I’m Christine Castro Hughes, a designer, writer, and mother of two darling children. I also run a graphic design studio out of my charming, crooked craftsman house. Brunch is my blog. More »
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pop of color

I spotted this mural in Eagle Rock while taking a little me time today. The colors made me so happy.


mom's banana bread

I have been so excited to share some of my favorite recipes with you, but with temperatures in the upper '90s it has been way too hot to hang out in our kitchen. So, I thought I'd dig through my archives and share a recipe that's tried and true in my family: My mom's banana bread.

I have come to really love banana bread, because I usually have all the ingredients on hand and it's a cinch to make. I've tried a handful of recipes over the past year, but I keep coming back to my mom's. The ingredients and directions are simple, and the bread always comes out dense and moist. You can use the same recipe for zucchini bread, too; just substitute the bananas for grated zucchini. The recipe makes two loaves, but I usually halve it to make one, because it's just not a good idea to keep that much banana bread in my house.

Download & print this recipe


modern kids photography

I just launched a new landing page for Modern Kids Photography. Photographer Sarah Wert wanted a fresh first impression, and she came to me with the gallery wall idea. I love how it turned out. What Sarah didn't know was I've had this idea in my head for a while for my own site redesign but for some reason never pursued it. I am happy I was able to see the idea through, and I can't wait to see what new ideas bloom in its place.

The Darling studio is buzzing with activity these days. Several more exciting launches are around the bend, but in the meantime, check out Sarah's gorgeous work. I am saving my pennies so she can photograph our family someday. I love her eye, and there is so much joy, wonder and warmth in her work.

And if you thought it couldn't get anymore magical, get this: When going through photos to show you, I realized that I know one of the families Sarah photographed (see Aila, Bill, Henry and Fia above)! I grew up with Aila, and her mom is my godmother. Crazy.

Photos by Sarah Wert


drawn & cooked

There are several paths to my heart, and two of those are my stomach and my eyes. Knowing this, Rama sent me to They Draw And Cook, an awesome site of illustrated recipes. There are over 100 recipes to peruse, featuring all kinds of things to eat and drink, drawn in a variety of illustration styles. The blog will eventually be published as a book. You are welcome to contribute your own creation, and so are your kids.

Top to Bottom: Vegetable Stock by Nate Padavick, Salsa Verde by Geninne Zlatkis, Almond Rosemary Cookies with Lemon Curd by Betsy Cordes, Butternut Squash Ravioli by Betsy Snyder


paper products

I am nuts for all things paper, and I am just as smitten with these products pretending to be paper. How fun would it be to set the table with these dishes, linens and things?

1. Lined paper dish towel (€12); 2. Doily Coasters ($6, set of 4); 3. Memo Graph Paper Mug ($6.48); 4. Ceramic Egg Rack ($12); 5. I Am Not a Paper Cup Ceramic Cup ($16); 6. Paper Pretender Dinnerware ($32-48).