Tag Archives: Academy Awards

Billy Crystal Rocks The Oscar’s!!!

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about….more celebrating the movies! While I may by addicted to programs like Modern Family, American Idol and anything on HGTV or the Food Network, my all-time favorite show of the year is The Academy Awards.  Even though Eddie Murphy is awesome, I couldn’t be more excited with the triumphant return of the fantastically fabulous Billy Crystal as host, and he did not disappoint!

Billy always opens with a show stopping video montage; this year included a scene from The Artist, a kiss from George Clooney and a visit from the darling Justin Bieber. The best part, however, is Billy’s signature Best Picture Nominee’s Oscar tribute song; hilarious, clever, irreverent and poignant. We were off to a great start….

The stars were certainly shining tonight. Tom Hanks was dapper and adorable, J Lo and Cameron D were bootylicious and Sandra Bullock was lovely. But the first big award of the night was presented by the very handsome, yet super intense, Christian Bale (while he may be Batman, I lean more towards the delightful camp of a Batman by another name; George Clooney). While Melissa McCarthy was fantastic in Bridesmaids (not just because she is a Chicago girl) and Jessica Chastain was charming in The Help, the night belonged to Octavia Spencer, also from The Help. Her acceptance was emotional, beautiful and sincere.

With Amanda’s life in gymnastics, we are HUGE Cirque Du Soleil fans. Their salute to going to the movies was introduced by my childhood favorites Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy, and it was incredible. To quote Billy Crystal, “I pulled a hamstring just watching that!”

The Fighter’s Melissa Leo presented the award for Best Supporting Actor. I must admit I only know Christopher Plummer from The Sound of Music (Edelweiss), so I was rooting for one of my all-time favorite’s Nick Nolte (love him in 48 Hours, North Dallas Forty and Down and Out in Beverly Hills), but Christopher Plummer won and, at 82, he was utterly charming. He and Betty White must be drinking the same Kool Aid!

On a side note, I just have to say that Angelina Jolie is a true, classic, Hollywood movie star. She is absolutely mesmerizing (Jennifer Aniston; eat your heart out!)! I’m just saying…..

Nick Charles, his wife Nora and their dog Asta

Michael (Greed is Good) Douglas is AMAZING! He presented the Best Director award to Michel Hazanavicius of The Artist (which was such a wonderful throwback picture, making me think constantly of Nick Charles (my Nick’s namesake) and his faithful companion, his darling dog Asta), though I was a little surprised that Martin Scorsese wasn’t recognized for Hugo.

The lovely Natalie Portman presented the award for Best Actor. While the competition was tough in George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Gary Oldman and Demián Bichir, Jean DuJardin was the big winner for The Artist. I was half expecting him to give a wacky acceptance speech like Roberto Benigni, but he was far too classy.

Colin Firth was wonderful last year in The Kings Speech. Tonight he presented the award for Best Actress. I adore Meryl Streep, but was really surprised that the statue didn’t go to Viola Davis, who was truly wonderful as Abilene in The Help.

Tom Cruise hasn’t aged a day since Risky Business. With nine Best Picture nominees he had the honor of announcing the winner. It was no surprise; the night belonged to The Artist, a truly delightful and entertaining film.

In just over three hours, Billy Crystal was fantastic as the host on the 84th Academy Awards!

More Billy Crystal, more Hollywood, more movie favorites, more Academy Awards…..

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To schedule an Interior Design or Life Style consultation, and for any questions or comments, please email me at moreismoremom@aol.com


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Emmy’s Schmemmy’s!

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…..more Emmy Award’s! I am absolutely in love with the fantasy of going to the movies, which is why my favorite show of the entire year is the Oscar’s. However, what sustains me throughout our ordinary daily lives is…..television.


The Emmy’s is like a gigantic kick-off to the fall season. However, before we celebrate this past year of entertainment (and look forward to the coming weeks. Yay!), we must acknowledge those who have been here for us, supporting us, for the past 90 days; our friends at Bravo! A great big hat’s off to Bravo for making our summer bearable. While ABC, NBC and CBS have been showing ho-hum, boring reruns, Bravo has had the decency to entertain us with new programming. Housewives after Housewives, Millionaire Matchmaker, Top Chef, reunion shows with cutie pie Andy Cohen (Mazel!) and my all time favorite human being on television; Jeff Lewis of Flipping Out. I love him because he is a total ball buster who happens to have a big heart and exquisite taste.


This year, the Emmy’s were hosted by the fabulous Jane Lynch, otherwise known as both Sue Sylvester on Glee and Charlie Sheen’s therapist on 2 ½ Men. She’s amazing, and while I love, love, love, her, she just wasn’t as funny as Jimmy Fallon last year (whom I also love, love, love and isn’t as funny as Craig Ferguson. Maybe Craig Ferguson should host the Emmy’s!).


We are such total Modern Family maniacs at our house that I refuse to allow anyone to erase the second season we have recorded on our DVR until someone buys me the DVD compilation for Christmas. With all the awesome new TV coming in the next 24 hours, it’s a good thing we have 2 DVR’s. Julie Bowen, Claire on Modern Family is very, very good, but I wonder how she edged out Jane Lynch? I really thought that she and Gloria (Sofia Vergara) would have cancelled each other out. Ty Burrell was fabulous this season as the fumbling Phil Dunphy. Thankfully the Emmy voters got that one right.


Unfortunately, this Emmy show was a complete dud! It was about as boring as the Academy Awards with Anne Hathaway and James Franco. The first funny moment happened 45 minutes into the telecast when Rob Lowe and Sofia Vergara introduced the nominees for Lead Actress in a Comedy. Amy Poehler was a riot! When her name was announced as a nominee, she sauntered up to the stage as if she were the winner. The other nominees; Melissa McCarthy, Martha Plimpton, Eddie Falco (who was rockin a hard body like she was Madonna), Tina Fey and Laura Linney, all followed suit. They held hands on stage like they were contestants in a beauty pageant, just waiting for Miss America to be announced. Melissa McCarthy won for Mike & Molly and she was crowned with a tiara and awarded with a beautiful spray of roses. She’s from Plainfield, you know.


As insane as Charlie Sheen had been when he fell off the deep end in the spring, I was kind of hoping for a little tiger blood fighting warrior, but he must have been on his meds, darn it. He wasn’t humorous in the least as he announced Jim Parsons, from the Big Bang Theory, as Lead Actor in a Comedy. Clearly I am not smart enough to get it; how did he beat both Steve Carell and the amazing Alec Baldwin?


After another 30 interminably boring minutes, was the second amusing moment of the evening; the “epic” musical event starring Andy Samberg and Michael Bolton. Apparently Michael Bolton hadn’t been embarrassed enough with his dismal performance on Dancing with the Stars, because now he agreed to dress up as a singing Captain Jack Sparrow. I must admit, we did get a little chuckle when Ed Helms, John Stamos and Maya Rudolph dressed up as Justin Timberlake, Andy Samberg and Lady Gaga, singing, “It’s not gay if it’s in a three way,” (the SNL rerun episode aired last night).


Margo Martindale won for Supporting Actress in a Drama in Justified (I’d never even heard of that show). Peter Dinklage was your Supporting Actor Drama for Game of Thrones (clearly too high brow for me). Julianna Margulies (who will always be Nurse Hathaway on ER ) was Best Actress in a Drama for The Good Wife. Since she is married to Mr. Big, I might consider checking that one out. Kyle Chandler was the Best Actor for Friday Night Lights. I haven’t seen the TV show, but the movie was excellent! Apparently, we don’t do dramas.


While they looked amazing, the boys from Entourage were as boring as their final season, though they kicked off the awards for the best in mini series; Supporting Actress, Maggie Smith (Professor McGonagall of Harry Potter fame), Supporting Actor, Guy Pearce (?), Lead Actor, Barry Pepper (he was awesome as Roger Maris in *61 and Saving Private Ryan), and of course, Lead Actress, the beautiful Kate Winslet.


The show was so uneventful that it couldn’t end soon enough, but not before awarding Modern Family and Mad Men as tops in Comedy and Drama.


With all that celebrating behind us, we have an entire season of our favorite television to look forward to. Hip, hip, hooray for the idiot box!


 More beloved television shows, more favorite characters, more time laughing together as a family……


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I Would Like to Thank…..

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about………more 83rd Annual Academy Awards!!! Amanda and I were in the city early in the day, stopping by Wildfire on our way home to pick up dinner for our very own Governor’s Ball (I had the Chicken Club and it was amazing). With a glass of wine in hand, I settled in for my favorite night of the year….the Oscar’s!


It stared off kind of slow for me, Dawg, but how do you not love Kirk Douglas? The man is 94 years old and he’s still got it; amazing and inspiring. Mr. Douglas presented the award for Best Supporting Actress to Melissa Leo in The Fighter. She was incredible as Alice Ward, mother and manager of Boston boxers Micky Ward and Dicky Eklund. While she made an incredible transformation to her real life glamorous self, my favorite part of her speech was when she dropped the “F” bomb.

Who is more adorable than Reece Witherspoon to present the award for Best Supporting Actor? While you know I was completely taken with Geoffrey Rush in The Kings Speech and thought he was the only possible upset, my vote still went to winner Christian Bale as crack addicted boxer Dicky Eklund in The Fighter. Rarely does an actor completely transform himself for a role and succeed so amazingly. I’m not sure what was up with the Grizzly Adams beard, but for someone who has been kind of volatile in real life, he gave a very touching and heartfelt acceptance speech.


I’m not high brow enough to have seen any of the Foreign Films, but I was captivated by its presenters; the charming and delightful Russell Brand and the classy and elegant Dame Helen Mirren. I can’t wait to see them together on screen in both The Tempest, and Russell Brand, particularly, in a role that was made for him in the movie Arthur.

Blah, blah, blah. The next hour or so was extremely boring save for a visit from 8 time Academy Award host, Billy Crystal. His brilliance, along with the musical styling’s of one of our personal favorites, lyricist and composer Marc Shaiman, were sorely missed. Always a sucker for nostalgia, I loved the old clips of Bob Hope. We are huge fans of Bob Hope and Bing Crosby’s Road To….pictures. They sure don’t make them the way the used too; charmingly corny and entertaining.

While Celine Dion makes me want to poke myself in the eye or step on a rake, she was lovely as she sang Smile (the old Charlie Chaplin classic), honoring all of the talented people that we lost this year; Lena Horne, Lynn Redgrave, Jill Clayburgh, Blake Edwards (I always loved the Pink Panther), Dennis Hopper, Robert Culp (of I Spy fame, with America’s most beloved dad, Bill Cosby), Tony Curtis and one of my all time fav’s, Leslie Nielson (and please stop calling me Shirley).   


I think that Jeff Bridges believes he is either Rooster Cogburn or The Dude with his crazy hair and beard, but for decades he’s been consistently pretty darn cool (I think never better than in Tucker; A Man And His Dream). Mr. Bridges presented the award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture. It was a real nail biter, with Annette Bening as a potential upset, but ultimately the night belonged to Natalie Portman, otherwise known as Queen Amidala. Saturday night Chuck was a saint for accompanying me to the movies to see The Black Swan. I had to know what all the buzz was about! Even though I didn’t love the movie, Natalie Portman also made an amazing transformation as the prima ballerina that slowly lost her grip on reality. I knew she had it in her because we loved her in her first movie; The Professional.


Sandra Bullock, America’s Sweetheart, presented the award for Best Actor. While the other nominees were great, the night belonged to the very talented, humble and handsome Colin Firth. His performance was truly mesmerizing and inspiring. Rarely do I believe that there was one “best”, but I do believe that this year there was in Colin Firth.

The Best Picture was directed by the Best Director (which, unexplainably, is not always the case), The Kings Speech by Tom Hooper.

I must say, that even though the 83rd Annual Academy Awards was extraordinarily dull (PLEASE bring back Hugh Jackman), I’m still swept away by the magic of the movies.

More movies, more inspirational stories, more memorable performances…..

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And the Oscar Goes to……Red Carpet Appetizers!

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…..more Oscar worthy appetizers! What better way to celebrate the best movies and performances of the year than with your very own Red Carpet cocktails and appetizer party?

I absolutely adore going to the movies. When Chuck and I were first married we lived in Chicago, in the South Loop. Our apartment building was the home to 5 movie theaters (practically a mini Cineplex). We would just stroll downstairs and take in a movie, spur of the moment. Chuck would pop over to the concession stand just to buy popcorn on his way home from work. It was Heaven! Even now, whenever we have a rare window of opportunity, we race over to the movie theater. Frequently, the only time we’re not on the clock with work or the kids is on Saturday mornings. We’ve been know to sneak in a double feature at 10am. They’re going to love us at the retirement center. We’ll absolutely be ready for our cocktail and dinner at 4:30 in the afternoon!


I’m totally a theme girl. When I throw a party, I’m completely committed to authenticity, which is why I rolled out the red carpet; this weekend, we enjoyed a pre-Oscars feast! Tasty appetizers paired with a little something sparkly……..

  • Chopped BLT Salad Spears
  • Pigs in a Blanket
  • Shrimp and Roasted Tomato Bruschetta
  • Hot Crab Dip and Crackers
  • Chicken Chili Wontons


To find my first three appetizers, please visit me at my website:


Hot Crab Dip and Crackers

1 – 8oz package of cream cheese, softened

3 green onions chopped

1 Tbsp milk

2 heaping tsp Dijon mustard

1 heaping tsp of horseradish

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp lemon juice

3-4 drops of hot pepper sauce

1 ½ cups fresh crab meat (I like Costco’s fresh crab meat  in a can, no mess!)

Pre-heat oven to 350°

With a hand mixer, in a large bowl, combine;

Cream cheese

Green onion


Dijon mustard


Lemon juice

Hot sauce

Crab meat


 Place in a shallow baking dish and refrigerate until ready to cook.

Can be prepared up to this point a day in advance

Cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes

Serve with crackers

Chicken Chili Wontons

I always enjoy these at the home of my friend Mrs. Lilly. They remind me of a single serving nacho (and we like nachos!).

2 cups of cooked, chopped chicken (I used 1 package of 14oz chicken tenders and that was perfect)

½ tsp salt

1.2 tsp pepper

2 Tbsp chili powder (or less if you don’t like it hot)

3 cups of cheese (I used 2 Monterey Jack, 1 sharp cheddar)

1 can of diced green chilies

1 cup of ranch dressing

1 package of wonton wrappers (found in your local grocery stores produce department)


In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients together, except for the wonton wrappers

All of this can be done the day before, just refrigerate until you are ready to use the filling

Pre-heat the oven to 350°


Coat a mini-muffin tin with non-stick spray. Place one wonton wrapper in each cup

Cook for 5 minutes and remove from the oven

Spoon chicken filling into each cup

Cook for another 10 minutes or so

Remove, cool and serve


More awards, more great performances, more stars, more amazing appetizers…..
Hot and Spicy Crab Dip on FoodistaHot and Spicy Crab Dip

Chicken Chili Wontons

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Amazing, Academy Award Winning, Appetizers……

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…….more Academy Award celebrations! The Oscar’s are seriously my very favorite television program of the entire year. I can only imagine one event that might possibly rival this experience and that would be watching my Cubbies play in the World Series (a girl can dream). What I love about the Academy Awards is the fantasy of it all, the old fashioned Hollywood glamour. I can’t wait for the red carpet interviews with gorgeous starlets in beautiful gowns, fabulous jewelry, fancy up-do’s and the handsome and dashing leading men (such as my favorite; the charming, fast talking, Ryan Reynolds!).

Mine is a movie loving family. In fact, my parents were so taken with Vanessa Redgrave in Camelot, that I was named for her. My Nick is actually named for Nick Charles, the lead character in the 1934 classic; The Thin Man (based on a Dashiell Hammett novel). My earliest Oscar recollections are of my beloved Johnny Carson hosting, but I’ve absolutely adored Billy Crystal and Hugh Jackman too. I can’t wait to see how Anne Hathaway and James Franco fair hosting this year, the 83rd annual Academy Awards.

This weekend, we enjoyed a pre-Oscars feast! Tasty appetizers paired with a little something sparkly……..

  • Chopped BLT Salad Spears
  • Pigs in a Blanket
  • Shrimp and Roasted Tomato Bruschetta
  • Hot Crab Dip and Crackers
  • Chicken Chili Wontons



To get the party started I draped my Dining Room table with a red satin topper trimmed with red marabou feathers, a nod to the glamour of the 1940’s. Red roses, mirrored candlesticks with damask patterned pillar candles and a mirrored tray, displaying crystal champagne flutes and a zebra ice bucket, set the tone for our elegant soiree. Adding a bit of whimsy were bouquets of licorice, glass bowls of popcorn and rhinestone studded tea-light candles.

Chopped BLT Salad Spears:

Who doesn’t like bacon? It makes everything better!


6-8 slices of bacon, crisply cooked, and chopped

1/3 cup of mayonnaise

½ Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

3 plum tomatoes, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

4 cups of chopped lettuce such as arugula, but baby spinach will work nicely too

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

16-20 endive spears

In a bowl, combine;



Balsamic vinegar



Stir in the tomatoes

Season with salt and pepper

In a large bowl, toss;


Tomato mixture


Cheddar cheese, if you so choose

Spoon the BLT mixture into the endive spears

These can be assembled a few hours prior to serving and refrigerated

Pigs in a Blanket

The thought of the Cubs in the World Series must have subconsciously inspired me to make hot dogs! Though these are elegant little cocktail wieners……


3 Tbsp butter

1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced

Salt and pepper to taste

1 egg

1 Tbsp water

1 package of thawed, but still cold, frozen puff pastry (2 sheets)

1 package of cocktail wieners, or regular hot dogs sliced in half vertically, sliced again into 1 ½ – 2” pieces.

Fancy mustard for dipping

Pre-heat oven to 375°

In a skillet;

Melt butter

Sautee onions until a beautiful golden color

Sprinkle with salt and pepper

Once cool enough to handle, chop into small pieces


In a small bowl, whisk together;



Line a baking sheet with parchment paper

Working quickly, one sheet at a time, unroll puff pastry

Cut into triangles, 2” wide at the base, 3” high at the point

Place 1 tsp of onion mixture at the base of the triangle

Place hot dog on top of onions

Roll from the base up to the triangle, sealing at the top with a little egg wash

Line up on the baking sheet and repeat with second sheet of puff pastry

Lightly brush each piece with the egg wash

You can prepare the Pigs in a blanket up to this point and refrigerate until ready to cook

Place in the oven for approximately 30 minutes, or until golden and puffy

Transfer to a platter and serve with your hot mustard

Shrimp and Roasted Tomato Bruschetta

1 lb cooked and deveined shrimp, if frozen, thawed (I used the smallest, salad size so they were really easy to eat in one bite)

½ cup olive oil

6 cloves garlic minced

1 tsp red pepper

2 Tbsp fresh chopped oregano

2 Tbsp fresh chopped basil

2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

Olive oil

Sea salt

Cracked black pepper

1 loaf French or baguette bread, sliced

In a Zip-loc baggie, combine;


½ cup olive oil





1 lb thawed shrimp

Marinade in the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight

Pre-heat oven to 250°

Spray a small pan with non-stick spray

Place 1 pint of cut tomatoes

Drizzle with olive oil

Sprinkle with salt and pepper

Roast for one hour

Place the other pint of tomatoes in a mixing bowl

When you remove the roasted tomatoes from the oven, add them to the fresh chopped tomatoes in the bowl

Pre-heat the oven to 350°

Place marinated shrimp in a small oven safe pan

Roast for 20-30 minutes, until golden

Cool slightly and add to the tomato mixture


Pre-heat broiler or grill

Slice French bread into 1” pieces

Lightly brush one side with olive oil

Broil or grill until a light golden brown

Top each slice of bread with a generous Tbsp of the shrimp and tomato mixture

Plate and serve

And the Oscar goes to…….the tasty and delicious Academy Awards feast!

See you at the movies……….

For the recipes for my Hot Crab dip and the Chicken Chili Wontons please visit me at my website:


More movies, more stars, more entertainment, more tasty morsels…..

Chopped BLT Salad Spears

Fancy Pigs In A Blanket

Shrimp and Roasted Tomato Bruschetta on FoodistaShrimp and Roasted Tomato Bruschetta


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