decor fashion

Cleaning Out the Closet

My closet and drawers are overflowing with clothes – I even have clothes stashed away in suitcases under the bed.  So why is it that I often find myself with the dilemma, “I have nothing to wear!”?  On really bad days, I get so worked up about it that I end up in full tantrum mode … clothes tossed all over the bed and floor, trying on everything and hating it and then eventually getting mad at myself.  It’s pathetic, but I think every female knows what I’m talking about.  My biggest problem is that when I buy something new, I love it so much that I wear it all the time.  I wear it until I can no longer stand the sight of it.  Then, instead of getting rid of it, I pack it away or push it to the back of the closet because “maybe it will come back into style” or “maybe I will want to wear it again one day”.  Then there are the clothes I purchase without trying on and never return when I get home and find out they don’t fit … “maybe I will lose those ten pounds”.  So, today I cleaned out my closet and my drawers and those suitcases underneath the bed!  I made a pile of clothes to turn in over at Beacon’s Closet and threw the rest into a garbage bag.  I went through all of the seasons and tossed anything I hadn’t worn in the past year, anything that didn’t fit, and anything that needed mending [if I haven’t fixed it by now, I know I never will.].  It felt good to purge – I actually have space in my dresser drawers, but now those empty closet hangers seem lonely.  I just might have to go shopping … but until I do, here are some closets to envy.

Nicole Barth’s Closet from Making it Lovely



From Real Simple’s “Inspirational Closets”


Photo found on Decor Pad



What Can I Make for Dinner?

Now that I have a seventh month old crawling around the house dinners don’t just have to be delicious, they also need to be fast and easy.  I try to get most of my prep work finished during Ava’s afternoon nap.  [Yesterday, for example, I chopped up tomatoes, garlic, basil, cilantro, and scallions for a salsa to pile onto our tacos later that night.]  Several times a week I find myself staring into the refrigerator trying to figure out what I can make out of what we have left.  Sometimes it can be a challenge, but it’s also a great way to come up with new and interesting recipes.  Here are four things that help me in my quest to put tasty, healthy, and quick dinners on the table:

1.  Fresh Produce. Having fresh herbs, vegetables, and fruits on hand is one of the simplest ways to add flavor to your dishes.  Nothing beats the taste of straight from nature goodness.

2.  The Freezer. Sometimes I make a little extra just so I can freeze leftovers to use when I am really in a pinch.  I also freeze sauces, soups, and varieties of chopped up veggies so I always have what I need.

3.  Pantry Staples. There are certain things I always need to have in my pantry … vegetable stock, black beans, white beans, green chilies, tortilla shells, panko bread crumbs, dried herbs and a variety of spices, olive oil, vinegar, and brown rice.  Each person needs different staples … think about what you use most often and make sure it’s always stocked.  The last thing you need is to go for one of your ‘Old Faithful’ recipes only to find you are out of one of the key ingredients.

4.  Inspiration. Seeing food, reading about food, and of course smelling and tasting it … but when I can’t get to the market or need a little nudge in the right direction, there are a few sites I go where I know something will inspire me.  One of those sites is Smitten Kitchen.  The images are mouthwatering, the recipes are inventive, and the writing is entertaining.  And you don’t just get a photo of the finished product … you get to see the whole cooking process [love that!].  Visit the site for these recipes and more!

Romaine Pesto & Egg-Stuffed Tomatoes

Click on image for recipe


Blueberry Crumb Bars

Click on image for recipe


baby / tots

Send Me Your Handmade, Baby

It is 8:11AM and I cannot believe Ava is still sleeping.  She even slept through a massive thunderstorm last night!  I am taking advantage of these extra morning minutes by preparing a post for this afternoon.  I have received lots of submissions from across the country and today I am showcasing a few of my favorite baby goods!

First up is Bibs 4 Drips by Edith in California.  Edith is the mother of two [Lukas, 4 and Matilda, 17 mo.] and I am sure they were the inspiration for these darling mini bibs.  Just the right size to keep chins drool free and still be able to see whatever adorable outfit your little one is wearing!  And no new mom can ever have enough burb cloths … Edith makes hers from 100% cotton jersey – soft and absorbent.



These next items were submitted by Laura in Utah.  Laura has a photography business, loves to crochet, and is the mother of Cody, Tyler, Jayden, Brycen, and Kaydee.  God Bless … I have my hands full with one!  You can purchase Laura’s creations at her Etsy Store or at her Bluebonnet Designs site.

This soft little newborn cocoon looks so cozy that I think I want an adult sized one to curl up in on cold winter nights!  [You can get them with hoods too!].  And the banana … too cute for words!



Big Thanks to everyone who has been sending me submissions!  Just a reminder that I accept submissions from independent designers and makers of handmade goods as well as readers’ recipes and tips!  Keep ’em coming!  XO!

baby / tots fashion

Renegade Craft Fair Finds for Baby

The first post for today is a continuation of yesterday’s finds from Brooklyn’s Renegade Craft Fair.  Amidst the onesies embroidered or printed with oceanic animals and mustaches, I found a few pearls [maybe I should make a onesie with an oyster and pearl print … ah, another idea i will never follow through on!].

I am kicking myself for not purchasing one of these Growth Charts at the craft fair because now they seem to be sold out!  I love the giant safety pins and little tags.  Another one of those great ideas that I could make at home, but will never get around to it.  I guess I will have to wait for Miss Natalie to make more!


Ok.  How awesome is this Diamond Bling Bib from Hello Banjo in Brooklyn?


And with Father’s Day right around the corner, how can you resist this Daddy and Me onesie [also from Hello Banjo]?


I have always loved the look of linen on a warm spring or summer day.  It makes me think of picnics and meadows and I can just imagine little Ava running barefoot in the sunshine with daisies in her hair wearing one of these lovely linen dresses by Pip-Squeak Chapeau.linendresses


cooking creativity decor fashion life

Renegade Craft Fair Finds

It was a beautiful weekend here in Brooklyn … great weather, good friends, lazy brunches, farmers markets, strolling around, and little bit of shopping.  On Saturday, we headed over to McCarren Park for the Renegade Craft Fair.  This was my second year going … last year was a nightmare.  It was one of the hottest days of the year, I was pregnant, felt like I was going to faint, and only made it a quarter of the way through the booths.  This year we made it all the way through with baby in tow and while I did come across lots of great finds, I must admit I was a bit disappointed in the creative originality of many of the crafters.  I kept seeing lots of the same thing … tons of pastels, t-shirts and totes with prints or paintings of wildlife [deer seemed the most prevalent with squirrels coming in second], embroidered onesies [with either a squid, octopus, or robot], onesies with ironic phrases, and lots of mustache art.  Whether it was cute and trendy or not, I wanted more of a selection.  That said, I did make it home with a purse full of business cards and here are a few that stood out for me …

Coconut Mango, Agave Lime, Ginger Lemongrass … they sound good enough to eat, but unless you have a really dirty mouth I wouldn’t recommend it.  Rinse Bath & Body Co. even makes a soap using chocolate.  Their soaps are handmade and they have 100% natural and vegan product lines.


I love these ‘oh so pretty’ ceramic [Moon Glow and Secret Garden] dishes by MayLuk.  I want to serve a spring salad on them and dine outdoors with friends and candles and a nice light white wine.


These bracelets and rings by Nervous System are sooooo awesome!  They make stunning jewelry modeled after coral, branches, algae, dendrites, etc. and it’s affordable.  I think I’ve found my new favorite thing.

bracelet2 rings


baby / tots life

At The Speed of Motherhood

The babers is asleep in her stroller, it is raining outside, and the house is actually quiet.  Normally, I would take this opportunity to run around the house frantically cleaning, but today I am forcing myself to enjoy some “me time” and sit on the sofa with a mug of coffee, my laptop, the cat, and my thoughts.  I had almost forgotten how good it feels to relax … to slow things down … to be “alone”.  It’s like the instant I became a mom, I started moving at lightning speed.  Everything is rushed or interrupted – eating, sleeping, showering … things I never thought twice about before have become – hold that thought … the stroller is rustling.

Two hours later …. Where was I?  Oh, yes.  Talking about how the littlest things have become luxuries.  Since I began typing this post I changed a diaper, played peek-a-boo, prepped green beans, red potatoes, and tomatoes for a salad we will be having for dinner, dusted, mopped, kissed the babers like a hundred times, did the dishes, and made the bed.  I could have kept going, but Ava eventually tired of playing with toys on her alphabet floor and put her newly mastered army crawl to work.  I fed her and put her into her crib when she fell asleep and now, as if on cue, I hear a fussy baby calling me from the monitor.

One hour later … Took pictures of a Boppy swing and Bumbo chair to sell on Craigslist and cleaned up Ava’s room while singing and dancing.  Now she is quietly babbling on the floor in front of me while chewing on a cup [a floor full of toys and she chooses the cup].  Uh oh, she is crawling this way … better wrap this up fast.  I guess what I’m trying to say is that at the end of the day, things like hot meals, closing the bathroom door, sleeping in, and finishing anything I’ve started are small prices to pay for the wonderment of motherhood.  One little smile is all it takes and suddenly, time stops and I’m in the moment and that moment is the best moment of my life.


ava babers


NY Stylist, Katyi Haugh’s Top 5 Summer Must Haves


Who better to get fashion advice from than a New York City stylist?  Kayti Haugh attended the University of Georgia, Fashion Institue of New York, and Polimoda in Italy, and currently spends her days [and sometimes nights] combining her “nomadic spirit and wanderlust” for life with her knock-out fashion sense.  She has been working in NY, LA, and Europe as a freelance stylist since 2005 on magazine editorials, celebrity photo shoots, lookbooks, costume design for commercials, and more.  I asked Kayti to pick her Top 5 Summer Must Haves and the result is a fabulous look that will definitely make you the envy of all your friends [and who doesn’t want that?!]!

Must Have #1:  WHITE JEANS [or light colored jeans]

“I love the look of something fresh this summer and white / light washes deliver that.  I like to pair white with a cool patterned oxford shirt, sleeves rolled, or with a colorful summer blouse.  With light washes, I try to create a monochromatic look… these gray Uniqlo jeans fit great and look effortlessly chic with a white v-neck shirt.”

Uniqlo Sabrina Skinny Jean in Gray

[Click Image for Details]


Madewell Rail Straight Jean in White



read more »

cooking life

What Can You Eat if You Can’t Eat Wheat?

Today’s topic was inspired by a family friend who just found out that she has to go on a wheat free diet [much to her dismay].  I thought about all of the foods I eat each week that contain wheat and understood her frustration.  Angie, this post is for you.

Many people confuse a wheat free diet with gluten free. Gluten is a type of protein found in wheat, rye, and barley, but not in grains like corn, wild rice, and buckwheat [to name a few].  Wheat free products can contain gluten and gluten free products can contain wheat and figuring what you can eat and what you cannot can be tricky.  Wheat starch [with the gluten removed] is used in some products and some makers of gluten free goods use wheat in their manufacturing facilities.  Wheat, gluten, wheat, gluten AAARRRHHH… stay with me, you can do this!  Be sure to read your labels carefully and do your research.

While wheat is most commonly found in foods such as bread and pasta as well as some soups and sauces that contain wheat flour, there are alternatives.  Here is a Wheat Free Pizza Crust Recipe using rice and tapioca flour from [they have tons of info and recipes on their site!].

Click on image for recipe


Not a cook?  No worries.  I found this great site, aptly named The Really Great Food Company,  to order Gluten, Wheat, Soy, and Casein Free doughs, mixes, condiments, pastas, etc. online [and the prices are reasonable too!].


Another great site for recipes is Healthy Green Kitchen.  Just search “wheat free” on their site and loads of delicious goodies, like these Wheat Free Dark Chocolate Cupcakes pop up!

Click image for recipe


And there are plenty of helpful Wheat Free Cookbooks out there, like this one by Carol Fenster, Ph.D. [available at]

Click image for more details


So if your doctor or body tells you it’s time to stop eating wheat, don’t despair.  It will take some getting used to and you will probably find it difficult to dine out, but there are plenty of great resources out there to guide you in the right direction.  The best news?  The pizzas, pastas, breads, and sweets you thought were gone forever are still on the menu!

baby / tots

Fun in the Sun – Kids’ Crafts & Toys for Summer

With summer just around the corner I thought I would highlight a few fun in the sun toys and crafts to help keep your little ones entertained!

First up is this Sand Play Set by Green Toys Inc. for the sandbox or trips to the beach!  All of their toys are made in the USA using recycled milk jugs, contain no BPA, phthalates, or lead paint, and the packaging is made of recycled cardboard!  Fun, safe,  and eco-friendly!


There are few things more fun than finger painting.  Don’t let your kids have all the enjoyment – make your own messy masterpieces too!  Planet Green has an easy recipe for non-toxic, completely natural fingerpaint … safe enough for the littlest Van Goghs.


If you like crafting with your kids, Ecoart is a great book I found on the Think Button site that also teaches your children about the environment.  [Excerpt from product desrciption: “Nature’s bounty becomes the tool through which children learn to respect nature, care for their environment, and preserve the earth’s fragile ecological balance. All of this is done while discovering their own artistic natures.”]


And how cute is this Walking Elephant from Plan Toys?!?!?  It’s a rocker that “walks” forward when your child rocks from side to side.   Plan Toys is a green company that manufactures green toys using ‘responsible and sustainable” methods.  For more information on their standards and company, click HERE.


Find great eco-friendly selections for your little ones by clicking on the ad below!


creativity decor fashion life

For The Love of the Blog

I have that ‘need a vacation from my vacation’ feeling only it’s ‘need a weekend from my weekend’.  What happened to those days I used to wallow around complaining, “There’s nothing to do” in an overly dramatic tone?  Oh right – baby.  Wouldn’t trade the chaos of motherly love for anything, but everyone needs a little R&R and throughout the week, I find mine in cute, fanciful, darling little blogs like these ….


shoes accessories

The Cherry Blossom Girl is Alix – a young, French fashion designer with a love of all things pretty.




Join Louise in her whimsical world of Art and Ghosts … beautiful works [there’s also and Etsy store!] and plenty of imagination.



Made by Girl is made by Jennifer Ramos [she makes the colorful cards and prints in the pic above] and her blog is all about inspiration, color, and design.


The Hidden World of Eloise … speaks for itself.  Happy Monday … XO


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