ALB-logo-drawing_smaller.png

Ciao!

Welcome to The ALB Standard.

I look forward to inspiring you in all areas of life, so that you can live as your best self.

XOXO,

2 Sophisticated Sisters

2 Sophisticated Sisters

Babs Horner and Susan Palma, Sisters and authors of Sophistication is Overrated, share their insightful holiday ideas that we have not come up with yet.

    Twelve years ago, I was in New Canaan, Connecticut during the holidays and heard an entire street of people laughing. I went to find out what all the commotion was about, and of course it was caused by the Slageter (Slā∙get∙er) Sisters, AMEN!

    We obviously became great friends, thanks to their humor and my love of laughing. They are two noteworthy women with some of the most foward-thinking, hilarious, classic, yet warm and homey personalities (and style) that make you wish you were BFFs.

    Babs, founder of the catering company, Babulous, lives in New Canaan and has lived in  London, where her obsession with needlepoint and, of course, HRH began. Susan lives in Dallas and is a fixture in the Dallas social scene, yet she spends her day (before getting ready for evening fêtes) as a talented and successful interior designer. Her work has been featured in D Home Magazine.

Babs (left) and Susan easily distracted while signing books!

Babs (left) and Susan easily distracted while signing books!

“...it is about finding joy in simple things.”
— Babs Horner

    The Slageter Sisters are the renowned authors of Sophistication is Overrated, a practical coffee table book with a twist. If you do not already have a copy, you are missing out on ridiculous party ideas, laughing so hard you run through an entire box of tissues, and simple recipes that you will not believe you prepared yourself.

    I had the opportunity to sit down with Babs and Susan to discuss their holiday shenanigans before they embarked on the last leg of their 2016 book tour. We had peppermint tea and some of Babs’ cut out cookies (recipe on page 38) at a corner table at Baldanza in New Canaan. They had me laughing so hard I began to cry: when they were little and their parents had guests over, they would roll around in the guests’ furs splayed on the guest room bed!

    Between every other topic to which we sidetracked, we were able to get to a few questions. The Sisters' enchanting answers enthralled me as they completed one another’s sentences. Seeing them in action, you understand why they work so well together; they complement one another and resolve every challenge: with laughter and patience.

Susan and Babs with their needlepoint Sister.

Susan and Babs with their needlepoint Sister.

                                               Q

In Sophistication is Overrated, you say that your inspiration to create such a masterpiece is your close bond as Sisters and your love for your parents. What sparked the idea to pen such an hysterical compilation?

                                               A

The idea for our book came easy because everyone was asking for Babs’ recipes, which she was individually emailing to people daily, and I was always teaching people glue gun skills. We decided to sandwich (pun intended) the two together. We had such an ideal upbringinging and do not take it for granted; we are so grateful. We felt compelled to tell our happy story as an example for how to find joy in simple acts as our parents showed us… We also all know the Kardashians and wanted to show young girls that it is not normal — we did not grow up that way.

                                               Q

Your final product is unlike anything I have ever read! How long did it take from initial idea to traveling for book signings?

                                               A

From lightbulb moment to hopping on airplanes (turning right and sitting near the bathroom), it has taken four years. We were unaware of the detail that goes into each step of the process (finding photographers, editors, and publishers, then identifying the people and venues with whom to laugh) and have loved every stage of the elaboration. We are truly pinching ourselves, living our dream!

                                               Q

The question everyone has been waiting for… 2 Chainz!?

                                               A

Yes, he is a fan! We met 2 Chainz (@hairweavekiller) in Atlanta. We were the featured “entertainment” at the fabulous Codarus showroom and he was the real entertainment at the adjacent showroom. It was instant mutual attraction, as we all had on our charm bracelets. #whoworeitbetter, Ha!

Susan, Babs, and 2 Chainz showing off their charm bracelets!

Susan, Babs, and 2 Chainz showing off their charm bracelets!

                                               Q

And speaking of holiday festivities, what are your plans?

                                               A

We will not be together for Christmas, but Babs was just in Dallas with me for nine days of book signings. We spent time laughing and getting intro trouble, so now it’s time for a home sojourn before we meet again in January. This is another purpose for writing: frequent visits!

                                               Q

So Babs cooks and Susan does the decorating — entire home and tables included! What are the Christmas themes this year?

                                               A

Susan: There are not really any house themes for Christmas this year, but next year when the Happy Horners arrive, we will have our annual carriage ride looking at Christmas lights in crazy hats, consume loads of libations, and watch Christmas Vacation together in our new jammies.

The Palmas and Happy Horners on their annual carriage ride through Dallas' finest light displays.

The Palmas and Happy Horners on their annual carriage ride through Dallas' finest light displays.

                                               Q

Babs, what is your favorite holiday recipe?

                                               A

I LOVE our cut out cookies, and think it is so wonderful that everyone can help decorate them and spend time together!

Babs' beautiful Christmas cookies. They are delicious, I've tried them myself, and are easy to make!

Babs' beautiful Christmas cookies. They are delicious, I've tried them myself, and are easy to make!

“Our mother made our Christmas skirt, Susan remade them for everyone. We tell you how to make them on page 38 of our book. They are fun to do!”
— Babs Horner
A gorgeous Christmas tree skirt made by Susan with her glue gun!

A gorgeous Christmas tree skirt made by Susan with her glue gun!

                                               Q

Susan, how are you decorating your home this year? Have you discovered any new holiday must-haves?

                                               A

Every inch of our house is filled to the brim with Christmas decorations. There are beautiful Radko and vintage ornaments adorning three tress as well as a few crazy fiber optic angels and a LIT plastic dancing santa for comic relief!

                                               Q

How do you handle keeping the house looking fab, cooking, juggling guests, and entertaining? You both make it look so easy and so Slageter-y!

                                               A

During preparations, cooking, and decorating, houses do not always look pristine, but it is more about the process. Just remember that everyone feels the pressure and it is really about being together. I have been known to push the whole kitchen counter mess into a large shopping bag and cram it under a bed. You just have to remember it is there!

                                               Q

What is the favorite gift you are giving this year?

                                               A

Susan: I cannot share the favorite gift I am giving this year, but last year I got plain decanters and had them engraved with the family’s name and “Truth Serum” or “The Miller's Dance Moves." Most families fought over them!

Susan's drawings of the custom decanters she gifted last year.

Susan's drawings of the custom decanters she gifted last year.

                                               Q

What is each of you hoping to find under the Christmas tree?

                                               A

Babs: Susan and I are hoping to get a invitation to be on the Today Show with Kathy Lee and Hoda! That would be the best gift under our trees!

Susan: I am hoping to find our son Charlie who is stationed in First Bragg, NC.

                                               Q

What does loving the life you live mean to you?

                                               A

Babs: Our close bond as Sisters and the values we grew up with that we pass onto our children taught us what life is about. We live each day to the fullest, laughing as much as possible, and doing what we love: spreading glee and positivity meeting people from all walks of life at our signings. 

Susan: And we carry on our parents' traditions and festivities: rum balls and cookies, midnight mass, new jammies, game nights, tree making, sequined Christmas tree skirts, Bloody Marys, and just FUN. We also have a tradition that, even though our boys are 27 and 31, they still get a large LEGO set every Christmas from Santa. All in high spirits and enjoying the company and present moment.

Babs: Yes, we still have every one of our mother's ornaments! Every year, our father would sneak a tacky ornament on the tree. His favorite was Snoopy holding a Whitman sampler box of chocolates, and when you opened the box, the chocolates were all gone. We still have that too, and this year is Susan's turn to put it on her tree!

[big] Boys playing with their LEGOs on Christmas Day.

[big] Boys playing with their LEGOs on Christmas Day.

The Sisters are currently working on a second book (more details to come in 2017!). Follow them on Facebook and Instagram to see if they are coming to a city near you. Trust me, their book signings are not just any ordinary “signings.”

January 2017: New Orleans, possibly Dallas and Atlanta.

February 2017: Neiman Marcus San Francisco, Neiman Marcus Palm Beach.

This is also the perfect last minute holiday gift to give. That is, if you do not have time to customize decanters for your favorite friends.

 

Purchase Sophistication is Overrated HERE.

“We are truly pinching ourselves, living our dream.”
— Susan Palma
Sophistication is Overrated.

Sophistication is Overrated.

XOXO,

Header image, from left, Susan Palma, Atlanta Showroom Owner, Queen Elizabeth II, 2 Chainz, Babs Horner, and Simone (2 Chainz's decorator) snapping the selfie.
Friday finds, volume III (Dec/23/2016)

Friday finds, volume III (Dec/23/2016)

Do Not Be Ashamed