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Well Hello 2016!

That was a fun year! I always consider it a good year if I don’t die. Mission accomplished. I don’t really have to make New Year’s resolutions anymore on the grounds of I don’t give a f*ck but I do think it’s important to make New Year’s goals. Goals are good. I also think it’s important to set your goals high. Why not? No one gets anywhere with mediocrity. For 2016, I have given myself 3 goals. Wanna know what they are? Here goes…

#1-Cure myself of ALS. I’m totally bored with it. It has been six long years and I have quite frankly had enough. It is time for me to get up and walk again. This is the year I try to figure it out. That is about as possible as me becoming an astronaut but I’m going to give it a shot. I will drink more green juices, take more medication, research more, explore more and basically just will it out of me. Stay tuned for that.

#2-Finish my book. This has proven difficult for me so far because I don’t know what to add, what to keep out, what you would like to know, what you don’t want to know, what lessons can I share etc. Let me know your thoughts on this. Whenever I start to work on the book, I proofread the chapter about how I had to tell Grace that her gorgeous mother has ALS, and I cry so hard I can barely breathe so I stop working on the book and go eat about 500 cookies. Emotional eating at its best. But I promise, this is the year that I finish!

#3-Expand my little shop. This will be a fun goal and I have already been working on it for the past few months! Knowing that not everything can be antique, I decided to add products to the shop that are not antiques but have all of the charm of an antique. This brings me to the topic of today’s blog!

With great enthusiasm, I am going to open the shop on Thursday with all of the new products! More than 100 pieces will be available!

When my mother and opened our antique shop in Santa Barbara, California our motto was, “Only sell what we love.” And we did just that. Everything that was in the store was something that we would want in our homes. That means we were incredibly discerning and only the best made the cut. And this is how I decided to expand my online shop. I want to offer everything that I love to all of you. Lamps, pillows, blue and white chinoiserie, accessories and of course, antiques. And in the near future I will begin to offer furniture! My ultimate goal is to re-create our shop, Circa, online. I have even brought on an employee named My Mother. I won’t pay her, will make her work overtime, no lunch breaks and she will probably sue me for workplace verbal harassment. Just kidding! I will only verbally harass her a smidge! :-)

So, shall we take a look? The shop is now organized into categories: Antiques, Lamps, Pillows, Accessories, Blue and White Chinoiserie and Porcelain Flowers. (Furniture will come next month.)

Let’s start with the lamps. My mother and I are obsessed with lamps. Decorating is like baking a cake. You start with the batter mixing in all the good ingredients, baking the cake, adding the layers of icing and finishing it off with a cherry on top. In decorating, you start with finding quality base pieces (sofa, chairs, tables), arranging them just right and then start adding the layers (rugs, curtains, lamps) and then add your cherries on top (pillows, decorative accessories). Lamps are in the layering so therefore they are crucial! A lamp can make or break a room. That’s why it’s important to choose wisely. We have lots of lamps for you to choose from, all sizes, all shapes and all dropdead gorgeous! Let’s take a look…

 Mr. Wynn Lamp
Porter Lamp

White Alabaster Lamp

Horn Lamp

Art Deco Sunburst Lamp

 Griffin Lamp

Next up we have pillows. The pillows on the shop are fun pillows. These are not pillows for your living room! We will have those later next month. The pillows on the shop are perfect for less formal rooms. Let’s take a look…

Natural History Cricket Pillow
 Miro Chicken Pillow
 London Map Pillow
 Simply Paris Pillow

Mediterranean Sea Pillow

The next category on the shop is simply stunning. Porcelain flowers! I have discovered a woman who was inspired by the 18th century tradition of porcelain flowers and has created hand-made, one-of-a-kind floral bouquets. Porcelain flowers, tole leaves, terra-cotta pots! Nothing could be more exquisite. Take a look…
 Porcelain Lily of the Valley

Porcelain Cyclamen

Porcelain English Rose

 And knowing that no house could be complete without blue and white chinoiserie, I have added loads of blue and white to the shop! Lamps, vases, jars, orchid pots… All sizes and shapes! Remember, one piece of blue and white is never enough. Take a look…

 Foo Dog Lamp
 Ming Lamp
 Peacock Jar
Chinamen Jar

Now, don’t worry, I would never leave you without antiques! This month on the shop I have some very special items. Take a look…

 French Riviera Yellowware Platter
 circa 1870 French Champagne Coupes
Geisha Ware Tea Set
Chinoiserie Box

Voilà! The new and improved shop opens Thursday, January 7, at exactly 10 AM Pacific Standard Time. Everything except the antiques will ship from the US and the shipping is included in the price. January is always the best time to start decorating for the New Year so start your creative engines!

As always, I will be showing sneak peeks of the shop on Instagram every day. Follow me HERE!
What are your New Year's goals?




  1. Yay! Happy New Year! Love your resolutions:) and looking forward to the expansion of your shop....I too have lamp love. Take good care. xob

    AS for the could write about running water and WE would all be sitting on the edge of OUR SEATS!!
    Anything YOU want to write about WE your READERS will soak up!This BOOK is MORE for GRACIE then ADD all the family stuff, who is who and the how and the WHY'S!!!I promise YOU no matter what it will BE A BEST SELLER.................A BIG HUG coming from me to YOU on this raining DAY in CALIFORNIA!!!

  3. Write your book from your heart. That will always be your best writing. I need all the help I can get in the decorating department... can't wait for the opening of your new shop

  4. My new year goal is to get up off the damn couch.

  5. Yes please! Get up and walk!Defeat the damn ALS! With the positive thoughts of all your friends! Love and many kisses!
    P.S. Oh the Ming lamp, the Miro pillow and the blue champagne coupes! But no cudos! It doesnt matter, its a feast for my eyes!

  6. I have walked in the Atlanta Walk to Defeat ALS for the last two years. Plan to do it again in 2016. Would be thrilled if you were up and walking by September too.

    I'm super-excited about the book and the sales (those lamps!), but what happened to Christmas? I want to see the not-crappy tree and know how you celebrated in the new house. What is different in Provence than Paris?

    1. Well, I can at least say first hand that the Christmas tree was the polar opposite of last years Ghetto Tree - it was huuuuge, gorgeously decorated and gold and the lights were hung by someone of just phenomenal talent. Ellie will have to give you the scoop on the rest. :)

    2. Thank you, Heather!!! I needed to hear that.

  7. Those pillows most certianly ARE for my living room! That cricket one is adorable!!!

  8. I love your way of thinking... and your blunt speak. And that griffin lamp.. and the map pillows!!.... lovely, all of it.

  9. As always you crack me up! I don't make resolutions anymore. I'm too unorganized. Re: your book. Put it all down and have someone edit it. The secret to a great book is a good editor. You are already a natural when it comes to writing. And you are right about lamps - they are to decor what shoes are to fashion. I personally prefer a good lamp since I'm an American size 11 and can't even find a pair of sandals in my size. Can't wait to check out your shop! Laura

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  11. Wishing you peace, laughter and happiness shared with family and friends in 2016. I hope that you are able to manage your health and your will stays strong. I look forward to all your posts and believe your book will be fabulous whatever you include. Love everything from your shop. XX

    1. Ellie, you are amazing! I love everything, especially the lamps - lovely and unique.

      My goal for 2016 is to spend more time with my parents.

      [Sorry I have to do a Reply instead of a Comment, but sometimes it's my only option for leaving a comment and I can't figure out why.]

    2. This is my favorite comment......ever. Selfish me. Our children have no time for us. Seriously. I read a funny thing....(I cried instead of laughed) "Call and visit your parents! day you will look up from your phone; and they will be gone!" Sob.

  12. What? Those lamps are off the hook! (ps. Do people still say that?) Seriously, they are so beeauuuutiful. I can't wait to see the rest as I think you have been preparing this for a long time. You are so sneaky.

    All of my writer friends say that the key is to set up a writing schedule and stick to it whether you "feel like it" or not. Ok, that and maybe DON'T go back to the chapter that you mentioned each time. I know you are can do it! We are all here rooting you on!

    Sending so much Love and Strength across the (fifteen) miles,

  13. Ellie, Leave nothing out of the book... Let your editor take care of that. The shop looks amazing - I am so inspired by you!

  14. I love all of your new inventory. Being a lamp addict, my heart beats faster with each of those elements--especially the alabaster. But the porcelain flowers take the prize. Yes, 2016 is going to be a banner year for us dealers!! I feel it in my bones. Sending love and hugs and blessings for 2016.

  15. Such exciting news. I look forward to Thursday; you and your mother have exquisite taste. I wish you joy for 2016.

  16. Happy New Year, dear Ellie. I support your goals 1000% and want #1 to come true!! Regarding your book, we need it so please don't reread the chapter that stops you from going on-your reaction says it is perfect the way it is. You are the most courageous person I have had the pleasure to be. 2016 is your year!! You are already making it magnifique!

  17. Do you know what is so ridiculous/funny? I think very often about how to cure diseases/illnesses. Like they're muffin recipes that aren't coming out right. Shockingly, I've yet to reach a breakthrough.
    Using and abusing family labor is the key to my family, I'm sure it will be fruitful for you.
    My New Years resolutions are the same as always: gain weight, drink more, and take up smoking. I've never liked smoking, but maybe this will be my year.

    1. I know you are kidding. Giving up smoking 40 years ago....hardest thing I have ever done! Honestly.

  18. Hi Ellie, love your posts so am sure your book will be very entertaining, any juicy gossip is good. Love the porcelain flowers and cushions. Love Lillian
    Not sure why I can't post normally, wish I was more savvy with this stuff!

  19. I really believe you can will yourself get to it. I plan to be willing right along with you!

  20. You can will yourself better and I will be doing so right along with you.

  21. Dear Ellie, I adore your shop, and would order everything if I could!!
    Please, please do write your book!Tell us about your life experiences (both good and not so good) and adventures. It will be great!

    The Arts by Karena
    New Years Thoughts!

  22. I fully support Goal #1. While you may be bored with it, frankly, you just don’t have time for it. ALS has had a fair shake - it simply needs to recognize that it’s not up to the task when it comes to you – it hasn’t defeated you, and it’s time for it to give up and get out before you squash it like a bug. P.S. I believe you could be an astronaut if you put your mind to it, and I believe you can kick ALS’s ass. XOXO / Nancy

  23. Happy New Year, Ellie! Wishing you all my prayers for total success in all your intentions. Can I just say I totally absolutely love you because of your attitude. Both the sassy one and the "I'm going to win this fight" one. Please write everything you want to say. You have a great, positive message and you are just the girl to say it. You go, girl!
    AND, must say I am a total lamp whore and yours are over the top swoon worthy. I need a bigger house! Would TWO lamps per end table be too much?

  24. EDITOR......that is just what you need to get this book done! You have written such revealing blogs that they are chapters in themselves ! You just need someone to string them together and ask YOU the questions that will make everything you have written coalice into a complete book ( like what did happen to your second husband and when did your parents become Jesus freaks ) you have more friends than ANYBODY. You can find someone to edit (ie. pull together) what you already have.... ! I am a mother and a daughter so I know how to harass too��. Can't wait til store on Thursday ..... Bitsy

  25. Dear Ellie (and I call your "dear" because, though you don't know me at all, I've come to feel I know and recognize you, if that makes any sense to you)?

    Thank you for this first of your 2016 posts. Like you, I ceased some time ago making New Year's resolutions. I hadn't ever the true desire to keep them...mostly media contrived...exercise, lose weight, blah, blah, blah. Resolutions,to my mind, are illusions, amorphous, like vapor on a California coastline. GOALS, on the other hand, feel solid and sturdy.

    Your Goal #1 - CURE YOURSELF OF ALS. I want to join you in your goal because of my somehow strong, strong belief in your innate strength, tenacity, and unrelenting humor through it all. I also admire your "potty mouth." You sound just like me and all of my very best girlfriends.

    While I'm not a religious believer, still I am a believer in "mind over matter," and also "Whatever Man's (humand kind) mind can conceive is possible." All you have to do is look at where we are phones, Apple watches, streaming Netflix (most important innovation), rockets into space launched by independent companies now, not NASA, and all the rest.

    Ellie, I looked up Stephen Hawking having reached his 70th birthday, surviving so long with ALS without any mental deficiency whatsoever. The question is, What does Stephen Hawking's long-time survival with ALS mean for you, Ellie, and others who have the disease? To me, his life proves that long-term survival is possible and real nowadays.
    His is an incredible example of the variables of the disease and hope for patients that they can live a long and fulfilling life.

    Ellie, easy for me to say, able-bodied as I am (at least for now). Nevertheless, I've suffered heartbreak, the death of my son,just 21,killed in a motorcycle accident. Before that my sweet six-year-old daughter diagnosed with leukemia, her father and I told she would die before week's end. My daughter, Colette, survived against all odds, even suffering severe setbacks. She is now 46 years old, the mother of 18-year-old twins (boy and girl)now in their first year of college.

    Life, obviously, doesn't always follow to good endings...but sometimes they do, against all odds.

    Ellie, I'm relatively new to your blog so I clicked on a "You Might Like" previous post of yours about showing well-loved stuffed animals, all of them no longer completely intact, but no less beloved. I'm a child of Carly Simon's and James Taylor's generation and just read Carly Simon's Memoir, which I loved, by the way...nevertheless, finding it very difficult to believe that each of us have been lucky enough to have survived our emotional angst (or not), but not devastating ill health, and now have grandchildren. Grandchildren...when did that happen?

    Ellie, please, please, please keep up the good fight. Like those dear stuffed animals, you are loved...surprisingly, even by people like me who don't know you in person, only by your funny, sad, ultimately uplifting blog.

    On another topic, I know I can't possibly afford a pair of the white alabaster lamps (cost?), but I love them...and love your innate aesthetic.

    I so look forward to all of your posts in 2016!

  26. Your finds are exquisite. I look forward to another year of your blog posts.