hello Monday: a sweet escape and great inspiration

Hello Monday. 

I was lucky enough to sneak away with some friends this past weekend. The timing was perfect and helped recharge and reset my batteries after a crazy week.

We visited Greenport, New York, eating, tasting wine, laughing and enjoying this beautiful part of our island. 

We stayed at this gem of a hotel overlooking the harbor last year too. It's a fantastic find: comfortable, beautifully designed and fantastic service.

Hello Blue Canoe Oyster Bar & Grill, a fabulous find my sister-in-law recommended.

It was a hit on every level: great food, decor and amazing setting and the perfect way to start the weekend off.
This shot is from the restaurant's website. They were just getting the outside prepped so we didn't get to enjoy the fireplaces this trip, but how cool is this spot?

We enjoyed beers on the deck and watched the Shelter Island ferry pass to and fro for a good hour.

Hello attention to detail: even the light posts were charming.

 Hello great coastal style. Grainy, instagram photos, but you get the idea. I loved everything about the interior of the restaurant. I could live in this space.

Hello Spring in full bloom. We hit the winery trail on Saturday, and even though the sun was in and out, the gorgeous green that was everywhere brightened the day. The wine didn't hurt either.

 Some traveled by coach bus.

We hoofed it instead but the rewards were just as sweet.

Today it's back to reality.
Hello to a house in need of cleaning, purging, organizing and laundry.
Hello to a day filled with catching up on emails, bills and all that un-sexy real life stuff.
Hello and Happy Birthday to my best-friend since childhood AND my "little" cousin.
Hello to the sun trying to break through, a visit from our family and a short week.

Hello to you.

What are you saying hello to this week?

hello monday: color and pattern stories that I owe to my Mom

Hello Monday and hello to you. 

My mother has given me lots of gifts in my life: faith, good manners, the ability to look on the bright side of things and give people the benefit of the doubt.  She's also given me my appreciation for design.  If it weren't for my mom going on and on about the color of the sky on a particular day, the gorgeous colonial she loved on her favorite street in Cape Cod, or her tri-annual need to rearrange the furniture, I probably wouldn't love this world as much as I do.

When I was about to graduate from college, it was my mom who encouraged me to go back to school for design even though she and my dad had just spent four years  paying for my English degree. At the time, I felt I should do something more "noble and practical" and become a teacher. When I mused about design school, my mother suggested that giving people a beautiful space was noble because it makes them feel good.

At twenty-two, I thought her answer was too simple. How could she possibly figure it out so easily? Here I am seventeen years later and mom was right all along.

So this Monday, as I work on selecting a color and pattern story for a window treatment class I'm taking, I'm thinking of my mom and how she really inspired it all for me.

Thanks, Mom. Now which scheme would she choose? 
Feel frree to weigh in, readers!

A.This is for the fictional client who has recently added a large, shared bedroom for her four and six year old daughters. She wants it to be a happy, youthful space that can evolve as the girls grow.

B. Probably mom's favorite. This is for the client who also has a young family, but lives in an old Dutch colonial in a neighborhood full of historic homes, near the harbor. They want a somewhat traditional feel to the room, but with a contemporary, less serious twist.

 C & D. These next two are for the same type of client. I was working with a ton of samples I already had and really wanted to see how I could pair these two wallpapers in a unique and cohesive way.

This last one needs something else. Maybe a pin stripe, maybe a small dot pattern. 
I'd love to hear your thoughts! Please weigh in below in the comments or on FB.

What are you saying hello to this week?

hello monday: hello sunshine

Hello Monday. This week I'm finally saying hello to spring. Feeling the sunshine and warmth these past few days has made everything feel a little fresher and brighter around here.

*Hello Monday is where I try to greet the new week with fresh eyes and a positive outlook, inspired by Lisa Leonard's lovely blog.*

Here are a few shots from the weekend that made me smile.

Hello boy and his giant puppy.
For me, and apparently the boy, having a dog in the house again has been a breath a fresh air. Well, not literally since she does smell like dog, but you know what I mean.

Hello happy accident and beautiful spring sky. 
I found this shot on my phone that I certainly didn't intend to take. I couldn't take this shot again if I tried. 

Hello early birthday brunch for my soon-to-be nine year old. 
I won't lie: that number seems impossible and bittersweet. Halfway to eighteen. But what a kid she is. We hit the jackpot when we brought her home from the hospital. Celebrating this sweet, thoughtful girl is one of my favorite things to do.


So my week will be welcoming the reality of routine, more sunshine, celebrations and with any luck, outdoor living.

What are you welcoming this week?

hello monday: good stuff

This winter put me in a funk. I wasn't feeling very inspired or creative, but just when I needed it most, the sun began to shine, and the stars lined up a little. This week, I'm looking ahead with a full heart. 

*Hello Monday is where I try to greet the new week with fresh eyes and a positive outlook, inspired by Lisa Leonard's lovely blog.*
Now for some hellos:

Hello beautiful pooch who will be joining our family in a couple of weeks. 
After Cedric died I wasn't sure I could do this again, but as soon as my husband sent me this sweet girl's picture I knew I was ready. And already in love with her.

Hello to our almost birthday boy who is super excited about our soon-to-be new friend. 
We browsed the new Petsmart in our neighborhood yesterday and he picked out some toys for a local animal shelter. This little boy, who is not quite so little anymore, has a heart of gold and a tremendous love for animals. He makes me laugh and melts my heart every day.
Hello to a sweet goodbye! 
This ceiling fan was supposed to be temporary. It's now been hanging for eleven years. I couldn't be happier to see it leave and hang up its replacement: a simple, fairly inexpensive update that helps this space cross the finish line. (I'll share those pics later this week)

hello to St. Patrick's Day, Eamon's birthday and lots of celebrating this weekend
hello to a fun new class I'm taking
hello to like-minded souls who help me feel inspired and creative

hello Monday
hello to you

What are you saying hello to this week?

hello Monday: treasure hunting

Here in the Northeast, it seems that Mondays have turned into storm days: 
ice, snow, sleet, freezing rain. 

Good times. 

This Monday I'm saying hello to a new coat of ice and a sick kiddo who is my free pass to stay indoors and snuggle up today. And, as usual, I'm linking up with Lisa Leonard's hello Monday series.

Since I've been stuck at home most of the weekend, I thought I'd share some shots of the treasure hunting I did on Friday. I love to hit up flea markets, antique, thrift and consignment shops. I love the mix of random items thrown together, some worthwhile, some not. I love the thought of finding hidden treasure and great bargains, but mostly I love the sense of possibility and history that's always present if you look for it.

I spent a little while browsing and sifting through the wares at my new neighborhood haunt, Long Island Trading Post, a second hand store that raises money to provide home care and housing for elderly, disabled and less fortunate.  

Here's a glimpse at some of the cool and quirky goods I found:
Apropos of last week's post, hello basket full of vintage cabinet hardware
and bench I wanted desperately for my kitchen table but had to pass on. 
I pictured it in black to pull the whole space together, but it was too big. 
Good thing I always travel with a measuring tape!
(I found this a few weeks ago there- no surprise it was snapped up quickly)

How cool is this old paper cutter? I almost scooped it up, but passed. A friend of mine ended up buying it though. It's got so much character!

 This was my favorite find. Talk about traveling in style! I might have to go back for this booze box. Traveling with it could be a little dodgy, but we could put this gorgeous, vintage stuff to great use.

Hello cool mystery box that I couldn't get open to find out what was inside. More barware? Binoculars?? Anyone?? Regardless, it's awesome looking and would be a great accessory for styling some shelves.

These Art Deco nightstands would be a fabulous score for someone as-is, or spruced up.

A pair of leather bar stools that could be great with a little TLC.

Hello gas mask. Yup, a gas mask.

And hello to the only thing I purchased. A sweet little coffee canister, brand new and $3. 
It's little things like this that make me happy. 

When you shop at Long Island Trading Post, not only do the proceeds of your purchases go to a good cause but you can donate nonperishable food for locals in need.

If you're in my neck of the woods and enjoy a good thrift shop, stop by the Long Island Trading Post!

Okay, off to nest with my girl. I hope your Monday is safe and warm. 

hello monday,wintry monday...

Hello Monday is where I try to start the week off on the right foot,
with a fresh perspective and positive outlook. 

I'll be honest, shoveling 4" of ice and slush 
for two hours made that positive outlook part a little tricky today.

Hello old man winter. Next time bring snow, please. I'd gladly take 2' of snow instead of ice.

Hello beautiful orchid and warm house. 
My friend Claudia brought me this plant for my birthday last month. 
I have a history of killing plants, so the fact that this guy is still alive AND thriving is a miracle. 
I love the dichotomy of how tropical it looks with the wintry scene out the window behind it.

Hello February. Wasn't it just Christmas?
Hello to a week of sourcing and opening up some trade accounts.
Hello to chaperoning a first grade field trip with my little man and his friends.
Hello to staying out of the cold and working on my ever-growing to-do list inside.

Hello to you. 
What are you saying hello to this week? 
Drop by Lisa Leonard's blog for some more hellos and inspiration.

Hello Spontaneity, hello Monday

Sometimes a great weekend makes a big difference in starting Monday off on the right foot.  Our weekend was pretty impromptu and turned out to be fantastic. I'm trying to take the hint and let spontaneity take over more often. Today I'm sharing some pictures of the past few days and saying hello to the little things that fill me up. You can find more Hello Monday posts over at Lisa Leonard's Blog.

Hello to fall in the air and quiet long walks with my sweet, soulful four-legged friend.

Hello to my Montauk daisies about to bloom and the memory of a fabulous wedding.

Hello handsome, toothless little man who's growing up way too quickly for me,

just like his big sister. 
She was so excited to pick out this denim jacket. She looks so big and old to me here and even though I want to steal back a few years (along with my sunglasses)
watching her big kid confidence grow is really pretty awesome.

Hello Irish Fest and a beautiful barn at Old Bethpage Village Restoration
We had a great day celebrating 6 months until St. Patrick's Day (only in NY!), enjoying great Irish music, good cold beer and stepping back in time at one of our favorite spots on Long Island.

Hello to a pretty spot for me to work.  
I had envisioned something entirely different and much more sleek when I was planning to carve an office out of a corner of my living room. 
BUT, I spied this old beauty at an estate sale, in great condition with two leaves that extend from each end. I let spontaneity take the lead and bought it for a song.

I'm already scheming and dreaming about what should stay brown and and what I should paint. Right now it's looking like a wood version of the denim tuxedo, but I'm trying to just be still and not overthink it. I'm thrilled with my score and love its character and function.

Hello, beautiful, sunny, Sunday treasure hunting and people watching at the Bellmore Flea Market
and a pair of new old sconces I have the perfect project for.
I still have to convince my husband they have the potential to be more treasure than trash. 

Newport Beach Home Tour: http://www.stylemepretty.com/living/2014/04/29/newport-beach-home-tour/ | Photography: Esther Sun - http://www.esthersunphoto.com/
from Style me Pretty Living
Hello gorgeous space I stumbled upon on Pinterest.
I have been thinking about this picture for days. I know that sounds crazy, but I can't get it out of my mind. So now it looks like there's a twist to my kitchen face lift. But I'm actually really enthusiastic about it and reminded of how grateful I am to be able to pursue what I am passionate about. The last few weeks I've been daunted by the thought of really trying to make a go of my business. There are plenty of moments when I think that I should just go work for someone else, but when my creative juices get flowing I'm encouraged to keep at it and plug along to see where this takes me.

What are you saying hello to this week?

hello Monday, goodbye summer

After my son was born, Mondays changed for me. My role shifted from working mom to stay at home mom. There were days that this was blissful and days I secretly envied my friends who were out in the world. When Eamon started kindergarten last year, I was working on the show house, finishing design school and trying to keep the homestead on track. Some days it was exhilarating while others, impossible. Now that I'm home again, trying to start and grow my business while the kids are in school, Mondays seem to have gotten a lot more quiet than I'm used to.  I know how fortunate I am to have had the opportunities I did these last few years. I'm trying to enjoy the lull and hopefully, the calm before the storm, but this is not always in my nature as I think I kind of thrive when busy.

I often read Lisa Leonard's Hello Monday series where she and other bloggers link up to embrace the start of the new week. Each time I do, I feel like I've just left a yoga class: relaxed and optimistic, even if the day ends up going in a completely different direction. In an effort to start my week off on a positive note and embrace my new kind of Monday, I'm linking up there today, sharing some of the moments that inpsired me this summer and saying hello. Please drop by her blog and take a look at the series.

Hello Summer Vacation and a visit to one of our favorite places: Cape Charles, VA.

Hello historic gems, a diamond in the rough and lovely details.

the Barrier Island Center in Machipongo, VA, one of my favorite places to visit on the Eastern Shore of VA
Mason Street, Cape Charles, here and below

Barrier Islands Center

Hello ego check. My daughter took this shot while on vacation because we couldn't find a mirror. And then laughed and told me not to buy this hat. Because it's what teenagers wear. I bought it anyway. I'm hoping it's spared me a wrinkle or two.

Hello beach days a plenty with family, friends and SPF one thousand.

Hello to finishing a project (almost) just a little late.

Hello beautiful patterns and palettes everywhere.

Hello first and third grades and one last spectacular sunset.

With any luck, Monday and the rest of the week with be kind to all of us.
What are you saying hello to this week?