Cheers to the Season!

The classic movie "Desk Set" is one of my all-time favorites, especially during the holiday season (love the office Christmas party scenes!)

This 1957 comedy is set at a fictitious TV network housed in Rockefeller Center.  It has the usual witty banter and tension between characters that you see whenever those characters are played by Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy.  (Need I say more?)

There is a scene where Miss Hepburn's character, Bunny Watson, describes herself to Tracy's Richard Sumner as someone who "only drinks champagne when I am lucky enough to get it."

This holiday season, I am lucky enough to work with Taittinger to feature their Champagnes on several TV shows.  They are sponsoring these segments and this post, and have a Champagne to suit any taste, from the signature dry Brut La Francaise ($60 - and my favorite) to the sweeter Nocturne "City Lights" ($82).  They even have a Prestige Rose ($84) for all of those rose lovers on your list. 


Cheers to the season!

Write Your Own Hallmark Movie

Last holiday season, when speaking to a university class from my alma mater, two students asked if I had been in Hallmark Christmas movies.

I thanked them and said that while I have been on the "Home & Family" talk show on the network - I have not been in any movies.  We then figured out which actress they thought I was (maybe it's the red hair?) - and bonded over our mutual obsession with these movies.

If you look at the list of recordings on our DVR from November 1 throughout the holidays. it is jam-packed with Hallmark movies.  Scott's DVR habits are bit more upscale and intellectual, and he sweetly tolerates having to scroll through titles such as "It's Christmas, Carol," "Christmas Under Wraps," and "Broadcasting Christmas" to get to his shows.  I am also weirdly happy when I am on business travel during the holidays, and discover my hotel has Hallmark on their TV system - something that is about as rare as a sad ending on one of these holiday movies.

Two other girlfriends and I recently chatted about the "formula" for Hallmark movies, and how there must be machine that turns these things out.  Choose one from each category, add some snowy, idyllic holiday scenery, and voila!  You have a Hallmark Christmas movie.  If you're not familiar, here are your basic story options:

A single, super-successful woman, who is a:

  • News anchor/talk show host
  • PR/advertising/publishing executive
  • Holiday parade/Christmas window coordinator
  • Physician

Played by:

  • Candace Cameron Bure
  • Alicia Witt
  • Lori Loughlin
  • Lacey Chabert

Who lives and works in:

  • New York City
  • Chicago
  • San Francisco
  • Unnamed large metropolitan area resembling any of the above

Who, just before the holiday season:

  • Makes a huge, career-damaging mistake
  • Is dumped by her boyfriend
  • Lost or never had the Christmas spirit (sad)
  • Any combination of the above

And, through a weird series of events, is forced to move to or spend the holiday season in a small town in:

  • Alaska
  • North Dakota
  • Montana
  • Connecticut
  • Vermont

Where she meets or spends the holiday with a guy (frequently named Nick) who is a:

  • Firefighter
  • Christmas tree stand owner
  • Factory owner
  • Ex-boyfriend
  • Son of Santa Claus


  • Turns out to be her soul mate.
  • Helps her rediscover the spirit of Christmas.
  • Causes her to realize that small town was where she was meant to be all along.
  • All of the above.

And they live happily ever after.

The end.

The main alternate theme?  A zillion variations of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol."  Why watch classic versions when you can see female Scrooges, played by everyone from Tori Spelling to Susan Lucci?  Bonus: spirits played by Carrie Fisher (my favorite), William Shatner, or Gary Coleman.

Lest you think I am making fun of this: I Love This Stuff.  And apparently, so do millions of other people.

I once saw an interview with director Rob Reiner, in which he observed that all of his movies, at their heart, really have the same theme.  He said he keeps making the same movie over and over, because it works.

That is what Hallmark does - and it totally works.

We'll be watching!

Your turn to chime in.  What holiday movies do you love to watch?  This is a judgement free zone.

And the Fashion Oscars Go To...

One of the best parts of Oscar night is the pre-game: hours of red carpet and fashion coverage on E!

Good thing, because I can rarely stay awake for the hours-long telecast to catch the Best Picture award live.

A few of my faves from last night.

Hailee Steinfeld's floral is just so pretty. 

Taraji P. Henson looks like a movie star in this purple velvet Alberta Ferretti.

I could never wear this gorgeous gold gown, but it was made for Jessica Biel.

Viola Davis is the lady in red in this silk Armani Privé.

Kirsten Dunst - so elegant in this black Dior.

Love the midnight blue beading on Laura Dern's Rodarte.

Still haven't seen "La La Land," but Emma Stone looks lovely in this fringed Givenchy.

Brie Larson is a picture of elegance in this velvet Oscar de la Renta.

Who were your favorites?


* Photos from People magazine.





Sunday Stories: "Golden Girls" Cafe, Oscars, and Weird Weather

Yes, this "Golden Girls" themed cafe in NYC is real. I have soooo many friends who will want to go there.

Photo from the New York Times.

Photo from the New York Times.

I love our apartment - but wouldn't mind one of these Frank Lloyd Wright homes. You can actually tour this one.

And speaking of real estate: beware of tall tales.

As someone who hates to drive, it's nice to see more cities developing public transit that enables you to have a car-free or cab-free vacation (or business trip).

Seven more Earth-sized planets out there? I don't know about you, but it's always hard to get my head around this sort of thing.

I spent much of this week in Arkansas, which like New York, is having weirdly unseasonable warm weather. This has me wanting to do a closet changeover to spring, but I suspect we still have at least a month of winter weather ahead.

It's Hollywood's biggest night. I confess that I have seen hardly any of the nominated films and actors this year, so perhaps tonight's ceremony will motivate us to catch up.

Can we agree these twins will be simply adorable?

Have a lovely week!

Sunday Stories: "Love Actually" Update, Tiny Apartments, and Wine for Cats

Marking my calendar! "Love Actually" update coming this spring in the form of a short film for TV.

This special New York Times section on French cooking may encourage you to try a classic recipe for soufflé, omelets or quiche. 

So looking forward to reading this memoir by Joan Juliet Buck.

Absolutely cannot stop scanning Apartment Therapy house tours. This group of tiny New York City spaces was posted several years ago, and although my first Manhattan apartment checked in even smaller than these, mine was not nearly as stylish.

Is this "wine for cats" thing really a thing? When I saw the headline, I actually checked the calendar to make sure today was not April 1. 

Have a lovely week!