Marching to the Beat…

When I first read Little Women a few years ago, I’ll admit, I thought it was duller than dull. Perhaps it was because I had been spending the past few years immersed in new motherhood, and tales of domestic bliss bored me. Or maybe it was because we never read it as children, that I didn’t have a sense of nostalgia. None of that matters, though, because Greta Gerwig’s 2019 film adaptation of the book. Is. So. Wonderful.

BY WILSON WEBB/© 2019 CTMG, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

The cozy clubhouse attic! The hand-crafted costumes! The Christmas morning feast! The genuine kindness and good! The female camaraderie! The stay-true-to-thyself mentatlity! Timothee Chalamet! It’s all so swoon worthy, and the ‘simple’ Victorian house they call home is charming beyond all measure, and it’s time we all move to the New England countryside to live our best lives.

We’ve collected some essentials to help you feel as if you are one of the March sisters:

End of Year Lists: Books Read

It’s been a busy summer, fall, and winter! As we gear into a season of hibernation (hello, hygge life), it’s fun to look back over the last year and compartmentalize every detail into an end-of-year list.

Maybe not every detail. But books, movies, food, drinks…things like that, yeah.

We’re no Obama, but here’s the list of books we (collectively…not as a sister book club, because who has time for that?) read this year:

(the books in bold are must-reads)

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Cirque Americana x99

Each year, our marvelous Springfield Art Museum throws a party with a purpose, called “99x.” The purpose is that the museum raises money to restore permanent pieces for the next 99 years. So clever!

Both of us have been fortunate enough to put our creative crazy visions to work for the last two years. They don’t even check in on us! They trust us! Now that’s crazy.

Last year, the theme was “Gilded Glamour,” where we were inspired by John Frederick Kensett’s “Shore Landscape.” Stephanie was invited to create an interactive tableau, using the Newport Beach estate ”

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My project was to paint an interpretation of one of the Newport estates, using ‘illuminated’ qualities. It was then turned into a 10-foot wall hanging that was displayed in the lobby of the museum.

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It was such a magical, glowing night!

This year, though…was even better. The theme was “Cirque Americana,” where we celebrated Ben Messick and his clown paintings. Stephanie’s company Queen City Blooms was asked to help do a floral carousel-inspired centerpiece in the museum’s lobby, while I created an interactive tableau of a fortune teller.

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We had *so* much fun. Already we’re talking about collaborating on a tableau together next year. With so many talented and amazing artists in the area, though, the competition is fierce!

Looking to add a bit of fortune, gold, and circus-inspired bling to your life? Keep reading!

Not even Semi-Homemade

If you’ve been following along, you know we love to entertain. Part of the fun is menu crafting, deciding what to make from scratch, what to collaborate on with the grocery store, and what to just unpackage and put on a pretty plate.

Last week Stephanie hosted a Bunco party for some friends, and because of her schedule, she didn’t have time to prepare much. But it looked like she did…

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Click to read more about easy entertaining!

Poolside Reads 2018

As much as we’d love to say “beach reads,” living smack dab in the middle of the country doesn’t always qualify us for living the beach life. But poolside, yes.

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And with kids who are old enough and competent enough to swim, that means L I V I N’. However, it means not being upset if you’re in the thick of a whodunnit and your kids start dunking each other under water. So books need to be easy to look away from.

Are you able to read at the pool? What are some of your favorites? Keep reading for a list on our stacks…

Time for Tea

There are so many talented and inspiring ladies that we want to meet in our city, so Stephanie has started hosting tea parties at her house, as an excuse to invite them over and get to know them better.

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photo by Chuck Travers @ 417Home

They are a fun way to mix & mingle in a unique setting. Stephanie has a large dining table and an even larger collection of mismatched tea cups, which just invites conversation and connection.

Each party is usually on a weekday morning, and caters toward women of every walk of life. It’s not just for ladies who brunch! Mamas, Entrepreneurs, Teachers, Artists, Do-ers, Bloggers, Retirees, 9-to-5ers, you name it.

Of course there’s tea in cute cups, French press coffee, scones, and Prosecco. She doesn’t expect any of her guests to bring something, but every once in a while a quiche or a bottle of Irish Whiskey shows up. They are never turned down.

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The last tea was a small affair, twin style. Stephanie invited me (her twin sister), and a set of creative twins who we ABSOLUTELY LOVE and wanted to spend more time with. It was a quiet lovely morning, and I got to hold a brand new baby. Win win!

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Want to set up your own tea party? Keep reading for more ideas!

Birth of Venus

The first time I remember seeing the depiction of Venus de Milo was in the movie “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen“. It left such an impression that when I saw the painting “The Birth of Venus” by Botticelli, I was like, hey! It’s like that scene from the movie!

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(Everything always comes back to the movies for us…)

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Since that time as a 7-year-old, it remains a painting I still obsess over. Her imperfect and irregular body! Floating on a seashell! Mystery, jealousy, divine! I loved it as a little kid, I love it as a big kid.

Which might explain this recent art purchase by the talented Sarah Jones:

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Made me wonder what other Venus-inspired treasures I could add to my collection…

Wine to Go Go

One summer evening, I joined a friend for an outdoor Shakespeare on the Park. It was a beautiful night, they were performing A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and the lawn was packed. My friend had already set up chairs and blankets and as I arrived, she handed me an insulated tumbler.

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Photo by JodyHongFilms on Unsplash

Ah, thanks, I’m so thirsty! After a big gulp and a little cough, I realized the giant tumbler she gave me was filled with cold white wine. She’s a good friend.

Party Time All the Time!

Add a little party to your day. Put light-refracting crystals in your East & West-facing windows, and at the two sleepiest times of day (8am and 5pm), HELLO DISCO!

It’s hard to be in a bad mood when rainbows of light are dancing in your house.

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Little tear-drop crystals are easily found at thrift stores, from old chandeliers. Or a strand of glass beads from the craft store. More options below!

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Chakra-inspired Crystal Suncatchers

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Put a layer of prismatic film over a window. My husband actually put this in his basement-office windows. Jealous.

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Faceted glass beads, strung and hung work well too!

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Or even better, wear your party  all day long!

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It’s such a simple and beautiful way to add color to your life!

{featured Photo by Regina Valetova on Unsplash }

Namaste, Mfers

A few years ago, I decided I wanted to start yoga. So I bought an old paperback from the 1970s, called Richard Hittlemans Yoga: 28 Day Exercise Plan.

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It…is definitely from a bygone era. As in, entire chapters devoted to the housewife and her daily chores. But it was a great self-paced introduction, and I spent about 30 minutes every day doing the routines. For an entire month!

The next logical step for me seemed to be yoga videos, but I absolutely hated them, and so I gave up. I need accountability, but I hate other people being near me when I exercise* (*sweat and groan). After about a 3-year hiatus, I did it. I worked up the courage. I bought a pair of yoga pants and a new t-shirt, and I went. To. A class.

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Also not me. Photo from Unsplash.