Designers Do Christmas

Ahhh the holidays  ~ for many it is a time of stress and anxiety. For others, it's their time to shine!
Designers make everything look effortless.  IF I decorated for the holiday, which I do not, I know I would want to have themes each year and experiment with the whimsical and the wondrous.  It is a blessing and a curse each year when I day dream about what could be....

London based designer Hubert Zandberg decorates his clients homes in a more subdued way for the holiday.  Not one to follow cliches, he imbues his spaces with a touch of green and a touch of sparkle. I love when the look doesn't "hit you over the head"  but blends in and unfolds as you move through the house.

Scot Meacham Wood exclaim's, "more is more," but it feels oh so right!

Known for her use of red, Alessandra Branca stays true to her signature color  through and through

Ken Fulk's usual over the top aesthetic has taken a turn for the simplistic and I love it!

Oksana Lazarets shows us uncommon holiday decor woven into garlands looks outstanding , fruit and greens ~ perfect together

Charlotte Moss does too

Baker Design group skillfully decorates around your interior ~ ideally the decor should match the interior in feel and color.   Keep sights, sounds and smell in mind too.  The details will get noticed.

Lily Bunn knows how to have fun!

Sara Story shows her playful side too, picking up colors from around the room makes the presents POP

Francis Sultana, a gallerist and designer, creates a study in simplicity and playfulness

Kelly Wearstler is turning the holiday upside down!

Clearly anything goes!
You are only limited by your imagination.

photos 1 thru 3 ~ Simon Upton

CDM Holiday Gift Guide 2018

This year's gift guide features something for everyone.  Whether self indulgent, hedonistic or good for you ~ wellness is the overarching word for my gift guide this year.

I personally think we are becoming a community cutting ourselves off from socialization ~ but we do lead busy lives, and some things need to be streamlined, like going to the gym and/or participating in a class.  However, if you are not a fan of group activities ~ look at this: The Mirror.
It is a mirror when off, but a personal streaming, instructor led, workout when engaged.  You can access anything from a bootcamp to yoga and follow along at a pace personalized for your level of ability.

CBD products have come out of the shadows. They are the fastest growing segment in the wellness category.  I love a product that looks as good as it makes you feel.  These are the perfect "buy one, keep one" products 


MZ Wallace has upped their cool look factor.  With a collaboration with Soul Cycle and Barre 3, there is a bag for every need .  I an digging their yoga mat tote and envelope bags!

I have been swooning over Marlo Laz's evil eye jewels.  This ring would work nicely keeping negativity at bay with its added benefits of onyx for protection, black diamonds for strength and an opal for spontaneity. 

I am running to pick this up for me and a few of my nearest and dearest.  I love the  
Cle de Peau Beaute cosmetic line, and this illuminating stick brightens and lightens.  Their concealer stick is on every "best of" beauty list . 


I am stocking up on this stuff ~ Technically not vodka, but vodka light, it has 30% alcohol by volume, not 40% to be considered pure vodka.  Ketel One Botanicals has no carbs, no added sugar, is non GMO and is redistilled with botanicals and essential oils for flavor.  It's the perfect hostess gift as well. 

These facial rollers are all the rage.  Mountlai packages a holiday edition that includes a lifting tool as well. In rose quartz or jade, they reduce inflammation and puffiness encourage lymphatic drainage and just feel good.  Used with serum, they force ingredients deep into the skin for better absorption. 

What's better than 1 gift?  A gift a month is the gift that keeps on giving!  UrbanStems created a limited edition subscription program in collaboration with Vogue editors and Lewis Miller (of the incredible Flower Flashes, whom I wrote about here.)  You can choose a 1 time boutique or a monthly delivery.  These are not your 1-800 Flowers and the containers are equally as beautiful.

Gwinnie and GOOP are getting it right with their clean bath and body products, G-Tox.  I adopted a dry brushing routine.  Some say it's life changing or the equivalent of 5 minutes of meditating, but I just say it's invigorating and refreshing.  If you haven't tried it....

Samsung unveiled a new TV, but you may have missed it because it is almost invisible when not in use.  THIS IS BRILLIANT!  The QLED models requires you to take a picture of the wall behind where the TV will hang. When the TV is off, the picture you took creates a seamless "wallpaper" that blends with the wall and essentially makes the TV disappear.  This is the answer to the age old question ~ to see the TV or to not see the TV

Hope you get as well as you gift!

An Attitude of Gratitude

Alan Schwartz

After a few years of heath issues that I still don't have under control, and losing my father right before the Thanksgiving holiday, I am trying so hard to pick up all the pieces.  My body is tired and soul is sad.

What do we do at Thanksgiving?  Give thanks.  That was what I did.  That was almost all I could do, all I had the strength for.  I gave thanks that I had 57 years with my father.  I gave thanks that my body was still strong.  I gave thanks that my boys were with me and I gave thanks to the beauty I saw around me.  I gave thanks for all the people that showed support and extended their condolences.  I gave thanks that I was with my dad at the end of his life and I knew he knew I was there!

Countless people told me how much my dad meant to them, what a great attorney he was; admired and feared in the courtroom.  Everyone said he was kind and funny, inappropriate and charming.  I don't know of too many people that didn't like my dad.  I had never really stopped and thought about it before.  He was very well thought of!

I have obviously been thinking a lot about one's legacy lately.  Ask yourself, "What would others say about me when I am gone?"  I think it is a really valuable exercise in what your legacy might be.

"People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did but people will never forget how you made them feel."
                                                                                                        ~ Maya Angelou

My dad had spent winters in Florida for the past couple of years.  He dreamed of spending his days golfing and enjoying life in the gated community in which he lived.  The residents apparently had an acronym for many of the men living there.  They were called PIP's, a previously important person.  I thought this was awful!  Can you imagine being considered a previously important person, as if your value had changed because you got older or retired?  Your identity was so tied to what you did, you practically ceased to exist when you stopped doing that very thing that "made you (so called) important."  Well, I can tell you the fact that my dad was a great attorney was a footnote.  He was a great man. He was generous, funny, he mentored, was philanthropic  Dad touched people.  He tried to be his best, be honest, live with integrity, love his family.  That''s how he'll be remembered.  That's how we'll all be remembered ~ if we live by the same values.

Living life with passion and purpose, expressing gratitude for what we have and those that surround us is a life well lived.  Feeling abundant because you express gratitude keeps us in the "sweet spot" of feeling joy.  Gratitude means really acknowledging all the abundance we have in our lives.  Don't limit giving thanks to Thanksgiving; write it down, say it out loud.  Tell people who mean something to you that you are grateful for them.

"Gratitude is the single most important ingredient to living a   successful and fulfilled life."
                                                                                        ~ Jack Canfield   


                                        I am grateful I had you in my life, Dad   💔

The Ebb and Flow

Moving forward, I  think I will begin a Mindful Monday message on the 1st Monday of each month. That way you can come to expect some sort of wellness post on a more regular basis.  I will give you some tips/tricks or antidotes to help you #livebeautiFULLY

Life is fluid, some days we're up, some days we're down or in my case some months.
I have not been having an easy time of late and maybe you are dealing with your own struggles.   I was thinking long and hard about how to handle my pain and grief; physically and emotionally.  I am not ready to talk about the imminent  passing of a loved one, but I will say the feelings that are brought up are overwhelming and all consuming.

I am a proactive person.  If something is broken I want to try to fix it.  If a problem is creating too much suffering, I try to change the way I think about it, but grief and sadness are meant to be felt. You cannot wish it away, put on a happy face or change your thoughts around it.  It truly is what it is.

OR is it?  Is there something you can do?  We have all heard about the importance of gratitude.  No matter what is going on, it is so important to understand the need to take a moment to recognize what we have to be thankful for.

Make a list of all the things you are thankful for.  I am talking big picture gratitude, not the daily things we might list,when we/if we, write a gratitude journal.  Whatever that looks like to you.

When things get to be too much, BREATH and with each breath say this ~

                                                      I am fine,
                                                      I am safe,
                                                      I have everything I need in this moment

It may seem like a simple thing but sometimes it's all you've got.  Next time you feel overwhelmed, anxiety ridden, or out of control, try it.  Also. being in nature psychologically does wonders!  We know that immersing yourself in nature, or even looking at beautiful pictures of nature ( if that is all you can do) reduces stress and heightens overall wellbeing.  It makes us feel connected to something bigger than ourselves and for a moment you may just forget your own problems, if even for just that moment.

and laughter... look for opportunities to laugh... life's best medicine.


Georges Pelletier

My love affair began in a store in Aspen.  I saw beautiful ceramic lamps from across the room casting the coolest shadow.  I regretted not purchasing one of the lovely Georges Pelletier table lamps when the selection was so vast.  It is the lamp that got away.  I look for them now when I am out and about.

Out and about in LA last week, there they were, the look is undeniable but these were more contemporary then the ones I had seen.  I needed to learn more.

Georges Pelletier celebrates his 80th birthday this month, so I guess it is fitting that I am highlighting him!  Georges was born in Brussels in 1938.  He studied art in Paris and seems to have found his passion in ceramics.  The year I was born, he opened a studio in Paris and began creating his unique pieces.  The primitive appearance, the cutouts that light escapes through, the totems, sconces, sculptures, mirrors and objects d'art are easily idenifiable once you are aware of Pelletier's pieces.  In the 1970's Georges moved his studio to Cannes where he still works to this day.

 With one eye in the past and one eye towards the future, Pelletier is remaking the beloved pieces from the days gone by, specifically the 60's and 70's, which must have been the lamps I saw in Aspen, as well as keeping one eye towards the future, hence the more sculptural lighting, which was obviously what I saw in LA.

 Passion, purpose and the desire to continue to be creative keeps Georges as relevant today as he was more than 50 years ago.  You're on my radar Mr. Pelletier,  now maybe he's on yours too!  There is a nice selection of his fabulous pieces on 1st Dibs.

All in the Family

This post is dedicated to my future daughter-in-law.  My son proposed in a very romantic, unexpected way at the Versace Mansion in Miami to his best friend ~ Kira Calder.

Can you take a guess where this post is going?

As an art and design lover, I was beyond excited to learn that Kira IS a descendant of Alexander Calder.  Alexander Calder's grandfather, Alexander Mile Calder, and his family made their way to Philadelphia from Scotland in 1868 and called Philadelphia home.  Fun fact ~ One of the most famous landmarks in our little city of brotherly love is City Hall.  Billy Penn sits atop it like a sentinel watching over the city.  Mile Calder created that statue, which coincidentally my son has tattooed on his back (don't ask).  Sculpting obviously ran in the family.  Grandson Alexander Calder is considered the most famous sculptor of the 20th century, and as we know, the creator of the modern mobile.

Richard Hallberg

As a young man, Calder moved to Paris to study and work.  He discovered wire and his fascination of the linear line and movement was the precursor to the mobile.  A visit to Mondrian's studio changed the trajectory of Calder's career.  Seeing those large blocks of color made him think, "How interesting it would be if they oscillated?"  Marcel Duchamp supposedly coined the term "mobile" when he saw what Alexander was working on.  Calder soon moved his art from geometric shapes to more organic, conceptual imagery.


Among all the commissions he did, the most unusual and absolutely the largest was a series of airplanes for Braniff airlines.  Dubbed "The Flying Colors of the United States." Another fun fact, the plane was destroyed in an explosion during the filming of Will Smith's movie Bad Boys while it was grounded in a hangar in Opa-locka.

More than 40 years later, Calder's work still fetches staggering prices at auction.  Calder had retrospectives at all the major museums here and abroad and is included in almost every important collection, public or private.  The priceless Calder pieces look amazing anywhere.  They are poetry in motion, kinetic wonders that fascinate and titillate.

 D'Apostrophe Design

Fortunately, if you are as fascinated as I am with these moveable, magical marvels, you can find them at many different price points by artists who were obviously inspired by Alexander, just as he was inspired by others.

Kay Douglass

"Calder's body of work represents an ever evolving demonstration of risk taking, creativity, ingenuity, and extremely impressive technical achievement."

 I hope my grandchildren inherit those traits!    : )

I am feeling a whole art theme, but as I am reminded, "it's not about me."  Luckily,  Paperless Post has the happy couple covered no matter which direction they go when the time comes to announce the details.

*This is a semi- sponsored post but all sentiments are my own  <3