Trash vs Treasure 

I admire minimalists. I do. To have that superpower must be amazing. It is not something I have ever possessed.

Here’s my confession: I like stuff.

I am a collector, a curator if you want to make it sound classier. A hoarder if you aren’t feeling so charitable. I find comfort in having the familiar around me. And my familiar happens to be more than most. As a young girl, I collected rocks and anything to do with cats. As an adult, I still have these collections…and then you when add in artwork, my grandmother’s tea sets,  oh so many books and whatever else catches my eye, you have a lot more boxes to unpack after moving.  This doesn’t even account for the fact that my husband is also a major collector. He has comic books galore; he owns statues and figures and sports memorabilia out to wazoo.  Everyone has their “thing.” The key comes in figuring out how best to display the items that you’re passionate about.

This tendency to collect is something I have and will continue to struggle to accept about myself. It’s not a bad trait, but sometimes I get so caught up in how much stuff I have that I forget the joy of certain pieces and the reasons I fell in love in the first place (usually when I need to dust, if I’m fully honest). Collecting is all well and good. A well-displayed collection can be a focal point and conversation piece in any space. It can add interest, bring joy (or horror depending on the collection) and just plain look cool… if it’s well edited.

This month I’ve tried to focus on how to display my collections in a way that brings us happiness every day. My husband’s collections are more extensive than mine and one of our biggest challenges as we blended our belongings was finding ways to organize and display all our stuff in a cohesive way. Honestly I think this will be a lifelong puzzle.

Here are some ideas that we’ve fallen in love with:

The options for displaying collections  seem endless because there are just so many different paths you could take. You really can go many directions. The biggest thing to remember is to you make sure to enjoy the process. Drop a comment telling me what you like to collect and why… let’s compare tips!

 

Moving On Up

We’ve officially been in our new apartment for about 3 weeks, and it’s really starting to feel like home. Many boxes are unpacked, we’ve started getting some art up on the wall, and the place looks a little less like a fire hazard. 

What’s your first priority when you move in somewhere? For us it was clothes and the kitchen. Those we had up and away in a hot minute. I gotta admit, I just unpacked the majority of our bathroom stuff today. Why do we own so many products when we only use a few? Life’s questions. 

Here’s a few photos of what we started out with. I can’t wait to share what we do with this place long term. 




I love all the windows in this place. The gray brings a calming effect and some instant atmosphere that we adore. It feels like home already.

It’s time for the Honeymoon: Year 2!

Friday Five

Another week has gone by and it just doesn’t seem real that September is halfway over. Is fall here yet? It surely doesn’t feel like it. 

1) I have a public service announcement for y’all. From me to you. When painting, be very, very careful to not mix up your drink with your paint water. Share to save a life. And keep your tongue from turning blue. Labels save lives people. 

2)  This week we actually stayed near 80 degrees for awhile. It was like the briefest glimpse of respite, to be snatched away oh so quickly. I’ve never gotten used to the idea that the leaves can change while you can still roast an egg on the sidewalk. Madness.

3) I spent a lot of time this week planning and plotting for things for Moqqup Studios and I am so excited for what’s coming. However, with that excitement also comes intimidation and maybe some panic. Who says we can do this? What if our plans don’t go through? When I shared my thoughts with my sister, she sent me this and I have to say, one of my favorite reads this year. I love this. I encourage you all to read this post by Bower Power Blog and remember that there is no such thing as a picture perfect life and that yes, dust is a real thing.

4) Speaking of perfect spaces and potential, I am in full house hunting mode. Does Trulia suck anyone else in on a routine basis? Just me? Oops. That’s been my stress relief this week. Comes highly recommended.

5) I have never seen a puppy so devoted to someone as our dog is to my husband. The sun rises and sets on this man to her. He went out to run errands this week and Bella lay by the doorway pretty much the whole time waiting on him to come back to her. It was cute and sad all at one time. 

Do you know how many photos we have of Bella waiting on Chris to come home? Countless. Bless her.

Devotion in its truest form



She brought her blanket to this one.


How can you say ‘no’ to those eyes? I’m honestly not sure how he leaves the house. I’m weak.

Enjoy your weekends, everyone!

It’s Finally Friday!

Finally Friday and I’m just oh so excited! My day is going to be spent catching up on life before a busy weekend starts. 

Here’s my five takeaways from this week:

1) This Sunday I got to visit my niece. She is still adorable, in case you wondered and is a champion sleeper. 

Can’t even handle the cuteness


2) Last week I lopped off and donate 12″ of hair. While I originally intended to use Wigs For Kids, upon further examination they don’t accept colored hair. We decided instead to use Children With Hair Loss

I have to say the change definitely keeps striking me at random times. My hair hasn’t been this short in at least 5 years, possibly ever. My entire hair styling world is thrown for a loop. 

How is it that hair feels so much more cooperative when it’s not attached to your head anymore?

3) I killed my plant. This wasn’t the exciting part; I’m actually fairly disappointed that I am such a black thumb. BUT I did already get a new, supposedly hardy option that I’m hoping will be just fabulous and make me feel like I am a master gardener. We’ll see how long that lasts!

Ignore our classy baggies to catch excess water. We need to hit Home Depot to grab more trays

4) Instagram and I have really been bonding lately. I’ve recently started exploring all the different designers and bloggers in that world and I am beyond excited to immerse myself in this world. 

5) I’m extremely grateful for empty days on the calendar. It feels like the past few weeks have been nonstop from every angle. As I type, I’m mentally prepping to spend the next three hours doing art. Do you know how long it’s been since this was a thing? Far too long. Eek! I can’t wait to share some of the results. 

Happy Friday, friends! May your day be filled with joy, laughter, and lots of productivity.

As a wedding speeds towards us and the start of a new chapter coming, my beloved and I have been looking at different rental properties. With both houses and apartments are on the options list, we’ve picked up some valuable tidbits about each other left and right.

For starters, I don’t play hardball so well. I love everything, as long as it’s clean. I am a sucker. I’ve also learned that I’m fairly cheap. I’ve gotten really used to not paying rent. I am not looking forward to changing that. ‘C’ is more prepared for that and thinks I’m hilarious and slightly ridiculous when I panic every hour or so. He is not wrong.

Secondly, I am extremely optimistic about our lifestyle. Glass half full is an excellent way to describe me. Whether it’s a ridiculously small living space or completely dysfunctional kitchen, I have a slightly manic “we can do it!” attitude. We don’t have that much stuff right? We can make that work, easy. I’m fairly certain this stems from the differences in our last living situations. The last apartment I lived in was beyond tiny. You could fit a twin sized bed in the bedroom, but not much else. There wasn’t even room in that apartment for a stove. We made do with a camp stove. My other half, however, was last in a two bedroom, two bath 1,100 square foot space with decent amenities. And he wants the same or better for the new place.  Who could blame him?

FullSizeRender

One of us is clearly more selective than the other. Clearly I need to raise my standards a bit.

In this case, I’m glad my fiance is more discerning than me. We can design and DIY our way through a lot of things, but I’m glad he realizes the things that I will pitch fits about later, even when I pretend I’ll be fine. Instead, I’ve moved straight into nesting. I may not want to work on any of my other current projects or work on my To Do list, but antiquing for furniture for a home we don’t have yet? Sign me up. I have ideas overflowing and bulletin boards that reflect that, both real and online. I can’t wait to begin.

How do you react to a house hunt? Anyone else love everything they see? Let us know in the comments below.

Winter is Coming

Or, more importantly, the Holidays are coming. I know you must be tired of hearing it, but I need to repeat it anyways, if only for my personal benefit. They’re coming, whether we are ready or not.

I’m not skipping Thanksgiving, I swear, but… it needs to be said, in my world, planning makes everything seem more sane. It also keeps me from utterly blowing my holiday budget. I love gift giving which makes me prone to overspending a smidge lot. As I type this, my beloved is beside me making a chart of all the gifts we’re giving to friends and family. He’s also repeatedly trying to make me swear I will not get more than what’s on the chart. I think he’d ask me to sign a blood oath if he thought it would work. What can I say honey, I’ve already got gifts hidden away that you will never know about learn about on December 25th. Mea culpa. At least I’ve improved since last year.

Setting my secrets aside, how do you plan now to give yourself more family time later?

My top recommendation to give yourself peace this Christmas is to stay organized. Make a list, actually stick to it (do as I say, not as as I do) and start early.

Mark your calendar with everything that’s coming in November and December. Upcoming parties, gift wrapping sessions, holiday cards, decorating, baking, caroling, school plays… all of these events need their own space on your calendar in order to keep you organized.

I keep a running list on my phone of gift ideas for people. Some are generic, some are specifically for a certain person, which I notate. Whenever I come across something in a store or an idea online, I jot it down. It never fails that I feel uninspired when it’s actually gift buying time, so I use this as a backup. My mother keeps a gift book. She has pages for each of us and writes down every gift she gives for each year. She adds to it every season so that she doesn’t double gift a year or two down the road. I have envied/admired this for several years, but this is the first year I’ve made my own.

hot cocoa break

Be sure to put yourself in a festive mood while you plan

Next goal: prioritize. You cannot do everything. My sister made a list a few years ago of holiday traditions she remembers and/or saw somewhere and wanted to try. Each year she picks her top choices and works them into her family’s calendar. One year she may make it through her entire list, but that year is not this year. Alas.

Above all, remember to cherish this season. 2015 has been a hard year for everyone; take time to enjoy your family and your blessings. I know we will be doing the same. Happy Holidays!