Mother’s Day Memories

Every time a special occasion rolls around, Clark asks me what I want as a gift, and I never have a great answer. Mother’s Day is around the corner, and I can say with all certainty, this is what I want…

LA Home silhouette

The chairs are completely rad too, but I am especially loving the bright contrast of the framed silhouettes against the white walls in this L.A. home. I have always wanted to create silhouette portraits of the kids to remember their little baby profiles. A few years ago, it took me nearly an hour of Curious George episodes to get these pictures.

Mia profile

Salem profile

With a little help from someone who knows photoshop way better than myself, we were able to create these silhouette templates:

mia side b

salem side b

For Heaven’s sake, their chins… I can’t get enough.
I think it is high time these babies made in on the wall don’t you think?

{Clark, if you are reading this, I want them in gray and yellow and big enough to hang in the meditation suite, K? K. I love you.}

PS. A silhouette gallery wall and a DIY tutorial

{Image via Bonnie Tsang}

Here We Move Again

Peter Hall

There are days that take your breath away. And then there are days that knock the wind out of you.

Yesterday was the latter. I will tell you why.

I don’t have a makeup drawer… nor do I have a medicine cabinet where I keep my everyday soaps, lotions, and personal items. I have stored everything from my toothpaste to my face wash in the same toiletry bag for the past 6 years. It only occurred to me last night while I was getting ready for bed that Clark doesn’t have a personal drawer or cabinet either. He too keeps all of his everyday items in a travel-size tote– the very same that he used to throw into his carry-on luggage from our professional traveling days. We have no less than seven bathroom cabinets between us that remain empty as everything we need fits within airline regulations.

How does empty cabinet space qualify as a personal crisis?

The unused space is a glaring reminder of our tenancy. We’ve been renters for the last three years and while that too isn’t the end of the world, our lack of home ownership has resulted in three moves in three years. As of today, it appears we are staring down the barrel of the fourth. Our landlords just informed us of their plans to sell our current address. Wouldn’t you know it– I just unpacked our last box 3 weeks ago. The news has once again thrust me into excessive planning mode– cleaning out the unused household items and clothes for Goodwill and making a list of things to sell. I know that “rent” means “temporary”. I knew we wouldn’t be here forever. But we just got here, and now we’re about to box it all up again. I feel like a military family without the G. I. benefits.

CSIS is foiling terrorist plots in the Toronto transit system, and Chinese rescue crews are still working to recover from last week’s 6.6 earthquake. And, I am complaining about caboodles.

But the fact that I haven’t unpacked my toothbrush in SIX YEARS since the last time I flew around the world has to mean something, right? Six years ago, I preferred mobility. Six years ago, I fantasized about having little gypsie children in tow as Clark and I traipsed the globe from one musical pursuit to another. Six years ago, the idea of suburban settlement was worse than banishment into exile. And now, my first-grade maternal instincts say, “keep the nest from rocking as little as possible”. I worry what rearranging Mia’s bedroom furniture might do to her little psyche. Salem is barely old enough to remember the last three addresses, and yet I fear he is going to require long-term therapy to recover from all of the transition.

And yet, here comes the sway.

I know me, and you know me. Next week I will be posting color schemes and layout for the new space. But as for today, I want stay somewhere long enough for the Sarna bottle to expire underneath the bathroom sink.

How about you? Do you find moving daunting or exciting or a little bit of both?

Color Me Happy

Shelby: “My colors are blush and bashful”.
M”Lynn: “Her colors are pink and pink.”
– Steel Magnolias

According to environmental psychologists, the colors with which we surround ourselves really do have a dramatic effect on our moods, emotions, and overall wellness. It is called chromotherapy {or color therapy}. Being a color-lover myself, I feel better already knowing that a few extra jewel tones and some bright accents might be just what the doctor ordered!

DS purple

Purple is ideal for meditation, inspiration and intuition.

DS Blue

Blue has a more calming effect.

DS Red

Red is energizing and revitalizing.

DS Green

Green helps to soothe, balance, and restore.

DS Orange

Orange promotes happiness, warmth and creativity.

How about you? What is your “signature color”?

{All images via Design*Sponge}

Happy Sleeping

If rest and renewal is key to overall good health, then we ought to at least be inspired by our sleeping spaces {not too inspired that we stay awake though, right?} I have to admit, the room in my house that I currently feel the least inspired by is our master bedroom. With two small children, it seems I spend more time in every room but my own, therefore it has been sadly neglected. Lately, I have been collecting ideas for making my bedroom more of a sanctuary retreat. Here are a few of my favorites:

My Ideal Home

{Image via My Ideal Home}

Marcia Margolius

{Image via Marcia Margolius}

House of Turquoise

{Image via House of Turquoise}

Dreamy Whites

{Image via Dreamy Whites}

Apartment Therapy recently ran a Bedroom Retreat contest. Here are a few of my favorite entries:

ATBR entry 1

ATBR entry 2

ATBR entry 3

{All images via Apartment Therapy}

Throw in a fireplace mantel with lots of natural light, white, and cozy textiles and I may never leave my bedroom!
Does your master bedroom inspire you?

P.S. Click here to see the rest of the contest entries along with the U.S. and international entry winners.

Good Health Starts in the Kitchen

Thanks for all of the encouragement from yesterday’s post. That wasn’t the easiest story to tell, but at least it has a happy ending, right? Let it be said for all times’ sake, if I can lose all that weight…sheesh… ANYone can!

If we want to follow a healthy lifestyle, the least we ought to have is an inspiring kitchen, yes? Here are a few that I thought you might enjoy.

Kitchen-Collage{Image via Alice Lane Home}

Custom Herb Garden{Image of Custom Herb Garden by Kristen Mcgaughey}

2Eleonore{Eleonore Bridge’s Paris kitchen image via *Design Sponge}

CLX-1028-111KimJeffery-lgn{Image via Kim Jeffery featured in Country Living}

ikea{IKEA Industrial Kitchen/ Image via bellaMUMMA}

I don’t know about you, but I have scored some of my best kitchen finds at IKEA {a.k.a. God’s gift to all people short of cash and space}. Check out this list of 10 Best Kitchen Items to Buy at IKEA.

What about your kitchen inspires you?

Spring is in the Air

If yesterday was the first day of Spring, then today officially marks the first day of Spring cleaning. I follow a relatively consistent cleaning schedule  however, I have been feeling the need to schluff {is that a word?} off the excess moving into the new season. For instance, when I put on my Purge Lens today, I realized that I own two electric juicers. Ask me the last time I drank juice that comes already squeezed and out of a bottle, much less the last time I crammed a whole mango into a small kitchen appliance. Therefore, it is getting schluffed. Removing the unnecessary bulky stuff is easy. Vacuuming the coils in the refrigerator however is another matter entirely. Spring Cleaning with small children around is about as effective as sorting papers with the fan blowing. So, I think I might have to fake everybody out by putting some Spring scents around the house and going back to hiding the dirt, yes? Small children or not, I know I can handle this homemade Spring scent.

6a00d8341c51ba53ef01310fd51641970c-800wi

A little lemon, some rosemary, and vanilla on the stove… sounds blissful. What are some of your favorite scents this time of year?

{Image via Morgan Moore}

Gallery Wall Tour

Ah… now that’s better

Note to self… don’t ever write a post lamenting about a missing wedding box when you are sick and doped up on cold meds. Clark came home and within moments found it and the missing Christmas decorations. Oooo right… we have a basement now. Didn’t think to check there.

Turns out the silk wedding bouquet didn’t work for the yellow flower pot, but the holly berries we used for groom’s men boutineers inside our wedding communion goblet made the cut.

So, with deep satisfaction (and much less head congestion), I’ve moved on to completing the family room gallery wall.

Care to take a tour with me?
Today is our wedding anniversary, so I am especially loving some of these early engagement pictures of Clark and I. He still makes me laugh like the pic in the upper far left corner.

I grouped these three photos together as proof that my children did in fact come from me. Everyone says that they both look like Clark. Granted they do with their red hair, blue eyes, and fair skin. Regardless of my dominant Latin genes, I somehow manage to look adopted in every family photo.

Salem’s smile on the right looks so much like mine on the left. Yes? No? Well, it was worth a try.

Here’s a little tip if you every decide to put together your own gallery wall

I made a paper template of every frame and accent I wanted to use. I laid them out on the floor and tweaked the configuration until I was happy with the big picture. Then I taped them to the wall. Then I paused for popcorn and a movie and went back to arranging and taping and rearranging and re-taping. Then I slept on it and proceeded to obsess over it the entire next day. After enlisting Clark to check my angles and spacing a few dozen times, I confronted my Design Commitment Phobia and nailed those suckers to the wall. One broken glass panel, a few color changes for the candle, a splash of Autumn inspiration, and voila!

I’m headed out for some fresh air before my romantic anniversary date tonight. Pub food and Bond, Baby! Wish me luck!

Think Different

20120724-143819.jpg

Image via TRPrints Etsy shop

When faced with a challenge for which there is no foreseeable resolve, I transform myself into a front-row student of the Solution. I can’t help it. I have spent much of the summer reading reading READING my way through a file box full of titles– topics ranging from cutting-edge therapies, to specialized nutrition programs, and yes, the war cries of those who believe vaccinations are the root cause of both autism and Al Qaida terrorism. Yet, much like the bear cub that recently wandered into a suburban Sears department store, I have found myself roaming through volumes of doctoral theories in feeble attempts to understand this thing called ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). Then, before I can help it, my amateur brain has trespassed on the property of experts who are way smarter than myself. Suddenly, I am barreling through aisles of fancy medical terms and brain foods and testimonials and toaster ovens and women’s lingerie until someone comes along and shoots me with a tranquilizer dart!

Today, I explored some Etsy therapy to avoid Certain Brain Implosion. It was a fast-acting reminder that pretty things make me happy, and BONUS when I stumbled on a pretty thing inspired by the late Apple Genius, Steve Jobs. In all of my mental-department-store-obliteration reading, I knocked over some interesting articles that discuss whether or not Steve Jobs was autistic. The Aspergians says he was (kettle?), and the more reputable blogs devoid of annoying pop-up ads say he wasn’t (although he was known to obsess over things like how many screws were in a lap top case). Perhaps this is not enough to label him ASD, but it is a cozy thought to consider that he saw the world different from the other 97% of human thinkers… not unlike my three-year-old. I have read so many words in recent weeks that it is no wonder if I develop blurry vision because of it. And yet, in all of my reading, only two have helped to make it more clear.

20120724-191351.jpg

…and so we will.

Sneak Peek: The Sunroom

Hey! Hey! A few weeks ago, I posted about this beautiful space in my new house.

Sunroom? Creative learning space? Tile floor angels? Is it all coming back to you now?

Well, I don’t typically like to display “works in progress”, but the kids and I are having so much fun in this room, I’ve almost completely neglected the rest of the house. Clark is still teaching guitar lessons from the dining room, and my dresser drawers are still taking up space in the living room. Completely un-blog-worthy material. This room however, is starting to make my heart go pitter patter.


Will you check out that counter space! Perfectly out of reach of little fingers, so I can safely keep unfinished projects lying around. As for the colored bags… well, those are for grouping colored blocks and other stuffed toys. What can I say… the pre-school teacher in me is in full bloom.

The hideous vertical box contains another set of Ikea Expedit shelves. These higher shelves will keep things like legos and crayons just out of reach but accessible enough to enjoy on a regular basis.

And then just beyond the fence…

Mommy’s little creative oasis…
I have always wanted to have a sewing station… a space to get in touch with my inner-Martha Stewart whenever the mood hits. Now, I not only have a sewing station and a place to hide needles, pins, and other notions, but I can still keep an eye on my cherub-faced little dependents whenever I get the urge to whip up a throw pillow case or curtain panel. #Bliss

I have loads more inspiration for this space, but this is what we’ve been able to pull together in a week and a half. Now, if I can just find the inspiration to tackle the laundry…

Inspired to Repurpose

I brought some things over to our new home yesterday {even though our official move in date is April 14th}, and my repurposing brain went into overdrive. The truth is, this place has more space than any house we’ve ever called home. Not to mention, this is the first house we’ve ever lived in that wasn’t attached to someone else’s address. We have lived in an apartment or a duplex ever since we became a Mr. & Mrs. Now that I think about it, I haven’t lived in a house since my pre-college and thus my pre-dormitory days. I feel like a grown up… a big girl… a resident of the real world {which, let’s face it is grossly overrated}. I just completed my 2011 tax NO-return which I would happily trade for final exams and bad cafeteria food any day of the week. Sigh.

They say a good designer shops in her own home to find new purpose for old things. Thus the repurposing brain. As soon as we unload the last box into our new abode, I plan to raid every antique consignment mall and second-hand shop in search of unique stylings for our new space. In the meantime, I will be shopping the Beasley Estate for free furnishings. I love absolutely everything about this home featured in BHG’s Home Decorating: Bargain Buys Made Beautiful. As luck would have it, I just so happen to have some of the items featured in my favorite spaces.

It is a relief to know that a hideous buffet table can serve a greater purpose when covered with neutral fabric.

Books grouped by color and paint brushes in a glass jar. I think we can manage that.

Slap a tray on top of a wicker chest {which I just so happen to be in possession of} and voila… A side table!

At least there is some light at the end of the tax refund-less tunnel. Now, if I could just figure out how to double one of Clark’s amps as a jacuzzi tub.

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