Hosting

  • How to Plan the Perfect Beach Picnic & My Picnic Essentials

    I love a good beach picnic, so I thought this would be the perfect time to share some of my tips on having a great beach picnic and my give you a list of my picnic essentials.  My first memories of picnics were with my parents in Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco with some fresh sourdough and salami.  My idea of a picnic has changed a bit since then, but it’s always about good people, good food and good drinks.  I believe you can have a picnic almost anywhere, whether it’s on the roof of your home or apartment building, at a local park or my favorite, on the beach.  I believe in doing some pre-planning before your beach picnic to make sure that you have the best experience.  Here are my tips: Bring a Good Cooler There are many on the market some very expensive (I’m looking at you Yeti)… Read More

  • Time Saving, Stress Reducing Tricks for Thanksgiving

    So next week is Thanksgiving…..have you figured out what you’re going to do? Are you going out to eat or cooking in? If you’re cooking, are you making all the food or getting some help?  As a kid we always went out to eat for most holiday meals, so I love to cook at home now.  That said, making a whole meal can be a very daunting task.  Therefore, I like to get a little help when I can.  If you have family or friends that are coming over, ask them to bring a side dish or dessert.  If that isn’t an option or you want to manage all the food, I like to get some items pre-made to help me out on the day-of. Here’s a round-up of my favorite time-saving and stress reducing tricks that help me look like I can do it all on Thanksgiving, I hope… Read More

  • Cocktail Party Etiquette for the Host and Guest

    I love a good cocktail party, I love hosting them and attending them.  I believe the art of hosting a cocktail party is a bit lost.  I learned much of what I know about hosting from my sister in law Ellen, she is a fabulous host, you always feel at home, she is very accommodating of her guests needs and she is great at keeping the conversation going by managing introductions between guests to make sure that no one ever feels left out or lonely during one of her parties.  Don’t get me started about the fabulous food she always serves, whether catered or homemade, there is something for everyone.  Here are some key Cocktail Party Etiquette questions with answers that I have learned from her and by being a host myself. Cocktail Party Etiquette for the Host: How do you gently ask people to leave? A great way to signal… Read More

  • Winery Picnic Tips and My Favorite Essentials

    If you’ve seen my Instagram, you know that I love going wine tasting and I love a good winery picnic.  If you’ve ever been wine tasting, you probably noticed the strange phenomenon that wineries rarely have food.  If they do have food, they usually don’t have much variety and it won’t be gluten free (I’m gluten intolerant).  Therefore, I’m in the habit of packing a winery picnic when we go wine tasting.  I’ve packed quite a few at this point, so I know what works and what doesn’t, so I’m pretty much an expert on how to pack a winery picnic. Here are my Winery Picnic Essentials: I decided that instead of buying a picnic table cover that I would simply re-purpose one of my Turkish beach towels. It can be very windy on a vineyard, so these colorful cloth napkins come in very handy. I love these great melamine salad… Read More

  • 7 Simple Tips for Hosting a Cocktail Party

    I believe that the cocktail party has changed since I started hosting them 10-ish years ago.  Cocktail parties went from an event with great food and cocktails, to an event that is simply Pinterest/ Instagram ready. I always think that layout, the look and feel are important.  I feel that often times people are so worried about it looking “perfect” that they forgo the quality of the food and the drinks. While I do work on the aesthetics of the party, I will never forgo the experience of the party, like the ambience, music, cocktails and food. I believe that hosting a cocktail party is an art and a great host will take care of everything and make his or her guests feel welcome and comfortable. I learned how to host cocktail party from my sister-in-law. She is the consummate host and has legendary Halloween parties in New York every year,… Read More