Thursday, December 27, 2007

A Christmas to remember

With *so* much involved in our first Christmas in our new home, what will be the memory that stands out the most?

Could it be our Christmas tree FALLING right after we got it decorated? Um, no...

How about the mad rush to clean the place up after finishing the office just days ago? No, that's not it.

Discovering that a few of our platters broke during the move? Nope.

Having our families at our first Christmas dinner, enjoying a fabulous meal, laughing and getting to know each other better? Filling our home with the presence of family? Yeah, that's the one.

For any big event -- like the momentous, one-time-only FIRST of a Christmas in a new home -- you may have a lot of expectations, wishes, hopes and dreams. And if you're lucky, many of them will come true. One of the most important parts of Christmas for me this year was to give my parents a really nice holiday. So Joe and I went to their place for Christmas our pajamas. And we had our family's traditional eggnog toast and present session. Which was priceless to me. So all the hard work was worth it. You only get one of these. And if the most important part goes well...then it's a dream come true.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Chris Botti and Vinx...the concert of the season

Chris Botti took a moment after his concert at the Blue Note to pose for a photo with me. If I look a little stunned, it's because Chris decided to give my shoulder a little rubdown. I said to Joe, who took me to this concert as my Christmas gift, "maybe that's just what his hand does...he just does the trumpeting motion." Joe came back with, "That's not his playing hand!" My wonderful man didn't have to ask Chris Botti to step outside. He's not the jealous type....amen. But the conert was phenomenal! We were one table away from stage right, and when he played "When I Fall in Love," I had tears in my eyes.

Right after the Botti concert, Vinx took the stage ( for another awesome concert. This guy can play, and he's hysterically funny. Congrats to you, Vinx, on your fresh start. Music fans, get your copies of these two artists' CDs...and see them both in concert. It's soul-satisfying.

Thank you, my Joe, for a beautiful night...your shoulder rubs are *way* better. ;)

Friday, December 21, 2007

Rave reviews in Tango Magazine!

Read what Tango Magazine has to say about "The Bride's Diplomacy Guide":
And pick up a copy of US Weekly magazine -- the one with Heidi Montag on the cover -- this week to see my advice at the end of the cover article. The Essential Guide to Wedding Etiquette is available at
Happy holidays to you all, and welcome to wedding world all newly-engaged couples! This is peak time for popping the question, so I'm here to help if you have any questions about wedding budgets, etiquette, organization, vows, toasts, pre-wedding parties, and more. And listen to my podcast "Here Come the Moms" at to start on the right foot with the're not just building a wedding, you're building a life together, so plan for all of those important issues and compromises to come!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Catch me on "Get Married" with David Tutera

My Bulova wedding day timetable ran again this morning, on Lifetime's "Get Married" -- If you don't catch it today, you can see it anytime by hitting the link to the right [David has a teal shirt on, and it's episode 24].

Dismissing the myth that everything slows down the week before the holidays, my phone's been ringing off the hook with some amazing opportunities! [My publicist Julie Berry is phenomenal, keeping me on track during this chaotic time of the move and the holidays.] Here's what's coming up in January: a taping for Good Morning America, two tapings for Better Homes and Gardens, fun is this?....I'll be attending the movie premiere for "27 Dresses" in New York City []. Joe and I are bringing a few friends along, so that should be a great reward for all of this pre-holiday action.

Coming soon....the next installments of Sharon's Top 5....

Monday, December 17, 2007

First one into The Office -- Michael Jordan!

The Big Day has arrived! Not the wedding day...that's The Big Day for '08. Our Big Day was the official, everything's-done move-in day for our home office! Joe and I partnered on a huge, overwhelming task of taking a 1950's den [which Joe's brother Adam had described as a VFW hall] and turning it into a spotless, modern Caribbean-blue home office with white shelves and the most amazing white moulding you'll ever see in your life. I've been to designer showcase homes that weren't this ideally detailed. I'm over the moon!

Getting back to Michael Jordan, yes, he was the first to enter the room. Joe's framed photo of him was the first item placed on our shelves, quickly followed by my Oprah mug [a gift from O from when I taped the show in Chicago], and my Wonder Woman statuette where she's fighting a three-headed dragon [I *love* that statuette...every writer should have one!] and my entire library of books. This was the first time I have ever seen *all* of my books lined up in my own home. My Dad has a shrine in his office, but never have I had my work displayed like *this* where I live. So it's an amazing time right now, as we're pulling things out of boxes that we forgot we owned [it's been 6 months].

I think the stress of such a huge project, mixed with the stress of planning a wedding, mixed with the stress of the holidays and more new home business would break most couples. But this is how you test and refine your partnership. We made it through, and now we're experiencing our first days in the new house *without* the crushing burden of drywall issues and painting issues and spending every waking moment at Home Depot. [Love ya', Home Depot, but don't want to be there *all* the time!].

I woke up at 4am just to go downstairs and look at the room, put a few more books on the shelf, and thank my lucky stars that this man, and this life, are mine.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sharon's "Now's The Time" Report -- Wedding Rings

In my wedding budgeting books 1000 Best Wedding Bargains and 1001 Ways to Save Money and Still Have a Dazzling Wedding, I talk about Great Timing as the best way to save thousands on your wedding elements. At certain times of year, gowns are priced 30% to 50% lower, for instance.

Right now is the time for shopping for your wedding bands. With the holiday season upon us, all of those jewelry stores are enticing shoppers with huge discounts, so Now's the Time to get your savings of hundreds if not thousands of dollars on your wedding rings and additional wedding day jewelry, gifts for the mothers and bridesmaids, and even those cufflinks for your men. 40% to 70% off adds up to a LOT.

Check out the newly expanded collection at my favorite jeweler, Hearts on Fire ( I just discovered the Simply Bridal Pave band that could be my choice when we visit the jewelry store sometime this month, armed with the discount postcard the store sent us last week. Just breathtaking on both accounts!

Swing dancing in the Electric Slide LESSONS?

This was a weekend of Dance Extremes. We saw the best and the worst of dance floor antics, all in the middle of an awesome extended weekend. Let me explain...

On Thursday, Joe and I went to see Big Bad Voodoo Daddy in concert, and it was incredible. What struck me most was how obviously the lead singer *loved* performing. Even 20 rows away, I could see that big smile...the guy loves his job. They even performed 'Heat Miser' from the Christmas special, which I *loved.* And people were swing-dancing in the aisle. Music has the power to raise energy, and you could feel it in that room.

And music also has the power to raise your eyebrows in the universal 'Huh?' At Joe's company's holiday party in New York City this weekend, the deejay thought this was 1982. "Now we're all going to learn how to do the Electric Slide!" And the guy gave a lesson. Left, two three...right, two three...and back two three. Huh? He handed out maracas, lightup roses, Santa hats and glow necklaces. Niiiiiice. He cleared the room and the fantastic socializing took place outside the ballroom. Joe works with great, fun people, so it was really nice to see them all again. I think the last time I saw them was at the company softball games.

The best part of my weekend? Hearing Joe singing along to a CD as he worked on the office details. The room looks amazing thanks to his fantastic detailing -- I'm the primer guru and shelf-painter, so my artistry isn't quite as evident. We had a minor medical emergency with a cut on Joe's finger, and I was basically a spaz rifling through the first aid kit. Not my finest moment, but I'm just glad that he still has his fingertip, the cut didn't hit bone, and the law of averages delivered a minor accident rather than a big one. It's a very helpless feeling when someone you love has an injury...which I'm sure Joe could relate to when I got atomic buffalo wing sauce in my eye shortly afterward. My adorable man handed me protective eye goggles for the rest of my lunch [he's awesome.]

So we had a dance of our own...the dance of completing this office, which is just days away. Sure, it's frustrating to have tasks take longer than expected, but that's what happens when you're All Quality. Which is important....

Friday, December 07, 2007

Brides and Grooms LOVE to entertain at home

So much so, in fact, that wedding registries are filled more with entertaining items like appetizer plates, martini sets, fondue plates, fun drink stirrers, and my own personal favorite: adorable placecard holders to match napkin rings. Designing your tabletop turns you into the David Tutera, Colin Cowie, Preston Bailey and Sasha Souza of your own home, so think about your upcoming holiday plans and how you can accessorize your table now....and hold on to these items to use at your every party in the future.

I just shopped for my Christmas placecard holders at Kate Aspen[], and I got the whole set of twelve place card holders for $21! We have our choice now....keep 'em or have our family take them home.

Setting the table is an act of love, since you're gathering the most important treasures of your and friends. So it's no wonder that the biggest trend in registries is entertaining items! They're a guilt-free, sentimental shopping spree! So check out my choice, and cruise through the Kate Aspen site to purchase your own tabletop accents, favors and holiday gifts. A % of your purchase goes to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, as well.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Barbara Kingsolver would be proud...

Barbara Kingsolver is, of course, the bestselling author of "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle," a book on eating locally-grown foods, as well as some of my favorite novels including "The Bean Trees." My friend Jen introduced me to Kingsolver's work, and she's become one of my icons. Nature is a primary focus of Kingsolver's beautiful novels, so I recommend them highly for all of your green lifestyle and eco-loving friends. Where I fit into this post is my latest appearance in the media, in a feature for Garden Plate magazine [] where I encourage party hosts to ask their caterers about locally-grown foods and local wineries. Every choice makes a difference.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Win some shoes!

A girl's gotta have great shoes, so sign on for Steve Madden's daily shoe giveaway, from now until December 18th: I'm a big proponent of contests and sweeps, and I've won some pretty fantastic things. So I'm going to start sharing my favorite sweeps sites with you in future posts. Don't miss out on your chance to win cash for the wedding, vacations, home furnishings and decor, and of course, shoes! Come back often for Sharon's Sweeps!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Catch me on David Tutera's show Get Married on Thursday!

A few weeks ago, I ventured into New York City for a taping of Get Married (, and the show is set to air this Thursday at 7:30am on the Lifetime Network, and again on December 20th. My segment, which focuses on the best timetable for the 24 hours before your wedding, is sponsored by Bulova, which just goes to show that timing is everything!

And speaking of timing, I have a 300-page edit due this month, right in the middle of holiday preps and working on the office. So I spent the morning picking out drill bits and awesome little painting sponges for moulding, which brings up *another* tidbit of wisdom for today...having the best tools is everything, too. I zipped through the moulding first coat in an hour with my fabulous little find (best $2.49 ever!) and now I can get back into editing my new book Love Bets before my afternoon chat with's Amy Cress. Who says things slow down during the holidays?

Just a reminder, too, that I'm answering etiquette questions at's Weddings section, so come visit me there! And go get your future mother-in-law something nice for the holidays. Now is when you set the foundation for your relationship, and you'll want it to be as loving, friendly and respectful as possible. My podcast is up at's "Here Come the Moms," and the current show shares the story of a mom and bride who have created a *wonderful* relationship during the planning process.