Sunday, March 31, 2013

Call me Sugar, bunny.

An "adult" Easter should include a great signature cocktail.  I decided to try freezing Mini Eggs in an ice cube tray. This turned out to be quite a sweet outcome!

The cubes are delicious but very sweet. I used just one cube per cocktail (mixed in with regular ice cubes) which made for a nice color pop.  I mixed the cocktail with one part vodka and one part  pomegranate juice to achieve a light pink, Spring color.

Between the egg hunt, Church, dinner or a family party--whatever you have going on for Easter, make bringing a festive host gift easy.  I purchased a small chocolate cake from my favorite bakery.  Then, to dress it up, I simply added some Mini Eggs, luster pearls (these are edible sugar pearls with a whimsical Eastery look) And, traditional colored hard-boiled eggs, of course!

Simply place the colored eggs around the perimeter of your cake.  Sprinkle a few of the luster pearls and the Mini Eggs on the top of the cake.  I found this cute cake platter at Williams-Sonoma.

Delicious! Your host or your guests will appreciate the festive sugar high.

Chic before the egg, always.

Making a dozen eggs look kinda chic?  I like it.

Set up an old-school egg decorating table.  Definitely put down craft or newspaper to protect against spills.  I bought a basic color kit from the drugstore.  Lesson learned: After dropping the color tabs into your cups, adding white vinegar or lemon juice makes the color stronger.  BUT, for pink eggs ONLY, somehow water works best.  I don't know's as mysterious as the Easter Bunny.

How cute are these little vials of glitter glass from Pottery Barn? Loved the end result!

A little trip to the Flower Market left me inspired to create a mini Easter garden at home.

Happy day, friends.


Friday, March 29, 2013

The Food Network Wine & Food Festival, NYC

Ina, Bobby, Giada, Guy...a Grand Tasting tent filled with the best curation of wines and spirits? Food & Wine Magazine AND The Food Network?!  Ummmm, music to a Mermaid's ears...
The beautiful Giada de Laurentiis and Guy Fieri hosting demonstrations at the Grand Tasting Tent.

I was honored and thrilled to be at New York City's Wine & Food Festival.  After participating at the Miami and Austin festivals, it was a treat to be in my backyard for this fantastic event.

My friends at Buick asked me to join them in the Grand Tasting Tent to create a luxury tailgate experience with their ENCORE vehicle.  And, to sign copies of my book "Mermaids & Martinis, Turn Your Party Into a Memory" for guests!

Here are a few ways to upgrade your next tailgate with style and simplicity.  First, we spray painted acorns gold and hand painted mini gourds and pumpkins to add a little color...we also gathered bunches of leaves, branches and flowers to add a lush look.  I wanted to add some depth to the back of the car, so I used mini haystacks to layer some elements along with a selection of beautiful silver pieces by Christofle.

Whether you are chasing a hot air balloon festival or rooting for your favorite football team, who wouldn't want to luxury tailgate with sparkling apple cider in these flutes? 

I hired a fabulous artist, George Oh, to add some artistry to three pumpkins.  He created an abstract road trip (grey pumpkin), a night sky themed visual and even carved the Buick logo.

I really do look forward to this event all year long.  The Grand Tasting Tent features so many exciting new products, celebrity chef demonstrations and has an unbelievable energy.  It was a weekend of unforgettable events and interactions.  

Special thanks to my friends at Buick, Christopher Ayotte and Rosalyn Calvaneso, can't wait to share a toast with you both soon!

Photo Credits: Daniel Movitz,

A Meal with Alain Ducasse in Bordeaux (right on Park Ave!)

I was invited to be a guest of a spectacular evening recently, the second annual Burdi Gala.  Only the second event ever hosted inside the historic St. Bartholomew's Church on Park Avenue, to say it was beautiful would be an unholy understatement. It was truly breathtaking.

The President of Christofle hosted my table, he even brought a bottle from his personal cellar to share with us honoring the birth of his son 18 years ago.

Walking into the Church, rustic wine barrels doubled as cocktail tables, a live quartet and a surprise performance from a children's choir added to the classical mood.  The theme of the evening was to celebrate Bordeaux and raise money for wine scholarships for aspiring Sommeliers.  There was a fabulous French feeling in the air that could not be denied, especially the anticipation of our guest Chef for the night-Alain Ducasse!

Each table was clearly marked with a different wooden wine label, and I was wide-eyed at the number of wine glasses!  We would taste 10 different Bordeauxs that evening.  In addition, guests who were wine collectors were invited to bring a distinct bottle from their own cellar.

When Alain Ducasse walked into the room, you could probably hear the applause outside on Park Avenue.  He created an exquisite 4-course meal purposely paired for Bordeaux.  To start, a Foie Gras dish, followed by a gorgeous Osso Bucco, a cheese and charcuterie platter and a lovely meringue dessert.

As my taxi pulled away after the event, I took this last shot of the Church.  Who knows if there will be a third event hosted in this treasured space? I'll be praying for a invite. ;-)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Prettiest Pumpkin in the Patch, Lilly.

Every March, when Spring flowers start to petal their wares over Manhattan, I find myself wishing for things a shade lighter and brighter.  From my mindset to my closet, I have found a new season can really bring out a part of you that may lay dormant during other months.  Lilly Pulitzer seems to keep a "Spring-Spirit" alive all year long.  I wanted to highlight her fabulous fashion "Townhouse" on Madison Avenue after a fun party we did together.  Selfishly, revisiting this evening with Lilly P. has made me long even more for her sunny spring frocks, Lilly "Wall-spiration" quotes, and of course, infusing a little more pink into my own spirit!

Lilly Pulitzer, Madison Avenue "Townhouse", NYC

As if things could get any MORE rosy on these walls--the entire staff at this store were true birds of a feather. Karen and her entire team were beautiful, kind, lovely and FUN!  I arrived for the party carrying some pumpkins that I had painted at home with hopes to bring a Palm Beachy flair to my book table. But, alas, those Lilly girls...already waiting for me was a pink Sharpie and a glass of pink champagne complimented by the perfect Lilly-print cloth!  I was toting two things I am rarely without: my Lilly planner and Lilly printed iPhone case. ;-)

My favorite guest that night decided she wanted to eat one of the "Lilly-Pink" pumpkins. We finally convinced her to shop instead...

Beyond the shopping, guests also enjoyed makeovers by Laura Gellar (,  pink champagne toasts and delicious nibbles.  And, part of the shopping proceeds that night benefited The Lower Lab School.

I walked into the Lilly Store in ordinary flats, and walked out wearing these amazing Lilly wedges to paint my own part of the town GOLD.

Hail to Queen Lilly! A goddess of spunk, style, panache--and, she just so happens to have the brightest closet on Madison Ave.

"Not her first Lilly, and certainly not her last!" -Lilly Wall-spiration

Goodnight Dear Lilly, until next time.

Photo Credits: Harriet Roberts.

99 Balloons

My friend Ian wanted to throw a special party for his love.  He asked me for a few ideas that could be turned around on a short lead time.  When I worked in magazines, there was a term "quick and dirty" which meant turning around a proposal or idea quickly and efficiently with a 'bullet proof' outcome.

I love this idea for a simple but meaningful way to celebrate someone's milestone birthday. Ian emailed me 40 photos.  We transposed them all to black and whites and used a photo paper cutter to cut each to a 4x6 size.

I hole punched the top center of each photo and brought them over to meet Ian and his friend Patrick at the venue.  40 helium silver balloons were delivered to us, and the boys began to tie 'em on!  We cut the balloon strings at different lengths to add layer and a little depth to the room.

We passed out sharpies to guests, each found their own special photo and hand wrote a note on the back for the guest of honor to take home that night.

Beautiful result =  Happy birthday boy.  How easy was that?   

Happy 40th, Handsome!  Look forward to tying 99 balloons one day for you! xx

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Loaves, Fishes, The Hamptons...Is It Time Yet?

When well-known Chefs and owners Sybille and Gerrit Van Kempen invited me to do an event with them at their beloved Bridgehampton store, Loaves & Fishes, I kind of had to pinch myself.  I have been a HUGE fan of this store ever since I first started coming out to the Hamptons many moons ago.  The Van Kempens exquisite taste and curation of the space features high-quality American and European cooking accessories from chic "wine purses" to a luxurious linen selection--not to mention, a Foodie's dream bookcase. 

Sybille and Gerrit Van Kempen with me behind the "kitchen for guests." We had a lot of fun serving little bites and creating a signature "Pumpkin Prosecco" cocktail.

I dare you to step inside Loaves & Fishes and walk out empty handed.  Everything from classic salt & pepper shakers, colorful Le Creuset pots to beautiful hand-crafted dishes from Cyprus!  And, the Loaves & Fishes signature spice collection.

Pretty ways to dress up your bar are easy with a little help from L&F.  Hollow out pumpkins, squashes or gourds and fill them with dips, chips, hummus and nuts.  Small bowls of garnishes for your drink tray can include cinnamon sticks, cranberries and caramels.

Our signature cocktail was created in 4 simple steps: 1.) Rub a lemon wedge on the glass rim. 2.) Dip the rim in a mixture of brown sugar and cinnamon. 3.) Drop a teaspoon of pumpkin syrup followed by Prosecco into the glass. 4.) Float a cranberry garnish.  

Guests ranged from resident Hamptons locals, weekend visitors from New York City, couples, families and of course, the lovely Van Kempen dogs!  Talk about three of the most beautiful, well-behaved "Bulls in a China Shop!"

This culinary couple also own a cooking school at the Bridgehampton Inn and a food shop in Sagaponack!  (

Now, my book is sold at Loaves & Fishes!  Look for it this Summer on your weekends in the Hamps! I'll be seeing you there...

PHOTO CREDITS: Daniel Movitz,

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Tokyo, Yo.

It's not every day one of your best friends from the child 'hood' tells you she has fallen in love and is moving to Tokyo?!  While I admire the romance and courage of such a move, I can't help but think of how much I'll miss this birdie before she becomes a bridey! I wanted to say congratulations in Japanese the best way I knew how, by infusing an existing tradition with our closest friends and inviting them over for "Cocktails & Kimonos!"

I created this invite on

I often say in my book, "Mermaids & Martinis" ( that there is a formula to most of my events, the most important element being: "Make. It. Meaningful." And, adhering to a few basics like: always send a creative invite, create a signature cocktail, spend time researching and prepping your decor, build a great menu (one that is not too time-consuming!) and of course, send guests away with something to remember their time together...

I had a lot of fun creating a Signature Cocktail for this one, titled The Cherry Blossom.  The recipe is a slight "twist" on the classic Cosmopolitan.  Instead of regular vodka, replace with Cherry Vodka.  You would be surprised how many varieties of cherry vodka are out there! I garnished each cocktail with a cinnamon stick (to resemble a branch) and tied two cherries by their stems to the top of the sticks (to resemble the blossoms) and hung them over the sides of the glasses.

I like to kick off a party with cocktails and 'little bites', this type of 'cocktail hour' at your home gives guests a chance to say hello and catch up.

A cheese and charcuterie platter is a must! And, so easy to prepare.

I spent tons of time on eBay searching for the right decor items for my table.  I finally found the perfect Sushi boat.  These can be quite expensive so you have to really search around.  To make things easier on myself the day of the event, I pre-ordered the sushi that morning, then I just had to spend some time to artfully place it all on the boat.  You could get really creative with the wooden boat sail (although I didn't for this one) but hand painting it or placing a monogram in honor of the party would look chic. I also took a clear glass square vase, poured a box of black rice inside and used that to display chopsticks.

It doesn't get more meaningful when a friend from our High School creates this masterpiece! Yes, it is a cake. Yes, it is all edible--even the wasabi, ginger and soy sauce ramekin on top were made from fondant.  Thank you to the talented Tracie Turinese, founder of and winner of Food Network's Cake Challenge! 

Bye-bye Boston, Hello, Tokyo. Guests were sent home with different colored glass bottles of sake and little tags that read "Thank You for Coming" in Japanese. 

While not everyone chose to wear a Kimono that night (although I found a great vintage one that I wore proudly!)  One of our smaller guests really got into the theme and complied with the dress code. 

Congrats to one amazing lady and her lucky guy. I look forward to visiting you on the other side of the world as soon as the Cherry Blossoms bloom again.  And, for some serious Karaoke.

PS: Special thanks to Bott & Co. Design for the creative signage!