Tag Archives: friends

A Southern Holiday Party

Holiday party with Ecco Domani Merlot and Pinot Grigio

It feels like only a moment ago we were hosting last year’s holiday party for friends. My how fast a year comes and goes with so many new memories to stowaway in the vault. For this year’s get together in our new Upper West Side home I wanted to bring to life a piece of my past to make the meal even more personal and intimate by taking our friends on a culinary trip down south, to taste my southern roots and warm comfort food.

When I think about southern food I always think about BBQ and biscuits. A saucy slow cooked meat rolled in spices and balanced by the buttery softness of a warm biscuit. It’s sinful and wonderful and went beautifully with Ecco Domani’s full bodied Merlot. For the non-meat eating guests we offered southern catfish baked and served in my cast iron skillet my grandmother passed down to me which is seasoned with love, as I like to say, and a great compliment to Ecco Domani’s Pinot Grigio.

Of course, any time I host friends or family I like to start with a cheese plate for people to graze on while we finish preparing the meal. Following my simple rule I outlined in this post, I chose a wonderful soft goat cheese, aged gouda, manchego cheese to be accompanied by roasted almonds, apples and artisanal crackers. Wanting to start with a crisp and light wine, we opened Ecco Domani’s Pinot Grigio for the cheese course though it goes perfectly well with the Merlot too if you prefer.

In the end, no matter what you serve or what you wear, it’s about making memories with friends and loved ones, sharing stories, being at peace and above all, loving one another this holiday season. Cheers….

See below for entertaining tips and southern recipes created for this night by my friend Jared who is, as we call him, the cookie monster. Everything was served on handmade pottery (a wedding gift from my parents!) by Clayworks in the East Village and another very personal, homey touch to this intimate gathering.

Holiday party with Ecco Domani Merlot and Pinot Grigio

For last year’s holiday party we set individual photographs I had taken of each guest at their place setting to not only arrange the seating in a beautiful visual way but for each of the guests to take home a gift from the evening. This year I decided to create individual bouquets for each place setting that the guests could take home and enjoy for the days to come. Living in New York City this is a wonderfully easy way to play with your creativity. On 28th and 7th is the most fabulous flower market where you can find anything your heart desires. I love more than anything exploring in and out of these shops and creating my own story though flowers.

Above, setting the table in Maud Heline’s Arlanik white button up shirt dress made in Brooklyn  (ps- it’ has pockets!!) 

Holiday party with Ecco Domani Merlot and Pinot Grigio Holiday party with Ecco Domani Merlot and Pinot Grigio (more…)

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A Hudson Valley Weekend

 

As we begin to close in on the last weekends of summer I jumped at the invitation for a weekend upstate shared among friends. The cool mountain air, quiet afternoons for reading and home cooked meals filled my soul and recharged my batteries. We stayed in this amazingly redesigned Catskills home where nature was the framed art and dancing light our whimsical entertainment. Now the only problem I have is how to stop day dreaming of this peaceful place at the end of the road between tucked between a mountain and a creek…

A group of friends spend the weekend upstate in the Hudson Valley. A group of friends spend the weekend upstate in the Hudson Valley.

 This summer I have been reading photographer Sally Mann’s memoir Hold Still. There are some books I read on my kindle and then some I have to physically buy so that I can mark them up, make notes in the margins and revisit or even research what I find among the pages. One of my favorite underlined parts so far: 

“Because I am still that girl when it comes to developing film. There is nothing better than the thrill of holding a great negative, wet with fixer, up to the light. And, here’s the important thing: it doesn’t even have to be a great negative. You get the same thrill with any negative; with art, as someone once said, most of what you have to do is show up. The hardest part is setting the camera on the tripod, or making the decision to bring the camera out of the car, or just raising the camera to your face, believing, by those actions, that whatever you find before you, whatever you find there, is going to be good. And, when you get whatever you get, even if it’s a fluky product of that slipping-glimpser vision that de Kooning celebrated, you have made something. Maybe you’ve made something mediocre- there’s plenty of that in any artist’s cabinets- but something mediocre is better than nothing, and often the near-misses, as I call them, are the beckoning hands that bring you to perfection just around the blind corner.” 

A group of friends spend the weekend upstate in the Hudson Valley. A group of friends spend the weekend upstate in the Hudson Valley. A group of friends spend the weekend upstate in the Hudson Valley. A group of friends spend the weekend upstate in the Hudson Valley. A group of friends spend the weekend upstate in the Hudson Valley. A group of friends spend the weekend upstate in the Hudson Valley. (more…)

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A Girlfriend’s Soirée

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This past week Ecco Domani launched a special collaboration with fashion designer Zac Posen who created a limited edition bottle design for their classic Pinot Grigio. I’ve been a huge fan of Zac Posen from the runway shows to the red carpet so we really wanted to do something special to celebrate the launch of this inspired partnership and the release of a wine bottle exclusively dressed in Zac.

Kelly put together an intimate girlfriend’s soirée at the whimsical BG restaurant designed by Kelly Wearstler (remember when I stayed at her Malibu mansion?!) overlooking Central Park and the gorgeous Plaza Hotel. Since we are talking about one of the most glamorous gown designers in the world, Kelly dressed us all in Zac Posen bringing such an air of fantasy and delight to the whole gathering.

A silver tiered tray lined in macarons, fresh fruit, meringues and Zac Posen’s own recipe for “My Little Violet Darlings” from the Bergdorf Goodman Cookbook was the center piece to the soirée table. I loved how Kelly brought a formality to the wine by putting it in a silver deco wine bucket on a stand next to the table keeping the Pinot Grigio cool in-between pours.

Why not throw your own soirée – with delicate delights, crisp and bright white wine and look out for the sparkling design of Zac Posen for Ecco Domani to add one last flourishing touch to your own summer parties.

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Above- Zac Posen’s limited edition bottle design for Ecco Domani’s Pinot Grigio chills in a silver deco ice bucket.

Below- The table dressed with a three tier serving tray, Devonia large and small serving plates with matching hand gilded wine glasses, and Alain St. Joanis flatware. I love surrounding a table and room in fresh flowers, these Diane James arrangements are actually silk and no one knew the difference!

Zac_Posen_Ecco_Domani_005    Zac_Posen_Ecco_domani_029 (more…)

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Appreciate the Ones You Love

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Pandora Jewelry is all about appreciating the ones that you love and when they approached me about gifting charms to someone in my life I immediately thought of two of my best friends, Claire Mazur and Erica Cerulo, who have impacted my life greatly over the years.

History

We first met back in 2010 at a little coffee shop on the Upper West Side and they told me about their dreams of starting an emerging designers platform called Of a Kind. Not only did I come to learn these were two of the most intelligent, visionary women I have ever met, I would also find out that bonds between women are so important and powerful not only in our personal friendship but in the bond these two share.

We shot together, we shared the original Ann Street Studio in the financial district together, I photographed Erica’s wedding (something I never do – but for her, anything), unofficially Claire’s and even all the way down to Texas for SXSW. We’ve laughed and cried, swapped beauty tips and fashion tricks, and seen each other though relationships and moves, business ups and downs, and endless conversations about that future of our lives. I even bought one of Claire’s Grandmother’s paintings! (more…)



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