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A POTPOURRI OF HELPFUL HINTS FROM THE STYLISH WORLD OF CHELSEA STEVENS
Chelsea Stevens, America's foremost authority on style and gracious living, lives in a world of chintz-covered sofas, newly planted window boxes, homemade bread baking in the oven and a half-finished sweater on a loom in the corner. Freshly arranged flowers abound, and an artistic, creative, almost boundless energy seems to permeate the air she breathes. Unfortunately, most common folk just can't handle the altitude, but for those who may be up for the challenge, Chelsea took the time to offer a potpourri of her most helpful hints that can set anyone on the road to a classier, more stylish and gracious lifestyle.
*Scented floating candles in the toilet bowl provide a warm welcome to guests attending your holiday party.
* Moments before your guests arrive, use a vented hairbrush to comb the fringe on area rugs so it is straight and facing in the same direction.
* When a close friend asks you to help redecorate their dreary apartment, don't gasp out loud when it looks like Ikea meets the Black Hole of Calcutta. Instead, offer a can of kerosene and a book of matches as your housewarming gift.
* Show that you love your pet by a regular regimen of moisturizing the paw pads on their tired little feet.
* If you dare to wear cashmere in June, make sure you have an extra set of dress shields in your pocketbook.
* When the Italian feast you're creating to celebrate the birthday of Marco Polo is stressing you out, don't put your head in the oven. Instead, take a time out for aromatherapy: put your feet up, close your eyes, lean your head back and gently wave a piece of fresh proscuitto in front of your nose. Before you can say Mama Mia! the experience will have you halfway to Tuscany.
* When your mother-in-law insists that your special sauce needs more salt, resist the temptation to pummel her with the cast iron trivet hanging above your stove. Justifiable homicide is hard to prove in most states and the District of Columbia.
* Manipulation through the use of tears, done correctly, is an old-world art form. Chelsea recommends conjuring up images of things that make you sad, such as wet suede, spoiling food in the refrigerator during a power failure and people who flick their cigarette ashes in the potpourri.
* From personal experience, Chelsea recommends keeping a fire extinguisher handy in the kitchen in case you misjudge the amount of rum you're just added to the pear flambe.
*If someone dares tell you that perfect is tough to maintain, remember Chelsea's one word response to that, preferably shouted at a high decibel level: "Barbarian!"
* There is no experience quite like making love on 200 thread count Wedgwood blue Italian linens with Pavarotti on the CD player.
* The sure-fire lunch for landing a man is a homemade duck sausage sandwich on fresh baked facaccia with roasted bell peppers picked from the garden and mustard mayonnaise served on bone China with a garnish of caramelized edible pansies from the flower box outside the kitchen window.
* A lemon slice in the dog's water bowl each morning is the perfect way to say "I love you" and get his day off with a lilt in his appreciative bark.
* Store bought pie is shocking, just shocking!
* In addition to the requisite of pots, pans, cutlery, china and assorted spices, a fine chef's well-stocked kitchen should also include a flashlight, melon baller and an always-chilling bottle of good chardonnay.
When your hostessing-impaired friends try to convince you that there's a cold, ugly world out there that just doesn't care about dainty doilies and homemade jams, remember what Chelsea Stevens has to say about that: "I know the world is ugly. That's why I try to get people to see the beauty of simple things. When we grow our own vegetables, when we bake our own bread... Could there possibly be crime or poverty?... In a world that smells of freshly baked bread? I don't think so!" There's no place quite like Chelsea's world.