Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Nicely Noted - For Those on Your "Nice" List

In between basting and roasting, I'll be jotting down ideas for holiday gifts. And, this is one I had to share with all of you! One of my resolutions this year was to do a better job of remembering birthdays. How great do YOU feel when someone remembers your special day and actually manages to get a card to you by that day? In other words….they were organized and on top of it!

Here's a way that you can do that, not only for yourself, but someone you know who loves 1) organization 2) birthdays 3) letterpress.

Nicely Noted, which has been heralded by Martha Stewart, O Magazine, The Today Show and many others, is a subscription notecard service that sends an edited/curated selection of letterpress notecards with stamps each month. I've been subscribing for the past year, and always look forward to those little packets. I'm always ready with the perfect card. 

Now, Nicely Noted has upped the ante with their new Card Organizer. The organizer, which is comprised of lucite, has a birthday calendar directly on top, so that you can keep everyone's birthdates in one place. 
The organizer comes in 3 different formats.

1. Stocked ($65), includes 4 letterpress cards + stamps
2. Fully Stocked ($110), includes 12 letterpress cards + stamps
3. Overstocked ($225), includes 12 letterpress cards + stamps + a 6 month subscription service
So, make a note of all the special birthdays you know coming up…and get yourself organized. How nice is that?!!

Now, bake to your baking and basting! Wishing you and yours the most wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Pretty as Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving Week is finally here! And, by the looks of Whole Foods last night....everyone is trying to get an early start. With so much to do and such high expectations around food, friends and family...we can all use a little help.

Enter the perfect pumpkin pie recipe from the ever-elegant Carolyne Roehm.  Think maple syrup, a dash of rum and pumpkin puree. How could your guests not ask for seconds!
And, if you simply run out of time....just garnish a store bought pie with some decorative cookies. I promise, I won't tell!

Have a blessed and happy Thanksgiving!

images: Carolyne Roehm

Friday, November 21, 2014

Holiday Entertaining Essentials

'Tis almost the it's time to get stocked up for all your entertaining needs. When you have all the essentials, you're more likely to invite folks over.

The Sferra napkins above (a foldover cocktail style) are just $21/set of 4 from NumberFourEleven. Load up!!!!
If you find yourself running out of time to get something personalized, Emily McCarthy has some holiday essentials that can ship out in 2-3 days.
Love this....the "Cocktail Candle" debuts in the Prosecco scent, which can then be used as a cocktail glass after the candle has burned away! Two for one!
Now, put on something festive. Stock the bar cart. Set Pandora to your favorite holiday station. Light an abundance of candles. Dim the lights.'re ready!

Let the Season begin!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Five Fabulous Gifts Under $75

Gift giving season is about to be upon us and it's time to get organized! Some people are super easy to buy for - they seem to like everything. Others are a little tougher. So, I think it helps to see a variety of gift ideas from different sources, as we all can get in little gift giving ruts.

Here are a few things I think are just great!

1. Donald Robertson for J. Crew and Crewcuts. You're following @donalddrawberston on Instagram, right? If not….start today! I've watched as Donald has gone from the doodle-loving Creative Director for Bobbi Brown with a cult-like following, to having his own artist show at Colette in Paris to collaborating with J. Crew and Kara Ross. The man is on FIRE!

His limited edition designs for J. Crew are whimsical and witty. And, you know they'll light up Instagram! $45

If you know someone with a serious relationship with chocolate, this will definitely rock their palette! $65

What does it include?
* milk chocolate covered animal crackers by Tumbador
* chocolate-covered cornflakes by Jacques Torres
* chocolate-covered cranberries by Fruition Chocolate
* Roni-Sue's chocolate dipped Martins pretzels
* chocolate peanut butter bites by hot cakes

In my hometown of Dallas, these key rings have been the thing for quite a while. Designed by 2 moms, they are stylish but practical! They slip over your wrist so you can use both hands. Also, they fit over a door knob, so you can leave your keys on the door you usually come and go from. With an easy key release, they are ideal for valet parking. And, this year, it appears the Big O, Oprah, has found them, too, as they made her Favorite Things list. $55

Oh, how I love a monogram! Nothing says, "I really thought about you", like giving a gift that is meant just for them. These are just super chic - whether you choose the script or the block style. I know you think I'd go for the pink, but this is one case where the black one just seems so timeless and luxe!, $71

I have a fondness for candles, but don't always buy myself the prettiest ones. I think a lot of people are that way and so it is always so lovely to receive one as a gift. I love the nod to crackling fires/winter and the beautiful gold tone container that can be used for a myriad of uses after the candle has burned away., $48
The act of giving is slowing down long enough to consider someone in your life that you care about and showing them that in some tangible way. Enjoy the process….and start now, so that once you get to December, your gifts are wrapped and mailed and you are savoring the season.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Spotted…A Really Cool Space

Happy Monday!!! I hope you had a great weekend. I just returned from attending a milestone college reunion in Texas….so fun to reconnect with old friends who knew you when you weren't even sure where life would take you. 

Back to reality today and my spot in front of my computer. I work in a teeny, tiny little space near my kitchen and family room…kind of a built in workspace. I thought it was a great idea originally, but I must admit to office-envy, as I would love a dedicated room for my *stuff*. So, I really stopped in my tracks when I spotted (pun intended) this amazing workspace created by Waiting On Martha blogger, Mandy, for the One Room Challenge

That wallpaper! The ghost chairs and Knoll table. That light fixture! What a happy workspace! I kind of want to move in. 
If you're interested in any of Mandy's sources….click here.

Do you have a dedicated office or workspace? I'd love to know!

images: Rustic White

Friday, November 14, 2014

Champagne Bar Cart

It's the weekend….so let's celebrate! 

Last week, I finally dusted off my bar cart (which had become a storage unit in a closet) and decided to find it a new home. It landed in the living room and I quickly decided that it needed to be a *champagne* bar cart, fitting for it's new pink-hued home.

Mixing old (the vintage crystal coupes found in a local thrift shop & the champagne cooler from France found at Dovecote) and the new (the monogrammed tray is from The Enchanted Home) gives the cart some interest. Add in monogrammed napkins from Madison and a couple of great vintage pieces from Eddie Ross (back when he would do pop-up shops) and it seems complete. 
Two important questions! Will you have your bubbles straight up or shall I give you a dash of St. Germain, Cassis or Chambord with that? Coupe or flute?

Here's to the weekend!!! Pop. Clink. Fizz!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Day by Day: Great Calendars to Give for 2015

Most of us keep our daily lives planned on our electronic devices...syncing all of them, so we can stay organized. But, I find  a desk calendar as charming, decorative and helpful. I often need a reminder as to what the date is and enjoy having calendars in places where I may not have my computer.

Personally, I've been a fan of Karen Adams Designs for years and that is what you'll find on the desk in my bedroom. Definitely pretty enough to give! The boxed set is $59 with either a gold or silver easel. Refills are $29.

New this year, is an over-the-top limited edition calendar that is really a monthly gift within a gift. A hand crafted lucite stand is included and then each month is separately wrapped and labeled. Based upon the standard 2015 calendar, these versions are embellished with glitter, ribbons, rhinestones, etc...This one is priced much higher at $175, so is a very special gift!
One of the best value calendars (at $28), and definitely one of the cutest is the Dabney Lee custom calendar. You can choose to add a name or monogram and which month to start on. You don't have to start it in January, making it a great gift any time of year.

Finally, I am going through a pineapple phase....just love them! They say welcome. They mean hospitality. They taste great. They have great texture....ok, you get the point. They also make a great motif for a calendar, as designed by Linda & Harriett.

You can choose the letterpress version at $34, or.....
try this cool wrapping paper version at $49. After each month is over, you can use the paper to wrap a present or two. Perfect for your eco-friendly friends.
No matter how you track and count down your days....just make them count!
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