7/9/13 - Dog days are here….

Dog days are here….
Summer is finally here and days are long and hot…..Here is my list of 13 things to keep cool…
1. Linen – those who know me, know my love of this fibre.  On hot days and nights, linen cools and absorbs….indulge in crisp white  linen sheets or dry yourself in a beautiful linen towel…..
2.  Water – swim in the ocean or the pool.  Get naked and swim (best done in the privacy of your own home but totally liberating)
3.  Wear something  or decorate with blue…Blue is a cooling color and is soothing to the senses.  Studies show that blue actually drops blood pressure and we can all use a bit of that…..
4.  Spritz La Roche Posay spring thermal water all over your face….it’s cleansing and refreshing
5.  Indulge in Aesop’s Petigrain Hydrating gel to cool you down after a shower.  For added benefit, keep this gel in the refridgerator for sumblime cooling effects….a religous experience…
6.  Eat sorbet……lots……one of my most recent discoveries is a cucmber-mint-white wine sorbet from our local farmers market in Sag Harbor (thanks Kimberly for turning me onto this).  A spoonful of this is summer coolness wrapped into one bite….pair it with a glass of cold Rose wine for an afternoon pick me up……or as a decadent dessert after a long lazy lunch
7.  Exfoliate in the shower after long days in the sun.  My favorite scrub is from Giovanni  ”Cool Mint Lemonade”.  The name describes it all, cooling and tingling……Finish your shower by turning the water to cold and feel yourself cool instantly
8.  Listen to the “Stealing Beauty soundtrack”  and remember the beauty of the Tuscan countryside in summer and  anything Zero 7 for cool loungy summer music….
9.  Drink ice cold water with a lemon wedge and a mint sprig
10.  Wake up an hour earlier and enjoy the quiet and calm in the early morning hours….
11.  Treat yourself to a night out at a restaurant for an ice cold glass of champage with fresh cool oysters…..
12.  Set a beautiful table for Lunch with blue and white china or blue napkins
13.  Most of all, cherish  the dog days and appreciate this time of freedom, lazy days, kids running around playing and good times with friends and family.
Dog Days 3 Dog Days 2 Dog Days 12Dog Days        Dog Days 7   Dog Days 9    Dog Days 4   Dog Days 6  Dog Days 10
Dog Days 8      Dog Days 9   Dog Days 5           Dog Days 11

6/21/13 - 2013 MONC XIII Summer Events

MONC XIII Summer Events

Friday, May 24th: Style in Blue: Summer Kickoff Party, 6 to 9pm

Friday, June 17th: A Night of Backgammon & Shopping: Summer Backgammon Tournament, 6 to 9pm

Friday, July 12th: Private Reception Celebrating Our New Andy Warhol Polaroid Collection, 6 to 9pm

Saturday, July 27th: Kelly Wearstler Trunk Show, 4 to 6pm, & Cocktails Party, 6 to 9pm

August (Inquire about date): “Setting Your Table” Talk with Hermes


6/18/13 - The Dark & Stormy

This ‘Dark and Stormy’ cocktail was a hit at our Backgammon Tournament and we wanted to share it with you to enjoy this summer season. Here is the recipe so you can try this delicious summery cocktail!

• Generous “Monc pour” of Goslings
• A good splash of fresh lime juice mixed with gingered simple syrup
• A good splash of ginger juice from fresh pureed strained ginger
• Top it with “Fresh ginger Ginger Ale” for a light finish.
• Squeeze of a healthy wedge of lime, blueberries and a lavender garnish for the blue in us all!.

Thank you Janet O’Brien Caterers + Events for sharing.

6/14/13 - For The Love Of The Game

We all have special moments that we carry in our heart of our fathers. It might be a particular event or occurrence or something special we do, that stands out in our minds when we think of our dads. In reflecting on father”s day, I would have to say that for me, the outstanding memory of my dad is…..Backgammon.

He started teaching me the game at an early age, probably around the time when I was 5 or 6 years old. I think backgammon has always been one of father’s greatest passions and his way to connect with friends and people he loves. Consequently, he wanted to teach this great game, his passion, to both my mom and I. I have to say, that he was an amazing teacher, endlessly patient to explain the finer nuances of the game, it’s odds and strategies…

By the time I was 10, I competed in my first professional grown up backgammon tournament. I was the only child playing with adults and I can still remember how nervous I was. Back then I was still not sure how to efficiently use the doubling cube but my game was pretty good. Ironically, I made it to the semi finals of this tournament even with my lack of such finer nuances….Prior to the last game and knowing my fear of the doubling cube, my dad told me that he would stand by me and watch. If I was offered the doubling cube, he would walk away if I was to reject it and he would stay, I was to accept it….I played my 11 point game with this strategy and in the end I lost to the semifinalist.

I cried buckets in my dad’s arms , undoubtedly a release of all the fear, nerves, and angst that I had experienced in this whole process, and of course the disappointment of not winning. My dad gave me his always freshly ironed cotton handkerchief (something also, I always remember him giving me in my moments of trouble), and wiped away my tears. When I looked at him, he told me how proud he was of me, that I had managed to get into the semi finals in a tournament played with only adults and I as the only child…..

To this day, I watch him tell this story to friends or acquaintances, his eyes sparkling with pride for my accomplishments. As I look back, I realize that for me, backgammon is not just a game but an integral connector to the relationship I share with my father…..As with all parent child relationships, we have our ups and downs but when we sit down together to play backgammon, I am reminded of his role in my life, which is that of a teacher and mentor…..His way of teaching has been through the game. He would say playing backgammon is like playing the game of life. You need 5 key ingredients to succeed:

1) Be smart
2) Work Hard
3) Take chances
4) Strike when the opportunity presents itself
5) Be lucky

As I watch my two children grow, and I see them do different activities with their dad, I wonder what will be their defining memories that they carry with them……

I realize, that for me, Backgammon is almost a metaphor for my dad, as not one game will go by that I play, where he is not in my head, guiding my moves….When I opened MONC XIII, I committed to only carry the things in my store that I am truly passionate about. There was no question in my mind, that I would carry Backgammon boards albeit the most beautiful ones in the world by Geoffrey Parker but also, that I too, would carry on the traditions of the game and we would have backgammon tournaments at the store.

I am sure many customers have wondered why a home store carries backgammon boards as part of our selected offerings and now you know why…..

It is ironic, that this year’s tournament falls on father’s day weekend. It again reminds me, that I need thank my dad for instilling the passion of this fabulous game into me. Here’s to father’s day and to “Love of the Game”…..

My father and my hubbie.

Matt and our two kids.

5/21/13 - A Season of Blue

The color blue has always fascinated me. One of the beautiful things about this color is the myriad of characteristics contained in its various shades. Navy is classic and elegant, as sleek as black but slightly warmer. Peacock blue is exotic. Tiffany or Sky blue are sweet and innocent (and the reason why I named my son Sky) while Moroccan blue is bold. The list is as endless and vast as the color itself. Blue has soul that can transport you instantly to memories of beautiful oceans and exotic, far away places.

Almost all cultures have incorporated blue as a mainstay of their artistic identity. Asia has a long history of blue and white china going back to the 14th century, Morocco and Islamic cultures have their own unique take and The Dutch have created beautiful Delft Blue pottery.

Though blue is a particularly fashionable shade right now, this color transcends time and trends. Much like a navy skirt or a man’s navy jacket will be the core of a persons wardrobe forever, a blue and white plate will never be out of style. As a person who loves blue, the question is never if it is in season or out, but rather which shade of it have I fallen in love with this time. Right now I am in love with strong Moroccan blue as well as dusty, bluish lavender shades like Hyacinths.

Whatever color blue speaks to you embrace it and fall in love, you’ll be happy you did. Here’s to a great summer season…Natasha.

5/7/13 - Mother’s Day Breakfast Bliss

In our lifetime as mothers, we will prepare roughly 6500  breakfasts for our families assuming that our kids leave our nest at age 18 to go off in to the world.  That’s 6500 early mornings with mad dashes to get the most important meal of the day on the breakfast table, pack about 2700 school lunches, get school backpacks ready, rush our beloved kids through the house in the attempt to get them to school in time for the total of 14 years…all within a general time span of 1 crazy morning hour between 7am and 8am.

 It is for that reason, that on Mother’s day once a year, my idea of bliss is having breakfast presented to me by my loved ones in a decadent and elegant fashion that defies all the other days spent rushing and hurrying.  We all fantasize of the notion of time and leisure.  One of my good friend’s frequently likes to remind me that the only thing you can’t get back in life,  is time.  So on this mother’s day, let’s take a moment to consider the possibility of honoring our moms by giving her time, leisure and love and especially,  a beautiful breakfast.  Whether you present this as we have in our picture with  beautiful Hermes china and Puiforcat silver and vintage linens or you set a simple table outdoors in the garden with some handpicked flowers to honor her, be certain that these decadences will be thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated…. Happy Mother’s Day.

4/29/13 - The Scents of Cire Trudon

We’ve all had the experience being instantly transported us to another place by a simple scent. With one inhale you find yourself standing in your childhood back yard playing in fresh cut grass, or winding through busy market streets in a distant land or  wrapped in your favorite blanket with sunday’s crossword puzzle. Scent has the amazing power to unlock our memories, uplift our heart and calm our spirit which is why here at MONC XIII we are proud to carry Cire Trudon’s full line of home fragrance candles. Not only are the candles beautiful to look at in their handblown glass tumblers, but each unique scent is rich, personable and beautiful disperses through a space. Their scents enhance, not over power a room, which allows the scent to become part of the space and part of your world. Whether it’s invoking memories or creating new ones the scents of Cire Trudon are to cherished for a myriad of occasions and moments in our lives.        

1/25/13 - Interview With Bruce Budd

We’ve really been enjoying Mark D. Sikes blog lately and want to share with all of you. His latest interview with Bruce Budd is fantastic. Check it out at www.markdsikes.com and let us know your thoughts.

9/18/12 - PURPLE RAIN

We love the purple color way we received in today from Geoffrey Parker. A fitting addition to any library or games room $3,250 Made In England


Our new work space on a rainy Fall day…Dunbar sofa covered in Vicuna 100%linen