Coming Home

I've been noticing something lately - how, when it comes to living, some people are movers, while others are settlers. A few are a mix of both.

You can usually spot people who were raised by a family that settled down where they lived, who had one or maybe two family homes that they remember. As a whole, they are grounded, comfortable, rooted sorts of people with a few deep longtime friends as their inner circle. Folks who moved around a lot during their childhoods seem, in my experience, to be more gregarious, sometimes more adventurous, adaptable, and have lots of friends - instead of fewer close ones. 

I'd say I fall, like a thud, into the settled category. Oh sure, I've traveled all over the world. Lived other places, other countries, even. But my identity is entirely wrapped up into the longtime places in which I've lived. My current residence is less than 3 miles from my family home (still my mom's place); by contrast, my brother left at 18 and never came back.

This explains, partly, why our recent decision to buy a bigger home and *gulp* MOVE has had such a huge impact. Giant meteorite from outer space impact. While I'm embracing it, know it's a good thing, leaving this place, with its history - my history - is no easy thing. Ghosts of my grandparents walk this house. My childhood, with oatmeal cookie smells, and one particular musty cabinet, a hanging key and the shaky handwriting of my grandfather on a wall transport me back. 

More recently, there are the footprints of my baby girl in the cement. The hard labor of years of renovation, upkeep and relationships past are all hidden in the lush foliage. This is where I came home after marrying my husband, the home where I brought my tiny babies, beneath that tree over there you'll find the buried ashes of my beloved dog.  

My true friends nod in understanding and have already, silently, pacted to be there when we move. Others, less thinking, talk about how the roof won't leak. Make jokes. Talk about how the new place will be more modern. Upgraded. Better. 

And there I disagree. It will be different. It will be right for us in the time we live in it, just as this home was right for us during this time in our lives. But not better. Despite the remodel, it will not hold the soul-fortifying history of a happy life well-lived as this place does - for that sort of love takes time.


For many, many months now, I've been getting between 4 and 6 hours of sleep per night. On spectacular, rare, cry-worthy gratifying occasion, 8.

Settling into this particular deep groove has apparently sandpapered away my sense of humor, which is unfortunate.

On those wonderous 8-hour-sleep days, I am reintroduced to the person I'd like to be more often: Curious, energized, ebullient, friendly - and yes, funny.

Four-hour days, by contrast, are automaton days, mostly spent getting through the day instead of reveling in it. I've no energy to be curious, to give to people around me in the form of smiles or compliments - so I find myself hoarding my vim for those I'm closest to - my family and my kids.

Even then, it's not always enough.

Nearly 2/3 of Americans suffer from insomnia. Sixty million people trying unsuccessfully to get unconscious every night.

It makes you stop and wonder, doesn't it? What would life be like for all of us were we to sleep a deep 8 hours each night?

Would the world be a little nicer place? Might we be a little friendlier to one another? A little happier? What if we worked a little less? 

Maybe we'd be better able to take a joke if we had more energy to make them. 

Anyway, I've decided I'm reinstituting my sleep campaign. Going to bed early, getting up when it feels right, reducing my caffeine, upping my exercise. It worked last time. Perhaps you'll join me this time?

Pillow punchers, unite! 


And I Ran So Far Away

In one of my favorite fantasies, we chuck everything and move somewhere out of the country. Someplace new, with languages to learn and food we can't identify and universes to explore. Someplace where we wear sweaters and boots in winter.

Truthfully, what with The Varmint's new full-time gig at a job he digs, the li'l nippers and that pesky needing to eat thing, it really is nothing but a fantasy. Lucky for me, it's one I've already lived.

There was a recent infographic called 'The Real Stuff White People Like' on Gizmodo. It details the preferences of different men and women of various ethnicities, based on keywords extracted from their online dating profiles. It's fascinating, funny and poignant, and true in that un-PC, tee-hee-hee sort of way.

There are many eyebrow raisers, such as the fact that white men are far less savory than even I ever expected, latinos think they are funny and love Mars Volta (!!!) and that, across the board, women can be categorized as escapists.

The white guys / frat house thing? Oh yeah. Please. Not much of a surprise there. 

But that last observation from the article has been riding bareback on my brain since I saw it: Why are women so universally ready to chuck their realities and dive headfirst into fantasyland? Are their lives that bad? Or are they just coping with stress in a different way? 

it seems so obvious when it's pointed out. "Why didn't I notice that?" I wonder. Speaking for myself and most of the gals I know, our penchant for books and movies and dinners out and 'girl time' - that observation is right on target.

I will confess to planning whole vacations on kayak.com in my free time. Vacations I will never take, but research anyway. For fun. My hobbies might even be termed escapist: Interior design, photography, garden design, shoes, art, writing... All different forms of escapism, really. 

Have you ever considered how much of your time is devoted to escaping? Ever wondered why? I rationalize that it's a side-effect of being the mother of two wee girls. But I think it's more fundamental than that.

Most women suck at checking out without feeling guilty. Escapism is planned guilt-free time, structured like an adult playdate with oneself, where permission can be given to relinquish our responsibilities to others and take responsibility for ourselves for awhile. 

As multi-taskers and caregivers, there is no OFF switch. If you're a mom or wife, there are no breaks except the ones we give ourselves. Husbands and kids both will suck up every moment of love and tending they can get their greedy little paws on - regardless of how it taxes the source. Even at the expense of health, or mood or fairness, really. Moms, when is the last time a family member planned a day off for you, cooked you a meal or cleaned up without your asking for it?

Uh-huh. That's what I thought.

Regeneration requires fuel and time. I'd say 'escapism' is how many women replenish their tanks. Often with quiet, or therapeutic talk, an infusion of beauty or an explosion of creativity. 

What do you think? How do you escape?

Hello, Teagan Jayne :: Part II
Teagan_with_RosebudContinued from Part I

[Quick note: Yes, it has taken this many months to write this all out. How many? Eleven crazy crazy months of balls-to-the-wall gnarliness, and I don't wanna hear any guff about the delay. I feel like a war veteran, people - and I think I could really have used the cathartic solace of my blog to get me through it all, except you know... NO TIME. If there was a moment to be had, I tried to get myself unconscious. It's that simple. 'Nuff said. Let's get on with it, shall we?!]

When last we left off, I'd just had my spinal and was feeling pretty wonky. Silly me. I thought that would be the worst part of the day. That is just so cute, now that I look back on it with these jaded, hard-bitten eyes. Somebody pass me a scotch.

In the surgery, they strap your ass to the table, flop your legs down where they want 'em, and splay your arms out, strapping those down, too, straight into the crucifixion position. That might oughta been my first clue.

There were at least four people in the room with me at all times. One was this cute boy-nurse who was fiddling with some machine at the foot of the table. I remember this even after eleven months because the first thing they do before pulling the privacy curtain up is to tuck my hospital gown up around my chest, stick my legs into two outward "v" positions (like this: < >) and insert the catheter. Anyway, I watch him look up at the worst possible moment, look straight at my vagina, then to me (to see if I noticed), and I'm like, "Yeah, dude. I just saw you see my girl-junk, deal with it."  And he looks away all awkward and fiddles with the machine. And I keeping thinking 'He's a nurse so no biggie,' but part of me still feels compelled to shout that my un-preggo version is SO MUCH CUTER. But I don't. Thankyoujeezus for me shutting the hell up. For once.

Instead I focus on my belly, because after a few minutes, I will never pregnant again. I rub my baby in my tummy for the last time and take a deep breath as the gyno A-Team walks in.


Now that the tubes and draping is all set up, The Varmint is ushered in. He was temporarily sequestered elsewhere for the spinal. It's cold, of course. He holds my hand. We make more jokes. Then, it all starts to happen very fast.

The anesthesiologist is at my head, talking to me to determine levels. Later, she tells me she is unique in that she stocks four different types of anti-nausea meds. She tried them all on me. Nothing worked.

There is video of the operation, and I can see the exact point where the nausea begins. I fight it for a second, then immediately tell The Varmint to shut off the camera. From that point until 16 hours later, I will vomit. I am vomiting so hard, that while the doctor's making the incisions, he says to me, "Now Tamara, I really need you not to vomit for a few seconds, ok, because I need you to be still." Um, ok. It was even sort of funny at the time, but I was too busy hurling to laugh.

So I'm sitting there puking my guts out - while my guts are actually out! Funny, huh? So glad Shannon didn't make that joke, because he would have been a dead man. In between barfs, I'm having birth contractions. It's the ab workout from hell.

I can hear the docs talking, and feel them knocking about, grunting, tugging gruffly down inside my belly. The feeling makes me sicker. The only thing that eases it is the view window on the video camera. Being able to see what they are doing helps immensely, sort of like looking up from a book to see where you're going when you're carsick, or at the horizon when you're seasick. 

The doc barks some orders to the anesthesiologist. She cracks a capsule under my nose and sprays something under my tongue. My torso is being yanked left and right. It feels like a troupe of meerkats is wrestling inside my colon.

"That's a little better," says Dr. Dunn. "If - ARG! - we - UGH! - can - OOF! "just get her head out from under there! AAAUUUGH!" 

"From under where?" I think to myself. I can see him bending the little blue body of my baby up, down, sideways with each yank. She looks like she's made of rubber. The weird capsules were some drug that causes the contractions to ease up. While they tried to take her out I'd clamped down onto the baby's head with a contraction so fierce that they were worried she'd get stuck.

Finally, we hear a POP! and just like that, she's out. Crisis averted. Finally. FINALLY. He shows me my blue rubber daughter. A whole lot of suction, scrubby towels and some German-masseuse style manhandling later, she squawks that anticipated newborn baby squawk, turns pink and starts bawling.

Even mid-puke, it's music to my ears.

They tuck me back in, seal me shut, and 45 minutes later roll me to recovery. Shannon goes to keep company with my beautiful, beautiful baby. I'm exhausted and nearly incoherent from puking. It. Doesn't. Stop.

My mom, Deb and Jen are in the room with me. My temperature at one point drops so low the machines start beeping hysterically. They rush in with warming towels to bring my temperature back up. I see my family's faces go white. It's bad. There has been nothing left to vomit for awhile now, but the contractions are not letting up. 

Also, my hair looks like shit. So much for the $30 blowout.

The puking finally stops around midnight. Everyone has gone home. They tried putting the baby on my chest a few times, but it was hard to enjoy it. I'm sore everywhere. The Varmint is asleep on the Daddy Couch.

Now, it's just the baby and me, in the dark and the quiet. She is in her bassinet. She looks at me through the clear plastic. I look at her. We meet each other with no one else around, just her and me, and it is perfect.

I don't know it yet, but when I think of giving birth to Teagan in the future, it will be this moment that I savor. The cool quiet hospital room in the middle of the night, and the two of us after a grueling day, at peace, looking at one another. I feel like we are reforging what had so recently been torn away. Different now. But still connected, I touch her pearly pink cheek, her tiny toes. She wraps her hand around my finger and sighs. I smile. 

And I realize, that despite feeling like a Samsonite suitcase post-chimp wig-out, that this quiet moment pretty much levels the playing field. You rarely get something for nothing in this world, and something this good is going to demand an extremely high price. I wasn't quite through paying (next up: allergic reaction to the incision glue - think poison oak on a surgical wound and you'll have an idea of what it felt like), but I can say this: Teagan is nothing I expected and so much more than I hoped for.

Totally worth it.



Holes In My Face

It's bedtime, and Makenna and I are lying in bed, facing one another and talking. She's 3, so the conversation usually goes along the lines of me making her stuffed cow, Baby Cowie, talk, or if I'll rub her back some more or the fact that her favorite colors are red and pink.

Makenna: <gently holding my face and looking closely> "Mommy, you have holes in your face."

Me: "Those are called pores, baby. Everybody has them. They are an important part of our skin."

Makenna: "Oh, yes! I know, Mommy! Those are where the beards come out."

Hello, Teagan Jayne :: Part I

Teagan_Birthday  This one's for Teagan. To remember the day she was born.

 If I told you that 5:45 Sunday morning, September 6, 2009, arrived in an eyeblink, quicker than thought, quicker even than acceptance of eight-plus months of denial could evaporate - you probably wouldn't be surprised. There will be only one day in my life where I wake up and say, "I'm having a baby today."

Grunting and skootching out of bed, lugging my belly, I push off with my arms to regain homo erectus status, trying not to wake Makenna, sleeping soundly by my side. There are definitely things I won't miss about being pregnant. And perhaps more surprisingly, more that I will - utterly unexplicable things, sensations, unformed primal thoughts that tether us back to the wild and to the baby inside. I feel calm where I'd felt nerves the night before. 

(No food, no coffee, no water for 8 hours) + (Pregnant lady) = Look Out, World

We spent the week in a feverish sprint to the finish line, with work, chores, baby preparations. Disinfecting this. Stocking up on that. I felt like we were stocking our fallout shelter, and only just managed to finish packing before placing our bags so tidily at the front door. "We look like we're leaving for vacation," I smirk to myself.

We're running late, so mom swoops in to pick up Makenna. Uncle John and cousins Livia and Kaio await. Kenna has hours of mayhem ahead of her; she's not the only one.

The Varmint and I arrive at the hospital and are ushered into a labor room, where I'm stripped by Pam our peppy British nurse and IV'd and drowned in paperwork for the first hour. We joke with Dr. Dunn, our chatty, upbeat, funky-glasses-wearing OB/GYN.

DSC_0503"Ha ha ha, isn't funny that you're going to be elbow-deep in my guts within the next couple of hours?" I hear myself yammer nervously. He provides a smiling, but more solemn response: "I prefer to think that I'll be presenting you with your baby." Yeeeaaaah. 

I'd argue that laughs go further in the anxiety-squelching department, but I suppose when it comes to surgeons, I'll take focus over rubber chickens.

Good Hair, Bad Juju
Anyway, as they start to load me up with IV fluids, I joke with the nurses. This time around, it being a planned birth and all, I'd had my hair washed and blown-out - since post-ceasarean it's not the easiest thing to manage. The 'do hadn't looked this good in weeks.

Later, we are informed (drip-drip-drip) we will be delayed (drip-drip) as some lady with twins is delivering in the operating room, "Safety first!" says Dr. Dunn. Everyone seems worried about me worrying about the delay.  Frankly, I couldn't care less. She's got twice the trouble; she can take my operating room. The trick for me with dealing with stress is to give myself over to it; there's nothing I can do to change anything. Why muck things up with a crappy attitude?

DSC_0510As is the usual deal, they start to load me up with fluids, but not the good kind. Coffee IV, anyone? Nooo, instead I get Pitocin, the nasty hormone that fakes the body out that it's birth-time. My body's natural reaction is DON'T TELL ME WHAT TO DO, but resigns itself to the situation. Within two hours, Shannon will be dressed in his Hazmat suit and I'll be on the table, numb from the chest down, hurling uncontrollably - but hey, we don't know that yet.

Uncomfortably Numb
It's a creepy feeling, getting that spinal, all alone in the O.R. with the anesthesiologist doing the whole "talk to keep them calm" thing. Let's face it, lady - nothing masks that sinking, claustrophobic, crushing feeling of the needle sliding in between your vertebrae. There is an indescribable wrongness to it. I thought that would be the worst of things, and said so to the doc. She laughingly agreed with me.

We'd be wrong.


Part II is next...

Mak + Trajan: Cool Cousins
With one week left until the baby is due, we've been keeping Makenna busy. On this particular day, we had some extra-special help from her cousin Trajan.
Time Ticks Down

Three weeks to go. And who'd have thought two pregnancies could be so different? 

It's weird enough having something wiggling around on the inside of your body, shoving itty bitty extremeties into the nooks and crannies of your hip bones, rib cage, bladder floor and belly button. Things this time around have never ceased to make me go "Hmmmmph?!" - from the barfous first three months, to the substantially smaller belly, to the wonky knee-cracking ligaments and breathlessness. The biggest changes are not with body, but attitude.

It's so much quieter internally this time around. Less fear. There's none of the trying to control things. No classes, birth plans, room decorating or baby showers. The hoopla's been eliminated.

We're riding this one out low-key and mellow. The anticipation is there, tempered by a bittersweet melancholy: The internal connection to my wee new girl is not as fierce as it was with Makenna; in the face of the recognized enormous powerlessness of the gestating and birth process, I've retreated into myself and my relationship with my walking daughter. I'm treasuring every remaining moment of just-the-two-of-us time together.

I've got a bad case of the "been there, done that"s with this pregnancy, despite the fact that things are so different this time around. Perhaps the early scare of catastrophic issues with this pregnancy skeeved me. Or perhaps I'm deeper in denial - or more aware and wary - of the life-changing wrecking ball swinging our way.

BabyOnesiesDon't misread me; I'm thrilled we're having another wee girl. I know it's going to be brilliant for the whole family - and especially for Kenna, whose best friend I hope to be giving birth to shortly.

But honesty requires truth: There's a mourning for the joy of our current threesome, the deep blue relationship with my beautiful first daughter, the budding bits of freedom we're all enjoying with her growing independence. Soon, it will be back to double-digit diaper changes, hyper-vigilance and the brave new world of sibling dynamics. Fun!

They say you've got to let go before you can embrace something (or someone) new - but the good news is, in this case, it's ultimately a group hug.

In the meantime, if I'm feeling a little blue and need a pick-me-up, I just walk into the girls' room and look at all of the brand new teeny-tiny onesies sitting in her drawer. If that doesn't put a smile on your face, nothing will.



Top 10 Splurges (That Make Daily Life Worth Living)

My good friend Christy just wrote a terrific story titled "Five Dollar Croutons" about the 10 simple things in her daily life on which she refuses to skimp. Interestingly, at least 4 of her 10 were on my list, too. She asked for everyone to do the same, because she finds it so fascinating to see people's answers.

Me too. So share the love, everybody. It's an interesting personal exercise, too.


1.  Good Coffee. You can buy the cheap stuff, but it's just not the same. Once you've made the mistake of acquiring a taste for strong, black, French Roast / espresso-style java that fries the tastebuds and sends your nerves a-jangle, watered-down diner joe just doesn't cut it anymore. I don't even look at what it costs me, because frankly, I don't give a damn.

2.  Good Bedding. You spend 1/3 of your life sleeping. I prefer not to spend it wrapped in a scratchy 100-thread count cocoon, atop a collapsing college student mattress. I've been in relationships *coff-coff - still am* with those who are less choosy, making arguments such as "after you sleep on them and wash them enough, the cheap sheets get soft anyway" and "mattresses are just too expensive for what you get." Then again, I've noticed that as soon as certain individuals have experienced the good stuff, tunes change drastically.

Wusthof Classic Knives

3.  Quality Kitchen Knives. You use them every day, and a sharp, well-balanced knife makes the chore of chopping a pleasure. Of course, you run into problems when you've got a roommate who, say, takes your treasured 7" $150 Henkel masterpiece of a knife and uses it, unbeknownst to you, for stuff like pruning their rose garden because they misplaced their shears... But even that level abuse is an endurable offense. Once.  It can be a pricey splurge, but wiith proper care, a good knife set lasts a lifetime.

4.  A Trusted Housekeeper. I'd forgo everything else on my list to keep my housekeeper. As Christy mentioned, I'm a fanatic about this subject. She's cheaper than a marriage counselor, and the peace of mind that comes from a deeply clean, uncluttered space - our sanctuary from the bustling outside world - is incalculable. Worth. Every. Penny.


5.  Timeless Furniture. Not a priority for everyone. There are people who make a hobby of interior design and rotate their household furnishings regularly. I'm a keep-and-hold sort of gal, who appreciates vintage and modern Danish design and comfort. The day the last piece of IKEA leaves my house, I'm celebrating. Until then, I will save until I can afford the classic piece I want and then spend good money on it - if that's what it takes. A smooth-lined table, hand-hewn with wood and stone, or a glowing Italian lamp, or a multi-functional piece that ignites the inner fires of home, hearth and good design? For me, worth it. A recent purchase of comfortable outdoor furniture has literally changed the way we live.


6.  Our Future. This is not a "splurge" really, but it's something we're committed to. No matter how crappy the year, even when it was the worst year ever for our then start-up business and we literally had no money and were breaking open change jars for groceries, we put away the maximum possible for our IRAs. This, for us, is daily peace of mind. It may (probably) still not be enough for us to live large in retirement, but it keeps us out of the Xanax bottle in the meantime.

7.  A Perfect Handbag & Wallet. At first glance, this may look like it flies in the face of Christy's "Waste of Money" list, where she nominated "Designer Purses" as a wasted investment, but it doesn't. A perfect handbag  / wallet is not necessarily a designer item (and in fact, usually isn't). It needs to be well-organized with multiple deep-sectioned pockets, outside storage for quick-grab items (cell phone, wipes, pen), and it needs to work hard for the purpose you intend. It might be for work, overnight, or daily use. My last must is that it be beautiful, with no cheap man-made fabrics, so that it wears well for the long haul and is something I love to hold, touch and carry with me every day. All this said, I've never spent more than $250 on a bag.

Vintage Camera

8.  A Top-Notch Camera. Not only is the weighty feel of it, sound of it (a shutter clicking immediately upon the press of a button is one of the most satisfying sounds there is), flexibility of it a joyful experience - the long-term benefit of beautiful pictures of a life well-lived will pay itself back throughout the history of our family. It also gives me a fascinating passtime, and something to do when I'm not feeling particularly social at gatherings.


9. Personal Upkeep. Ooh, this one inspires debate amongst the girls. So chalk this up to personal preference. But in my case, having professionals manage my personal grooming stuff: Skin and hair especially, and in that order, are necessary pleasures that I look forward to for weeks. Appointments are soothing, quiet, provide me with extended alone time and uninterrupted space to think and daydream, incorporate the potency of human touch, and ensure that things are done right and kept healthy. The fact that I strut out of my hairdresser with the right cut and feeling fab is an absolute bonus. But being prone to skin cancer and all, my esthetician appointments are a part of my general health. She checks for suspicious items in addition to providing her usual services. I'll scale back on frequency if times are tight, but until the apocalypse, you'll never catch me cutting or coloring my own hair or eliminating my skincare rituals entirely.

10. Mac Laptop & TiVo. These two purchases have been the most revolutionary, time-saving buys of the last 10 years. Everyday bliss is well-worth these two hefty pricetags. So much so, I couldn't choose just one.

Dwell On Design '09
Felt Sculpture

Friday, The Varmint and I packed up our wagon and trekked to the LA Convention Center to help one of our favorite clients promote herself at the Dwell On Design conference (and frankly, to do a little of the same).

I expected a sea of wire-rimmed glasses types, dressed all in black, butt-rods firmly in place, shilling their ultra-swanky products.


Instead, it was a cozier affair with a decidedly environmental bent. The people were smiling and approachable, the products super interesting (solar-powered car ports, sleek vertical canvas sack wall-gardens, converted shipping containers as stylish, glass-walled offices) and I saw only one charmingly overdone designer-type person the whole day: Leopard-spotted head, I'm-so-smart glasses, pegged pants, too-groovy-for-you shirt... I'm pretty sure he was an agency owner attendee collecting cards and chatting people up, just like us.

Varmint in Egg

We saw loads of delicious lifestyle and interior design products but everything was pretty much scaled back to a more realistic level. Sure there were the mouthwatering stainless-steel and glass upscale European doors that retail for $10,000 and kitchens that would cost ten times that much on display - but not very many. The electric Tesla Roadster Sport for $100K was pretty sweet.

But really? Most of the stuff represented was on a much more "upscale everyman" level.


It was refreshing. At least 75% of the stuff was being sold as environmentally friendly, green, reclaimed, organic or recycled. I was surprised the bathrooms weren't decked out with rocketship toilets that would turn your BMs into mulch, right before your eyes.

The key that made all of this stuff work so well was that the product design, while green, was not compromised aesthetically. It's that combo of smart and pretty that's so coveted by people - whether with organizing solutions, energy-efficient lamps, cars or - ahem - spouses.


So often in environmental design, the killer solution or innovation is basically functional, but visually unappealing. That seems to be changing - and I think that will make a big difference in the popularity and acceptance of green designed products overall.

I know I am willing to pay extra for an environmentally conscious product - to a point. 

As an example, we saw these amazing coffee tables made from salvaged bowling alley lanes. They were super expensive, due to the hand-craftsmanship and time involved in their making, but if my budget were different, I might have thought of buying one. The point being that I'd buy it because it was unique and beautiful - not so much because it was reclaimed wood. That's a nice thing and a good story. But it wouldn't make me plunk down five grand for a table if it weren't stunning. You can get all pious on me, if you want, with the wouldas and shouldas. But I firmly believe that's how most people feel. DSC_0237

Buying green for the majority of people is a bonus - not the primary motivation for buying. It'd better work just as well as the normal product, be beautiful, have a good story - something.

Another great example is green laundry detergent. Have you tried it? I've tried many types; my seriously environmentally-obsessed friends have DSC_0279done so too, and every single one of us has switched back to regular detergent despite the impact to the environment because our clothes just don't get clean. It doesn't work! When someone makes one that does, we're in.

That's what made this Dwell show such a pleasure... So many beautiful, functional, smart, green products that really work. Somewhere, we crossed the line and function and form are both stand-alone advantages within these offerings.

What's not to love? From bamboo sheets to outdoor pillows made from recycled water bottles to beautiful furniture and lighting, we left feeling incredibly optimistic about the future. 




I am a writer and lazy artist who loves travel, architecture and design. Right now, I'm into photography. My fabulous husband (a.k.a. The Varmint) and I are also the principals of a San Diego-based creative agency - and new parents to the divine Baby Mak. Read More >