Researching color trends put me in the mood to paint, and learning how to create a butterfly and hummingbird garden has–ummm-planted the idea in my head! “How to Build a Butterfly & Hummingbird Garden” was published in the April-May 2022 issue of Elegant Lifestyles Magazine, and since it came out, I’ve been thinking about starting one. A couple of years back, when I covered a design mansion and then toured it, there was a lovely, four-season garden. Maybe I can combine the two…
As an added bonus, the butterfly pics accompanying the article are mine! When I showed my wonderful editor, Kara, the photographs I’d taken, she said she’d use them instead of stock photography–yay!
Hon, have you ever planted a butterfly or hummingbird garden?Did you get lots of visitors?
Researching color and design trends for the article I published in the April-May 2022 issue of Elegant Lifestyles Magazine made me re-think my own home. There are several rooms I’d like to refresh, painting them in 2022’s land, sea, and sky-inspired colors. I love how the latest subtle-but-saturated greens and blues are being used as “new neutrals,” giving rooms a nature-inspired, serene feel. Just what I need right about now!
Hon, are you re-painting any rooms? What color are you using?
I learned so much researching sustainable fashion for my feature article in the Winter 2022 issue of Elegant Lifestyles Magazine. Though I’d heard of eco-friendly fashion, I didn’t know about innovative fabrics such as “leather” made from mushrooms, “silk” made from oranges, or “cashmere” made from soy. It was fascinating to find out about the processes involved in creating fabric from natural, biodegradable sources, and it was eye-opening to learn what goes on from sourcing to production to shipping to retailing. The business owners I interviewed were happy to describe the merchandise they carry that can be labeled “Ethical Fashion.” And I learned about Capsule Wardrobes, a pared down closet containing quality pieces to mix and match.
The Winter 2022 issue of Elegant Lifestyles Magazine came out last week and in it are two of my articles. Researching the latest landscaping trends put me in the mood for warmer weather and an update of our backyard. I don’t know what we’re doing with the space that used to house a swing set. No rush, thank goodness, because there are so many ideas to choose from!
“Seven Healthy Habits-(Self-Care During Stressful Times)” is my second article in Elegant Lifestyles Magazine’sWinter 2021 issue. Shout out to Lyn Lilavati Sirota, yoga teacher, children’s book author, and friend who suggested the “Leg Up the Wall” posture for the Yoga section. Shout out, also, to Dr. Lisa Hochman, dermatologist and friend, who commented for the “Cleanse and Moisturize” section.
Want to find out more about Lyn Lilavati’s practice and classes? Check out her blog Feel the Peace.
Hon, hope you take some time for yourself this holiday season.
Elegant Lifestyles Magazine, which shut down during the pandemic, debuted its return with a Winter 2021 Holiday Issue. Two of my articles appear in the magazine: “Ready, Set, Glow! Creative Hosting Ideas: Gatherings with Family and Friends” and “Seven Healthy Habits–(Self Care During Stressful Times).”
For the feature article, I thought about how winter holidays appeal to our senses and researched fun ways to add warmth and welcome from the moment guests step in the door. Can you tell I enjoyed coming up with section titles? “Let’s Take an Elfie” = sight. “Happy New Ear” = sound. “Spice it Up” = Scent. “Warm and Toast-y = taste. “Fleece Navidad = Touch. So many ideas to make get-togethers even more inviting and special.
Splendor in September, the Women’s Association for Morristown Medical Center’s (WWAMC) designer showhouse at Tyvan Hill in New Vernon, NJ, is open through Sunday, October 4th. Proceeds will aid in the expansion of Morristown Medical Center’s Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute. Hon, it’s well worth the visit!
A 3,000-word article I’d written detailing SIS (formerly known as Mansion in May) was to to be published in Elegant Lifestyles Magazine in April and then again in September, but didn’t run. Thankfully, the designer showhouse was a go! Shout out to publicity liaison Kathy Hobbs for being communicative and welcoming.
Although my editor Kara Sibilia couldn’t come, two friends “in the business” joined me for a tour on Sunday. Interior designer Ina Wallman (Ina H. Wallman Interiors) and real estate professional Jeri Dana (Sotheby’s International Realty) oohed and ahhed along with me as we toured stylish, elegant, creative, inspired and original rooms and grounds. My only regrets? I wish I took more pictures!
Karen Waldron of Classic Home & Garden partnered with Tim Foerster of Foerster Landscaping to design stepped planters. Waldron accents the stone patio with white wicker furniture upholstered in Thibaut outdoor fabric.
Pots filled with color accent the blue and white decor.
I was taken with Katja van der Loo of Papyrus Home Design’s Breakfast Room wall decor. I especially liked the botanical photographs printed on handmade paper and hung on an iron rack.
Sam Ciardi of Samuel Robert Signature Spaces created an oh-so-pretty, French Country-inspired dining room.
What a gorgeous backsplash?! Jaeger Kitchens’ designers Debbie Kerr and Pam Fuertes used navy and teal with hot pink as an accent to make the kitchen pop.
Check out the built-in, stocked wine bar!
After interviewing Callie Bruen of Callie Bruen Interiors, I couldn’t wait to see the built-in tree house!
Black grasscloth walls are set against white furniture and finishes and accented with leaf green accessories. Kristin Badolato of Kristin Ashley Interiors created an unexpectedly serene guest bedroom.
As a ceramicist, of course, I honed in on ceramics by Christina Grodkiewicz Clayworks.
Beautiful ceramic bowls and dishes mirror colors in the floral wallpaper in the contemporary, cozy and technologically advanced room designed by Jane Petrill of Jane Danielle Interior Design and Rick and Beverly Trover of Interchange Technologies.
“Tranquility” is an apt name for the contemporary arbor designed and built by Abby Jochnowitz of Designants and John Risoli of JR Landscape & Management Services.
An outdoor sectional and pouf sit near the outdoor cooking and dining area designed by Lisa Mierop and Frank Contey of Mierop Design.
I was also taken with “Seasons of Renewal,” a square garden featuring planting for each season designed by Anthony Cortese of Split Rock Design.
I’ve never been one to make New Year’s resolutions. Instead, after deciding what to change (exercise more/ eat less desserts), I try to accomplish those goals. Sometimes I’m successful. Oftentimes I’m not. But, I’ve been itching to make a Story Time Resolution this year. Hopefully, saying my goal “out loud” isn’t like blowing out birthday candles and then revealing a wish. Stories, characters, voice and plot fill my head. Can I put on paper what I see in my head? Most importantly, how will I get my stories in the hands of children?
“It is clear that reading and being exposed to books early in life are critical factors in student success,” Anthony W. Marx, president of the New York Public Library, said.
Frank Bruni writes,
The list of what a child needs in order to flourish is short but nonnegotiable.
Food. Shelter. Play. Love.
Something else, too, and it’s meted out in even less equal measure.
Words. A child needs a forest of words to wander through, a sea of words to splash in. A child needs to be read to, and a child needs to read.
Reading fuels the fires of intelligence and imagination.
“Reading follows an upward spiral,” said Daniel Willingham, a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia and the author of “Raising Kids Who Read,” which was published earlier this year. “Kids who read more get better at reading, and because they are better at reading, it’s easier and more pleasurable so they read still more,” he said. “And kids who read well don’t just do better in English class — it helps them in math, science and every other class, too.”
I’d go even further. Reading tugs them outside of themselves, connecting them to a wider world and filling it with wonder. It’s more than fundamental. It’s transformative.
Amen, Mr. Bruni. Amen.
Hon, if you are a “New-Year’s-Resolution-Person,” what are your goals this year?