Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Hauntingly Beautiful


It's that time of year when we tell each other ghost stories. Where we look to be haunted and spooked and a wee bit scared. With Halloween comes eerie sounds and frightful sights.

Perhaps it's the mist and dark, brooding skies, or history of Highlanders meeting a bitter, bloody end, but Scotland doesn't wait for All Hallows Eve for a good tale of haunting... there the ghosts walk year round...


We were looking for roses, not spirits, when we entered the gates at Ardchattan Priory, where Valliscaulian monks planted a garden that still blooms on the shores of Lock Etive after 700 years.


It could have been because we wandered alone, or because the clouds overhead sent shadows scuttling across the green, or maybe the chill in the air...




But suddenly stories of ghosts didn't seem like tall tales and legends...



Did those monks of old still tend the gardens, or watch over those who wandered there?



Did the Loyalists who burnt and plundered the church during the civil war still watch over the ruins?





Only the flowers know for sure (and they're not telling any tales).


Do you like a good scary story this time of year? What about ghosts? Just for Halloween or do you believe?

Personally, the only thing I want to be haunted by is the number of candy bar wrappers that give evidence to post-trick or treating gluttony!

Hope you are having a sweet week! XOXO

Monday, October 27, 2014

A Hidden (and Haunted?) Highland Garden


Happy Monday, all. Have you seen any goblins or ghosts in your neighborhood yet this Halloween week? After days of steady rain and wind, I'm afraid that we will soon be haunted by the ghosts of late summer and early fall blooms - our dahlias, roses and hydrangeas seem to be on their last legs, leaving only a fragrant memory in their wake.


I think their spirits very well may go to rest at Inverlochy Castle in the Scottish Highlands, where a walled garden built in 1604 lies hidden on the hotel grounds. Although today it's a working operation, serving up herbs and vegetables to the restaurant's Michelin starred table, there is something of the old, hidden haunt to it's allées and rows... it's easy to believe that the ghosts of summers past still wander there...









As early fall winds down and we prepare for the colder months ahead, it's nice to know that at least in our memories, there are hydrangeas and dahlias that will continue to bloom and color our imaginations!

Have fun this last week of October, everyone! Here's hoping that beauty haunts you in the best possible way! XOXO

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

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