Just a few things to get a jump on your Spring Style. Here’s what I love this week.
Just a few things to get a jump on your Spring Style. Here’s what I love this week.
Spring. Hope, color, renewal and oh yeah, new stuff! Here’s what I’m loving this week for Spring. Frivolous, expensive and undeniably fabulous. And, so what? Don’t you deserve a pink flume pillow, a fringe outdoor umbrella, a Fornasetti candle, a Baccarat butterfly and the most perfect yellow luxury throw. Click on the photo for where to buy.
If you’re still reeling from last week’s episode of NBC’s, “This Is Us”, you are not alone. Although we may have forgotten how we looked whilst ugly crying ad nauseam, we should not forget the much bigger lesson learned. No, it’s definitely not trash your beloved Crock-Pot. Rather, the importance of having a working smoke detector (or several) in our homes.
SMOKE DETECTORS SAVE LIVES. PERIOD, THE END.
Jack and Rebecca might be fictional characters, but the horror of residential fires is very, very real. About 3,000 people are killed each year in HOME fires. You can cut the risk in half if you have working smoke alarms, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Be sure to have the right type of alarm. According to the FDNY website, Alarms must be approved by Underwriters Laboratories (look for a UL mark) and have an audible end-of-life warning. All new and replacement smoke alarms should have a sealed 10-year battery that is non-replaceable and non-removable.
No doubt, some are better than others. First, you need to understand there are TWO types of fires: Smoky, smoldering fires and fast fires with flames.
Smoky fires are best detected by alarms with photoelectric sensors.
Fast fires with flames work best with alarms with ionization sensors.
Yeah, I know. Who knew? It is important to note that The International Association of Firefighters recommend the use of photoelectric smoke alarms.
Consumer Reports says you’re safest with a dual-sensor alarm that quickly detects both types of fire, such as the top-rated Kidde PI2010 and the First Alert 3120B. They both cost around $30.
An updated model of The Nest Protect – a combo smoke and carbon monoxide alarm was tested by Consumer Reports in 2015 and was found to be still slower to respond than other smoke alarms to flash-flame fires. Interesting.
The consensus is to buy BOTH a dual-sensor smoke alarm and a separate carbon monoxide alarm. This model by First Alert is also reco’d by Consumer Reports.
Think about that for a minute. Thirty dollars can save you and your family from disaster. Seems like a no brainer, right? Think again. Roughly two thirds of American homes DO NOT have a carbon monoxide detector. A CO detector is an absolute must must if you have any of the following:
Any fuel-burning appliances like a furnace, water heater, range, cooktop, grill. But make no mistake, even a home that is “all electric” benefit from a couple of CO alarms because you probably have a generator.
Some important things to remember:
It’a NOT your Crock-Pot
Full disclosure, I was a spokesperson for Crock-Pot in 2014. I am no longer a spokesperson, but still a huge fan and was very upset they got a bad rap because of a fictional show. And bravo to them for handling it so well, like in this video with Milo Ventimiglia. Bottom line, it wasn’t the Crock-Pot that killed Jack. Let’s keep our eye on the ball, Super Fans.
“But It Goes Off When I’m Cooking And It’s So Annoying..”
Ah, yes. I am guilty of this, too. This is especially true for anyone who lives in an apartment. A good friend of mine is a NYC firefighter and gave me a great piece of advice once. He explained that he lived in a small NY apartment and every time he cooked he had to disconnect the smoke detector. So he wouldn’t forget to reconnect it after dinner, he always placed it on top of his pillow. This way he knew he would never go to sleep without it. I thought this was a very good tip. Thanks, Richie Gleason!
Have A Plan
It’s also a good idea to have a family plan. In our house, I have told my two children since they could speak in the event of a fire where they were unable to get out of their room they should jump out the window and run. I showed them how to cover their head and crouch down and everything. You can buy ladders that attach to window sills, but when every second counts I still think it’s better to jump if your planned exit is compromised. We live in a two story home where the jump is far less likely to injure them as greatly as a fire might. Not exactly a warm and fuzzy topic, but the thought of myself or someone I love dying in a fire is enough to induce a full on panic attack for me, at least.
Ask A Fireman’s Advice
I have found that most fire stations are filled with really nice firefighters who are always willing to speak to you. Walk in your local station and just ask questions you have. Bring your kids, listen and learn. If you have an hour to watch TV, you have an hour to do that.
Top Seven Fire Safety Tips
I got these directly from the NYFD Website, a great source of information and a plethora of downloadable tip sheets. Here’s what they say:
This weekend, why not take a few minutes and check all your smoke/CO alarms and see if they are in working order, need to be replaced or if you need additional units? There is nothing more valuable than keeping you and your family safe.
Remember, Crock-Pots don’t kill people. Homes without smoke alarms kill people. Stay safe and take care.
I think we should make it a national goal that every single home in America is outfitted with the necessary smoke alarms, don’t you?
Lots of Love + Cheers to the weekend!
Remember, it’s supposed to be special..But, who has time to cook all day? Grab some bites from Trader Joe’s, UberEats or your local pizzeria-but use real dishes. Toss the paper goods and use fancy glasses and cloth napkins. A bottle of bubbly can be picked up on almost every corner. Presentation is everything.
Most of us like a little chocolate or a sweet treat on Valentine’s Day. This is key..A pint of Haagen-Dazs or a few cupcakes are enough to satisfy most of us. Single servings are great for all of us watching our figures, too!
Most people, whether consciously or not, desire to be fabulous.
While fabulousness can mean one hundred different things, the universal misconception is that it is centered around one’s looks, social demographics or wardrobe. Sorry to disappoint, but you can buy all the Louboutins and Birkins your credit limit will allow and never, ever be fabulous.
Being fabulous is an intangible quality that exudes all others. This is not about redecorating your living room or what to serve at your next party, this is about being a fabulous person from within. So, instead of making some flimsy New Year’s resolution that has about a 10% chance of success, why not focus on just being a better person and if you have what it takes, become a fabulous person. So, how do you do it? Dig deep, for starters.
All fabulous people love themselves. It is only when you learn to love yourself, that you can begin to change the world around you. No one is going to think you’re fabulous if you don’t think you’re fabulous. Start by paying more attention to self-critical thoughts and focus on your qualities. Know that you have infinite greatness within. You cannot take care of your family if you don’t take care of yourself first. Hang around likeminded people and steer clear of jealous, gossipy, phony people. They most certainly do not love themselves and that energy is like a boomerang.
Having compassion for others means you are kind, thoughtful and probably an overall nice person. Doing something for others when it is self serving means you’re an asshole, not compassionate. Sadly, kindness and compassion are not teachable. Showing kindness to someone who can do nothing for you is one of the most rewarding experiences a person can have. Give when there is no public glory. Sometimes, all it takes is a smile to change the direction of the day.
Keep It Real
Fabulous people don’t pretend much. Honesty and sincerity should be used often but with a light touch. Telling your friend she’s fat and dropping your kids at school in pajama pants and a horrific bun are not “keeping it real”. Being honest about your narrative is. See the difference? Bad manners are the antitheses of fabulousness.
If you really want to live a fabulous life, you’re going to have to take some risks. The greatest things in life always happen when the outcome could fail. You have to try new things, meet new people and get comfortable with discomfort. Have faith in your risks. Prepare yourself that most people will not support your risks. Do it anyway.
Harness Your Fears
Fear is the biggest obstacle to achieving everything you desire-hello, that is fabulous! There is no such thing as someone who is “fearless”. Rather, those who appear fearless (and fabulous) have mastered the skill of harnessing their fears and breaking through them. This takes time, but will change your life immeasurably.
Don’t Hide Your Magic
Everyone has something interesting about them. But if you never socialize, nobody will lever know how fabulous you might be. You have to talk to people, listen to people and not look over their shoulder while they speak. Those people are awful and should be eliminated from your orbit. Engage people, even strangers. They have magic, too.
Confidence, Confidence, Confidence
All the traits that make a person fabulous are confidence based. Contrary to common belief, we are not born confident. Rather, it is a quality that is acquired through developing your mind, body and soul. If you are not confident, ask yourself why and improve that part of your life. It’s not easy, but it is very simple. Stay informed, healthy and grateful. Cockiness and arrogance are not examples of confidence, know thew difference.
Someone who can never vary from their rigid schedule will never be fabulous. Uptight people, time to lighten up! Some of life’s best moments are when you do something unexpected. Take a last minute trip, skip the gym for an impromptu shopping session, go out for a drink on a Tuesday night. Just chill, for God’s sake. The ever-increasing world of Scheduled Lives is so not fabulous.
Have Some Substance
Well dressed, beautiful people are boring AF unless there is something of substance under all that Chanel. Hobbies don’t really make you fabulous, neither do your abs-even if they are fabulous. Helping others, having a passion, an interesting skill and being a part of a cause are examples of substance. If you don’t have any, find something that drives you and start there.
Is there any other way? Seriously, if you’re not living enthusiastically what the hell are you doing with your life? If you’re NOT excited about your life then you are not living your dream. Understand that you were meant to live a great life, you deserve to live a great life. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Like most matters of the heart, you’ll know what it is when you find it. Keep searching.
Now go have a fabulous 2018.
Cachet du Jour. You only live once, you might as well live well.
Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer season, grilling season, bikini season and my all time favorite — no-cook summer recipes! If you’re slaving away in the kitchen or standing at a grill all day, you’re not enjoying the party so what’s the point?
My super easy tips will have you spending more time having fun and less time cooking. I like parties that are simple and focused on the guests. Yes, you have to serve food. But, you don’t have to spend the next three days in the kitchen like some Pioneer Woman Wannabe-although, you might want to check out her Dr. Pepper Ribs because they’re really worth the extra workouts.
First things first, Food!
Go food shopping. Just because you’re not really cooking doesn’t mean your family and friends aren’t hungry. One of my fave little tricks is to buy a bunch of fried chicken from the supermarket and lay it out on pretty platters and watch them go to town! Unless you’re from the deep south or your name is Paula Deen, chances are their fried chicken is better than yours. Personally, I think Publix Supermarkets have awesome fried chicken, but just use your judgement depending on your location. You can grab some sliders, buns and tons of fixin’s like cole slaw, potato salad, three bean salad, etc. Then, make your own green salad and there you go! Small plates and single serving food are always popular, too. It looks modern and cute and doesn’t do too much damage on the waistline… especially if there are bathing suits involved. Supermarkets nowadays have have everything you need!
I confess, I like getting people drunk. Parties are just better when the guests have a little buzz on. Make your life easy and get beer, wine, champagne and make one signature drink. That’s it. You can make a special cocktail in some fruity color and you’re done, red usually does the trick. When you use pretty glasses and cute garnishes, it helps. As always, no red plastic cups. It’s not a frat party and I don’t care if “its easier”. There are too many drink recipes to list, but if you Google “party drink recipes” watch what you find..I think champagne and anything is kind of fabulous. But, make sure you have plenty of soft drinks and water for the non-drinkers. (My friends are not these people)
You can pick up this cool steel tub at Home Depot for just over $13.00! It’s a steel tub, there’s not a big difference in quality that requires spending more than that. I also thought this idea was genius..make ahead cocktails! I’m not really into Mason Jars, but you could use bottles instead. LOVE.
Music is Key
You can serve all the fab food and beverages galore, but with no kickin’ tunes, your party sucks. Get a good playlist going and pump it up loud. For my parties, I like to keep it sort of upbeat neutral with a mix of pop, hip hop, dance, salsa and some classic bar music which is a big crowd pleaser..Hello, Brown Eyed Girl! No jazz, classical or easy listening. Ugh, they’ll be out the door after the first drumstick. The best wireless speakers for the price these days are hands down coming from JBL. Trust me, they’re AMAZING and start at under $50. Is it unpatriotic if I just play the Justin Bieber remix of Despacito on a loop ALL DAY?? I know he’s Canadian but Puerto Ricans are our people and well, I’m OBSESSED. Ok, suave suavecito the f-ck down, Cachet. 😉
When it comes to decor for Memorial Day, I say tread lightly. Your home doesn’t have to look like 4th Of July threw up on an American flag. You can go with one color like red, or clean and simple white with a few red or blue touches. Fresh flowers go a long way. And remember, you can reuse a lot of these items for July 4th, so keep that in mind if you buy seasonal decor. Simple is stylish, overkill is tacky. And foil decorations are a horror show.
One Little Detail
Do something your guests will remember. An activity, a cool favor, a fun extra something. You don’t have to spend a lot of money. I love the simplicity of a paper bag of chocolates or potato chips, a jar of BBQ sauce that you used. The simpler, the more chic it is. I also like taking a photo of each person upon entering the party and then sending it along with a thank you. It’s a nice touch and everyone loves photos of themselves, unless they look bad and/or wasted. And don’t post photos of people if they look bad just because you look good, it’s so obnoxious and it’s a really quick way to piss off your friends. Don’t be that person.
Say Thank You
I might be partial because I have a–wait for the shameless self promotion here–>stationery collection, but I’m a stickler for this. Something so small and so inexpensive screams volumes about a person. Emails and texts are okay, but a real card is better, thankyouverymuch. Make the effort, you’re not that busy. As the host, you can make a short video using any number of apps and then email the link to your guests. Fabulous, right? And practically free! Details like that are never about money and always about character.
Most of us have special ways of celebrating the holiday and honoring those who have made the ultimate sacrifice serving their country. In turbulent times there is a special meaning to this holiday, so take a moment to remember those who have given their lives so we can live freely. Be proud to be an American, fly that flag high and party like a rock star.
Happy Memorial Day and God Bless The U.S.A.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock lately, you’ve seen tropical themed everything..from Dolce & Gabbana to paper plates, it’s everywhere! The tropical trend is hotter than ever. I’ve been a fan of it for quite some time and don’t think of it as a trend, but rather a classic and very chic look in both home and fashion. When some people hear “tropical”, they immediately think of Jimmy Buffet and piña coladas, which makes me cringe. But when done right, the tropical decor look can be luxurious, chic and very sophisticated.
So, how do you do it? The key is unless you are a professional, it’s best to stick with a “less is more” approach since it can be a pretty bold look. That said, one of the best ways to start is with lighting and accessories for the right balance with the rest of your home.
Just remember, It’s not about making your home feel like a luau. It’s about adding natural elements, rich color, texture and a laid back vibe that can work in several decor styles.
Here are some of my suggestions from Bellacor that I love:
Say hello to the your new favorite table lamp..It has a chinoiserie vibe, which is also somewhat tropical. So, you get two fabulous looks for one! Remember, you can always switch out the lampshades down the road and change up the look entirely. I have a pair of these in my Miami home. They came with navy blue shades and I used white instead in my very tropical bedroom.
The Veraluz Banana Leaf One Light Sconce is subtle, sustainable and sophisticated. This sconce is perfection. The milky white hue is so elegant. A pair of these would look amazing in a bathroom, a hallway, a bedroom or even an office.
No tropical look is complete without a few of these iconic banana leaf pillows from Surya. You really can’t go wrong. You can pair them with a white chair or a black and white stripe and they look chic. I like the 20” x 20” for the drama.
Tropical decor is really all about natural elements and this piece is called the East at Main Merriam Brown Abaca Round Accent Table and adds that perfect island touch to an awkward corner or even as a side table. And at a little over $100 it’s a no-brainer buy!
This Veraluz Banana Leaf Mini Pendant is the perfect touch for an all white kitchen. It adds a freshness, color, just enough of that fabulous tropical vibe and you don’t have to water it. Score!
Whether you live in Miami or Montana, a tropical decor look can work for you. Get out of your comfort zone, have fun, take chances and be sure to share your experiences with us. I would love to see how you made this enticing and stylish look work for you!
Style is about details, not about price tags or labels-dont get me wrong, those help-but not necessary. See below.
Flamingos are chic and fabulous and add a little je ne sais quoi to any room. Your kitchen will look cooler. Or, throw it on your desk or use it for cotton balls in your bathroom. Trust.
Flamingo Cookie Jar, World Market $14.99
Yellow, when it’s the right shade, is so perfect. This is that perfect shade. You can use these up until the Chriatmas tree goes up. Pair with wood, pink, blue, whatevs. You are golden. Oh yeah, dont forget your 20% coupon, I know you have a stash of them. 😉
Bermioli Rocco Sorgente 15.5 oz. Cooler Glass, Bed Bath & Beyond $6.99
There are a lot of greens that I LOVE. Then, there are a lot that gross me out. Plus, cheap velvet is the WORST. If you buy cheap velvet, you look cheap. This is the perfect rich, emerald/kellyish green.
Watercress Pillow Cover, by Williams-Sonoma $99
We’re always talking about how your home is your sanctuary, so why not make it a place that reflects your unique style? Using books as décor can be a fun, easy and creative way to personalize your home. Books—vintage or contemporary, oversized or small—add individuality and pizzazz to any room. Whether you want to add a pop of color, make a striking statement or create a theme, books speak volumes. (No pun intended)
“We encourage homeowners to ‘think beyond the bookcase’ when it comes to books,” said Justin Krewatch, founding partner of http://www.BoothandWilliams.com, an online portal and resource for designers and homeowners interested in vintage and modern book décor. “Books are a great way for homeowners to creatively express themselves through the colors, eras, topics and textures…and we’ve made that process incredibly easy and affordable.”
Here are a few tips on how you can use books to take your space to the next level in your home, office, or any cherished space you call your own:
1. Inspire early readers
Vintage children’s books add charm and style to a nursery. Choose traditional fairy tales or your favorite stories from when you were a child. From Nancy Drew to the Hardy Boys to Beatrix Potter, you can pass down your love of literature by surrounding your little one with books.
2. Clearly literary
Take advantage of a Lucite or glass-topped table to showcase books stored on top or underneath. It maximizes unused space and creates a visually striking tableau.
3. Chic page-turners
Weall know, chic is my jam..Books on style and beauty are a natural for a dressing table, boudoir or powder room. Select biographies of fashion icons, photo books of jewelry or gowns, or coordinate by color.
4. Let it grow
Pair your love of gardening or flowers with books that complement the décor of a sunroom or balcony. Create a pedestal for a vase of fresh cut flowers with a stack of books with botanic prints or show off your sunflowers next to books on Van Gogh.
5. Add sophistication to a man-cave
A man’s room is a place to relax and enjoy himself, and what better way to relax than with a library of well curated books. Besides, man-caves can be so much more than oil cans and footballs..You can stock them with volumes about vintage automobiles, classic sports or history. The right books can enhance the masculine appeal of the man’s retreat and add elegance at the same time.
6. Fuel the fire
Create a cozy library-like nook for a collection of books on top of a working fireplace or even within a non-working fireplace. Stacked vertically or horizontally, it’s a creative way to store books, adds a nice design element to the room, and best of all, all the books are easily accessible should you want to cuddle up to one on a stormy night.
7. Table it
Stacked high next to your sofa, or atop your favorite suitcase or other prized possession, books can serve as an enticing focal point or double as a functional end table or place to display your favorite lamp or other objet d’art.
8. Tell your color story
Just like paint to make an accent wall pop with color, books can have the same effect. Vibrantly hued books will stand out against a white or taupe wall, and a soothing palette of neutral books can do the same in a brightly colored space. You can even buy books “by the foot” in the exact color that complements your décor!
9. The luxury of leather
Leather-bound books, with their gold-embossed spines and cloth bindings, are the epitome of old world elegance, and add an air of sophistication to any library, study or home office.
10. Coffee Table Books
Are you an art history buff? A gourmet baker? A world traveler? Assemble a group of books on subjects that hold a special place in your heart and make them the focal point of your coffee table. Not only do they look great as living room décor, but they can also be great icebreakers with your guests. I only like coffee table books if they lend some authenticity to who you are, so keep it true.
For an easy one-stop-shop, try http://www.boothandwilliams.com where they have basically systematized the book as a decorative medium. Books are carefully arranged by color, subject and style, giving homeowners a simple and gorgeous way to customize, enhance and create excitement in any space.
Give it a try and be sure to let us know how it works out!
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