Weekend Reading

By Kate Riley June 2, 2018

Happy first day of summer! I have a busy month of travel ahead and I’m very excited about that! We’re taking a quick family trip to Las Vegas to swim and play for a few days, then I’m off to Europe the following week. The two new countries I’m visiting are Belgium and the Czech Republic. For those of you who have traveled there, I’d love your suggestions on what I should see and eat! I’ll be in Brussels, Bruge, and Ghent in Belgium, and both Prague and Brno in the Czech Republic. Can you recommend any favorite stops?

I also heard some happy news this week. Remember those destructive wildfires we had here in California last fall? Our aunt lost her house in those fires, and she’s been living in our studio ever since. We just hired a contractor to rebuild her house and I’ll be helping with the interior design during the building process. It feels very hopeful in our local community to see all the rebuilding happening. Once the foundation is up and the house is framed I’ll be blogging about the design choices for that rebuild. :)

Favorite links from the week:


I love the textiles and textures in this colorful California home.

Find more fun doses of saturated color in this home tour.

A fresh, modern black, white & brass kitchen.

Isn’t this a beautiful and creative planter?

12 places to visit in Italy if you’re a foodie.

Love the outdoors? 40+ cabin getaways in the West.

Signs you might be in a toxic friendship.

How therapy changed her life.

Benefits of sleeping in on the weekend.

A tragic situation: all the plastic waste in our oceans.

Travel is about commas, not exclamation marks. :)

Happy weekend !




  1. The Grand Place lit up at night and the covered shopping arcades in Brussels are stunning. We were told by a waiter at a 5 star restaurant to get our mussels in the fish market area in Brussels and that is exactly what we did, delish and a very charming walk from the Place to that area. Bruge is just the prettiest place ever! Definitely recommend a boat tour of the canals, well worth the wait in line. Prague is a little jewel, you cannot go wrong here. Recommend checking out the St. Vitus/ Castle area, we took a bus up, and then walked back down to the old town, views were unbelievable and we actually got to see the trio of musicians Rick Steves is so fond of. King Charles bridge is just magical at night. The river walk along the “lesser town” side, below the Prague Castle, is charming and much less crowded than old town. But, nothing beats meanandering about the old town and a stop for a coffee or an aperitif on the main square for some primo people watching. We also found the museum dedicated to communism very interesting, especially those references to the USA. And the Jewish quarter is a must see! So excited for you! Happy, happy travels.

  2. Taste of Prague foodie tour is an awesome few hours of history, emerging Czech cuisine and food/wine/beer. We loved it. The Convent of Saint Agnes is beautiful and peaceful in the heart of the city. It’s a wonderful city to wander.

    • Definitely do a food tour in Prague. It was a highlight! Oh, and Hemingway’s was a great little bar where every cocktail is served in a unique way.

    • Thank you Felicia, I’ve heard amazing things about the food and beer scene too, I can’t wait to taste it all. :)

  3. My daughter and I wanted to see the sunrise from the King Charles Bridge in Prague,we called an uber took a 3:30 am ride to the bridge and hung out with only 5 other people on the bridge, it was the best thing, so peaceful and saw the sunrise over the river and city. The took a walk up the Hill toured the sleeping town saw the castle, just us, a guard and the garbage truck!

  4. We loved Prague when we were there in October! They have some great original street art (amongst the crap) on Charles bridge. Right across the bridge and to the right and down, there is a little gingerbread shop (I guess it originates in Czechnia) and a million swans to feed and see swimming picturesquely on the river. Go to the state house and see Mucha’s seminole work- it’s worth it.

    Brussels feels like a laid back Paris to us and we loved it! We just got back three weeks ago and loved how calm and welcoming it was! Go to the Horta Museum- it’s the best museum in the city! They also have breathtaking works in their impressionist section of their national museum and you have to pay per section so we recommend only getting this and one other since the place it so large! One thing we were surprised about is how few traditional dishes there are so don’t be afraid to grab great Italian food there. We used Google for recommendations and we never had a bad meal! Uber is cheap there too so don’t be afraid to use it when you’re 1000% done with walking.

  5. Are you staying overnight in Bruges or making a day trip? The small town gets overrun with daytrippers midday. If you are staying overnight, get up early and walk around town before 8am. It is quiet and beautiful. The town is truly magical, like you are in a medieval town.
    Ghent is a great city too. Gosh, I love Belgium, one of my favorite countries in Europe. Make sure to have waffles (afternoon snack/dessert) and french fries. There is a reason they are well known for them. Oh, and beer! Drink lots o great beer.

  6. In addition to the great tips already shared…
    I’m not sure if you’re a lover of Art Nouveau (but since I like most everything you do, I’m guessing the reverse might apply :-)). Here’s some context: https://fanningsparks.com/my-art-nouveau-love-affair/ If you’re interested, look for all things Victor Horta in Brussels and all things Alphonse Mucha in Prague.
    On a completely different note, I really enjoyed the Comic Strip Walk in Brussels.

    • Thank you Peg, I do love art nouveau, I will look up your suggestions!

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