Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Year Dawning


Happy almost new year, lovelies! I hope that your holiday season was joyous, or at least bearable. :) We celebrated for a full week, watched so many movies, and generally had a nice time.

I am especially looking forward to this New Year's Eve, though. Maybe it's because this holiday is the perfect combination of champagne, glitter, and fireworks followed by resolutions to live better that makes me enjoy it so much?? 

If you're still figuring out your resolution for 2015, check out this tip post by Gretchen Rubin. 

See you next year!!! 


Friday, December 19, 2014

"Six Days to Xmas" High Five Friday

We are speeding toward xmas now, people. No matter if you are ready or not, it's coming. 

My weekend plans and what I am loving from the past week, otherwise known as my "high five Friday" for your reading pleasure:

1. The Best Way to Spread Christmas Cheer
Is singing loud for all to hear, of course. At noon I'm heading down to the Capitol where a former sheriff-now-senator is unveiling a nativity scene on the capitol lawn. This story had been making me uncomfortable, to say the least, and I am relieved that my church and lots of others got involved. 

2. And more singing...
Then tonight, while my son has a sleepover with his BFF, I'm planning to take my daughter to a Cocoa and Classics event at the Broad Art Museum. It's one of 19 museums that HuffPo recommends visiting over the holidays.  

Domaine Home
3. A Home Away From Home
Everything that Domaine publishes I fall in love with, and nothing more so this week than their exclusive with Nate Berkus about the signature suite he designed for the Loews Regency Hotel in midtown Manhattan. The brushstroke art over the sofa and the cornice and drapery are my favorites in this stunning room.

4. Christmas in Paradise
Did you see my holiday house tour? Then you know I'm really dreaming about a tropical Christmas. This image of orchids in Naples, Florida, has been on my mind since Linda posted it earlier this week.

5. There's Always Next Year
Using these organizing tips, I plan to start my Christmas planning early next year. Like the day after Halloween-early. Here's an awesome free printable to help me remember! And this is probably the time to mention that it is unlikely I will be mailing Christmas cards this year. Again.

I hope you all have the merriest of holidays!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Holiday House Tour

Welcome to my holiday home! If you are visiting from the 12 Days of Christmas linkup, thank you for stopping by! And if you are a regular, welcome back! The theme for this year around our house is "Christmas in Paradise" and I tried to give all of our little yuletide vignettes a tropical flair.

If you were really stopping over, the first thing I would do is offer you a cocktail! We can have Irish coffee (or spiked hot chocolate), a pina colada, mimosa, or the list goes on... Local friends, remember this and pop in! ;) To decorate the bar'moire for the holidays, I added a few candy canes and candy-cane striped paper straws.

I switched out our regular art in the entryway for this holiday print I received from a local graphic design company years ago. The orange in the print makes it feel more modern and fun.

Over in the "keep"--the little sitting area near the kitchen--I added a crystal bowl full of candy canes and a small Christmas tree in a silver urn. Then, to add a little more impact to both, I put the candy cane dish inside a bigger seashell-shaped bowl and the Christmas tree on top of a glass cake stand.

I put a mixture of bulbs in another crystal bowl. I love the way they catch the light.

Over the years I've gotten lots of decorations as gifts, including this Waterford Santa. He's actually a votive holder but I like having him hold my Starbucks in the kitchen.

This faux garland in the powder room was something I put together with pine branches that I wired together in small bunches and push-pinned to the wall. It smells great, but is shedding needles like crazy.

In the living room, I added some flowers to my blue and white ginger jar, and put it together with these brass candlesticks.

The idea for my theme originated with these pillows. The similarity between the colors in the marsala-fringed pillow makes the tropical pillow feel less summery.

Our Christmas tree smells wonderful!

A little close-up on our Irish ornaments.

Loving these cute wrapping papers. The zebra patterned wrap reminds me of Scalamandre's famous wallpaper.

And finally a few of our xmas stockings, waiting to be filled by Santa!

Thank you to the hosts of the 12 Days of Christmas Tour of Homes! It's so nice to be inspired by these talented bloggers and to have a chance to linkup (and additional reason to drag the ornaments out of storage)!

Whatever you celebrate, I hope it's merry!!! Xoxo~Carrie

Retail Therapy

Good golly, miss Molly. Christmas is a mere nine days away. It makes me feel panicky just typing that. How did this happen?!
Retail Therapy

If you are local, there is a fun event in Okemos tomorrow (Wednesday, December 17). Retail Therapy, an upscale women's boutique, invites women to come in and shop from 10am-4pm. They'll be serving champagne while you shop for some of your favorite things. Men are invited to come in during the evening (from 4:30 to 8pm) to have a drink and check things off their list. 

Retail Therapy

I'm loving this dress from their website. See the way the pattern is narrower than the actual dress? Such a great way to create a slimming look! There are so many choices for holiday parties (including New Year's Eve) as well as jewelry like this pretty bracelet.
Retail Therapy
Retail Therapy is in Central Park Plaza on Marsh Road in Okemos, between Tannin and Maru. If there is a man in your life who hasn't yet done his shopping for you, this is a great way to nudge him toward some of the things you are really hoping for. And all in a fun and festive environment!

Lindsay Letters
I also happened upon a great deal from Lindsay Letters today. Several of her 12 Days of Christmas prints are free (Days 4-12). Beautifully illustrated and available to print as 8x10s, 5x7s, or gift tags. 

I'm planning to share some photos of our house decorated for the holidays as part of the 12 Days of Christmas Tour of Homes linkup later. Be sure to come back and check it out! (I have a theme!)


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Hanging Dana's Stocking

One of the best parts of blogging has been getting to know other people who share my love of interior design and creating a beautiful home. But, generally speaking, these relationships have been online only, whereas today's guest is someone I've known IRL for the past ten years. In fact, from the first moment I met Dana, I have felt that she is someone who exudes the sort of calmness I want for my own life. So I am thrilled to be able to share some of her favorite things here today!


this time of the year makes me feel happy, thankful, and content with all the blessings in my life: my home, the sunlight coming through my bedroom in the morning hours, liam and alexandra, your great sharing and caring style, our cat louise, the warm fire we get to have through the winter months...this and more...there is so much good that is happening.  

my family really loves our stockings and we have a tradition of opening up one gift from our stockings on christmas eve.  each year, i buy a hallmark ornament for liam and alexandra and they hang it up on our tree and we have snacks and christmas music on.  your virtual stocking invitation brings me back to these happy memories with my kids!

hand lotion: to me it's important to use natural products free of parabens and chemicals and that it have natural scents. this lotion, made with shea butter is thick and creamy, is all natural, and smells and feels amazing on my hands. i'm always cooking meals for the kids, so having an extra tube of this in the kitchen helps keep my hands looking good.  

parenting book:  one of the best books i've ever come across for gentle parenting.  i'm passionate about  treating children well, giving them unconditional love, and children's rights;  and this book goes into great depth to examine these subjects.  mine has been lended out so many times, it is now falling apart.  having another copy to share would be ideal.    

puppy: for my family :-)  not only are pets therapeutic, my kids are begging for a dog.  we've been searching for a rescue toy poodle mix rather than buying a "new" puppy to help one in need.   

lavender bath: love my baths and detoxing time, and lavender is my go-to for stress relief and relaxation. this bath soak uses crystallized kelp instead of sugar or salt so it's packed with vitamins and minerals that go directly through your skin (without any toxic chemicals) to nourish and detox your body.     

tata harper mask: i've not tried this, but it sounds amazing and is a natural product too.  

ugg alana slipper: or any type like this with the sheep lining to keep my feet comfy and warm. there's nothing quite like the natural fiber sheep wool to keep your feet happy, pure bliss it is.  

100% pure body lotion: great for the whole body too!  

pale doe lightweight cashmere scarf: cashmere feels so good on my skin. i love this as it's lightweight cashmere so i can wear it from september to june!

Aren't these lovely choices?! I hope Santa is a reader and that Dana gets everything she wishes for, and more! 

Do you want to be part of this fun series? Please send me an email and I'll give you the lowdown. :)  Read about previous stocking-stuffers below:

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Marsala, the Bob, and Homeland

Thanks so much for your comments yesterday on my slow progress on decorating our house for xmas! It will get done... And I'm super excited to share it with you all once it is!

For today, though, I am thinking about this outfit. Oh, the ruffle! Oh, the peplum! Oh, the ruby red velvet YSL bag!

Or would that bag be better called marsala?? If so, I guess I can get behind the Pantone color for 2015 after all.

And how about that hair?? I love a bob. Love, love, LOVE. And this one is long enough to be able to add some beachy waves when it's time to get fancy. 

The bob also reminds me of this story I saw in the news last week. Doesn't Colleen Bell have a cute haircut and great style? She also "knows how to make friends" which seems like a pretty good job qualification to me. 
Ambassadors with soap opera marriages reminds me of this season of Homeland, though. Have you been watching it?

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Christmas Decorating...NOT

As I have been reading my favorite design blogs this morning, a trend has emerged: lots of us have not really gone all out decorating for the holiday this year. 

Heck, at our house we don't even have our tree yet!!!


However, my mom did get me a big blue and white ginger jar this weekend at a resale shop in my hometown. I'm thinking it will look great with some evergreen boughs in it. 

via Country Living

The store, called Nu 2 U Resale Shop, also had several old toboggans. I thought they were pretty affordable--although I wasn't planning to buy one and haul it home so I didn't look that closely at the price (maybe $25 though??). I think this is a cute look for an xmas entryway.

Do you decorate for the winter holidays? Or do you skip it??

Friday, December 5, 2014

Holiday High Five Friday

via Midwest Living

The kids and I are headed "up north" for a weekend in Manistee, Michigan. It's where I grew up. We'll be staying with my parents and hopefully seeing my brother and his girlfriend as well as some other friends around town. 

The five highlights of the trip besides those friendly faces?
via Midwest Living

1. Victorian Sleighbell Parade
The parade goes right through the downtown area. Big horses pull a Christmas tree. It's been years since I've been home to see the parade. Longer even than the last time I had gone to this parade. It starts at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday.

2. It's a Wonderful Life on the Big Screen!
At 12:30 on Saturday the restored Vogue movie theater will show It's A Wonderful Life,  my favorite ever holiday film. For free! I cannot even wait!!!! 

3. Miracle on Maple (er... 34th Street)
Saturday night my mom is taking the kids and me to see Miracle on 34th Street at the beautiful Ramsdell Theatre. It's number one claim to fame is that it is where James Earl Jones (voice of Darth Vader) began his acting career. Although I know from personal experience that this beauty was in plenty of performances there, too.

4. Downtime
Driving up Friday night after work--three hours in the car with two excited kids--then a full schedule of events on Saturday?? I'm going to have to plan for some downtime so I don't get cranky and tired. Long walks in the fresh winter air. Bedtimes as close to normal as possible. Quiet books to read. 

5. I'm Elf!
And just for fun: Which holiday movie are you? Find out here.

Happy Friday!

Xoxo Carrie

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Kate's Dream Christmas Stocking

Today's virtual stocking is brought to you by Kate of Willow Interiors. You may remember her as a participant in the One Room Challenge Linkups. She has now re-done all three of her kids' bedrooms! Total mom of the year prize for that, I tell ya! 

Michael's Room
Aren't those glossy black doors gorgeous?! Check out the rest of the room reveal here.

Anna's Room
Her daughter Anna's bedroom with that amazing canopy! Read the rest here.

Kevin's Room
And her youngest son's fun, colorful room here. I love those arrows!

I can tell you that Kate has been a very good girl, Santa! 

Kate's Dream Christmas Stocking

This is the only perfume I have worn in years. I love it because it is just a clean scent. But my local Irish import store has closed! :(  Right now all I have is a small travel roll-on...  Santa, feel free to jam in as many of these babies as you can... ;)
Duckhorn Vineyards Red + White Gift Set
Years ago Kevin and I had a special trip to Napa and this winery, and I joke with him that it is our "house" wine...it is not. :)

I've got a thing for Kate Spade, watches, and the color navy...so this is perfection! 
Okay, I may a get a little weepy here, but the Fresh Air Fund is an organization near and dear to my heart.  We had city kids come and stay with us when I was growing up and I remember loving it so much we decided to keep the tradition going with my own family.  We've met wonderful children and have had great experiences, but Nate has been visiting us since he was 6 and he's now 14! He is a great kid, in a shitty school (pardon my french) and I would love to be able to send him to a private school and broaden his horizons a bit...  In the meantime we plan on having him out before Christmas and spoiling him and his family a little, all the while stressing to him that education is the key to improving your life! 
Okay onto more of my dream wish items for my stocking!
Pippa Classic Grab
I've loved this bag for awhile and apparently so has everyone else once they saw Pippa Middleton walking around with it after her sister's wedding. The website doesn't have the grey in stock right now, so I guess I'll go with the black.

My family knows I'm crazy about Christmas music and equally crazy about Idina Menzel, so yes please!

Okay, I know I could feed a country with this, but a girl can dream can't she?
And before I wake up from this dream, you might as well throw in:
We honeymooned in Hawaii 16 years ago (Wow! Where did that time go!?) and would love to bring the kids to our favorite island of Kauai, so if Santa wants to throw flight and hotel vouchers into my stocking, I'm not going to stop him!

Okay, Carrie thank you for asking me to be a part of your virtual Christmas Stocking dreaming!!! This was fun to dream a little bit, but it seems that I dream BIG! Tell Santa I've ordered this stocking and I'll leave it out for him. ;)


Isn't Kate the best?! I love all her choices, her sense of humor, and her big heart. :)
To read others in this series, visit here for Lauren from Simply LKJ's stocking and here for mine. If you'd like to play along, please send me an email.

Happy Holiday-ing!!!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...