Summer Beer Tasting Party

This summer there seem to be more shandy’s, specialty pilsners, and craft IPA’s than ever before. What better reason, to fire up the grill and have friends bring their old favorites and new discoveries over for a beer tasting party.



Super simple to plan and execute, you will set the pace for this and the rest of the summer nights! A few quick supplies from your local hardware store will add an element that’s low on work and high and high on style.

Beer Tasting Setup

The Set-up:

DIY chalkboard table runner

Beer tasting set up

Natural fiber drop cloth with DIY checkerboard pattern as a tablecloth


DIY green and white beer and lobster pails


Succulents and herbs placed sparingly around the table create no-fuss pops of color.



Lots of craft and artisan beer!

Pail DIY:


3 aluminum pails

painters tape

neon green spray paint

white spray paint

1 – Spray pails with 2 coats of white paint

2 – once completely dry, apply tape one inch apart

3 – spray with neon green paint and allow to dry

4 – remove tape and voila!



Chalkboard Table Runner DIY


1 roll of craft paper

chalkboard spray paint

1 – cut sheet of craft paper the length of your table

2 – spray with chalkboard spray paint

3 – allow to dry completely, then set on table

*fun tip: use different color chalk for each different beer*


Small but hearty bites, pair well with beer and conversation

Cheese, tomato, and bacon puffs

Small but hearty bites, pair well with beer and conversation

A summertime beer tasting is just the sort of fun and casual gathering summer was made for.


ps: take a look at more ideas on hosting a couples shower with a beer tasting in our feature for DIY Network

Travel: Element Hotel Times Square

Last month I was invited by Element Hotels (Starwood’s eco-wise brand) to a complimentary stay at one of their properties to experience their hospitality first-hand. After a quick look at their website I was intrigued by their claim to being much more than a “green” hotel concept that motivates guests to go and do!


As I was scheduled to attend BlogFest2013 in NYC I decided to check out the Element Times Square West location. At first I was weary of being in crowed Times Square area, but once there I was impressed with quiet zen-ish feel of the hotel.


A stark contrast from the bustling and noisy neighborhood, the hotel itself is designed to make guests feel instantly at home; spacious guest rooms each with a large king-sized bed, a work desk, a kitchenette with a full refrigerator and dishwasher, spa-like showers, and big windows boasting views of the city.  Rooms are stylish, sustainable and designed for comfort. Floor plans maximize flow and flexibility. Naturally lit open spaces invite conversation and inspire creativity. Best of all, (for me), they are pet-friendly! Dexter was given his own bed and food bowls and if his wags are any indication (they are) he also enjoyed his stay very much.


From their complimentary RISE breakfast spread, which guests can take back to their rooms to enjoy, to their RELAX beverage and snack to unwind in the early evening midweek, no detail in ensuring guests enjoy their stay was overlooked. I especially loved the sunny greenhouse in which they served their RISE and RELAX spreads. Im totally eyeing it for a private event.

Even their rooftop patio is equipped with comfy loungy seating with views of the Hudson river. A 24-hour fitness center, an on-site laundry room and bikes to borrow are some of the other amenities that add to charm of Element Hotel in Times Square.

Energy-conscious travelers take note: The flooring in each room is made using recycled tires, (super durable), the design of the windows allows abundant natural light and reduce dependence on electricity, and the appliances are energy-efficient. Hotels even have electric car-charging stations!

For a limited time some of their hotels are offering free second night. You can take a list of all Element Hotel properties here.

Father’s Day Gift Guide II

My dad taught me so much growing up – how to change a tire, make a bed with hospital corners, and how ride a bike. He deserves more than the usual card, and I found some unique and useful Fathers Day gifts for every type of dad there is!

Gift guide dads_01(1)_resized



Father’s Day Gift Guide

For dads with exceptional taste, far too many neck-ties, a cup with “worlds best dad” just doesn’t cut it. Here are a few gift suggestions for the stylish dad who deserves only the best!



1. Ace Bottle Opener by Furbish Studio

2. Sonos Playbar

3. Mobile Cinema Projector and Battery Pack 

4. Jaeger-LeCoultre by Chrono24

5. KeyPad Ultra Ipadcase and Keyboard

6. Eaton Duffle bag by Jack Spade