This week I had the pleasure of having my close friend and fellow entrepreneur Candy Covnot, on my Podcast- Lifestyle By Design..
Candy is also Antique guru, creative- Candy Covnot. Aside from being a wonderful friend and mentor, Candy is also the Queen of "funk shui". Candy has over 20 years of experience hosting Estate sales and appraisal services, running a successful antique furniture and home decor booth in an antique mall for over 22 years, and she is a Master Florist. However you would never know from all her successes that she has been living with MS.
Candy shared with my Podcast listeners how wellness isn't just about a lifestyle but it is a mindset. That exercise, and lifestyle choices can improve your MS and your overall quality of life, but so can living authentically. How taking control of this “invisible” aspect can help you stay motivated and resilient, improve relationships, and enhance all of the areas of your health and wellness.
You can listen to the Podcast to hear the whole interview. But first, take a moment to read some of the other questions I asked her off-air.
Candance: What are the best resources that have helped you along your journey?
Candy: Best MS resource is the book, Dr. Wahls protocol. It's my ms bible!
Candance: What 3 habits do you do daily that improve your life?
Candy: My 3 daily habits are: In the morning quiet reflection time to start the day with good intentions. Then it's my morning stretching and breathing (yoga). Still working on nourishing my body with healthy eating habits because all if not most of my health issues can be managed with a healthy diet.
Candance: Who are the 3 people who have been the most influential to you?
Candy: Hmmm influential people??? Thinking... I have to think about that. I'm not sure certain people influence me. I'm inspired by many friends and follow certain people like Rachel Brathen (yoga girl) or Iyanla Vanzant. I'm inspired by people that are good humans
A big thank you again, to Candy. She is such an inspiration! You can find Candy's beautiful antiques at Robyns Nest of Colorado, which are proudly displaying at The American Classics Marketplace on Academy Blvd, here in Colorado Springs, booth A-4 in the front showroom. For information about her Estate Sales, Call (719) 393-6006 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Danielle and I are got to meet up this week, for my relaunch of my Podcast 'Lifestyle By Design' not too mention one of my most favorite photographers Brett Neilsen was there to film it all...as this special Podcast has a video! So a big shout out to him for helping collaborate on this project!
With the two of us getting in person time, I started thinking about what it means to find your tribe. This woman is so much more than a friend. She is a support, encourager and empowers me. For me, she is a bad ass professional woman who has collectively seen and done it all. And when I struggle with issues in my personal or professional life, I know asking her for advice means I’m getting thoughtful and compassionate advice.
So what? Everyone has friends, right? The difference for me is that I’m not going to her for friendship (or just friendship). I go to her for criticism, for improvement and for a road map through murky professional circumstances. And she gets me. No judgement.
In case you missed my interview, you can check it out here. Here are some other questions I asked Danielle before we met up for the Podcast.
C: How would your friends and family describe what you do for a living?
D: My son thinks I'm famous, but he's only 9 sooooooo. My husband thinks I'm running a non-profit because every time he turns around I'm doing something exciting for free or giving something away! But seriously... I'm not sure. I've never asked what anybody thought about what I'm doing. That's a good question though! I might learn something about myself if I asked!
C: If I could remove all barriers and constraints what project would you do and would you want to be known only by that project?
D: Well...let's look at my barriers! The only thing that seems to hold me back is myself. I think. If I had an assistant that kept me on task and handled my media I'd be a rock star! I'm my own worst enemy in a since. So many ideas so little time! I typically have to weigh my options being booked out as far as I am. Focus on work or focus on public relations! You can always tell when I'm lacking in one or the other. I'll probably never settle on one project! Everything is too exciting! I do have a little something in the works! Something that's not related to interior design, but the cards haven't fallen right for that one just yet! I'd love to share more of my life and if I were to make an impact I'd be satisfied!
C: What are you most excited about with your work right now? What keeps you up at night
D: I sleep really well....I recently set goals for myself and met all but one so now it would appear the only thing I dream about....the next step for me would be having someone that knows me well enough to call my next move or help me make my project more public! I guess you could say creating more of a buzz excites me!
Of course she answers a lot more questions on the Podcast, so be sure to check it out!
A big thank you to Danielle for being my guest host and a big thank you to Brett Neilsen, with Brett Neilsen Photography, for the audio/video and for sponsoring my Podcast!
Would you like to be a guest host on my Podcast? Message me today! email@example.com For more information about Danielle and her services, visit
So you are sadly looking all around the Internet for a way to make your small space look so much more than it is. It’s not that you want to make it appear like you live like Donald Trump, you don’t. Right? It’s just that you are really trying to live within your means now and you’ve scaled down appropriately, but you can’t figure out how to make it look nice and big. Big without looking like you have just squished a Hummer into a compact space. I got ya.
Show a little leg. You know how there are some couches where you can’t see the legs? Yes, they still do have legs under there. Really. They aren’t held up by some really strong dude. All day long. Sheesh. Come on.
So, find yourself a sofa or a chair, whatever you’re in the market for, and go for the ones that don’t have those cute little skirts. Yes, you will have to make sure you keep your floors from looking like the wild west of dust bunny tumbleweeds, but you can do it. It’s called a Roomba.
See-‐thru tops. I know you like to be modest most of the time, except when you’re shaking your moneymaker. This is one of those times where I need you to get a little loose. Glass top coffee and side tables are gonna help you out. While you’re at it, order up some glass shelves for the bookcases. What? Yeah, it will cost money, but you want your place to look light and airy like some waify super model right? Well, put up or shut up.
Lighten Up. You may be the depressive type and go for dark colors to get you thru your Nirvana phase. He’s dead and you’re not. Let’s pick lighter colors. Which just so happen to be my February Freebie right now- my top neutral paint colors! Things that would remind you of pretty fantasyland with birds and nice china. Not like Alice Cooper’s your personal stylist.
Skip the Hokey Pokey. Think of patterns like a hokey pokey. Nobody likes to do that stupid dance and you don’t have the space for it. Really, they don’t like doing it, stop asking. Hokey pokey is intrusive like patterns in a small place. Put your left eye here, put your left eye there, put your left eye here and swirl it all about. Jesus! You’re gonna poke an eye out with that kind of patterned nonsense. It’s too much. We need our eyes to swirl around your room like a smooth wave of bliss.
And before I forget, since February's topic of the month is Artwork- how do you incorporate it in your small space? You don't, you burn it. Okay, I'm kidding. But really, if space is not your friend but you have some fancy smancy artwork you want to show off, a bold piece of wall decor is all you need to bring character and visual interest to a room. Remember that less is more.
March is almost here, and we will switch focus...don't miss out on my February freebie! Sign up with your email when that obnoxious box pops up on your screen again!
This Slow Cooker Beef and Potato Au Gratin is an easy from-scratch hearty meal! I am a HUGE fan of the crockpot, so finding easy and yummy recipes is something I do weekly when I plan our dinner menu for the week. My family loves potatoes au gratin as a side dish, so this recipe is even better because it's a delish main dish!
I knew that the potatoes would need some heavy seasoning, so I went heavy with the salt and pepper, but also added garlic powder, paprika and parsley. The potatoes go in the slow cooker peeled, though I don’t mind skin on for most recipes this one tastes great with or without.
How to make Beef and Potato Au Gratin:
You will need these ingredients:
* Ground beef
* Russet Potatoes (peeled, and sliced)
* White onion (thinly sliced)
* Garlic Powder
* Shredded Cheese
* Beef broth
1. Brown ground beef on the stovetop, add salt and pepper to taste.
2. Peel russet potatoes and lay them on the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker.
I always have the feeling Valentine’s Day comes so suddenly, almost not giving me the time to prepare a cool gift for my husband. However, to be fully honest, even if I started to think about the potential gift 3 months in advance, it would still be so difficult to find something! Although some guys might say they don’t want any gifts for Valentine’s Day, I still think it is nice to give them something as a ‘thank you’ for their daily support and love! A nice cologne, a classy watch, hipster socks? Yes, he will tell you he loves it, but that forced smile on his face betrays him a bit. Husband's are after all not so demanding, but it just seems very hard to find something unique every time! Then there's my kids. They of course have all the fun with their classmates from school- classroom Valentine's Day parties (that was my favorite when I was young) but my kid's are a little more demanding than my husband, and do expect a little Valentine's Day love from Mom too.
Because I have faced this problem for so long, I have started creating DIY gifts, and I absolutely love it! They are more personal and unforgettable, and you can have a lot of fun while creating them!
Here I have compiled a list of my suggestions:
Idea for couples who love food, but hate gifts, Valentine's Day Breakfast
Trust me, when guys say they are of a simple nature, they are, indeed, telling you the truth! Most of the guys love to eat, so why wouldn’t you cook something delicious in the shape of hearts or X's and O's? In this way, it won’t just be an every-day meal but will also have a nice romantic touch. If cozy breakfasts are your thing, get up a bit earlier and cook a nice breakfast in the shape of hearts! Who could resist heart-shaped pancakes with Sugar Bob's Smokey Syrup, chocolate chips, and of course champagne? Not for the kids...sparkling cider works for them.
Host A Valentines Day Movie Night
Simply choose one of the Valentine’s Day movies for kids that the whole family can enjoy together (check out my list of movie ideas below) and gather your family for a night of cuddling and watching together.
You can serve fun snacks like:
* Microwave popcorn sprinkled with Valentine’s Day candies
* Heart shaped sugar cookies
* Pink milkshakes
Give the family a "heart attack"
Make the whole month of February fun for your family by doing a “heart attack” on their bedroom door. Each day you write a little note on heart doilies telling them something you love about them, or why they are special. You can write them all yourself, or make it a family event and have everyone write a heart each day. I actually did this for my family last year, and they all saved the heart notes.
Make a Special Valentine’s Day Dinner Together
There are so many fun heart shaped foods to make and enjoy and this is always my kid’s favorite part of the day.
Here are a few of our favorite Valentine’s Day dinner ideas:
Aren’t these ideas so cute! I can’t wait to spoil my family and surprise them with these fun activities we can enjoy together.
I would love to hear from you! What are your favorite ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day as a family? Please comment below!
STEP 1. GET YOUR SUPPLIES
Have your dowel, your yarn out, and your scissors ready to go. Here is some orange yarn if you want the same look as mine, or some chunky black yarn looks amazing too. If you want that natural, boho look then this cream yarn would be perfect. Next, take about 20" of twine and tie to each end of your stick or dowel. This is what will hang your wall piece when it's finished.
STEP 2. CREATE YARN LOOP
Grab your yarn, hold the loose end in one hand, and start to wrap the skein around your arm. Do this loop 10 times (fewer if you have really thick yarn), and cut the string after your last loop around and put the skein down. Once you have that done, grab your scissors and snip the rest of the yarn that is wrapped around your hand. Basically, you end up with 10 pieces of yarn cut to the same length (but keep them folded in half for the next part).
STEP 2 continued. KNOT ON DOWEL
That chunk of yarn you just cut to size will make up your first yarn knot on your dowel. This step is a little tricky to write out, so it’s best to look at the photos here as you go. Basically you’re going to keep your yarn folded in half, and then set your dowel on top. Pull the yarn ends through the top loop, pulling it down tight to create a knot.
STEP 3: HAIRCUT
Now it’s the fun part. Hang up your new wall hanging, get out your scissors, and give that bad boy a haircut. I personally like the symmetry of having it be longer in the middle and shortening out to the sides. Find the middle knot (or two middle knots if you did an even number), then cut up from there. Don’t stress about it being perfect. Cut small amounts at first, and just even it out as you go.
STEP 4. EMBELLISH
The fun thing about these wall hangings is that you can embellish them however you want. This one I used feathers my youngest daughter found for me one afternoon while we were at the park. I just weaved them in through the yarn, adding a little bit of hot glue to hold them in place.
I had some of these brass metal rings, so I played with adding some to my hangings in the past. You can use the rings to create a loop to hang them from.
Fun, right? You can also braid some of your yarn, or add in little beads. It’s fun to really personalize them.
I ended up making a bunch more of these, because they were so fun and easy to do! I'd love to see yours if you make one, so please share on my Facebook page!
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Author, Candance Toscano
"You can design the life of your dreams and acquire that luxurious, fulfilled and empowered lifestyle you know you have always wanted."