Domestic God(ish)

chopsticks training wheels | domestic god(ish)

kids domestic god(ish)

Have you seen these?  They’re basically chopstick training wheels… so fun!

The Hubby and I love to do sushi take-out on Friday evenings after a long week so training the kids to like sushi has been important.  These “FUN CHOP” chopstick holders definitely make the evenings fun and interactive for the kids.  They’re better with chopsticks than I am… practice makes perfect.

Gift Guides, Travel

I packed my bags {cabo} | travel

travel fashion style cecyj

Packing for a weekend in Cabo with the husband for a late birthday celebration and wedding bash.

A few things that are going in my bag…

1. Polish up the nails in Essie’s “tart deco,” a shade of coral perfect for Cabo.

2. ViX bikini and beach bag (of course).

3. A nice boy at Barney’s talked me into this 3 LAB Perfect Mask.  I’m such a sucker for new cosmetics but, wow, these masks are magic!  For a fresh, spa glow.  Even after a long flight or 1 too many margaritas the 3 Lab Perfect Mask gets the job done.

4. Just bought these BCBG sunglasses.  Love how lightweight they are and great coverage from the sun.

5. A friend told me “Game Change” is a must read.

6. And of course, just a bit of sparkle from Tory Burch.


House Beautiful shares top “Designer Secrets” | decor

House Beautiful, Home Decor, Design Blogs

House Beautiful (one of the best decor magazines out there, in my opinion) hit newsstands on Monday and the May issue is devoted to “Designer Secrets.”  It is packed with some amazing decorating tips from some of my favorite designers.  House Beautiful was kind enough to send us over a peek at the secrets along with some beautiful photographs.

House Beautiful, Decor, Interior Design Blogs


A few of my favorite tips are so simple, easy and inexpensive:

1. Richard Mishaan:  If you have a painting that looks too small above your sofa, don’t center it.  Offset it a few inches to the left.  The negative space – called ‘ma’ – becomes part of the image.

2. Charlotte Moss:  A rectangular table is ideal at about 36” in width.  This allows for conversation with your neighbors to the right and left and across the table, a real bonus.

3. Jan Showers:  Every room needs a touch of black, just as it needs one antique piece.

4. Mary McDonald:  When you don’t have dimmers, use 15-watt bulbs to simulate candlelight. Works like magic.

5. Elissa Cullman:  Don’t install carpert wall to wall in a narrow hall or narrow staircase.  Instead, install the carpet as a runner and leave at least a 3” border on both sides to make the space seem wider.

6. Myra Hoefer:  Always use white linens and towels.  Never cross the line – always use white.  They’re bleachable and they send a message of cleanliness, refinement and order.


House Beautiful, Home Decor, Designer Tips

House Beautiful, Kitchen Design, Kitchen ideas

House Beautiful, Decor, Design Blogs, Glamour

The May issue has many more great designer secrets.  In addition, has video interviews with several designers offering their best pieces of advice.  Miles Redd is one of my favorites – he can transform any space with such thoughtful precision it’s a bit mind-boggling.  I really enjoyed his video tip… you can take a peek here.

Thank you House Beautiful for sharing and keep up the great work.  Your pages and online tips are a constant inspiration.


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

Celebrities, Life + Style, Twitter Tuesday

Twitter Tuesday | life + style

Hugh Jackman


Celebrity Twitter Tuesday gives us a little peek into how our favorite stylish stars make it a splendid life.  Hugh Jackman tweeted this photo from Red Square in Moscow.

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

Decor, Interviews, Travel

a girl to know | decor + travel

Olivia Sparks, A girl to know


Have you ever been fortunate enough to meet someone whose energy and enthusiasm overwhelms you?  Where you can feel it, even if you’re not in the same room as them?  You can just tell that they have something to offer the world…

Olivia Sparks and I found each other via twitter and I’ve been inspired by her style, energy and good looks ever since.  Olivia is a stylist of interiors, fashion, food and lifestyle who resides outside Melbourne, Australia.

Olivia’s specialty is identifying and creating exquisite imagery, and unique decorative settings that best represent her impressive clients.  As you can see from some of her work shown below, her styling choices seem to tell a perfect story.

This quintessential Australian girl answered some “splendid living” questions for me about what is going on in Australian design and what to visit when we travel to Oz.

Thank you Olivia.  Your work and way of living is a true inspiration.


What path brought you to life styling (which I’m pretty sure might be the coolest job on earth!)?


The career path of styling was ultimately a hidden treasure for me. After years of working in the corporate arena, followed by studying a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) and a Diploma of Interior Design & Decoration, then followed by years of work experience shadowing and assisting some of Australia’s finest stylists, my career progression to a stylist finally made sense!  All the things I loved, all my strengths, in one role!  I feel very blessed to have had the opportunity to explore and arrive at a very happy career destination, with so many possibilities in store. Everybody has permission to dream!

Olivia Sparks, A Girl to Know Olivia Sparks, A Girl to Know

Any tips for styling our home for an upcoming dinner party (and looking good when the friends arrive?)


Your home is your sanctuary, a reflection of you, your space to dream, create, function and play, so take pride as it is important and does make the difference to your every day.  Make the space somewhere you like to retreat to after all that life expects from us, choose a favourite theme, colour, or object for example and build on it from there to create your desired look.  When entertaining, a beautifully set dinner table sets the scene perfectly, and is so very inviting. An abundance of flowers in vases placed loosely along the centre of the table (low in height) is lovely with tealight candles woven between. Linen napery and a large charger plate for each setting is also a wonderful base palette. Should you use white china to serve, maybe bring in a coloured dessert plate for a hint of fun towards the end! Of course, depending on the occasion, thematic decorations always enhance the vibe and can be a great topic of conversation or amusement during the course of the evening.

Relating to being suitably attired prior to hosting your dinner party, ensure you are dressed at least an hour before your event, to ensure you are relaxed and set for smiles! Glamerous yet comfortable is always good, possibly a sweet dress? Your choice of clothing in which you feel best is essential, with a touch of gloss, perfume and jewels will win every time!

Finally, kick start the evening with bubbles served in frosted champagne glasses, your guests will be sure to be impressed!

Dining Room, A girl to knowA girl to knowA girl to know chic

Inexpensive decorating trick from the styling biz?


If one is prepared to be crafty, the sky is the limit for inexpensive decorating! A few key suggestions…

– Using old bottles/jars as vases.

– Succulents in vases make for wonderful inexpensive indoor flowers which you do not need to replace regularly.

– Collecting assorted antique plates, cups and saucers for your dinner table setting creates interest.

– Selecting or making double-sided throws/bedspreads, and/or cushions, which you can alternate depending on your mood or occasion.

– Restoring furniture and painting with block colours can create a wonderful room accent.
As always, ‘less is more’ the key.

cecyj food decor


Interior designer or stylist you admire?


Rachel Ashwell, founder of Shabby Chic,  Tricia Guild, founder of Designers Guild, Sibella Court, founder of The Society Inc,  Glen Proebstel and Donna Hay.


cecy j decor style

What defines Melbourne’s home style and what’s hot in home décor with the locals?


Hero artwork;  Bold use of pattern and colour;  historic reference;  Statement lighting;  Iconic furniture;  Innovative use of materials (layers);  Sustainability (lots of rustic timber!);  Indoor gardens…  Ultimately bringing an eclectic mix of objects together to create a beautiful aesthetic and emotional connection for all whom interact with the space.


Let’s talk Melbourne, Australia, Where should we sightsee?


Federation Square – Melbourne CBDMt Buller -Alpine Region and Lorne – Great Ocean Road.



Best spot for architectural inspiration in Melbourne?


Collins Street is a major street in the Melbourne central business district and runs approximately east to west.  It is notable as Melbourne’s traditional main street and best known street, is often regarded as Australia’s premier street, with some of the country’s finest Victorian era buildings.  The ‘Paris end’ (Eastern end) is a part of Marvellous Melbourne mythology.  Although modern development has destroyed some of the European flavour of the top-end of Collins Street, it still retains its uptown status with its designer boutiques and cafes.  The length of Collins Street between Elizabeth and King Streets has long been the financial heart of Melbourne.


What’s next? Where should we…


CecyJ travel tips

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 |

Olivia’s amazing logo designed by!

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


Isabella Oliver | GIVEAWAY

isabella oliver giveaway When I was pregnant, Isabella Oliver was my splurge maternity “go to.”  I loved the jeans, I lived in a black Isabella Oliver sweater, and I even wore an Isabella Oliver dress for my baby shower.  Since then, I admit, I hadn’t given much thought to them.  But it turns out they launched a women’s line for the “un-expecting” in 2009 called Isabella Oliver 365… Who knew?

Now, team Isabella Oliver has been generous enough to offer an amazing giveaway with cecy j.  I even got to pick out the navy striped dress as the prize!

For your shopping pleasure, I added a few of my other Isabella Oliver favorites on the design board (above).  Such cute stuff!

Don’t worry, if you’re prego or have “baby on the brain” they still have their amazing maternity line worn by every celebrity on the planet including Jennifer Garner, Angelina Jolie and Ivanka Trump…

So, to WIN the fabulous striped number here’s what you need to do:

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

Entries will be accepted starting Wednesday, April 18, 2012 until Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 11:59pm PST.  1 randomly selected winner will be announced on Wednesday, April 25th, 2012.

Special thanks to all our friends at Isabella Oliver for this wonderful GIVEAWAY.  Good Luck Everyone!

 Click here to follow Isabella Oliver on Facebook.

Celebrities, Life + Style, Twitter Tuesday

Twitter Tuesday | life + style

twitter tuesday celebrities cecyj

Celebrity Twitter Tuesday gives us a little peek into how our favorite stylish stars make it a splendid life.  Bar Refaeli tweeted this photo from the London Eye.

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

{Photo of Bar sourced here}

Decor, Outdoor Living

Take it Outside | decor

decor outdoor living cecyjdecor outdoor living cecyjdecor outdoor living cecyjdecor outdoor living cecyjdecor outdoor living cecyj

While enjoying the sunshine in my backyard all weekend, I starting thinking about the importance of exterior living space.  As the sun starts to show it’s pretty face, the square footage of your home becomes less of an issue the more you can incorporate the great outdoors.

Some outdoor spaces that are clearly an extension of the home (above).


{photo sources House & Home / BHG / My Home Ideas / CA Home + Design }


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