Thursday, November 8, 2012

Holy Smoke!

The guy sitting next to me just said "Holy Smoke!" to show his surprise at something and it made me wonder, what is the derivation of that phrase? So I Googled it and I found out the origin here but more importantly, I found the site My Holy Smoke.

I thought this was so original and such a healthy way to honor someone who would appreciate "one more round of clay targets..." as their site says.

The ConceptSeveral years ago I was talking with my friend and co-worker at work one evening. We were discussing the passing of one of our relatives and the topic of conversation turned to our own demise and whether we preferred burial or cremation.  I told my friend that I had some cost, waste of space and ecological issues with burials and that I thought I wanted to be cremated and in some fashion, have my ashes tossed into a river or spread through the woods.

My friend  smiled and said "You know I've thought about this for some time and I want to be cremated. Then I want my ashes put into some turkey load shotgun shells and have someone that knows how to turkey hunt use the shotgun shells with my ashes to shoot a turkey. That way I will rest in peace knowing that the last thing that one turkey will see is me, screaming at him at about 900 feet per second."

I realized that my friend was describing almost exactly how I wanted my ashes to be spread.  How perfect to have my family and friends honor me by using shotgun shells with a little bit of my ash in each one.  Whether my shells get shot at sporting clays or live birds or put on the shelf, even in death I could be ecologically sound and useful.

From that statement, we started a company that can take your or your loved ones ashes and produce an eco-friendly way  to spread or use those ashes while conducting a favored activity.
With care and reverence, we can place the ashes of your loved ones into almost any caliber or gauge of ammunition. 

I plan to donate all my organs to anyone who wants them but I still get a bit squeamish about donating my whole body to science.  The thought of some medical school students digging around in me is too much bear.  I know this is immature but I can't get over it. 

What do you think?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Create Your Own Custom Wallpaper from Spoonflower!

You may know of the Spoonflower site for custom fabric but now they offer
Custom Wallpaper & decals!

The prices are super reasonable:
$5 for linear square foot or  $60 per 12 foot roll

Greetings From Spoonflower,

Today we're jumping up and down with excitement as we introduce two new, eco-friendly products that we hope will change the home decorating landscape: custom wallpaper and wall decals.

Custom wallpaper has long been the province of high-end home décor, but we've set out to take the same approach to custom wall coverings that we've taken to fabric over the last four years
to turn it into a product that anyone can try. Wallpaper from Spoonflower will sell for $5 per linear foot (24" by 12"), or $60 per roll (24" x 12'). Unlike traditional wallpapers that can be maddening to take down, ours is removable, which makes it perfect for renters and college students. It's also not vinyl, like many other products on the market, and the material is PVC-free, so it's perfect for nurseries and kids' rooms.

We're also launching three sizes
of peel-and-stick wall decals – 5" x 5", 15" x 15", and 30" x 30" that can be easily removed and repositioned. Like the wallpaper, our decals are printed using eco-friendly inks, but the decals use a tough polyester material that's perfect for any room in the house, as well as for upcycling old furniture, and decorating trays, refrigerators, laptops, and many other everyday items.

Along with the additions to fabric, you'll find that the pages on our site for ordering fabric or configuring and managing your designs have changed. We hope the changes are for the best and that you'll find the site easier to use. You can read more details by visiting the new
wallpaper welcome page.

Thanks for being part of Spoonflower!
Stephen Fraser
Spoonflower co-founder

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Brooke Astor Auction @ Sotheby's

Source: Sotheby's

Here's a fun find from the Sotheby's catalog for the September 24th & 25th auction of items from Brooke Astor's estate, there are 900 lots being offered in four sessions over two days.

It is a carved rock crystal dachshund on a carved quartz pillow with gold tassels! The estimate is $4,000-6,000, I'm sure it will go for much more. It is really charming & unique! There are a few other adorable & original items as well as a few "reasonably" priced items (relatively speaking!) You can check out the entire catalogue online.

Source: The Daily Truffle

I liked the dachshund because my dog, Bacon, is a dachshund mix. Mrs. Astor had two dachshunds named Boysie & Girlsie. What's your favorite item & why?

You can also register to bid online if you can't make it to NYC or to the Sotheby's auction house on York Ave (btw. 71st & 72nd St.)

Good luck!


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Friday night veggie dinners

The Natural Gourmet Institute hosts Friday night dinners at their 21st St location in NYC. It is a cozy & charming spot.

I think it is the graduation project for the new chefs. It is really fun and the food is out of this world. You'll marvel at the fact that all of the ingredients are vegetarian. For example the ice cream in one of the desserts was made of coconut milk. I found this out because at the end of the meal the chefs come out & you can ask questions.

It is $40 per person for a multicourse meal.

"Friday Night Dinner at The Natural Gourmet has become a culinary magnet for savvy New Yorkers and visitors alike. Savor a delicious and unique experience when Chef Instructors and students of our Chef’s Training Program pour their expertise and enthusiasm into a three-course vegetarian dinner that is both innovative and beautifully presented."

You can make a reservation by calling:

212-645-5170 (ext. 0)

I know this doesn't sound like the ideal summer Friday plan but they fill up fast so you'll want to book ahead for fall now. I just called & the next available date is Oct 12.

It's fun to walk around the nabe afterwards to help your food digest!
The WSJ just wrote an article about the revival of Madsion Sq Park.

48 W. 21st St., 2nd floor

New York, NY 10010(between 5th & 6th ave.)
Closest Subways: E, C, F, M, N, R, 1, 9 or 6 train to 23rd Street.

Bon appetite!

P.s.: It is BYOB so grab a couple of bottles of vino before you head over!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Man cannot live by bread alone

August 7th - Spirit of the Grain: Bread & Spirits with Tuthilltown Spirits

Of course I discover this on the day the last class is offered! Mineral Springs Summer Series:
Spend a summer evening at Le Pain Quotidien in the heart of Central Park. We will explore and learn from New York's culinary pros at our alfresco communal table on Tuesday evenings all summer.
To register: or email

Le Pain Quotidien Mineral Springs is located in Central Park (W 69th Street Entrance).

I live less than 2 blocks from this spot & often walk my dog in & out of this entrance, this is just embarassing.

Friday, August 3, 2012

'Sconset Garden Tour

I love looking around old homes and if it is a nice day and the garden is open it makes it even better, put this all on a cliff overlooking the Atlantic & I'm in heaven!

In August the Nantucket Garden Club conducts its annual fund raising event that is anticipated each year by everyone on the island. For more than 50 years, the Annual House and Garden Tour has become the venue to have a glimpse of many historic and new homes and gardens on the island. Each year a different neighborhood is selected...from 'Sconset to Monomoy to Brant Point. The Garden Club members provide exquisite flower arrangements to compliment the rooms in the homes. The event is held on a Wednesday afternoon in August and is well attended. The revenue from this major event supports the local community in conservation projects local scholarships and provides club educational programs and conference expenses.

58th Annual House & Garden Tour
Presented by The Nantucket Garden Club, Inc.

Member of the Garden Club of America
Wednesday, August 8, 2012, 11:00 AM - 4:30 PM
A Walking Tour of Houses and Gardens on Baxter Road, Siasconset.
Tickets $50.00 (cash or check)In early August, tickets will be available on Main Street and on tour day at each house.Also Boutique, Unique Boutique and Plant sale, 10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Ticket Information & Advanced Ticket Sales: Contact Merrielou Symes (508-228-6654)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Hungry Palette

Next time you're driving up & down I-94 pull off at the exit for Stonington (91). It has the cutest little beach & picnic area right at the tip of town. You can let you dog out for a romp, stretch your legs & have a picnic (there is also a porta-potty just in case.)

You'll go right past one of my favorite shops, the Hungry Palette where the
owner, Sandra Loveland Bragdon designs the hand-screened fabrics and clothing. They have 5 different lengths to choose from in skirts which are ready-made or you can order one to your specs. They also have handmade sweaters, a few hats and some terrific silk lined lightly quilted jackets and now, new this year tunics!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

FREE concert in Central Park, Sunday, June 17

  • This is a free event. First come, first served until capacity is reached.

To get deets, click here

June 17, 6:00 p. m.
Blue Note Jazz Festival:

Groove Theory / Soulive with Karl Denson / Riq & Rah with J.Period (Black Thought and Rahzel) / DJ ?uestlove

Produced by Jill Newman Productions 

At the age of 18, urban chanteuse, Amel Larrieux wrote and demoed a song, which led to her pairing with musician/producer Bryce Wilson to form the duo Groove Theory. The duo’s tunes, saturated with sounds of romance and sensuality were showcased in their breakthrough hit, “Tell Me,” which broke the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100 and the top five on the R&B charts. Soon after, the duo split with Wilson becoming a two time GRAMMY® winning producer as well as teaming up with legendary DJ, Junior Sanchez to form the electronic driven, Brobot. Larrieux went on to a successful solo career with her albums, Bravebird and Morning. Her newest album, Ice Cream Everyday is slated for release in 2012. However, it is Groove Theory’s sublime combination of Larrieux’s velvety vocals and the soulful sounds of Wilson that has fans buzzing. After the time apart, both artists have come into their own, creating new material and performances well worth the listen.
When brothers Neal and Alan Evans first invited guitarist Eric Krasno to get down at their Woodstock, NY studio, it was out of mutual love for the great soul-jazz organ trios of the 60’s and 70’s. They went on to form Soulive and released numerous records and recordings with acclaimed artists like Chaka Khan, Dave Matthews, Talib Kweli and John Scofield. Their musical relationships, speak volumes about how versatile they are. Jazz, hip-hop, rock, soul, funk, R & B, Blues – musically, there is not much the band hasn’t done over their 12 year career span. Their most recent release Rubber Soulive, is the trio’s twist on Beatles classics and received rave reviews.
As The Roots’ drummer and joint front-man, DJ ?uestlove is well known across the musical sphere. Whether known for the twelve albums The Roots produced or his performances with the band on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, ?uestlove’s impact on music today is undeniable. Throughout his career, he has produced with icons such as Common, Al Green, and John Legend. He is also the associate producer of hit Broadway play Fela!, along with Will and Jada Pinkett Smith and Jay-Z. His passion for music is eminent with talent in not only percussion, but production, DJ-ing, and dub video clips as well.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Bunny Williams & Frette host Kip's Bay Closing Party - June 18th

Please click picture for a larger & easier to read image

Please click here for more details

A very unique Father's Day gift idea

Father's Day is Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Doyle Fine Jewelry auction on June 21, 2012 offers a very unique item:
Lot 250
Group of Gentleman's Gold and Reverse Crystal Intaglio Items and Money Clip
14 kt., pair of cufflinks, tie clip & money clip, money clip with lyrics, signed Author, Mack Davis, c. 1940, ap. 33.5 dwt.

Estimate $1,200-1,800

1. Pair of Cufflinks, Money Clip & Tie Clip

2. Gold, Ruby & Diamond Money Clip: with lyrics, signed Author, Mack Davis.

Any condition statement is given as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Doyle New York shall have no responsibility for any error or omission. The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging. 

For those of you who don't know who Mack Davis is (& for those that do!) please watch:
 Wishing a very Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there including mine!

Thanks Dad!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Greek Revival

The Merchants House Museum is hosting it's annual party on June 27th.  This is always a fun event with THE most interesting people & of course it supports a good cause, the restoration of the lovely Tredwell home.

To purchase tickets online

reply card

Purchase tix here.

The Museum is located at 29 East 4th Street.

About the Museum

The cultural and architectural importance of the Merchant’s House is undisputed.  Built in 1832 and occupied by a merchant family for nearly 100 years, the House today is New York City’s only family home to have survived virtually intact, inside and out, from the 19th century.


Through public programs and exhibitions, restoration of its landmark building, and conservation of its original collections, the Museum educates the public about the domestic life of a wealthy merchant family and their four Irish servants, 1835-1865, when the mercantile seaport of New York City emerged as a growing metropolis.

The Building

Considered one of the finest surviving examples of architecture from the period, the Merchant’s House has been recognized as a National Historic Landmark (one of only 2,400) and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In New York City, it has been awarded landmark status not only for its 1832 late-Federal brick exterior but also for its Greek revival interior rooms.
Of note, the House was among the first 20 buildings designated in 1965 under the City’s new landmarks law. It is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  It is the only historic house museum in the Greenwich Village/Soho/NoHo neighborhoods and celebrated 75 years as a museum in 2011.

The Collection

The Museum’s collection of over 3,000 items comprises the possessions of the Tredwells, the wealthy merchant-class family who lived in the House from 1835 to 1933. The collection includes furniture, decorative arts, clothing, photographs and books, household items, and personal items. Highlights include a suite of 12 mahogany side chairs attributed to renowned furniture maker Duncan Phyfe, a pair of matching six-globe gas chandeliers, and 40 dresses and numerous fashion accessories that belonged to the Tredwell women.
The Merchant’s House Museum is owned by the City of New York, operated by Old Merchants House of New York, Inc., and is a member of the Historic House Trust.

Monday, May 21, 2012

An Invitiation to a Royal Tea on June 1

The nice people over at Doyle Auction House, specifically Kathleen M. Doyle, Chairman/CEO, have invited me (& of course you dear reader!) to:

A Royal Tea
Marking 60 years of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II
A private breakfast tea
preview of the Joanne Melniker Stern Royal Memoribilia Collection*

June 1, 2012
9:00 a.m. - 11:11 a.m.
 "Hats, fascinators & tiaras welcome!"
Please R.S.V.P. by May 30
212-427-4141, ext. 600
I've been trying to post this for 5 days!  It is too good of an event to let go unposted tho' so I persevere with it nonetheless.  I apologize for the relative unattractiveness of this post but I've given up on formatting etc. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Won't you stay a while?

I have exciting news! You can now stay in the at Dumfries House Lodge
from GBP 85-145/$136-233/night.  If you're considering attending Royal Ascot or the summer Olympics in London you might consider a trip to see Dumfries too!  

Built in 1750 and in use a few years prior to the completion of Dumfries House, the ‘Garden Cottage’ as it was known in the18th century, became the Factor’s house and remained so for over 200 years.

Over the past nine months, an extensive programme of renovation works has transformed the property into an exclusive, luxurious Guest House featuring six individually designed guest bedrooms, each with its own en-suite facilities.

Each room enjoys all of the modern facilities expected by the discerning guest including discreetly integrated Plasma screen, WiFi and luxury tea/coffee facilities.               

You may remember the exciting story of the saving of the contents of Dumfries House from the auction block by Prince Charles in 2007.

Dumfries House is one of Britain’s most beautiful stately homes and best kept heritage secrets.
With its sumptuous interiors and magnificent furnishings, all set in two thousand acres of land, there is something to delight and enchant visitors of all ages.

Built between 1754 and 1759 for the 5th Earl of Dumfries, and with a unique collection of Chippendale furniture, the House has been described as an 18th century time-capsule since the principal rooms and their contents have remained virtually unchanged for 250 years.

In June 2007, HRH The Prince of Wales, under his title as the Great Steward of Scotland, headed a consortium of charities and heritage bodies to purchase this unique house, its contents and adjoining land, in order to keep this historical jewel intact and accessible to the public.
However, the House is only the beginning. HRH The Prince Charles has also set in motion several exciting projects that will not only reinvigorate the surrounding area, but will also create a lasting and creative legacy for many years to come.
These heritage-led regeneration projects include, amongst others, apprenticeships in skilled crafts and labour such as Animal Husbandry, Stone Masonry, and Sustainable Organic Farming. There will also be a petting farm created, along with a large portion of land given over to allotments for the local community.
Perhaps the most exciting and challenging project will be the creation of a complete Eco Village named Knockroon, which will provide environmentally friendly, affordable housing to the public.
In addition to these facilities, an eye has also been turned to developing the business aspect of Dumfries House, and so a Hotel is planned on the site to enable better conferencing resources as well as offering accommodation to complement private and corporate events.
However, this is only the beginning, and much more work will be required, as will much more funding. This funding will come, in part, from the projects being set up, but the rest will need to be raised by the continued and generous support from corporate and private donors, members of the local community, and the goodwill of everyone who would like to answer the call of The Great Steward of Scotland, and help preserve this national treasure.
As you can see, Dumfries House is an historical gem that is perfectly set for a brighter future...a future that involves supporters young and old and from far and wide, and that includes you!
You can find out how to get more involved by clicking here

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

My Paperless Post card to my mom:

You can send your own card from Paperless Post.

I love this site, there are hundreds of creative cards, envelopes & envelope liners to choose from, it is very reminiscent of some of the fine stationary you can find at Mrs. John L. Strong et al.,
CAVEAT:  The site is a bit wonky when it asks you to log in & then tells you that you are logged in already.  It can be very frustrating (I know!)   Just start a search and you'll be good to go.

Have fun!

I have not been compensated in any way for this post.

Friday, May 11, 2012

To be fair...

I apologize that this is so difficult to read, please click the image for an easier to read version.

You really should get a full body skin check up from a dermatologist if you've never had one.  This gives you a base case.  If you're fair skinned you should go every year.  I can recomend two good derms in NYC (in alphabetical order.)

Dr. Patricia Wexler

or at least
Please let me know if you have a recommendation for a derm (any location) or a tip/trick to prevent skin cancer (or sun damage & age spots in general.)

Enjoy the sun responsibly,
P.S.:  Please remember to always put a sunhat on babies (boys & girls) and to apply & reapply sunscreen to the kiddies.

I have not been compensated in any way for this post.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

R.I.P. Maurice Sendak

I can't believe I'm two days late on this, Maurice Sendak passed away on May 8th, 2012.  I loved his books, I could lose myself in the wonderfully detailed drawings.

Rosenbach Museum & Library

Maurice Sendak originally painted this mural in the New York apartment of his friends the Chertoffs; it now hangs in the Rosenbach Museum & Library in Philadelphia.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Hooray for Kip's Bay!

One of my favorite annual events is the Kip's Bay Decorator Show House.

May 16 - June 14
Open late Tuesday & Thursday nights until 8:00 p.m.

A fun opportunity to see the work of brilliant interior designers like Bunny Williams, Charlotte Moss & Susan Zises Green and support the wonderful Boys & Girls club.

There is an opening night cocktail party on May 15th from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.,  the $125 ticket to the party includes an add'l ticket so you can come back at another time as well.

This year it is on the Upper West Side* which is a big change of pace. I can recommend a great place to stop for a snack either before or after the show:

Epicerie Boulud on Broadway & 64th.

All the details are here.

*Please note:  The address is Riverside Blvd. which is NOT Riverside Drive (RSD.)  It is a new street added in front of the Trump bldgs facing the Hudson River.  Go to the end of 66th St. (you will cross RSD) until you hit a dead end, this is Riverside Blvd.  Take a right, you'll see the Aldyn between 62nd-63rd Sts. 

Let me know which room was your favorite!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Bideawee Ball

June 11, 2012

Click image above to enlarge

Please consider attending the ball, dogs invited! 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Cinco de Mayo

I thought this was the most clever Cinco de Mayo item I'd ever seen.
It is the Laika pinata desingned by Matt Singer.

Do you know why Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in Mexico?

If not, please read this: cinco de mayo history

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sip & Shop

Please pop by the "Sip & Shop" event at J. McLaughlin  

1004 Lexington Ave., in NYC 
5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Refreshments will be served.

15% of your purchase will go to support boys at the Blue Ridge School in Virginia.

Adorable clothes for Men, Women & Pets!

Friday, February 10, 2012

L8 Sk8!

A recurring theme here will be great gift ideas, especially for the hard to buy for types (males.)  My latest discovery is custom skateboards you or the boy design and order from the Zazzle website.  Starting at $59.99!  What a great idea!  I bet some girls would be excited by this too.

3 sizes

Professional Board Printing
Sorry the font in the last 2 images is so hard (impossible?!) to read the link will take you to the page where it is crystal clear.  You get the gist tho'.

Bonus: Made with N. American Maple & Printed in the U.S.A.

Order here

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Blue Ridge Ball

Please support the wonderful Blue Ridge School this weekend by attending the 103rd annual Blue Ridge Ball.

Cocktail reception - 7:00 p.m.
Dinner and dancing - 8:00 p.m.
Dessert and dancing - 10:00 p.m.

Music by the Alex Donner Orchestra

The New York Auxiliary of the Blue Ridge School

Since 1909, the New York Auxiliary has been committed to supporting the Blue Ridge School’s mission to provide a nurturing educational environment and the school’s Scholarship Fund.  This group of women work tirelessly to benefit outstanding young men from the New York City community.  Many of the scholarship recipients have achieved leadership positions within the school, including several class Presidents.