Page 1


Women, Interiors &Fashion!


ON THE COVER: Interior designer, shop owner and artist Mayme Baker has opened her home to House of Fifty readers. Get ready for a visual treat!


When asking women to share what they are passionate about, most will include clothing and their homes. Good style can bring out our beauty, and homes that fit our lifestyle provide enjoyment and comfort. In this issue we celebrate fashion, interior design and women who are creating a name for themselves in these fields.

Amie Corley & Rachel Parcell Interiors to Fashion Page 12

Emerson Fry Talent We Are Taken With Page 32

Vivienne Strauss Art We Love Page 108

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR As interior design and fashion are two of my personal passions, it has been great fun to work on this issue! Often it can take time to discover exactly what one’s specific style is, in both our interiors and the way we choose to dress. But when we do, it can help us enjoy our best lives. In my early 20’s I experienced what I can only describe as a surreal encounter with the power fashion brings to those women who have confidently embraced their unique style. This type of style not only 2

distinguishes a woman, setting her apart from the crowd, but creates the image we envision when they come to mind. I also learned all too clearly on this day that when your clothing does not truly express who you are and what your potential is, you can be left feeling less than you are. On an unseasonably chilly spring day in NYC I arrived at the American Academy of Arts and Letters, accompanying a friend who was to be honored with an award from this prestigious organization. To be completely frank, my outfit was a disaster. I’m embarrassed to recall it even today, nearly 30 years later. It did not suit me well and while technically not inappropriate for the event, it left me appearing as if I simply did not belong at this gathering. And unfortunately, this fact only became more glaringly clear as the day proceeded. My first glimpse of someone owning their style with assurance occurred as we approached the entrance. There Gloria Steinem stepped out of a car wearing an elegant sheath of camel suede, looking understatedly beautiful, exemplifying the strong woman she is. I immediately realized my bright colors and white shoes were terribly out of place. Not moments later I found myself standing in a small circle just a few steps away from the true icon of style, Jackie Kennedy Onassis. Speaking with us in her memorable voice, perfectly dressed in an impeccably tailored

navy pants suit, she embodied everything one has ever heard about her. After a luncheon and awards ceremony the event continued with a party and, wandering about, I spotted an artist I had long admired, Louise Nevelson. Excited about plans to pursue my art studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago the following fall, how could I not go up and speak to her? Dressed in her dramatic and intimidating garb we spoke, and I tell you, she was not exactly encouraging or kind, expressing skepticism about my future potential in the creative world. In retrospect her response to me was understandable on many levels, not to mention the fact that in her eyes I must have appeared as the silliest of young girls from who knows where! I left the event that evening feeling more than a bit lost in the face of all I had encountered. At the same time, however, it was an amazing experience to observe in person three such uniquely different women whose style has become synonymous with the work and lives they are known for. What I eventually learned from that day and my journey to discover my own sense of style is that the best thing we can strive for is to become the truest version of ourselves. Sincerely,

Janell Beals, Founding Editor




September/October 2012





03 Editor’s Letter

12 Beautiful Interiors Become High Fashion

32 Talent We Are Taken With: Emerson Fry

What fun it is to see inspiring interiors translated into fashionable outfits.

This talented fashion designer is busy turning out a line of stylish clothing and shoes. In this interview Emerson shares how she turned a little venture into a thriving business.

When discovering our personal style, the best thing we can strive for is to become the truest version of ourselves.

08 The Team A heartfelt “thank you” to everyone who contributed to this issue!


31 Read House of Fifty on the Go! Enjoy reading HOF on the iPad and other mobile devices.


70 44 A Well Loved & Collected Home Interior Designer Mayme Baker opens her home to House of Fifty readers.



96 90 Advanced Decor Valorie Hart talks with style maven Debra Rapoport on the connection between fashion and home decor.

70 Tailored Details & Touches 96 The Heart of Design of Glamour Kim Myles knows the power Details, even down to the smallest gestures, make all the difference in design.

clothing has to make a woman feel her best.

100 98 House of Fifty’s Delicious (Mix & Match) Fashion Finds for Fall This season recycle classics already owned with new purchases to create a fresh look for fall.

100 Adorn Yourself Women have always been in love with jewelry!






104 What’s In My Bag Beauty Editor Mimi Inman’s bag is packed and ready to take her about anywhere.

106 Mimi’s Smart Skin Basics for Fall The changing weather can wreak havoc on your skin, but these potions will have you prepared to fight back.




108 Vivienne Strauss, Art We Love The work of this charming artist is inspired by vintage fashion, classic films and a growing collection of old photographs.

118 What We’re Watching Our favorite films in which fashion plays a starring role.

122 The Books on Our Shelves This time around we are featuring our latest interior and fashion design reads.

126 Drink to Your Health with Green Tea With countless health benefits, is it time to pour a cup of green tea?






128 The Power Food Has to Affect Our Mood

146 Time Management Secrets of Serene Women

Getting the nutrients our bodies need can help manage stress and elevate our sense of well-being.

Manage your time wisely and understand you can’t do it all!

What a special privilege it is to raise boys. Four women share their stories about what they have learned is important.

150 Teaching Kindness by Being Kind - Bullying isn’t Just for Kids

162 Stay In Touch!

134 Mood Elevating Foods for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Try these foods and recipes to boost health and mood.


We are teaching the young people around us through our actions.

154 Mothers Raising Boys

Read House of Fifty on the go and stay connected for the latest inspirations and stories.



fall issue!

Janell Beals Founding Editor

Lakeitha Duncan New Features Editor

Mimi Inman Beauty Editor

Shari Miller Art Director

To Everyone Who Contributed to this Issue,


House of Fifty! Courtney Fernan A Thoughtful Place 8

Valorie Hart The Visual Vamp

Amanda Andrew Interior Designer AJ Cooper Design

Mindy Lockard The Gracious Girl

Lisa Mende Lisa Mende Design

Laurie Moulton House of lolo

Kim Myles Kim Myles

Sukaina Rajabali Sips and Spoonfuls

Pauline Wiles Pauline Wiles

Traci Zeller Traci Zeller Designs

Rene’ Zieg Cottage & Vine 9



we love our sponsors!





Interior design and fashion have always enjoyed a symbiotic relationship. A room can be seen borrowing a bright neon from the runway, while a jacket gets accessorized with golden buttons inspired by the alluring brass currently so popular in lighting design. Clothing and interiors push the limits of what is most creative and on trend. Here at House of Fifty, we thought it would be exciting to see three beautifully designed interiors interpreted into a collection of inspiring outfits. So we invited two of our favorite experts from each field to contribute to the fun!

St. Louis based Interior Designer Amie Corley is making a major splash in the design world these days. Bold color and graphic prints are her calling cards and there is no denying that a sense of whimsy and a fearless application of pattern make Amie’s designs stand out in a crowd. Rachel Parcell is the author of one of the fastest growing fashion blogs in the country, Pink Peonies. Thousands check in to see what Rachel is wearing each and every day. Here Rachel took inspiration from Amie’s original designs, creating one of a kind looks ranging from elegantly feminine, hip and trendy to casually chic.



A glamorous and feminine living room with equal parts old and new embraces an intriguing palette of pastels and a dash of neon.

Soft colors and subtle textures in a vibrant setting capture the essence of the design, with the finishes of the room making an appearance through accessories.


A peplum skirt perfectly captures the color and lines of sculptural pillows sitting on the white sofa!

Light reflecting and dancing on a wall references the crystal chandelier.

Pearl and crystal jewelry, a metallic detail on the toe of the shoe and a leather handbag repeat the materials and finishes of the design.



Asked to describe this room, Amie shares, “My inspiration for this living room was an old photo shoot of Gwyneth Paltrow at the Ritz in Paris. The room had all this gorgeous molding and was painted two perfect shades of aqua. Plus the clothes she was wearing, I totally copied it and then introduced modern touches and lines to make it work for this house.”


When asked what her personal style is Rachel immediately labels it as “feminine and classic.” The look she created based on the living room is just that. A sophisticated pairing of pale aqua and yellow echoes the spirit of the design and provides a beautiful backdrop for the jewelry. Brass accents and a sparkly chandelier inspired the chosen accessories.






In designing this eclectic dining room, Amie was channeling hip New Orleans. The vintage French buffet, jazzy artwork and a mod spin on a traditional New Orleans damask wallpaper all sing of the festive and vibrant streets of the city.


Rachel enjoys wearing statement pieces which give an outfit that polished touch. Here a coral and crystal necklace reflect the glassware and pale roses of the table setting. A lace skirt and rich navy stripe on the blouse repeat the strong contrast of velvet drapery hung alongside the delicate wall covering. An edgier denim jacket references casual blues seen on the car, while aviator sunglasses repeat the bold headlights with humor. Pops of brilliant pink complete the outfit, just as the beautifully upholstered pink chair completes the room design. 21



In creating an eye catching bedroom for her son Henry, Amie relied on her love of the classic color combination of blue and orange. 24

Taking a que from the statement light fixture, patterned drapes and animal prints in Henry’s room, Rachel paired her classic polka dot print blouse with a gold spiked bracelet and embellished elephant necklace.



The Hinson Spatter print curtains are her favorite element in this space. “Although the pattern dates back to the 70’s it still has a current vibe, and absolutely, each room should have a statement chandelier...”


“...and every outfit should have an amazing statement necklace.” The understated playfulness of the room is perfectly reflected in Rachel’s choice of pattern, colors and materials.


Whether it’s a well worn leather sofa or a sumptuous pair of riding boots for fall, trends in interiors and fashion will continue to mirror one another.


What most reflects your style? Is it your home, your wardrobe, or perhaps a combination of the two? We chatted with Amie to get her take on style, fashion and a little bit about her journey into the beautiful world of interiors.


Amie Corley WHERE DO YOU FIND MOST OF YOUR INSPIRATION FOR THE ROOMS YOU DESIGN? I get inspired from the simplest things. Art, color, fashion, kid’s books and traveling. Honestly, it all usually starts with the color palette and a favorite fabric or wallpaper. I pull color schemes from what’s right outside my window and I love trying unexpected color combinations. I have two little kids, so I don’t travel as much as I used to. But it’s amazing what a change of scenery does to

get the creative juices flowing. Now I have to rely on my quick weekend trips home to New Orleans for a change of scenery, but I always come back with a new perspective and some great ideas. Just driving around the Garden District looking at the architecture is enough to get me excited. I think it’s such a beautiful city and I’m glad that I’ve got lots of reasons to go back every couple of months.

DID YOU ALWAYS KNOW THAT YOU WANTED TO BE A DESIGNER? No! I am actually a big science nerd and have a master’s degree in tropical medicine from Tulane. I thought I wanted to live in Africa and cure malaria. Then I met my husband and he said, “No way!” Instead I moved with him to Chicago so that he could finish his emergency medicine residency and I somehow fell 28

into working at Barneys. The rest is history. I fell in love with fashion first. It’s a little tough not to fall hard when you’re working at Barneys. After a few years in Chicago, we moved to his hometown of St. Louis and bought a century old home that was a major fixerupper. I became a tad bit obsessed with

interiors and the whole design world and began reading everything pertaining to design that I could get my hands on. I never thought of doing it professionally until my friends started asking me for help. With the coaxing of my husband I got a tax ID and started my business. A local home magazine did a story about our home a few months after I started my business and put a gorgeous photo of the

home on the cover. I’m still getting business from that article and it was published over four years ago. I’m completely self taught and have just figured it all out along the way. I definitely don’t have the technical skills of a classically trained designer but I stick to residential design and decorating. So far my clients seem to be okay with the fact that I can’t provide them with an AutoCAD drawing.

YOUR SPACES SEEM TO ALWAYS INCLUDE A FANTASTIC MIX OF BOLD COLOR AND PATTERN. DO YOUR OWN FASHION CHOICES REFLECT THIS? I’m definitely a lot braver when it comes to color in my home! I actually prefer sort of classic and subdued clothes. I wear a lot of

Phillip Lim and Isabel Marant and love the boy meets girl look.

WHAT DESIGN TRENDS DO YOU THINK ARE AROUND TO STAY FOR QUITE SOME TIME? Definitely the global influence. People travel so much these days and are influenced by so many cultures and eras. I think most people are happiest with a layered mix

around them. It’s about making your home feel like something that’s been put together over time rather than decorated in a day.

ARE THERE ANY FASHION TRENDS THAT YOU ARE CURRENTLY LOVING AND WANTING TO SOMEHOW INCORPORATE INTO AN INTERIOR SPACE? I am totally digging the neon thing. It works so well in interiors. I grew up in the 80’s and can’t help but add a touch of neon in a room here and there. It’s got to be in a really small dose to have the most impact though. This is

definitely where too much of a good thing is too much. I like to add a little neon punch in contrasting piping on pillows or imagine a bright neon pink lamp shade on a brass lamp . . . now that is magic. 29





READ HOUSE OF FIFTY ON THE GO… Enjoy reading the latest articles wherever you are! Download the Apple iTunes app for the iPad and iPhone, or a digital version for all other mobile devices from MagCloud.

Click Here






Emerson Fry

The designs of Emerson Fry have a timeless style and quality that defy being categorized into a niche geared towards only women of a certain age group. I can imagine a jacket, blouse and skirt or dress from this line hanging in my closest or the closet of a woman twenty years younger. I’m also certain we’d both reach for them often as favorite go-to pieces. Dressed, we’d leave the house feeling current with an elegance and ease that comes from wearing clothes one knows suits them well. 32

When asked to describe the woman who wears her line, what Emerson imagines their lifestyle to be and how that plays into the designs, she shares, “The woman who wears our line is someone who appreciates things of value. She’s busy and leads a very full life, so is drawn to clothing that is easy to put on with a pair of slingbacks or trainers and looks great to go. She is someone who considers the details of things and makes choices based on quality over quantity.”

Design concepts explored on paper lining a studio table.



Janell: I’ve read you got your start in this business by creating fabric flowers as accessories. How did you take the business from there to where it is today, producing a line of garments and shoes? As you know, at House of Fifty we love a good success story of women making it happen!

line along with shoes and jewelry, and I’m excited to share we are working on a number of new product lines planned for 2013.

Emerson: We did get our start with women’s accessories. At the beginning I hired a small team to help me make the flowers and sold them online. Soon we were having a hard time keeping up with demand and in a span of a few months moved from our first tiny office of 200 square feet. We just recently settled into our new offices located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, which are spacious at 15,000 square feet. I have been fortunate to have some really great employees, but it was mostly just a lot of hard work. And that is not to say we haven’t experienced our share of hurdles. There have been a lot of sleepless nights at the office alone and with the team. Today we no longer sell the flowers, clothing is our main product

A: I consider this to be the “Century of Women!” I believe we are in our most exciting time as women in history. When considering a new line I think about what this woman needs for her personal and professional life, as well as her leisure time. We are finally in a place where all those old clichés and boundaries are beginning to become shattered. We can drive the sports car, order the wine and build the business. We can have a sense of humor and be the best at what we are interested in, and do it while wearing stilettos if we choose to. There’s a great power in these ideas and shifts, and so I am thinking about the woman who is doing all that because I relate to her and we love her. I’m designing for that woman.

Q: When you begin work on a line, who is the woman you have in mind and where do you draw your inspiration from?


Oh how we love our shoes... 36

...and jewels. 37

Emerson and Pedro in front of the camera... Q: I appreciate how the clothing is produced in the Garment District in NYC rather than being outsourced to another country. Why have you chosen to keep the manufacturing local, what is the biggest challenge to maintaining a “Made in America” status for the garments and what are the benefits? A: The cost to produce is higher in the United States. As a result most designers have sent their production overseas to “cheap” manufacturers, and now our country has few vendors to fulfill domestic production. The local manufacturers that have survived are for the most part extraordinary and this is one reason why their services are so expensive. They are doing great work and in this day


and age, that is rare and costs. For our line we keep a focus on control and quality, so producing in the United States is well worth it. We are interested in craftsmanship and quality versus the mass market. Fortunately there are a number of wonderful small and family run manufacturing businesses and these are the companies we like to do business with. They are businesses that care about the outcome of their work and take pride in what they do. My husband Ryan and I own the company, but we are also its customers. The quality has to be something that can be enjoyed today and tomorrow and many years down the road. Our pieces need to be something a woman can hold onto in her wardrobe for years.

...and behind the lens. Photography is another passion of Emerson’s. 39



Q: I enjoy seeing the shoes and strong yet simple pieces of jewelry alongside the clothing. Tell us about these pieces. I’ve read the shoes are your designs and are produced in Portugal. How is designing a pair of shoes different than a garment? A: Thank you! Designing shoes is another lengthy process in a business of lengthy processes. But it is also one of the most satisfying because when you obsess over beautifully shaped and made heels the way I do, it is very satisfying to see the designs come to life. We went to painstaking efforts to secure relationships with the best producers in Europe so that our shoes are absolutely the highest quality on the market. They are made the way shoes should be made, the leather warms and molds to the foot, the lasts are leather and the craftsmanship is absolutely beautiful. Each stiletto or slingback or slide is a little work of art. Q: What is your take on trends in fashion. How much do they influence your designs and what is your opinion on the pace trends come and go in fashion? A: For us we’re thinking long term value versus short term trend. What does a woman really need and what things are really going to have a place in her life that will enhance it long term. But you know, there are always those fun little things to pick up each season that are just totally inconsequential beyond that moment in time. When we offer those pieces they’re at a “just for fun” price point - because they’re supposed to be just that.

A: I’m ready to go shopping! Where can your designs be purchased? Q: We sell almost exclusively online and predominantly through our own site. We do have select wholesale relationships but we don’t actively seek them out. We favor this approach, which keeps us in control of our distribution and connected with our customers. For us this is the only way. Q: Can you talk a little more about price point and your focus on quality? A: When we started out it was very important to me that if a woman loves our jacket, she can have the jacket. Meaning, we focused on keeping our price points at an accessible level. It’s one of the driving factors of why we did not wholesale in the beginning, it would have doubled the cost of our garments for buyers. Keeping pricing right has been an enormous challenge as we focus on fine craftsmanship; our fabrics come from the finest Italian mills and we pay attention to small details in the garment like exquisite little buttons and beautiful hardware. We work with luxury producers who make some of the most expensive lines and we could easily have gone that luxury route. But I don’t want to exclude women from our customer based just because they might not have all the money in the world. Keeping costs in control has been a constant struggle and continues to be. The line is very expensive to produce given the quality of everything involved.





Q: You now split your time between NYC and your farm in New Hampshire, which sounds like a fantastic mix of urban and rustic. Share a bit about this balance and what it brings to your life, both personal and from a work perspective. A: It was hard to move out of NYC, but now it’s a perfect balance. At this point our life is a bit nomadic. At times it’s necessary to stay for longer periods in NYC and then we will be overseas to address business there. But when in New Hampshire we spend a lot of time at the office. So when we had the opportunity to built our new headquarters there we tried to create an environment that was very simple and contemporary, a good place to enjoy being at. Included in the space is a big 42

kitchen where we have someone come in and press fresh juice and provide lunch every day for the team - and dinner, if we’re working late. Q: Can you share your vision for the future of Emerson Fry? A: Along with the new product lines we are working on, we are also currently evaluating plans for future retail shops. As for our long term goals, it’s very important to me that we develop a charitable organization. It’s been a surprise to learn how hard this is to do. There is a load of paper work and policy that makes it very difficult to set in place, but we’re working on it and it’s well worth the effort. When complete, it will be very satisfying.

Our pieces can be enjoyed today, tomorrow and many years down the road.





The uniquely charming and eclectic house of Interior Designer Mayme Baker is a 1920’s Colonial located in the Historic Overbrook area of Greenville, SC. It’s one of the city’s first real neighborhoods situated just a mile from the heart of downtown. Here she enjoys family life with her children and rescued pets, while running her interior design business and shop Mayme Baker Studio, located just a short run down the road. Mayme’s approach to the design and decor of the house has been to stay true to its history, the historical neighborhood and, most importantly, to fill it with only things she loves. While there is a constant shifting around of objects with new finds brought in, not a lot has changed since she first renovated and decorated upon moving in twelve years ago. ..“Of course I have acquired more treasures to layer and have changed paint colors here and there but, for the most part, I’ve never tired of my initial choices and still love all the wallpapers and fabrics I chose back then. Obviously I love color and pattern! I really appreciate how you can stand at any vantage point in the house, look through to the adjoining rooms and see that it all works. The scales work from every angle, the colors and shapes blend and flow - but do not match! There is a consistency of ‘busyness,’ if you will, that I actually find calming.” Mayme hung the rusty and colorful sap buckets in the living room above a painting by Charleston artist and restaurateur Sermet Aslan, a piece she just had to have when she spied it hanging on a wall in his cafe. The buckets were collected and placed here as she wanted something atypical and even anti-art for this spot, but they ended up being artful with their sculptural quality. “And certainly a bucket is a metaphor for life. I love the rust coming thought the colors and they remind me of my favorite song ‘Buckets of

Rain’ by Bob Dylan.” The living room is the main space in the home where pretty much everything happens. All the furniture is very comfortable, welcoming and well-used with a TV housed behind the brightly painted cabinetry built from a sketch Mayme provided Master Cabinetmaker Jack Proctor.

“The house has that 1920’s cozy feel, meaning a teeny-tiny kitchen, small closets and quirky little spaces!”


Mayme loves how the late afternoon light filters into the living room, making all the colors in the space sing. Bright pink lines the back of the custom cabinetry she painted chartreuse and covered with a glaze. The contrast of pink allows the objects placed on the shelves to pop against the color. Stripes lining the fireplace wall were an option that won out over painting the mantel orange. The selection of colors are bold and fun with a preppy spirit. Art and collected treasures play a prominent role in the decor of each room and, while Mayme is a talented artist herself, none of her own work hangs in the home as it’s just not something she is inclined to do. “It doesn’t feel right to have my own pieces here. But I love original art and have been lucky to acquire some good pieces that are displayed throughout the house. I like moving them around and stacking and leaning them. To me, art is living and should move.” 48

Pink lining the back of the shelves allow objects placed here to pop against the bold color. 49


“It’s simple, but is very special to me.” 50

When asked if her design approach to her own home is different from how she works with clients, she responds, “Oh my goodness, yes! I can’t be held responsible for this insanity! This crazy house is like a mad scientist’s laboratory, it’s really personal. I’m not worried about what company thinks, if I’m following rules, setting some kind of example or following the latest trend. I just do what I want. I jam stuff in and force things that I would never dream of advising a client to do.” Mayme keeps her inspiration all around her and the home, with little quotes or things torn from magazines taped to door casings, mirrors and tucked into frames. She’s convinced she is a hoarder at heart, but everything has a special meaning. 51



“I have a love affair with doors and have always appreciated a red door.”

Painted in Benjamin Moore’s Million Dollar Red these doors fill the space leading from the dining room to a screened porch, where windows previously resided. “What’s not to love coming home to beautiful emerald green glass knobs? I put them on all the exterior doors. Door knobs offer a great opportunity for expression. It’s a shame when they are boring, don’t you think?” 54

Through a pair of black lacquered doors lies Mayme’s home office where her son does his homework each night. The antique lantern is one of the many fixtures she has collected and hung throughout the home. Just off the living room a cozy study filled with books features charcoal walls and rich furnishings. Center windows were replaced with a pair of doors opening onto a pebble patio. “On cold nights we build a toasty fire out there.”


The front of the house sits high above the street, so the family parks in the back and enters through red doors leading into the laundry room.


Doing laundry is actually an activity Mayme enjoys, so this had to be a cheerful space to be in. When Scalamandre’ came out with the paper lemon tree years ago she just had to have one in her home. After painting the existing old cabinet white the tree was applied to its front. “As you can see, I’m a big fan of blue and white transferware and porcelain so this wallpaper is perfect!” 57

Mayme’s daughter’s room is the previous guest room where she kept the existing wallpaper but changed everything else. “Sweet Virginia, my little dream! I’m certainly a girlygirl and when I learned I was having a girl I imagined her to be one as well but I didn’t want a pink nursery. I love the pops of coral instead and used the same nursery rhyme prints that hung in my son Guy’s nursery twelve years ago!”


Pulled from an old nursery rhyme book found in a used bookstore, Mayme had the pages placed in gold frames. She was drawn to the intense colors in the illustrations but her favorite part is how on the lower right hand corner of each page - some more than others - there are smudgy thumbprints from little hands looking through the book over and over. “And my boy Guy. Ah, the apple of my eye! He’s such an interesting fellow, he loves science and ‘stuff’ like I do. He has rock collections and little drawings everywhere. He’s always taken all of his toys apart and played with the pieces that he will then imagine into something else. His room is a wacky reflection of his spirit. Wonderful, outgoing, artistic and all boy!”


Mayme’s love of color and pattern extends to her wardrobe. She enjoys a large closet with more custom cabinetry built by Jack Proctor. There is a big storage space behind the hanging clothes to house seasonal clothing, so once winter arrives out will come clothing that is a little more somber featuring black and grays. “I love to paper most any surface, as you can see, but especially closets. They can be really special spaces if you let them and a stripe in a closet is perfect. The pattern doesn’t fight with the clothing yet has a little something going on.” The floors throughout the upper level of the home are another surface she has chosen to cover with stripes. “I adore painted floors, I painted the foyer floors in black and white checks and the floors upstairs in a tan and ivory stripe. Because this is an old neighborhood with mature trees the rooms can get dark, so the light floors help illuminate the 60

upper rooms.” One of the family’s favorite retreats in the house is the master bedroom. “You feel like you are in a birdhouse with the huge oak as a canopy over the house. When I lie in bed I’m among the leaves.” Mayme enjoys grabbing the New York Times on a Sunday morning, getting a steaming cup of coffee and crawling back in bed to read. Add in the kids, piling in to watch TV, and you have a perfect early morning.





imagine the possibilities 64

earth-friendly, American-made


AWE-INSPIRING DESIGN ........................... TOP BRANDS & DESIGNERS FOR YOUR HOME UP TO 70% OFF ........................... JOIN NOW




With just a little squeeze, Rub ‘n Buff® transforms your tired and old décor and furniture to a wow finish that no paint can duplicate. Simply rub the paste on with your finger or a cloth, and buff. It’s that easy!

The befores

...and afters!

Available in 16 colors at craft stores, art supply stores and

Visit our Facebook page for more project inspiration. Phone: 800-374-1600 ©2012 AMACO®

Photos courtesy of Sarah at 67

U W 68


TAILORED DETAILS & TOUCHES OF GLAMOUR Interior Design by Amanda Swanlund Photography by Tracey Ayton Story by Janell Beals 70


When a couple and their nearly grown children decide to move from the family home of 26 years, bringing virtually nothing along to the new house save a mattress or two, high on their list of requirements is the help of a designer! How fortunate for them an older daughter just happens to be Interior Designer Amanda Swanlund, owner of Twenty One Two Design Inc. With instructions to create spaces with hints of sparkle and glamour, Amanda followed her design philosophy that a home should be the place that makes you most happy. Indeed, a thoughtfully designed home can truly affect the sense of well-being of the people living there. 72

The treatment of the entry provided the design inspiration for the entire project, where a touch of tailored drama was introduced through the striking Stacy Garcia grasscloth featuring nubby flecks of gold. Tailored details and gold accents set the stage for what lies beyond. In the living room the most beautiful light streams in as the sun sets, inspiring the addition of caramels and reflective surfaces. Wanting to create a dramatic focal point to help ground the room with high ceilings, a large painting by Jill Brown was commissioned. Her work is also seen in the adjoining dining and family rooms.

The first floor houses all the main living spaces and, being open to one another, Amanda paid particular care to ensure the colors blended well from one room to another. There is a beautiful flow moving from room to room, while at the same time each space – the kitchen, dining, living and family room - maintains a distinctive palette and feel. Details make all the difference, even down to the smallest gestures. Textured silver knobs on custom cabinetry sparkle like pieces of jewelry as light hits their surface. Favorite works of art and the simplest bouquet of flowers have the power to bring a room to life. 73


The key to the success of this project was listening very closely to the design requests for the new residence, rather than relying on the preferences Amanda was familiar with from the treatment of the family’s previous home. Additionally, as with all Amanda’s projects, respecting the “bones” of the home is a vital component of her approach to design. Doing so here required the occasional education on why certain solutions worked better than others, with the clean and modern architecture of these new spaces. When the luster of a traditional crystal chandelier was desired for the dining room, a modern take on this fixture embracing a streamlined design was the effective solution. The suggestion for the silk and wool rug that now sits under the table was also initially met with resistance. But once it was brought into the room, it was clearly the right decision. The subtle colors and sheen bring the elements of the room together in an understated manner.

“I like to pay particular attention to the bones of a home. Doing this helps bring out their best qualities!” 75


Quiet time in the early morning is a treasured ritual for Amanda’s mother. In the previous home she had a well-loved and used desk area, and creating a similar corner here was very important to her. Enjoying a cup of coffee, catching up on reading and organizing her day, a desk tucked into a little alcove in the kitchen is a new favorite spot. 77


Rich textures and finishes are becoming in the master suite.



In the master bedroom and bath the wish was for a sophisticated and restful environment, like a high-end hotel that stops short of going over the top. A calm and luxurious environment has been created, beginning in the bedroom where the Stacy Garcia grasscloth from the entry makes another appearance, this time with a silver fleck. The tailored velvet headboard with nailhead trim manages to evoke both the feminine and masculine, with a hint of sheen introduced through the damask pillows, soft bedding and accessories with reflective surfaces.



For Amanda’s younger sister a sweet “girlie” room was designed, one which can transition well as she moves into her twenties should she decide to attend school from home. The room simply fell into place after the pair spied bedding the sister adored with its gold stripes, purples and blues. The Designers Guild floral wallpaper called Cecily plays beautifully against the bedding. A grandly scaled tufted headboard with a sense of whimsy is a custom creation, while the cherished piece in the room is a painting of a dancer, done by their grandmother. 83

Sweet dreams... 84



In a lower level media and game room, wallpaper depicting a forest of birch trees creates a “woodsy and manly� environment for the men of the house. 87

The media room is a clear favorite; a space Amanda’s father and brother thoroughly enjoy hanging out in, having friends over for a game of pool, watching sports and playing their guitars. The decision to hang the wallpaper was a huge leap of faith for the parents. It is not a selection they would typically be drawn to, but the father in particular is a huge fan of the result - and how everyone in the home now has their special space to retreat to.


About the Photographer Being a fourth generation “Vancouverite� is something Tracey Ayton is proud of, as is having a passion for something and doing it for a living. When beginning her further education, being creative and not knowing how to apply it proved to be frustrating. She decided to study graphic design only to realize drawing was not for her. Fortunately, a fellow student suggested she try a photography class, and the rest is history. Shooting for nearly 20 years, Tracey believes she can finally call herself a verteran. 89

Advanced Décor by Valorie Hart

A few years ago street style photographer Ari Seth Cohen decided to create and dedicate the blog Advanced Style to people looking fabulous. To make it stand out from the plethora of other street style blogs, Cohen decided he’d photograph style mavens over the age of 60. He started a movement some call the audacity of age. Debra Rapoport, who has become a fixture on Ari’s blog, is a visual artist involved in transforming everyday materials into unique creations such as pieces of art, dolls, hats or objects of adornment. She also states she has been involved in “dressing up” as a personal statement since she was three years old. With a focus on fashion and interiors in this issue, I asked Debra to share with us her perspective about the relationship of fashion and interior decoration.

Valorie: Do you see a connection between fashion and home décor? Debra: Absolutely! Both are all about color, texture and placement. This is how I work when I apply textiles and clothing to my body. It is the same approach with things in my environment, many of which are things made by me or found.

Q: As a “Style Maven” or fashionista, does your home reflect your fashion sense and style? A: Yes, because I apply things to my body the same way I place them around the house. It is with the same vision and aesthetic that I collect for both.

Q: Do you use fashion accessories to decorate your home with? If so, how do you incorporate them?

A: Many of the things I wear, such as necklaces and textiles, get hung on the walls. Many of the materials I use in my artwork are also ones I use in the embellishments I make to wear; a lot of textile, paper, found objects and recycled materials.

Q: You explain your fashion point of view as “thrifted and gifted.” Are your furnishings also thrifted and gifted?

A: 90 percent of the clothing I wear is “thrifted and gifted.” The same can be said of my furnishings. Of course, I only acquire things that appeal to my aesthetic and lifestyle. Occasionally, if I get something that doesn’t work I pass it on! 90

Style Maven Debra Rapoport Photography by Ryan Mellinger, Styling by Maria McBride

In her work, Debra fashions bracelets and cuffs from recycled cardboard, toilet paper rolls, mesh bags from produce, ribbon, fabric scraps, thread and shredded paper creating the round ball “gems.�


Q: Did you ever work in the fashion industry? A: I haven’t worked in the fashion industry but I have taught costume design, personal style, hat/headgear design and personal adornment at the college level.

Q: You put together some amazing and unique ensembles that are thought out and layered. How can this be applied to home décor?

A: It is a matter of collecting the many categories of things you love. That could be materials

such as glass, silver and wood. It could be objects or forms, such as candlesticks, vases, baskets, trays and textiles that can become throws or pillows. Just as clothes are worn in a variety of ways, things in the home can be moved and changed. The look can continue to be different just by placement.

Q: Do you care about your décor as much as you care about fashion? A: Yes, because it is all part of my entire lifestyle. I work at home so my environment is very important to support my mood and my creativity. It is the same interest I take in the food I prepare and serve because that is an integral part of my lifestyle.

Q: What is your favorite piece of furniture in your home? A: I have a Chinese armoire that was given to me. It is in my front hall and really makes a

statement there. It is also a great storage unit for all my art supplies. I have two other armoires that I really love. One is an old Pennsylvania hand painted corner cabinet filled with glassware, china and vases.

Q: Do you entertain at home often? A: Yes, though not as much as I used to, and now with smaller groups. I love to entertain because I have so many objects I enjoy using. I love to cook simple and healthy food and encourage others to see the beauty and simplicity in eating real food and eating well.

“I believe creativity is the best way to be healthy and vital. Creativity has no rules, so therefore there is no fear. Everyone can create.” 92


Q: You said your home is also your workspace? Share your perspective on the benefits of working from home.

A: I have always loved working at home because I have everything I need. I find the

stimulation of my environment adds to my work. Working at home, I have the food I need to keep me working. I can take breaks and cook. It’s a very balanced environment of art, clothing and food.

Q: You have said, “If you can’t wear something upside down and backwards, then it’s not

worth owning...a lampshade can be a vase, a vase can be a lampshade and a lampshade can be a hat.” What did you mean by that?

A: I love the flexibility of allowing things to be used in a variety of ways. It forces me to see

things from a different perspective. It is too easy to get stuck in a groove and limit our vision. I’m a materials freak and I allow materials to speak to me and tell me how they wish to be used and incorporated.

Q: If you had $1,000 to spend, would you buy clothes or something for your home? A: AAHHH....that is a tough one. I don’t think I need one more thing in my home! I don’t need clothing either but there is always an excuse to own another garment! Like, oh, I “need” a white wool dress for winter, because I don’t have one. It is very easy to justify another garment because it can be applied to an ensemble.

Q: Would you like to try your hand at interior decorating for someone else? A: Absolutely, if they are willing to play outside the box. If they are willing to see their environment as a canvas and something very personal, then that is an exciting way to proceed.

Q: Do you have any words of wisdom for our readers, young and older? A: Trust yourself and collect things you truly love. Don’t worry about their value for investment

purposes. If you love something and it is within your means, then it is worth owning. It’s the same with clothing. The difficulty is to know when to stop. That too is very personal. It is easy to own too much. The trick is how to “stash it” so you don’t feel overwhelmed! Finally, I believe creativity is the best way to be healthy and vital. Creativity has no rules, so therefore there is no fear. Everyone can create.


There is a strong connection between fashion and decor in Debra’s home; it’s all about color, texture and the placement of objects.

Debra Rapoport has enjoyed a teaching career at UC Davis, NYU, the Museum of Art and Design among other places, and has exhibited her art internationally for over 40 years. A native New Yorker, she has now called New York City her home for 33 years after returning from graduate school and teaching in the University of California system. The power of whole foods has been a long time passion and she is now a community chef demonstrating how to prepare real food simply.

Advanced DĂŠcor is a monthly column dedicated to seasoned and experienced persons of interest.


The Heart of Design by Kim Myles

I have borne witness to a true fashion miracle, and I have Giorgio Armani to thank. When my husband and I first met in NYC fifteen years ago, he was really proud to poohpooh fashion. He claimed to be above the “shallow pursuit of style.” And because he was personally adorable, as well as funny and sweet, I eventually rolled with it. But it wasn’t easy. If ever a man was born to rock fashion, it’s Scott. 6’ 3”, swimmer’s build, luxurious hair, gorgeous blue eyes, the whole enchilada. I wanted him to dress as the confident, charming man I knew him to be. He balked at having his exterior judged, when ultimately what matters most in life is on the inside. Well, I couldn’t argue that fact. So I commenced with mourning the “man of style” he was determined not to be, and learned to see past his dress shoes with white socks aesthetic. Fast forward three years, the two of us were attending a business party at the Armani store on 5th Avenue. A salesperson asked him if he’d care to try on a suit jacket, and Scott (defenses lowered by free cocktails) responded, “Why not?” The three of us stood in front of a giant mirror and as the jacket settled onto his shoulders, the miracle occurred. His eyes widened as he stared at his reflection and exhaled the word, “Wow.” And he did look amazing, impeccable Italian tailoring will do that for a man. In five seconds flat, that Armani jacket proved what I’d failed

to; fashion can help you feel like the most confident, powerful version of yourself. It’s modern-day armor. I myself started watching ‘Style with Elsa Klensch’ on CNN at age thirteen and fell in love with fashion overnight. Every weekend I would tune in to see catwalks and designer interviews, but what I was actually absorbing was the idea that fashion could be a powerful tool. I couldn’t afford designer labels, but I understood that I didn’t really need them. I just needed a desire to express my personality or mood via my clothes. In the end, Scott didn’t need that Armani jacket - it stayed at the store - but what he gained was a sense of the enjoyment and thrill that fashion can bring. As for my own fashion miracle, that came at the launch party for my season on HGTV Design Star. I wanted to look feminine and strong and to feel confident; as if my nerves and doubts were just silly little things and that winning the competition was my destiny. I stepped out of the group limo feeling like a million bucks and, once inside, designer Cynthia Rowley (one of my original fashion idols) said, “Great dress!” as we posed for pictures together. And that was it. I knew. I still have that dress and always will, because every time I look at it I’m reminded that anything is possible in life if you dare to work for your dreams, and dress for the occasion.

SO Chic..............




can help you feel like the most confident, powerful version of yourself. It’s modern-day armor.” “I still have the dress I wore to the launch party of my season of HGTV Design Star and always will. Every time I look at it I’m reminded that anything is possible in life if you dare to work for your dreams, and dress for the



House of Fifty’s

12 Delicious (Mix & Match) Fashions Finds for Fall!

1. 2.

3. 6. 4.


1. Burberry ‘Brit’ Double-Breasted Wool Coat 2. Romwe Pocket Black Blazer 3. Tie-Top in Manchester Purple from JCrew 4. Valentino ‘Rockstud’ Patent Leather Dome Handbag 5. Via Spiga ‘Bethany’ Boots 6. Citizens of Humanity Straight Leg ‘Ava’ Jeans 98

“This season recycle classic pieces from years past and pair with new purchases to create a fresh look for fall. Mix bold color with classic neutrals, grab a pencil skirt and add a properly patterned sweater. If there’s a trend, it’s all about individuality. So select your favorite looks from the new offerings and make them your own!” Laurie Moulton, house of lolo




8. 12.

9. 7. Collection Polka Dot Sweater in Kelly Green 8. P.A.R.O.S.H. Black Wool Trousers 9. JCrew Pencil Skirt in Spicy Gold 10. ‘It’s a Shift to be Simple’ Dress in Navy from Modcloth 11. Boutique 9 ‘Justine’ Pumps 12. ‘Abstract Rose’ Scarf from Kate Spade 99

adorn YOURSELF 2.




necklaces... 1. Tory Burch ‘Fish’ 2. Elva Fields ‘For The Long Run’ 3. Stella & Dot ‘Bahari’ 100










1. Kelly Wearstler ‘Large Sphere’ 2. Stella & Dot ‘Jules’ 3. Elsa Peretti ‘Cabochon’ 4. Kendra Scott ‘Tyra’ 5. Kenneth Jay Lane ‘Agate’ & ‘Amber Nugget’ 6. Citrine by the Stones ‘Wire’ 7. Tory Burch ‘Column’ 8. David Yurman ‘Cable Coil’ 101



2. 5.




1. Kate Spade ‘Spiral’ 2. Juicy Couture ‘Chunky Link’ 3. CWonder ‘Signature Bangles’ 4. CWonder ‘Layered Bangle’ 5. Stella & Dot ‘Bello’ 6. Kate Spade ‘Cork’ 102







and earrings!

1. Adia Kibur ‘Two Stone’ 2. Dara Ettinger ‘Lucille’ 3.Juliet & Co ‘French Lace’ 4. CWonder ‘Vintage Flower’ 5. Juliet & Co ‘Teardrop’ 6. Elva Fields ‘Flowers’


what’s in my


by Mimi Inman


‘Jackie OHH II’ Sunglasses by Ray-Ban


The ‘Glorianne’ Overnight Travel Bag by Leonie Saliba


‘Coco Mademoiselle’ by Chanel

“plugged in &



Patti Griffin Billie Holiday Caleb Klauder Ray LaMontagne Michele Van Kleef The Civil Wars

“with my travel bag and favorite essentials tucked inside, i’m ready to go just about anywhere!”

“sporting red” Calypso Sheer Lip Color Tint SPF 15 by Paula Dorf

“addictively entertained” ‘Shoe Addicts Anonymous’ by Beth Harbison


‘Expanda Dust’ Volumizing Powder by Unite

“in the know, on the Etsy Addict House of Fifty Pulse News



mimi’s smart skin basics for fall lips Argan Luscious Lips from Josie Maran formulated with pure Argan oil, nourishing jojoba oil and murumuru butter lock in moisture to condition and prevent dryness and chapping of the lips.

eyes Jan Marini Age Intervention Dark Circle Eye Defense is a concentrated treatment targeting the five primary causes of aging and dark circles around the eye, while keeping this delicate skin well hydrated.

night face day face VitaZing™ SPF 15 Energy-Boosting Moisturizer with Mangosteen by Origins hydrates and protects while giving the skin a radiant glow as if you’ve been on vacation. Something we could all use in the winter!


Triple Active Night Treatment by Miracle Skin hydrates, exfoliates and works to reverse daily environmental damage to revitalize your skin while you sleep.

The changing weather can wreak havoc on your skin! This collection of potions are sure to help maintain the softest of skin throughout the upcoming months of winter.



High Intensity Hand Cream by Bliss is a antioxidant-rich formula containing macadamia nut oil and grape seed extract which leaves hands soft and hydrated while smoothing rough cuticles.

Phyto 7 Daily Hydrating Botanical Cream is a leave-in formula infused with natural plant extracts to hydrate, smooth and protect, preventing frizz and static while leaving hair shiny and manageable.

wake up to softer skin!

body Moisture-Rich Body Lotion by Clarins is an intense moisturizing lotion that keeps hands and body effectively hydrated, making this a wonderful option for the drier months.

feet Heel Genius™ Amazing Foot Cream from Soap & Glory rejuvenates rough feet overnight. Massage in a generous layer at night, slip on a pair of cotton socks and wake up to softer skin!


VIVIENNE STRAUSS Art We Love by Janell Beals

THE PARTY Vivienne Strauss is an artist inspired by vintage fashion, classic films and her growing collection of old photographs which she rifles through from time to time, looking for the story behind the photo. An interesting face that catches her eye or a phrase heard from a movie playing in the background while she works all contribute to the imaginary characters that come to life in her paintings and collages. A self-taught artist with a degree in Philosophy, Vivienne’s work depicts feelings, thoughts and ideas that she sees as universal. These may include people who feel 108

lost in a crowd or others sitting at home with their pets, being their true selves because no one is watching. Many of her works are accompanied by a long description in lieu of a traditional title, almost becoming one line stories complete with characters. “I often fantasize about being a writer but my attention span in that area seems to be very, very short. And as for the names, I have a large collection of college yearbooks from as far back as 1928. They are a treasure trove of wonderful names and faces that find their way into my paintings.”



WHEN BRAD SAID HE WANTED TO LEARN A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT, DONNA SAID NOTHING. WHEN HE BOUGHT THE DRUM, SHE STILL SAID NOTHING. NOW WITH THAT AWFUL ORANGE SWEATER AND THE MARACAS, DONNA COULD NO LONGER HOLD HER TONGUE. As it seems with many artists, Vivienne’s path to working as a full-time artist has not been a direct one. “I went to college because that is what everyone tells you to do. I majored in Philosophy because I loved it, not because I ever intended to pursue a career directly related to it. Law and politics both seem so hopeless. I’d rather work in the arts and try to create the world as I’d like it to be, even if it isn’t real.” She painted here and there for several years and then with much support and encouragement from her husband, who is artist Matte Stephens, she began creating art 110

full-time in 2008. “It is great being married to someone who understands all the frustrating aspects of trying to be creative. Matte has been working as an artist for so much longer than I have and always has such good advice.” Vivienne works in a number of mediums including watercolor, ink, oils, collage and even embroidery. Most often when ideas for paintings occur to her, she is already seeing them in either watercolor or oil. Her work in oil tends to be a bit darker and surreal, while she finds working in watercolor lends itself to naturally be more light, airy and fun.





GINA, FULLY ACCESSORIZED Looking at many of Vivienne’s works you can see the clear influence of vintage fashion and her love of old Vogue issues. “I adore the beautiful workmanship and femininity of earlier styles. I used to love dressing up in these vintage dresses but I can no longer stand the

feeling of confinement so I have to be content to paint them instead. I love the idea of designing fashion but hate sewing, or rather sewing hates me. Drawing and painting dresses is much more fun! I don’t have to have any regard for practicality whatsoever.” 113



DIANA CUTS HERSELF OFF FROM THE PAST AND MOVES FORWARD ONLY Both Vivienne and her husband Matte work from home in separate studios located at opposite ends of the house. It’s one of the best aspects of their jobs, taking breaks frequently for meals and walks, providing a needed and enjoyable break from work. “Our house is backed up to a wooded conservation land, we love to get out and walk or canoe. I also spend a lot of time just looking out the window to see what will wander up next. I often get caught up in all that wildlife activity while I’m working, but it’s a positive distraction I think. More and more animals are working their way into my paintings.” And what would her perfect day look like? “One filled with lots of strong coffee, a good movie lineup on TCM, a backyard filled with birds and animals and some fresh new ideas.”




GOING SHOPPING Apart from painting, collage is another medium that Vivienne often finds herself working in, but says she is constantly threatening to quit collage altogether. “It is such a messy art and impossible to organize but it is a nice break from painting. I often come up with good ideas while working on them. My collage approach keeps evolving; 116

now I’m all about paring down to the most minimal of images. There is something very therapeutic about distilling them down to the bare essentials, since I can’t seem to do that at all in real life. When we travel, I want to take everything with me including my espresso machine.”

HATCHED Vivienne says she has repeatedly heard that the study of Philosophy does not lead one to a life of contentment. “How could it possibly when you are constantly questioning every aspect of life? I do find contentment while I’m painting, but it only lasts as long as I’m working. Then I immediately feel compelled to try again, striving for a better piece. But I guess that is good, it keeps me working!” 117

What We’re Watching:

Movies Starring Fashion!

Oh how we love enjoying a great movie, and it gets even better when fashion is a star in the story! 118

From the classics... ‘Rear Window’ 1954 Could you ask for a better mix of style, suspense and romance than this classic by Alfred Hitchcock starring James Stewart and Grace Kelly? Confined to his apartment with a broken leg, photojournalist L.B. Jefferies becomes a little too interested in the comings and goings of neighbors observed through his rear window. Serious trouble ensues with a highlight of the film being a series of wardrobe changes by Kelly, modeling the chicest fashions of the day as the fashion model girlfriend. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock with James Stewart and Grace Kelly

‘Funny Face’ 1957 Photographer Dick Avery, a character based on Richard Avedon played by Fred Astaire, is sent out to find a “fresh face” for a fashion magazine layout. It doesn’t take him long to discover Jo, played by Audrey Hepburn. Soon she is whisked off to Paris where she finds herself falling in love while being photographed in elegant designs by Hubert de Givenchy. And for those true fans of fashion in film, Edith Head as the costume designer is a real treat, with the opening title sequence designed by Avedon some of the most enjoyable moments of the film. Directed by Stanley Donen with Fred Astaire, Audrey Hepburn and Kay Thompson

‘That Touch of Mink’ 1962 Along with the obvious charms of the main characters, Cary Grant and Doris Day, a wardrobe showcasing the feminine style of the era is definitely a star of the story. After Cathy accepts an invitation to go away to Bermuda with businessman Phillip Shayne, she is treated to a wardrobe any woman of the time would envy before jetting off. Humorous missteps and misunderstandings follow one after another until a happy ending is arrived at with an innocent flair befitting the time. Directed by Delbert Mann with Cary Grant and Doris Day

119 the recent features. ‘Ready to Wear’ 1994 No list featuring movies with a focus on fashion would be complete without this choice on the list. Including an amazing 31principal characters and a long list of cameos from well-known models, designers and actors, the viewer is sure to spot a few favorites! Throughout the film a variety of interweaving stories unfold set against the beautiful, entertaining and often amusing backdrop of the fashion show season in Paris. Directed by Robert Altman with Julie Roberts, Tim Robbins, Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni, Kim Basinger and Lyle Lovett

‘Clueless’ 1995 Simply a fun movie to watch with daughters, granddaughters or nieces who will definitely enjoy observing how girls their age, or at least those that had more than ample funds, dressed in the 90’s. A modern take on Jane Austen’s 1816 novel ‘Emma,’ proving that the perils of match-making and the ability to recognize one’s shortcomings hasn’t changed much in nearly 200 years. Directed by Amy Heckerling with Alicia Silverstone and Stacey Dash

‘The Devil Wears Prada’ 2006 This adaptation of Lauren Weisberger’s popular novel about a young aspiring writer who stumbles into the extravagant and hectic worlds of high fashion and publishing provides an entertaining behind the scenes look into the priorities and strict requirements of these industries. Costume Designer Patricia Fields is wonderfully successful in her role, helping the excesses of fashion rise to the status of a main character in the film. Directed by David Frankel with Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Stanley Tucci, Emily Blunt and Adrian Grenier 120

‘Valentino: The Last Emperor’ 2008 To observe the labor behind creating couture designs and the business supporting a fashion empire is a rare and special treat. Filmmaker and journalist Matt Tyrnauer is able to share through his unprecedented access to Valentino’s work and personal life the story of how his creations are made and the reality of a shifting focus in this industry to licensing. Also explored is the longtime partnership between Valentino and Giancarlo, which has been instrumental to the success of one of the world’s most prominent fashion designers. Directed by Matt Tyrnauer with Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammetti

‘The September Issue’ 2008 For anyone who adores fashion and fashion magazines, this unexpected documentary providing a glimpse into the inner workings of these industries is a film to savor! Providing an up close and personal tour of the process of creating a September issue of Vogue, featuring key individuals responsible for the publication, the viewer will most certainly turn the pages of the next magazine they pick up with a different set of eyes. Directed by R.J. Cutler with Anna Wintour and Grace Coddington

‘Coco Before Chanel’ 2009 This story details the early life of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, the woman who would influence 20th century fashion in a way few others have. The film profiles her journey from a child left at an orphanage after her mother’s death, to her humble beginnings as a seamstress. Through fierce determination and vision the enduring House of Chanel was created. Karl Lagerfeld, the current Art Director at Chanel, supervised the costume and accessory designs for the film. Directed by Anne Fontaine with Audrey Tautou, Marie Gillain and Benoit Poelvoorde 121


by Janell Beals

Katie Ridder Rooms by Heather Smith MacIssac If you are a fan of the interiors designed by Katie Ridder, then this gorgeous book is a must. And if you have yet to discover her work, get ready for a visual treat! Known for her bold use of color, pattern and exquisite detailing, the rooms manage to remain approachable and livable as she designs with real life and durability in mind. Appropriately entitled ‘Rooms,’ the book is organized into chapters which focus on the particular rooms of the house; from foyers to kitchens, bedrooms and more. Full of insight and helpful tips that the reader can apply when putting together similar rooms of their own. 122

Hers - Design with a Feminine Touch by Jacqueline deMontravel My personal opinion is that the cover just doesn’t do justice to what awaits the reader upon opening this book! Well organized and thoughtfully written, the book provides a wealth of tips and inspiration on how each of us can find ways to create spaces that reflect our personalities and support our interests and activities - whether we live alone or with others who have a say in the decor of our homes. Full of gorgeous photography detailing the focus of each chapter, from how to claim space for yourself to creating a functional work area, I found much to be inspired by in this smartly done book. 123

THE BOOKS ON OUR SHELVES: Fashion A Guide to Elegance by Genevieve Antoine Dariaux I was prompted to purchase this book as I have always been intrigued with how some women just seem to possess an air of elegance. Why is that? Is it innate, learned or a combination of the two? What I experienced reading through the pages was a visit back to another era, this book having been originally published in 1964. Many of the tips and concepts apparently so readily accepted at the time now seem amusingly outdated and, at times, even insulting to the women of today. But between the lines and entertaining “history” lesson, I did come away with some answers as to why indeed some women simply have a sense of true elegance.

The One Hundred by Nina Garcia Moving on to style advice that resonates more accurately with women today, what are the key pieces of clothing and accessories that can see us through the day with our multitude of activities and responsibilities in style? Nina Garcia shifts through the trends to identify the 100 key pieces that have the ability to remain current and useful in a busy woman’s wardrobe season after season, as trends come and go. In this book she lists the essential pieces that make up the “backbone of fashion,” while reminding women to keep their own personal style and preferences in mind while reading.


Christian Louboutin Published by Rizzoli An amazingly beautiful book of outstanding quality, would you expect anything less from this designer? A perfect purchase or gift for any lover of shoes, and in particular, fans of shoes designed by Christian Louboutin! Full of glossy images with a fanciful pop-up and elaborate foldout cover, this book focuses on his early life, career and the artistic process that goes into creating these luxurious shoes. A collector’s item with a hefty price tag, the book is still well below the price of purchasing an actual pair of Louboutin’s iconic red soled shoes.

The Trench Book By Nick Foulkes The trench coat has become a popular choice over the past few seasons, available at all price points and materials with numerous variations seen on its iconic lines. But it’s nothing new. Aquascutum, a producer of quality menswear in London claims a trench coat design dating back to the 1850’s and later Thomas Burberry submitted a trench design for an officer’s raincoat to the United Kingdom War office in 1901. This book explores the evolution and allure of the trench throughout the years and its role in both fashion and film.


Drink to Your Health with Green Tea!

“Better to be deprived of food for three days, than tea for one.” Ancient Chinese Proverb 126

Green tea has been used for medicinal purposes in China for thousands of years, and today its popularity is spreading to other regions of the world due to the healing properties it is said to have. While opinions vary and more studies are needed, research indicates drinking green tea can provide many health benefits. Here are just a few.

1. Aids Weight Loss & Maintenance

Green tea is reported to increase the metabolism as the polyphenol present in the tea helps to intensify levels of fat oxidation and the rate the body turns food into calories.

2. Is Good for the Skin

This tea can apparently also help minimize wrinkles by slowing down the signs of aging through its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. Antioxidants bind to free radicals, deactivating them before they can cause harm.

3. Can Help Reduce Stress & Guard Against Depression

Green tea is rich in an amino acid known as L-theanine, which has the ability to induce relaxation and stress relief. This amino acid has a positive effect on one’s mood by altering the levels of key neurotransmitters associated with mood such as serotonin, GABA and dopamine.

5. Helps Reduce Bad Cholesterol Aiding Cardiovascular Health Green tea contains catechins, polyphenolic compounds that are known to exert numerous protective effects on the cardiovascular system. These catechins reduce LDL or “bad” cholesterol in the blood, improving the ratio of good to bad cholesterol.

6. Contains Anti-Cancer Properties

Many studies have shown the antioxidant properties of green tea, which fight against free radicals, can help inhibit formation of a wide range of cancers. And why specifically green tea over others such as black tea? Made solely from the leaves of Camellia Sinensis, during processing of green tea the leaves are not fermented before steaming and drying, allowing the tea to retain the antioxidants and polyphenols that are responsible for its many benefits.

So go ahead, enjoy a cup or two! 127

The Power Food Has to Affect OurMood

Photography & Recipes by Sukaina Rajabali Dr. Natasha Kassam & Dr. Kate Smith Interview by Janell Beals 128

I’m sure all of us have had “one of those days,” where stress after stress leaves you feeling like you’ve been jumping over hurdles all day long. In the evening, when things begin to settle, you may notice your desire to reach for rich, comforting foods filled with dairy and carbohydrates. Perhaps a rich pasta dish or pizza, topped off by a desert seems overwhelmingly appealing. You indulge as a way to calm down and unwind. Soon, however, the heaviness from the meal leaves you feeling fatigued, sluggish and unmotivated. These are moments when you may have used food as a drug, as a way to stop the anxious, stirred up tensions from the day. How does what we eat affect our mood? Can our diet be part of the equation to reducing stress? Doctors Natasha Kassam and

Kate Smith, co-founders of the Naturopathic and Alternative Healthcare Center 8 Hearts Health & Wellness, believe so. Through their practice of naturopathic and homeopathic medicine, Natasha and Kate help their clients learn how to make healthier choices for themselves. One of the many focuses of their practice is an education on the ways food can be used as medicine. Nutrition from the right foods can be a positive tool in managing moods to be better equipped to handle the stressors of the day. This focus provides an understanding on how certain foods can help relieve and manage the moments of anxiety in a way that leave a person feeling rejuvenated and revived as opposed to sluggish and heavy.

“As Naturopathic Doctors, we believe there is a correlation between the food we eat and the moods we experience. We encourage our patients to explore the impact that proper nutrition can have on creating positive moods and which foods are designed to boost their spirits.” Dr. Kate Smith Nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, folate, B vitamins and amino acids are part of a diet that supports good mood. It’s also important to include a source of protein with each meal and to avoid dips in your blood sugar levels, eat every few hours. When you eat a nutrient rich diet, your body garners the benefits. For example, when you eat a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, healthy fats and proteins throughout the day, your body is fueled and your blood sugar levels are stabilized.

Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients are being absorbed and used to support your overall metabolic functioning. Combining healthy carbohydrate sources and proteins provide the building blocks for neurotransmitter formation, which are needed for the brain to manage focus and mood. As an added benefit, simply being empowered to take care of yourself and your health can significantly boost mood and the sense of well-being. 129

What is essential in our daily diet? Natasha and Kate believe that to take advantage of the power food has to experience your best health, and make the most of the ability food has to positively affect our moods, it is vital to ensure you are getting adequate amounts of amino and essential fatty acids.

Amino Acids

Amino acids are the building blocks for healthy neurotransmitters. These are the messengers that communicate information throughout our brain and body. They affect our mood, emotions, sleep, appetite, concentration and our ability to cope with stress, greatly impacting our overall sense of well-being. Depleted levels of healthy neurotransmitters contribute to mood disorders, anxiety, depression, apathy, addiction, eating disorders, sleep difficulties and the inability to cope with stress. Your body needs specific nutrients through your diet to manufacture healthy levels of neurotransmitters, and healthy sources of protein are the best source of amino acids. The major neurotransmitters that play a role in our mood and sense of well-being include GABA, serotonin and dopamine.


This is our calming neurotransmitter. GABA helps us to feel relaxed and normalizes sleep rhythms. When GABA levels are depleted, individuals are more prone to anxiety, worry and an inability to handle stress and sleep difficulties.


This is our happy neurotransmitter, helping to elevate our mood. When serotonin levels are depleted, individuals experience a lack of joy that contributes to feelings of depression. The amino acid that is the precursor to serotonin is tryptophan.


This is our pleasure producing neurotransmitter. Tyrosine is the amino acid precursor to dopamine and is found through protein sources.

Essential Fatty Acids

Essential fatty acids are necessary for healthy brain function. Omega-3 fatty acids are necessary for our health, but the body cannot make them. Therefore, we have to get these essential fatty acids through our food.

“At your next meal, consider taking a moment to think about what you are eating and how it makes you feel. Dr. Natasha Kassam 130


Foods to Consider Breakfast



Organic Eggs: A wonderful source of essential amino acids which provide the building blocks for healthy neurotransmitters. Eggs are packed full of B vitamins which nourish our adrenal glands to help us cope with stress. Avocado: This food is rich in healthy fats and high in antioxidants. Diets with inadequate amounts of healthy fats have been linked with increased stress, anxiety and depression. Spirulina: A wonderful vegetarian source of amino acids that is extremely rich in tryptophan. Spirulina is a nice addition to a morning smoothie or fresh squeezed juice to help with balanced moods.

Bitter Greens Salad: Bitter greens such as dandelion greens, arugula and chard help to stimulate the body’s natural production of digestive enzymes. These enzymes help to break down your food and assist in nutrient absorption. Leafy green vegetables are packed full of antioxidants and are rich in vitamins and minerals. Eating a bitter green salad encourages the absorption of nutrients from other foods in your meal. Garbanzo Beans: These are a wonderful vegetarian source of protein and a simple way to get essential amino acids for optimal neurotransmitter function. Garbanzo beans are rich in B6, which helps the body handle stress.

Salmon: This fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and a great source of protein full of neurotransmitter building amino acids. Asparagus: A vegetable high in folic acid, which is key to managing mood. Low levels of folic acid have been linked to depression. This food is one of the top vegetarian sources of tryptophan, the amino acid precursor to serotonin. Shitake Mushrooms: Rich in B vitamins and antioxidants, great for adrenal function and improving the body’s ability to handle stress.



Almonds: One of the foods highest in glutamate, this amino acid is a precursor to GABA, the calming neurotransmitter. Dark Chocolate: This is a wonderful mood elevating substance. Dark chocolate actually releases endorphins and increases dopamine levels, creating a sense of pleasure. Pure chocolate has a low sugar content and is an excellent antioxidant, rich in many absorbable nutrients and a good source of fiber.

Beverages to Consider Kombucha: This fermented beverage containing vinegar and probiotics is helpful to drink prior to a meal, stimulating digestive enzymes for optimal nutrient absorption and gastrointestinal function. Apple Cider Vinegar: This cider can be made into a healthy tonic by mixing 1 Tbsp with ½ cup water before meals. It’s a drink that helps to stimulate digestion, preparing the digestive tract for food and increasing healthy enzyme production for the breakdown and absorption of nutrients. This is a simple yet drastically effective tonic to optimize digestion. Water: A good guide is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water daily. Add a dash of sea salt, lemon or lime to help the body absorb the water, to both hydrate and to filter the body of toxins.

“We Are What We Eat” “When we fully embrace this statement it profoundly affects the choices we make in the way we eat. Food makes up a part of ourselves and what do you want to become? Natasha and my hope is that you ask this question, ‘Do you use food as your medicine or do you use food as your drug?’ For example, do you turn to high carbohydrate, fatty foods at the end of a stressful day to help calm down? Do you eat a few too many brownies when you are feeling sad to numb your feelings? These are examples of using food as a drug. Alternatively, do you choose a fresh vegetable and fruit juice to create a sense of vitality and to feel energized? Do you choose a light salad and lean protein to feel satiated and create a sense of mental clarity? These are examples of using food as your medicine.” Dr. Kate Smith


Start the Day Right


Healthy fats and proteins are an essential part of a great breakfast, helping to curb cravings throughout the day!


Recharge At Lunch



Garbanzo Bean Salad with Bitter Greens and Bulgur Ingredients: 1/2 cup fine bulgur 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice 1/2 cup garbanzo beans (if using fresh, soak overnight and boil the next day until soft) handful cherry tomatoes, halved 2 cups mixed greens such as lettuce, chard, arugula and baby spinach Dressing: 1/4 cup olive oil 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 clove garlic minced salt to taste Directions: Soak the bulgur in the lemon juice for ten minutes and then run a fork through it to separate. Mix the rest of the salad ingredients and scatter the bulgur on top. To make the dressing, add all the ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously. Drizzle over salad when ready to serve.


savor every bite


Relax At Dinner


Good Food & Conversation...

...the perfect mix. 141

Salmon Teriyaki with Stir Fried Mushrooms and Asparagus Ingredients: 2 tbsp olive oil 1 bunch asparagus 1-2 cups shitake mushrooms 2 salmon fillets 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds 1 red chili, sliced thinly (optional) teriyaki sauce, recipe below Teriyaki sauce ingredients: 1/4 cup soy sauce 2 tbsp brown sugar 1 clove garlic, mashed 1 inch ginger, grated 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes salt optional Teriyaki sauce directions: Mix all the ingredients in a pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Check seasoning and add salt if required. You can also add a small amount of water - 1 tablespoon or so - if the sauce appears too thick. Directions: Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Add mushrooms and asparagus and stir fry. Add 1/4 of the teriyaki sauce and stir to combine. Remove from pan and set aside. Heat remaining oil in the same pan on medium heat. Add salmon fillets skin side up. Fry for about 2-4 minutes and the turn over to cook the other side. Drizzle remaining teriyaki sauce over the salmon. Serve salmon with the stir fried mushrooms and asparagus scattered with toasted sesame seeds and sliced chilies.




good food, happy life

Dr. Natasha Kassam & Dr. Kate Smith of 8 Hearts Health & Wellness

About Dr. Natasha Kassam & Dr. Kate Smith

Co-founders of 8 Hearts Health & Wellness, Dr. Kassam and Dr. Smith met while completing their doctorate program. They became instant friends and study partners, later working together as colleagues at a natural medicine clinic. Sharing a passion for their work and a dedication to their patients, it felt only natural to embark on creating a wellness center together. Named 8 Hearts after the letter 8 which means infinity and the heart which represents love, these are the principles on which they have founded their practice. Dr. Natasha Kassam: “ There is a moment when a patient chooses transformation in their life and for their health, their eyes light up with the knowledge of their empowerment to make changes that have a positive effect. This is what makes my work rewarding.” Dr. Kate Smith: “I hope to share with patients an education on their health and the possibilities. It goes back to 8 Hearts; a client has access to all the layers of their health and well-being which includes emotional, mental and physical well-being.”

About Sukaina Rajabali

Sukaina Rajabali is a freelance food photographer, stylist and writer behind the blog Sips and Spoonfuls. When she isn’t cooking up a storm you’ll catch her photographing everything she eats. 145

Time Management Secrets of Serene Women by Pauline Wiles Each of us has just 1,440 minutes in a day. Into that we must cram work, family, friends, hobbies, health and sleep. Why is it some women glide along serenely and apparently in control, while the rest of us are overwhelmed, consistently late and exhausted? Do you ever catch yourself looking enviously at the friend or neighbor who appears to be doing it all? Have you wondered what her secret is? Here are the truths that serene women have learned to live by.

First...They’re Not Doing it All! Serene women know that everything they choose to do means they must forgo something else. They know that if they decided to they could write a book, climb Mt. Everest or paint their entire house – but not without giving up something else. Chances are your life is already full, so don’t assume you can keep saying “yes” to things and somehow make it all happen. You can’t, and to understand this better try asking yourself what you will need to give up every time you agree to do something. An evening out with friends probably means not catching up on work or losing a bit of needed sleep. Volunteering for the school’s bake sale could require missing your yoga class. There simply is no way to do it all.

Nothing Gets On Their To-Do List Without Conscious Scrutiny Serene women know they can’t possibly begin to manage their time without first learning to value time. They guard this precious resource instinctively, diligently and constantly. Assuming you are already fully committed and quite likely over-stretched, don’t add a single thing to your to-do list without considering the value it brings you. Does the activity lead to long-term gain? How about short-term pleasure? Tasks which meet neither test should be kept to a minimum. If you love to work in the yard or organize community events - great. If not, minimize their role in your life and scrutinize every activity you do to see if it truly deserves its place in your routine. 146

“Serene women know that for each thing they choose to do they must forgo something else...don’t assume you can keep saying yes to everything!” Time Thieves Are Banished, or at Least Minimized If you like charts and lists, go ahead and map out the different activities you cram into a week to better understand how time is being spent. However, you probably already know which activities are stealing your time. It may be the low quality TV you watch in the hour before bed, when you’re too tired to do anything else. It may be the quick glance at your email, which turns into ninety minutes browsing Facebook and Pinterest. Whatever your weak points are, recognize them and ask yourself consciously if this is how you really want to spend your time.

Rest & Relaxation Are Not Optional Activities There’s a reason why airlines tell you to fit on your own oxygen mask first. You simply cannot live a happy, rewarding and serene life unless you put yourself first for at least a small portion of each day. Studies have proven that you don’t make good decisions when you’re tired. You won’t be as clever with your time, your diet or your relationships if you’re sleepy. On the other hand, get enough rest and you’re setting yourself up for success. Stop robbing yourself of sleep, relaxation and fun. They are essential investments which underpin your entire wellbeing.

Getting Help is Not Only Smart, it’s a Necessity You are guilty of this - yes, you are! You keep adding more and more to your burden and often assume you are the only one who can do the task to an acceptable standard. Guess what, if you broke a leg others would have to take over many of the things on your list and the world would keep on turning. The golden rule in getting help is to accept that not everything will be done in the way you would do it, but it will get done. You have to let go of the need for total control and serene women know this. “You simply cannot live a happy, rewarding and serene life unless you put yourself first for at least a small portion of each day!” 147

Multi-Tasking is More Often Your Enemy Than Your Friend Yes, ironing and watching TV go together pretty well. If your house is favorably designed, so does making dinner while helping with homework. But if you find yourself texting your hairdresser for an appointment in the middle of your child’s school play or checking work email while getting pampered at the spa, you’re not being smart. You’ll find you’re doing neither activity properly and missing out on precious, irreplaceable time with your family and friends. Unless you are combining two low value tasks, focus on what you’re doing, take pleasure in the moment and enjoy the satisfaction of living firmly in the present.

How Are You Managing Today? Ask Yourself These Questions: 1. Are the things I want to achieve today realistic? If not, what needs to be dropped? 2. What one thing will I be irritated about not getting done today? Have I made plans to tackle it before noon? 3. Have I gotten help with at least one task today? 4. What am I doing today to promote my health and well-being?

Smart Ways to Get Help 1. Your partner or other key people in your life want you to be happy. What are they good at and don’t mind doing? Ask for help and then don’t criticize the results! 2. If you have kids and they aren’t helping around the house from a very young age, you’re missing an opportunity to help them and yourself! Start with small tasks and decide what kind of reward works for your family. 3. You may already be sharing the school run with a friend. What else could you double up on? Are there chores you hate which your friend might find enjoyable, such as walking the dog or wrapping gifts? Chances are you’re good at something she loathes, trade tasks and enjoy the win-win. If you both dislike a task, tackle it together to make it fun. 4. Pay for help. This doesn’t have to mean a full-time housekeeper. Start by getting assistance just once a week or every couple of weeks on chores or activities you’d like to take off your plate. Get references for various services from friends and be prepared to try different helpers until you find someone you click with. Also consider what teenagers in your neighborhood are available to help out on a variety of tasks. 148

Saying “No” with Style You have the right to protect your time and nothing should get on your to-do list without your approval. To help yourself be able to say “no,” memorize these phrases and use them liberally: 1. “Thanks for thinking of me, but I’m going to have to decline.” 2. “I’m truly flattered but I’m not able to help.” 3. “I’m really not the best person for that task.” 4. “I’ll have to think about it and get back to you.” 5. “I’m afraid that doesn’t work for us.”

“Respect the limitations of your time and ensure you get the rest and help you need. Become vividly aware of the choices you’re making on a daily basis and you’ll be well on your way to a more serene lifestyle.” Additional Resources: The Time Paradox

Take the fascinating Time Perspective Inventory to see if you are too focused on the past or the future.

A Housekeeper is Cheaper Than a Divorce Read this if you’re in denial about hiring help!


Explore recent tasks for inspiration and then post your own.

Time Me

Set this online stopwatch to be alerted when time’s up: great for limiting surfing sessions! 149

TEACHING KINDNESS BY BEING KIND Bullying Isn’t Just for Kids By Mindy Lockard

“Are you going to the PTO meeting?” one mom asked as I was walking Elle and Maggie into school a couple of weeks ago. “I’ve decided not to,” I responded. “Probably a good thing, I hear it’s going to be an all-out mom fight!” Maggie, my youngest, looked up at me with her big brown eyes and asked, “Mommy, are you going to get into a fight?” When mommies behave poorly it doesn’t set a very good example, does it?

When it comes to bullying in our schools we should have no tolerance, because it’s dangerous. Paul Coughlin, founder of the antibullying non-profit organization The Protectors, defines bullying as the following: “It’s the superior use of power to intentionally harm another person over a period of time and for no good reason. It almost always includes humiliation, isolation and threat of further abuse.” It seems obvious we would not tolerate it and one might assume you could recognize a bully by his or her demeanor. But what about when she is disguised in yoga pants or power heels? That’s right, ladies. This is not just child’s play. Bullying behavior has a way of finding its way into our adult lives, making appearances at work and a variety of gatherings from cocktail parties to PTO meetings. Although our adult behavior may not fit the classic definition of


“bullying,” the way in which we treat or speak about others in general can begin to plant seeds of social awareness in the children around us. How we behave matters, even when another mom on the PTO questions our work on the school carnival or someone takes the parking spot we were headed for. We alone are accountable for our actions and responses. Little eyes are watching and teen ears are tuned in, listening and learning. What my mother always said to me is true, “Actions speak louder than your words.” That said, let’s arm ourselves with graciousness and self-control, demonstrating to our children what it means to treat others well. We can encourage them to “be nice,” but it’s not until we demonstrate our intentions through our own actions that they will truly experience an honorable example of how best to behave and interact with others.

Make Up Your Mind We may put our foot down when it comes to bullying on the playground, but what about what is reflected on our DVR settings? Reality television and gossip magazines are simple, mindless forms of entertainment, right? But are they really? If we don’t tolerate bullying, why are we willing to tune into the latest dose of women behaving poorly? Therapist Stephanie Knight reminds us, “Conclusions on studies of the ‘contrast effect’ state that the people we spend time with and the environments we expose ourselves to significantly influence our behavior.” And when it comes to motherhood, our influences can significantly affect our children.

Wear it Well One of the greatest gifts we can give our children is to show graciousness to everyone, from the checker at the grocery store to the principal in our schools. Although we certainly don’t always have to agree, kindness trumps all. Making eye contact, smiling, remembering names and striking up even brief conversations communicates respect, value and care for others.

Walk the Kindness Talk It’s not always the face-to-face lessons we share that impact our children, but the things they overhear from the backseat of the car or while walking only steps behind. When talking on our cell phone, for example, we often forget that the children around us are taking notes and learning from our dialogues. By speaking unkindly or making critical notes about others, we teach our children how to pass judgment on those we know and those we don’t. This type of dialogue and thought process also adds unnecessary stress to our daily lives. Knight reminds us that when we use unflattering labels to describe people, we add drama to our internal and external dialogues. And I wouldn’t imagine any of us is in need of more stress in our lives.

“By speaking unkindly or making critical notes about others, we teach our children how to pass judgment on those we know and those we don’t.” 151

Taking a Stand Megan Jensen experienced workplace bullying firsthand. “It consumed me at work and at home,” she explains. Now a manager of a medical group, Megan encourages people to stand up to bullying by speaking to the aggressor. She suggests starting with, “I feel like I’ve done something to upset you.” Sometimes people aren’t aware of their behavior and how it’s affecting others. If the bullying continues after a candid conversation, she recommends taking the matter to HR. As adults, if we can’t stand up for ourselves or those around us who are being bullied, how can we expect our children to do the same? Coughlin passes on a message of strength to his children, “We have told them that they have the freedom to defend themselves from any form of harm. What they don’t have the freedom to do is to take another person’s dignity away in the process. It takes time, practice and guidance. No one gets it right all the time, that’s for sure.”

Courage Over Confidence We’ve been so focused on raising confident children, haven’t we? Consider Oprah’s “You get a car! And YOU GET A CAR!” We are similarly teaching our children, “You get a trophy! And YOU GET A TROPHY!” It seems in order to be confident, everyone must be a winner. But with all of this focus on confidence, studies show that children are becoming less confident and in turn less courageous. When it comes to kindness, courage is key. Coughlin says, “Courage is doing the right thing even when you’re afraid. It’s taking action even when you don’t feel very strong.” And he isn’t shy about sharing moments in his life when he channels his inner courage. “On our way to a soccer party where I was the coach, I told my children, ‘I’m going to walk into the room and know not everyone is happy about how I coached the season. But I’m going to walk in with the courage to be kind to everyone despite their liking me or not.’”

When passing on a legacy of gracious living, it’s the adults who set the stage. Our interpersonal conversations or the ones we carry on behind people’s backs are the lessons in life our children pick up from us. Let’s commit ourselves to not only telling our children how to be kind, but to teaching them through our actions.

For more information on the seriousness of bullying, identifying the signs and equipping children with the proper skills to overcome it, please visit 152

Print by Graphic Anthology


Mothers Raising Boys Four Women’s Stories


Room Design by Stylist Rachel Riordan & Photographer Kristen Sjaarda

René Zieg

Cottage & Vine I always pictured myself as a “boy” mom. I grew up in a neighborhood full of boys and even though I tended to be more of a girlie girl, I ran with the pack. From the outside, boys appeared to have more freedom than girls and I thought that raising them would be a piece of cake. Needless to say, my philosophy and perspective changed when I had boys of my own! Fortunately, my husband and I have shared the same beliefs on what it takes to raise confident and responsible young men over the years. Our sons, now 16 and 13, are learning to live a balanced life. Being responsible, identifying and pursuing their personal interests and learning what it means to have a strong character are all part of this balance. Teaching your sons to be responsible will not only help them develop positive selfesteem, it will also make your job as a mom easier in the long run. When our sons were little, their responsibilities included things like hand washing and picking up their own toys. Now that they are older they are able to cook, clean and communicate well with

teachers, coaches and other adults effectively on their own. However, we are still working on their laundry skills! It’s vitally important that boys find something they really enjoy doing or participating in – other than video games! Finding a personal interest that belongs only to them is so important in their development. Mothers of boys know how energetic they can be and having something to focus that energy on is essential for both your sanity and theirs. Finally, I have encouraged my sons to be the friend they would like to meet by treating others as they would like be treated. Sometimes I find myself saying things like, “You don’t have to be best friends, but try to be nice.” The smile or nice gesture they make could be the difference in someone’s day. Being the mother of my two boys has been the most rewarding experience I could have ever imagined. I am so proud of them both and watching them grow into responsible, confident and kind young men is one of my biggest joys.

“I have encouraged my sons to be the friend they would like to meet by treating others as they would like to be treated.” 155

Traci Zeller

Traci Zeller Designs “Surprise, it’s twin boys!” Every woman gets at least one surprise when she first becomes a mother; finding out whether the baby is a boy or a girl. I got two surprises. First, I was having twins and second, they were both boys. I never expected to have twins, but even more firmly I did not expect to have boys. I suppose every little girl plays house and imagines what her “big girl family” will be like, but for me it was more than that. I was your stereotypical girl. I adored dolls, hated bugs and refused to climb trees. But perhaps most importantly, girls were all that I knew. I did have my father who was wonderfully supportive and involved, but I didn’t have brothers or boy cousins that got me dirty no matter how much I protested. My sister and I were closer than close and it seemed only natural that I was meant to be a “girl mom.” So what does a girlie girl do when she is blessed with two boys at one time? While it was an adjustment, I knew then - and know now - that I was beyond fortunate to have not one but two healthy babies. And typical of my personality, when I put my mind to something it is full steam ahead! First, it was out with the pink. I literally gave away almost everything I owned that was pink and in came the baby blue. I was going to

be a boy mom! But what did that mean? I didn’t really know. This boy mom thing was going to require on-the-job training. My sweet boys, Henry and Charlie, are now six years old and every day has been an adventure. The years are flying by faster than I imagined they could and I know they will be grown before I’m ready. I’m learning as I go and I’m so proud of my boys. They’ve played with dolls and bottles as well as trucks and army men. They loved their toy kitchen and helping their daddy in the actual kitchen is now a treat, not a chore. They’ve worn pink and I imagine they will again, at least when they are out of the “overly influenced by schoolmates” years. They say “I love you” and give hugs and kisses throughout each day, to me, their daddy and those meaningful in their lives. Occasionally it takes prompting, but they say “please” and “thank you” to everyone, and “yes, ma’am” and “no, sir” to grownups. Yes, we’re from the South. We are also trying to instill in them from a young age the desire to help others, setting aside a part of their small weekly allowance to charitable giving. Their piggy banks from Money Savvy Generation are helping them develop this habit.

“What I really want and hope for my boys is that they have a generous spirit, loving nature, are open-minded to new people, places, things and ideas and accepting of themselves and others.” 156

What I really want and hope for my boys is that they have a generous spirit, loving nature, are open-minded to new people, places, things and ideas and accepting of themselves and others. What does this mean

when it comes to parenting? I ask myself one simple question when interacting and guiding my boys on a daily basis: Would I wish for that characteristic or action in a husband or a father? My boys have excellent role models, their father and grandfathers are beyond devoted, but I also view this guidance as an important part of my job as a mom. I want Henry and Charlie to become the kind of men that any woman would be lucky to marry. I’m training them to put down the toilet seat and throw their laundry in the basket. Isn’t that a good start? When the day finally comes that they marry and have families of their own, my wish is that Henry and Charlie will know how fiercely I love them. They are my whole heart. And now I cannot imagine raising girls.


Amanda Andrew AJ Cooper Design

I’ll never forget the moment I found out the sex of my baby. “Are you ready?” the technician asked. “Absolutely!” I replied. The room was thick with anticipation and time was static. “Congratulations, it’s a BOY!” she finally declared. Wait…what? A boy? I was shocked. It wasn’t that I didn’t want a boy; I simply had not even considered it! Obviously it was a possibility, a 50 percent chance, and yes, I understand math and percentages. But in my mind it was done, a baby girl was on her way. Or not. As the news sank in and my pregnancy continued, I sought out the most adorable baby boy clothes and I put together a sweet modern nursery. And I worried. I worried about everything all first time mothers-to-be worry about. But in the back of my mind I also worried a lot about what kind of mother I would be to a boy. I am an only child and my own mother and I had a wonderful relationship with a really special and amazing bond. But how would it be with a boy? One friend chuckled and told me, “Boys are wild! You’ll have your hands full.” Wonderful. What if I couldn’t relate to a boy? Another told me, “Batten down the hatches” and “forget about owning anything nice for the next 18 years or so.” Finally, one of the only things my mom told me about being a mom to a boy before she passed away was “boys love their mamas.” Plain and simple. I clung to her words like a life raft in those first days and weeks after my 158

son was born. And you know what? She was right. And then some. This boy of mine, yes, he loves his mama quite fiercely. And boy does she love him back. And this kid? This boy? He is all boy, no way around it. One of his first sounds was “vroom.” Fast cars, motorcycles, trash trucks, fire engines, bulldozers and cranes are just a few of his favorite things. We dig trenches like they do on ‘Mighty Machines.’ We race like Lighting McQueen and we roar like dinosaurs. There are no dolls or dresses and, quite frankly, I am blessed for it. This boy, he lets me discover right along with him. I’m not re-creating my own childhood or putting expectations on any of it; I’m experiencing it all for the first time right along with him. I now have a favorite piece of heavy machinery - an excavator, I like that it digs really big holes. Do you know how many bulldozers you pass by in a single day? Now I do. There are a lot. Although he’s just turned three, my son has taught me so much. To see things through his eyes and to think outside of my own experience and interests in a way that I never could have anticipated is awesome. He is nothing that I feared and everything I had hoped for in a child. He is hardly perfect but he is curious and cautious, spirited and sweet and, most of all, he is open. And his gift to me? I can see it so clearly now. To be a mother to a boy who shows her the world from a new and fresh perspective.

“This boy, he lets me discover right along with him. I’m not re-creating my own childhood or putting expectations on any of it; I’m experiencing it all for the first time right along with him.” 159

Lisa Mende

Lisa Mende Design As a mother of four children, three sons and one daughter, I can truly say that nothing in my life has been as important as raising my children. If the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world, then the task of parenting shouldn’t be taken lightly. Raising responsible, moral, and compassionate children does not happen by accident; it takes time, patience and a whole lot of love. When my first child, Walker, was born in 1987, I had no idea what I was doing. I have always joked that he taught me how to be a mother, and after 25 years, I know that it is true. With Walker I thought I had to be the “perfect parent.” I followed the advice of the experts in hopes of achieving this perfect parent status. It took 22 years of raising him, and in a split second of losing him in a kayaking accident, for me to realize that life doesn’t have to be perfect to be good. Losing Walker changed the way I parent my younger children. It made me realize I had spent too much time focused on the wrong things instead of enjoying my children. Walker really didn’t care if his birthday invitations matched the party décor; he simply wanted a celebration. I now feel silly remembering how angry I became when the garage wall was marred by his wayward go-kart. When I look at that scarred wall today, I smile because it serves as a reminder of his life. Looking back on my time with Walker, the only things that truly mattered were the little things. The books we read together, the goodnight kisses and family vacations are 160

sweet memories. In retrospect, what was important was the time I spent just “being” with my child. Our daughter is now at college and our boys, ages 14 and 11, are all that we have left at home. Our life revolves around sports. They have gained confidence and learned responsibility by being part of a team. Thanks to sports they know the meaning of being a gracious winner as well as a good loser, which are both important life lessons. Unfortunately, there isn’t a “one size fits all” guide to raising boys. Each one is different. As a parent you must use your head, as well as your heart, to guide your child. I find that open dialogue has become an important way for me to connect with my boys. Car rides home from school have become our time to chat. I let them talk and I listen. If they have a problem, I let them come up with their own solutions before commenting. I do not do for my boys what they can do for themselves. If they make their bed and it isn’t perfect, I say “great job” anyway! The main message I hope my children remember is that they have been loved unconditionally. Our children are a gift that is on loan to us, and we must never forget that. A wise person once said that a parent’s job is to give a child roots and wings; roots so they always know that they can come home for comfort, and love and wings so they can soar. It is my hope that my children always remember that I have done my best to provide them their roots and wings in order for them to succeed in life.

“Our children are a gift that is on loan to us, and we must never forget that.”

“Looking back on my time with Walker, the only things that truly mattered were the little things. The books we read together, the goodnight kisses and family vacations are sweet memories. In retrospect, what was important was the time I spent just ‘being’ with my child.” 161

READ HOUSE OF FIFTY ON THE GO! Enjoy reading the latest articles wherever you are! Download the iTunes app for the iPad and iPhone, or a digital version for all other mobile devices from MagCloud.

Click Here



Or do you prefer to read the

“Old School” Way?

Order a print copy from MagCloud Look for our next issue in November, until then


keep in touch!

House of Fifty Fall 2012  

House of Fifty magazine Fall 2012 issue

House of Fifty Fall 2012  

House of Fifty magazine Fall 2012 issue