Tag Archives: Dr Suess

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…….

To schedule an Interior Design appointment or Life Style consultation, or for any questions or comments, please email me at moreismoremom@aol.com

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Snowmen and Christmas Trees and Tablescapes, Oh My!

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…….more whimsical Christmas tablescapes! One of my favorite aspects of my Interior Design business is the opportunities I have to speak to groups, sharing my expertise and passion for Interior Decorating and Entertaining. In October, I had the pleasure of highlighting some of my tips and secrets for holiday entertaining with the International Furnishings and Design Association at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago. Christmas truly is a magical time of year; why not have a little fa-la-la-la- fun?

While I absolutely adore a traditional formal table, there’s something charming about a fresh, tongue in cheek, point of view. We certainly don’t always have to take ourselves so seriously, besides who isn’t a kid at heart at Christmas?

Several years ago, my friend Missy and I were working on a project for Our Lady of Perpetual Donations Grammar School (hence the name…) when we stumbled upon our inspiration; a Snowman-Jester Jack-in-the-box! After all these years mine still figures prominently in my Christmas décor, greeting guests in our foyer.

For my presentation, I chose to showcase my Snowman-Jester Jack-in-the-box. He serves as a delightful example of how a simple object can inspire an entire theme. Placing him on top of a drummer boy drum, gives him height and prominence. Because he has such a lively, Dr Suess like quality, he begged for a bright and cheerful color scheme. Forever and a day ago, I found these fantastic apple green placemats, trimmed with red rick-rack, which I’ve used for years. In fact, they were part of a summer, Margarita themed line of table linens, but I think they lend themselves perfectly to Christmas. I love the way the green placemats just pop against the cherry red tablecloth, but what it really needed was a unifying element; a topper.

Attention to detail is one of the most important elements in a achieving a well appointed home. The same expectations apply to setting a gorgeous table as well. The interesting layers add dimension and personality. My dear friends Vickie and Camille at Chicago Design Team at the Arlington Design Center were so very generous in providing me with this fabulous silk stripe fabric from Robert Allen’s Beacon Hill. This fabric is everything I was looking for; chock full of humor and style. The stripes add a circus like quality, but the silk and the raised velvet accents scream elegance.

I think a charger completes a formal table. My topper has a hint of gold running through the stripes, so as a compliment, I chose a gold-leaf charger. I think the basket weave design adds further dimension. The apple green is so unexpected, that I decided to feature it again in the dinner plate. It’s meant to be a backdrop to the real star, the accent plate. These plates say it all, literally; Merry, Merry, Merry! The colorful ornaments in silhouette add a graphic quality.

As a relief to the solid green and the solid red, I incorporated a secondary theme in the peppermint. I utilized it in the napkins, the tins, the ribbon and decorative ornaments. I placed a tin full of peppermints at each place setting as the perfect spot for a place card. In each water goblet, I plopped a peppermint ornament and at the top of each place setting there is a red and white party popper, full of silly Christmas treasures.

To complete my tablescape, I grounded the centerpiece with a pair of mismatched metal trees and added some sparkle and formality with crystal candelabrums. The finishing touches were over size, red glitter ornaments, and my signature, butterflies.

More beautiful tablescapes, more whimsical centerpieces, more celebrations….

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Spook-tacular Fun…..

As the More is More Mom®, I am all about…..more tablescapes! Tuesday was my big day at Chicago’s Merchandise Mart speaking with the International Furnishings and Design Association. What a thrill to share my personal philosophy about entertaining and making more memories. You know my motto; More of Everything is Always Better. Why design one tablescape when you can design three?

In keeping with the spirit of the upcoming season, I demonstrated my philosophies through setting a Halloween Buffet, an Elegant Woodland Harvest table and a whimsical Christmas celebration (think Dr. Suess meets a peppermint wonderland). I’m pretty sure that I brought more of my personal belongings to the Mart on Monday than Chuck and I had in our first apartment. Excess is not a skimpy proposition. 

My intention as an Interior Designer is to help my clients develop and interpret a personal style that reflects the way they live. However, the way our homes look is only one component in our quest to live in a more meaningful way. Another is how we use our homes to create meaningful life experiences for our family and friends.


I think that entertaining in your home should be an event! To me, Halloween is a nibble on treats and sip on cocktails kind of a holiday, which is why I chose to design an over the top Halloween Buffet. I hope you enjoy the photographs….


Every good tablescape starts with table linens. In homage to the colors of the season, I chose a black striped table cloth as a foundation, but for me a tablecloth is never enough. A fun and flirty topper is always in order. I had a great time with my pals Vickie and Camille, of Chicago Design Team at the Arlington Design Center, when selecting a fabric and trim for a fantastic table-topper. They provided this fantastic Duralee fabric and trim. What I appreciate about this fabric is that it is a nod to the flavor of the season, being that it is a pumpkin hue, but it isn’t predictable. There are no goblins or gourds, just an elegant, bold and graphic medallion type pattern that screams sophistication.

A bold statement is the best way to set the tone for your party. Let your guests know what to expect by showcasing something fabulous. Here, I have anchored my buffet with a pair of large lanterns. To amp up the spooky factor, inside each lantern I have placed a large white pillar candle and topped it with a black, shiny skull. Behind each door hides a scary, hairy, rat! Affixed to the top of one lantern is….. a raven (never more). Eeew!


Before there was an Edward or a Bella, there was my vampire-ess to watch over the festivities. Isn’t she amazing? I pair her with two skeletal hands, each on a tall pedestal. Just because they are super creepy, I place soft and squishy type rats, scurrying about the vampire-ess. They are just so gross!


I think a bar is of the utmost importance, which is why I have chosen for this one to take center stage. Glassware, and barware, does best when corralled by a statement tray. I am so in love with this mirrored tray. The cut crystal just glistens in reflection, while a silver ice bucket is gorgeous and sophisticated. The bucket is the perfect place to house my magic wand. Should anyone misbehave, I have my wand to cast a magic spell. To round out my table, I have two little, lidded apothecary jars. One filled with skulls and the other with spiders. How creepy is that?

If you are serving cocktails, snicky-snacks are a must! To either side of my lanterns, I have placed black pedestal platters, dripping in crystals. I am a huge fan of balance, though not necessarily symmetry. Two snacks are never enough, so I have placed a smaller, silver pedestal platter to the left of the bar, while I have placed a low silver chip bowl and smaller silver dip bowl to the right. To balance the height differential, I placed a tall Halloween Cat smartly dressed in a pumpkin suit.


The rest is easy. Illumination is a key element in any table design. Here I have chosen to flank my buffet with black iron and crystal candelabra’s. They were nice and dusty and cob-webby from living in my basement. Perfect! Between each candelabra and lantern I placed a black urn, topped with a sparkly orange pumpkin.

My buffet-scape is only complete with the addition of spider appetizer plates, napkins that read, “Eat, drink and be scary,” and a few carefully placed ravens and spiders.

Now that we are all set for Halloween, it’s time to invite a few guests to help us celebrate! More holidays, more decorations, more over the top celebrating life with friends….

In the weeks to come, I will be sharing my Elegant Woodland Table and my Whimsical Christmas Celebration. In the meantime, enjoy more time with family and friends!


Filed under Entertaining, Interior Design, More is More Mom