Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I Heart February: Cold Knees


Hello readers of Marisa's blog! I'm Rachel from Cold Knees and I'm delighted to be writing a guest post for this wonderful lady, who is constantly stylish and surrounded by beautiful scenery and her gorgeous little family! 

So here is one of the things I heart the most and I don't see it ever changing...


One of the first things I thought of when thinking about what I Heart, was of course my cat. I know it's a little corny, but honestly I think I am quite the mad cat lady in the making. I worry when I'm out too much of the day or night as he'll be left home alone and am always making sure he has fresh water and plenty of food.
As he's nearly 18 now he's quite the old man and sits around most of the day anyway, although he loves running up and down the stairs and meowing through the night.. He's much more mellow now and likes our company (he was quite the loner cat when he was younger). He follows me around and generally keeps me company. When I quit my last job and was at home a lot, scouring the internet and applying for new jobs, he would sit on the table next to my laptop.. Cats are basically the ideal companion! A couple of my colleagues at work were saying the other day how they didn't like cats and found them sneaky and mean.. (not sure how I can remain friends with them now but anyway). I mean look at that last picture (my mum's two kitties Gracie and Toffee), how can you not find them adorable?


Ok, maybe that's enough cat hearting for one post! This is what I look like when I'm not busy hearting cats ;)


Thank you for having me on your blog Marisa! xxx

Rachel xx

So there you have it darlings...thus concludes I Heart February.  Seeing Rachel's sweet little cat makes me miss my little Philly and Lily who are currently living with my in-laws!  Thanks so much to lovely Rachel as well as Nicole, and Chantilly for sharing your bits of love with us.  It's hard to believe February is over and we will soon be welcoming in spring.  I'm so excited, but where has the time gone?!  

Well the truth is, I've been up to my hats in work, and busyness, and random stuff...and I will be quite relieved once everything is back to normal again.  Please pardon me if I've been a tad distant.  Looking forward to catching up with you darlings real soon!!  

XX Marisa

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

In the Land of Giants

Amongst the Giants
Outfit Details: Dress & Hat: Vintage/Blouse: Thrifted/Tights: UO/Shoes: Modcloth





And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything.
~William Shakespeare

I'm gearing up for the coming weeks - a wedding, a trip to Pittsburgh, a part time job, a drama festival, practice, practice, cramming, and practice and the start of some things new.  I'm feeling small and a little overwhelmed, but to strongly forge ahead and take things as they come will remedy my feeling of hesitation.  Wishing you the very best week darlings.  By the start of the next brand new Etsy store will be born:)  

Until next time, 
Love Bunches,

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Outsider

February 1
Outfit Details: Sweater & Shoes: Vintage//Scarf & tights: Modcloth//Skirt & Bag: Thrifted

February 1

February 1

February 1

February 1

February 1

Just slightly under the weather today darlings.  Nothing major, just a tiny case of the sniffles following an afternoon spent with my good friend hiking in the rain yesterday.  There's too many enchanting little spaces to uncover, that we couldn't help ourselves.  Right in the middle of our explorations a fierce wind picked up and the rain came spilling down from the skies.  It didn't really stop us though so I arrived home drenched down to the bone.  I may never learn:)  Oh well, a large cup of green tea always does the trick.  If you follow me on instagram, I'm sure you have seen a couple of my photos to show for it here.

The above were taken a couple weeks back on my way to drama practice for the youth team I coach.  I've had quite the hankering lately to photograph my surroundings more and more.  Never have I been inspired by such beauty.  As I get the hang of my new camera, I'm sure you will start to see much more of this around these parts.  Hope you don't mind:)  

Other than that Chantilly from Chantilly Songs is doing the sweetest little vintage apron giveaway on her can click here to enter.  It's too adorable not to.

Have a fantastical weekend darlings!  See ya soon!

Love Bunches, 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Beech

Outfit Details: Dress: Modcloth//Hat: Target//Belt: Grandfather's//Boots: Thrifted






So the weather has finally warmed up a bit...for the time at least, and I've felt nothing but compelled to go out and start exploring this strange and scenic little neighborhood in which I live.  I'm looking forward to summers canoeing and spending time on the water.  A friend recently told me about a little canal off this lake that runs into a pond full of lily pads and these curious abandoned round shaped buildings which have been turned on their sides and spray painted.  Goodness, I can't wait to see that, but for now I will settle for exploring this dock in my recently thrifted duck boots.  Perhaps not the prettiest choice of footwear but practical for tromping these stony grounds.  It's quiet here on Beech Lake and I quite like that.

What's new in your world darlings?

Love Bunches, 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I Heart February: Coco Maria


Hi there Shades of Monet readers! This is Nicole of Coco Maria.


 A fewweeks ago, Marisa asked me to share a love story that's very dear to
me. No, it's not some fairytale-esque story about how I met the most
romantic guy in all the land. Rather, it's a story about my current
greatest love and passion - writing poetry. Writing and I go way back.
I think it was third grade when we met. I thought he was really cute,
and he always caught me longingly staring at him from across the room.
I don't think he minded though. When I wrote my first story for
spelling class was when the two of us really hit it off. Upon
completing an odd, dreamy story about a parrot with a headache
(seriously), I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him.
Now, I've made the transition to writing poetry, and have been doing
it for a few years, trying to better my technique and find my voice as
a writer. I can think of few better feelings than those that come to
me upon finishing a poem that expresses something that's been dancing
on the tip of my brain for days or even weeks. Writing something that
I'm really proud of is rare, but when I do, what I feel is something
beautiful, maybe even something akin to love.

Marisa asked that I share something I've written, and I'm pretty
squeamish about it. But, I figured I would share something I've been
working on lately, that isn't quite finished. I hope you enjoy it, and
I would love to hear about all of your love stories, too!

A Response to I carry your heart with me (I carry it in

my heart) by E.E. Cummings

I do not want to be carried around
in your heart like sentimental
pocket change or ventricle lint. Instead,

I want to be woven into your hair,
like the smoky fingertips
of a midnight bonfire,

to creep across your shoulder peaks
the way wild wisteria nosily explores
an open window shudder.

I want to perch like a chickadee in your nest
of hair, learning the world from your height
and eating the inchworms that ail you.




 When I first read Nicole's poem all I thought was, "how incredibly fitting of a piece" is darling, witty, and brilliant just like she is.  I know for myself, it's so hard to put yourself out there like that, as anything you've created is a small piece of your heart.  So thanks so much Nicole for sharing one of your pieces with us here today.  If you haven't yet had a peek at Nicole's blog, Coco Maria.  You'll most definitely want to:)  

xx Marisa

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Green Door

The Green Door
Outfit Details: Dress: Vintage//Cardi: Thrifted//Scarf & Pin: Antique Marketplace//Tights: Target//Shoes: Modcloth







Hello darlings!
Long time, no see...well maybe not really but please do pardon my absence as of late.  This past weekend has been nothing short of crazy and completely delightful all at the same time.  On Saturday I was at a teen Fine Arts Festival cheering on the drama team that I have been coaching this year as well as adjudicating for the piano solo entries and a couple of other things.  It was pretty darn sweet to see our team move onto the next level and have the chance to perform their drama at the finale of the festival.  They just rocked it that much...and I couldn't be more proud of them.

Yesterday found us back home again in Camp Hill celebrating my son's 2nd birthday with the whole family.  Geez, have these past two years flown by!  It's hard to believe I have a two year old now!  He's a sweet and brilliant little whipper snapper indeed.  He simply fills my days with a ton of joy.  So as you can see, blogging has fallen by the wayside just a bit.

Beyond all that, our lovely new friends Kat and Chris were over this past week and we were chatting on and on about all the curious little places in our new town....this green door being one of them.  I initially saw this mysterious structure in engagement photos that Chris took and had to see for myself what it was all about...I'm truly just a nerd...point blank.  As you may have read in previous posts, I've had explorer in my blood from a very young age, so off we drove to hunt this place down.  Turns out it used to be some kind of bomb shelter used during the war many many years ago.  I'm kind of a sucker for strange and random facts like that.  The whole thing reminds of this guessing game I used to play as a kid, "What's Through the Green Glass Doors?"  Does anybody else remember this?  I had my family stumped on it for hours..hehe.

Now that I have rambled half a book...I will stop here and wish you one splendiful week!  I have lots of catching up to do.  Hope to see you soon:)

Love Bunches, 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Petal Feet

Barbie Girl
Outfit Details: Dress: Vintage//Scarf: Mother's//Tights: We Love Colors//Shoes: Modcloth

Barbie Girl

Barbie Girl

Barbie Girl

Barbie Girl

Barbie Girl

Though it was almost two weeks ago...on this day my little family and I headed back to my hometown of Camp Hill to celebrate my little sister's birthday.  It was a day spent baking cupcakes, perusing the local antique marketplace, followed by a fancy fine dinner downtown Harrisburg with the whole family together.  My sister bear said my dress reminded her of Barbie...and all I could think about was that awful (ok...guilty pleasure) of a 90s song, "I'm a Barbie Girl, in a Barbie world...Life in plastic, it's fantastic".   Bahaha...ear worm any one?  Anyhow, days like these are truly madly deeply my favorite.

Other than that, I have very little to write today as I was up all night last night.  Yep, not one ounce of shuteye.  I can thank the humungo bottle of tea I drank all too late yesterday.  What was I thinking?  Obviously not much about sleep....ha!  Really wishing I could rewind back to my days as a college student where I stayed up all night studying and still managed to function like a normal human being and not a vegetable the next day and ace a test too boot.  Oh old age, how I love thee....j/k, j/k.

Alright darlings, wishing you one swell bit of a week.  Though I've been in no man's land today, I am hoping to catch up with you all very soon.

Love Bunches,

Is a name, just a name?

Today you can find me over at My Modern Vintage guest posting for the lovely Ilana.  Pop on over and say g'day if you do fancy...I even reveal where my blog got it's name from...hmmm??

Tree Land

Perhaps I'll see you there:)
And if you have an extra moment, be sure to check out Chantilly's post below.  It is sure to have your heart as well.

Love Bunches,

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I Heart February: Chantilly Songs

I knew this year that I really wanted to add a little variety here on Shades of Monet. Once February rolled around, I saw nothing more fitting than to do a little love inspired theme. Without further ado, Chantilly will be kickstarting it for me here today.


Hello, friends of Shades of Monet :) I'm Chantilly. Crazy cat lady, lifestyle blogger, and singer-songwriter.

chan outfit 2

In honor of the Month of Love, Marisa asked me to share the story of my music- which has been a complicated "love story" for me. The more I look back at my life, the more I realize how it's functioned as a way for me to overcome fears and obstacles.

I've had a knack for singing since I was very young, and was always drawn to music. But growing up, someone very close to me was abusing me. That person also happened to be a musician. This obviously had a big impact on my life in many ways, and my budding talents took a hit, as well.

my brother and i feeding pigeons in the park

Being a little kid, your mind twists around and draws all sorts of conclusions to try to make sense of what's happening. So for a long time, I had the feeling that musicians and certain kinds of instruments were bad. Among other reasons, this made me close the door to music for most of my childhood, and caused me to have a "late start."

However, when something wants to grow, it finds a way. I found that I was drawn to singing and writing songs, despite my negative feelings about it. I was overly critical of myself, and had horrible stage fright, of course. But even though I found a thousand and one ways to push myself down, for some reason still I kept going.

chan out

I got a digital recorder, and started writing songs on a casio keyboard. I enrolled in the music program at Community College, and started studying music theory and classical voice. Then finally got accepted to Purchase College... where I learned how to play guitar and perform my songs live.

Since then, I've felt myself slowly letting go of my troubled past, becoming more positive, actively pursuing goals, and letting myself experience the things that I'm naturally drawn to.

chan northside fest

I've made a lot of things happen that I never would've dreamed of. Most recently, I recorded an EP with my college friend, Saul. I then decided I wanted to help fund it through a Kickstarter campaign (Marisa was a backer!), and my project ended up being successful!

Right now, I'm working on the logistics of putting out this new set of recordings, which I am so proud of. I also started teaching private music lessons, and this is my main source of income right now!

chantilly blowfish sadiki 2
chan guitar 2

Future goals include playing more shows in and outside of NYC, seeing my songs featured in movies/ TV shows/ commercials, and growing my network of like-minded folk :)

Thank you so much to Marisa for asking me to participate! I didn't intend to share so much of my story... but I hope I've inspired someone out there. If you've ever felt held back for any reason, please know that you can work through your problems and achieve your goals. I know it's not just as simple as me saying so, but I'm living proof :)





Thanks so much Chantilly for sharing your heart and love with us today.  It's not hard to see that you truly have music in your soul, and are quite an inspiration especially to a musician like me.   For all you darlings who have not checked out her blog or music yet, I would most definitely encourage you to do so.  You will not be disappointed:) 


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