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A Christmas Tradition

Clarence, the beloved angel from It's a Wonderful Life ordered his mulled wine "heavy on the cinnamon...light on the cloves." In our family, our alcohol-free hot spiced wassail was liked just the opposite: light on the cinnamon, heavy on the cloves–because studding the oranges with cloves was the special activity Aunt Sharley always brought for the children (young and old alike!). Of course, adults can spike it with a little rum!

Aunt Sharley's Christmas Wassail

6 cinnamon sticks—about 6 inches each
Whole cloves
1 teaspoon whole allspice
8 cups apple juice or cider
2 cups cranberry juice cocktail
1/4 cup granulated sugar (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon aromatic bitters
6 whole navel oranges (we use more)
(optional for adults : good rum for “spiking” to taste)

Break cinnamon sticks in half, combine with 16 cloves and whole allspice
in a cheesecloth bag tied with kitchen twine. (hint: if you don’t have cheesecloth, you can use a coffee filter)

In large saucepan, combine juices, sugar and bitters. Heat mixture over low heat.
Meanwhile, stud the oranges with cloves (designs and initials should be encouraged!) and drop each carefully into the pot when studded. Bring mixture to a low boil, then reduce to simmer, covered for 10 minutes. Pour into a punch or other non-heat conducting serving bowl and ladle into punch cups or mugs.
Optional: garnish with an orange slice.

Wassail can be served warm or at room temperature and reheats well.
The aroma wafts through the house—smells like Christmas!

A Southern Style Garden Party

See more photos from this event here

A Newlywed Celebration

The Event:

If you know me, you know that I love entertaining at home. So, I was truly honored when actress and producer, Markie Post; and her husband, screenwriter, Michael Ross, asked me to design an elegant yet casual garden party for a special occasion at their beautiful Southern Colonial estate. The guests of honor were their daughter and new son-in-law.

The wedding took place at an intimate East Coast destination that couldn't accommodate all on their guest list. So, to ensure that SoCal friends and family were included in this milestone, Markie and Michael opened their beautiful family home and offered up their special blend of southern hospitality for a glorious West Coast celebration.

Taking It All In

Since the sprawling Southern Colonial features a veranda running the breadth of the residence, and an expansive front lawn, these areas became the center of the party. Guests were also invited into the living and dining rooms of the residence to make their dessert selections. Our approach: create a casual garden party with special touches that truly celebrated the newlyweds. We installed vineyard and southern style elements in undertones of whitewashes and burlaps. Airy country-style blooms in soft hues were strategically placed atop bars, buffets and cocktail tables in common areas. Pops of bright color from lemons and limes tumbled into wire baskets and silver bowls. Two bars encouraged movement and flow. Signature drinks featuring the names of bride and groom were an instant hit. In addition to alcoholic selections, there was a self-serve lemonade and pickle stand with gorgeous self-serve dispensers of ice tea, lemonade and infused water that dispensed into mason jars. The inventive selection of  house made pickled fruits and vegetables included pickled chai grapes, pineapple pickled jicama and pickled rosemary cherries. A small bites menu kept it breezy, tasty and elegant. Among the Southern selections were biscuits with pulled pork and slaw, refreshing stone fruit skewers, and tiny tray passed versions of chicken and waffles.

Big Bad Rooster Band played country, bluegrass, pop and folk music to attentive guests, some of whom are also entertainers who took the stage for impromptu performances for the happy couple.

But the signature cakes stole the show and the hearts of all in attendance: in addition to being an accomplished actress, Markie Post is also an incredible baker! She lovingly baked 3 cakes and astonishingly decorated them in motifs special to her daughter and son-in-law with handmade detailed sugar and fondant flowers. Chocolate dipped strawberries were abundant and—a family tradition—pounds and pounds of See's Candies were offered on nearby etagéres!

Close To My Heart

Every detail of this event was curated with love and care and I'm just thrilled and thankful that my dear clients felt the same way…!

“...thank you SO much for making my dream come true for the party last night. It was perfect. It was homey, lovely, delicious and beautiful. ...You are enormously talented, soulful and channeled me so was you who saw into me and made it all happen.” —Markie Post

Party planning & décor by Jordi & CO
Catered by Parties by Panache
Flowers by Lark Farnum
Hard Rentals by Town & Country
Photography by Karol Franks

A New Space for Dad

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From Wasted Space to Family Place

So here’s the scenario…you’re hosting a cocktail/dinner party at your home. We have a brief encounter about what kind of theme, food, florals and décor you envision. The day of your party, the Jordi & CO team arrives at your already gorgeous home. In come the florals and props that are just your taste. Tablescapes go up like magic and the complementary hand-selected heirloom pieces and knick-knacks look like they could have come from your own breakfront and curios. The guests arrive, you hear chatter of "oohs" and "aahhs," and the party is a smash!

The next morning, aromas of  flowers and candles are lingering. Then it happens. My crew arrives and we dismantle the tablescapes, taking with us the loaned items from my personal collections. The rentals are returned to their proper homes. But that’s ok…you still have the florals. Two weeks later, the flowers, too have made their exits. Your phone rings, and its me, calling for a wrap-up report and the first thing you say to me is, "why can’t my home ALWAYS look that cozy and perfect.” …And this is how we got to where we are now.

With only 6 weeks until Father’s Day, my client hatched a plan to convert a 225 square-foot space into a study for her husband. The room, just off of their stunning entry, had never been used to its full potential. Together, we repurposed, stored and even discarded most of the room’s contents. With her husband's vow to stay away, we began to excitedly brainstorm ideas that would maintain the home’s architectural integrity. The ultimate goal was to make the newly-designed space look original.

We searched for concepts in catalogs, magazines and online. I drew literal inspiration from the original paneling in the Grand Hall. It was skillfully replicated by our wonderful carpenter/artisan. The electrician installed new wiring for the carefully-positioned (and gorgeous) picture and bookcase light sconces and the room's chandelier-style craftsman fixture was re-styled into a flush ceiling mount design. A powder room off of the study was also refreshed and a former storage closet was converted into a coat closet with ample space to accommodate for a very large party. Paint colors were selected and I was off to source furnishings and personal touches.

Acquiring and sourcing finishing touches are always my favorite part of any type of design endeavor and this was no different. We purposed Restoration Hardware for several key pieces and an antique writing desk was sourced online. I sourced vintage books reminiscent of his hobbies and travels and matched style with objects of his affections, including framed family photos and fine literature. With only 2 days until Father’s Day, pictures were hung and bookcases were filled. The renovation and decorating was complete 2 days early, with exception of the desk chair that will be carefully selected by dad himself.

This gem of a room that was once closed off, is now in daily use. Yes, it was a Father’s Day gift, but it's fair to say this room will bring pleasurable memories for the entire family.

Thanksgiving Decor Tips

See more Thanksgiving decor here There's still a week left...write supplies you need on your shopping list so you can put these Jordi & CO tips into place for the big day! Sweat the Logistics: If you're having Thanksgiving at your home, you'll likely be entertaining more people than usual. Ensure everyone can comfortably sit among one another in…
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