DIY Pinterest Challenge (it actually happened)

Back in my undergrad, I lived with a few girls in the dorms and as sophomores, we finally had more than the 10×10 shared quarters that the freshman dorms had provided. The four of us had two bedrooms AND a living room. Plus an odd bathroom setup where there was a shower and sink room and then also a toilet and sink room, but for four women it worked out well. What we didn’t have, coming from the freshman digs, was a lot of furniture. So we decided to buy a 3×3 cubby style storage bookshelf sorta thing to hold up our 20″ TV. I will admit, and I am sure anyone who has had the pleasure of rooming with me will agree, I am probably a terrible roommate, so when these great girls just wanted to go four ways on a $30-40 piece of put-it-together-yourself-Target-furniture, I of course refused because I knew at the end of the year we would argue over who it belonged to – or who had to take it with them, depending on how much we had grown to enjoy it – and instead I paid the full amount myself and claimed it as my own on moving day.

Since then, it has always been one of the hand-me-down-type pieces that I have consistently felt ho-hum about. I appreciate the storage it provides, but also loath its appearance. That is, until now.

I found this IKEA hack a while back, and suddenly, there was hope. There was this faint brightness in the distance and I knew when I received the push I needed, I would one day head towards that light. Kisha, of Chronicled, who hosted a Pinterest challenge, was indeed that push.

IKEA hack inspiration:

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Certainly, if you follow this blog, you have noticed it has taken me a while to get to this post and perhaps you have even read my super complain-y post about the many layers of paint it has needed, but I do kinda love it. The IKEA hack version does work better, I think it is because it has more boxes, but I do like mine and how it turned out. I didn’t end up going with the leather handles I mentioned in my initial post, but that was only because I had some unused, ready-to-go black IKEA ones. I might just stick with it though, because I do kinda love their black glossiness. If, at a later date, I decide to go with the leather ones, I will definitely paint the door white as well. Anyway, I consider this a success.

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Here are the steps I followed:

Gather the materials – for me this was only the piece of wood, white paint, and door hinges (but I had the unit, primer, rollers, paintbrush, wood stain, and the cabinet handle on hand)

Reassemble the 3×3 – None of us were pre-med or rocket science majors and it is probably a good guess we were most likely drinking while assembling (sorry Mom). So, as it turns out, this thing has been sitting pretty (ugly) while having been put together incorrectly, for years. Finally everything is facing the right way and right-side up.

Clean, sand, then wipe down the piece – Besides some light dusting and maybe a slight rub down pre and post moves, this piece doesn’t get a lot of cleaning love, and it mostly has been hiding in a corner its whole life. It needed it, especially since I was about to paint a piece of faux wood furniture.

Prime – Maybe I didn’t need this step, but I really wanted this paint to stick, so I did it anyway. Two coats. But then it was grey, which made it harder to cover with the (cheap) white paint which would follow.

Paint – SO MANY COATS! Ugh. I actually don’t mind painting walls, but this piece got to me. Dislike. But at least it looks good.

Stain ‘door’ – I got a light, cheap piece of wood to cover four of the nine cubbies. I had some stain laying around from another project. I may add another layer of stain or two down the line.

Attach door and handle – Pretty straight forward, but challenging when you don’t actually own a drill. Whoops.

Now to style it (better than done above).. oh boy.

AND! Remember to check out the other awesome gals doing this challenge with me:

Amy of Love on Sunday : http://loveonsunday.com/

Donna of Soul Pretty : http://soulpretty.blogspot.com/

Renee of Typewritten Bubbles : http://www.typewrittenbubbles.com/

Kisha of Chronicled : http://www.chronicled-blog.com/

Never ending coats of paint

So truth time: last week didn’t end up being DIY week. Turns out, back in August I kinda forgot that September was trip month (in other words – I’m the worst) that, and my project still needs ONE more coat. This is about one thousand paint coats more than I had anticipated. Soon, it WILL look awesome (note to self: what everyone says about cheap paint needing billions of coats, is true, buy the good shiz.) But, it is happening, tomorrow, after today’s coat dries. Might be late. Might be early. This over-anticipated Pinterest challenge will have it’s day. Tomorrow. Luckily this blog is just for personal fun, otherwise I would really feel bad.

I might still feel a pretty bad.

Speaking of DIY’s – Almost Makes Perfect just posted a DIY I had been thinking of doing FOREVER, she just beat me to it =). Naturally I immediately went and bought some bottles after I read her post. And I am going to copy cat this so hard.

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Today I am listening to: Carried Away by Passion Pit

Am feeling inspired by: The beautiful, white apartment in Sweden where Design Love Fest is visiting (photo by sfgirlbybay)

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Want to be wearing: This cute and flowing jumpsuit worn by the perdy lady at The Tiny Closet

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Carrolls, we are attractive

There are a few posts I am working on that I promised last week, but I had to take a break from that and share with everyone how beautiful my family is:

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Or at least how beautiful the incredible Meg Borders made us look. Family portrait success! This is just one teaser photo that has me dying to see the others.

P.S. Notice the hair? I finally did it all the way, not just the streak, not just the dark, but both – all skunky like and everything. (For a while I was just rocking the dusty brown with a blond streak, but with fall right around the corner I finally decided it was contrast timez!)

There is no place like home

Turns out that September is traveling month, first Hawaii and now we are up in the Tri-Cities, Washington visiting my parents and my siblings. There really isn’t much I love more than being here with everyone. I love my family dearly and only wish I could be here for longer. Vacations are great, but nothing really recharges my batteries like a visit to my childhood home. I am hoping Sunday approaches VERY slowly.

And I get to kick it with the world’s best dog: KIPPER, my agility buddy and puppy training super star.

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Tomorrow we have a family photo shoot with the beautiful and talented Meg Borders and I am both super excited and terrified that I’ll look like a frumpalumpapus. Despite the irrational lady anxiety (this is normal, right?), it will just be really nice to having some non-wedding family photos of us, since, on the whole we are a pretty attractive bunch.

In other exciting news – next week will be DIY week where I will be posting the final project from the Pinterest Challenge I joined in on with Chronicled, and maybe one or two smaller DIY’s that I’ve done over the last month or so.

I am really looking forward to this weekend of love and happy memories – hope yours is similarly stocked.

Hawaii in Instagrams

So we are back. We had a great time, but I am just now getting back to reality, when this really should have happened on Monday. Turns out we came home to a couple small issues, nothing major, and a decent amount of freelance work I needed to jump on (which is only a good awesome thing), so yes, it is three or four days later and I am finally getting back into the groove. This makes me feel a little crazy, restless, frustrated, because we were only gone a couple days, but if it were easy and simple all the time, life would be boring. And while I love the comfort of some routines, I don’t want boring. There is certainly a decent amount of boring when you are new to a town and don’t know many people, so when boring can be avoided elsewhere I am all for it.

I didn’t even really get a chance to check my Bloglovin’ feed, Twitter, or do much social media-ing apart from Instagram on the trip, so in light of that, I am taking 5 minute breaks throughout my ‘work’ day today to read a blog or two out of the 196 posts I missed over the few days and thought I would share the photos I took on Instagram from the trip. I took a TON of photos and hope to do a full post with those and the details of our trip, but for now, this is a bit of a teaser, I hope. Oh, and speaking of Instagrams, I am incredibly STOKED to have JASPR, an excellent blog, which I love, feature one of my photos in a round up. I saw this on the tablet on our last night in Hilo (I may have been a margarita or two in) and might have squealed.

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OH. AND. Coolest part of our trip? NIGHT MANTA RAY SNORKEL! What? Totally awesome. Here is a video a couple we snorkeled next to shot (they were very sweet and from Australia, we were just to the left of them, holding onto a square hula-hoop like contraption) – yes, it is as big as it looks (10+ ft wingspan, some as big as 16/17ft), and yes, it got that close. We were down there for 45 minutes and all of it was incredible.

 

Today I am inspired by: Lisa Congdon recently shared this video and I think I need to set a reminder on my calendar to watch this at least once a month, so helpful to hear.

and listening to: New album, The Electric Lady from Janelle Monae! Door Sixteen was lucky enough to see her the other night and did a great post about it, the lady herself, and shared some great photos.

 

and want to be wearing: Jenny’s turn, she told me she wants this collar, by Grey Paw Design (also found through Door Sixteen‘s Etsy post – as I said, still working through all the posts I’ve missed, so DS gets double link today)

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3 Cheers for 3 Years!

Three years ago, today, I married Mr. Alex Moore and we are off to celebrate in Hawaii. My apologies for the quiet week last week and the equal silence that will be this one. More fun and games when we return.

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We have had many great days and several very challenging ones, but looking back I wouldn’t change a thing. I love you, you handsome bow-tie-rockin’ devil. Happy Anniversary, Mr. Alex Moore.

Love, your lady.

Painting a New Way

I have painted quite a bit. Arguably, I do not do it enough these days, but in my last semester I had fun trying my hand at transferring some of those skills onto the computer. I am not much one for still life paintings, but it seemed like the logical (and assigned) place to start. So below is my apple, fully rendered in Adobe Illustrator – with a mouse not a Wacom. On that note, I should probably buy a Wacom Tablet.

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And to conclude today’s post, here are my links for the day:

Today’s tune – after watching all the “highlights” from the VMA’s, which I am just not even going to comment on, I ended up also watching Katy Perry’s Brooklyn Bridge performance and have literally developed this problem where I can’t stop listening and grooving to Roar. I’m pretty sure I could do Kenpo all day long if this was the one and only song on the soundtrack.

Inspiration – or death by cuteness, rather, over this Instagram. Now I also want a hedgehog.

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Clothes I want to wear – YUP. All of these, posted by Emmadime from current lookbook for Textile Elizabeth + James, designed by those boho chic Olsen peeps.

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OMG (cheap) SHOES

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Being a woman, I naturally have some body image insecurities (gasp!), but for the most part, I am comfortable in my own skin – although a bit awkward at times, I do try and embrace it. But, my calves, regardless of how much I work them out, they remain consistently shaped like those baby carrots I like to dip in my hummus. Still, it’s ok, it’s how I am made, but it does make buying shoes very difficult.

I am very skilled at finding thousands of shoes I love the style of online, but I can’t ever bring myself to purchase any because something that may look awesome off, may only accentuates the baby-carrot-ness of my lower legs. In particular, I have been looking for a pair of ankle boots (channeling my inner Cher Horowitz) for, like, ever.

I have probably tried on over 100 pairs in the last year. Really. Anywhere I went that had a contender, I would try them on. The other day, I went into Target and tried on 15 or so shoes, as per usual, and many of the ankle boot variety. Then, I saw them. And the angels sang – or maybe it was just a kid throwing a tantrum a few aisles over, but they worked. My legs are still baby-carrot-like, but the shoes don’t make that any more obvious then it is shoe-less. Oh boy, you guys, the best part: $35.

In the last few months I have donated a lot of clothing and really tried to make an effort to only purchase items that I love. Really define and stick to ‘my style.’ I understand that there may be times that this means spending a little more money for quality, staple pieces that I will want to keep and wear for a really long time. I also always think back to something that was pressed on me in my art classes – the most expensive paintbrush you will ever own is the $6 paintbrush you have to buy 100 times. But these shoes, they really seem to be good quality (I can actually, comfortably run in them, though I won’t be replacing my Nikes for legit jogs anytime soon) and are really solid, for $35, so I am just loving the money saved. The best of both worlds.

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You can buy them online or I have seen them in all the stores right now. Oh, and no Target sponsorship here, I just am really happy with these kicks.

Well, with that here is the tune I’m dancing in my blue black suede shoes to today – it’s an oldie but one of my favorite goodies from high school, Four Tet, As Serious As Your Life

And some serious inspiration coming from this – amazing portrait by Lou Ros, see his (breathtaking) online portfolio here

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Naturally, I need this outfit to go along with my new shoesies – via Lovely by Lucy

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Maybe this will hold me over for a little while, shoe-wise. Pshh, AS IF!

How iced coffee saved my life

To say I am not a morning person is a pretty extreme understatement. It is especially noticeable because I am married to Captain Happy who legitimately wakes up every day like it’s Christmas and he just can’t wait to  open the presents. Except that there are no presents and he is just super stoked to go have another day, a totally normal day. Luckily, in the past couple weeks I have found something that makes the morning a little more exciting, or in the very least seems to brighten my gloomy morning blues. ICED COFFEE.

It took me 25 years and reading it over and over and over on numerous blogs, but I finally tried it and am absolutely loving this iced coffee business. I used to have a Diet Coke in the mornings, because it is my crack, but all the while I was still willing to admit that it was a little gross to have a soda that early. Also, I was never a real fan of the severe withdrawal problems I would get along with the DC cola habit, so I was very much looking for a good replacement that wouldn’t have me twitching by 10 AM if the vending machine I was counting on, was out. In fact, I am now only really having one soda a week, and have hopes to maybe even cut that one out. ICED COFFEE YOU ARE MY HERO.

Now, I absolutely have a plan to try what is supposedly the best iced coffee recipe, but because I wasn’t exactly sure how iced coffee world would stack up to my almighty diet soda, I first decided to try the Trader Joe’s brand cold-brew concentrated iced coffee. Right now, I use 1/3 cup concentrate to about 1/2 cup water topped with a healthy dollop of light coconut milk. And it is glorious. I am still going to try the recipe, but for anyone out there that wants a quick fix, I only have wonderful things to say about this product.

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I MIGHT have even had a mini second glass today. The morning grumpies were especially persistent today.

For some other fun, today this is my jam – MR MS, Hurricane:

And my inspiration – Pennyweight‘s House Tour on Design Sponge:

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And an outfit that I wish was in my closet – craving comfy, via The Day Book:

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Happy hump day, you internet camels.

So Far…

Since quitting my job and moving to Ventura life has ceased to feel real or regular, but finally this week a ‘routine’ has been developing and it is a welcomed friend. Even though I have all day to get some class done, any chores, dog care, and maybe even a workout, the day can still manage to fly by. It was finally this week when I started to make a list first thing in the morning of all that I wanted to finish that I actually feel a little more together.

Mostly the superficial things have been the biggest changes, meaning no more smart-casual work clothes (that never felt like me anyway – time to clean out the closet and revisit that) and no more loads of makeup or time spent trying to de-fro the hair. I am still spending my whole day on the computer, either working through some freelance design projects, brainstorming some ideas of what this ‘Ryann Moore Design’ life would look like, either the short or long term, and hammering through some classes.

Jenny’s life (the dog) has pretty much remained unchanged, except in that any time I move, she does too. She might be sleeping all day, but gosh darn it, if she isn’t going to do that right next to wherever I am, which I can only imagine is exhausting but it does make me feel lurv-ed. Every once in a while I can’t stop staring at how cute she is when she is sleeping and I just pounce on her for some mid-day cuddles, which she might find to be more annoyed by than anything, but it is a good time for me. It has been a VERY nice thing to have her with me all day. Whether it ends up being me working for myself full-time or finding something more conventional, it would be the coolest if I could keep that part of my life these days consistent – although I do understand it is pretty rare to find a job where you can have your pup with you.

Anyway, that is the update. I really do have some stuff I want to share with you but I am still trying to figure out a suitable way of taking photos as the tablet’s Instagram shots have just been disappointing:

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(It’s horrible quality but thankfully Jenny is so cute that it kinda saves it. Kinda)

In the meantime, here is my song of the day:

And a project that has me totally inspired – Israeli pianist and conductor Arie Vardi website by Sasha Firs via Behance:

Arie Vardi Website Design by Sasha Firs

And an outfit I wouldn’t mind adding to the wardrobe (to replace one of those silly smart-casual gettups) – from the ever talented Kelli Murray‘s Blog:

Kelli Murray Outfit 2012

Last but very much not least, happy birthday to this handsome devil, my daddy:

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