During our stay in Cambridge this summer, I had the chance to catch up with my photographer friend Kristen of Kristen Joy Emack Photography. Having always admired her personal style of portrait photography, I asked Kristen to take pictures of our family. She accepted and invited us to a spot that she chose very carefully. Her ease with the lens and the people in front of it shows through the realness of her approach to photography. Here are a few images from our morning session with Kristen. I’m so pleased with the results.
Over the summer, Kristen was named best photographer by Scout Cambridge Magazine. To see more of Kristen’s work check out her website here.
Thank you Kristen for capturing the essence of our family.
I’ve admired this cactus from my car window for some time. Yesterday, I finally decided to stop and take a closer look. With many years behind it, there are signs of times when it struggled to grow and also of times when growth seemed effortless. I was taken by the strength of its massive trunk, the calluses on some paddles and the vibrant green of others. This week has been a bit challenging both personally and professionally. My children are fully engrossed in school and I miss them. Work seems stagnant. We’ve all caught colds, and I feel distant from family. Getting up close to this cactus made me realize that there are ebbs and flows in everything we do and that patience, faith and forgiveness are vital to us all.
This weekend I’m taking note of where I am and what I need to address without forgetting who I am and what’s most important in my life.
Here’s to a weekend of accepting life’s ebbs and flows…
For the past year, I’ve been working with a Boston couple on a Beacon Hill apartment renovation. Despite the cross-country distance between us things have been progressing very well. When we first met to discuss the project last summer, we shared our expectations and ideas for their amazing space. We also interviewed and hired a contractor, who not long afterwards, began gutting the entire place. Since then, the ceilings were raised, the floors replaced, paint colors and wall treatments were decided upon and a totally redesigned kitchen was taking shape. The rebuild was completed in June and my clients have officially moved in. During my summer trip back East, I spent time with them working on furnishings, accessories and rug selections. Although a few things are still needed to complete the space, I wanted to share our progress thus far. I would like to start by showing their brand new study. Stay tuned for more room reveals and further updates on how a house becomes a home.
Thank you AK and BD for giving Cocoon Home Design the opportunity to work with you on your new home. It’s been quite an exciting collaboration.
Room Inspiration Sources:
Blue Velvet Sofa: Restoration Hardware
Milo Baughman 1188 Bronze Chair: Design Within Reach
“Michener Blue” Rug: Horchow
Achive Marrakesh Pouf: Clayton Grayhome
French Partner’s Desk: Restoration Hardware
Swing Arm Wall Light: Shades Of Light
Last week, Natalia and I ventured to the San Francisco Flower Market for a much needed botanical inspiration. While she checked out seasonal pods and interesting objects for her Pod Art, I became immersed in the rich colors of the Dahlias that are ever so bountiful this time of year. Although I’m most often attracted to foliage plants, I couldn’t resist the deep burgundy hue of this season’s petalled beauties. After selecting a perfect sampling of them, I added some sedum, eucalyptus branches and weeping celosia to create a weekend arrangement for our home. There’s something deliciously self-indulgent about creating something beautiful for oneself, and that’s precisely why I highly recommend you try it. Here’s how:
With the upcoming change of seasons, I’ve been eyeing a few fashion items for my Fall repertoire. Not in need of much, I thought a new handbag would update my wardrobe nicely, perhaps a cozy sweater in an unexpected color, a scarf or two for cooler temperatures, a pencil leather skirt and, of course, a new pair of boots. Wedges seem to be all the rage these days…
What’s your approach to dressing for the cooler days and nights ahead? Is it an all-out shopping spree credit cards in hand or is it focused on a few key pieces that transition well from season to season?
I have a new [shared] Pinterest Board titled “What To Wear”. Let’s get started pinning and sharing our favorite Fall fashion looks. Can’t wait to see your pins!!
Round Necked Knit Sweater, Rainlight Cashmere Scarf, Matisse East Booties, Faux Leather Skirt, and the Big Buddha ‘Grayson’ Hobo
Before the last long weekend of the summer comes to an end, I’d like to share with you the avocado, beet and cucumber salad I’ve been obsessed with lately. Combining salty cucumbers, boiled golden beets and firm avocados with a bit of fresh mint, this salad transitions perfectly from this season to the next. Ingredients and instructions below.
Golden beets, California avocados, Persian cucumbers, mint, salt, pepper, olive oil and seasoned rice vinegar.
Chop the cucumbers (peeled or not), salt and let stand while you prepare the remaining ingredients. Trim the stems and leaves off the beets and boil till they’re just slightly soft. Run the beets under cool water and peel. Once the beets are completely cooled, dice them and put in a salad bowl. Add cucumbers and diced avocados. Sprinkle in some fresh mint leaves. Season with olive oil, rice vinegar, salt and pepper.
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?
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:
Stay tuned to see how a new round mirror transforms our children’s bathroom!
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:
Halibut, kalamata olives, capers, fingerling potatoes, hard boiled eggs, olive oil, parsley, lemon, salt and pepper.
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.
Congratulations, Patricia, you are the winner of a Stitch And Made travel bag!! Please email your postal address to email@example.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.