Twinkies? We don’t need no stinkin’ Twinkies! Easy Holdiay Party Hostess Success!

Many are afraid of losing the Twinkie to history.  But the word HOSTESS brings on fear of a kind unrelated to chemically enchanced spongecake. Let me be clear: there is no reason to fear having guests. At it’s most basic, entertaining is simple. Order take-out, and be entertaining. 

Guests today are not like those of the 19th century.  They do not come to your home in white-tie expecting to be served a seven course dinner by your Butler.  In fact, if you are clear when you make the invitation, they may not expect to be fed at all.  Recently we had friends over and I invited them for drinks and dessert.  They plainly knew this was not a dinner party, and were delighted with a special winter cocktail, and freshly baked cookies.  But were you neither baker nor drink maker, there are goodies at supermarkets that are delicious, and flavored holiday concoctions that are very celebratory spiked or non!  And truthfully, if there is enough food and booze at a party – everyone has a good time.

Cheers to not waiting for “perfect” parties!

As for being entertaining, you don’t need your own stand-up comedy routine. There are many easy games that take the pressure off you running the gamut from old fashioned charades, to a full on session of “Dance Dance Revolution,” or if you’ve got a more academic crowd, a rowdy game of Scrabble will do the trick.

So forget making everything perfect! Do you ever hear people say they went to a “perfect” party last weekend? No.  Aim for Great! Aim for Fun! Chinese food on paper plates might be the best party you ever had.  Take that Martha Stewart.

Live well, and love well.


The Stressed Bride Asks, Do They Make Wedding Centerpieces Out Of Cookies?

Truth be told, you can find a centerpiece made out of anything you want, as these baby shower masterpieces demonstrate.  (personally, I would throttle friends who decorated a party in my honor with poop receptacles).

But as wedding planning progresses, stress can start to get the better of you.  And many of us, when stressed, start munching.  The sticky point is that the very reason brides are stressed, is an event where they want to look their best. Not exactly the time to pick up the family size package of Oreos, is it?

Long before my wedding, I completed the Weight Watchers program to “lifetime” status. After that, WW encourages you to come once a month, and stay on top of your eating habits.  And so when I got engaged, I was within shooting distance of my goal weight. With Weight Watchers’ support, I got to where I wanted to be, and had the support to make sure I stayed there.  They aren’t paying me or anything – this is straight from the heart: If you have some weight to lose, for your wedding or any other reason and want to do it in a healthy way, I highly recommend Weight Watchers.

As for those wedding centerpiece cookies, I’m including this Weight Watchers cookie recipe that, whether you’re on the program or not, is a much better option than diving for the Double Stuffs.  All things in moderation of course, but healthier recipes are a good way to start.

Be well, and love well.


Weight Watchers Caramel Cookies- 1point plus/cookie

½ cup unsalted butter

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 Cup flour

¾ Cup flour, whole wheat

¼ tsp table salt

½ tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla. Add remaining ingredients and beat thoroughly. Scrape dough out of bowl and onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Roll dough into a log, about 2.5 inches wide. Completely wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate until firm, at least 20 minutes or up to overnight.  Cut dough into 1/8 inch slices and arrange on ungreased cookie sheets 1 inch apart. Bake until lightly browned around edges, about 8-10 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on sheet 1 minute, then remove to wire rack to cool.


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Amazing Ceremony Decor Idea – Artists Are Full Of ‘Em!

This image, from the photostream of fiber artist Odile Gova, is a phenomenal idea for a ceremony site full of trees.  Labor intesive to be sure, wrapping trees in lace would be no picnic. But the greater point here is the non-traditional source of the idea.  I found the image on Pinterest – but nowhere near the “weddings/events” category.  My point – event design is an art – so why not follow the lead of visual artists? Cast your net beyond Mindy Weiss and Martha Stewart.  Think outside the Tiffany & Co. box, people!

Lace covered tree

Some artistic folks/blogs to keep an eye on.

Grace Bonney of Design Sponge

Merche Grossomodo – Architect/textile designer/tastemaker in Madrid

Jessica Colaluca – amazing eye for color in the world – and pulling palettes to match.


Live well, love well, and BE CREATIVE!


PS – need a Pinterest invitation? Leave your email and/or Facebook info below and we’ll send one along.

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