Monday, August 31, 2009

Grain Sack Upholstery

I saw this in Cottage Living, and I am dying to pair these with West Elm Parsons desks on each side of my bed. It would be a great mix of old and new.

Before: $25 chair and a vintage grain sack

After: Wing chairs upholstered with grain sack and linen and a personal monogram

Superga Kids

OK, so I've fallen in love with a new kid's sneaker. Half my heart still belongs to Bensimon, but who says I can't love two sneakers at once? Superga Kids Torino Hook & Loop sneaker has all the features I want and need: European styling, chic and simple design (no pink flowers), and best of all...ease of use. Love those velcro straps! These are going to Sophie's Spring shoes. Now the only question left is: white or navy?

all images via Zappos

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Restoration Hardware Summer 2009

If I had an unlimited budget to redecorate, I'd probably spend it all at Restoration Hardware. The most recent catalog is exactly my aesthetic: rustic, tailored, a touch of industrial. It's as if they read my mind (but unfortunately, not my wallet!). Here are some of my favorite items:

I love the wing chair and the desk. Ohhh, that beautiful desk...I've never seen anything like it.

The scale of the neoclassical mirror mimics the two windows that flank it.

This baker's rack would make a great display for a collection of whiteware.

I'd love to have this rustic washstand in my master bathroom.

The detail of the supports sets it apart from regular ole' floating shelves

This chair is beautifully equestrian.


Drama Queen

We babysat my nephew Bodhi this weekend while his parents were away at a wedding. The kids were generally good, but wow, is it hard to watch two toddlers! I gotta give credit to parents of twins! Here are the highlights (and lowlights):

Bodhi protects his ears from Sophie's crying


Tag team tantruming

all images via Lyndsey Nguyen

Port Discovery Children's Museum

On a spur of the moment this morning, we decided to take a day trip up to Baltimore and visit the Port Discovery Children's Museum. The museum is aimed at children 2-10 years old, but honestly, a child probably needs to be around 5 years old to get the most out of the experience. Sophie seemed to enjoy herself regardless, but there was a lot that she just couldn't do. The trip was a nice diversion and it was great to be out strolling around the Inner Harbor on a sunny day.

All these exhibits and what does Sophie want to do? Talk on the phone.

OK, time to go home!

Friday, August 28, 2009


I've found myself living at malls this summer, especially when the weather is hot and humid. Today we continued our weekly routine of having cheap fun at the mall. I went to not one, but two malls today just to get out of the house. The good news is that I only bought one thing: a Lego set for Sophie. It's almost impossible to really shop when you're pushing around a stroller with a struggling and impatient toddler, so I don't even try. We just flit from play area to play area within the mall, in a quest to tire her out.

We met up with our friends Helen and Kaila at Fair Oaks Mall this morning for a playdate. Kaila is such a sweet and good kid.

This was about the only time Sophie wanted to leave my side and play among the other kids this morning.

If they don't already recognize us at the Apple Store by now, they really should.

...and in the evening, we visited the Lego store at Tyson's Corner Center.

Why are there always only 2 trains for 10 kids at the Thomas table in every Barnes and Noble? That's a catalyst for trouble!

Jumping on our couch--not OK. Jumping on the squishy mall couches? Go for it!

Eating dinner like a champ at Coastal Flats. Yes, that's MY daughter dipping sweet potato fries in ketchup. Very nutritious, I know.

Bar Stools

One of these days, when I'm done with the major decorating and renovation of my house, I'm going to go back and tweak some of the details. First on my list is replacing my existing black barstools with something white, to brighten my kitchen. I like the simple and classic look of Director's chairs, but wonder if they're too flimsy.

image via Pier 1 Imports

I also admire early American furniture design for the clean lines and unadorned style, so this windsor bar stool would also fit the bill nicely.

image via Great Windsor Chairs

The windsor stools look beautiful in this kitchen, and make the island look like furniture.

image via House Beautiful

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Etsy Goody: The Black Apple

Artist Emily Martin, aka The Black Apple on Etsy, offers affordable prints of her many portraits and paintings. Her work is feminine, chic, and sometimes whimsical and dark. Many of her portraits are of girls with short black hair, and remind me of Sophie.

I have this one hanging in Sophie's bedroom. She has a ne sais quoi

Is that a chest tattoo?

I love "nerd love"

Most of The Black Apple's girl portraits have a certain sassy and rebellious quality. I love it!

These bookplates are perfect for my future bookworm.

all images via The Black Apple

Salt-Water Sandals

image via Ashley Vu

Salt-Water Sandals by Hoy Shoe are the best summer shoes ever. As they're exposed to water, the leather molds to your baby's feet. Sophie wore these shoes every day for the entire summer. And I've already bought a pair for next year!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The High Price of Cheap Food

image via Time

I rarely post about anything serious here, but I recently read an article that I thought was important to share. If you've been keeping up with my blog, you'll know that I try and use organic ingredients as often as I can. Eating completely organic can be very inconvenient and expensive, however. When I go grocery shopping, I make sure that at least all our meat, dairy and eggs are always organic, partly for humane reasons but mostly because I don't think our bodies are adapted to process the drugs and diseases that conventionally-maintained animals are exposed to.

A lot of people will argue that their parents didn't eat fancy "organic" stuff, and neither did they while growing up...unfortunately, the agricultural industry in this country has changed immensely in the past few decades and food is produced in radically different ways in order to make it cheaper. The result is that people are sicker and more obese than ever. I'm not a fan of organic producers ripping off people because eating organic is trendy, however, short of growing your own food, I think it's still the best option for nutrition. This article in the latest issue of Time Magazine will open your eyes.

If you've made it this far into my entry, thank you for sticking with me! I'll get off my soapbox now and get back to writing about the fun stuff.

Moroccan Zellige Tiles

I am totally lusting over the lacquered look of Moroccan zellige tiles. Zellige is terra cotta tile that's covered in enamel, which is what gives it its characteristic super shiny look. Isn't it gorgeous? I'd love to renovate one of my bathrooms and cover the walls with these tiles. They're available from Emery & Cie.

images above via Stiff + Trevillion

image via Rum Interior Design