Planning for Spring

Yes, it is true….Spring is right around the corner and tempting me at every turn to discard my winter wears and commit whole-heartedly to a warmer state of mind. But one thing at a time…first winter, then Spring in due time. Besides, in this neck of the woods, I better be careful what I wish for! In the meantime, I can at least do a little Spring planning. My first thoughts…strongly saturated, garden fresh hues of green, orange, and red.

Not sure why, but it just feels right…and in matters of this sort, I like to go with my gut!

Photo Credit: Hilary Walker

I’d love to know what you are envisioning for this Spring? Feel free to share your thoughts and inspirations in the comment section…your feedback makes my day!

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From This to That…with studio bon

Today I would like to take a short detour from our regular Thrifting Thursday posting to share some exciting news. After many hours and tedious editing, the studio bon blog (that I participated in the collaborative design of) has officially launched and I would love to invite you over for a visit!

In celebration of this significant accomplishment, I have prepared some upholstery suggestions sourcing a few of my favorite studio bon patterns. Today, “From This to That” examines the role of a well chosen piece of upholstery in the transformation of a discarded piece of furniture. Take careful notes…projects like these are what set your home apart!

From This to That: Episode 8

It’s a simple equation. Take an old, discarded table…coat in generous layers of jet black paint…add an immediate element of drama and sophistication to any room. In today’s episode, the office is learning to become more exciting…and I am studiously taking notes. I have a desk very similar to the second example that badly needs a makeover. Hmmm. Jet black paint. Yes, I’m convinced! (DIY feature to come).

Credits: Snapshots – Hilary Walker, 1. Richard Hallberg for Designer Visions The Setai Showhouse, Photo – Max Kim-Bee 2. David Jimenez, Carriage House Classic

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Spring 2011 = Mandarin Orange!

Well, I don’t know about you but I have found a new enthusiasm and verve for color and all its potential after yesterday’s interview! Lauren, thank you again. Now on to the topic for today…this season’s hottest color (in my opinion)…undoubtedly, Mandarin Orange.

1. Kristin Gallipoli, New England Home, Photos by John Gruen 2. J. Crew Collection, Spring 2011 3. Brook&Lyn 4. Tommy Ton for 5. J. Crew, Spring 2011 6. Natalie Hughes of Canned Fashion, Photo by Vanessa Jackman 7. Natalia Alaverdian by Citizen Couture 8. Peden + Munk 9. Confetti Strand Necklace, Anthropologie

For someone whose favorite color has changed more than one can count on a hand (and is currently completely undecided) my heart is beginning to swoon…for orange!

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Ambassadors of Style: Episode 1

I am so thrilled to announce the latest venture from Hilary Inspired…a new series of style interviews from a few of my favorite design experts…the “Ambassadors of Style”! In this series, I will have the chance to pick the brains of those individuals who are forging the path of excellent design and style and then share their thoughts with you! This has been an idea of mine for quite some time and I couldn’t have asked for a better opening interview than with Lauren from Color Collective! Without further ado, here is Ms. Lauren!

Image Credit: Photo, Jamie Nelson via Lace & Tea, Layout: Lauren Willhite of Color Collective

Bunches of thanks, Lauren…and I hope you all found a tidbit of color knowledge to take home!

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The Trench…

…is classic and its timeless appeal is undeniable. But let’s not forget how tremendously useful it is, as well! Already, I’ve worn my newly acquired EmersonMade over-coat everyday this past week. It is absolutely perfect for this funny time of the year between bitter cold nights and toasty warm afternoons. (Gotta’ love Texas weather!).

In the process of adapting to a more ‘Spring-ish” wardrobe, I also pulled a bit of inspiration from Prada’s collection for this season, which was a definite favorite of mine. (If you haven’t seen THESE videos, you really must!)

All photos credit to David Walker.

Can you tell that I am ready for Spring?!

P.S. Regular programming for “Thrifting Thursdays” has been rescheduled for tomorrow…get ready for a special announcement and feature on Friday!

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Parcel Perfect

First impressions are lasting and should be well considered. Presentation is essential and builds a first impression. Add 1 + 2 and you will quickly come to the conclusion that a pretty parcel makes a happy heart…it is all about the packaging!

This statement couldn’t be more true of the thoughtful handiwork from clothing and accessory studio, EmersonMade. (You’ve probably heard me mention her work before). Last week, I received the most incredible gift in the mail…a parcel full of Emerson goodies pristinely packaged in sunny, yellow boxes and classic, cotton pouches.

It is clear that charm and authenticity are the corner stones of EmersonMade’s image. Her cheerful, warm-hearted messages tucked into each container only add to the item’s beauty and leave the recipient with a feeling of genuine concern from its creator.

Emerson is well known for delighting a large flock of devoted fans that keep up with her growing collection and bustling business. I, for one, am totally smitten! Emerson…you made my day, once again! Thank you, thank you, thank you!


My Heart Yearns for…

…Cream! Jamie and Molly aren’t helping my addiction one bit either! These ladies are the two behind the scrumptious collaboration of photographer and food stylist via my favorite blog and daily read, From Me To You.

In preparation for Valentine’s Day, Jamie and Molly shared a charming recipe worth indulging in on the annual holiday dedicated to following your heart. And what pulls at my heart strings more than sweet dairy and fruit syrup? (Ok, well there are a few other things that do…but not many!)

The recipe is amazingly simple (trust me, I tried it and was totally surprised!) and so, I decided to pass it along to you as well. (Find the complete spread HERE).

Coeur a la Creme

Special Equipment: Four 4” Coeur a la Creme molds, cheesecloth

• 1/2 cup farmer’s cheese

• 1/2 cup creme fraiche

• 1/4 cup sugar

• 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

• 2/3 cup heavy cream, very cold

Line each heart mold with a piece of cheese cloth so that the cloth hangs over the sides of the mold by about 2 inches. Set aside.

In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the farmer’s cheese, creme fraiche, sugar and lemon juice until well blended. Remove the paddle and replace with a whisk attachment. Add the heavy cream and whip until you have the texture of whipped cream (this happens quite quickly- don’t over whip!)

Spoon the cream into the lined molds. Fold the cheesecloth over the top so that the entire surface area is covered with cloth. Place the finished molds on a plate and refrigerate overnight.

Raspberry Sauce

• 4 pints raspberries, rinsed and drained

• 1 cup sugar

• 1/2 lemon, juiced

Place half of the raspberries in a bowl and muddle with a fork. In a medium saucepan, combine the muddled raspberries, whole raspberries, sugar and lemon juice. Place over medium low heat and gently simmer until the raspberries have softened and begun to release their juices, about 5 minutes. Cool completely and set aside or refrigerate until ready for use.

To Assemble:

Place a large spoonful of the chilled raspberry sauce on a plate. Take a heart mold and peel the cheesecloth from the top of the cream. Carefully invert the heart onto the center of the plate and gently peel away the cheesecloth. Repeat with the remaining molds and serve immediately.”

Many thanks to Molly for preparing such a lovely treat and even more appreciation to Jamie for sharing the experience with the rest of us at home!

Bon appetite and Happy Valentine’s Day!

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