Month: October, 2012

Super Simple Halloween DIY

I’m kind of in love with the Baggu inspired Trick of Treating bag that I made for Skye from left over fabric from his Halloween costume. Its a super simple DIY that takes all of 5 minutes to make.I know I’m kind of late to post this since Halloween is tonight, but thats okay. 

You will need: fabric, thread, needles, scissors, ruler, chalk, sewing machine

  1. take a piece of fabric and fold it in half so the right sides of the fabric are facing each other
  2. with a piece of chalk and a ruler draw a rectangle the size that you want your bag on the wrong side of the fabric ( mine is 17 in long and 9.5 in wide) and a half circle to cut out for the handles
  3. pin it along your lines leaving a 1/4 to 1/2 inch seam allowance
  4. sew the straight lines of the rectangle stopping where you want your handle openings ( I double stitched the bag so it will be strong for all the candy) My handle openings are 6 in long
  5. Flip the bag to the right sides and Voila! A super awesome Trick or Treating bag!

Currently drooling over…

I really want a butterfly chair for our back patio. I’d love to have a warm white canvas cover and black frame. I’m not sure if thats a stupid decision because we have a white chair out there now and Skye dumps all the rocks from his rock pit on it and it always looks dirty. So maybe two covers would work. One in black and the other in white so I can change them out if one gets dirty.

Circa50 sells Butterfly Chairs that were designed in 1938 by Jorge Ferrari-Hardoy, also known as the BKF and the Hardoy chair. I like these chairs the best compared to other reproduction style chairs because of the originality and the frame is fluid. Other Butterfly chairs you can see the joints or there is a padding, grip type thing. They look more like an outdoor camping chair. The Hardoy Butterfly Chair is elegant and effortless.


Fresh Heir (Father & Son)

I’m so excited! A few months ago my husband Zach and our son Skye posed together for a photo shoot for Riviera Magazine. I love the photo that they chose to run. Skye was yelling and dancing around while Zach stood smugly behind him. Always his cool, relaxed self.

Armistead Burrwell Smith IV, aka Zach, and son Skye at Essex Lofts. Photo by Robert Benson

Fresh Heir

by AnnaMaria Stephens |Riviera San Diego Magazine | October 25, 2012

Like father, like son. It may be a cliché, but it’s definitely accurate when it comes to local musician Zach Smith, whose band, Pinback, just released its long-awaited new album, Information Retrieved. Artistry is simply in the Smith genes.

Zach, aka Armistead Burwell IV, lives and works in Little Italy’s acclaimed mixed-use Essex Lofts, which subtly resemble an aircraft carrier and always have a waitlist. The architect? Zach’s father, urban-design pioneer Ted Smith, who resides three doors down from his son.

“I can’t imagine living in a building that wasn’t designed by my dad,” says Zach. “I’d feel out of place. There is so much I admire about his architecture. I wouldn’t be who I am without it and it’s had a major influence on the music I create.”

A fixture in S.D.’s music scene for two decades, Zach, a prodigious bass player, catapulted from indie to international acclaim with Pinback. Five years have passed since the last album, but he has a good excuse.

Along with producing other bands out of his home studio, he released his first full-length solo album as Systems Officer and reformed his cult-followed ’90s band Three Mile Pilot, which also put out a new album and toured the West Coast, with a European tour coming up this fall. “And I had my now 2-year-old son, Skye,” he adds.

That would be Skye Burwell Smith—the spitting image of his father. “He has a knack for music and constantly wants to play the drums, piano and my guitars,” says Zach of his fashionable mini-me, who runs around the family’s concrete compound in a rocker-cool denim vest while his stylist mom perfects pork buns. The pair sometimes wander down to Ted’s jam sessions, where the third generation shows off his pint-size dance moves. “Skye fits right in,” says Zach. “It’s a great thing to share music with your grandpa.”

Smith’s Hots 
Mongolian hot pots at Little Sheep, Tofu House, K’s bánh mì sandwiches in Kearny Mesa, the Chargers, my wife’s cooking

Smith’s Nots 
Chick-fil-A, the Raiders, my cooking


When I first started this blog earlier in the year it was a way for me to work on my goals. Mainly it was goals that I had for working on projects around our loft. At the time I was giving myself three goals a week with the exception that if I could only get one of them done that it wasn’t the end of the world. Obviously, I haven’t stuck to my three goals a week. Largely in part because I realized that I was accomplishing three or more things a week regardless of me posting them on the blog.

Sometimes its hard to keep a promise to yourself. But to realize that its not the end of the world is okay too. I’ve been thinking about what I want to do around my home lately. So I was kind of thinking about declaring them here to get my lazy ass in gear. I’ll be the first to admit that trying to get any major project done with a two year old is difficult. I read somewhere that trying to pick up after a toddler is like trying to shovel snow while its still snowing. Two year olds are hard work period. And trying to tackle anything with one in tow is maddening.

So here is my list of things that I would like to do. Preferably before Zach leaves for a month long Pinback tour.

1. Take down Noguchi light and have the cord extended so I can swag it across the ceiling and hang over my dining table

2. Bring long Kilim runner to the upholsterer and have floor pillows made

3. Put the freaking handles on the two kitchen islands that we bought SIX MONTHS AGO!

4. Take down and re-hang the picture ledges/book shelves in the hallway. Whats the saying measure twice cut once. Yeah, we didn’t listen to that one and now we can’t close the hallway door. Duh!   Yay!!!

I’m going to leave the list as-is right now and not add anymore to it.  None of these things are that difficult and I don’t even have to do two of them. I just need to bring them to the appropriate person to do them for me. Oh my gosh I am so lazy!

Sick Week

Well we got hit by the sick bug hard this past week. First Skye had a really high fever. I think that his second year molars are coming in and Zach got hit with a really horrible migraine. The two of them ended up in bed together for the day.

Is this not the cutest picture ever? I came home from running errands and found the two of them tangled up together asleep. My heart pretty much melted into a lovey dovey mess.

Friday night Skye and I were at the playground by our building with a friend and her daughter when Skye fell down a few concrete stairs face first. I managed to catch him by his waste, but his face still smacked the stair and he jammed his poor little hand and arm. So off to the ER we went to make sure his arm wasn’t broken. Thank goodness its not, but Skye is pretty scarred by the ER visit. I swear he was having flashbacks of being a preemie and spending the first month of his life in the hospital.

The kid does look pretty cute with a shiner.

Now, we’re all sick with a head cold. I feel like we just can’t catch a break. Lets hope that it passes quickly and we’ll all be on the mend soon.

Modern Mobiles

Here is a new piece about Modern Mobiles that I just worked on for

Bookhou Flock Mobile

Singing in the rain

Or should I say dancing!

It FINALLY rained out today! And it was a good, strong rain too. I don’t remember the last time it rain/rained in San Diego, but we definitely needed it.

Skye flipped his lid! He had so much fun dancing and splashing in the puddles. He even laid down in a few. Needless to say he was soaked, but had so much fun. 


I ordered the Normann Copenhagen Tablo Table on August 29th!

Get here already!

I can’t wait anymore!

House & Home

Just a few things around the house that I have fallen in love with recently

Method All Purpose Cleaner Ginger Yuzu

Method All Purpose Natural Surface Cleaner Ginger Yuzu Scent. Seriously this has to be the best scent that Method has come out with. Its fresh and sweet, but not too sweet. It does a great job at cleaning and I feel good about using it around our son Skye and our  14 year old dog Sam. I even mix it with a bucket of warm water to mop our concrete floors. Suffice it to say my house is clean (who knows for how long) and it smells amazing.

Ceramic Water Crock

The tap water in San Diego is horrible. It has even made the Worst Drinking Water List. Just thinking about it makes me gag a little. Growing up in New England we always drank from the tap. The water was cold and fresh and tasted like it came fresh from a bubbling brook. We have tried all of the water purification systems and Zach always thinks the water tastes funny. Personally, I think he’s nuts or maybe he has super crazy active taste buds. Who knows, but I’ve been getting sick of buying bottled water from the store. Its a huge waste of plastic and money. So last week I ordered a 2.5 gallon ceramic water dispenser, wood base for the counter and a 5 gallon BPA free water jug. There is a grocery store by us called Sprouts that has a water dispenser outside of the store. It cost $1.50 to fill this bad boy up! We usually spend about $14-$20 a week on bottled water so this will be a huge savings soon and we can stop wasting plastic!

There are quite a few attractive ceramic water crocks too on the site. I really love the classic black and white stripes paired with the natural wood base.


I haven’t written a post in weeks. Truth is I went away to New York for a week and was planning on writing some posts while I was away, but for some reason I could never get on my sisters wireless when I was there and then I got home and well, life happened…

I decided to take a trip to New York ALONE to stop breastfeeding Skye. As I’ve mentioned before the kid is hooked on breastfeeding almost to the equivalent of a drug addict. Part of me was so ready to stop and part of me wanted to hold onto it for a bit longer. I am going to romanticize for a moment because it really is just the sweetest most special thing that a mother can share with her child. I love laying together all snuggled up while he nurses and plays with my hair. I love looking at his sweet face while he dozes off to sleep drunk off of love and milk. I love knowing that I am still giving him antibodies to help keep him healthy.

 Okay, the daydreaming romanticizing part is going to halt to a stop now because he also pulls my shirt down wherever we go and throws a full on fit worthy of an Oscar if he doesn’t get it when he wants it.  Everyone from Home Depot to the Barista at my local coffee shop have seen my boobs. As I always say “there is no shame in our game”.  All of my shirts are wonky at the neck because of him pulling the neck down. And I swear he knows which shirts are my favorites because he will pull at them more than most. I think he is secretly plotting against me and my wardrobe.

So, I went 3000 miles away to break the tie (or the boob) between us. It was hard, but it was also really liberating to have my body back and my necklines in place.

I’d like to say we have completely stopped breastfeeding, but when I got back the first thing he asked for was to nurse. I held off for maybe 15 hours before I caved in. Not because he was asking for it, but because I wasn’t 100% ready either. So now I’ve been laying some ground rules between the two of us if we are going to continue to breastfeed. No more pulling down my shirt, no more nursing all night long, and no more fits if he doesn’t get it  right when he wants it.

I think we’re definitely on the path to weaning, but on our schedule. I would like to be done by the time he is three. I’ve gotten a lot of flack about extended nursing Skye. Personally I don’t see anything wrong with extended nursing. It’s not going to make him a weirdo, he never gets sick and its like a reset button if he is crying because he got hurt and he is also extremely independent.

 So if anyone has a problem its theirs not mine. If breastfeeding bothers you then you’re looking too long.  Skye will only be this little once and I would like to cherish this bond a little while longer.

Mother Breast-feeding her Baby, by Louis Fleckenstein, c. 1900.

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