Cachet du Jour. You only live once, you might as well live well.
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!
As we enter into Spring, we almost always think about fresh starts, the proverbial “cleaning house” in its various forms and dusting off what we deem as old and unneeded. That said, I decided to freshen up my demo reel. I’d like to think that a quick Google search brings up whatever anyone needs to know about me. But, the reality is that you have to do it yourself. In a funny way, all things in our lives involve a certain element of DIY, right? It’s always about doing things for yourself. So, thanks to my very talented and Emmy Award winning friend, Frank, here’s my new demo reel. It’s just a snippet of what I do, but an important snippet. When I look at these images I am reminded of how hard I work and how that work is rewarded with doing some really cool things with amazing people. And that I am proud that I have created a life where I can inspire people to try a little harder, know that anything is possible if you just try and that in the process we can have SO MUCH FUN.
Before you tackle any type of Spring Cleaning in your closet or your garage or your makeup bag, clean your mind, your thoughts and reset your goals. Rid yourself of what you don’t need, pay more attention to what you brings you joy and to what brings joy to others around you. It’s only then when the other stuff really starts to matter.
This Spring, I am tackling new projects, exploring some things that I’ve really wanted to do but been fearful of (yes, even I get fearful!) and letting go of what hasn’t proved to be productive to myself or my family. I thought it would be exhausting, but it’s really quite energizing and I encourage you to do the same. Chasing what you love is a journey you will never regret. You can clean out the basement later. 😉
I heard a great quote on YouTube the other day I’dlike to share with you:
“The only way you can do good work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Listen to your heart and your gut, hey almost intuitively know exactly what you need.”
And that my friends, is the ball game.
While “blush” has been somewhat buzzy the last few years, it’s actually a timeless classic. it works in any season and always looks elegant. No Easter Egg vibe anywhere, because ew.
Here’s what I’m coveting in blush:
Talisman London Bespoke Low Backed French Style Sofa About $4000. Don’t even think about eating tacos on this, please.
. Bauble Bar Earrings $36 On trend without trying too hard.
Pink Alabaster Glass Dinner Plates $7.95 each Pier One A “Rose All Day” kinda vibe.
Sam Edelman Leya Shoes In anything darker they’d be a horror show.
Yves Dolorme Prestige Bath Mat $135 at Harrod’s. Luxe details are important, that’s why.
Dior Vernis Gel Shine Incognito $27 at Nordstrom It’s time to say goodbye to Hello Baby
Abalone Shell from Sherwin Williams. A little deeper but looks lighter on walls.
Have a fabulous day. Crush the blush. XO
Have you ever walked into a room and just felt like whoever you were talking to could see very pore on your face? Well, I have and it’s not fun. Think about it..The doctor’s office, a diner, the DMV, the Emergency Room. What clears a room faster than the 100 watt lights that accompany the words, “Last Call!”?See where I’m going with this? It always boils down to one thing: LIGHTING
It’s true. You could be decked to the nines with a fresh blowout and your makeup done to perfection, but if the room is lit poorly you will immediately feel uncomfortable. Unfortunately, at press time there was still no cell phone filter to remedy that problem. Conversely, when you walk into a space that is well lit, you don’t notice it. You just feel good. This is why top restaurants often hire lighting designers. It’s a fact..If you feel like you look good, you’ll be relaxed, have a better time and linger. If not, you want to hightail it out of there in no time! Right?
Why not use the same approach in your own home? It’s not that hard. Here’s how you do it.
LAYER YOUR LIGHTING
Don’tbuy into the idea that a one-and-done overhead lamp is always the right solution, it’s not. Dining rooms, living rooms and bedrooms should all have multiple lighting sources. A floor lamp, a table lamp (or two), an overhead lamp or chandelier. You can use some lights for reading, others when you have company, all three when you’re cleaning or doing something that requires lots of light. But, this is definitely Rule #1.
DIM ALL THE LIGHTS, SWEET DARLIN’
Every room, even the bathroom. Think about it, if you want to relax in a luxurious bubble bath, doesn’t it make sense to dim the lights? Exactly! Dimmers are inexpensive, easy to install and come in a plethora varieties of styles and colors nowadays. Also, lots of dimmers can now be controlled by an app on our smart phone, so you can arrive home already feeling fab. Genius.
DON’T MISS THE STYLE OPPORTUNITY
A great lighting fixture can make a room, just like a great pair of shoes can make a $50 dress look like something off the runway. Depending on what your goals are, this can be achieved very easily with lighting. A statement chandelier, an azing pair of table lamps anchoring a chest, an unexpected sconce in a hallway or bedroom. Instantly fabulous! Don’t think of lighting as an afterthought, think of it with as much thought as the twenty-seven paint colors you looked at before deciding on the one that was perfect.
THINK OUT OF THE BOX
This comes easier for some of us than others. For example, I’m known to use chandeliers in kitchens and bathrooms because-why not? If it’s your house, you make the rules! Unexpected design touches are what makes our homes unique to us.Lighting is a fabulous way to acheive that. So many parts of lighting are customizable..heights, brightness, even your shades. I often change the lampshades on lights I buy..an antique lamp feels current when paired with a high gloss shade. A brightly hued lampshade can be used to coordinate better with a room’s decor instead of just white, The possibilities are far reaching and fantastic.
And now that I got you all excited about lighting your home (and looking amazing), here’s a special treat for my readers: Bellacor is giving away a gift certificate for $500 worth of lighting found on Bellacor.com! Follow them on social media (@bellacorlighting) and leave a comment here with your favorite lighting ont heir site and make sure you enter to win here: Bellacor Giveaway!
Hurry, because this giveaway ends on 2/13/2017. And GOOD LUCK!!!
The iconic Hotel, Le Negresco, has stood elegantly at the helm of luxury in Nice for over one hundred years. But, like everything in France, even the historic must also be current. So, it comes as no surprise that there is a room by room renovation underway and no detail has been spared. Each room is designed and renovated individually in order to create unique spaces, brimming with art and interior design in a blend of contemporary and classic styles. They are a lesson in glamour and timeless sophistication.
Some of most innovative new arrivals: The Street Art room with its wall hangings designed by Pierre Frey and The Médicis decked out in Renaissance style.
Yes, folks. It’s true. That’s me, all three stories of me on the Reuter’s Screen in Times Square. This was a very emotional moment for me.
All the disappointments, all the no’s, all the rejections, all of it led to THIS. I never give up, I shoot the arrow straight, I never worry about the other guy and I just go for it.Everyday.
Keep doing your thing.
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