In her whole post about Brendan’s birthday this week, she neglected to mention it’s her own birthday week, too! Just goes to show what a kind, selfless person Mary is!

To celebrate, enjoy this adorable birthday card featuring pegasus from Hammerpress, a great letterpress company in Kansas City! Check out their online store. They have so many great designs!

Happy birthday!


When I was a college student, I lived the experience to its fullest. The only thing I would definitely do differently is my college dorm situation. My roommate wouldn’t let us bunk the beds. I still don’t understand why. But, with that dream over, I basically just gave up on having a fun personalized space. I basically only used the room as a place to sleep, anyway, so I wasn’t around enough to notice its lack of personal touches.

Still, I really think some dorm rooms are really cute. It’s a good excuse to live thrifty and eclectically — two things we do very well over here. So, I’m living vicariously through Pinterest again and sharing some of my fave dorm designs.

This design featured at Serenity in Design is beautiful! It’s also professionally designed by  Alabama-based designers Katherine Bailey and Melissa Manifold of Moxii Design Studio, and I think it shows. Of course, a great rug, some quasi-matching headboards and linens, and your room will look awesome!

This room submitted to HGTV Rate My Space is adorable. It’s also a good example of why I shouldn’t have given up even though my roommate wanted to basically draw a line down the center of our already-too-narrow room and each have our own sides. The little details are what really make this dorm work!

I’m not sure this raised platform bed is actually from a dorm room, but it definitely would work for one. StyleRoom has a great photo tutorial on how to build a platform bed yourself, using cheapy store-bought dressers for the base.

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Outdoor Lights: Party Planning

This week, Brendan turns 30! I’ve finally talked him into a big ol’ party. Because our house is tiny and our backyard is huge, we are going to be doing it all in the backyard. Let’s just hope this heat holds off until at least the end of the weekend.

One of the biggest problems with hanging out in the backyard at night is lighting. Especially if there’s a lot of people. So, here’s some of the affordable options I might just attempt.

bistro lights

 Simple bistro lights on tall wooden poles are for sure my favorite, but I’ve just got to figure out how to get those pole either in the ground or maybe in large pots?

Mason jar centerpiece

These candles in jars seem like the most practical option for us. We’ve got loads of mason jars and they are so versatile that even if I have to buy more then we will totally use them in the future.


Balloon garland

I really like this glowing balloon garland. You put a glow stick in the balloon and it acts like a globe. The idea is super cool but it seems like it might be a lot of waste.

Glow stick fire fly jars

These firefly jars with glow sticks I love but not sure they would have enough impact for the yard.

Have you tried any of these? Do the glow stick ones work?


Jess’s Picks

  • Poppytalk’s DIY: Belt + Board really shows what a little accessory can do to a project. Cork boards are so good for organizing, but I have never thought one looked good in a room by itself. Turns out, this little bit of function can benefit from good form just like anything else.



Stamped Decor

The only kind of physical art I’ve ever been remotely good at is screen printing. I am decent at digital art when I’m motivated to try it, but I really like turning digital elements into a tactile piece. Maybe that’s why stamped decor appeals to me so much? I discovered the little arrow-printed stash bag a few weeks ago, and I’ve been on a stamps kick ever since.

1. Arrow Stash Bag Hand Printed with Leather Feather by GypsyIntent; 2. Moorish Inspired Metallic Coasters by PolishedMoon; 3. I’ll be the rainbow handmade rainbow song lyrics by foreignspell; 4. Cork Coasters with Postage Stamp Print by MadeByManitas; 5. Fabric Covered Buttons Stamp Printed Puppy by charmingzakka.

I like stamps because they feel so unique as no two prints turn out the same. The prints on the arrow bag and the buttons are so sweet.

It may also be a sign that I have tired of my current coasters that I’ve found two sets. I love the teal in the postage stamp print coasters, but the print in the coasters with the spanish tile is more my style.

My favorite item is the I’ll Be The Rainbow wood panel print. I’ve been on a natural wood kick for a while now and I’m always a fan of bright, multi-colored things. Adorable!

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Whew, August has been a busy busy month for Jess and me. We’ve both been traveling and it’s been fun seeing all the highlights from her Austin trip here in on the blog. I can’t even express how sad I was that I missed her and Kyle being here. Super duper  bummed.

Today, I just got back from a spending a few days with my family in Surfside Beach, Texas. It was some much needed relaxation, ocean, and sun for Brendan and me.

I honestly didn’t leave our rental house or the beach the whole time we were there. Currently, there are 11 people in my immediate family (including kiddos and spouses/bfs). My sister, Abby planned out a schedule and each person just decided what they were going to cook. It was so awesome and eaaassssyyyy. I highly recommend this method if you are piling a bunch of people into a house for vacay and want to save some monies on eating out. We had Japanese curry, ranchero quinoa, lemon and rosemary chicken wings, Southwestern salads, chicken salad with tomato basil soup, eggs bendict, homemade pizzas, fresh shrimp, and bacon and jalepeno wrapped king fish (and more)! So much yummy food.

Hopefully, I’ll get back into the swing of things next week and get on top of all of those projects that have been laying around my house waiting to get finished. Oh, and it’s about that time to start planning my fall garden. Fun!

How’s your August been so far?

I know Mary lives in Austin so we get a healthy dose of Austin odds and ends, but exploring it as an outsider is pretty fun, too. Plus, I went with Kyle and he definitely explores a city differently than Mary.

Here are some of our highlights!

We stopped at In-N-Out Burger when we spent the night in Fort Worth. A very good decision! The three of us in the picture (my brother Devon, his girlfriend Abby, and I) had never eaten at In-N-Out before.

The last time I visited Austin, I didn’t get a chance to go to the bat bridge so I was really excited to get to see them this time!

We also did some classical tourism. This was part of an installation at Women & Their Work. These CDs were recycled into a playable theremin. You could make music by waving your hand near an antenna at the opposite end of this tunnel.

The Blanton Museum of Art on UT’s campus has this beautiful atrium right off the lobby. I love the glassy blue stripes and the tall white walls!

I kind of felt like on the whole trip we mostly just ate tacos. I think at least 50% of my meals while in Austin involved a taco — evidence that I was doing it right!

We stopped in Take Heart a shop that Mary thought we’d really like. She was right! It was made even better by little Willa who interrupted her nap to greet all the new shoppers as they came through the door.

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Welcome to So Eclectic

So Eclectic is a blog dedicated to great ideas for home design. Austin, Texas-based writer Mary Marcum and Savannah, Missouri-based writer Jess Rezac feature affordable decor, decorating solutions, and inspiration. At So Eclectic, we experiment with design together. So Eclectic posts new content every weekday.

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