Tag Archives: HGTV

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…..

Please visit me at http://vanessanunleydesigns.com to learn more about my Interior Design services.

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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Ladies Lunch; Tex-Mex Chicken Salad (and Chuck loved it too)!

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……more Tex-Mex Chicken Salad! One night Chuck and I were watching a little HGTV (he is such a good sport! Instead, I could be stuck watching ESPN), when the story of Selling Spelling Manor caught our eye. While it was fascinating getting a behind the scenes tour of their 57,000 square foot home, as a fellow hoarder, it was even more interesting watching them categorize, warehouse, and sort through all of her stuff!


Now, my dear friend and former neighbor, Mrs. Hobbs, is also an Interior Designer and first rate collector, so I couldn’t wait for her to join me for a special screening and a little lunch. I decided to make a Tex-Mex Chicken Salad and it was to die for!


Tex-Mex Chicken Salad:


2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts poached and shredded

Poaching is simple; place the chicken in a pot, cover with water, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes with the pot partially covered, remove from heat and cook for another 15 minutes.


2 ears of corn, grilled, or broiled, with the kernels removed; simply brush with olive oil, grill until charred and remove the kernels, I use the corn zipper

Note: fresh corn is not plentiful this time of year, so I used frozen corn on the cob


Remaining Ingredients;

4 Tbsp sour cream

3 Tbsp lime juice

Hearty sprinkle of ground cumin

¾ cup diced cherry tomatoes

1 avocado diced

3 scallions chopped

1/3 cup fresh cilantro chopped

1 small jalapeno pepper minced


Romaine lettuce

Frito’s for garnishing


In a small bowl, combine;

Sour cream

Lime juice



In a medium bowl, combine;







Jalapeno pepper


Toss the chicken mixture with the dressing

Season with salt and pepper

Refrigerate until ready to serve


When it’s time for lunch, place a generous amount of lettuce on a dinner plate, two scoops of Tex-Mex Chicken Salad and top with Frito’s.

Drizzle with your favorite salad dressing. We like a tangy Thousand Island, but a Western French or a Ranch would be tasty too!


While the salad was delicious, the company was even better!


More flavorful chicken salad, more HGTV, more hoarding, more wonderful friendships……


Please visit me at http://vanessanunleydesigns.com to learn more about my Interior Design services.


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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Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones…The Queen of Duck Tape Strikes Again!

As the More as More Mom®, I have been all about….more trips to the orthopedist. Well, who wants to be all about that? We have seen a variety of nice doctors at OAD Orthopaedics, in Warrenville, for a broken wrist, sprained wrist, broken thumb, broken fingers, sprained fingers, broken ankle, heel pain, knee pain, torn meniscus and yesterday we celebrated the three year anniversary of the successful replant of Chuck’s once completely severed thumb. How exactly did that happen you may ask? Funny story, we were getting ready for a party, Chuck was on a rickety step stool in the garage, which suddenly gave way. As he tried to steady himself against the soffit, his thumb got wedged in the “V” of the angle bracket that holds up the garage door opener, and as he fell to the ground, with his thumb wedged in the angle bracket, it literally ripped right off of his hand. His screams sent me running to the garage and when I opened the door he said, “I cut off my thumb.” To which I replied, “Should I call 911?” He responded, “No. Get me to the Emergency Room!” Then I said, “But first I have to find your thumb!” He directed me to look upward and there it was, hanging from the ceiling. Eeew. So, I filled up one of my good Tupperware containers with ice, snagged a sturdy chair, plucked his thumb from the angle bracket and submerged it in the ice. We raced off to the Emergency Room and after 7 hours of micro hand surgery, the doctors from OAD put it right back on; piece of cake. He’s practically as good as new (though I opted not to bring home my good Tupperware). How about that?

In the spring, Amanda was experiencing some back pain. Like all good mothers, I told her she was fine. It’s embarrassing to run to the doctor every five minutes, and besides, our insurance company would never stand for it. We talked with her gymnastics coach, deciding that the first course of action was to ease up on her more strenuous skills and work on strengthening her core. As summer was ending, her back pain had not diminished and I was finally shamed into taking her to the doctor. Naturally, he promptly ordered an X-ray and subsequently….. a bone scan. Apparently after years of watching General Hospital, ER and in my formative years, Marcus Welby, MD,  my TV medical degree wasn’t quite as useful as I might have thought.


I’ll be darned! It turned out to be a small stress fracture in her last vertebrae. For the next six weeks she will be wearing a corset (doesn’t that just scream cool first impression for a freshman in High School?) and, as a master of the obvious, no gymnastics.

I would consider one of Amanda’s greatest skills to be that of problem solver. Once, when she was about seven, she was playing in a large cardboard box, as kids do. The box was dark, so she cut a hole in the top (with her blunt tipped scissors), inserted a flash light, taped it in place and, hence, invented recessed lighting. Perhaps that was the beginning of her affinity for Duck Tape and the precursor to her career on HGTV!

Amanda was fitted for her corset and has been a super good sport about wearing it (when she was a little girl, she never met a band-aid she didn’t like). The only problem has been that the metal stays keep sliding out and poking her in the back, making it rather uncomfortable. The Queen of Duck Tape to the rescue…..



Looking on the bright side, if she’s not spending 20 hours each week at the gym, she has more time to spend on her school work. And what teenage girl doesn’t want to have……more time for school work?

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