Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Design of the week - Notably Happy

I was so excited last week that, in addition to Thanksgiving, my family celebrated an early Christmas since we were all together.  You know what that means?  My Christmas shopping is done!  What a relief.

However, I know that most of you are in full swing with your Holiday shopping so this week I wanted to share some designs that make perfect gifts.

Some people say that e-mail and texts are doing away with hand written cards but I totally disagree.  I love sending and receiving personal cards and thank yous in the mail.  It is much better than just receiving bills and it shows that the person on the other end cares enough to take the extra time to send a personal greeting.  In fact, I am seeing a resurgence in these personal notes.

That is why I am so proud of my "Notables" collections and the note cards that are available on FineStationery.com.  Take for example the "Notably Happy" boxed set shown below.

The collection features 4 different colorful note cards with my favorite sayings such as "Big Hugs", "Cheers", "Tickled Pink" and "Love and Friends".  Each note card comes with a coordinating lined envelope.  It is really a great gift.

In addition to the notables I have a large collection of individual note cards such as the "Ruth" and "Rachael Christine" flat cards shown below.  

I really like the delicate lace look in the "Ruth" card which was inspired by my Grandmother and "Rachael Christine" has the vibrant, sassy feel that reminds me of my niece Rachael.  The cards can come with matching lined envelopes and can be customized to make a great gifts.

There are many more options in the line and more to come so keep watching for new and exciting patterns.

Best to all of you for a great holiday shopping season.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Shawn Rabideau Stationery - Design of the week.

I can now officially say that I am feeling the holiday spirit after putting up my Christmas tree yesterday.  I know you may think I am crazy to be decorating my home for Christmas before Thanksgiving, however, last week I realized that, with the crazy schedule I have coming up, I either had to decorate now or it would not happen.  In any case, I am done and very happy about it.

Now that I am in the spirit it is time to start planning the holiday party.  I am trying to pick out the invitation I want to use and really like the design on my Snowflake Holiday Invitation.  

Being from Upstate New York, I know snow!  And nothing is better to get me in the holiday spirit than a beautiful, fresh snowfall.  This feeling inspired the design for this invitation.  I love the light, crisp colors and, to add the final touch, there is a touch of sparkle in the snowflakes to make the invitation pop.  

There are so many fun designs in the collection that I cannot decide which I will use but this is definitely a front runner.

Best wishes to everyone for a fabulous holiday party season.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Autumn Pumpkin Dip

In some of my recent television appearances I have been showcasing a fantastic pumpkin dip recipe that has been a big hit.  Many people have been asking for the recipe so here it is!


  • - 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • - 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • - 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
  • - 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • - 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • - 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • - 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • - Pretzel sticks


  • - In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and confectioners' sugar.
  • - Gradually add the pumpkin, pie spice, cinnamon, vanilla and ginger; beat until smooth.
  • - Spoon into a serving bowl.  (I like to use a hollowed out pumpkin)
  • - Serve with pretzel sticks for a sweet and salty combination.

This makes a great snack that your Thanksgiving guests will truly enjoy.

Until next time....


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Taking the stress out of planning for the Holidays

I don't know about you, but I feel like am totally behind the eight ball with Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Perhaps it's the fact my family is doing Thanks-mas this year…You know Thanksgiving and Christmas all in the same day.  The main reason is because we can't all be together this year for both holidays so we are combining the two.  In August it seemed like a good idea, but today my family is having a bit of a panic attack trying to get everything done.

So how do you plan for the holiday season without losing your mind (or in my case hair)?  Over the years I've collected a few do's and don'ts when it comes to getting ready for the holiday season and I thought I would share them with you.  I like to call these my Rabido's and Rabidon'ts…It might be a corny play on my name, but it works!

Rabido - Take a deep breath, get a pen and paper or, if you're tech savvy, get out your tablet.  No matter what, start a list.  I always do when I'm planning a party or prepping for a holiday.  It helps me think clearly and stay organized.

Rabido - When creating your list write out what you want your menu to be.  This will help you stay focused so you don't end up with too many carbs and not enough proteins.  Could you imagine forgetting about the turkey? Good Lord that would be a smack down if I ever saw one! 

Rabido - Use your list to "shop at home".  I always do this…I first shop my cabinets to see what food items I have and what I need to get.  Living in a New York apartment doesn't afford me a lot of space so I don't have room to over purchase ingredients. I then write down what I need (or don't need).  This saves on time in the grocery store and most of all it saves on money!  I then shop for platters, bowls, glassware, napkins etc.

Rabidon't - Do not purchase new glassware, plates, silverware or other table top items!  Mix and match what you have.  It will make your table eclectic, save you time and again save you money!

Rabido - Use what you have at home.  Anytime I am looking to decorate my tabletop I look around and use what I have at home.  I work to use items such as vases, candles, etc that can be reused from holiday to holiday.  For example, do you have burgundy candles from last Christmas?  Use those for Thanksgiving and then keep them out for Christmas this year.  Or do you have glass vases you can fill with cranberries and acorns for Thanksgiving and then fill them with ornaments and peppermints for Christmas?  Reusing what you have saves you time and money.

Rabidon't - If you're in a time crunch and you are already on the cusp of panic mode, when creating your list and menu don't try new décor ideas or recipes.  The last thing you want is a décor idea that takes too long (and flops) or a recipe that doesn't come out right.  If you're inclined to try something new do it weeks before your party.  This way you can work out the kinks…

Rabido - Get organized!  Lay out all your platters, bowls, and dishes and begin labeling them with sticky notes.  Turkey for the platter, mashed potatoes for this bowl and green bean casserole for that baking dish.  This way you can see what you have and what you might need to borrow or purchase.  Trust me…it sounds crazy, but you will be relieved at the end.

Rabido - Don't be afraid to delegate.  So often we want to come out like the hero of our own dinner party only to find we are just barely staying above water. Asking your guests to help out in some way shape or form will greatly reduce stress, time and money. But remember, when you delegate be specific and don't be afraid to ask someone to bring the wine, pie, mashed potatoes or whatever.  Chances are your guests are going to want to bring something so why not assign what they should bring. This keeps things organized and it prevents too many bowls of mashed potatoes!

Rabidon't - By all means if something goes wrong in the kitchen or if someone spills wine on the couch take a deep breath and let it go.  Often I find myself ready to explode, but when I take a deep breath, laugh and stay relaxed I find my guests do too and they enjoy the party that much more.

Rabido - Clean up as you go.  Sounds simple, but I always clean as I go when I cook.  This way when it comes time to sit for dinner I know I don't have a mess to clean up after. Again, this saves time…and we all know time with guests is the most important thing.

Rabidon't - don't go crazy with cleaning your home before guests arrive. Give it a quick dust, vacuum and wipe down the powder room.  You'll end up doing a deep clean after guests leave anyway so why go nuts before they arrive?

And my final Rabido - be a guest at your own party.  Relax, smile and enjoy!

I hope you find these holiday prep tips helpful and until next time - Happy Holidays!


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Lending a helping hand to the victims of Hurricane Sandy

As you all know, the Northeast has been devastated by the recent Hurricane.  I have to admit that I have been very fortunate in not having suffered the way that so many friends, colleagues and businesses have as a result of this storm.  The one bright note in all of this is how so many people and businesses are rallying to the aid of those who have suffered and are still facing incredible hardship.

Today I want to direct you to a wonderful fundraising effort being conducted by some midtown restaurants to help other restaurants and their employees who have been impacted by the storm. 

One of my absolute favorite places in New York, Ardesia Wine Bar located at 510 West 52nd Street (just west of Tenth Avenue) in Manhattan is participating in the fundraising effort.  Below you will see the specials they are offering to raise money for the victims of the Hurricane.  I encourage you to stop in and support their effort.  It is for a great cause and their food and wine are exceptional so it is a win/win.

"A rising tide lifts all boats" – John F. Kennedy
LiftsAll.org provides an opportunity for restaurant professionals and guests to help restaurants and food service employees who were affected by the recent storm, flood, and power outage.
Thousands of downtown New York restaurants were literally shut down by Hurricane Sandy, resulting in major losses, including wages that their employees count on to live. As such, for the next week, Ardesia will be raising funds to help the downtown restaurant community get back on their feet.
Here are three ways you can help us help them:
From Wednesday, November 7th- Wednesday November 14th 100% of the sales of our homemade soft pretzels will be donated to a downtown restaurant in need via Liftsall.org.
From Wednesday, November 7th- Wednesday November 14th, our employees have offered to donate a portion of their gratuities to the downtown restaurant workers who lost their week’s wages. So please, be nice and tip big!
On Tuesday, November 13th, from 6-9pm we will hold an Around the World Tasting. For $30, we will take you on a tasting tour of 6 of our favorite wines from around the world. 100% of sales from the tasting will be donated to a downtown restaurant in need via Liftsall.org.

Again, we encourage everyone to support the effort to help those impacted by this disaster.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Shawn Rabideau Stationery - Design of the Week

As you all know, I recently launched my stationery line on FineStationery.com.  I must say that I am thrilled with the response the line has been receiving and am excited to hear all of the positive comments.  

So far I have been showcasing my Holiday invitations as the season is rapidly approaching, however, there are many other parties being planned so today I want to highlight the signature design in my collection, named "Shawn".

I love working with succulents.  I use them in arrangements, bouquets and many of the floral elements I create for events.  I think they add texture and are a great addition to many displays. In creating this design I actually flattened a succulent to see what it would look like.  The result was very similar to the design you see repeated on the front and back of this invitation. 

As with all of my invitations, I have coordinating pieces so you can maintain a consistent look through all elements of your event.  So you can order coordinating menus, table numbers and even note cards to send thank you cards to your guests.  

I hope you like "Shawn" and I can't wait to share next week's design with you.