Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Holiday Party Fashion Inspiration: eLanvin

{Lanvin RTW via eLanvin}

This holiday season is all about pops of color. And, now that Lanvin's ready-to-wear line is live on eLanvin, these fantastic party-ready dresses are just a click away -- if you're ready to invest. However, for those of us on more modest budgets, I've pulled the following frocks that give you the Lanvin look for less:

{Affordable Alternatives}

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Leftovers!

Hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving weekend! To wrap it up I thought I'd share a few snapshots of my Thanksgiving dining tablescape and entryway table vignette. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Design*Sponge at Home Atlanta Book Signing

So, by now many of you have heard about Grace Bonney's new book, Design*Sponge at Home, based on her design blog, Design*Sponge. The book is a great resource that includes sneak peaks into stylish homes, before & afters, DIY projects and floral design tips. If you liked the Domino: The Book of Decorating from a few years back, I think you'll really appreciate Design*Sponge at Home. Grace has been criss-crossing the country on a book tour and a couple of weeks ago she landed here in Atlanta. It was a crazy day for me with work and dinner with a friend, but I was able to swing by my local West Elm just before the event ended. It was great to meet Grace in person (she was really sweet!) and I was happy to make it in time for the Smilebooth!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Food Obsession: Loaded Potato Soup

With Atlanta weather cycling between freezing cold and mild rainy days, I've been craving comfort foods that are perfect for warming the soul regardless of what's going on outside. I recently came across this recipe for Fully Loaded Cheesy Potato Soup by The Neelys. I love potato soup and this recipe has to be one of the best I've ever tried.  In addition to the veggies in the original recipe, I opted for green onions instead of chives, and I also added sausage crumbles. Yum!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

DIY Tutorial: Fall Harvest Wreath

Fall is in the air!  And, on my door! Last week, I decided I wanted to replace my Halloween wreath with something that had more of a Fall harvest feel. So I hightailed it to Michael's for materials and inspiration. Here is what I went with:

And, here is how it all came together:

  1. Starting with one color of flower (I used deep red), use the hot gun to glue each flower to the wreath at equal spacing intervals. Be sure to hold the buds in place for 15 seconds to ensure a secure bond.
  2. Then, fill in with the next color (for me, dark brown), using the glue gun to adhere. Continue this process until you are down to your final color.
  3. Finally, use the last flower color (for me, goldenrod) to fill in any gaps on the wreath.
You're done. Enjoy! 

I'm really happy with the way this project turned out. The wreath is simple, but still makes a statement with bold color. How have you made the transition into Fall for your home?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Food Obsession: Brownie Pudding

The temps are falling down South. What better way warm up the old bones than with this delectable treat?! Brownie pudding is, well, a mix between a brownie and a pudding. The outside has a typically dense brownie texture but inside is molten. Pair that with a hint of raspberry flavor and you have a perennial winner. I like to serve it a la mode or with freshly whipped cream. Recently, I made two batches -- one for work and one for home. All were pleased! You can find the recipe here.

Friday, November 4, 2011

My Picks: Terrain Woodland Holiday Collection

Holiday season is here! I know, I can't believe it either. This year has flown by. But now is the time to hunker down and start thinking about decorating for {gasp} Christmas. I skipped all over Thanksgiving because when I saw this latest collection from Terrain, I fell in love, and it sent me into holiday overdrive. The nature-inspired Woodland Holiday collection makes me yearn for cabin living – hikes through winter snow and cozy nights by the fireplace sipping warm apple cider and hot cocoa. Ahh yes, a girl can dream.
  1. Woodland Acorn Ornament
  2. Grass Snow Owl
  3. Starlight Tree Topper
  4. Decked Bottle Brush Evergreen
  5. Woodland Kissing Ball
  6. Bittersweet Wreath
  7. Bristle Brush Fox Ornament
  8. Woodland Hedgehog
  9. Bristle Brush Blue Jay

Monday, October 31, 2011

Book Review: Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts

I truly believe that I'm one of the few women of my generation who was lucky enough to have my grandmother, mother and aunt pass along the craft of sewing. I have vivid memories of them creating their own outfits for parties and even a coronation gown for me as a child. I also remember how elated I was getting my first sewing kit for Christmas along with Barbie outfit patterns and sitting (on my bed, the couch, the floor -- wherever I could find space and peace) for hours hand stitching clothes and little plastic fasteners. I gleamed with pride as I showcased my finished pieces. Next, I graduated to the plastic kiddie sewing machine, which I never mastered, but never tired of trying. Then, in middle school I fell for floss and the cross-stitch, which led me to embroidery.

So, you can imagine that last year when Martha Stewart announced her new book, Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts,  I could not contain myself. Not only do I have an affinity for sewing, but I also love almost everything Martha touches!

The book is packed with great projects for sewing novices and those who are more advanced. It starts with a thorough introduction of sewing basics, including an overview of tools, materials and fabric. Next, it moves into stitch types and techniques, before providing step by step instructions, templates and patterns for more than 150 projects. Curtains, dolls, pillows -- the list goes on and on.

My first project from the book was...you guessed it. Embroidery! You can see my colorful bird in the first photo above. My next feat? Chair covers for some of my eBay and Country Living Fair finds. I'll post pics when I'm done.

I definitely recommend Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts for all crafters and anyone that wants to discover the joy of sewing. Do any of you own it? If so, what sewing-related projects have you been inspired to complete?

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from Epitome Lifestyle!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Country Living Fair South

Some of my favorites from Country Living Fair South.

This weekend I had a chance to experience the extravaganza that is the Country Living Fair South. It was held at Stone Mountain Park just outside of Atlanta. So many great vendors and finds! Everything from hand crafted baskets, cabinetry and quilts, to custom jewelry and clothing were at attendees finger tips during the three-day event. There were onsite demos, autumn-inspired designer vignettes, and a chance to mix and mingle with the Country Living editorial staff. Thank goodness I bought the weekend pass because there is no way we could have seen everything in one day. I fell in love with a set of chairs from Bella Vita Designs and had to bring them home. This fair is definitely on my calendar for next year! I'd recommend it to anyone with an appreciation for country or shabby chic style. There is also a show in Columbus, Ohio, earlier in the year for those in the Midwest.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Design Trend Alert: Houndstooth

If you've picked up a fashion mag lately, undoubtedly you've seen houndstooth fabrics peppered throughout. While this traditional pattern is making its comeback in fashion design, its also rearing its head in interiors, but with unexpected twists. Large scale and in color, houndstooth upholstery, furniture and rugs can be just the thing you need to give you living space a visual pop.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Food Obsession: Ghirardelli Ultimate Double Chocolate Cookies

When I got married a couple of years ago, I was lucky enough to get the coveted KitchenAid stand mixer I had on my registry. One of the first recipes I tried was this double chocolate cookie recipeOn the outside the cookie has a shiny crust, and the soft center melts in your mouth. Needless to say, my husband fell in love all over again and the requests for fresh batches keep coming in. The original recipe calls for walnuts, but I prefer the cookies without nuts. The recipe I used was KitchenAid specific, here is a link to a version anyone can use. Happy baking!

Monday, October 17, 2011

My Picks: Alexa Chung for Madewell

{via Madewell}

A few weeks ago, Madewell launched its latest line in collaboration with style icon Alexa Chung. Her designs provide a good mix of what I like to call "edgy prep" style. Here are my four favorites from the line. These are limited editions are sure to sell out so quickly, so head to your nearest Madewell store or hop online ASAP!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Live Chat with Anthropologie's Keith Johnson on Thursday, 10/13

Join in the conversation with Anthropologie's resident art and antiques buyer for lifestyle and entertaining tips. Click here for more details.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Party Style: Moroccan-Mediterranean

Below is my recent post for the Lucky Lifestyle Contributor Contest. I created a colorful Moroccan-Mediterranean themed dinner party. See more pics below!
Parties are my thing. No, really-- I studied it in college and recently launched my own event planning company. I love planning events and showcasing creativity through decor and the dining menu. It's often the little details that get noticed the most, so I try to incorporate something unique for guests to remember. Whether it's a unique place card, signature drink or invite -- be sure to add your custom stamp to any party you host.

The Decor: Invites and Tablescape
I'm in love with bright, vivid hues so for my latest soiree I decided to go for a Moroccan-Mediterranean themed dinner party using a range of lush fuchsias and turquoise. The invites are unique, calligraphed tag tickets with homemade tassels, mailed in a fuchsia envelope. White dishes work for every occasion and can be easily dressed up or down. For the table settings I added pop to the dishes with turquoise napkins and used silverware with a similar beading pattern. A flower arrangement with purple and blue hydrangeas and magenta carnations add concentrated color along with Moroccan-style candle holders. Key Tip: Use colors and items that make you feel exuberant.

The Menu: Hors d'eouvres, Entree and Sides
We started off the night with spanakopita, my favorite Mediterranean appetizer. Next, we had a field greens and herb salad. For the main course, I served up shrimp skewers over couscous dotted with cranberries and toasted nuts and garlicky green beans with sliced almonds. A perfect combination for a Mediterranean-inspired event. Key Tip: Not everything has to be made from scratch. Some items taste just as good or better when they come prepackaged from your local store.

The Hostess: Attire
I like to work a little bit of the theme into my party attire. For my Moroccan-Mediterranean Party I donned a black and white skirt, boasting an arabesque inspired print, with colorful jewelry. Key Tip: Wear an outfit that shows off your style sense and is also comfortable, so that you can focus on your guests and not wardrobe malfunctions!

Clothing: Skirt, Urban Outfitters. Shirt, Banana Republic. Heels, Charles Jourdan. Jewelry, Saks and Belk.
Recipe Links: CouscousShrimp SkewersSpanakopita

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Food Obsession: Coconut Cupcakes

One of my family's most loved treats is my coconut cake. I get requests for birthdays and holidays. And, at times when we value portion control, the cupcake version is perfect. I made these for my hubby this weekend. I love Ina Garten's recipe.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Lanvin goes viral

Lanvin’s new viral video. Loved their latest ad campaign and this video is sort of a behind the scenes of how the print ads came together. Genius.

Very cool to see my favorite stills from the ads in motion.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Flowers: Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas are undoubtedly one of my favorite flowers. Simply beautiful, I love the mound shape of these blooms.They are perfect accent for any event or just decorating your home. I actually planted my first hydrangea this spring. Luckily, it has survived the overbearing heat of Georgia, I can't wait to see what it produces next year!

Country Living, September 2011 Roundup

This month's Country Living focuses on makeovers. There were some very inspirational projects from kitchen makeovers to the overhaul of an entire home. I'm particularly drawn to the beautiful bathroom makeover with penny tiles and the dramatic entryway makeover with the amazing deer patterned wallpaper. Have you read the latest issue of Country Living? What are your favorite makeover ideas from the magazine?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Vogue September Issue is Here!

Vogue, September 2011 Issue

I've been combing through this issue over the last couple of days, and I still have a third of the magazine left to read. Fantastic fall fashion and fabulous features! I'll be showcasing some of my favorite finds in future posts.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bazaar's Primary Lessons: Blue and Green Fall Syle 101

via Harper's Bazaar, August 2011 Issue

When I opened the August 2011 issue of Harper's Bazaar, I was instantly drawn to this page. There is something about these vivid hues of blue and green that feel so lush and rich. And...I just die for that Mulberry bag! Hints of gold, whether it be hardware or jewelry, are definitely the perfect complement to this look.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Inspiration Board: Blue and Green

At this moment, I'm loving the traditional color combination of navy blue and green. There is a certain crisp freshness about it that screams classic and welcoming. This colors play beautifully together in both fashion and events. How do you plan to work these colors this fall?

1.  Billy Reid
2.  High Heels and Diapers
3.  Nina
4. {AO3} Designs 
5. J Crew
6. Minted
7. Jenny Yoo via Martha Stewart Weddings 
8. JustClickPrint via Etsy
9. Preppy Pinwheel Party by Sharnell D
10. Jewelry by Dorothy via Etsy

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Rue Shops...ATLANTA!

{via Rue}

Gilt Lifestyle Editor, Chassie Post, highlights some of her favorite Atlanta spots in the latest issue. She also included one of my favorite places West Egg Cafe! If you're in the area, I highly recommend you check out this Westside eatery.


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