Holiday Fête …Disco Style!

I have holiday “disco” fever. I’m ready to don my sequins and eat, drink and boogie during holiday season. Bring on the’s time to celebrate and have some fun!
The holiday season is filled with fête after fête which require us to fill our closet with glittery frocks. My motto is that you can never be too overdressed or too sparkly during the holidays. It’s so much fun to get all dressed up and pile on the sequins, fur and jewelry. A little black dress is quickly pushed aside for eye-catching clothing that shines, moves and sparkles! Bring on the shine with these Sparkle Uggs, Kate Spade glitter phone case and Deborah Lippmann Across the Universe nail polish.

My favorite collection of the moment is Haute Hippie. The designs are chic with bohemian glamour and disco pizzazz. The fringe tank would be so much fun to dance in and the sequined dress is a show stopper. Kate Spade always does holiday style with lady like sparkle. Wearing these Kate Spade Charm shoes would be like a disco ball for your feet. These 7 skinny electric blue jeans  will turn heads and inspire all night disco dancing. 

A Prosecco Gold Rush is the disco fête drink for the holiday season. 

12 ozs sparkling wine (chilled, prosecco)
2 ozs gold flaked vodka (chilled)
1 12 ozs schnapps (cinnamon, goldschlager)

Pour Prosecco into a clear glass without ice. Add vodka and cinnamon schnapps, and stir to mix gold flakes evenly through the drink. holidays with a bubbly-based

Decorate: I love the cheerful glamour that disco adds to the home. Walking up these stairs and cooking in this kitchen would make me smile...and dance! 

My favorite dance soundtrack has to be The Last Days of Disco. If you like to dance, you'll love it too. Other songs for a disco fête would have to include:

Bee Gees, Stayin' Alive
Deee-Lite, Groove is in the Heart
Chic, Le Freak
Jamiroquai, Virtual Insanity
Michael Jackson, You Rock My World  

Pinkalicious the Musical is Pinkeriffic!

Pretty in pink, tickled pink, pinktastic, pinkeriffic are just a few words that come to mind when describing Pinkalicious. Pink is the color of happiness and Pinkalicious is just that...a colorful explosion of pink sparkly fun.

How many times as parents have we heard, "Just one more?" It's a phrase Pinkalicious Pinkerton says when she wants another pink cupcake. Pinkalicious turns pink from eating too many cupcakes and is diagnosed by Dr. Wink as having "Pinkititis." The only way to cure it is with a healthy dose of green foods.

The Dallas Children's Theatre had an audience full of giggly girly girls in their pink tutus and tiaras but also little brothers who tagged along. My daughter's little brother was one of the boys in the audience who was tickled pink to be there. Boys like the color pink too!

Most of the boys in my second grade classroom like pink. I was listening to a conversation between some boys after one of them chose a pink Expo marker to work a math problem on the whiteboard. Another boy said to him, "Dude, pink is NOT a manly color!" In his defense, several other boys commented on how they like pink and for the whole math lesson, boys kept picking the pink Expo marker. I decided it would be a perfect time to read the Pinkalicious book to my class. Then there was more discussion...about how pink is awesome dude!

The DCT Pinkalicious musical followed Victoria and Elizabeth Kann's book beautifully. Walking into the theatre you see a plethora of pink. The lobby is decked out in pink hearts, dots, fabric, twinkle lights, tulle and they have Sprinkles red velvet pink cupcakes in the concession stand...It's a mecca for lovers of pink, a pinkapalooza!

Pinkalcious Pinkerton has the average American family (mom, dad, brother, sister) who do everything together...baking, going to the park and the doctor office. One of my favorite scenes was when Pinkalicious turns pink and the family hops on their four person bike to ride to the doctor's office. 

The music has lively numbers reminiscent of old classics. "Buzz Off" is a number when butterflies, bees and birds mistake Pinkalicious for a flower made me think of Guys and Dolls, "Sit Down You're Rockin' the Boat." The scene when Dr. Wink diagnoses Pinkalicious as having "pinkititis" brings a Bob Fosse style that reminded me of the musical Chicago. All the songs are enjoyable for the adults as well as the children. My little boy loved the "Cupcake Dream" where the cupcakes sing during the night.

Pinkalicious and her brother Peter are pinktastic! The family literally finds their true colors along with lots of laughter love. The show is high energy and a lot of fun. Go see it, you'll be tickled pink!

Pinkalicious is playing now through October 28th. Get your tickets

A Taste of Vienna

Austria is beyond rich in history. This little landlocked country has gone from being the grand Habsburg Empire to being nonaligned. Vienna was left with little to rule as the Great Depression swept the Nazis to power. Austria’s neutrality in 1955 led to better days but the past is still hauntingly present.

Our book club recently selected Daniel Silva’s, A Death in Vienna and to match the Austrian theme we ate at Jorg’s Café Vienna. My friend Margot is Austrian and it was through her that our little book club became a history lesson that we could taste.
On a cold October day a hearty Austrian meal hit the spot. Think...Traditional goulash, Gurkensalat (cucumber salad), Wienerschnitzel with red cabbage and spatzle on the side. It made for very happy stomaches. This was all found not Austria but Plano, Texas at Jorg's Cafe Vienna.

Nestled in between quaint antique shops in charming “old” Plano you can find Jorg’s Café Vienna where our book club enjoyed a taste of Austria. The atmosphere is warm and cozy with an accordion player encouraging an involuntary body sway to the oompah sounds as the friendly waiter brings another round of Austrian beer.

After eating hearty warm Austrian cuisine the belly is full but the waiter kindly asks, "How about some homemade bread pudding with Austrian rum"…you simply must say, “ja bitte!” Then when the waiter comes back with shots of jagermeister, you smile and say "prost!" Once again the belly is happy.

Jorg’s Café Vienna reminded me of an Italian Osteria where the dishes are rustic, not fancy and you feel a communal experience with the biergarten style seating and home style food and service. The Austrian "guesthouse" type restaurant is very family friendly and full of babies that all look like they've been raised on sausages. Reading "Jorg’s menu tells you that many of the recipes are old family dishes from his Mutti and Oma. When you taste Jorg’s food, you taste old world Austria and the love that went into the preparation (today and decades ago).

As soon as Margot sat down at Jorg’s restaurant, Jorg saw her and with such exciting intensity beckoned her to come meet his wife. The three of them became instant family. They share something that only expats can understand...a connection with their first home.

Many expats who live abroad can be found in restaurants like Jorg’s because there’s something about being there that reminds them of their home. The food, music and nostalgic atmosphere can link them together.

I have often thought that my Austrian friend seems to have two hearts...divided by countries. Expats have unbreakable bonds with friends and family in both places but they are torn between their old and new homes. So much of who we are is based on where we are.

Talking about Daniel Silva's A Death in Vienna (the third book in a series) stirred up many feelings. There are characters in the book that would rather ignore that the Holocaust ever happened. It’s a thought provoking story that conjures up many emotions about the sensitive subject, the Holocaust and those who helped the Nazis escape punishment.

Gabriel Allon has the cover of an Italian art restorer, but is an Israeli assassin. He is not anxious to go back to the city of Vienna where his wife and son were victims of a car bomb. Gabriel learns that a man named Max Klein may have had something to do with the bombing. Klein was a Jewish violinist in the Auschwitz camp orchestra and remembers a Nazi named Erich Radek who killed camp prisoners. Gabriel is on a quest to find him as he remembers his mother.
History shapes and molds us all. Enjoyment of literature like the book A Death in Vienna is certainly a good way to raise awareness and heighten sensitivities about how the history of an “old country” like Austria has contributed to the personas of its citizens. Notwithstanding the benefits of literature however, actually hearing, seeing and tasting culture as we did at Jorg’s Café Vienna was truly a delightful educational awakening.