Archive of ‘home decor’ category

Candles that will light up your life, not your wallet


As a real mom on a real budget, I don’t have money to burn on $27 to $70 candles. Yes, candles can cost that much and more. I decided to take Glade’s seasonal candle offerings for a spin. Glade’s Limited Edition Fall Collection offers several options that evoke scents of a simpler time gone by such as Apple Tree Picnic, Fall Antiquing, which is a curious blend of violet, sandalwood and Lilly of the Valley, Hit the Road, which is a musky mandarin scent, Pumpkin Pit Stop, which is a pleasant mix of vanilla, caramel and orchard blossoms and Sunset Walk, an enticing aroma mixed with vanilla, patchouli and roasted chestnut. At just $2.99 for the small candles and $7.49 for the new larger size that burns for 60 hours and is available in the crisp, clean Blue Odyssey scent, these Target and Walmart finds bring a lovely scent to my home and doesn’t put in a dent in my grocery budget. #FeelGladefacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

This girl now runs on Keurig…

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Reducing caffeine intake is never easy, especially when you have a three-cup-a-day coffee habit. But I have found a solution. The Keurig Elite K-Cup Brewing System; $119.99 at allows me to brew delicious decaf and half-caff beverages in my own kitchen. This clever machine brews an individual cup of fresh coffee in under a minute. There’s a removable tray to accommodate cups of three sizes from a standard coffee cup to a travel mug. For super hot South Florida days, there’s the option of brewing coffee or tea over ice. This new version of the Keurig machine also comes with a filter for the freshest tasting coffee and this model of the brewer comes in cool colors such as coconut white, patriot blue, rhubarb and midnight black.  I’m obsessed with the coconut white because it reminds of the Apple store. #JustBrewIt 

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Spring cleaning turned into spring dreaming thanks to my aunt J.D. Danner


 Most of my life has been spent in clutter. I didn’t realize that until my aunt J.D. Danner miraculously lifted the veil from my eyes to show me the life I could be living if I was only willing to let go of the “stuff.” I have had an irrational attachment to material things on and off since the age of 5.  I was traumatized when our home was robbed when I was just a kid and some of my most prized possessions were taken from my home. By the time I was 15, I was really into fashion and I had gotten my first job and really started engaging in mall madness to boost my wardrobe. The only problem was I kept buying stuff and never got rid of anything.

I am 33 now and until a month ago, I was still holding onto things from my youth for no good reason other than I felt bad to throw it away or donate it. But it was time to make the change and in the words of Frozen “Let It Go.” My aunt helped me compartmentalize my belongings into three sections:


1. What should stay.

2. What should go in the trash.

3. What should be donated.

The criteria for these categories was a little more complicated. For instance, once I had the item in my hand, my aunt then asked me:

a.) Do you love it?

b.) What does the item mean to you now and how does it fit into your life in 2014? (In other words, don’t just keep something because you used to love it or it used to fit).

c). If your mom or someone special gave it to you and you no longer want to keep it, remember the item is NOT your mom or loved one. It’s simply an item.


These methods have become a daily a mantra for me. If something new comes into the closet, two items must be taken out. This is a simple, yet essential rule.

JD has completely transformed even the way I shop now. I no longer purchase things unless I’m absolutely in love it with it and can wear it that night. I used to buy things simply because they were on sale or to wear to a future event with no concrete event in mind. This is dangerous for your wallet and your wardrobe. Eventually, you pile up so many black dresses, jeans and sweaters that you can no longer see what you have and you keep buying the same things over and over again.

Debt, clutter and depression go hand in hand. To have a neat and organized closet, you can’t over stuff it with items you MAY use. Every item kept in the closet must have a purpose and a function or it no longer fits into the life you’re currently living.

Photos of my new closet are listed above. I am happy to say getting dressed in the morning no longer takes me a half an hour. I know exactly where everything is now. My scarves, underwear, bathing suits and bras are all neatly organized in metal pull-out bins. My pants and maxi dresses hang on the left and all shirts, sweaters and jackets are on the right. The whole top shelf houses my handbags and there’s even a hidden bin to store wallets and clutches on the right side of the closet. Nothing is on the floor and the hangers aren’t jumbled. Everything neatly slides along the metal wardrobe rods.

My closet used to make me anxious. It was a source of misery for me and became a bittersweet cavern of gluttony and fear. Now, I can’t wait to enter my closet every morning. I honestly never thought I could get to this point, but man, am I glad my aunt was willing to put all her hard work into showing me I could have a closet like the ones I always envied on TV. I honestly thought I was gearing up to go on “Hoarders” before she swooped in to save me. 

Our handy man Miguel did an amazing job installing the metal closet system from Home Depot. I have completely gotten rid of any Rubbermaid bins blindly housing my stuff. I can see everything now and it’s all clear. Letting go of stuff can be tough but you have to do it or the stuff takes you over and then whatever joy it originally brought you can no longer be felt. When it doubt, toss it out. And recycle the items you still love but are no longer using back into the world so other people can now enjoy them.

Wishing you a happy season of decluttering!


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Petra Nemcova launches Be The Light candle line in Aventura


Supermodel and Sports Illustrated swimsuit legend Petra Nemcova made miraculous headlines in 2004 after surviving the horrific Thailand tsunami that tragically took more than 230,000 lives. A year later, Nemcova launched her Happy Hearts Fund to rebuild schools and restore the lives of children after natural disasters. Her travels around the world for photo shoots and philanthropy have now inspired a line of candles she has cleverly called “Be The Light New York” that’s available on and at Bloomingdale’s in Aventura. The luxury candle line retails for $98 a candle and includes six scents modeled after six different countries and the hidden treasures they offer.

“Be The Light is all about bringing light, love and laughter,” Nemcova said at the May 3 launch of her line at Bloomingdale’s in Aventura.

Christian Hosford, co-founder of the Be The Light New York collection was also on hand to explain the passion behind the brand and what the duo hopes to achieve with this line. “Every candle in the line is special and has its own signature scent,” Hosford said. “The American Bluebell Bliss candle was inspired by the Bluebell fields in America and represents gratitude. The candle has a wonderful cedarwood, eucalyptus and jasmine scent.”

Other candles in the line include: Indonesian Patchouli Peace, which represents peacefulness; Czech Holiday cookies which represents family togetherness and is a nod to Nemcova’s childhood holidays in the Czech Republic; Spanish Saffron Heat, which represents passion; Mexico Cacao Mystique, which symbolizes a celebration of life and Haitian Hibiscus Breeze, which evokes beauty and strength. Each candle offers three wicks, more than 60 hours of burn time and comes with a box of matches.

“This line is very special too because of the hand-drawn maps on each candle representing the country it’s paying tribute to,” Hosford said. “When you line the candles up side by side, the map connects.”

Although Nemcova enjoys all the scents in her line, she does have two favorites. “I really love the American Bluebell Bliss because I’m all about gratitude and the Czech Holiday Cookie candle because it reminds of being with my family.”

For more information on the line, visit

(originally published in  East Side Living; Forum Publishing Group). 

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It’s Dec. 9 and I’m completely restless with my home renovation project. My kitchen is getting renovated and I thought it was happening before Christmas. Now the appliances are ordered and I still don’t have an installation date on my new kitchen cabinets. I’ve been wanting to renovate my kitchen for 10 years though, so I guess waiting a few more weeks isn’t going to be the end of the world. I just don’t love living in limbo and I’m feeling confused with all the rescheduling details. That, plus my stove burner sparks every time I attempt to boil water for my tea. Being an all or nothing person, it’s hard for me not delve head first into a project. My amazing aunt JD Danner helped me clear out a ton of stuff I didn’t need anymore in the kitchen and she also helped me understand how to stick to a theme. I’m learning a lot about myself in this renovation project. I’m a little too all over the place when I attempt to decorate a room. In the new year, I’m going to work more on staying focused on one theme and not straying from it, at least in each room of our home. I’m also learning that less really is more when it comes to decor. You can’t approach putting together a room the same way you’d approach styling an outfit. Perhaps that’s where I’ve been going wrong. As my project continues, I’ve been finding tremendous inspiration from Miami’s Design District, Jonathan Adler and my new obsession, feather