It’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but I’m finding myself getting excited to start Christmas decorating. I discovered these pictures on my phone from last year’s office Christmas party, which was held at the governor’s residence. I found these simple ideas inspiring and, most importantly, do-able.

Cutie patootie residence manager Kelly Brennan poses next to an adorable mini Christmas tree.

How cute and simple is this tiny tree in a gilded pot? There were several of these placed around the room. According to the governor’s residence manager, Kelly Brennan, these little pots were just cheapy plastic ones that she spray painted gold. These little trees would be fun and festive throughout the house.

I also loved this beautiful room – so understated, yet elegant. The green paint was exactly what I was hoping for in our little powder room makeover (which has been a failure, at least thus far).

These white poinsettias contrast beautifully with the rattan and green walls. I also love the wreaths on the windows.

Can’t wait to get started!

All white tulips

All white tulips

Floral stylings

It’s too early (WAY too early) to start planting outside in Michigan – but the eight days of 80+ degree weather we’ve had (in March!) have me wishing I could get started. So I’ve decided it’s time to start gathering some inspiration.

I found this pretty mix on Facebook. Something like this would look nice on our front steps.


Here is a pot I did a couple of years ago. I love the darker mix of coleus, sweet potato vine and other greens. Please ignore my boyfriend’s shirt hanging on the deck railing in the background.


Can’t wait to start planting!


Repurposed shutters

I saw this cute end table on Facebook and thought it would be fun to try to duplicate. I’ve seen vintage shutters in antique shops but never really thought I could find a use for them. This is adorable AND functional, and I think it would be easy to do. The hardest part will be finding a set of four matching shutters. Off to the antiques mall…


Four-Year Anniversary



Four years ago I encountered a very tall, handsome, dark-haired man in the produce section of Meijer. One week later – four years ago today – we went on our first date, and we’ve never looked back. It’s been (almost) all fun and frivolity ever since. Plus we’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of produce jokes. I love you Ricardo… looking forward to many more years of laughter and adventure together!!

More coastal decor love



(From Oh So Shabby by Debbie Reynolds)


Still fixated on coastal décor. I love the brighter colors in the bedroom above and could see this working in the beach bungalow. The more serene palette in the top photo is what I’m envisioning for our master bedroom. I especially love the painting over the mantel. Wonder where I could find something like that. Too bad I don’t know how to paint.


Coastal Dreamin’

I can’t stop drooling over coastal style and all things beachy. Maybe it’s because it’s January in Michigan and it’s five degrees outside with six inches of snow heading our way… but I just find myself drawn to beach cottage style these days.

We would probably never actually paint our kitchen turquoise, but I love this look:


(Photo from Oh So ShAbBy By Debbie Reynolds Facebook page)

The coastal bedroom decor, however, is in the works. A photo of the first project will be coming soon.

Dreaming of the beach


Now that the holidays are over, I’m ready to move right past winter and straight into warm weather. This picture on HomeGood’s Facebook wall made me dream of updating the beach bungalow for the upcoming summer. Also gives me ideas for our bedroom, which is in desperate need of a makeover.

Image My friend Norma and I recently ventured to Battle Creek, MI to attend the Southern Exposure Herb Farm “Holiday Decorating on a Shoestring Budget” workshop. I only recently learned about this amazing place from my lovely coworker, Daiva. It is truly a hidden gem in southwest Michigan – a gorgeous herb farm/wedding site/specialty dining/crafters’ paradise. If you have an opportunity to visit, I highly recommend it. Image

When I first looked into this particular workshop in September, every single one of the 17 dates was filled up. However, we were put on a waiting list and some openings became available. We didn’t know what to expect, but were so glad we went. The hosts were delightful, the food was delicious, and the decorating ideas were fabulous – and more importantly, do-able. Image

They provided handouts and I took copious notes – however, like an idiot, I left them behind. Luckily Norma kept her copy – here are just a few of the ideas we brought home:

  • Don’t be afraid to mix faux greens (“permanent botanicals”) with real. A great example of this is mixing real and artificial gourds. They blend well and people are less inclined to notice the artificial pieces.
  • St. Vincent’s, Salvation Army, and consignment shops are treasure troves for pieces to repurpose. Try to look beyond an outdated finish or color combination – components such as artificial fruit or veggies can be pulled out and spray painted for a new look.
  • If you’re painting delicate items such as dried hydrangeas, use floral spray (Design Master floral dye is a recommended brand) rather than regular spray paint for a softer finish.
  • Hit garden centers at the end of the summer to get good deals on hanging wall planters, etc. They can serve as wonderful fall displays too. And don’t forget November 1 – the day after Halloween – for great deals on fall décor that can still work well right through Thanksgiving.
  • Mix old and new – short and tall – for interesting vignettes that please the eye.
  • Carve out gourds and fill with glass containers to use as interesting vases.
  • Rather than remove your art and other wall hangings during the holidays, leave them in place and dress them up with simple garlands and embellishments.
  • “Lock-Tight” adhesive works way more effectively than a hot glue gun – and it won’t burn your fingers!
  • Pineapples are a traditional New England symbol for hospitality.

Southern Exposure has oodles of amazing hands-on workshops, theme dinners, bus tours and other events. To learn more, visit www.southernmoon.com.