moment of zen

this weekend i snuck away for a couple hours and went to the japanese garden for the first time.  i don't know how i have lived here for 15 years and never been!  it is impeccably landscaped and really does feel tranquil.  i soaked in the natural beauty, reveled in the peace and quiet, and took a million photos- it was zentastic!


civic pride

thanks for posting this mia! love it!


have you seen this week's mad men yet?  i just watched it last night, and it was a really good one- definitely the best of the season, and debate ably one of the best ever.  for real though.
after you see it, there is a nice little clip with commentary on the amc site.
the dramatic story lines were great, but i can't stop thinking about the vintage howard johnson's that featured so prominently in this episode.  there was a hojo's in the town where i grew up, just off interstate 10 (or, "the ten" as we called it), but i never got to see it in it's orange and turquoise late 60s splendor. 
so perfect that megan just happened to be wearing coral to work that day!


happy place vignette

it is so important to have places in your home that you love.  for me that can be as simple as a cozy chair, a cute antique table to set my americano on, flowers from a friend, and some good books.


british invasion

 the d.a. girls as seen in vogue.  gorgeous!

yes, downton abbey is as good as everyone says.  i just finished the first season and am desperate to get my hands on season 2.  it is sooo good!
and by sheer coincidence, our book group picked ian mcewan's atonement as our selection for this month.  thank goodness i haven't seen the film yet!
now if only i was with my sister in london right now! she is there to drink gin  on assignment and i am just a wee bit jealous.


bathroom refresh

our main floor bathroom is one of the only rooms in the house that hadn't been repainted since we moved in last year.  i liked the color, but the paint was in bad shape, and i was always so sad that the previous painter hadn't highlighted the nice trim around the top of the room.
last week the time was right: i brought home a gallon of paint, found a fun new shower curtain, and sourced a new light fixture.  the total cost was about $120,  and the work happened during two days worth of nap-times.


 i anguished over which shade of gray the room needed to be- what do you think?

 the new fixture over the sink is a big improvement from the rusty, faux-victorian-whatever-it-was

 i love the mod, colorful curtain (found it at homegoods)

 artwork by emmett (top) and magnolia (bottom)


embroidery, elevated


i am really interested in embroidery and how it can be adapted in a modern way.  you might already know that i have a thing for jonathan adler's quirky, contemporary take on embroidery, and after seeing cayce zavaglia's work in the new issue of elle decor, i know for certain that this old craft has it's place in the modern art world.
zavaglia works from photographs, and "paints" with thread one stitch at a time.  (check out the detail and process shots here and here)  amazing, right?!
she also seems really cool and interesting- she is a stay at home mom of four kids and began working in this style of embroidery after becoming a parent.
i am especially interested in how artists-turned-mothers continue their work.  nikki mcclure is a nice example of that evolution:  she discovered that her now-famous cut paper compositions were the perfect medium to pick up and work on whenever she had spare time, and put down when her baby cried.
i am really hoping to see these gorgeous portraits in person someday!


red e in the NYT

you already know i am a coffee snob, right? 
exciting news- my favorite coffee shop (and a few others that i really love, too) were featured in the new york times a few weeks back.  wowee!


current obsession

i am so over my diaper bag.  but i know that i will need a big bag for awhile still, thus, a shopportunity!
here is the one i can't get outta my mind...


oh baby!

i finally got to go meet my dear friend's new baby girl yesterday!  at just ten days old, sweet clara is a scrumptious little thing.  it was amazing to hold a brand new baby. 
congratulations to the tabz fam!


nopo solo ride

 my blue bike & the best bridge in town!

it has been forever since i have been on a bike.  and even longer since i have been on a bike that didn't have a baby on the back and a bike trailer with two more kids close behind.  so you can imagine how thrilled i was to get on my fancy townie and pedal out into the sun this morning!  i rode twelve fabulous miles and saw so many things that made me happy along the way.  it was amazing! 

 if you look closely, there are many slightly altered bike lane guys around town.  this one is rockin out with headphones.

 urban chickens in an A-frame coop!  (SKF, i think you need this set-up in your yard!)

this house was featured in the "smooth movers' episode of portlandia


backyard DIY obsession

i just saw this exciting outdoor DIY project for the first time and i love how cheap and easy it would be to do, and how cool it would look in someone's mid-century backyard!


apartment therapy always has such amazing inspiration for one's home- inside and out...love that site!