How to Get the Most Out of Your Summer

How to Get the Most Out of Your Summer Before It’s Over

Today, I’m talking about how to get the most out of your summer.  So I know that technically August is not the last month of summer, the official last day of summer is Saturday, September 22.  However, for many summer will end because school starts or the weather changes and starts feeling more like fall.  So how can you get the most out of summer during the last unofficial month?  I would suggest making a list of the things you may want to do, then weed out any items that you won’t be able to accomplish because of budget, timing, weather, etc and add them to a maybe list.  
 
Get your family and friends involved.  Everything is always more fun when you get more people involved right?  Find out who wants to join you on your adventures.   Find out what adventures your friends and family want to do and join them too.  Make it a group effort to make the most out of the last month of summer.
 
So, making a list seems so business like.  Why would I suggest it?  Unless you make it official by making a list, there are so many ways to forget and you’re much less likely to do things.… Read Full Post

[Updated] Summer Picnic Essentials- Picnic Tips You Can’t Live Without

Did you know that July is National Picnic Month?  I love a good 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.  I believe you can have a picnic almost anywhere, whether it’s on the roof of your home or apartment building or at a local park like the La Brea Tar Pits.  I do believe in brining a few of my favorite items to make sure that the experience is perfect though.
 
 
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. Especially if you like to take your picnic to the beach. 
  3. I also really love my insulated picnic basket.
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How to Pack a Wine Picnic

How to Pack a Wine Picnic- My Favorite Essentials

If you’ve seen my Instagram, you know that I love going wine tasting and I love a good picnic.  If you’ve ever been wine tasting, you probably noticed the strange phenomenon that wineries rarely have food.  If they do have food, they usually don’t have much variety and it won’t be gluten free (I’m gluten intolerant).  Therefore, I’m in the habit of packing a wine picnic when we go wine tasting.  I’ve packed quite a few at this point, so I know what works and what doesn’t, so I’m pretty much an expert on how to pack a wine picnic.
 
Here are my Wine Picnic Essentials:
 
How to Pack a Wine Picnic
 
  1. I decided that instead of buying a picnic table cover that I would simply re-purpose one of my Turkish beach towels
  2. It can be very windy on a vineyard, so these colorful cloth napkins come in very handy.
  3. I love these great melamine salad plates and they all fit in the picnic basket. 
  4. Pack an all purpose cutting board
  5. I love to bring music with me too, but make sure that you’re not bothering other people.  I love this Beats Pill.
  6. I also really love my insulated picnic basket.
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Guess What? Labor Day is Not the End of Summer

That’s right, Labor Day is not the end of summer, well officially that is.  Many of us are used to thinking of Labor Day as the end of summer, because the weather can change and many summery things close down.  When I lived in New York City it certainly started feeling like fall shortly after Labor Day, so I started to think of it as the end of the summer season. That is not the case in Los Angeles where it can often be hotter in September then it is in August, weird right??   Today’s high in Los Angeles is supposed to be 81° degrees and it’s supposed to be 82° New York City.  So if it looks like summer, feels like summer and acts like summer then it’s still summer… SO let’s celebrate summer!  

Summer has always been my favorite season, this goes back to my school days. I never liked school that much (what kid does?) so I was always excited when I was out of school and always a little bummed when I had to go back.  Even if you live in a colder climate than Los Angeles, I have some tips to make sure that you celebrate every last drop of summer and good weather while it lasts.… 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