Comments : 45

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… 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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Lisa on

Tina she sounds like such fun! I loved this interview. I am not familiar with her blog but will be going to visit on my lunch break. She sounds so interesting and so outgoing and carefree. I look forward to visiting her. Thank you for another wonderful interview!

Party Resources on

What a fun interview! Now I am off to check out her blog. Happy Monday! xx

Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle on

If it’s possible, I think I’m even more fond of Mary Ann after reading this. Love her casual, elegant style.

The Buzz Blog on

Mary Ann sounds like my kind of gal… Lived in Paris, loves Red Vines, and realizes decorating should be fun! Thanks, Tina, for yet another great start to a week.

quintessence on

Just LOVE Mary Ann – fun, stylish & great sense of humor!! I like so many of her picks and comments – we even have October birthdays in common – and I have a 23 year old son and 18 year old daughter – perfect matches!!

Portuguese Prepster on

I love her list of people to sit down with at a table-so creative!

Amy @MaisonDecor on

Another great interview with a lovely lady~I really enjoy reading about the person behind the blog!!

Taylor Greenwalt on

Thanks for a great interview. It is so much fun to get to know other bloggers. I visit her blog all the time. I remember when I saw Brook from Velvet and Linen at an antique store, it felt like I knew her. She must of thought I was nuts.

classic β€’ casual β€’ home on

Thanks, fun to be here. I love the collage of photos you did! But of course, I would. You are so sweet.

lizziefitz on

The lunch question/answer was very telling . Great interview. I have loved following the build of the family castle. GORGEOUS!!!!!

mwaxter on

What a totally fun interview and Mary Ann sounds like such a neat person. I love her idea of a perfect vacation and Pride and Prejudice is my all time favorite.

These interviews offer such wonderful insight to the blogger. Thank you-

Donna in Potomac on

I thoroughly enjoyed the interview – Nice People Rock! (better than Mean People Suck).

Besides that, her well-thought-out answer about inviting DaVinci to lunch and giving him a set of cocktail napkins and a pen was BRILLIANT! My imagination went wild with that one.

classic β€’ casual β€’ home on

Hi again Tina…just can’t keep my mouth shut…
the reason Gayle is at the luncheon is because we are having it at Oprah’s house in Hawaii (hey? why not?).

And the bike you show above is really similar to the one I got for Mother’s Day two years ago!

The Preppy Princess on

Mary Ann sounds just delightful, her comment on being an empty nester using Skype made perfect sense. I also loved her desire to do Nantucket for a month, as much as I love the warmth of southern California, it will always be Nantucket.

It was also fun to see that Mary Ann selected Paris, what a wonderful background to share, I am off to visit her page!

Town and Country Mom on

A great interview by one of my favorite bloggers, of one of my favorite bloggers! Great job to you both!

Anonymous on

Great interview. I love Mary Ann’s blog. I really appreciate it when someone with great taste and style saves an older home in a great location and makes it beautiful again instead. No excess or dubious trends, just classic, casual style.

Holly on

How fun! It’s cool to learn a little bit about other bloggers. That dinner sounds so amazing – I’d like one please. REally fun.

Barbara Bussey {The Treasured Home} on

Tina, Your questions are the best! While I’ve been a new follower of Mary Ann’s her answers really tell us so much about her, that I would have never known. And I love a little sappy! Go, Howard!
Best to you,

Carolyn@SweetChaos on

I LOVE Mary Ann, and loved reading more about her! She is a wonderful designer, and an equally wonderful person! And, I think her next series should be “Licorice Addicts!” My poison is Twizzlers… in fact, I’m devouring some right now :). I knew I liked that lady!! Oh, and I love that she would take her mom to meet the Pope. What a good Catholic girl πŸ™‚


such a fun post–and I agree with her adage about decorating–have some fun! Hope your weekend in the city was lot’s of fun! xxBarbara

Kelly on

It was nice to read this interview and learn more about you. My sister @ Savvy Southern Style has been reading your blog for some time now and told me to check it out. It’s full of inspiration with the building of your new house! I can’t get over it’s size! Good luck on the completion of your new home. I look forward to reading more posts about it.

Sizzle and Zoom on

I already follow her blog. Nice to know more about her.

Elizabeth Eiffel on

Thank you introducing me to Mary Ann. I like her perspective on life and enjoyed visiting her blog.
Best wishes.

Chic Coastal Living on

Awesome interview! Two of my fav bloggers Tina and Mary Ann! Both of you are my daily routines here in blog world! It was so much fun learning more about you Mary Ann and you are a hoot! You need to be my best friend! I love being around people who can make me laugh! Maybe we can meet in Gainesville! I lived there for 2.5 years in college and moved back home to get married but we usually go to a game or two with the boys! Da da da da da da GO GATORS!! xoxoxo


Love her…and Planes, Trains and Automobiles is one of my all time favorite comedies!!!! I can tell she is sweet…..just by how she answered your questions!

5th and State on

loving tina and now wondering what rock i have been hiding under, thanks for another great interview. now, i am on my way over!

'LUSH' on

I love these interviews! But being a romantic, and realist, I believe in real love……so I love reading about long marriages and spouses who still love each other, and uphold the interests of each other. What a wonderful life of love and design! I wish her many more years of both!

At The Picket Fence on

I just think Mary Ann is so fabulous and I’m so glad you featured her over here! That was a great interview and it was so much fun getting to know her a bit better. πŸ™‚

Castles Crowns and Cottages on

WOW…now, I think that my answers to your questions may have been too short? What a lovely interview my friend! Please let me know if you need more information. It is just that with my full-time teaching job and all, I find very little time if ANY to even email or blog. I DO IT WITH MUCH JOY but I have to really find time early in the morning to do so. SO FORGIVE ME if my answers to your questions for the interview were too short!!!! Let me know, Anita

CalypsoInTheCountry on

Love her blog – and yours too! Mary Ann seems like such a sweet person and I love her style. I had to laugh about the “too many exclamation points” comment…I go crazy with them too! Great interview!

Ideezine on

Tina and Mary Ann,

Great interview with Mary Ann. It’s true that the things that draw people together are the things they have in common but through discovery we learn about the common things later. Learning more about Mary Ann and you too Tina have me laughing and saying well of course!

Here is what I know currently:

Of course you two are fond of each other and I really love both your blogs, adventurous spirits, and how excited you both are about life..,mee too!

Here’s the coincendence part:
Mary Ann, Tina, and Bette have all been married 26 years!
Autumn birthdays, Mary Ann, Tina and Bette!
Love for and very involved in Design, Mary Ann, Tina, and Bette!
Lots of family acitivities especially vacations, and holiday’s that rings true again!

I guess as they say it takes one to know one is so true! Happy Monday!


Mercedes on

I have loved Mary Ann for many years! It was fun reading her interview….especially because I think I’m invited on her dream vacation with her! I can’t wait to see you in a few weeks, Mary Ann!

Summers Cottage on

Love the interview! I follow you both – I love it when my favorite bloggers cross blogs and I love both of them. It’s like BOGO day!

Stacy Curran on

I love Mary Ann’s blog but haven’t had a chance to visit in a while. On my way now!

Anonymous on

My wife is definitely the better half – the MUCH better half – of our marriage. You can only begin to understand how wonderful she is from this interview. We actually lived her vacation dream in Cortona a few years ago. A wonderful old Italian farmhouse, the best opera music ever and food and wine we only dream about! She is the light of my life and the most wonderful person you will ever meet – like her mother and father!

classic β€’ casual β€’ home on

Thanks, anonymous Howard. The first time you have ever commented…now sign up to get Tina’s blog posts…you are going to LOVE her kitchen.

Tina, what are the Red Vines doing on the grass?

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here on

Hi Tina, This is a wonderful interview with one of my favorite bloggers. Mary Ann is such a talented designer and appears to be such a kind lady.

Rent Toronto on

I quite enjoyed reading your article. It contains a lot of interesting information. It’s true that finding a best apartment is not easy. But Toronto apartments are very much popular among people.And this makes is grow better.

Jamie Flintrope on

Mary Ann is such an intelligent, kind, smart and cute person! I loved this interview!

Barbara@HausDesign on

This sounds like someone I need to get to know…I love her down to earth sense of humor but also sounds like a fun-loving sense of style, too! Loving the new questions, too, Tina!

The enchanted home on

Howard and Mary Ann, you both are sooooooo cute! Love the “anonymous” comment Howard, very slick. The love between you two is totally admirable and a beautiful thing. Let me guess Mary Ann sang opera from the hilltops too? Wouldn’t surprise me one bit and probably gave “La Stupenda” a run for her money πŸ™‚

And Mary Ann if you should know, they were “resting” while the Hot Tamales were being devoured, just waiting their turn…taking a final break on the grass:)

This was so much fun!

Chic Coastal Living on

How sweet for Howard to comment! You are blessed to have a husband that is a blessing..(me, too). xoxo

Marilyn *Pink Martinis and Pearls* on

I can tell you both had a lot of fun doing this. Thanks for sharing it with us admirers of both your wonderful blogs. πŸ™‚ xoxo

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