Why Everyone is Talking About Goop

Gwyneth Paltrow's Pop up Goop

Courtesy: Photos: Angie Smith Photograph & @Goop

Remember Gwyneth Paltrow's "conscious uncoupling" from Cold Play front man Chris Martin!?  Late night comedians had a hell of a time cracking jokes about that one.  But for many folks, it was also the first time hearing about Paltrow's lifestyle website, Goop, on which she announced the split.  It probably was not the type of exposure Gwyn wanted, but hey, any press is good press.  Right?

The weekly newsletter has been around since 2008.  Each week, she focuses on an action: make, go, get, do, be, see.  It's sorta like Martha Stewart, but for the Hollywood jet-set type.

And it's actually pretty fabulous.  You'll find everything from recipes for One Bird, Three Meals to Tracey Anderson's 15 minute workout.  Just last week, Gwyneth announced a new venture: Goop's first retail location!  It's a pop-up shop at the Brentwood Country Mart, filled with her favorite goodies.  It was only open for a week, but don't worry, if you didn't have time to stop by, there's still plenty of shopping available online.  You may want to start saving your pennies.

Courtesy: Goop Photos: Michael Buckner/Getty Images for goop & @goop


Your Best Mother's Day Gift Guide!

Anthropologie Pamona Heels 79

If you haven't thought about mom yet, you'd better get on it.  Mother's Day is this Sunday, May 11th!  There are plenty of boring old standbys like beautiful flowers and massages.  Trust me, any mom will love either one of those!  However, if you're feeling a bit more creative this year, here are some more interesting options for mom. XOXO,


Terrain Kitchen Herbs Seed Collection 24

Kitchen herb seed collection from Terrain. $24

Martha Stewart DIY Heart Sandwich Cookies Cost of Ingredients

DIY heart sandwich cookies from Martha Stewart

Pottery Barn Chancllor Tray 49

Chancellor rectangular tray from Pottery Barn $49

Porter Lyons Everyday Double Bracelet 75Everyday double bracelet from Porter Lyons $75

Lands End Medium Tote 25

Medium canvas tote from Lands' End $25

HSN Coffee Press 40Colin Cowie Selects Bodum French press from HSN $40

Fleurty Girl Filigree Cluth 30

Fleurty filigree clutch from Fleurty Girl $30

Plain Vanilla Mom DIY Butterfly Footprint Cost of Supplies

DIY butterfly letter print from Plain Vanilla Mom

Heifer International Donation Empower Women

Donate to Heifer International to empower women and it will be matched!Goorin Bros Naomi Straw Floppy 58Naomi straw hat  from Goorin Brothers $58

Restoration Hardware Venetian Glass Frame 39-59

Venetian glass frames from Restoration Hardware $33-$49

Williams-Sonoma Soda Stream Penguin Soda Maker 180

Penguin Soda Stream sparkling water maker from Williams-Sonoma $180

Mrs Meyers Glass Hand Soap Bottle 10Glass hand soap bottle from Mrs. Meyers $10

Sucre Mother's Day Macaron Collection + Piper-Heidsieck Rose Sauvage 83

Macarons and Piper-Heidsieck Champagne gift set from Sucre $83

Anthropologie Pamona Heels 79

Pamona high heels from Anthropologie $79

Etsy Pety's Bourbon Cupcake in Jar 8

Peyton's bourbon cupcakes in a jar from Etsy $8

Better Homes and Gardens DIY Magnets for Mom Cost of Supplies

DIY magnets from Better Homes and Gardens




Shabby Chic Kitchen Renovation, BEFORE and AFTER

  New cabinet finish, counters and backsplash

It's amazing to think that our kitchen renovation is finally done!  We've been enjoying the finished product for about 6 months now, but with baby Beau hogging my free time, I just now got around to taking some AFTER pictures.  The kitchen renovation was a much longer process than I ever anticipated.  I started in earnest while Joey deployed last year to Afghanistan.  We didn't finish until he returned.

I'm incredibly proud to say we did every ounce of work ourselves, with the exception of fabricating and installing the granite counters and an emergency visit from a plumber when not once, but TWICE, my below-sink plumbing exploded!  Here's a list of the improvements we made (with links if you'd like to check out the original posts), along with the before-and-after photos.  I still can't believe it's ALL OURS and it's ALL DONE!

Knowing the amount of blood, sweat and tears that went into this project, makes us enjoy the end result more than I ever could have imagined.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

XOXO, Anne

Kitchen renovation AFTER:

Kitchen renovation BEFORE:


It's a Jungle Out There: Safari-Inspired Nursery

Restoration Hardware Safari Inspired Nursery

Lil' Teapot is on his way!  And you know what that means.... the home renovations are in overdrive.

The first thing I did after learning I'm expecting is find a doctor... and THEN... start designing the nursery.  Of course, it wasn't until I discovered we're having a boy that I could really go to town!  My goal was to create a whimsical and nurturing environment that's timeless and more importantly, ageless.  I want furniture and decor that will last!

My inspiration room is a stunner from Restoration Hardware Baby and Child.  It's a safari-inspired escape, complete with mosquito netting and over-sized African art.  Of course, each of the four prints costs $800.  Yikes!  I decided to order the furniture from Restoration Hardware and find knock-offs for other pieces.  I chose the Emelia Conversion Crib in French Grey, which transforms from a crib to a toddler bed and finally, a full-sized headboard.  The Emelia Dresser becomes a changing table by adding a simple topper.  And the Emelia Bookcase is what it is.  I'm hoping these picks will last until I kick our kid out of the house for UCLA... or Princeton... or Yale. ;-)

To address the art dilemma, I searched online for months (no joke).  I finally came across some incredible antique reproductions in the Granger Collection from Fine Art America.  I'll have those matted and framed locally to save some dough.  I'm also pondering letter blocks, paper mâché animal heads, antique suitcases and other safari-inspired accessories.

We've already cleaned out the closets, painted the room Behr's Gobi Desert and the wainscoting installation is underway.  When that's complete, we'll refinish the floors, change the light fixture and start filling up the nursery for Baby Beau.  If it's anything like I imagine, it's going to be wild!!

Antique Heart Pine Found Upstairs

Owning a 130 year old historic home is ALWAYS an adventure full of twists, turns and surprises along the way.  Usually, the surprises involve dry rot, termites or cracks in the walls, but occasionally, you get one that doesn't make you cringe.  That's exactly what happened this weekend! Joe began ripping off the baseboards and tearing out the disgusting, stinky, old carpet in our upstairs bedrooms, where we want to build the nursery.  We thought our home's second story "camel-back" addition was added sometime in the 1950's, but we did't know for sure and really didn't know what to expect.  As Joe started digging away at the old carpet and pad, we uncovered a hidden treasure: original wood floors!  My friend Shauna said, "I thought that was something that only happened on HGTV."  Honestly, I did too.

We'll need to ensure everything is structurally sound and replace a few boards, but once they're refinished, I think the antique heart pine planks will be good as new!