Five of My Fitness Favorites You Will Love Too

Five of My Fitness Favorites You Will Love Too

Hi lovely. I hope these short winter days are going well for you.  While I don’t have much in the way of interesting news, I do have a pretty fun lineup of upcoming posts to share in the next few weeks (hint: Valentine’s Day and a fashion post)!

I’ve been contemplating something lately…Whether or not blogging is still relevant, interesting, valuable? I have been using Instagram quite a bit lately and really love that platform for the ease and speed to provide images with just a snippet of content. I’m wondering if social media platforms that allow for small, succinct bits of information are edging out the more meaty alternatives like blogs? Just thinkin…

Happy week to you!

xo

S

I am a devout routine follower. A creature of habit. Life throws many curveballs, so I suppose having a few things remain constant provides me with balance and sense of calm. That said, there is only so much adherence before the benefits of structure, routine, sameness begin to create negative results – like not listening to our bodies, doing too much and getting an injury or getting bored and quitting or mindlessly coasting and letting poor eating/lifestyle habits creep in . Fitness goal setting and a commitment to regular exercise are built into my daily life. At the same time,  I try to be accepting of myself and circumstances when things don’t go as planned. This time of year I often need a shot in the arm so to speak to keep the motivation where I want it to be. Whether that be finding a new running route, or getting a new pair of sneakers, often a few little pick-me-ups help tremendously in getting through the last bit of winter. Here are some of my recent favs:

Leggings and bras from here. Once I started doing yoga several times per week, I shopped around looking for  leggings that could perform double duty with running. I prefer thinner fabric which narrows the selection significantly. I also love these (better for running) and these (better for yoga), but wanted to introduce you to a smaller brand that I highly recommend. I have both of these for over a year and adore.

leggings

bra

Socks are the most boring part of the whole exercise attire thing, but they need not be! My daughter gave me a pair of socks from here for Christmas and I’ve been hooked ever since.

 

One of the frequent topics of conversation after an intense yoga class is where to find comfy apres yoga clothes that can be thrown on after class and will look decent for grabbing a coffee. I have found the treasure trove! I absolutely love the material – sort of stretchy – thus just perfect for your post savasana sore self. Get them here.

Another awesome after exercise (or anytime really) pick-me-up is this new found item. I have been a super fan of this company after I saw an ad for this on Instagram and it is has become my #1 favorite beauty item (Note to self:  do a beauty post). Anyway, this is a great little refresher that leaves you looking heathy and dewy. I have a couple on hand – one for my gym/yoga bag and another at home. You will love this.

Last but not least… Despite having a great bathtub, I rarely used it. A bath – while SO incredibly relaxing, was rarely considered. Then I read about epsom salts and their affect on sore muscles. Amazing! Did you know that the magnesium in epsom salts is also a natural mood lifter? Neither did I?! Double happiness! I have upped my bath game and just ordered these. I’m so excited to try them, and given the source, I can’t imagine they won’t be fab! Consider this to be your well deserved finish line!

#FarmHouseUrban

#FiftyIsTheNewThirty

 

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A self-care gift guide for YOU & my favorite things of 2017

A self-care gift guide for YOU & my favorite things of 2017

Hello sweet you. It’s early Sunday morning as I type this. The sun is just coming up. Beautiful pink and sparkling. I hope wherever you are, you are enjoying it too.

xo

s

A few years ago, when I was in the depths of an extremely bleak period in my life, I often received advise to ‘practice radical self care’. Huh? Not only did I not know what that meant, but even if I did, I had not the first clue how to go about actually doing it. So, I tried things, read a lot of books, researched online, took advice from those who had it figured out, and can now share with you from first hand experience some of the little things that worked for me. I promise they will reap big dividends in the caring for yourself department. If you are a newbie at the practice and/or in need of some TLC (as in EVERYONE), this ones for you!

  1. Do not underestimate the power of music to lift your spirits (except for sad love songs). I received these as a gift about a year ago and have used them practically every single day since. The clarity is profoundly better than the earbuds that come with your phone. Download a book and get transported, listen to your favorite playlist while hiking, running or walking and go even farther, or find some calming music and just relax. Source

2. There’s an expression “cold hands, warm heart”, so what does it mean if you always have cold feet? Not the preverbal sense btw 🙂 . It means you get yourself these socks! I’m not a slipper person, instead prefer to wear socks around the house. Thus I have tried many out and these are the bomb.

Source

3.  I was at a pop-up market of locally made products several weeks ago in the city (SF) and there was a booth offering samples of teas – mostly wellness teas. I tried the Turmeric Tea as I have been reading so much lately about the incredible healing properties of turmeric. It was delicious and as an added bonus is a beautiful saffron color. These teas are on the pricier side, but remember, there is nothing as precious as your health. You will need a tea pot and diffuser as they are all loose leaf, but the ritual of making yourself a pot is part of the whole thing. A cup of this is my afternoon treat (with a cookie usually).

source

4. I learned about this product in the sauna at my gym several months ago. A women I would guess to be in her 70’s walked in with a big jar of it and started slathering it on. It was sort of a spectacle, so a few people asked her about it. She filled us all in about coconut oil and how much it has transformed her dry skin to supple and smooth. Well, before too long, we were all dipping into that jar which she kindly passed around and, seriously, I am not kidding, it’s miraculous. I am lotionaholic and this has made my skin so soft I don’t even use the others anymore. Now, one word of caution. Coconut oil is thick and in the jar is solidified. The minute it touches your skin it will turn to liquid form but it’s still very thick and oily! Do not put it on before you get dressed, because it won’t have time to properly work it’s magic. I recommend putting it on before bed. Oh, another thing after you are done massaging it in (it makes great massage oil too!) rub your hands on the ends of your hair.

Source

5. Sometimes you just need an emotional vitamin to get you through the day, the moment. What I mean by that is an easily accessible, always reliable, consistently comforting place for your eyes, mind, heart and soul to go to for replenishment. I don’t remember how I stumbled upon this amazing person, but I sure am grateful to her beyond words for her sage and timely pearls of goodness. I follow her on instagram, but will take her class the next time I’m in nyc. In the meantime, her kind and uplifting posts on her feed are such a gift. I hope you follow her too. Find her here: #theclassbytt

6. “No thank you, I’ll pass on the chocolate today, I feel great without it!” said no one ever.  What self care gift guide would be complete without a little chocolate? None! Here’s my new fav. Straight up.

source

Love to you!

 

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4 Design Trends I Can’t Stop Thinking About

4 Design Trends I Can’t Stop Thinking About

Mid-Century Modern. While I’ve always appreciated the iconic pieces from this period, it was only until recently that my personal aesthetic radically shifted. What is particularly cool about furniture created during this era – and why these pieces have stood the test of time – is that for the most part, they were designed by highly acclaimed architects. Form and function blend together into sexy coolness. A few mid-century pieces in a room can up the hip factor exponentially, however t’s easy to get carried away and look like the set of the Dick Van Dyke show. In other words, Mid- Century Mod-eration is key.

Kilim Rugs. This trend, if you can call it that since these rugs have actually been around for hundreds of years, snuck up on me.  I think I’m actually extremely late to the party on this one. Rugs dictate the color direction for a room, so I’ve tended to prefer natural fiber (as in jute, seagrass, sisal, etc) for their textural attributes as well as their neutrality. I’m now a convert. The muted colors of vintage rugs adds a warmth and visual interest that is so pleasing. I’m thinking of starting small with a runner for either the hallway or the kitchen, maybe even for a bathroom. Here are some examples of what I’m talking about.

Patterned Tile. Again, I have played it safe by gravitating to all white and when I do deviate, it’s to use solid stone matching the countertop material in kitchens. As far as bathrooms, I have never designed one with anything but white tile. Well… after seeing so many freakin gorgeous examples of patterned tile lately, I am  rethinking my non-comital ways and taking a little walk on the wild side.

Wallpaper. This is one trend that stops me in my tracks. I’m either taken aback by the sheer prettiness of a wallpapered room, or it’s sense of whimsy or just in awe that something that looks like something else is actually wallpaper! While I seriously don’t think I could pull the trigger and have wallpaper in my own house (purely a function of having had to manually strip 5 layers of wallpaper from every square inch of our first home), I love the idea of using it for design projects. There are just so many outrageously beautiful wallpapers out there. I could be very happy spending a day or two or five at the Design Center going through them all.

For more examples of these trends and interior inspiration, please visit my Pinterest page here.

 

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A Wardrobe Must-Have for all Wearers of Dresses Regardless of Age or Body Type

A Wardrobe Must-Have for all Wearers of Dresses Regardless of Age or Body Type

Hi beautiful I don’t have much to share as it’s been a pretty quiet week. Aaaahhh. Excuse me while I take a moment to fully appreciate what I just said…. It was Luke’s 22nd birthday last weekend, so we had a family dinner in the city. Luke picked where he wanted to go – Fogo de Chao. If you’re not familiar with this chain of restaurants – it’s an all-you-can-eat Brazilian steak house. The waiters dress as pirates or something, maybe conquistadors – I don’t know exactly – wearing pantaloons and vests and poofy sleeved shirts. They come to your table with giant swords with huge slabs of meat on them and carve off pieces for you to add to the other meat you’ve taken from the buffet. They just keep coming to the table with different kinds of meat until you, in a meat induced coma, flip the card by your plate to the ‘red’ side signaling defeat and for he pirates to halt. It was a wonderful and unique evening, and most importantly, Luke loved it! 

xo

s

Have you discovered the slip dress yet? I bought the one above from here at the beginning of the summer and I have worn it constantly. What I love most is it’s chameleon-like ability to be dressed way up or way down very easily. It also works for MANY body types. I prefer the knee length vs shorter personally.. For one, because I think it’s flattering, and second, the top part is sort of revealing and I don’t like doubling down in the showing of skin for my age group (45+).

Slip dress

Slip dress

Green Slip Dress

Slip dress with sweater

Slip dress with denim jacket

Here are some great and affordable slip dress options for an end of summer wardrobe spruce up:

from here

from here

from here

from here

 

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My Favorite Style Icons and a New Book

My Favorite Style Icons and a New Book

Well howdy dreamers. What can I tell you? For one thing, I just ate way too much chocolate — even for me.  It’s my one actuallyI have a huge problem and probably need an anon but admitting it is the first step, right? guilty pleasure so its all good. Other than that juicy tidbit, life has been in a blissful holding pattern for the past few weeks. Oh – here’s something – I stepped back into doing residential interior design for a project I couldn’t refuse… It’s in Cabo. On the beach. I know – check myself.  I got to fly down to Mexico and stay at the property for a night. I dressed the part. I conjured a female Pablo Escobar-ish look which was way out of place among the college Spring Breakers and honeymooner couples on the plane. It also could have been that I was the only one traveling solo to Mexico. Or the tube of floorplans sticking out of my purse.

Sources: dressshoes, bag

Happy Weekend!

xo

s

For most of my life I have had style icons. Women who I think epitomize an effortless, classic and timeless style while staying current and slightly edgy. I have several – see them here, but my numero uno, all-time favorite is Ali MacGraw.

Ali MacGraw

Ali MacGraw in a beanie at the Academy Awards

She wore a beanie to the Academy Awards – no words.

Ali MacGraw

Photo by REX USA (94679c)
ALI MacGRAW – 1971

Ali MacGraw

My favorite of her former beaus is Steve McQueen, so I started pinning photos of him too. What a couple.

Ali MacGraw and Steve McQueen

Ali MacGraw and Steve McQueen

So, I was beyond excited to receive the book “McQueen’s Motorcycles – Racing and Riding with the King of Cool” by Matt Stone from the publisher. Cool personified. If you have a motorcycle lover in your life, this book would make an excellent gift.

 

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A New Year, A New Look and A New Favorite Word

A New Year, A New Look and A New Favorite Word


Hello sweet readers and Happy New Year to each and every one of you!  I’m back at long last. The reason for the extended hiatus is that I wanted to wait until the new site was fully functioning and ready for you. That day has finally arrived, so I’m thrilled to introduce the new and improved FarmHouseUrban!

Besides switching platforms from Typepad to WordPress, there were several changes made to the site both aesthetically and structurally. The most notable — larger images, pin buttons on each photo, new navigation tabs that make it easier (and hopefully more fun) to find exactly what you are interested in and inspired by and social media buttons all over the place so we can stay connected. I sincerely hope you like it and welcome your feedback.

On an administrative note* if you are a subscriber and are not receiving your posts anymore, I suggest that you re-subscribe. The switching over of subscribers is not as straightforward as one would hope, and as such, I suspect that some feeds might get lost in the transfer process. The subscribe box is located above under the “Connect” tab and also at the bottom of the page.

Many thanks and much love,

xo

serena

I’ve been noticing the Danish word Hygge (pronounced HOO-gah) cropping up everywhere lately and was intrigued to learn more. Afterall, the Danes are considered the happiest people on earth and in such a cold climate too, so I wanted to know how they kept their spirits up during the dark, chilly days of winter. While there is no exact English translation, the closest (and my favorites) are:

Coziness of the soul

The art of creating intimacy

Taking pleasure from the presence of soothing things

Cozy togetherness

In case you’ve been inspired to create your own little hygge, here are some ideas to get you jumpstarted..

Faux Sheepskin Rugs

Chocolate Orange Olive Oil Cake. Recipe here.

I can’t stop thinking about these hand knit socks… the way the flowers wrap around. So cute!

Get them here.

100% pure beeswax – the best. 

Chunky Blanket

No matter where we are in the world, we can all use a little hygge. I think anyway 🙂

If you want to read more about Hygge, here are some recent articles:  NY Times, The Guardian, The New Yorker, The Washington Post

 

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