Stylish Notes on London Decor :: Scalamandre

Jessica Gordon Ryan/The Entertaining House

Yes, yes, yes... I know that Scalamandre is an American company. But they were exhibiting at Decorex and I am recapping my London days for you. And I simply adore Scalamandre. The iconic Zebra print just speaks to me. And, I had the wonderful opportunity to talk with the company's president, Steven Stolman, who I also had the pleasure of meeting in Newport, Rhode Island a couple of years ago when he was with the American iconic sandal company, Jack Rogers. 

I was reaching for some press information - actually I was reaching for the adorable bag (you can see it in the lower background of my photo) when Mr. Stolman approached me. "Can I help you?" My press badge was not visible at that time. "I'm just looking for a press kit or something," I replied. And then I quickly added, "we met in Newport, at Angela Moore." He seemed to recognize me almost immediately. "Yes, you were trying to buy the mid-wedge sandal and it was much too old for you!" Amazed, surprised and pleased that he remembered me of the millions of people he must meet every year, I said "that's right, you made me buy the gold jewelled Zsa-Zsas!" They remain, to this day, my favorite sandals... ever.

Jessica Gordon Ryan/ The Entertaining House

While I had his full attention I asked him if there were differences in the US and the European markets. He told me that there were... there are... and they are quite vast. He reiterated all that I had learned and seen. Europeans are bolder, more adventurous and much more daring. They love color. The more color, the brighter, the bolder the better. They love their patterns as well... bigger, bolder, brighter... it's all better in the mind of the artsy, modern, forward thinking European. We're the opposite here, which may surprise you. This big, loud, brazen country is quiet and subdued by comparison. We are quieter and more reserved in terms of fashion and decor. We are timid. We are practically wall flowers when compared to our European brothers and sisters. We like beiges, whites, toned down and pastel tones. We're gun shy. Although I knew this I wondered why it was, and the answer quite surprised me. Steven Stolman made a very interesting comment. We as Americans don't live in our homes for particularly long. We are always selling and moving. The Europeans reside in their homes for much longer periods of time. This is reflected in design. Europeans decorate to live. Stolman believes that we are always on the move, always "flipping", decorate to sell. Interesting, isn't it. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this!

About Scalamandre:
As a leading American purveyor of decorative fabrics, wallcoverings, trims, furnishings and accessories, Scalamandre’s mission is to produce the most exquisite designs with a seamless integration of styles and periods while inspiring designers and enriching their vision. Scalamandre’s ability to fluently blend a uniform balance of art and craftsmanship has been the company’s hallmark and it's clear sense of integrity and correctness remains a testament to its rich heritage of uncompromising quality and excellence.

Long a destination for connoisseurs of fine design and all things beautiful, it continues to showcase beloved signature classics as well as fresh, new collections that are timeless, elegant and approachable. Scalamandre continues to maintain the highest level of quality and construction, attributes of this venerable 82 year-old company. While the strength of the Scalamandre brand rests on its heritage, it does not rest on its laurels.

As the industry’s standard-bearer of excellence, Scalamandre has been called upon by some of American’s most extraordinary properties. Historic restoration and cultural commissions number over 1,000, among them: The White House, the U.S. Capitol, United States Treasury, Monticello, Mount Vernon, Colonial Williamsburg, The Morgan Library, Wrightsman Galleries at Metropolitan Museum of Art, Isabelle Stewart Gardner Museum, Winterthur, the Mansions of Newport, and the Metropolitan Opera House. Additionally, Scalamandre remains the paramount resource for America's premier designers and decorators for their most distinguished projects. Most recently, the firm has been commissioned to provide fabrics for the upcoming renovation of the legendary Ritz Hotel in Paris, a testament to Scalamandre's reputation for the exquisite.

Scalamandre sells its product through its flagship New York showroom and 9 “To-The-Trade” showrooms in major metropolitan locations. It supplements its distribution in secondary and tertiary locations with independent sales representatives, agents and sub-agents who serve America, Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia. For more on Scalamandre, be sure to visit their website. 

Oh, and I promised that I would tell you all about the new Scalamandre book. It's not yet on the market but will be available to all on October 1st. So pre-order your copy today... or rush, rush, rush to your local bookstore next Tuesday!



Magnificent Monday... Magnificent My Day!

The weekend is over. Monday is here. Celebrate. Make it your day. It's My Day! Cheers to new dreams, hopes, opportunities and chances. Cheers to trying something new. Cheers to new beginnings!


Go pick some pretty!
Place them on your desk, in your home, by your entryway... by your bed...

Start a new project to beautify your home!

Balloons always make me happy!

Nothing makes me happier than my Jacks in summertime!
The weather is glorious and it's a Jack Rogers kind of a day here in Connecticut!
Have you seen all their new colors and styles
Check these out, the Memorial Sloan Kettering Navajo!
20% of each pair purchased goes back to the hospital.
For more information on these and others please visit the Jack Rogers website.

Before you slide into your Jacks don't forget to take care of those winter tootsies! Indulge in a pedicure or if you simply haven't the time Essie's Ole Caliente will add a little spring to your step!

minted iced tea

I've become an iced tea-aholic!
I  love to make sun teas with the kids in the summer time. Arnold Palmers, half iced tea, half lemonade is a favorite in our household. I recently stumbled across this minted iced tea recipe from Better Homes and Gardens... it reminds me of the iced tea I covet at Bailey's Beach in Newport.

  • 7 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 8 tea bags orange pekoe tea
  • 8 sprigs fresh mint
  • 8 cups cold water
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 3/4 cup lemon juice
  • Ice cubes
  • Fresh mint sprigs (optional)

    In a large saucepan combine the 7 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar. Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat and let simmer, uncovered for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add tea bags, 8 sprigs of mint. Cover and let stand for about 5 minutes. Remove the tea bags and mint sprigs, discard.

    Transfer the tea to a heatproof 1.5 to 2 gallon bowl or container. Add 8 cups of cold water, orange juice and lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, and up to 2 days. Serve over ice and garnish with additional mint.

    Makes 16 to 18 8 ounce servings.
    Recipe can be halved.

    Calories 110

I've blogged about my love of home made salt scrubs... so easy to make... so inexpensive... 

Citrus Salt Scrub

This basic recipe is my favorite.

1 cup sea salt
1/4 cup grape seed oil
(This is my oil of choice. Olive oil is too strong a sent for me.)
The juice and zest of 1 lemon
(or lime, orange or grapefruit = to about 1-2 tbs of liquid)

I always feel a little pale and pasty this time of year. I'm a huge fan of self tanners.
(Just be sure to wash your hands well!)

The Best Self-Tanners


the Clarins self tanner is a favorite
but I find the very affordable Jergen's version to be excellent!

Jergens Natural Glow Foaming Daily Moisturizer. Smells better than most self-tanners, and is easy to apply.
and for a fresh sun kissed look, I am never without my Guerlain Terra Cotta bronzer. I have been using the same one since college. This is worth the splurge girls. It will last you years!

So today's Magnificent Monday... Magnificent My Day is all about pampering!

And let's not forget to toast today!

image via Pinterest

Cheers to you!
Cheers to me!
Cheers to our Magnificent Mondays!


Angela Moore Fashion Show Recap and a Jack Rogers Giveaway!

Cynthia Bogart, Jessica Gordon Ryan, Gretchen Aubuchon at The International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, RI

I just knew it was going to be a good day the moment I saw these upon entering the tent. Pink champagne for breakfast. I'll drink to that! Cheers!

image via Angela Moore

Gretchen, Cynthia and I are enjoying our front row (!!) seats and a fabulous breakfast and event put on by Angela Moore to benefit the International Tennis Hall of Fame

Dee Gordon in Lilly Pulitzer
Photo via Angela Moore

Lilly Pulitzer was many of the prolifically fun and preppy brands to grace the catwalk. Isn't this model lovely? I'm proud to say she's my aunt and she totally rocked that cat walk!

Dee Gordon
Here she is... rocking jeggings, white jeggings no less!

Karen and Grace Megdley
via John Corbett/Angela Moore

I met Karen at the Angela Moore booth at the Newport Flower Show. I fell madly in love with the pink Angela Moore dress she was wearing. She was helpful and lovely and a total sweetheart and she stopped and smiled at me in recognition when she saw me seated at my table by the stage... in the same pink dress! Our hearys simply melted when we saw adorable daughter modeling the Angela Moore Tammi tunic (with white Jack Rogers.) Karen's beauty is undeniable... but that adorable daughter of hers stole my heart!

Angela Moore and two tennis pros wearing shirts by Three Islands
via John Corbett

all the Angela Moore models via John Corbett

Angela Moore was founded in 1997. She has stores in Palm Beach, FL and Newport, RI. In 1998 she introduced her hand painted jewelry, resort wear and accent pieces for the home.

Angela Moore's philosophy is to "celebrate your own individual style with colors and themes that make you happy"

Please visit their website here.

image via Angela Moore

image via Angela Moore
Above, the now widely popular hand painted beads can be found on their hair ties in a wide array of colors and patterns.

What I liked best about the show was getting introduced to new brands and products. The Entertaining House is not a shopping blog. It never was and it never will be, but as a lifestyle blog it is my pleasure to share with you the wonderful new things that I have stumbled upon. The following fashions and accessories are fun and fresh and won't break the bank!

Note: The items below were not necessarily in the fashion show, but they represent the brands highlighted.
Big Buddha Bag

The bags by Bosom Buddies were spectacular. To die for. I wanted each and every one of them.
Bosom Buddies Handbags

Bosom Buddies Handbags

Starfish Sandal by Hot in Hollywood
If you are a regular reader of my blog you know that my go to summer shoes are my Jack Rogers. There simply is no other (in my book). While my heart will always belong to Jack, my heart couldn't help but pitter-patter a little a lot a little when I saw these starfish sandals by Hot in Hollywood. (I feel really guilty... as though I have betrayed Jack... but Jack, I want you to know that I only looked, I never cheated! xoxo)

I was mad about this dress by Tracy Negotian. The colors and patterns (below) are fun and vibrant.

The dress is available in other fun and whimsical prints and patterns.

patterns by Tracy Negoshian

Men's shirts by Three Islands
The Three Island men's shirts were bright and fun and offered a nice preppy alternative to the Vineyard Vines and Brooks Brothers staples. Be sure to check out their sight as they have a wonderful selection of tunics and dresses for women as well. (And the price points are right on!)

Many of the models carried small bags and clutches by Moyna. They were fun and whimsical and unique. The accessory girl that I am, I wanted every bag I saw. (The two below were not featured in the fashion show but aren't they divine?

Evening clutches by Moyna, New York

Seeing as Newport is a beachy, resort community many of the men models wore bathing suits. These Strong Boalt suits were handsome and fun and certainly caused a splash!

Men's Swim trunks by Palm Beach based Strong Bolt

Many of the models, women and children, wore lovely straw hats by Toucan. Elegant and stately these beautiful hats easily make the transition from beach to polo to cocktails on the back lawn.
Toucan Hat

I would like to thank Nicole Hawkins of Angela Moore for our fabulous table and for answering my many, many questions!

and, finally, what you've all been waiting for a Weekend Wanderlust Contest sponsored by Jack Rogers and Assouline! Visit the Jack Rogers Facebook Page for more information!

Be sure to visit The Daily Basics, Gretchen Aubuchon Design and Newport Stylephile (from whom I borrowed a few of these pictures) for more on the Angela Moore Fashion Show to benefit The International Tennis Hall of Fame

Steven Stolman knows Jack!

The tantrums tears hair pulling kicking screaming crying punching pinching that I have had to endure has been entirely worth it... I had the privilege to meet Steven Stolman, Design Director for Jack Rogers at Angela Moore in Newport today. Despite the fact that he took one look at my old, worn, hanging together by a thread (remember this post?) Zsa Zsa's and told me it was time to toss them (Gasp! NEVER!!) and that it was time to grow up and move on to a newer shinier, sexier, hipper (oh, OK) pair of Zsa Zsas, I found him to be personable and charming and very amusing. Steven knows his shoes... specifically he knows Jack... And I learned a few things that I hadn't known before. I'm putting together a special post regarding these fabulous sandals over at The Daily Basics. I'll let you know when that piece is up and running.

(Yes, more on Angela Moore and The Newport Flower Show to follow!)

5 Rules for hitting the road to Newport so Mommie Dearest can go to the Jack Rogers Trunk Show at Angela Moore!

Ok, so that's not the main, reason I'm headed back to Newport, but it is one of the reasons I am headed back! This time I'm going with the kids. Wish me luck in the car. Wish me lots of luck. My kids are not good travelers. My friend JoAnna recently drove her 4 kids  ages 5 and under from Virginia to Massachusetts. Not only did she survive. But the kids were... gasp... well behaved!

Put my three in a car together for 5 minutes and let the battles begin! I separate my kids by rows. Seriously. My oldest is old enough to be up front. The boys battle for the 2nd and 3rd rows. I pack an arsenal of activities and food. We have videos to watch and play. (Only allowed on the highway portion of our journey.) We have beverages and snacks galore in case we break down in the tundra that exists between my home and Newport, 2 and a half hours away! We have blankets and stuffed animals to keep us warm. (It's 64 and rainy today) Most importantly I have Duct Tape. In Zebra pattern. I also keep a pair off garden shears in the car for those moments I see and must cut down beautiful flowers... The garden sheers can be used for the Duct Tape. The Duct Tape will promptly be applied to the mouths of those children who
a) don't stop talking
b) don't stop whining
c) don't stop asking "are we there yet?" or
d) any of the above

Rule #1 I drive and therefore I am in charge of all music. And when the good Country stations come in clear this is what I will listen to. I don't care if this makes you puke. If you are going to puke kindly do so in a garbage bag.

Rule #2 I am in charge of all snacks. This way there is no she had more or he had more.

Rule #3 Keep your hands to your selves. Hit hitting pinching pulling hair spit balls. No shouting shrieking wining crying screaming. Yes, I really have children and not wolves... though sometimes I am unsure of this myself.

Rule #4 Dispose of all garbage properly. My car is not a garbage can. Neither is it a closet for all your items your sorry asses are too lazy to drag in. If you suddenly realized that your animal or blankie has been left in the car and youabsolutelypostively cannot go to sleep without it you will go retrieve it yourself. In the dark. Alone. Yes there are coyotes and raccoons out there. Yes there are skunks. Plenty of skunks. Snakes too. I am sick of risking my lives for you lazy little children who could not be bothered to retrieve your items when you were asked. You'll have to be brave and go out into the wild alone or do without.

Rule #5. You will not go all animal-like on me the minute you get there. Treat your grandparent's house like a museum. Not like a zoo my precious little animals.

Should you follow all these rules you will be handsomely rewarded.
One more thing...

There is something I want to do. You will have to come with me. Exemplary behaviour is EXPECTED of you while in public. If you do one thing to embarrass me ... and I mean ONE THING I will ship you back to the place you all came from with all three receipts and demand a full refund. Oh I know you are all thinking "Ha Ha. Very funny Mom. Hospitals don't give receipts." And to you I will reply you are wrong. I have the bills from each and every one of you. I will be a very rich lady when I cash in my bills!"

And with the money I will make in return of each of  you precious gems I will head here!

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Eye Candy!

or is it foot candy?
whatever it is I can not just stop at one!

The name, Jack Rogers, is synonymous with summer and the preppy life. The original and (in my humble opinion) the only Navajo sandal is a staple in my Spring and Summer wardrobe. As likely as you'll see me with a glass of wine at the end of the day, you'll see me in my Jack Rogers as soon as the weather allows me to! I've had many pairs over the years... many have been worn and loved and sadly tossed. Some staples have been replaced and others have made way for newer colors and styles. Read my post here about the love and loss of my favorite white jeweled pair. (It was rather dramatic!)

Well, and I should not be sharing this since it'll ruin my chances of winning... but if you friend Jack Rogers on Facebook you could win a pair of golden Navajos... and if you win I might just have to break down your front door!

and YOU could be the winner of these!

a summer staple...
a classic Navajo which pairs perfectly
with the many wonderful dresses we have at JmcLaughlin!

And if you're a Lilly fan, these are a must have

Jewelled Navajos... in metallics
Perfect with a little sun dress, a little black dress, shorts or a pair of jeans...
Do you see my name on them?!


For real... they're back?!!
My most favoritest Jack Roger sandals E-VER!
and Yippee they are mine mine mine!!!

A Prep School 101 Summer

I discovered Jennifer's blog, Prep School 101, about a year ago. It quickly grew to be one of my favorites.  I was like a kid in a (Preppy) candy store as I drooled over her beautiful photographs of lavish and opulent goodies that reflected a fun and preppy lifestyle. I was saddened, however, when last fall she decided to close her blog so that she could concentrate more on her business Sky Blue Events. While I was happy (for her!) that her business was growing successfully, and while I followed her business blog I missed Prep School 101 terribly. I told her so and nagged her a few dozen times, easily, to bring back the other blog. We communicated through the year, via emails and Twitter and became good friends. I am a staunch supporter of her projects as she is of mine. I was thrilled when a couple of months ago she told me that she was bringing Prep School 101 back to life! So, please visit her blog and welcome her back after you read her guest post!

In the spirit of “the more things change, the more things stay the same,” I bring you a list of my summer essentials, many of which I’m truly grateful do not change year after year (or season after season, for that matter). After all, a classic is a classic is a classic.

The obvious preppy favorites: 

(1) Seersucker

(2) Aviators

(3) Driving loafers

(4) Pearl earrings

(5) Lacoste polos

(6) Lilly dresses

(7) G&Ts and garden parties

(8) Fitzgerald, Hemingway

(9) Rosebud Salve

(10) Jack Rogers

This summer’s new favorite and frothy additions:

(1) Tad Friend’s Cheerful Money: Me, My Family and the last Days of WASP Splendor

(2)  Kiel James Patrick bracelets, preferably in madras.

(3) True Prep by Lisa Birnbaum. I scored an advance copy since these will be in the goody bags at a party my company is hosting in September. If you’re on the East Coast and feel like a delightful trip to Baltimore for an end of the summer celebration on the water, please come to our Oxfords & Oysters soiree (details on my company blog:

Come say hello....I’ll be the one wearing some combination of the above listed items.

Above, the beautiful Jennifer in Lilly, then and now!

Not the Newport Flower Show + Playground Fun + Lickety Splits = A Weekend of Fun!

We headed off to Newport again this weekend, our last visit before August. I had wanted to take the kids to the Newport Flower show because I know they would have loved it, but my cousin was there with her newest baby and we all just had to see him. So we decided an afternoon at the pool would be perfect -- especially my aunt's pool with their newest cousin and her spectacular flowers... I mean with gardens like these who needs a flower show?!

Above and below.... pinks, lavenders and periwinkles... all my favorite colors!
I wrote about my love for the sea (here) now imagine how truly relaxed I am when I get these wonderful flowers by the sea!

Dee also has a fabulous vegetable garden... I'll be back in August... 1st weekend... in case you have too much of something... in case you are reading this! Or in case Alex is reading this!!

Ahh yes, the stresses of the day have melted away...

The husband took this picture... I actually like it!

We headed to town early to brave the crowds which were not bad at all for a late June weekend... we poked around some of the shops and had dinner at one of my favorite places, The Brick Alley Pub... great for families... good food in a fun and casual setting. This is definitely a place worth bringing the kids to if you are in town. Make a yourself a reservation or else you could be waiting for hours. This is a hugely popular spot for locals and tourists alike.

After dinner we walked around some more. After a while the boys headed back to the car and Rebecca and I kept going. We stopped in at Island Outfitters to check out their stuff. Noticed the Tretorns.... OMG what happened to them? Tretorn, you will be hearing from me. You have completely ruined your sneakers! These are not the Classic Tretorn but a cheap imitation and I still have the original to prove it. Bevy, you are soo right in being dissatisfied!  I did spy a gorge pair of turquoise crock Jack Rogers and I think my cousin Ashley ought to stop in for them because she isn't ever ever ever going to get my pink ones!

I didn't buy myself anything... or Rebecca, for that matter, who was begging and pleading for me to do so! We continued on our merry way... I texted the boys as we turned on to Wellington Avenue... We had no idea where they were and thought for sure we were going to end up walking all the way home!

We stopped to take some pictures of the harbor and the Ida Lewis Yacht Club where I learned to sail. Er, perhaps I should rephrase that... I took sailing lessons there. Poor girl never learned how to sail. Tennis was much more my thing. I can't believe I actually got Rebecca to smile for me here!

The boys finally caught up to us in front of the New York Yacht Club which was good because I was very close to getting a blister!

The next day we took Alexander to his favorite playground, Morton Park.

The older two went exploring and decided to take the path less traveled...

while Alexander got the chance to be a kid.

On the way home I spied this house for sale from the Newport Bridge...
This one might just be in my budget!

One final stop before we hit I-95 and all the horrendous traffic...
In the 30 years that I have been going to Newport I have never once stopped here. Oh man, what I was missing!!

Alexander had fallen asleep and was too tired to get out for ice cream. He got a little something "for later."

A nice weekend was had by all... and now back to the grind!

Happy Feet: A Jack Rogers Update...

Yesterday I wrote about having fallen in love with a stunning pair of fuchsia crock Jack Rogers and how devastated I was that they were not available in my size. It seemed that the shoes were custom made. I have my beloved white JRs that are on their last leg. They are unique, fit me like a glove, and are my absolute favorite sandal. I will be completely devastated when they do give out.

 Aren't they awesome?!

Yesterday afternoon I was reading my comments and noticed that someone from the Newport Island Outfitters store left me a message. How sweet, I thought. I then wondered how on earth he found me, so I sent him an email to thank him. I explained that these weren't just any JRs, that these were special and specially ordered. I then asked him how he stumbled across my blog. Jeff sent an email in reply. It turns out that his fiancee, Katie, is a reader (a huge fan, actually, and I am completely shocked and humbled and thrilled) and told him of my dilemma. A few more emails were exchanged and I told Jeff that I would be in Newport later this month and would stop by the store and check out their selection.

This morning the phone rang and the caller ID informed me that the Fairfield Island Outfitters was on the other end. I answered. The kind voice asked for Jessica and then asked if I was the one with the blog. I had to laugh. I told her that I was Jessica, and, yes, I was also the one with the blog. The kind voice told me that she was more than happy to place a special order for the fuchsia crock sandals, however I might have to wait 6 to 8 weeks. I let her know that I would think about it and would give her a reply shortly. I explained my dilemma to Rebecca who told me I had to get them. That all good things are worth waiting for. So there, my decision had been made for me.

I took Rebecca to her soccer game and called my friend Lori who had been at the IO store with me on Thursday and was witness to my Sad Sandal Story. She concurred that I must order them. Then she asked me a huge favor - Would I ask if they could locate another Owl ring in yellow? I bought the last one and she had fallen madly in love with it too. I told her I would be happy to do so.

I knew it was going to be a happy day when I saw the two teams were pink vs. green! Perfectly preppy soccer! 

And yes, that is my Becca in the pink and green!
Our team wore the green jerseys which beat the pink jerseys!
But you want me to get back to the shoes, don't you?

After the game was over and we won, I had to take Rebecca to meet her friend Grace. The girls headed over to a Birthday party. I came home to an empty house and was about to make a clean break off to Island Outfitters to order my shoes. But then the boys came home. Would my mission be foiled? The youngest and his father headed to the Lake and this left me with my 9 year old... Would he be willing, possibly, to go get some shoes with me?

He was more than happy to!

So off we went!

I decided that I should try on a pair to be sure of the size since they were being ordered specially for me. I saw the fuchsia ones in the size 9s in the box. I decided to try them on to see how big they really were. In slid my foot... and they were... perfect! The shoes fit perfectly! Like a glove! I felt like Cinderella and her glass slipper! The sandals were mine! Mine, mine, mine! The last pair and they were still in the store waiting for me. It was fate! Destiny! The special pink Navajo sandals and I were meant to be together. And I could not be happier!

So, thank you Katie and Jeff and everyone at Island Outfitters in Fairfield and Newport! XOXO

Aren't they just spectacular?!!!

My Happy Feet!