Blog Posts by cocodot

  • 8 Tips for Creating a Magical Princess Party

    Cupcake time.

    It's a known fact that little princesses have big imaginations. So when it comes to throwing her a birthday party fit for royalty, you're going to want to want something that's curated, upscale, and special. Here's how.

    See all the pictures and read the story on cocodot. >>

    1. Create an enchanting table skirt. For this DIY, you'll need strips of pink tulle and pushpins. Cut strips of tulle long enough so that they brush the floor. Tie a knot at the top of your strip, and attach to side of table with pushpin (securing right below knot). Create as many strips needed to cover each side of your table.
    Related Link: Create a princess fantasyland.

    2. Go for boutique papergoods. We can't tell you how many times we've looked for princess party products and come up with cookie-cutter, branded decorations. After searching far and wide, we came up with Paper Eskimo, an Australian company whose party-in-a-box kits make table setups a snap. With plates, cups, and other snacktime essentials, Read More »from 8 Tips for Creating a Magical Princess Party
  • 5 Cheeses to Taste Before You Die

    At parties, some people stick close to the bar. We, on the other hand, gravitate toward the cheese plate. We love to sample new varieties, hoping for that out-of-body experience that takes place when a perfectly creamy and just-pungent-enough mouthful makes us temporarily forget our last name. From veined, crumbly Roquefort to softly runny Camembert, a staggering assortment of cheeses tempts. If the number of varieties overwhelms you at a supermarket (as it sometimes does us, scroll down for a look at the top 5 that you absolutely must try next. We sat down with a fromager (cheese expert) and dug into a plate full of luscious discoveries to come up with this list of the Best. Cheeses. Ever.

    1. Brin d'Amour: earthy, crumbly, herbaceous
    Here's a cheese that puts a bit of its terrain in its crust. Crumbly and somewhat granular, Brin d'Amour (pronounced "BRAN-dah-MORE") is made on the French island of Corsica. Semisoft and easily spreadable, it is a top-shelf ewe's-milk cheese for its

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  • Our 5 Favorite Super Bowl Party Recipes

    If you're still planning your menu for Super Bowl Sunday, we've got some ideas that are sure to get your guests to blitz the buffet. From a low-fat spin on a classic dip to tasty variations on game-day favorites, these winning recipes from around the web will take your spread from super drab to super fab.

    Maple Bacon Kettle Popcorn

    For a sweet and savory dessert, try's Maple Bacon Kettle Popcorn. It's a quick and easy recipe that will have your guests begging for more!

    See the 5 cheeses you must taste before you die.

    Panko-Fried Pickle Chips

    Like pickles? Try these tasty panko-fried pickle chips from We call it upscale man food.

    Create a sophisticated Super Bowl snack bar in 3 easy steps.

    Grilled Guacamole

    What's better on game day than chips and guacamole? Try grilled guacamole. This recipe from adds a hint of smoky, roasted flavor to the traditional dip.

    Serve your guac in 2012's hottest tabletop trend: clear tableware.

    Skinny Spinach and Artichoke Dip

    For your

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  • 5 Ways to Get What You Want for Valentine's Day

    Subtle Persuasion

    Your shrink wants you to come out and "just ask" for what you want. Humph. Where's the neurotic, passive-aggressive fun in that? Below, some sneaky, hint-dropping tips for getting what you really want this Valentine's Day. Because love means never having to say "it's the thought that counts."

    1. Pretend to Care What He Wants

    The easiest way to remind your partner of the existence of any holiday is to ask him what he wants for it. But the question also doubles as a prompt to volley the query back.

    2. Use Your Browser as a Billboard

    Leave the Web page open on your shared computer or iPad to that perfect little clutch or piece of jewelry you've been coveting. Or start a Pinterest Board titled something innocuous like "Things I Will Die Without This Valentine's Day."

    3. Crass Commercialization is Your Friend

    Give your TiVo a rest and let the commercials play. Ads for department store sales and jewelry boutiques afford plenty of opportunities for subtle

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  • The 8 Sexiest Foods Ever

    Go ahead and down a burger and fries if you're out with your bros or gal pals on V-Day. But if you're romancing your sweetheart, try amping up the chemistry with one of these super-sexy foods. Science suggests that they may have aphrodisiac properties...and they're delicious, too.

    Asparagus: Loaded with vitamin B6 and potassium-both of which can amplify sex drive-asparagus was prized as a libido booster in ancient China.

    Chili Peppers: Chili peppers contain concentrated quantities of capsaicin, a potent chemical that increases the heart rate and amplifies the sensitivity of nerve endings. Capsaicin also stimulates the release of endorphins, which can lead to a natural high.

    Oysters: The slurp-slurp of eating raw oysters can be fabulously sexy. And the tasty mollusks are rich in zinc, which has been proven to increase testosterone (only slightly, but still…).

    Chestnuts: Packed with protein, which aids stamina, and zinc, which may combat impotence, chestnuts aren't just good

    Read More »from The 8 Sexiest Foods Ever
  • What Celebrities Do and Give on Valentine's Day

    What Stars Buy and Do on V-Day

    Celebrities really are "just like us," as Us magazine's tagline goes-only with bigger bank accounts. So for Valentine's Day, they tend to pull out all the stops to celebrate their relationships.

    • Courtney Cox celebrated ex-hubby David Arquette's juvenile quirks one year by buying him a carousel horse.
    • Last year Heidi Klum told "Good Morning America" that she was making her husband, Seal, "a very fun box of heart things…kind of like an explosion of things-confetti hearts with cute underwear and chocolates."
    • Jay-Z once gave Beyonce a platinum cell phone for V-Day.
    • Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos enjoyed a romantic dinner for two at New York's Minetta Tavern on Valentine's Day last year.
    • Howard Stern proposed to his wife, Beth Ostrosky, on Valentine's Day in 2007 with a 5.2-carat emerald-cut engagement ring valued at over $250,000.
    • Katy Perry gifted hubby Russell Brand with a lilac-colored Bentley Brooklands for Valentine's last year.
    • Julia Roberts told
    Read More »from What Celebrities Do and Give on Valentine's Day
  • He Sent Flowers - but What Do They REALLY Mean?

    Roses are the ultimate in romance.

    Flowers talk. Specific varieties convey a particular sentiment-perfect for telegraphing deep (or even shallow!) feelings on Valentine's Day. Here's what some of the most popular Valentine's Day blossoms communicate.

    Roses: Roses have been the ultimate romantic flower for thousands of years-the ancient Greeks and Romans associated them with love goddesses Aphrodite and Venus. But each color boasts a distinct meaning: red is for romance; white signifies humility and innocence; yellow represents friendship; orange imparts desire; pink expresses gratitude; and purple represents love at first sight.

    Surprise your sweetie with an intimate lovers' tent for Valentine's Day

    Tulips: Yellow tulips symbolize cheer; white stems convey forgiveness; purple represents royalty; and red tulips are associated with perfect love. Legend has it that the tulip's inky black center represents a lover's heart, darkened by the heat of passion.

    Peonies: The symbolic flower of China is

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  • 7 Things You Don't Know About Olive Oil

    The lust and joy of olive oil.

    "I want to make you experts in olive oil," Laurent Halasz told guests at a tasting of the versatile fruit oil last night in West Hollywood. As founder of the Fig & Olive restaurants in Los Angeles and New York, Halasz is a top connoisseur in what has emerged as God's gift to dieters. Here's what we gleaned from the Frenchman while enjoying a multi-course Mediterranean-style meal bathed in decadent-but not guilt-inducing-yumminess.

    • Yes, you can use olive oil to replace butter in every instance. Put in on toast in the morning, meat and fish in the afternoon, even on certain desserts after dinner.
    • Olive oil should be cold-pressed. It prevents the fruit from degrading in the process.
    • If an olive oil comes from a small, rural producer, it doesn't much matter if it is certified organic or not.
    • Like wine, olive oil in France is A.O.C.-certified and should be paired carefully with food. Vegetables and white fish love a light, buttery olive oil, while meats and
    Read More »from 7 Things You Don't Know About Olive Oil
  • 6 Ways to Make Flowers Last Longer

    Keep flowers healthy longer with these simple tips.

    The noted floral artists at Celadon & Celery Events run workshops in New York, where they are based, and now in Los Angeles, where I attended a class last weekend. When I walked out of the 90-minute tutorial, I may not have quite been able to trick out an entire party space for VH1 or Mercedes-Benz, as the company does. But I had an arrangement and a bouquet in two reusable tote bags-together, easily worth the $300 cost of the class itself. (My creation made of dahlias, lamb's ears, orchids, lily grass, roses, and calla lilies are now brightening the cocodot office.)

    Get the best tips on how to light your party and get your guests flirting.

    Here's some advice you can use even if you never take up the floral arts. These tips will help keep flowers healthy and happy longer, whether you arrange them yourself, buy them at a store, or are lucky enough to receive them as a gift.

    • Clean vases with bleach or antibacterial soap. Flowers are very susceptible to damage
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  • 10 Easy Steps to Hosting a Cookie Swap Party

    Cocodot stylist Kate Martindale hosts a fun and easy cookie swap.

    Hard to believe, but eating mouthfuls of homemade sweets is only part of the fun of a cookie-swap party. Since so many of us get recipes from our families, it is also a way of sharing traditions with our friends. Another bonus: Such parties should be kept small, so they offer you an opportunity to really catch up with your friends. Here are 10 steps to putting together a fun afternoon get-together for the holidays or any other time of year.

    1. Keep the number of invitation to 15 people maximum. This is the kind of party that demands more of your time than, say, a blowout.

    2. Follow up on invitations a few days before the party so you know how many people will attend. Online invitations, like those from, are a great way to keep track of RSVPs, as well as to communicate with guests in one fell swoop. Once you know the head count, you can accordingly assign the number of cookies to be brought by each guest. I asked each of the 12 guests at my party to bring 2

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