Saturday, May 29, 2010

Does Red Wine Protect the Cardiovascular System?

The 'French paradox' rears its ugly head again. The reasoning goes something like this: French people eat more saturated animal fat than any other affluent nation, and have the second-lowest rate of coronary heart disease (only after Japan, which has a much higher stroke rate than France). French people drink red wine. Therefore, red wine must be protecting them against the artery-clogging yogurt, beef and butter.

The latest study to fall into this myth was published in the AJCN recently (1). Investigators showed that 1/3 bottle of red wine per day for 21 days increased blood flow in forearm vessels of healthy volunteers, which they interpreted as "enhanced vascular endothelial function". The novel finding in this paper is that red wine consumption increases the migration of certain cells into blood vessels that are thought to maintain and repair the vessels. There were no control groups for comparison, neither abstainers nor a group drinking a different type of alcohol.

The investigators then went on to speculate that the various antioxidant polyphenols in red wine, such as the molecule resveratrol, could be involved. This could be true, but there's another possible mechanism here...

Ethanol-- plain old alcohol. You could drink a 40 oz bottle of malt liquor every night and it might do the same thing.

No matter what the source, alcohol consumption is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease out to about 3-4 drinks per day, after which the risk goes back up (2, 3)*. The association is not trivial-- up to a 62% lower risk associated with alcohol use. Controlled trials have shown that alcohol, regardless of the source, increases HDL cholesterol and reduces the tendency to clot (4).

Should we all start downing three drinks a day? Not so fast. Although alcohol does probably decrease heart attack risk, the effect on total mortality is equivocal. That's because it increases the risk of cancers and accidents. Alcohol is a drug, and my opinion is that like all drugs, overall it will not benefit the health of a person with an otherwise good diet and lifestyle. That being said, it's enjoyable, so I have no problem with drinking it in moderation. Just don't think you're doing it for your health.

So does red wine decrease the risk of having a heart attack? Probably, yes, just like malt liquor does. I do think it's interesting to speculate about why alcohol (probably) reduces heart attack risk. Could it be because it relaxes us? I'm going to ponder that over a glass of whiskey...

* The first study is really interesting. For once, I see no evidence of "healthy user bias". Rates of healthy behaviors were virtually identical across quintiles of alcohol intake. This gives me a higher degree of confidence in the results.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Go Figure.

We've worked so tirelessly to get the inside of our house feeling good and now all we want to do is go outside. 

Summer's here (ok, maybe not really, but it totally feels like it) and it's time to break out the sprinkler for the little guys to play in!!  I found this awesome vintage (I think) set of black iron outdoor patio furniture this week at Lucketts and I can't wait to bring it home in our truck today!!  It's really not at all like this one from High Society below (it has  much straighter lines)  but its' the first thing I thought of (and my husband too--  poor guy has an awesome memory & I've been filling his head with decorating!!) when I saw the set. 

It has kind of a modern retro-chic feeling that will work really well with the exterior of our {not-so-pretty}70s house.  Here's a photo of it when we first moved in last year. (below)  Enough good things haven't  been done to it yet to warrant an "after" picture.  (But we have moved the neon playset into a less conspicuous area until we can get the wooden one we're after, and the tree debris & drain pipe are gone.)

...The back and sides of our house are still beigey/ "nude" (I love to say that about our house...  it cracks me up) while the front is now a rich gray.  (Still??  Yes, still.)

{My little fern hanging on for dear life}

...  I know the neighbors much just love us...  but hopefully they won't think we're as worthless as we look once we paint the sides & back of the house as SOON as Dave off of work for the summer.  (High school English teacher :)  I can't wait!!  (Both for summer vacation and a fully-painted house.)  

Anyway, the patio set is kind of a combination of these (in black iron) but doesn't have pillows that we can use:

{vintage set}

{image from Maas Brothers recoating...  It has a simlar 'X' back but with a large "O" in the center which is almost exactly the same as the caged lantern in our front entry.  (see photo of entry a few pics up)}

{Crate & Barrel via Hooked on Houses...  It has similar straight, spare lines but it's black. }

I LOVE its size (a massive 3-seater sofa, a chair and a chaise!!) and it has awesome lines, but the paint is peeling off and of course we need to have cushions made.   I can't get the High Society cushions off of my mind but might  go with a solid fabric and do pillows.  (I wouldn't be going pink out there...  but possibly an enlarged "grandma" floral...  I'm also thinking about orange as I love it with the gray on the house...)

We've also got plans to work on the shed/ playhouse this weekend...

Below is a photo of the ceiling all primed & ready for paint...

I set up a Facebook Page for Pure Style Home last night & posted a couple more pics of the shed as it is now.  I'm not quite sure how to really work facebook yet but hopefully I'll get the hang of it.  I'm thinking I will post little updates & progress on projects there.  Not as exciting as "voila" before & afters but I know some of you like to see behind-the-scenes & "progress" pictures.

Hope you have a happy Memorial Day weekend & get a dip in a pool!!!  If you have some time, check out the new facebook page & send me some thought/tips/ideas!!  (I'm so slooooow with computers/ technology!!)  I'd love to know what you'd like to see on there.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

All around the mulberry bush

As you might remember, we moved into our house about a year ago...  One of the funny things about first moving into a house (especially in early Spring like us before the leaves are out) is that you don't necessarily know what kinds of plants & trees you have on your property.  This past year it's been so great to watch the place bloom around us & to find out what everything is.  One of our favorite "mystery trees" that we saw when we first moved in turned out to be a mulberry tree!


And we love to eat them!!  (Things just taste better outside & especially when they're from your own yard, don't they?)  It's so relaxing to head outside at the end of the day & pick mulberries.  I love that we don't have to do anything at all to keep them alive (because my thumb is the blackest of blacks.)

{Christian's getting so big -will be 3 yrs old in July- and can reach the lower branches}

{yum! yum!}

...After we pick them we head to the backyard to the adirondack chairs to relax & enjoy the mulberries ... and forget about how messy our house is, the work that needs to be done, and the craziness of daily life etc.

They're not the cleanest of foods...

{Mulberry-stained hands, feet and face}

...But they sure make us happy...

Chores, work, messes and "things" will always be there... 
Think of what you can do with the people you love to take a quick break from it all.
Savor all the little moments you can.
simple      happy      beautiful      living.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sweet Potatoes

We can debate the nutritional qualities of a food until we're blue in the face, but in the end, we still may not have a very accurate prediction of the health effects of that food. The question we need to answer is this one: has this food sustained healthy traditional cultures?

I'm currently reading a great book edited by Drs. Hugh Trowell and Denis Burkitt, titled Western Diseases: Their Emergence and Prevention. It's a compilation of chapters describing the diet and health of traditional populations around the world as they modernize.

The book contains a chapter on Papua New Guinea highlanders. Here's a description of their diet:
A diet survey was undertaken involving 90 subjects, in which all food consumed by each individual was weighed over a period of seven consecutive days. Sweet potato supplied over 90 percent of their total food intake, while non-tuberous vegetables accounted for less than 5 percent of the food consumed and the intake of meat was negligible... Extensive herds of pigs are maintained and, during exchange ceremonies, large amounts of pork are consumed.
They ate no salt. Their calories were almost entirely supplied by sweet potatoes, with occasional feasts on pork.

How was their health? Like many non-industrial societies, they had a high infant/child mortality rate, such that 43 percent of children died before growing old enough to marry. Surprisingly, protein deficiency was rare. No obvious malnutrition was observed in this population, although iodine-deficiency cretinism occurs in some highlands populations:
Young adults were well built and physically fit and had normal levels of haemoglobin and serum albumin. Further, adult females showed no evidence of malnutrition in spite of the demands by repeated cycles of pregnancy and lactation. On the basis of American standards (Society of Actuaries, 1959), both sexes were close to 100 percent standard weight in their twenties.
The Harvard Pack Test carried out on 152 consecutive subjects demonstrated a high level of physical fitness which was maintained well into middle-age. Use of a bicycle ergometer gave an estimated maximum oxygen uptake of 45.2 ml per kilogram per minute and thus confirmed the high level of cardiopulmonary fitness in this group.
Body weight decreased with age, which is typical of many non-industrial cultures and reflects declining muscle mass but continued leanness.

There was no evidence of coronary heart disease or diabetes. Average blood pressure was on the high side, but did not increase with age. Investigators administered 100 gram glucose tolerance tests and only 3.8 percent of the population had glucose readings above 160 mg/dL, compared to 21 percent of Americans. A study of 7,512 Papuans from several regions with minimal European contact indicated a diabetes prevalence of 0.1 percent, a strikingly low rate. For comparison, in 2007, 10.7 percent of American adults had diabetes (1).

I'm not claiming it's optimal to eat nothing but sweet potatoes. But this is the strongest evidence we're going to come by that sweet potatoes can be eaten in quantity as part of a healthy diet. However, I wish I knew more about the varieties this group ate. Sweet potatoes aren't necessarily sweet. Caribbean 'boniato' sweet potatoes are dry, starchy and off-white. In the US, I prefer the yellow sweet potatoes to the orange variety of sweet potato labeled 'yams', because the former are starchier and less sweet. If I could get my hands on locally grown boniatos here, I'd eat those, but boniatos are decidedly tropical.

Instead, I eat potatoes, but I'm reluctant to recommend them whole-heartedly because I don't know enough about the traditional cultures that consumed them. I believe there are some low-CHD, low-obesity African populations that eat potatoes as part of a starch-based diet, but I haven't looked into it closely enough to make any broad statements. Potatoes have some nutritional advantages over sweet potatoes (higher protein content, better amino acid profile), but also some disadvantages (lower fiber, lower in most micronutrients, toxic glycoalkaloids).

Fairfax launches 160 sites

Is this a sign of a desperation and capitulation at Fairfax camp? On one hand the company officially declares its willingness to put valuable journalistic content behind paywalls and on the other it launches myriad of websites with… you guessed it, free content! Or maybe it is just “me to” pre-emptive action to gain some market share before ABC launches its version of regional hubs?

I would expect a bit more from a leading media company after all that talk about “quality journalism” and how others are taking advantage of their content. It appears it is a classic case of change of heart - “can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em”- as the company reverts to cheap online tactics to grab some extra traffic and sell it at a premium to advertisers…

Now Fairfax will have160 versions of more the less the same stuff – if Fairfax SEO experts got it right, it will be all heavily cross-linked and cross–referenced to score well in online search and to improve search rankings of main Fairfax sites. In fact, it has already been reported in AdNews that “…We've had a significant response this week already seeing a major upswing in unique browsers". But will this strategy help to build brand name and reputation for Farifax in the long run or potentially fragment its audience and shift its positioning downmarket?

This tactic is nothing new and has been used for a long time by dodgy online operators – launch and cross link hundreds of sites with meaningless content but full of well paying keywords to score high in search results and suck in some audience. Then put Adsense ads alongside and watch the money rolling in (after all, if people cannot find what they are looking for on the page they are more likely to click on the ad…).

The storyline Fairfax is using for advertisers is that these sites are “…community news websites that will give advertisers an ability to target local communities online”. It is an attempt to regain some control over access to local audience and hence advertising dollars. Inevitably the company will gain a few quick wins in web traffic game and possibly even significant increase in online advertising revenue in the short term – after all it has a huge infrastructure to support selling advertising on those new sites. But will it give Fairfax sustainable long-term advantage? Will advertisers buy into this model and stick with it in the long run? Time will tell. One thing is certain though. The web just got a little bit more crowded… And ABC will follow with similar initiative soon.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Washington Design Center Hall of Fame Gala

This past Thursday night was the opening Black Tie Gala for the Washington Design Center's 2010 Design House sponsored by Elle Decor Magazine.  Dave & I decided to go and were so excited... until I tried on my dress options 2 hours before we were supposed to leave.  eeeeeeeeeek  not good.  You would have thought I would have been a little more prepared but it's fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants-time at our house these days and it really just slipped my mind.  I also don't have a full-length mirror right now (it helps the post pregnancy self-esteem... no actually we just keep forgetting we need one ;) so I couldn't tell what I looked like in a dress and my mom snapped a picture to show me.  (A very diplomatic/ honest move.)  And when I saw the pic, I knew we had to high-tail it to Tyson's (our mall).  So to Tyson's we went with Dave in his tux, us sprinting around like lunatics with only 50 minutes to find a dress.  I went all over but eventually I found a dress- and the ppl at Nordstroms were so sweet as always.  (This is no joke-  ever since high school I have these nightmares every so often that I'm off to homecoming or prom and I am dress shopping and I don't have anything to wear and I'm late or miss the dance.  Well, this was my nightmare come to life and it was not really nightmarish at all...  just kind of ridiculous.)  I wore the dress out and people laughed at us as we sprinted through the mall- me in a floor-length gown with flip-flops...  ruinging any chance of a good hair day.  When we finally got there we saw lots of friendly faces & also met some new ones: 
{ Textile Designer Bryant Archie, me & my friend Michele Ginnerty of My Notting Hill

{New friend Nicole Qualls of Elle Decor.  We're kindred spirits- do you see how she loves the monkey?!}

{monkeys all over the showhouse!}

{Bryant, me, my husband, fellow-shelter-designer Raji Rhadhakrishnan and her husband}
photo by Michele Ginnerty via My Notting Hill

{Dave & superstar advertising director Matthew Talomie from Elle Decor  ...We love Elle Decor  and were so happy they came down to DC!!}

{ me with friend/designer Rachel James, and Kathleen Litchfield}

I was a very bad blogger (as usual at any events) and spent more time having fun than taking pictures, so I missed a lot of great new friends in the photos including Sherry from Elle Decor (Nicoles's mother- what an awesome family they are!!!) and  sweet/fun-local-designers Sally Steponkus, Heather Safferstone, Barbara Franceski, Andrea Hickman, and builder John Petro.

I did get this photo of Kelley Proxmire in her gorgeous turquoise accented foyer:

{She matched her room- how perfect?!}

{ Chandy with honeycomb beeswax shades..  LOVE}

{And of course I loved the accents in he garden room}
...But then the music got to us and dancing ensued and the camera was forgotten.  ah vell.
If you're interested in seeing all of the rooms, check out this article in The Washington Post or go to the Design Center to see them in person!  Thanks to the Design Center and Elle Decor for an amazing night!!


ps- we went out afterwards and people thought we'd just gotten married!! of course dave insisted it was true as he showed them photos of our 5 month old and 2 year old. 

Is SVG ready for comeback?

Support for Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) standard is quietly sneaking into more and more applications and is included in more and more technology platforms. Til recently the whole concept of SVG seemed like a lost cause. However, the support for SVG in web browsers is now quite widespread and even Internet Explorer will now support it natively in the upcoming version 9. And, unlike Flash, SVG works fine on iPhone and iPad devices.

There was a time of high expectations for SVG (about 6-7 years ago) where it has been hailed as an open source replacement for Flash. But then lack of support in major browsers derailed the whole initiative. The usual suspect, Microsoft, opted to promote its own version of vector graphics standard instead. Plug-in for Internet Explorer developed by Adobe was the only lifeline but support seems to be withdrawn for it some time ago. I don’t know if use of vector graphics in Google Map was a turning point but it definitely helped to bring some attention back to SVG.

When I first came across SVG I got very enthusiastic about the whole idea. The ability to include just a few lines of code in html page, as an ordinary XML text, and create stunning animations and visual effects was such an attractive proposition. It was a breeze in comparison with convoluted JavaScript hacks to enable some web page interactivity before Web 2.0 era truly emerged. But then the reality hit hard. The only way to view those graphics was in IE browser with a plug-in from Adobe. So SVG never caught up with the popularity of Flash.

I actually started playing with SVG even before I created my first map (which led me to my adventure with and this blog). I dusted off some old code to highlight the stunning capabilities of SVG. Here is a text rendering example that you can only dream to be able to do with CSS (note shadow and emboss effects!):

And to finish off, one more example of use of SVG as a mapping application, form Germany:

I believe it’s time to revisit SVG capabilities in the context of the latest developments. Support is not yet uniform across all the browsers, for example some filter effects are not supported in Opera, but SVG deserves a second chance!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Pastured Dairy may Prevent Heart Attacks

Not all dairy is created equal. Dairy from grain-fed and pasture-fed cows differs in a number of ways. Pastured dairy contains more fat-soluble nutrients such as vitamin K2, vitamin A, vitamin E, carotenes and omega-3 fatty acids. It also contains more conjugated linoleic acid, a fat-soluble molecule that has been under intense study due to its ability to inhibit obesity and cancer in animals. The findings in human supplementation trials have been mixed, some confirming the animal studies and others not. In feeding experiments in cows, Dr. T. R. Dhiman and colleagues found the following (1):
Cows grazing pasture and receiving no supplemental feed had 500% more conjugated linoleic acid in milk fat than cows fed typical dairy diets.
Fat from ruminants such as cows, sheep and goats is the main source of CLA in the human diet. CLA is fat-soluble. Therefore, skim milk doesn't contain any. It's also present in human body fat in proportion to dietary intake. This can come from dairy or flesh.

In a recent article from the AJCN, Dr. Liesbeth Smit and colleagues examined the level of CLA in the body fat of Costa Rican adults who had suffered a heart attack, and compared it to another group who had not (a case-control study, for the aficionados). People with the highest level of CLA in their body fat were 49% less likely to have had a heart attack, compared to those with the lowest level (2).

Since dairy was the main source of CLA in this population, the association between CLA and heart attack risk is inextricable from the other components in pastured dairy fat. In other words, CLA is simply a marker of pastured dairy fat intake in this population, and the (possible) benefit could just as easily have come from vitamin K2 or something else in the fat.

This study isn't the first one to suggest that pastured dairy fat may be uniquely protective. The Rotterdam and EPIC studies found that a higher vitamin K2 intake is associated with a lower risk of heart attack, cancer and overall mortality (3, 4, 5). In the 1940s, Dr. Weston Price estimated that pastured dairy contains up to 50 times more vitamin K2 than grain-fed dairy. He summarized his findings in the classic book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. This finding has not been repeated in recent times, but I have a little hunch that may change soon...

Vitamin K2
Cardiovascular Disease and Vitamin K2
Can Vitamin K2 Reverse Arterial Calcification?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Women's Shelter Makeover

Last week a group of local designers headed by Jill Sorensen finished up the makeover of a local women's shelter for victims of domestic violence.  To say it was an awesome experience is an understatement.  I partnered up with Rebecca Ilgenfritz of Acanthus and Acorn to do the living area/entry and a bedroom of the house.  Here's what the living area looked like the first time we visited:

The shelter is affiliated with a local thrift store so we were able to "shop" the thrift store for items for the shelter.  (SO much fun!!!)  Many of the items used were also generously donated by people through Knock-Out Abuse.  We kept the existing furniture & found more furniture, lamps, artwork & accessories at the thrift store/ donations haul.  We all met at the house for a big painting day and - with the help of a group of local volunteers- added color to the drab house & some of the furnishings.  Rebecca and I used fabric remnants to sew pillows, we painted lamps, Rebecca kindly stole her daughter's curtains, and we purchased new shades for all the lamps at Target.   Here's the space now:

{The "new" room}

We popped bright pink peacock feather Liberty of London shades on the existing lamps and used shots of pink throughout the room. 

We wanted to create a space that would encourage the women to hang out with each other & linger.  Of course it's all very "use-what-you-have" but I think the end result is fun & cheerful. 

The bedroom we redid currently belongs to a mom and her two small children. The rooms have to function for an entire family and hold all of their belongings.  Here's a close-up of the bed before:

And here it is now:

Here's a shot taken by Rebecca of the room before:

{Photo by Rebecca Ilgenfritz}

And here it is now:
{Photo by Rebecca Ilgenfritz}

Rebecca generously donated the beautiful antique iron twin bed and the new bunk bed was also donated.  We chose a pale aqua for the walls (that worked perfectly with our pillow fabric) to give the room a relaxed, restful feeling. 

Here's a photo of the lamp before:

And here it is now, piled atop thrift store books for some added height:

Here's the nail polish-stained dresser before:

And here is is now:

I love it!  All of the accessories were free from the thrift store and we added yet another Target shade to the painted urn lamp.  The green leaves in the little white vase are actually just "weeds" I picked from outside the house so they can very easily replace them with new ones.  The vintage weathered frame prints are insanely beautiful.  We spied them in the office at the thrift store and practically begged for them, keeping our fingers crossed that they weren't already spoken for.  They're not hung symmetrically as the dresser isn't perfectly centered on the wall & the visual weights of the twin bed and the bunk bed are so off, so a perfectly symmetrical grouping just didn't feel quite right. 

While taking the mattresses of the bed, we found that one of the mattresses had a beautiful vintage-floral pattern on it in the colors we were using.  We loved it!!  We decided to keep it under the bunk bed to be pulled out for a fun spot the kids could play on:

How much fun is the gold-and-cream rug?  (Thrift store again!)  It hides some stains on the carpet and is another soft spot for kids to play.  The bulletin board (below) was painted in the same aqua as the walls so it will simpy recede and we added a little tray with wooden back massagers on it.  Using a back massager is one of those things I used to love doing with my mom when I was little, so we thought the family might enjoy them and be able to do a little "massage train."  When the family was shown their new room, the kids immediately picked them up & started playing with them wondering what they were.  I love toys that spur interaction.

We used more leftover fabric to cover the box spring on the bed (this one had been with me since college & I'm so happy it's finally found a good home!!)  I love the little painting we found (another thrift donation!!) and hung next to the bed:

And one last picture (because you know I'm a picture nut):

I really can't thank all of the people involved enough for such a rewarding experience.  Cathy (the director of the shelter) is one special lady (& had to deal with our constant questions & emails) who cares so much about these women and helps improve their lives daily.  Jill Sorensen masterminded this whole thing and is the founder of Knock-Out Abuse.  She's such a upbeat, generous talented (and gorgeous!!) person.  Danielle, Ellen, Jennifer Sergent, the volunteer painters and the crew from Hardwood Artisans were such a huge help in getting our spaces finished in time and there's no way we could have done it without them. The other designers involved- Raji Radhakrishnan, Denise Willard and of course Jill Sorensen & Danielle Sigwalt are all just amazing people and I'm honored to have gotten the chance to work with them.  It's definitely a bonding experience and you really feel as if you're part of a team and I know I'll be seeing more of these new friends.  And last but not least, to Rebecca for putting up with my baby-child-smashed-rarely-any-free-days schedule, working so hard to make this project happen and for parterning up with me.  I'm so happy with how everything turned out.   

Here are some links to all of the people involved.  Check out all of the gorgeous before & afters of the other rooms!!

Rebecca Ilgenfritz: Acanthus and Acorn 
Hardwood Artisans - I highly recommend them for any built-in/ furniture work you need if you're in the area. 
Raji Radhakrishan: Design Dossier - mother's refuge
Denise Willard: Dream Design Live. - playroom
 Jill Sorensen Live.Like.You. -- go here for a wrap up post complete with videos

To check out the full article on the entire project by Jennifer Sergent, go to DC by Design.  You will not BELIEVE how amazing the other rooms are!!! 

Finally, if want to help, check out Knock-Out Abuse to find out how.  If you live in another area, consider contacting local shelters to start a project of your own.  It's one of the most rewarding experiences you'll ever have.  I'm going to cherish the memory of the mother & her two adorable children (a little boy & a little girl) walking into their new bedroom forever.  It was better than anything you can imagine.  I keep playing it in my head over and over.  She just kept saying, "It's beautiful," as she and the kids slowly took the room in.  The kids scooped up the back massagers and started touching & exploring everything and it's amazing to see that even 2-4 year olds appreciate something like this.  I didn't want to leave, but standing there staring at them through the doorway forever was probably not cool.  The mother was so thankful and I've never had a more deserving client.  This is really what it's all about.


Google enables map customisation

Google is making lots of new exciting announcements this week using its I/O conference as the main venue to demonstrate the latest product updates as well as new products and services. The one that caught my specific attention is a functionality upgrade to Google Map v3 which allows developers to customise map appearance. You are no longer limited to standard “look and feel” of Google Maps that many are now so accustomed to. By making simple adjustments to the code Google will now serve maps that are altered to specific developer requirements - in terms of visual appearance of the map and its content. Some examples can be found on Google site. Google also provided a wizard application to help in defining map parameters.

I am excited about this new development not because you can now make all sorts of strange looking maps but because Google is only a step away from enabling full customisation of the content of maps that goes beyond just a few markers, lines or polygons! Another point in case that Google Map is fast becoming a fully featured GIS, but in its own very unique way.

First spotted on Google Maps Mania

Related posts:
Free GIS Tools – Google Map
Ingenuity of Google Map architecture also its main limitation

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Malocclusion Posts Translated into German

It's nice to see on my website statistics program that Whole Health Source has a solid international following. As commonly as English is spoken throughout the world however, there are many people who do not have access to this blog due to a language barrier.

A gentleman by the name of Bertram has translated/summarized my series on the causes and prevention of malocclusion (misaligned teeth) into German. His site is, and you can find the first post here, with links to the subsequent 8. It looks like an interesting site-- I wish I could read German. Thanks Bertram!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

One perfect picture & a hug from mom

{Windsor Smith's LA Home, photo by Victoria Pearson for House Beautiful}

I wanted to get a beautiful photo up to replace the house dropped on the Wicked Witch of the East from the previous post.  ;)   I'm pretty sure this space is one of the most incredible I've ever seen.  Windsor Smith is amazing.  I'm not going to go over all of the details, but in short, I think it's perfect.

Thanks everyone so much for the kind words yesterday & I know so many of you are in the exact same boat.  I hate to get all mushy, but I will because I realized something and I think it's worth mentioning,  My mom came over yesterday to help with the kids (like she does twice a week) and she could tell I was feeling overwhelmed.  She was sitting on the sofa and said, "Aw, come here" and I did and she just hugged me like a kid and I got a little teary and felt better.  I have to say I definitely thought I was past that "mom-makes-it-all-better-with-a-hug-thing," but I'm not.  It still works.

She helped clean the (terribly-messy/ trashed) house and stayed late to babysit the kids so I could take Dave out for his birthday dinner.  It's pretty amazing what moms can do and I'm so thankful for mine.  She swooped in and fixed me just when I needed her. 

{thanks mom}

And since I've already gone down the emo-road today, I have to mention that my husband does the all-better-with-a-hug-thing and it always seems to work too.