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Archive for October, 2013

Holiday Bar Gear Must-Haves

Dress up your bar this holiday season with some or all of these creative accessories.

From Matouk comes these casually elegant Mirasol linen cocktail napkins with colorful arched trims that were inspired by the awnings on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach. A set of 6 napkins sells for $95 through Matouk.

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Sofa Bed Shopping Tips

When space is tight and guests are expected, a sleeper sofa can save the day, or the night, in this case.
Today’s sofa beds are designed to offer more comfort than those lumpy, creaky versions your grandparents had. But to get the most out of your sofa bed budget, you need to be vigilant when shopping. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Macy's Carmine leather sofa bed, queen sleeper, $2,199.

Macy's Carmine leather sofa bed, queen sleeper, $2,199.

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Repurpose Used Halloween Masks Into Yard Art

So, what do you do with those Halloween masks the morning after the big event? If you thought about all of the germs smeared on the masks from drippy noses and salivating mouths, you’d probably burn them. But, don’t. Instead, repurpose the masks into yard art. It’s simple. Here’s how.

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Five Fab And Frugal Last-Minute Kids’ Halloween Costumes

Oh oh, did you wait until the last minute to come up with a child’s Halloween costume? Look at it this way, those itchy, flimsy, overpriced costumes at the stores aren’t nearly as interesting as a custom creation you can put together in no time at home — from items you probably have lying around.
Take a look at these adorable Halloween costumes that will make your little trick or treater a one-of-a kind this year.

1. It’s raining cats and dogs. You’re in Atlanta, there’s no way your child doesn’t have a rain coat and 20 umbrellas hanging around. Oh, and if you’ve been wondering what to do with those tired stuffed critters, well, here’s your chance to put them to good use with this comfortable costume idea from Real Simple. Grab a glue gun and stick them to the opened umbrella. Your child can hang the treat bag on the curved part of the umbrella handle to keep one hand free.

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Eight Menorahs To Brighten Hanukkah

With Hanukkah just over a month away, it’s time to consider how you’re going to make your home look festive this season. And, when it comes to the Festival of Lights, it’s the tradition of lighting the menorah each evening that shines brightest.
If this is your first Hanukkah away from home, and you’ve never had your own menorah? Maybe you’re in the market to buy one as a cherished gift, or you’d like to add another for your own home. If you’re looking for a new menorah, here are several ideas that range from traditional to ultra modern.

This stylish menorah from Pottery Barn blends brass vines with a vintage looking mercury base. Price: $149.


A modern take on the menorah comes as stacks of chunky optical crystal. Candles not included. Available through One Kings Lane. Price: $30.


This nickel-plated Tree of Life menorah designed by Michael Aram offers an elegant take. Available through Nordstrom. Price: $159.

For a modern …

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Caring For Candles — Q & A

Candles are a quick and easy way to bring color, fragrance and warmth into any room in the house, especially during the holidays. But there’s more to maintaining your candles than lighting them and blowing them out once you’re done. And there are a few misconceptions out there about candles, wax and wicks.
Let’s clear them up so that you can enjoy your candles without worry.

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Forbes’ 8 Trends To Avoid In Kitchen Remodel. Agree Or Disagree?

This week, Forbes reported on eight trends to avoid when considering a kitchen remodel. Having helped remodel and design a fair amount of kitchens, and making my share of mistakes, as well coming up with some winning ideas along the way, I agree with Forbes on some points, and totally disagree on others.
Kitchens are personal and you should, up to a point, design them for your needs and desires. But I absolutely agree with the common notion that you don’t want to design a kitchen that looks dated in a few years.
I agree:

Omega tambour corner wood kitchen appliance garage.

Omega tambour corner wood kitchen appliance garage.

Appliance garages waste valuable counter real estate. I thought these went out in the 80s, along with exaggerated shoulder pads and parachute pants. And, really, who wants to hide their tangerine KitchenAid mixer?
I agree:

Trash compactors stink. Enough said.
I disagree:

Kitchen desks are never used. I’ll concede that they’re not for everyone but, in several houses, I’ve …

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Four Killer Cocktails To Put The Boo In Your Monster Mash

OK, so you’ve decided to throw a Halloween cocktail party. Now it’s time to come up with some creepy cocktails to add to the festivities. I’ve got a few ghoulish selections. Offer them all, or make it easier on yourself and choose one as your signature Halloween party drink.

Cheers and boo!

Wolf Bite A.K.A. Zombie Bite

Banned for years, absinthe, once the favorite drink of the  bohemian crowd in Paris, is now widely available. The anise-flavored spirit still offers a bit of mystery, making it ideal for the scariest night of the year.

1 oz. Lucid absinthe

1 oz. Midori melon liqueur

1 oz. lemon-lime soda

1.5 oz. pineapple juice

Drizzle of grenadine

In a cocktail shaker add Lucid Absinthe, Midori melon liqueur, pineapple juice and ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a two-ounce shot glass. Splash lemon-lime soda on top and a drizzle of grenadine.


Bleeding Berry

2 oz. SKYY Infusions Blood Orange vodka

1 oz. lime juice

1 oz. peach puree

1/2 oz. hibiscus …

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Hang Your Holiday Wreath Without Damaging Your Door

Weather you’re eying a ghoulish Halloween wreath, one that’s blooming with autumn colors or waiting for a traditional pine-scented wreath to usher in Christmas, you’ve got to know how to hang it without destroying your door.
Use A Magnet

If you’ve got a metal door, this is the easiest method. The magnet comes as two powerful disks — one rests on the inside of a glass pane and the other on the outside. Or, if you’re using it on a door without glass, simply stick one of the magnets on the outside of the metal door and hang your wreath. The hook holds a wreath that weighs up to about six pounds. And while you once only found chrome magnets, you now can buy them in colors, including black and white. The magnets are available in most hardware stores and at The Container Store.

Wreath Pro Adjustable Hanger

This clear polycarbonate hook system, with a slim, invisible design, allows you to easily hang just about any wreath from doors and windows. While …

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Six Hostess/Host Gifts That Will Get You Invited Back

While the holidays aren’t exactly here, holiday prep season is in high gear, and many of us are starting to feel festive. That means our friends and family are dipping their collective toes in the entertaining waters, and your invitations should be arriving soon.

When someone goes to the trouble of entertaining you, what do you do?
You bring a host or hostess gift, naturally.
A bottle of wine?
A bouquet of flowers?
Really? That’s the best you can do? Don’t be so predictable.
And, don’t sweat it. Throughout the season, I’ll give you gift suggestions that will exalt you to the most favored guest status.
Candles make ideal gifts because they work perfectly for hosts and hostesses, and you can find them in all price points.

Jo Malone offers a limited edition Pine & Eucalyptus candle that fills the home with the bracing scent of winter — with a bit of lavender and frankincense. The white candle comes in a simple glass jar with a silver lid. It burns …

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