From the category archives:

Tiny Treasures


By Koseli. Image via Brown Dress With White Dots.

Ew, summer feet. Cracked, chapped, dry and slightly dirty. (Like a dirty that takes more than a quick scrub.) As summer winds down and we start thinking about jeans and ankle boots, a little foot TLC probably isn’t a bad idea. If you’re looking for an at-home treatment, I love Reinventing the Heel by Origins. Have you tried it? It’s pretty amazing. It’s a heavy cream rich with rose fruit, jojoba oils, and shea butter. It also smells like menthol so your feet feel super springy and cool after application. It works like magic.

Do you have any pretty-feet-tricks? Favorite home remedies you’ve pinned on Pinterest? Inexpensive products you use to recreate a spa experience at home?

P.S. — Gabrielle swears by Mom’s Stuff for an all natural foot salve. Have you tried it? For more tiny treasures, click here!


Tiny Treasure: Eye Mask

August 21, 2013

Lovely eye mask

By Koseli. Lovely sleeping eye mask made by the Etsy shop Ruby and Joy.

It’s a simple thing.

But it wasn’t until I was two weeks past the point of total exhaustion two years ago that I got serious about sleep. (Hint: Stork dropped by.) I was willing to do anything — anything — to feel a little more like myself and a lot less like an evil queen as moody as a tween and fragile as delicate glass. My ever practical and experienced mother pulled out the complimentary Jetblue sleeping mask she’d received on her recent flight, snagged my sleepy baby from my arms, and pushed me into my bedroom to sleep. Until I woke up. For as long as I needed to.

Again, it’s a simple thing but I hadn’t realized how sensitive I was to the light that fills our bedroom throughout the day. Pulling that mask over my eyes felt like a literal “off” switch on my never ceasing anxieties and racing thoughts. It felt like magic.

Do you sleep with an eye mask, too? It always seemed too high maintenance or fancy to me, but I really don’t know what I was thinking. I think every person should have one. Throw in some chamomile tea, a bubble bath, and then some lovely ear plugs right before you climb under the covers and you’re sure to sleep extra deep.

 P.S. — I’m on the hunt for a mask that’s slightly less, ahem, practical than my Jetblue one. Any favorite online shops that sell them? : ) Also, you can find all the Tiny Treasure posts here.


Tiny Treasures: Pouches

June 18, 2013

Ann-ya Pouch

By Koseli. Image and pouch by ANN-YA.

Anybody else get a little giddy about impeccably folded winter sweaters, coordinating shoe boxes, or super-organized purses with the perfect spot for each and every thing? Me too.

My latest organization obsession in the organization arena are beautiful pouches for carrying miscellaneous items in my purse, tote, or desk drawers. I use one pouch for snacks, a baby spoon, and a folded bib; another for my out-and-about comfort: chapstick, hand sanitizer, and tissue. And I think I need one more to round out my obsession: cash, a few quarters, and my MetroCard. In a pinch, I could just grab it and go.

Collecting like-items in my bag limits the craziness of trying to pull out the one thing I’m looking for among the dozens of floating (and often sticky) objects in my bags.

There are so many beautiful options across the internet but click through for a few of my favorites.

Keep reading.


applying lipstick

By Koseli. Image here.

For the past several years(!), I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect lipstick. Not a gloss, a stain, a fruity chapstick, an all-in-one blush cheek and lip balm. (Though I love and have all of those.) I wanted the original. A simple tube of lipstick that glides-on smooth, smelled beautiful, and was finally, finally the perfect shade for my complexion. But if you’ve been on the official Lipstick Hunt too, you know how hard it is to find something that fits all of your criteria.

A couple of weeks ago on a solo adventure in Manhattan, I found myself seated at a Sephora counter at the Columbus Circle mall, anxiously eyeing the shopgirl as she picked out various pink and berry lipstick shades from around the store. I’d already tried ten or fifteen myself with no happy results (too orange! too runny! this tastes like watermelon sour candy!). But on only her second try, this make-up saint planted the smoothest, prettiest lipstick on my lips and I knew I had finally found the perfect shade.

I don’t consider myself a super girly-girl but I do love make-up. But I had never ventured into “real lipstick” territory until now. It almost felt too mature for me. Has anyone else felt that way? Also, do you wear lipstick ? If so, what is your absolute favorite color and brand? I’m also curious if you wear it everyday!

P.S. — Our Tiny Treasures series features small, inexpensive things that give a big boost to quality of life. Find all the Tiny Treasures here.


Personalized miniature journal by Minted Personalized miniature journal by Minted Personalized miniature journal by Minted

By Koseli. Journals by Cambria Evans on Minted.

A clean desk, the perfect pen, a mind near-bursting with story ideas and potent memories — all that’s missing is one trusty, beautiful notebook to capture every word. Last year my sister-in-law gave me a personalized journal and my creative writing habits were forever changed. Somehow, a blank notebook emblazoned with my name was the secret sauce to make me, well, write. As soon as I realized how much I loved it, I couldn’t wait to share my revelation. A personalized journal or sketchbook would be the perfect gift for hard-to-buy-for writers and artists.

What’s your favorite type of journal? Do you use it as a place to record your personal thoughts and experiences, jot down random ideas, or do some sketching and writing?

P.S. — I also love Moleskin or Field Notes. I’m sure there are a hundred ways to simply personalize a book yourself (here’s one, and here’s another). Do you have any ideas? Also, more Tiny Treasures here.

Personalized miniature journal by Minted


Best Dental Floss via Design Mom

By Koseli. Image via Kate the Great.

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Bad dental floss is the worst — it breaks, frays, cuts, and leaves us remembering why flossing is such an annoyance in the first place. (Especially if you’re pregnant or have irritated gums already!)

But good floss? Soft, thick but slick, minty fresh, strong. It gets the job done. And it definitely falls into the Tiny Treasure category. Here’s my absolute favorite dental floss: Crest Glide. What’s yours?

Do you wax poetic about your favorite dental floss, or another favorite hygiene product? (Bet you never thought we’d talk about dental floss on Design Mom. :))


Tiny Treasure: Otter wax

January 17, 2013

By Koseli.

I am so excited to share this Tiny Treasure! Otterwax is a simple, inexpensive solution for waterproofing fabrics you wear every day — it works on denim, cotton, canvas, and wool. Unlike other waterproofing chemicals, Otterwax is not made with petroleum distillates so it’s sustainable and renewable. It’s made of beeswax and a secret mix of plant-based oils. One 5 oz. block will waterproof every inch of your favorite coat, or several pairs of your child’s jeans.

Have you ever used otter wax? How do you waterproof key outdoor pieces in your wardrobe? There are probably a thousand uses for otter wax and I can’t wait to hear your ideas.

P.S. — All the tiny treasures here.


Tiny Treasures: Custom Stamp

December 12, 2012

By Koseli.

A few years ago I was given a custom stamp with my monogram on it, and it has turned into a treasured possession. I use it for stationery and various crafts. When I realized how affordable it was to have one made, I nabbed a custom return address stamp, too. I love it!

Have you ever had one made? This beautiful save the date, hanko (Japanese name stamp), reusable book plate, and return address stamp would all be fun.


Tiny Treasures: Happy Socks

December 5, 2012

happy socks

By Koseli. Image by ModCloth.

There are few things better than lounging in an oversized sweater, a topknot, and the perfect socks. It’s my nightly uniform. So here’s a little secret: I have ‘happy socks’! Have you heard of them? I’ve dubbed my favorite pair of Uniqlo socks my go-to happy socks and when I put them on, I can’t help but feel cozy and content.

Quirky knee-highs or polka dot trouser socks are obvious candidates but what’s most important is comfort and whether a quick jig in your socks will cheer you up.

What about you. Do you have happy socks? And just because I’m curious: Do you sleep with your socks on or off?

P.S. — Paint your toes red, lather on some thick cream, and sleep with your socks on for super soft, lovely feet in the morning. Socks aren’t just for cold feet!


Tiny Treasures: Twinkle Lights

November 14, 2012

Twinkle Lights for soft indoor lighting all winter. Helps fight SAD, too

By Koseli.

Today’s Tiny Treasure is twinkle lights. They’re inexpensive and commonplace, but my-oh-my they make a home feel warm and welcoming. Once a chill hits the air, my family strings up one or two strands of tiny white lights on each mantel and turns them on at dusk. (Which is before five o’clock these days!) It instantly brightens my mood and makes our apartment feel festive and cozy. I’ve been known to keep them up through February!

Any one else affected by grey days and early sunsets? Do you have dark-too-early wintertime solutions? Have you ever tried a blue light?

P.S. — I keep coming back to Gabrielle’s DIY glass bottles of light as a lovely way to bring some twinkle indoors during the winter.


Tiny Treasures: Hair Powder

October 31, 2012

By Koseli.

When it comes right down to it, all I really want is good hair. It seems like nothing can go wrong when things are just so right up top. In my reality, this rarely happens! I wear my long hair in a top knot almost every day. But on rare occasion, it’s down, soft and wavy, and I feel like a totally different person. I’m so smart and funny! I tell myself all day long. Like a woman you’d see on a hair tutorial on Pinterest! I’m confident, feel feminine, and wonder why in the world I don’t spend a few more minutes every day producing this effect.

I’ve been hearing about hair powder — or dry shampoo — everywhere. It’s a finely milled powder that soaks up excess oil on the hair and scalp, leaving your hair looking freshly washed and a little more voluminous than before. It can replace a shampoo or extend your need to wash your hair for days! That’s game-changing luxury, don’t you think? (My sister loves this one. A friend loves this one.)

Do any of you use hair powder? How do you achieve that always-elusive perfect hair day?

Perfectly messy hair found here.


By Koseli.

Chilly temperatures mean mug time. The perfect mug makes sipping hot drinks a daily ritual, and elevates the ordinary to a pleasurable distraction or even a family tradition. I stoically defended my favorite red cup all growing up; it was my cup and I truly believed everything tasted better in it, and no one — I mean no one — was to use it but me! I’ve since replaced that red cup with a personalized mug, and it makes my nighttime ritual of sipping chamomile tea from it the loveliest segue to serenity.

Do you have a favorite mug? Any morning or evening hot drink rituals? If you haven’t found your own mug just yet, this personalized postcard one or this simple white one may be just the thing.

Photo by 3191 Miles Apart.

P.S. — DIY monogram mugs.

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