Farmer's Market Etiquette

The first few trips I made to the Farmer's Market I was a bit shy, I hung back and consequently felt uneasy with the entire process. For awhile I retreated to the familiarity of my big box health food store. Thankfully the commitment to support local drew me back. 

I now know that engaging with the vendors is where all the real fun begins. From learning about how a vegetable is grown to how to prepare it, the joy begins in the conversation. Here is some good advice from Kitchn.

http://www.thekitchn.com/going-to-the-farmers-market-he-121646

 

Simple Homemade Dishwashing Detergent

2016 is the year of the Detox around here and as the homemaker I am looking at ways to remove toxins from our lives and save money at the same time. This is going into my recipe list and the ingredients are going onto my shopping list. I have been slowly replacing plastic in our home but I do have a few plastic ice trays left. Looks pretty simple, we shall see. 

http://www.louises-country-closet.com/2013/03/homemade-dishwasher-detergent-cubes.html

Elegant holiday centerpiece

A little plaid, some pillows, a throw and a tray filed with candles and ornaments, is that sleigh bells I hear? This look certainly puts me in the holiday mode! Photo credit to PotteryBarn

I love everything about this winter tablescape!

I just fall into this tablescape and want to be there! It is simple, elegant and pretty close to free. One of my personal goals is to be less of a consumer in 2016. Using what you have is good for your pocketbook but also hugely important to the planet and the environment. Repurpose, Recycle, Reuse, Reclaim, Restore. It's a mantra that will serve all well.

Note the beautiful present wrapped in paper bag and secured with twine, plants from outside used as a bow, in the candles and on the table. The glass jars that hold the candles can be almost anything glass. Thanks to West Elm for the beautifully styled scene.

Avoid the Holidaze!

christmas.tree.mantle.jpg

My gift to you, a couple of tips to increase the enjoyment of your holiday season from a holistic and an esthetic perspective. Not to be corny but these are the moments of your life, don't let this treasured time with friends and family become a blur, give yourself and those you love the gift of being fully present.

 

First thing to do is to take care of you!

Make getting what you need to function on a cellular level a sure thing by adding a green smoothie to your daily routine. It makes a nutrient filled easy breakfast and you will reap the rewards of the good nutrition on every level. You can google green smoothies or check out one of my favorite gurus Kris Carr, she can teach you how to get your body running at peak. http://kriscarr.com/recipes/

 

Second thing is keep your decorating as simple as possible.

You don't have to observe every single holiday tradition and hang tinsel and such from every nook and cranny. Really you don't. Don't have time for a tree this year, do up a nice mantle. Use the same favorite ornaments and the normal trimmings you'd put on the tree. No shopping required. You can even put smaller wrapped presents on the mantle.

If you want greenery or the smell of a tree you can buy fresh tree greens or cut it from your yard. (Beware of mixing electrical things and live greenery, it can be a fire hazard.)

Add a couple of festive pillows to the couch, a throw on a chair and a wreath on the door. If you do the stocking thing then hangs those on the appropriate door knobs. And add a poinsettia or two, in a safe place where animals and children can't reach, the leaves can be poisonous.  

And then enjoy! One Day Holiday Decorating done and now you can get on with enjoying the festivities, your people and all the joy that this beautiful season offers up. Wishing you and yours an incredibly Happy Holiday!

I am fascinated with living small!

As long as I can remember I have been fascinated with living small. Even when everyone else was going big. It started in my first home, an airstream trailer that was 8x28 feet. It sheltered 2 adults and a baby, and I don't recall ever feeling cramped. How can that be! I sure wish I had that trailer today.  I know in my heart of hearts that if God lets me live for awhile I will have another small trailer/cabin type of experience.

Check out this Wyoming cabin, I love the simplicity and the look of it. http://www.remodelista.com/posts/compact-cabin-kitchen-with-faux-soapstone-counters-by-carmella-rayone

I love consignment shopping!

Shopping at consignment stores is just my natural default, it makes sense to me on all levels. It is green shopping at it's best if you believe in recycling and I do. I also find the selection in consignment shops to be far more interesting and exciting, curated pieces create spaces that have the richness of rooms built over time. And in most cases the prices are much less than you would pay to purchase new. It's a win-win-win.

Furniture, art and accessories with a past appeal on an emotional level as well, staging with consignment pieces lends a patina and feel good to a space that is just not possible with new things. I can't explain why that is so but it just is, trust me on this.

Charlotte is loaded with some wonderful consignment shopping options, I can't share all my sources but here are a few of my favorites, maybe they will become your favorites too!

Slate Interiors, http://shopslateinteriors.com/

TUFT, https://www.facebook.com/TUFTLLC

Sleepy Poet, http://sleepypoetstuff.com/

 

 

Happy 2015!

Photo by Optical_Lens/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by Optical_Lens/iStock / Getty Images

I don't know about you but after the holidays and then the flu I am just now getting my feet firmly planted in 2015. I don't do resolutions, something about that word makes embracing the changes I would like to see in my future a lot less fun to pursue. 

I usually choose a word or two that resonates with me and then use those words as a compass, a red string tied around my finger so to speak. It works for me. One of my words is "GLEE", glee as in delight, joy, elation, wonder and verve! 

After a decade of serious change like the loss of both parents and then my own cancer, combined with the constant barrage of all that is in the news every day, I have a tendency to take myself way too seriously. I need a break from me ;-) I am giving myself permission to play a whole lot more and to worry a whole lot less. 

I am wishing you glee as well, wonder instead of worry and a year that takes you where you want to be!   

Happy Autumn!

The first day of Autumn and my wonderful husband's birthday fall on the same day this year, that is cause for huge celebration! One of my favorite things about Fall is walking. I am lucky to live in a historic neighborhood that has tree lined streets and sidewalks. It is a joy to take the air into my lungs and the views into my heart. But no matter where you live, GET OUT IN IT! It's healthy for you mind, body and soul. As I share my favorite rituals for Autumn I hope that you will too! What do you love about Fall?

Autumn Color Story

Autumn Celebration

Setting the dial to autumn is one of my very favorite things to do! This seasonal palette works wonderful in homes with a neutral backdrop. It only took 10 minutes online to translate this color story into tangible items, just imagine if I invested an hour or was actually in a store! There are lots of ways to add that pop of autumn. These items are from West Elm, Crate and Barrel, Pottery Barn, Target and Art.com. 

Pillows:


Art:

 

Accessories:

Amazing One Day Bedroom ReDesign, 67 Step by Step Photos

Before

& After

Amazing one day bedroom makeover! My clients always ask, how did you do that? Here is how it's done, a ReDesign day in 67 pictures. It's a lot of work but makeovers (redesign) are one of our favorite gigs! Talk to us about getting your own room redesign. The beautiful life starts at home. Home Making, it's what we do!

http://www.housebeautiful.com/decorating/home-makeovers/bedroom-makeover-ideas-pictures-0710?src=spr_FBPAGE&spr_id=1451_82439688#slide-1

Research says: How your home smells matters, alot!

You can't talk about making a home without addressing how you clean it and how it smells. One of the more overlooked issues of house work is what you are bringing into your environment. Functional scenting research says that smells can impact how buyer's, guests and even your own family perceive your home.

Pleasant scents improve everyone's mood, citrus scents can even lead people to be neater than they would normally, something you might want to think about if you live with a messy Marvin or Mary.

Obviously these psychological impacts can be used to your favor when selling a home. The scent of green apple makes a space seem larger (Hirsch,2003). Not surprisingly scented spaces seem cleaner, larger and brighter than those that are unscented (Clifford, Malnar and Vodvarka 2004). People are unconsciously fairer and more generous in clean-smelling environments.

Studying for an exam, smelling rosemary can enhance memory (Vallance,Heffernan and Moss 2007), and research in the UK found that peppermint increases alertness (Moss, Hewitt, Moss and Wesnes, 2008). The scent of chocolate and coffee enhances cognitive ability and the performance of clerical type tasks (Warren, 2007). You don't even have to drink the coffee, just the smell of it counteracts the effects of sleep deprivation in the short term.

The catch is to utilize natural not artificial scents. Our bodies do not release the hormones that govern our perceptions when we smell something artificial, the opposite effect can even take place. So be sure when you are scenting your home or work place to use pure essential oils and old fashioned simple cleaning methods. There are alot less toxins involved as well.

No matter what type of a space I am creating I take the "scenting" serious. There are scents that improve sleep, speed healing, relieve anxiety and depression, elevate moods and make you want to linger in a space. A scenting strategy helps a home embrace buyers and those that live within.

Color - A designer's best secret!

The evidenced backed research on color is clear. It can directly influence our comfort in a space by making it seem an appropriate size and temperature as well as impacting our mood. Even our perception of how good the wine is, how our meal tastes and how quickly time passes responds to the color of the surfaces and the lighting in a space. 

The color story used in this bedroom is perfect for these hot humid summer days. The saturation and brightness of shorter wavelength colors, such as the green and blue above, when paired with white sets the tone completely to relaxation. Who wouldn't love to plop down in the middle of this bed after a long day out and about in the heat? It feels cool, crisp and relaxing.

I love the large-scale blue chinoiserie toile on the headboard and bed skirt, and something about stripes always whispers spring and summer to me. The fabric and style of the window treatments complete the look. From a selling or a dwelling perspective this bedroom is a summer home run! 

http://www.housebeautiful.com/decorating/colors/colorful-bedroom-decorating-ideas?src=spr_FBPAGE&spr_id=1451_72291735#slide-9

 

How To Refresh Your Living Room In 9 Steps

What exactly is ReDesign? I offer up this excellent article in House Beautiful, along with their beautiful professional photos. This describes the ReDesign process perfectly.  ReDesign gives your space a fresh look, on a small budget, normally in one days time. What's not to love about that?

We empty out the space and put it back together with things you already own, shopping for needed items within your home. Occasionally a shopping trip is involved, such as on my last ReDesign project. The client had budgeted for new drapes and a rug and she wanted us to shop it. But a shopping budget is definitely not a requirement.

We do however always leave folks with a detailed shopping list so that when they are ready to shop, they know exactly what they need. It saves alot of money and mistakes. Call today to schedule your ReDesign, it's one of our favorite things to do!

http://www.housebeautiful.com/decorating/home-makeovers/high-fashion-home-houston?click=main_sr