Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day Three of our Holiday Gift List - Tea & Dessert!

A cup of tea? Some great gift ideas for your tea-lover who happens to love the beach also. Choose from our unique shell relief teapot ($39.99) or the delicate Sanibel mugs in a set of four ($32.99). Add a sugar and creamer highlighted with our favorite aqua shade (each $16.99). Extra dessert plates always come in handy. This Sanibel dessert plate set ($32.99) matches the mugs perfectly. A set of tea napkins with adorable blue sea stars are an easy choice ($32.99). Who wouldn't like to be reminded of the serenity of the ocean while sipping their tea?

Happy Holidays from By the Sea Decor. Enjoy 10% off our products with coupon code SLEIGH.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Day Two Gift Ideas!

Here is one of my favorite gift ideas for someone who loves spending time relaxing on the beach . . . or the boat for that matter. A fun aqua and white striped beach bag that is insulated to carry your favorite beverages to the beach or the boat. A top zipper closure keeps all of your beverages chilly. We love to add a little something inside . . . particularly from our B.E.A.C.H. drinkware collection: Best Escape Anyone Can Have! Choose from the insulated travel mug ($14.99), the water bottle cooler ($15.99), or the perfect wine glass ($19.99). This fun and practical beach bag was featured in Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade magazine over the summer and is reasonably priced at $28.99. I love that you can just wipe it down and the sand shakes out so easily. My favorite beach colors too . . . I just love the bold aqua and white stripes accented with green. REMEMBER, 20% off everything through Monday, 11/29 with coupon code JINGLE!! And remember, we do the gift-wrapping!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Few Gift Ideas!

Looking for a gift for your fellow beach-lover? Our Tropical Palm etched glassware ($19.99 - $45.99) is beautiful for any occasion and is available in so many different glass types. From iced tea glasses to red balloon wine glasses, there are lots of choices. Many are also available in a simple gift box. Pair up a set of glasses with a beautiful set of linen hand-printed cocktail napkins from Isola Bella ($14.99) for the perfect gift! REMEMBER, 20% OFF THROUGH 11/30/10 WITH COUPON CODE JINGLE and we'll do the wrapping!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

How About Some Fresh New Pillows!!

Time to replace some of your tired beach decor accent pillows? These throw pillows are so much fun! Treasured sealife icons rest on the whole surface of these wool hook pillows to give them an updated contemporary coastal feel. We love the pink and brown sand dollar and the brown starfish on a tranquil green background. You can never go wrong with blues at the beach . . . done here in dark blue with a lighter nautilus shell and lighter blue with a green scallop shell. Don't forget to think about the red octopus underneath it all! All of these pillows are substantially made of wool and all the backings are done in coordinating velvet. Easy access to the pillow insert with a hidden zipper. Ah, the choices!

Friday, November 26, 2010


Some motivation to start your Holiday shopping. Black Friday, Cyber Monday . . . and all the days in between . . . 20% off all of our wonderful coastal decor products. Simply enter coupon code JINGLE upon checkout to receive your discount. And, remember, we are always happy to provide free gift-wrapping services to our customers. Just send us your instructions in the "customer notes" section of your order form and we will take care of the rest. We are using silver foil paper this year with a coordinating silver fabric bow. And our signature window to the sea gift tags can be personalized for you. By the way, we also provide gift-wrapping in simple white gloss paper with a turquoise fabric bow all year long. Grab your coffee or perhaps your glass of wine and visit By the Sea Decor and get started on your Holiday season!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have always enjoyed our Thanksgiving together. I have to admit, as our children grew and went off to college, having them home for Thanksgiving break was, well, a blessing! Never mind the laundry they brought home and the fact they slept half the day away, it is wonderful to have our house noisy again. With our son still away at college, we eagerly awaited Thanksgiving break. Our daughter has become a better cook than I am and is making most of the meal today. She is using ingredients that need to be explained to me! She loves to experiment and we love to try everything! The chocolate chip cookies she made from a Martha Stewart recipe were hands-down the best I ever tasted!

Displayed on our Thanksgiving table since my son was in 5th grade is a simple CCD project . . . a 8 1/2" x 11" piece of paper sitting in a frame is what Thanksgiving meant to him at that time . . . you know the project where you have to come up with a word for each letter in Thanksgiving . . . from his "H" word (helping others) to "I" (I love my family) . . . we smile whenever we read it. My son, who thought the role of a writing project at that time was to see who finished first, well he actually spent some of his 9 year old mind on this project.

My Mom is disabled and due to health reasons, will not be able to join us here for our Thanksgiving tradition. So we have decided to create a "moveable feast" . . . we will bring the cooked turkey, my daughter's new found mashed potatoe recipe, the dinnerware, silverware and napkins to her and my Dad. I have just packed up my son's 5th grade CCD project, because, well, it just wouldn't be the same without that on the table. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

High Line Park, NYC

I am still marveling at the innovative and beautiful High Line Park in NYC created out of an old abandoned elevated train track. You climb up the stairs at 20th Street and 10th Avenue and you are immediately transfixed. What was once an empty space is now a flourishing park with views of the city streets, not to mention the Hudson River and the Statue of Liberty. People were strolling about on this lovely fall day stopping at one of the many seating opportunties along the way. There is even a viewing spot that stretches over 10th Avenue where you can sit and view the city streets. The park ends at 13th Street where you descend into the Meatpacking District. Here you can experience the trends and fun of this neighborhood. My daughter spotted her favorite store, Anthropologie . . . an Anthropologie store she has not visited . . . well she can scratch that off her list! After a hour or two of exploring this new found location, we exited right into Chelsea Market, a fun indoor mall filled with bakeries, food stores and lots of people. As you continue exploring the neighboorhood, designer stores are dotted along the way. We even found the Trina Turk shop along the cobblestone streets. Jackpot!

Next time you are in NYC and looking for something new to try, head here! Lots of restaurant choices, and the swank Gansevoort Hotel.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Dreaming About Shells!

On a recent trip to Connecticut, we stumbled upon a lovely park in Stamford that rests upon the shores of the sound. Of course, as soon as I saw water and sand, we were immediately out of the car on a beautiful fall day. The shells were so much different from the ones I find on my NJ beach so we had to spend some time exploring. Well, I was exploring and my husband was sitting on a rock enjoying the view probably thinking . . . do we really need any more shells?? So many of the shells on this small beach were fused together like a little family trying to hold onto each other. There were clumps of shells gathered together to almost become a piece of sculpture. A few small conch variety shells were washed up here and there. Unfortunately, I was ill-prepared for a shell adventure, so I was only able to take whatever shells we could carry back to the car. I truly love exploring the beach for shells. I think my husband enjoys watching me on my search so he can smile at how excited I become when I find an interesting shell! A few nights later I dreamed I was exploring this same beach and came upon shells that were clearly oversized for real life and I was trying to figure out how I was going to get them back to my car and to my NJ beach! I may be slightly obsessed with the beach!

Friday, November 19, 2010

How About a Little Green at the Beach?

Green is often used in decorating for its calming effect . . . think about tv guests waiting in the "green room". Green is thought to relieve stress and bring tranquility. It is a great color to use in design as we are so used to seeing it everywhere in nature. Green is used worldwide to represent safety, not to mention the symbolic color of St. Patrick's Day. I love pink and green together . . . think Lily Pulitzer or Vineyard Vines. Let's see it relieves stress, brings tranquilty, reminds us of nature, represents safety . . . time to add some more green accents to my space! You can always count on Trina Turk for some wonderful colors and great fabrics!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Surf City!!!

Surfing happens to be one of the oldest practiced sports moving from Hawaii to California and then finally the East Coast. In fact, the "original" Ron Jon's Surf Shop opened on Long Beach Island in 1961. It amazes me that from a little local shop it has transformed into a surfing icon. How many cars have you passed with the "Ron Jon" label on the back window? From its small roots as a beach bungalow-size store, it is now an icon visible as soon as you enter our little island. Guests to our beach house usually require a stop there . . . although not surfers, we find ourselves shopping there for great beach sweatshirts. Our store carries a few surfboard decor items, but my favorite has to be the surfboard wooden plaque set by Suzanne Nicoll, sans shark bite and all! Our little island also has an old-fashioned burger stop called "Woody's" . . . hence our Woody surfboard rugs! Gidget and all of her beach blanket movies really boosted the sport of surfing here, along with the music of the Beach Boys! Yes, there really is a Surf City on Long Beach Island!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thinking About Christmas at the Beach

I came across these inspiring holiday photos (most likely from Coastal Living magazine) and I wanted to share them. Simple ideas to turn a typical live green wreath into a coastal display. Use the shells you have collected to make this into an original work of art. (Make sure you clean them properly first!) This is a great time to trim any boxwoods you may have and use the trimmed branches to give your wreath more green texture. Get creative and use your imagination. The garland staircase is quite innovative. You can probably buy similar rope at a marine supply store (or somewhere online). Send us photos of what you have created!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Navy Blue & White At the Beach!

I am very partial to deep navy blue and crisp white at the beach. Blue is such a calming natural color found obviously in the sky and water and can really be used as a neutral color. Blue tones are said to bring peace, stability and unity. Navy blue represents the sailor and the sport of yachting. When we bought our beach house, my first purchase was a navy blue and white striped sofa. Granted, it has now seen its share of spills and suntan lotion but is still working hard as a great lounging space in our family room. We will be replacing it soon, but I am probably going to purchase something in the same pattern. I replace the pillows often to give it an updated look. I started with yellow tones, moved onto taupe and now, well, we have an eclectic collection of navy, yellow and taupe!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Tapas Anyone??

My daughter and I have been craving really great tapas like the incredible ones we had in Barcelona. With her internet searching and my trusty Zagat's guide, we decided upon Tia Pol, 205 10th Avenue. A very narrow piece of NYC real estate, you may even walk right by it if not searching for it.
The tapas were amazing and we sampled quite a variety. From patatas bravas (potatoes with spicy aioli) to paquetitos de jamon (artichoke and manchego wrapped in serrano ham). And the spanish wine I tried was perfect. Service was impeccable. After our lunch at Tia Pol, even my husband has become a fan of tapas. We hear that it is packed in the evenings but worth the wait. I am already trying to figure out when we can get back there. Who needs Barcelona!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Splash of Red at the Beach!

Red isn't just for Valentine's Day anymore! Use a splash of red in your beach house when you want to add a bold accessory to your coastal decor. Red is a powerful color . . . think power ties and the red carpet! In China, red is the color of happiness and prosperity while in India it is the marriage color. Red is an intense color and a little bit can go a long way. We love these beach decor pillows against a deep taupe background. Use a piece of faux red coral rather than the traditional white. The Eco-Art chili red collection of pillows are a fabulous hue of red on a cotton taupe background. Our red coral hook pillow is a customer favorite. A pure linen table runner hand printed with delicate strands of red coral will bring a colorful table setting to your next seaside gathering. Go bold!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bathing Beauties at the Beach!

I love these retro bathing beauties! They are reminiscent of a time when bathing suits were called "costumes" (and if you look at the old photographs, they do actually resemble a costume more than our version of bathing attire!). And every lady wore a bathing cap to keep her expensively coiffed hair in shape . . . not to mention that most of the ladies of that day still swam with their head stretching out of the water to keep that hair safe! There was actually the fashion thought that the bathing cap resembled the close fitting cloche hats that were in style at the time. They remind me of my great aunt who swam a few times a week (well up into her late 70's) traveling on a train from eastern NJ to her spot on Coney Island where she began swimiming as a child. As a kid I loved visiting her and rummaging through her eclectic collection of clothing, especially her hats. She also had a collection of swim caps and I loved the 60's version with all the crazy flowers.

The wooden retro divers are my favorite. At 46" in length they make quite a statement. I have one above the kitchen sink in our newly renoved beach kitchen (surprised, right?) . . . in aqua. The new bathing beauty diver hook pillow is on its way to our store and coordinates with so many of our other pillows in that shade. You can create quite a varied seaside look with this collection. And we could all use a little bathing beauty on a hand towel!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Pineapple as a Sign of Hospitality

Okay, so I knew that pineapples have long been a symbol of hospitality, but I was not quite sure how they got there! Well, before blogs, twitter and facebook, the primary means of entertainment and gathering of information for Colonial Americans was actual visitors in the home!
Christopher Columbus discovered the pineapple on the island of Guadelope in 1493 and named it "pine of the Indians." Eventual trade between the Caribbean islands and America was rather slow, so it was quite an achievement for a hostess to have a pineapple to offer guests. The pineapple, when available, ended up as a centerpiece on many dining tables, and later served as dessert for guests. Overnight guests were usually treated to a bed with pineapple carvings as a further symbol of hospitality.
The concept of hospitality was central in the lives of Colonial America and the pineapple symbolized the warmest welcome a hostess could extend to her guests. The pineapple has remained a hospitality greeting and can be found on so many decorative pieces.
Line a few of your dining room chairs with some of our fabulous pineapple pillows to extend a warm welcome to your holiday guests! Social networking is great to help us keep in touch, but getting together with friends (with or without the pineapple) well, that's what its all about!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Nautical Pillows with a Contemporary Twist

A brand new coastal decor accent pillow line will be arriving soon. Put a contemporary twist on your nautical decor with these 18" square hook pillows. Available in a white anchor with a preppy, vibrant green background. A lime green anchor on a blue/green surface or a very nautical blue anchor on a white background. Boating anyone?