Hello Again, Hello

Slim Aarons Ill Pellicano

A swanky speedboat landing at Il Pellicano by Slim Aarons. Yes please. This place is forever on my hit list. For now, I might need to just procure myself a print and dream of this coastal Tuscan wonderland, Speedos and all.

Hi all. It’s me. I’m back from hiatus, or perhaps more appropriately put, the “no time for anything except motherhood and job”. And so it goes, what the hell did I do with all of that time pre-kids. Time is a funny thing, no matter how much of it you may have, you always manage to fill it up- kids, no kids, single, married- whatevs. There’s never enough of that precious commodity, I am constantly running against it, trying to find more, all the while promising myself that I will eventually “slow down” and use more of it to just be present and chill. “After the birthday party, after the show opens, after the company leaves, after after after…” Maybe I should just do it now, but honestly, I don’t know how. Help. Any brilliant time managers out there who know how to save a little time, put it in your pocket, and be sane for part of your day? Do share. Not complaining, just wondering.

I’ve been busy, yes but busy working on a pretty fun project and spending some pretty fun moments with the kiddos for their birthday celebration. I just finished work on “Cabaret”- that masterpiece of a show written by the incomparable duo, Kander & Ebb, is there a better written show? “West Side Story”, “A Little Night Music”? I don’t know, I think “Cabaret” might top my charts, it is masterfully woven together with a terrific book and killer songs that themselves are staples of the ultimate musical theater songbook. I was the Associate Choreographer on the show working with my friend and huge talent, Matthew Gardiner who directed and choreographed. Our cast is aces and the creative team top notch, it was an honor and a thrill the whole way around. If you live in the DC area, come to our Cabaret- it is truly good stuff.

The morning after opening night, we jumped on a plane and fled to DisneyWorld with the kiddos for their 3rd birthdays. It was awesome. More on that later.

For now, we are are settling in to summer- yay- and doing our damndest to eek out every last moment of this too-short season.

What I’m Drinking:

Pink stuff… of course. I’m digging this Corbiéres beauty, brought to us by the one and only Kermit Lynch. In Kermit we trust- the man can do no wrong.

A Few Things: 

I’m making this tonight. I’ll let you know how it comes out.

How cute are these little kid clothes? I know I know, they’re oh so hipster chic but they are pretty darn cute.

After debating whether or not to serve juice (one of the few things I have successfully managed to deny my own kids- it’s for your own good kiddos, I swear), I decided to forego the juice and instead serve fruit-infused water. Yes water. Boring? No way man. It was so good- I forgot just how good something as simple as some fruit thrown in a jug of water can be. I’m hooked and will permanently be leaving out a giant canister of the stuff- I’m liking these Jaime Oliver combos- especially the berries and mints- yum.

What in the world, Shia. I have to admit, I’ve watched this more than a few times. I love his little plié crotch-framing move, I might have to add that one in to my personal repertoire.

Why are you so right, Ina. Her lemon vinaigrette is my salad dressing go-to.

This cocktail from Chaplin’s is making my day. A giant sprig of rosemary lit on fire, a splash of amaro and vodka- come on.

Yum. Just yum. Berries and cheese. Can you tell I’m hungry?

Fourth of July Cupcakes- cute.

We just had a Pirates and Princesses Birthday Party- it was a big hit. Give kids a bunch of foam swords and a backyard and you’re kind of golden. I love the looks of this galactic-themed party- maybe for next year?

20 Design Mistakes You Don’t Even Know You’re Making- or maybe you do.?

If I had $1500 to blow on some barstools, I might have to snag these.

Cin Cin y’all. Hope you are having a lovely June week.

 

 

 

Related posts:

Clever Girl's Crayon Valentine
Happy Weekend and Happy Mother's Day!
7 Simple Things to Brighten Your Day
  

Happy Weekending!

awesome people hanging out
I love this photo. 

What are you all up to this fine spring weekend? We might brave the crowds and take in the wonder of the Cherry Blossom during peak bloom. My friend Rashmi advises to get there at sunrise, that’s what her family does to capture the true beauty of the blooms sans crowds. Sounds magical, we will aim for it with the expectation that we will probably arrive around 10:30 just in time to whisper swears out of ear reach of the kiddos when there is not a parking spot left to be had. We’ll take in my talented friend Karen Reedy’s dance company at DC’s Dance Place as well, where they are tag-teaming with San Francisco’s Project B. in performance. If you live in the area, get yourself a ticket! Karen’s choreography is so swoonful, I wish it could dance me to sleep every night.

What I’m Drinking:

The cherry blossoms are blooming- just another good reason to drink pink. I’m liking this one lately- a perky pink Pinot from Sonoma, yum.

In Other News:

My friend Liz Larsen is playing Carole King’s mother on Broadway in “Beautiful” (NEED TO SEE THIS SHOW!). It was just another day on the Broad-way last night when the legend herself popped in to see the show. She sat down backstage with the cast for an impromptu master class. What the what! That’s Liz in the corner wiping away tears as she videos and sings harmony.

How brunch is taking over the world.

A Navy Seal explains why making your bed may the most important thing you do today.

Dove’s new beauty campaign spawning spoofs all over the blogosphere including this one and criticisms across the interwebs like this one. What say you to all of this?

Which iconic movie house should you live in? (I got Cameron’s house from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off- I always loved that house!)

These little beach radios remind me of my pink Sharp QT-50 boombox circa 1986- that thing was awesome, do you guys remember these?

The cookbook I’m drooling over and its restaurant I need to patronize.

I love this little chambray blazer.

Hilary hires this Google gal to head up her tech dept. It looks like she’ll make the big Hil for Prez. announcement this weekend.

This Atlanta designers’ patternful and color-filled home is the cat’s meow. That lighting fixture- that coffee table- those prints on prints. Love it.

Turns out it wasn’t just bad teeth, a few reasons why nobody smiled in old photographs.

If you’re short on space in your kitchen, this is a stylish storage solution.

An afternoon at Georgia O’Keefe’s Ghost Ranch.

Hip Hip Hooray- the Brontosaurus is back! Next up- we need to get Pluto back in the game.

Cin Cin ya’ll and Enjoy!

 

 

 

Related posts:

Happy Weekend!
Happy Weekend!
Monday Musings
  

Say Hello to Your New Favorite Drink: The Perfect Springtime Cocktail!

springtime cocktail

So the blogosphere and your favorite feeds are flooded with “the perfect springtime cocktail”, yeah yeah… well, my friends, let me assure you- you can Pin no further, for I have found the ultimate drink for spring, and not just for springtime drinking by the way, this cocktail may become your most favorite for anytime sipping all the year-round. I know I will be serving this up at my birthday party this summer- and that’s saying a lot for a vino gal whose go-to is almost always a straight up glass of French bubbly.

Discovered at my friends’ recent glam spring nuptials at the iconic Four Seasons Restaurant in NYC, I could not get enough of this signature cocktail. Just what makes this pretty little drink sing such a sweet springtime song? The blissful combo of spring’s favorite first vegetable, rhubarb, and that spunky Italian aperitif, Aperol.

Crafted by the bride herself, Meryl Rosofsky- a food studies professor and food writer extraordinaire (fun fact: Betty Fussell was one of the officiants at her ceremony- cue the badass quotient), this cocktail in Meryl’s words, “features bubbly Prosecco, the Italian aperitif Aperol, club soda, and a splash of rhubarb amaro, rhubarb being a harbinger of much-longed-for spring!”. Yep, she knows how to put it together.

This springtime spritz is indeed spritzful, refreshing, light and flavorful with a punch of big citrus and freshly picked herbs. It drinks like a stylish Italian out for her passiagata- the traditional Italian pre-dinner stroll – with the fragrant springtime air blowing her hair just so, as she readies to settle in for the perfect bowl of pasta at the most picturesque outdoor table her local trattoria has to offer. Too much? Maybe. But honestly, this drink puts me there. As I’m sipping, I’m strolling the streets of Rome on a warm spring evening. Like I said, I’m not a cocktail gal, I’ll always go with a great glass of vino, but this one is La Dolce Vita on the rocks, kids.

Without further ado, here’s your new favorite drink:

The Wedded Bliss Spritz

What You Need:

-3 ounces Prosecco

-1 ounce Aperol

-1 ounce soda

-¼ ounce Rabarbaro Zucca Amaro (rhubarb amaro)

*if your bar is not already stocked with Aperol and Rabarbaro Zucca Amaro, this is a great excuse.

What You Do:

-Pour over ice in wine glass and stir.

-Garnish with orange slice.

Cin Cin and Enjoy!

Meet Our Contributor Meryl Rosofsky

Photos: Erin Baiano

 

Related posts:

Ain't No Party Like a Pumpkin Patch Party
The (Cheek) Hangover
Happy Halloween
  

Happy Weekending!

Press for Champagne
I need one of these next to my pillow. 

Happy Weekend folks. What are you up to this winter’s-still-holding-on-but-officially-spring weekend? We’ll be hanging with the kiddos and then venturing into DC to see the legendary Rebirth Brass Band with some pals (thanks for the invite Linz!). Sunday, we’ll drive up to a wedding at NYC’s Four Seasons Restaurant (cue Bauhaus geekout- I’m such a nerd for this place). Our friends’ nuptials will be officiated by the incomparable duo of one James Lipton and one Betty Fussell (cue Actors Studio and culinary geekout). I have been dying to meet the iconic Fussell since my friend Amy D. so beautifully profiled her here and here. I pretty much just want to be Betty when I grow up.

Let’s hope the snow and wintery mix weather subsides, this time of year is such a tease. What adventures are you all off to?


What I’m Drinking:

Meryl and Stuart’s Signature Cocktail: “Wedding in Springtime” which, in Meryl’s words, features “bubbly Prosecco, the Italian aperitif Aperol, club soda, and a splash of rhubarb amaro, rhubarb being a harbinger of much-longed for spring!” Sounds delicious. 
A Few Things:

An award winning app that allows us all to catalog the family story. This is cool.

Julia’s trick to poach the perfect egg.

These wedges are both gold and Dr. Scholl’s- that’s my kind of shoe. Win win.

The best and fastest way to make a delicious scrambled egg taco.

What is means to “hold space” for the ones we hold dear.

7 Super Tuscan dishes that will take you right to the heart of Italia.

Just one of the reasons that Jimmy Fallon may be one of the greatest talk show hosts of all time. Love this guy- this is awesome.

The 5 things one woman learned when she said YES to her daughter for 24 hours.

A Lavender Eye for Spring? I like it.

18 Pinterest-staged photo fails- this is pretty funny.

These flowers! Spotted on The Yellow Table- I can’t stand it, so pretty I want to eat them.

I just ordered up this pretty floral skirt for spring. I never wear skirts- giving them the old college try again.

And just to send you off to the weekend the right way, here you go and… you’re welcome.

 

Cin Cin good people. Happy Weekend!

 

{Image: Elle Decor re: Lisa Golightly}

 

 

Related posts:

A Cocktail Sandwich
The Shop Around The Corner- Literally
Cook Books
  

Happy Weekending!

pink house
Pretty in Pink- Charleston

Happy Weekend dear readers. It has been a long week with my grandmother passing. I will head home today and try to get back to “normal” life. It’s been a wonderful week of celebrating our Meme and spending time with family and friends, a great reminder of what is most important in life. Our post-memorial reception turned into an all-night impromptu dance party and there’s not a whole lot in the world that a spontaneous dance party can’t cure- my grandmother would have loved it.

What are you all up to this weekend? We will be packing up the minivan and heading down to Charleston for some R&R, beach time with the kiddos and some serious eating and exploring. I’ll be sure to take copious notes and sketch out a great city guide based on our time there. We’re staying at a little beach house on the Isle of Palms, hopefully we’ll catch a few warm days. We’re looking forward to eating here and renting a bike to properly tour the charming city. We’re taking a Low Country cooking class here and taking the kids here. And if any of you all have any recommendations, please send them my way. I haven’t been in years so am really looking forward to some Southern hospitality.


What I’m Drinking: 

Mint Juleps on our Charleston porch- rocking chairs required. Here’s a classic recipe from New Orleans bartender, Chris McMillian. And apparently Charleston’s The Gin Joint’s got one of the best Mint Juleps in the country. I might have to see for myself.
In Other News: 

This Geico ad is hilarious, I want to be in the room when these things are thought up.

How to get the most out of your cookbook collection- great tips from Lauren Salkeld.

A Secret Weapon Stir Fry Sauce- this is awesome.

The new meaning of luxury (read: why Instagram is flooded with so many photos of delicious cups of coffee).

Yay- a new Tina Fey sitcom.

I love this easy breezy long dress for summer.

Headed to South Beach but can’t spring for The Raleigh (my personal fave- that pool!)? Park it at this chic hostel- I promise this is not your momma’s hostel. There’s one coming to Chicago too.

My friend Anna wrote a Food & Wine piece on this mother daughter duo last year. Here they are again, their Burgundy Cook’s Atelier’s is on my list! I’d love to go with my mom.

Tom, Katie and Suri- a Scientology Story. I read the book that this new documentary is based on, it is unbelievable. Can’t wait to see what the filmmakers have done with it.

The Keurig cup inventor feels bad that he ever did it. :-(

Vince Vaughn and pals pose for cheesy stock photos that can be all yours for free- hilarious.

Andrew Knowlton spends 24 hours straight at the Waffle House working as a line cook.

Cin Cin ya’ll and Happy Weekending!

{photo by Doug Hickock}

Related posts:

Get 'Em While They're Hot (60 Years Later)
Happy Weekend!
Happy Weekend!
  

The Contender: An Oscar-Worthy Champagne Cocktail

“I coulda been a…”, well-  you know the rest. In honor of one of my favorite scenes on celluloid comes one of my very favorite cocktails and just in time for the Red Carpet- a Champagne Cocktail of course as it is the Oscars.

The Contender

The Contender
A Champagne | Limoncello | Honey | Thyme | Cocktail- because all of this stuff is awesome just like Marlon.

What You Need:

1. A bottle of Champagne or any delicious bubbly.
2. 1 cup honey
3. 1 cup water
4. A delicious limoncello. (I’m using a pretty special bottle gifted to me by a great pal- this one comes from New Orleans).
5. A few sprigs of thyme.

The Contender


What You Do: 

1. Make a honey syrup using equal parts. 1 cup honey to 1 cup water. Heat the honey, add water and bring to a boil. Take off the heat and let rest until room temp.

2. Add 4 oz. honey syrup to 2 oz. limoncello in a small pitcher or glass.

3. Pour in about 1/5 of the way up your chilled Champagne glass (I like to use white wine glasses for my bubbly but a flute will do nicely too.)

4. Top off with Champagne.

5. Garnish with a sprig of thyme.

Cin Cin and Enjoy! You are Red Carpet Ready.

Related posts:

A Cocktail Sandwich
24 Hours In...
Sardi's, My Sis-In-Law & A Sidecar
  

Monday Musings

RDV the goods
(wine tasting at RdV)

Ahh- the holidays. A new week of merriment. A new week of Christmas cookies and peppermint mochas. A new week of firsts for my little ones. We watched the classic Rankin & Bass Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer for the first time last night and I have to say, Santa is kind of an assh*$e in that version. I hadn’t remembered it that way but he’s pretty self-involved. It’s funny when you find yourself looking at all of your favorite holiday to-do’s through your little one’s eyes- much is revealed.

Childhood nostalgia gone awry aside, I’ve been meaning to share a few tidbits with you all since we last met. After Anna Watson Carl and I hosted our Bubbly and Bites gathering at the darling Red Barn Mercantile, we ventured out into the Virginia vines to explore the juice making that is currently underway at Rutger de Vink’s famed RdV Vineyard. I have partaken of their 2 blends, the Lost Mountain and the Rendezvous and already counted myself in as a big fan (I included their Rendezvous in the lineup for our Anthology entertaining story), but had yet to visit the winery or vineyard. In a word- it’s stunning. The detail and thought that has gone into building the winery and planting the vines is truly commendable. RdV sports a cozy and rustic-meets-minimal tasting lounge. I say lounge because they have foregone the traditional tasting bar for a more relaxing den complete with cowhide, hand-crafted walnut stools and antlers over the roaring fireplace. The vibe at RdV feels exclusive without being so. Anyone is welcome, as long as you are cool with paying the $50 tour and tasting fee which I say is worth it as it includes a lengthy tour led by a Lucchessi boat-wearing, sassy tour guide/gal Friday at the winery, and a glass of Pol Roger bubbly upon arrival. Guests are welcome to stay as long as they please and while away a winter’s day in front of the fire with lovely views of the vineyards that were sure to be a tough grow. de Vink knew as much which is why he set his sights on the land. The rocky earth would indeed provide the perfect growing conditions for Bordeaux varietals that beg for impossible to farm anything but grapes soil. I’m sold. His stuff is great and he’s got top notch Bordeaux blender Eric Boissentot blending for RdV as well so they’re in good hands. If you live in or are visiting the DC area and appreciate good vino, make it a must-do on your list. Sign up for a tour/tasting here.

RDV

The other newsworthy tidbit I wanted to share was that the hubs and I were lucky enough to procure another invitation to the Kennedy Center Honors this year. There were no White House cocktails in the mix this year, but the show and gala were plenty. I mention this because the show itself was so exceptional that I highly recommend you all either set your DVR’s or watch it broadcast on CBS Dec. 30th. I’ve instructed all of my ballet students to tune in because Tiler Peck of the NYC Ballet gives perhaps the best performance of Balanchine’s Fascinatin’ Rhythm to date in honor of famed dancer and Kennedy Center Honoree, Patricia McBride. Not for nothing, my hubby agrees as does his dad- both of which have seen the variation danced dozens of times by different ballerinas including the magnificent Ms. McBride herself- that her performance is far and away the best they have ever seen. Tiler Peck KILLS it. Even if you are not a big dance fan- do yourself a big favor and watch her dance- she performs the solo with enthusiasm and technical prowess matched by unbelievable musicality and theatricality. I’m going out on a limb here and saying that I do believe Ms. Tiler Peck may be my favorite female dancer of all time (well her and Cyd Charisse). She has a way of not just executing difficult steps with effortless grace, but she’s got something much more important and elusive- she’s got moxie my friends- and that seals the deal for me. Oh, and Lady Gaga is pretty fierce tributing Sting- not to mention The Boss- say what! Just watch it, it’s pretty great.

Kennedy Center Honors
Donning our dapperest at the Honors.

 

And a few other things: 

-First things first: I’m all caught up with Serial- AHHHHH! Now what? I can’t believe how good this investigative journalism is- or maybe I’m just a sucker for Sarah Koenig. I dig that there are 5 million viewers trying to solve this crime all huddled around their SmartPhones or laptops, not exactly the picture of a Fireside Chat, but I love that people are listening to radio- a medium that still allows for our own brains to fill in the holes. The last episode airs this Thursday, if you have not fully succumbed to this phenomenon, do yourself a favor and Pod it up.

-We popped open a special bottle of Brunello brought back by my brother and sis-in-law from the Mother Country. This one’s special because the grapes are harvested to Mozart. That’s right, those lucky little vines are listening to Wolfgang day and night courtesy of several loud speakers set up in the vineyards- an on-going experiment in fellowship with the University of Florence and Pisa. Does it make a big difference? Only time will tell- this bottle was a bit young (and in truth, opened mistakenly by my husband as I was hoping to cellar it for a few years but c’est la vie) but I love the concept and it was complex and delicious. Next time I find myself in Montalcino, I’m hightailing it to Il Paradiso di Frassina.

-If you’re looking for a great sugar cookie recipe for those Christmas cookies- I’m loving this one from Food & Wine. We made it this morning. My only adaptation was putting in a full teaspoon of good salt- I like a bit more salt in my cookies.

-Homemade Peppermint Mochas via The Faux Martha- ’tis the season!

-We had the great pleasure of sipping some pink Krug this past weekend. We took my mom to Grape and Bean’s annual Champagne tasting where we were in for a treat. Not just one glass but two glasses of Krug were served- the Grand Cuvee and Rosé, not to mention the very tasty Janisson & Fils rosé brut and two grower champagnes of which I failed to jot down. That’s what happens when you get a bit of the bubbly in ya. One of the highlights of the evening beyond the bubbles, was Matt Carroll, a local Somm and current Master Somm candidate. If you’re shrugging your shoulders, just take a look at this doc to see what he’s putting himself through. He was fabulous, smart and most importanly, approachable.

-16 French locales that belong on every wine lover’s bucket list.

-If you’re looking for a new Insta feed to follow, look no further than my pal Vina’s feed. She’s the local foodie and head honcho of all things social media over at the Eat Good Food Group- the mecca of good eats in Old Town, so she knows her stuff and takes pretty pictures.

-22 times Jennifer Lawrence didn’t give a ___. And the love affair continues.

-And speaking of starlets, it’s always the right time for an Audrey Hepburn movie. If you’re queue is short on Audrey, here are a few more to add to it.

Happy Monday and Cin Cin!

 

Related posts:

How To Open A Bottle Of Wine SANS Corkscrew- What?
The Contender: An Oscar-Worthy Champagne Cocktail
Her Last Dance
  

Happy Halloween

There's a Mermaid in my Kitchen

There’s a mermaid in my kitchen. I love this wacky holiday. Happy Halloween all. What are you all up to this fall weekend? We’re hightailing it out of dodge, straight to a cabin in the woods with some pals. Should be fun and maybe a bit spooky too.

Lots of fun things swirling in the air. My favorite shop in town is hosting their annual Holiday unveiling next week and I am one of their Gift Guiders, picking out a few choice things for the Host in your life. If you live in the DMV, pop by Red Barn Mercantile on November 6th from 6-9pm for the party and get a load of Amy Rutherford’s beautiful shop- one of the best edited little shops around, I always want everything in there.

And lastly, we are slowly but surely making our way through Ken Burns’ The Roosevelts. Are you all watching this? It is endlessly fascinating, particularly the FDR chapters. And looking forward to HBO’s Olive Kitteridge this weekend starring the one and only Ms. McDormand. Loved the book, curious to see how it translates to a miniseries.

A Few Things:

This just makes me feel old. Trying to play that down and be #casual about it, but truthfully it’s not really Normcore. What the what? And “Quiche”?, I’m not really buying that one, reminds me of “Fetch” from Mean Girls.

Make candles out of your mini pumpkins and get some delicious seeds for roasting while you’re at it. This one is suitable for the craft-challenged Martha wannabees out there, like me.

Have you seen the Matthew McConaughey car ads? These Jim Carrey parody ads from SNL are pretty hilarious.

Follow my talented friend Rashmi as she documents her family meals and recipes. She’s cataloging to make a recipe book for her girls and I’m loving her beautiful and stark photos. Find her recipe photos at #rashmicooks. All this AND she makes a mean Lionel Richie Jack-o-lantern. My kind of girl.

An entire ghost town goes up for auction today.

Awesome idioms from around the world via Cup of Jo.

Succotash Gazpacho Shots? Ok, I’ll bite.

She’s hilarious.

What You Learn in Your 40′s. I’m not there yet but it’s getting awfully close.

I love this - made from the fruits of an autumn stroll- a good little craft for the kiddos.

This skirt. I wish they made it in my size, had to get it for the girl.

If I were throwing a Halloween bash tonight, I would definitely be serving up this cocktail.

Halloween just wouldn’t be Halloween without the nostalgic annual viewing of this 1980s PBS filmstrip to “Danse Macabre”. We used to watch this every year in elementary school music class. I was always (and still am) completely fixated by this filmstrip as dated as it is, that’s part of its charm.

Related posts:

Dear Effortlessly Chic Florentine Man,
Happy Weekend!
Cuckoo for a Straw Clutch
  

10 For The Host with the most

This time of year brings lots of travel (yay!) and sometimes a night or two or three at a pal’s place. I like to come bearing gifts for my Host with the Most, especially those I wouldn’t buy for myself- tiny cake stands anyone?

 

10 For The Host With The Most

A Perfect Picnic Basket- come on, who wouldn’t want one of these? Especially one this cute- from tastemaker and blogger extraordinaire Sarah Sherman Samuel, comes her new line of artisanal entertaining goodness. Everything is deliciously lovely and I am always partial to a picnic basket.

Some Coastal Coasters- bold and graphic, these hand-painted, non-toxic ceramic babies are the recent collaboration of BottleStock Shop’s Whitney Adams and Rissa Sandman. Evocative of a summer day at bay or just a cool addition to your host’s bar cart. P.S.: She’s having a 30% off sale today on everything but these Coastal Coasters and there are some fancy things to be had. I for one love her corkscrews. Code: HUMPDAY

A Classic Candle- the tried and true hostess gift. Can’t. Go. Wrong. And this one boasts a stylish exterior with an on-sale price tag to boot.

An Awesome Apron- for the stylish cook who’s more French linen chic than Betty Crocker ruffled. I can’t stand how awesome this apron is.

A Tie-Dyed Towel- this Turkish towel is styled up a notch with its tie-dyed detail. The perfect gift as it’s small enough to wear as a scarf but still big enough to use as a beach towel, sarong or wrap. From my favorite shop in Alexandria at Red Barn Mercantile.

A Stylish Soap Dish- Not your Grandma’s soap dish (or maybe it is if she’s into Mid-Century bric a brac), this brass wire beauty will thrill its new owner with its clean lines each time he/she scrubs up.

A Cheeky Print- because who doesn’t want a pretty watercolor of a strutting leopard in their home? If your host is fabulous, he/she will love illustrator to the fashion Gods (Hermés anyone?), Caitlin McGauley’s print. If you’re concerned that it may not “go” with your host’s decor, worry not as Jenna Lyons famously put it, “as far as I’m concerned, leopard’s a neutral.”

A Tiny Cake Stand- if your host is truly the most when it comes to baked goods, he/she will love this mini jadeite cake stand. And even if they suck at baking, you’ll never tell and they’ll still love it.

Some Swanky Stirrers- a great host is a master of the cocktail party and what better tool to help one further master that fête-ing art than this set of glass stirrers. They’ll feel like Sinatra, and what’s a better gift than that!

A Punchy Throw- again, something I wouldn’t buy for myself but would love to receive. This one’s sunny, soft and boldly graphic- sure to punch up any room.

And if all else fails, my tried and true gift for my Host with the Most- a great bottle of bubbly or rosé or even better- bubbly rosé. I recently had this one at my birthday dinner at DC’s Proof which boasts a beyond-killer wine list, including $18,000 bottles of DRC- sigh (who is actually ordering that- talk about a baller move). But honestly, this Legret NV pink bubbly was one of the very best I have ever imbibed and that’s saying something. Get it here, your Host will be psyched and while you’re at it, get a bottle for yourself too. Traveling can be hard work- pop it open when you arrive home. Cin Cin!

Related posts:

Have a Beautiful Weekend
Volatize This! A "Jerk"-Approved Spanish Rosé
Happy Holidays!
  

Happy Weekend!

 

Dad and I

Happy long weekend dear readers. It’s my Dad’s birthday today. He would have been 72. There we are above circa 1976 in that amazing wood paneled den. Love you Dad, you will always be the coolest. Miss you and your generosity, humor, big love, wisdom and sense of adventure every day.

I hope you are all off to some fun and adventure in the spirit of this holiday weekend. We’re hanging around these parts trying to gussy up this joint. It is taking for-evah. I failed to properly estimate the time it would take me to fully unpack and semi-organzie with 2 toddlers in tow. It’ll get done one of these days… or not. In the meantime, we continue to navigate through our basement and garage like we are the All-Stars of the last season of Hoarders. We’ll throw in a bbq somewhere this weekend amidst the constant disarray. That’s sort of what life is though isn’t it. Throwing in the fun stuff amidst the chaos- something like that.

What I’m Drinking:

Le P’tit Rouqin from Olivier Lemasson. This fantastic gamay is brought to me by Ian Cauble’s new venture, Somm Select. From one of my favorite importers, Louis/Dressner, comes this terrifically acidic and food friendly but still fruitalicious Loire gamay. Strawberries, lots of flinty and clay minerality and a hint of tobacco and spice pepper this beauty. A light-to-medium bodied red that is so so good. Check out your local wine shop for Louis/Dressner imports as this bottle has already peaced-out from Somm Select and can be a bit elusive. It’s only about $20- a steal, as much of the Loire Valley can be.

A Few Things:

This cool new wine business (as mentioned above). A Master Somm’s picks straight from his palate to your front door. Well, something like that anyway. I’m a fan. I was cheering for Mr. Cauble in the recent smart vino doc, Somm and think this is a bright new venture for the now lettered MS. He’s got a beautiful Bandol up at the moment.

3 Great Foodie Memoirs- I can never get enough of these things (if I ever have time to read that is, which is never- so strike that whole comment but these do look interesting).

This fun little feature on my girl Jessica Pariseau. I just saw her in Cabaret and she is on fire kids. Go girl- one of my favorite people.

Katie Parla’s Proust-inspired Questionnaire- the subject: food writer Alec Lobrano. I’m always in the mood for a Prousty questionnaire especially when it involves food and musings upon it.

Who needs a bar cart anyway? Not me with these little ones running around, that’s for sure. This looks pretty good.

How NYC’s neighborhoods got their names. Hmm.

This terrific article written by my good pal, John Carroll. He never disappoints- one of the funniest and sharpest dudes I know.

For bougie bohemians, Mara Hoffman launches her first home collection at Anthropologie. Eyeballs and feathers and arrows, oh my. This is a little too blogtastic for me, but I do like a random eyeball here and again.

Holy Smoky Flavors- 10 Brilliant Grilling Secrets from the latest of issue of Food & Wine. A newbie convert to the wonders of the grill- I can’t believe what I’ve been missing- I was thrilled to get this latest issue in the mail as it is pretty much entirely devoted to the good sport of grilling.

A behind-the-scenes look at book cover design from the bookish folks at Chronicle.

Funny. I especially like June Squibb and Gary Oldham’s reactions.

Cin Cin ya’ll and Enjoy.

 

Related posts:

Movie Musical Appreciation Week
Inky Art
That Cake From Bringing Up Bébé : The Valentine Edition