Archive for Christmas

Dec
24

Christmas is All About Family

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merry christmas 2014
As I anxiously await the arrival of our sons and daughters-in-love I am reminded about how important family is at Christmas.  I am so very fortunate to have such a loving and close family.  We are spread out across the country but we make the effort to be together for Christmas.  I am truly blessed.  Here is my playful family last Christmas at Lake Gaston!

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Over the years my family circle has grown.  The MSLL gang is a large part of that circle. This is the gang at our annual Christmas dinner along with our new addition, Ethan Campbell Wenger (being held by Ryan, his proud Dad)

My extended family goes much further than just our team.  It encompasses the wonderful friends that grace our showroom, our design clients that invite us into their homes and all the talented contractors that support us.  We get to know them and their families as part of our amazing family circle.

So whether you spend Christmas with family, friends or neighbors it is the people that make Christmas magical. Embrace the moments!

Merry Christmas to you and all your family circle!

Love to all,

Mary

 

Dec
17

Don’t be a Fruitcake this Christmas!

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As a special holiday treat, Chef Yvonne, Y Cook?,  is our Design Wisdom Wednesday guest contributor today for Mary Sherwood Lake Living.  Her tasty recipes are demonstrated and enjoyed frequently at MSLL during her Cooking Classes! Her classes cover a huge range and brings variety to the table!

Tis the season to be jolly….and fruity!

During the holiday season, we celebrate with family and friends by enjoying numerous food and beverage traditions.  There’s eggnog, spiced cider, candy canes, gingerbread houses, and the beloved fruitcake.

fruitcake

Fruitcakes date back to Roman times when the cake was made with pomegranate seeds, pine nuts and raisins.  During the Middle Ages, honey, spices, and preserved fruits were added.  Crusaders were even known to carry fruitcake during their travels to sustain them throughout their journeys.

Most people have a love/hate relationship with fruitcake.  There are those that love the moist cake filled with delectable nuts and fruits, and then there are those that think of it as a dense “brick”.  So whether you love or strongly dislike the familiar dessert, you will surely love my spin on the well-known tradition.

I’ve transformed the generic fruitcake into a bite-size morsel that is moist and full of flavor.  My take on the traditional fruitcake is the Fruitcake Cookie.

Fruit Cake Cookies crop

Fruitcake Cookie Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb. light brown sugar
  • 1/2 lb. butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 8 ounces pineapple preserves
  • 1 1/2 tbs. Half and Half cream
  • 2 1/4 cups self rising flour
  • 1/2 tsp. soda
  • 16 ounces jar red cherries drained and chopped
  • 16 ounces jar green cherries drained and chopped
  • 1 pound chopped dates
  • 6 cups chopped pecans (walnuts & almonds mixed are a nice change)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. vanilla

Directions:

Coat nuts and fruit with 1/2 cup flour.  Mix butter, brown sugar, eggs, preserves, milk, soda, vanilla and flour.  Pour over nuts and fruit mixture.  Mix with hands.  Drop in large spoonfuls on a cookie sheet.  Bake 11 minutes at 325 degrees (depending on your oven).  You can wrap uncooked dough in saran wrap.  Make into tube shape (like a slice and bake cookie).  Cover with foil and freeze.  They will keep for months.

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Believe me…I’m aware of all of the fruitcake jokes.  “Why does fruitcake make the perfect gift? Because the U.S. Postal Service hasn’t found a way to damage it.”  But please trust me, these cookies are the answer to satisfy even your toughest fruitcake critic.

Enjoy….and Happy Holidays!

Love,

Chef YvonneFruitcake-ycook

Y Cook? 

Mary Sherwood Lake Living

 

Dec
10

MSLL Holiday Gift Guide 2014

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Holiday-Gift-Guide-2014-Banner

MSLL has constructed the ultimate Holiday Gift Guide to make your shopping experience a bit easier this Holiday season. We promise with these amazing gifts there will be no returns or re-gifting if you stick to our guide! The following MSLL Holiday Gift Guide features 12 perfect gifts that are sure to bring happiness and make you the best gift giver ever! Move over Santa, I’m giving the best gifts this year! Oh! Not to mention you will have the best wrapped presents around with our fabulous complementary gift wrap!

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Mary Sherwood Lake Living Holiday Gift Guide 2014:

1. Fashion Apparel: This year’s apparel seems to be the best we have ever carried! It’s been hard to keep the racks full. We have wonderful travel wear, bright tunics and palazzo pants that have been super popular this year.  Our travel wear is wrinkle free, perfect for your next getaway!  $38 – $78

2. Don’t forget the Captain! Our Captain Rodney’s Boucan Glaze and Peach Barbecue Boucan Sauce are a crowd pleaser! These would make perfect gifts for a neighbor or take a bottle  as a hostess gift for your next holiday party your attending. This sauce is delicious! The bottle has a recipe attached for an amazing appetizer dip! Even someone that tailgates would love this for their next sports event! You can’t go wrong here.  $12

3. Magnolia Casual Indoor/Outdoor Swings: I always have people telling me their child would love this in their bedroom or they are planning on hanging one on their boat dock! Which is a perfect idea for these gorgeous swings! All our swings come in a set which includes: The swing constructed in indoor/outdoor fabric, a seat cushion, back pillow and matching carrying bag which is easy to stow.  $189

4. Sweet & Saucy Caramel Sauce: This happens to be our Salted Caramel Sauce which is my favorite! = ) We have: Spicy Mango Madness, Rum Caramel and even a Raspberry Fudge Sauce!  This is a great gift  for anyone! I would pair my jar with an ice cream scoop for the perfect ice cream sundae package! Simple & Easy! You could always add cherries on top!  $11

5. Lake Gaston Picture Frame: Here is another great gift idea! I’m sure mom or grandma would love this in their lake home! Take it step further and actually put a photo in the frame of the family or grand-kids! The picture corners in the frame make it easy to change out the photos each year!  $49

 6. Mary Sherwood Lake Living Gift Card: The perfect gift! Our gift cards do not expire and can be used towards anything in our showroom! You could even give a gift card for $25 or $35 for someone to attend one of Chef Yvonne’s cooking classes held here at MSLL! Absolutely Perfect!  $ – $$$

7. Lake Gaston Christmas Ornaments: We have several different ornaments to choose from this year. Some even have Lake Gaston printed on them! How cool is that? These would be great if you know someone that gets an ornament for their tree each year or for an ornament exchange party.  $18

8. Jewelry: Our Jewelry display has just everything from necklaces, earrings, bangles, brackets, watches, rings and a few necklace/earring sets. Various style to choose from. We even have a handmade line from a young lady in Virginia Beach!  $10 – $148

9. Handbags: We have the look you want but not the price. Our gorgeous bags look similar to a Micheal Kors’ bag but not the ticket price! I love our bags I think they are age appropriate for anyone 20-something to someone 60-something! We have various sizes and style for fit any ladies taste. $14 – $123

10. Scribble Cloths: Have you seen these yet? Scribble Cloths are amazing! Great for parties, children and events! We have runners that can be scribbled on with chalk! We have used these several times for events here at MSLL! We used the large runner for our food display, labeling all our delicious delights! What a great gift! $38 – $50

11. Lake Gaston Coasters: We have several sets of Lake Gaston Coasters! My favorites are the Lake map and Lake Rules! We have sets of two and fours!  Perfect for anyone that loves and lives on the lake! $32 – $57

12. Add-A-Kid Bibs: Don’t forget the little ones! We have an array of items in our children’s area but, these have to be the funniest! These bibs are one of a kind designs for little guys and girls! All bibs have Lake Gaston on them as well! Such a great keep sake too! $13

 

Just follow our Holiday Gift Guide for the perfect Christmas presents this Holiday season! Need more ideas? Just give us a call (252-586-2437) or ask me! We do our best to meet the needs of our customers. We are always willing to help!  We even suggest gift ideas for no charge! =)  Join us this Holiday season and Shop Small here on Lake Gaston! Don’t forgot the complimentary Gift Wrap!

 

Merry Christmas! 

-Dixie K

Mary Sherwood Lake Living, Lake Gaston 

 

 

If you have recently changed your color scheme or updated your interior how do you incorporate the new color scheme into this year’s holiday décor? Look for inspiration where you least expect it.

This dining room had recently been updated using a wonderful blue accent wall (Benjamin Moore #798 Blue Suede Shoes). Could this be our inspiration?

Blue accent wall was the inspiration!

Blue accent wall was the inspiration!

 

How do you use the common holiday colors of red and green with this blue wall? With very little investment in new decorations the room began to come together with the addition of blue ornaments and a few other blue accents. The new items included inexpensive glass and plastic ornaments, multi-colored small gift bags (including blue), small little gift wrap bows and curly ribbon. Other found items from the owner’s collection were wine glasses, an antique tall pitcher with a blue rim, glass cylinders, glass vases and glass candlesticks.

Blue glass candlesticks, a vase and a pitcher were from the owner's collection.

Blue glass candlesticks, a vase and a pitcher were from the owner’s collection.

The centerpiece was the starting point which used an assortment of ornaments and objects. Heights were varied to create a pleasing arrangement. Hostess gifts were wrapped in the small foil gift bags to later be used as place cards for a holiday dinner. To give the arrangement more length on the 108” long table curly ribbon was casually placed at each end of the centerpiece.

Assorted small ornaments, glass candlesticks and containers are the components of this easy centerpiece.

Assorted small ornaments, glass candlesticks and containers are the components of this easy centerpiece.

When the table settings were placed the centerpiece was adjusted to allow more room on the table. A few of the pieces removed from the table were placed on the serving buffet to carry out the multi-color scheme.

Company is coming table setting-casual but festive!

Company is coming table setting-casual but festive!

The pièce de résistance was the valance, created with Christmas ornaments tied to staggered lengths of curly ribbon, which frames the entrance to the dining room.

Holiday valance made of assorted shapes and sizes of ornaments.

Holiday valance made of assorted shapes and sizes of ornaments.

Each area of the great space was decorated with multi-colors including a touch of the newly added blue. Think about how you can bring a little of your new interior color(s) into your holiday scheme without starting all over.

Happy holiday decorating!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lake Living – Working with you to create your lifestyle!

Nov
05

‘Tis the Season to be Tacky!

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'Tis-the-season-to-be-tacky-bottle-tagIt’s the week of our Christmas Open House here at MSLL! I have been blinded by Christmas lights, covered in glitter, and the bows just keep coming and coming. Whoops!? I’m sorry that was just my tacky sweater! HaHa!

'Tis-the-season-to-be-tacky-beer‘Tis the season to be Tacky!  & we are embracing this Tacky trend this holiday season at MSLL! We even have a whole tree dedicated to this Tacky Christmas trend! Why Tacky!? Well because it’s FUN! There are no rules, no guidelines and just about anything works! It brings out the kid in all of us!

The holiday season is a great time to gather with friends and family. Special festivities take place and this year Tacky Christmas Sweater parties top the chart as the most popular party theme to host this holiday season.  However, this may require you to wear a tacky sweater that you may not own. NO FEAR! There is even a website now that sells ONLY Tacky Christmas Sweaters! Like I said, this trend is taking over the spotlight!

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Tacky Christmas Sweaters can be for your beverages too! Like the ones shown here!

Tacky Sweaters can be found at thrift stores, eBay, or if you’re feeling creative construct a one of a kind sweater of your own! I think homemade sweaters are the way to go. Just like homemade Halloween costumes, they always make a better lasting impression. 

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Check out these Mini Tacky Christmas Sweater Ornaments from our Tacky Christmas Tree in our Showroom!

Not sure how to create a Tacky Christmas Sweater? Here are a few tips to consider:

1. Start with a good sweater for the base. Bright bold cheerful colors in shades of green or red will work best! Any sweater with an over-the-top print or pattern are great as well.

2. Ornaments are second. These can be found at any dollar store or thrift store. The more unique the better! Stay away from breakable ornaments – this could get messy in the middle of your party, PARTY FOWL!

3. Add a little Flare to your sweater. Sequins, tinsel, shiny bows, garland, what ever your heart desires here!

4.Patches and other appliques can be a quick and easy fix! Hot glue them or even iron-on’s will do the trick! Wah LAH! Your Done!  You have a one of a kind Tacky Christmas Sweater that is sure to be the highlight of the party.

'Tis-the-season-to-be-tacky-christmas-tree-sweaterHere are some of my favorite homemade Tacky Sweaters I’ve come Across Online: 

Christmas Sweater Tree– I have seen this several times, it’s so clever. When she puts her arms above her head her sweater becomes a beautiful Christmas tree.

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The Abominable Snowman Tacky Sweater- I love this! Rudolph is a classic Christmas movie and this fuzzy guy will steal the show at your next Tacky appearance.

Tacky Couple of Sweaters– Get the Hubby involved! I think this is adorable and even tackier that they match!

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Which Sweater is your favorite!? Or do you have a Tacky ensemble you would like to share?

We hope to see everyone this Saturday at our Christmas Open House! Seminar beings at 9 AM! Shopping 10 AM! 

Have a Tacky Holiday Season! 

-Dixie K 

Mary Sherwood Lake Living -Working with you to create your lifestyle!

 

Jul
16

Finding fun and finds in Atlanta!

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We just returned from our semi-annual market trip to Atlanta.  Boy did we pack a lot into this trip!

We were pleased to be invited to a Retailers Round Table Breakfast sponsored by Home Accents Today Magazine at the Capital City Club.  This was a small group of retailers ranging from one of the largest online home fashions companies (Wayfair) to independent interior designers.  We shared insights about consumer buying trends, the use of social media and other business issues.  It was a great to take part in this forum and express our ideas amongst our national peers.

icon awards banguet honoring exceptional vendors and retailers at americasmart atlanta

Later the same day we were invited to the largest awards event in the gift and home industry, The Icon Awards.  Thanks to Home Accents Today magazine, we were guests at their table to hear the presentations of the awards to so many deserving companies.  Most of the award winners have built very successful, large companies that are very involved in local, national and international causes.  It makes one feel very fortunate to be involved in this industry. Entertainment for the evening was a performance by the band Heart.  Do you remember their most popular song in the 70’s?  Here is a short clip of part of their performance.    http://youtu.be/81h0yD78ns

Now for the finds.  Here are a few of the interesting displays and items we found.

Solaria 26″ Globe Chandelier was amazing.  They just introduced this fixture in multiple colors.

Solaria chandelier 26 diameter painted gold or silver finish stunning

Contemporary large art was everywhere.  Here is a pair of prints from Paragon.

americasmart art contempoary paragon wall-art

This window display at Mud Pie was still showing the chalk board theme for the holidays.  Santa, Mrs. Claus and the reindeer have their places marked on this chalk board runner.  We are not over this trend just yet.

Set your holiday table with a chalkboard motif

This cute display of stuffed animals on inner-tubes and slides was quite eye-catching. Great merchandising…we bought some of these cute Knitzie animals.

kids play at Americasmart Atlanrta with Knitzies stuffed animals

Dixie was into head-gear as evidenced by her many poses in various hats and headbands.

Dixie modeling head gear at americasmart atlanta

The girls and I did manage to have some fun with an afternoon glass of champagne with floating Wild Hibiscus Flowers…soon to be available at MSLL.

Girls having fun in Atlanta at Americasmart Kehe booth hibiscus flower champagne cocktail

One more shot of our late evening play-a ride on the Atlanta ferris wheel at Olympic Park, adjacent to our hotel!

Atlanta ferris wheel at Olympic Park downtown

 

So-these girls do know how to have fun mixed with a lots of work!

You can look forward to lots of new items starting to arrive any day!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lake Living -Working with you to create your lifestyle!

Dec
25

Merry Christmas 2013

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Merry_Christmas_Banner

It’s that special time of year again, the holidays. The stockings are hung with care and Christmas spirit is in the air! Loved ones near and far come to together to celebrate this joyous holiday.  We would like to wish each and every one of you,

a very Merry Christmas from our Mary Sherwood Lake Living Family to yours!  

Please be careful in your travels and don’t forget to leave cookies for Santa!  

Here is a little sneak peek from our

Mary Sherwood Lake Living Christmas Party.   Enjoy! 

Merry_Christmas_Trees

Rocking around the banana tree? Yes, Mary doesn’t have your traditional Christmas tree every year.  She likes to think more outside the box. What do you think of her non-traditional tree?  Check out Mary’s blog about non-traditional Christmas trees. http://marysherwoodlifestyles.com/oh-christmas-trees/ 

Merry_Christmas_Napkins    I love when people have interesting or humorous cocktail napkins. They are a great conversation starter! Here are Mary’s from our get together!

Merry_Christmas_PresentsSo many great presents! We opened our gifts before indulging in our fabulous meal prepared by Chef Yvonne!

Merry_Christmas_SleighI even decided to make my Christmas Candy Sleighs!  I featured them in the past Design Wisdom Wednesday on Christmas Party Planning Guide. I think they came out great?  What do you think?

Scallops_sweet_potato_Merry_Christmas_Appetizer

Our dinner was amazing. Chef Yvonne out did herself as usual! For appetizers, we raved over  the Buffalo Chicken dip and mozzarella cheese sticks wrapped in salami on a balsamic jelly. Did I mention the balsamic jelly came all the way from Italy? YUM!  Our first course of the night (shown above) was bay scallops on a sweet potato puree with pickled corn and roasted sunflower seeds topped with micro greens. What an incredible combination!

Lasagna_ Marinara_sauce_cream_spinach_Merry_Christmas_Main_Course

For our main course we devoured this delicious homemade creamed garlic spinach and lasagna. By now my buttons are about to pop off my pants!  But Yvonne’s food is so good, of course I didn’t turn down dessert, especially when we had two choices!  She even let you choose both, if you wanted!  Many of us shared our decadent treats! We had a choice between eggnog bread pudding with an eggnog glaze and chocolate pate with a cranberry coulis. Outstanding!

Merry_Christmas_Chocolate_Pate_raspberry_coulisMerry_Christmas_egg_nog_Bread_Pudding

I am truly blessed to be a part of the Mary Sherwood Lake Living family. I’m the new kid on the block, but I have been so fortunate to have met such wonderful people who I get the privilege to work with. I can not only call them co-workers or my boss, but also great friends!

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Again, I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas &

a Happy New Year!

-Cheers!

-Dixie K

Mary Sherwood Lake Living – Working with you to create your lifestyle at Lake Gaston and beyond!

Jan
22

Do you give a “Hoot” about your decor?

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Our feathered friends are steadily increasing in trend and popularity. Peacocks, cardinals, parrots, and toucans are all soaring into view.  Yet of all these creatures of flight, owls have swooped in and stolen the spotlight.  Don’t expect this trend to slow down anytime soon, owls are here to stay!

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Owls can be found in almost everything from home decor including wallpaper and fabric to clothing and accessories.  Owls are a symbol of intelligence, so of course following this trend is a smart choice indeed.  Try using owls on your mantel,  included in a centerpiece or on a side table.

owl decor, spring, turquoise, fuschia owl plush, children, stuffed, spring

 Owls have always played a significant role in fairytales and folktales as symbols of knowledge and wisdom, which makes these feathered friends ideal for decorating a child’s room.   Whether it’s through wall accents, bedding, or a cuddly, plush toy, it will make any little one smile.

Owls are no longer simply associated with fall.  Owls are popping up as Christmas ornaments, as Spring decor with bright colors, and even as Valentines Day inspiration, which puts a new twist on the saying “love birds”.

Remember the early bird gets the worm, so don’t be afraid to bring these great feathered friends into your home.  It will have your friends hootin’ and hollerin’ over your space!

Dixie

Interior Design Intern

Mary Sherwood Lake Living…working with you to create your lifestyle!

Categories : Design
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Dec
20

Family and My Christmas

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I am getting ready to travel to one of my favorite places, “Santa” Monica, because that is where I will share Christmas with both our sons and two daughters-in-love.  It should be a great week!  Our times together involve a lot of relaxing, eating and sharing stories with the newer members of our family.  It doesn’t matter where we are, we always find these times together so special.

Last night reminded me of what an incredible acquired family I have right here at Lake Gaston.  We had a Christmas dinner at our house for all the MSLL family.  The wonderful, talented people who surrounded me are truly amazing.  It makes it such a pleasure to come to work each and every day.

Paul, Autumn, Lu, Michelle, Peggy and Yvonne thanks so much!

The rest of my acquired family is every one of you who has supported us, shopped in our showroom, cooked in our new kitchen and asked us to help make your home a comfortable, family place.  We have gotten to know you and your family and friends.  The circle just keeps getting bigger. Thank you for enlarging our family!

Make this a holiday to remember with your family whether acquired or by nature.

Here are a few pictures of our MSLL Christmas party.

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The Table is Ready!

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Each place with a Twelve Days of Christmas glass so all can sing!

Christmas, place settings, napkins, snowflake ornament

Napkins embellished with snowflake ornaments for guests to take home!

Party, acquired family, cocktails

Gathering together!

Holiday dinner, candlelight, friends, family

Enjoying a fabulous meal prepared by Chef Yvonne of Y Cook!

Food, Y Cook, scallops, cured beef tenderloin

The incredible food prepared by Chef Yvonne.

Menu, Y Cook

Our menu by Chef Yvonne and topped off by Steve Hoffman’s “melt in your mouth” Cheesecake with Cherry Zabaglione Sauce. WOW!

Have a wonderful holiday!

Merry Christmas!

Mary

 

Working with you to create your lifestyle!

 

 

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Dec
13

Don’t Get Your Tinsel in a Tangle…

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Shopping for a special gift for that special someone?  Looking for the ideal present for the person who has everything?  Don’t get your tinsel in a tangle.  Allow Mary Sherwood Lake Living to help you compile the perfect gift basket.

Are they a wine enthusiast?  We can combine our E-Z Grip Wine Bottle Opener, Wine-A-Rita Drink Mix, and a package of festive napkins to help them celebrate.

 

Do they enjoy mixing a cocktail or two?  We can combine our Mini Red Ice Bucket, Mini Red Cocktail Shaker, and a jar of Pickle, Olive, and Pearl Onion Cocktail Stirrers to help them conjure up their concoctions.

Are they the chef in their household?  We can combine our famous Captain Rodney’s Boucan Glaze, a White Rectangular Baker, and a Knotted Spreader to aid them in preparing Captain Rodney’s Cheese Bake (recipe included).

Do they just deserve to be spoiled?  We can combine our Azalea/Ruby Dot Glittens (glove and mittens combination), Leopard Ballet Cozy Slippers, and a Jeweled Photo Frame to help comfort them.

Still stumped?  Come visit us at Mary Sherwood Lake Living or give us a call at 252.586.2437 to help you with just the right combination for the loved ones on your list.

Happy Holidays and Happy Shopping from Mary Sherwood Lake Living!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lake Living working with you to create your lifestyle!

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Dec
04

Creative Holiday Cooking

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With the holidays quickly upon us, everyone is eager to make a meal plan that will provide their family and friends tasty dishes with minimal prep and stress.  This Saturday, December 8th, our favorite local chef Yvonne Hoffman will be having a Home for the Holidays Cooking Class at Mary Sherwood Lake Living at 10 a.m.

She will be serving a crowned pork roast with cornbread, apple, and pecan filling, brussel sprouts salad with a lemon vinaigrette, and sweet potato hash along with other ideas to accent your holiday meal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also, coming up on Tuesday, December 11th, Chef Yvonne will be providing seasonal breakfast and brunch ideas to warm you and your family.  Please give us a call at 252.586.2437 to reserve your space for either class and savor our variety of delectible holiday samplings.

 Mary

Mary Sherwood Lake Living working with you to create your lifestyle!

Categories : Cooking
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Dec
22

OH! Christmas Trees!!!

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Yes, friends there will be a Christmas tree at the Sherwood’s Lake Gaston home this Christmas!  Some of our friends were beginning to worry there would not be any sign of holiday cheer at our house by the time our family arrives.  Have no fear, we once again have a “live” Christmas tree.  Here is the story…

Being in the retail and design business we are often very busy at this time of year.  As our business and children were growing up and time was at a premium, Aaron and Jake began to question “if” and what kind of tree we would have.  Traditionally it was always a live tree, sometimes collected from a local tree farm or the local Jaycee’s lot.  In 2002, having waited until the last minute, I rushed to Wildwood Nursery in search of a live tree.  They were too large, too tall or too expensive, so I had to re-group.  Wondering through the nursery I spotted a Pom Pom Topiary Juniper.   It was not very big but had a very interesting shape.  Could I make this work as a Christmas tree?  I am always up for a challenge!  My youngest son, Jake, at that time, always arrived home for Christmas late in the night from NJ.  I had promised him a real tree!  So, he first laid eyes on this tree while everyone else was sleeping.  In the morning he said, “Mom, what have you done?  You decorated a “broccoli” tree for Christmas! Thus the saga of the potted Christmas trees began.  Here is the pictorial version of the saga from 2002 to today, http://bit.ly/vFOmDz.

 

Broccoli tree, Christmas tree, holiday decorations

2002 "Broccoli" Tree

So this past weekend once again we set out on the quest for a tree.  Again Wildwood Nursery was able to oblige.    We found a beautiful potted ‘Carolina Sapphire’ Cypress tree about 5’ tall.  This type of Cypress is a very airy looking tree with aromatic, pale blue-grey foliage.  Because the foliage is so wispy, developing a decorating scheme took some thought.

 

Carolina Cypress, Mary Sherwood, Christmas tree,

The beginnings of the 2011 Sherwood Christmas tree, a 'Carolina Sapphire' Cypress

I began with the lights placed close to the trunk.  Tulle mesh ribbon in three colors, white, red and turquoise, and lime stretchy ribbon was added for the garland.  Last but certainly not least, an assortment of light weight glass ornaments created the finishing touch!

 

glass ornaments, saxophone Christmas ornament

Added sparkle and shine with light weight glass ornaments to the 2011 tree.

Carolina Cypress, Christmas Tree, potted evergreen tree,

Carolina Cypress 2011 Christmas Tree

glass baubles, art glass, Christmas lights, color for Christmas

Glass baubles and lights for the mantel!

Christmas decorations, Handrail Christmas decorations, turquoise, lime green

Added a touch of turquoise this year.

art glass, lamp, Christmas ornament, dragonfly

An art glass lamp even gets some Christmas adornment

Yes, we do have a tree and a few other Christmas baubles and bangles.

Thank you for reading this story!  It helped me remember how precious these holiday memories will always be in our lives with the people we love.

Enjoy your holidays wherever you may be.  Make some memories!

 

Sherwood family, memories, Los Angeles, Museum of Modern Art

The Sherwoods visiting the LA Museum of Modern Art, Christmas, 2010

Merry Christmas!

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Moving on to Install Day 2 we concentrated on the guest bedroom/home office in the MBR wing of the house.  Our previous post told you a little about our client and the house.  If you missed the first day’s events check out our blog:  “This is What the Lake Gaston Girls Do in Dallas.”   With the master bedroom basically complete  we focused on to the guest bedroom/home office. This space is to function both as the small, comfortable private retreat/computer space for the owners and transform into a well- appointed guest room when needed.

GUEST BEDROOM/HOME OFFICE BEFORE

In this space we dealt with the window that grew (mentioned in our last post)! Autumn, very skillfully, stretched the window treatment by adding a panel to the rear to make it 5″ wider. The treatment is a “faux” (or fixed) roman shade. We embellished the bottom with trim and hand-made buttons by  NC potter, Courtney Tomchik.

GUEST BEDROOM/HOME OFFICE ALTERED WINDOW TREATMENT WITH POTTERY BUTTONS AND TRIM

WINDOW TREATMENT DETAILS

With the use of a Murphy bed this space can switch easily into a place for guests. This was the room I stayed in during our visit.   I actually slept with Mr. Murphy…the bed that is! 🙂 It is amazing how easily it converts!  What a great solution for a multi-use space.  Below are pictures in this order: the closed Murphy bed with four sets of bookcases, the Murphy bed frame behind the two center bookcases, and the Murphy bed ready to bed down guests. The bookshelves in this Murphy unit are crying for accessories.  That will have to happen on our next visit!

MURPHY BED IS CONCEALED BY THE TWO CENTER BOOKCASES. THE TWO CENTER SECTIONS SWING OPEN TO EACH SIDE TO REVEAL THE BED FRAME. DRAWERS IN THE OUTSIDE SECTIONS STORE BED LINENS AND GUEST SUPPLIES.

MURPHY BED FRAME BEHIND THE CENTER BOOKCASES

MURPHY BED OPEN AND READY FOR GUESTS WITH "SURPRISE" ART EXPOSED WHEN BED IS OPENED!

To complete the space we added two very comfy Four Season swivel-glider slipcovered chairs!  The slipcovers make the seating very pet friendly for the two dogs, Q-ee and Lew-ee!  A small, mobile laptop desk, flat screen TV and small shelf for the receiver complete the owner’s retreat.

Guest Bedroom/ Home Office-Owner's Retreat

PORTABLE LAPTOP DESK, WALL MOUNTED TV AND RECEIVER SHELF

The owner’s comment:  “I love this space!  I’m not sure I want to share it with guests!

Hope you like this space!  Tell us what you think!

More areas of the Dallas project to be revealed in our next post.

Mary

“Working with you to create your lifestyle at Lake Gaston and beyond.”

Categories : Design, Mary's Raves
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Dec
24

Paul and Mary off to sunny Cali!

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Just wanted to say,”Hi”.  I haven’t had much to say lately…been too busy…my wife’s been working me too hard!!  Now, Mary and I are getting ready for a Christmas trip to the west coast to visit with our two sons and their significant others.  Mary’s gotten us great travel arrangements:  direct flights both east and west…so Thursday night we drive to Charlotte and Friday its off to the “left coast”.  Big plans…meeting our older son’s girlfriend…having Christmas…renting a motorcycle for a day.

This is a great time of year and one thing I don’t want to forget is to thank all of you for the interest you’ve shown in what Mary and I have going on.  Between your responses to the social networking and your presence in our lives (read “store”) we have much to appreciate.

Mary and I wish all of you the happiest of holidays and we’ll be back from LA with stories to tell!

Our last Christmas in Santa Monica

Categories : Paul's Rants
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Yesterday we had a crowd of people in and out of our store to take in the “sparkle, excitement, shopping, food and friends” at our annual Christmas Open House.  The “buzz” that circulated the showroom was amazing!  People came for all sorts of reasons. Some came for the chance to learn some quick holiday decorating ideas.  Others came for the tasty food samplings and recipes.  Others were just enjoying an annual “girl’s weekend out”.  And of course there was shopping .  Our customer’s little red shopping baskets were full to the brim.  The hottest item was a silver garland spray with multicolor ball ornaments that we used in the seminar to adorn a wreath and a tablescape.  That item was the first to sell out.  The second popular item was the “water pearls” in both clear and red.  The use of “water pearls” was shown in several glass vessels during the seminar.

Christmas, Open House, food, friends, shopping, seminar, sparkle, mantel decor, twilight display, holiday wreaths, glass balls, shinny silver,candlesticks

Snowy mantel scape with lights that simmer in glass balls and silver candlesticks by Traci

This year, due to popular demand, we brought back the holiday decorating seminar after a five year hiatus… with a few changes.  Limited admissions assured us all would have better opportunity to see the presentation as well as a safer environment.  The seminar included tips on holiday wreaths, mail box swag, mantel scapes, table top ideas and the multiple uses for water pearls. Thanks to those who took the time to listen to our program.  We hope you learned a few new ideas to help you this holiday season.

Christmas, Open House, attendees, food, friends, shopping, seminar, sparkle, smiles

Seminar attendees awed by the the holiday decor presentation

Our food supply dwindled fast.  We may need to increase the quantity for next year. You are a  hungry bunch!  🙂 We are glad you enjoyed the food buffet.

Red Hat Ladies, buffet, Moroccan Meatballs, Christmas, Open House, food, friends, shopping, seminar, sparkle

Red Hat Ladies enjoying the wonderful buffet samplings!

Here is one of the recipes:

Moroccan Road Infused Turkey Meatballs

Make a large batch to have on hand for unexpected holiday guests.  Prepare in advance and freeze extras.
3 lbs ground turkey
3 eggs
1 large white onion
4 cloves of garlic
1 cup Italian herbed or plain dried bread crumbs
8 tbsp ketchup
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
9 tsp olive oil
3 tsp salt
4 tbsp Moroccan Road Spice Blend
Chop onion & garlic finely, place all ingredients in large bowl, hand mix
Scoop turkey with small stainless steel scoop so they lay flat on pan.
Bake 350 degrees about 20 minutes until brown.  Lift off with metal spatula.
Place extras in Tupperware container and refrigerate or freeze, place back in oven to reheat.
Garnish with half grape tomato and lemon cream cheese secured with toothpick.

Compliments of Mary Sherwood Lake Living  Christmas Open House 2010

Thanks again to everyone involved in such a wonderful day!

Please give us your comments and help us make it even better next year!

Mary

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Well, today I believe Paul has finally arrived at a level he thought he was unlikely to achieve.  After his bantering and complaining about the lack of respect regarding his gift wrapping skills he has received a glowing testimonial from our customer, Peggy Freeman.  Not only is his competency no longer a secret we now have a video of Peggy’s statement.  Visit our YouTube channel to share in Paul’s glory.    Testimonial of Paul\’s Gift Wrapping Skills (Turn up your speakers, we are still trying to get the hang of this video thing…thanks).

Let’s keep the challenge going by requesting Paul’s gift wrap for your next gift.  Let’s have him prove this newly exposed talent.  He might just develop a new signature wrap for Mary Sherwood Lake Living.

Some days I wonder how far we will go to provide good customer service. 🙂  And it doesn’t get any better than having a husband who will gift wrap.  Just think of the possibilities at Christmas!  We are always looking for a topic for our next special event.  How about Gift Wrapping 101 for Guys by Paul?

Let us hear your comments and stories about the secret skills of gift wrapping and your partner.

Enjoy!

Categories : Mary's Raves, Showroom
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