Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The New Site

Thanks for stopping by! Our site has recently been redesigned and you can now find us at www.lindleypless.comAll of our old content is now at the new address so come on over and take a look! Thanks for following us on this incredibly exciting journey. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Monsta Mash

For the outdoorsy, weekend traveling, gear hauling amongst us - this one is a no-brainer. Do you have a rooftop carrier on your car? Want that carrier to be wicked cool and different than all the others you see on the road? Then you best be getting yourself a Monstapod! With just a few stickers you can turn that carrier into a creature of the sea. Whale and shark designs are available and each set of stickers comes with a unique tag number much like the tags scientists use to track animals. Your simple car carrier might very well become the next family pet. You know your kids will love it. Does it get any cuter?!? Of course the carriers tag line is, "I only eat luggage and gear!" Of course. 

I love that this company was created in a garage when a husband and wife team decided to spruce up their car carrier with duct tape to surprise their kids. The kids fell in love and a brand was born. I for one would love to see more of these creatures swimming along our roadways. Fun to own, fun to see, and when you buy one they give back. It's a win/win for everyone as part of the proceeds go to support marine conservation. You can also like them on Facebook and Twitter

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Links I loved this week...

1) For all you high end shoppers... You'll never worry about sounding like an amateur again.

2) Even when they tell you "you can't" - always believe YOU CAN.

3) Loving watching the sports in Sochi. Really cool post with national flags made of food!

4) Wish I didn't always kill my orchids. Perhaps some more realistic options?

5) What does the fox say?

6) Hmmmm... Think about it. I sure will.

7) Ever wonder how J.Crew gets that fabric so bright?

8) Do you like dogs? Do you imagine yours can talk? I really think this is what he is saying...

9) It's still scarf weather. Still. This tutorial changes it up a little.

10) Holy homes

11) Great lighting - bring a little color to your life!

12) Can someone buy me a penguin? Please? Pretty please?

And your added bonus for this week - a video that had my husband and my friend's husband in stitches tonight. Literally had them doubled over even though they had seen in multiple times before. It's an oldie but a goodie. 

*click the bolded words above to see this weeks best links

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Never Forget Love

I'm not one to celebrate "Hallmark" holidays, but I am one to take every opportunity I have to tell the people I love how I feel. My husband, my children, my family and friends - I love you all. I do. And to my readers, thank you for the incredible outpouring of compassion and support that has been sent my way in the last 48 hours. I feel so loved. May your day be full of love too. 

“To love someone deeply gives you strength. Being loved by someone deeply gives you courage.”
— Chinese Philosopher Lao Tzu

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

And then there was none...

Here is how it all began...
"Sweetie, I really feel like we should have a third child."
My Husband: "Sweetie, I really don't feel that way."
Me: "But Sweetie, there is this little voice inside me saying that someone is still missing from our gang."
My Husband: "That's funny because the voice inside my head says we are really all set."
Me: "Ok, we'll talk about it another time."
My Husband: Silence

And then as any good wife would do I continued to regularly bring up this very same dialogue. Every few days. And often at night. Right before bed. And in the car too. I was seeking answers. 
I wondered - When does one know when their family is really and truly complete? I know I love babies. And yet I know I do not love being up with them all night before they are sleep trained. I know my parenting heart feels full with the love and energy I give to the two daughters I have. But I am confident that there is room for more love to be squeezed into the deep crevices that remain in the places I am not yet aware of within my heart. And perhaps the biggest issue is that I feel really and truly so very blessed to have two healthy daughters already. I can't help but wonder if I am being greedy. Am I asking God for too much? Are my expectations that He could, should, and would give me one more child unreasonable?

And I question and I wonder. Then I close my eyes and I envision our future. I see Me, John, Emma, and Sophie sitting at a dining room table 5 years from now. We are eating dinner and talking about the best moments of our days. The table and chairs are simple. The home and room within is not discernible. The light is warm. And there, at the table, is this third little face. A deep smile, chubby cheeks, and gentle eyes. There is so much laughter. And that was when I knew. There was one missing. So we forged ahead. John's love for me outweighing his sense of reason. He trusted me and he too was convinced.

And God blessed us. After only a few months of trying we were pregnant. As you would expect - I got to planning right away. I cherished our little secret. For 9 weeks I dreamed of what that little face would look like, the name it was destined to bear, and I envisioned the love my two daughters would shower on this second sibling. 
At 6 weeks there was a teeny tiny heartbeat. Fast as a hummingbird - that little heart beat saying "I am here, I am here, I am here... Wait for me. I am coming." And then the voice was silenced. Just like that. Without any warning. It was 9 blissful (and almost fear-less weeks). And then it happened, there was no heartbeat. I lay in a doctor's office and heard the words I never envisioned hearing. In an instant - the dream felt eviscerated. It was only 9 weeks - but I swear I had already fallen in love with that little baby.

In the days that followed I was physically sick. I felt short of breath with disbelief. I burst into tears without any warning and felt listless and disoriented. I couldn't wrap my head around the fact that I had this precious little being, no longer alive, inside me. It felt wholly unnatural. I had no sense of how my body would physically process the loss of the pregnancy. I wanted to hide away in bed until it had all passed but I had to go on. Thanksgiving needed to be celebrated, family needed to be joined, and the girls needed their mom to be their mom. And therein lies the rub. Moms are often emotional beings. We crave expression. But there is little time for us to do it. Moms must go on. There is so little time calculated into our days, weeks, months, and years to grieve. It's just not on the schedule. We marched along - and I processed the loss in the few quiet moments that lived in between the chaos.

There were dark days that followed. Tears that seemed to flow ceaselessly, questions that weighed on my heart. Had I not been careful enough? Was God answering my question with finality? I wondered what it all meant. I couldn't help but feel overcome with grief for the women I know and those I do not who have been through this and so much worse. Through the entire process I knew that there were women who had suffered so much more than I had. Women who had lost babies at 20 weeks, 30 weeks, and even worse labored to deliver stillborn children. I couldn't help but cry for them too. And if I am being honest I felt guilt along with my sadness. Losing a baby at just 9 weeks - did I really deserve to grieve? It could have been so much worse. It always can be. I realized this and forced myself to find sympathy and compassion for this premature ending. And with each day that passed I started to feel better - and sometimes worse - but mostly better. If I have learned nothing else in this life it is that we as people are resilient. Time does heal - and as I've aged - I have finally made my peace with the process. I allow it to run its course at its own speed.  

In the weeks after our loss I couldn't help but wonder why and how our society has set up a situation where so many women are suffering through these experiences alone. We are encouraged not to tell people we are pregnant until 12 weeks, but then 80% of miscarriages happen before 12 weeks. So we face this incredibly life-altering experience in solitude. We wander around our "every day" lives with a broken heart that no one else is aware of. Some may wonder why I am putting something so private and intimate on the blog. And to that I will say, I share because I find great comfort in the love and support of those around me. And I share because I know with certainty that others after me will walk this journey and I want them to know they are not alone. I want them to know a sisterhood of strong and brave women has walked the path before them. The trail is made of bumpy terrain and deep grooves that tell the tales of the women before them who have suffered and then gone on. Those who have survived. Those whose hearts still swell with love and laughter. Those who have gone on to have other children. The ones that follow will also make it through. They too will find the love and laughter again because they are brave, resilient, and strong. 

This I know - God gives to me so I can know what it feels like. All of it. The greatest of the great helps me to maintain a firm hold on gratitude. In the laughter and love of my children I experience a love so deep it nearly hurts within my heart. And then with the losses I learn about the heartache that equalizes us all. Rich or poor, young or old, none of us are immune to loss. And when it hits - we can't help but say, "And now I know how that feels." The challenge is to muddle through the pain and confusion until you get to a place where the sharp pain becomes a dull ache. And in that ache we find compassion. Compassion for those who will follow in our footsteps. Acceptance of our own loss. And deep deep sadness for those who have suffered greater losses than our own. 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Totally Chafed

image: myessentia.com

The wind, the snow, the ice... It's been one heck of a winter so far. My cuticles are cracked. The tips of my fingers are calloused. And the skin on my hands is perpetually dry and rough. I first heard about Weleda Skin Food on the beauty blog, Into the Gloss. It's been a favorite of Tory Burch's for years. At $19 a tube it is so worth it. Smells great, super thick, and not greasy at all. I keep a tube in my purse and will be applying morning, noon and night until the spring arrives. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

DIY: Midas Touch

If you asked those who know me well - they would say I am a 100% bonafide collector hoarder. I would disagree with them and say that I just really see the potential in old things. I am incapable of letting go of things for fear I will miss them. Nostalgia, you are my friend. Not so much my husband's... 

These small wooden bowls were purchased by moi - more than 8 years ago when I lived in New York City. I remember buying them down in Chinatown one Sunday afternoon as I strolled through Pearl River Market - it was a time when I had time to kill. Back then I was particularly interested in buying useless stuff... When I bought them I envisioned using them as salt and pepper bowls with small silver spoons. I never did find/buy those spoons. And so those bowls sat in the back of a cupboard and moved from Murray Hill to the Upper East Side to the CT suburbs. Well hello again old friends. So nice to see you all dolled up!

What it took:
How to:
1) Wipe surface with damp cloth to remove dust
2) Use smallest brush and lightly paint area you wish to gild with gilding adhesive
3) What 1 minute for adhesive to dry - it should be clear and slightly sticky to the touch
4) Lay gilding sheet over area covered with adhesive
5) Use largest brush to gently smooth out wrinkles and dust off excess gold 

(*Gilding sheets can be used to create a smooth gold finish on surfaces. I chose to make mine look a little messy and unfinished. That's just the way I roll...)

And then I went a little "gold" crazy! I had this simple wooden frame that I felt could use a little sprucing up. Agree? 

Very blah.

Much better!

Perfect for the shrine that sits on my bureau. All the things I love...

Friday, January 31, 2014

Hopeful Voices

{Sing for Hope Piano on location in Brooklyn Bridge Park} 
Artist: Stefan Sierhej, Photographer: Marissa Macias

Many years ago, while living in New York City, my life fortuitously collided with some incredibly talented artists who have been inspiring me ever since. While our conversations have been sparse since I left New York City - I have followed their progress from afar and am in awe of how steadfast they have been to their original mission. Camille Zamora and Monica Yunus had a vision that those with God-given artistic talents could and would share those talents with those less fortunate and in doing so transform lives. And boy have they accomplished their mission!

{Sing for Hope on location at Chobani SoHo} 
Photographer: Alison Patrick

Sing for Hope transforms lives by making the arts accessible to all. The New York City-based non-profit was founded in 2006 by best friends Camille and Monica, internationally acclaimed sopranos who met as students at Juilliard. They established Sing for Hope as a resource for artists to give back to their communities. Today, both sopranos continue active performing careers (their credits range from The Metropolitan Opera to LA Opera to collaborations with Sting, Yo-Yo Ma, and Bocelli), and Sing for Hope, the organization that began as a simple conversation between two friends, now touches millions of lives.

Q&A with Camille Zamora and Monica Yunus, Founders, Sing for Hope

Who do you serve?

Through the volunteer service of more than 1,500 artists – from opera singers to jazz musicians to ballet dancers to painters to puppeteers – Sing for Hope brings dynamic arts outreach programming to under-resourced communities throughout New York City. The programs activate the inner artist in all people, igniting the spark of creative innovation for at-risk youth, the elderly, veterans, hospital patients, and caregivers. We feel that access to creative expression is a fundamental human right. In order to create positive change, both for individuals and for communities, one must first imagine and envision that change -- and there is no better tool for honing the imagination than art.

{Sing for Hope Volunteer Artist Marc Evan in process at the Studio} Photographer: Shawn Hoke

Why is it important that the arts are made available to everyone?

By bringing arts outreach programs to communities in need, we open new doors of possibility for people who do not otherwise have access. Our Youth Chorus students blossom not only in their singing, but also in their everyday lives, and the hospital patients we reach through our bedside performance programs express a deep sense of peace and joy that they experience through Sing for Hope, often for the first time in ages.

{Sing for Hope Community Outreach in Queens Hurricane Sandy Relief Shelter} Photographer: Shawn Hoke

Can you tell us more about SFH programs? What is the Sing for Hope Pianos program?  

Sing for Hope’s programs are provided free-of-charge for participants, and range from after-school arts classes to collaborative hospital concerts to the organization's flagship public art initiative, The Sing for Hope Pianos. A celebration of the Sing for Hope vision of "art for all," The Sing for Hope Pianos bring 88 artist-designed pianos to the parks and public spaces of the five boroughs for anyone and everyone to play. These colorful instruments – each created by a Volunteer Artist or notable New Yorker – enliven the city’s public spaces for two weeks and are then donated to the community-based organizations that Sing for Hope serves year-round. One of the largest installations of its kind, The Sing for Hope Pianos reaches an estimated 2 million New Yorkers and visitors every year.

{Sing for Hope Piano in Josie Robertson Plaza at Lincoln Center Grand Finale} Artist: Rob Baird, Photographer: Shawn Hoke

Can you share with us a little more about your outreach programs?

Each Sing for Hope program is defined by the volunteerism of professional artists, the needs of the community, and a belief in the transformative power of the arts. In the words of one of the organizations founding board members, the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus, "I believe we have a responsibility and a built-in urge to use our talents and innate gifts to help improve the lives of those less fortunate. Sing for Hope Volunteer Artists do this every day - from a hospital room in Hell's Kitchen, to an after-school program in the South Bronx, to The Sing for Hope Pianos on the city streets. I am inspired by this work and proud to be a part of an organization that transforms the lives of under-served New Yorkers on a daily basis."

{Sing for Hope Programming at Mount Sinai Medical Center} 
Sing for Hope Volunteer Artist: Monique McDonald, Photographer: Shawn Hoke

How can we learn more or get involved? 

Sing for Hope would like to extend an invitation to readers of The Sentimentalist to join the Co-Founders at the opening of The Sing for Hope Collection - a photographic series that captures the creative and transformational power of the arts - on February 5th, from 6:30pm-8pm, at Vartali Salon (115 East 57th Street) in midtown Manhattan. Celebrity stylist and Sing for Hope champion Vartan Vartali will host this intimate gallery viewing with wine and hors d'oeuvres, and guest will meet the artists behind the Collection and have the opportunity to purchase limited edition prints and learn more about "art for all." Admission is free; RSVP is required. Please RSVP before Friday, January 31st to volunteer@singforhope.org.

{Sing for Hope Piano on location at South Street Seaport, Manhattan} Artist: Laura Ricciardi, Photographer: Marissa Macias

{Sing for Hope Piano on location in Central Park, Manhattan} 
Piano Artist: Amanda de Souza, Photographer: Marissa Macias

{Sing for Hope Piano on location at the Brooklyn Navy Yard: BLDG92} 
Artist: Michael Miller, Photographer: Marissa Macias

{Sing for Hope Piano on location in Columbus Park, Brooklyn} 
Artist: Arielle Trenk, Photographer: Shawn Hoke

{Sing for Hope Piano on location in Times Square, Manhattan}
Artist: Maxine Nienow, Sing for Hope Volunteer Artists: Jon Batiste and Eddie Barbash, Photographer: Marissa Macias

{Sing for Hope Pianos in Josie Robertson Plaza at Lincoln Center Grand Finale} Various Piano Artists, Photographer: Shawn Hoke   

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Cabin Fever

Sarah Sherman Samuel is a super cool graphic designer who is the mastermind behind the blog Smitten Studio. She also creates a unique line of home goods called "A Sunny Afternoon" - all American made goods and great for gifting. While Samuel permanently resides in LA - she and her husband Rupert recently bought a small cabin on Lake Michigan near where she grew up. It's charming. Clearly she's incredibly talented. Wondering if she plans on renting this little cabin once it is finished???

I can't imagine a more idyllic place to perch while reading a good book or the morning paper. She chose these chairs. Love!

This kitchen is perfectly proportioned. Great counter space for cheffing up Sunday Supper. 

The open shelving makes everything accessible. The wooden serving boards are from her collection!

I love the simplicity of wood, black, and white. With just a dash of flash...

A Breakfast Nook

The living room is super light and very inviting.

With just a touch of fun...

A Swell Place to Dwell

Especially after she added this DIY version of a simple Ikea Dresser.

A cozy place for 2 to 4...

And the most fun part: Before & Afters

Exteriors Before

Exterior After

Bathroom Before

Bathroom After

Samuel sawed off the long legs (yes, this chick wields a saw!) and used white and gold paint to make this dresser one-of-a-kind.

Kitchen Before

Kitchen After

Bedroom Before

Bedroom After