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Farewell 2014

Here we are again, at the end of yet another year. Time doesn't wait for anyone or anything, does it? This year had its share of obstacles (like losing my dear mother-in-law, and other close friends - some expected, others sudden and at very young ages) as can be expected living in this life, but in spite of it all, it was an excitingly fun and fulfilling year. We got to live most of it in the exhilarating town of Beverly Hills where we forged new business associates, made new friends and got to explore many parts of California that had been on our to-do list as a married couple for many years. And of course, the most grateful moment for us was to move back to our environment in the Northeast where we finally feel at home again. I'm pretty curious to see what the next year will bring. I have a couple of ideas that I'd like to implement on this blog, one of which includes you - the readers, so I need your help. What topics would you like to see more of on here? Please share your thoughts in the comment box below or via email. Until then, be safe.


Classic Winter Tunes

Everyone needs that extra boost to get going, especially during the winter months. I couldn't think of a more exhilarating voice than that of Frank Sinatra to put me in that relaxed state of mind. His distinctive voice and sound have the power to calm you, stir you, and uplift your spirits in a transportive way that makes me fantasize of an old classic bygone era where I imagine everyone dressed like the cast of madmen. I've made a playlist of some favorites that I think fit the season well and will be enjoying (while burning my favorite seasonal scented candles). So I would like to leave you with what I call 'classic winter tunes' to hopefully get you in a good mood as I take a break from blogging for a little while. However, I will still be updating the shop with favorite finds and you can also follow me on Instagram, and/or twitter. Enjoy!

Favorite Scents Of The Season

I love burning candles all year, but even more during the winter when it's dark, cold, and mostly rainy or snowy outside (especially like it's been the last several days). It's definitely a time where I rely on candles for that inviting aroma and glow that beckons snuggling up with a book, a cup of tea and/or spiked eggnog. There's nothing better than the flickering light of a great seasonal scented candle on a gloomy day to beat the Winter blues while keeping the home feeling warm and cozy. The hardest part for me though has always been to narrow down my favorites each season from my long list of the ones I really want. Ultimately, I always settle for candles that burn cleanly and evenly while at the same time creating the right ambiance, filling the house with a soft spicy fragrance without being too cloying. At last, I finally rounded out my selection of the top seasonal scents that will be on constant rotation this winter. How about you? What are your favorite candles to burn during this time of year?

1. Barneys New York Aedes De Venusta $85

2. Shopbob Persian Fig $24

3. West Elm Winter Assortment Candles $12

4. Barneys Heely Figuier Fig $65

5. Barneys Rich Cashmere $58

6. Nordstrom Voluspa Spruce Cuttings $35

7. Turned Over Earth $30

8. Theory White Wood N0.2 (On SALE!) $42.15

9. A Wine's Lovers Dream - Rewined Candles $28

10. Jo Malone Incense & Embers $65

11. Winter $31.75

12. Diptyque Cypress $60

13. Diptyque Feus De Bois $60

Additional favorites below and here...


Most Loved Golden DIYs Of 2014

"The key to great design is the ability to see the extraordinary in the ordinary." ~ @DaFashionista1

If I were to pick one purchase this year that brought me the most joy, I'd have to say it was my Rust-Oleum metallic gold spray paint. With that one simple can, I was able to transform many decor detail pieces in our home from ordinary to extraordinary. Though a very inexpensive basic purchase, it made quite a big impact in the look of some decorative accessories that have become very special in our home. Now, that was one purchase that kept on giving.

Take this little squirrel can opener from Cost Plus World Market, for instance. Though I'm not into collecting tchotchkes, it caught my attention because it reminded me of a rather large squirrel (about the size of a 6 week old kitten) that would jump from the backyard tree onto the window screen of our Beverly Hills home office, chattering his teeth while intently staring us down. At first when we heard this strong ongoing rattling from the backyard side gate, we thought it was some burglar trying to break through, but we then realized that it was the squirrel trying to jump onto the window to look at us. Unbeknownst to me, he quickly became the hubby's pet and he started tucking nuts in the tree for him (as if he needed it). As you can already imagine, that one friendly gesture began to attract his buddies and soon enough there was a gang of about three of them that would come hopping out of nowhere when they heard my back door open, running towards me while I was about to water my plants. They were probably thinking "here's our easy foolish nut feeder for the day..." Needless to say, I jumped right back inside as if I had seen a literal gang heading towards me. Thus, when I spotted this squirrel can opener from Cost Plus World Market, I decided to buy it for decorative purposes since it reminds me of the squirrel who shared our window with us. Furthermore, this one was a much safer one to have without the risk of getting rabies. However, once I saw the dull pewter patina of it, I knew this little guy needed a makeover to make him shine as a squirrel from Beverly Hills should. And this is how he turned out. So now every time I look at this squirrel can opener, I think of our BH's "Peeping Squirrel".

Keeping in step with the animal theme this year, is the mild fascination that I've had with the Rhinoceros. Even though they might have poor vision, I still like how their stance exudes strength. A while back the hubby and I saw a heavy silver metal decorative one as a store display, and have been looking for a similar one since, but we haven't been so fortunate in our search. The next best thing was to upgrade this small plastic toy one from a local craft store with a coat of my gold metallic paint. And now when you see it, you'd think it's a heavy and expensive animal decor item when in fact, it's this ordinary plastic toy rhino. It's such a distressing thought that they're at risk of extinction because of being slaughtered by poachers for their horns.

Last but not least, are these Ikea chair legs (if you follow me on IG, I'm sure you have already seen them). I'm overjoyed with the instant visual transformation that several coats of spray paint made on those black legs. Now, they have more of a West Elm style which I love. 

The next item to make more glamorous with a touch of gold metallic spray paint makeover are these bookends that I recently purchased. Lately, it seems that I might have gotten the Midas touch bug as everything seems to look better in gold. How about you - have you been bitten by the same gold bug?

Psst: a couple of the other ones are here and here.

*P.S. Do you see that little hidden clown face on my cowhide rug? How weird, huh!


Anthropologie Jewel Picks

There are a couple of stores that make me wish I could live in whenever I step inside them. West Elm is one of them and the other is Anthropologie. I usually find myself uttering 'I love this place...I wish I could live here...'  The vibe of these stores is just right. The uniqueness of the objects in Anthropologie and the ethereal mood make you feel like you're stepping into another time period. A period of geniality; a carefree time where the atmosphere felt less tense and more warm, friendly, inviting, and hospitable - all the characteristics that I wish existed today. Even the website is soft and inviting, just drawing you in, which I'm sure it's psychologically designed to do just that. I'll have to say, it is working, because that's one of the reasons why their (limited time only) 20% OFF Jewelry sale caught my eye and actually stopped me dead in my (working) tracks - resulting in the curating of my favorite pieces. See more of their collection here.

1. Tantalize Bib Necklace ($70.40)

2. Golden Slice Double-Ring ($102.40)

3. Hedron Hoops ($35.20)

4. Doyenne Studs ($46.40)

5. Letter and Stone Posts ($25.60)

6. 14K Gold Diamond Infinity Bracelet ($446.40)

7. Ravel Ring ($35.20)

8. Palmae Necklace  ($302.40)

9. Royal Mile Moonstone Ring ($238.40)

10. Pearled Cube Earrings  ($198.40)

11. Rustic Ruby Bracelet  ($278.40)

12. Pearl Eclipse Ring ($150.40)


Fall Floral

Floral Peplum Top, Striped Pencil Skirt (seen here), Guess Heels, Black Wool Coat (old - similar), Two-toned Pink Clutch

I'm a huge proponent of having fresh flowers throughout my home at all times. They make every room feel fresh and alive. There's no reason why the same principle can't be applied when it comes to fashion. Seasonal blossoms atop a black backdrop such as the ones on this flattering peplum top can also add that same freshness (or flower power as you will) to a wardrobe. Not to mention the femininity that it boasts all the whilst making me feel ever more ebullient, especially when paired with a striped skirt. I love the moment of surprise that this combination brings under the long black wool coat. Adding the simple accent of a bright two-toned clutch that pulled out some of the colors from the top gave this all black ensemble interest.

Shop the post...


Grateful Moments

{View from my home office desk on the rainy work days this week}

Happy Friday! Hope you all had a good week. What are your plans this weekend? I've got a full one ahead of me. I'm planning for a girls' night in tonight. It's a little too cold to venture out this evening, so I'm having the ladies come to my abode where I'm going to cozy up with lots of flickering candles, delectable finger foods, offerings of cocktails and wine options and of course great background tunes. Other than being grateful for such pleasurable moments, here are a few of what made me smile this week.

{The beautiful sunset view of the city + the twinkling headlights on the FDR drive}

{The tea cups and cutlery chandelier amplify the quirkiness of a neighborhood restaurant's decor}

{Polka dot sheets that will make the task of making the bed in the morning a lot more exciting}

{Guest bathroom vignette currently}



I don't really obsess over much, aside from living an uncluttered well-curated beautiful life, but the Chanel boy flap bag seems to have stolen a spot in my heart ever since I laid my eyes on it. Especially the amazingly stunning blue velvet one. I mean c'mon. You could be wearing a potato sack and this bag would make that sack look fashion runway ready. Now being the realist that I am, I know there would be no amount of reasoning that my hubby could use to convince me to let him splurge on this for me. Though a Chanel bag is a true timeless classic piece that every fashionable lady should own. I'm afraid it's not currently in my budget - that doesn't mean I won't ever get one, but in the meantime, I thought this Rebecca Minkoff 'love' crossbody bag is a chic alternative at a much more budget friendly price tag. Not to mention the designer has my name, which makes the deal even chicer. What's your bag of desire at the moment?

Some other Chanel faves + more of Rebecca Minkoff's affordable options...


Favorite Links

1. A buyer's guide to champagne will come in handy for my upcoming champagne tasting party. 

2. Who can vouch for this anti-aging sonic cleansing device and what makes it better than the Clarisonic brush?

3. This eggnog recipe inspires me to make the real thing from scratch instead of my typical annual 'semi-homemade eggnog by just adding booze and grated nutmeg ' to my favorite store-bought brand.

4. I couldn't believe how accurate this test result is. I'm a sweet potato. What kind of fry are you?

5. Crouching at the door of going back to the days of the Egyptians' hieroglyphics. What are your thoughts about that?


2014 Ultimate Gift Guide {For Everyone}

1// 2// 3// 4// 5// 6// 7// 8// 9// 10// 11// 12// 13// 14

I've said it before and I'll say it again. The unexpected gifts are the best ones. However, if you're going to give gifts when it's expected, make it count. It doesn't necessarily have to be expensive, but it should be one that is thoughtful, and practical.  You want it to be a gift that will make your recipient's life better and make them smile every time they see it, use it, touch it. The impression it leaves should always make them think upon your name with gratitude for many years down the line, instead of calling down evil upon it. These are a few suggested gift items that I think will make the best gift-giver EVA!

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1// 2// 3// 4// 5// 6// 7// 8// 9// 10// 11/ 12

1// 2// 3// 4// 5// 6// 7// 8// 9// 10// 11// 12// 13// 14// 15

You can also find previous gift-giving ideas: {under $25}, {For Her + all budgets}, {For Him + all budgets}.


Green Monday Sales

I completely forgot all the different types of sales that normally go on around this time of year. Today happens to be one of the best sales days in December known as 'Green Monday' (Kind of like Cyber Monday, but even better). Never heard of it? Read about it here. These are a few pieces from the glorious sales that I'm a little green with envy for along with a list of stores that are offering the best deals today.

Anthropologie (Extra 30% off with code EXTRAMERRY until 12.9.14crowned quartz knobs would beautify my soon-to-have a makeover Ikea dresser.

Nordstrom (Up to 40% select new markdowns) clove knit jacquard sheath dress that will take me from fall to winter.

Pastel pink/blush is all the rave this season for outerwear and I can't say that I'm at all upset about it, especially when it comes to this Asos (20% off select brandssatin collar blazer

This J.Crew (Up to 30% off with MERRYMERRY) floral skirt is the perfect addition to boost a winter closet. 

You can never go wrong with a classic feminine dainty lace skirt from Club Monaco (30% off select with code WINTERFAVES until 12.8.14). 

Everyone needs a soft plush fuzzy scarf during this time of year, but especially a twofer like this Madewell (30% off with code MERRIEST until 12.8.14reversible scarf which turns to a grey jacquard weave on the other side. 

Note:* the following stores are currently offering free shipping...

Amazon until 12.30.14

Bloomingdale's until 12.22.14

Urban Outfitters until 12.8.14

Net-A-Porter until 12.31.14

Zappos until 12.31.14

*Come back tomorrow for my 2014 Mega ultimate gift guide. 

Happy Monday shopping!


Grateful Moments

[These branches on the breakfast table make me smile every time I see them]

Have you ever had a week where the days just seem to run into each other causing you to feel completely disoriented? That was my week. So if you had a week like that, take heart that you're not alone. Weeks like these help me appreciate this quote "Everyday may not be good but there's something good in everyday." Such a great quote, because many times our frenzied minds can fill us with such anxiety and negative thoughts that we don't even know if we're coming or going. But, how good it is when we decisively take the moment to count our blessings amidst the chaos. Wouldn't you agree there's always something good that we can be grateful for? At times, it can be just the little every day things, like taking a walk out of the office to get fresh air or getting that favorite drink at Starbucks. In spite of feeling drained this week, I still had many things to be grateful for, including a nice brunch with the hubby and a window shopping stroll through the Meatpacking district ending with a sweet gelato cone in Chelsea Market. Have yourself something sweet this weekend.

[This place brings back so many memories in my barely 20's days]

[I feel super cozy looking at this jacket. It'd be like having a sheep dog without the maintenance]

[Went to Marakesh right in my own City. Gotta love NYC]


Gift Guide 2014 {For Him}

1. Give your man some edge this season with this must-have wool coat.

2. A camera to help him capture those moments that you don't want him to forget {other options}.

3. Keep those feet looking sharp in some lace-up brogue boots this winter.

4. Make sure he shows up on time by giving him this irresistible Michael Kors's watch

5. This iPhone car mount holder will encourage hands-free communication, thus ensuring the safety of your loved-one.

6. Elevate your basic jeans with this herring-bone patterned and leather details wool blazer.

7. Glittery cuff-links add that touch of sophisticated shine without being gaudy.

8. Here's an aftershave that's alcohol free, prevents ingrown hair, calms skin irritation and has anti-aging benefits to keep him forever young.

9. Leather gloves, functional and sexy. 

There are so many other amazing choices here too, that almost made my head explode. And you can also scroll through below for even more gift idea options....


Winter Coats

It's officially winter. Well, almost. But definitely in temperature for sure - reminding me of how much of a joojing my coat closet needs. While my over 10+-year-old coats do the job, I can't help but notice this season's sharp feminine silhouettes. Starting from your signature classics, to statement-making pastels that break up the black - all the way down to even the puffer coat, they all have such an elegance to them. And being that coats are pretty much (other than some killer shoes, of course) the main focus of your winter wardrobe for the next few months, they might as well be visually impactful.

Signature Classics From Left To Right: 1// 2// 3

Stylish Puffers From Left To Right: 1// 2// 3

Neutral Classics From Left To Right: 1// 2// 3

Statement Making Pastels From Left To Right: 1// 2// 3

More Favorites...