Friday, October 24, 2014

Autumn In New York

Happy Friday, everyone! Any fun fall plans this weekend? It's hard to believe October is flying away faster than a witch on a broomstick. In New York last week, the trees in Central Park were just beginning to be brushed with color - little splashes of red and gold dabbed onto a sea of green.

With blue skies overhead, and temperatures that soared near 80 degrees, the trick was that it could have still been summer if not for all the autumn and Halloween decorations that popped up all over the city - especially in the West Village, my home away from home for a few days...

All of them a reminder of how much I love New York in the fall.

What do you prefer this time of year, an urban escape or some time in the country?

Hope you have a lovely weekend, full of all sorts of autumnal delights. XOXO

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Oscar de la Renta: A Beautiful Life

There's plenty of darkness in the world, which is why we need people who can find the light and the joy and reflect it back to all of us. Whether it's by creating a lovely dress, setting a gracious table or cultivating a verdant garden, the ability to make things beautiful is a gift that should never be taken for granted.

Life might not always be pretty, but I'm so grateful that we had Oscar de la Renta to remind us that it can be beautiful. He will be missed.

Happy Wednesday, everyone. I hope that someone brings a little beauty into your world today! XO

Monday, October 20, 2014

Another Visit To The Enchanted Home

Happy Monday, all. Was it a good weekend? Thanks so much for all your lovely comments and emails about Tina's gorgeous luncheon at The Enchanted Home! The winners of the Trick or Chic note cards are Lee Kirch and Lauren from Simply LKJ. Congratulations Lee and Lauren! I'll be in touch to get mailing information.

Now, should we take one last peek inside this stunning home? Pictures don't really do it justice, there is so much beauty in each room, and Tina has made sure that every detail is perfect... 

Beautiful, right? But no decor or design nuance could equal Tina herself - her warmth, hospitality and ability to make guests feel at instantly at home is truly enchanting. 

Thanks, Tina, for inviting us all in.

What do think is the most important quality in a host?

Have an enchanted week! XO

Friday, October 17, 2014

An Enchanted Afternoon: A Lovely Lunch, plus a Trick or Chic Giveaway

Hi all, and happy Fall Friday! Anything fun planned for the weekend? There will be a little settling in over here after a whirlwind trip to New York. As always, the Big Apple offered up more inspiration and magic than could possibly be soaked up in just a few days - but this time, the highlight actually took place outside the city... in an enchanted spot out on Long Island...

The amazing Tina from The Enchanted Home hosted a bloggers luncheon, and I was delighted to have a seat at the table with some of my favorite ladies: Elizabeth from Pretty Pink Tulips, Carolyn and Cynthia from The Buzz Blog, the delightful PVE, Sandy from You May Be Wandering, Karolyn from The Relished Roost and Katie from The Preppy Empty Nester, who brought her lovely sister. And yes, if you follow their blogs, these women are as remarkable and talented as you imagine them to be! 

Tina set the most gorgeous blue and white table. The menu, the flowers, the food - every detail was perfect (for recipes and more, take a look at Tina's recap, here).

If that wasn't enough to make it feel as if we were celebrating a holiday, there were lovely gifts! Seda France mini pagoda candles from Tina (and what a thrill to see custom gift tags I had made for her attached).

From Karolyn, these unbelievable hand-painted Chinoiserie pumpkins. Aren't they darling? (The best part? They are faux, so will last season after season.)

From Elizabeth, some yummy Molton Brown hand cream - in the prettiest shade of pink, of course. And I packed up a few sets of my first-ever round of limited edition "Trick or Chic" note cards from I Dream Of Studios for each guest. 

The Buzz Blog ladies brought these elegant golden spheres - perfect for the holidays, but mine went on display the minute I unpacked.

But the best gift was the opportunity to connect in person with so many lovely ladies. Plenty of laughter, lots of great conversation, it was one of those afternoons that flies by in a blink. What a treat to spend time with such an extraordinary group. 

Speaking of treats, in the spirit of connecting with blog friends, I've saved some of the I Dream Of note cards for two readers. Just leave a comment and tell me your favorite highlight from Tina's lunch for a chance to win. Sign up to follow along, or to receive I Dream Of by email for a second opportunity.

Come back next week for another peak into Tina's Enchanted Home and the announcement of the winner.

Happy Weekend, everyone! Hope there is plenty of fall enchantment waiting for you. XOXO

Friday, October 10, 2014

A Back To School Lunch

Here's a fun way to celebrate the season - a "Back to School" lunch. On the table, some bright red apples paired with pretty fall mums... 

Bouquets of newly sharpened pencils at every plate...

On the menu, a few "grownup" takes on school time favorites, like the sandwiches you may have found in your lunch box, elevated a bit (tuna on white becomes curried tuna salad on a freshly baked baguette, and it turns out peanut butter pairs beautifully with raspberry curd). And everyone likes homemade cookies.

Around the table? In the spirit of the new friendships that can start at the beginning of the school year, invite people who you don't see enough of, but still really like.

The perfect way to get the year off to an A+ start!

Speaking of Big Apples, I'm off to NYC tomorrow for a quick trip. There will be art, there will be adventure, and best of all, there will be time with lovely friends.

Back soon! Hope you have a wonderful weekend! XO

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Great Pumpkin Invasion

Happy Wednesday, all! How's the week so far? It's a bit busy over here. Lots of fun projects in the works, another trip on the horizon and friends coming by tomorrow... which means it's time for a little fall decor - or as Mr. H. calls it, the great pumpkin invasion.

A curious neighbor stopped by to see what was going on as the annual pumpkin parade started on our front steps.

Outside I'm loving bright oranges and pops of color.

Indoors, it's more subtle shades - how great are all the pumpkin and gourd varietals we get to choose from currently? Ghosts, goblins, pinks, funky-shaped heirlooms and good old round and orange, they can be almost sculptural perched on a garden seat or lining up on the mantel.

Here's hoping the rest of your week is full of fall delights.

Any great pumpkins arrive at your house yet? XO


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