Friday, February 27, 2009

Give and Give

Last week I loaned a friend some apothecary jars so that she could fill them up with candy for a baby shower. Yesterday, she sent us a great thank you gift—especially for someone with a sweet tooth like mine.

We received a beautiful box of “Good Karmal” caramels, one of the sweets she used to fill the jars. The caramels are fantastic and they come beautifully packaged. What’s more, a portion of each sale is donated to environmental causes, so you are helping the environment as you enjoy a treat.

Each caramel comes wrapped with a vellum ribbon that has different sayings by famous thinkers written on it. One of the chocolate caramels I ate had a quote by Diane Ackerman that read “I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.”

Visit to learn more or to buy some caramels for yourself or a friend.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Complex Flavor of India

Not a single recipe in Rahgavan Iyer’s wonderful book 660 Curries: A Gateway to Indian Cooking contains curry powder, he explains, because authentic Indian curry is a sauce-based dish with endless distinctive variations—nothing like the generic blend of spices found at your supermarket.

He said that Indian food has eight building blocks. They include the five basic tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and “umami,” whose existence was confirmed in 2000, when scientists discovered receptors for it in the human tongue. (Nuts and cheese are among foods considered very “umami,” which has been described as “savory” or “satisfying.”)

The other three elements other than taste that define Indian fare include an astringent element (turmeric), pungent elements (peppercorn, chili, garlic and cloves) and aromatics (cardamom, cumin, coriander and cinnamon).

Thanks to this complex blend, Iyer says, Indian food is the world’s most sophisticated cuisine. I think he makes a good argument.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Photos for a Lifetime

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I recently went through a bunch of things I’d had in storage for years. It was really cathartic to go through all of my old belongings and relive many memories.

I found lots of pictures that were just stuffed in boxes among other things.

I believe that photos allow us to relive our past and share it with loved ones. Photo albums are a great way of cataloging your life’s adventures and cherishing your fondest memories.

A more personalized method of organizing your photos is by designing photo books. I have been making photo books of all of my events using iPhoto on my Macintosh. This quick and easy program allows me to personalize my photos and illustrate a story with a sophisticated, yet modern style.

For those of you who may want some help organizing your memories or would like to create a great gift for a loved one, maybe a professional organizer is the answer. Ali Tenenbaum is a good friend who specializes in organizing your photographs by creating custom Albums and Scrapbooks.

Please visit her website at

Friday, February 20, 2009

Anne Frank

I came across quite an inspirational quote from Anne Frank the other day. She once said that, “No one has ever become poor by giving.” I thought it was a sentiment worth sharing, especially given the economic circumstances we are all finding ourselves in these days.

The point of the “Give Back” section of this blog is to not only concentrate on monetary donations, but on giving in general—whether that helps your spirit, loved ones, the environment, etc. So, take a moment today to reflect on Anne’s quote and think of how you can “give back” to yourself and others without necessarily spending money.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


On my February 3rd blog, I talked about a wonderful gift that I received from a very talented woman. Accidentally, I misspelled her name which might have made it more difficult for you to find her.

You can check out Ginny Schumacher's designs at

Sorry about that, Ginny!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

An Innovative Way to Use a Lemon

Last week we had a staff breakfast in the office. We called the Brooklyn Bagel Company to deliver bagels, cream cheese and lox – a typical New York City breakfast. When the food arrived, we discovered that they had come up with the most innovative way to present the capers on the lox platter: they had put them in a hollowed-out lemon.

It was really a great idea, so I decided I had to share it with you.

Check out the picture below:

Do you have any other cool food presentation ideas you'd like to share? Please comment.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Two Heads Are Better Than One

Today I thought I’d blog about the power of two. My jewelry designer friend Laurence has teamed up with the creative director of Guerlain, Olivier (another friend of mine), to produce a magnificent lipstick line called Rouge G by Guerlain. It is absolutely the sexiest lipstick I’ve seen. Laurence designed the case and Olivier designed the colors that are encased within. It is a gorgeous thing—and all the online reviews are saying the lipstick is supposed to be revolutionary.

Just goes to show you what great things can be created when two minds come together. I guess the old saying is true…

Read more about this lipstick at

Friday, February 13, 2009

Give Love

I was going through some personal files on Wednesday and I came across one of my mother’s most prized collections. Stuffed in a bag hidden away in an empty photo album was my mother’s collection of Valentines from her days as a school child to her days as a mother and aunt. How perfect that I found them a couple of days before the 14th!

The Valentines really span decades and showcase the craftsmanship and quality of paper goods of these times. They are really amazing and a real joy to look through.

These days, it’s hard to come by such special Valentines, but make sure to let the people in your life know how much you love them. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Spanish Peanuts

A couple of weeks ago I decided to get away from the city and go on a little vacation to the Caribbean. While I was there, I had a great snack of Spanish peanuts that were different from the usual peanuts I eat. They were very small and quite tasty—definitely the best peanut variety I’ve tried. If you’re ever at a gourmet grocer, see if you can find tiny Spanish peanuts. They are definitely a fabulous snack!

And, did you know that peanuts aren’t actually a nut? They are a legume since they grow on vines or stalks.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Recycled Products

Here at David Monn, LLC we always strive to recycle as well as reinvent “used” ideas. For a kids’ party a few years back I used an artist’s soda can figures as centerpieces.

And recently, while coming up with party ideas for a very eco-friendly client, we stumbled across a pretty cool company. Developed by two Princeton students in 2001, Terracycle makes recycled products from everyday waste. They sell bags and backpacks, natural cleaners and degreasers, and even fertilizers. Better than that, they make it easy to take your trash—so long as you adhere to the rules of what they’re looking for. They have all sorts of programs that strive to “eliminate the idea of waste”.

Check out their website ( and read more about their views and how you can set-up a recycling collection site.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Fly Right and Donate

Are you like me and have tons of frequent flyer miles that you don’t use? Donate them to a worthwhile cause!

A lot of people don’t know that many charities in the United States accept donated airline miles so that they can conduct their business more easily.

While different airlines have different rules about which charities you can donate miles to and how, it’s usually pretty easy and can be done by making a phone call, sending an e-mail, or filling out a simple online form. For instance, Delta will let you donate miles to the American Cancer Society, the American Red Cross, Canine Assistants, Habitat for Humanity, and Unicef (as well as many others) by sending a quick e-mail.

While the donations are not usually tax deductible, if your miles are about to expire or you simply have too many, you might as well donate them and support a worthy cause – it costs you nothing!

For more information from major airlines, go to the links below:

Delta -
United -,,1363,00.html
US Airways -
Continental Airlines -
American Airlines -

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Stinking Rose is an Aphrodisiac?

In preparation for Valentine’s Day, I thought it would be fun to list foods that have aphrodisiacal properties. Some of the foods are not surprising (like the tried and true chocolate), but others are unexpected (garlic anyone?).

If you’re preparing a special dinner for your significant other on the 14th, make sure to incorporate some of these ingredients into your cooking!

Sweet Basil
Broccoli Rabe
Pine Nuts

Go to to read more about these foods. And make sure to let us know what recipes you like that involve some of these ingredients!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sammy's New Coat

As a holiday present I received the most amazing gift from one of my fans and I thought it was so wonderful I had to blog about it. Ginny Shumacher made Sammy a wonderful suit coat that was so perfect for him! Made of brown and white plaid, it had everything from a pocket square to a matching leash and collar. It was even embroidered with Sammy's name! And, Ginny made me a fringed scarf so that I can match with Sammy when we're out on our walks through the city.

I recently blogged about how to care for your pets in the winter, and this coat is a great addition to Sammy's cold weather closet. When Sammy needs to go out in the cold for his daily walks, he'll be walking down the streets in style. Thanks Ginny!