Cozy boy’s bedroom

My youngest has a few must-haves for his bedroom. His collection of stuffed animals, for one — it actually fills two hampers but he usually only plays with a few at a time.

alexander's room

He also loves dinosaurs, his books, and has already started a collection of globes. I sought to add some fall color while retaining the things our boy loves the most.

Warm plaids will play nicely with the muted yellows and greens Alex loves. Baskets and containers are always good, and in a neutral color will coordinate nicely with whatever changes Alex makes to his color preferences.

Our oldest’s bedroom has had some, uh, Super additions, and I will be posting some pics in the next couple of weeks.

Casa de Berry: TNG

Extra point if you got that reference.

Both Steve and I have musical backgrounds – he played various instruments including the contrabass in a Drum & Bugle corps. I used to be a high soprano in various school and church choirs, but don’t ask me to hit any remotely high notes nowadays.

After expressing zero interest and never before having mentioned it, our oldest came home saying he was joining fifth grade band, playing the tenor sax.


So we think this is pretty cool, and yeah, I realize this might be a passing thing, which is why that sax is a rented one, but for now we are looking forward to recitals and shows. Our youngest, who has noise-sensitivity due to his autism, might be needing some noise canceling headphones, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

Halloween table

Being in a bigger house – three times the size of our house in California – means that we need more stuff to decorate it for the holidays. This year we’re going to focus on expanding our Christmas stash, so for Halloween we’ll decorate smaller areas in our home, such as the sofa table in the living room.

The center lantern is one Steve has had forever, as is the marble chessboard. I found the striped candles at World Market and loved the pattern play, so I added them. Then I thought we needed a little dose of glam.

I saw these adorable mini pumpkins at Target, polka dotted black and white and metallic gold – perfect.

The spooky cloche is from Michaels, and I added some suitably horrifying books from our book collection to complete the scene.

It’s a nice little spot in our living area and makes me feel like I have accomplished my Halloween decorating for the year :D I also managed to score those blood-dripping candles from World Market so I might change it up at some point.

We are enjoying the first days of fall here in Wisconsin, some of the trees are already sporting flashes of bright reds and oranges. I can’t wait to experience this season!

Master Bathroom

When I came to Wisconsin to narrow down our choices for homes, there were some outstanding bathrooms in the houses we toured, but undoubtedly, the one that left me speechless was the one we dubbed the Captain America shower.

Either we would go in as ourselves and come out mutated in some way, or I’d end up pressing the wrong button and launch the whole thing into space. The master bathroom in our home, while still gorgeous, is a bit more normal looking. This is what it looked like at first:

It has a double shower, a separate alcove for the toilet, a sweet soaker tub and a lot of storage. A mirror that spanned both sink areas was added before we moved in, as well as light fixtures. We added cellular blinds to allow light in and retain privacy, and a few touches to make it more pleasant to get ready in the morning.

I brought my Georgianna Lane framed photos and Steve was sweet to placed them above the tub for me. The Paris map also made the trek, and lives on my side of the vanity. We purchased the same towels we had in our apartment in Paris last year. Six months later, they’re still like new.

Hope you enjoyed this little tour of our master bathroom, we’re certainly very happy with it!

Fall dining room decor

The leaves are already turning color here, and we’re enjoying the views from our living room and dining room windows.  I recently changed up our dining room table to reflect the changing seasons.

I purchased the runner on clearance last December (I think) at Target, and it’s been sitting in my Fall storage bin until last week.  The fleur-de-lis candlesticks are from Goodwill, they are really heavy and I spray painted them black.  I saw the tapers at World Market, they have lots of them in fall colors and I thought they would be a nice accent.

Our friends M & J gifted us the vintage MOET poster, we brought it all the way from California and it goes perfectly with the warm feel we want for the dining room.

The faux-croc stamped chargers are from Michaels, I saw them and thought they made such a statement, and I like mixing different tones of golds and browns.  The centerpiece is a grapevine wreath (also from Michaels) layered with a garland with a gorgeous scented candle in the middle.  We first got a similar candle from our cousin and now it’s a must once summer ends, it lasted forever in California but I have a feeling it will be lit a lot more often here :D

Six months on

In March of this year, we embarked on an adventure — we moved from California, the only place my husband and my boys have ever lived in, and started a road trip that would take us to our new home in Wisconsin.

That morning, we said goodbye to friends and family, and to the home we’d lived in for 10 years.

We drove mostly along route 66, seeing places like Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon, discovering new foods like fry bread (which Alexander loved!), and driving through long stretches of road that seemed to go on forever. We saw bits and pieces of Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, and Illinois, before arriving in our new home state of Wisconsin.

We lucked out in that we arrived just as the snow was almost gone. On the boys’ first day of school, there were barely any traces of it, and so we escaped the worst of winter. Speaking of school, we couldn’t be happier. The difference in school budgets is clear (even though Governor Walker has done his best to cut funding, he hasn’t wrecked the budgets to California level) – and the resources that my boys can enjoy are amazing.

Our home – what can I say about our beautiful new home?

We have plans for the landscaping, and the exterior paint, although the latter might not happen for a couple of years due to budget constraints. But as far as I’m concerned, it’s beautiful, and a house we could never have lived in back in California. It’s three times the size (without including the basement) and it still cost significantly less than our house in San Jose.

I keep being told to “just wait” until I go through my first winter here. People are probably right and it will be much more difficult than I imagine, but I am sure as heck enjoying the fall weather right now. Today’s high temp will be 64. That’s my kind of weather. True, the humidity is kind of icky, but not having entire weeks of 100-degree weather is a relief to me.

On a personal level, I am making some good friendships here, meeting wonderful people. Our neighbors are delightful and one is about to have a baby girl. I get to shop in the pink aisle! :D I am also currently in a lot of pain because of an aerial yoga class I took two days ago. Oh, so worth it. I loved it. There is so much to do here, lots of it family-friendly, including scenic drives (picture courtesy Travel Wisconsin):

Six months have gone by so quickly, we arrived with the promise of spring and now the leaves are changing color. Thank you, Wisconsin, for welcoming us with so much kindness and beauty.

Shop Coqui in Brookfield

Coqui in Brookfield has recently expanded their wedding and event invitation design business to include a charming retail space with so much eye candy, as my friend G. called it, that it was difficult to know where to look next.  Every shelf, every fixture, is full of beautiful items to make your home, desk, or party memorable and glamorous.

Stop by and check out their gorgeous new space, whether you are looking for a custom wedding suite or a Garance Dore calendar, a charm for your pup’s collar or a luxurious bubble bath, you will find it at Coqui.

Fall wish list

I’m really trying NOT to rush the whole fall thing because two years ago my BFF and I decorated our houses for fall on the first week of August and it was November and we were still sweating in ninety-degree weather. But, I figure I’m not actually buying anything, just, ya know, talking about it, so hopefully I won’t jinx things too much.

The key for me is to know what suits me and what does not, because as much as I love this dress, that salmon color looks like ass with my coloring. And this shirt looks super cute on the model, but I have D-cups, and button downs are the bugbears of my wardrobe.

After all that ado, here are a few pieces in a coveting:

2015 august

Parka Snow BootsBlazer Tee Tote Top Necklace

Isabel by Tocca

I have to say this is the first fragrance I have bought for myself in years – I think the last time was when I was working at Nordstrom for the holidays back in 2009. My husband usually buys me perfume, he was in Canada for business a few months ago and showed up with Miss Dior and Coco by Chanel, which were the latest additions to my little collection.

I was subscribing to Birchbox for a few months (I’ve traded it for Rocksbox) and I received a sample of Tocca’s new scent, Isabel. It is pretty and feminine but not overly floral, and there’s something really “sparkling” about it. I fell in love with it, and on my recent visit to Chicago with my bff, I purchased a bottle at Sephora.

I can’t believe it’s already August. My boys start school next month, my youngest turned nine a few days ago, this year is really flying by. I am so looking forward to experiencing fall here in the Midwest. Summer has been wonderful and I am very excited about the holidays.

Have a wonderful weekend!

My 4th of July mantel

I am keeping my holiday mantel simple – I found a couple of items at our local vintage store and added items from IKEA, Walmart, and World Market.

The metal stars are something I’ve wanted for a long time, and I got them for a steal at Roost, and I love that the red in them is pretty close to the red of the mantel. The fabric banner is from World Market.

The wreath is from WalMart — I added a small banner that I found at Roost, it is the shape of our new home state of Wisconsin, with a heart to denote Lake Country, the area where we live. And yes, that is one of those ubiquitous IKEA lanterns, I always swear I won’t get more and then they come out with new colors and I grab a bunch.

A closer look at the little paper banner, I had originally grabbed it on impulse, but it looks perfect on the wreath, marking our first 4th of July here.

And that’s it. Like I said, I kept it simple, but I do like to mark the holidays and put out some decorative pieces. My next two projects are the guest room/office, and my walk-in closet. The closet is such a dumping ground right now and I’m over it, so it’s getting some TLC. Wish me luck!


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