Friday, July 31, 2015

High Five Blue Moon Friday

It's been awhile since I've done a post about my favorites of the week, otherwise known as the High Five Friday, and since today is a Blue Moon, it seems especially appropriate to do one today. Plus, I actually have fun stuff to share! This is also my 500th post!!!

1. Velvet It opened less than two weeks ago and I've already been there three times. If that doesn't tell you how GOOOOOOOD this ice cream/candy/fudge shop, transplanted from Michigan's Mackinac Island is, then I don't know what will. Read more about them here. I'll probably be there tonight, buying Blue Moon ice cream. Is that not the best idea?! Is Blue Moon ice cream a "thing" outside of Michigan?

2. One Kings Lane Hands down, One Kings Lane is my favorite of all the flash sale sites, and they have some especially great stuff right now. Think: big rugs for less than $250, lots of blue and white porcelain, and Lucite office supplies. I don't always buy the things I feature here, but today I did. Shop here.

3. Caitlin Wilson's Home Tour Did you see textile designer Caitlin Wilson' home tour? So good! Each space is more colorful and fun than the last one. I love how much buffalo check she uses. And her kids are precious!

4. Home Decorators Collection If you've been waiting to purchase a media cabinet or office furniture, do it now! Home Decorator's Collection is offering 20% off plus free shipping through the weekend. This is an awesome deal! I was just looking at their pieces yesterday and would have paid $70 for shipping on a TV stand.

5. Harry Potter/JK Rowling Birthday We'll probably watch one of the Harry Potter movies tonight because it is Harry Potter's/JK Rowling's birthday. I would also bake a cake but see #1 above... I got a Fitbit for my birthday/anniversary {and have been working that piece of information into as many conversations as I can manage}. Yesterday I was well over the 10,000 step requirement but had to work my buns off to do it: yoga, a morning walk, a walk to the Farmers Market on the Capitol lawn, and an evening stroll with my husband, plus I biked to our local library (which is not far, but totally different muscles. yikes!) If you're looking for a fun treat, may I suggest indoor s'mores. I think the photo is pretty self-explanatory, just microwave for 11-15 seconds.

My apologies for the lack of pictures and any weird formatting--I upgraded to Windows 10 and have not figured out how to do certain things yet in Blogger. I had to compose the whole thing in the back end HTML code. Anyone have any tips?? Help!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Summer Refresh: My House

This is the kind of summer day when I crave fried rice. It is hot, hot, hot! Or, it was before the rain. I'm indoors now and thankful for air conditioning.
Summer is my favorite season so I want to soak up every. single. drop of it. It's my time to dream big and to slow down & relax. To eat ice cream cones and visit farmers markets. Late night walks to see the fireflies. Coffee while I watch the sunrise. And hours upon hours next to the water.

I've been reading lots of good books. Many of them are from this list that I made at the beginning of the summer.
  • The One & Only--popular last summer when it came out, it's about a woman who loves college football and falls in love with the coach of her team. It's complicated because he's also the father of her best friend. I have to think every Spartan fan imagined him as Coach Dantonio and that's why the relationship was not creepy...
  • Emma: A Modern Re-Telling--Jane Austen set in the modern day by the author of The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. And guess what modern Emma's profession is??? Interior designer, of course!
  • Unbecoming--I read this book about a femme fatale named Grace who moves to Paris to escape after an art heist, immediately after seeing the new American Girl movie with my daughter (about Grace who goes to Paris for the summer and works in a patisserie). Very, very different storylines...
  • Finding Audrey--this one is a Young Adult novel, not a genre I ever read, but it was written by one of my favorite authors, Sophie Kinsella. The main story is about a girl named Audrey who has some serious social anxiety due to some kind of bullying incident. But the part that is making me LOL is the relationship between the older brother, who LOVES video games, and his crazy, anti-screen mom. That definitely hits close to home for this mom of a YouTuber who threatens weekly, if not daily, to sell every single TV and video game system and become Amish.
  • The Paris Architect--I substituted this book for the other choice in the category of "a book that my mom loved." It's set in Paris during the Holocaust and an annoying, selfish architect is the main character. He's asked to build a hiding place for a wealthy Jewish businessman. By the end of the story, he redeems himself and it was fascinating to read about the construction of the buildings (the author is an architect and historian). 
We had a yard sale. While it made me somewhat uncomfortable to be "on display" with all of our things on the lawn, I did get to meet a lot of nice people including some neighbors. And my daughter sold her Barbie houses. Alleluia!

By not having quite as much stuff in our house, I started rearranging and "refreshing" our spaces.

First up: I styled this bookcase in our living room. I started by removing everything, then started putting things back on the shelves in rainbow-color order, keeping a mix of standing and piled books. The very last thing I did was to add in the accessories. I took the dust jackets off several books. Do you do that? In the past, I've always kept them on. And the pile on the floor is a project for another day: family gallery wall, which makes the whole look a lot more messy than it feels. {This chair didn't sell in the yard sale so I added an expensive pillow, and voila! so much better.)

This is the wall where Barbie village used to live. I moved the mid-century mod cabinet here and paired it with the peacock chair and floor lamp. The Kerplunk game (the marbles for it are in the painted bucket) and the wooden puzzle (from Zimbabwe!) add a little color and fun. The beer is an Oberon by Bell's Brewery from Kalamazoo--it is the taste of summer in Michigan, in my opinion.

Since we were clearing things out we also ordered a few new pieces. New matching nightstands in the bedroom meant that this white nightstand could move into the living room and start life over as an end table. I love it because there are drawers for all of the remote controls! I added the blue shell chair from the last two spring One Room Challenge linkups next to the sofa for additional seating.

We replaced our pink Victorian-style sofa with this new piece. Its more modern look and texture fit the style of our house better. This sitting area is next to our kitchen and is where I drink my coffee and journal in the mornings. For now at least, I'm keeping that green glass vase. I set it on that table when it came back in after the yard sale, and then the look grew on me. I'm calling it a happy accident. :)

My husband found this round rug for under our dining table. I love it!

And, the biggest news of all... I'm now working locally as an interior decorator with Your Organized Space!!! I am so thrilled to be working with my friend, Erica, who is the talented professional organizer who started the business. Check out our website to read more about our services! I'm looking forward to working with clients to refresh their space! :)

Thursday, July 23, 2015


Tomorrow I am doing something that fills me with trepidation and dread: I'm dragging all the things I don't want in my house anymore outdoors for a yard sale. Eeek!

I'm armed with the best advice I can get including a printable checklist from Your Organized Space.

It all began with my daughter's desire to downsize her toy collection. But from there it has morphed into me realizing I'll be much happier with LESS.

We have been so blessed. But now we have so. much. stuff!!!

Among the items for sale tomorrow:
  • Dyson orange ball upright vacuum (six years old but still much less than eBay)
  • Décor items that don't work with the style of our "new" house (we moved a year and a half ago and I'm finally coming to terms with it in order to let it go...)
Like this green glass jug vase. It's huge and heavy and so pretty.
This zebra print bolster pillow which was part of my single lady bed (not this black duvet). Still in great condition.

There will be more pillows (because I have an obsession) and rugs. Books, DVDs, board games. A Barbie dream house and a Barbie beach house. Child  size roller blades, maybe a BMX bike. Clothes and shoes--things I am tired of wearing, boys' size 10-12/12-14 and girls' size 7-8, and possibly some large men's clothes (if I can convince my husband).

My daughter will have a lemonade stand. In a more fanciful moment, I thought I could offer Starbucks, but logistically that might be too complicated (of course, if you come to the sale and ask me for a cup, I will be thrilled!)

If you're local to the East Lansing area, stop by for the Good Blog Reader discount. :) Things will be pretty much marked to sell because I just know that I'm going to LOVE having all that empty space in my house.

The address is 1012 Delridge Road. We'll be out on the lawn from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Mish Mash

Once I get a little bit out of routine, it seems like I get a whole lot outta routine. Take blogging. It's been a week since my last post and I have so much to say that there is no clear theme right now; I'm just spilling it all out...

I went away on vacation at the beginning of this month, for the Fourth of July, to my hometown. While I was there, I helped my mom with some decorating challenges to make her house feel new using the things she already has.

Clockwise from top left: Here's a shot of the runner and buffalo check skirt that we mixed for the first One Room Challenge(TM) linkup. By using the same shade of blue, I felt comfortable mixing these very different patterns. I think it creates a fresh look. Adding a skirt to the old cabinet injects some color and softness to the room, too.

The beautiful banister was a project my dad just completed. One of the things my mom wanted help with was choosing new lampshades. We picked out a drum (straight sides) shade to replace this white one, original to the lamp. New lamps can be expensive and typically have an eternal shape so just changing out a lampshade can often be a good way to save some money.

There was no rug under the dining room table and this blue and white rug was in storage. Win-win! By adding it under the table and chairs, it softens all the wood in the room and adds another color (blue, my mom's favorite).

This wingback chair is part of a pair that we moved to either side of the TV to create a sense of symmetry in the room. We also moved the paintings that are now above the chair from the middle of the room and added chandelier shades to the candlestick lamp. I brought the shell-motif pillow cover from my old house.

Because my husband had to come back for work after the holiday weekend, my mom drove the kids and me home at the end of the week. This meant she and I got to go shopping in my area! We found five lampshades for her project for less than $50 altogether by shopping at Tuesday Morning, HomeGoods, and World Market.

In the top right photo you can see one of the places we tried the wingback chairs before adding them to either side of the TV. Sometimes you just have to experiment a little bit until you get it right. We also moved that antique piecrust table to the dining room.

The bottom right photo is of my parents' family room. Originally it was a garage that they converted into an apartment for my grandma with a fireplace, bathroom, and kitchenette. It's right off the breezeway laundry room from the One Room Challenge(TM). We placed an unused coffee table under this set of windows to create a window seat. The pillow is also from my house but coordinates really well with the colors in this room and fits the Colonial Coastal Farmhouse look that we're creating.

I'm currently loving this song.


I turned 40 this weekend! Here's what one of my friends from my college days had to say about life in the fourth decade.

I'm going to have some big news -- HUGE -- that will mean I'm blogging even less but actually doing more of what I love. Stay tuned!

What's new where you are? How's your summer going? Fill me in!! :)

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Vanity Variety

How about a little visual inspiration for today? Since we talked all about skincare yesterday, let's look at some beautiful spaces for making ourselves feel beautiful. 


In this bathroom, it looks like a vanity was retrofitted to be used as a sink. The stool is such a nice touch here, adding a comfortable place to sit.

In this bright and cheerful room, the vanity and chair are painted the same shade of yellow. They coordinate with the other pieces without being too matchy-matchy.

Décor Pad

 This vanity has double sinks and drawers for holding personal items.
Carla Aston

In this bathroom, the vanity is placed against a window wall so the mirror is layered over the window treatment.

Another option is to layer mirrors over a wall mirror for extra reflectivity.

In many of these images, the console is open beneath the sink for storing folded towels.
Interiors by Elizabeth Metcalfe Interiors & Design Inc. via Homebunch

I love how this bathroom incorporates a lamp into the mix, making it feel even more like a room. 
Golden Boys and Me via Remodelaholic

I love these double mirrors, not least of all because we received a mirror just like them as a wedding gift.
6th Street Design School

This large round mirror is a nice alternative, too.

This room is so interesting because of the stairwell. It must be a very private space??

Don't forget to enter the raffle for a Rodan + Fields sunscreen and cute towel! Enter here before midnight on July 19th!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Rodan and Fields Giveaway!

Helllloooo!!! I'm back from vacation with a fun giveaway! It seems like everyone I know is talking about Rodan + Fields. But what is it?? My friend (and one of my son's favorite teachers) tells you all about it in today's post!



Hello!!  My name is Kristen and I am a mother to twin three-year-olds, a second grade teacher in East Lansing, and an Independent Consultant for Rodan + Fields Dermatologists. I was first introduced to R+F about 8 months ago by a friend who was having success with both the products and providing supplemental income for her family while working around her kids' busy schedules.  I was actively looking for some supplemental income to help support two children in preschool, but was being very picky about what type of “second job” I wanted to commit to.  I refused to take more family time away from my kids and husband and once I learned more about Rodan and Fields, I knew it would be the perfect fit for me and easy to incorporate into my everyday life.  Not only that but I am enjoying personal results using the UNBLEMISH regimen.  I have finally found a regimen that works for my annoying adult acne!

What is Rodan + Fields Dermatologists?
Rodan + Fields Dermatologists was started by the two female Sanford trained dermatologists (Drs. Rodan and Fields) who created the Proactiv® Solution, which as you know is the number one acne treatment in the world.  What they have done for acne, they are now doing for aging, sun damage, and sensitivity.  Formerly sold only in high-end retail, R+F earned a solid reputation as the number one clinical selling line at Nordstrom (before it became exclusively available through consultants like me).  Rodan and Fields have recently been showcased on shows like The Doctors and The Today Show. 

What I love about Rodan + Fields

1.   I LOVE that we stand by our products.  These are products designed by dermatologists, without paying for the office visit or prescription.  Each product comes with a full 60-day money back, empty bottle guarantee.  So, essentially the products are risk free!

2.   I LOVE that we are a virtual-based business providing full time pay with very part-time hours.  All of our sales are through our personal websites so it only takes 5 minutes of your time to place an order and there are no “parties” to attend.  We do not need to stock inventory nor have previous sales experience.

3.   I LOVE that I get to partner in business with these two incredible Doctors who are doing for aging what they did for acne.  Because it is still so new, I get to be a FIRST in this ground floor opportunity.  All the while I still get to work my full-time job and spend quality time with my family.

4.   I LOVE that I have seen and experienced REAL results with these products and am proud to represent such a wonderful company.

Here’s a brief overview of our main skincare regimens:

REDEFINE for the Appearance of Lines, Pores, and Loss of Firmness – Decide today how you will look tomorrow with our REDEFINE regimen! A comprehensive skincare regimen that layers cosmetic ingredients and proven peptide technology to help defend against, prevent, and reduce the visible signs of aging for noticeably firmer, smoother, flawless-looking skin.  It’s like Spanx for your pores! This is a before and after picture of my friend and business partner who had been using the Redefine Regimen for 10 months.
REVERSE for Sun Damage, Hyperpigmentation, Dullness, & Brown Spots – Erase sun damage, hyperpigmentation, and brown spots with REVERSE. Many of you may even have the lingering effects of PREGNANCY MASK/MELASMA thanks to those lovely hormones during pregnancy, which vanishes with this regimen! REVERSE exfoliates, lightens, brightens, and protects your skin for a more even tone and texture!  Check out my cousin whose before and after pictures of using our Reverse Regimen paired with our AMP Roller, was taken only 7 weeks apart!
SOOTHE for Sensitive Skin, Rosacea, Eczema  Clinically proven to reduce redness and irritation in as little as 5 minutes, SOOTHE shields against the biological and environmental aggressors that can trigger inflammation, helps fortify skin’s natural moisture barrier, calms visible redness, and reduces irritation so that you can take comfort in having a healthy-looking complexion every day.

UNBLEMISH for Breakouts & Post Acne Marks –  Breakouts? Unpredictable? Take control with our UNBLEMISH Regimen. Clinically proven to combat the entire acne cycle, this sophisticated regimen helps unclog pores, clears breakouts and calms your complexion to keep pimples, blackheads, and post-acne marks from making an unwelcome appearance on your face!
Acute Care – Ready to fill a wrinkle in your sleep?  These revolutionary little patches do just that! Find your expression. Lose the wrinkle. REDEFINE ACUTE CARETM smooths expression lines with proprietary Liquid Cone Technology that melts line-defying peptides and hyaluronic acid directly into the wrinkle for a more youthful appearance. You can experience long-lasting results after ten applications, and you may even see results after the very first use. It’s so simple, you can do it in your sleep.

Not sure what products are right for you?  Then take our simple and quick solution tool found here. Make sure to input your email address for your results. 
Curious about what Rodan and Fields could do for you and your family?  Listen to this 15 minute anonymous call and then we can chat! 
For more info, visit Kristen's website.

One lucky Cosy Carolina reader will win a FREE full sized bottle of Rodan and Fields Essentials Sunscreen and cute towel to keep your skin safe this summer in the hot sun!  (Disclaimer – towel may be a different pattern.) 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, July 3, 2015

High Five (Almost) Independence Day Friday

There's nothing better than working on the day before the holiday except, of course, not having to go to work at all (which we'll do later today). Here are a few things that penetrated my almost-on-vacation euphoria, otherwise known as the High Five Friday.

1. Flags for All
Southern State of Mind

If we were staying around home, I think this would be the greatest idea to do with my neighbors.

2. The English Spy

If you're wondering how a book about an English spy got on this patriotic list, it's because Daniel Silva, who was born in Michigan, just released the 15th Gabriel Allon mystery this week. Visit this link to find out where you can get an autographed copy.

3. Land of the Brave
I really really liked this post about doing the things you think you are too scared to do.
4. Beauty Counter Sale
Have you tried BeautyCounter yet? I just learned about this fantastic company and was excited about this promotion. Shop now through July 6th.

5. Whole Vacation
We're packing up the car and headed north soon. I've put aside a million books to read/work on the business while we're at the beach. Or, I may try to take the advice of Kid President and just enjoy being.

Although I won't be posting here, I do intend to do mini-posts via Instagram and Facebook all week. If you haven't yet, "like" or follow me there to see what's up. I'll be back with a super awesome giveaway on Monday, July 13th!

Happy 4th of July!!!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Ring Review

Pulling together an outfit is a lot like decorating a room, I think. Just as a room doesn't feel finished until the art is hung and pillows fluffed, it's the same with adding jewelry to an outfit. Even something as simple as a wedding band can make a very powerful statement.

Since the way I dress is a microcosm of my own style, I was delighted to be contacted by Anjolee, a family-owned jewelry company based in San Diego, California, to review their diamond wedding band.

The company was started nearly 40 years ago by two brothers who named the company after their angelic mother. Throughout the years, the company has gained recognition as a leading manufacturer of high end jewelry, and in 2008 began selling directly to consumers via their website.

Anjolee's product line includes an extensive collection of bridal jewelry. Best of all, you can design your own piece easily via their website. There are a huge number of options, from classic to vintage to red carpet, with or without gemstones, each more gorgeous than the last.

For this review, an Anjolee representative worked with me to choose one of the Five Across Diamond and Gemstone rings. I chose to alternate the diamonds with citrine stones on a platinum band.

There are seven other stones that can be chosen including amethyst, garnet, peridot, ruby, sapphire, tanzanite, and topaz. You can even do a multicolor ring with a combination of different stones for a rainbow effect.

The website shows the same ring with sapphires, which is so bright and beautiful. But I wanted to be able to use this ring to mix metals and still feel coordinated.

This is just one of their many rings! Anjolee also sells beautiful earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and pendants! The website has a ton of resources for learning more about diamonds and gemstones.

I've been wearing this ring for over a week now and have had nothing but compliments. It's very pretty in an understated, refined way. Thank you to Anjolee for providing this opportunity to review one of their products. It was a pleasure to use their services.


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