August 29, 2012

Home companion: Bookscases

Sometimes a bookshelf is just a bookshelf. But, other times, it's a statement.  And this one says adventure side dictates how my classic side behaves. And I agree.  We all have very opposite tastes sometimes, and by marrying them together we can satisfy our desires.  For example, I love that I can pull my favorite poems anthology from this bookshelf and marvel at the small pair of elephants carved from onyx I recently acquired from Madagascar.  Wait there are no elephants in Madagascar, are they?  Oh well, you get the drift. 
Image via

August 28, 2012

Growing a family

I had an epiphany.  I want more children.  A house full of children's giggles, tiny rain boots collected at the door, DIY tents waiting to be built, and chalkboard walls full of silly scribbles.  Tonight as I was putting Emilu to sleep, and laying next to her, I had the uncontrollable urge to hug her and stop her from growing so fast.  Suddenly, I felt in control, capable and resourceful, and with a tremendous strength to bear anything heavy and strong.  I realize that more children for me, also means not wanting to work full-time, for a while. At the beginning of my domestic life I used to complain a little, and still do, about my poor sleeping, constant tiredness, and lack of time to do the things I love.  But, it turns out, I really enjoy spending my days without a work schedule, enjoying our daughter and raising her, cooking for our family, discovering new, fresh ways to decorate, renovate, grow, and live our home.  I figure we only have a life to do the things we really love well, and this is the thing I LOVE now. I love putting her to sleep, and watching her bounce around the house with no purpose, yet confident she'll soon find what she's looking for just around the corner.  I love our quiet crafty afternoons, and late afternoon trips to the playground, and miss her when she naps for 2 hours or more (finally!) in the day.  Call me crazy, and give me all the I told you so I deserve, but this is really the best deal ever.  It just takes time to get used to.  A few tweaks here and there, and things DO get easier. Of course, not everyday is dreamy and inspiring.  Some days are tiring and overwhelming.  It's the pendulum of life.  I guess with a second child, we won't have to pull our hairs out, or complain about lack of sleep or time, because things do get easier, much faster, and just plain better when what you want is staring you in the face giving you hugs and tapping your back gently and pulling your hair, and rubbing her nose against yours, and calling you mama, and crying for your attention, and loving what you just did to her belly.

When I grow up all I want is a home to grow a family in.

August 27, 2012

Inspiration: Organizing with pegboards

Happy Monday to you! For some reason, come Mondays and I'm ready to tackle almost anything. The energy level is high and my organizing spirits are soaring. Appropriately, I started browsing your my Pinterest boards and I found these lovely pegboard ideas to organize and display almost anything.  Julia Child was a genius when she thought of them for her kitchen. 
Sources: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

August 24, 2012

Have a terrific weekend

Thank goodness the weekend is here.  We had several nights of broken sleep due to our dog getting sick from the stomach.  We are in the process of nursing him back to health.  Since he has long term liver disease and is very old, the stomach has become very sensitive as well.  It doesn't help that he has some disc (spinal chord)  damage and might be in  pain sometimes.  We are trying to manage that for him.  This weekend will be low key for us.  Do you have any exciting plans?  Next weekend we will be in NYC for my brother in law's wedding.  Ohh I can't wait!  Here are some precious links for your weekend!

sleep tight with a night light

this is the story of true Love 

cute dollhouses!

breathtaking view of next Olympics' host city

Brunettes in all shades!

creating the perfect home bar

Memories:  first day of school  ( i love her lace socks and shoes!)

August 22, 2012

August 21, 2012

Summer pickings

About two weekends ago we drove up to Germantown in Maryland to visit Butler's Orchard and we were delighted! The drive is about 40 minutes from the district and if had kept going north for 45 minutes more, we would have arrived at Gettysburg. We are dying to visit some historic towns, and Gettysburg is on our list for the next road trip. The Orchard produces yearly harvests of seasonal favorites. We were there to pick our own blackberries, which ashamed as I am to admit, I had never seen this fruit on the tree. It was a first for Emilu and I. And we loved it. Glorious roads of blackberry fields that seem to never end.  And I loved that it was all so green and cheap!  A small quart in the supermarket is almost always around four or five dollars.  We got a pint for less than three dollars!  Much better than farmer's markets. Next time we go, we will pick apples and raspberries. Oh we can't wait!

August 20, 2012

Evening walks

We love evening strolls as a family.  Every evening the four of us, like clockwork, after finishing our supper, take advantage of the remaining daylight and go for a stroll around our neighborhood. The other day, daylight was still very strong, even as it was past 8 o'clock, and I decided to snap some pictures. I live in a beautiful, leafy neighborhood of Washington, DC. And even though we crave some more living space,  it's the reason why we haven't moved elsewhere. It's so convenient, centric and safe. It's also historic, and although DC can be more of a transplant city, there's a sense of community here that's priceless.
Do you like where you live? Also, have you seen the cherry blossoms in our neighborhood? And this secret garden is tucked away a few blocks from my house.

August 17, 2012

Have a fantastic weekend

The weekend is here already!  My husband arrives tonight after a long week away for work.  We can't wait to hug him.  I hope you guys have a nice weekend.  There's only about 5 weeks left of Summer, better soak it in! Here are a few links, which I have enjoyed!

want to know what space smells like?

this fantastic hot sandwich!

a great alternative to cocktails

an actress's poignant plea

dying to see this Iranian artist's new film

daydreaming in teal

these minimal movie posters are so rad!

what a dreamy beach house!

August 16, 2012

How do they do it?

 My husband has been out for four days now, and I just want to snooze for a whole month. Hats off to single parent homes.  Moms and dads who depend on no one to help raise and educate their kids, and do a great job. I admire their strength. But it's much more than tired nights and achy hands.  Small nuances: Lonely nights with a sick kid, no time to fix the lightbulb in the hallway, no one to make you feel safe,  the quiet and empty space next to you in bed.  Really, how do they do it, day in and day out? Again, hats off!

August 15, 2012

DIY: Just do it

You know that procrastinator vein we all have? Well, as of lately mine was getting thicker until I decided it was enough.  Enough of having all these projects in my mind, and not doing something about it.  Until I stopped thinking, and got to doing.  I mean, what's the point of all those pins on Pinterest if you don't put them to work?  I tend to collect things, so it wasn't my intention to start collecting pins as well.  One project a day for a whole week. And guess what?  I did it!

Day 1:  Open shelving in the dining room nook
Day 2Washi tape decorating 
Day 3:  Scalloped pendant light for the dining room nook
Day 4Ombre beaded necklace
Day 5:  Martha Stewart vanilla cake with chocolate frosting
How about you friends, any projects lately?

August 14, 2012

Expats + other musings and links

Look around and tell me how many people you know are from another part of the world.  You are probably one of them.  For many, the call to roam extends beyond just a holiday – it’s about creating a new work-life balance, and finding fulfillment in a different country.  More than half of all my childhood friends, and relatives are living abroad, scattered around the globe.  They have left behind family and a way of life that they thought would be with them until the end of their days.  Whether this [population] mobility is driven by social, economic, or personal reasons, it's happening everywhere, and our generation is living proof. 

When I was younger, the mere talk of living abroad was sure to bring oohs and aahhs  around the room.  We heard stories of blissful snowy days, and huge super malls, long spreads of beautiful parks, flower markets and street cars, where theaters played back to back movie premieres and even the water tasted differently. Almost everyone had a family friend, a close relative or a neighbor living abroad whose return visit was always filled with anticipation. 

Most of us have adapted (assimilated) so well to living abroad, we can't fathom returning to our place of origin.  We even consider the legal adoption of our host country. We like it where we are, and are proud of what we have accomplished.  We participate fully in our communities abroad and have made life commitments in this new place we call home.  Anthropologists call this "acculturation." Nevertheless, some of us still see our families and friends back home, and even look forward to visiting our beloved land as periodically as we can.  Often, in situations where assimilation is inevitable or just the next reasonable course of action, we end up as chameleons, rather than as proper  expats.

But what happens when you find yourself experiencing a growing sensation of identity confusion?   Most of our lives we have been taught that identity is nontransferable, spawning from our mother land, our family rituals and our unique ethnicity. How do you fuse this acculturation into your identity?  Some of us think about these issues at some point in our abroad lives.  By having children, and raising that generation, we unwillingly step further away from our parent's generation.  At some point, you start thinking about family plots, wills, and what the future would look like without the place you come from as the point of reference.  That's a question in mind lately. Suddenly, putting down roots seems intensely nerve wracking. 

Anyway, did you know that the UK, and not the US, has the greatest number of expats around the world -about 3 million.  The Expat Dilemma is one we have all faced at one point in our lives. And sometimes, the expats are our parents.  Speaking of expats, have you seen this witty movie about young expats living in Barcelona? And this book comes highly recommended if you want to cure the tingling sensation of eternal wanderlust.  But if you prefer crime thrillers, then this expat book is for you.

Image 1: Pinterest (source:  www.
Image 2: Photo of Lost Girl Lindsey Tramuta, Photo by Elena Rossini
Image 3:  The Talented Mr. Ripley, 1999 (Paramount Pictures & Miramax Films via Word & Film)

August 13, 2012

Kids Zone: Darling Clementine baby lit

What don't they have for kids these days?  I'm loving these children's books based on classic and timeless stories. I think Emilu would enjoy them too. You can buy them at Darling Clementine.

August 2, 2012

Long term disease

I wish there was a pill for gloomy days.  The type of gloom that shows up suddenly and is always brought on by external factors.  In this case, the factor is Piki.  Aside from having sick teeth, he has liver disease.  Blood work, ultrasounds, biopsies, pain, medication.  We've been through it before.  With our previous dog, Goldie.  Impotence is a rude awakening.  What we pray for is time. From now on everyday is a gift.   Fourteen well lived years. As much as one prepares for this sort of thing.  The end always takes you by surprise.  These last days are hard.  The highs are so high and the lows are devastating.  Tiredness, impotence, constant change of plans.  It takes a toll.  We only ask for strength and support.  And sometimes we get it in torrential amounts.  This blog might suffer a bit, until we go through all the testing and adjusting necessary.  Thanks for understanding.