Thursday, December 25, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
This past Sunday was a real sweet treat: the RSVPstyle big and little girls headed out to the Blaisdell Center for the Easter Seals’ 9th annual Gingerbread Family Festivals. This was our third year decorating the houses with our girls, but the first year we came loaded with bags and bags of candies and treats to add texture and decorating style. After all, that is part of our business—we gotta start our girls out young, right?
The big and little girls had a great time decorating and eating in style. But I have to say, after all the carbs and refined sugar, boy oh boy, I already know what my New Year’s resolution is going to be!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
The holidays are here, and that means it’s time to think about gift-giving! It was also time for me to think about what to do for my KITV segment this week. I decided to share some great gift ideas for the home.
I showed up on the set bright and early as usual at 6 a.m. with a few surprises for Mahealani and Dan. I decided we should be a little festive—it is the season, isn’t it? So I brought cute reindeer ears for Mahealani and me and a surprise hat for Dan!
I started out by showing them a recent discovery. For those who still have shoeboxes full of photos or collections of photo CDs and memory cards, why not turn those precious memories into a special, one-of-a-kind book for Christmas? Wouldn’t this be a great gift for grandparents, or for a family reunion? I found these at a local company, Valenti Print Group. Their custom photo books start at around $30—affordable, practical, memorable, and it looks beautiful on the coffee table!
Next, if you want to splurge and really do something special for someone, how about an antique Chinese wedding basket? This is an Asian accessory that adds an understated yet sophisticated flair to any Island-Asian room. As a gift, you just open it up and place some potpourri inside, and you have a gift basket—easy, beautiful, fabulous! I found both at C.S. Wo: basket for $75 and the gorgeous potpourri for less than $25.
Something a bit more affordable? I love the whimsy of these cupped hands holding tea lights. A fun accessory for a powder room, foyer or even your desk. It’s perfect for the holidays because you could display them with some scented or holiday colored candles, but the piece itself is not holiday-themed, so can be used throughout the year. And it’s only $33 from HomeWorld.
Finally, a really amazing gift that’ll be available for the first time in bookstores: RSVPstyle’s affordable Starter Set! Wow, what a great idea (hee-hee)! It’s $69, three how-to DVDs and a training guide book with fun lessons and tips on home design and décor on any budget. It could save you thousands in mistakes you’ll avoid, plus add value to your home. It’ll be available at Borders from next Wednesday, and in other bookstores shortly after.
The segment wrapped up with my final gift: the holiday hat on Dan’s head, which magically came to life! For a full appreciation of what I’m talking about, you have to check out the video at http://www.rsvpstyle.com/. It was hilarious! People on the set couldn’t stop laughing once the cameras stopped rolling.
We had a ball, another fun segment. Hope I gave you some special gift ideas for the homestyler you love!
Monday, December 1, 2008
No, I’m not talking about the Michael Jordan of Chicago Bulls or Hanes underwear fame! Better than that, I’m talking about Michael A. Jordan, host extraordinaire of Napa Rose, the premier restaurant at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel.
Darrell, Nicki and I were at Disneyland to celebrate Thanksgiving weekend with Mickey Mouse and all of his friends. Daytime activities were all about Nicki, from roller coasters to cotton candy and silly stuffed animals with mouse ears. But evenings were a treat for Darrell and me, with the amazing cuisine of Napa Rose right in our hotel.
Our old friend Michael Jordan is the general manager and master sommelier of Napa Rose, which was voted “Most Popular Restaurant” in Orange County in Zagat’s 2008 survey. Many people will remember Michael from Matteo’s restaurant, which his family owned. We enjoyed an incredible Thanksgiving feast at Napa Rose, and Michael invited us back on Friday, this time to be a part of his weekly live radio broadcast, which he does right out of Napa Rose to inspire people about wine.
On Friday evening we walked in, and I was totally shocked when someone yelled, “Is that Cathy Lee?”
Lo and behold, it was Clint Schroeder, advertising guru for the Honolulu Advertiser, having some Disney fun with his friends! We got a kick talking about what a small world we live in. Then I joined Michael at a broadcast table covered with microphones, headsets and bottles of wine.
Michael’s guests included Tony Lombardi of Ascentia Wine Estates and Michael Horn, president and CEO of CRN Digital Talk Radio. When he told me they reach 25 million households in 250 markets in the U.S., I had to have a gulp of one of the wines to start the interview.
It was lots of fun. Michael interviewed me about our new Starter Set coming out in bookstores and what we do at RSVPstyle, so I tied it into their wine show and said hey, just as Michael educates people so they can expand their palates, we inspire and educate people so they feel more confident when they’re out there looking for furniture, finishes and accessories.
Phew! The show ended with high fives and we headed to the dining room. Joining us was Tracy Rafter, principal of the Rafter Group, former publisher of the Los Angeles Daily News and a really fun gal to talk to. Mike, being the incredible host that he is, arranged an unforgettable dinner that began with sautéed, hand-harvested scallops made with a sauce of lemon, lobster and Tahitian vanilla. Oh my God, it just melted in your mouth! I think we licked the plate clean.
Then we had the duck meatballs with pumpkin fettuccine and roasted shallots in a sage duck sauce. Duck meatballs? Dare I saw they tasted like chicken? Just kidding—they were delicious! I don’t know that I really tasted duck, all I know is they were exquisite!
We had to have the steak (because of all the amazing red wine, more coming right up)—a grilled petite fillet mignon of Angus beef. And finally, for dessert, a warm chocolate cake with vanilla bean ice cream, and yes, it tasted even better than it looked.
As only a master sommelier could, Michael introduced us to some absolutely fantastic wines, like the 2000 Domaine de la Romanee Conti St. Vivant, which is a mouthful! It’s a pinot noir. We also had a ‘96 Chateau Petrus and an ‘82 Leoville las Cases. They were refined, elegant yet complex—just a few of the words I heard around the table. My words? Absolutely delish!
We just about had to be rolled out of that restaurant. It was a wonderful evening with an old friend and meeting new ones. Nicki was an angel throughout. After that feast she still wanted a snack, and only Mickey Mouse would do! Boy, did this night live up to Disneyland’s billing—this really is the happiest place on earth!