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!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

ORC: Big Reveal

Okay, so I have already shown you most of the progress in my mom's breezeway/laundry room. Big reveal, not so much.

This time you do get to see the sink skirt, though. I think the buffalo check is my favorite element of this space! So... what am I going to write about??

Ten Takeaways from this One Room Challenge
1. Paint--especially white paint can freshen up a space that needs it. Instantly everything feels cleaner, more orderly. Darker colors, on the other hand, work really well to ground a space.

2. Paint doesn't necessarily have to go on the walls to get this effect. My parents painted only the louvered doors of the room (for now) and it made a big impact. 

 3. Paint can also be effectively used on furniture to connect it to the overall design of the room.  My mom painted this inexpensive chest a dark blue, which coordinates with the rug and sink skirt.

 4. Go for dark and lots of pattern if you have mess-makers in your home. This rug was laid down by the back door where my parents' little dog comes and goes. It hides pet hair and muddy paw prints perfectly.

5.  Organize, organize, organize!! When you start a project like this, let go of things that no longer work for you. There's no reason to keep storing things in plain view that you neither love nor need.

6. Shop the house. My mom used this little lamp to add extra light. The colors coordinate with the look that we were going for, and best of all, it was free! 

7.  Mix patterns to add interest. I paired the floral pattern of the rug and the blue & white buffalo check print fabric for the sink skirt. They both have the same tones which helps the prints work together. 

8. Use fabric! The sink skirt truly is my most inspired idea and my favorite part of the space. It softens up the harder lines of the washing machine.

9. Hold out for what you really like; don't just choose something in order to be "done." My mom and I couldn't agree about the art work over the Alabama chest. So, there's nothing there... for now. 

10. Hire a designer! Not everyone has the interest to make these choices on their own. But I think everyone benefits from a prettier, more organized space. In fact, with the Internet, you don't even have to be local to your designer. If you are interested in working together, send me a message. I would LOVE to help you! :)

A SUPER HUGE Thanks to Linda of Calling it Home, the originator of the One Room Challenge, who opened it up to all of us for this fun linking party. Please check out the other amazingly talented designers and bloggers in both the ORC and the Linking Party. And if you were one of the participants leave me a comment so I make sure to visit you back!


Friday, November 1, 2013

ORC Link-Up: Week 5

There has been lots more progress in my mom's laundry room/breezeway for this installment of the One Room Challenge...which is good because we only have one week left!

Together, my parents got the rest of the louvered doors spray painted. They had been raw wood and are now a nice, crisp white.

A before and after shot of what the room looked like with the unpainted doors and what it looks like now.

The white not only brightens it up but makes it feel fresh, too. 
As you can see, though, we they still have some work to do, crafting the skirt for the sink base and adding the lattice to camouflage the furnace (back corner near the door).

One of the unexpected, fun things that happened this week was that my mom asked about adding a lamp to the corner with the painted chest. I was ecstatic because I had just been checking out a blue & white lamp sale on One Kings Lane. The sale is now over but that's okay because my mom had a few choices that she wanted to try.

The first one worked just right! And it will help to light up this area at night.

The lamp is sitting on top of the chest my mom bought in Alabama last winter. We call it the "Alabama chest"--clever, right? Anyway, it had been white but she painted it a dark blue and added the knobs. It now holds dog food, which is a more attractive option than a big bag of food sitting out. This is also where the artwork will go once that's decided...

Eventually {in other words, not for this challenge} the wall paneling is going to get some white paint to brighten up the space even more. Progress is still progress, though. I know my mom, and even my dad, are enjoying this space so much more now!

I'm off to check out what the rest of the challengers were up to this week.

via Calling It Home


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