Elements of Baby, Elements of Home, Elements of Style

A Big Girl Room for Marielle

When I decorated Marielle’s nursery, the room was entirely decorated just for her. We knew we were having a girl, and we knew that we wanted to invest in great furniture that could be used from babyhood through her teenage years. We chose Natart furniture, which is high quality, solid wood furniture with great design. Her crib goes from a baby crib to a toddler bed, optional day bed, to a double bed. Her changing table is simply a dresser with a changing pad fastened to the top. This way, it can be a regular dresser when we no longer need the changing function. Her nursing chair can be converted to a regular wingback chair by removing the rockers and attaching the legs. Every single detail was well researched and planned (Who, me??) so that the room and furniture would grow with her.

I wanted her room to be a calm, sophisticated space with cozy touches and sweet details. Her Natart Bella furniture collection is a deep cocoa brown with beautiful curves and details. Her bedding is a soft, dusty rose color with polka dots and ruffles, and her walls an elegant beige. An etched oval mirror hangs by an ivory ribbon above her dresser, while a delicate crystal chandelier hangs from the ceiling. I loved it so much I made sure we took it with us when we moved houses. A small bookshelf displays a large metal “M” surrounded by all her favorite books held up by sweet, white birdcage bookends. Floor length ruffled curtain panels block out the light for sweet dreams and happy naps. Her room has always been my most favorite room in the entire house. It was my sanctuary as well.

As she gets older, her personality is really starting to shine through. She’s sweet but sassy, loves wearing a backwards hat, but also a tutu. She’s artistic and creative and loves to dance, but never passes up a game of tag or kicking around the soccer ball. But, she will do all of those things in her tap shoes. Bottom line, the girl has personality and she will need a room to go with it.

I remember when my mom and I redecorated my childhood room from a nursery to a little girl room. It was the late 80’s and wallpaper was in. I had wall to wall floral Laura Ashley wallpaper with a stripe bottom half and a floral border. Looking back it was like living in an English garden, but I loved it. My bedding matched the wallpaper…the wallpaper matched the curtains…the curtains matched the lampshade. Everything matched. Every. Single. Thing. But, there was no Pottery Barn Kids, RH Baby & Child, or even Target that carried fun room decor for kids. Years later the wallpaper came down and was painted a pale yellow, with all white bedding…just a little more subtle!

I purposefully made sure her room had enough neutrals in it that when it came time to redecorate for her, all I would need to do was change out or add a few accessories. I still love the dusty rose pink and beige combination and it only seems fitting that her new accents would be in gold. Gold and pink? What little girl wouldn’t love that? Gold accessories and accents are really popular right now and there are so many options…I had to hold myself back from cluttering up the design board. Her nursery is RH Baby & Child ad PB Kids, and her soon to be toddler/little girl room is a combination of Target’s new Pillowfort line, Pottery Barn Kids and RH Baby & Child and RH Teen.

I’ll dress up her toddler bed with a girly tulle canopy (for my little ballerina) add in some gold accents with flower hooks and cheerful pillows. A jewelry box to hold all her trinkets (sunglasses, bracelets, special keepsake items and important items such as her Peppa Pig keychain) A covered bulletin board to display her works of art, a new mirror above her dresser (maybe…I do still LOVE her current one. Maybe just replace the ivory ribbon with gold?)  with a shimmering gold chandelier table lamp to fill the space where her changing pad used to be. A cozy pouf to add in front of her chair so we can sit and share stories together. It doesn’t take much to update and glam up a room. A few accent pieces and pillows added to your current furniture collection make it seem like a new room! The best part about shopping online, is that you can pretty much always find a 20% coupon for these popular retail stores.

She’s not quite ready for her toddler bed/bedroom yet…but planning her big girl room is definitely fun!

Marielle Nursery

Marielle’s Current Nursery

Wingback Rocker: Pottery Barn Kids

Side Table: Pottery Barn

Beaded Lamp Shade & Base: Pottery Barn Kids

Ruffled Blackout Curtain Panels: Pottery Barn Kids

Double Dresser:  Natart Bella Collection

Crib: Natart Bella Collection, 5 in 1 crib

Monogram Letter: Pottery Barn Kids

Etched Oval Mirror: Pottery Barn Kids

Bedding: RH Baby & Child

Area Rug: Pottery Barn Kids

Marielle Toddler Room

Gold Mirror: RH Teen

Bed Canopy: Pottery Barn Kids

Gold Rose Hook: Pottery Barn Kids

Pillow: Pottery Barn Teen

Covered Bulletin Board: Pillowfort, Target

Jewelry Box: RH Baby & Child

Chandelier Table Lamp: RH Baby & Child

Pouf: RH Baby & Child

Elements of Home, Elements of Style, Favorite Places, Favorite Things

Mommy HQ Makeover: Sika Design Sofie Side Bistro Chair

I’m always looking for new ways to add style to our new home and chairs are one of the simple things that can really change the look and feel of a space. I love chairs. A fabulous chair can really change the whole ambiance of a room or area. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out which chairs I wanted for our new kitchen. We decided on the French Tolix chairs…I love the industrial modern look they have, and they are actually comfortable and extremely well made. I was using one at my kitchen desk for awhile (also known as Mommy HQ) until my husband brought this bistro chair home and I fell in love. It’s pretty, right? Not just pretty, it’s just lovely, and it completes “my” area. It’s comfortable, unique, extremely well made and stylish. It’s like a little piece of French Cafe right in my kitchen. I mean, I down about 3 lattes sitting here, so it makes sense. Oh how I long to go back to Paris…pain au chocolat, espresso, red wine…Sorry, side note.

Here is the story behind this chair. My husband is the US distributor for Sika Design. Not only is the furniture beautiful, but it’s handmade, sustainable and made of the highest quality materials. Originally, my husband brought home the chair for me to see, and photograph, with no intention of letting me keep it…but once I placed the chair in front of my desk, I knew I had to have it. I mean, if I’m taking the photo and showing the world how much I love it…shouldn’t I get SOMETHING out of it? I basically told him I was keeping the chair and he’d have to take me with if he was going to take it away from me.

This particular chair is the Sofie Side Bistro Chair in Grey with white dots. I’m sort of in love with the green with white dots and the purple is pretty amazing too…but our kitchen is grey and white and this one blended in perfectly with our current decor.


Elements of Calm, Elements of Home, Elements of Style, Favorite Places, Favorite Things

Spaces: Mommy HQ

Every mom needs a space to call her own. A place that’s off limits to little hands and even husbands 🙂 A little bit of calm and organization in what is otherwise a chaotic household run by a toddler. I call this place Mommy Headquarters, or Mommy HQ. We moved into our new house about a week ago, and I have to say one of my most favorite places in the whole house is the kitchen. Not because of my love of cooking (well, that’s part of it) But also because it contains MY area. An area where my computer can sit without being harassed by a 1 year old, where my iPhone can stay docked and not hidden in a couch cushion or tucked behind a pillow, where I can always find my Burt’s Bees, keys and post it notes. I have always loved having a desk. When I was a child, I always had a desk in my room that had fully organized drawers full of markers in rainbow order, stationary, notepads and of course my diary (with the little key that locks it) When I worked in advertising, I’m pretty sure I had the most organized desk out of the whole company. It’s rare to find a creative mind that is also organized…Also rare to find a adult who still keeps a pack of markers at her desk as well as the full color assortment of Sharpies 🙂 For color coding of course!

In our old house, my husband and I shared a desk and it was a complete disaster. A CEO and a stay at home mom need their own spaces to stay organized and sane. In our new house, my husband has his own office, with an actual door, where Marielle can’t pull out all of his important documents, pull his keyboard off the desk and hide his mouse. Ahhhh…luxury. I grew up with a built in desk in our kitchen and I loved it. I have great memories of my mom sitting there with her sewing machine, or calculator and work she brought home. It was where the family computer was…back in the day when there was just one computer in a house. It was a home to school pictures, the family calendar, office supplies and the money cubby that was always full of $20s that me and my siblings would “borrow” and somehow never return with change…weird?!  So you can imagine how thrilled I was when we first toured this house because it had one as well. According to my parent’s interior decorator, people are starting to get away from putting the desk in the kitchen, because they simply use their laptops in the living room, bedroom, dining room, etc. I think that’s a problem. We take our technology everywhere. Laptops do not belong in our bedroom. The kitchen is the heart of the home, and I love being in the center of that. I find that with my own workspace, that technology stays in it’s own place, and my focus is Marielle throughout the day…not the dings and rings that my computer and phone provide. I love coming to sit here during her naps, catch up on my blog, email, Google the occasional toddler problem, enjoy my espresso and of course every stay at home mom’s guilty pleasure…Pinterest and Facebook. Once baby boy McCarthy arrives, I know I’m going to appreciate this little piece of calm and quiet time even more…even if I only have 5 minutes of free time a day 🙂


Elements of Home, Elements of Style

Seeded Eucalyptus Fall Wreath

I feel pretty lucky to have the family that I do. I have amazing parents and a wonderful sister and brother both who married people I love! I feel blessed to be a part of a family that actually likes to hang out with each other. We have lots of little get togethers to celebrate various events, as well as just to have fun and hang out. I love fall and I know my sister in law Tiffany loves fall as well so it seemed obvious to have a little fall party at my house. We usually do some sort of craft…wreaths, centerpieces, etc. eat yummy food from recipes we find on Pinterest… and of course, wonderful wine. This year, I convinced my mom and sister to come over and make wreaths as well. My mom’s wreath turned out beautifully! My sister ended up helping my nieces who joined us this year with their little wreaths! It was such a fun day.  The girls decorated little 12 inch grapevine wreaths with items they found in their backyard as well as some cute little pumpkins my mom bought for them. They turned out amazing.

The Eucalyptus wreath is super simple to make. You only use one type of leaf and that’s the seeded eucalyptus. It’s so beautiful on its own, you don’t need anything else. For a wreath frame, I used a 18 inch grapevine wreath. I then attached seeded eucalyptus branches around the wreath frame attaching it in various areas to keep the eucalyptus branches down with floral wire. That’s it! It smells wonderful every time I walk in the door. Even though the New York Times delivery person knocked it down at 4am Sunday morning…Nice throw. Thank you Tiff for the great photos from the day!

DIY Seeded Eucalyptus WreathPhoto Credits: Red Velvet Moments

Elements of Home, Elements of Style

DIY Living Succulent Wreath

How can you not love succulents? They are absolutely gorgeous and popping up all over the place. The first time I fell in love with them was when I was planning my wedding. I was paging through Martha Stewart Weddings and came across a gorgeous succulent bouquet. Although I knew I wanted roses for my bouquet, I knew I had to have succulents everywhere else. Our incredible florist (Melissa from Sadie’s) put pops of succulents in the bridesmaid bouquets and on the bouquet vases at the reception. Seriously gorgeous. They are so unique, and come in the most beautiful shapes and colors. On a recent vacation to Coronado Island, I noticed everyone had huge succulent plants in their gardens. I was so jealous! I love having little succulent arrangements in my porch, and the best part about them, (besides them being lovely) is that they take very little care…and by very little I mean, I left mine out in the porch over the winter and they were still very much alive this spring 🙂

This wreath was very simple to make it and it makes quite the statement on the front door. Here is what you will need to complete your wreath!

  • One 12-14 inch wire wreath frame (available at craft stores)
  • Sphagnum moss (available at most nurseries)
  • Floral wire
  • Floral pins
  • Variety of succulent clippings – You can buy succulent plants at most nurseries, or you can take clippings from existing plants. The great thing about succulents is that even if you cut all the leaves off a succulent, they will grow back! So don’t worry about buying plants and wasting them, simply let them grow back and create an arrangement once they are big enough. Cut your succulents so that you have 1-2 inches of root at the bottom. Let your clippings sit out for a day or two to let the root callus over on the bottom.


  1. In a large bowl or bucket, soak the moss for 10-15 minutes until soaked through. Wring the excess water out of the moss and set aside. You will want to lay down a plastic mat or table cloth on your work table…sphagnum moss is really messy!
  2. Take the damp moss and place it around your wreath frame. Tuck it in between the wires on the frame until you have about a 4 inch wide ring of moss around the frame. Secure the moss around the frame with either fishing line or floral wire. You can use more or less moss depending on the size and quantity of your succulents.
  3. Using a pen or the tip of scissors, poke holes in the moss where you want to place each succulent and simply insert the root into the moss. Secure with floral pins. The succulents will eventually take root in the moss and secure themselves to the wreath.
  4. Fill in your wreath with as many succulents as you like, or as few. Remember, this is a living wreath…don’t fill your wreath in too tightly, as the succulents will grown and fill in the gaps.

    You want enough moss coverage so that it supports the weight of the succulents…they can be quite heavy depending on the size.

That’s it! You’re done. I recommend letting the wreath sit flat on a table for a few days before hanging it upright on a door. The only care the wreath needs is the occasional spritz of water, but succulents thrive in dryer environments so don’t worry about your wreath being constantly damp, you don’t want it that way. Make sure your wreath gets a little sun and enjoy!

I finished my wreath with a burlap bow, but you can simply hang it from the back of the wreath frame if you wish.