stylish dog products gift guide

The Newest Member of Our Family Plus Gifts for the Dogs in Your Life

After 20 years, Mr. B and I decided to get our first dog together: an 8-week old, 5-pound Italian Greyhound puppy. Preparing for his arrival was a LOT of work. We puppy proofed the house, purchased all the necessary supplies and read up on what to expect with a new puppy. If you have any tips on training a young puppy, please leave a comment below so I, and other readers, can benefit. Without further adieu, here’s our new puppy. He even has his own Instagram handle @orvietotheiggy that Mr. B has been managing but I will soon be managing also. Learn more about our adventure to bring him home here. 

“Happiness is a warm puppy.” – Charles Shultz

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It goes without saying that we’ve done a lot of shopping before and after acquiring our new puppy. There are lots of products offered for pets so I’ve come up with a roundup of several companies offering stylish pet products that would be perfect for the dogs in your life this holiday season.

Some of the cutest toys are offered by Nandog. We already purchased the alpaca for our dog but have a feeling we’ll be purchasing a few more items from them.

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Clothes shopping for our dog is a must. Italian Greyhound’s have very little fur and almost no body fat so it’s important to keep them warm. If your dog needs a new winter coat, this one from Dog Moderne has some great classic styling and detail.

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If you live in a more mild climate, this sweater is adorable. It’s also offered by Dogue Moderne, a new Los Angeles based company that offers cute clothing at prices that won’t break the bank. dog moderne stylish dog clothes_reviving charm

The Seattle based Maison Luxe home store and design studio recently opened Maison Woof. They are offering some of the most stylish bedding options made out of washable fabrics – a quality you definitely need in a good dog bed. They are a bit pricey but if you are looking for something stylish and durable, this is a great option. 

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A more affordable option is this bed from Teddy Maximus. The bed offers an interchangeable cushion allowing you to mix and match fabrics. teddy maximus_stylish dog bed_reviving charm

I remember seeing the Good Dog day spa gift set several years ago at Neiman Marcus but this year it caught the attention of Oprah Winfrey and it made it to Oprah’s Favorite Things list for 2018. I particularly like the terry cloth doggie robe that is only available in this gift pack.

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Here’s another great gift set from Harry Barker that includes both toys and treats. harry barker_stylish dog_Reviving Charm

The Foggy Dog, based in San Francisco offers a great selection of doggie bandanas. They also offer some of the most stylish waste bag holders on the market that coordinate with their rope leashes that feature solid brass hardware. the foggy dog_stylish pet_reviving charm

Any dog would appreciate a nice cozy blanket to snuggle with. I purchased this blanket in brown but it also comes in grey. I like that it also comes in a variety of sizes. Our pup snuggles with it each night and I’ve washed it several times already. So far it seems to be holding up well.

I know many dogs that love rope toys, including my own puppy. These from Jax & Bones are seriously cute!

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What dog doesn’t like to play a good game of fetch? These fetch balls by Harry Barker are offered in two sizes so dogs big and small can enjoy.

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How You Can Tour the County Estate “Patina Farm”

If you’ve never been to the charming town of Ojai, located in Ventura County 80 miles northwest of Los Angeles, then I highly suggest you plan a trip this upcoming weekend. It may be last minute, but wouldn’t life be dull without a little bit of spontaneity once in a while? A trip to Ojai any time of the year is wonderful but this weekend is particularly special – especially for all you design enthusiasts out there. To kick off the holiday season, the annual Ojai Holiday Home Tour & Marketplace will take place November 10 & 11.

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The official website describes the event as follows:

“Each year the Ojai Holiday Home Tour welcomes designers and florists, each of whom are assigned a home and tasked with bringing their own vision of décor and the holidays to life. This year (November 10-11), we have lined up the following designers Bruce Abbott, Angela’s Flowers, Carolyn Bennett of cdb gardens, Laurel Crary, Brooke Giannetti of Giannetti Home, and Ojai Blooms.”

What particularly caught my attention is that the home of Brooke and Steve Giannetti is included in the home tour this year. Inspired by the country homes of Europe, the talented architect and designer/husband and wife duo Brooke and Steve Giannetti designed and built a country house in the Ojai Valley of California. It took them 6 months of planning and  18 months of construction to develop the five-acre site that is now their home and farm. Brooke is also the author of a website that I’ve followed for many years, Velvet & Linen, where she chronicled the project that ultimately led to the publication of a beautiful book that I am happy to have on my bookshelf. I’ll also be preordering their latest book, Patina Living, that provides insight on what they’ve learned while living on the farm. Patina Living is due out in April 2019 and is available for pre-order on Amazon.

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Patina Farm via Reviving Charm

The Ojai Holiday Home Tour is a wonderful opportunity to step inside some of the most beautiful properties in the valley, including Patina Farm. Tickets to the event can be purchased on-site or in advance here, with proceeds benefiting the Ojai Music Festival. I have other commitments this weekend and am very disappointed that I won’t be able to attend to tour Patina Farm. However, I do hope that one day I might be invited as a guest. In the meantime, I will sit back and enjoy Brooke and Steve’s lovely book. You can purchase your own copy here. 

If you happen to attend please send me a note to let me know…I’d love to hear all about it…

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Beauty of the (Italian) Afterlife

I promised that I would share pictures from our most recent Italian vacation. I am starting to make good on that promise although I do still need to put together a proper post. I’m working on it…I swear. I am continuing to sift through thousands of pictures but I did manage to gather a few that are most appropriate for today, Halloween, the spookiest of all holidays.

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When it comes to traveling, I have found that one of the most exciting ways to get to know a city is to simply get lost and enjoy new discoveries that literally cross your path. As Mr. B and I wandered throughout Milan on one particular day, we took note of a building off in the distance due to its beauty and scale. We continued to walk toward it hoping to learn more. It turns out that the building that caught our attention is part of Milan’s most well-known cemetery, Monument Cemetery (Cimitero Monumentale in Italian). Our curiosity led us past the gates and into one of the City’s largest cemetery’s developed in 1886.

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We ventured inside only to discover an open-air market with a treasure trove of art and architectural monuments. As we strolled the grounds, it was immediately evident that some of the most notable artists and architects were commissioned to build beautiful, grand structures to mark the location of where some of the most wealthy and elite Italians have been laid to rest.

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All iPhone images by Reviving Charm.

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20 YEARS AGO TODAY…

Life is interesting. You can cross paths with someone and in that unsuspecting moment, not realize that they are the person who is going to turn your whole life around. For me, that person was Mr. B. He’s the person I think of morning, noon and night. He’s the person that makes life interesting and exciting (no exaggeration) and he is the one I can’t imagine life without. We’re 2 peas in a pod.

Today marks our 20th wedding anniversary and although we are celebrating on a tiny island in the middle of Lake Maggiore, Italy, I can’t help but reminisce about the wedding we planned 20 years ago. From the start, we liked doing things differently and planned a destination wedding long before they were ever popular. The internet wasn’t around in 1998 and I made all plans and reservations over my Pacific Bell “princess” landline phone. We chose to book one of two presidential suites at the Four Seasons Olympic Hotel (now known as the Fairmont Olympic Hotel) in Seattle to serve as the backdrop for our small, intimate affair. It was booked sight unseen and we didn’t see the room until a few hours before the wedding took place. We figured, “It’s the Four Seasons…c’mon how bad could it really be?” I eventually asked the hotel to send me pictures of the room and they happily obliged (The Four Seasons was very accommodating before, during, and after the event). However, I had to wait for the pictures to be developed and sent overnight via Fed-X. Interesting how times have changed!

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This was our wedding cake. Again, wanting to stray from tradition and opting for something more unique, we decided to design our own version of the wedding cake. I asked the hotel to create individual cakes for each of the 20 guests. When I made the request, I was told it was something the hotel had never done before and my wedding coordinator would have to first consult with the pastry chef. Naturally, they accommodated my request and each guest was served their very own miniature wedding cake adorned with fruit and fresh flowers (the miniature roses were my favorite). Printed menus were placed at each table setting and the dessert course was described as a “wedding cake surprise”. The cakes certainly were a surprise because we had no idea how they would exactly turn out until they were served at the wedding. Thankfully, they came out just as I had imagined and people enjoyed them so much that they continued to talk about them for many years to follow. It was a wonderful day and if I had to do it all over again, I’d do it in a heartbeat.

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Take Note: Bernard Maisner for Paperless Post

I am a traditionalist at heart and love to send and receive snail mail. I always make sure to have stationery on hand because you never know when you’ll need to send a note to someone special. My go-to stationer is Smythson (preferring their blank notecards) and I even posted about some of my purchases here. But I have to admit to secretly coveting the notecards designed by artist and master calligrapher Bernard Maisner. I remember first seeing his beautiful butterfly notecards at Gumps in San Francisco many, many years ago. I don’t think anyone who knows me would describe me as frugal but I couldn’t justify spending $145 for a set of 8 notecards that would sit in a drawer just waiting to be used. However, I will say that they are a wonderful splurge for a very special occasion. While expensive, the price tag is justifiable. Each notecard is beautifully hand painted with vibrant watercolors so no two are ever alike. Notecards also come packaged in a fabric covered box that makes me swoon because I am also a sucker for great packaging.

Here’s a look at some Bernard Maisner stationery. Keep reading…I can tell you how you can get Bernard Maisner for considerably less…

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Barnard Maisner, Artist and Calligrapher in his studio.

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In our digital age, there are options to physical paper stationery and Paperless Post provides a fabulous alternative by offering digital stationery that mimics the look of traditional paper goods. The online platform provides some of the most attractive digital designs and I was happy to learn that they offer many designs by Bernard Maisner, including the butterfly notecard I have loved for so long. If you love Bernard Maisner designs as much as I do, this is a much more affordable option. Here’s a look at a few of the Bernard Maisner digital designs available through Paperless Post. bernard maisner paperless post butterflies_reviving charm 1

bernard maisner_reviving charm_paperless post peacock notecardbernard maisner birthday card calligraphy_paperless post_reviving charmI really like that Paperless Post designs are so customizable. Many designs even allow you to upload your own picture.  

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It’s never too early to think about the holidays. In fact, I was just telling someone yesterday that after Labor Day it always feels like a fast forward to the holiday season.thanksgiving paperless post_reviving charmbernard maisner card calligraphy_paperless post_reviving charmbernard maisner_reviving charm_paperless post christmas card 2

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While Paperless Post is nothing new, it’s something I’ve haven’t tried until just recently. If you are on the fence about using digital stationery like I was, don’t be. Paperless Post provides a great alternative to physical paper by offering so many stylish designs, including those by Oscar de la Renta, John Derian and Jonathan Adler, just to name a few. Here’s what I like about Paperless Post:

  • The website and the app are so simple to use and very user-friendly. 
  • I absolutely love the fact that you can schedule cards to be delivered in the future. 
  • You can save your drafts to work on later.
  • A countless number of designs with style to suit almost everyone.
  • You are informed when cards are delivered and can see once they’ve been read.
  • Customization is simple and very intuitive.
  • You can even upload your own designs.

I now consider myself a fan of Paperless Post but one thing I don’t quite get is how they came up with their pricing system. “Coins” are the currency you use to pay for your digital products and you buy coins in bundles. For example, a series of 10 coins cost $5.00, 25 coins cost $10, 100 coins cost $20, and so on. I sent a card recently that cost me 7 coins. I absolutely hate math so I didn’t bother to actually figure out what the real cost to me was in dollars and cents. I don’t get the concept of coins and I prefer a traditional check-out than to have to buy coin packages. For me, this is the only downside I found and it’s not one that would ever deter me from using their products again in the future. I’ll just simply consider it a quirk. After all, don’t we all have a quirk or two of our own? I know I sure do…

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Celebrating A Slice of England

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I immediately wanted to host an event after seeing this beautifully decorated table (and photos below) on the Instagram account of @IndiaHicksStyle. The accompanying comment said “This time last week. Slice of England.” After a bit of digging around online, I came to learn that this lovely table was designed for a dinner held last week in the garden of  “American Farm”, the country English home of India Hicks and her partner David Flint Wood. The event celebrated India’s new book “India Hicks: A Slice of England” released earlier this year. Every guest received a copy of the book. But you don’t have to feel left out…you can purchase your own copy here. 

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images via @indiahicksstyle

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Red, White, and Blue

Tomorrow is the 4th of July holiday and today on the blog we are celebrating the spirit of summer with designs inspired by patriotic colors. Although I’m generally partial to neutral colors, I’ve always been drawn to a classic New England look that often incorporates red, white, and blue. Mr. B and I be celebrating by the water (one of my “happy places”) and heading to La Jolla. The fact that the holiday falls in the middle of the week this year is a bit of a bummer but it’s still a good excuse to seize the day and enjoy what summer has to offer, even if only for one day. What are your holiday plans?

I wish you a very Happy 4th of July. Stay safe..stay sane…

All the best, V.

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There’s nothing more classic than a good stripe so I created a series of thick stripes executed in watercolor. Most have already sold and very few are still available.

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SOLD. This is another painting I created for a client in Boston. This is one in a series of four different designs but all incorporated the same brighter blue and red tones. The colors seem most appropriate for a New England interior.

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Easy Entertaining for Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is always a great excuse to gather a few friends over. Whether you’ve been planning a fiesta for a while or are more a spur-of-the-moment kind of person, here are a few easy, last minute ideas to help you plan your party. Happy weekend! CINCO DE MAYO 2018_reviving charm

  1. I love the idea of using pink and orange roses arranged in a terracotta pot for a festive, stylish centerpiece. (image via host_to_perfection)
  2. If you are hosting a sit-down event, use fresh limes as a place cards. They are inexpensive and readily available.  A white craft pen (available at most craft stores) can be used to write the name of your guests.
  3. I’ve always liked the idea of using food containers as planters (see this post). This is an easy way to highlight the theme of your event.
  4. The guacamole at one of my favorite Mexican restaurants also includes the following ingredients:  orange juice, finely shredded orange rind and pomegranate as garnish. It’s delicious and colorful.

It’s been a while since I’ve been in my studio painting, but I’ve picked up my paint brushes again and have been working away on some new paintings. The background image seen above is actually something I painted yesterday. I will venture to guess that you’ll be seeing more of my work here on the blog.

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Rabbitville

I was originally planning a traditional Easter post filled with lots of pretty and pastel colors but then I remembered taking pictures of a public art installation during the Christmas holiday when Mr. B and I stayed at the Pendry Hotel in the Gaslamp District of Downtown San Diego. The hotel was hosting “Rabbitville”, a rotating public art exhibit comprised of 15 fiberglass rabbits. The exhibit began in May 2017 to commemorate the settling of the neighborhood 150 years ago. If you wish to see Rabbitville in person, the exhibit is currently on display at San Diego’s historic U.S. Grant Hotel.

Hoppy Easter…and Rabbit, Rabbit! (*if you need to know what that means, click here)

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Rabbit, Rabbit : Entertaining for Easter

I always wondered why Sarah Jessica Parker signs off some of her Instagram posts with “Rabbit, Rabbit”. It turns out that it is a greeting to be used on the first day of the month and is meant to wish someone good luck for that month ahead. An interesting article about this tradition/superstition can be found here. “Rabbit, Rabbit” will be particularly appropriate to use this Easter since it happens to fall on April 1 this year. If you are planning to host an Easter celebration why not greet your guests with “Rabbit, Rabbit” and accessorize your dining table with a few moss bunnies. I recently saw the following picture reposted on the Instagram account of one of my regular reads, Blue and White Home and it made me want to order a bunch of bunnies for the table!  (Thanks for the inspiration, Elizabeth!) If you want to add a few bunny rabbits to your own Easter table then keep reading because I have a few sources for you.

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Image via Style Me Pretty

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I love the idea of giving everyone their own bunny by placing these napkin rings at each table setting. They are currently on clearance for a steal of a price at Pier 1 Imports for $2.68 each. Because I can’t leave well enough alone, I’d be tempted to tie a loose bow of double-faced satin ribbon to help camouflage the spring. moss rabbit napking rings_reviving charm

Here’s a look at a table styled with the bunny napkin rings. moss rabbit napkin rings_reviving charm 1

If you are looking for a larger scale bunny, this one might do the trick. It measures 6″ x 12″ x 10″. Buy it herefrom Nordstrom.moss bunny rabbit nordstroms_reviving charm

You can also find small and large bunnies available through Ballard Designs. They look cute together as a group.
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This moss bunny planterfrom Save On Crafts is 100% cuteness and would look great filled with fresh seasonal flowers. Save On Crafts has been a great resource of mine for many, many years for all kinds of craft related items. Many of their other moss bunnies are already out of stock so buy early if you want one of your own. moss bunny rabbit planter_reviving charmThey also have a large bunny(12″x6″). This one really has some nice realistic detail to it. moss-covered bunny rabbit_reviving charmI just realized that I haven’t done a crafty type post in some time so I hope you enjoyed today’s Easter inspiration. All the best….