Ask B: Dinner Party Dilemma

Dear B, 

Whenever we host family or friends for dinner and they offer to bring something, I never know if I should take them up on it. On one hand, I’m the hostess so do I need to take care of everything? However on the other hand, they did offer, so is it polite to let them bring dessert, wine, etc.?


Ms. Hostess 

Ms. Hostess,

Great question, and one we can all identify with! This is entirely up to you. If a guest offers to bring dessert, however you have a certain menu you’re planning – say a French inspired night – and you’ve looked forward to making a Parisian apple tart for weeks – than kindly thank your guest, and let them know they only need to bring themselves. However if they offer to bring dessert and seem as though they’d love to contribute to the evening, and you would love some extra help, take them up on it! It will be one less thing for you to do (it’s a busy job being a hostess!), and a fabulous way to make your guest feel special and included. Happy hostessing!

How to Wash Your Makeup Brushes


For the past few weeks, every night when I’ve washed my face at bedtime, I’ve glanced over at my makeup brushes and made a mental footnote to wash them. Oh and treat myself to a new makeup bag. Except (cringe), I still haven’t washed them nor have I purchased a new bag. Life is busy with two little ones and often small tasks – like washing makeup brushes – seem to fall to the wayside. Good intentions always remain, and yet I can’t seem to remember to give those beautiful brushes the bath they deserve. We shower and wash our faces, so why do we procrastinate cleaning the tools that help to enhance our natural beauty?

As I applied my evening skin care routine last night, it occurred to me that, gasp, unclean brushes could be filled with bacteria and contribute to pesky breakouts. Despite dustings of pink blush, creamy foundation and graphite colored eyeshadow, the brushes look clean and still do their jobs, and yet I know what is lurking under those bristles. I’m a bit of a germaphobe and so this concept alone served as motivation to change my ways!

I did a bit of research, and learned that (no surprise!) brushes collect leftover makeup, bacteria, dead skin, oil and dust and if they haven’t been washed, you are applying this right back on to your face – yuck! Also, great quality brushes can be pricey, and so by regularly washing them you can extend the life of the brush. And so, I set out to get smart on the ins and outs of washing make up brushes and of course share my findings with you. Enjoy and cheers to the week ahead!



Ideally, wash your brushes once a week, to help remove build-up, and think of it as another step to your beauty ritual. Sunday is a nice day to give your brushes a good cleansing, as it will ensure everything is fresh for the week ahead. Not to mention it’s so easy peasy and takes a matter of minutes!



Set up a little station by your sink, and make sure you have the following supplies:



  1. First, rinse the brush tip under some warm running water. Be sure to only wash the actual brush bristles and not the handle or neck of brush, as water can break down the glue that holds the bristles and brush together.
  2. Next, place a generous drop of shampoo into the palm of your hand (and a drop of tea tree oil if you choose), and gently twirl the brush tip to create a nice bubbly lather.
  3. Rinse the brush under clean running water until the water runs clear. You might need to do two applications of shampoo for very dirty brushes, and again, rinse the soapy brushes until the water is clear.
  4. Using the cloth, gently dry the brushes.
  5. Reshape the bristles.
  6. Lay the brushes flat to dry on the counter.

Holiday Party Etiquette

We dressed in our holiday finest last night for a good friend’s Christmas party, and oh what fun we had! It was a cold and rainy winters night, so walking into their cozy home all aglow with twinkling lights, festive decorations, and cheerful chatter of party guests warmed us right up. We talked with old friends and met some new friends as well which is always a treat. Great conversation, lots of laughter and delicious food and cocktails capped off what was a truly special evening.

Since I know so many of you are attending holiday parties and dinners this week and through the end of the month, I wanted to share a few tips on holiday party etiquette. I think it’s always helpful to brush up on etiquette, especially this time of year when there are so many social engagements. And so, here are my tips and I wish you all happy holidays!


Holiday Party Etiquette

RSVP: While this seems like a no-brainer, so many people forget to RSVP – life is busy! But out of respect for the host, it’s best to always RSVP as soon as you receive the invitation.

Bring a hostess gift: It can be a fabulous bottle of wine or champagne, flowers, yummy chocolates, a candle, the list goes on and on. We brought some of our favorite peppermint bark cookies to the party last night, as we knew both our hosts and their children would love it!

Greeting the host: Be sure to greet your host upon arriving at the party, and also thank your host and say goodbye before you leave. It’s common courtesy, and takes a matter of minutes! While some people believe in “ghosting” or leaving a party without mentioning it to their host, I think if possible, it’s always best to say thank you and bye.

If you have the sniffles: FOMO is real, however if you’re sick stay home! You won’t have fun at a party if you’re under the weather, and the other guests will likely try to keep their distance if you’re coughing and sneezing. Be considerate of your own health and others if you find yourself sick the day of the party. And if you do fall ill, be sure to let the host know ASAP.

Be a social butterfly: Of course it’s great to chat with familiar faces at holiday parties, but try to introduce yourself to some new people as well. You never know who you will meet and what fabulous new friends you’ll make!

Remember your table manners: Whether it’s a sit down dinner or cocktails with a buffet of appetizers, remember the basics – chew with your mouth closed, use the proper utensils, napkin in your lap, etc.

Be a great conversationalist: Ask questions! This is how you get to know someone and create engaging conversation. Try and steer clear of politics, religion, and other topics that can cause tension. Also, come prepared with some current events in mind.

Say thank you: You can send a hand written thank you note, or even just send a quick email or text. Regardless, it’s always nice to follow-up and let your host know how much fun you had at their party.