Monday, June 29, 2009

The best place to shop for home accessories in Denver...

So, a couple of posts ago I mentioned that I would be a vendor at the Sweet William Market June 27th. Well, on the eve of market day, I was sooooo pleased to discover that the Sweet William Market was listed as one of the many "reasons to love Denver" by 5280 Magazine. The category specifically: Editor's Choice for Home Accessories Shopping. That gave me an extra thrill, considering I'm all about home accessories.

Congrats to Kim and Lizzie of the Sweet William Market. And for all of you who haven't experienced this fabulous open-air market yet.... we'll see you in July!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Gorgeous Giveaway!

One of the cool things I've really enjoyed about blogging is reading other blogs, getting to know other "creative" people, and getting inspiration from their posts.

I read on one of my new favorite blogs "Lucky Girl Gifts" by Cari (see my blog list on right) that another amazing blog was having a giveaway. So take a look and enter! There's no reason not to add a little "pretty" to your life. With a name like Vintage Bella Studio, how can you go wrong? :) And while you're at it, visit Cari's too. She has some of the sweetest jewelry.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sweet William Market this Saturday

They call it "Sweet" for a reason.

I love this show and I'll be back again this Saturday. Kim and Lizzie (the organizers) do an awesome job of creating the perfect outdoor market atmosphere.

Live music, sprawling green, quaint and clever marketing, and oh, us lucky vendors! They take such good care of us.

Look for me in my usual spot, with some new and not so "usual" things.

Here's the link to the website for more info. It's this Saturday, June 27th from 9-2 on the green at Stapleton.

Domestic Goddess: Beauty Basics

Denver is mile above sea level. As a result, our air is arid. Arid extra dry. We Colorado girls really have to take care of our skin. And while humidity can be uncomfortable at times, there's something to be said about "dewy" skin. "Dewy" only happens in a bottle here...

Above are some of my favorite "beauty in a bottle" (or tube) products. You can find all of these at your local Target, drug store, or health food store.

I can't live without:

  1. Chapstick Overnight: I'm still looking for an "ultimate" daytime lip balm. Must have SPF, a slight tint, yet not be sticky. Any suggestions??? Please let me know!

  2. Organics Desert Essence hand and body lotion in Vanilla Chai: smells so yummy you want to drink it up.

  3. Aquaphor: so much better than Vaseline. Slap this stuff on with a pair of socks before bed and you'll wake up with the smoothest, softest feet.

  4. Dove Energy Glow: we all know by now the dangers of too much sun. But ya gotta love a tan. Even just a glow. I love this product because it doesn't smell "self-tannerish" -- actually has a hint of citrus to it, and it creates a very subtle glow.

  5. St Ives Apricot Facial Scrub: It's inexpensive but totally does the trick. I realize now how important exfoliation is. Comes only second to sunscreen in my book.

  6. Olay Beauty Lotion: my mom has used this stuff for years, and she looks great. Enough convincing for me. And of course mine includes an SPF.

  7. Finally, not pictured, my own personal "sugar scrub". I ran out of my "name brand" body sugar scrub one day, and decided to make my own. I use the organic sugar from the grocery store, canola oil and lavender essential oil for a slight scent. Exfoliates, softens and smells great. And it's cheap!

But sometimes you need a little more help than "home care". Or maybe just a little pampering. My dear friend Kelly Olmsted is the owner of Face Logic Spa ( This place is your one-stop spa for all the "don't try this at home" things: facials, microdermabrasion, masks, peels, waxing... And they are so reasonable. Under $50 for an awesome facial. Give them a try! I have been known to doze off during the massage part -- so relaxing and such a treat!

On that note I must say that they call it "beauty sleep" for a reason. Too many nights of burning the midnight oil, and no magic potion is going to fix that... Good night! :)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Kits of Caboodle

There's something comforting about a "kit". Everything you need, all in one place. For a mere five dollars, you can have a caroline joy kit, for practically any occasion:

Happy Birthday! Bag:

Essentially it's a birthday party in a bag: candy, party horn, balloons, candles... Just add the cake!
Here Comes the Bride! Bag
All the necessities for those last minute bridal emergencies: dental floss, mints, nail file, bobbie pins, safety pins, confetti, tissues -- even a "something blue" ribbon to tie on.
Bon Voyage Bag
A few treats for your favorite traveller -- or you: packing lists, journal and pen, postcards stamps, compass ring. Don't say "goodbye" without it!
Beauty Queen Bag
We all know a special beauty queen who would love this goodie bag: rollers, necklace, bracelet, rings, ribbons and bows -- even a little tiara crown. Great for a girls' night too!
Life's A Beach! Bag
Pool party? Backyard BBQ? Or just because it's summer: beach ball, water gun, Swedish fish candy, drink umbrellas, and a few shells for authenticity.
Boredom Buster Bag
Combat the "I'm bored!" whines this summer with this handy little kit: bubbles, balls, horn, stickers, spinning top -- and Pixie Stix for that extra little "sugar high."
I will have all my caroline joy kits, as well a bunch of other fun items, this Saturday at the Sweet William Market. Stop on by, and stock on up!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Group Project: The $5 Question

As I mentioned in an earlier post, sometimes I'll shine the spotlight on one goddess. Other times I'll need to summon the masses...

For this Group Project, I asked my friends the question:
"If you had a $5 bill, how would you spend it?"
The results are in! The thing I love about us girls is that we can covet the most exquisite, luxurious items in life, but when it gets down to it, we are pretty easy to please.

One thing is for sure: we ladies love our Starbucks. All different kinds and sizes. Too many to mention, but here's a few orders:
"Venti decaf peppermint mocha"
"Grande decaf mocha, non-fat, no whip, with two pumps"
"Venti mocha frappucino, while I sit and read a book"
For others, sustenance was the little treat that got us through the day:
"Lunch at Qdoba"
"Breakfast at Einsteins"
"Del Taco tacos"
"A huge sundae at Cold Stone"
Some just needed a little break from life:
"A half hour of babysitting time"
"A huge beer... it's been a tough week"
"Five lottery tickets"
"A bottle of ginkgo biloba!"
And others just wanted to add a little "pretty" in their life:
"Stickers from Archivers"
"Fresh flowers for the kitchen table"
"A candle or little trinket"
"A little ring from Etsy"
"Five dollars in quarters for my son to drop in donation buckets -- he would love that"
My thank you's to all of you who responded with such great answers: Wendy B, Wendy K, Amy, Lizzie, Sue, Mary, Linda, Sandi B, Kelly L, Kelly O, Shannon, Ashley, Lisa P, Stacy and Teri...
How would I spend my five bucks?
  1. Buy the $1 hot fudge sundaes from McD's for me and the kids -- such a bargain!
  2. Hit a bucket of golf balls at the range -- haven't swung the club in a while
  3. A vintage pin on ebay
  4. A half (or whole) yard of fabric that catches my eye
  5. A big fat fashion magazine -- like Vogue's fall "phonebook"

Next post I'll give you some ideas of how you could spend $5 with caroline joy next Saturday at the June Sweet William Market...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Domestic Goddess: Garden Girl

I wish I had a green thumb. I have a knack for fabric, but when it comes to growing things, I leave it to the produce department at Sprouts Market.

My sweet friend Lisa Payne is not only a successful business woman(, and a mom to adorable 2 year old Brady, but she is also a great gardener and cook. While hanging out in her beautiful backyard the other night (check out the view!) I was green with envy over her garden.

The variety is vast and the pickins are good:
  • Red, yellow and orange bell peppers

  • Ancho peppers

  • Jalapeno peppers

  • Acorn and butternut squash

  • Yellow squash

  • Zucchini squash

  • All kinds of tomatoes: big red, cherry, tomatillo

  • Cucumber

  • Strawberries

  • Herbs: tarragon, rosemary, sage, basil, oregano, mint

While I'm definitely inviting myself back at the end of the summer for the "cornucopia harvest feast", I did enjoy a fresh, simple and delicious asparagus dish Lisa had prepared that night. It's perfect as a summer side:

Jumbo Asparagus with Meyer Lemon Dressing
20 spears jumbo asparagus (about 1 lb) peeled
Coarse sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
Meyer lemon dressing (recipe below)

In a pot of boiling, heavily salted water, cook the asparagus about 4 minutes. Drain well. Shock in a bowl of ice water until cool, then drain well. If serving warm, toss with about 1/3 cup of the dressing. season with salt and pepper.

Meyer Lemon Dressing
Juice and zest of 3 Meyer lemons
1 teaspoon mustard
1 tablespoon egg yolk (discard the rest)
1 small shallot, minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups canola oil

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the juice and zest, mustard, egg yolk, shallot, and salt and pepper. Whisk in the canola oil in a slow stream to emulsify. Note: this recipe will make a little extra dressing.

Not only will Lisa be featured in future posts with more fabulous recipes, I have many girlfriends who know their way around the kitchen. More recipes to come...

I'll bring the wine!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Tablecloth Trick

You've seen them in the magazines. Those idyllic outdoor parties with the exquisitely set rustic farm table, comfortably seating a dinner party of 12 or more.
Most of us scramble and pull a couple utility tables out of the basement, or ask to borrow someone's card table when the crowd gets bigger than six, or extra space is needed for a bar.

And those tables do the trick -- they're just ugly. Even if you toss a tablecloth or sheet over them, they never look like that idyllic party in the magazines. Too long on one side, too short on another. And God forbid it's a windy day...

Enter the fitted tablecloth. And I'm not talking the plastic/elastic kind. These are full-on fabric with fine details, like a sweet ruffle trim. Just ready to transform your "ugly" table.

BEFORE: Functional, but ugly

AFTER: Still functional, but sooo much more attractive

Let's try it again with another table.

BEFORE: Ah yes, the good 'ol reliable card table. Functional, but still ugly:

AFTER: A much more presentable side table

Not all of us are fortunate enough to have the "magazine photo shoot-worthy rustic farm table". But I can transform your "ugly" table with some fabric and a ruffle or two. If you need to pull the tablecloth trick, let me know!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Destination Goddess: Boulder Bound

Editor's Note: It's June 17th and I posted the following blog a little over a week ago. Just finished reading an article in the July/August edition of National Geographic Traveler, p. 42. The cover headline is "How Perfect is Boulder?" and the article goes on to mention seven must-do's. Among them: Eat at The Kitchen and Frasca, visit the Dushanbe Tea House, and shop Boulder Book Store. I think Katie was "spot-on"! :)

I had the pleasure of living in Boulder, Colorado for four years while attending "higher education". My budget back then mainly supported dorm cafeteria fare, the drink of choice was free keg beer, and shopping usually meant a trip to the CU Bookstore each semester.

Things have changed in 20 years. My budget is a bit bigger, and Boulder -- while its "essence" remains the same, thankfully -- has changed some of the places we flock to now. I enlisted my niece Katie as my "destination goddess" for this post. Katie works and lives in Boulder with her fiancee Jason, and there was no better pair for me to turn to when creating this "insider's guide" to Boulder. Everything from coffee to cocktails to cupcakes. Take a look:


For Katie's daily cup of, what she likes to call "liquid crack", try the Laughing Goat at 1709 Pearl Street, or Amante Coffee at 1035 Walnut Street (or their 4580 Broadway location)


Boulder has some great places for "al fresco" dining and drinks. A few of Katie's faves:

The Med at 1002 Walnut: popular patio and tasty tapas treats

West End Tavern at 926 Pearl: this old favorite has a beautiful view from its rooftop terrace

Centro Latin Kitchen at 950 Pearl: the perfect place for a mojito and a meal

Boulder is notorious for its environmental conscience. It is home to so many natural food stores, farmers' markets and organic dining establishments.

Pictured above happens to be one of my favorite restaurants too:
The Kitchen, located at 1039 Pearl Street: wonderful ambiance and incredible food

Or try Sunflower at 1701 Pearl for fabulous lunch, brunch and dinner -- all organic

And one cannot talk about the Boulder dining scene without mentioning Frasca. Located at 1738 Pearl, Frasca is tough to get into, but soooo worth it. Book your reservations now. It is a dining "experience".


The Dushanbe Tea House at 1770 13th Street is a gift from Boulder's sister city in Tajikistan. It is the only building of its kind in the Western Hemisphere. They boast a full menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as traditional afternoon tea.


Got a late night craving for cookies, cupcakes, ice cream and other confections? Try Boulder Baked at 1911 Broadway. They're open until 1 am. -- 2 am. on the weekends!

Or if you prefer your pastries first thing in the morning, Tee and Cakes, located at 1932 14th Street caters to the early crowd.


Need to walk off some of that food and drink? A little shopping might do the trick. Two of Katie's favorite stores in Boulder are Bliss, located at 1643 Pearl, and Boulder Book Store, located at 1107 Pearl. Bliss is the perfect place to browse and buy that special gift for someone -- or yourself. Or if you're in the mood for some reading, Boulder Book Store is Boulder's largest independent bookstore.

So, have we convinced you to re-visit Boulder? Or perhaps even relocate here? My niece Katie is a top-notch Realtor with Walnut Realty in Boulder and knows the Boulder and Metro Denver area extremely well. If you're looking to move, contact Katie Patterson at 303-442-3180,

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Burlap: it isn't just for potato sack races anymore...

It all started with a few pillows I made from coffee sacks last summer. The lovely Kim Kouba zeroed in on them at SWM and said "you must make more"... And why not -- two things I love, pillows and coffee.
But... I wanted more. Nothing against South America and Brazil... but I just have a "thing" for all things French (and British and vintage -- you get the idea). The coffee sack pillows may come back, but in the meantime, enjoy these beauties.

Most of the time the images are silk-screened on the burlap pillows. I decided to take another approach and went with heat transfer paper. The result was actually a happy accident. Each image is different from the next (darker in some areas, lighter in others), actually creating a really cool "vintage" look.

I use actual burlap on some pillows, and then "burlap-like" fabrics for others. Most of them are usually backed with a complementary fabric and piped in something equally cool. If you like what you see, or even want something similar (different graphic etc...) contact me! I'm your burlap girl...

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Group Project: Top Tunes -- Workout

Sometimes this blog will feature the "spotlight goddess". Other times I'll need to call on the masses. I like to call these "Group Projects".

For our first Group Project, I surveyed some of my Workout Goddess friends who are hardcore when it comes to a fitness routine. Their assignment: to give me the top three songs on their ipods when it comes to working up a sweat.

Most had a hard time stopping at three. So scan the list, see if you have any of the same favorites, or if there are some new tunes you want to try during your next trip to the gym or the trails...

My current top 3:
1. "Life in Technicolor II" by Coldplay
2. "Rain in the Summertime" by The Alarm
3. "Jai Ho" from the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack

For the rest of the list my thanks to Mary, Wendy, Ashley, Meggen, Megan, Jillon and Sue
  • "What I've Done" by Linkin Park

  • "Like a Prayer" by Madonna

  • "Viva la Vida" by Coldplay

  • "Let's Get It Started" by Black Eyed Peas (2 votes!)

  • "Under Pressure" by David Bowie and Queen

  • "Come on Eileen" by Dexy's Midnight Runners

  • "Just Dance" by Lady Gaga

  • "Lose It" by Eminem

  • "On a Mission" by Q Da Kid

  • "Jump" and "Runnin with the Devil" by Van Halen

  • "Californication" and "Dani California" by Red Hot Chili Peppers

  • "Live Like You Were Dying" by Tim McGraw

  • "Kiss a Girl" by Keith Urban

  • "Red Dirt Road" by Brooks and Dunn

  • "All Summer Long" by Kid Rock

  • "My Life Would Suck Without You" by Kelly Clarkson (2 votes!)

  • "Walk Away" and "Since U Been Gone" by Kelly Clarkson

  • "Breakout" by Foo Fighters

  • "Kickstart My Heart" by Motley Crue

  • "Single Ladies" by Beyonce

  • "4 Seconds" by Madonna and Justin Timberlake

  • "Glass of Water" by Coldplay

  • "Love and Memories" by O.A.R.

  • "Hot and Cold" by Katy Perry

  • "It's a New Day" by

  • "Smooth Criminal" by Michael Jackson

  • "Roll with the Changes" by REO Speedwagon

  • "Your Love" by Outfield

Domestic Goddess of Physical Fitness

My "little" sister Mary is 6'1". She's a tennis player, basketball player, runner, swimmer, cyclist, and golfer. She masters every sport she tries. She's coached basketball and tennis at all levels. She's a working referee. She's completed marathons, triathlons, and is an Ironman (though I prefer to say "Ironwoman"). I'm still not sure how we are related.

But I'm glad we are. Because when I feel like I need to start a new workout, or kick my current workout up a notch, I know where to turn. I asked Mary to share her "five things to consider" when starting your own personal workout journey:

1. Figure out WHY you want to workout:

  • stress relief

  • to be healthy

  • weight loss

  • social reasons/networking

  • time alone

  • to look good (of course this is an added bonus!)

  • or some other reason you may have

2. Figure out WHAT you like to do:

  • Do you like the gym atmosphere?

  • Do you like the camaraderie of group classes (spin, yoga, pilates, etc...)?

  • Would you like to have a trainer tell you what to do (there are affordable options)

  • Do you like the feeling of pumping iron (free weights and machines)?

  • Do you like the freedom of being outdoors, whether it's a good walk, hike, run or bike ride?

Also figure out if you like to fly solo or work out with others. Sometimes we're fortunate enough to have a friend to work out with, but other times it's nice to enjoy the solitude. An added bonus to having a workout buddy is there is always that "accountability factor" -- when someone is counting on you.

3. Figure out what fits your SCHEDULE:

  • Are mornings your best time, or can you squeeze something in at lunch?

  • Always schedule your workout just as you would an appointment -- pencil 'em in. It will keep you disciplined and focused.

  • As your workout becomes part of your daily routine, you will not want to skip it.

4. Set some GOALS for yourself:

  • Make some short-term goals and some long-term goals. They can be as simple as "Workout 4-5 times this week and drink 8 glasses of water daily"; or "Run my first 5K in 3 months"; or "Tackle that triathlon I've been dreaming about for a few years."

  • Goals are extremely personal, so make them about YOU and what YOU want to accomplish.

  • Setting goals keeps us on track and gives us little victories along the way.

  • More importantly, there's nothing wrong with adjusting our goals along the way -- nothing is set in stone.

5. Make it FUN:

  • Like everything else in our lives if we don't enjoy what we're doing, we won't continue doing it

  • If you get in a rut (and we all do) mix it up and change things around

  • Laugh and always have FUN!

  • You'll be amazed at what you're capable of!

One thing that always makes my workout routine fun is MUSIC. My next post will list the top tunes for workouts from a sample of my Workout Goddess friends...

And for more proof that I must be adopted, my twin sister finished 10th out of 400-something 41 year old women in this year's Bolder Boulder. I wished her luck while I slept in late that morning...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A Case for Pillows

I am a pillow freak.

The photo to the left is me in ABC Carpet and Home in New York City. My sister and I ducked in there on a wet, chilly day last May and I was immediately transported to pillow paradise. My love for pillows can be summed up simply:

(Side bar: if you have not been to ABC Carpet and Home, put it on your list for your next time in NYC. Ranks right up there with the Statue of Liberty and Empire State Building for me. I'm just not sure why they call it ABC Carpet and Home. I would call it Carpet and Home Heaven.)

  • They're a quick and inexpensive way to change the look of a room.
  • They're comfy! I use feather/down inserts for most of my pillows.
  • You can use them anywhere -- I put them on all my outdoor furniture (use poly inserts for outdoors).
  • Pillows make a space seem more welcoming and cozy.

The photo at the top shows some caroline joy pillows that I featured at the Sweet William Market on May 30th. I tried a new "vintage" look with words (bonjour, bella) and graphics (crowns, birds, etc...). I also like to add a complementary fabric and piping to the opposite side. That way the pillow can be "reversible" just by turning it over. Need some pillows? Contact me at

Domestic Goddess Debut

My first "domestic goddess" contribution, naturally, had to be from my ultimate domestic goddess -- my mom Mary. Mother of five, grandmother of 17, and in her own words, "the fact that I'm 73 years old does not mean I feel 73." Nor does she look it!

I feel fortunate that I can regularly turn to a person with such spot-on instinct, an amazing ability to clarify and simplify things, and someone who's "been there, done that" and is always willing to listen.

Here are a few of her observations over the years. If she could, she would pour you a "nice cup of tea" at the kitchen table right now.

  1. Take your time getting older. Don't rush to get it all done at once, and you will enjoy different experiences.

  2. Keep your sense of humor in tact and don't sweat the small stuff. Everything is usually just a 10-day wonder.

  3. Take pride in whatever you do -- whether it's raising a family, showing up to a job everyday, or even just ironing a shirt -- put your best effort into it.

  4. Tell the truth. It's so much easier in the end. You don't have to remember what you said, and really, less people get hurt.

  5. Life is funny -- you can change on the outside, but many of your feelings, thoughts, emotions and values stay the same on the inside.

Lately I can completely relate to number five. I'm 41 and can no longer do a cartwheel, manuever a skateboard, or ride a rollercoaster without getting sick... but I still feel like the same 14 year old girl who loved fashion magazines, the beach at any time of the year, and ice cream at any time of the day.