Month: June 2015


Why do we really spend so much time worrying about being pretty? I am the first one to accept guilt: I worry too much about my appearance. But I promise I’m working on it, because above all, I want to be PRETTY AWESOME.


Photo © Maria Rigou for Groundhog Design


bar carts!

The layout of our current apartment is pretty weird, but somehow we managed to fit a large credenza in one of the corners. However, we weren’t able to include a so-called “bar cart”, we just put a woven tray on top of the credenza with some bottles on it and called it a day.

Now that we are moving, we discovered that one of our leaning bookcases where the TV is won’t fit the wall we are planning for it. We will have to move it to the living room…. and then inspiration struck!

I can make a “bar cart” out of it (minus the cart part because it won’t move).

To inspire my new invention, I’ve been looking at images around the web. So in the meantime, look at my inspiration and I’ll come back soon with photos of what it actually looks like.


Sources: 1: via Almost Makes Perfect 2: via Refinery 29 3: via The Every Girl 4: 5-to-1 apartment by Michael K Chen Architecture

scenes from the weekend


Summer is finally here! This weekend was a little bit more active than usual because the weather was amazing. We had a fun afternoon at Lake Sammamish Park near Seattle with some friends on Saturday. Lake, BBQ and sun.

Also, games.


Sunday we took a sushi-making class at a sushi restaurant in Fremont. It was really fun and delicious. You can find some photos on my Instagram account

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It’s cruise season in Seattle! This means more tourists, especially around the Pike Place Market area, but it’s always fun to try and spot them.

Photos © Maria Rigou for Groundhog Design

Painting of the Week

Since the beginning of December I’ve been taking a painting class with Patrick Howe, a Seattle-based oil and watercolor artist. It’s pretty much an open studio situation – I go right after work and use that time and space to work on anything that I might want. Patrick provides guidance and can critique if asked. Sometimes he does demos for the class – like 2D and 3D perspective drawing and painting techniques-, we talk about other artists and see their work, etc.

Recently, I’ve been working with watercolor. Before finding Patrick’s class, I was a strictly acrylic paint amateur artist, and always thought watercolors were impossible to work with and that you had to be super talented to master the medium. I was wrong. I am not super talented and yet I can manage to make some pretty interesting things in class. I’m getting excited about my painting because I discovered the wonderful world of framing and putting stuff up on my walls.

Anyway. Now that I have explained a little bit more about my system – or at least how I do art – I bring you the Painting of the Week!

Untitled – watercolor on paper, 22 in x 30 in.

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If you are interested in purchasing some of my art, visit my shop!

Photos © Maria Rigou for Groundhog Design

Linked and loved

Sunset in Seattle

It’s the weekend! Weather in Seattle is starting to get better and better. We had a heat wave earlier in the week and now temperatures have dipped a little, but it’s still nice and sunny and beautiful, just how I like it.

Check out my favorites from the web this past week:

1. Love these little bowls for summer entertaining.

2. Drooling over this recipe box from the Rifle Paper Co., very useful for our household cooking issues.

3. I may or may not have changed my master plans for our master bedroom in the condo (via Studio McGee.)

4. Art inspiration this week comes in the form of gloomy monotone watercolor prints.

5. ‘Vibrant new spaces’ are coming to Seattle!

Photo © Maria Rigou for Groundhog Design

Blue Apron review + free printables

So, anyone that knows me or talks to me on a regular basis pretty much only hears me complain about how cooking is a hassle in our household. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy cooking, but just thinking of what to cook for dinner drains all my energy away even before getting home.

We tried a “taking turns” approach to cooking, but in the end I did all the thinking and only half of the execution. Definitely not working for me.

The other day I was reading Dana Miller’s blog and she talked about how she had ordered Blue Apron to take (or be delivered) on her family vacation. At the end of her post, Blue Apron was giving away two meals for the first 100 readers, so I ventured out to the website and signed up.

And finally, today we received our first package!

In the box (nicely packed and refrigerated) were ingredients for three meals. Blue Apron recommends that you cook the fish first, so that it remains as fresh as possible. So today, we made salmon burgers with creme fraiche potato salad and arugula. The recipe called for capers, but we are not fans so we didn’t add them. Also, I think it had too much mint for my taste.

The really good thing about this is that you can keep the recipe and if you ever feel like eating it again, you just go to the store and get the ingredients! It definitely helps in the long-term with my “not want to think” problem.


Ingredients for the salmon burger ready to be used. Not pictured: the fresh arugula for the side salad and the creme fraiche.


Final product! Delicious salmon burgers with potato salad. So far, I would highly recommend Blue Apron. It’s the best of both worlds: I get to enjoy the cooking but I don’t have to think about what to cook.

I also wanted to add a couple of free printables that aim at staying organized with food ideas for the week, any notes and a grocery list so that your week goes smoothly. You can download them here or here.

Photos © Maria Rigou for Groundhog Design

Pico Iyer: Where is home?

My friend Irene shared this TED Talk with me this morning, while we were discussing my blog and blog post ideas and it made me think so much about my home and my heritage. Take a look:

There are 220 million people that live in a country that is not their own. 220 million. I am one of them.

And although I am an “alien” here in the US, I feel more comfortable with other people like me, other “aliens,” than with people from Argentina, where “I am from,” or where I instinctively call home.

But it’s OK, because home, in the end, is where the heart is. And I think that my heart has been here for a long time.

What do you consider home?