A winner and a Which would you choose?

Happy New Year’s eve friends!!! I have a great feeling about 2016 and believe it’s going to be the best year yet…..hope whatever you are doing to ring in the new year is lots of fun and festive.

While I am away I scheduled various posts, ?and I’m very happy that so far everything has posted on time (This will be my last post until Sunday or Monday).

?First order of business is to crown a winner of my Holiday Love contest..not an easy task with so many incredible pictures. ?And please let me take this last opportunity to thank each and everyone of you for sending in your incredible pictures, it was a beautiful way to extend the holiday magic. ?So without further ado , ?its time to crown the winner-

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?Congratulations to ?this amazingly festive picture!

hlkerry

Please contact me at theenchantedhome@gmail.com to claim your prize and provide your shipping details.

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I will follow up once I am back with a proper post to honor the new year along with my own bucket list but in the meantime….one of my favorite sponsors, Decor Market is brimming with so many incredible finds from furniture to accents, pillows to every rug under the sun all at prices that I seriously do not think you can beat anywhere.

*****FOR ENCHANTED HOME READERS ONLY- use code “enchanted” for an extra 20% off*****

They are offering an EXTRA 20% off of any purchase, can’t think of a better time to buy than now! So today’s which would you choose is a compilation of some of my favorite finds from them, a few I have gotten and a few that I have selected for e design customers. Your turn…which two are your favorite?

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CHOICE 1 This fabulous rug you might remember I chose for my showhouse space! Extra 25% off now! Click here

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CHOICE 2 Isn’t this a beauty, have an edesign client considering this for her master redo, click here

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CHOICE 3 Where on earth can you find TWO dining chairs for $369! Click here
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CHOICE 4 This is one of my all time favorite chandeliers, literally this could be used in any room, click here

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CHOICE 5 A linen tufted ottoman for $309…sold! Click here

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CHOICE 6 An entire patio set for under $700…..amazing, and so good looking! Click here

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CHOICE 7 Isn’t think Oushak rug a beauty! Love the soft muted color palette, click here

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CHOICE 8 There is nothing not to love about this stunning TV console…love the color, design, styling, gorgeous! Click here

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CHOICE 9? Can you believe these are 2 for $399! I used them for my showhouse and they are FABULOUS! Click here

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CHOICE 10 Isn’t this a beautiful coffee table? The antiqued mirror makes this so stunning, click here

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CHOICE 11? Had to do a doubletake….this bench is $199! Click here

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CHOICE 12? Such a good looking arm chair in a favorite color too:) Click here

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So many beauties and at such incredible prices…..think after we have all been such good elves thinking of everyone else on our list..its time to think of ourselves:) Click here to see more from Decor Market.? So your turn to choose, which are your favorite?

Pick two…..and hope you have yourself a wonderful day:) Wishing everyone a fabulous start to a new year, being a lover 0f even numbers, I just know this is going to be a fabulous year!! This will be it until I am back in the office on Jan. 2nd, so until then…….

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The Holiday Love showdown is on!

Hi friends….so you have spoken and have chosen two favorites from my Holiday Love contest….there were many to love but in the end only two could make it to this point.

I want to first say thank you so very much for sending in all of your beautiful pictures, I really enjoyed getting a peek into your gorgeous homes and seeing how you celebrate the holidays….it was most inspiring.

Thank you to all who voted too, here is your last “task” to vote for your top fave so we can crown a winner tomorrow. Ready? Let’s go…….(voting will be on for two days and a winner will be announced on Thurs, Dec.31st)-

 

CHOICE 1

HLSTACY

 

 

CHOICE 2

 

hlkerry

 

Both such beautiful pictures? I know it’s a tough choice . ?They both exemplify what holiday love really is all about . ?Many thanks to everyone who sent in your fabulous pictures,

I so enjoyed seeing each and everyone of them .Until Thursday……thanks again. Hope everyone is enjoying their post holiday week? Hard to believe we are just a few days away from starting 2016 !

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Holiday Love round 2!

Hi there, really crossing my fingers these posts on time! So here we are with round 2, another batch of incredible beauty and holiday inspiration. I am not surprised at what good taste my readers have by now, but it is always suffice to say,? a treat!

I am officially inspired (for next year) lol. I am pretty much over the holidays, did the most I possibly could but ready to put a wrap on 2015 and look ahead to all the exciting things that will happen in 2016:)

Without further ado, here is round 2 of Holiday Love. Remember you can vote for your two top faves!

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CHOICE 1

hldana

CHOICE 2

hljilll

CHOICE 3

hlursula

CHOICE 4

hlcharlotte

CHOICE 5

hljillak

CHOICE 6

hlkathy

CHOICE 7

cary

CHOICE 8

hldanna

CHOICE 9

HPJEAN

CHOICE 10

HPJUDY

CHOICE 11

HLJENNIFER

CHOICE 12

hlkerr

CHOICE 13

hljess

CHOICE 14

hlkerry

CHOICE 15

hltamm

CHOICE 16

hlkerry

CHOICE 17

hltamme

CHOICE 18

ehpat

CHOICE 19

hlrossa

CHOICE 20

hlrosa

CHOICE 21

HLELEE

CHOICE 22

HLNICOCLE

CHOICE 23

HLELE

CHOICE 24

hlkerry3

CHOICE 25

ehkareen

CHOICE 26

ehkarne

CHOICE 27

HPJUDY2

CHOICE 28

hldiannnn

CHOICE 29

hldianne

CHOICE 30

hljeandn

CHOICE 31

hljoanna

CHOICE 32

hljoseph

CHOICE 33

hljenn

CHOICE 34

hljessica

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I recognize it is not an easy decision……so many beautiful and festive pictures! So you know the drill, choose your two faves. I will announce a showdown round tomorrow and then a grand prize winner will be selected on Thursday. Thank you for stopping, wishing you a wonderful day. Until next time……

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Holiday Love round 1!

Hi friends! So happy to be here with the Holiday Love contest and as I am away while this posts, really hoping it will post on time! So today will be round 1, voting will end Tuesday morning and round 2 will start. On Wednesday morning, a finalist from each round will compete in the showdown.

A winner will be announced on Thursday! I was so excited to see all of the amazing entries… I was floored at the beauty and talent of my readers.Thank you for sending and thanks to all who vote. Ready to begin, remember you can choose your two faves:)

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CHOICE 1

HLSTACY2

CHOICE 2

HLSTACY

CHOICE 3

hldsw

CHOICE 4

hllinda

CHOICE 5

hllina

CHOICE 6

hlmaaion

CHOICE 7

Coffee-Table-filled-with-books-and-gorgeous-white-poinsettia

CHOICE 8

hlmaion

CHOICE 9

hlmarr

CHOICE 10

hlcarr

CHOICE 11

hlmary

CHOICE 12

hlsharonn

CHOICE 13

hlsharon

CHOICE 14

hlsuellis

CHOICE 15

hlfay

CHOICE 16

hlgewena

CHOICE 17

hlsusan

CHOICE 18

hlderry

CHOICE 19

hlssaun

CHOICE 20

hlkim

CHOICE 21

hlclay

CHOICE 22

hlbarba

CHOICE 23

hlbarb

CHOICE 24

hlpatt

CHOICE 25

hlpat

CHOICE 26

hlkarne

CHOICE 27

hlkaren

CHOICE 28

hpkarne

CHOICE 29

hlsusan

CHOICE 30

hlnicole

CHOICE 31

hlaprill

CHOICE 32

hlmargar

CHOICE 33

hljeandn

CHOICE 34

hljoanna

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No one said this would be easy…..I had to scroll up and down several times! OK your turn, remember you can vote for your two top faves. Thank you again to all who participated…be back tomorrow with round 2. Have a wonderful day!

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Merry merry Christmas!

Hello friends and Merry Christmas! I cannot believe Christmas 2015 is here. Our plans changed yet again and we are in fact home this Christmas but leaving to go away bright and early tomorrow morning. Since we will not be here there will no Seven on Sunday so I am announcing the winner of the jar today, so congratulations goes to…..

#1 KAREN PHILLIPS

Please contact me at theenchantedhome@gmail.com to claim your prize!

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This was definitely a season of “last minute changes”. I succumbed to it though and just went with it. Even down to last night, Christmas eve. Normally we have a lot of family in so it’s a big and fun night (this year we are celebrating Christmas together a few days late:)

Since we were a small group we were going to go out last night but something about it felt so strange so at 2pm I decided to cook a full out turkey dinner, I even quickly set up the breakfast room to make it look festive in a blue and white way…..and let’s not forget it was 74 degrees yesterday!

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As night crept in, I added little votives for a bit of holiday ambiance:)

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Mr Teddy supervising from afar…

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Just want to wish everyone a wonderful, healthy and safe holiday with those you love. May the magic of the season be yours today and throughout the coming year!

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I am so grateful for your friendship and support…you make what I do so much fun! I cannot believe it’s been four years since this adventure began….I feel like the best is yet to come and am so happy you will be there alongside me to enjoy the ride:)

I? will be checking in every now and then so this is a kind of newsletter:) I included some links to old posts that you? may or may not have seen in my absence, these are some of my absolute favorites just in case you miss me:) I also have the contest scheduled to start this week along with a few other posts.? I will be back next week.? Merry merry!

Some favorites…..

If you missed my Christmas decor for 2015 click here for part one and here for part two

A fun throwback to my home building- http://enchantedhome.com/2011/03/things-i-am-loving-thursdays-and-house-update-4/

Nirvana in Napa- http://enchantedhome.com/2011/03/nirvana-in-napa-2/

Come on in…to my kitchen- http://enchantedhome.com/2014/05/come-kitchen/

Some enchanted evening- http://enchantedhome.com/?s=some+enchanted+evening

Gotham in the house!- http://enchantedhome.com/?s=gotham

Beach house chic- http://enchantedhome.com/2011/03/beach-house-chic-2/

Project lower level part 1- http://enchantedhome.com/?s=lower+level

White marble in all its wonderful white- http://enchantedhome.com/2011/03/white-marble-in-all-its-wonderous-white-glory/

 

AND A? FEW FYI’S –

The HOLIDAY LOVE contest has been scheduled (fingers crossed) and will begin on Monday, Dec. 27th (round one), followed by round two on Dec. 28th. A showdown round will start on Dec. 29th and a winner to be announced on Dec. 30th!

The container arrived….finally:) I have a small crew working tirelessly on unloading and sorting it and getting orders out in the order they were received. We have many, many? orders to get out the door so that will take a few days. I expect by Dec. 30th for all orders to have shipped. Thank you for your patience!

The chinoiserie tole container is on its way and should be here by Jan. 6th I will be holding a 2 day presale sometime around Jan.3rd as many of you have asked.

This week will be about the contests, then I have another post scheduled to post next week. That will be it until I return. Wishing you a wonderful and relaxing Christmas break, until next time……

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Christmas 2015-part 2…..

Hi friends! I just cannot believe it’s Wednesday and almost Christmas eve! Let’s not even talk about the fact that we are hovering close to 68 degrees today and its raining cats and dogs when it should really be around 35 and snowy, wintry and Christmas-y:(

I am going to crack open a bottle of champagne tonight to celebrate all of my elf duties officially being complete woo hoo! That means the gifts are bought, the decorations are hung, the meals are planned and frankly whatever is not done shall remain:) This little elf is officially off duty!

In any case, here I am with more of my holiday pictures, random shots from my foyer to giftwrapping to more holiday decor….very little narration necessary:) If you missed part 1 click here. And here we go……

 

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The foyer

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Our Christmas tree!

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The hallways were decked, didn’t got too crazy but it felt elegantly festive….

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A hallway chest..

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In the lower level didn’t do much, added a bunch of greens and sugar cones to a dough bowl in the fireplace, a potted amaryllis and a pair of nutcrackers on the bar….easy peasy!

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In the living room….

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A few “food scenes” as I was preparing…..didn’t get a chance to snap any pictures after this, got too busy playing hostess!

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Some of my wrapped presents…
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This was about the only DIY I took on this season but it was a pretty one:) I buy oversized plain wood letters and give them a quick spray paint of gold or glitter and use a hot glue gun to create a very personalized gift…..

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Then I add an embellishment like a few little gold balls, a bit of greenery or pine cone….

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And last but not least my front door, which was the poster child for magnolia! I mixed in some greens? and large sugar cones and called it a day!

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And added these small evergreens with pine clippings on top of the columns for the side yard-

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And here is a sneak peek at the newly installed and completed gates…really love the way they came out:)
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And here is a recap of what I am taking away from Christmas 2015-

  • Be prepared- you will start to hear me talk about Christmas in Sept 2016, I am determined to be an early bird!
  • I will start making my lists, buy gifts when I see them even if its 3 months early
  • My goal will be to get my home decorated immediately after Thanksgiving (over the span of a week)
  • I have learned that I do best when I stick to a schedule and when I approach a job in stages, so realistically I can do it all over a week’s time
  • I will order wreaths, garland and fresh tree by end of Nov
  • Will have all my giftwrap and anything I need for it squared away by Thanksgiving
  • I WILL order my Christmas cards in November!! I cannot deal with another stressful year of scrambling at the last minute
  • I WILL take a family picture in the summer of 2015 with the intention to use it for Christmas
  • I WILL plan my fiends and family Christmas party and start working on it during the summer and send a save the date card so I can’t change my mind:)
  • I will continue my allegiance to use sugar cones, paper whites (best holiday value in my book) and white amaryllis with lots of fresh greens
  • I will NOT be stuck having to pay for overnight shipping for any gifts because I waited too long!
  • I will remember to try and savor the real meaning of the season- because the best gifts under the tree are being surrounded by those you love and who love you back:)

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And on that note, as we all gather with our loved ones to celebrate this most beautiful holiday, I hope your elf duties are officially over, that you can put your feet up (hopefully in front of a roaring fire) even if like here,? it’s going to be 70 degrees….one word, strange!

Open up a bottle of wine or bubbly and cheers to the holiday and a great year ahead! Thank you for stopping by, will post Christmas day to officially wish you a Merry Christmas. Until then…..

PS The blue and white container sale ends tomorrow morning…some things are sold out but there are bits and pieces still available. Click here to visit:)

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Long awaited blue and white container is arriving, 2 day promo and giveaway!

Hi there! I interrupt my usual holiday posts with breaking news…the long awaited porcelain container is finally arriving as we speak plus a great giveaway (details at bottom)! It will be unpacked tomorrow morning and orders will start shipping tomorrow afternoon. Thank you to all who patiently waited, I assure it….well worth the wait:)

I am very excited as this container is filled with many incredible new items but bringing back some sold out favorites too. If you have been a very good little elf this holiday season, maybe treat yourself to something pretty or perhaps you missed out on the first go around.

As I do with every container, I offer them up for a two day special promotion when the container actually arrives (some items are sold out and we got more of certain things than what I previously was expecting).

The presale orders and any backorders? from Nov.18th? are shipping out in the order they were received, tomorrow afternoon the first 30 or so orders will ship, another batch on Friday and then Monday will be the final batch. This is your last chance to get these gorgeous and I do mean gorgeous porcelains at rock bottom presale prices…you will not find these prices anywhere. After the holidays these items will be on the online shop but at slightly higher prices (still far less than full retail!

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?Special opportunity on until Thursday morning, Dec. 24th.? These go fast so act quickly, please read over the guidelines before you submit an order-

  • Email your order to the enchantedhome@gmail.com using item numbers only
  • Some items are sold out
  • Please be patient, the response to these is huge, we do our very best to answer and acknowledge orders as quickly as we possibly canved
  • Please refer only to item numbers not description
  • You will get a prompt email indicating if we can or cannot fulfill your order
  • If we can an invoice will soon follow via paypal, payments are due within 12 hours no exceptions
  • Shipping is extra and all items are final sale
  • Shipping and giveaway only to the U.S. for this promo
  • Email any questions to theenchantedhome@gmail.com

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And now let the fun begin……sit down (trust me)? and take a break, there is a lot to see!

ITEM 1. Fabulous foo dog fishbowl, incredible design as well as on the outer rim, beautiful rim detailing, with outside “rings”,? measures? 16.5″ x 17″ $190.00

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ITEM 2. Stunning dragon jar fishbowl with beautiful rim? detailing and outside “rings” . Measures 16.5″ x 17″ $190.00

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ITEM 3. Fabulous figurines straight fishbowl, elegant rings complete this fabulous piece. Measures 17″ x 16.5″ $165.00

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ITEM 4- Elegant x large garden stool, isn’t this a beauty! Measures 20″ x 13″ $210.00

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ITEM 5. Love this square based vase! Elegant and stately large flower vase, even with nothing it stands on its own but imagine with a big spray of flowers or blossoms! Measures 17″ x 6.5′ and is $118.00 today

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ITEM 6. Mid sized dragon jar, fabulous piece, slightly antiqued design is on entire body of jar, so elegant! Measures 17″ x 8″ $140.00

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ITEM 7. Love this jar, such a pretty design which is on the entire body of the jar. Measures 16.5″ x 8″ $130.00

emperorjarpair

ITEM 8. How regal looking is this gorgeous flower vase? Always drawn to anything with pheasants on them…measures 24″ x 10″ and is $120.00 on promo

largephesantjar

ITEM 9. The stunning large blue and white foo dogs are back by popular demand. Talk about making a statement! These measure 16″ x 11.5′ and are $140.00 for the pair

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ITEM 10. White foo dogs are back too….great size and so decorative. Measures 11″ x 8″ and are $115.00 for the pair

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ITEM 11. And how about these mini foo dogs? Aren’t these the cutest….perfect for any vignette or to use as bookends. Offered in 6 colors, measures 6″ x 4″ ,? they are $50.00 for the pair (except the blue an white which are $60)

11A. Pale gray

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11B. Navy blue

bluefoo

11C. Pale blue

greenbluefoo

11D. Moss green

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11E. Pale celadon green

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11F. White

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11G. Blue and white minis (these are $60)

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ITEM 12. These jars are magnificent and are very special exact replicas of the originals from the 16th century.The colors are out of this world beautiful.? Measures 17″ tall and about 11″ wide at it’s widest. $192.00 on promo (only 6 available)

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u4rfvnnamed aa33unnamed unnacc3333med ccoounnamed

ITEM 13. Another variation of the colored ginger jar above, very special pieces. Limited quantities of these, measures 17″x 11″ ? $190.00

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unnamef33ad unnameff33d udd55nnamed

ITEM 14. Amazing figurines chunky? ginger jar, topped beautifully with foo dog top. Measures 16″ x 10″ and are $140.00

FIGA FIFF bird

ITEM 15. Love these mid sized vases, perfect for chests, consoles, end tables…measures 16″. $75.00 per jar or $135 for the pair! One for you and one for a friend:)

15A. Figurines

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unnameffd unnaaa33med

15B. Pheasants

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pheasant PHE2

ITEM 16. Chunky ginger jar open pattern, wonderful size, gorgeous open design, measures 16″ x 10″ and are $140

SMCHUNK

SMCHNK2 SMCHUNK1

ITEM 17. Incredible chunky ginger jar featuring birds/pheasants, beautiful foo dog completes this wonderful jar. $145.00

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ITEM 18. Beautiful hexagon planters are back! 9″ X 14″ $80.00

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ITEM 19. The pagodas are back! Sold by the pair these darling little pagodas are a perfect finishing detail or great for bookmarks too! Measures 8″ x? 3.5″ $60.00 for the pair

pagoda3 pagoda1 pagoda2

ITEM 20. The gorgeous pair of bird ginger jars are back! Measures 17.5″ x 10.5″ $280 for the pair

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ITEM 21. This beauty is coming back too….measures 18″x 10″ $135.00

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ITEM 22. As is this smaller planter, so great for so many things, orchids, topiaries, holiday plants,etc….12″ x 5.5″ $75.00

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ITEM 23. The most beautiful oval scalloped planter, planters simply do not get prettier. I have a pair planted with orchids and they are magnificent. Today these beauties are $220

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ITEM 24. These huge ginger jar is back, only 8 available. Seeing is believing, this is just incredible. Antique and gorgeous. measures 28″ x 14″ $230.00

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ITEM 25. Fabulous figurine octagonal planter…such an elegant piece. 15″ x 9.5″ $180.00

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ITEM 26. A more modern take on the ginger jar, this beautiful square cherry blossom jar is a beauty. Measures 13.5″ x 7.5″ $85.00

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ITEM 27. This small ginger jar is back and wonderful….a great piece for any vignette. Measures 14″ x 9.5″ $80.00

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ITEM 28. This one is back too…fabulous antiqued ginger jar, measures 17″ x 10.5″ $140.00

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ITEM 29. This large bowl/planter is back and a really wonderful size for so many things to use as a planter or filled with fruit, measures 12″ x 8.5″ $75.00

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ITEM 30. This is one gorgeous ginger jar! Lightly antiqued, fabulous scenic pattern on entire jar with elegant foo dog top. Measures? 20″ x 11″ $135.00

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ITEM 31.? These are great blue and white bud vases, so practical for small end tables or nightstands, perfect for just a few blooms $22.00

28A- Landscape

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28B- Figurines

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ITEM 32. And this darling little planter is 5″ x 3″ and perfect for places like by the kitchen sink or small end table, $14.00

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ITEM 33. This beauty is coming back! Fabulous large scale antiqued ginger jar 22? x 13? $190.00

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ITEM 34. Gorgeous oversized blue and white platter/platter is back! Incredible large round plate with beautiful bird scene. 16.5? round $120.00

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I know I know, it’s A LOT to take in in one viewing, might require a few return visits:) Even for me it’s blue and white sensation overload. Just when I think I absolutely cannot and will not get a single other piece of it….sure enough this post has me saying “well just one more won’t hurt anyone” !

Tell your friends and family about this if you really really like them:)

GIVEAWAY DETAILS-

One lucky winner will receive this beautiful cherry blossom square jar in celebration of the container arrival and me officially being done with my Christmas shopping:) You have no idea how much of a celebration that really is!!! Just leave a comment here on this post on your favorite item from the container and you will be entered into the drawing. A winner will be announced Christmas morning, Dec. 25th!

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Thank you for stopping by. Hope you are not working too hard and managing to carve out a little “down time” from your elf duties:)? I make sure to take little breaks every single day…..it’s pure madness out there! Until next time…..

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Christmas 2015- part 1

Hello hope you had a wonderful weekend! Ours was fun with holiday parties and tying up lots of loose ends. We have a final holiday party to go to tonight and then countdown is on!

So Christmas is upon us. Really hard to believe….how did it sneak up so fast? I must say this year was a year of highs and lows. The highs thankfully made for some really wonderful memories and the lows sadly made the holidays slightly temper my normal enthusiasm. No matter what I tried, how loud I cranked “I will be home for Christmas” it actually made me cry more than laugh, how many decorations I pulled out, how much wrapping paper I bought……I just could not get in the spirit with the same vigor that I normally do, however in the last week with a few parties, lots of present buying and wrapping, I have felt a lot more jolly!

So the bottom line is I did not quite feel it as I normally do and let’s not forget the 69 degree days….strange!? Christmas card pictures just fell to the wayside, along with many other things. So be it…..in the end, I said I did the best I could and truth be told,? the house really does look festive. We had a Christmas family party the other night and as much as I wanted to take pictures I just got too caught up playing hostess, but I managed to get a couple.

Some areas like my kitchen and bathrooms were not “decorated” normally I leave no stone upturned but I did what I could and truthfully it feels quite festive, included a few highlights from the family party and included some food pics for good measure. I divided my pictures into a part 1 and 2. Almost no narration as I think the pictures speak for themselves……

I used my Nikon camera for all of these pictures…..I like the size and the clarity just cannot be duplicated with a iPhone or iPad

 

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Hallway consoles and chests-

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Dining room….

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Dining room mantle…

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Living room….

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Living room mantle…

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Stair hall chest-

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Setting up for holiday party…

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I must say the sugar cones and paperwhites really got me through this season…so easy and so very pretty!

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These are soooo good, I made them in honor of my mother in law how passed away in June, these were her absolute favorites!

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Love using my little mint julep cups for so many things, appetizer forks being one of them!

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I must say my rose sangria is out of this world good!

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New monogrammed guest towels were placed in every bath…these will soon be added to the shop:)

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Isn’t this new chinioiserie pillow a beauty? Matches my wallpaper!

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Mr Teddy with a guilty face….knowing he is not allowed in the dining room but we have gotten a lot looser about that

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I love making fruit platters, this is one thing that never gets wasted, we eat a lot of fruit

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So there you have a look at my holiday decor, tomorrow I will share the rest inducing more highlights, my tree and other areas around the house. I am almost afraid to say it, but with the exception of one more gift..I am done with my Christmas shopping! I hope to get that gift today then will get busy wrapping more gifts. I can’t believe it but they are calling for 70 degrees in NY for Christmas day…..sorry but that does not work for me! I want flurries at the very least:)

Be back on Wednesday with part 2…don’t work too hard and hope your? “elf duties” are just about done! This little elf is ready to call it a day and just enjoy the holiday with her family:) Until next time…..

If you missed my Seven on Sunday, click here

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Seven on Sunday

Hello, can you believe its the Sunday before Christmas? Amazing how time has flown! I was SO touched by all of your emails from my last post….literally they brought tears to my eyes (click here if you missed that post). You are the reason I will likely blog until I am old and gray:)

It has been a busy week and ended with our 2nd family Christmas party last night. It was a lot of fun, a lot of work and today I am looking forward to some relaxation (and leftovers-best part)? then heading into the city later. Nothing quite like NYC at Christmas though I must admit I have always dreamed of being in Rome for Christmas and hope one day to make that a reality….it must be magical!

OK onto my Seven on Sunday….

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1 GIFTS FROM MY READERS AND CUSTOMERS. I am so touched and humbled by various things I have received lately for Christmas. I feel so fortunate to have made the connections that I have so to receive these generous and incredibly thoughtful gifts is just so wonderful and really warms my heart! THANK YOU! Check out some of the amazing goodies I have received……

ADORE this stationery complete with gift tags, notecards and adorable pagoda notepads from Laurie of LB Original fame, GORGEOUS!

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I used the little gifttags on a “party favor” I gave out the other night when a group of friends took me out for a belated birthday dinner, filled my Enchanted Home mugs with mini flowers and wrapped them up with the pretty pagoda tag-

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And this incredible box of? the Frontgate STUNNING blue and white ginger jar ornaments from an amazingly thoughtful reader/client, THANK YOU! I want to get a little tree to put maybe in my dining room and have it be exclusively a blue and white tree….think it’s very fitting!

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And this scrumptious box of amazing treats from Savannah Candy Kitchen (a danger zone) from? another reader/customer…..

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And another huge box of honeybells straight from Florida that we ate so fast, didn’t have time to snap a picture!

What about this darling desktop calendar in it’s own beautiful acrylic holder? from Nico and Lala? Just love it…..

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And from Annabel Ingall this Christmas card with a beautiful little wallet tucked inside…..now thats my kind of Christmas card:)

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And from another vendor, they sent this beautiful padded wood box with this beautiful white porcelain bud vase, will go right on my end table-

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And of course the magnificent work of art from Rosa Clifford

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2. INSTAGRAMS OF INTEREST Every week I share with you what has delighted, inspired and amused me on Instagram. I am always amazed at how on any given week, there is so much to love! It is seemingly endless. Here is my round up from this week with a heavy dose on the holidays of course…..

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3. ONE AMAZING PUNCH RECIPE! If you have ever been to the iconic Bemelmans Bar at The Carlyle NY which really is the quintessential NY/jazz experience…you have likely tried their famed punch. Well the secret is out and so is the recipe! I made it last weekend for the family Christmas party #1 and suffice to say it was a hit not to mention awfully pretty!

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THE CARLYLE PUNCH

1 ounce Southern Comfort

1 1/2 ounces Raspberry Vodka

1 1/2 ounces Cranberry Juice

1 ounce Orange Juice

1 ounce ST-GERMAIN

1 ounce Simple Syrup

1 to 3 dashes of Bitters

Splash of Champagne

Method

In a shaker, combine ice with the Southern Comfort, Stolichnaya Raspberry, St. Germain liqueur, simple syrup, orange juice, cranberry juice,?and fresh lime juice.

Pour in a cognac glass over?ice and finish with three?dashes of Angostura bitters and a splash of champagne. Garnish with blueberries and raspberries.

4 BEST CHRISTMAS MOVIES. I love nothing more than my family being together, lighting the fire and watching a classic Christmas movie. Normally the boys give me a hard time at first but then I lure them with popcorn, candy and a snuggly blanket and sure enough…we soon all are sitting down as a family for a movie marathon:)

A few that epitomize Christmas to me are The Holiday, Elf, Home Alone, Miracle on 34th St, Home Alone and so many more. Do you have a favorite? Here is a nifty little reminder just in case you are looking for one to watch…….do you have a favorite?

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5. TEDDY READY FOR CHRISTMAS. My genius idea for my Christmas card pictures which included my three sons with Santa hats on and Teddy dressed as Santa never materialized. If I didn’t know better I would swear he has been sulking for not getting to be on the Christmas card! So I thought he deserved a little “press time” by showing you Teddy in his “ugly Christmas sweater” . He is such a good sport:)

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6. Thankfully Patricia of PVE saved the day as far as cards go! I spotted this gorgeous drawing of hers and asked if she could make them into last minute Christmas cards and she whipped them around so fast, before I knew it,? I was addressing them and getting them out the door. I still have 2 more batches to complete,? that’s what Mondays are for….all the last minute things to do! Click here to visit PVE

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7. ASPEN AT CHRISTMASTIME. How picture perfect is this place! I think it vies for top Christmas town alongside Woodstock, Vermont. So magical and gorgeous and of course with the guarantee of snow…it’s a winter wonderland! Have a friend who is there now, and texted me that they have been getting snow showers almost every day…..think I am having snow withdrawals (I say that until our first big snow then? I will be ready for spring:)

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Hard to believe it’s less than 1 week till Christmas. For those of you eagerly awaiting the porcelain container, it is due in this week! I am crossing my fingers it will come in without any delay because of Christmas. I have a small group ready to spring into action to get it unloaded and start getting orders out right away.

With my hosting duties behind me (yay) I can now fully concentrate on finishing up last minute Christmas preparations and various odds and ends that fell to the wayside this week. Thanks for stopping in, hope this finds you in the holiday spirit and not working too hard:) Until next time…..

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By Invitation Only- the grand finale!

Hi friends, I am sure like me…your days are busy busy! I finally felt like I have made great progress this week both on my holiday decorating? and my gift buying/wrapping. I didn’t go nuts this year but things certainly feel festive and everyone will have a gift to open:) I will share what I have done one day next week on my wrap up post.

BY INVITATION ONLY

Today is a bittersweet day….it is the very last time we will post for the By Invitation Only. You have been reading these for a while on my blog, it is a group of women, who have come together under the direction of wonderful Marsha from Splenderosa and share a post on a given topic, I always anticipated reading others interpretations and thoroughly enjoyed the little respite from every day life that putting these posts together gave me. I felt honored to be part of such a remarkable group of voices.

I included random pictures from past posts just to help us walk down memory lane:)

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But like many great things in life, this did not last forever and this is the final posting for BIO. The topic for this grand finale is a fitting one-

Blogging, the changes, the highs and the lows.. the future where we see it leading..

Wow how has blogging not changed is more like it! So below are my thoughts on the blogging world then and now……..

WHEN? I entered world as a “newbie” almost 4 years ago (wow has it really almost been that long) I was excited, overwhelmed and intimidated. Everyone made it look so easy…..how did they get all those people to read their blogs? How would anyone find me? Somehow, someway..people did, one at a time, they came and many stayed, some did not.

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IN due time I started connecting with other bloggers, many in the northeast but many others as far away as London and Australia. I was officially hooked. Over time I really felt a strong connection with my loyal readers who stopped by often and were the first to encourage me, support me and offer their own words of wisdom.

IT did not take long to realize that blogging really does bring together a very special unique group of people.

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I can only speak for myself when I say that I am a different person than I was when I first started. I came to blogging as a way of sharing our building experience and to “talk” about all the things I love hoping I could gain a small if not captive audience.

IN time, I evolved into many other directions, I loved talking about fashion, food, travel, lifestyle, etc….I eventually opened up my little shop and took a passion (blue and white) and became a distributor and importer, go figure!

CHANGES-

Like the seasons, life is an ever evolving changing of cycles. I spend a lot of hours on my computer and always say (and still very much mean it) that it is my happy place. I think there is no doubt that blogging has become a big business, you hear of “brand name” bloggers and instagramers making a tremendous amount of money which speaks to the revenue being generated by the blogging community. It is a phenomenon to me even now.

When I started blogging, Instagram and Pinterest were not what they are today. Some feel they are overshadowing bloggers. I don’t personally feel this way because I do a lot of “talking” on my blog which I think in turn makes my readers feel more connected to me, and I to them. I am grateful more than words can say for that. The blogs I follow I stay connected to not for the pretty pictures but for the “voice” behind the blogs, you get to know these people and soon consider them your friend. That is the true silver lining for me personally…these connections we make to each other.

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But the commercialization of blogging is a very real thing, and cannot be ignored. I am all for a blogger or any person behind a social media account to make money, it is in fact a job so why shouldn’t they? I think its about balance, staying true to who you are and having an authentic voice while pursuing the many opportunities that are out there. Even Pinterest has a business model now, it’s not just about pretty pictures anymore! Things are changing fast…..wish we could put the brakes on just for a little while:)

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THE HIGHS-

The connections I have made and continue to make are seriously what sustains me and makes me happy to wake up and blog every week. I have heard from people who are seriously? ill who tell me that my blog is the sunshine in their world, I have heard from women going through a divorce or tragedy who say it gives them hope, from others who are newlyweds and can barely afford a sofa, telling me that my blog allows them to dream, of an American who just bought a petite chateau in France who needs validation of what she is doing across the miles, the stories go on…..

Can you imagine how great this makes me feel? And important? Maybe way more than I deserve but it also reminds me that I have a responsibility to not let those people down and to remain the person that I was 4 years ago and what drew them to me in the first place:)

Meeting fellow bloggers- some of whom have become very dear friends!

Gaining insight to so many different perspectives on very relevant topics in our world today aka a virtual classroom

It has allowed me to really become confident with myself, my voice, my choices…it has been a sort of validation.

Getting to share everything from our home building/decorating, to major events like graduations and parties with my readers all around the globe!

I cannot lie, getting free “loot” (everything from fabulous books to products to try like boxes of amazing skin care and chocolates and flowers and I could go on) is an awfully nice perk:)

The online education….seriously I have learned SO much, mind blowing stuff!

Cannot forget that blogging has allowed Teddy to become an overnight celebrity, lol.

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THE LOWS-

Thankfully for me there are very few. Seeing friends stop blogging makes me sad, I hate change and it’s always tough for me to see someone’s blog just fade away but I understand this is the cycle of life.

On the very rare occasion that someone will email me or write a rude comment. I don’t like that and will always abide by my blog being my happy place where mean comments simply are not welcome. Period.

I think I am lucky to only have two things to consider as “lows”!

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THE FUTURE-

What is the future? Good question…I think there will be many who will give it up or defect to other pursuits, but there will many more like myself who love it so much that they will stick around regardless of what is happening around them. So for as long as you want to hear my voice and my musings on every day life…I will be here:)

I think the commercialization and money earning potential will continue to shape blogging and in fact all social media (how can it not) but many and hopefully most will stay true to their core and hopefully strike a balance that works for them (myself included)!

On a personal note, I have been fortunate to have many opportunities, many that I could not take advantage of. Yet. Timing is everything and there are many things that I know I am interested in doing but just not quite yet…in due time. So hopefully lots of amazing things to anticipate!

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BOTTOM LINE-

I am fortunate that I am doing something that I truly love and am passionate about and that has led to me starting my own business. The journey it has put me on has been amazingly fun, incredibly rewarding and the benefits so far outweigh the negatives. The friendships and connections I make on a continuous basis are truly the icing on the cake.

Being a part of BIO has been such a special experience….one I will always treasure and miss. But as the saying goes, I am not crying because it is over- I am smiling that it happened and got to be part of it for a while!

So thank you Marsha and the extraordinary women from all around the globe who made this adventure such a incredible one. I look forward to staying in touch via our blogs. And to my readers, you know you are reason I do what I do!

(If you want to see what others in the group have to say on the matter and I can promise you it’s worth the click, click here to Splenderosa where links to all of the others will be as well)

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Thank you, and I really am smiling because it happened:) Until next time…….

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