Black Friday: Gift Guide for the Stylish Lass….

I like to shop but I hate crowds.  I would rather punch myself repeatedly around the eyes, nose and throat than deal with the hordes of shoppers looking to score a deal.  Instead, I will be at home, nursing a rather large delicious treat as I watch movies on Netflix.  Why will I be so stress-free you ask?  It’s because I will be doing my shopping online and having UPS and Fed Ex act as my little gift elves delivering retail happiness to friends and family across the nation.

If you are of sane mind and lack the will of a mother lion looking to protect her young, then I encourage you to join me on the proverbial couch and relax.  But like I have all this week, I am not leaving you to your own devices to twist in the cruel retail winds.  My staff and I have pulled together different gift guides each with a different focus.  Even better is that everything on them is under $100!

So let’s get this baby rolling with the first gift guide – Stylish Finds for the Sassy Lass curated by my assistant Michelle who is one uber-stylish lady ….

Stylish Girl Gift Guide by Courtney Out Loud

[clockwise] West Elm Gold Flatware // Restoration Hardware Faux  Fur Throw // Mor Emporium Black Collection Scented Candle  // Bespoke Home Monogrammed Natural Linen Jewelry Roll // The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp // Yosi Sarmra Chain T-Strap // Deepa Gurnani Crystal Petal Earrings

Stylish Girl Gift Guide 2

[clockwise] Tinley Road Vegan Leather Jogging Pant // West Elm Marble Silk Pillow // Hudson Grace Marble Cheese Board // Modern House Wine by Alexsis Swanson // The Head & The Heart – Let’s Be Still // Sole Society “Skylar” Bootie 

I love Michelle’s picks and have ordered a few things for my sister from this list.  Now if you excuse me, there is a piece of pie and a hunky Norse god that goes by Thor awaiting my arrival on the couch.  Happy Shopping……

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Motivational Mondays: Valentine’s Day “Tablescape”….

Valentines Quote Shot_Horizontal

One of my favorite times of day is that hazy, peaceful moment between awake and slumber. You are zen.  Your mind is calm.  The world is quiet.  It is during those times where I roll over and look at my Partner’s face, so sweet and peaceful as he sleeps, that I am filled with gratitude for having such a special person to share my life with.

This Valentine’s Day I plan on forgoing some elaborate dinner and night out.  With both our schedules, anything that takes us past 9:30pm finds us struggling to stay awake.  So why not make your special person something truly special for the most important meal of the day….breakfast?  So this Valentine’s I plan on making The Partner breakfast  in bed……

Valentines Angle Close

Valentines Day Close Up Plates

Valentines Day Paperwhites

Valentines Day Flatware 2

Valentines Note

It is not quite my usual tablescape, why not mix it up with something I am calling a “bedscape” — perfect for Valentine’s Day.  It’s quick, it’s easy and honestly, who doesn’t think breakfast in bed is the quintessential romantic gesture?

This Valentine’s Day, I am celebrating that my dreams are my reality and my reality is pretty darn awesome!

Sources: Candlesticks & Tray : CB2 //Bud Vase: vintage//Flatware: Zara Home//Dinner Plates: HomeGoods//Salad Plates: Wedgewood//Napkins: West Elm//Champagne Flutes: Ross Dress For Less//Love Bird Salt & Pepper Shakers: vintage//Bed Linens: Crate & Barrel//Accent Pillow: Courtney Lake Interiors

[Photography: Photos By Adza //Styling & Art Direction: Courtney Lake]

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More From the Dabble Magazine Halloween Tablescape Shoot….

As promised, here are some additional shots from the Dabble Magazine Halloween tablescape shoot.  My goal was to recycle many of the pieces I already owned from last year’s table and tweak them in an interesting way for the magazine shoot.  After an afternoon drive to wine country, I was enamored with soft greens of the vineyards mixed with the amber and browns of the dried grass on the rolling hills.  This inspired not only the color palette for the shoot but the elements I would use to tweak the overall look of the tablescape.  Dried flora, moss, grasses and leaves all served as perfect “naturally spooky” background I wanted to create for the table.

San Francisco-based photographer for the shoot, Samantha Cooper, working her magic along with her honorary assistant Scruffy….

I loved mixing some glam accents such as the Chisel Glassware from Z Gallerie (similar) to break up the natural elements of the tablescape….

Green in all its different shades was the dominate color for the tablescape from the green moss placemats to the West Elm grellow linen napkins which were the perfect offset to the wood handled flatware from Sur La Table (similar).

Sadly, we weren’t able to work the fantastic bar I created into the Dabble story, but I loved how I was able to turn my kitchen island into a spooky bar for all the ghouls and goblins to wet their whistles.  Simply using cobwebs and dried grass from the Dollar Store, branches from my yard, my existing glassware, the Artesia Decanter from Z Gallerie as well as their Phantom Candelabra I was able to kit out the bar.

The centerpiece for the shoot was massive.  It was three feet high and had a span just over that, but it was the perfect canopy to trail dried grass, perch crows and weave LED candles in to create an eerily beautiful focal point.

And here is a final shot that Samantha got which I think sums up the day perfectly —  that blur in the back …. it’s me running to duck out of the shot.  I have never been so happy to sit down in my entire life!  But it was a great shoot and I am grateful to Dabble Magazine for giving me the opportunity.

Now that I have the table planned, I just need to fill it with some yummy treats!  Check out on Friday for some delicious and quick bites for your Halloween fete!

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