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Monday!

26 Aug

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Let’s start this week off on the right foot, shall we?

Carpe Diem,

Mandy

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Gratitude

24 May

Laughter in the Rain Ciao Darling

It’s been a while since I’ve posted about gratitude and I’ll be honest, I haven’t journaled as much as I’d like either. I was so overwhelmed with gratitude and thankfulness during the final stages of buying our home and the first weeks moving in… but now that we’re settling into a routine, I’ve noticed since I haven’t written down my gratefulness, I am less conscious about it. Which means I am wrapped up in my world and need to take a step back to look from above.

We are currently experiencing record low temps and rainfall in PDX. I caught myself literally wondering what month it was as I was driving in torential downpour…it feels like February! Despite this, I am trying to find the silver lining. And that has been warm, cozy nights curled up on our couch watching movies, lighting our fireplace for the first time and baking hearty meals in the oven. Might as well embrace this weather while we can. I’m thankful for these calming nights as the summer storm of events is about to begin.

At least we can keep a smile on our faces and a positive attitude, right? I hope everyone has a wonderful, long weekend to relax & rejuvenate!

Carpe Diem,

Mandy

Image source

Hello!

20 May

Swinging Stripes via Ciao Darling

Phew! I’m back! And we bought a house! I’ve been packing, unpacking, painting & more painting…pretty much the entire month of April. It’s May (albeit nearly the end of it) and I’m relatively back into the swing of things.

With this new house means lots of inspiration and DIY for this little ol’ blog.

Other important news: my sister & her husband are expecting a baby girl come August! Which means we’ve got a baby shower on our hands. And I’m hosting the shin dig at our new home. My first foray into being an official hostess & I am beyond excited.

Oh and also, my sister is starting a spinning studio. You’re looking at her designer.

I’ve got a bachelorette party, house-warming party, bridal showers, multiple weddings to attend and a wedding to stand by a dear friends side as she walks down the aisle in September. It’ll be busy, but oh so good.  There’s that fine line when balancing too many activities, still relaxing and actually enjoying the moments instead of frantically stressing through them. It will by ultimate goal this summer.

In the mean time, I’m documenting inspiration for all of the above here.

Life is good, friends. April was exhausting & exciting, but now….life is back into the swing of things and it sure is good.

Carpe Diem,

Mandy

Image Source

Be Kind.

8 Apr

Your Mood Should Not Dictate Your Manners

Always be a little kinder than necessary

Work Hard Be NIce to People

A good deed brightens a dark world

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Happy Monday, friends! This weekend we were swamped with rain, but I’m still on a vitamin D high from the previous weekend (I’m talking 72 degrees and sunny, no coat at night, kinda warm!). It disappeared quickly though and I can not wait until it arrives for good.

You know what my biggest pet peeve is? When people are rude for no good reason. And in my opinion, there never really is a good reason. It’s so true in this world when you meet someone, you have no idea what they may be battling. My sister once told me when she is having a bad day, she makes it a point to be extra nice to strangers (as opposed to walking around all pissed off to anyone & everyone). Like the grocery clerk for example. Or your Starbucks barista. I have to say, I was shocked at the positive impact it made on my day the first time I tried it. I promise it’ll lift your spirits too. In fact, studies show the more you smile (regardless of your actual feelings), the happier you become.

It’s obvious I am a big quote person (a little excessive, maybe? meh). I get this from my father. One quote I learned from him that I constantly try to remember is, ” people will not remember what you said or did, but they will remember how you made them feel.” I vote we all try to be a little kinder than necessary this week. Agreed?

Have an awesome week!

Carpe Diem,

Mandy

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Living With Less. A Lot Less.

29 Mar

Have you read this article from the NY Times yet?  It’s been floating around the internet lately and it got me thinking. Big time thinking.

Collect Moments via Ciao Darling

As someone who is an interior designer by trade, I help people buy “stuff” for their homes. Now, it’s not always just about the “stuff” though. This “stuff” turns peoples houses into homes, which in turn, can directly affect their happiness. Everyone wants a comfortable home. Everyone wants to be proud of their home. But there is that fine line with treasures vs junk. Junk that clutters our homes & our minds. Do we really need it?

The timing couldn’t be more perfect, as we’re about to close on our first home! Which translates to: lighting! wallpaper! chairs! rugs! “Stuff”. This “stuff” really does bring me happiness, but it has always been a struggle to find the right balance. Somedays, I’d rather spend hours on a patio with food + cocktails and good friends than to splurge on a coffee table. That coffee table won’t last forever.

A little somethin’ I’ve learned lately: we cultivate the life we live and generate the atmosphere we live in. The more you cultivate, the more you get. The more you care about materialistic pieces, the more your life will revolve around materialistic pieces. The better you cultivate your relationships, the deeper and more meaningful they become.

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A few things I do to cut spending on objects & add meaning to them:

- Save money on AM Starbucks & work week lunches by bringing my own. When I do spend money on food, it allows me to do it with good company, further cultivating my relationships.

- When I travel, I shop (and don’t shop much at home). For me, this creates a positive connotation with that particular item and adds more meaning to the piece. For example, I scored a Dara Ettinger ring in Brooklyn on our recent trip (as opposed to a $2 ring from Forever 21 that is probably going to be thrown away shortly).

- Home goods: buy investment pieces. This doesn’t mean expensive. It means buying a piece you will love forever, with whatever budget works for you. My marble tulip side table honestly brings a smile to my face. My ikea couch that weighs 2 lbs, not so much.

What do you think? Is less really more?

My dear friend shared the above quote one day and it truly hit home with me. Hope you spend the weekend cultivating goodness in your life!

Carpe Diem,

Mandy

Images: Unknown (with addition of quote for Ciao Darling). Please share if you know the original source.

Happy Monday

21 Jan

Positive Change Quote 3

Positive Change Quotes 2

Happiness Quote

Trials into Burdens quote

By now, you know I’m all about positive change. If you don’t like something about your life: change it. Only you can. I spotted these quotes yesterday and wanted to share them to brighten up this Monday (that came far too quickly)!

Life is all a view point and a choice. We have the choice to view tribulations as opportunity. We have the choice to seize the day  today. It may not be easy, but at least we have the choice.

Another blurb I found mentioned, “Pain is the little voice in your head that tries to hold you back because it knows if you continue, you will change.”  I think the same goes for fear; fear of the future & of what we can have in this world. It holds us back because sometimes what we want is really awesome and really big and we convince ourselves through fear that it’s undeserving. In actuality, the best part happens when we continue and we change and we grow.

I found the first quote via Sara Tucker’s Blog (on an eloquently written post about babies & marriage) and I think I’m going to need it in a giant frame asap. It is such a beautiful quote and delicate reminder how crazy-awesome love is. Let’s be wildly faithful today, shall we?

Carpe Diem,

Mandy

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Life Delights In Life

11 Jan

Ace Hotel New York City Ciao Darling Blog

Have you heard of a gratitude journal? I’ve decided to start one in 2013. Really start one, actually utilize it and hopefully thrive off it. The mother of all motivational woman, Oprah, has said, ” the greatest thing you can do to change your life today would be to start being grateful for what you have right now.”

Life is busy. It always is and will be. But if you take the time each day to be grateful, it will significantly increase your appreciation and happiness. Those fleeting moments will not pass you by, rather you will relish in the happiness, regardless of how long that moment lasts. What would happen to your view point if you found appreciation in everything that showed up at your door step? No more complaints. No more “not being lucky enough”. You will find the beauty that surrounds you & still be happy.

I had one of those days this week, where I just wanted to crawl back into bed all day. But at the end of the night, I made a conscious effort to think about all the things I am grateful for in my life. It helped. Tremendously. I found the silver lining and my view shifted. There is always beauty still left around us.

Every Friday, I’ll be sharing my top 5 grateful moments here on the blog, in hopes to inspire others to be grateful in their lives (regardless of circumstances) and maybe spread a bit o’ happiness around….

I am thankful:

1. I able to walk to work, regardless of the crummy Portland weather at the moment. The fresh air is better than a cup of jo.

2. For friends and family who also love to travel & the fact we can travel together (three trips booked already!).

3. My sister. Her infectious zest for an enthusiastic and passionate life inspires me to live life largely.

4. A husband who graciously reminds me that happiness and a positive attitude are a choice; and that a negative attitude really doesn’t look so good on me (in which I whole-heartedly agree).

5. For the fact that we are able to even think about buying a home. The search has begun…

I spotted the above quote in the foyer at the Ace Hotel in NYC and I absolutely love it. It is simply the truth.

Cheers to a grateful Friday & weekend, friends!

Carpe Diem,

Mandy

Photo taken on my Canon Rebel XS.

2013

1 Jan

I love how a new year forces us to re-evaluate our lives. Just like how Thanksgiving makes us extra thankful, no matter how hard we try to be thankful all year long. 2011 was the year of Knapp weddings; 5 bridal showers, 2 bachelorette parties & 2 weddings 4 months apart between my sister and I. Therefore 2012 was the year of simple living; enjoying each day and truly savoring time. It was blissful & care free. Now, I am ready for a change. Determination has arrived at my doorstep this year. It’s time to do those things I’ve always wanted to do. 2013 will be my year of passion, determination and hard work towards self discovery. Here are a few inspirational quotes that have helped guide me to find my resolution …

New Years Resolution Ciao Darling Blog 8

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What are a few of your new year resolutions? Others for me include printing more pictures & syncing up all of my technology + actually having a back-up hard drive! :)

Carpe Diem,

Mandy

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Fallin’ for Fall

1 Oct

Inspiration Quote

Fall Table Setting

Be Kind To Others

Cozy, Warm, White Bedroom

Green Fiat, Fall Leaves

Inspiration Quote

Fall fashion, scarves, layers

Kinfolk Magazine Dinner

I thought summer was busy, until September went by in the blink of an eye. Happy October everyone! We are quickly approaching my favorite season, despite the Indian Summer we’re having here in PDX. But, because of this wonderful weather we’re experiencing, I am still crossing items off my Summer To Do List!

Enjoy some fall inspiration today! I’m looking forward to cozy nights in, crisp sunny mornings and eating anything & everything with pumpkin in it. What about you?

Carpe Diem,

Mandy

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June Snapshots

1 Jul

Where did June go? It flew by with few days of sunshine, egging us on for the warmer Summer months up ahead. July 1 officially kicks off my favorite month (as a Leo, I am required to say this) and we have some exciting adventures planned! Below are some snapshots from happenings during June.

Blogger's Summer Social

I attended a Blogger’s Summer Social graciously hosted by Kirsten & Jenn. It was fantastic to meet some fabulous women in person and chat about all things blog related, over a glass of wine none the less! You can read some great recaps here & here.

Every good day starts with a mimosa! We took the day off work for Mr. Riggar’s birthday and it turned into a very special birthday celebration with just the two of us.

Map DIY

We finally updated our map! DIY right here.

Father's Day

We celebrated Father’s Day the best way we know how: a BBQ & Corona in my parent’s backyard.

Mimosas

On repeat: every good day starts with a mimosa! We hosted a Sunday Funday with some friends to watch the Euro Cup semi-finals.

FACE event

I volunteered at Sunflower Children’s annual FACE event (Fashion Auction Compassion Event), which my sister helped coordinate. Photo booths are always a good idea.

Summer To Do List

Finalized my summer to-do list (if to-do lists can ever really be finalized) and am ready for some summer adventures!

Bring it on July!

Carpe Diem,

Mandy

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