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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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.

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!

This is why I love the internets

I am a total Mac groupie. I LOVED my iPhone. It was the best, honestly and truly. I can’t even give you any super quantitative reasons for why, but just don’t bother talking to me about your Android phone as I am blindly committed to how awesome the iPhone is. Unfortunately, however, with my leaving work, I also had to hand in my much-loved, work-provided cellular device. And with it went my easy access to the best app of all the apps, Instagram.

I do have a tablet, which I used to take the photo below with, but it 1. is not convenient to carry around and snap photos with 2. it has far worse point and shoot camera specs. I am sure most are thinking, why don’t you just buy your own iPhone, like the rest of the world (less those dummies with Androids)? Well if that was a simple answer, I would share that with you, but instead just trust we have our reasons (short-term: sad yet also long-term: exciting reasons.)

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// This photo is of some totally delicious and healthy blueberry french toast that I made last Saturday YUMS! //

There is a light at the end of the tunnel though – not the happiest, brightest light, but at least a florescent bulb. My husband’s new job has ordered him some fancy (Android) smart phone and I am totally commandeering it, when needed, for my Instagram pleasure.

In the meantime, my Instagram account is a little sad and the above picture is all I have for recent photos, so for fun and because I don’t have much else to report, here are some of my favorite internet finds from this week:

+ Over 100 corgis at this event in the Pacific Northwest. I would have totally attended but I might have died of happiness.

+ If I did my wedding over again it might just look something like this (featured on Brooklyn Bride), with a little bit of YEAH! Rentals action and Max Wanger Photography thrown into the mix. Love everything – the dress, the neon sign, the invites, the bands, the gold details.. swooooon.

+ I have been told by MANY that my personality doppelgänger is Aubrey Plaza (particularly if/when I am hungover – which has never happened*…,) and while she probably shouldn’t be anyone’s role model, I am taking it as a compliment because I find her outstandingly hilarious, all of which makes me want to see this movie. Plus, being linked to her is much better than who people actually have mistaken me for. Like really, it’s happened at least 10 times – in college, one customer at Starbucks even refused to call me ‘Ryann’ and instead called me ‘Lindsey.’ EVERY. DAY.

     * this is a lie.

+ UO has Bullet Planters? WHAAAA? I want. Too bad I don’t have a money tree, otherwise I would buy one in every color, in both sizes. Also, H&M Home is kinda killing it – with this (in orange and dark green please,) this (cutest toy for Jenny,) and this (perfect for a makeup tin,) and this, and this.

+ These photos by Fiona Conrad have me daydreaming of a trip to Santorini. Just beautiful.

+ Alex and I have been talking a lot about making our own bloody mary’s. Well, this recipe by A Beautiful Mess has me ready to stop talking the talk and finally walk the walk. Or drink the drank.

+ Here are a bunch of incredible tricks that my dog can’t do. But we love her anyway. This dog is very appropriately named ‘Jumpy’. How adorbs.

+ This week’s soundtrack has simply been these two songs on repeat: Lucius, Two of Us on the Run (really all of Lucius’ songs) and Walk the Moon, Shiver Shiver (officially unofficial band-made music video)

+ If you know me in real life and we have happened to discuss kids at all, you have probably heard me say that I really only would want one/them to decorate its/their room(s) and to dress it/them up – see my Pinterest board ‘If I ever change my mind about children‘. Its a pretty horrible, but honest truth. I like kids, I really do, I just have little-to-no baby fever. This Buzzfeed post, however, does make me want to borrow one for dress up reasons (much like my Halloween post from last year.) Also, I am a horrible human being, but seriously, have kids and let me be the crazy aunt-lady. (Alright, fine, #6, 12, and 22 do give my lady parts a tiny twist of desire to have a little Wesley James Moore, some day. The tiniest bit of desire.)

+ An older article, but one I reread this week and if you are a bride, you should to: Why you need a Wedding Planner.

+ Whoooo wouldn’t want these awesome Owl Letterpress Cards? See what I did there?…

+ I LOVE this embroidery artwork that the Jealous Curator tracked down by Stephanie K. Clark. Along with the JC, I am thinking “DAMN I WISH I THOUGHT OF THAT.” Besides that, I want them all.

+ Alright so my plan is: devote one room’s wall space to Stephanie K. Clark’s creations, and another to these gemstone prints. Must collect them all!

+ I am overloading you with dog stuff today, but really how totally cute is this make your own felt dog kit? What a great gift idea for (ME) someone who loves their pooch?

+ Speaking of gifts, this has to be one of my favorite finds of the entire year, not just this week. Not Another Bill is a service that allows you to sign up/subscribe so that you or a friend receives cool new surprises in the mail every month. Some of their past month’s gifts seem amazing.. now if only I could find that money tree…

Happy weekend to all, and to all a good night.

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.

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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!

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