Float Your Troubles Away (my experience inside a float tank)

Ever since I began watching “Stranger Things,” I became fascinated with the idea of sensory deprivation. I wasn’t expecting it to connect me to another world as it did L. I just thought, what a wonderful way to eliminate all the “noise” and try to relax. So, when I learned of Juri Float in Canton, MA, I decided to give it a try.

Before the appointment I received specific information about using the pod. When I arrived I was greeted into lovely area by one of the owners, Rita Johnson. She showed me around and explained how the process would work.

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I was then asked to shower to remove any lotions or oils on my body. The bathroom/shower area was clean and private and stocked with delicious smelling body wash, shampoo and conditioner. Once showered, I was ready to enter the pod.

 

Getting into the pod is easy. You are in complete control of the process. As I stepped into the salty pool I was amazed at the fact that there was only 10 inches of water. How was this going to hold me in a floating position? Nervous I might feel a little claustrophobic, I started with keeping the door propped slightly open. I closed my eyes, laid back, and voila, I was floating.

It did take a while for me to choose a comfortable position. In the end I found that having my head at the side with the door and propping it open a bit to feel some cool air on my face was most comfortable.

When time was up, Rita came in and gave a soft gentle wrap on the pod. I was able to take my time exiting and then used the shower again to clean all the salt from my hair and body. A blow dryer was also available for my use.

All in all, it was a lovely experience. I do have some thoughts about how I will do it differently next time.

  1. I myself, have trouble shutting off my mind, so next time I will bring a play list of some of my favorite music.
  2. I made the mistake of opening my eyes and wiping them with my hands. The salt can really be irritating, so bring in a cool wet face cloth with you.
  3. You are not required to wear a bathing suit, however I felt most comfortable wearing my bottoms. If you do wear something, be sure to bring a plastic bag to carry home your items.

Will I try this again? Definitely. And you should too.

*As an incentive to my readers, mention this blog, and you will receive 10% off your first float. Happy Floating!

 

 

 

 

 

An Easy Way to Freshen Up An Old Bathroom

I am in the process of freshening up my home for the holidays. One room I constantly neglect is my son’s bathroom. The vanity top and the shower surround were light pink, a very popular color in the 80’s when the house was built.

The vanity was easy.  I purchased a Swanstone vanity top and new hardware. I painted the tired oak vanity base a pretty blue and voila, instant update.

The shower surround was another issue.  There are many options from installing a new surround over the old one, replacing it or having it refinished. After looking into a number of options, the refunding was clearly the most cost effective so I though I would give it a try.

I contacted New Look Refinishing and they were extremely easy to work with.  The serviceman carefully covered all the fixtures as well as the vanity to protect them from overspray.  He walked through the process with me and got to work. He was here approximatley 4 hours and when he was done I had a new shower.

I am so delighted with the outcome and highly suggest it to anyone looking for a cost effective, no hassle way to freshen up a tub, sink, countertop…even tile.

Stay tuned for pictures of the finished bathroom, coming soon.

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Add Some Luxury to Your Bathroom

Our home was built in the late 80’s and while out master bath is neutral, it is definitely in need of some updates.  Of course I would like to gut the entire thing and start from scratch, but that’s not exactly an option right now.  So update it is.  And while I have been pouring over ideas, I came across a few items I am sure will give me that retreat I am looking for.

 

I dream of a warm soak in a eep tub with a glass of champagne and a candle at my side.  With this rolling valet from Frontage you can keep all those little items close at hand. So, soak away.

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When you step out of a bath or shower, wrap yourself in a nice plush towel.  Now let’s face it, most of us haven’t purchased new towels since we moved into our homes. Well it’s time to replace those worn and ripped old things.  Try these Ralph Lauren Towels from Bloomingdales. They are soft, cozy and come in a rainbow of colors.

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And to keep those towels nice and warm, this towel warmer from Brookstone does the job. It may look small but it can warm two large towels at once.

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Lastly, do you sing in the shower like I do?  Then stream your favorite tunes through this waterproof bluetooth speaker. from Brookstone. The little tail is flexible so you can wrap it around anything and use it anywhere.  The tail is also removable so you have the option of using the suction cup at the bottom.

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It’s Easy Being Green

Where have I been? Well, truth be told I was enjoying the wonderful weather of summer and taking a little break.  But now, I’m back and recharged! So, let’s start sharing…

For several years now, the soft, neutral look has played a major part in interior design. Soft grays and beiges have dominated creating a clean and soothing look. But are times changing?

New decorating trends indicate the bold color is making a comeback, and in my opinion, not a moment too soon. One color I have seen popping up quite a bit is green. Both on the runway and home design, green is taking center stage.

 

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(photo: Elle Decor)

This beautiful kitchen was designed by Kelly Wearstler for actress Cameron Diaz. The emerald green cabinets beautifully set off the brass backsplash and fixtures.

 

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(photo: Traditional Home)

Designer Kat Burkis created this bright and airy dressing room in chartreuse and apple-green. “Strong colors supply meaning and definition that give these areas special significance,” she says.

 

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(photo: Traditional Home)

Wouldn’t you love to fall asleep in this elegant and soothing bedroom. The green walls and floral prints give a nod to nature and create a relaxing atmosphere.

Now if you’re ready to infuse some green to your home but don’t want to as far as these designers, start small with one of these pieces…

 

sofa
Anthropologie

 

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Jonathan Adler

 

coffee-table
Worlds Away

 

drapes
Serena and Lilly

 

As I was writing this post last evening I was watching the 2016 Emmy Awards. Look how beautiful these green dresses look on the red carpet.

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Kathryn Hahn
tine-fey
Tina Fey
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Sarah Paulson

My Carry On Essentials

 

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I don’t know about you, but winter is already getting to me. Although it hasn’t been nearly as bad as last year, I just can’t stand to see another flake. Usually by March, I am ready for a warm weather vacation. This year we are going to Hawaii.  I have never been and couldn’t be more excited. Because I’m such a planner I am already selecting my outfits, shopping for necessities and ensuring that I have everything ready to keep me comfortable on a 12 hour flight.

Because airlines restrict the amount of carry on items to one bag and a personal item, I will share with you my essentials to make sure my flight is as comfortable as possible.

  1. I love my large tote. It serves double duty as my handbag and an extra carry on piece. It’s amazing how roomy it is and holds everything listed here. chanel.com
  1. Another item I find comes in handy is a wallet on a chain. It does triple duty as a wallet a small cross body bag for sightseeing and a clutch for evenings out. chanel.com
  1. A cute cosmetic bag holds my makeup and some of the small essentials seen here. I have also used this as a clutch bag. prada.com
  1. I cannot travel without my Ipad Mini. It is loaded with all my favorite music and movies. apple.com
  1. A great wrap like this one is stylish and can double as a blanket. net-a-porter.com
  1. I find comfort knowing I always have battery back up and this Anker Portable Charger is easy to take along and can recharge your phone and ipad. amazon.com
  1. Foldable ballet flats come in so handy when going through airport security or having to walk to the ladies room the plane. These cute Solemates come in a variety of colors and have their own little carrying case. amazon.com
  1. Hopefully I’ll get some sleep on the flight and this eye mask from Aromatherapy Associates is filled with lovely smelling lavender. It can help you relax and keep the puffiness down. net-a-porter.com
  1. Bose Noise Canceling Headphones are a must. bose.com
  1. Clorox disinfecting wipes come with me everywhere. I’m a bit of a germaphobe so the first thing I do when I board is wipe down the armrests, the tray table and the air control nozzle. I also go to town on the hotel room, wiping down everything from the tv remote to the door knobs.
  1. Hanes peds are cozy and comfy and keep my feet warm.
  1. A great pair of sunglasses.
  1. Neutrogena Make Up Remover Wipes are my favorite. They are also great for just giving your face a quick clean.
  1. Burts Bees Lip Balm helps keeps my lips moist in such a dry environment.
  1. I love Orbitz cinnamon gum.
  1. Wisp disposable toothbrushs have the toothpaste built right in.

17.-19.  It’s so important to keep hydrated on so I carry Evian Facial Spray, Ocean Saline Nose Spray and Aveeno Daily Moisurizer

20.  Some of my favorite reads

21.     And, of course snacks. Yes, peanut M&M’s are my favorite, but be sure to carry some healthy options too.

Now that you know what’s in my carry on, tell me some of your must have travel items.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gift Ideas Under $20

With only a couple of weeks left until Christmas, I have been busy finishing up my holiday shopping.  I still have a few gifts to buy for friends, teachers, co-workers, etc.  But I’m all set and now so are you. I have compiled a list of some of my favorite gifts and they are all under $20.

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The Criss Cross Minimergency Kit includes 17 items to solve everything from a hair crises to a chipped nail.  Some of the must have items included are hair bands, double sided tape, earring backings and more. It’s small and compact and can fit right in your handbag. $15.99  The Container Store

 

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The PocketMonkey is not only cute, he’s useful to have around. This little guy is a 12-in-one utility tool that’s thin enough to fit in a wallet’s credit card slot.  It boasts 3 screwdrivers, hex wrenches, a bottle opener, a ruler and more. People who have purchased this have come up with even more uses for it.  Best part, it comes in a pack of 2. Buy one for a friend and keep one for yourself.  $19.95  The Grommet

 

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Coloring Books for Grownups are one of my new favorite obsessions. I have loved to color since I was a child and these new style coloring books are sophisticated and beautiful. I prefer to color flowers and mandalas, but there is truly something for everyone. $5.99 and up  Michaels

 

gallery-1448390173-outdoor-bookHow to Split Wood has to be one of the coolest books I have ever picked up.  You can spend hours reading through tasks such as brewing the perfect cup of coffee, fording a stream and reading the sky. Once you pick it up you can’t put it down. $18.34  Amazon

 

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Brooklyn Candle Studio Soy Travel Candles are absolutely my favorite candle line these days. The scents are pure without being overwhelming and they burn so clean and evenly.  So much care goes into the making of each one as they are all hand poured in small batches. $14  A Fine Feathered Nest

 

 

 

My Home on the Holiday House Tour

Just as soon as Halloween comes to a close, I’m ready to start decorating for the holidays. Truth be told, I would leave the holiday decorations up all year if it wouldn’t annoy my family.

Every year, I put a great deal of thought and energy into creating a new holiday design for my home. I always have a formal tree in our Living Room and if I’m feeling particularly ambitious there may be a tree in the family room and another in the finished basement. The staircase and mantle always coordinate with the trees.

Several years ago, before the house makeover, I had the honor of being on our town’s Holiday House Tour. I was excited for the chance to share my home with others and decorate to my hearts content. Here are some photos…

xmas tour family room   xmas tour fam rm2

This is the family room, sans makeover. This was a fun tree to decorate as it contained a great deal of special ornaments. Some had been passed down  to me and others I have collected to commemorate special moments.  I enjoy going through the boxes and recalling special moments as I placed each of the ornaments on the tree. To tie the look together, I added pretty bows and a matching tree skirt.

xmas tour lr edited            xmas tour LR tree edit

I always do something more formal in the Living Room.  This is my favorite room in the house.  We spend many hours gathered around the piano either listening to my husband play or singing along to the hundreds of song books we have.  This particular year, the tree was done up with gold and ivory ornaments.  A gorgeous green ribbon ran through it as well as formed a bow at the top.

xmas tour candy tree         xmas tour candy tree2

The third tree was in our basement. I let my son choose the theme and he suggested candy. So, that’s what I did.  I covered the entire tree in real candy.  Candy buttons, candy cones, lollipops, gummy rings, rock candy and more filled the tree and left the sweetest scent.  I filled in areas with colored tissue paper and also used it to create a tree skirt.  Slowly, over the course of a few weeks, the wrapped candy began to disappear.  My son insisted it was a mouse.

I have recently started working on my home for this coming Christmas.  I’ll be sure to post soon.

Our Mantel Gets A Makeover

Recently, I did a post entitled “Fall Mantel Decorating,” as I find this is the one spot I’m constantly decorating. Our mantel serves as one of the focal points of our family room. You can also see it from the kitchen and entry, so it’s one place I like to make sure reflects the warm and welcoming feeling of our home.

When I first moved in to my home 13 years ago, I absolutely hated our mantel. It was red brick from floor to ceiling, with a thick piece of slate for a mantel. No matter what I placed on it or above it, I couldn’t get it to work. So, finally after several years, as part of a family room re-do, we decided to update the mantel.

fireplace before

Fireplace Before 2                Fireplace Before 3

I wanted something elegant and timeless. I decided to go with a black honed granite hearth, with a white mantel and surround and I couldn’t be happier. Now I am able to truly achieve the look I wanted when decorating my mantel piece.

Fireplace After

As I mentioned, this was part of a family room redecorating project. One of which I am still in the process of completing. So stay tuned for updates of this project as well as other rooms I am making over.

Fashion and Home Decor Unite

In addition to interior design, I have a weakness for fashion.  And the two aren’t mutually exclusive.  As a matter of fact, home decor often takes it’s inspiration from the fashion runways. In the past, home decor often lagged behind the runways a few years but what struck me this year is how the two have become so much more cohesive as if to suggest they are working from the same inspirations.

Fur was all over the runway for fall 2015.  And, it has certainly made it’s way into our wardrobes and into our interiors. Whether it is real or faux, it’s luxe nature adds an element of richness and sophistication.

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Hellessy                                                                         Jonathan Adler

Metallics are another big trend. For the past few years, gold and brass have made a big return to home decor where nickel and stainless steel have previously been the go to finish.  In the fashion world, metallics are showing up on everything from shoes to dresses to leather jackets. Add one element to your home or wardrobe for a splash of glamour.

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Pamella Roland                                                         Bernhardt

Fringe can be fun and flirty when added to furniture or clothing.  It’s soft texture adds and unexpected layer of dimension that is playful and fashion forward.

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ThePerfext                                                                       Arhaus

Don’t be afraid to introduce one or all of these trends into your home decor or wardrobe.  Just remember, a little goes a long way. Start with one or two pieces and work them into your basics.  And remember…just have fun!