How to Become Mom’s Favorite on Mother’s Day

Posted May 3, 2010 by necktyes
Categories: Celebration Ideas

Along with spring flowers, the month of May brings Mother’s Day. This also brings a barrage of media advertising with gifts ideas for your mom.

Many of the ads feature a stereotype model of an attractive older woman in her 50s or 60s doing some mundane task with a big smile on her face.

Most mothers don’t fit that category.  Even the ones in their 50s or 60s.  Women of today are much more young-hearted and youthful than their counterparts of the past.  How many stories do you read about the 70-year-old grandmother who just finished a marathon or a group of 50-something women biking through Napa Valley?  Not that uncommon.

I can’t see these women being overjoyed to receive a potted plant, fruit basket or fancy candle for Mother’s Day. 

A little bit of imagination and a good look at your mom and what she does will help you come up with some great ideas that she will love and you might enjoy too.

Does your mom like music?  Do you know what she listens to in the car when she is by herself?  With youth claiming the music from the past as their own, you may be surprised to find out that the older generation likes some of the young trendy bands such as Green Day, Coldplay, or even Lady Gaga.  What about giving mom an IPOD shuffle loaded with some cool music she can listen to while jogging or gardening.  Maybe an iTunes gift card that lets her download her favorite music to her computer or cell phone.  You can help her do this giving you a great opportunity for mom bonding.

While the golden-year’s generation is prone to complain about the high cost of designer coffee, I bet your mom would love a gift card from the local Starbucks or coffee shop.  Let her enjoy a few guilt-free mochas on you.  Even better, she can treat her friends and make it a social occasion.  Of course, putting that gift card in a special mug will ensure she has a lasting memory of those coffees.

Families and food are as entwined as sunshine and flowers.  Most family occasions involve eating of some sort and mom is usually the powerhouse supplier of those meals.  Does she enjoy cooking?  Does she collect cookbooks?   A basket of gourmet condiments might be the perfect gift.  There are a variety of flavored olive oils and balsamic vinegars to choose from.  Salt isn’t just white sea grains anymore, try truffle or cajun infused salts.  Williams Sonoma has a wide selection of interesting gadgets that can make your basket unique.  Add a special bottle of wine, and you just might be the perfect child!

While the tastes of mom vary as much as the size and age of moms, the one common thing that all moms cherish is time spent with their families.  In our busy lives, time is a precious commodity.  You might think you are being generous taking mom out for brunch or dinner to a crowded, poorly serviced restaurant on Mother’s Day, it doesn’t really lend itself to good quality family time.  Why don’t you create fun family time by organizing your whole family to participate in a local charity walk.  There are lots of fundraising runs that include a walk.  This way everyone can join in, including strollers and pets.  At the finish, find a good ice cream store and everyone will be happy.  And of course, you will be the star for having such a great idea and perhaps starting a new family tradition.

This article was paired with a lushious glass of Little Black Dress Merlot from California.  A perfect bottle for Mom, with a NeckTyes Polka Dot Penguin Party decoration and gift card.


How to be a Superstar when Giving a Wine Gift

Posted April 6, 2010 by necktyes
Categories: Celebration Ideas

Tags: , ,

Wine is the perfect gift – there are only two colors to choose from and one size fits all.  But not all wines are equal.  It is important to know the person you are giving the gift to.

  1. Make sure the person drinks wine.  A major faux pas if you give a bottle of wine to a person who doesn’t drink alcohol.
  2. It helps if you know whether the person prefers red or white wine.  Also, if they prefer a certain grape (chardonnay, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon etc) or a certain region (California, France, Australia etc).
  3. What is their level of wine sophistication?  Do they drink a $5 bottle of wine or do they collect library vintage wines.  Don’t waste expensive wine on someone who doesn’t know the difference and don’t insult someone with cheap wine who has a highly developed sense of taste.
  4. Choosing wine can be a very fun experience.  You can visit a winery tasting room and try several wines before you choose your gift.  Wine stores usually have very knowledgeable staff with good recommendations.  Wine labels have become an art form in the last few years so you might want to choose a wine with a label that suits the person or occasion.
  5. Wine comes in a wide range of price ranges so there is always one that fits your budget.  If you want to be more generous, buy three bottles with a theme – maybe the same wine in three different vintages (years).  This is usually only available at wineries.  Create a tasting flight of wines with a few bottles that all have a common trait such as Cabernet Sauvignon from different regions.  If you are lucky, you might get invited to the taste test!
  6. A gift needs to look like a gift.  Anyone can buy a bottle of wine and hand it to a person with a mumbled greeting.  Presentation counts!  NeckTyes are a great way to decorate your gift in the sentiment you want to express.  A gift card adds a personal touch.  Don’t hide a great bottle of wine in a bag.

 Wine gifts are perfect for any occasion – birthdays, celebrations, holidays, hostess gifts or tokens of appreciation.  Even the person who has everything will appreciate a nice bottle of wine.  And best of all, it can be shared!

This article was paired with:  A nice crisp glass of 2008 Chardonnay from O Wines in the Columbia Valley region of Washington.  The bottle looks great decorated with a NeckTyes Diamonds at Midnight.

Confused by food and wine pairing?

Posted March 2, 2010 by necktyes
Categories: Dining

Tags: ,

Sometimes it is hard to figure out which wine to serve at your dinner parties.  Many people go by the old adage, red wine with beef and white wine with seafood.  But what happens if you serve Carpetbagger (steak stuffed with crab)?!  We have found an excellent website that makes food and wine pairing easy.  Check out

Once you start exploring this site (make sure you pour yourself a BIG glass of wine before you start) you will find a great list of reviews for wines from around the world, lots of yummy recipes, and tons of great educational information.

Make sure you try the “Wine and Food Matcher”.   The food choices are endless – just check out the list for seafood.  Turns out Merlot is perfectly acceptable with barbecued salmon!

This article was paired with:  A glass of Five Star Cellars Merlot 2006 from the Walla Walla area of Washington.  The bottle dresses nicely with NeckTyes 2010 Celebrate Diamonds at Midnight.

BMW – it’s not always a car

Posted November 16, 2009 by necktyes
Categories: Table Manners

Tags: , , ,

Have you ever gone to a wedding or gala event where you are seated at a table with nine other people elbow to elbow?  The table is beautifully decorated with an array of crystal glasses, china white plates and a plethora of cutlery.

As dinner service begins, you notice that the person on the left of you is using the side plate on their right side and the person on the right of you is using the side plate on their left which leaves you . . . with no side plate.

What to do?  Well, you could pass on enjoying the bread basket or you could balance your bun on top of the sauce covered chicken or steak.

Here’s a better idea.  Tell your friends, children and strangers about BMW.

No, not the car.  Bread, Meal, Water.  This is an easy way to remember your side plate is always on the left side.  It also helps you remember how to set your table. 

This article was paired with: A glass of Robert Mondavi Private Selection 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, so yummy.  The bottle is beautifully complemented with NeckTyes Winter 2009 Thank You Sir Penguin Stripe.

Five Easy Steps to Perfect Thank You Notes

Posted November 16, 2009 by necktyes
Categories: Thank You Etiquette

Tags: , ,

1. Always include the date.
Hint: Many people keep thank you notes as keepsakes (another reason to choose nice cards and sincere words).

2. Write the person’s name – use the same name you would use in a verbal conversation.  If you call the person Uncle John, then address your note as Dear Uncle John.  Use Mr. & Mrs. for more formal notes.
Hint: Make sure you check the spelling of the person’s name.  Well, Stephen might look right to you, if he spells it Steven, it looks like you didn’t really care enough to check and the note is not sincere.

3. The body of the note – be as genuine and gracious as you can.  Add something personal.  If you received money as a gift, tell the person how you plan to spend their gift. Remember it is a note, not a letter, so it doesn’t have to be long.
Hint: Write a draft note first, don’t waste good stationery on mistakes.

4. Sign your notes with a personal touch.  If you have a special nickname that the giver calls you, then sign with that name.
Hint:  If the gift has a particular ethnic theme to it (ie: margarita glasses) sign the card with thanks in the language of the theme.  This is easy to find on the internet.  Gracias!

5. Make it special . . . stand out.  Everyone appreciates a well-written and sincere thank you note.  Time went into choosing your gift, show your appreciation by spending the time to write a heartfelt thank you note.
Hint: Add a special photograph that the person might enjoy. Add a unique stamp to the envelope.  The Post Office has a great selection of decorative stamps.  A child can use their artwork as the background for their note, making it a true keepsake.

This article was paired with:  A smooth glass of Wild Horse 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon from the Paso Robles region of California.  The bottle dresses nicely with NeckTyes Winter 2009 Happy Birthday Pink Flamingo Boa.

Hello world!

Posted November 2, 2009 by necktyes
Categories: Uncategorized

Welcome to the first post of the Dance of Dinner Blog!

We will use this blog to complement our website and add bits of interesting facts, fun and tips so that your next “dance of dinner” whether in your home or as a guest will be a total satisfactory experience . . . and a lot of fun!

What is the “Dance of Dinner” you ask?  It is all that goes into enjoying a social occasion.  It can start with an idea for a party and include a wide variety of things such as invitations, food and drink themes, music, decorations, wine selections, tablescapes, costumes, host and guest responsibilities, cultural and social traditions, table manners, WOW factors, thank you ettiquette and whole lot more.  We won’t be talking about food and recipes because there are so many experts and sites that already do this but we  will direct you to those sites when we find something fun and interesting. 

All over the world one of the most common traits that all humans have is that we love to celebrate.  Whether it is a lifetime achievement, rite of passage, family party or . . . maybe it’s just 5 o’clock and time to celebrate!

This article was paired with:  A delicious glass of Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards 2007 Chardonnay which looks so perfect with a NeckTyes Winter 2009 Green Grape Crush.