Friday, November 30, 2012

"Tis the Season for Baking!

Enjoy House of Fifty's Holiday Sugar Cookie Recipe

Bake up a batch or two this weekend, decorate, place in bags, 
wrap with a festive ribbon and enjoy sharing with family and friends!


{See more in House of Fifty's Holiday issue, available here.}

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Letter to Santa

Yes, I don't know how he managed to blunder that one so badly...but hopefully 
this year he'll get it right. And don't you just love the packaging idea below?
A fabulous gift all on it's own, one would hardly care what was inside!

I hope you are enjoying the start of this holiday season!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Cyber Monday, A Few Favorite Products

I love shopping online, it's just so convenient, saving a lot of time simply clicking through sites as opposed to walking through the actual stores. Though I have to admit I did go out on Black Friday and found some great deals on gifts I was hoping to give this holiday season. 

But can I confess? I was one grumpy lady waiting in the long lines!
So today I'm hoping to get the remaining bulk of my holiday shopping done online.

Below are some finds from The Pink Pagoda that I'm totally taken with! Most of us know about the chic chinoiserie prints Jennifer designs, but have you seen how she has expanded her range of products?

Such as these stamps. Are you serious? 
How adorable would these look on cards, invites and thank you notes!
See all the options here.

There is also a fun collection of phone cases, in a range of styles and colors...
I seriously want this one myself! 
See all the options here.

Jennifer has also begun to offer a beautiful range of blue and white ginger jars, vases,
planters and dishes...browse all the options here.

And I couldn't let the day pass without reminding you of an offer from MirrorMate on this Cyber Monday!

MirrorMate is having their BIGGEST sale ever today - 25% off with cod CYBER25, for one day only. So if you ever wanted to try this product to update your bathroom mirrors, today is the day!

What deals are you finding online today?

Friday, November 23, 2012

Avoiding Black Friday by Shopping Online

Welcome to the shopping season of the year on this Black Friday! 
Are you headed out to the stores, or perhaps you're even already home?

If you're like me and prefer to avoid the crowds, looking for gifts online, 
please visit the sponsors of this blog and House of Fifty magazine for some great finds!

The Pink Pagoda, for Fine Art Prints, Blue and White Porcelain and more!

See all the unique items at Splendid Avenue and receive 15% off with code HOF12!

Of course you know how much I love Rub 'n Buff, great for DIY projects and even small gift ideas! 
See my post here.

Then there is MirrorMate and they are running a fabulous sale on Monday, so here's a heads up!

MirrorMate will be having their BIGGEST sale ever - 25% off with code CYBER25 for one day only on Monday November 26. So if you have been wanting to try this wonderful product, Monday is your day!

And visit Design Pretty for a gorgeous range of Window Treatments, Pillows and Bedding, 
all the things that can spruce up the house during the long months of winter!

Great for gift ideas are these fun and chic bracelets from Wrist Soiree.
We have a pair in our house that both Isabella and I like to wear!

Finally, who doesn't love a new pretty pillow!
I adore mine from Pillow Love and I suspect someone in your life (or yourself) would as well. 

And if you headed out for Black Friday, what was your experience and was it worth it? Just curious!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Today I Am Thankful

Today I am Thankful...
for so much, beginning with my family and friends, 
and for you, for stopping by to say hello today.

And if you're anything like me, the below is one of the best parts of the Thanksgiving feast, leftovers!

Turkey, brie and cranberry sandwich, recipe here.

Wishing you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving and Holiday Season!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Faux Fur Neck Warmer: Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

What started as a key accessory for my Anna Wintour costume has actually become an item I'm kind of liking throwing on to keep warm! The Faux Fur Neck-Warmer. I found mine on sale (of course) at Macy's, but similar styles are being spotted elsewhere, including Pinterest and places such as Neiman Marcus. 

Michael Kors via Neiman Marcus

(And an asides, does anyone else wonder about the newspaper the model is holding in the above photo? Is that just one odd headline to see in a shot that is supposed to convey "Keep me warm and stylish at the same time on this cool but sunny day?" Just wondering...)

But back on topic: I may or may not look silly, depending on the audience, but can I tell you how divinely toasty I feel? And if you're like me and tend to get cold in the winter, do you really put too much merit on another's opinion if something is keeping you happily warm?

So tell me: Thumbs up, Thumbs down, is this something you'd wear?!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Have $3.50 and Half an Hour? I've Got a Gift Idea for You!

It's that time of year again, time to find or create gifts for what is probably a fairly long list of people!
If the budget is tight, but you'd like to give someone a little something that is fun, try the below.

(This one is going to my Dad, who has a collection of elephants...
sorry to ruin the surprise if you are reading.)

First, raid the kids toy box, or if that would be too unkind, head off to Michael's with a 40% off coupon and select from a very wide range of toy animals in stock. After the coupon, this one cost me around $3.00.

While you are there make sure to restock your supply of Rub'n Buff, which I forgot to do.
 Luckily there was more than enough left over in the tube from my lamp refinishing project.
You'll only use a small bit, so this will run you maybe .50 cents.

Use a brush and cover the entire figure with Rub 'n Buff, this took me twenty minutes to be exact.

I know. I was looking at the clock and racing as it was quickly approaching time for me to go pick up the kids from school. Under normal circumstances I would spread out the job to half an hour.

And then you are the proud creator of a "faux brass" animal. Pretty fun I'd say, with the look of brass being so chic these days. A 'tongue in cheek" gift that certainly someone in you life would appreciate.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

You All Are the Best!

A really heart felt thank you to everyone who has been so supportive of House of Fifty and particularly the move to the pay-to-read model.

I know with this decision we are bucking the trend...
but when you think about it, there really isn't a choice. 

We all have gotten so accustomed to endless free content, that it can come as a surprise to have to then pay for certain content. I was talking to several friends about this topic, and we were comparing it to other products we understand we have to pay for...a note card from an Etsy shop, or a cup of coffee from Starbucks. We know these things have value, that they cost the person who is selling the item to produce, and therefore we don't question that of course we have to pay for it. (Which made me start to brainstorm about what I could begin selling on Etsy, before I came to my senses, reminding myself there is only so much I can and should do!)

'Christmas Belles' Holiday Card from artist Janet Hill
(loved interviewing Janet for the story in the Holiday issue!)

House of Fifty costs a tremendous amount of money to produce, if I told you all the costs associated with it you'd probably be quite surprised! And therefore, unless I am okay with filling the pages with endless ads, we have to begin charging the very small fee...or stop publishing.

And so for all of those who have remained HOF readers, thank you!

I adore this "job" and I look forward to making the magazine better and better. I'm currently busy working with our contributors, many talented designers and photographers for our next issue. We really have some outstanding projects and people that will be featured, including some names that will surprise you I'm certain. 

But in the meantime, if you haven't already, please enjoy the current issue of HOF!

Visit the House of Fifty Website for a Preview of the Holiday Issue
and below are the ways to read it:

To read on your computer click HERE
To read on iPads & iPhones click HERE

To purchase a print copy click or read on android devices, click HERE

And just an FYI, I've heard from a few people that after purchasing the PC/MAC issue they did not receive the email from House of Fifty with their link to view. If that happens to you, simply email me at and I will send you the link manually. At first hearing from people with this issue completely stressed me out, and I do apologize for the inconvenience for those that experienced this. But, on the other hand, because of this I've gotten to have conversations with several readers that I would have otherwise not "met" and that has been really nice experience for me!

Thank you,

Friday, November 16, 2012

A Weekend Trip & A Code For HOF Readers

Today I'm heading out for an annual trip to the coast with a group of girlfriends, 
ladies I met when first moving to Oregon, bonding over toddlers and pregnancies! 

We might be doing more of this, glass blowing from last year...

...along with good food, wine, lots of girl talk and sleeping in! 
(Heaven I tell you.)
We'll probably fit in some shopping as well, getting a start on my holiday gift giving. 

And if you are looking for some special finds for people on your list, you definitely should visit my friend (and sponsor of HOF) Monika's shop Splendid Avenue for the convenience of some online shopping.

As you can see above, HOF Readers can enjoy15% off  with code HOF12!

Some of my favorite items include the gorgeous Scandinavian Wool Blanket pictured above...

...and a linen canvas by Emma Sjodin. Isn't it gorgeous?!

And one of Monika's recent best sellers is the Helmi Rug, made of non toxic recycled plastic.
These are woven in Sweden using looms from the 40's.
Soft and easy to clean, they are perfect in kitchens and hallways.

Visit Splendid Avenue to see the wide range of unique clothing, jewelry, housewares and home decor items!

Have a great weekend everyone, Janell

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Oh So "Tray" Chic Gift Ideas From Michael Devine

What a pleasure it has been to get to know the talented interior designer Michael Devine, while working on a story for the Holiday issue of House of Fifty. Lucky me!

{In the article we share how his line of hand screened fabrics are created, read it here.}

Many of Michael's fabric designs have been turned into a beautiful line of large trays, eyeglass and cellphone trays, coasters and small bowls, a perfect gift idea for those hard to find people who "have everything."

The "dots" fabric becomes....

...eyeglass trays and coasters. The tray for spectacles is on my wish list!

And the "fern" pattern becomes a pinched corner bowl, among many other items.

Visit Michael's site to see the entire collection.

And for House of Fifty readers, receive free shipping with code HOUSE50 at checkout!
(offer applies to US and Canadian addresses only)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Holiday Issue of House of Fifty is Now Available!

Welcome to HOF's Holiday Issue

Visit the House of Fifty Website for a Preview

A very big "thank you" to all the contributors, designers, photographers and talent featured in the Holiday issue, you've all been so great to work with! And an extra big thanks to Shari, of little blue deer, for being such a talented designer and basically incredible person to work with. Lucky me. 

To read on your computer click HERE
To read on iPads & iPhones click HERE

To purchase a print copy click or read on android devices, click HERE

Thank you!