Tag Archives: celebrations

They Say It’s Your Birthday…..

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…….more birthday celebrations! While this year I may be celebrating the 15th anniversary of my 29th birthday, Tuesday, my Nick turned 19! It’s so weird. It really seems like it’s been about 5 minutes since we brought him home from the hospital, and now, all the sudden he’s fairly well grown up and celebrating his first birthday away at college; without us.


When I was little, my mom always made a big fat deal out of our birthdays; so naturally, I am of the belief that birthdays should be celebrated like it’s Mardi Gras. Over the years, we’ve had some pretty rockin’ parties for Nick. All sports all the time has, of course, been a recurring theme. Amongst my favorites, however, was Nick’s 5th grade party. It’s not easy to come up with an idea that isn’t so “been there done that”. I stumbled across the Chicago Bulls/White Sox Training Academy (which is pretty stinking painful for those of us diehard Cub’s fans). Their deal at the time was you rented the Chicago Bulls replica basketball court, equipped with a working scoreboard, buzzer and referee, at $150 for an hour. The number of invitees was unlimited, so, since more of everything is always better, we included a total of 20 kids to help us celebrate.


Rather than waste our precious hour picking teams, we sent out two invitations; one requesting the recipients wear a white t-shirt, and the other requesting the recipients wear a blue t-shirt. When the boys arrived, all they had to do sit on the bench, shouting, “Put me in coach; I’m ready to play!” After the game, we went out for pizza, and as a party favor, gave each of the boys a mini basketball. It was awesome!


Over the years, we’ve celebrated with several golf outings, but last years was my favorite. We surprised Nick with a huge breakfast in our home (yummy scrambled eggs, bacon and chocolate chip pancakes) with a dozen of his closest friends; pals he’s collected from Pre-school to high school. After breakfast, the boys headed over to one of Nick’s favorite courses to play 18 on his 18th. He had the very best day!


This year was certainly an adjustment. I wanted Nick to feel that even though he’s away, his birthday is still a day of celebration, but how could I make a small, but thoughtful gesture? Of course there were presents, but I also packed a few packages of Hershey’s Drops and made one of his all time favorite family desserts; chewy bars. To create a feeling of festivity, I packed crazy straws, party blowers, water guns and silly string. I hope he and his new friends are racing up and down the dorm room halls having fun and acting silly. That’s exactly what a 19 year old should be doing.

More birthday celebrations, more fabulous festivities, more family traditions, more missing Nick on his 19th birthday…..


To schedule and Interior Design appointment, a Life Style consultation or a speaking engagement, please email me at moreismoremom@aol.com


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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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Snowmen and Christmas Trees and Tablescapes, Oh My!

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…….more whimsical Christmas tablescapes! One of my favorite aspects of my Interior Design business is the opportunities I have to speak to groups, sharing my expertise and passion for Interior Decorating and Entertaining. In October, I had the pleasure of highlighting some of my tips and secrets for holiday entertaining with the International Furnishings and Design Association at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago. Christmas truly is a magical time of year; why not have a little fa-la-la-la- fun?

While I absolutely adore a traditional formal table, there’s something charming about a fresh, tongue in cheek, point of view. We certainly don’t always have to take ourselves so seriously, besides who isn’t a kid at heart at Christmas?

Several years ago, my friend Missy and I were working on a project for Our Lady of Perpetual Donations Grammar School (hence the name…) when we stumbled upon our inspiration; a Snowman-Jester Jack-in-the-box! After all these years mine still figures prominently in my Christmas décor, greeting guests in our foyer.

For my presentation, I chose to showcase my Snowman-Jester Jack-in-the-box. He serves as a delightful example of how a simple object can inspire an entire theme. Placing him on top of a drummer boy drum, gives him height and prominence. Because he has such a lively, Dr Suess like quality, he begged for a bright and cheerful color scheme. Forever and a day ago, I found these fantastic apple green placemats, trimmed with red rick-rack, which I’ve used for years. In fact, they were part of a summer, Margarita themed line of table linens, but I think they lend themselves perfectly to Christmas. I love the way the green placemats just pop against the cherry red tablecloth, but what it really needed was a unifying element; a topper.

Attention to detail is one of the most important elements in a achieving a well appointed home. The same expectations apply to setting a gorgeous table as well. The interesting layers add dimension and personality. My dear friends Vickie and Camille at Chicago Design Team at the Arlington Design Center were so very generous in providing me with this fabulous silk stripe fabric from Robert Allen’s Beacon Hill. This fabric is everything I was looking for; chock full of humor and style. The stripes add a circus like quality, but the silk and the raised velvet accents scream elegance.

I think a charger completes a formal table. My topper has a hint of gold running through the stripes, so as a compliment, I chose a gold-leaf charger. I think the basket weave design adds further dimension. The apple green is so unexpected, that I decided to feature it again in the dinner plate. It’s meant to be a backdrop to the real star, the accent plate. These plates say it all, literally; Merry, Merry, Merry! The colorful ornaments in silhouette add a graphic quality.

As a relief to the solid green and the solid red, I incorporated a secondary theme in the peppermint. I utilized it in the napkins, the tins, the ribbon and decorative ornaments. I placed a tin full of peppermints at each place setting as the perfect spot for a place card. In each water goblet, I plopped a peppermint ornament and at the top of each place setting there is a red and white party popper, full of silly Christmas treasures.

To complete my tablescape, I grounded the centerpiece with a pair of mismatched metal trees and added some sparkle and formality with crystal candelabrums. The finishing touches were over size, red glitter ornaments, and my signature, butterflies.

More beautiful tablescapes, more whimsical centerpieces, more celebrations….

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