BIRTHDAY FLOWERS

I LOVE MY BIRTHDAY.

Last year was my first birthday with no parents…the ones who GAVE me a Birthday…they were gone and with them – the excitement of the day…They had always made our birthdays such special days…NOT with lavish parties in fact I honestly cannot recall one themed event…but the day was MINE…all mine and they reminded me all day how much my arrival had made THEM so HAPPY.

…and without them my Birthday..and life to some extent… felt a little like a sky….with NO sky.

….and then, because LIFE does go on…and I love my LIFE…. I turned to those to whom I gave life…and to whom I would give my all…

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Mine all mine

and a new chapter of BIRTHDAY CELEBRATING began….

TODAY has been heavenly…I am in Maine visiting my cousins and every inch of the day has been perfect and sweet and beautiful and full of LOVE and laughter and kids making fart noises and cool breezes and  canoes and petting goats and the flowers….just so very many FLOWERS!

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Phoebe and the flowers

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my handsome baby boy!

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JUST SO VERY BEAUTIFUL!

I cannot imagine a more perfect day…My Father LOVED Maine and My Mother lived for Flowers…they ARE HERE with me and I am Happy.

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Leslie

CHAIRISH INSPIRED GIRLS ROOM

Chairish

…is an amazing and online Consignment shop and so much more which  offers one stop shopping with  a WIDE range of styles and home furnishings from furniture to ART….

I WAS HONORED WHEN CHAIRISH asked me if I would design a style board around an ACCENT chair...any ACCENT chair of my choosing and ….

  this is the CHAIR I CHOSE -

  CHAIRISH INSPIRED GIRLS ROOM

Coco Chanel Style Pink Velvet Chair

STYLEBOARD

I designed/decorated a GIRLS room…a versatile bedroom that could go from the kindergarten princess to Sweet Sixteen young lady …from dolls to horses to “ONE DIRECTION”!

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CHAIRISH INSPIRED STYLE BOARD – it all started with a CHAIR!

I will break down the room ingredients…starting with the color…

BENJAMIN MOORE WINTER ICE

  CHAIRISH INSPIRED GIRLS ROOM

BENJAMIN MOORE WINTER ICE is a versatile and subtle color which changes from grays to pale blues with the light…works well with others and does not overpower existing colors in the room…great for rooms that get busy….

  CHAIRISH INSPIRED GIRLS ROOM

Jonathan Adler Houndstooth Print Zebra Rug – I HAVE BEEN OBSESSED WITH THIS RUG FOR YEARS!  adds immediate spunk and says “we are here for fun!”

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Twin Cannon Ball Beds…I am a HUGE fan of twin bed sets for girls…They are perfect for sleepovers, add a trundle under each and you can fit at least 16 girls in a room! Plus you know I LOVE spindle beds!!!

I would add  simple RACHEL ASHWELL Sahhby Chic white quilts which can be washed over and over and do not break the bank…Bedding is fun to change without changing the whole room….

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SIMPLY SHABBY CHIC FROM TARGET

  CHAIRISH INSPIRED GIRLS ROOM

Jonathan Adler Pink Square Pillow

  CHAIRISH INSPIRED GIRLS ROOM

Jonathan Adler Geometric Wool Pillow

  CHAIRISH INSPIRED GIRLS ROOM

Jonathan Adler Robin Blue Lacquered Cube Table …POP OF AQUA NEVER HURT ANYBODY…EVER!

  CHAIRISH INSPIRED GIRLS ROOM

Hand Painted French Gray Distressed Dresser – I LIKE TONE ON TONE DRESSERS IN KIDS ROOMS…they get so busy and it keeps the room from feeling cluttered…

  CHAIRISH INSPIRED GIRLS ROOM

jonathan-adler-sputnik-nickel-pendant-light – keeps the room fun and playful..not taking itself too seriously….I LOVE ECLECTIC ELECTRIC!

…AND FINALLY EVERY ROOM, EVEN KIDS ROOMS NEED ART!

and this is one of my favorite paintings…24″ x 36″ acrylic on canvas and for sale !

“MIA”

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“MIA” 24″ x 36″ acrylic on canvas…availiable for sale

…put it all together and here is what you get!

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STYLE BOARD – it all started with a CHAIR!

…STIR AND ADD ONE GIRL AND YOU ARE GOOD TO GO!

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ALL THAT YOU NEED NOW IS THE GIRL!!!!

have fun and please take a moment TO CHECK OUT MORE ACCENT CHAIRS

LIKE THIS ONE-

  CHAIRISH INSPIRED GIRLS ROOM

Arne Jacobsen Style Red Leather Chair & Ottoman

and Check out the ALL OF THE OTHER amazing things happening over at

CHAIRISH

Leslie

THE SANDALS THAT SAVED MY FEET

OUR FEET ARE IMPORTANT!

There is nothing worse than a day spent city-walking that ends with blisters, an achy back and shredded toes.

A few years ago, I was hiking the New York City streets with my kids. They of course had their big-comfy made for anything – sneakers on, but GOD FORBID I wear a big old Pair of tennies with my LILLY shorts….I instead had a new pair of “walking” sandals on. Long story short, I ended up setting those shoes next to a trash bin.

THERE is not shortage of CUTE sandals…I love Jack Rogers….

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JACK ROGERS NANTUCKET CARIBBEAN BLUE – CUTE BUT NOT ENOUGH CUSHION FOR LONG WALKING DAYS

…and ALL the girls…..

LILLY…

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LILLY PULITZER BEACH CLUB SANDALS

…KATE…..

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KATE SPADE NEW YORK AJOU GOLD METALLIC (ON SALE)

and …of course TORY….

 THE SANDALS THAT SAVED MY FEET

TORY BURCH EMILYNN SANDAL (ON SALE)

TRAVEL FASION GIRL has a great article of great walking/traveling shoes….here…and you would think by now I would have found my “perfect” shoe, but I was still trying them out….and paying for it.

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KEENS ARE STYLISH AND COMFY

You would think in NEW YORK CITY…shopping capital of the world I would have shoes stores out the wazoo…but I kept coming up short. Walking down pristine Madison Avenue and desperate to just have something on my feet that did not rub the blisters I stopped into a store and sled them to please sell me the window display flip flops! So, I bought a pair of 50 cent flip flops for $20 and past the likes of Kate Spade and Tory Burch. Twenty blocks later I as the hip slamming caused by nothing but a thin piece of foam between me and the cement….I once again stumbled into a shoe store. 

This time, I hit GOLD when I discovered what has become my

GO TO summer city and everywhere else walking shoe….

THE FIT FLOP!

 THE SANDALS THAT SAVED MY FEET

FIT FLOPS “LULU” …..SAVED MY FEET AND ME!

I now have a few different colors but always gravitate toward the metallics…

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FIT FLOP “LULU” SLIDE

 

This summer, I got these Beauties from J CREW, which I ADORE..

 THE SANDALS THAT SAVED MY FEET

J CREW METALLIC ARIZONA BIRKENSTOCK SANDALS

…but for long hours of walking..I still swear by the FIT FLOPS. …

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FIT FLOP – THE SKINNY DELUXE

Once upon a time I would not be caught dead in anything but a ballet flat…but these may not be the best choice when if comes to ALL DAY walking …these sandals keep my feet and me …..happy...

Leslie

BEFORE AND AFTER

JUST FOR FUN,

LETS TAKE A LOOK AT THE MAGIC OF COLOR! 

THE LIVING ROOM

THE DINING ROOM

PHOEBE’S ROOM

…AND ONE MORE KITCHEN….

REMEMBER….SOMETIMES YOU JUST HAVE TO SQUINT

AND LET YOUR IMAGINATION RUN WILD!

HAVE A GREAT DAY!

Leslie

PIE IN THE SKY – VISITING MAINE

I AM IN MAINE with my eldest son TATE

visiting colleges and my best friend Trish. Maine is a stopping point most summers but this trip is extra special as I am getting some serious quality bonding time with Tate.

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PIE IN THE SKY MENU

One of our favorite places is a tiny quintessentially “MAINE” place just outside of York called

“Pie in the Sky”

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THE BLUE BERRIES

…….where they make the most beautifully delicious pies I have ever had the joy to meet. We picked up a berry pie the other day for Trish’s birthday and I had the good fortune to watch blueberry pies being made. I am not a baker…so this thrilled me to no end..it was a work of ART…his hands moved so fast….and VOILA…a PIE is BORN!

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…AND JUST AS FAST…WE ATE IT UP…ALA MODE!

…..IS THERE ANYTHING BETTER THAN A FRESHED-BAKED FRUIT PIE? I MEAN…REALLY?

MORE TO COME ON MY ADVENTURES WITH TATE!

 

Leslie

MONDAY MAKEOVER – FORMICA 180x CALACATTA MARBLE COUNTER TOPS – ROUND TWO

Last week we finally closed the chapter on the Kitchen Renovation!

 Whats that you say? Didn’t you finish your Kitchen makeover a year ago? Yes…we did.

but last week….our Formica 180x counter tops were replaced with the SAME counter tops…. but in a different edge profile ……the edge profile I had originally wanted.

FORMICA, in what can only be called…INCREDIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE…got wind, via my blog that I was told that I could not get my first choice – the AEGEAN EDGE. I like the AE because I felt it resembled the edge I would prefer if I were choosing REAL marble.

Instead I got the AMORE edge…which I fell l in love with…

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FORMICA CALACATTA MARBLE IN AMORE EDGE ON THE LONG COUNTERTOP

Let me remind you…THEY came to me… I actually was fine with the AMORE…but when I had to opportunity to get..on their dime, my 1st choice..I said “Sure!….OKAY!”

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One year later…..AEGEAN EDGE or AMORE…I still LOVE these counter tops….they are attractive, durable and practical counter tops…that don’t break the bank…

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FORMICA 180X IN CALACATTA MARBLE WITH THE AEGEAN EDGE.

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The NUMBER ONE question I have gotten about these counter tops has been

“Do they stain?”

Answer- NO.

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FORMICA CALACATTA MARBLE COUNTER TOPS IN AEGEAN EDGE…I had the shutter stay open long enough for Gus to sneak into the photo….

I have not had a problem with staining. I  prepare food, like fruit and meats directly on a cutting board NOT directly upon them, but we have spilled juice and red wine and the clean up has been a snap! NO stains.

 

In my HUMBLE opinion, the biggest issue with the FORMICA CALACATTA MARBLE COUNTER TOPS has nothing to do with the counter tops themselves but instead altering PUBLIC perceptions.agean edge 400x700 MONDAY MAKEOVER   FORMICA 180x CALACATTA MARBLE COUNTER TOPS   ROUND TWO

Once upon a time, FORMICA was the bomb…it transformed kitchens!!!…But over time…with the influx and popularity of Granite and various stones and stone like products and solid surfacing…somehow Formica was moved to the back of the class…and became “old-fashioned” and “the thing you get when you cannot afford the “REAL thing”.

God forbid!

When did it become a negative thing to try to save money?

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  Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE REAL MARBLE. But it was just not in our budget.

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I BELIEVE that the Formica 180x  it is a VIABLE and beautiful counter top OPTION. I have still had many reports from readers who have been told at Lowes and Home Depot and even by High End Kitchen Designers that they should NOT get Formica…highlighting its’ shortcomings and telling them that it is cheap.

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FORMICA 180X IN CALACATTA MARBLE WITH THE AEGEAN EDGE. THE CORNER UNIT LOOKS AMAZING!

FORMICA 180X may be cost effective but it is anything but cheap! It is an attractive and durable and affordable counter top option!

If you run into  difficulty purchasing or even just getting adequate information about these counter tops, please do not hesitate to let me know and I will forward you to my friends at Formica!

and on that note…..

C’est fini!

Leslie

BABY NAMES : MY CURRENT FAVORITES

To Kill a Mockingbird still BABY NAMES : MY CURRENT FAVORITES

Scout and Atticus

LAST NIGHT…I received a comment …

“Popped on your site for an update and here I find a baby name discussion! …..I have ALWAYS wanted to name a little girl Jean Louise and call her “Scout” after a few favorite people (both fiction and real!) but my name suggestion is not going too far. I am loving Anna Grace, Drew, and Carolina Jane. Of course, anything with Lee would work for me! Enjoyed the posts!”

……for a moment I wondered….who is this person? is it me? Who is this that knows I have loved “To Kill a Mockingbird” since the 8th grade when my favorite teacher of all time, Miss Smith read it aloud to us each day for a month…and that my favorite character of all time is “Jean Louise Finch aka Scout” ? …and then I saw the name…The comment was left by my oldest and dearest friend, the Maid of Honor at my wedding, person I have not seen in years and years, my  best friend Karen.

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Me and Karen at 15

Karen and I met in the eighth grade when my family moved from Tampa to Atlanta. Karen was adorable and popular, a cheerleader and future Miss CHS…sensitive and kind and a very good friend. We left treats in each others lockers, had a million sleepovers and sat long into the cold nights watching our boyfriends practice soccer. Talking and laughing and shivering…and then, in the middle of the tenth grade, my parents told me we were moving back to Tampa. I screamed and cried and launched an all-out strike to get them to reconsider…which now as an adult I realize was futile, because the decision to move was long in the works and all but done. My heart broke in a million places leaving Karen. I hurt so badly and missed her so deeply. I still have a box of letters she wrote me…mostly “who likes who” ….but the moment was pivotal.

My parents would fly Karen down in the summers, over Spring break…and we even went to college together…but Freshman year at the University of Georgia was not the same as going back to tenth grade and picking up where we left off and I went home after one semester and Karen left after a year. We have stayed close in touch over the years of marriages and divorce, kids and when I lived in New York, Karen  came to visit.

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CAFE LUXEMBOURG NYC DAYS

So much of my life is a blur but I remember this one walk we took, down by Washington Square in the Village, like it happened yesterday. I was on cute-handsome-no-money-quasi-actor-boyfriend number 10 …and, as only your oldest and dearest friend OR a sister can say, she said ” When are you going to grow up? I know how much having a family means to you…and I am worried that it is all going to pass you by…” I defended my direction and my dream and the boyfriend…and then one month later I had emergency surgery for an ovarian cyst which turned into 5 weeks in the hospital, almost dying, and the biggest wake up call a girl could get. Things like this happen and you don’t go back to life as you knew it. You see it as a sign and I did…I would be damned if I was going to run out  of time and spend my years floundering, waiting on an tables and an Oscar and for a man to have a family. I wanted to be able to support myself whether the acting jobs came and so,  much soul-searching and one statistics course later… I was heading to Boston to become a Nurse Practitioner. I met Damon the day I moved to Boston…

Listen to your Best Friend!

ANYWAY

In honor of Karen and the many hours we lay on her spindle bed thinking up baby names…here is my current list:

15 GIRLS:

Alison, Amelia, Bonnie,  Catherine, Clementine, Emily, Josephine(Joey), Maria Elena (Malena),  Maura, Mildred, Nancy,  Patricia (Trish), Ruth, Suzanna and of course Karen…

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POPPI (LEN) AND BABY PHOEBE

15 BOYS:

Alan, Atticus, Andy, Brigham, Campbell, Charlie,  Ford, Gregory, Jasper, Leonard, Marcus, Reve, Richard, Rocky, Smith and  Trevor 

 BABY NAMES : MY CURRENT FAVORITES

POP POP (TREVOR) AND TATE

 

I AGONIZED over names when I had the daunting task of naming a human person for the rest of their lives….but I consulted NOT one list for these names.  Instead I went straight to my heart…they are names of people in my life who bring me joy and whose name means so much more than letters and sounds. These names all make me smile.

 

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THE BOYS MESSING AROUND WITH POPPI.

Tell me YOUR favorite baby names!!!!

Leslie

THE BREAKFAST CLUB

Before I began painting the ART for the

THE UVA CHILDREN”S HOSPITALS” BATTLE BUILDING….I was taken on a tour of the building…still under construction. I was shown AREAS WHERE MY ART WOULD PRESUMABLY GO….and this BIG BLUE WALL…measuring 18′ long x 10′ tall …. is where it all began…

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…….the big blue wall is at an entry point of the hospital and it was important to me that whatever I painted be completely NON SCARY to any age child…

THE BREAKFAST CLUB

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THE BREAKFAST CLUB ” X 120″ x 48″

THIS PIECE IS COMPRISED OF THREE PAINTINGS…TWO 36″ WIDE AND 48″ TALL

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THE BREAKFAST CLUB PANEL #1

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PANEL 3

ONE CENTER PAINTING WHICH MEASURES 48″ X 48″…

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CENTER PANEL

It is the largest painting I have ever done…and for many reasons….one of the most rewarding…

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THE BREAKFAST CLUB

I am having professional photos shot of all of my pieces at the Hospital…..these photos were taken with my iPhone in night-time lighting…but I did want to share this piece with you….

HAVE A GREAT DAY! XO

 

Leslie

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM

MY MOM WOULD HAVE BEEN 80 YEARS OLD TODAY.

 HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM

I still miss her everyday. I miss her voice. Her smoky gray eyes, her wickedly off beat sense of humor. I miss having that one person on Earth who loved me the way I love my kids. Over the moon and back, unconditionally, miss them when they sleep…. kind of LOVE. She could listen to me gab on and on about myself and I never felt selfish or self centered. Moms can do that … and without her ..sometimes I feel like I live in a world with no gravity. Nothing that tethers me down and I float, unmoored…

I see my Mom all the time…in the roses that bloom in the yard , in Cooper’s eyes, . IN fact….I saw her body in the mirror when I went to try on bathing suits…kind of Freaked me out.

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This was our last Mother’s day … (My Mom despised having her photo taken)

I hope that there is lots of chocolate cake in heaven and that my Mom and my Dad and Poppi and Maura and my Uncle Dick are all kicked back…celebrating the big EIGHT OH!

HAPPY 80TH BIRTHDAY MOM!!!! 

pixel HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM Leslie