Saturday, December 21, 2013

Mostly Merry Christmas House Tour

Welcome to my version of the 12 Days of Christmas Tour of Homes!

Here's where we started two weeks ago upon move-in.

And here's that same corner decorated for the holidays. 

On the opposite side of the living room is the Christmas tree.

Hung with colorful ornaments, many that have sentimental value.

On the couch, some tartan to snuggle under while watching It's A Wonderful Life, Elf, and Prep & Landing.

On the walls, some decorations.

The ice skates are too small for Bela and were waiting to be given away in an old box. Then I thought it might be more fun to use some red ribbon I had to display them.

Some Christmas reading.

Decorating the other spaces.

That big stereo has been rocking the Christmas music. Every version of "Last Christmas" has to be my favorite. 

I bought lots of poinsettias to support Bela's school. I don't particularly remember to water them, though...

I love the smells of Christmas! Our tree is real and the scent of pine is heavenly!

Poinsettia and pocket door for our powder room just inside the front door. 

Here's a view from the front door looking through to the back door. Do you hang wreaths inside the house? I do. (Ignore the sagging drape; we accidentally broke some of the clips on the traverse rod. Oops!)

I would love to have you all over for a cup of Starbucks and a plate of cookies, but this will have to do. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! More updates to come!

Sharing here:

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Design Inspiration

 "Life in the 21st century means taking the best of history 
and making it work for you." Miles Redd

I may have mentioned here that our new house is mid-century modern. From the pictures you can see that the former owners really embraced that look. It wasn't retro to them, though, it was just home for fifty years.

Our new house: from the real estate listing
Going into my design plan, I knew that trying to re-create that look just wouldn't work. For sure, there were elements that I wanted to preserve. But incorporating our things and our way of life meant something different. 

What I did want was to capture the whole gamut of 20th century design: from Hollywood Regency to Palm Beach to the brassy '80s. I wanted our version of mid-century modern to be more Alfred Hitchcock than Mad Men. And I wanted it to feel worldly, with references to other places.

One Kings Lane
I love the way neutrals are done in this room. Yet, with lots of pops of color. The credenza has some bamboo; it looks like grass cloth on the walls; and of course the peacock chair

Old Brand New Blog
I'm totally crazy-obsessed with rugs. Plushy, tribal patterned red & blue rugs. Rugs that may have been carried on the back of a camel.


This kitchen looks like something from somewhere else. I love the contrast of the sleek cabinetry with the rough-hewn counter stools. The veins in the backsplash. The perfectly compact triangle of fridge-stove-sink. And, the wood paneling and art to the left in the background.


Most of our house is painted white like these walls, and the first level has the Danish blonde wood floors. But I really like this image because of the interesting plate wall display and the well-stocked bar cart with fat lamp.

Hepburn Interiors
Luckily enough, mid-century modern is popular so finding a sputnik chandelier should be easier than deciding where I want to put one.

Somewhere I hope to add a splash of citron and a bold geometric pattern like on this chair. And isn't the art to die for?? If only I knew where the image came from.

We are mostly unpacked. My plan is to recycle the cardboard boxes on the day after Christmas (Boxing Day, get it?!) and have ALL boxes out of our house by the time we make the first mortgage payment on February 1st. It's good to have goals.

The sounds of the season are definitely on repeat in our new house. And, I swear it has snowed every single day since we moved in. Great, now that we are a stone's throw from everywhere we need to go! 

Today I'm wearing an outfit inspired by the one below. I'll try to remember to Instagram it. I like that "winter white" can extend my wardrobe through the entire year and a bubble necklace can fancy up a 90s flannel.

Style Within Reach
Anyhoo, come back tomorrow! I hope to have some photos of our house up for the 12 Days of Christmas Tour of Homes linky party!  

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

We've Moved!

Well, hello there. 

We've moved into our new house. Finally!!

The Daily Mail
It was quite the celebration. 

In reality, though, our new house is far enough from the action that I had no inkling of the riot (or whatever you want to call it) until I saw the newspaper. But our team is going to the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1988 and that is VERY exciting!

There are tons of fluffy white snowflakes outside my window, Christmas carols on my radio, snowpants & boots waiting for me to walk(!!) to pick up kids from school, and Hershey's candy cane kisses in my belly. Life is good. For us. For now.

I really liked this post by Emily from Jones Design Company today about when life is not good. When the holidays magnify heartache instead of joy

And the 12 Days of Christmas Tour of Homes has begun. Today is day 2 and the lovely Lisa of Shine Your Light has thoughtful tips on how to enjoy the season as well as decorate your home.

What's it like where you are today?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving Linky Love

There is so much I want to share on this Tuesday before we give thanks. 

It seems all my shirts and sweaters have 3/4 length sleeves. Since I tend to be cold a lot, it used to make me crazy. But since I love this look, all that wrist exposure is a great chance to flaunt a bunch of arm candy. Charming Charlie has bracelets in the $20 or less category.  

While planning for our wedding continues, I am also thinking about what kind of marriage we will have. This post seems like a good start. 

Must be from a previous year. Friday is November 29th this year.

I am thrilled that stores like Nordstrom take a stand for important American holidays and their workers. And I like this quote from Pope Francis:
The great danger in today’s world, pervaded as it is by consumerism, is the desolation and anguish born of a complacent yet covetous heart, the feverish pursuit of frivolous pleasures, and a blunted conscience. Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades.
To read the rest, visit here.

All the same I am digging the idea of a white Christmas tree for decorating this year. The one above is from the Land of Nod and Ampersand Design Studio holiday party

Finally, as a book lover, I enjoyed seeing photos of some of the world's most beautiful libraries from Wonderous Design magazine.

What book are you reading right now? And if you celebrate Christmas, will you have a green or white tree? Real or fake?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Ode to my Dog

On Thursday, we said goodbye to this beautiful old friend. Rody (short for Rodan, one of the Godzilla monsters) was nearly 14, or 98 in dog years.

A Long Life Well-Lived
I adopted her from the Humane Society in April 2000. I wasn't that sentimental then, so I don't even remember the date. Maybe April 12th or 13th?? At some point in our life together she switched from being my furry baby to being my partner. Everywhere I lived, she and I explored together on our long walks. When I  gained weight during my first pregnancy, so did she. When I was getting divorced and needed to be out of the house, she walked with me every night, sometimes for miles. Of all the members of my family, I feel like she was the one whose personality was most like mine: extrovert/outdoor soul.

One night after she came to live with me, I woke myself up laughing. That had never happened before, but it was because of her. Her immense joy for life was contagious. "Live like someone left the gate open"?? That was her!

She Was Always There
After I got divorced she stayed for awhile with my ex-husband because the duplex I was renting didn't allow pets. Eventually she went to stay with my parents three hours away. I bought a house because she was getting older and I wanted her last days to be spent with me and the kids. That was nearly four years ago. 

In the past year, she had really slowed down. For one thing, I could catch her before she darted out the door. She also stopped jumping up on the beds when we were gone. Last week, though, she wouldn't eat. She had trouble getting up the few steps from the backyard into the house. Worst of all, she didn't bark and kept her eyes closed most of the time. I knew in my heart that this was it, although "magical thinking" kicked in at some point and I tried to tell myself it was just a little cold.

I feel so lucky that we got as much time as we did together. But I do MISS my dog. She was a great friend.

Here's a video of Jimmy Stewart reading a poem he wrote about his dog, Beau, on the Tonight Show.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thursday Organizing Thoughts

For three months I haven't been able to listen to music in my car. Long story short: we had replaced the battery but didn't have the anti-theft code for the stereo.

Anyhoo, I finally (FINALLY!!) got sick enough of not being able to listen to music in the car that I took action this week. And once I did, it was a simple enough fix. 

Listening to (and singing along with) music in the car is one of my seven ways to beat the blues. Of course, since we haven't moved yet, I'm also still commuting about an hour a day

Yesterday, though, angels sang!! In reality it was more like "Pour Some Sugar on Me" and the Beastie Boys. Oh the joy!!!! 

I think this situation is similar to living with disorganization and household chaos. Right now we are living that way. The carefully styled vignettes have been disassembled and packed away. Nothing is left on the wall. Every day more and more of our life ends up in cardboard boxes out in the garage.

It's frustrating and unattractive. In many ways we don't have a place for the stuff of life because we are living with the bare minimum. 

On the other hand, I'm also starting to really imagine what life will be like in our new home. I picture turning out the lights over the kitchen sink and looking out at the moonlight on the snow in our backyard. It'll happen, and it will be so awesome when it does.

House Beautiful
I pinned this kitchen recently because it is mildly reminiscent of the one in our new house. Actually, I just showed it to Phil to see if he thought it looked like our new kitchen and he said "not at all." I think my super power is that I can see what CAN be, not always what is. Or, perhaps, I am delusional. ;)

Monday, November 18, 2013

'Twas the Week before Thanksgiving

We had some big storms overnight. The wind blew over our patio table and smashed the glass top, but otherwise there was no damage to either our house or the one we are buying. Which brings me to a poem of my own creation...

'Twas the week before Thanksgiving and still we don't have our new house. Everything is in boxes, ready to move. I can't really rhyme, and I don't even care. If I have to wait until Santa, I'll pull out my hair.

A few favorites, then, to brighten up the start of this week:

You are not going to believe who is selling this sweater dress or for how much. (Hint: it's a great deal!) Available in six colors, it would look smashing with tights and a pair of boots.

This is the time of year when I begin to feel itchy about all the things my kids have and I wonder whether I'm really instilling the right values. Especially as we prepare for an influx of MORE at the holidays. This game from Modern Parents, Messy Kids seems like a beautiful solution.

And if all else fails, I imagine my happy place. The one I have never been to. Vietri offers a great overview of the best it has to offer

Happy Monday!!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Essentially Cosy

If you are on Facebook, then likely you have seen your news feed taken over by friends posting a certain number of fun facts about themselves this week. Since the idea sorta fits with my plans to revamp this blog, I am doing it here (and will adapt for an "About" page later). 

To be perfectly honest, I think this is way more than anyone could ever possibly want to know about me, but I also wanted to tie it into the November gratitude thing. Since today is the 14th, I chose 14 facts. Why am I grateful about these things? See #7.  

Let's begin!

1. I am an extrovert. This is likely apparent to readers of the blog but people who have met me in real life, including my mom, are skeptical. But I've taken the Myers-Briggs test now several times; every time with the same result. 

2. My sun sign is the home-loving crab but my moon sign is the seeker

3. I love words. I do NYTimes crossword puzzles when I'm feeling anxious and I can recite poetry, but sometimes when I'm talking I think I sound like a yooper.

4. I am a sugar addict. In summer I crave Mountain Dew and in winter I crave Coca Cola, and that's the best internal predictor I have of what the weather is like outdoors. 

5. I love the finer things but don't like to pay for them. Meaning, I would prefer to have a large rainy day fund rather than a closet full of shiny rain boots.
via WishWishWish

6. I spent three weeks in Mexico City and much of the summer after graduation in London, but have never been to NYC, Washington, D.C., or many other places I would like to go.

7. I am at peace with my life just the way it is.

8. I carry a book in my purse so I can read wherever I am at, even stoplights.

9. I am a feminist in that I believe women are capable of whatever they choose to do and that they should have a choice about what they do. The woman I aspire to be most like, however, is a fairy tale: Cinderella. I like her because she is a tireless worker, always cheerful, and pretty as a princess.

10. I love a challenge for no other reason than to see if I can pull it off. 

via Burnett's Boards

11. I am getting married to the love of my life on my next birthday. Before I met him--or even knew he existed--I had dreams about him. I think that's kind of weird but also nice.

12. I studied French for five years and will pick it up again someday to become fluent. J'adore a good topknot, black eyeliner, and cafe au lait. 

13. You can never have too many jackets, chairs, or friends in my opinion. 

via She Makes a Home
14. I didn't realize until recently that not everyone likes to organize or decorate, or that my talents for these things could be my special gift to the world.

Who are you?? 
If you want to play along, leave a comment answering these three questions. 

1. Are you an introvert or extrovert? 
2. Where would you most like to visit? 
3. What do you feel you can never have too much of?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Oh the weather outside is frightful...

The sun is shining today but it is still very cold, hovering just above freezing. If I am properly dressed, though, I don't mind the lower temps. 

Here's how I layer for winter:

First, a cozy sweater: I like this wool-cashmere one. The dark ivory reminds me of snowfall. 

I would tie this scarf around my neck. In winter, warm things become bling out of necessity. Both the scarf and sweater are from the amazing gift guide that J. Crew has put together. Santa, I'll take one of each!

Everyone has their opinion about leggings, but they are my favorite thing in the world to wear and since it is nearly the holidays, I would choose these velvet leggings. If you are part of the camp that believes leggings are not pants, then wear jeans. Either way, read on...

I don't know if the Valentina boot from Sole Society would be warm, but it is certainly pretty. For warmth, I might have to go with the Joan of Arctic's by Sorel. Not only would they keep my tootsies warm, but that is a ridiculously cute name.

We wear winter coats here in Michigan for at least four months--and since daylight savings time ended, it has been incredibly dark very early in the evening. Thus, I would choose this super fun jacket. Neon makes it bright enough to be seen no matter how dark or blizzardy the conditions. Patagonia's ikat purple would also be a fun color and perhaps easier on the eyes.

Finally, a hat and gloves. This Fairisle set from Boden is classic and fun. There is a teensy bit of neon on these so yes, I would wear them with the jacket above. Heck, I might even wear them with the ikat purple Patagonia. Color is fun!

Now for the affiliate links! 

If you join Sole Society and make a purchase, I will get $25 (woohoo! if four of you do it, then it's like Christmas came early and I get my boots free!). You will also get 20% off your first order when you sign up for emails -- AND if you use Ebates, you will also get another 5% back!

You can also get up to 6% back at Lands End, 3% back at J. Crew, and 2.5% back at Boden by using Ebates, whose slogan is "where you get paid to shop"!

Staying warm is going to be important because we have these two super fun events to attend in the next few weeks. 

Silver Bells in the City on November 22nd includes a parade, lighting of the state Christmas tree, and fireworks.

The Victorian Sleighbell Parade and Olde Christmas Weekend, featured in this month's issue of Midwest Living, is in its 25th year in my hometown. Of all the activities packed into the first weekend of December, I am most looking forward to buying as much chocolate candy as possible at the sale to benefit abused children and watching a live performance of It's A Wonderful Life at the historic Ramsdell Theatre.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Happy Tuesday! 

We had our first snow yesterday. Blowing, cold white snow. But it was so pretty that it put me in a bit of a holiday mood. In fact, I talked my mom into buying this Horchow flatware as my Christmas gift because it is such a ridiculously good price right now (thanks to Linda for finding it).

Anyway, just a little heads up that I'm going to be making some changes to the look of Cosy over the next few weeks. I would prefer to just do it and then show you what I've done, but this way you are prepared and I am accountable. 

And maybe--just maybe--there is someone out there who would be interested in trading blog or logo design for a room makeover? Let me know in the comments or send me an email.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Details and the Next One Room Challenge

Yesterday I showed you my mom's finished breezeway/laundry room. Here are the details for anyone who was wondering.

Cabinet: Already owned ($5 yard sale find)
Paint on the cabinet: Krylon Oxford Blue Satin
Lamp: Already owned
Buffalo print fabric: Calico here 
Runner: Rugs USA here

The next One Room Challenge Linking Party will be held in April. I have been so inspired by all the talent out there, and it just makes me so itchy to do something of my own.

By April we will be in our new house! And while I certainly intend to do some projects immediately, that schedule will allow me just the right amount of time to plan something BIG!!

As of now, I'm thinking either something like this...

Or something like this...

Joss & Main
Of course, life goes on. And while we will be pretty much settled into our new house by next April, I will be a mere three months from our wedding date... Bridezilla? Let's hope not!


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