peony bloom in tune

Oh, January. What a funny month you are, bringing about the strangest qualities in people. All of this self improvement drawn while looking back and gazing forward is enough to make a girl dizzy. Yet, I can’t say I’m above all of the reflection and good intentions because when it comes down to it I’m tired of being so busy with a mind and body operating on autopilot. And who wants to experience life in some sort of highway hypnosis?

So it’s time to do something about it, right? Well, it’s at least time to give the situation some thought. It was a strange and slightly pathetic realization to have, but it’s true. It’s likely ingrained in my DNA and strengthened by years of bad habits: I can’t really relax. Oh, I know. Poor me.

Yet, it was so bad that lately my body and mind have had to shout in order to be heard. It’s not the best way to get the message that you should slow down. If that’s you or could nearly be you, please know that there is no prize for being busy, stressed or whatever keeps you ignoring your basic needs.

In order to find a solution, I tried to recall a recent moment where I was truly in tune with my mind and body. Let’s go back in time, to my visit across the pond in August when I felt transported to another world. My friend and I celebrated my birthday at Thermae Bath Spa by lounging in pools and enjoying facials. It wasn’t my first spa experience or treatment, but it truly was bliss. My in-tune moment was during that facial and leaving the room was a slow transition from dreamland back to reality. I was so relaxed that I had trouble walking and talking. Everything I saw and heard was glowing and opaque and I was transcendent. It was like some sort of spa-induced peyote trip that required a room to recover from your extreme relaxation.

Obviously that solution isn’t truly the answer, but it reminds me that it’s possible. Like anything, being calm and listening to your body and mind takes practice. While going to yoga is cliche in January, I think all those people are onto something. I’ve been doing it at home and just signed up for a month of classes. I’m starting to take note when I’m tense and allow myself to ease up and breathe deeply. So far it seems better and I’m hopeful that good habits can eventually replace bad ones. If you have any tips or want to share in this idea of being in-tune, please share!




Kitchens are undoubtedly my favorite room in the house. Sure living rooms are comfy and bedrooms are plush, but there’s just so much fun going on in the kitchen. I drool over countertops (quartz and carrera marble please!) and size up the floors. What pulls and faucets finish off the look? How did they integrate the appliances? I mean, if you’re without a personal chef, you might as well cook in style!

In my first look at inspiring kitchens, and later kitchen details, you’ll see that I was attracted to light and airy spaces, pops of color and subway tile. Not much has changed, but these spaces seem particularly elevated. The rug above and the light fixtures below, for example, really add a polished look to the space. You’ll find strategic use of bright colors are balanced with open shelving with plenty of natural light. These elements, my friends, are what dream kitchens are all about.

Now who’s cooking? I’ll pop open the wine! ;)


in-da-house-kitchen-2b in-da-house-kitchen-2c in-da-house-kitchen-2d in-da-house-kitchen-2e in-da-house-kitchen-2f

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6


There’s nothing quite like the smell of freshly sharpened pencils and brightly colored office supplies that makes me skip down the office supply aisles. Yes, back-to-college time continues to elicit bubbling excitement from me, even though classes and orientations are not in my future.

When Target asked me to check out their Back to College dorm room styles, I found myself giddy at the concept of putting together a space with the fun and affordable pieces. Who doesn’t dream of going to college again? :)

Back in the day, my freshman dorm was decked out with zebra print bedding (total shocker, I know…), No Doubt posters, and photos of friends and family back home. At the time, it was exciting but a bit overwhelming to get everything I needed while also preparing to transition away from living at home. How would it all come together and what exactly did I need to make the space my own?

Thankfully, Target is a one-stop shop online and in-store. In addition to having a college checklist to help you, they also designed uStyler, where you get to digitally create a customized space with bedding, lighting, seating, art and accessories.

target dorm room 1

These are my customized picks – love the gold pillow and the iPhone speaker alarm (dance party, anyone?) – but there is so much more to choose from that I had to make another moodboard for my dream back-to-school space.

art | coffee press | memo board | lamp
frame | bedding | bookcase

Go for the fun bedding, because who knows when you’ll get to do it again when you’re officially an adult. A pretty memo board for photos and letters from home is a way to make the room feel more homey, and trust me, you’ll need a coffee press for those inevitable late nights and early mornings. The bookcase is amazing – who says you can’t transition dorm furniture to your first apartment and beyond?

So tell me, do school supplies excite you, too? What did your dorm room space look like and what would you do differently if you had another go-around?

This post was sponsored by Target, but all opinions are my own.