Tag Archives: Kohls

Let Me Sleep On It (Baby, Baby)….


As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about………..more bedding! There is nothing like getting all snuggled up into a warm, cozy and comfortable bed at night. I love the moment when we remove our pillow shams, carefully stacking them up on our wing back chair, pull the covers back and slide into bed. It’s Heavenly! Personally, I happen to belong to the “make your bed every morning” camp. In fact, I like them made before the sheets have time to get cold. Some mornings, as I’m begging Nick to wake up, I make one side of his bed, while I’m rolling him out of the other. I’m nothing if not efficient.

You know my mantra is more of everything is always better, especially more bed linens! In design, layer upon thoughtful luscious layer is one significant way that style can be achieved. In regards to bedding, layering is the most important factor because it contributes to both the over all affect and the warm feeling of comfort, whether you favor romance, luxury or serenity.

  • Sheets: Do yourself a favor and buy the very best sheets that fit your budget. The higher the thread count the better! 
  • Duvet: A duvet is down filled and a duvet cover is its outer covering (I am a master of the obvious). The beauty of the duvet cover is the ability change the whole look of your room with the seasons, without having to store large bedding items not in use.
  • Comforter: A bed cover that is filled, quilted and frequently reversible. It typically only covers the mattress, not the box spring and bed frame, necessitating the use of a dust ruffle.
  • Bedspread or Coverlet: This is usually made of a light weight fabric and extends to floor.
  • Dust Ruffle: A decorative skirt that covers the box spring and bed frame which extends to the floor. They can be anywhere from shirred and full, like a ball gown, to a tailored box pleat.
  • Pillow Shams: Decorative coverings that are typically embellished with ruffles, pleats or flanges. They range in size; standard, queen, king and Euro shams (26” x 26” square). The purpose of the sham is to add formality to the bedding. They can sit in front of or behind the pillows used for slumber.
  • Decorative pillows: They have no purpose but to emphasize a color or pattern theme and add another layer and dimension.

 

With spring just around the corner, I’m inspired to spruce up our bedding with something fresh and new. After the heaviness of the cold (and snowy) winter, the lively patterns and perky color palettes are a warm welcome.

Steinmart has a very, very nice linen department. I would venture to say that it rivals your average Macy’s at the mall (more for less!). Of course, Marshall Fields on State Street (yes, I do know that is a Macy’s too. It just seems so wrong.) reigns supreme in the bedding department. While Steinmart has a very nice variety of comforter, I was particularly taken with their selection of sheets! Their DreamScape line is a luxurious 300 thread count and is featured in fabulous animal prints, stripes and a trellis design. The colors are such a relief from the traditional dark jewel tones; coral, apple green and chocolate. Solid colors highlight soft golds, sage-y greens and dreamy blues.

 

If I’m not cruising the aisles at Target, you’ll find me at my other favorite hot spots: TJ Maxx and More and Homegoods. I’m totally ready to spring forward to summer! Cynthia Rowley designed an absolutely delightful light blue, cheerful yellow and spring green quilt with coordinating (not completely matching) sheets, pillow shams and decorative pillows. The whole scheme makes me think of daffodils.

 

The beauty of Homegoods is the interesting variety. I wish we had more beds (or a lake house) because I would have a difficult time deciding between the quilt sets bursting with color; a chocolate brown background, bursting with hot pink and tangerine flowers, a very Hawaiian turquoise featuring tropical florals and one of my all time favorite color combinations of hot pink and apple green edged in stripes and centered with flowers!

 

Kohl’s is another smart place to look at bedding. They have a very elegant Hotel Line; high style and excellent quality which marries either a soft green or a silvery blue with a quiet chocolate brown. It shows a very grown up and sophisticated restraint.  

No matter what your personal style, there are fabulous bedding options this season. Ready made is fantastic, but I also have a great guy that fabricates custom bedding; as simple as pillow shams or a dust ruffle to pull the whole look together, or the Full Monty! If you’d like help with your Interior Design projects, shoot me an email. I’d love to help. moreismoremom@aol.com

More luxurious bedding, more spring nesting, more restful slumber…….

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October 21 – Part 1: Hostess Gifts and Appetizers


As the More is More Mom, I am all about….more hostess gifts and appetizers! I live for manufacturing opportunities to celebrate life with our family and friends. While I love to play hostess, sometimes it’s nice to be a guest too. As someone who entertains frequently, I truly appreciate the amount of thoughtfulness, time, effort and expense that my host incurs when throwing a fabulous soiree. That is why it is important to be a good guest!

This past weekend, Chuck and I were invited to our friends for cocktails and appetizers. Yay! Snicky-snacks and Splishy-splashes….. I insisted on bringing an appetizer that I’ve been dying to try (so many recipes, so little time). The one thing I personally HATE as a hostess is for a guest to bring a dish to share that needs to be prepared upon their arrival. How irritating is that? Like your hostess isn’t up to her eyeballs in work, and then someone shows up with more work. Just awful! No, the only way for that to ever be acceptable is for the item to arrive prepared (other than a quick trip through the microwave) and with its own serving dishes. The hostess should never be bothered with inane questions like, “Do you have a platter? A bowl? A Crock-pot (I was actually asked that once)?” Even if you do bring along your own serving pieces, there is the matter of washing it up and bringing it home at the end of the night. What a total hassle.

The solution, however, is quite simple… purchase a lovely serving piece for the dish that you have prepared, and leave that new serving piece as your hostess gift.

 

There are so many possibilities to suit every price range. I like to consider several factors when searching for that perfect gift; the personal style of the hosts, the theme of the event and the season. Since I was making a dip that I would be serving with crackers, I knew I wanted either a small bowl and platter or two bowls. I searched my favorite spots first; HomeGoods and Target, but I didn’t find quite what I had in mind. I then zipped over to Kohl’s and found the perfect set of autumnal, nesting, leaf bowls. What I loved about them is that they are practical and pretty and made a lovely gift.

While a thoughtful and beautiful presentation is always high on my list, if I’m bringing some nibbles, they have to be tasty too. You have to try this dip.

Caramelized Onion with Smoked Salmon Dip:

You’ll want to make this a day in advance so the flavors have a chance to mingle to mouth watering perfection.

In a medium skillet, over medium heat, melt;

2-3 Tbsp of butter

Add;

2 cups of chopped onion

Cook uncovered for 5 minutes, stirring frequently

Add the cover and cook for another 5-8 minutes

Uncover and cook for another 3-5 minutes, until they are golden and soft

In a mixing bowl, beat;

1, 8 oz package of whipped cream cheese

Add;

1/3 cup of mayonnaise

1/3 cup of sour cream

2 Tbsp lemon juice (I think bottled is just fine)

1 ½ Tbsp capers, drained

1 Tbsp fresh, chopped dill

Beat until nice and creamy

 

Add;

Caramelized onions

4 oz of smoked salmon, coarsely chopped

1-2 tsp cracked black pepper (for a little kick!)

Stir until well blended

Cover and chill in the refrigerator over night

 

This dip is equally delicious on toasted crostini or even crackers. I preferred a hearty cracker, like a Triscuit, but that is entirely up to you.

When I got to my friends house, I gave her the nesting bowls and a hand written note thanking her and her husband for their generous hospitality. I then unwrapped the bowl, dished out the dip and crackers and added it to her autumnal buffet.

More delicious appetizers, more gracious hosts,, more evenings with friends…..

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Mad For Plaid….


As the More is More Mom®, I am…more mad for plaid! With the end of summer florals, plaid is back with a vengeance. It seems to be on everything; shirts, jackets, scarves, dresses, belts, headbands, earrings (that’s weird), shoes, handbags and the list goes on and on…

When I was a teenager (one hundred years ago), The Official Preppy Handbook was my bible. Because mothers are the keepers of everything, I will have to ask my mom if she knows where that book is. It’s only been about 25 years since I’ve looked at it, but I expect she’ll know where it is immediately, because that’s what mothers do best (other than kissing boo-boos and making everything better). As a preppy lover, I was a huge fan of Lacoste and Polo shirts, argyle socks, monogrammed crew neck sweaters, pinstripe oxfords, penny loafers (with real pennies inside, though at the rate of inflation silver dollars might be more appropriate), Le Sport Sac bags, and the tartan plaid kilt, adorned with the gigantic, iconic, safety pin.

Plaid is popping up everywhere in all sorts of incarnations; classic prepster, sassy Scotsman, lumberjack….your dad. There is nothing happier than the perfect plaid, however as the More is More Mom®, even I must concede, plaid is a pattern best employed with restraint.

 

I think the perfect plaid piece for fall is the classic trench coat. It’s fabulous in all sorts of classic combinations; black and white, blue and green, tan and black, red and navy. Talk about making a statement!

While plaid is a classic, its current incarnation may show itself as a fun trend. You can’t go wrong with an investment piece like a Burbery, but if you’re only interested in seasonal fun there are tons of options. You’ll be tripping over plaid tops in every style and for every budget. Wall to wall, rack to rack, the plaid top is everywhere. There are some great selections;

At the quintessential J Crew, you get smart and preppy:

 

My health club (I love any place that has an unexpected gift shop):

Reasonably priced;

Old Navy:

Kohl’s:

Target (always trend setters):

Then you’ve got your accessories, a playful way to incorporate your plaid-itude;

Handbags:

Scarves (though I don’t quite get the fashion scarf with a short sleeve t-shirt, I prefer the statement necklace):

Headbands:

Tres fun plaid rain boots:

A great umbrella:

 

Even Chuck Taylor’s gone plaid:

What could be more spectacular than having more fun this fall with more plaid?

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Fourth of July Celebration; Day One…Decorations


What’s more fun than more parties!?! There’s nothing more All American than commemorating Independence Day. I have an exciting week planned, and I can’t wait to share with you the details for a fantastic Fourth. Each and every day I will demonstrate my ideas for divine decorations and delectable dishes. Actually, we enjoyed a fabulous Father’s Day dinner last weekend. My family was kind enough to indulge me by celebrating the “Faux of July,” which made it possible to bring this to you today…….

We had so much fun with our Memorial Day celebration, and we could certainly have used the same patriotic elements again this go around, but I wanted to show you how you could mix it up a little bit.

I would have loved for us to dine al fresco, but Mother Nature has been so darn unpredictable (that’s not true, she’s very predictable….rain everyday.). We settled for cocktails and appetizers on the deck, which was perfectly pleasant…..and dry.

My love affair with fabric, texture and color lead me to start, as it usually does, with a table covering. For Memorial Day I used a fantastic quilt as a tablecloth. Today, I was inspired to use this very bold, red tablecloth with stripes made out of polka dots. Great attention to detail. Tablecloths are another of my collecting obsessions. This one is great because it is suitable for so many occasions; Valentines Day, Independence Day, Christmas Day and any other day you’re moved to entertain in a sea of red.

Layers just add dimension and interest, so I always use a placement over my tablecovering. Here I selected a dusty blue (with a nice little tone on tone stripe) in homage to the Red, White and Blue. I topped that with a silver leaf charger, with a hobnail trim (which is a subtle tie in to the dots, in the stripe, of my tablecloth), reminiscent of the sparkle of…..sparklers! I pulled out these great red, stoneware dinner plates. I like the raised scroll detail. As always, I am taken with the way a snappy dessert plate pulls the theme of a table setting together (kind of like a great necklace or bracelet). For years I have been collecting a mish mash of blue and white plates that I use for appetizers and desserts. My collection stands at about 50, and I’ve used them all together, and their color combination is what unifies them, not the pattern. It’s just sort of groovy and eclectic. Here I enlisted the aid of two different patterned Spode plates and they look great (I alternated the pattern at every other place setting).

I am morally opposed to paper products while entertaining, but this was an exception. My menu consists of two potentially, very messy food items; ribs and buttery corn on the cob. Having heart palpitations because the good linen napkins are going to be ruined is no way to go through dinner, so I picked up these sturdy, 2 ply paper napkins and gave each guest two. So much more relaxing for all concerned! Red handled flatware showed off quite nicely against the blue napkins and placemats. You know I am a Target junkie, and I found these cute acrylic tumblers for $1.99 a piece. They’re perfect with their rows of blue stars (stars and stripes forever…). Each glass held a patriotic pinwheel.

Alas, the centerpiece. A low arrangement was in order, as I wanted to be sure we could see each other across the table. I set out five, simple clear glass vases and tied a red, white and blue wired edged, plaid ribbon around each one, for a little slice of Americana. The stripes on the tablecloth are white, so I was determined to find something sweet like white daisies. I raced and ran from floral department to floral department when Amanda and I popped in for a visit to our favorite Costco. Disappointed because there were no white flowers, I was about to settle on red roses, which were really much to formal for the occasion, when my gal pointed out bouquets of gorgeous blue and white hydrangeas. She is so smart! We brought them home, trimmed the stems so they would form a luscious, full cluster. Lined up together, they were stunning. To complete the look, I placed red and blue tin stars amongst the vases, and for a little romantic candlelight, resurrected blue and white votive holders to coordinate with my Spode plates. The table was lovely!

For this party, my buffet was really just set up for appetizers, but I still wanted it to make a statement. Pattern and color always sets the tone, so I was excited to use this classic, flag, throw size, quilt as a topper (I’ve had it in my collection for so long, I don’t recall from whence it came. Target or Kohl’s would be a pretty safe bet.). My four appetizer offerings took center stage. Elevation always makes for a pleasing, and user friendly food display. A pewter, hob nail trim, pedestal cake plate stood proudly in the back. On either side (and slightly to the front) of the highest point, I wanted to present two additional, raised appetizers, without being so un-original and boring as to incorporate two more cake plates. How cute are these storage bins embellished with red and blue stars? They were open at the top, so I simply flipped them upside down, and voila….two tall, patriotic, colorful, pattern-ful stands. Flat on the table, lined up across from the tall, pedestal cake plate, is a slate cheese board (that my friend Mrs. Lilly found for me). It’s fantastic! People are forever curious about the flavors in beautiful gourmet cheeses. The slate cheese board offers a smart solution. With a piece of chalk, you can simply write down the sorts of cheeses you are serving. Genius!

As the More is More Mom®, I could never leave a quiet, empty space, so I am inclined to fill in every nook and cranny! In the center of the table, I resurrected the Liberty Bell that I used for Memorial Day, and next to that I placed a crystal bowl full of fresh blueberries! On one side of my Kitchen island, I displayed two tall arrangements of all American sun flowers. They are so happy! For nearly an eternity I have had these two tall galvanized cylinders which nest inside wicker, handled baskets. They remind me of a picnic, which is perfect for the 4th! I stuck two American flags in each for a dramatic backdrop. This may sound crazy, but I found this whimsical bicycle at my grocery store. Inspiration is all around us, we just have to be open to it…… I could easily have stuck potted plants at the base, and at the top, but I had so many beautiful flowers already. Instead, I filled one basket with limes and one with lemons for an Earthy, organic quality.

On the opposite side of the island, I wanted something lively to fill the space. I knew I needed some height to mimic the other end of the buffet. At my Memorial Day bash, this red, rustic urn took center stage filled with mums, but today, it was the perfect place to rest a large, red, white and blue beach ball (height, color and shape…..a three-for). To the left, I placed a crystal bowl full of cherries and to the right a big, crazy pig with a rooster on top that sported the colors of the day. I scattered white tea light candles around the buffet for a festive glow and we are ready to party!

I hope you will be inspired to get creative and set a beautiful table and buffet for your Independence Day party this coming weekend.

Tomorrow: Dinner Menu and recipes….guaranteed to be finger licking good!

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How to Set a Beautiful Spring Table……


 

As the More is More Mom® there is little I enjoy more than planning a party! In fact, I am frequently inspired to have a party because I want to share a new recipe, or I’ve found great plates or a fun centerpiece. I’m all about the cart being in front of the horse! However, this most recent party was to mark a special occasion in honor of my Amanda making her Confirmation (just one of the reasons that she needed four new dresses this season!).

 

You know I have theories and methods for just about everything, and setting a beautiful table is no different. I’m excited to share with you my beautiful Spring Time Tablescape!

Every good tablescape starts with a base. For this event I selected a chocolate brown tablecloth not only to protect my table, but also to set the tone for my event (another Target purchase from their Hotel Series). I am sorry that I am not a purist, I am and extremist and therefore feel that white tablecloths are just plain dull. Here’s a little tip: your iron may not seem like it, but it is your friend. It is imperative to smooth out all of the wrinkles and put your very best foot forward. It is the first step in making a good impression!

Next, because I am a More is More kind of gal, I begin the process of adding layers. I like to set the tone for my design theme by adding some personality by way of a runner or a table topper. For this party, I have chosen a lively, modern floral runner featuring hot pink, turquoise blue and apple green on a clean white base.

 

The next layer I am going to add is the all important placemat. In addition to being a pretty detail that adds to the richness of the design, it is functional. The purpose of the placemat is two-fold. One, it helps to protect your tablecloth, and two it delineates your guests personal space. It gives them a little elbow room. Because my table was crowded with ten people in attendance (eleven if you count Amanda, the guest of honor, who only joined us for a few moments at the corner of the table to scarf down her dinner at break neck speed. She actually went to gymnastics for two hours after school and had to eat, get in the shower, dry her hair, put on her pretty dress and be out the door at 5:45pm. Race, race, race. Run, run, run.), I selected a round placemat (another Target find from last year. I bought a slew of them on super clearance) because it doesn’t take up quite as much space as a rectangular one, and my guests flatware and glassware aren’t on top of each other overlapping. I liked the pink woven placemat, with its several different shades because it complimented my runner.

 

I am the Queen of More and like everything else, chargers are no exception. I have chargers that are; leather, rattan, plain gold leaf, gold leaf with a hob nail trim, plain silver leaf, silver leaf with a hob nail trim, ruby red, turquoise, the list goes on and on. I love a charger because it adds to the layering by giving dimension, and because of its formality. I have selected a turquoise charger (shockingly not from Target, but from the store of fabulous finds, Tuesday Morning) with a scalloped edge detail to compliment and re-enforce the turquoise stripe that runs down the center of by runner. Here’s a little tip for creating a seamless and symmetrical table setting: select one element of your charger, in this case I chose to feature a scallop in the same position at each and every one of my place settings.

 

To set a tone of elegance for every party I throw I set my table to the nine’s, even if that means that I will make extra work for myself by removing items I need when it comes time to serve my meal. I love for my guests to be wowed when they walk in the door and get the full impact of my entire tablescape. When it’s time to serve dinner, I rarely serve family style, I will gather up all of the dishes to plate my meal. Today I selected a beautiful white dinner plate with a scalloped edge that mimics the scallop in my charger, and compliments the white background of my runner. I am not a proponent of good china. It’s ridiculously expensive, and just plain boring. I prefer to have the option to mix and match and create fantasies. You can’t create a fantasy out of dull and ordinary. Fantasies require that dream like quality that can only be achieved from excess. For instance these plates are from Lenox. While the white china adds a delicate sensibility, the embossed vines, leaves, and butterflies add an air of whimsy. I got these gems at TJ Maxx and More (more, more and more). They really pop’s against the turquoise charger on top of the pink placemat. Here’s another little tip: just like we did with the charger, we are going to select one element on the plate, in this case I have chosen one particular embossed butterfly, and I am going to place each plate in the exact same position. For this setting I have placed the butterfly at the bottom directly across from, and in the middle of the scallop placed at the top of the charger. Our objective is to create a harmonious and peaceful table. If all of the elements were askew the tablescape would be an unpleasing, jumbled mess.

 

Whimsy and detail trump function every time. I love to incorporate a salad plate or a dessert plate in to my place setting because it gives both dimension and personality to my tablescape. Once again, when it is time to serve my meal, I will simply remove the items not being used from the table. It is of course extra work, but then again More is More! I have these super great, multi colored polka dot plates (one of the keys to successful entertaining is INVENTORY. So, it will come as no surprise that the plates came from Target several seasons ago, at a very reasonable price). Polka dots just scream fun! Help hint: again, I chose one element from the plate, a particular polka dot, and lined it up on top of the embossed butterfly. I did this at each place setting around my table.

 

The meal I was serving was simple since we would be racing out the door shortly after we ate. The only utensils we required were a fork and knife. I love to pull out my good silver, but when we’re entertaining on the run convenient clean up is key. Attention to detail is what sets apart an ordinary table from that which is spectacular! I am a proponent of mixing high quality, just can’t live without, items, with inexpensive finds that help pull the whole ensemble together whether it be in tabletop design, home staging or fashion. I have gobs of flatware. Sometimes simple silver will just not do! Because my vision was a colorful garden bouquet I chose to use these fantastic apple green handled pieces (once again, from Target years and years ago……I keep everything forever!).

Now, I hate to lecture, or be a complete snob, but when you entertain in your home paper and plastic products should all but be banned. I can live with a paper cocktail napkin because there are so many fantastic wonderful designs that you are certain to find the perfect tie in to your event. However, for a dinner party you must never use disposable products, only cloth napkins, real glassware and tableware will do. I collect everything in quantities of 20 when I can, though I am a bargain hunter, so my mission frequently takes me on a treasure hunt from store to store. I love everything and cloth napkins are no exception. For this tablescape I decided upon these sweet little pink napkins, to tie in to my color scheme, with small white polka dots to re-enforce the polka dots in the dessert plates. I got these beauties some time ago at Kohl’s at a drastically reduced rate of $.97 a piece. Amazing! To continue my garden theme, I used these fun watering can napkin rings. I can’t remember exactly where they came from. My guess is Steinmart, but I can’t be completely certain. At any rate….they’re perfect! Help hint: the napkins should all look the same, and be placed in the same position at the individual place setting. I chose to feature the handle of the watering can napkin ring on the inside of the setting with the spout facing outward, and repeated that detail for each guest.

 

We have come upon the ever important topic of glassware. Why, as you can imagine, I think that more is never enough! I have a huge inventory but my preference when entertaining a crowd is to incorporate some of my signature, dishwasher safe pieces. I’m crazy for bugs (not the creepy crawlers) in my décor. As a water glass I have selected to use a footed goblet, with a bumble bee raised embellishment (a great TJ Maxx and More find). Helpful hint: on your glassware, when you have the opportunity to identify a feature, select one element to line up at each place setting. In this instance I lined up the bumble bee with the knife to form a uniform, straight line.

 

We’re ready to put the finishing touches on this tablescape. A centerpiece grounds your design and solidifies your vision. I have used this brown iron basket for many different purposes over the years (in fact it is featured in a previous post as the home to four fun snowballs that I found at Pottery Barn years ago). It’s a charming piece, detailed with birds and leaves, another tie in to my spring theme (you must think I live at these stores…..I do. This was a great find from a day of rummaging through the treasure at TJ Maxx and More a few years back). The other reason I felt it worked so well in this tablescape is that the brown iron basket compliments the chocolate brown tablecloth and really pops against the bright colors in my runner. The beauty of the basket is that you have the opportunity to fill it up with anything. I really like the organic quality of the moss and raffia balls. These accent pieces can be found at your local craft store, but my gems are from, you’ve got it, Target! Really, is there a need to shop much of anyplace else (this is not a paid endorsement, but I think it totally should be!)?

 

The very last element to address before your guests arrive (other than the cooking and cleaning) would be…illumination. Candlelight is soft and beautiful, and everyone looks especially lovely in its glow. I have these amazing, crystal, hot pink candelabrum (TJ Maxx and More is a beautiful thing, though I am certainly sounding as though I need to be in a 12 step program for my addiction). Rather than enlist the aide of predictable white candles, I chose green taper candles because I love the completely Preppy pink and green color combination. Like, Oh my God!

 

So there you have it…..a beautiful Spring Tablescape. I hope you are inspired to throw a dinner party, and I hope you invite me along for the ride, because I love a party. Next time…..the menu!

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