Monday, September 18, 2023

Take It From the Dames ~ This is a Cookbook You Must Have ~ Recipes from Top Women in the Food & Wine World

Today is the day!

It’s the launch of Stirring the Pot, the first-ever cookbook created by Les Dames d’Escoffier. Can you believe that?!

The book will go on sale, September 18 – and will entirely benefit the LDNY scholarship fund.

Les Dames d' Escoffier New York, the most influential and accomplished women in the food and wine world, present their favorite recipes for everything from simple weekday meals to spectacular party dishes.

Friday, September 15, 2023

Get Ready: Negroni Week Kicks Off September 18th ~ Great Recipes to Drink For A Cause

Turns out that the classic cocktail: the Negroni - an iconic blend of equal parts aperitivo ~ including, Campari, gin and sweet vermouth - not only mixes up a refreshing drink but also mixes business with pleasure, and a good cause: Slow Food International & USA. 

Negroni Week kicks off Monday, September 18 - 24th so you can look forward to lots of Negroni drink creations, coffee brewed with Negroni, and more. In fact, every week can be considered Negroni Week when you can shake up these fabulous recipes:  

Thursday, September 14, 2023

NYBG’s Climate Week 2023 Symposium Examines the Past, Present, and Future of Ecological Restoration as a Means for Increasing Resilience in a Changing World

Not a moment too soon.

In conjunction with the global Climate Week 2023 in New York City, The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) is hosting an important and topical symposium: “Cultivating Resilience.”  The 2023 Symposium aims to examine the past, present, and future of Ecological Restoration as a Means for Increasing Resilience in a Changing World”

Here are the details NYBG shared with me to pass on to you, dear friends of Nature. 

Friday, September 8, 2023

Extra, Extra, Read All About It!* This Tablescape Offers Your Guests the Inside Scoop!


What’s Black & White and “read” all over?!

The Art of the Tablescape is telling a story with style and creativity while showcasing a welcoming, inviting place to dine with your guests.

Well, my latest table setting hews particularly close to the storytelling that is so key to art (and me). In fact, this design theme is ~ News!  As in news stories in good ol’ fashioned newsprint and magazines. 

The characteristic newsprint colors of black & white made for an elevated, sophisticated composition, I’m happy to “report!” (Can’t stop the news references 🙂)

The accessories made for a whimsical, rich news story.

Here’s how:

Friday, September 1, 2023

“Here’s My Card” ~ True Tales of A Successful Networking "Shero"

Networking is an art when you know your business and are driven to help others succeed.

My recent Ladies Who Lunch Conversations guest, Lois Whitman-Hess, Co-Founder and President of HWH PR, has been actively involved in public relations for a vast array of business sectors including technology, Internet-based companies, entertainment, law, publishing, fashion, beauty and art. Her client list is the gold standard of brands.

Still, meeting someone who has a great story to tell and a product or service to market ~ she hands them her card.

“Call me.” Invariably, they do!

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Do You Ever Think About Death? Barbie Asks. Here Are Answers About How to Go With Grace


Even our girl “Barbie” thinks about the inevitable.

For me, I love life so very much, I am compelled to think of our mortality.  Death. 

At the same time, I’m befuddled why more folks refuse to even entertain the thought of dying.  After all, it’s gonna happen to all of us. Guaranteed.

I started writing this post a few weeks ago. I admit that even for me, a writer and advocate of dialing up the death dialogue, it’s curious it took me until my father’s death anniversary to actually  complete it.


Let’s talk.

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

How to Order, Grow, & Harvest Organic, Magical Garlic; Plus Homegrown Recipe From One of NY's Best Chefs


I’ll argue that few plants can match garlic ~ worshiped for its beauty, ease of growth, variety, its performance as a culinary chameleon, and captivating history. 

Garlic has been used as money, food, an aphrodisiac, and magic… 

Garlic gave strength and courage to athletes and warriors, protected maidens (!) and kept out blood-thirsty vampires & witches, and the black plague. Come on ~ you can’t ask more from a plant. Now is the time to order for next year. 

Here’s how we grow and harvest these aromatic bulbs.  

Thursday, August 10, 2023

How Do You Celebrate National Book Lovers Day? My Book Invitations for Reading with the Season


“If you have a garden and a library, you have all you need.” Cicero.

Whether you consider yourself a bookworm as I do (so Cicero, no? ~ nesting the garden together with the book-as-moniker) or a bibliophile or bookaholic or lectiophile ~ there’s an official day to express your ardor: National Book Lovers Day.

While the literary event is now celebrated globally; like a true mystery, its origin and creator remain unknown to date…

What I do know is that I’ve come to recognize that I read a wee bit differently in each season. Do you read with the seasons? 

Let’s talk books.

Monday, July 31, 2023

Barbie Cotton-Candy "Pink Cloud" Cocktail Recipe Makes Happy Hour Pretty-in-Pink Delicious Fun!


Barbie is a dream girl ~ potent and pretty.  And inspiring…

Having left the cinema featuring Barbie the Movie determined to design a Barbie Dream Garden, (see previous Post), I also wanted to honor her with her very own signature Barbie Cocktail.

I knew the drink would have to be equally pretty-in-pink, glamorous, and delicious.

Here’s my fun, cotton-candy, cocktail confection. Plus + Bonus Drink recipe.

Saturday, July 29, 2023

A Barbie Dream Garden Fantasy with Pink Plant List! ~ "Ideas Live Forever:"

Pinke Erlebniswelt: So verrückt ist das neue Barbie-Haus in Berlin | Express

It’s been said that it’s a Barbie World and we’re all just living in it! 

The Barbie movie is a dreamy comedy, candy-coated with a potent message. The frothy, fun, escape is a fantasy that we all can deservedly indulge in.  And while Ruth Handler, Barbie’s inventor, says that Barbie doesn’t have an ending, I couldn’t help but feel as I left the cinema that the one thing missing from the perfect world of Barbie Land is a garden.  Barbie needs a Dream Garden.  And then she’ll really know what it feels like not to have an ending!  A gardener’s work never, ever has a finish… So as an homage to our plucky, smart, compassionate heroine, I set out to design a Barbie Dream Garden for her and the other Barbies.

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

A Woman in the Kitchen? The Legacy of a Southern Culinary Legend Continues to Inspire & Teach Us


A Culinary Legend is an accolade bestowed on those who revolutionize our eating style. To have done so in an era when social and media didn’t go together like peanut butter and jelly, it’s all more remarkable Edna Lewis earned enduring consideration as the “First Lady of Southern Cooking;” recognized as one of the most important and influential American chefs.

She also merited an “answer” on Jeopardy, and a US Postal Stamp!

Here’s her story and the family legacy as told by her niece, Nina Williams-Mbengue, the manuscript’s typist for Lewis’ cookbook, ‘A Taste of Country Cooking.”

Monday, July 17, 2023

How to Style A Patriotic Table For Summer Entertaining at Home

It’s fun to design a summer tablescape that can take you from Memorial Day, to Independence Day, through to Labor Day.  Summer skims by all too quickly so having a table setting that you can use all season.

Here’s some decorating ideas that I hope will inspire you to use your red, white and blues in new and glamorous ways ~ to rather set it and forget it ~ till you’re ready for autumn.  

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

The Fun, Festive Ways We Celebrated The Best Patriotic Independence Day Party with Family & Friends

It did feel a bit like double-dipping.

As if I’d implored, “Make mine a double.” Double Birthdays, that is.

On July 7th, we celebrated not only Mother’s 98th Birthday!!

But it was also when the town marked Independence Day with their spectacular fireworks. So we saluted both with one sensational party.

Here’s how Bill and I worked to create a patriotic party that mixed the old-fashioned “America the Beautiful” with Mother’s extraordinary birthday.

Friday, June 30, 2023

How to Welcome Summer House Guests With A Spirited, Refreshing, Garden-to-Glass Hostess Drink


How do you welcome Summer?  And your vacation-time guests?  

Most folks calibrate the start of summer with all the festivities that are part of the 4th of July.  It doesn’t get much better than music, grilled food, cool, refreshing drinks. And Fireworks.

Hospitality is in my wheelhouse. So when guests arrive, I greet them with a special refreshment.   

What’s the cocktail to be this year?  Well, Let’s Make it Interesting…

Mother Nature’s Mash Up: Are Plants & Critters Creating their Own Melting Pot? And Accelerating Seasonal Garden Chores?


I had barely come to lament and accept that the peonies were all-too-soon past their prime blooming period. A truncated season. Peonies are pretty much my favorite flower so I am particularly bereft when they are gone…

If you’ve been feeling like you fell down the rabbit hole as you gaze with curiosity into the landscape and garden, you’re not imagining things. Plants and critters seem to have abandoned their clause that  “Time is of the essence.”  

Who gave them permission to take on a “time is fluid” attitude?? Let's Blame Mother. Mother Nature!

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Everything's Coming Up Roses: June Tablescape Design Celebrates America's Favorite Flower & Comfort Food For Solace


Gypsy’s stage mother, Rose, belts out “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” ~ the big, brassy paean to the power of positive thinking.

With June hailed as “rose month,” it was pretty much a given that my tablescape would feature America’s favorite flower, the rose, in a starring role.

That, plus roses have a nearly universal meaning of love and respect; making roses a perfect part of a funeral flower arrangement. 

Is that a pivot?  Not really. A journey of grief can be considered that positive thinking that Rose sang about. 

My tablescape was to be pretty and a tribute to comfort food and floral design as part of bereavement. 

Why?  I’m eager to share with you.

Friday, June 16, 2023

Desperate Times Require Desperate Measures: Good Garden Design Solutions Power-Up Sustainable Spaces


Spring gardens have always been revered as a time of renewal and rebirth; but I had a space that sorely needed more than an awakening.  

I was staring down a full-on Olmstead! A complete makeover.  

Here’s how we “crushed” a new, native and sustainable, low/no maintenance  garden design.

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Summer Kicks Off in Style: Inexpensive Hostess Gift Ideas

Memorial Weekend honors our service members and veterans.  We salute you all and thank you for your service.

If you’re like me, you love a parade (our hamlet’s little march and ceremony is tomorrow.)

The long Memorial weekend has also come to be the official kick-off to summer.

If your holiday plans include visiting with friends or family, you’ll need to think about bringing a hostess gift.

Miffed about the gift?  Here’s some suggestions:

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

How to Cultivate A Garden Lifestyle: Homegrown Taste, Garden-To-Glass Style ~ Highlights from My Talk at NKBA


Few things can equal the joy of talking to a group of hard-working, artful professionals about how to live a Garden Lifestyle ~ while enjoying the journey along the garden path. 

Recently I had that distinct honor and pleasure; speaking to the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) Manhattan members in the delicious Sub Zero/Wolf/Cove Gotham showroom. 

As an “expert” on the NYC food and drink world, I was asked to share my “secrets” about my farm-to-table and garden-to-glass life ~ brimming with plants, pollinators, style and love.  

Here’s a snapshot of that “ground-breaking” talk. 

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Tips For Curating A Lavish, Colorful, Mexican Heritage Tablescape Your Guests Will Love ~ Plus My Conversation with Mexican Food & Drink Expert


Who doesn’t love to celebrate Cinco de Mayo?  

Its calendaring is a perfect pin to launch a season of exuberant fun. 

I was keen to curate my first table design dedicated to this celebrated holiday not only because of the rich Mayan and Mexican history I experienced while exploring and studying there but also just in time for this happy May Day fiesta, to honor my very special Ladies Who Lunch Conversations guest, Bárbara Sibley: expert on Mexican food and libation ~ author, owner, CEO, and chef at her much beloved La Palapa Cocina Mexicana restaurants.

Bárbara is also a fellow Les Dames E’Escoffier ~ I say with unbridled pride. 

So, por supuesto, this table design had to be good.

Here’s how I achieved a look that earned me Bárbara’s two-thumbs up. 

Sunday, April 30, 2023

Arbor Day Celebrates and Honors Trees: Here's How to Love Our Trees Every Day


How did you celebrate Arbor Day?  

Did you enjoy a special conversation with your favorite trees? Did you discover new tree friends?

While we may have long talked to our trees, honored them in our literature, poems, music; it hasn’t been that long since we confirmed that trees possess a secret leanguage all their own.

Trees communicate with each other, store memories and respond to attacks. They have a profoundly positive effect on our emotions … but can we know how they feel about us?

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Art of Entertaining: Table Decor Trends & Forecasts from the Tabletop Show That I’m Obsessing Over


What’s in style for the latest in tablescape design for home entertaining? 

I attended the New York Tabletop Show last week to catch all the latest products and frankly, to be inspired by the remarkable makers and brands as presented by The Tabletop Association.

I love this show.  I can browse and take in the glamorous tablescapes from more than 120 vendors who have their showrooms at 41 Madison Avenue.  Walking up, I stopped to take in the unique table designs at ABC Carpet.  An aperitif if you will.

Here’s what delighted me:

Thursday, April 20, 2023

How Do You Celebrate Earth Day? Sustainable Tips & Glamorous Garden Flowers

Truth be told, every day is Earth Day in my world.  How can it not be so?  

I believe that spring gives us that rare opportunity to look at the world with a new vision. We look at our world as if we hadn’t noticed all this humming, blooming life around us. 

Nevertheless, one of the special hallmarks this year was setting out our new Vegepod. We eagerly anticipate that this mini-greenhouse/raised bed will be an exciting element in growing our edibles.

The other good/bad was the leap into summer weather that gave us a head start on spring chores.

Here’s how it all unfolded in time for Earth Week.

Monday, April 10, 2023

How To Create A Convivial Easter Table Design Inspired by Nature & The Glamour of Spring


Any holiday marked by copious amounts of chocolate is tops in my happy world.

What was your Easter tablescape story?  Did you share a sweet, candy-laden display or a  rabbit nest with bonny does and her cuddly kits? And what about the colored eggs that look like jewels?

The joy of designing artful tablescapes is to tell a story that celebrates an occasion and the season.  Not unlike good garden art that is an exciting, changeable story, so too should your table designs embrace the transformative magic of art and nature. 

Spring and new beginnings is one of my most favorite holiday times of the year. 

To celebrate this special ephemeral extravaganza, I created a home entertaining table design; imagining fanciful layers using vintage accessories, pieces from my travels, family treasures and fairy magic… 

Here’s how.

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

How To Dye Eggs Naturally Plus The Best Deviled Egg Recipe

Happy Spring. Celebrating the season of rebirth and new life with eggs is an ancient custom.

See, eggs were a forbidden food during Lent for Christians; so folks painted and decorated these symbols of renewed existence to mark the end of penance and fasting. 

Today, even the Fabergė jeweled creations commissioned by Russian czars and czarinas might be spring, pea-green with envy at today’s Easter Eggs, Egg Hunts, and Egg Decor.

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Music Memory is a Powerful Link: Rediscovered Artifacts Leads A Walk Down Memory Lane to Jazz, Blues, & Rock N'Roll


Do you believe in music “miracles?” 

It’s hard not to make a link or connection that there is a manifestation of some divine intervention when more than one vintage music memory makes an encore appearance in your life. 


Here’s what made center stage this week… 

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.