2014 holiday gift guide | for her

happy day after Thanksgiving, and happy black Friday!!  Before we dive into the holiday madness…I hope you all had a beautiful Thanksgiving and that you are recovering from enjoying an incredible meal and relaxing day with your family and friends.

Today the countdown is on for holiday shopping {can you believe it?}, and I’ve compiled a gift guide for her.  You’ll see each row has a theme, from fashion, to beauty, to travel, exercise and sleepwear/lounging wear so there is something for everyone – I’ve also called out the sales and included promo codes for sites having sales today.  Happy shopping, I hope you are able to enjoy the process during this busy time of year.

POISE. 2014 Holiday gift guide | for her


a practical statement {pom pom hat} // a cozy yet stylish sweater // healthy & safe beauty {10% off with code GIVINGTEN} // travel set // a fabulous clutch // charm bracelet // a BPA-free water bottle // fashion & function // the perfect boot // a really great scarf // for nighttime – nightshirt & brief// a beauty ritual  {25% off with code HOLIDAY25} // satin slippers {25% off with code HOLLYJOLLY} // A chunky knit throw


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2014 gift guide | gifts for the hostess

‘Tis officially the season and I am excited to be sharing my first gift guide for the holidays with you today.  Given that Thanksgiving is next week, I thought it would be fun to kick off the holiday gift guide season with gifts for the gracious hosts & hostesses opening their doors to us this season.  Hostess gifts are always important, however I think especially during the holiday season, {a busy time for everyone} I genuinely appreciate friends willing to host a party or dinner during this time. When it comes to hostess gifts, I always like to have a few on hand so when the day of the party arrives, I don’t have to run around for the perfect gift amidst the holiday frenzy.  My goal with this guide was to share unique and thoughtful options that on the lower end could simply be a thoughtful hostess gift, and on the higher end could double as a holiday gift/hostess gift depending on your relationship with the person who’s home you’ve been invited to.

Below are my picks for this season.

2014 | Gifts for the hostess


snowflakes & stars || fabulous cocktail napkins || a winter scent {free shipping} ||  table

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thanksgiving table | the elements

Happy Tuesday!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend.  Holiday spirit is definitely in the air in my neighborhood in Boston.  I am trying to take it one holiday at a time for now and focus on Thanksgiving.  This weekend I took some time to layout and design my Thanksgiving table.  After going in with the intention of using browns, golds and greens, I decided to go with a fig, gold and white color palette instead.  I was inspired by a trip to the flower market late last week and all of the deep plum and fig colored flowers, which ended up informing my color choice for pairing with the pieces I already had planned to use.

Below is an idea of the elements I am using to pull the concept together, I am ordering a few last minute things today. I’ve decided gold leaf pumpkin place cards similar to these  by Cupcakes and Cashmere would be a beautiful addition to the design, so I will be incorporating it with mini white pumpkins instead of orange.

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thanksgiving menu & wine pairings

Thanksgiving planning is fully underway for many of you I am sure!  This weekend I had an opportunity to not only finalize my menu for Thanksgiving but also order the turkey and align with my go to resource for wine, Howie at Bauer Wines for wine pairings.  Howie and his team curate an assortment of wines that constantly astound me.  They always have a variety of price points, and never compromise quality.  You can spend a lot of money on wine but you can also get incredible wines from around the world for much lower price points {i.e. a large selection of wines for under $15}. They hand-pick each wine that goes into their store and it shows.  They also deliver which makes entertaining so much easier.  You just call in your order or shop at the store, and they will deliver to your door.

Typically when I entertain or am ordering wine for a client event, I collaborate with Howie by sharing the menu as he is a wine pairing GURU when it comes to finding the perfect wine to compliment a menu.  Naturally I reached out to him for Thanksgiving and he’s made some recommendations that I’ve incorporated into my menu that I thought would be worth sharing with you.  He has suggested American wines since Thanksgiving is such a distinctly American Holiday and I love his idea of carrying the American theme through the menu {even the bubbles!}.

For the food portion of the menu, I’ve made almost all of these dishes in previous years and they’ve become favorites. My mother makes her incredible stuffing and chocolate mousse that we all obsess over.  They are both family recipes and have not skipped a holiday.  The whipped sweet potatoes will be a new recipe this year – I am testing it out. The rest are definitely POISE. approved.  I’ve provided links to many of them below.

We will be kicking off the day with bubbles and light hors d’oeuvres {honey rosemary pecans, shrimp cocktail & a romanesco dip with crudité}  so that guests can mingle for a bit while some of the dishes finish cooking, and before we sit down for our special meal.

POISE. 2014 Thanksgiving Menu
first course: chestnut bisque {dairy free} | 2012 Bernardus Sauvignon Blanc
wine note from Howie: “the salad course screams for a vibrant Sauvignon Blanc. My choice would be the 2012 Bernardus from Monterey County, California. Crisp and herbaceous with just a hint of melon, due to a small dollop of Semillon addede to the Sauvignon Blanc” Continue reading

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a few of my favorite things | November

November!  This month holds a special place in my heart as it does for many of us as we approach Thanksgiving.  It is also the anniversary of when I launched my blog. It will be two years since my first blog post at the end of this month – thank you so much for your support and for getting me to this point. Without you as my loyal and supportive readers, my blog would not mean much, so thank you!

With that, I thought I’d share my favorite things of the moment with you.

A few of my favorite things | POISE.

1 | Fall table scapes are on many of our minds right now with Thanksgiving and holiday Continue reading

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bring on the rain!

happy rainy cold weekend!


It’s the type of weather this weekend to stay in, make a nice warm soup and curl up on the Continue reading

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planning this thanksgiving

This year will be my third year hosting Thanksgiving, and considering I had never cooked a turkey in my life before my first year hosting {thank you to my family for trusting that I could pull it off}, I have been thrilled to take over the holiday and host since. This year we will have a few more people in my small Boston flat, which means even more to be thankful for as we enter a season of holidays and gratitude.  You may remember my tablescape from last year with deep plums and gilded details.  For this year I’ve decided to take things a bit more neutral.  I have some feathered placemats I found in Paris a few years ago that have deep chocolate brown and cream tones to them, so they will be the foundation for my design along with my gold flatware.  I am still in the process of finalizing some of the design details and waiting for some fabric samples.  Once final, I will share both the table design concept with elements as well as the menu for this Thanksgiving with you.

In the meantime, I am sharing some Thanksgiving table concepts & details that have inspired me as I delved into planning this year’s tablescape and décor.  I’ve decided to use fresh herbs for each placesetting.  Fresh hearty herbs are so prevalent in every dish I love the simplicity of having them at each place not only aesthetically and to add some green to a neutral palette, but as a prelude of what’s to come with the meal.

Thanksgiving-2014-Inspiration1 Thanksgiving-2014-Inspiration2
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a mediterranean hideaway

So I am slated for a trip to Turkey in April.  While I would never have categorized Turkey as top of my list in terms of a destination, I am very excited and grateful for the experience to come and for the opportunity explore the country and culture {more on that in a future post}.  As I’ve started researching the different areas, sites and things to do there, I came across the new Mandarin Oriental Bodrum property which is located on the northern coast of the Bodrum Peninsula, and overlooks the Agean sea.  It has 2 private beaches and a spa that would be a reason to visit on its own with it’s array of holistic therapies including hammam treatments using herbs from the hotel’s gardens.  Seems like the perfect place and way to end a week long of days spent sightseeing, exploring and traveling major sites…by decompressing at this gem of a hideout.

all photos via the Mandarin Oriental

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a new find | lou & grey

Recently I was introduced to an interesting new brand named Lou & Grey.  It originated from Ann Taylor Loft’s lounge collection that received such a great response from clients, the company has launched it into it’s own brand and retail space.  They recently opened a beautiful new store at the Natick Collection and the design of the space compliments their collection perfectly; it is very welcoming at first sight from the outside,  minimalistic, clean lined, and zen filled with soft dressing staples as well as a curated collection of third-party vendors selling products that are focused on crafted | hand-made items.  They curate the collection for each store by seeking out vendors that are meaningful the local community which is brilliant!  At the Natick store they had pieces from C.A.S Handmade based out of Providence, RI, MCMC Fragrances based out of Brooklyn, NY And Earth tu Face a plant-based skin care line created by two herbalists in California.

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paella party!

Happy weekend!

I hope you have something special planned for this weekend, even if it is simply to take some downtime with the loves in your life.  The chill in the air has me seeking out new recipes especially for entertaining.  A few weeks ago I hosted a group of six for a dinner party and wanted to serve something family style.  After perusing my treasured recipes, I decided to go with a seafood paella.  Such a crowd pleaser and perfect for an early fall dish.  To be completely honest, I had never made a paella and was a bit nervous to experiment on my friends, but it was easy and absolutely delicious.  I went with a recipe designed by “Top Chef” Hosea Rosenberg of Jax Fish House which included fresh seafood, herbs and just enough chorizo for incredible flavor which made it a hit.

Because you can’t really make the paella in advance {you can prep the seafood and vegetables in advance but it has to cook as your guests are arriving}, I made sure we had some starters to get the party started while the paella was finishing up.  The menu came together nicely and allowed for a well paced relaxed evening of delicious food & wine. We kicked off the soiree with a sparkling sangria and then moved to red wine which I highly recommend.

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