Happy New Year!

Wishing you all peace, health and happiness in 2013 and always. Cheers!

Image via: PotteryBarn

Monday's P.O.P.

purple party planning

Image via: TheKnot


Random Chanel Item No. 156

Well...that's a wrap! Where did this week year go?! Does anyone ever say..."well, this feels appropriate, I think the year should end right about now!"?  Let's all enjoy the last weekend of 2012!


Minor Obsessions

We've just about solidified our New Year's Eve plans...but, really any excuse to sip champagne and wear some fabulous accessories works just fine for me...and it really is all about the accessories, right? These festive shoes, sparkly clutches and a major statement making necklace, can all work magic with basic jeans and tops, and if you throw a little black dress into the mix, you're good to go for almost any New Year's celebration! Cheers to a bright and shiny new year!


Go Bold In 2013

Last weekend we were up in Vermont. While the rest of my family was off skiing, I was happily holed up in our condo with a large mug of hot cocoa and my iPad. It was over at the Canadian House and Home site that I stumbled across the beautiful interiors of Anne Hepfer.  I can't believe that I've never seen Ms. Hepfer's work before, but I'm now making up for lost time. What strikes me the most is the bold use of color and pattern...possible inspiration for some of my own rooms that are in dire need of re-zhushing in 2013.  What design projects are you contemplating for the new year?


Happy Boxing Day!

Today only, take 15% off all decorative boxes at with this special code: boxing15


Happy Holidays

I'm signing off for a brief holiday break, but before I do, I'd like to wish you all a very happy holiday~filled with love and joy.  Your readership, comments and over all support, means the world to me.
Thank you!

Image via: InspiredDesign

Monday's P.O.P.

positively purple

Image via: HouseBeautiful


Sponsored Post: UK Holiday Traditions With Sainsburys

                                                                     Magic Mince Pies

This post is written and brought to you by Sainsbury's, Live Well For Less.

Nothing makes me feel more in the Christmas mood than a mince pie and a mug of Gluhwein. One of my favorite yearly rituals is to meet up with friends at the local Christmas market, for me that’s when Christmas starts properly.

After that first taste of Gluhwein out in the cold air I like to make my own at home and invite people round, once the Christmas tree has been decorated and the house is looking festive. You can of course make your own Gluhwein or mulled wine as we call it from scratch, buy it already bottled or buy a Gluhwein mix and make it yourself by mixing and brewing it with red wine.

Whatever you call it, it is very simple to make, you need 2 bottles of red wine, 4 oranges, 1 lemon, some cloves, cinnamon sticks and about 250g of caster sugar.

First of all grate the rind of the oranges and lemon and add to a pan. Add the cinnamon sticks and the juice from the lemon and the orange together and add to the pan. With the 3 oranges you have left, equally divide the cloves among them and place in the pan. Add the 2 bottles of red wine – it is important to heat the wine but you must not let it boil. Add the caster sugar and simmer until it dissolves.

Ideally make it just before guests are coming round so that you can keep it on a low heat and offer it warm. Alternatively you could keep some ready-made and just warm it up in the microwave.

The same principle works for mince pies, you can make your own, buy a mix and make them from that or buy some ready-made. I like to buy mine ready to eat but I try to buy them from the local bakers or independent shops as they have more of a home-made taste to them.

If I feel adventurous enough to make some this year I will probably buy a pastry mix as I’m not too great at getting quantities right when making pastry so that would save me a lot of stress. I would make the filling myself as that seems to be quite straight forward.

Of course, nothing beats proper home-made mince pies and there are plenty of amazing recipes online. If you are gifted in the kitchen why not be a domestic goddess this Christmas and give Nigella a run for her money?


Random Chanel Item No. 155

Every once in a while, readers send me "random Chanel items"...I always love it! I thought my own random holiday decor, was a bit over the top, but this tree sent in by Sherry from Virgina, really takes the random holiday spirit prize! Merci beaucoup mon Sherry! Wishing you all a very Happy Holiday!

Minor Obsessions

Today is the official first day of winter and the shortest day of the year.  Not my favorite season... for me, winter is all about keeping my family and myself warm and healthy.  Here are a few of my favorite winter essentials...what are your cold weather "must haves"?  Happy Winter everyone!


Organization Made Chic

You know that expression, "you can never be too rich?" I always think the "never enough" philosophy should apply to "organized" as well.  Clearly the clever designers at Munger Interiors would agree, the homes they create all seem to have some of the chicest storage options around.  With all these stunning built ins and designer closets, I'd like to think that staying organized all year long would be a breeze. 


Wednesday Wants

I've been a fan of Clare Vivier's bags for quite some time (I own one of her amazing clutches) but it wasn't until I ran across these images on that a full on Clare Vivier obsession kicked in.  Since white jeans and these black classic Newbury booties are already part of my wardrobe, it seems only appropriate that I complete this casual chic look, with this must-have "go with everything" Clare Vivier tote...right? Right.

PS: Also found this budget friendlier version available at Madewell. It's $168.00 but if you enter code MERRY at checkout you get 30% off and free shipping!


Our Florida Home: More Updates

During the Thanksgiving Holiday, we took a quick trip and were able to get a few things done on our vacation are a few pics of the slow but steady progress we are making in Florida. While I'm itching to replace the drapes in the living room that came with our house, the fact that some of our living room furniture has arrived is making it easier for me not to focus on them too much. I like how it's starting to really come together in there.  Keeping the green broadloom in the guest room that came with the house, proved not be be as challenging as I had first thought.  I'm also loving the few little cozy areas that are really starting to take shape...even our landscaping is filling in (plants grow so much faster in's astonishing!)


Super Glam Glam

Have you been tuning into Bravo's Million Dollar Decorators?  Between all of the over the top interiors and the equally outrageous outbursts, I literally can't get enough of this show. In a recent episode, Martyn Lawrence Bullard declared "neutral is the new color!" and went on to re-design his Hollywood home in a more subdued palette. Bravo aired only a few brief glimpses of Martyn's "before and afters," which all looked pretty amazing, so I was thrilled to see more photos of Martyn's home in Elle Decor.  I think the results are outstanding and I especially love all those stunning pops of purple!

Monday's P.O.P.

perfectly placed purple


Random Chanel Item No. 154

The weekend's almost here...let's celebrate in style!  Have a great one everyone!

Image via: Etsy

Minor Obsessions

Running a retail site this time of year, while simultaneously celebrating Chanukah, prepping for Christmas and planning New Years Eve for my family (not to mention writing this blog)... I think I've hit the Holiday wall!  Nothing like a palette cleanse of all white pretties to soothe my wary spirit.  But, if your name happens to be Mr. Zhush, consider the above, my holiday gift wish list (OK, maybe I haven't hit that wall as hard as I thought....)


Book Review: Style Me Pretty Weddings

Even though I've been married for a little over sixteen years (I know!) I was thrilled to receive a copy of the new, Style Me Pretty Weddings book, by Abby Larson.  Filled with so many beautiful weddings ~ from high end fabulous soirees to down home campy's not hard to imagine how all of these events could easily translate into amazing party inspiration for almost any occasion.  If you're like me and love to get fresh ideas for table settings, color combinations, flower arranging, creative centerpieces and so much more, then you will love this book!


Emerald Green For 2013

Whether or not you follow the "Pantone color of the year" trends, there's no denying that emerald green works perfectly both in the home and in your wardrobe...not mention your never ending gift list!

Wednesday Wants

One look that I'm absolutely loving this season is layered outerwear.  I've been wearing fur vests (both in brown and in black and both from past seasons) over last season's leather jacket over and over again. I love how something so simple, like layering two pieces that I've already owned, can create a fresh, new (and very warm) look.  What's breathing new life into your wardrobe these days?
                          Topshop leather jacket                                                Topshop faux fur vest

Top image via: Thassia blog


Obsession Du Jour: Morrison Fairfax Interiors

Traditional furnishings with a twist of mod, cheerful colors and fabulous accessories will always be my favorite. Throw in some fresh wallpaper and beautiful fabrics and it's a full on wonder I can't get enough of these wonderful interiors by Morrison Fairfax...can you?


Kitchen Bliss

Like most people, our family spends most of our time at home in the kitchen. During December, this kitchen time probably doubles around here...if not triples. The heart of the home and the hub for most holidays, it's important to get this special room right.  For me, I prefer the clean look and neutral background that an all white kitchen provides.  All white walls, counters and cabinets allow the beautiful appliances, hardware and lighting to figuratively and literally shine.  Poking around the gorgeous portfolio of O'Brien Harris, I picked up a few great ideas and ways to improve my own white kitchen. Adding mirrors to a few of my upper cabinets might be a chic way to hide the clutter within.

Monday's P.O.P.

pretty purple product placement

Image via: Front & Main


1 Winner + 2 Guests

I would love for you to check out two guest posts I've done over the past two weeks. One over at Powell Brower about my Dream Home and the other at Small Shop's Shop Talk, discussing design rules.  Finally, the winner of the Kokoon $100 Gift Card goes to lucky number 6 ~ PVE Design! Congrats PVE! Thanks again to Kokoon, for the lovely giveaway and to Nancy and Erika for having me over to their fab blogs!


Random Chanel Item No. 153

Even though this week just literally flew by...let's face it, I'm ready for the weekend! How about you?
Have a great one!

Minor Obsessions

Special thanks to the lovely people over at Murchinson-Hume, for sending some of their amazing products my way after reading about my strong preference for liquid hand soaps. Thanks also to Random House for sending me The Butler's Guide.  This book will no doubt be a useful resource to me this season.  I need all the organizational household tips and help I can get since we celebrate both Christmas and Chanukah. Speaking of which, Chanukah starts tomorrow evening!  I've got less than 48 hours to find our Menorah, buy some candles and basically whip up some Festival of Lights magic. In our house, this tradition includes Latkes (see my recipe here) Chanukah books (this one is weirdly funny and this one is very cute for young children) and lots of presents (three children times eight nights!) And, then we gear up for Christmas...


Book Review: The Collected Home

Back in May, I had the pleasure of hearing Darryl Carter speak about his design work during Kravet's Blogfest 2012.  As a long time fan of Mr. Carter's sophisticated interiors, learning first hand about his background as a former attorney (like myself!) and hearing about his varied clients and inspirations was a highlight of this event.  When I was offered a copy of Darryl Carter's newest book, The Collected Home, to review here today, I was beyond thrilled.  A great addition to any design lover's library, The Collected Home, has page after page of beautiful examples of Darryl's calming, muted and natural signature style. The Collected Home, also offers solid advice, complete with paint colors and other valuable tips for acquiring a timeless collected look in your own home.


Thank You Gift Ideas

Just a quick little round up of great gift ideas for all those people in your life that you'd like to thank. Teachers, coaches, tutors, babysitters, co-workers...many of these fun items also make great stocking stuffers and Secret Santa gifts, too!

1.  Jonathan Adler pens
2.  Chevron ceramic boxes
3.  Agate bottle openers
4.  "Aria" turquoise stud earrings
5.  Leopard wallet
6.  Fornash long Tizzy necklace
7.  Tassel key chain
8.  Chevron pouch
9.  Capella stud earrings
10. Etoile silk star scarf

Wednesday Wants

A few weeks ago I received such a clever hostess gift. Are you familiar with the corkiscle? It's a new way to cool your white wine or champagne, without using a bucket. This clever device is filled with liquid which then goes into your freezer. Once it's frozen, it serves like a long ice cube (that doesn't melt) inside your wine bottle. It's pretty chill.  I love it so much that I'm looking into possibly carrying this in my own store, but until then, it's available here.


Style Stalking: Lorenzo Castillo

The last style stalk installment for 2012...hard to believe! This time of year always lends itself to reflection. Writing this blog has exposed me to so many different designers from all over this country and even the world.  Before writing this blog, I used to think that New York was the design capital of the world...and while I still can not get over the amount of talent and inspiration that New York City puts out each year, it's clear to me now that great design is everywhere. I'm grateful that I've lost my provincial attitude and expanded my world view, especially when it leads to dynamic talents like Lorenzo Castillo from Spain.  What areas of the world are inspiring you lately?


$100 Kokoon Gift Card Giveaway!

Need something new to zhush up your holiday wardrobe? Kokoon is offering one lucky reader the chance to pick a new item of their choice (up to $100.00 retail value)!  For those new to this brand, Kokoon has some really great pieces, think beautiful knits and ultra flattering dresses.  Check out the whole line, and come back and comment on your favorite piece or pieces...there are a lot of great ones to choose from! For a second entry, “Like” KOKOON’s Facebook page. Make sure to leave a separate comment for each entry! Giveaway closes at Midnight, December 7th, winner picked by random and announced on Saturday, December 8th. Open to U.S. and Canada only. GOOD LUCK!!!

Monday's P.O.P.

picturesque purple

Image via: HouseBeautiful
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