Lifestyle and romance expert, Moll Anderson, chats with me about her newest book, Seductive Tables For Two: Tablescapes, Picnics, and Recipes That Inspire Romance. The minute I saw this beautifully crafted book, I knew the way I thought about laying a table would be forever changed.
Moll leads the reader through a wonderland of breathtaking ideas for entertaining the one you love. From a Sensual Sea Escape to a Red Hot Valentine…this book fires my creative juices and ignites my imagination. I had thoughts flowing from my pencil so fast I could hardly keep up. The Savory Sunrise section helped me create a casual, beachy atmosphere with a very southern breakfast for HIMself last weekend.
The book gives you the hows and the whys of this special form of entertaining. You may be perfectly comfortable hosting a crowd of people, yet be out of your element entertaining your spouse. Not any more. You can’t help but be inspired to set a special table for the two of you sometime soon.
Seductive Tables For Two is filled with beautiful ways to tell someone how special they are to you. Moll shares her thoughts with me in this lovely interview…
My Interview with Moll Anderson
Rebecca: I love your book, “Seductive Tables for Two.” How did the concept for the book come about?
Moll: I decided several years ago at the age of 45 that when I found my perfect mate and was finally in a happy, healthy and very romantic relationship that I wanted everyone to experience what that’s all about. I knew that I needed to share my secrets! My past, my choices in life and all that I went through has brought me to a place of gratefulness and a belief that I went through it all so that I could help other people. People get bound and stuck in the past and I was for many years, but then I heard a great saying by Gary Zukav. Gary said “ Give up the belief that the past could be any different than it was.” It blew my mind and it was totally freeing for me and was a statement that catapulted me to let go of my hurt, take responsibility for my own happiness and to simply LIVE! My relationships that did not work were part of my journey of growth, love and forgiveness. Believe it or not forgiving others was simple; forgiving myself was the part that got freed with Gary’s statement. So I decided to start writing and my first book was “Change Your Home Change Your Life” it was a peek into my life and the brand I was about to build. For “The Seductive Home” and for this book “Seductive Tables For Two” I knew that I needed to start in a way that could speak to our cry for romance in our relationships. I haven’t told my whole story yet and I will some day, but in the meantime I want to inspire people to live in the moment and experience true romance.
Rebecca: You talk about entertaining your partner with stylish, whimsical and seductive tablescapes. Why are table-scapes so important.
Moll: A seductive table for two is the easiest way to get two people sitting across from each other, face to face and communicating. When you put the energy into making your table special, especially when you present a theme like an exotic location (even though its right in your own backyard or bedroom) it helps to transport you out of the norm of everyday life stresses.
My five must haves for creating a sensory-scaped, romantic tablescape are color, lighting, music, flowers and fabric. These essential elements all possess important but different characteristics to bring your table together.
Color—a marvelous form of energy—has an amazing impact on the human psyche. Did you know that each color has an energy specific to it? Consider hues for your tablescapes that naturally draw your attention and evoke the sensual response you are searching for.
Lighting- A flip of the switch or the strike of a match changes the mood of every setting. But more than that, mood lighting is a natural phenomenon. An overcast day, a romantic sunset, or a brilliant, mysterious full moon—lighting affects us on a primal level. We are innately programmed to be moved by light, so use this easy tool to create the perfect atmosphere for your table for two.
Music-Set the atmosphere thermostat to fit the mood you desire in any space you want. In many ways, music is the most versatile lifestyle accessory. So, decorate your table with sound. Not only can music ripple through a room with incredible power, but it can also bring a new spark to your relationship.
Flowers-These extraordinarily versatile table accessories come in a variety of colors, sizes, and scents, perfect for a wide range of settings. It’s been proven that women automatically feel more romantic when in the presence of these wonderful blooms.
Fabric-One of the most telling elements in a space is fabric. It adds texture and a wealth of personality. Linens can add that bit of pizzazz to spice up your table from the color to texture to the details; there are so many choices! One of the few design elements geared to the sense of touch, fabric welcomes you with comfort.
Rebecca: You write about making the table special by hiding away little surprises. Surprise me with a few please.
Moll: Who doesn’t love surprises? I don’t care how old we get, there’s nothing better than someone taking the time to put thought into little gifts or handwritten notes that touch your heart. They don’t have to cost a lot of money! Incorporating them into the tablescape is a great way to have a scavenger hunt for the senses. For women, men can place anything from jewelry to love notes in pretty jeweled frames. If she collects something like glass figurines or antique pins, the figurines can stand alone, or be added to florals, and the pins can be used on the napkins. For men, cufflinks, small photos framed, favorite cigars or rocks glasses with their favorite drink can be incorporated. Truthfully, the whole table is a special gift.
Rebecca: The book contains loads of helpful tips for composing seductive tables. Can you share some?
Moll: In “Seductive Tables For Two,’ I include all the table setting basics, from choosing your china and stemware to instructions for setting your table, creating centerpieces and much more. But the book is about inspiring readers to think beyond the basics of tablescaping and adding their own personalized and unexpected touches. Each chapter has helpful sidebars offering some ideas to inspire your own unique tables for two.
Here are just a few:
- Look for unexpected treasures to anchor the center of your table-lamps, statues, picture frames or even a beautiful tray.
- Use scarves you love and wear for table toppers.
- Antique blankets, throws and bedspreads can make great looking tablecloths.
- Try coffee tables as an option anytime you simply don’t have a table or desire a bohemian vibe. Just make sure to add large pillows to sit on.
- Use trays in place of a table and take your seduction anywhere from breakfast in bed to a romantic dinner by the fire.
- Add seasonal edibles to your arrangements- bright red peppers bring a splash of color to a fiesta, and farmers’ market finds of carrots and radishes add a dash of fun to a spring or Easter celebration.
- Bring your travel destinations and favorite flavors to your table theme.
- Add a touch or whimsy to your tablescapes and celebrations. Fun, whimsical, and even unexpected accents to your gatherings will help you get in touch with your playful side. For example, try bringing on the spring and summer fun with brightly colored kites, confetti, hanging lanterns, or paper umbrellas.
- Be inspired by what you have. Take a scavenger hunt around your home for inspiration and don’t be afraid to mix and match pieces.
Rebecca: You believe in a sensory tablescapes experience. Please explain your vision.
Moll: When you create a “Seductive Home” or “Seductive Table For Two” you want all the senses to come alive; what you touch, what you see, what you hear, the scent in the air, and the taste of the food and drink. When all those things come into play, it’s a full sensory-scape experience.
Rebecca: You talk about the energy of color. That fascinates me. Tell me more.
Moll: If you walk into your closet you can see what color dominates your style, and that usually tells you what is the most natural color for your base and your comfort zone. Mine believe it or not is black! I also love red and orange.
Black, is power, sophistication, dramatic, elegant, mysterious, and glamorous. Black while comforting and protective is also mysterious, evoking a sense of potential and possibility.
Red, is a color of physical energy, warmth, love, sex, passion and stimulation. Red encourages action and confidence and evokes emotions that stir the blood.
Orange is invigorating, playful, spontaneous, flamboyant, pleasure seeking, exuberant and joyful. Orange is a terrific anti-depressant, a stimulant of the sexual organs and has shown to have only positive effects on your emotional state.
When you learn about color it’s amazing what adding it to your home and life will do!
Rebecca: Oh the flowers in this book are to die for…why do you use so many blooms?
Moll: Don’t underestimate the power of the flower; it captures the senses in a most unique way. I love flowers! I am drawn to them and have always used them in every home I ever done for a client. I even taught them how to recreate the arrangements for each room. They truly are a sensory delight. In fact scientific research has proved that women feel more romantic just being around flowers. So men, if you want to get your lady in the mood surround her with her favorite blooms and she will blossom.
Flower arrangements don’t always need to be abundant; sometimes a simple stem of a rose or orchid is enough to capture the senses.
When you are using flowers for your table, just remember that florals for a room can be fabulously fragrant, but your table needs to be a less fragrant scent of floral because you don’t want it competing with the meal.
Rebecca: There is something beautiful about breaking bread together. Tell us about some of the delicious recipes in the book.
Moll: All of the recipes in my book are truly quick and easy. Saving time in the kitchen means there is more time for creating romance. My Everyday to Gourmet section has ideas for creating delicious meals from store bought basics. The recipes for two are divided into sections of mornings, afternoons, and evenings. Each section includes beverages and luscious cocktails. There are appetizers, desserts and night caps, so no time of time of day is left out. I want readers to think about creating their seductive rendezvous any time of day.
Rebecca: I really love the seductive spices. How do these work?
Moll: The word aphrodisiac comes from Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of sexuality and love. The truest form of an aphrodisiac creates desire. Romance isn’t just about the food you eat at dinner; it’s really about creating an environment that allows your mind to let go and be receptive to being seduced. While some food components allegedly increase libido for desire by their shape or appearance; others have certain chemicals that contribute to your sensual well-being.
In any case aphrodisiacs are a fun excuse for you and your partner to experiment with food! I tend to like things hot and spicy so I include a list of spices that just might spice up your life.
Cayenne Pepper-A basic for the seductive kitchen, cayenne stimulates circulation and its effects mimic the physiological response the body has during sex.
Cardamom-Cooked with meats, ground for cookies, steeped with tea, or simmered with rice, cardamom fills the kitchen with a scent like no other.
Chili Peppers-Fresh or dried, these are indispensible for imparting the maximum flavor to meals.
Chipotle-This dark pepper spice adds a rich, smoky flavor that will kick up any dish without too much heat.
Ginger-Fresh and grated or dried and ground, this globally-beloved spice heats up baked goods, meats, even ice cream, and stimulates circulation.
Rebecca: Do you have a favorite setting for two?
Moll: Location, location, location—. The scenes for romance are everywhere; you just need to know how and where to find them. Truthfully for my husband and me it is everywhere we are: at home, on the road, in the car, even in the air. We have learned to seize the moment wherever we are, even if that means just stopping and sharing a cup of coffee together.
Rebecca: Can anybody can do this? Is this book for men also?
Moll: Absolutely! I have heard from a lot of men who love the book and love being inspired to do their own version of the table for two. Men also know that it can be super simple. And for men, cooking isn’t always necessary.
They can save time by picking up carryout at a favorite restaurant. All they need to do is focus on the presentation. Presentation is everything, but creating a romantic atmosphere does not need to be time consuming or expensive. They can create the mood for seduction with music -a play list of romantic music or their most memorable songs as a couple will set the tone. Setting the atmosphere with lighting is as simple as adding some candles, or votives throughout their space. The last must-have is flowers picked up at a local market. Music, lighting and flowers will all set the tone for romance. Remember the thought that he is taking the time in the first place is so fabulous!
Rebecca: Is there anything else you would like to share?
Moll: Yes, anytime you create a “Seductive Table For Two” you create it from your heart for that special someone you love! That makes it, at that moment, the most important table you will ever create. We don’t know how much time we have on this earth, we never know when it will be the last time we ever see each other, and we need to be kind, loving, forgiving and seductive always to the one you love.
You can catch Moll Anderson every Saturday at 5:00 pm EST on her radio show on XM Talk 16. She also has upcoming appearance on Access Hollywood. Her website always has new and exciting ideas. You can also connect with Moll via Twitter and Facebook.
See my sumptuous Southern Sunrise Birthday Breakfast for HIMself here.