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The Meandering Walk

Yesterday, we walked our neighborhood, a loop that the girls and I have done a hundred times before.  If you live on my block, hearing my girls chirping voices cascade down from the street to your living room is more reliable than the post man.  It’s a daily activity.

The chilly weather and light rain was calling out to my inner crab like self to crawl inside my shell and remain indoors.  However, my girls were at each other with the punching and screaming; the pushing and taunting; the pleading and whining.  Enough was enough.  Nothing could solve this problem but nature itself.


Josie gave it her very best to not leave the house.  I wrestled the flailing legs and flipping feet until little Miss was donning a pair of sparkly turquoise tennis shoes.  I coaxed an extra layer onto both the protesting girls for warmth.  And finally, exasperated, I reached for a two simple brown paper lunch bags as an idea switched on in my head.

Groaning out the door, the girls reluctantly marched.

I handed Josie a brown paper bag and said “this is all yours”.  Then I handed another one to Gracie.  “We are going on a leaf hunt.”

The tears and whines abruptly switched to the sound of silence.  A silence brought on solely by the strongest of curiosity that could reboot such foul moods.  As I explained the activity, their eyes opened as wide as a full harvest moon.  “A leaf hunt?”  “Yes, Josie.  You can look around the streets and find any interesting leaves or acorns or sticks and put them in your special bag”

IMG_8785Within moments there was a spring in her step.  What big sis does, 9 times out of 10, Gracie will follow.  They were inspecting crimson crackled leaves; they were rubbing smooth chestnut acorns; they were peering at small darkened puddles.  Our suburbia neighborhood in the heart of fast paced silicon valley had transformed to an idyllic, unhurried, country walk.

Without realizing it, I got caught up in the experiential spirit as well.  I watched a leaf slowly fall from a tree and I actually meant it when I said, “wow, girls, this is beautiful”  And yet, we weren’t deep in the woods; or lakeside; or on a mountains ridge line.  We were at my neighbors driveway, next to a truck delivering a port-o-potty to a construction site.


Funny how the simplicity of a brown paper bag can change one’s perspective. I’m thankful for that moment living life through the magic of my children’s eyes.  May it continue.



December 1, 2015 at 5:28 AM 6 comments

The Ribbon Touch

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!!  We’re headed to my In-Law’s for Thanksgiving where the table will be packed with people that I love. I couldn’t ask for more.

Since we’re not hosting, I won’t be doing any tablescaping.  I’m happy to pass on the baton though as it does take a lot of prep and energy to put together.  My mother in law does a beautiful job.

For those of you who are hosting and looking for a last minute tip,some beautiful ribbon goes a long way, simply tie it in a bow and use as a napkin ring.







Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.  And as always, thanks so much for reading!

November 25, 2015 at 5:25 AM 3 comments

South Congress Hotel

First and foremost, I can’t possibly thank you enough for the kind and thoughtful feedback on the One Room Challenge.  It really made all that stress worth it.  After all these years of blogging, it’s still hard to present my own work so thank you for your kind feedback.


Graham and I snuck away for four days to Austin, Texas with good friends of ours.  It’s an awesome town and the food was nothing short of amazing.  I ate some body part of a pig at every single meal.

One of my favorite spots, from a design perspective, is The South Congress Standard Hotel.  It is way cooler than me.





So much cooler than me, see top spaz out photo for reference on my coolness factor.

If you can truly pull off vintage clothing; if you drop $600 on a locally made artisanal leather cuff; if you have ironic facial hair paired with a manbun, if your day job is less then 20 hours a week and involves macrame, then, you can stay here.


November 24, 2015 at 5:30 AM Leave a comment

One Room Challenge: Reveal Day

We made it to the finish line.  Even though, it was just a walk-in closet, I still managed to get all stressy and obsessive.  BUT – it’s so good to have the kick in the pants needed to get an entire project finished.  And this time, unlike the last two times (seen here and here), I get to live with it!!

As a reminder, I redid my daughter’s walk in closet, which we now call The Clubhouse…


We really do have so much fun in there.

Gracie usually walks straight for her rocking elephant and rides away…


Josie will pull a princess dress out of one of her dress up bags that I had embroidered with the words “Tomfoolery” and “Mischief” – that’s one of my favorite little elements.



And I usually head for the books on the shelf and plop down on the sheepskin rug to read to the girls….


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The girls will often stare out the window together, which they love.  I will often stare at the Sister Parish curtains with black pom pom trim and thank my lucky stars that I have a mom and helping friend that know what to do in front of a sewing machine.


Sometimes this closet does mean the business of getting dressed, but into frilly dresses, so it’s not the most serious business in town.



Rarely, I put clothes away but I’m much better at posing while fake putting clothes away than actually putting them away.  I’m much much better at faking it.


This closet door is never shut now.  If, say, my husband shuts it, I’ll follow right behind him and open it right back up.


I have been known to say “Goodnight closet” moments before tucking my daughter into bed and just last night Josie said goodnight to it.


For the record, her future husband is screwed.  He can thank me when Josie is straightfaced talking about the necessity to wallpaper her closet – to which he shall respond, “you can wish upon all the stars in the land, but we’re not papering our closet” and then she’ll think of this star light…


But my girls won’t remember what their closet used to be like because they are 2 and 1.  Perhaps you don’t remember what it looked like either…here is the before.



And after…




With that, we’re off to stare out the window to spy on our neighbor’s dog because apparently we have a thing about dogs.


Grace is especially fond of dogs…


While we’re looking out the window, I highly recommend going to see everyone’s hard work and big reveal on the One Room Challenge at Linda’s blog Calling It Home.

Thanks so much for looking!!

The vast majority of the pics posted today were taken by Tracey Mammolito who is a wonderful photographer and so kind and super easy to work with.  If you live in bay area, you can check her out here.



November 12, 2015 at 5:54 AM 29 comments

Six Week Challenge: Week 5

Wow!  Thank you everyone for the awesome feedback on my girl’s closet so far.  I really loved it and to be honest, I kind of needed it.  If you’ve been following my six week challenge since week one, then you’ll know that I was initially going to have my tried and true wallpaper hanger who I use with all my clients hang the paper.  A family emergency came up for him and so I went with a handyman I pretty much just found off the internet.


Internet handyman, wasn’t the best wallpaper installer that I’ve ever had.  But he did the job and all is lined up.  However, when he was finished, he looked at me and whispered (as if it was behind my back), “I don’t like this.  I don’t like the color pink paint you chose and I don’t like the paper.”  And then he proceeded to advise me to hire him to paint the ceiling blue with clouds on it.  Thanks Internet Handyman, could you sponge paint my walls too?!

For whatever reason, he rattled my confidence and all of you boosted it back up!  Thank you!!

Since then, my girls and I have been playing in what we now call “the clubhouse” and we all love it to bits and pieces.

The closet bar went pink.  There was some great feedback on how to get more economical lucite bars but I later heard they can’t take as much weight and so it felt easier to paint.  And I’m thrilled.


Also, I did some DI-WHYYYYY?.  Okay, maybe not Do It Yourself more like do it with your mom and your friend and have them do most of it but offer lots of cheer along the way.

This Sister Parish fabric is no longer a stack of lovely fabric but actual hanging curtains.


Stay tuned for the reveal next week.

Also, you may have seen this on my Instagram but these ubiquitous Anthropologie hooks were meant for the Best In Show paper.  The cutest totes ever are going on the hooks for dress up clothes.


This wonderful ram went blaaaack (to be read like a ram) because my tutu wearing toddlers are so edgy.


All is wrapping up and I can’t wait to reveal it next week!!

Please go check out the other participants, here.

November 5, 2015 at 5:27 AM 10 comments

One Room Challenge: Wallpaper Is Up!


My wallpaper hanger told me that you can get addicted to putting wallpaper up in your home.  Yep, guilty.  Once you start, you can’t stop. It’s just so satisfying and transforming.

As a reminder, I’m redoing my daughter’s walk in closet.

Heres where we were at last week…


And now, the same shot this week with the addition of Osborne and Little Best In Show flocked wallpaper…


It’s squeal worthy for me and my little girls.  I really am making my big girl dreams come true in my little girl’s closet.

I had originally wanted to change out the existing closet bar with a lucite one but then I had it priced out and it’s hilariously expensive.  Guess what 2 year old does not get a $600 lucite closet bar?  The existing one will get painted either pink or black this weekend.  Thoughts on color?

I still need to paint out the closet bar, change out the light, put up their little tote bags on the far back wall for a dress up space and sew cafe curtains for that cute little window.

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Not much left to go…we’re chugging right along.

Please check out the other participants here.

Also, I wanted to let you know that I’m guest posting over at the wonderful blog Aquahaus.  It’s breast cancer awareness month and I’m talking about my cancer scare as well as sharing pink in my home.  This subject is very near and dear to me so I’d love it if you checked it out.  Plus, you’ll get sucked in to Celine’s amazing blog and cool style.

October 29, 2015 at 5:34 AM 14 comments

One Room Challenge: Picking a Paint

What’s a One Room Challenge without a few tears?

Just like there’s no use crying over spilt milk, there’s no use crying over dried paint.  But my eyes did well up with tears and a few ran down my cheek.

But before we get into this week.  If you’re just joining in today – I’m revamping my girls’ walk-in closet for the six week challenge and here is the plan…


The few tears happened because I can’t get this damn pink paint color right.  I’m frustrated and tired.  Twice now I thought I found the right color painted out a bunch of the closet and then I hated it, which means repainting all of that work as well.

The first time, I had my local paint store color match the Sister Parish fabric that will be used as the window drapes.  The color ended up feeling like hospital pink and I just hated it.


The second time, I thought I had the correct color for sure and then my mom walked into the closet and said, “oh” and not in a good way.  She tried to backtrack but the honesty was right there in her gut reaction.  The pink ran too cold and will make the paper look dirty.


All my work was not paying off…


The best looking pink with the Best in Show wallpaper is a dusty pink because of it’s cream background but I’m not a fan of dusty pink.  Here in lies the problem.  So I sampled and sampled and sampled paint colors.  I obsessed.  And then I got stuck in analysis paralysis.


Enough is enough.  My mom stepped in with the gift of a painter and the gift of the painter coming on a certain day which means that decisions needed to be made.  Thank you, Mom!

I decided on Rosey Outlook by Sherwin Williams.  It may have partially won out from the name alone.  I’d love nothing else than the girls to have a rosey outlook on life.


The walk in closet as of now…


I’m thrilled with the color and I’m so happy I bit the bullet and decided on a color.

Also, some tips that I learned along the way for pink paint: usually pick the paint that is at the top of the paint strip; pink tends to build on itself and it can intensify quickly.  Also, if you want to go a little lower on the paint strip, trying cutting the paint and adding in 50% white.

Next step is the wallpaper installation.  I can’t wait!!  You can check in on the other participants of the One Room Challenge here.

October 22, 2015 at 5:02 AM 8 comments

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