Stylish Notes on Fashion :: Leopard Print is the cat's meow!

via Atlantic-Pacific

Our temperatures are dipping again. Gone is the heat and the oppressive humidity that seemingly had us in a stronghold and now we're embracing the cooler, more seasonal temperatures. We need to adjust our wardrobes accordingly. I love this time of year. I love everything about it. And most of all I adore the fashions of fall.

Once thought a fleeting trend if not slightly - well, tacky - trend,  this animal has shown us all that it's not only the king of the jungle, but ruler of the runway, the shelter magazine, the glossies, the streets and our homes. I've been bitten. I'm in love. And this love is here to stay. In fact, I'd be remiss to say that this print is purfect for me!

Seen on celebrities of haute couture - chic and stylish - from Jenna Lyons to Olivia Palermo, this animal print can be worn all year long, in any season. Leopard print can be whatever you want it to be and can complement and accentuate your own style whether casual, playful, sophisticated and elegant. Perhaps that's why I love it so. I believe my own style embodies a little of all of the above... I have a casual side - but it's more a casual sophistication... and playful and whimsical most of the time.

Pair leopard with anything you wish from a pair of denim or white jeans to black leggings or dress pants. A leopard print black coat looks gorgeous over a little black dress. If a coat (I'm coveting one at the moment!) is a bit too much, you can scale down the pattern with an accessory such as a pair of shoes, a scarf or a bag. Do with this pattern whatever you desire. Go ahead... Have fun! Go wild!


via Mark D Sikes

via Pinterest, original source unknown

via Ralph Lauren

via Social Bliss

via Pinterest

via The Simply Luxurious Life

via I am chic

via They All Hate Us

via Mullbury

via Pinterest, original source, unknown

XOXO,

Jessica

White jeans :: The most perfect pant!




Classic. Iconic. Casual. Elegant. Comfortable...

If you're a regular reader of the The Entertaining House you most likely know about my love affair with the white jean! They are my idea of the perfect pant. A couple of years ago I decided to defy tradition and not pack them up with all my summer clothes at the end of September. I think, this may have indeed been one of my best decisions ever. One pair has grown to several. I still have my favorite, ones though. Well worn, perfect fitting. But back-ups are a must. My little white jeans pair perfectly with little sandals, ballet flats, heels and boots. They transition from T-shirt to blouse perfectly. And for this reason they are also the perfect traveling companion. My white jeans will absolutely be accompanying me to London!

The little white jean also transitions perfectly from cool summer morning to warm afternoon, back to breezy evening. A simple tee with a light cardigan will keep you warm in the earlier morning hours. In the afternoon, shed the sweater for a clean, classic, casual look and should you need to run right out to dinner, slip off the flip flops, sling on the sling backs and a little black jacket or navy blazer and voila! For the same reason, these transition beautifully into fall and further on into winter. White looks so crisp and clean when paired with black, charcoal, navy and chocolate. A pair of ballet slippers or riding boots will complete your look.

And for those of you who feel a bit self conscious in a lighter color on your bottom half, I assure you that everyone can wear these. It's just a matter of getting a perfectly fitting pair and what's worn on top. Sometimes a longer shirt, sweater, or jacket is a safer option for many of us.

These perfect little pants should really be a staple in everyone's wardrobe!













Here I am below... I've totally got it as a fashion blogger... don't I?!
Just to show you that I can and like to poke fun of myself too...
I couldn't quite capture my entire image in the mirror... My 8 year old was sitting on the bed asking what I was doing... how to explain??!!

Yes, I am the biggest dork... ever!


The shoes. See the shoes? To die for, right?

Well, I was at Goodwill in Westport, Connecticut looking for some wicker baskets to spray paint and I saw them and took a look. I'm pretty sure they'd never been worn. Maybe once. Twice at most. The label. Not that it matters. Miu Miu. $65 baby. SCORE! My favorite summer shoes! (I am fashion blogger extraordinaire, am I not? Ok not!!)

Happy Wednesday!

XOXO,

Jessica

Slow down, you move too fast...


we have to make these fall mornings last!
Fall quote
via Tumblr

We had a non-stop-crazy day yesterday and I have a non-stop-crazy week ahead of me. We're battling colds and so I think a slow and lazy day is much needed around here. I have to pack for my trip to Boston and Newport. I am so honored to be a part of the #InstyleTour, a design and blogging conference, brainchild of Todd Venditouli and Andie Day that takes place in Boston on Monday and then on Tuesday I am meeting  up with the fabulous Cynthia Bogart, founder of The Daily Basics. A couple of projects to complete and a couple of meetings. All good, but very busy!

So today as I start and wrap up projects, pack and tackle laundry and my children's schedules, I'm hanging out in my flannel pajamas with the most wonderful fall smell in the air. I'm so relaxed right now I'm worried that I may lose any intent to be productive today! 


via The Entertaining House

via The Entertaining House


A couple of weekends ago the children and I went apple picking. I truly think we came home with 40 pounds of apples! We cooked and baked a lot and we placed more around the house on platters and in large bowls to add some fall to our decor. The apples, now two weeks old are a little soft to eat on their own so we're thinking of other ways (other than baking) to use them up. One of my favorite things to do is to simple take some apples, cut them in half or quarters, and add them to a large pan with some cinnamon or cloves... nutmeg. Really you can add anything. Sometimes I add a drop of vanilla and this morning I added a drop of orange essence. Lemon rinds, orange rinds... the possibilities are endless and what you get is the most wonderful aroma in your home. To do this bring the water to a boil and leave it at a rolling boil for a few minutes, then turn the flame down to medium/medium low and let the fruit and spices simmer on the stove top. You can keep this on the stove-top all day if you'd like, simply remember to check the pot from time to time to check water levels. When needed simply add water, the spices are already there and now in concentrated form.

If only I had a screen for my fireplace... Today would be a perfect day... I am on the hunt for one, however!


Wishing you a wonderful and relaxing end to your weekend!

XOXO

Jessica

White jeans after Labor Day...


Two years ago, when I was packing up my summer clothes I decided not to pack up my white jeans. When it comes to things like fashion and decor I sort of like to walk to the beat of my own drum. I believe one should wear what they like and what is flattering as opposed to what is "in style." I have learned after many years and many misses (especially in my teens and in the 1980s, which were really one and the same) that I am best wearing what is comfortable and looks best on me. Even if it's not "trending" at the moment. I wouldn't exactly call myself a rebel, free-spirit is more like it. My style, if I could sum it quickly would be Levis meets Chanel with a dash of humor and whimsy. I love to dress comfortably but I need to dress it up a bit. It makes me feel better. When I feel that I look well I have more confidence. I am happier and more comfortable in my own skin.

I'd say I live in jeans and crisp white T-shirts or casual blouses. They are perfect for me. I work from home and I like to be comfortable, yet to run out of the house I simply need to slip on a chic little blazer or cardigan and slide into a pair of heels or cute flats. (Mustn't forget a fun chunky necklace to dress if up if I'm meeting a client or headed out to lunch or dinner!) It's amazing how well put together you can look in minutes in a pair of jeans.

Because I really do love and live in my jeans, I am remiss to pack up my white ones. I have several pairs and they differ only slightly. But just because the temperatures will soon be taking a doesn't mean I won't be wearing my white jeans. I, after all, quite simply refuse to pack them up! I'll pair them with warmer autumnal hues, greys, browns, blacks, aubergines. I'll wear them with cashmere sweaters, suede jackets and boucle blazers. I'll wear them with ballet flats, kitten heeled shoes or tall boots. I remember when I first did this a couple of years ago. I felt almost, well, daring... but now it seems only fitting. While I do adore the look of all black, sometimes a pop of white just makes the outfit seem fresher, finished, polished.

White, after Labor Day, as you will see below, is stylish, sophisticated and really quite chic.


white jeans
Original source unknown



Whte jeans are all that and then some
Tumblr



for fall
La Redoute


fall
Tumblr


white and black.... spring summer winter and fall!
Vista-se de Variadades


white jeans + boots!
Tumblr


Winter
Tumblr


love
Tumblr


So what do you think? Might you wear your white jeans now that Labor Day has passed?

XOXO

Jessica

Short days ahead

I've been seeing something of a new trend emerging. Normally, I am not one for trends. Trends are not true fashion. They do not stand the test of time and they come and go with a quick batting of thick, beautiful eyelashes. Yet trends have their places in our fashion histories. Sometimes we look back fondly and sometimes we laugh at them. The 1980s was a decade filled with them, mostly laughable! I remember my stirrup pants, paisley prints, massive shoulder pads, big hair, rip and torn clothes, black rubber Madonna bracelets. Yet, as horrific as these may seem to us now, they held a very special place in our growing hearts. Many of us came into our own in the 80s and this was the decade where we could first start to figure out who we were and express ourselves. We would later grow and the trendy items would get tossed aside and replaced by those items better suited to our needs, bodies and personalities. My wonderfully colorful Benetton sweaters, my frivolously pouffy Laura Ashley dresses with super-sized Peter Pan collars, loafers with the pennies, tighter than hell Calvin Klein and Sassoon jeans... All those wonderful items have a special place in my personal history. Since those years, two decades ago, I have grown, matured and found my true style. I am not a trend-setter and I do not bow to fashion. What you see when I am out is a perfect reflection of what I am. I like the classics, good, genuine, long-lasting pieces that have staying power. I am not a slave to a label - price or size.  I try on what fits and if the 6 happens to fit better than the 4 I tend wear, that's the size I purchase. I think it is lovely to have a few high ticket pieces in my wardrobe, but lately I have no budget. I still look for classic pieces with staying power. I look for something that can be worn many different ways. I look for pieces that go with what I have in my wardrobe. I look for classic, timeless and elegant, because that's what makes me feel best. But timeless and trendy can play well together. As can elegant and casual, expensive and inexpensive. When I am asked what my style is, I never hesitate to say Classic with a twist... Class with Sass! One must have fun with their style and never take it, or life too seriously.

Trends, when seasonal, are fabulous. So when I noticed that shorts are being worn well into the fall, and perhaps into the winter, I though, indeed, isn't this clever! I am always looking for a way to extend the life of some of my clothes. I love my shorts and if I can pair them with sexy cashmere cardigans, sheer linen blouses with scarves, blazers, tights and even boots, well this is a trend I will embrace!

As I started curating pictures for this article, I noticed how varied and versatile this look can be. One doesn't have to be 20 years old with a pair of mile-long, killer legs to make this work. Even I can pull this off. Even little ol' me! Heels always add length to your legs. Dark tights always make them look leaner. Boots can add fun or sophistication. Whether you opt to wear a more grunge-like buffalo plaid, or a pretty silk blouse, the shorts look can successfully be carried off well into the fall.

Photography credit: All pictures below have been curated from my Pineterest board, and original sources are all noted there.

















Do you like any of these looks? Which is the one that best describes you?
I simply adore the sheer navy polka dotted blouse with the jean shorts. Simply Adore it!

XOXO

Fabulous Fall: Transitioning Your Home for the Cooler Months

Today Coryanne of Housewife Bliss rounds up our Fabulous Fall series. Here she gives us some fabulous pointers and visuals as to how we can best prepare our homes (and ourselves) for the cooler months to come. I hope you all have enjoyed this series. I certainly have!

*****

Autumn seems to be here and gone before the New Year is being planned, leaving little time for planning and only a smidgen of time for doing…because lets face it, once the children go off to school, you decide on Halloween costumes, you find yourself scrambling to order your Turkey, and wishing that you had spent 10 minutes fitting those draught exclusions to your front door.

If you do nothing in the next 3 months to get ready for winter, do these 10 tricks to looking like you have been hustling around the house in time for the final leave to drop.


10. Retire your summer wardrobe. Mend, clean, polish and store your summer threads and heels so that they may grace your summer months again. There is nothing worse than opening your new seasonal wardrobe to find it in need of TLC, so be merciless with your T’s, tender with your soles and kind to your well-worn threads.




09. De-clutter your make up and toiletries. Everything has a shelf life, and chances are those half used creams, scrubs, tonics and powders that got you through summer will not make it to next year, and will do nothing for you in the windier and cooler days ahead….besides once you have room, you will have the perfect excuse to rush out and buy Autumn’s new best sellers.



Image courtesy Fashion Bomb Daily


8. Stock the pantry. Nothing says ‘fall kitchen’ like a ladder full of pulses, tinned tomatoes, pastas and grains. Make sure you have everything you need for a season of stews, roasts, soups and other hearty meal options. Here is a good guide to get you on your way,
http://www.housewifebliss.com/2010/01/25/how-to-make-your-pantry-do-all-the-hard-work/


Image courtesy Designer Closets


7. Check your draughts in your window and door-frames. There is nothing worse than finding that you have a draught only once they weather has turned and the shops have all sold out or doubled the price.


 Image courtesy Richard Gordon


Image courtesy Turkey Feathers


6. Swap your table service. I tend to use dainty dishes and cutlery in the summer, and heavier materials in the autumn. There is something about serving a stew or roast dinner in a heaver dish that makes it more enjoyable.


Image courtesy Country Living





5. Surround yourself in textured fabrics. Corduroy, herringbone, wool, denim, velvet, even (faux) fur are delightful fabrics for fall. Nothing says ‘stay a while’ more than a sofa dressed with full tactile pillows and throws.


Image courtesy Elements of Style


Image Courtesy Decorpad


4. Detail your car. Those long summer road trips complete with sand, greasy drive through lunches and sticky youthful fingerprints have reeked havoc on your car. Give you car a through clean, polish and it will love you all season long.




3. Give you Garden an Autumn makeover. An autumn garden can give you more than gold and red. Plant some Bachelor’s Buttons in Cornflower for a dash of blue or even Viola’s for more cool tones. While you are out there enjoying your fall garden, ensure you have a colorful February and early spring by planting your snowdrops, crocuses, daffodils and tulips now.



2. Grow a winter herb garden. Heartier herbs like rosemary, savory thyme, chives, and garden sage can withstand the cooler winds of fall and will give you an abundance of seasoning for your autumn cooking. To learn more about a winter herb garden, click here. http://www.housewifebliss.com/2010/08/23/housewife-101-how-to-plant-a-herb-garden/





1. Give ‘em a good beating. Your soft furnishings have worked hard for you all summer, and will work even harder in the coming months, so roll up your sleeves, grab a broom and start dusting your rugs, here is a good guide to getting it all done yourself , click here
http://www.housewifebliss.com/2010/03/19/spring-cleaning-guide-for-march/


Or maybe just take them to the professionals and enjoy a lovely heavy bottle of red with your girl friends!

Fabulous Fall: Transitioning Your Wardrobe

Today the lovely Lilly Lemontree gives us sage advice as to how to best transition our wardrobes seamlessly from summer to fall. Since Fall weather is so unpredictable, we often need to create new rules and although we may be ready to pack up and put away our summer clothes, temperatures often won't allow us to do so. My Los Angeles friends are experiencing temperatures in the 100s. Cashmere cardigans are not even in their thoughts. Meanwhile, here in New England we may wake up to temperatures in the 50s and see them climb well into the 70s or 80s by lunchtime. Below, Lilly Lemontree gives us currant, stylish advice as to how to stylishly dress the part.

 ******


I have always loved the fall and the month of September in particular (Now, now, summer, don’t go getting all offended. You are still quite dear to me and if you happen to talk to me around February, you will find me waiting for your return with bated breath but after what seems like months and months of hot temperatures and sticky humidity, the first few weeks of September seem like a breath of fresh air). As of late though, I have been known to refer to it as a month of confusion. You may be asking “what’s to be confused about, Lily?? The little tykes are all safely back in school (was that a sigh of relief we all just heard?? I swear it wasn’t me!) and the adults have gotten back to business and a little more order.”

Well dear friends, the confusion unfortunately lies in the flip-floppy weather that I have been told we have global warming to thank for and in turn, the daily game of ‘what should I wear’ turns into an Olympic competition of sorts. I am convinced of this every time I go to pick up my children afterschool, run to the market or meet up with friends for a cup of coffee. For example, yesterday while standing outside waiting for my children to be let out, I stood behind two moms who were chatting. One was dressed in a tank top, short capris and sandals while the other had chosen a thick, hooded sweater, wool pants and knee high boots. As I stood behind them, I thought about what an odd looking couple these two ladies made but as I started to look around the schoolyard, I noticed quite a few individuals who if mapped out based on their attire, represented all the climate zones in North and South America. 

Difficult as it may seem at this time of the year to predict the weather, it is really quite simple to transition your wardrobe from one season to another with a few easy steps, five to be exact! (I’ll insert my most appreciative ‘thank you’ to our wonderful hostess here at The Entertaining House who has allowed me an open platform to offer my ‘sage advice’, which keeps me from counselling total strangers on the street and running the risk of being hauled away in a police car. Thank you EntertainingMom for keeping me out of the clink!)

1) Switch out your shoes:

Back to the depths of the closet go all your sandals, flip flops and anything that exposes your little toes. Ditto for anything white. (Since you are giving all your summery favorites their walking papers for the season, give them a wipe with a soft cloth, checking for any stains that might settle while they hibernate and take anything that needs a little more TLC to your local shoe repair or cobbler to be properly cleaned and repaired)
Shoes you can keep out? All the lovely ballet flats and closed-toed kitten heels that have been all the rage this summer.

 Bring forth the loafers in caramel shades, ankle boots in cafe hues and oxfords with stacked heels.


Talbots



Bennetton



2) Divide and conquer by material.

Much like all your white clothing and footwear, there are a few fabrics that denote summer and summer only. Send packing anything made of linen, seersucker, madras and gauzy, tissue-weight cotton. Most other materials can be kept around for awhile and by the end of the month, you might even pull out the corduroy and mid-weight wools.


3) Most of us think we have to tuck away anything strappy or sleeveless come Labor Day but with the help of an array of covers you can get a little more time with any of your favorites! Keep all your tanks, shells and cap sleeve tops in rotation by throwing on a hot fall trend like a boyfriend blazer or turn to a classic like a pashmina scarf, lightweight cardigan or denim jacket to finish your outfit. Some chilly mornings can turn on a dime and blossom into a warm and sunny afternoon, in which case you lose the topper completely or show your ‘true prep’ and tie your cardi around your shoulders! This works vice-versa as well, since we all know that the sunny blue sky that guided us to work in the morning can turn an ugly and downright frosty grey as we head home. Throw on that topper and keep your goose bumps at bay!



Ruffled Cardigan from Talbots



Gwyneth in her boyfriend blazer and cropped pants

4) Let pant hems ‘fall’ south, south of the mid calf that is! While mid-calf and ankle length cropped pants are perfectly acceptable and downright trendy at this time of the year, it is time to banish any pant that lands above that. Not sure what region to stay away from? Stretch out your hand, place your thumb at the bottom of the knee cap and lay your outstretched hand across your calf. That cute little pinky of yours marks your border, anything below that last digit is free game!



Mid-calf cropped denim at Talbots



Rachel Zoe sporting her crops


5) Accessories are your last line of defence (so to speak) when it comes to transitioning into fall! Gone are the beachy totes and straw bags and in come pocketbooks, purses and satchels in animal print (faux for those of us that care to be kind to the little lizards and crocs) and heavier skins (leather and suede). Also on trend once again are the abundant scarves and wraps that can be layered on or whipped off in a wink!



Lizard satchel at Brooks Brothers



Julia Roberts and her chic scarf

Since I have shared my ‘secrets’, it’s time to share yours!
How do you transition your wardrobe from stylish summer to fashionable fall??

Fabulous Fall! A Three-Part Series

I recently asked Pink, Preppy Lilly Lover, Lily Lemontree and Housewife Bliss to participate in a three-part series dedicated to fall. I asked each contributor to give me their own personal take on my favorite season. What resulted were three fabulous and unique posts. My series kicks off with Trish's fabulous photo montage. Tomorrow I will feature Lilly Lemontree, and Housewife Bliss will roundup and complete the series on Wednesday. I hope you enjoy them all!

(And please do not forget to include your blog in my blogroll request below which disappeared when The Entertaining House experienced all those technical difficulties last week.

"Forever in Love with Fall"



Hello dear readers of The Entertaining House,

I'm Trish from Pink Preppy Lilly Lover, honored to be guest posting here on Jess' beautiful blog, and in the company of several extremely talented women.  As we kick off the first week of fall, Jess asked me to share some of my favorite images that convey a sense of all things crisp, lovely and magical about the autumn season.

My favorite things about fall include...
Cozy nights at home by the fireplace,





Smells of pumpkin cupcakes and pies,
The rich colors of chocolate and caramel in sweaters and suits, 
and the cozy, chic, cool shades of grey,









Spiced apple cider and the sweet smell of cinnamon,
A Sunday afternoon drive on a grey day,



A splash of leopard print or a colorful pair of tights,
the perfect way to jazz up any fall ensemble!






A trip to the pumpkin patch under canopies of fall foliage, and a pumpkin spice latte,
 the makings for a perfect Saturday with the family...



 



A little time to play in the leaves, and take in all the beauty around,





Plenty of entertaining, rooms echoing with laughter shared by friends and family...





A brisk afternoon walk with a loved one or two,
a bouquet of freshly fallen leaves,






and coming home to the heavenly smells of hot cocoa, and chocolate treats!







Wishing you each an enchanting autumn season, full of all of your favorite thinngs!
Thank you so much for having me, Jess, and for all the inspiration you share with us...

Happy Fall!
xoxox

"Autumn, the year's last, loveliest smile."
-William C. Bryant

(Images via, via, via, via)

Decorating for the change of Seasons, Organically

When the seasons changed my great grandmother promptly got her house ready. She had summer drapes and winter drapes. Summer bedding and winter bedding. Each room underwent a seasonal makeover of sorts. While I would love to swap my linen for velvet, pastels for burgundies and swap out my bone china for heartier, earthier tones I cannot do this. I have neither the funds nor the desire or inclination to do all this work! Your home can transition seamlessly from summer to fall by using a few simple items collected from the garden, backyard or orchard!

I'm a huge fan of bringing the outdoors in. I am a huge fan of decorating with nature and using items that can be recycled. I adore decorating with fruit. I love the bright and vibrant colors and I especially love the fact that, unlike freshly cut flowers, fruit can be eaten and enjoyed. When it starts to wilt it can get recycled into pancakes or muffins or breads or even as an oven-top potpourri. Fruit is inexpensive to decorate with and can be as aromatic as freshly cut flowers.

It is apple and pear picking season here in New England. Most of us pick much more than we can consume. Of course we can bake them, but why hide their beauty. The fall fruits have such wonderful colors -- warm reds, yellows and greens. These fruits should be displayed... and then enjoyed!


Some ideas ...
Nothing could be more simple than placing some apples in a bowl or arranging them on a large platter... or floating them in water. Don't limit them to your kitchen. Display your season fruit bouquets proudly in dining rooms as center pieces, living rooms, family rooms and bedrooms. Really, fresh fruit can be placed anywhere you would place a vase of fresh flowers.









Nothing says cozy and warmth and romance and autumn like these apples that have been turned into luminaries. Again, place these in any room of the house. The same can be done with certain gourds and mini pumpkins. Place a couple in a bathroom when company is expected, or line your walkway with them to light up the path at night. Is your mantel to bare? Too boring? Place these apple luminaries on your mantel for a simple, elegant and festive look. Perhaps red does not go with your decor. Don't be afraid to use red, yellow or orangy apples.





I have always adored these golden pears by Martha Stewart. Lightly brushed with gold powder, these ordinary pears receive a festive sheen perfect for any elegant holiday dinner party.




Look no further than your backyard for inspiration. A vase filled with acorns is so simple and yet so exquisite.


\
Add some acorns and nuts to a hurricane vase with a white pillar candle and you have something simple, stunning, autumnal, affordable and eco-friendly!




A simple boxwood wreath, a few nuts and a candle. Simple, elegant, festive and pure genius!




I simply adore pine cones. Though usually associated with Christmas and the colder months, simple brown pine cones, of all shapes and sizes look smashing in these apothecary jars... or arrange them casually in a nice off-white serving bowl.



String a few together and you have a festive garland that can last you throughout the holiday season. Simply change the color of the ribbon... start with an orange ribbon for fall and Thanksgiving and swap it out for a red or green one for Christmas.





We love to paint our pine cones. Mix the pine cones on a large platter with acorns and apples, real or plastic for a smashing centerpiece. Some of the pine cones are silver, others are gold, and others are white. The acorns were give a once-over in gold paint as were the plastic apples. I tossed in a few extra ornaments that were lying around with nothing else to do for the final touch. No need to toss the items when the season is over. They will all store nicely in a box or plastic bag.


Image, courtesy Martha Stewart


Perhaps you live in the South where pine cones and acorns are hard to come by. No worries, for this clever idea you have to look no further than your pantry for bags of dried beans and lentils to dress your pillar candles and pumpkins. For this you will need some wide double-stick adhesive tape and an assortment of mixed beans. Carefully roll the candles and pumpkins into the beans. You will need to fill in the holes by hand.
The same can be done with coffee beans, as seen below.








Coffee and candles make a lovely pairing as well!

If you like these ideas, be sure to visit my post on Cranberries. One of my absolute favorite and versatile seasonal fruits ever!

Getting your home ready for the holidays need not cost much and can be done in such a manner than we can all reap the beauty from our backyards!

Dishing it Out: Transitioning Your Table from Summer to Fall


I was perusing the web looking for inspiration for a blog post. I hopped over to one of my favorite websites, ElleDecor to see if there was something that might inspire me. I have been talking, and thinking, a lot about fall. We have had a few lovely cool and rainy days that allowed me to temporarily pull out the denim and cashmere. How nice it felt to slip into a pair of soft and faded jeans that hugged my body and curves in just the right places. How nice that soft sweater felt! Shortly we will be transitioning our wardrobes to reflect the colors and temperatures of fall. I will do the same with my home. (Lilly Lemontree and Housewife Bliss will be my guests here shortly with there expertise and exceptionally wise ideas.)

Today our New England temperatures will rise a bit. We'll not be sweltering like our sisters in the South or in Texas, but we'll don our shifts and sundresses again. As my wardrobe needs to transition seamlessly from summer to fall, so should my home. Bright citruses and pastels seem oddly out of place as we approach September.

My initial thought was the color orange. As many of you know, and I have written about my love affair with orange in the past, I am passionate about this color. Orange, and it's many hues, seems to be the perfect color to transition us from the hot summer sun to the cool, crisp autumn breezes.

This was the color scheme I had in mind.


Really, is this not the perfect fall palette?

And so I started scouring the internet for ideas as to how to perfectly transition my dining room and dining room table...


I saw this plate and thought, how perfectly autumn! (From 101 Plates, Sunset Blvd.) This plate has that above-mentioned color scheme that I so love and I think is so perfect for this time of year.

So I perused the web some more, stopping here and there at the Hermes website to oggle and drool a bit. Oh what fun I had! How sad to have the tastes of a billionaire and yet no income!




This setting could transition seamlessly from Spring to Summer to Fall... 



I'd love to have you all over for dinner. I will bring out my finest china for you!


We will begin with a light, warm soup from this elegant terrine along with a perfect crisp and crunchy baguette. Immediately after...



We will go ahead and enjoy a nice salad. I'll have picked some fresh arugula from the farm down the road coated lightly with a dressing made with oil and lemon and some freshly shaved Parmesan to grace the peaks.

And then dinner. We'll have perfectly roasted cage-free, grass-fed hens served with fingerling potatoes lightly sauteed in fresh herbs, garlic and sprinkled with just the right amount of sea salt. I'll serve my famous roasted Brussels sprouts. Please do not turn up your nose until you have had them! I cook them to perfection. Lightly coated in olive oil, salt and pepper, I roast them until they turn brown, slightly crunchy and deliciously sweet. You'll ask for a second helping!

After dinner, you will have to make room.



I'll bring out these smashing teacups. Since I am dreaming I won't have minded paying close to $350 a pair! I will fill them with a nice strong espresso for your pleasure.




And then I will complete our gastronomic adventure with the most wonderful apple pie around! It won't be homemade, though mine is quite excellent, I am told. It will hail from another farm about a mile down the road. And while I am there picking up their scrumptious apple pie I will decide, on a whim, to pick up the most amazing boutique vanilla ice cream showcased in their freezer. There is no other quite like it! 

After dinner has been served I will carefully slide the apple pie from it's tin container onto the beautiful plate above... On second thought, no I wouldn't. I couldn't bear to cover up that beauty and dirty it with crumbs and ooey-gooey apple pie stickiness. No, that is quite something I could never do. Instead I would hang it on my wall so that all could enjoy the view!


I would be lying if I didn't tell you I got a little distracted along the way. With my little eyes I spied the perfect fall accessory for my family room... It would look lovely hanging over the rich chocolate leather couches... It would look even lovelier hanging over my shoulders!



In the corner, over by the fire place, I'll hear my cell phone ring. I left it in my bag. I reach into my absolute most favorite bag and retrieve the phone and listen to the message. My good friend wants me to join her and some other girlfriends for a glass of wine. Can I go? I jump up, fold my blanket back up and head upstairs to freshen up, brush my hair and put on my jewelry.



The watch is the perfect fall accessory. Looks wonderful with my camel-colored cashmere cardigan, faded denim jeans, and the orange bag, of course!



Before I leave, I quickly toss my Hermes Leica camera into my purse. You never know when a picture needs to be taken!



I'm just about done with my post and my wonderful reverie when my eye catches sight of this wonderful and perfectly fall place setting... I could let my imagination go on and on and on but decide not to.

And what sparked this delightful reverie in the first place?

This place setting...


Right from the ElleDecor website.
This easy and elegant table setting comes from no other than JCPenny!
For just $45 The 16-piece place setting won't break your bank account either.

With many thanks to Hermes in letting me indulge in a little daydream!
And Alice, you were in my thoughts the entire time I wrote this! XOXO

October things...


October is a great month. It signifies the official arrival of fall as the temperatures start to cool and the leaves turn from their summer emerald to their fiery orange and red hues... There is nothing so magnificent as driving through New England and looking up and seeing these magnificent colors all ablaze.With October comes apple picking and pumpkin picking... cider sipping... corn mazes and hay rides. Little children grow eager about a certain day affiliated with witches and goblins and candy! With October comes It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown! We'll be watching this this weekend as we nosh on candy corn and sip apple cider from the one of the local farms next door!

I love Orange. Specifically, I like the Pumpkin color. It's such a great color and looks great with so many things. Orange and white... orange and winter white... orange and white and blue... orange and black and white... orange and pink! I could go on and on and on! I have three orange items I wear all the time in the fall. And since I was tagged my my good friend over at The Preppy Apron to list 3 things about October, I will list the 3 orange items I adore!

1. I love my pumpkin colored Burberry quilted jacket. I haven't seen any like it! It makes me happy and I can wear it with a pair of jeans as well as with black dress pants.

2. I also love my orange down vest from the Gap. I can layer it with all the sweaters and colors I want. And it just makes me so very happy!

3. And I love my suede Mango colored JCrew loafers, but are orange just the same!

(Of course I would love, love, love an orange pair of Revas, but alas, those are not in my budget at the moment!)

Pumpkin and apples and pears and cranberries are wonderful fall flavors... their aromas delight the senses as they are used in fall cooking and baking. I love all things pumpkin... I love all things cider... and cranberries. These beautiful and savory treats are not just to be found as ingredients in your latest baked delight, but wonderful and inexpensive ways to dress your home with the rich and wonderful colors of this season.

Pears come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Place assorted pears in a bowl and you have an instant table centerpiece, or front foyer display. Add a few acorns and cranberries for color and texture. Cranberries are another wonderful fall fruit. Their lovely hues complement apples, pears and pumpkins. I'll have a few posts later on on how to decorate with these lush fall fruits and how to throw a perfect fall party!

Not in the mood to bake, but want your home to smell like fall? Or perhaps you have have a few apples (from picking way too many a couple of weekends ago) that are getting a bit soft? Quarter an apple or two, place it in a pot of boiling water, add a couple of cinnamon sticks or cloves, and let simmer... soon your entire house will smell like an apple pie bakery! Just be sure to keep checking your water levels so the apples don't stick and burn! Then your home will smell so lovely you'll just have to invite a few friends over!

As much as I love the long days of summer, I admittedly look forward to the shorter, cooler and cozier days of October. I look forward to all the wonderful things to come in the next couple of months... October may very well be one of my favorite months of the year!

What are your favorite things about this time of the year?