Sunday, 3 December 2017

Christmas WIshlist: For your Etsy-Loving Friend

I didn't shop from Etsy this year like I usually do, but shopping around for this post makes me wish I did! Etsy can be a bit intimidating to navigate through--there are so many shops and items, many of which are sort of tacky or cheesy. I keep lists of my favorite items and shops here, but you can shop all the highlights below!

Let's kick this wishlist off with jewelry. I love finding basics with a twist, and Etsy is also chock full of great statement pieces:

Etsy Jewelry List

Art can be a tricky thing to buy for someone else, but fortunately Etsy artists have such beautiful work that I think anyone would appreciate, from your friend who loves landscapes and nature-inspired prints, to your friend who just bought a home and wants to decorate her bathroom with a less-cheesy beach theme, to your teenage niece who's putting her own stamp on her bedroom:

Etsy Art Wishlist

Last but not least, Etsy is obviously a treasure trove for home decor pieces. I have my eye on several of the black-and-white pillows for our new den, and the leather tray is on my own Christmas list this year!

Etsy Home Decor Wishlist

What are your favorite Etsy shops?

Friday, 1 December 2017

Christmas Gift List: For the Eco Enthusiast

This year I've begun educating myself on more sustainable, Earth- and people-friendly practices, from composting to biking instead of driving to buying products that are designed to reduce negative impacts on the Earth and the people making the products. Fortunately you don't have to be a hippy, granola-toting eco warrior to appreciate these lovely gifts!

There are so many different ways to lessen harms to our world, so I've labeled each product with some of the highlights of each company. I'd really recommend clicking through to each product's website to learn more, though--there are many more details and many, many more gorgeous products to sift through!

Christmas Gift List: For the Eco Warrior

The horn earrings, "Leave it better than you found it" tee, and slippers are on my own personal wishlist this year, but I'd be happy to receive any of these items!

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Christmas Wishlist: for your Athletic Friend

Well if all the cool kids are doing's my take on the ever-present blogger Christmas wishlist! I've been slacking on exercising of late due to traveling a lot for work, moving into a new house, and most recently being sick, so I have exercise on the brain. I'm kicking things off with a wishlist for your active friend!

Christmas Gift List: For the Active Friend


  • Jacket: This jacket has crazy reflective properties! Perfect for throwing over a puff jacket in the winter, nobody will miss seeing you on your bike commute!
  • Light set: I have this set and can personally attest that they're crazy-bright. They have different settings, like blinking or solid light and various brightnesses. 
  • Helmet: I also have this helmet and get compliments all the time! Super comfortable and relatively stylish as far as helmets go.
  • Tires: For the daily bike commuter, Gatorskins are a must-have--they're like armor for your bike tubes so you don't get flats so often!
  • National Parks Pass: Gets you in to all national parks without having to pay daily fees--a must for every camping enthusiast!
  • Jet Boil: Perfect for overnight camping trips, this lightweight stove boils water quickly to purify it, plus it's the right size for coffee, tea, and freeze-dried camping meals.
  • Camelbak bladder: You can add this to any backpack (most hiking packs are designed to accommodate the tube and I find that I drink a lot more water when it's readily available through the tube rather than having to stop to get your bottle out of your pack.
  • Thermarest: I was skeptical about the cost of this mat, but it was a game-changer once I caved. Keeps me so much more comfortable but most importantly, it's much warmer than sleeping on the ground!
  • Tank: I personally hate built-in bra tops so these Athleta Chi tanks are my favorites for working out because they are so simple and lightweight. They used to come in fun colors, so I'd try eBay if black isn't your jam!
  • Leggings: I recently bought these black high-waist leggings from Senita (a woman-owned, eco-friendly USA company) and basically haven't taken them off since. They're suuuuuper comfortable, although I've been sick so I haven't tried working out in them yet.  The cute black succulent print leggings are on my own wishlist--would you believe they're only $37?!

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

New house: Guest bedroom inspiration

For the first time in 3 years we have a spare bedroom! Currently it's being used as an office/workout room, but eventually we'd like to outfit it up proper to be used as a real guest room. Since it's not a real budget priority right now, it will probably be a hodgepodge of hand-me-downs and Craigslist finds. To make some sense of that mess, I think we'll focus on an eclectic mix of textures and patterns, all centered around the beautiful purple patchwork quilt my mom and grandma made for me!

Woodstock Guest Room Inspiration

Monday, 27 November 2017

New house: Sunroom inspiration

Today I'm giving you a glimpse at our ideas for our new sunroom. It's going to function primarily as a dining space, but hopefully we can squeeze a comfy reading chair in there too, because it's such a beautiful room due to the south-facing windows and skylights!

We plan to continue the colorful, patterned look we have planned for the living room (they're attached to each other) and exploit the sunlight with bright white and bleached woods, plus lots of plants!

Woodstock Sunroom Inspiration

Monday, 20 November 2017

New House: Living Room Inspiration

Yesterday I showed you the calming, neutral, textural plan we have for our new den, which is right off the bedrooms and bathroom. Next up is the inspiration for our living room, which will essentially be the opposite vibe: fun, bright, and upbeat. This room gets a lot of light and I want it to be a welcoming place for when we have people over--nothing stuffy or fragile. I'm going for a bit of a boho look, mainly through mixed patterns and colors:

Woodstock Living Room Inspiration

We'll supplement the more colorful accent pieces with neutral furnishings and plan to get a stash of board games and a record player! I think the den will be where we get cozy, but the living room will be where we get our dance party on :)

Saturday, 18 November 2017

New House: Den Inspiration

We are very slowly settling into our new house. I've been traveling a lot for work and my husband has been working long hours himself, so the moving/settling process is taking longer than it usually does when we move.

We've decided to focus our attention on our den first. We're thinking neutrals, lots of texture and art, with a very cozy vibe:

Woodstock Den Inspiration

Since putting together this inspiration boards we've started thinking more about a medium grey sectional instead of leather sofa, so I'm on the hunt now for something affordable and petite! Sounds like a unicorn in the sectional world...anyone have suggestions for us?

Friday, 6 October 2017

We Bought A House!!!!!!!

Big news everyone! We bought a house in Portland! She's a 2-bed, 1-bath semi-fixer-upper from 1949 and we have lots of big plans for her. We get the keys tonight and are taking a long weekend to start putting our spin on the place right away! I can't wait to share our progress, but for now all I have to share is the real estate listing photos. Let's take a tour, shall we?

Here's the front of the house. We hate the color scheme and plan to paint it immediately (cross your fingers the Portland rain holds off just long enough for us!). It actually doesn't even look as bad in these photos as it does in real life--up close, it's a clear DIY paint job that should've been two coats but was only one. Plus....yellow and brown? Really? 

The tree/bush to the right of the door is blocking a window...definitely need to bring it down to size! We were also a bit worried about the state of the lawn initially, but the pics were taken during a very dry spell (they happen in Portland, I swear!) and the lawn has since bounced back.  So the front needs some zhushing but is overall in pretty good shape. 

We're planning to paint the house a slate-y teal blue with white trim, white garage door, and hopefully keep the wood door (it needs stripping and re-staining). 

Here's the front den, where you can see the window I said was covered up by the tree. Despite that, the room gets a lot of good light. We plan to make this the movie/library room with a cozy vibe. 

In this shot, you can see the white door to the laundry room and garage.

This is the view with your back to the front door. To the right are the guest bedroom (bright doorway you see here), master bedroom (behind the bookshelves), and bathroom (to the left of the guest room). 

See? Such happy light. And the floors are original!

Here's the small guest bedroom. Its the brightest room in the house since it's south and east facing. 

Small closet but it will work as a spare bedroom. 

And here's the master bedroom. Orange walls and boob light will be amongst the first things to go!

The closet is much smaller than our current shared closet, but the room itself is much bigger so we plan to get a dresser. We may install a sliding barn door or pocket door for the closet (the door on the right) to save more space. 

Here's the only bathroom. It's small, and the tub is angled so it takes up more space than it needs to.  We plan to gut this ASAP to make it more functional and will replace that window and its painted-on tropical scenery at that time ;) Until we have the funds for the reno, we'll be making some smaller changes like replacing that huge mirror with a smaller one plus shelves for storage since the sink doesn't provide any!

From the den, you next walk past the small kitchen. It's clean and functional, but long-term we would love to gut it and expand it into the sunroom (to the left in the photo). For now, we're planning on a makeover including ripping off the wood backsplash (???), tearing down the spice rack over the dishwasher, and adding a fresh coat of paint. We'll also replace the light and pendant and put new knobs/pulls on the cabinets. 

With your back to the kitchen, there's a wall with the door to this laundry room. The door you see in this photo leads outside, and there's another door to the left (out of photo frame) to the garage. 

Continuing on past the kitchen, you pass a large closet (seen in the left corner of the photo above) to the large living room. This room also gets really beautiful light!

Through the sliding doors is a sunroom that was added on to the house. That stove works and apparently heats the house really efficiently in the winter. We plan to use it over this winter and then decide whether to keep it or rip it out.

For some reason, when the sunroom was added to the house, they left the former exterior sliding glass doors and the frame (without window panes) to the former exterior window. We're hoping we can open this whole wall up eventually so the renovated kitchen, sunroom (which would then be used as a dining space), and living room form one large room. ("We're gonna rip down the wall between the kitchen and living room so we get a niiiiiice open concept..." -Southpark)

These floors were added at the same time as the sunroom. From this pic, it drives me nuts how they installed the flooring so uniformly rather than staggering it! Once furniture is in I'm sure it will be fine, at least until we replace the flooring when we renovate the kitchen years from now.

And here's the sunroom! In addition to being south and east-facing, they installed skylights, so this room is always flooded with light. The door to the right goes to the backyard. I want to add a cozy chair under that far window--wouldn't it be so nice to drink your coffee there on a Saturday morning??

So many weird cutout windows in this room! The one straight forward in this shot looks through to the kitchen, and the one to the right of that (to the left of the glass sliders) is the exterior window frame I mentioned before. The sunroom is bigger than it looks from the photos--we plan to put a dining table in under the kitchen window space. 

Here's the sunroom from the outside. In that L shape we plan to put in a deck. Barbecue baby!

The fully fenced yard was a major selling feature for us. Our dog will love all the extra room to play, and we imagine it to be a great space for whenever we decide to have kids. 

The yard features several ginormous trees that are simultaneously beautiful and terrifying. I love the shade they provide but will likely also live in perpetual fear of them toppling over on us!!

Another great feature of the property is that behind the back fence is an alleyway, so we don't actually have a rear neighbor. Long-term, we can imagine putting in a garage with a small studio apartment on the second floor of it for when we have visitors. Then we can convert our existing garage and laundry room into a master bedroom suite. 

So them's the new digs! What do you think?

Saturday, 16 September 2017

New House Shopping List

Vinny and I are thiiiiiiiis close to closing on a house (cross your fingers for us!) so naturally I've been window shopping to my heart's content. Here's what I've pulled together so far. Can't wait to show you all the house pics!

New House Shopping List

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Sequin Skirt for Work and Play!

Don't get me wrong, I love (LOVE) summer. But fall is really when my personal style hits its stride. Layers, textures, broad acceptance of a more neutral color palette...I love it all. I've been dreaming up some small tweaks to my closet lately and unexpectedly, a gold sequin skirt falls high on my list. As a generally not-flashy dresser, this may be surprising, but I've thought up all sorts of ways a gold sequin skirt could fit into my existing wardrobe.

I challenged myself to create a small capsule of sorts in which each outfit incorporated the skirt plus one item from the outfit before. I'd rock this skirt on the weekends in the following ways:

Casual Sequin Skirt

Surprisingly, I also thought of some ways the skirt could be worn to work. My personal favorite outfits are the pink ruffled shirt worn over a work staple--the white buttondown--and the cozy green cardigan with fun leopard heels:

Sequin Work Outfits

I bought this exact gold skirt (past season JCrew) on eBay but unfortunately it's too short an more brown than I was expecting. So the hunt continues!

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Kelly Ventura Art: Quick Design

I recently came across the work of Kelly Ventura and fell in love with her vibrant floral work. I pulled together 4 quick designs of how you could use them in your home: a bathroom, living room, teen girl's room, and dining room. Enjoy!
Kelly Ventura quick design

Monday, 31 July 2017

Portland House Hunting

Guess what guys? We're house hunting! Well, to be more accurate, house scouting. Since we just paid for our wedding, we need to take a little time to refill the coffers for a down payment, but we've started poking around neighborhoods in Portland where we could see ourselves living.

We visited an open house for the cutest little home yesterday, and while we probably won't be able to pull the trigger on this house before it sells to someone else it sold within 3 days to someone else, it did get me excited thinking about the decor possibilities. I put together some design boards of how I'd decorate this house if I were lucky enough to call it my home:

Entryway and Office:
This house opens to a tiny entryway with a similarly tiny office space to the left: 

Brentwood Entry/Office

I'd start by painting the entry hallway with Benjamin Moore's Icing on the Cake. I'd add a pretty ceiling light, round mirror and narrow floating drawers, then finish it off with a hide rug that can take some wear and tear. 

In the office area, I'd fashion it into a bit of a library, but it would also need to serve as a drop zone for jackets and shoes. I'd add narrow bookcases around hooks and a boot tray on the shared office/entryway wall, the put a desk and comfy chair opposite that. This space would be a great spot to do a fun temporary wallpaper that you could glimpse from the living room. 

Living Room: 
The living room is small but gets great light! 

Brentwood living room

I'd start by painting the living room the same color as the entryway, a cool aqua color. Then I'd add a sofa on the window wall facing a console with the TV and some stools that can be pulled out for guests. I'd keep things bright and colorful, adding floating shelves around the TV to hold our artwork and plants, then a small end table and blanket ladder on either side of the sofa. In the corner by the office I'd add some closed storage and more art. 

Dining Area: 
Although small, the space between the living room and kitchen could be used as a dining area.
Brentwood Dining Area

There isn't much space, so I'd put a bench on the wall where you can see they have a dresser currently. I'd add a round table for better flow and two upholstered chairs that could be repurposed in the living room for guests. I'd finish it off with some room jewelry--a  pretty chandelier over the table.

For a small home, the kitchen is fairly sizable and in good condition.

Brentwood Kitchen

The kitchen is fine how it is, but a bit warm-toned for my taste. Replacing the orange floors with black and white tile (or maybe these gorgeous herringbone basalt tiles?) would cool things down a bit, then eventually I'd probably paint the upper cabinets white and the lower cabinets a dark teal color. I'd match the overhead light with the one in the entryway for continuity and add a narrow counter-height table for more prep space. 

The bathroom is the least updated space in the house, but it's very functional.
Brentwood Bathroom
I'd start by removing the mirror and replacing it with something a bit more interesting. Eventually I'd probably replace the vanity entirely, but for the time being it could be updated with some charcoal paint. I'd paint the wood window sash white (it's the only window sash in the house not painted), then go all Millenial Pink on the walls. Adding in black accessories with small hits of olive green will modernize the look.

Master Bedroom: 
The main bedroom is actually pretty generously sized, and I love the existing paint color. 

Brentwood Master Bedroom

I'd turn the bed 90 degrees from the window and add a small dresser under the window along with striped curtains. A rattan headboard would bring some nice texture, as would the gorgeous wool rug and velvet shams. I'd do a little pattern mixing with the floral duvet and dotted sheets, then flank the bed with simple end tables. Lastly I'd add some paintings by Clare Elsaesser over the headboard.

Guest bedroom:
This is definitely the biggest downside of this house--the spare bedroom is only 8x11ft. 

Brentwood Guest Room

To help maximize the floor plan, I'd use a daybed against the wall where they have their bed/desk combo. A fun rug draws attention to the pretty wood floors, and the rest of the space could be filled with mirrors and plants to bring a little life and light to the small space. 

What do you think? Would you ever live in 928 square feet? We currently live in 620, so 928 feels like a nice fit for us :)

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Quick Design: Dark Floral Powder Room

Dropping by with a quick dark, moody powder room design! I found this giant floral mural on Etsy and couldn't resist pairing it with this dramatic ceiling light and the hot color of the year, blush pink. 

Quick Design: Powder Room

Hope you're enjoying your weekend!

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Backyard Design Dreaming

Now that my wedding is over, I have brainspace to once again play around with design and other creative pursuits, not to mention more financial resources at my disposal!

Here's a little backyard design situation I dreamed up. All of the products are actually designed for outdoor (who else haaaates it when bloggers post images using indoor pillows outside? Like who's actually going to truck the pillows inside and outside depending on weather?? #aintnobodygottimeforthat).


That gingham umbrella is just so darn cute! What's your latest outdoor design find?