Furniture

A couple of posts ago we talked about green houses and how they could be extensions of your home. I am also a huge fan of the patio and the deck for home extending. It is amazing what a nice deck will do for a home, especially for a smaller home. I also love accessorizing decks with outdoor patio furniture. There are many, many options available, all customizable with different shapes, colors, and sizes. All of the deck furniture should, of course, be suitable for the outdoors – weather proof and so on. It should also be relatively easy to maintain – especially chairs.
With patio tables there are almost as many options for the outdoors as there are for the interior. There are dining tables, coffee tables, trendier bar height tables, bistro tables, and more, each category with many options in terms of customization for your patio or deck. My personal favorite is the Blue Rhino Mosaic Ceramic Tile Table – it has an air of its own. It may not be the best in terms of maintenance, but nothing beats it for style. For more practical, durable, and more maintenance free styles you may want to go with the Beachfront Round Side Table or the Beachfront Two Shelf Side Table.
To top off your patio furniture set (or sets), you are definitely going to want a nice selection of patio dining sets to complete the outdoorsy yet civilized look. I find that aluminum patio dining sets are the most durable and most attractive at the same time. I love the Latour Collection – particularly the Latour Dining Arm Chair, with its tree branches snaking across the back. There is more of a selection in the wrought iron sets – and I really like the Easton Set, if I had to choose out of the wrought iron category. Very minimalist, very attractive, very elegant. With so many options, it’s almost impossible to choose!

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Post holiday?

Well, Christmas has passed, as has New Year. I just have to bring up one item – Jennifer Lopez. What the hell?
In all seriousness, what on earth was she thinking? A sheer body suit? No offense, Jen, but you simply do not have the body to pull it off. No one does, actually, but especially not you. Sorry. You were not “showcasing your curves”. Maybe you were showcasing something else, but that was definitely not it.
It is actually really sad. The holidays. Some of the happiest moments of the year. And there are so many opportunities to make HUGE fashion errors! And I mean really really huge fashion errors. Of the Jennifer Lopez variety, or even worse. In addition to the over sequined issue that I have been ranting about over the past couple of blog posts, there is also the skin issue. Yeah, you have it. Leave a little to the imagination, for heaven’s sake. And let us remember that Christmas is in winter – mini skirts may not be the most appropos. Show a little cleavage, have a good time at your Christmas party, but do it tastefully. In the words of Butters, “Do you know what I am saying?” There is a massive difference between being sexy and skanky. It is all about the subtlety. I know that it is really really cliche, but you may want to go the little black dress route. And you know, there are variations on the little black dress. Nicole Miller definitely differs vastly from BCBG or the likes. A little black dress from Valentino is a completely different story from a little black dress from Badgeley Mischka Platinum Label. Or Robert Rodriguez Black Label, for that matter. Little black dresses do not have to be cliche. Or standard. Just give it a shot.

Greenhouses

There is nothing lovelier than a little bit of color and greenery in your home, and there is really nothing lovelier than an entire houseful of color and greenery. Hence the concept of the garden greenhouses. Lovely, transparent bowers of flowers, herbs, and shrubbery. A garden greenhouse is, for starters, a place in which you can garden all year round – no winter break in a greenhouse. But it is more than just that – it also serves as a place of sanctuary, a place where you can gather your thoughts.
There is, of course, more than one type of greenhouse. My personal favorite is the lean to greenhouse. The cost to set it up is minimal at most and its like having a little green extension of your home. There are many sizes and types of lean to greenhouses as well. You can go the really cheap route and get a small lean to greenhouse of about three feet in height, or you can get one that pretty much covers the entire back of your house. It is very similar to a deck in my mind – it is like an extension of your home. When we got a deck in our backyard, it made a world of difference. It was like having a nice outdoor living room with a playing area for the kids. Very relaxing for everyone.
Lastly, there are cold frame greenhouses. Cold frame greenhouses are an ideal choice for city gardeners who have to budget their space wisely. There is an adorable tent shaped little cold frame greenhouse that is my especial favorite. And of course there are your more standard box shaped ones.
I love all of the options available. To me, it is all about the customization, making your greenhouse your own, with your own unique tastes and characteristics.
Enjoy!

Favorite model

I have officially discovered my favorite model. Monika Jagaciak – or “Jac” as she is known in the modeling world. She has unusually delicate features – these gorgeous slanting green eyes, a pert little nose, gorgeous mouth, and these amazing long, lean features. She seems to be a new comer on the scene, which is not exactly surprising – Jac is actually only fifteen years old. She may be sixteen by now, actually. Not a huge difference, though. Everything about her smacks of adulthood. It could, of course, be the somewhat absurdly adult clothing that she wears…
I have also discovered that apparently Ernest Hemingway has a great granddaughter who is also a model, which for some reason seems to be slightly antithetical. Her name is Dree Hemingway, and surprisingly I have not found her on style.com. Also very delicate, and extremely blond. Some great features, but nothing that stands out particularly. A bit disappointing for the (presumed) great granddaughter of the famed Ernest Hemingway. It is a bit weird, to be honest.
Anyway back to Monika Jagaciak – a.k.a Jak…She is from Poland, from what I understand. What I really like about her – apart from her sheer gorgeousness and adorable personality – is the fact that she has this insane mouth of teeth. When she talks or smiles, you see these jagged, crooked, HUGE teeth with an insane gap in the middle. Actually more than one gap. It humanizes her, because otherwise she would just be another lanky model strutting her stuff on the runway. Perfection is highly unsettling. And her very blatant albeit small touch of imperfection is most refreshing. Go Jac!
To be honest I am not thrilled with the fact that she is fifteen (or is it sixteen) years old and uber skinny. But there is something just plain likeable about her.

Aluminum Wind Chimes

I know I already talked about wind chimes in general. I would just like to stop and talk about my favorite type of wind chimes – aluminum wind chimes. The soft, breezy, tinkling music they make is just that much sweeter. Although admittedly I am still a huge fan of the wind chimes made out of wood – more for their look than their sound. They are so exotic looking! There are also these really unusual wind chimes made out of pottery, but to be honest I am absolutely terrified to have them in my house. I am the proverbial born klutz. Ceramic or pottery wind chimes would certainly shatter in less than an instant should they have the misfortune to fall into my hands.
Anyway, back to aluminum chimes…I have always thought that there was something magical about aluminum wind chimes. They seem to emanate a sense of the exotic, of the traditions of far away lands. Think Ireland. Or, for some reason, Japan. I love waving my hand gently through them and listening to the soft chime of their music. It is absolutely gorgeous. And very, very relaxing. Similar to a zen garden. I am actually thinking of creating a zen garden with small red maples and rocks and adding a couple of wind chimes. It would be incredible to spend part of my day there.
The other thing with the aluminum wind chime is that you can place it literally anywhere and everywhere. I actually have three in my house alone. And a couple on the orange tree outside. They definitely add to the charm of my home. I have one set that I hold particularly dear. the base is wooden with a small crescent moon cut out, and, of course, the chime part is fashioned out of aluminum.

A classic by any other name…

How does a trend transform into a classic? For that matter, does a trend, in fact, transform into a classic? Aren’t they definitively opposites?
At one point, however, a classic must have been a trend. Maybe in 100 AD, but nevertheless, a trend it was…
I think that to my slanted view point, a trend is something that just does not look good. People thought that they would try it out, but the reason it does not become a classic is because despite it being in mode, people recognize its lack of durability.
It is the same difference between a classic actress (two excellent examples are Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly) and, say, Cameron Diaz. There is a world of difference. It is somewhat indefinable, but clearly recognized.
Think Ann Taylor versus Cache. (Did I actually just mention them in the same sentence?) The trend of glitters and sparkles that were mentioned in a couple of previous posts, for example, will not last. There is only so much glitter a girl can take.
Sorry about harping on the sparkles so much…they seem to be quite the sore point.
On another note, I’ve decided that I definitely like autumn and winter fashion than spring and summer fashion. There is just so much more that you could do with it. I love the layered look – it is absolutely adorable. And the warm, fuzzy hats. I think despite all of my efforts to the contrary, I am still a Gap winter girl…it is just pure American winter. If you press your nose closely enough to the white teethed, smiling, (mostly) blond models in their multicolored scarves, I swear you could actually smell the hot cocoa and fresh clean snow.
There’s also much more to work with for formal and work wear. I love winter….

Fire Magic Grills

We have already talked about general backyard grills. And we all know that I am a huge fan, to the point where my wedding is going to be a backyard barbecue. That’s right. A Marchesa dress and a barbecue. It is going to be awesome, my maid of honor is making me a bib. Exciting times.
Off of the topic of my wedding and back to grills…
Out of all of the grills out there, I consider the fire magic grill to be one of the more quality grills out there. I mean, those suckers are HUGE – they are the barbecue deities, seriously. They are – in a word (or two) – absolutely gorgeous. And they literally do everything – they raise the backyard grill to the level of an art form.
Out of all of the fire magic grills that I have been drooling over of late (influenced in large part by the snowy winter weather, I admit), my personal favorite is the E1060s Freestanding Echelon Fire Magic Grill with Rotisserie. It has a rotisserie. Need I say any more than that? I’m in love. (As you can probably tell, there is a good reason we’re doing a wedding barbecue as opposed to, say, a wedding wine and cheese party.)
Now I will be the first to admit that the fire magic bbq grill series is not one of the cheaper barbecue grills that you could purchase. The Freestanding Echelon Magic Fire Grill costs upward of ten grand. (Gift alert people – you can all chip in, this one is the prize. I would happily settle for a different, cheaper model if it’s too expensive…) It is a pricey little baby. All of them are, to be honest. But seriously, folks, it is absolutely worth it. Every last penny. Quality like that does not come cheaply – and you will not regret it. (Rotisserie…yum…)