The arrival of March has brought a serious case of spring fever (who I am kidding? I’ve been ready for spring since November!).  I love this time of year because all the retailers are launching their new spring lines [And it is the best month of the year, my handsome husbands birthday month].  I’m particularly inspired by this year’s designs from J.Crew Factory.  I bought this pretty blue blouse a few weeks and looove it.  It’s so comfy and I love the ruffle and bell sleeve details. Plus, it looks great with jeans, black pants, or white denim.


I’m equally in love with these leopard flats. [Rwaaaar!] They are the perfect neutral flat and they pair perfectly with this color blue.  And bonus, they are surprisingly very comfy – a win in my book!


A few of my other favorite trends for this spring include bright colors, Americana details (think blue and white stripes), scallops, neck scarves, and fun florals.  I’ve linked a few of the items on my wish list, in addition to this outfits details below!


As always, thanks for hanging out with us!


Shannon [AND ROB]















When people think of Ohio I very much doubt the word “coastal” comes to mind.  How wrong they are!  If you know your geography, then you know much of the northern border of Ohio lies along Lake Erie.  Many people who live in and between Toledo and Cleveland spend their summers boating, swimming, and fishing on Lake Erie.

Many of you know how much I love using coastal inspired artwork to decorate our home.  A few months ago I stumbled upon an extremely talented local artist – Michelle Brunner.  Michelle creates the most beautiful acrylic paintings of coastal Ohio life.  From the moment I saw her bright, colorful and impressionistic style I was hooked.  I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know Michelle and we share many of the same passions for home decor, fashion, and a coastal inspired life.   I have been wanting to do a post about her artwork for some time so when Michelle reached out to do a collaboration I was ecstatic!  Below she shares a little bit about herself as an artist!

ACS_0062ACS_0059Growing up I spent my summers on the Lake Erie Islands and along the sandy shores of Lake Michigan. I fell in love with the waves, islands and carefree life along the lake.  That feeling of being on the water carried over into my paintings.  My paintings reflect life on the islands.  Hollyhocks along the lake, hydrangeas in front of adorable cottages and sailboats racing across the lake.  I paint these scenes in an impressionistic style using acrylic paint to amplify these restful landscapes.

ACS_0061ACS_0064I have always loved art especially color and line.  Art class was my favorite class in school.  This inspired me to eventually make art education a career.  I received my Bachelors of Science in Art Education at Bowling Green State University and my Masters in Education in Technology from Cleveland State University.  I have taught art for over a decade at Perrysburg High School in the historic town of Perrysburg, Ohio. 

ACS_0066ACS_0068My style is somewhat abstracted and impressionistic.  I like to focus on color and my emotional reaction to a scene.  My paintings are completed mostly by intuitively laying down color and brushstrokes.  My aspiration is to have the viewer experience the joy I felt while painting each subject.  I want to bring the spirit and life of being along the lake into my paintings for my viewers to enjoy.

ACS_0060Michelle and I have teamed up to give one of our lucky followers a spring print of Michelle’s art!  To enter, simply follow us both on Instagram (Michelle/Shannon) and comment what you love most about the coastal life!  Winners will be selected randomly on Thursday!

Be sure to check out Michelle’s website and shop her beautiful prints!




I say it all the time, but I am no winter bunny.  [understatement of the century]. I have a reaaaally hard time finding the good once January and February hits.   This year I’ve tried to adopt the idea of living a “hygge” life.   Many of you may have heard of this Danish word (pronounced hue-guh).  [Sounds like a word from a certain Commander in Chief].  This word is used to acknowledge a feeling or moment of charm, cozy ,and warmth. Hygge requires you to slow down and enjoy the present, even if that means getting outside and enjoying the season.


One way I’ve tried enjoying these insanely cold days is by bundling up in all my cute winter garb and attempting to get outside.   I may have spent a little extra time and funds to invest in some warm yet stylish items this year.  But hey, if I’m going to enjoy the outdoors, I better be warm and cozy!


I bought this insanely adorable pom pom hat from my favorite boutique, Pink Pineapple Shop in Rhode Island, earlier this season and it’s been hands down my favorite accessory.  Gryff dog loves it too so I had to get him his own (toy version of course).  I get stopped almost everywhere I go when I wear this hat (and my navy one!).  I will admit it makes going outside way more fun.


I also invested in a new pair of furry boots and a super warm puffer jacket this year.  Both have kept me warm and looking stylish.   Anyone else finding small little joys during these brutal winter months?  I’d love to hear how you enjoy winter in the comments below!

Thanks for indulging in A Dash of Solt this week!  Be sure to shop my outfit details below.


Shannon [and Rob]





A year and a half.  That’s how long we spent looking for a square coffee table for our family room.   We spent months scouring Wayfair, Overstock, Pier 1, Pottery Barn, etc. looking for a solid wood square coffee table that was white.  [Not to mention dragging her husband to dozens of stores.] This past fall we finally found one at Pier 1 that were were interested in but THREE times they shipped it to us broken.

After the third broken table (it wasn’t even real wood!) I remember seeing on social media a few months back that a friend from high school had a woodworking business in Toledo.   We decided to reach out and see if Mike at Wood Appeal Furnishing could build us a custom table.  To our utter excitement, he agreed!


We are just beyond thrilled with how the table turned out.  We sent Mike two different ideas of what we wanted and he was able to combine all the design elements into one.  It’s the perfect amount of coastal, but also simple and elegant.   The red oak stain on the shiplap inspired top is just beautiful.   It’s amazing how much the white base brightens up the room.   Plus, we were able to customize the size to exactly what we wanted and what fit for the room.


I already had an idea of how I wanted to style it but I was pleasantly surprised as it all came together.  Every coffee table needs to have personal items (all the books and gorgeous blue bowl from Rob’s sister), some height, some greenery, and a nice tray to keep things organized.   I have a hard time focusing on watching my favorite shows now because my eyes just love everything about the coffee table.


If you are looking for quality craftsmanship and stunning design, we highly recommend contacting Wood Appeal Furnishing (you can also follow him on Instagram!) and working with Mike!  The turnaround time was amazing and he was so easy to work with.  We’ve even talked about having him build us some matching end tables (everything has to flow am I right?).


We hope you like this table as much as we do! It really has transformed our family room and we love showing it off to our family and friends (and of course our blog readers!).

As always, thanks for following along with us as we navigate this exciting time in our lives!


Shannon [and Rob]




“Art is not what you see but what you make others see.” – Edgar Degas

I feel so fortunate that Toledo is home to one of the most prestigious museums in the world.  Founded in 1901, the Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) is home to over 30,000 works of art.  I’ve visited countless times, but it wasn’t until my twenties that I really appreciated the significance of the TMA’s global reputation and all it has to offer.


This past week I dragged two of my sisters and brother-in-law to the museum with me.  I’ve always been interested in the arts, but it wasn’t until I studied abroad in London that I really fell in love with it.  I would spend hours at the museums in London and New York, finding inspiration and endless amounts of creativity.


It was during my time in London and New York that I discovered my favorite artists – Monet, Degas, and Van Gogh.  When I was studying fashion, I found SO much inspiration by scouring museums and studying the work of different artists.  We have several coffee table books and prints around our home from these artists, but nothing compares to seeing the actual pieces at the museum.


One of my favorite paintings – Ophelia by Arthur Hughes

One of the most famous and most beautiful of Claude Monet’s paintings. [And a fancy fireplace!]
TMA is home to 45 galleries!  We spent about two hours walking around the museum and the majority of that was in the classics section (obviously because impressionism is my fav).  The museum has an entire section dedicated to modern and contemporary art, as well as ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian works.

Gallery wall of my dreams! [Good news, we can afford the paint].

This beaut is titled “Scottish Highlands” by Gustave Doré. [Freeeeeedooooom!!].
Hubby’s favorite painting! Architect’s Dream by Thomas Cole. [It is quite magical.].
If you are ever in the Northwest Ohio area, I highly recommend checking out this beautiful museum.  I promise that you will not be disappointed!


As always, thank you for following along on our adventures!  Props and thanks to my sisters for acting as my photographers for the day. [The usual photographer had to work his dayjob…]

I hope you had a joyful holiday season and I wish you all a Happy New Year!


Shannon [and Rob]

p.s. I’ve tagged my outfit details below!



I love this time of year, not only for the magical spirit, but also because I have excuse after excuse to dress up! I had a hard time choosing an outfit to style for you guys, but ended up choosing an outfit for Christmas Day.  [In case you were wondering, I wore a lovely fashion forward grey hoodie, jeans and tennis shoes while taking the photos]

Christmas Day tends to be less casual than Christmas Eve for us.  Since there is so much eating and present gifting, I like to look nice but also be super comfy.


I’m not a huge fan of red, but I love a good burgundy or wine colored piece [emphasis on the “wine”], so this one is perfect.  Not only is the color fab, but the ruffle details on the front and the layering in the back makes it the perfect top for Christmas dining.


Pairing this easy top with black skinny pants and booties adds the perfect amount of dressiness.  Rob’s mom gifted me the gorgeous Kate Spade scarf and earrings for my birthday and they add an extra pop of color (I’m seriously obsessed with the print on this scarf!  This one is sold out, but I’ve linked one with similar colors below!).   Adding a scarf is always a good idea – not only does it complete a look, but it keeps you extra warm!


I’ve linked everything I’m wearing (or something similar) below.  We hope you have a wonderful holiday with your loved ones!


Shannon [and Rob]



Decorating the tree is one of my favorite Christmas traditions! Growing up, it was tradition to decorate the tree on Thanksgiving morning while watching the Macy’s Day Parade.  Rob and I have our own tradition now of setting it up the day after Thanksgiving (aka in between shopping for Black Friday). [It’s the lesser of two evils: shopping or decorating]


The last two years I chose a silver and gold theme for the tree.  Although I still love this classy combo, I decided to switch it up this year.  I didn’t want the traditional red and green theme because we really don’t have any red and green in our house!  We tend to use shades of blue, gray, and white so it only made sense to make the Christmas tree that color scheme as well.


I spent a lot of time on Pinterest searching for inspiration for “coastal Christmas.”  I was overwhelmed by all the amazing ideas so this year I pretty much stuck to one room (I plan on adding pieces each year so that eventually the entire house will be coastal Christmas themed). [Yay! Can’t wait]


The white and silver flowers I already had from our silver and gold themed decor.  I went out and bought those nautical inspired stars from Pier 1 and they were the perfect addition!  Last year I used gold ribbon for the garland but this year I knew I wanted nautical rope, which I ended finding at Michaels.  I found a giant package of the blue ornaments from Hobby Lobby and that made a huge difference in brightening up the tree!  And of course, I’ve slowly been collecting nautical ornaments over the past few years and that made everything come together (p.s. how cute is that sailboat ornament?!).


As you can see I had a helper this year!  Gryff loves to play a game called eating the ornaments at the bottom (you’ll notice we don’t put ornaments on the lowest branches).   All in all though I’m quite happy with the tree this year.  I spent over a week perfecting everything so it does look a little different than the pictures above (aka the right side of the tree by the fireplace have way more ornaments now).


While we are talking Christmas decor, I thought I’d share a few other details of our decorating.  Every year for St. Nick’s Day, St. Nick (aka my mom) gifts us a Jim Shore Angel.  I have been collecting them for years and have about 14 of them now!  This year I split them between the fireplace in the family room and above the piano in the living room.  I love how each one is different and has such beautiful details.


And I can’t end this post without talking about our personalized stockings!  Rob’s parents gifted us these when we got engaged (four years ago this Christmas!) and we both adore them.  My stocking is a lighthouse [who’s surprised?!] and Rob’s is a Christmas train.  {Chooo Chooo!] They are the perfect touch to our Christmas decorating.


We hope you are enjoying this joyful holiday season!  From our family to yours, we wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!



Shannon [and Rob]


It’s officially the most magical time of the year!  Christmas has always been my favorite holiday – the twinkling lights, cozy nights by the fire, Christmas movies (Elf is my fav!), the decor, carols- I love it all. [Read: Getting presents].

Owning our house has made Christmas decorating that much more fun! [And expensive].  We decided to amp up our curb appeal this year with more lights and more Christmas cheer.  Our inspiration for this year was New England/Coastal Christmas.  Our style of house is very Cape Cod so this theme matches perfectly.


I love this class look of a simple ribbon with a hanging wreath in front of the windows.  It’s so classic New England.  And, my mom always put wreaths in front of our windows growing up so it’s nostalgic for me!


I was in charge of hanging the wreaths and the garland around the door.  Hubby was in charge of stringing white lights all along the edge of the roof. [Once again, risking my life in the pursuit of decor].  Check out a glimpse of the finished look below!


We hope you are having the most magical holiday season!  Next week we will be sharing our interior Christmas decorations!


Shannon [and Rob]


It’s no secret that I’m a water girl (sea girl to be exact) [read mermaid wannabe].  There is just something so calming and peaceful about it.  Seeing as we live in Ohio, I feel very fortunate that we live so close to the Maumee River and Lake Erie.  Rob and I had the opportunity to take several day trips to the lake this summer.  When we don’t have the time to jaunt off to the lake though, we go down to the river which is just a short mile from our house.


Our walk last weekend was super cold! I’m glad I dressed in layers and had on my Hunter Boots.  Once October hits I pretty much live in my Hunter Boots.  These have actually become my snow boots in addition to my rain boots because they are so good at keeping water out!  If you don’t own a pair of these yet, I highly encourage you to invest in a pair! [Or just don’t go outside].


It’s always a few degrees colder down by the water so I make sure to wear layers!  This comfy chunky knit sweater is super warm and reminds me of Scotland (alas it’s from Gap!).  And let’s just chat about this pom pom hat for a second – anyone else super obsessed with these fun hats this year?! They are so cute and the 100% Icelandic wool material keeps your head warm.   I bought this one from a nautical boutique in Rhode Island called the Pink Pineapple shop, but you can find them almost anywhere. [Funny story, our dog thinks that a live animal resides on Shannon’s head when she wears this hat, which I find hilarious. Shannon, not so much].


I’ve linked everything I’m wearing below! [Not everything, wink wink].


Shannon [and Rob]

Hunter Boots | Chunky Sweater | Gingham Shirt | Grey Jeans | Pom Pom Hat 


It’s getting to be that time of year again!  Many of you have probably already started your holiday shopping.  I started lists back in September but really need to get buying for the peeps in my life!

When thinking of gift idea for our families, Rob and I like to be really intentional and thoughtful.  We try and shop local if we can, but many times Amazon wins for it’s fast shipping and convenience.  Nevertheless, we spend a lot of time planning and thinking about gifts for each person in our life. [Fun Fact, Shannon spends more time creating lists for gifts for herself then everyone else combined].

Below I’ve rounded up some of my favorite gift ideas for family and friends this year (many are local to Northwest Ohio!). Hopefully this gives you some ideas for your holiday shopping!

  1. Michelle Brunner Art – If you follow my Instagram, you will have seen a few posts and Instagram stories about my love for Michelle’s art!  Michelle is a local Northwest Ohio artist and she paints the most beautiful watercolor paintings of Lake Erie and the surrounding landscape.
    MA Art
    How cute are these paintings?! My mom picked out three for my sister’s room and they look so good!

    You HAVE to check out her Instagram and website.  Her paintings are so bright and colorful and full of nautical details.  I want to purchase some of her work for my dining room but I can’t decide which painting I want since I want them all!  Her art is the perfect gift for the person who loves art, shopping local, and the nautical life.

  2. Essential Oils from Young Living – Over the past few months I’ve become quite interested in essential oils.  Not only do they smell delightful, but they are amazing at curing tons of ailments.  I’m a very anxious person by nature so the lavender infused “Stress Away” oil is essential for my daily life.
    I always have these two essential oils on me at all times (one for helping with anxiety and one for stomach aches)

    In general though, essential oils are wonderful for fighting cold and flu symptoms, alleviating pain, healing skin conditions, balancing hormones, improving digestion, eliminating toxins, the list goes on and on. [Legal disclaimer, talk to your doctor before curing cancer with lemongrass and ginger oil]. Gifting someone in your life who is interested in lovely scents and using natural products, essential oils are a great gift.  I personally only use the Young Living brand because of their high standard practices and packages.  My friend Hannah sells Young Living Essential Oils and she has some fantastic information on her Instagram page.  Be sure to check it out!

  3. Packer Creek Pottery  – Unique pottery is such a fun gift idea for any occasion!  I love finding pottery on our travels (we have vases from St. Lucia and Mexico and mugs from Scotland).  But when I can’t jet off somewhere exotic to find some unique pottery, I turn to a local pottery shop.  Packer Creek Pottery sells super bright, colorful pottery.  All the pieces are painted a fun pattern, which makes it easy to buy for people (I have a ton of pieces from their blue and white and nautical line – who’s surprised?).  The variety of pieces in which you can choose from is endless – vases, platters, bowls, tables, mugs, etc.  This is definitely a great idea for anyone who loves pottery, shopping local, and fun prints! IMG_1037
  4.  Maumee Bay Brewing Company Craft Beer – This is for the craft beer lovers in your life! Established in 1995, Maumee Bay Brewing Company operates out of the Historic Oliver House in Downtown Toledo.  They create delightful ales, lagers, porters, and stouts.  Not only do they brew several different types of brews, but they also have several restaurants throughout the Toledo area. [Mmmmm, now you have my attention…maybe Santa will get me a six pack this year].
  5.  Books – I know this is general, but books are always a good idea.  Both Rob and I are passionate readers.  Growing up, books were always a topic of conversation in both our families.  Every time my siblings and I would visit our grandma, she would ask us, “Now, what book are you reading now?”  I had to be reading something to be able to answer her and not disappoint her!  And now as adults, Rob and I make a point to read a little bit each day.  That being said, we have tons of recommendations across all the genres and we love to share the books we love with others. [Shannon and I are team “physical book” as opposed to Kindle or whatever the kids are using these days. In my humble opinion there is nothing that compares to the feel of a book in your hands and even the smell of a first read novel].    Whether it’s nonfiction, fiction, fantasy, DIY, or a coffee table book, books are the perfect gift for the holidays!

    One of my favorite books right now is Domino’s Guide to a Stylish Home! 

Although many of these items are local to Northwest Ohio, they are easily shopable online and make for great gifts.  We hope this short list sparked some creative ideas for the loved ones in your life!  Happy Holiday Shopping!


Shannon [and Rob]