SHARING THE LOVE & FIGHTING THE WINTER BLUES.

When the majority of the Western world is wrapped in a blanket of cold and most of us want to disappear into the depths of our beds and hibernate until the warm rays of sunshine return….well, this is exactly when you need to put a little extra pep in your step, plaster a smile on your face, and just plow right on through.

I came across Laurie’s post yesterday about fighting (and possibly losing to) the Winter Blues and it made me realize that we’re all probably going through a similar stretch of despair – I know I am! And like Laurie, I’ve had the urge to infuse a little color into my life to remind me that Spring is on its way:

TulipsDaffodils in Winter

Note the book on the left – an excellent read!

And to further give me encouragement to get out of bed every frigid morning (in a house that is still 60 degrees after blasting the heat for the last 4 hours!), I meditate a bit about warm weather and all the things I hope to accomplish over the next few months. A happy little pep talk, if you will.

So to help you add a little Spring to your step (pun intended!), I dug up a few inspiring or downright funny articles for your viewing pleasure:

READ AN INSPIRING BOOK (OR 31 in 4 MINUTES!): http://nymag.com/health/self-help/2013/how-to-books/ – I’m not quite sure how humorous this article was meant to be, but I found it downright hilarious. Some of these tips are absurd! But there are actually a few insightful ones in the mix.

EXERCISE (& DON’T SLEEP IN!): http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/15/how-to-fight-winter-blues_n_809372.html#s223865&title=DO_Exercise_

Here are two great ways to get your morning started…

http://www.fitsugar.com/Victorias-Secret-Models-Full-Body-Workout-21416942

http://www.thoughtsbynatalie.com/2012/08/good-morning-yoga.html

EAT COOKIES (perhaps after exercising…): http://joannagoddard.blogspot.com/2010/08/cookie-swap_25.html

MAINTAIN A HEALTHY DIET (minus the cookies…): http://youqueen.com/life/foods-to-help-fight-seasonal-depression/

SEQUINS! (Need I say more?!): http://www.divinesecretsofadomesticdiva.com/2012/01/12/reddress/

Have a happy and healthy weekend!

RAISING THE ROOF (OR JUST REMOVING IT) & CRAZY PUPPY ANTICS

Well hello my friends! I very unintentionally went on a bit of a hiatus. I must say, puppy ownership has been taking a bit of a toll and quite frankly, taking over my life lately! Owning and attempting to train a very large puppy is much different than having a purse-size puppy (aka Ms. Mattie-Lu). And while Ollie is still a giant lovebug, he’s also a bit of a monster. A monster that can already reach counter and table tops….

Sleeping Pup

A rare moment of sleep…

I have been trying my darndest to provide consistent training and maintain my pack leadership using “calm, assertive energy” per Cesar Milan, but heck, it’s a constant power struggle with this oversized pup! Obedience class couldn’t come sooner – Feb. 2nd is my light at the end of the tunnel.

Today, however, I have a moment to myself – other than the dozen or so men pounding around on my roof…

Roof Replacement

Yep. Big house project happening as we speak – we are getting a new roof! And in order to keep peace in the house, Ollie-Face was sent to doggie daycare. (Insert sigh of relief HERE). And I’ll tell you what, for an entire day of puppy fun and socialization at $24, Ollie is going to become quite the regular. Thank you All Things Pawsibble! I think I may actually get to be productive today.

Now, let’s hope the roof replacement goes just as well…

ps…THANK YOU to all those that have stuck with me through my hiatus. I have a handful of projects in the works, a retail space to stock, and a studio to organize and I look forward to getting back into the blogging game and sharing it all with you! Much love.

HAPPY SURPRISES.

Well hello my friends! While it’s only been a week, it feels like months since I’ve last written.

But I sure hope everyone had a very merry holiday! As mentioned, I traveled to New York for Christmas and while it was a very full and happy household, I’m so happy to be home. I love Christmas, I really do, but there is also this incredible rush of relief when it is over – a post-Christmas glow of normalization.

Although, life at the Carpenter household is anything but normal these days…

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Yes, we have a new and furry addition to the family!

We’ve been looking for another dog for a while now – particularly a small, adult-aged companion for Ms. Mattie-Lu – and have made multiple trips to the ASPCA over the last year only to come home empty handed.  Well, our luck changed yesterday afternoon….and we somehow left with exactly the opposite! A four month old coon/collie mix that may grow up to 65 lbs! But oh, those eyes are the very definition of “puppy dog.” They had me at hello:

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Ollie Face

And he’s the sweetest cuddlebug you will ever meet!

Frankly, I’m thrilled but oh-so nervous to have a puppy in the home. For the next year, I must learn to throw my perfectionism and ideal home décor right out the window! Perhaps this is a good thing…

So, a fair warning: as I fully puppy proof my home and learn how to decorate around it, you’ll probably be hearing a lot about the growing pains and joys of puppyhood.

And if you have any tips and suggestions, feel free to share. I can use all the help I can get!

So on that note: HAPPY NEW YEAR’S EVE! I know 2013 is going to be full of happy surprises Smile

SHARING THE LOVE!

It’s one of those days…I’ve been running around like a chicken with out its head (you know I’m country when I start nattering about headless chickens!) so I’m going to make this post short and sweet.

First, I want to thank Kim over at Made in A Day for featuring my sewing table! I come across vintage sewing tables all of the time, so I’m glad I finally put one to good use. Pop on over to Kim’s blog for some fabulous DIY inspiration. I particularly love the Halloween display she recently put together:

Adorably creepy, eh? And quite an easy project for the kids to put together!

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Now, if you haven’t already noticed, I’m a bit of a blog addict. I could spend an entire day browsing the inter-webs and would be as happy as a pea in a pod… or, per the Geiko commercials, as happy as a witch in a broom factory! It’s impossible for me to keep up with all the blogs that I come across and fall in love with, but I thought I’d share the love a little bit at a time:

1.  I’m sure many of you are familiar with A Beautiful Mess, but if not, I highly recommend taking a peek! I promise, you will immediately be sucked in. Elsie & Emma, the two sisters that run the blog, are not only gorgeous, but incredibly talented to boot. From their quirky fashion sense to their DIY skills and right on to their amazingly delicious recipes, these girls have it all. I’ll actually be making this dessert tonight!

Baked fruit

Yum, baked peaches and puff pastry apples – delish!!

2.  I came across this NY Mag post via Jess In Belgium (another great blog!) and found myself giggling hysterically. Only recently have I found myself to be a Gossip Girl fan while watching miscellaneous re-runs, but I actually “got” most of the memorable moments!

Hehehe.

3.  As mentioned in a previous post, I sometimes struggle to find happiness in daily life. But Amber from The Usual Bliss helps me to put life into perspective and find joy in the little things. Her blog is about everything blissful and I have no doubt that upon reading it, you’ll find yourself a little more blissful as well! Not to mention, you’ll find pictures galore of this guy…

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…and how can he not make you smile?

Hope these blogs can make your weekend a little more enjoyable – have a great one my friends!

FIFTY SHADES OF CONFUSED…A HUMOROUS CRITIQUE.

Fifty Shades of Grey

Ok, I admit, I finally caved to the Fifty Shades of Grey craze and purchased the book on my new Nook. I started the book last night and am now on page 233 of 391 and frankly, I find myself a bit confused…

I mean, I completely understand the….intrigue. Christian Grey is a bit William Baldwin (via Sliver) meets Richard Gere (via Pretty Woman) and I can definitely see the impeccable Ryan Gossling in the role (Sorry Matt Bomer – you just don’t do it for me! Well, maybe a little…). But considering the amateur erotica meets S&M on every other page, I’m actually quite surprised the book has gained such an avid following! Who knew that the good ol’ US of A (and beyond!) was oozing with such sexually submissive aspirations? The trilogy has already outsold Harry Potter (per Amazon) – seriously people, that’s a lot of pent up sexual frustration! And if you really think about it, the fact that it will soon be transformed to the big screen is a bit amusing. Of course, I have every intention of seeing it – curiosity always gets the better of me – but really, I’m going to be sitting in a theater with a bunch of old women watching what should probably be an X-rated movie. Hilarious.

I’m probably going to piss of a lot off people by saying this, but in reality, the book is not well written. It’s like the adult version of Twilight (thank God Robert Pattinson was not cast for the role of Christian in the movie!!) – rather than a statuesque and aloof vampire named Edward, there is a delicious, very wealthy, and aloof God of a man named Christian. And rather than an over-zealous and under-confident fool of a girl named Bella (ditto on Kristen Stewart!), there is an over-zealous and under-confident fool of a girl named Anastasia. One just happens to be slightly more chaste than the other…but both leave you wondering why these stoic, intelligent beyond-their-years men (or vampires…) would have any interest in these flippant little girls (what do they have that I don’t have?!).

Oh My…talk about an overused phrase! Other than down there, of course. Really? There are dozens of references to genital clamps and anal fisting (my apologies to those that are faint of mind. I’m simply referring to imageries in the book…), but one cannot use the word vagina? I mean, how utterly, unapologetically offensive would that be?!

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t entirely dislike the book. I mean, I’ve read 233 pages in a matter of hours – there’s something to be said for that. It’s all very intriguing and suspenseful, kind of like a romantic horror, and it’s likely that I may have a dream or two filled with Christian-like endeavors, none of which I will ever tell a single soul – except my inner Goddess and subconscious mind, both of which are two very prominent characters for Ms. Anastasia Steele. Not to mention, I’m certain most women (myself included) would be dumbfounded in a very, very good way if their man took the reigns and acted the Dominant every once on a while – even if it’s just in the kitchen to whip up a nice batch of peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies!

Dominant: Sit back and relax, baby, and stay very still as you watch The Notebook and drool over Ryan Gossling. In the meantime, I’m going to bake things for you that you never even dreamed of…

Sumbmissive: Yes, Sir…

But, for me, there are many things that I find incredibly disturbing about the book…

1. I’m not one to judge, and I’m all for a fella that knows how to takes charge, but the whole I own you and you can no longer have any free will in my presence thing kind of freaks me out. Plus, I am the Queen of Eye Rolling, so I just don’t think the whole Submissive thing would work well for me.

2. Ouch. On many levels.

3. Does the girl ever actually eat?

4. Seriously, the first time really doesn’t happen like that. It just doesn’t.

5. A little stalker, are we?

Alas, I’m still quite curious what the next 158 pages will bring! I mean, I haven’t even gotten to the Red Room of Pain…oh, the suspense!

What do you think – have you read the book? If so, did you like it – a lot? If not, do you plan to (I must have pique your interest just a little!)? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

A FEW THINGS…

Why hello my lovely readers and once again, I do apologize for my brief absence. I realize that lately, I seem to be slacking on the blog front – I had hopes of writing every single weekday since the conception of this blog, but life – and the occasional curveball – seems to think otherwise. Most recently, my mother came into town…

I know, I know. It sounds like a lame excuse and frankly – it is! I’ve read blogs in which the blogger will religiously post Every. Single. Day. While on vacation, while frantically trying to finish a thousand other deadlines, even while at the ER, pre and post surgery. (My excuse doesn’t quite make the cut, does it?)

I do love blogging. I really do. I think I’m simply trying to find the right balance of business and pleasure, of too much or too little. How much of myself do I share? How much time do I spend researching and browsing? How often should I compare myself to the millions of other blogs floating around out there? And how much (or little?) precedence should I place on my own? Furthermore, I very much enjoy writing in the moment; I love sharing my thoughts and feelings within the moments I am thinking and feeling them. For me, this is what creates the connection between you and me – an instantaneous sharing of experience. Sure, I could feasibly build up dozens of draft blogs to publish at any given moment – when I’m on vacation, when I have visitors, when I’m ill and exhausted, or simply when I don’t feel like writing for no reason at all – but some how, perhaps a bit irrationally, this would makes me feel dishonest…

I suppose I simply want my writing to come from the heart, from some sense of passion, and from raw emotion. And while I often struggle with this, it is an ideal that makes blogging so worthwhile to me.

PRETTY PLEASE (with a cherry on top)?

PS….

I do see that I have a few readers out there…. don’t be afraid to leave a comment! As a new member of the blogosphere, I could use the constructive criticism and encouragement. So please, comment away! You can say something like this…

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Or even this…

Perhaps this?

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Or this? (pretty, pretty please?!)

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For all you stalkers out there, I could even be content with this….

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Or this…

Creepy – and the answer to both would be NO – but much appreciated.

Just do me a favor and try to stay away from comments like this….

Cheerio!

xoxo, KK

GIRL CRUSH: EMERSON FRY

I must divulge to you the cutest couple in the friggin’ world: Ryan and Emerson make up what was once known as Emersonmade, now called Emerson Fry. Splitting themselves between their beloved New Hampshire organic farm and their NYC headquarters in the garment district, Emerson and her husband/partner have managed to create the perfect attire that fits their unique and fun-loving personalities.

Emersonmade Couple

(the above photographs were archived in my own files, and were originally from Emersonmade.com, now Emerson Fry. These photos may no longer exist on the Emerson Fry website, but full credit is given to Emerson Fry.)

Ryan is responsible for operations, and Emerson does all the styling, design, content, photographs, artwork and collages for the products. And the products are just as adorable as the designer herself. Yes, I think I have just found myself with a girl crush…

I mean, come on, her idol is Clint Eastwood and she rides a vintage Harley…how can you not fall in love just a little bit??? Not to mention, her Spring 2012 line is fabulous:

And the Fall line should be coming soon! A quick glance at the Emerson line hard at work on slouchy hats and over-sized glasses:

If all of this doesn’t make you envious enough, one glance at the Emerson Farm should do the trick…

I am head over heels for the butcher block island in the kitchen. And this pantry…oh my! Per Emerson (via Design Sponge), “We designed our pantry so that everything would be visible. We have mostly unrefined ingredients because we don’t eat sugar, flour and processed ingredients so we just line it all up in here and grab what we need.”

Of course, the home wouldn’t be complete without a dash of leopard print!

(featured in Boston Magazine Home: March 2011)

*SIGH* Yep, envy is definitely rearing it’s ugly green head…

The quirkiness that is EmersonMade may not be new to the fashion and design world – you may have already seen her in numerous blogs over the years – but she is anything but obsolete. Keep an eye out for more amazing-ness from Mrs. Fry in the near future!

Back to Myself and an Olympic Montage

If you keep up with my blog at all, you may have noticed my absence, but per my previous post, I’d like to think that it was a legitimate and much needed one. After two weeks of a little bit of sulking and a lot of soul-searching, I am back and feeling so much more like myself. Thank you, dear readers, for sticking with me through it all!

Rather than dwell on the past, however, I’d like to move into the present and chat about a little thing called the Olympics. Have any of you been watching?

Admittedly, I’m not much of a sports spectator. My husband, on the other hand, can spout every sports statistic that ever existed over the last half-century, so occasionally (out of guilt) I try to pay attention. Surprisingly, I’ve actually enjoyed watching the Olympics quite immensely. It’s been an excellent bonding experience for my husband and I, and a huge learning experience for me. Who knew tennis was so incredibly exciting and nerve-wracking (did any of you watch that match between Federer and del Potro?!)? Or that beach volleyball could be just as fun to watch as it is to play? Or that diving was so suspenseful? And I’ve always been a bit partial to gymnastics in previous Olympics, but even moreso this year – and history was made with little Ms. Gabby Douglas!

It is so inspiring to watch and cheer for these remarkable athletes and actually quite astounding how unifying the Olympic spirit is – 204 different countries respectfully coming together for one, single purpose. Of course, that one, single purpose is to win so I must (respectfully) say – GO USA!

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All-American Color Scheme

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BABIES ON THE BRAIN…

Ok, sometimes for women of a certain child-bearing age you just can’t help but think about babies. I mean really, after 30, you’re pretty much surrounded by them, and if you’re married, you’ve got you’re entire family asking about them – when are you going to have one of your own? How many are you going to have? And, um, isn’t it about time you settle down and get that baby-making machine to work? And heck, by then, even you start longing for one.

So there it is: I’ve got babies on the brain.

In the past when I came across baby products, I would simply pass on by without a second thought. When I came across blogs and posts and articles about the joys of motherhood, I just skipped right on to the next page. Not that I didn’t want to one day be a mother, I just knew it was much further down the road and there were so many other interesting blogs and posts and articles to be read in the meantime! How times have changed…

Now I eat up whatever information I can find about babies. I see little booties and onesies and must ooh and ahh for a minimum of 3 minutes about their tininess and adorableness. I come across perfectly decorated nurseries and must Pin them to my new “Baby” board, or at least bookmark the page for future reference. Heck, I’ve even started seeking out baby books, blogs, and articles! Yep, definitely babies on the brain.

So, without further ado, here are some of my favorite baby products and ideas that I just happened to stumble across…

Baby Home has some great compact and light-weight products that make traveling with baby in tow a cinch!

Heirloom Wicker Bassinet & Mattress

Vintage Wood Carousel Horse

Restoration Hardware Baby & Child is an AMAZING source of inspiration! Even if it’s out of your price range (like mine!) it’s still fun to browse through, get ideas from, and perhaps hope for….

Serana & Lily is another great source of inspiration. This Presidio Glider chair would be an excellent addition to a small space nursery!

Babies

Piglet

These baby animal pictures by The Animal Print Shop would be so adorable hanging in a nursery!!

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And how beautiful and grown up are these nurseries?! I’d feel right at home here.