Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Pear Tree Point Beach House, Darien, Connecticut

What are you doing New Year's Eve?  We are sticking close to home as we often do.  I don't mean to be a party pooper, but I don't enjoy being out on NYE.  I prefer being home with my kids either at home, at the beach house or family cabin.  This year it is home for us. We try to make the night special for the kids.  I have fun food planned for them this year. Sometimes neighbors come over which is what is happening tonight.  I kinda miss being at the beach this time of year.  It is so peaceful and quiet.  
I've been doing a little research for a couple of beach projects due to begin after the holidays and found this lovely home in Pear Tree Point Beach in Darien, Connecticut designed by Austin Patterson Disston.  Thanks to Design Chic who today posted about another project from this amazing firm of architects I went on their site to see more of their work and saw this home.  Make sure you pop over to Design Chic to see the house they featured today.  If you don't follow Design Chic, I'm sure you will be hooked.  It's one of my favorite blogs and they are a pair of my favorite bloggers, mother and daughter team from North Carolina, Kristy Woodson Harvey and Beth Woodson.  Make sure you visit them and tell them I said hello!  Now back to the feature.  Feast your eyes on this beauty! 

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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Fun Food Ideas for New Year's Eve!

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I have shared that I don't like to go out for New Year's Eve.  Every year I try to think
 up fun ideas for fun treats to let my family know how much I cherish spending the last
 night of the year with them.  Here are some fun food ideas that I plan to
 have on New Year's this year!  

Easy Crostini Bar
Love Rue's crostini bar for appetizers on New Year's Eve created by Claire Thomas.
Click here for the recipe and ingredient list.  I would aire towards heartier
 meats for my family since I am feeding three males.  

Individual Layered Mexican Dip
My boys love layered Mexican dip on New Year's Eve, but it can be messy. 
 Since we will be gathered around the fire in our family room, I think I'll make
 individual servings like this.  I also think these are good for parties because not only
 do you keep the spills at a minimum but with flu season, it might be smart not to share
 dips.  Find the recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything by clicking here!  My boys
 also like buffalo chicken wings but I don't enjoy making them, so instead I make
 Franks Redhot Buffalo Chicken Dip.  They love it.  Click here for the recipe 
 It is always a hit each time I make it.  

Brie Stuffed Mushrooms from The Pioneer Woman
I plan to make these Brie Stuffed Mushrooms from The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays: 140 Step-by-Step Recipes for Simple, Scrumptious Celebrations
 I love how The Pioneer Woman breaks down holidays and provides easy to
 make recipes for every occasion.  Half my battle of cooking is trying to decide
 what to make.  Thanks to Pioneer Woman I get a little help with planning delicious
 meals my family loves!  

Warm Pear and Blue Cheese Tart
I like to offer a sweet option for New Year's Eve and this tart from 
Tyler Florence's book "Eat This Book: Cooking With Global Fresh Flavors" 
is the perfect!  I don't know if you are familiar with Tyler Florence but I think
 he is fabulous and I love this book.  If you don't own it already, buy it now.  
You will thank me!  I may make the Chicken Parmesan from this book for our entree
 for New Year's Eve.  I haven't decided if I am going to cook a meal or nosh on
 appetizers.  I always have a big meal on New Year's Day so we may
 stick with appetizers for welcoming in the new year.

Pears and Bubbles
My drink of choice will most likely be champagne!  I found this easy but festive 
recipe for Pears and Champagne on SpoonForkBacon here.  If you aren't into
 pears you could also add raspberries or frozen grapes or blueberries to make
 your champagne more festive. Uncertain of the best champagne to buy?  Choose
 the best champagne based on your budget according to The Thrillest or 
Food and Wine.

My husband's favorite drink is a Manhattan.  Some say the Manhattan has by
 passed the Martini as a favorite drink ordered in bars now.  With the rise in
 popularity of bourbon this drink has become a front runner with drink connoisseur. 
 My husband prefers his manhattan made with Woodford Reserve.  
Click here for Esquire's steps to the perfect manhattan. 

Interested in the history of the Manhattan?

The original Manhattan was made with Tuthilltown Hudson Manhattan rye whiskey
 To get the original Manhattan recipe click here and read the history of the Manhattan
 in the New York Times.

According to Tuthilltown Distillery.... "Until Prohibition New York was known for its rye whiskey. This feisty spirit was the basis for the legendary MANHATTAN cocktail, made famous by Jenny Churchill (Winston’s Mum). Rye had not been produced in New York for over 80 years, but Tuthilltown Spirits’ HUDSON MANHATTAN RYE WHISKEY signals the return of the quintessential New York Whiskey. Their rye is made from whole grain rye one batch at a time. It is not the blended rye whiskey your parents used to mix with soda. This is honest rye whiskey. HUDSON MANHATTAN RYE is bottled at 92 proof. It is fruity, floral and smooth, with a recognizable rye edge that leaves no doubt the origin of the spirit. Each bottle is hand filled, capped, waxed and numbered. 

If you don't have a good bartender's guide try this one,
The Craft of the Cocktail by Dale DeGroff.  I think it is fabulous.
  Click here to read reviews on it and to order.  If you order quick you
 may have it on your doorstep tomorrow just in time for
 mixing New Year's Cocktails.

Since the kids cannot partake of the cocktails why not create a "kidtail" for them!  

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Try milk in a champagne glass with a homemade cookie!   I'll wager
 some of the adults will want this as well!  What is better than at midnight
 than milk and cookies?  

What are you planning for New Year's Eve? 

Want to mix drinks like "Mad Men" here's your guide click here! 

Are you having a party and need help stocking your bar?

Want to stock your bar cart to be "at the ready" anytime?  Click here!

Off to the grocery!

Tory Burch - Extra 25%off Sale Items!
One Kings Lane
 Free Shipping on Orders over $100
Neiman Marcus Save up to 60%off & Free Shipping courtesy of Visa
Nordstrom "Twice as Nice" Earn Double points! Free Shipping!
ShopBop Up to 70%off
C. Wonder Semi Annual "Big Wonder Sale" Free shipping over $100
Serena and Lily 75% off "End of Season" Sale
Kate Spade Saturday "The Party On Shop"
Diane Von Furstenberg Up to 50% off on Selected Styles!
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Monday, December 29, 2014

I'm Still On Break....

I just returned from our Christmas with my family.  Typically I post about my Mom's Christmas decorations but I did not get the the family dinner in time and they had already eaten so the tables were not photo worthy.  Sorry!  I know so many of you enjoy seeing those pictures.  Hopefully I will be on time next year so I can get the pictures for the blog!  When we are in Newton Grove, we always stay at our family cabin.  It is only 5 minutes from my parent's house but it keeps my mom from feeling like she is responsible for every meal.  She works so hard getting everything done for Christmas Day I like to give her a break.  When we are at the cabin my husband gets up each morning and cooks a big breakfast for everyone.  The kids love it.  Family comes and goes on a daily basis which we don't get the luxury of having when we are in Charlotte.  I grew up around a large family so I love that aspect of being at the cabin. Sometimes we stay through New Years but this year we will spend New Years in Charlotte.   

Too Tired To Function Hoodie

I have so much to do in January and February.  It's all exciting so don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining!  I can't wait to share every last stinking detail with you. There is so much good going on in my life right now I can hardly stand it!   So for now, I'll just say hang in there, if you are as tired as me.....slap on your too tired to function hoodie and hide!
The best is yet to come!  
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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Beautiful Lacquered Boxes with Agate on SALE!

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I love a pretty box.  So nice for storing items such as a remote on a coffee table or keys on a table by the back door.  One Kings Lane is having a great sale on beautiful lacquered boxes with agate adornments.  Perfect for a bedside table, book shelf or anywhere else you need a fab box.  Here are some of my favorites.  
Blue Lacquer Box with Agate $59

White Agate Box $79

Agate Box $69

White Lacquer with Blue Agate $79

Yellow Agate Box

Hurry they are selling quickly!

 Click here to see more lacquered boxes with agate!
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Saturday, December 27, 2014

Great Holiday Sales! Stock Up for Next Year!

Pom Pom Garland
After Christmas sales are a perfect time to shop for decorations for next year. 
These pom pom garlands will be a perfect addition to my playroom tree next year!  

It is also a great time to get a jump start on gifts for next year!  It's always nice to pull out Christmas boxes and find things I bought at the end of the season the year before.    It's
nice to be able to buy a nicer gift by taking advantage of the sales!

Shop Furbish and enter code "MISTLETOE" for 50%off all holiday products!

Holiday Cache Pot

It's nice to stock up on pretty containers to dress up poinsettias or orchids for
gifting.  These containers would be pretty at Valentines Day as well.

John Robshaw Elephant Stocking

Love these cool elephant stockings!
Staffordshire Dog Stockings

Wouldn't this Staffordshire Stocking be so pretty in a nontraditionally
 decorated home or to gift filled with goodies for a special little lady?

Mr and Mrs Santa Glasses
Great gifts for the newlyweds, hostess gifts or neighbors.

Jonathan Adler Ceramic Camel Ornament
This Jonathan Adler ornament would be a hit at next year's ornament
exchange.  The girls would be fighting over this one for sure!

Floral Harvest Placemats

I have wanted these placemats ever since I saw Jamie Meares's Holiday table, do you remember how gorgeous it was?  

Isn't this beyond fab?  Love it!  Layers of goodness!  A table set this fabulous is
guaranteed to make your guest feel special!

Make sure you don't miss out on all the sales happening right now!

Here are some of my favorite places to shop for holiday sales!

One Kings Lane has great barware on sale for just in time for your New Year's Eve Party! 

Shop Furbish and enter code "MISTLETOE" for 50%off all holiday products!
One Kings Lane Free Shipping on Orders over $100
 Tory Burch - Extra 25%off Sale Items!
Neiman Marcus Save up to 60%off & Free Shipping courtesy of Visa
Nordstrom "Twice as Nice" Earn Double points! Free Shipping!
ShopBop Up to 70%off
C. Wonder Semi Annual "Big Wonder Sale" Free shipping over $100
Serena and Lily 75% off "End of Season" Sale
Kate Spade Saturday "The Party On Shop"
Diane Von Furstenberg Up to 50% off on Selected Styles!

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Friday, December 26, 2014

Didn't Get What You Wanted for Christmas? Here's the Remedy!

If Santa didn't bring you what you wanted for Christmas, it's time to take
 matters into your own hands.  Today is a huge sale day for many retailers! 
I'm spending today shopping the sales with my Christmas money.  Here are
some of my favorite sales.

Anthropologie is having a "Winter Flurry Sale" with an extra 25% off with the
code INAFLURRY entered at checkout!  Click Here to Shop the sale items!

Here are some things I'm eyeing. 

Feathered Fringe Top From Anthropologie
Wouldn't this top be fabulous for New Year's Eve parties?  Pair it with a pair of jeans or

Vinifera Necklace
This necklace is so gorgeous in person!  I took one to a gift exchange.
Wished later I had bought two of them, now I can!  Woohoo!

Jolana fur Ascot

If you aren't into glitz and sparkle for New Years Eve, try a fur ascot to
dress up a simple sweater.  On sale for only $39.95.  Bet this will sell out fast!
Also available in black and light grey.

Etosha Wristlet Clutch from Cleobella

I love a small wristlet like this one from Cleobella.  Perfect size for
 a cell phone, credit card and a little cash.  Great for nights out on
the town when a large bag won't do.  Love the bracelet handle detail!

Bow Cuff Gloves $29.95
Cutest gloves ever!

Leopard Bobby Pins

The leopard love affair continues with these cute bobby pins from Dabble.
only $14.99 for a set

Joie Leopard "Felton" Shoes

I've been wanting a pair of cute sneeks to wear at market and around town.
 These leopard cuties from Joie would be perfect!
Dolce Vita Leta Shoes
These shoes are also available in black.  Perfect shoe to head into spring.

Marjall Peasant Top

The "boho" in me is craving this peasant top to wear with jeans.  
Eventide Gradient Throw
Everyone in my family fights over the fur throws I have in my family room
and often I end up without one.  The coldest natured person in the house 
needs a throw of her own.  Bet my guys would defer this one to me since it
has a pink stripe.

Fallen Feather Wreath

The Prettiest Tree Skirt Ever!
Luxe Fur Tree Skirt is to die for!  Sheepskin tree skirt!  Wow!
Was $698 now on sale for $349!  Still expensive in my world but
hey if you can purchase this I would be most envious!

Love this rug available in several colors but selling out quickly! much goodness on sale!

Here are other places having great sales today!  Take advantage
 before the good things sell out!

One Kings Lane Free Shipping on Orders over $100
Neiman Marcus Save up to 60%off & Free Shipping courtesy of Visa
Nordstrom "Twice as Nice" Earn Double points! Free Shipping!
ShopBop Up to 70%off
C. Wonder Semi Annual "Big Wonder Sale" Free shipping over $100
Serena and Lily 75% off "End of Season" Sale
Kate Spade Saturday "The Party On Shop"
Diane Von Furstenberg Up to 50% off on Selected Styles!

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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

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Here's wishing you a lovely Christmas Day
 spent with family and friends!

“Teach us to value most eternal things,
To find the happiness that giving brings,
To know the peace of misty, distant hills,
To know the joy that giving self fulfils,
To realize anew this Christmas Day,
The things we keep are those we give away.”

-Marvin Davis Winsett

Wishing you a Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

5 Quick Gift Wrap Ideas to Get Your Packages Ready for Christmas Morning!

It's a wrap!  The presents have been bought, the goodies have been baked and now it's time to wrap the presents and place them under the tree for Christmas morning.  Are you finished or are you like me and just now wrapping your gifts? I really enjoy wrapping presents on Christmas Eve!  I'll let you in on a little secret of mine....I enjoy getting into the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping too.  I always save one present to buy on Christmas Eve because I enjoy shopping then.  Typically it is an add on present,  in case I don't find something I really like.  Do you do that?  Oh well, call me crazy but I love to shop and wrap on Christmas Eve day.  Now back to why I'm writing this post.   Here are a few quick and easy ideas I found for wrapping gifts with things already around the house.  My go to is brown or white paper for a simple look that is clean,crisp yet still festive!  This year I am all about the brown paper and pretty ribbons!


I like to use brown paper to wrap gifts all year long.  It's easy to pick up at discount or shipping stores.  There isn't a problem of what to do with leftovers after the holidays, just stick leftovers in your all occasion gift wrap box and use it on the next special occasion.   Fresh greenery tucked into the string or ribbon of a brown paper packages adds a simple, yet festive touch.  

"Brown Paper Packages All Tied Up with String, these are a few of my favorite things"


Add a few jingle bells and a pretty grosgrain ribbon to create the perfect package for anyone on your list.  Ribbon doesn't have to be red or green.  Basically any color ribbon can work.  Black ribbon adds a handsome touch to this package from Freckles Chick.  I love her idea of cutting out paper feathers and dipping them in glitter to add to packages.

Click here to read about Freckles Chick's wrappings and see more pics!

Don't really like the stick on tags?  Try making gift tags from fresh greens as shown here from Apartment Therapy using plain manilla tags.  I loved reading all their ideas for simple stylish wrapping here.  If you don't have the tags, make your own using construction paper or pretty fabric.  Be creative, your gift recipient will love it. 

click here for printable gift tags
Here are some printable labels to download and print, click the link 
 from Unexpected Elegance!

Need help tying the perfect bow?  I have you covered!  Click Here to 
get a tutorial on how to tie the perfect bow!  It's really easy as 1-2-3!


Hopefully, I have given you some quick ideas to get all those packages wrapped and ready Santa!  Merry Christmas!!!

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