I’m Christine Castro Hughes, a designer, writer, and mother of two darling children. I also run a graphic design studio out of my charming, crooked craftsman house. Brunch is my blog. More »
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Tuesday
Oct252011

pie squared

While ice cream and cupcakes are the keys to my sweet-toothed heart, sometimes I want nothing more than a good slice of pie. Lucky for me, and just in time for the holiday season, The Pie Hole opened up last week. The Pie Hole is a small but cozy joint in an unsuspecting corridor of the Downtown LA arts district. The menu, scrawled on huge rolls of kraft paper, includes sweet and savory pies, hand pies, tarts, and whoopie pies, as well as coffee and scoops of ice cream to make the treats complete.

I made a pilgrimage before rush hour on Friday to get some savory pies for dinner. The vegetable curry pie was calling Rama's name, and I couldn't resist the idea of a mac-and-cheese pie. When I got there, though, the vegetable curry pies were still in the oven. I didn't want to come home empty-handed, so I ordered a latté and sat patiently at one of their beautiful wooden tables (the owners made each one by hand). I'm happy to say that the pies were worth the wait!

Mac-and-Cheese Pie (left) Vegetable Curry Pie (right)

Rama gave the veggie curry pie the thumbs up, approving of the sweet but spicy flavor. I couldn't stop oohing and ahhing over each creamy, crunchy and flaky bite out of mine. For dessert, we each had a slice of lemon meringue pie. The majestic meringue had deflated by the time I got home, but the sweet and tangy pie still hit the spot.

The Pie Hole
225 714 Traction Ave. Los Angeles
tel:   213.537.0115
hours:  Tues-Sun 11am-9pm (or until they sell out)

Thursday
Oct202011

costume party

I don't know how she did it, but for most of my childhood my mom made all of our Halloween costumes by hand. A few that stand out in memory are Raggedy Ann, a ballerina and a bunny. She even crafted this girlie robot costume, complete with battery operated light-and-button panel.

Sadly, I've yet to follow in those footsteps. I am more of a wait-'til-the-last-minute-then-panic kind of mom when it comes to Halloween. Thank God for the Internet and 2-day shipping!

In my research for costumes this week, I stumbled upon these beauties knit by hand in London. They are way out of my budget, but they sure are fun to look at. And hey, maybe they'll inspire those of you who can wield a needle and yarn?

Photos from The Miniature Knit Shop
Via Ali Loves Curtis

Tuesday
Oct182011

branching out

I'm pleased as punch to be joining Rena Tom's little blog family. I've known Rena for many moons now, and we have watched each other pursue various creative interests over the years. When it comes to creative businesses, she's one of the sharpest ladies I know, so it's such an honor and pleasure to share my tips, ideas and stories with her and her readers. I hope you'll come follow along, too!

Monday
Oct102011

eggs in a hole

I may have found a new favorite breakfast food: Eggs in a hole. There's something so wonderfully satisfying about that fried egg nestled safely in the middle of a piece of crusty bread. I enjoyed the dish at Canelé over the weekend, but I've got a feeling I'll be frying it up in my own kitchen soon.

Wednesday
Sep282011

perfectly imperfect 

Being a parent is an ongoing lesson in letting go. As a mother, I find myself wanting to be present for my children, entertain them endlessly, dressed them handsomely, feed them well, and maintain a tidy roof over their heads, but it's not all possible all of the time. And let's face it: It's not possible most of the time, really.

When I stop to think about what really matters I realize that the most important thing is that Henry and Maira are happy and healthy, so I focus on that first and try not to worry so much about everything else. That's why I love the book A Perfectly Kept House is the Sign of a Misspent Life. The title alone is such a comfort.

A Perfectly Kept House... was written by longtime Ralph Lauren creative director Mary Randolph Carter to inspire readers to "live creatively with collections, clutter, work, kids, pets, art, etc...and stop worrying about everything being perfectly in its place." Rama surprised me with a copy shortly after Maira was born, and it instantly became a prized part of my home library.

The beautifully designed book includes simple watercolor lettering and collaged details that live harmoniously alongside colorful photographs. I think I love Mary's sentiments almost as much as the images. Her warmth and sense of humor shine with chapters titled "The Unmade Bed," "Living with Obsession," and "Comfort," and gems such as "Don't scrub the soul out of your home!"

I admit that some homes in the book feel more chaotic than comfy, but there are several glimpses that feel just the right amount worn and cozy, reminding me of some of my favorite homes I've visited—the ones that make me want to stay a good, long while.

All images from A Perfectly Kept House is the Sign of a Misspent Life