Chill the champagne, it’s almost time for the countdown!

Can you believe we’ve almost made it to 2015?!? Where has this last year gone???

Well, we can tell you, we’ve spent a lot of time moving… Not only did we move the showroom to our new location, we moved from the suburbs to a condo in the city and helped all three of our children move in the past year. Phew! I think we’re ready for a quieter 2015, but we’ll see.

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In the McKenzie family, everyone gets in on the NYE fun… even the dogs!

 

This New Year’s Eve, we’re looking forward to a casual celebration in said new condo – we’re having so much fun christening it with holiday soirees! The view from our new place is pretty spectacular, so we feel pretty confident we’ll see some fireworks at midnight.

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View from the new condo – perfect for NYE fireworks viewing!

 

In our younger days, we tried all the prix fixe fetes, and while they were totally indulgent and holiday-worthy, we actually have come to appreciate the holiday at home. We invite friends over, cook and play games; it’s a hoot!

A staple on our New Year’s Eve menu is crab cakes. In the past, we’ve picked them up from The Red Bar, off 30A in Florida, and cooked them at home. This year, we may look to the Fresh Market for a cook-at-home solution, or if we’re feeling really adventurous, perhaps we’ll whip up our own batch for the crowd.

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Classic crab cakes = a must on our NYE menu.

 

And, of course, there’s champagne. Perhaps we’ll be sipping out of these fabulous new flutes, which we’re carrying in the showroom…

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Fun new flutes available in the steve mckenzie’s showroom.

 

***Hostess tip from Jill – If you forget to pop the champagne in the fridge earlier in the day, don’t fret – simply fill one side of your sink with ice and cold water (it must be slushy) and put a few bottles in; they’ll be perfectly chilled in 30 minutes flat!

As for the games, try Ellen Degenerous’ game “Head’s Up!” for some fun and laughs. It’s similar to what she plays with her celebrity guests, only now we can play with our friends at home.

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Or, LCR (Left Center Right), is a super fun dice game that would be great to play with a group on New Year’s Eve!

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Please share, what are your ideal New Year’s Eve plans???

The Art of Holiday Dis-Decorating

Sure, you may have your tried and true methods of decorating for the holidays, but did you know there can be an art to the way you dis-decorate? It’s true, take it from our own organizational maven and Wonder Mom, Jill.

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Okay, so this award isn’t for her organizational skills (it’s actually our Best of ATL Tabletop award), but it may as well be – Jill’s THAT good :-)))

Here are a few of her tips to make dis-decorating as painless as possible, and hopefully we’ll help you improve your decorating process for the next holiday season!

  • If you don’t already have one, get yourself a label maker. It’s Jill’s favorite toy. There are so many options available, and many are less than $20! Then, get to labeling all of your storage containers!
  • 41x99jCgrWL._SX425_Select one storage container and label it “OPEN FIRST,” our open first box contains our stockings, plastic Christmas glasses, paper guest towels, kitchen towels and aprons; all useful items that signal to us it’s time for the holidays. This box should contain no fragile items and will be what your kids help you to set out first next year. This way, if they’re young, you’ll have no worries of the kids breaking vintage ornaments, etc.
  • Only put away working lights/light strands. Trust us. Sure, it’s inevitable, you’ll have to make a few repairs next year, but don’t pack away light strands with the intention of fixing them next year, it just won’t work.

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  • Use pieces of cardboard to wrap your lights around, and then place each wrapped strand into a plastic shopping bag. Hopefully, this will mean far fewer tangles in future years.
  • If you use faux trees or greenery, wrap them in sheets, or plastic sheeting, to ensure they’re dust-free when you unpack them next year.
  • Always keep bubble wrap and tissue paper on hand when dis-decorating. This way, you’ll always have packing supplies on hand for the breakable items you’re putting away.
  • Label everything – okay, this one’s a repeat. But, it’s well worth it now that you have your label maker!

And Jill’s #1 holiday dis-decorating tip:

  • Enjoy it! Dis-decorating doesn’t have to be a melancholy event. Warm up some hot cocoa, put on some tunes and make a little family party out of it. Everyone can help. And at the end of the day, order in take out and veg-out, you’ll deserve it after all that work!

Good luck everyone! Do you have any special dis-decorating tips??? We’d love to hear them…

The steve mckenzie’s Team Wishes You a Very Merry Christmas!

 

We hope you all enjoy the holiday spending time with family and friends. Merry Christmas to all!

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Please note, the steve mckenzie’s showroom will be closed through the first of the year. But, we’re open 24/7 at stevemckenzies.com. And we look forward to seeing you in-store when we resume our regular hours January 2nd, 2015!

Museum Monday: ‘Wild Things’ Exhibition at The Breman Museum – And a Special Discount!

Like many parents out there, one of our favorite books to read to our children when they were younger was Where the Wild Things Are… So, when we heard there’s an exhibit featuring works by ‘Wild Things’ author and illustrator, Maurice Sendak, at The Breman Museum here in Atlanta, we had to share!

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From The Breman Museum’s website:

For over fifty years Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are has delighted and captivated readers both young and old. This exhibition celebrates Sendak’s life and work by showcasing his most famous pieces through preliminary sketches, finished artwork, and interactive displays. All of this is told through the words of Sendak himself, intimately connecting artist to art.

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The exhibition aims at promoting an appreciation of the creative genius of Maurice Sendak and his art by highlighting the importance of early childhood reading as it relates to language development and literacy.

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The exhibition also emphasizes art as an important and effective tool for children and adults alike in coping with stressful situations that arise in every day life.

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New sections of the exhibition have been developed through partnerships with both the Atlanta Speech School’s Rollins Center for Language and Literacy and the Georgia Art Therapy Association.

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The Where the Wild Things Are exhibit is taking place now through July 5, 2015, so make plans to go in the new year!

Here’s a bit about “being a kid,” in Maurice Sendak’s words:

We’re also excited to offer our readers a special discount to The Breman Museum, in celebration of the Maurice Sendak exhibit…

SAVE $4 Off the Purchase Price of a Second Ticket with The Purchase of an Adult Ticket. This offer is good through March 31st.
To redeem this offer visit the Breman Museum and purchase One Adult Ticket at the admission desk, Mention the code phrase  The Breman Museum Loves Bbloggers” to save $4 off a second ticket (Children-Adult)
One ticket per family per ,  not valid with other promotional offers.
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How many of you parents out there can still quote your favorite lines from this classic tale?

Special Pieces… Just for your holiday table.

Have you begun breaking out your traditional holiday linens and tableware and realize you may need to spruce things up a bit this year? You know, nothing a new set of glasses or napkins couldn’t fix. And they could be just the refresh your celebration tablescape needs… Take it from us – after all, steve mckenzie’s was recently awarded the “Best of Atlanta – Tabletop” by Atlanta Magazine!

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Enter these beautiful, hand embroidered Libeco holiday napkins, $32. If these won’t be the star of your place setting, we don’t know what will be! Create a set with the stag and snowflakes for a winter look that will last all season long, or keep it classic for Christmas with the Noel, Joy and Christmas embroidered napkins.

Do all the same, or create a table full of fun by mixing and matching – these are so pretty, your guests won’t want to dab their fingertips on them. What’s even better, is a portion of the sales of these napkins goes back to the African women who do the embroidery. A win-win!

 

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Next up, these sculptural red acrylic (yes, acrylic!) Milly Tumblers, $25. These will do double duty for you, as the glistening jewels on your table, and even on the kid’s table, since they’re not crystal or glass… These unbreakable, acrylic glasses will go far for you this holiday season, but can also make a reappearance this summer season when you’re celebrating the 4th of July!

Grab a few more than you’ll think you’ll need and use them as mini vases, vessels for your buffet’s utensils, so many options! Everyone will want to know where you found these unique tumblers, as they’ll add a perfect punch to your tablescape.

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Finally, these Blackfriars Check napkins by Libeco, $23, will add a touch of drama with their deep hues. Although the pattern allows these to blend with traditional holiday decor. The Blackfriars Check napkins will make an especially lovely addition to a holiday brunch table and would line bread baskets equally as well.

There are so many ways little touches such as these can blend seamlessly with the decor you already have, adding the ideal fresh touch needed to dress up any holiday table. Add a few sprigs of rosemary to the napkin rings, and you’re ready for a celebration!

Come into the steve mckenzie’s showroom today to select a few items from our selection, voted “Best of Atlanta,” to adorn your holiday table and see what an impact a few new accessories can add… And don’t forget, these would all make fabulous gifts for the entertainer or hostess in your life, and with complimentary gift wrapping by our team, what’s not to love?!?

Don’t forget the mailman! And other gift-recipients who should be on your list this year…

Aside from the family and friends you’ll be celebrating the holiday with this year, do you think about those out-of-the-box recipients who always fall to the end of the list to receive re-gifts, last-minute crafts, or are forgotten all together?

Be the envy of your group of friends this holiday and get it all together by checking out these potential gift recipients who you may want to include on your gift list this year:

  • Mailman – they brave the rain, cold and Rufus to deliver your mail in a timely manner. A little something just might be in order.
  • Hairdresser/barber – they fixed your at home perm and made you look ten years younger all with a new cut and color – a token of appreciation would surely be well received.
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Blenko water bottles, available – with gift wrapping – at steve mckenzie’s, are currently on sale. Click the image for details.

 

  • School teacher/nanny – you don’t have to be a Pinterest maven to gift your child’s teacher with a little something special… The thought alone will go a long way!
  • Dog walker – they love your furry family members as much as you do, and they have to do the dirty work. Show them how much you appreciate their use of the pooper-scooper.
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Our Pantone inspired “Marsala” vignette is full of fabulous gift options; see it at the steve mckenzie’s showroom for yourself!

 

  • Doorman – you see them everyday, and they probably almost always help make that moment a little brighter with a smile. Give them a little something extra to smile about this holiday season.
  • Clergy member – this is usually a very busy time of year for people of the church. Do a little something nice to show them thanks for all of the hard work.
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Anyone would appreciate a beautiful ornament, such as this one by Eric Cortina, this time of year.

 

  • Butcher/Florist/Baker, etc. – they meet your specific requests and go above and beyond to make you a satisfied customer. Show them you appreciate their professional attention.

As you can see, the list of potential gift recipients can be seemingly endless. Select those you have formed a very special relationship with, or who have really outdone themselves in the past year, and show them you recognize their efforts with a little something special for the holidays.

Gift suggestions range from an extra tip on your next service, a gift card, or even a handmade item, such as a jar of your famous peach preserves.

But, if you want to share something truly memorable, stop in to steve mckenzie’s today and let our team help select the perfect ornament, notebook, or other gift item – even a fantastic handmade card will help spread holiday cheer – that will show them how much you appreciate them!