Monthly Archives: January 2012

In the Red…..

 As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……more seeing RED! Color inspires an amazing visual and emotional experience. For me, I am simply a red girl. Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to celebrate this fabulous scarlet hue…..





The toile pattern is an absolute classic; always beautiful in all of its incarnations. While pastoral and oriental themes are to die for, I love the nod to nature featuring birds and butterflies (another of my favorites!).





What a YUMMY chair! This would be fabulous tucked into the corner of a Living Room, a Foyer, or as host and hostess chairs in a Dining Room… glam! I would even sit on it while eating Green Eggs and Ham!


Throw pillows can add an inexpensive pop of personality! While they are at home on a sofa, chair, bed or bench, I love them in a more unexpected place, like a Dining Room chair; comfort, color and interest!




I am a sucker for Chinoiserie and anything red! Wouldn’t this be fabulous tucked in a Powder Room, Hallway or over a bureau?



The chandelier is a total statement piece. This would be a bold choice in a Dining Room, Bedroom or fantastic in a Bathroom.



What is more stately and elegant than Lalique crystal? While the iconic Lalique fish is delicate in stature, it packs a big punch!


The classic urn is an interior style icon. It is at home inside and out, filled with plants, firewood, towels, magazines and anything else you can imagine



Monkeys and elephants are amongst my favorites. They are so playful! Here they are paired in a beautiful, whimsical lamp, which would be perfect bedside, on an end-table or in a Foyer.



Picture frames provide the perfect backdrop to family moments, adding a pop of personality!



A pair of love birds would be adorable nestled on a book shelf, mantel, in a centerpiece or outdoors.


Speaking of the outdoors, while a garden bench is a welcome addition to……a garden, it’s also an adorable appointment in your home as well.


More scarlet hues, more inspirations, more home décor, more beautiful spaces…..  


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Cheeseburger in Paradise!

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……..more cheeseburgers! While we love a fabulous gourmet meal, sometimes, nothing beats a great big burger. The secret is in how you prep the meat, and, of course, your choice of toppings.


I like to prep my patties the night before so the flavors have time to mingle.




In a bowl, combine;

1 ½ pounds ground beef

1 onion (I favor white), reserving 4 –  ¼” slices for grilling, then dice 3 tablespoons onion

1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Salt and pepper

Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions and form patties

Refrigerate until ready to grill



Reserved onions – 4 slices

2 heads of romaine lettuce

Cheese slices

Tomatoes, sliced




Mayonnaise (I like to mix mine with a little pesto sauce)

Olive oil

Garlic salt

Cracked black pepper


Vertically slice the romaine lettuce

Drizzle olive oil over;



Then sprinkle both sides of the lettuce with garlic salt and cracked black pepper


Hamburger Buns:

We are partial to onion rolls. What makes this so delicious is the addition of the garlic butter!

In a small sauce pan, melt;

6 Tbsp butter

4-6 gloves of minced garlic

Slather melted garlic butter over the insides of each the top and the bottom buns


Prepare the grill to medium-high heat

Grill lettuce and onion rings on both sides until nicely charred

Remove, chop up the lettuce and set aside


Grill burgers to desired doneness. The kids and I like to live on the E-coli edge, as we take ours rare, while Chuck prefers the carcinogens of a well done burger.


When you add the cheese, toss the buns on the grill for a minute or two until they are nicely charred.

Because more of everything is always better, I like to layer my burger;

Cheese, pesto-mayo, ketchup, grilled lettuce, onion slices, pickles and tomato…..held together with a tooth pick!



Steak Fries:

As a total bonus, I made parmesan steak fries. They were to die for!


For planning purposes, I usually figure one potato per person, plus one extra.


Pre-heat oven to 375°


Scrub your baking potato then slice it in half vertically

Slice each half into spears (approximately 8 per half)

Then, trim each spear in half vertically so they make smaller matchsticks

In a bowl, drizzle the potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse sea salt and cracked black pepper.

The magic was in the parmesan. Toss to coat with approximately 1 cup of grated parmesan cheese.

Spread evenly on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet covered with non-stick cooking spray.

Cook for approximately 40 minutes.


Serve your stacked burger with the parmesan steak fries, eat slowly and savor every-single-bite!


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One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish; A Day in Chicago!

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……more time with my favorite gal! One of the best things about high school is meeting new people and developing lifelong friendships. While Amanda’s met a gaggle of darling girls at St. Feels Right for Her, she is particularly close to two girls that are twin sisters (who hasn’t dreamt about how fun it would be to be a twin?). These three are practically inseparable. When the girls hatched a plan to have a mother/daughter day in the city, their mom and I jumped at the chance!

I am a hunter, gatherer and self-confessed hoarder. Shopping has always been my obsession! When I was a teenager about town, I was always headed to Marshall Field’s on State Street, the Century Mall and Water Tower Place. Amanda and her pals are far more curious, noble and serious.

All bundled up, we jumped on the Metra, destination; Ogilvie Transportation Center. While I love the quaint charm of living in the suburbs (we live in a bubble, within a bubble and it is awesome), I’m addicted to Chicago’s energy. It’s always buzzing! No sooner were we off the train then flying down to the concourse to buy our daily bus passes at the CVS/Pharmacy. Such a deal!

On State Street we hopped on the 146 which took us directly to the Museum Campus. The girls had a hankering to see the fish at the Shedd Aquarium.

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish Blue Fish (Dr. Suess rocks!); we got up close and personal with beautiful (and not so beautiful) fish species from oceans, local waters, islands, lakes and rivers. My favorites were the seahorses. We decided, however, that our visit wouldn’t be complete without the 4-D experience and taking in a show at the Amphitheater.

For the 4-D experience, we joined every toddler in the Chicago-land area for a viewing of Happy Feet. While we thoroughly enjoyed the sensory experiences; water mists, wind, air blasts, snow, bubbles, steam, leg ticklers, seat vibration and enhanced lighting, many of our little friends were terrified to tears. On the other hand, everyone enjoyed the soaring dolphins, dancing belugas and the adorable sea lion at the Aquatic Show.

With all of this learning, we sure worked up an appetite. Amanda couldn’t wait to introduce her friends to our favorite place for lunch; Food Life at Water Tower. Back on the bus, we were there in no time. Public transportation is a beautiful thing.

My Amanda is frequently not her mother’s daughter. Rather than wander around the mall, these girls only had eyes for the Skydeck at the Sear Tower (okay….Willis Tower. Old habits die hard). They were dying to step out onto….The Ledge!

With absolutely no one in line, our visit was meant to be. We took the elevator up 1,353 feet (and the Merry Go Round gives me the willies). The closer we got to the window, the more I felt faint. When we made it to The Ledge (a glass box that extends 4.3 feet from the actual ground of the Skydeck), I had heart palpitations. Above, below and from side to side you are surrounded by glass. My advice; don’t look down.

After much giggling and nudging, all three girls made their way out onto the ledge. They pressed their faces up against the glass, lounged on the glass bottom floor and jumped up and down (tempting fate). While they loved it, I had never been so happy to step foot back onto Jackson Blvd in my life!

Friends, fish, food and fear; I can’t think of a better way to spend a day in Chicago!

More palling around, more time with Amanda, more days in the city, more memory making…….

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Let Them Eat Cake (Pops)!

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…..making more cake pops! I have been marveling at these tasty treats ever since I first saw them at Starbucks. Cake on a stick; what’s not to like? This Christmas, my sister-in-law, Deborah, gave us the Cake Pops Recipe Book by Bakerella. The miniature creations are absolutely adorable!

We are always trying to think of fun activities to entertain the teenagers, so we thought we’d give the basic cake pops a whirl. They couldn’t have been easier or more delicious.

All you’ll need is:

Box of cake mix (we chose Duncan Hines Devil’s Food)

16 oz container of ready-made frosting (we chose Duncan Hines Whipped Vanilla)

48 oz of candy coating, we chose Wilton’s from the craft store

Lollipop sticks, also Wilton’s from the craft store

A Styrofoam block to hold the lollipop sticks (again…the craft store)


Prepare the cake according to the package directions and allow to cool.


Amanda was making the cake pops with two friends, so I divided the finished cake into three even sections split amongst three separate bowls. Break up cake into fine crumbs.


Divide the frosting into three equal parts and place in the individual bowls and combine.


The girls used their hands, but maybe a spoon would have been a better idea.


Line a baking sheet with wax paper and roll dough into 1” balls.

Just a quick note: If you are planning ahead, you can prepare the balls a day in advance simply by refrigerating them over night. If you are whipping them up in an afternoon, you’ll need to put the prepared balls in the freezer for an hour or so. You’ll want to watch them so they get nice and firm but not frozen.

Once the dough is firm enough to handle, you’ll want to melt the candy.


We chose three different colors for a little variety. What an easy way to coordinate dessert to your party theme!


Place approximately one cup of chips in a microwavable bowl.

Microwave for 60-90 seconds or until the candy become nice a smooth for dipping.

Take a lollipop stick and dip it into the melted candy

Next insert the stick into a ball of dough


Dip the cake ball into the melted candy until completely, but smoothly covered

Place the stick into the Styrofoam


I bought another, smaller Styrofoam for Amanda’s girlfriends to bring home to their family


Cover with plastic. We like ours refrigerated.

Serve and enjoy!

Now we can’t wait to try all of the other flavors and Cake Pop projects!

More delicious desserts, more time with teenagers, more adorable Cake Pops!

To schedule an Interior Design appointment or Life Style consultation, or for any questions or comments, please email me at

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A Little Pampering; Evan Healy’s Natural Skincare at Whole Foods Wheaton

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……more healthy skin care! I was pretty excited when Wheaton’s Whole Foods invited me to test Evan Healy’s line of natural skincare products. While I have never been prone to breakouts, when I was a teenager, I tried it all; the more lotions and potions the better. Now that I am a mom of teenagers of my own, I find that I spend very little time on the care of my own skin. A bar of soap and tap water is the extent of my skincare routine. How sad is that?


I love that Evan Healy’s approach is based on the premise that the less you interfere with the skin’s own ability to achieve balance the better. She developed her line by pairing organic ingredients with non-invasive treatment methods; straight forward and simple. It’s the perfect philosophy for me.


I chose the Rose Treatment line, which smells absolutely Heavenly! The trial kit lasts for about 14 days; enough time to get a real sense of the products effectiveness. The regimen couldn’t be easier;

  • In the morning, cleanse with the Rose Cleansing Milk. For someone like me who doesn’t care for a lot of fuss, the texture was delightfully light and creamy.
  • Follow up with the Rosehip Treatment Facial Serum and a spritz of the Rose Geranium Facial Tonic. It’s sooooo fresh and hydrating.
  • On days that my face was feeling a little dry, I used the Rose Vetiver Day Moisturizer. I loved that all of the products smelled great, but more importantly didn’t leave my skin feeling sticky or heavy.



  • Night-time was also a breeze. After I removed my eye makeup, I simply cleansed with the Cleansing Milk and sprayed my face with the Facial Tonic. With this simple prep, my skin was allowed to renew overnight.


  • Once a week, I set aside a few minutes to try the French Rose Clay Mask. It exfoliates, detoxifies and absorbs excess oil. It left my skin feeling refreshed!


This Saturday, January 21, at 10am, Whole Foods in Wheaton is hosting an Evan Healy event. I’m thrilled to have been invited to join the panel discussion, complete with free samples for those who RSVP in advance! Who doesn’t love swag?!? Simply contact the store to reserve your spot 630-588-1500.


More natural ingredients, more healthy skincare, more Evan Healy, more Whole Foods……


To schedule an Interior Design appointment or Life Style consultation, or for any questions or comments, please email me at

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