Infusing grandeur into otherwise drab Mondays with five things/ideas/events for the week:

I.  If you haven’t already gathered this fact from previous blog posts - I live for challenges. Particularly those involving design and men… So last week, when a friend vacationing in Paris implored me to throw together a nautical-theme dinner for 50 of her husband’s closest friends on his birthday in two days, I jumped at the chance. While events like this typically take weeks, if not months, to plan and execute - I decided not only to go for it, but to make it one of the most memorable evenings for the guests. I gathered stock from all of my favorite vendors (Blueprint, Paper Source, Fantastico, Flower Mart, Say Ya PhotoboothClassic, and Kokkari - plus a little gold spray paint) and went to work. The result was so much more than I could have imagined two days prior, proof that with the right mind-set and resources you can accomplish anything your party-loving heart desires.

II.  This weekend, I had the privilege of attending the annual Oscar de la Renta fashion show benefiting the League to Save Lake Tahoe (keep Tahoe blue!!) The event was beyond perfect for me to gather ideas for the upcoming Oscar de la Renta gala that I’m chairing for the designer’s retrospective at the de Young Museum in May. The best part of the weekend getaway was spending time with my girlfriends Justine and Lindsey, who outdo me in the creativity department ten-fold. (A close second was chatting with ODLR new Creative Director Peter Copping). I had the chance to visit Justine in her interior design guru mother Catherine’s Truckee studio and was absolutely floored by their artistic brilliance. I especially love Justine’s blog posts, including the best ways to prepare for a weekend guest. The perfect guide for hostessing the rest of your out-of-town friends this summer.

III.  With interiors (and design in general) on my mind, I returned home today with a fresh perspective on my aesthetic. They say that you can learn a lot about someone from their decor choices, and I have to admit that my home proves this adage to be true. The t-rex skull on my foyer table (dinosaur fanatic is too weak a descriptor), snake and ram horns on my coffee table, rhinoceros, deer, and elephant in my bookcase, two horses on my dinner table, and hundreds of black butterflies on my dining room wall indicate that I have a strong predilection for animals. This was never a conscious decision, so I did a little research and learned that animal symbolism is a huge thing in interior design. For example, the experts say that my snake and butterflies represent healing and transformation, while my horses evoke love, devotion, and loyalty. I’m not sure that I completely subscribe to all of this, but it’s certainly fun to think about. Take a look around your home, and see what you learn about yourself!

IV.  Craving crab ever since I spray-painted sixty-five of them antique gold on Thursday, I decided to adapt my Lobster Pot Pie recipe to Crab Pot Pie this evening. While this dish looks quite fancy (and therefor quite complicated) I assure you it couldn’t be easier. Using frozen puff pastry for the top and canned soup in the filling means that you only require a quick mix of crab (sub fresh crab for lobster and clam chowder for bisque in the recipe), peas, clamshell mushrooms, sherry, and butter to put this delicious meal together. Your guests/husband/roommate will never guess how simple it was to make their decadent meal. Shhh…

V.  I recently came across a Time article that caught my attention, titled The Science of Bouncing Back. The piece articulates the precise reason why some people get over things like heartbreak or tragic death quickly while others post sad Instagrams for years post-trauma (I’m looking at you, Khloe Kardashian). Apparently, scientists are able to observe patterns of blood flow in the limbic system (the part of your brain that experiences and processes emotion) to find out how different people respond to stress. The people who are most resilient to stress (like Navy SEALs) are those who shut off emotional responses and return to baseline as fast as possible. This means that they have learned how to regulate their emotions by anticipating them. The article suggests that training your brain can build strength in the places that respond to stressful situations. Since we all experience this in one way or another, it’s definitely worth a read this week during your bus/Uber/bike ride home.

Have a wonderful week!  xx tt