The Mess that is Currently My Home

So…it’s been interesting around here for the past week or two.

Wanna see what’s up?


That is on the other side of my front door.ย And to the right:


Mainly the contents of the guest room. And I was just starting to feel good about how it was looking…isn’t that how this whole decorating thing works? ๐Ÿ˜‰ If you follow me on Instagram, you know I’ve been working on it for a while. Here’s a little example:



I had repainted the furniture and figured out which color to use on the walls (Indulgent Mocha from Behr’s my go to neutral). Then, I ordered roller shades (the same one that are in the dining room [period appropriate, they protect the hardwood by keeping allย the light out and they’re cheap!) from JCPenny.

But the stuff really hit the fan when we had some people over for dinner and were showing them around. You know, giving them the tour ๐Ÿ˜‰ One of our friends suggested pulling up a corner of the carpet to see if the hardwood in the entryway and dining room continued into the other rooms original to the home.

So we did. And it does!



Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled. Iย hateย carpet. Iย loveย hardwood. But. The problem with the hardwood in the guest room…is it’s painted. Brown with nice white speckles all the way around. And, I don’t know when it was painted or with what exactly…which makes me nervous. Please, please don’t be toxic…


Now. I know it can be fixed. But that’s expensive and we can’t make it happen right away.ย So what would’ve possessed me to pull up the carpet?

Glad you asked – I didn’t! This was JBoat’s doing ๐Ÿ˜‰ A little late-night hang out with a friend and suddenly, all the furniture’s out and the carpet’s up and the room’s kinda-painted.

Yay, paint!

So, I’m looking at the bright side. This means I can get an estimate from some local guys who would be up to the task of refinishing all this hardwood. It also means the light fixture we got for Christmas last year has been installed. The ceiling’s been painted (Swiss Coffee) and the walls are almost done.ย It means the carpet is gone. And we didn’t even have to take it to the dump – a friend wanted to repurpose it!

I’m hoping to get as much of the brown paint (and all the white stuff) off the floor as possible. Then, I’ll use Murphy’s Oil Soap to get it really clean. Maybe get a rug or something…it’s a great excuse for a new rug. I like this one best:



Nate Berkus Diamond Jute Area Rug

And, I painted and rehung the door – I’ll post a tutorial. True progress, guys.


Sorry for the shabby iPhone photos.

So, this could be a win-win situation. I guess we’ll see how things play out!



An Idiot’s Guide to Communication

So, I feel like such an idiot sometimes.

Like, regularly.

I’m guessing you, too, have been interacting with lots of different people who all communicate. And I seem to have a really hard time communicating effectively with them all.

As the saying goes, “The world would be a boring place if we were all the same.”

But would it? Because I’m starting to think it would be so. Much. Easier.

Not less exciting. I’m sure it would be kinda boring. But less frustrating and discouraging.

I know, idiot idea, right?

Nowadays, the world runs on text-based communication. Emails, text messages, blog posts ๐Ÿ˜‰ And we’ve all heard the statistics about how much less we communicate with others verbally than any generation before us. And I’m thinking, “Ya, that’s cool; that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.”




It is a bad thing. Because over text, it is so much easier to interpret messages as mean, negative, degrading, etc.

And I’m always thinking to myself, “Surely they don’t mean it like thatโ€ฆdo they?”

Because I wouldn’t mean it that way. I was raised to say please and thank you. Yes, ma’am and no sir. To be polite and to put effort and thought into how someone on the other end might interpret my words.

But, not everyone else does.

And this is were I wish we were all the same.

I’ve heard all the stuff about how it’s the receiver’s fault for how they understand the relayed message. And I couldn’t disagree more. Communication is a two-way street! And the deliverer has to take some responsibility for how his or her message is interpreted.

So imagine, before typing an email or sending out that tweet, if everyone were to really considered how their words will be received.

What a wonderful world it could be ๐Ÿ™‚





Mind. Blown.


On the left there, in the orange, is one of the printable from the last post.

And it’s probably not a big deal. But the 68 reprints and 10 likes have me freaking out!!!

So I was really excited… ๐Ÿ˜€ thank you!

BTW, have you heard of LookMazing? No? Can’t wait to share!

To the Walls

Hey there!

Last post, I went into the deets about my home office. Now, I wanna talk about what I have up in my gallery wall.




From left to right:

A picture of my Compassion kid (Check out more on Compassion International here)

Aย  California State Park Foundation SOS badge

My first free printableย ๐Ÿ™‚

My Tomales Bay printable

A San Francisco poster I found at a little shop in Sonora, Ca

A new printable!

A vintage map of Twain Harte I found in my grandad’s things

A poster from Anchor Steam in San Francisco

A poster from Rifle Paper Company

And another new printable!

It’s nothing fancy. Just some things I love put up with paper tap and thumbtacks. Feels a little more like home with some of these on the wall ๐Ÿ™‚

On to the printables!



fall2Each is a quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald’sย The Great Gatsby about fall! They’re all designed to be 8.5in x 11in full size..but they’d be superย cute framed in a row ๐Ÿ™‚


My Office

I thought I’d give you a peek at what I’ve been working on around my home lately.

Since I work from home now…it seemed appropriate that I have an office set up there. It’s not a large room and I haven’t put a ton of money into it, but it’s my space to do whatever with. And it’s almost done!

Here’s a few pictures:



Blurry – darn! This is from the living room door, one of the two doors into the office. I just had to get the light fixture in there for you – isn’t it beautiful! Justin got it for me for my birthday a few years ago…I think…from Home Depot. I love the true brass finish on it! Not necessarily practical for lighting the entire room, but thats why:

1. I got a lamp ๐Ÿ™‚ from Target

2. I have a window behind my desk

I know it’s all the rage to have your desk face a window, but I’m claustrophobic. And it gives me a great excuse to eventually have some awesome window treatments ๐Ÿ™‚

I don’t care what people say, excuses can be pretty useful!

The color on the walls was from the Martha Steward collection, matched to Behr’s low-vac, low-sheen paint at Home Depot. The paint originally on the walls was so glossy and so on the yellow-end-of-beige that I couldn’t wait to get something else up there!

IMG_5284The view from behind the desk…I gotta get those wires under control (from the lamp and the monitor), but one thing at a time ๐Ÿ˜‰

The desk is obviously from Ikea – I had the birch desk and bookshelf (why?!), but we sold it on Craigslist and then bought this beauty-of-a-white-set for $25 out of pocket after our profit.

The bamboo white chair is a vintage Good Will find that I painted. It was only $7!

The lamp is no longer available at Target (similar). I waited and waited for it to go on clearance because I loved the scale, and the hollowness helps it seem like the lamp isn’t totally taking over my deskspace…even though it still kinda does ๐Ÿ˜‰ The thing is huge. The office-supplies-box/Riffle-Paper-wanna-be-box-of-awesome-stuff is also from Target (couldn’t find it online, but it could be in the clearance section of your local store), as are the little jar-thingy on the left and the paper tape (washi tape? whatever). ‘Cause I buy just about everything I own from Target.

The quail is from ย Scout Livingย and I’m in love with it.

True love comes from inanimate objects.

The adorable little box is from a DIY my friend Renee Hong did for the Knotty Brideย – our rings made a special appearance in the post (and my wedding dress in the following DIY post!) so I kept the loot.

The framed lyrics are from the Oh Hello’s loveliness “Like the Dawn” (I cried like a baby when I first listened to it…I think it’s about Adam and Eve). Let me know if I should post it as a printable here!

And that monitor…let’s face it, graphic designers have an issue with back and neck pains. From staring at a 15in. display. All. Day. Long! So my husband grabbed that for me. It’s not retina compatible or anything (I’m so high maintenance), but it really comes in handy when working in multiple programs.

So! What’s left to do?

1. Window treatment. I’m thinking something like this or this or this

2. Hang up some more shesh and add storage to the closet.

3. Replacing the hardwood. We’ll do that when we re-floor the living room and continue said flooring into the office ๐Ÿ™‚

Next I’ll post about what I’ve got up on the walls and a few free fall printables! See you then.

The Look for Less

So. Let’s talk about furniture.

Why is it so freaking expensive!

Oh, come on. You know it is. 3 years ago, I could find a name brand couch on Craigslist for $300. Now, I’m lucky to find one for twice that much!

So I decided to make furniture shopping easier.

Here are some of my favorite accent tables on the market and their CHEAPER counterparts.

Ya, like the Look for Less.

Man, I really enjoyed that TV show back in the day ๐Ÿ˜‰



+ | + | + | + |ย + | + | + | +

Please enjoy – especially the cheaper, ummm, more frugal, options ๐Ÿ˜‰

Fall is Coming

So if you’re a Song of Fire and Ice fan, you know the Starks have this thing about winter.

Well, I’ve got a thing for fall <3 Cozy clothes, awesome candles, thick blankets, delicious food...oh, and the usual falling leaves and pumpkins and stuff ๐Ÿ˜‰ But, like I mentioned, fall foods are some of my favs. Pie and comfort foods and citrus...and I can use my oven again! Here are 2 recipes I've tried so far that I'm loving for fall: Tomato basil chicken – While summer’s tomatoes may be coming to a end, utilizing them for this recipe won’t disappoint! In fact, I can’t wait to make this again, butter and all ๐Ÿ˜‰

Quinoa chicken chili – This is so hearty and delicious. I’d recommend using a packet of taco seasoning in place or the recommended spices – the quinoa seems to soak in and then somehow eliminate the kick originally provided by the red pepper flakes. This is cooked entirely in a crockpot ๐Ÿ˜ฎ and thickens up nicely overnight in the fridge. Top with cheese, Greek yogurt and avocado for something extra special!

Btw, I used Trader Joe’s frozen, all natural, nothing added, yada yada chicken tenders in place of chicken breasts in both recipes ๐Ÿ™‚ works just fine, is cheaper and helps avoid protein overloading!

Another BTW – have you seen this going around online?


How rude. Seriously. Ladies, do our husbands (well, hopefully all our husbands) not help support our families? Carry much, if not all, of the financial responsibility? Mow the lawn, take care of the trash, deal with the car maintenance stuff? Handy-man tasks too complicated/taxing/dangerous for us fragile damsels?
Aka, everything we don’t want to do?
Sure, I won’t deny that my husband pretends to not know how to do the laundry ๐Ÿ˜› but I also can’t deny how much he does for me every day.
Bottom line: a married couple is like a team – supporting, encouraging and sharpening one another. So let’s not disrespect our men by equating them with children. Let’s instead acknowledge all they do for us when we’re frustrated by the upright toilet seat again ๐Ÿ˜‰

Much love.

Speaking of…

Dating and stuff.

Seems to be my thing right now ๐Ÿ˜‰

I hear so often from people that certain couples, “Aren’t good together.”

“She doesn’t even know him.”

“I don’t like how he treats her.”

“What does she see in him, anyway?”

Oh hey, don’t get me wrong. I’m a culprit here, too. I have my critiques of certain pairings. But I’ve had a few directed at myself in my day and it’s seriously changing how I view other people’s relationships.

Like…When I dated my high school boyfriend.
Oh I know. You can feel the drama coming.
His friends loved me. But his parents didn’t.
Ya, major yikes.
That was tough. And awkward. And damaging to my self-esteem.
You get it.

Then, when I started dating Justin, most of his friends liked me. But I wasn’t always sure about all of them.
Just twist that knife a little further, why dontcha?

Talk about confusing. I won’t go into detail because some things are better kept off the Internet ๐Ÿ˜‰ but while I was dating, I found my circle of influence colliding with someone else’s in a very unique way. I expected to be received with open arms. When you’re dating someone, it’s typical to want to impress the fam and friends. But when I hit some, uh, speed bumps, it kinda tore me up.

My inner dialogue was something like this:
“Wait, they don’t like me? I’m not likable? Why? It has to be something I did. I have to be more careful! I can’t believe I messed this up. How can I fix this? Or can I?”

And so on and so forth.

I’ve learned something from these experiences though.

News flash: Not everyone is going to like me.
And not everyone is going to like me with my boyfriend (uh, once you’re married it doesn’t really matter what the critics think ;))

So. Here’s what I’m still learning:

1. Friends and family are important. Their opinions are valuable and should be heard. But if you’re a grown adult, it’s time to start making independent decisions. So your parents think you’re boyfriend’s too goofy? That he’s not taking himself seriously?
If you really like this guy and know that he takes you and your potential future together seriously despite the silliness, it may be time to thank them for their input and then end the conversation. Your friends think your man works too much? That’s nice. But does it bother you?

Anyone you date will always be too something for someone. Whether it’s your mom, BFF, coworker, lab partner, etc who brings up what’s wrong with your main squeeze, be secure in your decision and your feelings for him.
However. If someone brings up an issue of past or current violent, manipulative or abusive behaviors – listen carefully and reevaluate.

2. People tend to be critical when they’re envious. I’ve heard women criticize their friends for dating guys who were too wealthy, romantic, God-fearing…

Gah, I knew a girl whose mother confronted her because her boyfriend spent too much time at church!

If a complaint seems like jealousy, it might be. Your friend may be doing just that. Complaining. Because her man doesn’t make a lot of money, doesn’t pick wild flowers for them (yep, I know a guy who does that for his wife), doesn’t go to church with them.
Remember, these complaints she’s making against your significant other may actually be about the things she wishes for in their own men.
If a close friend is doing this, talk to her about it.
If its not a close friend, consider making your dating life off-limits to the complainer. If you don’t bring it up, but she does – you don’t have to go into detail when talking with her. So don’t! Hopefully, starving off her knowledge of your personal life will give her less to be green over.

3. There is a chance the critic has a point.
This is the hardest thing to accept. As discussed in the last post, I don’t think dating is just for funsies. So, when someone points out an honest fault in your boyfriend, it hurts.

I remember really liking this guy once upon a time, but it just wasn’t working. I was talking to a mentor about it and she asked if I knew the guy I was kinda “with” but also kinda “not with” was already seeing another girl. And, in fact, they were going out with some other students she knew that weekend. And I needed to let it go, because they’d been talking for a while.
Talk about ouch. I didn’t need any more time to think about things after that. I was done. And I’m so glad she told me.
Even though it hurt.

If a guy is dragging you down through his hurtful words, physical abuse, threats, illegal behavior, dishonesty…and a friend brings it to your attention, then you owe it to yourself to listen.

4. If you’re playing the role of the critic – and this applies to me, too – back off! So you don’t like the guy because of something he did way back when. But he treats your friend like a princess. And has been better since he started dating her…maybe she’s rubbing off on him. Or you’re jealous because your man doesn’t visit you at work. Talk to him about it. Or you wish your boyfriend could afford to take you to that One Republic concert…or because you wish you had a boyfriend…you get the point.

It’s human to want things other people have. But it’s also destructive. Especially to your own happiness. If your critiques do come down to greenness, consider being real about it. Talk to your dating friend about how you feel. That maybe you shouldn’t talk about all the awesomeness in her love life right now because it’s hard for you to really be genuinely happy for her. And that’s ok. As long as you’re telling her so in love and with an apology. Don’t damage your friendship because of your envy.

Bottom line – no one wants to be criticized. And no one wants to be judged. So be aware of your relationship. Was what your friend said last week about your guy honest? Is it something you need to address? Was your dad just being protective, or is the way your boyfriend treats you a problem? And, are you acting out of jealousy when you complain about your friend’s relationship?

And ladies, about your man’s guy-friends – hopefully they are respectful and supportive and care for you.
But in case they don’t.
Guy-friends might be jealous of all the attention you get from your man. Or, they might even be jealous that he asked you out first! ๐Ÿ˜‰
So if they don’t seem to like you, ask yourself:
“Are they single?” This will help you know more about their relational capacity. Relationships take up lots of time and attention and so on. If they are single, they may not understand why you’re hogging all of their friend’s resources.
“Do they really care about my man?” If they do, they will adjust if they see he’s happy with you and serious about you.
“Have I done something to offend them?” Don’t over-analysis this one. But if you have a nagging feeling that you’ve done something to wrong them, talk to your guy about it and fix it. Problem solved ๐Ÿ˜‰

Off the soap box now. Relationships can be complicated. But they’re so worth it.