Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday Favorites

As we bid adieu to summer and this last day of August, I thought I'd share just a few of my favorite things. 

The tulip painting above, by Kerri Rosenthal, sits above my living room fire place. Just below it, my collection of favorite glassybaby votives (yes, all in varying hues of pink) and one random handblown votive purchased off the table at Alain Duccase, years ago in New York City. We were having a "last" supper with dear friends before we moved to Charlotte and these gorgeous candles were on all the tables. Each one different. It was a bit of a crazy splurge at the time, but one I've treasured over the years...and a reminder of a special night.
I do have a passion for things that add a little shine or shimmer, so this collection of vintage crystal candlesticks shares space with my favorite Diptyque candle...a gift from my friend, Ted Watson Kennedy, whose shop Watson Kennedy is my new go-to for special gifts.
What are some of your favorite things? Here's to savoring them as we wind down summer. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My Ideal Summer Day

We may be down to the last week of summer, but thanks to my fairy blog-mother, Tina, of The Enchanted Home....I've been granted my perfect summer day! 

Join me over at Tina's fabulous blog today where I share my fantasty of where I would be, what I would do and what I would wear to indulge in one perfect summer day.

Here's just a hint!
Where would you be and what would you do if you could be anywhere for one perfect summer day? 

Here's to making the most of what's left of summer!

images: Victoria's Secret, Las Ventana

Monday, August 27, 2012

Foolproof Meals + Free Shipping

Welcome to a new week....the last one before we turn the calendar page to September and begin the mad dash of "back to school" or "back to work"!

Today, I want to pass along some good tidbits. 

First off, I am thrilled that Ina Garten is coming out with her new book, Barefoot Contessa Foolproof - recipes you can really trust on October 30th

I've been a fan of Ina's from the beginning and think this could be a fitting title for all of her cookbooks, as everything I've ever made from one of her recipes has turned out beautifully. Good food, that you actually enjoy preparing and feel confident serving. In this latest cookbook, Ina takes us past the recipes and shares her secrets for getting everything on the table while it's hot, so you can keep your hostess cool!

You can pre-order at a discount from Amazon...OR for the face value of the book ($35), you can call the Barefoot Contessa office at 631-324-0240 and order autographed copies. gifts! 

Second, if you're already eyeing those yummy looking tomato crostinis with whipped feta on the cover of her new book, the recipe is here!
Finally, after seeing the post I wrote on Friday about my new favorite stationery, the sweet folks at Dempsey & Carroll are offering all of you FREE SHIPPING through the end of August with the code pinktulip12

Again, I know it's only August, but think holiday gifts. And, you may actually get to enjoy the month of December! 
images: Barefoot Contessa cover by Quentin Bacon for Clarkson/Potter Publishers, ppt

Friday, August 24, 2012

Stationery With A Crowning Touch - Dempsey and Carroll

I know this may shock you...but I've taken a break from monograms! I still love them, but the creative team at Dempsey & Carroll has created such amazing motifs for their stationery that it seems...enough. Monogram not necessary.

My personal favorite is the crown motif. Maybe it's Queen Elizabeth. Or Harry's recent royal romp, but I can't get enough of this symbol.

Another thing that I can't get enough of is colored pens. I love to coordinate my ink color to the envelope liners, which thankfully come in a rainbow of shades in each box. 

I've heard a lot of buzz about Le Pen brand pens (and I have some on order), but I have to praise my Stabilo pens. Fine point, great colors!
Dempsey & Carroll is having a fantastic sale on many of their motif sets, so be sure and check it out and stock up for gifts!

What are you favoring these days? Black ink or colored? Monograms or motifs?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Old Fashion Summer Fun

Sometimes I get caught up in the "things" that I "need" to do each day. Yesterday, I made time for the very thing that really matters. My kids. They had been begging me to go to a local amusement park for many years....and I had never made time. Until now.
Ferris wheels, carousels and even some pink cotton candy! 

Sometimes the best things in life are really simple. You just have to make time for them.

What are you making time for before summer ends?

images: ppt except quote (cellardesigns on etsy)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Pretty Party Supplies, Embellishments + Crafts

For those of us with a little inner "Martha Stewart", embellishing gifts and making things pretty is just part of the fun of living and giving. Even so, we can all fall into wrapping ruts. 

Enter...we love citrus! I fell hard for their fresh and creative approach to adding a little zest to gifts and crafts.

Cupcake toppers! Perfect for the little princess or the grown up goddess.
Do you sew or bake? Get their "handmade" stickers to embellish your special gifts.
Add any of these glittering, bright twines (or the yellow heart one up above) to simple kraft paper to make a gift sparkle!
Do you keep supplies on hand or do you prefer to be inspired when the occasion arises? I do a little bit of both!

Hoping your day is gift wrapped with fun!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday Flowers: Little Detail

A recent post on For The Love of a House, a fabulous blog written by a fellow Dallas transplant living in the Northeast, got me thinking about a little detail from our renovation that I hadn't shared. 

Right off of our side porch are stepping stones. That wasn't the original plan, but you know how things don't always go as planned. Luckily, this did lead to a fun detail...the addition of mazus in between the stones.

It's a small thing, but it adds a different hue and texture to our yard.

It spreads very easily and has pretty little purple flowers...though I only found one last night when I took these photos. 
And, while I was outside, I couldn't resist taking a photo of my new golf bag that arrived today. Leave it to my husband to find me a pretty pink one. 
Summer is winding here's to a relaxing weekend whether you're on the links, the courts, the beach or by the pool. 

A life well lived is in the details!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wednesday Whimsy - Back to School

Back to School!! It's time for me to start rounding up school supplies for my boys. Since I'm the Organizer-in-Chief, I thought I'd freshen up my supplies, too.

How fun and colorful are these pens and notepads from Erin Condren?! I keep most things on my ical, but sometimes you just have to write things down so you can enjoy the physical act of crossing them off! And, colored ink just makes it easier to color code everyone in the family.
Many more options and can even personalize a greeting beyond just your name. Also makes a great gift idea!

So whether you're going back to school, sending someone off to school or just like to keep things organized....keep it colorful and fun!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Chilling with Chihuly

Going home to Dallas, TX is always a thrill. And, no visit is complete without a spin through the Dallas Arboretum. Normally, I am there in March when the tulips are in full bloom. This year, we decided to do an August trip and were able to see the mesmerizing Chihuly exhibit, though it was anything but chilly in Texas!

Dale Chihuly is the artist extraordinaire who has led the avant garde of glass blowing into a fine art. His work has appeared in over 200 museums, including a solo show at the Musee de Arts Decoratifs, Palais du Louvre, in Paris.

Although it is fine art it made me think of Dr Seuss. Bold, unusual and colorful. I honestly didn't think it would be my cup of tea. However, I was wrong. Mr Chihuly, his team and the Dallas Arboretum had worked together to scope out the best placements for his artwork and because his pieces can be deconstructed, they were able to work them into the already beautiful settings so that they enhanced the gardens and teased the viewer.

Come along...I'll give you a tour!
The Sun, this last piece is 14 feet in diameter, to give you an idea of it's size and impact. 

This exhibit was one of the more unusual displays of art I've seen....I can't wait to see how it impacts my children and all the others who are fortunate to see it up close.

Have you heard of Chihuly or seen his artwork before? What have you been up to while I was away? 

It's good to be back!
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