7 Ways to Add Gold to Any Birthday Party — Birthday of the Month

Maybe we’ve been watching too many red-carpet specials (to be fair, it is awards show season), but we can’t get enough sparkly, shiny gold stuff. Gold salad servers? Sure! A gold crock to hold those salad servers? Duh! Gold lettuce? Why isn’t there gold lettuce?

Gold is always fun — and it’s especially fun for birthday festivities. You could show a little restraint with a touch of gold here and touch of gold there. Or you could add all the gold. You can’t really lose either way.

Luckily, there’s no shortage of glitzy party supplies and decorations available. Is your birthday coming up? Go for the gold with these ideas.

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5 Things Everyone Should Do in New Orleans — Bite-Sized Guide: New Orleans

New Orleans is definitely a contender for most delicious city in the United States (the world?). If you are planning a visit, you are basically guaranteed to leave very full and very happy — and with a list of things to do as long as the one you arrive with. The only real problem (and it’s a very good problem to have) is figuring out what to do now and what to save for your next trip.

A former resident and frequent visitor, my trips to New Orleans are a balancing act between the new restaurants that has everyone buzzing and the places I can’t not visit whenever I’m in town. And I have to confess: My list of things I always do hasn’t changed much in the past decade. Here’s what makes the cut.

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A Smart Trick to Revive Stale Popcorn — Tips from The Kitchn

It’s hard to beat the taste of freshly popped popcorn. When it’s extra fluffy, crisp, and still warm, polishing off a whole bowl seems like an easy task. Chances are, however, that you may slow down and be left with enough in the bowl for another snack session. The problem is, though, that popcorn can get stale pretty quickly. Rather than tossing it and starting from scratch, there’s actually a quick and easy way to refresh the leftovers and get them tasting like new.

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These Copper Moscow Mule Mugs Are Only $29 Right Now — Amazon Kitchen Deal of the Day

Today feels like the first day of summer in New York, even though it’s February. If you, like me, are suddenly craving a cold beverage in hand, I have just the accessory that will keep the vision alive until it’s actually July. These two copper mugs (plus a cute matching shot glass!) are on sale right now on Amazon for $29. They normally go for $70.

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Would You Put Your Kitchen on the Second Floor? — Kitchen Crush

When homeowners Judy and Don sat down with their architect, Gary Tran of Tran Architecture, to redesign their Houston abode, they made one huge (and surprising) decision: to flip the layout. They put the kitchen and living room on the second floor and all the bedrooms on the first floor. This way, the public spaces would have a view over the treetops. They also kept the bedrooms on the smaller side to force the family to hang out together in the common rooms. (Sneaky!)

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A Potluck Party with a Twist for Your Next Snow Day — Snowed In With You

There might be nothing better than a snow day — especially as an adult. Getting one is rare because it basically requires enough snow that it cancels every single thing you’ve got going on — including work.

If the opportunity does present itself, take full advantage. Instead of going full-on hermit, invite some friends over. (Ideally, you have friends in walking distance — we don’t want to encourage driving when the conditions are bad. That would be irresponsible!) Just tell everyone to bring one thing: a thermos.

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What Are Bitters Anyway? — Ingredient Intelligence

(Image credit: Roger Kamholz)

Maybe you’ve recently perused a cocktail menu and noticed the many varieties of bitters in the lists of ingredients. Or perhaps you’ve noticed small bottles labeled “Angostura bitters” while browsing your local liquor store (the distinctive label that looks too big for the bottle might have caught your eye)? And maybe you’re wondering, “What exactly is this mysterious ingredient, and does it belong in my home bar?”

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pomegranate grapefruit paloma

pomegranate-grapefruit-paloma

All January and early February, as glacial winds smacked us in our face on the walk to school — and somehow back too (uphill, both ways, etc.) — I counted down the days until we would go to Florida to visit my parents (who winter-as-a-verb there like all the other smart retirees of the Northeast) and thaw our bones for five days. Instead, the warm weather found its way here and apparently it’s been full-out spring while we were away but I’m not mad, how could I be, I was sitting on a beach in the middle of winter and it was exactly what we needed, or at least the 3/4 of us that are willing to let our feet touch the sand. Spotty wi-fi, falling asleep shortly after the kids did each night (one who learned a new word “mom-MEE!”) and great heaps of fresh fruit at the hotel’s breakfast buffet (shamelessly one of my favorite resort things) all contributed to an overall feeling of wellness that I hope to carry with me at least for the next 15 minutes, because I believe in keeping expectations reasonable.

west palmwest palm

[Somewhere in here is a wry observation of how far this is from the kid-free cocktails-on-the-beach style vacations we’ve taken other years, but if there’s anything that the retiree population of Florida makes clear it’s that you get those days back, although you might spend them cooing over other people’s tiny children and telling them how much you miss those exhausting days. I’ll spare you.]

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Don’t Throw Out Leftover Popcorn! See What It Can Do. — Tips from The Kitchn

Leftover popcorn? I know, I know, but it happens. So if you somehow find yourself staring down half a bowl of popcorn at the end of movie night (or even a few handfuls), don’t be so quick to toss it. That snack still has plenty of life left in it, and it’s totally worth saving. Here are a few smart ways to give it a second chance to curve your salty, crunchy cravings.

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