Last week I wrote about the first seven tips for falling back in love with your home. This week, I’d like to wish you all an early Happy Valentine’s Day and am pleased to bring you the final seven tips for the week:
Sunday, February 8: Saveur the Moment
Nothing says love more than a nice good old, home-cooked meal. Make a point to slow down the pace of your day and gather the family for a nice Sunday dinner. Make it truly special by preparing a meal from a cookbook you have on the shelf or pull out an old family recipe. Go the extra mile to make it a true occasion by setting the table and adding a special centerpiece and enjoy the conversation with the ones you love.
Monday, February 9: Let’s Get Spicy
We’re not talking cooking again, but spicing up your house with a bit of color could be just what you need this time of year. Perhaps some new accent pillows with this season’s hottest color — Marsala. It’s been named the Pantone color of the year and the red earthy hue might just be what you need to add a little spice in your life – and just in time for Valentine’s Day.
Tuesday, February 10: Baking with the Kids
Let’s face it, kids love cookies (actually, who doesn’t…) and what a better way to spend some quality time and teaching them how to bake. Plan to bake some heart-shaped cookies after school one day this week and have them add their own little touches with sprinkles and frosting. Don’t worry about the mess – just have fun!
Wednesday, February 11: Call it Puppy Love
I have a couple of adorable dogs and couldn’t imagine my life without them. Animals have such a way of showing us unconditional love; the best kind. So, make sure you treat your pet special this Valentine’s week (and always) and show them how much you care by taking some extra time to be with them — buy them their favorite treats or a new toy, give them a bath or a good belly rub, splurge for a new bed or simply just snuggle with them on the couch. They won’t thank you enough.
Thursday, February 12: Family Night
When was the last time you popped some popcorn, shut off all electronics and actually sat in the same room with the family to watch a good movie or play a game? Exactly. Well, pick a night that is good for everyone and enjoy each other’s company by having a “game night or a movie night.” Games like Clue or Catch Phrase are some of my favorites and are a great way to share quality time, fun, and laughs with the whole family – and don’t forget your pet – they are family too.
Friday, February 13: Go Glam
Go the extra mile to add some glam! Whether your Valentine’s plans involve a dinner out or a nice romantic dinner in for two, make sure you are looking and feeling your best. Is there a nice dress or some special jewelry sitting in your bedroom waiting to be worn for that special occasion? Or would you like some assistance picking out the perfect outfit? Whatever you have planned, make it special!
Saturday, February 14: Be Sentimental
It’s the day to honor your loved ones– whether you’re spending the day with the love of your life, your children, parents, pet or close friends, we can all do something special for Valentine’s Day. Show your appreciation to those that brighten our lives by sharing a special photo or writing a short note. The most moving gestures are those small thoughtful acknowledgements that come with sincerity from the heart.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Porcini Crusted Filet Mignon
Recipe by Lisa Trojano
1 stick soft butter + 2tbsp 2 chopped garlic cloves
3 tbsp. chopped chives 3 tbsp. chopped parsley
salt and pepper 2 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
8 ~ 1 inch thick filet mignons
Mix soft butter with herbs and garlic, put onto wax paper or saran wrap, form into cylinder and wrap in the paper and chill. Process dried porcini in processor to a fine powder. Sprinkle steaks with salt and pepper and press beef in heavy saute’ pan over medium heat. Add steaks and cook to desired doneness, about 6 minutes on each side for medium rare. Transfer steaks to plates, cut a piece of the herb butter and place on each steak. Can deglaze pan with a little red wine and pour over steaks.
Recipe by Lisa Trojano
10 oz. bittersweet chocolate 1 cup sugar
10 tbsp. unsalted butter (1 1/4 stick) 4 eggs
pinch of salt 4 egg yolks
1/2 cup flour
Butter and flour ten 3/4 cup ramekins. Melt chocolate and butter over pan of simmering water, stirring until well blended. Remove and cool to lukewarm. Beat eggs, sugar, yolks and salt until falls in a heavy ribbon when beaters are lifted (about 6 minutes). Sift flour over this and fold in, then fold in chocolate mixture. Divide among ramekins (can be refrigerated or even frozen). Preheat oven to 400 degrees, place ramekins on baking sheet and bake until puffed and begin to crack – about 18 minutes. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and a strawberry if desired.
Pope’s Valentine Cookies
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and love is in the air. Of course, with interior design always on my mind I couldn’t help but think that now is the perfect time to fall in love with your home all over again.
Take some time to reflect over the next couple of weeks to remember what makes a house truly a home. It’s not just the structure, how big or small, but how you make it yours…. the way you decorate, the memories you make, the things you collect, and the blessings that come from all those who enter and especially from those who live there.
So, let’s celebrate all the ways to fall in love with your home all over again in the coming days leading up to Valentine’s Day – with some fun daily tips. Because after all, “Home is Where the Heart Is.”
February 1: Love of the Game
For the sports enthusiasts and foodies out there, today’s your day! The combination of both your love of the game and for cooking surely makes for a great day for entertaining. So, try some new football party recipes and enjoy your guests and Super Bowl Sunday … Go Pats!
February 2: Liven Things Up
Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you can’t have a lively garden inside. Bring some vibrancy back into your house by planting bulbs, like Jonquils, Hyacinths or Paperwhites, which will thrive indoors this time of year, or stop by the local market and pick up some brightly-colored tulips. It will surely bring a smile to your face by having just a touch of spring in the air… and soften the blow if we have another six weeks of winter in store!
February 3: Spruce up your Entryway
Why not welcome your family and guests with a little love. Small, but impactful, decorative touches will surely make your entrance feel warm and inviting for all those who enter. We are very partial to wreaths – they aren’t just for the holidays! A colorful bow, a seasonal accessory. A wreath on your door will surely make your entrance look inviting and festive. Change out your welcome mat. A witty welcome always puts a smile on someone’s face, or a beautiful monogram will elegantly receive your guests.
February 4: Fabulous and Fresh
Refresh your home and get a head start on your spring cleaning. Go ahead and splurge… buy some new towels or invest in some new sheets – choose a high thread count if you want a real treat! Take your comforter and window treatments to the cleaner. Bring back the vibrancy of the fabric and breath easier without the dust and allergens. These small refinements make a big difference in the look and feel of your home.
February 5: Pamper Yourself
Remember to actually take some time for yourself to relax and unwind. Grab some scented candles and relaxing lavender bath salts and take a luxurious bath in that great tub you had built (but never used). When you head into bed on your new sheets you’ll truly feel pampered.
February 6: National Go-Red Day for Women
This month is about the heart – not just about love, but also about vitality. Today is National Go-Red Day for Women, the American Heart Association’s campaign to educate and raise awareness on Heart Disease. Heart Disease is the number one killer in women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year. The risk factors and symptoms are not always obvious, so we all need to educate ourselves and our loved ones with ways to protect against this silent killer and engage in a heart healthy lifestyle.
Bringing this back to home, I would like to honor Lisa Trojano, my cooking instructor for several years. A group of us gals were blessed to spend one night a month with Lisa as she shared delicious recipes from her Italian heritage, and inspiring stories of her husband, sons, granddaughters and friends. She lost a battle to heart disease. We all think about her often, she was an amazing woman that left a legacy of wonderful recipes and touched the lives of everyone she met.
Here are a couple of my favorite recipes from Lisa’s Valentine’s Menu:
So when you are wearing Red this month for Valentine’s Day, let’s also wear red for the cause – and for all the beautiful women in your life!
Go to www.goredforwomen.org to learn more.
February 7: Treasure the Moment
In our digital age it’s become rare to print your photos. Take some time to go through your iphoto library and put your most treasured memories front-and-center. Make a nice collage of family pics on your wall. Tie in some older sentimental pictures for an even more meaningful collection, and use vintage or colorful frames to add a special touch. Mix in some quotes emulate who you are and what is meaningful in your home.
I hope your week is filled with love. Stay tuned for next week’s tips!
January is here, which means a slow-down from all the commotion of December as holiday parties dwindle and winter breaks come to an end. This month also marks the start of a New Year, which has become all but synonymous with making new resolutions and embarking on fresh starts. To that end, I always find this time of year to be one of the most rewarding when it comes to updates to my home. I like to take advantage of January’s lighter calendar to spend time refreshing the aspects of my house I normally overlook. In the end, I always feel accomplished and ready to tackle the New Year with flair.
Here are my tips to get you started:
1. Out with the old…
Why wait until spring to begin your spring cleaning? Get a head start by removing all of those items that have simply been taking up space this past year. To avoid getting overwhelmed, don’t try to tackle a whole room all at once. Set aside an hour or even ten minutes a day to focus on each space. Chipping away in small doses will make a big difference in the end (and help keep your sanity intact!).Begin with spaces that typically need de-cluttering like your closet, the office, TV room, or the kids’ play room. Start with the obvious clutter first. For instance, if you have old receipts, paychecks and bills strewn across your desk, throw away or shred the ones you don’t need and organize the keepers. You can find storage solutions at virtually any department store, or you can make a fun craft project out of the process by decorating an old shoe box to keep the newly organized items.In the spirit of giving back, consider setting aside for donation the items that are still in good condition. Organizations like My Brother’s Keeper, Big Brother Big Sister, or the Salvation Army are sure to appreciate your generosity.
2. Revive and Thrive
I love taking something old and reviving it with new life. This can be as simple as re-arranging your furniture for a new take on your family room or picking a fresh color to paint your foyer. You can get more creative by adding unique items to your décor like a rustic lantern as a lighting fixture instead of a typical chandelier. I also love the idea of repurposing objects for something unusual that ends up being both useful and decorative – like using an old ladder for shoe storage, repurposing shutters as a wall organizer, stacking old benches to make unique shelves, or using a basket as a small table. These projects are a great way to make the most of what you have while simultaneously decorating your home with character and charm.
3. …In with the new
Take some time to refresh your living space with updated décor. Take a mental inventory of what’s currently adorning the inside of your home. Does it work with your motif? Is it current or is it a bit outdated? Simple updates are often the best ones, like adding a mirror to an otherwise empty wall, or bringing the feelings of the season inside your home with festive garnishes. A first impression speaks volumes, so start by giving your entry way a fresh look to greet guests. A wreath is a timeless way to remain stylish and current. The Hampton Wreath, for example, provides a yearlong backdrop for all your seasonal designs. In fact, The Festive Wreath System allows you to effortlessly accessorize the Hampton Wreath for all seasons. It provides an easy-to-use attachment that can be changed for all occasions. For instance, I like to use faux pine cones and sprigs in January and then garnish it with coastal sand dollars or starfish in the summer months. It’s a truly versatile and cheerful addition to your home.The New Year is an ideal time to update your home for a fresh start. I hope you’ve found my tips helpful and are on your way to a creative and productive 2015!
It’s hard to believe the holiday season is upon us and that 2014 is coming to a close. I am excited and thankful to be spending the holidays with my family, and would like to extend a festive holiday wish to all of my family, friends, customers, retailers, and supporters of The Festive Home. May the new year bring you much joy!
We are honored to have been featured in the November and December issues of South Shore Living Magazine. To read the full articles, click on the images below.
This month has been so special as it marks the one year anniversary of The Festive Home. I am incredibly thankful for this endeavor and especially to all those who have helped make it possible. This month I’ve reflected on the past year and, in the spirit of thanks, acknowledged some amazing ladies from Duxbury, recognized key milestones, praised those who have helped make an increase in production possible, and friends who have adorned their homes and businesses with The Festive Home décor.
Today, I’d like to recognize those closest to my heart – my family. Throughout this whole process my family has been my sounding board, my cheering squad, my right hand, and my anchor.
Thank you to my husband, Mark, for all of his patience, time, and encouragement. Thank you to my kids Matthew, Katy, and Bridget, whose spirit, energy, and helping hands have been instrumental in keeping this project moving forward.
To my mom, Nancy (pictured left), and my dad, Mike (pictured right) – thank you for all of your support, countless hours of advice, and your hard work – without which I would be lost. Last, a special thanks to everyone else (including my sister-in-law Kate who is seen above in the photo with my dad!)
It has been a busy year to say the least, but it has also been rewarding in ways beyond what I imaged. I can’t express my gratitude enough to those who have helped make this past year possible and am truly looking forward to what unfolds as we embark on a new journey forward.
Last week, I talked about some major milestones: expanding to more than 40 stores throughout all of New England, and unveiling The Festive Wreath System. This week, I’d like to acknowledge and thank some very important people, our manufacturing partner Noress and their commitment to working with The Arc. Noress is an assembly, packaging, and fulfillment solutions company, and the Arc is the nation’s leading advocate for all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Noress and The Arc helped make The Festive Home’s expansion possible by helping us keep up with the production demand. I would like to specifically acknowledge Darlene Flaig of Product Solutions Inc. for making the introduction and nurturing the manufacturing arm of The Festive Home.
While this has certainly been an exciting year for The Festive Home wreaths, I want to pay equal attention to the Interior Finishing Services side of the business, which is especially close to my heart. I’d like to acknowledge Amy Simon for being my first Holiday Decorating Client and Sue Casale with The Beehive Salon for being an ongoing seasonal decorating client. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, so I’d like to share some photos of this décor and others from this past year below.
Thanks to all for making this such a memorable endeavor!
The Beehive Salon:
The Festive Home is celebrating one year this month, and I’m honoring a year’s worth of memories with a “thank you” every week in November to those who have helped make this dream a reality. This week, I’d like to focus on some key milestones.
One of the major moments that resonates with me from this past year was when we expanded beyond the South Shore and tapped into more than 40 stores throughout all of New England. Kim Gibson helped make the partnerships with these retailers possible, and I’d like to give a special thanks to her. Kim is an independent manufacturing representative based in Maine, who specializes in gifts, the home, clothing and accessories. She was the perfect person to boost our reach and take the Hampton Wreath to Maine, New Hampshire, Northern Massachusetts, and Cape Cod.
I’d like to also extend a sincere thanks to the Beach House in Newport (RI), Pine Straw in Wellesley (MA), and Hoboken Gardens located in Rockport (ME). They have all been loyal friends and retailers of The Festive Home products, and I have thoroughly enjoyed working with them.
Another major milestone was rolling out The Festive Wreath System – a new way to customize wreath-making that has allowed us to advance our designs and styles. It allows customers to accessorize wreaths and decorate for all seasons, and comes with an easy to use attachment, ready to boast any adornment. To that end, I’d like to acknowledge and thank Attleboro-based Ideology, who is the prototyping firm that has been helping with this new approach.
I can’t believe so much has happened in just one year! I am truly looking forward to another year of memories and milestones.
Last week I celebrated one year of The Festive Home! With Thanksgiving around the corner, I thought it fitting to continue this month by thanking those who have helped to make The Festive Home possible. This week, I would like to acknowledge some dear friends and, in particular, two very important people in this journey who happen to be from Duxbury: Anne Henning and Sarah Beattie. Both Anne and Sarah are dynamic women and have been mentors, friends and supporters to me since the beginning.
Anne is an amazingly talented photographer with a Duxbury-based gallery, which was the first place to sell the Hampton Wreath. Sarah owns Consider the Lilies – our wildly successful Duxbury florist and gift shop. Sarah took over the line of wreaths after Anne. Both have been great cheerleaders for me and The Festive Home.
I’d like to also thank my other Duxbury cheerleaders – my incredible “besties” who have been there every step of the way. Not only were they sounding boards for my many ideas, but their front doors have also acted as billboards, showcasing my latest wreath creations for The Festive Home!
Throughout this voyage the support and encouragement from all of these strong, beautiful women has been monumental. I am lucky to have such good friends and heartfelt supporters in my life!