sponsor welcome nancy nelson jewelry

| jewelry | sponsor welcome

nancy nelson jewelry

no wonder i love nancy nelson’s jewelry, she lives and gathers inspiration from my sweet-home-of-homes- the appalachian mountains! i find her jewelry to be natural-rustic and feminine-chic all at the same time.  the woodland themes and dainty details evoke an emotion and tell a story for the wearer- and for me i think it would be a feeling of oneness with nature.  starting out as a display coordinator for the mother-of-all creative retail stores, anthropologie, nancy has evolved into a creative business owner and mom with an eye for design.

10 ways to fight seasonal sniffles

| seasonal recipes | simple living

it’s been a long time since i’ve been sick. sometimes i feel like i have an immune system made of steel, but yesterday i woke up with an urgency to get myself to the doctor. i have to admit, i knew i had been hovering just above the ‘sick line’ for about a week, but alas, my immune system gave in. i woke up with a sore throat, headache and stuffy sinuses, oh no! afraid that it was strep, i headed to the doctor. after a negative test and no prognosis, he sent me home with a dose of antibiotics. really? i have some pretty mixed feelings about taking them since i’m not sure that i need them, so i put on my wellness hat and got to work on a few things i know would make me feel better. below you’ll find what i came up with.

winter wellness essentials

there are several ways to stay well when the odds are against you. here are a few of my favorite, tried-and-true methods:

1. pound the green tea. that’s right, get to steeping! with it’s immune-enhancing boosters, green tea is known to help fight colds and reduce flu symptoms.

2. neti. do you use a neti pot? it’s a simple way to irrigate the nasal passages with unbeatable results. it’s safe, easy and soothes the lining of your nose as it removes the excess mucus that lingers in the sinuses as fertile grounds for infections and bacteria (and it’s been known to bring me back from just about near-death).

3. up your vitamin c. up your vitamin c intake to 1000-2000 mg a day. my favorite way is through taking a few emergen-c’s (my favorite flavor is cranberry pomegranate).

4. hydrate. simply staying hydrated by drinking lots of water will help you feel better and wash your cold away.

5. stay warm and rest. pay attention to your body and rest if you feel tired. that orange do-hicky-thing up there is my new ceramic heater, and it keeps me warm and toasty!

6. eat lots of garlic. garlic has antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties that can help ward off minor infections.

7. eat honey. honey is great for soothing a sore throat. try adding some to your tea, or melting 2 teaspoons in a mug of hot water to sip on.

8. avoid phlegmy foods. that is sugar, white flour, wine, dairy and red meat- as these enhance the build up of mucus.

9. gargle. gargle with warm salt water to help soothe and heal sore throats.

10. soup. eat warming, nourishing foods such as veggie soup. here is my favorite recipe to fight seasonal sniffles:

vegetable soup

stuart and wright jewelry

| jewelry

stuart and wright jewelry

oh how sweet and simple! stuart & wright’s jewelry (found via one of my favorite reads, creature comforts) is elegant and sophisticated in a simple kind of way. handmade from los angeles to nyc, i really appreciate the crafted look they have. since i fell in love with pear shaped diamonds the day i saw katherine heigl’s engagement ring, you know my favorite is this sideways-set ring!

poster cabaret

| handmade inspiration

poster cabaret

creatures of wonder

poster cabaret


poster cabaret

homelife in faraway lands

poster cabaret

admiral seymour doughtridge

poster cabaret

bear art

poster cabaret


poster cabaret

mountain town

i love-love these posters from poster caberet! founded in 2002 to help support and sell underground gig posters, it has now grown to include many of the top artists of the underground poster and print scene. the ones i’ve chosen seem to have an organic-folksy-feel, but the selection is endless and absolutely full of inspiration. owned by an avid cyclist, i couldn’t help but be drawn to several of the cycling-inspired prints, i bet my mister would love these!

our big surprise

| bonnie forkner

Bella Roubaix
this post probably belongs over on the dog blog, but i couldn’t help but share the cuteness here! after my in-laws sadly lost their golden retriever a few weeks ago, david and i decided to do something special for them. so, we surprised them with a new puppy! after much planning and secrecy, this sweet 9 week old golden retriever showed up at their doorstep last week. isn’t she a doll? her name is bella roubaix (after a bike race, of course). since we’re half way across the country, my parents had a big hand in the surprise- so thanks y’all! we couldn’t have done it without you.

Bella Roubaix

latest favs

| handmade

handmade picks

lately, i’ve found myself bookmarking several handmade shops. i’ll leave a tab open in my browser, ‘favorite’ their shop or send myself an e-mail about them (yup, i do that). it seems as though the limit to fabulous artists and shops are never ending, and it is so amazing to witness and be a part of this incredible movement. the opportunities for artists are now so great, that if anyone has the inkling to to be creative, there’s an outlet for it. how incredible is that?! here are a few of my latest favs:

citrus, betty shih tzu, big bad wolf iphone sleeve, embroidered pendant, blue sailor wolf, vintage wooden spools

salted caramel latte with ashley pahl

| handmade

salted caramel latte with ashley pahl
This recipe is similar to the vanilla latte, but features an extra special, homemade caramel syrup. Other recipes that I found during research required first making a vanilla latte, and then making a separate caramel sauce and whipped cream for the topping – lots of sugar, and lots of time. So, to cut back on ingredients and steps involved, I developed this double-duty caramel syrup for the traditional latte:


1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup water

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup heavy cream

4 shots brewed espresso

6 ounces steamed milk

serves two


Place sugar and water together in a small saucepan. With pan on medium heat, allow sugar to dissolve. Bring to a boil. Let syrup continue to boil until the sugar caramelizes and turns a light brown.

Do not allow the syrup to turn too dark or boil for too long: my first attempt at this syrup went downhill fast when I allowed it to caramelize for too long. It burned and was too bitter for use.

salted caramel latte with ashley pahl
After syrup turns an amber color, or after about 5 minutes of boiling, remove from heat. Sprinkle with sea salt, and slowly pour in heavy cream. Stir.

Pour 2 shots of espresso into two cups, followed by three ounces of steamed milk into each cup. Top off with freshly made caramel syrup, and any left over milk foam from steaming. Enjoy!

cofee with indie pretty projects

ashley paul indie pretty projectAshley has been coffee-crazy since college when her husband bought her an espresso machine for Christmas. Armed with a pot of dark roast, she spends her days writing Indie Pretty Projects and creating for her self-titledEtsy shop.

valentine’s day diy

| DIY projects

valentine's day diy
valentine’s day card exchange at school. i can still remember the feeling of excitement i would get when it was my turn to hand out my (hand crafted) valentine’s day cards to all my classmates. fast-forward some 6 or 7 (very awkward) years to the days where my high school would sell bouquets of flowers to students to be delivered to their sweethearts. i would get the nervous jitter bugs everytime someone opened the classroom door with a delivery of flowers, only to see them passed to a neighbor (though i think i did receive a bouquet from a ‘secret admirer’ once… creepy?).

my point? i think these diy heart pins from the purl bee would be the perfect project for this year’s valentine’s day exchange at any school. easy to make and suitable for kids- i just love this v-day diy!

valentine's day diy
don’t have kids? i think these would be so pretty pinned to your valentine’s day cards or attached to pretty wool jacket. what do you think? i love the array of colors here, i’m not sure i could choose a favorite (but if i had to, it’d probably be that peachy cream or mustard yellow). head on over to the purl bee for the full diy!