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Posts Tagged ‘Interior Design East Greenbush Ny’

Oh, Goodwill! Just when I’m ready to break up with you , you surprise me with something cool..head board bench 5

Throw out the notion that good design is expensive, or must be carried out by a head board benchprofessional and can only be bought in a fancy store. I live in a real home on a thrift store budget. A great look is affordable and attainable to anyone who is willing to roll up their sleeves and dive in. So, get ready to go junking, tune up the sewing machine, and buy a good paint brush. Your home’s potential is waiting to be realized and you’re the one who’s going to discover it.

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Remember these two gems for $5 each!!

I transformed these thrift store chairs into Ballard Design Chairs…  see the ad from Ballard Designs below. I used a canvas drop cloth for the upholstery, $9

Total $14.00

Ballard design Louis xv Salon Chair

 

 

 

How about some art for your walls? My favorite Garage Sale find was this landscape piece of art for $5 the solid wood frame is Stunning! (See it hung on my wall in the picture above the Recycled Chairs!)

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Best Yard Sale find $5.00

 

 

clock table

A clock style top gives this table an original look while a distressed finish keeps the design country. This would fit in a Joanna and Chip’s Fixer Upper design!!! Learn more at scavengerchic.com on this transformation.

Garage-Sale

When spring time comes around, homeowners across the country take the opportunity to make a big push towards organization and cleanliness. One of the best ways to get rid of all that clutter after the big cleaning is to host a garage sale,  which is why spring is the best time of the year for avid bargain hunters, too. If you’re looking for the bargain of a lifetime or that rare find, goodwill, garage sales and thrift stores are full of great bargains!

 

XOXO

 

M

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As a designer I must admit I am addicted to design trends and 2017 is quickly approaching.. I think now is a great time to start exploring what trends are already shining through:

color-trends-2017-deep-grey

Organic color pallets – Muted, blues and greys still shining, with more organic and natural influences this years pallet will have deep greens, deeper greys and steel blues. There Back…..Deeper Jewel Tones! Deep colors are the best way to kick up a traditional space.

Archiexpo

Cork – As a designer I am very attracted to natural texture. Cork does double duty. It creates warmth in rooms while adding texture. To add another excellent element to this already shinning star, cork absorbs noise in our increasingly open and larger homes. In a home office or luxurious bedroom this trend is often a overlooked design element. Cork brings a unique story to any part of your home. The natural but soft texture of cork complements every style.

home-bar-1Home Bars – This latest home trend raises the bar on what was once considered only for the uber wealthy. Home bars are now becoming the norm.  At the end of a tough day at work, coming home and popping open a beer or decanting a glass of wine is a great way to unwind, but there’s just something special about making a cocktail at the bar.

mid-century-meets-traditional

Vintage goes Modern – In design, what goes around comes around. … start heading on over to your local vintage furniture store now to grab some great finds. Burled wood of the art deco period, classic campaign furniture and other vintage looks were front and center at High Point again this fall. Historic pieces and mid century modern are still going strong.

beautiful-bedroom-ideas-upholstered-headboards

Upholstered headboards – Expect more of this glamorous look, with luxurious fabrics and tufted bed heads. This trend is very versatile, and fits into any room. Nail head’s to tufted buttons, upholstered headboards are an instant way to update your boudoir. Tailored lovely and very desirable!

terracotta-bordered-tile

Terracotta – The color is already prominent in fashion trend this fall, but this is not your mamas tile! Tiles with a matte finish are used on feature walls and fireplaces. The tiles are bordered and in uniquely warmer hues with added texture.

With only a few months left in 2016, trends in 2017 for your home are already arising! Forecasters and designers are rolling in with the newest and hottest trends for your luxury home. So if you’re thinking about or already renovating or building your own luxury home, these are some trends to look out for. Come visit me at the Home Expo for your renovation projects, let the pro’s help you, stop in and see me for some inspiration! in booth 328.  We have a variety of experts on hand to talk to, so bring your ideas and let them help you complete your list.

Stay tuned as always for more Adventures in Styleland…

 

XOXO

M

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dishwasher-ad-dishgruntled

 

 

josephine-cochranIn 1886, Josephine Cochran invented the first dishwasher, effectively bringing peace to a country torn by Civil War. Unfortunately Josephine would never see how innovative her dishwasher was because it wasn’t until the 1950″s that dishwashers became a standard kitchen appliance to the delight of housewives everywhere.

 

dishwasher-ad

 

Loading to Liftoff…

017_13J_dishwasher graphicTo achieve a cleaner outcome, start with how you pack the dishwasher. Dishes should face toward the middle of the unit, and bowls and cups should face down to make the most efficient use of the sprayer. Your glasses should go between the tines, not over, otherwise they could break. Pre-sort your silverware to make unloading that much easier.

 

Lastly, scrape plates before loading, and don’t bother rinsing detergents are designed to attack stuck-on grime, and will make your glasses cloudy if there is no food to attack. Dishwashers are designed to catch food, most models have their own food dispenser. Rinsing can waste both water and time. DO NOT over pack the dishwasher otherwise you might have to re-run the cycle!

Blast Off To The Stars!

Investing in an Energy Star certified dishwashers can save water, energy, and ease your utility bills. Energy Star dishwashers cap out at 5.8 gallons per cycle and only use half the electricity of the older models. As a comparison,  running your faucet for one minute uses about 1 gallon of water along with the electricity to heat it.

Bells and Whistles!

 

minion

 

There are a few tips and tricks that can make your dishwasher habits even easier. For instance, use a magnet to mark whether the dishwasher’s contents are dirty or clean, so your minions know when its time to unload. Unload the bottom rack first otherwise the water from the top rack could splash on your sparkly clean bottom dishes as you unload.

 

 

Do you know all the items that you can clean in your dishwasher-clean-itemsdishwasher, click on this link for POP SUGAR to see 30 everyday things from your greasy range fan filter to contact cases. Keep your dishwasher fresh by tossing a cup of white vinegar into the bottom of the empty unit and run a normal cycle. Lastly, don’t forget to clean the dishwasher seals and trap every once in a while.

With these tips and tricks, you can speed up the time you spend doing dishes, and save money in the process!

Stay Tuned for more Adventures in Styleland..

XOXO

M

 

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 Layering patterns involves four main elements: color, scale, shape and texture. If you’re like me and you fall in love with four times the amount of fabric you need at a showroom, you’ll need to go through some major editing. First up is color. Lay all your possible choices out on the floor and if certain ones look a hot mess and just don’t play well with others, remove them from the mix right away. It’s kinda like kicking an obnoxious reality cast member off the island after an elimination challenge but with fibers and weaves versus emotions and bad behavior.

Here’s an example of a great color edit. Notice how each of the fabrics sports different shades of a common color, blue? This is what you ultimately want; the varying intensities lead to an evolved, effortless look. Something else that’s happening here is a great mix of shapes going in different directions.

I borrowed this picture below from Ballard Designs.

Traditional

A traditional rug doesn’t have to define your space. Add in updated prints and colors pulled from the rug for a wonderful eclectic look.

1.) Carlson Rug
2.) Claire Gray
3.) Felicity Spa
4.) Lorenzo Charcoal
5.) Bark Twill
6.) Danish Linen Oatmeal
7.) Natural Microfiber, Bark Twill, Indochine Stone

8.) Kravet Indochine Ikat Stone

Traditional Layering

Contemporary

Keep a monochromatic color scheme interesting with great patterns that play well together and fabrics with tonal texture, like Kravet’s Scandicci Gray.

1.)Kravet Indochine Ikat Stone
2.) Kravet Toscana Ikat Slate
3.) Lorenzo Charcoal
4.) Asha Pewter
5.) Danish Linen Tea
6.) Scandicci Gray (Kravet)
7.) Panthea Rug (Gray)

Contemporary Layering

 Add contrast. Once you have your main color selection down, in this case its Grey, add a bit of contrast. See the Suzanni fabric #4 with the gold and pewter.

Vary the scale. While color and shape are easier to get a grasp on, scale is a bit more complicated. There are three different sizes of scale: small, medium and large. When mixing prints, try not to choose more than one of the same scale size; multiple patterns of the same scale often result in a heap of Hodgepodge. The person who does this best is Betsy Burnham, if we were all as talented as this women the world would be pattern of loveliness!

The perfect mix. We’ve got a large-scale pattern sporting an orange suzanni pattern, a medium-scale blue plaid which is traditional, and the small scale cheater global animal print. The trio is also different directionally; the rug runs horizontally, in this ethnic/global zigzag like pattern. But all of these prints work well together!! Hopefully you can use some of these tips when putting together patterns in your home…

As Always stayed tuned for more Adventures in Styleland….

XOXO

M

M

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Times Union Home Expo Banner

 

Home Expo 2015

Building a new home? Remodeling a room in your home? Well this year we have so much in store for you. Meet Jason Cameron February 8th, from the DIY Network. Watch our website for additional information on shows and events. My name is Michele Conti I am a local Designer/Blogger in the Albany Area! I will be here for the next few weeks, sharing information about the home expo, giving you DIY ideas and little blurbs about some of the Vendors and shows that the exhibitors will schedule during the expo. Check out our link on Times Union Home Expo. Below is a quick and easy DIY project for you… With a little help from Behr Paints available at Lowes located in the Times Union Center booth 284-285 this crafty idea was a breeze!!

Couch Seating DIY

Check out the Times Union Home Expo 2015 Web site and read my blog everyday now thru February 6th for great info and DIY projects!!

Chat with you soon!!!! Stay Tuned for more project information!

 

M

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It’s Furniture Friday!!!! I wanted to share this great find with you. I was in Buffalo NY visiting family.  One of my favorite haunts there is the Salvation Army at 252 S Cascade Dr, Springville, NY 14141. I always stop there. They seem to have a treasure for someone I’m currently working with.  Well on this Adventure in Styleland I found these:

Fabulous Find

Fabulous Find

My Goal was to transform them into the Louis the XV Salon chairs that I found on Ballard Design. Two of these beauties for only $10 how could you beat that! And so the project begins, here is a quick picture tutorial it took about a week to do both chairs.

 

Louis the IV Chair

Louis the IV Chair

 

Although these chairs retail for $700, the thrift store chairs look amazingly similar, almost exact same frame…

Removing the cording

Removing the cording

 

 

You can see the thousand staples used to attach the cording, this is only the beginning oy vey!! When asking Gabe to help with pulling the staples, he took pity on me, and I thought OK Green Light!!!  When my husband agrees to a project in our home (and by that I mean agrees to open his heart and sometimes his wallet to help me ), I act quickly.

Experience has taught me that green lights all too quickly turn yellow. Then, before you know it, there’s a big, fat red light staring at you through the windshield of your dreams.
When that happens, you are left with two choices… delays or apologies.  Trust me, it’s best to act while the light is green. Get Help when it’s offered!!!

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The fabric had just as many staples as the cording,  I will admit that by this time my fingers were a tad sore. The fabric came off quickly with Gabe’s strong hands… and before you know it we were down to the frame working together..

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Finally!!!! all the staples out and it was time for spray paint!!

 

The spay paint that I used was Satin Black from Rust-Oleum.

Black Spray paint for Ballard Chair Makeover

I spayed the frames with two coats and let them dry for a day before I began to start covering them, this also gave my hands a break, because at this point I was on my own, and was determined to finish these by the end of the week!

I decided to use drop clothes to cover these chairs,   I’ve always wanted to use drop cloths as a slipcover (from Martha Stewart’s magazine years ago). This was my opportunity, here is the what I used:

10 oz. drop cloth

10 oz. drop cloth

I washed and press the drop cloth first.  I used the old fabric we removed from the chair to create a pattern for the seat and back.

 

 

IMG_0113Stapling the fabric was a little tricky, I needed to pull it tight and staple it as I went, this didn’t always go smoothly, I had to remove some staples a couple of times because the fabric would pucker, but after you get a rhythm going, it goes along quickly. I did sew the fabric cording, and decided to use a black gimp on the arm pads.

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Here is the finished product (pictures are not professional). This was an easy project total cost was about $60! What do you think??

 

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Here is a picture of the living room where the chairs reside now,  complete with our Chocolate Lab Chino to compliment the brown in the room! Another project done!!

 

Stayed tuned for move Adventures in Styleland!!

 

XOXO

 

M

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Green Interiors

Green Interiors

This life is short, but very, very sweet. I’ve been dealing with a couple issues in my life recently, Mother Theresa passing, my daughter Giovanna leaving for college and taking on a job in an office, to help with college tuition for Gi. The office is nice, the girls are so sweet, (well, most of them) and the Gentleman who owns the business is young , good-looking, a talanted surgeon and a great guy!

But I’m missing my design friends! well to be quite honest, I miss being up on the ladder, in the middle of my designs, with the noisy construction workers that I just can’t leave alone,because I constantly have to put my 2 cents in !!  I miss Wednesdays at Denise Maurer Interiors, with Betsy Mattice and Patty Miller, but most of all I miss sitting at my computer during the day and taking a few minutes to blog to you and share my projects, ideas and news about whats got my attention in the Design World!!

I’m rethinking taking on this extra job, its taking me away from my first love, Design so maybe just working harder at my current business will bring in the extra cash for Giovanna’s education! Some new ventures have come my way, one is a great women I met through the internet. I am looking forward to meeting Carol from Green Interiors in person. She is a client that has opened a Green Design store in MA. The name is Green Interiors! She is coming to my neck of the woods for a couple of hours to meet with me and see my workroom (which is pretty impressive if I say so myself) .  We have been talking by phone for a couple of months and I have enjoyed our early morning conversations, starting our days off sharing ideas and working together to get projects on track,  and collaborating on designs. I can’t wait to meet her, I know we’ll hug and get right down to business.  No chatting about the weather and good local shopping.  We’ll get straight to the heart of things…our faith, our businesses, our families, our journeys, our struggles, our dreams for the future.   Conversations like that are good for the soul.  It’s amazing the kind of connections that are formed through this crazy social media and blog world.

Well, I’ve learned that when you meet internet friends, you bring a gift, so I’m bringing her one of my amazing bags made of vintage fabric. that my friend Kitty makes. I can’t wait to see if this Adventure will bring me back to Styleland full-time!

As Always, Stay tuned….

XOXO

M

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Spring is just around the corner, and one of the best ways to celebrate the season of new beginnings is to mix some of today’s fresh new fabrics into home decor. If you’re sad to see prints like the lattice, trellis and chevron start to lose traction, never fear. Many of these designs are still around, but with a twist. And other clean, bold styles are emerging. Below we spotlight some fabric patterns that are back in style. They are “new” in the sense that they are causing a stir this season, but you’ve definitely seen them (or some version of them) before. Check them out!

Ikat

Ikat Fabric designs unite centuries-old modes of craftsmanship with many gorgeously suffused palettes. Ikat literally translates as ‘to bind,’ hinting at the intricate processes involved in its making.

New Ikat Patterns

New Ikat Patterns

The ikat pattern takes the traditional chevron and gives it a little blur, ikat style. This is such a stylish and current design decor. The soft shades of gray with just a hint of yellow make it a perfect neutral choice. Chevron pulses with youthful energy. Perhaps that’s why it’s so popular with customers in their 20s and 30s. It’s fun to see their faces light up when they walk into stores and see fireball chairs.

If you’re closer to my age, chances are when you see chevrons you are reminded of the flame-stitch patterns that were so popular back in the day. Believe me, today’s chevrons are not like those kooky patterns in your mom’s living room. Done in turquoise, coral and emerald, they look brand-new. I love a chevron mixed in with more traditional fabrics in pillow arrangements, whether on a sofa or bed, to give the overall look more zip.

 

Ikat Chevron Pattern

Ikat Chevron Pattern

Carole Fabrics

Carole Fabrics

This Carole Fabric has been so popular, the citrine and blue together are exquisite! This fabric would make a great window seat!

Honeycomb

A honeycomb resurgence has been in the works on for the last few years, but recently designs have shifted away from heavily outlined prints and toward more natural, modern renditions. The Honeycomb Crewel Pillow Cover from West Elm, shown below, features a raised textural surface and an elongated design.

Honeycomb Pattern

Honeycomb Pattern

These patterns geometric in design are more classic with a modern twist!

Honeycomb

I love not only the honeycomb pattern but the color combination used on this distinctive light shade! Imagine building a room’s colors around this palette. Learn more at Shades of Light

Honeycomb Light Shade

Honeycomb Light Shade

 

Trellis

The Imperial Trellis pattern is nothing new but it has been making a big statement in interiors lately.  I must say, I think I am falling in love!

Imperial Trellis Schumacher

Imperial Trellis Schumacher

It is everywhere from upholstery, drapery, accessories and even wall paper. I am loving this dining room below.  The trellis pattern can be a bit busy as with any pattern, but this design was executed perfectly!  It is balanced with the white color palette and simple forms in the space.  There are so many traditional elements in this space yet it has a clean modern feel, my favorite!

trellis1                                                                                               Kelly Wearstler’s trellis is one of the most popular here are a few other favorites.

Fioretto Graphite

Fioretto Graphite

 

Dura Lee Covington

Dura Lee Covington

This great pattern is a Relaxed Roman on my Etsy Store!

 

 

Lattice

I must say that Trellis and Lattice are almost one in the same, but today’s designers have given yesterday’s lattice patterns a modern vibe. Even though the new look in lattice motifs is big and bold, this reinterpreted classic is really pretty quiet, so it works well mixed in with fabrics that are stronger, brighter and busier.

 

Lattice Chairs

Lattice Chairs

My favorite way to use lattice fabrics right now is on side chairs. They create an interesting backdrop for a host of fun decorative treatments in a room.

JeannieBottleTeal

Lattices also are ideal for layering, whether you’re pulling together window treatments or a grouping of accent pillows on a bedding ensemble that is as perky as a cup of morning coffee.

Carole Fabric

Carole Fabric

Lattice panels and pillows

Lattice panels and pillows

 

 

Lattice or Trellis??

Lattice or Trellis??

 

Scales

Sometimes mod, sometimes purely modern, the fish scale pattern can be traced back through a variety of decades, sporting an equal variety of looks. In this decade, the print has re-emerged on pillows, rugs and bedding, such as the Coral Lamu Duvet from Serena & Lily:

Fish Scale Design

Fish Scale Design

The pattern also comes in shades of brown and coral, making a striking statement as bedding, especially when paired with an upholstered headboard. The Chocolate and Coral Fish Scale Euro Shams can be seen in the images that follow. While the pattern is advertised as sporting a bohemian style, the curves of the print can veer into Art Deco territory with the right accessories.

Fish Scale

Fish Scale

 

 

If you’re a true Hollywood Regency enthusiast who appreciates a clean-lined geometric pattern, you’ll love the Scales Pillows in Citron and Teal, Fabric from Spoon Flower. These Down filled pillows would make a statement in any room!

Spoon Flower Fabric

Spoon Flower Fabric

 

What do you think of these “new” fabric patterns? It’s nice to change things up, right?! Trends are clearly leaning toward the tribal. If tribal style is a reaction to crisp, clean-lined patterns, then what could be next? Another celebration of defined, outlined prints? Hope you enjoyed this take on patterns…

 

As always, stay tuned for more Adventures in Styleland!!!

 

XOXO

 

M

 

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The art of Gift Wrapping!!

The art of Gift Wrapping!!

Holiday Gifts: How to make yours stand out

November 21, 2012 at 9:31 am by TU Magazines

The Art of Wrap

By Janet Reynolds/Life@Home

Sure, you can cover a box with some holiday paper, stick on a bow, maybe some ribbon and call it a day. Or with just a little extra time and ingenuity you can create something that has recipients feeling special before the box is even open.

We asked interior designer Denise Maurer, of Maurer Interiors in Troy, aided by interior designer Michele Conti, of Designs by Michele in Niskayuna, along with a secret elf who wants to remain nameless, for their best wrapping tips. Here are just a few of their wonderful ideas.

Bright Idea!  Save wallpaper scraps and you’ve always got gift wrap on hand.

Just about anything can take on a second life as a gift decoration.

Bright Idea!  Use a mini picture-frame instead of  a card.

Who says red and green are the only holiday gift wrapping colors?

Among the goodies Maurer and Conti used for these natural-looking wraps are wallpaper, brown paper bags, retired drapery tassels, older Christmas tree ornaments and, of course, pine cones.

Maurer’s top tip: Wrap first; embellish later. “You can focus on how it all goes together that way,” she says. Maurer saves bits of everything. “I’m always looking at something and thinking what could I do with this?”

Who says red and green are the only holiday gift wrapping colors? Both Maurer and Conti try to color-coordinate their wrapping. Here, peacock feathers and bits of former ornaments help make these packages pop.

Why take the time? “It’s a lot of fun putting it together,” Maurer says. “And it’s nice to unwrap something you don’t want to unwrap.”

Adds Conti, “It’s part of the gift.”

What every wrapper should have on-hand

  • glue gun
  • glue stick
  • double-sided clear tape
  • floral wire
  • regular clear tape

Photos by Colleen Ingerto/Life@Home

Great ideas for gift wrapping, holiday or any occasion!! Enjoy!!

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This year I was totally out of my realm. Perfect is how I always do a holiday!!! This year was more relaxed to say the least. but my home (as a designer is usually over the top)  this year….Not so much… Clearly not a sign of things to come I can assure you, but phrases like “less is more”  and words like “thrifty” were our motto as we attempted to finish a huge project (painting the livingroom, dining room and kitchen) we took on a week before Thanksgiving! OH MY DEAR LORD! What in heaven’s name was I thinking. This ment exhaustion, stress and I have to say, my home was not ready for entertaining and no window treatments (hence the “Less is more” phrase came into play here!!!) Some Pictures of the before and after…

Before

Before

After

After

So here I am New Years Day ! Reflecting on all I have accomplished  during the holidays, our home was crazy busy!!!! Working, caring for our children, baking, shopping, taking care of Mother Theresa, Decorating, Thanksgiving, Christmas and finally New Year!!!!!!!   Yay, whew……we made it.. and in the midst of all of the holiday rush and the busyness I had to admit to myself that I was addicted to Creating and Decorating. Yes My Name is Michele and I’m a Designaholic!!! This realization came when I  somehow volunteered my time to paint eighteen panels of scenery for the Sand Lake Center for the Arts Theater,  “The Secret Garden” play.  I must say that although I was feeling a bit pressed for time when the panels that were suppose to arrive the beginning of November, came December 2nd but, we quickly settled into a routine (far from a schedule) my two partners in this project Betsy, Rae and I. All at once we were just rolling them out! I must say most of the time (although chaotic in my household,)  it was absolutely wonderful, and  it was very fulfilling .

A different time long ago,  we were “busy” with daily living needs. Cooking and cleaning took time, as in serious time. We really appreciated the product of our labor. This year my girls Giovanna

The 1st honey bunny

The 1st honey bunny

and Rosaria

The 2nd honey bunny

The 2nd honey bunny

realized,  that the baking our family (Aunt Carol, Mother Theresa aka “Grandmother”, cousin Stefanie and our newest addition Lydia)

Mother Theresa and Lydia

Mother Theresa and Lydia

do each year, taking the better part of a day, would  give them a  such a sense pride and fulfillment because of the effort it took. Try getting that feeling from the cookies purchased at the grocery store. How many of us can say we feel fulfilled by running errands, answering emails or sitting  alone searching the internet for something to purchase for a christmas gift ?

Sometimes I wonder, this lovely life, with a husband, and two teenage girls and a great family how could I ever forget whats important?????

Our home with the Conti's and Mother Theresa

I have a feeling this is going to be Delicious!!

So through it all, I seemed to have maintained some sort of clarity. I know, I know,  although I want to sometimes use duck tape on my children, disown my husband, pretend I have lost Mother Theresa at the Feast of San Gennaro and escape to Margaritaville with a large glass,  I  truly love my life, my work and my wonderful family. Hope you all enjoyed the holidays as much as I did!!!!

As Always, stay tuned for more adventures!!!!

XOXO

M

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