Ask B: Splitting the Bill

 

Dear B,

I love to dine out with my girlfriends, and we try to do brunch or dinners about once a month. Along with our entries, some of us will share appetizers or salads, or enjoy a bottle of rose or cocktails. When it comes to the bill though, I’m constantly perplexed about the best way to split it. Do you recommend splitting it evenly, even if some of the girls don’t drink or have one of the appetizers? What is most fair?

Sincerely,

H


Dear H,

Good for you for doing monthly girls dinners! It’s so important to make time for friends, and what better way to catch up than over a fabulous meal.  The check can be a sticky situation though, so my advice includes two options: Option number one is to kindly ask your group if they mind having separate checks. If all are in agreement, then notify your server, at the beginning of the evening, to split the bill. In other words, each person will receive a bill for exactly what they ordered. This way, everyone can be in charge of their own check. Option number two is to evenly split the check between all of the guests. If everyone has a meal that adds up to essentially the same amount, then it makes perfect sense to just do an equal divide. Another thing to consider (and something my friends do since I don’t drink), is if you enjoyed cocktails and one of the other girls didn’t, perhaps offer to cover her portion of the tip. Also, if you’re celebrating someone special, e.g. someone’s birthday, it’s lovely to cover their portion of the bill.

Quick Tips
Etiquette

No. 1

“WHEN ATTENDING A WEDDING, IT’S ALWAYS BETTER TO BE OVERDRESSED.”

Wedding Guest Attire Etiquette

3rd Birthday Party

We recently celebrated our sweet son’s 3rd birthday, and what fun we had! I still can’t believe he’s 3 years old – time is going by so very fast! While I’ve always tried to cherish every minute of our boy’s childhoods, I’m finding myself holding on tighter than ever. These years are so precious and I am savoring every minute and every stage of life with them.

Back to the party! Since C is a summer birthday, we decided a pool party would be the perfect way to celebrate. What toddler doesn’t love to splash and swim on a hot summer day? C chose a construction theme, which is only fitting since he adores all things trucks, cranes and excavators. Once he had his heart set on the theme, it was off to the races with planning, and I found these darling invitations by our favorite stationery designer (we love Lucy!), which inspired the entire look of the party. Lucy designed adorable invites that combined C’s construction passion – cue the dump trucks! – with the charm of a third birthday.

We opted for simple and sweet party decor, featuring a bright and cheerful color scheme of yellow, red, blue and green. These Meri Meri plates and napkins stole my heart, and paired with the royal blue table clothes made for a swoon worthy toddler table setting. Multicolored confetti, party blowers, and shiny yellow construction party hats added festive bursts of color to the table, and a construction themed coloring activity and crayons kept the little ones busy post-swim. The kids nibbled on chicken fingers, waffle cut fries and fruit for lunch, as well as blue confetti birthday cake, and took home blue and green bubble wands  as party favors. As you can imagine, C enjoyed his party beyond words!

So what have I learned now that I’ve planned three birthday parties for our son? My biggest pieces of advice are to plan ahead and be organized, choose a theme that’s special to your child, offer an activity for the children, and of course delicious food and cake. At the end of the day, your child will love whatever party you host, be it a small family gathering or get together with their friends. Also, be sure to snap a handful of pictures to remember the day. And as always, have fun!

Next up is baby brother’s first birthday, and we’ll be celebrating with a “Our Little Pumpkin is Turing 1” theme. Stay tuned for all the details!

Advice
HOSTESS WITH THE MOSTESS

No. 2

“IT’S ALL ABOUT THE THOUGHTFUL DETAILS WHEN ENTERTAINING, SO CONSIDER LITTLE EXTRAS SUCH AS CUSTOM NAPKINS OR UNIQUE PARTY FAVORS.”

MORE SOCIAL ETIQUETTE TIPS

Top 5 Coffee Table Books

While the time honored adage of “everything in moderation” typically applies, when it comes to beautiful literature (and dessert!), the more the better! I truly don’t think you can ever have too many fabulous books. Not only do they enrich a home, but they are a great conversation piece with guests. As soon as I had my own apartment after college, I began collecting coffee table books, seeking out colorful and ornate covers, color coding spines, and curating a library of my favorites. I remember the very first coffee table book that I purchased – The Audrey Hepburn Treasures. I found it while exploring the gift gallery at Barney’s, and spotted it prouldy perched atop a stack of interior design books. There was something about Audrey’s playful smile on the cover and the pastel pink binding, that I knew I had to have it. 

Over the years, and even as recent as our move this summer, I have continued to collect books and expand my collection. Why do I love these books so much? Where do I begin! They offer exquisite photography, endless inspiration, interesting stories, and of course an element of chicness to any room. I tend to gravitate towards interior design an entertaining books, however I think it’s important to diversify one’s content, and so I also have some gorgeous fashion, travel, and even nature books mixed in. As you create your own collection, use your passion (fashion, table setting, etc.) as the foundation for the collection, and then incorporate other topics so you too can have a nice mix. Also, be sure to check out my post on how to style your bookshelves. Styling shelves sounds simple and easy enough, but it’s really an art, as you want to strike the perfect balance between height and color, and form and function. And so, here are my top five favorite coffee table books that I adore and think you will too. Enjoy!

Carolyn Rhoem, A Passion for Blue & White

An ode to the most coveted color combination, this book will steal your heart. It’s filled with interior design and table setting inspiration, and the perfect addition to your library or even a gift for a friend. Trust me, you need this book!

Big Book of Chic

Read the title and need I say more? It’s what ever chic gal needs, and the simple yet bold cover – a white book jacket with scarlet red lettering – adds an air of sophistication to any bookshelf. My best friend gave this to me for my birthday a few years ago, and it has since been my absolutely favorite.

Charlotte Moss

Charlotte Moss knows a thing or two about table setting and interior design, and this book is a testament to her talents. The cover itself – blue and white ginger jars filled with striking orange and yellow blooms – is perfection and truly sets the tone for this special book.

Tory Burch In Color

I had the pleasure of hearing Tory Burch speak in 2014 when she launched this stunning book. She is as engaging, brilliant, and inspiring as you would imagine, and every time I see this book on our shelf, I think of what an incredible role model she is. I will always remember her words from that day – “If it doesn’t scare you, you’re probably not dreaming big enough.”

Veranda The Art of Outdoor Living

I love all of Veranda’s books for their elegant aesthetic and shelf presence. There is something about this book in particular though with its cover featuring lush emerald hued greenery that always captures my attention.