Sunday, January 27, 2013

Just looking ...

Pretty in pink at the Grange showroom

Have you been to the Boston Design Center lately? This weekend they held a Red Tag Sale which was paired with the Boston Home Show at Cruiseport Boston. The BDC, which sells exclusively to the design trade, was open to the general public. Many showrooms were offering high-end floor models, fabrics and more at drastically reduced prices. I went looking for some design inspiration for a few projects I am working on, including a couple of living room makeovers, my kitchen/mudroom renovation, and a proposal for a summer design show. Below are some snapshots of what caught my eye while I was there. 

See anything you like?

Sunday, January 20, 2013


A typical four-day juice cleanse from Nourish Your Soul

Have you ever given a juice cleanse a try? I survived a four-day juice-only cleanse this past summer. There were definitely some moments when I caught myself fantasizing about food, but overall I felt the health benefits far outweighed the sacrifices of not being able to start the day with a cup of coffee, sit down to a meal, drink that glass of wine, or snack freely. I did miss the socializing aspect of eating, but the juices that I had to drink each day on the Nourish Your Soul program were surprisingly filling, so I never really felt hungry. I’m sure that if I had been more physically active during the four days instead of basically sitting at a computer for hours on end, I might have experienced more hunger pains, but by stretching out my five daily liquid meals to about an hour each, I was able to pass the time without feeling too deprived.

My favorite juice, Detox Lemonade, includes lemons, filtered water, cayenne pepper and maple syrup. It tastes great and has a real kick! Benefits: battles the flu and colds, aids digestion, increases circulation, fights inflammation, and revs metabolism.

What I consumed during the four day cleanse included lots of kale, spinach, romaine, parsley, lemon, apple, cucumber, almond milk, dates, pear, pineapple, mint, plus a bit of cayenne pepper, sea salt, and maple syrup. It can take up to six pounds of fruits and vegetables, cold pressed in a hydraulic press, to make one drink –  packing each 16 oz. juice with loads of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Probably my favorite part of the entire cleanse was knowing that I didnt have to feel bad about what I put into my body. It was 100% guilt-free consumption which in and of itself felt pretty good.

photo courtesy Linda Hentschel

I definitely noticed that my energy level increased while on the cleanse (which is one of the benefits from not having to digest three typical meals a day), and I felt and looked less puffy.” A number of pounds were lost, but more importantly, I believe I acquired a new taste for fresh greens (without any dressing) and cleansing fruits (lemons in particular). While I have not been able to duplicate the drinks on the cleanse with my blender (really need a press for this) I have been able to come up with a close match to the Detox Lemonade by combining cold water with a fresh squeezed lemon, a couple drops of maple syrup and some Red Hot sauce to taste. When I drink it from a wine glass it feels almost like a mixed drink, making it my new end-of-day ritual. Even my kids like it.

Interior designer Linda Hentschel with shop owner Susan Cabana
The suspended chalkboard hides a set of refrigerators in the main kitchen area.

Cork floor from Eco Modern Design; custom made glass counter top

My friend Linda Hentschel designed the brick and mortar location of Nourish Your Soul along with founder Susan Cabana who is a nutritionist, educator and devoted yogi (read her story here). While working on the space, Linda fell in love with the Pineapple, Pear, Mint juice along with the selection of fresh made smoothies. One that I really liked was a cherry chocolate almond butter version. I have been making almond butter smoothies at home based on a recipe I found on Pinterest: fresh spinach, almond milk, almond butter, plus a whole banana. I learned from Susan that if I peel the banana ahead of time and freeze it, I can make a chilled smoothie without having to add ice. For now, my homemade smoothies will have to do since Nourish Your Soul (located in West Medford) is a bit outside of my daily travels. But whenever I am in the neighborhood I will certainly make a point to stop in for something fresh.  

The Nourish Your Soul Green Glow Smoothie:
spinach, coconut water, dates, pear, apple, lemon, banana

Susan also teaches yoga classes.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Designer Faucets + NY Fashion Week

I am packing my bags! Well, technically not till February 6th when I head to New York to meet Jason Wu for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week! The brilliant marketing team behind the fashion-driven Brizo brand plans these amazing blogger events that take place in New York during fashion week and I have been invited to attend! Not only will I get to meet the people behind the Brizo brand –  including fashion designer Jason Wu who has designed a stunning bath collection for Brizo – I will also get to spend my few days in New York with a small group of fellow design bloggers. We will get to learn more about the Brizo brand, attend special events including a cocktail party with Jason Wu, and get complimentary seats to watch his runway show featuring his fall collection for 2013!! What an incredible opportunity! I am beyond exited!

Design impacts every aspect of our lives. Jason Wu

image courtesy: Brizo

If you have been following my posts on the Designer Bath blog, you have probably learned a little bit about this uniquely-stylish line of bath and kitchen fixtures. I actually asked that Brizo be brought into the showroom when I first started there as Marketing Director last year. After hearing so many interior designers sharing their love for this brand on both twitter and on their blogs, I knew it should be made available in our showroom. I was very happy to hear when we officially brought the line on, and it has done very well. Our customers love it! 

Brizo collections are both artistic and elegant, while offering the innovation of SmartTouch Plus Technology. The designs really stand out with their fluid lines that mimic shapes found in nature. Below is one of their images that I chose to display in our showroom windows ...

Inspired by the bluebell flower's distinctive silhouette,
Talo is Brizo's first traditional pull-down faucet.

“Brizo is unique from a brand perspective because it’s pretty much designer-driven. We view the things we do as functional sculpture or jewelry for the home.
– Judd Lord, director of Functional Design, Brizo

I am truly looking forward to this exciting business-meets-pleasure brand-sponsored trip AND finding out who will be sharing the experience!

Let me know if I will see you in New York!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Ship Shape

Six days into the new year and I finally made it to the gym. Surprisingly, it was not crowded. It felt good to walk the treadmill, read a magazine (okay, wasn’t going to over exert myself on day one) listen to some tunes and watch some TV in a pretty setting (seriously, the gym is pink). We actually have a treadmill at home but it is surrounded by so many boxes of stuff and items “worth saving” that it is impossible for me to go in there to exercise and clear my mind when I can not block out all the clutter – visual and emotional.

This year I am focusing on getting to the bottom of the clutter. I tend to save way too much and hold onto anything of perceived value, and after over a decade of raising children I now have not only my childhood objects of affection but all of theirs as well. It is too much. Clothes, books, toys, furnishings. I know I should have been getting rid of more of it as the years went by, but with four of the same gender it wasn’t unusual to hold onto a winter coat for a decade because it was going to be worn again. And again. And again.

But that is just the big stuff. Along with all of that there is the day to day stuff that just tends to pile up. Especially when we always have at least one room in the house that is under construction. We are constantly shifting items from their intended space to a temporary space. Not everything ends up back where it should be. But this year I am going to tackle all those small but hugely unorganized areas. I say year because it could take that long. It is that overwhelming. 

I have found a method to start dealing with the chaos though. Professional organizer and regular on the OWN network, Peter Walsh is hosting a #31Days2GetOrganized challenge on both Facebook and on Twitter. Each day for the entire month of January he is offering up one small 10 minute task designed to chip away at the type of clutter that most of us are hiding behind closed doors.

I’ve found that once I start in on the specific task assigned, I usually keep going. It feels good to over achieve when I only have to get past 10 minutes to complete the first goal. Hopefully by the end of the month I will be well on my way to getting this place back to how it was when my boys were little, I was able to spend more time at home, and hadn’t resigned myself to the fact that I am living in a virtual frat house. Wish me luck! 

It’s not too late to start getting organized – if you start today, you only have about an hour’s worth of organizing assignments to get caught up on!