Happy St. Patrick’s Day to one and all on this beautiful Friday, and if you’re not Irish join in the fun anyway. Instead of looking at something to do with the holiday I thought we would take a virtual trip across the Atlantic and take a look at some beautiful castles on the Emerald Isle. Castles are very interesting, they come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and they usually have wonderfully interesting histories. Ireland is high on our list for places to visit and this small country holds some amazing castles with a wide range of histories. So, join me for a tour as we lower the drawbridge and climb the turret steps to check out these beautiful Irish homes that just happen to be fit for a King or Queen. Enjoy!!! (above image via)
March 17, 2017
March 15, 2017
The last time I went to LA it was on a trip with friends and we stayed at the Hotel Bel Air, while we were there we had dinner one night and breakfast every morning at the Wolfgang Puck restaurant located in the hotel’s courtyard. I wanted Michael to see this beautiful place and experience the wonderful food and atmosphere so I made reservations for us at Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel Air for 6 o’clock. (above image via)
March 14, 2017
This recent trip to Los Angeles was the fourth time I’ve been there, every time we’ve been I always think we’ll make it up to Griffith Observatory but we never have, until now. We went up into the hills above LA to Mt. Hollywood on Saturday, it’s really pretty up there right now because with all the rain they’ve had this winter everything is very green. We parked along the road to the observatory and walked up to it, it’s all up hill so if you have someone that can’t do hills then leave them at home, Lol, no you can drop them off then park and walk up. The Griffith Observatory was founded on land donated to the city of Los Angeles by Griffith J. Griffith, he donated the land and left funds with the express wish for an observatory to be built and help make astronomy available to the public. The Griffith Observatory opened in 1935 with free admission which remains to this day. The observatory closed in 2002 for a major redesign project, the building was literally lifted up on jacks in one piece and a whole new “building” was built under the original observatory and reopened in 2006. Today that new area houses new exhibits, a cafe, gift shop, and the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon Theater. The theater plays a wonderful 23 minute documentary on the history of the Griffith, as well as information on the recent, remodel and how it was done. I strongly urge you to visit the Griffith Observatory if you’re in LA, it’s well worth the trip to see the wonderful architecture and the view from Mount Hollywood of all of Los Angeles. Enjoy!!!
March 13, 2017
One thing you may have picked up about me from the blog is how much I love the movies, I always have. Michael and I go to the movies quite a bit here in Oklahoma City to see all the new releases, but one of the things I truly love are old movies, so whenever the opportunity arises to get a behind the scenes look at where the movies are made and how they’re made I embrace it. Before when we’ve been to LA we’ve toured the Warner Brothers studio so on this recent trip I decided to book a guided tour of Paramount Studios and of course, Universal Studios is very popular, especially with the amusement park attached to it so we did that tour as well. We had a great time on both of these tours, the Paramount tour was more intimate as there were only 6 tourists and our guide and we were escorted around the Paramount lot on a golf cart. The Universal tour was fun but less intimate with 60 to 75 people on a big tram touring the Universal Studios lot seeing where the magic happens. I wanted to share some pics of our two days and two tours with you today and encourage you to do these tours when you have a chance, the only one we haven’t done is the MGM/Sony tour, but it’s on the list. Enjoy!!!
March 9, 2017
HI!!!!! Sorry I’ve been delinquent on posting but we took a vacation/work break part of last week and part of this week and I wanted to check in with you today and give you a sneak peek of some things to come. You may remember that last year I attended the Design Bloggers Conference in Atlanta and I decided to attend this year’s conference in Los Angeles. (above image via)
We hadn’t taken any real vacations since last Summer so Michael decided to go with me and we headed out a few days before the conference started and ran around Los Angeles doing LA things. I’ll be sharing parts of our trip with you over the next few days, right now I’m going through pictures and deciding what I want to share.
To tide you over, here are a few snaps of places and things we saw, check back with us as we explore the City of Angels and all it has to offer. Enjoy!!!
February 7, 2017
As you know by now I love all things British, including their magazines. I’m always excited every month when the newest edition of House & Garden arrives and I can see what’s new on the decorating scene across the pond. On our trips to the UK over the last several years, we’ve been fortunate to stay not only in hotels but also rent flats a couple of times, if you have a chance to do this I strongly encourage it. Living for several days in a flat or home in Britain really helps you become immersed in the culture. For the most part, I love how British designers decorate, their use of color, antiques, natural materials, books, and the mixing of old and new. Today I want to share with you several different Living Rooms that have been featured in House & Garden magazine and tell you why the appeal to me and hopefully you as well. Enjoy!!!
January 24, 2017
I haven’t done a Tastemaker post in a while, so I thought today would be a great day to do one on one of my favorite authors and decorators, Edith Wharton. Several years ago I went through an “Edith Wharton phase” where I read as many of her books and short stories I could get my hands on. I love the way she writes and of course, her stories take place during America’s Gilded Age as well as beautiful descriptions of trips across the ocean to England, France, and Italy. One thing many people don’t remember or know is that Wharton was known for her interior design capabilities and the gorgeous designs she came up with for her home, The Mount, as well as helping others with their own homes. Wharton was born on this day in 1862 in New York City, her parents were George and Lucretia Rhinelander Jones and it’s said that the saying “keeping up with the Joneses” refers to her well to do family. (above image via)
November 17, 2016
There are many visions of Italy: One seen by foreigners, one seen by us Italians, and eventually, behind it all, there is the true Italy. In this book I would like to reveal to readers, through Aline’s inspiring photos, my Italy, and I hope readers will discover an Italy as true for them as it is true for me.
—Gelasio Gaetani d’Aragona Lovatelli
The Italian Dream: Wine, Heritage, Soul is the product of a journey, one that follows Italy’s best wines. The Italian Dream is the product of a combination of talents, French photographer Aline Coquelle and Italian aristocrat Gelasio Gaetani d’Aragona Lovatelli, together these two of created a tome that’s a beautiful homage to Italy and the beautiful lifestyle of the country. Coquelle is a world traveling and world famous photographer and is known for using silver film for her photographs which give the look at old time photography, as she says, “saving tradition is the new revolution.” Count Gelasio Lovatelli is a member of one of Italy’s oldest aristocratic families and an authority on Italian and International wines. Join me today for a peek at The Italian Dream from Assouline Publishing, the perfect gift someone who loves wine and all things Italian. Enjoy!!!
September 16, 2016
I’ve always been intrigued by Russia and its history, part of that is because some of my mother’s family were Russian immigrants in the 1800’s, and of course I’m fascinated by royalty and the lives they lived and still do. So I was very interested in a recent article on the website Russia Beyond The Headlines, the article is entitled “The Winter Palace As The Tsars Saw It” and it focuses on a series of paintings of interiors of the Winter Palace by artist Eduard Gau. The paintings are all watercolors and were ordered by Tsar Nikolai I, the thing that’s so enthralling is the colors of the rooms and their decorations, we are so used to only seeing old black and white photographs from the late 19th and early 20th century that it’s easy to forget they lived in a world of color just as we do. Of course being the home of the Imperial family of Russia the Winter Palace was full of color and it seems everything was gilded in gold. Interior paintings are one of my favorite forms of art, I love when an artist can capture a beautiful and well-appointed room in all its glory. Here’s a look at life in the Russian court and the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg more than a century ago, Enjoy!!!
August 19, 2016
I love taking day trips when we’re on a vacation like our recent one to Amsterdam, I’ve shared our trip to Zaanse Schans to see windmills, The Hague and Mauritshuis, and today I want to share our trip to a Medieval castle outside of Amsterdam called Muiderslot. Muiderslot is about nine miles southeast of Amsterdam and sits at the mouth of the Vecht River. Muiderslot was on our list of things to do given to us by friends. The castle was originally constructed in 1280 by Floris V, the Vecht River was a major trade route into the Netherlands and the castle was used to watch the river and extract tolls from those wishing to use the river to bring things into Holland and on down to the town of Utrecht. In 1300 the castle was destroyed and a hundred years later it was rebuilt in the same spot and is what we see today, the castle today has been restored to the way it was in the 17th century with furnishings, fabrics, and decor to reflect 400 years ago.