Thoughtful Details with Journals + Notebooks

Friday, September 7, 2018

Brass Magnifying Glass

Friends, is the the work week actually over?! I can't believe what an eventful few days it's been, coming back from a 3 day weekend. Did anyone else need two cups of coffee everyday this week, just to push through the afternoon? Maybe it's a combination of myself wanting to stay in Summer vacation mode, which you can't blame me for or maybe it's trying to re-adjust to an early morning schedule with the kids back in school again. Overall, I'm happy to take on the busyness and look forward to new changes taking place in the coming months. Stay tuned for more details in a lifestyle post coming soon. If you'd like to follow along on my instagram stories, to see what's been keeping me occupied lately in my neck of the woods, I'd love for you to stop by and visit! 

Onto the pretty things! In mid-Summer, I compiled a list of all my favorite books, perfect for coffee tables and bookshelves, seen here. Books are so multi-functional: they're great for creating different levels in design, they act as an inspirational read for guests and yourself, and are basically your all around decor filler when you're not sure what to add. Alongside these gems is another detail with the same purpose and you've guessed it ... it's journals and notebooks. They really add a thoughtful story to the little vignettes you set-up around your home. Think bedside and accent tables, and work desks.

Give this a try: Stack a pair of two journals in your favorite color scheme with a Fall candle to embrace the upcoming season. For a work desk, rest a large open bound journal laid wide open, to set the scene for a space of reflection and creative thinking. You'll find that there are so many pretty options out there, from leather to floral patterns, and fabric covered. They're all so lovely!

Here are some ways to create beautiful vignettes around the home using journals & notebooks. 



I had a lot of fun creating these for you while listening to my favorite tunes in country music. What type of music calms you after a busy week or even sparks your creativity to soar with ideas? I'd love for you to share in the comments below! Enjoy spending a little time styling your home this weekend and thanks for stay awhile!

Warmly ~


White Paint Favorites Guide

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Let's chat all about white paint today! White paint has been in high demand this past year, as people have been looking for new ways to brighten up their homes. Especially with our busy and complex lifestyles, we are looking for a sense of calmness and serenity in the place we come home to. I remember first falling in love with white walls, after searching through home decor magazines that featured Parisian apartments. I was still in college and signed a lease on the cutest little apartment that had a Juliet balcony. So of course, this romantic detail fell right in line with the beauty of a neutral color palette, the French so effortlessly mastered.

Neutral wall colors, like whites and soft grey's really gives you the freedom to play around with pops of color in a room. It's a fun process to focus on the details, like texture and pattern, leather and brass pieces, along with your favorite colors - knowing that you can switch out a look anytime you have a change of heart. Plus, if you've been wanting to incorporate shiplap, board & battan detailing, and wallpaper, white so brilliantly gives focus to these details.

So, is it easy as going to your local hardware store to pick up a can of white paint?! Selecting the perfect white paint can be more difficult than it sounds. With tons of swatches to run your fingers through, varying hues, and finishes to choose from, it might leave you feeling overwhelmed and confused. To top it all off, what may look beautiful and bright in one home, might not look it's best in another. Over the years, I've freshened up the homes we've lived in with paint and I've narrowed down my favorite hues of white to work with. So, if you're wanting to bring new life into your space, the best way to do it is with a beautiful coat of white paint!

My Top Favorites:


by Benjamin Moore
Bright & crisp white, without being too stark. 
{Paint color in our house, minus the living room}

by Benjamin Moore
Simple & Clean with no real undertones
{Paint color of the trim in our house}


by Benjamin Moore
Soft White with a hint of yellow
It is Benjamin Moore's Color of the Year in 2016
and is a fan favorite that works well in most spaces

by Sherwin Williams
Soft white with an earthy base. Not creamy, but has a hint of yellow
Interior: Best in well-lit spaces and when used on brick & wood
Exterior: Excellent as a beautiful soft white
{Paint color of the accent brick wall and ceiling color in our home}

by Benjamin Moore
White with a hint of grey, not creamy
An on-going best seller for it's neutral undertone
Best in well lit spaces and looks beautiful surrounded
by wood accents & dark hardware


by Benjamin Moore
Soft Creamy White
Best for all areas of the home in well lit spaces, especially in
bedrooms and as a bathroom color
{This is the color I will be painting our guest bathroom}

by Benjamin Moore 
Best for a warm white-grey exterior. Think French Country!

If you have a well lit space that takes in a lot of natural light during the day, then soft and warm whites will be great options to consider. I reserve crisp whites in areas that need more light and to create the illusion of a larger space, such as in small bathrooms. Keep in mind that the colors may vary on the swatch chips versus what will translate on the walls. I've noticed this quite often with Sherwin Williams paint colors. So, I really like to use large card stock paper (like this) to paint 2 coats of the color, so I can get a true representation of what it will look like in the space. My best advice is to compare the colors during the day and evening, considering the lighting you have in that particular space during all times of the day. Lighting makes a huge difference!

It's true color: If you are painting over a dark wall, consider applying a separate primer to begin with. This will help you achieve the true white you are going for. If you skip this step, regardless if the paint has a built-in primer already, 3 coats maybe what is required to keep the darker paint color from peaking through the newly painted white wall(s).

My finishes of choice: I typically like to use an eggshell finish all around because it's a nice balance between matte and satin finishes, and it's easy to clean. For trim, doors, and wood paneling, I like the look of a satin finish for dimension.

Want to create the illusion of taller ceilings: Paint both your walls and trim all the same color and finish. It's modern and streamlined. 

I hope this guide helps you select the right shade of white for your space and have fun experimenting! 

Warmly ~


Calm and Collected: Wood Tones

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Welcome to a new week friends!  The kiddos started a new school year once again and it's back to the daily grind of things. Since the beginning of August, I was imagining how this week would play out. Thinking if I'd be uncertain with my time and this new schedule. But it was proven pretty quickly that I was ready and willing to get back into content creating about all the things that have been filling my brain lately. 

So, today I'm chatting about one of my most used elements in interior styling ... and that's wood tones. Let's face it, I not only use it constantly in my design plans, but also in my fashion accessories; a.k.a, my Cult Gaia handbags! Perhaps, it's my way of showing my appreciation for nature. There's just something about the organic nature of wood, the unique grooves, the charming imperfections and the tones that have me forever intrigued.  

Especially with spaces that are coated with crisp white walls, wood tones provide warmth and coziness to what would typically be a stark and bland space. If you have the budget for it, I love its use in a kitchen island or with dining room furniture. Simply add an accent table, functional tray, or bench placed at the front entryway or foot of your bed, for a look that's calm and collected.

It works beautifully with all metals too, such as brass and copper ... what's not to love! 

For the past few months, I've also been on Pinterest, pinning dark and moody spaces, from cabinetry to paneled walls and exteriors. I just love the look of wood tones paired with charcoal navys and soft blacks. They're the right balance for these darker spaces, even adding that vintage-esque appeal.

When it comes to selecting a particular finish or stain, I personally tend to lean towards pine or walnut finishes (natural or dark) because the grey hues are versatile and classic. It really compliments both lighter and darker wood pieces that you might already have in the home. 

As a rule of thumb:  When mixing wood tones, I like to create an eclectic collection with typically no more than 2-3 different finishes in one space. There's usually a distinct color variation between the pieces, such as a dark walnut console with white-washed decorative boxes up top for personality and dimension.

1 | 23 | 4

I've rounded-up some wood pieces of all scales, that can beautifully be incorporated in and throughout, to bring a bit of nature and warmth into your home. Enjoy!

Warmly ~


Current Artwork & Print Favorites

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Lately, I've been finding new ways to spark inspiration in our ever evolving home. The dining area has turned out to be the main place I turn to for inspiration, which overlooks handsome oak trees and the cutest cottage homes in some of my most loved colors. There's also a little corner near the window where a vintage flower stand holds a thoughtful selection of odds and ends that I like to switch out as my inspiration changes.

It's the perfect landing spot, just before leaving the house for a final look at my outfit of the day, a little toss of the hair, and a quick glance of our sentimental "Darling" sign behind, that preps positivity for the day. It's moments like these in the home that I want to create more of, particularly in the hallway and the master bedroom.

"Darling" Wood Sign | Metal Floral Scroll (Vintage Find)

 Madewell Woven Crossbody Bag

McGee & Co. Market Basket 

For the most part, I have a neutral color palette running throughout the home, with earthy tones and blush pink as an accent color. Coastal blues and emerald green have been growing heavily on me this season, so I wanted to find more ways to incorporate these colors where I could. The best way I felt was to create a well-thought out collection of artwork and prints to tie everything in! 

Prints have been a design element I've been meaning to add in for months. I just haven't had the time or patience to hone in on exactly what I was looking for. So, I finally buckled down and searched online this week for artwork and prints that would marry beautifully with my existing decor. After toying around with many styles, it turned out that florals would be a must have on my list, along with these pieces that have currently caught my interest:

Other's I've been considering: 

Be sure to also take a peek at MintedRifle Paper Co., and this darling shop on Etsy, Hearts of Colors, to see all their other amazing prints. How do you like to stay inspired and is your home a place of inspiration for you? I'd love to know your thoughts!

Warmly ~


HEALTH + WELLNESS: Self-Care Practices for the Everyday Gal

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Home on Coronado Island

From the start of a new month, August has been filled with joyful moments, thanks to a long awaited vacation back to my home state, California. It had been two years since my sisters and I have been together in the same room, and it only took but a minute for us to start spilling out our best jokes, while gathering over a fresh stack of homemade chocolate chip pancakes.

Our conversations were refreshing, insightful, and grown-up. We were older now, parents in the midst of raising our school-aged children; and for my youngest sister, a newly promoted business gal, waiting to begin a new phase in her life. We stepped back from the chaos of trying to have life all figured out and came together for sisterly bonding and family fun. It turned out to be the best vacation I had been on in years, but also brought about many unexpected emotions to light.

These spurts of emotion made me realize that I had taken too long to recharge and unwind. My mind was overwhelmed from daily life and all the running around. It was undoubtedly a juggling act between motherhood and being a wife, my work in interior design, and growing my blog. And not once could I give my 100% commitment, to any one thing I was trying to grow. There wasn't enough time, let alone any time to care for myself.  One thing I needed to learn was that my happiness, health, and well-being had to come first because that's what's required for everything else to be great!"

A glimpse of our Airbnb Home in San Diego

Serenity at Best on a San Diego Pier

Oh, the priceless teachings from a brilliant woman Sheri Salata, former Executive Producer of the Oprah Winfrey Show and Co-President of Harpo Studios and OWN. After rekindling my love for podcasts this Summer, I came across an interview where she promotes that self-care (through 7 pillars) is the key to creating your best life. That the savviest and most respected women in the future, will be the ones with the most quality of life. This resonated with me deeply because as a woman and mother, we tend to feel as though we are being selfish in wanting to aid ourselves. And once we build up the courage to finally do something for "ourselves," we think it involves an afternoon at the nail salon or going out with a group of girlfriends. However, it's much more complex than that. This is one of the lessons I want to grow from, as I wish to achieve happiness and success with myself, my family, and with my creative business ventures. 

After much thought, reflection, and self-assessment, these are the ways I will gradually incorporate self-care in my daily routine and I hope these practices will be helpful to you as well in your everyday life:

1. Start each day with a calm mind. How often do we wake up every morning thinking about all the endless tasks we need to do for the day? Instead, approach each morning as a way of becoming the best version of yourself. Enjoy some quiet time with a healthy breakfast and a good cup of jo, stretch and mediate, go on a brisk walk. Implement a simple routine that will take away your anxieties and replace it with something that will create a more productive day.  

2. Remember to be kind to yourself. There will be times during the course of a year where you feel doubtful or feel like you're still a million miles away from reaching your goals.  It can be frustrating and disheartening, with wonder of where to go from here. But we have to remind ourselves that greatness is a process. I can't expect success to happen in a few months or even in a year. Don't be too hard on yourself, especially if you're doing the best you can. Easier said than done, but with an optimistic mindset, it will fuel us to achieve much more, rather than hold us back.

3. Set a small personal goal that will build up your self-confidence. For me, I have challenged myself to workout 15 minutes a day during the weekdays. I am horrible at keeping up consistency if my workouts are too long. But what I do know, is that I can always make room for 15 minutes in my day to concentrate on my health and well-being through exercise. Not only will this boost my self-confidence levels, but it will also give me a sense of accomplishment. 

These are only three small, but mighty practices that will help achieve daily self-care for ourselves and my hope is that these practices will turn into positive results, with success flourishing in all aspects of our lives. 

Warmly ~


Dreamy in White Dresses

Friday, July 20, 2018

There's something about white dresses that I really enjoy wearing during the warmer months. It's an instant companion to all my woven accessories and works as an effortless option for any occasion, big or small. Understated, yet dreamy, it's the elegant details that really make a white dress shine! Eyelet lace, ruffles, pretty silhouettes, and more. It has truly become a well loved piece in my wardrobe that I keep reaching for year after year. 

A regular routine of mine includes running around between work projects and the kids activities during the weekdays, so having looks that require little effort to put together is something I really appreciate. You can catch me wearing a white ensemble with casual lace up sandals and wedges for a bohemian inspired look. And because it's a blank canvas for color, I like to play around with accessories with a beautiful pair of drop earrings, a market tote like these, here and here, and a wide brim straw hat when we're out exploring or having a picnic during sunset.    

I put together my favorite dresses in all shades of white that are gorgeous for the season! There's even a top/skirt combo if you want to add more versatility to your wardrobe.  Enjoy!

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 + 8 | 9 | 10

Warmly ~


Decorating with Pretty Books {Interiors}

Monday, July 16, 2018

Welcome to a new week friends!  As I continue to beautify my home for the season, I wanted to chat about another element in design that can amp up your space within the blink of an eye .... and that's with decorative books!  Regardless of where you place them, your coffee table, bedside table or use them to showcase your favorite perfumes, they are a simple decorative element that works with any and all spaces. 

Personally, I like to select books with neutral illustrations and photography on the cover and spine, which includes colors like white, black, beige, and (yes) blues and pinks. It makes coordinating your books simpler when stacking them in groupings of 2 or 3. So, how do I like to style them? Stack books flat on coffee tables and when using them as a platform for decorative objects ... always remembering to place the largest book on the bottom, followed by smaller books leading to the top. 

It's also a lovely look to display a small group of books standing tall between beautiful bookends (like this marbled one I have at home) or against a pitcher vase on a bookshelf.   I selected some of my favorite hardcover books I like to decorate with in the genres of style, floral design, and in cooking. So, take your pick and happy shopping!  


Warmly ~ 


Summer Refresh

Friday, July 13, 2018

For the past couple of months, I've committed myself to finding new ways to refresh the home. I try not to steer far away from my Anthropologie inspired space, but overall I think I've created a beautiful mix of eclectic finds, both old and new that somehow all work together. Romantic hues of blush and soft neutrals, woven textures, and gleaming brass accents, stay the main focus throughout, but I've introduced a bit of Summer into the house with a splash of blue. It's a pop of coastal vibes that I'm missing from my home state of California and it's perhaps my way of keeping a piece of home right here in Texas.  

I've added a few new additions so far, nearly all on sale, which is how I like to shop most of the time. Of course, there is the occasional splurge, but because I like to change things out pretty frequently, keeping my purchases budget friendly is the smart route to go. Plus, it gives me the freedom to swap out my decor with the seasons. We purchased a mid-century leather sofa that I'm head over heels for, as well as changed out our bedding for something light and airy. I also added a few decorative items in white and natural finishes, and recently added a touch of Paris into our home with a beautiful woven bistro set. 

Creating a new and fresh space to welcome Summer in can be simple and easy with the right direction. These are all items that will beautifully transform your home into a light, airy, and inviting oasis. Try to concentrate on the heavy traffic areas of your home (living room, dining room, entryway, etc...) and finish everything off with fresh blooms and indoor plants to breath life into your newly inviting space.  

Pillows + Throws

Decorative Objects

Furniture, Baskets + Linens

How will you be updating your home this season?

Warmly ~


How to Find the Perfect Swimsuit for Summer

Monday, July 2, 2018

The task of finding a swimsuit that fits you just right can be a pretty intimidating experience. It sure was for me, as I tried to avoid the whole hoopla until it was absolutely necessary to go swimwear shopping. The level of self-confidence I had seemed to dwindle as the years went on, hiding in summer maxi dresses as I watched the kids swim with my hubby, instead of joining in on the fun. I wasn't sure how to dress my new mom body  (after having my second kiddo) and even after working out on and off throughout the years, every suit I put on just didn't fit right. I felt overcome that I didn't look how I dreamed about. Holding onto my "pre-baby body" that was no longer me. But this year I made a decision to change things around for myself. I was tired of comparing my worth to others and I had to realize that my body was beautiful just as it was, with its curves and perfect imperfections. 

Going to the pool or the beach should be filled with happy memories and joyful times, rather than something you want to hide from. We are all beautiful women, with every curve we have and there's nothing sexier than a girl, confident in her own skin. 

So, I'm here to help you find the perfect swimsuit for the season, to make you feel absolutely amazing as you soak up some sun this Summer.  These are all tips I learned in choosing a suit that helped me to get that boost of confidence that set me off in the right direction. But first, let's change that mindset of ours and say, " I love myself, just as I am, beautiful! "

1. Find out what areas of your body you find most flattering and use that as a tool for choosing the perfect suit!  Personally, I've come to embrace my curvy bum, so I made it a point to look for suits that accentuated these features. Avoid looking for suits that are "trendy" and search specifically for swimwear that will enhance the body areas you love the most.  You can see some of my picks in this post that I shared last month.  

2. Don't choose a size based on assumption. This is one thing I learned from a swimwear boutique I shopped at last year. Many of us might automatically search for a larger size because we feel like we didn't work out enough, put on some pounds or just think we will feel more comfortable with a looser fit. Unfortunately, this can set us up for failure. The proper sized swimsuit will tuck us in and provide lift in all the right areas. Keep in mind that they do tend to stretch in water, which is why you shouldn't always settle for the larger size. I can attest to making this mistake before. 

3. Get rid of the workout until you're "bikini ready" mentality.  Everyone is bikini ready and it's up to you to sport your favorite two piece in the body God gave you! We shouldn't have to worry about looking a certain way before putting on a bathing suit. Your body very much deserves to feel celebrated in whatever suit you want to wear! And now with high-waisted bikini bottoms, we can all enjoy this splendor, while looking incredible!

Style Tip:  If you want to ease into the bikini look, find a lightweight breezy top, like this one, and wear it over top of your bikini top. It's a trick I like to do that makes me feel girly and quite dreamy when I'm enjoying some fun in the sun.   

4. Take advantage of all the fun silhouettes that will send you off walking tall. From cut-outs, to high-waisted bottoms and modern patterns, these are all styles that will highlight certain areas of your body, while keeping other areas tucked in. They make wanting to get into a swimsuit even more enjoyable! I think many companies out there like Aerie and Everything but Water do a fantastic job at providing swimwear that really caters to all body shapes.

5. Don't forget to accessorize!  This is the best part and is something I like to have fun with! Pick out a cute cover-up, tote bag and pair of sunnies to give you that added boost of confidence when heading out to the pool or beach.

So, let's do away with the old beliefs on what we should look like and start recognizing that we are amazingly beautiful, just as we are!  Happy Summer loves!

Warmly ~ 


by mlekoshi