Thursday, December 29, 2011

Countdown to New Years: Lulu's Kir Royale!

We featured Lulu Powers fabulous Kir Royale recipe in our holiday issue of Toujours and thought we should remind you all of this easy cocktail for your New Year's Eve celebrations!  Check out the recipe below and our photo depiction of how to make Lulu's amazing rosemary and pomegranate ice cubes.
Make sure to have fresh rosemary, one whole pomegranate or pomegranate seeds, and Ikea Ice Trays:
We love fresh pomegranates!  But to make your life easier, you can always buy just the seeds at a local health food store:
The end result: Beautiful festive ice cubes!
 Happy New Year from the Toujours Team!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

I’ll be Home for Christmas. My Home!

By our Editor-at-Large Dawn Moore

Christmas glamour just isn’t what it used to be. I mean, how do you compete with a vixen-meets-hausfrau cocktail apron designed of black net and velvet? In 1965, my mother was definitely at the top of the glamour food chain.

Our annual open house featured silver rococo chafing dishes simmering sweet and sour meatballs; Sheffield trays with pigs in a blanket, slices of fruit cake (Mom made in September!) on handpainted porcelain platters and a massive sparkling American cut glass punch bowl with 24 matching cups with eggnog...all atop a Poinsettia print tablecloth. The tree – which morphed over the years from traditional evergreen to modern white mystery-material – twinkled in the corner with hundreds of gifts she wrapped herself in shiny red and green, spilling below.

There’s pictures of my Hollywood parents and their guests in crisply tailored suits from Sy Devore and cocktail dresses from Don Loper wrangling cigarettes and Manhattans with studied grace.

So, no pressure on me to hit that “ten” on the swank-o-meter. None. Oy.

With fluctuating careers and bank accounts, who wants all that stress? I certainly don’t. So, last year I gave in to the Pot Luck Christmas Day Soiree. Here’s the deal:

1. Throw some twinkle lights on the bookshelves, fireplace mantel or refridgerator. 
2. Use to create cool, free e-vites. Uber easy. 
3. Tell guests no presents – food only! No kidding! 
4. Get from them what they’re bringing, and set the table for the “buffet.” (I still have to control how the table looks. Come on.) Stick notes on the plates specifying whose dish is going where. Et voila!
5. Stock up on champagne, wine and whip up a batch of booze-free Cranberry Punch. I keep trying to serve eggnog, but always wind up drinking it all myself. 
6. Have someone with better taste in music than you, assort a playlist – Lulu Powers has some great ones!
7. Wear jeans and fun holiday foot attire. 
8. Find wacky little trinkets – books, CDs, candles – around your house that you think your friends would enjoy and wrap them up. ANNOUNCE your little re-gifting scheme and distribute! 
9. Light a zillion votives. 
10. Enjoy the genuine love that glows from being with your friends just because you want to be.

Fringe benefit last year? My best friend’s daughter announced her engagement infront of everyone – tears and champagne flowed – and it was the best Christmas ever. Sans cocktail apron.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Hot Shops: Haus Interior in LA

After a great shoot for Toujours 3rd Issue yesterday, Emily Ruddo and I stopped by Nina Freudenberger's new shop in LA. Haus Interior already has a great storefront in NY, but the LA opening was last night and we were so glad to get a taste. Her simple color pallate, fun mix of textures and patterns, and quirky sensibility were fantastic and right up the Toujours alley. We were fawning over cable knit throws (so perfect for winter), vintage light bulbs, the rugs hung on the walls, and the window displays. Definitely check out her new shop here in LA or the original in NY.
Cheers! Meghan
 We almost fell over laughing when we read this.  Available in store and online.
Such great textures and patterns on the walls!  And I love the simple checkout sign.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Holiday Decorating Guest Blog!

Toujours Magazine asked East Coast designer, Joanne Palumbo, to share her favorite decorating tips for the season.  Seeing as Joanne styles and stages homes professionally, we thought she would be the perfect person to get more great decorating advice from this week to assure a fabulously decorated homes this season!  We hope you enjoy her great ideas and make sure to check out her blog for year round styling advice:

With Thanksgiving behind us, the time has arrived to tackle the task of holiday decorating. While nothing gives me more of a thrill than a string of bright lights, as an Interior Decorator, the act of decorating for the holidays is the equivalent of walking a tight rope between the tiny twig from the Charlie Brown tale or the over-lit home of the Griswalds. So, as I stare down the boxes upon boxes of my own holiday decorations, here are a few tips to keep the décor tasteful through the season.

1. Pick your vignettes. The first step in keeping holiday decorations tasteful is to use them thoughtfully. Try to refrain from throwing a ceramic Santa or tin reindeer on every table in your home. Instead, select several spots in your house where you would like to create a holiday focal point. Some examples of this might be a piano, coffee table, entry table, bookshelves, or a fireplace mantle. Pick several places throughout your home so visitors can feel the warmth of the holidays as they move from room to room.
2. Edit your space. This might be the most important step in decorating. Edit the vignette you wish to decorate. Don’t try to squeeze the menorah in with your collection of photos and tcha chakes. Pack up some of your year-round accessories and make some room for your special holiday trinkets. Keep the accessories that are either neutral or work in the color scheme of your holiday decorations and pack the rest up!
3. Choose your color scheme. Many people default to red and green or blue and white but if you are thoughtful in your planning, you can be more adventurous and change things up a bit. Why not try fuchsia and chartreuse? Green and brown? And almost every color can be coordinated with a metallic: pink and silver, red and gold. You get the idea. If you have boxes of accessories already, try to draw the color inspiration from the decorations you would like to use. Trail the colors throughout the room. And the color doesn’t need to exist specifically in the holiday décor alone. Incorporate a throw, a picture frame, some candles or books with jackets all in your selected colors and you’ll have an effortless looking jazzed up space. (Toujours Agrees!  Check out the Holiday Guide for more great ideas for color!)
4. Get the eyes moving! When considering the placement of your holiday décor, try to vary the heights of the objects. Don’t throw everything on the table top in your vignette. Try to hang a wreath or some stockings above the vignette and maybe add some potted plants or statues on the floor. Varying the placement of your beloved items is what keeps the holiday decorating warm and inviting. This picture shows a great example of that…I imagine that if you zoomed out, there would be a beautiful wreath on those amazing windows, too!
5. Unexpected décor always pleases! Besides decorating your main vignettes, perhaps drop a few coordinated decorations in unexpected places: a wreath in the bathroom, some garland over the master bed or scented candles in the hall to keep the holiday spirit flowing!
Enough of my babbling about how to decorate for the holidays- now it is time to get out there and tackle your décor. With a little mindful planning, you are sure to have a warm, inviting and tasteful holiday-ready home.

A little bit about Joanne:
Joanne Palumbo is the owner of Homestyling101, LLC, a boutique Interior Decorating firm in Westchester, New York. Joanne is a Certified Interior Decorator and expert in Home Staging, whose quest is to find simplicity in the decorating process. She is also the author of the Homestyling101 blog where she chronicles her experiences and tips as a decorator.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Holiday Guide: Beautiful Decorating Tips!

This Holiday Guide was such a blast to create and gorgeous designer (and our design editor!) Emily Ruddo seriously takes the hostess award.  Between Emily and Lulu Powers, this issue of Toujours Mag is an entertaining guidebook!  We love that taking your existing decor and adding some flowers, a few wreaths, simple decorations, and rearranging what you already own can make such a big difference.  Truly, Emily advises to use glitter (she uses the Martha variety) to brighten up inexpensive ornaments (try shatterproof - see the feather tree below).  You can match the glitter to your decor - and you can always change it in a few years with new glitter.  Remember, you can always use what you currently have in your house in a new spot - don't shy from rearranging - it makes all the difference!  For more great tips from Emily Ruddo, definitely check out the guide and the holiday issue - there are tips galore.  
Happy decorating!
Taking a little Loreal red lipstick to the mirror was an easy way to pop more color in the room - practice first - 
it's not hard to clean, but who wants to?
Ribbon candy, homemade glitter ornaments and a homemade feather tree helped this dessert table shine.
To see more lovely photos, definitely check out the current issue.  Go to page 42 for the Decorating Guide or meander there and see other fabulous design, decoration, and entertaining stories.  
Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Toujours Holiday Decorating Guide

This season Toujours wanted to bring you a special holiday decorating guide.  With Emily Ruddo's forward thinking design skills, we created a great inspiration guide to help deck your halls.  Check out the insert below and click here to see it in the magazine - there are so many great tips to make your holidays beautiful and fabulous this year!  We hope you enjoy - Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Jordana Silver's Wish List

Toujours Mag asked designer Jordana Silver to forward us her Christmas wish list this year…it was so good we just had to share it!  Check out Jordana's 12 gifts of Christmas.  Better get to shopping!  
Enjoy! The Toujours Team

Dearest Santa,
It is that time of year where I write and share all my wants for this holiday season. No need to ask... I have been very good this year! I stuck to my one croissant a day policy while in Paris. I refrained from my weekly shopping jaunts. I even had a few good weeks of dedication to the gym.
Let me cut to the chase... I have listed below my most coveted presents for this holiday season. I should mention that I listed 12 to be symbolic for the 12 Days of Christmas but as a Jewess and there being only 8 days of Hanukkah, I would be totally content receiving your favorite 8 presents from the list.
Lots of love, Jordana

(In no particular order) 
1. Cardigan by Lynne Hiriak - Anyone will dazzle in this sweater.’s on sale so please order before it sells out! 
2. Jonathan Adler Brass Muse Bottle OpenerSuch a great gift for myself and anyone throwing a holiday party. 
3. Fresh Mini Sugar Kissing Trio - Love Fresh and these moisturizing sticks always keep my lips in tip top shape during the winter months. 
4. Balenciaga Arena Giant First Bag -  I have been eyeing this bag for years and still heart it. (Please make it one of the eight presents!) The antiqued rose gold hardware is amazing. Plus it is so functional. My Mac laptop can definitely fit in it!
5. J Crew Snood - Love a snood! Takes the guesswork out of tying a scarf properly. I have a few but can always use more especially in classic black. 
6. Jonathan Adler Playing Cards - My father and I love to play gin rummy for hours. He always beats me. I wish I could say I let him but he is just a better player. We could play in style if we had these. 
7.  Laura Merkin iPad Pouch - After I was stuck on a plane for 6+ hours with no tv this year, I learned that it is imperative to always travel with my ipad. This case is perfect for when I am on the go.
8. Teuscher Champagne Truffles - My most favorite chocolates. 
9. Sisteron Wool Throws - Curling up and enjoying a cup of delicious tea is almost a nightly occurrence. Would love this throw to use for my nightly downtime. 

10. Byredo Gypsy Water - This is the only perfume I have bought multiple bottles of. I can always use more! 
11. Super Edition Scrabble - My mom and I enjoy this classic game. Need my own set. 
12. Michael Kors Aviators - Everyone needs these classics to complete their wardrobe. Mine got squashed last year. Need a new pair. 

Happy Shopping!!  Drink some eggnog and enjoy!