To my dads, Thank you for all you do, I love you.
(Photo Left: My Dad & I // Photo Right: My Bonus-Dad & I)
Happy Memorial Day everyone! In honor of Memorial Day weekend and the official start of summer, I decided to partner with HAMPTONS Handpoured to give one lucky winner a chance to win my favorite and the #1 seller, the Southampton candle!! All you have to do to enter is look for the “giveaway photo” on S2N’s Instagram and follow the rules beneath the picture. For extra entries, you can comment by tagging your friends, each friend tagged is an extra entry.
I don’t know about you, but when the summer comes around I am ready for a cold drink in my hand and pool parties with family & friends, and pool parties mean heading to my favorite summer destination – Southampton, NY! As you all may remember, my husband grew up on the East End and we often visit family, especially in the summer, and I never want to arrive to a family pool party empty handed, so to be a good guest I always have a fashionably fabulous hostess gift in hand. My go-to gift is a candle from HAMPTONS Handpoured, it’s easy and everyone will love it, especially a local!
HAMPTONS Handpoured is owned by Southampton native, Brittany Torres. Brittany grew up on the East End of long island in North Sea, a hamlet of Southampton and enjoys all that it has to offer from being one of the first to visit the fresh local berry stands in the spring, and the smell of fresh cut grass in the fields of Bridgehampton throughout the Summer to picking apples right off the trees in the fall and walks with her dog on the secluded beaches in the winter, she explains in an interview with What’s up Long Island? – I mean can you understand why I love visiting this little slice of heaven so much? Brittany aims to capture the essence of what makes her community so special “I want everyone, whether they have lived on the East End their whole life or visit for a single day to feel connected to this elegant and charming place” and she does just that with her handcrafted, 100% clean burning American soy candles made in the heart of the Hamptons! All of Brittany’s candles are created with high quality fragrances derived from essential oils that are phthalate free and non-carcinogenic. You can find HAMPTONS Handpoured candles online or in an assortment of retail venues around the Hamptons, allowing Brittany to work with and be apart of the community she loves so much.
Fun fact: Brittany is a fashion lover herself! One of her favorite places to shop is Therapy Life & Style in Southampton. I know i’m checking them out next time I am in the area!
I love these candles for so many reasons, but mostly I love the names. Each candle tells a story of the East End, and like Brittany said, whether you are here for the Summer or consider yourself the ever coveted local, these candles are for US and this unique community we call the East End. I am super excited that I can share Brittany’s passion for aromatherapy, and the beautiful place she calls home with all of you. Don’t forget to enter on the S2N Instagram page so you can win a little part of the Hamptons yourself!
Photos by: Doug Young
This post is in partnership with HAMPTONS Handpoured, a brand I love.
All opinions and selections here are my own.
“I got it from my mama”
Happy Wednesday Friends!
Today on the blog I wanted to share some gift idea’s if you’re still looking for something special to pickup for Mother’s Day. These gifts are perfect for every lady in your life: Mother, Grandmother, Mother-In-Law or Wife!
ATS’s Top 10 Mother’s Day Gift Ideas:
1.) Bath Salts: What mom doesn’t love an excuse to take time and relax!..They smell amazing too!
2.) Personalized Sign: I gifted my mother something similar for Christmas and she loved it. A personal touch is always a good way to go!
5.) For those mom’s out there who love to cook – loving this floral Apron from Anthopologie.
6.) For those creative, entrepreneurial moms out there.. This book is for them!
7.) For as long as I can remember my mom has kept a planner & calendar…or multiple of both, haha. Growing up in a house-hold where everyone either had a dance recital, baseball game or work event it was helpful for my mom to have things written down to keep all of our schedules straight. If your mom is like mine, a planner is a great gift!! Loving this , this & this one.
9.) Loving this Classic Faux-Leather Tote! Its only $32 and really good quality – great for moms who carry a lot around!
10.) Best. Mom. Ever! – Loving this leather pouch by Rebecca Minkoff! Comes in Blush & Black!
Happy Mother’s Day to all those Super-Mom’s out there!
Today on the blog I am thrilled to be talking about All aBoard Signs! All aBoard Signs offers personalized and generic signs that are fully created using reclaimed wood. Not only are these custom signs amazing and unique but they are created by one of my very dear and long time friends! Christina and I met during our freshman year at Springfield College and hit it off right away. We were always bonding over our similar interests of dance, photography and anything creative, fast forward 12 years and here we both are living our creative dream side jobs, Christina as a Small Business Owner & me as blogger for S2N.
Q&A with Christina Schratwieser
When did you realize you wanted to be a small business owner / founder of a unique company/ How did you come up with the idea?
I’ve always tried my hand at creativity, however, my passion for making wood signs started during my home renovation. More specifically, my bedroom renovation. I decided to make a reclaimed wood accent wall behind our bed. Yes, it started with a wall. Do you know how many pieces of wood I had left over from that wall? I couldn’t let them go to waste. Reclamation is beautiful.
So, I wound up making signs out of this left over wood…for everyone. It became an outlet, a hobby, and something to distract me from my day job as a teacher. I feel accomplished whenever I see a run down, raggedy, old piece of wood be transformed into something beautiful.
I ensure that each piece is done with care and thoughtfulness and done to the liking of my customers. If it’s not, then it will be a waste, and now you know how I hate to waste that beautiful wood!
Why did you choose Etsy / how do you like that network so far?
Being an avid Etsy shopper myself, I’ve been exposed to the craftsmanship and business of the other Etsy sellers for quite a while. So, when I decided to begin my own business, it was only natural that I started on Etsy.
I love Etsy. The Etsy network is secure and safe. I know who I’m buying from and who I’m selling to. The fact that Etsy also has an app, makes buying and selling so convenient. I am in constant contact with my customers and I can easily get messages and respond to them regarding customized orders.
Do you have any advice to a future small business owner starting out?
It’s not easy. It requires a lot of time and effort. If there’s anything I’ve noticed so far about owning my own business, it is the more you put into it, the more you get out of it.
If you lose focus, so will your customers. So keep your eye on the prize! Find what inspires you to keep going and your customers will be inspired to buy from you!
What do you love most about what you do?
It’s more of a fun outlet than a job! I can get lost in the cutting, sanding, and painting of wood and it never feels like work. It’s also quite satisfying seeing an old, beaten down, raggedy piece of wood completely transform into something new and functional.
I also love the challenge of creating something new. I’ve had friends, family, and new clients request a customized sign. Something completely their idea, not mine, and have made their vision come to life. It’s such a gratifying feeling knowing that I’m the one that not only fulfilled this image they’ve had in their mind, but exceeded it.
I never know how a client will react, or if what I created is exactly what they envisioned, but that’s part of the challenge.
They love it, and so do I.
Do you see your business as an extension of your own personal life’s purpose?
Absolutely! As I’ve mentioned earlier, my business is not just a job to me, it’s a passion. It’s fun, satisfying, and rewarding.
Personally, I always try to make others happy and fulfill their lives as much I can with my own, and if that means creating a fun wooden sign for them to hang on their wall, then that’s my purpose. Especially if they have a special request and I fulfill it for them. I can only hope that every time they walk past that piece on their wall, they smile.
When all is said and done, when you reflect on what you do and have accomplished, and lives you’ve impacted what do you think the people around you would say about you?
All a Board Signs is still new and in the beginning stages, but for the short amount of time I’ve been in business, I’m proud of what’s been accomplished. It’s a slow and steady process, and I can only hope that the people around me would say that I’m patient!
In all seriousness, though, I know for a fact that the people who know me and have seen me at work will say that I am first and foremost, passionate, about this business. They would say I create pieces from my heart and love seeing others happy. I’ve created so many signs for friends and family, not for profit, but gifts.
My Etsy shop hasn’t seen much action yet, but my world outside of Etsy, has. And I’m okay with that.
Like I said, slow and steady.
If you had to choose another job what would it be?
All a Board Signs IS the other job that I chose! I am a teacher by day, craftsman by night!
How do you gather inspiration to keep your work up with the times and add variety throughout your work?
I use what’s around me as my inspiration, mostly, the water.
Living on the water, my husband and I have created a home that holds the resemblance of a beach house. If you look at my Etsy shop, you’d find that most of my signs have a nautical flare to them. That’s because my inspiration comes from living on the water and spending most summer days on the boat.
I’m a sucker for the summer. Cruising the bay on the boat, I set my eyes on nautical words, colors, driftwood, and other artifacts that trigger the creative ingenuity in my mind.
Serenity and peace. That’s what I want my customers to feel when they see my signs. Just how I feel when I’m on the water.
All a Board Signs
Company Email / Contact information:
Link to website, Etsy ETC:
Link or Instagram handle name:
As you can see there is something to be said about having a creative outlet. Its important that each and every one of us take “ME” time and do things that we love. Not only am I so happy for my friend Christina in following her dreams of starting this small business..but selfishly, SO excited to get my hands on a custom sign 🙂 My parents recently relocated to Florida and Im thinking one of her nautical signs would be the perfect housewarming gift! Definatly go check 0ut her etsy page (direct link above) and get yourself one of these unique additions for your home.
Do you have a creative outlet, hobby or small business? If so leave a comment below, I would love to hear about it!
As always, thank you so much for reading & hope you all have a beautiful week!
“Believe in the magic of the season…”
Can y’all believe the holidays are already in full swing!?!? With Thanksgiving behind us S2N is now gearing up and prepping to start our shopping. This is the first year in my life that I admit, I am NOT prepared at all. I am typically the person who makes a holiday gift list for family and friends in August or early September and buys a few gifts a month until the holidays. I come from a very large family and have always found that to be the most cost effective and efficient method for purchasing gifts. This also has allowed me time to plan out and hunt for unique gift ideas, experiences and stocking stuffers for all my loved ones. This year the time has just vanished and I am JUST starting my holiday shopping…. ( Sad Charlie Brown music plays )..totally not like me, I know. To make shopping easier on all of you out there who have also not had a moment to plan in advance, S2N is here to help!
Your holiday shopping items are just one click away! Below are some of mine & KPR’s gifting ideas for those special people in your life.
ATS’s Holiday Gift Guide for Her
1.) Victoria Secret has an amazing sleep collection. These are two I love and would suggest if buying for a girlfriend or wife. While this one is more sexy than this, both are so soft and will make for a relaxing night’s sleep! The VS pj’s are also perfect for cozying up by the fire and watching holiday movies. Perk: If you are shopping in store they usually come in a set and sometimes include a free eye mask!
2.) DryBar is the perfect gift for her! No matter how old or young they have a little bit for everyone! If they have a location near you, purchase a gift card for your sister, mother or any lady in your life! You can also check out there holiday gift packages, I’m loving the “Merry Mini Must-Haves” for your hair as well as the ” DryBar to Go” (which is actually on my Christmas Wish list this year)!
3.) Sephora is the perfect place to stop for all your Stocking Stuffers for her! If you’re anything like KPR & I – makeup is always the perfect gift to receive! Sephora has some amazing and low priced stocking stuffer options, I love the Best.Night.Ever face kit & the First Aid Beauty Cleanse set – both under $30!
4.) When it comes to the holidays I am all about giving experiences and not gifts. A few years back I decided to take my parents and all my siblings on a surprise trip to see The Radio City Christmas Spectacular. This is a perfect option if you are looking to spend some quality time with family & friends over the holidays! This is also a perfect gift for children as the show is targeted at all ages, big and small! Tickets are still on sale & can be purchased here.
5.) One universal gift for all the ladies in your life is a good Designer Handbag! I’ve never met a women who was displeased at this gift! Some brands that I would suggest are: YSL, Marc Jacobs, Chloe, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Phillip Lim, Henri Bendel & SO many more! If you want to save a pretty penny on one of these brands head to GILT to check out any holiday sales they have going on!
6.) Slippers are another one of those universal gifts for all the females you will be gifting to. I actually always buy myself a new pair during the holidays as I tend to wear mine outside occationally to walk the dog when its cold (oops…). I love all the slippers by UGG, but you can get a cheaper pair at Target that are just as comfortable!
7.) These Michael Kors Leather Astor Studded Gloves are by far one of the best gifts I ever received for the holidays. I’ve had them for years now and they are still in amazing shape and match with everything. Lucky for you they are also now only $40, what a steal!
8.) Who hasn’t ever wanted a Record Player, common now! If someone ever gave me this I would be so grateful! This is such a fun and unique gift and since its portable can be taken anywhere! This one from Urban Outfitters is just so cute!
9.) Coffee Table Book’s are the perfect gift to spice up any ladies home, the bigger and more artistic the better! I love this one!
10.) Perfume is another one of those gifts that cant go wrong. I think it’s the gift I get from my brothers every year and every year I love whatever they pick out! One of my favorite brands are all the fragrances by Tom Ford. ( The mens one is also AMAZING! )
Continue reading below for some of KPR’s holiday gifting recommendations for those special men in your life!
KPR’s ‘Don’t get your Tinsel in a Tangle’
Holiday Gift Guide for Him
When I first met my husband about 10 years ago, I was not the best gift giver. I always had to ask what he wanted and then just get that one thing, no fun in that! After just a short time of knowing my husband I realized that I needed to pick up my gift giving game, because he is the most thoughtful gift giver I have ever met, and felt he deserved a few thoughtful surprises as well. I now also have a few more men in my life from my wonderful Brother in-Law, Matthew to my sweet Father in-law, Mike – so this gift giver HAD to get better at shopping for him, and might I say, I truly have! The best feeling in the world is knowing you made someone happy with something meaningful and special, especially around the holiday season!
My trick to thoughtful gift giving is to create a page in your ‘Notes’ section on your phone, and when you see something, or hear them say they want something, write it down. It doesn’t matter if it is February, prepare early so when that time to buy comes, you have a list all set to go! I pulled together by top favorite gift guide ideas for him, from stocking stuffers to those big ticket items, its all here to help those girls out there who, like I used to, have no idea what to get him!
Happy Hunting Fashion Friends! Do you have any gift giving ideas? Let us know, we would love to hear about them!
Thanks for Reading