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We’re thrilled to be sharing Alex Hitz’s tremendous new tome, The Art of the Host: Recipes and Rules for Flawless Entertaining with our WIJW readership. As you may remember, I was absolutely obsessed with Hitz’s last book, My Beverly Hills Kitchen, which was and still is one of my very favorite go-to cook books! In fact it’s what I gave to everyone over several holidays! Needless to say, I was very pleased to receive his latest!

I think many are made a bit uneasy by the idea of hosting a dinner party. It’s totally understandable. Thankfully here’s where Alex Hitz comes to the rescue! He knows more than a thing or two about hosting – in fact the Wall Street Journal has called him the “the very best host in the world.” But don’t let that intimidate you. In his latest book, Hitz defuses the sometimes daunting task, breaking it all down into simple, straightforward steps. The Art of the Host has all kinds of information about getting started. Chapters like: The Things I always Love and Absolutely Love, will give you the essentials you need to become a fabulous host/cook, and chapters like: The Things to Always and Never Do, will tell you what you should have in your kitchen.

From The Art of the Host

And then there are 120 of Alex Hitz’s signature no-fail recipes. In some cases, as Hitz likes to put it, “they practically make themselves!”

For dinner this holiday, I look forward to serving this fabulous menu taken from the pages of Hitz’s “The Art of the Host”: Salmon en-Croute with Easiest-ever Bearnaise Sauce; French Green Beans with Almonds; Poire Belle Helene Perfect Poached Pears. All accompanied by well chosen wine, this should take the dark and chill out of the season!

From “The Art of the Host”: Salmon en-Croute with Easiest-ever Bearnaise Sauce and French Green Beans with Almonds
From The Art of the Host
From The Art of the Host
From The Art of the Host
From Art of the Host

Given my enthusiasm for the book, it shouldn’t surprise you that I’m also gifting The Art of the Host to everyone on my Christmas list!

I hope all of our WIJW readers will join us in our efforts to revive the grand old tradition of the dinner party! With Hitz by our side, we’ll be sure to regain that “…sense of fun and community,” he speaks of, “…gathering people together for good simple food.” (excerpt Hitz, New York Times)

Pick up your copy here on Amazon: The Art of the Host: Recipes and Rules for Flawless Entertaining


I’m absolutely thrilled to share with our WIJW readership Ashley Hicks’ tremendous new tome, Buckingham Palace: The Interiors (and it’s  just in time for Season 3 of The Crown to help you get in the spirit of things!). Hicks has beautifully captured the royal splendor of Buckingham Palace in his wildly rich and superbly executed photographs – a compendium of the ultimate in Regency, Victorian, and Edwardian styles.

From Ashley Hicks’ Buckingham Palace: The Interiors.

It really looks like Hicks photographed these interiors using only natural light, and if he did augment anything with artificial help, it is imperceptible. Either way, it is a testament to his art!

From Ashley Hicks’ Buckingham Palace: The Interiors.

I can say that this work is certainly the freshest, most dynamic and vibrant portrayal of Buckingham Palace that I have ever seen. Hicks takes us on a private and unforgettable virtual tour, choosing all the best views from the Grand Staircase to the opulent State Rooms. He creates an absolutely ravishing royal tale with a unique take on so much of Buckingham’s history.

From Ashley Hicks’ Buckingham Palace: The Interiors.
From Ashley Hicks’ Buckingham Palace: The Interiors.

Needless to say, this is a must-have addition to one’s library. For the dreamers, decorators, and royal enthusiasts, there is something for everyone. It’d certainly be a glorious gift for your beloved ones, and (as I’ve hinted above) fans of The Crown as well! Pick up your copy here: Buckingham Palace: The Interiors


Dressed to celebrate myself, I’m sporting a Taroni royal blue silk moire kaftan made by Olas in Tangier, Tom Ford era Gucci ruffle and lace tuxedo shirt, Tom Ford tuxedo pant and silk brocade slippers, Le Noeud Papillon black silk bow tie and cummerbund, Seaman Schepps rock crystal, diamond and onyx evening set, Cartier Tank Divan, and my fragrance is Creed Original Cologne.
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Another year has passed and for some reason this one felt a bit challenging. Birthdays can often find one becoming somewhat self reflective – and if one isn’t careful, that introspection can easily lead to an unhealthy level of self criticism. For instance, this birthday found me fixated on career and life goals that haven’t been reached – a thought spiral that left me in a pretty foul mood. The day was spent mostly on my own, which was probably a good thing as it gave me an opportunity to sit and examine those thoughts and feelings. I decided to enact a little self-help exercise: writing to myself from a higher plane. From this more elevate perspective, unencumbered by niggling negative thought-spirals, it was easy to see that marvelous manifestations abound! Just a little shift really can be a powerful thing. We create our realities, and telling a better story is a good place to start – helping to ease negativity’s grip. This, all was followed by dose of mindfulness, (i.e. resting in the here and now). Being present allows us to put down the baggage of disappointment, incessant comparison with others, and everything else that is at odds with this quite divine moment – after all, “now” is all we ever have! This focus brings with it natural gratitude and amazement. It’s an energetic state of mind, creating fertile conditions for good things in our lives. Feelings of being less than, lack, and limitation magically transform into abundance.

Birthday dinner at Majorelle

Of course there are external things one can do to cheer up too – and getting dressed nicely for dinner in my new kaftan from Tangier for a marvelous dinner at my very favorite Majorelle here in town certainly elevated everything. In the end, I did indeed experience some Birthday bliss!