eat to live

Let's take it inside shall we?

I've had several reader requests (okay, three people asked me after a few cocktails this weekend) to do a post on fireplace mantle styling.

Not always on my radar in May, but let's be honest a fireplace is usually THE focal point in a room so what goes above it ... well, it's gonna make a statement. 

I see it this way. There are two camps -- those who love ...

#1  Symmetrical design above a fireplace which is one large piece and maybe two objects flanking the piece on either side (objects can be sconces, vases, topiaries, hurricaines, etc.)


splendid sass

house of turquoise

#2  And those of us who like asymmetrical design with lots of layering of art, accessories and collected objects.

So your first step is to look at the above images and decide which style appeals to you most, stick with it and go from there.

Now, let's tackle the symmetrical style first.

My one rule of thumb here is to make sure your statement piece is BIG. HUGE.  We definitely don't want any dinky pieces hanging up there looking all lost and lonely.

If you look at the below examples you can see the art or mirror is filling up most of the space above the fireplace.

Also, if you want to flank the main piece with flowers or accessories on either side remember scale is important. We must never use objects that are too puny or too small:). Remember, they have to hold their own weight with the piece they're standing next too:). 

Okay moving on to asymmetrical design. Here you start with one large piece, but there are no set rules. Just use objects you love of different sizes, shapes and textures and layer them. You may have to step back from your work a few times to make sure it looks cohesive.

I actually like the example above to demonstrate. I would start with one large piece and would layer two pieces of art of varying size and shapes (always work in odd numbers). Then I would layer working from the middle out --adding objects and vases from tallest to smallest like above. Or below where they placed the smallest objects in the middle and worked their way out placing the taller objects on either end. Either way looks fab.

Here's other fun ways to style your fireplace for summer since we won't be lighting any fires anytime soon:

These are just magazines and books turned with their pages out and layered on top of each other.


Coral and Shells

 And this ...  I'm not really sure what this is?  But it looks cool.

So, I hope I was able to resolve your decorating dilemma and give you a little help on styling your fireplace.

I also want to add a big thank you to everyone who has sent me emails, stopped me on the street, at yoga and in car line letting me know they read my blog. Words can not express how thankful I am to all of you and your kindness -- so keep these ideas coming and thanks for reading!! Hugs to everyone.

OK, back to Bizness...

Random Thoughts

JCREW gone and done it again. Love this.
I think this line is all sold out -- all that's left is the sweater in this print. Such a tease.
Moving on, 

We're friends now, right?

I need to let you in on a little secret that has changed my life (well maybe not changed my life, but I feel a whole heck of a lot better about myself!)

I've been trying to change to a plant-based, real food only diet -- whaaaat???? Trust me it aint easy. And, I know its not revolutionary but I swear it's truly amazing!

After the holidays I was looking to do a cleanse not a Gwyneth Paltrow serious cleanse. Just a cleanse that little ole me could do and still eat real food. And I stumbled upon this book.


I'm not going to bore you to tears with the science behind this book and I am not a nutritionist I can only tell you that eating this way gives me way more energy, helps me think clearly, sleep better and has knocked off a few of those stubborn pounds too.

I use this book only as a guideline and try to eat as many fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, whole grains (basically anything that is grown from the ground) and stay away from anything that is processed.

Have any of you guys tried eating this way? Anyway, give it a try -- see what you think... curious to get your feedback.

Until next time!

oh, and don't forget to like me on facebook, follow me on twitter and sign up for my blog via email on the upper right hand side of my website. Thanks!! xoxo

Who Lives Here?

Praying for our friends in Boston. Please keep everyone safe today.

Take a gander at my curated collection of  
There-is-no-way-children-or-dogs-live-here rooms

all images via pinteerst

Am I white or am I right?

I would love to have an all white house with painted wood floors. Doesn't it look so relaxing and serene? sighhhhhh ... someday.
I would need a full time staff just to keep up with the mud and grime that would plague me, and honestly, ... aint nobody got time for that.

But I do want to let you in on a little secret about these spaces ... in reality, most of these rooms don't even look like these rooms.

It's kind of like celebrities before and after a makeup artist gets a hold of them. Most of the beautiful rooms we see in magazines are photographed and styled by serious professionals (see some below).

Scott and Emily have worked at Martha Stewart Living and countless other place on styling photo shoots -- not sure who the other guy is???

Before a magazine shoot, stylists and decorators come in and remove clutter, change out rugs, add accessories, side tables etc. And the photographers -- well they can transform any room into a work of art with lighting and their mad photography skillz. It's basically like airbrusing for your home!

Feel better? No?

Do you know there is an entire website dedicated to poking fun at the way stylists arrange a room for catalog/magazine photo shoots?

It's called Catalog Living ... a glimpse into the exciting world of  the people living in your catalogs. Check it out here. Total silliness.

Stuff I'm loving

This Flooring

Could my love affair with dark hardwood floors be over?


I don't know these are looking mighty good to me. Pretty french oak flooring ... possibly in a distressed grayish finish? I've been seeing it all over the shelter magazines.

MUCH easier to  maintain ... would hide the dirt ... the dog could do 360's and I think it would actually make the floor look better??? What do you think?

This outdoor fabric
Windsor Smith for Kravet

Lisa Mende Design


But I could be biased...

My chairs
This Throw

But this is always on my list so you can just ignore it.

This necklace

These Plates

This Book

This Hair



Speaking of hair, I have a confession to make I have frizzy, curly uncontrollable locks. I love them but every once in awhile I feel the need to get my hair straightened.

I go to Salon Ziza in Ardmore to get a process called Lazzio (not sure of spelling) so that my hair is summer-ready. Gone are the days of waiting three days to wash your hair to get that sleek smooth straight hair -- its only 24 hours now.

They do an amazing job -- also, wait -- are you sitting down? Salon Ziza offers a rewards program where you can get a shampoo, express conditioner and an amazing blow dry for $20! Yep - doesn't get any better than that my friends. Now there are specific rules that apply in order to receive this discounted price but call them and they will explain. BEST DEAL IN TOWN!

Ok, bye for now -- next time we are going to discuss outdoor rooms-- so fun!!