Tag Archives: Betty White

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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It’s the Apron Before the Apron…We’ve Got Ourselves a Situation!

As the More is More Mom®, I have been all about……..more television magic! It’s not every day that you get to throw a party on TV, much less on Chicago’s very own ABC-7 News at 11AM.

You know my motto; More of Everything is Always Better, which includes over the top party preparations. I was so excited for the chance to share my More is More Mom® philosophy that I couldn’t wait to develop a delectable menu and design a luscious tablescape.  Inspiration is, of course, followed by perspiration……


I shopped my basement (attic, closets, drawers, nooks and crannies) for beautiful serving pieces and accessories. That’s always my favorite part, putting the pieces of the puzzle together to create something memorable. I even made a new table topper to enhance my design. I’m crazy about authenticity and details and once I was happy with my buffet display, I snapped a photo so I wouldn’t forget a single detail. Then I packed, stacked and bubble wrapped.

With my menu in hand, I hit Costco, Dominick’s and Whole Foods, a trifecta of culinary delights. I sliced, diced, washed, chopped, prepped, cooked and stored everything for easy transportation to the studio.


The Apron Before The Apron…


The Apron…

My biggest dilemma? The apron. I always like to coordinate with my theme, so I was on a mad search for the perfect apron. When my pal Judy offered to make one for me to match my table design and menu, I jumped at the chance. She is a beautiful seamstress, while I am a home-made costume sewer. I can insert a zipper if you promise not to look too closely and if you understand that there will be wrestling involved with getting it to go up and down. Maybe even some WD-40.

However, I was nervous about spilling on my new apron while I was prepping before the segment, so I wore another apron while I was getting ready. It was the apron before the apron. I’m like the boys on the Jersey Shore with the shirt before the shirt. We’d practically be twins if I spent my days on GTL (Gym, Tan, Laundry….though I am always up to my eyeballs in laundry), instead I CCDB (Cook, Clean, Decorate, Blog). Looks like I’ve got myself….a situation!

It was such an exciting day, but there was so much to be done! I went for a quick run at 5:30AM, and upon my return I realized that I had forgotten to seal the gigantic bag of toasted baguette bread before I went to bed Sunday night. Rats! It was stale. At least I didn’t forget to put away the New York Strip Steaks. Chuck is the world’s greatest husband and ran out to pick up two more loves. While I was getting ready, he sliced and toasted the bread and grilled the pork tenderloin. Our neighbors must have been wondering what kind of crazy party we were having at 6:30 in the morning. I dragged Nick out of bed to help load up the truck. I always maintain that the reason we have sons is to do all of the heavy lifting. We were loaded up and on the road by 7:15, swinging by to pick up my friend Julia along the way.

Being in a real studio was sooooo exciting! It was like being on the Mary Tyler Moore Show. I was waiting for news anchor Ted Baxter to appear at any moment (but my chances for a Sue Ann Nivens sighting were so much better…..because Betty White still happens to be alive). We had a blast! Julia, my Amanda and I had everything unpacked and ready for show time, in no time. Judy Hsu and Ben Bradley were wonderful and the crew was awesome. It was a great experience.

More decorating, more food shopping, more cooking, more transporting, more setting up, more sharing……more fun than I could have ever imagined!


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