WEAR // oh, sweet joy! headbands

I am a little smitten with the latest addition to my wardrobe. Anne stopped by this morning and gifted me a few goodies from the oh, sweet joy! shop. I couldn't make if out to the Firefly event in Boulder to see Kim's handmade goods last week, so I was really excited that Anne thought to bring me back a few things. One of them just so happened to be this really sweet headband with a bold poppy print on it. Kind of a perfect fit for me, no? Today I had the day off from work, and completely to myself, as Matt drove out to Kansas yesterday to see the grandparents, so my day was a roll out of bed, launder my clothes, watch Hart of Dixie, and go on a run type of a day. Meaning, zero plans for makeup or a thought out outfit. But thanks to Anne, and oh, sweet joy! the people of King Soopers and the greater Arvada area saw me a little more put together than planned with this really cute headband. (She also got me a wire wrap which I cannot wait to style and wear to work next week!)


Summer and Adjusting

Every day for the past month I have this moment where I think of this space and my lack of writing. I look at my list of house projects in the line up to share and see my files of edited photographs just sitting on my desktop, just waiting to be added to my drafts and a click away from sharing and pinning. But then I shut the laptop lid, walk out of my office, and then repeat the next day. This cycle almost continued today, but then I finally felt it. After reading a post by my friend Anne and then another by Natalie, both brave and raw and truly vulnerable--it caught up with me That little pull on my heart to sit, write, and be real.

Why I love the outdoors so much in our neighborhood.

I was telling Anne the other day that I just have no motivation to write and come to this place. I have no ounce in me to stay inside with a laptop as my view. I want mountains, and sunshine, and the pool! I want snuggles on the couch, camping, and crafting with friends! I want long summer nights, BBQs after work, and freshly painted walls! I just want to be anywhere doing anything except for blogging. It's just where I'm at, even though I really would love to say otherwise.

Now I treasure this place, I really really do, but lately I'm in a whole new world entirely. Ever since our trip to New York, everything has been at full speed. We bought a house. We moved to a new town. We left our community and our church. I quit my job. I stared a new job. I began working some weekends, with a new schedule, and a new commute. Matt's role at work changed. We've had out of town guests. I began swimming with a masters team, with practice, and discipline. We experienced hail damage and house repairs. We've built new friendships and worked hard to keep old ones. And on top of it all, marriage has been a place of learning, growing, and grace.

Hail damage and settling into our new home.

With change comes adjusting, and I think its safe to write that I'm still in that phase. We're figuring it all out, or at least the parts we can, and learning how to give up the parts we cannot. If anything, buying a house has been the best thing for our marriage. It's brought out core anxieties, our strengths and weaknesses, and a true necessity to rely on the Lord (especially so with weather like hail). This has probably been some of the hardest yet most gratifying six months of my adult life. Matt and I have made big decisions, life changing ones, and it is a bit overwhelming when I really reflect on everything that has been in our lives since the new year. Changing jobs has been another true blessing. I never realized how much happiness I was missing in that part of my life. I'm learning more about myself and who I am than I have in a long time. The same is true for swimming. I'm finding out how easy it is to slack and not be disciplined, and that it takes hard work to focus time and energy on a goal.

 Where I find myself the most fulfilled: in the pool and with friends

So with all of this said (and this being the very short version of six months that have gone by), I'm at this crossroads in my life where I'm navigating how to spend my time. How delicate the balance really is. Time is truly precious, you know? I am learning how to hold on to all of these new things in my life, give myself to them fully, but yet still find a place for writing and blogging. I will get there, I have full confidence. I hope you too might close the laptop, walk out of your office, and seek the long days that are left of summer.

Thank you for hanging tight and trusting that I didn't just disappear amidst blog silence. And thank you, Anne and Natalie, for being so brave and open to write and be real today. Your vulnerability truly encouraged me.


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!


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!


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!


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?