Thanks and Giving

Yup!  The holidays are here, and I can tell you that NYC FEELS like it.  This weather is for the birds, or should I say brrrrrrrrds?

Some of us (actually, scratch that) MOST of us do some sort of traveling over the holidays.  If you’re like me and travel a fair amount throughout the year, you likely feel it’s nice not stay at a hotel during the holidays, but instead shack up with your friends/family.

However, sometimes I DO feel like I’m invading their space.  On the flip side, I do love it when folks visit and stay with us… that way, we can gab in our jammies over coffee, in the morning.  On the final flip side, it’s awfully nice not to be beholden to anybody’s schedule, or feel as if you’re an inconvenience.  Hmm.  That was fairly contradictory, wasn’t it?  So, what’s the happy medium?

Put your friends/family up at a nearby hotel, and insist that they come over in the morning in their PJs!  Best of both worlds!   And, if you can swing it, it’s super classy to foot the bill.  Wyndam Hotel Group has a bazillion (*actual number!) of hotels around the globe, so they likely have one in your backyard.

Funny enough, I’m actually staying at one of their properties in NYC, having a lovely time (minus the cold) and enjoying the free warm chocolate chip cookies!  For that chocolatey GIVING, I’m pretty THANKFUL.

If you put your pals up in a hotel, it’s SO incredibly thoughtful to have a welcome bag when they arrive.  That way, they knew you were expecting and excited for their visit.  What do you fill the bag with?  A list of fun things to do in town, some snacks, hand lotion and lip balm for their winter-chapped lips!  You get the idea.  Also, don’t forget to include some water and fun drinks as traveling tends to dehydrate people.

Just today I tasted a new reduced calorie cola (8oz/60 calories) called Coca-Cola Life which is sweetened with cane sugar and Stevia leaf extract.  I can tell you it was super tasty, and comes in an adorable glass bottle (very iconic styling which, of course, is right up my alley).  GIVE some sweetness to your guests and they’ll be THANKFUL.

So you’re invited to somebody’s house for Thanksgiving dinner, and want to know what to bring?  You’re in one of three camps: food, wine or hostess gift.  Kinda simple, right?  But, how fun is it to make a family recipe and then share the actual recipe with your host?  Food and gift all in one!

If you go to you can input a favorite family recipe (in my case, my Grandma Gerty’s challah stuffing), include a family photo, print it out and attach it to your very own bottle of Pompeian EVOO.  So basically, it’s a gift, a recipe and a piece of family history all in one.  Aw.  GIVING a family recipe is something for which anybody would be THANKFUL.

Now, if you’re in the vino camp, Frei Brothers Reserve from Sonoma has delish bottles of wine that are sure to go with anything you’re likely to put on your Thanksgiving dinner table.

They have a super drinkable Russian River Valley Chardonnay for your appetizer & cheese moment.  But, I bet you’re actually wondering what kind of wine you should drink with your turkey and sides?

Pinot is the answer!  They also have a tasty Russian River Valley Pinot Noir.  Since most of us are often confused about food/wine pairings throughout the year, here’s a great wine/food pairing resource for ANY time of the year.  I just GAVE some great vintner advice and your dinner table will assuredly be THANKFUL.

There’s much to be THANKFUL for and working with great companies who help me share these ideas with you is at the top of the list.  GIVE their products a try.

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I am Pippin

Hint: to fully enjoy this post in all multimedia-ness, click on the links!

I’ve recently turned over a new leaf when my husband, Marty Metro, goes out of town for work… which, by the way, he does ALL the time!  I take myself to the theater!!  To be honest, it’s only happened twice now, but like I said… it’s a NEW leaf.

Last night I took myself to see Pippin, only one of my favorite musicals.  When I was a young bunny, I performed in a professional singing & dancing troupe called (appropriately enough) The Entertainers!  The hysterical and brilliant Mo Rocca was even in our group!  I digress… We sang & danced our hearts out for Presidents, dignitaries and old folks at senior homes, in and around Washington, DC, where I grew up.  I didn’t fully understand (or maybe I’ve simply forgotten) the story of Pippin, until just last night.

As Sasha Allen sang the opening number, We’ve Got Magic To Do, tears started to fill my eyes… I was surprised by it, to be honest.  Was I missing the innocence of my youth?  Or, recognizing unfulfilled dreams of still being on stage?

And then, there it was, Pippin’s story of searching for his purpose in life, “to find my corner of the sky.”  I’m such a sucker for people who are on a quest… that’s why I love shows like The Voice, American Ninja Warrior and Shark Tank.  Those shows tell stories of people on a quest for personal greatness.

So I held up the mirror to my own face and asked how I’M doing in MY search for my own greatness and purpose in life?  I often wonder if I’m missing my actual life as I’m chin-deep in my professional quest.  And then, the insanely talented Andrea Martin sang right to me and told me “oh, it’s time to start living!” Why yes, yes it is time to start living, Tracy Metro!

By walking away from my computer (as soon as I hit send!) and thus the silly hustling I do in hopes of “showing the world that I do extraordinary things,” I just might be “on the right track” to true happiness.

Which musical theater character are you?  Tweet me @TracyMetro

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We spend so dang much time in our kitchens… cooking, cleaning, working, negotiating calories… that these rooms should be as cute as the rest of the house, but often times I find my client’s kitchens to be more utilitarian vs designer.

Designer is code for expensive, right?  NOT so, my friend.  Painting cabinets is the least expensive way to get the MOST bang for your buck, and create a designer look.

I did a step by step video about how to paint kitchen cabinets, and if I do say so myself, these cabinets turned out GORGEOUSLY!  How to paint kitchen cabinets.

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A fresh coat of paint never hurt a street find…

If you read this blog, you know that I love to find stuff on the streets and make it over.  I’ve taken an old headboard and turned them into art, a discarded trundle bed and transformed it into a bar and an out of date suitcase lived a new life as an end table. Suffice it to say, I like tweaking, but no I’m not a tweaker!

I found this bad boy with good bone structure on the street and gave him a whole new look.

Here’s a vid I did to show you just how easy it is to get a Beverly Hills facelift without the price of Dr. 90210.  How to paint furniture.

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Stripping, er I mean striping.

Stripes are all the rage and really have never gone out of style.  Case in point: Marcel Marceau & Miley Cyrus.  Have them go vertically and you’ll appear thinner — horizontally and you’ll look wider (um, who wants that?!)… the same holds true in your home.

A vertical strip makes the ceiling appear higher, whilst a horizontal stripe makes the room look more spacious.  In this case, BOTH are good things.

BUT, if you don’t actually know the tricks and technique to make these stripes look PERFECT, you’re screwed… and, it neither matter if the room looks taller or more spacious it’ll just look like dreck (yiddish for shit).  Well, you were screwed until now… now, that I’m showing you exactly how to do it.

Hence forth a video tutorial by moi, for you:  How to paint stripes.

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