Domestic God(ish)

Brand New Readers | domestic god(ish)

Brand New Readers, children's books, learning to read

My hubby and I try to make reading a pretty big deal in our house and we feel incredibly lucky (and proud) that our boys LOVE story time.  But now that they are learning the alphabet at school, they want to read the story themselves… instead of just having us read to them.  Needless to say, finding the right reading tool is extremely important to us.

A friend of mine turned us on to the Brand New Readers series and my boys are obsessed!

Brand New Readers books are one-line-per page, eight-page stories with simple and clear illustrations so, if they forget a word, it’s pretty easy for them to get back on track by looking at the pictures.  Your kiddos “can’t help but succeed” and that success builds their confidence.

Some of our favorites from the series listed above.

Celebrities, Life + Style, Twitter Tuesday

Twitter Tuesday | life + style

twitter tuesday celebrities cecyj

Celebrity Twitter Tuesday gives us a little peek into how our favorite stylish stars make it a splendid life.  Lenny Kravitz tweeted this photo while arriving in Rio.

Thank you, Lenny, for indulging us in your life + style.

{photo of Lenny sourced from}

Interviews, Life + Style

a girl to know | life + style

life + style cecyj

Sage Raval is a talented artist with a brilliant studio called smallSHOP that provides private or group art classes for children.  She is also a friend of mine.  We met at BLOGSHOP in Los Angeles last summer, suffering through Bri + Angela’s intense (and incredibly fun) class.  We put our heads together and agreed it would be fun to do a Q&A segment every month or so for “at home” art project ideas with the kids, inside tips on art, and much more!  We will start our Q&A with Sage next month but first, I thought you might want to get to know her. Definitely a girl to know…


small shop life + style cecyj

 How did you get your start as an artist?


I was always supported creatively by my family, but never really thought of myself as an artist, per se.  My friends were better at drawing or painting than I was and I never considered myself very good.  But I am a communicator and I soon realized that creating art is just another way of expressing yourself.  Then I felt more confident and inspired.


Who was your mentor?  Who encouraged you to dive into such a fun profession?


I owe it all to Coach Bob, my college art professor who made me believe in myself by hammering into my head that there are no mistakes in art and to just go for it.  To not think of each piece as so precious, but as a building block to something else.  Not to throw away a “bad” piece, but to revisit it later to find something inspiring.  And most importantly, not to take myself or my art too seriously, but to enjoy the process and hopefully the product.  Teaching art just happened… I love kids and art and voila!


Textile, print or style you love?


I cannot get enough of ikat! It is on my chairs and pillows alike at home.



Best day of your life (so far)?


I have been lucky to have many, but a few top my list.  Personally, the day each of my children were born.  It is pretty hard to top the amount of emotion and love that surrounds those events.  Professionally, when I was 23, I started working at Los Angeles County Museum of Art.  I remember going after hours to drop off art supplies in the studio.  I took a wrong turn and ended up in the Impressionist wing of the museum, I saw a guard and I asked if I could be in there.  He looked at my “new” work badge and said yes and he walked off.  It was unreal, I was the ONLY person in the entire museum.  My footsteps were all I heard and the lights were dimmed.  I sat on a bench and looked at Monet and was in awe of the moment.  Me+ Museum+ All Alone+ Quiet+ Monet+ A Feeling of Accomplishment and Inclusion.  It was pretty rad!


sage raval cecyj life + style


If you were not an artist, what would you be?


Chef and run my own Bed and Breakfast somewhere warm, on a beach with lots of friends to come and visit.



Describe your home decor style?  Modern and chic or are you a bohemian and causal girl?


I am Bohemian Modern.  I love straight clean lines with raw texture and materials.  I love natural woods and beautiful fabrics paired with slabs of stone and lots lot light. I do not like clutter, but I do love collected items.  I want my home to represent my family and me.  We live here and it should look like us.


Free time…?


What is that?!  When I have free time I love to cook big meals with friends.  I am always up for a walk on the beach.  Putting on a great album (I mean playlist) and having a glass of wine while reading children’s stories with my kids is a lovely way to spend the evening as well.


Okay, honestly I want an art lesson with you!  Can I take a class?  Girl’s night out classes?


Yes please!  Anytime!  We do adult classes and a girl’s night out class sounds pretty amazing!



{photograph of sage + family by charley star | smallSHOP logos designed by bri emery | fabric background designed by caitlin wilson |
ikat pillow made by marthaandash | pan sourced here| beach sourced here}


Palm Springs + the kids | travel

Last spring my family spent an entire week in Palm Springs, California.  When the kids are itty-bitty, you can get away with just hitting the pool, naptime, and casual dinners.  As they grow out of strollers and into little people, it’s fun to add some entertainment and activities to the travel itinerary.

I decided to scout out the desert to find the perfect family friendly spots.  If you’re lucky enough to travel with a nanny (or a willing family member) that can give you and the hubby a little alone time, I’ve included a few spots to hit without the kids as well.  I hope this helps you and your loved ones enjoy your next trip to the desert.

travel cecy j hotels and resorts

1. The Colony Palms 
I just loved this little boutique hotel the minute I walked in.  The main entry drops you into the pool area which is where you’ll find the bar & restaurant.  The mood was relaxed, cool and very understated but glamorous all at the same time.  The Colony Palms location also gives you a taste of old Palm Springs.  I did not see the rooms but given that the place got a 15 million dollar makeover in 2008 by famed celebrity decorator Martyn Lawrence-Bullard (currently featured on Bravo TV’s Million Dollar Decorator) I’m sure there is nothing but relaxation and splendor awaiting you.  
2. JW Marriott, Palm Desert  
Fun, fun, fun.  Big resort, big property, big everything.  Boat rides, miniature golf, pools, watersides… They recently did a pricey remodel.  I would stay here and be happy.
3. La Quinta Resort & Spa, La Quinta
If you have a thing for resorts with a little history and you like to stay on the property (ie, there’s no reason to leave), book La Quinta Resort & Spa.   The resort opened in 1926 and is nestled against the Santa Rosa Mountains.  The grounds are amazing, covered with beds of flowers and framed by towering palm trees.  The property has 41 swimming pools, 9 dining options, a beautiful spa and excellent golf & tennis (the pros use the tennis facilities to practice before the BNP Paribas Open).  There is shopping on the plaza, including a candy store for the kids… and let’s not leave out movie night in the main pool during the hot summer evenings.  There really is something for everyone.   
4. Palm Springs Tennis Club 
I was hesitant to put the Palm Springs Tennis Club on the list but I had to include it because they have rooms available with kitchenettes or full kitchens, which is so nice with kids.  Full disclosure, I did not see 1 kid when I visited the property and it definitely had an old school vibe but, for some reason, I just loved the property.  You can’t beat the downtown Palm Springs location and it’s walking/stroller distance to fun dinner spots and tourist shopping.  

travel cecyj family dinners

5. Jackalope Ranch, Indio
Go for cocktail hour and apps.  The kids will love the waterfalls and beautiful grounds.  Ask to be seated in the Palapa Bar Area which does not take reservations, but as long as you arrive between 4:30PM- 6:00PM, seating should not be a problem.
6. Mikado, JW Marriott, Palm Desert
Teppanyaki style Japanese fare which doubles as a cooking show.  Arrive 20-30 minutes before your reservation and take the boat ride through the property (the boat picks you up in the lobby and takes you directly to the restaurant).  Hands down my favorite spot for a fun, family dinner.  Shrimp flying through the air and onion volcanoes never get old.   
7. Sherman’s Deli, Palm Springs & Palm Desert
Delicious, authentic Jewish Deli.  We did take out two nights in a row from Sherman’s.  We got the matzo ball soup which had the biggest Matzo Balls I’ve ever seen.  The corned beef sandwich was a big hit as well.
Las Casuelas, Mexican Cuisine, Rancho Mirage
Good, fun Mexican food in a great atmosphere.  Bright colors, Mexican style fountains and outdoor seating with Mariachis roaming the scene.  

travel kid friendly cecyj

8. Aerial Tramway, Palm Springs
Order beers from the snack bar once you reach the summit & bring plenty of quarters so the kids can use the telescope to see the sights of the desert valley below.  Bring jackets.  We had lovely weather but I can see how it could get pretty cold up there.
9. The Living Desert, Palm Desert
Not a flashy amusement park, just simple family fun.  If you have train obsessed kids (like I do) you’ve hit the jackpot.  The artery of the park houses an enormous and detailed model train world that is really magical.  Lots of desert animals, including giraffes, rams and desert cats.  
10.  Rancho Mirage Public Library
Darling local library with a terrific kid’s reading room.  We stopped here for about an hour for a short break from the sun.  Convenient location from all the desert cities.

travel without kids cecyj

11. Spencer’s Restaurant, Palm Springs
This was a totally wonderful surprise. Spencer’s is nestled in the Palm Springs Tennis Club.  It was a classic location with great food that would be a wonderful spot for a cozy lunch or a romantic dinner.  
12. Viceroy, Palm Springs
Go for spa appointments and then grab lunch or dinner.  You will feel cooler than you are and ready to head back to the family base camp after a night away.
13. The Parker Hotel, Palm Springs
Grab a drink at the bar and wander the property.  Relax in the hammocks or park yourself  in the white butterfly chair garden.
14. Riviera Resort, Palm Springs
The Riviera has a bit of Vegas in it but it’s well done and a fun spot for cocktails. There are many cocktail locations to choose from including the outdoor pool bar, patio bar just off the lobby or swanky fire pits that are spread around the property.
{photo 2 sourced here}

Share my love of easy elegance and finds from around the globe that are simply fabulous?  Ready to make your place a space that you adore?  I’d love to help make your house a home.  cecy j is currently accepting new interior projects.  Let’s chat

Bathrooms, Decor

victoria + albert | bath time

victoria + albert bathroom cecyj

bathroom decor cecyj victoria and albert

victoria and albert bathroom decor cecyj

victoria and albert bathroom decor cecyj

Nowadays my bathtub sees a whole lot more squeaky bath toys and dirty little boys than me… but there is something calming about an elegant tub when I walk into a master bathroom suite that makes my brain feel instantly relaxed!  Victoria + Albert is one of our New York BlogTour sponsors and a truly elegant global brand with an impeccable reputation for creating beautiful baths & basins.

Victoria + Albert  uses 100% ENGLISHCAST®, a unique blend of volcanic limestone and high performance resins, that are every bit as beautiful as they are durable.  Naturally white, each bathtub and basin is individually hand finished by craftsmen.

I will need to use the ios 80 basin for a project in the very near future.  The design is so unique, modern and truly timeless.  I like it for a modern Napa Valley hideaway or a powder room in an updated ranch-style home.

Which one do you love?


{Photo 1 Barcelona tub | Photo 2 Hampshire | Photo 3 Deauville | Photo 4 ios 80}


Share my love of easy elegance and finds from around the globe that are simply fabulous?  Ready to make your place a space that you adore?  I’d love to help make your house a home.  cecy j is currently accepting new interior projects.  Let’s chat



Domestic God(ish)

Page Stationery | domestic god(ish)

page stationery cecyj domestic god(ish)

page stationery domestic god(ish) cecyj

domestic god(ish) page stationery cecyj

Love letterpress?  Me too.  Can’t totally stomach the price for this quality and elegant printing process?  Me too.  I might’ve found our solution…

Page Stationery is a Fine Stationery and Goods boutique founded by Sue Corral in 1999.  Sue & her team have an eye for good design and a passion for beautiful typography.   They do everything from wedding invitations to holiday cards but my favorite is their custom letterpress options.

Sue quickly helped me create my letterpress business cards with my choice of absolutely lovely color options and unique motifs.  Or, Page Stationery can incorporate your custom logo into your design.  I really couldn’t be happier with the finished product.

Between now and March 14, 2012, Page Stationary is offering readers 10% off everything (except samples).  Just enter cecyj10 at checkout.

Celebrities, Life + Style, Twitter Tuesday

Twitter Tuesday | life + style

Ivanka Trump, golfing, celebrities

Celebrity Twitter Tuesday gives us a little peek into how our favorite stylish stars make it a splendid life.  Ivanka Trump tweeted this photo while teeing up!

Thank you, Ivanka, for indulging us in your life + style.


est | periodical to love

periodical to love cecyj decor

periodical to love cecyj decor

periodical to love cecyj decor

periodical to love cecyj decor

periodical to love cecyj decor

periodical to love cecyj decor

I always love discovering a new inspiring design resource.  Insert: est, one of the latest additions in the blooming e magazine industry.

est comes to us from Australia and describes itself as a relaxed and stylish (not too serious) magazine with the goal of bringing impeccable architectural design and some fashion finds to readers from around the world… with an Australian twist.  Like me, est loves “shiny and new” but appreciates and incorporates the classic furniture and styles from the past into their beautiful pages.

Some photos from their magazine that inspire me above…

Check out est here.  I’ve also saved est under our Periodicals to Love.


Share my love of easy elegance and finds from around the globe that are simply fabulous?  Ready to make your place a space that you adore?  I’d love to help make your house a home.  cecy j is currently accepting new interior projects.  Let’s chat

Domestic God(ish)

To do: save your memories | domestic god(ish)

domestic god(ish) cecyj


My kids make me smile.  I laugh out loud every single day at the silly, intelligent, sweet and insane things they come up with.  But as every parent knows, the days go by fast and our memories fail us because of the busy schedules we keep.

One of my husband’s closest friends had children much earlier than we did.  He and his wife are always offering us parenting tips we treasure.  Recently, he sent us a note that really struck a chord with us in terms of saving all of our finest memories of our kids.

He suggested we set up a family email account like, for example,  We did it and are now starting to email pictures, notes, videos, events, important dates, love letters, messages and milestones to the address… saving them as an amazing online record of our best memories.  When our kids get older and have their own email addresses, we can send them notes and blind copy the family account.

The idea, of course, is to hang on to the logon and password – perhaps passing them off to our children when they get married, or maybe when they take off for college, or maybe as an “inheritance” when we’re gone.  It will undoubtedly be a treasure chest of smiles, laughter, love and memories for years to come.


{photos sourced from Three Nails Photography check it out… amazing, AMAZING photography}