Posts Tagged 'holiday'

Oh Starry Night.

Design Within Reach is rocking these fantastic abstract foldable star sculptures design by John Kostick. Handcrafted in Massachusetts, these geometric forms are made of bronze and come in 5″, 9″, and 14″ sizes {really could be used as year round decoration – I would}. I love the linear look and subtle warm gold finish and more importantly that they fold flat for easy storage. Hello urbanites! Great impactful holiday decor across the dining table or hanging from that street front window. Go ahead, invite interaction.DWR gold star decoration

DWR gold star decoration

DWR gold star decoration

Holiday Candle Making in DC.

Head up Washingtonian families! The Art Museum of the America’s is hosting a workshop on candle making for Christmas, Hanukkah, or any other festive reason. Get in the spirit of rolling sheets of wax and  adding wicks with other families and start a tradition for years to come. Be there on Deccember 17th at 10am for two hours of family fun.

beeswax taper candles

AMA | Art Museum of the Americas
201 18th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006

It Takes a Village.

I’ve been thinking about the holidays a lot {I now, I’m probably behind the game} and how I plan to decorate, shop, ship, sparkle and celebrate. I hope to get in a day of cookie making – look out for my recipe for what’s planned to be my new holiday tradition sweet} – and came across this cute cue pan from This adorable winter village cake pan creates six different village buildings to be decorated with icing, powdered sugar or gingerbread touches. I love the idea of everyone having their own personal cake. This adorable addition to your baking bonanza is bound to give you a lifetime of village goers.

christmas cake pan village gingerbread house

The Christmas Table in Review.

It’s been a crazy week – as I am sure is the case for many of you readers. I’ve been running here and there, wrapping, shopping, cleaning, creating, unwrapping, celebrating, and cooking for a Christmas dinner with family. I needed an inexpensive centerpiece for my round Room and Board dining table. The vision started with my love of a rich red accent color at this time of year and a simple white vase from Ikea (which I’ve been using as a pen cup). I bought some red roses and some simple greenery on a grocery run to Wegmans. I found blue painters tape in the closet and tore small strips to create a grid on the top of the vase to hold stems evenly in place.

ikea vase and blue painters tape make a perfect set up for a floral arrangement.

I then trimmed the roses and greenery and started creating the casual yet elegant and festive centerpiece for my holiday table. A few bunches of Nandina berries from my small urban ‘yard’ added that glossy and smooth texture against pointy greens and velvety red roses.

A simple collection of planting from your own yard can work wonders for any simple and pleasing floral display.

I placed the finished centerpiece on my new Ralph Lauren Veranda paisley tablecloth (which I love love LOVE!). The tablecloth is a subtle paisley pattern in sand and white that is a beautiful neutral background for gold and silver accents. Plus, it only cost me $14 at Home Goods. I also got eight matching napkins for $10. Score! The antiqued mercury glass votives were finds from Target and the silver striped votives were finds at Michael’s. These can be used any time of the year for a touch of sparkle to your home.

Centerpiece in place.

I have eight mother of pearl and silver napkin rings that were a gift from a friend in 2002. It’s been years since I last used these and was glad to find them and display their beauty for each place setting.

Mother of pearl and silver napkins rings were a gift from a friends visit to the Philippines.

BTW, sorry for the yellowed images here – my white balance was off on my Nikon D60. Pffft.

To the table, I added my crystal Waterford goblets and wine glasses, Pottery Barn white dinner and salad plates, Crate & Barrel bamboo flatware, and rolled Ralph Lauren Veranda paisley dinner napkins. The Christmas tree as a backdrop made the room even more spectacular. Almost done!

In the final stretch.

It’s Christmas evening, we’re tuckered out, however, the guests are about to arrive, so we pour a bottle of a dry Chateau de Beaupre Rose from Coteaux D’Aix en Provence, light the tea lights, fill the water goblets, and get ready for the started course of a tomato cup salad – a specialty of ‘chef” Greg’s.

Greg pours a Rose we brought back from Aix in the Provence region of France.

The first course.

Dinner has begun, the table is absolutely gorgeous, and I’m in a great holiday mood! Next up, a delicious rib roast, Gruyère potato gratin, green bean lemon casserole, almond glazed onions, and good times! Fa la la la!

Love that Culinary Nut.

If there is a bowl of Pistachios, I’m digging in. Seriously. Just don’t let me see the unsalted version – boring. =0)  I saw this cute idea for a pistachio wreath at Better Homes & Gardens. How cute. A natural touch to holiday decor – and edible at that! To salt or not to salt?

holiday wreath pistachio naturalMake it yourself by hot-gluing several layers of pistachios in their shells to the ring, then push the wreath onto a dowel and insert it into a planter that has been fitted with a piece of foam. I love the striped ribbon!


Did you know? The pistachio seed, or culinary nut,  comes from drupe fruit on a bush that grows up to 30 ft tall with leaves that range from 4 to 8 inches in length.

DIY Holiday Chandelier

Looking for a simple and beautiful way to dress up a chandelier for the holidays? Shades of Light casts a glow on this easy breezy way to get glittery and festive DIY holiday chandelier for the fa la la’s! Just go here to learn more!


Circle of Life: Tinsel and Colored Bulbs.

I have fond childhood memories of decorating a rather large oine tree with really old strands of large colored glass bulbs. The bulbs tended to break or burn out by the end of the holiday season and each year, we found ourselves checking each strand and unscrewing the dead bulbs and screwing in perfect new ones. My dad used a long yellow yellow pole (looked almost like a stretched pencil!) to hoist up these heavy green lines of wire into the tippy top of this tree so the entire neighborhood had its holiday beacon shining bright. The tree has since been cut down and new owners now up take residence there, but I continue to remember the wonderful and festive times we used to share in that house on Brook Drive. It being a night of wrapping gifts and last minute decorating, I wanted to share Design Public’s blog post on a new twist in hanging those colored lights we’ve all come to love. Tinsel garland and multi-colored bulbs create a wreath with vintage qualities and eye-cathing appeal. The santa and reindeer tchochke is a nice vintage touch, dont-cha think? =)

Fake & Fabulous.

CasaSugar has put together a simple slideshow of fake firs that will liven up even the most ho-hum of any holiday decor. Save a wood tree, decorate a wire one. =)

Local Treasures Troves.

Hey Washington, DC!  We are all inundated with figuring out what gift to get for who for this holiday season. Start crossing off those names with this good list of gift ideas written for the Washington Post by Terri Sapienza. Best part is they can be found at local home decor shops. There is something around town for every homeowner of hostess.

Vintage tea towel. Give one of these towels by itself or with a favorite soap, flavored tea or baked good. It’s a one-of-a-kind gift any way it’s packaged. $30 each at Valerianne, 111 Church St. NW, Vienna.

Wooden ornaments. Need something small and sweet? These ornaments are it, especially the little bird. $5.75 to $17 each at Red Barn Mercantile, 113 S. Columbus St., Alexandria.

Vases and bowls from Middle Kingdom. Lots of style for a small price. A single piece is perfect; a set of three, even better. Fabric-covered packaging included. Vases are $16 each at Periwinkle, 3815 Livingston St. NW. 202-364-3076. Bowls are $22 to $88 at And Beige, 1781 Florida Ave. NW.

Mini cocottes and cookbook. At just a third of a quart each, these individual-serving, oven-safe pots should satisfy any foodie. $20 per cocotte (holiday special: a gift box of four cocottes for $49.99), $14.95 for the cookbook at Le Creuset, 7116 Bethesda Lane, Bethesda.

Entertaining book. For the consummate host or hostess. Help them organize the important details (cocktails, menus, rentals, music and caterers) for their upcoming gatherings in a pocket-size, leather-bound book. Personalization available. $58 at A Mano, 1677 Wisconsin Ave., NW.

Arbor porcelain votive holders.These comely holders can be used as they were intended . . . or not. They can be set up on a bar to hold snacks, on a dresser to keep jewelry or on a desk to corral paper clips. $20 each at Celadon Home, Wildwood Shopping Center, 10231 Old Georgetown Rd., Bethesda.

Lacquer trays and boxes. Practical and pretty. A great price, too. Perfect for the gift-guide writer on your list. Other sizes and colors are available. Trays are $45 and $65, boxes are $38 and $57 at Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, 1526 14th St. NW.

Russel + Hazel People and Places organizer. Not everyone is eager to go electronic. Give this acrylic card holder to the paper lover on your list. $49 at the Container Store. Locations in the District, Rockville, Arlington and Tysons Corner.

Wood tape dispenser and Japanese masking tape. Utilitarian and cool, these modern accessories will dress up any desktop. $24 for the tape dispenser; $12 for a set of three rolls of removable tape (available in 10 colors) at Design Within Reach. Locations in Adams Morgan, Georgetown and Bethesda. (Note: These items are not available for purchase in stores but can be ordered through any location or at

Cotton herringbone throw. Who doesn’t love a soft, cozy throw? Available in 12 colors, this could be the go-to item for multiple people on your list. $80 each at Timothy Paul Bedding and Home, 1529A 14th St. NW.

Guest soaps and bowl. This beautiful box of soaps is easy on the eyes and wallet, and the scent is spectacular. Whether or not they are paired with a bowl, they are quite possibly the perfect hostess gift. Other colors are available. $22 per box of 15 soaps, $30 per bowl at Valerianne, 111 Church St. NW, Vienna.

Farmer’s egg crate. This ceramic holder can be an elegant way to store eggs or a clever way to organize jewelry. $14 at Anthropologie. Locations in Georgetown, Rockville and Tysons Corner.

Open it! package opener. This five-in-one tool will help open any packaging, including sealed plastic and cellophane around CDs and DVDs. It’s a dream come true for parents of young children. (Have you ever tried opening a packaged toy?) $10 at Bed, Bath and Beyond.

Whiskey stones. These reusable soapstone rocks will chill stiff drinks without diluting them. Wrap a box for the most frequent entertainer (or imbiber) you know. $22 for a set of nine at Proper Topper. Locations in Dupont Circle and Georgetown.

Just a Thought.

"A person should design the way he makes a living, around how he wishes to make a life" — Charlie Byrd

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