Holiday Lighting 101

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Holiday lights are such a beautiful part of the season but let’s admit it, they can be extremely stressful to hang. Here are five quick steps that I came up with from years of hanging and designing these temperamental treasures that may help alleviate some of the stress.

1.  Plan- Determine the overall design.

2. Inventory- Take a stock of what you have. Check for cracked or burnt-out bulbs    and test all lights before hanging. Read more

Happy Thanksgiving!

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The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is one of our favorite things about Thanksgiving. We wake up, start making a yummy breakfast of cinnamon french toast and maple bacon, light the fire and settle in for a festive morning of floats and family. We can share this relaxing time together as a family, reflecting on what we are thankful for, because of my wonderful sister-in-law Lena and brother Art  host the holiday, making it possible for us to truly enjoy the day. Once breakfast is over I will start making my Grandma Louise’s stuffing and famous homemade chocolate chips. Over 3.5 million people watch the parade along the parade route in Manhattan and another 50 million watch at home on television. For many there is no substitute for seeing the floats, gigantic balloons, Broadway performers and talented marching bands in person. For us, our cozy living room provides just the perfect view. Read more

Let’s Get Cookin:Thanksgiving

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Every year I look forward to making my Grandma Louise’s stuffing and some of our favorite family recipes at Thanksgiving but I also like to infuse the menu with some snappy new ideas. Some recipes are huge hits while others are a total flop but one thing is for sure, we all have fun trying them together. Oh by the way, this is my dream kitchen, fully stocked and ready for me to cook and entertain in hehehe. Here is the round up of this years recipes that I will be adding to our menu of traditional favorites.

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Ready, Set, Entertain: Thanksgiving

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This time of year for interior designers is like tax season for accountants. I have several homes that need to be ready for Thanksgiving and even more clients that have installations and furniture deliveries before Christmas and Hanukkah. Although crazy busy, it is crazy fun and with the holidays just a few weeks away its time to take stock of what I need for entertaining, lets get started.

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Saving Thanksgiving

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Can you imagine not having Thanksgiving? It is such a wonderful time to gather and re-connect with family and friends in thanks for all of the blessings in our lives. I thought I knew everything about Thanksgiving; how the Native American Indians saved the Pilgrims from starving and how the Pilgrims held a big Feast for them in thanks but I was surprised to learn, we almost lost Thanksgiving! A few years ago I had to read at my sons school at Thanksgiving time and I needed to find a book. At the library I was drawn to a book titled, Thank You, Sarah ( my daughter’s name). I thought it would be another sweet little story about the holiday but wow this was the “True” story about Thanksgiving and introduced me the extraordinary life of Sarah Hale. Read more

The Perfect Table: Thanksgiving

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Being Thankful for family, friends and turkey are on the top of everyone’s list this time of year but for me I have one more thing I get excited about and that is, setting the table! Not only do I get to set my own table but I have the privilege of helping my clients determine color schemes and styles for their own table settings. Since each of my clients has their own vision and individual style this task is an exciting one. Here are some of the ideas I will be sharing with my clients this week, starting out with a vintage iron turkey, creamy white color scheme and a layered look for the place settings. Read more

Our Favorite Halloween Traditions

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Throwing parties is so much fun and I have been hosting festive Halloween parties for the last fourteen years for my kids. I include them in every decision when it comes to planning and creating their party. We have constructed haunted houses from refrigerator boxes, made Lego pumpkins, went on scavenger hunts, wrapped friends up with toilet paper for mummy contests and painted wooden haunted houses, just to mention a few of their favorites. The end result is always a party that reflects their style and memories that they will cherish and hopefully pass down to their children. In addition to their parties I open our house up to family and friends on Halloween after Trick or Treating. This celebration consists of a cauldron of my famous chili, yummy corn bread and of course endless sweets. Here is some inspiration to spark some Halloween traditions for your family and to get you rolling planning a celebration of ghostly proportions and delectable delights.

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At The Farm

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I adore this season and the traditions our family has made. One of our favorites, since my daughter was three, is going to Wightman’s Farms. We love the hayride that takes you up the side of a hill and drops you off in their pumpkin patch. Other highlights are the corn maze, pumpkin sling shot, scrumptious homemade pies, cider donuts and apple cider. My kids vary in age so it is hard to find something they all want to do (even the little guy has an opinion now hehehe) but they all were so excited to spend some time at the farm together. 

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Pumpkin Possibilities

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This weekend we are enjoying the many wonderful experiences characteristic of the season. Decorating for Halloween, a town football game, pumpkin picking, and a Saturday night bon-fire. These experiences, the crisp cool air and spending time near all of these beautiful pumpkins, got me thinking about all of the possibilities for incorporating pumpkins into design and all of the wonderful recipes that my family loves. Let’s start out with a delectable sweet spiced pumpkin soup. I have made a version this soup for years and recently found this one which seemed slightly better. It was love at first taste and I never looked back for my old recipe LOL.

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Halloween Pillows DIY Style

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In my house we are crazy for Halloween! Decorations, parties, designing costumes and enjoying the candy. We began the ritual of unloading the decorations from the eight boxes labeled Halloween (thats nothin, at Christmas we have 28 boxes) and I realized, after years of use I needed to freshen up the collection a bit. All of our ghosts and ghouls were looking dapper but the more decorative things that I enjoy were feeling dated. I began my search for decorations to adore and found these fabulous DIY pillows at Chapman Place. If you are not a DIY fan, don’t fear, this story has a surprise ending you won’t want to miss! Now on to making the pillows.

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