A Glam, not Gluttonous Oscar Party

The Oscar’s are this Sunday. Even though I have barely been to the movies since becoming a mom (somehow getting a sitter so Doug and I can sit in the dark and not talk does not seem worth it), I am still excited to watch! I love all of the Hollywood glamour! The gowns, the jewels, the slightly embarrassing speeches.

Are you throwing an Oscar party? Check out the recipes and party tips I shared with Elizabeth Street on how to throw a glam but not gluttonous party!


Have you heard of the Snippet App? Snippets are media rich, beautifully designed, mini e-books that you can download and read from your mobile device. With a huge range of topics from health to fiction there is a Snippet for everyone! Best part is the app is FREE and the Snippets range from just .99-$4.99!

Just in time for the holidays I recently published my first Snippet. Featuring all my best tips on how to host a healthy holiday party Clean, Pure and Simple Holidays will help you celebrate in style. From recipes, to decor, to personal style I have you covered!

So, get the Snippet App today and then download Clean, Pure and Simple Holidays!

Happy Thanksgivmukah

Happy Thanksgivmukah!

With the first night of Hanukkah tonight, and Thanksgiving tomorrow I feel suddenly in full on holiday mode. This year is extra special because each holiday will be Hermione’s first!

For Hannukah we will be lighting this adorable elephant menorah, opening a few small presents, eating my Sweet Potato Latkes (if you are making them for a baby make sure to omit the salt!), and saying our own version of the Hanukkah blessing.

While neither Doug nor I are religious, we are making a big effort to raise Hermione with the traditions of our parents. Minus the G– parts.  In case you are in a similar boat our Hannukah blessing goes like this :

Blessed is the time of our celebration, time of light for hope in the world.

May all beings everywhere be happy and free.

We then plan to sing this song that we sing in Hermione’s yoga class and at bedtime. It is sung to the tune of “The Wheels of the Bus”

My little light bows to your little light, your little light, your little light.
My little light bows to your little light. Namaste.

Tomorrow Doug and I will be doing our annual Turkey Burn (90 minute class) at Soul Cycle which I cannot wait for! At last year’s Turkey Burn I was pregnant! What a difference a year makes! This year I have so so much to be grateful for from my beautiful baby girl, to my husband, to my family’s continued health. It certainly has been a wonderful year.

We are having Thanksgiving dinner at Soho House with Doug’s whole family. Hermione has a special party dress picked out for the occasion… stay tuned for photos!

While we will be eating Thanksgiving dinner out this year if I were cooking here are a few healthy recipes I would certainly include!

Truffle Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Kale Salad with Apples and Walnuts

Thanksgiving Tomatoes  

Parsnip Steak  

Crustless Pumpkin Pie 

Pumpkin Spice Macaroons 

Looking for the taste of Thanksgiving in a cup? Try this smoothie over the long weekend! Yum!

Weekend Brunch Idea- Granola Bar

In most respects I am as much of a New Yorker as they come. I was born and raised on the island of Manhattan and do not plan to leave anytime soon. We might move someday if we decide to give baby girl a sibling and need more space but that would not be for several years. Even then, the farthest we would go is Brooklyn. As a NYC “lifer” I have been taking taxis practically since birth. I always know which route I want to take depending on the time of day and never, ever let the driver decide.  I still catch myself calling Manhattan “The City,” which I realize is a little closed-minded but old habits die hard!

Despite all of my native New Yorky-ness there is one quality I possess that in very un New York. I hate brunch! While most of my fellow New Yorkers look forward to long heavy meals on a saturday or sunday afternoon I have never been able to get into it. I don’t like eating allot during the day as I find it slows me down and makes me feel sluggish. I am not a fan of eggs, pancakes and other typical brunch fair. Nothing sounds worse to me than drinking Mimosas and Bloody Marys at noon and being hung over by 2pm!

My dislike of brunch aside, friends are family are always asking me for some healthy ideas to serve at their own brunches. While my first instinct would be to suggest a variety of green juice, I realize this is not what most people are looking for!

A healthy granola bar is a great idea for any breakfast or brunch gathering. Your guests can create their own bowls based on their personal tastes and desires. Similar to a Chia Pudding Bar it guarantees everyone gets what they want.

Granola Bar

  • One or two types of natural, sugar free, gluten free granola. Besides my own homemade variety I like Hail Merry Grawnola and Purely Elizabeth 
  • A few non-dairy milk options such as OMilk Almond and Cashew Milk 
  • A variety of fresh fruits such as blueberries and raspberries
  • A variety of dried fruit
  • Some “fun” topping such as dried coconut or dark chocolate chips
  1. Set out all of the supplies in various bowls and let your guests go to town! Much better than booze, pancakes and eggs if you ask me!

Have a great weekend! Mine includes my evening, cocktail party baby shower (as I said- not a brunch fan) and finishing up our nursery!

03/20
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Happy first day of spring! I am very into spring cleaning. I hate clutter and always welcome the chance to get rid of anything that is taking up unnecessary space in my life. This year’s round  of spring cleaning chez Mercer was especially intense. On top of the usual purging we also had to transform my former office into a nursery. Needless to say our home has been throughly detoxed in preparation for spring and baby girl’s arrival.

Along with external detoxing, spring is the perfect time to do a little internal housekeeping! After a long, cold winter the body naturally wants to cleanse itself in preparation for a new season. One of the easiest ways to do this is by eating detox friendly foods. Don’t know where to start? Well, if you are in NYC on April 4th join me for another delicious Beauty Food Supper Club  at Sun In Bloom. This month’s dinner is all about beauty foods to gently detox and get you gorgeous and glowing for the warm weather ahead. You will also be treated to beauty, health and wellness tips from me, Rebecca and Jolene and leave with an exclusive gift bag full of get-you-gorgeous goodies! I hope to see you there!

 

Beauty Food Supper Club

(photos by Melissa Murphy melissamurphyphoto.com)

Last night’s Beauty Food Supper Club was a huge success. All of our guests had a wonderful time eating divine beauty foods, meeting new friends, and learning how beauty truly comes from the inside out! I personally loved that so many people felt comfortable to come solo. It was like a dinner party with the friends you never knew you had!

The menu was divine, Aimee Follette of Sun In Bloom is an incredibly talented chef whose dishes are truly nourishing inside and out. Everyone enjoyed the meal so much that most people bought soups, dressings and desserts to take home and enjoy over the weekend!

I could not have co-hoted this event with three lovelier women! Rebecca Casciano, Aimee Follette and Jolene Hart are true beautiues inside and out!

Our night started with a cucumber, pomegranate and ginger juice. Pomegrante boots the performance of nitric oxide, a chemical that keeps our circulatory systems young, our skin glowing – and gets us aroused! Ginger warms out bodies from the inside out while cooling inflammation that contributes to redness and breakouts.

Next up was the Divine Creamy Green Radiance Soup made with romaine lettuce, cucumber, parsley, avocado, lemon, garlic and sea salt. Avocado is one of the healthiest fats you can eat. It burns easily for energy and fires up the natural detox processes of the liver which helps skin stay clear and radiant. Lemon is full of collagen-building vitamin C, detoxifying for the liver and highly alkaline. A glass of lemon water first thing in the morning will do wonders for your internal ph keeping your body alkaline and healthy!

Our main course was a Hearty Balancing Macro Platter with quinoa, beans, tempeh, roasted butternut squash, steamed greens, wakame, raw sauerkraut, and Sun In Bloom’s famous ( and to die for) Live Sesame Ginger Dressing. Seriously, I could eat a bowl of that dressing! Wakame is packed with beauty minerals like calcium and magnesium to build your skin, hair, nails and bones. In my case it also helps with building the little one I am growing! Raw Sauerkraut is a natural probiotic that promotes healthy digestion. If your digestion is not working properly it will show in your skin. Healthy digestion=glowing skin!

We finished our meal with a truly decadent, divine dessert. The Chocolate Mayan Spiced Fudge Cake was one of the best sweet treats I have eaten in a long time. I adore anything that combines chocolate, cinnamon, spice and sea salt as is reminds me of Mexico! This cake was a perfect example of how something great tasting can also be great for you. Cacao improves skin hydration and reduces redness by increasing the supply of nutrients, blood, and oxygen to the skin. Cinnamon stabilizes blood sugar preventing insulin spikes that contribute to breakouts and advanced aging.

On the way out the door everyone was given a beauty gift bag featuring goodies from Tata Harper, Jane Iredale, Kahina Giving Beauty and Gnois Chocolate. The night was truly special and I cannot wait for our Spring Beauty Food Supper Club in April!

 

 

Party planning is one of the great loves of my life. Few things make me happier than throwing a great fete with fun people and delicious food. Tonight I am hosting the first in a series of Beauty Food Supper Clubs with green makeup goddess Rebecca Casciano and Beauty Is Wellness founder Jolene Hart. This evening’s four course dinner at Sun In Bloom aptly called Eat. Drink. Love. is all about beauty foods to get you in the mood for Valentine’s Day. Not only will we have sexy food, but each guest will leave with a special beauty gift bag loaded with goodies from Tata Harper, Jane Iredale, Kahina Giving Beauty and Gnosis Chocolate.

Sounds like a good way to spend the night before a snow storm yes? We still have a few tickets left which can be purchased here, so grab them while you can! Hope to see you tonight!

xoxo

Holiday Decor

This holiday season Doug and I made a major decision. No Christmas tree this year. My husband has an adorable, childlike love of all things Christmas which made the no tree call a very big one for us. Since moving in together over four years ago, we have always had a Christmas tree. Each Thanksgiving it takes everything in my power to convince him to wait a week or two to get a tree so it doesn’t dry out before Christmas. So why skip a tree this year? We have a few reasons. We will be out of town from the 21st until after the New Year and felt we wouldn’t be around enough to enjoy it. Also, with increasingly busy schedules this December anything we could take off our plates to help alleviate some stress was very welcome. While a Christmas tree is beautiful and makes our home smell heavenly it also takes a lot of time to set up and clean up.

Although we are spending this holiday season treeless, we still wanted to decorate our apartment to make it feel festive and seasonal. As you saw in my Holiday Party Video, there are many easy and chic ways to decorate for the holidays without a tree! With the help of my uber talented friend designer Jeffrey Phillip I was able to create stunning holiday decor in much less time than it would have taken to procure and trim a tree!

When decorating for the holidays think outside the red and green box! There is no reason to be limited to traditional colors. Instead, choose a color palette that matches your home’s décor. I added a splash of white and silver for a chic and modern holiday look!

While I usually do not burn candles in our home, it is true that everybody looks better by candlelight. Use warm, soft lighting to create an intimate atmosphere by incorporating votives and hurricanes. If you are like me and do not love burning candles you can still achieve the same warm, sexy glow by using flameless (battery operated) candles. I promise they do not look cheesy at all!

I love using natural elements in my decor such as orchids and cherry blossoms. Branches, flowers, berries and other natural elements help bring the outdoors inside and make your home feel like a winter wonderland. To take the wintry feel a step further create “snow” in your décor by using Epsom Salts. Later on, when the holidays are over you can use all of those Epsom Salts for a relaxing winter bath!

If you have a large dining room or coffee table use it to create a fabulous centerpiece and focal point. Clusters of like objects such as candlesticks, simple flower arrangements or vases filled with simple ornaments look very elegant when grouped together. 

Holiday Party Food and Drinks

I hope you enjoyed my video on How To Throw a Healthy Holiday Party! Over the next few days I am going to be sharing more details on the tips featured in the video starting with party food and cocktails.

A great party is nothing without delicious food for your guests to enjoy. Sadly, most holiday party fare tends to be rich and heavy. Nothing makes me feel lees like celebrating than being put into a food coma! Instead of the typical bloating holiday bites try some of my healthier ideas. You want your guests merry, not miserable!

All of these recipes are easy to make and can be made either entirely or partially ahead of time. In the hours before you party you should be focusing on getting yourself gorgeous and party ready, not catering! The one exception is the guacamole which tastes and looks best when made fresh. However, as long as you have all of your ingredients ready to go it can be thrown together right before your guests walk in the door.

Black Truffle Salted Almond Bark 

Instead of traditional holiday cakes, candies and cookies try making this Almond Bark. Dark chocolate is low in sugar and there is an added bonus of healthy fats and protein from the almonds.

Pomegranate Guacamole

I like to update guacamole for the holidays with the addition of pomegranate seeds, one of the few fruits in season during the winter.  They are packed with antioxidants, have a wonderful sweet-tart taste, and the color is oh so holiday appropriate. I serve my guacamole inside of a romaine leaf, and as a dip for crudités!

Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms 

Stuffed mushroom caps are a party favorite. Most recipes call for breadcrumbs and tons of cheese. Gross! I stuff mine with a delicious dairy free pesto, which can be made days or weeks ahead of time and frozen. The day of your party just defrost the pesto, stuff the mushrooms and pop them in the oven a few minutes before your guests arrive. You may want to go easy on the garlic in your pesto when making these for a party. Nothing is worse than being caught in an intimate situation with garlic breath!

Food is great but let’s be honest, most people go to holiday parties for the drinks! Instead of a full bar I always serve a signature drink or two at my parties. Picking one or two speciality drinks saves you the time and money of offering a fully stocked bar. Everyone loves a great cocktail!

Almond Nog 

While delicious, traditional egg nog is loaded with sugar and fat. For my holiday gatherings I make Almond Nog with OMilk Almond Milk and a few extra spices. It’s a delicious alternative that is great on it’s own or for a more “adult” beverage add a few ounces of rum!

Prosecco with Pomegranate

While festive, champagne is quite pricy. Instead, I like to toast with glasses of Prosecco. A few pomegranate seeds at the bottom of the glass make for a very merry glass of bubbly!

Rosemary Ginger Lemonade

I always make sure to have a special non-alcoholic drink on hand for any guests who are not drinkers. Drinking plain water at a party just doesn’t feel special. Adding fresh ginger to homemade stevia sweetened rosemary lemonade gives a spicy, savory twist!

  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed  lemon juice
  • 3 cups of water
  • 6 springs of rosemary
  • 1″ knob peeled ginger chopped
  • 2 squirts liquid stevia
  1. Combine all ingredients in a pitcher or large bottle
  2. Allow to “steep” for 30 minutes or so
  3. Adjust sweetness to taste and serve!

 


 

Healthy Holiday Party

It’s holiday party season! Over the next two weeks my calendar is filled with holiday gatherings to host and attend. From office parties, to friend’s holiday open houses, to intimate dinners, to Doug’s birthday my schedule feels as if it is bursting at the seams.

While it’s fun to dress up in something sparkly and celebrate with friends and family, most people associate the holidays with over indulgence, extra weight and added stress. Doesn’t sound like much fun to me! I personally like to fit into my clothes come January 1st.

There is no reason the holidays can’t be healthful, stress-free and fun. This video shares some of my favorite tips and tricks to throwing a holiday party the Clean, Pure and Simple way. From healthy snacks, to simple and chic decor, to holiday style when I throw a party I like to look and feel great doing it!

Happy Holidays!

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