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Monthly Archives: December 2011

have a wonderful new year.

Written on December 31, 2011 at 5:36 pm, by

happy new year, 2012, beach, california living

storage | decor

Written on December 30, 2011 at 7:07 pm, by

storage, toy room, decor, kids toys cecyjstorage, play room, christmas cecyjvia boxes, kids rooms, storage, playroom, organization cecyj
playroom, storage, kids, christmas cecyjplayroom, storage, kids, christmas cecyjpottery barn kids, pottery barn teen, play room, storage cecyjStorage, storage, storage.  As we make our new year’s resolutions, one of them should be to make an honest effort to create clean, pretty play areas for all of our kid’s new holiday loot.

Some spaces to inspire you.


{photo 1, 2, 3, 45 & 6 sources)


Share my love of easy elegance and finds from around the globe that are simply fabulous?  Ready to make your place a space that you adore?  I’d love to help make your house a home.  cecy j is currently accepting new interior projects.  Let’s chat

Winter Break | domestic god(ish)

Written on December 19, 2011 at 4:46 am, by


winter break, christmas, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer cecyj

The kids are out of school for winter break!  What to do, what to do… Play time!

Here are some fun ideas for you and your crew to do that you probably just wouldn’t get around to when school is in session.

1. Sing holiday songs and mix up the words.  {vintage art}
2. Set up a treasure hunt in the house and have it ready for the kiddos when they wake up in the morning.  {photo source
3 & 4. Snuggle under this blanket and watch this movie.
5. Teach the kids your amazing snowball making skills.
6. Drop a couple of mentos candies into a bottle of diet cola and watch it explode.  (this should be illegal it’s so fun but do this outside and with bigger kids only).  {photo source}
7. Build a tent fort and read this book under it.

Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur | travel

Written on December 16, 2011 at 5:11 am, by

cecyj new year eve, recipe black truffle risotto, Post Ranch Inn, acclaimed Chef Craig von Foerster

The Post Ranch Inn is perched on the cliffs of Big Sur in Northern California heaven with the sea on one side and beautiful mountains on the other.  This spot is a “must go” for an extra special occasion, romantic weekend, or just a good old fashion luxury (yet simple) hotel splurge.

Many thanks to Executive Chef Craig von Foerster of the Sierra Mar restaurant for graciously sharing the amazing recipe below.  I will be trying his risotto recipe out on my New Years Eve guests in a few weeks

Nantes Carrot and Black Truffle Risotto

Serves 6

If the carrot doesn’t taste good raw, it will not make a good risotto. Nantes carrots are a medium-size cylindrically shaped carrot with a sweet, clean flavor. I was first introduced to these delightful orange nibbles by Mark Marino at Earthbound Farms. They are grown locally in Monterey County but are available at most farmers markets. If Nantes are not available, chantenay or any freshly harvested medium-size carrots can be substituted.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup diced onion
1 cup risotto rice
3 3/4 cups carrot juice
2 tablespoons truffle butter
1/2 cup Carrot Nage (recipe below)
2 tablespoons chopped chives
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons-diced black truffle, optional

Heat olive oil in a small pot over medium heat and then add onion and sauté until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add risotto rice and stir to coat with oil. Add carrot juice to just cover the rice and bring to a simmer, adding more carrot juice as needed to keep the rice barely covered during cooking, stirring occasionally. Continue adding the juice a little at a time to maintain coverage until all the juice is absorbed. The risotto should have a creamy consistency and the grains of rice are cooked through, yet still firm. Finish off the heat by adding the truffle butter, 3 tablespoons Carrot Nage, chives, lemon juice, salt, pepper and diced black truffle. Chef’s Note: To make fresh carrot juice, peel carrots and run through a juice extractor. Four medium carrots yield 1 cup of juice.

4 cups carrot juice
6 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons truffle butter
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a small pot over low heat, slowly reduce the carrot juice to 1 cup, whisking occasionally to prevent the juice from separating. Turn up to medium heat, add the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking constantly to incorporate. Pour the sauce into the container of a blender, cover and run on medium speed until emulsified, about 10 seconds. With the blender running, add truffle butter, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Transfer sauce and keep in a warm place. Chef’s Note: Butter sauces are delicate, therefore keeping the nage warm, not hot, is imperative. A pre-warmed thermos is ideal for keeping this sauce perfect until use.

3 quarts rice bran oil
1 large carrot, peeled

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat to 325° F. Using the fine teeth of a Japanese mandolin, shred the carrot. Rub the carrot shreds between your fingers to break them apart and separate. Sprinkle the shredded carrot into the oil and fry until bubbling stops. Pull from the oil with a slotted spoon; transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. While the carrot is still hot, fluff with two forks to separate the threads.

1 truffle, cut into matchsticks

To shape the Risotto, place a 2 1/2-inch ring mold on the center of each plate and fill with risotto, tamping down gently with the back of a spoon, remove ring. Top with Crispy Carrot Threads. Use the remaining Carrot Nage to sauce the plate and garnish with truffle matchsticks.

Photography by:
Kodiak Greenwood (top), Larry Dale Gordon (middle left), K.B. Kaplan (middle right),
Thomas Loof (bottom left), Kodiak Greenwood (bottom right).

Share my love of easy elegance and finds from around the globe that are simply fabulous?  Ready to make your place a space that you adore?  I’d love to help make your house a home.  cecy j is currently accepting new interior projects.  Let’s chat

I’m a new step-mom | ask my MOMMA

Written on December 15, 2011 at 3:30 pm, by

bullying parenting advice kids

parenting guideI’m a new step-mom.  Ironically, I had a step mom of my own as a child so I know how painful and hard it can be.  I always wanted my real mom around but had to tolerate a step-mom.  My new step-kids seem to be hurting with the hope that someday their parents will get back together.  I know my role is different and I don’t want to replace their mom. But what can I do to provide a loving home for them?


parenting adviceBecause of your own experience as a step-child, you already know that no matter what your step-mother did for you, you still had to “tolerate” her.  Most likely, you fantasized about your parents getting back together.  You were no different than the majority of children from broken homes, no matter their age or the circumstance of their parent’s divorce.  Children are the victims of relationships gone sour and with more than half of marriages ending in divorce, children are routinely shuffled back and forth between parents and homes.  They are left without a sense of belonging.

The best approach for you, particularly as a new step-mom, will be to focus on providing a loving home where your step-children are welcomed, comfortable, and can take advantage of every opportunity to spend time with their dad.  Don’t try to compete with their mother, you’ll never win.  Remember, as a step-mother you have no legal rights so be prepared to defer to your husband about decisions regarding his children.  This is why you need to communicate carefully with your husband about the house rules and the routines that he’ll support while his children are visiting.

a gift for your gentleman | life + style

Written on December 14, 2011 at 5:01 am, by

gifts guide for men, richer poorer cecyj

Still have the gentlemen in your life on the Christmas list?  Me too…

I’m loving everything about Richer Poorer and their socks, made for the versatile American man.

Use code: HOHOHO for a 3 for $30 deal (that comes in this neat Merry Christmas box.)

Twitter Tuesday | life + style

Written on December 13, 2011 at 5:28 am, by

Erin Andrews, cecyj celebrities twitter tuesday

Celebrity Twitter Tuesday gives us a little peek into how our favorite stylish stars make it a splendid life.  Erin Andrews tweeted this photo while meeting Faith Hill.

Thank you, Erin, for indulging us in your life + style while away from the spotlight.

CONFETTISYSTEM Workshop | life + style

Written on December 11, 2011 at 5:13 am, by

CONFETTISYSTEM Workshop cecyj life+style

There is always a good reason to hop on a plane to New York but this is #1 on my list for the Holiday season.  CONFETTISYSTEM will be demonstrating how to make these holiday ornaments tomorrow evening at Phaidon in New York City.

CONFETTISYSTEM are the artists behind some pretty amazing and unique holiday windows, stage design and interior installations.  They’ve worked with everyone from J.Crew stores nationwide to the American Ballet Theatre’s fundraising gala.

Taking the simple concept of a fun piñata party and turning it into colorful art.  I love everything about their distinctive and custom take on celebration and aesthetics.

Go if you can.  I’ll be there in spirit.

CONFETTISYSTEM Workshop at Phaidon NYC
80 Wooster Street
New York, NY 10013
Tomorrow Sunday, December 11th
3pm – 5pm.
RSVP Required; email CONFETTI to


Share my love of easy elegance and finds from around the globe that are simply fabulous?  Ready to make your place a space that you adore?  I’d love to help make your house a home.  cecy j is currently accepting new interior projects.  Let’s chat

margarita TIME OF YEAR | domestic god(ish)

Written on December 9, 2011 at 6:33 am, by

the best margarita recipe, holiday parties, mexico, Margaritaville cecyj

This time of year most families are thinking hot coco, hot apple cider, eggnog or maybe a Kahlua Liqueur mixed drink.  But my family does it a little differently.  Our tradition for Christmas Eve dinner is homemade tamales, refried beans, chips, fresh guacamole and other delicious Mexican fare.  What’s our favorite holiday beverage, you ask?  Yes, the margarita.

This is when my family kicks it into high gear and my step-dad makes a mean marg.  However, you need to appreciate quality tequila to drink this stiff one.  None of us love sweet so he has managed to get his margarita down to a bitter yet perfectly sweet science.  The two secret ingredients are the Guaycura Liqueur de Damian and the pure agave nectar (found in health food stores) so stock-up for this holiday season.

Salud & have fun at your holiday parties this weekend.

2 oz of 100% agave tequila
1 oz of Guaycura Liqueur de Damian
2 Tsp Agave Nectar (100% pure sweetener)
2 fresh squeezed limes (3 if the limes are dry and not juicy)
1 cup crushed ice
1. Squeeze limes into cocktail shaker.
2. Add ice, tequila, Guaycura Liqueur de Damian and agave nectar.  Shake well.
3. Take remaining lime rind and press the juice around the rim of your glass, then dip the rim in salt (optional) and pour cocktail.
4. Serve immediately

{margarita glass sourced here}

watercolor walls | decor

Written on December 8, 2011 at 4:55 am, by

decor art watercolor cecyj

How cool are these walls?  Black Crow Studios is a custom wallpaper company that infuses their product with truly unique art and design elements.

Their extremely talented team of artists can create your own custom, personalized wallpaper unique to you and your home.  They’ll take into consideration colors, textures and objects that inspire you.  Or, you can make less of a commitment with their framed stretched canvases.

Cool, right?


Share my love of easy elegance and finds from around the globe that are simply fabulous?  Ready to make your place a space that you adore?  I’d love to help make your house a home.  cecy j is currently accepting new interior projects.  Let’s chat