H E A R T S W E L L

TRAVEL // CORNWALL, ENGLAND

Renee GriffithComment

If I close my eyes and imagine quintessential country scenery, the view would consist of rolling hills, curving roads, cows, sheep, and a blanket of green as far as the eye can see. Throw in some gorgeous coastline sprinkled with moss covered cliffs, sailboats, and beautiful beaches and I'd find myself smack in the middle of in Cornwall, England. It's literally like a dream in this southwestern region of the country. The perfect mixture of damp air +  moderate temperatures ensures everything is lush and green, (though I was warned it's not always quite as pleasantly warm and sunny here as the week we "brought the sunshine with us").

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Every time I'm lucky enough to travel with Jordan to the UK, I find my fortune doubled through the kind people that make up the company, and their welcoming family members who always make sure I'm well occupied while Jordan is in tied up. Cornwall was no exception to this, as one of Jordan's coworkers' father (who doesn't even work for them, they're just that friendly and close knit in Cornwall) took me out for the day, packing in countless beautiful sights and activities to give me a true local's experience of the area. Spencer (my Cornish tour guide) and I confessed later that we were both a little nervous at first -- a day with a total stranger -- this could have been so awkward! But as the day went on, I learned the importance of being open-minded -- new people can teach you so much and getting a little lesson in another country's culture is priceless. He truly was determined to show me all the best things Cornwall had to offer and kept me laughing, well-fed and newly equipped with a lot of new Cornish vocabulary!

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The day started in Liskeard (pronounced Lis-guard), where we wound around a maze of narrow roads and landed late morning for a cup of tea (and a sample of Poldark Ale -- a must to honor my mom's infatuation with the locally shot show) on the lawn at The Jamaica Inn, overlooking one of the numerous farms in the area. We passed through Moor, which overlooks a gorgeous lake with Highland cows roaming about. The route here was full of sprawling  farm views and again, narrow roads lined in lush ferns, wildflowers, and tall grasses that make you feel like you're in a tunnel. American drivers would probably consider these roads appropriate for one way traffic, but the locals whip around curves here so comfortably that when another car approaches, they offer a friendly wave with only a quick tap on the brakes to leave enough room. That, paired with being on the "wrong" side of the road left me feeling almost like it was a game of chicken, but with so few fellow drivers on the road, most of the time it was more like a gorgeous green rollercoaster though the country.

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Next on the itinerary was a stop at the cliff-side beach of Polzeath on the northern coast of the county. We hopped out for a walk on the beach and grabbed an English specialty - a pasty (pronounced pah-stee, not to be confused with the American version designed to prevent nip-slips). Pasties are similar to an empanada - a pierogi-shaped pocket of flaky crust surrounding various savory ingredients - in our case, the most traditional steak, potatoes and warm gravy. I learned that historically pasties were known for being a great on-the-go one handed meal for coal covered miners in the area. They held the pocket in one hand and when they reached the last bite where their dirty fingers were, they chucked it, so only to waste that one tiny bite.

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As we made our way out of Polzeath, we were briefly held up by the security of a TV crew currently shooting (Doc Martin? Never heard of it but apparently it's popular...) in the area until they were done with the scene, and I was able to hop out to grab a few photos of these gorgeous cliffs. A man had his two dogs fetching in the ocean and I couldn't help but steal a photo of this sweet chocolate lab that reminded me of our Remy girl!

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I try to hit a botanical garden in every region we go to if possible, and this was no exception. There are numerous gardens sprinkled through the region, but we ended up at Lynhydrock, a gorgeous property full of roaming cattle, a grand property and similar foliage to what we had growing up in Pennsylvania. Gorgeous rhododendron, azaleas, wisteria, and something the garden is well known for, blue bells. 

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After all the walking around, it was time for another snack. I was told I must try "tea and cream" when we were out, so that we did! Initially I thought it might be tea with some sort of specialty cream in it, or even some kind of milkshake, but I later found out it was so much more delicious than that. Tea and cream consists of a traditional pot of English tea and delicious flaky biscuits with strawberry jam and clotted cream. It will be a must now every time we go back to England. Unfortunately no pictures of this -- I ate them way too fast! 

Last stop was to the Southern port city of Fowey (pronounced Foy). This sweet little area had dozens of cute little shops, restaurants, interesting front doors on sweet apartments, and a gorgeous view of the English Channel. One we finished up touring this area, we took the car on a quick fairy across the River Fowey to head home! The day was one I'll always remember - the views were truly unforgettable and I hope to make it back again someday! 

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Body Talk

Renee Griffith

I’m willing to bet on something. I bet you can list things about your body that you’d like to change faster than the things you love about it. I know I could. The stories we tell ourselves about, well, our selves, just aren’t the full picture. In talking to a lot of my friends about our bodies -- it seems we all have something. Whether it's bony feet, a flat chest, big hips, or a body that looks different postpartum, there's always something to see as ugly or imperfect. 

My feet have always been something I (and others!) have deemed unattractive. I’ve been told they resemble skis or are just really ugly. (Isn’t is crazy what people say sometimes?) I’ve wished I could change them, shrink them, I’ve hidden them, wore shoes that cover up my bumps and bones and long skinny toes. 

But all of that is so silly.  What if, rather than believing how ugly they are, I focused on a different story—all the good my feet have brought me?

They've allowed me to take my first steps as a child. They carried me through every race, athletic event and championship I played in, even collegiate volleyball! They’ve hiked me up mountains, swam me through oceans, and have danced so many goofy moves. They walked me down the aisle to the man of my dreams, and they have stood under me to see some really incredible places on this beautiful planet.

Whatever thing you might want to change on your body, I bet, if you really try, you can find the beauty instead. Thank your body. And believe how beautiful it is. I’d love for you to share with me here what beauty you find, or just try it this week! 

DESIGN STUDIO INSPIRATION

Home Design, InspirationRenee GriffithComment
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When we first moved into our three bedroom home here in West Palm Beach, it made sense to have my "studio" in our third bedroom. Then, before I started working for myself full time, it was basically somewhere to put my computer and plants. After really focusing on growing my product selection the past year, my greeting cards and inventory started quickly spilling from just one room into the rest of our house. With a little [loving] push from Jordan, I started to look at spaces in the area. After a few options fell through, I found what I consider a perfect little spot for my business just ten minutes from our home. I love it so much! It's been so nice having a little more separation between work and home -- it's easy for the line to blur and feel like you have to constantly be working if your office is at home, or get distracted from work when family's in town or something else is going on at the house.

Designing this studio and sourcing all of the furniture for it has been my favorite part, and what led me to finally start this blog. Interior style is kind of always where my mind goes, and has since I was little! I would move around the furniture in my childhood bedroom constantly, creating different layouts and ways to display all my beanie babies and sports memorabilia haha :) 

Anyyywho...a small business often means a smaller budget for projects like this, so as always I've tried to get a pulled together look for less. Sourcing pieces from more affordable sources like HomeGoods and Wayfair, Target and World Market, all helps to keep cost low. I always like to support fellow small business owners, so a few of the decor items are from some of my favorite shops as well.

To mimic my nature inspired brand, the colors in my designs are also reflected in the furniture pieces I've picked. It was fun to get a little more funky with the green velvet couch for the shop than I might for our home, too. Pops of pale peach, natural wood, and lots of greenery also tie into my product color palette. 

Bit by bit it's coming together, and this loungey studio space is the furthest along in the shop for now. The little kitchenette area is still a mishmash of random cabinets but it'll get there! 


Master Bedroom Inspiration

Inspiration, Home DesignRenee GriffithComment

So, have you heard of design goddess Sarah Sherman Samuel? If not, look her up RIGHT NOW, I'll wait. Her modern California style is what my dreams are made of, and she's a constant source of style inspiration. We also have a mutual friend in California and I almost got to meet her at an event once. So we're basically best friends now. Like this room she designed, I definitely want to make our bedroom fresh and bright with white walls and light bedding. Maybe I'm a little crazy for wanting white bedding with three large dogs that love jumping up on the bed, but the heart wants what the heart wants. And, we have a great washing machine. So there.

I've also always loved this bedroom -- clean, bright, warm wood tones, and lots of greenery. Just what I have in mind for our home.

Our master bedroom is the first I've ever made a mood board for, and it helped me so much with maintaining FOCUS and figuring out what looked good together before bringing pieces home. I love discount stores like HomeGoods and TJMaxx, but I'm guilty of seeing something I like and grabbing it without having a specific place to put it, and then it ends up floating around our house like a decor nomad. Making a design board really helped me keep the overall design in mind when shopping, and it gave me patience to find the right (or very similar) pieces for the space instead of just quickly buying a bunch of stuff at once from a discount store. 

Side note, here's the deal. I'd love to buy authentic kilim or Turkish rugs, but they cost an arm and a leg, and with our three dogs I mentioned above, our rugs get a TON of traffic. Expensive rugs are just not something I'm willing to invest in. Our home isn't huge so we don't have unused rooms that we can have expensive rugs in. There are twelve paws and dog hair and sand, (and we just added water to the mix from our new pool!) so, yeah. Amazon rugs that look like Turkish rugs it is. And you know what? I'm 100% fine with that. It fits OUR lifestyle -- I think that's always something to remember when designing your space. Design your home so that it works for YOU, not what someone else tells you is right.

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Even if you don't have photoshop to assemble a mood board, it's easy to create an inspiration board on Pinterest or even just a folder of images on your computer or phone!


S O U R C E S
pendant light  |  rattan mirror  |  bed  |  side table  |  wall sconce  |  basket  |  rug  |  dresser  |  planter  |  chevron fringe pillow
 fur pillow  |  blue pillow

What Took Me So Long!?

Renee GriffithComment
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I've been thinking about a blog for a long time, and this year after turning 30, I thought, what have I been waiting for? I guess I've been afraid to start -- that it won't be perfect from day one, I won't have enough content, won't be as good as people that have been in this blog world for a long time, or my biggest worry, people will judge what I have to share, or judge that I am sharing. And you know what? All of those things are totally ok. It doesn't have to be perfect. This space won't be for everyone. It's for me! A place for me to let the pressure off and just explore, reflect and grow. But if you're into design, living mindfully, being creative, and growing into the best version of yourself, I hope you'll find a kindred spirit in me. Thanks for visiting -- hope you'll stay and hang out!