Monday, October 29, 2012

"Frightening Scenes" From Our House

Never could I have predicted I'd be posting a photo of a "wig bearing husband" and an attempt to trim the wig into something more closely resembling an Anna Wintour bob. Never, I tell you. 

Well, it's not like I could just lay it out on the table to trim!
As a side benefit, however, it did provide hilarity for the kids.

My Anna Wintour costume is a bit behind schedule. 

Fortunately James Bond has already arrived - and was a big hit at a weekend party!

Seeing where that costume started gives me hope for mine...

Are you ready for Halloween?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Fabric Love

I simply adore the beautiful textiles designed by Victoria Larson,
and what a pleasure to work with sponsors whose work I truly love!

Like the Bergere chair below covered in her 'Peony' fabric in Gray.

Above the popular 'Dandy' print on semi-transparent cotton voile. 
Pale purple and acid green on white, 100% cotton voile.

And below, a new design that I'm crazy over! 
'Stardust' in Chocolate, printed in an upholstery weight Iriah linen.

"Created after a big, messy crafting session with my daughters that involved confetti. Rich, chocolate dots with a few bronzy highlights are scattered on a natural heavy Iriah linen. The overall effect is almost animal print-like."  Victoria

Oh yes, I can see this on a chair in my fun would that be?
Visit her website to see more, here.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Today I'm One Nervous Lady...And A Recipe!

How's that for a blog post title?

I'm nervous. Today two local House of Fifty contributors and I are speaking at the Mitchell Gold +Bob Williams store here in Portland, addressing the NW Society of Interior Designers on the topic of Social Media.

I am not a speaker. I am very comfortable sharing my thoughts from behind my computer screen through the printed word. Here's to hoping I get through this without making a total fool of myself.

At least I have a smashing outfit...that gives a girl confidence.

And on other fronts, we did some cooking at my house this weekend that included one
 incredibly delicious pizza.

Wild Mushroom Pizza with Truffle Oil

Here's the recipe, if you feel so inclined to try, from Cooking Light:


  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 package quick-rise yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 teaspoons cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cups thinly sliced shiitake mushroom caps (about 4 ounces)
  • 2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms (about 4 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 cups (1/4-inch-thick) slices portobello mushrooms (about 4 ounces)
  • 2.5 ounces shredded fontina cheese (about 2/3 cup), divided
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon truffle oil
  • 1 ounce grated fresh Parmesan cheese (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt or flake salt


Dissolve the sugar and yeast in warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 1 1/4 cups flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt to yeast mixture, and stir until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel tacky).
Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 30 minutes or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; sprinkle with cornmeal. Roll dough into a 12-inch circle on a floured surface. Place dough on prepared baking sheet. Crimp edges of dough with fingers to form a rim; let rise 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 475°.
While dough rises, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and mushrooms, and cook 7 minutes or until mushrooms soften and moisture almost evaporates, stirring frequently.
Sprinkle 1/4 cup fontina evenly over dough, and arrange the mushroom mixture evenly over fontina. Sprinkle with thyme; drizzle evenly with truffle oil. Sprinkle remaining fontina and Parmesan cheese evenly over top. Bake at 475° for 15 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. Remove to cutting board, and sprinkle with sea salt. Cut into 8 slices. Serve immediately.

I'll let you know how I did at the event later...

Monday, October 22, 2012

Will This Make Your Holiday Shopping A Bit Easier This Season?

I was surprised and pretty excited when learning last week that Target and Neiman Marcus have teamed up with a wide range of designers to offer up a range of gift items for the holiday season, available beginning December 1st, online and in stores from both companies. I did some snooping around the internet to find previews of the items that will be for sale, and here's a few.

I'm a huge fan of Alice + Olivia, so when I heard they were on the list I was happy! 
And then a little disappointed when I saw their design is a bike - though a cute bike to be sure.
Perhaps they will also be doing something fashion related? I hope so!

And some of the other offerings:
Top and dress by Robert Rodriguez

Men's and Boy's sweaters by Rag & Bone

Girl's dresses by Marchesa

Dress and top by Lela Rose

Slippers and skateboard by Derek Lam

Pouches and scarf by Marc Jacobs

Dessert Plates and top by Tracy Reese

Thermos and lunchbox by Tory Burch

iPad case and sweatshirt by Proenza Schouler

And I also spotted this more comprehensive collage of styles to be offered via the blog Style'n.

What do you think? Spy anything that could fill the bill for an item on your list?
Or have you even begun to think about this? Yes, it's hard to believe it is nearly that time of year again.

Friday, October 19, 2012


Oh am I happy to have Friday arrive! A lot of work was being done around here this past week, wrapping up the last articles for the Holiday issue of House of Fifty, keeping things on schedule. Next week are the final edits and then off to the developers it goes, so the app can be developed and approved by Apple in time for the November 8th release. Phew...

And so some relaxing is in order for the weekend!

I'm looking forward to catching a movie or two on my iPad, 
wishing for a movie that was as fun to watch as these two:

'Valentino The Last Emperor'

'The September Issue'

Have you seen these? I watched them to review for the 'What We're Watching' article in the fall issue and I just ate up ever second of them. If you are a lover of fashion and fashion magazines, they are must watch gems!!

Do you have any favorite movie recommendations?

And Max has a soccer game, those are always a blast. 
A nice sunny fall day, a hot cup of tea, sitting on the edge of the field with friends. 
Not bad. Not bad at all.

And a  really good meal  is a must, perhaps I'll get my husband to grill up some of this!

It's delish! Recipes here, page 142.

Have a fantastic weekend!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Packing In The Activities, Chicago Style

Chicago, what a great town! With no school on the calender last Friday I booked Isabella and I a quick trip to this city. We visited my good friend Lora, who I met when I was hired to nanny her daughter years ago, during a phase when I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with my life, through the years attending SAIC studying fashion design.

Arriving late Friday afternoon we caught the train downtown and started packing in the activities. Traveling with just one carry on suitcase, I didn't even bring my the pictures aren't so fab, sorry.  And in fact, I was so focused on having a great time that I often forgot to even get pictures! 

After dropping off our single suitcase at the apartment overlooking both the lake and the river...a wow for sure, we hopped in the car and drove up to the restaurant Uncommon Ground for a quick eat before Lora sent us off on our own to see Blue Man Group. And she booked us in the water section, meaning we got to wear the loveliest of rain gear! Seeing what came flying into the first rows, I was happy to have it on!

Though someone else wasn't, as it was major fashion crime.
Have you been to this show? I can't even describe it, performance art of sorts. Loud and crazy.

Afterwards, it was late but the streets were packed and with weather cooperating we walked and walked, going past the building I called home for a dozen years. Not the upper floors, which were fabulous, three full floor 4,000 square foot apartments. That is where Lora and her family lived, I was tucked away in the basement! It was pretty horrid, but oh well, it gave me a lot to dream and strive for! The building is just steps from Sheridan, so after this little walk down memory lane we caught a cab back to the apartment.

And did I mention the views from Lora's new space? Here's the night view from the living room overlooking the river, lit up at night.

And in the morning, the view from my bedroom, out over the harbor and lake.
 Not too bad, I could get used to this.

Heading out that morning, I loved seeing the Aqua building, just down the street from Lora's. It is the tallest building designed by a woman architect, Jeanne Gang, and it truly is a remarkable structure that has received numerous awards. 

Sightseeing and shopping, we then met up with a friend for lunch that I attended design school with, and her daughter who is the same age as Isabella. It was so great to see them, have lunch and shop, but afterwards I realized I hadn't gotten a picture of us! So time.

But I did get a shot of these adorable baby UGGS while hitting a dozen stores including ZARA, Bloomingdale's, Max Mara, H&M and Top Shop...okay, ready for a break!

Heading off Michigan Avenue out to Logan Square we joined Lora and her daughter Mory for manis and pedis...

...followed by a pick me up and a stop at Mory's apartment to grab her husband...

...before having the most fabulous dinner at Cafe Ba Ba Reeba. 

If you haven't been, if you are visiting Chicago, you must go!

A late night.

But wanting to pack as much in on the last day before heading out to catch the plane, 
Sunday morning we visited Millennium Park and the Bean. 

This sculpture is simply amazing and so much fun! I love how the skyline is reflected on the surface, 
and in the below photo, from underneath looking up, all the people.

A perfect fall day! Afterwards we walked all the way down Michigan Avenue to Oak Street, hitting as many shops along the way as possible. Nordstrom for a gift for Lora, Burberry, and Saks. OH MY GOODNESS, what amazing fashion, like a museum nearly. And interestingly, very nice sales people, even as we ogled the laser cut suede detail on the sleeve of a $60,000 fur coat.

At Barney's they were a little less nice, but it didn't stop some trying on of coats of a slightly lesser value and such.

Walking all the way back to the apartment, we gave Lora her gift before catching a cab to the train, to head out to O'Hare. Planes, Trains and Automobiles...lots of walking, visiting and shopping. 

And a quick glance at the Dubuffet sculpture on the way to the train,
I love how many public works of art there are in this city!

Phew, I was tired on the plane home, what a fun packed weekend. 
I can't wait to get  back for another visit.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fun Design Idea from A Friend's Chicago House

I got home from Chicago late last night, so no time for a lengthy recap on the weekend trip this morning.
But instead, here's a super fun decorating idea from the home of our friend who hosted the visit:

As long as I've known Lora she has collected Pez, and in each home lived in over the years she has found a prominent spot and ingenious way to display them. Her new spacious apartment overlooking Lake Michigan is no exception. 

Lesson here? If you love something it can become a creative work of art and expression of who you are in your home - regardless of what it is - when creativity arranged and displayed!

I had a fantastic visit and will organize photos to share more later in the week.
Happy Monday!