Monday, 3 October 2011

Behind the Mary Ann from Classic Casual Home!

Good morning! How was everyones weekend? Hope wonderful! I had relatives visiting from out of town so went into NY, and had so much fun. Felt like I have been living under a rock for the last few years being knee deep in "house biz"! It was great to get out and do something totally unrelated to the house. Anyway,  so happy to be here with yet another fabulous and talented blogging friend, say hello to .....
Mary Ann from Classic Casual Home

Now the low down.....If Mary Ann wasn't so nice, charming and down to earth it would be easy to be just a bit jealous. She lived in Paris with her family not to mention numerous other wonderful spots and now lives in Newport Beach, California. Two of my most favorite places on earth! She is so incredibly sweet and funny and self deprecating, qualities which  make her so likable. Then her fun it is! I love visiting because I know I will always love what I see. Whether she is showing her beautiful welcoming elegant home with French touches or featuring various bloggers in her popular pillow addict series, she always puts a fresh and appealing spin on whatever subject she might be talking about.  When she is not busy running her growing design business, which includes e-design, she loves skiing, cooking and hiking. I love that she stresses that when designing someones home, its important to her that they are proud of their space and feel comfortable in their newly designed home. Mary Ann's blog is definitely one which must be one of my daily stops in blog land. One click over and you will see just what I mean. We hope to meet up one day and Mary Ann, you know whenever you come back to the East Coast I expect a call! Do visit Classic Casual Home if you are not already familiar with it...I promise you will be glad you did!

Click on header to visit Classic Casual Home and thank you Mary Ann for participating!

So how did you end up blogging?
A bit like you (on a much smaller scale), Tina, I wanted to highlight the changes we made to our home.  I was also hoping to gain some exposure for my decorating business, Chez Vous Home.  Fortunately, it has been helping quite a bit and it is FUN.

A few things I love about fall are....................
My birthday is in October and I like to milk it for the whole month. Also, I love how our family gets together for Thanksgiving…always in different places, but we are together.

You get to spend a month at the perfect beach house, will it be Malibu or Nantucket?
Malibu is just about an hour away from where we live, so I would pick Nantucket.  I have never been there and I imagine…hydrangeas, woven baskets, clapboard cottages, wide porches, gourmet shops.  Am I right?

Two weeks first class all the way, is it London or Paris?
Paris, for sure (and First Class—ALL RIGHT!).  I first visited Paris with father on my 19th birthday (yeah, milked it).  I was studying abroad for a year in Vienna. I think that experience led me to be unafraid to live in new places.  Ten years ago, we lived in Paris for two years.  What a fabulous experience for our family!

If I was 18 again I would.......
Realize my parents were pretty smart after all.

What would be on your plate for your ultimate dream dinner and dessert?
My husband’s short ribs and gorgonzola polenta and a baby arugula salad with summer tomatoes and shaved parmesan.  For dessert, a dark chocolate and nut tart with fresh raspberries and whipped cream (a recipe I learned in Paris)…and since this is a dream, no calories.

Tell us as little or much as you want to about your family? Since we have moved several times (New York, Chicago, Orlando, Paris, Fort Lauderdale, California) for my husband’s work, our little family is very close.  Howard and I have been married for 26 years.  Our daughter, Alie is 23 (and fluent in French) just got promoted at an ad agency in NYC.  Tommy is 18 and a freshman (go Gators) in college.  I miss that guy!  We are empty (sob) nesters now. Loving Skype.

Worst habit? Best trait?
None!!! (Well, perhaps using too many exclamation points)! Best trait:  My husband would say I am polite.

Favorite design trend?
Mixing high and low materials.

One golden rule/advice for decorating that you would pass on... 
It is just decorating, enjoy it!  Seriously, you make the rules.
And one more thing…if unsure, sleep on it.

Designer icon?
Parish/Hadley duo.  Always in style.

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? Wow, Tina, amazing questions.  Making my brain hurt.  The possibilities …can I get back to you when I narrow it down? Well she did get back to me and here is what she came up with (she just HAD to squeeze in 2 extra seats to make it 5).....Oprah's best friend, Gayle (she is so darn nice and probably knows where the good wine is), Mother Teresa (I would like to give her a hug), Julia Child (she would make the meal and tell us about it with a hearty laugh), Bob Hope( he would have us cracking up and I could thank him for  entertaining the troops while in danger), and Leonardo Da Vinci ( I would give him a stack of cocktail napkins and a pen to play with)

A perfect day would start with... room service wearing a nice hotel robe in a place I have never been before like Sicily, Bali, Australia, Argentina, Greece…and end with... learning something new.

If we could only live in one season year round, which would you choose and why?  Summer in southern California…by the beach…flip flops, warm sand and cool breezes.  No air conditioning needed.

Describe your favorite outfit.
Big smile and cotton Asian pajamas from Garnet Hill, bare feet. “Washington Square” Bond Street perfume. (This comment will kill my fashionable, high-heeled friend, Netta).

Tell me about a dream vacation for you and your family... My whole family, including Howard, my mom, brothers, sisters, cousins, children, our dog, Rocky, oh, and throw in all our close friends (fly First Class, hard to go back after Paris) to Rome for a couple days and have tea with the Pope (that’s for you, Mom) and then rent villas in a hill town in Umbria where we eat pasta, drink wine, blast opera music, taste gelato in the square, walk everywhere and laugh at my husband speaking Italian with his hands.

Favorite movie or book that you could read or watch over and over?
My daughter, Alie and I have watched “Pride and Prejudice” way too may times.  At Thanksgiving, it is always “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” or “My Cousin Vinny.”

3 qualities that I think fairly describe me are. Positive, friendly, resilient

Comedy or dramas?  Drama, unless I need a comedy.

A book that I have read in the last few years that I really really loved is....
was “World Without End” by Ken Follet.  It is the sequel to “The Pillars of the Earth” and although they were thick historical novels… I did not want either to end.

In my next life I will never think I was too fat.

If I have learned one thing in life, it is to be kind.  It’s true.

 One thing I absolutely cannot live without is  Howard  …too sappy? OK...air. Too serious? Then, Red Vines or Hot would just not be worth living. 

And just a recap on what Mary Ann loves....

Now do you see what all the fuss is about? Isnt' she great? I love someone with a sense of humor.....someone after my own heart. When she described her ideal vacation I knew we were meant to be friends, we could stand atop the Tuscan mountain tops and belt out opera together, wine glass in hands with our families looking aghast in the THEN when I read about her love for red vines and hot tamales, I knew it was fate! Yes, those are a regular indulgence of mine too...loved them both ever since I was a kid. Some things you are never too old for, right Mary Ann? Anyway hope you enjoyed this as much as I did...please stop by and say hello to Mary Ann, click here to visit. Thanks again for stopping by!! Have an enchanting day!


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