Thursday, September 18, 2014

Hi Thursday, so nice to see you again. 

Speaking of, (what?) taking us out this week is the lovely work of Catherine Kwong Design, whose portfolio oscillates between effortless elegance and carefully executed glamour. Perhaps both characteristics are evident in the space down yonder–the designer’s own digs (minus the first shots of the closet space; details).

Do enjoy yourselves the tour, captured by the lens of Bess Friday, who gets my vote based on her name alone.  

Closet and office in one--fit for a fashion blogger.


Closet and office in one--fit for a fashion blogger. Beautiful styling by Catherine Kwong Design Beautiful styling by Catherine Kwong Design Elegant and well designed narrow kitchen with farmhouse sink.  beautifully designed living area with linen sofa, velvet pillows, and rustic coffee table. Sculptural firewood container stores logs and adds a fantastic rustic vibe to this space. beautifully designed living area with linen sofa, velvet pillows, and rustic coffee table.

beautifully elegant bedroom design beautiful open tread staircase that filters down light from sky lights.

Lovely, isn’t it?

In conclusion, might I please remind you to wash your hands with all the fervor of…a compulsive hand washer (no judgment, I sort of am one). And while I’m at it, I’ll remind you too that this life is all there is, so spread that joy, Live that Simply, and control your damn germs thanks bye.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

I don’t know about your neck of the woods, but here in Seattle the September has done little in the way of diminishing the fruit flies. Especially given the fact that Seattleites as a societal sect are big fans of composting; the fruit flies are still happily flitting through the air like little brown twinkle lights, except, you know, without any of the twinkle and with all the disgust of a hoard of tiny flies infiltrating your every food source.

Fruit flies have one skill: being able to detect fruits and veggies from great distances. Their tiny size allows them to creep in through window screens, window and door frames, and more. Evidently, they can also travel by way of the produce you bring home from the grocery store. Other relevant (and grotesque) facts: fruit flies lay eggs on the skin of ripe or fermenting fruits and veggies, and they can go from egg to adult in eight days. (If you want to know more and likely make yourself vom, check out the article I used as my source).

I recently read a tweet that said, “That’s it, I’m ready to just start naming the fruit flies and calling them housepets.”

I reserve the use of obnoxious colloquials for only the times they are truly warranted, and in response to said tweet I would say, “Right?!”

Are you as fed up with fruit flies as I am? Enlist these tips ASAP!

Okay, so here’s how to ditch the things. (Do it for my sake, at least? They really gross me out, okay?)

1. Clean 

There are more stray food bits spattered around your kitchen than you realize, but unfortunately for you, the fruit flies do. Your first line of defense is to deep clean your kitchen. Wipe down all surfaces, including cabinet doors, the stove, and countertops. Clean the sink thoroughly, making sure to clean around the drain itself, which can be a breeding ground (I barely managed to type that out) for fruit flies.

2. Do the dishes immediately 

If you’re on the quest to quash fruit flies, delaying washing dirty dishes is a big time no-no. (Ha! That’s the case anyways!) The food remnants on used dishes act as a siren song to fruit flies and will set back your extermination process considerably.

Didn’t you mention you’ve been wanting to get more disciplined about doing your dishes? Hey, you’re so welcome! 

Are you as fed up with fruit flies as I am? Enlist these tips ASAP!

3. About that trash

Throwing food away in the trash can is like creating a feast for the flies and then sending them formal dinner invitations to boot.

Instead, utilize your garbage disposal or compost bin. Also, be sure to take out the trash regularly (and possibly daily if the situation is really dire).

4. And about that compost bin

If you choose to keep your compost bin inside, then you must be diligent about taking it out daily. You can also move the collection bin outside, and immediately deposit your compost into it.

Are you as fed up with fruit flies as I am? Enlist these tips ASAP!

5. Protect the produce

Any produce you have stored on the counter or in the pantry should be covered. If your produce is in a basket or bowl, you can easily employ a plate, a pan lid, a painting board or other such items as a lid. You can also try transferring produce stored at room temperature into a closed paper bag, or if it won’t be too harmful to the produce, store them in the refrigerator.

Are you as fed up with fruit flies as I am? Enlist these tips ASAP!

6. Don’t forget the sponges, dishtowels, mops and more

These can all be fertile breeding environments for fruit flies. Wash dishtowels regularly, discard very soiled sponges and mops, and be sure to sufficiently clean all rags and sponges. This is so gross. 

Are you as fed up with fruit flies as I am? Enlist these tips ASAP!

7. Make a trap

Once you’ve done all you can to establish an unappealing home for fruit flies, it’s time for some offensive measures. There are a variety of traps you can make using household items, and this one has proven effective for me.

What you’ll need:

- Distilled apple cider vinegar

- Dish detergent

- Plastic wrap

- A bowl, jar or cup,

- An instrument for pricking holes

Are you as fed up with fruit flies as I am? Enlist these tips ASAP!

Pour a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into the vessel of your choosing. This is your bait, as fruit flies love the stuff.

Are you as fed up with fruit flies as I am? Enlist these tips ASAP!

Next, pour a few drops of dish detergent into the vinegar. This breaks the surface tension and makes the flies drown.

Are you as fed up with fruit flies as I am? Enlist these tips ASAP!

Cover the cup or bowl with plastic wrap, and then poke holes using fork tines, an awl, or just a pin.

Are you as fed up with fruit flies as I am? Enlist these tips ASAP!

Then, set out your trap and watch those flies dwindle.

Good luck, and be sure to leave any tricks you’ve found useful in taming the flies in the comments below!

First image credit: Photography by Boo George, Model: Alessandra Ambrosio; “Call A Wave.” LOVE magazine, F/W 2012.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The school year is officially underway, and what’s also official is that if you don’t solidify a plan for managing all your kid’s artwork, you and your home are going to be drowning in paper creations faster than you can say “first bell.”

For the time being, don’t worry about artwork of years past that may not be as organized you’d like (read: a hot mess). Start with what’s incoming now, get a system in place, and we’ll deal with the backlog come winter break.

Holy organization! This post makes organizing and storing kid's artwork easier than you'd ever think it could be!

Hey mom, look what I made!  

First things first: you (or they) will want to display whatever creations are hot off the press. Your display system will not serve you if it is myopic in its design; to be successful, it needs to acknowledge there is going to be a tireless production line where that first piece came from. It needs to be a flexible, transitional display system that allows for easy swapping in and out. 

LS RECS: Scotch Display Frame // Stainless steel magnetic clips // Art Cabinet

Hey mom, look; I made so much more!

For seconds, you need to have discipline when it comes to cataloging and archiving children’s artwork. You should be collecting any artwork that gets retired from your display in one place. And, here’s the key, you need to establish a regular occasion for processing all those collected works.

Commit to a regular schedule of sitting down with your children and selecting one or two favorites from the whole bunch which you plan to save for the long haul. (Tip: this task is a whole let less daunting if you do it more frequently than once per school year!) 

It’s more than appropriate to get children’s input on this; it will not only be more meaningful in the future for kids to look back on the artwork they considered their best, but it will also alleviate all that parental guilt that otherwise can comes with trashing your babe’s babies.  

LS RECS: My Art Portfolio // Paper storage case // Handled portfolio

Hey mom, what are you doing with all this stuff I’m making anyways?

Your final step is to move those championing works of art into your long-term storage system. This is your chance to label them with age/grade/date and outfit them in a system that’s designed to last the test of time. 

LS RECS: Watertight portable file tote // Hanging file folders // Watertight tote

Note: another perfectly wonderful alternative is to go the virtual storage route; there are plenty of apps and websites that assist you in digitalizing, miniaturizing, and generally condensing children’s artwork and to those of you interested in pursuing such a route I say huzzah! 

Real talk time homies.

A word to the wise: you really aren’t helping anyone if you’re amassing bin after bin of artwork. Truly, you’re not. I know that by holding onto artwork you’re holding onto their childhood in some way, and I know you’re counting on the fact that they’ll want to see what they made as children later on in life. And both of these things are still possible if you keep just a few pieces. Just a few to peruse through at a later date. Just a few to pass on to grown children so that you won’t be burdening them. Just. A. Few. Got it?