Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Take A Walk Into My Parisian Bebe Shower

I was asked by my Sister-in-Law (my brother's wife) if I would mind having her baby shower here at my home. I immediately said yes because it gives me a great excuse to plan a party. Good thing is, we both love anything french. I thought, why not bring Paris to my home. 

Well, I had 6 weeks to transform my home into a Parsian Chateu. The color scheme I went with was pink, black & white (yes, she was having a girl). 

For food, I thought a brunch with "French" toast, crepes, crossaints and everything mini. We set up a belinni station for non-alcoholic drinks and a beautiful Parsian dessert bar. This event was by far my favorite. I had so much fun decorating. Here are some photos of that "Special Day". 

Thanks for reading. Leave a comment below and let me know what you think!  


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Why Homegoods Is My Everything

Do I need to say more?  Anyone who is an interior decorator, designer, lover of home decor or new home owner knows that you can pretty much walk into any Homegoods store and find things for every room of your home. They carry items that you see in home decorating magazines that look expensive but don't break the bank. It is literally a one-stop-shop. Why go anywhere else? 

Here are some of the many things I've found on my Homegoods travels: 

Thanks for reading. Leave a comment below. 

Featured In PopSugarHome

Thank you PopSugarHome for the feature in your article, "101 Amazing Pieces You'd Never Know Were From Homegoods".  Check out the link below:

Homegoods Shopping Day

Yesterday I popped on over to my local Homegoods to see what they got in. I wasn't looking for anything special but you never know what gems you will find. I walked through the aisles just admiring all the great pieces displayed on their shelves. It's like window shopping on Madison Ave in NYC (at least for me). I always get my inspiration for home decor from design magazines and then I take a mental pictures of what I love. There's a lot of patience that goes into waiting for those replica accents to show face at Homegoods but on those magical days, they do. 

Now, a lot of what I see in magazines are very expensive so I look for pieces that replicate that piece. 

I have been in love with the Arteriors horn for quite some time. Here's a picture below of the actual arteriors horn ($420 set of 2) :

Well, yesterday was my lucky day. Look what I found at homegoods on CLEARANCE for $15.99...

I'm so pleased with my purchase. Thank you Homegoods for always coming through. 

Thanks for reading

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Fall updates to our bedroom

I have updated our bedroom. I added some store bought branches and placed them in a vase I bought at Michael's. I brought out some faux fur with the ivory pillow (Target) and a throw purchased from Homegoods. I always keep extra blankets at the foot of the bed in the cooler months and display them in a patterned basket bought at Marshall's. 


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Bringing out the cozy

How quickly the weather has turned. The other day, it was 88 degrees and today it's 60. I haven't started switching up my clothes in my closet yet but I did start getting my home ready for the Fall season. I don't normally decorate so early in the season, but since the weather has decided to take a turn, I decided to go along with Mother Nature. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Sneak Peak into My Client's New Home

My client just bought new construction in Maryland. They were living in Wayne, NJ with their 3 kids when the husband got a new job offer and they needed to relocate. It was a very stressful time for them, however, in this economy, you have to go where the work is. They packed up their home and moved on to their next chapter in their lives. 

My clients started fresh with a new construction home. It's beautiful. Double staircase in the foyer, dark hardwood floors, chefs kitchen, the list goes on. I was brought onto this project to help them make their house feel like a home. It's just starting to come together. A lot still has to be done. Here's a sneak peak at some of the updates we've made. 

Lisa Downs

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Getting bit by the "Autumn Bug"?

I don't know what it is. I never want summer to end (which I don't).  Today is going to be 90 degrees here in NJ but with having Pinterest, all I'm doing is pinning Fall decor, recipes, Halloween costumes and anything PUMPKIN!  I was in Costco yesterday and saw these huge, potted mums for $11.99. Such a steal but I refused to buy them because if I did, I would be admitting that Summer is coming to an end.  By the time I do want to purchase these mums, I'm sure they'll be sold out!  I guess it's really the retail stores and social media that push you into the next seasons way earlier than you should. I mean, school ended here June 22 and by July 5, backpacks and school slip played were in stores. The end of July, I started seeing Halloween items and now it's end of August and what do I see.....Christmas decor. As much as I love all the seasons, I do like to enjoy the one I'm in and live in the moment. I will have to sacrifice living in the present as the majority of people this generation plan ahead and I will find myself scrambling for Fall decor, Christmas decor and anything else related to the seasons ahead. In the meantime, I'm going to sit by the pool today with my kids and soak up the warm sun 🌞 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Back-to-School Countdown

So, I'm seeing all these Facebook posts about how excited some mom's are that school is almost here. I personally have to disagree. I actually dread the first day of school. That means, routines, early mornings, outfits picked out the night before but changed by your child the morning of school, making lunches, homework, projects, driving the kids to and from their activities, cramming dinner in between all the craziness, projects, book reports, it's endless. I soak up everyday the summer has to offer. I know it has to come to an end, but I'm just not one of those mom's looking forward to the madness. There's 1 more week until that day, so until then, we're going to enjoy the freeness that summer has to offer.  Don't rush time, you can never get it back. Enjoy the memories!  

Sunday, August 17, 2014

My Mom's Crepe Recipe

I'm going to share one of my all time favorite family recipes with you.  It is one of those recipes that I hold dear to my heart because it brings back such happy childhood memories. My brother and I would be sleeping and wake up just from the aroma alone. Now, today, I make them for my own 2 girls and they wake up the same way. The funniest memory I have is my brother and I fighting over how many crepes each one of us got. We'd fight over the last one as well because it always made an uneven batch. Well, same thing with my girls. I see them fighting about the exact same thing and it just brings a smile to my face. Most parents don't like when their children fight and believe me, I don't, but it's all for the yumminess of this recipe. 

Now, one thing I must say....this is a recipe you have to play around with. Reason being, it's all about the consistency. Can't be too thick like a pancake or too thin. It has to be just right and you'll know after a few trys. If it's too thick, can't roll them. If it's too thin, they rip apart when trying to flip them. 

I hope you enjoy them as much as I did and my children do. Of course you can add your own ingredients that best suits you. 

What you'll need:
Cast iron crepe pan
2 Cups All-purpose Flour
2 Tbl. Sugar
Pinch salt
3/4 milk
3/4 water (add more as needed)
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. melted butter 

Mix dry ingredients first. Make a well with dry ingredients. In a seperate bowl, mix wet ingredients. Combine wet into dry. Use a whisk to combine. Don't over mix. Add more water until it's a smooth consistency. Use a ladder to determine consistency by laddeling and dropping it back into bowl. Again, it shouldn't be too thick, more on the thinner side. 

Heat up crepe pan. You don't have to add more butter because batter has it incorporated. Drop a ladle amount and quickly turn the pan with your wurst until entire pan has a thin layer. Cooks in 1 minute. Flip onto other side and only cook 15-20 seconds. Repeat these steps. 

When complete, top with fresh berries and powdered sugar and of course your favorite maple syrup. 

Bon appetit! 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Summer Fun!

As I was on my travels in Homegoods, I came upon these adorable retro lemonade bottles. Had to buy them along with the old-fashioned tumblers. They were $7.99 for a set of 4. Can't have lemonade without some yummy sugar cookies!  Everything pictured below is from Homegoods. Where else?  #homegoodshappy 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Guest Bedroom updates

So today we made some updates to our guest bedroom. We changed the bedding and added bamboo shades underneath the window panels. I feel it's warm and inviting for my guests to stay the night. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

New Construction Project

I have started a new project on a home in Maryland. It's new construction so we're starting from scratch which is always a designers dream. This week, we're starting on the paint. We just completed the family room, foyer, and hallways. I used Benjamin Moore, Lenox Tan. It's a warm, deeper tan. I love this color. I used a deeper hue due to the amount of light that comes into this home. It won't seem to dark. I also love the contrast of the warm color against the trimwork. I think it gives a nice balance. Stay tuned. A lot more photos to come. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

More pics of our home office

Here is another shot of our home office space. The console table was bought from Homegoods, along with horse head, lamp, magnifying glass and hour glass. The mirror was purchased from Marshall's. Chandelier is Crystorama Solaris 6-light. The books displayed are the infamous Mary McDonald and Nate Berkus.  

Who's Planting This Weekend?

Is everyone getting their curb appeal ready for the summer months?  It's still raining here in NJ, but it doesn't stop me from planning and gettting ideas for my garden and planters.  I don't have the greenest thumb, however, my husband does.  He's great at keeping the flowers alive (something I cannot do). 

We get a lot of sun by our house so we have to choose carefully on which plants can withstand the heat.  It becomes a challenge because I usually like the flowers that thrive in shade.  There are so many to choose from and we always leave the nurseries with a nice mixture.  What is also important when planting is having different colors and heights.  It gives dimension and character to your garden/planter.  I am not a flower specialist by any means.  I just have learned from experience and fails what to plant and not to plant to achieve the best, most attractive garden.  Here are some photos for inspiration:

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Outdoor Entertaining Tip of The Day

On the East coast, it can get pretty hot and humid on those summer days. I love to entertain outdoors but I don't like having to constantly go back and fourth into the house to grab drinks, food, etc. We, of course own those ugly coolers you see people bringing to the beach. We have used them to house drinks in the backyard but I always hated looking at those things. I have a very pretty setup in the yard with a gazebo, conversation set, fireplace, pool and then I'd look to get a drink and there it was, the big, blue, plastic cooler. Makes me have a sour look on my face. After much thinking and searching on Pinterest, I came across this clever idea of filling an urn up with ice and either storing wine bottles for adult eentertaining or soda cans for bbq's, what have you. There are so many different options you can buy and you can get them cheap at Homegoods, Marshall's, TJMaxx, even your local nurseries. They really make for a beautiful display and you can serve appetizers right around the urn like it's pictured below:"

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Dreary day in NJ but....

Not the greatest day here today but that doesn't stop me from getting some bright color inspiration. I just love the contrast of neutrals with bright colors. Gives a room that.....POP!  Some clients are scared of such bright colors. I tell them if they use one piece like the photo below, paint a focal wall or even throw some splash of color on pillows, it really transforms a space from blah to WOW!  See some photos below that give me that inspiration when meeting with clients.