Browsing Category

Entertaining

Are You “Dying” to Throw a Party? Having Fun is No Mystery!

Adventures With Attitude!, Cocktail Time, Entertaining, Entertaining Made Easy, Every Day is an Adventure, Fabulous After 50, Living a Royal Life, Martini Magic, Sensational after 70!
Don's character was Donald J. Brooks, and Stella, stunning as always, was Miranda T. Shetes, a beautiful and talented actress!

For our Watersdown Affair Murder Mystery last year, Don’s character was Donald J. Brooks, and Stella, stunning as always, was Miranda T. Shetes, a beautiful and talented actress!

Are You “Dying” to Entertain More?

I love to entertain, and I love anything that involves a costume.  That being said, you will find that many of our parties have some sort of “theme” so that costumes can be involved!  I think getting into costume brings out many people’s hidden “fun zone!” They are far less inhibited than they might normally be, once they don a costume!

Entertaining comes so naturally to me that I am always amazed by the number of people who don’t know where or how to begin when it comes to throwing a party.  I love putting on any type of party, which is why I host a monthly Bunko,  a monthly Book Club, gamenights, clothing swaps, wedding showers, networking and women’s events and numerous other seasonal parties, such as Holiday and Summer parties.

How to Host a Murder…

Our guests, in costume, for The Watersdown Affair Murder Mystery. What a fun evening we had! This was a great one!

Our guests, in costume, for The Watersdown Affair Murder Mystery. It was set in Yorkshire, England in 1936.  If you are wondering why the shorts on one guest?  His costume suggestion on the invitation was that of a Mountain Climber! He came, hiking “ax” and all!  What a fun evening we had! This was really a fun one!

One of our FAVORITE types of parties are Murder Mystery Parties. We do a few a year.  We think they are really enjoyable, they involve “costumes” and they are a small group of 8, which fits around our round dining room table just perfectly!

Friends have asked me how in the world they work, so I thought I’d share a little about them here. Putting them on is pretty darned easy- believe me- it’s no “mystery” how they work! With the “brand” of murder mysteries I put on, everything is pretty well spelled out for you, as I explain below.

The table, set for The Watersdown Affair, which was to take place in Yorkshire, England at The Watersdown Mansion in 1936.

The table, set for The Watersdown Affair, which was to take place in Yorkshire, England at The Watersdown Mansion in 1936.

My love for the Murder Mystery parties started about 30 years ago, when I was married to my kids’ dad. We put a number of them on then, and loved it.  When Don and I got together, we decided to revisit the idea, so I did a little research on the internet to come up with some new games.  The company that put out the games I had used years ago is called “How to Host a Murder.”  Back in the day, those games seemed kind of pricey, but worth the money (about $35 or $40 in the 80’s.)  The game came with everything you needed to put the mystery together- invitations, a tape you played at the start of the party with the “scene” set out, the list of characters, and even suggestions on what they might want to wear.  In the hosts’ booklet they often gave menu suggestions, making these parties a breeze to put on!

When your "Murder" takes place in England, the decor just calls out for some crowns, don't you think? and wouldn't you know, I just HAPPEN to have some crowns laying around? Not to mention, my events HAVE to have a signature martini to round out the fun!

When your “Murder” takes place in England, the decor just calls out for some crowns, don’t you think? and wouldn’t you know, I just HAPPEN to have some crowns laying around? Not to mention, my events HAVE to have a signature martini to round out the fun!

When I started looking for a newer version of the games, I found that the newer “digital” versions of the game are MUCH more pricey, often about $160.00.  This just seemed ridiculous to me, so I went on Ebay and Amazon and found the older versions, from the company I had used previously,  which were up for sale.  Most of them are still brand new, and in their original seal. And I paid between about $8 and $16 for them!   I have an old cassette player laying around, so that wasn’t a problem for me!  (For those of you who aren’t dinosaurs, or aren’t “savers” give me a call, you can borrow mine if you need one!)

It is Actually Very Simple….

So in detail, this is how it works:

Each game has a specific theme, and time period.

They have 8 players, 4 female and 4 male characters.

As I said above, each character is listed with a bit about them, and a suggestion of what their attire might be.

When you decide to do one of these parties, you need to know that you have friends who are pretty reliable, and will be there once they commit. Without ALL 8 of the players/characters present, you really wouldn’t be able to play the game. So, in thinking up your guest list, think about people who would be reliable, enjoy dressing in costume, and who wouldn’t mind if a bit of the conversation has some “racey” innuendo. Trust me, when people start getting into their characters, the fun REALLY begins!

Mike, as Dr. Malcolm "Mal" Praktiss and Olha, as Dame Allison Bigh. Funny thing is, Mike came practically screaming and kicking when he found out it was a Murder Mystery and he had to come in costume, but I think he had the most fun of all!

Mike, as Dr. Malcolm “Mal” Praktiss and Olha, as Dame Allison Bigh, when we did The Watersdown Affair. Funny thing is, Mike came practically screaming and kicking when he found out it was a Murder Mystery and he had to come in costume, but I think he had the most fun of all!

Once you get a date and have your 8 people, the way I find to be easiest is to scan one of the invitations, and send it to your guest list, letting them know which character they will be.

Props we placed outside our front door for our Western murder mystery, The Good, The Bad and The Guilty! . The bale of hay SEEMED like a good idea, until I found out what a HUGE mess the hay made- just sitting there! In my house, in my yard, Dons SUV from getting it there……… NEVER AGAIN with the hay bale!

The way the playing takes place is that upon arrival, every guest is given a book made specifically for their character.  Instruct them not to look at it until you tell them to. When everyone is present, you play the tape that explains the situation (murder) that has happened, and gives you some details regarding the event.  Guests may take notes in their playbooks.  Most of the murders are divided into 4 “scenes” or chapters.  In each scene, your guests will each be given specific clues which they must bring out, and others that they “may” divulge, only if asked by another character.

Marc was Elias Truist-Heath, an "up and coming" heart-throb gunfighter. Kim, as the lengendary Butch Chastity, the first lady of outlaws. I was Elvira-Lynn Fekshin, the "consummate soiled dove" of the town dont miss out on the pronunciation of her name!) And Don, as Chief Breaking Wind, the distinguished leader of the Cowpai Tribe! We all had fun with our costumes for this one!

4 of us at our Western Murder Mystery we did last spring.  This was was titled, The Good, The Bad and The Guilty, set in The Wyoming Territory 1881!  Marc was Elias Truist-Heath, an “up and coming” heart-throb gunfighter. Kim, as the lengendary Butch Chastity, the first lady of outlaws. I was Elvira-Lynn Fekshin, the “consummate soiled dove” of the town (don’t miss out on the pronunciation of her name!) And Don, as Chief Breaking Wind, the distinguished leader of the Cowpai Tribe! We all had fun with our costumes for this one!

Often, there will be some pretty funny, and sometimes “racy” facts that have to be brought out, such as one character being an illegitimate child of one of the other players, or someone who is having an affair, etc. That’s why, if your crowd is too “straight laced” it may not work out too well!

Johnny as P Elvis Swagarin - a lonely gunslinger, and Geralyn as Helena Handcart, mother of the 13 "Handcart Boys"

Johnny as P Elvis Swagarin – a lonely gunslinger, and Geralyn as Helena Handcart, mother of the 13 “Handcart Boys.” Poor  Helena lost all 13 of her boys after a gunfight at the Parkkay Coral!

Believe me when I tell you, if you have some fun friends, it’s very easy to get into character, and the whole evening becomes ridiculously fun!

K.I.S.S

Keep it Simple Silly!

As far as the menu and the food go- this is my recommendation.  Figure out a way that as the hostess, you don’t have to disappear into the kitchen for long periods, or you will miss too much of the fun- and perhaps a clue or two!

I have done these parties a few different ways.  How you will do it will depend on your budget.  I either make sure my menu can be pretty well prepared beforehand, and will just need to be taken out of the oven at the last minute, or I get someone to help in the kitchen, and they will bring the food out and serve it, so I can stay with my guests having fun at the table. I don’t want to miss out on any more of the silliness and the banter than absolutely necessary!

If you didn’t want to worry about dealing with the food, call in for pizza!  People don’t really care- they just enjoy working through the mystery and playing their parts!

The most important part of entertaining is HAVING FUN!  Don’t make it stressful on yourself- make it easy- whatever “easy” is to you, so you can enjoy it!

Typically, I start the evening at 6 PM and some have lasted as late as 11, depending on the story and the story line, so we have appetizers and drinks as people arrive, go through the introduction of the scene and our characters, and then move into the dining room for scenes 1-4.

No one gets into character more than my beautiful friend Stella! She turned out to be quite the "black widow" in this murder mystery, having buried 3 husbands due to mysterious deaths!

No one gets into character more than my beautiful friend Stella! Her character in this one was called Dee Adela Muerte, and she turned out to be quite the “black widow” in this murder mystery, having buried 3 husbands due to mysterious deaths!

Our table setting for our Western Murder Mystery. This one was really easy- a few yards of “patchwork” fabric sewn together and some bandanas ordered from Oriental Trading Company, tied with twine for napkin rings! Drinks were served in Mason Jar Mugs! The menu for this event was simple easy- I dida simple salad,  BBQ ribs, roasted potatoes, etc. and for dessert root beer floats!

By the end of the evening, you will find that most of your friends LOVE playing the part of someone who is nothing like them, and you will have some great laughs and memories.  And…… you may just find out you are a murderer!  No one, not even the host, knows “who done it” until the end of the night!

Is there anyone who couldn't come up with these fun and simple costumes from their closet?

Is there anyone who couldn’t come up with these fun and simple costumes from their closet? The Western theme lends itself to simplicity!

 

Stella played the part of Dee Adela Muerte, the thrice-widowed Mexican beauty..... And Al was Wyatt Hertz, the most famous lawman in the west!

Stella played the part of Dee Adela Muerte, the thrice-widowed Mexican beauty….. And Al was Wyatt Hertz, the most famous lawman in the west!

The memories you make with these parties last for years!  I still fondly remember the ones we did back in the 80’s and 90’s and the friends who attended still mention them when we get together!  It’s not just another boring evening at home!

Our most recent "Murder" was last weekend, with Murder at the Mardi Gras. While we had a great time with our guests, I have to be honest and say that this wasn't the most well written of the murder mysteries I've ever given. It was really lacking in detail!

Our most recent “Murder” was last weekend, with Murder at the Mardi Gras. While we had a great time with our guests, I have to be honest and say that this wasn’t the most well written of the murder mysteries I’ve ever given. It was really lacking in detail!

This was the whole gang from our Mardi Gras event! The evening was a lot of fun, even if the mystery itself wasn't too well written!

This was the whole gang from our Mardi Gras event! The evening was a lot of fun, even if the mystery itself wasn’t too well written! From L-R  Skip was J. Stephen Peek, family attorney, Stella was Connika Gothika, famous author, Don was Cayenne Pepper, the family chef, Patti as Alexis DuPre, reigning “Magnolia Queen”, Terry, (in front on knees) was “Gator” Crovitz, alligator fisherman,  Gerri was Melissa DuPre, the trampy gold-digging wife, Adam was Bourbon DuPre, jazz musician from the French Quarter and Bella was Elise St. Gresch, the family live-in maid.

 

Spring Networking Social

Adventures With Attitude!, Cocktail Time, Entertaining, Events, Living a Royal Life, Martini Magic, Martinis, Networking Event

Spring Social Success!

“The Queens’ Spring Networking Social” proved to be a success!  When you have a home decorated for spring, a houseful of dynamic professional women, delicious food, a sunny Southern California afternoon, and LEMON DROP MARTINIS…….how could you lose?

Fabulous women, delicious food, a gorgeous sunny afternoon....... and some Lemon Drop Martinis..... What better environment for networking and making connections?

Fabulous women, delicious food, a gorgeous sunny afternoon……. and some Lemon Drop Martinis….. What better environment for networking and making connections?

 

Connections being made, friendships formed and women connecting with other entrepreneurial women is what its all about!

Connections being made, friendships formed and women connecting with other entrepreneurial women is what it’s all about!

Janina, Adele and Peggy enjoying a bit of wine and some Lemon Drop Martinis, when the Flamingo decided to photo bomb them!

Janina, Adele and Peggy enjoying a bit of wine and some Lemon Drop Martinis, when the Flamingo decided to photo bomb them!

Introduction time, and time to give away a few raffles!

Introduction time, and time to give away a few raffles!

If you aren’t on my email list and would like to be notified of upcoming events, please let me know!  I’ll be happy to add you so that you don’t miss out on the fun and frivolity!

Wendy and Natalie enjoying getting to know one another at "The Queens Spring Networking Social!"

Wendy and Natalie enjoying getting to know one another at “The Queens Spring Networking Social!”

Is it a generational thing? Drinks in the hands of 2 ladies, and a phone in the 3rd!

Is it a generational thing? Drinks in the hands of 2 ladies, and a phone in the 3rd!

"The Queen" Patti Phillips seems to be standing guard over the food table!

“The Queen” Patti Phillips seems to be standing guard over the food table!

Don’t miss the next fun event!  We are having a Network, Sip & Shop event on May 2nd, 5:30-7:30 PM!  Stay tuned for the info to be posted soon!

 

Feeling Blue……. Tiffany Blue!

Adventures With Attitude!, Cocktail Time, Entertaining, Every Day is an Adventure, Fabulous After 50, Living a Royal Life, Martini Magic, Sensational after 70!, Sexy After 60!, The Queen's Castle- DIY
Is there any woman who doesnt love the look of the Tiffanys bag and gift box?

Is there any woman who doesnt love the look of the Tiffany’s bag and gift box?

Breakfast at Tiffany’s…….

Those of you who know me know I’m ALL about putting on a party. And theme parties are even BETTER! So many people tell me they don’t begin to know how to entertain, and can’t imagine where I come up with the ideas that I do.  I absolutely LOVE using my creativity – and theme parties are just the ticket to going “hog wild.”  In many cases, it doesn’t cost very much — in time or effort— to put on an event.  I hope that this article will prove to you just how easy it is!

I had wanted to do a “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” party for a while.  About 6 months ago, when ordering tablecloths for my new dining room table, I saw one that was Tiffany blue, and decided to go ahead and order it while I was getting another for an event. (You know the drill….. spend  $X amount and shipping is free. Always a GREAT reason to spend more money!)

Most of the lovely ladies who came out to enjoy the "Breakfast at Tiffany's" party!

Most of the lovely ladies who came out to enjoy the “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” party! (Just our photographer, Lauri was missing from this picture!

THEN- I saw a picture pop up on Facebook with a Tiffany Blue Mimosa, and WHAM……. I had to do it. It was the clincher for a fabulous “theme” brunch!

Patti - channeling her best "Holly Golightly" and holding one of the "Tiffany Blue Mimosas!

Patti – channeling her best “Holly Golightly” and holding one of the “Tiffany Blue Mimosas!

This party was going to be a bit different than some of my parties. I wanted this to be a small and intimate brunch. The hardest part of THAT is deciding how to only invite 8 friends. Where do you start? No matter who you invite, you wish you could invite 6 others too!  So, I decided to do a mix of 2 of my dance friends, 2 of my networking friends, etc….. and I literally did some point and pick….. very scientific… and away we went.

Back in the day I used to put a lot of time and effort into creating invitations, but now I just use Evite. The invitations are created and sent in about 5 minutes total, so it’s easy as pie!

Channeling Our “Inner Audrey Hepburn!”

On the Evite, I instructed the women to all “channel their inner Audrey Hepburn.” What is nice about this theme is that almost every woman has a black dress, and Audrey wore a number of them in the movie!  A black dress, an updo, and a cigarette holder, and you are pretty much decked out as “Holly Golightly!” We had to laugh, because my friend Karen went to pick up a cigarette holder the day before the party, and the lady at Party City said they had had a “run” on cigarette holders the past few days!  Sure enough, 4 of the girls had picked theirs up within a day of each other!

 

Olha channeled a perfect Holly Golightly! She may have given Audrey a run for her money!

Olha was a perfect Holly Golightly! She may have given Audrey a run for her money if she had been around when  Truman Capote was choosing his starlet!

A Rebel in Our Midst!

We had one rebel though!  My friend Stella copied the pink number that Audrey wore in the movie with a fabulous pink tiara to mimic the scene where Holly Golightly has her meltdown over losing her brother. We all think about the black dresses, but there are a few scenes where Holly is shown in pink!

Miss Stella with her creative pink hand crafted tiara! Who could beat that smile?

Miss Stella— the rebel— with her creative pink “hand crafted” tiara! Who could beat that smile? I love how someone’s cigarette holder is “photo bombing” the background, and looks SO real!

 

The menu was easy, as I have a few “go to” recipes for brunch.  We started with 2 different homemade scones with jams and cream, then a tasty fruit salad I recently got the recipe for, vegetarian quiche and a baked cinnamon apple French toast. Brunch is simple, you don’t need to go overboard.  Both main dishes, and the scones are something I can make ahead and freeze if I choose, then just bake the day of the event.  (I made the main dishes a day ahead, and put extras of both in the freezer for a Girl’s Getaway I’m doing in a few weeks! Do the work for 2 or 3 events at once ladies!  It makes entertaining SO much easier!)

The whole gang toasting to Holly Golightly and Breakfast at Tiffanys!

The whole gang toasting to Holly Golightly and Breakfast at Tiffany’s!

If you wanted to make this simple party even LESS work, ask 2 or 3 of the guests to bring  a dish. Others could bring a bottle of sparkling wine, and your work as a hostess is almost as easy as setting the table! Personally, part of the fun for me is the cooking, so I almost always turn down offers for someone else to bring a dish.

Laurie.. channeling her best Audrey Hepburn, as I suggested in the invitation!

Lauri.. channeling her best Audrey Hepburn, as I suggested in the invitation!

When I started thinking about what to do for the centerpiece I thought that somehow incorporating some of Don’s grandmothers vintage stemmed glasses and pearls would be fun. So I started putting it together.  Remarkably, other than buying 2 “Tiffany blue” bowls I stumbled upon at Home Goods, and one container of pearls and “diamond” shaped jewels I saw at Michaels’, every thing else was just stuff I had around the house.

A close up of the table centerpiece just before the party. I just put together some vintage glasses, blue glass, an orchid and pearls I had around the house. In the background on the table you can see the little Tiffany bag that Don snuck in- with a surprise gift for me!

A close up of the table centerpiece just before the party. I just put together some vintage glasses, blue glass jewels,  an orchid and pearls I had around the house. In the background on the table you can see the little Tiffany bag that Don snuck in- with a surprise gift for me!

Since the time setting for Breakfast at Tiffany’s was from “back in the day” I even used Don’s grandmother’s vintage champagne glasses, made some blue sugar for the rim, tied a blue ribbon on the stem- and viola- the perfect way to serve the Tiffany Blue Mimosas! FABULOUS if I do say so myself.  I scoured my house for other “Tiffany” colored items, rearranged a few of my knick-knacks in the dining room, and added them to pull the theme together.

Make it “Instagramable!”

Everyone LOVES photos nowadays, and the “photo booth” seems to be prevalent at most parties, so I made some signs to hold up for photo ops!  It is the little details like that, which add so much to an event! Lucky for me, I had some blue card stock paper- since I didn’t get this brainstorm until about 10 PM the night before the party! I printed out the sayings I wanted on the card stock, cut into a “bubble”, and glued some bamboo skewers I had in the kitchen drawer on the back as “handles.” Then in the morning, I added a bit of glitter embellishment on some of the signs. Quick and easy!

Another last minute idea was a game of answering questions about Breakfast at Tiffany’s. This is one movie that has had a lot written about it, so coming up with 15 questions just took a few minutes.  Did you know that Truman Capote (the writer of Breakfast at Tiffany’s) wanted to cast Marilyn Monroe in the part of Holly Golightly?  Her agent didn’t want her to be associated with being a “call girl”- which is what most people assumed was how Holly paid the bills! Audrey Hepburn wasn’t first choice for the part! Imagine that!

Most of the ladies hadn’t seen the movie in years, so they didn’t know many of the answers, but it was a fun little game to play.  Miss Stella had just watched the movie again a few days before the event, so she was the grand prize winner!

Stella & Patti hamming it up with props!

Getting silly is part of the fun when you gt together with the girls, right? Miss Stella and I had to do a goofy picture!

Right before the party started, I had an unexpected last minute surprise! My amazing man, Don had gone out to an appointment and  I went in the dining room to take a picture of the table. On the table, at my place was a Tiffany’s bag!  I had scoured my house the night before, certain I had a Tiffany bag I could use for decor…… but couldn’t figure out WHERE this one had come from!  Don had taken it upon himself to go to Tiffany’s a few days before, and surprise me with a gift from there! THAT is the kind of stuff I need to put up with, with this man! Can you believe it? (If you remember the movie, Holly and Paul go in to Tiffany’s , and he gets her a gift.  Funny thing was, he only had $10.00 to spend on her!)

This is where the sneaky little devil snuck in a REAL Tiffanys bag for me to be surprised with!

This is where the sneaky little devil snuck in a REAL Tiffany’s bag for me to be surprised with!

All in all, the Breakfast at Tiffany’s was an easy and fun theme, it was an inexpensive party to put on, and we all had a FABULOUS time.  I must say, every one of the ladies looked amazing! After the first photo was posted on Facebook by one of the attendees, immediately the responses were, “I wish I was there.” “Why wasn’t I invited?”  “Pout, pout!”  So, invites have already been sent out for “Breakfast at Tiffany’s 2.0” with a whole new cast of friends!  Recreating this little event will be a snap!

And if you weren’t invited, it’s not because you aren’t “good enough” –or that I don’t love you to pieces– or that you aren’t as fabulous as Audrey Hepburn……. please refer back to the previous blog article I did, entitled  Emily Post is Dead.  It will help you understand why there is NO WHINING ALLOWED! No hostess can invite ALL the people she knows to EVERY event!

Think about doing an event yourself, and invite that hostess who has entertained you so many times!  She might enjoy the chance to just be the GUEST for a change! Entertaining is easier than you might think!

Tiffany Blue Mimosas

The Tiffany Blue Mimosa that was the final "inspiration" for the whole Breakfast at Tiffanys event!

The Tiffany Blue Mimosa that was the final “inspiration” for the whole Breakfast at Tiffany’s event!

I thought I’d share the Tiffany Blue Mimosa’s with you. Because of the time period of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and because I happened to have some,  I used the old fashioned type of champagne glasses that were popular in the 50’s and 60’s. Champagne flutes would also be nice for this drink.

Make “Tiffany Blue” sugar for the rim by taking a plastic bag, put enough sugar in it to cover the rims on the amount of glasses you have for your event.  Take blue food coloring, and put just a few drops right into the sugar.  Work it through until it is a beautiful “Tiffany Blue” color.  If it’s too dark, add more sugar.  If it’s too light, add more blue. Pour the sugar into a medium size plate (one that will accommodate the width of your  glass rim easily.

Take a slice of orange, lemon, lime- whatever fruit you have, run it around the rim of the glass, turn the glass over and dip it into the blue sugar.  (I often do the step the day before the event, so it’s one less “last minute” item I need to do.)

The drink itself couldn’t be easier.  Just put a bit of Blue Curacao in the bottom of your champagne glass or flute, and pour sparkling wine, Prosecco or Champagne  on top!  Viola’, you’ve got a beautiful Tiffany Blue Mimosa!

Here are the champagne glasses, with the rims "pre-sugared." This is another thing you can do ahead of time, so you don't have so much "last minute" flurry! I'm all about making the day of the party easy and fun! Nobody wants a stressed out hostess!

Here are the champagne glasses, with the rims “pre-sugared.” This is another thing you can do ahead of time, so you don’t have so much “last minute” flurry! I’m all about making the day of the party easy and fun! Nobody wants a stressed out hostess!

I have 2 "alcoves" in my dining room, so I just put whatever items around my house had a bit of a "Tiffany or Hepburn" feel to them......

I have 2 “alcoves” in my dining room, so I just put whatever items around my house had a bit of a “Tiffany or Hepburn” feel to them…...

The “Berry Delicious” Martini

Cocktail Time, Entertaining, Living a Royal Life, Martini Magic, Martinis, Sensational after 70!, Sexy After 60!
Berry Delicious Martini. (I'm admitting it right now- I had to use my daughter KT as the hand model. WTF has happened to my hands? They look 100!)

Berry Delicious Martini. (I’m admitting it right now- I had to use my daughter KT as the hand model. WTF has happened to my hands? They look 100!)

A Fun Summertime Drink!

I’m known  for creating a “signature drink” for all of my parties.  If I’m out at a restaurant and they have a martini menu, I pour over it looking for some tasty concoction that I might be able to plagiarize and make for an upcoming event. I call this “R & D.” You might think that stands for Research & Development.  I guess you could call it that…… or Rip-off & Duplicate! However you want to look at it, with a bit of knowledge as to what the ingredients are in a drink, I can form my own delicious version to share with my friends.   I can’t tell you how many drink menus I’ve snapped pictures of, so I can recreate my own tasty drinks.

Recently, I  created the Berry Delicious martini for my girlfriends at our monthly Bunko.  It was refreshing and perfect for summer.

I chose to “sugar” the rim, because I always love it with fruity martinis- not to mention, it looks so much more festive and fun!  You can make your own sugar, or take the easy way out!  I recently found some really nice colored and flavored sugars at Home Goods, in the section where they keep all the food items.  The colors are crisp and fun, and it’s a lot easier than mixing food coloring in with the sugar at home. (Also cheaper, and better than the ones you find at a liquor store. They seem to not clump up as much.)

If you are entertaining a large group, and want Martinis as your signature drink, use my trick to make up large batches.  Make up some of the martini ahead of time, freeze some of it in small round plastic containers and/or in ice cube trays. (if desired, put some blueberries or blackberries into the ice cube trays so they look nice as they melt.) Then for the event, put the martini mix in a big drink dispenser, or a punch bowl, and use the frozen martini cubes to keep it cold without watering down your delicious concoction!

A toast to you! My Bunko Ladies Enjoying The Berry Delicious Martini

A toast to you! My Bunko Ladies Enjoying The Berry Delicious Martini. They are always willing to try out my new concoctions each month!

Berry Delicious Martini Recipe

I don’t make my martinis really strong.  I’d rather people have fun and enjoy the drink – than get intoxicated and act like idiots.  You can make yours stronger if you want. Most martini’s you get out are primarily the alcohol, with just a splash of the juice for flavor…… adjust as you see fit.

I chill all the ingredients ahead of time, and actually put my alcohol directly into the freezer for a day or so ahead, so it’s frosty cold!

1 Part blueberry or raspberry flavored vodka

1/4 Part triple sec

2-3 Parts Blueberry Lemonade (I use Simply Lemonade with Blueberry)

1/4 Part Simple Syrup (optional)

Put all ingredients in a martini shaker and shake, or  if making a larger batch, put in a pitcher drink dispenser or punch bowl.  Stir, and add the ice you made with the martini mix to keep it cold.

Pour into martini glasses that have had the rims “sugared.”

Garnish with 4 or 5 blueberries on a toothpick, or just throw 3 or 4 berries into the bottom of your martini glass.

Another pretty garnish is a fresh cherry when they are in season.

Martini's in a punch bowl

I used this punch bowl to make martini’s a few weeks ago for a large party we had. They must have been good, because I went through 6 punch bowls in the first hour….. Can you IMAGINE if I tried to keep up with making them by the shaker full????? I would have gone bonkers!  Making them this way allowed me to enjoy the party! At this particular party, I didn’t serve my drinks in my martini glasses, because we were going to be out around the pool, so I served them in Mason-Jar glasses and called it “punch.” For another event, I’d have martini glasses ready, and call them martinis!  It’s all in the presentation ladies!

The Comedy Queen – LIVE!

Cocktail Time, Comedy, Entertaining, Events, Productions & Concerts

I have a show coming up, and it is sure to be sold out, so don’t wait!  Get your tickets now!  Only a few tickets left!

Contact me NOW to join the fun!

I give a 100% money back guarantee that I will make you laugh!  (And by the way – if you DON’T laugh, get yourself checked out, you just may be DEAD and they forgot to bury you!

Don’t miss out on the fun! This great new restaurant will be a fantastic venue for fun!

Emily Post is Dead…..

Entertaining, My Humble Opinion, Royal Ramblings!, Uncategorized

Emily Post is Dead….

Whatever happened to Emily Post?  Back in the day- (and I realize “the day” was a while back, and things have changed) society lived by a set of rules, known as etiquette.  The rules for how we conducted ourselves was large. About 2 or 3 inches thick as I recall.  There were details in it that didn’t really make a rats ass of difference in most people’s lives.  How to properly seat people at a dinner party.  Leaving a calling card when visiting.  When and how to use obscure pieces of flatware.  Those things probably won’t change our lives, at least life in todays’ society one bit.

But, there are still some rules of etiquette that SHOULD and could be implemented.

I probably entertain more than any 10 women put together. And I am amazed each and every time that an invitation goes out, just how rude people can be. (Sorry, just have to call it like it is!) I do realize that many people don’t entertain in their homes, and may not realize the amount of work that goes into it. Perhaps THAT is the excuse.  WHATEVER the excuse, I’d like to share a few easy rules for being a guest in someone’s home, which just may get you invited back.

A Few Simple Rules for Being a Good Guest…

  1. RSVP.

Just take the time to RSVP for the love of God!  It’s not that difficult!  I absolutely can’t believe the people who never respond in any way.  No yes, no no, no maybe!  Come on people!  If you don’t want to go, can’t stand the host, would rather pull lint out of your belly-button, or lice off of your significant other-  JUST LET THE PERSON WHO ASKED YOU KNOW YOU WON’T BE THERE.  No. A simple no.  Nowadays, other than a wedding invitation, most of your invitations can be responded to via email, response to evite, or via text.  JUST TAKE A FRICKIN’ MINUTE TO LET THE HOST OR HOSTESS KNOW YOUR INTENTIONS!

The “Maybe” response……. I understand the Maybe response- if your daughter is due to give birth sometime the 3rd week of January, so your response is “As long as we aren’t on our way to Nebraska, due to Janie’s impending birth.” That’s a good reason for a maybe.  Absolutely.  It’s the “maybe’s” that make the hostess feel like you are just waiting to see if something better comes up which really piss me off.  Look, if you can’t give a definite YES, I’d like to be there, because you really DON’T want to be there, give a resounding NO, and move on. If you have to see what your work schedule is, and they don’t let you know until the Tuesday of the event…… OK on that.  But just maybe, a maybe that, once again looks like you are waiting to see if possibly Angelina Jolie is going to invite you over for drinks, but… if she doesn’t, you might show up are rude….. just plain rude…..

I think that California is particularly prone to this. Everyone wants to wait until the last moment to commit, fearing they might miss something better.  As Bon Qui Qui would say. RUDE!

I recently had a big party for my 60th birthday.  I rented a room, had a band, and had it catered.  I BEGGED people, via Evite to just let me know whether or not they were coming.  In the end, there were 60 people who never responded one way or the other.  That could be up to 120 people who may- or may not be there.  Kind of a BIG difference when you are paying to cater something.

I entertain enough to know what the average response rate is, and I had my numbers within 5 people of who actually DID attend. But SERIOUSLY?  If I didn’t entertain on almost a weekly basis, I wouldn’t have had any idea how many people to tell the caterer to plan on.

2. HOSTESS GIFTS—- Not to “Wine”……….

A girl can only use SO much wine!

I think it is really thoughtful when people bring a hostess gift for the hostess.  You definitely deserve Kudos for the thoughtfulness.  Can I give you a hint on what NOT to bring for said hostess gift.  2 items I suggest you forget about bringing to a hostess. (Keep in mind- I’m the girl who has held about 10 events in the past 3 months).  PLEASE, rethink the bottle of wine, and cut flowers.  At one of my housewarming parties a few years ago I received over 30 bottles of wine.  As a single woman who rarely drinks wine, and then, only white wine ( and, I’ll admit it- shit white wine at that), there was not a chance I was going to ever drink that much wine, not to mention, be able to store it.  Can I just say…… IT IS UNIMAGINATIVE!  It’s boring.  It’s the easy way out, and most likely, it’s wine some other unimaginative, boring person gave YOU!  Come up with something that the hostess might really be able to use.  It’s simple. It’s more fun.  And it says you really care.

You Don’t Bring Me Flowers……. Anymore…..

The other item to stop bringing…… cut flowers that need to be put in a vase.  The last thing in the world a hostess has time to do when a slew of people are walking in her door is figure out where a damned vase that will fit your flowers is! AND, if her cupboard where vases are stored is where my vase cupboard has been in all my previous homes, it is 6 feet up, above the oven, and they are stacked in there in such a way that opening it may be life threatening.  DON’T DO THIS TO THE WOMAN WHO JUST MADE YOU A MEAL!  Either bring a plant that is in a ready-to-go container, a flowering plant or flowers in a vase.  Don’t add stress to the woman who just put this event together. It’s stressful to figure out what to do with a bouquet of flowers when so much is going on!

A potted plant is a great gift! A hostess doesn’t have to find a vase, take time to arrange it, and can plop it down and carry on!

Use Your Imagination…..

You might wonder, what in the world you are supposed to being a hostess if not wine and flowers? Bring something seasonal.  An ornament or decoration if it’s the holiday season.  A pretty fall accessory. An orchid or other flowering plant which can be set down and dealt with later.  If you know the hostess has a passion for something, bring something that speaks to that.  A friend recently brought the cutest little mug set to a party I gave. One said “The Queen of Damn Near Everything.”  The other “The King of Whatever’s Left.” Something for both Don and I, that said she’d thought about it!  Another friend brought a lovely orchid.  For about 8 weeks, I had blooms that made me think of her. Neither cost more that most bottles of wine, I’m sure! But they spoke volumes to me when I received them.

This was a hostess gift that showed me the giver KNEW me, and took time to bring something fitting my tastes and quirks!

3. DON’T BRING A GUEST WITHOUT TELLING THE HOST

I am probably the most “more the merrier” person in the world.  Unless I’m putting on an event that can only have a specific number of people for a good reason, I always say “bring whoever you want.”  HOWEVER, if you do that, can you PLEASE clue the hostess in that someone she may not know will be arriving?

On more than one occasion I have been in my home at a party and see someone I don’t know, enjoying food and drink.  It is very awkward to walk up to a person in your home, and inquire who they are, and how they got there!  It’s really not that tough to clue the hostess in that you have brought a friend, and introduce you, or to tell her your friend may be stopping by. COME ON PEOPLE- should we have to tell you this shit?

4. DON’T WHINE IF YOU AREN’T INVITED TO SOMETHING.

As a host or hostess, we can’t invite ALL of the people ALL of the time.  I have had numerous occasions where, at a smaller gathering I haven’t invited someone that might come to other gatherings I have.  When you are having a sit-down luncheon for example, only a certain number of people can fit at the table.

DON’T BE THE PERSON WHO GETS ALL BUTT HURT BECAUSE YOU WEREN’T INVITED!

I can’t begin to tell you the many times I’ve seen people getting all up in arms because someone had an event and they weren’t invited to go!  GET OVER IT!  We aren’t in 3rd grade.  We can’t always invite every damned person we know, AND….. I’ll bet those of you who get all butt hurt NEVER INVITE THOSE SAME PEOPLE TO YOUR HOUSE! It’s always the ones who want to be invited to every damned thing who never invite others to their house! They typically don’t entertain, yet they WANT to be entertained!

Take a look at your social skills people!  Are you being a good guest?  Taking time to RSVP? Inviting your favorite hostess to your house now and then? Remember your mother’s old saying, “To have a good friend you need to BE a good friend!”

We are all adults here.  Let’s look back at some of Emily Posts rules, and take a bit of time to follow some of them.  You will be glad you did!  (And so will the hostess who invited you!)

Queen for a Day Retreat is Coming!

Adventures With Attitude!, Cocktail Time, Entertaining, Events, Fabulous After 50, Health = Happiness!, Networking Event, Sexy After 60!, You Can't Make This Shit Up!

The first “Queen for a Day” retreat is coming soon, and you won’t want to miss this!

The theme is “Learn to Live Like Royalty.” February 24th 9:30-4:00 with an optional “Happy Hour” afterwards! All of the needed details are on the flyer above.

Speakers, Delicious food catered by Etoufee’ Cafe on Wheels, Spa Treatments, Vision Boarding and more- all geared toward YOU and you creating a life you love! There will be raffles, give-aways and swag bags worth over $50.00 for each woman attending!

This day is going to be more fun than you can shake a stick at! Girlfriends galore, and more information, fun and fabulous-ness than you will EVER be able to stand!

Space will be limited, so sign up now!

If 2018 is the year that you are determined to get your life on track, be more successful and enjoy your life SO much more- then you need to attend this fun filled event!

More details about our fabulous speakers and sponsors will follow soon!  Don’t miss out- get your reservation in soon!

I have places for only 2 sponsors left, so if you’d like to sponsor, contact me NOW! Only $300.00 and you get to bring a friend/colleague, whatever!

Go to eventbrite or contact Patti Phillips to sign up: https://queenforadayretreat.eventbrite.com

800-680-9133

“Tea With the Queen” Networking Event

Cocktail Time, Entertaining, Events, Networking Event

Delicious Home Made Treats, just for you!

Ladies, Are you looking for a fun and different way to network and meet “like minded business women?  Look no further!  I love putting on events for women which are a little bit different than the “lunch or evening in a restaurant” networking.  When you are relaxed and feel “at home” you can connect on a whole different level!  Come and enjoy afternoon tea in my home, which is transformed for the holidays!

Holiday NETWORKING “Tea With the Queen”


Enjoy a beautiful afternoon tea amidst beautiful holiday decorations in a gorgeous Carlsbad home while networking with like-minded women.  Shop for beautiful “bling” too! I have gorgeous handbags, handmade jewelry, hair jewels, tiaras and MORE!  All at “below retail prices.”

After all, why “Network” when you can “Net-FUN!?”

These are some of my fun “treasures” when I had a booth at a recent business seminar.

When:  Monday, December 4th 12:30-3:30

Where: A private Carlsbad Aviara Home (address given once  you register)

What:  Tea, Homemade scones and Lemon Curd, Tea Sandwiches, Dainties, A Signature drink for those who like to “Imbibe” and Shopping for the Crown Jewels and Bling!

$25.00 to attend.  Must preregister.

How:  Go to Eventbrite to register.  Space is VERY limited for this event, so don’t wait! https://christmasteawiththequeen.eventbrite.com

or Contact Patti@TheQueenofDamnNearEverything.com or 619-507-2100

Denim & Silver handbag

This denim, silver and rhinestone handbag goes with everything! Casual to classic!

Blueberry Lemon Drop Martini

Cocktail Time, Entertaining, Fabulous After 50, Uncategorized
Blueberry Lemondrop Martinis

Delicious & refreshing Blueberry Lemon Drop Martinis are perfect for summer! (I’m pretty sure we could claim some healthy “antioxidant” benefits here as well, if it makes you feel better!

Blueberry Lemon Drop Martinis

As many of you know, I’m known for my signature martinis at each event I hold.  I am always trying to come up with something new and different.  I created this one a few months ago for my bunko girls, and believe me- the Blueberry Lemon Drop was a definite hit!

I came up with the idea when I came across Blueberry Puree at Bev-Mo.  I thought it could create a delicious drink, easily, and I was right!  (Of course, I’m right most of the time, after all!  I AM the Queen!)

Martini Drinking in Lake Geneva, Wis.!

This was a great little martini I discovered in Lake Geneva, Wis. on our trip there earlier this summer. Check out the Maxwell Mansion if you need a fabulous little place to stay sometime! BTW- Isn’t my man just the cutest thing in the world?

 DIRECTIONS:

In a small sandwich sized zip-lock bag Mix superfine sugar with a few drops of yellow food coloring, and a few drops of Orange or lemon flavoring- until sugar is a consistent color and flavoring is mixed in. Pour into a plate.  You may skip this step if desired, and just use plain sugar.

Slice lemons  into wedges, to run around the rims of your glasses.  Use Lemon wedges to moisten edge of glasses, and dip into your colored sugar mixture.  This can be done before your event, so you don’t have to take time once your guests arrive.

I garnish these martinis by simply putting 3 blueberries in the bottom of each martini glass.  You could also put the blueberries on drink toothpicks if you want to fancy it up a bit.  I personally like the blueberries floating in the glass.

 

2 parts vodka (put in freezer for a day or two before event to get as cold as possible)

1 part lemonade

½ part sweet & sour bar mix (pre-chill)

½ part blueberry puree (you can find in stores such as Bev-mo pre made, or puree your own blueberries with simple syrup)

¼ part simple syrup

Put all ingredients into a shaker, pour into sugared martini glasses and garnish with the blueberries.

The Watermelon Crawl Martini

Cocktail Time, Entertaining, Fabulous After 50, Uncategorized

The Watermelon Crawl Martini

If you aren’t into country music, you may not be familiar with the song, “The Watermelon Crawl.”

Too many martinis of any kind, and that is JUST what will happen!  You’ll end up crawling!  I don’t make my martinis very strong.  I don’t want to take a chance that anyone will have an issue on my watch!  These look pretty on a summer evening, and go down very smoothly!

Watermelon Crawl Martini

The Watermelon Crawl Martini, at our “Picnic Themed” Bunko night.

Watermelon Crawl Martini Recipe

2 – 3 Parts Fresh Watermelon Juice

3 parts Watermelon Vodka (I like to store my vodka in the freezer before using)

1 part Triple Sec

1 part Malibu Rum (Chill in Freezer)

2 parts pink lemonade

***  Watermelon Juice 0r Watermelon Puree (Personally, I simply puree the watermelon in a blender). A neighbor of mine found watermelon juice at Costco, which would also work well.)

Put ice into martini shaker, then add ingredients.  Shake and pour into martini glasses.  Garnish with a small watermelon wedge, or strawberries.

You may sugar the rim before serving if you desire.  I add  red food coloring to the sugar, to make it pink.

This drink can also be made in pitchers, and served in tall glasses or mason jars over ice for a more casual event such as a picnic.

It is refreshing and delicious, I must say!

 

Watermelon crawl martini

Here I am enjoying The Watermelon Crawl Martini at our June Bunko Game! We had a picnic theme, so what could be better? Notice my special “queen” martini glass? Also, my necklace says “The Queen of Damn Near Everything”- proving, once again, that I AM!