Monthly Archives

August 2018

In Entertaining on
August 30, 2018

Hostess Help: Menus & More!

Hello dears! In this season of my life with a baby, I find that we are entertaining at home a lot more. It’s fun and much more manageable to have our friends and their little ones over for cocktail hour or dinner rather than going out. This usually means we’re setting a casual atmosphere with buffet style service, dishes that can be prepped ahead of time and freely flowing sips! I’m going to share a few of our most recent hosting efforts along with menus, flowers and even playlists. I hope you can glean an idea or two for the long weekend ahead!

All pictures taken on my iPhone, in-the-moment!

Summer Supper

The above spread is from a dinner we had with friends—six adults and five children under three! It was very low-stress and fairly easy to throw together.


Publix Fried Chicken

Watermelon, Feta & Mint Salad: cubed watermelon, crumbled feta & fresh mint lightly dressed with fresh lime juice or balsamic glaze.

Ina Garten Crispy Iceberg Salad: I make these all the time! I could survive on the dressing alone and the fresh take on a wedge always dazzles guests.

Dessert: Frozen Lemon Squares from Trader Joe’s

Playlist: Spotify’s Leon Bridges and Friends

Cocktail Hour

Hostess Help: Menus and More on

The perfect time to keep babies occupied during their witching hour! I set up all the accoutrements in the living room and they can crawl around on their playmat while the adults nosh & sip.


Triple Server: Cornichons and Rosemary Marcona Almonds from Trader Joe’s and Parmesan Whisps from Costco. Rosé is Gerard Bertrand from Costco as well and, helpful hint, it’s the cheapest I’ve seen it anywhere at around $13 a bottle!

Hostess Help: Menus and More on

Chips & Dip: Trader Joe’s Carmelized Onion Dip garnished with green onion slivers and served with Cape Cod chips.

Hostess Help: Menus and More on

Prosciutto Wrapped Pears: Sliced pears drizzled with lemon juice topped with a piece of blue cheese and arugula all wrapped together with prosciutto. Add a bit of balsamic glaze once they are assembled.

Playlist: Spotify’s Rosemary, Frank, Bing & Friends

Baptism Brunch

Baptism Brunch Ideas on

I had this catered because I knew the morning would be hectic and I wanted fond memories of our daughter’s special day (not “s%*^! I burned the quiche!!”). The Hungry Peach here in Atlanta, located in the ADAC building, did a marvelous job!


Ham & Swiss Biscuits

Smoked Salmon Cucumber Cups

Pimento Cheese Deviled Eggs

Parmesan & Artichoke Tarts

Fresh Fruit from Whole Foods

Truffled Brownies (The Hungry Peach has THE most decadent brownies I’ve ever had, they are a must try!)

Baptism brunch flower ideas on

Flowers: recently, I’ve been very pleased with the dramatic effect of some large bunches of baby’s breath. For additional color and texture, I added in some tulips and roses in mismatched vases and containers. Atlanta ladies, my favorite place for well-priced vessels is Boxwoods!

Playlist: Spotify’s Classical Feast

Thrill on the Grill

Hostess Help: Dinner Ideas for a Crowd on

This is a great dinner to have prepped beforehand and then all you have to do is finish a couple of the items on the grill, easy-peasy! We served this the night before the baptism for our family visitors.


Flank Steak with Chimichurri: It’s delicious and fresh, perfect for a weekend BBQ! The chimichurri is a favorite here at Chez Muffy, it can go on anything from chicken to roasted vegetables.

Corn on the cob prepared on the grill

Ina Garten Crispy Iceberg Salads: See, I can’t get enough!

Playlist: Spotify’s Basa Nova

Baby Sprinkle

Hostess Help: Costco Party Food Ideas on


A casual evening sprinkle for a dear friend’s soon-to-arrive bundle of joy yielded heavy hors d’oeuvres, champagne and rosé for about twenty guests. I am all about one-stop shopping so pretty much everything was procured at Costco.


Marinated Shrimp: Costco’s finest! The bamboo skewers are from Amazon.

Crudité: Tri-color carrots, little Persian cucumbers and radishes are from Trader Joe’s. We cut them lengthwise and served them with Costco’s spinach & artichoke dip.

Spanakopita: Delicious frozen fare from Costco.

Petit Avocado Toasts: Baguettes are sliced, brushed with butter and toasted in the oven for 20ish minutes at 375. Top with a layer of Costco pre-made guacamole (sold in single-serving sized cups) and garnish with fresh cherry tomatoes, cilantro and sea salt.

Playlist: Spotify’s Jazz Classics

Light Dinner for Two

Hostess Help: Appetizer Ideas on

There’s nothing like queuing up a good movie or show and enjoying an evening in. If Mister Muffy and I have had a big lunch out with Louisa, a light dinner in is the best once she has hit the hay.


Caprese Salad: Heirloom tomatoes, basil, fresh mozzarella, balsamic glaze, olive oil and a soupçon of Trader Joe’s Kale Pesto.

Parmesan crisps and almonds are Whole Foods favorites.


Wishing you all a splendid weekend and bon appetit!

In Art, Decor, Uncategorized on
August 23, 2018

Ravishing Renderings: Remembering Jeremiah Goodman

Betsy Bloomingdale's Holmby Hills House by Jeremiah Goodman

The curve of an antique secretaire, a swath of silk curtains and the movement of a master painting live exquisitely in the renderings of artist to the grand, Jeremiah Goodman. His works are so outrightly splendid, viewers want to walk right into the marvelous milieu the late Mr. Goodman created. Revered interior decorators and social fixtures alike called on Jeremiah to immortalize their spaces in paint and it is our good fortune that in 2006, he published a tome celebrating their cherished quarters. Yesterday morning, I was in the doldrums; a place of plain thinking only cured by the art of inspiration. A quick survey of my coffee table books later, I was transfixed by the elegant living rooms, worldly dining rooms and enchanting bedrooms in A Romantic Vision. A few pages in, I realized that the one year anniversary of Mr. Goodman’s passing is in two weeks and I’m grateful for the timely opportunity to celebrate his art by sharing a few of my favorite renderings below.

Jeremiah Goodman's rendering of Leonard Stanley's bedroom on Stuffy Muffy

Interior designer Leonard Stanley’s Hollywood Hills bedroom, 1976.

Carolina Herrera's sitting room by Jeremiah Goodman on Stuffy Muffy

Carolina Herrera’s Manhattan sitting room in rich hues.

Jeremiah imagined his arrival in New York City as a young artist to be an exciting welcome full of professional promise and he was spot on. He started out as an illustrator for Lord and Taylor’s newspaper adverts showcasing interiors and fashion which caught the eye of Interior Design magazine’s editor. Goodman illustrated the cover of the magazine every month for 15 years all while having work published in House and Garden, The New York Times and Harper’s Bazaar. Esteemed commissions from decorators the likes of Billy Baldwin and Henri Samuel led to him painting the private homes of First Lady Nancy Reagan, Cecil Beaton, Besty Bloomingdale and Diana Vreeland to name a small few.

Nancy Reagan's living room by Jeremiah Goodman on Stuffy Muffy

President and First Lady Reagan’s Bel-Air living room, 1992.

Mario Buatta bedroom by Jeremiah Goodman on Stuffy Muffy

A Mario Buatta decorated bedroom; well-appointed frills abound!

Many qualities of an artist transfer to that of a designer such as proportion, scale and color all of which are punctiliously mastered in a Goodman rendering. It comes as no surprise that Jeremiah had wanted to become a decorator before pursuing a career as a painter. Photographer Bruce Weber once remarked “In reality our rooms are a mess and filled with books and dogs’ beds. But Jeremiah’s interpretation of these rooms always makes one look as if they have the crème de la crème of taste.” A fine balance of real life recording in combination with artistic liberty keeps the viewer guessing as to what Goodman drew from directly and what was added for flair.

Bruce Weber by Jeremiah Goodman on Stuffy Muffy

Bruce Weber and Nan Bush’s living room interior in Golden Beach, Florida. 2001.

David Hicks by Jeremiah Goodman on Stuffy Muffy

Decorator David Hicks’ living room.

Jeremiah’s expert impressions have become a historical archive of interior decoration in the latter part of the 20th century. The pieces from his patrons’ collections of art, decorative objet, books and artifacts have been preserved in their interior habitat, a rare treat to look in on. To capture these distinguished delights, he would travel to Europe, Asia and beyond. Goodman would return Stateside to his Big Apple apartment and a carriage house in East Hampton that he painstakingly restored. He once had friend and decorator Albert Hadley come by and help him rearrange his entire living room only for them both to realize that it was perfect in its original state. Of his varied aesthetic aptitudes Jeremiah mused “the artist today should be a Renaissance-type man who applies his talents in many fields.” I hope Mr. Goodman’s inspired ouvre helps you, like it did me, to take a break from the bustle of life and rouse a dormant passion or two – whatever they may be!

Henri Samuels by Jeremiah Goodman on Stuffy Muffy

Designer Henri Samuel’s country living room. Lush & lovely!

Diana Vreeland's "garden in hell" living room by Billy Baldwin on Stuffy Muffy

Diana Vreeland wanted “a garden in hell” in her Park Avenue pad and Billy Baldwin delivered. Note the playing card needlepoint pillows behind the sofa!

P.S. If you enjoyed this post, you might like a similar one I wrote about portrait artist Aaron Shikler. It’s a bit more history heavy and full of beautiful portraits of faces you will most certainly recognize! Read it here.

All images via A Romantic Vision, 2006.