Archive | October, 2010

What’s All this Fuss about a Color?

28 Oct

Your mind often associates a color with a thought, a memory or a time, sometimes without you even knowing it!

Marketing and advertisement firms know this and do their best to get “you” the consumer to associate a color in buying a product, that they’ve been hired to sell.  It’s so clever! 

This is why interior designers and decorators pay very close attention to the color schemes each year, it helps in their presentations to potential clients.  

Let me show you what I mean…. I am going to take one color in particular, where both men and women can identify with, without really knowing it!  Immediately as clean, relaxing, rich and classy?  The color palette is …..

Tiffany & Co

If you notice, Tiffany & Co® uses this as a signature color for their store, advertisements and gift wrapping.  The Tiffany box with this color conveys expensive, quality, classy and its timeless.

Aveeno® has used this same color to represent clean and fresh for their products also, knowing that a woman would be quickly drawn to the color while walking down an aisle at either a CVS, Walgreens or Wal-Mart, picked off the shelf than any other product; just because of the color.   Marketing firms have researched this color and have found that it does encourage a removal from the shelf to a final buy at the cash register.  Based on sales ratio, this color does just that! 


 Clinique® uses this color also for their cosmetics and skin products, which represents pure, clean and fresh.


For the home, let me give you another example.  Here you have two bedrooms, which are beautiful and look very inviting; after a long, long day <just push those pillows right off the bed!!>

When looking at the photos, which bedroom are you drawn to first?   Most people would choose the bedroom on the left, simply because of the color, the mind is being triggered.  It’s clean, fresh and relaxing.  

One more!  This bathroom was just considered ordinary, before the owner added some paint color.  There’s nothing special about the bathroom, it has all the typical features. When picking a paint color; 8 times out of 10, guess what color is chosen for a bathroom?  Yes, the same color I’ve been talking about <giggle>!

Even a paint can has this color! The color wheel is so fascinating, it becomes more intriguing when you associate the color to a person, place, a smell or a thing where our minds are triggered. 

This is why when selecting a paint color; there is so much indecisiveness!  Or you may know the color; however when you get home the color is all wrong! 

The pigment might be off just a little, it’s too light or it’s too dark.   Not quite what you had in mind!  I say keep trying until you get it right!  That’s what primer is for!  And now the paint and the primer are together in one paint can; which is simply brilliant!    

So when picking a color, whether its furniture, the wall or bedroom ensemble, take it a step further and see why you’re selecting that particular color.  What does it remind you of?  If you want to share, leave me a comment!  Now, if anyone asks you “So, what’s all this fuss about a color?”  You can say to them…’s EVERYTHING!

Be well – Lee 🙂

Bedding from Horchow Collections, Harmony paint by Sherwin-Williams, Bathroom photo by


Buttons, Buttons & More Buttons!

26 Oct

Stephanie out of Charlotte N.C., a mother of two beautiful children, a 4 year-old girl and a 6 month old boy asked me this one! 

“Where did buttons come from anyway, I’m curious?” 

Yes, she asked it!  To tell you the truth, I have a love affair with buttons, because as a girl, my mother sent me to Singer sewing classes <the company who manufactured sewing machines> and from then on I realized how important buttons are; for it is so hard to master putting them on a garment when sewing at the age of 11!!!

So, Stephanie…here’s your answer, quick and short!

Buttons originated in China, 2000 BC.  They were used to conspicuously smuggle items out of the country, rare gems, diamonds and sometimes opium.  The buttons would be adhered to a garment and go under the radar of a search.  Once discovered, other ways were thought of to smuggle these items, leaving the button to always be carefully looked at! 

Throughout the centuries, thereafter buttons became the focal point of a garment, quite expensive and rather delicate.  Which allowed the button types to vary in order to lay correctly on a garment (shank, four holes, two holes, etc.).  As you may have seen, a button can be covered with fabric or jewels; today colored resin or plastic in all shapes and sizes.   Did you know the thimble became the welcomed partner for the button when sewing?  You see needles may have been carefully dipped in poision; where a simple prick was deadly, so the thimble was created as a safeguard during the 1st century AD!

There are museums which hold the most authentic type of buttons, made of real gold, porcelain and even diamonds!  Very serious stuff! Very serious!   There are people who collect the rarest of buttons; similiar to collecting rare coins and stamps.

There is a such a lovely little shop in NYC, called Tender Buttons on 62nd Street & Lexington Ave; which has an inventory of all kinds of buttons you can’t even imagine.  The boutique owner, Dana Epstein authored a book about buttons and their history, The Button Book.  For you and those who may be interested, it’s available on for a mere $4.95.  It has gotten nice reviews!

How do I know about this place? Well, my youngest daughter wanted a new headboard for her bed.  Looking through various magazines, I ‘d decided that we can make it ourselves.  So we went to Home Depot® with the measurements, brought wood and while we were there, had them cut the wood based on the dimensions we needed. 

A drill and a lot of hammering with nails…headboard!  Then we both went to the local fabric store and selected the fabric, batting, foam, etc. covered the headboard using a staple gun!   The headboard was going to be tufted, so my daughter did not want plain shank buttons.  She wanted jeweled buttons, so the search was on <felt like a crusade>!  Tender Buttons was the place to get 40 buttons to place on her headboard! The buttons were carefully placed in their own drawer; giving the impression that it was a found treasure! Woo Hoo!  I remembering saying, “Happy daughter with happy headboard!”

The price range for a button could be from $0.50 to $100.00 a piece or more!  Will buttons always be that serious, I am afraid so!

Stephanie; thanks for your curiosity about buttons; which is so wonderful!  This may have sparked others to start paying close respected attention to their buttons; leaving them smiling!

Be Well – Letia  😉

P.S. Oh!! I have a trivia question for all of you!  What common known phrase is used all the time with the word “button”?  Comment with your answer, I’ll post the answer in a few days!

Tender Button photos by Shanna Ravindra,  New York Magazine

If you have any questions, e-mail

answer: cute as a button!

What Ya Doing for Halloween?

22 Oct

Halloween!  It’s less than a week away and everyone should have figured out by now your costume, dressed up the front yard and loaded up on all the candy, remember it’s a kid’s dream!

Whether it’s the mummy cookies <* see recipe below by Kelly, they are great>, the pumpkins laughing at you with a glow or the selection of a costume, like my 9 yr. old nephew being Spiderman; consecutively for 3 years now!!!  Halloween is a whole lot of fun!

Is there a haunted house in your area or do you dress up your house like one?  Do you play scary movies like, Halloween with Michael Myers, Beetle Juice or just being silly with your own videos?   What’s your favorite candy of all time? <Reese’s peanut butter cup is mine>.   Next to December’s Holiday season, Halloween comes in second for the most celebrated, decorated holiday; it’s the preparation and the pizzazz!

I am so looking forward to seeing the Halloween parade held in NYC!  I know there will be so many Lady GaGa’s, Avatar Blue people, the infamous Sponge Bob(s) or Miss Piggy(s)!!!!   Whatever you decide to do or be, make sure you have fun.  I always think  that Halloween is just for the kids, even though the grown-ups somehow seem to take over; completely! And teenagers, seem to want the eggs in the fridge; the whole carton with no intention of eating them!

Happy Halloween!

If you ever get a chance to come to NYC in the fall, around this time.. there is a place you must go!  For those who are near, you have to experience it.  Travel north of the city called Westchester County, to a town called Sleepy Hollow!   The town of the Headless Horseman, you know the folk story!  Talk about a Halloween celebration, I cannot describe how much fun is to be had by all!  I’ve been a couple of times and I had a ball!

There’s the Horseman’s Hollow, which takes the tale of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow to it’s darkest measures. For eight October evenings, historic Philipsburg Manor transforms into a terrifying landscape ruled by vampires, witches, undead soldiers, ghouls, and ghosts, all serving the Headless Horseman himself!

The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze is 20 nights of family-friendly fun featuring more than 4,000 individually hand-carved, illuminated Jack O’Lanterns.     And for those who are not familiar with the tale, Master storyteller Jonathan Kruk offers a dramatic performance of Washington Irving’s classic tale, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow!.  Here is the website for more information; if interested in tickets or knowing more about the events.

Still haven’t decorated?  You still have time, Target® has some great decorations with budget prices.  Candy? Walmart® is great too.  If you are baking, the local supermarkets usually have sales on the basic baking items.

Remember, as we get nearer to the 31st, all stores will want to move the Halloween items and if you want to buy for next year; these same items will be reduced 50 – 75% after the 31st!

Wishing everyone a safe and Happy Halloween!  Enjoy!

Boooooooooo! 🙂



Make your own Halloween face, click here!

Unexpected Nice Visit!

18 Oct

Here’s a guess what happened to me post!  While home this evening, I’d received a call from a very dear friend and after talking about 5 minutes, said “I’m surprised you are home, I was taking a chance – but I am about 30 minutes away, do you mind if I stop by?”.  

I quickly said, “Come On” and as I’m speaking I’d remembered, I have nothing here to really eat; most of the food is frozen!    So after hanging up the phone, I ran downstairs to the kitchen; yelling 30 MINUTES, 30 MINUTES and began opening/closing cabinets like some wild woman, opening drawers in the fridge and then slid to my wine rack!  So here’s what I pulled out:

  • 1 wedge of blue cheese
  • 1 wedge of smoked gouda cheese
  • 1 wedge of jalapeno cheese
  • 1 wedge of cheddar cheese
  • red seedless grapes
  • chocolate covered almonds
  • wasabi almonds
  • rice crackers
  • water crackers
  • cranberry sauce (whole berries),
  • oranges
  • honey 
  • some sliced ginger candies 

<Before you say it, yes I love cheese..the wedges are vacuumed packed; so they will keep longer>.

I pulled out this nice white serving tray.  After giving it a good wash, rinse and dry, I arranged the items.  Taking my cheese knives dented them in each cheese and used these small dipping bowls I got from Chinatown a few years back while in NYC to hold the cranberry sauce and honey.  Everything else was placed, no particular way – but nice.  

I have this basil plant in my kitchen window and  did a snip, snip, placing them also on the the 4 corners of the tray <Martha Stewart, watch out!> .  During the holiday season, I often receive bottles of wines and spirits, so it was great somebody gave me a bottle of Zinfandel which would go perfect!  I had a red wine too!

I say all this to say, you know how you pick up items at the grocery and just keep in your fridge or pantry; well it’s a good thing, because it can save you!  It saved me!   So, for those unexpected nice visits, go shopping in your kitchen first before running out to the grocery!  And for your own private party with thyself, do the same thing for those late evening munchies!

Well, this left about 5 minutes to put on some music with the shuffle option on <Yeah for Ipods!> and set the wine glasses!  As I did a quick “you better be good” to my dog, the door bell rang!  I was  so excited and relieved that I didn’t even have to leave the house!   I played it off completely, my friend loved the spread.  With me saying, oh it was just a little something I’d put together <ssshh>! 

Be well – Lee 🙂

P.S. don’t forget to check  the expiration dates!

New York Mag’s Home Design Edition!

14 Oct

Sometimes I swear my magazines are being read before I receive them in the mail!  I don’t know, I don’t know,  the tips of this magazine’s pages are curled and it’s not even raining.   Anyway, I say all this because my New York  magazine arrived <a little late> and I must say I’m really enjoying the issue.  This week, it’s all about home design!  

Great articles!   Imagine if your apartment was a gym, formerly known as the 23rd Street McBurney YMCA in New York City and you decided to make it your home.  A challenge right?   Wendy Goodman’s article clearly displayed the owner’s vision and how superb clean lines really define a space <she did all the design articles in this issue>!

Or, 31-year-old twin designers; who live together and are so different in taste? <diffff…erent!>  How about the brilliant vision of converting a garage into a home which is only 2000 square feet!   Then there’s these two heavily bearded brothers who capture the essence of wood throughout their entire home (Pressler).   These things could only happen in New York!   A lot of people would say that, but if you have a vision, your space can become yours; wherever you live! 

Ok, I am not going to say anything more!  If you get a chance, get the latest issue – Home Design Fall ’10 Family Edition or go to their website at to see more highlights.

I always say your home is your home…you know my motto!  Enjoy your Space, Enjoy your Life!!  I’m off to lunch! 


 On the Cover: Bunny and Lulu, twin daughters of interior designer Darren Henault and lawyer Michael Bassett.  Both Photographs by Jason Schmidt for New York Magazine.

Be well – Lee 🙂

P.s.  And…if you are one of those people who read other people’s magazines, STOP IT!  Just kidding!

Wedding Bliss for Michi & Brandon with Christiano Siriano!

10 Oct

Miami Dolphin wide receiver Brandon Marshall married his sweetheart Michi Nogami in a gorgeous wedding at the Art Deco Paris Theatre in Miami, Florida on Jul 17, 2010! 

The wedding gown was designed by the bride herself, where she enlisted my favorite designer, Christian Siriano to make it a reality!  The gown is quite beautiful, but with a funky flare which definitely reflects the bride’s personality!  The groom quite handsome!   

Take a look at a few photos which were just featured in Essence®.   For you brides-to-be, there are no rules..your wedding is yours!  I’ve watched TLC’s bridal shows and I know there is so much pressure for the bride, but remember it’s your wedding! 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

All photos by Manolo Doreste — In Focus Studios

So… hold on steady to how you vision your’s out there!  You may not be able to get an original like this bride, but there will be wedding gowns for you to choose based on YOUR vision!  So what do you think of the wedding gown?

Be well – Letia 😉

Additional photos at

Nate Berkus! On HSN Tonight!

10 Oct

Home Shopping Network


For those Nate Berkus fans!  

Starting tonight at midnight, he’ll be live on air at HSN! Don’t miss it!  Check your air listings and I’m told there’s some great specials!   

 Me? Will I be watching? Of course, I’ll be watching! <Daaah!>  

Here are his sites for more information: and!  

For more about  Nate, see Nate Berkus! His Own Daytime Show! 

Lee 🙂 

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