Style & Home Decor

Home Deco & Style 

The Home deco & style notebook allows me to share some fun and inspirational ideas; from decorating your child’s room and other areas of the home, to inspirational ideas for parties and holiday entertaining...oh and shopping!


1. Rue Magazine
2. Favorite Items on Etsy
3. Kid's party Entertainment - Sing & storyteller
4. How to Create a Reading Corner
5. Alternatives to mobile decorations
6. De-clutter and style your shelves
7. Vinyl Wall Decals
8. Shared Children's Rooms & Nurseries for Twins
9. Craft Idea: "Kid Mail" guest post
10. White Alligator Designs feature & interview
11. Tea Collection for weeDECOR
12. Missoni for Target
13. Dwellstudio Furniture Line
14. Shopping at Madewell
15. Holiday Craft Ideas at Anthropologie 
16. Renegade Craft Fair in San Francisco
17. Construction Site party idea
18. Stylish Mom's bag
19. Get Pinning on Pinterest! 
20. Valentine's Day (incl. Julie William's purses) 
21. The Novogratz partner with CB2 
22. Style Inspiration this Weekl
23. Kid's storage solutions
24. DVF ♥ GapKids 
25. Free Printables on blogs
26. The Shops at Target
17. You are My Sunshine - first birthday party
18. The Conversation - TV Show
19. Mom Inc. - The Essential Guide to Running a Successful Business From Home
20. The Fancy - social & shopping website
21. Best of British Design - Queen Jubilee 
22. ModCloth - Vintage inspired fashion & homeware
23. Customize your iPhone & iPad Using Casetagram
24. Jean Paul Gaulter - Sidewalk to Catwalk at DeYoung Mueum
25. Amy's Summer Vacation Wardrobe

1. Posted: January 5th 2011

Rue Magazine

Grab a coffee and something sweet then settle down with a great new digital magazine; Rue Magazine launched in September 2011 and is a home deco and lifestyle magazine that is visually wonderful and very inspiring! Sign up for their blog updates on Twitter & Facebook. I love it!

2. Posted Jan 12th 2011

My favorite Items on Etsy

One of my favorite websites is that allows artists to sell their handmade or vintage items through the site. There is some great handmade baby and children’s items to choose from in their ‘Children Showcase’ which allows sellers to show off their daily top picks from the children’s category.

I particularly like the photography, art illustrations, collage and prints on offer and wanted to share my favorites with you.

I have recently ordered a print from “The Ink Society” based in Oregon who has their own take on the iconic British slogan poster used during WW11. Their 13x19” reproduction posters with a slight twist to the words, is available in modern colors, and they are currently having a blowout sale at $9 each!

print by The Ink Society

I am currently in nesting mode and found these cute prints for the new nursery which will look great mounted in simple white IKEA frames. The vintage style pictures that are created digitally are from a great company based in Germany called ‘Green Nest’.

Print by Green Nest

If you purchase two A4 (8.27 x 11.69”) prints, the designer is also offering another print for free!

Photo by Green Nest
Green Nest also makes personalized prints that would make wonderful gifts!

Print by Green Nest
I have been looking for a colorful alphabet poster for my son’s room for a while now, and I finally found a great one by ‘Lizzy Clara’ based in Vermont.

Print by Lizzy Clara

I also love Lizzy Clara's mix and match ”I Love You” cards, if you choose four designs she will custom mix them for you. Perfect for Valentine’s Day!

Print by Lizzy Clara

3. Birthday Party Entertainment

If you are looking for musical entertainment for your one or two year old’s birthday party, look no further than Sara Sonnet, who also does the story time at the San Rafael Library on Friday mornings (see weekly calendar below). The little ones are encouraged to shake their shakers, stump their feet and enjoy new and classic songs.

Sara offers 30 minutes of cheerful sing along with some story time, and the set can be adapted to your child’s preference. Sara performed at my son’s 2nd birthday over the weekend and sang his favorite songs with some new ones thrown in, like a birthday song tailor-made for him. She also ends with a balloon song, where each child gets to choose their favorite color and Sara makes up a song about each one. It is fun to see the different reactions from the children.

Contact Sara Sonnet for details at

3. Posted January 18th

Reading Corners

We all love to cozy up to good book in our favorite chair, and story time with our children should also be an enjoyable experience in a comfortable area of the home. Create a fun reading corner in your child’s room or play room that evokes relaxation and a place to calm down before nap or bedtime.

Photo: 9ByDesign's 'Downtown Chic' book

Whether it is a beanbag or two next to a basket of books in a corner of the front room, or a row of cushions and favorite toys under a window, or a chic daybed with draped canopies, any space in the house can be transformed into a quiet place to cuddle up and read with parents or siblings.

Living etc magazine

Open forward facing bookshelves like this one from Pottery Barn Kids makes a feature of the book's artwork and adds colorful character to the room.

Pottery Barn Kids 'Maddison' book rack

Refresh an old chair or couch with layered blankets and mismatched throw pillows. Situate it next to a great lamp with a coffee table or book shelf and you have created the perfect cocoon to transport your children to story time.

Real Simple Magazine

Living etc magazine

5. Posted February 3rd 2011 

Alternatives to Mobile Decorations

When dressing a child’s room, especially a nursery, there is a tendency to buy the traditional baby mobiles that can sometimes be a little uninspiring. Creative alternatives can include hanging a bunch of colorful paper lanterns either above the crib (at a safe height) or in a corner maybe above an armchair.

Real Simple Magazine

Also small inflatable beach balls hanging at different heights work really well.

Living etc magazine

Find inexpensive craft items like butterflies from craft stores (Michaels have great ones) and stick them to ribbon or fishing wire and use them to drape around book shelves. Stringing shells together and hanging them from the ceiling or draping them are a fun homemade way to show off the treasures you collected on vacation.

Hawaiian flower necklaces make great decorations and flower shaped fairy lights look beautiful in girl’s rooms draped around shelves or along a mantelpiece.

I love these pink blossom fairy lights from Graham & Green.

Graham & Green fairy lights

Search consignment stores or discount stores like Marshalls’ home section for decorative bird cages that they can be filled with toy birds. Plain wooden bird houses can be decorated with pages from old children’s books and the cover can be opened flat on top as the roof.

I love bunting in children’s rooms and they are so easy to make yourself either using old vintage fabric or patterned paper. Get creative and make great eye candy for your children and yourself!

Cookie magazine

6. Posted Feb 2nd 2011

De-Clutter & Make a Statement out of Shelving 

Shelves don’t have to be a place where books and object are just thrown on top of each other, de-clutter and make a statement out of them!

I love making neutral shelving units the main focus of a room by displaying picture frames, books and favorite toys on them, as shown here;

Living etc magazine

Resurrect ugly shelving units by painting them bright colors or covering them in statement wallpaper, like this room, which has even incorporated the bed into the shelving unit;

Cookie magazine

Reuse old cabinet carcasses from another room by repainting them and attaching them to a wall to create open box displays;

Living etc magazine

Use a contrasting color on the back of the shelving unit and place brightly colored objects on the shelves. The pink walls on this picture really make the yellow objects pop.

Real Simple magazine

7. Vinyl Wall Decals

Posted February 16th 2011 

Vinyl wall designs can transform a plain wall in a bedroom, a simple mirror or can be used on plain canvas purchased from an arts and crafts store. They are easy to use and a much cleaner alternative to using a stencil. These are some of my favorite designs.

‘Bouf’ is a French company that offer giant sized wall decals that look like artist impressions of your children’s favorite objects such as an underwater scene or a bright red fire engine, and the items can be personalized. Check out their website for robots, spaceships, animals, dinosaurs and much more!



Use letters to personalize a bedroom with your child’s name or words such as “Dream” or “Princess” etc. This picture features vinyl letter stickers from an English company called “Rockett St George”; also feature simple and beautiful designs like tree branches, butterflies, clocks and bird cages to use in your front room, hallway or even on white goods like your refrigerator or washing machine!

Rockett St George

Rockett St George

Another interesting company is “Design with a Z” which offer decorative wall stickers by talented designers from the US and all over the world. Their fun modern graphics include sports themes, robots, princess castles even pet paw marks. Their resin acrylic mirrors in love heart shapes are a cute detail for girl’s rooms. Their glow in the dark decorations, chalkboard and white board stickers are also great fun for kid’s rooms.

Design with a Z

Design with a Z

Design with a Z

On a tighter budget simple abstract dots can be arranged in various scenes around a room to highlight a bed, a door frame or mantelpiece as shown in this picture. Various stores like Giggle or Goodnite Moon in Corte Madera stock them in various colors. I also used them across three large plain canvas hung in a line on my son’s wall.

Living etc mag

8. Children's Shared Rooms & Nurseries for Twins

Posted April 9th 2011

As friends are transitioning their children to shared rooms at the moment, and other moms I know have or are expecting twins, I thought I would share some design ideas for children’s shared bedrooms this week.

Children's Shared Rooms:

When designing a shared children’s room, Stephanie Wilson, author of “Best Organizing Tips” advises parents to think through the needs of both children before beginning to set up the room depending on their ages. Here are some of Wilson’s tips for setting up a room for a baby and toddler:

  • Line the room with low shelves, placing the very low shelves on the baby’s side and the slightly higher shelves on the toddler side.
  • If the closet must be shared, paint the closet rod two different colors, so the oldest knows how far his or her territory goes.
  • Use suction hooks on the back of the door at different height, so that the children can hang up their own shirts & jackets.

It is a good idea to re-think the children’s growing needs every six months, by packing up unused toys, redistribute storage bins and raise hooks. 

Teaching a young child, even from a toddler, a sense of order is an important gift that a parent can give to a child. Kids become disturbed if their eyes can’t settle and focus on one thing. Confusion and chaos can breed anxiety. Wilson states that; “The more orderly the room is, the smoother the house is run and the less overwhelmed the whole family is.”

I loved these pictures of actor Mark Ruffalo’s shared kid’s room in my long lost friend; Domino magazine:

Domino magazine

For small spaces think vertical rather than horizontal, kids find bunk beds to be great fun!

Bedroom design ideas for twins:

It is practical to keep the color palette quite neutral and introduce color through artwork, toys and books so the room grows from a nursery to a toddler’s room, and ample storage space is important. Choose furniture that is versatile like a chest of drawers that serves as a changing table until they start crawling rather than an elaborate changing table or dresser.

Living etc magazine

9. ‘KID MAIL’ by Danielle Walker

posted June 2nd 2011

I admit it. My two-and-a-half year old is totally "plugged in." Since the day that she was born she has had a weekly Skype date with her grandparents who live 3,000 miles away, she knows that her favorite episodes of "Fresh Beat Band" are always available on the DVR and 90% of her play dates are arranged via text or a Facebook invite.

Fortunately for me, she is also still young enough to be completely enamored with old-fashioned snail mail. Now that she's also increasingly interested in activities that allow her do "big kid" things all by herself we created a KID MAIL center at our house to encourage her love of sending hand-written messages. We use felt fabric envelopes as they're more durable than paper envelopes when the messages are getting pulled out and shoved in over and over (see directions below for how to make the envelopes), blank index cards and a couple of crayons to write notes and send pictures to one another. We made five envelopes in different colors for each member of the family (and yes, we included the dog AND the fish) and put a mailbox in the entryway for deliveries (we use a "dressed up" shoebox, but you could use a basket or whatever is on hand).

She loves delivering the envelopes filled with little pictures she's drawn for us and "notes" she's scribbled. In our house we use KID MAIL to send tea party invitations to her stuffed animals or thank you notes to Daddy for taking out the trash or even bills to the dog for the toys that he's chewed up.  She loves sitting at the kitchen counter writing notes while I cook dinner and on the special days when her envelope contains a new sticker, a hand written note from Mommy, a postcard or a picture of a friend her face lights up!

A friend of mine who also plays the KID MAIL game found that her three-year-old son loves exchanging letters with a four-year-old neighbor friend who is learning how to read and write and thinks that a hand-delivered letter from her friend is the most special thing in the world.

It's just a small game that we like to play in our house, but it's a fun way to shut down the tech for a little while and reconnect with a traditional way of communicating with the (big and little) ones we love.

How I Made The Envelopes:

Materials Needed:

1. Sheets of felt in colors of your choice- these come in 9" or 12" x 12" sheets at any craft store.
2. Blank note cards or index cards
3. Needle and thread in a contrasting color (NOTE: If you are not sew-savvy, you can use all-purpose craft glue instead)
4. Fabric paint or other baubles to decorate the envelopes with (i.e., sequins, pom poms)

Step One:

Cut the felt so that it's two inches wider than the note card and 1 1/2 times longer than the note card.

Step Two:

Fold the bottom of the felt up so that it forms a pocket (or an envelope!!) big enough for the note cards and sew or glue the sides, because it's felt the flap of the envelope will hold itself down and you don't need any kind of adhesive or Velcro to hold it down.

Step Three:

If you want, use fabric paint or other baubles to decorate the envelope or let each person in the family decorate their own. Have fun!!

There is such great design coming out of San Francisco, and I wanted to share a few companies with you who are doing exciting things that will inspire you and your creative flair at home.

This week I am featuring “White Alligator Designs” and “Tea Collection” Wall Decals for “weeDECOR”.

10. Posted August 24th 2011

“White Alligator Designs”

Looking for unique and vibrant artwork and accessories for your child’s room?

Two moms from San Francisco have recently launched their own design company named “White Alligator Designs” that produce contemporary art and home accessories for children, yet sophisticated enough to appeal to adults. Graphic designer Julie Giles and founder Leslie Thorpe bring cool and contemporary colors to kid’s rooms with a line that includes wall art and coordinating pillows in two nature-inspired designs; ‘Dahlias & Daisies’ and ‘Rainforest Frogs’.

Founder and company lead, Leslie Thorpe explains more to The Marin Scoop:

How did you both come up with the concept and inspiration behind ‘White Alligator Designs’?

“It was a slow evolution. Our children were having a play date one day and I noticed the design on the t-shirt that Julie’s son was wearing. I asked her about it and she told me she designed it and had it printed. I was really impressed.
Months later, I was contemplating a return to work after taking years off to stay home with my daughter. I wanted to work from home and have some flexibility with my schedule so that I could maintain more or less a status quo at home. 
Returning to my prior career as a health care and employee benefits lawyer would not allow me to have the flexibility I desired. After a couple of months of thinking about what I could do instead, I remembered the t-shirt that Julie had made and began to think about collaborating with her.
After months of thought, conversation and product development, we ended up with what is now White Alligator Design, LLC”.

Does your family life influence your designs and company ethos?

“Absolutely. We came up with concepts and designs that would appeal to our school-age kids. Both of our children are drawn to bright colors. Both of their rooms are explosions of color and energy!
Julie’s son loves frogs, lizards, bugs, etc. He has a pet frog named Biscuit that eats crickets and other insects. While my daughter loves visiting Biscuit and playing Super Lizard with Julie’s son, she spends her time tending to her fairy garden.
Frogs and flowers seemed like a great place to start. 
Having children of our own, we want to make sure that we produce items that we feel good about using in our own homes and that we would buy for them. We feel strongly about using safe dyes on the pillows that we produce since we know that children will have close contact with these items on a regular basis.   
We keep production local, within the city of San Francisco. We could use cheaper options in other countries. But, it feels better to us to know that we are supporting our local economy, where our families live.  
Finally, our ethos is about having fun with family and friends and surrounding ourselves with items that inspire us. We hope that your readers will find fun and inspiration in our designs.”

Tell us about the printing process for your designs

“Our pillows are individually screen printed on 100% cotton twill using water-based Eco dyes. These dyes are safer than traditional screen printing since water-based Eco dyes contain no PVCs or phthalates. In addition, this printing process results in a softer finish since the dye soaks into the fabric and does not have a tendency to flake. The result is a safer, higher quality print.
Our wall art is digitally printed on blond maple wood. The machine that prints it is essentially a gigantic ink jet printer. This method ensures a wide array of vivid colors.”

"White Alligator Designs" prices start at $38 for pillows & up to $115 for artwork, for more information view website

11. Tea Collection Wall Decals for 


Some friends of mine introduced me to the “Tea Collection” clothing brand for children a few months ago when my daughter was born. I am becoming a big fan of their designs so you can understand my excitement when I discovered that they are collaborating with weeDECOR to produce an exclusive assortment of Wall Decals.

Tea Collection is based in San Francisco and produces children’s apparel inspired by their trips around the globe. “From the iconic art and architecture of Barcelona to the graphic boldness of Brazilian street graffiti, they interpret their discoveries into beautiful, modern and consummately wearable children’s clothing for ages 0 – 12”. view website

weeDECOR also founded in San Francisco designs a broad selection of eco-friendly wall decals that are removable and reusable making it easy to design and redesign your child’s room as they grow and their tastes change. They are also matte finish so they look hand-painted on the wall without the mess. Their designs are made in the US from biodegradable fabric and do not contain harmful PVC’s like most wall decals made of vinyl! view website

Pam Webber, CEO and founder of weeDECOR says:

“Tea, a leader in children’s fashion, is well known for their gorgeous prints and colors. We are thrilled to turn those prints into wall decals for children’s rooms. We are especially honored to work with a fellow San Francisco company to offer parents more eco-friendly decorating solutions in the prints and palettes they have known to love from Tea.”

I can enjoy the print on my daughter’s “Tori Print” onesie (pictured below) long after she grows out of it by placing it on her nursery wall. Other designs include songbirds, origami cranes and elephants.

weeDECOR’s wide selection of designs are priced from $5 - $150 on weeDECOR website & offer a 10% discount to customers that submit photos of the weeDECOR decorated rooms on their website’s blog and FACEBOOK PAGE so get showcasing your creative flair and inspire other parents!

12. Posted September 2011

Missoni for Target

Since 1953 the Missoni fashion house has been known worldwide for its unique knitwear, and graces the runway each season in a multitude of patterns such as stripes, geometrics and abstract floral in a kaleidoscope of colors. The luxury brand diversified into a variety of luxury goods including the Missoni Home collection known for its furnishing fabrics. Now it is bringing its iconic Italian lifestyle to Target and launches an affordable line of clothing, accessories and home-ware in their signature prints.

This is the largest designer collaboration Target has done to date and promises to have enough products to keep up with demand, but a lot of it will be snapped up and become must-have items on eBay within the first week. Be ready to grab as much as you can when doors open on Tuesday September 13th

For more information View Website or check out the Missoni for Target lookbook on their Facebook Page

13. Posted November 2nd 2011


I am a fan of Dwellstudio's soft furnishings and their more affordable line for Target so I am super excited about their new furniture collection. Their couches, in particular, look great in wonderful colors and bold patterns. They also have unusual storage units that have a sleek vintage feel.

I dream of the day when the kids are grown, and I can decorate my house with these fabulous pieces without fear of sticky fingers and pen marks getting all over them. View their new Catalog online.

14. Posted November 29th 2011


While looking around the sales on Black Friday and over the weekend I found some cute things in Madewell and inspirational holiday items from Anthropologie in Corte Madera The Village.

I love the vintage style jewelry and accessories in Madewell; which is becoming my favorite store.

Black and white stripe bangle:
Madewell Bangle $7.00

Looking glass charm that can be attached to a delicate gold chain with three adjustable loops
Madewell Charm $12.00

These items are on my wish list:

Brown buttery soft leather bag:
Madewell Caravan bag $178.00

Brown leather biker boots:
Madewell Boots $248.00

15. Posted November 29th 2011

Holiday Craft Ideas

There are some great crafts and holiday decorations in Anthropologie, I thought these snow globes made out of upside down mason jars filled with salt and little silver trees inside were a great idea to make yourself:

Anthropologie Mason jars $28 - 38.00

These sparkly birds with feather tails are beautiful:

Anthropologie Ornament $22.00

I managed to find a similar one in Michaels, along with the gold garland and glitter bow for my mantelpiece:

You could also go on a nature walk with your little one and collect pinecones, acorns and feathers to paint and make your own little creatures like this one from Anthropologie:

Anthropologie Hedgehog $12.00

Decorate big golden leaves with glitter and turn them into bunting or simply painting pinecones with gold or silver paint and place them on the mantelpiece, shelves or hang from fishing wire. They all make inexpensive holiday decorations and fun craft projects to do on rainy days! 

16. Renegade Craft Fair in San Francisco 

Posted December 12th 2011

On Sunday a girlfriend and I went to the 3rd Annual Renegade Craft Fair Holiday Market that took place at the Concourse Exhibition Center in San Francisco. We enjoyed mooching around the local and national talent and seeing the various handmade jewelry, clothing, paper goods, artwork, posters and Concourse Exhibition Center home products.

It got our creative juices flowing and inspired us to make our own versions of some of the things we saw. Here are some of my favorite things that I wanted to share with you:

One of the first booths we visited was Yes & Yes Designs which was a lovely designer called Laura, dressed as a girl scout, who makes these wonderful vintage inspired accessories in Oakland. She designs and laser cut them herself at TechShop workshop in San Francisco.  

Laura @ Yes & Yes Designs

 I particularly loved these ‘Little Ladies’ pins that are made from old Reader’s Digest book covers, and regret not going back and getting the white one at the bottom of this picture:

Yes & Yes Designs

 Check out this great roller skate necklace:

Yes and Yes Designs

These great fabric button necklaces are by Zelma Rose Dry Goods:

Zelma Rose Dry Goods

Zelma Rose Dry Goods

I loved this fun T-shirt design from Fuzzy Ink!

Fuzzy ink T-Shirt

This kid’s hooded sweatshirt from Diane Koss with a red fur lined hood with horns made me smile and reminded me of the monsters from Sesame Street.

Diane Koss

I adored the beautiful illustrations by Genevieve Santos who portrays the innocence of children in a very cute way; take a look at this talented artist website.

Geneieve Santos

17. Posted January 10th 2012

Birthday Party Idea

My son is crazy about diggers and trucks so I decided to have a construction themed birthday party for him. We held the party in the morning so set out a brunch food table with bagels, mini pots of yogurt and granola, fruit salad and mini blueberry muffins. Glasses of mimosa were served for the parents and our special punch of apple juice and ginger ale with fresh mint and slices of lime. I decorated the table with little yellow construction vehicles and hard hats, and displayed my son’s truck books around the kitchen.

Instead of using balloons I hung paper lanterns around the room in yellow, black and white. These can be reused again and again for parties, and also hung in the kid’s rooms as decorations. I also hung construction theme garland and personalized bunting to brighten up windows and a large mirror above the fireplace.

Of course the birthday cake carried on the theme, and after spending too much money in the past, I decided to order an affordable one from Safeway, which my son picked out and loved it!

18. Posted January 13th 2012

Who Says a Mom's Bag can't be Stylish & Practical?

A mom’s bag has to be full of everything you and your kids need for every situation when you are out and about every day. I usually carry everything but the kitchen sink on my shoulder and my husband constantly complains that he can’t find anything in my over-packed “Mary Poppins” bag. 

So I have recently organized the contents into individual clear bags for diaper changes, snacks, baby toys, toddler cars and trucks etc. and placed it all inside a stylish leather tote bag from ZARA

It has black patent leather side panels and contrasting short handles for over my arm nook and a long strap for over my shoulder. A stylish solution that my husband is happy about!

Check out H&MUrban OutfittersKohls and Marshalls for other alternatives. 

Read what other moms use oncircle of moms website

19. Get Pinning on Pinterest!

Posted January 18th 2012

I love pinning, pinning is addictive, I find myself pinning while the kids are asleep, pinning while watching TV, pinning at the park, pinning while I prepare food. What am I talking about? The best thing since slice bread, well in my opinion anyway, especially if you love beautiful visuals like me…Pinterest!

Mel & Liza Blog

Pinterest is an online service which allows its users to create various pin boards and upload your own photos onto them, you can, more importantly, search for pictures on the Pinterest site or pin photographs you have found online and build up “visual collections”. You can follow your friends through Facebook or Twitter or other like-minded “Pinners” and leave comments or “re-pin” the pictures they have come across to your own boards.

Party Ideas for Kids Blog

For years I have turned to magazines for inspiration and kept tear sheets and shelves of back copies of my favorite titles, something I will probably continue to do for some time. But now I can find beautiful pictures instantly and constant refer to them on the boards I have created in my Pinterest account.

North Hawai'i
Source: North Hawai'i

For example I love interior design so I have “inspiring interiors” and “home things” boards, I collect fashion inspiration for shopping and style tips in my “women’s fashion & things”, I love to collect ideas for parties and entertaining so have a board for that too, same for food, photography, travel, men’s things, also design and clothing for kids. blog

If you are planning an event like a wedding, a party or special dinner then Pinterest helps you with visual ideas and has links that directs you back to the site or blog it originated from, so you can read the recipe, shop for the items or read more about the article it came from.

Wonderful Joy Ahead blog

The people from Pinterest say it best:

“Our goal is to connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting. We think that a favorite book, toy or recipe can reveal a common link between two people. With millions of new pins added every week, Pinterest is connecting people all over the world based on shared tastes and interests.”

You have to request an invite onto the Pinterest site and get an email shortly afterwards to set up an account and start pinning. Have fun getting inspired! 

Decorista Daydreams blog

20. Valentine's Day

Posted February 13th  2012

Valentine’s Day is creeping up so here are some fun activities and gift ideas for the loved ones in your life.

For the Kids:

It is fun to make handmade crafts like love hearts or decorate cute photo frames with glitter and paint.

I adore this LOVE banner in my favorite circus inspired font by Roselyn Hellard, you can follow a tutorial on how to make it on her blog at Second street. You can also make your own version using different colored paper or fabric. 

atsecondstreet blog banner

Let them help with breakfast by making heart shaped pancakes with strawberries or bake cupcakes together with pink frosting and sprinkles. A good tip to create the heart shape is to insert a marble at the top of the paper case before you put the batter inside to create a heart shaped cake or muffin.


For Him:

The new David Beckham range of underwear for H&M was the perfect gift for my husband this year; it also gave me an excuse to gaze at Golden Balls himself. Very sexy…and the underwear isn’t bad either!

David Beckham Underwear for H&M

For Her

A woman can never have too many handbags, so check out this red suede purse ($90) which is perfect for Valentine's Day, and deep red leather tote bag ($135.00) from British fashion designer Julie Williams who deconstructs one-of-a-kind accessories from vintage fabrics especially leather and denim.  

Julie William's red suede purse

Julie explains to The Marin Scoop:

"I am given jeans and leather as donations from friends and family which it makes it inexpensive except for hardware, beads, thread, needles and of course the time and love that goes into making each piece. With the old saying in mind "waste not want not", I would like to recycle that by giving back to the community I live in by donating $1 for each bag sold to Homeward Bound of Marin."

Julie William's deep red leather tote

Julie's love of reconstructing fashion and her one-of-a-kind designs inspires the modern day woman to express herself and her individuality in a fun and stylish way.  

For further information and to buy product check out Julie's Etsy Store 

21. The Novogratz Partnership with CB2

Posted February 15th 2012 

Modern furniture company CB2 has announced a new collaboration with husband and wife design team Robert and Cortney Novogratz! They will be designing new home designs from this summer including this fantastic “Family” rug that was featured in one of their home makeover projects on HGTV's "Home By Novogratz". 

The Novogratz's family rug for CB2

I first became a fan of this design duo when their reality show '9 By Design' was shown on Bravo TV a couple of years ago. They do an amazing job of remodeling houses, hotels and business spaces using new and vintage design elements, while raising nine children! Their coffee book 'Downtown Chic'  which showcases the homes they have revamped from scratch over the years is one of my main sources of creative inspiration.

I can’t wait to see what else they have in store for us!

For further information and to find out about future product launches ‘like’ The Novogratz and CB2 Facebook pages! 

It has been a while since I have featured my “Mommy Treats” on this blog so I thought I would share some things I am enjoying at the moment! 

22. Style Inspiration this Week

Posted March 2nd 2012

Read: Ali in Wonderland

Ali in Wonderland book
Funny lady Ali Wentworth first caught my eye when she used to appear on Oprah’s Friday Live shows, I used to enjoy her funny stories and sharp delivery so I was intrigued when Gwyneth Paltrow recommended her new memoir “Ali in Wonderland” (Amazon) on her GOOP website.

Ali comes from a family who socialized in Washington’s political social circle, with an aspirational mother who was First Lady to Nancy Reagan’s social secretary and appeared to be a mother who could juggle with grace (I’d like to know her secret!). 

She is also married to Good Morning America presenter George Stephanopoulos, who seems a bit square to me but never the less; she is very witty and has written an entertaining book, I look forward to the audio version!

Home: Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters tea cup
From Ali in Wonderland to Alice in Wonderland, and what better way to enjoy a good book but curled up on the couch with a hot cuppa! 

Fashion store Urban Outfitters has a fantastic home décor section on their website called "Apartment" that features great chevron duvet sets, funky chairs, rugs, brightly colored book shelves and cute accessories like this Alice in Wonderland tea cup.

I love my tea and collect teapots and tea cups (I’m such a British stereotype) so will be adding this one to my collection!

Style: Colored Jeans

I don’t get to have many fashion moments any more, I used to work in the fashion industry (but made to mostly wear black) and used to get to dress up regularly, but now I am a mom I only get to do so on rare date nights or much needed girl’s night outs. But I love the colored jeans trend at the moment especially red jeans which compliment my love of navy nautical stripes and grey sweaters. I was inspired by this picture from Style Me Pretty blog through Pinterest:

I found some red jeans from Almost Famous brand found at Tillys  (Northgate Mall or Vintage Oaks) which also come in a fabulous cobalt blue. I also love anything sunshine yellow this season, and most of my friends know I have been on the hunt for yellow cardigans or sweaters for some time, so love these yellow jeans seen on blog!

Yellow jeans on blog

Celebrity: Gwyneth Paltrow at the Oscars

Lastly, talking of fashion moments, I loved some of the dresses on the red carpet at the Oscars last Sunday, especially Gwyneth who looked stunning in this Tom Ford white dress with matching cape that was a fashion risk which she pulled off with class.

Gwyneth in Tom Ford at the Oscars

I also loved Cameron Diaz’s cream Gucci gown (well done Rachel Zoe) with her sexy new hair cut! 

Cameron Diaz in Gucci at the Oscars

23. Kid’s Storage Solutions

Posted March 12th 2012

My friend Sam Howe is a mother of two young boys and in the middle of house and garden renovation in Southern Marin. You can follow her progress and home decor inspiration in her blog The Renovation Diaries.

Sam is sharing some of her storage tips with us for children’s rooms this week:

“If your kids are anything like mine then they already own mountains of toys, books and clothes and it’s up to us moms to stay on top of it so the home doesn’t become one giant playroom.  So good storage is critical but there’s no reason why it can’t be a design feature or a stylish accent piece in your home - functional doesn’t always have to mean boring!

Here are a few of my favorite storage ideas that can be a focal point in your kid’s room, rather than being hidden away!

I love these zigzagging baskets by Land of Nod as a way to bring a bold pattern into your child’s room. Don’t be afraid to experiment with accessories and mix patterns & color – it’s an easier way to update a room than painting a wall and is less commitment!

Land of Nod zigzag storage boxes

These amazing LEGO boxes available at The Container Store will have your kids excited to clean up after they’ve played with their toys, plus they look pretty fantastic when out too!

LEGO storage boxes by The Container Store

This adorable bench by The Company Store is not only a stylish piece of furniture but it can hold a mountain of larger toys too – just perfect for your little princess’ room!

Hand-made by artisans in Africa these bright baskets by Serena and Lily add a nice twist to the usual plastic buckets for all your little ones belongings, they will grow with your child and they make great laundry bins too!

Serena and Lily storage baskets

Create a photo ledge/bookshelf as a way to showcase your little ones favorite books – this makes a great wall feature and is easy for them to engage with. IKEA has great cheap options.

Honey & Fitz Blog image

Finally if you have a simple storage unit and want the boxes to go in it then think about adding some color into the mix to make a statement – this rainbow storage idea from the Land of Nod is simply stunning and so easy to do!

Land of Nod storage units

24. DVF ♥ GapKids 

Posted March 14th 2012

Diane Von Furstenberg created her signature wrap dress in the 70’s and has inspired American fashion ever since, now she has designed a collection for our little ones with GapKids & BabyGap

DVF for GapKids

Baby romper suits, T-shirt dresses, T-shirts, leggings, jackets and accessories in neon colored graphic prints that include vintage DVF prints like the hibiscus and leaf print. Of course the wrap dress has been re-worked for children to wear. 

DVF for GapKids

The collection goes on sale today in GAP sales and online.

25. Free Printables

Posted March 19th 2012

It’s hard getting motivated at the beginning of the week, so surprise your other half or colleague by serving their morning cup of Joe in these adorable coffee cup wrappers. They are available as free printables on the "Eat,drink,Chic" blog  by Amy Moss. 

Cup wrapper printables on 'Eat, drink, Chic' blog

Another way to cheer you and your loved one up is by hanging up this compliment bunting to give the words of encouragement you both need. The creative blog "How about Orange" offers a downloadable file to make them yourself!

Bunting on 'How about Orange" blog

26. The Shops at Target

Posted May 3rd 2012

Not only is Target a great place for finding everything you need all under one roof from fertilizer to flip flops, but it is an exciting company that collaborates with so many great brands. From Liberty London which was Target’s first designer collection spanning multiple departments, to the frenzy that was Missoni for Target.

The shops at Target

Their new partnership program is one of their most interesting to date. It is a new concept of selecting five small niche shops and offering their unique products within the Target stores around the country and online. From the home emporium Privet House located in Connecticut to my favorite The Candy Store based right here in San Francisco!
The Candy Store at The Shops for Target

The Candy Store  is located on Vallejo Street at Polk, just a few minutes walk from where I used to live and work so it was a regular place for me to stock up on my favorite British chocolate bars! The store is stocked with lollipops, toffees, chocolates and lined with glasses jars filled with every kind of candy imaginable from all over the world!

Privet House at The Shops at Target

The Shops at Target will be an ongoing project that will partner with the shop owners of specialty stores to co-create affordable limited-edition collections. The first flight of stores will be Cos Bar (cosmetics), Polka Dog Bakery (dog treats), Privet House (home ware), The Candy Store (candy) and The Webster (fashion).

Polka Dog Bakery at The Shops at Target

“It is bringing the boutique experience to Target” says Milan Vukmirovic, founding partner of The Webster store in Miami.

The Shops at Target debuts this Sunday May 6th, so I may have to do a quick shopping sweep as soon as doors open to pick up some candy before setting up my daughter’s birthday party. Necessary?  No, but it’s the trill of discovery!

The Webster at The Shops at Target

Target also announced that an exclusive home collection by designer and TV presenter Nate Berkus will be launching in October…exciting times ahead!

Target Style Facebook page

27. "You Are My Sunshine" - 1st Bday Party

Posted May 7th 2012

My daughter celebrated her first birthday yesterday, so we celebrated with a tea party. She is a little ray of sunshine that has brought so much joy into our lives so the theme was the song; “You are my Sunshine”.

Sunshine theme birthday party

I turned to Pinterest to get my inspiration and ordered most of the party supplies from independent craft designers on Etsy. I also credit Tori Spelling’s new party planning book "CelebraTORI" for some of the styling ideas.

Sunshine Birthday Dessert Table

The delicious birthday cupcakes with little sunshines and white clouds by "Who Doesn't Love a Cupcake" was the focal point of the dessert table, next to the “You are my Sunshine” print was by Beau Chic Printson Etsy which is placed in a simple white frame from Target

Beau Chic Prints on Etsy

I hung lemon yellow and baby pink polka dot flag banner bunting from Jilly Bean Kids across the top of the window and a large mirror above the mantelpiece. 

I filled glass jars from Michaels  with yellow and white candy that framed the cake stand. I filled yellow and white stripy paper bags from Jilly Bean Kids with the candy for the parents to take home for older siblings or themselves.

I found the most beautiful yellow and gray paper pin wheels from Elizabeth Street on Etsy that I placed in mini glass jars filled with sugar.

Elizabeth St pin wheels

Pastel stripy straws for the cloudy apple juice were from Dime Store Buddy perfect to use in lemonade this summer.

Scones with cream & strawberry jam
Sandwiches & rainbow fruit kabobs 

I served finger sandwiches, fruit scones with cream and strawberry jam, rainbow fruit kabobs, mini pots of yogurt and mango puree for the babies and pastel colored macaroons.  

Mad Hatter by Cinamon Girl on Etsy

As it was a tea party I couldn’t resist these fantastic cardboard stand up props of the characters from “Alice in Wonderland” by Cinamon Girl on EtsyThe Mad Hatter stood by the teapot and the white rabbit by the clock, they are fun decorations for a children’s room or to place on a book shelf!

"Who Doesn't Love a Cupcake" 

Special thanks to Miranda and Paulette at "Who Doesn't Love a Cupcake"

28. The Conversation - New TV Show

Posted May 17th 2012

I am really enjoying an alternative talk show on the Lifetime channel called The Conversation
 featuring high profile female celebrities who have interesting stories and experiences to share.

Each week British host (and photographer) Amanda De Cadenet curls up on people’s couches and has a honest and open conversation about “what women talk about” with inspiring and funny guests, it almost feels like you are listening in on a private chit-chat amongst friends. As Amanda puts it; “it’s basically the universal language of women.”

You can catch the first three episodes through The Conversation Website, and be sure to watch the first show when Amanda sat down with Jane Fonda, Gwyneth Paltrow, Zoe Saldana and Sarah Silverman to discuss topics like relationships, grief, postpartum depression, sex, body issues and more. 

Produced by De Cadenet and Demi Moore (who is working behind the camera more than in front these days). The Conversation has a list of impressive guests including Lady GaGa, Alicia Keys, Rita Wilson Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and funny lady Melissa McCarthy etc.
Check it out every Thursdays at 11.00pm/10.00 pm central or visit Lifetime to check your local listings.

Follow The Conversation on Twitter , Facebook & Tumblr

29. Mom Inc - The Essential Guide to Running a Successful Business Close to Home

Posted May 2012

For those of you wanting to start a home based business or creative venture whilst balancing the demands of motherhood…this is the book for you!

Cat Seto and Meg Ilasco from Mom Inc. Daily  are experts in running a successful home-based business whilst running a household. Cat Seto is a blogger mom who runs a stationary business in her studio and boutique on Polk Street in San Francisco. Meg Mateo Ilasco is a mother, freelance writer, artist, author and the co-founder and creative director of the fabulous home and lifestyle magazine Anthology.

Meg Ilasco & Cat Seto - authors of Mom, Inc. book

Cat and Meg share their wealth of knowledge and personal experiences in this inspiring and practical guide book about how to run a successful business from home called Mom, Inc.. It is full of informative advice on how to choose the right business for you, how to write a business plan and mission statement, find clients, and stay focused at home.

Cover of Mom, Inc. book

The Marin Scoop spoke to Cat Seto to find out more about the book:

What inspired you to write the Mom Inc. book?

I started an online community of designing moms (Mom Inc. Daily) after a difficult pregnancy and recovery. I wanted support from moms who were creative in spirit, juggling work and family and doing it online seemed the most efficient means of doing that. That's when Meg Ilasco approached me to co-author the book with her. 

You feature some interesting enterprising moms in the book, who did you speak to?

We spoke with 17 inspiring design moms. They range from bloggers like Gabrielle Blair of Design Mom and Abby Larson of Style Me Pretty to fashion and cake designers like Cynthia Rowley and Sylvia Weinstock. Of course if you have little ones then you'll also recognize Christiane Lemieux of Dwell Studio
Q & A with founder of "Style me Pretty" in Mom, Inc. book

What factors makes a home run business successful?

Knowing when to draw the line between your time with work, and your time with your family. You need to treat your business as the real thing. You can still have all the perks like wearing pajamas until lunch and being able to pick your kids up from school, but you need to give yourself hard deadlines and be able to say "no."

What are the main obstacles a mother comes up against when trying to launch her own business?

Time and the space to really map out a structured plan. This book has a section called the "Mom Statement" and it's about coming up with not just a mission statement for your business but a mom statement about your goals for your family. Taking both into consideration is helpful when trying to launch a business.
What advice would you give a mom trying to pursue her passion project and make it a reality? 

Don't be afraid to ask for support. Most of the moms we interviewed could not have accomplished what they have without asking for help, advice or gleaning information from those around them. If you lack time, join a mother's group that might be entrepreneurial or creative in nature so you can bounce ideas off of one another.
Description: Description:

Mom, Inc. book

I started reading Mom, Inc. last week, which was at a very poignant for me as I was starting to work from home, whist writing my blog and looking after two children while my husband travelled. This book helped me think through a lot of factors when considering working from home, the pros and cons, and helpful advice on how to handle the difficult balancing act. I highly recommend it!

Read more articles about mothers who run successful business in my “Local Businesses & Stories” section.

Mom, Inc. is published by Chronicle Books and available through  or an independent book store near you. 

30. The Fancy - Social & Shopping Site 

Posted May 25th  2012

I have just joined The Fancy community; similar to Pinterest you browse images in various categories such women’s, men’s, kids, art, media etc. and shop for them at the same time. As you click on things you fancy you unlock opportunities to collect badges (similar to SneekPeeq) and are awarded promo codes for discounts.

I actually think there is more choice for the male audience on The Fancy than Pinterest especially in the “media” category which features cool gadgets, artwork from classic movies, record covers, design books, boy’s toys and general lifestyle gift ideas….ideal for birthdays and Father’s Day coming up!

Here are a few examples of what I “fancy” at the moment:

Rachel Zoe sandal on The Fancy
Notebook on The Fancy

Horbert MP3 Kid's Player on The Fancy
Dear Photograph book on The Fancy
Paul Smith mini on The Fancy

You can also find out about popular culture in the “media” section, for example I came across this poster by Pascal Witaszek with his idea for new bio flick on Walt Disney by Ron Howard starring Ryan Gosling, it’s a great idea…I hope it would happen one day!

Mock Ryan Gosling poster by Pascal Witaszek

The Fancy is a lot of fun to browse, so join up and invite your friends through Facebook or Twitter!

31. Best of British Design - Queen's Jubilee 

Posted May 28th - Friday June1st 2012

Marking 60 years of The Queen of England’s reign, the Diamond Jubilee will be taking place in the UK this weekend.

There will be lots of celebrations and street parties in England and being a Brit myself I thought I would share all things British this week. Starting off with some of my favorite photographs of the Queen – the icon and mother:

Queen Elizabeth II by Dorothy Wilding 1952

Queen with Prince Andrew by Cecil Beaton 1960

Patrick Lichfield  1971 

Left: 1953 Right: 1954 

Queen Elizabeth 11 has appeared on countless cover, banknotes & stamps

Anne Carrington - British Artist 

To celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee taking place in the UK this weekend, I am sharing my favorite British things and today it’s all about design.

One of my favorite British artists is Anne Carrington, a sculptor that uses large amounts of common objects like buttons, flags, bottle tops, nuts, bolts, scraps of vintage fabric, and creates masterpieces out of them. I love her Pearly Queen made of pearl and shell buttons commissioned in celebration of the Queen’s diamond jubilee, a piece used by The Novogratz Sixx Design in their home and design projects.

Anne Carrington's Pearly Queen in Bungalow Hotel 

I also adore Anne Carrington’s “Crown Jewels” made of pearl buttons on canvas.

Anne Carrington's Crown Jewels

Anne has made a 9 ft velvet banner sewn with half a million gold buttons to decorate the stern of the Royal Barge, Spirit of Chartwell. It will be at the front of the Diamond Jubilee pageant running along the River Thames on June 3rd

Anne Carrington's Royal Banner

You can buy a print version of it and her other work on her Website

British Magazines with Tea & Cake 

This Emma Bridgewater tea towel sums up my happiness during quiet time perfectly. I love to sit down, once the kids are asleep, and open my favorite magazine with a nice cup of tea, some chocolate or a cake…heaven!

As I am sharing my favorite British things leading up to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee this weekend, I thought I would recommend a couple of British magazines:

Red Magazine

My favorite women’s fashion and beauty magazine is Red magazine full of great “wearable fashion” , beauty and home décor but also interesting articles on subjects smart women want to read. After 5 years away from the UK this title still remains my favorite magazine and one I still collect.

The Marin Best of Brits - Red magazine

Living etc.

I also collect the British home magazine Living etc. a popular title with those interested in inspiring interior design. It gives me lots of ideas and keeps me up-to-date with what’s going on in the design world. You can find both in Barnes and Noble.

The Marin Scoop Best of Brits- Living etc. mag

B for British by Josie Jo

Now for the teas and cake bit…I had to share this wonderful print called "B for British by Josie Jo". It features illustrations of all things British; a London Bus, a London telephone box, British bull dog, and of course tea and cake. You can buy it on Unlimited Editions and at only 40 pounds, it’s a steal! 

B for British by Josie Jo on The Marin Scoop

22. ModCloth

Published June 6th 2012

Founded by high school sweethearts – Susan Gregg Koger and Eric Koger; ModCloth is a vintage-inspired shopping site that features clothes, shoes, accessories and cool things for the home. 

Silverware from ModCloth - The Marin Scoop

Their mission is to empower their customers and readers by joining their ModCloth community  flipping through their stylebooks, products and find one-of-a-kind designs. You can even be a virtual buyer for Modcloth with Be the Buyer and help what designs get made!

Dress from ModCloth - The Marin Scoop
Flat pumps from ModCloth - The Marin Scoop

I particularly enjoy following their blog Modcloth Blog inspired by fashion, art and culture. They recently posted a great entry about Business Savvy Site for the Business Savvy Girl and the Best Jobs Ever. Read about the working life of a floral designer, writer, veterinarian, vintage clothing store owner, interior designer or the costume designer for the cult TV show Mad inspiring read! 

Teaset from ModCloth - The Marin Scoop

You can follow ModCloth on FacebookTwitter & Pinterest

Yarn Cake Topper - ModCloth on Pinterest 

If you like this, you may also like to read:

23. Customize with iPhone & IPad Using 


Published June 18th 2012

Sophie Davies collage
I love beautiful photography which is why I am becoming addicted to making and sharing photos on Instagram (well, it keeps my Pinterest habit at bay). 

I also enjoy making collages, ever since I was a teenager cutting up fashion and music magazines and creating collages of my favorite bands, movies and teen pin ups and putting them on my school notebooks and bedroom walls. I got to do this for real at college by creating mood boards for my fashion studies, and still enjoying making collages today, either the old fashion way or on the computer. 

There is a fantastic social design company called Casetagram that enables you to make collages out of your Instagram photos and turn them into a hard case for your iPhone or iPad!

Casetagram iPhone & iPad cases - The Marin Scoop

This fun process can be achieved in three easy steps; just connect to Instagram, import your photos, create your own customize design using their templates and Casetagram will print and ship your creative case to you!

Casetagram iPhone case - The Marin Scoop

Users can take a look at other’s people’s designs for inspiration and try the process out for free on their websites choosing from 7 design templates and 3 case covers (white, clear or black matte).

You travel pics Casetagram case

It makes a great gift for your fellow Instagram friends using their Virtual Gift Card, and Casetagram are also offering free international shipping for a limited time. At only $35.95 including shipping, it makes such a great personal thing to keep and enjoy each day!

I can’t wait to make mine! 

(follow sophialdavies on Instagram) 

24. Jean Paul Gaultier at DeYoung Museum 

Published June 27th 2012

Jean Paul Gaultier - From Sidewalk to Catwalk  exhibition will be showing at the DeYoung Museum until August 19th. It is an impressive exhibition for those wanting to see a well-executed retrospective using multi-media to bring his amazing creations to life.

Jean Paul Gaultier at De Young Museum - The Marin Scoop

As you walk into the beginning of the exhibit you are faced with a collection of mannequins, including Jean Paul Gaultier himself, talking and looking around the room. Footage of human facial expressions has been projected onto each mannequin’s face to give the visitor the feeling that they are standing in front of a real person. Jean Paul Gaultier partnered with the Montreal-based theater company Ubu Compagnie de Création in the design of 30 animated mannequins throughout the space who talk and sing, which is very entertaining.

Jean Paul Gaultier at DeYoung - The Marin Scoop

Jean Paul Gaultier launched his first prêt-à-porter collection in 1976 and his punk collections from the late 1970’s and early 80’s are displayed on mannequins lined up in front of a great graffiti wall inspired by San Francisco during that time.

Jean Paul Gaultier Punk - The Marin Scoop

Jean Paul Gaultier’s140 haute couture and prêt-à-porter designs through the years up until 2010 are displayed on mannequins throughout the space. Some of his incredible creations are displayed on podiums so you can walk around them and see their intricate details and genius tailoring up close. They are fascinating to admire.

Archival documents, sketches, photographs and video clips tell the story of fashion’s enfant terrible. His beautiful editorial and past advertising campaigns are also displayed on the walls, most of which are up lighted with light boxes to make them even more eye catching.

Kylie Minogue in Jean Paul Gaultier at DeYoung

There is a whole section dedicated to his muse Madonna, featuring the costumes he designed for the Blonde Ambition tour. The iconic satin cone bra corsets are displayed next to fabulous sketches, Polaroid photos of fittings and beautiful photography from that era I remember so well.

Madonna's Costumes by Jean Paul Gaultier

25. Amy's Guest Post: Vacation Wardrobe  

Published July 5th 2012

I highly recommend going to see this within the next three weeks, as it is a revolutionary and memorable exhibition that is thoroughly enjoyable for those either interested in fashion or interested in seeing an impressive multi-media exhibition.

View Website for opening times and ticket information.

I’m so thrilled to be guest posting on my friend Sophie’s blog today. We know each other from our years working in the fashion industry in London. I am now full-time Mum to a 3 year old, Noah, and I also pen a style blog over in the UK called; Simple Style Notebook. It is all about confident, modern, pared down dressing for the real world. My theory is that our lives are complicated enough, most of us are juggling children, and demanding jobs or businesses so our style shouldn’t be.

Last week we took our first holiday for 2 years to the beautiful Mediterranean Island of Menorca. It was such a joy to be by the azure sea with the sun on our faces [it has been the wettest summer since records began in the UK!]. Noah loved sitting on the beach, building sand castles and splashing in the pool. I enjoyed exploring some of the pretty back streets in the nearest town, Ciutadella where I discovered some cute little boutiques full of vintage inspired fashion and boho jewellery, perfect for the Balearic vibe.

Packing for a short vacation can be a challenge especially if you’re travelling with kids and your baggage allowance is limited, as we were on our budget flight. So the trick is to take versatile pieces that can work together. My tip is to stick with neutral colors with the odd bright splash to add personality. Here are some of my favorite holiday wardrobe pieces.

1.     White cropped jeans, Madewell
2.     Paisley bikini, J Crew at Net-a-Porter
3.     Bracelet, Anthropologie
4.     Grey jersey tube skirt, Old Navy
5.     White cotton tank, Club Monaco
6.     White canvas pumps, Supergra
7.     Striped t-shirt dress, Banana Republic

White jeans are one of my staples in the summer. They can be so easily dressed up for the evening with a beautiful printed blouse and decorative earrings [gold always looks great with white and a tan!], or you can match it with a simple tank like this one from Club Monaco for day.

The jersey maxi skirt is another brilliant summer piece that is great for day or night, you can even wear it as a beach cover-up pulled up over your bikini. I’m a stickler for tan lines so much prefer a bandeau style bikini for the beach, this bikini top even looks good worn under a light cotton shirt or smock instead of a bra.

I think dresses are one of the simplest ways to stylish dressing. You can throw one on and look instantly put together so I always travel with a few. A t-shirt dress like this one from Banana Republic is light, comfortable, and could even work for travelling in.

Wardrobe sorted we had plenty of time for relaxing and fun. I always travel with my trusty DSLR and a notebook, I found these cute notebooks in TK Maxx for a few pounds here in the UK and we made one into Noah’s holiday journal. This is such a great way to keep special memories and Noah enjoyed taking it to pre-school to show his friends and teachers what he’d got up to.

We also enjoyed making a passport for Noah’s bears from a free printable at Pretty Blog

Wherever you’re off to this summer I hope you have a lovely time, and I hope you can visit me over at my Simple Style Notebook blog.

26. Style Scoop - Pink & Ombre Fashion  

Published July 13th 2012

Our next two weekends are booked up with girl’s birthday parties, which has put me in a girlie mood.

The ombre trend is popular at the moment and I think it looks especially cute on little girls. I found this soft tulle dress by Chasing FireFlies which would be perfect for a special occasion, and at an affordable $58.00 it would look great with candy pink or metallic shoes.

For us moms, a maxi length dress is ideal to keep cool in during the summer months, as you can throw it on for an effortless look at the park, pool or school run. It can be easily transformed into a smarter look by accessorizing it with a belt, beads or statement necklace. This pink and coral striped maxi dress from GAP also comes in violet or royal blue, and would also work with this pink ombre scarf from Forever 21 if you are heading into the cooler city. 

1.    Living etc. magazine view website
2.    Pink ombre scarf, Forever 21, $6.50
3.    Pink & coral maxi dress, GAP, $74.95
4.    Pink ombre tulle dress, Chasing FireFlies, $58.00
5.    Ombre swirl cake by Glorious Treats blog 

26. Olympic Gift Ideas for the Family 

Published July 25th  2012

As we gear up for the Olympics starting this Friday, I thought I would share some fun gift ideas for you and your family members to get into the spirit of the games and go for gold!

(Photo credits clockwise from top middle)

1.     Medal T-shirt (6 – 24 months); Poconodo
2.    Olympics Print; myMzone
3.    Team USA polo dress $55; Ralph Lauren
4.    Special Edition Line of Team GB LEGO Minifigures
5.    New Balance “Patriotic 574” sneaker, $69.99 New Balance
6. Vintage Olympic cover story of Lucy Lui In Harper Bazaar magazine.

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