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Blue, Blue, Christmas

It's no secret that the holidays can bring on a fa-la-la-la-la-la funk; lots of people experience bouts of seasonal depression. Maybe it's the short days and long nights, the biting winds, the ice-encrusted windshields; or maybe it's the shopping, the relatives, and a constant barrage of social obligations. Maybe it's all those unrealistic television portrayals; those scenes of a perfect home with a perfect hearth filled with perfect friends and perfect family eating perfect food around a...

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Reinventing Your Pool Table

For the thinking shopper, adding a pool table to a home means subtracting space. And in the economy of interior design, space is money. If the kids don’t fall head over heels for the game, you’ll wonder if you’ve sacrificed precious footage for nothing. If you’re running a cost-benefit analysis of adding a pool table to your living space, consider add-ons and conversions that make your pool table useful, whether or not you’re racking the pool balls every...

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Craft Beer Basics

I have never been a beer drinker, although you wouldn’t think that if you looked in the fridge in my garage. We have an entire appliance devoted entirely to the storage and chilling of beer. Not just any beer makes it to this hallowed spot, however – the only beer in our fridge is “craft” beer.   My husband and daughter are craft beer enthusiasts;  and after listening to several conversations between the two of them that made no sense to me at all, I...

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An Attitude Of Gratitude

The U.S. was the first country in the world to formally observe a day dedicated to giving thanks. In 1789, George Washington proclaimed Thursday, November 26, as a “Day of Publick Thanksgivin” and in 1863, Abraham Lincoln fixed the last Thursday of November as the official day to commemorate a national day of Thanksgiving. But being thankful means so much more than pigging out on turkey and falling into a tryptophan coma one day each year. More than mini-marshmallows,...

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Take Up Smoking – For Thanksgiving!

Turkey time is right around the corner and so are those hours of oven roasting which may or may not result in a juicy bird. If it dries out, well, there is always gravy. Lots and lots of gravy. I would like to suggest another option; smoking. It’s healthy, it’s tasty, and it’s easy! It also leaves your oven free for a multitude of other goodies. Like pie. Pumpkin pie. Pecan pie. Apple pie. Any kind of pie. You can smoke a turkey on either a charcoal or gas grill or...

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Game Room Lighting

We are calling a do-over on the interior design of game rooms everywhere, including our own. At Family Leisure, we’ve helped to build hundreds of game rooms from the ground up. One of the things we consider over and over is the timelessness of game pieces like pool tables, poker tables, bar sets, and more. We emphasize the benefit of choosing furniture style game pieces to create a luxury ambiance in game rooms. Rather than suggesting plastic foosball tables, we suggest sleek,...

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Planning the Perfect Party

I recently hosted a party where the highlight of the evening was everyone sitting on my patio, watching a spider spin his web. When it got dark, someone turned on his smartphone flashlight so the festivities could continue. Not kidding. It was one to go down in the annals…of how not to throw a party! What are the secrets to a great gathering? Obviously, I had to do a little research to answer this question. So, first you start with the guest list. You are usually safe to...

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In Vino Veritas

Martin Luther reportedly said that "Beer is made by man, wine by God." Obviously, this was a man who appreciated a nice glass of the grape. I guess ole' Martin wasn't too picky about what he drank; he was a notorious guzzler. You don’t have to be like Martin to enjoy wine; you also don’t have to get a degree in “sniff, swirl, sip” – there is a happy medium. A little knowledge, in this case, goes a long way. There are basically two types of...

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You Light Up the Room

Absolutely anything that reaches one of my five senses will affect my state of being. Upbeat music begets an upbeat attitude. Sweet food begets a sweet feeling. Comfortable seating begets comfortable outlook. Warm interior lighting begets a warm mood. I have always been especially sensitive to light, wearing sunglasses when reclined in the dentist’s chair, installing special subdued lighting software on computers, and currently writing by the glow of one single lamp light bulb that...

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