Archive for June, 2013

To My Dad

“Allowing yourself to be happy is one of the great joys of the world.  Don’t stifle it, but rather encourage it and enjoy.”

– Don Imwalle Sr. (my dad)

Allowing yourself to be happy is easier said than done.  My dad worked hard at it all the time.  He set a brilliant example.


Weekends at the beach, never went by without a volleyball game.  When it came time for the final serve to win the game, you had to serve doing the flamingo (your foot resting at the knee of the other) and saying, “game point hanna shannana”  If you forgot to do those things, the point didn’t count and you didn’t win the game.

Seldom a week passed when dad didn’t rally the troops for an evening hot tub.  He loved to use the hot tub at night when the stars were out and you could hear the crickets.  He would always have a beer in hand and a story to tell.  When we would protest the hot tub because we were getting ready for bed.  He would say, “twenty minutes in the hot tub is equal to an hour of sleep”  It didn’t even make sense but boy oh boy did it.  We’d all just be so relaxed chilling out as a family and we’d sleep like little babies those nights.


Twenty minutes.  That right there is my dad.  There isn’t a single task that took longer than twenty minutes.  Not a single one.  “But, Dad, I don’t want to go for a hike.”  “Twenty minutes, that’s it.”  Three hours later, we’d all come home with huge smiles on our faces.  Duped into a good time.


Not that our protests really mattered because when it came to having fun, Dad always had the final vote.  Sometimes at dinner we’d discuss where we wanted to vacation.  A favorite line of dad’s was, “you each have one vote and I have six” (there were six of us in the family).  He’d win and we’d find ourselves floating down the mighty Missouri for a week long flyfishing trip.  In the end, we all won.


Car rides with him were always an adventure.  He was a backroads kind of driver.  Taking them wherever they lead him as long as they were nice and slow.  If he saw a pretty lady, he was going to slow down and wave, with his four children and wife next to him saying, “oh Don” every time.  He did it to get a rise out of his Kaky and to teach his boys how to flirt.  But, as he said at my wedding, he wound up teaching me to flirt instead and it scared the bajesus out of him.  Ha ha.  Guess I could get a rise out of him as well.


Going to the grocery store with him was an opportunity to stock up on any and all junk food that was not allowed in the house.  Say good bye to the natural rolled oats aisle that my mom stuck to and hello to the jelly bean bins.  Whatever you wanted, you could get.  My cousin Allie recently told me a story of how when she was a little girl, she was in Safeway with my dad and they were checking out, my dad looked at her and said, “What the hell is wrong with ya child?”  She was confused and probably a little scared and I’m sure he gave a long pregnant pause as he did.  “You haven’t asked for any candy.  Don’t you want any candy?  Go ahead and get anything you want.”  THat’s my dad.


Man, he was hilarious.  He’d come out with these brilliant one liners that would have you rolling on the ground with laughter.  Clever as all get out.  However, he wasn’t just one liners.  He’d recount days of old with long drawn out stories but you’d find yourself captivated and laughing the whole way through.

He was energizing.  He drew crowds around him.  He loved whole heartedly.  He allowed happiness in when and however he could.  I miss him today and every day.  Happy Father’s Day, Daddio.  I’ll aim for a full belly laugh today in your honor.


June 16, 2013 at 5:51 AM 3 comments

Happy Father’s Day

I am at a loss of words to say how blessed I feel to be able to include my husband in a Father’s Day post.

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You should see how crazy Graham is for Josie.  From the day we got the positive pregnancy test, he has been extremely excited and proud.  He used to love talking to my belly and feeling her kick.   The day she was born, she stole his heart forever.

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I think a way to express what a wonderful father he is, is to show the family rituals that have developed over the past four months.

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Graham gets up while Josie is still asleep so he tiptoes into her room every morning and checks on his little sunshine, watching her sleep.  While Graham is at work, he requests photos of Josie.  If he has gone a few hours without seeing a pic of his little love one, I inevitably get a text, “more photos please.”  He can’t get enough of her.

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As soon as he is in the car, headed home, I get a phone call saying that he is en route and asking how his little girl is doing.  The moment he comes in the door its hugs, kisses and mutual delight as Josie and Daddy are reunited for the day.

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Then it’s bath time before bed.  This is truly the cutest time of the day as Josie smiles and giggles and puts on a show; we both watch with absolute delight and pride.  We are completely smitten.

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After bath time, Josie and Graham get some very special one on one time as he gives her the nighttime bottle.  I know that he cherishes this time where he truly shuts down the world.  No blackberry.  No sports articles.  No chatty wife.  Just him and Josie hanging out.  He cuddles her, rocks her a little and tucks her in for sweet dreams for the night.

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Once it is our bedtime, we each go in to watch Josie sleep before nodding off ourselves.  Then we discuss how cute she is and exactly how she was sleeping.  Graham will often imitate her arms or movements with such joy.  Once we are tucked in to bed, we finish our day looking through all of the pictures and videos I have taken of her that day.

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Our lives revolve around this little bundle of joy and we couldn’t be happier.  Nothing is more special than watching Graham’s love and joy for our baby day after day.  He is a loving, adoring father and Josie is the luckiest girl in the world to have him as her dad.  And I am incredibly lucky to share the experience with him.

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Happy Father’s Day to my wonderful husband and to all the fathers out there.

June 14, 2013 at 8:21 AM 8 comments

Raw Dezign

There are some amazing things on ETSY – true talent.  I stumbled upon this British shop and it’s too good not to share…


This branching globe chandelier reminds me of Lindsay Adelman chandelier’s but a bit different and without the sticker shock…


Lindsay Adelman

I also love the faceted pendants that they make and you can choose your color chord…


Wouldn’t those be fun in a kitchen?  Speaking of kitchen’s, they also make clocks that I think would be nice in my own kitchen…



All items available at Raw Dezign on ETSY.

June 12, 2013 at 5:10 AM Leave a comment

Natori Homes

Yesterday, once little Monkey went down for a nap, I immediately tucked into the latest Lonny Magazine…only to find not one but two jaw dropping homes belonging to my sister in law’s best friend!


Are they not the cutest family ever?!  I’m absolutely love how they are fans of color and pattern – check out their little boy, Cruz’s bedroom…


Their Manhatten master bedroom is layered in scrumptious blue bedding – That Roberta Roller Rabit bedding is a favorite of mine (I used it at our ranch house – you can see it in this post here).




There are so many photos of their homes that are absolutely stunning. They had two wonderful designers helping them out Nicki Hill Rose and Allison Tick. Go check out the homes for yourself at Lonny.  And Anika Yael – has a blog that you can follow along with – Josie Girl (love the name!).  She blogs for Josie Natori (Ken Natori is her husband).  Loved seeing their family home!!  Congrats Yael and co!

June 11, 2013 at 8:45 AM 2 comments

Tufted Built-in Bench

Today we are off to finalize some plans for a built in eating kitchen nook.  One of my favorite elements is that we are going to do a tufted back for the built in bench.  Here are some inspiration shots of what we’re thinking…



Katie Ridder


Ahsley Whittaker

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I love the sophisticated element and interest it brings to the nook.  One word to the wise though, do not put tufting on the bottom seat unless you want to drive yourself mad fetching food from it.  I’ve learned that tufting on kitchen bottom seats is called the “crumb catcher.”

Happy Friday everyone!

June 7, 2013 at 8:32 AM 3 comments

Jane Lilly Warren’s Apartment

Okay, to everyone who can stay on top of their decor reading, these images are not new.  But, I really wanted to share them because I am smitten with Jane Lilly Warren’s New York apartment.  She is the co-founder of Matchbook and has achieved such a wonderful preppy, eclectic vibe to her apartment.






What really knocks my socks off about this place is that it is a rental.  This brings me huge inspiration to continue to make every nook and cranny of my rental completely me.  Jane really achieved this by going with removable wallpaper from Sherwin Williams.  I used removable wallpaper in Monkey’s closet turned changing table nook and it thrills me every day.  It’s high time I add more to my place.

The latest Matchbook Mag is out today.  It is my little carrot waiting for me after I get through meetings and after the little one is asleep for the night…it’ll be just me, Matchbook and a glass of wine.  Divine!

June 5, 2013 at 9:21 AM 1 comment

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