For the Love of Linguini posted in: Food and Beverage

In honor of National Linguini Day (side note/fun fact: linguini or linguine means “little tongues” in Italian), yes, its’ true…there really is such a day, I thought it appropriate to share two of my favorite recipes. For any remaining warm sunny days when a lighter dish will do the trick for dinner, Tomato Basil Linguini  is a great choice. But as the temps drop, if you’re anything like me and my family, there are days when we prefer a heartier dish. For these comfort food days, the savory Linguini Pomodoro with Bacon hits the spot.

Tomato Basil Linguini

3 plum or Roma tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1-1/2 garlic cloves, minced (add more to taste if desired)
1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper (for this recipe, I like to use white pepper)
1/2 (16 ounce) package linguini
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese (to garnish before serving)

In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients; toss to coat. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. 
Prepare linguini according to package directions; drain.
Add to the tomato mixture; toss to coat.
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve warm.

Linguini Pomodoro
4 oz (125 g) side bacon, cut into bite-size pieces
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced (or more to taste if desired)
1 can (28 oz) plum tomatoes
1 to 2 tbsp (15 to 30 mL) soy sauce
1 tsp (5 mL) dried basil leaves
1 pkg (450 g) linguini
1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped parsley
1 cup (250 mL) diced Mozzarella*
1/3 cup (75 mL) grated fresh Parmesan*
Hot chili pepper flakes (0ptional)

Cook bacon in large panover medium-high heat until you reach desired doneness.  I say this because while some people enjoy very crispy bacon, others may prefer it a little on the softer side – either way is fine. Drain reserving 3 tbsp (45 mL) drippings; set bacon aside. Return reserved drippings to pan.
Add onion and garlic and sauté over medium-high heat.
Add tomatoes (with their juice), soy sauce and basil. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook linguini according to package directions; drain and place in large pasta bowl. Stir parsley into sauce and pour over linguini; toss well to coat.
Divide pasta among individual servings; sprinkle each with Mozzarella, cooked bacon, and Parmesan. For extra zip, I love to add a touch of red pepper flakes.


So, try them for yourself, and let me know what you think.  If you have any variations that you enjoy, I’d love to know. Or if you have any Linguini favorites in your repertoire that The Society is missing out on, send ’em in. I will share your recipes with our readers – you’ll receive the cred!

Buon appetito!

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I’ve Fallen in love posted in: Events, Great Products, Uncategorized

Hi Society,

I’m back this week with more festive décor ideas for your next fall themed party. I’ve found so many adorable items, that I had to share a few fab finds with you. Here are two of my top picks, both from a seller on Etsy that has quickly become one of my faves (I recommend bookmarking the shop P.S. It’s in the Details).

 My first  “owl”tstanding find– these cute feathered friends
I immediately thought to use these wise guysfor table numbers. They would also be great to incorporate into signage on festive buffets or food stations. The seller on Etsy suggests using them to decorate a scrapbook page – fun!

Second, I’ve fallen in love with these colorful leaves

You could use them as larger place cards atop a long vertical napkin fold to make your settings pop. They would make a great tag for your guest swag bags. These colorful leaves would also be great for teachers to use on a bulletin board or for a fall craft project.

 With the fall holidays just around the corner, now’s the time to get those creative juices flowing!


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The Power of the Handwritten Note posted in: Uncategorized

There’s something about the power of a handwritten note – it speaks to someone in a way that is unmatched by other forms of written communication. Unfortunately, in today’s fast paced, hi-tech, low-touch world, the classic handwritten message seems to be an endangered form of communication.Last week during vacation, as I relaxed on the beach one afternoon– book in hand and toes in sand, I read something that reminded me again of the power of the personal note. This classic is never out of style –it’s always courteous, classy, caring and civilized. It says to the reader, “You matter to me, I thought of you”. These unspoken messages and the pleasure anticipated before the reader even reads your message is priceless. And to think, a note delivers all this for less than a dollar and ten minutes of your time.

Do you send handwritten notes? Are you thinking, “I would like to BUT…I can’t seem to find the time, I never have the items I need on hand or within reach, I am unsure of what to include in the note, I don’t have the person’s address, etc.? Well, you’re not alone. However, I have a system that has really helped me to keep in touch in written fashion. I invite you to adopt this simple 5-step system for yourself and welcome you to share it with your friends by sending them the link to this post, or better yet write them a handwritten note, enclose a hard copy of this post and include the blog address in your correspondence!

1.      Keep a supply of essentials on hand and within reach
Quality stationery –notecards (1-2 different sizes), lettersheets, envelopes and address labels
Pens – Have a few reliable pens with different color inks reserved specifically for notes
Stamps – The easiest way to be prepared is to keep a booklet of ‘forever” stamps on hand
Addresses – Keep your contact list/address book nearby. Not sure of the recipients’ address? Place a call or send a note via email, facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, etc to a mutual friend/acquaintance.
Store all of these items together in one place in a location that is easily accessed and frequenetly used.

2.      Set aside time on a regular basis.
Find a time that works for you and schedule this into your day just as you would any other appointment. You may prefer to set aside time on a monthly, weekly or daily basis to keep up with notes. Do what feels right for you.

3.      Keep a list
Every time someone comes to mind that you would like to send a card to, jot their name on a list. This will assure you do not forget someone when you set down to write your cards.

4.      Write the note.
Speak from the heart. Consider the recipient. Write naturally and in a conversational tone as though you were speaking in person. Include a: salutation, reason for the note (thinking of you, thank you, etc,). Be specific – give a description, share a story, thought or memory to personally connect with the recipient. Closing. Date (top right hand corner of the card, month written out completely, no abbreviations please. Day of the month and the year may be in numerical form. Example: September 15, 2010)
Remember, sending the message is what really counts; the personal thought is what makes the note special.

5.      Get it in the mail.
I have been guilty on more than one occasion of writing the card, but not getting it in the mail until much later or at all.

Society, I encourage you to take the time to let the people you are thinking of know it by way of the handwritten note. Trust me, the time you spend will be well worth it, and it will mean more to these people than you will most likely ever realize.

If you have other tips and ideas that you feel others may find helpful in staying connected with friends through the written word, we’d love to hear from you.

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We’ve gone nuts posted in: Entertaining Essentials, Events, Great Products, Uncategorized

Summer is breezing by us, and fall is just around the corner. We have been busy working on events for the coming season, and have gone “nuts” for some festive finds on one of our favorite go-to sites, We love this wee little linen pouch of fabric acorns: Each piece is made from an assorted mixture of vintage and new cotton fabrics with a real acorn top. We immediately thought these adorable little acorns would be perfect to top a favor box at each guests’ place setting or as a napkin ring accent in your tabletop design for an upcoming fall fete. They would also be great sprinkled on a place card or Thanksgiving table.

Feel free to go “nuts” with your creativity!

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The Indestructible Mani posted in: Great Products, Health & Beauty

Can it be true? Is there really such a thing as a no-fuss mani that can withstand attempted wear and tear, and still look like you just stepped out of the salon weeks later? As an event planner, it is a challenge to keep my nails from looking a mess, so when I heard the buzz, I had to know more.

Shellac, is the latest product in nail treatments from Creative Nail Design, or CND, and it made its debut a few months ago in @2,000 salons across the country.  Essentially, it is a hybrid between gel and polish. The end result looks just like polish, but it lasts much longer.

Before bringing it to you, I had to try it for myself. I finally got around to trying out Shellac two weeks ago, and I must say that so far this mani has proven to be indestructible. I have dared to do things with my hands (including scraping stubborn price tags off of glass vases… with only water and my fingernails)that I would never do before an event  AND vacation . So again, I’m two weeks in and my mani must last me another week and endure beaches. I am confident that it is up to the challenge.

Here’s how it works.  First, nails are shaped and lightly buffed. Next, the Manicurist applies a base coat, followed by two color coats and finally a top coat in the same manner as polish for a regular basic manicure. The difference is that after each coat of Shellac is applied, the product is cured briefly under ultraviolet light. A Shellac manicure takes about the same time as a regular manicure. Finding it difficult on most weeks to squeeze time in for a mani, I was thrilled that my nails were completely dry when I stepped out of the salon – Brilliant!

A few things to mention when considering a Shellacmani/pedi:

The cost is 30-50% higher for Shellac, running anywhere from $25-$100 depending upon our location. But the trade-off is, you need one less frequently than a regular mani, and they stay power is fantastic!

Color options are somewhat limitedShellac is available in about 12 colors. But the shades can be mixed to create more possibilities. Visit Creative Nail Design to see standard and mixed shades.

Removal – It is recommended that you return t the salon, but there are some DIY products on the market should you feel like attempting at home.

Find a salon  near you.

If you have or decide to try it out, post a comment to let us know what you think.



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