Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

Christmas Here We Come and I’m Rested, Relaxed and Ready! Are you?

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Hello Friends! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I have to say that mine was low-key and perfect. I am now rested and ready to take on the Christmas season. And speaking of rest and Christmas, I have a different sort of wish list this year.

Believe it or not, this Work-a-holic REALLY took some days off last week. Shocker, right! Yes, I just had a 6 day reprieve from the hectic schedule I have been keeping all of 2014 and boy did I ever need it!

IMG_5362And though I wasn’t working, I did lots of other things I love, like cooking the Thanksgiving meal with my mom and sister-in-law. Here’s a great Autumn Chopped Salad that I made just before I tossed it.  It was beautiful and delicious!

IMG_5368And I spent a lot of quality time with my family–cuddling with my girl, making Rice Crispy treats, playing games with my niece and nephew and watching lots of football with my hubby, my dad and my brother. Oh the furry family members watched football with us too.

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I am so glad that I took the time to remember that these are the important things in life. There have been many holiday seasons that I didn’t. We all say we know what’s important, but how many times do we make excuses for why we can’t focus on the important things?  We have that laundry list of excuses like “I can’t afford to” or “I don’t have time to” or “I have to work” or “there’s so much to do to get ready for”… and the list goes on and on all the while we are missing time and things that we can’t get back. And work will always be there now won’t it? So why not make “the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” really wonderful this year!

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The timing  of this week of R & R was perfect to get me relaxed and re-focused so I can finish the year strong and get ready for 2015. The New Year may just be my favorite time of year. I love the fresh start, the setting of goals and intentions and all the excitement that comes with wrapping up one year while celebrating our successes and then moving our focus to the next year full of hope and opportunity for greatness. I was getting a bit over-tired and I needed more stamina to take on all that planning and goals setting that will soon be at hand. Now that I filled myself back up, I am ready to go. Bring it on Christmas and 2015! I’ve got this.

instagramchallengeSo I know this isn’t Self-care Saturday, but let’s make it Self-care Sunday instead. I think it’s important for me to remind all of you that if you don’t take care of Y-O-U, you can’t possibly take care of anyone else. If you don’t get some R & R you may just find yourself in a heap of exhaustion under the Tree. So put those excuses away and work in some time for you this busy time of year. Don’t skip your work-outs. Make time for Yoga. Get plenty of sleep. Spend time with Friends. Get a massage. Drink lots of water. Yes, I sound like your mother but I am speaking to myself too. To help us out, there is even a Holiday Self-care challenge happening on Instagram using #holidayselfcare as the tag.

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This is a time to be kind to those we love and who better to love first than yourself. Treat yourself like you are your best friend. Set yourself up for success. Plan self-care in today while you are writing out your Christmas Shopping List. Plan it now before your schedule fills up. There IS time for self-care if you plan it in the schedule and if you believe you have time for it. It’s all a mindset. Taking an hour or two out of your day to take care of  YOU won’t keep you from getting everything done. It will give you the stamina to get it all done. There are lots of tips online for surviving the holidays. Here are a few simple tips for taking care of yourself this holiday season and remembering what’s really important.

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And what about being healthy during this super sugary time of year? Just this weekend I was finishing up Tory Johnson’s great book called The Shift. There were many amazing parts of this book. My copy is all marked up and underlined and highlighted. But the biggest Ah-ha moment in the book for me was this…Preference or Priority. I know it may be your preference to just sit around and watch TV after a long day, but if your health is a priority, go to yoga class instead. Preference–eating all those holiday sweets. Priority–being healthy in the New Year so make healthy choices this Christmas instead. I know it may not sound fun now, but come January your blood pressure and your waistline will thank you. You will be well on your way to making 2015 your healthiest year yet.

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So there you have it friends, my reminder to you (but actually I’m speaking to myself) that the busiest time of the year is the time that it’s most important not to fall off the wagon of all the things that make us feel joyful, healthy and great. Will you join me in making this Christmas Happy AND Healthy. We can do this together.

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Merry Christmas and Happy Healthy Holidays Y’all! xo,

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Happy Thanksgiving!

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Today is the day to gather with those we love and to give thanks for everything we have! My life continues to overflow with blessings, too many to count.

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I sometimes can’t even get my mind around all that I have – and I don’t mean material things, but things that really matter – health, love, friendship and family.

So today as I give thanks for so many things in my life, I wish you the very best day full of blessings like family, fun, food, and laughter in your life. No matter what we are going through, there is always something to be thankful for.

And today, I am thankful for YOU! Happy Thanksgiving friends!

xo,

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Gifts for Home Bodies

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Surya pillow in raspberry and orange

Not only is the home my business as an interior designer, but MY home is my favorite place to be! I love to be there with my daughter and husband - we have so much fun at our new house, and though it’s not quite finished and ready for cooking big dinners for family or entertaining our friends, it will be soon. For now just having a quiet night on our own together is one of our favorite ways to settle in. This weekend when we’re full of Thanksgiving Turkey, we’ll be enjoying a warm fire and admiring our freshly decorated Christmas Tree at home. I might even have a few gifts wrapped and tucked underneath the tree.

Speaking of gifts, some of the best gifts for me – and the ones that I love to give – are for the home, like this bright and bold Surya pillow above! Oh how I love a graphic trellis pattern. Here are more of my favorite things for the home this holiday season that just might be perfect for people on your list:

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Bright blue ramekins from Rachel Ray

There are about a million things I can think to cook in these beauties. Let’s see…individual Sweet Potato Casseroles sound delish! Yes, the recipe with the brown sugar praline topping. And cobalt is still my favorite color this year so it would be delicious on the inside and gorgeous on the outside.

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Greek key patterned vase from Three Hands

Bet you’re surprised I would select something embellished with Greek key…NOT! And this piece is especially great because it’s Greek Key AND blue! A pair of them might look handsome on my new mantle.

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Moscow Mule mug from Mikasa

When my friends come to Little Rock and stay out our fabulous Capital Hotel, they love drinking Moscow Mule’s in traditional copper mugs. Why not have some of these cooper beauties at home so you can have your favorite drink and not even leave the house? We might just have to ask the Capital to share their recipe.

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Juliska dessert plates from Saks

I love all things Juliska. We eat from their whiteware each day at the office. And when Juliska meets a Toile or Transferware look I want to be the first person in line. And if these charming dessert plates are good enough for Saks Fifth Avenue…enough said! 
food52cake_612My favorite Jadeite, in a cake stand from Food52

I have this VERY Jadeite cake plate in 3 sizes and I have given one like it to lots of people in my life who love to bake. But even if you hate baking and are using this pretty stand to make your favorite bakery cake look impressive, who can resist it’s minty green color. It’s the perfect piece to take your favorite cakes to a new height!

As you can see, I LOVE to select gifts for the home! I have even more ideas on my pinboard – just click here to view it! What are your favorite gifts for home bodies? Tell me in the comments below.

Happy shopping, ya’ll!

xo,

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Tobi TV: Mixing Vintage and New China for the Perfect Tablescape

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It’s time to think about your Thanksgiving tabletop. If you love and collect china like I do, the options are endless for creating a gorgeous and unique look for holidays, special occasions, and every day!

A few months back I did a segment for my friend P. Allen Smith on his show The Garden Home. It was all about mixing my vintage china with new pieces for a fresh look.

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Take a peek at the video and then let’s recap my tips for becoming the perfect mix-master for your tablescape:

So when prepping for your Thanksgiving or holiday tables, remember these tips:

1. Antique and vintage pieces mix beautifully with brand new china and glassware. Don’t feel like you have to stick to a particular age or style. I use new with old, and expensive with affordable, traditional with sleek.

2. Meaningful pieces from your heritage can add a bit of nostalgia to your table. Pull out grandmother’s pieces or your mom’s wedding china and enjoy the memories they bring to your event or dinner.

3. Mixing pattern and color is acceptable on the table, just like in an interior. The most interesting mix is achieved with a variety of scale, pattern, and color.

4. Tie it all together with a unifying piece. In my video, it’s the floral cup and saucer that makes all the shades of pink and green in the antique, vintage, and new tabletop decor all work seamlessly together. So look for that unifying piece for your table. And don’t overthink it. The unifying piece could even be the linens!

Now tell me, how do you plan to entertaining for the upcoming holiday season? And will you incorporate any vintage pieces and collectibles? I’d love to hear your entertaining ideas and recipes too. And be sure to share this video with those entertainers in your life. It just might inspire them to drag out their collections for a unique tabletop of their own.

Wishing you luck and creativity as you plan your gorgeous Thanksgiving table!

xo,

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Designing a Magical Evening with CR Laine

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IMG_3742 There is nothing I love more than throwing a dinner party! Planning the event is half the fun for me – I like to create themes, design the flowers and the color palette, and plan a delicious menu! I want my guests to feel welcome and to really enjoy themselves, and a party’s success is all in the planning. It’s just like designing a room. In a few days, I will be bringing you my favorite finds from the recent High Point Furniture Market. I found some gorgeous things. But I also hosted a fun event in High Point to celebrate my partnership with CR Laine for my upcoming upholstery collection. So here are some of the after photos and my top tips for entertaining that I used at our great event! #1 Think of a theme. I’m not talking about having a theme based on a movie or a particular time period. Instead I mean that you should think of your event as being built around a central theme – whether that’s as simple as a color scheme or a season. For this event, I thought about the idea of the Perfect Pair, since C.R. Laine and I are embarking on a creative collaboration together. That lead me to the idea of using pears as a play on words, which really is perfect because they were in season! IMG_3720 #2 Set the mood. Will your event be casual or formal? Will it be buffet or a plated meal? Once you’ve determined that, set the mood of the evening with lighting and music. For example, at this event we went a bit more formal as you can see in the place settings and the lighting. We took the “house lights” down and created pools of light at each table, which gave the impression that each table was its own little island. IMG_3726 #3 Color Coordinate. You don’t have to be matchy-matchy, but do pick up a color or two from the room when you’re choosing your party decor. In the bistro here that I designed for C.R. Laine’s showroom, the colors were black, white, and kelly green. I added in a vibrant yellow for the linens and flowers to give the room a bright punch! And we included a fresh pear in each floral arrangement – it looks pretty and it brings all the evening’s elements together! We also kept the floral arrangements low so that people could see each other over them – that’s important for good dinner party conversation! IMG_3778 #4 Be Detail Oriented. The smallest details can take your event from good to great! How about a small gift for each guest – like the bottles of pear cider I put at each place setting. I also added a hangtag to the bottles that included a recipe on the back for using the cider in a spice cake. You can even consider a special themed drink, like my Peartini! It was sinfully good. Also, consider namecards at each place – they help you mix up the group so people get to know each other. IMG_3736 As we head into the holiday season, use these tips to create your own magical dinner parties and soires! It’s a wonderful time to reconnect with friends and family, so start thinking about how you can take your event to the next level with these ideas! Wishing you fun and laughter at your next event! Happy Fall Y’all.

xo,

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