Ask B: Big Family, Small Wedding Dilemma



Dear B,

My daughter is getting married in June and has selected a country club venue with a limit of 120 people. I have a somewhat large family (local), and not all can be invited. How do you tell some family they won’t be invited? When invitations go out, there will be drama!




Dear MOB,

I will admit this is a sticky situation, however not to worry, I have a solution! I think honesty is the best policy, so consider meeting individually with your extended family (lunch with an aunt and uncle, afternoon walk with a cousin, etc.) to share the news face-to-face. Sincerely explain how hard this has been for you and your daughter, as you wish everyone could be at the wedding. Let them know since the country club has a limited number of people they will allow, the guest list needs to be limited to immediate family and the wedding party and you hope they can understand. Expect them to be disappointed not to witness your daughter’s nuptials, however hopefully they will be able to see your perspective. One last thing to consider, MOB – as a nod to family (and friends) not invited to the wedding and way to include them in the celebration, perhaps you could host a “Introducing Mr. & Mrs.” fête for the newlyweds once they return from their honeymoon. Good luck!

Monogram Etiquette



ClutchNapkinsNecklaceTrayJewelry RollRobeBag Tag


For as long as I can remember, I have adored the art of monogramming. From our beloved monogrammed bedding, to monogramming baby gifts (essentially everything!) for our sweet son, there seems to always be an occasion for personalization. So why is monogramming oh so special, you ask? It’s more than simply stitching your initials or name onto a set of downy white egyptian cotton towels – monogramming is self-expression, and a window into your unique and fabulous sense of style. It allows you to be creative and tell your own personal tale through the colors you choose and fonts you select. Block, interlocking, script, circle, the options are endless! Here are just a smattering of my most favorite monogrammed goods, as well as monogram guide to keep in mind the next time you’re inspired to customize. Enjoy!

Quick Tips

Monogram Guide


Ladies option 1: BEU (first name, middle name, last name; letters all the same size)

Ladies option 2: BUE (first name, last name, middle name, last name initial is larger)

Gentleman option 1: CTU (first name, middle name, last name; letters all the same size)

Gentleman option 2: CUT (first name, last name, middle name, last name initial is larger)

Married Couple: BUC (wife’s first name, last name, husband’s first name; last name initial is larger)

Single Initial: B or U (first name or last name)

Four initial option 1: BEHU (monogram all initials in one row, all the same size, in the normal order they would appear)

Four initial option 2: Like this (monogram initials with the first three positioned vertically and the last initial, larger, to the right; this arrangement also works for monograms that appear awkward in certain orders such as the one above, “CUT”)

Roman numerals option 1: CTU IV (first name, last name, middle name, roman numeral, all in one row and the same size)

Roman numerals options 2: CTU (omit the roman numbers, and follow the ladies/gentleman option 1)

Hyphenated name option 1: CCM (first name, first part of hyphenated name, second part of hyphenated name, all in one row and the same size)

Hyphenated name option 2: CMC (first name, second part of hyphenated name, first part of hyphenated name; second part of the hyphenated name – the M in this case – is larger)

Valentine’s Day Cookie Decorating Party















Over the weekend, I hosted a Valentine’s Day party for my girlfriends and what fun we had! In the spirit of Valentine’s Day and celebration of friendship, I invited the ladies over for a sweet soirée where we decorated heart-shaped cookies, indulged in a bit of bubbly and chocolate treats, and had a ball catching up. Planning the party proved just as fun (you know me, I adore hosting!) as the fete itself, and here are all my tips and tricks in case you wish to recreate this get together. Enjoy!

Invitation: Everyone loves to receive a festive invitation in their inbox, so I chose a heart adorned Paperless Post invite for my party. You could also send an invite in the mail, just be sure to keep track of the RSVPs.

Decor: When hosting a party, it’s all about the details, details, details! Guests notice and remember thoughtful decorative touches and it makes the event that much more special. Some of the darling decor elements that I used, include bright pink confetti, gold foil stamped pink napkins and white cups, and heart straws.

Flowers: Keeping with my theme of pink, white and gold, I created several cupid inspired floral arrangements filled with white hydrangeas, pink tulips, pink roses, and pink Gerber daisies.

Cookies, icing, and embellishments: I baked the heart-shaped cookies and made the frosting from scratch, and let me tell you dear readers, it was worth it every buttery bite! The cookies – I purchased the mix from Williams-Sonoma – had just the right amount of sweetness and that perfect crunch. I used this recipe for the icing, and played Picasso by adding food coloring to create loving shades of pink and lavender. As for the embellishments, guests could choose from pink or white sprinkles, Valentine’s Day colored candy corns, mini pastel conversation hearts, as well as pastel colored chocolate pens.

Favors: So guests would have a little something to nibble on post-party, I sent everyone home with gold foil stamped “XOXO” treat bags filled with pink and silver chocolate kisses.

Sips and snacks: Guests noshed on a chocolate and lemon thumbprints, chocolate covered strawberries, and a gourmet cheese plate. As for sips, guests had their choice between mini pink cans of champagne or sparkling water.

Quick Tips

Valentine's Day Cookie Decorating Party Planning Tips


Choose a color theme and use it for all elements of the party

Don’t have time to bake the cookies yourself? Some local bakeries will sell ready to decorate sugar cookies so call around!

It’s all about the thoughtful details, so consider little extras such as custom napkins or unique party favors

Offer four shades of icing and four types of embellishments so guests can get creative

Floral trick: wrap large leaves (i.e., banana leaves) around the inside of the vase to conceal stems

Use a table-cloth (cloth or disposable) to make clean-up a breeze

Be sure to offer beverage options for those who don’t care for cocktails