At the risk of sounding like a “princess,” which is what my boyfriend calls me (and not in a nice way…) when I talk about this topic, it’s almost impossible to find someone who not only cleans well, but who you can trust in your apartment when you’re not home. I found such a gem of a person over a year ago, but he went to visit family in India for over two months, leaving me scrambling with a messy apartment. The only reliable person I could find charged such an absurd amount that I decided it was high time I try out all the cleaning products and gadgets I’ve been hearing so much about…
The best part about getting to know wines from a particular country (other than the actual drinking of them, of course) is the underlying acquaintance with the culture. Italian wines, like Italian people, are true free spirits. This is by no means a comprehensive guide to Italian wines, though, which are notorious for being confusing and hard to categorize. This is a tip-of-the-iceberg overview. It’s not even the CliffsNotes; think of these as the margin notes on your CliffsNotes. My attempt is to cover the specifics, so you can start to get a deeper understanding by doing the fun part: drinking wine!
Snacking is an inevitable part of most of our days, especially as the temperatures drop. You can never go wrong with veggies or a piece of fruit (say what you want…I don’t trust any diet that tells you to cut out fruits – aside from dried ones and bananas since they have too much sugar), but sometimes our taste buds get the best of us and we want something a little bit naughty. Don’t reach for over-processed chips and cookies! There are plenty of alternatives that while not health foods per se, are healthier as they have clean ingredients, as well as some vitamins and nutrients, protein, and fiber. Check out some standouts to add to your shopping list!
My boyfriend recently surprised me with a box of brownies, cookies, and mini cupcakes after returning from a week away. It was so sweet! But it was also the last thing I wanted in my apartment after a weeklong sugar and carb binge. I can’t be trusted around sugar. If it’s nearby, I eat it…and I do so ASAP…and that’s exactly what happened. Chocolate is king on Valentine’s Day, but it’s not the only option! There are plenty of foodie gifts that you can give your lover without “ruining” his or her diet. Here’s a look at some favorites.
Thanks to my longtime friend and favorite lifestyle expert, Kimberly Schlegel Whitman, I monogram anything and everything I own (though she strictly told me monogramming my child is forbidden, not to mention potentially illegal), so it seems perfectly fitting that her seventh book is all about just that! In Monograms for the Home, she not only goes into the history of these personal touches – which dates back to the sixth century BC – but she also offers ways to elegantly incorporate them into every room of your house. With gorgeous photos and tips from fellow etiquette experts, this is just the style guide you need to start the new year off with!
A new year requires a fresh start. If your living room is starting to feel drab, there are quick and easy updates you can make that won’t break the bank or require a sledgehammer. This is the best time to buy furniture and home goods because of the crazy sales going on, so stock up now and enjoy your refreshed space sooner rather than later!
In the midst of a dizzying holiday party season, keep in mind one thing: bringing wine to a dinner doesn’t have to be stressful. Instead of spending a fortune on a “name brand” or apologizing for bringing a bottle you’re not sure about, here are some options for you to feel confident about, ones so good you can walk in and say, “Try this; it’s amazing!” Everyone likes to hear that, and when they compliment you on it, you can add, “It’s such a great find, and it’s not expensive” to impress your friends even more.
With the holiday season in full swing, I imagine you’re scanning Pinterest boards and Googling for dinner party inspiration daily. But just remember not to drive yourself crazy. This is supposed to be fun! And truly, all you need for a memorable gathering is good people, good conversation, and one standout feature, be it the food, the decorations, or…the coasters.