Dashing Decorating!

I saw this on Houzz and I absolutely love this story. I think this designer did a fabulous job with the parameters she was given.  It shows it can be done and she is an inspiration. I think it would be so much fun to do this for someone and spend someone else’s money! It would also be fun to be the person on the receiving end and have this all done for you. What a lovely apartment. Click below to peruse the images and a brief description or click through to read the entire story.

Kitchen designs, bathroom designs, and more ∨Browse living room ideas, from a sectional couch to chandelier lighting and floor reading lamps, for your next interior design project.
Share photos of the cupboards and sink you like with a top kitchen remodeler in your area.

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Leopard Spots Turns 2!

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Leopard Spots turned 2 this month! I can’t believe how quickly those two years went! Realizing two years have gone by has caused me to reflect on what Leopard Spots means to me.

There are times when I feel the subject matter and content of this blog is too trivial and superficial. It is true, but the purpose of my blog is not to trivialize what is going on in this world or ignore the societal and economic challenges we all face or express my views on politics, religion, sports, etc. Leopard Spots is a respite for me from all those challenges. It is my diversion and restoration. It’s a world where I can go to funnel my energy to my passions. I absolutely love beautiful images – interior design images, beautiful products, clothing, jewelry, shoes and beautiful destinations – beaches, beautiful areas filled with art and history, restaurants filled with ambiance, and people watching! These are things I am passionate about and Leopard Spots is my destination for fostering those passions, especially when I am too busy to enjoy them first hand. Lately life has been crazy and I have been much too busy to post as often as I would like, but as with all things in life, this will change from time to time.

I hope you enjoy sharing my indulgence and I hope to continue to develop Leopard Spots for many more years to come!

 

 

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Fall 2013 Fashion Trends

Rachel Zoe Scarlet Sheath Dress


I know…it seems a little crazy to be thinking of fall now. I’m always thinking ahead though, especially when it comes to fashion.

Right now it’s very hot in the Boston area, but luckily I have AC – actually it works almost a little too well and because of that I’m wearing a sweater over my gym clothes which is completely insane. I started to think about fall, however, when I was in San Francisco last week. It seems no matter how much I prepare for visiting there in July I still run short of warm clothes. It’s hard to imagine it being that cold in July when you live in Boston and you pack when the humidity is in the 90s. By the way, I absolutely despise humidity. I was prepared most of the time, but there were days when I left my hotel not even thinking and then was unprepared for the entire day. This got me to thinking of fall and how much I love that season in New England. The days are still warm, but much dryer, and the nights are cool. It’s a season where almost everything goes. Shorts with sweaters, pants with sleeveless shirts, sandals or boots, the addition of a scarf…and of course cute jackets. I have grown to dislike fall over the years though because inevitably winter follows. As the years pass though I realize I will not always live in New England and will soon be able to choose my climate of choice!

As I start thinking of fall I start to think of what trends I will embrace. Here are a few that I think we will be seeing a lot of. Keep in mind these are not necessarily how they were featured on the runway; these are more what the average person would wear on a daily basis. There are also many more trends slated for this fall but these are my favorites. The other thing to keep in mind is that each of these trends should be used in moderation. Too much leopard or too much leather ruins the outfit. There is definitely an art to pulling together an outfit with class and style. What are the new and/or ongoing trends you hope to be wearing in the fall?

 

 

Leopard, of course…

CLARE VIVIER Haircalf Fold Over Clutch


Sam Edelman Okala


Codello Dream Circus Leopards Silk Scarf


L'Agence Leopard-print sleeveless satin dress


Sonia by Sonia Rykiel Leopard Print Top


Alexander McQueen 'Leopard Skull' Chiffon Scarf


Military inspired…

McQ - Alexander McQueen Military Booties


Alice by Temperley Mikiro Dress


3.1 phillip lim Pashli Mini Satchel in Antique White & Military


Chloé Paraty Medium Leather Shoulder Bag With Military Strap


Prints…

J.Crew Printed wool and silk-blend dress


Roberto Cavalli Printed Jersey Dress


VERSACE Jersey Printed Dress in Purple/Black


L'Agence Keyhole Print Dress


MCQ ALEXANDER MCQUEEN Jersey Mirror Print Dress in Terracotta/Black


Alexander McQueen Print Wool-Jersey Dress



J.Crew Cotton voile cubist houndstooth tunic


ROBERTO CAVALLI Jersey Mirror Print Dress


Leather jackets…

PINKO 'Bastava' jacket


Michael Michael Kors Leather Jacket With Chain


Theory Jondi L Leather Jacket


Mango Women's Leather Bomber Jacket


Rebecca Taylor Leather Blazer


ELISABETTA FRANCHI chain trim leather jacket


Leather dresses…

Women's MICHAEL Michael Kors Fitted Leather Dress


Vanessa Bruno Leather Dress


Rachel Zoe Luella Leather Dress


ALC Curil Leather Colorblock Dress


Raoul Teardrop Cutout Leather Dress


Vince Pencil Dress - Stretch Leather


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Kitten Heels are Purrfect

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Valentino Rockstud Kitten Heels

 

I love kitten heels. They are so demure, feminine and ladylike, or like the ones above they can also be a little edgy. Suffice it to say I am just a fanatic for shoes and boots and I’ve been known to be called “Imelda”!

There are times, however, when practicality just has to win over. For me that is when you are on your feet all day with meetings or at a trade show where your feet need to last well into the night. This is where kitten heels come in. They are practical and comfortable and still look great. And, sometimes you may not need comfort but kitten heels just fit the bill with the outfit or occasion.

In case you don’t know what a kitten heel is…they are typically less than two inches and are tapered thin and go in a little at the back. There are many theories on why they are called “kitten” heels but I think it seems fitting because they are cute and elegant at the same time – just like kittens. I am tall with long legs so I don’t need to wear stilettos to get an elegant look. Also, I certainly don’t need to wear heels or platform shoes to make my legs appear longer so these shoes work well for me and fit very nicely with many items in my wardrobe. However, after you see my collection below you may notice that I like my kitten heels on the higher end. I think they tend to look too “frumpy” if they are too short. 2″ to 2.5″ is my comfort level with kitten heels.

Here are some of my current favorite kitten heels.

What are your thoughts on kitten heels?

 

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Lilly Pulitzer Kat Kitten Heel

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Ann Taylor Mara Kitten Heel

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Jimmy Choo Vale Calf-Hair Kitten Heel

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Dolce & Gabbana Metallic Brocade Slingbacks

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Kate Spade Jacey Cutout Kitten Heel

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Brooks Brothers Leopard Haircalf Kitten Heel Bootie

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Elie Tahari Hanaa Peep-Toe Pump

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Via Spiga Lindsie Patent T-Strap

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Lilly Pulitzer Kat Kitten Heel

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Givenchy Cage Strap Kitten Heel

Isaac Mizrahi New York Jennifer

Isaac Mizrahi New York Jennifer

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Tory Burch Kailey Sandal

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Joan & David Gianne Slingback Kitten

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Olsen Haus Grace Peep-Toe Pump

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Diane von Furstenberg Antion Studded Kitten Heel

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Ode to Boston

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One Week in April

It’s Patriot’s Day
Chilly out; forsythia
start to nudge open

Boston Strong

Feet pounding pavement,
most running to fund causes
Runners stopped, why?

Boston Strong

Some finish, some don’t
Two explosions heard and seen
Twelve seconds apart

Boston Strong

Chaos soon ensues
Suddenly heroes emerge
Boston becomes one

Boston Strong

Three dead; so senseless
Hundreds injured from the blast
Who could have done this?

Boston Strong

So many questions
Days go by, searching for clues
Focus on victims

Boston Strong

Suspects are ID’d
Anyone recognize them?
It doesn’t take long…

Boston Strong

One officer dead
Carjacking…the suspects charge
Shootout with police

Boston Strong

One suspect is killed;
The other one gets away
The manhunt begins

Boston Strong

A city shuts down
All day we watch, listen, hide,
and wait for something…

Boston Strong

The ban is lifted
Why? We emerge from our homes
Then blood is spotted

Boston Strong

Suspect takes refuge
in a boat — he is cornered
He is taken away

Boston Strong

Rejoice in the streets
Authorities are praised
We begin to heal

Boston Strong

Regrettably, the
road to recovery is
much longer for some…

We are resilient
We are Boston; One Boston
Forever, always

Boston Strong

Kerry Hoffman

boston strong

moment of silence 
 
  

 Please consider donating to The One Fund – Boston to help those most affected by The Boston Marathon bombings…

www.onefundboston.org

 
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Vintner’s Circle Grand Opening


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Please join us at Vintner’s Circle® grand opening on Saturday, April 20th, from 11am-5pm with a special donation offer between 12pm and 4pm!

Vintner’s Circle® is a wine making shop in the new Cornerstone Square shopping complex in Westford, MA. They will have a variety of special events throughout the day.

As part of their grand opening celebration, Vintner’s Circle® has generously agreed to contribute 10% of their sales during their grand opening to the Just ‘Cause Walk. In anticipation for this event Debbie, Holly, and Kerry have been making an Australian Chardonnay which they will share, for a small donation to the cause, between the hours of 12pm and 4pm.

At Vintner’s Circle® you can handcraft your own wine with family and friends in a comfortable setting using professional equipment and assistance by a knowledgeable staff. Vintner’s Circle® enthusiastically supports your special events and activities such as weddings, parties, corporate team building, and charity events.

For more information about the Just ‘Cause Walk, visit www.justcausewalk.org.

For more information about Vintner’s Circle and their location, visit www.vintnerscirclewestford.com

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Somersets Oil – Shaving Redefined

product_groupTo be fair, I am one of the lucky ones who doesn’t have to worry about shaving all that often. Somersets Oil makes the whole process all that much easier – as well as enjoyable! Somersets Oil is comprised of 100% natural oils; the oils come from plants such as Rosemary, Lavender, Tea Tree and Sweet Almond. What a difference from the chemicals found in traditional foam or gel shaving creams!

What makes shaving with Somersets Oil so easy and enjoyable?  You don’t have to plan for it; it can be an after thought. You don’t even need to be in the shower. All you need is 2-3 drops to rub over you legs before shaving. It smells like you are at the spa and it moisturizes your legs and leaves a beautiful sheen – it does not leave an oily residue as one might think.  In addition the oils lubricate the blade making it easier to get a close shave and helps the blade last longer. Because you need so little the container is ultra small making it very easy to throw in your travel bag!

Somersets Oil, popular in Europe, is now available in America. They have a range of products to use before, during and after your shave. Products such as Pre-Shave Face Scrub or Face Wash and after shaving Face Balm for men in addition to a variety of options of the shaving oil. For women, they carry two products: Extra Sensitive Shaving Oil and Extra Delicate Shaving Oil, for the bikini area. At a price point of $6.99 you owe yourself to give it at try! Somersets Shaving Products are available here or go directly to purchase at www.somersetsusa.com.

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Ingredients: Hybrid vegetable Oil, Menthol , Fragrance, Aloe Vera, French Lavender Oil , Sandalwood Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Safflower Oil, Grapefruit Oil, Tea Tree Oil, Corianda Oil, Palmarosa Oil, Rosemary Oil, Ylang Ylang, Chilean Rosehip Seed Oil.

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Ingredients: Hybrid Vegetable Oil, Menthol, Fragrance, French Lavender Oil, Organic Tea Tree Oil, Evening Primrose, Cedarwood, Clove Bud Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Blackcurrant Seed Oil, Armoise Oil, Palmarosa Oil, Petigrain Oil, Organic Brazilian Bisabalol, Vetiver Oil, Basil Oil, Grapefruit Oil, Organic Chilean Rosehip Seed Oil and Patachoili Oil


 

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Cool Kitchen Products

 

The kitchen is truly the heart of the home. It’s where everyone ends up gathering and it’s a living space in your home that gets used at least once a day! No matter how hard you try when you have guests over inevitably most everyone ends up in your kitchen. For all these reasons it’s important to have your kitchen be comfortable, large enough, and truly reflect your personal style. It’s also essential to make sure your kitchen is functional and efficient. When I have time I love to plan a dinner, purchase all the ingredients and prepare everything. I especially like to prepare everything in advance and clean up from the prep work so that I have as little to do as possible when it comes time to actually put the dinner together and put it on the table…even if it is just by myself! I have to confess I can be kind of a control freak in the kitchen; I either like to have complete control over the kitchen or relinquish entire control to somebody else – it’s hard for me to find a happy medium!

Here are some kitchen products that I love.  Does everyone always end up in your kitchen when you have guests over? How do you like to cook?

 

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Leopard Spots Wine!

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Yes, I did it! I made Leopard Spots wine!

A friend of a friend opened a wine making business nearby – Vintner’s Circle. There may be one near you. I was a little reluctant at first – after all I have no problem finding wines I like. With each new vintage I love trying all the new wines and I enjoy finding my favorites each year by visiting wineries and going to local wine tastings. Myself and three of my friends decided to do something different and give making our own wine a try anyway. It ended up being a very fun experience and I will probably do it again! It won’t be my main wine source, of course, but it will be a nice complement to my other wine purchases.

The process takes four visits, each two weeks apart. You don’t do a lot at each visit until the last visit when you actually get to bottle it and taste the finished product. It will need to sit a little and it is best to aerate it while it is young, but I have to say the whole experience is very fun. One batch makes about 28 bottles of wine. We each chose a different wine so we can share. I made a chardonnay. I am a little picky about chardonnay’s but this chardonnay is actually very smooth. All together we made an Italian Barolo, a Californian Cabernet Sauvignon, a Chilean Cabernet Merlot blend and an Australian Chardonnay. One thing that seems consistent among them all is that they taste very “pure” – probably due to the minimal use of preservatives used to make the wine. I look forward to sampling them all over the next few months to a year or more (if we can hold on to them) and I hope to be back soon to make another batch!

Making your own wine, and being able to design your own labels is a fun process and perfect for weddings, fundraisers, gifts, or even as a wine making gift certificate. Go to Vintner’s Circle to find out more about the process, options and to find a location near you!

 

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Hearts and Health!

Whiting Davis clutch

Happy Valentine’s Day to all!  

Personally I think Valentine’s Day is a silly holiday. We shouldn’t have a holiday to celebrate our love; this is something that should be expressed daily. The heart is a symbol of Valentine’s Day as it is a symbol of love. So, I am going to segue here – to me the heart is also a symbol of life and health. Having your health is so very important. We all have control of our health to a certain extent, but sometimes we don’t have any control over it. Almost everything else in our life is attainable and controllable by choices we make, but sometimes our bodies make decisions for us beyond our control.

In honor of Valentine’s Day and the heart symbol I have put together some images of beautiful heart products that just make me happy to look at. What are some of yours?

Here’s to love, happiness and health!

 

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Dress

 

Necklace


Sydney Evan necklace


Mimco clutch


TIBI top


Betsey Johnson earrings


Kate Spade scarve


Necklace


Tory Burch earrings


Pendant


Coach bracelet


Pendant


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