Archive | November 2012

Because You Can’t ALWAYS Shop at the GoodWill.

Christmas Tree at Lucy and Ethel's in Savage Mill, Maryland.

One of the nicest gifts I ever received was a collection of recipes, from the “Food” section of The Washington Post, gathered and organized into a photo album. It was so personal and thoughtful. Now you know why I married him.

The Holiday Season is upon us. I am one of those disgusting people who loves every minute of it. I do not have a single Scrooge-y bone in my body. I think every last gift through, and make sure the teachers have something homemade to take home. My feminist mother is regularly appalled by this.

This is a gift guide, in case you do not have a years’ worth of newspapers sitting around, or time to bake. We have thought up unique ideas, from the finicky to the adored on your list, and you will not be disappointed.

Bond.... James Bond.

This is a fabulous coffee table book. It radiates cool…. I love it and have given it as a gift before. It is available at Amazon for $51.

Ricki the Cheese Queen!

This gift is for the overachiever in your life. The one who roasts his own coffee beans and brews his own beer. I own this as well and it is chock full of goodies. You would never believe how easy it is to make cheese! This starter kit is only $50 and is available from Ricki the Cheese Queen Herself!

Customizable Yoga Mat!

From GAIAM this yoga mat is for your exercise buddy! Choose your own design or color, or choose one of the ready-made designs like the one pictured above. Reasonably priced at $29.50, this is a must have!

Whiskey Rocks.

For the alcoholic on your list… We all have (at least) one! Keep your drink cold without diluting it.  From Uncommon Goods and priced at only $19.50, this is a steal. Course, they are only rocks… just sayin’.

Mommy's Sippy Cup.

This one was recently given to me as a gift. I have no idea where to get it, but you could buy some plain glasses and paint them. Give them to your nearest and dearest Mommy friends and don’t forget the wine!

Vintage Cakes!

I fell in love with the cover of this one. A cookbook from The Smithsonian, and priced at only $24, how can you resist?

Dog Bed!

For your beloved…. dog. A bed made from your old t-shirts. A removable duvet cover so the dog can smell you, but you don’t have to smell it! Genius! Check your local gourmet pet store. I got mine from Mighty Healthy Pet, but it is available on-line as well. and is made by Molly Mutt. It cost a total of $24, for both pieces.


The Smithsonian does it again! A hoodie ($35) that does double-duty! What a great gift for a kid of any age.

Art and Puzzles.

One stop shopping at The Smithsonian. They have great ideas for kids. This Art Puzzle Box has a different masterpiece on each side and is priced at $39. Beware as side effects  may cause your head to explode or learn about Modern Art, either one. This is for someone who enjoys a challenge, a win win!

Simply Turquoise hopes you have a warm and safe Holiday!

© copyright 2012 Mariam d’Eustachio.

I Fish My Wish!

I have a Guardfish. Right now you are probably wondering, “What type of fish is that, and how does it taste”? I mean the kind that sits by the front door and watches over the house. You know, in case Cocoa is asleep on the job.


So let me backtrack a little. I was shopping in a “nicer than I can afford” antique store and I saw this ceramic fish. I was intrigued by it, but I could not pay $65 for a ceramic fish. I went home a little sad, with no fish.

Ceramic fish.

A $65 Ceramic Fish.

The next day, I was shopping in the “a little more affordable GW & Co.,” and saw another fish. A plastic one for $4.44. I smiled and thought, “now this is more like it”.

I was so anxious to transform my fish before anyone actually saw what I had purchased, that I barely had time to get a picture in it’s original condition. I was even a little embarrassed by him in the checkout line. I always wonder what they think of my crazy purchases, but so it goes. One must suffer for one’s art.

Before Fish.

The fish is actually quite heavy for plastic, and has a bit of heft to him. I quickly slapped some white high-gloss paint all over him and let him dry overnight. I applied a second coat the next day and set him in the sun to dry.

During Fish.

 I love the shiny gloss finish on him. He is unexpected and a little bit quirky. Kind of like me.

Through the door.

Now, he sits by my front door in the vestibule and stands guard. Although admittedly, he is not very scary.

After Fish.

© copyright 2012 Mariam d’Eustachio.

Snoopy Comes To Town…

Today, my dear readers, I have a treat for you. A peak into one of my dearest friend’s homes. This home was built by her husband, board by board, bit by bit, and is custom throughout.  Over the years, they have added touches of exotic flavor everywhere through subtle details. Even their two little French doggies are a perfect match for this home’s somewhat formal style.

AKA Chazaford and Foxanne.


The breed: Coton de Tulear. (Yup. Go ahead and google it too.)









However, the dogs sort of fall into the category of “form over function” as they are cute but not so useful. Unless you are a burglar, in which case they will bark at you until you go deaf.

Every piece of furniture is carefully placed. The mix of antiques and casual comfort lends it a formal flair, without being stuffy. In the corner of the Family Room, old photos are hung to make up a “tree” of family.

Family Room.

Ceramic Side Table.

The retro touches here and there add a bit of fun.

The colors are soft and neutral, easily blending from one room into the next, with the occasional accent that says, Pop!

Wall Detail.

Recently, my friend stenciled an entire bedroom wall with a Moroccan pattern. The effect is gorgeous.

Moroccan Stenciled Bedroom Wall.

Dining Room Ceiling.

Dining Room Ceiling.

Paint is used throughout the house to accentuate the details and the craftsmanship. It brings attention to the moldings and here in the dining room, it draws the eye up.

However, my friend’s real passion is the garden. If you have a plant that you love, Beware!  It may go missing in the night! She will stop on the side of the road, get out her shovel, and dig up anything of interest.

Herons. One of many garden details.

This house is a unique blend of formal and casual style. It brings antiques into a comfortable setting and is unlike any other home I have been in. Even though it is relatively new in age, it retains the charm and elegance of an older home. My friend and I have been friends for nine years now and I have learned so much from watching her style evolve over the years. We have grown up together.

© copyright 2012 Mariam d’Eustachio.