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Giving Back... 5 Ways to Make a BIG Difference This Holiday Season

Over the Thanksgiving holiday I had a much needed break from work and my "everyday" to-do list, which gave me time to reflect on all that I have. While spending quality time with my family, I thought about how so many people are in need.

That said, take a look at this list of ideas for giving this holiday season. I found these (and many more!) in Glamour magazine and am re-posting. Which ones will you contribute to?

1) Pay a Student's Bus Fare. Contribute just $40 to, and you will help get a child from the slums of Haiti to a new school for two months.

2)Buy a Counseling Session for a Solider returning home after serving in Iraq or Afghanistan with a $17 donation to

3)Pick up the Grocery Tab for a Senior. There are 3.5 million Americans over the age of 50 that don't have enough to eat. Just $18 to feeds one of them healthy meals for a day.

4)For $25, you can help needy children grow produce, both for their family's fridge and to sell at farmers' markets.

5)Make a difference in your zip code via, which connects you with ways to improve your neighborhood.

Featured Fab Website-- Haymarket Designs

Over the holiday, I got my fill of home decor and holiday entertaining reading and came across this cool website, Haymarket Designs, while reading Southern Living. I fell in love with the chic designs--morrocan, bamboo, chevron and more. Pick a color and pattern and voila, you have a custom tray, cell phone case, tissue box, or frame to name a few. Add a monogram and you have a very unique gift!

Here are a few pics from the website that I love (I'm thinking about buying the yellow one for my office):


Addicted to Decorating? There's a New Home Decor App For Your iPad

Just wanted to share a little tidbit for all of you who are addicted to looking at beautiful homes and spaces.  House Beautiful recently announced its new Flipboard--a new iPad app which features home tours, designer interviews, color advice on more. Available in the App Store on iTunes. Worth checking out!

Fabulous Finds Under $50 from Unique Gift Website

I was reading O Magazine the other day and came across an advertisement for Gifting Grace, a website that sells different and affordable gifts and thought I'd check it out. Very cool, here are some of my top picks for gifts or little somethings for yourself under $50.

1. Kids' Alligator Blanket $28
2. Amaryllis $44

3. Adorable bird speakers $34

4. Carved Wood Vases $50

5. French Bull Cake Stand and Knife $40

6. Stackable Storage $32


West Elm & Etsy Team Up for the Holidays -Local Workshop for YOU

I wasn't planning on posting anything until Monday, until I heard that West Elm and Etsy, two of my favorite shops, are teaming up this holiday in all West Elm stores for a HOLIDAY WORKSHOP. I had to share with you! 

On December 1, from 6-9pm, West Elm is hosting a Holiday Workshop and Mini Market with Etsy in all West Elm stores. There will be drinks and snacks to enjoy while you shop from local Etsy sellers. You can also make ornaments with Etsy to help decorate a tree they are donating to a local non-profit. Contact your local West Elm store for more information.


Happy Thanksgiving!

I am away for the holiday and just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! I will have a new post on Monday.


Baby, It's Cold Outside...Amazing Outdoor Spaces To Warm Up To

The leaves have already changed colors here in Virginia and it is starting to get colder as winter nears. While summer remains my favorite season of all, fall and winter are becoming more enticing as we spend time away at my family's vacation home and make s'mores outside by fire.

Take a look at these gorgeous outdoor spaces that make you just want to curl up with a good book, a glass of wine..well, you get the point!

Pic from Decorpad

Pic From DecorPad (by HGTV)

Pic from Architectural Digest

Pic from DecorPad

Pic from Architectural Digest

Pic from Decorpad


iPad Dock... Victrola Style!

I simply could not resist posting this cool new gadget for your home---the iVictrola, which pumps out music from your iPad via old-style. Truly unique. Price is $985.   **UPDATE: the DWR site lists it as sold out - I do not know if more will be available. **

Got Kids? I've Got the Scoop on the Best Fabrics For Families

I have an all white kitchen--and two children under the age of 6--so I have to clean, a lot. BUT, the beauty of my kitchen is that I have wipe-able, vinyl (faux leather) chairs that can take the lasagna that is smeared across the seat by tiny fingers and the brownie crumbs that get smashed.

That said, here are some of my favorite indoor/outdoor and vinyl fabrics to use throughout your home that are durable and beautiful. Whether you have kids or not, these fabrics can be both the "brains and beauty" of your home!

1. From Calico Corners, this gorgeous green trellis indoor/outdoor fabric is just $26.99 a yard and also comes in 3 other colors.
2. This fun and eclectic pattern from Calico Corners is easy to clean. Would be fun to use for pillows. $51.99 a yard.

3. This is the coolest faux croc wipe-able vinyl! It comes in a large variety of colors and styles too. Only $15.99 a yard!

4. Perennials' Origami in Chai is 100% acrylic.

5.Crypton Fabric in Colburn is a great neutral, without being "beige" $38.99 a yard

6. LOVE this white vinyl from JoAnn Fabrics $24.99 a yard  (This also comes in a bright yellow)


I'm Addicted...To Gray Rooms

It may be Saturday, but I had to share some great inspiration pics for gray rooms... I love the color gray and recently I've seen a ton of gray rooms, with splashes of yellow or fuchsia or blue in them. Regardless of accent color, I love them all. In my own house, I have a dark gray-ish, brown-ish dining room and I adore my light gray linen drapes from Restoration Hardware. In any case, here are some beautiful inspiration pics for gray rooms.

Pic from DecorPad

Pic from DecorPad

Pic from Fox Nahem

Pic from Apartment Therapy


Mirror, Mirror On the Wall

Mirrors can make a big impact on a wall. Put up a large or ornate one in a small space and you have yourself a winner. If you have dark colored walls, try a light finish mirror to make a statement.  Take a look at these beauties and see if one might be worthy to grace your walls!

Viva Terra's Lotus Petal Mirror $229 is gorgeous!

If you are looking for a statement piece and have some money to spend--this mirror is it!
From High Fashion Home $524

This "Restoration" mirror looks like something from a well-known high end furniture store and has a very budget-friendly price tag of only $179

I adore the geometric shape of this mirror from High Fashion Home $349   Two of these would look fantastic above a long console or sofa.

Anthropologie's Coat of Arms mirror is a stunner at $198 . I'd put this in a powder room


My Favorite Finds On Etsy

I admit it...I am addicted to Etsy. This "sell everything" site has anything a girl could want. There are so many talented artists who sell handmade home decor items and usually at a reasonable cost. I am eyeing several chairs that are so unique...just need to figure out where I would put them.

Here are some of my favorite finds:

From Painted Dog Furniture $294:

This pillow cover caught my eye right away! LOVE LOVE  $38

LOVE this animal print seat at $94

From Lab Designs $150

This would be great in an entryway  $125

From  This would look awesome in a home office (the chair swivels!) $250

For all you Shabby Chic fans, check out this pretty chair at only $125


Book: "The Imperfectly Perfect Home--How to Decorate and Live Well"

For those of you design junkies like me, years ago there was a fantastic home magazine Domino. It was my favorite shelter magazine--eclectic and fun and always listed where I could buy the items shown in its glossy pages. Fast forward and the shelter magazine industry drastically lost many publications including my much beloved Domino.

On the bright side, former founding  Domino editor, Deborah Needleman, recently came out with her new book, "The Imperfectly Perfect Home: How to Decorate and Live Well."  This is on the top of my Christmas List.  Buy it now for your favorite friend!

 It is available on Amazon  :

You can also check out Needleman's interview regarding the book here on CasaSugar:



I just came across this fabulous website which sells custom slipcovers specifically for IKEA furniture!  Tired of your white, brown, blue, red or whatever color IKEA slipcover? Check out and buy a new one in a cool design for a fraction of what it would cost to re-upholster. Happy shopping!

Affordable, Gorgeous and Fun--These Rugs Will Add A Lot To A Room

My three favorite items to pick out for a room are Lighting, Fabric and RUGS! Today's post features some of my favorite rugs--and of course these are affordable rugs. Now, that's not to say that I don't like many of the fancier designer rugs, like those of Jonathan Adler, Madeleine Weinrib, and Kelly Wreastler; however, affordable is the name of the game here. So..enjoy these beauties! Maybe one will inspire you for your home!

This gorgeous gray blue rug from would look fantastic in a family room or living room with white or cream upholstery OR perhaps an orange sofa to spice things up! I'm hoping to purchase this one for my own house!
5x8 Rug  $150

I adore this IKEA rug for a child's bedroom or playroom. Mix it with Navy or Yellow or Fuchsia, depending on the look you are going for.
Approx. 4x4' $29.99

I never tire from a classic chevron pattern. This rug from Overstock definitely brings the "wow" factor to a room.
Approx. 5'x8'  $80

This bold floral rug from Home Decorators could be used anywhere with its playful floral pattern.

5x8' $499

Inexpensive and super cool... this IKEA fuchsia rug stands out.
8x10 $399

Dash and Albert sells cotton weave and wool rugs and I love their large selection of fun patterns. I fell in love with this beautiful raspberry sorbet color.

6x9' $208

One of my all-time favorite patterns, this rug from Surya comes in a variety of colors and can work well in both traditional and contemporary spaces.

5x8 $330


"Manic Monday"--Send Me Your Decorating Questions!

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend.

Today is your opportunity to ask me your decorating questions whether it is paint color selection, furniture arrangement, hanging wall art, or whatever your conundrum is! Please be sure to "Join My Site" by clicking on this icon in the bottom right corner so that your comments are posted directly to this blog.  Thanks and ask away! 


Kitchens Galore!

I love being in the kitchen--it truly is the heart of the home. Whether having a simple family dinner or entertaining for a crowd, it tends to be the place everyone gathers. Small or large, people just like to be in this room. So, taking a hint as the holidays approach and yummy goodies are coming out from the oven, here is a collection of kitchen inspiration pics for you to drool over. Which is your favorite?

Pic Courtesy of Elle Decor

Pic Courtesy of Elle Decor
Pic from

Pic From DecorPad

Pic Courtesy of DecorPad

Pic From Decor Pad

Pic From This Old House