Friday, October 29, 2010

It's on

Here's my ghettofabulous Buffy the Vampire Slayer costume:

{Yes, the "H" and the stripes are duct tape}

I had the boys home with me today and the stars aligned (i.e. they took their naps at the same time) and I got to work on sewing my costume.  The "pants"/ bodysuit is actually a shirt turned upside down...  The arms are now the legs and I sewed up the hole for your head.  The yellow "skirt" is also a $3 Michael's t-shirt and I stretched out the head hole for the waist and cut it off.  I use the leftovers to make another t-shirt long-sleeved.  It's ridiculous and the best part of the costume is the pair of scrunchy socks I'm wearing.   

{Argg just realized I need a scrunchy for my hair!}

happy Halloween!!!  And to learn the Thriller dance go here.
(SO worth it.)


xoxo, Lauren

Where does hard-headedness end and nastiness begin?

I have been arguing with a friend of mine, someone whose work I admire and whom I like personally, about the election.  In one email, he wrote to me:

All this administration has done, in effect, is additionally regulate banks and businesses (in the middle of a deep recession) and transfer resources from high skill to low skill.  That's what the health care plan and the extension of unemployment benefits has done.
There are a few large presumptions here: that wealth is a function of skill, and that skill is the most important criterion for determining whether one "deserves" resources.   I have no doubt that there is a strong correlation between skill and wealth, but I also have no doubt that a regression where wealth is on the left hand side and skill is on the right would have a large residual.

But even if skill translated perfectly to wealth, I am uncomfortable with the idea that the unskilled are unworthy of having a decent standard of living, particularly in a country as rich as the United States.  I also think that income distribution data from OECD calls into serious question whether rewarding the "highly skilled" leads to better outcomes for the lower income parts of society.  Thus I recoil at the idea that extending unemployment insurance periods in times when there are far more job seekers than jobs is a good idea.

That said, the hard-headed aspects of economics do lead to important insights.  For example, when the country is at full-employment (or something like it), the duration of unemployment insurance should be limited, because we do want people to work.  Similarly, we should always make it better for people to work than to receive government assistance.  I could also go on about the evils of rent control, etc.

This is where I feel conflicted about my discipline on a regular basis.  So much of what we put out there strikes me as being on its face inhumane and arrogant.  Yet I would hate to see what policy would look like in our absence.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

"Spooky" evolution charts

I've been loving educational charts lately and have been running into a lot of German ones.  I thought this vintage evoluationary chart "Abstammungslehr II" was perfect for the season.  Christian calls skulls "spookies" and is pictured below eating his breakfast:

{I've collected more topiaries on the table this Fall...  Look how unsuspecting they are sitting there.. Waiting to slowly be killed...   Ok, I'm really going to try to keep them alive.  I tried out lemon cypress -which I've killed before- because I've heard they're not too difficult.}

This chart was definitely used in the classroom as you can see from the old red arrows the teacher must have drawn:


...And... look who's walking!!! 



Justin started a couple of weeks ago and is definitely not going back.  Time to finish babyproofing!!
Happy Halloweeeeeeeeeeeen!!!!


xoxo, Lauren

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

Sampling

If my friends were a representative sample of the US population, there will be 30 million people at the Rally to Restore Sanity. (Putting the subjunctive together with the future tense sure is awkward!).

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The real reason why a foreclosure moratorium would be a bad idea

I was on Marketplace the other day debating Mike Konczal about whether a foreclosure moratorium  would be a good idea.  I took the no position for two reasons:

(1) A moratorium would slow down the eventual resolution of the housing crisis;

(2) A moratorium would add yet another level of uncertainty about the ability to foreclose going forward, which would discourage the private sector from returning to the mortgage market.  If lenders can't take away the houses of people who don't make their payments, they will not advance mortgage money in the first place.

But last night it occurred to me why I have such a visceral reaction to such things as moratoriums: they strip property rights without due process.  If a borrower agrees to repay a mortgage, and everything about the mortgage is legitimate, and the borrower ceases to make payments, the lender has a property right to take the house.

I am at times a card-carrying member of the ACLU, because I think the rule of law and due process should apply to everyone.  Many lenders have behaved badly and appear to still be behaving badly.  That doesn't mean that all of them should lose their well-defined rights--even temporarily.

Halloween anyone???

Okay, I LOVE Halloween.  I always have.  When I was in preschool my grandmother made me a "Glinda" costume (from the Wizard of Oz)...  It was shiny pink with star sequins glued onto it.  I felt so pretty and special and wore it waaaaaay too often after that.  (Walk in the woods anyone?  Let's put on the Glinda costume!)

I've dressed up almost every year of my life (even in high school when it wasn't cool anymore...  knock Knock...  "Trick-or-treat!"   "Um, aren't you a little old??")  Yeah, so...  I get so excited planning costumes & parties and making sure everyone's got their costume covered.  (I've been known to make housecalls for those in desperate need of costume help.)  When I had Christian (at 25) it was a little harder to get into it but we stayed strong with a warrior party at our house...


{Just the girls}

And the following year we did superheroes...



Last year I was pregnant and we did a small "kids" party.  We didn't dress up ourselves, and it just wasn't as much fun.  It was definitely great to see the kids partying and Christian loved it, but I really missed dressing up.  (And to me, a night is only a perfect "10" if it ends in dancing.)

We usually start out at our house with a small pre-party & then get a limo into the city where we meet up with all of the other ridiculous people.

SO...  this brings to me to where we're at now.  We really debated and wishy-washed about doing something fun for Halloween this year.  It's so sad but we sort of didn't want to.  My best friends live far away and can't make it...  It's a lot of effort.  I barely got pumpkins outside this year.  It just feels like time is racing by and I'm seriously flying by the seat of my pants.  I read all of these beautiful blogs with creative ways to get your house ready for Halloween & table settings & on & on and I love them and plan on trying out the ideas myself but before I can get my act together, the event's upon me.  As we were driving to High Point & throwing the idea of a party around -pretty much thinking 'no'- we put on some music and before I knew it, my hands were in the air and I was dancing in my seat.  (Taio Cruz's Dynamite is really one of the best songs EVER and I fully blame it for the evite I subsequently sent out.)

I have no costumes... only a theme...  Cheesy Teen Horror/ Comedy Movies.  Dave's going as this guy:

{Best movie ever}

... and we're still loolking for a Keiffer.   And a nice curly brown mullet wig and some fangs...

I'm going as my childhood idol:

{hahahaha what does that say about me?}

Yeah, when I was 10 I taught myself the entire dance in the beginning of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and used to do cartwheels and sommersaults on the street while holding a stake.  (Issues much??)

So... we mustered it up for another year.  We were so close to not doing it but we just felt like that would be giving up and we're not ready for that.  I know it'll be fun, it's just the process of getting there that has me a bit exhausted.  It's also harder to convince friends and a few former troopers are done dressing it up now that they have kids which makes me so sad.   

Costumes for the whole family are on the agenda for tonight and we'll be breaking out the sewing machine.  I really am torn here.  It's hard to get into Halloween when you have kids.  Maybe we're not supposed to?? hahah  Is anyone else feeling this?  I envision getting crazier & crazier each year with a haunted house and over the top decor.. maybe murder mystery party...??  Is it too much.  What do you do?

And, if you want to get excited, go here and listen.  Anyone in the DC are going out Friday night?  We usually head out somewhere and are debating where.


xoxo, Lauren

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

Monday, October 25, 2010

diaNoche

One of my best friends from high school has recently started a company with her husband called diaNoche , and a blog to go with it.  Her name is Veronica and the brand, diaNoche, is all about her versatile peices that you can wear both day & night. She's American {half-Italian (from her dad's side, like me!) and half Columbian from her mom's side} and since I can remember has dreamed of creating her own line of clothing that straddled all of her roots.  An artist, she graduated from FIT in New York and has gone after her dream. 


{Veronica El-Showk}

Here's a quick excerpt from a press release:
"diaNoche is a lifestyle brand that embodies the love of travel and art.  While living in New York, owners Veronica and Hedeer El-Showk traveled often for both business and pleasure to Morocco, Europe and Colombia. Inspired, Veronica started designing a collection of shirts with the vision of importing goods from overseas in the future. diaNoche's designs have a strong arabesque influence and are also inspired by the designer's Colombian heritage. The company's themes include everything from the ancient mosaics in Cyprus, to the salt mines in Bogotá and the intricate patterns of tribal North Africa."


{Veronica in a photo taken by her sweet husband, Hedeer}


Her passion for life & all things beautiful literally jumps off of the page at you from her new blog and I am so freaking excited for her & Hedeer!!!! DiaNoche's Fall & Winter line of designer t-shirts is debuting in a couple of weeks. 

{The beautiful logo she created}

Yesterday she came over to our place & I helped her out with a photo shoot.  Here's a picture I took of a little jewely tray we created for the background of one of the shots: 


{Those garden weeds come in handy!}

We shot all day to get her day/ night looks.  (Around 700 images...  and- you know how it goes- only a minute number of usables- especially with me as her model- but she got what she came for.)   She's an amazing photographer & we wanted some soft fresh day looks and some dark, edgy ones for night.  

{me, taking off the shoes...  oh how I love them, oh how I have no idea how she walks in them...}
 
We tried out some crazy stuff- including laying on my outdoor harvest table, (definitely not a use I'd ever envisioned for it) the concrete patio (brrrrr) and nighttime shots in my bedroom which definitely gave it a whole new look.  She 's now working on getting the images loaded & the website finished up and as soon as she does, she's promised me a giveaway for Pure Style Home.  I literally wanted EVERYTHING I wore yesterday.  The designs she's created are super-flattering and just honestly make you look good.  I was really skeptical when she asked me to be her model but truly, the clothes did all the work.    


{image by Veronica...  her friends' boots in Italy- how beautiful??}

At one point yesterday (well, at lots of points) we just started cracking up...  I think I was hanging out on a hide rug pouring tea from a beautiful tea pot with a pile of vintage quilts next to me...  really???  You definitely have to play a lot and take risks and feel stupid to get to where you're trying to go. 
But it was so much fun. 
At one point Christian came up to us, "What game are you playing?"
Veronica: "Photo shoot."
Christian:  "Can I play?
...So, although theres not yet a diaNoche kids' line, Veronica made sure to get a few good shots of Christian.  ...Who made sure to let me know that he loved my hair the way she'd done it (curls) but didn't like the "gray stuff" on my eyes and helped me wash off the eyeshadow when we were finished. {What a picky little man!}

So, as soon as she lets me and her site is set up for online purchases, I'll post some photos of Veonica's new line & we'll be doing a giveaway.  If you have some time, stop over to visit Veonica at diaNoche and say hi.  She's a brand new blogger & I know she'd love to hear from you. 

I'm so excited & happy for her and I know we're all going to be hearing a lot about her soon.


xoxo, Lauren

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

Why to avoid motorcycle riding in India



Hannah in Bodh Gaya: the most dangerous thing you can do » North by Northwestern

I

saw someone die in the street last night.

During orientation, Robert explained the five Buddhist Precepts to us, and he explained why our experience and that of others would be better if we agreed to follow them during our time here. Then he said that if we broke one, we shouldn’t beat ourselves up, but that we should try not to do it again. When a few students were caught drinking and smoking on the roof, he said at lunch that he’d heard about it, and that if we had any intoxicants in our room we should go get them and flush them down the toilet. He didn’t say to go get them and bring them to him. He understands that he can’t make us do anything.

The only thing that he forbade expressly was riding motorcycles.

“Riding a motorcycle in India is the most dangerous thing you can do,” he said. “There is no trauma ward. If you get into an accident, everyone will stand and watch while you bleed to death in the street.

I saw the crowd before I saw the body. I was walking with a couple of French people I’d met the night before. They saw the crowd and didn’t wish to walk that way. One man told me it was OK for us to pass, so I went because otherwise I would be late to mediation. For just half a second I saw the man lying exactly on his back in a pool of blood with a thick stream of blood draped across his face and body. It could not have been more red. His motorcycle was behind him. I turned my head away and touched the wall next to me, but the image has not left my mind. This body was not like a body prepared for cremation in Varinassi. They were supposed to be dead. This man was still fresh. He should have been alive. At the moment I saw him, maybe he was alive.

I walked back the way I’d come and saw my fellow students coming toward me in rickshaws. I looked at them and said “there’s a dead man in the street.” I expected them to stop or something, but the rickshaws just went past. Only Wanda and Heidi got out. I didn’t want to walk alone, so I had to walk past the same place to catch up with them. The body was being carried up the hill on a woven stretcher, and I had to see the pool of blood mixed in the gravel and rainwater again as I walked past.

When we got to mediation we were having a group photo taken. We had to wear our Zen robes. I thought “I can’t figure out the strings on these robes, I just saw a dead man,” and “I can’t smile for this photo, there was so much blood,” and “I can’t get up for walking mediation, he was lying right on his back like he was in bed,” but I managed to do all those things anyway.

It was our final meditation session in the Japanese temple, so afterward one of the monks spoke to us. He told us that “Arigato” means more than thank you in Japanese. It means, these circumstances were difficult to come by, and we are so happy that you can be here. You are not just thanking the person you are speaking to, but you are thanking every circumstance that lead you to be together. He said we should all call or e-mail our families to say “arigato”. He said that it might confuse them, but he didn’t care. Maybe it’s wrong, but it’s true that seeing death like that makes you understand how rare it is that so many of the people you love are still healthy and fine. Arigato.

Friday, October 22, 2010

My Vintage Peanut

{Our dining room server }

About a year ago, I came across a silverplated vintage peanut and snapped it up because it's one of those pieces that just makes me happy.  It's definitely not something to be taken seriously and adds a little fun anywhere it goes.  I've seen another 1 or 2 of them out and aboupt since then and just love them.


It's marked "F.B. ROGERS Silverplate."  The company was founded in 1883 in Massachusetts and is still in business today.  When I picked it up I thought it was such a cool piece and pictured reproducing it.  Well, you've heard the saying "there are no new ideas..."  Last weekend at High Point I walked into Go Home's showroom and there was my silver peanut!  Doppelganged!!  They're set to be retailed around $50 each.  Here's their version:



It's pretty  much identical except for the inside of the new peanuts are silver, whereas mine is gold:


{Yum yum...  see my reflecion in the peanut?}  I didn't have any peanuts to put inside so I went with almonds instead.

The peanut is set out on a little bar tray ready to be enjoyed with some Fall cocktails:


{Bar tray dressed with weeds from my garden in a vintage silver creamer}

What are your thoughts on reproductions?  I sway between loving the idea of having things more accessible and available to the idea of keeping things rare & unique.  I personally love finding my own treasures but it's not always a possibility for everyone...  Very torn.
Have a beautiful weekend!! 


xoxo, Lauren

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Fannie-Freddie Problem is not as severe as the headlines would suggest

Page 10 of the FHFA report, gives forward expected losses under three scenarios.  The third is really awful--it assumes a further reduction in house prices by 1/4, which would be a lot.  But under the other two scenarios, the net cost to taxpayers (draws less dividends owed to Treasury) would be $6 to 19 billion.  This is real money, but hardly cataclysmic.  It does suggest that the vast majority of the losses are already behind us.

Ten Slides on California (and the other 49 States)










Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Obesity and the Brain

Nature Genetics just published a paper that caught my interest (1). Investigators reviewed the studies that have attempted to determine associations between genetic variants and common obesity (as judged by body mass index or BMI). In other words, they looked for "genes" that are suspected to make people fat.

There are a number of gene variants that associate with an increased or decreased risk of obesity. These fall into two categories: rare single-gene mutations that cause dramatic obesity, and common variants that are estimated to have a very small impact on body fatness. The former category cannot account for common obesity because it is far too rare, and the latter probably cannot account for it either because it has too little impact*. Genetics can't explain the fact that there were half as many obese people in the US 40 years ago. Here's a wise quote from the obesity researcher Dr. David L. Katz, quoted from an interview about the study (2):
Let us by all means study our genes, and their associations with our various shapes and sizes... But let's not let it distract us from the fact that our genes have not changed to account for the modern advent of epidemic obesity -- our environments and lifestyles have.
Exactly. So I don't usually pay much attention to "obesity genes", although I do think genetics contributes to how a body reacts to an unnatural diet/lifestyle. However, the first part of his statement is important too. Studying these types of associations can give us insights into the biological mechanisms of obesity when we ask the question "what do these genes do?" The processes these genes participate in should be the same processes that are most important in regulating fat mass.

So, what do the genes do? Of those that have a known function, nearly all of them act in the brain, and most act in known body fat regulation circuits in the hypothalamus (a brain region). The brain is the master regulator of body fat mass. It's also the master regulator of nearly all large-scale homeostatic systems in the body, including the endocrine (hormone) system. Now you know why I study the neurobiology of obesity.


* The authors estimated that "together, the 32 confirmed BMI loci explained 1.45% of the inter-individual variation in BMI." In other words, even if you were unlucky enough to inherit the 'fat' version of all 32 genes, which is exceedingly unlikely, you would only have a slightly higher risk of obesity than the general population.

Second Annual UCI-UCLA-USC Urban Research Day

2nd Annual UCI-UCLA-USC Urban Research Day
October 22nd, 2010
Ralph & Goldy Lewis Hall 100


8:30 am
Continental Breakfast

Session 1
9:00 am - 11:00 am

Kerry Vandell (University of California, Irvine)
"
Tax Structure and Natural Vacancy Rates in the Commercial Real Estate Market: Can Tax Incentives Cause Overbuilding in a World of Stochastic Prices”

Discussant:
Gary Painter (University of Southern California)

Stuart Gabriel
(University of California, Los Angeles)
"Housing Risk and Return:  Estimates of a Housing Asset Pricing Model"

Discussant:
Xudong An (San Diego State University)


Break   11:00 am – 11:10 am

Session 2
11:10 am – 12:10 pm

Ryan Vaughn (University of California, Los Angeles)
“Strategic Foreclosure:  An Empirical Assessment of
Strategic Behavior by Lenders in the Mortgage Market”

Discussant:
Chris Redfearn (University of Southern California)


Session 3
1:15 pm – 2:15 pm

Richard Green (University of Southern California)
“Surfing for Scores:  School Quality, Housing Prices, and the Changing Cost of Information” with Paul Carrillo and Stephanie R. Cellini

Discussant:
Matthew Kahn (University of California, Los Angeles)

Break   2:15 pm – 2:25 pm

Session 4
2:25 pm – 3:25 pm

Jenny Scheutz (University of Southern California)
“Is the 'Shop Around the Corner' a Luxury or a Nuisance?The relationship between income and neighborhood
retail patterns” with Jed Kolko and Rachel Meltzer

Discussant:
Jan Brueckner (University of California, Irvine)

Break
   3:25 pm – 3:35 pm

3:35 pm – 4:30 pm

Session 5
Marlon Boarnet (University of California, Irvine)
“ Land Use and Vehicle Miles of Travel in the Climate
Change Debate: Getting Smarter than Your Average
Bear”

Discussant:
Lisa Schweitzer (University of Southern California)


Dinner              6:00 pm
Location           CafĂ© Pinot



Minutes vs Stress

The Texas Transportation Institute says that the place I live now, Los Angeles, and that I lived just before LA, Washington, have the worst traffic in the country (they actually rank one and two), where worst is defined as average minutes spent in bad traffic per day.  

Today was a bad day in LA--it rained, and people just don't know how to deal with that here.  But for some reason, I found commuting by car in DC to be far more frustrating.  In both cities, the distance between my home and office was about the same.  As it happens, I hated driving in DC so much that I took Metro to work nearly every day, and the total Metro commute was about 50 minutes one way (including walking).  On the other hand, the walk from my house to the Bethesda Metro station and from Dupont Circle to my office in Foggy Bottom was quite pleasant.

But back to the point--somehow driving in LA seems far less stressful to me than driving in Washington.  Maybe it's just that the radio stations are better....

How I begin a project & the beautiful mess

A project always begins with some sort of inspiration.  When I first get into a new project with a client, after talking about generally concrete things like color, fuction, style and general needs & wishes, we dig a little deeper and think about how the room should feel. 

To me, the feeling in a space- the atmosphere, the mood- is what's most important.  Rooms can be happy, thoughtful, fresh, light, airy, clean, cozy, warm, moody...  (we could go on & on here.)  Sometimes we want rooms to inspire conversation & other times we want a quiet place to read & retreat to.  We really can't choose colors or finishes or furniture (or anything) until we know how the room is supposed to make us feel.  Clients are typically comfortable talking about colors and needs and style, but atmosphere talks don't always come as naturally because it's not something people tend to think about.  Yet it truly is the starting point.  I don't feel confortable making any design-related decisions until I know how a room should feel.

Once we've gone through the process, we can move onto some tangible inspiration. 


Here, my client has pale greeny-gray walls and an open brick fireplace.  Her home feels cool right now and she wants to warm it up without painting.  She loves reds and oranges and wants a warm, happy,"cozy," relaxed & comfortable space where she can hang out with her son and entertain.  It's going to be be pretty but people should always feel like they can put their feet up and stay a while.  Fabrics will be soft, comfortable & durable.  Her home is a 70s split foyer with vaulted ceilings & reminds me so much of my own house...  with these modern homes, the mix of old & new, classic & modern is a serious balancing act...  in our area, many of use live in these 70s houses because they're everywhere...   but we aren't ready to go 70s mod and filling these houses up with traditional furniture just doesn't work.  We have to walk the line.

We're putting in a new kitchen with dark walnut stained cabinets and the most beautiful vintage-looking handmade subway tiles.  Here are the two colors we're using for the tile by Pratt & Larsen:


When I found the tiles, the rest really fell into place.  They tiles were our literal starting points of inspiration because they work so perfectly- they'll serve to warm up the space while still working with the existing wall color and they create that modern-meets-patinated-thing we want going on- but our true point of inspiration was a feeling.   

One of the highlights of my trip to High Point was my good friends' Eddie Ross & Jaithan Kochar's talk about creating buzz for your business.  They mentioned the concept of a "beautiful mess" which I love so much.   The photo above is an example of a beautiful mess & Eddie's blog is full of them.  It's the starting point for projects...  all the bits and pieces that will go into creating something and when we see the "beautiful mess" we get excited for what's to come.  I realized that -like many of you I'm sure- much of my work starts with a beautiful mess.  My worktable is full of them and I love tweaking to them & adding to them until it feels right.  Once I'm "finished" with my clients' messes -that's relative, I'm always playing with them- they go into a carrying case so they can come with me anywhere- to clients' homes, showrooms, flea markets, etc. 

I wish I'd had a video camera with me so I could replay their amazing talk for you.  They're seriously such generous people and their presentation was so honest & real.  Eddie & Jaithan were both fun & witty as always and we got so much out of it.  they're awesome.

  {Eddie Ross, Traci Zeller, me, Maria Killam, and Jaithan Kochar}-  love you guys!!!

I'll be sharing hi-lights of my trip throughout a series of post...  there's just way too much to fit into one.  I learned so much & am honestly just in awe of this whole industry.  I was gaga over the goods we saw- the furniture, the fabrics, the showrooms, the lighting- yet it was the people who truly blew me away.  


xoxo, Lauren


If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

World Bank mashup competition

A new mashup competition has been just announced by the World Bank, with prizes ranging from U$15,000 for the winning submission to U$2,000 for honourable mention. All entries must be submitted by 10 January 2011 and winners will be announced in April, 2011.



One of the preconditions of participation is use of World Bank’s free data, launched under its Open Data Initiative in April, 2010. “The Apps for Development Competition aims to bring together the best ideas from both the software developer and the development practitioner communities to create innovative apps using World Bank data… All entrants will retain all intellectual property ownership in their submissions.”

Google Map creators get recognition

Brothers Lars and Jens Rasmussen, the creators of technology behind Google Maps, have been formally recognised for their role in developing and launching this popular world-wide service. This week they were named NSW's Entrepreneurs of the Year in the information and communications technology (ICT) field.

Sometimes it takes outsiders to shake out things in stagnated industries, as GIS once used to be. Pitching the idea to Google was a brilliant move (and reportedly very profitable). Otherwise who know where we would be today…


Related Posts:
Ingenuity of Google Map architecture also its main limitation
Free GIS Tools - Google Map

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

High Point: the tiniest post

We got back from High Point around 1 AM last night & I'm swamped, so as soon as I can get a spare minute (or 30) I'll fill you in on all the details about our trip.  All that I can really say right now is that I finally got to meet some of my favorite blog friends and it was just amazing.  We bonded.  It's incredible how we create these relationships online and then meet and just connect.  Below is a photo of a group of us out to dinner one night at the Proximity Hotel.  (I am still thinking about my food there. Really. )


Photo  {me, Traci Zeller of Traci Zeller Designs, Angela Williams of Giannetti Home, Benji Gaines & Liz Morten of Dovecote Decor, Bobby McAlpine (yes-  I blubbered...  I have never been so affected by a design book.  Dave's read his book too and was so excited to meet him.) Brooke Giannetti of Velvet & Linen, Maria Killam of Colour Me Happy and Dave (my husband ;)  ... Steve Giannetti took this picture and Dave & I are also totally in awe of him.  I promise to write more- I met & saw so many amazing bloggers, designers & good friends, and we're all exchanging pictures, so as soon as I can, I'll post. 

I missed my little guys so much so I'm off to hang with them!! 

xoxo, Lauren

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

ps- And I have to mention that Traci brought a beautiful red tricycle that her twins don't use and gave it to me for Christian!!  After reading my post about our plastic one, she contacted me.  Does it get any sweeter?? I'm still in awe & so grateful.  Thank you Traci!!!!!  xoxoox

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Read Yves Smith

Yves Smith was ahead of the Times and the Journal (and so far as I can tell, everyone else) on the foreclosure mess.  I learn a lot from her about what is happening with mortgage backed securities, and I teach students about them for a living.