Tuesday, December 12, 2017

White (and Caramel) Christmas


I'm a little late getting these pictures to you because we had a little bit of a whoopsie daisy with the photos, and I have spent the last 10-days trying to have the memory card scrubbed and have photos recouped. Thankfully, they found a few of this beautiful tree, and I'm hoping they'll be able to find more. Fingers crossed! 

I was asked to participate in a Tour of Homes this year to benefit housing assistance for displaced families, and I couldn't wait to get set up. This entire tree ended up being auctioned off to a lucky winner, and I spent several hours taking each ornament off piece by piece making sure they didn't break for the long trip to the tree's new home in Pittsburgh! 

I started with a great base, the 7' Flocked Alpine Tree from Tree Classics. The tree comes pre-lit with clear lights, and comes out of the box in 3-pieces. Simply connect them together, and voila! You're done! A little fluffing was all it needed to get it ready for it's close up! 


Of course, the 300 pound urn had to stay near the tree, moving it even this far was quite the challenge. So it found itself the happy host to more of those 10" glittered balls from the tree. Tree Classics has some amazing ornament collections, and I used a couple for this tree. 



It's hard to pick a favorite, but I would definitely urge you to take a look at their 12-piece finial collections. They're stunning, and they hang so beautifully on the tree. I love the interest that they provide, with the unique shapes and varied styles. They have them in red, green, gold, and a rich matte red they're calling burgundy. Definitely a lot of bang for your buck with these beauties! 


I used some ornaments from my old show-house decorating days, too. Little blue and white birds, the snow and glitter picks, and those giant glitter orbs. Just in case you couldn't tell, there were a ton of picks in this tree, white magnolia blossoms, and ornaments in soft blues, golds, and brilliant green. The green ones were hand picked from the Merry & Bright collection from Tree Classics to go with the theme, and then I used the left over red ones to work into the dining room trees. This is a great idea - you can split up the ornaments from the collections Tree Classics offers to decorate multiple trees in multiple themes. 



There were a lot of oo's and ah's over this tree, and it was amazing getting to talk to people about the apartment and the changes I'd made. Chinoiserie obviously played a big part in the creation of this space, and I loved the play of the blue in the tree against all of the Chinoiserie blue and white porcelain, and the gold and cream of the ornaments and that beautiful Tree Classics tree against the colors of the sofa and cushion. 


The tree was really loaded down with ornaments, which isn't unusual for me. There were even little glass icicles that hung from the ends of 50 branches. It took forever to put this beauty up - and even longer to take it down! 


But it gets to spend a lovely season in a new home. Like I mentioned, there were also trees in the dining room - which I'm so hoping they can recover the photos of, as they were just as stunning. 

If you're still looking for ornaments, or perhaps some of the finest life-like artificial trees, please look no further than Tree Classics. The website now has free shipping site wide until December 14th, and most everything is on sale for 50% off! A great time to land a great deal on an even greater product! 

See you soon with some more Christmas decor ... I hope! 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Things I Love: Part Three

Alright, last piece here, and then I'll start blogging about Christmas decorations at the apartment. I swear to you, this is EXTREME, but it's all for a good cause. One I'll talk about more as we get to that.

For now, let's finish up the list of things I really love that I think might come in handy with your Holiday shopping and gift giving (maybe even a few things you could hint for someone to give to you!)

1. Majestic Pure Cosmecuticals Charcoal Scrub: I've always taken pretty good care of my skin, and over the years I've tried just about all of the products on the shelf. A friend of mine suggested that I try this after she started using it and I am hooked! If you're putting together a spa basket as a gift, or know someone who loves enjoying a little pampering, definitely worth the $14!


2. Personalized Cutting Board: Someone got one of these for me three years ago, and it's held up wonderfully. I've used it as a cheese board for entertaining, and without fail, each time I do, someone comments about how fantastic it is. They really make lovely gifts for the cook or entertainer, and you can have them customized with just about anything! 


3. Large Ice Cube Trays: I'm sure you've been to a swanky restaurant or bar that serves your cocktail with one large chunk of ice instead of little cubes from a bag. And I bet you've thought to yourself, I should get some of these! Well, let me tell you - if you do, you'll be a hit among your friends. It's so simple, and yet such a refined detail that just about everyone loves them! Bonus, if you want to freeze rosemary sprigs for bourbon drinks, or fruit for vodka drinks - these give you much more room than traditional ice cube trays, and make that MUCH easier (and more beautiful!) I also like the spherical ones, although you can only make two at a time.



If you need high ball glasses, I suggest these! I looked high and low for beautiful crystal, and found a set of 6 on Amazon for less than $23! Seriously - so inexpensive. Perfect fit for either of the ice cube trays above.



And now a recap:

1. Votivo Icy Blue Pine Candles: You CAN NOT go wrong with this fragrance through the holiday season. (I burn it often in the summer, too, it's just so refreshingly clean smelling). Plus, it comes beautifully boxed and wrapped in black tissue paper. So, it makes a great gift! I suggest going ahead and buying one for yourself if you're gift shopping, or you'll end up keeping the one you were going to give away.



2. Oversized Linen Napkins: I've never found a better deal on these napkins, and they're beautiful. Pure linen with a beautiful hemstitch. These are oversized, and if you know me well, you know that I have a pet peeve about napkins that don't cover the lap. These do, and they set a gorgeous table, and are so much more beautiful than paper products (better for the environment, too!)



3. Linen Cocktail Napkins: Cocktail napkins in linen are also an inexpensive thing that can make any bar feel more welcoming and indulgent. If you're serving eggnog or cocktails at any of your holiday parties, I can guarantee that your guests will be impressed by these little ditties over paper products (also, better for the environment!) 



4. Silicone Tipped Chandelier Bulbs: If you're hosting dinner, or even a cocktail party, and you have a chandelier, you NEED these bulbs. They're particularly great if you don't have a dimmer installed, but they really add a touch of "candlelit" elegance to any chandelier and up the ambiance factor to 11! Check those out for sure! 




5. Fruits and Passions Coriander and Olive Tree Hand Soap: Don't forget that you're going to have lots of people in and out of your guest bathroom over the holidays. This amazing soap has a luxurious softness after the wash, and will leave your guests asking where you got it! I promise, all of mine do! 



They also sell the refill if you have your own soap dispenser, and you'll get a little more value for the buck: 



6. House Beautiful's The Home Book: If you've never picked up a copy, I really suggest you do. Because it was printed a few years ago, it is insanely inexpensive, and it makes a wonderful gift for your friends who are constantly changing things in their home - or asking you for design advice. The book breaks down room after room, giving organization, paint color, and furniture layout tips. It even tackles lighting, drapery, fabric pairings, and more. All relevant today as much as it was when it was first printed. Definitely worth the $16!





7. Morrocan Straw Market Shoulder Tote: We all are trying to be more green, and conscious of the environment that we're living in, and that we are leaving for those who come after us. This is my GO TO bag for grocery shopping, and I can't tell you how many people ask me at Trader Joes where I got it. I should probably print out this blog and stick a few pages in the bag to hand out! Remarkably versatile, and beautiful, and big enough to hold a week's worth of my groceries. I've gifted several of these, tying a bit of fresh greens and berries to the handle with twine, and filling it with a couple of bottles of my friends' favorite wine. They love them too! 




8. Magazine Subscriptions: Nearly everyone I know loves a good interior design magazine. And when they come on time each month, it's like giving them a gift over and over and over again. When you order them through Amazon, they're SO CHEAP! Take a look at these favorites: 




9. Solid Brass Bamboo Pens: You might end up keeping these for yourself, so go ahead and order 2 or 3 sets! These are really beautiful pens, and they make perfect gifts. I like to tie these around personalized stationary, which you can also find on Amazon, with a little silk ribbon and a sprig of fresh greens. It's details that really count, and for the friends you think have everything - I bet they don't have this!




10. Tile Mate Key Finder: I love this, and you can not tell me you don't know someone (maybe it's you) that's losing their keys every time they turn around! I bought this for myself a few months ago, after having a day where I tore the house apart looking for keys that I had inadvertently left in the car! It works like a dream, and I highly recommend it ... maybe a stocking stuffer for yourself! I won't tell!



11. Wireless Shower Speaker: I stayed at an AirBNB in Philadelphia that had one of these in the shower and I ordered one for myself before I got home! Before I bought this little speaker I used to leave my phone on the bathroom sink, and strain to hear the music each morning while I showered. There's no doubt that music can be an uplifting way to start the day, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who wishes they could bring the sound a little closer to the water! Well, with this powerful little guy you can! It even has suction cups, so you can adhere it right to the tile. Mine stays charged with one full charging for about 6 days, so charge it up on the weekend, and all week long you'll have a little groove going every morning when you step in for a scrub down.



This is a little off topic, but still a GREAT Christmas gift, the Pentatonix "That's Christmas to Me" album is definitely a must have for those Christmas gatherings.