Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Book Signing!!!

I'll be at the Flemington Shop Rite on Rte 31 on Friday, December 11th from 1:30pm-6:30pm signing copies of my newest book, Well-Designed Living. Stop by to chat or to get a signed copy of my book! If you want to order a copy online, visit www.CailenAscher.bravehost.com.

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Importance of Traditions

In today's fast-paced world, it's so easy to forget and overlook the small things that make life special. With the holidays approaching (Thanksgiving's next week! Can you believe it?!), I'm challenging you all to rekindle that magical holiday spirit that used to pervade this time of year.

A simple, easy and fun way to get that "holiday" feeling going is to focus on family time and traditions. Traditions provide us with stability, identity and continuity - three things that we're all in desperate need of now more than ever. In this age of laptops, ipods and cell phones (and economic instability) it's far too easy to lose touch with what's truly important; but traditions signify that we are to pause, pay attention and enjoy life. They mark happy times and are the basis of lasting memories.

Below are some simple tips that will help to rekindle or even create some wonderful holiday traditions.

1. Talk to your parents and other older relatives about their childhood traditions. See if there are any that you can re-create with your own family.

2. Turn small things into "events". When you're all gathering to watch a favorite Christmas movie, make a pot of hot chocolate and all get in your pajamas. Small changes can make everyday occurrences feel special.

3. Include the kids. Allowing children to help prepare a dish for the Thanksgiving meal or set the Christmas breakfast table will make them feel like an integral part of the celebration.4. Give a gift to others. Though this holiday season is a trying time for many of us with the current state of the economy, it's still wonderful to think about giving back. Donate gently used toys to under-privileged children, give canned goods to a soup kitchen or spend an afternoon with older residents at a nursing home. A gift of your time is often the most precious, and it's a great way to spend time together as a family.

5. No money, no problem. Remember, traditions aren't about spending money, they're about spending time together. One of my favorite childhood holiday traditions was our annual "Christmas ride". A few days before Christmas, we all would pile into the car with a casual "picnic" dinner in tow. We'd wrap ourselves in blankets and put on Christmas music. We would then spend the evening driving around to look at all the beautifully decorated homes. I have such fond memories of all of those rides - I know you and your family will enjoy it as well!

Happy Holidays : )



For more info about Cailen Ascher Design or my book, Well-Designed Living, visit www.CailenAscher.bravehost.com, email CailenAscher@gmail.com or call 908.581.8191.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Thanksgiving Entertaining Ideas

I cannot believe it's already over a week into November! As usual, the holidays are rapidly approaching and with them arrive family to entertain and parties to prepare for. With that in mind, I've compiled some easy Thanksgiving Decorating and Entertaining ideas to help you achieve a "designer" look without the stress or designer price tag!

1. Harvest Centerpiece - There's no need to go out and spend lots of money on expensive floral arrangements for holiday tables. Instead, turn to things you can find right outside your back door or at your local farmstand. Branches, leaves and small gourds are all that you need to create a successful table design. Place the branches in an attractive fashion - either in a "line" for a long table or radiating out from a central point for a round table. Then scatter the small pumpkins and gourds haphazardly for a casual, harvesty look. For some added pizazz, dust the leaves and gourds with gold or copper spray paint. 2. Foliage Swags - Instead of the traditional fall wreath or Indian corn to adorn your door, why not create a swag instead?! Collect branches of leaves in varying sizes and colors and secure them at their base with twine or a rubber band. Then cover the twine or band with an orange, gold or brown ribbon. This fall swag will certainly impress all guests who enter your home.

3. Leaf Place Cards - When setting the Thanksgiving table, why not mark guests seats with leaves, instead of place cards. Collect colorful leaves of all shapes and sizes and be sure to wipe them clean of any dirt. Write guests' names on them with either a marker or gold-ink pen. This is a fun and simple way to bring the outdoors in.

4. Autumnal Soup - There's nothing that says "fall" like the smell of a delicious soup on the stove. So, why not welcome Thanksgiving guests with a yummy, comforting soup instead of traditional appetizers or hors d'oeuvres? A rich corn chowder with bacon, creamy mushroom soup or pureed squash soup is a wonderful and time saving way to keep guests satisfied until the turkey is done! 5. Turkey Buffet - To keep the holiday comfortable and casual, why not try a Thanksgiving buffet this year, instead of setting a formal table? Allowing guests to enjoy the feast while watching to football game or while sitting by the fire is a great way to make them feel at home. Also, it keeps you from having to set a formal table! Want easy clean-up, purchase attractive paper plates and plastic ware to save you from spending post-dinner doing dishes : )

Hope these tips inspire you to create a cozy, comfortable, memorable holiday!
Happy (early) Thanksgiving!




For more information about Cailen Ascher Design or my book, Well-Designed Living, visit http://www.cailenascher.bravehost.com/ or email CailenAscher@gmail.com.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Online Interior Design Consulting

Online Design Consulting - Step 1
Cailen Ascher Design now offers Online Design Consulting - the next best thing to having a professional designer in your home. Now you can get Cailen's design advice for whatever space you're ready to remake.

If you are interested in Cailen Ascher Design's Online Design Consulting, please send us an email about your project. Be sure to include which room(s) you're interested in reworking and your general expectations for the design. Cailen's design team will follow-up shortly with a design questionnaire and pricing via email.
CailenAscher@gmail.com
Step 2
If you decide to move forward with the service, fill out the questionnaire, take room photos and mail a check for the full amount due to the provided address.
Once Cailen Ascher Design receives it, you’ll receive an action plan for the room(s) in approximately two weeks. The action plan will include a detailed list of what can be done with the space, a floorplan to outline how Cailen's team thinks you should arrange the room and even some resources that we think might help you with your design project - all the tools necessary to inspire and motivate you to create a beautiful, functional environment!
It is truly the next best thing to having Cailen come to your home and create a space of well-designed living.

Preview of Questionnaire
1. Do you have a "style" for your home?
2. How do you use the room?
3. What is something you love about the space?
4. What is something you wish to change?
5. If you had to sum up your final design goal in one word, what would it be? Comfortable? Classic? Luxurious?

For more information about Cailen Ascher Design or my book, Well-Designed Living, visit www.CailenAscher.bravehost.com or email CailenAscher@gmail.com.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Make the Most of Fall

Fall is my favorite season. I love the changing leaves, the crisp breezes and fires in the fireplace. Fall signals the end of summer - and outdoor living. That is why it's always a good idea to do a bit of fall freshening inside your home so that you truly enjoy your time indoors this season.

Bring the outdoors in. Add fresh fall-colored flowers, branches of autumn leaves or even small pumpkins or gourds to your indoor space to brighten it up. Natural elements bring life into rooms.

Add lighting. With the daylight hours diminishing, be certain that you have adequate lighting for all your daily activities. Relying too much on overhead lighting can make a room cold and impersonal. To really cozy-up your space, bring in lamps with 40-60 watt bulbs - perfect for fireside reading...

Dress your windows. With the weather turning colder, think about bringing in some longer, heavier drapes to replace summery curtains or to cover "naked" windows. Not only will drapes add drama and personality to your space, they also serve to insulate and keep cold drafts at bay.

Organize and de-clutter. In fall and winter we spend much more time indoors so it's really important to keep your home organized and running smoothly to prevent unnecessary stress on you and your loved ones. Take a weekend to tackle some small organizational projects (the junk drawer, closet or desk). I guarantee you'll feel much more relaxed afterwards!

Add new accessories. Try switching around some of your artwork, buy new throw pillows or put a favorite collection on display in a new location. Small changes can make a space feel new again, so you won't mind spending more time indoors!

I hope these suggestions have inspired you to look at your home and make some fun changes this season!

Happy Fall : )

For more information about Cailen Ascher Design or my book, Well-Designed Living, visit http://www.cailenascher.bravehost.com/ or email CailenAscher@gmail.com.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Lifestyle Classes - Home Session

The 2nd Session of Lifestyle Class begins on October 6th, 2009 and runs through November 10th. Classes are held every Tuesday morning from 10am-11am and cost $25/class. Drop-ins are always welcome!

Classes will cover aligning your home & lifestyle, simplifying your environment, finding your unique design style, creating a nurturing environment and balancing beauty & function.


For more information call 908-581-8191, email CailenAscher@gmail.com or visit www.CailenAscher.bravehost.com/lifestyle.html.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Best Tastes-Like-Mom-Made-It Breakfast

For the absolute best home-style breakfast, head down to Meil's (pronounced "Meals") in Stockton, NJ. Situated on the corner of Bridge Street and Main Street in this quaint river town, Meil's has been keeping patrons full and happy with their delicious baked goods, hearty egg dishes, fresh-squeezed orange juice and to-die-for potato pancakes for 18 years. They offer generous portions of mouth-watering favorites as well as some welcome twists. Croissant French toast, anyone? Whatever you order, be sure to save room for one of their delectable, buttery biscuits topped with their homemade raspberry jam. There's nothing better!

The d├ęcor harkens back to a 1950s Mom and Pop diner. The mismatched fiesta ware and eclectic art set a comfortable, homey tone for this charming, family restaurant. If you have children in tow, order them Meil's "famous" hot chocolate topped with homemade marshmallows – it's sure to please adult taste buds as well! Though I prefer their scrumptious breakfasts above all else, Meil's also offers tasty lunch options and delicious dinners. All meals at Meil's are reasonably priced and big enough for two! So bring your appetite and enjoy!

Oh, and if you're hoping to enjoy a breakfast there on the weekends, be forewarned, they do not accept reservations and get very busy! So, head there ahead of time, give your name to the hostess and enjoy wandering around adorable Stockton. Trust me; your breakfast will be well worth the wait.


Main & Bridge Streets, Stockton, NJ 08559, 609-397-8033, www.MeilsRestaurant.com

For more information about Cailen Ascher Design or my book, Well-Designed Living, visit http://www.cailenascher.bravehost.com/ or email CailenAscher@gmail.com.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Best Location to Enjoy Cocktails

If you haven't ever been to the Boat House for cocktails, it's time to go. This tiny bar lounge is tucked away down a small alley off of Coryell Street in Lambertville, NJ. Hidden away from the bustle of the main street, the Boat House offers a secluded spot to enjoy masterful cocktails in a location evocative of Provence. Filled with eclectic memorabilia, the interior is dark, romantic and comfortable. Low lighting casts a gold glow throughout the space, and the outdoor seating on warm nights offers views of renowned restaurant Hamilton's Grill and the canal beyond. The Boat House is the perfect location to enjoy before or after dinner cocktails (or both). Though seemingly out-of-the-way, the Boat House and Hamilton's Grill draw quite a crowd of weekend nights, so be prepared if you venture there on a Friday or Saturday. Other than that, the place is absolutely charming. Visit the Boat House, and you'll feel as if you stepped into a lovely, simpler time.

The Boat House, 8 ½ Coryell St, Lambertville, NJ 08530, (609) 397-2244

For more information about Cailen Ascher Design or my book, Well-Designed Living, visit www.CailenAscher.bravehost.com or email CailenAscher@gmail.com.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Best of Neighborhood Dining

If you're looking for a casual place to enjoy a wonderful dinner, look no further than Bell's Tavern in Lambertville, NJ. Tucked away in the residential section of this adorable town on North Union Street, Bell's is a great place for casual, Italian fare any night of the week. Reasonable prices and delicious food keep locals coming back again and again. I can't even begin to count the number of times I've dined in their intimate dining room filled with local art and white-clothed tables. The staff is friendly and attentive and often chats with the regulars at the bar in the front room. Entrees on their regular menu run about $12 with half-orders available for less, and specials tend to be a bit more, reaching as high as $25. My "go-to" order is the Southern Citrus Salad with mandarin oranges, bleu cheese and spicy pecans drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette followed by their traditional Ziti Al Forno with marinara…it's the best! Be forewarned that Bell's does not take reservations (or credit cards for that matter). So if you're planning on going for a weekend dinner, be prepared for a bit of a wait. Take the time to enjoy the company of the locals at the bar. Bell's Tavern, 183 North Union St, Lambertville, NJ 08630, http://www.bellstavern.com/, For Take-Out 609-397-2226

For more information about Cailen Ascher Design or my upcoming book, Well-Designed Living, visit http://www.cailenascher.bravehost.com/ or email CailenAscher@gmail.com.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Best Of....

As part of my quest to encourage "Well-Designed Living" in every one's life, I've decided to start a "Best Of..." series. These blog posts will highlight the hidden gems and fabulous finds of the area that I love best (Hunterdon County, NJ and Bucks County, PA). So, if you're looking for some advice as to where to dine, shop, relax or explore check back for Cailen Ascher Design's "Best Of..." recommendations and live better!

For more information about Cailen Ascher Design or my upcoming book, Well-Designed Living, visit www.CailenAscher.bravehost.com or email CailenAscher@gmail.com.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Home Staging Advice

To get your home sold faster, you have to see your home through the eyes of the buyer. Be objective and really try to see how potential buyers view your space. Your ultimate goal should be to "neutralize" your home, so that anyone who walks through the door can picture themselves living there.

-De-clutter and organize. Remove personal collections, photos and knick-knacks. Clean out drawers and closets. Remember, buyers will look behind closed doors and if closets are messy, they'll assume there's not enough storage in the house!

-Replace & Update. If you have outdated lighting, stained carpets or old bathroom fixtures - switch it out for something new and sleek. These small updates will give your home the edge over the competition.

-Neutralize. If you have bright or dark paint colors or dated wallpaper on your walls, replace it with a neutral, calm color like a soft tan or light gray. This will give buyers a blank canvas to work from and give them a sense that the home is "move-in ready".

-Make it welcoming. Make sure your front entrance is welcoming. Repaint the door if it's scratched, replace the light fixture if it's old or dirty and buy a new welcome mat. Remember, you can only make ONE first impression!!!

-Finishing touches. Add arrangements of fresh flowers, light a softly-scented candle or bake cookies to make your home smell inviting. These small gestures speak volumes to the buyers.

If you take the time to really ready your home before you list it, you're setting yourself up for success. Think like a buyer, and you'll do great! If you're having trouble having an objective eye, ask your Realtor or hire a professional home stager to provide you with a "to-do" list.


For more information about Cailen Ascher Design or my upcoming book, Well-Designed Living, visit www.CailenAscher.bravehost.com or email CailenAscher@gmail.com.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Design Your Lifestyle

So many of us put thought and time into designing our home, our wardrobe and special occasions but often give no thought whatsoever to designing our lifestyle. You may wonder...what does she mean, "design your lifestyle", but it's really an integral part in any happy, healthy life.

If you don't take the time to reflect, review, define and even design your lifestyle, your happiness and potential success are stifled. The key is to make certain that your home environment and your lifestyle (your thoughts, feelings, actions, desires, etc.) are in sync. This means that your home should complement your lifestyle and feed your energy, not inhibit it or deplete it.

Oftentimes, we progress through our day with a sense of complacency. We travel from task to task without giving it much thought. But, if you take the time to really prioritize and figure out what you truly need and want to be happy, you'll set yourself up for success. Just the act of reflecting upon your goals makes it that much more likely that you'll achieve them!

For example, if one of your goals is to live a healthier life (eat better and workout more), but your home does not complement this new lifestyle change, the change won't stick for very long. It's so important to align your home and lifestyle so that you can begin to live your best life. Set up a workout space. Buy healthier food. Cook more of your meals instead of getting take out.

Take some time to think about your lifestyle and to go through your home and identify areas that you wish to change for the better. I guarantee that once you better align your lifestyle and environment, your goals will be much easier to attain.


For more information about Cailen Ascher Design or my upcoming book, Well-Designed Living, email CailenAscher@gmail.com or visit www.CailenAscher.bravehost.com.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Believe in Yourself

"Whether you think you can, or you think you can't, either way you are right." -Henry Ford

For my 8th grade yearbook, each student was asked to select a quote that meant something to them. The quote above is the one I chose. I didn't really grasp what it meant then, but something about it appealed to me.

Now, at 23, having graduated college and being in the midst of building my business, Cailen Ascher Design, the truth of this quote has really sunken in. In so much of what we do, believing in ourselves is really what counts. If I didn't truly believe in my abilities to start and run a successful design business, I certainly would not be where I am today. If I hadn't had complete faith in myself and my talents, I would not have succeeded...and that's the truth.

Perception is reality. If you're convinced you'll fail or that you're not good enough, you're not going to make it very far. With that said, having unwavering faith in your abilities is not always easy. When there are few prospects on the horizon, we all have a tendency to go to that "dark place" and feel like a failure. The trick is to bounce back. Recognize that feeling, acknowledge it, and then dismiss it. Release it and remind yourself why you're great and why your business, idea, goal, etc. is worth working for.

Remember, it's not about perfection or never making mistakes. It's about trying your best, giving it your all and knowing that you'll succeed.

Believe and you'll succeed!


For more information about Cailen Ascher Design or my upcoming book, Well-Designed Living, visit www.CailenAscher.bravehost.com or email CailenAscher@gmail.com.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Excerpt from "Well-Designed Living"

I've been diligently working on my book and am hoping to start distributing it by August 2009. Below is an excerpt to give you an idea of what "Well-Designed Living" is all about...


Introduction

Design is not an exact science. In order for a design to be truly successful, you have to listen to your gut, trust your instincts, and accentuate the best features.

This holds true whether you are designing your home, your wardrobe, or your lifestyle. It may seem like a strange concept to “design” your lifestyle, but it’s vital in creating the life you want and deserve.

Some people constantly feel that they are the victim of circumstances and that their life is out of their control. They feel trapped by their current reality, but our current reality is just that, current; it can start to change next month, next week, tomorrow, or even now as you read this book.

We are the primary players in the creation of our lifestyles. We sculpt and mold every element of our lives with both attention and neglect. The goal of this book is to help you create harmony in your life so that you feel fulfilled. Our bodies and our homes showcase what we hold dear, our priorities, and what we like and dislike. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to these two pillars of our lives, for without stability and confidence in these areas, our lives feel imbalanced and stressful.

The act of design may come naturally to some, but is often daunting, and it is often helpful to turn to a professional, a designer, for guidance. Let this book be your lifestyle designer to help you create your best life…starting now. I strongly recommend keeping a journal throughout this process. It’s a great way to record your feelings, goals, motivations and improvements.

With the help of this book, you will learn the art of
Well-Designed Living:

The Self
How to love and listen to your body.
How to let your authentic inner voice be your guide and live intuitively.

The Home
How to make your home a reflection of the
life you want.
For more information about Cailen Ascher Design or my upcoming book, Well-Designed Living, visit www.CailenAscher.bravehost.com or email CailenAscher@gmail.com.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Measurements

The measurements are in.........drum roll please.........I lost 1.25 inches off my waist and about an inch off each of my thighs. So, I guess things are working in a positive direction after all - what more can you ask for, right?!

Thanks, P90X! Here's to another great month!


For more information about Cailen Ascher Design or my upcoming book, Well-Designed Living, visit www.CailenAscher.bravehost.com or email CailenAscher@gmail.com.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

P90X Almost 30 days....

So it's been almost 30 days following the P90X workouts, and I have to say I really, really like them. They're challenging, fun and alternate enough that you're never bored (which is really important if you're going to stick it out for 90 days, right?). I haven't lost much weight - maybe a pound or two, but I'm definitely building muscle. My arms are firmer and my biceps and even triceps are more defined. Also, my stomach is getting flatter!

Though I wasn't in it to lose weight, I was still a bit confused (and slightly frustrated) that the scale hasn't really budged. I eat very healthy - lean proteins, lots of fruits and veggies - so it doesn't seem to add up. I'll guess we'll have to see what the inches say.... I'll be doing measurements this weekend, so I'll update with my changes in inches after that.

One thing is for certain - these workouts really kick your butt! They get you sweating and really push you. It's been a great way to rev up my routine.

If you want to see visible results, however, you definitely have to make sure you eat healthy, nutritious foods. For the first part, it's the "Fat Burning" phase. You eat low-fat, high-protein to help you shed any excess fat you have and build lots of muscle. I've used their nutrition guidelines as a reference and have created a similar diet that meets my needs, and as I said, I am noticing a bit more muscle definition already. Very cool!

Today is Kenpo X, part of my recovery week, which gives you a break from weight training. Looking forward to it!


For more information about Cailen Ascher Design or my upcoming book, Well-Designed Living, visit www.CailenAscher.bravehost.com or email CailenAscher@gmail.com.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Lifestyle Classes

Reserve your place today in
Cailen Ascher Design's lifestyle class!

Session 1 - Wellness
(Aug 18th - Sept 22nd)
discuss nutrition plans . develop fitness regimens . identify your health goals . learn what motivates you .
discover how to live your best life!
Session 2 - Home
(Oct 6th - Nov 10th)
align your home & lifestyle . learn to simplify and refine . develop a sense of beauty & function . learn to trust your design style . get insider designer tips!
$150 per 6 week session - Only $25 per class!

Tuesday Morning 10am - 11am OR Tuesday Evening 7pm - 8pm

A non-refundable deposit of $25 is requested to hold your seat.

Call 908.581.8191 or email CailenAscher@gmail.com

Family Boot Camp

This summer I've created a "Family Boot Camp" to help my family stay motivated as they embark on a journey toward healthier lifestyles. My aunts, cousins, parents and sister are all on board! We've created a shutterfly website (http://www.familybootcamp.shutterfly.com/) so that we can help one another stay on track.

We have weekly workouts, a healthy lunch date every other week to discuss our progress, and send emails and update the website daily to keep us all moving towards our goals. So far everyone seems to really be enjoying having a network to reach out to when they're in need of some motivation and inspiration.

Having a workout partner (or several for that matter) is a great way to keep you focused. You may not mind skipping out on exercise when you only have to justify it to yourself, but having to explain it to others is sometimes a different story. Letting family and friends know your goals holds you accountable. So, don't be afraid to share your goals and progress - it'll really help to keep you focused and on track!

For more information about Cailen Ascher Design or my upcoming book, Well-Designed Living, visit www.CailenAscher.bravehost.com or email CailenAscher@gmail.com.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

P90X

My boyfriend, Craig, and I began the P90X DVD workouts last Tuesday and so far, so good. The workouts are challenging (and a little time consuming), but I'm really enjoying them thus far. (Especially Kenpo, which is like Tae Bo on steroids.) The program is 90 days long, and you workout 6 days a week, which is a bit of a commitment, but they promise phenomenal results. The workouts alternate between cardio-based and strength-based routines and all get you sweating.

The DVDs are recommended for fit people who already workout and are looking to up their intensity to see results. It is definitely not for beginners. (I've been working out regularly for years, and these workouts kick my butt!) With that said, if you have the time and energy to try something new that will definitely make you "feel the burn", P90X is for you!

As I mentioned, we began the program on Tuesday, May 19th. So far, I haven't noticed any real changes (but I'm only a week in, right?!) Also, I have not experienced much (if any) weight loss - though I am not really in it to lose weight. My goal is to really tone my body and get more muscle definition, which the other P90X graduates got big-time. My boyfriend said he hasn't lost much weight either, but we both agree that our form throughout the workouts and our stamina is improving. I'll keep you posted...

P90X, baby!



For more information about Cailen Ascher Design or my upcoming book, Well-Designed Living, visit www.CailenAscher.bravehost.com or email CailenAscher@gmail.com.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Pictures of Finished Designer Room

A few weeks back, I had a photographer come in and take pictures of the final room. I've posted them below - I'm really pleased with how the room came together!



Hope you've enjoyed your look at "The High Society Bedchamber". To see the room in person, visit the Bucks County Designer House before May 31st. For details, ticket information and directions visit www.buckscountydesignerhouse.org.
For more information about Cailen Ascher Design or my upcoming book, Well-Designed Living, visit www.CailenAscher.bravehost.com or email CailenAscher@gmail.com.





Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Mark Your Calendars...

April 25th & 26th
Stop by Cailen Ascher Design's booth at the annual Shad Fest in Lambertville, NJ. Enjoy live entertainment, great food and family fun!

May 3rd-31st
Visit the Bucks County Designer House to see Cailen Ascher Design's bedroom! For more information visit http://www.buckscountydesignerhouse.org/.

May 20th
Come to the Hunterdon County Library at 7pm to hear Cailen give a talk about "Well-Designed Living". Seats are limited. Visit http://www.hclibrary.us/ for details.

May-June
Pick up a copy of BUCKS Life magazine to see Cailen and Cailen Ascher Design featured in an article about "Young Entrepreneurs".

For more information about Cailen Ascher Design or my upcoming book, Well-Designed Living, visit www.CailenAscher.bravehost.com or email CailenAscher@gmail.com.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Designer House Pictures!

I promised progress pictures, and here they finally are!

Stripping the Wallpaper...
After Priming the Walls...
Painting after Priming/Spackling...
Decorative Faux Wall by Sutton Painting...
Vignette for Program Guidebook Photo Shoot...
We've come a looooong way!
For more information about Cailen Ascher Design or my upcoming book, Well-Designed Living, visit www.CailenAscher.bravehost.com or email CailenAscher@gmail.com.



























Thursday, March 26, 2009

Cailen Ascher Design Online

Currently, an article I wrote entitled "Inexpensive Ways to Transform Any Room" is being featured on Huliq News. Check it out! The direct link is http://www.huliq.com/1/78933/inexpensive-ways-transform-any-room.

Also, visit http://www.24-7pressrelease.com/press-release/the-art-of-welldesigned-living-93437.php for an informative article about Cailen Ascher Design and the art of Well-Designed Living!


For more information about Cailen Ascher Design and my upcoming book, Well-Designed Living, visit www.CailenAscher.bravehost.com or email CailenAscher@gmail.com.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Designer Show House Update

The room I'm designing for the annual Bucks County Designer Show House in Lahaska, PA (now called "The High-Society Bedchamber") is really coming along quite nicely. When I began, it was covered with old, tattered ivy wallpaper and had huge (and I mean huge) cracks in the plaster walls. After a lot of help from friends and family, I'm happy to report that we are not only sans wallpaper but have the walls and trim painted!

Three of the four walls are in a cool-toned, gray-blue and the fourth wall is getting a faux treatment with an elegant, iron-work style stencil and will be coated with a pearl glaze - very glamorous! The trim is in a high-gloss light white-gray which really makes it shine. The overall effect is quite chic and sophisticated in nature, which is exactly what I was hoping for.

Next week, I'll begin moving in all the pieces I'll be using in the room, starting with a 12ft by 15ft handmade Persian rug that is drop-dead gorgeous. After that, I'll begin moving in the bed and silk tufted headboard, mirrored-door armoire, Lucite table, Jens Risom wing chair, mirrored-top vanity, marble-base lamps, etc. etc. etc.

I've been chronicling the entire process with my digital camera and will have pictures to share soon!

For more information about Cailen Ascher Design or my upcoming book, Well-Designed Living, visit www.CailenAscher.bravehost.com or email CailenAscher@gmail.com.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Less Fat, More Flavor

Incorporating more spices into your cooking will open up a whole new range of flavors, provide numerous health benefits, and allow you to use less fat and calories without sacrificing taste!

Here are some delicious spices to consider next time you're in the kitchen:

1. Cinnamon - Just a 1/2 teaspoon of this super-spice helps to lower blood sugar, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. Also, it has an anti-clotting effect on the blood, and the smell of cinnamon has been shown to boost cognitive function and memory! My personal favorite is to sprinkle ground cinnamon on my morning cereal.

2. Nutmeg - This spice contains antibacterial compounds that can help to ward off E. coli and salmonella. Nutmeg is a versatile spice and can be added to either sweet or savory dishes. Add a dash to a skim milk cappuccino for a little something extra or try it with sweet potatoes or spinach dishes.

3. Ginger - Its soothing effect does wonders to curb nausea, relieve heartburn, and prevent bloating. Try grating some into a cold glass of ice water for a refreshing beverage or add some to Asian-inspired dishes like stir-fries.

4. Curry - In actuality, curry is not a spice - it is a mixture of several spices that promote health and wellness. Curry is said to aid with digestion, have anti-inflammatory properties, contain antioxidants, as well as help prevent type 2 diabetes. Try adding curry to chicken dishes, soups, or stews - it's delicious!

5. Dried Red Pepper - The capsaicin (better known as the "heat" in chilies) is said to lower your risk of colon and skin cancers and also helps people to consume fewer calories. Add red pepper to pasta dishes or vegetables to give them a kick!

You probably have many of these on your spice rack already! Why not pull some out next time you're cooking and experiment a bit. I guarantee you'll enjoy them.

Happy Spicing!



For more information about Cailen Ascher Design or my upcoming book, Well-Designed Living, visit www.CailenAscher.bravehost.com or email CailenAscher@gmail.com.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

What's Your Design Style?

When decorating their homes, many people become overwhelmed, because they don't have a clear vision of what they want the final result to look like. You get caught up in what's trendy or what your friends like (or dislike). Sometimes, it's really hard to identify what you truly like and need to make your space feel like your space. Below, I've listed some helpful tips and strategies to help you take the first steps towards defining your unique design style.

1. What colors permeate your wardrobe? Take a look in your closet and dresser drawers. This will give you a clear indication of what colors appeal to you. So many times our wardrobes are filled with gorgeous, fun, rich colors, yet the walls which surround us are white, off-white, and ivory. Take some cues from your wardrobe and think about bringing some colors out of the drawers and onto the walls!

2. Flip through design magazines & furniture catalogs. Browse through magazines and catalogs and see what rooms, furniture, and accessories instantly appeal to you. Don't censor yourself, and don't look at prices (not yet, anyway). Just see what jumps off the page at you. Often, you'll be surprised that what attracts your eye is different than you'd expect!

3. Online inspiration. Visit http://www.hgtv.com/ and browse the designers' profiles. They have endless pictures of all sorts of rooms in various styles. Observe what you're drawn to, and then take some time to really study the picture and see what elements they used to create that space - often you can use derivatives of their ideas in your space!

4. Watch your favorite movies and TV shows. Ok, so sometimes, we like certain shows just because they're funny and make us laugh - but sometimes the characters we identify with live in homes or apartments that we identify with as well. Think about what it is in these spaces that appeals to you - the comfy sofa, the soft lighting, the colors....

5. Where is your favorite vacation spot? Is there a place you go back to time and time again (or went to once and can't stop thinking about) - then something about its design style definitely speaks to you. Try to identify what it is: the relaxing atmosphere? the chic hotel rooms? the candle-lit dinners? How could you incorporate some of those elements into your home?

Just for fun...

Which of the following movies would you rent first?*
a Something's Gotta Give
b Lost In Translation
c The Notebook
d An Inconvenient Truth
e Casino Royale

A: Hamptons White Wash
You don't live by the sea, you live with the sea. You like a calm and balanced environment. Your home is treasured and a temple to all you love. You fill it with loved memories, often with pieces that have a story to tell. You love details (sea shells, raffia) and you create your home to be a central meeting point - an environment for people to come together and spend time. Rooms go beyond their initial function (eg, the kitchen is used not only to prepare food).

B: New York Loft
A global trendsetter. You believe the built environment is more spectacular than the natural one and you're hooked on architectural detail. Your style remains distinctive, yet ever-evolving and true to your own self - you don't buy off the shelf. High ceilings, open-plan, rich and luxurious are key components. You pick up on trends but integrate them into your life. While you enjoy the finer things in life, you fill your home with loved memories and key pieces collected over time. A balance of function and excess.

C: Nostalgic Nest
Like a bower bird, you collect bits and pieces. You are earthy, sentimental, individual and your home is rich with detail. You treat your home as a gallery filled with happy memories, photo albums, unique souvenirs from travels and your own made treasures. Displaying your true self on the walls, your collection tells a story. Spending time away from the home - outdoors and exploring - is just as important as spending time in the home. You are not concerned with what your neighbours' homes are like: you are true to your own style.

D: Sleek "New Earth"
You love the outdoors and bring that into your living environment. The technological side of the environment is considered. You evaluate trends and bring those that complement your lifestyle into your home.

E: Sophisticated Retro
You recognise and respect good design from the past and present. You pick up key pieces over time and enjoy making them work together. While you are aware of innovations, you do not necessarily follow trends. As you are both confident and authentic, you have been collecting pieces for years and you display them with pride in abstract ways in your home.
*This question is part of a questionnaire developed by the International School Of Colour And Design.

Have fun discovering your design style!


For more information about Cailen Ascher Design or my upcoming book, Well-Designed Living, visit www.CailenAscher.bravehost.com or email CailenAscher@gmail.com.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My New Favorite "Flat Belly" Recipe

This wonderfully decadent chocolate pudding is the perfect snack at the end of the day and provides you with plenty of healthy MUFAs (monounsaturated fatty acids) an essential part of attaining a flat belly, though you'd never know it! I developed this recipe after following a more-complicated (and more caloric!) recipe from the "Flat Belly Diet" book for chocolate pudding.

Decadent Dark Chocolate Pudding

1 (1.4 oz) Jell-0 instant fat-free, sugar free chocolate pudding mix
2 cups skim milk
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 small (1/2 cup size) tupperware containers with lids

Prepare pudding according to instructions on box. Melt 6 Tbsp (3/8 cup) chocolate chips in microwave on high for 45 to 60 seconds. Combine melted morsels with chocolate pudding (mixture will be lumpy). Divide pudding mixture between the 6 tupperware containers. Top each of the six puddings with 2 Tbsp chocolate morsels. Keep refrigerated until you're ready to enjoy them. I recommended heating it in the microwave on high for 20 seconds before eating...it's amazing, trust me...

Each serving counts as a "MUFA" and has approximately 215 calories.

ENJOY!!!




For more information about Cailen Ascher Design or my upcoming book, Well-Designed Living, visit http://www.cailenascher.bravehost.com/ or email CailenAscher@gmail.com.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Coping Mechanisms

I was inspired to write this blog because of a journaling prompt found in the Flat Belly Diet book. For today, we were asked to list 5 non-food indulgences to help us cope when we're feeling like we want to turn to food when we're not truly hungry. As I thought about it, I realized how important it is for all of us to reflect and develop a non-food indulgences list. So many of us don't take time to pamper and take care of ourselves, unless it's with food, because that's "allowable". We've been conditioned to believe that we're not supposed to take time off from our responsibilities unless it serves some necessary, vital purpose.

Today, take a few minutes to think about how you would nurture or reward yourself if you could not turn to food. Would you take a short walk outside and get fresh air? Read a chapter of a book you've been dying to start? Watch your favorite TV show or sitcom? Talk to a friend?

To help you begin brainstorming, I'll share my list with you:
1. Play the piano.
2. Watch a design program on HGTV.
3. Plan a vacation (a.k.a. look at pretty places online that I'd love to visit).
4. Take some alone time.
5. Call Craig (my boyfriend).

As you can see, they don't have to be extravagant or expensive. They just have to be something that will feed your soul, instead of fill your stomach.

Happy indulging!


For more information about Cailen Ascher Design or my upcoming book, Well-Designed Living, visit www.CailenAscher.bravehost.com or email CailenAscher@gmail.com.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Flat Belly Progress Report

Well, the 32 day initiation to the "Flat Belly Diet" is drawing to a close. Tomorrow is our last official day of the introductory month, and I'm proud to say it was an extremely successful month. As of yesterday, my dad is down 20lbs and my mom is down 11lb!!! They are both so pleased with their results and love the program so much, we're going to stick to it without much revision for the next month. We haven't taken final measurements yet, but we're all anxious to see how many inches we've lost over the past 4 1/2 weeks (as of last time she checked, about a week ago, my mom's waist was already down 3 inches).

The best part of the "Flat Belly Diet" is the program's flexibility. You can really tailor it to your likes and dislikes. The recipes offered in the book are very good, and if you're diligent about portion control, including a MUFA (monounsaturated fatty acid such as olive oil, avocado, pesto, olives, etc.) and evaluating calories, you have the freedom to create your own recipes quite easily. I would suggest, however, for the first few weeks to adhere to the book's recipes, just until to get the hang of it.

I highly recommend this program to anyone who is looking for a healthy eating regimen to excite their appetite and refuel their energy for healthy living!



For more information about Cailen Ascher Design or my upcoming book, Well-Designed Living, visit www.CailenAscher.bravehost.com or email CailenAscher@gmail.com.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Eating Better Made Easy

In the January issue of Better Homes & Gardens they had a great article entitled "Healthy You". It offered valuable information about healthy living, losing weight, and the benefits of exercise. Taking my cues from that, I've summarized a bit of the article regarding eating better. So many of us strive to eat better and live healthier lives, but sometimes we don't know where to start. It's intimidating to think of making big changes and altering what is probably a pretty comfortable routine. With that said, here are some small (and easy) changes to help you start eating better today!

Smaller Plates - Using smaller dinnerware is a simple way to control portion sizes. Your plate will look plentiful, so you won't feel deprived even though you're eating less!

Leave Something Behind - Leave a little bit of your food on your plate at the end of each meal. So many of us finish everything on our plates - whether we're hungry for it or not. Leaving a bit of food puts you back in control (instead of the food controlling you).

Eat Breakfast - Skipping meals sets you up for overeating later. Breakfast, especially, is such an important meal. It revs your metabolism and will curb bingeing as the day wears on.

Add More Fruits/Veggies - You probably could have guessed this one on your own, but filling up on fruits and vegetables when hungry reduces your tendency to overeat less-nutritious foods. So fill 1/2 to 3/4 of your plate with fresh vegetables and fruit and then fill the remainder with whatever else you would enjoy!

Fill Up With Fiber - Foods with fiber fill you up faster, leave you feeling full longer, and are a great weight-loss tool. Vegetables and legumes are naturally rich in fiber so make sure to enjoy some of them throughout your day.

H20 - Make sure (especially in this cold, winter weather) to stay hydrated. So often, we mistake thirst for hunger and wind up eating when we're really in need of a tall glass of water. Plus, a few extra glasses of water will help to keep your skin hydrated during this chilly weather.

These simple tricks provide you with a great foundation for healthy eating. Start by incorporating just a few into your routine, and I bet you'll see a difference!

Happy (and healthy) Eating!



For more information about Cailen Ascher Design or my upcoming book, Well-Designed Living, visit www.CailenAscher.bravehost.com or email CailenAscher@gmail.com.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Week by Week

In order to steadily keep my business, Cailen Ascher Design, moving forward, I recently developed a week by week schedule to help me accomplish all the tasks I typically need to do in a month's time. I'm hoping this week by week approach will help me to be more efficient and declutter my mind and workspace!

This is the outline of the schedule:

Week 1 - distribute advertising to local establishments, send mailings
Week 2 - research week - read design books, magazines & websites, do Interior Design Institute work
Week 3 - work on my book and organize, declutter, and consolidate my workspace
Week 4 - develop, print, and organize advertising and mailings

By giving myself a one week time frame to accomplish each of these tasks, it will keep me moving forward without depleting my energy. Rather than feeling overwhelmed by all that is before me, I'll be concentrated on that week's tasks, and not ping-pong all over the place trying to get everything accomplished at once. Obviously, not all of these tasks take a full week's time, but that allows for flexibility within the week. Also, as you can see, week 1's task is contingent upon completing week 4's...this will hold me accountable to getting things done on time!

For anyone else who is starting a new business or taking on a big project - why not try making a week by week outline. It will get you moving, keep you on task, and by the week's end, you'll feel like you've really made progress and accomplished something!


For more information about Cailen Ascher Design or my upcoming book, Well-Designed Living, visit www.CailenAscher.bravehost.com or email CailenAscher@gmail.com.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

In the Spotlight

Cailen Ascher Design is currently being featured in the "Business Spotlight" on www.MyHunterdon.com. Check it out today to find out more about Cailen Ascher Design's mission to bring the elements of well-designed living into her clients' homes.

The direct link is: http://www.myhunterdon.com/businesses/businesses.php.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Hollywood Regency - Glamour Galore!

Hollywood Regency is a style that developed in the 1930s and 40s - think Humphrey Bogart and Joan Crawford - very chic and utterly sophisticated. This style beckons for glamour, luxury, and all things that sparkle. What made this trend so massively appealing was not one overarching theme or color but a conscious dedication to details - the sheen of a fabric, the decorative fringe on a pillow, the delicate crystals on a chandelier, and the personalization and flexibility it allowed to suit each individual's needs and sense of style.

To give you a sense of what it generally entails, envision lacquered furniture and sumptuous fabrics. Metallic finishes and mirrors add a touch of elegance and class, while soft velvets, delicate silks, and sensuous satins appeal to one's sense of opulence. These all set the backdrop for Hollywood Regency. Though this style developed in a bygone era, it's completely adaptable to modern sensibilities, for the innate essence of the style is rooted in elevating the home to a haven.
The dichotomy of old and new, modern yet timeless, sophistication and comfort is precisely why I selected this style as inspiration for the room I'm creating in the designer show house this May. This style embodies how I define modern glamour - comfortable, livable, yet fabulous!


For more information about Cailen Ascher Design or my upcoming book, Well-Designed Living, visit www.CailenAscher.bravehost.com or email CailenAscher@gmail.com.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Flat Belly Here We Come...

So, we're officially 2 weeks into the "Flat Belly Diet", and it's going quite smoothly! My mom is down 6 pounds, and my dad is down almost 15! (Yes, already...15 lbs!!!) They're both so pleased with their results and the effortlessness of the program. We're all really enjoying the "diet" - though I really hesitate to call it that. It's not a diet because there's really nothing restrictive about it. I prefer to think of it as a lifestyle.

The food is really very good (and we love to cook, so it's especially fun for us because we're constantly trying new "Flat Belly" recipes). The best thing is that you never feel deprived because you have a meal or snack every 4 hours. Eating at regular intervals throughout the day keeps you feeling satisfied - never allowing you to get super-crazy-hungry. Also, it keeps your metabolism running at a steady pace. If you don't eat at regular times, and allow yourself to get really hungry, your metabolism slows as it goes into starvation mode because it's not sure when you'll eat again. So, even though you might feel like you're strengthing your willpower muscles by skipping meals, avoid the temptation. In actuality, you're slowing your metabolism (a.k.a. fat-burner), to a crawl. Eating revs it up -like filling an empty tank with gas.

One of our personal favorite "Flat Belly" snacks that we came up with ourselves:

1 caramel rice cake (50 calories)
1 tablespoon natural, organic peanut butter (100 calories) spread over rice cake
1 tablespoon semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips (50 calories) sprinkled over top

Both the peanut butter and chocolate chips are MUFAs (monounsaturated fatty acids), which the "Flat Belly" program recommends you to eat at every meal and snack. This treat is easy to make and completely delicious! Try it sometime, and let me know what you think.

As you can see, with peanut butter and chocolate chips (not to mention avocados, nuts & seeds, healthy oils, and olives) it's pretty hard to feel like you're "on a diet". All of these foods are rich and MUFAs, are delicious, good for you, and leave you feeling satisfied longer. Not bad, not bad at all...

For more information about Cailen Ascher Design or my upcoming book, Well-Designed Living, visit www.CailenAscher.bravehost.com or email CailenAscher@gmail.com.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

FLOR for Flooring

I've heard about FLOR before, but today was the first time I took a moment to check out FLOR.com. It's a great company that offers "modular flooring" (basically rug tiles). You can design and create a rug of any dimension and custom fit it to your specific space - a great idea if you ask me. Though some of the colors/patterns are a bit predictable and dated for my taste, others are completely chic, new and interesting.

In addition, the cost for their flooring is significantly cheaper than purchasing wall-to-wall carpeting or even getting an area rug - plus you get to customize it to suit your needs. Also, if anyone spills anything or a spot gets stained, you can pop out the tile, clean (or replace it if need be) and put it back. Very simple, very ingenious!

Their website is lots of fun, and they even have an application for you to design your own rug online. They have endless colors, patterns and textures...the combinations are endless! You should definitely check out FLOR.com if you're in need of some new carpeting (or even if you're not)!

Enjoy FLOR!


For more information about Cailen Ascher Design or my upcoming book, Well-Designed Living, visit www.CailenAscher.bravehost.com or email CailenAscher@gmail.com.
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