win this little superhero!

I never do contests... but this is so cute I thought I would share with all you lucky people out there.. I know you are out there, those of you who win all the contests!

Katheryn Darvey is a talented woman living in Dublin who crafts dolls. Her simplicity is amazing and can inspire you to new heights of doll making! Follow her blog and get inspired. Her instagram feed is full of her dolls too!

In the meantime enter her contest to win this little superhero guy!

click here


2016 and what's ahead...

I find myself coming into this new year with more questions than answers, I hate that! It leaves an undone feeling in my head and in my heart, like something just needs to be checked off the list, but I can't. So I am trying to find more simplicity in my life (I think I always say that, but since our life is so up in the air, I really need simplicity now). Selling our house last year started us on the road to hone things in and focus ourselves. We rented a larger house than we really need so we moved our operations in-house for the time being. Besides our town doesn't have any nice retail space at the moment (always looking though) so I am going to wait for something good. My husband is painting in one room, and I run my retail operation out of two rooms - it's crazy but incredibly convenient. We chose to have the entire family sleep in one room, thinking this was just a short-term move, but we have ended up loving it. Both my kids talk in their sleep so it's my favorite moment, around 11pm when they practically talk to each other in their sleep. We all like to read before we go to bed so I love when we all climb into our beds and get our books out.

With this move I hope to start making things again, for now it's a bit under wraps, when I get things going I will be sure to let you in on what the heck is going on! I have missed being a 'maker' and I am excited to get back onto that train, selling things that people make is wonderful but I miss the rush of making something I am proud of and can call my own. I am moving my website into the territory of only made by hand in USA (or sometimes Scandinavia) and expanding my second-hand (flea market) section. And I will say this... one of my priorities is to make a new website - AMEN you say, right!

We are still searching for a place to live, so keep your emails coming. We have heard from many of you on Santa Fe, Colorado and Utah... but I know there are more creative pockets out there and we intend to spend some road trip time this year checking places out! All I can say is I need a town that has a decent bakery where we can get at the very least an amazing croissant (non-existent in our town!). Part of me just wants to find an Inn somewhere and become a caretaker! Stay Tuned....

Here are some things that I am into at the moment:

1. Home made energy drinks made with my Vitamix. I don't have many specific recipes because I just use the fresh produce I have in my fridge or on my counter. But yesterday I made one that was WONDERFUL! First I soaked a handful of cashews overnight in warm water. Then I added: 1 tsp cinnamon, pinch cardamom, 1/2 tsp vanilla sugar, heated almond milk and I think that's it.. so delicious! I have also been making the gojii berry tea quite a bit (see a few posts down).

2. I have a Pandora selection that I started with 'Gordon Lightfoot' and I love it! - I know almost every word to all the songs... it makes for a nice day, it's good homework music, and the whole family likes it.

3. Yoga pants - it's inevitable when you work at home... yoga pants + black crane = love (don't tell Momo I said that...). The Spring collection will be here soon - can't WAIT!

4. I am a scent person, I am crazy for oils and scents - as long as they are natural. So I am always looking for something new, I love the scents we carry by the guys at Village Common. I keep a roll-on in the pocket of my coat - there's nothing better on a cold wintry day than good simple scent! There are no wordy scent descriptions necessary, the ingredients are just what is in the bottle and they are all wonderful and full of life.

5. I think, but I have no proof, that Jasmine keeps away cold and flu - I was once told to put some on a napkin and wave in front of my babies face when she had a cold. I thought it worked then and I still use it on myself and my kids in the winter months. I 'think' it works :)

6. Astralagus - I am completely convinced that this amazing root keeps me healthy and free from sickness. I use the dried root every day in my tea. If you can't find it at your health food store email me and I will send you some! (link to my blog about this healing root)

7. Playing guitar with my kids.. well Franny moved over to the Cello but Sander and I are still working on the guitar and we love it.

I wanted to give you ten ideas but I have to get back to work! Another thing I want to do more of this year is blogging... but keeping them short and sweet.

have a good day!


The Maternity Bag Around the World

Ellen gave birth in Simulemba Health Centre, in Malawi, which delivers more than 90 babies a month
There is plenty that we can take for granted when you live in the so-called 'Developed World'. When it comes to giving birth in many countries like the USA, Australia, Japan, or nations in the European Community, for example, the expectant mother can pretty much rely on decent facilities and standard services. So, when it is time to pack a Maternity Bag for that wonderful event, the focus might be on things that can add to the comfort or enhance the experience. One thing that is universal is usually the that special item for swaddling your new bundle of joy! 

But, what if you do not have the good fortune of living in a place where the basics might not be even readily available? What if you are an expectant mother in a 'Developing Nation'? What would you consider packing in your Maternity Bag? What if you had to prepare for your own birth experience by packing your own razor blade (to cut the umbilical cord) or length of string (to tie off that same umbilical cord)? And, what if not only did you have to bring your own plastic sheeting for the delivery table (if there is one) but also bring your own water supply perhaps? And who in the Developed World might think to pack some ready cash just in case, because your husband or mother might not be able to make the trip with you. It certainly has made me think twice. Like I said - it's easy to take things for granted some times. 

Hazel, 27 is from Hamakando Village, in Monze District, in Zambia.
So, it's with great interest that I came across this very stunning portrait of some expectant mothers from around the world. Photographers working with the charity WaterAid have documented the contents of your average Maternity Bag from places such as Japan, Australia, and the USA .... alongside the very interesting contents of expectant mothers in such places as Malawi and Zambia. I'd personally like to see this project expanded to include all sorts of expectant mothers in all sorts of locations on the planet. I'm sure there would be plenty to give pause to after you compare your own preparations with those of others. Don't you think?

To view more photos and read further you can visit WaterAid's website and the BBC website

Deanna lives in New York City, USA


Inspirations: The Child Inventor

Sure, this story on the BBC News website: Somalia's 13-year-old Inventor Finds Fame, is about an inquisitive and inventive young boy in Somalia and his efforts to follow a passion. But, it's also about a young person's persistent imagination when confronted with challenges that we hardly even consider in our so-called 'Western' lives. And, it's about an inspiring teacher, with similar challenges, pitching in to help a student. It's a story I wanted to share with my children - especially considering we've been having pitched battles lately surrounding the over use of technology! This just goes to show - where there's a will, there's a way. That's exactly what I'm taking away from this story... and I hope my kid's will do the same.

If you'd like to read out it - here it is.


very interesting :: are you gluten intolerant or is it just poison?

This is what you may have been thinking - Why am I suddenly allergic to gluten when I have been eating all of my life, well this might just be the more correct answer. At the very least it deserves some press, some research and some good old consumer awareness.

The name of the article is Maybe You are Not Gluten Intolerant, Maybe You are Just POISON Intolerant :: the link to the article is here and it really makes you think about the origins of this wave of people who are gluten intolerant. I certainly know that every one of my friends that went off gluten one hundred percent felt better, had more energy and didn't have side effects. When they came back on gluten they were more aware of the problem and while they possibly didn't make the connection to poison, they came back on gluten aware that the needed to eat organic.

I hope this is helpful to everyone!

The article is from: expand-your-consciousness.com
link to article here


wellness tonic, elixir.. whatever you want to call it - I'm into them!

If there is one thing I am sure of in this new year it's that I love a good elixir! Last year I got a vitamix for myself for my birthday (I love getting myself a good birthday present!) and I have been crazy about it every since. I know that a lot of people like to make smoothies, but I like it for making sauces for veggies and elixirs. I like to call them elixirs because they are about 80-90% water (and sometimes I add coconut water for a 50% water/50% coconut water combination). I like to use whatever I have in my kitchen and I grow my own spearmint, parsley, basil, cilantro, rosemary and sage year round in my windowsill. My favorites are rosemary and spearmint, I rarely make anything without them. Next on my favorite list are turmeric and ginger, if I add some kind of green I can almost leave it at that if it's all I have. As for greens you take what you like.. for me that's romaine and arugula (and I just use a handful, I don't like it thick and heavy). And OH, never leave out the lemon... you will miss it if you do! and throw the whole thing in there because the essential oils in the skin are the best part for you (I cut off the rough ends but that's it!). And usually black pepper... that's my spike.

I was really inspired by this article in the New York Times - T Magazine, 5 Drink Recipes to Sip Your Way to Wellness. It has 5 great drinks that I am dying to try - I've already made Dimes's Goji Berry and Ginger Tea. I really liked this recipe because it was warm! I'm always looking for something to warm me up! It's delicious and really has a get-up-and-go for me, I immediately felt I had more energy and yes, it made me feel warm all over (best part).

For Christmas I got a few cookbooks (which I will talk more about later), and so far my favorite is Near and Far by Heidi Swanson. It's an amazing cookbook and laid out so thoughtfully I read it through immediately just like a book! Delightful. I got my everyday first thing in the morning elixir from her - lemon, turmeric, honey, black pepper and coconut oil - it's amazing! I drive my kids to school, if I didn't we would have go get up god-awful early so I ALWAYS take this delicious warm drink with me in the car on the way to school.

And you know when dinner is done but you just want something sweet... well our whole family goes crazy for this drink (I hate the word smoothie so I'll leave it at 'drink')

1-2 frozen bananas (I always keep some perfectly ripe frozen bananas in the freezer for this type of emergency)
1 cup almond milk
1 cup other milk like rice, oat or soy
just a dash of cardamom (what you can pink between your fingers is perfect)
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
agave to taste (just a bit is fine)
1/2 - 1 tsp vanilla sugar (love this stuff)

blend until smooth in a vitamix, you might need to add more milk to get it going but do it until it's just going so that you can almost eat it with a spoon it's so thick! In the summer you can add cashews and ice and make it into ice cream! but for now this is cold enough for me.


Pink sale! take an additional 10% off!

We just wanted to celebrate a bit on the color pink...

so here we go starting from top LEFT (clockwise):
1. matta sequin scarf ($98)
2. matta Umaa top ($138)
3. HBB industria copitos kids hat ($33)
4. HBB industria triangle sweater ($98)
5. Fredricks & Mae horse hair keychain (multiple colors)  ($40)
6. Beck Sondergaard soft pink scarf ($68)
7. Lucky Fish kids doggie l/s thermal t ($25)
8. wovenplay/jess brown collaboration rag doll ($234)
9. Lucky Fish/Edible Schoolyard collaboration tea towel ($24)

center: loome pom pom maker ($16) and scents by Elixirs & Co. ($78)

have fun and remember to use code: 'pink' for 10% off!
(no stacking of codes, ends soon)


Simone LeBlanc Gift Boxes

this is the cozy home box

Most of the blogs I write are things that I come upon that I like and figure you would like too! I could have sworn I had already written about these lovely gift boxes from Simone LeBlanc - but there you go, I have not. I love giving gifts, finding the perfect thing, taking my time months in advance. Maybe it's just part of having a store, but I love it. My husband has a terrible time thinking of gifts, so I turned him onto Simone LeBlanc. She started her gifting company in 2011, and a native of Los Angeles she has the perfect crowd, she makes gift boxes for celebrities, corporations and even a new mom! But it's her execution that I love, each boxes is well thought out, perfectly packed and makes the perfect gift, always.

the welcome winter box (complete with cashmere blanket)

So if you are out of steam in the gifting department, check out her website and just choose one of her gift boxes. Complete your order with address etc and you are DONE! You have just sent the best gift possible, in a gorgeous box all ready to go!

new mom box
There is a box for just about everything, for Him, for Her, for a Family, for a new mom, Detox... it's all there just gift with your wildest dreams.. or to tell a friend you love her very much!

website: Simone LeBlanc


The BELLs are ringing...

These MQuan bells make such a great gift for that person who is hard to buy for... that hippie friend, the person who likes to linger in their garden... that lover of the earth, yes ME!

THAT person would love an MQuan hand made ceramic bell! These bells are made by hand in upstate NY and made with LOVE.

shop here

looking for a great gift!? Pictli

I recently found these guys and it's been my go-to for the perfect family gift! I don't know about you but there is nothing better than to give the gift of a photo and these days with Instagram and Facebook we all have a giant log of photos just waiting to be framed!

Pictli is SO incredibly easy - it takes just a few minutes to order a stack of your favorite shots which arrive to you framed faster than you can say... SHAZAM! I love them and I can't wait to give these wonderfully framed photos to our family and friends! You can also expect personal and sweet attention via email, so don't worry you are in good hands.

You can use code: 'launch1512' and get 25% off until TOMORROW 12/18/15.



P I N K :: the color for 2016!

You think I have a website that is as all-powerful as mine (haha) and DON'T know that the color of the year was going to be PINK... Yes, well I was lucky and stocked up on PINK just because I like it (well if you are friends with Ryan Roche you MUST already like pink right!). I did have a feeling it was a big color and probably just going to get bigger, but I had NO idea it would be THE COLOR OF THE YEAR!

So get your PINK while it's HOT! (but to be sure... it's NOT HOT pink) it's SOFT pink

Get the story on Pink here from Pantone


NEW :: How to Make a Pom Pom with Loome

YES you can make all of these! Even if you are not the most talented crafter in the world... yes, that is what the Loome is here for.. to rescue you! (and they make a FANTASTIC gift!)

The moment I saw these wonderful Loome's I know they were just the ticket for a little special gift this Holiday Season. And we got them just in time! These little Loomes make (among other things) pom poms (as in this helpful video), tassels, friendship bracelets and so much more! Watch their videos (they have a how-to video for each of the items) and get INSPIRED  this Holiday Season!

Watch all of the How-To's and you will become a PRO in no time. I can make about 15 pom poms while I wait for Franny's backetball practice! and during Sander's soccer game (1 1/2 grueling hours) I have learned friendship bracelets and tassels. I know, I know.. I DID get these for my kids but I swear you will love it too!

Watch all the how-to videos on YouTube by subscribing to the LOOME feed

and get your Loome from me HERE :)

Happy Days are here AGAIN!


Scarf Sale!

It's so crazy warm here on the East Coast that scarves are not really necessary... YET... but as soon as that cold wind appears you want to be READY with your new warm and trusty, cozy SCARF.

Use code: 'scarf' and take 25% percent off your purchase.

and they make the perfect gift... because a wise friend once told me "sometimes all you need is a new scarf!" - and I wholeheartedly agree!

Love & peace

link to scarves here