Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Create Stylish Rooms that Expand as Children Grow

Serena & Lily will expand its current line of coveted nursery linens with the introduction of 15 new signature children's bedding collections that follow the color scheme and motifs presented in their most popular nursery collections. These new designs, coupled with a range of coordinating lamps, headboards, gliders, rugs and complimentary new paint colors, have the longevity to carry Serena & Lily's sophisticated nursery style through every stage of a child's life.

Year after year, parents are investing more and more in their child's nursery. According to Kids Today magazine and statisticians at Easy Analytic Software Inc., sales of infant furniture totaled $1.2 billion in 2005 and are estimated to increase 24% by 2010. Families are breaking away from themed throw-away styles and moving toward products that are higher in quality and built to last. With this in mind, Serena & Lily have designed new products that offer a high return for parents who have invested the time and money to create their perfect nursery. The company's philosophy is that its sophisticated baby designs can naturally extend to children's rooms as well.

"Theme driven nurseries pinpoint a moment in time and will continually have to be updated as the child grows," says Serena Dugan, co-owner of Serena & Lily. "Our line makes the original design scheme expandable. Changing out the nursery as your child grows should be a simple and cost-effective endeavor. We want parents to be able to grow the look and feel of their child's nursery with minimal effort and expense."
To accompany the 15 newly released collections of twin to queen bedding, the 2007 line includes gliders, lamps, rugs, upholstered headboards and a beautiful palette of non-toxic paint. The product line will be in stores February 2007.

About Serena & Lily
Lily Kanter met Serena Dugan in October of 2003 and the idea to form a new company blossomed within an hour of knowing each other. Serena & Lily officially launched in mid-2004 quickly becoming a favorite of A-list celebrities including Jennifer Garner, Britney Spears, Elizabeth Vargas and Hollywood designer-to-the-stars, Monique Lhuillier. The pair has authored a book on design titled Nursery Style that will be available from Chronicle Books in Fall 2007.

The company has a mission to give back to the community as a socially responsible business, donating 5% of profits to carefully chosen causes that work to impact and improve the lives of children. Powered by this larger activism, and a hands-on approach to giving, the partners are committed to "making the world a better place, one baby at a time."

Fashion at the Park

NorthPark Center ( ), host of Cadillac Presents Fashion at the Park, has announced its designer line-up for the March 7-10 event, featuring 15 shows on a full-scale 180-foot H-shaped runway.

For the first time Vogue is collaborating with a luxury shopping center as a national media partner. This partnership elevates the growing presence of fashion locally and brings the best of Dallas shopping to women across the country through a Vogue studio-designed eight-page section, a fashion retrospective and exhibit, planned programming on their nationally syndicated TV show Trend Watch and through entertaining podcasts available on iTunes or

Running March 7-31, Vogue and NorthPark Center are proud to showcase 30 images from In Vogue: The Illustrated History of the World's Most Famous Fashion Magazine (Rizzoli, New York 2006) in a fashion retrospective and exhibit in celebration of Fashion at the Park. The exhibit is open to the public at no charge.

Fashion at the Park begins Wednesday, March 7 with the Salvatore Ferragamo cocktail reception and runway show featuring their women's and men's spring/summer collection last seen in Milan. Graeme Black, womenswear designer, and Massimiliano Giornetti, menswear designer, will be in attendance. Both events will benefit The Dallas Center for Contemporary Art.

The show schedule includes designer collections from these NorthPark retailers: Barneys New York, CH Carolina Herrera, Custo Barcelona, Diesel, Dillard's, Intermix, Lilly Pulitzer, Macy's,MNG by Mango, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Oscar de la Renta, Salvatore Ferragamo, Ted Baker and Vilebrequin.

The final day concludes with a closing gala hosted by Neiman Marcus, NorthPark Center and The Mansion on Turtle Creek benefiting the Dallas Public Library for Children at NorthPark Center.

A 15,000-square-foot luxury tent complex located between Nordstrom and Macy'swill house the Fashion Tent, which includes 500 reserved seats. A tiered layout accommodates maximum visibility with 216 front row seats. The Designer Circle, located inside the runway, will offer a one-of-a-kind viewing experience.

Also located in the luxury tent complex, the Samsung Fashion Lounge will house a 324-square-foot bar serving Belvedere Vodka and Moet & Chandon Champagne, a raised DJ booth surrounded by interactive product displays featuring Samsung's stylish phones and accessories, lounge seating and Samsung plasma screens showing Fashion at the Park runway footage.

With its prestigious reputation for award winning design and high fashion glamour, Cadillac will feature its latest in design and technology at its car display next door to the Samsung Fashion Lounge. Featuring the seductive Cadillac XLR Roadster and the audacious Cadillac Escalade, fashion aficionados will enjoy their time in between shows in the luxurious tented Cadillac Court.

Fashion at the Park tickets are on sale to the public. All seats are reserved and tickets are available by logging onto or calling 1-877-77CLICK (fees apply). Ticket prices start at $25.

A limited number of Uber Fashion Passes priced at $1,500 will give style seekers the ultimate VIP access to Fashion at the Park. Package includes: front row seats to all runway shows, a copy of In Vogue: The Illustrated History of the World's Most Famous Fashion Magazine (Rizzoli New York, 2006), a VIP swag bag, $250 NorthPark Gold, complimentary valet parking during event, access to the Seamless screening, invitation to media/VIP kickoff, and first option to purchase exclusive tickets to opening and closing events.

Monday, January 29, 2007

New England Fine Living is updating their web site

New England Fine, the sister site to Linda's Luxury Living, is updating its look and content. We are now looking for information on any design showhouses, interior design show cases, or decor homes shows in the United States. If you have any information, please e-mail Linda at

Sunday, January 28, 2007

The History orf Waterford Crystal

The History of Waterford® Crystal - From the

The beginnings of glass making in Ireland are lost in the mists of time but there is sufficient archaeological evidence to show that, from the early Iron Age, glass was regarded with respect. Indeed, medieval documents can prove glass making existed in Ireland back in the middle 13th century.

However, the Waterford Crystal story started to blossom in 1783 when two brothers, George and William Penrose, founded their crystal manufacturing business in the busy port of Waterford. They were important developers and the city's principal exporters. The development, they told the Irish Parliament, cost £10,000 - a great deal of money in the 18th century.

They employed 50 to 70 people, led by a fellow Quaker, John Hill, from Stourbridge in England, and succeeded in producing crystal with a purity of colour unmatched in Ireland or England. Merchant ships sailed regularly from the port of Waterford with cargoes of crystal bound for Spain, the West Indies, New York, New England and Newfoundland.

But less than 100 years later the initial company failed due to lack of capital and excessive taxation. In what seems a remarkably short time, Waterford Crystal acquired an unequalled reputation that has transcended the intervening centuries.

Another century passed before the enterprise was revived. In 1947, while Europe was still in ruins after the second World War, a small glass factory was set up in Waterford just 11/2 miles from the site of the original glass factory.

Waterford Crystal today has very strong links with its illustrious predecessor. There is today the same dedication to the purity of color, to the same design inspiration and to the same pursuit of highest quality levels possible. The traditional cutting patterns made famous by the artisans of Waterford became the design basis for the growing product range of the new company.

Products which have extended the power of the Waterford brand beyond its core crystal products include Waterford China, Waterford Table & Bed Linens, Waterford Stainless Flatware and Silver Gifts, Waterford Writing Instruments, Waterford Holiday Heirlooms and Waterford Crystal Jewellery.

Waterford Crystal, today, is the leading brand of premium crystal. Its products - superb handcrafted crystal stemware, giftware and lightingware - are designed and manufactured to the highest standards.

The brand's reputation among its target market - upscale men and women - in its major markets is such that it has taken the brand to the heights that it now occupies. The target consumers simply regard Waterford Crystal as the best for self and gift purchase.

Recent research has confirmed the standing of Waterford Crystal in both the US and the UK.

In November 2000, Waterford Crystal was named as the top world class brand in the United States by a survey conducted among 30,000 people by the Princeton, New Jersey, based independent market research company, Total Research Corporation. Total Research said that Waterford Crystal was judged by American consumers as the brand with the highest quality out of 19 world class brands in the US market. Other brands in the league table below Waterford include Rolls-Royce Bentley, Bose stereo and speaker systems, Philadelphia cream cheese, Harley-Davidson motorcycles, Kodak, Heinz ketchup and National Geographic magazine.

This year, Waterford celebrates the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the Lismore pattern of crystal. Almost every year since its inception, Lismore has topped the popularity list and has been the biggest selling pattern of crystal in the US and the world. But there are others among the repertoire of Ireland's most famous export that have gained their own following - Alana, Carina, Araglin.

Waterford Crystal has become almost a synonym for the finest quality crystal sought after by collectors and connoisseurs around the world. Each piece of Waterford can be recognised by the signature on the base with the word "Waterford", the name of the finest crystal in the world.

Toast special occasions with Robert Mondavi by Waterford crystal stemware.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Luxury Skin Care

Here is a You Tube show that I found for you to view in regards to some luxury skin care products.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Building your own Web site

I have been asked several times who I use to create my web sites, and for almost 8 years, I have used Homestead. I have compared them with some of my friends providers, and I found that the cost of my sites are a lot less money per month than theirs. The templates are user friendly and the customers service, if needed, has been 100% helpful. My other Web sites are for my interior design studio and the other is for New England Fine Living Since I am not a Web site designer, they are a little generic, but if you are savvy with Web pages or html (which you don't have to know), I am sure you could create some incredible Web pages.

Build a Website in 30 minutes. Try Free, Click Here.

Ultimate Luxury Homes

I recently picked up a copy of Ultimate Homes Magazine, which is full of beautiful and grand properties that are for sale. If you are not looking to move, but would like to create a new look in your home, this large glossy magazine would most definitely generate some ideas for your own residence or vacation home. For a sneak peek, their web site address is .

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Technorati Profile

Auto Air Conditioning in the Winter? Yup!

Well, this morning I have woken up to snow, which was a surprise since we have not seen much of the white stuff here on the East Coast.

I received this e-mail from my service department at BMW, so I thought I would share it with you.

"With the brisk winter upon us, it is especially important to make sure that your BMW maintains its great running condition. Well, we at BMW we would like to inform you of a few tips that may come as a surprise, but more importantly, are necessary to the maintenance of your BMW X5.

Did you know that it is important to run your BMW's air conditioning at least once a month, especially when the mercury falls? Here is why: The air conditioning system contains seals that are lubricated during use. Running the air conditioning keeps the seals fresh and the air pathways clear.

Did you also know, that when it is humid, you can clear fog from the windshield and other windows by running the air conditioning? This works year-round. Just one more reason to run the A/C! Hopefully, you find this information useful."

I am not a mechanic, but I can only assume that this would be beneficial for all vehicles. I can't wait to go turn my air conditioning! Maybe I will wait until the temperature is in the single digits this weekend!

Monday, January 22, 2007

From spicy color combinations to hues that warm the soul, 2007 color trends contain palettes that work independently as a "statement color" or as a subtle backdrop where home furnishings and accessories take center stage. "Many of these palettes will find a home in rooms from coast to coast," Debbie Zimmer, color and decorating expert for the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute and member of the prestigious Color Marketing Group, an international organization that helps shape the latest color trends said. "What I enjoy most about our palette grouping this year is the homey and nature-like quality afforded by each."Read more trend summary highlights about color hues appropriate for all areas of the home or living space.

Comfort ColorsBiscuit and wheat neutrals, cocoa brown, pumpkin orange and cinnamon apple pie, are just a few of the comfort colors that will wrap your room with warmth and promote a stress-free space. The comfort color palette is an especially good choice for kitchens and family rooms.Back to NatureYellows and blues, leaf-like greens, along with organic browns combine to bring the outdoors in. Add translucency and a glass like quality by incorporating varying paint sheen levels. As a subtle accent color, add rust or copper-like metallics into the scheme. Bedrooms and bathrooms are perfect places to incorporate the back to nature hues or in rooms where an accent wall is employed. Stark ContrastFrom clean, clear reds and deep plums to the sophistication of black and white, this color group works both as an accent and as an elegant backdrop for many living spaces. Polished brass metallics complement this scheme. Dining, living rooms and especially powder rooms will benefit from this bold and spicy palette.

About Rohm and Haas Company Leading the way since 1909, Rohm and Haas is a global pioneer in the creation and development of innovative technologies and solutions for the specialty materials industry. The company's technologies are found in a wide range of markets including: Building and Construction, Electronics, Food and Retail, Household and Personal Care, Industrial Process, Packaging, Paper, Transportation, and Water. Our innovative technologies and solutions help to improve life everyday, around the world. Based in Philadelphia, PA, the company generated annual sales of approximately $8 billion in 2005. Visit for more information. imagine the possibilities™About The Rohm and Haas Paint Quality InstitutesmThe Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institutesm, based in Spring House, Pa., was formed by the Rohm and Haas Company, a worldwide producer of specialty materials, in 1989 with a charter of independence and objectivity to educate painters everywhere on the advantages of using high quality paint, as well as to inspire them with information on innovative ways to use paint and decorating and color trends. Please be sure to visit the Paint Quality Institute Web site at Article from Scripps Howard News Service.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Enjoying Champagne in a Luxury Penthouse Condo

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending a cocktail party hosted by New England Home Magazine. The event was held at the Residences at The Intercontinental, located in Boston, MA. Realizing that my car navigator was not working properly due to the big dig road changes. I found it very difficult to find the building.

Finally, my guest and I did end up in front of the building, only to find ourselves in a long line of traffic waiting to get into the parking garage. Well, once we got into the garage, the stress of being lost in Boston disappeared. We were greeted by one of the many valet parking attendants, and directed to the door that would take us to the event.

Down the hallway, we could see an elevator attendant waiting to whisk us up to the penthouse level. As we got off the elevator, some of the guests were already walking past us with goody bags that I could only assume were gifts from some of the sponsoring vendors. It is funny to think how something so simple could make me smile with delight. Then I saw it... the tray full of fluted champagne glasses that was being presented to each person entering the penthouse while the soft sound of piano music drew them closer to the cocktail party. When we got into the main room with our champagne glasses, there were so many people it was hard to move around. we decided to make our way to the windows so that we could enjoy the view of Boston. It was a beautiful sight. The lights of the city were flickering off the harbor and the penthouse had a three sided view of the city. It wasn't until we toured the rest of the space that we realized this was a residential condo, that was for sale.

In the goody bag we received that night, there was an elaborate, full color, marketing book explaining the benefits of living at the Residences at the Intercontinental. One of the pages is titled..."Picture of life of Luxury" followed by... "I never dreamed I'd be living in a luxury condominium with hotel amenities. But I am, and I don't have to lift a finger. Well, actually I do - to dial room service. I feel like a grown-up Eloise. And I love it." There is even an in house spa, restaurant and bar just like a hotel would offer. If you would like to live there, here are the prices. Pocket Change!

There are 130 condominiums consisting of one, two, three and four bedroom homes.

One bedrooms/1.5 baths Approx 1,060 - 1,189 sqft $ 795,000 - $ 995,000

Two bedrooms/2 -2.5 baths Approx 1,257 - 2,61 sqft $1,195,000 - $2,675,000Three bedrooms/3.5-4.5 baths Approx 2,519 -3,385 sqft $2,675,000 - $4,525,000Four Bedroom + Study Approx 4,752 - 4,4,768 sqft $6,950,000 - $6,850,000

Hey if you buy one... Can I come visit?

Friday, January 19, 2007

Now here is a program, that I wish I had followed up on, when my children were young. When I think of the money I could have saved for their college years, while I was spending money on everyday things, I find myself getting upset. Our plan was always to use the equity we have built in our home purchases and sales, but with todays market, there is no guarantee that our equity will be as great as expected.

There is no fee join, and all it takes is about 10 to 15 minutes of your time to start saving for your childrens future.

Creating your own Bliss

Finding time to pamper... to relax... to reflect... and to dream is essential to our well being. When we try to steal a little time for ourselves, we might feel we should be doing something more productive or that we should be taking care of someone else. Now in my 40's I have finally learned the art of taking time for myself and enjoying it.
Relaxing and pampering means different things to different people, but I would like to share a few thought starters with you.

Imagine walking into your own bathroom (lets call it your spa shall we?)... Imagine walking into your spa where scented oils in beautiful bottles decorate your shelves or counter top, bath products are neatly stored in beautiful containers, candles are flickering with their soft yellow glow, while the soft music from your stereo surrounds you. Your spa is welcoming you to stay. On the floor is a beautiful basket filled with your favorite reading material and your bathrobe is gently draped over the padded stool waiting to wrap and to warm you. Behind you, the sound of the water gently flowing into the tub makes you remember the true purpose of your visit and that is to relax.

While reaching for the bath salts, the steam gently rises from the crystal clear water beckoning you to slip into its warmth and allowing it to wash the stress of the day away. Your mind and thoughts start to drift off to a quieter and more peaceful time and thats ok this is your time!

Creating your own spa

With a little planning and time, you can create your own spa and it is all worth it.

A must for moms and wives.

How about creating a sign for outside your door to let your family know this is your private time. When my childen were to little to read and I needed to work in my office, I made a simple traffic light on paper with with red, yellow, and green removable circles.. When I needed private time I would affix the red circle, when they needed to knock first the yellow circle would go up, and when they could just walk in the green circle would be there. Why not do the same for your spa area. It could be as simple as a piece of paper taped to the door with "moms time out", "please wait for 1 hour before knocking", etc, or you could go all out and show off your creative talent and make a wonderful sign out of your favorite craft items. (If any of you end up making a sign or already have one, I would love to share it here with our other readers)

You may already have those small tea candles in the small metal tins, or you could find a box of these for around a dollar at a craft store. Take them out of the tins and float them in warm scented water in the wash basin. They burn for well over an hour and they are inexpensive, but they create a beautiful glow once the lights are turned down.

Speaking of turning the lights down... putting our bathroom lights on a dimmer switch was one of the best moves we could have made while remodeling. We can turn the lights way down when we want a cozy effect in the room.

Place pillar candles or candlesticks in front of your mirror to bounce and reflect light around the room. If the thought of candles makes you a little nervous, you can place them in glass bowls, clear coffee or tea cups, or enclosed lanterns.

Have a container full of bath salts near the tub to scoop in while you are preparing yourself for your spa.

To create your own large quantity of bath salts you will need...

A box of Kosher large crystal salt from the grocery storeA large bottle of glycerin at the pharmacy and your favorite scent of essential oil
I have made this myself one year for christmas presents and presented them in beautiful little jars with cork tops. I never measured anything out, but this recipe is pretty easy to do by eye. I first mixed the essential oil into the glycerin (if you want to add a little color you can add food coloring) then I slowly mixed the oil mixture into the salt. The glycerin will soften the skin while the scent of the essential oil will help you drift off to another place and time.

Bring in a small table or stool to place a glass of wine or a dish of fruits like sliced peaches and strawberries.

Making sure you have your radio or stereo well away from the water, put on your favorite music to help you relax.

Roll up a bath towel and tie it with a beautiful ribbon to use as a neck roll in the tub.
A toweling bathrobe should be oversized... reaching the floor to trap your body heat.

Mmmmm wouldn't it be nice to have a freshly warmed robe from the dryer handed to you just in time to wrap yourself up.

Investing in a nice big fluffy bath towel for yourself is a must for the feeling of true pampering.

How about packing yourself a picnic lunch and drive to a beautiful park or beach (even if it's on your lunch time for work. What a wonderful break in the day to look forward to.) In the basket pack your lunch, a beverage, a cozy blanket or vintage table cloth to sit on, and your favorite book.

Plan a trip to the local library to see what new books are just waiting to be read
Create a little corner in your yard with a chair and table. Take a little time with a glass of lemonade or tea.

Tie on your walking shoes and go for a refreshing and mind cleansing walk.
Go through your old cooking books and find recipies that you have always wanted to try and write out a shopping list for the ingredients.

Leaf through your decorating magazines and find inspirations for your own home
Write a letter to an old freind to catch up (no e-mail here!) I will add more in the future on the lost art of letter writing.

Rise early in the morning to watch the sun rise with a cup of tea or coffee and reflect on your life and how wonderful it is!

Each morning, look in the mirror ..take several long healthy breaths and tell yourself "I am going to be the best that I can be today, I am a wonderful person, and I can create my own happiness which will reflect on others"

Pick up vacation brochures and plan a trip for yourself and a friend/family. This can be a trip for next month, next year, or ten years from now.

Attend a seminar or workshop on a topic you enjoy

Get out your craft supplies (or your childrens) and have fun. Even taking out crayons and a colorig book can be very relaxing. When was the last time you colored!!!

Four ways to brighten your home

By MARY CAROL GARRITYScripps Howard News Service 15-JAN-07
If you're singing the winter blues, it's time to lift your spirits by giving your home a new spark with tantalizing, terrific textiles. Judy, the manager of G. Diebolt's, my custom-bedding and fabric store, suggests four awesome projects that require just five yards of fabric, giving your home a great look for a minimal investment.

Sick and tired of your sofa? Freshen it up with new accent pillows. It takes just a few yards of fabric to recover your existing pillow forms and get a whole new look.
Right now, timeless fabrics like plaids, soft linen blends and florals are all the rage. But don't confine yourself to just one pattern or pillow shape. Mix three to four patterns and several shapes to give your sofa lots of visual interest.

Try this look: Center a larger rectangle pillow on the back of the sofa. Then nestle square accent pillows against the sofa's arms. Be sure to make a few extra pillows to toss on side chairs to create continuity in the room.
Give your new pillows a customized look by using a host of interesting trims. How about ribbon-covered buttons? Or brush fringes? I love mini-flanges. One final bit of advice: Don't forget to put a zipper in each pillow cover so you can slip it off for laundering.
If you can't sew worth a lick, never fear. You can dress up pillow forms simply by securing a yard or two of fabric into place with a few cleverly placed folds and tucks. Judy advises using lightweight fabrics for this trick.

Give your table some kick by crafting one-of-a-kind table linens. Create a square table topper, then lay it on the diagonal at the center of your table. If you want more texture, crisscross two table runners. If you don't sew, no problem. Just iron the raw edges under and no one will be able to tell the difference.
If you already have a tablecloth you love, make some zippy new napkins that bring out its colors or accent your dishes. Don't be afraid to introduce bold fabrics with large prints and startling colors. One of my favorite napkin and table-topper duos featured strong patterns in hot pink and black. Pair this creative combination with black transferware dishes, and you've got a tabletop that's to die for.

My favorite window treatment is the versatile and timeless fabric panel. Panels are so simple yet so sophisticated.
Find some fabric that steals your heart and accents your room's colors, then stitch up some panels. If you already have panels you love, freshen them up a bit by creating a topper with a complementary fabric draped over the curtain rod.
Judy came up with one of the best window treatments I've ever seen, and you don't even have to know how to thread a needle to pull it off. Select yards of a yummy fabric like damask and toss one end over the curtain rod. Pull the end down and around the front of the fabric panel, securing it in back with large safety pins.
If you'd like to give your kitchen window a splash of color, create a playful valance. If you don't sew, use the fold-and-iron technique to create a hem or use a fabric adhesive tape, then secure the curtains to the rod with some darling clip rings.

Have a side chair that's looking kind of shabby? Transform its look by making a slipcover for just the seat cushion. Or, change the appearance of your dining-room chairs by either redoing the upholstered seat cushions or creating skirted slipcovers to rest over the existing seat. My dining-room chairs are covered in black leather, but you'd never know it because I dress them up with fabric slipcovers. Right now they are covered in a blue and cream print that pulls out the blue in my dining-room walls.

Mary Carol Garrity is the proprietor of three successful home furnishings stores in Atchison, Kan., and the author of several best-selling books on home decorating. Write to Mary Carol at nellhills(at) For more stories visit

The start of Luxury Living

Who doesn't want a little luxury in there lives? I know I do, but who has the time to find such wonderful things?
I have two other web sites, and this blog will be the icing on the cake. One of my sites, helps New Englanders find wonderful products and services locally. Now that I have had that site up and running for over a year, I want to take share my finds of bliss and luxury with the world. Do I live the life of luxury everyday? Not quite, but I do allow myself quiet stolen moments to read my favorite magazine, or just to sit and relax while listening to my favorite music with a lit candle in front of me. This new blog will give tips, inspiration, and ideas to add a little bit of Luxury Living in your life.