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2013/10/25 / Shanan


<In my best Carrie Bradshaw voice> Seeing all these glamorous office inspiration boards everywhere, I couldn’t help but wonder: Is our desire to pin up pretty pictures and inspirational quotes really just our way of reliving the nostalgic glory of our teenage bedrooms?

Image above: Designer Erin Gates’ office wall inspiration board. Photo by Danielle Moss, via The Everygirl.

teenage bedroom collage wall

Anonymous teenage bedroom, via the Teenage Bedroom tumblr site.

Jenna Lyons J Crew office

Inspiration abounds in Jenna Lyons’ office. Via Lonny magazine, November 2012.

teenage bedroom wall

Anna from Suffolk’s room (this one is great, right?  Especially the hand-drawn dude in the upper right), via Teenage Bedroom tumblr.

Tara Guerard office Lonny

Tara Guerard‘s office inspiration.  Photo by Julia Lynn, via Lonny magazine, June 2013.


Teenage dream.  Or a feminist’s worst nightmare, I suppose.  Collage wall from RescuMeDakota via Teenage Bedroom.

ps. Everything Carrie ever ‘wondered’ on Sex and the City, via New York Magazine’s Vulture.

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2013/10/04 / Shanan


I got schooled by my 2 year old the other day when she brought home some drawings she did in her Montessori class.  “And what’s this one?” I asked, pointing to a piece of construction paper peppered with long wavy pencil lines.

“Those are snakes,” said Theo.

“Oh, they do look like snakes!” I exclaimed.

“They ARE snakes,” she responded matter-of-factly.  Um yeah – like, DUH mum.

I love discovering day-by-day how her imagination is developing and although I do save most of her artwork, I’ve realized that I’m actually much more interested in seeing Theo’s process when she’s drawing or painting.  Always so focused and careful, even when things get messy.  The whole endeavour is fascinating to watch and I’ve often found myself taking pictures while she’s working to record the evolution of artistic activity.  Let’s just hope this kid doesn’t follow in her parent’s footsteps, and instead becomes an accountant or something.  Just kidding (sort of).

Image above, and below: Theo at age one, her first time drawing.  She was SO intense; she’d look out the window as if studying what to draw, then do these manic little bursts on the paper.  She stood there uninterrupted and worked for almost 30 minutes.


Look at that melon!  Now I’m getting all sentimental.


These next three photos below were taken when she was nearly a year and a half, during one of our many painting sessions.  Note the dish-towel/duct tape smock.  We keep it classy around here.




Theo at age two below, making a card for her grandmother’s birthday.  I know, it may as well be a Crayola ad.




And now, at age two and a half, contemplating some ambidextrous drawing.




Thanks for letting me share.  Have a great weekend!  xx Shanan

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2013/09/10 / Shanan


This is apparently my 101st post, so… I made you a mix tape.  Not that I need a reason, but –

1.  I went digging through my old bins of CDs last night;

2.  I got hit with an overwhelmingly urgent desire to put together a mix based exclusively on the music I loved as a 17-year old (1996, I’m looking at you), when pretty much all I did was sit up in my room and self-identify with Angela Chase;

3.  I have a massive crush on all of you.

(I put this together on a free site called 8tracks which lets you upload your own music and cover art; we can’t use Spotify and the like here in Canada so this seems swell.  The only drag is that the algorithm shuffles the tracks around at will and I can’t seem to get it to play in the order I have listed <which, if you’ve ever made a tape for someone, you know is, like, life-or-death CRUCIAL>.  I suppose that’s what you get when you mix sound technology with someone who can vividly recall having to rewind cassette tapes with a pencil)

Thanks for reading.  I really mean it.  xx Shanan

ps, Leave me a note in study-hall or, you can ‘like’ me on Facebook.

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2013/08/16 / Shanan


Pine Trees.  Blueberries.  Lobster.  Stephen King.  I was proudly born in Maine and lived there til I was five, at which point my parents moved us back to Canada, where they grew up.  My maternal grandmother (‘Tanny’) still lives in a house right on the sea and so every summer I make the trip to visit her and to re-experience a little bit of that laid-back New England charm.  This is the source of all my early sense memories – sand under my fingernails, damp slaps of little feet on the boardwalk, the squish of tart wild blackberries from the secret patch discovered by my dad.

But the place is stubborn – after nearly 30 years, those blackberries are still growing exactly where they used to be, and the boardwalk sounds the same even under an adult’s footfalls.  As a visiting teenager, the whole place felt backwards, even mildly oppressive.  “Thank God we moved away,” I’d say to my parents, “or I’d probably be ‘pah-king the cah’ at a friend’s house and doing whip-its in their basement every weekend.”

It’s different now, though.  Being a little older, debatably a little wiser (or maybe just more nostalgic), and with a family of my own to share all those things that never really changed, that are actually pretty great.  Clambering over barnacle-encrusted rocks, inhaling the scent of wild roses, bringing home pies from the Higgins Beach market.  Sometimes it’s damn nice to exist, for a little while, in the realm of the absolute.


Speaking of absolutes, I think it’s fair to say that I absolutely must stop wearing my husband’s cast-off jean shorts in public.



This beach outside my Tanny’s place is the one that I spent all my time on as a little kid.  Isn’t it beautiful?


We were lucky enough to have a week of seriously fabulous weather.  In fact it was the first visit in memory where I packed a heavy sweater and never even had to pull it out of my suitcase.


We moved around a fair bit when I was little, and this is the first house I remember living in.  We used to rent it from a couple who still own it to this day, and I got a sweet and generous hug from Mary when I ran into her on the beach last week.


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2013/07/18 / Shanan


Childhood innocence meets teenage angst for the ultimate summer party. Nostalgia attacks!

1. Party Guest #1: The Dreamy Loner. Via Bedroom Eyes tumblr.

2. Upscale take on late-night party food: kale, pancetta, and grape gourmet pizza. Via Design*Sponge.

3. “Here’s the thing – we started out friends.  It was cool but it was all pretend…” Best Friends board by Carlton DeWoody, via Grey Area.

4. ‘Life is Becoming So Amazing’ balloon from Inflated Deflated.

5. Party Guest #2: The Hot Tomboy. Via Where Is The Cool.

6. Spiked! Watermelon-mint tequila popsicles. Via Hungry Girl Por Vida.

7. Sturdy leather rucksack for the transport of illicit wine coolers. Via Madewell.

8. Party Guest #3: The Innocent Girl-Next-Door. Via Life Etc.

9. High-brow design meets childhood graffiti. ‘I Was Here’ table by Jason Miller. Via 1st Dibs.

10. Make me a mixed tape. Via A Kind of Library.

11. Party Guest #4: The Shit-Disturbers.  The Replacements reunion = perfect party band.

12. Aloof summer dressing. ‘In Memory of When I Cared’ t-shirt. Via Nylon Mag.

13. Pinata by Confetti System.

(This post was inspired by a Pinterest board I created for a contest that Design*Sponge was running this month, where readers were challenged to design their ‘Ideal Summer Party.’  Fun times…)