Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy Holidays!

I worked on a gingerbread house before and after for my holiday card and here are the final before and after shots! I will be taking a hiatus from blogging for the holidays and be back to blogging in the first week of the new year!
BEFORE

AFTER


Friday, December 16, 2011

Union Jacks

While out Christmas shopping in Covent Garden, we stumbled upon Jamie Oliver's newest restaurant, Union Jacks. It seems as if he is opening a new restaurant every week in London these days, so expectations weren't that high, but the interior decor is fun and has an American diner sort of feel.  The menu is all flatbreads with very British ingredients. We got a great seat at the bar overlooking the kitchen prep area, but the best part of our dinner was seeing Jamie Oliver dining there himself!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A tree adventure in London

This year we were determined to get a real tree for our flat in London since we are here for most of December. I even shipped over a ton of silver and mercury glass ornaments.
First Stop: Columbia Road Flower Market about a mile from our house, my fiance had full intentions of carrying our tree home over his shoulder. I had full intentions of claiming the largest tree on the lot. These two thoughts didn't mix well. I set my sights on a tree to which the salesman yelled out to everyone on the block that I picked the largest tree on the lot, I then relented and decided maybe that a 9' tree wasn't the best idea, but I had lots of ornaments and still needed a lot of tree real estate to handle the large baubles. So we settled on a full 7 1/2 ft. tree and luckily I was able to flag down a taxi and with the top hanging out of the side window we made it home in a few minutes.

On to the decorations...
The hardest part about decorating a tree in England is the lights are different from the U.S. and it isn't just the voltage. In the U.S. it seems all of the lights hook together so you can have endless amounts of lights on the tree plugged into one socket. Here every strand ends and they don't connect together, I was lucky to find one strand of 200 lights and it covered the whole tree.

The finished result:
My 2 favorite ornaments:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Holiday Greenery

I love baby pine trees and next year I'm thinking tons of them would be a lot easier than one large tree. Less shedding and so many possibilities...

Monday, December 12, 2011

12th day of Xmas

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
twelve drummers drumming,
eleven pipers piping,
ten lords-a-leaping
nine ladies dancing,
eight maids-a-milking,
seven swans-a-swimming,
six geese-a-laying,
five golden rings,
four calling birds,
three french hens,
two turtle doves,
and a partridge in a pear tree.


The drum table is a versatile piece of furniture that can work well both indoors and outdoors. I have a roundup of some of my favorite drum tables for putting your cocktail on and kicking up your feet during the necessary R&R required after the rush of the holiday season.
1. A set of rustic drums from Lazy Susan that could be used as either planters outside or as side tables inside.
2. A limited edition hand carved piece from West Elm.
3. A Moroccan metal table from Serena and Lily mimics the Moroccan poufs that have become so popular.
4. A rain drum side table from Pottery Barn would be a perfect exterior accent.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

11th day of Xmas

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
eleven pipers piping,
ten lords-a-leaping
nine ladies dancing,
eight maids-a-milking,
seven swans-a-swimming,
six geese-a-laying,
five golden rings,
four calling birds,
three french hens,
two turtle doves,
and a partridge in a pear tree.


Antique instruments are becoming popular for use as objects of decoration in the home. They are great for someone who might have once played an instrument as a child and wants to display something that is personal but can still be admired by those not aware of the personal attributes of the object.
Above: an aluminum violin circa 1930's from ABC Modern

Saturday, December 10, 2011

10th day of Xmas

On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
ten lords-a-leaping
nine ladies dancing,
eight maids-a-milking,
seven swans-a-swimming,
six geese-a-laying,
five golden rings,
four calling birds,
three french hens,
two turtle doves,
and a partridge in a pear tree.
Lords would definitely leap over this print from Trowbridge Galleries! I find this print hilarious perhaps as a result of my Catholic school upbringing.



Friday, December 9, 2011

9th day of Xmas

On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
nine ladies dancing,
eight maids-a-milking,
seven swans-a-swimming,
six geese-a-laying,
five golden rings,
four calling birds,
three french hens,
two turtle doves,
and a partridge in a pear tree.

How about a chair covered in Liberty's Dancing Ladies fabric? This pattern seems perfect to mark the ninth day of Christmas. This pattern was hand selected by Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine from the Liberty archives for the fall/winter 2011 collection.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

8th day of Xmas

On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
eight maids-a-milking,
seven swans-a-swimming,
six geese-a-laying,
five golden rings,
four calling birds,
three french hens,
two turtle doves,
and a partridge in a pear tree.


Eight gifts for the milk drinker in your life
1. An old fashioned milk bottle from Sur La Table
2. I love this so much I bought one for myself! A set of stackable measuring cups disguised by a milk bottle from Anthropologie
3. A milk frother in hoilday red from Nespresso
4. A practical store and serve milk bottle with a sealed top gives your kitchen a 50's feel from Crate and Barrel.
5. This glass creamer is a modern take on milk from CB2
6. Leche glasses made from recycled glass at Fishs Eddy
7. Another Fishs Eddy favorite devoted to milk from NY
8. Milk jug replicas from Alyssa Ettinger on Etsy

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

7th day of Xmas

On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
seven swans-a-swimming,
six geese-a-laying,
five golden rings,
four calling birds,
three french hens,
two turtle doves,
and a partridge in a pear tree.
For the movie lover in your life, this book featuring the Natalie Portman in The Black Swan on the cover will compliment their home theater.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

6th day of Xmas

On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
six geese-a-laying,
five golden rings,
four calling birds,
three french hens,
two turtle doves,
and a partridge in a pear tree.
For when your geese are a laying, you will need a stylish egg crate for your fridge. Anthropologie carries a simple white one while Seletti makes limited edition modern metallic crates to add some glamour to the life of your eggs. Fishs Eddy makes several fun colors to brighten up your eggs including mustard yellow and celery green.

Monday, December 5, 2011

5th day of Xmas

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
five golden rings,
four calling birds,
three french hens,
two turtle doves,
and a partridge in a pear tree.


I am not a huge napkin ring fan, as I prefer simple table settings, but here are a few that I feel wouldn't goop up a table as so many do.

1. Jan Barboglio crown napkin rings are handcrafted of iron and built to last several lifetimes.
2. Diane von Furstenberg has created simple and geometric napkin rings that fit well with a modern table.
3. If you are looking for something traditional and timeless these pewter rings from Williams-Sonoma would be a perfect fit.
4. I also don't tend to like holiday themed napkin rings, but if you have to have something fun to accessorize the table, these mercury glass stars from Pottery Barn would add sparkle.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

4th day of Xmas

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
four calling birds,
three french hens,
two turtle doves,
and a partridge in a pear tree.

Old fashioned telephones are making a comeback as they become scarce in daily life. 


1. The Moshi Pop phone lets you have the feeling of talking on an old handset but through your iphone.
2. Transform your iphone into an antique handset Warhol style from Incase.
3. If you still maintain a landline in your home, go back to the 1980's with a pay phone from Urban Outfitters.
4. Crosley makes a wide range of retro styled telephones to become a calling bird.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

3rd day of Xmas

On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
three french hens,
two turtle doves,
and a partridge in a pear tree.
The Art of French Baking has a sleek and simple cover filled with recipes for all of those complicated French pastries that women can't resist!

If roasting a French hen is more your cooking style, check out Rotis, a book showing how the French have mastered the art of the Sunday roast for everyday use!




Friday, December 2, 2011

2nd day of Xmas

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
two turtle doves,
and a partridge in a pear tree.
If you need a change up in your kitchen, consider painting out the cabinetry to a gorgeous grey from Martha Stewart with her Mourning Dove . Check out her own studio set kitchen with the same color cabinets. It is a nice departure from basic white.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

1st Day of Xmas

Last year, I attempted to blog 12 gifts for the 12 days of Christmas. I only made it up to 9 days, so this year my goal is to make it all the way. So here it goes...

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
A partridge in a pear tree,

Thornback and Peel makes beautiful handprinted linens and this set of pear napkins is no exception. These would make a perfect hostess gift.
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