Decorate This, Not That! Small Space Decorating with Janet Lee is Fun

The first warm and sunny day in Spring will often have you taking a survey of your living space. Warm and cozy winter lighting transitions into soft life-lifting yellow beams of sunshine –  forcing you to take a fresh look – or drag a weary eye – across your living space. And if you’re anything like us, you often sigh  to yourself “I need some newness in here.” But what’s to be done to spruce up a small space where every square inch is utilized to function, store, and showcase your style? Luckily at just the right moment of seasonal change, I was invited to a book signing hosted by G ARTS books at Rizzoli Bookstore on Broadway for the launch of Emmy Award-winning television producer Janet Lee’s second book, Decorate This, Not That! It’s not just a book it’s a MIY (Make-It-Yourself) movement!

From Decorate This, Not That! by Janet Lee, copyright © 2018,

Janet Lee, a famed television producer who has worked with some heavy-hitting American tastemakers such as Martha Stewart,  Nate Berkus, and Oprah Winfrey, knows her way around a small space. Her first book, Living in a Nutshell, is a testament to making more out of less. Her new book, Decorate This, Not That!, is PERFECT for us small-space dwelling city girls and guys with an eye for design, function and finds.  Something I am able to do to make my small space a little bit more beautiful.

Photo courtesy of ©Jill Lotenberg

During the book signing, her guests were treated with many gems of wisdom from her book, trivia questions, and prizes, and a really fun DIY decoupage crafting project which I have to say was relaxing after a long day of hustle and bustle in New York City.

Photo courtesy of ©Jill Lotenberg

Photo courtesy of ©Jill Lotenberg

Flipping through the book Decorate This, Not That!  You will find multi-functional storage ideas. Chapters are organized by both indoor by room and include TIMED  step-by-step design challenges that will flex your style quotient and mentorship for hard-core design junkies and first home buyers alike.

Photo Courtesy of ©Aranya Edmonds

From Decorate This, Not That! by Janet Lee, copyright © 2018,

From Decorate This, Not That! by Janet Lee, copyright © 2018,

Especially useful is the book provides the financing of each project,  as well a ‘Where to buy’ for many items at the back of the book.

Decorate This, Not That! by Janet Lee is published by G ARTS. It boasts 200 pages and is available for $35.00 on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Rizzoli Bookstore.

Seasonally Sweet: Wonderful Halos Mandarins

The spring season is finally upon us, even though Mother Nature gifted us with snow and low temperatures on the first day of Spring. Thankfully the temperatures will rise again because we are so very ready for the season of warmer days, blossoming flowers, and delicious citrus flavors…especially the citrus flavors. Over the past few weeks, we’ve found ourselves becoming addicted to the sweet, seedless, and super easy to peel Wonderful Halos Mandarins. These all natural, non-GMO, California mandarins are not only the perfect snack, they’re wonderfully delicious in recipes. Of course, just because they are the right size for kids’ hands doesn’t mean we adults can’t enjoy them (like we’ve been doing).

The Wonderful Halos mandarins come in two varieties: Clementines, which are available from November to January, and W. Murcott Afourers which are available from February to April, allowing you to enjoy this sweet and healthy alternative to fatty foods fruit, six months out of the year. In celebration of spring, we’re sharing some delicious recipes featuring these sweet little balls of sunshine. Of course you can also enjoy them on their own, especially as they’re only 50 calories and provide 45% of the recommended daily dose of vitamin C.

Wonderful Halos Smoothie Pops

Wonderful Halos Smoothie Pops

Prep: 10 minutes | Time to Table: 5 hours | Serves 12
Wonderful Halos Smoothie Pops with Mango
4 Wonderful Halos mandarins, peeled
1 cup pineapple, diced
½ cup banana, sliced
1 cup mango, diced
1 tablespoon flax meal
¾ cup vanilla yogurt
Extra Wonderful Halos mandarin segments

Wonderful Halos Smoothie Pops with Strawberry
5 Wonderful Halos mandarins, peeled
½ cup pineapple
½ cup banana, sliced
1¼ cups strawberries, sliced
1 tablespoon flax meal
¾ cup vanilla yogurt
Extra Wonderful Halos mandarin segments
For each flavor, combine all ingredients in the pitcher of a blender. Cover and blend on high speed until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Pour into ice pop molds and add extra Wonderful Halos mandarin segments to each pop; insert sticks. Freeze until solid, remove from molds and serve immediately or store in a zip lock bag in the freezer.

Wonderful Halos Prosciutto Bruschetta Bites

Wonderful Halos Prosciutto

Prep: 20 minutes | Time to Table: 45 minutes | Makes 25
1 cup Wonderful Halos mandarin segments, roughly chopped
1 baguette, sliced and toasted olive oil, bowl for brushing baguette
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cups shallots, sliced
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup white balsamic vinegar
½ cup brown sugar
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds
13 slices prosciutto
1/3 cup toasted hazelnuts, crushed
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
Heat oven to 375ºF. Slice baguette thinly, brush with olive oil and bake until just toasted. Let cool. Make Wonderful Halos mandarin chutney: In a skillet over medium heat, sauté the shallot and salt in 1 tablespoon olive oil until soft and translucent, about 20 minutes. Add the vinegar, brown sugar, bay leaf and coriander seeds and let simmer until vinegar is reduced and almost gone. Add the Wonderful Halos mandarin segments and stir; remove from heat. Top toasted baguette slices with a ½ slice of prosciutto, a spoonful of the Wonderful Halos mandarin chutney and sprinkle with hazelnuts and thyme.

Spiced Merry Mandarin Cider

Wonderful Halos Spiced Merry Mandarin Cider

Prep: 10 minutes | Time to Table: 20 minutes | Serves 4
1½ cups Wonderful Halos mandarins, juiced
1½ cups apple juice
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup water
¼ cup sugar
1 stick of cinnamon
1 star anise
1 teaspoon whole allspice
Thinly sliced Wonderful Halos mandarins for garnish
Juice Wonderful Halos mandarins and lemons. Strain out pulp and set aside. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat until sugar has dissolved and juices are hot. Serve garnished with a thinly sliced Wonderful Halos mandarin.

Wonderful Halos Mandarin & Quinoa Chicken Bowls

Wonderful Halos Mandarin & Quinoa

Prep: 15 minutes | Time to Table: 30 minutes | Serves 4
4 Wonderful Halos mandarins, peeled and segmented
1 cup quinoa
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon chili powder
¾ teaspoon ground cumin
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups baby spinach
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained
1 small red bell pepper, sliced
1 avocado, pitted and sliced
1 scallion, sliced
Chipotle Lime Vinaigrette
¼ cup lime juice
1 garlic clove, sliced in half
2 tablespoons honey
3 teaspoons adobo sauce, from canned chipotle in adobo
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup olive oil
Cook quinoa according to package directions and set aside to cool. Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Mix together the salt, chili powder, and cumin and rub on chicken. Grill chicken on both sides until cooked through; set aside to cool, then slice.
To make the chipotle lime vinaigrette: Whisk together the lime juice, garlic, honey, adobo sauce, salt and olive oil. Then discard halved garlic cloves. Peel Wonderful Halos mandarins and separate segments. Spoon quinoa into 4 bowls. Top each bowl with some spinach, black beans, bell pepper, avocado, Wonderful Halos mandarin segments and sliced chicken. Drizzle each with vinaigrette and sprinkle with scallions to serve.
Tip: If making ahead for lunch, pack vinaigrette separately so bowl stays fresh

Now that we’ve gotten a variety of family-friendly recipes to enjoy Wonderful Halos, here’s a fun way you and your children can enjoy this kid-friendly fruit this Easter. For some fun Easter crafting, paint your Halos just like you would paint your Easter eggs, or stick bunny ears on your Halos for an easy, cute, and healthy decoration that will vitalize your easter basket.

Wonderful Halos Easter

As you can see, these are quite simple and easy to make. For those of you who want to have a bit more fun, check out the below adorable DIY, Wonderful Halos Easter Crafts, and links to recreate them at home:


Bunny Pouch –


Mini Baskets –


Easter Buddy –

Wonderful Halos are available in 2-count, 3lb, and 5lb bags, as well as a 5lb box, at the following stores: Shoprite, Aldi’s, Whole Foods, Target, Costco, Food Lion, etc.

Tips on How YOU Can Keep Your Style Fresh & Great #CarefreeChallenge Jewelry Giveaway

This post is sponsored by Carefree® #CarefreeChallenge, however all the opinions and musings are all my own.Fashion is an ever changing entity whose trends, innovations, and modifications we strive to follow. We buy and discard things when they go in and out of style without a thought….until we look at our bursting-at-our-seems closets and declare, “I have nothing to wear!” The truth is we’re just bored with whats in our closets and want new looks to revamp it. Thankfully there are things you can do to refresh your style and we’re sharing them today as part of the Carefree 30-Day Fresh Challenge, to help you return the “style spark” to your look. We hope that you’ve been enjoying and following all the great Carefree Challenge tips. We don’t want you to miss out on the great daily prizes or the $5,000 grand prize. So here goes:

Shop Your Closet

Edwin Remsberg-Photodisc-Getty Images

When was the last time you saw the back of your closet? You’d be surprised the hidden gems you’ve forgotten about that are just waiting to be paired with more recent purchases. Especially as some fashion trends tend to repeat every few years. So dig in, don’t be afraid to be creative – give that old t-shirt some new life by pairing it with layered necklaces and slacks, rock that cool scarf as a belt, wear a long necklace as a bracelet, or layer your leather jacket over those old blazers you think are outdated; the possibilities are endless once you open those closet doors.

Shop Vintage and Thrift Shops

If your closet is bare and your budget is limited, try Thrifting. These money-saving shops are treasure troves of fashion goodness. One of my favorite times to thrift is during the yearly Buffalo Exchange Earth Day Sale. The sale raises money for charity (so it’s for a good cause), is held at every Buffalo Exchange location nationwide, and everything is only $1, that’s right $1. Available items for sale includes designer labels and ranges in everything from clothing to shoes to accessories. I’ve scored lots of designer labels from the sale, like Betsey Johnson, Kenneth Cole, Rachel Palley (see next tip), Versace, etc.

Re-purpose Your Shoes and Handbags

Give your shoes and handbags some new life with some new color. It works for cars, so why not your small leather goods and accessories. I recently gave the Rachel Palley shoes I got at the $1 Buffalo Exchange sale (see above) a new hue (I wanted to color them a neutral grey-taupe hue for fall) with a leather color dye kit. I chose and used Tarrago Color Dye Kit for Leather for their vast color assortment (they have more than 80 creme and metallic colors) and kit supplies, plus it works on leather, synthetic leather, and canvas goods. That small box you see has everything you need to change the color or restore your items.


If you’ve ever linked paperclips together to create a necklace, you can DIY jewelry. However, if you’ve never done it before and want to ease your way into it, there are amazing companies that help you get started by supplying you with everything you need to create great accessories. We love the boxes from Darby Smart, Whimsey Box, and Brit + Co for their great fashion and accessory kits. Whether you want to create new fashion or accessory looks or just want to spice up an item you haven’t worn in years, put those arts and crafts skills to work.

Forget the Rules

Remember the old adage about taking one thing off before you leave the house? Forget it, embrace and show off your personality with your style. If that means piling on the necklaces, scarves or bracelets, wearing mismatched prints together, or…egad….wearing white after Labor Day – just do it! Rule breakers usually end up being trendsetters, so don’t limit yourself, experiment with your style and if it works for you, then it works.

Stay Fresh All Day

Don’t forget to stay fresh all day with a Carefree Acti-fresh pantyliner. Be confident in knowing that these thinner, more absorbent liners lock away fluids and move with you as you go about your day. We always love to save, so don’t miss the chance to save $1.50 on your purchase with this Carefree Coupon.

Don’t forget you only have until Sept. 10th, 2014 to win a grand prize of $5,000 to renew and refresh your wardrobe. You can also enter to win today’s prize of a $100 gift card towards some great Jewelry. While we hope you enjoy and implement some or all of our tips, we’d love to hear some of yours. What are some of your favorite ways to refresh your style?

Show Off Your DIY Style with Darby Smart

Are you a DIY queen or did you always want to try creating your own stylish accessories but didn’t think you could? Thanks to Darby Smart, experienced, DIY dabblers and newbies can have fun designing their own handbags, jewelry, house and home projects. Thanks to Klout I had the opportunity to try out one of these amazing kits – DIY Studded Cobalt Clutch.

The kit, designed by Jenni Radosevich of I Spy DIY, includes an over-sized vegan Cobalt Clutch ((12.5″ H x 16″ W) with a fully lined interior and zippered top, gold pyramid studs, fabric glue, and DIY Instructions. It retails for $34.00 and is one of many fun and fashionablediy projects available on Darby Smart. I still haven’t decided how to decorate my clutch, there are just so many style options to choose from with these gold studs so I’ve set a few preliminary style options to choose from. Check out photos of the six possible ways I’ve decided to style the gold studs on the clutch.

Maybe you guys can help me decide which stud decoration I should go with. What do you think, which of the above is your favorite?

Have a break, have a manatee.