Friday, May 28, 2010

This Is What Has Had Me In A Most Beautiful Tizzy Today....

I'm in heaven...
Fragrance heaven, that is...

Our entire workspace here smells like a dream -- a multi-layered fragranced dream.

We just received our new line of candles today and even without taking them out of their
shipping boxes, the entire area smells like paradise.

I am serious when I tell you, I caught myself saying out loud as I opened up 
the boxes to take a whiff of each new scent...
"You've gotta be kidding me... this just keeps getting better."
"No way... Oh my word... These are UNBELIEVABLE!"

No kidding...

So what mere mortal creates such fragrance?

Take a look:

Some say that Michael Loring-Probst is equal parts artist and entrepreneur. Over the past 20 years he has developed an enviable reputation within the industry as a fragrance master, a prolific designer and style-maker. Loring-Probst has been recognized in the industry as having “a fine-tuned nose" --
 an accolade which earned him a position as a pinnacle speaker within the fragrance industry. Indeed, his career has been filled with truly diverse and rewarding experiences, the succeeding Creative Director of Illume Candles, Creative Director for several large industry leaders including Zodax and Three Hands and today continues to consult for several well-known brands.

His designs and products have graced the pages of magazines including WWD, In-Style, Domino, W, Metropolitan Home, and Elle Décor and have been featured on the shelves of some of the hippest retailers including Bergdorf-Goodman, Williams-Sonoma Home, Nina Campbell, Urban Outfitters, Neiman Marcus, Z Gallerie, Target, Tommy Bahama, Anthropologie, Fred Segal and many more.

In 2008, Michael Loring-Probst’s introduced the luxury lifestyle candle brand West Third. West Third candles have quickly become known for being the longest, cleanest-burning on the market today and for Loring-Probst’s evocative signature fragrances that are crafted with endless layers of simple and elegant arrangements with under currents of extremely complex notes which creates seduction and intrigue to each of the chic blends.   Live, Love et Luxe!

There are pillars or hand poured jar candles...


You are SO going to love these.

Trust me.

I purposely chose the warmer, moodier scents for the pillars.
Don't ask me why -- I just associate the woody, warm scents with pillars.  Go figure.

Of the four scents we have in pillars right now,
I would personally divide those in half this way:

Deepest, "Moodiest" and Very Intense:
Ambre Notti and Santal Blanc 
would be the big brothers of warm, deep, "moody" scents.
Lush and intense!

Deep and Moody, but sweeter with a touch of "happy":
Vanille de Santos and Vintage Patchouli,
while still definitely "warm" and "moody", have undertones to them
that "cut" the vibe a little to "lighten the mood" a touch.
They are a less "serious" moody.  
If that makes sense.

The hand-poured, large jar scents were all ordered in the more
"light-hearted" and fruity or floral scents.
Again, it was just a choice of mine -- no real reason except that I just
see fruity and flowery in jar versions of candles.   

Tart-ish scents:
Fleur de Citron is, to me, lemony.  Yummy and tart.
Not solely lemon, but lemon-y.  Citrusy.
I think of this candle being burnt in a breakfast room, or kitchen, or dining room.
But obviously not to be limited there!  It would be an incredibly fresh,
upbeat and welcoming scent right at the front door, too!

Cassis de Cassis.  
SO wonderful and juicy-tart!!
This would be wonderful in just about any room of the home and I think
just about any family member would like it.
It's already one of my favorites!

Sweet, floral-y scents would be :
L'Orangerie (whoa -- INTENSE and INCREDIBLE!).
If you've ever smelled the white flowers of an orange tree, or some of the
native flowers of Hawaii, you'll recognize this scent.  Neroli is what
really makes this scent.  
This scent, while really a great all-around anywhere scent, would be perfect
in the bath, the bedroom or the entryway.
Just my opinion ... you burn it where ever you like!

Gardenia di Vita is a floral, to be sure, but it is nicely "cut"
with some "green" notes of cucumber ever so softly in the background -- rendering it a wonderful floral that everyone would love.
A lovely formal scent -- great for living room, entry-way, etc.

Fleur d'Amour is very rose-y... soooo romantic!
But again, this scent, though thoroughly floral is blended cleverly with
other undertones that "cut" the floral just enough to 
create "layers" of scent that make it much more interesting than
just flat rose.  I once had a vial of pure Bulgarian rose oil --
this candle smells very, very much like that.  
Rich, elegant, and extremely romantic.
Entryway, living room (if you're having the gals over for tea) or
the bath or bedroom.  Perfect.

The candles are now on the site for sale 
(if I don't snap them all up myself)!

Click HERE to go!


A Couple Of Great Websites To Share AND Some New Things For OUR Site!

Just found THIS great Etsy store 
that features fabulous Steampunk jewelry 
(made from all manner of "found" bits and pieces,
much of the time with gears, clock/watch pieces, etc.)

I know Steampunk style isn't for everyone -- and all steampunk isn't
for me, but I must admit I am smitten with much of it.

Really, really like this clock-hand necklace!!
I already have a pair of clock-hand earrings that would go
great with this!!
{In case you're wondering... yes -- pointy, jabby clock hands
DO kind of poke your neck when you're wearing them,
but that's okay.  Pointy-toed, 4 inch heels aren't as comfy as
slippers, but I wear 'em every day anyway!}


I especially love these four pieces, the shop has plenty more to choose from!

Another online shop I'd like to tell you about is owned by my friend
Cathleen of Vintage Home Lifestyle (blog)
and I really think you'll want to know about her site if you don't already!

I purchased an INCREDIBLE vintage piece
{all pics below are from Cathleen's website}

I got this!!  It's REALLY big and REALLY fabulous!
I have it on my kitchen counter and it looks soooo great!

I also purchased these two grain sack style pillows
from Cathleen's shop ...


and I am SOOO happy with them!!

Cathleen has very unusual things that I think 
you are going to love!!

Here are some of her latest additions:

See what I mean?  Great stuff, huh?

By way of a heads up, today some of THE MOST INCREDIBLE candles arrived for the store.
I don't toss that word "incredible" around lightly when it comes to candles... which is why
we have so few lines in the shop.  (Which also tells you that the ones we DO have
are awesome).

This new line -- INCREDIBLE!

I've been Facebooking about them a lot today because I'm just so
overwhelmed by how great they all smell.  

They, as well as other new goodies will hit the site
over the weekend (starting today, I believe).

I'll be busy, but I love what I do, so it's all good!

Have a super weekend!

Beauty Has Arrived By The Case-Load...

{Image from JDL magazine, issue #4}

The new issue (issue #4) of our beloved
Jeanne d'Arc Living magazine
is now here!

If you are among those who pre-ordered a copy(ies),
be checking your mail this coming week because we plan to get all orders
out starting today!

Have a beautiful holiday weekend -- may your weekend be filled
with relaxing beauty like that shown in the gorgeous, dreamy
photo below -- also from the newest issue of
Jeanne d'Arc Living.
{See why we love this magazine so much?}

Stay safe, enjoy your family time, 
and see you next week!


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

And we have a winner!

Well, it appears the lucky winner of the Novogratz's book, Downtown Chic, is....

{insert dramatic drumroll sound here...}

Lynn from

What's really cool about her winning is that she actually has one of the 
Mathematicus pillows of her own, so I'm betting her tastes will run pretty 
consistant with what she'll she in the book!

Yay for Lynn!!

Well, I'm always cooking up some kind of giveaway in my head, so
stay tuned, as always, for the next one!

Next time, no books -- something different!!

A BIG, BIG thanks to all of you who entered, too!

I always wish I could just send you ALL a prize!!
I really do.

Love you!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Good Morning, Friends...

{The sunlight was soooo beautiful streaming in this morning that I actually went
and grabbed my camera -- which I rarely do -- to capture the rays coming into the kitchen.}

Just wanted to take one moment out of what is always a 
way-too-busy schedule to say 
GOOD MORNING and invite you into my
kitchen for a quick cup of coffee.

This is my trek into the kitchen each and every morning --
bright and early by at least 6:30AM, to get the coffee going
and start the day.

But some mornings, the way the sunlight plays against the fixtures in the room,
it seems like I could just sit in here for hours with my coffee and my thoughts.

I am still SO very glad we painted the cabinets last Fall.
If you missed that post, be sure to see it 

We basically got the feel of a new kitchen for about $50.00!
That's a great deal in ANY economy!
And considering the old gal's 120 yrs. old (not ME, the kitchen!)
she really turned around with just a coat of paint!

It's funny -- the kitchen was the MAIN room I had my sights set on for
TOTAL GUTTING when we bought the house, but now almost 10
years later, it's still pretty much the same as when we bought it.

It does not have the "requisite" granite countertops (nope, still has
the yucky, scratched formica ones), no Viking stove (like I really "need" one),
I have far less counter space, fewer cabinets, fewer electrical outlets
(WAY less), and less floor space than the kitchen in our previous house,
but somehow I've managed to survive just fine, haven't I?
Funny how that works....

What I DO have are killer views out of A LOT of GIANT antique windows
with wavy glass; brick floors (that I painted, of course), and lots of historic
character around every corner.  So... I think that's a fair trade off.

You may recall that I was struggling to figure out what to do with a newly 
freed-up space in the breakfast area of the kitchen 
(when we repainted, we disposed of a large armoire that formerly took up the floor space)
and I don't think I've yet showed you I finally put there... 

I got a FABULOUS pine table to go there -- it's big drawer holds the
necessities (lightbulbs, batteries, appliance manuals, etc...) out of sight 
and also holds the few remaining decoratives I saved after painting.


See the wooden slated crate-thingy on the floor to the right?  
That is the FIND OF THE YEAR I snagged at Anthropologie from
one of their displays!!!  

 It was the one thing that really caught my eye on a table 
(naturally -- the beat up, rickety display thing -- not the the gazillion things 
on/around it for sale!) and I literally disassembled their entire display to get to it.

I found a price tag on it (for VERY LITTLE!) and marched right up to the check out 
counter with it!  

I still don't know where I'll actually use it -- thus, it's place on the floor for now.
I have a big cake base/pedestal on it now (which also does NOT belong on the 
floor... but I digress...).

Turns out, that crate is WAY bigger than I realized and I just need to find a spot
big enough and just right for it.  
I will.   Trust me.   I will.   :)

OH!  I also wanted to show you something I recently
ordered from this lovely shop online in Paris (YEP! PARIS!).

Look at this beautiful petite banner made of linen!

It says "Bonheur" (the "o" is a cute little button!).

Bonheur = Happiness.  Nice, huh?   ;)

Well, it's off the shop for me...
A nice big delivery has already arrived for the shop and I 
CANNOT WAIT to tear into it!!!

And, since I already have my camera out, there should be no reason
not to hurry and get pics taken of the new inventory and
get it up on the site!

Thanks for spending a a minute with me this morning in the
kitchen over coffee.

You're always welcome -- the backdoor is always open to you!   

If you're interested, the book giveaway ends tomorrow, so feel
free to leave a comment on 

I'll be back tomorrow to pick the winner!

Have a sun-filled day, where ever you are, and stop by anytime!
I'll put a pot of coffee on for us!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Start Your Weekend With GIVEAWAY TIME AGAIN {With Nine-By-Design Style!}

So have YOU watched the latest large-family themed reality show,
Nine By Design on Bravo?

On ultra hip NYC couple + 7 kids + a booming urban design/reno biz =

Just starting with the parents - Robert & Cortney Novagratz...
youth and model-looks plus impeccable fashion sense meets even keener interior and architectural design sense 
combining to create a crazy-successful real estate development biz not just in the
chic-est areas of NYC, but worldwide.

Together they've been transforming derelict buildings/spaces into jaw-dropping
new living quarters which they flip and move on.

Can I name drop for a moment?  
Yes... indulge me...

You may remember last year The Beautiful Life was commissioned 
to make a custom versions of our
Mathematicus numbers pillows - 
they requested their pillows be embroidered with a room number for each of the guest rooms in their fabulous,
newly renovated boutique hotel on the Jersey shore -- 
-- featured as one of
Elle Decor's top 10 Chic Hotels.  
We blogged about it HERE

What a fun project that was!!
It was about the time we dealt with Sixx Design last year (April) that they were expecting their
first book to be unveiled - aptly named Downtown Chic.

They mentioned it to me and I got on the pre-order list with Amazon
so that as soon as it was out, I got one!
{The book is now sold out on Amazon!}

The book is full of practical tips for redoing your space, but also gives you a bit of a peek
into the lives of this uber-hip family and their homes.


How would you like to win a copy of this book??

What better timing, with their new show in full swing and their names as hot as ever in the media....
you can get your hands on this beautiful, inspirational and intimate book about the dynamic
design duo (and their 7 kiddos).   

Leave a comment on this post for an entry.

Want another shot at winning?  Feel free to blog about the giveaway!
(And let me know you did).  :)

I'll announce the winner next week on Wednesday 
(no particular reason for Wednesday -- I just can't stand long waits, so 
an entire week was WAY too long for me!! )

You do not have to have a blog to enter, but I will need SOME way to contact you 
if you win, so PUHLEEZE, pretty please, leave me your email address if you comment
under "anonymous".  Okay?   

Have a super weekend as we near the end of May and (GULP) inch closer 
toward June.  That's just crazy!   HOW can it be almost half a year is over??

Before long, it will be time for the July buying markets where it will be all about Christmas! 
WHAT?????   It amazes me every year...

Okay, peeps -- let me hear from you on this post if you would like a shot at this 
FUNKY-FAB book by those FABBY-HIP Novagratz's!   

Stay cool!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Happy Friday, Ya'll! A Few More Things Added To "Miscellany"!

Ready for the weekend??  

This glorious, beautiful, delightful, relaxing weekend??

Me too!!

Before you get away, I wanted to tell you real quick about some of 
the newest items just added to the 

section of the store and there are at least 10 more things that will be
going up tomorrow.

But for now, here is what has just been added --

Two vintage painted wooden auction paddles.
Two and only two.

Oh the stories of bidding these paddles could tell, huh?

You will LOVE these vintage shopkeeper's signs!!!
There are four different ones -- but ONLY ONE OF EACH.
Grab 'em while you can!!

Two BEAUTIFUL porcelain plates depicting French salon chairs...
Ooh to the La La La....!

Yeah yeah...
So the whole number fixation thing is still going on...

These fabulous vintage ceramic number tiles are now for sale.

Hard decision to make, but here they are.
May they go to a good home.


If Marlene Dietrich invited us into her dressing area or 
penthouse apartment, I would not have been surprised to see 
THIS wall plate on the wall...
GLAM -o -RAMA!!!

One only!

For now,
I  am preparing to dart out the door and ...

drumroll please....


It's Friday night for crying out loud!
Am I NUTS????   :)

I typically don't darken the door of the local malls -- lot of reasons for it:
lack of time, lack of need, lack of desire to be crushed in among hundreds of other 
fast-walking, on-a-mission people heading for who-knows-what with great urgency,
and mainly 
we don't live closer than 30 minutes to any of the several malls in this area,
so for me online shopping ROCKS!   

But tonight, I make an exception
and I plan to throw myself into and thoroughly enjoy it!

And if you pass someone tonight in a mall walking 
d-e-a-t-h-l-y slow in her pony hair cowhide print heels, 
with a sipping a venti Starbucks Cafe Americano 
and peering wistfully into Sephora...


That would be moi.

Say hi, will ya?

Love you guys!!

Check back at the store tomorrow if you'd like to see more
of the "Miscellany" that is going up on the block for sale!

From my mall to yours,

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Ya'll.... I'm Flipping Through The Pages Of The New Vakre Hjem... And FLIPPIN' LOVING IT!

(Fedex image from Google)

Our poor Fedex guy....

He just left our cases of Vakre Hjem Interior magazines and I think he's learned his lesson...

Poor guy, 
he was all leaned over and struggling with each case he lugged to our doorstep
so I'm thinking he will use his dolly next time and make ONE trip to the
door and save the wear and tear on his back!   

I wonder if he thought he was delivering five thousand rounds of ammo or something...

Those boxes of magazines ARE really, really heavy, so I do feel sorry for him.

But on to the mags...


I've got a copy in front of me right now and it is awesome!

And if you all like them as much as I think you are going to,
then Fedex may just need to skip the delivery guy and his
truck, and just land this right on our property:

Just had to share because I'm so excited for you to try it out!

If you haven't 




Okay, well I'm going to get back to skimming this magazine...
you'll excuse me, won't you?

{love my "job"...}