Tuesday, December 9, 2014

My Favorite Christmas Tradition

The holidays are just the best time of the year, don’t you think? They’re filled with so much gorgeous décor, fun activities, and traditions. I know every family has their own Christmas traditions, whether it’s baking cookies together or going ice skating at a special rink, or just getting together for gifts and games on Christmas.

When Ben and I first moved in together 7 years ago I thought it would be fun to start our own tradition by getting each other a special ornament. It was a way to build our ornament collection and to give each other a personal gift that reflects our interests. I’ve loved searching for the perfect ornament for Ben every Christmas season, but I think he wins for getting me the better ornament each year. Here are the ornaments we’ve exchanged.


Ornaments 2008

A snowman doctor for Ben to celebrate his first year in med school, and a first Christmas photo ornament from Ben to which we added a pic of our new little family (no Finnley yet).


Ornaments 2009

I laughed so much when I opened my ornament and saw that, without planning it, we had gotten each other these mini glass ornaments! We even got them from the same store!


Ornaments 2010

A Mizzou glass for Ben, and a really sweet and whimsical ornament for me.


DSC_0865Wedding ornament

We got married in 2011, so without discussing it, we both happened to get each other wedding ornaments. I made a ornament filled with our wedding invitation, and Ben ordered a hand painted ornament from Etsy personalized with our wedding date.

The last two years we decided not to buy each other more ornaments since our tree was getting pretty full and still growing (I worked at a home store in 2012, so I collected a lot of ornaments from them that year, and last year we got a new tree that happened to come with tons of ornaments), but I’m so happy we decided to start this little tradition of ours. I love looking back on the ornaments we’ve given each other; they’re some of my favorite gifts (given and received).

Do you and your significant other exchange ornaments or another special gift every year? If you’re in need of some ideas, Coupons.com can help. They have great guides for anything you need: budget-friendly gifts, gifts for “enthusiasts” (fitness, tech, etc), and hostess gifts. Coupons.com also has an awesome giveaway open until Christmas. You could win one of three $100 Amazon gift cards or the grand prize, a $500 Amazon gift card! Who couldn’t use a little extra spending money?! Click here to enter The Good Stuff 2014 Holiday Sweepstakes.


**Thanks to Coupons.com to for sponsoring this post! All opinions expressed are my own**

Monday, December 8, 2014

I’m Back! (And Where I’ve Been)

Hello friends! It’s been way too long since my last post, I’ve missed you all!

There’s no one reason why I haven’t blogged in two months (whoa, long time), but rather a combination of several factors.  In October I went back to Illinois for a long weekend for my high school reunion, and a week later we left for a week-long trip to Washington D.C. Then when we got back I got hit we got with some bad news (the “c” word) about a family member that got me pretty down. That’s on top of the rollercoaster that another close family member has been going through with her health for the past several years (f*cking cancer). So between being busy/out of town and the rough stuff with my family, I just wasn’t in the mood to blog.

Then after I hadn’t posted in a few weeks it was hard to get started again. It’s kind of like exercise; once you get out of the habit, it’s not easy to get back in it.

But I do miss this little blog of mine so I’m coming back. I have a great Christmas themed post tomorrow, plus my kitchen transformation, a tour of my house all decked out for the holidays, and a desk makeover. Stay tuned!

And thanks for sticking around while I’ve been gone, it means a lot!

Perhaps my favorite part of Elf...although it's hard to pick just one favorite!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Modern Black and White Room

Hello friends! I have another fun room design for you today! For this board I started with a fabulous accent chair: this sunny yellow Chinoiserie armchair from Chairish. There’s actually a pair of them, and I think they would look great flanking a lovely light gray sofa like this one designed by The Everygirl for Interior Define. I kept the rest of the room pretty neutral, adding a lovely Moroccan rug for texture, a sleek vintage black art deco lamp, some gorgeous black and white art from Minted, and more.

Living Room

Luna Sunburst Mirror, World Market// Nate Berkus Vase, Target // Crocodile 1 by Jaime Derringer, Minted.com // Lighthouse Spiral by Jeff Preuss, Minted.com // Leopard Pillow Cover, Motif Pillows, Etsy // Black and White Cushion Cover, Ikea // Rose Sofa, Interior Define// Swedish Lacquered Black Art Deco Lamp, Chairish // Bubble Ceramic Side Table, West Elm // Yellow Chinoiserie Armchair, Chairish // Moroccan Beni Ourain Rug, Rugsville.com // Round Marble Top Coffee Table, CB2

Once I started building this room I realized that it reminded me of Jenna Lyons’ iconic living room, isn’t it gorgeous!

Jenna Lyons Living Room

photo via Domino

What do you think of a neutral room with a single pop of color? It’s a little different than my usual style but I love it!

You can see more of my room designs here.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Better KC Segment

This morning was super exciting for me: I did my first TV appearance! I did a live segment showing how to make my fall wreath and autumn tablescape on Better Kansas City, a local talk show on KCTV5. I was really nervous going into it but once the segment started I felt ok. The host, Alexis, was so nice and friendly and the producers were awesome and really helpful in getting everything set up. Thanks so much to Better KC for having me on and thanks to anyone who was able to watch it!

You can watch my segment on Better Kansas City’s website here.

For the full tutorials, click here for the wreath and here for the table décor.





Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Modern Bathroom Designs

This post is sponsored by ModernBath.com. All opinions and thoughts expressed within are my own.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while you might be aware that my style is a little all over the place. I like to mix some traditional elements with more modern ones, maybe throw in a little bit of bohemian or Chinoiserie. In short, I guess the best way to describe my style is "eclectic.”

I’ve designed a lot of living room mood boards and a few bedroom and office boards, but I’ve never done a bathroom design. So when the people at ModernBath.com reached out to me about reviewing their site, I thought it would be a fun challenge. Instead of sticking with a certain style I combined several products I absolutely love. I guess you could call this room “feminine rustic glamor.”

For my dream bathroom I started with this Rustic Chic vanity from ModernBath.com. I paired it with one of my favorite wallpapers (which I’d balance by adding white beadboard on the bottom half of the wall), added a pretty bone herringbone mirror, a two-toned metal chandelier, the most amazing soaking tub, and a tribal stool that can be placed next to the tub for you to set your wine and book on. Now tell me that this doesn’t sound like the perfect bathroom.

bathroom design

Fairmont Designs Rustic Chic 48” Modern Bathroom Vanity, ModernBath.com, $1852 // Parsons Small Wall Mirror – Bone Inlay, West Elm, $299 // Currey & Company Fairchild Small Chandelier, Layla Grace, $1320 // Neptune Wish 01 Freestanding Oval Bathroom Tub, ModernBath.com, $4541 // Vanuatu Twilight Wallpaper, Anthropologie, $198 // Tribal Carved Wood Accent Table, World Market, $149

ModernBath.com has everything you’d need to design your dream bathroom: vanities, showers and tubs, lighting, etc. And they come in every style: modern, transitional, and traditional. I will say that the prices on their pieces are quite a bit higher than you’d pay at a big-box store like Lowe’s or Home Depot, but their options and quality contribute toward the higher prices. This vanity, for example, is made of solid wood and features dovetail drawers, a feature I doubt you’d find in a much cheaper option.

What features would you choose for your dream bathroom? Would you have a whirlpool tub or a clawfoot bath? A killer chandelier or marble tile? Leave a note in the comments!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

TV Favorite: Regina’s Office from Once Upon a Time

You guys, do you know what tonight is? The season premier of Once Upon a Time! I really enjoy this show and their modern take on classic fairy tales.

I recently re-watched season 1, which is the best season in my opinion, and I was struck at how lovely the sets are. I really like Mary Margaret’s shabby chic apartment and Granny’s diner, but I especially adore Regina’s glamorous black and white office. (P.S. I’m pretty sure no mayor, except maybe the mayor of a huge city like New York, has an office this nice.)

Click to view full size image

Click to view full size image

Click to view full size image

screenshots via Screencapped

Isn’t it gorgeous?! Now, all the black and white might be slightly over the top for a real-life room, but I think it is absolutely perfect for the show. And how amazing is that tree wallpaper?!

I love this room so much that I decided to recreate it for you. I’m pretty sure the wallpaper, table lamps, and dining chairs are exact matches, and the rest of my picks are as close as I could find.

Regina's Office OUAT

To see the sources and prices of everything pictured above, check out my Polyvore page here.

Are you into the chic black and white theme? And will you be tuning into Once Upon a Time tonight? Leave a note in the comments!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday Favorites 9.26.14

Happy Friday, loves! Here are a few of my favorite links from the week.

This House Tour

Lauren Conrad - The Fireplace

Lauren Conrad’s house tour in In Style is to die for. Somehow she transformed herself from reality TV star to my generation’s lifestyle icon, and I’m so jealous of her style, both in clothing and in her gorgeous L.A. home. It’s the perfect blend of California and Parisian style, casual but sophisticated. See more photos here.

This Sofa


I popped into Anthropologie last weekend to take a break from the Plaza Art Fair crowds (so much fun, but so many people!), and this navy velvet chesterfield sofa literally stopped me in my tracks when I saw it. It’s that gorgeous in person. It’s not exactly cheap ($2498), but it is stunning. It also comes in a ton of other pretty colors, including teal, yellow, and rose. Check it out here.

This Kitchen

White Kitchen with Gold Hardware

I love a bright, white kitchen, so it’s no surprise that I love this kitchen remodel by designers Owens + Davis. What is surprising though is that according to their instagram page, this is an Ikea kitchen! And obviously I also love the colorful kilim rug by Amber Interiors, it goes so well with the white cabinets and counters. Owens + Davis are seriously talented, see more of their gorgeous rooms here.

This DIY Project

copper glass lantern centerpiece

The lovely Erin from House of Earnest (who I had the pleasure of meeting at this year’s Go Blog Social conference) comes up with the prettiest, expensive-looking DIY projects, like this copper rimmed glass candleholder. It looks seriously sophisticated and high-end, don’t you think? I think it’d be perfect for a modern fall centerpiece. For more photos and instructions click here.

That’s all for today friends. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

P.S. to see more Friday Favorites from past weeks, click here.