Dishing it up / with Sharon Insul

Come sit with me for awhile . . .
and see what I’m bringing to the table ®

FOR THE LOVE OF FAMILY .   .   .

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Ahhhh family gatherings .   .   . you ALL know how that goes .   .   . No matter how close .   .   . or not .   .   . it all boils down to the pecking order! Come on, you know the pecking order, as in who gets to sit where. Not to mention those few skirmishes, involving a few of the relatives that are on the ‘not speaking to so and so’ list.

For one dinner party, I used the Kings, and Queens from the four suits in a couple of decks of playing cards. Matching up guests to the coloring of the different suits, as in blond to hearts, grey to diamonds, darker coloring to spades, and medium coloring to clubs. The guests’ names were then printed in my best of the best printing across the top … of course!!!

It would be far worse if .   .   . everyone is left standing, needing to fend or fight for their preferred place. This is where the jockeying begins .   .   . as a few desperately try to avoid one or more persons .   .   . while at the same time attempting to secure   .   .   .’THE’ coveted seat of choice. As to the coveted seat of choice for some .   .   . the far and few between lefty. Yes, the lefty who when put in the middle of the pack finds it all but impossible to eat .   .   .  So please be kind to those who need a little consideration and TLC!

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Place cards, while a bit regimented, do serve an obvious stressless purpose. To move from the stiff and stuffy .   .   . I offer a few tried, and true, out of the box alternatives. For one dinner party, I used mini note cards with envelopes. Each card had person’s name, as well as, we are happy that you have joined us this evening. I tucked part of the mini note into the envelope, allowing the message with guest’s name to stick out.

Now on Amazon  http://amzn.to/2ehlCp4 “a collection of… Tableofferings™ from the go-to expert tablescaper” Available in E-book and HARDCOVER !

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FOR THE KIDDIES in your life …It’s all about those adorable sisters! Listen to my children’s books live radio interview bit.ly/29QSJPd
I am sooo Lucky!!!  AVAILABLE NOW on Amazon http://amzn.to/1qh38Zf

Remember if you’re a Prime Amazon member you can read for free!

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Sharon Insul is the former owner of the globally recognized  Beverly Hills boutique Candle light and… Beverly Hills, California, as well as an ongoing contributing columnist for the Beverly Hills Courier Newspaper.

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Dishing it up / with Sharon Insul

Come sit with me for awhile . . .
and see what I’m bringing to the table ®

Since I am considered a maverick when it comes to decorative conformity I find it most difficult to comply with some unknown persons edict.

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It’s 80 degrees under a sparkling crystal clear bright blue sky. Now I know the news keeps saying after labor day this, and after labor day that and you all know the rules .   .   .   blahhh  .   .   . blahhh .   .   . blahhh .   .   . however.

Rules, rules, rules. Humpfff! Most of you are more than likely familiar with ‘THE cardinal rule’ #1. Oooops, sorry. My bad. For those of you who just said .   .   . what is rule #1, grab a seat and have a listen. Someone, somewhere, wayyyy back in the days of yore proclaimed a fashionista/decorative edict that was to be carried out throughout the land! Hear ye, hear ye, out with the white and bright color tones and in with the rustic tones of fall. So there is nooo misunderstanding, I personally am not, I repeat, not ready for summer to end, however, requests have been rolling in for a preview of fall tablescapes to come .   .   . sooo .   .   . since I love my readers, and truly appreciate your enthusiasm and input, I give you the beginnings of fall. The centerpiece began with a beautiful vintage cherry basket. What makes this a cherry basket?  Look closer .   .   . come on take a sec. Remember .   .   . it’s all in the details, details, details. Within the large carry basket sits 4 individual cherry containers. Yes, of course it could have held other fruits .   .   . however .   .   . I am crazy about cherries! I filled it with decorative pumpkins, edible pears, eggplant, squash, and highlighted it with candles in tones of turquoise, and burnt orange. A large faux pear sits near a fallen branch and eucalyptus stems.

Seen below are earth tone dinner plates stacked with burgundy soup bowls holding hand- carved salad bowls, and a juicy red pear nestled inside of each turquoise bowl. Small wood trays that I have used for individual cheese servings will serve as a bread/cheese and butter plate. Knives are by Laguiole.  Comments?

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Now on Amazon  http://amzn.to/2ehlCp4 “a collection of… Tableofferings™ from the go-to expert tablescaper” Available in E-book and HARDCOVER !

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FOR THE KIDDIES in your life …It’s all about those adorable sisters! Listen to my children’s books live radio interview bit.ly/29QSJPd
I am sooo Lucky!!!  AVAILABLE NOW on Amazon http://amzn.to/1qh38Zf

Remember if you’re a Prime Amazon member you can read for free!

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 4.02.41 PM
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51fjuSEwhWL._SL500_SX250_ 2

Sharon Insul is the former owner of the globally recognized  Beverly Hills boutique Candle light and… Beverly Hills, California, as well as an ongoing contributing columnist for the Beverly Hills Courier Newspaper.

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Dishing it up / with Sharon Insul

Come sit with me for awhile . . .
and see what I’m bringing to the table ©


OMG!!! People .   .   . batten down the hatches, we are all in for a rough weather patch. Rushing rivers, overflowing reservoirs, mudslides, felled trees, snow storms, and wind that rivals the likes of the grand daddy of them all, Chicago! Hello .   .   .  what do you think those ropes along Lake Shore Drive are for .   .   . aesthetics?I know .   .   . I know .   .   .  you are all either scratching your heads, or at the very least shaking them as to where I am headed with my summation of the perils of our present weather predicament .   .   . oh please .   .   . I know how to spot annoyed, disgruntled, or confused readers. Enough said .  .   . time to read on.

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The photo above is my way of refocusing all of your attention from dismal to .  .   . delicious. Phew! Thanks to the person who just yelled .   .   . ” think spring”. Exactly!  Sooo .   .  . here is one of my spring tablescapes, bursting with colors of passion, excitement, innovation, and .   .   . come sit with me for awhile.  .  . and see what I’m bringing to the table ©. This table is covered with a cloth of fuchsia, orange like the glow of a setting sun, touches of gold, silver, and sky blue. I mixed patterns of  dinnerware in high jewel tone colors, and polished off each place setting with stemware in dusty rose and lime green. My absolute favorite cobalt blue for extra special pops of color seen below, in case everyone missed the huge splash of fuchsia! Lol!!!

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Are you looking for a new twist on the same-old, ho-hum table setting? Well look no further .   .   . help is here .   .   . Now on Amazon “a collection of… Tableofferings™ from the go-to expert tablescaper” Available in E-book and HARDCOVER getBook.at/Tableofferings

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For the kiddies in your life “I am sooo Lucky!!!” Series AVAILABLE on AmazonBook1  getBook.at/book1Lucky    Book2   getBook.at/lucky2Book3   getBook.at/Lucky3Remember if you’re a Prime Amazon member you can read for free!Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 4.02.41 PMIMG_761351fjuSEwhWL._SL500_SX250_ 2          Sharon Insul is the former owner of the globally recognized  Beverly Hills boutique Candle light and… Beverly Hills, California, as well as an ongoing contributing columnist for the Beverly Hills Courier Newspaper.
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Dishing it up / with Sharon Insul

Come sit with me for awhile . . .
and see what I’m bringing to the table ®

Pleasssurre! Hmm .   .    . after rolling that word around for a few seconds it conjures up sooo many possibilities.The word pleasure as seen in the dictionary is defined as enjoyment and entertainment, contrasted with things done out of necessity. Well helllo .   .   . I for one am always up for entertainment and enjoyment! What’s your pleasure? A bottle of fine wine, an ice cold pitcher of Sangria heavily laced with summer fruit, a tall frosted glass of cold summer soup, or perhaps your pleasure leans more toward the visual aspect of ‘the table’.


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Umm .   .   . hello .   .   . of course I took the liberty of segueing into tables .   .   . because.   .   . tables are what I do .   .   . remember.  For the summer months I tend to lighten my tablescapes, as well as my menus. Featured below is a tray that holds a drink of your choice and a plate of light summer finger foods to ease you into the evening. I am always on the look out for smaller serving trays that will do double duty for just such an occasion as twilight dining in the garden, on the balcony, or cozied up binge-watching your favorite series, with your person of choice. I have found small trays in the oddest of places, such as super markets in the house wares section, tag sales, flea markets and even hardware stores . Candles??? Of course candles always come into play, whether it’s afternoon tea, cocktails, appetizers on the deck, dinner, or dessert and a glass of delicious port. Candles do more than light the way to ambience, they set the mood as well, by selecting from some of the most amazing and delightful scents of floral, spice, or even scents from the sea.


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Are you looking for a new twist on the same-old, ho-hum table setting? Well look no further, help is here .   .   . Now on Amazon / Barnes & Noble /  IndieBound.org             “a collection of… Tableofferings™ from the go-to expert tablescaper” Available in E-book and HARDCOVER  http://getBook.at/Tableofferings.

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For the kiddies in your life “I am sooo Lucky!!!”  Books 1, 2, & 3 AVAILABLE on …Amazon      Barnes & Noble     IndieBound.orgBook1  http://getBook.at/book1Lucky    Book2   http://getBook.at/lucky2Book3   http://getBook.at/Lucky3Remember if you’re a Prime Amazon member you can read for free!

IMG_7254Sharon Insul is the former owner of the globally recognized Beverly Hills boutique Candle light and… Beverly Hills, California, as well as an ongoing contributing columnist for the Beverly Hills Courier Newspaper.
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Dishing it up / with Sharon Insul

Come sit with me for awhile . . .
and see what I’m bringing to the table ®


I just can’t wait!!! I am telling you . . . the wait is killing me!

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I hope that I’m not disappointed. I have crossed my fingers in hopes that July 4th fireworks will live up to pre-pandemic years. To give this years event a little bit of an edgy upscale vibe, I have decided to go with ‘4th in a box’. People easy .   .   . hang on, let me explain.  Sheesh!!! Rather than do the tried and true 4th of July bar-b-que.   .   . no, no, no .   .   . wait a second .   .  . I just heard someone say OMG .   .  . no old fashioned  bar-b-que ? Whoa .   .   .  it’s not the end of the world. So now that you all have lived through my crushing news of no bar-b-que, let’s move on. As you know, I am constantly trying to stretch my creativity, and in the process also tweak my friends’ anticipation of my new creations!!! This year is going to be a blanket celebration, as in picnic. Yes, yes,  you read it correctly. Sorry (giggling).   .   . I needed a moment to compose myself, because I just imagined the look on a few of your faces, and I think I heard one, or two of you gasp when the word blanket came out. To bring all the fixings to the table/blanket I am going to copy the wonderful art of Furoshiki. Someone just said, the what? Oh ye of little faith, please read on…


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Furoshiki is the wonderful art of gift wrapping with fabric. Anything and everything can be bundled into a square piece of cloth. From cotton to the most elegant of silk ceremonial kimonos, can be used. I am going to bundle each guest’s goodie bag of food into extra large square scarves. For the women each scarf will have a different pattern, and large enough to use as a shawl while watching the fireworks, and as a party favor. And for the men .   .  . hmm .   .   .  how about a cap embroidered with our American flag? A big ice chest will hold the ‘ice cold pauses that refresh’.  The diagram below is pretty simple to follow. To close the opening (#4), slip one knotted end thru the other knotted opening, using the knotted one that you slipped thru much like a strap on a purse.  Have a SUPER, and SAFE  4th of July!!!

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Are you looking for a new twist on the same-old, ho-hum table setting? Well look no further, help is here .   .   . Now on Amazon / Barnes & Noble /  IndieBound.org             “a collection of… Tableofferings™ from the go-to expert tablescaper” Available in E-book and HARDCOVER  http://getBook.at/Tableofferings.

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For the kiddies in your life “I am sooo Lucky!!!”  Books 1, 2, & 3 AVAILABLE on …Amazon      Barnes & Noble     IndieBound.orgBook1  http://getBook.at/book1Lucky    Book2   http://getBook.at/lucky2Book3   http://getBook.at/Lucky3Remember if you’re a Prime Amazon member you can read for free!

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Sharon Insul is the former owner of the globally recognized  Beverly Hills boutique Candle light and… Beverly Hills, California, as well as an ongoing contributing columnist for the Beverly Hills Courier Newspaper.  



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Dishing it up /with Sharon Insul

Come sit with me for awhile . . .
and see what I’m bringing to the table ®

Mangia! Mangia!

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Turn off the news .   .   . turn on your palate!!!We all know that food is imperative for body sustenance. Great. Let’s move on. Now I say.   .   . it’s time to feed our psyche! Ahhhh. Yes! Yes! Yes! I hear your shouts and  giggles. You all know what I’m talking about .   .   .  comfort food .   .   . of course. Comfort food .   .   . you know .   .   . all the goodies that transport you to another place and/or time. Remembering the little café tucked away on a cobblestone street with only four tables graciously covered in crisp white linens. Or how about the picnic basket that was packed by the hotel, filled with the most delicious goodies waiting to be discovered. The plate seen above is filled with sliced mozzarella, tomato with lemon infused olive oil drizzle resting on fresh basil. The side of nuts? Oh that’s easy. Maple glazed pecans sprinkled with lemon zest. Mangia! Mangia!Hmmm. Still in need of more comfort? Perhaps the selection of pastries by candle light featured below will fulfill your psyches sweet side. Bon appétit!!

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Thanks for all of your e-mails … Keep them coming!

Are you looking for a new twist on the same-old, ho-hum table setting? Well look no further .   .   . help is here .   .   . Now on Amazon “a collection of… Tableofferingsfrom the go-to expert tablescaper” Available in E-book and HARDCOVER getBook.at/Tableofferings


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For the kiddies in your life “I am sooo Lucky!!!” Series AVAILABLE on AmazonBook1  getBook.at/book1Lucky    Book2   getBook.at/lucky2Book3   getBook.at/Lucky3

Remember if you’re a Prime Amazon member you can read for free!Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 4.02.41 PMIMG_761351fjuSEwhWL._SL500_SX250_ 2          
Sharon Insul is the former owner of the globally recognized  Beverly Hills boutique Candle light and… Beverly Hills, California, as well as an ongoing contributing columnist for the Beverly Hills Courier Newspaper.
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Dishing it up / with Sharon Insul

Come sit with me for awhile . . .
and see what I’m bringing to the table ®

Looking for “a short period of rest or relief from something difficult or unpleasant” ??? Here’s the perfect respite .   .   . immerse yourself in…

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Now on Amazon  http://amzn.to/2ehlCp4 “a collection of… Tableofferings from the go-to expert tablescaper” Available in E-book and HARDCOVER !

Sharon Insul is the former owner of the globally recognized  Beverly Hills boutique Candle light and… Beverly Hills, California, as well as an ongoing contributing columnist for the Beverly Hills Courier Newspaper.



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dishing it up / with Sharon Insul

Come sit with me for awhile . . .
and see what I’m bringing to the table ®

Looking for sophisticated simplicity, look no further.

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Featured above is one of my takes on a crisp, clean, and simple but elegant tablescape. I always view my potential table settings as if I am about to paint a still life on canvas.  I heard those giggles .   .   . psst .   .   . gigglers .   .   . I didn’t say that I was going to actually paint on canvas .   .   . geez! For this particular still life, my canvas began as a black on black diamond table linen, to which I added pure white fluted dinner plates and a pedestal dish giving this table a stark .   .   . do you see me now .   .   . contrast. Next, I added a layer of polished natural bone plates with their own individual markings straight from Mother Nature. Pale cream colored bone-like decorative handled flatware highlights the stunning artistic horn plates. A hand thrown, black clay oval shaped side dish, with bits of embellished mother of pearl, and matching spoon, sits between two place settings for sharing of a salt-cellar, or other condiments.


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 For a jolt of color, I added Granny Smith apples, and hand-thrown lime colored chalices. For extra eye-candy, I threw a frosted glass sculpture on the table .   .   . o k so I didn’t exactly throw it on the table .   .   . and a felled branch left behind from the high winds this week, as a reminder of yet another spectacular gift from nature.  Oh please .   .   . of course white candles, candles, candles, with plenty of  white holders to flatter. 

Are you looking for a new twist on the same-old, ho-hum table setting? Well look no further help is here .   .   . Now on Amazon / Barnes & Noble /  IndieBound.org             “a collection of… Tableofferings™ from the go-to expert tablescaper” Available in E-book and HARDCOVER  http://getBook.at/Tableofferings.


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For the kiddies in your life “I am sooo Lucky!!!”  Books 1, 2, & 3 AVAILABLE on …Amazon      Barnes & Noble     IndieBound.orgBook1  http://getBook.at/book1Lucky    Book2   http://getBook.at/lucky2Book3   http://getBook.at/Lucky3Remember if you’re a Prime Amazon member you can read for free!


IMG_7254Sharon Insul is the former owner of the globally recognized  Beverly Hills boutique Candle light and… Beverly Hills, California, as well as an ongoing contributing columnist for the Beverly Hills Courier Newspaper.
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dishing it up / with Sharon Insul

Come sit with me for awhile . . .
and see what I’m bringing to the table ®

Like clockwork, Memorial Day falls on the last Monday in May, come rain or shine. A day recognized as a federal holiday dating as far back as May 30, 1868, when it was originally named Decoration Day. A day specifically set aside to honor those that have given their lives for this country.

IMG_5911On a less somber note, Memorial Day weekend has also traditionally signaled the beginning of warm sunny days, laced with trips to the beach, long lazy wildflower filled hikes, pool parties, bar-b-ques, and for the younger set the tingling anticipation of summer camp. For some, the excitement has been building all year toward that long awaited vacation to a far flung and perhaps mysterious destination. For those of you who plan on a home-based stay-cation .  .   . endless possibilities abound!What better way to top off a cold buffet on a hot night than with an iced cappuccino? Sooo simple to prepare. The best possible way to serve iced-coffee is by brewing and refrigerating coffee after it cools .   .   . for the best-of-the-best treat! Start with putting your mixing bowl, and whisk or electric mixer whisks into the freezer for 20 minutes. Make sure that your heavy whipping cream is ice cold as well. For every cold cup of heavy whipping cream, add 2 tbs. either sugar, honey, or artificial sweetner all in the same ice-cold bowl. Set your electric beater on high for approximately 1 minute, until medium to stiff peaks form. You can refrigerate this yummy treat in an airtight container for about 10 hours. When ready to use just hand whisk to refresh for about 10-15 seconds. For the adventure in all of you .   .   . I suggest stepping out-of- the-box and putting your creative mode in-gear! Lol! I was just asked for some creative input .   .   . Phew! Yes, yes, yes, I thought you would never ask!!! Here are a few off the top of my brain .   .   . a splash of bourbon, a dash of cocoa powder, and yes, even tequila! Please note a few extra whisking seconds may be needed when adding any additional liquid.No, no, no, that’s not all of my list but .   .   . hellllooo .   .   . It’s time for all of you want to be DIY graduates to step up and .   .   . play!
depositphotos_45394003-stock-photo-irish-coffeeNow on Amazon  http://amzn.to/2ehlCp4 “a collection of… Tableofferings from the go-to expert tablescaper” Available in E-book and HARDCOVER !FOR THE KIDDIES in your life …It’s all about those adorable sisters! Listen to my children’s books live radio interview bit.ly/29QSJPd
I am sooo Lucky!!!  AVAILABLE NOW on Amazon http://amzn.to/1qh38ZfRemember if you’re a Prime Amazon member you can read for free!

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 4.02.41 PMIMG_761351fjuSEwhWL._SL500_SX250_ 2          Sharon Insul is the former owner of the globally recognized  Beverly Hills boutique Candle light and… Beverly Hills, California, as well as an ongoing contributing columnist for the Beverly Hills Courier Newspaper.
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dishing it up / with Sharon Insul

Come sit with me for awhile . . .
and see what I’m bringing to the table ®

Do you have sand in your shoes? Noooo .   .   .  not the kind that has you itching to travel.

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I’m talking about the kind that gets between your toes. Yes .  .   . that kind of sand. Don’t you just love the feel of your feet digging into warm sand? I do. However, when it comes to my dining room, I prefer the sand to be more visual then tactile.  Hmm .   .   .  what to do, what to do? In order to bring the beach to my urban abode, and ultimately to the delight of my guests I added tons of candles in various sizes,  some of my beach collected sea shells, and a mix of glass containers. When adding candles to a table setting please remember to go ‘low to keep the flow’. Now people I need you to zoom-in to the photo above and check out my “quasi ” sand. Yay .   .   . I just heard many of you say, I see it!!! OMG, I love it when most of you are paying attention. Exactly! White rice. Yup .   .   . a five pound bag of Chinese white rice from the super market for a whopping investment of two/ three dollars. It’s o k  .   .   . I’m not in a hurry .   .   . I’ll wait for the rest of you to check it out .   .   . no rush. To pull off my ‘quasi’ beach night I dug out my mother-of-pearl dishes shown below, and mixed them with mother-of-pearl-looking silverware. For those who must have actual sand I topped off each place setting with hourglasses that stand about 4 inches tall. Must run, because times running out before my guests arrive.

DSCN1302Are you looking for a new twist on the same-old, ho-hum table setting? Well look no further, help is here .   .   . Now on Amazon / Barnes & Noble /  IndieBound.org             “a collection of… Tableofferings™ from the go-to expert tablescaper” Available in E-book and HARDCOVER  http://getBook.at/Tableofferings.
img_6720For the kiddies in your life “I am sooo Lucky!!!”  Books 1, 2, & 3 AVAILABLE on …Amazon      Barnes & Noble     IndieBound.orgBook1  http://getBook.at/book1Lucky    Book2   http://getBook.at/lucky2Book3   http://getBook.at/Lucky3Remember if you’re a Prime Amazon member you can read for free!
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Sharon Insul is the former owner of the globally recognized  Beverly Hills boutique Candle light and… Beverly Hills, California, as well as an ongoing contributing columnist for the Beverly Hills Courier Newspaper.
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