Posts Written On December 28, 2011

Entertaining Tips from Nadia G and @VanGoghVodka

Christmas is over and Hanukkah ends tonight, but fortunately, the holidays aren’t ever yet!

The grand finale, New Year’s Eve, has yet to come.  Like many people, you may still be undecided about your New Year’s plans.  You may even be entertaining the idea of hosting your own last minute NYE bash.  Personally, I feel an intimate gathering or even a rockin’ house party is ten times better than any club or mega event.

So, if you’re thinking about entertaining this year, we have some tips for you from Nadia G of Cooking Channel’s Nadia G’s Bitchin’ Kitchen and Van Gogh Vodka.

Nadia G and Van Gogh Vodka

Get yourself out of the kitchen. “The hostess should enjoy her holiday party every bit as much as the guests,” says Nadia. “The best way to get yourself out of the kitchen is to prepare foods ahead that will taste great at room temperature.” By letting guests serve themselves, everyone can eat on their own time giving the hostess time to kick back and relax with her own cocktail and spend quality time with friends.

Let the guests be their own bartenders. Nadia G recommends a vodka punch like her Pomagrenade Punch or a DIY mixers bar: stock a table with bowls of bite sized fresh fruit and herbs that have been soaking in liquor and simple syrup. Serve these gourmet mixers with chilled bottles of unflavored- and flavored-vodkas, carbonated water, rum and white wine. Guests will have a blast mixing and matching cocktails and experimenting with new combinations!

Pomagrenade Punch

Give them something sweet – and don’t forget the coffee. Nadia’s Chocolate Balls made with butterscotch chips, peanuts and crushed pretzels are easy to whip up and major crowd pleasers. Topping off the evening with coffee is always a good idea; have regular and decaf on hand for guests to choose from at the end of the night.

Send the guests home with something you’ve created in your kitchen. “Everyone loves my Homemade Hot Cocoa mix. I add a little cayenne and some cinnamon to step it up,” says Nadia. “Gifted in a glass jar or a tin with a bright ribbon, it’s my personal way to say Happy Holidays at the end of the night.”

And of course the most important part of a party is the music; as Nadia says, music can make or break a party. If the host or hostess doesn’t have any musical taste, get a friend to make a playlist for the party.

Here’s one more idea to help make your party a hit.


1 1/2 oz Van Gogh BLUE Triple Wheat Vodka
1/4 cup fresh squeezed pink grapefruit juice
1 heaping tablespoon minced fresh coriander
1 teaspoon maple syrup

Directions: In a shaker combine all ingredients above. Shake vigorously with ice. Strain into martini glass rimmed with maple flakes, drop in 2 coriander leaves, and garnish glass with pink grapefruit rind twist.

For more  recipes, get your hands on Nadia G’s cookbook: Nadia G’s Bitchin’ Kitchen: Cookin’ for Trouble

xoxo, Olisa


Teach Me How To @Schoodie

Introducing the innovative and versatile Schoodie! Pronounced “sku-dee” (a combination of the words “scarf” and “hood”), the Schoodie is a hooded scarf with buttons to secure your wrapping technique of choice. With the winter months now in full swing, the Schoodie is a handy way to look trendy and stay toasty.

In a variety of colors for both men and women, tie it, wrap it, drape it, layer it, cross it, hang it, do whatever—the Schoodie is a fashion statement any way you work it!


How do you SCHOODIE? Comment to enter for a chance to win your very own Schoodie and show us your favorite way to wear it!



Ah gone are the days of submitting to the hair crack they call relaxer… Although I have no intention of EVER relaxing my hair again, I think I might dye it back to this colour next summer.
peace and love



A Clean White Dog @MJdogessentials

Having a white dog is like… wearing white jeans. When he gets really really happy, he does this.

The dirtiest dog in the park is the one having the most fun! Keeping a white Dogo Argentino x Pitbull mix clean is not easy.

Lucky for me!  He knows the word ‘shower’ and will tolerate it if I sing to him at the same time. Usually, our go-to shampoo is Johnson&Johnson’s Baby Shampoo but we decided to try something new from our friends at M&J Dog Essentials.  I like him bright and white.

The FreshenUp Collection – it is the easiest and fastest way to bathe your dog!  The collection includes the FreshenUp Cleansing Treatment which you apply to the coat when dry, massage it in then rinse!  Here is how it works.
The second part of FreshenUp is a Coat Tonic which you can apply after using the Cleansing Treatment or between baths – it gives the coat a healthy shine while conditioning the skin and coat with Vitamin C, Tamarind Seed Extract & Lavender.

If your dog get a little dry skin from the change in seasons, just apply Nutrient Fusion Pre-Bath Treatment before (even the night before if you would like!) the FreshenUp Cleansing Treatment his dry skin disappears and his coat gets unbelievably shiny and soft!


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We rate this 5 out of 5 bones!