Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Hanging LKJ's Stocking!

According to Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, "we should all strive to have a big menu of healthy treats, so that we can recharge our battery in a healthy way." 

This is so totally my justification for thinking about what to get myself this holiday season. The more we take care of ourselves, the better we're able to take care of others!

And who's better at taking care of others than a mom???  

Lauren from Simply LKJ is definitely one of those wonderful moms. I love learning from moms who are just a few steps ahead of me on the mothering path. An empty nester now, Lauren traveled to Texas recently for a weekend with her second daughter. 

Before she left, I asked her to think about some of her favorite things for a virtual stocking (mine is here).

Here are her fun choices!

From the top: Philosophy's Amazing Grace Perfume; Monogrammed Ball Cap;
Streams in the Desert Devotional; Simple Strand of Pearls; Plaid Scarves (this one happens to be J Crew); Kendra Scott Pendant Necklace; Queen Bee Goes Home Again by Haywood Smith--according to Lauren, her books are hilarious and take place in Georgia; Lilly Pulitzer Script Earrings; Jo Malone Candles. 

Isn't this a great look? Lauren has some beautiful taste! And couldn't she totally pass for a college girl herself?!

You can check out her Christmas home tour from last year here. The stockings were hung by the chimney with care (and style)!

If you would like to create your own virtual xmas stocking (or whatever YOU celebrate), please send me an email.  

And if you're decorating your tree this weekend? I hope you can do the last part of this bit of wisdom with a smile. :)

Friday, November 21, 2014

High Five Pre-Turkey Friday

TGIF! Do I say that every Friday?! Eh, here are my favorites from the week:

1. Silver Bells

In a week from now it will be totally acceptable for me to be listening to Christmas carols and eating candy canes because Thanksgiving will be over. But because the snow has been flying all week, I sort of feel like doing all of that now. In fact, my daughter and I ARE going to this holiday gateway event tonight. Doesn't it look exciting?! I said last year we were going, but then didn't, so this is the first time in a decade that I'll see the state tree lit and the fireworks over the capitol! My fingers are crossed that the mystery Disney character leading the parade is Elsa (from Frozen). That would totally make the evening for my eight year old. This cute band will also be performing for free. Maybe because our state is shaped like a mitten that's why we all love the cold so much?!

While Bela and I are freezing are buns off at the parade, my middle schooler will be attending his first dance/activity night at school. I remember holding him in my arms the last time I went to Silver Bells, so this is a bittersweet occasion. 

2. Brrrrrrr


My favorite weather-related quote is the Norwegian saying: "there is no bad weather, only bad clothes." We stocked up on new boots, snowpants, and hats & gloves last week for the kids. But I thought this post was laugh out loud funny. Because when the novelty of all these pretty snowflakes wears off...

3. Bettering Myself


Maybe it's because Gillian Flynn is such a good writer and I find myself identifying just a little bit with both Nick AND Amy, but I'm thinking about trying to be a better person. Here's a good article about how to say no and not sound like a jerk that actually is also a great example of daily scheduling. This one is about how much complaining sucks the joy out of living for everyone who hears it. 

4. At Home in the Sky

Paris is talking about allowing another skyscraper and I'm thinking about how to decorate a home in the sky with inspiration from these young design assistants' apartments:
5. Crafty Christmas

Michael's has this cute craft project on its website here. It looks really really easy. Just promise me you will buy your supplies before next Thursday (also known as Thanksgiving).

Happy weekend! Xoxo

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Sparkle & Shine: Chairish

Everything old is new again. Do you feel that to be true? I sure do! And I think it is so great!!

My pals at Chairish recently added thousands of pieces of vintage jewelry, handbags, scarves, sunglasses, and neckties to their collection of accessories.  The company is best known for their furnishings and home decor--like the bar stools in this design here.

Fringe necklace / turquoise tassel necklace / rhinestone earrings / bib necklace / bohemian Indian cuffs / Griffin brooch / pocket knife pendant / Chanel earrings / Chanel fantasy charm bracelet

But this new category of offerings is perfect -- not only for getting glammed up for holiday events or gifting someone with something sparkly but also for styling your home!

Unicorn /
Imagine using this unicorn bookend with a strand or two around its neck and maybe a bracelet hanging from his horn??


When you buy pretty things for yourself, you're actually buying pretty things to display in your home too! You can even make your own beautiful things like this marble dish, which would be the perfect size to hold a pair or two of earrings or a brooch.

Victorian woman bust / Rhinestone handbag / Hermes tie
A bust is another super fun and irreverent way to display your jewelry. I imagine I'd layer this Victorian lady with both necklaces, hang the purse off her partial shoulder, and fix the necktie around her head like the Fresh Prince.

 Moving on...

This beautiful vintage scarf could be worn a multitude of ways. Or, you could frame it...

As I mentioned, though, the collection even includes neckties like this gorgeous silk necktie which is actually Hermes and eight more here. (Chairish's search function makes it easy to find whatever your heart desires!)

Speaking of Hermes, it is not yet--but almost!--too late to enter Chairish's cozification contest to win a Hermes blanket. All you have to do is pin!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Habits: Strategy of Inconvenience

Happy Monday, friends! I'm sharing a video from Gretchen Rubin today. She is the author of The Happiness Project, Happier at Home, and the forthcoming book Better Than Before, which is about habit formation and will be released on St. Patrick's Day. 

"strategy of inconvenience" is how I would describe hiding the brownies
in the cupboard and putting a bowl of fruit or veggies on the counter
in order to re-train myself to eat healthfully. 

Also, how great is that pattern on her sofa?!? Anyone know who makes that fabric?

Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday High Five

TGIF, am I right?? My office was closed Tuesday so it was really only a four-day week for me, but I'm still so happy to see the weekend. Here's what I am loving this week:

1. One Room Slacker
I promised last week that I would have more of my favorites from the One Room Challenge Linkup this week but I didn't make any progress on checking out the reveals. :(  And this makes my goody-two-shoes self very anxious since so many people were so nice about my efforts. I'm going to finish reading the rest of the reveals! I promise! Until then three fantastic rooms that I think were on everyone's list of favorites for those of you who didn't see them...

Stephanie's breathtaking dining room refresh.

Kris' perfectly stenciled loo.


The Aquahaus rooftop party place.

2. One Kings Lane

I need this Twin Peaks print in my life. Besides the perfectly moody colors, I was a big fan of David Lynch back in the day. I also would like pretty much everything from this sale. So much blue & white goodness, some hot fireplace accessories, and fountains (which I had just been searching for everywhere else).

3. Boot Sale!
If you read this post or this post this week, then you know I'm hoping for some rain boots under my xmas tree. My friend Marty told me she had gotten some from Target this past spring. Well, lo and behold, Target still has some cute rain boots AND they're offering a buy one, get one 50% off sale. So, two pairs of boots (or more!) could be mine!!

Brown Riding Boots / Gray Booties / Black Riding Boots / Black Rain Boots

4. Guest Post Yourself a Merry Little Holiday
The Mrs Box

I can't believe I forgot these little beauties in yesterday's post, any one of which would fit perfectly in a Christmas stocking. If you want to get in on the fun of virtually gifting yourself, please send me an email and I'll send you the details. If you celebrate something other than Santa and stockings, definitely get in touch because I think it would be interesting to learn about your tradition.

5. Don't Not Break the Internet
For everyone who rolled their eyes over Kim K's latest this week, I have to say this: don't mess this up! If the world wants to cherish her assets, pllleeeaaassseee let them. God bless those big ol' Kardashian butts, I say, because I'd much rather eat a brownie than a salad. Sing it!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Hanging My Stocking

Welcome to my xmas fantasy!

This is where I hang (and fill) my own Christmas stocking.

Carolina George Palm Beach
Isn't this mantel the perfect amount of mod and glam?! Well done, Carolina George.


I searched high and low for a stocking that meets my decor tastes. These are from West Elm. LOVE the pompoms!

As we enter the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, let's take a moment to think about ourselves just for a moment.

Because more than likely we are making sure this season is perfect for everyone around us. But, if we were Santa, what would we be putting in our own stockings??
Amaryllis / Kari Gran / Bumble + Bumble / Tassel Bracelet / Dress / Foo Fighters Tickets / Chandelier Earrings / Pura Vida Bracelets / NYTimes Crossword Puzzles

These are a few of my favorite things lately. My face and hair feel (and smell!) so good with Kari Gran rosewater tonic and Bumble + Bumble's Straight Blow-Dry. A stack of bracelets, and especially one with a tassel, are fun. Likewise I am all about the chandelier earrings lately. This dress looks like it could pack well, which is how I justify putting it in my stocking. LOVE those sunset colors. The Foo Fighters are celebrating their 20th anniversary with an AMAZING line-up (think LL Cool J, Joan Jett, and Buddy Guy). Tickets to the Fourth of July concert in Washington, D.C., would be a great way to spread the gift out over the entire year. An amaryllis bulb to grow and a slim book of New York Times crossword puzzles to solve would make all my days merry & bright.

Under my tree, I am still hoping for this DVD set that bunches of my friends have gotten recently and these boots, which I wrote about yesterday. And, of course, lots and lots of books!!!

I could also eat my own weight in these and always always LOVE gift cards from here.

What is your winter holiday tradition? What would you put on your wish list?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Well well wellies

Add to my search for the perfect rug a new obsession. I'm on the hunt for a pair of Hunter wellies. 

Outfit / Room

Not only are wellies fashionable for your feet, but they make your entryway look good too!

Modern / Traditional
It really doesn't matter what style your home is. A pair of wellies at the door looks good in a modern space or a more traditional one.

bare legs / tights

There are so many color options: black, green, red. They look great with a dress...

Outfit / Room
 Or with a pair of skinny jeans or leggings. You can wear them in the fall. 

left / right
Straight through Christmas!

Outfit / Room
And into the spring. With April flowers and May showers.
Outfit / Room
Even wear your wellies to the shore in the summer.

big / 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Whether you have one pair or several, a pair of wellies by your door makes it look like you do stuff.

Now I just need to find a pair that don't cost an arm & a leg! :)

Monday, November 10, 2014


I try to live every day with kindness. Some days I fail spectacularly. Mostly I just feel lucky to be the recipient of so much kindness. And I fully believe it's the everyday little acts of kindness that change the world. 
Liz Graham-Yooll via Art for Charlie
In conjunction with World Kindness Day on November 13, the Art for Charlie Foundation is asking people to have the #CouragetobeKind. The Foundation will host an art show and auction in East Lansing on World Kindness Day. Tickets can be purchased via the Foundation's website, at Schulers bookstores, or from "kindness ambassadors" around town. 
Kathy Tieman via Art for Charlie

The Foundation supports pediatric hospice and also helps families in need by providing funds for a memorial, a family retreat, or something that simply helps preserve the child's memory. It was founded by the family of Charlie Waller, a sweet little boy from my community who died last year. I only know his family in passing but, of course, was moved by their story. 
Connie Miller via Art for Charlie

The Foundation raises money through art "because it is a beautiful way to fight this darkness." And if I can help in some teeny way, I want to do so. Please spread #CouragetobeKind. Complete an act of kindness, tag 3-5 friends on social media, and spread the love. 

Wendy McWhorter via Art for Charlie

Here are a few ideas of things you can do that require just a little #CouragetobeKind:

1. Buy a coffee for a stranger. This is the one I chose last year to remember Charlie.
2. Leave a pound of good coffee in a friend's mailbox. Or a bottle of wine, six-pack of craft beer, bouquet of flowers, newest bestseller... You get the idea!
3. Write a thank you card to your favorite teacher.
4. Bypass the good parking spot for one farther away.
5. Hold the door for someone especially a parent with (or without!) a stroller.

6. Bring donuts to the office. If you don't work in an office, take some to your doctor, hairdresser, school, or church's parish office.
7. Buy a pair of gloves and a hat for someone who could use them. Your mailman, a needy child (ask in the office of your local school), a homeless person on the street.
8. Take a hot meal to a homeless person. My kids and I took McDonalds to a homeless veteran holding a sign on the side of the road once. Most moving thing I have ever done.
9. Offer to rake the leaves of an elderly neighbor.
10. Before you head out to do your errands, call a friend. Ask if they need you to pick up anything from the grocery store, drop books off at the library or clothes at the drycleaners. 
11. Bake cookies for someone who might be having a bad day. Because there's not much in this world that a fresh chocolate chip cookie can't fix!

If you are reading this, consider yourself tagged! Good luck with your #CouragetobeKind! All of the art pictured here can be found at the Art for Charlie auction this Thursday, November 13, in East Lansing. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased online here.

Through kindness we can tell the story of who we are with our whole heart. Watch here.

Friday, November 7, 2014

High Five Friday

High five, it's Friday again! My favorites from the week:

1. One Room Linkup
I showed you all my favorites from the official One Room Challenge on Wednesday. I'm only about a third of the way through all of the linkups, but some not-to-be-missed favorites:

--The 1930's Los Angeles apartment designed by Rosa Beltran. Really love her philosophy about spending for the project as well as the mix of colors. Stunning!!

--Melissa's perfectly organized pantry and the chalkboard wall by her husband on A Prudent Life.

--Pam's beautiful master bedroom retreat for her single-mom friend on Simple Details. {As the self-appointed ambassador to divorce-land, this one was extra-special to me. Any local friends who have been through divorce are welcome to a free room makeover by me anytime!}

--Also touching was the story behind the teen boy bedroom by Amy here. It's a great room that I know my son would beg me for if he saw it...

--Emily's full monty bathroom here is 110% perfect.

And, a special shout-out to my real life friend Dana. Her beautiful neutral room, Bergere chairs, and chandelier-steal(!) are not to be missed.

There are so many more that I'm excited to check out and share... I hope to get through them this weekend and share more favorites next week.

2. Falcone's Enchanted Home
Do you watch Gotham? It's the story of Batman told through Jim Gordon as a young cop in the days after Bruce Wayne's parents are murdered. The sets are so gorgeous! The show recently filmed some scenes at The Enchanted Home. Check out her post here to get the behind-the-scenes story and see more of her beautiful home.

3. Showering Babies
I'm going to a baby shower for my husband's cousin this weekend and was also excited about finding this fun foodie blogger party. The recipes look delicious and each blogger gives some advice for the new mom in a virtual baby shower. It made me  think that this is what I could be doing in my new kitchen besides styling it (the recipes, people, not the baby-making).

4. Car Talkin'
How many Saturdays have I spent road-tripping or errand-running while listening to Car Talk? Lots. I don't know which Tappett Brother Tom Magliozzi was, Click or Clack, but I know he will be missed.

5. Framed 
I'm spending the weekend trying out my five free frames from Warby Parker, and just found out that I've won a free Instagram mini from Framebridge. How sweet is that?! I am in love with their selection of frames especially the faux bamboo and burl wood options! 

Happy weekend! Xoxo

Thursday, November 6, 2014

One Room Challenge: Week 6: REVEAL 2-Fer

Well, here we are at last! Week six of the One Room Challenge™linkup. So many times I thought of quitting--because who cares about this dumb little project of mine?? But you all were so encouraging, and now I have a space that looks so much better than it did. So, thanks for keeping me going!!

My project was an entryway revamp. I was going for a midcentury modern glam vibe around our front door outside and in our foyer and small powder room indoors.

I wanted to, but didn't, remove the storm door. Eventually I can paint it or we will replace it with something better looking. For now, though, I added a 3M hook to the glass so we can hang a wreath on the outside of the door. I think this is a good-enough work-around. 


One of the absolute best things about the One Room Challenge is that the official participants are so engaged with the linking participants. Christine Dovey suggested the very idea I was thinking of in week three. It was as if angels sang! She, of Bijou and Boheme loveliness, proposed adding molding to the front door to add some architectural interest. Ba-bam!! I have a plan for that!

But for the time being, I've purchased this starburst knocker. It was as close as I could get to the star doorknob plates from my inspiration board. The instructions were super confusing to me and I'm still relatively nervous around power tools so it's not actually on the door yet. It feels very heavy and looks solidly made, though.


The paint on the urn got refreshed--it's amazing what a little  spray paint can do!--and I look like I got cut in bar fight from trying to re-pot that effing fern. I don't love how I have mounted the address plaque, but it's up on the wall. Until we know for sure it's not going to fall down, I still have the teeny little numbers above the door too. C'est la vie. My design plans for my own house are sequential. So first is plan a. Then, down the road, will be plan b. 

Speaking of plan b... I started to paint the stencil on the wall in our powder room. The handmade stencil I cut from a cereal box. Unsurprisingly, it didn't work that well. It was a little floppy and the lines didn't stay true enough. Also, I really wanted the look of a dark wall with some white accents, which would be the opposite of what I was doing. The paint color from the sample I bought at Target (did you know they sell paint now?!) also was not quite as much of a peacock blue as I dreamed. Since I knew I would have to re-paint anyway, I decided #YOLO. And I created this large feature block. I'm sure I've seen it as a solution elsewhere.

And if not, whatever. It works for me. It creates the amount of visual appeal I was looking for when you look into the powder room from the foyer. Without the hassle of having to paint the whole damn wall.

The room is also less dark than if I had painted the whole wall, which is great since it is such a teeny space. Although as you can see, there is one window and this is the fabric sample-turned-curtain on it. Easy peasy!

The budget was small to begin with, and then my husband told me not to spend any more money after week one so it necessarily got even smaller. I used some gift cards to buy a few things and bought other things while grocery shopping so it wouldn't count. Necessity is the mother of invention, right? Mostly this time around, the One Room Challenge was meant to test my DIY talents and that didn't require much money. Not too much money, not too much work. But definitely a different feel to the space now. Hopefully that's encouraging news to some reader out there.

I moved the garden stool from last spring's #ORC out to the foyer so we would have somewhere to sit when taking boots on and off this winter.

The colors in this photo inspired the moody vibe I was going for in the space.

With a little punch of color from this piece.

And my little blue & white collection contrasts with the green velvet wall-coverings.

And in my title, I mentioned this was a two-fer. Our kitchen renovation is now closer to being completed too! (minus a drawer and a lot of styling!) We opted to keep the cabinets that we had, moving a few around in order to accommodate new appliances including a dishwasher.

 I'm off now to see everyone else's rooms! Thanks to Linda @ Calling it Home for dreaming this idea up in the first place and inviting others to link-up last year. Long live the #ORC!!


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