5 simple summer decor ideas


well, we finally did it! we moved into our little dream house. now we can just lay back and relax, right?  yeah, right after we unpack the piles of boxes and get to work on refinishing the wood floors, getting a new electrical panel, painting all of the kitchen cabinets… the list goes on! but just because we’ve got a big job ahead of us, doesn’t mean we can’t do simple little things around the house to brighten the mood. in fact, it’s pretty much a requirement when everything else is in disarray. so when glade challenged me to come up with 5 simple home decor tips for the summer season, it was just the kick in the butt i needed to spruce things up around this place while things get back to normal.

so without further adieu, here’s my list of 5 quick (and inexpensive) fixes around the house that have already made a major difference in welcoming the summer season, and helping to brighten up our little work-in-progress.


1. arrange items by color. this is a really simple decor idea that utilizes objects you already have in your home. change things up by reorganizing all of the books on your shelf by color instead of title. or go to the baby’s room and pick out a selection of toys in one color to highlight on a shelf or ledge. you can even rearrange the cosmetics on your vanity for a quick visual refresh. the fun with this one is that you can pick and choose which color to work with as the seasons change. i’m especially smitten with yellows and oranges for the warm summer months.


2. fresh flowers. probably one of my favorite cheap tricks for livening up the house is to run to the farmer’s market on saturday mornings to buy a few bunches of fresh flowers. these yellow and orange tulips are an instant mood lift and make me feel so much more happy in my home, even if the rest of the place is a disaster zone while we unpack all of the boxes!


3. fresh fruit. it’s easy to add a few pops of color with seasonal blooms, but don’t forget the possibilities sitting right in your own kitchen! think outside the box (or kitchen, as it were) and slice a few citrus fruits to use as a centerpiece on the table or as an accent on the bar cart when guests come to visit. not only does fresh fruit add a cheerful ambience, but it smells delicious, and won’t go to waste. greyhounds, anyone?


4. decorate with seasonal accessories. summer is quickly approaching, and all i can think about are lazy days spent lounging by the lake. with a laundry list of things to do and a toddler running around, i sometimes forget to take a step back and live a little! i gathered up some of my beach-going accessories that i already had in my closet and arranged them at the foyer, all ready for an impromptu trip to the lake. it creates a carefree ambience that really lightens the mood as you enter the house. and hey, you never know when the occasion might present itself!

5. add texture. i’ve been spotting lots of pretty woven wall-hangings on pinterest lately, so i decided to give one a try. i made this simple little textile in just a couple of hours, and it’s already made a big impact. i tend to be a bit reserved when it comes to the decor in my home, so this quick little tapestry was an easy, no-commitment way for me to step outside of my comfort zone and test drive a different color.

this post was created in partnership with glade and was inspired by their limited edition scent, soak it in summer swim. thank you for supporting the sponsors that make this blog possible.

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this old house

remember when i wrote that very heartfelt post about how we missed out on our little vintage dream house? well, i have never been happier to say that i was wrong. we got the house! 

back when i wrote that post, i really truly thought it wasn’t ours. it had been a month since our offer was rejected without the opportunity to counter-offer. the sign in front had been taken down, and i’d finally let go of that little glimmer of hope that it could somehow be ours. i figured we would go through a few more “losses” before we finally found a place to call home. but the real estate gods must have been looking down on us, because about a week later, we got word that the sale had indeed fallen through. our real estate agent, rita shaw, rushed to the listing agent’s office right as the sellers were looking through the other offers. she negotiated with them and they accepted our offer right on the spot! i was in so much shock, i was afraid to share the news lest i be premature in my announcement once again. but a little over a month later, the house is truly ours.

so to bring you up to speed since my last post, we’ve finally closed escrow and moved in just yesterday. prior to that, we got a home inspection and an appraisal, signed and submitted what seemed like an endless stream of papers, got approval on the loan, paid the down payment, and officially got the keys to our new home on friday. but even though we kinda breezed past the house hunting phase, the journey has really only just begun. it’s not what you would call a fixer, but it is a house that we bought with the hopes of making renovations here and there to truly make it our own. it was built in 1926, so the idea is to restore it back to it’s original charm. and of course, in true blogger form, i will be sharing the entire process with you all once i get my office set up with an internet connection. in the meantime, i’ll be sharing little glimpses of what we’ve been up to on instagram. so expect to see more updates in this space very soon!

adam drinking his morning cup of “coffee” before the big day.

getting the first glimpse of the original 1926 hardwood floors beneath the ancient wall-to-wall carpeting. and check out those mint green drapes, straight from the only renovation to the house that took place in 1970. at least according to the permit records!

we spent hours and hours pulling up each and every staple from these floors. the wood is beautiful and it’s totally livable in the meantime, but we’re already looking into getting them refinished. one cool discovery was that even the kitchen has wood flooring beneath the vinyl tiles and subfloor.

not sure what the story is here, but we have an old horse hitch out front!

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adam’s nursery

it’s been a long time coming, but i’m finally sharing photos of adam’s nursery! i have no good excuse for why it’s taken so long for me to share this because the room has remained pretty much the same since he was born. as he’s grown, i’ve rearranged things to make the space more appropriate for his level of development, and added a few things here and there, most notably after christmas and his birthday in january, yikes! we originally had a big mid-century style shelf against one wall, but once he was actively reaching for things above his head, i decided that it might be wise to build a shelf up high so he wouldn’t be able pull something down on top of himself. and as he’s grown, i’ve also started to imagine it as more of a play area with little carts full of toys and a tiny wooden kitchen all safely within his reach.

as far as a theme, there really isn’t one. i had originally wanted to go with jungle animals and an aqua blue/mustard yellow color scheme with pops of red here and there. but as i started collecting things, i quickly realized that it would be almost impossible for me to maintain any sort of theme or color story. as soon as i let go of whatever preconceived notion i had about how i wanted the room to look, it just sorta fell together as i picked up the things i liked. in the end, i’d say it has bright and colorful, eclectic, slightly european vibe to it. if we’re going to put a label on it, haha.

above: adam’s beloved hape play kitchen, a classic red radio flyer push bike, lots of fisher price classics, babylit books, and plenty of other bright and colorful delights.

the vintage emmaljunga pram. we don’t use it nearly as often as i thought we would, but i am still so pleased that i found one! that cloub b gentle giraffe, on the other hand, was a lifesaver when adam was an infant!

the print above us is by marrimeko from a few seasons ago.

prints from fine little day and petit collage elephant mobile.

aqua blue velvet glider, the tassel pillow is now out of stock, mini boheme lion pillow, and lucy owl courtesy of hazel village.

the crib is part of the babyletto skip set, and the crib mattress is from naturepedics. the blanket is by blabla from a few seasons back.

i love this p’kolino elephant wall easel! sadly, it has been discontinued.

the babyletto skip dresser. the changing station on top is removable.

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a nursery sneak peek with munchkin!

back when adam was just a tiny babe, i half-jokingly declared that i would consider it an accomplishment if i managed to photograph the nursery before he was a year old. and here we are. adam is 14 months old, and i’m finally getting around to it! besides the fact that i have never photographed or shared any of my interiors on the blog before, i think my biggest hurdle was that i kept expecting the room to be “finished” one day. but then, as i rearranged the room for the millionth time since he was born, i realized that there would never be an end point. a home is this living, breathing thing that grows and changes right along with us. adam’s needs are ever-changing, and so is his room. (and with any luck, we’ll be moving out of this place very soon, so i really need to document it before we leave. more on that later!)

so in the spirit of building things up, i partnered with munchkin to give you a little tease before the big reveal. most of the room has remained pretty much the same since adam was born, but i’ve been making important additions to the room here and there. one such essential came in the form of our new arm & hammer diaper pail that we received courtesy of munchkin. i had originally picked up a little stainless steel step can because i thought it looked nice, and i honestly never even considered using a diaper pail. and i got away without one for quite a few months before i started to notice a particularly offensive funk wafting from the nursery. unless you plan to make multiple trips to the dumpster throughout the day, a regular can just isn’t gonna cut it. needless to say, i was pretty relieved to finally make the upgrade, especially after having to explain the stink to guests a few too many times…

and with that final odor-free addition, i can finally say that i’m ready to share the nursery! hope you enjoy the photos, and stay tuned for the full reveal coming soon!


this post was created in partnership with munchkin. thank you for supporting my sponsors!

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houses of redlands

i know i’ve mentioned this a few times before, but i am absolutely charmed by the vintage architecture here in redlands. so much so, that i find myself snapping quick pictures of my favorite houses while i wander around on walks in the historic district where i live. there are a number of buildings listed in the national register of historic places, or designated as california historical landmarks. i’ve been posting enough pictures to instagram, that i decided to start filing them all under the rather predictable hashtag #housesofredlands.

it’s just a fun little hobby for me, but it’s really been gaining steam now that i’m in the market for a house of my own. i find myself more intrigued with little details like walkways and landscaping, paint colors and porch covers. here’s a little selection of some of the photos i’ve taken. and of course, you can see more on my instagram.

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the one that got away


if you’ve been following me on instagram, then you may already know that my little family recently started the process of hunting for a house. for nearly 10 years now, brendan and i have always lived in relatively small apartments in urban areas, and never even dreamed of owning a home. but since having a baby, moving to redlands, and falling in love with the community here, we’ve gotten more serious about finding a place to call our own. we currently live in a cute little rental, but we don’t have much of a yard, and it was never our intention to stay here for very long. we live in the historic district, surrounded by darling craftsman-style bungalows, cookie cutter victorians, and charming spanish-style villas. it is just about impossible to keep myself from daydreaming about living in some cute little vintage house as i go on walks with adam around the neighborhood. (i even started posting to instagram with the hashtag #housesofredlands.)

so after casually looking at the real estate listings for several months, i finally laid my eyes on this charming 1920s beauty. the house is on a ridiculously idyllic tree-lined street only a short walk from the historic downtown. when i saw the listing, my heart began to pitter-patter and i did my best not to get my hopes up too high. but if you’ve ever been on the hunt for a house, then you know how quickly you begin to imagine yourself living there forever. it was the perfect house. tons of vintage charm with the original bathroom mostly intact. the kitchen was redone in the ’70s, but it was nothing that a few coats of paint and a new countertop couldn’t fix. and beneath all of that dirty old carpeting was the original hardwood flooring, just waiting to be revealed. just the type of fixer-upper that can easily be restored to it’s original charm by someone with the vision to do it!

but alas, it really was too good to be true. we were outbid without a chance to counteroffer and the house is now pending. i can’t help but find myself hoping that the sale will somehow fall through and we’ll get that call. but i know that it’s been long enough that i need to let go and continue searching for “the one.” but the whole process is much more emotionally draining that i ever thought possible. there are so many factors out of our control. we need to be patient since those barely untouched gems don’t pop up often, and even then, there may always be someone willing to put in a higher bid.

do any of you have tales to tell about your search for the perfect home?

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handmade holiday: soaking salts and milk baths

the holidays can be stressful, you guys. every year, i feel totally chill– until the day after thanksgiving, when i suddenly realize that i have about a million gifts to give, and my already monumental to-do list seems to quadruple in size. add a baby to the mix, and i can become a bit of a scrooge. but this year, instead of allowing myself to become overwhelmed, i decided to simplify. instead of trying to fight the holiday crowds over silly little trinkets, i decided to partake in a handmade holiday. yes, i still have plenty of holiday shopping to do, but making the bulk of my gifts has already lightened the load tremendously. so over the next couple of weeks, i’ll be sharing some of the holiday diy projects that i’ve been making along with the help of my sister.

first up, a collection of luxurious milk baths and soaking salts. since having the baby, i’ve been making an effort to set aside some chill-out time to soak in the bath about once a week, so i already have my own little stockpile of soaking ingredients in my cabinet! they can all be found at your local health food store, and the recipes are really simple, with many of the ingredients being easily interchangeable. the only real investment comes in the form of the essential oils. some bottles run upwards of $25 a pop, but you only use a few drops of each, so there will be plenty leftover for your own concoctions. plus, the act of simply slowing down and making something was rather therapeutic, and felt a lot more meaningful to me. probably because making these soaks is basically one big aromatherapy session in itself!

the shopping list

pink himalayan sea salt
pink sea salt
red hawaiian sea salt
grey celtic sea salt
epsom salt
baking soda
powdered coconut milk
powdered buttermilk
powdered honey
essential oils (i used vanilla, lavender, ylang ylang, grapefruit, orange, and a “relaxation blend”)

soaking salts

1 cup sea salt
1/2 cup epsom salt
1/4 cup part baking soda
5 – 6 drops of essential oil

i should probably start out by saying that you don’t need to get himalayan pink or celtic grey salt for these. i think they are said to have special therapeutic properties, and that may be true, but i mostly went with them because they come in pretty colors. regular old sea salt and epsom salts will still do the trick. my personal favorite mix of essential oils? lavender, grapefruit, and ylang ylang.

milk bath

1 1/2 cups powdered milk
1/4 cup powdered honey
1/4 cup epsom salt
5 – 6 drops of essential oil

for this recipe, we tried two different soaks, one made with coconut milk and the other made with buttermilk. the coconut milk obviously has a very strong coconut scent, so we mixed in some vanilla to compliment it. the end result basically smells like cookies. the buttermilk is more neutral, so this one is a good option if you want to use essential oils that might not go as well with coconut. we mixed it with grapefruit, orange, and vanilla.

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the bedroom


since moving into our new place in redlands, i’ve been really eager to start sharing some of the progress we’ve made in decorating our new space. there have been a few kinks in the road, but the good news is that we’ve finally got some painters coming in this weekend to start the process! the girl who used to live here got a little color happy with the walls. all of the paint is high gloss and features such fun colors as a bold, dark maroon in the living room, a bright cornflower blue in the kitchen, and probably the most offensive: black and metallic gold in the bathroom! i’m sure she had it quite nice in here, but the whole thing is painfully wrong for my own decor. i know it’s just paint, but i kid you not, sometimes i close my eyes and imagine the walls painted a nice, soft white and it calms me. i know i’ll breathe a sigh of relief once i have my nice blank canvas to work with.

most of the rooms in the house still need a lot of work, but for whatever reason, i’m actually finding the most forgotten room to be the least intimidating and most exciting project: my bedroom. in the past, i’ve always sort of left it bare, a big bed in the middle with clothes piled around and hanging on racks. if the house is messy and people are coming over, i grab everything and dump it into my bedroom and close the door. but lately i’ve been seeing this room as more important, a safe haven away from all the outside noise. a place where i can go to nurse adam to sleep while we nap together in the afternoon. a place where i can lay down and read a book and de-stress. i imagine myself swathed in comfy blankets with pretty things around me, waking up to the morning light filtered through the curtains.

so of course, i’ve been stalking pinterest for bedroom inspiration and hoarding pins in a private board. i’ve been going out to thrift and antique shops on the hunt for furniture, pottery, decor. and so far, i’ve had a lot of luck. i found a beautiful woven wall hanging at the thrift store a few weeks back, and i hand-dyed a pretty quilt with natural indigo. my little space is really starting to come together, and i hope to share some pictures of the process very soon. but in the meantime, here are some pictures that have been providing me with inspiration.

above: kara rosenlund.

julia kostreva.

caroline z hurley.

in bed.

my scandinavian home.

urban outfitters.

sincerely, kinsey.

claire a miller.


sf girl by bay.

ikea sweden.

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since having adam, i’ve spent a lot of time at home. i’m on an extended leave from work so i can take care of him, and it’s the first time that i’ve spent so much time in the house in the past three-and-a-half years since starting my day job. the first couple of months were spent recovering and just soaking up all of that wonderful newborn magic. i didn’t really get bored or anxious because i was so wrapped up in baby world. i still am for the most part, but lately i’ve gotten a serious crafting itch.

growing up, i was constantly surrounded by arts and crafts projects. my mom was always working on various projects and setting me up with things to do of my own. cross-stitch, crochet, sewing, painting, weaving, rug hooking, you name it. i learned to be patient, sitting at the kitchen table or on the couch with a tedious little project in hand. my mom always nearby to help me if i got stuck. so perhaps having a baby has awoken some long dormant nostalgia for those days spent with my mom. i scroll through pinterest and find myself interested in picking up all of those old hobbies, something to do with my hands between baby naps and walks around the neighborhood.

i already finished my first sewing project last week, and i’ve been hankering to make a trip downtown to the garment district to pick up some fancy new fabrics like raw silk and linen to make a few simple tops and things. now i just have to reign it in or else i’m going to end up with an explosion of unfinished projects piling up around me!

above: photo by jennifer causey

the purl bee.

susan jameson.


the purl bee. can i get away with sewing a baby bonnet for adam? i’m thinking chambray could work.

a pair & a spare.

the etsy blog.

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i know this is a fashion blog, and over the past five years, i’ve definitely kept it strictly in that place. but if you’re wondering why i’ve been so absent lately, it’s because my outfits haven’t exactly been top of mind lately. my schedule is such that the only time i’m able to snap pictures of what i’m wearing is on the weekends. during the week, i’m working 10 – 6pm, and especially with the end of daylight savings, there is no light left when i get home from work. and while i’m usually pretty happy to spend a few minutes on saturday or sunday to show one of my looks, the past several weekends have been consumed by preparing our new apartment for the arrival of the baby, and the host of house guests that will come with it! we have only been living here for a few months now, and the space is considerably larger than any of our previous apartments, so we’ve been spending a lot of time at flea markets and furniture shops trying to collect everything we need to fill this space.

the trouble is, i’ve never been big on interior design. i mean, i know what i like, but i’ve never really spent much time or energy on home improvements. i’m pretty happy to have a nice place in a nice spot with lots of plants as my main decor. i never think about themes or colors, i just pick things i like when i need them, and do my best to keep the damn space clean! but lately, all i can think about is how to make this place a proper home. perhaps it’s this “nesting instinct” that everyone talks about, but i have been spending countless hours sifting through inspiration trying to imagine what to do with my home.

my aesthetic is still very “bohemian,” for lack of a better word. i like flea market finds and simple mid-century designs. i like a space that feels lived in, and do not dream of having a storybook home like the ones you see in interior design books. and i am obsessed with filling my space with as many plants as possible (which i know might not be ideal for baby, but we’re going to make sure our plants are all non-toxic)! anyway, all of that is to say that i’ve collected a few pretty pictures to share so you can get an idea of where my mind has been lately.

image above via rennes.

a beautiful mess.

a beautiful mess.


ink and spindle.

design sponge.

fat cat brussels.

hello lidy.

apartment therapy.

leah reena goren.


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