Vacation Ambience Everyday

I was out shopping yesterday for my daughter’s birthday present. While I really was intent on finding special things for her, my eyes landed on the most scrumptious pillow shams EVER. Not for her, for me! :-)

They are not fancy or fine in any way, they just happen to have the pattern and colors I really love. They are striped. I love stripes. And not just stripes, but multi-colored yummy shades of reds, corals, yellows, greens, tans, blues — oh so island-y!

Vacation Ambience Everyday

Actually, so Lodge at Koele on the island of Lanai. I could almost smell the pineapple & ocean breezes as I hugged those shams in my arms–I had to have them. I first laid eyes on this combination of colors in stripes 14 years ago at this 5-star luxury resort. I was sicker than a dog after riding across choppy waves in a dingy at turbo speed to the resort, but I managed to crack open my eyes enough to look at this fantastic hotel.

Oh, my! I was in heaven! I could’ve moved right in. I wasn’t there to spend the night, but my seasickness earned me the sympathy of the concierge and they let me rest in a room (I think they were actually embarrassed by me sprawled out on their lobby sofa…). Joy of all joys, I was taken to a suite with striped carpeting! I was hooked on stripes, those wonderful island colors, and British Colonial style forever. That hotel embodied everything I loved and still love to this day.

Vacation Ambience Everyday

It is moments like those that can shape your sense of style and how you want to live. Creating ambience in your home is trying to capture the essence of those experiences (real or imaginary) in big and small ways in your own home. Even if you have never been to your dream hotel, you can imagine it in your mind, find it in pictures and create it in your home. I love to recreate that memory in my everyday living, minus the wooziness, of course.

What could be better than laying your head down on a striped sham in a 5-star luxury resort on the island of Lanai? Being able to do that every night in your own home! Think of the colors, the fabrics, the wonderful fragrances, the little things that make that place special. You don’t need a huge budget to create those luxuries. Look at Target, Bed, Bath and Beyond, Pier One, TJ Maxx, Pottery Barn sales, or even ebay, until you find your own little reminders of your dream resort.

Gracious Hostessing 101: Big Butt Dining Chairs

Ok, I have been laughing so hard at my friend Alicia’s post on her new sofa (she ordered a Big Butt Sofa) that I just had to share it with you. I laugh because she is not the only one who contemplates such issues. I have my own little story to share along those lines.

I have been thinking lately about getting Big Butt Dining Room Chairs and an Ample Bodied Table. I have the most adorable antique dining table and chairs, but whenever we have guests of NORMAL sized (i.e. ample) derrières and modern day wider load bodies I cringe a little. I brace myself when I watch them aiming their behinds for those chairs that almost look like doll furniture. Then they pull the chair up to the table built for people 4″6 and they bump their knees. Awkward hostessing moments.

Gracious Hostessing 101: Big Butt Dining Chairs

Here is what it is like when you come to my house for a sit-down dinner (it is no coincidence that we usually serve potluck in the kitchen and avoid our dining table). I say things like this: “Welcome, friend, right over here…” [i.e. you are in the bigger butt category so I have to usher you over to a big-butt chair]…and “So glad you are here, have a seat” [pulling out a small-butt chair].Once I even thought ahead and made place cards (I am totally serious, and so embarrassed to admit this) according to butt-size. That backfired when I noticed people switching their place cards and I had to grab small-butt chairs out from under them and swiftly replace them with sturdy big-butt benches before they sat down. SO embarrassing. Reminds me of my son, who has been known to tape signs to my rear end “CAUTION: WIDE LOAD”. Obviously, I myself need the wider load benches.

Gracious Hostessing 101: Big Butt Dining Chairs

Moral of this story is if you are really wanting to be a charming and gracious hostess, GOOD GRIEF have Big Butt Chairs for everyone.

Gracious Hostessing 101: Big Butt Dining Chairs
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