Friday, August 29, 2014

Back to School High Five Friday

Tuesday is the day my kids go back to school, and the college students have taken over returned to our university town. Back-to-school season is upon us!

1. Fall Color
World Market
The pumpkin color of this chair's upholstery is making me feel fired up for fall. It's no longer available online, although the website shows my local World Market does have it in stock, and on sale. To get the look for less, consider some pillows in this color instead. I like this velvety one and this koi/persimmon colorblock option.

2. First Day of School Outfit

For the moms, I should add, since children can put together the most ridiculously mismatched outfit and still look adorable. 

I love how much this Jones New York dress reminds me of a Catholic school girl uniform, and with those bright blue stripes at the bottom! Hail Mary!!
Harper Bazaar
Tory Burch

I also like checking out the accessories from Tory Burch, not because I can afford any of it, but to get an idea of what's current and then try to replicate it with what I have. And can I just say--those crimson flowers in the photo above?! Gorgeous!

3. Recover from Summer

Summer is late nights, BBQ, and lots of sunshine for me so back-to-school is not just time to return to a more structured routine, it's also time to recover. I like these tips from beauty guru Tata Harper on how to get skincare back on track.


4. Shut the Front Door
Our front door always has a wreath on it, and I've been thinking about how to change it to reflect the new season. This giveaway has given me some good ideas. I also like the felt flowers on this one via Shelterness.

via Shelterness
5. A Real Peach

And nothing beats the taste of a real peach--fresh from the Farmers Market. Yum!!!

Do you have big Labor Day plans? I'm wearing all white and taking the kids to a baseball game.
Have a happy, safe holiday!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Growth and Design Dilemmas

I'm nearly finished with a BIG project at work that has tested me mentally. This project has made me work harder than I have in a long time. When I finally realized the discomfort was growth, it helped me to stop resisting and start appreciating the process. And it will result in a better, stronger product.

It also reinforced the idea that I do not want to write a book. Because don't all bloggers turn into authors nowadays?! No, what I really want to do is design rooms. My dream is to help people make their homes reflect a more stylish, functional version of their best self.

After I sent the last project email today, I discovered the Design Dilemma section of Houzz through Twitter (two programs I just really never use and know so little about).

This person wanted help choosing a wall color for her kitchen. I suggested Navajo White by Behr. It's a warm white with a yellowish base that would look great with her beautiful tile backsplash and granite counters.
This person wanted to know if she should add an area rug and maybe paint an accent wall. I said definitely to the area rug and suggested she pick one of the less dominant colors from the area rug for an accent wall behind the TV. I also commented that choosing a rug is like choosing art: it's very personal. You have to pick what you love.

This person wanted to know where to mount their TV. I disagreed with virtually everyone in the universe by saying yes to mounting the TV over the fireplace. It seems high but is actually nice because you recline more when watching. And trust me, folks, I watch some TV. I also disagreed without being disagreeable, and that is an artform I like to think I have nearly perfected.

Have you ever used Houzz for a design dilemma (or, to my blogger friends, solved any)? Want me to help YOU with a design dilemma?? It's what I live for!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Dining Room Rambling

The blog has been silent but the power tools have NOT at the Cosy Carolina house!
via Instagram

We replaced the pinch-pleat drapes in our dining area with new wide-slat window blinds. The drapes were good quality but old and had seen better days. In the past, I've gotten my blinds and shades from JCP and been satisfied. However, this time we ordered them from Sweet Blinds on eBay. The price was a teensy bit more than the JCP sale price but the blinds fit our very large windows perfectly since they were custom-made from our measurements. The blinds are inside mounted so much more of the wood paneling on the walls is visible now that the heavy drapes are gone.

via Remodelista

My inspiration for the design of this area is actually a garden shed-turned-office from this former One Room Challenge linking party participant, who also just won Remodelista's Considered Design Award for Best Amateur Designed Office Space! See all of Caitlin's photos here. Isn't the room lovely?! It was one of my favorites in the ORC linkup. The dark gray walls, which look like a chalky black, against the cedar wall, and the vintage rugs layered over concrete totally hooked me. While I have the walls, I've been on the hunt for a perfect rug for this spot for what feels like forever.

My patience for a wool-blend rug with a blue base and red accents that doesn't cost more than the mortgage was finally rewarded with this enchantress. But, bad news strikes again. My husband doesn't like the look of it. Insert super sad face. While I still think this rug is absolutely perfect, it did occur to me that I'm happy we don't always see eye-to-eye on what's beautiful. 

For example, my doppelganger is Claire Forlani, the peevish looking actress who starred with Brad Pitt in Meet Joe Black. Whereas in high school at least, I always pretended to be Emily, the younger sister of actress/model Stephanie Seymour. You may remember her as the beautiful but tragic bride in the video for November Rain when she was Axl Rose's real life girlfriend.

I'm not the only one who had an alias when meeting out-of-town boys. Love, Betti is a treasure shop of antiques from many eras in Old Town Lansing, but the owner is not really named Betti. That's just what she told out-of-town boys when she was a teenager. Anyway, I'm hoping to get over to her shop this week, because rumor has it that she will be closing in September. 

And if that's not a douse of cold November Rain, guess who just finally got picked to do an ice bucket challenge?! You betcha!

So... do you have a doppelganger? My brother's has to be Woody Harrelson (have you watched True Detective yet? So creepy, so good! And have you seen Matthew McConaughey?? Totally agree with Bryan Cranston.) Did you have an alias when meeting out of town boys? Have you done the ice bucket challenge? Talk to me, people! :)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

High Five Almost Friday

It's almost the weekend and I have a few moments to pop in. I have been working from home this week on a project for my day job that will make me glad when it's over, and shepherding children to the orthodontist and middle school orientation and H&M for new clothes. Good times. Good, expensive times.... 

Makers & Doers Festival

1. Makers & Doers
If you are in Michigan at the end of September, consider spending a day in the country at the Makers & Doers festival. It's in Davisburg, about an hour from East Lansing, in northern Oakland County. Get an antique appraised on Sunday, raise a glass from the Drunken Goat, practice some yoga, learn to can & preserve, and shop for unique gifts. Visit their website for more information. Oh, and Sarah Macklem of the Yellow Cape Cod will be there! NBD. She provides interior design for real people, like this design board below.

via The Yellow Cape Cod
Isn't that rug fabby?? It's from Home Decorator's Collection and not badly priced. I think my love of rugs probably originated with this story. Rugs are just so magical, aren't they?!

2. Your Organized Space
A mom in my community has a personal organization business (in fact, she is the mom who provided me with a TON of boxes and packing materials last fall for our big move) and she has been sharing client progress on her Facebook page here

It's perfect timing for the rush of back-to-school. She shared images this week of an organized mudroom that includes a bench with shoe storage beneath. I've been eye-ing these from Pottery Barn (neither of which is part of the 40% off entryway event that ends next Wednesday--bummer)

Pottery Barn

Pottery Barn
Not that I am 100% sure you could sit on the second one as a bench, but I do love the look.

Susie Bettenhausen

3. Art to Make My Soul Soar
Did you see the Pink Pagoda's post about Susie Bettenhausen's art this week? Including the special 40% off coupon code?!? I am totally in love with the colors this artist uses and her laidback, soulful philosophy about life. Plus, 40% off. I mean, come on! That cannot be beat.

Benjamin Vandiver via Coleen & Company

4. Collab with Coleen
Coleen Rider posted a photo on her IG feed this morning of a room that Benjamin Vandiver designed, using one of her stunning light fixtures. If I had all the money in the world, I'd have lots of her fixtures in my home. She also says that Vandiver is one to watch, which is sort of what I said here. Are you digging the wallpaper, pillow-full banquette, and mid-century chairs? I am. Of course!
Coleen & Company

Natalie Morales on One Kings Lane

5. Girl Crush
Raise your hand if you wish Natalie Morales was your BFF. Have you seen her home in the stylemaker issue of BHG yet? I'm saving the magazine for when my project is done (and maybe wedding thank-yous...Reward system.) Anyway, you can shop her style on One Kings Lane for the next 25 days! Of course, the best stuff always goes quickly so do not procrastinate. 

Natalie Morales on One Kings Lane

Are you not sure what One Kings Lane is yet? It's my favorite flash sale shopping site--when you join through my invitation and make a purchase, I get $15 and then I can get this handy dandy blue tray. :)

One Kings Lane

It costs only $19, although there are some items on their site that cost significantly more like the waterfall pink console Albertina mentioned today. Gah! Gorgeousness!

What do you have planned for your weekend? Fingers crossed that our weekend will include some minor demolition!!! 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Beam Me Up

Life can be a bitch or a beach, and I think a lot of it has to do with the story we tell ourselves. 

We can wallow in the shitty things that happen in life or we can try, try, try to find something positive, something for which to be grateful.

In fact, that idea of re-framing the situation and telling ourselves a story about it was something that I read about on NPR last year. I can't find the link to the story now. But while I was searching through my Facebook profile for it, I stumbled upon hundreds of messages from friends wishing me a happy birthday and congratulating us on our wedding. I saw photos and videos of my kids. There were funny jokes, and there were pictures that reminded me I am part of a community of really nice people. 
Life is good when I take the time to appreciate it. Our society is as addicted to talking about our problems as we are to constantly checking our smart phones. But maybe if we all start telling ourselves the story of how good things are we can rise above the problems? Maybe our zest for living can become a beacon shining out to others on a dark road???

Anyway, enough deep thoughts for after lunch on a Thursday. How about some design inspiration. Yes? Our house has dark beams and white ceilings on the living room level so I've been loving rooms that incorporate this look.

First, there's the home of today's birthday girl Mila Kunis


She has a very open floor plan. 


Does it seem weird that the dining room is not next to the kitchen? I'm sure it makes sense in the space.

Next up is Camille Styles, who has beams all over her house including her bedroom, shown below. 

Camille Styles

Today I saw this kitchen with dark beams, white walls, and blonde flooring. And it's inspiring my thoughts about our kitchen remodel.

Decorpad via Simple Details
And check out Trillium, one of the 2014 Street of Dreams homes designed by Garrison Hullinger.

Garrison Hullinger
Garrison Hullinger

Are you a fan of dark beams and white ceilings yet? What story are you telling yourself about your life??

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Wednesday Want-Its

I had the most amazing dream last night about getting three red patterned rugs. They were the wrong size (only 6 feet long) but I was going to layer them. I think one was an animal print, one was a kilim, and one was a traditional pattern. So so so awesome. But I guess you have to love design to get that excited about free rugs.

There was this post on Monday that totally resonated with me. But I guess I'm a dreamer. Who likes stuff. And likes to share my fun finds with others. Because here we are two days later with the Wednesday want-its.


Like this outdoor fireplace. For a minute we were talking about buying one at my house. I found this enclosed version from Bed, Bath & Beyond. I think it would be awesome for sitting around on a chilly fall evening, sipping a glass of Merlot, talking about the day...

By October this book will be available, and I cannot wait! Becky Bloomwood gets my love of shopping.

Sadly, I think we should have planted pumpkin seeds quite awhile ago if we were hoping for a crop this October. Next year, for sure.

via Clean Mama

There IS still time to create this cute homework caddy, though. My kids don't go back to school until after Labor Day. 

These fresh tea towels from Etsy would help me hang onto summer a bit longer. Don't the colors just scream "summer"??

And a turntable to rock all my cares away. Did you know that Amazon has vinyl? I did not.

Anyway, in real life I am so lucky to be blessed by the kindness of friends. I really truly have more than I could ever want. And I hope you do too! :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Kitchen Come-Along

via House Beautiful

This is the image I have set as the background on my desktop this week. I love the stainless steel appliances, and the greyish green of the cabinets is a perennial favorite of mine. 

Loving design like I do, I didn't realize everyone in the world didn't know about wall ovens until I was talking about our current kitchen with some friends from work. This kitchen uses one well. We have a wall oven but it stopped working in late spring. We also do not have a dishwasher. Which has been pretty much an invitation to re-design our kitchen!

Last night my husband and I went on a date in our pajamas to shop the family & friends sale at Sears. We used ebates to get 6% back on our purchase. Cha-ching!

It turns out I am actually somewhat fussy about what I like. Some of the ranges were rejected because the back was curved or I didn't like the handles. Yet, in the end, it really came down to price. I would have loved some swanky wall ovens or a big industrial-looking gas range, but those choices would have cost at least as much as the total budget for appliances. Not only do I not want to go into debt for a new kitchen, I also don't want to use all of the money we have saved.

The appliances won't be delivered for about three weeks, which is fine because we have a lot of work to do in the meantime. Tell me: what are your kitchen must-haves?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Back from Vacation

Vacations are good for the soul. I took last week off and feel so energized and renewed now!


I stuck my feet in the sand and even a little toe in the water. I read books. I snuggled my own kids plus one. I joked with my dad and brother. I ate wayyy too many of my mama's chocolate chip cookies. I sang loudly and off-key. And I laughed until I snorted watching The Other Woman, which I viewed as a very funny girlfriend movie. 

Erin Southwell Photography
This is where I was last week. It's where I grew up and was my entire world for 18 years. I have now lived here longer than I lived there, and yet it is still home. And it's where I just happened to meet my soul mate whom I married three weeks ago. Isn't the photo above lovely? I don't know Erin except through her equally lovely blog;  however, her photos are available to purchase as fine art and would look lovely in any home with a coastal feel. 

Pearl Izumi

Now I am home and wearing my pearls. The running kind. I've been breaking them in by walking because you gotta walk before you run, right? Yesterday I rode my bike to our local farmer's market where I stocked up on vegetables and treated myself to some beautiful flowers. It was ugly--I was sweaty and wobbly and out of breath--but I did it.

I'm eating a lot more salads because I read this article (incidentally the doctor interviewed is my doctor, too, and I could totally hear his voice as I read it). I've been counting calories because "you can't manage what you don't measure." Incidentally, a little mayo has as many calories as an entire sandwich!!

Here's the simplest recipe ever for what I consider a tasty salad: mix together quartered cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes, croutons, and enjoy! No dressing needed. 

Tomorrow I'll be back with something design-related. Until then, do you have any tips for healthy snacks?? Chex mix is one of my faves but is nutritionally not so good. 


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...