My adventures in Austin, Texas

Carla McDonald During my time in Austin I ate amazing food and met some really interesting people. Here is a video from my travels.

My friend the "doyenne" of Austin, the lovely Carla McDonald was gracious enough to host a book party for me at her beautiful home. Below are some party throwing tips from the hostess with the mostess.

1. Use music to set just the right “tone.” For Lulu’s book party, I created a playlist consisting entirely of food-themed music, e.g., “Hungry Like a Wolf” by Duran Duran, “Ladyfingers,” “Tangerine,” and “A Taste of Honey” by Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass, “Sweet Potato Pie” by James Taylor, “Pulling Mussels from the Shell” by Squeeze, “Mack the Knife” by Bobby Darin, “Red, Red Wine” by UB40, “Eggs and Sausage” by Tom Waits, “Memphis Women and Fried Chicken” by the Dynatones, etc.

2. Let flowers plant just the right seed in the minds of your guests. To celebrate Lulu’s amazing culinary talents, I asked to create floral arrangements based on the colors synonymous with Lulu—bright orange and lime green—and to incorporate food into all the floral arrangements. Knowing from the book that Lulu loves fragrances, we placed a low, elongated crystal vase filled with coffee beans, beautiful orange mokarra orchids, artichokes, and lime green greenery on the table where Lulu was signing books. We included baby carrots in the arrangements on the cocktail tables to coordinate with the orchids.

3. Wax thematic with candles. Again, knowing how much Lulu loves fragrance, but making sure that any fragrances won’t compete with the yummy aromas coming from the kitchen, we placed a coriander-scented (again, carrying through on the food theme) candle in the powder room. We used simple, elegant white tea lights everywhere else.

4. Basic napkins are a wipe out so make your own! Lulu provided us with beautiful, monogrammed, orange linen cocktail napkins from that we used for the cocktails. But for the passed hors d’oeuvres, we used white paper napkins that were custom-printed from with the name of the book in “Lulu orange” ink. We also had matching hand towels made for the powder room. You can never remind people too often about Lulu’s new book which you can buy here

5. Throw in a few surprises for fun. We placed little bowls around the party filled with green and orange that we had custom printed with Lulu’s name and the name of her new book. We also gave everyone a little goodie bag on the way out filled with homemade gum drops and a little note that said “Thanks for Dropping By.”

You can check out all of the pictures from the party here!/pages/LuluPowers/301028975315.

Photos provided by