RIO’S RELIEF BALM AND OIL

Rio's Relief Balm

I’m a tough audience.

Not easily convinced or sold on “miracle” products.

You’ll usually get a “yeah right” and an eye roll from me.

The people at make-up counters hate me.

Not this time.

Sister Darbie and Casey's Safe Haven resident donkey Petunia

Sister Darbie and Casey’s Safe Haven resident donkey Petunia

This is a real deal, no eye rolling product that my sister Darbie turned me on to.

I bought the products initially because a portion of the proceeds goes to Casey’s Safe Haven, a holistic equine rescue my sister is involved in and I wanted to support her.

The balm and oil are from BT Naturals and called Rio’s Relief Balm and Oil.

I thought I’d take my purchases home and throw them into a drawer.

Nope.

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I use it on everyone in our home (including Pablo).

Rio’s Relief Balm & Oil are handmade, topical, healing ointments that can be applied to the skin areas that have aches and pains, such as sore muscles and joints.

They are 100% natural, consisting of organic herbs and essential oils.

Rio’s products can be used on humans and animals.​

I use it every night on my neck, feet and hands.

I couldn’t get enough of it when I was doing my 8-weeks to Change program.

It’s the reason I could get up in the morning.

Seriously.

Satisfied Customer Pablo

Satisfied Customer Pablo

Pablo gets a good rub down after a long hike or if his allergies are flaring up he gets a couple drops in his food bowl.

The itch fest subsides.

Adam uses it when he’s recovering from an extreme yoga workout.

Caroline uses it on her dry skin and the soothing smell helps relax her for a good nights sleep.

Casey's Safe Haven

Sue (creator of BT Naturals & Founder of Casey’s Safe Haven) using Rio’s Oil and Massage Therapy on Comanche

All the animals at Casey’s Safe Haven (a place so magical it deserves its own post) get treatment with these products.

Miracles have happened.

I’m not paid to promote this product so you can believe all the hype from me.

You can also check out some of the testimonials on the site.

I’m not the only one who loves this stuff.

You’ll thank me.

xoxo Carrie

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DOCTOR’S ORDERS

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I am having some foot issues and I must bid my ballet flats adieu.011440470704_03_03_645Wx645HFor those who are aware of my Roger Vivier  ballet flat addiction know how hard that information is for me to accept.

Bone Spurs and Plantar Fasciitis = not sexy.

I’m having orthotic inserts made.

Good God.

Is this the beginning of my downhill slide into old age?

Is this what happens?

Should I have not thrown my AARP application away?

I’m in pain so I must follow Dr. Handsome (my podiatrist) orders not to wear flats or go barefoot.

He suggested supportive shoes with my fancy new orthodic inserts and or a slightly raised heel aka a “wedge”.

Did I hear Dr. Handsome say “wedge”?

Lightbulb.

I have an awesome pair of wedges I bought this past summer.

I ran home and put them on.

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They’re gorgeous and comfortable.

They actually felt great on my feet.

Something besides my clogs and lame athletic shoes.
Hallelujah!

So naturally, for the health of my heels I had to go shopping.

I thought since the summer Balenciaga’s worked so well I’d go for a new

fall pair. So cute with the Navy and Black accents, they go with everything.

Blue and Black Balenciaga Wedges

Balenciaga

I also love the color of these wedges.
They also come in black. Great running around town shoes.

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Rag & Bone

I am dying for these lovely shoes.

Available for pre-order.

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Lanvin

Fringe + Wedge?

I’m in!

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Chloe

Finally a Doctor’s Order that I had no problems following!

xoxo

Carrie

Monkey Bread

Monkey Bread

We all have Holiday Traditions

That’s what makes Holidays fun.

One tradition I wait all year for is Monkey Bread.

Christmas morning would not be complete without it.

Coffee/Fire/Christmas Music/ Monkey Bread and it’s been that way as far as I can remember.

I also like knowing that the same thing will be going on with my sisters at their homes Christmas morning.

It is the perfect thing to tide you over until Christmas Brunch.

It’s gooey, delicious, makes the whole house smell amazing, and it’s super easy so no added stress.

It is a recipe that will take you 10 minutes and you do it the night before.

The next morning all you have to do is pre-heat your oven and pop the pan into the oven.

It’s midwest goodness, certainly not a culinary masterpiece or high-end in any way, but even the biggest foodie snob will be swayed.

Here’s the recipe.

Monkey Bread

1 package frozen dinner rolls (18-20)

½ cup pecans

1 package butterscotch pudding (do not use the instant kind, the old school real deal)

6 Tablespoons melted butter

½ cup brown sugar

3 teaspoons cinnamon

  1. Grease a Bundt pan with Pam or Canola Spray
  2. Sprinkle bottom of pan with the pecans
  3. Arrange 18-20 dinner rolls in pan
  4. Sprinkle Package of pudding over rolls
  5. Combine melted butter, sugar, and cinnamon
  6. Drizzle mixture over rolls
  7. Cover with plastic wrap that you have sprayed with Pam so it doesn’t stick to rolls
  8. Let the Monkey Bread Sit over night
  9. Bake in 325 degrees oven for 35 minutes or until golden brown. Invert on plate and serve

I wish you all a Merry Christmas!

xoxo Carrie

Gordon, Wisconsin Population 176

Forrest Road

 I announced to a group of ladies at a dinner party that I was beyond excited to go to Wisconsin for vacation.

 I would be unplugging, away from news, tv, phone calls, work.

The kids had to play outside and create their own fun.

Declan by window

Make forts, swim, take walks, play in the forest.

I was amazed when one of the women said, “why would you want to do that?”

The thought of being so remote and having an electronic free zone seemed horrific to her.

 I’ll tell you why I was so excited.

Doc Shot

I had no idea what was going on in the world other than my own world.

I enjoyed talking to my family face to face instead of texting.

sunset feet

Each night I got to watch the sun set.

I enjoyed daily four mile walks with my sisters and Mom.

Wild Roses

We discovered wildflowers, followed animal tracks, walked through the woods, heard a symphony of bird songs.

We waved to and were waved back by every person who passed us.

They slowed down to 20 mph to let us pass (try that one in Los Angeles).

We saw a bear.

We made wonderful nightly meals and all sat down as a family to eat.

We drank some awesome wine.

We drank even more awesome beer.

Beer Chair

We saw more eagles than crows.

We saw more deer than people.

My 6-year-old now knows how to kyack.

Caroline Kayak

My daughter learned to fish.

We played for  hours in water  so clear you can see your feet and all the fish swimming around.

Clear Water

We drank tap water from the faucet.

It’s ice-cold, delicious and clean!

I did some canoeing.

Canoe

I listened to big, loud Midwest thunderstorms at night.

Powerful and majestic and perfect for sleeping.

View of Lake

When we woke up we made huge pots of coffee and sat on the screened in porch, surrounded by old pine trees and an amazing view of the lake and slowly embraced the day.

We went to a Lumber Jack show.

 I learned a lot about logging  and I got to see some super cute Lumber Jack’s.

Lumberjack

We ate at a local joint for a Friday Night Fish Fry,we drank beer, ate cheese curds, played Pac-Man (yup, the original version was still in working order).

Long Branch

No flash or frills, no one was dressed up, it was real, delicious and down home fun.

cheese curds

I felt American.

I know it sounds corny, but there were American flags all over the place and it wasn’t because of the 4th Holiday it was because the people of the small town communities we visited love their country.

It’s nice to be around and especially after the controversial verdict that has our nation divided and up in arms.

   I almost cried when I ate an iced chocolate raised donut because it was that good.

We played family charades and ate popcorn.

The sound of the Loons on the lake, eerie and beautiful.

I love the fact each year I can count on nothing changing.

Cabin Wall

The creak when you hit the second stair on the way down, the sauce pan that was struck by lighting, the elephant foot stool, the pheasant taxidermy on the mantle, the fireplace made from stones from the near by St. Croix river, the old faded map of Wisconsin, the porch swing.

They will all still be there, unchanged when we return.

Lighting Sauce Pan

Wisconsin Map

The memories I had as a kid will be the same memories my daughter will have.

Carrie 1972

 Carrie 1972

Caroline On Dock

Caroline 2013

It’s so nice that there is a place that stands still in time.

Gordon Forest

Standing still is not a bad thing.

Darbie & Sunny

I came home with a clear mind and a full heart.

Gordon

I whole heartily recommend going away to a place Like Gordon, Wisconsin.

Population 176.

And now I hope you understand why.

xoxo Carrie

Packing for the North Woods

Wisconsin MapI am counting the days before we head out of town for our annual trip to Wisconsin.

It’s a slice of heaven and the biggest decision of the day is whether we should have white or rose wine.

Brule river

I am starting a packing list and here are some things I won’t leave home without!

This tote is the bomb, you can turn it into a cooler, you can cram all your carry on stuff inside it, sturdy, with a lifetime warranty.  It’s the best.  If there is a rainy day we will drive an hour into Duluth and hit the store.

Duluth Pack Tote

Buy it here: Duluth Pack

My favorite pant of late is Current Elliott’s, “The Buddy Trouser” in Army Camo. I love the tapered leg and the Chino style.  The cotton is so soft and light weight that they work in the heat and keep me covered at night when the mosquitos come out to feast on my ankles.

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Buy them here: Bloomingdale’s

Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you I am a sucker for some stripes.

My old and dearly loved St. James Sailor Shirt will be coming along again this year.

It’s old, a bit frayed, and gets better with each wash.

Perfect to throw on with shorts, jeans, skirts, sweats or over a swimming suit.

I’ve been known to wear it for days…..thank god we are amongst family.

st-james-shirt

Buy it here: St. James

Muriel Brandolini is a major style crush for me.

Her interiors and personal style are divine and I’ve been following her for years.

So a while back when I heard she was making hats, I had to run out and get one.  It shades the whole face which I love.  Personally I love a little tan, but I hate wrinkles more so it’s sun block city and the hat helps.

 I can’t find them in the stores anymore, but they pop up on Ebay every now and again.

Muriel Brandolini

 I bring a bunch of long Cover Up’s, my adult version of a onsie.   I sleep in them, canoe, cook and cocktail in my cover up’s. Here’s a super cute one I just got from J Crew.

Nili Lotan Beach Cover Up

Buy it here: J Crew

When I was last in Nantucket I bought a pair of these clogs from Brooke Boothe’s Nantucket Monogram.  My clogs are black with a hot pink monogram.  I can walk for miles in them they are so comfy, I throw them on like slippers. They are already in my suitcase.

Monogrammed Clogs

Buy them here: Nantucket Monogram

Make up usually does not come out of the case (unless we are doing a family Christmas Card) while I am in Wisconsin.  I do however, throw on some Rodin Lip Balm.  It provides a hint of tint and a great, long-lasting sheen.  It’s moisturizing too.

Rodin Lip Gloss

Buy it here: Barney’s

Gordon Porch Swing

A good read is a must, so I am taking my Book Group pick “The Interestings” on this trip.  I like to read printed hardcover books even though they take up packing space, it’s a must.  I like to read on the big porch swing, air breezing through the screened in porch.  It’s great, after a long day of swimming especially before dusk.

The Interestings

Buy it here: Amazon

Cousin forrest walk

We love to take long daily nature hikes through the forest and we’ll stop to eat wild blueberries, search for animal tracks (and occasionally run into some animals), look at all the beautiful wild flowers. It’s fun to do a little amateur birding on the walks and there happens to be an abundance of Bald Eagles.  Seeing one up close with binoculars is a sight to behold.  It’s also pretty cool to be lay down on the dock and watch them circle above.

LL Bean Field Binoculars

Buy them here: LL Bean

Birds of North America Book

Buy it here: Barnes and Noble

I also like to bring some of my favorite recipes.  One of the most fun things about the trip is cooking with my sisters. We sip (or chug if the kids are making us batty) wine, crank the music and grab some cooking utensils which we use as microphones while we prepare the evening meal.

I will be bringing recipes from my worn and torn Barefoot Contessa, Zuni Cafe, Mozza, and Sunday Suppers at Luques cookbooks.

Summer Salads

And board games!

Scrabble and a deck of cards are coming in my bag.  Jenny is bringing Mastermind and my Mom is bringing some oldies but goodies.  I also like a big, complicated jigsaw puzzle that we can work on all week long.

scrabble

I am so looking forward to unplugging in one of the country’s most beautiful places. Where nature thrives, firefly’s glow and my family reunites every year and creates memories for the next generation.

Northwoods Here we Come!

xoxo Carrie

Photos: www.123rf.com,  National Geographicwww.scrabble.com, all the others are from me.

Falling in Love Again

xoxo

When you are with your mate for a long time, you get used to them. You love them without doubt, but life, kids, etc. takes a toll on a relationship.  You know what I’m talking about….It’s just not sexy time as much as it once was.

And then one ordinary day you take a second look and realize why you fell in love in the first place. And bam… all the fun, goodness and sexiness comes roaring back .

Just like when you  were falling in love.

Jonathan Adler

Well I have always loved Jonathan Adler. His quirky goodness. His campy style.

It was love at first site.

I have some his earliest pieces of pottery. They’re classics. But then, I took him for granted and started driving by his store.

 Occasionally, popping in for a gift,  a decorative pillow, some bookends.  But I wasn’t coveting any furniture.  I kind of just got used to his designs being around and started to ignore what was going on in his stores.

And then one ordinary day, I took a second look and realized why I fell for him and his work.

Now, I’m in love all over again.

Here are some of the things that are rocking my world and must have!

Rio Pendant

The Rio 

$394

This is a great pendant light. I think it could work in a multitude of rooms.

maxime_w

Maxime Chair

$2,250

Spring is certainly coming in more like a Lamb than a Lion.

I am mad for shearling and fluffy lamb decor.

It’s catching on!

Mongolian Lamb Stool

Mongolian Lamb Stool

$1,445

My friend Monica was just coveting some lucite and shearling stools on Ebay.

Wait till she sees this number.

Pagoda Umbrella

Pagoda Umbrella

$495

This outdoor umbrella has great big style!

It makes me want to re-think all my outdoor decor.

Junior Hand Sanitizer Cozy

The Junior Hand Sanitizer Cozy

$42

No germs around here with the adorable needle point hand sanitizer cozy.

Who really wants to look at that unpleasant plastic bottle on a counter?

Sun Jute Pouch

Sun Jute Pouch

$78

The perfect little pouch to throw in your beach bag!

Money, keys, lip balm, i-phone, ponytail holders, sun screen, done.

brass_peacock_table

Brass Peacock Table

$3,695.00

I sure would be proud to own this Peacock table!

I’m so glad I fell in love again.

I hope you can too.

It’s fun.

xoxo Carrie