A Family and a Home

I write about my family a lot.  We’re a bold, boisterous group and we spend an ample amount of time together, namely at our grandparents’ home.  My grandparents have lived in their colonial style house for three decades.  It’s cholk full of fond childhood memories.  Before family dinners we’d roam through trails in the state park behind the house or peek through Nannie’s illustrious closets.  My sister, cousins and I would have sleepovers on her floor and keep her up until ungodly hours.  You know, the good stuff!  As for Papa, he rules the roost from his jean-blue chair in the family room.  Every Christmas Eve about thirty of us gather around to steal food off each others plates and exchange gifts, always resulting in an inevitable wrapping paper explosion.  Papa hands the kids a stack of dollar bills.  Such endearing chaos.

A few weekends ago we delighted in the chaos once again, call it “summer edition.”  We had a wedding.

AH! What a classic.

My cousin Mark married his girlfriend of more than 7 years, Amanda.  And that day something really fantastic happened.  Winding through each doorway, you could find a relative in total game-day mode, attending to their ceremony duties.  My Aunt Susan, the Officiant a.k.a. Judge, my mom – the mistress of ceremonies, my Aunt Cathy – the florist, my sister Holly – music coordinator, my cousin Catherine and her husband Billy – overseers of the flower brigade (their kids and our cousin Addie), and the list goes on.

This home, more so now than ever, became a testament to what we’ve helped one another through and the good times we’ve celebrated.  It was as if each room was a living facet of the experience, tying together our intricately woven past with a new chapter:  Mark and Amanda’s ever-promising future.  Hint, the couple recently announced they are expecting!  The picture shown above is especially perfect, as it’s tradition on holidays for each family (we’ve got 5 of them and counting) to sit for a photograph on the living room sofa.  Here’s their first.


The girls got ready in my personal favorite, I call it the “toile room.”  One Christmas Nannie threw us younger girls a tea party in there, decorated by the largest ginger bread house ever.  Know Lee’s jealous she wasn’t in attendance!

I mean, c’mon!

Meet the flower brigade:  Matilda, Addie, and Liam, holding it down on the front step.  Catch a glimpse of Amanda and her sweet dad behind them!

In true Malbon fashion.

Here in the back yard we have the ceremony complete with some typical dysfunction.


“Markie” and I are two years apart and have always been close.  He’s happily fulfilled the role of obnoxious older brother, pinning me in painful wrestling moves during Thanksgiving dinners and such.  I gotta love him, especially when looking at these photos.

Photogenic spaces. Photogenic faces.

Speaking of photos, could these get ANY better?  Meet Kathryn Whitworth, former Interior Designer turned freelance photographer.  Our family is crazy about her and her work.  We like to bring ones like Kathryn around for keeps.  Initially, my cousin Patrick is in charge of laying down the charm and then it’s an utter whirlwind from there.

Aunty ‘Rude Sue’ as Officiant/Judge for the day

Smiles all around.  I’m a fan of the smaller wedding parties.  Mark chose his dad and brothers along with a best friend of his, Justin, to stand by him.  I think these pictures tell it all:  everything turned out perfectly!

The heart of it all.

Here’s one of the best moments of the evening.  During his toast, Mark thanked Nannie and Papa for their love, support, and hospitality.  I’m here adoring my grandmother as usual.  And look at Billy, smiling at her.  I wish I could tell you all of their great stories, but we’d be here forever.

In summary, I’d like to give a toast myself:  To a family and a home that have helped define my daily perspective, my goals, and my values.  Take credit for all of my redeeming qualities and none of my bad ones! ;-)  Simply, I love you!

In honor of our families, let’s reach out to those ones affected by the Colorado shooting.  Here’s a link if you want to find a way to help.

Love as always,



Stuck on De Souza

If there’s one thing the wild men in my family (Malbon side of course) can get right, it’s picking a mate. I’m surrounded by beautiful, inspiring women; all of whom nurture a particular creative instinct. One of these women is Paola De Souza, the wife of my cousin Michael. We plain Virginia folk call her “P”. She’s a make up artist and develops looks for Diane Von Furstenburg, Ace & Jig, and Frank 151 Magazine, to name a few. P ventured from Buenos Aires to Manhattan after hearing great things from her brother, Victor. He is a self-made fashion designer who lives for his craft. I was beyond impressed to see his latest show unfold at Fashion Week:

Are. You. Serious.

Victor De Souza show at the Bowery Hotel. These are P’s photos taken from front row.

Looks from back stage & the runway

The structure of these pieces: impeccable. The ingenuity: divine. As P said herself – what beautiful, feminine silhouettes! Hear about Victor’s concept and get a peek back stage:

Behind every strong individual, there is a family. Whether it be the one you were given, or the one you have made yourself, you are only as resilient as your safety net. This brother & sister duo have nested far away from home in order to pursue creative endeavors. They support each other endlessly and possess a lovely sense of gratitude for all the good that has come their way.

Meet P, Her & Michael’s daughters: Kyla and Avery (Precious!), and once again – Victor.


Here’s to family, hopes, and hard work.

Happy Monday Y’all. Let’s start it up.




This whole blogosphere deal was introduced to me when I became partial to the spectacular domain of Design*Sponge.  It’s the first blog I remember truly “following”.  A co-worker shared with me that she’ll be in Denver on Wednesday night for a Book Signing at West Elm.  Why not?  I work two blocks away.

Love this lil sketch'

I was browsing through the tour dates, and ah ha! A signing back home to recommend to friends.  Norfolk neighbors my hometown of Virginia Beach, VA.

Mermaid Madness around there, who knows?

Mermaids everywhere . . .

Listen to what Grace had to say about the choice of this location,

“To say that I’m excited to do a book tour event in Norfolk, Virginia is a massive understatement. Ever since I started the blog I’ve been wanting to put something together in my hometown area (I grew up in Virginia Beach just down the highway). . .This is going to be a special event because my whole family will be there, so I hope you can make it if you’re in the area this November.

AHHHH!!!! ok, so I just freaked out a little bit!  Your family and the atmosphere of your hometown (in my opinion) have everything to with your perspective and the creative energy you spread, so it was fun to see a common thread between this wonder-woman and silly little me.  Take a glimpse into the confetti-like explosion of Design Sponge’s success > blog turned book:

Helps me to keep the faith.  And a little taste of home, just because:

Thanksgiving - stop tempting me!!!

. . . Today I’m arranging flowers for Philip’s ART SHOW!  I always resort back to Studio Choo for inspiration, the brains behind former column “We Like It Wild” on Design Sponge.  Although the column is no more, they are still in FULL SWING out in San Fran, and have a fantastic blog of their own.  They were recently in Colorado!  Read about the Aspens, I’m telling you – they have special powers over you. Ha! Anways, Look at these gorgeous creations!

They are Perfect.

I picked up this hobby from my Aunt Cathy and my mom.  So thankful to be surrounded by such talent!

Look at those beauties in the corner! Flowers by Studio Choo <3

As the Avett Brother’s said, “Decide what be, and go be it.”  Today I’m a florist slash event planner.  What about you?  It’s only 1 o’clock Mountain time.