5 tips to survive the icy weather that is coming to Texas..

After 20+ years here, I am a Texas girl through and through, but I am channeling my teens  in the snowy Midwest for these tips. enjoy.

1. Give your car time to warm up. We are all busy girls on the go, but when the mercury dips, everything takes a little longer. Turn it on, blast the defrost, and head back inside for about 10-15 minutes. (with the doors locked, of course). Not only will your car drive better, but you will actually melt the snow and ice on all of your windows, which will make it much safer for you. And for those few of you that were too cool to pay attention in chemistry- DO NOT use hot water to melt the ice on your windshield. Sadly, I have seen such ideas since I have been here. That is a great way to end up with a cracked windshield, and a dunce cone.

2. Get a full tank of gas and have your fluids checked. Even if you manage not to slide off the road, you may be stuck in traffic that is not moving. No feeling is worse than being in bumper to bumper traffic almost on empty. (I can hear my daddy telling me to never have less than a 1/4 tank). Bonus- If you bat your eyes, you may even get a little help from the nice man at the service station.

3. 4-Wheel drive does not equal 4-Wheel stop.  No matter how awesome your mammoth SUV is, it cannot defy the laws of nature. Give the car in front of you plenty of room and just slow down. We know that goes against our normal routine here in Dallas, but so does 1/4" of ice.

4. Have some supplies just in case. I was always taught to have the following in my car during the winter:

  • a blanket to keep warm if you get stuck
  • a few cans of peaches- they won't freeze and can give you a sugary boost to keep warm
  • kitty litter to sprinkle under tires to get traction if you are stuck
  • water because we need it more than anything.

5. Slow down. There is no where that you need to be that is more important than arriving safely. (Now I am hearing my mom's voice). Take your time, employ as much patience as you can, and just settle in for the ride. The good news is that we live in Dallas, where the world stops with the first snowflake, so people will understand. Even better- wait it out if you can. Make a fire, pour a glass of wine, and enjoy a little extra time with the ones you love. I suspect my Westie, Olive, will be getting more attention than she planned on!

How to be a great guest at holiday parties

It's a crazy (read hectic) time of year! You are on everyone's "yes" list and the next month is jam packed with friends, colleagues, family and oodles of chances to "see and be seen". You have booked your appointments at Dry Bar and Blushington and are ready to dress to impress.

All that is left is to be sure that you are a guest that everyone will want back next year. Here are a few tips that will ensure that you are still the "it girl" in 2104 and beyond

Be on time. I am a fan of making an entrance as much as the next girl, but you don't want to leave your hostess panicked that her party will be a flop. Arrive on time, and even more importantly- LEAVE on time. There is nothing worse than the last few guests that overstay their welcome. "You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here". A great host will never ask you to leave, but that does not always mean they want you to linger. Body language is usually a great indicator. Anything other than them begging you to stay is a sign your Jimmy Choos should hit the bricks.

Don't drink too much. Trust us- we are not party poopers, and we love to have fun. However-no one wants to be remembered as "that girl". My favorite trick is to be sure to drink a glass of water between each alcoholic bevvie. This will slow you down, and help you to feel and look better the next day- BONUS.

Don't show up empty handed. Your host has dedicated a great deal of time and money to be sure you enjoy yourself. A small gift is appropriate. If you know them well, then something personal is great. Otherwise stick to things that would have broad appeal. If they are drinkers, a nice bottle of wine or champagne is appropriate. Remember that this gift is for them, so don't bring your fave and then ask for it to be opened- super tacky. I am also a fan of items like personalized hand towels, notecards, etc.. It just so happens that we at Simply Mox can help with those if you need it! No matter what- do not bring anything that requires work, aka flowers that need to be into a vase.


Send a thank you note. Let me be clear- an email is NOT OK. When you think of thank yous, think of 3. It should go out with in 3 days, and be 3 lines. Thank them, mention something specific that you enjoyed, and then reference something in the future. Quick and lovely.

Remember that it is not all about you. If you know that you have some very specific dietary requirements, tend to them yourself. Eat before you go and just be social. The same applies with drinks. If you are a bourbon lover, but they are only offering beer and wine, just go with it. 

Other than that-hold your drink in your left hand so you can always meet someone new, ask people questions about themselves (don't just yammer about yourself), and knock 'em dead!