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 »
Follow me on Twitter.
Keep up with my Pinterest.
See my photos on Flickr.
Subscribe to my RSS Feed.

Sign up for the Hello Darling newsletter to stay in the know.


our favorite chopped salad

Now that we're a party of four, we don't eat out as often as we used to and we are a lot more particular about the places we do frequent. One of our new favorite spots is The Luggage Room, a pizzeria in Pasadena. They serve artisinal pizzas fresh out of an olive wood burning oven in a bright, boisterious, kid-friendly atmosphere.

The pizzas, featuring fresh ingredients and some fun combinations, are so yummy, but we also enjoy the chopped salad that they serve with 'em. One night during the recent heat wave, we tried to re-create the salad we love so much.

This is our concoction. We kept the surprising combo of green olives, golden raisins, and pistachios mixed with lettuce and veggies, but we added some fresh mozzarella and a red wine vinaigrette. It fills the bill when we're craving our new fave but can't quite make it out of the house. 

(If you do make this, and I hope you do, please note that there is more dressing than you'll need for the salad. Just store the rest in a jar and enjoy throughout the week.)



robot ride

Parenting is only as fun as it is because I get to do it with my favorite fella, Rama. It's such a joy to witness him play, teach, learn, sing, and dance with our children. 

This illustration of Rama's was inspired by the rides he gives our kids. That's Henry sitting atop a hunk of metal. Isn't he cute? 

I think the illustration would make the coolest t-shirt ever. If you think so too, I hope you'll vote for it over at Threadless. If you score it a 5 and leave a comment, you can win a shirt for yourself.


vigilante paper

Last month, one of my favorite projects launched and I finally have a moment to show it off. I'm proud to introduce Vigilante Paper, a new wedding stationery shop.

Vigilante offers delightful wedding stationery that is customizable and affordable. And my favorite part? Every single detail, including the type, is hand-drawn. I provided art direction in the conception of the brand’s identity, from the logo to the colors to the lettering. I also designed the e-commerce site, which provides PDF proofing so you can print and preview your cards before placing an order. Founder and illustrator Olivia Joffrey brought it all to life with her charming illustrations and handwriting.

It was such an honor to work alongside Olivia the past few months. I designed and made my own wedding invitations and collateral, so I can appreciate all the work she's put into this line, ensuring brides have an affordable but still gorgeous alternative to custom invites. 

And just look at them. I'm so wild about Olivia's use of color and detail. These are just a few of my favorite designs. In fact, I'm thinking of ordering thank you notes just because I can!


glimpses from the road

Rama and I went on a quick road trip to the Bay Area just the two of us, and it was so very dreamy. We lazed around the hotel, eating dinner in the room, taking long baths, and sleeping in past 7. 

On Saturday, I met a few friends at the Ferry Building then wandered the city all by myself. I filled up my basket with tiny treasures at Daiso and treated myself to macarons at Miette. It was the ultimate luxury to follow my whims and wishes with no kids in tow. 

Rama and I took the scenic route home on Sunday and enjoyed a lovely brunch in Big Sur. We listened to books on tape and re-told the stories of our lives. I'd be lying if I said I didn't come home completely exhausted, but it was totally worth it. 


letter to maira : 1 year

Dear Maira,

A couple of weeks ago, I had to pick up your Lolo & Lola from the airport. It was pretty late, so I grabbed a cup of coffee and blasted the stereo on my way home. I used to do that sort of thing a lot: Go out alone, stay up late, and indulge in my favorite things. As I drove up the empty highway back toward our house, my mind flashed back to my days as a young single girl, before I had you, before I had Henry, before I met your Papa.

I had no idea back then what my life would be like. I just knew what I wanted. I wanted a job I enjoyed. I wanted a husband who understood me. I wanted a home we could call our own. And I wanted children—specifically two. I wanted a son, and I wanted you: My very own daughter.

I have said it before, and I'll say it again: When you were born, a dream of mine came true. And now, a year later, I am still pinching myself.

Your big brother is a pretty wonderful guy, and I have to admit that I wasn't sure we could have another kid just as cool. But we got lucky twice! You are amazing, Maira, and it has been so much fun getting to know you.

You are radiant and healthy.

Click to read more ...