Camp Snacks

This a little off topic but as a Mom of two young boys who are currently attending summer camp I found First Bites founder Caren Gremonts Huffpost article “Obesity’s Officially a Disease, so why was my child diagnosed as a ‘healthy eater’?” a fascinating post.  It’s a quick read about how camps (and of course our schools are guilty as well) provide snacks like oreos, graham crackers, cheetos, etc and offer these as “nutritious” options for our children to snack on.  I am all for balance in a child’s life but packaged processed desserts disguised as healthy snack options seems misguided to say the least.

If anyone is interested in healthy snack options for kids and lunch box ideas, below is a list of blogs I frequent for suggestions:

100 days of real food:  http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/

Weelicious:  http://weelicious.com/

Kath Eats Real Food:  http://www.katheats.com/

First Bites:  http://www.firstbites.org/

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Happy snacking!


TEXAS Artists

We are now pretty much settled in at my in-laws and I’m just in awe of their gorgeous art collection.  They have been collecting for decades and have a number of beautiful pieces throughout their home.  It’s hard to decide which are my favorites but I am drawn to some of the pieces they have by local Texas artists such as Vernon Fisher, Kirk Hayes & Lance Letscher.  Below are the works of these artists as they appear in their home followed by some info on each artist and some of my favorite pieces.

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Vernon Fisher

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Kirk Hayes

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Lance Letscher (thie piece is made of book bindings)

Vernon Fisher is from and currently resides in Fort Worth, Texas and is known for his blackboard pieces and collages in which he pairs narrative text with images in his abstract paintings.

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 “Not Listening”

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“Africa”

Kirk Hayes is another Fort Worth area resident.  Hayes creates illusory pieces of art using a trompe l’oeil technique.  You believe you are looking at collaged items like tape, plywood, or cardboard but his work is all expertly done in paint.  Below are two works of Hayes I really enjoy, I couldn’t find an image of my favorite piece “Elephant, triumph on the dung heap” but you can see it here if you are interested.

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“The Artist Declares Victory”

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“The Long Sigh”

Lance Letscher is an Austin, Texas native who creates playful collages out of various print media.  From book bindings to album covers he has a keen eye for color.  I love his use of color in the two works below:

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“Big Ear”

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“Showboat”

Anyone have other Texas artists that they love?


Chevron and Painted Kitchen Floors

We have traditional looking dark stained wood floors in our kitchen which I like, but if time and money were not an issue with this remodel I think doing a beautiful inlay design would be a great touch, something like a chevron pattern with a nice border around the edges, even a greek key.  Painted floors are always a great option as well!

Here are some gorgeous kitchen floors that I just love:

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This is a perfect design for a galley kitchen, or any kitchen for that matter, but here this white and gray painted chevron really add a beautiful touch to a narrow space.  The yellow dining furniture is a great addition as well – I love that color combo.

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This is an image of Miles Redd’s  kitchen – hes combined painted wood and an inlay design on his floors along with high gloss painted cabinetry all making his kitchen chic and masculine at the same time.

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This kitchen does a great job at mixing whites and grays together.  I love how the window treatments and floors take this kitchen from standard to exceptional.

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I think this simple stained chevron look would be a nice touch to any kitchen, I would stain a bit darker if I went this route.

Hope you are all having a great week!


DIY Carter Kustera Silhouettes

Happy Monday!

Hope everyone had a great weekend, I spent most of it packing up our house as our big move out day was Sunday.  We have now officially arrived at my in-laws for the next three months (eek).  My husbands parents have impeccable taste and their home is amazing, filled with stunning works of art – I will be blogging about it soon!

I knew our move was happening on Fathers Day and that we wouldn’t really be able to celebrate properly so I wanted to make sure I had something special for my husband ready that morning.  I decided to go the sentimental route this year and since I love a good DIY project I decided to tackle silhouettes of our two boys ala Carter Kustera.

Carter Kustera is known for his hand painted silhouettes is bright cheery colors accompanied typically by witty quotes and text.

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Here is my silhouette attempt of my oldest son, its passable at best.  Clearly I need some work!  Sorry about the picture quality, as soon as the big reveal occurred the silhouettes were quickly shuttled into storage until we move back home.

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I used Shel Silverstein quotes to accompany the silhouettes, the one above says “Tell me I’m clever, Tell me I’m kind, Tell me I’m talented, Tell me I’m cute, Tell me I’m sensitive, Graceful and wise, Tell me I’m perfect – but tell me the truth.”

And speaking of telling the truth it was later revealed to me that my husband actually was really hoping for a pair of new jeans…  looks like I might be doing some shopping.  Any suggestions?

Hope you all have a great week!


Kitchen Wallpaper

We are going to have some extra wall space leading from the kitchen into the family room and I had been toying with hanging up some art work, possibly a decorative plate display but now I have moved on to wallpaper.  There is something about the way wallpaper can add a touch of warmth and sophistication to a room that I love.

Now that our color scheme has changed some with the incorporation of gray paint on the island and butlers panty I’m thrown a bit as far what direction I would want to take concerning wallpaper as I am always drawn towards blue.  If I was working with straight blue and white picking out a paper would be much easier but now I have to make sure it compliments the gray.

I think Quadrille has some beautiful options for a white and gray kitchen along with options from Katie Ridder and Farrow and Ball.

Here are some kitchens that I think really show case wallpaper well:

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I think this Quadrille China Seas print is a fantastic addition to this blue and white kitchen.

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This image is from a close friends home here in Dallas, I adore the yellow Clarence House Vases print wallpaper and blue upholstered combo and think along with her decorator she did an amazing job with this space.

Image via House of Fifty.

I love the use of larger prints in kitchens and think this look could be achieved as well with something like Katie Ridders leaf print in gray for our empty wall space.

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Tory Burch’s breakfast nook really makes a statement with this strong Quadrille Arbre de Matisse Reverse print in French Blue.  It’s a little over the top for me but I do think it’s a great print.  Below is a similar more subtle print.

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I think the small prints above could look nice as well in our kitchen in lighter shades, either in Quadrilles Lysette (in tan) or Arbre de Matisse Reverse (in white on white):

LYSETTE 4100-07WP  ARBRE DE MATISSE REVERSE 2035-01WP

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Here is another nice use of a larger wallpaper print by Farrow and Ball using their popular Lotus print.

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I think this print in a light gray would look nice as well.

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Although the below look would be way outside the realm of possible with a man in my house I do love this bold bright pink kitchen, I can see it in a little beach bungalow in California.

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Do you prefer the look of wallpaper to art work on kitchen walls?  Would love to know some of your favorite prints!
Hope everyone has a great weekend!

The New Rash Guards

The weather down here in Dallas is getting pretty hot, we are supposed to hit 100 today – ugh…  which means afternoon activities no longer involve the outdoors unless they include sitting somewhere poolside.

Ive always been concerned about the sun and the damage it can cause as I have very sensitive Irish skin, my husbands says from time to time it’s pale enough to stop traffic but I prefer to refer to my skin as Nicole Kidman-esque or milky white (although the freckles get in the way of the milky part).  Anyway, last year I lived in my j.crew rash guard and this year was happy to see that they have expanded their line along with a number of other retailers selling similar products this season.  Gone are the strictly for surfer rash guards, today rash guards range from pretty preppy stripes and florals to lovely geometric patterns all to help and protect the fashionably minded and skin protective girl while hanging out by the pool.

Here are a few of my favorites out there right now:

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I love the above two from J.Crew, the red multi stripe is new this season and the blue and white is the one I have and live in.

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I thought this floral look from shopbop was cute, its sold out but if you like the floral look J.Crew has one as well, featured below.

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A few top designers are even getting into the mix, below are looks from Tory Burch, Cynthia Rowley and Pret-a-surf:

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Are any of you rash guard fans?


The Kitchen Island

Over the weekend we went and picked out the marble we will be using for our kitchen countertops and island.  I had originally pictured our kitchen all white but after looking at slab after slab of marble I found myself drawn to one that was streaked with a lot of gray called venatino carrara.

Its changed how I see our kitchen and I now think adding in this gray tone will provide some depth to the space.  I’m also thinking of painting the island a complementary color gray or even blue to bring out the colors in the marble.  Our kitchen island will be pretty basic: sink, trash space, dishwasher and room for counter stools – nothing fancy but from what I have read, seen in person as well as on pinterest (after weeding through a million banana bread recipes, why is everyone obsessed with banana bread on pinterest?) I see that people are stepping up their islands with high-tech water filtration systems, steam drawers, hidden bookshelves and flat screens, etc.   I’m open to hearing how we can bring our island to the next level so if anyone has any suggestions let me know!

Here are a few kitchen islands that I think are beautiful as well as a couple that step it up past basic:

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I love this kitchen, everything from the honed Calacatta marble to the walnut island countertop and gray painted island keep this kitchen looking interesting.

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I like the idea of blue for an island as well, although this might be too light for our space.  The gray above is just subtle enough that it makes a statement without screaming for attention.

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The above two images show off some space saving examples for kitchens that need some extra storage.  I love that antique Italian etagere which stands atop the kitchen island as well as a wine fridge making the most of the space they have.

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This is a little too tricked out and I’m pretty sure my husband would be horrified by a flat screen featured like this in an island so I had to include it – of course this is an image from a home here in Dallas (via Traditional Home).

Hope everyone has a great week!