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Monthly Archives: August 2012

House Beautiful COLOR issue | decor

Written on August 31, 2012 at 2:42 am, by

decor bedrooms cecyj

decor cecyj

decor accessories cecyj

House Beautiful is one of my absolute favorite design magazines and I’m always honored + excited to find a note in my inbox from their team.

In the latest issue, they explore their readers favorite colors for various rooms in the home.  Blue was America’s #1 pick but it was the brilliant pop of YELLOW that caught my attention.  Featured interior designer Kay Douglas used yellow accents to create a serene but inviting master bedroom

The September issue of House Beautiful is at newsstands now.  Enjoy!

“to do” lists | domestic god(ish)

Written on August 29, 2012 at 3:55 am, by

chic journals, notebook, diary cecyj

It’s that time of a year again!  School is back in session and I seem to have 50 “to do” lists on my desk for the kids + family.

A few notepads to help you organize your tasks and jot down your notes with a smile.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Twitter Tuesday | life + style

Written on August 28, 2012 at 4:16 am, by

twitter tuesday life+style cecyj

Celebrity Twitter Tuesday gives us a little peek into how our favorite stylish stars make it a splendid life.  Busy Philipps tweeted this photo while on vacation.

Thank you, Busy, for indulging us in your life + style.

happy monday.

Written on August 27, 2012 at 5:40 am, by

quote, monday, design blog



Mary McDonald – SB Design House | Decor

Written on August 24, 2012 at 2:14 pm, by

Bravo TV, Mary McDonald, Santa Barbara, Interior Design

Bravo TV, Mary McDonald, Santa Barbara, Interior Design

Bravo TV, Mary McDonald, Santa Barbara, Interior Design

Bravo TV, Mary McDonald, Santa Barbara, Interior Design

I plopped into bed last night thrilled to dig into my new issue of Traditional Home Magazine.  The magazine has gone in such a fresh and chic direction.

I was blown away by the article on the Santa Barbara Design House.  The family room + kitchen were designed by none other than Bravo TV’s very own Million Dollar Decorator, Mary McDonald.

I’m really drawn to dark blue these days so the kitchen island caught my eye.  Her use of accessories and the blue leather occasional chairs have a way of making the space feel informal and a bit rustic, just like Santa Barbara itself.

A huge thank you to Traditional Home for sending over the photographs brilliantly taken by Dominique Vorillon.  Visit his website here:

Traditional Home, Mary McDonald, Santa Barbara, Interior Design

[For more information on the Santa Barbara Design House tour, taking place September13 through October 7, visit the Santa Barbara Junior League]

ask my momma | my homebody

Written on August 23, 2012 at 9:27 pm, by

divorce bullying parenting advice teens


parenting, back to school, new mom  I have a soon to be three year old son / only child.  Since my husband started to travel a great deal for work (8 months now) my son has become a homebody, refusing to leave the house.  During the winter months, I just went with it.  We stayed in, never going out to the library, gym, see friends (I was going crazy) but soon Spring arrived and he seemed a bit better.  Lately he’s reverted.  All he wants to do is be home, watching Winnie the Pooh while playing with his cars.  The odd time we do go out to a farm / walk / visit a friend (you name it we try and do it) and he wants to go home as soon as we arrive.  I try and schedule play-dates but as soon as another boy bumps him or takes a toy, he gets upset and wants to go back in the house.

I have chosen to be a stay-at-home mum, thinking he and I would have great adventures, going on bike trails, me jogging with him in the stroller, going to dog parks – but it’s been 8 months and I feel like it’s just easier to be at home – I can clean the house, get some freelance work done, and let him do his thing, however not what I had in mind of how I saw myself parenting.

Will I ever get “my” life back where I can be more active both physically and socially without my toddler throwing a fit every time I am having a conversation with an adult, be it a friend or a cashier?

Many thanks in advance.



mom blogs, pregnancy, baby  Get your life back by immediately assuming your role as the parent.  In the best interest of you, your husband, and your toddler begin organizing the family schedule to balance at home and away time.  No matter what you plan or don’t plan, your child is a toddler and most likely will negatively respond to suggestions.  Toddlers play out their stage of development with many demands and rebuttals to your requests.  Toddlers work hard at establishing their sense of self and this is definitely different from yours.  Recognize this milestone and you will be able to earnestly guide your toddler through this stage with remarkable skills.

Although the standard toddler response is “No!”  you need to reply with realistic and age-appropriate options.  You might suggest a trip to the market…a realistic choice.  Or, suggest that you spend an hour at the park or the museum, another realistic choice.  Avoid condoning “doing nothing” unless you and the child are physically unable to travel.  Comfort at home offers toddlers a world that can be controlled and this may justify why your toddler wants to remain there.  However, your parental duty requires you to gently introduce him to other children while broadening his world to include libraries, hiking trails, aquariums, workshops, airports, arboretums, and yes, other children.

Balance your schedule to ensure that you expose him not only to age-appropriate activities but those that are within your expectations.  Avoid pushing “play dates” on younger than 4+ year-olds.  Your time is best spent broadening his appreciation of the environment and community.  A playgroup for parents and toddlers might be a great way to begin because you will be able to interact with the other adults and your son can begin playing alongside other toddlers.

One last item, focus on preparation for all scheduled activity away from home.  Include your toddler in charting out the week’s plan so he can anticipate the experiences and you can prep him for the sights and sounds.  Children do much better when they have been informed and are prepared to meet people and experience new places.

Hammocks & High Tea | GIVEAWAY

Written on August 22, 2012 at 3:51 pm, by

hammocks & high tea giveaways CecyjThank you everyone who entered our Hammocks & High Tea giveaway.

Congratulations to Sarah are our winner!  

Twitter Tuesday | life + style

Written on August 21, 2012 at 3:13 pm, by

Taylor Swift CecyJ twitter tuesday

Celebrity Twitter Tuesday gives us a little peek into how our favorite stylish stars make it a splendid life.  Taylor Swift tweeted this photo while working on her next album.

Thank you, Taylor, for indulging us in your life + style.

cool pools | decor

Written on August 20, 2012 at 3:49 pm, by

Decor Outdoor Living CecyJ

CecyJ Outdoor Living Pools

CecyJ Outdoor Living Pools Decor

CecyJ Outdoor Living Pools


CecyJ Outdoor Living

{ one | two | three | four | five }

Hammocks & High Tea | GIVEAWAY

Written on August 16, 2012 at 10:13 pm, by


Hammocks & High Tea,  GIVEAWAY



We’re giving away this Hammocks & High Tea - LATTICE REVERSIBLE CLUTCH.

To enter to win, here’s what you need to do:

simply write “clutch” on our cecy j Facebook page here.

Entries will be accepted starting Thursday, August 16, 2012 until Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at 11:59pm PT.  One randomly selected winner will be announced on Wednesday, August 22nd.

 Hammocks & high tea CecyJ


Simple.  Sunny.  Timeless.  Beautiful.

That is how I’d describe textile designer, founder and creative director Karen Young of Hammocks & High Tea.  I don’t exactly remember how I came across Hammocks & High Tea but I continue to be impressed and intrigued by her.  Karen graciously offered to answer some of my questions and I’m excited for you all to meet her.

Thank you Karen for sharing your beautiful story… such a treat to feature you.


You grew up in South America?  When did you come to the United States and how did textile design become part of your story?


Yes, I was raised by my grandmother in South America and came to New York when I was 7 years old.  The most outstanding difference to me, even as a child, was the difference between South America and New York in the way people lived and the colors… or rather lack thereof… in New York.  I actually have a B.S. in Psychology and upon graduation took a sharp left into a career in the fashion industry.  There I found my love for color, pattern, and detail again.  I knew I wanted to design but, although I loved clothing, I’ve always been obsessed with the concept of home & living.  I started small, designing a collection of stationery that eventually branched, almost organically, into a textile collection.


Can you walk me through the process of textile design?  How does a design concept become a very chic clutch?


For my prints the beginning is generally a texture, a memory that I find evocative (most often nostalgia), or very often a pattern that I find repeated throughout multi cultures.  I’ve always been fascinated by the way our food and art primarily, reflect the multiple dimensions of world culture.  When I decided to launch a small line of clutches it was based on feedback from my customers who loved having the dose of pattern and color outside of their homes.  Although it ended up as something chic, the clutch was actually a utilitarian concept.  How could I give them something sturdy yet pretty? It took a few months of work and a lot of strange looks from my leathersmith… the bags have to be finished completely seamlessly in order to function reversibly… but finally I had a clutch that could suffer wear & tear and still be downright pretty.


I love the name of your studio.  How did you come up with Hammocks & High Tea?


Thank you!  I’ll never forget coming up with the name.  A few years ago, I was sitting in my apartment thinking that I needed a name that would say in a nutshell what my patterns encompassed.  Suddenly I jumped up and shouted “Hammocks & High Tea!!!”  In South America, as with many colonized countries, the architecture is often reflective of French, British, Dutch, etc influences.  The tropical influence was never far behind though because those same structures were painted the wildest blues, pinks, yellows, and greens you’ve ever seen.  Cows are roaming the streets, parrots are hanging out on windowsills, and mango trees are a staple in every front yard.  Although I grew up with a thorough Caribbean/South American persuasion, “high tea” and “suppers” were what we knew as well.

Hammocks & High Tea, GIVEAWAY

Tell me what you are working on right now?  How did you find inspiration for this textile?


I’ve just launched the Fall 2012 collection to the trade and retail.  It will be available online 9/15 but currently I’m preparing for the Fall home & gift shows.  The Balustrade print (above & below) is one of my favorites.  I wanted to incorporate a stripe into the collection and having always been moved by architecture, I remembered the stairs in my grandmother’s house.  Because we lived below sea level, the houses were built either on stilts or with a concrete first level with living quarters upstairs.  Our staircase had such beautiful details, but it was primarily used for my cousins and I to eavesdrop on the conversations of the adults from our playhouse on the first floor.  We’d peep through the banisters almost to the point of getting stuck in them.  So when I thought of a stripe, that memory came back and Balustrade became a print.


3 things you can’t live without


 Chocolate /  Good books/ Belly laughs



Most hilarious or inspiring person you follow in twitter?


My friend Chandra of @greerchicago.  She happens to be poised, has great taste, and a dry wit that keeps me in stitches!



You reside in Brooklyn.  Tell us where we should…


-Grab Tea?

Tea Lounge. It’s one part tea and three parts entertainment.

-Meet for drinks?

Oh this is tough. Weather Up is a speakeasy in Brooklyn.  You can barely find it even when you’re standing right outside, but inside you’ll find great drinks and cool vintage inspired atmosphere.

-Meet for dinner?

This is tougher…  one of my favorites is The Farm on Adderley, it’s my version of comfort food.  I’m also excited to try Applewood, another farm to table concept that in Brooklyn is doing so well of late.

-Get inspired?

Propsect Park is Brooklyn’s own Central Park.  When I need to clear my head or be inspired, I head over here.  The park opens up to these gems inside like the boathouse, the lake, and multiple trails.

Hammocks & High Tea,  GIVEAWAY