Thursday, December 31, 2015

Coffee Table Books!

Editor's Note: Today I am wearing wool pants by Vince, a silk blouse by Rebecca Taylor, an Intermix rabbit scarf, an Ann Taylor sweater and Michael Kors flats.

Coffee Table books are a fabulous way to not only accessorize, but to infuse your personal touch into your home. It is always obvious to me when someone's decorator picked out their coffee table books with no thought to the client's interests or personality. Due to the wonder of things like, there are so many coffee table books available on the market now and no excuse not to find something that suites your tastes!

I like to use books as elevation for antique accessories and floral arrangements.

It's also good to unify the books you are stacking in some way, whether they are similar in size or color family.

Be sure to pick books that interest you in some way. Because of what I do for a living, I love collecting books on interior design.

Charles Faudree and Betty Lou Phillips have some of my favorites.

I also like books by my favorite fabric vendors, like Scalamandre.

Maybe it's fashion that interests you, in which case, most couture designers have at least one namesake book.

Vogue has put out some fabulous coffee table books over the years, and this is one of my favorites!

There are also a lot of beautiful architecture books available.

I love photography books and I find that people will actually pick these up and look through them.

Books on travel are also lovely---and the possibilities are endless!

Shania Twain is one of my favorites and I love this song off of her Greatest Hits album!

Last night for dinner I made a kale salad with shrimp.

I hope everyone has a fabulous and safe New Year's Eve! I am having a dinner party
 and serving beef tenderloin!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Perfect Dinner Party-- Kay's 10 Rules!

Editor's Note: Today I am wearing a blouse from Banana Republic, a belt from the 90's, a skirt from Anthropologie, Wolford tights and flats from J.Crew.

I have always loved to host dinner parties. Even when I lived in a smaller place in Dallas in my twenties, I had dinner parties often. 

I have ten fail safe rules for throwing a fabulous dinner party and I thought they would be fun to share on the blog!

1. Plan to invite couples who will find each other interesting---Even if your guests have never met, pairing couples together that you know have similar interests can make for a fun and memorable evening---and create new friendships in the process!

2. Set the table and buy flowers a day ahead----Don't add unnecessary stress on the day of your party by waiting to set the table. Get that out of the way early on and save yourself a big headache. It can also give you time to marinate on your setting and allow for changes if needed.

3. When setting the table, be sure to use place cards----This allows you to control where people sit---It's a good idea to separate spouses so they won't cling to each other and create a lull in conversation, and you can sit people who have similar views or interests together, creating a lively atmosphere.

4.Make sure you have all candles and tapper candles you need for the house and table---No sense in running around the house trying to find some at the last minute.

5. Plan a menu where the hard part can be done in advance----I like to get all of my cooking beforehand done in my casual clothes and get things where they are in their dish and ready to go in the oven before my guests arrive. This way your focus isn't split between timing the food and your guests and you don't splatter anything all over your dinner party outfit.

6. Make sure your menu has at least one thing that is out of the ordinary----This adds interest and is a conversation starter. Plus, it's always great to "wow" your guests at least once. One of my favorites is my Marchand De Vin Sauce that goes over Individual Beef Wellingtons.

7. Choose a song list for background music or pick a great Pandora station---NO radio with commercials. Choose music that has mass appeal and is upbeat, but nothing too loud or jarring. You want it to be the background, not the main event.

8. Plan a sassy outfit---Sassy clothes make for a sassy host and it creates a wonderful sense of occasion to be well dressed for entertaining your guests.

9. Check the liquor cabinet to make sure you have all staples and mixers. Decide what crystal you want to use and make sure it's clean.

10. If budget allows, hire help for the kitchen----If you can afford to do this, it's wonderful to have someone taking over the kitchen responsibilities so that you can entertain your guests.

Bon Appetit!

Love everything by Keith Urban and especially this song!

Last night for dinner I made shrimp and Caesar salad.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Hermes Scarf

Editor's Note: Today I am wearing mostly Christmas gifts! A New poncho from Henry Bendel, a new silk blouse from Banana Republic, a new necklace & earrings from Dina Mackney (Her line is carried at Neimans and these were purchased at a trunk show.), Velvet jeans from Ann Taylor and flats from J. Crew.

Hermes scarves have long been a fashion icon on their own, and I have loved them forever.
I bought my first one in 1986 at the Hermes store in Highland Park Village in Dallas. It was pink. I was working in Dallas and treated myself to it as an expensive accessory. Back then it cost $86. A lot of money in 1986 to be sure, but not quite the amount they cost today. 

Beside their beauty and quality, I love how versatile Hermes scarves are and how pretty and polished they make me feel.

Many women who have been fashion icons throughout history have been Hermes scarf fans, including two of my favorites, Grace Kelly and Jackie Kennedy.

Back in the 60's and 70's wearing the scarf around your head to protect it from unruly weather or the wind in a convertible was very popular and I still think it looks chic today for the appropriate occasion.

I also love a smaller version tied around the neck like Grace Kelly has here.

Today the scarf can be worn any which way and with just about anything. 

It looks equally chic over a simple black dress as it does with a simple t-shirt and jeans.

Here are two scarves in their current collection that I am loving.

via here

via here

My Favorite way to wear an Hermes scarf is either draped around my neck or secured with a scarf ring. I have one from Hermes that I bought in Rome that is little silver links, but I love this one they have now in the silver and gold mix with the little key!

Here I am in two different Hermes scarves with two different outfits---One with a simple black dress and wedges and one with a white silk blouse, skinny pants and heels.

Last night for dinner we had leftover beef tenderloin from Christmas and salad with Tour's nut mix.

I love Michael Buble's music in any capacity and this song is a great one!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas Recap!

Editor's Note: Today I am wearing wool pants by Vince, a sweater and silk top from Ann Taylor and shoes from Aquatalia.

I hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas! Ours was absolutely magical, as always!

We spent Christmas Eve at mother's house in a candle lit dining room and in front of her beautiful tree. We had a seated dinner in the dining room.


Dinner and appetizers are always beautifully presented on antique tea carts and tables with white clothes.

The dining room looked so elegant dimly lit.

Mother's house was so lovely and it was such a joyous and festive occasion!

Here are the "kids"---my nieces, Ingrid and Lexi and Riley and Harrison.

Christmas Day was equally as magical! I spent the day cooking in my Santa apron.
Got my apron over five years ago at Old Navy and I wear it every Christmas.

I did all of my food prep on Wednesday so that cooking on Christmas Day wouldn't be so chaotic.

Making my bacon wrapped bread sticks.

The marinated tenderloin. Thank God for huge baggies!

Making my green bean bundles.

Presents beautifully presented and ready to be opened. 

After we opened presents, the food went in the oven and we ate around 3:15.

Rachel and Harrison.

Lexi and Mother.

The spread ready to eat.


Miss Riley with her crown out of a popper.

On Boxing Day (the day after Christmas) we did not leave the house, but of course I got dressed and had to look at least a little bit sassy. I wore AG Cords, a sweater from Banana Republic, Coach shoes and a new necklace from Ann Taylor.      

Love this song from The Polar Express soundtrack.