Welcome, 2013

Happy 2013!

I hope you all had a nice holiday and are ready to embrace a new year!  There is always something very exciting about January and a fresh start. It gives us time to reflect, set new goals and go forward with an open mind. Here is a little visual recap of the last couple weeks:

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Myself, Scott and a couple of our friends started the Born & Raised Detroit Foundation.  This year we partnered with COTS to bring a little extra holiday cheer to an awesome local family. The car was packed to the brim with all sorts of goodies and we had a fabulous time shopping, wrapping and delivering the gifts.

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With many merry occasions I loved to accent with splashy red. This handbag by sarah oliver, was a gift last year from my friend, Stacey. Not only was it incredibly thoughtful, but I absolutely love that each bag is individually knit by the "Purlettes", a band of sassy seniors (average age 88!) at the Redwoods Community Center in Mill Valley California. I mean, how cute is that?! Not to mention, I visited Mill Valley last summer and it was one of my favorites little towns.

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Due to a fairly hectic work schedule, I did about 70% of my Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love the festive atmosphere of grabbing a few last minute gifts, but this year I might have saved a little too much for the eleventh hour. Even though I was running around like a crazy woman, I couldn't say no to grabbing a quick coffee and popover with two of my favorites at the Neimans cafe. I mean, you can't shop on an empty stomach, right?

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Christmas Eve we did the early service at Cranbrook (aka the Children's service). Loved seeing all those kiddos in their festive holiday attire!

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We had a gaggle of guests at my in-law's for Christmas Eve dinner. The food was delicious and it is our annual tradition to do a Chinese Gift Exchange. We put all unmarked, wrapped gifts in the middle and according to your number you either pick from the center or steal a previously opened gift. These are not gag gifts, but more so $100 very desirable gifts. It can get... feisty.

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I always love giving socks for Christmas. So much so that this year I think Scott got about 8 pairs. I just think a little unexpected foot flair is very exciting. These PACT socks I saw on the Today Show and bought them immediately because a percentage of the sales goes to support Detroit homeless women who sew winter coats that turn into sleeping bags for the local homeless- providing both jobs and warmth. Looking good for a good cause? Can't go wrong!

photoMy nieces are obsessed with princesses. It was maybe the cutest thing I have ever seen when they found princess tee shirts at the end of a scavenger hunt set up by Santa. Yes, that teeshirt says "Princess Molly is going to Disney World". Yes, she is in Christmas pjs. And, yes, she is test driving the Ariel beach towel. I die.

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Speaking of cute kids, this is my husband, Scott when he was about 3. This picture kills me.

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I hadn't done a puzzle in so long that I thought 1000 pieces seemed reasonable. This puzzle brought us all hours of entertainment on Christmas. I think this reinvigorated everyone's puzzle enthusiasm. It is on.

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Maybe my best gift was a total sleeper. I had no idea creating this memory game from Pinhole Press would not only entertain by excite my nieces. I made a set for each of them and they loved looking at the pictures of themselves with different family members. Instead of playing the game it was more of a show and tell- but all in all very engaging!

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As for my gift for Scott, my amazingly talented friend, Paige, painted this custom crest to commemorate Scott's 30th birthday.  She is a print designer at Lilly Pulitzer, so I knew it would be fabulous, but it even looks cuter in person. I am having it framed in a simple gold frame and we will have to find somewhere very special to hang it!

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What's Christmas without a yule log?

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Something about the way my mom does her mantles and garlands is just so familiarly festive. Their house always seems like the hub of Christmas spirit!

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Santa really stocked my bookcase this year. I cannot wait to dive into these design books. I really want to read them cover to cover, but in the meantime I cheated a little bit and took a sneak peak at some of the gorgeous photos. Also, we got some trusty Eyewitness guide books for a trip Scott and I area going to take this spring. Even with the ease of the internet, I love pouring over guidebooks and then fact checking with the internet resources. I am ready to put on my planning cap!

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I love the quite nights after the holiday rush where you can do super fun things like enjoy an evening crafting with one of your best friends.

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I also like the quite nights that allow you to go on an OCD cleaning spree.  Out with the old in 2013!  I did an efficient closet, basement and car clean out. Did it feel good! It appears I really love colored pants-ROYGBIV 4 life.

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Lastly, we welcomed 2013 with a little dinner party with close friends. With this new year there is a sense of the unknown. Who knows how we will be feeling this time next year, or what we will be reflecting upon. Whatever it may be I am excited to be ushering in a new year and another new chapter. Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas!

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It seems as though December has just flown by. I hope you all have enjoyed this season. I know it is still in full force as we narrow down to the actual days of Christmas but, as in most years, I always enjoy the days following up to Christmas almost more than the actual day. Don't get me wrong, any time you can be surrounded by friends and family gives one a reason to be thankful- especially with all that is going on in the world. Everyone keeps asking me if the holiday stress has caught up with me. In all honestly, it has not. Everyone on my list is getting one meaningful gift than a bunch of random gifts (meaning less running around!) and Scott and I have not overdone ourselves to make every holiday party or event. All in all I have been feeling very festive this year- here's a few highlights:

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Nothing really says Christmas shopping like popping in at RL. While this always will have one of my favorite interiors (grass cloth, seagrass, blue & white, navy, oils with picture lights, amongst many other things) and they really do a fabulous job jazzing it up for the holidays. This is my #1 spot to get in the retail spirit of things.

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Cookies, cookies and more cookies. I haven't decorated Christmas cookies in years, but when my mom's friend, Barb, had us over for a cookie bake (10 dozen to be exact!) I remembered what I have been missing out on. It was so fun! We also munched on some Christmas bark, warm chicken salad and vanilla coffee. The cherry on top of this Christmas sundae was that while decorating we watched a Hallmark Christmas movie. Boom!

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The cookies were a great thing to serve guests. My guests (pictured above) ate my entire 3 dozen over an evening of Pictionary, cocktails and a white elephant gift exchange. A new tradition for sure!

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Hogan might have snagged a couple of those cookies as he was exceptionally well behaved. Honestly, does this dog know how to be cozy, or what?

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I got really into hosting this holiday. We pulled out the nice stuff for my mom's birthday and I had a lot of fun setting a holiday table.

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I created these vintage inspired Christmas cards to send out to some showrooms and vendors. As you might have noticed, I have old photos on my website homepage and I thought I would continue that trend into this year's cards. Paper Source always is an inspiring place to kick off any craft project and once I was armed with the right supplies I found these photos of my Dad as a kid. He was just the cutest! And, yes, I decided to ditch the holiday stamps and pay tribute to Miles Davie & Edith Piaf, two artists I play throughout the day to get me through the boring hum-drum of paperwork.

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I always try to shop locally. Local Independent, Local Chain and last resort I resort to places like Amazon. Being a business owner, you have to realize the risk others take to open up a brick and mortar location. Also, it's an asset to any community to have thriving business districts. I like to support my neighbors who in turn contribute to making this a better place to live. These candles are from the independent pharmacy down the street from me. They have some fairly obscure European brands, not to mention an awesome market stocked with snacks and wine! For those of you local to Birmingham, stop in at Mills Pharmacy + Apothecary for some holiday treats :)

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Lastly, I have been running around this week to meet holiday deadlines and also get some images together for my portfolio. Last night I got down with my green thumb and made these arrangements to help stage a couple of the photographs we are taking today.

Alright, thats it!  I am signing off through the holidays, but I hope everyone has a safe, happy and exciting new year!

xo, Anne

Mems Day!

First of all, I would like to wish everyone a wonderful, long, holiday weekend. If you are wondering why there are pictures of flowers on this blog, it is because what to you might appear to be only be a flower, to me appears to be the first thing that I have not managed to kill in my garden. The first win was that the peonies came back, the second win was that there were actual, live buds and the third win was that the buds bloomed into the most beautiful flower.  With my "garden" suffering from cases of extreme wilt, rotten leaves and exposed dry (aka dead) spots this is a major victory.

  

I know we are in for a gorgeous holiday weekend. Scott and I kicked if off last night by soaking in a summer's evening sitting on the 18th green at Oakland Hills and watching the twilight golfers finish their rounds. It could have been one of the many definitions of "Pure Michigan".

  

I have to tell you a quick story. The other day while I was dropping some stuff off at the granite fabricator I spotted a man riding a bright, fire engine red cruiser down the street. This bike looked brand-spankin' new and the guy on it, well, not so new. For some reason it made me feel all sentimental. Here was this elderly man, enjoying a gorgeous days crusin' on his cruiser (!) down a fairly busy street with all sorts of big, loud vehicles whizzing by. Then I started thinking how this man was riding what was actually a reproduction of a vintage bike- where the original would probably  be the same vintage as the man. Was he attracted to this style bike because it sentimentally reminded him of when he was younger?  Did he buy this bike just because it had the most comfortable seat?

My cruiser. This is the 2010 vintage. That came in a box from Costco. Scott assembled it, with the rims on backwards, but it does get the job done.

I will never forget a story Scott mentioned to me once about how at the Woodward Dream Cruise (for you people not from Detroit, this is a weekend long classic car show) his grandma got teary eyed when a pack of 1930's packards were making their way down Woodward Avenue. It reminded her of her youth and for that one millisecond, while she was focusing on those cars, it was as if she was transported back to her childhood. She could remember her dad pulling up to their farm outside Ann Arbor in a shiny new vehicle. She could remember how cool it was when her and her friends were able to breeze around town behind the wheel of a flashy, shiny car. Back then, these vehicles were revolutionary and exciting. Maybe you have to be from the Motor City to be able to recognize the passion this city has for cars.  I am not a car buff, but I do know for Scott's grandma, in that moment those packards were more than just a car. They provided a trip down memory lane. They wiped away 75 years of change, memories and technological progress. I tend to over think things, but I am left wondering if that little old man bought that bike because it reminded him of good, and possibly, better days. I wonder if for him that bike was a way to bring his past to his future.  I guess I'll never know, and I don't need to, but it is something that I enjoy thinking about.

Have a wonderful Memorial Day!

...And We're Back...

Life is all about balance.  Work. Family. Social. Oh, and that little thing called responsibility.  After about 7 months in business for myself I finally feel like I am starting to get the jive and figure out how to make sense of it all. Living in Michigan you don't often hear people say that they enjoy January and February. Honestly, I have never minded these cold winter months. These are my months to relax, enjoy my house, catch up on life and gear up for all the festivities that the rest of the year brings us. As always, we start out the new year with a laundry list of resolutions. One I know will hold true throughout the year is 2012 will be the year for me to continue to build my business and explore new avenues of inspiration. Typically, I get my daily dose of inspiration by reading design blogs (& pinterest!) over my morning coffee, but as I have been working on putting together this website I haven't really gotten in the routine of managing the social media side of my business. It's pretty obvious that blogging hasn't been my first priority.  So, here's to 2012 and the promise to put our best foot forward.

As I leave you,  here are a few images of things I have been thankful for in the last couple months...

  

Welcome, 2012!!!!