15th birthday celebration

15th birthday celebration

Last weekend we had a little birthday dinner for my girl – who turned 15 yesterday!  How can that be??  She will be eligible for her driver’s license in less than a year, and that scares the living day light out of me.  While mom is worried, she is super excited for what lies ahead.  I guess that’s life….

Anyway, she is a pink and gold girl, just like her mom…so I went on that theme with the table decor.  It was very simple, yet elegant. Take a look…


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DIY: gold sprayed hydrangeas for the holidays

DIY: gold sprayed hydrangeas for the holidays

Last December when we were in New York, I happened upon a cute little stand in Washington Square Park that was selling Christmas greens.  This was the same place that I purchased the magnolia leaves that I carried all over the city just to bring home and add to my porch planters.

It was at that same stand where I saw dried hydrangea flowers that were sprayed gold and added to wreaths, garlands and greenery.  I knew right then and there that I was going to file away the idea for this year.

So this past weekend after doing some yard work, I carefully cut my drying hydrangeas and put them aside.  My mom came up with the brilliant idea of sticking them in the ground and spraying them that way.  It was genius.  The paint covered all angles of the flowers and they dried perfectly in the breeze.  Now all I need to do is preserve them in my garage and pull them out when I do my front porch planters!  Take a look…

The before picture…



And after…

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Birthday Party Shenanigans

Birthday Party Shenanigans

This past weekend I held a 50th birthday party/wine party for my friend, Amy.  It was a big birthday for her this year and she was adamant that she didn’t want any attention made to her.  Well.  That didn’t hold out.  Not only did our coworkers know, but we brought it to the attention of our 125 fourth graders!  In the end, I know for a fact that she had a great day!

Here are some peaks of the party shenanigans and the decor, complete with DIY initial wine glasses for all of the guests.  This tutorial will be coming to the blog this week!


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Recipe Recap: Homemade Limoncello

Recipe Recap: Homemade Limoncello

If you’re a limoncello lover, this post is for you.  Limoncello is an Italian liqueur that has a very intense lemon flavor.  It is usually served chilled and in a cordial glass with no ice.  When J and I were in Italy back in June, it was so fun to try all of the different versions of Limoncello from its homeland.  Often times, restaurants offered it for free at the end of a meal, or you could drop in a bar in the middle of the afternoon and get a glass to sip.

I have made limoncello before with my friends Mike and Vanessa, so when they asked to do it again, I jumped at the chance.  Especially since J has never experienced the process.

To start, we met way back in May to do phase one of the process.  Making this liqueur is a two-step process with a few months in between.  The longer the wait in the middle, the better it will taste.


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Recipe Recreation: Cacio e Pepe

Recipe Recreation: Cacio e Pepe

Warning: This dish is not recognized by any diet on the planet.

When J and I visited Italy this past June, one of our favorite meals in Rome was Cacio e Pepe, translated “Cheese and Pepper”.  It got to the point where one of us would order the dish at every meal just to taste that specific restaurant’s version.  Cacio e Pepe is simple.  The ingredients are pasta, various cheeses, butter, olive oil and black pepper. That’s it!


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My black and white powder room update: Lighting, Faucet and a sneak peak

My black and white powder room update: Lighting, Faucet and a sneak peak

I can’t tell you how excited I am to finally see the powder room coming together.  After two stabs at vision boards using wallpaper, I finally came to the conclusion of what I wanted it to look like.  In case you missed it a few weeks back, here is the vision board I put together a while ago using the bold floral print I picked up from Home Goods.

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Black walls with picture frame molding, the print, gold faucet and accessories, similar white mirror, and some other fun art.

Here is one picture I used for inspiration for the molding.  I love the moodiness of the room.

Donna Dotan Photography Inc.
Donna Dotan Photography Inc.

I also added some white crown molding around the ceiling.  The ceiling itself will be painted in thick black and white stripes for added drama.  Being that it’s a nine foot ceiling, we could afford to make it a little more interesting without having a cave-like feeling.

Inspiration for the ceiling:


Source: Hudson Valley Lighting

Besides the crown molding, all of the other molding and the door will be painted in the same black paint as the rest of the room.  I chose Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black for the walls.  It’s a nice, saturated black with a touch of grey and I think it will be gorgeous when done.





Towel Ring and Toilet Paper Holder

I’m crossing my fingers that all of the “golds” blend together.  If not, I have a few other options up my sleeve but I will wait until they all come in to decide what works (or what doesn’t).

Finally….a sneak peak.  I have a feeling that I’m going to be in love!


I’m a Coffee Table Book Addict

I’m a Coffee Table Book Addict

I admit it.  I’m a big sucker for a good coffee table book.  The more unusual the cover or size, the better.  I love books that are beautifully adorned with abstract art, textiles, paintings, or prints.  I also love spines that have titles spelled out in a beautifully written font or in big, bold letters.  Most people have some type of collection.  I guess you could say that I collect pretty books.

One day I would love a bookshelf that lines an entire wall of a room or study.  One that has many shelves to showcase all of the books I’ve collected over the years.  That way, my entire collection could come together in a spot that highlights their uniqueness all in one place.

I took a few snapshots around the house to show you how and where I style them.  Some are older pictures, and some are current.  I often use books to give height to other objects.  Sometimes they are on their own as a design piece, and sometimes they are used to hide unsightly wires on the mantle or a book shelf.

Take a look…


Tip:  Sometimes I wrap books in pretty wrapping paper to jazz them up a bit.  I just use the “old school” book covering technique I used back in middle school.


The other day I picked up this (prefect condition) Elizabeth Taylor book at the thrift store.  Tip: I like to take off the book jacket because I love the linen texture that lies underneath.


So what are your thoughts?  Do you collect anything?  xoxo


A Peacock Inspired Birthday Dinner

A Peacock Inspired Birthday Dinner

My mom celebrated a birthday over the weekend, so I tried to make her day extra special.  On Saturday we went to Eddie Ross’s Style School and learned how to design pumpkins using upholstery tacks.  I don’t have enough words to express how much fun we had!

Then on Sunday night, I hosted a small birthday dinner for her and some friends and family.  I know I’ve mentioned it before, but prior to designing a tablescape, I always find one piece de resistance as a jumping off point for the theme.  In this case, I found an amazing peacock feather wreath on the clearance rack at Michaels a few weeks ago.  The colors were vibrant and fall-like and so, so rich.


To elevate the wreath a bit, I simply placed it on top of a white cake pedestal and added some wild flowers in a white crock.  I also used varied sizes of mason jars for floral vases and scattered them around the center of the table.  Each guest was able to take one home, along with a ramekin of Snickerdoodle Cinnamon bread.



To assemble the rest of the table, I used a combination of gold and blue chargers with varied patterns of teal and gold napkins.  Each place setting had a gold bread plate and a peacock feather.  I love the shades of blue, green and gold all mixed together to create a soothing palate.


Take a look at some different views of the table…


For the menu, I scoured Pinterest for some new and exciting dishes.  Our kids have been asking for Beef Stroganoff for the longest time, so I decided to make that the main dish (with noodles, of course).  Here are the links for some of the menu items:

Sesame Rosemany Pecans

Parmesan Onion Canapes

Beef Stroganoff

Arugula Salad

Snickerdoodle Cinnamon Bread

The chocolate cake was ordered from ShopRite.  It was soooooo good, and I would highly recommend it if you have a special chocolate lover in the house!

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The charcuterie board with salt & pepper cashews, the pecans, and chocolate covered almonds.


Happy birthday, Mom!  I hope you had a wonderful weekend!  Love you! xoxo

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My morning with Stylist Eddie Ross

My morning with Stylist Eddie Ross

Can I just tell you how much I love Eddie Ross?  My love affair first started when I spotted his book, Modern Mix.  The book was released back in 2015 when I was first dabbling with interior design in my home.  I was playing with patterns and styles, DIYing everything, and scouring design blogs for inspiration.  But back then, I didn’t realize what true treasures one can find at flea markets and thrift stores if you just open your eyes and look around.  Eddie was certainly my inspiration to finding my own style — which I like to call rustic glam.  Over time, I developed a deep appreciation for the true treasures you can score at these places.  Things that were once loved in someone else’s home and are given new life in mine.  My favorite thing to say to a vendor when haggling for a precious find is “it will go to a good home.”  This always makes the vendor smile and usually seals the deal.

Anyway, back to Eddie.  I took my mom to spend a morning at his Maximalist Studio in Norristown, PA.  He was leading his first Style School titled “Oh My Gourd” and we were going to design pumpkins using upholstery tacks.  Genius!  No mess!

When we got there, we were welcomed into the AMAZING space with light breakfast foods and mimosas in their kitchen.  Eddie said that the kitchen is often rented out for food styling shoots.  The flowers and presentation was lovely.

I was in love with every single detail of their space.  The colors, the neutralness (is that a word?), the texture, light and attention to detail.




Check out these curated spaces within the studio.  My jaw was consistently dropping as I toured the warehouse.


The kitchen was perfectly done using whites and stainless steel which serves as the perfect backdrop for any food photo shoot.



Check out the tree “growing” out of this table!  It can be changed with the seasons…


The dogs were the stars of the show.  They were so gentle and loving to everyone.  Check out the bamboo doggie bed and whiskey dog toy.  I’ve decided that I want to come back as their dogs in my next life! 🙂




Eddie left the old freight elevator in tact for guests to use as a way up to a party of event.


The prop room.  What I wouldn’t do for a space to store all of my props.  Just take a look at his collection!  Plates, candlesticks, pillows, chairs, bowls…you name it.  It was a style girl’s dream!  Eddie even joked…he’s not a hoarder, it’s his job to have all of this!  🙂


Next part of the morning….entering the Gallery part of the studio for the class!


The staged living room in the gallery…So simple, but definitely not.


Another staged area in the gallery…


Ready to start the workshop!



We were able to choose a faux and a real pumpkin to adorn with upholstery tacks and they had such a variety.  Lots of different metals, shapes, sizes and textures.




Eddie’s sample pumpkins…




I think Eddie got a kick out of my mom.  She gave him a hug and kiss for helping her with her pumpkin.


My two finished products: a take on a leopard faux pumpkin and a Kelly Wearstler spiked head inspired (real) pumpkin.  I plan on saving the tacks for future pumpkins!


Here are a few final products from others in our group:


What a fun morning to spend with my mom (on her birthday).  We talked and laughed from start to finish!


My pumpkins at home…



Autumn anniversary Table

Autumn anniversary Table

This week my parents will be celebrating their 49th wedding anniversary and usually this time of year I try to incorporate the colors of the season into the table.  Lots of warmth and texture always make for an inviting setup.  So when I found the mini pumpkins and the pumpkin side dishes at Target, I knew they would be my jumping off point for the color theme.  The brass leaf napkin rings are also a classic find from Target.


When I saw the deep red mums at my favorite flower market, I was drawn to them.  In my mind, I went back and forth with how they would blend with hues of blue and green, but now I’m digging the contrast.  Everything else in the vase came from my yard. Tip: Don’t be afraid to search your own property for interesting add-ins for floral arrangements!



The menu was a very simple, prepare-ahead list of items which I found mostly on Pinterest.


Honey Drizzed Apples with Gouda and Bacon

Autumn Tortellini Pasta Salad

Sweet Corn Pudding

Dessert was a delicious apple pie that I sampled a few weeks ago at Sam’s Club, and I knew I would be back to get it when I was entertaining.  I heated it slightly and served it with vanilla ice cream.  So yummy!

J’s parents joined us too.  Whenever we are all together we hear the same stories, the same names, and lots of laughter, and I love these kind of Sunday nights!  XO