Today I’m featuring the delightful watercolor illustrations of Caitlin McGauley.
Watercolor Illustration | Caitlin McGauley
Her bright colors and simple subjects are fun and refreshing and a reflection of a girl who revels in purchasing a new paint color as much as new shoes!
Watercolor Illustration | Caitlin McGauley
Caitlin McGauley offers her works through her website, private commissions, and causes close to her heart. I also love seeing her illustrations over at Kate Spade’s website, Lonny, and Daily Candy.
Watercolor Illustration | Caitlin McGauley“Friendship”
That’s the title of my post today because Caitlin’s work is reminding me of someone special.Watercolor Illustration | Caitlin McGauley A friend who I’ve come to know through blogging.  Imagine that!
Watercolor Illustration | Caitlin McGauley
Actually, there are many bloggers who will tell you that they too are delighted to call her a friend.
Watercolor Illustration | Caitlin McGauley She’s famous for the stories she writes about people, places and things. She really pulls you in & is known for occasionally pulling your leg which you don’t realize until “The End!”
Watercolor Illustration | Caitlin McGauleyThese days she writes her stories in her cozy cottage far, far away but remains close to us in all the “social” ways. We’re still trying to get the girl on Skype but she’s always off touring castles on the Scottish Highlands with her Kilted husband!
Watercolor Illustration | Caitlin McGauley I’m happy to report though that she made her way back to the States just in time to celebrate the holidays & her birthday with her fabulous friends and family!
Watercolor Illustration | Caitlin McGauley She’s a stylish & sophisticated one who remains true to form.
Watercolor Illustration | Caitlin McGauley
And no matter where she is, she remains close to all of our bloggy hearts.
Watercolor Illustration | Caitlin McGauley
Happy Birthday, Duchess!

Be sure to visit Caitlin McGauley at her website and blog where she’s happy to show you her sketchbook!
Caitlin's Sketchbook
And by all means, be sure to visit my dear “Duchess” Deb Peterson Milne at her blog where she pens all those wonderful stories I was telling you about ~
Dumbwit Tellher


Merry Christmas


via Nell Hill

Dear friends and family,

Wherever you are, far or near, I wish you and yours ~ peace, love, good health, and happiness.

Merry Christmas!

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Going Shopping!

Thank goodness for Gift Guides!
Ikea Gift Wrap
They’re everywhere & for everyone!
A virtual treasure trove of thoughtfully edited gift-giving ideas by fabulous bloggers, designers, stylists, and tastemakers is making shopping easier than ever this year. 
Here’s a sampling of some of my favorites!
Design Sponge
Grace BonnyGrace Bonney at Design Sponge is at the top of my list with an assortment of really wonderful ornaments & trimmings for decorating the tree.

Skyla Freeman is a Capitol Hill staffer & former writer for President George W. Bush. From her darling D.C. apartment, Skyla writes her stylish decorating blog - Sanity Fair. Her gift list would be a book-lovers dream!
Skyla Freeman WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 10:<br />Wednesday October 10,  2012 in Washington, DC.<br />(Photo by Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)<br /><br />

Paula who writes the darling blog two ellie posted her own children’s wishlists! My kids would be thrilled if I did that. What do you wanna bet the Grands read two ellie too ~
Smart mom.
Paula of Two Ellie, and her family.

Sarah Tolzmann who pens one of my favorite blogs, Note To Self  has got things covered with gift ideas for the ladies the gents and also the host!
Sarah Tolzmann 

Design For Mankind
Erin Loechner writes Design for Mankind and has put together a practical gift guide for the brother-in-law, “Because he swears it’s “Dob kit.”
Erin Loechner

Oh Joy! Bonnie Tsang has gathered together a list of great utilitarian gifts for the hands-on kind of girl.
Bonnie Tsang

Katie Armour has a festive roundup of things that make her smile at the Neo-Traditionalist.
Katie Armour

Blair Friedeman at Delight by Design has two lists that caught my eye. One for the glam girl who’s practically impossible to shop for and another list for the “natural” entertainer.
Blair Friedeman

At Julie Leah – a life & style blog she’s got the hard-to-buy-for guy all figured out and his preppy girlfriend too!
Julie Leah

CapturedmGabrielle Blair is a Design Mom who has pulled together a gift guide for doing good!  I say she’s already doing good – Just look at her darling family! Check out some of her favorite products that give back.
Gabrielle Blair and Family

I seriously am so thrilled about finding this manly-man list for the MR. at The City Sage.
Thank you so much, Anne!
Anne Sage

 Playing Dirty Santa or Yankee Swap? Camila Pavone will show you how to play in Effortless Style! She’s got a grab-bag list for under $20!
I adore this photo of Camila & her husband grabbing a sweet moment!
Camila and Jonathan Pavone

kirstenheaderTo wrap things up Kirsten Krason at 6th Street Design School has the greatest examples of free holiday gift tags I’ve ever seen! Ready for you to download, print, and sign with your own special holiday message!
Thank you, Kirsten!Kirsten Krason at 6th Street Design School
One last bit of news.
 to & from magazine is here!
to and from
This week, co-founders Katie Anderson & Meg Biram launched their premier Holiday 2012 issue!
Katie Anderson of www.modern-eve.comMeg Biram of www.megbiram.com
Thank you, everyone. You’re the greatest gifts of all! 
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Oh no! Still browsing?
Here’s a Stress Cupcake from Think Geek.
Stress Cupcake
  • Relieve stress by squeezing this cupcake.
  • Fewer calories than eating a cupcake.
  • Do not eat the Stress Cupcake.


Gifts from The Sea

  Gathered from waters around the world~ Sometimes sacred, always sentimental. From a child's handful of sandy white treasures to my grandmother’s long strands of pearls ~ gifts from the sea have always been precious to me.
When I was young they allowed me to hold on to summer dreams.

Image via Pinterest 
Over the years another gift from the sea that I’ve come to love is mother-of-pearl. Just like it’s namesake, this young offspring evokes thoughts of femininity & luxury.
Mother Of Pearl via Google ImagesI love the way the iridescent inner shell or nacre captures the light. I especially love the way it glows in candlelight.
Photo | Lisa Porter
A mother-of-pearl handle applied with a decorative ferrule to a sterling silver serving piece will always embellish a well-laid table.  I enjoy mixing old and new along with my Capiz shell hors d'oeuvre plates.
Photo | Lisa Porter
Can you imagine dining in a shimmering shell-encrusted conservatory ~
Dramatic Dining Rooms Written and produced by Debra Steilen for Traditional Home. Click to read more.  source 
At night the silver from the mother-of-pearl walls sparkles beautifully in the candlelight of a late-19th-century Italian chandelier.
Currey and Co. at Seaside Home
Beautiful light also makes its way into
a gift by the sea ~ Bringing with it a soothing beach palette that captures the essence of California style.
Welcome to Seaside Home.
Seaside Home La Jolla
This design atelier and boutique in the heart of La Jolla is one of my favorite destinations when we head home to the coast!
Seaside Home La Jolla
Within the architecturally detailed interior, a noteworthy ensemble of some of the world’s most renowned and sought-after furnishings and accessories beautifully blend relaxed lifestyles with the elegantly polished traditions of America’s coastal history.
Seaside Home La JollaFurniture by Baker, Ralph Lauren, and Century ~ Bed and bath linens from Sferra & Peacock Alley ~ Lighting by Curry & Co. ~ Italian pewter by Match & William Yeoward's crystal are part of an extensive collection of elite names in design and d├ęcor all displayed in a polished & relaxed setting.
So pleased to also see the incredible works of La Jolla artist Harrison Howard in Seaside Home’s design atelier. He’s a family favorite in La Jolla & in Lexington!
Californian’s know that a casual life by the sea allows one to erase the boundaries between indoor & outdoor living. 
Artel for Seaside Home La Jolla
This casually posh boutique offers what I personally consider to be the finest in outdoor living.
The beautiful Andalusia Collection by Richard Frinier.
Andalusia Collection by Richard Frinier The name of Richard’s collection makes me smile ~ Andalusia is one of the sunniest and warmest places in Europe, making it a center of sun and sand. It’s most definitely part of what makes Seaside Home a gift from the sea!
Did you know ~
I was featured in the latest issue of TRADhome where I named Seaside Home as my Go-To for Great Design!
Look for it in the latest Fall issue below!
Click to read Trad-Home Fall 2012