Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wicker

There is nothing more summery than wicker...

Don't you love the iconic blue lining in this bag from Tiffany....


























Tory Burch clutch from Saks














Wedges by Kate Spade



Summer clothes and accessories are flooding the stores, so now is the time to start deciding what you want/need.

It takes time to build your closet, just as it takes time to furnish your home, but you will make less mistakes, and end up with more items that you love year after year if you take the time to plan what you want to buy before you leave the house.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Carter Center


Just had to share this photo of my husband and 13 year old daughter with President Carter.

The Carter Center is involved in so many wonderful programs, but the one closest to our hearts is their Guinea Worm program. The Carter Center began leading a campaign to eradicate Guinea worm in 1986 when there were an estimated 3.5 million cases. Currently there are less than 2000 cases, and they are so close to eradicating this horrible disease.

You can donate here if you want to help.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Cordings

There is a wonderful shop on Picadilly in London called Cordings. It describes itself as the home of quality country clothing for Gentlemen and Ladies since 1839!

The store has been partly owned by rockstar Eric Clapton since 2003, and although he is a country boy at heart, his position as Design Director at the store has certainly infused their range with more high fashion items such as leather jodhpurs and Spanish riding boots similar to those worn by Kate Middleton.

Here is a taste:

Ladieswear

Ladies Trousers

Ladies Jackets

Ladieswear Coats

Ladieswear Accessories



Menswear

Mens Rainwear

Mens Shirts

Mens Knitwear

Mens Jackets

They do ship to the US, but I am lucky enough to get to shop there in person twice a year, and my husband is there even more frequently than that.

Next time you are in London I hope that you will visit Cordings. It's a British institution. (And Wallis Simpson used to shop there!)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Vitamix Blender

I love to eat healthy food. It makes me feel happy to know that the food I am eating is both nutritious and delicious. A few weeks ago our blender broke and my husband said that he would pick up a new one.

He came home via Williams Sonoma with a professional Vitamix blender and refused to discuss the price!

Vita-Mix Professional 500 Blender
We started making smoothies for breakfast, and have done so 90% of the mornings since we got the blender. On the days that we don't make a smoothie then my son seriously does not know what to eat! He is not a fan of breakfast but will happily drink a freshly made fruit smoothie and doesn't seem to mind knowing that there is spinach in it.

I have also made several soups. I find that if I just make enough for me to have soup at lunch then the blender makes it hot enough but if I am making a big batch of soup then I prefer to finish it off on the stove so that its piping hot. If you roast some vegetables in the oven and then add them to the blender with stock and spices then it makes the most delicious soup.

The blender came with an instructional DVD and a HUGE recipe binder which I have enjoyed perusing. I am really enjoying the sauce recipes and have tried several already.

The Vitamix blender has been a wonderful additional to our kitchen, but I'm glad that I got to fall in love with it prior to finding out the cost!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Pickett - round two!

My daughter and I went shopping in London last Autumn.

We took a stroll down the Burlington Arcade and as usual I stopped to drool over the handbags in Pickett.

I purchased this tan Helen bag. I wanted a larger size than they carry so had it custom made, and then shipped to the US. It only took a few weeks and I love, love, love it!



I bought the same bag last year
in black cherry



Next time you are in London I recommend a trip to the Burlington Arcade, both for the beauty of the Arcade itself, as well as for the luxury shopping it contains.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Decisions, Decisions....

I need some help to make a difficult decision. I have in my possession $400 in gift vouchers for Tiffany, and I can't decide what to get. I don't mind buying something a little more expensive than the vouchers but lets not go crazy!

These are things in this price range that I already own:

I have these in blue topaz...


I have this silver bracelet...



I have several pairs of earrings in this price range.

I have 3 of these, one in black onyx as shown, one in pearl and a pink one that I think is rose quartz

My daughter has the silver toggle bracelet with the heart, a diamonds by the yard necklace and a heart locket.

I also have this nickel clock on my dressing table, and a beautiful crystal bowl in my drawing room.

It's a good problem to have but since I'm going to be at Tiffany on Saturday I really want to make up my mind before then. I prefer to know what I want before I get to the store, I hate to buy things on impulse.

Help!

Decorating 101

Having a well appointed home is a dream most of us have.

I can remember back to my college days when I shared a house with a group of my friends and I would dream of the day when I had a home of my own.

In movies, a young couple will graduate from college, each get a high paying job, and then move into a beautifully decorated HUGE house.

Sadly that is not real life. In reality it takes many years to put together the home of your dreams. Unless you do so on credit, but I think we all know that living beyond our means in a slippery slope that we don't want to get on.

When I was 26 I left London and moved to the US. We did not sell our flat in London so needed to start from scratch when we got here. The best decision I made was that I didn't decorate for the life I had at the time, but for the life I wanted in the future. My reality at that time was that we were living in a two bedroom, two bathroom apartment, but I had dreams of living in a large house in a country club. I knew that as I got older I wanted to live in a home from the pages of Traditional Home magazine so that is how I made my design decisions.

As the years passed we gradually moved up the housing ladder. It took 8 years from the time we arrived here until we bought that dream home, and I have now lived in it for another 8 years. It does look like it stepped out of the pages of my favorite magazine, but I still have pieces from my apartment, along with pieces from my first two houses prior to owning this one.

My homes are my passion and my hobby. I feel that they reflect who I am, and I put as much care and effort into running them as I do raising my children, and believe me there is nothing more important to me than that job.

I enjoy sharing my finds with you, and I hope to introduce you to some things that you love, but when it comes to making your own dream home I hope that you build it from your heart.

My decorating 101 advice is to figure out what your dream home looks like and start building it piece by piece. If you don't yet know what your dream is then try looking around some model homes, or look at different design magazines. There are lots of different styles out there, but one will speak to you. Think of it as a hobby and a passion, and you'll be surprised where it takes you. Great design is not about how much you spend, but about how much you love the items around you.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Lilly Pulitzer Caftan

 This caftan is so flattering that I wanted to share with you.

 It is available in both pink and green.

If you haven't had a chance to try one of these on yet then you need to! You'll love it!


 A pair of jeans and a Lilly tunic has been my goto combination for most of this winter. Throw on a Shere cashmere wrap or coat and I've been good to go most days.

Got to love living in the South!

Great Blue Heron

I just spent the last 6 months making this...

Great Blue Heron - Cross Stitch Pattern

I still need to get it framed but it looks ah-mazing.

Valentines' Day ideas


How about some chocolate covered cherries from Mon Cheri. They are unavailable in the US, but some kind soul has imported them, and I bought some on Amazon.

Or you could show your love with this laptop sleeve from Kate Spade
















I love the Tiffany leather goods collection, and think that this clutch would be a divine way to show someone that you love them!












A great idea for the gentleman in your life would be this gorgeous pair of love knot cufflinks from Brooks Brothers.

Love knot cuff links, silver is sterling and gold is gold-plated sterling. Swivel back. Made in the USA.

For your preppy puppy, how about this dog polo from Ralph Lauren (I gave Milly a green one for Christmas and she is tres cute in it!)


Red luggage from T Anthony would be a great Valentines' Day gift for someone who travels often, and it would stand out from all that black on the carousel.

A wonderful idea for Valentines' Day that doesn't cost much money is to make a delicious home cooked meal.

Try serving Ina Garten's perfect roast chicken

Picture of Perfect Roast Chicken Recipe

followed by panna cotta in a heart shaped dish (I picked up some red ones at Michaels).

Picture of Panna Cotta with Fresh Berries Recipe

Have a happy Valentines' Day.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Artwork

I have so many things that I want to share with you that I hardly know where to start.

There have been a lot of things that have inspired and excited me during the last 6 months, but I think the first thing I'll share with you is some new artwork.

I knew that I wanted a photo of a sailing boat in my son's room at the lake, but just could not find the perfect one.

After 2 years of looking, and one year of living with an empty wall I am pleased to say that my search has ended.

I bought this photo at Ethan Allen ...

It is very large, about 3 foot by 4 foot, and is one of a set of 3 if anyone has a lot of space to fill.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

I think I'm back ....

Sorry for vanishing so suddenly, but I started a project last summer and found that between that, two houses and a puppy I ran out of time every day. I have been reading your blogs again for several weeks, and may be posting again soon.

missed you
xoxo