Good Morning Lacquered Lifers! For some reason this year I am struggling to truly get into the Christmas spirit. It could be that we are not celebrating Christmas at our house this year, or it could be that it is 65 degrees outside. Now don’t get me wrong, I am so lucky to live in Charleston and will be extremely happy in February when it is freezing in New England and tolerable here, however, this time of year I could use a little bit of the “white christmas” feeling to put me in the mood. And let’s be honest, there is nothing like Gilded Age Newport Mansions draped in over the top Christmas decor to get one in the Christmas spirit. Built between 1892 and 1901, The Breakers, The Elms, and Marble House are some of the finest examples of Gilded Age architecture in the country, and lucky for all of us, are open to the public. Between November 22nd and January 4th the Preservation Society of Newport County decorates the houses for Christmas, and based on these photos, the decorations are pretty spectacular. If you are anywhere near Newport, Rhode Island this holiday season, I would highly recommend a visit to these historic homes. For more information on touring the famed Newport Mansions, visit the Preservation Society of Newport County website.
Good Morning Lacquered Lifers! All of a sudden Christmas is a week and a half away, and I am nowhere near finished with my shopping. In fact, I have barely started. If you’re anything like me, and you’re looking for that one stop shop for all your gifting needs – look no further than the Garden & Gun Store, G&G Mercantile + Co. I was lucky enough to attend the Garden & Gun Jubilee last weekend, which introduced me to all the wonderful made in the south products that Garden & Gun has available through their store, and let me tell you there is something for everybody. Here are some of my picks, but this list only scratches the surface of what the site has to offer.
1. But Mama Always Put Vodka in Her Sangria by Julia Reed – A favorite book of mine, by one of the great Southern tastemakers, this is a collection of hilarious and heartwarming stories about friends, family and entertaining, accompanied by some fabulous recipes. A great gift for a good friend.
2. Sallie’s Jams – I just picked up a jar of the Peach Pepper + Ginger yesterday, and I can personally attest to its magnificence. A great gift for a hostess, which will stand out amongst the numerous bottles of wine she received.
3. Dart Earrings by Another Feather – A perfect gift for any lady in your life, she will get tons of wear out of these beautiful gold studs.
4. Catchall – You can never have too many catchall’s and the simplistic design and awesome Mark Twain quote on this one is a great gift for anyone on your list.
5. Ledbury Seersucker Shirt – Looking for something for that special guy in your life? Try this beautiful seersucker shirt by Ledbury. He will have it forever, and think of you every time he puts it on.
6. Curated Vintage Cocktail Napkins – One of my favorites. No two sets are alike. Great for your best friends who you love to share cocktail hour with. Each combination is unique, discovered by Garden & Gun.
7. Copper Flask – Beautiful, fun, and yet serious. I think this is the perfect gift for your little brother … who’s not so little anymore.
Good Morning Lacquered Lifers! Feels like it has been a long time since I have done one of my “Cheap & Chic of the Week” posts. Too long in fact. So I thought I would bring back the famed series with a little something on holiday parties. I think sometimes we are overwhelmed by these pinterest perfect holiday soirees that we look at online, and at the end of the day the secret to a great party is enough food, enough booze, and a great group of people. Throwing a holiday party does not mean that you have to have the finest china or the biggest Christmas tree, and there are some great low cost options for entertaining pieces. Even if you do have the finest china or the biggest Christmas tree, these are all staples for throwing a great big party where you don’t spend the entire night stressing about the fact that your drunk friend dropped a piece of your grandmother’s china. So if you are thinking about throwing a holiday party, take a deep breath, and head to Costco to stock up on frozen pigs in blankets – it will be fine. And take my advice on these entertaining essentials, you will get a lot of mileage out of them … as I have.
1. CB2 Marta Barware. At $1.95 for a Double Old Fashioned Glass you cannot beat the price, and the sleek chic look is timeless. Its worth ordering more than you need and storing them under your bed.
2. Ikea Blanda Bowls and Ikea Skyn Bowls. The Blandas are $2.99 for a pack of 4, and the Skyn are $7.99 for 2. For those of you lucky enough to live within an afternoon’s driving distance from an Ikea, you really cannot go wrong with any entertaining pick from that store.
3. World Market Event Red Wine & Event White Wine Glasses. These are the best. And they come in these great cardboard boxes that you can store them in. The shape is nice, and the price is right $15.96 for a set/4.
4. Crate & Barrel Pine Tree. While it isn’t real, it comes pretty close, and the bottom is wrapped in burlap – what’s not to like? Its $29.95 for a two foot tree which would look great on your coffee table. Decorate it, don’t decorate it, who cares – it’s instant holiday decor.
5. CB2 Cuatro Platters. Among my favorite things. They were one of the first things I bought when I got my first apartment out of college, and were a feature at my first Christmas party in my fifth floor walkup. Remember the crowded party scene in Breakfast at Tiffany’s? Think smaller apartment and long narrow hallway and that was my party. I love these platters, and I continue to use them constantly … they start at $1.95.
Happy Holiday Party!
Good Morning Lacquered Lifers! Hope everyone had a good weekend! It has finally gotten a a little chilly here in Charleston, so we can indulge in one of my favorite winter things … building a fire. When we moved to Charleston from our apartment in New York, I was so excited to have a fireplace, but for the majority of the year here in South Carolina that fireplace sits empty. So when it is finally just cold enough to justify having a fire, I’m psyched. Sitting in front of a fire on a cold evening, or having a fire in the fireplace while you entertain, just makes everything seem more festive. But where to store the wood? In our living room (above) we keep it in the bottom shelf of the built in bookcase, and similarly in the homes below, the owners have found inventive ways to keep their firewood close by. viaviaviavia
If you don’t have an obvious spot to keep your firewood, a couple of my favorite options are here, here, here, and here. Enjoy staying warm!