11 things to QUIT immeditately - hint: you will feel better

I used this photo because sometimes we need to think of things like an animal or a child, not attachments to the past or long running stories about ourselves - live in the NOW

I found this on a blog and thought it was a great story, not only for those who are feeling depressed but also for a better outlook in general. And even if you don't want to do all these things it's just nice to see it all in a list right here... take it as a reminder when you need it because sometimes you just need someone to move your needle to the center and get you back on the right track. When I read this article, that's what I felt. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did - the article is written by Carolyn Maul - I think I like her :)

read the full article on the link here

1. Quit resisting change.
Change is a necessary part of progress and growth and happiness and life! When we resist change we are essentially denying the opportunity for more love and abundance and amazing things to come into our lives. Change has to happen if you want to reach a goal. It has to happen if you want to advance in your career. Change has to happen in order for your kids to grow and thrive. So quit resisting the inevitable! You have the power to guide those changes into a future that is incredible.

2. Quit thinking you can control everything in your life.
This comes right after no. 1 because it is necessary to be clear on what you CAN change. You can change yourself, your thoughts, your feelings, your actions, but you can't change anyone else. You can't change the weather, the stock market, or your parent's deep seated beliefs. When you go around trying to control other people's behavior you will only be disappointed. When you try to manipulate a situation it only leads to frustration. Just stay in control of your own self, and everything else around you will fall in line.

3. Quit making excuses.
When we get down to it, excuses are just so lame. Everyone else can see that you are making excuses to buy time, or to keep procrastinating, or just avoid doing something that you are afraid of doing. Excuses are a huge waste of energy. Decide to do the thing or decide to not do the thing and move on.

4. Quit blaming other people.
No one else is preventing you from getting what you want. You are 100 percent responsible for your own life. Other people are not putting thoughts in your head or barriers on your progress. In actuality, there are far more people out there who want to see you soar to success then people who want to see you fail or hold you back. Surround yourself with people who believe in your dreams.

5. Quit complaining.
This is another huge waste of your precious time. When you are complaining you are focusing on what you don't want and all the things you don't like. Guess what? What we focus on expands...and if your focus is on all the things you just hate those are the exact things that you will get more of. Your power of focus can be used to bring in more of what you do want. The key is to concentrate on the good, the positive, and the life-affirming things.

6. Quit criticizing.
This happens when we mistakenly believe in perfection. If you tend to find faults in every little thing, or every person that you meet, you will never be able to feel truly happy. Criticism is super negative and judgmental. If you are in the habit of pointing out faults, try to switch the habit to finding the positive attributes. Everyone is doing the best they can with what they have. Perfection is a myth...but beauty is everywhere. Search for that instead.

7. Quit telling so many negative stories to yourself.
All those stories that you have rolling around in your head become your life. If you are constantly telling yourself how much you suck, how you should be better, how you screwed up this that or the other thing you will keep undermining your happiness. To be happy, you must be able to tell the story of how everything is working out in your favor. You must tell the story of how much you are looking forward to that bright future that is in store for you. And then watch how things change....

8. Quit needing to always be right.
This is a function of ego. If you are always trying to prove to everyone else how right you are, soon there won't be many left to tell. No one likes to be put down, or argued with, or shown how you are always right and they are always wrong. The need to always be right ruins relationships and leaves you isolated. Compassion works way better.

9. Quit putting labels on things.
Again, this is about letting go of judgements. Letting go of needing to control others. When you find yourself labeling people and things and religions and whatever, its really just trying to understand them in relation to things that you have already experienced personally. We label things in order to try to make sense of our world. But the world is full of mystery and variety and 7 billion people's dreams and identities. Labeling makes the world smaller, but is that what you really want?

10. Quit fantasizing over the past.
Most of us have a tendency to either relive past experiences or create future scenarios in our mind all day long. It's a shame, because life is actually happening in the present moment. In this very breath you are taking in. Just this one. And if your mind is focused on the past and perhaps feeling regret or loss or anger over how things went down it is negatively affecting your present state. Please, do yourself a favor and say goodbye to the past. It had to happen the way it did for you to become who you are today. Today you have gifts to offer the world because of what you know, this is what to focus on now.

11. Quit living your life for other people.
Your life is unique. There is not another person on Earth who sees things the same as you or who has your beautiful insights. There are so many people who are living their life trying to please everyone else, or trying to fit in, or trying to prove their worth based on the standards of others. When you can start to incorporate everything I mentioned above, you can show up as a powerful and positive force in the world! You start showing up as YOU and living the life that only you can. Letting go of the past, of blame and guilt and shame and criticism of yourself and others frees you up to start making a positive impact. You can feel love and trust and happiness when you leave the need to control and the fear of failing behind.

And you can start this very instant.

I know I do all of these things some to a more serious degree.. I think I want to keep this in my pocket to remind myself to let go! - Have a great day!


Monica :: professional traveler and creator of the two caftan collection

 Yes, monica is no stranger to traveling in fact I think she figured out a business she could have that would only be enhanced by her travels. Her collection of chic and comfortable caftans is always the way to go! All you need is a small duffel bag with her lightweight caftans rolled up inside, maybe some Jao Goe Oil and a bit of lip balm.. DONE

two mauve caftan top

Jao trio of favorite products - goe oil, face creme and inscence

my favorite shade for summer is Melon! (Monica wears clear!)

bon viaggio!


Fathers Day!

Here it comes, that favorite day for Dads! I know that some people don't like to make a big deal out of these days, claiming it's just a day made up for retailers to make more money... but I say No-ho! It's a complete excuse to have a bunch of fun and make a really surprising, creative and fun day for Dads. My husband says he doesn't want anything, just a card and doesn't want to do anything, just go out to dinner, I say B - O - R - I - N - G.

Castle Hill in is a great place to enjoy Fathers Day!

We like to make this day a special crazy mix of everything I can think of all rolled into one. A morning of singing and Swedish pancakes or my mom's famous Waffles (see recipes here: pancakes or waffles), then we have our cards or gifts (we always make a bunch of stuff). Then we try to find something my husband would never like to do - say, play tennis or anything active, or maybe we will do something he really wants to do like go to a museum? and then the classic take him out to dinner, somewhere he has never been but me and the kids have researched just for fun! This year we are taking him to Castle Hill Inn. It's our favorite place in Rhode Island for special events, the open lawn, amazing food and terrific cocktails make it a perfect place for Fathers Day!

Here are some good gift ideas:

I just found this at my favorite store in Venice Beach, CA - Tortoise General Store - they have these gorgeous gardners cubes - they call them SOLA CUBE - one tiny universe at a time I can't think of anything more beautiful and Dad-like. I mean you can go for the tie, razor, book but this is collectible and so sweet.

After a brief stroll through the Tortoise General Store website I also came upon this... but really there are so many cute ideas for Fathers Day here... This mug with a wood handle, made with Hakusan Porcelain Hakusan Porcelain dates back to 1779 or 1958 as its current company. The town of Hasami, in Nagasaki-ken is known for its ceramic houses and Hakusan is the most prolific. visit their website here.

Lucky Fish Unisex Heal Our Planet Tshirt

Lucky Fish Protect the Elephants Tshirt

We have these lucky fish Tshirts which come in Unisex which is to say pretty much mens sizes (probably not the x-small haha) 100% organic cotton with great messages - Heal the Earth and Protect the Elephants! go to our Lucky Fish page and find them on our website.

Or what about a suite of wonderful - beautiful objects (also darts useful!) from Fredricks & Mae on our website! horse hair key chains, darts, and how about an elegant duster! or for that father who is always worrying... a gorgeous set of worry beads!

For that traveling dad.. what could be better than an amazing travel ket from Grown Alchemist. Their products are organic ingredients and using enhanced technologies to make your skin radiant and delightful.  This is a great little intro kit for only $69 from Grown Alchemist
Or the guys from Juniper Ridge put together this really extensive kit filled with many fun things for any father to try! The scents are completely natural and woodsy - no long lasting perfumes just natural oils, from wild pants these are GREAT!

I love this bag from Dries Van Notten... what a great chic gift to make any dad show-off with style! I found it at Mohawk General Store (where incidentally you can find anything great for fathers day gifts!)

So go get-em tiger... and have a great fathers day!!

see all our FAthers Day blogs here for some more good ideas (I found some great things to do just by re-reading these :)


Visit Rhode Island!

Rhode Island home for rent at dusk

A friend is renting their beautiful home in Rhode Island. I get a lot of people asking me where to stay if they come to Rhode Island, I wish I could have everyone stay with US! (What a dream that would be...) There are many homes that show up on the various home rental websites, but I know this area pretty well and I would say that most of these places are rustic and not always in a good way. This home however will have you singing to the Rhode Island tune of fun, beach, surf and sand!

link to more information on VRBO here

home from the large backyard

This is such a beautiful and cozy and private home in Rhode Island that is available for rent, you will be able to bike to the beach, hang out at home, play in the nearby stream - and have the time of your life! It's a very casual and relaxed setting, close to some of the best surf spots New England has to offer. But the home lies on a quiet and secluded property.

outside deck

cozy living room

the perfect summer kitchen!
The house has four bedrooms, 3 with queen sized beds and 1 kids room with bunk bed. Sleeps 6 adults and 2 children. The master bedroom has walk-in closet and opens onto a large second story deck. Three baths, one outdoor shower. The ground floor deck is an expansive 900 square feet. Fully furnished inside and out. Mid-century furniture. Fully equipped, high-end kitchen. European windows and sliding doors. Working fireplace.

well appointed bedrooms
This is your chance to come and visit Rhode Island! and if you do stop by and say HI!

Here is the link


Travel :: Trip to Thomas Jeffersons - Monticello

During our kids April school vacation we didn't really have any plans, I didn't want them to just hang around at home and wanted to find something for them to look forward to during their week off. We've been to Washington DC a few times (you can see one of our trips here), so I wanted to try to do something more planned and structured and DC is just far away enough that it's a good car trip - but not crazy. So while this was a good place to keep as our home base for our three day trip - we didn't do much here but eat, sleep and a quick car-sightseeing tour ("oh look! there's the Washington Monument", "quick over there... Lincoln memorial...") as we pulled out of town.

Our main attraction was to see Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, I had read so much about it and I knew of his fantastic garden and I knew this was a perfect time to go with all of the tree's in bloom and it was.. the drive is about 2.5 hours from DC to Monticello, pretty stop-and-go through small towns which was really nice - instead of freeways. We were going slow enough to look at all the blooms, the farms and to take it easy and stop when we wanted to take a break.

We arrived in the morning at about 10 when they opened, which I think was a good idea. It was a weekday, our Spring break falls at the end of April so we usually miss any crowds, which is lucky. However if you wanted to take a tour of his home, which is a guided tour, they were already quoting 3pm, but we were only interested in the Garden Tour, which is open to anyone who is touring Monticello. When you arrive there is a 15 minute movie about TJ that will make anyone an instant fan and knowledgeable enough to have a few facts in your mind while touring.

First of all I have to say that Thomas Jefferson was one of my favorite presidents. I love to learn whatever I can about him so this was really a treat for me, I was just dragging the kids along - haha they loved it too! We had a fantastic time and there is just enough to make it interesting and not overwhelming. The garden tour was filled with just the sort of facts that I love to know... like this one, TJ espoused that if you plant a thimble of salad seeds every Monday you will always have the perfect amount. He always planted two rows of 'food' in his garden and then a row of something bitter to keep the bugs away. He was crazy about Kale, he knew that the ginkgo trees were beneficial for the soil and was always resist drought. He planted China berry trees at the perimeter of his property, these berries are a natural insect repellant, he has a ring of these trees that surround the communal area of his property. I think we were lucky to have the kind of tour guide that I love - she was filled with interesting facts about Thomas Jefferson and all of his gardening and architectural know-how.

In the middle of the garden stands a 'observatory' just at the edge of the hill and overlooking the entire valley. It's not only a gorgeous look out, but when you stand in the middle of the open-air room you can feel the stillness of the energy - it's amazing! TJ was obsessed about being the first to harvest the bounty of his garden, so much so that he built a micro-climate on the side of the hill so that he could plant early reaping the benefits before some had even planted! (they spent three years digging out the side of the mountaintop so that there would be a perfect spot for his garden). Most beautiful is the fact that he kept detailed drawings and notes on all of his plantings so that Monticello stands today almost exactly as it was when he lived there almost two hundred years ago.

I will never forget this visit and it leaves me wanting to know more! I bought seeds from his garden which they sell in the visitors gift shop.

plan your vacation by visiting the website www.monticello.org


New Lucky Fish T's just IN!

Our favorite summer staple Lucky Fish T's and we are in FULL stock at the moment on all of your favorites!

Which for now seem to be this one... the SNAKE!

All T's are unisex, hand printed in Brooklyn and the most favorite of any kid I know!

Sombody explain it to me but it's impossible to get a good photograph of a neon t-shirt -- this is really one of our favorites but the photo is not doing it justice... super cute LION on top of the world!

We have a nice selection on womens T's that just arrived and will be online very soon.. but if you NEED one immediately.. here they are...

Lucky Fish WOMEN:
(online soon.. this week.. I promise...)
Have a great Lucky FIsh Day!!


travel :: Nantucket - Cliffside Beach Club

I love any kind of travel that involves a ferry boat, somehow it just makes things more magical and also more complicated for some so it keeps the rif-raf away, more remote for you! I have been looking to go to Nantucket for quite a while now but haven't been able to make the trip. One reason is that when you start the planning process you will find out that the ferry ride itself is a bit of a fortune. I was also never able to find a place that looked enticing enough to make the journey. Renting a house is always an option, and everyone I know that goes to Nantucket ends up renting. But when I go away I like to meet new people, so I like to stay at a place - kids usually find new friends and so do we!

So when I came upon The Cliffside Beach Club I figured this would be a delightful place. It doesn't come cheap, but I don't think anything does in Nantucket. Cliffside has 22 accommodations, which include apartments, rooms and beach houses. It's a family-run place (since 1958) and a feel that will put you in the French Riviera. Whether you sit poolside or beach it is all available on the property, so unique. While I love traveling in New England it's often characterized with far to quaint rooms for my asthetic, but here the rooms are simple, clean and full of character (in a good way!).

Even the in-house dining looks sweet and authentically Nantucket-y (as if I know what that means, but in my imagination this is it) ...

I think it looks great! If you do go... email and let me know how was your stay... or maybe I will come with you!

and don't forget to go and see the lighthouses!

This ones for you Mama!

Yep, that's my mama! She's the most gorgeous, generous and talented lady in the entire world! And that's my dad too, he was only with us for a short time but boy did he leave an impression, not easy to live up to this dynamic duo but we are trying. In honor of mothers day and all of the lovely moms out there that we love so much, please use code: 'mama' and get something sweet for yourself or someone you love!

take 15% off entire website
use code: 'mama'
offer ends: 5/10/15
(no stacking of codes, does not apply to past orders)


guest post :: tada shop chat w/lizelle green

I recently had a chat with Lizelle Green about mothers day and all the hub-bub.. I'll take a day saved for mom any old week... but we started to talk about what we REALLY want to do... and then she wrote it down, well let's just say she edited our email conversation, she's good at that--cutting out my poor grammar! I figure you are used to my 'friend-speak' and I am going to share with you my unedited version (just because you'all are my friends and you understand my lingo)

visit our conversation on Tada Shop here


okay so mothers day is my favorite day of the year, besides my birthday (obviously I don't get enough attention day to day and I need these holidays!). It occurs to me that my family doesn't feel the same way about the day, so I am contemplating taking a completely different approach: Mothers day, a day to take care of yourself! - how does that sound? My poor family could never come up with the ideas that I have for the day... so I'm not going to make them, I'm just going to have the greatest day in my own way.

In general, given the time of year and the fact that we live in New England it would need to involve a trip to warmer weather - at this moment I have my eye on just about anywhere in Mexico. But I have some friends who have a hotel group called GrupoHabita, I originally found them on a trip to Monterrey, Mexico. After numerous trips we became friends with the chef, etc... now we love them! I am excited to visit their property in Veracruz called Maison Courtier (link: :::: MAISON COUTURIER ....)

SO, before I go I need to do some shopping... I'm good at that.. so this is what I need.

swimsuit - A' Detacher perfect swimsuit - A D├ętacher Erin Swimsuit - Navy when you have a shop you become friends with other shop owners and so I noticed my friend Michelle at Mille has this doozy of a swimsuit.

shoes - well, I just happen to have the best shoes for summer in my very own store - I love these shoes from Maryam Nassir Zadeh - I will go for the low heel but you can dive into the high as well (this shoe is a comfortable mix between an slipper and a shoe - my favorite combo!)

and the only other thing I need on vacation is a good coverup - just to wear all the time and then I am SET - this usually comes from TWO or Layla both in my store. Since I probably will never have the body I had pre-kids I opt for something I can comfortably spend the day in ... and I am ALL day!

and then products are key for me! I use Jao Goe oil for all my traveling needs, it's perfect for keeping my skin soft, pre-during and after the sun. I think if I only had to bring one product on ANY vacation it would be the Goe oil, the light scent that takes you away, the way it makes my hair soft and curly, my skin is perfect and after a day in the sun it's completely soothing.

as for my lips, I only use olio e osso all the time! I'm addicted to #3 - crimson but in the summer I really like the light color of french melon (#2). I like to keep a clear balm in my bag for those occasions when my kids or me have really chapped hands or face.

I am sorry that everything seems to come from my website but I kind of think if I love to use it -- it should be in my store!

I am always in love with a gift for myself and this year I will be getting a delicate piece of jewelry, I am planning to get another piercing in my ear (only two!) and add one of the Melissa Joy Manning diamond hugs! I'm so excited and I've wanted to do since I got them in the shop.. now's the time!
But I really feel that anything form Melissa Joy Manning would make me happy!

have a great mothers day and remember, it's just a day, but it's YOUR day - do what you want!

love - carina


olio e osso


and what a perfect time to change your color... it's getting warmer, time for a change!

clear, french melon, crimson and berry!

and you are not seeing things.. they changed their name to Olio e Osso - I just haven't taken a new photo... (soon!) but I didn't want to delay getting these yummy lip balms online! they are my FAVORITE! (I use all of them -- depending on my mood and what happens to be in my bag!)

shop them here


bedrooms, house size, and a bathroom for every kid

As many of you know we recently sold our house, moved down the road as we prepare for a larger move... somewhere (!?). We are lucky, we live in an area that goes from small town to booming resort town in the summer, so when we moved out in February we had a good choice of rentals to choose from around here. We happened to find one very close to our daughters school, she can ride her bike to school now. We had weird criteria, we both work from home so we thought it would be nice to keep it that way instead of finding a space for work and a space to live.

We watch a lot of the HG channel (Home and Garden), just to get an idea of other places, homes and it's a wonderful guilty pleasure! It surprises me when people want to have a bedroom and bathroom for each child - why? In my opinion then we would never see each other! The house we found was big enough for us all and a delightful 1970's feel that I could not be more happy about! We work downstairs and live upstairs - we all share a large master bedroom. It's been so much fun, as we lay in bed on a Sunday morning, we were all in our beds chatting about what we were going to do that day. Who want's to go biking? Who wants to go for a run? etc... it is like being on vacation and we are all sharing a hotel room. The kids have a bunk bed (I always wanted one of those as a kid) and they love it. It's one of those things they will always remember "Do you remember when we rented that house by the ocean and we all slept in one room?" - I would recommend it to anyone :)

Life is such a wonderful adventure!


It seems that Spring can never get here early enough, each year I think to myself - geeze, this was a long winter. Then I talk to my friends in Vermont and they still have snow on the ground - w h a t !? Yes, it's all the same cycle, each year we think that the particular year we are in is longer or more profound than the last. Did you know that in Washington DC the cherry blossom peak is determined by ONE tree. It is a tree that is near the Jefferson memorial and an original gift from Japan, each year it blooms just slightly earlier than the others, the cycle of nature. (well I am sure if you look at the science, due to global warming the spring is earlier each year)

Each year I get allergies and a really tired feeling - it's the change of seasons. In years past before I figured out that this happens every year, I used to think I was sick, but now I know it lasts for about a week - I'm tired, but spring makes me want to get out and exercise like crazy. I like to take a week, eat clean, I like to clean out with a rice cream diet for a few days - but also juicing is really nice right now. In a change of seasons it's good to change your habits from the last season and start something new. If you are not already starting your day with a warm lemon + water (I like to add things from time to time depending on what my body is feeling like ginger, apple, cinnamon, etc..).

I get a monthly newsletter from Warren King - my most trusted go-to healer for many years and I always look forward to it and I always learn something from reading it. He reminded me that Spring corresponds to the liver. So you may feel agitated and maybe anger. To give support to your liver you can massage the area between your eye brows above your nose, sometimes people have a crease there - this can mean you are eating too much and it's a good time for a cleanse. You can also massage behind your knee just above your calf this will support your liver. And if you are not already skin brushing it's a good time to start!

Happy Spring!