Saturday, December 27, 2008

My Holiday Ice Princess


For Christmas this year my daughter Aspen saved her money to buy me the most wonderful Christmas present I have ever received, and I am 33! She knows of my love for antiques and all things French, and she saved her hard earned money to buy me this special doll for my Christmas gift. I just love it to pieces, and had to share this present with all of you. I would feel selfish keeping her all to myself. She has sultry black cat eyes and pressed red pouty lips that just tug on my heart strings. From her extravagant silk floral shawl and delicate black net lace dress to her original eyeglass necklace this doll was made from me! I love that she is a bit tattered and worn as that is how I feel some days. Don't you just adore the gorgeous silk ribbon rose holding her up do?! I hope all of your holiday memories this year have been as sweet and enduring as mine have.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Dear Santa...


Right before the Dear Santa Letter...
Aspen: So mom is Santa really true?
Mom: I dunno, what do you think?
Aspen: Well I think that he might be but I don't think he is
Mom: How come?
Aspen: Well because my friends told me that he isn't and last year I saw presents under grandmas tree from Santa before Christmas.
Mom: Well maybe Santa dropped them off early?
Aspen: True, but my friends all say it is just made up...
Mom: Hmm? Well I would believe, I have heard if you don't believe, Santa doesn't bring you presents....
Aspen: Well I want to believe..."long pause"
Aspen: Mom, are you Santa?
Mom: Like I said, I would believe...Wink, Wink, Wink....
Aspen: Hmm...
Aspen: Please tell me, I am in sixth grade and I deserve to know
Mom: You deserve to know?
Aspen: Yes, I deserve to know and it would make me trust you if you just tell me the truth. Come'on mom!
Mom: No, sweetie...Santa is not real
Aspen: That just gave me sorrow
Mom: It's OK to believe, it is the symbol of Santa and Christmas we should always believe in.
Aspen: Believe in what, a big fake fat guy in a funny looking red suit?
Mom & Aspen: hahahaha, laugh, laugh....laughed some more and then, a few hours later, The Dear Santa Letter...
I guess it just goes to show you it truly is OK to have childlike wonder and believe!




The past week I was able to be a room mother at my daughter Aysha's third grade class. We had so much fun making and decorating gingerbread houses. The kids all did such a great job and this was such a fun activity for them. Surprisingly easy enough for the kids to do all on there own, and the clean up wasn't to bad. If you are looking for a fun holilday craft for your little ones this year this is a great idea. The base of the gingerbread house is just a milk carton covered with brown paper and securely glued to the cardboard base. This can be prepared prior to the kids starting the craft. We bought tons of candy and just let the kids have fun imagining and decorating their houses. The frosting you will need to prepare 10 minutes prior.
The gingerbread house frosting recipe:
1 bag powdered sugar
3 egg whites
1 tsp cream of tarter
Mix all of this together in your mix master and then place it in a decorating bag. Its that easy! Have fun and enjoy your holiday gingerbread house.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

"Snow" Much Fun

This past weekend "The Hunk" and I took our annual trip to spend the day in Park City. Park City is a little ski resort town nestled deep in the mountains of Utah. It is such a quaint little town full of lots of fun things to do. From small unique boutique shops on historical main street, to the worlds best skiing this is the place you want to be in the winter months. We love spending time walking down main street, browsing the shops, people watching and just hanging out among all the tourists. Park City also hosts the Sundance Film Festival in January. If you ever get a chance to come to Utah during the winter you want to be sure to visit Park City. The food is incredible, from fine dining to beer & nuts on the deck of a historical building looking over main street, you will just love it.






The Hunk and I got a bit carried away and had a huge snow fight...as you can see from the pictures below he won, I was totally tackled..."Which doesn't sit very well with me, as I like to win"... I feel another snow fight coming on soon!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Saying Goodbye to John Deere Green...But Hellooo Chocolate

The past two weekends have been spent giving my front room a new French Parisian make-over. It was time to say goodbye to John Deere Green and Hellooo to Chocolate! About a year ago I painted my front room this lovely green color and while I thought it was hip at the time, I was so wrong. After living with it for what seems like an eternity I spotted this yummy chocolate brown color and knew, a change was on the horizon! The hunk was a trooper and totally was game for helping me re-paint and re-decorate the entire room. "Truth be known he wasn't digging John Deere Green either!"

Before repainting we thought it would be fun to use the blank wall as a giant canvas to play around and have fun with! My favorite was this I Heart You that I painted...you can tell "The Hunk" is just thrilled to have his picture taken in front of it!

I have been gathering pieces for this makeover for the past few months, and am thrilled with the end result. What a great excuse as well to get new furniture! I am in love with the antique re-upholstered French sofa & over sized reading chair. Here you will see before and after shots of the makeover.



I love collecting crowns & things and this old French hutch is the perfect display piece for these small collectibles.

This is my favorite boudoir doll from my collection. I enjoy collecting these as well. Even though the French Boudior Dolls are not high end collectibles something about them speaks to me. Their sassy looks, rich clothing, moody eyes and pouty lips I just adore. She even still has her pearl necklace and bloomers on! I purchased this doll from another online boutique "French Garden House" several years ago.

Dress forms and mannequins are one of my very favorite things to decorate with. In fact if you come to my home you may find it a bit strange, I seem to have them in every room.

I love French Object De' Art pieces, from old French doorknockers to beautiful bookends they always bring delight to my eyes.

My passion in decor is lighting and my favorite chandeliers of all time are the original early 1900 Italian Beaded Chandeliers. In this room I have used an large beaded chandy and a 5 light beaded wall sconces as well. I have also lit the room with corner accent chandeliers, lamps and candlelight.

I love the unique and appealing qualities of this gorgeous old dress form. Using it in such an unconventional way adds to the art and appeal of the rooms decor.

I hope you have enjoyed this little room makeover as much as I have. I plan on spending many hours using it or just walking by to admire the beauty of it all.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Crowning Achievements

Oh I am so excited I can hardly stand it! Bloggers, I have been keeping this humongous secret for the past 4 months...and finally I am so excited to be able to share it with all of you! Romantic Homes Magazine, one of my very favorite decorating magazines of all times came to me a few months ago and asked me if I would like to be featured in their magazine! After catching my breath, I accepted their offer with delight! I have wanted to be a contributer to the magazine for years, and this opportunity came with such surprise! My feature is in the January 2009 issue that was placed on the stands today! Someone must pinch me as I truly can't believe this has happened. I am so thankful and feel so much gratitude to have such a gracious story written about me. Below are some of the photos that were not used as part of the article.












I hope you enjoy the article and getting to know a little bit more about me, xo Alys

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Give Thanks


Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. During this time of the year I often reflect on all of the things I am thankful for. Getting together with family and friends, enjoying the day talking and reflecting over the years is one of my favorite pastimes.

It goes without saying the food is always delicious! One of my favorite dishes at Thanksgiving time is Pomegranate Salad. I will post the recipe for it here tomorrow. Pomegranates are in season during this time of year. This salad is super easy to whip up and compliments the turkey and dressings so well.

A little list of some of the things I am thankful for...

The Words I Love You * Flowers * Porch Swings * Family * Bubble Baths * Freedom * Big Closets* Good Health * Candlelit Dinners * Wishes * Dishwashers * Picnics * Smiles * A Good Song * Chocolate * Hair Spray * Holding Hands * Diversity * Lemons * Beaches * Grace * Jeans that fit * Honesty * True Friends * Thoughtfulness * Lipstick * Bedtime * Indoor Plumbing * Life * Talent * Thin Mints * Victoria Secret * Teachers * Dreams * Mentors * Good Food * My Blog * First Class * Grilled Cheese * Babysitters * Air Fresheners * Art * My Brothers * Heart to Hearts * The Right Tools * New Shoes * Love * Seasons * Quiet Time * Laughing * Game Night * A/C * Heirlooms * Generosity * Time * Cellphones * Sunshine * Kisses * A Good Book * People * Traditions * Dancing * Nordstroms * My Toothbrush * A Desire to Learn * CheeseCake * Vacations * My Favorite Shows * Boating * Sunday Drives * My House * Memories * Being a Mom * Technology * Good Drivers * Love Notes * Our Country * A Shoulder to Cry On * Shade Trees * My Job * Soy Chai * Choice * Spa Days * Wii Rock Band * History * Bubble Gum * My Girls * Non Iron Clothes * Soul Mates * Fun * My Blog Readers*

What are you thankful for this holiday season?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A 9 Year Old Pirate Gala

Happy Birthday to you...Last night was Ayshas 9 year old birthday party. We had so much fun getting dressed up as pirate princesses and turning our home into a pirate ship. I can't believe my baby just turned 9! It seems like only yesterday that she was just a tiny baby in my arms. She is growing up so fast and is such a fun little girl. With the most sweetest personality and funny as a clown, I am so lucky to be her mom! Aysha loves all of her friends and is quite the entertainer. We made up these invitations below for her to send out to all of her shipmates to come and join in on the fun!

This is a very inexpensive way to make and send out invitations. I had them printed up at Costco for 2.35 if you can believe it! Everyone loved how much fun they were!

One of Aysha's favorite people is Anders her cousin. She takes such good care of him and loves him so much!


These pirate cupcakes were the hit of the party. If you are ever in need of specialties cakes or cupcakes Dippidees is the place to go. Not only do these cupcakes look so adorable they were absolutely divine & delicious as well!

~Best Shipmates~

Happy Birthday My Little Pirate Princess, xo Love Mom