Archives for July 2009

How the Designers Live

This is the gorgeous San Francisco home of Monelle Totah, the vice president of design for Williams-Sonoma Home.

Dream Kitchen

I am actually working on remodeling a bathroom, and was supposed to be searching for bathroom inspiration, but somehow stumbled upon this dream kitchen!

The dark walnut island is a workhorse not only from the standpoint of everyday kitchen duties but also from a design perspective. Its dark color contrasts with the white cabinets and backsplashes, providing a visual anchor. The finish also acts as a transition from the cabinets to the Brazilian-walnut floor.

Catskills Couple

I might be a little obsessed with this couple. Read about them here.

500 Days of Summer

I can’t wait to see this movie! It looks adorable!!

The September Issue

Best Wedding Entrance

Horoscope: Day One

I am a Pisces. Two fish swimming in opposite directions. Constantly pulled between choices, difficulty making decisions, but creative and artistic. I don’t religiously follow my horoscope, but lately I have been finding them particularly accurate. Here’s today’s horoscope from the Boston Herald.

You need a break- time to think, reorganize your strategy and regain your confidence. Consider something you enjoy doing or that you want to develop and turn it into a workable service you can offer others.

What do I enjoy doing? Writing. I would love to turn my writing into a workable service that I can offer others because it is also a gift I give to myself. I love turning out a well-devised piece. Creating something poignant, articulate and thought-provoking. Today I am going to work on cultivating this talent and, hopefully, regaining some confidence. I certainly need a break!


Summer is the one time of the year when it seems that there is never enough time. Never enough time to accomplish everything. There isn’t enough daylight hours for all of the swimming, walking, running, beach-combing that one person needs in order to feel that they really took advantage of the New England sun. It is because our summers are so short and fleeting that we feel the compulsion to fill up our days until they are overflowing. Summer ends as quickly as it begins. If you blink, you just might miss it and boy would you be missing something extraordinary.

Since I was a child, I have always found myself literally wearing my body out on summer days. This weekend was no different. Dinner plans on Friday night left me frantically dashing to the gym to squeeze in a 3 mile run. I needed to sweat. I needed to get all of this energy out of my body before I ventured out to a delicious dinner. I wanted the freedom to order with abandon that only a good workout gives me. I wanted appetizers and comfort food followed by something deliciously sweet for dessert. I wanted drinks and laughter and absolutely no worries. The run before dinner gave me that childlike freedom.

Saturday morning I woke up to the brilliant sun shining through my window and the amazing comfort of an icy, air-conditioned room. I was ready to hit the ground running, literally. Instead, Mike and I opted for a nice long walk. We decided to walk to a restaurant that is delicately perched on the water’s edge and offers, among many other things, ice cream and lemonade. It was about three miles from my home and gave us enough distance to get in a great workout, get our heart rate elevated and just absorb the world around us. So often we are locked behind screens; computer screens, television screens, Blackberry’s, cell phones, etc. It’s nice to be completely absorbed by nature and the beauty it so readily offers. We sat by the water on a wooden bench, watched a tiny dog chase the tide and drank our lemonades and raspberry lime rickey’s. It was wonderful to fully enjoy the picture-perfect summer day. The cold drinks gave us the energy we needed to get home.

During our walk home, we made big plans for a cookout. Burgers and hot dogs and grilled flatbread pizzas. Salads and drinks and dips. We were ready for an epic cookout. I often think that when planning a gathering I start to focus too much on making it “perfect” instead of just enjoying it for it is, a night of good food, good people, and laughter. Honestly, can you ask for more than that? I sometimes feel that our expectations set us up for disappointment. Living in the moment is a much more rewarding experience. Our cookout turned out perfectly. Yes, the dishes weren’t as elaborate as we had planned. The were no Martha Stewart-esque decorations and the majority of the time was spent inside because the mosquitoes were ferocious. But it was wonderful. I watched my six-year old niece teach all of us how to play Mario Kart on her Nintendo Wii. We told funny stories about our silly family and the unusual predicaments we find ourselves in and we relaxed. It was an excellent weekend and it embodied everything a summer weekend should; sun, good food, exercise, laughter and lemonade.

Happy Friday!

I can’t tell you how much I enjoy summer! The warm air, the beach, swimming, the bright sun and the overall lift in spirits. It is amazing!

This week I went into the city for a delicious dinner at Legal Seafood! Even though I have lived by the sea for my entire life, I am not a huge fan of seafood. Don’t really know why that is, but I can’t seem to get into it with the same gusto that so many people have for a lobster dinner. I am, however, beginning to really like Salmon. So I ordered a delicious almond encrusted salmon in a butter, lemon and caper sauce. Delicious!

Then we walked around the city, acting like tourists, which is always a fun thing to do. It allows you to see your city with new, more appreciative eyes.

Tonight we are heading out to a new restaurant in Salem for dinner. I will let you know how it goes and what the night holds for us.

Living Oprah

{Me and Oprah on THE STORY OF EDGAR SAWTELLE Book Club}

Oprah is all about healthy living, being spiritually aware and strong. She promotes mental wellness, cultural awareness and a genuine appreciation for cultivating a strong spirit and mind. She is also often characterized as a “guru” and when people start entering that zone of following one person and believing that they hold the key to individual happiness, that can lead to a dangerous mindset. Robyn Okrant, a 35-year old yoga instructor from Chicago decided to spend an entire year of her life “Living Oprah” and document the results on her blog. She also received a book deal from Hachette, has been on the Today Show, CNBC, as well as many other public venues.

Essentially, she takes the advice Oprah gives on her show and magazine and incorporates them into her life word-for-word, even if it means shelling out more than she can afford on items like a Kindle. Robyn is savoring her meals rather than wolfing them down, focusing on her health, and even starting a Twitter account.

“I think I’m an example of how ridiculous it gets when women follow icons or follow celebrities completely, so I know there’s a shade of the absurd in here,” Okrant told Matt Lauer on the Today Show. “I am not an Oprah fanatic. Oprah’s like the popular girl in high school, and she tells us what to do and how to dress and we do it and we’re happy because of it.”

Ordinary to Extraordinary

Let’s just say it, no one likes housework. Cleaning is probably one of the most dreaded of tasks. That’s why I am loving Alice Supply Company! This is directly from the company’s website, how they describe their products.

We believe that the humble dustpan’s days of being shoved away in the closet will soon be over.

I discovered these adorable products through one of my favorite websites, DailyCandy. Here’s what they had to say about Alice.

Once upon a time, you threw a rager. Only to awake the next morning to a clogged toilet, broken glass, and an inch of muck on the floor of your precious pad.

Thankfully your fairy godmother has arrived armed with cleaning products from Alice Supply Co. The utilitarian necessities come in bright, cheerful colors and can turn your place back into the pristine home it was pre-party.

A candy-striped plunger will make dirty work almost pleasant. Fill the matching bucket with suds and start mopping (dare you not to smile). Spray down the deck with a hose that doubles as a piece of art. The toolbox, scrub brush, broom, and dust pan will also come in handy.

Just don’t be surprised if you find yourself whistling while you work..

Is it just me or is everything better when you add a little color?

4th of July Weekend

I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July weekend! I spent the past two days blissfully at the beach, soaking in some desperately needed SUN! FINALLY! Then I went to our town’s festival of arts.

Here are some photos from the weekend. And in case you’re wondering who the tired little Tinker Bell is at the end of this post, it’s my adorable niece.