The retail world is aligning in my pets’ favor today.

I just came across this Popware for Pets Collapsible Travel Cup with Bottle Holder via Real Simple and think it would be so convenient. Of course, Oats thinks all waterbottles are her toys whether empty or not, so maybe we’ll have to train that out of her before we can really use this.

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While I’m on the subject of outfitting a kitchen with today’s Hope Chest posts, this mobile foodies survival kit, a travel spice kit has had my eye for a while. My brother used to take his own pepper to our favorite Chinese restaurant because he’s not a fan of white pepper. He still stands by this as a totally reasonable thing to do, and now, apparently, he can take an entire spice rack anywhere he goes. Good for him!

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Marion, Kansas

Last week, I shared with you all one of the stops that I made on my ten day road trip (so fun!). Well, from here on out I’ll share with you all the shops we stopped out. But, I just had to share the site around Marion, KS. Well I mentioned last week that we stayed out at the Historic Elgin Hotel B&B. Sherri, the hotel manager, was awesome! I mean, true hospitality. She chatted with us late at night, met up when we got in later than the check-in time and was overall just lovely. Also, she made caramelized French Toast for breakfast. Yum.

The hotel was originally established in 1886 and has gone through quite a journey to become what it is today. The place was made into an apartment building in the ’70s. When the current owner took it over, they decided to fully restore it to what their research said it looked like when originally built. They’ve truly done a wonderful job restoring this place and I’m so glad we chose to stay there. Not to mention, it is within walking distance to Bearly Makin’ It Antiques! Bonus.

I loved the bathroom. It just proves such timelessness with white subway tiles. All the white was beautiful and I wish this was my bathroom!

Octagon and dot tile. I love it so.

The hotel owners have worked so hard to restore this place even down to the engraved marble above the elevator.

 This staircase was visually striking with this massive chandelier and dark wood paneled walls.

 In the lounge space, on the second floor, there was this light blue Chesterfield couch. Isn’t it beautiful?

 This is the view from the top of the staircase. That golden velvet loveseat was so pretty.

This space is in the ballroom area. Another beautifully decorated spot in the hotel.


 After we left the hotel, we set out to see the charming city. We drove up and down the original red brick streets, and I was intent with capturing the charm of this little town with my camera. I had my mom pull over so I could grab a quick pic of this perfect turquoise 1950s Chevy Viking.

Since we were here on the weekend before July 4th, everyone had out their red, white and blue decorations. Most of the time, I’m a bit adverse to July 4th decorations because I think that they quickly become cheesy, over the top, and lack taste. If you love the over the top decorations for July 4th, then by all means put them out! I’m just sayin’ they’re not for me. So, when we saw this house with the red, white and blue bunting, I thought it was perfect. I love how it fits with the style of the house and such a lovely contrast to the beautiful white moldings. Also, can you see the scalloped details near the roof? I love this! I’m pretty sure that I had my mom drive by 5 times before I got the right picture. I didn’t want to appear creepy by snapping a photo, but I just thought it looked so perfect.

 A lot of this town was established in the late 19th century, but they’ve preserved so many of the architectural details beautifully. This art deco building had also been kept completely intact and preserved beautifully.


We also spotted this perfect house. Look at that wrap around porch, those white moldings, the white columns, the stone walls, and that red roof. Perfect, right? There’s also large green ferns hanging between each column. Beautiful.

After driving around town we headed out to lake outside of town. Out there we saw this awesome vintage RV. It’s so shiny. So pretty.

The town, as I’ve heard from Jess about a lot of Kansas, is that it’s done a phenomenal job at preserving itself. The town was so quaint and quintessential Midwest. The old stone, the intricate architectural detail, just screams of a town that truly cares about it’s history and preserving it. I love that.

Thanks for being to good to us, Kansas!

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Friday Reader Roundup

Jess’s Picks

  • The Kim Jong Il Looking at Things tumblog featured a photo of him looking at cookie jars this week (above). This tumblog makes me delightfully happy because I read the new posts and then I think “Ha! Kim Jong Il is always looking at things!” and then I realize that this thought is really very true and I laugh more. I probably don’t even need to point it out: I’m a strange woman. I’ve been enjoying Kim Jong Il Looking at Things for a while and I have to say that these little kitchen wares seem to have him happier than anything else I’ve seen him look at.
  • Yesterday, on my way back from lunch, I passed an old man enjoying a cool post-rain afternoon on his front porch. Combined with this Design Candy: Swing’n From the Rafters feature at DiggersList and the tree in my backyard that is begging for some kind of swing, I might be investigating outdoor chairs in the next few days.

Mary’s Picks

  • Remember how awesome friendship bracelets were to make? Well, over at Honestly…WTF they are bringing them back with a tutorial and everything. These are so colorful and pretty, and I love the idea of grouping them together. Also, how awesome would these be as headbands? I think I’m gonna play around with that idea.
  • Alright, I admit it. I’m in a relationship with a total nerd, a nerd who loves the idea of planning for what he’d do during a zombie apocolypse. So, when I saw KWK Promes’ safe house featured on Home DSGN, it made me smile. At first it looks like just a stone warehouse, but when the walls are retracted and the large concrete shutters are opened it’s quite stunning on the inside. Also, the lush grounds with the stark contrast of the man made concrete structure is beautiful. (via Apartment Therapy)


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Have you seen these yet? They are just so awesome. After throwing the Travel Themed party, my affinity for globes turned into a full on love affair. If I could afford one, and if I had the perfect place for it one of these would be mine. That’s a lot of “ifs” though.

They are pretty pricey, but I’m choosing to post them because the folks over at ImageNations are creating art out of these globes that might otherwise be sitting in a landfill. Also, the graphic design is just beautiful.

ImagineNations: Art on Globes

Adventure Awaits: I’m totally digging the font and colors. Doesn’t it compliment the globe colors so well?


Oh, The Place You’ll Go: First, this is my absolute favorite Dr. Seuss book. Second, as a previously said, I love globes so this once is a perfect marriage.

Bon Voyage: Just beautiful. The sun rays and the banner.

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Creating a Travel Themed Party

A dear friend of mine recently got engaged and we decided to celebrate by throwing a good ol’ party! It was travel themed and so much fun.

I was one of 8 hosts and in charge of the decorations and invitations. My sister, a former wedding planner, helped me come up with the table centerpieces, game, and overall vibe of the party.

I ordered the invites from Paper and Pigtails over at Etsy.

They emailed me the editable PDF and it was super easy to customize these invitations. I paired them with paper bag, brown envelopes from Hobby Lobby. It was the perfect look to set the theme of the party. In total I only spent about $1.50 per invitation (including stamps).

Then we sat to gathering/collecting luggage, globes, vintage maps, lots of the letter “A” (the couple’s monogram), and old travel books.

I bought this beautfiul, vintage hat box at an estate sale here in Austin for only $10! It served as the perfect box for guests to place their cards. It’s a bit hard to tell in the photo but the hat box is the perfect shade of turquoise.

On the tables we placed old travel books (bought at used book stores), decoupaged spherical candle holders that looked like real globes, and crisp white “A”s. We bought at the “A”s at JoAnns.

On other tables we placed old maps (also bought at used book stores), more old travel books, and vintage camera (this one is an Argus 1957 35mm).

We had the party at a local coffee shop. This place set an awesome ambiance with it’s floor to ceiling windows. In the window ledges we placed some vintage luggage. I borrowed this one from my mom (hi, mom!).

I had all the guests play a game where they had to guess the location of where the pictures of the couple were taken. We placed the photos on each of the tables along with maps and more “A”s. We labeled each photo with a number and guests wrote down their guesses on game cards. I used these scalloped map cut outs for the number marker from 58 & Grace over on Etsy. She did a customized listing for me and used maps from the states where the couple are from.

The winner of the game won this little prize. I bought a simple red gift bag from Target and just cut out multicolored bunting from Post Its. Then just used a teensy bit of masking tape to close the package and detailed it with a Sharpie.

The food was prepared by two of the other hosts and they did an AMAZING job. I just added little flags that had the name of the country each food item was inspired by. Just a simple little dowel rod, some wooden model car tires, hot glue, and paint swatches were used to create these cute flags (Most bought at Hobby Lobby). I wrote the name of each country with a sharpie and then gave it a dotted line outline just to make the flag stand out a little more. Such an awesome impact for little money.

Overall, my tab was about $125 and that included invitations. I was able to construct the travel theme for little money!

Don’t get me wrong, these parties come with their struggles and planning issues. But, this is how everything came together and in the end it’s all about the couple anyway.

Many congrats to my dear, sweet friends!


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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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