Monday, June 30, 2014

High Five Friday: Summer Edition

Geez, Louise. So far this summer has felt busier than the school year. Grrrr! Which also explains why I wrote my High Five Friday last week but am only publishing it today. We'll call it the summer edition and move along...

1. Wonders Never Cease
When a couple splits, I am always 100% unequivocally on the side of the girl. But the whole C. Wonder/Tory Burch relationship just got complicated for me. There are so doggone many beautiful things on sale right now at C. Wonder. If, for example, someone was buying a birthday gift for me, there is absolutely not one single thing I would not love to get my hands on. But for you, my favorite readers, I've collaged a few items here. :)

All of the items shown here are available from the C. Wonder 50% and 70% off sales. The sale will be over before I link to each one.
2. The New Hamptons
Bloomberg News and Forbes Magazine are calling northwestern Michigan the new Hamptons. Having grown up there, I can tell you: it is a GREAT place to visit! Flying into Cherry Capital Airport is easier than driving out to the Hamptons and housing costs are significantly lower than New York. 

Sara Edwards via Huffington Post
3. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
I've always been slightly envious of people who receive transfers to Atlanta. After all it's a design mecca with her, her, him, and lordy knows how many more. But, then this omen was spotted above the city, proving what I've been saying: that Michigan is a place to watch. {Oh, and I totally missed that this happened to the state's cadre of design talent.}

4. Mud is Good
Since it is summer, ten tips on how to connect your family to the joys of the great outdoors from my friend, Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods.

5. DIY Wreath
I am not the queen of DIY but I did complete a simple project this weekend in anticipation of the Fourth of July. Using a few rolls of ribbon from Michael's, a straw wreath form, and a dab of hot glue, I created this red, white, and blue gingham and wild print wreath for my orange front door. Come follow me on Instagram for all the sneak peeks into my daily life!

Have a great week!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

KItchen Visions

Our kitchen needs a re-do. There is no dishwasher and the oven, which is too tiny for a Thanksgiving turkey, stopped working a few weeks ago. 

We're thinking about how to work with what we have. To that end, I had been thinking of how to remodel without tearing out the fairly new blonde laminate flooring the last owner installed. 

But then I got another idea: cement.

In all likelihood that's what's underneath the laminate anyway. 

Concrete is durable and can take a beating. It's cost-effective. And beautiful in an edgy way.


By polishing the concrete with a diamond sander you get the glossy effect shown here. 

Each of the captions has links to articles about how the process works.

What do you think? 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wedding Wednesday

Yesterday I saw tiger lilies blooming here in Michigan's capital city. Where I grew up in northern Michigan, these always bloomed on the Fourth of July. Which, I figured out, is only a week away! Which means our wedding is getting sooo close!!

Detroit Free Press
Our reception is outdoors on the campus at Michigan State University so I was alarmed when I heard that the corpse flower was blooming there for the first time since 2010. The smell of death should be gone after this week. Aren't those musical words?! It appears to be quite the attraction, though, with two-hour wait times to sniff & pose with it.

Now on to hoping that the mosquitoes aren't swarming and the biblical amount of rain we have received so far this summer quits...

Our wedding colors include a lot of hot pink and my bouquet will also have lots of red in it. The bridesmaids are wearing pale pink dresses. There will be navy stripes on the tables and the men are wearing black tuxedos. Succulents will be mixed in, too.

I have picked out the daddy-daughter dance song and my mother-in-law-to-be is choosing the one for her and my fiance. I think I may have narrowed down our first dance song and still have a lot of choosing to do for the wedding ceremony at church. But, I found a list that had "Pour Some Sugar on Me" by Poison as a cake cutting song! I'd love to have a conga line with this song which is part of the soundtrack from Beetlejuice. My daughter, however, is terrified of that movie, and beetles in general.

We celebrated birthdays at work this week and someone brought in a cake from where we are getting our wedding cake. A bakery whose slogan is "where butter makes it better." Sooo good! My kids and I have been stopping there all week for treats after camp. :)

I'm having a bit of an internal struggle because I just. love. wreaths so much and didn't order one. And I need to pick out a few other last minute small details like a cake topper. Otherwise it really feels like things are falling into place!

Cake toppers are just ridiculously expensive, right? 

The Old Navy $1 flip flop sale commences this Saturday!

I'm going to have to come up with a clever hash tag.

Only 24 days left. Eeek!!! (but it's a good eeek!) :) 
Unless otherwise noted, all images via

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Happy Blogiversary!

 "Let the rain wash away all the pain of yesterday"
Skylar Grey

Today is my two year blogiversary! Cue the trumpets!!!

When I started this blog back in 2012, I had recently finished reading The Happiness Project, one of my favorite books of all time. I was looking for a way to introduce some novelty and challenge into my life in order to create more happiness. Beginning that summer for the first time, my kids were spending a week at a time with their dad. It was a frightening prospect. Who was I going to be without them? What would my life be like when I didn't have little people who needed me for everything??

The previous October, I had given up Facebook for a month and it was then that I started reading blogs. Somewhere along the way, I discovered that the thing that sets me apart in this world is how I make a home. Decorating, organizing, choosing this and moving that... This is my talent, the thing I had been searching for my entire life.  

I decided to start an interior design business based on organization and using what you have. The blog would be my way of letting people know about this new adventure.

via Erica Cook

Since I began this blog two years ago, I have discovered that there are already some really amazing interior design bloggers here in Michigan. Abby M is in Grand Rapids and Sarah of the Yellow Cape Cod claims Detroit. My IRL friend Dana designs from a feng shui perspective in the Brighton area and blogs here. She participated in the One Room Challenge this year and is as beautiful in person as you may have guessed from her gorgeous photos. Just this year, Jana and Michaela both moved here too. And although none of these bloggers live in East Lansing, several people from my community have started or advanced their design-related businesses since I started blogging.

Clearly, Michigan is the next place to be for design enthusiasts! It's Pure Michigan! [The video is from my hometown, which is where I met the love of my life.] 

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Sound of Silence

Hello! My blogging lately has been really sporadic. It's summer vacation (and a different custody schedule than the rest of the year). Our wedding is less than a month away. I still don't have a functioning oven or a dishwasher. Just thinking about trying to do One.More.Thing twists my insides into knots.

But I like the routine of blogging. The more I do it, the easier it is. The opposite is also true. So to ease myself back into the groove, here is a little get-to-know-you, adapted from my blogging friend Vicki who is also from Michigan and is an empty-nester. Feel free to add your own facts in the comments.

1. Are you named after someone? My name is Mary Carrie, and I was named after one of Robert Kennedy's daughters.

2. When was the last time you cried? Yesterday (more of a sentimental tearing up)

3. Do you have kiddos? Yes, Griffin (11) and Bela (7) and I would LOVE more once I am remarried. :)

4. If you were another person, would you be a friend of yourself? Yes, definitely!

*5. What book are you reading right now? The Good Spy: the Life and Death of Robert Ames but the library just emailed me that The Goldfinch is in!

6. Do you like your handwriting? Not really

*7. What's your favorite ice cream? Chocolate chip

8. What's the first thing you notice about people? Their facial expression.

9. What's the color of your eyes? Blue.

10. Scary movie or happy endings? Happy endings! 

11. Favorite TV shows? The Americans, 24, Modern Family, The Goldbergs, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Seventh Heaven, Gravity Falls, and Detroit Tigers baseball/MSU football and basketball. 

12. Summer or Winter? Summer

13. Hugs or kisses? Lots of both!

14. Do you have any special talent? I am really good at recognizing voices, which is odd because I am definitely a more visual person. I am also excellent at finding LEGO pieces. ;)

*15. What is one thing you can't live without around the house? I like having a handheld shower head to clean the tub
more easily.

16. What are your hobbies? Reading, decorating, organizing, yoga, long walks

17. Do you have any pets? Not currently :(  --although my kids got a Fur-Real Friends kitty this weekend ;)

18. Favorite movie? Rear Window

19. What color is your car? Silver

20. What do you want to be when you grow up? :) An interior decorator

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Style & Substance: Bookshelves

Whenever I see a bookcase with snazzy styling, I'm leaned in trying to figure out which books are on the shelf.






I'll try to work on a list of recommendations before we get too deep into summer, but for now feel free to check out my GoodReads profile! :)

Friday, June 6, 2014

High Five Friday

Not only is it Friday, today is the Last Day of School!!!

My kids couldn't be happier! The last few days have been busy with end-of-year school trips and activities. Next week they'll both start fun summer camps so mama can work. But today? We celebrate!
via The Knot

1. Wedding Planning
So my wedding is now a mere six weeks away. There are a lot of details to figure out. But I'm feeling some relief because I saw this story on The Knot. The featured couple had their wedding and reception in the gardens at Michigan State University, which is where we're hosting our reception. I am usually fairly confident about my creative vision but when that vision begins to involve other people I think it's natural to be a little anxious. Seeing their event pulled off makes me feel way better!

2. Dress Shopping
There are any number of pre-wedding events that have me looking for a cute sundress (or two) for summer. 

Rue La La
This one is reversible pink & orange silk. It's like two dresses in one! It's available on Rue La La. 
Dress 1 // Dress 2
Piperlime also has some super cute dresses. I am especially digging these two little white choices in lieu of my summer dream dress (far left), which is not available for sale anywhere that I can find. Boo!

Another great shift for summer. Love the graphic punch.

3. Summer Reading
This little free library was just established at our local elementary school. Isn't it amazing?! I feel so lucky to live in such a wonderful community with so many talented and creative people. My own stack of books for summer reading is tall and I'm hopeful that my children will embrace a love of literature too. In my opinion, there is not much better in life than a long lazy day in the sun with a good book. 

And here's a fun printable to help remember all the other fun things I want to do this summer!
Stephanie Kraus Designs

4. Two Room Reveals
My kids are growing up. And while images of nurseries abound in blogland, it's rarer to find cool rooms for kids of a certain age. I especially love this teen girl's room from Stephanie Kraus Designs, which was done in a short time frame and on a budget. It's both sophisticated and playful!

I am also obsessed with kitchens since mine no longer has a working oven. Check out the beautiful space created by Naomi of Design Manifest and featured in Lonny (below)! She offers some great tips to consider in a kitchen remodel.

Design Manifest via Lonny

5. Sharing Myself
This week I took part in my blogging friend Beth's Take Two series. My answer to her question about my favorite change to our house is the tip of the iceberg in the new budget series I mentioned in last week's High Five: the idea that you can take away to create an important effect (and check out tip #9 from Design Manifest above)!

Happy summer!


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