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April Fool’s Day: Is there such a thing as going too far? I think not. (Just kidding!)

How far is too far for an April Fool’s Day joke? It’s all supposed to be a day filled with practical jokes and hoaxes and silliness. Until, it’s not. Years ago, on April Fool’s Day, I told my mom I was getting engaged to someone I had recently started dating. My acting must have been […]

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My New Year’s Resolution? Talk on the phone

Years ago, if I misbehaved, missed a curfew, or brought home a less than ideal report card, privileges would be taken away. If I was really naughty (so hard to imagine!) I would be grounded. No TV, no friends on the weekend, nothing. Nada. However, the worst punishment by far was when my phone privileges […]

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  • Cathy Chester - I have found that too much information gets misinterpreted on social media. You can’t see a persons face, and you can’t hear the inflections in their voice. You can read information wrong, or misunderstand someones intentions and jump to the wrong conclusions.

    Since I get paid to moderate FB groups I have to be on social media, aside from wanting to keep up with other blogs and keeping in touch with new online friends (like you!) But I’m trying to cut back, because I want to focus on using my time to get work in other creative areas.

    My BFF (twins) and I made a pact to call each other once a week (sometimes it turns out more than that, because we all live far away from each other.) I love the phone to speak with them; it makes all the difference. Sometimes we even Skype.

    I loved this post, Linda, because we are on the same wave length. Plus, I used to get my pink Princess phone taken away if I ever did something wrong. Which, of course, was never…..:-)
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    • Kim Phillips - I refuse to demonize social media (especially since I use it). I have to spend many hours there for my work, and I pick up all kinds of useful professional knowledge there. I also meet such interesting people and can keep up with my friends around the world. Recently, I sent a get-well card to a friend in Israel and he CALLED ME on the phone…I almost fainted. But mostly we follow each other’s antics on Facebook.ReplyCancel

  • Christina Simon - I prefer texting over the phone. Friends know I never answer my cell and the home phone is covered in dust!ReplyCancel

  • Sheryl - I know; I agree with everything you are saying. Although…sometimes it is just easier to email or text. BUT…nothing takes the place of a phone call and hearing someone else’s voice!ReplyCancel

  • Kim Phillips - Ditched the land line entirely about a year ago. It was only used by telemarketers to annoy me during dinner. But I do miss the casualness and intimacy of talking on the phone with a friend. Part of what’s killing that is that everybody uses their cell phone now, and they may not think to turn it off, so you hesitate to call in the event it’s a major interruption for them and for everyone around them. I have one friend who routinely leaves her phone on when she’s in the doctor’s office or at lunch or in shul and when I call, I get a most annoyed response. (Not my freakin’ fault you didn’t think to turn your ringer off.) Nowadays, voice mail is considered by some to be rude (make me sit through two or three minutes of rambling just to get “call me back”?) Texting seems the most polite thing to do. But it’s cold and has the same pitfalls (like lack of tone) that email does.ReplyCancel

  • Hayley Kaplan - Absolutely. Talking on the phone is a dying art that is being replaced by email and texting. I’m writing an article about the importance of parents reminding kids to talk on the phone and in person instead of only on social media or texts. Who would have ever thought we’d ever encourage phone use? It turns out that talking on the phone is an important social skill too that can also be compromised by lack of practice.ReplyCancel

  • Lois Alter Mark - I always tell my kids to pick up the phone and call their friends rather than just text them, and they have both told me that’s rude!! I find myself guilty of the same thing now, though. I hardly ever talk on the phone and I totally agree with you about the car. I like that alone time to think and listen to music. I’d much rather talk to my friends in person over lunch!ReplyCancel

  • Elaine - Funny how our relationship with the telephone has changed with the invention of cell phones and texting…I often feel that calling someone at home seems intrusive, but it used to be the other way around! Thanks for another great post CG.ReplyCancel

  • Sandra - I guess I’m he anomaly I hate talking on my cell. But I love the ease of texting. Much prefer to talk on the land line.

    There’s something more intimate about taking on a landline. The cell phone is for a quick text or quick call. I guess I’m old fashioned.
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  • Helene Cohen Bludman - I did the same thing you did, Linda – hung on the phone for hours with my friends and annoyed the hell out of my parents! Eventually my mother put a time limit on these calls. But these days I rarely talk on the phone anymore and find myself texting instead. Feel free to call me anytime and we’ll talk. :) ReplyCancel

  • Chrystal Viera - That is so true , I was just thinking of how I can get a friend to stop texting me and learn to pick up the phone . It’s sad w hen everyone is to busy to sit down and have a chat . Thank you for this post . Made me happy :) ReplyCancel

  • est. 1975 - We don’t even have a land line anymore because if we did we’d never use it. Though, I do miss my beige Ameritech princess phone and “teen line” from way back when (remember when it just said “Teen Line” in the phone book? Remember the phone book?)ReplyCancel

  • Kyle - I’m a throwback. I hate talking for more than a minute or two on my cell. When I call friends for a chat I pick up the land line – it feels right. If I’m home and someone calls me on my cell, I have to follow the sound to find it. At least with the land line, I know where it is.
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  • C. Lee Reed - What’s a landline? ha hah We don’t even own a house phone anymore; probably not for at least 10 years.
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  • Emily - Yup – agree with all of this. I recall sitting on the phone with my friends after school and we’d watch the “Brady Bunch” simultaneously. Ahhh, the 70s. I have found that the older I became, the less I wanted to talk on the phone. I’m not sure if that had to do with new technology/email/text or if it would have happened anyway. I will say, however, that when I talk to an old friend on the phone, I thoroughly enjoy it because it’s such a novelty rather than a regular occurrence.
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  • Heidi Sloss - I love talking on the phone and while I text and email to communicate, I can not stand all the back it takes to make one single date. I use my drive time to catch up with my mother, father or mother-in-law (bluetooth on of course). We still have a land line, but use it less and less. But because we live in earthquake country, we have been told that it has a higher probability of working in an emergency than our cells, so we keep the dinosaur around. Frankly the land line is just one more way for relatives to leave voice mails that take up time to listen to.ReplyCancel

  • Estelle Sobel Erasmus - Linda, I’m with you. I almost never use my land line. Usually I text or put my cell phone on speaker. I only use my land line to hear better than with my cell phone. Also, lucky you, I never had my own Princess phone in my room LOL. ReplyCancel

  • Susan Bonifant - I’ve become less tolerant of the phone since growing used to the multi-tasking you can do with one-sided communication. It’s made special occasions out of the rest of the times when you’re on the phone by choice, with your feet up and your coffee near.ReplyCancel

  • Susan Bonifant - I’ve become less tolerant of the phone since growing used to the multi-tasking you can do with one-sided communication. It’s made special occasions out of the rest of the times when you’re on the phone by choice, with your feet up and your coffee near.ReplyCancel

  • Sandra Sallin - I still prefer talking on a landline. Maybe it’s because I have lousy reception in my house. You have to go out to the driveway to speak. Thus I’m proabably the only person in Los Angeles that still uses a landline. It’s not even a portable one. Ancient I am.ReplyCancel

  • Carol Cassara - I still use a landline, still talk on the phone and do text a bit…but don’t get why people prefer texting. Today, punishment is taking away texting ability…
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  • Sarah Maizes - Such a great post and such a good question. I think all the time how much more satisfying it is to connect with friends on the phone. Thank GOD for Bluetooth!!! :)
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  • Matt Steiner - I am land-line free, but I still talk on the phone with my mother for hours. Everyone else is a mix of texts and in-person hangout time.

    Great post – made me a bit reflective on my communication habits. :) ReplyCancel

Books I Read Over The Holidays

I spent the holidays swimming and soaking up the sun (with sunscreen of course!) and filling mind and soul with stories that tickle the funny bone and touch the heart, help us seek balance, become more green, and, finally, get our groove back. My chaise lounge became my home away from home, my happiest of […]

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  • Lisa @ Grandma's Briefs - A fun list o’ books… that makes me once again wish I had tickets to the Erma Bombeck conference as Tracy Beckerman will be there and Daylynn mentioned she’s speaking. :-(

    (I’ve wondered about “Dot Complicated.” Will have to pick it up.)
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  • Cathy Chester - When you begin by talking about soaking up the rays I can’t help but read this. I was kind of hoping your sunshine would travel out to Jersey.

    Sounds like a couple of good books you’ve immersed yourself in. I will have to especially check out Dot Complicated. An interview with Randi Zuckerberg? I’m impressed!
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  • Diane - Thank you so much for the recommendations! My reading list just grew!
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  • Estelle Sobel Erasmus - Hi Linda,
    Glad you had a nice vacation. Great fun group of books to read or to hold for my next vacation. So cool to see Tracy in the mix and Dot Complicated.
    Estelle
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  • Christina Simon - Great list! I have Rachel’s book The Big List Of Things That Suck (a must-have for those of us wanting to live greener, but not be obnoxious about it). Off to buy Lost In Suburbia…how did I miss this one? Must read it!ReplyCancel

  • Helene Cohen Bludman - Those sound great! I’m putting them on my list along with dozens of others. Sigh.ReplyCancel

  • Sheryl Kraft - You’ve certainly done a good amount of reading. Must’ve been a very relaxing vacation. I’m now working my way through The Goldfinch – and thoroughly enjoying the saga! ReplyCancel

  • Sarah Winer Maizes - That’s about as much as I’ve read in the past 5 years.
    ReplyCancel

  • grownandflown - Linda, these are very good reviews and are more titles to add to my ever-growing list. I love your personal story about Randi Zuckerberg, too, btw.
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  • Marcia @ Menopausal Mother - LOVE Tracy Beckerman and I am also anxious now to read “Not Your Mothers Book.” I heard about this and you have piqued my interest…..
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Super Bowl Fashion Tips: 7 Stylish Clear Plastic Handbags To Keep You Glam & Stadium Ready

Those lucky enough to procure one of the 80,000 golden tickets to the Super Bowl in New York City this February, will not only have to brave unruly fans, cold weather, and long lines for the bathroom, but the quest to look fashionable while adhering to the “clear 12 x6 x 12 purse” rules. (Click […]

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  • Sarah (est. 1975) - Okay. #3 is amazing. If only I had $49 to buy it with. I LOVE IT.
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  • Andrea B (@goodgirlgonered) - These are cute! I love this idea for a post, seriously. The whole clear bag thing has surely made some women grumble a bit. ;)
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  • Cathy Chester - Great review, Linda. These are all adorable!

    If you’re planning on traveling to my home state, don’t expect warm weather, sunshine or palm trees. Do expect traffic and lots of noise.

    PS So glad you told me who is playing!
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  • Grown and Flown - Linda, we have found lots of inspiration from you before but never about clear plastic handbags. You are providing an important public service here for all those ladies who might have been in crisis at the Super Bowl gate!!! These are adorable, btw, and are much better than a ziplock clutch.
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  • Sheryl - How’d you know I needed to know the names of the teams who are playing? I had NO idea.ReplyCancel

  • Susanna Morgan - And of course I pick the $700 one!ReplyCancel

  • Lois Alter Mark - Those are so cute — and thanks for letting me know who’s playing!!ReplyCancel

  • Sandra Sallin - So clueless, had no idea you had to have plastic purses nor who in the world is playing. Nor where in the world the game would be held.ReplyCancel

  • Helene Cohen Bludman - Those are very cute. But an outdoor event in February in NJ??? You couldn’t pay me to go.ReplyCancel

  • Doreen Mcgettigan - Those are adorable. I am a fan and actually know who is playing and where, lol. The where is sort of close to me but no way am I going in this crazy weatherReplyCancel

  • Julie Chenell DeNeen - Wait. Are you suggesting those purses would be a good accompaniment if I went to the Superbowl? Clearly I’m the most fashion dense human on the planet.ReplyCancel

  • Diane - I had no idea there were such rules! But I’m sold on #2. If I’m headed to Superbowl, I’m rockin’ that one!
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  • Estelle Sobel Erasmus - These are so cute Linda. Love the idea of gals having clear bags and now ugly ziplocks.ReplyCancel

  • Christina Simon - This post cracks me up! The idea that we’d need clear bags for the Superbowl is funny. But, if I were going (NEVER) I’d want #2.ReplyCancel

12 Most Sensible Things You Can Do For Better Looking Skin

My obsession with beauty and skin care came to fruition while watching my mom wash with this and slather with that. I could watch her for hours — the primping, the preening — fascinated by the transformation and careful attention to detail. So began my love affair with beauty. Many years have past, but my […]

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“I Love Mondays and Other Confessions from Devoted Working Moms” Book Review and Author Interview

Whether you’re a stay-at-home-mom, a working mom, or a mom that works out of the home, most of us have experienced mommy guilt in one form or another as we often feel pulled in two different directions. I found myself smiling and nodding my head in agreement (she gets me!) from the first chapter in […]

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  • Sheryl - Very interesting and insightful words – I wish I had read these when my kids were little and I was besieged by guilt every, oh, five minutes.ReplyCancel

  • Janie Emaus - Thanks so much for this review. I love finding new books and authors.ReplyCancel

  • Carol Cassara - You are so right about boundaries!ReplyCancel

15 Tips For Less Holiday Stress & More Holiday Zest

With Thanksgiving rolling into Hanukkah this year, (I jokingly refer to it as “Thanukkah”), I’m feeling a little overwhelmed and way behind the eight ball with shopping for gifts. (Um, sorry kids, we only did one night of gifts.) Hanukkah moves around every year (based on the Jewish calendar), and unlike Christmas or New Years, […]

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  • Haralee - I like this list. We are always out of town and not. No one cruises by to check and what with cell phones and wi-fi, you could be anywhere!
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  • Teresa Speight - This awesome and the tips are great. I am “going out of town” as well…giggle!ReplyCancel

  • grownandflown - Never better advice than “laugh a lot” – thanks for the fab list and good luck with finishing all! Hope you have a wonderful holiday with your family, Linda.
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  • Sheryl Kraft - Love all of these! I love the idea of “disappearing” but really not. Evil! Sometimes it’s necessary, what can I say?ReplyCancel

  • Helene Cohen Bludman - Hiding the scale and wearing baggy clothes is my M.O. Also, when all else fails, chocolate usually helps. Love these tips, Linda!ReplyCancel

  • Nina - I’m a little late to this, but they’re still great tips. I for sure need to hide the scale. Maybe until Jan 2nd.
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Fire Safety Tips: This holiday, make sure the only fire that exists is in your heart. #sponsored post

Sometimes I joke about handsome firemen coming to my home whenever I attempt to cook – I should be so lucky! -  but a real fire is no laughing matter. Even though I live above a major earthquake fault line, nothing scares me more than fire. (Flying comes a close second.) So when Kidde, the […]

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  • Elaine - I’m rethinking my holiday gift list…Maybe a set of Kidde fire alarms is the way to go for all the loved ones on my list! Thanks for the sharing…and always appreciate your touch of humor – even on a serious matter.ReplyCancel

  • Carol Cassara - Thank heavens I did ok! Worthy post….important info.ReplyCancel

  • Sheryl Kraft - Thanks for getting the word out. This is way too important to ignore! ReplyCancel

  • Anne Parris - We have Kidde smoke alarms, and they are really good. My mother-in-law died after a house fire, so fire safety and having the right fire detection products are really important to me. ReplyCancel

  • A Dish of Daily Life - Important information here! Everyone should read this! ReplyCancel

  • Christina Simon - You never know how much you need to be prepared until you actually need this stuff. Great information. Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah Maizes - Thankfully my alarms are new. But that’s because one of our 100 year old alarms suddenly burst into flames last year. The landlady replaced them after that.
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  • Connie McLeod - Thanks for posting. This is important information!ReplyCancel

  • Deborah Chase - Wonderful post! You dealt with a frightening problem with such a lovely positive tone. I definately will review fire safety devices in our family.ReplyCancel

  • Helene Cohen Bludman - Such great advice, and I confess I did not do well on this quiz. Thanks for the wake up call.ReplyCancel

  • Lois Alter Mark - Such an important topic. I have those Kidde alarms upstairs and downstairs in my house.
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  • Judy - I came here to thank you for the nice tweet. Now I’m on a Kidde shopping frenzy – Thanks for saving our lives!ReplyCancel

  • Cynthia Kaplan Baseman - Must get the word out to check smoke/CO2 alarms every 6 months. Most of us have the D battery type, which run about $35-40 bucks. Thanks for posting about such an important, yet overlooked, item.ReplyCancel

  • Walker Thornton - Thank you. I shared this with my son and his family!
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  • Hayley Kaplan - Well, I did click to see the handsome fireman and he is indeed handsome. ;) Good info too – thanks for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • Sandra Sallin - So if I let my alarm for off will that cute guy come and rescue me? Actually this is an important post. I’m now going to find out about our alarms. Thanks.ReplyCancel

2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Hostess Gifts & Stocking Stuffers

Tis the season to go shopping, falalalalalalalala! Whether you’re braving the malls or just shopping in the cozy confines of your home, or office (don’t worry, I won’t tell!), you might be lacking for inspiration. Look no further… Here’s the Carpool Goddess 2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Hostess Gifts & Stocking Stuffers for all the people […]

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  • Christina Simon - Very fun and festive! Who wouldn’t like to get one of these gifts?ReplyCancel

  • Sheryl Kraft - Thanks for showing us that there truly is something for everyone! ReplyCancel

  • Janie Emaus - I feel like I’ve done all my shopping with Hanukah coming so early. But I do have a few more gifts to buy. Thanks for this list.ReplyCancel

  • Estelle Sobel Erasmus - I’m the shopaholic, wine lover, femme fatale and a slew of others. Love this, and I can find lots of cool stuff in your gift guide.ReplyCancel

  • Helene Cohen Bludman - I love these gift ideas. I may just have to buy a few for myself.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa Endlich Heffernan - Ohhh I needed this Linda, thanks for all of the great suggestions!ReplyCancel

Tips For Making A Fabulous Holiday Dinner

I’m not gonna lie, while the thought of entertaining excites me, it also gives me hives. I grew up with a mom who enjoyed entertaining and did a marvelous job of it, but was on razor’s edge during the entire process. She wanted everything to be perfect and her brood out of the way. I […]

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  • Hayley - Is that Elaine’s table in the photos? She can’t possibly be set for Thanksgiving already – or is she? Or even more impressive, are you? Love Elaine’s suggestions. I’m also doing Thanksgiving for about 20 people at the same time I’m taking care of my 2 year old nephew for a few days – advance prep will be key for me. I’d better stock up on ziploc baggies!
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  • Lynda@fitnessmomwinecountry - Oh my gosh, is this your table already set? How is anyone able to set a table for Thanksgiving so early? I love doing Thanksgiving every year and I do it all. I don’t want anyone in the kitchen, just have them in the house and enjoying the company and football, etc. I do plan ahead by making my menu choice about a week before {every year I do something different} all my Thanksgiving meals are as organic as possible and healthy, sticking to fresh ingredients for everything. I do “vision” boards for my meal that day and have them made with pictures and recipes plus any “tweeking” I do them to add my own touch and create my own version. :) So looking forward to this year because I love surprising everyone as they have no idea what to expect. But planning and prepping are key to a smooth Thanksgiving day :)
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  • Poppy - I appreciate a pretty table, but I can never pull it off. I’m lucky if I get a shower in before guests arrive.
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  • Carpool Goddess - Oh heavens no, this isn’t my table. This is Elaine’s table. While I’ll be sweating and freaking out the day of our dinner, she’ll probably be relaxing in a bubble bath from being so organized.ReplyCancel

  • Sheryl - By now, I’m wise enough to know that I can’t handle the stress from all the balls that have to stay in the air to make a Thanksgiving dinner succeed. So…I order a lot of the food (don’t tell anyone!) and it makes things nice and calm(er).
    Happy Thanksgiving to you!
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  • Sharon Greenthal - My favorite part of any entertaining I do is setting the table – cooking is fun, but decorating is way better!
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  • Nancy Lowell - I have devoted my past three Friday blog posts to TG preparation, and this week will be the final installment if the Countdown to Thanksgiving. I’ve included shopping trips, do ahead work, food saftely and this week is final planning including (ahem) mise en place. If you’re curious please check it out @ http://chefsladtdiet.comReplyCancel

  • Lynn Kellan - I’m hosting Thanksgiving this year, too. I’m planning to set the table WAY in advance, but I love the suggestion to measure out ingredients before the big day. What a time saver!
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  • grownandflown - LInda, no matter how many Thanksgiving dinners I have prepared (we are usually just celebrating with the 4 of us in our immediate family since all other relatives are out of state) I am still searching for ways to get everything to the table at the same time and hot. These are amazing tips – thanks so much!! Good luck and enjoy.
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  • Elaine - Linda: Leave it to you to put a funny spin on preparing for the Thanksgiving. I’m both flattered and embarrassed that you featured my tips in this post. I’ll be sure to send photos of me soaking in the bubble bath and looking glamorous as I pull the 20 lb turkey from the oven (ya right!)ReplyCancel

  • Helene Cohen Bludman - The tables are gorgeous. Elaine is beyond talented and organized. Does she make house calls?ReplyCancel

  • Christina Simon - I’m sure your dinner will be amazing with help from Elaine. These are great tips, especially the Ziploc bag tip. Have a great holiday!ReplyCancel

  • Estelle Sobel Erasmus - I got a break this year. Thanksgiving was going to be at my house but my sister shanghaied it and we are going to her house, so she’s doing all the work for Thanksgivvikah!ReplyCancel

  • Cynthia Kaplan Baseman - What gorgeous photos. It looks like a lot of work, though. Lucky for me, I’ve got a standing invite at my sis-in-law and bro’s house. She puts on a gorgeous spread, too. Someday, if she ever passes the baton, I’ll be referring back to this great post, CG!
    ReplyCancel

  • Carol Cassara - Never thought about measuring dry ingredients in advance. This is a great piece of advice!
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  • Haralee - I have to admit I love the prep. I love to get out all the lovely serving pieces and setting the table. I write down what we are having and check it before we think everything is ready to sit down. Prior to this last check, salads were left in the back of the frig, rolls still in the freezer, and hard butter!
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10 Things You Don’t Know About Me

When I’m flying on an airplane or waiting for my nails to dry, I reach for trashy tabloids for comfort. I get a kick out of reading US Magazine’s “What’s In My Bag” and “25 Things You Don’t Know About Me,” as well as their “Fashion Police” section, and thought it would be fun to […]

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