I wish I was a farmer

Last weekend a dear friend gave me a beautiful hibiscus plant.  She did all the prep work for me, fertilizer and all.  My only job is to water it regularly.  She even put it in the perfect spot.  So why am I nervous?  Because I have a secret.  I kill all plants.  Everything.  Yes, even basil (the weed of herbs).  I haven’t been able keep anything alive in years (kids are harder to kill). My intentions are always good, but many a Mother’s Day flower-pot has met a sad ending.  It’s the whole sowing part  I have to get down. I can’t just be reaping.

The only chance this plant has to survive is to humiliate me into taking care of it properly.

So, I hereby promise to water, nurture, love this plant.  I will not ignore it.  I will not let it dry out and wither like my topsy turvy tomato pot, or my mini-herb garden that became an outdoor liter box for the neighborhood cats, or my beautiful overpriced hand painted strawberry pot – which only bore me shame and disappointment.

Here is my new baby – I’ll post updates regularly (and honestly).  I hope someone feeds and loves my kids, I can’t do everything.

To Theme Wedding or Not To Theme Wedding….

Wedding themes are tempting.  And delightful.  Fall weddings, Beach weddings, love them all.  Hints of burnt orange in October, bright fun linens for a casual, ocean side wedding – beautiful.

But many times, a good theme can go bad.  Beach themes shouldn’t mean starfish and seashells everywhere, February weddings don’t need to be covered in gooey hearts,  and unless you’re on a farm – don’t have haystacks at your reception please.

By the way – I’m not judging – remember, I’m the bird lady of bucks county.  I have to fight hard to keep the theme gods in check.

One of my first theme-y weddings was for an amazing, young Brooklyn, NY couple.  She wanted to bring her Asian background into the mix – incorporate the color red into the day.  Not a deep, sexy blue red.  We needed the bright, orange ethic red (I’m Indian, I know red).

It would have been so easy to go down Chinese Lantern lane  – but we didn’t.  We held back.  Actually I held back, and the bride let me.  The great thing about being a planner is you can direct, and redirect, and distract.  Could I have gone with beautiful porcelain chop sticks and red linens throughout the room? Yes, but that’s not what she wanted.  She just didn’t know it yet.  She wanted to include her rich background and heritage, while still being modern and youthful.  This was the gal who never once talked about her wedding dress – she just went out and bought one (stunning). She was understated and sweet – that was the real theme of the wedding.

So we decided on a pop of color when people first walked into the reception – a bold announcement of joy. The escort card table was amazing.  1,000 red carnations made into a bed on a white slab of marble.  Two of these tables welcomed guests into the reception.  It would be the only place they’d see this much red together!

 

I didn’t know if these good people wanted their names all over the internet – to the tens of people who read my blog – so I blurred the card.  That red blossom paper was used on the escort cards, table numbers and menus (and invites!) .

Here’s the inside of the reception hall – the only pops of red were the flower clusters.

  

Moral of the wedding – go with theme lite.  Unless your theme is birds.  Then go buck wild.

Sweet sweet summer

It’s hot here.  Really hot.  Frizzy hair hot.  The kind of hot that only a large body of water can help.  Not that I would ever swim in an ocean, or a pool – but that’s another story.

Anyway, it’s this heat that inspired this post.  My kids, like all kids, love the summer.  Their father taught them how to swim – and they do – like fish.  We try to head towards the ocean come July.  When I started looking at some of our old water migration photos – I noticed a trend.  See if you can spot it….or lick it.

I call these – the ice cream chronicles.  From Montauk, to Lake George, to Mexico and Cape Cod.  We’ve eaten treats all over the hemisphere. Like mother like kids. The last two shots were taken by my daughter, who will no longer let me take sloppy food shots of her (doesn’t she love me?).

Dear New Event Planner,

Hi.  It’s me.  The old event planner.  I thought we could have a chat. I know you’re excited, you’re finally out of school and ready to be the next Colin Cowie or Mindy Weiss.  I totally relate.  Event planning is the job of my dreams – I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.  Corporate, private, personal, big, small – love’em all.  So here’s my two cents on some starter advice (ignore at will):

  • Instead of taking a seminar or getting a “planning” certificate – get a job.  Anything that has anything to do with events.  That’s right, become a cater waiter.  It’ll show you what it takes to organize a group of servers.  It’ll teach you about the kitchen and all the back of house staff needed to make an event tick.  You know that gig being an admin in a catering company? Take it.  Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to see an event contract, called a BEO (Banquet Event Order), or handle an angry customer.  Hotel reception desk? Sounds like a plan.  Event planning is a service industry.  Even an entry-level sales job is better than a damn certificate – trust me.
  • What’s “Back of House” (BOH).  It’s everything.  Know it. Love it.  It’s the circulation, the heartbeat, the lifeline, to an event.  Good BOH, good event.
  • Buy a suit (you know I prefer black but whatever floats your boat will do).  Whether you are working a wedding, a cocktail party on the beach, or a black tie gala – do not dress for the event.  You, my friend, are not invited, you are working it.  It’s important to look like it. What if you end up being overdressed at a casual party, you ask? Don’t worry about it.  There is no such thing as overdressed – in fact – aim for it.
  • You do not have to be a control freak to be a good planner – but it really really helps.
  • You know that old saying – PrePlanning Prevents Piss Poor Performance?  I hate that saying. Mainly because I don’t believe you need bodily functions to drive a point home, but I digress.  But you know what makes me really pissy?  It’s true!  The job is called “planner”, not “piece-it-together-onsiter”  Know the venue, know the players.  Don’t just hire a photographer/musician based on a cool website. Meet them.  In 5 minutes you’ll know if that person can be someone you can work with or, more importantly, recommend.
  • Don’t say no to a potential job – even for free.  Your cousin wants help planning a sweet 16? Done.  Your neighbor needs someone to help her find a reception hall? That would be you.  The only way to get good at planning is to plan, a lot.  Google can only do so much people.
  • Learn to be assertive and have uncomfortable conversations when needed.  You are the advocate for the event.  If you don’t do it (tell the kitchen to speed it up, tell the photographer to calm down, tell valet to wear a blazer, etc) no one will.  You know what helps with this? A job.

I know it doesn’t seem like it – but this is a love letter. I really do heart you.

xoxome

40 is the new black

At 10 I was living in Albany,NY with my parents enjoying my last year as an only child, having as much fun as I could, happy as a clam.

At 20 I was in NYC, going to college, shacked up with my boyfriend, his family became my family, my friends were my life, I was completely clueless and again, happy as a clam.

At 30 I was married to that boy, we moved out of NYC, we had our first house, our first baby, and absolutely no idea of how we were going to make it, and I really was happy as a clam.

At 40 I am still shacked up with that same boy (legally),  we have another house, in another town, 2 punky kids that are surrounded by love (thanks to our unstoppable family and friends), and, well, you know. Clam. Happy. Me.

Mama….Mamarazzi

Guilty as charged. I take a couple of pictures of my kids.  I can’t help it.  Am I over the top?  Probably.  Is my house a living shrine to their childhood?  Mind your own business.

I got into video taping for a bit.  It’s fun.  But I never ever look at the videos.  Pictures?  I’ll pull out an old album, pour a glass of wine, and that’s a good night.  By glass 2 I’m tearing up.

Sadly my kids are growing up and slowly revolting against the (semi) constant picture taking.  If I happen to get a good picture now – it’s undercover, behind a bush, while they’re not paying attention.

Don’t they love me? Don’t they know I need to capture all these fleeting moments?

Now I have an excuse.  I have to take pictures for my blog.  My people, my readers, demand it (play along please).

 

The Incident

 

Insert “Law & Order” music…..

7:30pm.  Thursday night.  8-year-old boy comes into the house sheepishly.  Whispers in his mother’s ear to come out to the driveway.  Mother, still traumatized by the glitter quietly follows.  Her son leads her to the car, her new car. At first it looks like a reflection.  Then she opens the door of said car and stares. The boy is saying “sorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorry”  The mother doesn’t even ask what happened.

    plus     equals…..

 

    

All those involved have been brought to justice.

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