Happy Father’s Day to all



The 5 MUST HAVES, for a successful Wedding or Event

What makes a great party? Family, friends, food, flowers, and music.

I am working on, several weddings this summer, and as I sit at my desk procrastinating, I begin to break down what it is that makes a great party or wedding.

  1. Family: The gathering of the family to celebrate a birthday, wedding or even dinner can be both stressful and meaningful. We would not want to celebrate certain milestones without our families, but they do add to the stress of the day.  Some people feel stress when entertaining family, they think everything must be perfect for their families, other people simply feel stressed having family attend events. I am fortunate to have a wonderful and very large family. We just like being together, but I must admit I still like things to be perfect for them.

This is my niece’s birthday party this Christmas day in Rome. We had family, flowers from the flower stand at the end of our road, amazing locally sourced food and great music!
  • Food: Food is extremely important to me. I went to culinary school, and although I no longer work as a chef, I do cook daily. To me good food is simple, fresh, whole ingredients made with love or passion. When I was head chef at a small Inn in Cambridge MA in the mid-nineties, I was shocked to learn that not everyone loved food. Some people just eat to live, rather than live to eat. No matter what category you fit into, you must have good food at your celebration. So pick your caterer well, ask them questions about food, what inspires them? Where do they purchase their produce, do they source items locally? What was their most memorable event and why?

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    I love a good farm stand, this is one I love to revisit. Everything is so beautifully displayed,  you can feel the owners love of food and pride of product.
  • Friends: Whether you are the host, bride, or guest of honor, having friends attend your event will make it unforgettable. Think about your guest list, who must come, who would you like to come, and who are you inviting because you feel like you have to include them? I would drop the last group and stick to the core group, but I am not in a social tier where this exists. More and more, dogs are making the wedding scene these days. Man’s best friend, I guess it makes sense, yet let me be clear, I am against this idea.

  • Wedding Dog
    Ring bearer pillow, or bed?
  • Flowers: Please if you know anything about me, it is that flowers and candles are everything to me. Beautiful arrangements, and table-scapes tell a story.  The story can be rustic, elegant, formal or casual. Just please don’t forget the flowers. I like to do my own arrangements, but if you are not a flower person, go to your local farm, florist or Wholefoods and hire them. A lot of farms in Maine do wedding flowers.
  • Music: Now listen up…music creates the vibe of the party. I like live music, but I also like DJ’s, Ipod sets, Spotify, etc. Do yourself a favor, think your music choices through, who is attending your event? Plan to play something for everyone. I hosted a birthday party for a friend last year, and we went with a Spotify Jazz dinner set. It was perfect, it was just enough music in the background to keep the party going.
  • Alright guys thanks for stopping by and have a happy and safe New Year. May all your dreams come true in 2019. I feel very fortunate to have you all in my life.




    My Christmas and New Years decorating is going to the dogs

    PHOTOS BY: Liz Donnelly

    As the holiday season comes to an end, my decorating has gone to the dogs.

    Here is the dining room set with bottle brush trees, the good china, silver, the stockings are hung, and the tree decorated.

    Olive our small and very funny dog has decided to check out the table-scape, I guess she is not a fan of espresso.


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    To set the scene for a fresh start in the New Year we filled cylinder vases with Orchids (in various sizes), and moss. It is such a simple but elegant display. I love grouping orchids together as a centerpiece. After the party, I can then disperse them all over the house to perk things up after the holiday decorating comes down.

    Olive invited her little sister Coco (the lab) and their friend Mazy to come see what we were planning for New Years Day brunch.

    Coco is terrified that my husband might come in and see her…breaking the rules, but not Mazy she helps herself to some pound cake.

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    I hope you all have a very happy and healthy holiday season. Enjoy time with your friends & families, and meet me back here in 2015. I am so looking forward to having my wonderful neighbors for Christmas Eve, and then my sister and brother and their families (from California) to ring in the New Year.

    Best wishes to all of you, and thank you for reading my blog.

    XO, Celia





    Father’s Day Brunch

    Photo by: Liz Donnelly

    • Start with smoked salmon, with dill and lemon and sliced French bread.
    • Offer Coffee, Tea, fresh squeezed orange juice and champagne

    Zucchini Strata


    • 4 teaspoons olive oil
    • 1 large onion, diced (about 2 cups)
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • Cooking spray
    • 1 baguette, crusts removed, cubed (about 5 cups)
    • 8 eggs and 8 egg whites milk
    • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    • 1 Diced Zucchini
    • 1-ounce (1/3 cup) grated Parmesan
    • 4-ounce (1 cup) cheddar cheese
    • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


    Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until translucent and beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook for another 1 minute. Transfer the onion mixture to a medium bowl and allow to cool.

    Heat remaining 2 teaspoons of oil in the skillet and saute the zucchini (and pinch of salt and pepper) until they release all of their water, about 6 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely.

    Spray an oval baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange the bread cubes in the dish. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, egg whites, milk and mustard until incorporated. Add zucchini, onion-garlic mixture, Parmesan and cheddar cheeses, thyme, and salt and pepper and stir to incorporate.

    Pour mixture over bread, making sure liquid saturates bread. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or at least 8 hours. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the plastic wrap from strata and bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until top forms a light brown crust.

    Serve Strata with…

    • Fruit salad (Make it or buy it)
    • Baby roasted potatoes & vegetables – (I likeTrader Joe’s baby squash and finger potatoes) tossed with olive oil and Crazy Salt– roast in a 375 degree oven for 40-50 mins.
    • Baby butter lettuce salad-(buy bag of butter lettuces & toss with Meyer lemon dressing)

    Meyer lemon vinaigretteFrom Real Simple (*Meyer lemons are a cross between a lemon and an orange. They are milder and less acidic than a regular lemon.)

    • 3 tablespoon fresh Meyer lemon juice
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
    • I like to add 1 minced garlic clove

    Whisk all ingredients together and toss with butter lettuce it is a nice light brunch salad.

    Happy Father’s Day!

    Hope you enjoyed this post if you want to read more sign up to follow us! Please let us know if you try the strata. This menu is so good!

    I love and miss you Dad.