Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Nothing is ever as simple as a trick or a treat... it's a tricky treat or a luscious trick. Enjoy Halloween, embrace your inner child.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday Favorites

I was given this candle by my sister a few years ago for my birthday. You burn it and find yourself noticing a great smell but you can't put your finger on what it is. It's natural and wonderful and complex and solid. It also last FOREVER! My sister loves them so much that it is my go to present for her. It goes back to a rule my mother taught me... 

"Always give a gift that you would love to receive yourself!"

Cire Trudon
Balmoral Candle

After the rain, mist rises from the plains in an earthy haze. Wet ferns, young plants and meadows... under the green sun, already draining the storm, they surrender their herbaceous vapors to the passing wind. This vegetable-based wax candle with pure cotton wick is biodegradable, allergen free and contains no pesticides. Housed within a beautiful glass vessel.

Martha Stewart Pumpkin carving kit
I bought this kit YEARS ago. WAY before I thought of having children so more than ten years ago, I just pulled it out to carve our pumpkins with both of my daughters. In fact I love this so much I may get a second one so we can carve pumpkins twice as fast! It's that perfect. No plastic bending here! Exacto knife blades, linoleum carvers and metal and wood tools. Well worth the money!

Tarte Vitamin Core Lipstick
I am always looking for the perfect lipstick. One that looks good on me, not too much, doesn't look like I'm trying too hard, doesn't smell weird, feels good on my lips and doesn't cost $50 per tube. I don't feel that is an unreasonable list of requirements! Well, here are two that fit that bill, both from Tarte so all natural, feels like a moisturizer and the color is chameleon like. Sheerer than it looks but not TOO sheer.Now only $8 at Sephora

I have Zen and Revive and I love them both!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Lyre of Nature

Thank you to Nora's Necessity for introducing me to the Lyre Bird. It's incredible!
This gorgeous bird can mimic ANY sound it hears and loves to show off with it as well.

"A lyrebird's call is a rich mixture of its own song and any number of other sounds it has heard. The lyrebird's syrinx is the most complexly-muscled of the songbirds, giving the lyrebird extraordinary ability, unmatched in vocal repertoire and mimicry. Lyrebirds render with great fidelity the individual songs of other birds and the chatter of flocks of birds, and also mimic other animals, human noises, machinery of all kinds, explosions, and musical instruments. The lyrebird is capable of imitating almost any sound — from a mill whistle to a cross-cut saw, and, not uncommonly, sounds as diverse as chainsaws, car engines and car alarms, fire alarms, rifle-shots, camera shutters, dogs barking, crying babies, and even the human voice. Lyrebirds are shy birds and a constant stream of bird calls coming from one place is often the only way of identifying them and their presence."

Friday, October 21, 2011

90 minutes... that's all

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, I thought you might like reminder of how easily you can make a huge difference. My fourth grader's class volunteers 4 students a week to help with lunch at a neighborhood soup kitchen. Her first day was Tuesday this week. Volunteers cook a meal of soup, salad, main course (meat loaf, green beans and mashed potatoes in this case) and dessert for the guest, some of Charlotte's homeless population . The also get coffee and milks and juices and sit at a table and be served, like in a restaurant. The volunteers are the "servers" they take orders and get the food for the diners. This week it was four girls, a chaperone and myself from our class with other volunteers. They did such an amazing job. They were so short staffed that the girls all had to fly solo. They were nervous and a little scared. They had never "met" a homeless person before. The director shared that if they had not been there we probably couldn't have served restaurant style. They would have had to wait in line and many would not get to eat because of the time allotment. 
The girls met some really wonderful people that day, as did I. There was one table that really took all of us by surprise. A family walked in with three children under the age of 5 and it broke our hearts. The girls lost a little bit of innocence that day, but they gained a perspective of people and an appreciation of the world that they live in. Everyone can't wait to help again. My daughter even wants to get up at 7 to help cook before school starts next week. 
I am so proud of all of the girls, they made a difference this week in a large group of people's lives.

We are helping this soup kitchen for Thanksgiving this year as a family. I'm not saying everyone should do that but at least bake them a pie to serve or a couple of dollars to help out. It makes a difference and sets an amazing example for the next generation.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Bubbly and Bean is a really fabulous blog that I follow. They are having a fun giveaway that I thought I'd pass along. I actually won something from a blog giveaway one time so check it out, you might win!

October GIVEAWAY >> Win $120 Worth of Goodness!

October Giveaway

I'm so excited to announce October's group giveaway!  You can win a prize package of goodness from several of Bubby and Bean's amazing October sponsors - worth $120

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Going Green

I love green, especially chartreuse-y green. Here's a treasury I made this morning.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Favorite Things #2

This is a really amazing car by PLAYSAM. It's a "kids" toy, BUT it's sleek and cool and feels so great in  your hands.

This PLAYSAM Streamliner Formula 1 car in black designed by PLAYSAM Sweden and crafted in wood is a great gift for anyone aged 3 - 93. Comes beautifully packaged in an elegant gift box.  

I'm in the process of buying my dream camera and after seeing the amazing "camera wall" in my blog posted yesterday (Surround Yourself with Things You Love) I've gotten all nostalgic. I still have my first camera, Canon AE-1 Program, that was given to me for my 10th birthday to take my first trip to England and Scotland with my grandparents. I love it. The feel of it. The look of it. Even just the thought of it. So, yes I'm SO EXCITED about my new camera, but I have a love and passion for my good old friend, the film camera. If you are just learning to create images I would highly recommend an old school film camera to really understand how it all works together and appreciate the beauty of it.

As fall is all around us I pulled out my fall favorite nail polish. It's a chameleon. It doesn't look like anything special, sort of brown a little grey, BUT put it on with purple and it is transformed to an amazing silver grey. Or a lush brown with a chocolate brown sweater. Or khaki-ish with a great beige or white. I've even gotten my Florida Mother who has had coral colored nails as long as I can remember to take the leap. She LOVES it!!!

My last favorite is more of a DREAM list item. I am IN LOVE with these boots. They are so hip and cool and completely impractical that you MUST love them. By Hasbeen

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Surround Yourself with the Things You Love

image from

I'm now officially trying to create this in my office. I LOVE old cameras, and I LOVE photography, it would make me so very happy to be able to sit there and look at them for inspiration. What inspires you? Do you surround yourself with it?

All about the Romance today

Check out some of my favorite creators' treasures...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

We All Could Do More #2

Periodically, I think we all need reminded...
I know that a little reminder every once in a while of how fortunate I am. I have beautiful, healthy children, a wonderful husband that I still adore 18  years after our first date, a budding career that I love, I'm healthy, my family (for the most part) is healthy and loving, and I have the most fabulous friends on the planet! So, when Susan threw out that she was looking for an image to donate and create into a limited edition notecard set where all of the proceeds will go to the Somalia Relief Fund, I was all for it. I just got the link yesterday that they are up and ready for purchase. 
If you don't help here, just help someone today either financially or physically. Appreciate how fortunate you are!

Blank Notecards, 100% to Somalia famine relief, 3 sets of 4 cards each, different pics, different photographers, matching envelopes SET ABC

Monday, October 10, 2011

Exploring your Talents and Encouraging your Passions

OK, let me go on record and put it out there, my kids don't play soccer. Yes, they'll kick a ball around and the four year old can ALMOST catch it most of the time but we don't have three to four days a week committed to soccer or anything else for that matter. They dance, the eldest is a bit more serious so she's a two to three hour a weeker, that's it. I try not to schedule more than I have to because the week seems to fill up just fine on it's own. By having the time open we are available and open to the idea of trying something new and different. 

Saturday I took my nine year old to a cupcake decorating class. She wants to own a bakery and I thought she might need to know how to bake for that to succeed. She has decided, and I tend to agree, that baking and dance are her "talents". We'll see if that translates to a passion in later life...
Here's a little peek at our day.
First, you mix icing for colors and practice (please excuse the picture quality. I was using my VERY old phone)

Then you get to create 6 cupcakes and put them in a very professional looking carrier to take home.

It was such a great day and reinforced what I know but sometimes forget, that your kids just want to explore and experience. And if that can happen with you along side of them, ALL THE BETTER!
Keep an eye out for "V" Designs Bake Shop, she may just take the world by storm!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

My Favorite Things Weekend

I was recently asked by one of my "FF's" to post some of my FAVORITES, much like Oprah but I'm not going to be sending you to Rome to pick up your new turquoise Fiat. I'm just going to let you know some of my newest finds that have lived up to the hype in my mind....

Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist
-Jurlique is this really great company that has been using all natural ingredients before it was cool, as well as developing 95% recyclable packaging and a commitment to reducing their carbon footprint as well as utilizing sustainable ingredients. The best part?! Their products are amazing! This one in no exception. It's a spritzer to calm the skin while delivering a refreshing wake-up to your whole out look on life... think "stop and smell the roses" on your face as you walk to work seeing the world through rose colored glasses!

Then there's my LONG time favorite
MARVIS ginger toothpaste
-You feel like you got your teeth cleaned at the dentist every morning and night with this amazing toothpaste. It comes in jasmine, mint, lavender and ginger. I've tried them all, ginger is the superior flavor in my opinion. Can be hard to find but recently is available through Amazon. Get the travel size first if you don't trust me, then you'll order it by the case like I do now. I've actually given it as birthday presents before.

Now the last entry for this weekend...
THE perfect handbag from Carolyn at LAResident on etsy
This amazing bag comes is so well designed and comes in incredible colors! Oh, did I mention that the belt buckle on the front is changeable? I prefer the beetles, but I do own an orange star to go on my LIME green purse. Cannot say enough about this one. I got mine in June and have not used any other bag since.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Worth Getting up for

Everyone's lives are so full... with work, kids, organizing, reorganizing, eating right (only to find out it's not so right after-all). We forget that there are things that are definitely worth getting up early for (yes, i mean before the sun comes up!) I recently woke up early (6:30) for no apparent reason. I was at the beach with my friends had gone to bed very late and wanted to sleep... but couldn't. The light slowly started creeping in and reminded me that I LOVE to watch the sunrise at the beach on a chilly day.

So what would you get up early for? or maybe a better question is, What SHOULD you get up early for?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Forever Friends

I have a nine year old daughter so I hear, "She's my BFF!" quite often. At that age, a BFF could last years or about 15 minutes. I just spent the weekend with my proven BFFs or I prefer my Forever Friends mostly because BFF is my nine year old's term. About once a year this group of 8 women get together somewhere. We've been to the mountains of NC to the FL beaches, this year it was a great house on Tybee Island, GA (west of Savannah). We are scattered from Cleveland to almost Miami and six spots in between. We have 23 children between all of us ranging from 21 to 3. We are Forever Friends.

We have seen each other at a highest high and our lowest lows and still love each other with everything we have. We are always there for each other, unconditionally and without judgement. The best part is that we have been friends since we were 4 in some cases and all since elementary school. We can call each other out when full of it and aren't afraid to say so. We've shared many a boyfriends (with Doug as the winner for kissing the greatest number of us), and share a loathing for those that really hurt us. We feel things as a group. We are there for each other with the great I'M PREGNANT kind of news and the sad "my mom passed" away kind of news. We remember each others birthdays and know how old we are and enjoy it.

We can talk honestly about the crappy parts of getting older and relish in the wisdom and focus you gained by aging. We don't have to explain when we mention a sybling because we know them all, as well as favorite friends and old roommates from our past. OK, some of us have really bad memory not from aging, just from having really bad memory and we know that too! So we help keep our history accurate (for the most part) Bringing packets of old lets we wrote to you at camp in 7th grade helps to keep our memories sharp as well!

I guess all of that is to say, treasure your history and make the effort with your valued friends. They are priceless and you will never be able to make them again. Not this in depth and knowledgeable anyway. We all have busy lives and forget sometimes to call on a birthday, but we know we are forgiven and will tell them the next time we see them with an extra special hug and an offer to "do" our hair for the evening.

Here are my forever friends, go call yours, or even better find an old note about how much you LOVED Scott and couldn't believe that he liked Casey instead and remember why they will ALWAYS be in  your life and your heart.