Interesting blog stuff

By: Sara Williams

We were in our house almost eight years before I did anything to personalize the kitchen. It’s a non-traditional kitchen. It has a couch, a comfy chair and a coffee table. It’s more of a sitting area than an eating — or cooking — area and it took all that time to determine how I wanted it to look and feel.

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The other design sense

By: Ashleigh VanHouten

Everyone knows that smell is a huge part of how we understand the world around us. Smell can recall memories that are all but buried; it can immediately change a mood (for better or worse) and it can help create an atmosphere as well as any light, piece of furniture, or beautiful centerpiece.

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Living with Chella Textiles

By: Anne Martin

I opened a bottle of Syrah and brought our glasses to the bedroom, where my newly arrived houseguests were unpacking. “Do you have an extra blanket you don’t care about?” my friend asked, and I returned with a wooly afghan, thinking it was for warmth. He spread it across the window seat, and their Norwich terriers Homer and Clem instantly jumped up and made themselves at home.

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By: Ashleigh VanHouten

I don’t think anyone should be a slave to trends – we should all strive to surround ourselves with fashion and design that suits us, and makes us feel comfortable and happy and very much ourselves. BUT – isn’t it great when your own style preferences sync up with what the most fashionable people in the universe are creating?

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The art of letter writing

By: Ashleigh VanHouten

With quick communication just a click away — and Twitter, Facebook, and email ubiquitous — a hand-written letter is a rare and deeply personal gift. According to a recent USPS report, the average home received a personal letter just once every seven weeks in 2010; still, it’s hard to ignore that letter writing creates an experience for both writer and receiver that other forms of communication can’t match.

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By: Anne Martin

“Authentic egg foo young?” my Chinese friend repeated, brows raised. “It doesn’t exist. Egg foo young is an American invention and if it were a Chinese dish, it wouldn’t come with rice.”

Devouring Chinese take-out with my American neighbors, just home from their first trip to Shanghai, a group of us were discussing just how authentic we want our dining experiences to be.

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By: Ashleigh VanHouten

I don’t think there is anyone out there who doesn’t enjoy nature in some form or another. (Some more than others, of course; I went camping once and discovered it involved 100 percent too many spiders). Whether it’s a hiking hobby; eating lunch in that beautiful park near your work; enjoying a gorgeous oceanfront view during your hotel stay; enjoying a beautiful flower arrangement on your dining table; the list goes on. The point: the beauty of nature has much to offer us.

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Considering Normcore

By: Anne Martin

Much ado is being made about Normcore, the non-statement statement. Not trying too hard is in, while hipper-than-thou exclusion and wearing your favorite designer literally on your sleeve has gone the way of the wedge sneaker.

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