Simple Gifts – Thanksgiving Table Decor

This Thanksgiving more than ever I have so much to be grateful for. We were fortunate to survive Hurricane Sandy unscathed, but our church did not nor did many of our friends’ homes. As you decorate your home and table, cook up the meal and spend time with family and friends, please take a moment to remember those who are much less fortunate. Perhaps, you could spend the morning serving a meal at a local soup kitchen or donate a turkey to a local organization (we gave ours through our church’s Adopt a Social Worker program, which is a part of Covenant to Care here in Fairfield County, CT) or provide some warm coats and gloves to those who lost everything. Maybe your children can make a Thanksgiving card for a soldier or write a special blessing to say at dinner. Please just take a moment to give thanks.

It is so much fun to help set up my interior design clients homes for holiday parties. Table settings are a great place to start your holiday theme.

Source: via Avery on Pinterest

I love how so many of these tablescapes feature fresh fruit and vegetables – after all Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks for the abundance in our lives.

Love to hear from you in the comments below:

How will you decorate for Thanksgiving this year? What are you grateful for?

(For more great holiday decor ideas, head to my Give Thanks board on Pinterest)

Lazy Days of Summer…and so they Begin

Pre-School Graduation

So today my baby, (my babyaaaagh) graduated from pre-school.  Where did five years go?  It seems like only yesterday she was figuring out how to say Dada and struggling to get to her feet.  Don’t even tell me about college; I’m still struggling with the word kindergarten.

And now the lazy days of summer begin.  Well except for the part where I work…but I love my work and I work for myself so that’s okay.

Tonight, my husband and I sat on the deck (while our daughter chose to watch Blues Clues) and had grilled burgers and corn and beer of choice, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale — heaven.  If I ever want to pretend it’s summer in the dead doldrums of February, I crack open a bottle and am transported if only momentarily.  Funny, how certain things we associate with seasons.  Can’t really imagine lighting the fire and drinking a glass of port tonight, right?

View from the Deck

If ever I need a gratitude moment, I stare in awe at the view from my deck (I joke that it’s my favorite room in the house).  Our lawn sprawls back to the golf course and our property has so many beautiful trees.  When we chose this property (well house but really it was all about the property), I was drawn to it.  It was completely overgrown and yet still, I sensed something.

My husband, bless him, is a landscape architect and he saw that something too and declared that we would clear all of the brambles out.  I was of the mind that we would save the lilies etc. growing within, but being allergic to poison ivy there was no chance of me doing that.  And he was right.  We pulled out the old growth, grew grass, defined gardens, removed a few dead trees and now…breath-taking.

The best part is the huge oak tree.  When I took the bus to school as a child, we passed a huge oak tree on the left.  Years later I went back and the tree was gone. My childhood oak tree is what drew me here.

Nature Walk

We’re going outside and discovering…come…

Love to hear from you!  What will you do to celebrate summer?

Power of Women

Earlier this evening, I met with the most amazing supportive group of women: Catherine Avery (the other Catherine Avery but that’s a story for another day), Patti Kekelik-Terpstra and Margaret Wagner.  They are all friends of mine through Entrepreneurial Women’s Network  (EWN).  We gathered in my home so that I could practice my Room Redesign class presentation, which I will be giving in five local continuing education programs in Fairfield County this month.  These women took time out of their busy Sunday evening to give me feedback on my presentation.  My first class is on Tuesday night at the Rippowam School in Stamford.  For more information, go to the listings on Moffly Media.

Where do I even start with setting the background to this fantastic meeting?  This was more than just a result of a commitment I made at a Remarkable Women Event held at Eileen Fisher last month.  The story goes back to a year and a half ago when I attended a Continuing Education course as part of my membership requirements for American Society of Interior Designers (ASID).  The course was called ’21 Results Driven Strategies for Growing your Business’ and was taught by Jane Pollak.  As she spoke, I knew two things: Jane must have gone to a women’s college (I went to Smith College–we can spot our ‘Seven Sisters’ right away) and she had something special.  I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I knew that I wanted it.

And that’s where these ‘remarkable women’ come in.  Jane suggested that I join EWN and it has changed my life.  I so look forward to the opportunities I have to interact with these dynamic and inspiring entrepreneurial women.  They have been my guides and my cheerleaders and sometimes told me those things I didn’t really want to hear, oh so gently…  What Jane has (and I wanted) was an amazing network of women.

Smith College Birthday Party

Smith College Birthday Party

Getting together with these women is like arriving back home after a long day of studying to the third floor of Wilson House (my dorm at Smith) to see my girlfriends and hash out the day with a cup of tea (ok not really tea), cozy pajamas and David Letterman.  May my college buddies forgive me for posting this photo from first semester finals!  And yes, in college we stayed up every night to watch Letterman.  Now, I graduated over 20 years ago, so Letterman was on after Johnny Carson.  How did we do it?  Now, my husband Tivos Letterman, so we can watch highlights at 9pm on Friday night right after my #FF tweet-up with my other great team of design women on Twitter…   Such is the life of a working mom.  And for the record, I wouldn’t trade it!

Tonight, at the top of my gratitude list are my women friends.  You are the best!

P.S.  I was right.  Jane graduated from Mount Holyoke.

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