All Posts By

Barbara

Beauty, Fashion, Pretty Things, Random Things

To a Tee

Back in the day, when I would go card shopping for birthdays and anniversaries at the neighborhood Hallmark Store, Walgreens or CVS, you’d find me in the greeting card aisles chuckling at all the funny cards. There were so many good ones to choose from. That was then and this is now. To be perfectly honest, it has become much harder to find really great cards than it is to find really great statement tees. Some of these tops are so hilarious they make you laugh at loud.  








The statement tee was a big fashion trend in 2016. Once again that trend is continuing through fall 2017. This past weekend I was browsing around the Malibu Country Mart. I saw quite a few adorable tees with very clever sayings. If you’ve ever watched the Chelsea Handler show on Netflix, I’m sure you’ve noticed that she loves a good statement tee and can rock it in a way that any streetstyle addict would be jealous of. She regularly pairs these tops with sleek pencil skirts and pumps, pulling off this look like a well-seasoned fashionista.


While following coverage of Hurricane Harvey this week, I’ve seen many Houstonians wearing statement t-shirts with the slogan, “HoustonStrong.” You can call this an ode to their beloved city as well as the state of Texas. Many shirt designs with this sentiment are selling online for a limited time with 100% of proceeds going to disaster relief efforts. Below are the links to some that have touched my heart.


https://www.highfashionhome.com/houstonstrong-tshirt.html

https://www.chipperthings.com/houston-strong-tee
https://www.theshopforward.com/texas-forever

What kind of statement tees do you have hanging in your closet? Take a selfie and share.

Smooch!

Xx Barbara

Beauty, Fashion, Pretty Things, Random Things

10 Lip Glosses Under $20

During these final days of summer, we can all agree on one thing when it comes to make-up. Lip gloss is that one beauty item that can light up any smile, any face, and any mood on any day no matter how hot it is outside. A swipe of gloss adds that little bit of sparkle and shine to brighten your look day or night. And since a girl can’t have just one, here’s a list of some great glosses to keep in your handbag or beauty bag all under $20.


Clinique Long Lost Glosswear – $16.50
http://www.neimanmarcus.com/CLINIQUE LONG LOSS Glosswear


Lancome Juicy Tubes Lip Gloss – $19.00
https://www.macys.com/LANCOME JUICY TUBES Lip Gloss

Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss – $16
http://www.sephora.com/ANASTASIA Beverly Hills Lip Gloss


                   
MAC Lipglass – $17.00
https://www.macys.com/MAC Lipglass

Sephora Ultra Shine Lip Gel – $12.00
http://www.sephora.com/SEPHORA ULTRA SHINE Lip Gel


Aveeda Nourish-mint Rehydrating Lip Gloss – $19
http://www.aveda.com/AVEEDA NOURISH-MINT REHYDRATING Lip Gloss

                                                      
Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie Lip Gloss – $10
http://www.bareminerals.com/BARE MINERALS MARVELOUS MOXIE Lip Gloss

                                 
Jouer Skinny Dip Long-Wear Lip Gloss -$16
http://shop.nordstrom.com/JOUER SKINNY DIP LONG-WEAR Lip Gloss

                          
Sara Happ The Lip Slip One Luxe Sheer Lip Gloss – $18
http://shop.nordstrom.com/SARA HAPP THE LIP SLIP ONE LUXE SHEER Lip Gloss

                    
Two Faced Sweet Peach Creamy Peach Oil Lip Gloss – $19
http://www.sephora.com/TWO FACED SWEET PEACH CREAMY PEACH OIL Lip Gloss

I can’t wait to hear which brand you like best!!

Smooch!

xx Barbara

Random Things

Mophie Power


Have you ever woken up from a great night’s sleep to see that your cell phone is almost out of power because you forgot to charge it the night before? This can be so frustrating especially when you have to leave for an early morning appointment and there’s no time to fully charge your phone. This sort of thing used to frazzle me when I knew I had a full day ahead of me. That was until I discovered my dear friend Mophie.

http://www.amazon.com/MophiePowerStation

Mophie is a sleek, portable extra battery that you can use to charge your devices on the go. A friend turned me onto this device while we were traveling last summer and I’m so grateful that she did. I ended up buying one as soon as we got home from our trip and I no longer panic when I notice that my phone didn’t charge overnight or when my battery is low by noon on a marathon day. It’s really been a lifesaver having it around.

I keep my Mophie fully charged in the glove compartment of my car so that I can grab it while I’m out and about when my phone gets low. When traveling, it’s light enough to keep in my handbag or tote so that I never have to worry. It also really comes in handy on long flights when it’s time to recharge my iPad while I’m working or watching something.  

 

There are several different kinds of Mophies out there. I bought the Mophie XL Powerstation http://www.amazon.com/MophieXL/PowerStation with multiple USB ports and enough battery for 7 additional charges on my smartphone. It has become my hero on more than one occasion and truly is the “end all”.

Mophie makes a range of different sized powerstations: some thin enough to fit in your pocket, but all are capable of charging anything with a USB charger. Mophie also makes a charging case  http://www.amazon.com/ChargingCase for both iPhones and Androids. It snaps onto your phone and gives it that extra oomph when you need it.

 

 

If you’re one of those who uses your cell phone to multi-task throughout the day or you like downloading movies or TV shows for traveling long distances, then you should definitely get a Mophie. It will become one of your favorite “can’t live without” tech accessories. You’ll see!

 

Random Things

Obsessed With Rocks

 

You may think I’m off my rocker for writing a blog post on rocks, but I’ll go ahead and admit it: I love rocks! I have no idea why – but my obsession with them goes way back to when I was a kid…

Back in the day, I used to have a rock collection and thought any kind of quartz or crystal looking  rock that I found on the ground was simply beautiful. Years went by and I really didn’t think about my love for rocks until my trip to Israel 20 years ago. As I was running up Masada, I kept noticing white rocks in the shape of hearts on the ground and started picking them up one by one as I saw them. They were smooth and all white or a very light gray, and in this special, faraway place it was a signal to me that Mother Nature was spreading her love. Pure inspiration…

You might ask, “ok – sounds great, but what did you do with all those rocks?” Well, when we got to Tel Aviv, I bought an antique clay oil lamp shaped like a dish and a small stand to put it on. I brought all of the rocks home and they have moved with us from Houston to California where they now adorn our living room table.

Collecting rocks is now a tradition for me, whether at home in the Santa Monica mountains, or somewhere new and unknown in the world. A couple of years ago on a trip to Asia, I actually found some interesting rocks while visiting the Great Wall of China. None of them were shaped like hearts – but they were each beautiful in their own right. They made it through customs and are sitting in a beautiful decorative piece on a bookshelf in our bedroom. I also have heart-shaped rocks from hiking in Aspen as well as rocks that resemble hearts from the red mountains of Utah all displayed in different places in our home. Believe it or not, I once received a UPS package with a heart rock inside it as a gift from a dear friend who found it on one of her hiking adventures.

I know it might sound weird, but these rocks all have a special place in my heart and make me smile whenever I see them. Anyone who has ever wondered why I wear a fanny pack while walking on the beach or hiking in the mountains, well…..now you know! Ah! The simple things in life!

What do you collect? Share photos of your collections with me!

 

Smooch!

xx Barbara

 

Random Things, Yummy Things

Fourth of July Favorites

The Fourth of July is all about stars, stripes and red, white and blue everything. It’s also about celebrating, with or without the fireworks. So whether you’re hosting a picnic party or a pool party at home, carrying out the patriotic theme with festive food, drinks and decor makes the holiday that much more of a special celebration.

I walked to the Farmers Market today, and it was obvious while walking around Santa Monica, that many retail stores have prepped and are ready for the July 4th holiday, especially Pottery Barn. They have a great selection of Napkins and Melamine Dinner Plates and what I love about these is they can be used over and over again for all of your outdoor entertaining.

They have other festive options as well. Their Liberty Outdoor Party Banner can be arranged as a table runner or as a wall hanging. The Drink Dispenser is a great investment for anyone who entertains a lot and can be used for absolutely any occasion. You can also use red, white and blue in bold graphic patterns to create a chic and modern Independence Day vibe. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Complimenting your tabletop with colorful foods can be a decorating opportunity too.  I’ve chosen four ‘frozen’ recipes that will keep your guests cool as well as add a few extra red, white and blue touches to carry out the party’s patriotic theme.

Photo from HGTV 

STRAWBERRY YOGURT POPSICLES

Ingredients:

2 C. Sliced Strawberries (10 ounces)
3 Tbsp. Agave Nectar, Honey or other sweetener
1-½ C. Vanilla Nonfat Greek Yogurt

Method:

Place strawberries and 2 Tbsp. agave nectar in a food processor. Puree until smooth with some small chunks of fruit.
Mix yogurt and remaining agave nectar in a bowl until smooth.
Spoon 2 – 3 tsp. of strawberry puree into the bottom of each Popsicle MoldSpoon about 1-½ Tbsp. yogurt on top of fruit. Repeat with another layer each of strawberry puree and yogurt. Place popsicle sticks into popsicles. Cover and freeze until solid, about 3 – 4 hours.

Recipe + photo from Tastes of Lizzy T. 

RED WHITE AND BLUEBERRY PIE

Serves 8
Ingredients:

For the Crust:

2 C. Natural Granola
½ C. Walnuts
4 Tbsp. Melted Coconut Oil
1 Tbsp. Agave Syrup

For the Filling:

1 Quart Vanilla Ice Cream or Frozen Yogurt, softened to spreadable consistency

For The Berry Topping:

6 Oz. Fresh Raspberries (about 1-¼ C)
6 Oz. Fresh Blueberries (about 1-¼ C)
2 Tbsp. Agave Syrup
2 Tbsp. Water
1 Lemon
1 tsp. Cornstarch

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a food processor, pulse crust ingredients until combined and granola is ground to crumbs.
Lightly coat a 9-inch pie dish with butter and press crust into bottom of dish and up the sides.
Bake 10 minutes and cool completely.
In a small saucepan over medium high heat, stir together raspberries, 1 Tbsp. agave syrup, 1 Tbsp. water, the juice of ½ the lemon and ½ tsp. cornstarch.
In another small saucepan over medium heat, stir together blueberries, 1 Tbsp. agave syrup, 1 Tbsp. water,  juice of the other ½ of the lemon, and the ½ tsp. of cornstarch.
Simmer both saucepans of berries until the berries have broken down and sauce has thickened, stirring occasionally with a whisk, about 10 minutes.
Cool and pour each sauce separately through a fine mesh sieve into small separate bowls.
Let sauces cool completely.
Pour sauces into resealable sandwich bags. Snip a tiny amount off one of the corners of the bags.
Alternating bags, pipe circles about 2 inches apart over the pie starting in the center and working outward.
Drag a toothpick from the center of the pie outward to the crust so that the berry sauces are pulled upward.
Drag a toothpick back in the other direction (from crust to center) about 2 inches away from the first line. Continue around the pie.
Freeze uncovered at least 3 hours. Cover with plastic wrap until ready to serve.

Serve with additional berries and any remaining sauces.

Enjoy!

Recipe + photo from Yummy Mummy Kitchen 

FOURTH OF JULY ICE CREAM SANDWICHES

Ingredients:

Ice Cream Sandwiches (full or mini size)
Red White & Blue sprinkles
Popsicle Sticks (optional)

Method:

Unwrap each ice cream sandwich one at a time. Can cut in half if you want to serve smaller bites.
Place the festive sprinkles onto a plate.
Place the ice cream sandwich onto the plate with the ice cream side down so the sprinkles stick to the ice cream. Coat all four sides. Insert popsicle sticks.
Place the ice cream sandwich back into the freezer to freeze again. Continue to do this with each ice cream sandwich.

Enjoy!

Photo from Endlessly Inspired

BERRY ICE CUBES

Ingredients:

¼ C. blueberries
½ C. strawberries, thinly sliced

Method:

Add water to Ice Cube Trays with 1 – 2 berries in each well.
Place into freezer until fully frozen, at least 4 hours.

Enjoy!

Recipe + photo from Damn Delicious

 

 

 

 

Fashion, Random Things, Yummy Things

FATHER’S DAY GIFTS

Yes Sir! June is here and summer has begun which means Father’s Day is right around the corner. We are ready to celebrate all dads…..our own dads, our husbands, our granddads, and all dads-to-be. Below is a list of Father’s Day gift suggestions, in no particular order because there’s something for every kind of guy on this list!

SOCK OF THE MONTH CLUB – $12/month or 12 months – $132
https://www.sockclub.com/SOCK OF THE MONTH CLUB
Each month a newly designed pair of quality socks will surprise each sock club member, make them smile and remind them they are loved. Designed in Austin and made in America.

ICE COFFEE HYPERCHILLER – $29.99
https://hyperchiller.com/ICE COFFEE HYPERCHILLER
HyperChiller will chill a hot cup of coffee in about a minute without watering it down. It’s compatible with all brewing methods and can also put a chill to wine, whiskey or any other liquid ‘vice’ that your Dad may have.

AMAZON FIRE TV – $89.99
https://www.amazon.com/AMAZON FIRE TV
It’s a tiny box that connects your high definition TV to a world of online entertainment. Amazon Fire TV lets you enjoy your favorite TV episodes and movies on Amazon Video, Netflix, HBO GO and Hulu plus enjoy games, music and more.

LULULEMON GIFT BOX – shorts, shirt and boxers – $128
https://shop.lululemon.com/LULULEMON GIFT BOX
A bundle of 3 Lululemon favorites to make dressing for sweating a no-brainer.

AMAZON ECHO – $179.99
https://www.amazon.com/AMAZON ECHO
Plays all your music from Spotify, Pandora and more using just your voice. Answers questions, reads the news, reports traffic and weather and even controls the lights. The options are endless.

LEATHER TECH ENVELOPE – $149
https://www.markandgraham.com/LEATHER TECH ENVELOPE
Luxe leather for the business traveler or wi-fi cafe’ kind of dad: stash cables and cords, cards and cash, travel docs and passport, an external battery plus small electronic devices including an iPad Air, iPad Mini or iPhone. Fold it, snap it and you’re ready to roll.

CRAFT BEER CLUB – $42 / month
https://craftbeerclub.com/CRAFT BEER CLUB
This club entitles its members to an opportunity to sample 12 craft beers delivered each month, all produced by small-production, independent brewers using traditional ingredients and brewing methods.

BEARD TRIMMER – $17.99
https://www.amazon.com/BEARD TRIMMER
This all-in-one beard and hair trimmer with 18 length settings is simple and enjoyable to use. Skin-friendly blades ensure a gentle trim and the rechargeable battery provides 60 minutes of cordless use on a full charge.

FLIP BELT – $22.99
https://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/FLIP BELT
This gift was on my Mother’s Day gift list and is also a perfect choice for the fit dad in your life. The FlipBelt is a tubular pocket that fits around the waist or hip to hold keys, credit cards, phone or whatever else he needs. Everything gets locked into place when you flip the belt inside out and it comes in a variety of colors.

GOLF SWING TRAINER – $52.49
https://www.amazon.com/GOFT SWING TRAINER
Whether your dad is a competitive golfer or plays leisurely with friends, this golf trainer will help develop his core golf muscles, build muscle memory and strengthen his swing helping him to reach his goals while out on the golf course.

KIEHLS MEN’S TRAVEL SET – $43
http://shop.nordstrom.com/KIEHLS MENS TRAVEL SET
This gift set is a mix of classic Kiehl’s products and perfect for the dad on-the-go.

OLLO CLIP iPHONE LENS – $99.99
https://www.olloclip.com/OLLO CLIP IPHONE LENS
This easy-to-use phone attachment has 3 interchangeable lenses: Super-Wide, Fisheye, and Macro 15X zoom. These lenses will revolutionize your dad’s photography skills for any “photo-op” moment.

Random Things, Yummy Things

CHEESE BOARDS – BORING NO MORE!

Lately, I’ve been obsessed with creating cheeseboards. They’re my “go-to” appetizer for dinner parties and friends’ gatherings. Memorial Day weekend is just around the corner….While cheeseboards may not be the healthiest option for a starter, if done right, they can be the perfect addition to any summer soirée.

When I say that I love making cheese trays, I’m not talking about simply throwing a block of cheese on a plate and fanning out some crackers. I like to think of it as flower arranging, but with food! I love getting creative with the cheese and cracker choices, mixing in other items and elevating my cheese platters with an art-like presentation.

When I’m putting together a cheese board, I start with two local spots down the street from me on Montana Avenue: Andrew’s Cheese Shop and Marmalade Cafe. The professionals in both these shops have shared their best tips for creating the ultimate cheese tray:

🍴Choose a mixture of soft and hard cheeses so that there are a variety of textures and shapes.

🍴Choose a total of three to five cheeses made from different milk: goat, sheep, and cow milk.

🍴The general rule is two to four ounces of cheese per guest.

🍴Include both savory and sweet accompaniments on your cheese tray including nuts, cured meats, dried fruits and spreads as well as crackers.

🍴Cheese is best served at room temperature so take the cheese out of the fridge an hour before your guests arrive.

🍴Cut most of the hard cheese on a separate board when still cold prior to arranging it on the cheese tray. No more sticking a knife in the cheese and putting it out.  It’s much tidier this way and the guests will have an easier time with it and enjoy it more.

🍴Go for a clean cut wedge or strip of the hard cheeses that can be eaten in one or two bites – just not too thin where it’s translucent looking.

🍴Blue  or stilton cheese as well as other creamy cheeses like goat or brie, should be kept in a triangle.

🍴Label your cheese. It lets guests know what they’re eating.

Experiment, be creative, don’t be afraid to ask for help, and have fun! No two cheese trays need to look alike, that’s the part I love most.  Remember this: no cheese cubes or Triscuits allowed… or at least not on my cheese trays.

FYI: In case you’re interested in learning more about cheese, Andrew’s Cheese Shop at 728 Montana Ave. in Santa Monica offers cheese classes every other month. They also have a Grilled Cheese & Beer Night coming up on May 26th. For more info: call 310-393-3308.

 

Beauty, Fashion, Pretty Things, Random Things, Yummy Things

Mother’s Day Gifts

Yes darling! The flowers are blooming and spring is in the air which means that it’s that Mother’s Day time of year again! We are amped and ready to celebrate all Moms…..our own Moms, our Grand-Moms, and all of you Mom’s-To-Be. Below is a list of gift suggestions for every Mom in your life.

1. LANDEAU BOUQUET OF ROSES – $179
https://www.givelandeau.com/BOUQUET-OF-ROSES
A luxurious yet simple twist on the classic gift. Landeau delivers bouquets of hand tied roses (25 is the new dozen) and delivers in LA, NYC and Vancouver

2. DYSON SUPERSONIC BLOWDRYER – $399.99


https://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/DYSON-SUPERSONIC-BLOWDRYER
The “mother” of all hair dryers – sleek and lightweight, this hairdryer is truly top of the lineThe special edition version of Dyson’s iconic hair dryer is finished with a pale rose presentation box, felt lining and a magnetic clasp.

3. LEATHER IPHONE CASE WITH STRAP – $98

https://www.bandolierstyle.com/LEATHER IPHONE CASE WITH STRAP
This cross-body phone case is an everyday alternative to carrying a big handbag and the added plus is there’s a slot big enough for a credit card. 

4. COMMUTE CLUTCH $129

http://www.markandgraham.com/COMMUTE CLUTCH
This zippered clutch is designed for the tech-savvy mom on the go. It has plenty of pockets and places to stash cards, cords and cables. Perfect to drop in any tote!

5. HERMES TWILLY – $160

http://usa.hermes.com/TWILLY
This gift is a fabulous accessory that can be worn as a head scarf, tied around the neck, or even as a bracelet tied around your wrist. It can even be wrapped around the handles of a handbag for that added touch of cuteness!

6. POTTERY BARN BEADED SILVER-PLATED PICTURE FRAMES $20 – $48
(monogram available at an extra charge)


http://www.potterybarn.com/BEADED-SILVER-PLATED-FRAMES
This is a “go-to” gift that is perfect for any mom. These picture frames are even available with a monogram for that added touch of personalization! Don’t forget to include a favorite snapshot.

7. TAXI WALLET – $49

https://www.amazon.com/TAXI WALLET
The taxi wallet is great for an evening out or traveling. It holds coins,  8+ credit cards and there are two currency pockets for bills.

8.  THIN OPTICS – $19.95 – $29.95

http://thinoptics.com/ THIN OPTICS

These reading glasses are so small, thin, and lightweight they that they can go on a phone, in a pocket or in a wallet. Handy – to say the least.

9. ESTEE LAUDER PRESSED GOLD POWDER COMPACT – $42.50 Neiman Marcus

http://www.neimanmarcus.com/ESTEE LAUDER PRESSED GOLD POWDER COMPACT
This pretty gift makes a statement to the mom in your life. A beautiful little compact perfect for touch-ups or applying lip color and small enough to fit in an evening bag.

10. FLIP BELT $28.99 

https://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/FLIP BELT
The perfect gift for the fit mom in your life – the FlipBelt is a tubular pocket that fits around the waist or hip to hold keys, credit cards, phone or whatever else she needs. Everything gets locked into place when you flip the belt inside out and it comes in a variety of colors.

11. OLLO CLIP IPHONE LENS – $99.99
https://www.olloclip.com/OLLO CLIP IPHONE LENS
This easy-to-use phone attachment has 3 interchangeable lenses: Fisheye, Super-Wide and Macro 15X zoom. These lenses are going to revolutionize your mom’s selfie game!

12. BEES KNEES HONEY TRIO – $39.99

https://bushwickkitchen.com/BEES KNEES HONEY TRIO
A flavorful trio of honey is gluten-free and paleo friendly for that honey of yours who enjoys her time in the kitchen or her evening cup of tea.

13. POLAROID ZIP INSTANT PHOTO PRINTER – $129.99

https://www.amazon.com/POLAIROID-ZIP
This portable pocket-sized device pairs wirelessly to any smartphone or tablet and uses a dedicated app available for IOS or Android users. It allows you to print your pics from just about anywhere on 2” X 3” smudge-proof paper. Perfect for any “photo – op” moment.

14. PERSONALIZED NAME NECKLACES $250 – $1,396

http://www.markandgraham.com/PERSONALIZED NAME NECKLACES
This necklace tells a story – and can be personalized with one, two or three different names in a beautiful calligraphy script. Perfect for any mom or “grand” mom.

 

Hope you have a fabulous day celebrating Mom (or being celebrated)!

 

Smooch!

xx Barbara

 

 

Beauty, Pretty Things, Random Things

APRIL SHOWERS

A few months ago I was at my niece’s bridal shower in Texas and believe it or not, there were 30 hostesses giving the luncheon (which means 30 names on the actual invitation!) It may sound difficult to co-host an event with 30 people, but once you learn a few tricks, it’s actually easier. I know for sure my Houston friends have this system of co-hosting down because they do it with perfection all the time.

When my son got engaged, I got many calls from friends sending love and congratulations. Soon after that initial phone call, many called back and asked to be put on “the list” to entertain. This is a tradition across the south and midwest. Our family and friends came together to make sure my son and his fiancee were “showered with love”. They offered to entertain by either hosting a bridal shower or an engagement party. Everyone wanted to host something to help create more room for love and celebration.

Over the years, I’ve co-hosted many of these celebrations for both family and friends and I’ve learned what makes an event memorable. Here are some of my favorite tips and ideas for a fun and flawless bridal shower.

Ask How Many?
Before you can begin to plan, It’s important to get an idea from the Bride, Mother of the Bride and Mother of the Groom how many guests they’d like to invite to the shower. Will this be the bride’s only shower or party or will there be a few? Determine how many hostesses will be giving the event. The answers to these questions will help you determine if it will be an intimate gathering or larger event.

Pick Your Venue
Once you determine the number of guests, the venue often falls into place quite naturally.  If it’s a smaller shower, one of the hostesses might offer her home while a larger guest list may require outsourcing to a restaurant. Once you’ve settled on the venue and size of your party, your group can then decide how to proceed.

Stick To A Budget
Most people usually have a budget when it comes to entertaining. It’s normally less expensive to entertain at home whether you cook, order in, or have the party catered. However, an at home event may become expensive if you need to rent chairs, tables, china and tablecloths. Restaurants have their own hidden expenses; many restaurants have a minimum guest requirement if you are requesting a private room. When researching restaurant options, be ahead of the game and ask questions to find out all additional costs they may charge for private events. If there are a lot of other hostesses sharing the costs of the event, having the shower at a restaurant might make sense and be cost-effective. Every scenario is different so do your research!

Delegation is everything
It’s the norm that one of the hostesses (usually a close friend of the bride or groom’s mother) takes charge of the event. She secures a date from the bride and sends out an initial email asking the other hostesses how they’d like to help and what they’d like to help with. People offer to do different jobs like ordering the invitations, addressing and stamping the envelopes, choosing centerpieces, buying the bridal gift and choosing the party favors. The different duties and jobs are divvied up amongst everyone. The hostesses split all expenses, and it works out beautifully.

 Know Your Bride
Every bride is unique and if you tailor the experience to her, it will be all the more meaningful. My daughter-in-law Jayme loves shoes and the color pink. For her bridal shower in Houston, the hostesses carried out that theme just for her. From the invitations to the cake, the flowers, the napkins and the party favors; everything was personalized and picked out just for Jayme!


Just Chip In
Sometimes the event is happening out of town and you can’t be there to organize or help with the nitty gritty. If this is the case, it’s ok to leave the specifics to the local hostesses. They will appreciate you “chipping in.”  When the tables are turned and the event is in your hometown, you can take more responsibility…it all evens out in the end!

Play Games
When you have a more intimate shower, games are a great way to break the ice between guests and a fun way to pass the time. A few personal favorites are wedding jeopardy or trivia, wedding bingo, and heads up. For instructions and even more ideas, check here. Pinterest is full of great ones and is my go-to for great bridal shower games.

Shower Gift For The Bride
The hostesses usually go in together and get a nice shower gift for the bride. Some ideas include pieces from her Bridal Registry like place settings of her everyday china, pots and pans that she registered for or a special kitchen appliance that she’s been wanting.

Hostess Gift
It’s also customary for the bride to give a hostess gift to each person hosting the shower or luncheon. Some examples of this are a personalized memo pad or stationery, monogrammed napkins or gift enclosure cards, a beautiful candle, or an accessory for entertaining like a set of appetizer spreaders.

Click here Barbara’s Bridal List to download my personal checklist for a flawless event.

 

Random Things, Yummy Things

GINGER’S BRISKET

GINGER’S BRISKET

Just the smell of this brisket in the oven takes me back to my childhood home and my mom’s delicious cooking. This brisket is pure comfort food that continues to be a staple around my family’s dining room table not only during Passover but at other gatherings throughout the year.

Here is my mama Ginger’s foolproof recipe:

Ginger’s Brisket

Ingredients:

3 – 4-lb. brisket (buy only the flat part of the brisket; have the butcher trim off the fat
but leave a little on top so that when you cook it, it’s not chewy and tough)

1 jar of Heinz chili sauce

1 pkg of Liptons dry onion soup

Method:

Rinse off the meat and pat it dry with a paper towel. Smear the chili sauce and the dry onion soup on the top and bottom of the brisket. Leave it in the fridge overnight to season and marinate. Wrap the entire brisket up airtight in heavy duty foil and put it in a shallow roaster. Cook 1 hr. per pound at 250 – 275 degrees.

The pan should come out clean, then let the brisket cool down to room temperature and refrigerate overnight. Slice it when cold.

Enjoy!

And by the way, if you’re cooking for a large party, you can easily make 2 briskets at a time. Just double the recipe!