Archive | December, 2010

NY Fashion Week….Fall 2011!

30 Dec

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Just a few pictures of celebs at MBFW in September, attending the Spring 2011 runway shows at Lincoln Center! <Can you name them?> For 2011, NYFALL2011 will be this year in Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park during February 10th-17th.  For the second season at Lincoln Center, thousands of fashion industry professionals will gather to see the world’s most established and up-and-coming designers present their Fall 2011 Collections.  What will the designers show? The makeup? Who will be there? Will I be standing on the outskirts..looking in?  <LOL> Can’t wait!

Letia 🙂

Happy Holidays! A New Year is on the Way!

16 Dec

Hasn’t this year just flown by?  We are so busy, at least I am!  There is always something to do, to get fixed, to remember and to pay for!!   You do the best that you can and often at the end of the year; it’s about reflecting.   You decide what’s important to keep up or to make better.

So here I am with my reflecting.  I am not going to bore you with my long list, but I’m looking back and seeing what I can do, let’s say hoping to do better.  It’s good to have goals, but nothing is etched in stone, because life is life.

One thing I am truly happy about is that I decided to work on the most popular item for improvement this year, being healthy and exercising.   So this past October, I have been really exercising  consistently;  decided to prepare my own food for lunch, shop locally at the farms for fresh produce near my home and make a conscious decision of my food choices when dining out!

I must say, I do feel better and it’s been a daily effort.  Now, please do not think for one minute, that I do not crave for the those sugary treats, I DO!  I do not deprive myself, I have it….but do exercise a little more to compensate  <my weakness is Oreo cookies, I take 3 cookies and split them to make 6 cookies! Smart right? It’s a mind trick!>.

Now, I haven’t put any pressure on myself and there’s no made up glorious weight number to meet, I  just have concentrated on eating right and being healthy.     Just by simply logging into Lance Armstrong‘s website, I am able to update what I am eating to find my calorie intake and that’s it*.  If interested, you can set up a free account.

Now, then it’s those things that I tried to complete before this year ends because they were on my list for the year prior to this one!!!!  I am happy to say, I scratched some off!   To name a few, I finally plastered the ceiling from a bathroom leak, saw my brother and his family in Fort Wayne, IN <so happy>, even though my kitchen smoke alarm went off quite often – I finally can broil a medium-rare steak successfully, loaded about 60 CDs on my Ipod and lastly;  stuck to my budget outlined since last year!

Now, it’s a new year, for what you did n’t do this year, just write it down for 2011 and work towards it; that’s all!   Yes, there are still things to do, but we are coming into a brand new year, we all have goals, lists and those day-to-day challenges each and every one of us are facing; but in the midst of it all….  remembering to enjoy life, take time to spend time with your family and see your friends a bit more often…these are the things which are most important!

I want to take a moment to thank you ALL for your readership, your questions and your support; it’s really been so much fun!   Wishing you and yours the best!

Have a safe and wonderful Holiday and a Happy New Year!  See you in Twenty-eleven!

Letia 🙂

* great tip from Rachelle Borderhammer.

How To: Decorate Tips

9 Dec

Amy Brinkerhouse, Durham, NC. says

” I have a lot ideas and would like to begin changing for the new year, but I have no guidance and I can’t afford a decorator; I so happened to find this site and wondered if you could help me? What can I do, what do I do first?”

Change is good, often we look around in our homes and it’s seems like you’ve been there forever!  Yes, it may be comfortable and it may show your own individuality, but where do you begin to change?  Where?  Where?

It’s sad when a person is in a room and there is no identifiable thing to talk about.  The first thing is to identify the things that makes you happy.  It could be a chair, a plant, paint color or dishes.  What ever it is and it is now in your room, KEEP them and incorporate them into your change.

So I am going to answer your question, two-fold.  For readers who have already decided what they are going change and….those who are starting from scratch?  Who are asking what’s next?  Some tips, so you are not completely lost.

Amy would love to have a decorator, but she’s on a budget.  It’s great to have a budget and stick to it!  So first, consider the changes to be done to the room as a project; with a name.  Once you consider it a project; it makes it official.  She will take it seriously when shopping and especially when watching those dollars.

  • Take your time to choose your color scheme, choose your paint, floor treatments, fabrics!  Set price points and don’t be afraid to lower your price and ask when the products usually go on sale.   Once you have decided, order everything at once.  Call them all in!  Why?  This forces you to factor in everything, before you make the call.  If it is out of budget, you will get a better idea of what costs should be lowered and rethink.
  • Get professionals!  Get referrals for painters, upholsterer and a licensed electrician.   Ask for references and licenses.  Once the information is provided, do your own homework; before hiring.  Check BBB and
  • Upholstering takes 4 – 6 weeks. DO NOT order too much fabric.  Only order what you need.  Do you know a yard of material is expensive!   I’ll say it again, ONLY ORDER WHAT YOU NEED; ask the ulphoster  the correct yardage measurements.  Define if you want piping, trim and or hems.  It’s important.  If you choose a pattern, you are going to spend more money – to match the material! hat is she talking about?> For example, if you have a stripe pattern.  All the lines are supposed to line up, it takes a lot of material to do that!  The same will be for a pattern; like circles.  So, if you can love a solid material, try it.  But, if you fall in love with a pattern, just remember the yardage will cost you a bit more.
  • New flooring, goes in first.  If it’s putting down a new floor, staining a floor, grouting a floor  or  even cleaning up the surfaces, it should be done before any painting, wall papering,etc.  <except carpet, after painting>
  • For the kitchen, installing of  new cabinets, shelves, etc.  should all be done before any painting.  Once the cabinets are up, then order the appliances, based on the layout.  Heights, widths, flooring and exhausts must be taken in consideration.  Measure, then measure and measure again.  If the appliances are ordered at one time, be sure that the seller gives you a deal.  Save your receipts, for if they are energy-efficient appliances; check for rebates.
  • New light fixtures, they should be hung after you paint!  Sconces,  chandeliers, etc.  If touch-ups are required, it can be done after installation.
  • Then the drapes and window treatments, go up, but measure carefully before purchasing.   Custom costs money, so you can either do two things – buy stock panels in 84″ or 95″ from a department store (e.g. JC Penney).  Or go to your local fabric store, buy the material and make them! (a panel is usually 54″x84″).
  • Add furniture, arrange chairs and the sofa.  If there is a focal point in the room, arrange it around it.   Arrange the furniture as many times you need, until you feel comfortable with the layout.  Sunlight can also affect your layout decision; so look at the arrangement during the day and then at night-time.
  • Lastly, accessorizing the room; this is the fun part.  Isolate the many colors which would work with your color scheme, especially those colors which pop.  The accessories should be of different heights, a mixture and something you feel completes the room.  Personalize with your photos or favorite works of art.

Remember, always get estimates for any project, measure 3x and keep asking questions.  Oh! Don’t be afraid to go over your ideas with friends; include them when shopping; it helps you to not second guess too much!

Be well – Letia


BBC America’s Luther – Idris Elba!

5 Dec

When talking with my Aunt Vadney who lives in London, she keeps asking if  I have been watching the BBC’s mini-series, named Luther.    My answer, usually is…. Hmmm, not yet!  

Last night I should n’t have had 2 cups of coffee so late, I couldn’t go to sleep!   So when checking last night my cable’s ON DEMAND line-ups, I’d noticed BBC America.  Luther was listed, so I began watching the 6 – part mini-series on my cable,  this was about 9 PM and here it is 7 AM in the morning and I just finished, I was also watching Law & Order UK <great too!>

Such a fantastic writer, Neil-Cross has brought his characters to life and I must say his creation of this 6 – part mini-series was so full of suspense, I was at the edge of my seat !  My pooch was wondering, why I kept jumping up and down! 

Neil Cross

Without giving away too much, Idris Elba <love him!> is the brilliant London murder detective, John Luther (DCI) solving the most unbelievable, yet believable crimes.  However, it’s not just solving mysteries, the BBC series leaves you memorized in getting to know this detective’s crazed life, sometimes leaving you to shake your head, but often sympathize with him at times!  The wonderful cast always leaves the viewer, with the question, “What do we do now?”  Superb acting!  The characters just popped off the screen.<video below>

There’s going to be a  Season 2  and I definitely can’t wait!  Now, if you want to partake in a great story-line with a lot of suspense; check it out!   You won’t be disappointed!

If you want more of the East London born actor;  Idris Elba has joined the cast of  ‘Thor’, the Marvel Studios film about the Norse God of thunder; coming in May 2011.  He plays Heimdall, the guardian of Asgard.  A very important role protecting the Rainbow Bridge, so there will be a lot of action! 

Well, thanks Aunt Vadney!  Better late, then never they say!!  Well, it’s 8:30 AM, I ‘m going to sleep!  🙂  zzzzz

Be well – Letia

Art Deco – A Marvelous Era

3 Dec

Since my blog about Where Would You Go?, letting my readers know my pick, The Oriental Express!  I have received several inquiries; asking when I was going to fulfill my promise on sharing a little more information about the Art Deco period <Sarah of Fortworth, TX; she sent me friendly e-mail reminders.. 15 times! LOL>! 

 Well, here it is…..

 According to the Art Deco Society of New York,  the term Art Deco, coined in 1966 initially referred to the French-style of decorative arts exhibited in Paris at the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes. Since then, the term Art Deco has become a popular catch-all, encompassing the many and varied forms of this design which evolved from the second decade of the 20th century to the beginning of World War ll.

The Art Deco style encompasses Cassandre posters and Donald Desky furniture, bakelite radios and the Chrysler building, the fashions of Paul Poiret and the film sets of Cedric Gibbons.  So you know, the Art Deco Society of New York through its ambitious programming is dedicated to studying, preserving and celebrating this important hallmark of modern design through its mission statement, so if you are interested, please see their site.

Art Deco was an opulent style, and its lavishness is attributed to reaction to the forced austerity imposed by World War I. Its rich, festive character often looked modern contexts.  Such are the Golden Gate Bridge, interiors of cinema theaters (a prime example being the Paramount Theater in Oakland, California) and ocean liners such as the Île de France, Queen Mary, and Normandie.

It was employed extensively throughout the United States’ train stations in the 1930s, designed to show the modernity and efficiency of the train. Around the world, a number of amusement parks were constructed in inter-war art-deco architecture, of which surviving examples include Playland (New York) and Luna Park Sydney.

Art Deco made use of many distinctive styles, but one of the most significant of its features was its dependence upon a range of ornaments and motifs.

Art Deco slowly lost patronage in the West after reaching mass production, when it began to be derided as gaudy and presenting a false image of luxury.   A surge of interest in Art Deco came first in the 1960s and then again in the 1980s with the growing interest in graphic design, where its association with film noir and 1930s glamour led to its use in advertisements for jewelry and fashion and toiletries.

Now when you are talking about an era, all aspects affect what you are looking at, jewelry, cars, homes, buildings, travel etc.  I am going to touch on a few aspects, but if you want to learn more about the era, you can get some real good books, which I am going to list at the end of this post!

So,  I’ve  explained a little about what Art Deco is, let me show the various Art Deco Styles; which you may have not know it was contributed to:

There are examples of in the automobiles of that era and motorcycles, such as the Henderson produced 4 cylinder motorcycles from 1912 until 1931.  They were the largest and fastest motorcycles of their time, and appealed to sport riders and police departments.

Police favored them for traffic patrol because they were faster than anything on the roads. The company began during the golden age of motorcyclist, and ended during the Great Depression.  1994 was brought and owned by Excelisor-Hendeson Motorcycle, which is no longer in business.  Here is a cool motorcycle influenced with Art Deco style: 

New York City’s Chrysler Building,  one of the world’s most iconic Art Deco buildings. The Chrysler Building. Designed by architect William Van Alen and completed from 1928-30. Since it was designed for the Chrysler Corporation it is decorated with motifs resembling hub caps and hood ornaments displayed in the eagle.   Art Deco buildings can be found all through the U.S. and in my opinion, the Fair Park in Dallas, Texas displays the largest collection of Art Deco buildings, one of them is the Cotton Bowl.


I can say that I have noticed this vintage reproduction Art Deco poster in either someone’s home, salon or restaurant.  So, I was curious to find a bit more about it.   It’s called  La Belle Dormeuse, originally painted in 1931 -1932 by Tamara Lempika.  A Polish-born Art Deco artist, whose work is considered one of the main contributors to the Art Deco era. 

Although her work was considered risky, collectors of her work are Madonna, Jack Nicholson and Barbara Streisand.  Affordable prints are available, so if you are interested in Art Deco posters, feel free to look.  To know more about her work, go to, there have a few books.

Lastly, let’s talk about Art Deco’s furniture style. It’s rather bold, dramatic and often luxurious.  Do you remember the old movies where the master bedrooms were huge, the furniture massive but beautiful.  There you would find a full mirror with a vanity, dressers and rather large bed.  This is the era when chairs and chaises were introduced to the bedroom.   The wood used were often oak, maple and mahogany. 

If you are interested in learning more about this wonderful time period, a great book is Art Deco: 1910-1939 by Charlotte Benton , Tim Benton , Ghislaine Wood  and Oriana Baddeley.   I ‘ve reviewed the book at Barnes & Noble; with a cup of mocha! < has it too!>.

Hours went by, but I must say I enjoyed glossing through the books; which gave me just enough information for you to be interested a little!  Another book is  American Art Deco: Modernistic Architecture and Regionalism by Carla Breeze.

I hope you enjoyed this blog as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it! 

Be well – Letia 🙂  and  Photo from Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day!,  set design courtesy of  Warner Bros.

You Tube video by ShowPix DVD Productions. 

Hmmm! Towel Spa® Nice Warm Towels

1 Dec

I must admit that I always want to mimic comfort.  When getting a manicure at my nail salon, they always wrap my hands in a warm hand towel!  When having dinner at my favorite Chinese restaurant in Manhattan, Mr. K’s, they always give you a warm hand towel between courses.   I’d remember when I was in downtown Chicago, there was a towel warmer in the bathroom of hotel I was staying at, The Renaissance Hotel was the name.  

I’ve always thought of a warmer as a great feature for the moment, quickly noting that who has the time to have a towel warmer installed in their bathroom or even have the space <plus they are pricey>!

Didn’t think anymore about it, until I received the latest Bed, Bath & Beyond circular, which featured a towel warmer for $79.99.  I had a coupon for $5.00 off and let me say, I’m in 7th heaven.   First I said it would be a great gift, which ended up being me!   

I’ve had the warmer for a couple of days now and I feel like a welcomed guest in my own bathroom!  I have used the towels in the morning for my facial treatments and in the evening to remove my makeup.   So, if you are looking for an inexpensive way to feel like you are in luxury, go review the item on-line or go to your nearest BBB store.  It is called Towel Spa®.

If thinking about giving it as a gift, it would also be great for men who shave. A warm towel after; just like they used to do at the barbershop.  Or it would be great to have a warm towel during the times when a baby needs changing or finishing up from a bath.  There are so many ideas!   The warmer is not big at all, it can only hold two bath size towels or one small; not cumbersome robe.  I’d placed 6 – 8 rolled wash cloths with a hint of lavender in mine.

Now I did do a little homework, the warmer can be found on different websites, but all list the same price.  If can’t fit in your budget, keep checking. It may go down in price or be on sale after the holidays!   Just want to share with you my latest find!

Psst!  If you don’t have the coupon, let the cashier know; so you can be put on their mailing list or be given a comp.

Be well – Letia 🙂

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