Monday, November 30, 2009

Changes in Latitudes.Changes in Attitudes

Every year, I say that I want to spend New Year's somewhere warm and sunny and every year, I spend it in cold New York. Except for the year I spent it in even colder Stockholm but that's a story for another day. After seeing Oscar and Annette de la Renta's Punta Cana house in the Dominican Republic, I feel like trying to finally make this dream a reality! While I can't stay at their not so humble abode seen in these photos, I could make do at the also chic Puntacana Resort. Anyone else want to come?

Photos by Francois Halard

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Holiday Traditions

I started decorating for Christmas this weekend and one of my favorite traditions is making pomanders. Pomanders are clove studded oranges, or in this case clementines since they looked better than the oranges at the store. They fill the house with a wonderful holiday scent and look pretty displayed with greenery and pine cones. I used to make these with my mother growing up and I've continued the tradition since moving away. What are the holiday traditions that you grew up with that you carry on today? Is there anything you've changed? Anything that you would never do again? I'd love to hear your stories!

Photo by Heather Clawson for Habitually Chic

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Holiday Cards

I've already started writing out my holiday cards this year so I can get them out earlier than I did last year! I've also had a few readers ask me where I buy my cards so I thought I would share a few suggestions.

For custom holiday cards, you can try Crane's, Dempsey & Carroll, and William Arthur. Personalized cards are obviously more expensive so you have to think about how much you want to spend. Even though they are preprinted, you should still personalize them by writing the recipients name, a quick message and handwriting your name.

I usually pick a few cards each year so I can send the right style to the right person. I am also lucky since there are always great cards available with a New York theme or photo. The cards from R. Nichols are always fun and cheerfully reflect Christmas in New York. I also bought an assortment of holiday cards with black and white photos of a snowy New York that are perfect for friends who don't celebrate Christmas. Kate's Paperie always has a great assortment to choose from each year.

There are also a lot of smaller printers for letterpress cards and even hand made options on Etsy. My original idea this year was to have my cards printed using a photo that I took but I ran out of time so that will have to wait until next year. Family photo cards are obviously good options for families with children or cute pets.

One of the best ideas for holiday cards are those that benefit a worthy cause. UNICEF, Robin Hood Foundation, and the ASPCA are just a few charities with their own cards.

I'm sure your friends and family will be happy to receive which ever holiday card you choose because really, it's the thought that counts! Happy Holidays!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Deck the Halls!

Have you started to deck the halls for Christmas yet? I can't wait to visit the flower district tomorrow to pick up a wreath, garland and a few Amaryllis bulbs! There was a dark cloud hanging over my holidays last year due to my job loss but now that life is good, I want to enjoy every day of this joyous season! Happy Holidays!

Deck the halls with boughs of holly,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
Tis the season to be jolly,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Don we now our gay apparel,
Fa la la, la la la, la la la.
Troll the ancient Yule tide carol,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

See the blazing Yule before us,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
Strike the harp and join the chorus.
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Follow me in merry measure,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
While I tell of Yule tide treasure,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Fast away the old year passes,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
Hail the new, ye lads and lasses,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Sing we joyous, all together,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
Heedless of the wind and weather,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Black Friday

I'll be spending this Black Friday enjoying a facial and avoiding the stores! I wish those of you who are brave enough to go shopping Godspeed! And to my non-American readers, Bon Weekend!

Photo via Kim Ficaro

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving has generally become a holiday where people are allowed to gorge themselves on turkey and pumpkin pie while watching football games and parades. We often forget that it was originally created by the first settlers to celebrate the harvest and to give thanks in general for their new life in America. I have a lot to be thankful for this year and I'm always grateful for everything that blogging has brought to my life including great friends and wonderful experiences. I want to thank everyone who continues to read my blog everyday and for all your support and encouragement. I'm even a bit thankful for my detractors since they motivate me to work harder to accomplish more and prove them wrong. I hope you will all take a minute out of your Thanksgiving to think about what you are thankful this year too! Then you can unbutton your pants and go back for seconds! Happy Thanksgiving!

Bergdorf Goodman Men's Store Fantastic Mr. Fox Holiday Window photos by Heather Clawson for Habitually Chic

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Snap to Grid

When a group of artwork is of different sizes and shapes, they always look great hung gallery style. When artwork is the same size or a part of a series, there is nothing that makes a bigger impact than hanging them all together in a grid. They sometimes end up creating a larger work of art such as the multiple maps of Paris but even the framed botanicals and figure drawings can create the look of a larger piece of art. Of course, it's harder to hang artwork evenly this way but it might be worth the expense to hire someone to help you since the final result is so dramatic. Even Elle Decor realizes the appeal of the grid since they often put them on their covers and on their pages! And if it's good enough for them, it's definitely good enough for me!

Alex Papachristidis in Elle Decor

Badgley Mischka in Elle Decor

David Netto

Ryan Korban for Alexander Wang

Jonathan Adler for Liz Lang

Nanette Lepore in Elle Decor

Sheila Bridges

Ruthie Sommers

Steven Gambrel

Thom Filicia

Ashley Whittaker

Steven Gambrel

Susan Ferrier in House Beautiful

Suzanne Rheinstein

Hal Williamson in House Beautiful

Amanda Nisbet

Lee Radziwill in Elle Decor

Steven Gambrel

Steven Volpe and Roth Martin in Elle Decor

Framed Elle magazines on The City

Top: Shelton, Mindel & Associates in Elle Decor

Monday, November 23, 2009

Bergdorf Goodman Holiday Windows 2009

The Bergdorf Goodman holiday windows were still being "tweaked" tonight according to the man in charge David Hoey who I ran into when I was there to photograph them. They looked pretty great to me and I thanked David for always putting together the best windows! The theme this year is "Curiousier and Curiousier" which is inspired by Lewis Carroll and his works Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. You can already see that they swapped out the dog for a parrot in the fantasy library made out of paper. I think my favorite is the birds eye view of the red room with the king and queen playing chess and other games. The room is turned on its side and the details are exquisite! You have to wonder how they glued it all down! I also love the Victorian themed window that looks like a Valentine card and includes a Cheshire cat! The window filled with staircases was inspired by Alice in Wonderland and is entitled "Drink Me." The all mirror and glass covered silver window was of course inspired by Through the Looking Glass and reflects all the lights of Fifth Avenue. They are all amazing and even the four windows around the corner depicting animals continue the fantasy! I hope those of you who can make it to New York will stop by and see them for yourself and for those of you who can't, these photos are my present to you! Happy Holidays!

Photos by Heather Clawson for Habitually Chic