Nili Stevens Inspired Living bio picture
  • Welcome To My Blog,

    A place to share my passion for food, travel, entertaining and interesting people.

    I am a mother, wife, devoted friend, collector of people and professional woman. I have worked in the special events industry for over 30 years and have had the good fortune to work with countless creative and talented floral designers, lighting specialists, photographers, entertainers, culinary artists and others that remind me through our collaboration that the possibilities are endless !

    I have traveled to 22 countries and I am still forever dreaming of where I will go next, and more importantly what I will discover.

    Here's to "Inspired Living " and sharing my passions with you...ENJOY ! Nili

 

 

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PUT ON YOUR HOLIDAY SPIRIT * IT’S TIME TO DECORATE

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I love nothing more than unpacking my Christmas treasures and puttering about my house making things pretty for the holiday season. At our house it’s always pretty simple. Since I have a small space it doesn’t take much to make things sparkle and come alive.

We all have our traditions, but it’s always fun to try a little something new from time to time. I hope these festive images will get your creative juices flowing.

Let the decorating begin!

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ACCENT PIECES YOU HAVE WITH A LITTLE SOMETHING THAT SAYS CHRISTMAS

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NATURAL AND SPARKLY

Alice Lane Home

TAKE AN ORDINARY VASE AND PAPER MACHE WITH GOLD TISSUE

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RED WHITE AND GREEN

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UNCONVENTIONAL HOLIDAY DECOR IS JUST AS FESTIVE

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SMALL LITTLE TOUCHES

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A LITTLE CRAFTY A LITTLE COUNTRY

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EVERYONE HAS THEIR OWN SIGNATURE STYLE

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I hope I have been able to provide you with a touch of inspiration. Thanks for stopping by.

Happy Decorating !

xo Nili

Images Via : Better Homes and Gardens, Country Living, An-Magritt, Jelane, Tyrifryd, House and Home, Hwittblog, Pinterest, and Tumbler

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thankful

 

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With Thanksgiving just a few days away I realized I have been putting off writing my holiday post. I am not sure if it’s because my brain is on overload or if it’s that this year I will celebrate my favorite holiday without my husband and my son.

Regardless, I need to prepare, to settle my thoughts and focus on what is in my heart every day. Gratitude.

This year was a year of many changes for our family. Professional and personal choices have us living in three different parts of the world. Every few months we come together to as a family. We see each other with fresh eyes of appreciation. Our time together is focused, meaningful and precious. When we leave one another we are grateful for the times we have shared and the memories we have made as a family.

This year has taught me to treasure what I once took for granted and to be present in the moment.

I remind myself that Thanksgiving comes once a year, it’s just one day. But gratitude and appreciation for life’s precious gifts should be part of everyday.

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SICILY 2014

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This  Thanksgiving day take a moment to quiet your mind, savor the moment and be grateful for the blessings in your life.

 Happy Thanksgiving from my precious family to yours !

xo Nili

  • Christine.November 24, 2014 - 5:27 am

    Truth girlie. XoReplyCancel

 

 

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STREET ART * PALERMO ITALY 2014

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Happy Halloween to you! I am not a big Halloween gal these days since my trick or treating days are sadly over, and the abundance of candy only makes my pants tighter. However, a few weeks ago I discovered this street art while exploring Palermo and knew that it would be my Halloween post ! In fact after seeing this image I got a little obsessed with a few others I found just walking down the streets of Palermo, Sicily.

Take a peek:

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DON’T YOU JUST LOVE IT ?

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Enjoy the evening ! xo Nili

  • ChristineNovember 2, 2014 - 12:23 am

    Super cool. Love itReplyCancel

Wedding Day

SEPTEMBER 17TH, 1989

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It’s my 25th wedding anniversary today ! Twenty five years ago I said “I do” to this handsome devil and have never looked back! Oh sure, we have had our spats and problems like all couples but we have never stopped having fun together!

I  have always loved this list by Dear Abby:

It never hurts to be reminded.

10 Rules For A Happy Marriage 

1. Never both be angry at the same time.

2. Never yell at each other unless the house is on fire.

3. If one of you has to win an argument, let it be your mate.

4. If you must criticize, do it lovingly.

5. Never bring up mistakes of the past.

6. Neglect the whole world rather than each other.

7. Never go to sleep with an argument unsettled.

8. At least once every day say a kind or complimentary word to your life partner.

9. When you have done something wrong, admit it and ask for forgiveness.

10. Remember it takes two to make a quarrel.

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Here are my personal rules.

10 Rules For A Happy Marriage by Nili Stevens: 

1. Find something you both love that you can share together.

2. Hold hands.

3.  Always kiss each other good bye and good night.

4. Drink wine at lunch when you can, especially when you are on vacation.

5. Dance when together when ever possible. Don’t sit it out.

6. Have a common  dream.

7. Take interest in what’s important to your partner.

8. Take personal time away from each other. Absence does make the heart grow fonder.

9. Share your life with friends and family. Eat, drink and be merry !

9. Take care of your mind, body & spirit.

10. Remember to water the grass.

Our pastor told us on our wedding day, “THE GRASS IS GREENEST WHERE YOU WATER IT”

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“Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be….”

Happy Anniversary To Us !!

Thanks for stopping by to share our day. xo Nili

  • ChristineSeptember 17, 2014 - 1:34 pm

    Rules to love by xoxoxoReplyCancel

    • adminSeptember 17, 2014 - 3:06 pm

      You have been there from the start,loving us and supporting us every step of the way…It takes this and so much more..with gratitude…ReplyCancel

  • Greg StevensSeptember 17, 2014 - 3:52 pm

    That’s awesome.
    A Quarter Century, Congratulations!
    Words to Live By. Photos are a trip down memory lane.
    Have a Great Day. I know you must be missing each other today,
    but the holidays are fast approaching and you’ll be together soon
    Love Always, gsReplyCancel

 

 

 

 

Daily offerings

 

 

OFFERINGS ARE PLACED AT HOME ENTRANCES & CROSSROADS WHERE DARK SPIRITS TEND TO CONGREGATE. THEY ARE MEANT TO APPEASE THE GODS (BOTH GOOD & EVIL) AS WELL AS MAINTAIN A PEACEFUL BALANCE

 

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We recently returned from two magical weeks in Bali visiting my son Rush and his girlfriend Cezanne. One of the highlights was our stay at the serene Villa Amrita in the town of Ubud.

On most of our trips I am almost always in charge of booking our accommodations, since where we stay and what we eat are the  most important to me (surprised?). I usually spend hours on various websites (like trip advisor ) and  travel blogs looking for reviews and insight.  When Cezanne suggested I look at  VillaBali.com (a site that hosts over 400 villas in Bali ) and the lovely Villa Amrita, a three bedroom private villa with all the bells and whistles up in the hills of Ubud, it took me all of five seconds to  give the thumbs up on booking this little slice of heaven.

Let me show you around:

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 RICE FIELDS TO WELCOME YOU

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THIS  GARDEN PATH WILL LEAD YOU TO  UTTER RELAXATION

 

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A WARM & FRIENDLY STAFF TO TEND TO YOUR NEEDS

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THERE IS A COMFORTABLE LIVING & DINING ROOM TO GATHER

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 IN THE CENTER IS ALL OF THIS !

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I know what you are thinking. You want to go there right now ! Wait there is more,there are three lovely bedrooms with private patios and outdoor showers. The space will sleep six comfortably and allow everyone the privacy they need.

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THE SARASWATI ROOM AKA MASTER SUITE * HOG HEAVEN

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THE VIDYA ROOM * THIS ROOM CAN BE MADE UP AS A KING BED TOO

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THE DHANYA ROOM HAS A GORGEOUS VIEW OF THE TERRACED RICE FIELDS

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Villa Amrita is a short ride from the main town of Ubud. The villa offers one complementary round trip ride into town per day. They give you a cell phone that allows you to ring the driver when you are ready to be picked up. You can also hire the driver for additional excursions. A full made to order breakfast is also part of the package. If you don’t fee l like leaving the villa, dinner can be prepared for a nominal fee.

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HAVING A NAP OR GETTING A MASSAGE IS ALL PART OF THE DAILY RITUAL

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Before we left we had the pleasure of meeting the owner Jon Jones (a young semi retired finance guy from the US, who started coming to Bali on vacation back in 1999) who could not have been more thoughtful and enthusiastic. He shared his plans of building another villa and all the fun additions he had planed for his future guests.

 The thing I like best about Villa Amrita is that it felt like home. It had just the right amount of luxury without being over the top.

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IT REALLY DOESN’T GET MUCH BETTER THAN THIS

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Ubud was just  a small fraction of what we experienced on our trip to Bali. To show you all of it would have your head spinning.

Here is a little peek at Ubud:

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The Scoop:

Villa Amrita

Ubud, Bali. Indonesia

villaamrita.com

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Villas in Bali

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It was hard to leave this magical place after the wonderful memories we shared but there is always next time….

Tell them Nili sent you xo

 

 

SOMETIMES LAST MINUTE DINNER PARTIES ARE THE BEST

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It’s hard to believe it’s already August! I started writing this post back in June and I am just getting back to it.

I have a mountain of stories and recipes ready to share with you but while I am getting them together,

I want to share a very simple marinated chicken dish that I made for a last minute dinner party.

This dish is perfect for a group and easy to assemble. Add a couple of sides and a salad and you will have a tasty and affordable feast. I like to use chicken thighs because you are pretty much guaranteed a moist piece of chicken every time.

I am not going to a step by step delio because you don’t need it for this one. You just make the marinade, drop in the chicken and grill it up.

 

It goes something like this:

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THE BASICS * YOU CAN BUY EVERYTHING YOU NEED AT TRADER JOE’S

INTO THE DISH WITH ALL THE GOODIES

VOLIA * FOR ADDED FLAVOR & COLOR  GRILL UP A BATCH OF LEMONS TOO

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Here’s what you need:

3/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup good olive oil

1/4 cup rosemary leaves

4 tablespoons chopped garlic

3 tablespoons lemon zest

juice of one lemon

1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes

sea salt (I like Maldon) & freshly ground pepper

8 chicken thighs rinsed, dried & trimmed

extra lemons to grill for garnish

extra rosemary to garnish the platter

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Put it together:

In a medium bowl whisk together the first 8 ingredients / save a little on the side to brush onto chicken while it’s cooking.

Add the marinade to the chicken thighs in a large zip lock bag and smush it around so the thighs are evenly coated. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight turning occasionally if you remember.

Preheat your grill to medium temp.

Shake off your thighs and start cooking. Depending on the size of your thighs this should take 8-10minutes per thigh. Brush the reserve marinade on the chicken when you turn it.

 

Once they come off the grill season with salt, pepper & a big squeeze of lemon.

Clean off your grill and add lemons halves and char until they are golden, add to your platter of chicken and garnish with rosemary.

Serves 6-8

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Note: This marinade will keep in the frig for at least 4 days so feel free to make it in advance.

Enjoy these summer days while you can!

Talk to you soon xox Nili

I KNOW YOU WANT ME

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I am always on the hunt for a festive cocktail to get the party started and this little concoction is one that is sure to brighten up any gathering! It is especially spectacular in the summer months when strawberries are abundant. You can make a big batch in advance and add ice as you serve it. I like to make extra and  freeze batches so that I always have these babies on hand. This is one recipe you will want to save forever !

It goes something like this:

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TWO SIMPLE INGREDIENTS THAT WILL MAKE THIS COCKTAIL SING

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Here’s what you need:

1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries pureed

2 cups premium white tequila

1/4 cup triple sec

5 limes juiced

1/4 cup fresh basil

1/4 cup simple syrup (here is the recipe in case you don’t know what to do)

2 cups crushed ice when you are ready to serve

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Put it together:

Put all ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth. At this point you can refrigerate until your guests come. Once you are ready to serve add ice as needed and blend. Two cups of ice makes a potent slushy cocktail. It’s up to you how strong you want it to be.

Garnish with a chubby strawberry and a sprig of basil.

Serves 6

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FREEZE INDIVIDUAL SERVINGS FOR A RAINY DAY

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Feels like summer to me! Thanks for dropping by. xo Nili

 

 

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY MY FRIENDS

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In celebration of Mother’s Day I wanted to give you something really meaningful, something that would make a difference in your life and help you to remember me fondly. Because I love you, I feel it is my duty to share a product  that has taken me through some rough patches over the last year. By doing this, I will need to mention two four letter words that literally make me cringe when I say them out loud GREY HAIR !

If you are like me, you pay a small fourtune each month to rid yourself of those nasty little bastards and even then about two days before you are going in to get fixed up they are back, reminding you of their power over you (usually it’s right before you have a party to go to and a baseball hat won’t do).

After multiple frustrating conversations with my stylist I headed over to my local Sephora to see if I could find a solution to my problem. It was a slam dunk, all the girls in the store agreed that Rita Hazan Root Concealer was exactly what I needed and the best product for the job.

One quick pin point spray exactly where you need it and a little rub with your finger you are good to go until you wash it out. It comes in five different shades and costs $25. I have had mine for a almost a year. A little goes a long way!

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A STAND OUT ON MY BEAUTY COUNTER

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I know that there are many other brands on the market but I have heard some unfavorable things about a few of them. In my book this product works and does the trick perfectly. Be sure to drop me a line and let me know how it goes.

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 When you wake up this Sunday take a moment to pat yourself on the back for all that you do and all that you have done to make a difference in your child’s life.

You matter more than you know…. xo Nili

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YOUR MOTHER

Your mother is always with you.

She’s the whisper of the leaves as you walk down the street, she’s the smell of certain foods you remember, flowers you pick, the fragrance of life itself, she’s the cool hand on your brow when you’re not feeling well, she’s your breath in the air on a cold winter’s day.

She is the sound of the rain that lulls you to sleep, the colors of a rainbow, she is Christmas morning.

Your Mother lives inside your laughter. And she’s crystallized in every tear drop.

She’s the place you came from, your first home, and she’s the map you follow with every step you take.

She’s your first love, your first friend, even your first enemy, but nothing on earth can separate you.

Not time, not space . . . . . . . . . not even death.

Author unknown

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MY SWEETIE & ME

WELCOME TO SHED LOCATED IN DOWTOWN HEALDSBURG CALIFORNIA

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It has been a very long time since I have been so excited about a venue! In fact I have never seen anything so well done and so artfully executed under one roof. This nearly 10,000 square foot, four years in the making, one of a kind,

dream come true modern grange, is the collaboration of Cindy Daniel and husband Doug Lipton whose vision has taken sustainable living to new heights.

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COFFEE BAR * CAFE * FERMENTATION BAR * LARDER & PANTRY

HOUSEWARES * FARM & GARDEN * COMMUNITY & PRIVATE EVENTS

WHERE DO I BEGIN ?

DELECTIBLE OFFERINGS ALL BEAUTIFULLY DISPLAYED TO TAKE AWAY *  I AM SO EXCITED !

IT’S ALL MADE FRESH * GOOD LUCK DECIDING WHAT TO EAT

DINE INSIDE AT THE BAR, COMMUNITY TABLE OR ENJOY THE OUTDOOR PATIO

MANY OF THE ITEMS ON THE MENU ARE OFFERED IN THE LARDER

I WILL TAKE ONE OF EACH

 

KNOWLEDGEABLE & HELPFUL STAFF AT YOUR SERVICE

THEY THOUGHT OF EVERYTHING* EVEN THE BATHROOM SET UP IS COOL

GOTTA LOVE THIS !

LOCALLY GROWN PRODUCE, FRESH FLOWERS & PLANTS

MY IDOL CINDY DANIEL & HER AUTHENTIC MILL FROM AUSTRIA USED FOR GRINDING LOCAL WHEAT & CORN

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SHED MISSION STATEMENT

” To celebrate and nurture the connection between good farming, good cooking and good eating. We are a community that brings people together and provides the tools to learn about growing, preparing and sharing delicious food”.

See what I mean ?

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A GLORIOUS SELECTION OF GOURMET PRODUCTS & SPECIALTY ITEMS * OH HEART BE STILL !

UPSTAIRS IS A PRIVATE EVENT SPACE WITH TWO PATIOS & STATE OF THE ART KITCHEN

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Believe it or not this is just a sampling of the what is waiting for you. By the time you get there they will have even more fabulous things to discover, taste and experience. This is the kind of place that is always evolving. It took me a year to get there (I was checking it out even before it opened) and I am counting the days until I return.

This is exactly what I mean when I say “Inspired Living”.

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The Scoop:

SHED

25 North St
Healdsburg, CA 95448
707.431-7433
Open 8:00am to 7:00pm

Closed on Tuesday

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Tell them Nili sent you !

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Note: Just a little over an hour from Oakland & San Francisco airports and less than an hour from Berkley.

Not to mention, the town of Healdsburg is utterly charming!

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