May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day

Memorial Day
is a day to remember all the people who have served
- and are serving -
in the armed forces;
our surviving veterans;
and to honor those who died in wars.

To my grandfather George Harrison Doolittle
To my father in law Edward Brookes
To my brother Michael Filson
To my husband Michael Brookes
and the countless others we know and those we don't,
making great sacrifices serving their country

Our Family thanks you.

May 26, 2010

25 Things To Do This Summer 2010

Things we will try to tackle this summer:

(*note: I'm not used to 3 months off for summer...I just came from year-round school system
where 6 weeks was pretty much all you got. This much time off is a bit new to me)

1. Explore more DC Museums
(indoor ones..hear the humidity is a killer around here)

2. Get the snow cone maker down from the top shelf
and buy some fun flavors to go with it

3. Wii Family Smack Down

4. Use the Ice Cream maker that we've owned for 2 years now
and have yet to use

5. Take a ton of pictures while at
isney World

(Never been before!)

6. Cook dinner on the grill

7. Pump up the bicycle tires and
cycle to the District
on the W&OD trail
with lunch in our backpacks.

8. Try out new recipes with what is fresh, organic and in-season

8. Take advantage of having one-on-one time with Missy
while her sisters are at Girl Scout Camp.

9. Visit the Library regularly

10. Dare I say,
spend a weekend in New York

11. Check out Great Falls Park in the summer

12. Write in my thankful Journal

13. Read more books than my book club requires

14. Watch World Cup Soccer

15. Have a family sleepover
in the basement

16. Hit King's Dominion

17. Take a self defense
course with my daughters

18. Make Root Beer Floats

19. Plan our family vacation
for NEXT summer

20. Bathe the dog
and paint his toes nails summer shades

21. Let Daughter Of The Week
make dinner for the family
(while her sisters take care of clean-up)

22. Get the girls CPR certified

23. Find a new hiking trail and tackle it

24. Celebrate
my two new 7th graders and brand new high schooler!

(Buy new school tee shirts!)

25. Count my blessings!

Would love to hear what is on YOUR summer to do list...
As always thanks for visiting.

(I "borrowed" this blog post idea from the award winning
WHATEVER blog. Please's worth it)

Concrete Countertops...More Green Options

Here's another green option...



Not for everyone, I know.
Tell me what you think...

Next stop, concrete flooring...

As always, thanks for visiting

May 19, 2010

Live to be 100!

I'm always looking for healthy habits to incorporate into my life.

Here are a few tips to
living a long and healthy life...

1. Look on the bright side:
“Life is 10% what happens to us, 90% how we DEAL with what happens to us”.
Having a positive outlook reduces stress

2. Get lots of sleep:
Make it a habit to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night.
Studies show there are long term health benefits to this simple solution.

3. Maintain close relationships:

Whether it is your spouse or a close friend. Make those connections. These relationships extend your life and add quality to it, keeping stress down and blood pressure in check.

4. Be a giver:

Those who consistently give their time to their community live longer and healthier lives.

5. Go to Church:
People who regularly attend church, synagogue or temple will get an extra 7 years to their life.

You may already have all these down.
You may have most...

Here are also a few honorable mentions:

Ladies, get your mammograms yearly after 40...

If you are over 50, get your colonoscopy...

Don't smoke...

Drink a glass of red wine nightly...


What are ways YOU will live to be 100?
Love your comments...

May 17, 2010

Subways in the Kitchen

Looking to redo?
Buy new?
Simple, clean and timeless...

My personal favorite kitchen look is the
sophisticated, sleek and chic look of


Take a look at these beauties and let me know what you think...

Glass subway tiles in the kitchen...perfect amount of color
to accent the already neutral palette.

So bright and airy

love the contrasting cabinetry color with the marble counter tops.
Highlighted all by the subway tiled back splash...lovely

Another subtle hint of color with these sleek glass subway tiles

Love the open shelving...couples with white hot beveled tiles.

Love the white on white on white
Don't forget to check out that ceiling

For an urban look, stainless and neutral elongated subway tiles...
glass front cabinetry. Very handsome.

One of my favorite looks...
How about you?

As always thanks for visiting...

May 13, 2010

xJavierx's Photostream on Flickr

Stumbled upon some great photos on Flickr


Used a few before, but now
I'm thinking this guy might need his own blog post

What do you think?

Today's topic:


Love this open living room

Gray kitchen cabs...bold

Gray furnishings, yellow/gold accents

Hip striped nook with a double the double table.

Gray Living room

Gotta love a little symmetry

Turquoise and blue

blue accents, neutral gray larger calming

Light and airy, cool and crisp

Well? What did you think?
As always, thanks for visiting...

May 11, 2010

Lighter and Brighter for Spring

Accessorizing with the Seasons...

Whether you change the color of your bedding,
swap out throw blankets and pillows, or simply change our your flower boxes,
we all seem to want a different "view" depending on the season.

Taking off from this post, on one of my favorite blogs,
peardownliving, I noticed the same need to change things up with the season.

Here is my living room
as we entered the winter season...

With the sun, came out the brighter colors of spring...

Notice the dark throw over the ottoman,
as well as the black & White accent pillows?

Below we have one of my favorite accent colors, lime green,
...hard to miss the presence of spring.

Favorite reading spot...

Tell me what you do to welcome the seasons?

Hanging flower baskets
, as seen in this local San Diego blog?

I'd love to hear about YOUR touches for spring.

As always, thanks for visiting

May 7, 2010


Today is my girls birthday

This was the fashion show she did for me and grandma last summer

Grandma and I played scrabble

She modeled my clothes

This is when I knew my baby girl was growing up on me

She is turning into one smart cookie

She is beautiful inside and out

Her dad and I are very proud of who she is becoming

I don't like how fast it is going

I want it to slow down

I know it won't

She still likes crafting just like her aunt heather

She is learning to cook...and bake...and be a runner

She is excited about starting high school next year

It's going way too fast

May 6, 2010

Favorite Freebie...Being Gracious

This is one I'm constantly working on


I have realized at my 40 plus years,
to live this
you will be rewarded many times over.

Here is what I know brings happiness:

1. Be slow to take credit...
quick to give praise

(who doesn't love the humble achiever?)

2. Thank those in your life, often.

(This is true for the grocery clerk or for your most loved ones,
put it in writing and it is even more home hitting)

3. Being gracious does not monopolize conversation.
(It's always nice to hear what others have to offer)

4. Pay attention to people
(People like to be "heard". It makes them feel important)

5. Be mindful of what comes out of your mouth...

(Think before you speak...I work on this daily and fail often)

6. Point out the good

(Even with the most difficult chapters in life, you can always find the good )

7. Have Positive Energy
(be the person people enjoy being around)

I pray to be this person daily.

I don't always succeed.

How are YOU GRACIOUS in your life?
Would love to hear how you do this...

As always, thanks for visiting.

*for more on tips on being a gracious person try this link

May 5, 2010

GREEN architecture

After yesterday's GREEN post,
it seem only fitting to include some


for today's post.

Twin houses found in La Jolla, California
(one is still owned and occupied by the Architect himself)

With lots of decking and seascapes over looking the Pacific Ocean,
what could be better?

How is that for an airy kitchen?

The view goes through and through,
front yard to back yard

Green is the wave of the future.
In products, lifestyle and yes, even architecture.

Hope you enjoyed the view.

As always, thanks for visiting.

*For more information, check out Dwell online.

May 4, 2010

Go Green and Save Money

TOP 5 Ways YOU Go Green
(And Save Money In The Process)

Don't worry, I want to hear from you, too!
I'm going to ask you to send me your TOP FIVE...

but for now here are my top 5:

1. I know you've heard about turning off lights when they are not in use...
I will ask you to go one step further.

UNPLUG all outlets in EVERY room you DO NOT use daily.

That is right, the coffee grinder that you only use once a week (unplug it!)
How about the lamp in the corner of the guest room that no one uses until Grandma and Grandpa come to visit (unplug it!)

You will be amazed at the savings from this tiny tip.
I was so excited when I got my electric bill after doing this, I even went BACK around the house to make sure I didn't miss any plugs.
Don't forget the garage and back yard.
It works!

2. Shop at consignment shops, thrift stores or
second hand apparel shops.

Not only are you re-using goods, you are also saving money.
Things are never full price when they are "gently used".

Don't forget about Ebay, Craigslist and Garage Sales?

**For an added bonus, list/sell your OWN items
and put some green backs in
your wallet and do good for the environment.

I recently took my three daughters to a new found second hand clothing store.
We scored.
New clothes for everyone, name brands and a fraction of the cost.
The girls were thrilled and can't wait to go back for more loot.

3. You've seen me post this before:


Rather than purchase new books,
simply check them out at your tried and true, local library.
If they don't have what you are looking for,
put your name on the waiting list or request that particular book.
They'll let you know when it's in!

4. This is an easy one...


You already know these suckers are filling up our land fills and are a complete waste of money.

Purchase a inexpensive reusable, refillable water bottle and buy a Brita!

Refill your water and be on your way...

5. Finally,

It is very appealing and easy to simply collect your cans, bottles
and milk jugs for your curbside recycling.

You can actually look up the location of your local recycle collection center and
YOU will be the one walking away with the cash.

My daughters and I decided to make a concerted effort to collect these recyclables.
We kept a jar of all our collection earnings.
We called it our DISNEY JAR.
We used the money for "extras" on a family trip to the Happiest Place On Earth.

We were also proud of our efforts.

I know you are already doing things
that are GREEN in your house.

Please take a minute and share how you do it.

Thanks in advance for your wisdom and ideas.

And as always, thanks for visiting.