Monday, March 30, 2009

DM Wedding Showcase

On next Monday, April 6th, I will be hosting a Wedding Showcase in my office in New York City.  We will be showing off beautiful new ideas for spring and summer weddings or celebrations.  We will also be showcasing different products by vendors that we work with regularly.  Everything from cookies from one of my favorite bakeries to teeth whitening pens as wedding favors will be highlighted.  

Check back here all this week and next as we highlight the different ideas that we will be using in the Showcase.  

If you are getting married or planning a celebration and are interested in attending, please e-mail for further details.  

Friday, March 27, 2009


In the spirit of spring (NYC is finally warming up!), and because I love India, I thought I would share an explanation of Holi, the annual Hindu festival that celebrates the arrival of spring. Holi also signifies the triumph of good over evil, romance, and the magnificence of color. The second day of the Holi festival is Dhuleti. To celebrate the season, everyone dresses in white and colored water and powder is thrown. The naturally produced powders are believed to have a medicinal effect helping to prevent illness with the arrival of the new season.

The celebration of Holi marks a time when all past fury and resentment is dissolved and life presents you with an opportunity to begin anew. Many use this celebration to strengthen old relationships and build new ones. Wearing white signifies that Holi is a celebration devoid of discrimination, with no difference of class, caste, race, gender, or religion, serving as a valuable lesson in humanity to all of us.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

You Heard It Here First

If you read my blog often, you know that I have a penchant for anything sugar related. I once blogged about whoopie pies and how I had discovered the perfect whoopie pie in the city.

Well, it seems that the New York Times has caught on to the delicious whoopie pies that true dessert aficionados like myself have known about for years. Last week, Micheline Maynard wrote an article called “Whoopie! Cookie, Pie or Cake, It’s Having Its Moment” that explored the origin of whoopie pies. It was quite interesting to learn about the origins of whoopie pies since I grew up enjoying them. Now all of New York will know what I knew already–that whoopie pies are truly a fantastic and delicious treat.

Go to my previous blog to find out where in NYC you can get the best whoopie pies:

Monday, March 23, 2009

Pick A Color, Any Color

Recently, when an employee of mine embarked on the adventure of painting her apartment she struggled to decide on the right colors to use. The most commonly asked question is “What color should I use?” I believe there are more important questions that apply.

When should you use color?

Can the architecture of your apartment or home support colors?

If you have a room with multiple angles, windows with no trim, walls that are shared by two or more rooms, or walls of broken heights, then I believe that these spaces are best suited for shades of white. White will cover a multitude of sins and the clean finish will empower your home decor.

As a child you are taught to color within the lines. When painting our homes, the architecture of the rooms serves as our lines. We have to stay within the bounds of our architecture to illicit the beauty of the scene.

A second thing to remember is that the quality of paint can make the job effortless or dreadfully impossible. I love the fine paints of Europe. The primer and base coats are formulated to support the top color and the primer found in Europe is the best in the world. Although this significantly increases costs, I believe that there are no short cuts in painting. You get what you pay for.

Here is some food for thought:

The average American Household paints approximately every 4 years.

The average European Household paints approximately every 12 years.

Friday, March 20, 2009

A Breath of Fresh Air

Even though it’s snowing in New York, it’s the first day of Spring! And as I did last year, I wanted to write about one of my favorite non-profit organizations, The Fresh Air Fund. They contacted me a little while ago because they are in need of hosts and donations to keep their programs running and wanted to see if I could help.

If you missed last year’s blog, here’s some information on The Fund:
Each year, The Fresh Air Fund provides free vacations in the country to children from low-income communities. Whether the children are able to get out of the city for a two-week trip to the country at a host family’s house, or stay at one of the Funds’ camps, The Fresh Air Fund sets the stage for unforgettable memories and new experiences. Although the children are from New York City, they stay in 13 different states and Canada, so you don’t have to be from New York to volunteer to host a child. And, if you don’t want to host, you can always give a charitable donation to the organization or volunteer at one of its events.

Every year, they give 10,000 children the opportunity to get away for the summer, gain some new experiences, and most of all, have FUN! If you would like to help children have fun this summer, please visit

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tea Time

I recently heard of Tracy Stern, a tea lover like myself. She is the creative force behind the famous Salonteas and has a tea salon in NYC.

Tracy’s inspiration was based on old French Salons and the most elegant tearooms of the 1600’s. Tea was a social connector for artists, musicians and socialites who would all come together and discuss the topics of the day. Although times have significantly changed, Tracy hoped that style, art and tea would still bring people together.

Salonteas are hand-picked from the finest private estates throughout the world and given cute names such as, “The Fashionable Dandy” and “The Romantic”. Tracy really gives the teas a personality. And her salon in New York City has bright colors and antique accessories that really make the environment unique and fun to be in while enjoying a good cup of tea.

Visit to get custom-made teas and tea drinking accessories.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Fresh Breath Has Gone To The Dogs

Recently a really good friend of mine lost her dog during a routine teeth cleaning. It came as a shock to everyone because we, as humans, don’t view a dental visit as something dangerous. As a pet owner, I know that teeth cleanings are vital to Sammy’s health. Studies have shown that the number one health problem in dogs and cats is oral disease. Accumulated bacteria in the mouth can also lead to disease in other organs, such as the heart, liver and kidneys. Small breed dogs should get a dental cleaning done at a young age, around 2 years old. A large dog may not need to get his or her teeth cleaned until their senior years.

When you take your pet to the veterinarian to get his or her teeth cleaned, they will be placed under anesthesia, so make sure to get preliminary blood work done. It is also important to understand the procedure:
1) Your pet will be put under
2) An oral exam is performed
3) The plaque is scaled off and teeth are polished
4) Any lose or broken teeth are extracted
5) Pain medication is administered
However, if your pet doesn’t like the vet, or you are uncomfortable putting your animal under anesthesia, a great alternative to teeth cleaning is Nolvadent Oral Cleansing Solution. This is how I clean Sammy’s teeth and it works great. Nolvadent helps maintain your pet’s oral health and freshens breath too! It can be used as an oral rinse or with a toothbrush to remove food particles and debris from the teeth and gums of your pet.

Whether you decide to take your pet to the vet or clean their teeth at home, make sure you do your research and ask questions!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Joyful Heart Foundation

I believe life brings people and circumstances together and a friend recently told me about this fantastic organization that believes in just that.

Most of you know Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson from Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, but Mariska takes her character and the issues that are brought up on the show very seriously. In 2004, Hargitay started the Joyful Heart Foundation to help survivors of sexual assault heal their minds, bodies and spirits and reclaim their lives. The mission of this charity is to heal, educate and empower survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse and to shed light into the darkness that surrounds these issues.

Joyful Heart focuses on the phrase "stronger together, weaker apart" and their goal "is to let the light, and the life, back in--to banish the darkness and let the healing begin." With the help of crisis centers and safe houses, victims regain their strength both emotionally and physically. Victims become motivated to live their lives as self-determined people and donations and supplies are given to mothers and their children to begin fresh.

While the issue of domestic violence has been in the media recently due to the Rhianna/Chris Brown incident, it is really important to remember that domestic violence happens every day, all over the world, to every kind of person.

When you get a free moment, take a look at the Joyful Heart website:

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Via Emilia

If you happen to be in New York, here is a recommendation for a great Italian restaurant I discovered a few months ago:
Via Emilia, on 21st Street between 5th Avenue and Park Avenue, is a great authentic Italian restaurant. It has a modern look to it and is very appropriate for a twosome or small group to have dinner. The food is fantastic and very affordable.

I would definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone who is in the area. However, be warned that they do not accept reservations and will not take credit cards—it’s cash only at this typical Italian eatery.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Power of the Sun

I’ve always envisioned a world where anything is possible when you put two different types of people in one room and get them to work together. We are all unique in our own way, but we often forget that combining our differences can often lead to a greater result.

There are many simple pleasures in life that can brighten anyone’s day. This weekend served as a reminder that sometimes, the best things in life are free. It was the first glorious, sunny warm weekend of the season, and I did my best to take advantage and spend as much time as possible outdoors. I saw the new energy that the warm weather and the sunshine brought to the faces of everyone I passed as I strolled through the park on a long walk with Sammy.

It was pleasant to see so many people enjoying this long awaited change in temperature. No matter how different we may be, there are still certain things that everyone can appreciate together. I hope that your weekend was as warm as mine.

Friday, March 6, 2009

"One for One"

A couple of days ago I came across a remarkable shoe company called TOMS. Founded by Blake Mycoskie in May of 2006, TOMS has lived by the motto “one for one.” This means that for every pair of shoes you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of shoes to a child in need.

TOMS began designing their products based off of shoes worn by Argentine peasants. Little did Mycoskie know how popular his shoes would become through word of mouth. Starting at a reasonable $48, TOMS shoes come in a variety of patterns and colors to match anyone’s style.

What I like most about TOMS is that the company was ultimately started to help children in need. TOMS brings about new and different ways to give back. Last year TOMS went to Africa and delivered 50,000 pairs of shoes!

You can purchase your own pair of TOMS and help a child by visiting

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Martha Stewart's Morning Living and my Affordable Wedding Ideas

I was invited to talk about affordable and fun ideas for weddings on Martha Stewart's radio show Morning Living this morning. It's on Sirius channel 112. Here are some of my favorite DIY ideas for wedding favors, wedding trends, colors, cakes, centerpieces and affordable design.

Wedding Favors
Miniature Glass Jars from the Container Store (also found online) for $2.49ea. Fill them with your favorite treat and use round label paper ($12.00 for 600 labels) to personalize the jar lid and identify the contents. We used a few different things to fill the jars - mini oatmeal raisin, sour cherry, and potato chip cookies from and personalized Wedding Bell Hersey’s Kisses from (63 pieces for $9.99). We also filled jars with honey--which is a symbol of sweetness and fertility ($2.99 a bear)--and Cadbury Eggs or any candy treat ($3.80 for a 10oz bag).

We also filled a box of my favorite caramels that can be personalized with wedding tags from Good Karmal ($100 minimum purchase required-about $1.00 each piece).

And, my favorite wedding cake cookies from (I've used them for many events!) can be boxed and given with personalized tags to each of your guests ($8.00 per box).

I came across great packaging from one of my favorite bakeries - One Girl Cookie. They package their items so well in cute custome film strip photos of the bride and groom.

Another wedding favor idea that is very out-of-the-box is a professional teeth whitening pen that comes in silver. (VIVO WHITE, $14-$20ea)

Here are even more ideas:
-Evergreen Memories Saplings that support the Alzheimer Society and "Green" events all across North America
-Personalized Wedding Golf Balls from ($2.00 each)

Latest Wedding Trends
Fragrance is important- Candles from Daniel Benedict can be personalized with the couple’s names and dates. (Found at, $10 each - $30 for the set of three - $150 minimum order).

Lunch and early afternoon weddings are a fantastic way to save money and still have a really beautiful event. You can have buffet stations and serve wine with one specialty drink. Booking your venue may be more cost effective too. Another great idea is to have a more intimate guest list for your actual ceremony and later throw a “Wedding Celebration” which is more of a party at a different location for all your friends and family.

Destination Weddings- now is the time- Miami is a great spot now to host a “getaway”. Flights are affordable and places like the new Fontainebleau Hotel have great deals on accommodations.
And- CRUISES! You can find really great bargains now on cruise lines!!!

DIY- do it yourself is bigger than ever before. We did a wedding this summer for a really great family and the bride really wanted to add a few of her own special touches. For her favor, we used the wedding cake cookies from Chocolate Gourmet and she printed out some terrific photographs of her and her fiancé using an online company,, that were tied to the favor boxes. In the end, it added a special something to the wedding favors!

New Colors for Weddings
What are the hot colors for weddings? I have hot colors for weddings but here is my own hot trend: an all white wedding. White is the cheapest color to use--you could even use white paper as tablecloths. For centerpieces, keep it chic and simple. If you want colors, lilac and lavender are great for spring and early summer. For the summer, shades of pink and one my favorite classic colors: grass green.

Flowers in individual bud vases are great. White lilacs in a bud vase would be beautiful and taper candles in different heights would create scale on your table. Also, paper doillies and crêpe paper and carnations are all very beautiful as centerpieces. Keeping the one color philosophy but using different things is very powerful and stylish. Design is key.

Wedding Cake
Old-fashioned cakes from your great grandmother’s recipe box are the trend this year. It will be popular to have delicious cakes this season. I love an old-fashioned spooned frosting cake, which is where you take the back of the spoon and frost the cake in layers.

A Few More of my Favorite Things

I love biodegradable Heart Shaped Wedding puffed rice . ($15.45 a bag)

Golf Wedding Placecard Holders – you can make your own with a mason jar, wheat grass, kabob skewers and mini flags that you print the couple’s monogram on…

And, my favorite gift these days to give is my grandmother's favorite receipes in a personalized cook book. You can do this for the bride and groom and they can later add their own family receipes as well. It's a gift they will treasure and use forever.

This is just a preview of our Wedding Showcase Celebration April 6th in New York City. Stay logged in for more wedding and creative party information!

Birthday Girl

On Saturday one of my employees, Lisa, celebrated her birthday. A big crowd of family, friends and colleagues turned out to celebrate with her. What made me happy was how many of our vendors we are able to maintain a social relationship with. Practically the whole staff of one of the lighting companies we use was there!

It is always fantastic to get to know people outside of work and Saturday was a great opportunity to do just that. Parties like Lisa’s make us remember why we like to throw parties in the first place.

Check out the picture of Lisa and me with the gift I gave her. Every birthday girl deserves a tiara.