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  • Home For the Holidays? A Guide to Stress Free Parties

    Elizabeth Mascali and Dawn Sandomeno, with actor Steve Schirripia

    With the new economic realities, more budget conscious people than ever are entertaining at home. How perfect and timely for a new book, via Yorkshire Publishing, called “Plan To Party” from authors Elizabeth Mascali and Dawn Sandomeno.

    This book is designed to take the pressure off planning and executing your own party. Mascali says that the book will make you a feel like a guest.

    There are literally dozens of possible ideas to brainstorm.

    With the big two holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas, within sight, now is the perfect time to  ask the authors about entertaining at home. They sat down with TheImproper recently to provide some insights:

    Improper: What should be the number one rule for any home entertaining?

    Elizabeth: Entertain to address your guests, and, not impress them. In other words entertain for the right reasons and always from the heart.

    IM: The stress shouldn’t be there, right? The anticipation yes, but not the stress.


    Dawn: Correct and with a solid plan the stress goes away! In ‘Plan To Party,’ we teach you how to build a party from the ground up. We also give you 4 fabulous finished plans that you can use. Put pen to paper or follow our plans and you’ll discover that you can entertain and be a guest at your own party with less stress!

    IM: What’s usually the first error many make in planning and executing an event?

    Most don’t start ahead of time. Waiting till the last minutes accounts for the majority of stress and unnecessary expense when entertaining, no question.

    IM: With the holidays coming up, this book is indeed the perfect solution. The book grew from the terrific and inspiration blog, correct? Tell us a bit about the transition.

    Dawn: Yes, through the blog we discovered a great demand for our unique approach to entertaining. With the book we wanted to go beyond tips and give hosts complete and comprehensive party plans. We also thought it would be a great way to reach a broader audience.

    IM: Dawn, your background within the social media outlets is quite impressive. Can you tell us just how important role they played were publishing the book?

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    Dawn: I can truly say that the idea of ‘Plan to Party’ grew into a reality from the seeds we planted in the social media space. The seeds were our blog and our genuine and active engagement and presence on Twitter and Facebook. Writing a book was always our plan, but it did happen much faster and sooner than we expected. We recognized that the book was a great way to reach an audience outside of the blog and another medium in which we could inspire people to entertain.

    IM: So where did you get the inspiration for the book?

    Dawn: The first spark for book came via Twitter, when we connected with Todd Rutherford. Todd is VP of Yorkshire Publishing and is active on twitter and values the space and it’s potential. We followed each other and started tweeting, soon our relationship progressed – so did the idea of publishing a book together. Then the idea became a reality when Elizabeth took over the reins and spent months designing, developing and turning our content into “Plan to Party.”

    IM: Having gone through all of this, what’s your impression of social media now?

    Dawn: I laugh to myself when I hear pundits dismiss the power of Twitter and Social Media. For us it has opened so many doors that otherwise would not only have been closed but would have been unknown to us. The space has the unique ability to remove the barriers of time, space and perception in a way that I think is wonderful and should be respected. I have had the opportunity to tweet with Deepak Chopra about advice for my insomnia, meet new and wonderful women I now consider good friends and have come to know those in our area of expertise. Women like Jeanne Benedict, whom we met via twitter and Facebook. Jeanne a well-known lifestyle and party expert, TV host and author ended up writing the forward for our book.

    IM: The book is simply lovely; so many true inspirations. Being a chocolate devotee, I immediately gravitated towards that. What seems to be the favorites so far? Night in Venice?

    Elizabeth: Thank you. Each one is so different that it’s hard to say. I think it depends on the time of year. Night In Venice is definitely the favorite for the holidays.

    IM: Your publicist told us the book will soon be available at Bendel’s, which I know is an impressive feat. Everyone gives a party sooner or later, so this book is a necessity.

    Dawn: That’s right, if you want to learn how to be a guest at your own party, it’s a necessity! You can also purchase the book online at Amazon.com.

    IM: The next big holiday is Thanksgiving. Give us a few words on that.

    Elizabeth: Thanksgiving is our favorite Holiday, all the good stuff with a lot less stress than the December holidays. Celebrate in the true spirit of the holiday and make sure when you invite guests to ask them to bring their favorite side dish or dessert. It’s a great way to share the work and expense. This year make sure to make you show your “Attitude of Gratitude” as host or guest – this sometimes gets lots in the hustle and bustle of the holiday.

    IM: What will you both be doing for the holidays?

    Dawn: We both plan to celebrate in our homes with family and friends.

    IM: Thanks so much.