Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I'm Dreaming of a Pink Christmas

I love the Better Homes and Gardens Website. They have so many decorating ideas and how-to's. These photos from their "Pretty in Pink" Christmas feature are just pure eye candy! You can check it out here.

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!

photos via bhg.com

Monday, December 21, 2009

Don't Be Silly Darling, It's Just Wine

I love a good glass of wine.  Kicking back at the end of the day with a nice glass of wine is one of life's little pleasures, and it could also be good for you. A few years ago reports came out suggesting that a glass of red wine per day protects against heart disease and can even reduce the risk of heart attack in middle aged people by 30-50%.

Although I like both red and white wine, I'm partial to red.  When it comes to red wine I'm not picky.  I like them all, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Beaujolais, Bergamais, they're all wonderful.  Since I like all red wine, the bottle, as well as the label plays a big role in my selection, and a lot of times I discover some of my new favorites this way.   To me, picking out the wine is part of the pleasure.  Case in point, my current favorite.  Mad Housewife Merlot.  The label on this one caught my eye and peaked my curiosity.

 The back of the label reads:

"Somewhere near the cool shadows
of the laundry room. Past the litter
box and between the plastic yard
toys. This is your time. Time to enjoy
a moment to yourself.
A moment without the madness.
The dishes can wait.
Dinner be damned.
Mad Housewife Merlot."

Not only was the label trendy and funny but I identified with it!

The wine was actually VERY good.  I visited their website to see what other products they have and while there I discovered this t-shirt.

 We all know I love pink.  And I'm really starting to like the pink and brown combination we're seeing everywhere these days.  And the saying on the front?  It sealed the deal! The shirt also comes in pink with a brown logo, but somehow the brown one "grabbed" me.  I loved it as much as I loved the label on the wine bottle so I just had to have it.

Several days later my cute shirt arrived in the mail, along with a little freebie they threw in.  What a nice touch!

Here is the website if you'd like to see more.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Dec 8 2009
Dec. 08, 2009 - New York, New York, United States - Bergdorf-Goodman Christmas Windows, by David Hoe, Bergdorf's director of Visual Presentation..The theme is ''A Compendium of Curiosities'', inspired by ''Alice in Wonderland''.

Photo via PicApp

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Mixed-Media Art Journaling, My Journey

I have kept a journal or a diary for pretty much my whole life. Sometimes my entries consist of a quick list to jog my memory later, while others are 2 or 3 pages of my innermost thoughts. A close friend gave me the gift of a "Grief Journal" after my father died in August of 2008. It was a 'prompted' journal that helped me to organize my thoughts, which were all over the place. I journaled daily. Sometimes 2 or 3 times a day. It was too painful to talk about, but yet I came to a point in my grieving that I had to get it out. I wrote about everything. My memories of him and the days leading up to his death. I detailed our last conversation, word for word, so I would never, ever forget our last words to each other. I wrote about the night my daddy died in my arms, and about how I felt, and it was therapy in a way. Even though it's been over a year since he died, I'm still not thru the "5 Stages of Grief". No where near in fact, and I continue to journal. Sometimes it's too painful to write about my dad, but the journal helps me remember things, a task that has become extrememly difficult since my thoughts are so jumbled these days, and my brain never stops thinking.

I recently became interested, well obsessed is probably a better word for it, with mixed-media Art Journaling. In addition to always keeping a journal, I've always been fairly creative and 'artsy', but I never thought of combining the two. I spent hours searching the internet and visiting the websites of some extremely talented artists and I was so inspired by their work as well as the idea of an Art Journal as therapy. As I read more I discovered that Art Therapy is often used for people dealing with grief or trauma and decided I just had to give it a try. I felt as if all I had read about it was true, not only was it therapeutic, I began to learn so much about myself, so I could add personl growth to my list of positve effects of making an art journal. Not only was it a healthy way to express myself, it kept my mind focused and busy. I've decided to take it one step further by documenting my Art Journaling experience here on my blog. So here is my very first 'spread'. It isn't finished yet, but I am quite pleased with how it's coming a long.

On my first and second pages I had such a fear of the "blank" white page staring back at me, it seemed a very daunting task, but my desire to do this made me push forward. I was reluctant to draw, write or sketch on the page so I cut pictures out of magazines and glued them on. Once I took that first "plunge" my fear subsided and I jumped in with both feet! I'm not finished with the first spread, but having hit a "creative road block" I decided to move on to the next page and come back to the first one later.

Have you ever used art journaling for therapy? If so, what were the positive effects for you?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I love Shabby Chic decor. I love its romantic appeal, the vintage linens, vintage chandeliers, the roses, and the colors. I love the casual comfort it provides, so feminine and inviting. It's relaxing, like a soft touch. And it's imperfect, like me. How wonderful that all the little flaws and imperfections in a shabby chic piece are considered positive rather than negative qualities. Most of all, I like its ability to lift my spirits, calm me and make me feel at peace. I've had many personal tragedies over the past 2 years, the most heartbreaking being the loss of my precious father. I've also recently become single and am facing the task of starting over. I set out to make my home my sanctuary. Shabby chic combined with my love of pink fit this description perfectly. Here is the first journal entry in my quest to make my space my own, and it can be anything I want it to be. Just like my life now.

This corset is soooo Shabby Chic! I added the antique necklace and brooch for a splash of color.

Fresh flowers also add to the Shabby Chic "feel" and I try to keep a vase full of them around as often as possible.

The bedroom is a work in progress, as is most of my "Pink Retreat". I wanted something romantic and cozy, comfortable and light. I started with the canopy over the bed. The bedspread has to be replaced. It just doesn't fit. So far I haven't found anything that I love and can't live without. So I will be patient and wait for just the right "one", and I can live with this one for now.

I recently found, and fell in love with "wall words". In fact, I love them so much I could easily over-do it with them! This one seemed simple and pretty, just what I wanted over my bed. It does a good job of filling up the space behind the bed since I don't have a headboard yet. It wasn't enough though, so I hung the floral swag above it and that completed a look I can live with until I find that perfect headboard.

The top of a wonderful trunk I found and couldn't live without! It fits perfect in the bedroom and is also practical for extra storage.

A simple picture behind my "Willow Tree" collection.

Antique look clock, without the antique price tag.

Last but not least, a wine alcove mural in the kitchen. It fits the Tuscan decor.

It's all coming together nicely, I think. It's starting to feel like home.

There's so much more to be done, but I'm off to a good start. Most importantly I'm accomplishing what I set out to do, which is make a place that's me, and a place that makes me happy.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Color Therapy and The Power of Pink

I have a love affair with the color pink. I buy everything in pink, if it comes in pink that is. My cell phone, camera, purse, overnight bag, clothes, shoes, slippers, lingerie....well you get the idea.....it's all pink. I even have a pink leather couch and matching love seat.

I've never studied color therapy, nor am I an expert on the subject. But recently I made an observation, completely by accident, that can lift my moods a bit when I’m feeling especially low. I suffer from bipolar depression, so my life is a roller coaster of emotions. My emotions change literally from hour to hour, and sometimes minute to minute (it's called rapid cycling, but that's another story). One day when I was in one of my very down moods, I found myself, as I often do, surfing the internet for sites relating to shabby chic decor, antiques and romantic cottages.

After doing this for about an hour I noticed that my mood had lifted. It wasn't so much the items in the pictures, it was the colors. I loved all of those pastel pinks, blues, and lilacs. I even made a folder on my desktop and downloaded some of the photos so that I could go back and look at them anytime I am feeling down. I decided to do a little research on the subject of color therapy, and found out that there was a reason for the mood boost I got from those colors.

For years scientists have studied how color affects our moods and way of thinking. Your favorite color preference could be related to how that color makes you feel.

The Pink Study

In 1979, Alexander G. Schauss, Ph.D, after experimenting with hundreds of shades of pink, found that the use of a particular shade of pink, which he named "Baker-Miller Pink", did in fact have an effect on mood and behavior.Some of these effects are as follows:

  • Short-term decrease in aggression. When detainees were put in a pink admissions room for 15 minutes or less, they exhibited less aggressive behavior, an effect which lasted at least another 30 minutes after they left the room. But it had to be that very specific shade of pink to be effective. Brighter shades of pink tended to have the opposite effect! In spite of these powerful effects, there is substantial evidence that these reactions are short term. Once the body returns to a state of equilibrium, a prisoner may regress to an even more agitated state.

[Times photo: Chris Zuppa]Senior Detention Officer Matthew Barfield stands inside the Pink Room at the Hillsborough Regional Juvenile Detention Center West. Anthony Schembri, secretary of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, hopes that rooms will reduce the number of hard to manage youths and the use of force in juvenile facilities.

  • A natural appetite suppressant. Johns Hopkins Medical University in Baltimore, as part of a weight control program gave patients a color square called "bubble gum pink." The reason for this is that pink has shown to suppress appetite as well as snacking related to stress.
  • Relaxation-was observed in subjects who stared at an18 by 24 inch card-board plate of Baker-Miller pink. It was found that there was no other color that could consistently result in the same relaxation.
  • Stress relief. Schauss recommends printing a page with Baker-Miller pink on it and carrying it with you to look at in times of stress.
  • A Reduction in heart rate, blood pressure and pulse when intentionally elevated by physical activity.
  • Reduction in Strength
  • Calmness
How does color directly influence our moods and behaviors? Each color has a different vibration and frequency. When the color frequency enters our bodies, the vibrations affect the pituitary and pineal glands, which in turn stimulates hormone production. These hormones have an effect on several physiological processes.

So whenever you're feeling stressed and need to calm down and relax, click this
link and gaze at this beautiful pink, and see if it has an effect on you.

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