Christmas Countdown


Hello my friends!
It's the final week of Christmas countdown
and 
here at my house it all seems to be going way too fast!

So I thought I'd pop in here 
and
share some of my favorite
holiday styling!

I just love this potpourri recipe
it's an instant way to put 
holiday in the air!

It's also a quick way to bring back 
cozy Christmas feelings of yesteryear!

I love to garnish my plants 
with a quick dose of finishing holiday color.

Last year it was all red glass balls
this year 
I have gone more natural
and
finished all my plants with red apples!



Filling jars
with
 greens
cranberries
votive candles
then adding water
makes for the most beautiful
illuminating arrangements.

Massing these is almost an instant
holiday centerpiece
or
 sprinkle them around for Christmas ambiance!


I also love to keep greens in vases
for any impromptu  gatherings!
They bring instant holiday style to any 
table or occasion!

Even filling vases with greens
can make for a festive look
for not much money!



But my very favorite holiday tip this year
is to remember

"life (or the holiday) doesn't have to be perfect
to be wonderful!

With so much pressure coming to  do up the holidays
sometimes
we can forget 
the holidays can be a double edged sword for many of us.
What our holidays look like change
just as life and families do.

It's so important to celebrate the good that we do have.


So I am here to remind us all
that grace and self compassion
are also  important aspects of a loving memorable holiday.

To truly give to others
we need to make sure 
we first respect our own needs
We nourish others best from the  overflow of our own heart.


It is my wish for us all
that we can slow down 
and
 truly savor the small moments 
of the holidays …
because in the end
they are always the most important memories.


Wishing you all the most wonderful 
soulful holidays
no matter where in the world you are….

or what holidays speak to your heart.

I send you love.



As always my dear friends


I wish you love and joy
as you style your life
and
find your holiday meaning.






The Ivy and Indigo Seas


In my effort to to instigate some new holiday traditions this year
Jeff and I took off for LA this weekend
for lunch at the iconic Ivy restaurant.


I have to admit it's reputation as a star gathering place
had me very intrigued
and 
when it was time to drive up
it also had me a little nervous and intimidated as well.

There was a moment before we got out
that Jeff and I asked ourselves
if we really wanted to do this …

and
I am so glad we bit the bullet and just went for it!


I have heard stories of people lunching at The Ivy for years and years
but 
I had no idea what a truly charming and cozy space it actually is!
As far away from my idea of what a Hollywood hot spot could possibly be!
It is so warm and inviting 
with all the comforts of visiting someones home.
Every seat had the most wonderful down pillows
always at the ready for a comforting meal.


Upon checking in for our reservations
we were ushered inside to the small bar
and
 served complimentary champagne
by the most attractive of servers
all attired in perfectly crisp pink shirts and white aprons
while we waited for our table.

Not being a celebrity
I wondered what far off corner of the restaurant we would end up
but I had decided before hand
to enjoy our lunch 
no matter where we sat …
because at least we were 
at The Ivy!


So I had to pinch myself when we ended up with a perfect table out front on the patio!
There was so much to take in
it seemed like a blur
as we sat down
to make decisions on what to eat!


Every where I looked there was such beauty
from the vases
stuffed tight with multi colored roses on every table
to the hand crafted stone wear at each place setting
to the murmur of interesting conversations all around …

I was so happy to be actually  sitting outside  on the patio at The Ivy
on a most beautiful crystal clear day
I felt absolutely giddy inside
and 
it took a lot to effort on my part
not to squeal in delight!


The Ivy is so well known as a celebrity hot spot
that tour buses  literally make the rounds out front on a regular basis!

So it took me a little bit 
to actually relax into the experience.


I understand now the draw of the restaurant
the food is incredible
as is the exceedingly attentive staff.


It was a lunch that I didn't want to end
but the time did come
but I made sure to order some cookies to take home …
just to bring a little bit of our magical lunch home with us.


We decided out front was as perfect place as any 
to take some outfit shots
being as we were so taken with the patina of the exterior…


As we were finishing up the pictures
we realized that behind us
wasn't the Ivy restaurant at all …
but instead an interiors shop
that had all of the interior ambiance as the Ivy itself!


Come to find out we had almost literally stumbled on
what I was soon to find out

The Indigo Seas
which Harper Bazaar Magazine
deems
one of the 25 best boutiques in the world!


As we were looking around in amazement at the beauties in the shop
I was approached by a most beautiful woman
who said she had seen me from outside
and
 had loved my outfit so much
and 
that it reminded her of being Paris.

Wow, one look at this stylish woman
complimenting me so beautifully
well ...
my day was pretty much made!


As we talked further
it took me some time to realize
that I was talking with the one and only
Lynn Von Kersting
 co owner of the Ivy 
and 
the creator  of the beautiful
  Indigo Seas!


Lynn is an absolute delight
 She shared with me how much of her style is influenced 
by places from all around the world
where in  many of the locales she has homes as well.


We were lucky enough to get a tour  of her back room
which housed so many more beautiful collections.
I was so charmed by Lynn
and 
ever so grateful
when she sent us home with so many 
beautiful treasures
from an iconic Capri scarf
a cozy chintz pillow
mugs of her own design
that the Ivy is known for …

and
most captivating to be sure
a copy of her book

Amore e Gioia Sotto il Sole
An Indigo Seas scrapbook of Ivy recipes and summer snapshots


It is such a beautiful coffee table book
 I have already spent hours devouring it.

I also have  visions of summer parties next year
using the recipes she shares form the Ivy
with dreams 
also 
of visiting the Island of Capri myself!

It is a joyous book of sunshine
and
 romantic gatherings!


I am excited to weave some of Lynn's magic
into my own life …


Thank you Lynn for sharing your passion for beauty and life with me.

Your compliment on my outfit
will always be a moment 
I hold near and dear to my heart.


As always my friends


I wish you love and joy
as you style your life

PS….

I was ever so happy today to see
The Ivy
shared this post on their
Facebook and twitter!



Thank you India!





A Holiday Engagement Party


Saturday was the big day here for 
the engagement party
for my gorgeous daughter and her handsome fiancé!


After a week of prepping
with fingers crossed for a rainless night
things went off  beautifully without a hitch!


Every great party here always starts off with a beautiful invite.

I am a believer in invites you can touch and hold
To me there is a magical party spell cast with a proper invite!

Ellis and I found these in La Jolla 
at the Kate Spade store.
They started out as New Year's cards
but with an embellished sticker and gold pen
they turned personal for the occasion.

Ellis's background in graphic design was put to use 
for the stylish insides!

These invites really had me with the beautifully dots sprinkled inside 
as well as a lined envelope
with a grey trimmed outside.
It's details like these that make my heart sing!


I started off my holiday paper whites
the day after Halloween.
With the heat we have had here
they were ready for the party!


When my husband brought home the giant poinsettia
he receives each year from one of his vendors
I knew it would be a perfect backdrop for the table!

I start pulling together pieces days before a party
to make sure I have everything I need before hand.
I never want to feel undone with last minute scrambles.
I start at least a week ahead with a planned daily schedule of what needs to be accomplished.

This time I needed to buy a few more glasses to have enough for everyone.
I found what I needed to add to my glasses from Ikea
at the flea market.

When I pulled them all together on mirrored trays
they looked much more impressive in mass
but I still wasn't quite satisfied.


I decided my naked glasses needed a little accessorizing of their own.
So with a quick trip to the craft store for
some earring hoops, gems and red jingle bells
perfect wine charms were added for a festive dash jingle!


With the table coming along nicely
I set off to dress the rest of the room.

Our chalkboard above the mantle 
was the perfect place
to write out a party message!


I simply copied the font from the invites that Ellis made
and
 custom art work was created in a flash!


With the party to take place in our backyard
I moved our large farm table against the wall
to create space for the bar
 and
ample room for traffic flow.

I used our dining chairs outside for extra seating.


Since the party was a cocktail party
I made sure to have lots of champagne on ice!
the addition of this large bowl was the anchor for the table
both for aesthetics as well as usefulness.


I dressed the table with textiles from Anthropologie
edged them with kraft paper banners
and 
finally garnished the table with Christmas greens.


Ellis and I were absolutely tickled with the Engagement cake!
Having been inspired from our Pinterest boards
we ordered a diner cake from the grocery bakery.
I specified no frosting trim with clean sides
for the three layer cake.

 W thene topped the cake with some vintage finds
a few cinnamon sticks
 a snowfall of powdered sugar
a ring of fresh cranberries
and
Voila
the cake we had imagined came to life!

And all for under 15 dollars!


Since the party had no staff
the bar was set up serve yourself style.

I made sure to welcome and serve each guest upon arrival
then had everything at the ready for refills.

I had pulled out everything else 
that would be needed for the party food
 and
 cake 
onto the table as well
so everything was always at the ready.


With the inside all ready to go
it was on to the backyard!

After a rainy week
we were blessed with the most perfect party weather.

One of the big hits of the party
was the photo booth 
we created on the back deck.

Jeff made an 8x8ft frame
that we draped with a drop cloth
 then added a sparky table cloth
and
geometric garland 
both from Target.

I dressed all my tables in the backyard as well.


For almost instant holiday decoration
I used greens all the way down both sides of my custom candle holder.


I sprinkled some more greens on the sitting area tables as well
so that all the spaces felt addressed.

When the backyard was done
all that was left was to get dressed for the party!


Then it was party time to 
celebrate the engagement
of this fabulous couple!


A signature champagne cocktail
made with pomegranate juice,  Saint Germaine and a garnish of pomegranate seeds
only needed to have the chilled champagne added
when guest arrived!


After dinner
sparklers were handed out to all of the guests
for a toast to the engaged couple!


Then it was time for cake!

With plenty of time left to play in the photo booth!


We ordered a huge ballon from Geronimo
and
 made the tassels ourselves from a Christmas garland
to finish the look!


The photo booth ended up to be just as entertaining as it was useful for 
great picture backdrops!

I think I might have one every party now!

I want to say a huge thank you to Jarrett Thomas
(the handsome husband of the maid of honor)
for the fabulous night shots of the party!
I will be ever grateful
for the wonderful captures on such an important night
for family and friends!


Ellis is the baker in the family
and
 made gingerbread cookies
tied with twine and jingles
for everyone to take home!


Wishing my darling daughter and her wonderful fiancé
so much love 
as they begin their journey towards wedded happiness!


As always my friends


I wish you love and joy
as you style your life




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