Sunday, November 17, 2013


Although the Christmas music is already on the radio and holiday decorations are everywhere, my family and I are taking a little time to be thankful.

Our tradition is a Thankful Tree - a few branches in a vase, some paper tags and a pencil. It sits on our Kitchen counter and any time that someone gets the urge, they can scribble a quick note on a tag and tie it to the tree. By Thanksgiving day it is chock full of tags - a three dimensional reminder of just how many things we have to be thankful for.
some aren't as profound as others..

...but there are no rules for the tree!

 What are some of your family's Thanksgiving traditions?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Bathroom Before & After

We finally said goodbye to our 1960's fleshy pink and minty green bathrooms recently after an unpleasant water incident between the walls. I'm thrilled with the results!

Today the Hall Bath.
Before:The Bath when we bought the house

During: the Bath in one of its many stages

Before. Other than the offensive colors, the Bath was cramped and didn't function well for us. It's the main Bath for one of my daughters as well as the Guest Bath. There was little storage and you were greeted by the toilet when you opened the door (one of my pet peeves).

After: The new and improved Hall Bath

We removed the tub and replaced it with a shower which instantly opened up the space. The room is shallow and I'm a big fan of drawer storage so the perfect vanity solution was actually a dresser. My fabulous contractor retrofitted the piece (aka: cut a hole in the top, cut up the top drawer and re-built it in a "U" shape to fit around the plumbing - genious).

A Giant wall-mounted mirror surrounds the vanity and creates a great, easy to clean backsplash. Faucets mounted on the mirror save precious counter space.

A whole wall of shallow cabinets allow storage for everything including towels, supplies and necessities. No more hair dryers and flat irons left on the countertop.
Simply changing the direction of the door swing means you are greeted with a pretty view of the vanity and shower.

The new color scheme is in keeping with the rest of the house, there is a place for everything and our house is back up and running again. ahhhhhhh.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Field Trip:: Egeli Studios (Nurturing the Creative Soul)

One of the best parts of my job is the incredibly talented people I get to know.

Anastasia at work. photo credit: Rachael Montejo 
I had the opportunity recently to visit the accomplished portrait painter, Anastasia Egeli at her family’s studio in Annapolis. Egeli, who comes from a long line of well-known artists, is living in Spain but was here briefly to finish a commissioned portrait for a Philadelphia family.

Anastasia’s artistic lineage can be traced back three generations. Her late grandfather, renowned portraitist and sculptor Bjorn Egeli whose charisma and portrait genius made him a favorite of the Eisenhowers, the Duponts, and countless other American families who shaped the United States during his time. Anastasia is the daughter of one of his most successful children Cedric Egeli. People from all over the world travel to his farm in Maryland to learn the painting techniques that have molded Anastasia’s work and given it that American traditional glamour. You learn more about Anastasia here

Not only does Anastasia possess incredible talent in creating life and light on canvas but her energy and passion are contagious. My daughter, Mugsy, was awestruck by the Studio and by the artist. Anastasia gave Mugsy (who is a budding artist) some fantastic advice which I know will resonate with all of you creative types.

You have to nurture your energy and creativityyou have to protect the creative soul. What does that mean? It means that we have to remember to take care of ourselves while at the same time we pour every ounce of our beings into our work. For some that means yoga for others it means a run or great music… whatever it takes to re-energize and find balance so that the reserves of energy and creativity are there when we need it.

Simple advice but so hard to accomplish some days. 


Photographs were taken by Rachael Montejo who does stunning work in her own right and her web site is a must see. Check it out here.   

By the way, for those of you lucky enough to live in Annapolis, you can see this piece at The Metropolitan on West Street.

Monday, December 10, 2012

What I'm reading now

Maybe it's the growing lists of stuff that my children are making that makes me want to re-read Sarah Susanka's "the not so big life". Simplify, prioritze, compromise.

I love how Sarah connects the process of renovating or designing a house to that of re-designing your life.

Enjoy but make sure you have lots of time to reflect because this book will make you think.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Field Trip :: Cindy Bateman Antiques & Decoration

Don't you just love it when you stumble on a great new resource? That's what happened last week when I decided to pop into a new shop one town north of me. I was rewarded with meeting Virginia transplant, Cindy Bateman.

Not only does Cinday have a great eye for antiques and home goods, but she is a master decorative painter too. This is one of her faux bois designs on a table top.

The shop is a great mix of antiques and new accessories.

These rope napkin rings would make a great hostess gift.

I love a guy who can rock a sequin bag!

One of my favorites. These oyster shell votives are locally made.

If you are in the Severna Park or Annapolis area, stop by to meet Cindy and check out the shop.
Cindy Bateman Antiques & Decoration is located at 540 Baltimore Annapolis Blvd in Severna Park.

Friday, October 26, 2012

What do Flowers, Fish & Swimwear have in Common?

Me! I'm thrilled to be working with SnapperRock UV50+ Swimwear on some exclusive designs. The samples are here and they couldn't be cuter. What fun! Check out a few pics from the newest catalogue. Look for these suits in stores this spring.

Thanks to the Snapperrock girls! I'm looking forward to next year.

Monday, October 15, 2012

You Know You're a Pumpkin Addict When... spend 20 minutes discussing pumpkin-related food and recipes with the check out guy at Trader Joes! They have a pumpkin ice cream that is out of this world and when you add spiced pecans on top....Yum.
via Pinterest

I've been in a pumpkin state of mind. We are on the hunt for the perfect pumpkin soup recipe. The best I've ever had was at the Bitter End Yacht Club in the BVI and I've been trying to re-create it ever since. So far my fav is actually a butternut squash soup with a touch of curry.

Next up....pumpkin cheesecake.

via Pinterest

We hit the pumpkin patch this weekend and I whipped up some deep pumpkin-colored velvet pillows for the sofa.

via pinterest

All I need now is a pair of these....

Enjoy your week!