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17 lbs.

May 21st, 2014

As I came up the driveway after work yesterday I noticed a package on my doorstep.  I felt a tickle of joy, because who doesn’t love getting presents in the mail (even when you ordered them yourself online and forgot that you did so- thanks self!).  As I walked up to the door I squinted my eyes. That couldn’t be….could it? All of that? Really?

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Yep, that’s a giant bundle of Restoration Hardware catalogs.

I bent down to pick it up and almost fell over from the shock of the SEVENTEEN pound weight. Shrink wrapped and delivered via UPS (the package guiltily emblazoned with “carbon neutral shipping!” on it), this stack of bricks clamored down onto my dining table as I stood there in awe. What a truly obscene thing this is! I couldn’t even believe it- I had to open it to make sure that the whole neighborhood’s catalogs didn’t accidentally all get dropped on my stoop. Nope- just 11 catalogs all for me . Then I thought, maybe these are just delivered to members of the trade/ designer program? One quick check of Instagram proved that wrong too. And supported my own quickly developing feelings- people are PISSED about this.

Now I love Restoration Hardware’s products, and I order from them all the time for my clients. In my experience they have provided well-made, clean lined upholstered goods, bedding and accent pieces that are priced much better than a lot of designer brands I use.  And I will continue to order from them- but not without standing up against this offensive waste of trees.  I love getting a catalog as much as the next girl, there is something nice about flipping real pages and looking at items in an editorial manner that the internet just doesn’t provide. However, when I do all my ordering it is online. Restoration has a good website that is easy to order from, and I guarantee that most of their orders are placed that way.  And for those people who don’t have the internet and need to order over the phone, I doubt they are spending $1,299 on a Deconstructed 19th Century Replica Slope Arm Dining Chair.

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(11 books in total- and yet THE INTERNET)

So that leaves us wondering who are these for? I don’t have time to flip through 8 billion pages of catalogs of items I can find quickly online and neither do any of you. And I wouldn’t keep these “Source Books” in my office to use as a designer because they aren’t even helpful- there aren’t any dimensions listed on anything anyway! So I have to wonder, why would the big, smart business people running this company think this is a good use of a massive amount of money? It has to cost at least $10 to deliver each 17 lb. package and printing these things isn’t cheap either.  Doing some quick math (with the disclaimer that I got a C in Fundamentals of Pre-Calculus) they are likely spending millions on these things only to enrage their own consumers!   To me this whole thing seems like a backwards PR nightmare!  And there is a hint of that issue within the very package of these “books”- a slip of paper heralding their “commitment to the environment” and lauding the recycled paper they use to print these, the carbon neutral delivery system and the fact that they are only send them once a year. So basically, they are saving the environment, right?!

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(I clearly ripped this in a fit of environmental rage. Or just struggling to open the shrink wrap….)

I lumbered my stack of catalogs right to the recycling bin without looking at them (I spent an hour on their site at work already), as many of you probably did too. And it made me feel gross to be tossing out what felt like six trees. So I looked on the back and found out that you can opt out of receiving these.  Call Restoration at 1-800- 762-1005 with your address and cancel your “subscription”. I plan on doing it this morning, and I hope you do too.  It’s the only real way to send a message to the company that this isn’t what you want from them. If they really want to spend that kind of money per consumer, I personally would rather get a gift card for $20 along with a single, slim catalog of new collection highlights.  As much as I love Italian Banded Sateen Bedding (and I do, I really, really do) I love trees and oxygen more.

A Little Something Special

May 20th, 2014

I saw these amazing custom paper cocktail napkins by Emily McCarthy last night and thought “why do we only have these made up for weddings and other milestone events??” I want to start living like every day is a party- and be armed to throw an impromptu get-together should the feeling (and crowd) strike! I think ordering yourself a set of beautifully monogrammed napkins ($35 for 50) is a little luxury that makes you feel special. Because everyday should be a little special- even if it’s dressing up take out pizza and bottled beer!
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(these look like high end monogrammed linen napkins!)

And why not share a new favorite drink recipe to GO with those cocktail napkins?  I love grapefruit, Prosecco and St. Germain so this mixes them ALL together in a luscious summer cocktail (I prefer mine in a champagne glass and a twist of lemon for visual stimulation.) :)

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522 North Pickney Cocktail (via Bon Appetit)

2 cups fresh pink grapefruit juice

1/2 cup St. Germain

1/4 cup Campari

1 bottle chilled sparkling wine/ prosecco

Combine juice, St. Germain and Campari in a bowl or pitcher. Chill until cold. Divide among glasses and top with sparkling wine.

And while we’re talking about monogrammed things typically reserved for weddings, I also want to have a bowl of my own personalized matches in the living room for people to take when they come visit. Whenever I go out to a restaurant, hotel or store (I’m looking at you Hudson Boston) I love grabbing a little book of matches ( or sometimes four or five like a kleptomaniac). It would be a cute little reminder for friends of fun nights at your house!

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There is a great selection at For Your Party! Check these out:

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In fact, I may have to get a bunch to bring to my book signing parties this fall (I’m looking at you readers in Boston, NYC, D.C., Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas and San Francisco)!

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Visual Delight: Paris in Four Months

May 19th, 2014

You guys have GOT to check out Paris in Four Months-I have not been this charmed by a blog in so long. Thanks to Sarah, I spent hours this weekend pouring over the imagery created by Carin Olsson, a woman who is as in love with Paris as I am. Okay, maybe more considering she moved there on a whim alone to discover what it was like to live in the magical city. Who hasn’t dreamt of that? What incredible pictures she shoots- of the city itself, nature, fashion, beauty….everything. I am certain you will be as delighted as I am.

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Read the rest of this entry »

Fashion Friday: Inspired by the Beach

May 16th, 2014

No place makes me happier than the beach. I spent last weekend sitting on the porch at my parent’s new shore house and it reminded me that when life gets a little crazy, a couple hours by the ocean is the best remedy.  And is there anything more heart-warming and charming than beach cottages?  I could drive around shore towns all day looking at salt-swept shingle style homes (and is the reason Coastal Living is such a visual feast for me).  Being a New Englander born and bred, I will forever have a love for nautically inspired summer style. So why not combine the two?  I saw this beachy front door and thought “I want to wear that!”…. so….

The Space- the front door of the author of Grace Happens:
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The Outfit:

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1. (25% off today!) // 2. // 3. // 4. // 5. // 6. // 7. // 8. // 9.

As an alternative to a heavier denim jacket, this new chambray blazer from Two Penny Blue (of which I’m a part of) is a darling, preppy alternative! The best part? The monogram underneath the collar on the back! And don’t forget, for every jacket bought on the site a school uniform is donated to a girl in need in Africa (click here to read more)- it’s an awesome way to give back a little.

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HAPPY WEEKEND!!!

24 Great Coffee Table Books

May 15th, 2014

Books are wonderful for so many reasons- intellectual stimulation, education, visual delight….and decoration. Yes, books are amazing objects of decor on top of being wonderful to pass time looking at and reading. The two things that most liven up and add depth to spaces are plants and books. So here are 24 great books that are interesting to read and are AWESOME for your decor too.  I tried to pick a selection that I haven’t seen ad-nauseum (we all have the Domino book already, right?)

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1. // 2. // 3. //4. //5. // 6. // 7. // 8. // 9. // 10. // 11. // 12. // 13. // 14. // 15. // 16. // 17. // 18. // 19. // 20. // 21. // 22. // 23. // 24- I had to, we just designed the back cover and it’s AMAZING!