Sunday, August 26, 2007

Fall Favorites

A little known but rather wonderful tidbit about life during the Victorian era was a sensitivity to the changing seasons and a corresponding adjustment of interior decor. For each season, Victorian women had different linens, mantle decorations, vases, flower arrangements, and place settings to match the changes of the natural world.

I like to do the same thing in my home, especially with my dinnerware. I love our Famille a Table collection for the fall. Elegant and unusual, yet understated, Famille a Table is extremely versatile. I've used this collection for simple family meals and more elaborate dinner parties alike.

Rotating your plates with the seasons is a simple way to break the visual monotony of seeing the same dinnerware day in and day out. It adds freshness to everday life.

Live Well!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

So long, Summertime

I hate to say it, and I don't want to admit it but here it is:

There are only 11 days left before September 1st.

Summertime is winding down, and we are on the precipice of a new school year and the long, cold months of winter. As the inevitable change of seasons draws nearer, I've been trying to think of ways to hold on to the glorious langour and ease that's associated with summer for the year ahead.

The answer came to me in a jar of fruit preserves.

I imagined how nice it would be to open up a jar of summer peaches in the middle of the cold, drizzly, and- let's be honest- depressing month of January. The fruit would serve as a reminder of the warmth of vibrance that had graced the earth just five months earlier, although all evidence of that time would be long gone. It was then that I realized that not only can we store up on summer foods to get us through those difficult winter months, but that saving up our summer memories can be just as rewarding. When the weather is nasty and life seems like it's become a bit of a slog, drawing on a reserve of special memories is an instantaneous way to lift the spirits and infuse life with a small surge of vibrancy.

An impromptu summer dinner in the backyard, an afternoon spent making a berry pie with the kids, taking a walk as the sun begins to set, s'mores at a bonfire, sleeping outside in the backyard, nights without bedtimes spent gazing at the stars, an afternoon at the lake or the ocean.

Start storing up now. Remembering experiences like these or any others that are special to your family are like balm for the soul, capable of conjuring warm breezes and mellow sunshine in even the bleakest of winter months.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Adorn Yourself

Another thing I noticed during my month in Italy was the way Italian women, and French women too, wear accessories. Unlike what I usually see in America, these women were decked out in fabulous scarves, bangles, earrings, and necklaces, toting bags in unusual shapes and bold colors. These accents made these women stand out as individuals in a crowd. They were striking, and they were beautiful!

Accessories are fun to shop for. You can find special pieces high and low- either at a chic chic boutique or a Saturday flea market. You never know what will turn up and where.

To get you started, here are some of my favorite accessory lines:

Pot Luck Paris
La Vie Parisienne
Urban Outfitters
Calypso Celle
Rocky Mountain Emporium

Have fun!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Favorite of the Month: August Edition: Beach Bottles!

As August passes me by with an alarming pace, I realize that fall and going back to school is just around the corner. This time of the year always reminds me of the beach.

As I've mentioned here before, for many years Gearhart, Oregon and its beaches have been a retreat of mine and as the dog days of summer disappear, I try to go down there as much as possible to soak up the sunshine. I love going down there with family to savor the warm weather, the salty breeze, and the freedom of summertime. The inspiration that the beach gives me created our collection of five vases, aptly named Beach Bottles.

I decided to feature these as my "Favorite of the Month" for August because they remind me so much of the beach, the ocean, and summer. I group these vases together or place them separately all around my home to bring a bit of the outdoors indoor. Every time I put a blossom in one of the vases, I'm reminded of Gearhart and all of my fond memories.

Warmest Regards,