Category Archives: Friendship

Rockin’ It Out With Katy Perry!

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…..more Teenage Dreams! What a way to end the summer; Katy Perry, live in concert! We were sooooo disappointed when she canceled her concert due to “food poisoning” in July, but I must admit, she was totally worth the wait. In our second annual pop music pilgrimage, Amanda and I joined our cousins, hosted by Nurse Terri (who is like my sister), for an evening of wild fun and entertainment. Rendezvousing at the Giordano’s for pizza and Pino Grigio was the perfect start.


The party atmosphere extended all the way to the parking lot. Girls dressed in glitter, sparkles and candy confections. Never have I seen so many blue haired ladies (and I’m not talking about your grandmother and her girlfriends)! The bright blue wigs were all in homage to Miss Katy (Snoop’s lady) and her outrageous personal style. Little girls, teen-age girls, girl friends, mothers, daughters, grandmothers; dressed to the nine’s and ready to rock it out!


Now, I just love, love, love Russell Brand, so I was hoping to feel the same way about his bride. Katy Perry is absolutely adorable; a mix between a squeaky and sexy Betty Boop, a lovely and soft spoken Glenda, the Witch of the North and a bawdy Bette Midler all rolled into one.  


Surrounded by Willie Wonka-esque candy land confections, she totally delivered! Up on our feet, we danced and sang along as she belted out hit after hit after hit. This wasn’t just a concert; it was an extravaganza of costumes, dancers, fireworks, bubbles, glitter. Florenz Ziegfeld would have been proud!



After two rock solid hours of rip roaring entertainment, we made a pit stop at the B96 party van. Why sit in parking lot gridlock when you can continue to dance? While we didn’t make it home until 1 in the morning (on a school night no less), this night was totally worth it……a Teenage Dream!


More screaming teenagers, more singing, more dancing, more family fun and memories…..


To schedule and Interior Design appointment, a Life Style consultation or a speaking engagement, please email me at

Leave a comment

Filed under Family Life, Friendship, More is More Mom

Back to School Inspired Home Decor….

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……..more back to school home décor! I have always been in love with the rituals of starting a new school year. Perhaps it’s my obsession with footwear, but to me, the very best part of back to school shopping is the quest for the perfect shoe. When I was a little girl, my mom would take me to Chicago’s Kotz Shoe Store at Lincoln and Belmont. I was like a kid in a candy shop; shiny cordovan penny loafers, topsiders, saddle shoes (I like retro), clogs (it was the 70’s) and sparkly white tennis shoes.


The next best thing to shoe shopping is finding the perfect school supplies; designed to help you stay organized and motivated in style! While Nick has always been perfectly happy with boring solid colored notebooks and folders and those standard orangey-yellow Ticonderoga #2 pencils, Amanda is much more like her mother in her desire for flights of fancy; patterned, colorful, glittery, hip and happening.


But why should the kids have all of the fun? With reading, writing and arithmetic as my inspiration, I was scouring the aisles of my favorite haunts for ideas for bringing the back to school experience to our home décor.


I think a globe is a great addition to any home. It’s perfect on a shelf, a counter or an end table. Easy accessibility is the key so the kiddies can become geographically literate. Maybe I should have spent more time at the library rather than at the shoe store!  


Reading is, of course, fundamental. As an Interior Designer, I’m always surprised when clients ask me what they should put on their book shelves. The answer is obvious; BOOKS! However, we can make our displays more interesting by intermingling treasured photographs, objects and bookends. I am a huge fan of elephants, which is why I was immediately drawn to these bookends in particular, but there are so many different options allowing us to express our individual personalities.


For the math and strategy minded, why not a little game of Tic-Tac-Toe? Even though pencil and paper is simple, a statement game goes a long way. Why not keep it on the kitchen counter or on the coffee table in the family room?


It’s always a good idea to get on your teacher’s good side by bringing her an apple (or to sweeten the deal, a caramel apple!). I came across this fabulous three tiered basket, which would be perfect for storing apples, amongst other things. If you are a fan of going big or going home, why not snag this apple sculpture and perch it on your kitchen island or counter to bring in a little flavor of the season?


Pretty fabric desk accessories will keep you organized, yet stylish. Rather than stick all of your family’s artwork and important notes on the refrigerator, why not pin them on a fabulously framed cork board or French memo board? So much more beautiful! While you’re at it, replacing ho-hum yellow legal pads with decorative and ornate paper makes all of our prose, be it a laundry list or a love letter, a little bit more important.


What better way to shed some light on your reading, writing and arithmetic than with sassy new table lamps? Bright colors, bold stripes and striking silhouettes make a powerful statement in any nook or cranny.


The most memorable addition to our back to school home décor preserves those treasure moments in time. Capture those memories with candid shots, displayed in frames on an end table, shelf or artfully arranged on the wall.


More reminiscing, more re-living our innocent youth, more back to school shopping, more home décor……


To schedule and Interior Design appointment, a Life Style consultation or a speaking engagement, please email me at

Leave a comment

Filed under Entertaining, Friendship, Hostess Gifts, More is More Mom

Fun and Festive Flip Flops…….

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……..being a more thoughtful guest! After a lifetime at Our Lady of Perpetual Donations Grammar School, I love that high school has brought opportunities for Amanda to branch out and develop new friendships. She’s met a darling group of girls that, like her, likes sports, music, movies and a little WWF (Hulk Hogan would be so proud).

One of the families generously invited a gaggle of these girls to join them on their family vacation. The trip started as they hit the road in an RV (how else does one travel with 11 people?), making their way on the six hour journey to Michigan. With such a gracious invitation, Amanda and I decided to contribute to the festive spirit by providing an activity to help pass the time on the road.

A girl can never have enough footwear, so we decided to provide all 7 of the girls with the materials to make matching decorative flip-flops…….


Our first stop was a visit to Old Navy. They have the very best flip-flop selection, in a rainbow of colors. Armed with each girls shoe size, Amanda selected a pair of bright green flippies for each.


Now all that was left was a quick trip to the fabric store. We needed to get a few yards of fleece, to cut into strips, to tie around the straps of the flip-flops. Amanda grabbed three rolls of pink, orange and green striped ribbon as her color inspiration. We also snagged another three rolls of ribbon, only this time we fell for a delightful green animal print; a little something sassy to compliment the classic stripe. As the base of the design, Amanda chose both bright orange and hot pink fleece.


Now it was time for the real work; cutting all of the fabric into 1” x 5” strips. After some complicated math, we determined that each shoe would need;

6 ribbons

21 pink strips

21 orange strips

In other words, 48 strips per shoe, or 96 strips per pair. That was nearly 700 strips of fabric for 7 pairs of flip-flops. That’s a lot of cutting! Thankfully, I have a quilting cutting wheel, t-square and a mat to make all that cutting that much easier.

Because the fleece is stretchy, we only needed to cut the fabric into 1” wide x 5”long strips. We were in luck; cutting the ribbon was so much less time consuming. It came off the roll in the proper width, and as for the length, because its not stretchy, we cut the ribbon into 7” strips.



The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree…..Amanda is a very orderly little person. She organized the project by putting the 48 strips for each individual shoe in a small sandwich baggie, including two baggies of fabric in a larger baggie along with the flip-flops.


 As Girls love to match, the flip-flop project was a huge hit (as were the two trays of homemade brownies that we sent along for the ride).  

With the extreme generosity and thoughtfulness of the family, Amanda and her friends had the vacation of a lifetime; jet skiing, parasailing, zip lining, water sliding, fine dining, but more importantly, laughing, bonding and connecting.

More hospitality, more vacationing, more fun, more great girlfriends…….

To schedule and Interior Design appointment, a Life Style consultation or a speaking engagement, please email me at

Leave a comment

Filed under Family Life, Friendship, Hostess Gifts, More is More Mom

Fun at the French Market……

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…….more French Market field trips! I can hardly believe that our summer is practically half way behind us. The weeks have been filled with a flurry of activity, with Saturday mornings reserved for catching up around the house. Well, this past weekend, Amanda and I decided to throw caution to the wind, chores be damned, and head downtown to check out all that’s new and exciting at the French Market.


What I love most (other than the jewelry) is the real sense of community that the French Market provides. There are families passing through on their way home from soccer and baseball games, people walking their dogs (which is absolutely shocking to me. Our Wrigley could never be trusted anywhere that so much food is at eye level; practically a smorgasbord!), folks grabbing a cup of coffee, meandering up and down the aisles, passing time on a Saturday morning. This being our 15th summer here in suburbia, we invariably run into friends, and it’s always a treat to catch up.


With so many great booths, it’s hard to know where to begin. The produce is always to die for; beautiful yellow pears, robust red nectarines, gorgeous grapes, bell peppers in a rainbow of colors, and cauliflower pretty enough to use as a centerpiece! There are the greenest of green beans and broccoli and potatoes for mashing, baking and scallop-ing.



Baked goods abound with bread and pastries, as do jars of jams, jellies and barbeque sauces. Amanda and I fell in love with The Pickle Guy and brought home two jars of his garlic-y pickles that we promptly diced and used to garnish our grilled hot dogs for lunch. If you are a pickle aficionado; they are amazing.


I’m always a total sucker for the flowers. Whether you’re looking for perennials, a bouquet or a hanging basket, it’s so hard to decide because everything is so darn colorful and pretty!


An accessory girl myself, I tend to make a bee-line for the jewelry. The French Market is an excellent place to find artisans with unique pieces. It’s just fun to make a new discovery; jewels that you won’t stumble across at the mall. Of course, the purse lady has an interesting array of handbags, clutches and wristlets, while the pretty pashmina’s are to die for.


However, this week, my favorite stop was to MelkandCookies; freezer-to-oven cookie dough clusters. What an awesome treat for the whole family! It’s so simple, whether you take out one cluster (like who could ever stop at just one?) or bake the entire dozen, you get a warm, homemade cookie in just 9-11 minutes. As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about the idea of providing our children with the happy memories of an afterschool treat, or a tasty dessert for the whole family. My family has had the privilege of enjoying MelkandCookies as a homemade after school treat for the past 13 years! Founder and Innovator, Rochel Melka, is one of my dearest friends. If you miss her this summer at the French Market, you should check her out at


With our pickles, produce and cookies in hand, Amanda and I had a thoroughly enjoyable visit to the French Market.


More shopping, more fresh ingredients, more friends, more community experiences………


To schedule and Interior Design appointment, a Life Style consultation or a speaking engagement, please email me at

Leave a comment

Filed under Family Life, Friendship, More is More Mom, Personal Style

Homegating; Popcorn, Peanuts, Cracker Jack’s and DiGiorno!

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……..more Home-gating! Why head to the stadium to tailgate with the kids piled in the car, packed with everything but the kitchen sink, when you can enjoy the big game in the comfort of your very own home? My mantra is more of everything is always better, especially time spent with family and friends. What better way to re-connect than nibbling and noshing over a tasty buffet while cheering on your favorite team……

I absolutely love entertaining and Homegating provided the perfect party inspiration! As an Interior Designer, I crave authenticity, which is why I was crazy about all of the little details that went into making our Homegating party a huge success.


Homegating Dinner Buffet

Popcorn, peanut's and Cracker Jack's

Charming decorations strike the perfect tone; a blue plaid stadium blanket, blue and gold rooter poms, home-made felt pennants and an apothecary jar filled with gumballs in our team colors graced the buffet and bar. A picnic basket, brimming with popcorn, peanuts and Cracker Jacks made for an inexpensive and delightful centerpiece.


Cold Beverages; soda, wine and Miller Lite....

To get the party rolling, I set up a little bar so our guests could help themselves to cold sodas, wine and long neck bottles of Miller Lite.


Wrigley, 92lbs of fun!

For a pre-game warm up, the teenagers amused themselves by playing running bases and Bago’s, while keeping the ball away from our 92lb Chocolate Lab, Wrigley, was the real challenge. To make the day a little more festive, we brought my homemade Wrigley Field replica scoreboard out to the yard so the kids could manually score the game.



With the concession stand serving as such great inspiration, the menu was easy….


Homegating Party Menu

Popcorn, Peanuts and Cracker Jack’s

DiGiorno Pizza

Homemade Nachos

Hot Dog Bar; Chicago Style, BLT and Philly Cheese Dogs

Ooey-Gooey Chewy Bars


It’s not delivery, it’s DiGiorno!

DiGiorno Pizza....

DiGiorno has so many great toppings to choose from, but my people are total meat lovers. They were so crazy for the sausage and pepperoni pizza that there wasn’t a slice left on the tray!

While nachos at the ball park are fine, nothing beats those that I make at home (and for a fraction of the price!). The beauty is that everything can be prepped in advance and tossed in the oven 10 minutes before you’re ready to serve. Ole!


Pre-heat oven to 400°

2 lbs of ground beef, browned.

2 packets of Taco seasoning, combined with the browned beef according to the package directions.

Refrigerate until ready to use. Warm up in the microwave for 2 minutes when it’s nachos time.

1 large bag of your favorite tortilla chips

1 – 8 cup bag of shredded cheddar cheese

Your favorite toppings, such as;

Diced tomatoes

Diced onions

Sliced olives

Coat a 13×9 baking dish with non-stick spray

Place a layer of tortilla chips in the baking dish

Smother with cheese

Pop into the oven for 3-4 minutes, until the cheese starts to melt

Add another layer of chips

Cover with browned beef and more cheese

Generously sprinkle with tomatoes and onions

Cover with more cheese

Top with sliced olives

Cook for another 5-7 minutes, or until cheese melts

Hot Dog Bar;

Grill hot dogs, slide into a hot dog bun or brat roll, and place on a serving tray

Offer a variety of condiments to build your favorite hot dogs

Chicago Style Dog;

Yellow mustard ~Dill pickle spears ~Diced tomatoes ~ Diced onions ~ Sweet pickle relish ~ Celery salt

BLT Dog;

Mayonnaise ~ Bacon Strips ~ Shredded lettuce ~ Diced tomato

Philly Cheese Dog;

Cheese sauce ~ Bell pepper and onion strips (sautéed in olive oil until tender, about 10-15 minutes) ~ Dash of hot sauce


And for dessert…….

Ooey-Gooey Chewy Bars (with Nestlé’s chips)

Pre-heat the oven to 350°

In a large bowl, mix together;

3 cans of sweetened condensed milk

1 box of graham cracker crumbs


1 bag Nestlé’s milk chocolate chips

1 bag Nestlé’s butterscotch chips

Blend well

Line a 13×9 baking dish with parchment paper and coat with non-stick spray

Spread mixture into the dish

Cook for 30 minutes, or until a light golden brown

Cool until easy to handle

Lift parchment paper out of dish, place on a cutting board and remove the parchment paper (no stick! No mess!).

Cut into bars (I prefer to remove the edges so the bars are nice and even)

Place on a serving dish and enjoy…….   


The only thing that beats a visit to your favorite stadium is enjoying a Homegating party with your closest family a friends! Let’s play ball…….

To schedule and Interior Design appointment, a Life Style Consultation or a speaking engagement, please contact me at

I’m excited to have been asked to be a part of this campaign for Collective Bias and DiGiorno; a Homegating Game Time Party! Hosting family and friends, enjoying our buffet and playing games as we cheered on the home team was a blast!


Filed under Entertaining, Family Life, Friendship, Interior Design, More is More Mom, Personal Style, Recipes