Gift Guide for the Pampered Pooch ….

I am a proud pet owner.  If you follow me on Instagram you will probably know that it is littered with snapshots of my pup, Scruffy….

Scruffy Collage

I love that little mutt like he is member of the family, so it makes sense that as Christmas approaches, I am searching for the perfect little something to stuff into his stocking (and yes he has a stocking).  If I was a betting man, I think that there is a strong possibility that one (ok two..) of these items may find their way into Scruffy’s life come Christmas morn …

pampered pooch gift guideClockwise: Petite Doggie Rope “Cigars” // Ralph Lauren Fair Isle Dog Sweater // Porcelain Geo Bone Dog Bowl // Union Made Hand Dyed Ombre Dog Leash // Jax & Bones, Jerry the Giraffe Dog Toy // TheArtfulPet Custom Pet Portrait // Collapsible Water Bowl

Typically I am against dressing up animals as little humans but I think I may break my rule for that Ralph Lauren doggy sweater.  ACK!  I can justify it by stating that is has been unseasonably cold this year in California.  But honestly, while the sweater may help fight the chill for Scruffy, it 100% warms my heart!

Don’t miss our other gift guides:  Stylish Finds for the Stylish Lass and the Non-Girly Gift Guide for Guys…..

Now if you excuse me, it’s time for Scruffy’s walk and I don’t want to be late!

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Throw Back Thursday: Chinoiserie Chic Christmas Tablescape…..

I thought it would be fun to take a trip down memory lane to look at a Christmas tablescape I did last year for the Nate Berkus Show. I created a tablescape I labeled “Chinoiserie Chic” – it had elements from several Asian cultures mixed with a traditional Christmas vibe.  I combined the traditional color scheme of red and white but filtered through the use of non-traditional decor like wicker lanterns, shadow boxes, paper flowers & fans.  Throw in some overtly Asian touches like red envelopes and you end up with what I am calling a “Chinoiserie Chic Christmas Table” ……..

The tablescape is anchored the the large handmade paper flower on the window…

The mural consists of about 17 different paper flowers made from a variety of papers including cardstock, wrapping paper, tissue and my personal favorite, the red glitter paper.  I added red clip-on bejeweled dragonflies as an unexpected surprise and to continue with the non-traditional Asian motif.

The centerpiece is composed of a manzanita branch I sprayed lacquered red, white wicker lanterns, clear glass bulbs and the red clip-on dragonflies.  Poinsettias in lanterns and a trio of modern glass candlesticks finish off the centerpiece.

The Ralph Lauren Pagoda print dinner and salad plates were the inspiration for the entire tablescape and their graphic design is the perfect counterpoint to the organic nature of the manzanita branch.  Each plate setting had a red envelope which is traditionally used in Chinese culture to give money during special occasions. I opted to fill each envelope with a different kind of currency –  individualized notes to each of the dinner guests telling them what they mean to me.

In lieu of flatware, I opted for red wooden chopsticks propped on a small ceramic poinsettia leaf on top of red cotton napkins. Two different champagne flutes were used for the table to give varied height and visual interest.

A customized shadow box placemat was created using a white shadow box frame from Ikea, lined glitter wrapping paper.  An inexpensive paper fan and swan chopstick holder were hot glued in each box to remind the guest of our trip to see to attend the Cherry Blossom Festival in San Francisco.

Aside from the handwritten notes in the red envelopes, I wanted to be able to give each dinner guest a little something, so I created individualized flower arrangements in red Chinese take-out cartons.

Okay one more shot of the table before I send you off to do your last-minute holiday shopping and preparations……..

[photo credit: moi]

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Men’s Style: Out & About In Winter White …

I think one of the reasons I have had such a hard time getting into the holiday spirit is because I have not been dressing the part.  It’s hard to be full of Christmas cheer when you are sweating in short sleeves and flip flops. The mild climate is one of the many wonderful things about living in Northern California but the East Coaster in me prefers my Christmas season to be cold, snowy and blanketed in white.  Evidently Mother Nature heard my silent pleas and sent a cold snap across the country.  While this cold front caused a major case of the “bah humbugs” among most people, for me it was a welcome icy kick in the bum to knock me off my grumpy perch.

Inspired, I quickly pulled together a new set of looks for my annual Men’s Style series that celebrated the emergence of wintery holiday season but with my unique (and at times warped) take on dressing.  Kicking things off, I am doing the unthinkable – championing Winter White.  For some reason this hue (or lack thereof) seems to scare almost everyone but one I find incredibly chic.  Winter white is the perfect base upon which to layer a fun coat and pile on the accessories.  Paired with a pair winter boots and you may have the perfect out to run errands or deliver your perfectly wrapped gifts to family and friends who are too afraid to venture into the frigid holiday wonderland…….

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[trenchcoat: black fleece for brooks brothers//turtleneck: ralph lauren purple//pants: kenneth cole//boots: coach]

Jonesing for your own winter white outfit?  See below for a modified twist on what I consider to be a holiday [outfit] classic…….

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Check back next week for a special edition of Men’s Style: Holiday Edition talking to the point of what to do when the invitation states “black tie”…..

[photo credit:  aubrie pick//styling: courtney lake]

Check me out on PinterestTwitter and Insta.gram for more musings on design, food and just plain randomness. You can also find me at my online shop for Joy & Revelry.