Monday, July 13, 2015

Fun and Fabulous

Available on kindle
Fun summer read about the life of the Chinese elite. From jet setting around the world to luxury residences this book by Kevin Kwan fulfills the fantasy of living life to the fullest and most fabulous...







Missed the prequel to China Rich Girlfriend? Read my review of Crazy Rich Asians here!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Summer Made Etsy

As Brian and I prepared for our summer guests, we wanted them to feel welcome and comfortable. One way to succeed in this goal was to make sure our guest rooms are bright, cheery and relaxing.

That’s where etsy.com came in handy. As I was putting the finishing touches on our guest room, I discovered these hand painted nautical flag pillows from “Simply Nautical”. Based in Annapolis, artist Jessica Moran creates her hand painted pillows using acrylic paint on canvas. Each pillow case is natural in color and 14 inches by 14 inches in size. All pillows have an envelope closure in the back so you can place or change the pillow insert easily. You can purchase a pillow based on the design you like, or use them to spell out a word or monogram. For our pillows I chose the letter W and the letter E for WatersEdge. 

Another great etsy find were these hand painted directional signs by SweetNCCollective. Usually used for weddings and receptions, I decided to buy two signs to give our guests an idea of where to go during the day. Thankfully, the options are simple. Either head to the beach or to the house for some cocktails! I worked with Meg Lane to create my whimsical signs and when I received them, I coated them with sealant to make them more weather resistant.

As you get ready to host your guests, take a fresh look at your guest rooms and see what you can do to make their stay relaxing and refreshing. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Cakes I Make: Spring is in the Air

My husband and I were headed to my family in PA for Easter. When I asked what we could contribute to the Easter dinner, my Sister asked me to make a dessert. With that in mind, I began thinking about what kind of cake I could make and how I would decorate it for the holiday. I knew I wanted something springlike, but time was also a concern so I wanted to do something that wouldn't take a lot of time to create. 

For the cake itself, I decided to make my favorite lemon raspberry cake. The tartness of the lemon always tastes wonderful with the raspberry filling. And it's a light and refreshing cake for spring. Once, I made that decision it was time to turn to the design of the cake. Initially, I had a vision of chocolate rabbits in a field of green icing and flowers, but when I went to the store, I found these adorable white chocolate lambs. I loved their whimsical shape and pink noses. As soon as I discovered the lambs, I found these wonderful cartoonish sugar flowers that went perfectly with my flock. I was ready to make my cake. 

Over the next two evenings, I baked my cake, iced a crumb layer...

and decorated my cake. 

I loved it's cartoonish feel and every bite was devoured at Easter :) This cake would also be perfect for a spring fling party or even a child's birthday party!




Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Fresh Face for Spring

As spring arrives, at least on the calendar, I’m feeling the urge to update my tech accessories. As one does in the changing seasons, I’ve become bored with my brown woven ipad mini cover.

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It looked great in the fall and winter, but I need something bright and fresh for Spring. 

After scouring ebay and amazon for a new and interesting cover, I became very frustrated. Most of the covers I saw did not appeal to me and the one I loved was no longer available. What’s a Dandy to do?!

After pondering my dilemma, I came up with the idea of simply putting a fresh face on my old cover. Not only is it green to reuse the same cover, but it also helps keep my closet clear of stacked up previously used covers…something my husband can appreciate.

So, off to the hardware store I went to find a paint in a bright hue that works on plastic. I found what I was looking for in Krylon Fusion For Plastic Spray Paint. After choosing a glossy navy blue, I simply taped off the decorative element on my cover, placed my cover on a piece of kraft paper and sprayed away!

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Please remember to take your ipad out of its cover
before spraying the cover.

The result is a fresh and updated cover that says HELLO to spring and saved me a little change in the process.

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Now, if only the spring weather would arrive!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Simple and Gay Holiday Mantlepiece

Rather than entertaining at home this holiday, we are headed out of town. So when it came time to decorate our home for Christmas, I wanted to tone it down and do a low key mantle and tree this year.

To begin, I chose my golden rams head bowl I discovered at a local antique store. Filled with golden ornaments and green topiary balls, it gives me a lot of impact for my easy to do mantelpiece.


With my bowl front and center, I then added lighting. This year, instead of dealing with wrapping lights around my garland, I placed rope lighting behind my creation to uplight it and add some sparkle. 




I then added garland and glass candleholders flanking the mantle. Once I was satisfied with placement, I topped it off with golden mesh and ribbon.










Add some pillar candles, and the results are
a glittery but simple mantelpiece fit for a gay holiday!


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Dandy Wedding Revisited!

Three years ago today, I married my partner and best friend of 14 years. With that in mind, I wanted to share some ideas that I used on our wedding day to help make it a dandy day!


One of the many fun things I did for our wedding
was create gift bags for our out of town guests! 

We had a few friends and family members who came from out of town for the wedding. I wanted to welcome them in true Dandy Style, so I created a welcome gift bag for each friend and family member who stayed overnight at our hotel.

I wanted to make our guests comfortable, so I thought about what to place in our welcome bag. I decided to include a bottle of water, a big cookie, a monogrammed vanilla candle and an invitation to breakfast with Brian and I the next morning.

I had a great time creating the personalized items.

The first item I personalized were the water bottles.
To begin, I bought water bottles and removed the company label that was attached to the bottles. 


After removing and measuring the label, I created my own label using cardstock and a color printer.



Once I created the labels, I then glued them to the water bottles creating our signature bottle!


The next items I created were the personalized cookie sleeves and monogrammed candles.

Both of these items I purchased through orientaltrading.com!

I purchased delicious cookies from our local bakery, tightly sealed them with saran wrap and then wrapped each individual cookie in a blue cellophane wrapper and slipped it inside each signature sleeve.

The candles arrived naked in it's tin shell and I simply applied the personalized stickers I created online!

I loved how easy it was to personalize each item and the finished look it gave our gifts!

The final item I added to our welcome bag were invitations to breakfast the next morning with my husband and myself.
It was wonderful seeing our guests happy and content the next morning at breakfast!

If you have guests coming from out of town, either for a wedding or simply coming to stay with you in your home, think about how you can make their stay a little bit more fun and interesting!

Another favorite idea from our wedding was the transitional aspect of our pew markers. Our florist, Stephen McLeod, designed them so that they could be taken to the reception sight and used as centerpieces on our tables. 

Floral Designs by Stephen McLeod
Photography by Patrick Onofre
It was a wonderful idea and saved us some money, which is always a dandy thing!

As Brian and I celebrate our anniversary, I would like to wish all those getting ready to tie the knot many blessings and a lifetime of happiness!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Bayside Accents

Blocked by the major renovations that had to be done at WatersEdge, my creative juices are once again flowing as the major projects are nearing completion.

As our furniture began to arrive last week, I contemplated the design and decoration of our beautiful modern space taking shape. While the bay side retreat begs for some nautical flair, I didn't want a traditional or kitschy feeling space. One way I expressed the feeling of the space was with this Bayside centerpiece.

I began with a traditional large ornamental clam shell, but gave it an urban twist with succulents and rocks gleaned from the sandy shores of the Chesapeake bay.

What resulted was a beautiful bayside accent that enhances our Silverado Rectangular dining table and Pony Tweed chairs from CB2.
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