Weekend Happenings

This week has been long and sleepless. It has been so good, but it has also been a little trying. I had a big fun project that is really starting to take shape this week (and taking sleep), and all the efforts really are oh-so worth it. Work at the office has also been very busy. This season is typically busy for us, but this week has felt especially hectic.

Brantley Bub July 2015

Our Brantley is feeling a little under the weather, and we took him to the vet today. He lost a little bit of weight, but I think it may just be normal weight fluctuation of a few pounds up and down. He had a little fever, and after a week of diarrhea they are running some tests to see what exactly is going on, but for now we have started him on some antibiotics to help get him back to normal. We should know more tomorrow, but it appears he has a little parasite.

All that said and done, I am ready to get home, change into some comfy clothes, poor a glass of wine and snuggle with my boys. This weekend, I’m hoping (but not holding myself to) to finish some little organizing projects around the house and organize some pictures for the blog. But mainly, I have one client pit stop to make tomorrow after I leave the showroom, and then once I park my car in Jersey City, I don’t want to even look at it until Monday morning–I can walk to anything that is of any real importance (farmer’s market, ice cream, maybe a picnic… )!

What’s on your docket for this July weekend? Isn’t it so nice to just enjoy some time at home with the ones you love?! I’m so looking forward to this much needed down time.

Making the Most of Winter {Homemade Marshmallows}

One of my most amazing friends helped in the planning of my bachelorette party last fall and for the hotel room, she made us treats! The thing that everyone loved the most was the homemade marshmallows. They were so good!

Winter Series Marshmallows

When I started thinking about this winter series and fun activities to do through the colder months, I knew I had to try my had at making marshmallows, so I scoured PInterest for a good recipe, got the ingredients and began!

I followed an awesome recipe by The Urban Poser and she even has a very helpful video tutorial to go along with it so I would definitely recommend linking over for the full recipe and post!

Here’s a peek at my process. Overall I would say it was not only a mangeable project but it was a fun way to spend some time in and hubby was very pleased with the end result. One of the things I liked about this recipe was the use of honey. You can definitely taste the honey flavor coming through instead of a traditional marshmallow flavor, but I like them nonetheless.

The other thing is that I didn’t (and still don’t) have a candy thermometer. To be honest, I’m not much of a baker, and I certainly don’t see myself getting all excited about making candies or chocolates, so for this activity I just used my freshly sanitized meat thermometer. And although it doesn’t go up high enough, I was able to figure out when the boiling honey water concoction was ready to mix in!

The marshmallows came out great! They are a delicious winter treat and perfect to dunk in your cocoa after a snow day! Have you made marshmallows? It was easier than I thought and I can guarantee your family won’t be disappointed!

Making the Most of Winter {Cozy at Home}

Okay so for the past few days I’ve been trying to convince you all to get outside and enjoy the winter scenery, but today, I’m going to share how I keep cozy at home. Afterall, it’s all about keeping things balanced.

Winter Series Snuggles 7

For me, the best cozy day starts in bed and stays in bed. I love to snuggle up under the covers or just lounge on a pile of pillows with my favorite things. For me, the main thing is giving myself permission to put my to-do list on hold and spend some time relaxing. It is so healthy, mentally and emotionally, to give yourself a break every once in a while and just let yourself really turn everything off and relax.

So that is exactly what I did! I pulled over my Vittsjo table from IKEA, with my candles and roses and hunkered down. I spend some time reading, scrolling through Instagram, knitting and most importantly snuggling with Brantley! It was probably the best afternoon I’ve had in a long time and I would seriously recommend it!

The only thing I would change about this afternoon is our bedding. We are seriously in need of bedding and I have been researching what I want to get since that White Sale post a while back. P & I had registered for a bunch of new bedding but we didn’t end up receiving any of the pieces, so we are also debating buying ourselves some of the pieces from our registry with gift card money we received.

But I also recently discovered a little site called Parachute Home that deals with bedding in a way that leaves me quite intrigued. First, they donate a portion of their sales to send insecticide treated bed nets (in partnership with Nothing But Nets) to areas in need in Africa. Secondly, they speak highly about the way they work to bring together simple and good quality sheets.

They design everything in Los Angeles, manufacture in Italy and they dye using a natural process to reduce the impact on the environment – which my sustainable side loves. But mostly they are made to bring incredible sheeting to you at an affordable price. I can really relate to what the founder says about why the business was started. To recreate that Italian hotel sleep experience without blowing your monthly rent on bedding. P and I went to Italy on our honeymoon and I’m telling you, the bedding was insane.

All that said, I really am very picky about my bedding, so I have ordered some swatches to find out if these Parachute Home sheets feel as fabulous as they sound! (And to see which color I would select for our space.) I’m so excited for them to come so I can report back on what I think!

All said and done, whatever bedding you have and whatever your favorite things to do to hunker down with on a chilly day, this is a great way to push the pause button on winter and take some time for you to truly relax this season!

Making the Most of Winter {Downtown}

One of the easiest things you can do to kill those winter blues is get outside and soak up how pretty winter can make everything.

Winter Series, Walk Downtown 1

I suggest exploring your local downtown, whether it involves skyscrapers or little boutiques, everyone is inevitably within 30 minutes of some variation of downtown. (Cue¬†Petula Clark’s “Downtown.”)

I made P get all bundled up with me and walk around downtown Jersey City. We explored the Newport area, where they have a beautiful waterfront walkway spanning from Jersey City to Hoboken. It is fun to take in the views of the local area, and you get a chance to see your downtown in a new light.

After wandering around the waterfront trail, it began to get a bit darker out and we headed over to the Grove Street area to check out some shops and restaurants.

Many of the shops are not pictured because I was having fun just soaking in JC at night in the winter (swoon), but I did capture a few of the places and had a bite to eat as well.

What is your local city center? Is it more urban or suburban? Have you ever tried to appreciate its beauty in the winter? I strongly recommend checking it out. From my experience, everything is a bit more sparkly. There is just something about ducking into a little shop or restaurant to get away from the cold that is so perfect.

I hope you all get bundled up in your winter gear and go check it out with your family!

Some favorite JC spots that are not pictured:

Kanibal Home

JC Made

Two Stix & A String

E Tittlemouse & Co

Word

Downtown Yogurt

Taqueria

Left Bank Burger Bar

WHOS Gluten Free

Mod Cup Coffee

White Sale Season {Time for a Bedding Upgrade}

If your email isn’t full of a ton of messages about white sales, then you obviously don’t sign up for the same stores I do. This time of year is the time to seriously consider upgrading your bedding. A lot of companies offer their “white sale” in an effort to clear out inventory before the new spring arrivals come in.

I’ve done a lot of the work for you and I wanted to share my five favorite white sale deals.

1. If you are local to the NY-metro area, do yourself a favor and check out Fig Linens in Westport, CT. They have an incredible selection of beautiful linens. From basics to prints to lush blankets and more. And bonus (!) they are currently having their white sale!

2. Two of my favorite brands have joined forces and the result is incredible. West Elm is working with Kate Spade (I know, right?!), and they are now featuring some incredible pieces. Here is one of my favorites from their white sale, going on now.

3. If you aren’t a fan of the classic white hotel look for your bedroom at home, take a peek at this pleasing shade of gray. This jersey knit duvet and sham collection from Pottery Barn is a comfortable and casual winner that can be punched up with accent pillows to fit different seasons or different moods.

4. For a classic hotel look with a twist, go for the Ralph Lauren Palmer Brights collection. Where you can add color to your whites with a bold border in orange, yellow, green, or even pink! I love mixing the shams from this collection in with a neutral pallet for an unexpected and super-fun look.

5. For a classic clean look, go for a matelasse. The texture you get is so gorgeous, while still looking polished, in a white or any other color. I chose this one from West Elm, made with an organic cotton percale, it comes in white and gray and would be fabulous in almost any space.

Don’t you just love a good white sale?!

Spaces We Love {Cozy For Winter}

This is the time of year when we bundle up with as many layers as we can find and fit into before we head out the door, and when we make our way back in we want to hunker down and get cozy! Here are some great little cozy nooks we found that we would love to snuggle into.

I love lighting candles, and at this time of year, I find myself doing it as soon as I come home from work.

This nook is full of cozy contrast, and I love the small bold pops of orange.

Hanging a hammock inside?! With that comfy pile of wonderful on top, I don’t know who wouldn’t want to snuggle up here.

I love all of this cozy inspiration… makes me want to gather up some pillows and blankets and create a little nook of my own this winter! Do you have a cozy place you like to spend time after coming in from the cold?

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4.