Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fabric Love

denim & lace

Kitchen Perfection

I have an addiction... 

to kitchen design...

I am obsessed! 

Whenever I see a gorgeous kitchen I imagine cooking and entertaining in it! 

The less cookie-cutter/traditional the better! I would love any of these! 

Are you a kitchen design addict?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

How to Create a Hamper / Gift Basket on a Minumum Budget

*Being in real estate, I am always looking for some fun new ideas as house warming gifts for my clients.  I read a while ago (somewhere) to fill a hamper with all new supplies and goodies for new home buyers. I thought it was a great idea! Today, Sara will be guest posting about how to create this unique gift*

Many significant events occur during the course of couple's journey through life: getting married, buying a house, having kids. To celebrate these momentous occasions, gifts are typically sent to the happy couple. For those wishing to create a unique gift and/or for those on a budget, consider making your own hamper or gift basket.

When buying a house, a housewarming gift is a customary present sent from friends and family. Using this example, detailed below are a few suggestions on how to create your own custom made hamper or gift basket.

Types of Hampers as a Housewarming Gift

The first thing you need to decide is what type or theme you want. The tastes and preferences of the new homeowner will help you customize the hamper. Listed below are a few themes to consider:

Bathroom / Kitchen Accessories Basket: Create a basket filled with small, useful bathroom or kitchen items for a newly married couple moving into their first home. You can never have too many spatulas!

 Picnic Hamper: Use a hamper as the container and fill with a set of dishes and utensils for a picnic. You do not want items that will break easily like porcelain. A durable alternative may be melamine dishware. If thereís room, you may want to include a picnic blanket also.

 Coffee Basket: Buy a set of coffee mugs and pair it with some bags of coffee, or even a coffee grinder.

Fruit Basket: Visit your local supermarket or farmerís market and pick fruit that is in season. Try to choose fruit that does not bruise or spoil easily. Apples, oranges and pears would work well. Or go with a tropical theme and include such fruits as mangos and papayas.

 Cookie Basket: Bake your own cookies for those families with children. This is ideal for those on a budget and who are proficient at baking. Try a few cookie varieties to add color and appeal. You can even place the cookies on lollipop sticks to make cookie pops, giving added height.

 Gourmet Food Basket: Assemble a few varieties of crackers and cheese spreads, along with some cheese spreaders or utensils. Just make sure that the items are not perishable and can remain at room temperature. A few gourmet chocolates can add the finishing touch.

Items You Will Need

- Hamper or Basket (or other container of your choice)
- Assorted Gift Items
- Card and Decorative Items
- Packing Materials
- Glue dots or scotch tape
- Plastic wrapping (optional)
- Scissors

Choose a hamper or basket large enough to fit the gift items you plan to include. Consider the height of the container that you will need. The assorted gift items will vary depending on what hamper theme you decided on. You will need some sort of packing material to help pad and cushion the bottom. You can use items such as tissue paper or shredded paper. Decorative items may include such items as ribbons or confetti to help add a little sparkle and flair to the whole basket. Glue dots or scotch tape will help secure the gift items so that they do not move. Plastic wrapping can be used to secure the whole basket together and present a more finished appearance. Shrink wrap can be made to adhere using only a hairdryer. Or consider using translucent wrapping paper and tie it together with a ribbon at the top. A variety of these items can be found at your local craft or party supply store.

How to Assemble Your Gift Hamper

Once you have gathered or purchased your supplies, it is time to assemble your gift hamper. First, fill the bottom of the hamper or basket with your packing materials. Depending on the size and height of your gift items, you may want to fill the container high enough so that the items are visible over the container edge. Next, arrange your gift items in the container. Taller items should probably be placed in the center and smaller items placed on top. Secure the items with glue dots or scotch tape. Use the plastic wrapping to surround the whole basket and affix any decorative items and card.

About the Author...
Sara Turner works part-time for a company creating gift baskets. In her opinion a home can only be a castle if it is a personal space of creative energy and love in details. 'I love to write about gift baskets or to create gift baskets because I think that your personal space / environment grows
more special and detailed if you observe it closely and add things to posh it up. A bathroom gift basket with a variety of beautiful hand-made soaps can embellish your bathroom and make it a place of love and dedication.'

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tuesday Table-Scape

Wouldn't this be the perfect table-scape for a girly dinner party? I love the mix-matched candle holders and different colored pink flowers. Do you love it, or is it too pink?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Quick, Hello

After partying like a rock star at this weekend's wedding ( still recovering) I am looking forward to an easy, breezy Monday.  I hope you all had as much fun as I did this past weekend, I would love to hear your stories!

{image via}

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Quote of the Day

"There's always pressure, from other people and yourself. If you're happy with the looks you're born with, then what are you going to do your whole life?. We keep thinking up new things and finding better ways of doing things because we're not happy with what we're given. "

Friday, September 23, 2011

Love List

I had a pretty great week, so this girl can't complain! Here are some things I loved this week...

We recieved our long horns that I ordered from Chic Modern Home...and we LOVE them (thanks Julie!) Now we just need to figure out where we want to hang them. Stay posted...

I am now sleeping in Missoni style, with my new eye mask I scooped up...

My sparkly mani in honor of our wedding anninversary...and the extra sparkly edition to my ring finger- a pink saphire band, a gift from my husband..

Btw, I got my manicure idea from Maegan's blog <3

We have a wedding this weekend, which I am looking forward to! Enjoy your weekend loves!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Light Love

We are thinking about getting this gold capiz chandelier to put over our kitchen table. Annnnd I think we have finally decided on The Hicks Pendent Light to put over our island that a wrote about here

{image via z gallerie}

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Let Chevron Spice Up Your Life: Guest Post

If you're looking for a trendy design to dress up a boring room, look no further than chevron. This design can be incorporated into furniture, flooring, backsplashes, rugs, pillows and more. The timeless pattern dates back to pottery found in Greece in 1800 BC. Commonly used in military and police badges or insignia, chevron may now hold the key to revitalizing your home.

Simple bowls and cups for everyday use give character to a plain dinette area.

Don't let the cost of purchasing new housewares put a damper on your style. You can easily create your own DIY chevron pieces. Only your imagination can limit the possibilities. This coat rack and table are great examples:

A chevron area rug can be as loud or as soft as you desire, depending on the color scheme chosen.

A flavorful stone mosaic makes a kitchen or bathroom stand out.

Guest author Brandon Mercury from your local security writes about home improvement and interior design. He is a regular contributor at In Good Measure.

Photo Credits:
Jill Rosenwald Collection
The Sweet Survival
Sunset Magazine
Contemporary Rugs
Edgewater Studios

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Three years ago today, I married the love of my life. "Happy Anniversary" to the most amazing husband a girl could wish for!

{photo via Lilac and Grey} 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Weekend Photo Round Up

We had such a great weekend! We celebrated our anniversary on Saturday and my brother and his girlfirend Staci's birthdays on Sunday. 

Paul and Staci with the "big" bottle! We had about 20 people at dinner, so please don't think we drank that all ourselves! Hehe

Amazing seafood platter at Wolfgang's Steakhouse

Staci's leopard shoes..

Blowing out their candles...

I hope you all had a great weekend too!

{all photos via Lilac and Grey}

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Quote of the Day

Source: via Becca on Pinterest

Friday, September 16, 2011

Weekend Dreaming

This week flew by (in my little opinion)!  This weekend we are heading back to our old stomping grounds (Jersey City and NYC) to hang out with friends and family and celebrate some birthdays. Another thing I am looking forward to is...THE FOOD! Hopefully I won't be put into too much of a food coma that I forget to take photos to share :)

Waahooo...It's Friday!

{photos via un beau jour}

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Chic-ist Shabby

I am in a shabby chic mood today...

This would be my perfect kitchen...simple. and chic.

I always see these french inspired garden chairs at antique stores...

I see these in our backyard next to a 

pond with a waterfall *dreaming*

Doesn't this baby's nursery look so peaceful? What baby wouldn't want to sleep here?!

I adore this cabinet because you don't have to look at the bar all the time, you can shut it away until you need a cocktail!

Are you feeling shabby chic?

{all images via Pinterest}

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tuesday Table-Scape

Isn't this table-scape delicious?! I just adore it! Btw- those are white chocolate covered green apples! Click Here for more detailed photos.

{image via Elizabeth Anne Designs via Simply Bloom}

Monday, September 12, 2011

I first want to thank all of you who shared your 9/11 memories with me. I was truly touched by everyone's story.

I had a GREAT weekend! Kevin and I went wine tasting on Saturday where we visited (a newer) winery not that far from our house that we could easily visit and enjoy a night of good wine and food.  We also visited a winery in South Jersey that is the oldest (working) winery in the state and the second oldest in the country! It was such a great place with wonderful people working there that really know their wine trivia (did you now Chianti is a "place" not a "grape"? I didn't!)! 

Here are some pictures from our wine tour...

W started out at Laurita Winery... 

Nail polish available HERE

We really enjoyed their Norton and Cabernet Franc...

Next we visited Renault Winery. We tried over 15 different wines...needless to say, we ended up buying a case full of wine!

Of course I couldn't pass up the pink champagne!

We went to Labrador Lounge for dinner, and had our Chianti that we bought at Renault...

We dined on sushi and seafood...this was my blackened grouper with mango salsa and cilantro creme fraiche- it was delish! 

How was your weekend?

{all photos via Lilac and Grey}

Friday, September 9, 2011

I Will Never Forget...

It was my second week at college. I just left my english class that ended at 8:30. I was wearing my favorite Gap jeans, a red and blue striped Abercrombie and Fitch long leave tee-shirt, with a white collar, and a new pair of tannish boots I bought from Aldo (that I later returned, worn once only on that day). 

As I was walking to my car, I noticed the blue sky, and how there were virtually no clouds at all. I also noticed the crisp September breeze gently blowing through my hair- and thought to myself that it was such a gorgeous day. I only had one class on Tuesdays. I asked myself, "What should I do for the rest of the day? Go to the mall? Go to the gym?"

I pressed my key to unlock my door, I got in, shut the car door and turned the key in the ignition. As I was putting on my seat belt, just as I heard it click, I heard Howard Stern's voice say that a plane hit the World Trade Center. I immediately called my dad.

My father was one of the smartest people I have ever met (seriously). I had no idea what it meant that a plane crashed into one of the twin towers, I was just thinking that I knew something my dad didn't! When he answered his phone, I said, "Dad! A plane crashed into one of the Twin Towers!" He replied very softly, "I know."

"Ugh" I thought. How did he know already! It just happened! He then asked me where I was, which I replied, "leaving class." He said, "Cara, go home, drive safe, and call me when you get there." So that is what I did ( but not before I stopped for an everything bagel with vegetable cream cheese).

I got home and turned on the TV. I sat there- alone- at our kitchen table and watched everything unfold. The screaming, the running, the papers flying in the wind, the pentagon, the collapse, the dust cloud, the crash, and the other collapse. 

When we were young kids, we used to travel as a family to Queens (to see my mom's parents) or Long Island (my dad's parents) almost every weekend. Whenever we would see the New York skyline my brother would scream and point, "The Twin-y Towers! The Twin-y Towers!"

Now they were gone.

Where were you? I would love to hear your story...

In memory of all the lives lost that day- and all those that have lost their lives and continue to fight to protect our  freedom and our country everyday. We will never forget.

{image 1  and 2 via weheartit, image 2 via free pages}

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Fall Nails

I already started my transition into fall colors- and I started with my nails. At my last mani I chose a deep purple which I love!

Essie's Sexy Divide

Here are the new fall  2011 polish colors Chanel has just released...

I am loving these metallic metal-y colors! 

 BTW, I would love if nail salon's would start carrying Nars nail polish...I just might have to buy this deep red for my next mani!

What colors are you coveting for your fall manicure?

{image 1 via The Lacquer Log }

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I'm Back!

After the most amazing weather and relaxing vacation- I was in quite a bit of shock going back to work today. By tomorrow I will be back in the swing of things and ready for a fresh new start (as I always am every September). Here are some photos from vacay...

This was our view from the back of the house...

And this was the view from the hot tub on the roof deck at sunset...

Here we are enjoying a fabulous seafood feast at the Black Whale...

The girls drinking cocktails (and shots!) al fresco...

We went out with a bang! A tray full of lobster rolls (heaven)...

Best burgers and snacks after a day on the beach...

Barnegat Lighthouse...

This was the empty beach the day after the hurricane...

My mom and I in our hats...

So there you have it! I am so sad to see this summer end, however I do have some big things to look forward to this fall and winter ( so I guess I can't complain)...until next year, goodbye summer... 

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