Friday, May 18, 2018

Let's Talk Plants, Greenery, & Why I LOVE Wreath Goddess Design

I grew up in a house full of plants.  Literally.  My mom had several plants in every room, including my parents' bedroom, living room, kitchen, you name it.  And let's not forget about the cute little aloe plant that lived in my room.  I helped water it and keep it alive.  That's a pretty big deal for a 5 year old.  Plus, if I got a burn or boo-boo, I thought it was so cool that the aloe from the plant would help soothe me.  I grow the plant, I keep it alive, I get hurt, the plant helps me heal.  How cool is that?  Friends helping friends, ya know?

I always thought it was fascinating how my mom could help these plants that lived inside my house grow to be so big!  But nothing beat the coleus plants she would grow outside.  Those would grow to be THIS big (okay, way bigger but you get it), and they would flourish and thrive all season long.  She said my grandmother gave her her green thumb, and wouldn't ya know, all these years later, and my thumb is turning just as green!  They always say you end up like your mother one way or another!

Now, here I sit, in my lakeside little home, surrounded by...... plants!  Some of these I bought as baby plants, a couple of them are fake (well because Nala eats them, and I don't want her to die!!), but most of them I grew from little seedlings, and they are now part of the fam.

So hey, at the end of the day, if I can't write and publish my own book... oh wait, I did do that.... at least I can grow some pretty good looking greenery!  Also, I now grow Nala her own catnip to enjoy and keep her entertained so that she stops biting everything... including me.

BUT, let's talk about who has the real talent here.  I introduce to you, my cousin Megan Leduc.  She is the brains and the skill behind Wreath Goddess Design.  Let me just brag about her for a second... This girl's middle naaaaaaame is Creative.  She hand makes the most professional custom design wreaths for all different occasions and styles.  When I realized that my living room door was lacking something, I immediately pictured in my head a classic plain, green wreath made of bay leaves - or my favorite - eucalyptus leaves. I told Megan about this vision, and she immediately made it come to life.  Within days, she presented to me the most beautiful wreath for my door.  Not only is it exactly what I was imagining, it is so masterfully crafted, and so durable!  At Wreath Goddess Design, Megan can also make your dream wreath into a reality!  If you know you want a gorgeous wreath of your own but can't decide what design you want, Megan will certainly help you here.  Feel free to browse some of her examples (each wreath is named after a song, how cool is that?!) on her website.  So really guys, if you know your house, front door, bedroom door, etc. is looking a little lonely, go to Wreath Goddess Design and have Megan make the perfect wreath for you!

So, no matter whether you hand grow your greens from seeds, buy them as baby plants, hang pretend but very real looking wreaths from your door, or have a fake ficus tree full of white lights in your living room, you should really surround yourself with the appearance of plants!  Real plants can help your health in so many ways such as bringing oxygen into your house and helping you breathe, calming anxiety, reducing headaches, etc.  Growing your own herbs is exciting especially when you can finally eat them, and you'll save money at the grocery store!  And, if you don't have a green thumb and have a house full of fake plants, who cares?  Just waking up to a house full of plants and flowers can put you in a better mood.  Who doesn't love some bright and beautiful colors in their house?

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

A Tennessee Trip & My Fascination with Airports

There’s something thrilling about traveling alone, about drinking solo at the airport bar and making friends with people you’ll probably never see again.  Call me strange, but I get such simple enjoyment out of people watching and wondering where everyone is going, where everyone is coming from.  Are these families going on tropical vacations?  Are some here for business?  Are some people here for sad reasons like visiting a sick friend or family member?  

There are so many possibilities, and after a couple glasses of Pinot and a small buzz, I’ve got a story for everyone.  I’ve already decided who’s here on their honeymoon, who just broke up with their cheating boyfriend and is about to start their life over in the city, and who is flying to Hawaii to sit on the beach, write poetry, and live off the earth, mon. 

Then, as I pay my bill at the airport bar and realize that my plane is already boarding without me, a thought hits me.  Does anyone wonder why I'm here?  Do people stop and think, why is this 30-something blonde girl taking selfies and killing time over chowder and wine? (no, I do not eat the clams, I just like the broth)  Where is she coming from?  Where is she headed?  Oh, that's right, she's off to marry the love of her life on a beach in Fiji!!! (I'm kidding guys, just wanted to make sure you were awake.)  No, but really, do you think anyone even cares what my deal is?

Well,  MY SISTER LIVES IN NASHVILLE AND I HAVE A PERMANENT VACATION SPOT FOREVER, so.  And not to mention, by happenstance, my aunt and uncle were about to be in Nashville the same weekend, so a bit of QT family time was on the itinerary.  Some serious coffee, thrift shopping, antiquing, hunting for the the-best-photo-ops, a little mid-day yoga on the city street, and capping the night off with some damn good drinks were also completely necessary, aaaaaaaaand half of my heart already belongs to this perfect city, so..... my deal is this:  I bask in the greatness of the South once again, and you get to look at all my cute pics.  

You're welcome, y'all!


Nashville, til we meet again... <3 

Photo cred: Platinum Circle Media

Monday, January 29, 2018

What I've been up to...

Hi readers, happy almost February, aka best-month-of-the-year, otherwise known as my birthday month!  Cheers to me, everyone!

I know I was on a daily posting binge in December, and that was fun and motivating for me, but after the holidays, life got a bit busier, and I haven't really sat down to connect with my blog.  My poor little blog, it has been neglected lately!

So, what is my excuse?  I don't really have one, but if you're interested, keep reading and I'll fill you in on what I've been up to since my Blogmas days.

1.  I'm back off the meat-eating wagon.  It was a, shall I say, interesting year and a half of eating meat after an 11 year hiatus.  Don't get me wrong, salmon and steak tips indeed tasted like a million little delicious stars bursting on my tongue the few times I ate them.  I even found myself ordering these dishes at restaurants at times.  I mean I really enjoyed the flavor, but I could never really get over the actual thought that I was eating meat... and then something happened.  I just woke up one day, tried to eat some grilled chicken and....... ugh.  No can do, I thought.  I was literally repulsed by it all over again. Okay, fine, maybe chicken was off the list, but Jade's wedding was only a week away and I knew I picked steak as my option.  Dinner was served, I took two bites, and it happened again.  My eyes thought, oh! this looks good, my brain thought nope!  Since then, my stomach instantly turns at the thought of chewing on meat, let alone swallowing it and letting it sit inside my body, so, needless to say, I didn't mean for it to happen this way, but I'm back to being a full blown vegetarian, and I'm really feeling great.  I feel like the real Holly again.  I know I'm living a life I believe in, and I know I gave meat eating a chance. It didn't work out for me, but that's what makes us all different, right?

2.  I have finally finished writing my book!  Now, all that's left to work on is the final touches of artwork.  Thank you to the HUGELY talented Platinum Circle Media for all their help with listening to my wants and needs and delivering nothing but professionalism, precise artwork, and the ability to put up with my ever changing mind.  If you are in the market for any graphic design work, marketing, promotional work, website design, etc., then definitely click here.  You're welcome.

3.  I've been working on connecting with myself more than ever.  By connection with myself I mean this: writing more poetry and songs, enhancing my already way too long nighttime skincare routine, planting some seeds with the hopes of watching them grow into beautiful plants and spices, spending more time with friends and family, trying to meditate more, practicing yoga more often, and making lots of travel plans.  My home has little crystals hidden about, and a batch of white sage is sitting on my living room table.  Some people think I'm weird, but I don't care.  These are the things that make my soul feel healthy, and since I'm about to be a 31 year old woman, I think it's time to nourish my soul as much as my physical body.

4.  With that being said, I also crossed something off my long list of goals. Just yesterday, I became a certified Reiki Level 1 Energy Healer!  This feels like one of my greatest accomplishments yet.  I have always been super intrigued by the world of holistic health and energy healing.  I was only 19 years old when I received my first Reiki treatment when I worked as a receptionist in a spa.  I had a terrible migraine and my boss convinced me to let her give me a Reiki treatment.  At that point, I didn't really know much about Reiki, but I was willing to try anything to rid myself of the agony.  After about a half hour into the session, my migraine disappeared.  Mind = blown.  Ever since that day, Reiki has been the only true treatment to fully dissolve my headaches and break up the negativity in my brain, and so began my exploration of alternative healing. After two years of suffering with abdominal pain which led to surgery over this past summer to remove endometriosis, I decided it was time to educate myself some more on self healing.  So, yesterday I took a class at a beautiful yoga studio nearby, and I learned so much.  I learned the history of Reiki, the physical mind-body-medical aspects of it, I received it, I mediated, I was eventually attuned and finished by practicing on some really cool friends I made.  What a day I had.  Next up is Level 2!

5.  I booked a last minute trip to Nashville to visit my sister and second family the weekend before my birthday.  My aunt and uncle from SC will also be there, and we will celebrate my birthday in the heart of my favorite city on earth (besides you, Toronto, you know you still hold much space in my heart! See ya in April!)

6.  Work. Work has been busy lately, and I'm really happy about that.  There's nothing better than knowing you're working your bum off at a job you are passionate about.  It's a great feeling when we settle a case, and we know that we all worked hard together to get the job done.

7.  I BOUGHT A NEW JEEP.  I worked hard all year, and it totally paid off.  I figure if I'm going to spend a frustrating amount of time in traffic each day, I might as well look damn good doing it.  AmIRight??  Go after what you want people!

8.  I've been busy working on writing for some new clients, and that has been exciting.  Meeting new people and networking is what it's all about!

I'm sure I've missed a few things, but the above has been my life in a nutshell lately.  Thanks for sticking with me every step of the way - I promise not to neglect this space again.  I hope this post inspires you to go after those things you've been wanting to do but have put off.  There's no time like right now to put YOURSELF first.  A wise friend recently told me "the time is going to pass anyway, so you might as well do it!"  So, stop thinking and just do, I promise you'll be happy.

Love to love ya!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

VLOGMAS DAY 13 - The Gift Reveal

If you were anxiously waiting to see what my sister and I gave my parents for Christmas, watch this...

Thursday, December 21, 2017

BLOGMAS DAY 9, 10 & 11 - Busy Holiday Bee

Happy Thursday before Chrsitmas!  I apologize for not posting at the same time each day, but this past week has been super busy.  Catching up at work after three sick days last week can really take up a lot of time.  I swear, for every one day off, it takes two-three days to catch up and get back to normal.  I'm not complaining though, I am feeling so lucky lately to have such a great career and work for such talented, supportive, and kind people.  It almost feels like we are a little family in my office, and that feeling is extra special around the holidays.  Hashtag blessed.

Aside from work life, my social life has been super busy lately too, as expected when Jacy and Mike are in town.  We just want to spend so much time together that we don't even care how tired we are the next day.  Each night of this past week, we have been out late getting things done in preparation for the upcoming festivities and more importantly, we have been putting the finishing touches on our parents' present!  I know you saw the vlog, but do you have any ideas what it could be?  I can't wait until the damn cat's out of the bag so I can share what it is with you!

Last night, Jacy and I got manicures (I got the chrome color - best decision ever.  I know it's sort of different, but I like to be different and now I'm hooked.  I guarantee after seeing these robotic nails you're going to try it at your next nail appt too!).  Then we did some serious last minute Christmas shopping, followed by some dinner and drinks, and now the entire back seat of my Jeep is packed with gifts and wrapping paper and there is no room for anything else but that's okay because... Christmas.

Tonight I have to wrap said gifts (aka I will whine and complain until Jacy wraps them all for me), and then I have to do mounds of laundry so that I have a cute outfit for every day of the weekend.  Either that, or I'll just go shopping for new clothes and call it a day.

Tomorrow, my Aunt and Uncle arrive from SC, and I'm really hoping the pending snow doesn't slow their trip down at all because I've been waiting all year to see them.  Insert reoccurring sad feelings about my family being so far away from each other.  I guess it only makes the holidays that much more precious because we all get to relish in the togetherness of the weekend.

Saturday, I have a hair appointment with my longtime friend Beth.  This girl is amazing, and if you especially love balyage and ombre like I do, check her out on IG: hairsytlist_beth.  She works at Cut-Splice in Charlestown, MA, and her hands are magic.  You will leave her chair feeling like a million bucks, and they serve beer and wine so really what could be better?  I'll be sure to post some pictures after my appointment!  After that, Jacy and I have lunch plans with my "second sister" Erica, who is also Jacy's longtime best friend. Finally, Saturday night, the whole family has our annual Eve Before Christmas Eve party which you already read about here.  Sunday is Christmas Eve, Monday is Christmas, Tuesday my office is closed, and soon enough it will be hump day again.  I really hope time slows down over the next few days though, I want to experience the joy of Christmas for as long as I can.

Oh, and this morning I woke up and saw that Billy Costa from the Matty in the Morning Show liked my tweet.  I can now die a happy woman.

What have you all been up to in preparation of the holidays?

Saturday, December 16, 2017

BLOGMAS DAY 6 - We Reunite!

It never gets old.  The excitement I feel when Jacy and Mike come home for the holidays is almost even better than that of Christmas morning.  Sometimes when they come home in the summer or other months, I joke that I'm like a kid on Christmas, but this time I really am! Even though I'm always happy to see my sister and brother in law, there is something extra special about picking them up from the airport in December.  I feel like it's the official kickoff to the holiday season, the beginning of so many good days to come.  Nothing can get me down today, not the cold, not the fact that I'm still battling this sickness that kept me out of work for most of the week, and not the fact that I bought three scratch tickets and didn't even win a dollar.  This day is magical, and nothing can take that away from me!  So, with that being said... guess what day it is???


I'll be posting more it the days to come.

Merry airport day!


Friday, December 15, 2017

BLOGMAS DAY 5 - Dear Santa


I haven't written to you in a while, in fact it's been decades.  I used to stay up late practicing what I would write, and then I'd finally get it all on paper, seal it up, and send it off to the North Pole.  I was so excited.  I remember those letters you sent back to me. I would bring them into school to show all my friends, and we would read them over and over again with wide eyes, declaring that you must be real because how else would you know the names of my three goldfish and the fact that I loved soccer?  You were just that good.  (P.S. Thanks Mom and Dad for the help with that, wink wink)

Well, here I am again, two months shy of 31 years old, and I still have a few things to ask of you.  Although my list may be full of less tangible things than in years past, I still have some wishes.  I've been a pretty good person over the course of my life, trying to always put others first, and I hate to sound so blunt, but I think some of the things on my wishlist are damn well deserved by now. 

First, I know it sounds cliche at best, but I really would love some more wide spread peace.  I am so sick of kids being bullied, I'm sick of hearing about North Korea, I'm tired of hearing so much negativity, and I've had enough with worrying what people are saying.  It would be nice if we could all just get the F along.  Oh right, Santa, that's another thing, I swear a lot more now - a little different from when I was 10, but life is stressful, ya know?

Next, I would really love a chance to meet some of the people who inspire me the most.  A chance to have a real life conversation with Jewel, Taylor Swift, Anna Nalick, Fiona Apple, Ashlee Simpson, Emily Giffin, or any of the other girl-power bosses who inspire me to write every day would be just phenomenal.  I feel like they deserve a hug and a huge acknowledgment of appreciation from me.  

Third, I would really enjoy a few trips to NYC where I can sit in a coffee shop, open my Mac, and let my creative juices spill out.  Something about big cities just makes me feel a certain type of way.  So can you please just tell my bosses that I need X amount of time off?

Fourth, I would love it if you could give Nala the gift of endless life.  Or at least keep her alive for the rest of my life, she's my best little friend, and I never want to live a day without her (it would also be really cool if she could talk, so if you could throw that bonus in, I wouldn't hate it).

Fifth, I really want my family to be together more often.  If you could find a way for us all to live together in perfect harmony, that would be splendid.

Last, but not least, I really want to get married in a field, barefoot and wearing a green flower crown and a white sundress, to have two perfect little kids in a quaint little town, then to move to a big penthouse apartment, write a NY Times best selling book, to be healthy, happy, and skinny forever, to be rich in my career, in love, and in money, to have both a vacation lake house and beach house, to write a number 1 song, to never have any more gray hairs, to always have perfect eyebrows, and to be able to take care of everyone I love for the rest of their lives.  That's not asking too much, now is it?

Thanks, Santa.  I know you've got this all covered.  You da man.

With love,