Cousins Reunion!



Our cousin’s reunion took place this past weekend in North West New Jersey.  Our cousins Mary Catherine and husband Bob were our hosts.

We all knew we needed to bring our appetites because Mary Catherine had been cooking and baking all week posting all her creations on Instagram and Facebook.  She is a culinary pied piper in our family.

Mary Catherine has a deep love for keeping old Italian family recipes and traditions alive, as well as starting new cherished ones. She loves creating meals that are  simple and delicious while bringing family and friends together to her table.

Creating a welcoming atmosphere is another gift Mary Catherine possesses.  We used to call her our Martha Stewart but we now believe she has far surpassed Martha.  We all have encouraged her to finish writing her cookbook and share with the world her fine taste and hospitality.




How food is experienced has everything to do with the decor, with the rituals surrounding the meal, with the company, and with the experience.  Food is drama, the table the stage, and the cook is the tamer and hero.

When we finally settled down to the table the conversations were all over the map literally! We come from all walks of life and continents.  Lots of laughing, story telling and catching up.








Katie Shea Design Images were all shot with a Verizon MotoZ Smartphone.

Disclosure: I’m so excited I received a MotoZ Smartphone and three Moto Mods as part of my relationship with Verizon. Thanks Verizon for letting me play with this amazing smartphone technology!! #Droid #MotoZ from @Verizon #VZWBuzz #ad .


Nothing Is Impossible for the Lord

Nothing is impossible for the Lord.   Katie Shea Design

I went to bed last night with a heavy heart and woke up with a heavy heart.

Starting my day begins with a nuclear hot cup of tea and Our Daily Bread Devotional.

When I opened the devotional site I was met with the following title:

“Facing The Impossible” 

I smiled at God because once again I felt his presence all around me.

There are things that come our way that seem to have no correct answers and seem mathematically impossible as well as not humanly possible.

Today’s day and age the millennial generation seems to have so many advantages and tools at their fingertips.  I agree that growing up in this Technology boom era has created so many new opportunities that my Baby Boomer generation did not have at our disposal.

There is one thing that is constant, has always been and will always be and that is God.

I have learned while navigating this journey that we call life that nothing is a sure thing.  My faith is what has carried me through the darkest hours and most joyous blessings.

All the technology and modern medicine within our grasp does not supersede the power of God.

As I pray today I am constantly reminded that God has a plan.  God’s plan does not necessarily mean that it lines up with my plan.  So I pray that God would give me the peace that surpasses all understanding.  Phil 4:7

Faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see. ~ Hebrews 11:1

Nothing is impossible for the Lord.


HOME BY NOVOGRATZ Designers of Distinction

Party with the Novogratz, go to a signing at CB2.

Meet Bob and Cortney Novogratz, the fabulous design duo with the uncanny talent to perfectly match vintage with modern, color with graphic, and contemporary with classic.

I Joined the Novogratzs at CB2 Eastside for a signing of their new book: “ HOME BY NOVOGRATZ”  Packed with innovative solutions and clear instructions, HOME BY NOVOGRATZ is all you need to bring the Novogratz’s trademark vintage modern look into your own home.

I was warmly greeted as I entered CB2.  I enjoyed sipping a glass of wine as I floated through CB2 on the eastside falling  in love with the Novogratz  Collection as well as many CB2 pieces.

Robert Novogratz, Kathleen DeCosmo and Cortney Novogratz at CB2 Book Signing Launch

Bob, Cortney  and their family are delightful, warm and extremely engaging people.  Their designs reflect their warmth, love for color and a strong family message.

Novogratz Collection Video

shop novogratz at CB2

family black and white rug

family values. If anyone knows about the meaning of the word, “family,” it’s Robert and Cortney Novogratz, TV’s famed husband-and-wife design duo and parents to the seven Novogratz kids, ages 3 to 15. Created exclusively for CB2, the Family Rug spells out their bold signature style, making a big statement in black typography on linen-white: “Families these days come in all shapes and sizes. This rug can be the center of a family room, a living room, a bedroom. It becomes part of your personal history—where the kids play, what we sit on while we watch TV or where the relatives spill their drinks on holidays. As warm, comfortable and cozy as the family itself, it draws us into the room and gives us a reason to celebrate life together. It’s a universal accessory that works for any home, regardless of its décor direction. Instant style at an affordable price.” Learn about the designers, Robert and Cortney Novogratz, on our blog. Learn about the making of the family rug,. on the CB2 blog.

boy  girl rug

he and she.  Robert and Cortney Novogratz—TV’s famed husband-and-wife design duo and parents to the seven Novogratz kids, ages 3 to 15—know a thing or two about family unity. Created exclusively for CB2, the limited-edition Boy Girl Rug was inspired by a symbol Robert and Cortney designed when they were building one of their first homes: “At the time, we had one boy and two girls sharing one bathroom. So we tiled the wall with this symbol to show that the space belongs equally to both sides.” Illustrating their bold signature style, iconic male and female gender symbols are merged into a single graphic statement in linen on bright orange handtufted wool. Learn about the designers, Robert and Cortney Novogratz, on the CB2 blog

a to z rug

 home school .Robert and Cortney Novogratz—TV’s famed husband-and-wife design duo and parents to the seven Novogratz kids, ages 3 to 15— believe that smart design should go beyond good looks. It should spark curiosity, invite conversation and ultimately tell a story. Created exclusively for CB2, the limited-edition A to Z Rug is a graphic celebration of their heritage, spelling out an homage to Robert’s father. The elder Novogratz scripted the alphabet in perfect cursive as a West Point cadet in the 1950s—a time when penmanship was respected as an art form and taught in school. Robert and Cortney transcribed that very exercise in writing onto this design. Handtufted in light grey wool, the rug resembles a plush chalkboard with the “N” popping in bright orange among white upper and lowercase letters. It’s a teaching moment for the Novogratzes: “Whether your boys are wrestling on the carpet, or you’re lounging on the floor to read a book, the A to Z rug will look good and educate at the same time. As parents, we always want to teach our kids, but not at the cost of great design, which inspired the concept of this rug.” Learn about the designers, Robert and Cortney Novogratz, on the CB2 blog

Party with the Novogratzs   Join them on their Book Tour

Check out their Book Tour Locations

CB2 affordable modern furnishings for apartment, loft, home.

follow CB2 on Twitter @cb2eastside.

like CB2 on Facebook

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CB2 joins forces with Robert and Cortney Novogratz

Follow the Novogratz Design Duo  on Twitter

Follow the Novogratz Design Duo  on Facebook

Follow the Novogratz Design Duo on Pinterest

Home By Novogratz on HGTV:

HGTV on Twitter:

HGTV on Facebook:

HGTV on Pinterest:

The Novogratz Family on the Today Show


          Great Interview Oct 11th 2012

The Morning Show
Cortney & Robert Novogratz
Cortney and Robert Novogratz are on The Morning Show to talk about their new book and  HGTV series

         Cortney & Robert Novogratz – The Morning Show – Videos | Global Toronto

Author of Distinction Caroline Leavitt Author of “Pictures of You”

Pictures of You By Caroline Leavitt

Caroline Leavitt  is an  “Author of Distinction” and a  Recipient of Katie Shea Design’s  “Roses of Distinction”

Caroline and I met on Twitter some time ago and have become not only tweeps but friends in real life.

Caroline Leavitt and Kathleen DeCosmo at Pictures of You Book Signing

Months ago we finally caught up with each other over a cup of coffee and endless conversation.  We laughed, cried and laughed some more.

While we sipped our coffee I realized some of the reasons why Caroline’s writing is so effective.  It is because of how tuned in she is to the details of what she focuses on.  When you spend time with Caroline you have her 100% attention which I find so refreshing in this Iphone/Blackberry world.

While I was reading “Pictures of You” I felt  that Caroline clearly communicated  the feelings and emotions of each character.   Also the reader gets the opportunity to get a glimpse into Asthma and what an impact it has on it’s victims and on the caregivers.

Caroline Leavitt is also the author of a total of nine novels:  Girls In Trouble,  Coming Back To Me, Living Other Lives,  Into Thin Air, Family,  Jealousies,  Lifelines and Meeting Rozzy Halfway.  Various titles were optioned for film, translated into different languages, and condensed in magazines.

Her new novel, “Pictures of You”  went into three printings months before publication and is now in its fourth printing.  A New York Times bestseller, it is also a Costco “Pennie’s Pick,” A San Francisco Chronicle  Editor’s Choice “Lit Pick,” and it is one of the top 20 books published so far in 2011, as named by BookPage.

Read more……

Caroline Leavitt Costco Author of the Month

Dozens of "Pictures of You"

Caroline has sold her next novel,

Everything That Happens Today,

to Algonquin.

Audio rights for Pictures of You have been sold to HighBridge Audio.

Caroline and her famous Red Boots

“Caroline Leavitt plumbs the depths of grief and forgiveness in the lovely Pictures Of You.”
Vanity Fair, Hot Type

“A beautiful book. Leavitt writes with a really light and delicate touch about the relationships between people. She’s an undiscovered jewel.”
Newsweek Magazine, Jodi Picoult Bookbag

“Suspenseful…gripping. Leavitt is superb at revealing the secrecy inside many marriages and the way children grieve; several moving scenes involve Sam, who has come to imagine Isabelle as a crash scene “angel” who will take him to his mother. Most impressive is how Leavitt deals head-on with well-meaning people who come to realize, too late, that even an imperfect life is irreplaceable.”
Jane Ciabattari, O, the Oprah Magazine

“If you look for richly developed characters who move fluidly through a well-paced plot, then Caroline Leavitt’s Pictures of You is an ideal read.”
Pennie Clark Ianniciello, Costco, a Pennie’s Bookclub Pick for January

“Complex, contradictory characters. Leavitt’s literary touch is so light, her hand so translucent on the page, that only when the mystery is finally solved does the reader realize how tault she’s kept the tension all along. Hauntingly compelling.”
San Francisco Chronicle, Editor’s Choice, Lit Pick

This thoughtful novel brings up a problem all of us have to deal with in the course of our lives, unless we’re lucky enough to sneak through existence without encountering misfortune of any kind…. This is a novel that invites us to look at our own imperfections, not the dramatic crimes, but the niggling little sins of omission that so often render our lives tragically undernourished and small.”
Carolyn See, The Washington Post. Reprinted in The Miami Herald

“From the opening chapter, Caroline Leavitt’s compelling new “Pictures of You’’ unfolds as part literary mystery, part domestic drama, and part psychological examination. Her writing is unfussy and direct, with vivid descriptions and passages of striking insight and wrenching, visceral power…Leavitt beautifully paces the book’s intertwining stories, meticulously unfurling bits of the back story, letting us put together the pieces just as the main characters do. But she wisely avoids the neat, pat wrap-up. “Pictures of You’’ is about processing both discovery and loss, discerning when to hold on and when to let go and understanding what in the middle of it all makes life meaningful. Provocative and rivetting.”
Karen Campbell, The Boston Globe

Read More……..

Pictures of You  By Caroline Leavitt

One of Bookpage’s Top Twenty Books of 2011 so far

A Top, Smart Summer Read in

Minneapolis Star Tribune;
O, the Oprah Magazine,
and Self Magazine

San Francisco Chronicle Lit Pick

Now in fourth printing!

Caroline Leavitt Links:!/Leavittnovelist