How to Build a Butterfly & Hummingbird Garden, Elegant Lifestyles Magazine, April-May 2022

Article and photos by me!

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?

2022 Color Trends: Inspired by Land, Sea, and Sky, Elegant Lifestyles Magazine, April-May 2022

In the mood to paint!

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?

Sustainable Fashion is Always in Style, Elegant Lifestyles Magazine, Winter 2022

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.

Hon, who’s in the mood to spring clean?!

Landscaping Trends That Step up Outdoor Spaces, Elegant Lifestyles Magazine, Winter 2022

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!

Candy Cane Cocktail, Peppermintinis

Image source: Brad Hollad for Delish.com

Are you a fan of peppermint? How about when it’s combined with chocolate?

One of my daughters shared Peppermint Bark that a friend made and it was soooo sweet! These Peppermintinis from Delish.com are like holiday bark in a drink! I included this recipe for Peppermintinis in my article for Elegant Lifestyles Magazine, “Ready, Set, Glow! Creative Hosting Ideas: Gatherings with Family and Friends” along with lots of other fun ideas.

Happy holidays, hon!

Seven Healthy Habits-(Self-Care During Stressful Times), Published In Elegant Lifestyles Magazine Winter 2021

“Seven Healthy Habits-(Self-Care During Stressful Times)” is my second article in Elegant Lifestyles Magazine’s Winter 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.

Ready, Set, Glow! Creative Hosting Ideas, Published In Elegant Lifestyles Magazine Winter 2021

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.

Happy holiday hosting!

What’s For Dinner? Grilled Veggie Pasta Salad

Grilled Veggie Pasta Salad is a perfect summer dish! Add grilled, sliced chicken, salmon or steak for protein, and dinner’s served. Going on a picnic? Pack it for lunch. Kids can cut up the veggies (with adult supervision), measure ingredients and mix it all up, making this a contender in the Easy DIY Kids Crafts & Recipes category. Not into pasta? How about mixing brown rice with the grilled veggies and tossing it all with the yummy balsamic dressing? Hon…guess what I’ll be serving later this week? 

Grilled Veggie Pasta Salad
Ingredients:
  • 8 oz. asparagus spears, trimmed
  • 1 medium red sweet pepper, quartered lengthwise
  • 1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise
  • 1/2 small red onion, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cups cooked whole grain penne pasta
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, snipped 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • Tip: Grill additional veggies to add to dish.
Directions:
  1. Lightly brush vegetables with 1 Tablespoon of the oil. Grill sweet pepper, zucchini, and onion on the rack of a covered grill directly over medium-high heat 10 minutes or until tender, turning once. Add asparagus the last 3 to 5 minutes, cooking until tender, turning once. Let cool slightly. Cut vegetables into 1/2 inch pieces.
  2. In a large bowl, combine vegetables and pasta. Add remaining 2 Tablespoons oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat. Sprinkle with oregano.

Tip: Add grilled chicken breast, steak or salmon for protein.

Yield: 4 servings

Source: Better Homes & Gardens

Trendsetter

"Peacock" chair for Cappellini, 2009, Dror Ben Shetrit, Israeli, felt with powdwer varnished metal base
“Peacock” chair for Cappellini, 2009, Dror Ben Shetrit, Israeli, felt with powdwer varnished metal base

Departures cover, May 2013
Departures cover, May 2013′

Guess what’s featured on Departures‘ May cover? The very same chair whose felt folds intrigued me enough to include them in my recent post “Patterns at the Met.” The flash on my camera washed out the chair’s color, but the distinct design is a show stopper. The Peacock chair was included in the glossy mag’s “Please-be-Seated” layout of “the six most beautiful chairs in the world.”

Back in the day when I was an assistant buyer at Bloomingdale’s, my buyer and I visited a color forecaster to pick yarn colors for our own line of cashmere sweaters. I felt like a kid in a candy shop, only I was surrounded by hundreds of yarn samples with intriguing names. Who wouldn’t want to know how “Bunny Gray” compares to “Feather Gray” and “Gray Timber Wolf”? Picking colors for the next season was as exciting as buying a few of my own lines of women’s clothes. (I’d like to be the person who comes up with color names!)

I left the world of department store retail to research starting my own business. Treks to Manhattan’s fabric district yielded bolts of fabric. A season later, I’d see the same fabric on clothes in stores.

I packed up my business along with that part of my life when I became pregnant with triplets.

But, even though my designs are still sitting in my attic and my aspirations have transformed into something else, a funny thing happened. Those triplets have a knack for picking out trends. One daughter invariably picks out outfits that subsequently appear on  Pretty Young Things in magazines. She once bought an owl necklace at a mall kiosk months before the same necklace became all the rage.

My son considered wearing multi-crayon colored sneakers when all the other seventh grade boys’ sneakers were white and black. (He likes color as much as I do.) I said, “Buy them, they’re fun!  You’ll be a trendsetter.” My hubby thought they were hideous and a magnet for obnoxious comments.  Hmmm, bet you can figure out which sneakers made the cover of the New York Times Style section!

The third triplet, an artist, started her own business selling her designs on IPad and IPod covers as well as pillows and canvases. She’s put a lot of thought into what designs will sell and is constantly working on new designs.

I’m not sure what happened to those trendsetting days and I sure can’t predict if my new aspirations will come to fruition.  But, the Peacock chair opened up the window in my attic where dusty boxes of designs and my past sit, waiting to be cleaned out.