10 Favorite Things for Friday

Happy Friday! Today I'm sharing 10 of my favorite finds with you for the week, just for fun :)

1. One of my favorite details on clothes is anything eyelet. I think this sweatshirt is SO cute and it's on sale for under $35 today. Get 48% off today only on everything!

2. I also found this palm tree tee (where I get almost all my knit tees!) on sale. It's so perfect for summer! It's under $20.

3. I saw that my favorite wedges are on sale for under $50! They're really comfortable and come in lots of colors. I have the gray but love this color, too.

4. Tis the season for sunscreen! I try my best to use products with safe ingredients, so for sunscreen your best bet is Mineral Sunscreen. I love Beautycounter's! But this year they made a new one that's TINTED. Yes, you read that right: tinted mineral sunscreen. There are two shades to choose from and let me just tell you, this sunscreen is amazing! It smells great, protects your skin, goes on evenly, and it gives your skin a dewy bronze glow / evens your skin tone. I just LOVE it!

Another favorite thing of the week: I've been going to the pool with a friend for a bit almost every day this week because we've had so.much.sun. and I'm here for every ounce of it ;)

Also, heads up that Beautycounter is giving you a FREE skincare regimen with the purchase of $175 or more to celebrate the 4th of July. It's such a great deal! 

5. I've been hearing so many good things about this silk pillowcase. I really want to try it! I've heard the benefits include less face lines, split ends/breakage, and less crazy hair when you wake up ;) Have you tried a silk pillowcase?

6. Okay, this one is silly, but it's totally making my list! One of my favorite shows is back on-- Married at First Sight. Ha!! Laugh if you want, but I'm hooked ;) It's essentially an arranged marriage and the show documents the process, but it's amazing to see how some of the couples actually grow to love each other! It just started, so you're not too late to jump in.

7. I've also been LOVING fruit lately. Just about any of it! I put fruit in my water all summer long and it's so refreshing.

8. We just redid the landscaping in the front yard and now I need to replace our mailbox. Even our mail lady agreed it's seen better days ;) I think I like this one the best of what I've found. I can't decide if I want gold or black. What do you think?

9. I installed some lovely accessories in one of my client's homes yesterday and it's coming together so beautifully! This is a favorite spot in the home:
shop the look here

10. I've been listening to the podcast That Sounds Fun's summer series all about the Enneagram. It's been so good, so helpful, encouraging, and I think it's helping me better relate to and understand my friends and spouse! I'm a 3 wing 2. What are you?! Give it a listen! It's so well done.

Happy Friday! What are some of your favorite things from the week?


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Before & After of our Front Yard Garden

The big reveal of our front yard is HERE! Finally! When we bought our house, there was still snow on the ground, so we really had no idea what we were in for when it came to the yard. The previous owners told us there was grass in the back and, as it turns out, it was actually all dirt. Womp womp. Sooo, that's our next project. First, we wanted to get the front yard looking presentable (gotta make a good impression on the neighbors ;)) 
Since my parents were in town a couple weeks ago, they offered to help us pick out and get all the new plants in the ground. We were so thankful! Truly, none of this could have been done without their help because while I know what to do on the inside of a house, I have no clue when it comes to landscaping. I know what flowers I like and can tell you what I'd want in my yard, but before this project, I had no idea how to accomplish that or know what would actually grow well in our yard. I feel way more confident now. Thankfully, I have a couple friends who are pro-gardeners and they gave me some tips on varieties to plant, how to lay weed fabric (didn't know this was a thing!) and what to do to cut them back in the fall.
So anyways, once the snow melted in the spring, we were left with this. A whole ton of weeds, a bunch of completely dead plants, leaves everywhere that weren't raked in the fall....it was such a mess.

You can see we have two huge flower beds that needed a ton of help. The left flower bed is twice the size as the right one and it had double the weeds, too! Notice the completely overgrown tree to the left.

One of my friends was over one day and she noticed there was a peony plant in the right flower bed. I hadn't even noticed it because at the time, it was very small and honestly, it looked like a weed haha! I was SO excited! (Spoiler: it didn't end up blooming this year, so I'm assuming it was just planted last year...fingers crossed for next year!)

Before my parent's arrived our tasks were to rip up everything that was dead and take out all weeds. I borrowed this cool weeding tool from a friend that made things a little easier, because every square inch of these flower beds were covered in weeds. I had no idea there were so many varieties of weeds-- ha!! After they were out, we raked up the soil to make sure it was all good dirt. Thankfully we have really great dirt! Next, we had to lay landscape fabric so that the dang weeds wouldn't pop back up (I know some still will, but at least it will cut down on the issue). Apparently the weeds are such a problem in the midwest because of how much rain we get here. I've never heard of landscape fabric before when living in California ;)

After ALL that prep (probably 10-20 hours working in the yard), my parent's arrived, we went to the nurseries to pick out our plants, got them in, then put wood chips on top of everything to finish it off!


I wanted the back row to have taller plants and gradually get shorter in the front so we could see all of them well. The front row are all annuals (impatiens) that I will replant each year for some color and the back rows consist of a couple hosta, a type of boxwood (3 were already there, so we left them since they were in good shape), a rhododendron to cover our AC unit, hydrangea (1 white and 2 purple/pink depending on soil), a bleeding heart, a day lily (there were about 10 before, so we just kept a couple) and a peach rose bush. You can also see here that my dad totally cleaned up that tree to the left!

We had to keep in mind that a lot of the plants we got will grow taller and wider with time, like Hydrangeas and Hostas, so we had to space them out accordingly.

We also got some cute little planters for the window ledges. They are only 4" deep, so not a ton of room to work with! We found these metal planters that fit well, so we got a couple of taller plants to fill them with.

These white fuchsia are some of my favorite flowers!

My mom suggested we get some plants that drape down a little and I loved the suggestion. 

Now for the other side of the house under the bay window! We took out two dead plants on either side of the window, so I wanted to replace them with large white hydrangea. I'm hoping the bloom shortly! We also got an additional peony bush, a peach rose bush to match the other side, and a couple of hostas. What used to be a long row of all day lilies in the front there is now a colorful row of cute little impatiens. 

We kept two day lilies on this side and I'm glad we did because the pop of yellow is cute! Initially I wanted to rip them all out.

I just LOVE our rose bushes! They smell heavenly and remind me of California! I don't see many here. 

Our peony plants:

In the fall when these annuals die, I will take them out and plant tulip bulbs so that they'll sprout next spring. I can't wait for this!!

 I'm not a huge fan of rocks in landscaping, but they were already there and they do take up a lot of area space, so we kept them to save money.

I wanted our hydrangea to flower pink, but it looks like they're going purple! Apparently they change due to your soil (if it's acidic or not).

One of my white hydrangeas-- bloom baby, bloom!

This green plant to the right is a citronella plant, so I put it right by our front door. I'm hoping it keeps some mosquitos away from the entrance. 

Our hostas are blooming a lavender flower right now!

I had some leftover plants I needed to get into some dirt, so I went to Lowes and got a tall planter for the right side of our door. Since the left side has a huge tree (which truthfully I'd like to remove, but won't for the sake of how much it'd cost to replace it with something of the same size) I needed something a little taller to balance it out. I went with an oil rubbed bronze look to match our front door.

In the pot is a fern, peach dahlia to tie in our peach roses and an impatiens. I knew I wanted a dahlia in here because they were in my wedding bouquet, so they always make me happy and remind me of that day!

In case you wondered, Lincoln is getting more used to our new neighborhood. He's used to being on a second floor apartment, so being on ground level he sees a lot more dogs, people and squirrels. He gets a little too excited about all these things (read: barks a lot!) but he's getting better. He loves his neighborhood walks and already has some friends!

On the side of our house along the driveway we had another huge section of weeds. We ripped those up and to save money, we replanted the day lilies here. As much as I don't love them, it saved probably $100, so we went with it and you know what?! I actually really like them here. In between each one, I planted Cosmo seeds. They're already starting to sprout and I can't wait to see some more color in this area when they bloom.

I can't believe the transformation! HUGE thanks to my mom and dad who spent almost their entire trip helping us with the yard. They're such good sports and really great at gardening (their backyard in California is unbelievably gorgeous!) We're so happy with how it turned out. Now....onto the backyard which is currently a pile of dirt. Stay tuned...hoping to have that done in August.
Now, to keep this all alive!
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9 Reasons Why You Should Hire an Interior Designer

As an interior designer, I know my services aren't a necessity, but of course I do think there are a number of benefits to hiring a designer to help you with your home! Sometimes people balk at the prices of "luxury" services like wedding planners, graphic designers, high-end photographers, or in this case, interior designers because they don't fully understand the ways we can serve you! So today, I'm giving you a couple of the top ways an interior designer can make your home and life more enjoyable.

1. We increase your resale value.
Designers should be helping you make choices that are beautiful and functional for years to come, which should help maintain or increase your homes' resale value. I just finished working with a client who actually ended up deciding to list their home. With all of our improvements, they'll be able to get a lot more for their house AND it will probably sell faster because it's staged so well!

2. We save you money, because things get done right the first time.
This is especially true if you hire a designer to help you at the beginning of a renovation or new build, as sometimes contractors do things the easy way, but not the most functional way or that is most aesthetically pleasing (a favorite example is where builders place lighting!). A number of things can go wrong or unforeseen, so the help of a designer during a renovation can ensure you do things right the first time, thus saving you money. A new client of mine and I just did a walkthrough of her new build house. While walking through, after the electrician came and wired the house, we noticed there was no outlet above the fireplace for the TV. It cost extra money for him to come back and install the necessary things, tearing down drywall in the process. If I had come on before the electrician, we would have been able to avoid this and make the decision together that, yes, the TV above the fireplace is the best solution to the room layout.

3. We give you new ideas and a fresh set of eyes.
This is an obvious reason to hire a designer! You want your space to be reimagined and have new life. Your designer should definitely be able to do this!

4. We come with contacts & resources you don't necessarily have.
Your interior designer should have contacts to refer you to (ie. painters, window coverings, tile stores, contractors, etc.) They should also have a number of resources at their disposal, including designer accounts with stores so they can get you better prices on retail items. 

5. We create spaces that feel like YOU! (We know you better than you know yourself ;))
Sometimes my design clients come to me with inspiration and pieces they know they love, but they don't know how to put it all together to create a room that feels like them. Designers (in all areas, not just interiors) should be able to take information on what a client likes, glean their style, and then design a space that embodies their lifestyle and personality. That's what I try to do in all my client spaces!

6. We save you time.
We source (the designer term for "shop" and "put together") so you don't have to. We place orders, run errands, and style your space so you are saving time left and right!

7. We save you stress.
Going hand-in-hand with the above, additionally, you're saving yourself a whole bunch of stress in not having to do all of those things and ensuring your room will turn out beautifully, with the end vision in mind.

8. We make sure things will actually fit to the scale of your room.
A good designer should be measuring your space and the pieces they are going to fill that space with, to be sure everything fits. This avoids hassle, returns, or loosing money when items aren't allowed to be returned. I use CAD for my client floor plans and draw everything in before we order. This also comes in handy as I can show my clients what the layout of their room will look like with an 8x10 rug versus a 6x9 rug. I can help them make educated buying decisions by showing them their rooms mocked up to scale. I can't write this one without referencing the "pivot!" episode on FRIENDS where they're trying to get a massive couch up a tiny stairwell ;)

9. You’ll (hopefully!) learn about design and why things work along the way, for future projects.
While designing, I really try to educate my clients on WHY I chose something or why this item works over this item. I definitely aim to share my knowledge on design as we work on the house!

If you're a designer, what did I miss?! What has your experience been working with a designer? I'd love to hear! Whether you're near or far, I offer design services for you! If you're not local to Michigan, my two hour consultation package might be the perfect fit for you to get my eyes on your space and help you rethink certain areas of your home. If you're local, I offer consultations and full-service design packages. Email me to check my availability!


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Favorite Michigan Wineries in Old Mission Peninsula & Leelanau

Last weekend we took my parents, who were visiting from California, to Traverse City to wine taste. We brought my mom here last October for her visit when she said she'd like to bring my dad back and stay at Black Star Farms. So that's just what we did!

In this post I'm going to tell you about each of our favorite wineries, restaurants and other tidbits, just in case you're planning a trip! First of all, the views are gorgeous and the wineries are beautiful. My parents (and many others) agree that the wine is much sweeter than say, the Napa Valley wineries. For someone like me who likes sweeter wine (I'm a Riesling and Pinot Grigio gal) I don't notice this.

We started on the Old Mission Peninsula. Our first stop was 2 Lads Winery, which my parents became a member at last fall. This has a beautiful view of the bay and we think it has some of the least-sweet wines. I'm a white drinker, but my family all agreed their Rolla Red was one of their very favorite reds of the trip. They didn't have full cheese or charcuterie boards, but they did have a little cheese and cracker plate. They also had some delicious dark chocolate!

After this first winery, we went to The Old Mission Lighthouse at the top of the peninsula. It was a very quick walk to see the view. I'm sure it's gorgeous in the fall! 

 My parents:
 Gorgeous lilac blooming everywhere here!

Next up we went to Chateau Chantal. Not for the wine, but to show my dad the views. You can see both sides of the bay from this winery! We're going to be honest: we don't prefer their wine.

Next up was Brys Estate. This is in my top two favorites because of it's wine (+ Froze!), charcuterie board, view and gift shop. You can see a tiny bit of water from Brys, but it's mostly vineyard, which happens to be beautiful. They just built this HUGE deck overlooking this vineyard (what I'm standing on to take the picture). In the summer I get Froze, though it was pretty chilly on this day so I stuck with wine. You have to do tastings inside (this is the case with most wineries), so to enjoy the view we decided to get a glass and sit on the deck. 
 Family selfie minus my husband ;)

This charcuterie board won for the day, for sure!

Just around the corner is the gift shop, full of cute gifts and mostly lavender items since they grow tons of lavender. It smells amazing! I got a lavender sleep mask and I love it. The outside of the gift shop is so quaint. We got a cookie from inside to enjoy on the patio.

It was father's day on the day we were here so I snapped a picture with my dad! The other cool thing Brys has is a huge flower garden and when the flowers are in bloom I think they even let you cut stems for a small price.

After Brys, we went to Bower's Harbor which was also lovely! This was the first time we went to this winery and we thought they won for most quaint, casual and dog-friendly. My mom loved their gift shop as well.

That night we stayed at Black Star Farms near Sutton's Bay. My mom saw it last time she visited and said she wanted to stay at the Inn next time, so we did! It was so cute and we HIGHLY recommend it. The breakfast was incredible, rooms were cute and clean, grounds were gorgeous and bonus, it was sunny for us!!

 We walked around the grounds and met some of their horses.

I didn't get a picture, but that night we went to Sutton's Bay for dinner at Martha's Table. This came recommended by my friend and boy, it didn't disappoint! It was by far some of the best food we'd ever had!! Everything is made by Martha herself. We sat outside on the patio while there was some live music playing. Everything was so wonderful!

The next morning we woke up to sun and so we headed out to my other favorite winery, French Valley Vineyards. To us, this has the best views of all-- it's right on Sutton's Bay so it feels like you're at the beach! We got mimosa's since it was 11:30 and they were so good! We basked in the sun for a while, went down to the dock and enjoyed about 45 minutes - an hour here.

Next up was Aurora Cellars. It was really pretty as well! All the wineries have tasting options inside only, so if you want to sit outside you have to get a glass. Aurora did something so clever and created a flight of wines (not as full as glasses, but you get to choose 5 in the flight!) so you can take them all outside with you. This was perfect for us, so we enjoyed the view! My mom ended up liking their Sauvignon Blanc a lot.

They had these gorgeous blooms growing up around the ceremony arch at their wedding location.

After that, it was about lunch time. We had to get sandwiches from the Village Cheese Shanty, so I called in our order (because lines to wait can be up to two hours--learned from experience!) We went into Fish Town in Leelanau to pick them up and then walked around for a few minutes before heading to the next place.

We ended at Boathouse Vineyards. Here we ate our sandwiches (no one seemed to mind) and each enjoyed a small glass. This winery is right on the channel that connects two lakes, so it's fun to see boats pass by, but we definitely thought French Valley Vineyard is the prettiest! My favorite wine here was Knot Too Sweet Riesling (but my mom says it's still sweet ha!) My dad said his favorite red came from here-- their 2012 Merlot.

Before heading out of town, we stopped at BLK MRKT coffee which we did last time as well. I don't drink coffee, but my family agreed it was delicious!

We really enjoyed our trip and were so thankful the sun decided to come out for day 2! 

If you've been, let me know some of your favorite wineries up in northern Michigan.

Happy Friday!
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