Holiday Cheer

After a day of presents for half of New York : ) I love using silver for presents, and I was so excited when I found this tissue paper with stars on it. - LG

Christmas Dinner Traditions

In my family, the holidays are all about food and drink, family, and fun (with emphasis on the food and drink). As is tradition, we are gearing up to head to Long Island to celebrate with my extended family for a few days. The highlight of the trip is always our annual Christmas Eve party, complete with copious amounts of my grandmother’s famous fruited champagne punch.

There was much debate this year over what to serve our party of 16 for Christmas Day Dinner. We don’t have a “traditional” Christmas meal – we switch it up every year. We have had everything from a pork crown roast (gorgeous presentation), filet mignon, standing rib roast, leg of lamb, etc. This year we settled on an Italian theme – anitpasta, Caprese salad, vegetarian lasagna, chicken parm, etc. The Italian stores on Long Island cannot be beat – nothing is better than their fresh pastas and cheeses. The husband and I are looking forward to a change from the usual hunk of meat – which is huge for someone like me who is usually a stickler for tradition.

What is your family’s traditional Christmas meal? Do you stick with one thing from year to year, or go with what strikes you?

What to do when it is sleeting? Eat, of course.

Sunday was a yucky day in New York. There was a lot of sleet the night before, and by Sunday it was sort of a mushy mess. In anticipation of this, I prepared for lazy Sunday by making the least healthy combination of food ever:

Breakfast: Eggs, Bacon, Banana Bread
Afternoon Snack: Feta Pesto Spread (Farrell wasn't kidding- this stuff is amazing!)
Dinner: Macaroni and Cheese, Broccoli

The mac and cheese recipe (basically from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook) is my favorite. It takes a little bit of time, but with the right cheese, it blows other recipes out of the water. The base is a white sauce, which is somewhat hard to master, so don't get discouraged if it doesn't work the first time!

1/2 lb Pasta (although somewhat untraditional, I like rotini b/c it really "holds" the sauce)
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
2 1/2 cups milk, heated
2 cups grated sharp cheddar
Dijon Mustard
Cayenne Pepper

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Mix in the flour. Whisk the paste for a few minutes until it bubbles but before it browns. Slowly start adding the hot milk (I keep this heated on a burner on the stove.) The idea is to add a little bit at a time whenever the mixture starts to thicken. Stir constantly or the sauce will separate! Once all the milk is added, continue to stir until the sauce is thick and bubbly. Add one cup of cheese. Continue to stir until cheese is incorporated. Mix cheese sauce, pasta, and remaining cup of cheese in baking dish (a loaf pan usually works well). Add extra cheese, mustard, and cayenne pepper to taste. I find that the recipe can be a bit bland without these additions, so experiment with different cheeses and see what suits you the best!
- LG

Sweet and Salty: The Holiday Edition

I am a big fan of sweet and salty combinations. We received the cutest homemade hostess gift this weekend.

To make them yourself, you will need: parchment paper, small pretzels, chocolate chips (white, dark, milk, whatever) and sprinkles (in holiday colors). Melt the chocolate in the microwave. Dip the pretzels in the chocolate about halfway, one by one, and arrange them in a circle of 4 or 5 on the parchment paper. Then stagger another layer on top to make it look like a wreath. Shake the sprinkles over the middle and wait for it to harden. The ones we received were packaged in a cute holiday bakery box, but the possibilities with that are endless.

Disco Holiday

This weekend I went to a holiday party and a somewhat conservative club. There were cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, with an option to go on to a sit down dinner before dancing. I remarked to the manager that I liked the centerpieces. He said he thought they may have been a little bit too "out there" for many of the members. I thought they were an interesting departure from typical holiday decorations. A room shot would have given a better idea of the overall look, but I only took pictures of the centerpieces. What does everyone think? Are the disco balls a bit much? - LG

Holiday Party Details

We kicked off our own, personal holiday season last night by hosting our holiday party. We had about 35 guests, invited with cute Tiny Prints invitations.
The menu included:
Fruited Champagne Punch, Seasonal Beers, White and Red Wines
Hors D’ouevres
Sesame Chicken Satay, Greek Stuffed Mushrooms, Baked Crab Rangoons, Sicilian Meatballs, Parmesan Pastry Spirals, Goat Cheese-Basil Pastry Rounds, Crudite with Horseradish-Gouda Dip, Cheese Board with crackers
White Chocolate Eggnog Fudge, Mini Fudge Rum Cakes, Holiday Oatmeal Bars, Puppy Chow

It was a great time (until we had to clean everything up this morning).

I’ll post some pictures of the food and décor soon, as well as some recipes, but for now, I will leave you with a shot of what happens when you put a bottle of prosecco in the freezer “to chill” and forget about it until the morning.


Wedding Wednesday: Reader Query

A reader is wondering:

Do you all have any thoughts on New Year's Eve weddings? I think they would be fun for guests, but a nightmare to plan.

What do you all think?

Let the Parties Begin...

As the holiday approaches, I have been checking out all the options for festive tie and cummerbund sets. It turns out that there are quite a few options, but these four are my favorite (click on the picture to go directly to the website where each can be purchased):

A classic from Brooks Brothers:

Two fun options from Vineyard Vines:

And finally, a great pick from my favorite men's store in Richmond, Peter Blair:

Now if someone could just show me how to tie a bow tie! - LG

Wedding Wednesday: Bridal Bootcamp

Tonight I went to a bridal bootcamp event and pretended to be engaged (don't ask.) Some things I learned:

1. If you have a very round face, don't wear a scoop neck dress.
2. If you don't usually wear a lot of makeup, fake eyelashes can give you some ooph and still allow you to look like yourself on your wedding day.
3. Michael C. Fina suggests you order your wedding bands three months in advance.
4. If a DJ company tells you they will give you a deal so you can have a DJ and an MC, you will probably end up with a professional DJ/MC and a kid from the record store.
5. Red lips and cat eyes are very trendy for makeup right now.

Toast the Holidays

Holiday parties are just not complete with fun drinks.

As we are finally in the midst of the “official” holiday season, here is a fabulous cocktail recipe from our friend, Lindsey:

Flaming Mandarin Martini
serrano pepper

mandarin vodka
lemon juice
splash of cranberry juice
fine sugar

Muddle the serrano first and then add the liquids. Mix 1 part vodka to 1 part non-alcoholic liquid combination (can be modified depending on your strength/taste preference). Shake all the ingredients with ice and then strain into glass with fine-sugar coated rim. Garnish with sliced serrano.

Most Wonderful Day of the Year!

Today was my favorite day of the year.
Some people love Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, Christmas. I love the day each fall that Oprah airs her Favorite Things show.
It is fabulous.
I love to watch to get gift ideas for others, see the reactions of the audience as they find out what fabulous prizes they are getting! Although some of the gifts are a little out of my reach (I mean, is a stainless fridge with a built-in LCD TV on your wish list this year?), it is fun to check them all out. The Blood Orange Sorbetto was already one of my favorites (and great to serve as a summer dessert), so I was glad to see it hit the list!

Scent of Summer

This weekend I went to the 7th on Sale sample sale in New York. If anyone is in town in November next year, I highly recommend attending. Once item I picked up was this fantastic India Hicks-Island Living candle. I am normally sensitive to powerful smells, but I love the fresh scent and cool packaging. Purchase one at Crabtree & Evelyn for yourself or as an easy Christmas gift! It will be a great reminder of spring as we head in to the cold months ahead.

Wedding Wednesday: Fork, Anyone?

So, I was at a wedding in Richmond, VA this past weekend. Following is an interesting situation I encountered…

At the reception, when it came time to cut the cake, I happened to be standing next to the wedding coordinator. The happy couple cut the traditional slice of cake, put it on a small plate, and then paused while they looked at it for a moment, presumably pondering if they were to serve it to each other with their fingers. I nonchalantly turned to the wedding coordinator and said quietly “Do you have forks for them to use?” She looked at me a frankly said rather loudly “You don’t use forks for this, you use your fingers.” Not being able to help myself, as usual, I said “Oh, when I got married (5 months ago), we used forks.” Without skipping a beat, she responded with “Well, I have never seen anyone use a utensil to feed each other cake, but it MUST be a Southern thing. Where in the world did you get married?” Again, I couldn’t help myself and let her know that I, in fact, also got married in Virginia (apparently in the part where it is okay to use utensils). She just looked at me and walked away. My friends and I just couldn’t help ourselves and dissolved into silent giggles – apparently in her world, Southerners don’t use forks.
Too funny.

Small Spaces, Few Solutions

New York apartments are notoriously small. I am helping a friend decorate, but am having a hard time finding ANYTHING that will fit into the spaces. Because of time constraints, I need to find items on the internet that I can present to the person- they can then easily purchase the items and have them delivered. So far I have found a double hamper from Bed Bath & Beyond for just $40 and a very cute corner shelf from Pottery Barn for...well, too much. If anyone has suggestions about where to shop, please let me know!! - LG

Fall Dining

My friend Emily shared this recipe with me for her fabulous Fig and Blue Cheese-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin. It is a fabulous (and impressive, but easy) fall meal:

1 lb pork tenderloin, trimmed
1/2 cup dried figs, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
cooking spray
1 tablespoon apple jelly

Preheat oven to 450.
Slice pork in half lengthwise, cutting to, but not through the other side. Open the halves, laying the pork flat. Place pork between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap and pound to 1/2 inch thickness using a meat mallet. Sprinkle figs and blue cheese over pork leaving a 1/2 inch margin around the outside edges. Roll up the pork, jelly-roll fashion, starting with long side. Secure at 2-in intervals with twine. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper and place on a foil-lined jelly roll pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 450 for 20 minutes. Brush jelly over pork. Bake an additional 5 -10 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160. Let stand for 10 minutes. Discard twine; cut pork into 12 (1-inch) slices.

I have made it a few times, and it is great. Enjoy!

Wedding Wednesday: The Perfect Dress

I have discovered the elusive bridesmaids dress that will look good on all of your girls. TwoBirds Bridesmaids makes a dress that is one size fits all and it can be worn in at least eight different ways. I was so unconvinced of this concept when it was first emailed to me by Daily Candy. However, my co-workers are all wearing them to one of our shows, and they literally looked great on everyone, from the 5'0", 100 pound girl to the one with a DD chest. I was amazed. Additionally, the designer/owner couldn't be nicer. Unfortunately, I cannot download any pictures from the website, so you will have to go to it to see and believe. These are definitely worth looking into for any wedding!!

You Can't Make This Up

Last night I worked my first huge event- a 1250 person corporate gala. The theme was "Brazilian Carnivale"- lots of orange and red. The centerpieces were a mix of flowers and fruit. They were so creative and beautiful.

We did everything we could to handle meal requests, but there were some last minute issues. One man in particular had some dietary needs that could not be accommodated. The next time my co-worker walked by his table, she saw a lot of banana peels on his plate. Well, he had just eaten the centerpiece!

I guess you really never know what might happen at an event!

Wonderful Decor Idea

One of my clients introduced me to this fabulous décor company, Wonderful Graffiti.

They produce all types of design typography. Everything from cute sayings to monograms (so cute) that are printed on a very thin, matte adhesive vinyl. Once placed on your wall (or wherever) they look as though they were professionally painted on. The ones that I saw in person were great – monograms in bedrooms and some of the Wonderful! Designs in the kitchen and children’s playroom.

Wonderful Graffiti gets great reviews and is definitely worth checking out!

Not so Wedding Wednesday

Happy Howl-o-ween!

In the spirit of this fun holiday, and to celebrate the long-awaited cool Fall weather, we thought we would post a few pictures of our favorite pups getting in the spirit of things. We usually reserve the Nacho and Lucy pictures for the "other" blog, but it's a special occassion!

Nacho sporting a stylish, classic orange coat. He is ready for Halloween or to help UVA celebrate a big victory over Wake Forest this weekend.

Lucy (unhappily) modeling her lobster Halloween costume. I think she will just stick to festive collars from now on, but we couldn't resist trying this on her!

Feta Pesto Spread

When the weather starts getting cold, I start craving warm comfort food – usually with melted cheese (surprise). Just the other day, I served this favorite of mine to friends that were over for bookclub, and it was a hit. I got the recipe from a colleague, but I have heard that it originated in an old issue of Southern Living.

Feta Pesto Spread
8 oz. cream cheese softened to room temperature
2 oz. grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 cup basil pesto sauce
4 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Spray shallow 2 -cup oval baking dish with cooking spray
Mix cream cheese and Parmesan cheese, stir in pesto, mix well
Stir in Roma tomatoes and red onion, mix well
Place mixture in baking dish
Sprinkle top with feta cheese
Bake for 30 min. or until bubbly

Serve warm with crackers, flatbread, etc.


Costumes, Anyone?

So the husband and I are in search of last-minute Halloween costumes for Saturday night. Any brilliant ideas? Admittedly, Halloween is one of my favorite holidays to observe - but not participate in. I am just never that creative!
Suggestions welcome!

Pretty Girls, Pretty Dresses

On Monday I represented my company at a Lela Rose couture gown showing. This was not nearly as exciting and glamorous as expected. Although I arrived right on time for my 5:00pm appointment, knowing that everything in Manhattan runs a little late, I found that they were already packing the dresses at 5:01! I don't know what happened, but I do know this: I loved the Thread Design bridesmaids dresses. I think the company is pretty well known for using traditional, preppy fabrics (seersucker) in more fashion forward shapes. I do love those designs, but I was excited to find that they have some other options that definitely pass the "would the girls wear this again" test. On the down side, one hopes they would wear them again, considering the price ($450?). Anyway, if you have bridesmaids with big budgets, consider Thread Design. My favorite option is to the left. - LG

Fancy Pants

This weekend I attended a "fancy pants" party. Although I wasn't sure what to expect, this ended up being a great idea for a multi-generational party. Everyone from the grandparents to the youngest cousins were decked out in their finest pants. As expected, a large selection of "critters" were in attendance- my favorites were pink crabs on light blue pants. Here is a picture of what my date and I wore:

And here are a pair of golf knickers quite similar to ones I saw at the party. They were paired with red knee sox and a red shirt. - LG

Bring on Fall!

I just got my Halloween/Fall Paper Source catalog in the mail. I love all of the spooky ideas, some of which can carry over through the rest of the Fall season!

One of my neighbors is proudly displaying the Fall Leaf Wreath on her door already (who cares that it was nearly 80 degrees in DC today?). It is really cute and funky in person, and although it looks like it takes a little patience to assemble, I love it!

How are you welcoming in the season?


More Stationery

One interesting thing about my current job is that I come into contact with some very nice vendors in the New York area. Although I can't afford their services any time soon, it is nice to know about them. One such person is Bernard Maisner. He is a premier calligrapher, and his work is really beautiful. His handpainted notecards run about $12.50 each and can be purchased at Bergdorf Goodman, online and at a few select stores around the country. Other items include menu, thank you, and place cards, as well as personal stationery. Above is a picture of his engraved "Diamond Ring" cards. At $7 each, it might take an engagement to justify the price, but you are bound to feel special when you send announcements on these engraved cards.

Sweet and Salty

How cute are these treats that someone brought to our tailgate last weekend? I love the sweet/salty combo, so these were perfect!

To make them:

Preheat oven to 150.

Line baking sheet with foil.

Place round "wheel" pretzels (Utz recommended) on baking sheet.

Place Hershey's Hug or Kiss on each wheel. Hugs will create the cute striped look above.

Bake for 3 minutes or until Hug begins to soften and melt.

Remove from oven and immediately press regular M&Ms into the center of each.

You can do seasonal variations on these treats: Red/Green M&Ms for the holidays, pastels for Spring, Brown/Orange for Halloween, even the colors of your favorite team if you can get your hands on the right M&Ms.

Wedding Wednesday

While doing wedding industry research, I came across an ad for Coren Moore. To be honest with you, I think a lot of these bridesmaids companies are a dime a dozen, but I like their about section and their main store is on the same block as my office. I haven't checked it out yet, but I will report back once I do...


I worked my first event this weekend- a $500,000 bar mitzvah. Orders were given to the wait staff to take away the family style platters of food when they were halfway finished. They were then replaced with full plates. Needless to say, there was a LOT of uneaten food. My boyfriend has always said there should be a non-profit that goes in after charity events and major parties to take away leftover food and distribute it to the needy. Does anyone know of a program like this? I think it's a great idea, and would probably result in a ton of food, especially in places like New York...

Beer Margaritas

We helped UVA ring in a great win over Pitt this weekend, all kicked off with a five hour tailgate in Charlottesville. Night games really are just so much better for tailgating.

We had some great food and fun with good friends. Searching for some excitement in a sea of Miller Lites and bourbon and ginger ales, I decided to try the much-talked about Beer Margaritas. As a connoisseur of margaritas, I was a bit skeptical, but these did not disappoint. The addition of beer to these (Corona in my case) really cut the sweetness that sometimes overpower traditional margaritas.
They were a hit with the entire group!

All Wrapped Up

Our apartment is quickly becoming too small for our us, the puppy, and all of our belongings – wedding gifts included. Despite having cleaned out my closet this weekend and begrudgingly parting with 6 bags of clothes (I know, I know), something has to be done!

I love a well-wrapped gift, and consequently have quite an array of gift wrap and accessories. Since we are not quite at the level of the Spellings, who have an entire room in their mansion dedicated to gift wrap, I needed to find a way to house all of my wrapping supplies efficiently. The Container Store (one of my favorites), carries a great hanging organization system. While surfing the internet last night, I saw that one of my favorite magazines is also featuring the same system online! After making room in my closet this past weekend, I am going to head back out and pick up two – we have too much for just one – immediately. Hopefully this will free up the under-the-bed space that our gift wrap currently occupies for more shoes!

Wedding Wednesday: Always a Bridesmaid

Part of my new job involves researching the wedding industry. I am currently trying to find up and coming vendors/talent in the Miami/South Florida area, which involves perusing some very interesting catalogues aimed at the Quince market. However, the best thing I have found (unfortunately not South Florida related) is the site Always a Bridesmaid. I'm sure many of you are already familiar with this site, but if not you should definitely check it out. Even if you are not engaged, the stories that these two wedding planners have about the ups and downs of the business can be hilarious. -LG

We Heart Tailgates

We are officially in the midst of college football tailgating season. While UVA has been plagued with two noon home games already this season, which are not the most optimal for tailgating, we are coming up on a night game (yay) this weekend! Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t especially care for sports, but I DO love tailgating. Plus, it is the form of entertaining that even boys can get excited about!
More to come on this soon, but for now, one of my favorite tailgating hors d’oeuvres courtesy of my parents’ best friends from high school:

Buffalo Chicken Dip
4 boneless chicken breasts, boiled & shredded
12 ounces Franks Red Hot Sauce
Mix in a 13x9" baking dish.

2- 8 ounce packages cream cheese (the regular version melts better than the reduced fat)
16 ounces ranch dressing
1 cup chopped celery
Mix and heat in saucepan till smooth.
Pour over chicken mixture.
Top with 1 block Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

Bake 375°F for 45 minutes.
Let sit 10-15 minutes before serving.
Serve with tortilla chips, celery or carrot sticks.

*I usually bake this before leaving home in a Pyrex dish and then transport in an insulated case. It can also be reheated on the tailgate grill if needed!

No one ever said tailgating was good for your waistline!
Goo Hoos!

New York, New York

Well, I am sort of settled in by now, and have discovered that I need to learn a completely different way to live. Grocery shopping is very interesting here- Cheerios cost $6 for a large box! I have learned the joys of under the bed storage. Purell is my new favorite thing. In fact, my boyfriend suggested that I keep a little bottle in every handbag so "we" will always be covered. I made an entire taco dinner in a kitchen that is 3' x 4'. It was interesting. No one drinks foundtain sodas here- if they drink soda at all it is from a can. THAT is actually a really hard adjustment. It costs $2.50 to do one load of laundry in my building. It's hard to survive without cash. They have excellent hotdogs at Shea Stadium. And that is about it...I will have a real post soon!

Wedding Wednesday: Blue and Brown Vineyard Wedding

After a rainy day last Friday, the skies cleared in Charlottesville the wedding day was fabulous - a clear, crisp, sunny day. After some bridesmaid yoga at The Barn, we headed out to the vineyard to get ready for the gorgeous wedding. The blue and brown theme was fabulous, and every detail was thought of! Below are a few shots, with more to follow later this week.


Adjusting the sashes on our Simple Silhouettes dresses.

Ceremony Set Up overlooking the Vineyard and mountains
Bluegrass Band playing at Cocktail Hour on the Winery Deck

Bridal Expo

Hi everyone,

Just a quick note- I am now working at an event production company in New York, and we are planning a luxury bridal event in Los Angeles at The Four Seasons. If you know anyone who is engaged in that area, I would love to talk to them about attending the event- readers of The Plan and their friends will get a great discount on tickets. There will be high end vendors (who have worked with Demi Moore, Christina Aguilera, etc.), the unveiling of the most recent Badgley Mischka bridesmaids line, food, champagne and...a fantastic gift bag. If you (or any of your friends) are interested, please email Thanks everyone! -LG

Bridal Luncheon

We had a wonderful wedding weekend in Charlottesville, and I thought I would give you all a few glimpses into the festivities.

Friday afternoon, the bride’s aunt hosted a lovely bridal luncheon at The Inn at Court Square. Located in downtown Charlottesville, this quaint inn is filled with eclectic décor and cute sleeping rooms. The three course luncheon could not have been more fabulous. We were served: freshly made tomato basil bisque (the aroma of the freshly picked basil filled the Inn), chipotle lime chicken salad served over greens with fresh tomatoes and a drizzle of raspberry reduction, and a still-warm apple tart with fresh whipped cream and mint oil. Add a glass of white wine or two to this, and we were stuffed!
After lunch, the hostess and the bride both gave short speeches, and the bride presented the group with gifts. These for the 7 bridesmaids (monogrammed in chocolate brown, with some other Origins goodies in the box), these for the program attendants, and Simon Pearce goodies for the hostess.
Below are a few pictures from the Inn.

Quick Tip of the Day

Wipe down your entire bathroom with paper towels doused in rubbing alcohol for a quick, cheap way to disinfect without doing an entire cleaning. - LG

Wedding Wednesday: We're Back!

So, one of my least favorite things to listen to is people complaining that they are REALLY busy (ranking right up there with really broke, really tired, and really stressed). I mean, aren’t we all REALLY busy – to some degree.

That said, I won’t make many excuses for not jumping right back into blogging this week. Lauren is still working out her internet situation in NYC (she's only been there 4 days, so we are going to give her a break), and I am preparing to head to Charlottesville tomorrow for a fun filled wedding weekend with our friends Emily and Jeff. We have a full schedule for the weekend, including hitting some favorite college haunts like Mellow Mushroom and Little John’s (how long has it been since my last Wild Turkey sandwich), a bridesmaids luncheon at Inn at Court Square, wedding morning yoga for the girls, an outdoor ceremony at Veritas Vineyard and Winery, and a Bodo’s Bagel brunch on Sunday.
Next week promises to provide many fabulous wedding event pictures and recaps!

Au Revoir

As you may have noticed, we are taking a little break from the blog. Farrell has been so busy with work, and I am in the middle of trying to figure out the move. Hopefully home internet service will be one result of that effort. Anyway, we are going to reconvene the week of September 10. Have a great holiday weekend! - LG

Wedding Wednesday: Wine-Themed Events

A few months ago, we co-hosted an engagement party for some close friends who are getting married in a few weeks at Veritas Vineyard and Winery, outside of Charlottesville, VA.

In keeping with the wine theme, we threw a “wine tasting” engagement party. Surprisingly easy, we made a trip to Trader Joe’s for 3 interesting whites (including one from the honeymoon destination, South Africa) and 3 interesting reds. The food included: an antipasta display, a bruschetta bar, fun cheeses, potato sausage puffs, miniature fruit tarts, and mini chocolate and vanilla cupcakes. It was easy, and we jazzed it up with food/wine varietal labels propped up in corks and some interesting wine charms found on eBay. All in all, it was a great success!

A Mess of Jewels

Okay, maybe I don't exactly have a mess of jewels. However, as I pack I realize that I do not have my jewelry organized in any respectable fashion. Luckily, I came across a great article in the September issue of Real Simple Magazine regarding how to bring order to your dresser top. Unfortunately, they don't have the information on their website, but it is definitely worth checking out at the library. My favorite suggestion is to buy pin-board tiles from Pottery Barn and then use decorative straight pins to showcase necklaces, bracelets, etc. on your walls. If you do this for your less expensive jewelry, you will have plenty of room in your good jewerly box for the nice stuff. - LG


I think I have mentioned before that I have been busy packing up my apartment. What I have not mentioned- because I am still not 100% sure of the details- is that I am moving! I have already given notice on my job, and I hope to be in New York by October. That is sort my excuse for being a blog slacker. Anyway, if anyone has any tips on apartment or rommate hunting (does craigslist only frighten me?) let me know! In the meantime, I have a post about jewelry organization coming later this evening. - LG

Men's Stationery

I was recently asked to give advice regarding men's stationery choices. I had never really thought about this, but I guess as men get older they really do need to write nice notes sometimes. (Really they should do this when they are younger, but those types of manners seem to fall apart in the fraternity years.) And, when they reach that point of realization, they seem to be pretty clueless about where to start. While looking at the Crane & Co. website, I found these favorites (click on picture for a direct link). For all of our male readers, I promise that the following are respectable, manly choices that won't make you look like you know TOO much about these sorts of things : ) - LG

The basic border stripe (in any color) is always a good choice:

From the desk of...

(My favorite) A very snazzy pinstripe:

Wedding Wednesday: Always a Bridesmaid....

I am about a month away from my fifth appearance as a bridesmaid in a close friend’s wedding.

I love other people’s weddings. I love the planning, the decisions, the drama, the year full of wine-drinking occasions, the showers, the registry-stalking, the program-assembling, etc.

Through all of these weddings, I admittedly have never been subject to a heinous bridesmaid dress (knock on wood).

However, I have also never been privy to, despite the brides’ best intentions, a dress that I will ever wear again. Ever.

Consequently, I have a section of my already crowded closet devoted to these dresses. Lately, I have been seriously considering seeking out somewhere to donate the dresses. Perhaps someplace like the Cinderella Project that donates them to girls who need prom dresses. I am sure there is someone who would be thrilled to wear them, right?

Anyway, this brings me to my current quandary – also a reader request – how long is appropriate to hang on to the dresses after the actual wedding date? Is there a time limit that you are obligated to hold on to them, or are they up for grabs immediately after the big day?


Back to the Basics

Our friend Lindsey really knows how to make the most of her money. She emailed me recently and let me know that she had found a great banana bread recipe. If you live by yourself (or even with one other person) a banana bread recipe is great to have on file. After all, who ever eats a whole bunch of bananas before they start to go bad? This recipe is so easy, and the results are great. To the left is a picture of my handy avocado masher mid-mash. Keep in mind that the bread bakes for a full hour, so plan accordingly. - LG

Perfectly Polished

Like most everyone I know, I am a mildly obsessed with the Food Network.

Aside from the fabulous recipes and entertaining ideas, I am continually mesmerized with the nail polish worn by Everyday Italian’s Giada deLaurentiis. It always looks clean, sexy, and polished (no pun intended), like she just came from the manicurist, no matter how many times per episode she is dipping her hands in soapy water, olive oil, etc. The rumor on the internet is that Giada only wears OPI Bubble Bath. Although my signature nail color is, and has been since high school, usually a dark, rich blue-red (think OPI Quarter-of-a-Cent-Cherry or My Kind of Brown or Essie’s (sadly) long-discontinued Real Red), the next time I am looking for a clean, light, fresh manicure, I am signing myself up for a Bubble Bath.

I have a feeling that it is one of those sheer pinks that looks best when applied by a professional, rather than at home, so, I may just have to splurge….

Double Your Fun

In September I will be attending a wedding over Labor Day Weekend. Unofficial festivities start Friday night. The wedding party will be playing golf and that sort of thing on Saturday. Then, the Rehearsal Dinner is Saturday evening and the wedding is Sunday evening. This will be the second year in a row that I will go to a wedding on Labor Day Weekend, and I love it. I don't have to take time off work, and Monday is open for relaxing.

However, Farrell and I have heard some negative comments about weddings on official holidays, so I was wondering what people think about this practice. Is it convenient for everyone, or a violation of what should be family time? Is there a distinction between holiday type? For example, is it more acceptable to do this on a government holiday than a religious holiday? What about weddings on New Year's Eve? Let us know what you think. - LG

Vanishing Vino?

As a recent newlywed, my household is in receipt of a plethora of fabulous new table linens, which I love to use when entertaining.
As much fun as it is to use those new linens, dealing with stains on them has become a challenging experience. The most difficult stain to get out has been from red wine on white cotton-based napkins.
After some research, it seems that the table-salt method is the most publicized method of quick red wine stain removal:

  • Wet the stained napkin or linen to dampen thoroughly

  • Sprinkle the stained area liberally with regular table salt

  • Let it sit until you can wash (as per the instructions) it in the washing machine

I have also heard the commercial solvents Zoot! (sold at Bed, Bath, and Beyond) and Wine-Away recommended.
Does anyone else have experience with this? Or am I the only one with guests that slosh occasionally?

We, The Jury...

Sorry for our MIA status this week!

I just got in from Chicago late last night, Lauren is headed out of town for a long weekend, and I am currently waiting my turn to be interviewed at jury duty. Yes, I am today’s juror # 6. Please do not be jealous. Although, who knew that the jury lounges in my county all come complete with wireless internet?!? This is not quite as glamorous as what I see Benson and Stabler doing on Law and Order: SVU, but I am surviving.

Stay tuned for some fun posts coming soon!


Gift Idea

I recently found a wine store on the Upper West Side of Manhattan called Acker, Merrall & Condit. They have a really fantastic service called the Wine of the Month Club. Every month they pick a notable wine and deliver it to all members of the Club. People can buy 6 or 12 month memberships. Now, I'm sure you are thinking this is great for people who live in New York, but what about anyone else? Well, delivery is free in Manhattan, but available anywhere else in the country for a fee. So as far as I am concerned, this is the perfect gift that keeps on giving. - LG

*** Sorry for the brief/non-existent posts, by the way. Things are just crazy with the summer months. Farrell will be out for the first half of this week, and I'll be out the first half of next week. However, we will try to be back to a normal schedule soon!

Wedding Wednesday: The Daytime Wedding

Does anyone else read Park Avenue Peerage? I am embarrassed to admit that sometimes I do, despite my better judgement. A few months ago the site reported the daytime wedding of one of the "socialites." The boards went crazy over the fact that it was so sweet and old-fashioned of her to be married in the morning. This made me start thinking about the elusive daytime wedding and reception. Do these really happen anymore? When I googled the concept, I got a lot of hits regarding the proper attire for a daytime wedding, and all the advice along the lines of, "If you want to save money, consider a brunch or luncheon reception." However, even Martha Stewart was not helpful in terms of particulars. (The picture to the left is, however, from Click on it to go to the site and learn how to make bucket centerpieces). Are the weddings on Saturdays or Sundays? How long to they last? I imagine a brunch reception could be quite charming, especially in the spring. I picture lots of flowers, a champagne bar (of course) and some Bloody Mary's. But really, the food would have to be a buffet, so I wonder how much money would really be saved.

And so the question I pose to our readers is: Have you ever actually been to a daytime wedding? Was it fun? How, exactly, did the schedule work? - LG

The Alligator Pear

Avocados are my current food obsession. Farrell and I have both blogged about guacamole, but I thought I would give everyone some info about why you should be eating it.

People are turned off by avocados because of their high fat content. However, they are a great source of: Vitamin K, Fiber, Folate, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, and monosaturated fat (that's the good kind of fat- it helps lower cholesteral.) In addition, avocados can help you absorb all of the good nutrition found in other fruits in vegetables. I won't bore you with the science of it, but suffice to say that adding avocado to salsa or a salad will make the those meals or snacks even more beneficial.

When you are finished eating your next avocado, click here to learn how to grow a snazzy plant from the leftover pit. Just be careful- avocado pits can be fatal to pets. - LG


I spent this past weekend on a bachelorette trip to Charleston, SC with seven lovely ladies. I didn’t have a clue what to expect in this cute Southern town, but I was NOT disappointed. Although it was hot as you-know-what (as Lauren warned me), Charleston was a great combination of Southern charm, history, fabulous restaurants, and shopping. One of our favorite discoveries was a charming little boutique on King Street, LulaKate. All seven members of our party, including myself, made various purchases at this delightful establishment, whose shabby-chic décor made the shopping experience even more inviting. We all found the Tulip and Zinnia style dresses to be very flattering on an array of figures, and look forward to seeing the Fall collection, which the salesgirl told us would be hitting the racks in about two weeks.
I am always on a search for some original designs in a sea of predictable clothing stores, so this find made the trip more than worth it!

I Scream, You Scream....

We are not big ice cream eaters in our house – gasp – except for in the summer. However, I could be converted to year-round consumption because of this FABULOUS ice cream scoop that we received from our registry at Crate and Barrel.

The scoop is a great size, and the hidden bonus is that it is filled with a self-defrosting fluid that makes dishing up the ice cream a breeze. It will glide right through even the hardest quart of ice cream, producing perfect servings.
I will never go back to a regular ice cream scoop again!

Wedding Wednesday: Sneak Peek

Our fabulous wedding photographers put together a little slideshow of their favorite shots from the wedding weekend. Seeing these makes me even more excited to get to see the whole batch later this week!
If you are interested, check it out with your sound on!

Gooey Goodness

Our friend Lindsey, who doesn't normally like sweets, went somewhere recently and had these Rice Krispy treats. She says they are amazing, and thought they would be good for tailgating. - LG

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup peanut butter (crunchy)
1 small package chocolate chips
3 cups miniature marshmallows
4 cups Rice Krispies

Melt butter/margarine, peanut butter and chocolate chips together, stirring constantly until smooth. (It is ok if the chocolate chips don't melt completely.) Let stand for a few minutes. Add marshmallows (DO NOT MELT) and Rice Krispies. Press lightly into 8' square pan and let set. Cut into Squares

*** Update: I made these tonight using a 12 oz bag of semi-sweet chips. The chocolate did melt all the way, and I think they would have been a little bit better if not melted all the way. If your chocolate is room temperature, I would take the peanut butter/butter mixture off the burner before adding the chocolate. Follow with the marchmallows and Rice Krispies.

Apologies all around...

I am not feeling very inspired tonight, so I think I'll just work on our blog colors. If anyone has any suggestions, let me know.

Additionally, I am in the process of packing up my apartment, so if anyone has suggestions about that, I would definitely welcome them.

There will be fun things later this week. Have a great night, everyone! - LG

Summer Sale

It's that time of year when stores are slashing prices on summer stock. Williams-Sonoma is no exception- they currently have some items discounted up to 50%. Below are my picks: the tried and true striped towels, and a cute toile apron. Click on the pictures to go straight to where they are being sold on the website. - LG

A Bite of the Big Apple

This weekend I went to Rosa Mexicano at Lincoln Center in New York. Apparently this used to be considered one of the better Mexican restaurants in Manhattan. Now it has opened locations in other cities and, subsequently, lost a bit of its appeal to the local restaurant snobs.

Regardless, I thought I would share two of the items I enjoyed with the idea that they might be replicated at home. The first was a Pom Margarita. I'm not sure what the deal is with the pomegranate. Is it currently trendy? Is it over? Was there just a big buzz and it never quite fulfilled its promise as the next big thing? Who knows. However, the Pom Margarita was excellent. I ordered mine without salt, and it was equal in tanginess to a traditional margarita. A recipe can be found here on the POM Wonderful website.

One selling point of Rosa Mexicano is that they make your guacamole on a cart next to your table, specifically for you. I generally enjoy a basic lime juice and garlic infused guacamole, but their version was a great alternative. The ingredients (all very finely chopped) were onions, hot peppers, cilantro, tomatoes, and another herb that I never identified. The addition of hot peppers was interesting and different, but I really liked it.

Happy snacking! - LG

Wedding Wednesday: Adults Only?

Normally, I am in strict opposition to small children attending or being involved in weddings, especially more formal, evening affairs. I have just witnessed too many disasters when they are in attendance, even the most well-behaved. I love kids, but they always end up either causing a scene during the ceremony, hanging from the bride’s “princess” gown all night, or putting on a show on the dance floor.
However, I was recently a guest at a Long Island wedding where they had, hands-down, the cutest tuxedo-clad ringbearer ever.

Please, enjoy.