Friday, March 24, 2023

How to Orchestrate An "Eargasm" Tablescape ~ An Entertaining Ode to Music Table Design


Beethoven said that “Music is like a dream.”

Who am I to disagree with Ludwig! In fact, I believe that it can be argued that music moves us, speaks to us with intimacy, ignites our passions more than other art forms…

It permeates and infuses other, artful pursuits.

Not surprisingly then, Music did inspire my latest, creative tablescape design.

A few things led me to orchestrate a music themed table design.

Friday, March 17, 2023

Green With Envy ~ Wearin’ of The Green Table Style to Spark St. Patrick's Day Tablescapes


What is your green tablescape design to welcome friends and family for a green St. Patrick's Day meal?

I hope you're inspired by my Éirinn go Brách homage to Irish influence.

Just like every good garden design, good tablescape design also tells a story …

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Ein Tost! A Glittery Salute to All Quiet on the Western Front Featuring a Glamorous, Gold Cocktail Recipe


Ok. Ok. My bad.  In my last post about the glamorous Oscar~inspired Best Picture cocktails, I didn’t include All Quiet on the Western Front ~ the international film that won many awards, including the Oscar for Best International Feature.  It is a breathtaking movie.  

So I thought I’d correct my omission and share my German inspired, glittery, glamorous cocktail and food companion with you here.

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Raise a Glass to Best Picture Inspired Glamorous Cocktail Recipes For a Glam Oscar Party


Whether you’re hosting an Oscar party for a crowd this year (yeah for co-mingling), or watching the small screen solo, here’s a few Oscar-worthy cocktails to sip while you indulge in this glamorous peek into a world of fantasy.

Why, even the red carpet is a nod to a worthy champagne toast. Stars will strut their style on a champagne carpet for the first time. 

Here's a sparkling menu of cocktail recipes inspired by the best picture nominees to make your awards show glamorous ~ and delicious ~ and fun.

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Philadelphia Flower Show Highlights & Guide to the Kinetic ‘Garden Electric’ ~ Plus The Winners!

Every year the nation's largest and the world’s longest-running horticultural event promises and features stunning displays by some of the world’s premier floral and landscape designers at the Philadelphia Flower Show, hosted by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS).  

For me, the show never fails to spark design ideas for the garden, indoor plant compositions and my tablescapes. 

The design inspiration for this year’s theme, “The Garden Electric,” is dedicated to the spark 
of joy that comes from flowers and gardens. Designers created works of art featuring a dazzling array of colors, unique shapes and textures, rich fragrances, multimedia elements, and innovative designs focused on the opulent and celebratory aspects of flowers and gardens.

Saturday, March 4, 2023

What To Drink Now: March Shoulder Season Cocktail Recipes That Are Wonderfully Rich (& Easy!)


How to power up your seasonal happy hours by switching up some magic ingredients. With winter waning in these parts but still very much bearing down on the calendar, I thought you’d enjoy a few simple, easy-to-shake-up cocktail recipes to carry you through the spring shoulder season and toast to March madness. 

After all, there’s lots to celebrate this month: Women’s History Month, The Oscars, World Wildlife Day, Music in Our Schools, St. Patrick’s Day, and more.  Here’s some delicious, rich, garden-to-glass cocktails that will make you a favorite, accomplished mixologist.  

And they are easy to make (Shhhhh ~ no one has to know!) 

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

What Exactly Is Etiquette & Why It Matters: "Old Soul Etiquette" Founder Shares Tips On Manners & Career


“Etiquette is the science of living. It embraces everything. It is ethics. It is honor.”

So says Emily Post. 

Put another way, “Etiquette is a fancy word for kindness and respect…” 

So says Mariah Grumet,  Founder & Instructor, Old Soul Etiquette.

“I'm sure you agree that the world needs two scoops of kindness and respect.” So says me!  

And so said moi as part of this month’s Ladies Who Lunch Conversations videocast when Mariah was our very special guest.  

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

How to Design A Perfect Romantic Tablescape Inspired By Two Holidays~To Bring Hope & Love

I often joke that while we think of February as a “short month” it’s actually got more than its share of abundant holidays and celebrations. 

For me, I narrowed the list of possible tablescape inspirations from Superbowl (wasn’t that supposed to be January?!), Oscars, President’s Day, Black History Month, Random Acts of Kindness Day, and American Heart Month, to Valentine’s Day and Lunar New Year. 

Why? Because ~ The Year of the Rabbit symbolizes Hope and Valentine’s is all about Love. 

I felt the hope and love themes would tell a glamorous, pretty story. Here’s how I layered the seasonal look to welcome and delight our guests.

Friday, February 17, 2023

Sneak Peek: NYBG Orchid Show by Lily Kwong is a Sensual, Meditative, Biophilia Fantasy


As an old advertisement once crowed in its attempt to target women, “You’ve come a long way baby.”

At Tuesday’s sneak peek for the Orchid Show, we all laughed when on our walk through the Enid A Haupt Conservatory for the press preview, Marc Hachadourian, director of glasshouse horticulture and senior curator of orchids at the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) and author of Orchid Modern. (Love this book) noted that when orchids were first introduced to the Victorians, women weren’t allowed to have them because their flowers were thought to be too erotic and too sexual; altogether too much for a woman to bear, 

Fast Forward. Almost a century later, Lily Kwong, landscape artist, marks the Garden’s 20th annual homage to orchids, as the first woman to design the exhibit!

Oh, have we come a long way, baby…

Seriously, the show is a triumph.  It is brimming with sensual, feminine beauty.  

It has a story to tell…

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Sowing Wonder; Hip Hop Environmentalism & A Plantastic Future!


It has been two spring plantings and fall harvests since Metro Hort held its annual flora fiesta.  (But who’s counting?!) In fact, the January 2020 event was probably the last gathering for so many plant-aholics before that other “P” word* shook us to our, ahem, “roots” ~ (hort humor is irresistible.)  

Fast forward. Last week marked Plant-O-Rama’s (POR) triumphant return to In Real Life (IRL) / “in person” symposium and trade show for horticultural professionals where we learn about how plants will change our world.  And that change starts in our gardens.  As you’ll read, there’s plenty of wonder to astound and  astonish… 

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Toast the Year Ahead with a Fruity Citrus Champagne Cocktail ~ Easy Recipe to Celebrate New Beginnings


January is the month of new beginnings. It’s a time of celebrating transitions and change.

What better way to kick off the start of a new year than with a champagne cocktail?!

Here’s your sure to be, go-to bubbly recipe for happy hours and special, sparkly salutes.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Uncovered ~ The Story Behind The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Grand Floral Urns


Even before I was a Member, I visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art  frequently.  Some might say with abandon…

If I was looking for inspiration while writing or if a new show premiered, or I just had to see the rooftop exhibits with their extraordinary installations and that heart-stopping vista of Central Park and beyond, why, I could hop on a subway near our home at Union Square and be at the Museum in about 10 minutes; transported to other worlds…

And I always, always was enticed by the magnificent, grand urns in the museum’s lobby and their breathtaking floral displays.  

I took their photos every single visit. It was a mystery to me that their beguiling looks were always changing, too.  

But it wasn’t until just the other day that I learned of their origin story. 

Friday, January 20, 2023

Top Reads For Your Consideration: 2022 Year in Books That You'll Love


Sure, it’s been a minute since my first book was featured at the top spot for a year-end, best-of-books list. Yet I can’t help but recall those thrills as I started this post about my year in books for 2022 as part of the Goodreads challenge. Lists matter!

It was an exciting year of reads ~ my "bookbag" was brimming/my bookshelves were sagging ~ with a great variety of books from classic authors I’d overlooked to new memoirs to great fiction. 

Check out the 31 books on my list ~ you’ll find some stimulating suggestions.

Friday, January 13, 2023

The Mystery of January's Carnation Birth Month Flower Folklore Explained & Celebrated

Today is my birthday! What better way to celebrate than with January’s “official” flower: the Carnation.

I must admit, I didn’t always cotton to the carnation (or for that matter, to our birthday gem: the garnet). 

I rudely thought it was too common… Too banal. 

But boy, was I wrong.  

Carnations are sooo captivating. 

Why, you ask?   See here:

I read that the “Capricorn is just like their birth flower, the carnation: they can be bold on the outside. But Capricorns also have a softer personality under their bright exterior.”

Very, very true.  

The carnation flower, Dianthus Caryophyllus or clove pink is a species of Dianthus that symbolizes Love, Captivation and Distinction. 

Does that sound in any way banal?? 

Carnations are uplifting and sweet. 

It also makes a lovely addition to any floral design because of its long-lasting freshness and fragrance that is a bit like, well, sweet cloves… ahhh. 

Image Result



I’m a sucker for flower legends and folklore and so can’t resist sharing this one about my January birthday flower.  

The carnation means Fascination, Distinction, and Love. 

According to a Christian legend, carnations grew from the Virgin Mary's tears as she watched Jesus carry the cross. This is how they became associated with a pure, eternal, motherly love.

Carnations are said to bring a mother good luck. 

Or, how about this legendary flower lore:

The flower of god is Dianthus caryophyllus or Carnation . The name is a fusion of the Greek words "dios" and "anthos." 

The Greek god Zeus is depicted by "dios," and "anthos" means flower.

That's why the Carnation is recognized as “God's Flower.”

Recently, I used peppermint carnations on my Christmas/Holiday tablescape to great effect.

And I use them in mini vases in our guest rooms, as well as on the tablescapes or cocktail tables. 

I “fluff” them up after cutting the stems and before placing them into their vases.  

There are more than 300 different types of carnations and hybrids so using them in your floral designs, in any season, is smart and well, sweet.

You can readily purchase carnations from your local florist, grocery store or grow them. (Write to me if you want to learn more about growing these easy-care beauties).

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t also share, one of my most favorite of the Dianthus: Sweet William ~ Dianthus barbatus.

My husband, Bill, is a (mostly) sweet William (wink).

How irresistible are these beauties?

Embrace your birthday month flowers and their legends/folklore.  

It’s fun and interesting. 

Cheers to happy birthdays and our plant parents... So glamorous!

Saturday, January 7, 2023

Meant to Inspire: Perspective on "What's In ~ What's Out" for Home & Garden

What's In ~ What's Out. 
Please enjoy ~ and hopefully heed :) my perspective on the state of things in the world of entertaining at home, garden to glass cocktails, the art of the garnish, gardens, and books/reading as viewed through my prism... Cheers to looking ahead.