Party Planning

Dance Party Birthday Bash

I am in full party planning mode this week.  It is my beloved brother George’s birthday this week.  Every year, a bunch of gals get together and take him to hear his favorite DJ.  It is a much anticipated event.
For this year’s party, I am going for a glitzy dance party vibe using this image as inspiration.

Found via The Sweetest Occasion

Black and white and gold.  Stripes.  Glam and sparkly, like his ladies.  There will be balloons, lots of them.  Making pinwheels and incorporating my brother's famous one liners.  A grazing cocktail party with mini bites.  Signature bar options...

Stay tuned this week as I will be sharing all the details.

kisses,  mrs. V


Life at Chez V

Scenes from the Weekend

Lots of various activities at Chez V over the weekend.  I'll let the pictures do the talking.  Grab a cup of coffee, there a lot.

a little garlic

 a little salt + a little mashing

butter + thyme + fresh cracked pepper


compound butter, you're my favorite friend

roll 'em up

wrap + refrigerate


sear hanger steaks + brush on melted butter + finish in oven
These plain janes are getting a makeover

middle of dance party - Pieti on air guitar

A little nip/tuck before the big bash

sewing is 90% ironing 10% sewing - boring!

mr. V gets to have all the fun

while I am back to ironing - boring times 2!

Piet agrees - she wants to stick her finger in the machine - fun!

A little table dressing for the upcoming bash!!!

And finally, congrats to the winner of the tumblers:

Lucky #15 is Caroline B!!  Fenton, send me an email at emily.nickell@gmail.com with your address and whether you want the MR & MRS or if you want an initial.  Thanks to all who entered!

kisses,  mrs. V


Getting To Know mrs. V

My Elevator Speech

I read something pretty impactful yesterday.  Shannon Darrough, writer and social media extraordinaire of the lovely blog I Love Your Crazy, shared some insight that she gleaned from Alt Summit last week.  Lots of great tips for someone new to blogging like myself.  And so hoping to build my readership from twelve and make my mark in the world I sat down with pen in hand and began to feverishly scribble notes in my moleskin.  Yes, Katie, I still carry one wherever I go. 

Yep.  Yep.  Yep.  Nodding to myself with each tip.  Until I got to the last one.  Number 25 stated:

‘Make sure your readers know who you are and
what you stand for in 5 words or less.’

What the what?  5 words or less?  Impossible. I can’t even say my name in five words or less.  Well…technically yes but EMILY NICKELL VANDERPUTTEN sounds like at least 10 words.  I am known for many things but brevity is not one of them.  At the first hint of a story, mr. V in his not-so-subtle way, will say to me, 'any way we can speed this up?'

Me and Pieti.  Photo Credit: Amy Elizabeth Photography

Hmmm, who am I and what do I stand for?  Rather good question isn’t it?  But 5 words or less!  I will take a stab.

Attempt #1:  behavioral leadership consultant OUTDATED
Attempt #2:  creative stay at home mom  LAME
Attempt #3:  expert creator of piles  TOO REVEALING
Attempt#4:  admirer of all things shiny  SHALLOW
Attempt #5:  stage 4 hoarder OVER-EXAGGERATED
Attempt #6:  superlatively dramatic storyteller  NOT DRAMATIC ENOUGH
Attempt #7:  brilliant cooker and plant killer  PIETI'S WORDS AND NOT TRUE
Attempt #8:  compulsive chaser of new experiences IDEALISTIC
Attempt #9:  obessive detailer and serial re-decorator TOO TRUE
Attempt#10:  ina garten wanna-be DELUSIONAL
Attempt #11:  effortlessly chic party planner NOT YET
Attempt #12:  exuberant liver of life NOT SPECIFIC

And there goes my attention span.  Can't.  Do.  It.  At least not yet.  I can't tell you, dear readers, who I am in 5 words or less.  I also can't talk without waving my arms like a total spaz.

More of who I am next week.  But it still won't be under 5 words.

In other news, DON'T FORGET to enter the giveaway!  Ya gotta click the button on the RH side to become a member of the blog, ya gotta leave a comment on yesterday's blog post ON THE BLOG not FB. Ya gotta dance.  Three easy things, people.

Here's a teaser of an upcoming party Chez V style!

kisses,  mrs. V


Giveaway - ViviV Design

Swag!  Or Greeks Bearing Gifts…

In honor of my 1 week blogoversary and heritage I come bearing gifts.  Not of the trojan horse variety but of my etched glass tumbler variety.  That’s right.  A ViviV Design giveaway.  And why a giveaway so soon, you ask?

BECAUSE.  I have the attention span of a flea and I am rather proud of myself for posting every day for One. Whole. Week.  So get it while the gettin’s good.  I might move to Paris on Friday or get stuck under a heavy piece of furniture tomorrow not to be heard from for 2 months.  It happens in real life.  Ask my friends.  Anyway, one very lucky reader will win a pair (two) made by little ol’ me.  To enter the giveaway read the *fine print* below.

This is how we do it (humming Montell Jordan):

  1.  Become a lemming…by ‘Following’ me on this here blog
  2.  Get chatty…leave me a comment on this post about how you will use them
  3.  Shake your booty…out of the chair and do an impromptu dance party 
       Serious.  Do. It. Now.  I’ll totally know if you don’t.

You have until midnight EST Sunday, January 29, 2012 to do all 3 to enter.  Winner will be chosen by random number generator and announced Monday.  The lucky winner can choose the MR & MRS tumblers or a personalized one-letter initial.

Good luck peeps.  And welcome to those of you just joining the broadcast for the free stuff.  Cheapos.  Kidding.  Stay awhile and take a gander at what you have been missing.
kisses,  mrs. V


The Food Chronicles

Off the Sauce.  horror of horrors!

I’m off the food sauce and booze sauce for a bit.  There.  I’ve said it out loud.  Drat.  Triple drat.  Accountability.

For all ten of you who read this thing let me assure you that anyone who knows me, who is related to me, or pays a bit of attention to me on FB knows what a bum deal it is for me to go OFF THE SAUCE.

A place setting at Chez V

I love food. And booze, for that matter.  Not in a gluttonous drive by Mickey Ds and shove two cheeseburgers down my gob sorta way.  No way, Jose.  I am too much of a food snob for that.  And not in a Boozo the Fall Down Clown sorta way either.  Although, I have been called a clown.  And have fallen down from booze.  But just know that I have fallen down WAY more times while sober.  Mostly.

No.  This is about my insane appreciation of the procurement and preparation of foodstuffs.

Image via

Image via

I enjoy everything about it.  The getting of it, the growing of it, the buying of it, the smells, the colors, the mixing and matching.  The beautiful poetry of putting it together and savoring the outcome.  And most of all, doing all these things for people that I love.  Preferably with my own soundtrack in the background.  It is totally normal to think of your own life as a movie. 

Image via

And then there's wine.  Oh how I enjoy a good glass of wine which we do often around these parts.  Not every day.  But many days.  And mostly just the one glass.  But all this enjoying has caught up with me and my never-been-fast metabolism.  Except a few blissful tween years.


What does this mean for me, exactly?  Well this:  I am cutting out bread, rice and pasta for a bit.  All those pesky carbos.  And the wine.  Don’t need those extry calories right this minute.  But it feels a lot like cutting out joy if ya ask me.  So this declaration is a big hairy deal.  But my thighs need it desperately.

Innocent baking at Chez V

2 weeks.  I think I can.  I think I can.  I think I can.  And for all you cray-zay P90x’ers and Method’ers.  Hush.  I know it’s not long and not much of a sacrifice but I am a Sagittarius.  I am allergic to commitment and stick-to-it-ness

kisses,  mrs. V


Personal Style


Just a few stylish looks that I am loving right now.

Colors and Rhinestones via Kate Spade
More men should dress like this! via The Sartorialist

Fabrizio via The Sartorialist

Parisian mother and daughter - so chic! via The Sartorialist

Love Viviana's yellow dress via The Sartorialist
Prep done right by F.E. Castleberry via Unabashedly Prep
Love everything Blair puts together via Atlantic-Pacific

The prep thing again via The Sartorialist

Have always loved leopard!  via The Sartorialist

I just like you, sir via The Sartorialist
kisses,  mrs. V


Corners of Chez V

Corners of Chez V

We were homebound most of the weekend with ice and cold and a touch of sickness.  blah.  So I started contemplating corners…dreaming up new projects.  And spending too much time on Pinterest.

We are going to finally finished this banquette

Remove shelving and build in wine fridge in corner
Stain chair and recover cushion in this????

Sad sad tile room - I have plans for you!
Buh bye nursery.  We enjoyed you.  Time for big girl room.
You're quite the bare pair.  Perhaps a little zhush is in order...

kisses,  mrs. V


DIY Acrylic Tray

the Acrylic Tray-a-nator 3000

This is the start of a semi-regular series where I attempt a supercalifab project that I have likely seen elsewhere.
So ya’ll know those super awesome and super expensive lucite trays that are all over the place right now.  I have been lusting for one for some time but they are just too spendy.

Imagine my glee when I discovered a DIY version on Pinterest.  And then I discovered a new-to-me blog Sanity Fair that I am loving right now.  I love when that happens.  A lot like falling down the rabbit hole into a new wonderland of inspiration!  Check her out and her how-to.

This is SFs fab DIY tray

And here is mine.  Although easy enough, I should say I am not totally satisfied with my results.  I made two attempts.  The first one I made my own patterned paper (I will talk about in a follow-up post) and the second I used a heavier wrapping paper.

Blocked out our address

Looks great from a distance but if you look up close you can see pockets where the ModPodge didn't totally adhere.  I thought this was because this paper was not thick enough.  But I got the same results on the second tray using much heavier wrapping paper.  Next time I think I will use a spray adhesive to see if it yields cleaner results.

second tray using wrapping paper - blocked out address

If you look closely on the inside of the blue box you can see those air pockets.  Boo.  Will try these again and let ya know...

kisses,  mrs. V