Reading together is a wonderful way to spend quality time with children, exploring the world through books.
In both fashion and design, it is often the small details that tie a look together.
One of my project managers recently introduced me to the work of New York artist Paul Hunter.
I’d like to introduce you to a wonderful blog written by my friend Lindley Pless: The Sentimentalist.
Browsing through designs from various Fashion Week events inspires me and provides a boost to my creativity.
Fresh flowers add so much brightness.
Today is the National Education Association’s annual Read Across America Day. Traditionally celebrated in conjunction with Dr. Seuss’s birthday, RAA aims to promote literacy and a love of reading by encouraging educators, parents, and communities by participating in a week of special activities. Classrooms around the country will spend the week with some extra focus on the enjoyment of reading. Helping children grow into lifelong readers with critical thinking skills means instilling in them a love of books at a young age. If reading is fun and interactive, children are more likely to continue to enjoy reading into adulthood.
There is nothing quite like cuddling up with your children and some great books at the end of a long day. Reading together is a wonderful way to spend quality time exploring the world through books. Whether you laugh together over a silly story or inspire conversation that continues after the last page has been turned, when you read with your children you connect with them, strengthen your relationship, broaden their minds, and teach them to associate books with strong positive feelings.
In honor of Read Across America Day, I’d like to share some of the books my daughters and I enjoy together. Maybe you will find something new to share with a child in your life!
1. The Day the Crayons Quit: Our all time favorite book, and not just because I love color but also because I love listening to my children laugh and giggle, especially when we get to the nude crayon.
2. Iggy Peck Architect and Rosie Revere Engineer: Both of these are absolutely well written and beautifully illustrated. Iggy Peck and Rosie Revere never give up and teach that when something fails, you have to try again.
3. We Are in a Book! Anything written by Mo Willems is a hit in our house. Elephant & Piggie bring more giggles and great interaction between the children. We also can’t forget the Knuffle Bunny series by Mo Willems.
4. Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride A great chapter book for your kids.
5. Dear Mr. Blueberry An adorable story of a young girl named Emily and her teacher, Mr.Blueberry, who exchange letters during the summer about a whale in her pond. This is a joy to read, so sweet and innocent!
6. Pete the Cat Mikayla, my youngest daughter, loves the rhyming and song throughout the Pete the Cat series of books.
7. Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon Molly Lou Melon leaves you believing in being the best you can be and loving who you are.
8. National Geographic Readers Olivia, our 8 year old, absolutely loves these biographies from National Geographic. They make it so easy and interesting for children to learn about history.
Do you have favorite books to read with the children in your life?
In both fashion and design, it is often the small details that tie a look together. When these details are in the form of embellishments, a look can be made eye-catching and unique.
Embellishments can add sparkle or color, brighten with reflective surfaces, and coordinate with other aspects of the design. You can use embellishments for a grounding effect or an added touch of prettiness.
Think of ways to give your interior, or your outfit, a hint of glamor or just the right detail to elevate it or add an unexpected bit of flair.
One of the most beautiful things about my office is the way everyone contributes new ideas. From furniture and color palettes to lighting and art, we are always sharing new finds. Jess, one of my project managers, recently introduced me to the work of artist Paul Hunter, whose paintings she’d seen when meeting with a curator.
Paul Hunter, a Canadian native who moved to New York City in the 1980s, creates his unique paintings by using applying various types of metal leaf to the canvas and painting on the metal. The result is a luminous quality from the reflective nature of the metal, a striking and beautiful effect.
I really love the medium Hunter uses. The resulting color and texture of the paintings is so appealing. I also like how he uses this complicated process of marrying tissue-thin sheets of metal leaf with paint in order to create paintings that appear simple and subtle. Even before learning about how Hunter creates his work, however, I was drawn to the modern, almost abstract nature of the paintings.
Even the size of the artwork is great. I like the idea of arranging the smaller pieces in a vignette. Many of the paintings are so pretty, while others are saturated with color. With this kind of scope, Hunter’s art really has something for everyone.
To learn more about Paul Hunter and view his many other paintings, visit his website.
From time to time I like to share other blogs that I think will interest my readers. While my own interests tend to naturally focus on design or fashion blogs, today I’d like to introduce you to a wonderful blog written by my friend Lindley Pless: The Sentimentalist. Lindley started The Sentimentalist as a way to feature content she considered valuable and worth sharing with others. Her blog is a place where art, food, design, fashion, and even her own opinions come together and intersect.
When starting a blog, coming up with a name for your site is the first challenge. Lindley discussed her blog title with friends, and in articulating her desire to create content from her own heart, the title The Sentimentalist was born. Lindley really is a sentimental person, wearing her heart on her sleeve. She sees beauty everywhere in life, even in the things we learn from darkness and heartbreak, so the title of her blog is a true reflection of Lindley’s personality. Following from that, Lindley strives to connect with her readers, hoping to create an “A ha!” moment, whether it comes from learning about a detangling brush for a child’s unruly hair or the sharing of a challenging life experience that another person can relate to or learn from. One important quality of The Sentimentalist is the lack of negativity; if Lindley tries a new product but doesn’t really care for it, she doesn’t write about it. Her focus is on the positive, the sharing of information and experiences that can help or inspire people. When she addresses personal challenges or emotional situations, she doesn’t dwell on her difficulties but shares her journey and what she’s learned from it, reaching out and encouraging others along the way.
In a world where the vast majority of blogs are started, then abandoned (an astounding 95% of them according the NY Times), this is clearly an endeavor that isn’t without its hurdles. For Lindley, there are two challenges she faces when writing for The Sentimentalist. First, she works alone. When she hits “publish” on a blog post, she is presenting it to the world without the benefit of a sounding board. It definitely takes confidence to put your thoughts out there without having someone looking over your shoulder with second opinions or nods of approval. Second, Lindley sometimes finds it challenging to put herself in a vulnerable place when writing for her blog. If she feels a topic has value, she wants to share it, regardless of whether it is read by five people or five thousand. Writing honestly on a blog often means having the courage to forge ahead regardless of the opinions or approval of others.
As if being a mom to two active little girls and writing her own blog doesn’t keep her busy enough, Lindley also devotes her time to running Sentimental Videography, giving a face and a brand to non-profit groups using her experience in the television industry. Closest to Lindley’s heart, however, is the Little Wings Foundation. Lindley started Little Wings in order to help direct fundraising dollars to reputable, deserving organizations. She talks to different foundations, researches their practices, and helps ensure that donated funds are used for their intended purpose. In addition, Lindley is passionate about creating a desire to give back and help others in the next generation. With Little Wings, she organizes Family Volunteer Days to encourage children to understand the value of giving time and effort to those in need.
I enjoy Lindley’s blog for many reasons. It’s something I look forward to reading because her writing is often clever and always real. I admire how she puts her thoughts and feelings out there and finds such inspiration in the quotes she shares. I love starting the day on a positive note whenever Lindley posts something new!
Custom chinoiserie lends an elegant touch.
Here in Connecticut, brutal temperatures and piles of snow make spring feel like a distant dream. In the fashion world, however, spring lines have already been designed and are being launched at events around the world. This exciting look at trends and styles to come captures the attention of anyone interested in fashion. In particular, New York Fashion Week (Feb 6-13) and Paris Fashion Week (Feb 25-Mar 5) provide an exciting venue for designers to showcase their new pieces.
The worlds of fashion and design influence each other in so many ways. Colors, patterns, textures, and styles transpose from one medium to the other, so that looking at the world of fashion provides insight into the world of design. My own love of fashion is closely intertwined with my passion for interior design. Browsing through designs from various Fashion Week events inspires me and provides a boost to my creativity.
Here are some more of my favorite fashions that are coming out of this year’s Fashion Week events:
Which spring fashions are you most excited about?
A few days ago, I saw some freelance work my Project Manager Jess was working on. She makes beautiful cards, and was testing colors for her creations. One of her palettes used blueberry and yellow, and it struck me as so appealing. The next day, Krystal, another project manager, came in dressed in a really great outfit with the same blueberry and yellow palette. I love how inspiration can come in tiny ways like this; a lovely card or a striking outfit. Inspiration doesn’t have to come from some grand scheme but can be found in so many places. These colors became the inspiration for an entire family room design.
The contrasting shades of blueberry and yellow bring out the best in each other and provide such a bright, rich hue. It’s a graphic and eye-catching combination, with the darker blue bringing out the sunniness of the yellow. It brings to mind warm summer days, something most of us are looking forward to this time of year. In both interior design and fashion, blueberry and yellow are so uplifting.
4. Dress by Stella McCartney
5. Swatch by artist Sonia Delaunay
7. Design by Joel Bray
A welcoming kitchen.