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Tips for Hosting a Wine and Cheese Tasting

Wine is one of my favorite beverages along with tea and water. Pinot Grigio is hands down my “go to” wine although wine guru Gary Vaynerchuk told me to get over myself and try new varietals. I’m trying Gary!

I’ve attended a few wine tasting parties thrown by my friend Danielle one of which was a brief intro to shiraz, it was a great night with some great wine. It’s always been a blast although I’m not sure we really learned much about wine even though we did fill out rating cards. I’d like to host my own this time so I turned to wine expert Wendy Crispell, who has designed and hosted many corporate and private events for NY celebrities, top business leaders and industry clients.

Hosting a Wine & Cheese Tasting

by Wendy Crispell

As a wine and cheese professional I believe wine is something that should be accessible to everyone. Many people are intimidated by the vast selection, unknown varietals, labeling jargon and differences in price vs. quality. I’ve noticed that most will stick with an old standby rather than taking the chance on trying something new or different. Hosting your own tasting is a great way to try new wines, explore unknown regions and just have great fun with friends! Read more

Ways to be Practical and Glamorous

I love to feel glamorous just like the next girl…but if you haven’t already noticed — I’m also pretty practical. But there’s room for both in your life.

Practical: Everyday I wear my sneakers to work as I commute on the NYC subway because walking in heels hurts too much.

Glamorous: Once I get to work I slip on a pair of my favorite heels that are neatly tucked away on the shoe rack under my desk.  (Yes, I have a shoe rack under my desk.)

Here is a list of small, daily doses of beauty and style to slip into your daily life that are easy to implement, innovative and budget-neutral from Constance Dunn, author of ‘Practical Glamour.”

Glamour-A-Day Tips

by Constance Dunn

The overall idea is that by engaging in such little moments of luxury, you will increase the positive tip of personal glamour in your life, and look and feel better for it.

Let this list inspire you to create your very own list of practical glamours, and when you do, don’t even think of limiting yourself on those things that will make your world a more vivid and personally lovely place.

Engage an Exciting New Edible

When at the grocery store wander down an aisle you usually don’t frequent, and look for something totally different than the usuals that fill your cart. The exotic, ethnic or imported food aisles are filled with unknown delights. Chicherones, kumquats or smoked kippers, anyone? Read more

Essentials for Throwing an Outdoor Soiree

It’s not even summer yet and already people are ditching their desks and heading for the beach and backyard barbecues. Massive summer parties are happening across the country with many people going all out and getting a tent rental sacramento to fit all of their guests in! After all, summer is a perfect time for a party so why not go all out? Sure you’ll need great food and fabulous music but what else makes an outdoor soiree a success? I asked entertainment expert Mindy Kobrin from Meals on Heels by Mindy for her outdoor-party checklist.

Giant Umbrella

A giant umbrella shields party guests from the blazing afternoon sun and some hanging Buitenlantaarn (outdoor lantern) lights will illuminate the table come nightfall.

Citronella Candles

Mix citronella candles with other colorful tea lights to keep away pests and offer diners light cotton shawls to ward off a chill in the evening.

Fragrant DIY Misters

Give guests a gift that keeps giving by using small spritzer bottles as natural hydraters. Simply add fresh mint and lavender sprigs to each spritzer bottle before filling with water. Affix cute labels and serve on a large platter. Read more

List-Nerd Paradise: Smithsonian Archives’ Famous Lists

Lists are everywhere. They’re in our everyday lives, in history and even in art. I was reminded of this as I walked through the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City this weekend. I went to see their newest exhibit – “Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts, and Other Artists Enumerations from the Smithonian’s Archives of American Art” – also known as…”List-nerd paradise.” I was in heaven.

I’m a serious list maker – but these lists put even me to shame. There were lists of everything! Some were handwritten, some typed, some in drawings and doodles. Lists of animals, jewelry in production, things that made the author happy, models for paintings, expenses, clients, instructions, reasons for being too busy, inappropriate words and more desirable alternatives, resumes, receipts, addresses, costumes, slogans and even paint colors! You name it – there was a list for it.

Here’s a list (of course) of my favorites:

A Packing List

This is artist Adolf Konrad’s packing list. It’s from December 16, 1963. I love how he drew out every one of his paintbrushes, his comb, camera and all of his outfits. Just goes to show – it doesn’t matter HOW you make a packing list…as long as you make one to stay organized when you travel.

Read more

NYC Restaurant Must-Eat List

Photo by: Steve Credo

Through the years I’ve made zillions of lists. One that I return to most often is my “Eating List for NYC.”  I give it to friends and family whenever they visit New York and I add to it if I find a truly exceptional place.

I recently had the pleasure of being a guest blogger for a friend I met on Twitter — Marnely Rodriguez is a pastry chef, foodie and writer from the Dominican Republic.  She wrote a guest post for me called “Must-Have Baking Tool List.” When she heard about my New York City restaurant list — she was thrilled and couldn’t believe she hadn’t been to any of them yet!

You can check out the list here on her blog “Cooking with Books.”

Being prepared with a list (about anything!) will help you enjoy any activity much more.  This is especially true when it comes to looking for restaurants.  I make a restaurant list whenever I go to a new city. (Check out my Chicago picks.)  By doing a little research beforehand — you end up with a delicious experience!

 

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