Slow Parenting

 

Summer has officially ended.  With the start of school this week, our calendar is quickly filling up with volunteering obligations, after school activities and doctor appointments.  While I enjoyed  our  non-scheduled summer, I must confess experiencing a moment of panic a few days ago.  This happened as I was learning all about the amazing camps my children’s friends attended this summer.  Our children didn’t go to any!  Granted we did travel up and down the New England coast during July, but for the rest of the summer we stayed pretty local and took each day as it came.  We camped out some, hiked some, we ventured into the city some, went swimming some and entertained friends some.  Some days we just stayed home and enjoyed being lazy. Granted, my work allows for a flexible schedule, but l still prefer to keep our days as free of routine as I do during the school year.  I limit sports and other activities to the degree that the kids don’t feel over-scheduled and I am not running/driving around like a harried maniac.  At times, I wonder if my “slow it down” approach to parenting is inhibiting my kids’ experiences, and whether they are able to keep up socially and physically with the children that are involved in more activities.  I guess time will tell.

Managing time and maintaining a feasible routine no matter how many children in one’s family, can be challenging and difficult for any parent.  How much is too much and how little is too little.  I would love to hear how other parents handle the demands of a “routined world”.

This could be the beginning of an interesting dialogue, don’t you think?

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Lately I’ve been loving the look of round mirrors.  So much so, that I just ordered one for the kids’ bathroom.  The soft curves of the reflecting glass soften a space while expanding it.  Take a look at a few examples on how the circular shape can make any wall look more interesting:

mirror

Stay tuned to see how a new round mirror transforms our children’s bathroom!

Images: 1./2./3./4./5./6./7.

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While camping in Mendocino’s  Russian Gulch a few weeks ago, we prepared a meal loosely based on Bacalhau a Gomes de Sa, a Portuguese salt cod dish.   Combining some of my favorite ingredients: olives, eggs and potatoes, this dish brings together the substantial savory flavors one craves while out in the fresh forest air.  By preparing a few of the key elements beforehand, one can enjoy this delicious recipe campside.  Ingredients and instructions below:

Ingredients:

Halibut, kalamata olives, capers, fingerling potatoes, hard boiled eggs, olive oil, parsley, lemon, salt and pepper.

Instructions:

Before leaving for your camping trip hard boil 3-5 eggs and 5-6 potatoes (do not overcook).  In a cast iron skillet,  season the fish with olive oil, salt, pepper and a bit of lemon.  Add the kalamata olives, capers and diced potatoes.  Cook over the fire until the fish becomes flaky and remove the pan from the heat.  Peel the hardboiled eggs, dice and add to the skillet.  Garnish with lots of parsley and drizzle with freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

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Congratulations, Patricia,  you are the winner of a Stitch And Made travel bag!!   Please email your postal address to debra@cocoonhome.com so we can ship it to you.***

Many thanks to Sadiero of Stitch and Made for contributing to this week’s reader giveaway and to all who entered our contest.

*** The winner has two weeks to claim his/her prize (from 8/22/14) by contacting Cocoon Home Blog via email.  Another entry will be drawn if the winner does not contact us within that time frame.

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Lately I’ve been flooding my Instagram feed with images of the flora surrounding me.  Whether in my garden or while I’m out and about, I find botanical inspiration pretty much everywhere.  It could be in a dahlia color, the texture of a cactus or in the contrast of a particular plant grouping.  Take a look at a few recent favorites of mine and start noticing the flora around YOU.  Nature will reward you.

 

Follow my Instagram feed here for daily Botanical Inspirations. 

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Layered Neutrals: Part 2

August 20, 2014

I recently had the opportunity to visit clients who recently welcomed their second child.  After a brief hiatus from working on their home, I stopped by to stylize their living room with a couple of plants, several patterned pillows and a comfy throw.  Seeing how the space emerged from the virtual room inspiration (below) into real life was quite rewarding.  As life settles down for the growing family more personal touches will be added, but for now they have the foundation for an inviting living area to read, play and watch TV.  Many congratulations SH and JH on your adorable new arrival.

These are the key pieces that make up the room.

1.  EQ3′s Mañana Floor Lamp    2.  Williams and Sonoma Herringbone Flamestitch Rug 3.  West Elm’s Paneled Armoire  4.  Suite NY’s Friday Lounger 5.  Room and Board’s Tyne Round Coffee Table and 6.  the Mota Wedge Sectional from Viesso.

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While in LA recently, I caught up with my friend Sadiero of Stitch And Made.  Ever since I’ve known him (for quite some time now),  he’s had an entrepreneurial spirit, a keen sense of style and the patience and know-how to sew well.  In 2013 he started Stitch And Made, a handcrafted handbag company that specializes in turning repurposed denim, leather jackets and other previously owned materials into fashion custom bags.  A while back he gave me a clutch made from an vintage leather jacket as a gift.   Utilizing industrial-strength zippers, accent colors and his signature clip, he created a sturdy and functional handbag that complements my entire wardrobe.  I’ve since purchased the Small Dopp Gadget Bag for Alex.  It is custom lined with water resistant fabric so it’s perfect for his toiletries and he just loves it.

Take a look at the Stitch And Made bags Alex and I own and find out how you can win one of your very own below:

Sadiero has been kind enough to offer 1 Cocoon Home Blog reader a Stitch And Made Travel Bag that’s perfect for storing cords, chargers and/or beauty products.  Enter to win by doing 2 of the following:

1.  Follow Stitch And Made on Instagram. 

2.  “Like” Cocoon Home’s Facebook page here (if  you haven’t already).

3.  Leave a comment below on how you would use a Stitch And Made handbag.

Contest ends Wednesday August 20th at midnight EST.  Winner will be announced on Friday August 22nd.  Good luck!!

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At this time last weekend, we were camping in Mendocino at a spot called Russian Gulch.  Together with Alex’s cousin and aunt we explored a small part of northern Cali’s majestic seacoast.  This particular area is made uniquely beautiful by the Frederick W. Panhorst bridge, which frames the shoreline creating a dramatic introduction to a secluded beach.  Once there, our twin boys and Loki (our free spirited dog) ran amok, while Zoe’s sole intent was to build a mini rock and seaweed village.  We did some kayaking around the rocky ledges among the giant seaweed and were rewarded with the most amazing views.  Moments such as these, i.e.:  away from home routines, disconnected from work and technology, are both craved and treasured by us as a family.  Here’s to another weekend of exploration and escape. Hope you all have a great one, too!

Soon I’ll share one of the amazing meals we prepared over the campfire at Russian Gulch.  Seriously, if you want to eat well while roughing it, camp out with us.

Many thanks to VK for sharing one of her most favorite camping spots with this wild bunch!

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When it comes to color, my preferences are most often earthy tones.  I like them best layered with patterns and mixed textures, but as of late I also find nature inspired colors very appealing.  When combined with  leather, metal and modern furnishings the statement that these hues provide is right up my stylist alley.  Here are a few examples of my type of colorful interiors where the application and hue are perfectly suited for each other.  From furnishings, floor to ceiling walls, to trims and ceilings, the refined use of color can make a big impact on your space.  Take a look:

Are you a lover of color?  If so, is it all out there or tamed like mine?

For more color inspirations follow my “For Color Inspiration” Pinboard here.  For color consultations and advice please contact me at debra@cocoonhome.com

Images:  1./2./3./4./5./6./7./8./9.

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DIY: A Sea Catcher

August 12, 2014

While camping in Mendocino over the past weekend (more on that adventure later), we collected driftwood and dried seaweed to add to our seaside mementos.  The foraged shore finds found themselves in box where I recently threw in some vintage buttons, chandelier crystals and a mix of feathers.  Together they all looked so pretty that the kids and I decided to make something with them, and voila, the “Sea Catcher” was born.  Using twine, leather cording, a little glue and my drill we simply arranged the collection and attached a few of our other favorites.  Take a look:

This Sea Catcher was made of Maine driftwood, dried Mendocino seaweed, vintage buttons and glass crystals from a chandelier we used to own.  All remind us of beautiful places and happy times.  Can’t wait to see how our next one comes together…

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