Tag Archives: friends

Cottage by the Sea: My Sanctuary

Thanksgiving is quickly sneaking up on me which has me compiling lists upon lists of all that I have to be thankful for this year. It sounds cliche I know, but unless I intentionally make space to record these moments, (both good + what seemed bad), my days will pass by without allowing me to grasp on to the reality that I have been given much in this life!

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Our cottage by the sea is my sanctuary and I am thankful every day that we are able to enjoy this space and the community it offers. It’s hard to believe that this time last year, we drove my parents and sister to Bellport, NY to see the house of our dreams. Our whirlwind renovation began in mid-March and ended in June and I loved Every Second of it!

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We intentionally designed our home with a calming palette in order to offer our family + guests respite from the city. The art displayed throughout our home tells of our journey to Cuba and boasts of my incredibly artistic + talented dad and great-uncle.

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In telling our story, we felt that it was important to display Abode prominently over our fireplace. Abode was my life … I mean … home furnishings store located in Market Square in Knoxville, TN many moons ago. Abode offered me a place to grow in my love for home design, meet so many talented local artists, and truly learn the balance of being a working mother as both of my girls were practically born and raised there for the first few years of their lives.

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This West Elm rug was the very first purchase I made for our home. I remember feeling on top of the world – literally giddy – after I purchased this rug. The purchase itself was not what was driving my excitement (although I love this rug) rather, it was a pivotal  point where I was able to rediscover and exercise my passion for home design since closing Abode’s doors 7 years prior.

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The twin beds are my father-in-law’s childhood beds that have been modernized with a new coat of paint. There is something about passed down furniture that makes my heart sing as it offers a connection to someone else’s life story.

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My oldest daughter was dead set on having a “graffiti” room. Although I am a big fan of graffiti, I couldn’t quite wrap my head around how we would incorporate that into a beach cottage. I was thrilled when I found this graffiti painting (in her favorite colors nonetheless) while traveling to Cuba last winter. That was pure luck!

I am thankful for this home and for the journey it has taken me on to appreciate both my past and present. It is truly my sanctuary.

“Bellport is many things, but most of all, it is a sanctuary for those who still treasure community and good old-fashioned relaxation.” – Town & Country Magazine

*Contractor: Barry Goggin with Meadowview Construction

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it’s only natural

first presbyterian’s parents day out {pdo} will forever hold a special place in my heart! pdo was the perfect place for both sophie + hazel to meet friends, become better socialized and begin to foster the learning experience in a classroom setting. after moving to new york, i began to understand that parent’s day out programs are not offered in the city because the insurance is so high that it prohibits churches to offer this kind of program.

there are amazing pre-school options offered in the city but unfortunately they are either completely full and or beyond our price range. for example: some pre-schools average $7,500 a year for two half days {9 am – 12 pm}. this price – – although probably standard for the city – – shocked me after spending roughly $1500 a year for two full days {9 am – 2 pm} in knoxville.

one of my newest friends in park slope has also recently moved to the city and has two darling girls that are three and five years old as well! we are both home with our 3-year olds so we have decided to take advantage of all the learning opportunities that the city has to offer and make nyc our very own hands-on preschool!

this past week we visited the american museum of natural history and explored the world of dinosaurs. it was eye-opening to experience the exhibit through the eyes of two 3-year olds!

the AMNH offers four floors of learning experiences, as well as rotating member programs. upcoming programs that i am looking forward to are:

*field trip to the moon
*behind the scenes in mammalogy: bats, rats and cats
*family astronomy: creatures in the sky

cheers to a great pre-school year!

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so {here} we are

i am a dreamer. there i said it  – i love {at times} escaping reality to imagine the fullness of what this life has to offer me.

a {dreamer} by definition is: a person given to fanciful speculations and enthusiasms with little regard for what is actually possible.

and so begins my story . . .

i am a southern girl who has admittedly lusted for the glamour of big city living without ever thinking that this desire would one day become a reality – – especially now with two young gals by my side – sophie {5} and hazel {3}.

my husband, matt recently took a position working in his company’s manhattan office {much more than a stone’s throw away from our previous home of knoxville, tn} – – but we are embracing this move with complete confidence that we are right where we need to be … together!

as we say good-bye to a city full of dear friends, family and comforts we are overwhelmed by the realization that each person and experience perfectly molded and prepared us for one of the biggest adventures this family of four could have ever imagined. and so begins the tale of the city sprouse {thank you rachel wood turner for naming this blog for me} with all of the joys + trials that come along with big city living.

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