Monday, 31 October 2011

Behind the Jan from The French Tangerine!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!  Who better to feature today than someone who takes the color orange (along with green) to the most elegant and stylish heights. Say hello to......... Jan aka  "Queen of mosaics" of the beautiful blog.....

   The French Tangerine

OK, Jan is a gal after my own heart. I feel like I know her and we both certainly have plenty in common, including an unwavering obsession with pretty things, chinoiserie, blue and white, all things French, and have a wicked sense of humor (I can most certainly laugh at myself as can she which makes her so endearing). I laughed reading over her interview and loved getting to know more about this fun loving gal behind The French Tangerine. Now that 2 of her 3 kids are out of the home, she has devoted herself to her blog and claims it "the best hobby ever"! Her blog always promises a serious parade of eye candy, whether she is playing "investigative reporter" and having her friends open up their beautiful homes or taking us behind the scenes to a fabulous antiques fair or show. Always something gorgeous  going on over there, that much is true. SO if you aren't already a fan, do check out French Tangerine. I cannot take a trip to blogland without stopping by and I am confident you will see what I mean once you visit this style maven. Did I mention that I have unofficially named her the doyenne of mosaics? NO ONE can make a mosaic like Jan, she reigns supreme in my eyes and has taken mosaic making to new heights. You go girl! So, without further ado let me present Jan from The French Tangerine...Jan, take it away!

Click on header to visit Jan over at the beautiful French Tangerine!

So,  how did you end up blogging?
I love spending time looking for beautiful images online. I can spend hours searching for the perfect object to complete a vignette in my home. It occurred to me one night that this inspiration might be of interest to others… namely my sister-in-law Nina. I really enjoy putting together the posts, and it keeps me on my toes… and inspired! I have discovered that I love the writing as much as the images!
A few things I love about fall are....................
No sweating with a sweater, jeans with boots, no fat arms showing, football games with family and friends, that awesome crisp air, dinner parties and the beginnings of comfort food. 
You get to spend a month at the perfect beach house on the beach,  will it be Malibu or Nantucket?
Nantucket. Absolutely Nantucket.
Two weeks first class all the way, is it London or Paris? Yes, please. Both sound perfect, but I'd have to go with Paris, after all, I am the french tangerine!
If I was 18 again I would.......I would switch my double majors from Education/Art History to English/Design… I love writing! (I might have to do a minor in Art History… I would miss that invaluable information!)
What would be on your plate for your ultimate dream dinner and dessert?
Homemade pasta with bolognese… and bread! FYI: Sushi or Pizza are close seconds. Cheesecake for dessert, Definitely.
Tell us as little or much as you want to about your family? I've been married to my college sweetheart for almost 25 years. Our oldest two are away at school, so we are down to one… which is comparable to owning a guinea pig… compared to the three. Come to think of it, I think the sudden extra time had something to do with starting the blog also.
Worst habit? Best trait? Procrastinating exercise – definitely my worst habit. I will wear my workout clothes all day in hopes of getting that workout in… I do not enjoy my workout so it's always at the bottom of the list. Best trait is probably my reliability. You can count on me to get the job done.
Favorite design trend? Hmmm… not really up on the latest trends… I do love the use of reclaimed wood. So many furniture lines are using reclaimed wood or painting wood to look old giving the furniture so much more warmth and charm and character. Not everyone can find or afford antiques… thank goodness the furniture manufacturers figured this one out!
One golden rule/advice for decorating that you would pass on  If you really love it, buy it. You'll find a place for it.

Designer icon Carol Glasser, Dan Carithers, Mary Macdonald
You get to have lunch with anyone in the entire world, could be from Hollywood, a famous author or playwright, a politician, rock star, a cooking guru, religious leader, anyone…who are the lucky two to sit at your table? Obama and Michelle… I have questions. If one of them can't make it, substitute the dog whisperer. I'd love to find out what the hell my dog is trying to tell me!
A perfect day would start with a good night's rest and end with phone calls from my kids.
If we could only live in one season year round, which would you choose and why?
Fall is a renewing time for me… cleaning out the yard, cleaning out closets, getting on a schedule. I seem to be more motivated in the fall… and again, the comfort food thing. Sitting by the fire pit on a cool night with family and friends… doesn't get much better than that.
Describe your favorite outfit. Jeans tucked in my boots, white blouse with a gorgeous scarf.. It's comfortable and casual but smart.
Tell me about a dream vacation for you and your family……Our current favorite vacation spot is La Palmilla in Los Cabos, Mexico. Our best vacation ever – we're repeating this year! My dream is a trip to South Africa… I think it would be life changing.
Favorite movie or book that you could read or watch over and over? Poisonwood Bible, Beach Music is an old favorite… Really hard to pick just one!
3 qualities that I think fairly describe me are.
Thorough, Funny, Serious

Comedy or dramas? How could I possibly choose? I love Step Brothers with Will Ferrell as much as A Beautiful Life with subtitles!
A book that I have read in the last few years that I really really loved..............The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
In my next life I will .....Be a writer and a runner and naturally skinny
One thing I absolutely cannot live without is...............My cell piece
If I have learned one thing in life, it is...............….. You can't make everybody happy. It's my favorite thing, but not realistic. Another good one would be people believe what they want to believe, not always what's true… which can be frustrating.

And now a little recap on all the things Jan loves....

OK, do you see what I mean? How great is she! My kind of gal....We laughed and found it a little scary (insert haunted house music here) that we are so much alike. From how many years we have been married, to two oldest being away, to  her choice of meals and did you notice how she said "comfort foods" being one of the reasons she loves fall? You know I am always saying that. Be a writer and be naturally skinny (does being that way until I was 22 count) are things once again we have in common! Loved The Help too and really would like to be at your dinner with Oback and Michelle because I have questions too. Lots of them.  Thanks Jan for participating and to you all for stopping by. Do stop by and pay a little visit to The French Tangerine! Wishing you all a wonderful day.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Random Saturday musings, a few questions answered and a hello

Happy Saturday to you. I don't know about where you are but over here they are predicting one heck of a nasty day...including cold rain, high winds and then get this eventually a wet driven SNOW! Yes you read right, its not even Halloween and they are talking snow! Up north and west, they are predicting boatloads of the white stuff, as in up to one foot! Huh? What IS going on?

Anyway, this is one of my random posts....a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Many of you wanted the names of the fabrics I featured on Thurs. post (the library fabrics) as well as the lighting sources so I included that information. The sconce is from Decorative Crafts. Then some pretty spaces and pictures of fun things that just struck a chord for no real reason at all.

What are you up to this weekend? Here, the normal chauffeuring of my son to various things, two house appts. dinner plans with friends (I hope, hubby is a little under the weather) and hopefully will squeeze in a movie. Tomorrow we are invited to a private art auction which I would love to attend, weather permitting (its upstate CT) so we will see!

Anyway, wishing you a happy Saturday and relaxing weekend!

This is where I wish I was flying off to today.......really have a Paris bug lately.
Someone parked so close to my car, I couldn't get in yesterday, had to go through the passengers side door!!! Can you imagine? I am not 16 anymore. I wish I had this card to leave on their windshield...should get a stack of these.
How scrumptious is this chinoiserie? The colors make my heart sing...literally.
Isnt' this such a charming home? Love the colors, the pale blue gray is so French!
You know my fondness for antique mirror, love seeing it in a foyer!

And this living room made my heart race...........soooo pretty! Love the color palette.
Just ordered this plaid down coat, thought it was cute for every day...and looks really toasty!
This is such a great pattern, isn't it? Love the mix, so vintage-y.
Loving this flatware for every pretty!
Something about chocolate brown walls makes me melt.
I really LOVE these fabulous moss covered walls and that delicious dark dark green velvet sofa!

Which of these two benches do you like at the end of a bed for my room?

The fabric details from Thursdays post-
Ralph Lauren Essington Paisley in Green
Ralph Lauren Hunting Manor Paisley in Loden

Love this pattern of these Tory Bruch makeup bags, this is "so me"

And last, this is sooo clever! You take cookie batter, turn a cupcake pan upside and fit the cookie dough just around the cupcake part,  and bake. You get "cookie cups" and fill them with ice cream! How cute is that? Not to mention sinfully delicious!

Yea, I know this was kind of mean to post something this good and this easy on a Saturday morning...a morning where technically you probably could make  the time to make these, and a morning that you know your kids would crown you worlds greatest mom and baker if you did! What are you waiting for??  Told you this was random! Enjoy your Saturday, and hope its a great one!


Friday, 28 October 2011

The dirt on mudrooms and we have a winner!

Good morning and Happy Friday,  normally I run my Things I am loving Thurs. post for two days but since I have a winner to congratulate, I changed it up a bit and am doing a new post today. If you want to see house updates, click here. In the meantime, using random picker, I am happy to say congrats to.....

Prize IDWinner IDPublic InfoPrivate InfoRandom Sorting IDWeight
1: Bench18Alysse Jinetec5b0e2ce-41e3-42a0-8ab8-003528f0ecfd

Please contact me ASAP so that we can arrange to have this beautiful table sent to you!

Perhaps one of them most overlooked but overused rooms in the entire house is that ubiquitous little room lurking in the back corner of the house, the infamous mudroom. Mudrooms have made progress by leaps and bounds however, and are finally getting the recognition they so deserve!! A mud room is there waiting as the first thing to greet us when we are coming in from the elements of extreme snow, nasty rain storms, sweat inducing sport games for the kids,a morning run, they deserve some love too and I am glad to see mudrooms are being talked about and decorated like they matter!! As I am planning my own, I am starting to think a lot about this room!
 So...what makes up a good mud room? To me, storage, a good bench or two is a nice extra to have, plenty of space for shoes, boots and jackets and a backup storage compartment of some kind. If for some reason a phone is far away enough, its not a bad idea to have a phone on the wall too. Ditto a bulletin board to schedule a busy family, or a wipe it board/chalk board to leave each other messages. Plenty of hooks a definite.Good lighting is an absolute must and if you don't have a window with natural light, good overhead lighting is a must. Then to add a little personality, love seeing a great wallpaper in a mudroom, an indoor/outdoor rug is a wonderful idea. Framed prints if you want to feel like another room in the house can add a lot of charm. Even a wall of family pictures is a great idea.  The list goes lets take a look at some mudrooms that "work", rooms that are as utilitarian as they are gorgeous!

This is a really great mudroom, love the brown and white wallpaper, the herringbone all weather rug, the cubby idea...Charleigh Mims
This is good looking and affords good storage, like the bead board detail
Like the idea of separate "cubbies" feels like a pretty locker room!

This is clever and space saving for a family that has lots of boots!
Love all the baskets, looks great with the rich wood, Nest woodowrking
Love the separate chalkboards on this wall! Vallon Designs
Fun lighting, small cubbies and a bench in the middle is a great setup for a mudroom!
Love the stainless top, the shelves of baskets and floor to ceiling bulletin board, practical meets beauty
You can get creative with the hooks too, these cute leaf hooks add a little pizazz to a mudroom
A great example of how adding wallpaper and a fun light fixture can dress up even a laundry room, Elle Decor
Even when space is very limited, you can maximize by adding a pull up bench, coat hooks and extra shelving...this is great looking, the beadboard completes the space
Love the rich warm woods with the slate flooring, great rustic lantern is the crowning touch! Veranda
This is a beautiful laundry room, crisp, white and bright as well as ultra spacious with its own island which probably doubles as a folding table.....Decorpad
This mudroom even includes a narrow computer desk under the window...clever!
A great example of a fairly small storage unit that when laid out properly can fit a nice amount of clothing, shoes and equipment...baskets are a great idea!
Granted this mudroom is the size of many living rooms but I like how they warmed up the abundance of storage using rich warm woods, in white it might appear cold. 
A mirror is a very good idea for those last minute checkups as are the folder holders for odds and ends
This is like a mini epicenter where everything is obviously very organized, Martha Stewart
Love this idea of famiy pictures perched above this great looking bench in this mudroom, it adds such personality to the space!
Even if you don't have built ins, a wide chest with baskets underneath can do the trick, 
Pottery Barn

This is cute, each family member has their own "cubbie" and cubicle with storage
A chalk board is a fun and great idea especially for young kids, House and Bath ideas
Even when you dont' have floor to ceiling built ins, an extra  long shelf with plenty of hooks can afford great storage and keep the area not feeling cluttered, Skona Hem
Great the idea of adding a painted piece as an accent, House of Turquoise
Though this feels a little dark, I do love the dog bath in the corner....such a great perk!
If you can fit in a bench, its a very practical thing to have....this one is cute with the numbers, Working woman
Chinoiserie in a laundry room? Proves there are no limits! Draza Stamanich
How about stenciling a cute and whimsical message atop the mudroom door? Love it!

So what do you think? Do you have some proven tips that work in a mud room that you like to implement? Please share your ideas...what are the absolute necessities? Always enjoy hearing what you have to say. Wishing everyone an enchanted Friday!