6/21/14

Mini Meyers Lemon Tree

I wandered into a nursery down the street from our home on my day off this week. It was during a lull time in my painting the wall grey where I needed to just wait and let it dry. So, I wandered on over to this little plant haven and ended up coming home with a mini Meyers lemon tree.
It's the small things in life that bring me such happiness. Like sitting next to the bay window and enjoying the bright sunshine on this little tree. The lady at the nursery said to keep the tree in full sun, and that it would thrive on my patio or in a bright space indoors. And in the winter, its a must to keep it in. I kind of just love how it adds some life to our dining room. Growing up in California with lemon and orange trees in my backyard, its also a reminder of where I come from. I cannot wait to see what size of fruit it produces! Happy weekend, friends!


6/19/14

Heirloom White Dresser

One of the perks to having a living room with only a dresser and secretary desk is that they can be rearranged over and over. I felt so inspired after painting what used to be the brown wall grey, that I played around with decorating the one lone surface of the dresser. This room is the first room you walk into from the front door, and even though we don't hang out on sofas in here yet, we still like to have a place to drop our keys and "land" in a sense before traipsing through to the rest of the house after a day of work. That, and we do spend quite a bit of time on the floor. I had forgotten how nice it is to sprawl out on carpet. But anyways, like I was saying, having a place to catch all our odds and ends became the purpose of this little white dresser's table top as I rearranged things today. (Also, how much better does that wall look? SO MUCH better!)
The dresser was actually a hand me down from my cousin Natalie. They recently moved and hadn't a need for it anymore. Its been in our family for years, so it only makes perfect sense to keep it as so! She actually painted it white the summer I first moved to Colorado. We spread out in her front yard painting, sanding, and painting. (And sanding, sanding, sanding for what seemed like a millennium.) Somehow, the memories of sanding furniture seem to stand out the most (perhaps because those are the most brutal DIYs?) Anyhow, she has twin taste to me, so it basically works out to pass anything and everything on to each other. Natalie is also the one who told me to paint my walls Sherwin Williams Agreeable Grey in Eggshell. Having cousins who are wonderful friends AND wonderful decorators is too good to be true.
Even in an empty room, there are always small and simple ways to decorate even just a portion, without having to spend a ton of money. Besides the dresser being second hand, the lamp, wooden tray, and frame were all on sale from Target. The books were thrifted, the yellow runner are actually placemats on sale from Anthropologie, and the framed "Hello" print a card I saved that was sent to me in the mail. It's all about saving little bits and pieces that you find while running your errands, cleaning out your closet, or thrifting. In the end, they all come together to make your home uniquely you :) That's the beauty of decorating.

(*The wall in the first photograph/the far left wall seen in the second photograph is the only one that's been painted grey so far. The other walls are a khaki color that the previous owners painted).

Ciao, Brown Wall

Today is the day I sing my final goodbyes to the brown wall. This accent wall did not make the cut, fortunately, and its about to be covered by Sherman Williams Agreeable Grey. The grey is almost white, but grey enough that with white baseboards, or white linens, the crisp white still pops against its subtle shade. I debated going darker and richer, but I think that when it comes time for a sofa and furniture in here, those will be the rich dark colors - like a navy blue upholstered sofa and patterned accent chairs.
How easy it is to sit and analyze the color grey for hours on end. I am going with my gut on this, guys, and am thinking the color may even over take the entire entry way room today. I'd love to eventually redo our kitchen cabinets in a slate grey, so this lighter grey will peek through into the kitchen from the dining room and compliment darker shades if I go that route ( which I really would love to...with white subway tiles in the kitchen too, these are my dreams…). Now off to tape and drop cloth!

6/14/14

Pretty & Simple Candle Centerpiece

I am a lover of candles. It's my end of day therapy after a long day of work or a swim. That little flickering light next to me while I write, read, watch a movie, or eat dinner: perfection. When Matt and I enjoyed an evening with Anne and Spencer the other night (sitting around their amazing West Elm dinner table eating a spread of delicious veggies and patties straight from the grill), Anne had a pretty vase with rocks and a candle right in the center. She said her inspiration was Anthropologie (because, if you haven't noticed, they do this same sort of vase and fill display with their delicious Voluspa and Volcano candles all throughout the store). And so, inspired by Anne who was inspired by Anthro, I now too have a little candle center piece. 
You could easily recreate this little centerpiece with a found vase at a thrift store and with rocks or fill from your yard. I happened to be at Target while their Nautical line was on clearance, so I picked up this Threshold hurricane and rock fill for $10 all together. I wanted a taller glass vase and was so happy to find something a bit nostalgic for the coast. (This candle holder is a more simple version from Target, and here is the Nautical hurricane / not shown on sale.)
Centerpieces like these are perfect for summers outside. Instead of a pretty smelling Voluspa, you could put a bug repelling candle in with the fill. Maybe a little pretty addition for a glamping trip? Thinking about having a candle outside on a picnic table makes me realize that Matt and Jayne, my mother-in-law, are outside hauling dirt and gravel for our yard reno! We have a huge haul off and a driveway covered in brick. More on that later. I better get myself out there and help get one step closer to a picnic table and yard worth spending all day and night in. Happy weekend, friends!

6/11/14

Taking Chances


Have you ever stopped to think, really think, about what you are doing right here, right now, in the moment? And if you've ever taken a moment to stop and think about what it is you are doing, do you find yourself filled with joy and intention, knowing that you are pursuing what you've been created to do - the very core of who you are feels awake and alive and fit for the doing of whatever job or dream you are pursuing? Or do you give a little gulp, and know that you've chosen practicality rather than what your bones are aching to do, make, create, and experience, not really pursuing what it is deep down you were made for?

I came across this video on Life Buzz that my cousin shared via social media. It's only a minute long, but what Jim Carey says in his speech to the graduates are words that I think are so important to hear.

If you have a minute this morning, you can watch it here.

I love his last words,"You can fail at what you don't want, so you might as well take a chance at doing what you love." For me, I'd rather fail at hula hooping than never experience it. I'd rather get knocked down one hundred times in pursuit of my dreams. I'd rather live a life not asking "what if?", but saying "I did it."

So, friends, why not take that chance?

6/6/14

Dwell

photographs from our apt. in Burbank, CA

As we've been working on house projects, and the never ending list of exterior work, its been so important for me to remember how far we've come. Sometimes if feels overwhelming, and I sit and dwell on what I want to be prettier, or newer, or torn down and built up again. Some days I wake up wanting to drive straight to Lowe's for that paint color and spend the whole day painting every single wall. So realistic, I know. But I have to remember that having a home, living in a space that is more than just two rooms with one wall - having that is enough. Well really, just having any place to stay warm and safe at night is more than enough. So when I feel like we don't have the time (or the finances) to make our house look and feel like the rooms outfitted in Domino or LONNY, and I get discouraged - I remind myself that we've come so far from our first apartment in Northridge and the 1920s bungalow in Burbank. We have a home. As Matt likes to remind me, home ownership and projects are a marathon. So I'm choosing to dwell on that and take design and reno slow and steady.

What about you? Do you get caught up wanting instant gratification in your home, and the feeling of discouragement when it isn't picture perfect? How do you remind yourself to dwell on what you do have, rather than what you don't?

6/5/14

Dandelion Fields


You know how dandelion fluff floats along so effortlessly? The wind just carries them so until they float up and far, some landing right back where they may have started but others in a completely new place, so unlike the field they came from. And once they land, those little white petals have the freedom, the absolute liberty, to pop up anywhere, amongst daisies, a front yard lawn, or in the field were horses trot and eat the grass around them. 

As I was running the other day, this little flower helped me make sense of it - make sense of this part of my life right now- this part about change, and new roots, and the wind. (Because, you know, it's not unlikely for the subtle things in nature to help make sense of it all): I was on a path next to a wide open field, the late afternoon with wind picking up the light white cottonesque flower petals. They danced right in front of me and were taken up and over to the trees on the other side of the path. They were headed high and far, and I didn't see where they landed, but it was away and up out of the field they knew. And in that moment I realized that I am like that dandelion (or at least that I should see myself as such). With the freedom to be uprooted and moved if the wind so takes me somewhere else. And so, like a feathery dandelion, blown up by that unseen force, I have left my field: the career path I graduated into, and have landed somewhere completely new, fully running and ready to take root: to a position as Manager in Training at Anthropologie.

I haven't written about work and my career too much here, and maybe one day I will. But for now I can honestly say this, when it comes to work: Taking the stance much like that of a dandelion, and being open to following the spirit of your heart, or the wind, in regards to true joy and fulfillment in whatever it is you do, is the most freeing thing. 

Blow little dandelion ;)