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From Barnes & NobleCelebrate the Holidays in Style
Not being much of a television watcher, I had had little exposure to the current entrepreneurial phenomenon, lifestyle expert Barbara Smith. I had eaten a few tasty meals in her New York restaurant, B. Smith's, but otherwise had remained untouched by her passion for cooking, entertaining, high-impact homemaking, decor, and handicrafts. A sudden media blitz, however, made me more than aware of her gifts—television hostess, lifestyle expert, restaurateur, magazine editor in chief, and author. Where does one woman find the time to do all of this well, I thought.
Catching up with Barbara Smith was no easy task as, just in time for holiday entertaining and giving, she was traveling across America promoting her new book, B. Smith: Rituals & Celebrations. The first in a proposed series of four lifestyle books, it is a wonderfully conceived celebration of giving. Broken down by month, with each section highlighting two or three celebrations of the moment, Rituals & Celebrations gives the reader a bit of history, party ideas, easy-to-execute recipes, and simple handicrafts to make home entertaining a snap. You can find helpful ideas to celebrate Christmas in a stylish fashion as well as hints on the perfect Chinese New Year bash. This is a great book for anyone who wants to entertain with great style and little stress.
A former model, Barbara Smith has, like many single-minded career women, had a tough row to hoe as she's built her many enterprises. Unlike Martha Stewart, to whom she is most often compared, the very beautiful Ms. Smith now seems to enjoy every minute of her success. She makes cooking and entertaining fun and within the reach of us ordinary souls. Where Martha Stewart intimidates and makes me feel a bit inadequate, Barbara Smith makes entertaining with style well within my reach. Her self-described "casual elegance" is accessible elegance. Her "creative vision and playful style" are in evidence on every page of the book.
Rituals & Celebrations made me take a look at Barbara Smith's new magazine, B. Smith Style, which has hit the newsstands in time for the holiday rush. Called "the new lifestyle magazine devoted to entertaining, home, garden, travel, fashion, and beauty," this is a magazine that Barbara assures us is filled with her personal style and passions. "We wanted to create a lifestyle magazine that makes elegance and style an achievable reality for our readers," she says. "The real challenge will be to relate ideas that are not only truly elegant and stylish but also creative and simple."
With her new book and her exciting new magazine, Barbara Smith certainly presents a uniquely personal message: "We live in a multicultural world where everyone wants to be able to and should have the opportunity to experience elegance and beauty in their own lives." Find your own festivity in the pages of Rituals & Celebrations and add it to your own library or give it as a gift this holiday season. Either way, you will feel a little bit more stylish and elegant during this busiest of all seasons.