Summer Picnic Essentials

Summer Picnic Essentials- Picnic Tips You Can’t Live Without

Did you know that July is National Picnic Month?  Me neither, but I love a picnic, so I thought this would be the perfect time to share some of my summer picnic essentials.  My first memories of picnics were with my parents in Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco with some fresh sourdough and salami.  My idea of a picnic has changed a bit since then, but it’s always about good people, good food and good drinks.  For this photo shoot I decided to have a picnic at La Brea Tar Pits. They have several beautiful grassy areas either in the front or in the back.  We chose a quiet area in the back with lots of shade. There is a fee to enter the museum but not to be on the grounds and have a picnic. 
 
Here are my Summer Picnic Essentials:
Summer Picnic Essentials
  1. Make sure that all of your food is in separate containers.  I really love the the compartmentalized container that I used in the photos, it keeps 5 different items separated but in the same container for easy transportation.  It’s BPA free plastic which is lighter that glass and non-toxic. 
  2. We recently bought a picnic table which makes picnicking on uneven services much easier.
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Tips for Hosting a Cocktail Party

Cocktail Party Etiquette for the Host and Guest

For this week’s blog, I’m getting some help from my friend, Modern Etiquette Coach, Maggie Oldham. My husband and I attended one of Maggie’s dining etiquette classes last year and learned so much. She really has a great knack for making etiquette modern and relevant in today’s world. That’s why I asked for her help when I had some etiquette questions for my cocktail party that I had last month.  We chatted on the phone about some of my questions and I thought it would be a great idea for an upcoming blog post.  So here are the Maggie’s Modern Cocktail Party Etiquette Tips for the Host and Guest:
 

Cocktail Party Etiquette for the Host:

How do you gently ask people to leave? A great way to signal that the party is coming to a close without having to directly and verbally ask guests to leave is to gradually start turning on lights, turning down the music and beginning the cleanup. Guests will get the hint that it’s time to leave when they see you putting dishes in the sink or tying up the trash. This, in addition to the lights, will give guests a visual clue while the music gives and aural clue.… Read Full Post
Dr. Corey Fruct, anti aging anti acne

Anti Aging / Anti Acne Dermatology Secrets

Today I’m sharing a video with tips on how to tackle anti-aging while you’re also struggling with acne.  I’ve had acne most of my life in some degree or another, and I want to make sure I’m doing all I can to also tackle anti-aging.  That’s why I asked Dr. Corey Frucht to sit down with me and answer some tough questions.  Dr. Frucht is a cosmetic dermatologist at Santa Barbara Skin Care and he has to answer these same questions from his patients. 

A little back story and how I met Corey, he and his wife Jesse are members of Sanford Winery, just like me and my husband.  We attended Sanford’s Annual Pinot Blending and Lobster Feast in May, and were sitting at the same table.  I love meeting new people!

Ok, now let’s get to it….here’s my latest video Anti Aging / Anti Acne Secrets from a Dermatologist, learn a cosmetic dermatologist’s secrets to keeping your skin acne free, while also doing all you can for anti- aging.  In case you missed it, I also reviewed my favorite sunscreens in May.

 

 

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Bubbles and Berries

Bubbles and Berries Cocktail

Today on the blog I’m sharing a recipe for a drink called Bubbles and Berries. It’s inspired by the Bubbles and Berries cocktail at the restaurant Beauty and Essex in Los Angeles. If you follow me on Instagram and see my Instastories, you know that I thoroughly love Beauty and Essex. I’ve been in contact with their PR group and they were so gracious to give me the recipes to several of their cocktails, which I’ll be doing in a future post.  Unfortunately, they did not give me the recipe to this one, so I watched the bartender carefully and made a few tweaks to come up with this recipe. Specifically I don’t have sweet-and-sour at home so I make my own.  It’s actually a lot easier than you’d think, all you need is simple syrup and lemon juice.  

I must add that I haven’t always been a fan of St. Germain, which is an Elderflower Liqueur.  I first had it in a signature drink at a party, I immediately disliked the drink and thought it was because of the St. Germain.   Since then, I’ve avoided all cocktails with St. Germain, until this one because the waitress at Beauty and Essex said you couldn’t taste it.… Read Full Post

Tips for Hosting a Cocktail Party

7 Simple Tips for Hosting a Cocktail Party

I believe that the cocktail party has changed since I started hosting them 10-ish years ago.  They went from an event with great food, cocktails and friends to an event that has the only main purpose of being Pinterest/ Instagram ready. I always think that layout, the look and feel are important, but I feel that often times people are so worried about it looking “perfect” that they forgo the quality of the food and the drinks.  While I do work on the aesthetics of the party, I will never forgo the experience of the party: the ambience, music, cocktails and food.   

I learned how to host proper cocktail party from my sister-in-law. She is the consummate host and has legendary Halloween parties in New York every year, among others. She has a lovely New York City apartment and everything is always set up beautifully, but she pays most of her attention to the ambience, music, food and drinks, complete with impeccably appointed servers and bartenders that tended to your every need.  While we don’t have servers at our cocktail parties, we always have a bar with a bartender to help out and add to the experience. I always request that they help me pick up glasses and plates during the party too.… Read Full Post