House TalkN is a fun lookiloo at houses, houses, houses. It will answer pressing questions like, "When folks build a McMansion on a small lot, what are they compensating for?" or "Was the real estate agent drunk when they staged this house?" or "Why don't the Smiths' ever leave their drapes open when I am on a harmless walk-by?"

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Poor Woman's Biore Strip

After I shared my "Mom office/MOFFICE" post, several women commented that my moffice-mates and I looked so fancy schmancy.
As my 11 year old would say, "Duuuuude!" 
This is NOT how we typically look in the moffice!

We often work in our pajamas, hair sticking up and one eye still sporting yesterday's mascara. 
My moffice-mates know shit stuff. I, on the other hand, am one step away from joining an Amish community.
Since joining the moffice, I have learned about limousines, Biore Strips and HBO. 
My moffice-mates were not impressed with my attempt to fit in. 

My Life and Kids width=
Read more ...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

HouseTalkN is HealthTalkN

Emma Intern (this is her new nickname and I think she really likes it!) told me that she had an idea for a blog post. Something that we could do together and it involved an outing to one of her favorite places.
I got so excited! Emma is a college student, so I naturally called on my own college experience to imagine where she might be taking me.
A college party...duh. I busted out my Violent Femmes tapes, teased my hair and put on some sparkly blue eye shadow. My old Pi Beta Phi sorority sweatshirt must have shrunk while in storage, so I didn't get to wow her with that piece of hawtness.
Imagine my surprise when Emma revealed how excited she had been to see that Strawberry Fields Natural Food Market is a HouseTalkN sponsor. Emma had also noticed that I ... er... enjoy my coffee and donuts. Emma proposed an outing to Strawberry Fields to show me how easy healthy eating could be! 
Clearly, Emma did not get the memo stating that college students shall live on Ramon Noodles and beer.
Take a lookiloo at our field trip to Strawberry Fields:

Emma pointed out that healthy eating is a LIFESTYLE not a diet. I knew that.

Emma pointed out that Strawberry Fields even offers a variety of vegan, sugar-free and/or gluten-free treats.

Emma pointed out the joys of kale while I held my coconuts.

For more information on Strawberry Fields, click here
(There's a cafe, yo'!)

Kale Chips Recipe:

  • 1 medium-sized bunch curly kale (read notes above about types of kale and size variations), washed well, stems removed, and leaves torn into large-bite-sized pieces (about 2-3 inches wide) and dried (I use a salad spinner to get the leaves good and dry)
  • about 1/2 – 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (read notes about about measuring oil)
  • sprinkle of kosher salt, about 1 teaspoon
  • sprinkle of fresh-cracked black pepper, about 1/4 teaspoon
  1. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare a large baking sheet (or 2 if needed, read notes above about kale chip spacing) with parchment paper (or use aluminum foil lightly sprayed with non-stick spray).
  2. Place kale in a wide pile on your baking sheet. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over kale leaves, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and using hands, massage oil into the kale leaves. (See notes about on measuring the oil for additional tips).
  3. Once oil is evenly distributed, spread kale leaves out on baking sheet(s) in an even layer (see notes above about kale chip placement).
  4. Bake for 11-13 minutes, until leaves are crisp, but not burnt (mine usually stay pretty green, even once they’ve crisped up).
  5. Serve with ketchup or condiment of choice. Enjoy!
Read more ...

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A "Couch Hater" Intervention!

Just a few short months ago, an unnamed friend asserted that couches are stupid. I believe her exact words were: "Couches are stupid. No one wants to sit on a couch with other people." This friend stated that her house would be full of cozy chairs, giving each guest their own, individual space. (Code for "Get out of my personal space!") 

And, then...she went shopping ...!

Six months and five couches later, my friend is still making claims of being a couch hater. 
She told me this, straight faced, while a leather couch was being delivered to her husband's man cave.

Link Par-taay to:
Read more ...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

It's Fall, Y'all...Wordless Wednesday

Link Par-taay at:
Read more ...

How To Cope With Fantasy Football!

Fantasy football can suck it take a backseat to my fantasy fall.

HouseTalkN's Fall Fantasy Picks:

In the clothing category:
Source: via Kerry on Pinterest

In the house category:

In the backyard category:

In the run route category:

Source: via Laurie on Pinterest

In the dinner category:

Source: via Kerry on Pinterest

In the entertainment category:

In the dinner guest category: 

                                                                                      Source: via Laurie on Pinterest

In the food category:

Source: via Erica on Pinterest

In the drink category:

In the imaginary BFF category:

Feel free to enter your own fall fantasy picks. 

Link Par-taaay at:
Read more ...

Monday, September 17, 2012

When Public Breastfeeding Goes Too Far...

Just when you thought I couldn't make a bigger ass fool of myself ... VOILA! I deliver.
I have never had anything to say about public breastfeeding until now. I really don't care if and when you breastfeed. I don't care if you are a "whip it out and nurse" or a "must never reveal the sacred areola" kind of gal.
I found out that there is one breastfeeding rule that I can get behind. Do not EVER offer to nurse a colleague.
I am hanging out at In The Powder Room today. Come on over and hear the rest of the story.

Read more ...

Thursday, September 13, 2012

New Meaning To "Working In The Garden"

It has been so beautiful now that the children are back at school the weather is cooler.
Take advantage of these crisp mornings and work outside. Look around your yard and find a cozy spot to drink your vodka coffee while you work.

The ladies in my neighborhood have been working hard in the "moffice", which we took to the outdoors this week! (Click here to check out "THE MOFFICE!")
How about you? Do you work at a desk or on the couch? Do you need silence or do you need background noise? Can you work with pals or do you need to be alone?

Link Par-taaay at:
Read more ...

Sunday, September 9, 2012

HouseTalkN With...Taya Luderowski-Ross

This month, we are "HouseTalkN With"... Designer, Taya Luderowski-Ross!

1. How many addresses have you had in your life?  
Too many to count !
I come from three generations of artists, crafts people and architects. As soon as (and usually before) a home is done, we all dream of the next project. Creating is the fun part..."done" is overrated.

2. What kind of house did you grow up in?
A farm house, a brick row house and a nail factory  (all the interiors were totally "modern" and white )..but,  I mostly grew up after I left home. Maybe? Maybe NOT!

3. How did your parent's styles influence your style?
Immensely! Incalculably!
Dad (Theodore Luderowski) was an architect of The International School and taught at Cranbrook with Eames and Saarinen (that's for all of you dwell reading "modernists"). Everything was black, white, gray, and chrome.. maybe a red moment. He died when I was 8 and my sculptress mother, Barbara Luderowski blossomed into an antique collector, art collector and  facilitator of installation art. She is the mother of The Mattress Factory. She is completely over the top and the opposite of minimalist. I am totally an amalgam of both. I am often obsessed and always changing, much to my husband's dismay! Actually, I can't imagine doing any of it without his support and input.

4. Tell me about your current address and how that came to be?
We recently sold our home and are currently designing our next space! (Click here to tour her previous home) We now live in a garage in the country! It is a rental that we are borrowing from our friends. It is a loft over their garage that they lived in while they built their home.

5. Describe your dream home? 

The next one! I've done 3 homes for myself- all very different types of living scenarios...a loft, a Sears catalog bungalow, and a stone cottage.

6. What's next for you? 
I am designing the next one now. It is new from the ground up. Something I've never done before. I am accustomed to responding designwise to older architecture, so this is a challenge on that level. I love a good challenge. 
The goals are to take all the things we have learned about how we live and put them into a new space in an urban setting. We are working with the city to develop a 5 lot parcel in the northern part of downtown Champaign as a live/work/artist loft type space.
Take a lookiloo at Taya's temporary home/studio...
As I drove down the lane, I felt like I was entering Narnia!
The loft apartment is above the garage.
Rich textures and vibrant colors mark Taya's signature style.

Taya mixes vintage & modern as well as sentimental & functional.

Taya's office overlooks the main living space.
An artist's hand...
I can't wait to see what Taya creates next...stay tuned!

Link Par-taay at:
Read more ...