Garden Party!

If you are in New England this nor’easter we are having may be hiding the fact that spring is on the way.. but with daylight savings this weekend I am already starting to plan a spring/summer calendar of events!  Check out some of my tabletop inspiration and some of the books I constantly reference for my parties. Cheers!




Salad PlatesParty Bowl



Cabbage PlateBamboo Silverware


Asparagus MajolicaCabbage Bowl




PlacematCocktail Napkins


Multi Cocktail NapkinsGreen Cocktail Napkins



TableclothLinen Napkins

My ‘go-to’ party books


The queen, sorry Martha! Every recipe you follow, it comes out perfectly!

This book is not spring specific but has menus and ideas for all kinds of parties from Sunday brunch to snow day.  She gives tips from what worked, and didn’t work, at her own parties.  My favorite pizza making party is in this book as well.

Buy it!

Ok, truth, I own every single one of her books.  This one I love the kids section and have used these recipes a lot! She has the cutest story of when she threw a mocktail party for a group of young kids. Her mac and cheese recipe is in this book as well and always a huge hit!

Buy it!

This book is packed with great entertaining info! Darcy has worked for Martha Stewart for more than twenty years, soo yeah she knows what she’s doing.  Martha even wrote the foreword.  

Buy it!

I have to admit, I have had this book for a long time and didn’t even open it until recently.  I am glad I did because it has some great and different ideas!  Gives some good tips and how to enjoy the party and not stress.  

Buy it!

This book has some great recipes if you are hosting a group at a summer home or for weekend guests.  Grilled doughnuts with Nutella and Nectarine with cream cheese sandwiches.. yes please!

Buy it!

Camille Styles sets the scene for every season in this book.  Everything from recipes to activities to décor.

Buy it!

I am obsessed with tiny food! It is also a great option when you have adults and children at the same party.  Easy for everyone and sooo cute!

Buy it!

Also, just purchased this 

William Sonoma knows what they are doing, I have used this book many times.  Sometimes, at Thanksgiving, I’ve been known to take the recipe pamphlet from the checkout at WS and just make the whole menu.  I may have done this same pamphlet meal the past four years.  Shhhhh.  Point is, their recipes are tested and are good. This book gives planning, drink and menu tips.

Buy it!

Also a good one.  Party ideas,  a bit more formal but very beautiful.

Buy it!


cover image via pinterest

Logan’s (almost) big boy room


Boys’ bedroom by the talented mother daughter team McGrath II

You can never go wrong with red, white, and blue! (and a pop of yellow too!)

Our son Logan has just turned 2 1/2 and has no interest in getting rid of his crib, or his changing table for that matter. Boys! So we are upgrading his nursery, leaving these last two items to remain for now. 

Check it out! 


I added a navy blue tape to the Deconstructed Stripe Roman for this kind of look by Lindsay Speace


Area RugPhotographyHunt SlonemSchumacher Deconstructed Stripe


CribRocker and OttomanGarden Stool


Eames ChairClarence House FabricSchumacher Ikat fabric 


HamperFlushmount Lamp Lampshade

Photos of completed room coming soon!!





Shopping Trip: NYC

Now that I have moved to Boston my trips to NYC are quick and jam packed.  I put aside some time between client meetings to check out some of my favorite shops to see what’s new and well, shop!  I thought I would share some of my go tos. These shops follow a somewhat straight line from downtown to uptown.  I did not include shops that have you zig zagging across the city.   

All the shops are linked!





(via flair)

This store is great for accessory shopping, they have curated selection of glass vases, shagreen boxes and various objects.  Definitely one of my favorite places. 


(via flair)

John Derian

This quirky whimsical shop is a must see.  I was last in around Christmas and it was just filled with decorations and one of a kind gifts.  


Roman and Williams Guild

So this is a new one that just recently opened and my first time in was this week.  They have a delish restaurant and bakery, a flower shop and a home shop in the back.  It is worth the trip.  The interiors are absolutely stunning as expected from the Roman and Williams crew.  The wall color and treatment is outta control.


The Webster

So this is also a new one, about four months old.  I read about it in AD on the train ride in and thought I would pop in since I was already planning on going to rwguild.  The interiors are funky and expensive, so is the product, but it is definitely worth the stop.  They had a pop up Chloe display that was stellar.  They occupy the whole building and have jewelry, kids, womens, mens and some home.  The salespeople are super fashion enthusiasts. 

Moma Store (downtown)

This may seem like a silly one but I always pop in.  It is quirky and you can grab some great gifts and filler accessories.  I also pop in because it is across the street from Balthazar, which is my go to for lunch when I am downtown making my way up.

The future perfect

Another great accessory, lighting and furniture shop where you will find things you won’t see anywhere else.  

Santa Maria Novella

This is one of my all time favorite places.  It is beautiful and smells like heaven.  I always buy client gifts here and always pick up their burning papers.  They are the best!  I can never get them online but they always have them in the store, just ask!

Pearl River Mart

Just fun! and kind of an institution. I used to work around the corner when I was at Jed Johnson and it was just a great escape and I would always find something for hostess gifts or a table setting.  Cheap and cheerful!

The antique shops on 10th and 11th by university just under union square are outstanding and have stood the test of time.  Hostler Burrows, Anthony Todd, Maison Gerard, O’Sullivan Antiques 

ABC Home

I used to live a block over from ABC and it is a huge store with a huge selection of everything from jewelry, accessories, clothing, furniture, kids shop, bath, linens, really everything.  Even a restaurant.  A must see.  

Jung Lee

Love this store! They have some unique art, tabletop and accessories.  The interior itself is beautiful as well!


Making your way uptown.


Bergdorfs the women’s store (men’s is across the street, east side)

I am not alone in my love for Bergdorf’s.  It is one of my favorite places.  I love the BG restaurant, I take a seat by the window overlooking central park and it is just the best.  Interiors by Kelly Wearstler with de Gourney wallcovering doesn’t hurt either.  I usually pop into the restaurant first for another bite and a glass of champagne (oops!) and then do a loop around the home floor located on the same level.  They have vintage tabletop, books, accessories, linens, and even a kids section.  Enjoy!

See the source image

I mean.. (via link)

See the source image

This seat is everything! (via link)


This Upper East Side shop is always changing their inventory and have great accessories.  I just bought these..

and these

Some great finds if you hit it right!

Lexington Gardens

This store is like entering another world.  It has live birds, garden accessories and hostess gifts.


Love this place!! They are constantly updating their inventory and have such fun, unique things!  Kate Schelter has her watercolors hanging on the wall.  Christopher Spitzmiller has some of his plates and garden stools scattered about.  They are also always having events.  Right now they are having a pillow pop up!


If you have time to travel a bit farther east.  You should look at Bunny Williams and Gerald Bland in the Fine arts building as well as Liz O’Brien’s shop on 61st street.  

What are your favorites?  Always looking for new spots!










Bring it outside

I am currently in the process of transforming our landscape and outdoor area, outdoor everything really! From paint, to gardens to furniture. I am working with the firm Christie Dustman for the landscape and I am super happy with the initial plans! Hoping to have this ready for summer which is almost completely unrealistic. It’s like I’ve never heard of a lead time before! We shall see how far we get.

Look below for the furniture direction (for now!) and some inspiration.



1. Outdoor Sofa 2.Stool 3. McKinnon and Harris (Trade) 4. Console 5. McKinnon and Harris (Trade)

6. Dining Chair 7.Lounge Chair 8.Dining Table


I really want to cover the house in ivy. When looking through the town archives it seems our 1920s Tudor style home once was, maybe it’s time to bring it back! Some inspiration below.


Stephen Sills-Bedford NY



via Lonny


I was also inspired by yesterday’s talk with Stacey Bewkes and Susanna Salk at the Boston Design Center to look back at some of the classics by the great designers and style makers. Particularly Bunny Williams’ Connecticut Home with John Rosselli as well as Aerin Lauder’s family home in Palm Beach. If you don’t follow Stacey and Susanna on Instagram you should as well as check out the Quintessence blog and their web series ‘at home with’ on YouTube. They are fabulous!!



via Quintessence Instagram Bunny’s Connecticut gardens


Aerin Lauder- Palm Beach

I definitely won’t be planting any Palm trees in New England but how can one not be inspired by this estate!





Summer Hostess Gifts

As people come out of hibernation, in the northeast at least, they want to mingle.  That sad social calendar is now becoming overbooked.  I find, it is always a good idea to have a ‘ready to go’ hostess gift arsenal.  For the stocked gift I never want it to be too large or have the hostess think, “oh great, where am I going to put this?!” I like small thoughtful gifts. Of course for some well planned, close friend’s party you may want to get something special and specific but it is also great to have some special gifts on hand, just in case! Some guidance below of some perfect summer hostess gifts in varying price points, you’re welcome! Cheers!


hostes gifts1. For the millennial sibling or close friend- emoji coasters 2.For the social friend – overserved cocktail set 3.For the hostess who likes her wine (and likes it cold!) – wine cooler 4.For the splurge hostess gift – goyard matchbox 5. For the hostess with kids – beginner chopsticks 6. For the homemaker (can include a fun drink recipe)  – citrus juicer 7. For anyone, it smells amazing, perfect for a powder room – capri candle

Wedding Anniversary

I can’t believe my husband and I are coming up on our fourth wedding anniversary!  We had way too much fun planning the BIG day! And by ‘we’, I really mean my mom and me.  Don’t get me wrong, my husband had voting power on all things but he ultimately trusted us in making our wedding weekend one to remember.  My mother is also an interior designer and we are both extremely detail oriented so we found this came pretty naturally to us.  We definitely learned a few things along the way but really enjoyed the whole experience. I thought I would share some of the behind the scene details that made the weekend such a success.

We had a destination wedding (Santa Barbara, CA) but nowadays all weddings are really a destination for most people.  Even if you have your wedding in your hometown, odds are most people don’t live there any longer.  So first things first.  Save the Dates!  People are busy and have full lives, they need notice about your big day so they can plan accordingly. With the Save the Dates you should be thinking about the overall look of your wedding but keep them simple with pertinent information only- date and website information.  Keep the website link either very simple or catchy.  Most people will still forget and ask you for the information again but this way maybe not everyone will forget.

Next up- Gather your team! Wedding planner, on site event coordinator, photographer, florist, band, lighting, makeup, hair, seamstress.  Some people may not think a seamstress is necessary but I found it absolutely essential.  Our seamstress Mercedes was there to fix any last minute issues. One bridesmaid got lipstick on her dress and another one ripped the hem before the ceremony and she fixed it all!

Lighting is one of those things that people think, eh, is it really necessary?  YES! It highlights the centerpieces and also creates a happening dance floor.  Without spot lighting, key items that you have put time, energy and money into go unnoticed.  Without appropriate lighting it lacks that extra sparkle.

Having a strong team is so important in the outcome of your event.  So chose early and carefully! Do your research and interview people before hiring them.  You will pick up on their vibe and know if they are a right fit.  I met with my photographer, Elizabeth Messina, and her lovely daughter while they were in New York for a project.  We met at a Cuban restaurant downtown and over some amazing corn on the cob I immediately knew she was one cool chic.  I felt the same way with Mindy Rice, she did the floral arrangements for all of the weekend’s events and really made the whole wedding come to light.  She is the one who coined ‘tailored bohemian’ for our wedding and I just responded, YES! She just got it and that is how you want to feel about your team!

Gift Bags- I am pro gift bag in a big way.  Since our wedding was in Santa Barbara we were able to use such fabulous local vendors for our gift bags.  We used a Santa Barbara longitude latitude burlap bag we found at one of the shops in town and filled it with all local treats, chips and salsa, chocolates, lavender, Herban Essentials, the current Santa Barbara magazine, and itinerary for the weekend’s events.  No matter how many times you tell people where to be, what to do and what to wear, they forget. Listen, I get it, I have been there! So I made sure to put this information in as many places as possible.

Another important item to put in the gift bags is water!  I have been to a lot of weddings and I know it may seem small but receiving a bottle of water in a gift bag is huge to me!  You have traveled a long way and they charge like $50 in the mini bar for a teeny tiny bottle of water, if there even is a mini bar.  So yes, I think water is nice in a gift bag. It says thank you for traveling all of this way now hydrate, because I care.

Last note on gift bags, if the majority of people are traveling in and out try and be mindful of what they can put in their carry on.  Most of the things in the gift bag we provided were to be consumed or used during the weekend. Otherwise, people may have to throw out something that took time and money to create, because of its size or liquid amount.  SB Gifting Suites was so unbelievably great to work with. They listened to every idea and made it happen.

If it is going to be a true destination for most of your guests and people are making a weekend of it, it is nice to set up a little something else for your guests.  We had a welcome party the night before the wedding at the San Ysidro Ranch and then an after party at the Four Seasons (Our wedding was at the Four Seasons as well but a different event space).  We also provided picnic lunches for people to pick up the day before the wedding if they were in the area. Anything to say thank you so much for coming! It doesn’t have to be extravagant or super pricey just something to bring people together.  Plan a beach day, yoga in the park, a day of skiing, something that people can join if they want and meet the other guests while spending some extra time with the bride and groom.  The wedding night goes by too fast so this extra time is special.

For the actual wedding itself.  Something I learned- I wish I had packed a little tiny purse.  People had told me before the wedding that I didn’t need one but afterwards I felt I could have used one. I would have put my lipstick, burt’s bees lip moisturizer, mints, eye drops and a little blush stick in there- just for some touch ups along the way.  I would have just left it on my chair so I knew where it was and didn’t have to track someone down for a tic tac.

Something fun- At the end of the wedding night we did a late night snack that was passed around on the dance floor – mini hotdogs, grilled cheese, little French fry cups.  This was just a fun note to end on.

Something I did do during the night, and I’m so glad I did, I stood back a couple of times and took a few moments to take it all in.  Watch your family and friends dancing, laughing and enjoying themselves.  The night will be over before you know it, so this is important!

And lastly, have your planner or bridesmaids have the kitchen or caterer put a plate together for you and put it in your room at the end of the night.  Along with some dessert, a slice of cake, champagne and a little floral piece from one of the tables.  It was a nice surprise to see this in the room when my husband and I got back. We were able to enjoy some of the food while laughing and smiling about our favorite parts of the night.

We had so much fun that we said we would do it all over again for our five year anniversary, so we better get on it!!

The Team

Photography: Kiss the Groom | Wedding Planner: imagine…Weddings & Special Events, LLC | Floral Design: Mindy Rice | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Wedding Cake: Four Seasons Catering | Bride’s Shoes: Valentino d’Orsay | Makeup: Flirt Makeup | Hair: sheila stone | Lighting: Peterson Event Lighting | Officiant: Rev. Jon Ireland | Transportation: Executive Limo | Venue: Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis | Church Pews: Found Vintage Rentals | Custom Save-the-Dates + Welcome Bag Inserts: Lazaro Press & Design | Furniture & Dance Floor: Town And Country | Invitations, Programs, Menus: Ceci New York | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Musician: Laurie Rasmussen | Reception Dress: Jenny Packham | Reception Music: West Coast Music | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals | Seamstress: Mercedes Trump

More photos to be seen at Style My Pretty: Blushing Black Tie Affair