Just In: Join Me at the Northshore Mall

The Boston Globe asked me to speak this Thursday, May 5, 2016 in the Women to Watch series they are sponsoring with Simon Malls about women in the workplace. The topic is “Design Your Life to Your Advantage.”

We’ll touch on women’s work topics such as work/life balance (I’m the poster child, right? Blogging at ten o’clock at night), transitioning back to the workplace after maternity or other types of leave, switching career paths, and the like.

I’m not usually inclined to get up in front of an audience (despite my career as a high school cheerleader), but this is a panel of two—interior designer Beth Bourque is joining me—moderated by Boston Globe real estate editor, who I really love.

If you can come I’d love to see you.

6—6:45PM  Networking reception • Nordstrom, Upper Level
6:50—7:30PM  Discussion • Nordstrom Court, Lower Level
Northshore Mall – 210 Andover Street, Peabody, MA
Register here.

SimonNetworking_Email_2

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Filed under . REGULAR FEATURES, Just In

Scheming: My Spring Inspired Living Room

Find Spring Inspired Home Furnishings At Wayfair

When Wayfair asked me to create a post touting spring style, the sun was streaming through the bay windows in the living room, and I had just received the new May issue of HGTV Magazine which happens to feature our Boston condo. My favorite photograph is the one of our living room. It looks so bright, cheerful, and well, spring-like. So yes, this post is about my spring inspired living room.

Our walls have always been a spring-y shade of green. We first used this color in our dining room in Chevy Chase, and the first thing we did when we moved to Boston was paint our living room a similar shade. We’ve been here 13 years and I haven’t tired of it. And given that my office is in here, I spend a lot of time in it. That it is spring inspired space is important to me. It lifts my mood, especially during the long, gray Boston winters.

StyleCarrot's Art Filled Living Room In HGTV MagazinePhoto by Annie Schlechter  |  Styling by Elizabeth Demos

The plush, sculptural rug by Angela Adams grounds the space (we are blessed with high ceilings) and renders a lush, garden feel. The sofa is ivory, as is the woodwork; the  pillows, books, accessories, and artwork add the color. Yes, I realize the palette is somewhat limited. Flowers and planters add an occasional jolt. I don’t really subscribe to the idea that the room needs a spot of a complementary red. It’s more of a busy monochromatic effect.

Rather than start from scratch creating a spring inspired space for this post, I decided to be (I hope not too obnoxiously) self-referential and create a scheme that echoes the look and feel of my living room. And now that I have a professionally styled and photographed image, life is grand.

Finding similar pieces on Wayfair to create this spring inspired space was simple, given its array of decor and styles. My son confirms that I did a really good job, especially with the rug. Here is my scheme that recreates our spring inspired living room using items sourced on Wayfair. (Links below or in Spring Inspired Style Idea Book on Wayfair.)

G E T  the  L O O K 

StyleCarrot's Living Room As Seen In HGTV Recreated With Wayfair Products

S H O P P I N G 

1 Parvez Taj Canvas Landscape Print

2 DwellStudio Indigo Arches Artwork

3 Gustav Klimt Female Nude Print

4 Jonathan Adler Brass Table Lamp

5 Cast Iron Modern Bird Candlestick

6 Brass Candlesticks

7 Cactus in Cement Planter

8 Blu Dot Strut Table

9 Jonathan Adler Tufted Sofa

10 Aqua Bloom Water Blends Rug

11 Pineapple Throw Pillow

12 Round Coffee Table

13 Faux Cactus Plant

14 Copper Geo Tray

15 Angela Adams Soy Candle

16 Iittala Nappula Candlestick

17 Jonathan Adler Upholstered Bench

18 Modern Sideboard

19 Copper Shaker

20 Martini Glasses

21 Serving Tray

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Filed under . REGULAR FEATURES, Get The Look, Scheming

Mother’s Day Gift Guide: The Best Chocolate Desserts to Order Online

I’ve been on a bit of a diet of late, but if I weren’t, I would be really, really happy if my UPS or FedEx guy buzzed with any of these chocolate desserts in hand for me. (Is it any wonder I need to cut back my calories?) Let’s discuss the best chocolate desserts to order online.

No, I’ve not been satisfying cravings by fantasizing over photographs. In an effort to be more frugal (how conscientious, saving calories and dollars), I was clicking through to some online coupon sites for promo codes and was distracted by a free shipping offer for Harry & David on Frugga. (While you can order some crazy amazing food online, sometimes shipping can be pricey.)

It turns out Harry & David is so much more than fruit. They’ll ship you full-on Cheesecake Factory confections. Or just go with chocolate covered strawberries, Hailing from New York I’m a longtime fan of Dean & Deluca which not only has delicious food, but gorgeous presentation. Chocolate and salted caramel layer cake anyone? If your mom’s palette is stuck in tweendom, go for chocolate covered Oreos from Neiman Marcus.

I also recommend the honey sweetened, chocolate dipped marshmallows from Boston maker Apotheker’s Kitchen, which I discovered at the Eat Boutique holiday pop up. And let’s not forget another Boston area favorite, Dancing Deer. (Remember when they invited me on a factory tour?) I often send my own mother Dancing Deer brownie snacks.

One of the best gifts I get during the holidays are the chocolate covered pretzels and chocolate covered graham crackers that Matouk sends as a thank you. But I can’t remember where they come from. (Note to self: Find out!)

Here are 7 of the best chocolate desserts to order online for Mother’s Day, or any time really.

Best Chocolate Desserts To Order Online For Mother's Day

S H O P P I N G 

1 Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel

2 Chocolate Covered Strawberries

3 Parallel Chocolate Bar Set

4 Chocolate Covered Marshmallows

Crispy Chocolate Pearls

6 Chocolate Covered Oreos

7 Dancing Deer Chocolate Chunk Brownies

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Filed under . REGULAR FEATURES, Foodie Friday, Gift Guide

ARTmonday: 12 Cactus Paintings

Before we get to the cactus paintings, I want to tell you a little cactus story.

Last summer I was surprised to find cacti growing in the sand along the parking spaces at a small beach in Truro on the Cape. It looked as though  someone planted them on a retaining wall, and they spread to the ground, or rather, the beach. I can’t believe I never noticed them before. Could they all have grown over a single year?

They were quite rugged; pale green with short but very coarse and sharp spines. I had to have one. It was a lot more difficult to pull it up than I thought, and I was treated to lots of little prickly stuff in my fingers. (Because I’m not careful like that.) I brought a little one home, stuck it in a small pot with some sandy dirt, and left it on the porch.

A few months ago my husband was out there and brought it home, thinking winter would surely not serve this cactus well. (I will be curious to see how all the cacti in the parking lot look this summer.) We put it in a sunny spot on the back windowsill, and while the original plant didn’t look very healthy, it sprouted.

The new growth is green and very tall; three times the size of the original plant. I replanted it in store-bought cactus/succulent soil in a larger pot. If the cleaning people would stop watering it, I suspect it will grow to be very strong. (It’s currently kind of droopy, with a chopstick holding it up.) I’m kind of amazed. Nature.

Cape Cod Cactus In StyleCarrot's Living Room

Cape cactus.

Here are 12 cactus paintings, mostly still lifes.

Painting of Cactus And Houseplants in Interior

Laura Garcia Serventi

Colorful Painting of Cactus On Black Background

Cactus, Elena Glanopoulou

Abstract Cactus Landscape Painting

King Harvest Has Surely Come, Gareth Kemp

Still Life Painting Of Three Cactus Plants

Christine McArthur

Cactus Terrarium Illustration

Crystal Cactus, Cactus Club 

Geometric Cactus Illustration Print On Etsy

Geometric Cactus, Exile Printed

Cactus In Pink Pot Still Life Painting Affordable Artwork

Cactus, Grace

Illustration Of Assorted Cactus Plants In Pots

Curious Cacti, Sarah Walsh 

Cactus On Tiled Sill Illustration Artwork

Elena Boils

Illustration of Cactus In Striped Geometric Pot

Cactus, Elisabeth Fredriksson

Oversize Cactus Painting

Cactus, Tadija Janicic 

Affordable Artwork Of Retro Cactus Still LIfe

Retro Cactus, Cool Hang

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Filed under . REGULAR FEATURES, Art Monday

Sunday Bouquet: Urban Garden Blur

Urban Garden In South End Boston

Photo by Marni Elyse Katz/StyleCarrot

I took this photography last year at a community garden in the South End.

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Filed under . REGULAR FEATURES, Sunday Bouquet