Saturday, December 22, 2012

Last Minute Christmas Gifts

I have to admit, I am not one of those shoppers who is done with Christmas months in advance.  While I have intentions each year to be prepared, something always comes up and it's out of my mind until I see Santa coming down 34th Street during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  At that point, there is still time to fight the crowds and the hustle and bustle of the malls.  However, I would rather pull my hair out than go shopping in said environments.

Because of this, sometimes I am in a scramble just a week before Christmas and I bet I am not alone!  Hopefully this blog post will help many of those "last minute shoppers" such as myself, to be able to still find the perfect gift just in the knick of time!

For the Girls:

What woman doesn't love a beautiful color or gloss for her lips!?  I love tarte products and Sephora has a great gift pack right now with five great shades and very chic tubes.

This is a fun splurge that won't disappoint her!  Tieks are a fabulous flat with the signature turquoise sole.  They are comfortable and stylish and come in so many colors.  I want them all!

For the Boys:

Jambox Wireless Speaker by Jawbone.  One of the market's hottest gadgets and one every man and boy will be eyeing.  It's a wireless bluetooth speaker that has amazing sound!  It comes in different colors and sizes.

They may not ask for it (even though they secretly want one) but this satchel by Tumi is the perfect gift!  There's no way anyone would mistaken this for a purse as this is one manly bag!

For the Kids:

Okay...I want these! Stackable crayons that are easy to grip for little hands!? Why didn't I think if this? Love these Playon Crayons which you can get on

For the Pets:

Even your pet needs something sweet for Christmas and these homemade dog treat recipes from TheKitchn  are sure to be a hit!  Send them home with your fellow pooch lovers and spread the Holiday cheer!

Who doesn't love lounging in something not only comfortable and stylish?  This fabulous Bamboo Lounge bed from is the perfect gift for your pet.

Merry!  Merry! 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Introducing GREY furniture

My inbox is full of current companies introducing new lines of furniture, fabrics and sales. I probably get about thirty of these a day.  So, needless to say, it takes something pretty spectacular to actually urge me to take a moment before hitting delete and look at the email.

GREY furniture did just that.  This new line is understated, yet sexy enough to turn heads.  I love the geometric lines in their table bases, creating such balance, symmetry and order in these simple pieces. They also provide several customizable options on finishes which makes me happy!  I can't wait to find homes in my upcoming projects for some of these pieces.

Love the choice of the chic brown mirrored top on the Jax Cocktail Table.

Line Dining Table with a Carrera Marble top that appears to float.  Love.

The Spark Chandelier is a wonderfully current take on a retro design.

Can not get enough of this grey wood finish on the Wedge dining table.

Love the combination of brass and grey on this ultra-geometric cocktail table, Wire.

Bravo, GREY. Bravo.


Friday, December 7, 2012

Gifts For the Chef

Ok, blog readers, two things are happening right now...the weather is cooling down (well, kinda) and the holidays are around the corner.  This means two things...I'm baking like crazy and spending lots of time shopping!  While on the search for presents, I've been very distracted by useful and attractive gadgets for the kitchen.  I selected a few of my favorites that I've stumbled upon...Anyone need gift ideas?? ;)  

One of my favorite companies is out of London called Culinary Concepts.  You can order online and they do ship to the U.S.  I love these Hammered Champagne baths with the leather handles.

This is probably one of the best things since sliced bread - which you could bake on this if you want!  The Silpat, a non-stick baking mat, serves in place of parchment paper and is fabulous for working with sticky dough or anything else messy.  It's a MUST for anyone who loves to bake. 

I love my iPad and use it for just about everything, including reading recipes while cooking.  There is nothing worse than sticky hands when you need to grab your iPad or turn the page.  This little stand is a life saver!  The Belkin Chef Stand not only docks your iPad, it has a stylus that you can grab when your hands are a mess while cooking!  It's such a clever invention and I love the sleek design.

This handy little gadget from Sur La Table is a bit more attractive than the one I own.  I must admit that sometimes I get so busy that I forget to turn the flame down leading to a burnt mess!  This Pan Scraper is amazing at taking off eggs, burnt food or any other item that the scrub brush just can't get.  It doesn't damage your pan at all and I love all the colors!

I love to cook with fresh Parmesan or 'ParmaJohn' as my 7 year old assistant chef calls it.  Needless to say, the cheese graters in my house are easy to get to.  I love Williams-Sonoma's Microplane Paddle Grater.  It's a fabulous gift for any cook and easy to clean.

Of course, I saved the best for last, The Nespresso Machine.  Keurig-Shmurig...the big pods are out and these tiny little pods from Nespresso are in!  Don't be fooled by the small packaging.  These pods pack a punch and make a serious cup of frothy coffee and espresso.  Lot's of fun flavors and such a sexy design.  Yes please! 


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Four Muses: My Visit to Musée du Louvre

Muse  (myooz)
1. Greek Mythology Any of the nine daughters of Mnemosyne and Zeus, each of whom presided over a different art or science.
2. muse
a. A guiding spirit.
b. A source of inspiration.

Modern words deriving from the god Muses: Museum, Music.

During my recent trip to Europe, I found my own four Muses: The National Gallery, The Victoria & Albert Museum, Tate Modern and Musée du Louvre. This is a series of four blogs that will share my favorite works and possibly a few snapshots.

Part 4 of 4: Musée du Louvre

The Louvre is one of the world's most famous museums housing thousands of objet d'art.  It's history, however, is not so well known.  The palace originated as a fortress where you can still see the medieval remains at basement level.  Later, the Louvre became a royal residence until Louis XIV relocated his court to Versailles.  The Sun King and his successors continued to use the building to store private art collections until the French Revolution when the Louvre became a museum open to the public.

The Louvre underwent several additions and reconstructions.  The most controversial of those is also one of the most recognized features - the glass Pyramid completed in 1989.  

New to the Pyramid as of 2011 is an annually alternating exhibit of contemporary sculpture which sits just below the point of the glass structure.  Here is the 2012 installation:

Suppo, by Wim Delvoye, is a stunning sculptural display of laser-cut steel with a repeating pattern similar to cathedral facades.

Detail of Suppo

Out of the thousands of paintings I saw during my trip, these three were my favorite:

La Jeune Martyre, Paul Delaroche 1855

Le 28 Juillet, La Liberté guidant le peuple, Eugene Delacroix 1830-31

Mort d'Elisabeth, reine d'Angleterre, en 1603, Paul Delaroche 1827-28

And then there was the sculpture...I had so many favorites! Just look...

Venus de Milo, between 130-100 BC

Athéna Parthénos dite "Minerve au Collier"
1st or 2nd centuries AD

Athéna dite "Pallas de Velletri"
Copy of original Bronze, 5th or 4th centuries BC

Vatican Collection, Throne of a Priest of Bacchus

Psyché Revived by Cupid's Kiss, Antonio Canova

Detail of Psyché and Cupid

Dircé, Lorenzo Bartolini

Detail of Dircé

La Victoire de Samothrace
approx 190 BC

Captive "The Dying Slave", Michelangelo Buonarroti

The final exhibition I toured was the replication of Napoleon III's apartments...

Grand Dining Hall

Grand Salon

That concludes my four Muses...Hope you enjoyed them as much as I've enjoyed sharing them with you!