I was taking a nap this afternoon (I’ve had a pretty lowkey 2013 so far since Drew and I are both sick) and was dreaming about a really big wood headboard in a chevron pattern…although “headboard” might be the wrong word because I’m really thinking more of an accent wall. But I’d stain the slats slightly different colors and arrange them in a sort of ombre pattern…different shades of gold and tan and white, with crisp vanilla trim, a big bed and a wrought iron frame and a fluffy white comforter and lots of pillows.

I went to Pinterest for some inspiration.

So adorbs. And how about this sea foam batten board?

I like this color combo…I once watched a show on HGTV and the designer used these gray wash wood beams stacked horizontally on the wall. I love it especially in this room where the ceiling is slanted contrasted with the washed out pastels and cozy blankets.


Cute barn doors with built-in lighting.


Something like this sort of ombre pattern.


And slightly distressed like these outdoor planters.

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So, fun DIY project? Then got sidetracked by other pretty things on the internet. Like this brick archway that acts as a headboard outline. And I love chandeliers in bedrooms.


And these cool art prints by Nancy Ramirez…



And this flower kaleidoscope print…

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And these AMAZING yellow shelves…


And this cute little yellow and white pillow…


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I’ve really missed blogging…so I’m making it a new year’s resolution to blog more in 2013. I was thinking about it the other day…you know how it’s a good thing to say in interviews that you’re intrinsically motivated? Well, for me it’s the opposite. I’m extremely externally motivated. And for a while I’ve felt less than inspired, because I don’t take the time to be. So here’s to making time for the fluffy side of life…looking at interiors and gardens and patterns and pictures, and just dreaming. Oh, and my other two resolutions are to learn Adobe Illustrator (has anyone used the Creative Cloud? I’m thinking about becoming a member there instead of spending like a thousand dollars on the home version) and to finally finish my novel. And I’m resolving to spend at least some time every day doing one of these three things – wahoo! Happy New Year! Hope your 2013 is filled with lots of love, hard-earned accomplishments, and fun!

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I was watching House Hunters Renovation on HGTV last night, and was totally inspired by this couple’s living room in their new LA home. Her style is beachy, laid back, lots of rattans, and distressed wood. His style is modern industrial, lots of metals, neutral colors. Their designer came up with an amazing room that really blended both styles and felt comfy, colorful and modern at the same time. I could only find this itty bitty picture of it online, but you get the idea.

Here’s my attempt to recreate the look:
beachy industrial living room

I think it turned out pretty well…I had a hard time picking out that red chair and the rattan ottoman and I definitely skewed more beachy than industrial. During the process I discovered Barn Light Electric, which has some pretty awesome industrial/retro lighting. Here are some of my favorites:

Primary Schoolhouse Stem Mount Light, Small Shade, 975-Galvanized, Single Stripe, 311-Jadite16" Outback Pendant, 49-Galvanized | Guard, 43-Red | Black Cord Hung15" The Old Dixie Cord Hung Pendant, 400 - Barn Red, Red Cheveron Cord16" Baylor Pendant, 49-Galvanized | Black Cord Hung16" Holophane Shade | 62-Anodized Black, Prismatic Glass Globe, Black Cord HungIndy Industrial Pendant, Black Socket, Turn Key, Black Cord Hung, Nostalgic Edison-Style 1890 Era 40 Watt Light Bulb (Not Included) | Turn key22" Vintage Pendant, Polished NickelBungalow 4-Light Pendant, Blackened SteelThe Metropolitan Dual Finish PendantThe Mig Retro Steel Industrial Pendant Light, Jadite

Source: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12

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Hello. Do you like the new look for my blog? I thought it needed a bit of a facelift. Of course that means all of the hard returns I put in so that my pictures would line up correctly in my other theme are now completely worthless and now I have all these extra spaces between pictures from my earlier posts, which let me tell you are a riot. I was reading one the other day in which I ranted that being 22 was entirely no different than being 26, for like 4 paragraphs. Oh, blogs. A few interesting things of note that I wanted to update on:

1. My dear friend Meghan is painting a portrait of Goliath for over our mantle. I am SO STOKED. She texted me a pic of her progress last night and I am so excited! He is so cute and cuddly. And his colors go great with our rug LOL. Also thinking of re-painting my vintage woman…we had some contractors in the apartment the other week because the water heater above us broke and we had a watermelon-sized leak in our living room ceiling…anyway they came to repair the damage and they must have slammed into my painting because now it is all scuffed and dented. Which I knew would happen because it’s not framed or covered, but anyway I’ve been wanting to re-do it for a while because the size has always bothered me a bit, she looks a bit hunched over, and I’ve wanted to add more yellow to the background instead of gray. So this gives me a chance to do that. Which is a long way of saying fun art projects going on over here! Totes made it in life, talking about art.

2. Meeting with a potential DJ tonight for the wedding…pretty pumped. Hopefully he can stomach my need for a playlist comprised of “Hey Ya” (OutKast), “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” (Mulan soundtrack), “Stronger” (Britney Spears), “Summer Nights” (Rascal Flatts), and random 80s pop songs. And maybe a little Justin Beiber thrown in just to really freak the f out my little brother. Hahaha. Speaking of which, tell me which songs we absolutely have to play! Also if you have ideas for Drew’s and my first dance song please comment! We’ve thrown around the idea of the epic Backstreet Boys’ “As Long As You Love Me,” because, you know, Drew is obsessed.

3. This weekend is my first dress fitting!!!!!! Cannot even express how exciting this is.

4. Some pretty cool stuff happening on the job front. Will keep you updated.

Alright, now that I’m entirely running late, have a great day everyone ๐Ÿ™‚


It’s been a while since I updated the blog. Sorry. My Christmas was great – went for a quick but very satisfying trip out to Michigan to spend time with my family, then collapsed back at my apartment and didn’t leave the couch for two days during a SATC marathon over New Year’s (which was also quite satisfying, in its own way). Drew was still in Cleveland for New Year’s so I had the house to myself and after cleaning out the refrigerator, giving away a huge bag of clothes to Goodwill, reorganizing all of our linens/closets, and other random household chores, I was happy as a clam to do nothing for a bit.

Since then we’ve been doing a bit of honeymoon planning – we’re going to Japan and I cannot wait! I realized yesterday that we go to Japan in less than 6 months and I am so excited, that is crazy. I’ve put ~14 books about Japan on my Amazon wishlist and I’m sure that I will be adding more. I think a trip to the bookstore is in our weekend plans (well, at least in my plans – Drew will probably head next door to the Best Buy while I browse). There are some pretty cool books about Japan, though. Aside from my favorite Top 10 city guides, I liked the looks of these:

A Geek in Japan: a guide to Otaku (fanboy) culture a la anime, manga, tea ceremonies, craziness, etc.

Food Sake Tokyo: a guide to the best foods in Tokyo, where to get the best soba noodles, etc.

Old Kyoto: an insider’s guide to little local shops, restaurants, and parks to soak up the historical feel of Kyoto

Japanese Tales: a collection of Japanese fairy tales and myths translated into English…I love the idea of reading the stories that the Japanese read as children to understand more about their culture

I’m also interested in a guide book for all of Japan, and so far in my search, Gateway to Japan and The Rough Guide to Japan seem to be the favorites. I’ll have to have a browse this weekend and see which one I like best. Drew also has a coworker that knows Japan pretty well, and I heard rumblings about an 8-story stationery store that we’ll clearly need to visit. Plus those vending machines with full meals in them. And maybe a wig shop – I’ve always wanted to see what I look like with pink hair LOL. OH! And apparently there is this place called Disney Sea (not Tokyo Disney but a Disney that only exists in Japan) that we’re thinking about going to. And one thing we’ve definitely decided on is doing a midnight hike to the top of Mount Fuji…seriously so pumped! We’ll get to the top in time to watch the sunrise and send postcards to our friends and family from the top of a mountain. Seriously, how cool is that? And then we’re going to stay in one of the fancy ryokan (traditional inn) nearby with the dinner service and tea and onsen (natural hot spring) baths. It’ll be a little insane since we’re doing the hike our second night there when I’m sure we’ll still be a little loopy from jetlag, but we’ll just plan to be very lazy the next day. And the Gion Festival will be going on while we’re in Kyoto, which is immensely exciting for me as I love crowds and festivals and craziness! So, that’s kinda the most exciting thing on the horizon. ๐Ÿ™‚

Other than counting down to Japan, I just plugged our wedding date into an online calculator, and apparently it is 169 days away. Rad!!!

Oh, one of my New Year’s resolutions (which I didn’t post here but I always make them) is to go on more date nights with Drew and rather fortuitously, it’s been DC restaurant week and Alexandria restaurant week back to back. SO we’ve been to two steakhouses (Morton’s and Ruth’s Chris-Drew’s picks-RC was definitely better. I’d been to Morton’s before and this time was not as good as I remember…also RC is pretty significantly cheaper and they have a pretty good 3-course menu at a fixed price all year round so perhaps we’ll be back again before the next restaurant week), and two french restaurants (Vermilion and Bastille-my picks-we haven’t actually been to Bastille yet; our reservation is for tomorrow. Vermilion was pretty good-the dessert was awesome and my wine, Cadena Chardonnay, was also yummy! I liked the butternut squash soup but the sunflower seeds were way too overpowering. I am excited for Bastille tomorrow night; they had my favorite menu out of all of the places we picked, but I’m trying not to get my hopes up.) We also have a double date night planned with our friends Gloria and Greg to Rasika, an indian place in Chinatown that I’ve been dying to go to forever! I had to make our reservation like 6 weeks in advance so I hope it lives up to the hype.

And that’s pretty much it…I should probably put away my work stuff and get off the internet so I can actually get ready for work. Hmmm! But it’s Friday, so I guess it’s all good. Hope everyone is having a fantastic week!

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So, I got my wedding dress!!! I lovelovelove it and keep staring at the picture of myself on my iPhone – I can’t wait to wear it again but it doesn’t come in for 4 months!! So long to wait. My mom and I first went shopping a few weekends ago and hit 3 stores in one day. The first store (Van Cleve) was small but the girl Abby is so nice and relaxed – never pushes you to move on to the next dress or to only pick a few dresses. We tried a bunch on in very different styles (since it was my first time shopping) and I really liked one with ruffles at the bottom (pic later). As soon as they put the veil on, I definitely had that bride moment that everyone talks about! It wasn’t the dress, but it was the veil! Really pretty with lace on the edges mmhmm! Anyway, we had a bunch of options that we really liked, but it was our first store – we had to press on. ๐Ÿ™‚

The second store we went to was Sabrina Ann in Ardmore, which had the tea-length dress I love from Priscilla in Boston, but on me it just wasn’t as special as the full-length dresses I’d tried on earlier, so that was out. We tried on a couple others, but honestly none of them were contenders. SA is a second-hand shop so you can only try on dresses that they have in your size, and it was kind of slim pickings. I could see if you lived there and could come by every week to see what new stock had come in, but for a one-time visitor, you’d really have to be lucky with the timing. For me, it was clear that my dress wasn’t there.

Finally, we went to Bijou Bridal which is a huge store that kind of reminded me of Kleinfelds of Say Yes to the Dress. We tried on a ton of dresses and it was kind of fun traipsing out in the store and going on the big podium in front of the mirrors, not gonna lie! There were two dresses that I LOVED that ended up being by the same designer (Stefan Jolie – no pics, sorry!), both strapless with a natural waist and a fuller skirt. (LOL a fuller skirt is the one thing that I swore I didn’t want but there you go, you really do have to try them all on to see what looks good on you!) The one was a sweetheart neckline and pleated bodice (I die) with a really textured skirt that I LOVED. The only thing was that it had this weird applique thing on the waist, and I could already picture Drew saying, “That’s weird,” and it just bothered me. The other one was straight neckline with tons ofย  beading and Swarovski crystals on the bodice…honestly can’t remember the skirt. It was too formal for me but I just really liked the shape.

So, now that I knew I was looking for a sweetheart neckline, natural waist, and a fun, flowy skirt, we headed back to Van Cleve to try on more dresses. I tried on my previous favorite and several others, including the one I eventually ended up with. I had actually tried on my dress the first time around but thought the skirt was too big and the waist was too high. But as soon as I put it on for the second time, I knew it was exactly what I wanted. Mom still really liked the first dress, but could tell I was just in love with the second. They jacked me up with a sash and a veil and we popped open a bottle of champagne to celebrate! YES! I have my dress. And it’s awesome. ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s the dress I originally liked (I think I tried it on 3-4 times since it was at BB too):

Super pretty…I loved the different layers of lace over top of each other on the skirt. Definitely needed a sash on me since I don’t have hips, but it just didn’t feel like me. Here is my dress!

And it has a jacket! I am in love with the jacket and I think I’ll be able to wear it to fancy parties after the wedding. I’m so excited – LOVE it! I can’t wait to wear it again…just have to wait another four months. In the meantime I’m on the hunt for the right sash! I got the standard one in oatmeal that comes with it, but I think I’ll end up going with either a satin ribbon from Michaels or something handmade from Etsy. Something affordable though since I may have gone a bit over budget on the dress…oops! We’ll find something else we can save on, no worries…

So, anyway, I actually started writing this post to talk about how I’m really digging handmade design pieces lately. After giving up my dream of being a homeowner for now, I’ve given myself a little monthly budget to decorate/upgrade our furniture from hand-me-downs so satiate my design appetite! This month I got a new living room rug (on sale!). It is huge and plush and chocolate brown with swirls in all different colors. It looks great and the room looks so much bigger already. We’ve rearranged the furniture a bit and now I’m trying to decide about art. My Craigslist post was kind of disappointing. Got a few responses back but no one whose style I really said, yes, that’s it! So the search continues. In the meantime, I’ve found plenty of contenders to fill up space on our very blank walls. What do you think?

Loving this heart art from a couple in Ireland. You can personalize it with your names, dates, etc. Such a cute idea for a wedding/anniversary/new child present! They have lots of different colors and two different sizes.

This handmade paper mirror…such a statement piece!

This cute peacock print from Dekanimal. I LOVE it!

This mirror inspired by Picasso’s Girl Before Mirror painting. I own a print of this piece and I’m really digging this mirror inspired by it! Maybe for over Goliath’s crate?

I LOVE this ikat chandelier – thinking about it or DIYing something similar for over our dining room table:

That’s all for now…this morning I did a lot of looking into handmade wedding invitations. The ones I’ve been drooling over at Rifle Paper Co are SO expensive…so I think I need to look into alternate options. Luckily for me there are so many talented artists out there! Yay ๐Ÿ™‚


Well, I officially hate our living room rug. I don’t know when it happened, but now I hate it. I bought it cheap on Overstock.com last year when we moved into our current place. Our last apartment had carpeting so we didn’t need a rug, but our current place has mostly wood floors. I left the dining room bare but got a Kilim style rug in blue for the living room. And while it did the job of inserting some color into the room, it’s not comfy (very low pile) and shows tons of dog hair. Also the style is just not…whimsical enough…it’s kind of Southwestern-looking.

So cue to me last night at 11pm, frantically searching for more contemporary, higher pile alternatives online. I was watching My Favorite Place on the DVR, the one where Jonathan Adler and his husband show their (10-room!) Manhattan apartment. I loved when Simon (JA’s hubby) goes, “Well, no one really uses their living room, and we thought, instead of furnishing a room that we don’t really use why not turn it into a ping pong room?” And then, “And who wants a normal, boring ping pong table? Wouldn’t you rather have a giant sexy, goth, magenta one instead?” It is literally covered in a magenta and black damask fabric. They have lots of other games in the room too, plus a giant (think the size of a gamer chair) black rubber foot, just chillin in the corner. Uhhh, what!

So anyway that’s a long aside to say I was really feeling the JA vibe when I start searching for pillows, which turned into rug shopping, and all of a sudden I’m designing a new living room. Briefly considered some bold brown and cream rug options, but then with the more transitional furniture it just wasn’t capturing FUN! So I ended up with this (click to see all the items I used):

What do you think? I’m still not loving the gray background color of the rug…would prefer something in the brown family…but I think we’re getting there! Also, I just posted a listing on Craigslist last night to commission a pop art-style portrait of Goliath to hang over the fireplace. How badass is that! I’m thinking something in bright orange.

Also dreaming of being Gloria’s sidekick baker and baking bread all day. Have come up with some pretty good ideas to grow the customer base (Glo I have written them down! Let’s discuss on wine night!). Hmm. Drew thinks maybe I should go into wedding planning because it is happy and works with people but still detail-oriented. Go figure–the one activity that I don’t obsess about becoming my career (I feel like every girl fantasizes about being a wedding planner while she’s planning her own, but that doesn’t mean she’d be good at it) Drew thinks is a legitimate prospect. *Sigh*

p.s. Very upset that I missed the Missoni for Target stuff yesterday. I literally had the day marked in my calendar and got up at 5am to look at everything on the website. I had it narrowed down to a rainbow zigzag pillow and a coordinating light blue one (similar to the one I used above) and a fun throw, and figured I’d give myself a couple hours to think about it, but by 11am Target.com had crashed and everything appeared to be sold out online. Had a doctor’s appointment yesterday so swung by the Target store and all of the Missoni racks were completely empty!!! Only a couple of sad-looking green corduroy jackets left. So distraught. TONS of Ebay vultures selling $15 pillows for like $150. Umm, no, sorry. Maybe the stores will restock? I dunno but I couldn’t believe the madness. If you see the rainbow and light blue pillows, PLEASE BUY THEM FOR ME! I will pay you back and bake you a nice loaf of bread. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Hey guys,

So, haven’t posted about our San Francisco trip at the beginning of the summer yet, or really anything else, but we’re engaged! Actually it happened a couple weeks ago now a month ago now, but I’ve been waiting for it to set in. See, I was in Spain with Mom and Michael since his soccer team was training with some academy teams in Barcelona and Valencia. They needed chaperones, and I graciously volunteered (hello, free ticket!). We were there for about 10 days and had an awesome time, and when we came home, Todd picked us up from the airport. On the way home (I had driven Drew’s car up to Philly so we could all fly out together, and was planning to pick up the car in Philly and drive back down to DC that night), we stopped at Wawa so Mom could buy a lottery ticket (the Powerball was something like $220 million). Then as we got home, I noticed there was another car in the driveway besides mine. I saw Drew peeking out of the garage and we were all like, “What the heck is Drew doing here?!” And as Todd parks, and we stumble out of the car (at this point we are all EXHAUSTED–literally slept 2-3 hours a night on the trip, and then long plane ride coming back that day), Drew is literally BOUNDING out of the garage and I’m kinda like “Hey…” in that sleepy way when he gets down on one knee and says, “I have a question for you…will you marry me?” And I’m sitting there looking at his face and all I’m thinking is that I’m glad to see him and I kind of say, “Yeah!” in a surprised way. And we hug and then I start hugging my mom and my brothers and Drew’s like, “Uh, well, do you want the ring?” and I’m like, “Oh, yes!” and so he puts the ring on my finger and we hug again and Mom exclaims, “I’m so glad we bought those lottery tickets!!” which was just perfect for our little awkward moment.

I admit to maybe dreaming of a bit more buildup before the question, but I’m glad my family was there to witness it, and meeting us after we got back to Spain enabled him to really surprise me (and boy was I surprised! It didn’t sink in for like a week). Then we spent the next hour calling all of our family and friends to tell them the news. Grandparents whooped and cheered (they’re the best) and told me to give Drew a handshake from Poppa and a hug from Grandma, to which Drew replied, “Well okay, but the next time I see you I’m shaking hands with Grandma and giving Poppa a hug!” And we laughed and then ate some filet that Todd made for the occasion before Drew and I headed back to DC. A really nice night to end an amazing couple of weeks in my favorite city (hmm, can I say that? I’ll have to think about it, but Barcelona definitely holds a special place in my heart).

So, fast forward a month and now I’m planning a wedding! I say I’m planning it because Drew is purposefully trying to give me a lot of freedom with all the details, though I think it’s been more of a joint effort for things like the food, music, and probably the wedding cakes (yes, we’re having more than one cake! but we haven’t gotten to that yet). It’s been fun and overwhelming but then fun again ๐Ÿ™‚ In terms of our relationship though, nothing has really changed. I was really curious to see if anything would feel different, like would I feel more secure or that our relationship felt more solid or maybe just different after we’d gotten engaged. But really, it’s exactly the same. It’s still us, doing crazy dances in the car to the Spice Girls (Drew calls mine “the pointer dance” and I still laugh really hard every time he does “the seizure dance”) while Goliath hangs his head out the window as we drive to Chipotle for dinner. It’s still us, curled up in the living room watching Jersey Shore while Goliath digs his nails into our necks from his perch on top of the sofa. It’s still us, taking nighttime walks and sharing stories about when we were kids, how work is going, and what we want to be when we grow up. He’s still my best friend, the person I am most comfortable being me around, and with whom I now get to plan a really big party ๐Ÿ™‚ So, it’s been fun.

Maybe when we get married it will feel a bit different, more permanent maybe? I don’t know…for now it feels the same, which is good I think. Maybe if we had gotten engaged right when we decided that we’d be together forever, then there would have been a more recognizable shift, but it’s been part of the plan for a while, and we already considered ourselves a family (no kids though! not until 30, at least! lol), so maybe it was just kind of gradual. In any case, we’re pretty excited! And that’s the story…the end. ๐Ÿ™‚

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