Enjoying Life


I always start out every summer by saying I hope I make it to the beach more times than I did last summer. And this summer I decided to stop saying that and start making it happen. Things don’t change if things don’t change, right? So I needed to break the pattern. I started getting up a little earlier and going to the beach in the mornings before I had to go to work. I wasn’t laying out or even in my bathing suit…I would just go and walk along the beach for about 20 minutes. And it was great! It’s so easy to sleep until the last possible second, get ready for work, go to work, eat dinner, go to bed, and do the same thing all over again the next day. But, making time to reap the benefits of this beautiful island I live on does so much for my mood each day. I think they call this enjoying life.



I started looking for other ways to enjoy life more and not get wrapped up in a daily routine. Our friend Carlisle is a yoga teacher and we have been taking a yoga classes with her! An hour just to ourselves, to be silent, reflect, and rejuvenate is so refreshing. We always come out of it in the most relaxed mood and it’s important to make time for that in our lives. So, we made a commitment to each other to meet once a week. It should be more than once a week…but, you know, one step at a time!


So, what is something that you guys have always wanted to do but feel like you don’t have time for?? Something came to your mind before I even had to ask, didn’t it? I really encourage you to make time for it because it’s so worth it!

Here’s to enjoying life just a little bit more!

March Madness

I’m in the middle of March Madness!!  Even though my March Madness has nothing to do with basketball, I feel like I’m playing a basketball game right now.  I’m juggling so many moving parts and trying to fit everything in before that game clock goes off!

March is usually a pretty boring month for me.  The store is closed, the shows are over, Nantucket is quiet and cold and the only thing that keeps me busy are my daily visits to Stop & Shop so I can have some human contact.

This year, my March is pretty dang interesting!!  Steve and I are just back from Amanda and Nick’s ridiculously fun wedding weekend in Miami.  In a couple of days we are off to meet up with the rest of the Ott family in Europe!!

On top of all that there is a lot going on at the store.  We are painting, refinishing the floors and getting things ready for the upcoming season.  I’ve got Julia’s wedding shower to plan.  Plus, I’ve got the cutest little puppy that I need to spoil because I don’t want her to be sad when I leave her for the next couple of weeks.  (Let’s not even talk about it… I’m feeling so guilty!)

Here are some snaps from my first week of March Madness
This was Tuesday.  Yep it snowed again:marchmadnessAnd this was the sunset Tuesday night:
Marchmadness1 The sunset progression:marchmadness2 The beginning stages of my spiffy new floors (they are still going to be gray):Marchmadness3Off to Miami we go!! The hotel: marchmadness4a The beach:marchmadness5marchmadness4The Rehearsal Dinner:
rehearsaldinnerAmanda’s stunning family!  Her brother, (Amanda & Nick), her sisters Erika and Jessie:EpsteinsThe bridesmaids!  We wore Love Shack Fancy Dresses – we will be carrying this style dress at Milly & Grace this season (Photocred: Dani Epstein):bridesmaidsI’m sad to say that I didn’t get very many pictures – I was having way too much fun!!  (The photographer’s pictures are better anyway!) With Mrs. Godfrey and my main squeeze! Amanda&NickweddingMarch, I’m loving this change of pace!  Keep it up! xo


A Thanksgiving Hero – Louis Zamperini

A couple of Thanksgivings ago, my sweet sister in law Samantha (yep!  I’m lucky enough to have ANOTHER sister!) came up with a Hollister family tradition – The Thanksgiving Hero.  On Thanksgiving we all choose an American hero that has inspired us and we share it with the rest of the family.  I love traditions!

This year, my hero is Louis Zamperini.

I first heard of Zamperini a couple of years ago when I was visiting my family in Georgia.  We all went to church one Sunday morning and the sermon was about forgiveness.  They referred to Zamperini’s story as the ultimate example of forgiveness.

Untamable as a young boy, he harnessed that energy to become an olympic runner.


Photo credit: 1,2

WWII began and he joined the Air Force.


Photo Credit

During an American raid over Japanese territory, his plane was shot down and they crashed in the Pacific.  He and 2 other crew members survived the crash but spent 47 days in a life raft being circled by sharks.  They were finally rescued but by the Japanese, and they were imprisoned for the next 2 years in the most brutal Japanese POW camps.  Because of Louis’s fame as an Olympic athlete, a psychotic guard, known as “The Bird”, took interest in Louis and constantly tormented him.  One example: already sick and weak, Louis was forced to hold a log above his head for 37 minutes and it ended with the Bird punching him in the stomach.

The war finally ended, Louis went home and began suffering from severe post traumatic stress disorder.  His wife wouldn’t give up on him and encouraged him to go to meetings held by Billy Graham (an evangelical Christian).  Louis became a born again Christian and then began a career as an inspirational speaker – forgiveness being his favorite theme.  He went back to Japan and met with some of the POW camp guards and forgave them.  He tried to meet with The Bird later in life but the Bird refused the meeting.  So he wrote him a letter of forgiveness.

As the pastor at church began to read Louis’s letter, he stopped and said, “I think it would be better to hear this from Louis himself.”  I couldn’t believe it!  Right before my eyes, this man, 94 (at the time), who endured and overcame so much, walked out on the stage, stood in front of us and read the letter.  He brought down the house and everyone was in tears.  His story changed me forever.

The book about his life, Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, has been on my book list forever.  Fortunately, my book club chose this book last month and I finally got the chance to read it.  All I have to say is that I think everyone should read this book.


Buy the book at Nantucket Bookworks!

Unbroken is currently being made into a movie directed by Angelina Jolie.  It will be released Christmas Day 2014 and I can’t wait to see it!


Photo Credit 

Publicity stills photography on the set of NBC Universal's movie 'Unbroken'Photo Credit

Louis is a true American hero.  For me, his story is a reminder to me to preserver no matter what and that I shouldn’t complain about anything.  Ever.  Life may have its ups and downs but I’ve been extremely blessed.  Thank you to Louis for sharing his story and inspiring me.

And thank you Samanth for starting this awesome tradition!

Well, that’s it for this year’s Thanksgiving Hero! Who would yours be?