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Spring 2017 Lifestyle Favorites

Spring flew by and we are officially in the summer months. How is it possible that the year is half over already?!

I thought I would share a few of things I’ve been loving and using lately. Hope you enjoy and find some inspiration to try something new, too!

 

Fashion

florence-adams-paisley-close-up

As I mentioned in a post last week, I am absolutely loving wearing my new paisley patterned maxi dress from Florence Adams. It’s classy and elegant and comfortable and it makes me happy when I wear it!

 

Beauty

it cosmetics vitality lip stain

My new favorite lip product is the It Cosmetics Vitality Lip Flush 4-in-1 Reviver Lipstick Stain. Vitality Lip Flush takes the place of four products–your lipstick, conditioning lip balm, hydrating lip gloss, and lip stain, all in one! It’s comfortable to wear and long lasting—I put it on in the morning and the color lasts all day long!

 

Books

what women fear

I recently read What Women Fear by Angie Smith, and it was excellent. This book challenged me and encouraged me. I identified with so much of what Angie shared. She wrote in a candid, vulnerable way that resonated with my own experience in so many ways. I highly recommend this book. It has the potential to be life-changing.

 

Personal Care

Everyone Lavender Lotion

Lately, I’ve been using EO Products Lavender and Aloe Everyone Lotion. It’s smells wonderful, with it’s fresh lavender scent from real essential oil. It is made with natural, healthy ingredients that are nourishing for the skin, and it’s versatile enough to use on face, hands, and body. I especially love to apply it at nighttime; the smell is perfect for helping bring a sense of relaxation in preparation for sleep.

 

Food

republic of tea good hope vanilla

My favorite tea right now is Good Hope Vanilla Rooibos from The Republic of Tea. It has a nice smooth vanilla flavor. It’s perfect with a drop of cream and a sprinkle of sugar or stevia. So yummy!

 

Home

pillow

Recently, I decided to update the throw pillows on my bed. I chose an easy care square pillow with a beige background and pretty script lettering, along with a soft pink minky one. They both give the perfect accent to my vintage style floral bedding.

So there you have it—all my favorite things from this spring!

What are some things you’ve been loving lately?

Please note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means I may earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase something using one of my links.  Be assured that  I only recommend products I believe in. Your support is appreciated!

A Glimpse Into My Life: An Idyllic Weekend at the Maine Coast

This recent Memorial Day weekend was a fun and relaxing one for our family. My husband, who owns his own business, took Friday off. Since it was Memorial Day weekend, that meant he had four days’ break from work. Friday was spent doing projects around the house and running some errands. We spent Saturday as a family in one of our favorite places to take a day trip, the Maine coast.

Maine coastline

There is something I find indescribably comforting about being near the ocean. Perhaps it is because I was born on an island. Maybe it’s because so many of my happiest memories happened on a beach. Or maybe it’s the power of the water and the air and the rocks that reminds me of the power of the Creator of it all. Whatever it is, the sea calls to me and brings me to a place of calm.

Maine coast with lighthouse in background

My children love to explore the rocks along our favorite stretch of coastline in Boothbay Harbor. There is a glimpse of a lighthouse out in the distance. The islands which can be spotted from the beach are like so many others that dot the shoreline along this stretch of the Atlantic, yet each is unique as well.

Boothbay Harbor, Maine

We were blessed with a radiantly sunny day with brilliant blue skies. The water had it’s cheerful spring colors on and the breeze was slightly chilly. It was perfect weather.

children on outdoor steps

We also strolled along a coastal flea market for a couple of hours, discovering treasures we didn’t know we needed. It was a truly delightful day.

Maine coastal town

Sunday morning was dedicated to attending church. In the afternoon, my husband took the children fishing while I relaxed and visited with my mother. Monday, we attended a backyard barbecue. The children and young people enjoyed games of croquet and ultimate frisbee while the adults relaxed and engaged in rousing discussions of everything from theology to food allergies to dog bites.

kayaks in harbor

It was one of those weekends that exceeds expectations—a delightfully idyllic few days that I will cherish for a very long time. Our schedules have been so busy lately, this lovely break came at a time when I really needed the refreshment it brought.

boat in Boothbay Harbor, Maine

I am so grateful for the enjoyable time we spent together as a family. As our family grows and each of the children matures, the opportunities for days like these will slip past, especially with our oldest children. In the not-too-distant-future, my little chicks will begin to leave the nest, and life will never quite be the same again. If you are a mom with little ones, savor every moment you have right now. These days are precious and gone all too soon. You will blink, and one day they will be grown up and ready to head out on their own. And you will wonder how it happened so fast. Take my word for it.

family on rocks near ocean

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Mother’s Day is approaching. Honoring the mothers in your life is a wonderful privilege of the day. If you’re looking for some Mother’s Day gift ideas, I’ve got some suggestions to get you started.

mothers-day-gift-guide-2017
Flowers

Flowers are one of my favorite gifts to give for Mother’s Day. I don’t know many moms who wouldn’t love to receive a beautiful bouquet of blooms in appreciation for all they do. I usually order from ProFlowers. The prices are good, service is great, and delivery is guaranteed. And then there’s the convenience factor of being able to choose and order an arrangement from my phone. When I order, I am definitely going to be doing so through my Ebates app; right now, Ebates is offering 12% cash back and several discount codes to choose from. Pretty good deal, huh? (If you’re not signed up for Ebates yet, you should be!)

Clarisonic Facial Brush

This handy little gadget would make a perfect gift. Personal care items like a Clarisonic are a great way to pamper mom with something she may not buy for herself. A Clarisonic is wonderful for enhancing a skin care regimen. Mom will certainly thank you for treating her to this one.

Spongelle Shower Gel Infused Sponge

A Spongelle bath and shower sponge is a clever little invention. It’s a bath sponge already infused with cleansing gel, making it a luxuriously practical little gift. These sponges smell amazing! They’re special enough to gift alone, or one of these would be a perfect addition to a bath-themed gift basket.

Subscription box service

A subscription box service would be a lovely gift, and one that keeps on giving. Subscribe mom for a month, a few months, or a year—it’s up to you. She’ll be impressed with your thoughtfulness. And I guarantee she’ll love getting a gift over and over again, long after Mother’s Day has ended. One subscription box I highly recommend (and the only one I personally have at the present time!) is Fab Fit Fun. There’s is a nice variety of items in each box, which comes four time a year. There are so many different types of subscription box services available, from makeup to books to food, you’re sure to find one that will appeal to you (and you’re mom).

Phone case

A pretty phone case would make a great gift for a mom with a smartphone. If you’re mom is tech savvy (mine is not), a tech related gift like this one could make her very happy.

Heart pendant necklace

This beautiful silver and rose gold heart pendant necklace would be a perfect way to express your love to your mom. It’s a gorgeous piece any lady in your life would be pleased to receive.

Perfume

If she has a signature sent, pick up a bottle of it to give to mom. If she doesn’t have a particular brand of perfume she loves, choose one for her. Lauren Perfume by Ralph Lauren or Creed Spring Flower would be a great place to start.

Floral maxi dress

If you know mom’s clothing size, why not give her a beautiful floral dress as a Mother’s Day gift? This one is a pretty, feminine style in chiffon.

Digital photo frame

Help mom preserve memories with a cool digital photo frame. Load it with photos of her family, and she’ll cherish it (and you’re thoughtfulness).

Beautiful scarf

A ladylike, beautiful scarf makes a wonderful Mother’s Day gift. A soft, flowing, feminine scarf can make her feel so special.

A good book

If your mom likes to read, a nicely bound copy of her favorite book might be a good gift idea. Or maybe you could give her a book she hasn’t read yet. As a book lover myself, I would love a gift like this from my own kids (a little hint just in case you’re reading this, kids)!

A Roomba vacuum

If you really want to splurge on a Mother’s Day gift, why not give her the luxury of not having to vacuum her house? A Roomba vacuum is a great way to make mom’s life a little easier. She’ll love the fact that she no longer has to clean her floors. Imagine the feeling of giving your mom a robot who does housework! Pretty cool, huh?

I hope this list has given you a little bit of inspiration for Mother’s Day gifts you can choose for the special ladies in your life. I know you want to make your mom feel special and appreciated this Mother’s Day. These gift ideas will certainly do that. Do you have any great Mother’s Day gift ideas to add to the list?

AND one more thing…

To show my appreciation for YOU, this month I am giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card to one of my lovely readers. Hint: that means you! This giveaway will only run for 10 days, so make sure you enter right away. Just scroll down to the bottom of this post and you’ll find several ways to enter. You can do one, two, or all of them–the more ways you enter, the more chances you have to win!

Be sure to enter the giveaway in the Rafflecopter widget below!

Please note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means I may earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase something using one of my links.  Be assured that  I only recommend products I believe in. Your support is appreciated!

4 Teas Perfect for a Winter Afternoon

Though winter is wrapping up and spring is quickly approaching (and may have already hit where you live), around here we’re in for a least a few more weeks of chilly days and snow on the ground. Which calls for a good cup of tea on a regular basis.

tea cup with books

There’s nothing quite as comforting as a cup of tea and a good book. It’s one of my favorite ways to spend a stormy afternoon. There’s just something about enjoying a hot cup of tea that helps me relax and regroup. It has a way of bringing balance and perspective. There is a sense of civility and gentility in tea time. There’s no denying it’s a lovely way to pause in the midst of a busy day.

And when you find a flavor of tea you really love, the experience is made even better.

tea cup

I love to try new flavors of tea. One entire drawer in my pantry is devoted to all the different types of tea I like. My daughters each have their own favorite varieties as well. (Apparently, our tea habit is a family affair.)

My favorite place to get tea is The Republic of Tea. Many of the teas they sell rank in my list of all time favorites.

I’d like to share my picks for 4 of the best teas for a late winter afternoon:

1. English Rose Tea

The English Rose Tea is part of the Republic of Tea’s special Downton Abbey themed series of teas. This tea is delicate, fruity, and utterly delicious. It has a sweetness all its own. I find I don’t need to add anything to this tea. It is perfect even without any sweetener or milk of any kind. Plus, there’s a picture of the Crawley sisters on the front of the tin. Ah, lovely! What more could you ask for in a tea?

2.  Almond Coconut Macaroon Tea

As the name implies, this tea tastes like a coconut macaroon (without the calories!). It is a red rooibos tea with a bit of sweetness from the coconut. There’s also a nice hint of almond flavor in this tea. It really is like drinking a cookie. So delicious!

3.  Caramel Vanilla Cuppa Cake Tea

I’m a lover of all things caramel, so this tea is right up my alley. It’s perfect with a nice splash of cream or milk added. The vanilla and caramel flavors of this black tea blend nicely and make for a smooth, dessert-like taste.

(Are you sensing a theme yet? Apparently I really like teas that taste like dessert….)

4.   Earl Greyer Black Tea

What true tea connoisseur doesn’t love a nice Earl Grey? And this is one of the best Earl Greys I’ve tried. This tea is a lovely blend of bergamot, orange, and quality black tea flavors. It is warm and inviting and absolutely perfect for afternoon tea time.

I highly recommend trying any of these teas for your own afternoon tea time. Go ahead. Take out the fine china tea cup, brew one of these teas, and sit down to relax and enjoy a quiet moment this afternoon.

tea cup with flower

(Just as a side note: This post is in no way sponsored by Republic of Tea. I simply love their teas and wanted to share the love with you. So go check them out, and enjoy!)

Winter Lifestyle Favorites

Winter is quickly passing by (yay!) and spring will be here before we know it. While it’s still winter, I thought I’d share some of my favorite things from over the winter months. I’ve group each of the items into categories.

Fashion

Floppy wool hats

floppy wool hat

I’ve always been a hat person. Typically, I wear hats to church each Sunday. This winter, I’ve developed a love of floppy brimmed wool hats. I just can’t help myself. They’re so stylish and fun to wear. So, I’ve been wearing them…a lot! I have a lovely blush pink one with a lace band that I especially love to wear.

Books

Whatever the Cost by David and Jason Benham

book cover

My family and I had the privilege of hearing the Benham brothers speak last summer. It was inspiring and entertaining and challenging. I immediately bought their books. In Whatever the Cost, David and Jason Benham recount the events that took place surrounding the cancellation of their HGTV show. They explain the choices they made, the reasons for the stands they took, and their response to the media firestorm that resulted. They discuss the importance of being willing to stand up for what we believe in, no matter the cost. I’m really enjoying this powerful book.

Personal Care

Spongelle Bath gel infused sponge

bath sponge

These lovely little bath gel infused sponges are perfect for anyone who loves shower gel but hates to see any get wasted. When you get these sponges wet, they suds up nicely and smell wonderful. They’re perfectly designed to only use the amount of gel you actually need, so no wasting any precious suds.

Beauty

Clinique Chubby Stick Cheek Color Balm

blush stick

Cream blush is perfect for the winter months, when skin tends to be on the dry side. Lately, I’ve been using and loving the Clinique Chubby Stick Blush in the shade Amp’d Up Apple. It has the tiniest hint of shimmer to it, giving a lovely healthy glow to the cheeks. It is a very natural and dewy look. I can’t stop using this blush.

Health & fitness

Sunny Health & Fitness stationary bike

stationary exercise bike

I’ve been riding an exercise bike at least 5 times a week consistently for the past year and a half. A month or so ago, however, my bike decided to quit (one month after the warranty ended, of course) and I’ve been without one. I find I’m much more faithful to my workouts with the bike than without, so my husband bought me a new one. I actually like this one much better. It is chain driven and has the feel of a real bike. It’s designed for spinning, which I haven’t done yet, but I’m inspired to try. I’ve found a couple of spin class videos on Youtube I’m planning to try out sometime. In the meantime, though, I’m back to riding every morning and it’s making me very happy!

Berrywell

elderberry syrup

This stuff is like liquid gold in our house during cold and flu season. It’s made of elderberry syrup, along with a bunch of other immune boosting ingredients. It’s truly amazing stuff. My husband takes it faithfully and hardly ever gets sick. (I wish I could say I’ve been as consistent in taking it—or as healthy.) Plus, it’s 20% off right now. Get some for yourself and stay healthy this winter.

Home

Canvas Factory photo print

canvas photo print

If you saw the giveaway I hosted last week, you’ll know what a lovely job Canvas Factory did on the canvas photo print I ordered from them. Our family portrait for this year looks beautiful printed on a large canvas and hanging in our living room.

Those are just a few of the things I’ve been loving and using over this winter. Do you have any favorite items you’ve been loving lately? Please leave a comment and tell me what they are. I’d love to hear from you!

Please note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means I may earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase something using one of my links.  Note that I only recommend products I believe in. Your support is appreciated!

Valentine’s Day Decor

valentine's-day-decor

Valentine’s Day is one holiday that always seems to creep up on me and catch me by surprise. It seems like I’m never quite ready for it when it gets here. I hardly ever decorate for it. Maybe I’m just not a fan of the pink/red color combination. At any rate, this year I actually impressed myself by having the foresight to plan ahead and decorate for Valentine’s Day!

I like to keep things simple with all of my holiday decor, and this time was no exception. I also don’t want to break the bank making my house look pretty for a holiday, so I like to keep the decorations fairly cheap. All the little touches I did for Valentine’s Day decor this year came from the Dollar Tree (‘cause I’m classy like that). So, they fit both of these requirements.

Plus, my kids had a lot of fun getting involved in the decorating!

Fireplace Mantle

I love decorating my fireplace mantle anytime of year. It’s the focal point of our living room, plus we actually use the fireplace almost everyday in the fall and winter months, so it gets a lot of attention. It’s the perfect place to showcase some special decor touches.

valentine-decor1

For this year’s Valentine’s decor, I placed three small pillar candles in a neat row. I wrapped two of the candles with pink burlap ribbon. The candle in the middle has some sticky-backed foam hearts stuck to the front. Placed on the mantle, the arrangement is simple but makes an eye catching statement.

Desk Display

My desk is a early twentieth century reproduction of a chippendale style piece. The top of the desk is a perfect place for a seasonal display. For Valentine’s Day, I placed a simple white bud vase filled with branches. On the branches, my kids helped me add some of the heart shaped foam stickers. It has a fun and whimsical look which I love. Added to that is a pillar candle in a burnished copper candle holder and a red pillar candle in a hurricane glass. Having this little arrangement on my desk makes me smile.

valentine-decor-desktop

Dining Table Centerpiece

The centerpiece I chose to use on my dining table is simple and easy to put together, but it makes an impact, which is what I was going for. I took a fairly large candy dish, added some conversation hearts, placed some pink burlap ribbon on the base of the dish along with some crystal candlesticks and voila, a simple but elegant tablescape.

valentine-decor-centerpiece

Front Door

On the front door, I took a simple grapevine wreath and added pink burlap ribbon and some of those fabulous sticky foam hearts. My children did most of the foam heart placement—I think it’s adorable!

valentine-decor-wreath

Simple things like these little touches add so much festiveness to our home. Each little bit of decor brings a smile to my face. Maybe you’ve been inspired to add a bit of Valentine’s Day decor to your own home. Do you decorate for Valentine’s Day? Please let me know in the comments.

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