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Look for Less: Easy Breezy Room

Do you sometimes often come across home designs in magazines and drool, then look at the price tags and gag? Yeah, I often do that. I have always believed that good design does not have to break the bank. I think I read somewhere that “Money does not beget taste.” Or, maybe it was a Barbara Kruger quote; it sure sounds like something she would say. So in that spirit I decide to create a new Look for Less rubrique, in order to capture the look of rooms that inspire me.

The Look for Less - Easy Breezy

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The inspiration room belongs to Suzanne Dima and was featured in House and Home. Of course, the look for less is not an exact replica of the inspiration room, but I believe it retains its spirit. The key piece is the chair, which needs to be both organic and sculptural. Next up is the artwork. Artwork is very subjective and the piece in the original room is bolder with its more graphic use of color, but I feel like the blues in the Look for Less are complemented by the watery effect, and pair beautifully with the indigo Shibori pillow. (Speaking of Shibori, I need to learn how to DIY that). The tall, double armed floor lamp helps to ground the other more fluid forms in the room, while the basket’s black detail also helps to echo the lamp, so the lamp doesn’t feel too lonely in its blackness. Flooring and wall treatment of course are key, as these pieces would not look the same sitting in a room with wall to wall carpet.

Total cost $1022 excluding wall treatment and flooring, since those depends on the size of the space. You can definitely get a cheaper pillow like this, or a less expensive lamp like this, but you can’t skimp too much on the chair and artwork since they really make the space.

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Celebrate: A Simple Valentine

Life Without You

Now that Big Boy’s class Valentine is all sorted out, I’ve set my eyes on my real Valentine, i.e. my one and only Hubby. As you may recall, my mother lives with us, which is super helpful if Hubby and I want to go on a little date. Though, we don’t do it too often as the boys can be a real handful. But this year she’ll be traveling across Asia for the WHOLE month of February, so the boys are pretty much going to be with us 24/7. Once she’s back in town, I’m planning on picking up where we left off with last year’s habit forming Year of Dates. In the meanwhile, I still want to celebrate Valentine’s Day, so I’ve come up with a super simple Valentine inspiration board that anyone can pull off.

Simple Valentine Inspiration


While chocolates are more traditional for Valentine, I personally love French macaron. Add to that a little pink champagne cocktail, or go even simpler with rosé sparkling wine with a blush of color and no mixing. Lastly hang a little festive garland and voilà.  But at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is just being together.  The print above perfectly express how I feel.

Happy Love Day to All!

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Out and About: Traveling with Kids

Traveling with Kids

Hubby and I have always loved traveling, but having kids definitely cramped our style. We still manage to get away to places near and far on a semi-regular basis but there are always so many variables to consider.  Is the trip about visiting friends and family?  Will it be fun for the kids?  Should we stay at a hotel, or should we rent a flat?  If we rent a flat, will it be comfortable for everyone?

And so, while it is still only January, I am in full planning mode for our summer vacation trip to Europe to visit family.  We decided to rent apartments/houses in the different places we are visiting.  While searching for places to stay I came upon Kid and Coe.  Am I the last one to hear about them? Stylish private dwellings that are welcoming to kids, where parents don’t have to forgo comfort and aesthetics, and the kiddos get to be… kids. Bingo!

In the past we’ve rented from VRBO and Airbnb, but I had never come across a site specifically targeted at parents traveling with kids. Looking through the various properties I’m getting a serious case of wanderlust. Check out some their stylin’ properties.

A lounge meant for relaxation and play in Amsterdam.

Kid Friendly Travel Accomodations

A colorful and fun dining room, also in Amsterdam. (Man, those Dutch, they know design.)

Kid Friendly Travel Accomodations

A whimsical staircase in France.

Kid Friendly Travel Accomodations

Indoor plasma cars in an art-filled New York City loft.

Kid Friendly Travel Accomodations

A cozy playroom in Rio de Janerio.

Kid Friendly Travel Accomodations

As a parent, I think this site has the potential to really ease the pain of traveling with kids.  Kids can feel at home, while grown ups get to enjoy a beautiful space.  That said, I can tell their website was thought out from a design perspective, rather than a functionality perspective.  The site doesn’t allow you to narrow your search based on certain criteria, and the images while gorgeous, do take a while to load, especially on mobile.  I say this, because I usually come at things from a design perspective and Hubby usually comes at things from a function perspective (he is after all trained as an engineer). So, after 18 years together, I know it’s important for design and function to work together for the best results.

What do you think?  Is this the answer to your prayers when traveling with kids?

**All images shown here courtesy of Kid and Coe, except where noted.

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DIY: Can’t Erase Friendship – A No Candy Valentine

DIY Friendship Cant be Erased - No Candy Class Valentine with free printableValentine is just around the corner.  These past few years I seem to have become known for my “You Rule” no candy class Valentine. Nonetheless, I’ve continued to come up with other ideas, including the “Have a Colorful Day”, and the “Stuck on You” no candy Valentines.  This year, I decided to stick with school supplies and came up with the “Friendship Can’t be Erased” idea.  It was inspired by two things, 1) Big Boy is in Second Grade and it seems to be a time when erasers are used every couple of words, 2) Big Boy started a new school this year, so I wanted to celebrate the new friendships he is making.

Instructions for this easy class Valentine DIY:

DIY Friendship Cant be Erased - No Candy Class Valentine with free printable

1) Buy Erasers.  I was able to find a multi-pack of eraser with no designs on them at Target.

2) Download and Print the free printable. Download printable here.

3) Cut and Trim.

4) Insert erasers into individual mini plastic treat Bags.  I found mine at Michael’s a few years ago, and they resurfaced in time thanks to my New Year’s resolution to organize.

5) Fold over printed cards and staple.

DIY Friendship Cant be Erased - No Candy Class Valentine with free printable.

The message on the front says, “Friendship Can’t be Erased”, the message on the back says, “Happy Valentine’s Day”.  Kids can sign their name on either side, though I will have my Big Boy sign on the back.

Super easy! Big Boy loves them.  So, if they make him smile, I know I’ve got a winner.

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Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy!


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Inspiration: Organization

Last year, I made three simple resolutions and was able to stick to them for the most part. The best part was that Hubby and I got to go on some cool dates (see examples here and here) and create new memories sans kids. But the one resolution that went to the way side was: organization.



So this year, I’m keeping my resolutions even simpler and sticking to just one: organization.

As the kids get back into their school routine and the Christmas decorations get stored for another year, I’ve decided to kick off the new year with purging…extreme purging. I plan to get rid of a ton of things.  When I say “get rid”, I mean, throw, recycle, donate, sell, depending on what is most appropriate for the item, but either way, the ultimate fate of the item(s) is to no longer reside in our home.

My rules for purging are going to include:

1. If it’s broken and can’t be fixed – purge

2. If it doesn’t fit – purge

3. If no one plays with it anymore – purge

4. If I haven’t bothered to look at it in 2 years – purge

Over the years I’ve held on to some items from another time/another life with a vague notion of “what ifs”.  I’ve decided that “what ifs” are not enough anymore, and if for some reason a “what if” situation arises, I will just have to acquire something for the occasion.

I’ve already purged my closet of 15% of its contents and I feel lighter already.  Plus I’ve turned all my hangers backwards to see which items still hang the wrong way around in six months.  See here for this simple purging trick.


Just one small step, but it is just January 5.

The best part about organizing and purging is that it shifts energy. It not only changes the energy of a space because everything is put away were it belongs, but it shifts peoples’ energy too and gives them a greater sense of calm.

What are you holding on to?


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