Cambridge server helps celebrate Kwanzaa

Here’s the third entry in our four-part series on how aspenhome’s servers can fit your holiday plans. Today: Kwanzaa (December 26-January 1).

The weeklong celebration of Kwanzaa honors universal African-American heritage and culture. This year marks the 46th annual Kwanzaa, and is estimated that 18 million people in the United States will celebrate it. Families gather for the great feast of Karamu on December 31. Celebrants enjoy traditional African dishes, as well as those featuring special ingredients Africans brought to the United States.

The celebration begins with the lighting of seven candles, one for each night, and culminates in a feast and gift giving. Displays of fruit, vegetables and African art always take center stage.

aspenhome’s traditional Cambridge server is a perfect compliment to the Kwanzaa tradition. It displays all the symbols in a beautiful presentation, with ample storage to replenish serving utensils and foods. Warm food and drinks can be easily heated with the convenient AC outlet on the server’s side.

Cambridge represents American’s most popular style, making it very fitting for this celebration. To see a complete range of Cambridge furniture, go to http://www.aspenhome.net/catalog/.

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Christmas brunch made easy with the Tamarind server

Here’s the second in our four-part series on how aspenhome’s servers can fit your holiday plans. Today: Christmas (December 25).

It’s Christmas morning — long after sugarplums danced in your head, and just before your real sugarplums roll out of bed charged with anticipation. You take a moment to thank yourself for having your wits enough about you, in this nonstop season, to set a lovely Christmas brunch on a server like this one from aspenhome’s Tamarind collection.

By keeping all the serving utensils handy in the center silverware drawer, you’ll leave space on top for food and beverages. After the Santa surprise frenzy dies down and the wrapping paper settles, family and friends can enjoy coffee and ham biscuits throughout the morning. Coffee stays hot and fresh plugged into the handy AC outlet on the left side of the server. Bite-sized quiche and easy herb roasted potatoes make for a hearty meal.

A Christmas mimosa adds just the right cheer, and it’s definitely your reward for a job well done.

To see other helpful items from the Tamarind collection, go to www.aspenhome.net/catalog/. In our next blog, we’ll look at how Cambridge goes with a Kwanzaa celebration.

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Handle Chanukah with the Lincoln Park server

Recently, we talked about how the Cross Country server could make it easier to serve Thanksgiving dinner in a small space. But Thanksgiving isn’t the only holiday where our servers can be helpful. Over the next few weeks, we’ll look at four major end-of-year holidays — Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s — and see how aspenhome’s servers can fit your holiday plans. Today: Chanukah, oh Chanukah (December 20-28)!

Light the menorah, spin the dreidel, and join the merriment of the Festival of Light. Friends and family gather each night to light another candle. Enjoy the children opening gifts, playing dreidel games and winning chocolate coins. Adults celebrate over glasses of wine while they indulge in the traditional doughnuts and apple fritters. Serve up grape juice for the kids and warm latkes.

The Lincoln Park server is a beautiful focal point for this special celebration. Ribbon mahogany veneers dance with the candlelight and set a festive mood for the whole room. How else does the Lincoln Park server dress up for this special occasion?

  • -A warming plate plugged into the hidden AC outlets on the server helps you keep appetizers hot.
  • -Deep drawers on the left and right have removable plate racks for those platters you’ll need.
  • -The center drawers hide a pullout shelf, handy for storing extra drinks or serving dishes.

To see the complete collection of Lincoln Park, go to www.aspenhome.net/catalog/. Next week, we’ll see how our Tamarind server can liven up a Christmas celebration.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

From all of us at aspenhome, we want to wish you a happy, safe, and stress-free Thanksgiving holiday. We hope you’re spending this day with those close to you — family, friends, pets, whomever. Here are three links that might make your Turkey Day a little easier:

-If you just decided last night that you’re going to make Thanksgiving dinner — or if your meticulously planned feast has fallen victim to an oven mishap — here are some solutions for a quick and easy meal.

-Ready to settle down and watch some football? Find the Thanksgiving weekend’s TV sports schedule here.

-Ready to play a little football of your own on Black Friday (blocking, tackling, running with an important item in your hands)? Here’s a site that compiles all the best deals. Good luck!

Have a great weekend, and take time to be thankful for what you have.

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Thanksgiving in the desert

Our corporate headquarters and distribution center is in Phoenix, and Thanksgiving is a little different here than in much of the country. With a forecast high of 70 degrees this Thursday, we won’t be wearing many sweaters, and many of our homes don’t even have a fireplace. And while we might go get a Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving, it’s likely to be a pre-cut one from the lot that just sprang up across the street — or a pre-lit one from Costco or Hobby Lobby.

We asked aspenhome employees to share some of their favorite Thanksgiving traditions with you:

“Turkey Bowl every Thanksgiving morning at 7:00 a.m. with family and friends. The winner brings home the game ball and has bragging rights for a full year. Good times.”
-Michael, Supply Chain

“The past five years, I’ve run a 10K (Turkey Trot) every Thanksgiving morning. You win a certificate if you beat the turkey. He wears a giant turkey suit, so it’s not too hard.”
-Noah, Marketing

“In our family, as we pray before our meal, we go around the table so each person can share what they are thankful for. It’s often the same thing for most of the adults (God’s blessing, family and friends, etc.), but when the children were younger we all had different things that were mixed in (Nintendo, pie, pets). With a new generation of grandchildren starting, it should bring some laughter to the occasion again.”
-Mary, Accounts Receivable

“My family traditionally has a toast before we eat with a small glass of tomato juice with ground pepper on top. We do this so that everyone can be included in the toast.”
-Karen, Sales

“Family! Sharing the meal with friends that don’t have family here. Being thankful for all our blessings, including the meal: One turkey cooked in the oven and one cooked on the Weber charcoal grill. Dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, cranberries, frozen fruit salad, pumpkin pie with whipped cream. And starting this year it will include our new daughter-in-law’s family traditions. Using the good china, silver, and crystal. Phone call to family members out of state. Board games, basketball, and watching football.
-Sandy, Administration

Tell us about your Thanksgiving traditions in the comments!

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Three steps to post-Thanksgiving bliss

On Tuesday, we told you how our Cross Country server could help make it easier to serve a big Thanksgiving dinner in a small space. But after the guests leave, you’ve still got a three-day weekend to enjoy. (We’re assuming your employer gave you Friday off too; if not, our apologies.)

Here are three easy ways to come down from the holiday high after your small-space Thanksgiving dinner.

1. Dress Up Your Leftovers

If you cooked a big enough bird, you’re going to be eating turkey for a long time. But turkey doesn’t have to be boring. With the right toppings or dressings and a little creativity, you can go any number of different directions with the same turkey. Here, courtesy of Real Simple magazine, are 10 delicious and easy turkey sandwich recipes to get you started.

2. Veg Out

You worked hard on that Thanksgiving meal; you’ve earned some time off. Relax in front of the TV for a while. There’s plenty of football and college basketball to watch — or, if sports isn’t your thing, catch up on the shows on your DVR that you missed because you were too busy basting. (The console pictures is from our Essentials Lifestyle collection, and it’s shallow enough to fit in smaller living rooms.)

3. DON’T Go Shopping


When the big-box store down the street is selling Blu-ray players for 28 bucks, it’s hard to resist the temptation to bring your sleeping bag down there and get in line for the Black Friday madness. You might score a few bargains, but is it worth getting a black eye and losing a tooth or two?

These are our suggestions. What are your plans for unwinding after the holiday is over?

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Thanksgiving in a small space

Maybe you just moved into your first home and want to show it off for your friends and family this Thanksgiving. Or maybe it’s your turn to host the holiday meal this year. Either way, you have a small space and a large gathering. You can set up extra tables to handle the dining overflow, but what do you do with all the food? Here’s how a well-placed and functional piece of furniture can make small-space entertaining easier.

By setting up a buffet-style bar on a server, such as this Cross Country style, you can maximize your table space. The server will make your meal look great and make it easy for your guests to help themselves to seconds (or thirds).

The Cross Country server also features several hidden features that can make your day go smoother:

  • -Hidden AC outlets on the left side of the server let you quickly and easily plug in a warming tray or coffeemaker.
  • -Heat-resistant granite countertop insets handle hot plates, such as the turkey and trimmings, without breaking a sweat.
  • -Removable flatware storage trays keep silverware tidy and at your fingertips.
  • -Six full-extension drawers store napkins, placemats, and other serving pieces.
  • -Roomy lower cabinets provide added storage for spare dishes and appliances.

On Thursday, we’ll look at some more Thanksgiving-related tips. Tell us some of your own tips for successful small-space entertaining in the comments!

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Essentials cubes: The choice is yours!

On Tuesday, we talked about how an Essentials cube bookcase can liven up the bathroom. All our Essentials products are assembled in the USA, which is part of what makes them a great value. They also come fully assembled, so you won’t be fastening them together with an Allen wrench for three hours. But the real key to Essentials is that they give you choices. Let’s look at three factors that make Essentials cubes a storage solution in almost any room.

Choice of size

The cube we showed you Tuesday was our smallest version, 40″ wide by 37″ tall with four cubbyholes. For more storage space, try a 49″ by 49″ cube (nine cubbyholes). You can also go taller — 40″ by 58″ (eight cubbyholes) or 40″ by 77″ (10 cubbyholes) — depending on what fits best in your room.

Choice of finish


Besides Soy Bamboo, Essentials Lifestyle cubes come in a sleek black, and a warm and relaxed cherry. If you’re thinking of using multiple cubes in a room, consider mixing and matching finishes to create a distinct, eclectic look.

Choice of look


We’re not afraid to say it: Essentials Lifestyle is no-frills, with straight lines and very simple styling. The advantage is that it makes the cubes a true chameleon. By adding a few accent pieces or accessories in your favorite colors, you can easily create a focal point that’s uniquely “you.” Think of the cube as the canvas on which you’re painting a picture for your guests. With a little imagination, you’ll be surprised at what you can do. For inspiration, check out this helpful video on styling bookcase shelves.

We’d love to see what you’ve done with our Essentials cubes. If you have one in your home, snap a photo and post it on our Facebook page.

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Storage Solutions: The Bathroom

Believe it or not, storage areas can be the most exciting part of a room. The key is making them more than just a place to put stuff. By making a storage piece a focal point or attraction, you can bring a fresh new mood and feel to any room of your home. The bathroom is a great example. The first entry in our Storage Style series addresses how to liven up a sometimes challenging room.

As you can see, bathroom storage doesn't need to be boring.

We often overlook buying furniture for the bathroom, since many have fixtures and cabinets built right in. If yours doesn’t — or even if it does — picture this Essentials cube. It’s 40″ wide and 36″ tall — small enough to fit in most bathrooms, but large enough to hold bath items, magazines, and toys, as shown here. The cube shown is in one of our newest finishes, Soy Bamboo; it’s also available in Black, Cherry, and Medium finishes.

The right accessories really make this piece stand out. Place soaps of different sizes, but in the same color family, in a clear vase. Regular bar soaps out of their wrappers work just as well as expensive decorative bars. Ours on the top shelf look nice and are convenient.

For more tips on making bathroom storage stylish, visit our Storage Style website and click on “Bathroom.” And if you’d like to find out where to buy this or another Essentials cube, use our handy tool to find an aspenhome dealer near you!

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Fight urban exhaustion with Tamarind Bedroom

On Thursday, we showed you Tamarind Bedroom, an Eastern-inspired bedroom group that’s ideal for first-time homeowners, but also appeals to many other living situations.

But Tamarind’s versatility isn’t limited to what kind of home you have. It’s also a great fit in many different areas of the country. We saw a great blog recently about ways to handle “urban exhaustion.” If you’re feeling this way, refreshing your bedroom can be a great way to get out of the rut. Here’s a look at how Tamarind Bedroom can liven up homes in three distinct areas of the country:

BrooklynTamarind Bedroom

Tamarind’s fresh, modern styling is perfect for a loft apartment. For starters, it’s scaled to fit in smaller spaces, so you won’t feel overwhelmed when you walk into your bedroom. And the chutney finish supports the serene styling, a refreshing contrast to the busy New York City style.

This room pairs Tamarind with Asian-inspired decor and accessories, but if that’s not for you…

 

 

San Francisco

This room brings Tamarind’s open, airy style to the West Coast. The finish is a good match for a vibrant city like San Francisco. This photo shows the sleigh bed without the storage footboard, and the dresser instead of the chesser.

If you’re in a warmer locale than Brooklyn or San Francisco, don’t worry, we know how your sun sets:

 

 

South Beach (Coastal)

If the bedding doesn’t tell you we’re near the beach, the palm tree certainly will. Wouldn’t this room be perfect for a vacation home or guest house?

We’ve shown you three very different settings where Tamarind is the perfect inspiration, but these certainly aren’t the only ones. With the right accessories and a dash of creativity, you can use Tamarind to create a beautiful bedroom that’s uniquely yours. So long, urban exhaustion!

Tell us in the comments: How would you use Tamarind in your bedroom?

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