Dinner Party Ideas

Dinner parties don’t have to be fancy pull-your-hair-out affairs. They can be a convenient way to fit in time with family and friends between work trips, holidays, and extracurricular chauffeuring. The trick is to make them easy and fun. Here are my favorite 5 dinner party ideas. I’d love to hear yours, too!

Modern Family

What is a modern family? In the ’50s, it was the Ricardos, Nelsons, and Cleavers. In the ’60s, the Addams, Montgomerys, and Robinsons. In the ’70s, the Bradys, Jeffersons, and Bunkers. In the ’80s, the Ewings, Keatons, and Huxtables. In the ’90s, the Bowers, Tanners, and Simpsons. And in this century, the Sopranos, Pritchetts, and Bluths (my favorite). But there’s been another type of family growing in ranks … More Modern Family

Do It Now

“Forever is composed of nows.” ~Emily Dickinson It began with to-do list musings over the beat of my scrubbing toothbrush. “Birthday … Dede … present … ” My dearest friend triumphed over a lot in the past year: a big move, a big promotion, and a scary MS diagnosis—all while juggling the duties of mom … More Do It Now

The Power of No

In her TED Talk “Dare to Disagree,” Margaret Heffernan speaks to the power of “no” and the people who aren’t afraid to tell us that. I know all about this kind of person. I’m married to one. He’s honest with me and challenges my ideas, even when it’s not what I want to hear. And … More The Power of No

Guessing Game Gift Tags

Top off the perfect gift with the perfect gift tag — something that doesn’t just say “To” and “From,” but recognizes those things that make your recipient so gift-worthy. You can make a game out of it, too …

Holiday Birthdays

The holidays can get confusing if your birthday (or the birthday of someone you love)  falls in the middle of them. I consider myself somewhat of an expert on this, since I’ve had a Christmas Eve birthday for, oh, 30 odd years or so. People with a holiday birthdays grow up with a love-hate relationship with … More Holiday Birthdays

Best Friends

Two years ago a lot of people lost their rock, friend, confidant, and biggest cheerleader. One of those people was Mae. Sue and Mae were best friends for more than 40 years. Mae wrote a piece about her friendship with Sue, and it gives me comfort to post it on this two-year anniversary. Mae was … More Best Friends

Giving Thanks

Our lives, in both good and bad times, are very much a product of the influential people who surround us. Today I’m acknowledging 10 such people in my life. (You might even be surprised by the last one.) I encourage you to do so, too, whether it’s by phone, handwritten letter, e-mail, or even a simple … More Giving Thanks

Hostess Gift Ideas

If there were a spokeswomen for hostess gifts, I’d be a contender. Anyone who’s ever hosted anything knows that, after putting so much thought and work into doing something for others, it’s heartwarming to have a little gesture of acknowledgment in return. Whether you use one of these ideas or (even better) come up with … More Hostess Gift Ideas