Monday, December 12, 2016

Christmas Decorating and Memories

As I am typing, Peanut and Button are decorating the rather misshapen tree.  The traditional Christmas music is playing thanks to Pandora, and the lights are sparkling.  Decorating the tree has always been a joint affair with myself organizing and the boys adding things at random, only for me to secretly rearrange everything that evening one they were in bed.  

This year, both boys are in charge.  Right now, there is a red and silver theme emerging.  Red and silver horizontal stripes to be precise!  Once layer red tinsel and balls, the next layer is silver tinsel and balls and so on up the tree!!!  Add to that, both boys are bickering and taunting one another as The Nutcracker plays and Howard Stern seems to blast forth from the kitchen where Hubby is cooking dinner.  There is a decidedly new feel to this traditional moment.  Oh, Peanut just asked Button why he just flicked his butt???    Lovely!

And yet, as we discover our treasured ornaments and school-made creations that adorn our tree, we all take a moment to look back and cherish our past memories.  Happy moments and joys.  Seeing my teenager and tween get all sentimental over this makes my heart fill with joy.  Traditions are important to them, as important as passing them down is to me.  

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Fundraising and Fun

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Life has been busy for us in the Z household.  Both boys are doing very well at school, getting used to seventh and ninth grade, and enjoying their sports.  Living with a tween and teen has certainly opened our eyes to the new challenges of parenting (oh boy do I miss the younger years!)

I have definitely found some extra time to myself now it is no longer cool to hang out with mummy.  I have very mixed feelings about this, but I am happy to say that I am putting my time to good use.  I have been doing a lot more fundraising of late and we have made great strides with our two featured charities; Light The Night and CureSearch.

September has come and gone, the traditional month of Childhood Cancer and Blood Cancer Awareness.  Many gold bracelets were sold for CureSearch, and I was careful to add a mix of support charms and charms such as the butterfly which symbolizes support but can be worn on any occasion.  In fact, these gold bracelets have become popular with many customers who do not have links to childhood cancer.  They just love the way the bracelet looks.  The donation is a bonus!

Click on the photos to shop for these designs.

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In October, we walked with Light The Night as always.  We actually raised over $2000 to help those fighting leukemia and other blood cancers.  We enjoyed a lovely walk in Connecticut this time, along with close friends and family.  We all said a little 'thank you' for the survivor walking with us.

Friday, July 29, 2016

A Summer Trip to North Wales

It has become a tradition for my mum and I to meet up in England and then head to North Wales for a little holiday in the wonderful Abersoch area.  Situated on the Llyn Peninsular, we were treated to sea views and the majestic mountains all in one place.  I call this my Happy Place.

We stayed in a fabulous B&B called Tide's Reach in Criccieth.  The sea fronted townhouse boasted the most gorgeous views and was overlooked by the 15th century castle atop the hill.  

The view from the front guest room at Tide's Reach. 

Our twin room at Tide's Reach was lovely.  Best of all were the English/Welsh breakfasts cooked each morning for us!  

Looking up at the castle from our B&B.  

 Little old me on the beach outside our guest house.  Morning strolls were a blessing!  

Not every day provided glorious sunshine, but the chance to enjoy the fresh air and seaside feel was too good to be missed.  a stroll alongside Abersoch Harbour and the walkway to one of the beaches at this vibrant seaside town was a great time to catch up on our news and stretch our legs.

Each of the benches alongside the walkway to the beach was dedicated to a loved one who had passed.  What a truly beautiful place to be remembered.  

Right at the tip of the peninsular is Aberdaron, a sleepy little Welsh seaside village with one of the best beached around!  The l13th century little white house is now a cafe, but it used to serve as a resting place for monks traveling to a nearby island where there was a monastery.  

A truly beautiful beach but be warned....the name of this paradise is Hell's Mouth.  Ships have been wrecked by the hidden rocks on many occasion.  The sand, while seemingly so inviting, is also known to have quicksand-like properties.  Yet is it a real draw for surfers who love the waves coming into this cove.  We prefer to enjoy this gem from afar!  

They say home is where the heart is and I have to confess I could live in the village of Llanbedrog with this landmark boathouse, "Foxhole' on the beach.  As a child I would see this house from a distance, from the rocks I used to climb at the far end of the mile long beach.  Now we stay at the side with the little cafe and sandy beach area, and look more closely at this charming little house.  

Of course my careful eating plan went out the window while I was on holiday with my mum.  We enjoyed the fresh foods of North Wales and discovered some really charming eateries.  (More on that in a future post.)  I also got to share some of my jewelry pieces with the locals and get inspiration for new lines too.  

Finally, the door I fell in love with.  In the heart of Llanbedrog, right next to the little church, sits a house with this door.  I imagine it could belong to a Hobbit, or a Lord of the Manor, or be a doorway to a mystical land.  That's how I like to think about doors!  

Join me soon for more on my trip to North Wales.  It was a refreshing and much needed break which recharged my positive energy.  

Links are provided to help you learn more about my Happy Place.  I am not affiliated with any of these places and receive no payment for sharing them with you.  

Let me know where your Happy Place is!  

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Light The Night Walk Video

May is Lupus Awareness Month

Lupus Awareness

Many readers will not have heard of Lupus.  Those that know this autoimmune disease will probably have a connection to it somehow.  They may have it themselves, know a loved one or a friend with it, or have seen the purple ribbon but not really thought too much about it.

Lupus is a cruel and debilitating disease that attacks the body in a number of evil ways.  The immune system breaks down and sufferers are open to all sorts of other diseases.

The Lupus Foundation of America shares the following information:

  • Lupus is not contagious, not even through sexual contact. You cannot "catch" lupus from someone or "give" lupus to someone.
  • Lupus is not like or related to cancer. Cancer is a condition of malignant, abnormal tissues that grow rapidly and spread into surrounding tissues. Lupus is an autoimmune disease, as described above.
  • Lupus is not like or related to HIV (Human Immune Deficiency Virus) or AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). In HIV or AIDS the immune system is underactive; in lupus, the immune system is overactive.
  • Lupus can range from mild to life-threatening and should always be treated by a doctor. With good medical care, most people with lupus can lead a full life.
  • Our research estimates that at least 1.5 million Americans have lupus. The actual number may be higher; however, there have been no large-scale studies to show the actual number of people in the U.S. living with lupus.
  • More than 16,000 new cases of lupus are reported annually across the country.
  • It is believed that 5 million people throughout the world have a form of lupus.
  • Lupus strikes mostly women of childbearing age (15-44). However, men, children, and teenagers develop lupus, too. Most people will develop lupus between the ages of 15-44.
  • Women of color are two to three times more likely to develop lupus than Caucasians.
  • People of all races and ethnic groups can develop lupus.

Lupus warriors need support and heightened awareness.  Butterfly Warriors Jewelry has created jewelry in the color of Lupus..purple.  Wear this jewelry in support of someone or give it to them to inspire hope for a cure.  

Friday, January 23, 2015

Home Office Makeover - Part Two - My Creative Space

shelve organization

So here it is...the big reveal!  For those that just found my little blog, read here to get the back story (with horrific photos of the before).  I am now a happy crafter and creator of beautiful jewelry.  I am now able to breathe, I am now....back to the way I should be!

My initial inspiration for the minimalist 'white walls' look came from a couple of places.  I spotted this Pottery Barn wall and fell in love with the organization.  The white walls created clean lines and I saw the details in the photo.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Home Office Makeover - A Space of My Own - Part One

Painting the office white

New Year came and went and I managed to avoid making any crazy resolutions I knew I would not be able to keep.  I did manage to have a completely mad moment and decide (on New Year's Eve) to completely redecorate my little dumping ground that was supposed to be the office.   As you can see, it most definitely was NOT a place of creativity, productivity, or meditation.

Hoarding Junk in Office

That's just not a space one can be creative in!!!! 

So I toddled off to the local DIY store and stocked up on supplies to transform my space into a sanctuary for creativity and self expression.  My chosen color...bright white.  The reason for this choice is so I have a completely blank canvas from which to work.  I can display my jewelry, add pops of color, change the mood with accessories, etc.  I want FREEDOM from any constraints, and white spoke to me.  I began a Pinterest board with ideas for my new office and just loved all the 'white with color' ideas.