Praising Emotional Intelligence

It’s hard to be emotional in the workplace. We’ve lived in this Puritan tradition where “it’s not personal, it’s business”. We are strong, professional and polished, void of emotional interference.  Now this tune is changing, especially in creative industries. Major brands and advertisers are encouraging this type of emotional connection to their products and services. They know that in order to be successful in the wide world of competition, their presence, or their client’s presence, has to elicit an emotional response to stay relevant and be remembered.

The latest Illustration annual of Communication Arts drew me in emotionally from the start with thoughtful essays and an article by Scott Maney, from Breakaway, entitled, Double Albums, Musky Grandmas & Fairytales: How Brands Move You. In this, Maney writes, “If it moves you, they will come”. Are the 2010′s requiring us to be more emotional intelligent, more expressive? This is a trend that will only continue to grow. Or so I hope.
This latest Boston Magazine cover photo, a tribute to the Boston Marathon, is an beautiful example of successful design, drawing emotion in print through shape, color and tone. While the recent events in Boston are an emotive subject, this cover elegantly captures the spirit of both Boston and the marathon. Something that will not only be remembered, but never forgotten.

boston-magazine-marathon-cover

NYC Dwelling

Last month was a whirl-wind trip back east. I had about 24 hours in New York City to see friends, show
my boyfriend around the city and explore, so the places we stopped were few and far between. Of course,
Dwell Studio‘s new flagship store in Soho was at the top of the list! Got to see the peacock bedding of ours
as wall paper-that was fun. I think everyone who walks into this store leaves saying, “This is exactly how
I want my home to be decorated”…I know we did!

Dwell takes a home up a notch and makes it a dwelling. Enjoy some of these insanely awesome prints
and textiles.

Bakin’ Cookies

Lemon desserts are by far my favorite! (But I do have to footnote this comment and say peanut butter & chocolate and mint & chocolate are two of the greatest combinations in existence.) This is my first attempt at lemon cookies and realized they turn out much nicer if you roll the dough in your hands first. These were spooned out and a little jagged, but still scrumptious!

tomato season

So many tomatoes in the garden, it’s overflowing! I had no idea what to do with all these tomatoes right now. I’ve eaten all the caprese salads I ever could and I never thought I’d ever hear myself say that.

I decided to make homemade tomato sauce for the first time. I found an easy recipe online, adapted it a little by adding dried oregano, and I think it came out just fine for my first time. I added green bell pepper, which I wouldn’t do next time (it makes it a little too sweet). I’m trying not to expect perfection for my first attempt and am trying to be perfectly happy with what is.

tim & christy’s

Summer vacation led us to visit cousins Tim and Christy and their two kids. I am always amazed at not only how warm and welcoming they all are, but how wonderful the energy of their home feels. Throughout the house there are subtle little touches of comfort and love everywhere you look, whether it’s items Christy and the kids made in the craft room, family photos and notecards, or cozy fabrics and textiles. These all make staying with them such a lovely experience. Thanks for sharing your warm and loving home with us!

Natural elements like potted plants, flowers, and vegetables from the garden add to the ambiance of the home. The kids could always be seen with cherry tomatoes in-hand. Eating dinner outside on the front stoop is always something we look forward to.

This is the guest bathroom which contains all the homey touches like nicely folded fluffy towels, a plant, and q-tips which seem to say “help yourself”. So much better than a hotel!


all photos by me.

mocha bundt cake

We celebrated my Aunt’s birthday yesterday and I wanted to share the mocha bundt cake I made. This is a very simple recipe that I found online and all I needed to purchase was a bundt cake pan. I bought this beauty from Williams-Sonoma at the same price after finding a not-so-beautiful cake pan from Michaels. Lesson learned: hold out for the tool that gets you excited to bake, make, or create.

A couple of people have asked me how I cut the ridges of the cake; it’s purely the shape of the bundt cake pan. So awesome!

Chocolate Bundt Cake

diy coasters

We’ve desperately been needing coasters for our new coffee table and I remembering seeing a great idea on Pinterest of how to make your own. After a quick stop at the craft store to pick out some pretty polk-a-dot paper and a stop at Home Depot for 4×4 tiles (only $0.16/ea), it was a quick and easy process.

1. Cut the paper to 4×4 squares
2. Use Mod Podge to adhere the paper to the tile and let dry
3. Spray with clear coat

That’s one project to cross off my Pinterest DIY Gotta Do It list, yah!