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A Place of Party

Shawn shares his Holiday Mix recipe, and his plans for Bethenny's 40th birthday.

In my webisode Michael and I are full of bitchy banter. What you see is what you get. We are like this 24 / 7.

Every Christmas season I make this amazingly addictive, crunchy, gooey mix of Chex cereal, pecans, brown sugar, and butter. I give it away to our clients and vendors as a way of saying thank you. In years past we've maybe had 25 to 50 gifts, and this year we have over 100 to give away. No pun intended, but it was crunch time to get these out by the end of the week. Michael was to order everything we needed to make the presentation of the gift perfect, and I was to make the mix and bring the scoops to put it together. Unfortunately he forgot to order the raffia and I forgot to bring the scoops. Was it the end of the world? No, but we both had a fun time rubbing it into each other. You see we both are competitive and we both like to be right. I guess that's what you get when you put two Aquarius men together.

Meagan is great, she's our moderator…I can almost hear her say "I hate it when Daddy and Daddy fight." She took charge and pushed forward so we could get the task done without any further b---hy banter. Although Michael and I are competitive and we always like to be right, we do care for each other, and we care for the success of the business. In some odd way our bickering is filled with love. We balance each other out and are truly ying and yang.

I've had some requests for the recipe, so here you go. This is a recipe that's been handed down to me from Michael's sister-in-law Nancy, and when I asked her of its origin she didn't know either. All I know is one handful and you can't put it down! I make it in large batches, and keep it in an airtight container for weeks at a time. It's perfect to have on hand when unexpected guests stop by; put a few bowls of this out and your guests will never leave!


1 Small Box Chex Wheat and Rice Cereal

1 bag of pecans (2 cups)

2 sticks of butter

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla

Preheat oven 325 degrees. Coat an 11" x 15" pan with cooking spray to prevent sticking.

Pour cereal into pan, top with pecans and set aside In a deep sauce pan on the stove melt the butter. Add the brown sugar. Stir constantly to prevent burning and bring butter sugar mixture to a boil. Once boiling slowly add vanilla; mixture will foam (and may splatter) cook one to two more minutes.

Pour butter/sugar/vanilla mixture evenly over cereal, coating well. Bake for 10 minutes. Stir. Bake another 10 minutes and remove from oven, stir again to coat evenly.

When just about cool, remove from pan into an airtight container and enjoy!

Six full months had passed since I had seen Bethenny and Bryn; she called me to see if I could do lunch. When I saw her I wasn't expecting her to bring Bryn. First, Bethenny looked amazing and second, Bryn was so stinking cute! I used to babysit in high school so being around babies was nothing new for me. Bryn has to be the best baby I have met in years! She is so good, so happy, and so filled with goodness. It was great to have such positive energy around.

Celebrating life is what I do for a living! I don't just make wedding dreams come true; I plan countless other events. Most people don't know that, but I plan birthday parties, showers, mitzvahs, and product launches. If you have a party -- I'll plan and design it! So when Bethenny brought up her 40th birthday to me, I was naturally all about helping her plan it! Jason wanted her to have one, and to my knowledge so did Julie! Everyone was in Bethenny's corner to have a party. Forty is something to be happy and proud of!

Bethenny is right, anyone can just sit there and turn 40. But, it's how you celebrate that makes it different. She has come so far in the past year. She found a super sweet man, they got married, they had a baby, and now she was turning 40! As a party planner, it was a year filled with celebration. It was a year filled with happiness! Although my eyes were wide with excitement (By the way Bethenny does a great impression of me, and no offense, I disagree, I am not a strange fellow), I could tell she needed convincing. There was something she just wasn't sold on. At the time I had no idea what it was. By the time we were finished with lunch, and ready to have Bryn for dessert (she really is THAT sweet and cute in person) it was settled, I would help her plan her party. My gift to her…after all she kept coming back to me, so I wanted to do something nice for her!

There was this great new place that opened up in the Meatpacking District called Villa Pacri. It was new, it was hip, and I had a hunch Bethenny would love it! When I've planned and designed 40th birthday parties in the past, most of my clients want something that's fun and filled with dancing. I was coming from a place of "party." I thought the club was perfect, and that's the way I was leaning. But I could also see Bethenny loving the upstairs as well.

Little did I know that my place of party was her place of no. . .Listen although I joke with Michael that I'm perfect, I know I'm not. I don't always get it right the first time. I'm human. My only focus was that I wanted Bethenny to have a good time and enjoy this milestone in her life. . .I just hope my hard work does that. I just hope she's happy.

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