Worm in the Garden, Basil, Worm, Summer, Organic

Before we know it, Autumn will be here so a few things need to be added to your to do list: update your wardrobe with new fall staples before the best ones are sold out and pick your garden before the cold gets to your vegetables and herbs.  In my case I often have more herbs than I can use so I have to find ways to preserve them. When I do things like this, it makes me feel more connected to my great grandmothers I never got to know. My Cajun grandmother in Louisiana often tells me stories about her mom preserving all the foods they would grow on their farm.  She says they were poor, but they always ate really well!!! For a Cajun, good food is good livin'.

This summer my father went crazy growing herbs and vegetables. He has the most incredible luck with plants. He sent me bags and bags and bags of different basil varieties from his gardens. So I got to work figuring out what to do with all of these before they wilted.

Here are some standard preserving techniques:
- Drying
- Freezing
- Salting

These are more fun (which is of course what I did):
- Teas
- Pestos
- Infused Oils 
- Infused Alcohols
- Infused Butters

Lemon Balm herb

Many people think of tea as only being made of tea leaves. Yet any herb can be made into tea by simply steeping it in hot water. THAT'S HERBAL TEA! Fresh mint is my favorite. Lemon Balm feels like you are drinking a spa (in a good way)

Below it is shown as hot tea and cold tea. 
For hot tea------
4 C HOT WATER (just barely boiling)

Steep in hot water for about 10 minutes, strain and drink. 
For cold tea----
4 C HOT WATER (just barely boiling)

Steep in hot water for about 10 minutes, strain into a glass jar, refrigerate and drink when cold.


Often I have made "regular" pesto, but figured the ingredients should change up a bit when using Thai Basil. A quick search online lead me to a few different sites with recipes. Using my own cooking and chemistry skills I put together this version:

INGREDIENTS: (yeilds 1/2c)

2-4 CLOVES GARLIC (depends on your taste)

- Pick every stem off of basil and wash. This is labor intensive but worth it. 
- Combine all ingredients except for oil in food processor or blender. Blend until finely chopped.
- Keep blending and slowly add in oil until it becomes paste like. 
More oil can be added if necessary to get to this consistency.
- Store in a glass jar and refrigerate or eat immediately
Thai Basil Pesto ,Homemade, Artisinal, DIY, kitchen hacks

Thai Basil Pesto ,Homemade, Artisinal, DIY, kitchen hacks
This is the easiest of all. The only time consuming part is waiting for the oil to become infused. 
Herbs (Basil)
Olive Oil
Glass jar 
Wash and completely dry herbs
Place herbs in clean jar
Pour in olive oil and seal bottle.
Store in cool, dry place for 1 week
If using fresh herbs it is recommended to store in refrigerator and use within a week. Infused oils will last longer if herbs are dried.

The same steps can be used to infuse in alcohol such as Vodka or Gin. Though fresh herbs can last for much longer in alcohol. So consider making an infused herbal Vodka for the upcoming holidays!
Basil Infused Oil_Infusions_DIY_Kitchen Hacks_Brooklyn Artisinal

Basil Infused Oil_Infusions_DIY_Kitchen Hacks_Brooklyn Artisinal
This little guy made it all the way from Louisiana in the Basil. This is how you know my dad's garden is organic. This is also why you must thoroughly clean all of your basil before blending it into pesto!!!  Thank god my sister was here to help me deal. I might have screamed a little when I saw this. I guess I've been out of the country for too long and/ or my hormones are out of control



Quick Decorating Tip - Bodega Flowers in Unusual Spots

One of my best tips for a quick spruce up around the house is FRESH FLOWERS. 

This weekend I had guests coming to stay so wanted to add some special touches around the house to make it more pleasant for them. But don't forget to just treat yourself to some floral decor even when guests are not coming over.

I know this information is not ground breaking, but what you will find below is what gives my flower decorating that special Jenée Sais Quoi

A RANDOM BOUQUET OF MIXED FLOWERS: They are simply flowers from the Bodega - Nothing expensive though good quality. Being bodega flowers their bouquets are quite a mixed bag of flowers - they don't really harmonize together the way a professional florist would put together a bouquet. But this will not matter... Get 4 arrangements out of one bouquet (for about $15)
With a bit of creativity, you can group the flowers yourself that actually do go together into smaller arrangements. Some are also great alone in a bud vase. 

PUT FLOWERS IN UNEXPECTED PLACES: Many people know that flowers are great on a dining room table, but forget about all the other unusual places they can add charm like: the bathroom, your desk, and a night table.


Funny colored dyed daisies as a trio

Just an arrangement of vases on the mantle

Keep interesting bottles around. They make great unique vases. This was once an oil diffuser. It's also called UpCycling

A messy work station

A single Gerby Daisy in a Pink Vase. Oh, and a little cleaning up goes a long way too. 

La Salle de Bain (the Bathroom)

Use not only flowers to decorate in the bathroom but display your beautifully packaged cosmetics, lotions and poo-pourie

A bedside table (or book case in my "case") with the usual: books, earplugs, calming oils, a night guard and some books

A bright Gerber Daisy and Carnations in a soda bottle from Thailand add a sweet touch to waking.

EDUARDO GARZA - from West Elm to Bergdorf

Creator of Myths, Fairytales and Dreams

Home & Entertaining | Home Decor

Gold Skull

I never knew I could love sculpture until I discovered Eduardo Garza’s work. Many years ago we met at a dinner party in Bushwick and I was in his studio before dessert could be served. Like a true artist, found objects in nature were scattered about waiting to become fine works of art. Other pieces were almost complete and Eduardo picked up every small element andcread them to me like a storybook.

Since then I have watched his art find its way into Bergdorf Goodman and onto the pages of prestigious décor publications. His most recent collaboration with West Elm (owned by William Sonoma) is one of the most exciting, as it will make Eduardo’s masterpieces available to many more people across America, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. (More of Eduardo’s Bio) He can take a menacing object and with his unique aesthetic turn it into an “object of desire" - for instance his Golden Skull with a Crystal Crown and Replica Alligator skull. His use of warm metals and the application of precious stones makes this like jewelry for your home.

When you don’t have room for another RSVP to your arm party, just put your Eduardo Garza jewels atop you lamps, mantles and bedside tables. Every home should be filled with love and each piece he creates is filled with just that.

Eduardo Garza, Sculptor of Home Decor

Eduardo at Work placing a finial atop a lamp

Eduardo Garza, Sculptor of Home Decor

Lapis Lazuli Finials 

More in Eduardo’s Own Words:

JSQ: What is your occupation and how did you get into this field?

EG:   Artist. Thank God I was born an artist!

JSQ: Where do you live?

EG: I live in New York City where I find all my inspiration.

JSQ: What are you working on now? 

EG:  As soon as I finish sculpting the collection for Bergdorf Goodman in NY  I will focus on a group of large sculptures that I am making for an art gallery show.

JSQ: (sitting on the edge of my chaise longue !!!) Can you tell me  more about these large sculptures???

EG:   For that you must come visit my new studio so that I can show you in person, Jenée Sais Quoi!!!

Eduardo Garza, Sculptor of Home Decor, for West Elm

Pieces from the West Elm Collection

JSQ: Do you have a piece from your collection (new or old) that you think everyone should own? like a real classic that would be beautiful for every home and for every taste?

EG:   The pulls and knobs that I individually hand make transform any piece of furniture and any room into something really spectacular.  I continually get orders from architects and interior designers for their clients'  drawers, cabinets and even doors.  These decorative elements are like expensive shoes - they make a simple t-shirt and jeans look good.  

Eduardo Garza, Sculptor of Home Decor

Amethyst Pulls (lime shown for size reference ;)

Eduardo Garza, Sculptor of Home Decor

Krypto Pullers

JSQ: What do you listen to while you create?

EG:   I always listen to inspiring lectures online while I work.  Right now I have been focusing on history, neuroscience and astronomy.

JSQ: What is your first fashionable memory?

EG:  Since I was a kid I have been interested in stones, metals and shapes.  Looking through the pages of Vogue I remember being fascinated by all the jewelry designs I saw.

JSQ: Even when a person says they are not “into” fashion, they are still making fashion choices by buying clothes and  choosing a daily look (simple or not). What is your personal style?

EG: My fashion style is based on comfort since I am always working. Some call it "NORMCORE"

JSQ: HAHAHAHAH I just posted a picture on instagram of me wearing a sweatshirt with turtleneck and someone commented #normcore. I had to look it up!! 

JSQ: Je ne Sais Quoi is about having “that certain something special” - What is that certain something special for you?

EG:  When I see genuine kindness in others, that person has "that je ne sais quoi"

JSQ: Many people Love quotes. Is there a quote or quotes that you live by?

EG: "All we are is dust in the wind."

JSQ: How appropriate. 

Eduardo Garza, Sculptor of Home Decor, Alligator Head

Gold Plated replica Alligator skull

Eduardo Garza, Sculptor of Home Decor

Decorative Boxes

Eduardo Garza, Sculptor of Home Decor

Book Ends

Eduardo Garza, Sculptor of Home Decor, Golden Napkin holders

Napkin Rings: (L) 24K Gold Leaf w/ Turquoise (C) 24K Gold Leaf w/ Tiger Eye and Lapis Lazuli (R) 24K Gold Leaf w/ Pink Agate

Poised to Perfection

STYLE FEATURE: Kristine Moore
Impeccable Host and a Jewelry Designer: 

Well-Mannered, Well-Traveled & Well-Dressed

Kristine is the kind of person who throws a BBQ party with silver flatware and gold rimmed cocktail glasses. Years ago I got to know her through a job, but I got to really know her at the garden parties she threw during the summer. Her home is undoubtedly one put together with the fine eye of a designer and a patron of peculiar art. She is always dressed like a lady and never breaks a sweat as she serves a multi course meal.

Obviously for all of the reasons above, she had to be featured on Jenée Sais Quoi. She invited us to her home so that I could take photos of her apartment and discuss outfit ideas for summer soirées over local snacks from her neighborhood. She also prepared a very strong Negroni for us upon which the conversation lingered about her travels and favorite summer menu concepts. See below for more of this interview.
Mid Century Couch with Graphic Pillows from Marimekko and Gilt

Always a gracious host, Kristine set out Italian 3 Layer Cake from her Bakery in Cobble hill and Fresh Cherries
KM: This is the kind of dress I would throw on for one of my Garden Parties
Dress by Yumi Kim and Necklace from Calypso
The Entryway has a coat rack and some of her own DIY wall design made of Gold paint and Hot Pink Tape

The Painting is an Op Art piece from 1977 purchased at a Consignment shop in Westport, Connecticut

JSQ: Where do you live? Where do you wish you lived?

KM: I live in Cobble Hill but dream of living near a waterfall or the sea.

JSQ: What is your first fashionable memory?

KM: My mom used to hand paint animals on my kindergarden dresses, which must mean I got my creativity from her. This led to my fashion obsession with Teen magazine as a 10yr. old.   I was always intrigued by art and it’s history, thats what I studied in college.  Jewerly happened by accident.

JSQ: Je ne Sais Quoi is about having “that certain something special” - Would you reveal to us what gives YOU that je ne sais quoi???

KM: DRESSES. My most comfortable outfit is a dress, even when hiking or sleeping, and heels whenever physically possible.  It’s only because I’m too lazy to put an outfit together and too short to not wear heels.

Some outfit ideas for Summer Cocktail Parties (from left to right)
  Helmut Lang dress with Alexis Bittar necklace
Kelly Wearstler dress with Iosselliani necklace
Massimo Dutti dress with a vintage necklace from Paris

JSQ:Who are some of your favorite jewelry designers and why?

KM: Hands down favorite jewelry designs are by Iosselliani.  They are a couple out of Rome.  They are always most original and inspiring.  It’s dangerous because they just opened a boutique near the Ace Hotel in Manhattan. It’s a little too close for to me to resist collecting more of their work.

JSQ:Can you share a tip to aspiring jewelry designers??

KM: Be a real artist.  Study drawing and art history.  It forms your originality and voice.  The fashion world is just a venue to show it.  Stay true to yourself and don’t work in the corporate world if you can help it! Oh, and travel!!!!!!!

JSQ:You are known for packing incredibly light which is not a common attribute of a fashionista like yourself. How do you do that? What are your essentials?

KM: I count the days and only let myself take my favorite dresses for the occasions, then add a couple extra.  I def re-wear too. One pair of fab heels you wear on the plane and if you can squeeze in another you are golden.  Flat sandals for sure and maybe a flip flop.  I traveled 3 cities in Italy for 10 days with a carry on and was fine.

JSQ:Do you have any shopping secrets you can share with us to get designer duds on sale?

KM: I’m a big fan of Gilt and sample sales.

JSQ:Your home is full of so many great books with art. You even introduced me to Kiki Smith some years ago. Do you have a few favorite artists and why?

KM: I have so many favorite artists- I think the whole of the modern art movement actually.  Ellsworth Kelly, Agnes Martin, Robert Motherwell, Richard Diebenkorn,  Cy Twombly...more recent,  Fred Tomaselli. Then, there is Gustav Klimt.  I think I like artists for their line, color and abstraction.

JSQ:Kristine, you are known for throwing amazing dinner parties and BBQ parties - could you share with us an ideal menu for an outdoor summer party to get us through the rest of summer 2013

KM: This year I’m really into grilled peaches and grilled fish.
Grilled peaches go with everything from fish to pork.  I’ve been putting them in salads too. Tonight I made them with seared scallops with thyme.  Grilling a white fish on top of a bed of scallions is amazing. Let the scallions get a bit scorched and serve together.  I love to serve a watermelon salad of arugua, feta cheese and a bit of fresh mint or basil with a citrus vinagrette.   For a party I will always make a punch maybe with aperol and grapefruit juice. For desert there is alway a pie.
Thanks Kristine for sharing some of your secrets and your beautiful home. To check our more of Kristine's jewelry design visit kristinemoore.com
Jenée Sais Quoi

A hot pink doodle by Kristine

Phillip Lim Handbag

KM: This is an outfit I would put together for a summer gallery show in Chelsea

Necklace by  Iosselliani and Dress by Helmut Lang

Party Over

French Chic Décor ala Suzy

french living room

On a recent visit upstate (New York), we stayed with our friends Suzy and Roman. For obvious reasons their alluring home is a feature this week on Jenée Sais Quoi. It's so French Chic with it's eclectic use of bold colors and rare objects. This is certainly a skill the French are gifted with which is why à la mode translates to fashionable. Oh, did I mention Suzy and Roman are French??? 

Continue on to see French taste at it's finest.
green velvet couch

painting of beach

throw pillows

ricard poster

Interoir Lighting inspired by Junk


Electric, Beautiful Junk, & Home Worthy
Paul Kasmin Gallery, Junkies Promises, Lighting

On a recent Thursday evening the Paul Kasmin Gallery was buzzing, well buzzing more than usual with all of the electric art, at the opening of Junkies' Promises curated by Ivan Navarro. The first room was full of Light Fixtures and Hanging Chandeliers. Some were wild and decadent with jewels and one looked like it belonged in a Trump apartment in the 80s.  My love of interiors and all the objects that fill it made this my favorite part of the show. 

A Finely Curated Light Show

Paul Kasmin Gallery, Junkies Promises, Lighting
Paul Kasmin Gallery, Junkies Promises, Lighting
Paul Kasmin Gallery, Junkies Promises, Lighting
Paul Kasmin Gallery, Junkies Promises, Lighting
Paul Kasmin Gallery, Junkies Promises, Lighting
Paul Kasmin Gallery, Junkies Promises, Lighting
Paul Kasmin Gallery, Junkies Promises, Lighting
Paul Kasmin Gallery, Junkies Promises, Lighting
Paul Kasmin Gallery, Junkies Promises, Lighting
Paul Kasmin Gallery, Junkies Promises, Lighting
Paul Kasmin Gallery, Junkies Promises, Lighting
Paul Kasmin Gallery, Junkies Promises, Lighting
Paul Kasmin Gallery, Junkies Promises, Lighting

Downtown Sweetie

STYLE FEATURE: Angela of the Lower East Side and a Pastry Chef

Chill, Quirky, and Cute

Angela is one of the last cool vestiges in the Lower East Side. She keeps an apartment with he fiancé in  one of the few remaining original apartment buildings  in NYC (pre luxury in the LES). It's the real New York Style. Inside their cozy digs it is filled with instruments and vintage records and random quirky objects. He is an amazing musician and she is his biggest fan. Angela keeps the kitchen full of baking apparatuses and sweet treats as she is a very talented baker. Every morning you can find her at The Smile making breads, cookies and pies for the stylish pastry-goers in the city.  

Featured on Jenée Sais Quoi for her chill attitude and cute style, Angela invites me in to discover her quirkiest objects and sweet treats while answering a few questions.
Lower East Side, New York City, Apartment Buildings
The Lower East Side in New York City

Welcome to Angela's where Chinatown runs into the LES

Angela dotes on her newly baked goods - Yeah Banana Bread

JSQ: What do people call you? Do you have a nickname
A: Pretty much just Angela or forms of it like Angie, Ang

JSQ: What do you and Jenée Sais Quoi have in common?
A: I love fashion, drinks and fun. What more do you need in life?!!? ...maybe food

JSQ: Where do you live? Where do you wish you lived?
A: NYC lifer, but there's always a part of me that wanted to live in Northern California. 

JSQ: What is your first fashionable memory?
A: There's a picture of me at age 3. My hair is braided up and in a ponytail. I'm holding a chicken leg and wearing a Gremlins T-shirt.  I also wore lots of 2 piece outfits for some reason. 

JSQ: What is your style?
A: Uniqlo meets urban outfitters sales rack meets waking up way too early to really understand what I'm putting on. Plus a pop of color. 

JSQ: Jenée Sais Quoi is intended to Entertain its readers with Fashion and Culture through Outfit Ideas, Favorite Home decor, Exotic Cocktails, Intriguing Art and good jokes. With which category do you connect most?
A: I enjoy furniture that functions as something else. My favorite cocktail is a Pimm's Cup (it's Southern like Jenée). Delicious and refreshing. 
JSQ: Is there a quote that gets you through the day?
A: No matter where you go, there you are

HomeStyle @ Le Village

HOME DECOR FEATURE: Felicia of Le Village in Eunice, Louisiana

Country Chic, Cozy & Full of History

southern style, chandelier, toile, Audobon
Le Village is one of the most beautiful places in the Acadiana area. It is a B&B situated just on the outskirts of the town of Eunice, Louisiana. It is like a little village because there are 2 guest houses with 8 rooms total and a general store all connected by small gravel walkways surrounded by a grassy field and wooded area. All of the structures are original to the Louisiana prairie area with requisite wrap around porches for enjoying the lush flora that sprawls the grounds.

(note: this place is so gorgeous, it is where we chose to get married - more photos here)

When I was last in Louisiana, I stopped by Le Village to meet with owner and innkeeper Felicia Hebert Wiggins, since she was selected to be featured on Jenée Sais Quoi Home Décor. Felicia is a gracious host and her style transcends from her wardrobe into every square inch of this property.

Following are some of my favorite scenes in the Main Guest house and an interview with the refined and cultured proprietor, Felicia H. Wiggins.

checkered floor, wood molding, tapestry
The Entrance

checkered floor, wood molding, tapestry

patchwork quilt, 4 poster bed
Guest Room in Main House

Art in Main House

green paint, day bed
Guest Room in Main House

patch work quilt, country library
Guest Room in Main House

A bit of Eunice Literature

country style china cabinet
Entertaining Wear...

country house
...and for Entertaining

Breakfast Prepared here - Gorgeous Window Treatment

bed & breakfast
Ferns & front porch fans welcome you to Le Village
Felicia and I on the side porch of the Main Guest House
JSQ: How are you connected to Jenée Sais Quoi? What do you have in common with this blog?

FHW: I have always enjoyed seeing how we all experience our interpretation of soothing spaces and what delights us in terms of visual images of spaces, imagined or otherwise.

JSQ: Where do you currently reside? And where do you wish you were living? 

FHW: I love living in the country in SW Louisiana where I currently reside. I left here so many years ago and never thought I would live here again, but it has been a wonderful journey full of surprises. I may not have been open to owning this Cajun retreat and B & B until this point in life (I am a little ways over 60 yrs old:).  Luckily my sweet husband has made it possible for me to continue on this journey to reunite with long-lost cousins and friends old & new.

The only other place I could live is New Orleans ( I lived there in the French Quarter for 20 years). Also, I love Maine where I have a daughter/family/granddaughters, but it would probably be only for summers.

JSQ: What is your first Fashionable memory?

FHW: My first fashionable memory is from my aunt (my mother's sister) we call her Memere. (she is 96yrs old this year). She left Louisiana and moved to Houston in the '60s and came to visit us always dressed "to the nines". My cousins (unfortunately both deceased) were the most glamorous  redheads (real) I had ever seen!
She always told me to sleep on my back to avoid wrinkles! and never to drink from a straw because it would cause lines on my upper lip! She also traveled extensively with her husband and the photographs are quite a testament to the way people used to travel. Very fashionably with lots of luggage!

JSQ: How do you describe your style?

FHW: I think I have several styles. It depends on what I feel like. What is my 'imaginary life' like today! Imagination is the key. Also to not think about it too much. I think if you just take a minute in the morning when you get dressed to pull out a scarf or piece of jewelry you haven't worn in a while it plays well to your inner fab woman and says I am worth a little extra fun today! I love linen clothes, but also couldn't live without my jeans!

JSQ: Which category of topics covered on Jenée Sais quoi do you most relate to and what could you add for other readers with similar interests? 

FHW: I have worked in Interior Design and continue to be hooked on interiors and their impact on our lives. I tend to be attracted to the "perfection of imperfection" or Wabi-Sabi, a very old Japanese concept. Awareness is also critical to our mindfulness of nature and the endless perfection of the landscape, no matter where one is. My design philosophy has always been to use what you have and love and add sparingly. But when you change your mind, change it. And don't be tied to what you think is "right". There is no such thing! 

JSQ: Famous quotes stick around for good reason. Are there any that you live by?

FHW: I have many on my Pinterest Page  but one of my favs is:

Know thyself!  It means you have to sit with yourself in the midst of good and bad & feel it & do it & it will eventually lose its power. Don't try and ignore it because it will keep coming back!

JSQ: Je ne sais quoi is about having that certain something special. Would you reveal to us what gives you that je ne sais quoi ?

FHW: I don't know what gives me that je ne sais quoi...but I know that I try to hold/appreciate several views at any given time. I have learned that grey is not only a wonderful color in itself, but it is really what I aim for in life.....It's when you think everything is black or white or up or down or good or bad that gets you tied up in knots!  

Felicia is such a wonderful host she will even swat those huge Louisiana Mosquitos for you :)

green paint, barn, louisiana
Across the way from the Porch, where we sat for this interview, is a perfectly rustic barn (now shed)

Looks like the Cat got out.

If you are planning a trip to Cajun Country or want to plan a trip after seeing this, it would not be a bad idea. Le Village is the perfect escape and adventure.
Le Village
121 Seale Lane
Eunice, Louisiana, USA 70535

Photos Courtesy of Jessica Stelly

Home: Spring Decorating

This past autumn I picked out a pillow from print designer, Bonnie of Kaye Rachelle Designs. I liked it because it looked like the season: barren, cold and dark. But as Spring slowly arrives in New York and I start to make small changes around our home, it did not seem to fit. It was just too somber to fit my new Spring State of Mind. So, I took out some of my vintage flower broaches and made flowers grow on the tree!

Welcome Spring and all it's warmth, longer days and flowers (even if you have to fake it a little).

The Bejeweled Bumble Bee is making a Beeline for the Flowers!

Normally I would have many more flower pins at my disposal, but I used the bulk of them for my wedding bouquet last year.  As you can see, there are many uses for broaches other than pinning them to your lapel. Keep your eyes open at thrift shops and yard sales for some of the best options at killer prices.

Broach Wedding Bouquet                                                      Spring Pins on Pillow

Home: How To: Bathroom Decor


When it comes to interior decorating, the bathroom is the one place you can confidently have fun with decor and color. While the rest of your house/ apartment can be a nice grown-ups abode, the room in your house with the toilet can stand a more amusing and vivid atmosphere.

Pictures of Lingerie or Pin-Up posters are great decor since this is where you are often caught in your undies anyway. LooPourie is one of my favorite bathroom products and looks pretty on LeToilet. Read more on website ;)

Brightly colored, Fabric, shower curtains add a softness to an otherwise porcelain hard room.

Graphic Bathmats that are nostalgic and fun to read add to the amusement. This one is from H&M's new home collection

Display your cosmetics. So much thought is put into the design and packaging of cosmetics and toiletries that there is no need to hide them in your medicine cabinet, unless you are a neat freak. On display, they are not only more easily accessible, but they add color and design to this little room.

REFLECTING: Tucking your Memories, Hopes and Dreams into a single book

Every year, for many years, I have kept a journal/ scrapbook to record thoughts, trips and mementos. Since 1996 my mom started giving me a "Our Country Diary" at Christmas. It's Victorian drawings and poetry are perfect for the romantic at heart (like me). This might lead one to believe I'm more organized than I really am. What really happens 90% of the time is that all of the years mementos like movie tickets, invitations and birthday cards, go into a basket to be added to the book during the last week of the year before my new book arrives!

Though, this end of the year task has become a nostalgic project as it obliges me to sift through a year of my life (now our life) and .... Reflect on the past and dream of the Future year.

I highly recommend incorporating this project into your routine. Having the chance to see all that took place in a single year gives perspective.  I often imagine generations after me looking at these and getting to know what our daily lives were like. How much would I love to see my grandmothers' journals and scrapbooks from their early adulthood !!??!!

Any journal would work but I like the layout of this one. It can keep your mementos on the right days and has extra space for holidays. Unfortunately it does not have extra space for the new Jewish holidays I now celebrate, but adjustments can be made.

country diary
...good things to come...

country diary
Predictions for 2012. One came true.

jenee naquin jessica stelly amy himel gomez
This is one of my favorite days in 2012: Bridal Shower and Barn Yard Bachelorette Party in Eunice, Louisiana
country year books
Just a portion of collection of journals over the years - Busting at the seams with memories!

country year books

Fashion Note: Exotic Escape (at home)

After the Honey Moon we needed a little refresher at home. New Life = New Decor

Moving was not in the plan, so a little furniture re-arranging and new accessories turned our home into what we now call: HOTEL ABOOBOO

The house now feels like a suite in some exotic Middle Eastern Paradise - hence the name. 

The Den: White furniture and lots of Green Plants. Black & White Pillow from H&M London Home Store. Natural Sisal Rug - These all give a fresh, cool, decadent vibe white the plants feel exotic. (yes, white is decadent because it's very risky to keep up!)

New Bowls from our Registry needs new Shelves. Thank god Ari is handy and can build just about anything I imagine. Since I was not wild about a curtain in the Kitchen these shelves serve as the perfect amount of privacy.
The Kitchen Look: a bit ore French than Exotic Middle East, but that's OK :)
Lounge Corner in Bed Room: The guitars are used to lull me to sleep and sometimes they are Used to drive me Crazy. Stumper Fielding Pillow shell from Portabello Road in London. Modern art on wall - My Own. Dresser - Ari's design.
Ari Playing Sweet Music in the Music Corner
New Marrakesh Style Curtains from Anthropology really make it feel like we wake up and go to sleep at Hotel Abooboo everyday. Missoni for Target blanket adds yet another exotic pattern.
Mix Match French Corner: I feel when odd objects are grouped together in a tasteful way it is very French. Some of the best French home I have been in are an eclectic mix of flea market nic nacs and boutique finds.
French Corner up Close: A photo of Ari and I the day after our engagement in Belgium. A milk glass vase from an antique store on Long Island. A bronze Sailboat sculpted by Ari's dad.


The Weekend Find:
Homebody Boutique  Park Slope, Brooklyn : 7th Ave bt 15th & 16th St.
Eclectic, Dita von Teese, Surreal
This den is for the eclectic home and/or eclectic spirit. I imagine Dita Von Teese would have had items on her wedding registry here had she been informed of Homebody. It’s full of pretty things that are the right amount of “just a little off”.
The wares all seem novel and original, and they are because they are dreamed up by real artists. Looking through the shelves is like tasting Pad Thai for the first time: it’s a new sensory experience.
I took home a new throw pillow, but had a hard time deciding between the Doily Print on navy or the Skull Embroidery on brocade (both of which are THE HOT images of the moment). Eventually I choose the Doily print for my Neo-New Orleans style sitting room.
Other favorites items included hand felted bowls, whimsically sculpted Salt & Pepper shakers, and nightmare catcher journals.
It’s worth a visit for many reasons