Living Room: Summer to Fall Decor

Long long ago, I shared the inspiration I’d gathered for decorating the living room for summer with a beach house nautical feel. I never did get around to painting the entry way navy, sadly, but I did still achieve the sophisticated Southern California vibe I wanted. 
I kept the posters up that I used for my spring mantle because they worked so well with everything else. I think I might just keep them up year round, they go with everything, and they’re just my favorite.
I bought the anchor, seashells, and starfish at a shop in Seal Beach, the overflow of what I used in Edison’s room. The shadow boxes are a DIY.
The whiteboard in front of the fireplace…that’s just to keep Sirius from getting in there and dragging remnants of charred wood all over the rug, and leaving sooty footprints all over the house. Been there, done that.
Ah yes, the entry way. I love the little lanterns I got at Ikea, and the fishing net I got to keep after one of the baby showers. But this arrangement, and the gallery wall, are seriously lacking something. More things on the wall? Taller objects on the table? 

And now, ladies and gentlemen, the time has come to bust out the fall decorations! Let’s get this pumpkin spice scented party started.

I own one tote of fall decor, which is a 50% increase since we bought the house. A little goes a surprisingly long way.

How fitting is that pillow? I bought that in Southern California along with the beachy items, but the burlap, red, and gray fit perfectly for fall. And it’s super comfy.
I bought navy and white pillow cases from this Etsy shop to give the pink and gold pillows a face-lift without having to buy and store more pillows. The anchor pillow in Edison’s room used to be out here on the couch also.

Better Homes and Gardens got the memo to match my teal and orange color scheme. 


The globe is from Target, and the clock I’ve had so long, I’m not sure where it came from. 
I realized as I arranged this that have “autumn wreath,” “cinnamon spice,” “farm stand apple,” and “cappuccino” scented candles, but I’m not sure I own a pumpkin spice candle! The horror!

And my sad entryway… it doesn’t help that the lighting was terrible, but I only have limited time before the little man wakes up from his nap. So if you have any ideas for this space, let me know in the comments below.
Anyone have a recommendation for where to find a good pumpkin spice candle? Let me know asap! 

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My Summer Bucket List

  1. Go to California. At the time I made this list, I was in the car, on the way to California. Check. Subpoints: 
    1. Disneyland – check! Just when you think it can’t get more magical, you discover Tom Sawyer’s Island.
    2. Angel’s Game – check!
    3. Beach! – Can’t ever have too much beach time. Except when you get sunburnt, and it’s super windy. It was still fun. 
  2. Read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I took care of this one at the beach and on the drive home. Check.
  3. Curate my summer wardrobe and personal style. To this end, I finally signed up for Stitch Fix. My first fix was a disappointment to be honest. I just kept a necklace. But I left more specific notes, so I have hopes that the second one will be better.
  4. Learn a new hairstyle. I’ve been in a rut – bun, or straightened. Once in awhile I pull it into a pony-tail to mix it up. While in LA, I shopped in the Fashion District and bought a curling wand for $20. I burned myself on the first curl, but it’s been all uphill since. Check.
  5. Paint Seashells. I pinned this last summer, and I finally did it! I love the way they turned out.
  6. Catch up on my magazines. I have a giant stack of Real Simples, InStyles, and Better Homes and Gardens on the coffee table I haven’t had time for. 
  7. Try a new drink. So many options, but also while in California, I had a peach southern sweet tea with peach schnapps, and other goodness. Check. 
  8. Watch 500 Days of Summer. A movie with Zoey Deschanel and Joseph Gordan Levitt? How have I not seen this? 
  9. Have a bonfire. I was in a beachy mood when I made this list. But I realized that it will still be in the upper 90’s at night here in the valley, so this might not be such a good idea.
  10. Go swimming once a week. So far, so good. Planning to swim again this weekend. 
Reading at the beach
Santee Alley in the Fashion District
Of the 10 things on my list, I’ve already done all but four, and I don’t think I even want to do the bonfire anymore. I think I need to aim higher – I still have over a month left of summer! 
I’m at a loss – it’s hard when it’s 120 degrees outside. Any ideas? Let me know in the comments!

STYLE: Ocean Avenue, Summer Style

I’ve come to the conclusion that the beach is addicting.

If’ you’ve ever decided to vacation there once, you might know what I mean. Every summer since that vacation, the memory of smooth, warm, sandy beaches, salty breeze, tan lines, cool blue waves, weathered wood docks, shady palm trees, and fruity drinks awakens the almost irresistible desire to return this year.

Since I’ve had the privilege of visting LA often over the past three years, I think the addiction is worse for me. Brian has the bug too; lately we’ve both been talking about how we can squeeze in a visit.

Until then, I’ll keep browsing beach inspired DIYs and style inspiration. Case in point, Warby Parker’s new beach inspired collection of frames and sunglasses, Ocean Avenue.

1. Jasper in Orange Fiz, Warby Parker 2. Cocoki dress, Indego Africa 3. Festival Necklace, Noonday Collection 4. Delicias Sandal, Nisolo Shoes

Ocean Avenue has a retro 70’s vibe inspired by “broadwalk truants, amateur spongers, and aspiring beach bums.” The video accompanying the collection is like a West Side Story Coney Island edition dance off.

If you didn’t know, for every pair of glasses sold, Warby Parker gives a pair to someone in need. Well, they don’t just give them, to avoid creating a dependent culture, they partner with non-profits to train low-income entrepreneurs to sell affordable glasses, as this video explains:

The other summery picks I included in my collages from Noonday Collection, Nisolo Shoes, Indego Africa, and Threads for Thought are also doing good in the world through fair trade fashion. That’s style that looks good on everyone!

What’s your go to outfit for summer style? Share in the comments!

LIFE: June Bucket List

Even though it’s been over a hundred degrees off and on for the last month, something about it being June makes me feel like it’s actually summer. And what a summer it will be! It’s going to be CRAZY.

  1. I’m taking an online fabric design class starting this Friday! I’m super stoked for it, especially since there’s a contest at the end with some great prizes!
  2. I’m challenging myself to make art every day, at least for this week, and maybe the whole month. I’ll post pictures on Instagram, so you’ll be able to check up on me and see what I’m working on. The watercolor table cloth above is one of the projects I’d like to try!
  3. The 9th is Youth Sunday at our church, which is when the youth group, directed by Brian and me, runs the service. The teens will do everything, taking offering, leading songs, special music, etc. It’s normally in the fall, but for some reason it was bumped up to June this year. We’ve been practicing for it, but it’s difficult with family vacations and people traveling on the weekends.
  4. The day after that, Vacation Bible School begins! We’re also heavily involved in VBS, so we’re trying to prepare for that at the same time. 
  5. Later this summer, we’re taking the youth group to California for a few days. We’re in the midst of planning that now, and wow, it’s a lot of work planning a trip for that many people!
  6. I’d like to start a new embroidery project this month. It’s been too long!
  7. The 19th is our third anniversary! We’re hoping to take the weekend off to celebrate and recoup from all the church activities and have a mini vacation.
  8. It’s a scary goal, but I’d like to start selling my cards wholesale locally. 
  9. I’d like to read a good book. I haven’t decided between fiction or non-fiction yet, but I’d like it to be something refreshing, creatively or spiritually. Maybe this e-book?
  10. I might refresh the blog design a little. Maybe. I have some ideas, so we’ll see if I have the time!
What are your goals and dreams for June?

P.S. Remember, if you answer a few questions about this blog for me, you could win some monogramed notecards!

Waxing Poetic Wednesday: Harvest


by Mary Naylor

August, with its clouds of scented blooms, August, with its great stacks of giant clouds,
August, with corn plants standing like rows of soldiers,
August, with watermelons, full and heavy, dozing in the sun,

August, remember swimming in the lake?
August, remember baby Alice daintily eating berries from the vine?
August, remember Richie playing with the goat?
August, remember Donald practicing on his new saxophone?

August, and its lightening laced sky,
August, and newlyweds Pat and Chet decorating their first home,
August, and Billy the Brave, Billy the Fearless, on his two wheel bike,
August, and shimmering memories hanging like drops of dew,

August, the bountiful, August the full,
August, Mama hot, but smiling, over a platter of succulent roast chicken,
August, Daddy mixing her a frosty mint julep,
August, blessed harvest of memories,

To buy the print above, “August Sound,” go here.
Every Wednesday, I indulge my English Lit minor by sharing an inspirational poem. Share your favorite poem in the comments, it could end up on a future Waxing Poetic Wednesday!

Inspiration: Yellow Summer Wedding

For the first time ever, I’m linking up to Gussy Sew’s Inspiration Workshop. I was SO excited when I got the prompt: Yellow. It just so happens that the colors for my BFF’s wedding in August are yellow and black and white stripes! The wedding flower is the daisy. It’s going to be outdoors on the lawn of a lovely romantic Victorian home, with the reception inside.

Yellow is such a sunny, cheery, joyful color, it’s perfect for a summer wedding!

I’ve made numerous collages to gather ideas for the wedding already, so I thought I’d share some of my recent ones.

The above collage is from Style Me Pretty. I’m trying to gather some ideas for my bridesmaid hair and accessories.

The above collage led to the black and white stripes decision. It’s so classy with yellow.

More ideas for my hair, and some other awesome yellow wedding ideas.

For more yellow inspiration, check out the Inspiration Workshop!

Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!