LIFE

Personal / Travel / Entertaining / Health

Bourgeois Boheme

Deborah Kass,  feel good paintings for feel bad times. Arthur Roger Gallery, New Orleans. I turned thirty-two in August. That event bookended a summer full of conversations with my good friend, Amanda. We kept coming back to the idea that we were feeling a bit stagnant personally (though not necessarily professionally) and would bounce ideas Read the Rest…

Santa Fe

Growing up in New Mexico, I often took for granted the beauty of its many cultures – Spanish, Mexican, Pueblo, Navajo, European – and its varied landscape, from desert to mountains. I’m sure that was partly because my hometown felt more like the west Texas plains than any Land of Enchantment. But mostly, it was Read the Rest…

Holy crap I’m an adult: my thoughts on hosting my parents

My mom and dad arrived at my house before I got off work. “Well, I can’t be home until about 5:30,” I had said in a phone call. “We’ll probably be there at 3,” was my mom’s breezy response. I smiled inside and promised to leave the back door unlocked. About once a year, my Read the Rest…

Stefanie Monge on Mindfulness in Real Life

Over the years I’ve practiced yoga sporadically, but it never became a consistent part of my life until last year. I was going through some pretty difficult personal issues and my best friend (a seasoned yogi) recommended that I take some classes. She thought it would help me focus on my inner strength and create Read the Rest…

Omaha Gives!

This past Wednesday, Birdhouse collaborated with Omaha by Design and local furniture store Hutch, to transform a bus shelter near the University of Nebraska Omaha campus into a pop-up living room space. Why? We wanted to attract bus riders (and those whose interest was piqued) to take a seat in the urban living room and Read the Rest…

The Words They’ve Read: Steve Gordon Jr.

Calling Steve Gordon Jr. a graphic designer only tells part of his story. In fact, it doesn’t even come close. Known best by his other moniker, RDQLUS Creative, Gordon is a constant observer of his surroundings and their textures. His creative client work is various and wide-reaching. His modest clothing line emphasizes clever messaging. And he is Read the Rest…

Anatomy of a Small Gathering

At about 7 p.m. every Thursday night, I set down my laptop and begin a weekly ritual. I have friends coming over for dinner—my very favorite thing—and it’s time to prepare. The ritual begins with a rough-and-tumble tidy-up. If I’ve learned anything from this weekly night of coziness over the past couple years, it’s how Read the Rest…

Meats and Cheese, If You Please

I’d drank and dined at The French Bulldog several times before the COOP crew met there with Bryce Coulton, chef and co-owner of the charcuterie-focused restaurant. Each visit was a great experience: charming atmosphere, spot-on decor, and the food was fresh, tasty, and interesting. Those visits set the bar pretty high, which made me just Read the Rest…

Printed Words on Parade

I still recall the cover, deep red and worn and not at all striking or memorable in design. Bennet Cerf’s Book of Laughs was a title I discovered at my grade school library sometime in the late 1980s. Something about the quips and clever one-liners caught me. The library tracking card affixed inside the front cover featured Read the Rest…

COOP Podcast – 5 Interior Design Elements

Hooray for another episode of our podcast! Today we’re chatting about interior design elements: balance, scale, focal points, avoiding matching sets and buying what you love. Thanks again for listening!

COOP Podcast – Episode 1

We’re talking  - yes, talking –  about the mission of COOP in our very first podcast! You might notice I have a theme. So, take a drink every time I mention something about story telling. But be forewarned; you may get drunk. Also, ponder where Wendy’s Fargo (she’s from Omaha) accent comes from. Especially when Read the Rest…

The Resurgence of Handmade

Colorful skeins of yarn have slowly, seemingly effortlessly taken up residence in my home. I can’t quite pinpoint when my casual interest in knitting transformed to a full-time hobby. But I can tell you that, on likely a subconscious level, I had grown increasingly weary of digital devices and can’t-quite-touch data that seemed to dominate Read the Rest…

Happy Holidays 2013

Enjoy your family and friends, eat a ton of food, and drink till you’re merry.

Goodie Bag – Volcano Choir

I use to live in a world where new music was always in my reach. New artists, new albums to obsess about – listening to them over and over and over. Now I live in a world where it’s rare that I’m listening to something new. I default to my iPod shuffle because I don’t Read the Rest…

Friendsgiving

A couple of weekends ago I had the pleasure of attending my first official Friendsgiving hosted by my good friend Amanda. It was a delightful experience! I found it especially enjoyable this year because I have no family residing near me to spend time with during the holidays. (I did just make my way back Read the Rest…

Our Overnight Outdoor Adventure

Last weekend Jessica, Ginger, and I braved the Great Outdoors (it is November in Nebraska, after all) with a stay at Slattery Vintage Estates Vineyard and Tasting Room about an hour from our homes in Omaha. We planned the trip as a working retreat for COOP, but also as an opportunity to drink wine, eat Read the Rest…

Goodie Bag – Stories We Tell

Can you imagine a world where there weren’t books, music, movies or television shows? That is seriously my idea of a nightmare. Honestly, sometimes those outlets are the only space that I can let go of whatever anxieties I’ve carried that day. I know that exercise does that, or experiencing nature, blah, blah, blah. I’m Read the Rest…

Nature’s Bounty, Beauty in Nehawka, Nebraska

As Jessica mentioned last week, a few of us from the COOP crew are headed to rural Nebraska for an overnight’s stay. The reason, you ask? Glamping. A girls-only glamping, to be specific. We have read about the trend of “glamorous camping” for quite some time and were curious about options near our homes in Read the Rest…

We’re Going Glamping

Typically I don’t love made-up, sort-of cheesy words, but something about “glamping” just makes me happy. I hear/say the word and start singing the theme song to Jem and the Holograms. Then, I get visions of excitement, adventure, glamour and fame – let’s go glamping! Now you’re probably wondering if I’ve lost my mind talking about Read the Rest…

A Dash of Ginger

Earlier this month, COOP announced the exciting news of contributor (and all-around-great-gal) Ginger McCandless joining the Birdhouse Interior Design team. The new partnership is a perfect fit, given Birdhouse’s recent growth and Ginger’s prowess for interior design. We recently uncorked a bottle of wine and asked Ginger to tell us more about her design philosophy, Read the Rest…

Lisey

I’m sure, to most of you who own a dog, they are your baby. That certainly is the truth for us. We are madly in love with our Beagle/Hound Dog mix from the Nebraska Humane Society. Lisey, named after a Stephen King heroine, will be four in May and she pretty much runs our household Read the Rest…

The Newfields Country Store

The Newfields Country Store on the seacoast of New Hampshire takes me back to a time when people were warm and sincere and everything was made from scratch. My close friends in Newfields live walking distance to this treasure-trove of homemade goodness. I never leave the NFCS without feeling inspired to make a new sandwich Read the Rest…

The Perfect Playlist

The perfect playlist. For music lovers and those who love to entertain, like myself, it’s something we always hope we can pull off. Music is definitely one of people’s most passionate interests; The A.V. Club’s top twenty albums of 2012 list only got 1,270 comments. Whenever we host a party, that’s the part I get Read the Rest…

Happy Holidays in 2012!

Happy holidays and Merry Christmas from COOP!

Through the Mediterranean

For the next leg of our European journey we cruised counter-clockwise through the Mediterranean. Our first port was Livorno, where we took a shore excursion to a winery in Tuscany, Fattoria Maionchi. Lucky for the Tuscans, citrus is easily grown, with the Mediterranean climate. If only we could do the same in the Midwest, because Read the Rest…

When In Rome

We’re traveling through Europe for a few days in celebration of Jessica’s 30th birthday, and we’ll be sharing some of our favorite photos and tips while we’re here. First thing: when you’re flying coach (as most of us are, right?) make sure you pick up a pair of earplugs and an eye mask, because that Read the Rest…

Tapas Tonight

Spain is one of our favorite places – even though we’ve only been there once! For my big 3-0 in August, we are going back which has us planning and daydreaming about the food, sites, and culture. Mostly, we are obsessing over the food. Since it’s still a few weeks away, I decided to play Read the Rest…

From the Editor – June 2012

What is COOP? Where does that name come from? Who in the world are we? Since first announcing COOP, we’ve been asked these questions several times. So, let’s get this party started by answering them. The idea of COOP came after my husband, Christopher, started culinary school. At the same time, I was spending almost Read the Rest…