Snow Day with Kitty

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Where I live, winters are long and cold. When it snows, I like to stay home and snuggle up with my cat, Sweet Pea. Kitty + winter reading + hot tea = a cozy and relaxing day.

looking out at the snow

so fuzzy!

Tea time. Mighty Leaf Detox tea. The mug is from Whole Foods (don't remember the brand)

Winter reading. Winter World by Bernd Heindrich, is all about animal survival in the cold months. Fascinating!

We decided to venture out to the back yard for some fresh air

Can you spot the cat? She's a Maine Coon, and she blends in with the Maine woods!

Discovery: Tatine Candles

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I could hardly contain my excitement when I discovered Tatine candles at a local boutique in my city. Do you ever see something and think, “I HAVE to have that”? The first hook: the packaging is totally my style. Simple and rustic. Second, they smell awesome and come in absolutely amazing nature-inspired scents such as Woodsmoke, Tomato Leaf, Creeping Moss, and Hemlock & Jasmine. And third, they are also natural made of soy & beeswax, and come in recycled glass jars that you can reuse once they finish burning. Win-win-win! They are quite pricy for their size, so I just bought one — Lavender + Bitter Orange. My whole living room smells  magical!

Erin Flett Handmade Pillows

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I finally purchased this little Erin Flett rabbit pillow I’ve been eyeing for weeks. Flett uses original screenprints to create the sweetest designs from her Maine studio. I think they’d be great for a nursery, but I bought this one for my living room (or maybe bedroom..can’t decide!). I purchased it at a local boutique, but she has an online Etsy shop where you can see her full range of designs. The pillow has a textured canvas feel to it (it’s 100% cotton bark cloth), and it’s very soft and luxurious. I love it! If you like her work, check out Erin’s website here. According to her site, the cotton backing is made of recycled materials, and the cloth and insert is all made in the USA.

the back with Erin Flett's logo, which says "designs for the stylish soul"

Valentine Gifts

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Here’s what I got my boyfriend this year. I ordered both items from two of my favorite Etsy sellers, whom I wrote about in this post last week.

What could it be? The box and bow are from Target. Chocolate heart is from Whole Foods.

the card made by Smock, a company that runs on wind energy and prints on bamboo paper

Handmade and glazed 'man mug' made by One Clay Bead.

Alpine shave gel by Portland General Storethe back of the PGS shave gel. I love their packaging!the back of the PGS shave gel. I love their packaging!

the back of the PGS shave gel. I love their packaging!

Review: Pai Geranium & Thistle Organic Moisturizer

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The Geranium and Thistle Moisturizer is the first Pai product I’ve tried. I first received a deluxe sample of it with an online order, and ended up really liking it so I ordered a full size from Nubo Nau. It is meant for combination to oily skin.  In the winter, my skin is dry in spots, yet acne prone and sensitive.

At first, I was skeptical about this moisturizer because it contains a lot of oils, and that seemed counter-productive for oily skin. However, I’ve heard from an aesthetician that geranium oil is good for acne so I decided to give it a try. Check out the ingredient list: purified water, jojoba oil*, coconut and corn derived emulsifier, thistle oil*, borage oil*, natural vitamin e, vegetable glycerine*, corn extract, manuka oil, basil extract, geranium oil*, juniper oil*, lavender oil*, natural lactic acid from sugar beet (*organic)

The moisturizer is surprisingly thick, and a little goes a long way. Most lotions I’ve used for oily skin are more lightweight. The creaminess of this product is so soothing and moisturizing for my dry winter skin, yet it doesn’t cause acne. So it’s perfect for my finicky skin. In the heat of the summer, I may have to switch to something lighter, but for most of the year, it’s a perfect match for me.

I love that the ingredients are natural and organic, so I can feel good about putting it on my skin. It smells like geranium and herbs, strong at first, but it quickly fades. Another great aspect is the glass bottle and simple packaging. It’s sturdy yet elegant, and the best part of the bottle is that the pump easily shifts back and forth to lock. Ideal for traveling! Plus, the pump makes it hygienic opposed to other moisturizers where you have to stick your fingers into a container. Unlike other pumps, it’s easy to control how much product you get, as not to waste any.

Overall, I’m a big fan of this moisturizer, and I plan to try more Pai products such as the eye cream and lip balm.

someone kept getting in the way (intrigued by the flowers)!

Top 10 Etsy Shops

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I’ve recently become obsessed with Etsy. I’m sure everybody knows about Etsy by now, but in case you’ve been living under a rock, it’s a website where individuals can sell handmade products and vintage finds. There is also a way to only view local products, so that you can support artisans from your area. I love the idea of directly supporting artisans, and in return getting one-of-a-kind items. It was really hard to narrow this list down to 10 shops because I have so many favorites. Some of these sellers listed below I have actually ordered from, and others I’ve just been admiring for awhile.

Click the photos to be linked to each seller’s Etsy page.

1. Jenna Rose: sewn items with original screenprinting

2. Odette New York: jewelry

3. Erin Flett: screenprinted pillows with nature-inspired designs

4. One Clay Bead: ceramics

5. Portland General Store: men’s grooming products

6. Small Adventure: illustrated paper products and artwork

7. For Strange Women: natural perfumes

8. Rocky Top Soap Shop: soaps & salves

9. Woodland Belle: jewelry with a woodland theme

10. Leah Goren: scarves, accessories, apparel

Be Mine

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A few Valentine-themed designs on my radar this year.

 

Dress from Anthropologie, Ila Rose Candle, Vegan Chocolates from Sjaak, Scotch Naturals Nail Polish in Neat, Rifle Paper Co. Valentine Card, Heart ring from Lovestrucksoul on Etsy, Mini Love Bear from Gingiber on Etsy, Ilia Lip Care in Blossom Lady, Vamp a NY perfume by Honore des Pres

 

January 2012 Favorites

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Now that February has begun, I thought it’d be fun to do monthly favorites. So, here’s a miscellaneous assortment of things I’ve been loving recently!

STYLE & BEAUTY

  • Ilia Pure Lip Care, fantastic organic & moisturizing lipstick. I’ve been wearing the color Blossom Lady every day to work, and it’s going to be a great Valentine’s Day color too!
  • Pai Geranium and Thistle Mosturizer (organic) for dry winter skin
  • Mineral Fusion natural blushes in Pale and Flashy (available at Whole Foods)
  • Whitney Deal’s dresses
  • Satomi Kawakita jewelry, especially this ring.

HOME, GARDEN & KITCHEN

  • Organized natural pantries like this one.
  • Silkscreened cotton pillow by Erin Flett on Etsy
  • My winter reading, these gardening books, great resources for beginners: Garden Anywhere and Garden Primer
  • This watercress salad recipe with apple and radish

ETCETERA

  • First Aid Kit and their new CD, The Lion’s Roar
  • Karena & Katrina’s Tone It Up workout video. And this one too. Good for the winter months where you can’t get outside much.
  • Lights” by Ellie Goulding. I’ve never heard of her before, but this song has a great beat for working out.

Rusticity on Pinterest!

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Pinterest has been my go-to website for keeping track of my favorite style, design, recipes, etc, and I have also made a lot of discoveries of new things there. I recently made an account for Rusticity, so check it out by clicking the photo below. I’m happy to send you an invite (Pinterest is invite-only) so just leave me a comment with your email address if you’d like an invitation.

Budget Mantle/Fireplace Decorating

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I moved into a condo in October that has a big brick fireplace in the living room. It’s the focal point of the room, so I wanted to decorate it nicely, even though I have a small budget.

before

after! still a work in progress though.

What I used:

– Aloe plant and ceramic pot at local garden store ($15)

– Family photos in silver frames that I found packed away ($0)

– Leaf candle stand from thrift store, a gift from a friend ($0) and cream candles from Target ($6)

– Stone frog prince ($14 from Home Goods). He might end up in my garden in the spring. I want to add a fern or some other type of lush plant on the right side of the fireplace opposite the frog, but haven’t gotten around to it yet.

– “Winter’s Night” candle from Slatkin and Co., a holiday gift from family ($0). When I finish burning it it, I will buy a non-toxic soy wax candle.

– Framed watercolor painting ($0) of Maine marsh with seagulls and boat that a friend got for me at Goodwill. I plan to replace the framed watercolor with something else more contemporary later when I can afford to buy some artwork.

– Yellow roses and baby’s breath from my boyfriend ($0) in a old-fashioned milk-jug style vase that I got at Goodwill ($1).

Thanks to thrift/vintage stores and little gifts from friends and family, this humble little project cost only $36.