Guest Blogging Over At Wayfair….

A few months ago, I hosted a Joss and Main sale. It was a fabulous experience and since then I have continued to talk with the awesome crew over at, the parent company of Joss and Main. Today, those fine folks invited me over to their blog to discuss extra seating.

It is no secret that I have a love affair with chairs, but most times, extra seating leaves little to be desired. Normally, relegated to the realm of boring folding chairs, extra seating gets a bum rap! Check out my picks and suggestions for adding some flavor to what could be a boring situation….

I promise a more normal posting schedule next week but between the traveling, the hospitals, time changes and work, something had to give. Fingers crossed I get a little down time this weekend!

Have a GREAT weekend!

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Guest Vignette: Big Beige Box

Time for another installment of Guest Vignette where I ask fellow bloggers to share a vignette in their home and explain why it is meaningful.  This week I am excited to have Courtney (don’t you just love her name) of Big Beige Box over to share what I think is a pretty awesome story……

When The Secret came out, many of my friends put together vision boards of their goals. I was, of course, way too cool to buy into some Oprah gimmick (because she obviously has no idea about what ideas work, right?) but there was one goal in particular that was tugging at my heart and soul, begging to be put ou there. In 2010, I had fallen in love with a man and a city so my life in FL was growing more irrelevant by the day.

 I had to get to NYC.

 I jotted down a simple phrase on the back of a business card I had made to promote my blog and identity as a designer. “NYC 2011.” I set the card on my desk and looked at it every day, reminding me of my goal.

 My goal came to fruition in April 2011 just in time for its cut-off date of my 30th birthday. Never before had I wanted something so badly and worked so hard. I rang in my 30th on the pavement of NYC and settled into Apartment #13 a month later. As I was unpacking my things, I came across this card.

I considered throwing it away, because the goal had been completed, but stopped myself. I found a frame and slipped in the card. This goal was too much of a milestone and that card meant too much to me. It is now displayed prominently on my bookshelf, and it reminds me that I can do ANYTHING if I put my mind to it.

Thank you Courtney for sharing!  Honestly, I got a little choked up when I read this the first time because I fully understand the drive to obtain a goal and leaving yourself visual “pep talks” to make sure you stay on track.  It truly is a lovely story and I am so happy that (1) Courtney obtained her goal and (2) she kept the card as a reminder that truly anything is possible if you try……

Okay, this is it for me for the week.  I apologize that I have been so quiet this last week, but between pitching two clients, preparing for a week back home in the Midwest, on boarding a new client and taking two classes, I am stretched to my limit and something had to give.  Here is hoping that my time back in Ohio and Michigan gives me some quiet time to reflect and recharge.

Have a great weekend and I will be back on Monday to answer the burning question, so many of you all asked …..exactly where does Courtney keep all his dishes?

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Guest Vignette: Adventures of an Almost 40 Year Old Intern…

Because I am all about shameless self-promotion, be sure to check out the give away I am doing this month where you can win a $50 gift card from Pier 1!

Okay now that is out of the way, I wanted to take a moment to reintroduce an on-going series for the blog called “Guest Vignette” where I am asking various bloggers to showcase vignettes in their own home and explain why they are meaningful.  While the series is a fun way to get a snapshot into different bloggers’ design styles, it also is a great reminder that a home is all about how you personalize it – without personal objects in the space, it’s a house.  It’s all about how you layer in those personal things that makes it a home.

I am tickled to have Holly of Adventures of an Almost 40 Year Old Intern  as my guest today.  Like myself, Holly found her calling in life a tad later than most but she has made up for it with a vengeance.  She enrolled herself in design school, promptly scoring a sweet internship in Los Angeles.  If that wasn’t enough her mad DIY skills have grabbed the attention of Nate Berkus (she was on the show too!), Design*Sponge, Apartment Therapy and a slew of other design heavyweights.  Today Holly is sharing a vignette in her Los Angeles living room…..


Well, I love this vignette because it incorporates so much of what I love…  A great piece of vintage furniture, a cool graphic printed fabric, fresh orchid, and quirky artwork that is meaningful to me.  For the last year I have been bloggin’ about starting over as an intern and pursuing a career in interior design and this vignette is the first project I did in the quest to revamp my apartment right before I made that big decision. I was obsessed with artwork collage walls, saw many done on HGTV and in my favorite design magazines,  and I wasn’t sure I had it in me to create one of my own. And then one Saturday I just spent the day planning it out on my living room floor and nailing it to the wall. I have been lucky enough to travel to a lot of cool places in the world and have collected random pieces of artwork on these travels and never got around to properly displaying them. So now my groovy vintage fan purchased at a market in Buenos Aires, pieces from a couple of artists in Prague, a photo taken by a really cute guy in India, and a pic of my little nephew with his bright red hair, among other pieces, all live in the same place! And it was the success of this vignette that helped me gain the courage to try my hand at interior design and make the crazy decision to work for free to get experience. Oh, and the groovy original Bertoia chair in this vignette??? Well, it is one of my very first super fabulous vintage finds! I paid $150 dollars for this beauty (and a matching one) 21 years ago at a vintage store in Ann Arbor, Michigan. That was such a huge amount of money to me at the time (I was 19 years old), and way before I understood the value of a great investment piece!

Don’t you love how Holly’s collage wall is more than just a fun way to hang art?  I like that the wall chronicles her adventures in life and can only imagine the conversations between her friends that the collage has sparked.  Thank you Holly for sharing!

You can check out other Guest Vignettes, here and here.  Be sure to also check me out on Facebook and Pinterest as well as Twitter.

Don’t forget to enter the Pier 1 Give Away for your chance to win a $50 gift card!

Guest Blogging Over At Serenity Now On Tablescapes……

Creating a beautiful table is not difficult.  It just requires a bit of forethought and planning as well as the right supplies.  Amanda over at Serenity Now  invited me over to discuss some basic guidelines to setting a show stopping table……

I am sharing my top rules and tricks for saving you time, money and sanity during this already chaotic holiday season…….

Swing by and check out the post…..

I also encourage you to check me out tomorrow on the Nate Berkus Show where I will be discussing how to set a chic and unique holiday table.  I am so excited to finally be able to show you the table.  I will have full photos of the table and details tomorrow!

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Guest Vignette: Ten June

I have a treat for y’all today.  My friend and fellow Centsational Girl contributor, Michelle of Ten June is here today to participate in my ongoing “Guest Vignette” series where I ask fellow bloggers to photograph and describe a meaningful vignette in their home.  Michelle’s home is warm and cozy – the culmination of her approachable design style and keen eye for easy but high-impact DIY projects.  Today she shares with us a vignette in her Atlanta living room……

Hello hello! The name’s Michelle and I’m the author of the DIY design blog, Ten June. As all of you know, my friend Courtney here is the king of all things “detail”… his vignettes and tablescapes are so inspiring! With that said, I’m excited that he asked me to stop by and share the little details of my favorite vignette from my house.

I’m sharing a space from my living room. Seated next to a wall filled with bright white plantation shutters (that I just repainted!) are two slipper chairs from Target. I love the khaki colored basketweave fabric- it’s the perfect neutral color for the space. In between the chairs is a set of painted nesting tables that I thrifted from Craigslist. These guys were a score for $20! I painted the tables a glossy navy blue, which brings in the bold color that I used to paint my adjacent dining room walls. The nesting tables are topped with my grandmother’s vintage milk glass lamp and some of my favorite design books.

I love this bright space next to the windows- it’s the perfect place to curl up with a good book or to relax and watch some television. I love changing around the books and pillows to switch the look of the area up every once in a while. It’s definitely one of my favorite spots in my home!

I love that Michelle was able to incorporate her Grandmother’s milk glass lamp into her vignette.  It is the perfect foil to modern and linear details in the vignette plus it adds that bit of nostalgia that I believe every house needs to make them a home.  Thank you so much for sharing Michelle!

So do you have a special accessory or furniture in your home that you inherited?  Leave a comment and tell me about it!

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Guest Blogging over at Michaela Noelle Designs

I am breaking down barriers y’all!

The lovely Michaela of Michaela Noelle Designs asked me to participate in her adorable series traditionally entitled “She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not”.  Considering that I am a male, she made a special exception and changed the series to suit my unique (ummm male) needs ……..

So check out her “revised” series “He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not” featuring yours truly as I dish on all the things that I have been crushing hard on as well as some things I wish would disappear.

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Blog Series: Back to School Prep with Moth Design

I readily admit to this….I have a crush on my next guest blogger.  Honestly how could you not have a crush on Erica of Moth Design?  She is beautiful, stylish, runs a thriving design business in Canada and is a mother to five boys.  Yup, peeps, she holds it down as a single mom of FIVE hormone-raging boys and has yet to lose her sanity.  How does she do it?  Well I will let her explain….

Hi there! It’s Erica from Moth Design. As a single mother of 5 boys, organization is the key and there are several things I do every August to keep our family afloat when the school year takes off.

Tip 1:
I make my boys help me locate supplies and back packs from the previous year to determine an accurate list of what’s on hand. Usually there’s enough supplies to last for the first days. I then shop directly from the teachers lists to avoid unnecessary purchases or duplication. Something to keep in mind, grocery and drug stores that don’t usually stock an “office” section will often mark down their school supplies to fantastic prices in the weeks after school begins as they need to make room for Halloween candy!

Tip 2:
We  go through the prior year’s clothes and shoes to assess what still fits or can be passed down. This year there are still jeans that fit but the knees are ripped. I’m planning on trying out this clever patch. The great thing is you don’t have to be a master seamstress to do these fun fixes. Instructions (here).

another version (here)

Tip 3: 

Extra socks and underwear. In my family everything is color coded. Boring perhaps, yes, but this was the best thing I could have done for myself. EVER! There has never been a basket of mismatched socks since and it cuts the time spent putting laundry away in half. So here’s the tip… every boy has their own color underwear (ie grey, navy, etc…) and I buy socks with different colored stitching, based on size, at the toe. The same can be done for girls too. Usually I can pick up big packages of both at stores like Walmart or Target in the fall. Given every child knows their color it’s easy for them to put away their laundry and keep organized.

Tip 4:

I remember learning in a psychology class that it takes 21 days to form a habit. I start putting my kids to bed earlier the last two weeks of August in anticipation of the first few days of school. The transition of re-entry can be stressful and a good sleep schedule helps. I also have my boys put the following days clothes at the end of their beds before they go to sleep. This cuts down the rush in the morning and eliminates the pandemonium caused by not being able to find socks or clean pants. ps- do a test run of your child’s alarm clock to confirm it is working too!

Tip 5:

For those of us in colder climates, the one year that I didn’t buy boots and mittens early and when the first snow fell we didn’t have the appropriate snow gear. Man, did I feel like an idiot dropping of my kids in their sneakers. Since then I always set a reminder in my planner to keep my eye out for the arrival of boots and snow wear in stores and I buy promptly.

Tip 6:

I’ve never ordered fancy pre-printed sew in clothing name labels. However, I’ve found a system that works for me. I buy fine tip Sharpies and write our last name in all of the boys clothes. There’s been several occasions when one of my boys has a classmate with the same winter coat or backpack. It’s just easier to write their name in the collar and eliminate confusion. This also helps with laundry sorting. I write every boys name in the back collar of their undershirts and they can put things away themselves.

Hope this helps facilitate a smooth start to the school year! Good luck everyone and thanks so much for having me Courtney!

Thank you Erica!!!!  I love that Erica’s system empowers her sons to help themselves which I think is key.  By creating a system that is color-coded and simple to follow, her sons can now fend for themselves.  I also love her tip regarding non-traditional stores to purchase school supplies!  But now I am thinking about Halloween candy…….

As I ponder if there is any candy in the house, why don’t you all think about how  Cristin of Simplified Bee is going to wrap up the series tomorrow?
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