Takeout (MJM)

Friday, January 31, 2014

Thanks for all the birthday wishes, really, truly they made my day! And when I do make it to Paris someday it is going to be quite the event because so far most of you are going with me! Parisian Invasion! Or would it be an American Invasion? The other highlight of my day was talking to my grandma on the phone. We talked for well over an hour about her childhood in Minnesota, her voyage to Oregon, Downton Abbey, and how if I think it's weird to say I am thirty-eight now, just wait until I say one of my grandkids is 38 and two of my kids are retired (touché, grandma, touché), and we talked of a million things in between. I can just get lost in those conversations forever. It was the favorite part of my day.  (ugh, this paragraph formatting is driving me crazy, why must you be such a rebel?)

I know I have said it before on this blog but when I started blogging, probably like many of you too, those beginning months can feel like being the only kid sitting alone at the lunch table and trying to not to get caught staring at the cool kids table. But at some point you start making connections and then those connection become friendships. One of the friendship that I have formed is with my dear friend, designer extraordinare, Mary Jo Matsumoto. She lets me ask her questions and shares her love of mid-century finds and is just a genuinely lovely and talented person. And she just happens to be having a flash sale starting today! She makes the most beautiful handbags, clutches, wallets and nail polish (among other beautiful things). There are several design to choose from in her sale all for 50%(!) off. It runs through the weekend, but they are selling out fast so waste no time. And I know from stalking, reading her blog and online store about page they have been worn by the likes of Angelina Jolie, spotted at the oscars and appeared on Oooooprah, and really, that's just to name a few. 

You can visit the flash sale here. Read her blogs here and here (she has two!) and visit her online store here.

Have a happy weekend!

Birthday Reflections

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Holla, it's my birthday! Though my holla is more of a very horsy whisper. I think I am approximately at stage 12 of this terrible cold/flu, which I am desperately hoping is the final stage. So today I am just going to take it nice and easy. Which really is fine because I have never been a holla sort of birthday girl anyway. I mean I want to be (feel like i should be?) but I always end up feeling a bit more comfortable in a day of quiet meandering. I remember my third birthday party, I was in the bathroom and I was wearing this terrible wool skirt with terrible tights and a more terrible itchy sweater, I was trying to hike my tights up to no avail and just wishing I could just stay in the bathroom, preferably naked. I didn't want to go out there with my tights locking my knees together and face the cake, the singing, the balloons, the guests, it was all too much. Well, the presents weren't, I was still pretty pumped about those, which is what got me out of the bathroom I am sure.

And seriously I am thirty-eight now! This doesn't feel extraordinarily celebratory. I mean I am super happy to be alive and I am sure in 20 or 30 years I will think how foolish I was to think this was "getting old" but you know, it's day one, the shock hasn't worn off yet (though I will admit last year when I turned 37 I was immediately shocked that the following year I would be thirty-eight, so I guess maybe it's not shock). The fact that I am two years shy of forty completely boggles my mind. I am officially out of my mid-30's and into my almost-40's. And it's not to say I think of forty as old at all. I definitely don't. But I feel so much younger than the number I get when I count from 1976 to 2014. And really, I often have to count how old I am on my hands just to make sure, because, time, it goes so fast! I thought it sounded really weird to say I had a 16 year old, but saying I am thirty-eight sounds way more foreign rolling out of my mouth. Not that it rolls, it kind of lingers in waiting for confirmation, and thuds down to the ground very unceremoniously. But it's true! The positive to all that I suppose is the fact in itself that I do feel young. I still look at my life in terms of finding myself, learning and growing - possibilities, even if in more neurotic moments there seems to be a ticking time bomb attached (what am i doing?! where will i be in 5 years?! what's a 401k?! when will i ever go to paris?! i don't want to be old when i go to paris! i wish i looked like amélie - yes, i can pretty quickly transgress down these dark alleyways of thinking). But really, I am grateful that every year without fail I am shocked with the age my drivers license tell me I am - which, eek, expired today, don't tell anyone! I am seriously considering going to go get a haircut and go all out for this one, the next time it expires I think I will be 52!

And if you were a child in the 80's here's a few memory lanes for you to take a stroll down with me if you like -

Mall scenes from the 80's which was the last time I really enjoyed going to the mall.

Oh, the memories pinboard. This pinboard is from a friend of mine, in fact it is from my lifelong childhood friend. I actually only discovered that she had this board a few days ago and it made my day. Everything on it is either something I had or she had or we both really wanted.

I thought of commentary I could leave for every single one of these (well except number 33, I don't remember that at all) but being as there were 50 I figured that this post would get really long and boring so decided not to.

And last but not least -

While I was perusing The Everygirl archives last weekend I read this interview with Victoria Smith which made me feel awesome and reminded me that there is never a time in life to not try something new, see the world, change careers, and generally just go after your passions. 

House Tour | Outside Korsvägen |

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

With all the lovely little vignettes in this flat it gives the illusion that this teeny tiny studio apartment is much bigger than it is. Even though the living, sleeping and working space all share the same walls, each space feels very much its own with the design and styling - and, yet, from the wide angle shots you can see how it all flows seamlessly together. I think I could learn a thing or two from whoever lives in this sweet space. I also really love the entry, how it separates and defines that space from the rest of the flat, and the wallpaper gives it such a grand feeling. I think if one were to live in such a small space an entry like this would be phenomenal to have. And I could add the the kitchen to the list of things I absolutely love about this space, that kitchen is divine. But it's a good thing that they only have 7 shirts.

Images via

Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

My birthday is coming up soon (too soon!) and I have been trying (and failing) to think of something to treat myself with that isn't in the price range of, say, a new couch. But the other day while I was reading about Lauren's lemon tree over at Still + Life, it prompted me to remember that I have really been wanting a fiddle leaf fig tree (ficus lyrata). I love indoor plants and I really love figs. The problem is I have killed every plant I have ever had in my house, and it's literally almost immediate - I bring them in and they just wilt and wither before my eyes. I did a little research awhile back and found conflicting information that they are both easy to care for and difficult to care for. Obviously I really need the former to be true in order to invest in one of these living beauties. But I would love to have a big pop of greenery in my house (maybe little plants just aren't my thing?). I might have to try it and see if I'd fair better with one of these because I love the way they look and breathe life in all of these images and I just really want in on some of that. 

Images: One | Two | Three and Four | Five | Six | Seven

House Tour | MF / MSP |

Monday, January 27, 2014

Well happy Monday and happy last week of January - can you believe we are heading into our second month of 2014 already? Over the weekend I was the last domino to fall with the flu at our house and luckily I had this post prepped for today, well, minus the words, which are feeling quite challenging to formulate at the moment. Still I am not nearly as bad off as my boys who look like squirrels storing nuts in their checks - their glands are so swollen and they have just been miserable with pain and fever and cough. So while I'd trade places in a heartbeat with them I am glad that I am well enough to tend to their every need (which mostly includes snuggles, popsicles, changing between cartoon channels and spoonfuls of honey). Another place I'd trade in a heartbeat is my apartment for this stunning place in St. Paul-Minneapolis. It belongs to Madelyn Furlong, who runs the beautiful blog Wide Eyed Legless, assistant designer at Target, and Hackwith Design House Stylist. I love the equity of design between the lightness and warmth, minimalism and comfort, simplicity and drama, vintage and modern. I also love the toro chair nestled in the corner next to that gorgeous window. And I have never once thought about painting my bathroom black, well, that is until now, but I think I'd definitely need that sink too. I found this tour over at The Everygirl (the tour includes a really great interview with Madelyn too), have you visited there before? So many great interviews and house tours, I spent a good deal of my weekend getting lost in the archives. 


Friday, January 24, 2014

I am happy to report that I am still in the clear from the sickness that has invaded our house, which is good because all three of my children are now in the throes of this flu bug. Yesterday we had to see the doctor because, as timing would have it, this is finals week for Fisher and he really needed some cough medicine so he could get some sleep and make it through the last day of his tests. And poor Luca woke up so wheezy, which as a mom is just one of those things that immediately freaks me out. We are still doubling down on the natural remedies, but sometimes you need some good old western medicine. I think this weekend we will be renting dvd's, snuggling and eating lots of chicken soup. 

I think I have been pretty open with the fact that I live in my yoga/leggings, a habit I can't seem to break being as I don't really have to working from home and all, but I deplore feeling like I am not fully "dressed" so I like it pair them with nice fluffy sweaters in lovely neutrals like the ones above in grey and cream

The last couple days has been filled with news regarding the Ukraine and I hate to admit that I really had no point of reference as to what was going on. But I found this article that breaks it down, if you are in the dark too but wish you weren't it is pretty reader friendly.

This photography book which collects portraits of beloved teddy bears and other stuffed animals is one I would love to have for my coffee table collection. It is so adorable and I love that there are stories included with the portraits. I didn't really have a favorite stuffed animal myself, but Fisher did, baby bear, (who bears a striking resemblance to our new pup, Marla) he went everywhere with us (until Fisher was about 11 years old). We lost him once at a cafe while visiting a friend when Fisher was about 8. It was very traumatic, and honestly I was just as upset as Fisher was, baby had really become a part of our family and we had already lost, permanently, lamby and tigery, the first of his beloveds. But luckily when my friend went back baby bear was propped up in a highchair waiting to come home and we've all been together ever since. 

I hope you all have a great weekend and stay warm and healthy. 

Remedy Round-Up

Thursday, January 23, 2014

We are falling like dominos around here. I was so proud of how long it had been since any of us had been sick - for me, probably the longest stretch since I have been a mom. But what has really impressed me is that we have been staying healthy despite hearing that this is one of the worst cold and flu seasons (though they probably say that every year). However, it does seem everyone I know has had at least one virus and yet, and we have seemed oddly immune. I might have been silently gloating a little bit inside, because we are usually going from one cold to the next, always the first to get it and last to get over it. We had the H1N1 a couple years back and I thought maybe surviving that nightmare boosted our immunity, or going wheat-free had. We have felt like maybe we might be getting sick a few times only to wake up in triumph the following day that we had in fact beaten it back. But this time we are losing the battle to some sort of nasty cold/flu. Fisher was first, he's been sick since last week with fever and chills and a terrible sore throat and cough, and I keep saying "i don't want what you have!" and spraying lysol in the air all around him, loving I know - but I have really wanted to keep this record going. Though with M+L now showing signs I am afraid it's going to be about trying keep us comfortable and hopefully shortening the duration rather than warding it off. And I am thinking my days are likely numbered. So with that I have rounded up some of the cold remedies I have been saving for future use or that I turn to in times of sniffles and body aches. I also love the good old stand-by recipe of lemon/apple cider/cayenne pepper/honey. Do you have any favorite cold and flu remedies?

House Tour | Marais Apartment |

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I've been reading The Goldfinch for the last few weeks. I know several of you are reading it too, or it's gone on your to-read list. I put it down for a bit after only reading the first several pages, little did I know I was only a couple pages away from being completely engrossed by it, and then I left it (accidentally) with a friend for a few days, so it's taken me longer than it should to get as far as I have, not because it isn't a long book, because at just under eight hundred pages it is, but it's also one that is hard to put down once you start. The imagery is so wonderful, the settings are described with such detail, you feel like you are there too. And her teen protagonist reminds me of myself in so many more ways at that age than I am willing to admit here on this blog. But there is one place in particular that she describes that I when I saw the pictures of this beautiful apartment in Paris, I thought it was so similar to what I pictured while reading the book - though in the book it's in New York and not Paris. And I just love the books piled on books here. This might be a little too cluttered and eclectic for me here in the states, but in Paris, oui, I think I could live among these books and worn leather and velvet furnishings and art on the walls and herringbone floors and antiques quite nicely. (And if you still want more photos there are at least half this many more, just click the link below.) 

Images: The Village Photos: Joel Ekman

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