Wednesday Style Points: Be Present & Don’t Panic Just Because Thanksgiving is on Thursday :)

Wednesday Style Points: Be Present & Don’t Panic Just Because Thanksgiving is on Thursday 🙂

Style = Stronghold of the Soul if you ask me

Points = Reference, Data, Markers, Milestones….

Our Style Points (good or bad) are often revealed under pressure

I used to think I had to be able to bake like this. I have let that go…am better at other things & everyone around me is relieved!

When deadlines loom, especially on the HOME front

Do we panic?

Or are we present?

Gratitude paves the way for being present

Not always easy. I like things quite perfect, thank you very much…but it’s a process!! And so this is for the custom ME as well as the custom YOU.

We have food. We have tables. We have shelter. We have breath & therefore hope.

Guess there is something You and I still need to do cause we’re still here type thing…

I am not the “pie maker” in the family! Wish I had the touch, but no crust from my kitchen will make you swoon. My father tried to teach me. “It’s all in the wrist Ann” but to no avail. Decorate the baking area IN the kitchen? A+. Bake in the baking area? C. With GRATITUDE I am PRESENT to relinquish this task. I do not PANIC trying to be something I am not.

Have a peek at two extreme “Couture Chateaus” that comfort & reassure me.

As preparations for a perfect American Thanksgiving are underway…

These places inspire me because I imagine the people who inhabit them have style points

I actually love the simplicity of these tents. There is purpose + function here. And a bit of color!

They are living the life they are meant to live – custom – couture – as they are

I have always loved stone. Longevity + Strength. Never perfect, ages beautifully.

Whether its a backpack or a manse

Just for today, be the person you are supposed to be – and let that come through in all your preparation, whether it’s something as simple as selecting cheeses & olives or as massive as cooking & decorating for 50+.


And next week?! ALL those Holiday Pics we’ve been taking.

For now – best. From us to you.

“Live a custom life. There is only one you.”™

xo Ann

Happy Thanksgiving 2011

Happy Thanksgiving 2011

We are grateful for breath and life

We are thankful for minds that can process and believe

We are grateful for friends, even one unseen

May today be a time of gratitude, reflection and peace

Know that you are special and precious

Made intentionally for good and wonderful things

Happy Thanksgiving

from all of us at

Couture Chateau 2011

The day before a Holiday, don’t panic

Tacky Thanksgiving Decoration

Ahhhhh, the day before.

I have friends who were all set for their Thanksgiving Feast weeks ago. Today, they are out for a long run in the cool crisp air.

Beautifully Set, no rushing

I have friends who are all flustered trying to hide things in closets as guests arrive tonight. Today, they are flipping out.

Is this you?

Truth is, today is the day to DO THE BEST YOU CAN WITH WHAT YOU HAVE, and don’t wear yourself out doing it.

DON’T go out and try to find a new outfit today if you are also cooking tomorrow. Forget about the 10 lbs you wanted to lose – put on a smile & open your heart.

DO review your list with a cup of coffee or tea in a BEAUTIFUL cup for style purposes and sit in your nicest room to do it.  You’ll feel calmer and more in control if you do.

Love this Tea Cup!

DON’T wallpaper the powder room because it’s small and it won’t take very long anyway if you are hosting Thanksgiving tomorrow.

Don't do it!!

DO go to the grocery store with the list you made in your nicest room sipping coffee or tea.

DON’T go to Home Goods, TJ MAXX, Target or some other Home Store to find more STUFF!

Do simply go to the store and get what you need – no more, no less.

REPEAT this list as many times as you need to remind yourself, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and the thing people remember most about Thanksgiving is the people & the heart filling the home, garden, shelter they are gathering in.

Fill the room with kindness and generosity and it will be lovely, no matter how the table looks or the food tastes!

xoxo Ann

My Favorite Centerpieces: you might be surprised!

As we discussed yesterday, SHARING is an integral part of Thanksgiving.

Sometimes that sharing includes our Table Settings, Linens, helpful hands.

Fresh Cut Lemons

Sometimes it includes cuttings from our garden for a free centerpiece.

From the blog: Tamryn Kirby; Image: Inspired by This

Sometimes it includes our voice.

One of my FAVORITE centerpieces for a table is a STACK OF BOOKS.

Stacked Books. Not perfect, but loved & read.

Old and New Books as Centerpieces

I like to eat in the Dining Room every morning. Why? Because it sets the tone for the day. It marks the day as significant. You have to plan and not rush. With children this isn’t easy. However, it is a bit of civilization in my world of boys turning into men. Truth is, all hell usually breaks forth after, but for a brief 10-20 minutes, it’s calm….sort of…

Our STANDARD Centerpiece isn’t some expensive bowl. It is a stack of books. Devotionals, Inspirational, Classics, Funny Quirky Books that make you think, laugh or cry. They get used, moved, stacked imperfectly & read aloud.

We SHARE our voices over breakfast as we READ a snippet to each other and take time to TEACH and LEARN alongside one another.

I especially love this idea for THANKSGIVING. Put a stack of Books you LOVE in the middle of the table. Take turns reading to each other. Think about it, when was the last time someone read out loud to you, as an adult, in a personal setting. It is delightful. It calms the spirit, slows the heartbeat and brings us to the personal level we all so desperately crave in our fast paced, media centered lives.


Thanksgiving, a time of SHARING our bounty

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of SHARING the bounty of our lives.

As part of a LARGE family, I learned early on that sharing was an essential part of how we lived. I am the youngest of 5 daughters with scores of cousins. We shared clothes, we shared accessories, we shared stories…songs…joys and sorrows.  We also shared when it came time to gather at the table.

Where it starts...

When planning for family gatherings, I watched as Mother not only offered her special cooking talents, she offered her China, Crystal, Sterling, Linens, Salt Cellars, Sterling Pepper Shakers….whatever it was that the hostess might need. She never hesitated to wrap up the big sterling platter for someone who might have need of it.

Between 3 sisters, I think we have over 300 chargers. They have traveled as far as North Carolina from the SF Bay Area!

We often loaded the car early to set about setting the tables where ever we were headed.

It never occurred to me that this was out of the ordinary! When friends would have parties, my first question was do you need any thing? I could get easily gather 300 gold chargers or 60 place card holders…120 white wine glasses….120 blue and gold-rimmed buffet plates, some Derby China that if it could talk – whoa!…

My sisters and I have carried on the tradition, teaching it to the next generation. As each of us has purchased or inherited China, Crystal, Sterling….whatever it might be (an enormously gorgeously ridiculous lucite chip/dip set:)!, we do so with an eye for sharing. As you can see this Thanksgiving is BLUE Traditional. Other times, we go retro contemporary, pink palace, red modern. It’s ALL fun. And never too precious to USE.

As our families change and friendships become family community, I think this is even MORE important today. It teaches us and the next generation that our blessings belong not only to us, but to those with whom we spend our meals, our daily lives. It also stresses the importance of the ‘gathering’. We need each other. No one can set a beautiful table alone!

Piles, Lists, Coffee to keep us going...we all bring "to the table"

I was taught early on that if you had it, you should use it. The china was never holy – we used it. The crystal was never dusty because we used it. The silver…the linens…patina was the word mother used – that a beautiful patina on something meant that it had been used and enjoyed by those around you. A chip in the china just meant it had been a great party. Probably with wonderful music and good wine.

What are you waiting for?

Mix and Match, Old and Older, Precious and doesn't matter!

As you think about this Thanksgiving – and what you can share – think not only of the beautiful food you can bring that will bless, but delve into those linen and china cabinets and think about using and offering some of those beautiful pieces as bounty for the table as well. For goodness sake, whom does it bless by sitting in a closed cabinet covered by cloth?!

Pretty always goes with pretty. It doesn't have to be expensive!

And when do you share, do so freely. Remember that a chip means it was a good party, a wine stain on a linen napkin means it was a good party….and you most certainly can’t take it with you!

Mix and Match, Yours with Mine, Hers with Ours!

Be a gracious and joyful sharer. It’s only stuff. The people are the precious part.

And besides, everything tastes better on china & crystal with a beautiful aged linen napkin in your lap!  Even cranberries ;)….well, maybe not those ;)!

SHARE with us what you SHARE for Thanksgiving!  Let us know YOUR traditions!