Late week musings…..

Hello there, and happy Thursday.? What’s on your agenda for Memorial Day? Hope the weather forecast is going to be a good one. Here, it looks to be fair,? not as warm as it has been earlier in the week, but clear skies except for Saturday, so I am not complaining one bit!

We were due to go away to Newport but now with my sons team in the playoffs and having mandatory practice, that plan may be changing. We have a few backup plans in case so we will see and hopefully will fit in? some downtime just “hanging”.

As with my weekly musings posts, this one is a bit all over and fairly lengthy so lets get started…….

Mr. Teddy wishing you a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend! See him sporting his Amercian flag bandanna…….just got back from a grooming.

Beautiful? pictures from my fellow blue and white loving blog friends!? Julio strikes again, recently posted on his gorgeous back patio for his first dinner party, and it is seriously stunning! Take a look……..loving all that blue and white:) Click here to see more from Beaux Monde Designs.

Speaking of blue and white and gorgeous, check out Mary Ann’s friends dinner party also with beautiful touches of blue and white. Click here to see more from Classic Casual Home……..

Incredible story! Found this story totally inspiring and the pictures spellbinding! Tippi,? a young girl born to French wildlife photographers who has grown up in the African desert claims many of the wildlife to be her best friends, this is totally fascinating and the pictures just incredible! Click here to read/see more.

Gorgeous wedding.…..proof that it really is all in the details and these snippets are so beautiful! This wedding is sooooo chic, beautiful, elegant and tasteful! Click here to see all the details from Let the tide pull your dreams ashore…….

Shoes! Have to get these shoes. I could see these with a beautiful creamy colored dress/sheath or something lacey for the summer….LOVE these! Gorgeous in the baby blue too…..

My house. Just a few random pictures I took recently and I am? loving my newest planter from my statuary line. And check it out with the newly added hydrangea and ivy. Winning combination!

And me newest urn on pedastal….tah dah! (This item is on my line shop now)

Late day sun…my favorite time of day.



Smelling good. I love a soft and light summer scent for the warmer months ahead. I am a big fan of Jo Malone for her beautiful scents and staying power. I recently bought the English pair and freesia and love it, its very soft and perfect for summer!



Food. Yes, by now you know I love this subject and always have to include something yummy in these random posts. These look soooo good and so refreshing for a summer appetizer. I will be making these for sure, visit the Cookin Canuck for the how to…….





Shop news. Some new beautiful additions to silver and the Staffordshire dogs in all their many colors and sizes are now up for those who asked. Click here to visit the shop…….

And to anyone who had wanted this wonderful best selling bag that was sold out, I just got three more…..

Well, everyone that about wraps it up for this week. Hope whatever you are doing for the holiday weekend is wonderful, relaxing and safe. Here the weather is due to get much cooler but after hitting 85 the other day, the 60’s are quite welcome. I don’t need the extremes and certainly not the dreadful humidity! I likely won’t be back during the weekend but will see you on Monday! Happy holiday weekend,? enjoy and thanks as always for stopping in!

PS Per several requests..heres the link to the shoes above! Sorry, forgot to include it when this posted!

Late week musings…..

Hello there, and happy Thursday.  What’s on your agenda for Memorial Day? Hope the weather forecast is going to be a good one. Here, it looks to be fair,  not as warm as it has been earlier in the week, but clear skies except for Saturday, so I am not complaining one bit!

We were due to go away to Newport but now with my sons team in the playoffs and having mandatory practice, that plan may be changing. We have a few backup plans in case so we will see and hopefully will fit in  some downtime just “hanging”.

As with my weekly musings posts, this one is a bit all over and fairly lengthy so lets get started…….

Mr. Teddy wishing you a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend! See him sporting his Amercian flag bandanna…….just got back from a grooming.

Beautiful  pictures from my fellow blue and white loving blog friends!  Julio strikes again, recently posted on his gorgeous back patio for his first dinner party, and it is seriously stunning! Take a look……..loving all that blue and white:) Click here to see more from Beaux Monde Designs.

Speaking of blue and white and gorgeous, check out Mary Ann’s friends dinner party also with beautiful touches of blue and white. Click here to see more from Classic Casual Home……..

Incredible story! Found this story totally inspiring and the pictures spellbinding! Tippi,  a young girl born to French wildlife photographers who has grown up in the African desert claims many of the wildlife to be her best friends, this is totally fascinating and the pictures just incredible! Click here to read/see more.

Gorgeous wedding.…..proof that it really is all in the details and these snippets are so beautiful! This wedding is sooooo chic, beautiful, elegant and tasteful! Click here to see all the details from Let the tide pull your dreams ashore…….

Shoes! Have to get these shoes. I could see these with a beautiful creamy colored dress/sheath or something lacey for the summer….LOVE these! Gorgeous in the baby blue too…..

My house. Just a few random pictures I took recently and I am  loving my newest planter from my statuary line. And check it out with the newly added hydrangea and ivy. Winning combination!

And me newest urn on pedastal….tah dah! (This item is on my line shop now)

Late day sun…my favorite time of day.



Smelling good. I love a soft and light summer scent for the warmer months ahead. I am a big fan of Jo Malone for her beautiful scents and staying power. I recently bought the English pair and freesia and love it, its very soft and perfect for summer!



Food. Yes, by now you know I love this subject and always have to include something yummy in these random posts. These look soooo good and so refreshing for a summer appetizer. I will be making these for sure, visit the Cookin Canuck for the how to…….





Shop news. Some new beautiful additions to silver and the Staffordshire dogs in all their many colors and sizes are now up for those who asked. Click here to visit the shop…….

And to anyone who had wanted this wonderful best selling bag that was sold out, I just got three more…..

Well, everyone that about wraps it up for this week. Hope whatever you are doing for the holiday weekend is wonderful, relaxing and safe. Here the weather is due to get much cooler but after hitting 85 the other day, the 60’s are quite welcome. I don’t need the extremes and certainly not the dreadful humidity! I likely won’t be back during the weekend but will see you on Monday! Happy holiday weekend,  enjoy and thanks as always for stopping in!

PS Per several requests..heres the link to the shoes above! Sorry, forgot to include it when this posted!

Bloggers beautiful abodes…Mary Ann of Classic Casual Home

?Sure hope this posts on time as I scheduled this for Monday morning while I am away. I ?am being featured over at Amy Vermillion’s?blog today for her “Whats on my nightstand” posts…such a fun idea! Hope you will come visit me there after reading this post. Click here to visit.

Good morning! Time for another? round of “Bloggers beautiful abodes” and have I got a treat for you! So sit back and savor that cup of coffee or tea and enjoy this post full of beauty and wisdom. ?Say hello to super talented……..

???????????????????????????? ????????
Mary Ann is an uber talented? Newport Beach, California based designer (if she wasn’t so sweet it would be easy to hate her for being lucky enough to live that California dream). She is always doing something gorgeous whether in her own beautiful home or adding her touches to ?her friends ……and trust me they ALL look right out of the pages of your favorite design magazine!?

She has totally nailed the elegant coastal vibe to perfection and I am a huge fan of her work and her blog. Whether she is redoing a guest room, prepping for the most beautiful taco night I have ever seen or planning a little fete in her home…rest assured its something you want to see and take notes on!? Her blog is one I simply do not miss. Period. I feel like we are friends and know we would be fast friends if we ever meet ?If you don’t know of her, be sure you head over to say hello and by all means sign up…..her blog is a total keeper. Enough of me, lets hear from wonderful Mary Ann………

____________________________

Thank you, Tina, for inviting me to tell?
you and your?“enchanting readers”?
a bit about our home in?
Newport Beach, California.?
It’s small, as many homes?
are on Lido Isle
(the island below on the right)
but we can walk or ride bikes?
to the beach. ?

See the patch of grass on the sand? ?
That is the playground for the grammar school where our son attended.
He always came home with sand in his shoes!


1. How long have you been in your present home?? Is this it for the long haul? Anything you would care to change if you could?

It’s a 1950’s cottage that we remodeled and moved into two and a half years ago.
I’m not sure we’ll stay here forever.?
The people inside the home are what’s important to me,
but this would be a comfortable place “for the long haul.” ?

If I could change anything, I wish we had more of a foyer…but there just isn’t room. ?
I do love our dutch door.

2.?If you could only live in two rooms of your house, which two would be the ones?

My bedroom because I like to be lazy and
our patio has been nice to relax in lately.



3. How would you describe your decorating style?

Casual with a little French?
and?classic elegance.


Both the child’s corner chair and?fireplace screen?
were bought at flea markets in France.

4. Do you have a favorite color scheme? What is it?

I don’t really have a favorite color combination. ?In my own home, I like a white backdrop so I can play with color. ?I do enjoy doing all neutral interiors for others who prefer it though.
Same chairs two ways.




5. Favorite room of your house and why?

Right now, it’s our guest room since I just finished it for the?One Room Challenge. I stenciled the wall myself…a major feat for a non-do-it-yourselfer (but it only costed about $35).


6. Best two tips you can give to anyone looking to tackle the decorating of their own home? ??

  • Hire a decorator (through referrals), even to use just as a sounding board. ?He/she can help keep you on track with your goals and budget. ?If that’s not an option enlist a friend who’s taste you admire.
  • Start files on Pinterest, Houzz and from magazines. ?When you start to see common threads in your images, you will begin to understand your style preferences.

Best two things to NOT do?

  • Don’t get in over your head doing work like electrical or plumbing that is better left for the professionals
  • Don’t be afraid to try things…move your furniture around, mix it up (I might go a little overboard here 🙂

7. What do you think are the most important features for a kitchen?

My husband would say it’s his stove since he loves to cook.
I like the storage in our pantry and that I can use the appliances in there and keep our counters clear.


?8.How do you like to dress up a cocktail table and console in a living room?


With books, trays, plants…
Or coral.



9.Any advice on the subject of lighting?


Dimmers, especially on overhead lighting. ?
Layer with task lighting wherever you might want to read and also for ambiance.

10. Have a favorite paint color? Do tell!

I have this Benjamin Moore White Dove?
on walls throughout my house. ?



11. What are a couple of really simple inexpensive things you can do in your home to make it?feel “homey” and inviting?


Fruit (the lemons are from our tree),?
flowers and candles!



12.?Fill in the blank- If money was no object, the very first thing?I would buy for my home would be…


?a?beautiful, antique Persian rug in muted tones for the living room. ?Ah…someday.

Thanks so much for having me over, Tina!!!

Best wishes,
______________________

Is she good or is she good? Mary Ann……..I never tire of seeing your beautiful and welcoming? home. It is just so warm, elegant and beautifully put together and that guest room must have been done with me in mind so pencil me in for June 🙂 By the way….that taco night I mentioned, well here it is……..don’t know about you but in my casa, taco night does not look like this:)

And check out the bridal? shower she threw…..are you available for my birthday in December?

Love these tomato caprese appetizers that she made……

?Thanks to everyone for stopping in and to Mary Ann for opening up her gorgeous abode for us all to marvel over! Be sure to stop over and say hello to the lovely Mary Ann, click here.

If you want to check out? my guest post over at Amy Vermillion’s blog (and I do hope you will) click here.

Thanks for stopping in…have a wonderful Monday!

Photobucket

Bloggers beautiful abodes…Mary Ann of Classic Casual Home

 Sure hope this posts on time as I scheduled this for Monday morning while I am away. I  am being featured over at Amy Vermillion’s blog today for her “Whats on my nightstand” posts…such a fun idea! Hope you will come visit me there after reading this post. Click here to visit.

Good morning! Time for another  round of “Bloggers beautiful abodes” and have I got a treat for you! So sit back and savor that cup of coffee or tea and enjoy this post full of beauty and wisdom.  Say hello to super talented……..

                                     
Mary Ann is an uber talented  Newport Beach, California based designer (if she wasn’t so sweet it would be easy to hate her for being lucky enough to live that California dream). She is always doing something gorgeous whether in her own beautiful home or adding her touches to  her friends ……and trust me they ALL look right out of the pages of your favorite design magazine! 

She has totally nailed the elegant coastal vibe to perfection and I am a huge fan of her work and her blog. Whether she is redoing a guest room, prepping for the most beautiful taco night I have ever seen or planning a little fete in her home…rest assured its something you want to see and take notes on!  Her blog is one I simply do not miss. Period. I feel like we are friends and know we would be fast friends if we ever meet  If you don’t know of her, be sure you head over to say hello and by all means sign up…..her blog is a total keeper. Enough of me, lets hear from wonderful Mary Ann………

____________________________

Thank you, Tina, for inviting me to tell 
you and your “enchanting readers” 
a bit about our home in 
Newport Beach, California. 
It’s small, as many homes 
are on Lido Isle
(the island below on the right)
but we can walk or ride bikes 
to the beach.  

See the patch of grass on the sand?  
That is the playground for the grammar school where our son attended.
He always came home with sand in his shoes!


1. How long have you been in your present home?  Is this it for the long haul? Anything you would care to change if you could?

It’s a 1950’s cottage that we remodeled and moved into two and a half years ago.
I’m not sure we’ll stay here forever. 
The people inside the home are what’s important to me,
but this would be a comfortable place “for the long haul.”  

If I could change anything, I wish we had more of a foyer…but there just isn’t room.  
I do love our dutch door.

2. If you could only live in two rooms of your house, which two would be the ones?

My bedroom because I like to be lazy and
our patio has been nice to relax in lately.



3. How would you describe your decorating style?

Casual with a little French 
and classic elegance.


Both the child’s corner chair and fireplace screen 
were bought at flea markets in France.

4. Do you have a favorite color scheme? What is it?

I don’t really have a favorite color combination.  In my own home, I like a white backdrop so I can play with color.  I do enjoy doing all neutral interiors for others who prefer it though.
Same chairs two ways.




5. Favorite room of your house and why?

Right now, it’s our guest room since I just finished it for the One Room Challenge. I stenciled the wall myself…a major feat for a non-do-it-yourselfer (but it only costed about $35).


6. Best two tips you can give to anyone looking to tackle the decorating of their own home?   

  • Hire a decorator (through referrals), even to use just as a sounding board.  He/she can help keep you on track with your goals and budget.  If that’s not an option enlist a friend who’s taste you admire.
  • Start files on Pinterest, Houzz and from magazines.  When you start to see common threads in your images, you will begin to understand your style preferences.

Best two things to NOT do?

  • Don’t get in over your head doing work like electrical or plumbing that is better left for the professionals
  • Don’t be afraid to try things…move your furniture around, mix it up (I might go a little overboard here 🙂

7. What do you think are the most important features for a kitchen?

My husband would say it’s his stove since he loves to cook.
I like the storage in our pantry and that I can use the appliances in there and keep our counters clear.


 8.How do you like to dress up a cocktail table and console in a living room?


With books, trays, plants…
Or coral.



9.Any advice on the subject of lighting?


Dimmers, especially on overhead lighting.  
Layer with task lighting wherever you might want to read and also for ambiance.

10. Have a favorite paint color? Do tell!

I have this Benjamin Moore White Dove 
on walls throughout my house.  



11. What are a couple of really simple inexpensive things you can do in your home to make it feel “homey” and inviting?


Fruit (the lemons are from our tree), 
flowers and candles!



12. Fill in the blank- If money was no object, the very first thing I would buy for my home would be…


 beautiful, antique Persian rug in muted tones for the living room.  Ah…someday.

Thanks so much for having me over, Tina!!!

Best wishes,
______________________

Is she good or is she good? Mary Ann……..I never tire of seeing your beautiful and welcoming  home. It is just so warm, elegant and beautifully put together and that guest room must have been done with me in mind so pencil me in for June 🙂 By the way….that taco night I mentioned, well here it is……..don’t know about you but in my casa, taco night does not look like this:)

And check out the bridal  shower she threw…..are you available for my birthday in December?

Love these tomato caprese appetizers that she made……

 Thanks to everyone for stopping in and to Mary Ann for opening up her gorgeous abode for us all to marvel over! Be sure to stop over and say hello to the lovely Mary Ann, click here.

If you want to check out  my guest post over at Amy Vermillion’s blog (and I do hope you will) click here.

Thanks for stopping in…have a wonderful Monday!

Photobucket

Bloggers buzz on holiday gifts part II



Hi there! Hope you are doing well. Are you like me and getting really busy with the holiday frenzy?? Ready for another collection of fabulous holiday gift ideas from my super chic blogging friends? Well here’s another superb roundup of awesome gift ideas. I have to say I have gotten so many wonderful ideas. For the first time in years, I am feeling my stress 0′ meter go down…..not up!?

Let’s face it…the holidays are plenty stressful enough without the added pressure of gift giving pressure. I love all these ideas, so many unique ones, and something for everyone. Thank you ladies for your fabulous ideas! So let’s get started, ladies take it away………..

?

Vicki from French Essence says…..
?Holiday Gift Ideas from French Essence?
Choosing gifts is such a pleasure? thinking of ideas, sourcing them and then
finding that perfect match. That is the best part? knowing that your gift is going
to please your special person. I love watching the un-wrapping? the guessing as
the parcel is prodded and poked? It?s all part of the art of giving?

I don?t believe that some are ?impossible? to buy for or that others ?have
everything?? the art of giving means not being defeated, sometimes thinking
outside of the box or oftentimes just keeping it simple.

When I think of a special gift, I think about what I would love to receive, an
indulgence that I might not buy for myself? something that would make me
smile and make me feel spoilt? a Cire Trudon candle is perfect. My preferred
scent is Odalisque? a blend of orange blossom, lemon and vanilla. I like a gift to
be long lasting and to evoke memories? this is a scent that does just that.
My other most loved gifts are books? nothing makes me happier? and I always
want to give as I would like to receive?

To purchase click here

????????????? ?The Best of Flair? is an exquisite piece and one that is the perfect addition to
???????? ? ?? any library? it is beautifully illustrated and has many of the features that made
???????? ? ?? the 1950?s magazines of the same name so popular. This is a collector?s item, an
???????? ?? ? intriguing and fascinating book that enchants on every page.

To purchase click here

?
??
Carolyn? and Cynthia of the Buzz Blog says….
Here are our two favorite gift items this holiday season from our e-commerce site www.DianeJamesHome.com.

? Our mother raised us with a tradition of never arriving empty-handed to holiday parties and that?s one of the reasons why we added a range of beautiful botanically inspired gifts to our collection of faux florals on Diane James Home.? It was hard to pick two of our favorite holiday hostess gifts but given that we?ve just introduced our new Winter scent candle made by Seda France, we had to include it!? And why not pair it with a lovely set of French-milled soaps, presented in a festive red box ready for gift giving (or re-gifting, if need be.)? Both gifts are sure to please!

Our Winter Candle (brand new for this holiday season and made by Seda France) -?





? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ??

??????

Mary Ann of Classic Casual Home says……

Hi Tina, Here are a couple of gift ideas that I will be giving this Christmas…

?These are only $18.95 for two pads of 100 sheets. ?So thoughtful with the name or monogram personalization…and you can ?create the look from lots of images. Here are some logos that I have used for friends (and even for myself).

?This Heart Key Chain would be perfect to give my girlfriends so they will know I care about them every time they use it.

?Thanks, Tina!


Desiree of Chic Coastal Living says……











My first gift choice this holiday season is this navy pom pom throw from Serena and Lily. I recently partnered with Serena and Lily and received this gorgeous substantial throw from them and all I can say is everyone needs one! I am looking forward to sitting by a ?fireplace wrapped up in this ultra cozy high designer throw while sipping a delicious latte. Serena and Lily states on their website…that this throw is an understated design element. I totally agree!
My second gift choice this holiday season is that adorable iPad Mini. This great little device is every inch the iPad has everything that you love about it! Including a beautiful screen, fast fluid performance, and thousands of amazing apps to enjoy. You can choose to have cellular service on it and different capacities. The best part is that it can fit in one hand!

?

??

Kathysue from Good life of Design says…..

I love to give themed gifts. For some reason it helps me narrow down my choices. In the past I have chosen a monogrammed theme for gifts.

I try to get the beautiful towels that are on Neiman Marcus?s pink sale every year?.

You will get two sets of three pieces for $58, this is a real bargain. Plus, you can have them monogrammed.?

I have personally purchased these towels as gifts, and for my own personal use. Many of my friends have done the same!
If you like the option of a colored towel, and a colored monogram these are the towels for you. Only $12 for a bath towel.

?I usually purchase the white with a sand monogram for myself, but have purchased other colors for gifts.

Gift #2
The next theme gift I love to give is dinner related! I love to purchase nice plain white serving pieces from Crate and Barrel just go HERE!??.
I add this fun gift to the serving pieces. It is called Destination Dinners. You can go to their website by clicking on their name below the image?..
You can choose a dinner kit from any of the following destinations for $30:

I round it all out with monogrammed napkins from Pottery barn?..

These are just a couple of themed gifts you can give. I bet if you think about it from this point of view you will come up with your own ideas!!?

Happy Gift Giving,
Kathysue

Michele of Hello Lovely Inc. says…..

Thanks for including me, Tina!
* * *
My favorite gifts to give and receive are
handmade or vintage in nature because
they are usually one of a kind and extra special.

ORIGINAL Abstract Painting on Canvas...MAINE No. 35
original abstracts on canvas


Naturally, two choices from my hello lovely etsy shop
include affordable original paintings by me
(a perfect size for a gallery wall)
and assorted vintage European bottles
which are fabulous on their own,
as a styling prop, or vase.
(They may even work for holiday decorating!)

vintage embossed bottles


hello lovely inc.

?


Luciane of Home Bunch says…..

Happy Holiday shopping, everyone!

Pick #1:
I have three small children and I’m always trying to make our home feels like a home for every and each member of our family. I like my kids to feel welcomed in every room, but I like to dedicate certain places exclusively to them. I think it’s really important for our kids to have a place where they feel completely free to create, play and learn.
When I saw these children plates I immediately thought how neat would be to have them hung in a playroom. These alphabet plates are adorable and I’m sure any kid would enjoy seeing them!

Aren’t they cute? The set for a mug and plate costs $26.00 and you can find them here.

?

Pick #2:

Maybe this Christmas we should do more than opening our wallets, maybe instead, we should open our eyes to see what the person next to one need.
We all get incredibly busy at this time of the year, we all try to send cards to all of friends and family and we’re running from store to store with a huge list on hands, but is it all we can do? Is it all we can give? Perhaps, we can do more, perhaps we should do better.
What about actually being the gift for someone this Christmas? Look around, you can help in so many ways and that’s a gift! Visit a neighbor you know could use of some help with the kids, or an elder person who needs help. You can do simple things, such as wrapping gifts or cooking some meals for the Holidays.
Offer help, be there and put a smile on someone’s face.
The best gifts in life are usually priceless and comes from the heart, instead of a shelf.

?

Happy Holidays!
Luciane
?

?

Elizabeth of Pretty Pink Tulips says…..

I am always on the look out, year round, for special items that would make a fabulous gift, so I was thrilled that Tina invited me to share a couple of picks with her lovely readers. I love to give things that will be savored, enjoyed and used. Personalized items are always a favorite of mine, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a monogram. My first holiday gift pick is the exquisite new book, Flowers, by Carolyne Roehm.?
The book was a true labor of love, as Carolyne created all of the floral arrangements and photographed them herself. If you know someone how lives for their garden, a gorgeous flower arrangement or just loves a fabulous coffee table book…this is the one for the season! The most cost effective way to purchase her book is via amazon.com, but you can also visit her website, www.carolyneroehm.com to have her personalize the book for your recipient.

My next gift pick is something I have and use on a daily basis. The Russell + Hazel Tassel Key Chain is just a fun thing to give and receive. The personalization comes in choosing the perfect color. Mine is white and is easy to find in the bottom of my handbags. ?Available at?zhush.com

Whatever you choose to give, remember the presentation is part of the gift!
xoxo Elizabeth

Thanks ladies! This is like the gift giving jackpot. So? many unique ideas, this is the beauty of having such talented blogging friends……wonderful ideas are always being generated and? of course the perk is getting to share them with you all. I am for once excited about my gift giving…how about you? Thanks again ladies and thank you everyone for stopping in….ho ho ho!

Bloggers buzz on holiday gifts part II



Hi there! Hope you are doing well. Are you like me and getting really busy with the holiday frenzy?  Ready for another collection of fabulous holiday gift ideas from my super chic blogging friends? Well here’s another superb roundup of awesome gift ideas. I have to say I have gotten so many wonderful ideas. For the first time in years, I am feeling my stress 0′ meter go down…..not up! 

Let’s face it…the holidays are plenty stressful enough without the added pressure of gift giving pressure. I love all these ideas, so many unique ones, and something for everyone. Thank you ladies for your fabulous ideas! So let’s get started, ladies take it away………..

 
Vicki from French Essence says…..
 Holiday Gift Ideas from French Essence?
Choosing gifts is such a pleasure? thinking of ideas, sourcing them and then
finding that perfect match. That is the best part? knowing that your gift is going
to please your special person. I love watching the un-wrapping? the guessing as
the parcel is prodded and poked? It?s all part of the art of giving?

I don?t believe that some are ?impossible? to buy for or that others ?have
everything?? the art of giving means not being defeated, sometimes thinking
outside of the box or oftentimes just keeping it simple.

When I think of a special gift, I think about what I would love to receive, an
indulgence that I might not buy for myself? something that would make me
smile and make me feel spoilt? a Cire Trudon candle is perfect. My preferred
scent is Odalisque? a blend of orange blossom, lemon and vanilla. I like a gift to
be long lasting and to evoke memories? this is a scent that does just that.
My other most loved gifts are books? nothing makes me happier? and I always
want to give as I would like to receive?

To purchase click here

              ?The Best of Flair? is an exquisite piece and one that is the perfect addition to
              any library? it is beautifully illustrated and has many of the features that made
              the 1950?s magazines of the same name so popular. This is a collector?s item, an
              intriguing and fascinating book that enchants on every page.

To purchase click here

 
  
Carolyn  and Cynthia of the Buzz Blog says….
Here are our two favorite gift items this holiday season from our e-commerce site www.DianeJamesHome.com.

  Our mother raised us with a tradition of never arriving empty-handed to holiday parties and that?s one of the reasons why we added a range of beautiful botanically inspired gifts to our collection of faux florals on Diane James Home.  It was hard to pick two of our favorite holiday hostess gifts but given that we?ve just introduced our new Winter scent candle made by Seda France, we had to include it!  And why not pair it with a lovely set of French-milled soaps, presented in a festive red box ready for gift giving (or re-gifting, if need be.)  Both gifts are sure to please!

Our Winter Candle (brand new for this holiday season and made by Seda France) – 





                                

      

Mary Ann of Classic Casual Home says……

Hi Tina, Here are a couple of gift ideas that I will be giving this Christmas…

 These are only $18.95 for two pads of 100 sheets.  So thoughtful with the name or monogram personalization…and you can  create the look from lots of images. Here are some logos that I have used for friends (and even for myself).

 This Heart Key Chain would be perfect to give my girlfriends so they will know I care about them every time they use it.

 Thanks, Tina!


Desiree of Chic Coastal Living says……

My first gift choice this holiday season is this navy pom pom throw from Serena and Lily. I recently partnered with Serena and Lily and received this gorgeous substantial throw from them and all I can say is everyone needs one! I am looking forward to sitting by a  fireplace wrapped up in this ultra cozy high designer throw while sipping a delicious latte. Serena and Lily states on their website…that this throw is an understated design element. I totally agree!
My second gift choice this holiday season is that adorable iPad Mini. This great little device is every inch the iPad has everything that you love about it! Including a beautiful screen, fast fluid performance, and thousands of amazing apps to enjoy. You can choose to have cellular service on it and different capacities. The best part is that it can fit in one hand!

 

  

Kathysue from Good life of Design says…..

I love to give themed gifts. For some reason it helps me narrow down my choices. In the past I have chosen a monogrammed theme for gifts.

I try to get the beautiful towels that are on Neiman Marcus?s pink sale every year?.

You will get two sets of three pieces for $58, this is a real bargain. Plus, you can have them monogrammed. 

I have personally purchased these towels as gifts, and for my own personal use. Many of my friends have done the same!
If you like the option of a colored towel, and a colored monogram these are the towels for you. Only $12 for a bath towel.

 I usually purchase the white with a sand monogram for myself, but have purchased other colors for gifts.

Gift #2
The next theme gift I love to give is dinner related! I love to purchase nice plain white serving pieces from Crate and Barrel just go HERE!??.
I add this fun gift to the serving pieces. It is called Destination Dinners. You can go to their website by clicking on their name below the image?..
You can choose a dinner kit from any of the following destinations for $30:

I round it all out with monogrammed napkins from Pottery barn?..

These are just a couple of themed gifts you can give. I bet if you think about it from this point of view you will come up with your own ideas!! 

Happy Gift Giving,
Kathysue

Michele of Hello Lovely Inc. says…..
Thanks for including me, Tina!
* * *
My favorite gifts to give and receive are
handmade or vintage in nature because
they are usually one of a kind and extra special.

ORIGINAL Abstract Painting on Canvas...MAINE No. 35
original abstracts on canvas


Naturally, two choices from my hello lovely etsy shop
include affordable original paintings by me
(a perfect size for a gallery wall)
and assorted vintage European bottles
which are fabulous on their own,
as a styling prop, or vase.
(They may even work for holiday decorating!)

vintage embossed bottles


hello lovely inc.

 


Luciane of Home Bunch says…..

Happy Holiday shopping, everyone!

Pick #1:
I have three small children and I’m always trying to make our home feels like a home for every and each member of our family. I like my kids to feel welcomed in every room, but I like to dedicate certain places exclusively to them. I think it’s really important for our kids to have a place where they feel completely free to create, play and learn.
When I saw these children plates I immediately thought how neat would be to have them hung in a playroom. These alphabet plates are adorable and I’m sure any kid would enjoy seeing them!

Aren’t they cute? The set for a mug and plate costs $26.00 and you can find them here.

 

Pick #2:
Maybe this Christmas we should do more than opening our wallets, maybe instead, we should open our eyes to see what the person next to one need.
We all get incredibly busy at this time of the year, we all try to send cards to all of friends and family and we’re running from store to store with a huge list on hands, but is it all we can do? Is it all we can give? Perhaps, we can do more, perhaps we should do better.
What about actually being the gift for someone this Christmas? Look around, you can help in so many ways and that’s a gift! Visit a neighbor you know could use of some help with the kids, or an elder person who needs help. You can do simple things, such as wrapping gifts or cooking some meals for the Holidays.
Offer help, be there and put a smile on someone’s face.
The best gifts in life are usually priceless and comes from the heart, instead of a shelf.

 

Happy Holidays!
Luciane
 

 

Elizabeth of Pretty Pink Tulips says…..

I am always on the look out, year round, for special items that would make a fabulous gift, so I was thrilled that Tina invited me to share a couple of picks with her lovely readers. I love to give things that will be savored, enjoyed and used. Personalized items are always a favorite of mine, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a monogram. My first holiday gift pick is the exquisite new book, Flowers, by Carolyne Roehm. 
The book was a true labor of love, as Carolyne created all of the floral arrangements and photographed them herself. If you know someone how lives for their garden, a gorgeous flower arrangement or just loves a fabulous coffee table book…this is the one for the season! The most cost effective way to purchase her book is via amazon.com, but you can also visit her website, www.carolyneroehm.com to have her personalize the book for your recipient.

My next gift pick is something I have and use on a daily basis. The Russell + Hazel Tassel Key Chain is just a fun thing to give and receive. The personalization comes in choosing the perfect color. Mine is white and is easy to find in the bottom of my handbags.  Available at zhush.com

Whatever you choose to give, remember the presentation is part of the gift!
xoxo Elizabeth

Thanks ladies! This is like the gift giving jackpot. So  many unique ideas, this is the beauty of having such talented blogging friends……wonderful ideas are always being generated and  of course the perk is getting to share them with you all. I am for once excited about my gift giving…how about you? Thanks again ladies and thank you everyone for stopping in….ho ho ho!

A perfect fall day with Mary Ann of Classic Casual Home!

Good morning my dear readers. Well, you are in for another wonderful treat by yet another wonderful and talented blogger friend. Say hello to Mary Ann of the popular blog, Classic Casual Home. First a forewarning…….this post may evoke strong feelings of jealousy, so proceed at your own risk. “Poor” Mary Ann lives in the beautiful idyllic coastal town of Newport Beach…yes I know so sad:( And this poor soul gets to grill all year long, enjoy lunches on the beach in the dead of winter and thinks having to “brave the elements” in a trench coat is roughing it.

Poor Mary Ann…..if she wasn’t so darn sweet, it would be easy to be insanely jealous but instead I am in awe of all she does and love seeing life from her sunny perspective. She has super stylish friends besides owning a gorgeous beach home herself…..and all she does is done with great grace and that enviable classic easy going California style. So if you don’t know Mary Ann yet……you are missing out! Enough talking…lets hear from Mary Ann on her take on a perfect fall day, California style…..

_____________________________

Thanks so much, Tina, for inquiring about my?

Perfect Fall Day.
??
I split my time between two beautiful locations, Mammoth Lakes (in the Sierra mountains) and Newport Beach, California. ?Both are great places to spend a perfect day.

One word that comes to mind when I think of fall??pumpkins
inside and outside
One of the most wonderful things about fall is…….changing the look of our home with autumn branches and
and my wool, instead of linen, pillows.

My favorite fall color is…
? ? ? Yellowy gold…like on the far hill in this Van Gogh painting or
? ? ? ?this soft alpaca throw from Crate and Barrel...

On a perfect fall day, I would wake up at….at 7 am feeling fully rested and ready to jump out of bed

To the sound of…my husband making me a cappuccino?

The view from my window looks something like this…
in Mammoth, Ca

or?Lido Bay

The ideal fall weather could be described this way…
“Sweater Weather” 70 degrees and sunny and cooler at night.

My ideal morning activity would be?a hike to Crystal Lake, in Mammoth…
only accessible by foot.

This is a fall outfit you might see me in???
? ? ? ? ??Mammoth? ? ? and ? ? Mammoth


A favorite product (beauty or otherwise) I like to use as the weather gets nippier…
Kiehls Creme de Corps? A great body moisturizer that my mother gave us. ?Our skin gets extra dry with the high altitude in Mammoth, Ca.

For a fall breakfast I would indulge in..
“Indulge” you said so…A bagel sandwich with egg, Swiss cheese and crispy bacon, another cappuccino and animated conversation my walking buddies.

My favorite daytime activity in the fall?is…..
Well, since this is a perfect day, no work or laundry, just?reading The Enchanted Home.

Here’s whats on my plate for lunch…
A arugula salad with sliced pear and toasted walnuts, shaved parmesan, a spritz of fresh lemon juice and drizzle of good olive oil.

Around 3pm you might find me,
on my bicycle headed to ride on the boardwalk at the beach or curled up with a bunch of new magazines.

An afternoon “pick me up”?snack might just be……..
dark chocolate

For dinner you might find this cooking on the stove….
Since our Meyer lemon tree in Newport Beach is ?producing lots of lemons again…
We grill all year round here.

The perfect way to end a perfect fall day would be?
??An electric boat sunset cruise with a couple of fun girls
(Brooke and my daughter, Alie).

Thanks, Tina for allowing me to dream about?
My Perfect Fall Day. You are so good about encouraging us?
enjoy our dreams!


OK Mary Ann, now that you said reading my blog would be part of your perfect day….I will reconsider being jealous of you and your lifestyle…lol. Absolutely wonderful! This is going to make an awful lot of people wish they were spending their fall days in sunny happy California! I loved your take and everything from your food choices(if you clik on their names, she was kind enough to include a link to their recipes) to your afternoon activities all sound fabulous, I would happily accompany you on any part of this dreamy day. Thanks for being part of this and thanks to all my readers for stopping in. Want to hear and know more about Mary Ann? Then stop on over at her blog, Classic Casual Home and say hello. Click here to visit. Wishing everyone a fabulous fall day….so whats your perfect fall day all about?

Photobucket

A perfect fall day with Mary Ann of Classic Casual Home!

Good morning my dear readers. Well, you are in for another wonderful treat by yet another wonderful and talented blogger friend. Say hello to Mary Ann of the popular blog, Classic Casual Home. First a forewarning…….this post may evoke strong feelings of jealousy, so proceed at your own risk. “Poor” Mary Ann lives in the beautiful idyllic coastal town of Newport Beach…yes I know so sad:( And this poor soul gets to grill all year long, enjoy lunches on the beach in the dead of winter and thinks having to “brave the elements” in a trench coat is roughing it.

Poor Mary Ann…..if she wasn’t so darn sweet, it would be easy to be insanely jealous but instead I am in awe of all she does and love seeing life from her sunny perspective. She has super stylish friends besides owning a gorgeous beach home herself…..and all she does is done with great grace and that enviable classic easy going California style. So if you don’t know Mary Ann yet……you are missing out! Enough talking…lets hear from Mary Ann on her take on a perfect fall day, California style…..

_____________________________

Thanks so much, Tina, for inquiring about my 

Perfect Fall Day.
  
I split my time between two beautiful locations, Mammoth Lakes (in the Sierra mountains) and Newport Beach, California.  Both are great places to spend a perfect day.

One word that comes to mind when I think of fall??pumpkins
inside and outside
One of the most wonderful things about fall is…….changing the look of our home with autumn branches and
and my wool, instead of linen, pillows.

My favorite fall color is…
      Yellowy gold…like on the far hill in this Van Gogh painting or
       this soft alpaca throw from Crate and Barrel...

On a perfect fall day, I would wake up at….at 7 am feeling fully rested and ready to jump out of bed

To the sound of…my husband making me a cappuccino 

The view from my window looks something like this…
in Mammoth, Ca

or Lido Bay

The ideal fall weather could be described this way…
“Sweater Weather” 70 degrees and sunny and cooler at night.

My ideal morning activity would be?a hike to Crystal Lake, in Mammoth…
only accessible by foot.

This is a fall outfit you might see me in???
Newport Beach   and   Newport Beach  or
          Mammoth      and     Mammoth


A favorite product (beauty or otherwise) I like to use as the weather gets nippier…
Kiehls Creme de Corps  A great body moisturizer that my mother gave us.  Our skin gets extra dry with the high altitude in Mammoth, Ca.

For a fall breakfast I would indulge in..
“Indulge” you said so…A bagel sandwich with egg, Swiss cheese and crispy bacon, another cappuccino and animated conversation my walking buddies.

My favorite daytime activity in the fall is…..
Well, since this is a perfect day, no work or laundry, just reading The Enchanted Home.

Here’s whats on my plate for lunch…
A arugula salad with sliced pear and toasted walnuts, shaved parmesan, a spritz of fresh lemon juice and drizzle of good olive oil.

Around 3pm you might find me,
on my bicycle headed to ride on the boardwalk at the beach or curled up with a bunch of new magazines.

An afternoon “pick me up” snack might just be……..
dark chocolate

For dinner you might find this cooking on the stove….
Since our Meyer lemon tree in Newport Beach is  producing lots of lemons again…
We grill all year round here.

The perfect way to end a perfect fall day would be?
  An electric boat sunset cruise with a couple of fun girls
(Brooke and my daughter, Alie).

Thanks, Tina for allowing me to dream about 
My Perfect Fall Day. You are so good about encouraging us 
enjoy our dreams!

OK Mary Ann, now that you said reading my blog would be part of your perfect day….I will reconsider being jealous of you and your lifestyle…lol. Absolutely wonderful! This is going to make an awful lot of people wish they were spending their fall days in sunny happy California! I loved your take and everything from your food choices(if you clik on their names, she was kind enough to include a link to their recipes) to your afternoon activities all sound fabulous, I would happily accompany you on any part of this dreamy day. Thanks for being part of this and thanks to all my readers for stopping in. Want to hear and know more about Mary Ann? Then stop on over at her blog, Classic Casual Home and say hello. Click here to visit. Wishing everyone a fabulous fall day….so whats your perfect fall day all about?
Photobucket

Behind the blogger…meet Mary Ann from Classic Casual Home!



Good morning! How was everyones weekend? Hope wonderful! I had relatives visiting from out of town so went into NY, and had so much fun. Felt like I have been living under a rock for the last few years being knee deep in “house biz”! It was great to get out and do something totally unrelated to the house. Anyway, ?so happy to be here with yet another?fabulous and talented blogging friend, say hello to …..

?

Mary Ann from Classic Casual Home



Now the low down…..If Mary Ann wasn’t so nice, charming and down to earth it would be easy to be just a bit jealous. She lived in Paris with her family not to mention numerous other wonderful spots and now lives in Newport Beach, California. Two of my most favorite places on earth! She is so incredibly sweet and funny and self deprecating, qualities which ?make her so likable. Then her blog….how fun it is! I love visiting because I know I will always love what I see. Whether she is showing her beautiful welcoming elegant home with French touches or featuring various bloggers in her popular pillow addict series, she always puts a fresh and appealing spin on whatever subject she might be talking about. ?When she is not busy running her growing design business, which includes e-design, she loves skiing, cooking and hiking. I love that she stresses that when designing someones home, its important to her that they are proud of their space and feel comfortable in their newly designed home. Mary Ann’s blog is definitely one which must be one of my daily stops in blog land. One click over and you will see just what I mean. We hope to meet up one day and Mary Ann, you know whenever you come back to the East Coast I expect a call! Do visit Classic Casual Home if you are not already familiar with it…I promise you will be glad you did!



Click on header to visit Classic Casual Home and thank you Mary Ann for participating!

So how did you end up blogging?
A bit like you (on a much smaller scale), Tina, I wanted to highlight the changes we made to our home.??I was also hoping to gain some exposure for my decorating business, Chez Vous Home.??Fortunately, it has been helping quite a bit and it is FUN.
A few things I love about fall are………………..
My birthday is in October and I like to milk it for the whole month. Also, I love how our family gets together for Thanksgiving?always in different places, but we are together.
You get to spend a month at the perfect beach house, will it be Malibu or Nantucket?
Malibu is just about an hour away from where we live, so I would pick Nantucket.??I have never been there and I imagine?hydrangeas, woven baskets, clapboard cottages, wide porches, gourmet shops.??Am I right?

Two weeks first class all the way, is it London or Paris?
Paris, for sure (and First Class?ALL RIGHT!).??I first visited Paris with father on my 19th?birthday (yeah, milked it).??I was studying abroad for a year in Vienna. I think that experience led me to be unafraid to live in new places.??Ten years ago, we lived in Paris for two years.??What a fabulous experience for our family!
If I was 18 again I would…….
Realize my parents were pretty smart after all.
What would be on your plate for your ultimate dream dinner and dessert?
My husband?s short ribs and gorgonzola polenta and a baby arugula salad with summer tomatoes and shaved parmesan.??For dessert, a dark chocolate and nut tart with fresh raspberries and whipped cream (a recipe I learned in Paris)?and since this is a dream, no calories.
Tell us as little or much as you want to about your family??Since we have moved several times (New York, Chicago, Orlando, Paris, Fort Lauderdale, California) for my husband?s work, our little family is very close.??Howard and I have been married for 26 years.??Our daughter, Alie is 23 (and fluent in French) just got promoted at an ad agency in NYC.??Tommy is 18 and a freshman (go Gators) in college.??I miss that guy!??We are empty (sob) nesters now. Loving Skype.
Worst habit? Best trait?
None!!! (Well, perhaps using too many exclamation points)! Best trait:??My husband would say I am polite.
Favorite design trend?
Mixing high and low materials.

One?golden rule/advice for decorating that you would pass on…?
It is just decorating, enjoy it!??Seriously, you make the rules.
And one more thing?if unsure, sleep on it.
Designer icon?
Parish/Hadley duo.??Always in style.
You get to have lunch with anyone in the entire world, could be from Hollywood, a famous author or playwright, a politician, rock star, a cooking guru, religious leader, anyone?who are the lucky two to sit at your table??Wow, Tina, amazing questions.??Making my brain hurt.??The possibilities ?can I get back to you when I narrow it down? Well she did get back to me and here is what she came up with (she just HAD to squeeze in 2 extra seats to make it 5)…..Oprah’s best friend, Gayle (she is so darn nice and probably knows where the good wine is), Mother Teresa (I would like to give her a hug), Julia Child (she would make the meal and tell us about it with a hearty laugh), Bob Hope( he would have us cracking up and I could thank him for? entertaining the troops while in danger), and Leonardo Da Vinci ( I would give him a stack of cocktail napkins and a pen to play with)


A perfect day would start with…?room service wearing a nice hotel robe in a place I have never been before like Sicily, Bali, Australia, Argentina, Greece?and end with…?learning something new.

If we could only live in one season year round, which would you choose and why???Summer in southern California?by the beach?flip flops, warm sand and cool breezes.??No air conditioning needed.
Describe your favorite outfit.
Big smile and cotton Asian pajamas from Garnet Hill, bare feet. ?Washington Square? Bond Street perfume. (This comment will kill my fashionable, high-heeled friend, Netta).
Tell me about a dream vacation for you and your family…?My whole family, including Howard, my mom, brothers, sisters, cousins, children, our dog, Rocky, oh, and throw in all our close friends (fly First Class, hard to go back after Paris) to Rome for a couple days and have tea with the Pope (that?s for you, Mom) and then rent villas in a hill town in Umbria where we eat pasta, drink wine, blast opera music, taste gelato in the square, walk everywhere and laugh at my husband speaking Italian with his hands.
Favorite movie or book that you could read or watch over and over?
My daughter, Alie and I have watched ?Pride and Prejudice? way too may times.??At Thanksgiving, it is always ?Planes, Trains and Automobiles? or ?My Cousin Vinny.?
3 qualities that I think fairly describe me are.?Positive, friendly, resilient
Comedy or dramas???Drama, unless I need a comedy.
A book that I have read in the last few years that I really really loved is….
was ?World Without End? by Ken Follet.??It is the sequel to ?The Pillars of the Earth? and although they were thick historical novels? I did not want either to end.

In my next life I will?never think I was too fat.
If I have learned one thing in life, it is?to be kind.??It?s true.

?One thing I absolutely cannot live without is??Howard???too sappy? OK…air. Too serious? Then, Red Vines or Hot Tamales…..life would just not be worth living.?


And just a recap on what Mary Ann loves….




Now do you see what all the fuss is about? Isnt’ she great? I love someone with a sense of humor…..someone after my own heart. When she described her ideal vacation I knew we were meant to be friends, we could stand atop the Tuscan mountain tops and belt out opera together, wine glass in hands with our families looking aghast in the background…lol. THEN when I read about her love for red vines and hot tamales, I knew it was fate! Yes, those are a regular indulgence of mine too…loved them both ever since I was a kid. Some things you are never too old for, right Mary Ann? Anyway hope you enjoyed this as much as I did…please stop by and say hello to Mary Ann, click here to visit. Thanks again for stopping by!! Have an enchanting day!



Photobucket

Behind the blogger…meet Mary Ann from Classic Casual Home!


Good morning! How was everyones weekend? Hope wonderful! I had relatives visiting from out of town so went into NY, and had so much fun. Felt like I have been living under a rock for the last few years being knee deep in “house biz”! It was great to get out and do something totally unrelated to the house. Anyway,  so happy to be here with yet another fabulous and talented blogging friend, say hello to …..
 
Mary Ann from Classic Casual Home

Now the low down…..If Mary Ann wasn’t so nice, charming and down to earth it would be easy to be just a bit jealous. She lived in Paris with her family not to mention numerous other wonderful spots and now lives in Newport Beach, California. Two of my most favorite places on earth! She is so incredibly sweet and funny and self deprecating, qualities which  make her so likable. Then her blog….how fun it is! I love visiting because I know I will always love what I see. Whether she is showing her beautiful welcoming elegant home with French touches or featuring various bloggers in her popular pillow addict series, she always puts a fresh and appealing spin on whatever subject she might be talking about.  When she is not busy running her growing design business, which includes e-design, she loves skiing, cooking and hiking. I love that she stresses that when designing someones home, its important to her that they are proud of their space and feel comfortable in their newly designed home. Mary Ann’s blog is definitely one which must be one of my daily stops in blog land. One click over and you will see just what I mean. We hope to meet up one day and Mary Ann, you know whenever you come back to the East Coast I expect a call! Do visit Classic Casual Home if you are not already familiar with it…I promise you will be glad you did!

Click on header to visit Classic Casual Home and thank you Mary Ann for participating!

So how did you end up blogging?
A bit like you (on a much smaller scale), Tina, I wanted to highlight the changes we made to our home.  I was also hoping to gain some exposure for my decorating business, Chez Vous Home.  Fortunately, it has been helping quite a bit and it is FUN.
A few things I love about fall are………………..
My birthday is in October and I like to milk it for the whole month. Also, I love how our family gets together for Thanksgiving?always in different places, but we are together.
You get to spend a month at the perfect beach house, will it be Malibu or Nantucket?
Malibu is just about an hour away from where we live, so I would pick Nantucket.  I have never been there and I imagine?hydrangeas, woven baskets, clapboard cottages, wide porches, gourmet shops.  Am I right?

Two weeks first class all the way, is it London or Paris?
Paris, for sure (and First Class?ALL RIGHT!).  I first visited Paris with father on my 19th birthday (yeah, milked it).  I was studying abroad for a year in Vienna. I think that experience led me to be unafraid to live in new places.  Ten years ago, we lived in Paris for two years.  What a fabulous experience for our family!
If I was 18 again I would…….
Realize my parents were pretty smart after all.
What would be on your plate for your ultimate dream dinner and dessert?
My husband?s short ribs and gorgonzola polenta and a baby arugula salad with summer tomatoes and shaved parmesan.  For dessert, a dark chocolate and nut tart with fresh raspberries and whipped cream (a recipe I learned in Paris)?and since this is a dream, no calories.
Tell us as little or much as you want to about your family? Since we have moved several times (New York, Chicago, Orlando, Paris, Fort Lauderdale, California) for my husband?s work, our little family is very close.  Howard and I have been married for 26 years.  Our daughter, Alie is 23 (and fluent in French) just got promoted at an ad agency in NYC.  Tommy is 18 and a freshman (go Gators) in college.  I miss that guy!  We are empty (sob) nesters now. Loving Skype.
Worst habit? Best trait?
None!!! (Well, perhaps using too many exclamation points)! Best trait:  My husband would say I am polite.
Favorite design trend?
Mixing high and low materials.

One golden rule/advice for decorating that you would pass on… 
It is just decorating, enjoy it!  Seriously, you make the rules.
And one more thing?if unsure, sleep on it.
Designer icon?
Parish/Hadley duo.  Always in style.
You get to have lunch with anyone in the entire world, could be from Hollywood, a famous author or playwright, a politician, rock star, a cooking guru, religious leader, anyone?who are the lucky two to sit at your table? Wow, Tina, amazing questions.  Making my brain hurt.  The possibilities ?can I get back to you when I narrow it down? Well she did get back to me and here is what she came up with (she just HAD to squeeze in 2 extra seats to make it 5)…..Oprah’s best friend, Gayle (she is so darn nice and probably knows where the good wine is), Mother Teresa (I would like to give her a hug), Julia Child (she would make the meal and tell us about it with a hearty laugh), Bob Hope( he would have us cracking up and I could thank him for  entertaining the troops while in danger), and Leonardo Da Vinci ( I would give him a stack of cocktail napkins and a pen to play with)


A perfect day would start with… room service wearing a nice hotel robe in a place I have never been before like Sicily, Bali, Australia, Argentina, Greece?and end with… learning something new.

If we could only live in one season year round, which would you choose and why?  Summer in southern California?by the beach?flip flops, warm sand and cool breezes.  No air conditioning needed.
Describe your favorite outfit.
Big smile and cotton Asian pajamas from Garnet Hill, bare feet. ?Washington Square? Bond Street perfume. (This comment will kill my fashionable, high-heeled friend, Netta).
Tell me about a dream vacation for you and your family… My whole family, including Howard, my mom, brothers, sisters, cousins, children, our dog, Rocky, oh, and throw in all our close friends (fly First Class, hard to go back after Paris) to Rome for a couple days and have tea with the Pope (that?s for you, Mom) and then rent villas in a hill town in Umbria where we eat pasta, drink wine, blast opera music, taste gelato in the square, walk everywhere and laugh at my husband speaking Italian with his hands.
Favorite movie or book that you could read or watch over and over?
My daughter, Alie and I have watched ?Pride and Prejudice? way too may times.  At Thanksgiving, it is always ?Planes, Trains and Automobiles? or ?My Cousin Vinny.?
3 qualities that I think fairly describe me are. Positive, friendly, resilient
Comedy or dramas?  Drama, unless I need a comedy.
A book that I have read in the last few years that I really really loved is….
was ?World Without End? by Ken Follet.  It is the sequel to ?The Pillars of the Earth? and although they were thick historical novels? I did not want either to end.

In my next life I will never think I was too fat.
If I have learned one thing in life, it is to be kind.  It?s true.

 One thing I absolutely cannot live without is  Howard  ?too sappy? OK…air. Too serious? Then, Red Vines or Hot Tamales…..life would just not be worth living. 


And just a recap on what Mary Ann loves….


Now do you see what all the fuss is about? Isnt’ she great? I love someone with a sense of humor…..someone after my own heart. When she described her ideal vacation I knew we were meant to be friends, we could stand atop the Tuscan mountain tops and belt out opera together, wine glass in hands with our families looking aghast in the background…lol. THEN when I read about her love for red vines and hot tamales, I knew it was fate! Yes, those are a regular indulgence of mine too…loved them both ever since I was a kid. Some things you are never too old for, right Mary Ann? Anyway hope you enjoyed this as much as I did…please stop by and say hello to Mary Ann, click here to visit. Thanks again for stopping by!! Have an enchanting day!

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