The Style Cocktail.

She Said She Shed

interior designThe Style CocktailComment
she said.jpg

We women are born caretakers...we raise children, take care of elderly parents, support our friends, family members and signifcant others. We all need a reminder now and then to take care of ourselves. I can't imagine a better way to unwind than with a cup of coffee, tea or wine in one of these beautiful outdoor she-sheds. Candles, soft music, birds chirping, a favorite book, journal, or magazine...count me in!

sheshed.jpg
She-Shed.jpg

Which space would you choose to unwind in?

{8} Lovely Outdoor Springtime Living Spaces

interior designThe Style CocktailComment
outdoor-living-spaces.jpg

If you are a New Englander than you understand just how beloved springtime is to all of us. Cold, long, dark New England winters feel never ending. We get down-right giddy the first morning we wake up to birds chirping and see buds beginning to bloom on barren tree branches. 

Every year I commit to building myself an outdoor living oasis and last year I even got off to a good start, (until all my potted flowers died). I unfortunately, do not have a green thumb and I admit to even not being able to keep a cactus alive, (hanging head in shame). I once planted Mums and broke out in complete hives. Maybe I'm a Diva who is simply allergic to dirt. A good dose of Benadryl, a warm bath and dabs of Caledryl here and there did the trick. Can you believe my wildflower seeds never even sprouted? Seriously?! It's pathetic.

flower-gardens-6.jpg

Another Spring and I'm ready for round #3. I think I will ask my green thumbed friends for advice this time and maybe do a little research ahead of time. Until then, I'll dream of my outdoor oasis! 

Have you made a designated outdoor oasis at your home to enjoy alfresco dinners and relax? 

 

A Note To My True Love

travel, parisThe Style CocktailComment
paris-mon-amour.jpg

Paris My Love,

You have filled my senses in a way no human or anything else ever quite will be able to fulfill. If having a romance with a city is wrong, then lock me up I'm guilty as charged. You are my one true love, my soul connection, the place that makes me the best version of myself. Your beauty bewilders me...each architectural delight, carefully curated garden, museum, café, and boulangerie, baking loaves of fresh, crusty bread daily, are all works of a work of art.  From your streets lined with colorful Vespas to Ladurée's shelves, lined with rows of delicately designed Macarons, all delight my senses of sight and smell. I crave Nutella Crepes from your cobbblestoned street vendors and frothy mugs of Hot Chocolat from Angelina's. Never have I felt so alive than I have felt in your presence.  I long for the time when we can be together again. 

Not only have you been the love of my life. You have taught me so very much about the art of living. I have learned from you the importance of joie de vivre...the joy of living...how to savor even the smallest of moments. I've learned to slow down, enjoy a conversation, relax with a glass of wine or champagne while putting my feet up and tilting my face towards the sun. I buy fresh flowers for my home, enjoy a delicate pastry off of a pretty dish and I really delight in each meal by taking my time whether I'm dining out or at home. 

To know you is to love you. You are adored by masses for many reasons. Thank you for being my dream, my teacher, my escape and everything. You will forever hold a special place in my heart....if I had to guess I would say the place is in the shape of the Eiffel Tower right in my heart's center. 

Bisous Bisous xx

What Having A Side Hustle Can Teach Us

wisdomsThe Style CocktailComment
quote-door.jpg

When people ask us who we are, we often respond with a singular, one dimensional answer: Doctor, Administrator, Mom, Professor, Wife, Vice President, Business Owner, Addict, Grandfather, Student...you get the idea. The truth is that we all have many 'titles' but we should never allow ourselves to be pigeon-holed into less than who we truly are or what we can be. We were created to be multi-dimenional humans. Take me for example, I'm a mother, but it doesn't end there...I'm a creative individual, lover of the written word, daughter, friend, work professional, sister, lover of travel, caffeine connoisseur, fan of furry friends of of four legged variety and lead singer in 'The Privacy Of My Own Shower' band. Much like prisms, we are a beams of white light until we disperse our wavelengths allowing us to turn into a beautiful mosaic of colors. 

It's the complexity in our personalities that make us diverse, unique and intersting. Having a side hustle provides us with an opportunity to discover dimensions of ourselves we never even knew existed. Sometimes side hustles open doors and opportunities that turn into wonderful, unexpected adventures. 

I accidentally fell into a side hustle when I stumbled upon blogging back in 2010. I never intended to start a blog. I'm not a planner, it's not in my DNA. I'm more of a dreamer and a doer. I get an idea and I jump in head first. I like to throw things at the wall and see what sticks. I never set out to grow huge readership or monetinize my blog. I just loved having a creative outlet. I was persistent and authentic which led me to build relationships within the blogging and professional communities. My first side hustle that spun off of blogging was travel writing. I had shared so much on my blog about my obsession with Nantucket that I started to receive a steady stream of emails from readers who wanted recommendations on visiting New England. Ding Ding. Lightbulb moment. In my usual fashion, I jumped right in and reached out to properties explaining my position and asked if they would be interested in having me write a travel editorial featuring their property. One editorial led to another, and side hustle #1 was born. Travel Writer.

Another avenue that arose from blogging was that I discovered my love of graphic design. I was having so much fun creating my blog template that I started researching and teaching myself HTML in order to figure out how to create templates. I started getting questions from readers about how to make graphic changes and whether I could help them with their design. Ding Ding. Lightbulb moment again. Side hustle #2 was born. Blog Designer.

Side hustle #3 happened when I decided to add an online store to my blog. This one didn't stick mainly because I hated going to the post office and my personal life at that time didn't allow me the time I needed to put forth to make this venture successful.  Would I try it again at some point? Never say never. Part of having side hustles are the ability to explore different avenues to see what we might enjoy and find out what is or is not for us. Fear of failure or putting yourself out there can't even be a consideration. With each failure or mistake in life, we learn the best and biggest lessons. As for fear of being judged ...who cares what anyone thinks? Seriously. No, seriously. In the end, it's how we feel about ourselves that matter. Be BOLD. Have the courage to fail big and stick around and make everyone wonder why you are still smiling. Be passionate. Find an outlet for what you love. It's your life. No one ever got from point A to point B by standing still. Life can't be dynamic without taking chances. 

My current side hustle started with the intent of styling for small intimate events. If I can blend my background in visual design with my creativity then it's not a hustle, it's a passion. I am slowly building my portfolio, moving forward knowing that everything takes time and sometimes our original idea takes on a whole new shape. In time it will be revealed whether this venture will take on a life of it's own....and if it doesn't I already have 2 or 3 or 4 adventures perculating. As Luci Swindoll so engagingly once said, "I married adventure." 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Friyay

lifeThe Style CocktailComment

Hello Loves - Happy Friyay! There is something about Fridays that gets ingrained in us from a young age that makes us giddy. The promise of time off, a taste of freedom and a chance to do whatever we choose. I'm working for a short while tomorrow but you can bet your bottom dollar that I'll be making the most of every minute I have off. What do you have planned for the weekend?  Happy Cinco de Mayo! 

Take Time To De-compress

self love, lifeThe Style CocktailComment

Happy mid week Everyone! I hope that you take a few minutes during your busy days to de-compress and refocus on what's important. Sometimes when we break down what is really knawing at us and think of it's important in the long run, we come to the conclusion that it's not worth wasting so much time focusing on. Stess will kill us if we let it. Remember that worry is a useless emotion and focus instead on those those blessings we are greatful for. xo

 

Free To Vacay

life, vacation, wisdomsThe Style CocktailComment
birds-ocean.jpg

I'm curious...do you feel free? What is feeling free exactly? We are all tied to something, arent' we? Sometimes I feel constrained by responsibilities...car, rent, bills, the cost of living, responsiblity of others...you get it. We've all been there. It's probably the reason why vacation was invented. Who was that clever person that said, "Enough of this crap already, let's hop on a plane!!! I know, I'm gonna vacay this place for awhile, I'll call it vacation!" Brilliant. Thank you to whomever you are...I love you.

Sometimes that's all we need...a break from reality, a change of scenery, a new perspective. A chance to gain mental clarity in order to put into perspective what is really important and what we need not to fret about.

What was the best vacation you ever took and why? 

{Interior Design} Shutter Island

interior design, nantucketThe Style CocktailComment
kitchen-nantucket-home-shutters.png

No, I'm not referring to Shutter Island, the Leo Dicaprio thriller, but to this Nantucket Island home that has gorgeous shutters as opposed to the expected french doors for privacy between rooms. This stunning home is the mastermind from the Architectural firm, Ike Kligerman Barkley.  Let's all pretend we can feel the ocean breeze, smell the island Hydrangeas and sit back and enjoy!

yard-nantucket-home-ocean-view.png

 

 

Please Do YOU

life, self loveThe Style CocktailComment
black-pajama-set-the-style-cocktail.jpg

Most of us are dynamic without realizing it. In a world filled with social media where everyone Tom, Dick and Harry is promoting only the best in his or her life, there is scientic proof that too much social media is not good for a person. Waif-like Instagram models in bikinis don't help to contribute to a healthy body image. Globe-trotters that can afford to travel the world and stay in luxurious places shout: "Your life is not good enough." This has been statistically proven. Social media, although fun to look at dreamy places, has to be kept in check. Even the people with the most seemingly perfect existences have challenges and obstacles in life to overcome. 

Companies like Darling, Aerie and Dove are doing their best to promote healthy body images for girls and women. They started to use average-size, untouched models in their campaigns. Their message is simply: You are enough. You are good enough the way you are. Embrace the body you have. Embrace your life. Be the best version of you instead of being a version of someone you are not. 

My motto is come as you are, except who you are, love who you are. You are dynamic, one of a kind, fascinating, interesting, funny, intelligent, perfectly imperfect...everyone has beauty in them. Let your light shine.

dogs-entry-the-style-cocktail.jpg

These Things I Know For Certain

life, wisdomsThe Style CocktailComment

These things I know for certain:

There will always be tests in life. There will be bad times but eventually they pass and there will be beatiful, glorious moments.

No other than me, will determine my self-worth or ability to succeed.

I will fall. I will get right back up again. I will fall. I will get right back up again. 

Money does not buy happiness. On your deathbed would you rather be laying there surrounded by paper bills or loved ones holding your hand?

One or 2 close friends is better than a boatload of acquaintances. When times get tough, acquaintances will not be there for you. True friends will be there through thick and thin.

Settling in a romantic relationship is unacceptable. 

Health and family are everything.

Home is not so much a place, but a feeling and sense of security.

Peace is an inside job and requires self-introspection and work to achieve and maintain.

There is nothing more beautiful than a smile.

There is no better sound then the laughter of children.

Water seeks it's own level. The universe returns to us whatever energy we are putting out. 

The ability to forgive another is not for their benefit but for ours. 

Dog is God spelled backwards because they both love unconditionally.

No one is better than anyone else. Pretentious people are insecure. It doesn't matter if you are a janitor or a hedgefund manager...everyone deserves the same respect. 

If you are unhappy with your current situation take the steps necessary to change it, but don't get discouraged when it doesn't happen overnight. Keep faith.

Sometimes a road trip with open windows and good music is all that is needed to clear one's head.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Stella Got her Optimism Back

The Style CocktailComment

This past Valentine's Day I spent the majority of the day at the emergency room. I have a genetic blood clotting disorder and was experiencing some similar symptoms so I wanted to rule out a clot, (thank God it was not a clot)! Sitting there waiting for my results brought me back to the time I actually did have a very serious clot and the Doctors discovered I had this familial condition. I was going through a very stressful divorce at that time and I remember feeling very alone. I've had a few fleeting relationships since that time, but my focus has been on getting my children through college and on not getting my heart broken again.

As I pondered all that has happened I realized that the girl with the rose-colored-glasses had turned into a just-surviving-day-to- day kinda gal. What?! How did I let that happen? I stopped dreaming, stopped hoping and the long, cold New England Winter and Vitamin D deficiency certainly made a contribution. I knew I had to make a change. All work, no adventure can deaden a person's soul. I decided that I would spend every spare penny that I make on L-I-V-I-N-G.  The next day I  booked an overpriced trip to celebrate my daughter's upcoming college graduation. Optimism, when it is not free-flowing, becomes a choice we have to make and sometimes it requires work to maintain. 

I'm going to visit a friend this weekend, a kindred spirit. An honest, spiritual sorta friend who helps me untangle when I become uncentered.  Are you naturally optimistic or do you have to work at it?