Saturday, January 3, 2015

21 Ways to Have a Coastal State of Mind & Improve Your Life (even if you're not near the coast)

With a new year among us, I can't help but feel inspired more than ever to set goals for myself and encourage you to take on more of a coastal lifestyle. "I don't live by the coast so I can't really have a coastal lifestyle" you might say. Well, I'm here to tell you that if you desire a lifestyle that will make you happy every day, fulfills your purpose, and helps others be the best they can be - make it happen.

This is a no-excuses year ladies and gents! Get ready to immerse yourself into total coastal living even if you don't live near the coast by committing yourself to at least 5 or more of these ways to have a coastal state of mind.



#1. HARVEST THE SUN
Make sunshine your favorite accessory and get outside more. Plant a garden, explore a state park or wild life preserve on a hike, swim at the pool, join an outdoor yoga class, roller blade in a local park, fish local bodies of water... you choose.

Read more on why Mr. ArtSea Chic and I love to fish here.

#2. EAT LIKE AN ISLANDER 
Create a meal plan inspired by fruits, juices, non-processed meats, wild-caught fish, earthy green veggies, and glasses of water (ehm, no sodas allowed). Throw in a pina colada or bloody mary every now and then, maybe some white wine too.

Feast your eyes further on this dish cooked up on Captiva Island here.

#3. PROTECT YOUR WAY OF WALKING
Update your flip flop collection from flat to supportive soles to keep your feet in good health.

Buy a pair of stylish arch supporting sandals from Juli here.

#4. SEW YOUR IDEAL BEACH TOWEL
Sew your own beach towel bag with pillow insert to fit your unique coastal style and comfort needs. Bold print towel with a plush pillow? Polka dot pillow case with a protective storage pocket? Solid color handles with a beach scene towel? Possibilities are endless.

Follow the beach towel bag tutorial here.

#5. HAVE VIRTUAL WINDOWS TO YOUR DREAM DESTINATION
Daydream with every piece of tech you put your hands on. Set your computer, phone, and tablet backgrounds and screen savers to a picture of your favorite coastal destination.

Download some seriously beachy device backgrounds from Salty Pineapple for FREE.

#6. TRANSFORM SPACES WITH COASTAL COTTAGE ZEN
Declutter spaces and create an airy flow throughout your home. No one likes to feel trapped in a place with mounds of things scattered across on every counter top or belongings that won't be used again piled in a closet.

Read more on how I started my room makeover here.

#7. BRING THE BEACH TO YOUR BATHROOM
Decorate your bathroom to become your in-home spa retreat.

Loving the simplicity of decor in these bathrooms shared by Studio M.

#8. PAMPER YOURSELF
Now actually relax in your bathroom for once.

#9. REDEFINE YOUR WELLNESS STANDARDS 
Invest in non-toxic cleaning and hygiene products to have a safer, more natural, and ocean-approved living environment.

Read more about the ingredients used in my homemade DIY cleaner and beauty products

#10. STRUT YOUR BEST COASTAL STYLE WITH NO SHAME
Make sure you have a sea of fashionable coastal apparel and accessories to wear no matter what the temperature is outside. A woven palm leaf tote is essential.

Read more on what my essentials are here.

#11. HAVE YOUR SUITCASE READY
These style must-haves also need to be on-call for getaway vacations to the nearest body of water.

#12. MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE SEA
Volunteer in a local trash clean-up with your community. Every waterway leads to our ocean. Help keep it clean!

Read more about my experience with the Adopt-A-Beach program's trash cleanups here.

#13. HELP KIDS LIKE COASTAL THINGS TOO
Do you have kids, grand-kids, young nieces or nephews? Do ocean-inspired crafts with them, watch Disney classics with coastal scenes, read books together that talk about marine animals, dress them up in the cutest nautical outfits, and most importantly - take them to the beach before they turn 10 years old.

Browse my favorite coastal ideas for kids and pin your favorites!

#14. BRING A LITTLE ART INTO YOUR LIFE
Invest in a couple staple pieces of coastal art and hang them proudly on the wall. Better yet, try painting your own if you're feeling artsea!

This is my all-time favorite painting that I found on sale for $50 at Garden Ridge (now called At Home).

#15. SET A REALISTIC TRAVEL GOAL
Set a goal to fly or road trip to a coastal destination this year. Pick a destination, time to travel, select activities, then create a budget that will get you there. Turn in your PTO at work and tell others about your exciting goal to hold you accountable all the way through.

I did all of the above for my trip to St. Thomas USVI, see the attractions I went to here.

#16. HOST A LUAU TO REMEMBER
Host a party with your closest coastal-minded friends and family. Tropical drinks, pineapple pinata, ocean water slushies, fruit palm trees ....I mean, who wouldn't want to be at your luau?

Check out OH Lovely Place's DIY pineapple pinata tutorial.

#17. SLEEP HAPPY
Give your bed a pop of resort styled bedding and comfort with a new mattress or foam topper. You'll have the best sleep and dreams of the beach to date.

An ideal cottage by the sea bedding set and DIY headboard shared by The Lily Pad Cottage.

#18. VISIT ALL THINGS THAT CRAWL, ROAR, SWIM, & FLY
Immerse yourself in a little wildlife from around the globe and visit your local aquarium and zoo.

Don't have a zoo or an aquarium near you? Find an Aquarium Restaurant instead, read more here.

#19. CREATE A COASTAL TABLESCAPE
Own dishware, glassware, utensils etc that make you feel like you're going to be prepping a table inside a coastal cottage by the sea.

See how I styled a coastal inspired Easter table with wine glass coasters from Mystic Knotwork here.

#20. KEEP YOUR EYES STRONG
If you don't wear contact lenses, next time you see the eye doctor ask if your insurance will cover a pair of non-prescription UV blocking sunglasses in place of the coverage for contacts. You'd be surprised how less expensive it is to get big name sunglasses plus a protective case from your eye doctor than at a shop in a mall!

Read about how we protected our eyes with COSTA Sunglasses fishing with SoulMate Charters here.

#21. STAY INSPIRED TO HAVE A COASTAL LIFESTYLE
Discover at least 3 new blogs, websites, or influencers that will help you stay inspired to live in a coastal state of mind. Thanks for reading mine! :)


Unless otherwise stated, all content and photographs are ©ArtSea Chic. Please do not copy or distribute photographs without first asking for permission. Paid endorsement disclosure: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of compensation for my endorsement, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this blog, which are mentioned in the ArtSea Chic Media Kit. Please know that I only recommend and endorse products and services that I personally approve, appreciate, and feel would be helpful for readers. All ideas and opinions expressed are completely my own. Thank you for supporting ArtSea Chic!

Monday, December 1, 2014

How To Gift Beachy Memories + A to Z Letter Art Giveaway!


Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Now the mad dash to finding great holiday shopping deals is here. Are you the type of person who rather stay at home and shop online than try to make your way through the crowds at the store? Good, me too :)

After adventuring out a few years ago during Black Friday, I swore I would never do it again, the whole craze was just too much for me. I looked back at holiday consumerism, marketing schemes and what we should be trying to embody during the holidays, and decided to go after more personalized gifts, homemade crafts, and spending time with family right after Thanksgiving. So my shopping day is Cyber Monday!

With so many gift ideas out there, it can be hard to decide what to get the island lover in your life. But if you're like me, and really want something that will speak to our creativity, places you've traveled, and life at the beach, look no further than customized letter art gifts from A to Z Letter Art


A to Z Letter Art's owners Deb and Lary have traveled the world, capturing landscapes and nature that resemble letters of the alphabet. They even visit Sanibel Island every year! I bet all you Sanibel Island travelers recognize where those full-color on location SANIBEL letters above were taken! 

S: from the entry door to St. Isabel Catholic Church
A: the Sanibel lighthouse
N: three of Sanibel's native palm trees
I: from the entrance to the Sanibel Marina
B: from under the causeway
E: from one of Sanibel's native palm trees
L: from the sculpture in front of the Sanibel library   

If you've never been to Sanibel Island, put it on your bucket list! It's a true gem in the United States, and my favorite beach destination with all the shelling, seafood, biking, nature walks, and dolphins at sunset you could want in a beach vacation. 

A to Z Letter Art's on location Sanibel art has four different groupings of letters that spell SANIBEL, so any interior island decor style can be found! Each grouping can be built out to either 4'' x 6'' horizontal or 4 x 6'' vertical, with 2'' x 3'' options also available. Anyone who orders a horizontal letter art piece gets a FREE 4'' tall, black twisted wire easel. 

The letter art is displayed in a "floating" frame sequence, with each frame backed by 1/8" thick MDF and a piece of protective glass on the front held by clips. The double rail system on the back of the art is custom built by Lary, and features two hangers on each end for easy hanging. If you rather display the art in the easel, they fit great on mantels, entry tables, coffee tables,or shelving in offices.

Gifting beachy memories of Sanibel Island comes easy with A to Z Letter Art. Here's a couple ideas on how to gift beachy memories through Sanibel Island letter art this holiday season.

1. Plan a spring break or summer vacation trip with friends or family for next year. Surprise them Christmas morning when they unwrap your A to Z Letter Art gift that has captured what memories are to come!

2. If Sanibel Island is your native homeland (lucky you!), treat yourself to a Christmas gift that captures your love for the island.

3. Are you a condo owner? Welcome your guests from around the world with a preview of the island in letter art displayed on an entry wall, or on an easel on the coffee table in the living room.

4. Past Sanibel Island vacationers will love unwrapping any A to Z Letter Art that makes them feel like they have their own piece of the island with them even though they're miles away, and bring back the good times under the sun.

Beachy memories can also be gifted through custom letter art in any word up to 9 letters! A to Z Letter Art has over 900 letters for you to choose from to create your own personalized gift in a word of your choice!

I customized my own A to Z Letter Art piece with the word NURSE to gift to my sister for Christmas.


1. Chose my word to customize
2. Picked the style of each letter
3. Decided on a vertical frame with 4'' x 6'' letter art
4. Then placed my order! Easy.

My sister will be graduating from nursing school next month and likes the beach too, so customizing each letter made the piece complete for the life events about to happen! The art is very well made, and carefully packaged so that it arrives safely and is easy to open and repackage if gifting to someone else.


When it comes to wrapping Christmas gifts, I like to choose a theme to do. This year, I chose brown paper, tight jute string, seashells, and white paint.


Wrapping the letter art was super easy to do because the protective wrapping that it came in was already very well done.


A to Z Letter Art is gifting one lucky reader a holiday treat! Enter our giveaway for a chance to WIN either a custom letter art piece (up to 9 letters) -or- any on location letter art (Sanibel Island, Paris, or Italy)! If you can't wait to see if you'll be the lucky winner, you can also get your own letter art here. The winner will have their prize shipped to them in time to wrap and leave under the tree for Christmas :)

Follow the options to enter below. The giveaway will end at midnight CST on Thursday, December 4 and the winner will be announced December 5. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Unless otherwise stated, all content and photographs are ©ArtSea Chic. Please do not copy or distribute photographs without first asking for permission. Paid endorsement disclosure: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of compensation for my endorsement, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this blog, which are mentioned in the ArtSea Chic Media Kit. Please know that I only recommend and endorse products and services that I personally approve, appreciate, and feel would be helpful for readers. All ideas and opinions expressed are completely my own. Thank you for supporting ArtSea Chic!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Homemade Coastal Holiday Potpourri Gift Tutorial


Can we say happy holidays yet? I can't believe we are officially starting the holiday season now. Texas still hasn't made up its mind about the weather though...we were in the low 70 degrees this week, and this morning we are waking up to the high 30s! Makes me just want to grab some hot tea, have the smell of cinnamon rolls baking in the oven travel throughout the house, and snuggle up on the couch with a fleece blanket. :)

If I had to name one thing that helps me get ready for the Thanksgiving and Christmas season at home, it has to be smelling the scents of the holidays. Cinnamon, orange, pine cones, a baking turkey, cloves, rosemary...and when combined together, you're in for a serious aromatherapy session.

In years past, traditionally we have bought potpourri in bags from the store to put in decorative bowls. But as I have been growing in my personal journey of natural wellness these past three years, I decided to take the challenge of creating homemade potpourri from everyday ingredients and essential oils. Sounds good right? IT'S THE BEST! So let's dive in to how you can make your own homemade coastal holiday potpourri to use in your home, or give to friends, family, or neighbors as a gift.

MATERIALS
  • 16 oz. mason jar(s) or a decorative glass bowl
  • Jute string
  • FREE printable gift and instruction tags (download here)
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch
  • Leather string
  • Coffee filter
  • Tape
  • Parchment paper

INGREDIENTS
  • Two .75 oz bottles of cinnamon sticks
  • .75 oz bottle of whole cloves
  • .75 oz bottle of allspice
  • Two .12 oz bottles of bay leaves
  • Fresh rosemary springs
  • 2 whole apples cut into thin slices
  • 1 orange cut into thin slices
  • 2 lemons cut into thin slices
  • Mixture of nuts
  • 6 red peppers
  • 8-10 drops lemon essential oil
  • 8-10 drops orange essential oil
  • 8-10 drops cinnamon (cassia) essential oil
  • 8-10 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 8-10 drops clove essential oil 

First thing to get out of the way is making your decorative knotted jute mason jar. For a 16 oz. jar, you'll need to cut a strand to fit around the top neck of the jar, 6 strands of jute string of at least 3 feet, a strand half the size of the jar's bottom, and a strand as long as you'd like to make for the handle. Follow the steps below in the picture to complete!


Once you're done, it's time to bake lemons, apples, peppers (if you want to), and oranges. I baked the lemon and orange slices together since they are both citrus, and then baked the apple slices separately. Each gets baked in the oven on sheets lined with parchment paper at 200 degrees for 45 minutes to start out with, then add 30-45 additional minutes until the citrus slices are see-through, and the apple slices are curled/browned. Don't try to speed things up by baking above 200 degrees, you'll loose all the juicy oils that are needed. Also make sure to checkup on them to make sure they aren't drying up and browning too much.




You should have your slices similar to the above when done baking. Be careful not to brown the citrus slices too much..oops; they still worked though. ;) Let the slices cool down before mixing in with other ingredients.

Once slices are cooled, grab a mixing bowl and your ingredients. Pour everything into the bowl, adding the essential oils last so they soak in. Mix together a couple times. Now breath in...breath out. Breath in...breath out. Are you relaxed and full of holiday cheer now? :)


Next, you're ready to pour into your homemade potpourri into a mason jar(s) or decorative glass bowl. Remember, you can't use plastic because of the essential oils!

If you decide to go with a decorative glass bowl, you can pour each ingredient into the bowl layer by layer if you'd like, or pour everything in together mixed. After that, you're done making your homemade coastal holiday potpourri! If you are making mason jar gifts, continue reading...



Next step is to cover your mason jar with a coffee filter, then cut slits where the filter gets in the way of the jute string handle. To secure the filter in place, use a strand of leather string and tie it off as shown. Try to get this knot down because it's less bulky and allows for the tags to sit great. The coffee filter will let all the good smells out, but keep the ingredients inside the jar until after you've gifted it to someone.



After you have the filter in place and tied off, cut out all your "The Holidays In A Jar" tags. Choose your favorite designs and color combinations by choosing 1 gift tag, 1 instruction tag, 1 top cover, and 1 message tag if you'd like to write a message that can't fit on the gift tag. Fill out your tags with any messaging BEFORE you attach to the jar.



Tape down your top cover as shown above, then hole punch the tag set you chose and thread through the leather string. It should sit nicely and have no problems facing forward if you tied the knot right. Next, to secure the tags and complete the coastal look, take a clipping of jute string and tightly place a knotted bow in front of the tags.

Guess what you're done! How much more satisfying is it to know you can make your own holiday potpourri? It's better for your lungs and overall health, plus it can last even longer than store bought potpourri if you use it in its dry state and reapply essential oils if you'd like over a month or two + simmering on the stove.



------ UPDATE: 1 month after making the dry potpourri

It's been a month since I made the potpourri for single room dry use, now it's time to simmer over the stove so the smells of the holidays travel throughout the house :)

Take a medium pot, fill half way with water and warm on medium heat. Pour in your dried potpourri, do a good stir of everything, and increase the heat slightly so you start simmering the water. Within 20-30 minutes half your house will smell like the holidays, MMmm smells so good!

Check up on the pot every 15 minutes to give it a stir. After simmering for 1 hour, you'll notice everything becomes a little cooked, that's normal. You can simmer for a total of 1.5 hours, that seems to be the ideal time to fill your house with the smell, and prevent the ingredients from getting too cooked.


Get ready to start gifting scents of the holidays in a jar! If you make your own potpourri at home already, what ingredients do you use to get a certain scent? Let us all know so we can try it!


Unless otherwise stated, all content and photographs are ©ArtSea Chic. Please do not copy or distribute photographs without first asking for permission. Paid endorsement disclosure: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of compensation for my endorsement, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this blog, which are mentioned in the ArtSea Chic Media Kit. Please know that I only recommend and endorse products and services that I personally approve, appreciate, and feel would be helpful for readers. All ideas and opinions expressed are completely my own. Thank you for supporting ArtSea Chic!

Monday, October 20, 2014

5 Reasons To Love Fishing + Savlen Sportswear Apparel Giveaway!


If you live each day in the moment, what do you do, where do you go, who would you want to be around?

When Mr. ArtSea Chic and I think about living in the moment, we always go back to the times of when we get to be together outdoors, especially by the water. Being near or inspired by the coast when we fish makes us not just happy, but also like we are free from the hussle of life's routines and demands; it's just us and nature. We love fishing because we get to step back and embrace:

  • Outdoor elements that we are not in control of but can learn from
  • Quality time growing together
  • Journeys to find the best catch
  • Personalities of the fish we're after
  • Grounding ourselves back into what matters most in life

That's the beauty of fishing, and any of you who fish can agree with all of the above! If you've never headed to the water with a fishing pole in your hand, it's never too late to learn how to catch every moment through fishing.




As our passion for the outdoors grows more and more, we often find our paths crossing with outdoor brands we really feel a connection with. One of those for us is Savlen Sportswear by Mike Savlen, an artist, fisherman, and now apparel designer. I've followed Mike on his journey to transform his Savlen Studio paintings into wearable pieces of art over the past few months, and couldn't be more excited about what Savlen Sportswear has to offer and the potential it has to grow even more. "Catch Every Moment" is Savlen Sportswear's motto, and we definitely feel inspired and intrigued to live out that feeling day to day.  

Mr. ArtSea Chic and I stepped out with our little golden girl Andi to put the gear to the test in the elements of south Houston where it's still 85+ degrees! When looking for the right fishing apparel, one of the first things we consider is how we are going to protect ourselves from Texas' heat and direct sun exposure. Neither of us want to end up with mean red itchy sunburns when we get off the water! :| So breathable performance level shirts and hats are crucial for us to enjoy and focus on our fishing.

As you look at Mike's artwork on the apparel you can see how being an avid fisherman has helped him understand the movements, colorations, and environments of his subjects under the waters of our oceans, streams, flats, bays etc. The contrasting colors really captured our eyes and stand out extremely well in natural light.


Mr. ArtSea Chic wore Savlen Sportswear's Liquid Gold tech tee which is part of Mike's fly fishing collection, and a Bad to the Bone Trucker hat part of the in-shore and flats collection. Knowing he was going to be exposed to direct sunlight for half the day, Mr. ArtSea Chic wanted a comfortable performance long sleeve shirt that would vent well, a good fit that provided flexibility throughout his upper body, and a screen print that wasn't heavy - all of which the tech tee was able to provide. The hat he was a little hesitant about just because he was used to always wearing form fitted hats, but the light-weight cotton and mesh material was able to adjust and fit to the right sizing and the crest didn't itch his head. From past experiences with other snap-back hats though, his only concern would be the durability of the back's snaps to last a long time with extensive use.  




One of my favorite things to take in during our fishing trips is Mr. ArtSea Chic's talent for building custom freshwater and saltwater fishing rods. My man has some serious eye for craftsmanship!! :) It's an amazing feeling to fish with a rod that was custom built for a fishing environment of your choice with styling that compliments your personality.


I wore Savlen Sportswear's Sunset Strike tee part of Mike's offshore collection, and a Carolina blue Dockside Cap part of the branded collection. I would really like to see more of a performance long sleeve selection for women's shirts, because short sleeve is the only option right now...and man did I BURN! My neck especially with the shirt's v-neck front. You'll see how red I got in the video near the end of this post. Aside from burning though, the shirt fits great, is a breathable material, and I'd wear it both for fishing and casually. I also had some hesitations with my hat because the back's metal snap adjustment was really hard for me to move to the fit I wanted. I actually had to get my brother to adjust it for me once. Nonetheless, it absolutely provides a stable and secure fit even when wearing sunglasses, venting, and adequate sun block.





Even Andi got to experience Savlen Sportswear and she was lovin' it!



As we fished throughout the afternoon, Mr. ArtSea Chic decided to jig from the top of a bridge - within a minute he caught himself a nice looking bass and the catch of the day! Of course, he was released safely back into the water.

Andi had to have her celebratory redfish from Cabin Critters for being such a good girl. As you can see though, she loves her redfish very very much :) Might be time to get her a new best friend to play with for Christmas.haha





We had a great day near the water! Watch a behind-the-scenes recap from our day and why we love to fish in the video below:


Now we want YOU to go get out there and catch every moment too! Savlen Sportswear is giving two lucky readers a chance to WIN either a men's hat and shirt, or a women's hat and shirt. This giveaway will close at midnight CST on Thursday, October 23. Winners will be announced on Friday, October 24. Special thanks to Savlen Sportswear! Enter below, good luck!



a Rafflecopter giveaway


Unless otherwise stated, all content and photographs are ©ArtSea Chic. Please do not copy or distribute photographs without first asking for permission. Paid endorsement disclosure: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of compensation for my endorsement, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this blog, which are mentioned in the ArtSea Chic Media Kit. Please know that I only recommend and endorse products and services that I personally approve, appreciate, and feel would be helpful for readers. All ideas and opinions expressed are completely my own. Thank you for supporting ArtSea Chic!

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