May 2012 archive

What The Heck Is A Formal Living Room?

The term “Formal Living Room” has almost no relevance in today’s world. Initially, formal living rooms were created to greet your social callers. I hate to bust your bubble, but you’re not Scarlett O’Hara and you don’t have “social callers.” Formal living rooms primary function today is to collect dust and put furniture in that nobody is allowed to touch. Formal living rooms should really just go away quietly like sponge painting, Mischa Barton and side swept bangs, don’t you think? Aren’t we smarter than that?

Let’s continue. Let’s take a look at other equally stupid things you may or may not have in your home and why they make no sense in how we live today.

The bidet. I remember when I was looking at homes a few years ago, some realtor was actually showing this to my husband and I like it might be a viable selling point. “And here in the master bath, you have all the upgrades-including a bidet!” I looked at my husband and we just starting cracking up. Call me crazy, but toilet paper and daily showers seem to be doing the trick thus far, thankyouverymuch. I mean really, in the age of Twitter like speed and Wet Ones travel packs, don’t we think this is the end of an era? One realtor actually tried telling us it was “Very European” in her thick Jersey accent. Um yeah, it’s very European. Really? That’s weird, since every time Americans travel to Europe, one of the first things we notice is how practically everyone we come in contact with could use a jumbo size bar of Irish Spring. Major! Keep the bidet, lose the bidet, you don’t need a bidet. Take a shower, douche and wipe your ass like your mama taught you. Let’s move on, shall we?

The Mud Room. Oh yeah, that’s another winner. I went to one home in Miami where they were showing me how they decorated their mud room. Here’s the thing: Mud Rooms were meant to clean off your boots, hang up your wet gear and your guns from hunting and fishing in rural areas. If you live in Coral Gables, you don’t need a mud room. FYI, if you live in Scarsdale you don’t need one either. A mud room today is used as a designated area to hang up coats.Oh, ok. How about a closet at the entryway of your home, isn’t that enough? One website told me I could also use it as a laundry room. Oh! Maybe I can use the kitchen as a game room, too? Wait, I’m confused! It’s stupid unless it’s in your country home, ski home or the like. A Classic 6 in Manhattan, no mud room.

The Butler’s Pantry. Oh, I love this one! This term really took flight during the McMansion explosion. It made mortgaged-up-to-their-eyeballs-wannabe-rich people feel, well, rich. Let’s call a Butler’s Pantry what it really is: More counter space in the hallway. Most wealthy people don’t even have butlers anymore. They have house managers, housekeepers, nannies, gardeners and lovers. Queen Elizabeth, LIttle Orphan Annie and the Pope had butlers, not you. If you buy a big home there’s this area usually off the kitchen on the way to the dining room that has pretty cabinetry. It’s called a Butler’s Pantry. A pantry is a closet. A butler is something you don’t have. Moronic for anyone under the age of 86. See ya, Grandpa!

With the exception of the bidet, I’m not actually suggesting you do without these things. Rather, I think they are irrelevant, dated and in need of some kind of evolvement in their nomenclature. I mean, remember when Asians were called Orientals, cleaning ladies were called servants and shopping online was called surfing the World Wide Web? It’s time, people. It’s time.


FABULOUS TRAVELS: Wellness Weekends At The Ocean House in Watch Hill

Ocean House

Rhode Island didn’t used to be the first place that came to mind when I thought of luxe weekend getaways. I’ve done the Newport thing a few times, I’ve been to Mystic, I figured I’m pretty much done. I’m ready to go back to The Hamptons in my own backyard, you know?

That was until I visited the Ocean House in Watch Hill, Rhode Island.

I am what’s called in the hotel world, a luxury traveler. While this is certainly fabulous and glamourous, it can also be challenging when you visit smaller boutique hotels. Often, as hard as they try, they miss the luxury mark. Clearly, even after seeing amazing glossy pictures on the internet (aren’t they all?) I wasn’t sure what to expect.

We took a train from Penn Station to get there that went pretty fast and was eased by the availability of free wifi, thankyouverymuch! A shiny Mercedes met us to take us to the hotel. When we got there I was really stunned. This breathtaking and pristine yellow and white building with a big white porch was just a lovely sight high atop a bluff overlooking the beach.

My room that had a view of the ocean and the sounds of the wind and the waves were crisp and clear. Oh my, I’m going to like it here!! Actually, views of the Atlantic Ocean are visible from every corner of the hotel. Block Island, Rhode Island, and Montauk are all right there for you to see.

Guest Room at Ocean House

The 49 guest rooms and suites are very well decorated in an elegant style but with subtle touches to remind you where you are..a tiny starfish on the hand towel, salty and sweet snacks in glass jars, linens in soft blues. It was all very well thought out and quite spacious.  Frette linens and towels, plush bathrobes and 4-fixture marble bathrooms with a large shower are standard in every room. Internet access, flat screen TV’s and iPod players ensure those who can’t miss Celebrity Apprentice or feel inclined to post pics of the room on Facebook (Here I am in my room! Isn’t it gorge??) are all squared away.

I went to Ocean House for a special they offer called Wellness Weekend. The OH! Spa at Ocean House is pretty big at 12,000 square feet. All the treatments are inspired by the ocean and the harvest and it’s all very charming. They have a nice gym and a small salt water lap pool overlooking the beach. I must say, one of my favorite things at the gym was something called Fitness On Request. You can go to the gym 24 hours a day and use this machine that transmits classes on a giant video screen. It was awesome!! A real spinning class, aerobics, dance, etc..all “live” on  this video screen. Note to self: I really need to see about getting one of these.

The spa itself has 7 treatment rooms including a couple’s room and a nail salon.  The OH! Spa uses a selection of seasonally changing treatments, so expect pumpkins, apples and sea salt to be in your treatments depending on what time of year you visit. Yum. I had a facial that was almost as nice as the oceanfront relaxation room I waited in for my aesthetician to retrieve me.

The property has several dining options and I found all to be delicious. I would venture to say even the pickiest foodie types would have no problem here. From Seasons for fine dining to a spa lunch at the  Club Room to a fabulous breakfast on the beach, I was thanking my lucky stars for the 24 hour gym. The food was sophisticated and very fresh. Speaking of fresh, we got a smoothie making lesson from the resort’s own Food Forager, Jan Faust Dane who is one of those people you instantly adore. She was warm and down to earth and clearly loves her job. Farm To Table is they way they roll here and she leads the pack. I never thought a smoothie made out of sweet potatoes could be delicious, but Jan showed me the light and gave me a printed card with the recipe to take home. Love those details.

I didn’t venture into town but I heard it is really nice in the summer in that beachy new Englandesque way. To be honest, I felt no need to leave the property. The setting is postcard perfect, the food was great and they had lots of activities from yoga to wine tastings and an art collection that kept my friends and I engaged all weekend. But, what stood out the most to me was the impeccable service at every turn. Their staff is very well trained in the kind of service I like. Attentive without overbearing and elegant without a snobby vibe. It really was a pleasure to stay there. If you’re looking for a weekend of wellness or a week of clambakes and ice cream, I’m confident you’ll love this place. It really is a great place to visit.


Opened in 1868, closed in 2003 after being deemed beyond feasible repair and was rebuilt using the exact measurements of the original structure and several pieces of the actual building.

Sits on 13 acres with 650 feet of private beach for hotel guests

It is a 3 hour drive from NYC, 90 minutes from Boston, 45 minutes from Providence Airport

Free valet parking

Free Afternoon Refreshments

49 guest rooms and suites

Tournament level croquet lawn with an on site pro all sumer

Day trips to Newport  and Mystic CT can be arranged

Check for ongoing specials events throughout the year

If you have small children that insist on a kid friendly type hotel pool, this is not for you.

For more info, you can visit the hotel’s website for rates and availability at <a href=”” target=”_hplink”></a>



My Beach Getaway Packing List

LV Weekender I can't live without

As I get ready to leave for a short (but sure to be awesome) trip to The Cove at Atlantis tomorrow, I was asked about my “Beach Vacation Packing Tips”..Um, you sure about that? I am not known to travel light or with any notion of practicality. I try, but this is coming from someone who took gowns to the Greek island of Santorini. ‘Nuff said.

Also, my trips always incorporate work, so that is a whole other bag of tricks. Anyway, I do this with great frequency. That said, we work off a master list. Its part methodical, part ridiculous and it works for me. Except when I realize I forgot my favorite hairbrush!

This is The 3 Day/2 Night Beach Vacay Packing List.

What’s in your suitcase?





Light tunics for cover ups

Chanel Sunglasses for sightseeing, TOMS Aviators for sunbathing

Havaianas/multiple colors

Floppy hat

Yankees cap, Heat cap

Greek suntan oil

Lancaster Suntan Extender



Beta Carotene vitamins to pop before sunning

Phytologie Sunblock for hair (don’t eant washed out highlights!)

Vintage Gucci totebag for beach bag or Lands End no monogram, thankyouverymuch

Marula oil

Baby clean oil off cell phone

100 calorie protein bars


Three cute outfits for evening

Strappy sandals for each


Sparkly makeup

Waterproof mascara

Tinted moisturizer

Fekkai leave in conditioner

Korres body cream

Facial scrub


Dior Self Tanner

Tweezers,nail clippers, eyelash curler

Curling iron



Travel size Woolite

Fake eyelashes



Louis Vuitton Weekender

Three cute bags in bright colors for evening, one metallic, clutches

A long skirt to pair with knotted t for casual evening look


Candy colored skinny pants

Undergarments for all

Hermes belt

Hermes scarves

Gucci fannypack


Aakuula workout wear

Running shoes


T-s and loungewear


Missoni tote for makeup, toiletries, vitamins







Travel candle




Printout of reservations


Phone Number of publicist, hotel manager, driver, United Club in both airports and my NY contact.


Photos of Aaron, Brooke and Ford.

5 Gifts For Mom With The Brother PE 500 Embroidery Machine!

 I am so excited to get the word out about the newest product launch from Brother™–the PE500.  It’s the first-ever embroidery-only machine from Brother! Everyone knows how much I like to personalize by embellishing my pillows, bedding and clothes.  Well, now I’ll show you a few ways you can, too and make it a perfect-and fabulously personalized Mother’s Day!

As a designer with a passion for detail, this is an amazing product. As someone who gets frustrated by anything that seems too complicated, it’s a dream come true! In the next several days, I’ll be showing you a ton of different things you can do with the PE500. If you’re not a crafty girl, don’t fret!  The machine is easy, fun and not to mention, totally affordable–it’s the lowest-priced Brother™ embroidery machine ever!

Stay tuned as we get ready to embroider, embellish and adorn!

Embroidered Yellow Placemat

And you could’ve made these fabu placemats, if you had a little more talent than Yours Truly! The key here (no pun intended) is the square shape of the placemat, making it more chic.

Embroidered Pendant

Typically, this wouldn’t be my look..a little too Laura Ingalls On Little House On The Prairie-ish. But it has a cute, vintage quality to it. The idea of it is very cute. Moms swoon over stuff like this if given to them..oh yeah, this one is pretty easy to do, also!

Every Mom-or pretty much everyone-would love a guest towel that doesn’t get all stained up from last night’s mascara..I’ve showed you these before and remarked on the Smarty Pants who thought this up at The Ace Hotel. So easy to do..great little gift for Mother’s Day or a housewarming present! I love these.

Embroidered Pillow Cover

This is very pretty and not that hard to do..I love the soft blue juxtaposed on the burlapesque vibe of the cover. That style of monogram is trés passé, mes amis! It’s not “preppy” it’s just kinda played out and predictable. This font is so ten years ago. But we love personalization here at Cachet Inc. so we’ll let it slide!

Embroidered Linen Napkin

I love linen napkins and think everyone should use them regularly, not just when you break out the good china! These are lovely and a set of these as a gift is elegant and sweet.  You work off a computerized design, so don’t worry if you think you have to freehand this! I think this might actually be something I’m trying..I’ll let you know how it goes!

Happy Mother’s Day!



If you want to buy the Bother PE 500, it’s available at Walmart!

I’m Not Crafty But Embroidery And I Are Having A Moment

I have a lot of friends who could be called crafty. You know the type: They try new recipes, make scrapbooks, totebags and headbands for your kid. Truthfully, I find them just slightly annoying. it’s just so not me. Part lack of time, part lack of interest, part I’d rather be doing Zumba. It shocks people when they meet me, like they expect me to be quilting or making chocolate souffles. Oh Honey, not this girl!

There is the frequent misconception that all designer are crafty types. I assure you this is not the case. As for me, I have the eye. Then, I have the phone number of the person to perform the task. However, I’ve always loved anything to do with sewing and embellishments. My grandmother sewed and all my fashion designer friends can sew. I got into sewing years ago because it gave me the ability to personalize things and add my own touch on something as simple as a pillowcase. Creating a custom look on just about anything is fabulous and slightly addicting.

Recently, I’ve been seeing a trend of embroidery coming into home decor. Pillows, chairs, linens and accessories seem to be most popular. Recently, I found embroidered fabric wall coverings in a very modern style that were gorgeous! The textural element is the type of detail I love in a home. I wanted to see if I could do it myself after I heard about the new Brother PE 500 “embroidery only” sewing machine which promised to deliver options and results previously unheard of and at $299 it was attractive, as well. I called an expert sewer friend of mine and she came over to help me get set up and assist, if needed. After opening the box, I was sweating! It looked way too complicated for me.

Brother states on their website that this machine is geared towards those interested in “trying your hand at embroidery for the first time, a crafter looking for a new challenge, or an advanced embroiderer looking for a unit to carry to a make & take”. Clearly, I was nervous since I wasn’t really in any of these categories. Oh brother..(no pun intended) what did I get myself into?

In spite of m lack of experience, I was blessed with the ability of quick learning, so away we go! It actually wasn’t that hard. I almost forgot my friend was there! She definitely helped me get more acclimated with the machine and the basics of what to do but for the most part, just playing with it helped the most. The best features for me were the automatic threader and built in tutorials. It has computer connectivity that can connect you to their site, giving you access to thousands of designs available for purchase. The machine itself comes with 70 designs, 5 fonts and over 100 frame patterns. Don’t I sound like an expert already?

I’m really glad I got it and I intend on embroidering basically everything in my house. I bought a set of Egyptian cotton napkins at Home Goods for $14.99 and I plan on turning them into a fabulous monogrammed set for my mom this Mother’s Day! Wrap them in my own tissue paper and ribbon and she’ll think I spent a bundle in some Madison Ave. specialty shop. That’s what I’m talking about!

Although I had fun, I won’t be giving up my day job. And I have no plans of making Gruyere Mac and Cheese or Tartelettes de Framboises any time soon. Just saying..

Stay tuned for more!