Thursday, January 31, 2013


I can thank School House Rock, the Saturday morning cartoon of the 70s, for helping me learn the Preamble to the Constitution. Now as an adult, I think about the meaning of the lyrics behind that catchy tune...

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Do these words include Hadiya Pendleton of Chicago, the twenty 5 and 6 year old children of Newtown, CT or the little boy named Ethan in Midland City, AL? 

Please Mr. NRA, I know its difficult to consider rights other than your own but what about the right to grow old? Please do not forget about the rights taken from those who will never grow to experience the words professed in the Preamble...


Peace and Blessings,

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


The New York International Gift Fair is a twice a year trade show featuring 2,800 exhibitors and thousands of lines carefully screened and categorized in 10 targeted divisions. The show has an extraordinary depth and breadth of the very best lines across the home, lifestyle and gift spectrum from jewelry to housewares to furniture.

Although I enjoy trend spotting at this show, it is dangerous for me because I always leave with an unintentional purchase (aka my gorgeous new tote bag by Dareen Hakim). I enjoy trend spotting at this show for jewelry and accessories as well. Here are a few home decor pieces that caught my eye...

RP Designs

Camilla House

RP Designs

Luna Bella

Design Legacy

Made Goods

Lazy Susan

Jonathan Adler



Natural Curiosities

Until August...

Peace and Blessings,

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Lately, I've been dreaming of the fun and vacations of this past summer.  That could be due to the frigid temperatures we are experiencing in the Tri-state area.  Its a lovely 15 degrees today - and that's not accounting for the wind chill factor! So I've decide to think summer and share one of my favorite recipes of a season that feels so far away - SANGRIA.


Sangria gets its name from the Spanish word for blood, sangre. Although the beverage originated in Spain, it can be found in abundance in the many Portuguese restaurants in the Ironbound section of Newark, NJ where I discovered this delicious concoction. 

This cocktail is made with red wine, fruit and fruit juices, soda water, and liqueurs like Brandy or Cognac. Sangria blanco (white sangria) is made with white wine.  There have been many variations created by mixologists everywhere but I favor the traditional recipe. Regardless of the ingredients, Sangria makes a refreshing drink especially on a hot summer day - or not. 

White Sangria
Here's my recipe:

1 lime cut into wedges
1 lemon cut into wedges
1 orange cut into wedges
1 apple cut into slices
1 cup of orange juice
1/4 cup of brandy
1/4 cup of triple sec
1/4 cup of white rum
1 bottle of dry red wine (Cabernet Sauvigon, Merlot or Shiraz)
1/4 cup of sugar
2 cups of ginger ale or carbonated water

Mix the alcohol together with the orange juice and sugar into a large bowl or pitcher. Cut the lime, lemon, apple and orange into thin wedges.  Add the fruit into the bowl or pitcher. Refrigerate the sangria overnight to improve the flavor.  Before serving, add the ginger ale or carbonated water for fizz. Serve over ice. 


Peace and Blessings,

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Not to be overshadowed by the First Lady, our nation's Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden is a fashionista in her own right. She proved that again at the Inaugural festivities wearing a elegant blue silk draped neck and back gown with black ribbon sash by Vera Wang.

2013 Inauguration Gown by Vera Wang
2013 Inauguration Gown by Vera Wang

Dr. Biden's public swearing in ceremony ensemble was a stunning silvery blue silk and wool coat with a large bow at the neckline by Lela Rose.  Her dress was a white embroidered scattered flower appliqué sheath also by Lela Rose. Her looked was chic and celebratory. She didn't look warm but she did look elegant.

2013 Public Swearing In Ceremony Coat and Dress by Lela Rose

Sheath by Lela Rose worn by Dr. Jill Biden
Obviously a fan of red by her choices for the 2009 Inauguration festivities, SLOTUS stunned in a strapless full skirted chiffon gown which proved she knows what works on her petite frame. She looked very glamorous, with great hair and makeup.

2009 Inauguration Gown by Reem Acra

During the public ceremony, Dr. Biden choose a more conservative but still chic look than Mrs. Obama with a red wool asymmetric shawl collar coat, black and white plaid sheath and black suede boots.

2009 Inauguration - Mrs. Obama's ensemble by Isabel Toledo
and Dr. Biden's Coat by Fluerette & Dress by Milly
Black & White Plaid Sheath by Milly worn by Dr. Jill Biden in 2009

Its so wonderful that the ladies behind two of our nation's most powerful men are accomplished powerhouses in their own right, even in the fashion category...

Peace and Blessings,

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Isn't it wonderful that we have a First Lady in Michelle Obama who is smart, supportive and stunning! As with most of her attire, Mrs. Obama didn't disappoint with her selection for her husband's second Inauguration. Fashion insiders were shocked when  she choose another creation by Jason Wu - a red semi-halter chiffon gown that showed off her famous well toned guns.

2013 Inauguration Gown by Jason Wu

Honestly, although this year's gown was beautiful, it pales in comparison to the stunning one-shoulder white chiffon gown with amazing floral and Swarovski crystal detail designed by Jason Wu that she wore for the Inaugural Ball in 2009. 

2009 Inauguration Gown by Jason Wu
This year's selection for the public swearing in ceremony was just as fabulous -  a navy blue check coat with a jewel encrusted belt and bright plum gloves - not to mention the stunning new hairdo.

2013 Public Swearing In Coat by Thom Browne
Although amazing, this year's outfit was a conservative departure from the intricately detailed lemongrass dress and coat ensemble of the first Inauguration.

2009 Swearing In Ensemble by Isabel Toledo

Mrs. Obama wore a simple blue a-line dress and blue cropped cardigan for the official swearing in held on Sunday, January 20th. She wore the same cardigan the next day with her dress for the public ceremony, just like we all have done at one time or another. 

2013 Official Swearing In Dress by Reed Krakoff
Blue Cropped Cardigan by Reed Krakoff and Gray & Blue Dress by Thom Browne

Whatever the occasion, the FLOTUS never disappoints with her modern yet classicly chic attire. I look forward to seeing what her second term wardrobe will bring...

Peace and Blessings,

Monday, January 21, 2013


How wonderful that on this day, on the observation of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, we celebrate the second inauguration of the first African-American President of the United States. 

President Obama is living out the dream that MLK spoke of in his "I Have a Dream" speech on that faithful August day in 1963 - ironically at the same location 50 years later at the National Mall in Washington, DC.

Thank God for the lives of these two great men. Congratulations, Mr. President and God Bless America...

Peace and Blessings,

Friday, January 18, 2013


Want a big impact for not a lot of money - change your hardware. Whether on your kitchen cabinets or a favorite piece of furniture, there are so many options to add new life without breaking the bank.

Start by determining if you want a knob or a pull.  Its really a matter of preference when adding new hardware where there is none.  Most important when switching out existing pulls - measure the distance between the screws to get the right fit. The most common is 3" but that can vary. 

In the kitchen, determine what finish you want to use:  Nickel, Chrome, Brass or Bronze. There are many color variations within each finish category - usually satin, brushed or antiqued. In recent years, the big trend was towards ORB or oil-rubbed bronze but happily brass is making a strong comeback. I've always loved Brass! (FYI, see the post on Interior Design Trends for 2013.)
Satin Nickel

Brushed Bronze

Oil Rubbed Bronze
Antique Silver

Of course, the styles vary as well. Whether your taste is MODERN and CONTEMPORARY...


Or somewhere in between aka TRANSITIONAL...
Or you even WHIMSICAL...

There are many colorful options as well made from glass, porcelain and ceramic.  

The selections available are almost limitless. So whatever you decide, CHANGE IS GOOD! Have fun with it...

Peace and Blessings,

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


So, to continue on the topic on Rugs.  Successful rug placement is really summed up in several rules:

  • Dining Room: The area rug should extend at least 18 inches beyond the edge of the table so that the rug accommodates the dining chairs.

  • Living Rooms:  If furniture is floating in the room or to create a seating area, the ideal rug will be big enough to go under all four legs of each large piece.

  • If the rug is used as an accent, it should be small enough that none of the seating pieces sit on it.

  • Bedroom: Ideally, a rug should be placed one-third of the way under the bed so the majority of the rug surrounds the bottom of the bed with at least 3 - 4 feet around all three sides. 

  • Or the rug should be large enough to encase the entire bed and nightstands especially when there are two twin beds.

Hope this helps...

Peace and blessings,