January 29, 2010

Favorite Freebie: Daughter of the Week

Many of you who know me,
already know my tricks of the trade 
when it comes to home management.


One of those tricks is
Daughter of the Week

it's easy
it's free
it works

This is the greatest invention since sliced bread.
You will solve most all of the worlds problems,
simply by

Daughter of the Week...
okay, Kid of the Week

(if you actually have sons...I don't, hence the "daughter" reference).
Feel free to coin whatever term you want and make it your own.

Initially we started Daughter of the Day,
however, Mommy couldn't keep track of what the rotation was.
This lead us to revise our plan to Daughter of the Week.
We decided as a group who to start with
(I think we chose the daughter who needed a boost in confidence that day and a few extra rewards)
then we rotated from there.
Easy. 1,2,3...if you didn't lose your privilege...
that was the order.

We began this fine tradition a million years ago,
when my darling daughters would argue
over who gets the bowl with the biggest ice cream scoop in it,
who gets to sit in which car seat on the way to the store,
who gets to pick the video before bedtime (yes, I said video, not DVD).
I did say a million years ago...

The girls would argue over every minute detail
at every juncture of the day (
at least it seemed that way to me).
With three daughters so very close in age I needed a remedy and fast.

My solution...
Daughter of the Week.

Here are the rules we try to follow...

1. This honor is a privilege earned not given.
Yes, being ugly to any member of your family
can get you demoted which is when your sister
get's DOW instead of you.
Oh, the nerve.

I think we've only relinquished it once due to loss of privilege...
that was all it took.

2. When in doubt,
DOW gets to make all final kid decisions
(video pick of the day,
first pick of the dessert being served,
which seat she wants to recline in the car...
and the clincher...
which chore she wants to do out of any three given...
see rule #3).

3. First Chore Chooser:
Hubs runs a tight ship around here
(pardon the pun, as he is a Naval Officer).
We like the house tidy,
while instilling a strong work ethic around here.
We believe in daily chores
(bed made each morning,
tidy up room before the end of the day, etc).
But one thing DOW gets to take full
advantage of are the daily kitchen duties.
We usually divide all household chores
into divisions of three,
for obvious reasons.

For example: dishwasher division:
top rack,
bottom rack
and finally
silverware tray.

You will see DOW meander over and leisurely
pick which section of the dishwasher she will put away.
She knows she holds the power of first choice.
Of course she bases her decision on
which section has the least amount of dishes to actually put away.
This all done while my other two daughters
wait on bated breath to pick in succession
(as now we have a second Daughter of the week getting second pick,
and third Daughter of the week with the final pick).
And let me tell you, they know the order and keep track!

We do this same concept
with the duties surrounding dinner:

1. set table

2. clear table (after dinner),
stack dishes and wipe counters

3. load dishwasher
and wash pots/pans.

Can you guess which DOW chooses for the week?
You got it...set.
It is the coveted task,
the grand daddy and the ultimate "easy" chore.
This is another privilege of DOW.

Again, a win win.

Another perk of being DOW,
is getting in the coveted Mommy-Daddy
sandwich for our nightly TV time in bed.
This is something we call

This happens nightly, like clockwork.
our family down time before lights out
 This usually lasts at least one
 half-hour show

DOW gets to pick the show.
Oh, the joys of being DOW.

This way of creating house harmony works for us.
DOW has many privileges integrated into its conception.
Discover how this can work in your home, too.
It's a great way to stop unnecessary arguments
and who doesn't love to be Daughter of the Week...
Brookes Style.

Who's your daughter of the week?

January 28, 2010

Double Design

eric roth


desire to inspire


If you haven't seen the trend yet, either in my postings or out and about, you will notice a lot of double design.

I personally love flanking things in any room. It's easy to just duplicate your favorite look on the other side of the wall, a ledge or even on a shelf.

Here are some examples in my home: double mirrors, double lamps, top of the hutch

It's a simple look.

It's clean.

And it's appealing.

Try it and let me know what you have done in your space to create a double design...

January 23, 2010

Wall Art Without Hanging a Thing

McGill Design

Michael Partenio
(My personal favorite double leaning mirror)


Nacho Polo


After seeing all the leaning mirror inspirations, especially Michael Partenio's living room design, I reworked my own dining room space.

I am really excited about the overall look.

Thought you'd appreciate a picture in my own house of the ideas I put out in blog land.


Tatum's mini room makeover

My daughter, Tatum, is in her very own room now and loving the new found independence. This comes after sharing a room with her identical twin sister for the past 11 years.

However, making "her" room "her" was another challenge. It had no pizazz, no style. It just wasn't Tatum.

So while my 6th grader was at school, I took one quick trip to Target and voila! New room for Tatum. She had no idea what Mommy was up to...

She came home from school, dumped her stuff on the kitchen floor when I gently reminded her to take all her junk up to her own room. Little did she know what she was walking into. After I heard her scream I knew she loved it.

That and the fact that her other sisters want to know when their makeovers are.
I love it.

I have plans for them, too.

Stay tuned...

January 21, 2010

The Vernon Panton S Chair

Megan Morton



Marie Claire Maison

apartment therapy

Much like the Louis Ghost Chair, this Vernon Panton S Chair is another icon furniture classic.

For you? Not sure, but no one can deny its fun factor. Who doesn't love a splash of color? Plastic, single formed, shiny and different? As you decorate your home with individuality and style consider adding a fun spot of color with this iconic chair.

Believe it or not, you can even find this beauty at Bed, Bath & Beyond for an affordable price.

Let me know your thoughts....

Favorite Freebie...The Public Library

As most of you know me, you know that I love to stretch the old greenback like no other.
I think it might be a secret life challenge of mine to see
how far I can actually stretch it.

I have decided to incorporate my Favorite Freebie of the Week in this blog.
These are the things that help me stretch my dollar,
ground me and ultimately get me back to basics.
Some of these ideas or tips you may already do, some maybe not.
It is my challenge for you to explore these Freebies
and decide if they will work for you, too.


Is it the school teacher in me? Is it the lover of books in me? Who knows.

All I do know is that I have the fondest memories of my mother dropping off at the Public Library as a kid during those long summers and parking myself on the over sized, leather baseball mitt-chair and cuddling up for hours with my pile of books. That might be why I went into teaching to begin with. That or that fact that I love the smell of a new book. Anyone else out there love the smell of a new book? Is that weird? I know Kelly Christensen would agree with me. She was also there next to me in that Chula Vista Public Library with her own stack of books waiting for her turn to sit in the over sized, leather baseball mitt-chair.

I just finished the book The Help, by Kathryn Stockett.

Highly recommend this book for any readers out there. Don't get me started about finding a book club...more on that later.

I hope you utilize your local library. It's usually nearby.
It's a great tool.
And it's FREE!

I heard that reading even might make you smarter. Imagine that.

Your assignment this week...go to your local library and check it out (pardon the pun).
I'd love to hear what some of your favorite reads are. Leave me a comment.

January 20, 2010

The Age of Technology

Kathryn's Loft Life

Apartment Therapy

Apartment Therapy

Palm Springs Zaitz House

I'm not sure if my family is the only one out there behind on the times when it comes to updating their home entertainment. Maybe because I have no teenage boys wanting the latest and greatest to play the most recent game with. Maybe because I like the "retro" look that only that big, old, heavy TV can offer. Maybe because I am too cheap to replace a TV that works perfectly fine and buying another just to update goes against my "use what you have" nature.

Regardless to say, our family is breaking into the new era and getting not one but two flat screen TVs. Okay, to be honest, our new pad actually has two flat screen TV mounts waiting for the appropriate flat screen to hang from. Our old TV's have no place next to a flat screen mount.

It is time.

So a new challenge arises. Where to put the cable box and other electronics underneath the TV? Because we NOW have wall mounts we are now left to purchase some type of console, cabinet or shelf for under the TV for other electronics.

My idea is to get wall shelves: neat, clean and sleek. Not going to work in my space...there is a big hole with wires coming out...now I need to hide that. I need a piece of furniture.

Would love ideas or thoughts on the new dilemma on our plate. I am leaning toward the Apartment Therapy looks...

January 18, 2010

See Through...






Living in smaller spaces makes you really think about what you bring in the home. I love how glass tables and desks open up the space. Whether it is a coffee table, a dining table or a work desk, bringing in a glass table opens up your room without looking like you gave up space.

Finding the right one, is the challenge. On a recent trip to Ikea I noticed they offer quite a few glass top desks. You pick the legs, then you pick your table top. They actually had more than a few desirable choices.

Place your glass top table on top of your animal hide and forget it! Voila!

January 15, 2010

Call Me Crazy

maybe these aren't antlers, but wood? Still like it...

skona hem

Found on another great website Pink Wallpaper

found this great image from one of my all time favorite sites,
desire to inspire

hooked on houses

Have you guessed it by now? Yes, antlers.

For some reason I am intrigued and inspired by the occasional antlers places in any sharp interior space.


Yes, I know.

But when you look at a great space with unique, three-dimensional antlers ever so cleverly place...you secretly want that look. Right?

Or is it just me?

Could you ever see yourself with an antler light fixture? Okay, maybe just antler candle holders placed just so on your coffee table? Or a whole steer head making it's presence above your bed?

Would love your thoughts...

Simple, Square and Stylish




square appetizer plates from crate and barrel

I am in love with the pure simplicity of square, white dishes. I have a set of 12 that I recently purchased at my not so favorite discount store, Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart doesn't always have the most harmonious atmosphere but it does have great prices, if you can find what you are looking for.

You can have a clean color palette using white dishes and bring in accent colors as you wish. I personally like to use my grandmother's teak wooden chargers as an added texture with the white plates (monogrammed place setting). I have also used different metals on the table. I will bring in pewter serving dishes while keeping the dishes white and simple.

Such a clean look you will not soon tire of.

January 13, 2010

Zebra anyone?

Yes, you can. Yes, you can have an animal hide in your living space. Didn't think of it before? Well now you need to pick your print and go for it. Whether it be zebra, cow hide, cheetah or tiger...nothing looks better than a splash of the wild side.

I love zebra. I have a zebra hide in my family room (it's really a dyed cow hide for all your activists out there). Yes, my darling husband thought I was crazy but I think he actually has grown to like our zebra in the family room.

If you check out my white, white, everywhere post from 1/5/2010 you will see my own personal zebra hide right under my coffee table.

I'd love to know which hide you would pick...

January 12, 2010

Louis Ghost Chair

I am in love with a touch of modern. I stumbled upon this unique chair, the Louis Ghost Chair, and knew immediately this chair was meant for me. I'm not sure when but it will be in my future...

I've seen these chairs placed in rooms, in corners and at tables as a perfect modern accessory. I wouldn't say my style is modern, more a mix of slipcovers, ebony stains with a dash of modern touches.

I actually think two of these would be the perfect addition to end my dining room table with.

Could you ever see one of these bad boys in your house? Propped in a corner? Flanking an occasional table? Welcoming you in the foyer?

Would love to hear your comments...