Friday, January 31, 2014

One Badass Girl... And Sew What?

Good morning my sweet little wrens. I have two totally unrelated topics to talk about today...

I'm not too much of a t.v. girl. Or a movie buff. Ask me if I've seen any movie from the past 5 years and most likely my answer will be no. I just can't seem to sit through a movie. But anyway, that is not the point. What I do watch comes on every Thursday night. I love to hop into bed and watch my two favorite shows. Luckily they both fall on Thursday night!

Have I told you this before... my love for Nicole Curtis? She restores uninhabitable, squalid houses into beautiful, glorious homes. She is such a badass girl, I adore her. She does not shy away from anything. She jumps on a backhoe without issue. Uses any kind of power tool, knocks down walls, refinishes floors, rips out tile, the list goes on and on. She tries to recycle and reuse everything; not wanting to waste a drop of her resources. She inspires me beyond words! Love her and everything she stands for. I mean really, just look at her. Strong, powerful, confident. My kind of girl. If you've never seen her show, you should tune in. It's called Rehab Addict on HGTV every Thursday night.

My next topic du jour is that I want to learn to sew. I have a sewing machine. I have sewn. But I can't really sew... So I can't sew... Sew what! I can learn! But I am pretty intimidated by that fast moving needle... I'm not going to lie, it is a little scary! But I really, really want to learn. What would I make you ask? {or not...} I would love to make some really cool tote bags. Yes, I am a wearer of the gigantic tote. I carry everything, which might not be the best thing in the world for my shoulder, but if I need it, I dig... and I find it. These tote bags are all from SKmodell. I love her style. And all of her pieces are handmade.

I use a tote bag for work because I have some essentials that I need to carry around. This bag is vegan and would fit all of my work essentials nicely.

This is for going to the market; instead of using the dreaded plastic bags. So cute! It comes in different colors too.

This is much smaller than I am used to, but I love the fabric. I love mustard yellow. I like the hook closure and long strap to go across the body.

This is again kind of the perfect work tote for me. I like the subdued colors and the linen fabric. Very pretty indeed.

This is fun for the summer. Floppy and brightly colored. Worn with jeans, a white tee and flip flops. Such a cute look.

Again, I would wear this with the same outfit as above. It can hold everything a girl needs in a pinch. Even a book when there is unexpected downtime!

Now, if only Nicole Curtis and I could be friends, AND I could learn to sew, my day would be complete! Just kidding... But neither would hurt.

Oh happy happy Friday!!!!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

A Little House By The Sea...

I love a little home like this... We don't need a lot of space in a home. In fact, I think it's cozier and brings families closer together to have small digs {but I would insist on at least 4 or 5 acres.} I would much rather have outdoor space than indoor space. Fire pits, dining al fresco and hammocks all make for great outdoor living. And just look at that blue door. It's my favorite color. It screams "Welcome Home!"

I would live in this darling little house in a second flat. As my primary home. But I would also love it as a second home, sitting in a little beach community where people travel by vespa or bike. Lucky for me I already have a vespa. Now I just need the beach house! {I'm envisioning Sanibel Island here..} Then I wouldn't need all that land. Just the beach. And an escape from the cold for a weekend here and there.

This little gem of a house reminds me to live simply. Cut out all the excess. I don't need or want excess stuff; it just clutters a space and the mind. In a house this tiny, I would imagine you just keep what you love and think twice before buying anything new. For me, living simply is what truly makes my soul the happiest.

Pic via: Better Homes and Gardens

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Every Home Needs An Initial...


Here is another little way to say WE LIVE HERE...

Put your family's initial along the wall of the stairway {and add some other photos and art that you love!} I call it my wall of happiness. Every object hung on that wall is something that I love {or it wouldn't make the cut.} I got my initial from World Market. It's colorful and happy.

Here is the initial from World Market (but mine isn't an S...} I love the colors of it. It looks perfect on my stairway wall along with all of my other photos and art.

Here is what I mean by a wall of happiness. Photos, a family initial, signs, art, numbers, etc. Anything goes, as long as you love it. This picture is from Our Vintage Home Love. I love how it looks. 

Just another idea of a family initial along the stairs.

And one more. Very colorful and fun.

Say We Live Here... showcase your initial in your home. The stairway is a great place for it!

pics via: pinterest

Monday, January 27, 2014

How Do You Choose To Spend Your Money?

Good morning! Today I want to talk shop... or shopping.

Two companies that I love are Tom's Shoes and Warby Parker. Have you heard of them? If not, here is a little lowdown...

I love a company that does good in this world... and Tom's does just that. Now, I think you are either a lover or a hater of these shoes. There is no in-between. When I first saw them {on my best friend's feet} I thought they were hideous. Then I tried them on. And I fell in love {especially with the red ones.} They are so comfy and cute. They are definitely a "shoreline thing" in this state. If you live along the shoreline, you most likely have a few pairs of these shoes. Unless you hate them...

But what you can't possibly hate is the "One For One Movement:" for each pair sold, a pair is donated to someone in need.

Here is what Tom's says and does straight from their website:

"On their own, shoes have a limited ability to change a life. But when combined with programs run by our Giving Partners, they can become a powerful tool in helping create opportunities for a better future.


Shoes help protect children's feet from cuts, infections and diseases. When children are healthy, they can attend school, fight minor illnesses and grow up to reach their potential.


Shoes are often required for school attendance in many countries. Providing school uniforms, which often includes shoes, to children that cannot afford them can increase school attendance by 62%.* Education is the key to mobility and vital to breaking the poverty cycle.


Although it's less measurable, our Giving Partners consistently tell us how new shoes instill confidence in children. Confident kids are more likely to stay in school and contribute to their communities."
Here are some adorable grey ones {I have these, minus the elephants, but there are animals on the inside fabric, as you can see from the picture. Just adorable!}

And here is how I usually wear my Tom's. With skinny jeans rolled up and a white J. Crew soft cotton tee shirt with my red or grey Tom's. Casual but cute {again, if you don't hate them...}

I will definitely be getting another pair for the spring. I live in them on the weekends.
The next company that I love is Warby Parker. My husband and I order all of our glasses from them because:
A. The make the coolest glasses around.
B. They are only $95.00.
C. You can order 5 pairs to try on at home and then send them back.
D. For every pair of glasses they sell, a pair is donated to someone in need.
So, what's not to love? We are both about to order another pair {my husband actually owns more than I do! He is kind of obsessed now, at my ever so gentle urging...} He looks like a Harvard professor when he wears them. Kinda sexy and smart. I love it!


I really try to make an effort to spend my money where it matters. If I like a company and what they stand for, I am a very loyal customer. These two companies both have my loyalty!! Do you have a company that you stand by?
Happy Monday.
Pics via: pinterest, Tom's Shoes, Warby Parker

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Out With The Toxic... In With Au Naturale...

I have been on a mission to rid my makeup and other beauty products of toxic chemicals {my home cleaning products too, but that's for another post..} It's definitely not easy though. I still have yet to find the perfect shampoo and conditioner that actually works on my hair. But I have found some things over the past year that I can't live without. My goal is to buy one new thing per week and toss out it's counterfeit chemical laden friend that I'm replacing it with. I am posting a few of my absolute favorites for you to consider. I'm not saying any of these are perfect... just that they are way better for me than what I previously used {in terms of the ingredients.} Here are my top picks:

HEAVEN doesn't even close to describing how I feel about this face scrub. I am completely obsessed with it. It smells and feels so good on my face in the shower. Trust me on this one, it is divine...
I love all suki products but this one takes the cake. Seriously!

This is the best I've found so far for natural toothpaste. I know, toothpaste is boring, but I still thought I would add it to my list since I use it multiple times a day...

This tinted moisturizer is called 100 % Pure. It gives me a healthy glow with fruit pigments. I use it every day. It you prefer heavier coverage you most likely won't like this. It is more of a lightweight touch of color and coverage for your face. Kind of makes you look like you went on a mini vacation. Not too much color but just enough to make you look rested and relaxed!

This is my "be all, end all" weapon of choice. I use it on everything. Hands, nails, lips, eyes, feet, legs... all before bed. I don't mind the coconut smell. I scrape it out of the jar and once it's on my skin, it is a bit oily at first, but it soaks in rather quickly. It really gives me the softest skin around. 

I mean really, so many to choose from!! Who doesn't love Dr. Bronner's? I have tried almost every one of them. None disappoint. Right now I am using the almond one. This is what I shave my legs with in the shower. There are so many uses for this great soap too. I think the bottle tells of 18 different uses for it.

I am a bath kind of girl. When I take my nightly soak, I put in some epsom salt. It has magnesium and sulfate {which are said to flush toxins out of the skin.} It helps with achy muscles after a strenuous horse ride, but also makes my skin feel silky soft too!

Tinted lip balm is the best because it's a "no mirror required" kind of look. Right? Just slap it on and all is well. I love these versions from Burt's Bees. I own several of them. They give you just the right hint of color. Like you were just eating a strawberry. Or a raspberry. But not a blueberry...

I know I've mentioned this brand before {Treefort Naturals} but this deodorant is my favorite. First of all, it actually works and it smells great too {if you like a hint of coconut scent.} I can't rave about this enough. I've tried really expensive high end to grocery store brands of natural deodorants, and this is hands down the best I've ever come across. Love it.

And her soaps are just as good. I have a huge stack of these yummy bars in my linen closet because I fear running out. Once you use them, you just can't go back to Dove or those other brands.

No Miss nail polish... I don't really paint my nails because I horseback ride and well, it's just not conducive to riding. But I do paint my toes, and I love this brand. It doesn't chip too badly and comes in lots of great colors.
I also don't regularly wear perfume. But when I do, it's Kuumba Made roll-on oil. I have my go to scent that whenever I wear it, I literally have people smelling me, asking me what I'm wearing. Swear. I get so many compliments on it. Pick an oil that suits your sense of smell and body chemistry. You won't be sorry!

Ahhh, my Badger Balm... I put this on my lips or cuticles. I love the lavender and bergamot scent. I use it on my hands and feet sometimes too. I keep it on my bedside table. Love this stuff.

This is my favorite eye cream made by Earth Science. I put it on every night before bed to help stave off wrinkles and dark circles. And who wants wrinkles or dark circles?? Not me!

This is my next purchase... I've been looking for natural mascaras and this one seems to be highly recommended. It's Afterglow Cosmetics, pure soul mascara. I'll let you know my review once I use it for about a month. Hopefully it doesn't give me raccoon eyes, but rather fluttery long lashes.

So there you have it. My little list... I will be adding more products weekly in my life {and perhaps on my blog.} I hope you found one or two things helpful.

Friday, January 24, 2014

House Versus Home...

Do you have a house or a home? Weird question? Not really... There is a difference.

To me, what makes a home {versus it just being a house} is first and foremost the people and pets who live among its walls. But that's just speaking the obvious.

There is oh so much more to it than that.

These are my thoughts on what makes a house a home... I do not want to live in a museum. I do not want to live in rooms that can't be touched or lived in. If there are rooms that are "off limits" except for when company comes over... that's not the way I want to be.

A home should feel lived in. There should be a vibe when you open the front door that says "we" live here. I want my home to say cozy, loved, peaceful, happy.

There are many ways to make your house your home. You have to put some YOU into it. Not just a decorator's or magazine version of what is pretty.

There are lots of things you can do. Let's start with some plants. Easy enough, right? {Actually not for me... I tend to kill any and all plants somehow. It pains me, but even the easiest of plants seem to die under my watchful eye. But I am determined to get more and keep them ALIVE.}

Plants say there is life here. They put off an earthy, peaceful vibe. Soil and sunlight are needed. Water {this is where I go wrong... too much, too little???} is needed. Simple acts from nature. Any time you can bring nature indoors, there is an instant soothing, calming effect.

Today I am going to hit up the local nursery near my home to buy a few plants for my kitchen counters. Just like these little beauties below from pinterest.

Everything in this picture is so simple yet so lovely.

I love these 4 little plants in a row along the window sill.

 Beyond being totally in love with this entire kitchen, I'm looking at that little topiary in the background. So perfect!

I love the aged and weathered little pots along the sill. Who wouldn't want to pluck some fresh basil from a little pot in their kitchen!

Step 1: Bring your house alive with plants! Give it that earthy, soulful vibe.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Choices We Make...

Sometimes we just want to quit while we're ahead. Curl up in bed for the day and not face the world. Sometimes it would be easier to just say "okay, I give up already!" I have had a few of those moments this past week. Nothing earth shattering, but definitely challenging to my core. Yes, sometimes I just want to say "Uncle."

But today is not that day. Today I pushed myself through a fear that literally sometimes makes my hands visibly shake. I'm sure we have all had those moments, right? Our knees shake, our palms sweat, our feet tingle, our thoughts go to "I can't do this." I know I am not the only one. When I think about something tough or difficult that is going on in my life, I know I have two choices.

A. I can walk around the fire.
B. I can walk through the fire.

The destination at the end is exactly the same. It's the journey of getting there that is totally different.

Sometimes {every ONCE in a while} I will give myself permission to walk around the fire. Sometimes it's just what I need to do to make my life feel sane and calm. Simply put... it's just easier.

But it's those other times I'm talking about here... the times when I push myself {sometimes kicking and screaming inside the whole time though} to walk through that proverbial fire. Because think about it... what does it take to walk THROUGH the fire? It takes fearlessness, boldness, power, balls, tenacity, determination, courage, bravery, strength, confidence and self-esteem.

So after I've walked through that scary, intimidating, fear invoking fire, I can look back and say that I WAS fearless, bold, powerful, ballsy, tenacious, determined, courageous, brave, strong, confident, and had enough self-esteem to do it. Today, I was given an out... I really was. I didn't have to do it. I easily could have walked around the fire. But I said no. I said I am going to do this. And I did.

And what a difference it made. Truly. So today, I walked through the fire, not around it. And it felt so empowering. Like superman. And that has made all the difference.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


I am feeling like this today:

The rest of it (by Albert Camus) is just as beautiful so it is as follows:

In the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love.

In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile.

In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm.

I realized, through it all, that… in the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.
And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there's something stronger- something better, pushing right back.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Lookin' And Searchin' And Wishin' And Hopin'

I am having a cranky kind of day...

That being said, I can't find one single piece of furniture to refinish and it's really quite annoying.

I know what my problem is... I'm picky. I won't just buy any old piece because it's a good price. No, that just won't do. I will only buy a piece that has great bones and is interesting to me, that I love,  and that I would put in my own home. So now maybe you understand why I'm having trouble finding a piece.

You would think that I would never find pieces with that criteria. But that's not true. It can be the ugliest duckling you have ever seen, but I will have a vision for it. It's just that right now, there is nothing out there that is grabbing me. Nothing that I find beautiful even in its ugly state {if that makes sense...}

So it's kind of a waiting game right now. Which I'm okay with because this often happens in the winter. But I'm chomping at the bit to find a few diamonds in the rough right about now. I'm still working on my table and chairs. Like I said, I'm taking my time with that piece.

So that's why I haven't been posting many {or any} new pieces lately. I just don't have them! And trust me... it's driving me crazy. But as soon as I find some goodies, you will be the first to know!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Explore... Dream... Discover...

It's a quote kind of day for me today... that happens to me sometimes. When I read a great quote or two, I feel the need to share the ones that grabbed me.
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover. "–Mark Twain
Well said, Mark! And so very true. No one looks back and regrets the times they said yes. But quite often we look back and regret the times we said no. I am looking into going with my friend on a surf/yoga vacation in Costa Rica. It is at the most heavenly spot on earth! Explore, dream, discover!
The caption on this picture read: Life is always better spent with friends who are your kind of crazy. Love that!


Next quote: "I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." –Michael Jordan


Last quote: "When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say, I used everything you gave me. "–Erma Bombeck
The last quote gave me the chills. These are my motivation to get me through my sleepy Monday.  
Pic via: pinterest


Friday, January 17, 2014

A Fresh New Look...

I got my hair chopped off yesterday, and let me tell you, I LOVE it!!! We're not talking pixie cut or anything, but my hair was pretty long. And thanks to this pic of Olivia Palermo, here is how it looks now:

Right to my collar bones and wavy. I went to a new stylist who did amazing work. It's probably the best haircut I've ever had. I'm hooked on this new stylist and even have my best friend going to her today! A fresh new look is always on my agenda for a new year, and now I have it!

And I'm going out to dinner with the hubby tonight. He happens to love my new do too! Have a fun weekend!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

What A Wonderful World...

I am sort of obsessed with photography. I never actually said I'm good at photography, just that I'm obsessed with it. Trekking out with camera in hand is very fun for me. I would seriously love to upgrade my camera, but hey, you gotta work with what ya got, right? Right.

So I'm in a picture kind of mood today. We went to Italy {Tuscany region} a few years ago and I had my camera practically in a holster attached to my hip. I must have taken a million pictures. I like to look through them every now and then because it was such a magnificent place and wonderful trip. So today I thought I would share some of my pictures that I took while vacationing in Tuscany. Hope you enjoy!

This was on the property we stayed at. A huge old villa. Just breathtaking. And you know how I love old doors {and look at that old, rusty bell!}

A view of the olive trees in our backyard. You don't want to eat olives right off the tree though. No bueno...

This was the view from our villa. We stayed in the large villa to the right. The smaller one is where the groundskeepers stayed. Oh the views... those magnificent views... went on for as far as the eye could see...

That large villa to the left is a better look at where we stayed. It was built in the late 1700's. And again with those views!

 Just a little underpass on the property that caught my eye.

And lemon trees around every corner! With mornig dew on them too!

Poplar trees that wanted to touch the sky.

More views from our villa. Simply stunning. What a magical place!

There is something about a poplar tree that is so very cool to me.

The view by the pool. Can you even imagine living in a place like this?

This is one of my favorite photos. It's just what I imagine when I think of Italy.

Hope you enjoyed the photos. It was just a little walk down memory lane for me and I wanted to share them with you!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Arctic Blast Or Spring At Last?

The weather has been so beautiful for the past few days, I'm feeling like it's... dare I say... spring? Today I'm not even wearing a jacket. I even was driving with my car windows open today and opened a few windows in my house to let the fresh air in!

Here are some pictures from pinterest to put a little spring in your step {if it's not already there!}

Heavenly flowers! Ahh, spring.

Peonies are my absolute favorite!

Perfect table for a spring party with your girlfriends!

 I love bunnies! I had a bunny as my first pet as a little girl. Anything bunny makes me happy! Even when they come into my yard and eat my flowers. I don't mind because they are so darn sweet!

I even love vintage bunnies. I have lots as decor throughout my home! Spring, spring, spring!

And I love my birds... and their nests with little eggs. 

I am savoring these warm days and hoping not to get another Arctic blast... But, it is winter in New England after all, so I can't be mad! Like I said, I'm just trying to enjoy each warm day that we have!

Happy Wednesday!