight up
When the first Christmas card arrives in my mailbox it signals the beginning of the holiday season (and generates guilt because I never seem to get around to sending out any of my own...next year, for sure...maybe).
But, what to do with these lovely cards when the season is over? Don't you feel terrible about tossing them into the recycle bin? I do. So instead, I reuse them.
Cut off the message portion and toss that bit. It sounds Grinchy, but the sentiments are forever preserved in your heart. *bats eyelashes sweetly*
Then hole punch the remaining half—the holiday picture with the blank underbelly (where you can write YOUR message). Stow the cards away to be repurposed as gift cards next year.
Whether it’s the hairbrush-optional atmosphere or the absent boss, there are days (Monday-Sunday) when I find it hard to focus. When you work at home like I do, the promise of a break is the only way to stay on track. After I complete a task from my to-do list, I reward myself with a little digital mingling. I hop online and connect with people or write a blog post. It may not be a traditional break (with coffee and muffins and live people), but this is life in a digital era...Less face time and more Facebook.
I admit to using OMGs and LOLs in my online correspondence. This “text talk,” brought about by the character constraints of social media outlets like Twitter is slowly becoming the norm. Is it a clever way to communicate concisely or is it just lazy writing?
I asked some of my favourite ladies in the writing biz to share their biggest grammar pet peeves. I give you “Grammar Time” (insert MC Hammer soundtrack here).
Jen Reynolds, editor-in-chief of Canadian Family magazine says, “Twitter is an excellent way to teach yourself how to craft short, snappy sentences.” This is why she’s the editor of a magazine folks. Jen avoids replacing the words “to” and “too” with the numeral “2” or using “u” in place of “you.” Jen, I totally agree with u. That irks me 2.
Kidding aside, Twitter has taught me to write more succinctly. If you know me, this is nothing short of a miracle. Verbosity is my middle name. Not really—it’s Lynn, which I hate.
LOL! Sometimes I just can’t help myself.
Sloppy writing can dilute the impact and credibility of the message you are trying to convey. It can also result in misunderstandings. You may have seen the following example of how an absent comma can cause confusion (and possibly cannibalism).
Let’s eat Grandpa!
Let’s eat, Grandpa.
Please, use commas correctly and spare a needless Grandpa slaying.
Emma Waverman cringes when people mix up synonyms like whole and hole, or bear and bare. When I asked Emma to share her grammar pet peeves she replied, “I am definitely not one to be talking about the finer points of grammar as I am well-known for my tyypos.” See what she did there? So clever. This is why she is a published author.
Emma added, “When people insult me in my comments section and they haven't bothered to spell check, then I feel even more righteous and ignore them.”
By the way, spell check won’t catch synonym errors, so you actually have to, you know, READ your work.
Freelance writer/editor Pam Dillon cautions, “Check your stuff. Read it out loud. Does it sound awkward? If so, reword it. Are you unsure of spelling? Be sure.” Pam is also on a mission to stop the apostrophe abuse. “Don't be so possessive!” she exclaims. “When you welcome reader's to check out your post's, they may opt to visit blogs with better grammar.”
“Once upon a time,” Pam shares, “a story I wrote was at the top of the front page of a newspaper. It was about a literacy program and the headline had a grammar error (made by the editor in the harried rush to publish). The beauty of blogging is you are your own editor. You get the last word, so make sure it’s spelled properly and the punctuation is correct.”
Sharon DeVellis, YMC’s Senior Writer (senior as in head, not old) admits to being the worst for errors. Fortunately her writing is so funny, nobody notices the mistakes. Her biggest grammar pet peeve is mixing up you’re and your. She explains, “It’s your book or you’re the owner of the book. But your not going to be happy if you catch you’re errors after the fact. It’s totally embarrassing.”
Here are a few more grammar crimes, that if committed, should put you away for ten to life:
Wrong - “The dog ran over to Steve and myself.” Right - “The dog ran over to Steve and me.”
Wrong - “I am smarter then you.” Right - “I am smarter than you.”
Wrong - “I should of known.” Right - “I should have known.”
Wrong - “I could care less.” Right - “I couldn’t care less.”
Buzz phrases may be fun at first, but they soon become really irritating. For example, “At the end of the day…" and “Not gonna lie…” Stop it!!
Finally, unless you have spilled coffee on your keyboard during “break time” thus shorting out your shift key, USE CAPITALS where required.
Don’t forget to take a break and write on everyone.
My thanks to:
Sharon DeVellis author of The Inside Scoop
Pam Dillon author of WratWrds.com
Jen Reynolds, Canadian Family Magazine
Emma Waverman author of Whining and Dining: Mealtime Survival for Picky Eaters and Families Who Love Them and creator of embracethechaos.ca
Bring back the break with McCafé and YMC! Lose yourself in a latté or enjoy a mocha moment and spend some ‘me-time’ in our virtual coffee break space. Kick back in the comfort of your home and learn a little too with inspirational and how-to posts written just for you and sponsored by McCafé.