Friday, March 30, 2012

Weekend Plans + Giveaway Winner!

I have been non-stop with work this past week, and it looks like it's going to be a busy weekend as well (the real estate business never sleeps) however I am looking forward to slowing down a bit and maybe do a little garden work, going for a long walk outside,  and spring cleaning. I also would love to grab a cup of tea and catch up on all my favorite blogs!

What are your plans for this weekend?

Oh! PS. The winner of the $100 Shopbop Giveaway is BrianneLee!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

What I Would Buy With A Shopbop Giftcard

As you all may or may not know, a $100 Shopbop Giftcard is up for grabs on this blog... I was just browsing the site, and I chose some items that I just can't live without...

I am obsessed with this hot pink 3.1 Philip Lim tank dress! Perfect for spring with a blazer or jean jacket- and I would probably wear it every day in the summer (also available in black)! BTW, those shoes are also pretty major!

These Rachel Leigh Jewelry Perfect Studs are well, PERFECT!

I don't really "do" shorts, but these Ella Moss scallop edge ones look super comfy! I would wear these with flats or heels!

A little minty green Alexander Wang? Yes Please!

What would you buy if you had an extra $100 to spend at Shopbop? Ps. Enter to win HERE 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Decorating with Pastels

Pastels were all over the spring runways and are a big trend this season- so why not decorate with pastels? The low saturated colors symbolize rebirth, new growth, and new beginnings...

ORANGE-represents the dawn of a new day, a new season

BLUE- is the color of sky and water. It suggests peace and harmony. It's a clear blue sky and rain that brings forth the new spring growth...

PINK- represents a fresh new start, a new beginning, and playfulness...

LAVENDER-represents something special

GREEN- represents hope, birth, and renewal

Photo Credits Elle Decor

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tuesday Table-Scape

Throwing a spring-time party? Grab some inspiration from the garden by adding some fresh cut tulips to your table-scape. I love the simple and fresh ingredients used in this spread like veggie chips, hummus, tuna salad roll-ups, and chocolate cupcakes in terra-cotta flower pots- how cute is that!?!

PS. A few more days left to enter $100 Shopbop Giveaway!

{photo via  Sweet 16 Sweet and Savory Table from Kreavie Floral Design: O.xide Design Photos: Julia C.Vona via At Home with Kim Vallee}

Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday Style

Nothing says "Spring" like a crisp tailored trench coat. Throw on some skinnys, a black sweater and black stilettos to complete the look. Add an oversized watch and some black sunnies to add some extra zhush.

What do you think of this look classy or boring?

{photo via}

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Quote of the Day

Photo via Style Me Pretty

Friday, March 23, 2012

Spring Awakening

Wake-up it's Spring!! I really can't complain about this past winter, with the weather being so mild, it hasn't been so hard to come out of hibernation. Spring is here, and I am looking forward to..

Fresh cut flowers...

Opening up the windows and letting the fresh spring air {and pollen *wink*} in...

Planting fresh herbs and veggies...

Stockings and tights be-gone!

Warm weather and longer days.

What are you looking forward to this Spring?

Don't forget to enter $100 Shopbop Giveaway!

{photo credits 1/2/3/4/5/6}

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Friendly Reminders

 I found this cute little shop while searching Etsy. Cute right?

PS. Come enter $100 Shopbop Giveaway!

{All images via Cyanide Stitches}

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Fever + {Shopbop} Medicine= A Cure!

It's pretty safe to say that with the warmer weather upon us, that means spring fever is in full effect! What better way to cure it? A little retail therapy of course! Here are some Elizabeth and James items that have been on my spring shopping list...

I love these Elizabeth and James sandals... The black and ivory color blocking is perfect for spring...I would wear these with EVERYTHING!

These Elizabeth and James earrings are the perfect shade of aqua green!

I could imagine all of the different possibilities of this flora scuba material Elizabeth and James skirt...


Do you have spring retail fever? Well one lucky ready will have the chance to cure it with a $100 Shopbop Giftcard! 

You know the drill...
{but just incase you don't} Please leave a comment below and one lucky reader will be chosen at random. The giveaway will end March 29, 2012 at 12:00 am. Winner will be announced March 30, 2012.

Want to maximize you chances of winning? Like us on Facebook HERE and HERE, Follow us on Twitter, Bloglovin', and Pinterest {and let me know that you did!}

Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday Style

The weather here in New Jersey has been a consistent "mild," but one of my biggest pet peeves are when I see people wearing full on summer gear (flip-flops and tanks.) So what do you wear in transition from winter to spring without looking ridiculous? Instead of a heavy coat, opt for a blazer or long cardigan sweater. Ballerina flats are a great substitute for heavy boots (Ahem, Uggs) and pair a skirt with no tights with a little bootie. I love this look above! The sequin skirt is adorable paired with suede ankle boots and a sweater set.

Get the Look:

What do you wear in transition from winter to spring?

More ways to follow here and here

{image via weheartit}

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Quote of the Day

image credit: Chief and Crown

Friday, March 16, 2012

Wish I Were Here

Hello my loves! Forgive my somewhat radio silence lately... I am currently in transition from one real estate company to another. I have had to basically start all over and brand myself with my new company. So far I could not be happier, and I know this move will be a tremendous value to my future career. I am looking forward to my success! 

Hopefully I will be back to regular posting here at Lilac and Grey soon. I have a really fabulous giveaway coming up next week, so stay tuned! Have a wonderful weekend!

If you would like to know more about real estate and home staging, please "like" my new Facebook business page

{photo via}

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Real Estate Spotlight: Blairsden Mansion

This is not just any property for sale. This is a property that is very very special to me and my family. Since it was purchased by an extremely private owner, it has been difficult to track what has been going on with it these past few years, until now...

The History: Blairsden, The legendary country home of C. Ledyard Blair, financier, banking heir and sportsman is offered for sale on 34 acres overlooking the Somerset Hills. Only 47 miles to New York City, it was designed by Carrere & Hastings with a sympathetic landscape design by James Lyle Greenleaf. The result is considered one of the finest examples of the Beaux Arts movement. Blair chose a bucolic hilltop setting within easy reach by rail of New York City in what is now Peapack-Gladstone, and assembled 500 acres of farmland with breathtaking vistas. Constructed between 1898 and 1903 it was regarded as a marvel of planning and engineering using steel and concrete floors on all levels, electrical service, elevators and the finest materials available. Its sumptuous interior of limestone, marble and rich woods reflects Blair’s lifestyle during the Gilded Age. Italianate gardens were created, extensive rose gardens added by the tennis courts, and a stone and brick staircase linked to a mosaic ramp that once led to Ravine Lake. Elegant weddings for his four daughters took place in this exquisite setting overlooking the countryside. Inside, the basement then held a pool, Turkish baths and a squash court. Expansive public rooms on the first floor opened to terraces or the veranda that joined the tea house, or Belvedere. Marble columns and doorways unique and elaborate mantels for the 25 fireplaces, and exquisite moldings accent the home. Designed to accommodate the prestigious list of visitors and weekend guests, the second floor was for the family and special guests while the third floor was largely dedicated to staff. 

What is my connection to this stunning property? In 1949, when Blair died, much of his property was divided up and sold. The mansion was sold to the Sisters of St. John the Baptist in 1950, and it became a religious retreat. In the 80's, my father worked for an Italian food distributor in New Jersey; Roma Food. The "Nuns" as we called them used to personally go to the warehouse and order their food. My father sparked a special bond with these {very Italian} Nuns and began to go out of his way and  personally delivery their special orders to the Mansion where they lived. I remember him taking my brother and I up there on weekday nights after he got home from work. The house is completely hidden from the road. To get there you must take a small narrow dirt road (as it was back then) all the way up the mountain which eventually opened up to two driveways surrounding a very large reflecting pool, and then up to the mansion. On those nights, I always remember the Nuns serving my brother and I vanilla ice cream, and handing my father a container of their famous homemade lasagna to bring home (which I still dream about to this day!) 

Over the years, we had many family events there and almost always went there New Years Day for dinner. I remember eating in this dining room (which is more like a ballroom, it is HUGE) and feeling like a princess!

I would wander around the big mansion pretending to be a princess and this was my castle. I have some very magical memories here.

When Kevin and I first got engaged, the first place I thought of to get married at was Blairsden. Unfortunately, it was still under renovation by it's current owners and not available. My dream would be for  the next owner to transform this amazing property into a Bed and Breakfast or event space open to the public; similarly to what they did to neighboring mansion, Natirar. It is just too special to keep "private." I would be ecstatic to be able to bring my husband (and eventually) our children there and begin family traditions just as we had the opportunity to do.

I have been blessed with the memories of visiting this spectacular place as a young girl, and now this 31 bedroom, 14 full bath, 5 half bath, 50,0000 square feet, legendary estate, sitting on 34 acres, is available for purchase!

Asking Price $4,900,000

If you would like more information about this property please contact me or visit my website.

Photos via Garden State MLS

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Quote of the Day

"Choosing to be positive and having a grateful attitude is going to determine how you're going to live your life."

Joel Osteen

Photo via: this is glamorous

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Weekend Recipe: Braised Beef with Rigatoni

I saw this recipe on the Today Show yesterday, I thought it is perfect to make for this Sunday's dinner! Mmmm, can't wait!

Recipe: Braised Beef with Rigatoni

  • For the braise
  • 1 pound beef cubes - try to utilize the less expensive cuts suitable for short ribs, shanks, cheeks, brisket
  • 8-10 cloves garlic
  • 3 sprigs sage - chiffonade
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste - homemade is best
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • For the pasta
  • 1 # rigatoni or your favorite pasta - I use a type of rigatoni called Paccheri but any type of pasta is fine including fresh like pappardelle.
  • 1 bunch arugula
  • Cheese for grating - parmigiano reggiano is fine but we use a local cows milk cheese
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Chili flakes
The braise can be done ahead of time and then quickly finished while the pasta is cooking in the boiling water.
For the meat, sear it in a heavy-bottom saute pan. Remove the meat, and saute the garlic and sage. Add the meat back in. Add tomato paste and wine. Bring to a simmer. Cover and braise for 4 to 5 hours at 300 degrees F or until tender.
For the pasta, cook rigatoni until al dente. Immediately add the pasta to the braise in the saute pan. Fold in arugula, extra virgin olive oil, and toss until completely coated. Plate and shave cheese on top.
Check out the Restaurant North where Executive Chef, Eric whips up some fabulous food!
Photo credit: Andrew Sullivan for The New York Times

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Kony 2012

I feel silly complaining about the petty things in my life after watching this impacting video. I don't usually post about political or religious topics on this blog, however, I feel like it was imperative that I share this video with all of my readers given the fact that action and knowledge of this will change the world. Please sit down, and watch this video. It is necessary for humanity...

Designer Spotlight: Alexa Hampton

Alexa Hampton, President and Featured Designer of Mark Hampton LLC., a company started by her late father. She was the Honorary Design Chair for the Holly Hill Estate Designer Show House that we visited last spring. Her work is prominently known and featured in publications such as House Beautiful, Elle Decor, Vogue and Architectural Digest (just to name a few). She has completed a variety of large residences, airplanes, and yachts; and selected to be the interior designer for the Towbridge House, the new official guest house for former Presidents of the United States in Washington D.C.

Alexa is one of America's most influential designers and her work is described as classic, traditional, and eclectic. I would add that it is tailored and "timeless." She also published a book, Alexa Hampton: The Language of Interior Design, perfect for your coffee table! You can purchase it HERE

What do you think of Alexa's work? 

Photo Credits: Mark Hampton LLC

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Workplace Therapy

My home office has been a work in progress for a while now, and although it is not even close to what I have imagined it to be, I knew it needed some "glaming up." When Bravo's new television show Interior Therapy with Jeff Lewis asked me to spruce up my office and be part of their program "Workplace Therapy," I jumped at the idea! This is the space where I used to run my real estate and staging business and write this blog...


I moved my desk from the corner to the middle of the room, and my rolling rack to the opposite wall across from my desk.

I added some of my favorite jewels in this pretty little dish on my desk (they make me smile.)

These are vintage embroidered silk prints that I am planning on getting framed. 

My cute little note pad and pretty frame courtesy of Bravo

Bravo also sent me this lovely vase and I use a little orange Hermes box as a pen holder.

This is my rolling rack that I display my vintage clothing collection on.

My mom just bought me this Breakfast at Tiffany's framed photo. My wedding shower was a Breakfast at Tiffany's theme, so this is a sentimental item. I have not hung anything in the office yet, because I am planning on painting soon.

Love this new desk lamp, which I placed on top of a little side table that was given to me by Kevin's grandparents.

This might be my favorite item that Bravo sent me, a USB Flower hub!

"Thank You" to Bravo and the team at Interior Therapy for the opportunity to partner with you on this project! Interior Therapy with Jeff Lewis premiers Wednesday, March 14th 9/8c, be sure to check it out!

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