scent from heaven…

I love fragrances! I love perfume, I love soap and detergent with scents, I adore scented candles…I even love a certain floor cleaner that rhymes with “sniffer”. However, as I mentioned in an earlier post this week, as an online retailer, it’s a tough sell ’cause scent is very subjective and you just can’t sniff the computer screen. That doesn’t mean I can’t recommend some of my favorite scents for you to check out locally, if you can find them.

In the home fragrance category, I’d have to recommend these three: Fruits & Passion, Lollia and Beautea.

FRUITS & PASSION

Spray this fresh scent in your kitchen…blissful! My favorite is the “Coriander & Olive Tree”, but they carry a range of gorgeous scents. They also have wonderful body lotions, soaps and home cleaning products. Click on the image to go to their website.

Coriander and Olive Tree

Coriander and Olive Tree

Fig and Savory Flower

Fig and Savory Flower

Ginger and Sicilian Lemon

Ginger and Sicilian Lemon

Lime Zest and Cypress

Lime Zest and Cypress

Sanguinelli Orange and Fennel

Sanguinelli Orange and Fennel

Zucchini Flower and Truffle

Zucchini Flower and Truffle



photo courtesy Fruits & Passion

LOLLIA

I don’t know how they do it, but Lollia makes the most amazing candles, soaps and perfumes. My absolute favorite is “1,000 Flowers”. Don’t go through life without smelling some Lollia. Even when the candle isn’t lit, the scent wafts my way when I’m sitting near it. Love, love, love it!

photo courtesy Lollia

BEAUTEA

I carried this line of products, but I’m thinking of discontinuing it ’cause it’s a hard sell if people can’t actually smell it (I only carry the body lotion right now). I really love the line, so if it’s available locally, definitely check it out–particularly the candles!!!! They’re organic soy and the scents combine exotic floral and tea blends.

photo courtesy Beautea

In the perfume category, I’ve got two favorites: Chanel’s Coco and Jo Malone’s Lime Basil Mandarin.

So there are my favorite picks. What do you like? Any recommendations that I should try?

smashing tiles…

I was watching Kirstie Alley‘s TV show the other night, and I noticed the tiles that Nate Berkus had installed throughout her kitchen on an Oprah makeover show. Although green tiles don’t sound appealing, these ones are somehow quite lovely. They have a beautiful shiny glaze and look like something you would see in a beautiful home in Mexico. This photo of Kirstie’s kitchen doesn’t do it justice.

photo courtesy Oprah.com

So I thought it would be fun to look at some of the more interesting backsplash options out there (I’m an interior design junky, so any excuse to look at photos, and I’m all over it!). I really like this kitchen. Aren’t the blue tiles cheerful? The woven natural blinds are a wonderful contrast and keep it from being too cool.

photo courtesy Houzz

The pressed tin tiles and the pink curtains remind me of a Parisian bistro. The cabinetry, tiles and leaded window all work really well together.

photo courtesy Houzz

These sexy black tiles are intriguing. I’m not sure about the whole look, though. Something isn’t quite right, and I think it’s the white outlet covers. I don’t like how much they contrast, and I don’t like the fact that the covers don’t match the actual outlets. There has got to be a better choice–are there such things as stainless steel covers?

photo by Amoroso Design via Houzz

What is it about light blue tiles that just makes me swoon? They work beautifully with the chandelier!

photo by Feldman Architecture, Inc. via Houzz

I appear to have a thing for green tiles too…who knew? I would definitely consider this design in my kitchen…are you listening, Mark?

photo by BiglarKinyan Design via Houzz

monday funday…

The wind (which kept us awake last night) is blowing and the sky outside my office is positively ominous. I’m sitting at my desk freezing, but too lazy to get up and put on a sweater…and resolutely NOT turning on the heat at the end of March!!!

It serves me right for being such a show-off in earlier posts about how early Spring arrived in the Pacific Northwest this year and how the cherry blossoms were dripping off the trees. Stupid karma!

So three cheers to our friends to the east, who suffer much longer winters and smug west-coasters! Hope this warms your day too!

This is an infinity pool with butler service in the Six Sense Hotel in Koh Yao Noi, Thailand (northeast of Phuket). I’d say that’s on my Bucket List for sure!!!

photo by Newsdesk.se via Woman's Day

Hang in there. Only a couple more months…almost time to get the jam jars out of the basement! I love to take the kids strawberry picking. We all come out of the fields with pails and stomachs full of these little parcels of sunshine.

photo courtesy Edible Portland

And why not throw in a summer libation that calls for strawberries?! During my blogging, I keep reading about drinks with basil, so here’s one with strawberries and basil–sounds divine. This is the Basil Grande posted on Hostess With The Mostess–a fabulous site if you’re planning a party!

photo courtesy Hostess With The Mostess

Hostess With The Mostess’ Basil Grande

4 fresh strawberries, hulled
5 fresh basil leaves
1 ounce vodka
1 ounce Chambord
1 ounce Grand Marnier
3 ounces cranberry juice


Directions:

Muddle strawberries and basil in shaker base.
Add other ingredients and shake with ice.
Use a fine strainer into a martini glass.
Garnish: Dust with black pepper and floating basil leaf.

I just adore these sweet lanterns. They bring back memories of cutting with blunt scissors in grade school (hmmm…don’t recall the other kids having “blunt” pairs). I’m definitely going to make some with Jane this summer. The sherbet color combination is compelling!

photo by Craftzone.com via Sew Mo blogspot

I hope everyone is planning their summer hat–may it be as supercalifragilistic as Samantha’s on Sex and the City! You gotta know I’m going to be wearing a hat ALL THE TIME–I’m a redhead and my arms and legs are so white that I think they actually reflect the sun away from me. Can you say SPF?

photo via Fabsugar

Of course you’re going to have to get some super groovy sunglasses too (How clever am I to find a kid with purple sunglasses to match Samantha’s dress!) Never too soon to shop (and wish) for summer!!! If you’re like me, it will be the end of July and you’ll think, “Gee, I could use a pair of sunglasses and some flip flops!” By the way…I have a beef with “flip flops”…my kids squeal every time I say “thongs”. Since when did the term change? Was I asleep during the last decade and somebody decided, “That’s it. Enough of that smutty name. From now on, they shall be called flip flops”?

photo courtesy Love to Know

chocolat ooh la la…

Easter in Paris looks très delicious at Patrick Roger‘s chocolate boutique. I came across this amazing chocolatier in a fantastic blog called The Paris Kitchen, definitely worth your time to take a look. This just confirms my theory that I am actually a displaced Parisienne, who should return to her make-believe homeland immédiatement!

photo courtesy The Paris Kitchen

These are Patrick Roger’s chocolate boutiques in Paris. Ces sont tres magnifique, n’est-ce pas?

photo courtesy Patrick Roger

photo courtesy Patrick Roger

photo courtesy Patrick Roger

friday night happy happy..

House is clean (never happens)…kids are both at friends (never happens)…hubby’s on the way home late (always happens)…the dogs aren’t at the windows harassing passersby (never happens)…I’ve got time to read new magazines with a glass of chilled wine and my beloved sappy smooth hits playing on the stereo without someone saying their ears are actually bleeding (never, ever, ever happens).

This is a line-up of SOME of the magazines that have been backing up on my desk. Clearly, the fact that I have multiple issues of the same magazine is an indication of just how far behind I am. I need a weekend just to clear up the log jam. What a wonderful dilemma!

Here’s a Friday assignment for you: Read a new magazine this weekend! You won’t regret it…EVER.

tea & flowers…

To carry, or not to carry Beautea products? That’s my question. It’s a line of gorgeous organic soy hand soaps, hand creams and candles that I carry on Nicole Jane Home. They have the most beautiful exotic tea and flower scent blends (e.g., Black Ceylon tea & Imperial Rose) and I love them.

People who walk into my home always comment about the scent when I burn the candles (it’s not one of those cloying perfumey smells), and I sell a lot of the product to friends and customers who pick up orders in person at the warehouse. I’m low on stock and I’m not sure I’ll reorder. The problem is, I think that people are hesitant to purchase it over the internet–no way to test it.

It’s one of the hardest aspects of having an internet business–customers have to take a leap of faith and trust they’re going to like something. So I’m asking for your very appreciated input. What are your opinions about buying this type of product over the internet?

photo by Reinier De Smit for Nicole Jane Home

salvaged lighting designs…

I am in love with Lamp Cage! I discovered the Toronto designer’s website through Julia Black on Arren Williams’ style blog. According to Julia, Lamp Cage’s designer, Dean, uses  salvaged materials to create his gorgeous lighting pieces. He does custom lighting too!

These are a few of his pieces…sigh!

photo courtesy Lamp Cage

photo courtesy Lamp Cage

photo courtesy Lamp Cage

photo courtesy Lamp Cage

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