In which the author tells you how to run your life -- or at least how to make the most of the fun parts of it.

For instance, inside these pages you will learn how to weather a mortar attack in good spirits; how to avoid booking yourself on the Internet into a bed and breakfast full of twee quilts and dusty tchotkes; and how to plan a dinner party that will stun your guests with deliciousness and style and not destroy your will to live with the amount of work you have to do to pull it off.

These are things I know firsthand, and things people who know me often ask me about (though I usually just book them into bed and breakfasts myself -- identifying ruffled death traps is an acquired skill). I am almost always right about everything (food, style and travel-related, anyway, and often many other things) and if everyone would just do as I say, dinner would taste better, cupcakes would not be dry, your parties would be more fun (for you), and mortar attacks... well, they always suck. I can't do anything about them.

*except laundry. I can't manage my own laundry, much less yours.

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

How to Be Beautiful for the Big Night

This applies less to you younger people -- whether you know it or not the mere fact of your youngness imparts a certain beauty (your eyes are brighter, your skin more vibrant, your body more gravity defying). But still: with prom season coming up it's worth a listen.

A few years back I had scheduled a date a week in the future and wanted to look gorgeous to impress the dude. I discussed it with my friend Meg -- what to wear, do I get my hair cut, I needed new makeup -- and she stopped me.

"Honestly, the only thing you can do is drink a lot of water

and get a lot of sleep."

Her very wise point: you pretty much look like you look, even if you spackle on the make up and truss yourself up to the nines. Within an hour of leaving the house, all the artificiality starts to fall apart (if you're me, which I am, with limited patience or interest in checking my lipstick every 10 minutes or powdering my nose. This is not because I am not vain but because I am easily distracted.)

So if you have a big night coming: hydrate and sleep well the week before, then leave it to fate.


  1. I just found your blog through Apartment Therapy and so glad I did. I took yesterday and today to read your blog from the beginning. I'm a new addict and fan. You have quite a gift!

    Anyway, I just wanted to say hi :)

  2. thank you! and i am in love with the Stump and Bear. :)

  3. Best advice ever!

    How funny to come leave a comment and the first comment here is someone saying they found you through Apartment Therapy...since that's exactly how I found you last year.

    But I digress...

    I just wanted to let you know that I blogged about your Naked Scones today and linked back to you.