For one thing, being on top of what's new and cool requires a certain amount of disposable income -- something absent from my life from about 1996 (the year I became both a mom and a homeowner).
It's not that I don't appreciate style. But my lack of funds contributed to my decision to stop paying attention to fashion. I dropped all my subscriptions to womens' magazines, because they only exist to sell me pretty products -- and why live with the frustration of wanting things I cannot (or should not) think of buying?
That doesn't mean I crawled under a rock and hid. We are on plenty of mailing lists, and influences got through in the form of catalogs, which explains why my living and dining areas look like a Pottery Barn showroom (on a good day, when I've bothered to declutter and clean).
Then, two years ago, we were forced to spend a boatload of time and money on a home renovation, thanks to the poria fungus that ate our hardwood floors and a portion of our kitchen cabinets. During this time, I picked up every catalog and magazine I could find for inspiration -- which is when I discovered the gorgeously photographed modern design at dwell.
Over the summer, the magazine held a big design show at the Los Angeles Convention Center, and invited members of the local mom blogging community to apply for press passes. As an admirer of the magazine, it sounded like fun -- and it was. Here are some very belated highlights: