January 29, 2010


Because polka dots make me happy...

Have a wonderful weekend, my Dears!
xo, Kristin

(from Buradori's Flickr photostream)

January 28, 2010

i want it now: orla kiely wool cape

Oh dear me.
This fur-trimmed cape is currently topping the list of my most wanted.

Orla Kiely wool cape. It's on SALE!!

January 27, 2010

design inspiration: playful patterns

Such a happy space.

I saw this photo and smiled and just had to share it with all of you.

(via House to Home)

PS - I really want French doors in my next house. Some wide plank floors wouldn't hurt either. ;)

January 26, 2010

what's cooking: last week's menu

Here's what kept our tummies happy last week:

Monday - Black Bean Salad and The BEST Chocolate Krispies for dessert
Tuesday - Peanut Noodles with Chicken
Wednesday - Baked Ravioli with Chicken Sausage & Spinach
Thursday - Arugula Salad with Shrimp & Sweet Potatoes and Black Forest Shakes for dessert
Friday - leftovers

My fave? ohmigosh the baked ravioli. So so yummy. I could have eaten the entire casserole dish.
Lease favorite -- hmmm... it was a good week! I don't have one!

design inspiration: art wall

A lovely art wall.

The space between each of the frames is roughly the same and the mats are all white, so even though there's a variety of frame colors, it all looks very cohesive.

I wish I knew where some of those pieces came from (that dress!). I think they're gorgeous.

(via Skona Hem)

January 22, 2010

style inspiration: eleonore bridge

It's never been a good color on me. But there I was turning green with envy as I paged through Elodie's amazing photos. Seriously... her style is adorable.

And never have I wanted to go to Paris more.

Isn't this just lovely?

WARNING - enter her blog and Flickr page at your own risk. You'll be there for hours and therefore dinner won't get cooked, laundry won't get done, and the house won't get cleaned.

But great style is worth it, no?

January 21, 2010

spotlight: taylor ceramics

LOVE these.
So pretty lined up in a row.

Seam Bottles from Taylor Ceramics

January 20, 2010

design inspiration: decorating with blue

To lots of people, blue and white interiors evoke a feeling of being at the seaside. I get that too, but I'm also reminded of winter in the midwest. On those rare sunny days when the sky is blue and there is a blanket of soft white snow on the ground, it's just magic.

Here are a few images of interiors with a little magic all their own...

From top:
Country Living
Living Etc.
Country Living
Canadian House & Home
Living Etc.

January 19, 2010

what's cooking: last week's menu

2 weeks in. I officially made it two weeks!
Without further ado, here's last week's menu:

Monday - Ginger Salmon with Mashed Edamame and No Pudge! Brownies for dessert
Tuesday - Chicken & Avocado Napoleons with Tomato Feta Salad and Herbed Orzo (brownies for dessert)
Wednesday - Chicken Pot Pie and Arugula Salad
Thursday - leftovers
Friday - Turkey Burger Bites and Glazed Carrots (shamefully, many many handfuls of chocolate chips for dessert)

Hands-down favorite: Chicken & Avocado Napoleons. In a word: Craveable. (I haven't stopped thinking about the yummy sandwiches.)
Least favorite: Pot pie. Too much effort for not a lot of wow.

Here are a few pics:

Top: chicken potpie and arugula salad, bottom: chicken & avocado napoloens, orzo and tomato feta salad

January 15, 2010

a new beginning

Earlier this week I had to make a very important decision. I had been on an extended maternity leave with my return to work being kind of open ended. It worked out for all of us because I wasn't sure what this new twin-mommy thing would entail, and my office was pretty quiet so they didn't necessarily need me back on after 12 weeks. And that was all going well for a while until one of my co-workers put in her notice to move back home to Texas (I'll miss her so!) and suddenly the office found themselves short-handed. So they called me and a decision that I had been putting off suddenly needed to be made. In 24 hours.

I thought about what I wanted to do all afternoon. Do I return to work? Do I hang up my interior design hat for a while and focus on being a mom? Wade and I discussed the pros and cons of each at length. We crunched the numbers. Will I feel that something's missing if I'm no longer going to work and participating in a "grown-up" world? What will it feel like to say that my profession is 'stay at home mom' when people ask? How hard will it be to get back into the field if I left now but someday wanted to return? How will I handle leaving my babies each day and potentially missing out on their milestones? Can I cope with only spending only an hour or two of waking hours with them each day? In Wade's kind-hearted, supportive way, he made it clear that he'd stand by any decision I made. And it really was a choice that only I could make.

In the end, I decided that right now in my life being a mom to my two darling babies is the most important thing. I know there are going to be days that I'll miss my job so much and I may even sometimes regret the choice to not go back. I know also, though, that I'm going to cherish these early years with Henry & Amelia more than anything. I don't think I would ever look back and regret that.

Both of these images spoke to me. In the first, I get the sense that this woman needed some quiet time to do some thinking. And the second is a reminder that no matter what path I choose, everything will be OK. (From here and here.)

January 13, 2010

design inspiration: patterned stairs

LOVE these wall-papered stairs.

Colorful, creative and inspired design. (And surely a lot of work to get the pattern lined up so perfectly.)

(via Living Etc.)

January 12, 2010

recipe: spinach & gruyere tart

Here you go, Meg!

1 9-inch frozen pie shell
1 tsp olive oil
2 cups diced onion
1 cup reduced fat milk
3 large eggs
1 cup gruyere cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 10-oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and water squeezed out

Bake pie shell according to package instructions.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet. Add onions and saute on medium-high for 10 minutes, until they're caramelized. Remove. Let cool slightly.
Whisk milk, eggs, cheese, garlic powder, worchestershire sauce, salt & pepper. Add onions and spinach.
Pour egg mixture into cooled pie shell and bake 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven until an inserted knife comes out clean.

Serve warm or at room temperature. Leftovers will keep refrigerated for 2-3 days.

(Recipe adapted from Parents magazine. )

January 11, 2010

what's cooking: last week's menu

I'm lucky because Wade has always been the one to do the cooking (and he's an excellent cook!), but when he's working late or we're busy trying to get the kids to sleep, dinner somehow gets forgotten, and we end up on the sofa scarfing down a bowl of cereal at 9:30. And that just won't do!

So, in my quest to eat better in '10 I decided it was high time to get in the kitchen and do some cooking! My first week was a success! Here's what I made:

Monday - Spinach & Gruyere Tart with Glazed Carrots and Broiled Pineapple with Ice Cream for dessert
Tuesday - Chicken with Ginger & Mango with Roasted Corn and Lemon Ice-Box Cookies for dessert
Wednesday - leftovers (boring, I know, but we've gotta eat it all)
Thursday - Chickpea Curry with Mashed Potatoes
Friday - Roasted Chicken with Tuscan Bread Salad and Ricotta Cakes with Pistachios for dessert

My favorite was definitely the Chickpea Curry. It was super easy to make, and VERY full of flavor. And as you can see, my healthy eating does not mean I'm not treating myself. I figure that it's more important to add in the good-for-me stuff than to get rid of the sinful stuff.

I wish I took pictures, but I forgot. I'll try to get a couple this week.

And oh yeah, if you want any of the recipes from the dishes above let me know and I'll forward them to you.

January 9, 2010

i want it now: anthro/january 2010

The January catalog was an especially tough one. After I finally narrowed it down to 5 outfits, I really had a hard time picking out THE favorite. But after probably way too much time (I'll never admit how much), I finally decided on this...

(p. 8 - Pompom Cardigan, Caning Double Belt, Wright Dress)

It's triple love.

January 6, 2010

a few photos from our holidays

For my Christmas decorating this year I focused on just a few things and actually kept most of my decorations tucked away in their boxes. This year it was all about a "natural" Christmas. We had a live fir in the living room decorated with my favorite ornaments - lots of glittery glass balls and vintage handmade ornaments -, our stockings were hung at the fireplace and fresh flowers and pointsettias bloomed in vases and pots around the house all season. It was refreshing to keep things simple. And the vibrant greenery really brightened things up on gray days.

A view of our sparkly tree from the kitchen. On the lockers, I hung some hand-stamped doilies.

Our tree. Before we put the angel on top and added the white quilted skirt below. I forgot to get pictures of the "after"!

A vignette of fresh greenery - pine boughs, mums and winter berries - with a favorite ironware urn and retro silver candlesticks.

White mums and pine branches. I painted the edges of the pine cones in gold to add a little shimmer.

A new addition to the fireplace this year!

New addition #2!

Our chalkboard door with a merry message.

A simple fruit centerpiece. Stacked tangerines and sparkling beaded apples and pears on cake stands add a festive touch.

A floral centerpiece. Fresh flowers - mums, lilies and carnations - in an assortment of old jam jars and recycled glass jars.

I love the bright pop of red in an otherwise white and green bouquet.

I just love flowers. ;)

That's all for now.

Thanks for letting me share.

January 5, 2010

better late than never...

Hello, Dear Friends. Happy Holidays. Happy New Year.

Sorry for not dropping by for so long. I was quite busy tree trimming, hall decking and figgy pudding making. All the other minutes were spent tending to my wildebeasts (thanks Karey!), which didn't leave much for blogging.

Now the holidays are behind us, with the only evidence of our merry-making being the specks of glitter and fir needles that keep showing up no matter how hard I try to get rid of them.

I always look forward to ringing in a new year because it's a time to reflect on the past and look forward to what's to come. It's a time to think about how we might like to adjust what we're doing to make life a little better, a time to gather up the courage to try something new and a time to escape into the memories of last year.

I have a little tradition of reading last year's planner before I replace it. It's a journal of activities. It was especially fun to read last year's planner because I was pregnant for most of it, and I can totally remember the excitement of each doctor's visit simply by seeing "Dr. C - 3:00 PM." I recommend you do the same. It's really fun to see how you kept busy for the past 12 months.

Anyway, I've been doing a bit of reflecting and refreshing and for 2010 I've a few things I'd like to try. Call them resolutions if you'd like.

1. Practice patience. For my children. For my husband. For myself.
2. My 2010 mantra - never let what matters most give way to what matters least.
3. Eat fresh, balanced meals to fuel my body with what it needs to stay strong and healthy.
4. Nurture my creative side - reading, writing, crafting.
5. Live in the present. Cherish the moments.
6. Get back into a regular yoga practice. More than anything, yoga builds confidence.
7. Cut myself some slack, for I know that perfect doesn't equal happy.
8. Take more pictures. (And learn how to use my super-cool new camera!)
9. A carry-over from last year: perfect the headstand. I wasn't able to stick with it last year since I was pregnant, and so I have to work on this one again.

So there's my list, up there for the whole world to see. It feels good to share it with you, my lovely readers, because I know that your being here will help me stay on track. And for that, I thank you. I probably don't tell you enough how much an inspiration you are to me. I read all of your blogs and am continually awed by the amazing thoughts, ideas and photos you thrill me with each day. The fact that you take time to come here and read me is really very humbling. Thank you for being here, supporting me, without even knowing me.

Let's welcome in 2010 together. I think it's going to be a great year.
xo, Kristin