Archive for November, 2010

Holiday Cookie Exchange: Swedish Crescent Cookies

Swedish Crescent Cookies

We may all celebrate the holidays a bit differently, but one thing that seems to cross cultures and borders is a fondness for sweets. With a nod to tradition and an international twist, Katie Goodman from Good Life Eats takes our cookie exchange to Sweden with this recipe adapted from the novel The Recipe Club. These crescent cookies whip up in a snap while adding an elegance to your holiday festivities. Add some citrus zest (lemon, lime, or orange) for a little extra flavor or substitute different nuts for variations. Using a food processor to finely chop the nuts makes these cookies a breeze!

Swedish Crescent Cookies

Swedish Crescent Cookie
adapted from The Recipe Club
makes approximately 3 dozen cookies


    • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
    • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar, plus additional for coating
    • 1/4 tsp almond extract
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 3/4 cup finely chopped almonds
    • zest of one lemon


    In a bowl, beat the butter and 1/2 cup sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the almond extract and egg yolk. Beat till combined. Slowly stir in the in the flour, nuts, and zest.

    Form the dough into a ball and flatten into a disc shape. Cover and chill for 2 hours.

    When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove a heaping tablespoon of dough at a time, shaping into crescent shapes. Arrange about 1 1/2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake until cookies are lightly golden around the edges, about 15-20 minutes. While still warm, coat the cookies with confectioners sugar. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

    Showcase these yummy cookies on…
    Order any of these 4 plates or trays through Friday and get 10% off! Enter code: cookie3. Promotion ends Friday, Dec 3rd at midnight and applies only to the items shown below. Sorry, coupon may not be applied to previous purchases or combined with any other promotion.


Jamie Young Jewelry Giveaway

Jamie Young jewelry

For years the eclectic style and artistic vision of Jamie Young’s lighting collection has lit up our homes; now the designer lights the way to our hearts with a little wearable bling. Taking inspiration from pieces her husband created for her, Jamie’s original jewelry collection is born of fairytale romance and international glamour. Hand picked semi-precious stones in the cool aqua, citrine zircon and purple amethyst are complimented by the stunning settings of bright, brushed finished 22k gold overlaying sterling. Sure to top your holiday wish list, these earrings, pendants, rings and bangles deliver the same statement-making flair that her lighting collection is known for. We first spied the jewelry worn by Jamie as we met to view the new lighting for the fall. We had to find out who had made her pieces (truth be told we wanted it for ourselves!) We are honored to introduce the collection to our Layla Grayce customers with a few words from Jamie:

“For years my husband and I created pieces of jewelry exclusively for each other, inspired by our travels around the world. We are so thrilled that we can now share the exotic gems and timeless designs with others. I love the versatility of these pieces because I can wear them to my son’s lacrosse game or to the best restaurant in town.”

It’s giveaway time:
Ready to ring in the holidays with a new piece of jewelry? Jamie is offering one lucky reader the ring of her choice from the collection. To enter for a chance to win, leave a comment here or on our Facebook page telling us your favorite song to “ring” in and kick off the holiday season. Contest ends Friday, December 3rd at 6pm EST.

Congrats to Amanda Capps, winner of the Jamie Young ring!


Our 25% off 5 Day Holiday Sale Starts Now!

25% off 5 Day Holiday Sale

For 5 days, save 25%* off nearly everything in the store. Enter promotion code: holidayjoy to get great savings on gifts for everyone on your list – or for yourself (we promise not to tell). Sale ends Tuesday, Nov 30th at midnight.
*Coupon may not be applied to previous purchases or combined with any other promotion. Excludes AFK Art for Kids, Annette Tatum, Bella Notte, Company C, Dwell Studio Furniture, Petunia Pickle Bottom, Serena and Lily, Skip Hop, Stanley Young America, Layla Grayce gift certificates and all Sale Merchandise. Coupon expires Nov 30, 2010 at midnight EST.


Holiday Cookie Exchange: Kids, Cookies & Fun!

Sweet Paul: Kids, Cookies & Fun!
Sweet Paul: Kids, Cookies & Fun!
Sweet Paul: Kids, Cookies & Fun!
Sweet Paul: Kids, Cookies & Fun!
Sweet Paul: Kids, Cookies & Fun!
Sweet Paul: Kids, Cookies & Fun!
Sweet Paul: Kids, Cookies & Fun!
Sweet Paul: Kids, Cookies & Fun!

Get the kids involved in holiday cookie making fun! Our cookie exchange continues with sweet ideas for cookie & kids from Sweet Paul. Click on any image for an enlarged view of the page and recipe.

Showcase these yummy cookies on…
Order any of these 4 plates or cake stands through Friday and get 10% off! Enter code: cookie2. Promotion ends Friday, Nov 26th at midnight and applies only to the items shown above. Sorry, coupon may not be applied to previous purchases or combined with any other promotion.


Q&A and Giveaway: Sefte


Renown for the quality of their luxurious bedding, throws and pillows, Sefte is also known for taking organic linens and eco-friendly practices to the next level, utilizing the skills and abilities of Vietnamese artisans to bring their opulent hand embroidered collections to fruition. Twin sisters Jennifer and Sarah pooled their passions along with “soul sister” Michelle to form this unique company. We welcome Jennifer today, as she gives us the inside scoop on Sefte and her partners:

Tell us how Sefte came to be
Each of us brings something unique to Sefte.

Michelle is a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, where she actually studied furniture design but secretly lusted after textiles. She spent many years heading up Product Development for Design Within Reach’s bedding collections as well as doing color and trend forecasting. In her spare time, she volunteers at various organizations (including MOMA SF) that help instill the value of the arts and architecture in local teenagers.

For Sarah, the seed that would eventually become Sefte was planted years ago when she served in the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic. There, she worked closely with artisans and business people financed by micro-loan initiatives, giving her invaluable insight into the nuances of business enterprise within developing nations. Upon returning to the states, Sarah translated her experience to New York’s financial market by working within the Latin American division of a Manhattan based mutual fund company.

For me (Jennifer), the launch of Sefte marks the ultimate culmination of passions and interests. I’d been devoted to the sales and national marketing of luxury textiles for many years. Before that, my passion for the culture and languages of developing nations took me on a two-year development project in Central America to promote bilingual, environmental education for rural Costa Rican children.

Sefte began with Sarah’s love of hand-made pieces, Michelle’s obsession with textile design and my penchant for vintage European linens. It developed into a commitment to the lifestyle that is needed to create all three. A lifestyle that nurtures time to imagine and create by hand, and then allows for the moments to enjoy these creations. A lifestyle in which you take time to read, reflect and dream. Time to whisper, to listen, to relish one another. It is this slower, more elegant way of living life that is inspirational to Sefte and to each piece we create.

Simply put, we want to inspire people to make time.

How did you come to name your company Sefte?
Sefte is the old English word for ‘soft’. Softness was and continues to be our tactile and philosophical inspiration. Each of our pieces is inspired by our desire for people to want to touch these items and layer them with other Sefte pieces. We want our customers to have an overwhelming desire to wrap themselves in Sefte.

We also want people to live more softly. We want to remind them to make time. We believe people should slow down and spend more time connecting with the people they love. We want to encourage togetherness by crafting beautiful, soft, touchable textiles—meant for reading stories, spooning, dreaming, talking and cuddling.

What attracted you to Vietnam and Peru, and how do you give back to those communities?
Our artisans in Peru and Vietnam give soul to our designs. Each piece they create is a work of art, woven or embroidered by hand, by a single artisan. Because they are hand-made, each piece is one-of-a-kind and has a luxuriously heirloom quality.

Our organization of women in Vietnam practices the lost art of intricate hand embroidery which is helping bring both social and financial independence to these women. In Peru we work with an organization called Mirasol Project which translates money from Fairtrade yarn sales into the building and financing of schools for the local alpaca shepherds’ children. We feel it is important to support the traditions that provide such beautiful yarns, and believe it is essential to educate our customers for its historical continuity and cultural development.

Let’s get to know the girls a little better with a “quick-fire” round of questions:

  • Blogs I check daily: Sarah: The Sartorialist, Pink Wallpaper, Coco + Kelley
    Jennifer: Remodelista, Greige Design, Sacramentost, Pretty Little Green Things
    Michelle: Remodelista, Leatrice Eiseman color blog, RISD (have to see what my alum are up too!)
  • My first job was: Sarah: Health volunteer with The Peace Corps.
    Jennifer: Sarah’s lying. We both started our ‘careers’ lifeguarding on the beaches of northern Lake Tahoe, where we grew up. She was stronger, but I was fast. Nobody drowned during our watch.
    Michelle: Helping my grandmother in her ceramic studio/ she taught ceramics and I was in charge of helping with the electric kilns and glazes.
  • My favorite color is: Sarah: it changes; right now it’s lavender.
    Jennifer: WHITE!
    Michelle: today – soft hues of blues, either grayed blues or carribean water colors. Tranquil blues.
  • I cannot live without: Sarah: Joshua, my 7-month old on my hip and my twin sis by my side.
    Jennifer: my new cruiser bike. I’m dying to strap my new nephew, Joshua, to the back of it and cart him all over town.
    Michelle: family and friends. They are an essential part of life.
  • My favorite guilty pleasure is: Sarah: Spa treatments…I don’t’ care which one…any one will do.
    Jennifer: 70% dark chocolate
    Michelle: I’m with Jenn on this one… love my dark chocolate…
  • The best advice I ever received is: Sarah: Do one thing a day that scares you.
    Jennifer: “Dare greatly.” Courage is one of the qualities I respect and admire most in humanity. I search for it daily in everything I do.
    Michelle: follow your dreams and passion. Sometimes the easiest road is not always the right choice, believe in yourself.
  • A cause I care deeply about is: Sarah: The Nature Conservancy: Jenn and I grew up in Lake Tahoe and spent so much of our lives outside in the mountains. Sefte draws so much of its inspiration from nature. I want to protect it.
    Jennifer: volunteerism. I believe everyone should find time to give, unconditionally without any expectation of receiving something in return.
    Michelle: volunteering for programs with children.

Wrap yourself up in this giveaway:
Sefte Maya Boucle Hand-Woven Throw with 8 Prepare to get cozy! Sefte is generously offering a Maya Boucle Throw Blanket in cream to one lucky reader at a value of $440. To enter for a chance to win, leave a comment here or on our Facebook page telling us about one special thing you always slow down to take time for. Contest ends Friday, November 26th at 6pm EST

Congrats to Stephanie Landis, winner of the Sefte giveaway!

Expressions of Color: Espresso

Expressions of color: Espresso

Warm undertones enliven this deep shade of brown which is not quite black, but percolates with character and substance, adding just the right amount of impact. Espresso is equally at home in the world of contemporary decor as it is in traditional, looking especially chic with dashes of softened, desaturated hues of pinks, blues and greens.Shop all espresso colored items here


Inspiration Compliments of Sweet Paul

Sweet Paul - Paul Lowe
Sweet Paul holiday wrap ideas
Sweet Paul holiday wrap ideas (more…)

Holiday Cookie Exchange: Butterscotch Oatmeal M&M Cookies

Butterscotch Oatmeal M&M Cookies
Butterscotch Oatmeal M&M Cookies (more…)

Giveaway and Q&A with Jenny Flake of Picky Palate

Jenny Flake of Picky Palate
giant oatmeal m&m cookies

The Picky Palate has moved from occasional bookmark to daily read for us as our mouths water at the delectable images. Founder Jenny Flake turns everyday items into tasty treats with recipes even a novice can pull off. Jenny stops by today to give us a glimpse at the woman behind the wildly successful blog, and tomorrow debuts an incredible recipe that will make you shine like a star at your holiday cookie exchange.


Expressions of Color: Sage


A color that is quiet and calming, sage green delicately works its way from nursery into living spaces, bringing a soft, country cottage charm. Balanced by traditional pink or blue for tots, it brings a vintage feel to printed floral bedding and rugs when mixed with shades of cream.
Shop all sage colored items here