Summer Wedding Weekend in New Orleans

Published on Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Since I have been missing New Orleans an awful lot lately, I was thrilled to receive an invitation to a wedding from my friend Danette and her longtime love Randy. Met through mutual friends in Los Angeles, I’ve known Danette since I lived in New Orleans, where she brought her musician friend Phil (who plays nine instruments) to stay with me in the Garden District and play around town in order to launch her cd in the early 90s. Randy and Danette are bonded in their love for music so they would bond as man and wife at the historic Preservation Hall in the French Quarter and take us on a Second Line to my favorite cocktail spot the Carousel Lounge.

I immediately bought my plane ticket, made arrangements to stay at the Omni Royal Orleans, which has been my goto hotel in the French Quarter since I was five, and started figuring out how many friends I could visit in between wedding festivities and if I could fit in meals at all my favorite places.

First on the list was to have lunch at Galatoire’s, which is always especially lively on Fridays and did not disappoint, which included a table for twelve wedding guests I met and befriended that day and my dear friend Lori Mac, with whom I was a fledgling art dealer when I first moved to New Orleans in 1994. The wedding guests were charmed like everyone who ever had lunch at the French Quarter institution, and we cocktailed and ate amazing creole seafood dishes like one does in the Big Easy.

Up the next day was to have breakfast at Cafe du Monde, stop by the French Market for the Creole Tomato Festival, and go by Fifi Mahony’s for something unique in a wig or hat, which I managed to accomplish in time to get back to the hotel in time to dress for the wedding. My friend John, who has been escorting me to weddings since we were in high school picked me up and we were off to the Hall. The wedding was a music lover’s dream, packed with the love and personal touches that I have come to love from the bride. I made many short clips of the wedding because I knew it would not be easy to find words for it. A couple of hours later, we were lined up to parade in our Second Line. My gift to the couple was a few gross of pearl Mardi Gras beads, which were flung by the guests from our moving block party through the Quarter into the cheering crowds – it was truly the BEST Second Line I have ever participated in. People were joining in and dancing to the fantastic band Danette and Randy chose, parading with us all the way to the Carousel Lounge. Note that I have not complained about the heat yet, but it was hotter than Hades. Being (very) damp did not dampen our spirits – we partied at the lounge, then John and I grabbed po boys to go from Felix’s and I went back to the Royal Orleans to take my third shower of the day and rest up for the brunch and reception the next day.

I was so happy that my sweet friend Marcie and her husband David (and son Max!) made the drive from their home on the Gulf Coast so that we could visit and have brunch at the Palace Cafe’ which will now be on my list of favorites. I started drinking Bloody Marys and that became my drink o’ the day. It was hugs all around and then off to the reception, held at my friend Michael’s mother’s home in Uptown – the perfect place to have more Bloody Marys and eat more – corn muffins, summer salad, hot boiled crawfish and two kinds of wedding cake! I stayed in the air conditioning and we had our traditional sing along where Michael shows that he can play anything on the piano and we sing along. It was so much fun to be in the familiar and share it with new friends. Back at the hotel I had another shower and called it a day.

My last day came too soon, but not so soon that my friend Hal whom I adore personally and professionally, as he is the best designer I know and has the most gorgeously decorated historic home in the Garden District. We had so much fun catching up on New Orleans, our families, the work, and of course we had an amazing meal complete with brandy milk punches at Antoine’s. More hugs and then I had to do one last thing before I left.

I had one hour before the taxi picked me up to walk the Quarter one last time and say a little prayer for my friend Robby in all his favorite places. The anniversary of his death was near, and it was the perfect place for me to do my last goodbye to him and to get my creative and emotional mojo back. I hopped into the taxi and hugged the wonderful bellmen at the Royal Orleans goodbye, and from that point on couldn’t WAIT to get back to my sweet husband and the Critter.

Best Birthday Ever at Music Stars and Masters

Published on Monday, July 7th, 2014

I walked past Music Stars and Masters in the Westside Pavillion Mall many times and wondered “What happens in there?”. Well, let me tell you, I am SO glad I finally stopped one day to ask! Critter’s birthday was fast approaching and I didn’t have any plan yet, and of course there’s the added self induced pressure to top last year. So I stopped in to see what they offered for birthday parties. When I do a party for the kids, it usually needs to have a main attraction which hopefully has some physical activity, a little arts and crafts to take home, cake, food, and goody bags.

I spoke to Christael and she was so professional with the right amount of fun thrown in, so we decided to go for it. The venue was really spacious and had the flow of the party all figured out: Dressing room of rocker outfits, photo shoot, drumming and dancing with Teacher Roscoe, bounce house, and onstage performances. They thought of everything else – crafting back stage passes to wear with their rocker outfits, plenty of tables for cake and goodies and chairs for moms to hang out and watch. We were given a choice of colors for balloons, streamers, and table covers to coordinate with the cake and candy bar that I brought. One more call to Roni’s for pizza delivery and we were covered!

I was not prepared for how much FUN the kids would have! The dancing and drumming got the party mood elevated to level 10 and then the kids signed up to “perform” on a professional stage with lights and instruments. The kids chose instruments or singing and it was so adorable -when the lights came up and the music on, they sang and “played” along to some playlist favorites (the theme to Frozen was well represented). We definitely know who the divas and dudes who are stage bound. For those who wanted to bounce, voila! The bounce house was inflated in minutes in place of the drum and dance circle and bounce they did. I did less work on this party than any party we have had and SO enjoyed myself, because Music Stars and Masters engaged the kidlets so fully and timed things so well that I was able to visit with the moms and watch the performances.

I also wasn’t ready for the amazing bonding that happened while the kids put together their performances. The video you see above is at the end of the party with everyone onstage. They were all hugging and singing like a millennial Brat Pack. I got a text from a mom last night (SEVERAL weeks since the party) saying that as her son drifted off to sleep he announced that he wanted a party just like the Critter’s for his birthday. I think that’s some serious party validation. I HIGHLY recommend Music Stars and Masters for parties AND music lessons. They have graciously offered my readers a couple of wonderful promo codes this summer for parties and lessons:
50% off a 5-pack of group classes for new students (promo code: BHMOMCLASS831)
5 Free group classes for all Deluxe Rock Star parties held in July or August (promo code: BHMOMPARTY831)

***These special promotions expire 8/31/14***

Happy Independence Day, Glory Glory!

Published on Friday, July 4th, 2014

Greetings dear readers – I know it’s been awhile. I’ve been working on this and finishing up this, FINALLY! I will be writing a lot to catch y’all up on what else has been happening this week before I do something life changing next Wednesday (more on that later too). Until then, have a SAFE July 4th and remember how we all have freedoms that no other country has because of our forefathers and our men and women in uniform. Glory Glory Hallelujah! See you again soon! xoxo

Come to my Online Trunk Show – Buy Bling and Support Autism Awareness

Published on Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

If you liked photos of me wearing a fab necklace or ran into me with my awesome tomato and magenta tech bag, you should check out Stella & Dot. Last year I hosted a Stella & Dot trunk show with my fantastic stylist, real life Hollywood writer/actor/dancer/producer/mom of three Nancy Minkler. All the guests went crazy for all the wonderful pieces she brought and couldn’t believe the quality and great prices – way better than anything you can buy in a department store. You know I do my shopping research, right?

I also really like Stella and Dot for its commitment to causes. This month the fresh on trend pieces you see in the video can be purchased with extra confidence because you will be supporting Autism Awareness through Stella and Dot’s donation of the net proceeds of these sales to the HollyRod Foundation. The HollyRod foundation has been the labor of love of entertainment supermom Holly Robinson Peete, whose work has accomplished wonders in services for families with autistic children.

So – just in time for you to accessorize your Easter and Passover finery – here is my invitation to my online trunk show in hopes that we will help raise LOTS of money for HollyRod – click here and shop with love!

Happy Birthday Dr. Suess!

Published on Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Who doesn’t remember how exciting it was to read their first Dr. Seuss story? In honor of that spirit, I am joining a crew of kindergarteners on Tuesday to celebrate the good doctor’s birthday with lots of cool activities from PBS Kids. You can have your own party at home while watching the new episodes of The Cat in the Hat knows a Lot About That! starting Monday morning!

A New World with Melissa de la Cruz’s The Ring and The Crown

Published on Friday, February 28th, 2014

A wonderful part of blogging is that one never knows where the road will lead, as with attending events – one is often not familiar with the host. I found this to be particularly true on Wednesday when I entered the Boardroom at the Peninsula to join a Royal Tea party to launch The Ring and The Crown, a new book from Melissa de la Cruz. I didn’t know anyone in the stylish group of about twenty, mostly women, who here and there were wearing the fabouche crowns of flowers you see above. You see, I attended the tea for two reasons. One: it was at the Peninsula, and it’s always fabulous there plus I live two blocks away. Two: I could not resist the flower crown on the cover of the invitation to the event. Seeing those girlfriends wearing flowers in their hair and the heartfelt greeting from the hostess made me feel right at home and very happy.

I introduced myself to Wendy Darling, the founder of The Midnight Garden, who was beautiful and kind enough to explain to me what exactly was happening. Turns out I was amongst some of the most successful writers of YA, also known as Young Adult fiction. At least five of the guests were New York Times bestsellers multiple times. I began to feel like I was at the Algonquin – extremely witty successful writers at the top of their game minus the sarcasm and the alcoholism plus goodwill and support. I traded hugs and cards with Wendy, Melissa, Leigh, and Alyson, and hope to be lucky enough to visit with them again. You must now read Wendy’s fabulous post about the event – she is also giving away a copy of the book!

The REAL New Year has started, finally…

Published on Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

I can’t ever get my act together in the New Year until I get through the PBS Winter Press Tour, which, for me is a biannual week of joining my fellow PBS Kids VIPs together with the Television Critics Association to review the new season’s offerings from PBS. Yesterday I hugged Abby Cadaby, Count von Count, Elmo, and Cookie Monster, heard about how we are all descended from fish, and enjoyed an amazing panel of TV nostalgia that is still making me smile from ear to ear, including George Takei, Jimmie Walker, Ray Romano, THE Bob Newhart (especially near and dear to my heart, since our chance encounter in the Bel Air Camera parking lot).

As always, the tour inspires me with the collection of what are truly treasures of talent – people who do what they were meant to do, and are the BEST at it. Which brings me to the final session of the day – the inimitable Kristin Chenoweth. I have always loved her in everything she does, but seeing her live is indescribable. It’s hard to believe that this 4′ 11″ beauty could emit the sound that this woman can – she literally blew us away with old standards and a few of her own favorites. It was the perfect end to a perfect day.

I’m still basking in the sensory feast, and look forward to seeing all the great new shows – watch your local PBS affiliate listings, and – HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Beverly Hills Kids Give Back

Published on Thursday, October 10th, 2013


I am so impressed with these kids I had to share. This precious little girl is six year old Sienna and she has cut her ponytail to give to Locks of Love. I told her mom Athena how amazing I think she is for such a heartfelt gesture. Athena tells me “We’re going to the post office to mail it off – she’s thrilled to know she’ll be giving a little girl some joy with her donation of hair. Losing her grandpa to cancer, she has a depth about the seriousness and it blesses my heart that she wants to make a difference”. I just want to hug her to pieces – what a sweet little soul!

Also incredible is this video by my friends’ sons who experienced bullying at school at very young ages. Their mom Laura said that they have taken that bad experience and used the creation of this video as an outlet to share why bullying sucks and why it should be stopped. Be sure to give them a like on the youtube page!

Wow, Thank You CBS LA – I’m honored!

Published on Saturday, September 21st, 2013


I was so surprised and honored to find that CBS LA has named me as a mom to follow in order to navigate momhood in Los Angeles. Liz Peterson reports that I am in some seriously helpful company – I don’t know if I’m worthy! Thank you Liz, Thank you CBSLA!

For the Love of Cookie, it’s Season 44 on Sesame Street!

Published on Sunday, September 15th, 2013

I have been saving this fun video I took at the PBS Press Tour in August so I can share it in celebration of the newest season on Sesame Street – welcome number 44! The Critter, Cookie, and I talk about cookies, family, friends, neighbors, and…self control. Noting how quickly we can point to a good bakery, we need a little help in this area.