Thursday, July 30, 2009

Family Portraits

I just had to share something funny that I read over at Apartment Therapy. Check out these family portraits...Do you recognize the families? You'll probably do better if you were born before 1985.

Now, how precious does Carol Ann look?

Designer Spotlight: Darryl Carter

My favorite designer at the moment is a local one, Darryl Carter. Carter started as a lawyer who was discovered after his home was featured in Metropolitan Home magazine. His career as a designer took off from that point and eventually, he stopped practicing law and started decorating full-time with a look that he has branded "The New Traditional".

I'm drawn to neutral interiors, and Carter's style is especially calming. He edits his spaces well, allowing the few accessories that remain to truly stand out. And although Carter often uses traditional pieces, their sparing placement throughout gives them a minimalist, contemporary feel.

Elle Decor featured Carter's Virginia country home in its May 2008 issue. It's rustic, soothing, clean, and chic all at once. For more photos of his home, see PointClickHome. Darryl Carter's entire portfolio can be seen here.

Mommy & Me

J.Crew carries my favorite denim jackets. The cut is not too boxy and J.Crew quality is on the higher end of most mainstream clothing retailers.

I think I'll buy this in the Fall for myself...

...and this one for Sophie.

Why, hello there!

image via iamthe_l

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Shiny shiny door

image via flickr

I love shiny doors. Shiny front doors (even better) are masculine, loud and stylish. One of my favorite design blogs, Remodelista, featured these beautiful doors from a recent Dutch trip.

Window Dressing

The previous owners of our house left us with a lot to renovate. Their home was a peach and yellow countrified nightmare. The only exception was the master bedroom, whose accent wall color one might kindly describe as "Montezuma's Revenge". I could probably fill enough blog entries for a year, describing the various projects we've worked on since we moved into our townhouse in July 2007. Two years later, I'm still redecorating.

My latest fixations are the windows in the living room. We inherited wooden blinds on all of the windows of the house. Now, let me just caveat this by saying that I've seen nice wooden blinds in other people's homes. These are not those blinds. Only Hercules can raise these blinds, so, if you've let them down you'd better like your house dark. Permanently. Furthermore, the cord would make the perfect noose for the many toddlers that run amuck in this house. As a result, we leave our blinds pulled up and the cord tied in various loose knots and resting on the window frames.

I've been looking for years for affordable, clean and simple window treatments. If I won the lottery, I would have bought relaxed roman shades from Smith + Noble long ago. But alas, we're just regular people with real budget constraints. Recently, I've stumbled upon an idea that I think might just work for my wallet.

First, I replace the wooden blinds with bamboo blinds from Pearl River Mart.Then, I'll frame them on both sides with the reliable white Merete curtains from Ikea.
Instant window treatments for less than $70 per window! I'll post results in an upcoming House Tour gadget. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Words to cherish

"I love you Mama"

Bensimon Sneakers

image via emma & avery

I've been lusting after Bensimon sneakers ever since I saw them in this month's issue of Cookie Magazine. These shoes are so simple, so chic, so....hard to get in the U.S.A.

image via love you baby

A handful of online retailers sell the sneakers for kids, and available sizes and colors are very limited. Adults looking for themselves have more options. They're sold at mall staple stores such as Madewell and Free People. Visit The Bensimon Girls for more information on where to buy these stylish sneakers.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Weekly Meal Planning

As a family, we eat out way more than we should. But when I have time, I do like to find new healthful recipes that are quick and easy to make. Tonight is an eat-in kind of night. We're having all-natural chicken sausages with asian coleslaw.

The asian coleslaw is delicious, but I can't take credit for the recipe. I've stolen it from

6 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger root
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
5 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
2 cups shredded napa cabbage
2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
2 carrots, julienned
6 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the rice vinegar, oil, peanut butter, soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, and garlic.
2. In a large bowl, mix the green cabbage, red cabbage, napa cabbage, red bell peppers, carrots, green onions, and cilantro. Toss with the peanut butter mixture just before serving.

For the rest of the week, I'm planning on making:

Tuesday - Organic Teriyaki Chicken with Garlic Sauteed Spinach
Wednesday - Creamy Shrimp Rolls
Thursday - Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce

Darn that Benjamin Button!

I begrudgingly watched the end of "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" last night, and I would be lying if I said it didn't reduce me to a blubbering baby. The best line in the whole movie was everything that I've ever wanted to say to Sophie:

For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.


I've been chasing a high on Craigslist. I've dabbled here and there with CL for years now. Darren has sold electronics...I've mainly sold accessories. But earlier this year, I scored an unbelievable deal on a couch. And ever since then, I'm addicted to scouring the site, looking for another score that would give me the same high.

Here's the couch. I bought it for $150 (bargained down from $200). It has down-filled cushions and is comfortably deep. I love it.

It's become a sickness. I dedicated my home to minimalism and now it was becoming filled with "stuff". So, in an effort to get rid of some of my "stuff", I'm trying to sell off things that have been bought on a whim in the past.

I bought these at the Georgetown Flea Market a couple of years ago for $400. I love them, but they're really just not that practical for us. Any buyers?