Growing up in the country, I was always in the garden. The only girl surrounded by three brothers, we were each were in charge of a row of something in bloom in our backyard. Mine was the flowers. Sunflowers, zinnias, and snapdragons in a rainbow of colors brought unlimited chances for me to tend, pick and arrange at my leisure. Flowers have stayed a constant in my life ever since. So has the love of everything fresh. Throughout the summers, my brothers and I would pick our own veggies – stringbeans, cherry tomatoes and fragrant basil. My mom made sure salads were a staple at our home. By 9, I was making blue cheese dressing from scratch. After my first craft class, I was hooked. Give me some pom-poms, glitter and glue, and I was gone. A life of crafting was born. By high school, art and photography caught my eye in class. Outside of it, I was making wreaths and painted t-shirts and selling them at local craft fairs. The combination of art and commerce set the stage for my avocation today and led me to a dual college career of business classes at Providence College, and interior design and architecture courses at the Rhode Island School of Design. After four fabulous years, I took off to New York City and started working with caterers at the Boathouse, where my real education began. My love of flowers continued to flourish, as did my career in garden and floral design for cottages and beach gardens in the Hamptons, fresh and faux arrangements for clients and friends, and designing interiors for hotels and restaurants. It was a vacation to Rome that showed me the light. I was blown away to see the stylish European women who did it all. Beautiful families. Cool careers. Looking stylish through it all, topping of the workday with fabulous cocktails with friends. It was truly Five o’Clock Somewhere! I moved to Manhattan and started my publishing career as the editor and stylist for several leading home and craft publications, creating concepts and overseeing the launch and production of magazines including Jo-Ann’s etc, Family Circle Homecrafts, FTD inbloom, and At Home with Chris Madden. I loved and learned from each – sharing my vision and ideas to bring style into your life with projects from wreaths and painted floors, to floral arrangements, playdates for kids and cocktails, of course. Meeting my future husband, Jack, changed my life for good. After the birth of our first daughter, Grace, and several years of city motherhood, we moved to Westchester County where I found friends and a new home, not to mention a place to park my stroller. Our house centers around my great kitchen windows where I can look out and see the glorious seasons change against my garden and stone wall. The birth of my second daughter, Katie, prompted me to try it my own way as a lifestyle expert and author. Punch, It’s Five o’Clock Somewhere, Fairy Parties and The Stylish Girl’s Guide to Fabulous Cocktails were soon born along with my son, Jack — making my family of five complete. I look forward to growing my brand so that some day my children can join me. At 9, 6 and 5, with glue sticks, markers, glitter and spatulas in hand, they’re well on their way! Today, I’m thankful for the chance to share my passion for all things beautiful with you. Here’s to making your life more stylish too.