Monday, November 10, 2014

ECO LIVING | DESIGN: Rustic Elegance with Natural Elements and Organic Tableware | Spectacular Harvest Tablesetting Ideas

 
The food at the Thanksgiving Table always seems
to taste better when the table is set in festive fashion.

 
 I've found several spectacular setting themes
and ideas for your Thanksgiving table.
Check them out
at DecoratingYourSmallSpace.

 Then there's the Centerpiece,
the star of the Thanksgiving table.


A focal point that pulls the look of any
setting together and can clearly set the theme,
if you're decorating with one in mind.


 Here's some gorgeous centerpiece ideas
you can copy or get inspired by
from FabYouBliss.





Don't forget to dress up the napkins and place cards, too!


Start planning now for your Thanksgiving
table decor and your setting will be one they'll
remember for years to come.

Cheers!

live beautifully,
stephanie-



Sunday, November 9, 2014

MINDFUL LIVING | FASHION: 10 Step Revamp To A Detoxed, Organic, Organized Wardrobe, from Stylist Anouschka Rees of Into Mind Blog


Been feeling like your closet is an area
that needs a barricade of yellow crime scene tape?
W
ant more organic, ethical, locally made items in your wardrobe?
Never fear, help is here!
 
Twenty-something Anouschka Rees, now in Berlin,
has put together list of steps to get your closet
fantastically organized and  minimized
and you can also use her tips to fill it with
more eco-friendly, organic, ethical and locally made items,
so your closet speaks to who you are and what you care about, 
and you shine with beauty and confidence every day.

Anouschka list 10 Steps, each with detailed instructions,
so you can get to work on having your wardrobe go
from chaotic overload to a pared-down style center
that helps you instead of scares you! 





 


Here's my 3 Top Picks from the expert stylist's list:
 

RETHINK YOUR STRATEGY
Here's your chance to get started and
make the decision to align your personal style
with your ethical, caring and eco-conscious spirit.
Let your wardrobe speak for you.

"Step 1: Take stock. What do you like about
your current wardrobe and what needs to change?
How well do your clothes reflect your style?
How versatile are they? Use this flow chart to
diagnose your wardrobe’s individual weak spot.
Then: Write down your goals for the revamp
and a few basic guidelines, like these.
"

DETOX YOUR WARDROBE
Use this step to remove of any
guilt-inducing,
confidence-sapping pieces
or anything that doesn't
make you feel beautiful.

"Once you’ve analysed the current state of your closet,
it’s time for a thorough detox. Reserve at least a full afternoon to go
through your wardrobe piece by piece and get rid of
anything that doesn’t make you feel confident and inspired.
Check out the closet detox cheat sheet if you
need a little decision making assistance."

SHOP SMARTER
Here's the section that can be a real life-changer for you.
Change your thinking to become a savvy, enlightened shopper.

"Have a closer look at your usual approach to shopping and how you could improve it.
Are you a chronic bargain-hunter and impulse shopper, but want to change that?
Some steps that will help: Read up on some common shopping fallacies
and how to avoid them. Work with a flexible budget.
Learn about ethical fashion and develop an eco-conscious shopping strategy.
Use these 5 questions to figure out..." 
Access her entire
10 Step Revamp
to get all the details, and join her on
her beautiful blog 'Into Mind'.
 (and if your closet needs some serious help,
get her Workbook, to take control of your closet)

Live uncluttered,
live beautifully!

stephanie-

Friday, October 31, 2014

FAV QUOTE FRIDAY | SIMPLE PLEASURES: Ghostly Musings for All Hallow's Eve


The lawn
Is pressed by unseen feet, and ghosts return
Gently at twilight, gently go at dawn,
The sad intangible who grieve and yearn."
~T. S. Eliot



“Be hole, be dust, be dream, be wind,
Be night, be dark, be wish, be mind,
Now slip, now slide, now move unseen,
Above, beneath, betwixt, between."
~Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book




"During the day, I don't believe in ghosts.
At night, I'm a little more open-minded."
~Unknown




Ghouls and Goblins, Ghosts and Bats,
Tricks and Treats and Witches' Hats,
Scary Creatures In The Night,
and Jack-o'-Lanterns Glowing Bright!

Hope you enjoy a safe, fun and
Happy Halloween!
live beautifully, stephanie-



MINDFUL LIVING: Taking Time To Reset - Discovering The Power of Solitude via Goodlife Zen

 
   The soul always knows what to do to heal itself.
The challenge is to silence the mind." ~Caroline Myss


Today's post is from Mary Jaksch's blog
Goodlife Zen, written by Guest Writer Scott Dinsmore.

"When was the last time you were alone?
I mean really alone?
No people, no noise, no technology,
no distractions what so ever. 
Just you and your thoughts."

"Being alone can be scary.
It causes us to question all kinds of things.
Ourselves, our actions, our life.
The distractions of the world are so many that
‘fortunately’ we can go practically our whole life
without ever thinking deeply about what we’re really doing.

 “To make the right choices in life, you have to get in touch with your soul.
To do this, you need to experience solitude, which most people are  afraid of,
because in the silence you hear the truth and know the solutions.”
~Deepak Chopra

All the chatter drowns out our deepest thoughts.
Without space to grow, 
our best ideas may never materialize...
We have to clear out some room."


Enjoy your time alone!
stephanie-



Friday, October 24, 2014

FAV QUOTE FRIDAY | Body and Spirit: The Sweetness of Kindness Builds The Strength of Compassion


"Tenderness and kindness 
are not signs of weakness and despair, 
but manifestations of
strength and resolution." 
~Kahlil Gibran


"The measure of a country's greatness 
is its ability to retain compassion 
in times of crisis."
~Thurgood Marshall




"In separateness,
 lies the world's great misery;
in compassion lies
 the world's true strength."
~Gautama Buddha


___________

wishing you peace.

live beautifully,
stephanie-




Friday, October 17, 2014

FAV QUOTE FRIDAY | MINDFUL LIVING: How To Be Happier - 4 Ways To Add Beauty and Joyfulness To Our Lives



“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.
If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”
~The Dalai Lama



Be content with what you have;
rejoice in the way things are.
When you realize there is nothing lacking,
the whole world belongs to you.”
~Lao Tzu



"May I be the wishing jewel,
the vase of plenty, a powerful mantra
and the supreme healing;
may I be the tree of miracles."
~Shantideva

 

"Pursue some path,

however narrow and crooked,
in which you can walk with love and reverence."
~Henry David Thoreau 



be happy,
live beautifully,


stephanie- 








MINDFUL LIVING: How To Add Feng Shui Into Your Life - Tips For More Energy and Happiness | Sacred Space | Art Of Placement


What if rejuvenating your life 
was as simple as moving a few things around?

If you've ever gone into a room and suddenly
felt like you wanted to leave because it felt stifling,
or conversely, wanted to sit and stay in a place
because it felt so energizing, welcoming and 'happy',
then you very likely were feeling the invisible earth energy that is
the basis of the ancient Eastern practice known as Feng Shui.

"Welcome your brand new day by greeting the first hour
doing exactly what inspires, blesses and adjusts your energy
for vitality, wonder and happiness.
Maybe that’s meditation, movement, journaling,
aromatherapy bathing, offerings at your altar,
walking in nature, dancing or chanting
-whatever it is for YOU.
End your day the same way, with the last hour before
you sleep filled with meaningful quiet."

~Gwynne Warner,

Certified Advanced Feng Shui Consultant



Feng Shui (pronounced Fung Shway) literally means “wind and water"
in Chinese, and for many, can seem a bit 'new age-gy.
But it's a practice that uses earth elements and
makes use of those 'hidden forces' (also known as 'chi' or life force)
within an environment to direct that energy
for the benefit and well being of its occupants.






 "We experience organic beauty and wellness when
pure, vibrating energy—also called chi, ki, prana, ruah -
can flow effortlessly through us and around us.
When this energy is disrupted, or blocked in any way,
inner and outer balance may be compromised,
and that is when mis- fortune, discomfort, or dis-ease may set in.
True well-being; wholeness in mind, body, spirit and environment -
exists when this life force energy is optimized,
creating the sacred space for balance, harmony, growth,
and success to flourish."

~
Jayme Barrett,
Feng Shui Consultant, Author


 

Feng Shui is often called 'the art of placement',
and it's practice has the effect of enhancing and
harmonizing energy flow within and around your surroundings,
simply by paying attention to how you arrange
your living and working environments.



"The home is to us, as roots are to a tree…the more balance it has,
the greater the potential for growth & longevity.
The stronger the roots, the more we can withstand.
Our foundations are the birth place of all other aspects of our lives -
and our homes are most often the platforms
upon which we build our lives."

~Leah Jade, Feng Shui Consultant, Author
 
 
For resources
and more information,
connect with these 
talented experts and their websites:
Leah Jade's Sacred Space


till next time, 
live beautifully,
stephanie- 





Saturday, October 11, 2014

FAV QUOTE FRIDAY | MINDFUL LIVING: The Beauty, Magic and Miracles of Nature and This Amazing Earth

"The whole world is a series of miracles,
but we're so used to seeing them...
we call them 'ordinary'."
~Hans Christian Anderson 


“Let’s take our hearts for a walk in the woods
and listen to the magic whispers of old trees.”



“Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature.”
~Gerard De Nerval

 
“See the beauty in everything.
As you awaken to your divine nature,
you'll begin to appreciate beauty
in everything you see, touch, and experience.”
~Dr. Wayne Dyer



~enjoy~
 stephanie-

Sunday, October 5, 2014

ECO FASHION: Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Seek, Buy, Wear Sustainable Non-GMO Organic Cotton



1. Non-GMO:
As opposed to GM cotton, Organic cotton
gives the control and choice of seed back to farmers,
has no unknown side-effects,
no corruption of natural seed genetic makeup
and no coerced contracts with Monsanto or
other Agro-Bio-Tech companies.

(Monsanto currently controls more than
95% of all conventional cottonseed and sales in India.)

2. Saves Water:
Organic Cotton uses less water to grow, and does not
pollute the ground water in farming areas.

and uses less water to process

3. Naturally Soft
Organic cotton naturally produces a

softer,
smoother, more durable fiber
than industry-grown cotton, which then needs
additional chemicals to soften and smooth the fibers.
Organic has no harmful chemicals that can be absorbed by the skin, 

something especially helpful to those with allergies and sensitivites.

Organic cotton is safer for your baby


4. Helps Combat Global Warming, Improves Biodiversity: 
Organic cotton farming uses less energy and
creates healthy organic soils, which store more carbon and
produce up to 94% less greenhouse gas emissions.
Healthy soils remove CO2 from the atmosphere,
helping ground water, biodiversity, and soil condition.


5. No Toxic/Carcinogenic Pesticides, Herbicides or Chemical Fertilizers:
Reduces air, soil and water pollution,
eliminating the source of cotton farmers and workers
illness and death caused by toxic pesticides.
Over 77 million farmers/workers of conventionally grown cotton
suffer from some level of pesticide poisning each year.
Also helps bees, bats, hummingbirds and all other pollinators.



Along with your organic food,
please look for
and buy organic clothing!

And, as always, 
live beautifully!

stephanie-

Sources: 
Soil Association
Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS)
Panna .org
Organic Trade Association
Harmony Foundation (Canada)
United States Department Of Agriculture-Organic

Friday, October 3, 2014

FAV QUOTE FRIDAY | ECO FASHION: Choices To Create A Sense Of Empowerment, Connection and Well-Being

"Style is a way to say who you are,
without having to speak."
~Rachel Zoe, fashion designer,
editor, stylist



  “You might think people would buy clothes out of pity,
but they won’t. People buy clothes because
they want to be excited about themselves.
...it has to be great clothing
that just happens to be goody-goody, too.”
~
Katharine Hamnett,
Fashion Designer, organic cotton and
ethical fashion advocate



 
"If it can't be reduced, reused, repaired,
rebuilt, refurbished, refinished,
resold recyclcled or composted,
then it should be restricted, redesigned
or removed from production."
~Pete Seeger
Folk Singer/Songwriter, Environmentalist, Activist 





"Every time you spend money, 
you're casting your vote for the kind of world you want."
~Anna Lappe
Author, Educator, Sustainable Living advocate




"When one tugs at a single thing in Nature,
he finds it attached to the rest of the world."

~John Muir
Author, Naturalist and Wilderness Conservation
Pioneer




live beautifully,

stephanie-




Saturday, September 27, 2014

FAV QUOTE FRIDAY | ECO LIVING: Environmental Destruction or Sustainability? The Need For Effective Action and Call for #PositiveChange


100% GMO canola/rapeseed field 
 
"We're in a giant car,
heading for a brick wall,
and everyone is arguing over where to sit."
~David Suzuki, geneticist, anti-GMO activist

 
 (photo of Central California Coastline by Rodney Washington)
 
"It's not too late to save the planet...
Every single one of us makes an impact
on this planet every single day.
But we have a choice
as to what impact we’re going to make.”

~Jane Goodall
De-forested Rainforest area
 People who will not sustain trees
will soon live in a world
which cannot sustain people."
~Bryce Nelson
Tar Sands production field in Canada

“There is a tendency at every
important but difficult crossroad
to pretend that it's not really there.”

~Bill McKibben, The End of Nature
Read the interview with Bill in The New Yorker


For me, ecouraging #positivechange
 is not just a slogan. It is a call to action.
A reminder that every day, all of us, as citizens of the Earth,

make choices that affect the earth.
And of how easy and how very important it is
to make choices that make a positive difference...

To make decisions that consider not only 
you, and your immediate needs or wants, 
but to consider the needs of others, as well,
and even those who will come after you.
#PositiveChange is about
your personal legacy 

to humankind and to the earth. 
Are you in?
What kind of #positivechange
have you made today?


I'd love to hear your feedback.
Agree? Disagree?

live beautifully,


stephanie-



Friday, September 26, 2014

LIFESTYLE: The Etiquette Of Winery Visits | Expert Tips On Wine Tasting Dos and Don'ts

For those of you who enjoy wines, one of the most fun and beautiful
ways to spend time together with friends or your significant other is to
head off on a road trip to Wine Country. And with so many
wine-producing areas across the country,
there most likely is one nearby enough for a day trip.
But due to some of the vague, yet de rigueur, behavior
expected of visitors, it can be a bit bewildering
or even intimidating to some. To ease any anxieties
and get the most out of your trip,
I've compiled a list of 'Do's and Don'ts' to keep in mind,
with the help of some wine tasting experts.

Top Tips for a Wine Tasting at a Vineyard or Winery


My Top Tip Pick: "The Technique"
: ...for those looking to glean the most from the wines, swirling is a
great way to stoke (read: aerate) wine’s myriad aromas. For maximum
control, place your glass on a flat surface and swirl while grasping the stem.
When tasting, hold glasses by the stem rather than the bowl; holding
them by the bowl coats glasses in greasy fingerprints and can disturb
the temperature of the wine (ideally it’s been poured at just the right temp).
Inhale deeply before taking a sip; wine’s aromas comprise one of its most
beguiling offerings! Upon drinking, swirl the wine around in your mouth to
ensure it coats all the surfaces; we pick up different texture and flavor
sensations in different parts of our mouths.
Read her entire article 
My Top Tip Pick: "Ask Questions"
"Don't be a passive taster,... but engage the wine server. They are excited
about the wines and want to share that excitement with you. Remember,
a winery visit is about the full experience, not just the wines. You never know,
the servers may pour you a wine that is not on the menu, or better yet,
do some barrel tasting. Connect with the servers and they will likely
remember you the next time you visit."
Read their entire article
My Top Tip Pick: (for the ladies!) "Skip the Lipstick"
"A wine glass slathered around the rim with goopy lipstick is not
something anyone wants to see, especially if you’re the culprit.
And wine pourers don’t care for it because the lipstick often won’t
come off in the dishwasher... I suggest taking a break from lipsticks
and heavy glosses and going for either a tinted lip balm or a
smudge-proof lip stain that won't transfer."
Read her entire article
My Top Tip Pick: "Keep Your Wines Out of the Hot Car"
"A car that’s sitting in the sun will cook your wines in no time flat.
Find a way to avoid that." I'd suggest putting a large cooler into
your car or trunk with sealed freeze packs. Also have something
that can be placed between the bottles to keep them from
knocking into each other all the way back home.
Read their entire article 
(John & 'Dottie' are now independent of wsj. You can visit them on their Facebook Page)

Tips all experts agree on:
~ Do not wear perfume or cologne to a tasting.
~ A winery is not a bar; be polite, subdued and
   respectful of your hosts and the other guests.



Tips you shouldn't forget:
~ Arrange for a Designated Driver, or better yet, arrange
   for a taxi or shuttle, so that all may enjoy, but safely.
~ Dress stylishly, yet appropriately. Don't dress too casually,
   but do leave your high heels at home. Also d
ress in layers,
   bring your sunglasses, scarf, hat and a folding umbrella.

Have you gone on a Winery Tasting trip?
Share some of your favorite memories or aspects with me!
and, of course, please do look for wineries that offer organically grown wines!

Happy Autumn!!
live beautifully...

stephanie-












Once you're get to the tasting bar, don't be a passive taster, who just stands there and says nothing. Engage the wine server. They are excited about the wines and want to share that excitement with you. Remember, a winery visit is about the full experience, not just the wines. You never know, the servers may pour you a wine that is not on the menu, or better yet, do some barrel tasting. Connect with the servers and they will likely remember you the next time you visit. - See more at: http://www.wilsoncreekwinery.com/Wine-101/Tips-for-Visiting-Wineries.aspx#sthash.26GCODpV.dpuf
Once you're get to the tasting bar, don't be a passive taster, who just stands there and says nothing. Engage the wine server. They are excited about the wines and want to share that excitement with you. Remember, a winery visit is about the full experience, not just the wines. You never know, the servers may pour you a wine that is not on the menu, or better yet, do some barrel tasting. Connect with the servers and they will likely remember you the next time you visit. I typically like to ask the servers what wineries THEY like to visit, so I get the inside scoop of a region I am unfamiliar with. - See more at: http://www.wilsoncreekwinery.com/Wine-101/Tips-for-Visiting-Wineries.aspx#sthash.26GCODpV.dpuf
Once you're get to the tasting bar, don't be a passive taster, who just stands there and says nothing. Engage the wine server. They are excited about the wines and want to share that excitement with you. Remember, a winery visit is about the full experience, not just the wines. You never know, the servers may pour you a wine that is not on the menu, or better yet, do some barrel tasting. Connect with the servers and they will likely remember you the next time you visit. I typically like to ask the servers what wineries THEY like to visit, so I get the inside scoop of a region I am unfamiliar with. - See more at: http://www.wilsoncreekwinery.com/Wine-101/Tips-for-Visiting-Wineries.aspx#sthash.26GCODpV.dpuf
Ask questions. Once you're get to the tasting bar, don't be a passive taster, who just stands there and says nothing. Engage the wine server. They are excited about the wines and want to share that excitement with you. Remember, a winery visit is about the full experience, not just the wines. You never know, the servers may pour you a wine that is not on the menu, or better yet, do some barrel tasting. Connect with the servers and they will likely remember you the next time you visit. - See more at: http://www.wilsoncreekwinery.com/Wine-101/Tips-for-Visiting-Wineries.aspx#sthash.26GCODpV.dpuf
Ask questions. Once you're get to the tasting bar, don't be a passive taster, who just stands there and says nothing. Engage the wine server. They are excited about the wines and want to share that excitement with you. Remember, a winery visit is about the full experience, not just the wines. You never know, the servers may pour you a wine that is not on the menu, or better yet, do some barrel tasting. Connect with the servers and they will likely remember you the next time you visit. - See more at: http://www.wilsoncreekwinery.com/Wine-101/Tips-for-Visiting-Wineries.aspx#sthash.26GCODpV.dpuf
Ask questions. Once you're get to the tasting bar, don't be a passive taster, who just stands there and says nothing. Engage the wine server. They are excited about the wines and want to share that excitement with you. Remember, a winery visit is about the full experience, not just the wines. You never know, the servers may pour you a wine that is not on the menu, or better yet, do some barrel tasting. Connect with the servers and they will likely remember you the next time you visit. - See more at: http://www.wilsoncreekwinery.com/Wine-101/Tips-for-Visiting-Wineries.aspx#sthash.26GCODpV.dpuf
http://www.winecountry.com/winetasting/etiquette.html  by Courtney Cochran

http://www.wilsoncreekwinery.com/Wine-101/Tips-for-Visiting-Wineries.aspx

 http://guides.wsj.com/wine/going-wine-tasting/15-steps-to-a-successful-winery-visit/

http://www.therichlifeonabudget.com/2014/03/what-to-wear-wine-tasting-10tips-from-an-expert.html