Thursday, October 26, 2023

Drink with the Season: It's Sweater Weather ~ A Fall Cocktail Recipe to Warm Your Happy Hour


It’s Sweater Weather season in these parts. 

It’s really such a fabulous, fashionable season.  Mother Nature’s tableau is a blaze of color ~ ๐Ÿ‚:๐Ÿ She’s waved her magic wand, turning leaves into stunning shades of fiery red, spirited, happy orange and all shades of brown: taupe to mocha to tawny and cinnamon. 

So too, our cocktail confections should celebrate the cozy season. 

Whether enjoying a fireside cocktail hour or a leaf-peeping picnic, here’s a terrific drink to shake up ~ a "gift" from my cocktail book, Art of the Garnish. 

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Black is the New Green: 10 Black Plants to Create Dramatic, Spooky Halloween Displays


The venerable Johnny Mercer & Harold Arlen song crooned by Ol’ Blue Eyes, “That Old Black Magic has me in its spell…” speaks to the romantic enchantment of love while hinting at the tyranny of Eros. Likewise, the black magic of black plants has mesmerized me. 

I confess I have long been entranced by black plants and flowers. These cosmopolitan divas add drama and depth to elevated garden designs and container compositions.  

Looking to add some sophistication and classy style to your Halloween decor?  

Here, I share some truly elegant Black Plants to add mystery to your home ~ (in any season). 

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Illuminating Tablescape Design: How to Add Moody Lighting For Glowing Warmth When You Gather With Guests

As September waned, I enjoyed the luxury of determining, “What would be the theme for my latest table design?”  I was leaning into a Halloween look.  No, Too early for my style.  But no denying autumn was upon us; twilight and evening darkness sneaking in… hmmm. Then a light bulb went off. Literally. ๐Ÿ’ก 

I could celebrate the power of light and its casting off the dark, along with its illuminating symbol of the spiritual, the divine, and oh yes, intelligence.  In my mind’s eye, I could see the design “performance” lit up by Kleig lights.    

Let there be light!   

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Books Take Us to Magical Places & Adventures; Reading is Freedom: How to Mark Banned Books Week


How do you “mark” the Freedom to Read week?  Note I didn’t use the word, “celebrate?”  I thank my lucky stars that I have been given the blessing and luxury to read. And write. Anything… (almost). 

As a writer and a freedom-loving American citizen, I can hardly believe that we’re in this situation.  

Let’s talk about this. No more shusshing.  ๐ŸคซUnless it’s your favorite librarian. Silence begets censorship. 

Regrettably, it’s also Banned Book Week ๐Ÿ˜ฅ ~  (October 1-7), an annual event that highlights the value of free and open access to information. And today is the day of action.

How bad is it?  

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Light is Healing Hope & Joy: Learn How this Mother Invented a Solar Light, Helping Children and Their Families


It took a compassionate Mother to help children ~ and Mother Nature. While teaching as a Professor in Architecture and Material Technology at Columbia University, Alice Chun created early prototypes of solar lights. Initially fueled by her passion to design a healthy light source for her son who suffered from (urban/pollution) asthma, she was also driven by her desire to help the underserved; in turn, Alice invented the world’s only self-inflatable, portable solar light that is a lifeline to those without electricity. Alice named this invention the SolarPuff™.  Today, Alice is an award-winning inventor and humanitarian who brings awe, wonder, & joy.  Learn about her incredibly inspiring journey: