NYC Winter, Part Deux

After a weirdly mild February and early March - which came in like a lamb in New York City - winter is back. 

But not before we had a few beautiful days in the 50s and even 60s, which teased us with the promise that spring will soon arrive.

It snowed most of the day on Friday in New York, and one of our famous winter nor'easter snowstorms is forecast for next Tuesday.

Don't get me wrong - I love love love the snow - and anticipate its arrival like young children look forward to Christmas morning. But I also enjoy these peeks into upcoming warm weather and seeing that the closet changeover to spring and summer dresses is on the horizon.

Have a lovely weekend!

Trick-or-Treating, New York City-Style

In New York City, most Halloween trick-or-treating happens during the day and in commercial areas.  Shops, dry cleaners, florists, restaurants and other small businesses load up on candy - and adorably-costumed children trick-or-treat along the avenues and major side streets after they get out of school that afternoon.

I've never been much of a competitive costume person, but we love hosting trick-or-treaters.  Where we live - and in most other Manhattan apartment buildings - residents sign up to host trick-or-treaters on Halloween night, and families who live in the building are given the list so they know which apartments are participating.  We have a lot of young families among our 22 floors, and it's always fun to see the children - and to say hi to the parents who accompany them.

I pick up fun ideas for treats and decorations from my Halloween segments, and here are few things I am showing for several companies on TV shows this week.

I had never used "coffin" and "cute" in the sentence - but how cute is this Mars "Candy Coffin" from Sam's Club? Six full pounds of miniature, bite-sized Snickers, Twix, Milky Way, 3 Musketeers and Starburst candies. Your neighborhood goblins - and the parents who raid their candy stash - will love you for this.

(Calories eaten on TV don't count, right?  Pro tip: 3 Musketeers are easiest to eat on-camera.  No sticky caramel or nuts.)

With host Erin Kienzle at Charleston's "Lowcountry Live."

With host Erin Kienzle at Charleston's "Lowcountry Live."

If you need a hostess gift for a party, or just want something festive for your own home, these Halloween arrangements from Teleflora fit the bill - and they have great vases you can reuse again and again. (Photos courtesy of Teleflora).

Finally, hands-down, the best wines for Halloween.  Check out the bottles; Hob Nob does their Limited Edition Wicked Red Blend and Wicked Chardonnay with seasonal labels!  Not only are these full-bodied wines delicious and affordable ($11.99), but they have twist tops - ideal for hostess gifts or easy-serving at your own party. (Photos courtesy of Hob Nob Wines).

Happy Halloween!


Wanna tell the world what makes your mom, grandma, aunt, sister or other mother in your life so special?

This Mother's Day, I partnered with Teleflora and several other companies on TV segments to share new twists on a few classic Mother's Day gifts.

In addition to sending Mom one of these gorgeous bouquets, you can give her an extra "shout-out" on social media.  On Facebook, Twitter and Instagram - simply tag #teleflora and describe why your Mom is #OneToughMother. (Photos courtesy of Teleflora).

In addition to flowers, whose mom doesn't love chocolate?  This 18-Piece Assorted Chocolate Gift Box from Godiva's 90th Anniversary Collection includes classic Belgian chocolates from each decade - plus a new raspberry ganache with hints of rose petals that is encased in rich, dark chocolate.  Those white praline hearts in the middle of that box are my personal favorites.  Yum! (Photos courtesy of Godiva).

Pair that chocolate with a rich, Napa Valley Merlot from Joseph Carr Wines.  If Mom enjoys white wine, a crisp Sauvignon Blanc from The Crossings is refreshing in warm weather, while Barone Fini Pinot Grigio pairs nicely with most foods on your Mother's Day menu. (Photos courtesy of Joseph Carr Wines, The Crossings, and Barone Fini).

How do you plan to celebrate Mother's Day?

"Love Note Concierge"

I love surprising people with flowers.  But when I am standing at the counter in the florist's shop and faced with fitting a message onto the tiny card that accompanies them, I tend to get writer's block.

The same thing happens when sending a gift from an online registry - and the moment comes to enter a perfectly-worded greeting onto a single line (no pressure, right?)

Sharing your most heartfelt thoughts in a space about the length of a Tweet?  Well, it can be daunting.

Since I am apparently not alone, Teleflora has a brilliant idea for Valentine’s Day.  From February 3 through 12, they have a “Love Note Concierge” who will come to your rescue!

You call 844-IT-IS-LOVE to talk to their writers.  Just tell them what you want to share, and they will craft a perfectly-worded message to go with your flowers.

Better yet, the service is totally free – and Teleflora will give you 20 percent off of any bouquet you order when you use it.  Here are a few arrangements I am sharing for them for Valentine’s Day, but you can choose from even more options here.

* Photos courtesy of Teleflora.