Thursday, January 29, 2009

Valentine's Day Cakes

Because my birthday is the day before Valentine's Day, I always had a heart shaped cake. I saw these beautiful cakes and had to share them. The bottom cake is from Dean & Deluca.


Well, luggage styles and brands come and go. I just love my Hartmann luggage. It is a little on the heavy side, but with the wheels, etc., it is nice quality and looks great. When you are in high school or college, or for weekend trips to friends homes, cloth or trendy styles are great (my girls have lime green and bright blue shinny hard roller cases and matching cloth Vera Bradley bags). When traveling on a business trip or after college, high quality luggage makes a nice statement and will last you many years.

My all time favorite Hartmann item is my cosmetic case. I love it because I can put it on the bathroom sink in a hotel and work out of it. When I am finished, I simply close it up and put it away.

I had my first case for 10+ years and it was lost at the airport. Because I forgot the combination for the lock on a trip to LA, the second case (purchased on ebay) had to be opened with a crowbar. Instead of sending in it to get it repaired (which is expensive because of the postage), I am simply looking for another case on Ebay.

Monday, January 26, 2009


On my list. Think this would be a fascinating read.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Domino's Fabulous Blue Room

Friday, January 23, 2009


While training for the Olympics, a family friend rented Michael Phelps his apartment in Ann Arbor. Our friend had to clean it out after Michael P. moved out and left town. Look what was left and he gave this to my son.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Well, friends....I have been a pretty sick with the flu--yes the real flu that happened to be the strand that was not covered by our lovely flu shots. Every year my children seem to be traumatized by getting this little shot, so since they and I contracted the flu, next year I am sure will be an easy sell for the shot again! I have really missed you all and keeping up on your lives.

While watching non stop television for the past week, I happened to watch Martha Stewart and her Inaugural Luncheon edition and it reminded me of my husband's many experiences working with her while he was a executive at Kmart. Even though I do not care for her personally, I am a stil a huge fan of the Martha Stewart machine

1. Anytime she was hired and was put up at a hotel (paid for by Kmart), she would empty the mini bar! Yes, this multi-millionaire would empty the mini bar and bill Kmart for it. This was even before her prison days.

2. While in the receiving line to meet Bill Clinton which she was a guest of Kmart, she was appalled that she had to wait in line with everyone else. You heard it right. When Clinton met her, he just said hello like he would to anyone else and she was unbelievably bothered by this and would not calm down for about an hour.

Her Inaugural show focused on the Congressional Luncheon meal served after the actual Inauguration. She managed to give indirect little digs about how she would have done things including having a table setting. Guess what Martha, they did not consult you or hire you!

While preparing the meal, I saw Martha slyly wiping her nose with a tissue and then went on cooking without washing her hands--perfection and great catering lessons--I think not!

Not to be hard on Martha, but she not a very nice person. I know she is talented but her Inauguration ticketed looked the same as mine or yours which is probably hard for her to believe. You are just one of the people some days girlfriend.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Well, I am sitting here FREEZING! Why do we live in Michigan? We do like to ski though, but it is way too cold for me to ski. Anyway, I could use a little summer. I saw these little treasures at Swoozie and think they would be great for the pool!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

MIKIMOTO--Make an Investment in Pearls

My first set of pearls were from Mikimoto. During a returned from a trip from Jordan, I presumed my driver would put my cosmetic case it in the trunk. My pearls survived a trip to the Middle East which include a flash flood in Petra, the war in Iraq (which I did not attend but was close), the Dead Sea, and my stay with some of the elite families of Jordan who live within fenced in compounds since they are worried about being overthown or robbed), as you probably guessed, my darling pearls were gone! My quest for replacement pearls has lasted about 3 years.

You think shopping for diamonds is confusing, wait until you shop for a nice set of pearls. Several jewelry stores carry a low end brand by Mikimoto, but unless they have the clasp featured above, they are not rated and are not worth the investment.

Well, a little about pearls. This is from the Mikimoto Website:

There are five physical factors that determine the quality of pearls and that are important to understand when buying pearls:

Luster: Only the highest quality pearls with the best luster carry the MIKIMOTO name.

Surface Perfection: A pearl is considered more valuable when the surface imperfections are minimal.

Color: Color is based on preference, but it is always important to find a color that is rich and evenly distributed on the pearl.
Shape: Perfectly round pearls are the rarest and most valuable.

Size: Generally, the size of the pearl affects the price.

Mikimoto pearls are rated on the scale above and once you see the AAA pearls, nothing else will really do. My old set was a AA with a slightly pink tint and I loved them. One more thing for my birthday!

Texas Society Black Tie & Boots Inaugural Ball

One of the best and most sought after parties at the 1998, 2000 & 2004 Inauguration was the Texas Society Black Tie & Boots Ball-and yes, the men are wearing boots and cowboy hats. To purchase tickets, you had to be a member of the Texas State Society or be willing to pay a pretty penny to purchase tickets from a reseller.

So, for the 2009 election, my husband and I were not going to be left behind. We joined the Texas State Society and purchased 4 tickets. Even though we did attend the Clinton Inauguration in 1998 as well as the Bush 2000 Inauguration, we have no interest in being part of the craziness that will surely descend on DC next week.

So, like most others who were optimistic on the election outcome and were not going to miss this party again, we are trying to sell our tickets via ebay. We sold the first set, and for the second set, let's say, we can barely give them away.

If you are interested, please let me know. We have two left at a very reasonable price.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Janet Hill creates paintings that are just beautiful interpretations of elegant homes, special restaurants and hotels. What more can one say--my birthday is in February. Her portraits are equally as beautiful. See her blog and Etsy store for more details.

And, Finally, Wearing It! --Ice Cream Charms

My memories of our summer in Venice are walking around the streets with my children and eating a scoop of gelato at least three times a day (this was our snack). What a refreshing treat! It is easy to understand what such an effort was made (before there was electricity) to serve this beloved dessert.

ICE CREAM CHARMS: My daughters each have three charm bracelets, C has: a 14 or 18k Gold and a Tiffany Silver. B has silver one, a Tiffany silver and a Juicy Couture. B is getting a gold charm bracelet for her birthday. I guess you can say we love charms. . I am thinking I may invest in a gold bracelet too (my silver is from my childhood).

Even the jewelers know what this means to us. My other ice cream cosmetic products will be posted at another time due to blogger having problems today.

Are you a Charm Bracelet person?

Friday, January 9, 2009


My dream closet (Flickr)
Well, I had a 8am PTO (GPO at our school-Greenhills Parent Organization) meeting and then had to race to a coffee to celebrate a girls friend's birthday. Of course I usually have an array of gifts there including books, candles, etc. I went there an it only had next year's Christmas gifts (sale items).

I am constantly collecting gifts all year just for today and am behind in the girlfriend area. Do you have a gift closet? I need some good stocking ideas--Pier 1 has some pink, green, red, etc. leather covered tape measures for $2.00. I always find some cute little cookbooks at Micheal's. I just need some thoughts for hostess gifts, birthdays, etc. It is good to stock up.

Off to Target for an ornament box, my cleaning lady did not come, my kid's have several friends coming over tonight, etc. After target, of to my son's belated New Year's party (Christmas party was cancelled because of snow). Let me know your thoughts.

Ice Cream week post later today or tomorrow.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


My dear Kappa sister in California just called and gave me lots updates on some of our friends as well as a new blog/website by Gwyneth Paltrow named Goop. Usually I am less inclined to follow advice of celebrities but this website is fairly impressive, very elegant and simple. Everyone I know is doing a 7 day cleanse and Gwyneth's cleanse advice is unique and has some wonderul menu options. Check it out



One of my favorite dining experiences was at this incredible restaurant (why don't I write these things down) in London. Ice cream was wheeled in on a cart and hand dipped from silver containers like these featured below. It was truly an fun experience with something so simple.

For effect purposes only


When I am entertaining and really do not feel like cooking (which is always), I can always rely on serving three scoops of Zingerman's Gelato for dessert. I usually serve pumpkin, burnt sugar and pistachio. I serve it in my little Waterford Powerscourt Footed Dessert dishes on a plate with an ice cream fork. It looks nice and tastes great.

Powerscourt by Waterford Footed Dessert

For example purposes only


Whenever we had a birthday party, my mother always made ice cream balls and put them in a large crystal bowl that as passed. It as such an elegant way of serving ice cream for a birthday. For my son's Buzz Light Year birthday party, I rolled lime green sorbet and put purple sprinkles on it. I have also paid Baskin Robins to make ice cream balls for me (see below for a way to do this at home).

Ice Cream Balls

Way to make ice cream balls ahead of time

I made a version of this for my son's 1st birthday. He was born on July 6th.

This makes scooping a little easier. New gadget received for Christmas for my sis.


If you are serving gelato or really do not have the time for ice cream scoops, there are some wonderful options for chilling and hiding your ice cream tubs.


Monogram Marketplace -can be monogrammed



1878 Ice Cream Server


Tomorrow is wearing it!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Marye-Kelley Frames! A Kappa One Too!

One of my dear friends gave our family for Christmas this Santa frame with our name on it. I just love this line and did not know they could be customized. Here are some of my favorites! Check out the Marye-Kelley website for all the incredible finds.

ICE CREAM WEEK: Eating Etiquette

LICKING VS. BITTING (Well, let me know what you think of this one)

I tried to find a reputable source to discuss this subject. Since most of my old etiquette book authors probably could not fathom that we would be purchasing ice cream from a Dairy Queen stand, there is little about this subject. More current sources say that a "lady should never lick an ice cream cone". To avoid this all together and avoid the wasted calories of a cone, I usually just order it in cup and really need this little silver number:


I know one thing for sure, eating ice cream while walking is probably not very refined and is definitely considered rude in Asia. So, we can probably agree here.


Formal Dinners: Dessert Fork and Dessert Spoon

Well, according to my 1920 Vogue Book of Etiquette, ice cream is an acceptable dessert at a formal dinner party (pie is not appropriate). Present your ice cream in a bowl or plate with an under plate (with a white doily on it of course--can you believe I use to have cloth ones). If presented both a dessert spoon and fork, use the fork for eating the hard part of the ice cream then use the spoon to eat the liquid.

Informal Dinners: Ice Cream Spoons (shown below)

According to one of my favorite entertaining books, The Art of The Table by Susannae Von Drachenfels, Ice Cream Forks are only used for informal dinning. Even so, I love mine that my sister gave me (thanks sis). This book makes a great bridal shower gift and is the bible on table settings and eating.