The anticipation grows as the year's quickly coming to an end, but I know better than to take anything for granted. But that doesn't stop me from hoping that it will happen again this year. When the doorbell rings and I see the delivery man holding a shopping bag from Sprinkles, I can't help but smile. In that moment, I'm so excited that once again I'll be able to indulge in amazing cupcakes, pushing the calories out of my mind, convincing myself that it's a sweet treat to celebrate not only a New Year, but a very special relationship.

You see, the giver of this wonderful New Year gift is Kris Kleis, the graphic artist that Black and I first started working with when she designed our bestselling book, which is now over a decade ago. But rather than focusing on how many years have passed and how quickly they have flown by, it reminds me of how lucky we are to have Kris in our lives.

Of course, Black receives her own delivery of cupcakes, and how she manages the temptation I'll never know, as her dedication to remaining a size 2 is almost incomprehensible. Although she did mention that one of the many reasons why cupcakes are so popular is because they're the epitome of portion control. But for me, cupcakes don't need to be analyzed – just enjoyed. And Kris's New Year cupcakes are even more special as they're a sweet reminder of another year of us working together … and one of the reasons I look forward to them every year. Plus, who doesn't love cupcakes?!

Normally, you shred important papers before trashing them … not expensive art after selling it.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Red will admit that she's never been into art, except for the Tudor paintings section of the National Portrait Gallery in London, but that's because she loves Tudor history. And although she's been to plenty of art museums, they were more to "tick off" places on her tourist "to do" list than a genuine desire to see the art. That even includes the Mona Lisa at The Louvre in Paris! (When in Paris, Black was content to go to the Louvre-Rivoli Metro station as the platforms themselves were decorated with art replicas found inside the Louvre Museum.)

Black can't remember when she first became interested in contemporary art, although it went to a whole new level when her second husband asked her to acquire an investment-quality collection. In typical Black fashion, she not only researched the art market and worked with an art consultant, but became friends with several leading artists with whom she shared a mutual passion … cars and racing.

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We thought this would be the perfect question to run on National Boss's Day.


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Oh yes, definitely! Without question, that would be Black. In fact, on more than one occasion, I've been known to refer to her as The Boss (and I'm not talking about Bruce Springsteen). It's usually me kidding around and saying something along the lines of "I'll have to check with The Boss." (Even my daughters have heard me refer to their aunt that way, and they've never questioned me, so there must be some agreement, at least in my family, about who's the boss.)

To a great extent, it may be because if you were to compare our bios, I don't think my background as a mom prepared me to be a businesswoman, although Black has tried to convince me otherwise. On the other hand, Black's bio makes it painfully obvious she's "all business" so better suited to be "the boss."


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It depends on how you define "boss." If you are referring to who owns more of the company, I hold 1% more than Red, which technically means I have more "authority". And, I will admit that as the older sister, I have more practice being bossy (especially as she has always tried to avoid conflict), but when it comes to business, I value teamwork. Red has a perspective and background very different than mine (that is an understatement!), but the key is acknowledging that – and learning from one another in order to make the best business decisions.

The bottom line is there would be no Red & Black … without Red or without Black. It is truly a partnership.
Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash


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I can't believe that Halloween's almost here, and the house isn't already decorated. Can I use the fact this is the first year I'm an empty nester as an excuse?


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Does that mean that you are not going to decorate?


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No! But without Sawyer home asking about it or prodding me by pulling the decorations out of the garage, it's still just sitting on my "to do" list. But fall is my favorite time of year, and I love seeing the house with all the Halloween decorations, so it will happen.


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I would think you could just put out the inflatables and be done with it.
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