Summer time and the living is easy...

One of the things I love most about summer is how much slower the pace of our usual day-to-day seems. I know I am fortunate to be home with my kids right now and if I was working full-time, I might feel differently, but I do believe the ease of summer is a state of mind.

Something in my head shifts when the weather gets warmer and really, when school ends.  Maybe it's the teacher in me (or the kid), but I flip a switch in my head and get into summer mode. Now that my kids are a little bigger, I really look forward to this shift and relaxed routine.

This mindset seems to  foster a lot more time to catch up with friends, to head out to the backyard daily and throw super last minute get-togethers with friends, family or neighbors.  This July 4th we did just that. We had no plans until the last minute and as I'm learning, these impromptu gatherings are just as fun (maybe even more) as the well-planned ones.

I literally pulled this together a half-an-hour before our friends arrived using knick-knacks from the basement, Eamon's Rarebits Easter basket, a runner from my kitchen and the Christmas linens I forgot to put away. It's nothing fancy, elaborate or stunning, but an example of going with the flow. When my brain is in summer mode, the filter that usually makes me over think lots of things kind of falls to the wayside.

I really love what summer does to me. Towards the end of August you might be reading a very different post, but I really hope I can tap into this summer brain a little more throughout the year.

Do you look forward to slowing down in the summer or do you prefer adventure seeking or finishing off winter's to-do list?

Whatever your pleasure, have a great day.

Linking up today's post to:


Happy 4th!

via The Quillcards blog

There are many ways to celebrate the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

via history.com

 4th of July

 Whether it's with a big crowd 
Rain of confetti at the Boston Pops July 4th Concert at the Hatch Shell at the end of the
Boston Pops July 4th concert

or in your own backyard,


I hope you get to enjoy the very simple pleasures that quietly bind all Americans 
as we celebrate our freedom.
4th of July
via Pinterest (could not reach original source)
via examiner.com

Happy 4th of July!



Etsy love...

Okay. Today's post is not terribly original. It's all about my love for Etsy, something lots of bloggers have and do talk about often, and for good reason. It's a treasure trove of all things handcrafted or vintage.

My love affair with Etsy began probably about two years ago when I purchased this sweet little milk bottle.
from Etsy seller maryscrochetnmore
The lighting is terrible, but it's a quart sized Sealtest milk bottle that I posted  a little bit about last summer. I bought it as a little reminder of my grandfather who worked  as a milkman for Sealtest in New York. He was a pretty cheeky old soul and used to try to teach me the various routes and roads leading from Manhattan to Montauk. My sense of direction is still pretty awful, so apparently it fell on deaf ears.

Since then, I browse Etsy often, usually more as a window shopper than purchaser. But below is a little showcase of some of the handcrafted and unique pieces I've picked up here and there.

Dog Vinyl Wall Decal Sticker Graphics - Item 143

I ordered this adorable vinyl decal for my son's room 
 (which has yet to be touched) from decalhappy.

Vintage Map Drawer Pull Cabinet Knob Handle - Custom - You Pick Location
Next up for Eamon's room were these cool map drawer pulls from
DaisyMae Design Shop. I chose custom pulls with maps of both Greenwich Village and Jones Beach, Long Island, favorite local destinations with sentimental attachments.

Little Boy Bowtie - Solid Colors - Sizes 6M - 9 years - Boys Bow Tie

This spring, Eamon had a thing for bowties and begged me for about a month to get him two: one blue, one green. So, to Etsy seller the Little Gentlemen's closet I went.

Take It Personal - Initial Charm Necklace in 14K Goldfill, Graduation gift, m. frances Jewelry
Last month I ordered this beautiful, hand-stamped initial necklace from mfrancesjewelry for my niece's 6th grade graduation. I wanted something both age appropriate and somewhat timeless so she could wear it for many years without it being dated. This fit the bill and Mary was amazing to deal with.

Vintage Jones Beach Blank Note Card, 5 x 7
Lastly, I ordered this vintage blank note card of Jones Beach from  BlueThistlePaperie just last week to frame for my bathroom. This local beach is full of nostlagia for us, so this cute promotional card is an affordable way to incorporate it as meaningful, whimsical artwork.  The seller, another Mary, was super speedy and a pleasure to work with.

What I love about a place like Etsy:

  1. It's like shopping a "Mom and Pop" store: I like giving regular people who have great ideas or talent my money.
  2. It's an often affordable way to buy items that have meaning to me and inject some personality and character into my home.
  3. Let's face it, the first gifts we probably ever gave anyone were our childhood drawings and masterpieces. This is a way to give a handmade gift when time, means or talent are lacking.
  4. Every seller I've dealt with was incredibly nice, helpful and excited about selling their product, I guess because they put so much of themselves into creating or finding it.
It's safe to say my love affair with Etsy will only continue to grow.  I have tons of new "favorites" added to my profile, full of artwork, pillows and well, more pillows.

Have you shopped Etsy? Do you have any favorite sites for gifts, artwork or home decor? Any gems we should know about?

Have a great Monday!