Stephanie shared this adorable shot of her mom with her Valentine’s flowers. Don’t you want to take her on a tip-toe through the tulips?From: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Thursday, February 14, 2013 12:37 PM
Subject:Thank you so much Gregory you made my mom’s 82nd Valentines Day so special!! Thank you again Stephanie
Thanks to The Desert Sun/ http://www.MyDesert.com for the great interview & video!
That’s right, Valentine’s Day is on its way! Have you thought about your plans for romance? That’s step one- think in advance. Nothing’s worse than trying to impress your sweetie on short notice. So now’s the time to start tossing that idea salad in your head. Dinner at home? Romantic drive to a stargazing spot? Think about your loved one and what fits his or her style. If he’s a pajamas and ice cream on the sofa kind of guy, a fancy 6 course chef’s tasting menu at Chez Fou-Fou might not be your best investment. If she hates Valentine’s Day hoopla, skip the hearts-and-cupids type stuff but have a fun activity she loves lined up. See how that works? Now get those wheels turning in your creative, unique heads!
Be well, and love well.
After laying a big kiss on the first person handy, drunken revelers around the world will break into song tonight as their clocks ring in the New Year. The most popular tune, Auld Lang Syne, asks an important question in its very first line. Should people who’ve walked in and out of your life, and experiences of the past be forgotten, and never thought of? The song has a simple answer – no – for old times sake, think kindly on your life- the highs and the lows, friends and the foes (oy vey, I’m writing my own song. Sorry about that). At its core, Auld Lang Syne is a song about forgiveness. Through the year, we experience other new year’s celebrations in America. And interestingly enough, they have a thread of forgiveness running through them too. Here are three:
- The Lunar New Year celebrated by many Asian cultures. One Chinese tradition, according to Wikipedia, is to “reconcile, forget all grudges and sincerely wish peace and happiness for everyone.”
- Rosh Hashanah he Jewish New Year, is a time for reconciling, and apologies.
- NowRooz, the Persian New Year, includes among many traditions “sa’at- tahvil…a most crucial moment in the life of the family, especially with regard to forgiving past failings, putting away petty frictions that would otherwise fester into conflicts, and looking forward to more constructive relations.”
So when you put on your party hat tonight, and contemplate midnight, think about who you might want to forgive. Oh yeah, and one more thing: think lip balm! Happy New Year everyone…
Live well and love well. And STAY SAFE.
Many are afraid of losing the Twinkie to history. But the word HOSTESS brings on fear of a kind unrelated to chemically enchanced spongecake. Let me be clear: there is no reason to fear having guests. At it’s most basic, entertaining is simple. Order take-out, and be entertaining.
Guests today are not like those of the 19th century. They do not come to your home in white-tie expecting to be served a seven course dinner by your Butler. In fact, if you are clear when you make the invitation, they may not expect to be fed at all. Recently we had friends over and I invited them for drinks and dessert. They plainly knew this was not a dinner party, and were delighted with a special winter cocktail, and freshly baked cookies. But were you neither baker nor drink maker, there are goodies at supermarkets that are delicious, and flavored holiday concoctions that are very celebratory spiked or non! And truthfully, if there is enough food and booze at a party – everyone has a good time.
As for being entertaining, you don’t need your own stand-up comedy routine. There are many easy games that take the pressure off you running the gamut from old fashioned charades, to a full on session of “Dance Dance Revolution,” or if you’ve got a more academic crowd, a rowdy game of Scrabble will do the trick.
So forget making everything perfect! Do you ever hear people say they went to a “perfect” party last weekend? No. Aim for Great! Aim for Fun! Chinese food on paper plates might be the best party you ever had. Take that Martha Stewart.
Live well, and love well.
You know those movies about wacky families that really love reach other under all the craziness? Well, Julia Louis Dreyfuss may not be cooking your High Holiday brisket, and Jane Lynch may not be sorting the sweet potato casserole recipes that will end up on your Thanksgiving table, but the sweet families on the silver screen aren’t that different from yours.
Here’s how I know. One of the men who invented the entertainment industry as we know it, Louis B. Mayer, was the son of a scrap metal dealer who became the most powerful man in Hollywood. Mayer would tell people his birthday was the Fourth of July because he was fiercely patriotic. He wanted America to be all marching bands, fireworks and apple pie. So that’s what he put in the movies. He created the images we all associate with our culture and our country.
These days, filmmakers continue to put their dreams and ideals on screen, but in a more modern way. We see their crazy families, but with softer edges, a lot of humor and a sympathetic eye. And there’s frequently a happy ending. With some good dialogue, could that be your Aunt Phyllis instead of Shirley MacLaine? Can you soften the lens this holiday season to see your family more as human beings who love you and less like a clown car full of confused commuters? I bet you can. Remember, Louis B. Mayer created his own reality. Think more apple pie, less fireworks.
Ah the calendar. Tomorrow, the 4th of July falls on a WEDNESDAY for the first time in many years. For those with office jobs whose vacation days are comparable to certain rare truffles in the food world, this is a big deal. There are calculations by which you can take only a few days off, and yet stretch your vacation and/or wedding weekend to five days, all with the aid of a well placed Monday or Friday out of the office. Thanksgiving is the ultimate centerpiece to the art of stretching PTO: you can take a full seven days and only “spend” three.
But this year (darned Gregorians) Fourth of July isn’t participating. And some are breathing a sigh of relief. Hint: it’s not the brides. People who might have attended weddings this holiday, are attending barbeques. And parades. And celebrating Independence Day well, independently. There are many people who don’t want to have their summer plans set for them by receiving a “save the date” in February and being expected to clear their calendars.
As a bride, it’s hard to see outside the bubble where your wedding is the Most Important Thing In The World, but sometimes people have fun things scheduled at the same time or want to have that option. And that’s OK. (Well your sister really ought to keep her schedule open, but let the rest of your list plan their own vacations, and lead their own lives. It’s not anybody’s fault, and there shouldn’t be any lasting drama or upset about who had something else going on that day ).
All thoughts running through my head on a summer’s day… enjoy your barbeques tomorrow. And the weddings that are happening this weekend! Remember, you can always have sparklers no matter what time of year it is* And no matter who comes, or what the season, your wedding will light up with joy and memories for everyone.
Live well, and love well.
* please check the fire regulations in your area and at your venue!
My Story of The Mass Produced Floral Assembly Line (Why Not To Order Mass Produced Flowers For Mother’s Day)
After graduating from the floral design program at SCROC (Southern California Regional Occupational Center), I pounded the pavement looking for paid work as a floral designer. You don’t just sashay into a place like My Little Flower Shop and say “I’m here now, show me your centerpieces, teach me your aesthetic and I’ll revolutionize your tablescapes.” You have to pay your dues. And pay I did.
My first gig was at a big national chain florist, in the run-up towards Valentine’s Day. The kind with the “official” arrangements available everywhere. The shop I worked at is on a corner best known to hot-dog connossieurs as home to one of LA’s historic hot dog stands. But my workspace wasn’t street facing. It wasn’t anything facing. It was a shipping container. One end was left open, and one side lined with tables. There were five of us, who stood in the shipping container eight hours a day making “dozen reds” (a dozen red roses with baby’s breath and ferns). We made them, and then walked them to another shipping container across the alley, filled with shelves. This started 10 days before Valentine’s, and kept going right through that day. Dozen red after dozen red. Chili-dog smell upon chili-dog smell.
When one of our My Little Flower Shop arrangements arrives somewhere, the recipient can see that we are passionate about what we do. When a girl got a “dozen red” that had been wilting in a shipping containers for 8 days, what do you think she saw? I haven’t gotten a chance to drive by and check, but I bet dollars to donuts that a shipping conatiner full of underemployed, depressed designers is out there knocking out “Mom Bokays.” Is that what you want dropped off at your Mom’s house? Didn’t think so.
So skip the cookie-cutter ProFlowers, FTD, Teleflora nonsense. Go with a real business who will make a real, unique arrangement with real feeling. And who would never put a designer in a shipping container.
Live well, and love well.
Hello Friends! I hope you are enjoying Springtime, and frolicking about at your every opportunity. One thing I’d like to warn about, and it’s something busy folks fall prey to sometimes, including yours truly. It’s the “P” word – Procrastination. Since the Internet came along (will somebody tell Al Gore I’m working on the Peep liver pate, but can’t promise anything) we have further and further fragmented our attention and our time. The latest rabbit hole I’ve come to know the inner walls of is that of “Pinterest” the online bulletin board site. I would log on there and see pictures upon pictures of pretty Easter decor, and yummy treats. By the time I perked up my ears, it was dark outside!
So here’s my tip for anyone finding themselves deep in the depths of any online (or on-screen) activity. Facebook, Word processing, X-box….set a kitchen timer for the amount of time you’d like to allot, and then when that bell goes off, shut it down. It’s not easy. But, as my friend Kermit the Frog tells mare some things in life just aren’t. (He refers to being green, but I think it’s widely applicable).
OK, PSA done. Let the GOOD TIMES, AND THE EASTER EGGS ROLL!
The holidays are full of fun outdoor activities like skiing, sledding and ice skating. I went ice skating with my brother and my husband this week, and I fell rather hard, resulting in four rib fractures.
We all have those voices in our heads that help us make decisions. Red strapless gown to the office holiday party? Your inner neurotic lady would whisper that might not be appropriate (your inner Mae West might have a thing or two to say but that’s a whole ‘nother basket of petals).
Imagine if the skating had been a fun wedding weekend activity. I’d hate to be squeezing fractured ribs into a wedding gown. So be careful in your planning for the fun celebrations. Listen to your inner neurotic lady – she’s got your best interests (and the safety of all your ribs) at heart.
- Real Weddings: Whimsical Winter (sparkleandhairbows.wordpress.com)
- Munaluchi Bridal Fall/Winter 2011 Cover with Preston Bailey (laizalounge.com)