Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I Heart Velvet

I recently bought a pair of black velvet pants and they are probably they most figure forgiving item I have ever bought! I love them!!

I am currently "on the hunt" for this velvet Theory dress is my size...love love love it!

Do you velvet?

{Images via: I Say Chic, Ralph Lauren, Shopbop}

Monday, November 29, 2010

Back to Business + A Winner!

I'm back, and boy did I miss this little blog! My holiday weekend started shorter and ended later then I had anticipated (which is always a good thing). I had a wonderful holiday, and I hope everyone else did as well!

The first order of business is to announce the winner of the fabulous Beau Ideal Editions Giveaway...

Congratulations Marie a la Mode- You Won!!! 

I am loving this black and white stripe table cloth mixed with gold flatware. It is an un-traditional approach to holiday table settings...Do you love?

Has anyone started holiday decorating yet?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

How to Snag a Designer Wedding Dress for LESS!

Anyone who knows me knows I am a HUGE bargain hunter! I do not by anything full price (well most of the time). I also have a designer's eye, and love all things ultra luxe- So when it came time to search for my wedding dress the HUNT was on!
I thought it would be a no brainer that I would be a a fitted lace wedding dress, but after trying on a bunch of Monique's, Reem's and Carolina's I chose a dutch satin, swarvoski crystal embroidered ball gown that just made me feel like a "bride." My dress was designed by Kenneth Pool and was originally $8000 (could you believe?!) While I am not going to say what I actually paid for it, it was about 70% off (did you really think I would pay $8000 for a dress?)!

Where did I find such an amazing deal? Well the annual NYC Saks Bridal Sample Sale of course! My friend Katherine also got her Monique Lhuillier dress there as well which she looked STUNNING in on her wedding day!

My best friend Rachel, who you may remember from this post, purchased her dress at the Priscilla of Boston sample sale. She got a ridiculous deal on her dress too, and looked AMAZING at her New Orleans wedding last year.

So for all of you brides out there that are getting married next spring or summer, now is the time to GET YOUR DRESS!  The Saks sale is a little sneaky. They don't give you a lot of notice, so if I were you I would be stalking the events section on their website daily for them to post the dates. It is usually only 4 days, and it is either the last weekend in November, or first weekend in December.
Another fabulous outlet to snag a designer wedding dress for less is the Bridal Garden, also in NYC. They are a non profit boutique where all the proceeds benefit education for New York City children.

Oh wait, I should probably mention that there is a catch... All bridal sample sales are sample dresses, meaning they were on display in a store, and are the sample size. This means you are purchasing the dress AS IS. Fortunately for me, my dress was a runway dress that never went into production, so it was barely worn!
If this is something that bothers you or skeeves you out (remember you can always dry clean) you can also try Trunk shows, where designers display their entire collection, and typically give you 10-15% off the retail price.

I hope this helps at least ONE bride find an amazing designer dress for less! And as always, you can e-mail me if you have any questions.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Fast Paced Week...

Happy Monday! We had a wonderful weekend showing our family our new house! I also cooked our first Sunday dinner yesterday, which came out wonderful (us Italian's take Sunday dinner very seriously).
With the holiday this week, and having limited internet access, I have to admit, I do not have much planned for posts here on Lilac and Grey. We are still in the process of moving and settling in which is taking up a lot of my time. So if my posts are bit scattered and random for a while you will know why...

I woke up this morning with that "anxiety pit" in my stomach (as I call it) just thinking of all of the stuff I have to do this week. I have a week full of follow up to get to for work, go food shopping for the new house and Thanksgiving (oh my!), and run a bunch of other errands for the house. Eeekkk! Enough typing I better get started!

How about you? Are you feeling the pressure to get things done this week?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Have a Delicious Weekend!

Thank you all for all of your sweet comments and well wishes on our new house! I have received many requests for more pictures of the inside, and I promise I will post some soon.
It has been a busy week and I'm tired...with that said I will leave you with some inspirational photos I have collected over the past few months...

Lovely whites

Chic little bar...

Layered mirrors

What will you all be doing/cooking this weekend? I am thinking about making this for our first Sunday meal in the new house...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Unique Shrimp Cocktail

With the move and all, the thought of what I will make for Thanksgiving has not even crossed my mind (until now).  I am bored with the usual stuff I make and I  know I want to bring something different and unique. 
So while browsing my morning blogs I saw this lovely Giada De Laurentiis recipe on 

Sautéed Shrimp Cocktail – Giada {food network}
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 lb. jumbo shrimp {peeled, tail-on, de-veined}
  • 1 Tbsp. herbs de Provence
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 1/4 Cup plain yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp. whole grain mustard { I just used brown mustard]
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. Turmeric { I had to ask my mom what that was!} It’s a spice & you need it!
  • 1/4 Cup chopped fresh basil leaves

In a large skillet, heat oil over med-high heat. Add shrimp and herbs. Add salt and pepper. Cook until pink {about 2 minutes per side}
In a bowl, mix yogurt, mayo, mustard, syrup, turmeric, and basil until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
Place in a bowl on a serving platter with shrimp {obviously!}

What will you be making for Thanksgiving this year? Any new recipe's you would like to share? I would love some more suggestions!

Did you have a chance to enter this lovely Giveaway?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wednesday Giveaway!

It's giveaway time!! Today Lilac and Grey is partnering with the wonderful Jill who owns Beau Ideal Editions Etsy Shop. She was so kind to donate this lovely Floral Heart Card for me to giveaway to one of my lucky readers!

This unique card is a hand screen printed in four colors on heavy weight paper.

Here are the rules for entering this giveaway:

Head over to Jill's shop, Beau Ideal Editions, and tell us in the comments section, which item is your favorite (I know- hard to choose!).

For an extra entry blog or tweet about this giveaway. Please leave a separate comment letting me know you did!

You also must be a follower of Lilac and Grey

Follow on Twitter @lilacandgrey

Giveaway ends on November 23, 2010, at midnight.

The winner will be drawn at random and announced November 24, 2010.

PS. You DO NOT have to write a blog to enter, this giveaway is open to all readers!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

It's Official!

It seems like yesterday that I posted this, and now we are officially home owners! I have to say that one of my biggest and most rewarding accomplishments was to sell us our first home. I also have to say that I have the most amazing husband who works incredibly hard, and we would not be in this home with out him.

Pop the pink champagne!!

The house is magnificent, and I can't wait to start decorating it! If you are a new reader of Lilac and Grey you can follow our journey below....

We're Moving!
Random Stuff + New House Update
New House Update
Relaxing Weekend Ahead

PS. Stop back tomorrow to enter a fabulous new giveaway!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

It's Closing Time!

Hello dolls! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Today is our closing for the new house (yippie!) and we will spend the rest of this week moving and settling in. I plan on being VERY organized so I am going to take my time, and do it right the first time. I will leave you with some of my inspirational photos for organizing...

Pantry and Cupboards....

Linen Closets....


Have a lovely week!

PS. Stop back on Wednesday for a FABULOUS new giveaway!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Quote of the Day

"Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else."
Judy Garland

Friday, November 12, 2010

Midnight Blue

Right now I am ALL ABOUT midnight blue! It could be paired with any accent color, and adds drama to an space...

The combination of midnight blue walls and a crisp white ceiling and crown molding (not shown here) is just a match made in heaven (in my opinion of course!)!

The vintage vibe in this space is so chic...

These velvet chairs are luxe luxe luxe!!

What a week- *phew* thank goodness it is FRIDAY! Have a spectacular weekend everyone! What are your plans? 

...We will be packing :D

{images via: Travel for Design, Cream City and Sugar, Decor Pad, Little Emma English Home}

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I was Lost and Now I Found

I have been searching HIGH and low for the perfect slouchy boot-and I think I found it! What do you think??

Humanoid tan suede flat ankle boot available at Lost and Found

PS. We have our walk through today for the new house!! Crossing our fingers everything goes well (smiles!)!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Keep Calm WINNER!

Thank you Melinda from the Keep Calm Shop for the opportunity to win one of the wonderful prints! As soon as I move into our new house I will be purchasing one (still can't decide)! I also want to thank all of my lovely readers for all of your entries! It was fun reading all of the different prints you would have chosen and why.

The winner of the fabulous "Keep Calm" Giveaway is lucky # 7! Charlie, who writes the blog A Tale of Two Sisters! Congratulations!! Please contact me via e-mail :)

Paris Breakfast

Last week the wonderful girls over at Bon Bon Rose featured Lilac and Grey on their lovely blog (thanks again dolls!). They included this photo that I had originally posted here.

Many of you asked where you can get this adorable watercolor, and while that specific one is sold (sorry loves!)! There are many more for you to choose from in a little Etsy shop called Paris Breakfast. Here are some ones I am swooning over...

Aren't they just darling?

PS. Check back this afternoon for the winner of the KEEP CALM giveaway!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

All That Glitters is Glam...

Santa's workshop is moving it's way into the mall, holiday commercials are on TV, you suddenly get the urge to go out and buy a christmas tree scented candle...yup, it is that time again!! The HOLIDAYS!

{I DIE for this dress!}

But wait?? What are you going to wear to all of your holiday parties this year? Well, anything that sparkles of course...

Office Party:

I LOVE Rebecca Taylor! She creates the most beautiful girly silouttes, and whenever I wear her pieces people stop me on the street to ask wear I got it. This look is perfect for an office party...it is not too dressy and perfectly "girly." Pair it with a fitted black blazer for a little more edge...
Available @ shopbop.com

Family Party:

I don't know about you, but our family parties mean lots of food and lots of drink, so comfort is a MUST! LOVE this look with the peak a boo skirt under this beautiful Paul & Joe Sister sequin sweater! The berry color is so beautiful...

Cocktail Party:

My heart skipped a beat when I first saw this 3.1 Phillip Lim sequin dress! It is the perfect cut and color to razzle dazzle! Soooo in love!!

Will you be drop dead glam in sequins this holiday season?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Monday Afternoon Inspiration

"In Your Eyes"

love I get so lost, sometimes
days pass and this emptiness fills my heart
when I want to run away
I drive off in my car
but whichever way I go
I come back to the place you are

For our first dance at our wedding we danced to the acoustic version of "In your Eyes" by Ben Harper. I swear whenever we are about to have a big change in our lives it plays all the time on the radio. I heard it twice this weekend. New house here we come!

Happy Birthday Rachel!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

REAL on Real Estate: What is a Realtor Anyway?

Before I start the discussion on the role of a Realtor; I wanted to first and foremost "thank you all" for all your entries in the "Keep Calm" Giveaway! I also want to take this time to "welcome" all my new readers! It has been wonderful checking out all of your blogs and meeting you all. As always, your comments and e-mails make my day, and I am so happy you all continue to come back each day to read Lilac and Grey!

At times being the sole writer and editor of Lilac and Grey may seem like a full time job, but the reality is my real full time job is a real estate consultant. Yup, I sell homes. Can I tell you why I got in this business? Well, it started as a "lunch time habit" of searching real estate websites for "dream homes" for Kevin and I. Then 2 years ago, my mother sold our house, and I got a really bad taste in my mouth with the realtor my mom had chosen. I felt like she took advantage and just wanted the house SOLD for selfish reasons. After that, I began thinking I would start a "part-time" real estate career, but let's just say a year and a half ago I got a sign from heaven that told me to "just go for it!" So I did.
In the beginning I vowed I would always be open and honest with all my clients and treat them as well as I would treat my own family. I wanted to be set apart from all other realtors and not just be Cara Gardner the "sales person" but Cara Gardner the "consultant."
I am fully aware of the sigmas that are attached to the REALTOR name. Many people hear "realtor" and their hands immediately go up in the air as if to hold you back. This was very strange to me, because I used to think to myself, "Why are their hands up, I am here to help!" After some probing questions, I would come to find out that most people with their hands up had a negative real estate or agent experience. Also, the fact that I am "younger" has also been a big hurdle for me to get over. I have to continue to gain their trust and show that I am that I am capable of handling what is in most cases the biggest and most expensive, not to mention most emotional purchases in their lives.
So there you have it. I take my job very seriously, and enjoy every minute of it. It is a bumpy road in most cases these days, but in the end it is truly a rewarding experience to be a part of.

Ok, now that you have a bit of background about me in the business, I want to start a weekly/monthly real estate series here on Lilac and Grey. I would welcome any of your questions, concerns, experiences, complaints etc. and I will do my best in posting and answering them all. Feel free to e-mail me anytime!

To start this series I want to answer the question, "What is a Realtor Anyway?"

The name "Realtor" is a trademarked name that a real estate consultant can use when they belong to NARS, The National Association of Realtors.  A Realtor's job is to consult, negotiate on your behalf, and over see all of the transactional details. They are paid on a contingent basis, which means they do not get paid until their client buys or sells a home. What most people do not realize is that all the money it takes to pay for advertising and marketing a home, the gas it takes to drive clients around to see houses, yard signs, open houses and MLS fees all come out of the pocket from the Realtor.

{via Southern Living}

At this time I would like to offer an open discussion. What are your thoughts about Realtors? What are some of your real estate stories you can share-good or bad? Do you have any real estate questions I could answer for you? Go ahead, don't be shy!

PS. You can check out my real estate website here
PPS. I need to sell a BIG house to get that Chanel Briefcase (pictured above)!
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