Gratitude to the Home & Lifestyle Universe.

Some weeks are better than others. This happened to be a particularly challenging one for me. But hey, we all have them right? Then tonight I come home and what do I see, the bounty that this week has brought me in the mail.


Town & Country, Martha Stewart Living, HGTV Magazine, Traditional Home and House Beautiful all in one week! And all right before a forecasted rainy weekend. The home & lifestyle gods are looking down on me and smiling. Gratitude.

What is your favorite magazine you subscribe to? Why? Please let us know by leaving a comment below.

Enjoy your weekend ahead!

Seasonal Decorating: Styling a Spring Coffee Table


“I want to bring the feeling of Spring into my home decor but my budget is small and my available time is even smaller. Can you help me?”


I hear this dilemma quite a bit during workshops and classes. You want to refresh your home each season, and although you want it to look like a million bucks, you don’t necessarily want to invest a lot of time or money doing it. Creating a seasonal display on your coffee table is an easy way to bring Spring into your home and many of us already own these suggested items.


  • Wooden Tray
  • Your Favorite books or magazines
  • Decorative Box
  • Decorative Coasters
  • Potted Bulbs or Spring Flowers


Once you have raided your closets and collected all your items in one place it is simply a matter of placing them in an appealing manner on your table.


Check out this video I just made for you with simple tips for styling your coffee table that can be done in a matter a minutes. It will have you ready for entertaining or simply whistling like a spring bird in no time.

Now it is your turn, I want to hear your design dilemmas. Leave one concern you have about seasonal decorating in the comments below and we may answer in an upcoming video or session.

Pantone Color of the Year for 2013: Emerald

Radiant, jewel-toned Emerald promotes balance and harmony

Pantone LLC announced PANTONE® 17-5641 Emerald, a lively, radiant, lush green, as the Color of the Year for 2013.

“The 2012 Color of the Year, PANTONE 17-1463 Tangerine Tango, a spirited, reddish orange, provided the energy boost we needed to recharge and move forward. Emerald, a vivid, verdant green, enhances our sense of well-being further by inspiring insight, as well as promoting balance and harmony.

Most often associated with brilliant, precious gemstones, the perception of Emerald is sophisticated and luxurious. Since antiquity, this luminous, magnificent hue has been the color of beauty and new life in many cultures and religions. It’s also the color of growth, renewal and prosperity – no other color conveys regeneration more than green. For centuries, many countries have chosen green to represent healing and unity.”

As I am so inspired by nature and the natural world we HAD to begin our look at this color by starting in the garden. Leaves, garden stools and garden tools inspire and are inspired by the color green.

 {Garden Stool from}

“Green is the most abundant hue in nature – the human eye sees more green than any other color in the spectrum,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “As it has throughout history, multifaceted Emerald continues to sparkle and fascinate. Symbolically, Emerald brings a sense of clarity, renewal and rejuvenation, which is so important in today’s complex world. This powerful and universally appealing tone translates easily to both fashion and home interiors.”

Moving from the garden through the entranceway and into your home, Emerald Green bring a luxury to your Doorway and Front entranceway.

{Planters from Fireside Antiques }

{Image courtesy of Franki Durbin }

Emerald for Interiors Enhance your sense of well-being at home by rejuvenating the interior with Emerald paint, accents and accessories. This jewel-like hue will create a luxurious feel in an entryway, powder room, dining room or study, and bring life to a living room as an accent wall. Add a splash of color to the kitchen and dining room areas with Emerald dinnerware, stemware and appliances.”

I love the image below because it utilizes mirror images to showcase the Emerald Green outside, on the velvet couch and also in the glass mirror on the wall.

Moving on to the kitchen and dining room we see the color come to life in cake stands, glassware, and centerpieces.

{cake stand image courtesy of}

{glassware image courtesy of Williams-Sonoma}

{Bells of Ireland Centerpiece Inspiration}

 2013 is going to be a year filled with good fortune and prosperity and we look forward to searching for and providing you with everything you need to create your own appealing plan. {See more of this fantastic color by following us on our Emerald Pinterest Board}

Pantone Reveals Color of the Year for 2013: PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald via read the release in its entirety on their website Press Release …more…

A Christmas Tree for Every Room

It is the first weekend of December and my guess is that most of you are heading out to select the perfect tree sometime this weekend. But why just stop at one? What if you placed a tree in everyroom of the house? Big or small, Christmas trees bring the warmth of the season into the space. So this year, why not add a festive glow to more than one room? Consider these options…



{Image Courtesy of House Beautiful}


{Image Spotted on Alicia B Designs Blog}


{Image Courtesy of Traditional Home}


{Image Courtesy of Jaunted}

And yes even…..


Where will you place your tree this year?

In the News: A Naturally Thankful Season {article published in Impart Magazine}



No matter what part of the country you live in, for most Americans, Fall is a time filled with images of harvest, abundance, cool weather, and gathering with family and close ones. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, the 2012 Fall Season officially begins on September 22nd  and ends on the Winter Solstice December 21st but no one day most embodies the season more than Thanksgiving Day, or weekend if you are luck, filled with family, friends, laughter, sharing memories, and of course plentiful food. Preparing your home for that one day, however, can be overwhelming if you attempt to menu plan, shop, decorate, set the table and cook all in a matter of the three days prior to the big feast… Read the Full Article Here {written by Krayl Funch}

Topics covered in the full article include:

“Start At The beginning” : Creating a Seasonal Entranceway

“Bring it Inside”: Bring the outside in to celebrate nature

“Before the Big Feast”: Reduce stress by preparing in advance

Read the Full Article Here


Or view recent posts on related topics:

Make a Grand Entrance This Season / Fall Entertaining & Tablescapes

{Please contact us if you are interested in working with someone to help plan & coordinate your holiday gathering.  In-person & Virtual Services available}

Gratin De Pommes de Terre aux Poireaux {Gratin of Potatoes, Onions and Leeks}

Recipe #2 on my quest to cook through Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child, this recipe is a variation on the Gratin de Pommes de Terre aux Anchois, but as I was missing the leeks from last week’s Quiche aux Champignons, I decided they would be the perfect addition to the dish for this week’s SundaySupper event with Chantal. OK, admittedly mostly because I have this fantastic Chantal dish that I love but rarely use and as you may know by now I am always up for an excuse to use a dish or platter.

For this preparation, I opted to make a true Gratin as described by Julia as basically a Quiche minus the pastry shell, baked in a dish and usually more substantial in its ingredients. I plan on serving this as a side item with roasted chicken for the perfect fall dinner.


  • The leek cooking technique created soft leeks full of flavor that really could be added to any dish or used as a topping for fish or chicken.
  • The value of using lids on pots. Seems simple and 101 but the items retain their moisture, or even create more, and cook evenly.


  • Use slightly less butter. Probably cut this on the onion portion.
  • Use slightly more pepper. Possibly use a herb…sage…
  • BIG TIP: There was more liquid in the dish after baking than expected. For the future: Make sure potatoes are fully drained. Even on a towel before adding. Make sure all leek liquid is cooked off before adding to dish.


Gratin De Pommes de Terre aux Poireaux {Gratin of Potatoes, Onions and Leeks}


  • 1 lb. sliced white of leek (about 3 ½ cups)
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 cups chopped potatoes
  • 2/3 cup minced onions
  • 6 tb butter (3 for leeks / 3 for onions)
  • 3-4 cup baking dish such as an 8-inch Pyrex pie plate
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 1 ½ cups whipping cream
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • ¼ cup grated Swiss cheese


Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Boil Leeks over moderately high heat in a heavy bottomed, covered saucepan with the water, salt, and 3 Tb. butter until liquid has almost evaporated. Lower heat and stew gently for 20 to 30 minutes until leeks are very tender.

Cook onions slowly in 3 Tb. butter for 5 minutes, until tender but not browned.

Drop potatoes in boiling salted water and cook for 6-8 minutes or until barely done. Drain thoroughly.

Butter the baking dish. Layer 1/2 potatoes, onions and leeks then repeating with 2nd ½ of all.

Combine eggs, whipping cream, salt and pepper. Whip. Pour over potatoes, onions and leek in dish. Spread cheese over top.

Bake for 30-40 minutes in upper third of oven until top is nicely browned.

Gratin de pommes de terre #JuliaChild via @AnAppealingPlan

gratin de pommes de terre #JuliaChild via @AnAppealingPLan

Did you enjoy this? Sign up below to receive recipes, tips and other weekly updates free! And be sure to leave a comment below.

~ Krayl

kickstarter - AnAppealingPlan Book LeaderBoard passion to print large #CelebrateEveryday 728 x 90

These #SundaySupper Contributors, were provided with a beautiful Easy As Pie Dish by Chantal Cookware. They will be sharing their recipes with you this Sunday and also their thoughts on this Beautiful Pie Dish. Many are giving away their dish along with their pie to brighten someone’s day.

As you may have noticed, when the #SundaySupper Team does something, we come together and do it with a bang. Check out these additional recipes, perfect to take to someone who you want to make feel special this month.

Join us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper. We’ll be meeting up at 7:00 pm(Eastern) for our weekly #SundaySupper live chat. All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag or you can follow us through TweetChat. We’d also love to feature your easy go to recipes on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them with all of our followers, too.


Quiche aux Champignons {Mushroom Quiche}

 Oh Julia!

{note – this post has been recently “republished” under Julia’s Mushroom Quiche – read it here. Enjoy them both!}


Two weeks ago my copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Ms Julia Child arrived at my door. I finally had the opportunity to crack it open. This being my first official attempt at making one of her recipes I decided not to go nuts and to purchase the pie crust rather than risk a ruined Quiche due to a failed crust. Next time I promise to go all in.

The recipe is actually incredibly simple and although I risk the lighting bolt coming down and hitting me for saying that I may change anything of the Masters recipes, I would revise a few things for the next version.


* The mushroom cooking technique was fantastic and has been added to my skill set. When reading the recipe I thought I was miss-reading on the mention of “uncover and boil liquid till mushrooms are sautéing in their butter”. Boil? What liquid?? I was only adding a mere 2+ tablespoons of any liquid… Turns out once you uncover you actually do have quite a bit of liquid that needs to be cooked down, even 1/2 cup or so. Brilliant! And delicious.

* Addition of nutmeg – Genius. Adds a special flavor that you can’t necessarily place but creates a warmness.


* Butter: I would skip the final addition of the butter peas on top. Seemed to leave mark & didn’t seem to add anything that wasn’t already there.

* I am an EXTREMELY visual person and by the surface of my Quiche you would not believe how tasty it is. I would be sure to place a few of the mushrooms closer to the surface so they peak through. AND I might even throw a green herb in the final mix to again add color & visual appeal.



Quiche aux Champignons
 {Mushroom Quiche}

Adapted from Julia Child, Mastering the Art of French Cooking

Serves 4-6


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons diced shallots
  • 1 lb large white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons port
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 8-inch partially-cooked pastry shell
  • 1/4 cup grated Swiss cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • pinch of Nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon butter cut into pea-sized dots


1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2. Melt butter in pan add shallots for a short time then add in the sliced mushrooms, salt and port. Cover pan and cook over moderately low heat for 8 minutes. Uncover. Raise heat and boil for several minutes until liquid is completely evaporated and mushrooms are beginning to saute in their butter.

3. Beat the eggs, cream and pepper in a large mixing bowl to blend.

4. Gradually stir in the mushroom mixture. Check seasoning. Pour into pastry shell. Spread on the cheese and distribute butter on top. {* I think I would skip the final addition of the butter. It left marks sort of, shall I dare say greasy marks on top}

5. Bake in upper third of pre-heated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until puffed and browned.

 *   *   *   *   *

 All Sunday Supper recipes follow below and promise to be just as comforting.

#SundaySupper Comfort Food |Soups

#SundaySupper Comfort Food  | Main Dish

#SundaySupper Comfort Food | Desserts

Pairing Wine with Sunday Supper Comfort Food Favorites! by ENOFYLZ Wine Blog

We would be honored to have you join us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper and have you share your favorite Comfort Food Recipes.  We’ll be meeting up at 7:00 pm(Eastern) for our weekly #SundaySupper  live chat. All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag or you can follow us through TweetChat. We’d also love to feature your easy go to recipes on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them

Candy Corn: Why do we love it so?

Hunting for Seasonal decor  will inevitably lead you to a local drug store or larger big box store where at some point you will be face to face with the display of Candy Corn. Bags of that sugary, low nutritional value, full of coloring but oh so delicious fall favorite will call your name. Why can’t we resist? We know we will eat them until we are in some sort of sugar comma followed by guilt for ingesting 100’s of empty calories. I needed to get to the bottom of the sweet treat’s history. Here is what I found…

According to the National Confectioners Association, approximately 20 million pounds of candy corn are sold each year! {not all by me FYI}

In a recent newsletter, Mental Floss stated that is was “created in the 1880s by George Renninger for the Wunderlee Candy Company, it was then produced by the Goelitz Candy Company (now known as Jelly Belly). Each kernel of candy corn was initially crafted by hand. Workers mixed the main ingredients-sugar, water, and corn syrup-then added fondant and marshmallow to the mixture to increase its smoothness. The mixture was poured into molds, one color at a time.

Today, machines do most of the work of creating the candy corn kernels, which are three times the size of an actual kernel of corn. At Brach’s, the top manufacturer of candy corn, the process takes 24 hours: Corn starch is poured, top to bottom, into a tray with kernel-shaped depressions. The colors are added-yellow, orange, and white, in that order-and when the cornstarch hardens, the kernels are polished, bagged, and sold. Each year, consumers buy enough of Brach’s candy corn that, if the kernels were laid end to end, they’d circle the Earth 4.25 times.”


According to The Atlantic, National Candy Corn Day, an unofficial observance with murky origins in the early 2000s, comes around on October 30, the day before Halloween. But the association between candy corn and Halloween has not always been so intimate….Brach’s ad from 1957, for example, features candy corn as one of “Brach’s Summertime Candies,” alongside circus peanuts, orange slices, and jelly beans. A 1951 grocery store ad celebrates candy corn as “The candy all children love to nibble on all year long.” Through the first half of the 20th century, candy corn was first and foremost a variety of “penny candy,” those inexpensive candies sold in bulk, primarily for children. A penny or a nickel would buy you a nice little sack in virtually any candy shop or drugstore. Today Brach’s and Jelly Belly (formerly Goelitz) are the only national brands of candy corn, but throughout the 20th century many major candy companies included candy corn in their offerings.

What ever the true origins are, I can’t get enough. I try to wait as long as possible to purchase the first bag of Brach’s because I know there is no stopping me. Well, until I get the sugar induced stomach ache. Hey at least my weakness isn’t spiked cider.

Enjoy your corn proudly ~ Krayl

PS – Thanks BTW for my friends at Marathon Marketing Services for providing research to this fascinating story.

Make a grand Entrance this Season.

Your entranceway is the first impression of your home or business to a guest or client. Your home may be lovely beyond the front porch or center hall but that first impression is already made. Or perhaps they make inside and forget the pots of dying plants and faded past season decorations for a few hours while they visit with you; they still have to leave sometime. As they are backing out of your driveway, what do they see? That is correct. Your entranceway. Dead plants and all.

Don’t be a victum of “S.E.D.” {Sad Entranceway Design}. This season create a fabulously welcoming porch or entranceway. Even a few minor changes can make a huge difference. Or perhaps you are ready for a full overhall? Either way, stick with me kid and we will make it happen. {Virtual and In-person plans available}

Enjoy this post? What did it inspire you to do? Let a comment below and share the love with your friends using the social share button. Complete the form below to receive weekly updates to your inbox.