When you don’t want a political party.

Tough political fights are expected this election season. How do you keep them out of the dining room come Thanksgiving? Here are some tips to keep your holiday a non-political party.

  • History repeats itself: Who’s given campaign speeches during appetizers before? Speak frankly about their behavior making family members uncomfortable.  When asked politely, most people’s bad behavior can be cut off at the pass.

    Change the subject - talk abut the floral centerpiece!

    Change the subject – talk abut the floral centerpiece!

  • Set ground rules: We think that everyone knows not to discuss politics and religion at big gatherings. Not so. Take a cue from boxing refs and make an announcement: “I want a good clean dinner! Any partisanship gets you bumped to the kids table!”
  • Shut it down: If someone does spout off, don’t just roll your eyes and go with the flow. Be firm but polite, and change the subject. This is your house.

With these tips, your holiday table can be a politics free zone! Time with family can be stressful, but remember, we also need to be grateful for these folks who drive us crazy- because we also happen to love them very much. Enjoy your family!

Be well and love well.

-Dinah

Happy New Year! Everybody celebrate!

The Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah, celebrating the start of the year 5775 begins tonight at sundown. Whether or not you are Jewish, I vote that you do something celebratory tonight or tomorrow.  Let me tell you why.

My Little Flower Shop wishes everyone a Happy New Year: L'Shanah Tovah!

My Little Flower Shop wishes everyone a Happy New Year: L’Shanah Tovah!

Many cultures have New Year’s traditions and rituals, and most of them are fun and involve tasty food.  In addition to this Jewish celebration, there’s the Persian holiday Nowrooz, all the variants on the Lunar New Year across Asian cultures, and America’s own version with Dick Clark in Times Square.  Why not have everyone celebrate everything?  What better way to foster understanding and cross cultural togetherness?  Plus- New Years times four or five sounds fun doesn’t it?  Who’s in?  Start tomorrow with some apples and honey for a sweet new year.

Be well and love well.

Dinah

Joan Rivers: Celebrity Wedding Planner

When the world looked at Joan Rivers, they saw a pioneering comedienne.  Me too, but I also saw the woman who pushed me into a career in wedding planning.  How could an insult comic I never met set me on the creative path that’s landed me as a wedding planning, etiquette and fashion authority at the top Palm Springs florist? Here’s how.

In 1998, Melissa Rivers, Joan’s daughter, got married.  Joan swung into action as a celebrity wedding planner, seeking out the services of innovative event designer Preston Bailey to create a glittery snow garden inspired by “Dr. Zhivago” with 30,000 white flowers for the wedding at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.

Inspired by Dr. Zhivago, Russian opulence permeated the wedding.

Inspired by Dr. Zhivago, Russian opulence permeated the wedding.

 

The magazine photos live in my brain to this day. When a client says “winter theme” that’s what I see.  That extravagant celebration showed me what was possible, what creativity could imagine and what opportunities were there to be a part of such events.

Thank you Joan, for your inspiration towards stylish entertaining – and being entertaining.

Be well and love well.

Dinah

 A lovely post script: Joan officiated at the wedding of Preston Bailey and his partner Theo Bleckmann on Valentine’s Day in 2013.