Friday, March 20, 2015


Meet Pixie.

I prefer to call her Pissy for reasons you can imagine. When we lost our Golden Retriever, Riley, 5 years ago, we researched Wheaton Terriers and found a breeder on Martha's Vineyard that was soon to have a litter of "sweetie wheaties" and gave her our deposit. I should have known from the get go that she'd be a handful. She cried the entire way home and peed in her bed every single night. (I know. I KNOW! Dogs aren't supposed to pee in their bed) She ate glass ornaments that first Christmas. She continually eats the cat food, which makes her sick. Chews on shoes. She jumps on people. Gets into the garbage. She's OCD. And eats underwear, leggings, etc. etc. etc. Plain and simple, she's a bad girl.

But, look at that face. 
Got me thinking. There's so much goodness!

She always has a great attitude.
She greets everyone with enthusiasm.
She loves to explore.
Loyalty is a virtue that comes naturally to her.
She protects her family.
She always acts like herself...good and the bad.
And, lucky for us, her love is unconditional.

The good far outweighs the naughty.

Bryan is her favorite though. They actually spoon every night on the couch watching TV.

xo Christy

(btw...I'm a bad girl, too. I have a lot I can learn from Pixie and thank God for friends who cut me slack!)

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Client Gifting

I looooooove gifts! Not necessarily getting gifts, but giving them!

My friend and client, Ashley Audette, recently got engaged in Paris and I wanted to share a peek of the surprise package I put together for her. I enlisted the help of Christy Fay and her delicious, custom confections, Cookies by Christy, to create cookies celebrating Ashley's engagement (nailed it!) and then included a couple of gift certificates.

More than anything, I wanted Ashley to be reminded how much I adore her! The thought of her smiling, makes me smile. 

Congratulations Ashley and Brett!

So what makes a great client gift? It should be relevant to the individual receiving it, it should be about them not you!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Let's Eat

These are my great-grandparents, Dora and Frank Fantini. I never met them, but the lively stories have been passed down. Frank was a gregarious, fun loving man who often entertained his children by balancing a glass of wine on his bicep. Dora was a serious housewife, fantastic cook and bread baker. Italians, no doubt, have a reputation for doing everything with passion. Most talk loud, love hard, fight ferociously and cook like there's no tomorrow. Regardless of disputes, the family always connects at the dinner table. Great food soothes...comforts....bringing back memories of those who used the recipes before us.
They say never to trust a skinny cook, but my grandmother was one of the best! I have fond memories of pulling into her driveway and there she'd sit in her lounge chair on the blacktop, her petite 4'11" frame that birthed 7 children (including twins), slathered in olive oil and clad in a bikini to keep up her perfectly golden, Mediterranean glow. Holiday dinners were nothing less than a roaring household, laughing, yelling, celebrating over rolled veal, shrimp scampi, shrimp cacciatore, beef, lamb and turkey, plus the fixings, canolli, chicilini and rosettes for dessert. If I close my eyes and concentrate, I can hear the sweet chaos and smell her kitchen.

As a child, every single night we ate dinner together as a family. My mother makes everything taste fabulous. (Except the time she went on a health food kick and made a curried, chickpea salad. It was the one thing I ever remember my dad refusing to eat) No one makes a meaner filet of beef or hearty meat sauce. She, lovingly, makes my brother, Aaron's favorite dessert, pastafrola, or mine, date squares, when she expects us for a visit. I call her, regularly for cooking tips and my son, Sammy, recently called Nana to ask how to make her garlic rosemary wings, handwriting the recipe. As they slowly roasted, he drew in a big breath and said, it smells just like Nana's house in here. We all nodded our heads, breathing deeply ourselves, reminiscing...smiling.
4 generations of Italian women. (l-r) Me; my mom, Patricia; my daughter, Willow;
my grandmother, Flo (born a twin and named Tusalla Dusalla) ; my daughter, Sophia. 

Last Sunday, I woke up and realized our family did not have a single item on our schedules. The Yager 5 would be together the entire day for the first time in weeks! And, when there is is something to be celebrated, it's ingrained, as you can see via my heritage, to think, "let's eat". 

So, I pulled out my mom's huge, cast iron pot and started a Bolognese. 
Willow, cheerfully, began constructing a Strawberry Tiramisu. (Magnifico!)
We made homemade ricotta to dollop on top of the Bolognese. 
And, a few Sgrappinos kept me whistling while we worked.
The blood may get thinner with each generation, but the qualities of living, loving, fighting and cooking with gusto thrive. Passion, baby. And Family first. Always. Now let's eat! We're making memories here.
 xo Christy


Lemon Sorbetto 
Fresh Mint, bruised or chopped
1 oz. Vodka
Top with Prosecco


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Mama Cari

Cari, is a designer, who recently moved to VT from CA to work for Vermont Teddy Bear Company. And, boy, is she one creative, edgy mama! Cari requested we style an ethereal maternity shoot for her and, together, I think we nailed it! 
 That skull ring, 
These muted tones make my heart beat faster. 
We can't wait to meet Baby Boy in a few weeks! 
Big love, Mama are beauty!
xo Christy