Friday, July 3, 2015

High Five (Almost) Independence Day Friday

There's nothing better than working on the day before the holiday except, of course, not having to go to work at all (which we'll do later today). Here are a few things that penetrated my almost-on-vacation euphoria, otherwise known as the High Five Friday.

1. Flags for All
Southern State of Mind

If we were staying around home, I think this would be the greatest idea to do with my neighbors.

2. The English Spy


If you're wondering how a book about an English spy got on this patriotic list, it's because Daniel Silva, who was born in Michigan, just released the 15th Gabriel Allon mystery this week. Visit this link to find out where you can get an autographed copy.

3. Land of the Brave
I really really liked this post about doing the things you think you are too scared to do.
 
4. Beauty Counter Sale

http://www.beautycounter.com/kellygemmel
Have you tried BeautyCounter yet? I just learned about this fantastic company and was excited about this promotion. Shop now through July 6th.

5. Whole Vacation
We're packing up the car and headed north soon. I've put aside a million books to read/work on the business while we're at the beach. Or, I may try to take the advice of Kid President and just enjoy being.

Although I won't be posting here, I do intend to do mini-posts via Instagram and Facebook all week. If you haven't yet, "like" or follow me there to see what's up. I'll be back with a super awesome giveaway on Monday, July 13th!

Happy 4th of July!!!
Xoxo~Carrie

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Ring Review

Pulling together an outfit is a lot like decorating a room, I think. Just as a room doesn't feel finished until the art is hung and pillows fluffed, it's the same with adding jewelry to an outfit. Even something as simple as a wedding band can make a very powerful statement.

Since the way I dress is a microcosm of my own style, I was delighted to be contacted by Anjolee, a family-owned jewelry company based in San Diego, California, to review their diamond wedding band.


The company was started nearly 40 years ago by two brothers who named the company after their angelic mother. Throughout the years, the company has gained recognition as a leading manufacturer of high end jewelry, and in 2008 began selling directly to consumers via their website.


Anjolee's product line includes an extensive collection of bridal jewelry. Best of all, you can design your own piece easily via their website. There are a huge number of options, from classic to vintage to red carpet, with or without gemstones, each more gorgeous than the last.


For this review, an Anjolee representative worked with me to choose one of the Five Across Diamond and Gemstone rings. I chose to alternate the diamonds with citrine stones on a platinum band.

There are seven other stones that can be chosen including amethyst, garnet, peridot, ruby, sapphire, tanzanite, and topaz. You can even do a multicolor ring with a combination of different stones for a rainbow effect.


The website shows the same ring with sapphires, which is so bright and beautiful. But I wanted to be able to use this ring to mix metals and still feel coordinated.

This is just one of their many rings! Anjolee also sells beautiful earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and pendants! The website has a ton of resources for learning more about diamonds and gemstones.

I've been wearing this ring for over a week now and have had nothing but compliments. It's very pretty in an understated, refined way. Thank you to Anjolee for providing this opportunity to review one of their products. It was a pleasure to use their services.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Dining Room Updates

For the past month or so, I've been working on some DIYs for our dining room.
 
The first project was painting and mounting this paper roll holder.
 
 
I've had it for years, but wasn't sure where to hang it once we moved.


George & Willy
I love having a way to make large format drawings with my kids (or at least the one kid who doesn't have a YouTube channel or Twitter...)
 

I also wanted a way to be able to leave notes or write encouraging messages without the mess of a chalkboard.


Newspaper printing facilities will often give away their end rolls for free. Since our local newspaper didn't (at least at the time), I enlisted the help of my dad who then also built the box to hold it. I used black spray paint to give it an updated look.
 
You can also use the Mala drawing paper from IKEA if your newspaper doesn't give away end rolls.
 
George & Willy, creator of the inspiration image, is the New Zealand-based company that makes these holders. By coincidence, they're offering free international shipping through the end of today (June 30).
 
 
The other project I worked on was creating this large format brush stroke art. I bought a 30" by 40" canvas from Amazon, then simply dipped a paint brush in some black paint and swirled it around on the canvas. The good news is that if I don't like it or get tired of it, I could always re-paint the canvas white and start over. :)
 
 
This post from the Museum of Modern Art was the inspiration for the art; I wasn't trying to copy it exactly, just get a similar feel.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Dream House to Show House

via
I spotted this gorgeous, Mediterranean-style house for sale on my drive to work one morning and it got my wheels spinning. What if we were to bring a show house to this area? Is there a local nonprofit that could benefit a la Kips Bay? Is anyone doing this now?

The house is on the corner of Michigan Ave. and Cowley, across from Brody Hall at Michigan State University.


The house is at the outer edge of the Chesterfield Hills neighborhood, in a row of houses like these that I snapped the other night. The limelight hydrangeas in front of the white house are so dreamy...


The interior could use some work but has amazing bones. I love the special details like the Pewabic tile in the entry.


And the period architectural elements like the rounded tops on the windows and doors. The house was built in 1923 and has about 2,800 square feet. I think this is a decent size for accommodating a crowd during a show house tour.


Ideally, one of the designers for my imaginary show house would be someone who handles bigger remodels like kitchens. While I love the copper here, the rest of it is less appealing.


The master bedroom is a nice size with big windows. There are four additional bedrooms in the house, including one that has a separate entry, attached kitchenette, and a rental license (this last part is a HUGE deal in our college town).


The back patio has lots of natural charm but the imaginary show house would seek a landscape designer to turn this into something extraordinary.

Veranda
The landscaping in this inspiration image (with or without the lap pool) is just what I'm envisioning.
 
In my dream planning, the show house would move from year to year between three different towns in our wider community. The varied locations of the show house generate the name for the project: ELOkDew House. There's a lot to be researched still (and I would start with the inspiration here) but I think this could really be great!

***
 

Oddly enough, this house is listed by the same realtor who is selling the house in my neighborhood that I wrote about here.

Win $500!
Visit Tomie Raines to enter a contest to win the Ultimate House Warming Package (prize includes $250 to Pottery Barn and $250 to Home Depot). Giveaway runs through July 31st.

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