For the love of natural light

With any move there are mixed feelings and this last one has certainly been no exception. We have broken hearts over leaving some of our dearest friends – even while they are only an hour or so away, this could easily translate to 3 hours, given LA traffic and it hurts all the same. We are filled to the brim with excitement about what this new adventure will bring and the opportunity it is giving me to explore my career goals. We will miss being just a stones-throw from the beach, the running trail and a few of our favorite happy hour/food spots, but love the challenge of finding new stomping grounds. We have already talked about the fact that our last apartment may always remain our favorite non-forever home for so many reasons. But this new one has it’s perks as well.

Such as.. NATURAL LIGHT. OMGEE I have windows.

Our last place was wonderful, it really was. We had all the freedom in the world to do whatever we wanted, even though we didn’t take full advantage of that (we didn’t really have this move planned and thought we would be there for a while, in other words, weren’t in a rush) it was still very nice to know we could, at any time, make any change we felt like. It had concrete floors which I really didn’t mind and made for cleaning up our part-sheltie’s dog hair much easier. The location simply could not be beat. It was just enough space that we weren’t on top of each other, but it also challenged us to have a more minimal life style. But, it really only had one window and was, in a sense, a cave. 

The extra unfortunate thing was that this one window was off the kitchen and so situated that there was no room for plants of any size to be placed along its limited light source.

Every time I got to feeling a bit bummed to be leaving our little Redondo condo, I would remind myself that while its quirks were often wonderful, the lack of windows had and would always frustrate me when I would walk through the plant aisles of Home Depot, OSH, IKEA, or even saw a lovely plant-filled home image on a blog or Pinterest. That was, until I went on one last IKEA run before moving into the new place, where along with some necessities, I picked my first long-coveted Fiddle Leaf Fig.

It has some nasty brown patches on a leaf or two, which honestly were already developing in the store, but I figured even a few leafs down, the IKEA deal was going to be the most affordable AND justifiable to the non-plant-enthusiast that is my husband.

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(SO sorry about the horrible photo, I am now iPhone-less and therefore good-camera-less. Working on it.)

I have since spent the last week or so reading all the internet has to offer in terms of advice on how to keep this lovely leafy green\ alive and thriving. Here are my favorite reads:

+ From Gardenista – this piece even features some of my favorite blogger’s thoughts on FLF

+ A good straight-forward FLF tip guide

+ Not so much this The Inspired Room blog post itself, but the comments were pretty interesting (while diverse) and I am sure I will refer back to it in the future

I may not want to be a crazy cat lady, but I am all for being crazy plant lady! Are you with me? I mean, who wouldn’t want to live in a place like this:

Ideat Magazine-June 2011 via iiiinspired

<Ideat Magazine-June 2011 via iiiinspired>

Of course, if you have any additional ideas/suggestions I would be forever grateful. Don’t support the husband’s I-told-you-so-its-dead-campaign.

Back from the Dead – and a Pinterest Challenge

Naturally, my first instinct is to apologize for being gone for so long. But then I realize that is the beauty of this blog. It is mine and I started it for me. Even if it grows into something a little more mature one day, I don’t want to lose sight of that. After all, let’s be honest, sure I would love to be specialized enough here to only do DIY and design related posts, but again, this is my blog, and while those are the things I enjoy, they are not all that there is to me and certainly I am no real expert at either (while I am always working to get there).  Those elements will always be a part of what I want to include on this corner of the internet that is mine, but I first and foremost always want this to be a place where I write whatever I feel like, when I feel like it.

I realized all of this only after specifically trying to ignore the fact that I had a blog for quite a while because every time I thought of it I was filled with a horrible swirl of both guilt and irresponsibiltiy. I have wanted to be a blogger for a long time, and now that I had it up and going, how could I let it just sit there? Then I got over myself, sat down and thought about what I wanted this site to be like and the lightbulb of the first paragraph hit me. And the truth is, life has changed a lot in this time I have been silent, and I see now that in order to keep my sanity – something I am generally holding onto by a thread – I had to put it to the wayside. It was just not the right time or place to try and create any sort of content – it wasn’t the therapy I needed then (because after all, blogging is generally my source of therapy.)

Which leads me to some very exciting news:

  1. I quit me job… literally YESTERDAY was my last day, crazy-sauce.
  2. I moved to Ventura, CA (sure its a beach town to beach town move, but this is pretty extreme for us. The comment we heard most often from our South Bay friends: “Might as well be Canada.”)

What this means for me/my family/my career/this blog:

I don’t know exactly yet, and that makes me incredibly excited (also slightly terrified)

All I can really do right now is make some goals, so far I have the following:

  1. Complete my web design/development studies on Treehouse to build upon the Graphic/Web Design program I was in at Otis College of Art and Design
  2. Make the blog a priority while never forgetting I am blogging for me and about what I want – so since I am the queen of over-promising here, I won’t say it will be every day, but I do plan to set aside sometime each day to focus on it, whether that results in 1, 3 or 5 posts a week, we will find out. This set aside time may also just turn into simply a brainstorming sessions that I occasionally share with you. I don’t have a solid plan yet, just ideas and my life is in such a transition period that really thinking about how I want to shape my life is an amazing opportunity that I can’t just squander. Well, it will be that and fun DIY or home improvement work that just makes me happy as  a clam.
  3. Be better about keeping the house clean and my plants alive – now, instead of being in the office all day, I will be around them and in my place, so even if this wasn’t a goal, it would probably still happen. I just can’t work in filth and I would love to see happy plants rather than the sad wilty ones I have today.
  4. No longer go days without moving – Ok that is a slight exaggeration, but honestly with work, school, freelancing, and finally taking a break from it all, I was successfully sitting, to go sit some more, to go home to sit at the computer or on my couch. Being at home 24/7 will make me stir crazy, so I will be taking the dog on many more (longer) walks and may even do some P90x or yoga on my “lunch breaks”

So in the spirit of getting right to it, I have joined some AWESOME (read: far-superior) blogger ladies in Kisha of Chronicled’s Pinterest Challenge: from INSPIRATION to CREATION! While it would seem pretty explanatory, what it is is taking one of those hundreds of I’ll-do-someday pins from your DIY board (come on, I know you have one, everyone does) and making it yourself, like in REAL LIFE! Whoa. Duh I want in. And we have a month. Double duh.

chronicled-blog_2ndPinterestChallenge

The hardest part has been deciding what to make for Settling Sideways. I do have a ton of amazing contenders on my ‘Things I want to do it myself‘ board, after all. But I figure, given that I have a little more free time on my hands than usual.. I will start with idea I like and if there is time left over, get going on second or third idea.

So here is what I will be doing first:

IKEA Hack Storage

with some yummy leather handle pulls:

Leather Handle Pulls by The Brick House

image 1 – by K. Klose as featured on IKEA Hackers / image 2 – by Morgan at The Brick House

I have had an old, IKEA-style storage thing, like the one in the first photo for years. I can’t bring myself to toss it because I always store stuff in it, but I have always hid it away in some corner of our apartment because I am not a crazy fan of how it looks. I think if I paint it white, add some lovely wood and black doors, and maybe some leather handles, I could let it shine out in the open. Maybe put some bar fixin’s on top? Should be a fun trial and error, in the very least.

With that – please be sure to check in on the other amazing projects happening for this challenge – four pretty badass ladies with some great blogs:

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/

Do you find this pinteresting? Check back at the end of the month to see all our final products!

1-800-I-LIVE-HERE.com

Ohmygoodnesswowwowwow!!  This is where I live now.

dayem, that’s a PRETTY SWEET CLUTCH, you might say

Oi boy, peoples.  The end of June and itty-bitty bit of July we have experience so far has been off-the-rocker crazy-busy and stressful.  Once upon a time I was excited about the idea of moving and looking for a new place, but oh, the times how they have been changing.  I hope this new place we found will be a bit more permanent because I don’t want to have to go through this again anytime soon…

Anyways.. in other news, as I mentioned a few days ago, another DIY project has been completed!  This wasn’t a totally unique or personally developed idea so I don’t have my own tutorial to share.  Instead I am pleased to share with you the sources for my project:

Purl Bee did this awesome clutch and I totally copied the crap out of it.

Because I was wanting to add a bit more something-something, I added some DIY tassels via Once Wed.

Here is my end result, which I am very happy with.  I do love the Purl Bee one a little more I think, but I felt like taking a risk with the colors.  Regarding the project itself — it sucked, I am not going to beat around the bush on this because I love you all too much to lie to you.  It took forever and hurt my fingers.  That being said though, I am not a pro needle-pointress, mostly because I am not a single lady living with thirty cats and/or I just haven’t done it much.  The nice thing about it was that I could work on it whilst watching TV or on road trips.  Maybe the whole project would have gone faster and maybe would have been more fun if I was a pro, but I am very happy with how it turned out and have gotten a lot of compliments, so I suppose it was worth it.

Hookay, well, back on the subject of moving, I have two weeks to pack, throw-out unwanted/unused things, and clean our current place — and I can’t wait to share our new spot.  I love, love, love it, in a its-got-potential sort of way.

AND I still owe you some love on the garage sale and my Washington trip, rawr, why am I so busy right now??!

And I am le tired.  Le shit.

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