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 ūüôā . 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.

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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 Рmostly 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).

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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.

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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.

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Love to you!

 

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Stars & Stripes

Stars & Stripes

Hi to you. Summertime is here. It’s never the same, summer, that is… While the routine of the school year is so predictable, summer is always different. It’s not only the transition, but no two days, two weeks or¬†two summers are alike, so it can sometimes be difficult (for me at least) to get a handle on everything. For example, we’re either completely out of food the day after I do a huge grocery shop, or I’m throwing stuff out because no one happened to be around for a few days and neglected to tell me. My Type A tendencies are being challenged, which is probably a good thing! I’m sure there’s some great lesson in the¬†unpredictability ¬†I’m putting my yoga and meditation practices to the test, just breathing through each day and letting it all ‘just be’…. When that¬†doesn’t work, I’ve¬†also got some military style strategies for staying sane that I may share in a subsequent post. ūüôā All that said, this summer is shaping up to be one of the most calm, joyful and all around blissful summers I’ve had in a long, long time. Happy Fourth!

xo

s

Blue and white turkish hand towels

July 4th watermelon kabobs

Sparklers

Red and white striped shirt

I’m headed up North this week… can’t wait. I have such a case of wanderlust…. See you next time from the road ūüôā

 

 

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Happy Holidays From Our House to Yours

Happy Holidays From Our House to Yours

Our home in it’s holiday finest
Hi to you. I hope your holidays are filled with joy, peace and of course, lots of love.
xoxo
serena

 

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Rustic Accents for Your Holiday Table & What I’ve Been Up To Lately

Rustic Accents for Your Holiday Table & What I’ve Been Up To Lately

Rustic chic Holiday Tabletop inspiration

I’m excited to share with you, my sweet readers, a new professional venture I embarked upon almost one year ago… I’ve taken a slight departure from my residential and hospitality interior design focus to¬†develop¬†and execute creative direction for¬†several start-up and¬†interior + lifestyle brands. I fell into the first¬†position¬†by happy accident (well, there really are no accidents as everything happens for a reason – I am a firm¬†believer¬†in that!) and one position led to the next and so on. The FarmHouseUrban brand, however is still ever present! I temporarily turned off access to my online store www.shopfarmhouseurban.com, but it will be back in the New Year and better than ever along with other exciting happenings!¬†

I was recently approached by the exquisite home furnishings¬†company – Europe 2 You to partner on a project for the launch of their new e-commerce site –¬†EtuHome. For those not familiar, Europe 2 You is a wholesale-only maker¬†of gorgeous vintage inspired products for the home. EtuHome is the new retail branch of their company – making their products accessible to absolutely everyone!

For this project I was sent several of EtuHome‘s top-selling pieces and my assignment was to style them in my personal aesthetic. Here’s what I came up with:

rustic tabletop styling

I pulled some things from around the house Рlinens, ceramic pitchers, vintage hotel silver, galvanized containers, votives and a box of acorns I just got from here, Then I went to the fridge and took out all the fruits and veggies that were still good! Last, I cut some stems from the garden.

Spanish Olive Server

The piece above is the Spanish Olive Tray which comes in three sizes. I adore this piece! Part cutting board, part serving piece, it adds a unique twist to both. As such, there are endless ways to use it. The most practical and easy – leaning on your kitchen backsplash! I have been noticing the trend of using individual-size wood pieces as serving trays, so that was my inspiration and styled mine as a coffee tray.

Coffee Tray

Next is the Bordeaux Bistro Tray which measures 20″ in diameter. The galvanized edge is 4″ high. Many of us have upholstered ottomans which are risky to set beverages on. This tray is the answer! It provides a stylish receptacle for¬†stacking your magazines or weekly newspapers too.

Galvanized metal and wood serving tray

Above and below is the Bianca Cake Stand (short). I used the sepia filter just because ūüôā but below is the unfiltered version. I have a cake stand collection, but none are made of wood, so this is a fun addition. Now thinking of what kind of cake to make for it…. any¬†ideas?

rustic wood and metal cake stand

The below two photos show the versatile Baguette Board. I tried to style the pieces in ways that offer an alternative to the suggested use. I played around with this piece more than any of the others and found so many places that it just looked great – including across my bathtub holding soap and a sponge. I wouldn’t suggest that it be used that way if water was in the tub as it might damage the integrity of the wood and finish. That said, when not in use or set on a table or counter holding just about anything – it will look amazing!

Babette Server

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The next three photos are of the Bordeaux Wine Barrel Lazy Susan. This is a fun piece and frankly a must-have if you’ve got a large round or square table. It should come with a warning to parents of teenagers and their friends who wouldn’t stop spinning it¬† young children – not to put breakables or spillables on it in their presence.

Rustic lazy susan

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Last but certainly not least, is the Balon Cloche.¬†This piece is truly stunning – even on its own. ¬†Trimmed in tin, the shape and size sets it apart from anything else I’ve seen. ¬†
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There are many many more gorgeous pieces on EtuHome’s online shop. I highly encourage you to pop over for a browse – you won’t be disappointed!

Wishing you all peace and love,

xo

s

 

 

 

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Things I’m Digging – Men’s Addition

Things I’m Digging – Men’s Addition

2016 Men’s gift ideas

Hi you…. What a moon last night! It makes me smile to know we¬†are all looking at the same one. The world feels smaller and the space between us a whole lot closer when you¬†picture it that way.

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I have been collecting some gift ideas¬†… thought i’d share a few favorites.

Titanium_flask

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¬†Did you know that Titanium is the best metal for beverage containers because it doesn’t produce any metal taste? It’s also one of the strongest metals and has a really manly and¬†superhero-ish name.¬†

Backpack_mini_proto_storagepouch_square_001

Matador_daylite16_centralpark3_001

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I just discovered this company because they kindly sent me a press release telling me about their super cool, fully weatherproof day pack that fits into your palm. Now that glove boxes are no longer storing maps, there is room for one (or more) of these for those unexpected stops to the farmers market or wherever.

Proper_cloth_shirts

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There is nothing like perfectly fitted clothing to up your game¬†from good to outstanding. I take most of my clothes to a seamstress who often makes suggestions I didn’t even think of. The end result are clothes that fit me exactly. This shirting company has literally mastered how to do it online. Forget going to Hong Kong to get your custom shirts – you can now get the same hand tailored fit, and luxurious fabrics¬†from¬†the comfort of your own home. Be sure to take¬†a look at the 2016 Flannel Shirt Collection – ¬†so comfy and cozy.

Facial_Fuel_Energizing_Face_Wash_3700194719159_8.4fl.oz.

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Simply fantastic¬†products. A guy’s shower staple.¬†

  Apotheke_brooklyn

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Speaking of shower and bathroom products, the masculine packaging of this company will appeal to those Y chromosome bearing loves in your life.

Vinyl_me_pease

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Not everyone has a turntable (formerly known as a record player) but for those who do, this is a great gift. I love blank-of-the-month gifts, don’t you? ¬†They are the gift that keeps on giving. What’s particularly fun about this record-of-the-month club is that each record comes with a poster based on the album and a cocktail recipe to match the vibe.

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 A special gift but worth it. Other finishes available, as well as headphones too. 

Next post – fall fashion…. see you soon.

xo

s

 

 

 

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Giving Thanks and Turkey Day Around Here

Giving Thanks and Turkey Day Around Here

Thanksgiving 2015

Hi my loves. Over the past two weeks I've started and stopped 3 very different blog posts. Each one is timely – a super cute recently completed project, my latest fashion obsession and a gorgeous interiors trend I see emerging, but none more timely than a post on gratitude‚Ķ So this post, for now, trumps the others. I promise not to get preachy on how easy it is to forget the little things that we can take for granted – a smile from a stranger, time carved out to exercise, your kids not having anything major going on, good genuine people surrounding you and the list goes on… But I will say that I am paying extra attention to these little things and allowing the goodness in the world that can easily go unnoticed, to really sink in.

So on this Thanksgiving, as I have for the past five, I would like to express my gratitude for your reading, encouraging and supporting me and FarmHouseUrban all these years. I so appreciate each and every one of you!

Happy Thanksgiving!

xo

Serena 

On to Thanksgiving and what we're up to! First off, Luke is home!  We are hosting our good friends who were one of the first families we met when we moved to California nine years ago. 

I know from previous posts on holiday entertaining that you, like me, enjoy festive table settings, so here is a round up of some that inspired my table this year and got me excited for more holiday dinners with friends and family. Salute!

Ina table - town and country

Ina Garten (aka Barefoot Contessa)

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Tabletop5

 

For more table setting inspiration, click here

Our Thanksgiving Table…

 

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