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The Language of Houses

Posted by on Sep 19, 2014 in Interiors, Lifestyle | 0 comments

It was not until I was much older that I realized how much aesthetics and architecture impacted me. It’s probably true for most of us. I also noticed as I got older how I hate clutter and the accumulation of too many things (that is, except shoes and books) and how much I appreciate beauty and design in the most mundane things.

Well, I am glad that there’s a book right now that dwells on this type of topic. The Language of Houses: How Buildings Speak to Us by Alison Lurie talks about the societal impacts of architecture. She discusses things like the differences between private and public school buildings and how various architectural aspects affect students’ self-image and perception. She also compares Victorian houses where windows were often covered up to today’s houses with big windows, often with no coverings, and attributes this change to the relative openness in our culture today.

I have a pretty lengthy list of books to read right now.  However, I am definitely adding this one to my night table for those cold, long fall and winter nights!  Don’t you just love books that make you think?

Have a great weekend!  See you here next week…

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Image via here

Old Friends

Posted by on Sep 15, 2014 in Family and friends | 3 comments

Seeing old friends from your past… It’s similar to the feel of a warm woolen sweater on a crisp fall morning like the one we have today — comforting, soothing, a “chicken soup for the soul” type of experience.

This weekend, I spent a rainy Saturday afternoon with college friends, Joan and Michael. We rarely see each other these days, maybe once or twice a year. But what I love about our friendships is that even if we’ve made very different life choices and lead such different lives, we always manage to find common ground and find something to laugh about and discuss passionately.

I love that I share some history with these friends and how they can call my bluff without any hesitation. For instance, at our lunch, I shared with Joan and Michael some of Ines’ antics. Then, I made a comment about how Ines must have gotten those traits from Richard.

I loved the look on their faces when I made this comment. Unfazed yet with a hint of smile, they both said, “Do you remember what you were like when you were younger?” None of my more recent friends would ever have that frame of reference. Many would not even dare make that comment.

So here’s to keeping old friends in our lives. We need to make sure that we treasure these friends and make time for them despite our crazy schedules. These friends are not only the key to our past, a window to the old selves that we may have forgotten, but are also essential to our future as we evolve into our more mature selves.

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Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset Our Saturday luncheon

Tween Fashion for the Not-So Girly-Girl

Posted by on Sep 11, 2014 in Lifestyle | 4 comments

One of the things that Chiara asked me before the school year is if she can only wear pants to school — no skirts and dresses. Apparently, most of the fifth grade girls in her school only wear pants/shorts/leggings to school. I wanted to give her autonomy so I agreed but I did mention that she may need to wear skirts or dresses for special occasions.

Choosing what the girls wear for school has always challenged me. I went to a private Catholic school where we wore uniforms, skirts or jumpers regardless of the weather. So I suppose I tend to choose clothes that are a little too dressy for school.

I was looking at Pinterest the other day and saw some images under tween fashion that I really liked and may not be too far from what the girls would like to wear.

Take a look…What do you think? Casual enough for school?

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Keep Calm and Put Your “Botox Brows” On

Posted by on Sep 8, 2014 in Family and friends | 4 comments

It doesn’t take much to be in full school mode and to get back to how things are during the school year. With the barrage of emails from the girls’ school as well as their extracurriculars this past week, I feel like the summer is really in the distant past. This week, the girls pretty much resume their after-school activities, which translates to lots of driving around and coordinating to make sure homework and meals are done in time.

One of the books I finished before school started is called “Middle School Makeover” by Michelle Icard. We are going through a lot of tween-like moments at home and I wanted to learn how I should navigate this whole new landscape that often feels like walking through minefields.

The book talks a lot about parents needing to have their “botox brows” (aka expressionless look) when dealing with their tweens. Apparently, tweens and teens tend to misread our expressions as their prefrontal cortex develop. They seem to oversimplify their parents’ sentiments and assume that we are either happy or just simply upset with them.

This discovery leads me to my two new back-to-school resolutions…first, I aspire to put my “botox brows” on as often as I can in dealing with my children. With all the emotional ups and downs in our house right now, I need to just stay calm and not react to every single drama or crisis.

The second resolution is that I want to stay mindful in pretty much all aspect of my life. I want to avoid multi-tasking and really be in the moment. If I cannot get around to doing certain things, then so be it. No more trying to play Supermom or Superwoman. That simply is an illusion that no one can really get to anyway, right?

Here are some of my weekend moments…

Back to reading the weekend paper…
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Local art gallery openings…
Dog Daze of Summer

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Farmers’ Market goodness…
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Hope you had good weekend!

Acadia National Park

Posted by on Sep 5, 2014 in Family and friends, Travel | 0 comments

There were lots of things to do in Bar Harbor and we probably could have spent a few more days exploring the area. The main thing to do is visit Acadia National Park where there are 125 miles of hiking trails and 45 miles of carriage roads. Most of the carriage roads are open to hikers and bikers.

We ended up biking and hiking on the two days we spent here. For biking, we chose a relatively easy path, the Witch Hole Pond Trail where we saw random beaver traps here and there. The trail was not crowded so it was easy to enjoy that beauty that surrounded us.

Toward the end of the day, we went to Sand Beach where the kiddos tried to collect some sea shells and what-nots. While enjoying the sun and what probably is our last time at the beach this year, we watched people brave swimming in the cold beach with temperature around 58 degrees Fahrenheit.

For hiking the next day, we chose the Jordan Pond trail after we had lunch at the park’s only restaurant, Jordan Pond. After we enjoyed the savory popovers that the restaurant is known for, we did the hike around the pond for about an hour and half. It was deceivingly easy at first but got a bit harder toward the end.

The kids were surprisingly resilient and ended up finishing the hike much faster than the adults. Those nimble legs and feet just outpaced our old, rickety ones. Hah!

Hope you have a great weekend!

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