Archives for 2013

This is my letter to the world…


“This is my letter to the world.” ~Emily Dickinson

I have recently started reading Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach and am overwhelmed by the amount of insight and inspiration this woman provides in her book. I can see why it was such a breakthrough hit when it came out, endorsed by Oprah herself, and continues to sell incredibly well. It is laid out like a diary, with entries corresponding to every single day of the year. It starts on January 1st and goes straight through December 31st providing short, inspirational anecdotes for every date. I decided to start with December 9th, the day I found the book in a pile of old books in my house, and I found it beautifully poignant and appropriate.

December 9th

The Christmas Letter

The advice that followed was so appropriate at this time of year. The entry began by focusing on a woman who writes a Christmas letter in which she documents the perfection of her family and the beauty of her life, essentially making everyone feel miserable and powerlessness within the confines of their own less than stellar lives. Simple Abundance came out in 1995, long before the days of Facebook and Instagram where people can now document the perfection of their lives on a daily basis. They don’t even have to write anything, they can simply post edited images of perfection. So how can we turn this frustration into action? How can we begin to feel good about our lives? By recognizing everything we have done, the obstacles and the joys, and find gratitude in those moments. I love the idea of writing down our own private letters where we explore the “exciting safari of the self and Spirit,” that we have experienced this year as well as looking forward with hope and optimism for the year to come. 

This year, we’ll write a letter of our own. We’ll write about our exciting safari of the self and Spirit. …We’ll write about the tiny changes that have made a great difference in how we approach our daily round. Then we’ll write another letter, dated this time next year, in which we’ll describe how our dreams came true. In it, we’ll outline our glorious ideal lives in detail — exactly what we’re doing, how we’re doing it, who’s doing it with us. But we’ll write these two letters in our discovery journals only; they’re for our eyes alone. Because this is not merely our letter to the world, this will be our letter to the Universe. What we’re really doing is setting down our New Year’s aspirations in concrete form.

This is the perfect time to start writing these letters, filling up our “discovery journals” with dreams and aspirations, hopes and plans. Life is not perfect. Life is full of obstacles, moments that knock us off our feet or leave us gasping for air. No one is immune to these unfortunate twists, even the “perfect” woman with the “perfect” Christmas letter.

Remember that your family and friends don’t live edited lives. You needn’t either.

I will be writing these letters in my discovery journal and seeing how they play out over the following year. I look forward to hearing from anyone who has similar plans. I hope you will join me on my own “safari of the self and Spirit.” 

Brahms Mount Cotton Throw


I just love these Cotton Herringbone Throws from Brahms Mount. They are a beautifully classic staple for your home…and so cozy!

According to their website, Brahms Mount weaves textiles with a signature American look and soft, luxurious hand. Classically beautiful, wonderfully comfortable and grounded in the authentic character and centuries-old textile tradition of Maine, their products have been capturing hearts since the company was founded in 1983.

Their blankets, throws and linen towels are woven on antique shuttle looms by local artisans in their mill in Monmouth, Maine. To achieve such vibrant colors, they use specially engineered yarns spun from the finest natural fibers and colorfast, eco-friendly dyes. The pieces come off the loom feeling clean and untreated, rich and resilient.

Brahms Mount carries on Maine’s textile tradition and they are proud to use machines and methods that have stood the test of time – and still produce the best quality available. But most of all, they’re proud to play a role in keeping American manufacturing alive and well. This information was all found on the Brahms Mount website. I have no affiliation with the company and have received nothing from them in exchange for this post. I just really, really like the blankets and think they would make an excellent present for a loved one during the holiday season.

Getting Ready for the Holidays!

Sometimes you just really need cheerful things around you during the holidays. They brighten your mood and inspire you to stay hopeful, festive, and optimistic. Every year when you bring out those boxes of decorations it becomes a journey down memory lane. We have decorations that belonged to our parents, those that were given to us as gifts during special times and those that just make us happy. That’s what the holidays are all about, finding joy and gratitude on a daily basis.

This year I bought this adorable Chip & Dip plate from Shop Glitzy Glam and it truly succeeded in brightening my day (a day that happens to be particularly gloomy, grey, and rainy). Can’t wait to have friends and family over and celebrate this beautiful season!



Desk Drawer Clean-Up

This weekend was a bit on the rainy side and so I decided to tackle a few small projects around the house. One of them that was high on my list was the organization of my desk drawers. Now I know they don’t look terribly messy, just sort of like a catch all. The major problem being that because they are so shallow and so small, if they are filled to capacity in a disorganized manner than they are rendered essentially useless. Cleaning can sometimes feel like a daunting task but if you take it in little steps, you can make real progress over short periods of time. Without further ado, here are the before and after shots of my desk drawer (there are two drawers so stay tuned for the reveal of the cleaned and organized second drawer).





As you can see, it was the use of clear, acrylic boxes from The Container Store (that I purchased over six months ago and have been waiting to use). It’s amazing how a small space became so completely useful when I organized it and designated homes for all of my most used items. I know that everyone says “Spring Cleaning” is so popular but I find that I do my best “Spring Cleaning” in the fall. Can’t wait to share more of my adventures with you.

What do you find to be the hardest spots in your house to keep organized?

Day One and Already in Love



Last night I used these wipes to take off my makeup and I LOVED them! I loved the smell because it was very fresh and very clean without smelling like a makeup remover or too perfume-like. The scent was absolutely perfect. The texture was soft with a few raised nubs to give you that deep cleaning feel. Another pet peeve I have about the cleansing towelettes is that they tend to either dry out quickly or be too wet. These Target Up & Up cloths were just right! (I feel a little like Goldilocks with this review but trust me, I’ve tried them all and this is by far my favorite). They were definitely on the low end when it comes to pricing (much cheaper than the name brand towelettes and twice as effective).

I bought the thirty pack and considering I only needed one towelette to remove all my makeup (typically I use at least two and I don’t even wear that much makeup) and that only added to my love of this product. So a BIG thanks to Organized Jen for turning me onto these great towelettes! I will definitely be purchasing these again!


A Trip to Target

Today was a TARGET day! I have had a growing list of things to buy because I a) needed them, b) desperately wanted to try them, or c) stumbled upon them at the store and therefore bought them.


Up & Up (Target Brand) Makeup Removing Towelettes. I’ve heard great things about these cleansing cloths from one of my favorite bloggers, Organized Jen. So of course, I just had to try them out for myself.


Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream. This cream smells AMAZING but even better, it works! I’ve been using it before bed for the past few nights and have become completely obsessed. Applying it at night is as routine as putting on my lip balm.


Aveeno Active Naturals Positively Smooth. Never used this shave gel but it sounds really good, it’s gotten awards from Allure and it claims to help you shave less and contains soy so it sounds pretty perfect. Plus I really like the Aveeno line of products. They seem to be a good fit for my skin and are very natural and appropriate for sensitive skin. (I adore their Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream and have gone through plenty of bottles of this cream…and my skin thanks me).


Schick Quattro Razor. Another new item for me. I’ve never used the Schick razors before because I have been a BIC Soleil devotee for years and years so I’m excited to try out a new razor. (It’s the little things that matter, right?)


EOS Lip Balm. This lip balm (in pretty much any flavor) is tied with Burt’s Bees for my favorite lip balm of all time. I like the shape and it’s always easy to spot in my purse, plus there was a sale on 4-packs at Target. Couldn’t resist!

So that sums up my trip to Target. I will check back in with my verdict on these products. I also recently placed an order for a few Origins skin care products and I’m waiting for them to arrive. A post to come!  Also, I’m hoping to get to The Container Store this weekend. We will have to wait and see if it comes to fruition. In the meantime, I’m building my list of “Must Buy Items” so if anyone has any suggestions, please let me know. I’m still a newbie at The Container Store.

Oh! I almost forgot my absolute favorite purchase from today’s trip. My Circo Love ‘n Nature Owl Pillow! She’s sitting on my desk chair as I type this brightening up my office. I think a Daily Moxie office mascot has finally arrived. :)





Duck Tape Flowers

Duct Tape Flowers are a relatively new craft that seem to be growing in popularity. I was first introduced to them by my 10-year-old niece, Piper. I asked Piper if she would demonstrate the art of the Duct Tape Flower for Daily Moxie. This post is entirely produced by Piper. I think I might have to make her a regular contributor to the site!

Enjoy Piper’s tutorial on the Duct Tape Flower!


Step 1 choose the colors you want and pencil


Step 2 wrap the petals shown in picture #2


Step 3 Keep wrapping each color until you reach the size you like


Extras: Glue a sequin or pompom on the eraser(middle of the flower). Also you can make a bee to glue on from a wood bead and a pipe cleaner.

photo-5 copy

The Daily Moxie Box reviews Birchbox

Welcome to our new on-going feature: The Daily Moxie Box. Monthly subscription boxes seem to be all the rage right now. So we’ve decided to take some of the guess work out of your purchasing decision and help you decide which boxes are worth the monthly fee. We will review some of the top boxes out there, post pics and give you an idea of  what you get in each box. Are some of them worth the monthly fees, which range anywhere from $15 to $50 dollars a month, or are you better off going to a department store and getting free samples on your own? Let us break it down for you!


Our first box is the one that seemed to start it all Birchbox!

When Birchbox first came out, the samples were incredible. A great size, unusual variety and different boxes for different people. Lately the Daily Moxie ladies have been a little underwhelmed with the samples. (Are we getting bigger or are the samples getting smaller?)

Here’s a look at July’s box:


Here’s a list of what you get:

b.right Moisturizing Collection by Benefit Cosmetics (full-size $30-40)

Curly Keeper by Curly Hair Solutions by Jonathan Torch (full-size $10)

CC Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 40 by purminerals (full-size $38)

Ceramidin Cream by Dr. Jart (full-size $48)

Birchbox Exclusive Colorfully patterned Bobby Pins – set of six ($5)

You also get a card that gives you the chance at getting a deluxe mini whenever you purchase a full size Benefit product or spend 25+ at the Birchbox Bonus shop.

Our thoughts:

While we’ve seen better boxes from Birchbox, we will stick with them a while longer. Some of the more jam-packed boxes make up for the slightly sparse ones. They’ve introduced us to lots of products we’ve never heard of (Hello, Jouer!) and they always have a whimsical flair to the packaging. Another bonus is if you leave a review on the Birchbox website about the samples you’ve received, you can rack up a bunch of points towards your next purchase. And you can’t go wrong at 15 bucks a month.


Moxie Box Grade: B (for Birchbox)

Stay tuned for more subscription box reviews at our newest feature: The Daily Moxie Box!

Lush for Summer

BeachBoxPostcard2Okay, so I haven’t made it over to the LUSH store yet and now I’m kicking myself for not doing it sooner because how cute is this Beach Box? I only discovered it after visiting the Lush website. God knows I love a gift basket because of all the goodies you get to discover. This box gives me that same feeling! They are all “Beach” related which I adore!

Here’s the description of what comes in this box directly from the website.

Ocean Salt face and body scrub sets skin aglow with a mix of salt grains. These blast away layers of skin, like waves crashing across shore. Your skin is awakened with vodka-infused citrus juices; this is a cocktail that’s actually good for your skin!  An added dash of seaweed absolute, an essential oil extracted from – you guessed it, seaweed! The pure absolute is a valuable boost of minerals and vitamins for freshly emerging skin.

For all-over sudsy lather, hang ten with Sea Vegetable soap for your body. It’s like washing in a cresting wave, carrying a salty, kelp-laced froth to renew and drench skin in minerals. Lime and lavender essential oils dance in the surf too, and leave a gentle perfume across the skin so you won’t smell like an old buoy! Imagine if Venus changed her half-shell into an outdoor shower… this is what the scent-sation would be.

Hair gets added lift-off from the salt texturizing Seanik shampoo bar, a life-preserver for beachy hair. It also offers a nice dose of minerals for sun-drenched scalps! Nori bits mingle with a rich marine emulsion of Irish Moss seaweed. Doubling up on seaweed means added conditioning in the lather, root to tip.

For even more of a boost, or just mermaid-hair in look, feel and scent (another potent Siren’s call), spritz your locks with Sea Spray, which does double duty as a perfume as well as styling hair mist. Sea Spray offers hold, mixed into a lovely seawater and seaweed emulsion – so it’s a hair spray that offers a TON of minerals to your style, too.

And while prevention is always the best cure for sunburns, (really, all sorts of summer skin and hair needs), it never hurts to have Dream Cream around!  Relief comes in basking skin in our time-tested mix of essential oils (lavender, rose, chamomile, tea tree) mixed into inflammation-calming oatmilk.  Oatmilk is one of the most calming and basic of skin ingredients for times like these, and each pot contains a whopping helping of this cozy porridge for suffering skin.

No matter where you live, or what seashore (even imaginary) you enjoy, a LUSH Beach Box is the perfect summer fling to enjoy now. When you’re done, it stashes other summer essentials or memories of your sand-swept escapades. We’re sure there are many crafty uses you’ll come up with!  

Get it while it’s here – before the wave of Summer 2013 carries your chance out to sea! 

This seems like a lot of product for $30! And even though this sounds like a commercial for Lush, I am in no way being paid for this endorsement. I haven’t even tried their products yet, so who  knows, I may not love Lush the way I think I will.


Daily Summer Skincare Routine


During the hot summer days, I like to switch up my skincare routine and make things a little more oily/breakout focused. Summer is hot and sticky and I think your cleansing routine should help you battle these elements. Lately I am loving three products from Dermalogica. The special cleansing gel, multi-active toner and active moist moisturizer. I first read about them in Maria Menounos’ book, The Everygirl’s Guide to Life. Apparently Maria is a huge fan of the Dermalogica line of products and her skin always looks great!
multi-active-toner_7-01_590x617 active-moist_14-02_590x617I’m going to give these products a few weeks of testing and see if they meet (or exceed) my expectations. I will keep you posted.




UK200005089_CAUDALIEYesterday I wrote about my desire to test out LUSH products, most specifically the Buffy Body Butter. Well, today I am kind of crushing on the Caudalie Beauty Elixir. The website says that it is “inspired by the “elixir of youth” used by Queen Isabelle of Hungary and that it smoothes features, tightens pores and gives a burst of radiance to the complexion. Ideal for those who’d like a burst of radiance and a vibrant complexion resulting in an instant refreshing sensation. Perfect for smokers and for men after shaving.”

I know from frequent consultations at my local Sephora that Caudalie is a very natural skincare line that prides itself on being sensitive to skin and very effective. I am adding this to my list of products to splurge on in the very near future.



I have never tried any LUSH products. Every time I walk by the store at my local mall, I am enamored by the scents swirling from within its walls but I have never made a purchase. I’ve read about these products on many websites and the devoted following should be enough to convince me but I worry about skin sensitivity because the products are so fragrant. I worry they will stir up a reaction in my skin. But I have to say I’m very tempted to make the leap and try out one of their products. The Buffy Body Butter is looking particularly intriguing and I am very close to making it mine!

9999902127Here’s the description straight from the LUSH website.

Massage our Buffy body butter all over your wet skin in the bath or shower to make you softer and smooth to the touch, paying special attention to your backside. We add ground rice, almonds and beans to Buffy to act as exfoliants; the rough textures eliminate lumps and bumps and sloughs away dry skin cells to reveal brighter, fresher looking skin. Rinse off the exfoliating bits and pat yourself dry. There’s no need for body lotion after a Buffy slaying session, because the cocoa and shea butters keep your skin beautifully smooth, moisturized and soft to the touch.

So what do you think? Should I give it a shot? Has anyone had any reactions to the LUSH products?  Let me know.


Loving Anthropologie


Sometimes it’s just as much fun to window shop online as it is in the mall. I love Anthropologie for their home decor and accessories. They also have a great selection of stationery and gift books. Whenever I go into an Anthropologie store, I have to leave with some little trinket from my visit. I just adore this Milk Bottle Measuring Cup in the shape of an old fashioned milk bottle. How cute is this? And what a smart way to keep your measuring cups all secure in one place! 20101796_095_v

And because I am desk obsessed, I am also coveting the Ceramic Pencil Cup and Note Holders. They are so simple but eye-catching. A great gift idea.


I love the handmade look of these office accessories. They look like the type of thing you would pick up at a tiny shop that sells one-of-a-kind objects. I think that’s what I love most about Anthropologie, the uniqueness of their inventory. It makes shopping there such an enjoyable trip…even if you’re doing it online.



The Balance of Nature


Somehow I managed to finagle a spot in the shade to do my work. I temporarily moved my office to a wrought iron table on a gorgeous patio in the shade of an elm tree. The summer sun and beautiful breeze was just begging for me to immerse myself in nature and get out of the office bubble, if only for an afternoon. I can hear kids playing in the surf from where I sit and birds are singing a symphony for what feels like my ears only.

We get so caught up in the push and pull of life and work, the balance that so many people talk about but few actually achieve. Is there such thing as complete and total balance? Of course not! It’s never all or nothing. No one can be that structured, that precise, that diligent to make sure that each aspect and area of their life receives the appropriate amount of attention. We are human beings, not pie charts. We are living, breathing, fallible beings. Plans are not kept, schedules are broken and somewhere along the line something loses out. What we need to do is make sure that the thing that loses out most often is that which does not bring us pleasure. We need to err on the side of joy. Lean towards the joy, the happiness, the peace and the tranquility. Whatever gives us that nurturing of our soul and mind is what should always win out. Yes, this is difficult, tremendously so, but it is also imperative. I believe summer is a great equalizer. We may not have balance year round. We may spend too many hours in the office and then rush to put dinner on the table, finally squeezing in a television show or a chapter from a good book, if we’re lucky. But summer is a time when things slow down. Lazy days of summer were appropriately named. We need to give in to the beautiful sunshine beckoning to us from our windows and follow our hearts to the sea. We need to listen to the birds and join them in their symphony of joy.

UPDATE: Literally, the minute I finished typing this, a hummingbird landed next to my laptop. Do I need a better sign that I am completely in balance…for the moment?




I would rather live in a world where my life is surrounded by mystery than live in a world so small that my mind could comprehend it.

– Harry Emerson Fosdick


I found this quote the other day on Lindsey Mead’s website, A DESIGN SO VAST. I visit her site frequently to read her beautiful and poignant musings on life, the sometimes melancholic ebb and flow of our daily existence. I loved this quote because it is calming, reassuring and allows me to see my often chaotic and confusing life as an exciting mystery to be understood. This is what I love about writing. A famous writer once said, “Everything is material,” and this is not only true but comforting. It allows you to open your eyes to the daily events, both good and bad, and try to decipher what can be gleaned from these experiences. What can you learn from a fight with a friend, a difficult client, an exhaustion that seems to overtake you? What can you learn from disappointment, heartbreak, fear and sadness? What can you learn from pure joy and exhilaration? Everything has something to teach. Everything. And it is up to us to use these moments. To pull everything we can from them. To suck the marrow out of life and get our hands dirty trying to understand each passing moment. Reflection is key to understanding and accepting the mystery of life. I love that my life is so big and complicated and complex that I find myself trying to understand the events and obstacles that surround me. I love that things aren’t easy, that my life has struggle, because when the beauty comes, when the peaceful, wonderful moments come, I absorb them fully. More than most. I never want that to change. I never want to stop reflecting on this beautiful, wild, complicated, mysterious life that I live. This unpredictable, sometimes upsetting, unbelievably beautiful and never boring life that I live.

Summer is just starting to settle and the days are stretching out before me. We have had so much rain, impossibly cold rain that makes me feel like we are still in the depths of winter. But then we have days like today, when the sun shines so brilliantly and the earth is warm and inviting. On days like this I look around and see that everything is in bloom. The peonies are blossoming with brilliant pinks, the leaves of my azalea bushes are tinged with flowers and the hydrangea buds are bursting at their seams. I take this time to reflect on all the rain we have had and recognize that without the rain, these flowers and blossoms and blooms and buds would not be possible. Without the rain, there would be no beauty.

New iPhone Case

iphone case



Weekend Plans


“There is magic in the world. There is beauty and symmetry and a mystery so profound that it can not be understood or reasoned with – only experienced.” ~ Beautiful words from the beautiful writer Dani Shapiro. Words to live by and hopefully to carry you into this gorgeous weekend.

Speaking of weekend. I have some exciting weekend plans that include diving into this little “gem” of a book…get it… because of the cover?! I just adore J. Courtney Sullivan. Her last two books, Commencement and Maine, were two of my most frequently recommended books.


What are your weekend plans? Can’t wait to hear…

Decorating for Spring

It’s a cold but brilliant almost spring day in Massachusetts. Magnolias are in full bloom (as evidenced by my early morning walk) and my garden is calling out to me. Unfortunately, it will be a few more days until it feels warm enough to get my hands dirty and start planting. I’m a novice gardener and am hoping to learn a lot this spring and summer.

I’ve been doing some spring shopping and buying a few outdoor items to spruce up the exterior of my house. My hunt for some sea-related items brought me to WEST ELM where I found this perfect outdoor mat. This was my first purchase from West Elm but I ended up buying a laundry basket soon after. I spent my Sunday flipping through the catalog and finding summertime inspiration.


People  have become so used to shopping online that we hardly ever flip through catalogs. It was enjoyable to just sit with the catalog and get some ideas. I also discovered that West Elm very cleverly uses Holly Becker from Decor8 to give decorating inspiration and advice. I think this is the first time I have ever seen a blogger mentioned (and profiled) in a catalog! Very innovative and smart.


So while my garden begins to sprout tiny glimpses of green and I wait with bated breath for the weather to turn in my favor, I will have to get my daily dose of flowers from the garden shop down the street.



IMG_0096Hope you are having a wonderfully relaxing Sunday!



Very excited to start my gardening adventure and am looking forward to some beautiful spring and summer blossoms. I also feel that learning something new, like gardening, is a way to stay curious and excited about life. Days like this, when we are facing such tragedy and confusion, it’s nice to lose yourself in something real and cathartic and gratifying. I know that the minute I see a sprout of green, a sign of life and beauty, I will feel a sense of accomplishment, a sense of pride, and an appreciation for the cyclical nature of life.



Words can’t express how I feel about what happened in Boston on Marathon Monday. To have such tragedy, such loss, such pain and suffering thrust upon our beautiful city, and the inspiring people who reside here, breaks my heart. I have complete faith that we will rise above the terror and be stronger and more courageous than ever before. Yes, our innocence may be lost but our hope, faith and bravery remains.