While 2019 was a great year for me, I'm looking forward to 2020 - My goal is to get out of my comfort zone, travel a little and appreciate myself more. I have so much to be grateful for and am looking forward to spending 2020 in my new home (first time buyer) and enjoying time with family and friends..
This was a fun photo shoot - I purchased the backdrop from Amazon and the glasses from Party City. If you're like me and prefer to stay home on New Years Eve, this is the perfect setup for a celebratory photo shoot.
HAPPY NEW YEAR! Take a minute (away from your phone or camera) and enjoy the great moments, be healthy - but indulge once and while, don't be too hard on yourself and try something new - get out of your comfort zone. I wish you all a brilliant 2020..
While 2019 was a great year for me, I'm looking forward to 2020 - My goal is to get out of my comfort zone, travel a little and appreciate myself more. I have so much to be grateful for and am...
The best gift you can give this holiday season is an Oxfam gift. Oxfam is a nonprofit organization that funds projects worldwide in an effort to end injustice of poverty.
The gifts you purchase for friends, family and colleagues is an actual donation. Oxfam will apply those funds where it is needed and the person you've purchased the gift for will receive a vibrant card. Your gift will bring attention to this worthy cause, put a smile on someones face and benefit those who are less fortunate.
This innovative, charitable concept is brilliant. I would love to receive a card with a cute, baby chick that says, "I Bought A Dozen Chicks For You". A donation made in my honor is the best present.
Oxfam gifts has an extensive catalog of charitable gifts that you can choose from. There are animal, sustainable, water, women and children, education, making a living and emergency necessities gifts. The gifts range from $18 to a $2500 investment in a small business.
When you choose your gift you have the option to print your own card (download a PDF), eCard (sent via email) or no card. The picture above shows how the printed card will appear. I like to email the cards. The thoughtful designs are well done, colorful and informative.
The eCard reads, "Hello (insert name). You received an Oxfam gift from (insert name)". As the receiver scrolls through the card the gift is stated and a brief summary about Oxfam Gifts appears. The receiver then has the option to browse other gifts or share the gift they received.
If you receive an Oxfam Gift this holiday season, please share. Most of my friends live in other cities, and yes, you'll be getting an Oxfam Gift this year..
The best gift you can give this holiday season is an Oxfam gift. Oxfam is a nonprofit organization that funds projects worldwide in an effort to end injustice of poverty. The gifts you...
The Getaway in Shenandoah is a 20 acre plot of land with small cabins scattered about. The cabin (Getaway House) is a thoughtfully designed, cozy space, with all the essentials for a relaxing weekend in the woods.
I used to go camping with friends often when I was younger and hadn't thought about a mini adventure vacation in well over a decade - And then I saw the Getaway House on Instagram. I gotta say, Instagram is the perfect platform to advertise. If it wasn't for the GH ad, I wouldn't have found this little haven just two hours from DC.
When we pulled into our personal camping space, we were excited about the setup AND we hadn't even seen inside the cabin yet. First step to the best camping trip is to pour a glass of wine or crack open a beer. Then I walked around the small site and took photos (for the blog).
When booking your Getaway House, you can include your dog for a small fee. Upon arrival we noticed there was a long leash attached to the picnic table. We attached it to Teddy's harness and let him roam. He's never been without a short leash and kept looking back to make sure it was ok for him to explore - so cute! The leash was just long enough for him to wander the perimeter of the site. This was a nice amenity for our little bear.
The Getaway House is perfect. A little smaller than I expected from online photos, but the innovative design is everything you need for a short getaway. There's a small table with a bench/step along one side and chair at the other. The bench doubles as a step to the elevated queen size bed. This bed was SO comfortable.
There's a small kitchen area, with a two burner stove, mini fridge, sink and shelf with provisions and dishes. The provisions are for purchase. Our host was kind and left s'mores for the adults and doggy s'mores for Teddy. There was also dog dishes. I appreciate the amenities for our Teddy Bear.
The bathroom is super small, but clean and has everything you need. You gotta squish by the toilet to close the door and get to the shower, but you are camping, so be happy you have a hot shower. On that note, I kinda drained the hot water, but it was replenished in less than an hour. The shower is tiny, but clean (very important) and featured Pharmacopia shampoo, conditioner and body wash. There's a fan in the bathroom and you can open the small window for ventilation.
Our camping space was located on a small hill, so we were looking down in to the woods. The full-sized window located next to the bed and overlooking the woods was mine and Teddy's favorite feature. You can bring down the blinds at night for more privacy, but we opted for no window coverings, so we could see the sun come up.
I was hoping Teddy would see an animal, even a squirrel would do, but no luck this time. I read on Instagram that campers had deer outside their window - Which is nice, as long as you're inside!
We only spent one night at the Getaway House and I was bummed that I didn't get lay by the window all day (check-out is at 11:00 am). Next time I "getaway", Imma lay there all afternoon and relax.
I was also terrified that I would look out the window at night and someone or thing would be looking back at me. It's beyond dark and a little scary. I refused to hang by the fire in the dark. I was nervous that we wouldn't see our attacker in time - AHS just started and takes place at a murderous camp in the 1980's.
The small area surrounding the cabin is perfect. There's a picnic table, two Muskoka chairs, logs to place your beverage and a firepit and grill grate. There's also a container containing wood and a few startup logs. The wood is for purchase and all provisions will be charged to your credit card sometime later.
We started our fire late and didn't give it the attention required to heat up the grill grate. Our hamburgers took forever and weren't very good. Camping 101 and we botched it. The menu will be better next time and I'm definitely going with hotdogs on the grill - They're super easy.
We camped in October and it was really cold in the morning. This would be a great time to get the fire going. Next time we're gonna start the fire in the am and relax by the flames during the day. We'll probably retire early and unwind in the cozy bed when it gets dark.
There are many things to do in the area, but we just wanna relax. Maybe next time, we'll take a stroll through the outpost, but I'm not the adventurous type, so there will be minimal activity.
Teddy had the best time. This dog is living his best life - always in the car, going on trips and being spoiled the entire time. I pre-made bacon, scrambled eggs and chicken for him. Spoiled!
He laid horizontal across the bed and my husband laid diagonal - I had the worst sleep squished between them. AND Teddy didn't wanna get out of the bed in the morning. He's a lazy camper.
We stayed at the Getaway House for one night to see if we'd like it AND we're obsessed. We've already booked more weekends. It's camping in a small, rustic cabin and is the perfect mini vacation. You can sit by the fire and eat at the picnic table or cook inside and enjoy the view. I'm branding this vacation in the wilderness "glamping".
This innovative camping style is brilliant. Just two hours from the city and you're sleeping in a tiny, simple cabin in the woods. It's perfect for people who just want to relax.
Too often we (you're also guilty) miss out on amazing experiences, cause we're on our phone or trying to "capture" the moment. I recommend you shut off your phone and place it in the cell phone lockbox. Get out your camera and take photos the "old fashion" way. Embrace the peace and quiet, cause soon you'll be back at work and counting down the days till your next getaway.
The Getaway in Shenandoah is a 20 acre plot of land with small cabins scattered about. The cabin (Getaway House) is a thoughtfully designed, cozy space, with all the essentials for a relaxing...
I've just come from wandering the FRESHFARM Market in Dupont Circle and I LOVED IT! I'm a huge fan of markets and I was really looking forward to this one. I wasn't disappointed - this market is impressive. The people, beautiful products, vast variety of beverages and food, thoughtful stands and persons attending them, make this market a must-see.
I'm sure most locals frequent this market, but this should should be on every "what to see in DC" list. Prepare yourself for a crowd, yummy samples and an overall great experience. Grab your shopping tote, cause you're gonna need the space.
Named one of the top farmer's markets in the country (Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times of London), this market has a lot to offer. During peak season, there are over fifty farmers offering fruit, vegetables, baked goods, district-made beer and spirits, cheese, meat, poultry, eggs, jams and pickles.. It's a Sunday haven for locals to shop fresh and organic foodstuffs and beverages.
FRESHFARM Market is open from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm on Sunday and is overflowing with shoppers. I thought if we arrived around 9:30 there wouldn't be too many people (being that it's Sunday morning), but no, this place was super busy. There was a lineup of over 30 people waiting for bagels. We didn't get to try the bagels, cause I had my dog with me, but I'm convinced they're delicious.
The produce is brilliant in color and super-fresh. As shoppers are purchasing produce, the stand attendees are replenishing stock and ensuring the stands are perfect. The owners and staff were really nice (most of them) and happy to answer any questions. There were also samples (love that).
We didn't buy any produce, cause we were going out of town, but I'm a big vegetable fan and will definitely frequent the FRESHFARM Market for my weekly grocery shopping.
My favorite stop was the King Mushrooms stand. I'm a huge fan of the fruiting body of fungus and had no idea there were so many different kinds.
The guy tending to the stand was pleasant and explained that mushrooms have many health benefits. I purchased a small bottle of Lion's Mane Double Extraction in an effort to give my failing memory a jolt - it's been a week and nothing yet, but these things take time.
The Chicken of the Woods mushroom is beautiful - like coral. I've never had this type of mushroom, but plan to visit the market this weekend and buy some.
The sun was shinning and I was able to capture good photos. I have more mushroom pics, but my blog is limited and there's so much more to talk about.. Oh and most of the people tending to the stands allowed me to take photos. It was a nice photography experience.
Right Proper sounds like something a Newfie would name their beer - I'm from Newfoundland and had to buy some. The display was huge and there was a nice selection of beer.
The guy assisting us seemed to be more concerned with waving to people at the other stands and wasn't overly helpful. I kinda feel bad that I'm harping on you, but you can do better. You potentially lost a loyal customer - This beer better be delicious and "Right Proper" to ensure a return to the Right Proper stand.
I'm not a baked goods fan at all. I love sandwiches, but the bread is just a means of transportation to my mouth. Albeit, the baked goods at the FRESHFARM Market were appealing, especially the sweet and savory pastries.
My dog would have been jealous if I ate something and didn't share with him and wheat isn't healthy for dogs, so I snapped a few pics and wandered to the next alluring stand.
The Gordy's Pickle Jar stand was a "must stop and buy something" moment. My husband loves anything pickled, but our hands were full (we already purchased beer and a bottle of whiskey), so we opted for just the Bloody Mary Mix. We will definitely be regulars at this stand.
The flowers at the FRESHFARM Market were unique - even I was impressed and I'm not a big fan of flowers. Albeit, I had to have a bunch. The flowers were displayed individually in buckets, so you can create your own bouquet. These flowers were the only pop of color in my neutral home and lasted a week. I've been converted to a flower fan.
I moved to this neighborhood mid-summer and was anticipating the Dupont Circle market, but was preoccupied with decor. I finally got up on a beautiful Sunday morning, grabbed my pink shopping tote and ventured out.
There's a lot to love about this neighborhood, but the FRESHFARM Market is my favorite attraction so far. I'm declaring myself a regular and looking forward to see what's offered during the festive holidays..
I've just come from wandering the FRESHFARM Market in Dupont Circle and I LOVED IT! I'm a huge fan of markets and I was really looking forward to this one. I wasn't disappointed - this market is...
I just bought my first home and am cheating on fashion for furniture and decor. I'm having so much fun decorating and and recently added a lifestyle section to the blog, so I can share my home style.
I was beyond excited to host a few special folks (Erin and Bob) a few weeks ago and wanted my table setting to be modern and memorable. I had a blast shopping for table decor. AND, I'm confident that I created a trendy table that represents me as a host. I got a few compliments!
I realize my oversized, Game of Thrones table is not trendy, but I lost the battle on that one. All I can do is jazz it up and make it my own..
I already had classic-white Le Creuset plates, so I decided to go with a black, white and gold theme. My inspiration came from hours of perusing the internet and the perfect set of brushed gold and resin flatware from CB2 - we'll come back to flatware..
I approached this project like I would a fashion shoot. The theme, vibe and color scheme must be cohesive AND I can't afford five different table settings (I spend too much money on shoes and bags), so the theme of my trendy table setting has to be suitable for many occasions. A neutral color palette, with a little gold is perfect.
I recently started a subscription at Dry Farm Wines. It's an online health-focused wine club. Each month I receive six natural wines curated from family farms. There is a long list of benefits, but most importantly, these wines have lower sulfites (< 75 ppm) and lower alcohol (< 12.5%).
Some of the wine bottles are intriguing. Pictured above is a white wine in a green wine bottle with a beer cap. It resembles a giant beer bottle and adds a little interest. The details of Dry Farm Wines is also a great dinner conversation.
I also opted for unique pieces, like this handcrafted and painted mango wood bowl from CB2. The suggested use is for bread or napkins, but I like to use this as a salad bowl (dry salad of course).
These oversized salad serving utensils from IKEA are nice, but basic. I'm still looking for the perfect set - maybe gold or olive wood.
I have too many unique glasses to choose from - wine and champagne flutes, goblets, mason jar mugs, whiskey glasses, hand painted glasses and a wide variety of colors. I have a glass for every beverage - Even port sipping glasses! The one thing that changes on my table each occasion are the glasses.
For this neutral, trendy table setting, I'm using my personalized b.a.gorgie stemless wine glasses. I like stemless wine glasses, cause you can serve red or white wine, as well non-alcoholic beverages in the same glass.
I love this marble and brass cheese board from William Sonoma. I think it's suitable for casual dinning or a formal setting. The handles make it easy to carry this heavy marble board. The brushed brass handles and "cheese" lettering give this board a modern vibe.
This witty cheese board started my obsession with white marble. I also purchased marble coasters with gold pineapples from William Sonoma. They're fun and combined with the marble cheese board, my trendy table has personality.
I also like to display mismatched coasters. These antique brass hammered coasters from William Sonoma are festive and standout. The antique brass matches the gold tones on my table perfectly.
This CB2 flatware set prompted me to go with the black, white and gold theme. This Earl brushed gold and resin 20-piece set is modern and quirky. I love the pinstripe detail.
I'm considering to purchase a brushed black flatware set as well for casual dinning. This pinstripe and gold set is suited more for festive occasions.
This flatware set is super-light. I was hesitant to keep them, in fear that the light-weight would seem cheap, but the mixed material and contemporary look outweighed the lack of heft.
The CB2 vapor black and white salad plates placed on the Le Creuset dinner plates are intriguing and add a little texture to the setting. They are created by dipping porcelain into a white and black soapy glaze.
I can't go in to a CB2 store and not purchase something - it's the Sephora of decor. The in-store and online displays are inspiring. I purchased my center piece in-store. It is comprised of a petrified wood salt and pepper set, and oil and vinegar cruets atop of a marble and brass server.
I leave this display on my table at all times, or if I'm doing a charcuterie at the kitchen counter, I'll temporarily place it there.
The marble server floats on a sculptural gilded base, elevating the salt and pepper set and cruets. This CB2 marble server comes in two sizes. If you purchase both, you can place the small one slightly under the larger for a tiered display.
The porcelain oil cruet and vinegar cruet have a Gatsby-esque vibe and contrast nicely with the textured glass cruet. I combined oil and dry herbs, along with dried hot peppers in the glass cruet.
I also purchased a marble and brass wine coaster for red wine and a marble and brass wine chiller for the white wine. These wine holders are a stylish addition to my trendy table setting. They're also great for serving wine on my marble countertop - they protect the fragile marble.
The Kuleto wine pictured above is not from Dry Farm Wines, but rather a long-time favorite red wine.
Always make sure to serve a pitcher of water. I place one or two (one on each side of my giant table) IKEA Korken bottle's with a stopper. Of course, I serve Evian water. YES, people can tell the difference between tap water and bottled water. You can also serve one still and one carbonated water.
My go-to stores for this table decor were CB2 and William Sonoma. Other great decor and furniture stores that I frequent are Crate and Barrel and The Pottery Barn.
I had so much fun creating a trendy table setting. I had no idea shopping home decor would bring me so much pleasure - I kinda wanna create two different settings. Stay tuned..
I just bought my first home and am cheating on fashion for furniture and decor. I'm having so much fun decorating and and recently added a lifestyle section to the blog, so I can share my home...
As of late, I find myself perusing home decor and neglecting my long-time beauty and fashion fixation. A few months ago, I purchased a home. I've been obsessing over decor, storage and lifestyle. SO, my fashion hiatus has prompted me to launch a lifestyle section on my blog..
One of the first decor ideas that came to mind when I initially viewed my soon-to-be new place was the oversized shelves in the kitchen - It is the perfect space for growing Modern Sprout hydroponic herbs.
I've been growing hydroponic herbs inside a countertop, LED lit greenhouse for years, but my new open space urged me to ditch the greenhouse and install a Modern Sprout LED grow light.
Modern Sprout was started by two regular, but thoughtful thumb-colored people. The indoor gardening company focuses on hydroponic growing methods of herbs, flowers, small trees and salad greens. Modern Sprout also has grow kits for outdoor gardening.
Initially, Modern Sprout sold herbs, but they've expanded into other plants with new jars, vases, hydro planters and biodomes. This in-home gardening method is perfect for small spaces and for folks that live in the city and are lacking outdoor space.
I'm partial to herbs, especially basil, oregano and sage. I use these herbs regularly and love that they're grown in my home, without chemicals. I also find these herbs last much longer than an herb plant purchased at the grocery store.
I tried growing mint many times and was unsuccessful, but the herbs listed above are low maintenance and always a success. The mint plant pictured above was purchased a the grocery store.
The start-up process is easy. Each Garden Jar comes with a steel net pot, polypro wick, coco pith disk, growing medium, activated carbon, organic seeds and instruction Manuel.
Pull the polypro wick to one inch below the edge of the steel net pot, fill the pot with the growing medium and run warm water over the medium for 30 seconds. Fill the Garden Jar with water (about 2 cups). Place the coco pith disc on top of the growing medium and gently run water over it until the pith completely expands and you are able to spread the soil around. Add the activated carbon and then the seeds. Push the seeds into the soil (mint seeds should remain above the soil). Set your Garden Jars under a LED grow light and wait..
When your little herb garden begins to sprout, empty the water. Mix a little plant food with 2 cups of water - pour most of it in the jar and a little over the soil and through the net pot. Repeat..
This is basil, sage and oregano after one week. The herbs take a little while to get going, but if you maintain them, they will grow up to 12" high. I suggest moving your LED grow light higher as they grow.
The basil Garden Jar is my favorite. The leaves are a good size and it smells amazing. I use fresh basil in everything; pasta sauce, over baked chicken, in salad and beverages - Add a few basil leaves to hot water for a refreshing beverage.
ALSO, basil freshens your breath - So, chew on a few leaves when necessary.
AND, basil is an excellent source for vitamins. The extracted oil can be used to treat wounds and skin infections.
You can purchase a Modern Sprout Grow House with an LED grow light. It fits nicely on the countertop, is appealing to the eye and can hold up to four Garden Jars. It's super expensive, but mine lasted years - I gave it away and I'm sure it will keep glowing for a few more.
My oversized kitchen shelf is the perfect space for a hydroponic garden. But, this time I went with the Modern Sprout LED grow light. I purchased two (one for each counter), but..
I struggled (REALLY HARD) with the idea of drilling holes in to my cabinetry to accommodate the grow light, but after a full day of contemplating, considering different options and having a breakdown, I went for it. I'm beyond happy with the outcome.
I screwed two small holes in the roof of the cabinetry to hold small black chains, attached the grow light and drilled a larger hole in the side of the cabinetry for the power cord. Luckily, I have an outlet in the cupboard next to the shelf (for the microwave).
The grow light has three settings and an automatic on and off option. I opted for the 12 hours on and 12 hours off. Choose the time of day you want the light to come on, set the timer, press the on button and hold till the light reaches maximum strength. Each day, your grow light will turn on and off at the same time.
The Modern Sprout hydroponic indoor garden is easy to maintain, looks great, is a conversation starter and will give you plenty of fresh herbs. I LOVE this gardening method.
October 30th - It's been about two months since I planted my Modern Sprout herb garden jars and this is the result. The herbs are growing fast and the basil is delicious. Once a week I empty the old water, add plant food to two cups of fresh water and pour most into the jar and then a little on the soil.
An indoor herb garden is perfect for colder seasons. I love my indoor herb garden and wish I had more space to expand..
As of late, I find myself perusing home decor and neglecting my long-time beauty and fashion fixation. A few months ago, I purchased a home. I've been obsessing over decor, storage and lifestyle....