Monday, November 30, 2015


Hi all!  Hope everyone enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday.  It was nice to have a few days off from work and spend some time with family as well as spending time at home.

Now that Christmas is around the corner, it's time to start (or continue) with some holiday shopping.  I've rounded up some home decor gift ideas for those on your shopping list (or for yourself).

And, be sure to check out any sales today for Cyber Monday. 

1// Nest Fragrances Birchwood Pine Classic Candle (perfect for the holidays);
2// Prouna Catchall Tray (Bloomingdales - 25% off);
4// Hide and Wood Box (Williams Sonoma Home)
6// Rosenthal Plissee Matte Mini Vase (Bloomingdales - 25% off);
7// Charcoal Ginger Jar, Gourd Vase (Williams Sonoma Home);
8// White Shagreen Tray (Bloomingdales - 25% off); and
9// Bel Air Mini Scoop Vase (Jonathan Adler)

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


I'm super excited to share with you my sister's master bedroom makeover!  While the room is not 100% complete (a few of the items purchased didn't arrive on time), we couldn't resist to show you the reveal.  We're even more excited to post a Part 2 to show you more of this amazing room (stay tuned).

A few months ago, my sister, Rose Angel from Design by Occasion asked for my help; coming up with a design plan for her master bedroom makeover.   I was honored and psyched to be part of the process!  Her existing room was dark, lacked functionality and not so glamorous.  I don't have any "before" pictures and I think she would be embarrassed (and kill me) if any were posted (lol).  Rose Angel wanted her new room to be light, modern, calm and serene.  Key elements to think about for the new design plan.

Her inspiration . . .  this jewelry tiered tray, purchased at Target (no longer available).  This was the jump start to a beautiful bedroom retreat!

When sourcing options for the makeover, I pinned items like crazy!  You can see my Pinterest board here.  I wanted to make sure I was going in the right direction when I went over my design plan.  Once we were on the same page, it was time to narrow down the choices.

Here's an inspiration board created for the new space (an e-design):

Since we live in two different states, most of the items were purchased online.  Online purchases can be tricky because you're getting a picture view as opposed to seeing it in person.  To make sure you are getting the item as pictured, if you have the store in your area, visit it first.  For items that are online only, read reviews and item descriptions.

Let's get to the reveal. . .

Okay, I've kept you waiting long enough!! Here's a look at the master bedroom:

Let me take you on a tour and walk you through the room and items picked.

One of the items purchased, was the Skyline Furniture Mystery Upholstered Wingback Bed purchased from Wayfair.  Since, this was an online purchase, the option to return the bed, really wasn't an option.  So, the next best thing was to order fabric and color samples.  This particular color was called Dove.  Once we received the samples, we moved onto the next phase - picking out paint colors, rug color and accessories.

Next big item were the nightstands.  My sister went back and forth with the idea of choosing two different nightstands, one with drawers and the other with a shelf and drawers.  When sourcing different options, I found this Madelyn Chest from Joss and Main.  I immediately knew this would be the perfect piece for her bedroom.  The glossy white finish gave it a modern feel, while keeping with a classic look.  The shape of the drawers and legs, paired with the gold hardware was truly stunning.  And, it was in her price point.

For lighting, wall lamps were on the wish list.  It saves space on the nightstand and the swing arm makes it convenient when reading in bed.  I found these Kohle Chrome and Acrylic Ball Swing Arm Wall Lamps at Lamps Plus.  The outer shade has this beautiful silver sheer fabric.  The acrylic ball adds a jeweled look and the chrome finish gives it that sleek modern feel.

And, don't be afraid to mix different metals. This room has gold and silver finishes throughout the space.

For the wall color, we chose by Pale Oak by Benjamin Moore.  The wall color is so creamy and dreamy.  It lightens the space and gives it that calm feel.  Benjamin Moore describes this color . . . "Reminiscent of the majestic white oak, this beautiful neutral is graceful and elegant, conveying a sense of style and quiet restraint. "

One of the biggest challenges in this space, was the window above the bed.  Window treatments would have looked out of place; especially considering the fact that window treatments for the other two windows are still being worked out (fabric shades would be the way to go).  I suggested artwork large enough to cover the window.  After several attempts of finding the right artwork piece, my sister was not in love with any of them.  I asked her why doesn't she paint her own artwork?  She's very creative and has painted a few in the past.  She gave it a go and I think she did a damn good job!

She took this picture of her artwork (with her iPhone) and I love how the sunlight filtered through.

I guess having that window has some advantage - LOL!

Another big change in the space was a custom closet design.  I love the way it turned out and the gold hardware really gives it the wow factor!

Custom closet design and install by Closet Factory
Lewis Dolin hardware in brushed brass (pulls and knobs) - Hardware Hut

Her original closet also got a makeover.  Since the closet is small, it needed to function properly.  The new space is organized and easy to access.  My sister found this Petal Pusher Tile (Taupe) wallpaper tile and used it to accent the wall - giving it interest and glam.  

A closer look at the wall.  What a great idea!

Another piece added to this design was a desk.  This Sector Office Desk by Modway Furniture was the perfect option to use as a vanity in the bedroom.  Storing her makeup and displaying her perfume bottles gives it that ultra feminine touch.

Adding this Forza Mirror by Z Gallerie completed the look.  The ghost chair seen below, is temporary until we find it's replacement.

White and gray bedding was on the wish list.  This SFERRA Orlo bedding (in white/charcoal) gives the bed a crisp clean look.

I also picked up some accessories from Williams Sonoma Home that were perfect for the color scheme.

Ribbon Glass Vase 
Watercolor Vase, Sand

Want to see more??  Head on over to my sister's blog via Design by Occasion for her story and more amazing, detailed images.

    Photo credits:  All master bedroom photos were taken by Autumn Stankay of SkySight Photography
A special thank you to my sister, Rose Angel for giving me the opportunity to help bring her vision to life.  I hope this new space brings you peace and relaxation for years to come.  Looking forward to future design projects with you!

Preview of Part 2

Here's a glimpse of what's to come.  Fabric selection for custom pillows.

Plaything - Pewter fabric


Monday, November 23, 2015

IN THE KITCHEN: Homemade Natural Dog Treats

Hi - Hope you had a nice weekend.  I don't know about you, but I find when the weekend rolls around, there's never enough time to get things done.   And, lately, with my back bothering me, it's impossible to do it ALL.  I am looking forward to the short work week and spending Thanksgiving with family.

So, yesterday I spent the most of the afternoon in the kitchen, trying my hand at baking dog treats.  I saved some recipes on Pinterest for inspiration.

I made three recipes but today I'll share one of them with you.

Carrots and Banana Natural Dog Treats:

I used a recipe found on Pinterest from  The recipe seemed easy enough.   I didn't have any of the items but found them at Fairway Market.  And, I specifically went there because I had to find and bake the rainbow carrots!


  • 2 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup of cornmeal
  • 1 bunch of fresh carrots, finely chopped
  • 2-3 fresh bananas 
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1/3 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of cold water.

For the carrots, I first cut them in slices and then chopped them in the food processor.

I used two bananas and next time I'll try using three. I thought it would overpower the recipe but it didn't. 

You'll want to combine all your dry ingredients (whole wheat flour, cornmeal and brown sugar) in a large mixing bowl.  Next, incorporate the carrots, bananas, beaten egg, oil and water.  Blend all ingredients together to form a dough.  You can use your spoon, spatula and/or hands to really combine the ingredients.

Heating Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  If you don't have a non stick baking sheet, be sure to grease your sheets or your parchment paper.

To roll out the dough, have your work area ready and floured.  This recipe calls for about a 1/2 inch thickness.  You can cut the cookies into any shape.  I have a 4 inch dog bone cookie cutter I purchased at Chef Central.

Once you've laid out all your cookies onto the baking sheet - place in oven and cook for 35 minutes.

After baking, place cookies on cooling rack.  Once cool, package and decorate!

You can place extra in the freezer for later.  They make perfect gifts!

I loved the idea of wrapping in parchment paper and twine.  Too cute.  I added a label to mine to give to my fur moms as a little treat for their doggies. 

Well, one out of my two dogs liked them.  Monty is very selective, while Quincy eats everything!!

Thank you at for sharing your recipe.  I loved making something natural and homemade for my pooches


Thursday, November 19, 2015


With Thanksgiving a week away (I can't believe it!!),  I hoping I'll have time to whip up a Thanksgiving design, to show you.   Since we won't be hosting Thanksgiving this year, the ease of not stressing over the planning, prepping and designing has  been a comfort. 

While browsing the web, I found some of the most creative Thanksgiving tablescapes out there.

Here are five of my favorites:

1.  This tablescape's warm color tones, left me in awe!  I love the modern-rustic design.

I love this color scheme and flower arrangement.

Fall autumn colors in soft hues (via heavenlybloomsblog)

2.  Succulents displayed as the centerpiece, give this table design an organic feel.  Love it paid with cream colored dinnerware and gold accents.

via Style Me Pretty
3.  Rustic and simplistic design.  Feels so light an airy.

via Cooking Channel
4.  A twist on the traditional Thanksgiving color scheme.  Adding shades of blue and gold give it a more modern feel.
Martha Stewart

5.   Loving this modern gold and black Thanksgiving look!  The black and white stripes pop against the cream, gold and green color palette.  Would love to create a look of my own.

via Giggles Galore


Tuesday, November 17, 2015


When it comes to beauty and skincare, I'm all about maintaining the best for my skin.  I'm fortunate enough to have great skin (good genes).  I keep a pretty disciplined routine of daily/nightly cleansing and weekly exfoliating.  I apply my daily and nightly moisturizers and drink plenty of water.  I also like to treat myself to facials; usually every season.

Lately, I've been hearing a lot of buzz about Korea being the new beauty capital of the world.  It's not uncommon for Korean women to see their facialists multiple times a week!  I could tell you, the luxury of seeing a facialist a few times a week in the United States, does not come cheap!  Thankfully, I found a couple of stores that now carry Korean beauty products for us to try at home..

At Sephora, you'll find the best selling cult fave of Belif's True Cream Moisturing Bomb.

Belif - The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb
I picked up some Korean face masks to try at home from my nearby Urban Outfitters store.

This one helps with your pores.

Caolion Pore Care Hydrating Mask

This one contains starfish extracts and helps reduce dullness and wrinkles for the eyes, lips and forehead to plump up your skin with rich nutrition and moisture.

Mizo Returning Starfish Bio Mask

Tony Moly is a popular Korean brand.  This seaweed mask is said to purify the skin.

Tony Moly I'm Real Mask Sheet (Seaweed)

A site to definitely check out is Glow Recipe (  This Korean brand site has created a destination for people around the world to purchase natural, harsh-free beauty products (yay!).  I already have a wish list of products I would love to try.


This sulfate-free botanical foam cleanser is said to remove impurities and deep clean skin, gently.
Whamisa Organic Flowers Creamy Foam Cleanser

This cleansing stick made of rose petals is said to purify the skin without dryness.

Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick by SUM:37


Something I must try is this 3-in-1 moisturizer (toner, serum, moisturizer):

Shara Shara Honey Bomb All-in-One Ampoule

This night time sleep cream (and mask) must be popular and worth getting because it's currently sold out!  It's said to help firm while deeply infusing hydration and nutrients to the skin.

Goodall Anti-Wrinkle Want Night Sleep Cream Pack


Face Oils are gaining recognition and replacing face creams.  This ultra light version is said to  hydrate and nourish deep into the skin.

Blossom Jeju Camellia Seed 100% Oil


Can you say liquid mask?  This mask by Blithe works in just 15 seconds.  What a time saver!
Blithe Patting Splash Mask  - Yellow Citrus & Honey

I'll do a follow up post with those products I've tested.  Can you recommend any other Korean beauty products?

These would make nice gifts for the holidays. Happy shopping!


Monday, November 16, 2015

FALL FASHION APPAREL: Plaid Coats and Giving Back

Hi!  Hope you enjoyed your weekend.  Mine was spent running around with list of errands and lots of Fall cleaning around the house.  I have lots of projects to keep me busy inside; especially with the cooler temperatures outside.

With the cooler weather here, I'm tempted by the new fashion designs out this season for coats (like I really need a new coat!!).  But, my interests lie in a specific type of coat design . . . plaid.   My style leans on a bit of the classic side and some of these prints fit into that category.

Here are some of my favorites:

Windowpane Car Coat (Anthropologie)
A favorite color combo I'm loving right now is navy and burgundy.  The wine color makes this coat so rich and the navy so classic.  I can see this paired with a business casual or the version shown here.

Brushed Plaid Coat - (Ann Taylor)
You can't go wrong with this black and white style.
Plaid Florence Coat - Madewell (on sale!)

Here's a more subtle pattern:

Stitched Windowpane Coat - Tory Burch (Bloomingdales)

Navy and orange - always a great combo!
Boucle Wool Coat (Zara)

Victoria Classic Notch Collar Tweed Coat - (Goodnight Macaroon)

I'm loving the tailored, classic look of this boyfriend coat.  The wide window pane design is simple yet stylish.

Christina Navy Blue Plaid Boyfriend Coat - (Goodnight Macaroon)
Here's a similar style with smaller window pane design.

Session Oncle Georges Coat in Check - (ASOS)

A plaid coat wouldn't be complete if not from Burberry:

Wool Blend Swing Coat (Burberry)
Check Virgin Wool Blend Pea Coat
This year I'll be giving back by donating some of my coats to New York Cares Coat Drive.   With the holidays this season, we have to remember there are those individuals who are less fortunate than us. Whatever the circumstances and disadvantages they have, giving to those in need will make a huge impact.