One of my favorite design styles is that of The Hamptons in New York. The fresh, clean look is inspirational. The crisp feel of the light or natural colored linen slip covered over a soft cushy sofa or overstuffed chair really sets the tone. Paired with a beautifully dark stained plank floor or a whitewashed floor, lightweight linen or cotton drapery panels adds to the feel and atmosphere needed to achieve this look.
Not to be mistaken with Shabby Chic, the style is slightly more void of the floral, plaids and weathered looking furniture. You’re more likely to see traditional case good pieces in fused with lightly colored fabrics, some reclaimed pieces along with shutters or even wooden blinds on the windows. Here are a few tips to help you achieve The Hamptons look without breaking the bank.
1. Start with light colors. Use beige, sage green, pale green/blue on the walls.
2. Try adding wainscoting painted white for architectural interest.
3. Earth toned or light colors works well for window treatments in cotton or linen.
4. Pair linen upholstered chairs with a rustic or reclaimed wooden table in the dining room. Accent the table with glass hurricanes and candles for the centerpiece.
5. Wicker framed chairs with a great light upholstered sofa and a glass coffee table can work well for a living room. Add nautical styled pillows for accents.
6. Keep accents simple. Wicker baskets, plants, sea grass or jute rugs can finish off a space.
Just remember to be careful when designing your space. Never over do your style. You won’t achieve your desired look and will appear too trendy. Less is more in some cases.
Cultivate the art of romance and celebrate this Valentine’s Day - La dolce vita style
The key to romance and seduction is to create extraordinary moments out of ordinary things. Some of the most meaningful ideas come from simplicity and the heart. Here are a few:
I recently went on a trip to Honolulu, Hawaii and happen to read about it being the #1 happiest city in America. Granted, it's on a pacific island that offers beautiful scenery and mostly sunny and warm weather. But, I started thinking about what creates the "aloha spirit" of Hawaii, which seems to exude happiness from all the locals there. Here are 4 essential ways I believe people in the top happy areas of the United States, and the world for that matter, achieve their happiness.
We are all very familiar with the harnesses, pet sweaters, bells, whistles and toys that our pets know and love. These creations have come to the rescue to protect our pets and add quality to all of our lives. Have you ever wondered how pets managed to stand cold weather before the invention of those adorable little sweaters to keep them warm? Below is a list of genius creations that will have you wondering how we’ve managed until now – everything from year-round allergy protection for your pet to anti-boredom and loneliness ideas for the pets whose owners can’t be home most of the day. Embrace one, or all, your pet(s) will love you more for it!
I have a feeling my boyfriend is going to dump me. We’ve been together for about 8 months, and I thought we were getting closer, but he’s suddenly pulling away and getting really distant. I have that sinking feeling. How do I deal with this? Break up with him before he pulls the plug? But I like him so much. Feeling screwed up. Help! Thanks, BI
We like to do a lot of things from scratch. That’s why kneading bread, rolling out pie dough, and beating cream into fluffy soft peaks is fun for us. We like to be hands on with foods and figure out how they work. And how they work best. That’s why you see a bowl of ground, watery nuts above. That, friends, is almond pulp. It is what you’ll find left behind if you make your own almond milk. Maybe you’re wondering to yourself, ‘Self, why are these guys making almond milk when it’s at the store?’ Well, there are lots of things that just seem easy to do by hand, so why not do them. At least once. If it’s not worth the time, effort or cost, then feel free to buy it. But at least you can say you’ve tried to do it. And that, friends, is the only answer we can give.
About Diane: One of the most respected fashion designers during the 1970s until now. Famous for creating the wrapped dress during the 70s which came to symbolize a sort of empowerment and independence for women that were starting to enter to work field during this era. DVF brand has expanded to a full women’s ready to wear collection including, handbags, shoes, accessories, and home goods. DVF is sold around the world, including 85 DVF stores.
Eight Things You Can Do to Improve Your Dating Life Now
I recently got a chance to live stream into the Clinton Foundation's annual "Health Matters" conference in La Quinta, CA and it was very informative and thought provoking. The conference focuses on healthcare and wellness in the USA. I've put together a brief overview of the day's panel discussions to share with you so that you may see where we are at with wellness in America and what direction things are going in.
This shade of purple is full of passion, pop and pizzazz! Orchid is a color rich and bright; it evokes radiance, health and happiness and even adds energy. Its various tones can range from a grayish purple to a purplish-pink to a reddish purple. It works well with the many shades of gray, black, white and ivory. It adds softness to room’s full glass and mirrored pieces. You can add this color to any room. A splash of color with pillows, rugs, throws will let you infuse this tone with out over powering or feeling too heavy. But if you’re feeling a little brave, why not add this color to a feature wall, rugs, bedding or even a chair. Any way you choose to add this color, rest assured you won’t be sorry.
Everything You Need To Know For Your Pet in the NoHo Arts District
As many of us know, NoHo is one of Los Angeles’ most pet-friendly areas. The Arts District specifically caters to our furry friends, as the majority of businesses have outdoor sections to accommodate them. On any given day, you can be guaranteed to see people carrying out their regular business with their dogs on leashes, (or you might even see Beatrice, who walks her cat).
Happy New Years!! I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday season as much as I did with your loved ones. A few things about the year 2014, according to the Chinese calendar it is the year of the horse which means that (for people like me with birthdays that fall into the year of the Horse) it is a great year filled with opportunities, unexpected adventures, surprising romances, so yes I am beyond excited to find out what 2014 has in store for me and as well as the fashion industry. With that said I have come up with a short list of fashion trends that we should all be thrown to the curb and waved goodbye as of right now! Love it or leave it you decide but the following are some of the best and worst fashion trends of 2013…unfortunately we have all been victims so do not feel bad.
Editor's Note: Amir wrote this post for our blog a couple of years ago, and no doubt, there have been new and memorable occasions since then. We're each spending New Years Eve in different ways. He'll be with his husband and friends in Los Angeles, while I give a toast to 2014 in London. No matter what you do to celebrate, we hope you have a most fantastic New Year!
There’s no better time than now to focus on your health and fitness goals. Follow these 5 steps and you are on your way to the 3 T’s: Tighten, Tone, and Trim.
French design can encompass a number of things. It has toile fabrics in many colors and designs, the iconic fleur de lis pattern, matelasse and chinoiserie. It also has roosters in the kitchen paired with beautiful checked and floral fabrics along side heavy weathered tables anchored with rush-seated chairs. It can mix something very sophisticated in a room full of rustic antiques creating a space that is elegant, charming and relaxed.
I’m curious to know your approach to new year’s resolutions, and how good you are at following through and achieving them. Any tips for us readers? Happy New Year, WG
There’s a reason why high season in matchmaking starts in September. People anticipate the pending holidays and nobody wants to go through it alone. The stress, expectations, frenetic pace, obligations, retail ruckus…OY! Of course spending the holidays with the one we love is simply delicious but I often wonder if people try too hard to create magic with the wrong person or Mr./ Ms. Right Now. It is a very vulnerable time of year for a lot of people that can foster social anxiety, family dysfunction, excessiveness and bad behavior. It’s also a very beautiful time when traditions and loved ones gather ‘round to make more sweet memories.
The average American gains 7 pounds over the Holiday Season. Don't be a statistic! Here a 7 things you can do starting today to ensure that your waistline doesn't expand into another zip code.
We’re getting into the spirit of the season just like everyone else. In addition to the gingerbread men, peppermint delights, and traditional Christmas cookies, we love to include an adult treat in our Holiday repertoire of goodies. I enjoy eggnog as part of my winter routine. Chrystal, on the other hand, is not the biggest fan of dairy, boozy drinks. Being that many of my in-laws have a Swedish heritage, I thought a glogg recipe would be the perfect alcoholic seasonal beverage to share.
As the holidays approach you could very well wear the same little black dress to every party this season, but what’s the fun in that? Not saying I won’t share a couple of jaw dropping LBD’s but with a calendar full of fetes is the perfect excuse to splurge on some of the best this season has to offer. And with Nordstrom, Macy’s and Bloomy’s as your number one shopping destination, you can rest assured you’ll dress to impress at every occasion this season. Not to mention I didn’t forget to include budget friendly but great pieces.
Continued from the last article, here is another way to upholster your wall. This a bit more permanent where you’ll attach or adhere batting right on the wall before installing your chosen fabric. This is really not a new idea. Does anyone remember the velvet-flocked wallpaper from the early 70’s? Well, this is an updated version.
Welcome to the holiday season! Thanksgiving is the perfect time to celebrate the harvest of living and give thanks for all blessings big and small.
It's just around the corner, the day we give thanks by stuffing our faces with turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. I can almost feel my pant button popping as I write this.
Being a matchmaker has tremendous rewards…and challenges. Everybody has a story and I always feel honored when people share their intimate details and difficulties with me. All I want to do is help and inspire them. Then there are those who seem to have it all figured out. They’re the “I’ve got it covered” clientele. They seem to know a lot about their strengths and very little about their challenges or blind spots. They “don’t need any advice and know how to date”; they just need a little more “access” to the right people according to them. Which is partly true, I’m sure. However the part that amazes me the most is that they’re not interested in modifying anything about themselves or their approach to dating even though they’re striking out left and right. “I’m just fine the way I am – it’s them” essentially is what they’re expressing. This is when I quote Einstein’s definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over (and over!) again and expecting a different result.
Most of us are getting ready for the Holidays, shopping for Thanksgiving dinner, contemplating whether or not to meet the parents, in my case and I speak for all fashionistas out there we cannot wait for probably one of the most anticipated fashion events during this time of the year; Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2013.
Many times over the years, clients wanted to use something other than paint to jazz up a space. Most of the options or alternatives seem a little too permanent for some. But have you ever thought of upholstered walls? I bet not. So lets investigate this viable option.
Keep It Simple Stupid
There were four eggplant just sitting, waiting, to be used. But how? At least three hours of research and thought went into the process of figuring out something fun to do with them. Eggplant parmigiana would’ve been great, but the idea of fried, cheesey eggplant felt too heavy for the occasion. A salad would’ve been nice, but a few ingredients were missing. Eggplant is great as the main star of a stir fry, but for some reason, that didn’t quite measure up either. Sometimes you spend so much time trying to go overboard when simple is all you really need. We’ve found that happen to us many times, and it’s nice to pull back and just let the natural flavors of the star player do their thing. That’s how those four eggplants ended up taking a ride in a food processor for one of the easiest dips you’ll ever make.
Baba Ghanoush may have several spellings, but it’s preparation is pretty much always the same. It’s a blend of softened eggplant, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Anything else you add is your special touch. There are usually two points of contention with baba ghanoush. The first revolves around the eggplant. Many people will tell you, even the nice folks at a local Middle Eastern restaurant, will probably tell you that the roasty toasty flavor of the dip comes from the eggplants. You can cook them over a grill for the best flavor, or you can try this broil then bake method. Second, there’s the tahini. Tahini–roasted sesame seed paste–is surely optional, but it does add that seedy, rich umami note that really sings in this dip. Instead of using tahini though, this recipe utilizes sesame oil, in conjunction with olive oil, to bring out those flavors.
You can dress it up as you like, and for this version, smoked paprika adds an aromatic, oakey earthiness to each scoop. Cayenne would be nice too. Baba Ghanoush is great with crackers, bread or vegetables. It also can serve as a perfect spread for sandwiches. The key is to keep it simple. You can’t go wrong.
Baba Ghanoush (Middle Eastern Eggplant Dip) – Serves 4
4 medium Italian eggplants
3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
Zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/8 – 1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
1. Place the eggplants on a baking sheet and slide under a preheated oven broiler set to high for 5-7 minutes, turning the eggplants over every minute or so to ensure all four sides are blackened. Remove from the oven and turn off the boiler. Set the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Wrap the garlic cloves in a small piece of aluminum foil and place them on the baking sheet with the eggplants. Put the baking sheet back into the oven and roast the eggplant and garlic for 30-35 minutes or until soft. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
3. Once the eggplant and garlic are cool enough to touch, peel the skin off the eggplants and place the meat in the bowl of a food processor. Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins and put them in the food processor as well. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and sesame oil. Secure the lid on the food processor, turn on the machine and drizzle in the first 1/8 cup of olive oil until just combined. Add up to another 1/4 cup of olive oil based on your preference.
4. Scrape the mixture into a serving bowl and top with the parsley and a sprinkling of smoked paprika. Pair the dip with your favorite crackers, bread or vegetables. If desired, cover and chill for a couple of hours to allow the flavors to build.
If you just can't seem to get the momentum on your exercise program going, and find a million excuses to skip the gym and eat bad things, it may be time to make yourself a little crazy! Yeah, that’s right - wacky, insane, and wildly weird about exercise and eating well. As adults we may have a tendency to over think things, dwell on the past, beat ourselves up, or worry about the future. To an extent we must do those things to be realistic about where we’re going and what we’re doing in our lives.
One of the oldest fabrics in the world, Denim is not just another cotton fabric. Designers are thinking of many different ways to explore with denim taking it way beyond your basic staple go to piece. From patching, acid treatment, adding leather, wax treatment, even accessories have denim incorporated in them. We all know jeans are ideal anytime of the day whether you’re going out, work or staying in, we can all agree our denim jeans will not let us down.
This holiday season – in the spirit of gratitude, loving service, and good-heartedness – I’d like to share this positive update about my personal journey with my elder parents.
The Journey Home
Two years ago, I shared with you about my trip home to Connecticut for Thanksgiving, to be with my family. My focus and the main theme for this week-long trip went way beyond the one day of festivities. I was primarily there to assist my elder parents, to do some serious cleaning and clearing inside their large home, and to realistically assess their states of health and next steps for their care.
It was a sobering experience to say the least, bittersweet at best, with many epiphanous ponderings about life, love, acceptance, death, and what it really means to live a healthy and meaningful life.
It was also a wonderful time to reunite with one of my two sisters who lives within one hour from our parents, and who joined forces with me to take on this monumental parental care project. We spent the three days before Turkey Day on task at our childhood home. While keeping our frail, now 90 year old Dad at bay as he interrogated us over every old knickknack, sock, and outdated magazine clipping that we attempted to file, toss, or give away, and while keeping our dear, sweet, dementia-altered 86 year old Mom close by to keep us company – my sister and I laughed, cried, grimaced, and reminisced as we sorted through decades of stuff, including books, clothing, photos, lots of memorabilia, our parent’s precious wedding album from the 40’s which included a breathtaking photo of Mom singing at her reception, foreign currency collections from their many trips abroad, Mom’s extensive and impeccably matched wardrobe, including her 80’s dresses with the big shoulder pads (remember?!), knitting, needlepoint, Dad’s instrument and invention paperwork, a lock of my hair from 1962, and my sister’s Ken doll from the 60’s, who we found naked and missing an arm. Oh my God, we laughed so hard we cried! I remember changing Ken’s hair color with a magic marker when I was about eight; think my sister almost killed me!
Spending those three very full days with them was the best thing my sister and I could have done, for several reasons, but mainly because we were directly faced with the reality of their states of physical and mental decline, and an absolute knowing that we must take the lead regarding their proper care. We realized that we had become our parent’s parents.
What’s Happened Since
Immediately following that eye-opening trip home, my sisters and I sought out in-home care for our parents. We did this to respect our father’s strong desire (and adamant demand) to remain in their home of 40+ years, which they built. We quickly located and hired the services of a wonderful organization called the Visiting Angels. http://www.visitingangels.com/ Since then, my parents have had the attentive and loving live-in support of a Visiting Angel (wonderful Yvonne), which has helped in every way imaginable. My parents now have assistance with cooking, washing, dressing, laundry, cleaning, driving to the grocery store and doctor’s appointments, and most important, the comfort of knowing they are not alone in what has become the “chore” of living and doing even the most simple tasks.
This has worked beautifully for the past two years, but it is now becoming apparent that they are requiring even more assistance and medical care than can be provided by a live-in Angel; so we have been researching the next step, which is assisted living. We began discussing it with Dad a few months ago, knowing he would likely be initially very resistant to leaving his home, and that was the case. Again, we’ve done this in a respectful and loving way, and the good news is that he is now expressing that they’re ready and even desiring to take this next step.
Facing Mortality at Midlife
I must admit, to be currently navigating the challenging waves of my own midlife, while at the same time witnessing and helping my parents as they struggle with declining abilities in almost every area of their lives – is one of the most sobering, difficult, sad, and yet most beautiful and empowering experiences of my life. I’m sure there are those of you who can relate to this. And there is no way to fully grasp what this is like until we experience it ourselves.
And let's be honest here - we may live in a culture obsessed with youth, however, the truth is everyone, no matter what age, is on the natural path toward elderhood, so it's vital that we honor ourselves and others at every stage of life.
Listen To Mother Teresa – Do Good Anyway
The primary message I want to leave with all of you, is that my sisters and I are caring for our parents in this way and at this crucial time in their lives, because we love them and instinctively know they need us, and because it’s the right thing to do.
Regardless of the strained relationship with my father that all three of us girls have experienced for most of our lives, or any unresolved conscious or unconscious issues – I KNOW from the higher viewpoint and from within my heart – that caring for both Mom and Dad, and assisting them in making the safest and most loving transition from their physical state back to the Spiritual realm from whence they came – is my heartfelt mission, and I feel very clear and uplifted in doing so. This is unconditional love.
I sense that our unconditional love will travel with Mom and Dad as they cross the threshold from life to death, holding them, and perhaps even liberating their wounds and the wounds of past and future generations. Love and Forgiveness release karma.
I close by sharing this powerfully inspiring quote, which is taken from Dr. Kent Keith’s ‘Paradoxical Commandments’, and which Mother Teresa had on the wall of her children's home in Calcutta. These words exactly describe how I feel about caring for my parents, and all life.
“If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”
During the holidays and into the new year and the years ahead, may you do your very best to love and honor your own life and the lives of your loved ones - through birth and death. Do good anyway.
Your Life Coach,
Copyright 2013 Maddisen K. Krown M.A.
I grew up in an Italian Catholic family where the rules were strict but the food was amazing. My mother, who was born and raised outside of Venice, Italy always taught me the importance of having traditional values, strong morals, to respect my body and “never chase the boys”. As I got older, I began to think that her viewpoints were a bit antiquated and stale. But now that I’m in the business of matchmaking and working with singles, I realize how incredibly important the implications of her words were.
Ready to Spice It Up - Spiced Butternut Squash Soup
It is perfectly chilly here in Los Angeles. At least it is during the evening. But we are wimps about it. We are wimps about weather in general as Angelenos. During the summer, we’ll tell you it’s blazing hot, the air is dry, and we can barely go outside.