August 28, 2015

Inspired by Art

Visit Heather Clawson's NYC apartment and be inspired. Shop the look over at One King's Lane.

August 27, 2015

It's Beginning to Feel Like Fall

While we were out shopping for college supplies, Kate decided she wanted to spruce up her apartment with a few seasonal decorations. That's when we headed over to Michael's and started to pick out flowers and vases to make a few arrangements. While wading through the piles of bags lining my floor this morning, I decided it was time to have some fun. I put together these two fall inspired bouquets. The small vase of roses will sit on her dining table, while the larger one will sit on shelf in the dining area. I haven't decided if we'll end up wrapping the larger vase or leave it be. 

Michael's is having a 40% off sale on all of their fall florals. But hurry! The sale ends today.

The Chaos Before the Calm

My house is a complete wreck right now. We've been shopping for bedding, school supplies, dorm room organizers, and every other imaginable thing needed to shuttle off two girls to college next week. We're all in a bit of a daze really. Amanda's things, since this is her first year, are spread all over our kitchen table. While Kate's things have been placed in the living room. Technically, we're not moving her in since everything she needs, besides clothes and personal items, is already in her apartment. We've been running around scrambling for this and that and then literally plopping ourselves down in front of the television or a computer to distract ourselves from the fact that this is our last week of normality. 

Kate will be starting her third year of college and will begin student teaching in the spring. Amanda, new to the college scene, is moving farther away from home (a whole two states away) and just received her first math textbook as a reminder that yes, this is really happening. And I am trying to look past the mess knowing that once all of it is gone, the girls will be too. 

Years ago, if you had asked me which I preferred, calm or chaos, I would have happily answered the former. These days, I'm more than willing to live in a house that will forever remain a complete wreck if I can keep my girls home a while longer. 

August 26, 2015

Stress and Anxiety Triggers

Stress is an unavoidable reality we all live with day to day, but it's how we manage that stress that makes all the difference. For someone with an anxiety disorder, I need to pay very close attention to my triggers and deal with my emotions on the spot if I can. Do you know you're stress triggers and how to deal with them? I know that if I can walk outside and stand in the sun for just a little while, I'll feel better. If I move, I'll feel better. And if I can distract myself from runaway thoughts, I'll feel better.

I came across an interesting article about this subject, only it has to do with your Zodiac sign. Still with me? No, I don't read my horoscope every day, but I do believe in a few things that are (to some) beyond belief like the pull of the moon and the stars and other mind-expanding topics.

I was born in November, right on the cusp of Scorpio and Sagittarius, so I have interesting traits from each. In this article it states that loud noise and yelling can stress me out, and it does (unless I'm the one making all the noise). It also states that invading my privacy or keeping me waiting when I want to go can also get me rattled. In addition, as a S/S, I prefer an uncluttered environment and my outdoor time to keep me on an even keel. All true.

Check out your sign and see if it can enlighten you on how to manage the stress in your life.

Keep me posted.

P.S. You may also like Rain or Shine and Living in the Moment.

Photo: John Fraissinet

August 25, 2015

Visit New England This Fall

The leaves have already started turning color and soon fall will be here in full force. If I could change things up, summer would last another month and so would fall. Winter, or course, would be shortened by at least a month, and spring... well, spring just means mud season in New Hampshire, so I'd like to replace spring with pre-summer. But until that miracle happens, I thought I'd share a site filled with budget-friendly places to visit in New England. And what better time to do that than in the fall.

All joking aside, we're very fortunate to enjoy all of the seasons in all their glory. We can travel from the country to the city, and from the mountains to the ocean all in a day. The food here is fabulous, there are cultural experiences to be had around every corner, and the scenery is just beautiful, especially in the fall. But don't take my word for it, as Visiting New England shares, ..."here are 50 fun, affordable New England fall travel ideas that can be done on a tank of gas, starting from Boston..." 

And don't forget some of my favorites...

Apple picking in Harvard, MA.
Hike Mount Monadnock (it's close by) and so much more in Peterborough, NH.
Martha's Vineyard is much less crowded during this time of year.

August 24, 2015

My Favorite Red Lipstick

I went shopping at my local CVS months ago and picked up a new red lipstick. Little did I know that it would become my absolute favorite red lipstick. This cool shade of ruby red is from the L'Oreal Colour Riche Collection called Jennifer's Red (Jennifer Lopez) and it's stunning. In fact, I was complimented on it just this past weekend. I've been wearing it all summer full on and sometimes combined with an undercoat of Burt's Bees Fig Lip Shimmer just to give it a slighter less matte feel and to dull the color. As you can see by clicking on the L'Oreal link, the other red colors are fully represented, but where is Jennifer's? I'm in a panic thinking they've sold out so I'm about to head over to CVS and buy as many as I can find!

To be continued...

Photo: L'Oreal

August 21, 2015

Totally Crushing Over

Rattan chairs, sleek desks, galvanized stools/chairs, and colorful school supplies had me at hello!

Years ago, I inherited a rattan furniture set from my grandmother. The furniture was in great condition but the cushions were upholstered in a hideous naugahyde (vinyl). I gave the set away and regret it to this day. Find this Ricky Rattan Lounge Chair from One King's Lane here. (Spotted: less expensive versions over at Wayfair.)

The cool, sleek desk you see above sits in Joanna Goddard's home thanks to designers Jenny Komenda and Emily Henderson. (Spotted: Here's a really good dupe! And here's an even less expensive option.)

School House Electric shares my love of vintage-inspired industrial design. These galvanized stools can be found here. (Spotted: I found two chairs for the price of one at Target.)

September 1st is my new year! I love to go on a cleaning and organizing rampage and then buy all kinds of school supplies! This shot is from the studio Love. Luck. Kisses & Cake and featured in Domino magazine.

August 20, 2015

Old Habits Die Hard

Some habits we hold onto forever, and some come and go. I love reading. I love writing. And each day I will dedicate time to do both in some form or fashion. When I was away on vacation, Every night I would climb into bed around 10:00 and curl up with a good book. I would write in my journal at least every other day documenting what we did. Since then, I have yet to pick up a book unless it was to read a title, and my journal is tossed in basket in my office. 

Life has been extremely busy since we returned, but I miss the ritual of putting pen to paper and turning pages. When searching for photographs for this post, I was reminded of all the times I would pull a book or notebook out of my purse wherever I happened to be... while I was waiting for an appointment, sitting on a park bench in the middle of the city, or while I was in my car waiting to pick my girls up from school. 

Sometimes I get into a reading slump. I'll walk into a bookstore and feel overwhelmed by the titles and leave without a thing. A very rare occurrence for me. 

So what habit have you let die, or at least let go of for a time? 

And what are you reading?

P.S. You might also like posts under the old heading reading & writing.

Photo: Paul Bence

August 19, 2015

The Best Marinade

I'm an intuitive cook. I have lots of recipes I follow word for word, but then there are times that I experiment. When I have to come up with recipe ideas for this blog, there are a lot I can choose from, but not many that are written down. So when it is time for me to recite a recipe, I can share the ingredients but not necessarily the measurements. 

Last week, I cooked all of the food for my parents anniversary party. All except the cake. I had visions of frosting smeared seat cushions and arriving with a box full of crumbs. Traveling from New Hampshire to Massachusetts made catering the cake a necessity.

Anyway, one of my "secret" ingredients is Newman's Own Olive Oil and Vinegar dressing. Here are a couple of the entrees I made for the occasion and a few more recipes from around the web.

Marinated Pork

1 6 oz. pork tenderloin
1-2 cups of Newman's Own Olive Oil and Vinegar dressing
  • Simple place the pork in a large Ziploc bag and cover the pork with the dressing. Marinate overnight.
  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  • Place pork and marinade onto a tinfoil lined baking pan and roast for 30-40 minutes.
  • Once cooked, cover the pork in more tinfoil and let cool for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Slice pork into medallions and pour remaining marinade and juices over the pork to serve.
I also made my Marmalade Glazed Chicken and Pasta Salad.

Here are some other recipes using Newman's Own dressings from around the web...

Balsamic Sausage and Peppers (from Mom Foodie)
Tortellini Antipasto Pasta
Kale Summer Salad
Celebration Chicken