A Passion for Sleep

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At Brass Tacks my goal is to bring simplicity to your life. A large part of that mission is helping people slow down. For many of us, slowing down starts with getting the necessary amount of sleep our body desires.

As I navigate the wonderful world of remodels and am faced with daily purchasing decisions, I’ve been reminding myself to slow down as well. The older I’ve gotten, the more conscious I’ve become of my body. What I feed it, what I put on it and how I rest it. I’ve broached this topic here and here and now it is coming full circle as we hunt for a new king mattress. It is no secret that mattresses are often filled with nasty chemicals, regularly off-gassing VOC’s and other toxic fire retardants.  I’ll spare you the scary details but the more you look into it, the more alarmed you’ll be about that cozy memory foam bed you’ve been sleeping on. In my never ending search for the best brands and products, I stumbled upon Hästens beds. The most beautiful all natural bed you could ever dream of (and you’ll definitely be doing a lot of that when you sleep on one of these gems). Scandinavian born and dressed in gingham- I think it’s a relationship that’s meant to be…

For over 150 years, the Swedish based Hästens has been making beds by hand from only the finest ingredients nature has to offer. Horsehair, flax, wool, cotton and slow-growing Swedish pine are just a few of the elements included in these stunning beds built to last a lifetime. I won’t lie, the price is absolutely aspirational. But when you think about the most important purchases in your home, your mattress should without a doubt be one of them. Why? We humans spend one third of our lifetime sleeping. Yes, sleeping. We spend more time sleeping than we do eating or exercising.  And the quality of our sleep not only affects our energy levels but ultimately our health and happiness. When you consider the fact that these beds have a 25 year warranty (and are built to last far longer), it becomes frighteningly easy to consider owning one.

First I need to win the lottery but then I plan on embracing my passion for sleep by aligning myself with a company that feels the same way. In the meantime I’ll gladly become Hästens Minnesota brand ambassador (hint hint)!

Show and Tell- Volume 8

Show and Tell- vol 8


Clockwise from top left: Parsons Wall Mirror / Mon Cher Journal / Embroidered Banner / Sailing Ship Kite / Clara Earrings / Charlotte Street Tablecloths / Linen Duvet Cover Set / Juliska Pet Bowl Anchor Wool Baby Blanket / The Laundress Signature Detergent / Marble Fruit Bowl / Gold Cherry Blossom Washi Tape

Summer summer summer…it’s a fleeting season and I can’t get enough. As we being to near Fall I’m scheming strategies to infuse the delicious energy of summer into my home year round. I’ll start with this amazing stripe linen duvet set from Parachute Home. Soft, beachy and beautiful. Winter will without a doubt call for layers of warm blankets so why not keep things nautical with this gem. Add in a whimsical white ship and an adorable hanging banner and my lakeside guest room is complete. Polka dots will add cheer to the dining table year round, particularly when topped with a pretty marble bowl filled with seasonal fruit. Since laundry is unfortunately not seasonal (I wish!) make it fun by throwing on some fancy baubles and washing with these beautiful detergents from The Laundress. To keep the pup happy, spoil him with a fancy new dog dish that will double as decor. When all else fails and you really need a boost of summer energy, look back on your journal to relish the dog days of summer!

The Beauty of Handwriting

Brown Ink

Clockwise from top right: Foil Wilderness Gift Tags / Bubbly Cheers Tag Set / Mechanical Wood Pencil / Wine Bottles Invitation / Dessert Birthday Card / Thank You Mix Set / Seaweed Hello Set

A blog is a wonderful way to express yourself to a wide audience, and in my case a valuable tool to represent my brand. While social media, blogging and the internet have done wonders for global communication, there is something so pure, simple and rewarding about receiving a handwritten note. In many ways handwriting is a lost art.

No one is more passionate about the handwritten note than the inspiring and fabulous Wendy Brown of Brown Ink Paper Goods. Brown Ink was created in 2011 as a blog to inspire basic longhand. As she states, “There’s never been a more important time to slow down and remember what handwriting feels like; the excitement of receiving a letter in the mail, the beauty of becoming acquainted with a new friend’s writing, or the current and future gifts received through journaling the now.” To spread her passion for handwriting, Wendy and her husband launched Brown Ink Paper Goods in 2013. This beautiful online boutique features a thoughtfully curated collection of stationary, journals and writing related goods. I swoon over this, these, this and this. With new products being added regularly (see above for my favorites), Brown Ink offers so many beautiful ways to make writing truly joyful.

The power of a handwritten note in this day and age should not be underestimated. I received my first job offer out of college because I was the only applicant to send a hand written thank you after the interview process (true story). Now that I work for myself I impart handwriting into as many facets of Brass Tacks as possible. My calendar and to-do lists are hand written. I write personal notes to clients for birthdays, holidays and thank you’s. On a personal level, I take great joy in sending and receiving a lovely letter-pressed card. According to Brown Ink, “When we look back at our writing, words create our history and individuality. Without question, handwriting gives balance and emotion to our lives.”

So next time you sit down to write that email take pause and consider how much more meaningful your message will be coming from your hand. Handwriting is not just a tool, it’s the creation of a keepsake its recipient may cherish forever.

Fourth of July Flavor

Fourth of july

Clockwise from top left: Stars and Stripes Swag/ Jcrew Bikini / Frilloon / M. Carter Canvas Pouch / Faribault Woolen Mill Throw / Kate Spade Sandals / Stripe Beverage Caddy / Gap Stripe Strappy Dress / Men’s Fedora

The Fourth of July is upon us! Festive flags, patriotic outfits and fireworks abound. Our new home is in one of the most Fourth of July focused spots of all time so this year you’ll find me draped head to toe in nothing but red white and blue. From flirty dresses for the day to a cozy throw for fireworks at night, to a fabulous Frilloon to get you in the spirit- I’ve got you covered for Fourth of July fun finds.

Wherever you’re celebrating, Happy Independence Day, be safe and have fun!!

Going Nautical

going nautical


Clockwise from top left: Anchor Dog Toy / Stripe Boatneck Tee / Hello Throw Pillow / The Ropes Bracelet / Petit Bateau Newborn Bodysuit / Ahoy Bath Mat / Sperry Metallic Boat Shoe / Stripe Gent Tie / Gold Anchor Monogrammed Stationary / Sea Bags Tote


If you follow me on Instagram, you’re already familiar with my love for stripes and my recent move lakeside. Lucky for me the two go together quite nicely, giving me the perfect excuse to embrace my inner sailor this summer. I’m clearly not the only one adding nautical flair to my life. Jcrew currently has a few nice collaborations with fabulous Maine-based companies crafting pretty goods out of nautical ropes and reclaimed sails. These are great additions to classics like the Sperry Topsider which is now available in just about every color and pattern combination you could dream of. I surprised my hubby with these for his birthday and let’s just say anything from the Gold Cup line is THE most comfortable shoe ever. I’m counting the days until their Women’s version of the line comes out this Fall. Nothing goes better with a pair of Sperry’s than a classic striped top. For the real deal, opt for this Saint James version. This company has been turning out nautical inspired wear in Normandy since the 1800’s. More budget friendly options can be found nearly everywhere including here and here. You of course must include your little ones in the stripes frenzy as well. Leave it to another fab french company to turn out this cute getup. Once you’ve finally hit your stripes quota, turn to home decor and personal stationary as mechanisms to add a little seaside love into your life. (and don’t forget Fido in all the fun!).

Wherever you spend your summer I hope you’re able to enjoy the water somewhere!

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Fathers day 2014

1 Sugar Paper Card 2 Excelsior Brewing BeerRifle Paper Card 4 Soul Socks 5 Harry’s Father and Son Shave Set 6 Cuyana Canvas Weekender Bag 7 Leather Catchall

I sometimes feel like dads get the short end of the stick. Unable to experience the feeling of carrying a child to birth, often secondary to mom when a child is seeking comfort, and occasionally less celebrated for their role in nurturing children into beautiful, smart and confident adults (despite the often blurred gender roles in todays modern world). So often it’s mom’s that get the credit, leaving dads very deserving of a day that is all about them! Summer is already flying by which means that Father’s Day has crept up rather quickly. While it’s only three days away, there is still time to get something special for your dad that shows him just how much you love him. If your dad is anything like mine, he already has most everything he wants and needs, leaving a thoughtful card as a simple and great gift. I love this Rifle Paper option sold locally at Brown Ink. Perhaps you’re wanting to treat your hubby to a very special father’s day as a new dad. These canvas Cuyana weekenders are perfect for a weekend getaway and will surely get a ton of use over the years (plus you can easily borrow it for yourself!). I’m so charmed by the Harry’s Father and Son Shave Set, allowing dad to teach their kiddos the art of good grooming. If you’re opting for a more “adult” treat, why not pick up a growler of fabulous local beer to be enjoyed under the summer sun. Or help your dad stock up on awesome socks to brighten his work day by giving him a sock subscription from Soul Socks (a cool company started by a friend of mine!). No matter what fun treats you shower your dad with I hope you have a wonderful summer weekend filled with plenty of quality family time!

Now…For Men Only

For Men Only

From Top Left: Room No. 3 / Sugar Paper / Catbird / Veuve Clicquot / Goyard

The men in our lives are our rocks, our best friends, and a shoulder to cry on. They are confidants, travel buddies and the fathers of our children. They make us laugh  (and sometimes cry!) and we love spending quality time with them. While they fill a special need in our lives, our men don’t always shine with their gift giving and planning skills.

To bridge the gap Brass Tacks offers “For Men Only”, an exclusive service just for guys. The possibilities are endless –  planning a romantic getaway, special occasion surprises, lingerie, jewelry and specialty shopping,  gift wrapping and personal delivery. Give your man the confidence of knowing he’s scored the perfect gift while you delight in the fabulous end result!

Is your hubby tasked with organizing the perfect anniversary trip? Brass Tacks will make all the arrangements to ensure a memorable stress-free vacation for both of you! Big birthday coming up? A sparkling custom-made bauble will do the trick!

Drop a hint to your man today and Brass Tacks  will simplify HIS life.

Show and Tell- Volume 7

Show and tell vol 7

From Top Left: bkr Water Bottle / Polynesian Stone Earrings / New Balance for Jcrew Sneakers / One Love Organics Cleansing Sponge / Beauty Counter Body Wash / Papillionaire Sommer Bicycle / Hammered Party Bucket 

Summer is upon us and I couldn’t be more pleased! While Brass Tacks has been keeping busy indoors (pardon my lack of blogging!),  I can’t help but think about cruising on a fabulous bike, cocktails on the porch, sun dresses with statement earrings, long walks with the pup, lounging on the beach and finally moisturized skin after a long dry winter. After moving lakeside earlier this month (and being completely inspired by the Dutch Bicycles on my trip to Amsterdam), I’m seriously considering ordering a Public Bike. While cruising around town this summer, I’ll not be leaving home without my beloved bkr water bottle. These things make drinking water pretty delightful. Hydrating will be important this summer as my porch has been regularly begging me to sit outside with a good book and a cocktail. How cute is this party bucket? A must have for summer parties and porch time fun. With the extra sun comes the need for good skin care. I’m loving these new sponges from One Love Organics- a great alternative to my aging Clarisonic. And in case you missed my Beauty Counter test drive last week, you can still shop for fabulous safe products here.

What new things will you be trying this summer? Do share!

Beauty Counter Test Drive (and GIVEAWAY)

Beauty CounterIt is no secret that I’m a big believer in investing in quality skin care products. After realizing the ingredients of some of the things I put on my face, I’ve developed a heightened awareness for products that not only work but are good for you. With so many new products popping up there is a lot to try (see some of my favorites here) so I didn’t hesitate to say yes when asked to take the Beauty Counter line for a test drive.

Beauty Counter is a Santa Monica based company with a mission to get safe products into the hands of everyone. Research has revealed that the toxic chemicals we encounter in daily life may play a role in the increase in serious health problems our society faces (hello cancer). On average, American Women use 12 beauty products a day resulting in exposure to over 100 chemicals before we even leave the bathroom in the morning. Alarming! The good news is, Beauty Counter has banned more than 1,500 ingredients in their products resulting in the strictest ingredient selection process in the industry. With this brand, you not only know what you’re getting but their products remain as indulgent and luxurious as many other (less safe) products you may already be using.

While it’s hard to pick a favorite, I’m on the oil bandwagon lately and I couldn’t help but love the results seen with the Lustro Face Oils. With quick absorption, they left my skin nourished and glowing without feeling greasy. I also fell for the delicious citrus-mint smell of the body care line, in particular this yummy wash filled with moisturizing marula and mongongo oils. While I found the am and pm moisturizers to be great, I enjoy sourcing more unique products and am intrigued by the Rosewater Uplifting Spray which may just act as my ultimate facial refresher this summer. These products are only the tip of the iceberg since Beauty Counter offers two full face care collections. The Face Collection is perfect for every day use while the Countertime Collection consists of their workhorse anti-aging products. But let me tell you- you really can’t go wrong with anything in this line. In fact you’ll likely go a lot more right than where you have been.

For more information about the current products you use (and their safety rating) visit the EWG Cosmetics Database. You can also download their app to scan products on the go.

If you’re interested in spreading the good word about safe products, consider being a Beauty Counter Consultant. Contact Jen Shultz for more information or simply purchase your products through her to receive fabulous local customer service.

Lastly, make sure to enter the GIVEAWAY of my favorite Lustro Face Oil! To enter, follow Brass Tacks on Instagram and Facebook and leave a comment in either place about which product you can’t wait to try. A winner will be drawn at random on Friday May 16th. Enter now and don’t miss your chance to win!

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Mothers Day Gift Guide

1 Sugar Paper Card 2 Jennifer Meyer ‘mum’ Necklace 3 Rifle Paper Rorschach Notebook Set 4 Beautiful Flowers 5 Stella & Dot Demi Earrings 6 Jonathan Adler Pillow 7 Nine Space for Jcrew Beach Towel

Mother’s day is a little over a week away which means it’s time to put those thinking caps on and find a lovely gift for your dearest mom. After just spending ten solid days of quality time with my own mom, I a reminded that there is nothing more special than a mom. She is the woman who birthed you, raised you, fed you, taught you so many life lessons and ultimately (at least in my case) is one of your closest friends and confidants. That said, shopping can be tricky for the mom who has everything so I like to stick to something small that I know will put a smile on her face. A good place to start is a fabulous card. There are so many good options here but I usually resort to my favorite, Sugar Paper. In addition, you can never go wrong with beautiful flowers. When sending long distance I typically shop here, otherwise for local delivery, Spruce will not disappoint. If you’re upping your game and opting for a more substantial gift I’m loving this beautiful summer beach towel (doubles as a throw?), Jonathan Adler’s fun pillows, Rifle Paper’s new journal set and these simple earrings from Stella & Dot. I’ve also long had my eye on Jennifer Meyer’s ‘mum’ necklace, developed in collaboration with goop. Perfect for the new mom who is celebrating her first mothers day. Lastly, if you’re still struggling for ideas and live in Minnesota, come by the Lovin’ Local Event next Wednesday May 7th for some mothers day shopping, beats and bubbles.

Happy early Mother’s Day to all of you moms out there!!