Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Our Fresh Produce Stand

     Having little ones running around the house, requesting snacks on an hourly basis, made me want to find something for our kitchen that, not only offered my children healthy choices but was also at their level, making it easier for them pick and choose selections on their own. While perusing Pinterest a while back, I came across an adorable Produce Stand. "What a great idea!" I thought to myself and I reached out to the Pin owner to find out how their stand was made. Believe it or not, the body of the stand was a quilt rack!! Isn't that hysterical?! People are always looking to get rid of things like that so I just needed to get my hands on an old, unused quilt rack...

     ...well, that eventually proved to be easier said than done, so I eventually found someone on Pinterest that makes their own quilt racks. In communicating with this individual, I explained what I was hoping to do with their quilt rack and the gentleman offered to try his best at attempting to replicate my Pinterest find and this is his finished product:

     I could NOT be happier!! I located 6 similar baskets, to those seen on the original stand, at Big Lots and VOILA! Every week I restock our stand with fresh, healthy options for our children. Our town also has a weekly Farmer's Market that allows me to support local farmers so I see it as a win-win in my book. Hopefully in the upcoming year, I can plant our own fruit trees on our property making our Produce stand even easier to fill. Stay tuned...

Monday, June 19, 2017

Peaches & Petals Review April 2017

     I must say, I was super stoked about the contents of my Peaches & Petals April 2017 box. I'm a beach girl at heart, as I spent the majority of my childhood out in California, so the "beachy" contents made my day! My family and I were stationed at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California for 6 years. V.A.F.B. is about an hour north of Santa Barbara or 4 hours north of Los Angeles. It was our first experience living close to the beach and ever since then, there's always been a small part of me that NEEDS to be in close proximity to the sea. I love everything about it: sunbathing, reading, and relaxing in the sunshine, the soft, warm sand, the sea life, the boardwalks, the palm trees, collecting sea shells, the smell of body oil and sunscreen, and the fresh and delicious seafood. I'm so happy and blessed that we have several local beaches within minutes of our home, here in Stratford. They take me back to my fun childhood adventures and my children just love going to the beach! That being said, the items I unboxed from Peaches & Petals, back in April, will definitely come in handy in our lives.

Violife 3 piece travel bag set

*LOVE this adorable, colorful set of bags! First of all, I love little accessories like this. Like who doesn't need another bag in their life? The colors are perfect and the sweet little beach chair is too cute for words. I'll probably use these to hold my money, debit card, license, keys, tissues, feminine products, sunglasses, etc while at the beach.

Bamboo Smooth Anti-Humidity Hairspray - with eco-certified bamboo & smoothing kendi oil for sleek, frizz-free hair. Free of: Parabens, Sulfates, Phthalates, & Synthetic Color. Net Wt. 1.5oz.

*So happy for this, because I have naturally curly hair that becomes huge and out-of-control in humid temps so this is a must-have for my beach bag.

Mermaids Welcome sign and rack

*For those that don't me, I love mermaids!! I immediately fell in love with this piece. It doesn't really match my daughter's room, however, so we will see if we can make it work. If not, I have several mermaid-loving friends with mermaid-loving daughters who would gladly take it and give it a wonderful home!

Beach mat and cup holder

*These bright pieces caught my eye immediately as I opened the box. Such fun, bright colors! Will definitely put these to good use at the beach. The mat is wonderful for putting food and beverages on, to keep them out of the sand, while eating. The cup holder will add a nice, matching touch while keeping my drink cold in our hot temps.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Hidden Gems Around Our Town: "The Buttercup House"

     Named for the pale yellow exterior color, this sweet, adorable home is located right on our street, Main St. I drive past this cutie all of the time, on my numerous trips to and from Target. But you guys...the yellow!! I'm soooo drawn to the yellow. Considering my love for older homes, I fell head over heels for this charming antique Colonial. Upon taking a peek inside, I was even more impressed with it's gorgeous hardwood floors, amazing built-ins, and beautiful renovations. This delightful gem is also currently for sale! Come be our neighbors!!

Pulled directly from Zillow:

"Rare opportunity to own this NEW 106 year old, antique, 4 bedroom Colonial with attached garage. It brings today's comforts and technology with a turn of the century feel. This airy, bright, open-concept home features a chef's stainless quartz kitchen, magnificent hearth with bread oven, built-ins, and gleaming, wide-planked, hardwood floors. Lovingly renovated to the bones it includes new insulation, sheetrock, windows, doors, plumbing, electrical, furnace, central air conditioning, and tiled baths. Enjoy the level 0.37 acre yard from the deck or go for a walk along the Housatonic River or to Boothe Memorial Park or golf at Mill River Country Club. Ride your bike or take a 5 minute ride to the train, beaches, restaurants, or major highways. This amazing, energy efficient home is ready for you."

For Sale: $314,900

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

My First Born

     She is my sunshine, that sweet girl. I waited my entire life for her. Throughout my childhood, whenever I was asked what I wanted to be when I grow up, my answer, quite simply, was always "a mommy." So you can only imagine my reaction to that one amazing word that popped up on a pregnancy test one very early morning in February back in 2010: pregnant. I couldn't breathe. After a few very long seconds, I could no longer even see straight. Big, fat tears had formed in my eyes and began rolling down my cheeks, blurring my vision making it nearly impossible to focus on that one single word that I'd waited my entire lifetime to see, a word that quite literally changed my life forever: I was pregnant! I was going to be a mommy!

     The old wive's tale says that when you're pregnant with a girl, that sweet baby steals the beauty from her mother. Most women I know who have had girls agree that during their pregnancies their skin broke out in pimples, or their hair was completely flat and lackluster, or they felt bloated all of the time, or they just felt unattractive altogether. I couldn't disagree with this theory more. I've never felt more beautiful in my entire life, than the almost 10 months that I carried her within my womb. I had awful morning sickness but boy did I glow; happiness and pure excitement emanated from every pore on my body. I carried her with such joy and grace.

     As sick as I was throughout my pregnancy, no amount of dry heaving or nausea was going to stop me from embracing every second of that experience. Everything had to be just right for her. We'd been blessed with this beautiful baby girl. She'd been given to us by God and I wasn't going to take a second of it for granted. From the colors we chose for her room, to her bedding, down to the sweet, little outfit she wore home from the hospital, every intricate detail was perfectly selected and ready just for her. 

     The second I laid eyes on that gorgeous ray of sunshine, however, all of those details went straight out the window. The only thing that mattered from that moment on was her. That sweet baby girl, the one that made all of my dreams come true, there'd never be another moment exactly like that one...ever.

     Giulia has grown into a very quiet girl who is very set in her ways and she's been like that from the moment she came flying out into this world (yes, quite literally flying). She has truly challenged me in ways I never thought possible. She has not only taught me to think outside of the box but to parent more creatively as well. Her quirky personality and spunky sense of style never fail to make me smile. She will not hesitate to put you in your place or even throw you under the bus if it means being honest and doing the right thing; two qualities we take very seriously in our family.

*Her passions include the widest variety of things: collecting Shopkins, caring for her dolls and stuffed animals, doing art, taking charge and leading others, and exploring the great outdoors.

*She's a girly girl at heart but is not afraid of getting dirty and looking for bugs. She gets enjoyment out of riding her bike, spending the day in her pajamas, cuddling up to watch a good movie, organizing her room, camping with her family, and chowing down on her favorite cookie in the whole wide world: Oreos.

*I call her my bag lady because she has so many bags that contain everything from used tissues to lip gloss to flash lights to first aid kits. If you're ever out and about and you're in need of something, she's your girl. She's better at packing our diaper bag than I am.

*She has a deep love for her family, friends, and teachers, however, she holds a very special place in her heart for her daddy. 

     There is absolutely nothing in this world that will ever come between that girl and her daddy. The bond those two have is everlasting. To think back on the day we found out that our first baby would be a girl, it makes me giggle remembering the total fear that overtook that strong, manly man of mine. "Are you sure? Can you just double-check?" he quietly asked the ultrasound technician. "Oh, it's most definitely a girl, Mr. Rollo," she smiled back at us. The silence that ensued for the next hour scared me. I feared that maybe he was not happy or maybe he was disappointed. I didn't know what to say until suddenly his quiet voice broke the silence, "Danette?" "Yes?" I replied. "I'm terrified. A girl...I don't know what to do with a girl. What if I break her?" I suddenly found myself laughing and crying all at the same time. "Oh honey," I said, "You're her daddy and you'll figure it out. You won't break her! You're going to teach her so many amazing things. She's going to love you so much." He looked over at me, a smile on his face and tears in his eyes..."My baby girl," he said. 

     To see how far their relationship has come since that fear-filled car ride home 7 years ago...it quite literally takes my breath away and although she happened to also inherit her daddy's stubbornness, she truly has a heart of gold. I can rest easy knowing that that girl will forever keep our family together and going strong long after her daddy and I are gone. She has a wisdom far beyond her years, one that I know will continue teaching me until the day I die. I am forever grateful for this little girl and for every little thing that makes her Giulia ❤️

Monday, May 22, 2017

Kloverbox Review April 2017

Elements of Aliel - No. 2 Peace Cleanser - $15.00 Restore calm and peace to irritated and inflamed skin with this gentle cleanser. The Peace Cleanser is simplicity at it's finest. Pure raw African black soap combined with kosher vegetable glycerine and a custom blend of herbs create the only cleanser you will ever need. It removes dirt and oil without drying skin. The combination of Chamomile, Yarrow, and Dandelion Root create a powerhouse formula to help you achieve the beautiful skin you deserve! Find out more about Elements of Aliel at: http://www.elementsofaliel.com and use coupon code Klover2017 for 20% off.

*The packaging is adorable but the SMELL!!! Oh the smell is just horrid. I'm also not a fan of how messy it is, because you have to dip your fingers into the container and scoop it out onto your palm causing it to run down the sides of the container. It's been great for my skin, but it's a thick mess. 

Mud Love - Be the Change Band - $10.00 Be the change you wish to see in the world. MudLove products are handcrafted in Indiana. Your band is a clay piece with elastic cord and words are stamped into the clay. The band is waterproof - wear it 24/7! Best of all, your band provides one week of clean water to someone in the Central African Republic. Through partnering with Water for Good, every product you purchase provides one week of clean water to someone in need. The Central African Republic is a country in desperate need of hope, love, and basic necessities. Access to safe, clean water has the power to transform communities and save lives. To find out more about Water for Good and MudLove visit: http://www.mudlove.com use coupon code KLOVER and get 30% off!

*I love this bracelet! Not only am I proud to wear it because I know it has helped someone in need but I also think it's super cute. I can't tell you how many random people have commented on it! Go get yourself one and give a family in need a week's worth of clean water ❤️

AvoSeedo - $12.99 One great way to celebrate Earth Day is to grow a plant or even a tree! With AvoSeedo, it's easier than ever to grow your own avocados! Compared to the original toothpick method, the advantage is the avocado seed doesn't need to be perforated, reducing the risk of damage (and thus, failed germination efforts). All in all, AvoSeedo is simply the perfect tool for you to grow avocado trees at home. The demanding germination period can now be mastered with almost no effort - giving your new trees an edge right from the beginning! Find out more at : http://www.avoseedo.com use coupon code kloverboxspecial for 20% off (valid until 4/30/17).

*I love this so much and boy do we love avocados!! This couldn't have come at a better time  since I had to put my upright blossoming cherry tree on hold until next year ha! Can't wait to get this thing growing. I'll keep you guys posted.

Zabana Essentials - Dry Shampoo Lavendar Citrus Mint - $12.95 Let's save water for Earth Day and plump up those limp strands. ZE Dry Shampoo is a quick on the go alternative; absorbing excess oils, adding volume, and refreshing the hair and scalp without water. Infused with natural minerals, essential oils, and bamboo extract that softens, adds shine and strength to hair and scalp. *Suitable for All Hair Textures And Colors* This dry shampoo is 100% Natural & Vegan. Zabana Essentials says, "We believe it is vital to our health that we responsibly utilize the nutrients provided to us by Mother Earth, as there is an abundance of gifts that exist in nature." Find out more about Zabana Essentials at: http://www.zabanaessentials.com use coupon code KBandZE and get 20% off (valid until 4/30/17).

*This smells so good but let's be honest...I have naturally curly hair. My hair has to be either watered down or shampooed daily so I can re-style. A little dry shampoo most certainly will not help tame my lion's mane of a mess, upon waking. Maybe, when I have some time on my hands (read: in 15 years) and I have no where special to go, I'll give it a whirl and let you know what I think ha.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Rollo Family General Store: American Flag


     Due to my father's service in the United States Air Force and my husband's service in the United States Army, the American flag holds a very special place in my heart. Ken and I, both, wanted something to hang in our library that was not only rustic, to go along with our home's theme, but also a good representation of both the importance of the military and our country's freedom. Ken then set to work on this magnificent piece and a few weeks later emerged from his workshop with this beauty. 

     For lack of a better word, it's a beast! It measures 37" wide and 19 3/4" high but can be customized to your liking. It's measurements and cuts aren't perfect, adding to it's charm. Ken torched the wood in the area around the stars and selected stripes to give it that rustic,  weathered appearance. He's received such positive feedback on this piece; it truly holds such meaning and allure. A piece to this magnitude is $125 with free local delivery and pick-up, but price really varies depending on specifications. 

General Store Hours

Saturday & Sunday 9am-4pm (Spring-Fall; closed during the winter to re-stock inventory).

Available by phone, text, or private messages 24/7 203.615.2599

Friday, April 21, 2017

A Farmhouse Living Room Makeover: Heather

     Heather and I go waaaaaaay back; practically to the birth of our daughters. We met through a Connecticut Mommy Group and, here we are, nearly 7 years later, still really good friends. A couple of years ago, Heather and her family purchased a farm up in Pittsfield, Maine and she's been anxiously awaiting the day she would give their beautiful farmhouse an interior face lift. The house was built in 1969 with the good ol' wood paneling throughout. Heather reached out to me shortly after I started my blog looking for insight and just an extra set of eyes as she began her farmhouse makeover. 

     Heather decided to start with their living room. Before the makeover, there was barely anything on the walls, and what was there had no meaning to Heather or her family. The beautiful, bright room was made dark by the brown couch and dark wood furniture. Speaking of the furniture, it somewhat clashed with the gorgeous wood floors. I was excited to help Heather brighten and freshen up this space.

     She began by purchasing a light, super comfy rug to break up the brown of the couches and the floors. She re-faced the coffee table and two side tables with chalk paint and some distressing. She then turned her attention to the walls. Something you should know about Heather is the fact that she's super crafty; a trait of her's I totally envy. Here I am over here perusing Etsy, spending a small fortune, and waiting several weeks for my newest treasures and Heather, on the other hand, decides what she wants and whips it up that day lol!

     She really wanted a picture in the living room of her favorite pig from their farm, so she set about having that made. While awaiting her pig canvas, she set to work making her very own quilt square and wooden, rustic sign that reads: "Always stay humble and kind." She added a rustic shelf and a few other similar knick knacks and then moved on to the TV stand. She repainted the black stand to lighten the space even more. She then set to work removing the clutter and adding a backing to the shelf unit. She put great thought into the detail of the items she put back on the shelves (painting wooden eggs to match those of her very own chickens); so beautiful and meaningful. I'm in love with her "new" living room space. 

     Believe it or not, this room makeover cost Heather less than $500! The biggest splurge in the room was the carpet that retailed for $299 (which was actually a Christmas present), so under $200 for the remaining changes, purchases, and DIY details. Heather has proven to us all that a nice change in your home doesn't have to break the bank.

     Continue to follow Heather's journey, here on my blog, as she  continues throughout her farmhouse giving it a new and amazing look...what room will she choose next?

Find out more about her and her husband's farm here:


     If you or someone you know is considering making over a room in your house or are gutsy enough to take on your whole home, I'd love to be apart of it. Near or far, I love this stuff and would be happy to help, give my opinions, or just be another set of eyes on this adventure together.