Archive for September, 2011

Sneaking Away……

I will be taking a bit of a break for some travel but will be taking pictures and will have some stories to tell I’m sure upon my return.

The Magic of the Fall Season!

All of Carolyne Roehm’s books are an inspiration!! The Fall Notebook is one of my favorites with gorgeous photography and ideas. You can feel the warmth of the sun and the smell of leaves just grazing through this book. These arrangements are but a few that show the feel of autumn in the air. I love the different textures, rose hips, berries and fruit.

Karl Lagerfelds’s new Glassware for your Table!

Besides designing for Chanel and Fendi, Karl Lagerfeld has just launched some new glassware for Orrefors. It is a 16 piece collection of hand blown Swedish crystal with goblets set on tulip stems. Every piece is either clear, opaque black or milky white.
With each glass comes a matching coaster, which he calls a “coupette”. Seriously why didn’t someone think of that before now? Leave it to Karl to start that trend.
The look is modern and sleek and will make any table setting gorgeous!

Coordinating Napkins to your China…Click, Done!

The story of Sferra begins at the turn of the 19th century, when Gennaro Sferra left Italy for the United States in the hopes of finding a market among the Atlantic Coast for his intricate Venetian Lace cuffs and collars. By 1912, he and his family had opened up shop on famed Fifth Avenue in New York City. A generation later, Gennaro’s two sons expanded their family’s collection to include the most luxurious European linens of the day—from renowned double damask from Ireland, to Aleçon laces from France, to elaborate embroideries from Belgium and Switzerland. In 1977, the ownership of Sferra was sold by the family to Paul Hooker, under whose keen business savvy and passionate stewardship this classic brand has flourished over the years. With the aid of great advancements in design and production techniques, Sferra has secured its rightful position as a leader in the luxury linens industry. Above all, the secret to the enduring reputation of the Sferra brand is the same now as it was a century ago—only the finest materials are used in any product bearing the Sferra name.
Okay your history lesson is over. Now for this cool idea.
Sferra’s colors are based on hundreds of china patterns. Here’s how easy it is to find yours: Download Sferra’s free Linen Colors app. Take a photo of one of your plates, and you’ll get six color choices – and then you could order on the spot or the app also directs you to the nearest retail store!

September’s Harvest Drink!!

Getting back into a routine and starting to make plans for the rest of the year is one of the things that Autumn is all about. For a planner like myself, that’s something I look forward to, but what I look forward to the most is all the upcoming occasions to be spent with family and friends. So my friend Caterina Miltenberger, the Corporate Mixologist at Glazer’s has suggested this awesome tasting drink for autumn entertaining. These are her creations and we so appreciate her sharing them with us all.
Caterina’s suggestions:
Fulton’s Harvest pumpkin Pie Cream Liqueur is great by itself or can be used in many cocktails for the fall and winter. It is a limited production spirit and once its gone its gone. I love chilling it or pouring it over the rocks. It is a blend of brown sugar, nutmeg, its smooth, a creamy liqueur reminiscent of homemade pumpkin pie. It makes an amazingly yummy pumpkin pie martini! I suggest a light brown sugar, allspice rim. It’s 12.5 % ALC/VOL and I would suggest either Sobieski Karamel Vodka or even Smirnoff Vanilla Vodka to kick it up a notch! Garnishing is easy too, a nice dollop of rich whipped cream or maybe a slightly toasted marshmallow or two.
Throw it all in a martini shaker, less the garnish and add ice. Shake vigorously and strain and pour into a martini glass!
It can also be served as a bourbon pumpkin pie milk punch and that recipe will be sent closer to Thanksgiving! Fulton’s Harvest is a limited production item that is made exclusively for Glazer’s markets. It can be found in pretty much any liquor or spirits store.
So start planning your menu’s for the fall and include this fabulous drink in your plans!!!

Fashion Galore at Neiman Marcus Willow Bend!

Today there was a wonderful celebration held at Neiman Marcus, Willow Bend, Plano, Texas. The event is called the Top Ten Women of Collin County and we saluted ten outstanding women and their amazing contributions to our community. It was shocking to hear all they have done to improve life in Collin County and beyond and continue to have careers, marriages and motherhood. Neiman Marcus put on a fabulous fashion show as part of the luncheon. We saw some gorgeous clothes and the gold jewelry was spectacular.

I had an opportunity to meet and speak with the jewelry designer, Stephanie Anne. Stephanie has been in design since the age of 25 and for years has an interior design shop in Dallas, now at Highland Park Village.. This year marks her move into the fashion world with the launch of her Jewelry Collection. Stephanie Anne caught the attention of Neiman Marcus with her Spring 2011 collection and landed her in the NM store downtown and now at NM Willow Bend. Here are just some examples of her fabulous jewelry designs. Go to to see more of the collection and read all about Stephanie and where her jewelry is available!

It seems everything you touch turns to gold Stephanie! Lovely to meet you today and continued success!

Just in Time for the Holidays…some Etiquette Tips!

It’s September so that must mean the social season has started!! Already this week I have gotten 5 invitations to events coming up this fall. So I thought I would go over some protocol and remind us all that manners do count and matter!!
Always, always RSVP by the date you are to respond by…never put “regrets only” on a invitation. When addressing an invite to a couple you never separate a mans name from his surname so your invite should always read: Susan and Greg Spindler NOT Greg and Susan Spindler, Mr. and Mrs. Greg Spindler is more formal. If it is for a birthday, wedding etc. putting on the invitation “No Gifts” is presuming they are bringing a gift and on an invitation this is unacceptable. The inclusion of “no children” or “adults only” should never be printed on an invitation. The way the invite is addressed indicates exactly who is and who is not invited.
So now we are at our dinner party…some do’s and don’ts for the dining table.

A – Serviette (Napkin)
B – Service Plate
C – Soup Bowl on Plate
D – Bread and Butter Plate with Butter Knife
E – Water Glass
F – White Wine
G – Red Wine
H – Fish Fork
I – Dinner Fork
J – Salad Fork
K – Service Knife
L – Fish Knife
M – Soup Spoon
N – Dessert Spoon and Cake Fork

Note: It is often recommended that the salad fork (J) is placed to the left of the dinner fork (I). However, in this formal setting the dinner fork is placed before the salad fork because it is suggested that the guest waits for the main meal before helping him/herself to the salad.

Never arrive at your host and hostess’ home earlier than invited or empty-handed. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate gift but something to show your appreciation for all they have done to prepare for this dinner or party. Do not bring cut flowers as the hostess will be busy getting other things done and she doesn’t need the last minute duty of floral arranging. Send flowers the day before or the day after they will be much more appreciated then.

Once you are all sitting at the dining table you wait for the host to begin to unfold their napkin and then that indicate for all to follow. The napkin should be on the left side of the place setting…never sticking out of a wine glass!!! If you have to get up through the dinner place your napkin on your chair never toss it on the table, use it as a bib or blow your nose….ugh so gross but I’ve seen it done in restaurants. Once you pick up your fork it should never touch the table again. Always have it on the plate when not using it. If a soup course is on the menu always skim away from yourself with your spoon. No slurping or drinking from the bowl. No putting lipstick or touching up make-up while at the table leave that for the restroom.

A handwritten thank you note should be sent within 3 days, it only has to be a few sentences but take the time it is always lovely to get a note in the mail instead of an e-mail.

This is an endless subject but these are just a few quick tips. If you have any questions or would like to hear more tips just go to the end of this blog and click on comments and I will be happy to answer any questions.

Kimberly Schlegel Whitman’s newest book The Party Planner is an expert organizing guide for entertaining and can help in your planning of your next party. You can get it at or e-mail me and I have some in stock.

Arranging Collectables and Photographs!

I am always getting asked about hanging artwork, family photographs and vintage pieces…how high, how many, what kind of frames etc. This book Living with What you Love has some wonderful ideas to help you determine all those questions. When grouping things together the main thing is to express yourself! You want to make your home uniquely yours by expressing what is sentimental and important to you. It could be a wedding, birthday or other significant event in your life, but the important thing is to follow your passion and don’t bother about trends!

Some of you collect Limoges boxes, cookie jars, depression glass, dolls, antique silver, children’s artwork, cake plates…the list goes…these can be lovingly displayed on bookshelves mixed in with your books or on crystal or silver trays. We are all now starting to think of getting our homes ready for the busy holiday season and just changing things and moving them around can make a room feel refreshed.