Fall Harvest - Going Green

An inviting entrance to the Stephens' house on Shook Hill. An old plant barrell sits adjacent to the front door with an abundance of fall foliage - leaves, wheat, millet, lotus pods. An arrangement like this can dry and be used year after year - a very green way to decorate.


End of Summer Smash

I was inspired by a cocktail that I had out in Santa Monica about a month ago. It was the most refreshing and interesting drink that I had drank in a long time. It was a Blackberry Smash - citron vodka, blackberries, mint, sour mix and blackberry liquor. I ran with the blackberry theme and dug up an old beer stein that was my grandmother's. It was adorned with what -- how convenient blackberries! I used deep purple and brown napkins and drew from some colors on the pitcher to pick out my serving pieces. I filled the stein with wheat colored giant mums and purple glads. In my bar area I filled my Jan Barboglio piece with purple glads and sunflowers.
For the party I served appetizers and the blackberry smashes. I had seared scallops on parmesean crisps, cheese wafers, pork & bell pepper skewers, artichoke leaves with aioli, and bruchetta. It was a smash! Wish you had been there!


Simon Pearce Window

I wanted to accent the blue in Simon's new signature pottery line. I found this super cool fabric that looks like it's handpainted at Hancock's. I gave it a fall flair with some oak branches that conveniently fell out of my tree at house the night before. From Vermont, they send all the wooden shaping tools that they use in making the glass. I was so luckily to be able to use those in my display. They also send a blowing rod (not sure if that is the technical term)! White pumpkins and brown leaves also accent Simon's beautiful glass and pottery. I can't wait for Simon to see it on Oct. 7!


Rosh Hasannah

Every year for Rosh Hasannah my client likes to use all white. What a celebratory color! The white lilies, snaps, irises and mums make a striking statement in her towering Jan Barboglio iron piece.


I Heart One Kings Lane

I love my new Thomas Paul pillows...courtesy of http://www.onekingslane/. Scott Free!!
If you haven't checked out One Kings Lane. Please do...it is the typical online sample sale equivilent to Gilt..except it is for home accessories. The sales last about 2 days and they email you what the sale of the day is every morning.
I've also scored some JA Henckels knives and some Hable Pillows. If you need me to send you the link to join let me know.


Attempt #1 - Carol's Iced Sugar Cookies

The past two Sundays my boyfriend and I have been attempting to perfect his mother's Sugar cookie and icing recipe. I don't know if I would have done so well in pastry school. It looks like a 2nd grader did these.
I will say the ones we did last week turned out much better...however... I have no picture..no proof. We did sailboats, trains and cars.


Dip Free Hors D'Ouerve

I found this recipe on epicurious.com . One of my favorite sites of all times. I have been looking for something that doesn't involve chips or crackers for an Hors D'Ouervre as I have been low carb-ing it this summer. This Spicy Marinated Mozzarella with Oregano and Capers was a hit. Ingredients:

12 ounces fresh water-packed mozzarella cheese, drained, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons capers, chopped

Overlap cheese slices on medium platter.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and crushed pepper and stir just until garlic begins to color, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in oregano, salt, and pepper. Cool. Stir in capers and remaining 4 tablespoons oil. Spoon over cheese slices.
Offer with artichoke hearts, olives, and salami.


To Buy or Not to Buy that is the question...

I need a new sofa! I really do...this isn't just a want. But I have a problem...I let my dog get on my furniture...mistake number one. So I now need to train him to not do so.
I feel in love with this sofa at market. I has a pretty average appearance from this looks of this photo, but It is beautiful. It is deep, it has down fill and is just the right size. And I can get it wholesale...am I silly to still be comtemplating this?


Decorator's showhouse

We decorated the kitchen in Manoir Minette. It was quite a challenge since we had lots of elements that we had to work around. One being the Eva Gordon chair rail tile in addition to the pink washed cabinets and dark green granite.
On the central island, I did a large arrangement of succulents in a Fortunata italian urn. The cielings were tall and we had lots of counterspace to fill, so this was the answer to our design.
On the breakfast table we picked a limewashed oak table that was round. We used Frances Palmer dishes and Arte Italica glassware.


Preparing Flowers for YoYo Ma

This morning came early. I was up and on my way to Davis Wholesale at 6:30 am. I am working with a pallete of white and purples - mainly focusing on the many hues of purple. I purchased long stem white tulips, purple fringed tulips,

white hydrangeas, purple sweet peas and cobalt hyacinths.

Dog Party Favors

Party Favors too cute not to photograph!!


Dinner Party for Yo Yo Ma

I've been asked to plan a dinner party for Yo Yo Ma while he is in town performing at the Symphony! It will be a small late evening dinner party for 6 at 10pm at the Residence of Gloria Moody. I've just met with Ms. Moody and We've selected the dinnerware and table linens. We are using Juliska Thread and Berry white chargers and dinner plates. The table linens will be a cool color palette of grays and beiges. The runner is an open cut work floral design in taupe silk. The napkins are a solid steel color in a Venezia fabric tied with a Juliska blown glass berry napkin ring. More to come later...Dinner party is April 2.

Parker Madness

Parker's 3rd Birthday is Saturday night and I am in the final stages of planning for the big party. The theme was an inspiration from the Dollar Tree last night. I found some great basketball paraphernalia. I'm playing off of March Madness with a basketball theme. I have rope basketball frisbees for the pups and basketball buckets for the kids. The food is all going to be variations of foods at a basketball game - pizza, nachos, wings, hot dogs, popcorn...with a little twist!!


Benjamin Moore Vail Mist

So my big project that I'm trying to accomplish before Parker's birthday party is painting the guest bedroom. After putting up many samples on the walls, I selected Vail Mist - a grey, green color. I'm painting at night so that I can get it all done within the weekend. Will publish finished pics later!


Orbee Tuff Fruit And Veggie Toys

These are the best, most indestructible dog toys ever. Parker has had the artichoke for about a year and the eggplant since Christmas. He can be very destructive...stuffed toys are usually gone in about 1 minute. These toys don't even show signs of wear either. I highly recommend. I can't wait for them to come out with more and then I can just have a fruit and vegetable basket for Parker -- instead of his basket of unsightly ripped and torn stuffed animals and rope toys. The vegetables are very aesthetically pleasing...a plus for those trying to have a good looking house with a live in dog! There is apparently a new little raspberry out for small dogs. I have seen it online...check planet dogs site. http://www.planetdog.com . These toys are also Eco-friendly and made in the US.


Le Creuset in Colorado..Who Knew

So I seem to have this inate ability to find unbelieveably fabulous things in bizarre places. Sure If I had planned on going to Keystone the first day, I could have look through some guide books or done a little research online to determine where I was going to be shopping or what I was going to be shopping for, but I didn't know until I got there of these plans. That is fine...I don't have to plan every minute of every trip. So I go into to Keystone with my friends, we get some breakfast and then I walk around a little (seeing there isn't much around anyways and usually most things at the slopes are about 4 times as much than at a normal place). We had passed an Outlet center in Silverthorne, so I opted to go back there and check things out. Low and behold, there is a Le Creuset outlet! I have been wanting a french oven. This new color, bisque, it isn't as boring and gray as it seems at first. It has undertones on lavender in it. It is really a pretty color and so different than all of their other electric colors. It suits me and my kitchen better. I got this normally priced $350 piece for a mere $125. I call that a deal and they will ship. I also opted to get the neoprene grippers that fir precisely on the handles. For $5, I definitely recommend. Go to Le Cresuet in Silverthorne, you won't be disappointed.

Entertaining in Colorado

Where ever I may I go...I like to entertain and have a good time. Every winter I go to Beaver Creek, Co with a group of friends. We are very fortunate to have this wonderful house to stay in (Thanks to the Hughes). And the advantage to this is the mere fact that I have a fully stocked kitchen and a great entertaining space. I unfortunately am not allowed to ski (since having both knees reconstructed at the age of 20). I kind of look at that as a plus though. I get to do my own thing during the day...see the next post. I cook during the afternoon and have hors d'oeurves ready when the skiers get home from the slopes and soon after a great warm meal. I tried out a number of recipes this trip. My favorites being - French Onion and Shitake Mushroom Soup, Easy Ice Cream Pie and a Chicken Picata over Angel hair. Also side note for those wine drinkers, the best place to buy wine is a place called beaver creek liquors. The wine is down in the cellar and waiting at the bottom of stairs is a lovely and knowledgeable sommelier. He's not pretentious; he is really incredibly helpful more than anything. Go there you won't be disappointed. And call me if you are going on a trip and want me to tag along to make your trip more laid back and enjoyable.


Kitchen Cabinets

So at some point of the evening of Sidney's Birthday, we began talking about the color of my kitchen cabinets. And yes it was something I had mixed specially for my kitchen. It is a Benjamin Moore paint. The walls I painted in 1501 with the following combination of colors : 2 x 28 -OY, RX-1, 1 x 6 . BK. I then had to mix a new high gloss finish for the cabinets. I'll have to find that can and get the mixture combo.


Cupcakes and Champagne Part II

So the table is set and I'm ready for the party to begin. Drawing from the beautiful color of the invitation, I used a color palette of lavender, white and brown for the dinner festivities. The place mats are by Deborah Rhodes: Color Brown/Burnt - Style: Looped Edge. And yes, new dinner plates - Arte Italica Lino. The napkins are a lush (but machine washable silk) in light violet by ABH New York. The water tumblers were a gift from my Atlanta friend's last year. They are a brown smoky color with a fleur di lis and hobnail detail. And new flatware too - Lucia by Match Pewter...I'm in love!!! The stage is now set for this party - now we just need to start pouring the bubbly!! Cheers! Happy Birthday Sid!


Cupcakes and Champagne

So a few weeks ago, I graciously offered to host my dear friend Sidney's birthday. The plan was a small dinner for 6-8 and then a second round of people to come for Cupcakes and Champagne. A few weeks passed by - New Years came and went, then I went to market and now all of a sudden the party is almost upon us! Where does the time go? But not to worry...I never panic. We printed the invites and got them mailed last week (thanks to Brooke's help).

And now for the most important part - planning the party

  • Dinner: Something simple - due to the 2 different rounds of people. I'm thinking Lemon Poppy seed Chicken Casserole (like ole Letha used to make at the Phi Mu house) and baby spinach salad with crasins, almonds and a homemade vinaigrette.

  • Set-up: Here comes the tricky part...so I can comfortably seat 8 inside. And well the number for dinner is 9 somehow. So it looks like I might have to separate the party a bit unfortunately. Six in the dining room and 3 at the kitchen table.

  • Champagne: All of the girls from dinner will be bringing a bottle or two since we are expecting a crowd of 30 plus women.

  • Cupcakes:Brooke offers generously to make. Sounds like it is chocolate, lemon and coconut on the menu! Hmm.

More later... as I start setting the table and arranging for the dual party!