Dreaming of a Fall Wardrobe

Much to my chagrin, it would seem the first day of fall is today. Harumph. It's not fall so much that I mind. It's more the end of summer. My beloved, favorite season.

To get over my grump, I've rounded up my shopping escapades in the hopes that they cheer you up as well. 

Everlane Suede Heel Bootie

Everlane Suede Heel Bootie

J.Crew Sweater Blazer

J.Crew Sweater Blazer

Draped Mock Neck Blouse

Draped Mock Neck Blouse

Taupe Long Cut Blazer

Taupe Long Cut Blazer

Wrap front top

Wrap front top

Paige Hoxton Denim

Paige Hoxton Denim

Amazon Plaid Blanket Scarf ($12!!!)

Amazon Plaid Blanket Scarf ($12!!!)

Mini Dotted Dress

Mini Dotted Dress

Printed Slides

Printed Slides

What have you found to drown your summer's ending sorrows? Share with me!

A Hidden Swan: Dresser Rehab


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I'm really proud of this gal. I was late night craigslisting and saw it. I'm kicking myself now but I don't have any 'before' pictures. :( It's a pine dresser and its original state was yellow and glossy. Very cabin-esque with wooden knobs on it. The closest I can find online that looks similar is here:

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Not my taste. But I really loved the lines of the dresser I found and it was an affordable $60!

The day we brought it home, I started to sand it. And sand, and sand and sand. I spent some time googling how to get a professional finish. In the past, i've found my DIY wood projects still look very homemade. Turns out its all in the sanding. I used 80, 100, 150, 220, and 320 on every part of the dresser. It equated to about two weeks of sanding after work. I'm pretty sick of it.

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I would do it again though. 

After sanding, I used wood conditioner. I've never used it before but I think it really made a difference in how smooth the stain went on the wood. I'd recommend it. 

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The conditioner only sets for 10 minutes before its ready for stain. I used Minwax Early American and REALLY love the color. Even on pine, it does a great job of giving the woodgrain depth.

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I found new knobs at CB2, which could be my second soul sister behind West Elm. I think they could pair well on bedside tables as well..just need to figure out where/what those will be. 

I'm SO happy with the end product. It turned out better than I thought it could WITH the added bonus of extra storage that my previous dresser didn't offer.

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I think the moral of this story is, if you see a dresser with good bones for under 100 bones, go for it.

Also, it could have been by addled sanding mind but doesn't this woodgrain on the side of my dresser look like an elephant profile? Tell me you can see it?

Also the cactus on my dresser is FAKE! FAUX! PLASTIC! Hobby Lobby for the win there.

We built a lofted upholstered bed.


Ohhh my goodness, do I love this thing. We've never had a bed frame before.  I love how it makes the room feel more pulled together. We still need to sort out nightstands and bedside sconces but I was too excited about the bed to wait to share. 

It's hard for me to get the color captured in the photos, but the fabric is a navy twill. It's a nice deep true blue. 

You might also notice the mattress comes up to my waist. We lofted it for our dogs. If you would have told me I'd do something like that a few years ago, I would have thought you were nuts. But it's us. We're nuts.

Since getting Pippin, our second dog, our bedroom started to feel crowded at night. They sleep on two big dog beds on the floor that take up most of the walking room. We noticed that some nights, they would squeeze themselves underneath our bed. Both of them were just barely able to fit under there and more recently had been getting stuck when they tried to leave.

When I decided we should build ourselves a frame, we talked a lot about what we could do to help our space situation and came up with a lofted bed. It's really not hard to get into. It takes a little hop to pop up there- nothing more. 

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Building the bed was pretty straightforward. We used a tutorial by Jenny from Little Green Notebook to construct the base.

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We didn't know what to do about our box springs. Keeping them in one piece would have made the bed WAY too tall and so we would have had to cut down the legs which really defeats the purpose of a lofted bed. 

We ended up cutting apart the box spring and keeping the structured surface it sat on. I wish I would have taken pictures of what it looked like while we were deconstructing it but, alas, I seemed to have skipped doing that.

Upholstering the head and footboard went quickly as well. I watched this tutorial by Design Sponge to get an idea of the process. All in all, I ended up using 12 yards of fabric between the head and foot board and wrapping the sides.

The tutorial suggests using upholstery foam. That stuff is EXPENSIVE. So, instead, I used egg carton bed foam from Walmart. I used two per head/foot board and flipped them so the bumpy sides faced each other. 

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I am really happy with the result. In a previous headboard I made, I used upholstery foam and I truly can't tell the difference between this implementation and that one.

With such a dark frame, I wanted to make sure everything else in the room felt lighter. 

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I made a body pillow out of fabric I had been hoarding for a long time. We're not big decorative pillow fans so anything more than one pillow would just sit and collect dust. I think it could still use some tassels on the corners...

The duvet is from my dear love Schoolhouse Electric. I pine for most things in that store. Everything is all so beautiful.

The dogs love the bed too! As I was shooting this, they snoozed beneath.

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I'm so happy. 

But now the questions keep coming-

Sconces or lamps?

Dark or light nightstands? Wood or paint?

I just redid a dresser for this room that I found on craigslist for $65. That's coming tomorrow!

Let's Make Mondays Interesting


Our eclipse viewing spot during the eclipse last Monday in our friend's beautiful backyard.

Our eclipse viewing spot during the eclipse last Monday in our friend's beautiful backyard.

Happy Monday friends! Let's kick the last week of August off right!

Tricks for starting conversations. I'm the worst at coming up with conversations at networking events and typically default to blurting out weird things...these are better.

Bodies on Mt. Everest are used as landmarks.

My favorite online shop, Everlane, is opening up a flagship store! YAHOO!

CVS is carrying Korean beauty products! Give me all of the face masks.

A writer answers questions about dying.

If you didn't see this Pixar film short, you're missing out.

Amazing, Incredible Pickle Dip


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Hollllllllly cow is this stuff delicious. The stuff dreams are made of in my personal opinion. It takes about 10 minutes to whip up...and that could be because I'm a slow pickle cutter. The darn things are so slippery.

YOU NEED:

1 package 8oz cream cheese

1 16oz tub sour cream

12 petite pickles

3 sprigs of dill

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Corn Chips

Ok....ready for the instructions?

1. Chop up your pickles into small pieces- not so fine that you would lose them in the dip but small enough to be bite size.

2. Dump everything listed above, including your chopped pickles into a mixing bowl and stir

3. Eat and eat until you have to switch to elastic pants.

On second thought, start with wearing stretchy pants. It elimintes a whole step!

Let's Make Mondays Interesting


A Red Rocks sunset before the Avett Brothers a couple of weeks ago.

A Red Rocks sunset before the Avett Brothers a couple of weeks ago.

Man oh man is this summer killing my poor little blog. So many weeks apart! Ive built a bed, sewed a quilt, refashioned a dress and have yet to talk about them here. It's coming!

In the mean time, have a WONDERFUL Monday!

Things designers never put in their homes.

Upgrade your lager with this PICKLE TRICK! Genius.

Trick to decluttering that doesn't involve that magical method.

Addicting series covering both sides of a breakup.

Is it a trip or a vacation? I don't have kids but still laughed so hard I cried.

A list of underrated books.

Have you bought your eclipse glasses?

Grown Up Keychains


I hold on to weird keychain attachments. Right now, I still have a rubber bracelet on one set of my keys that says 'Patriot Pride'. That in itself is fine...but I got the bracelet in high school. It's over a decade old. 

It's terribly mundane to want to upgrade your keyring but summer always reminds me what a pain it is to carry around big keyrings. Just this morning, I tore half of my nail off trying to pop my car key off of the spiral ring. The easy solution to this is a valet key ring. I'm in the market for a cute one. Here's what i've found so far:

And this is literally IT for cute valet keychains. Where am I missing? Someone else has to have this problem and be upset that most of the options on the market are ugly. Right? If you have a suggestion, help a girl out!

Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree: A Reformed Black Thumb's Guide to Not Killing It


Never in my life have I kept a plant alive as long as I've kept my fiddle leaf fig tree thriving. I am SO PROUD of it. Every new leaf that sprouts is a personal victory. I've kept it going for 2.5 YEARS! YEARS! So, I wanted to quickly share a few things I've learned so that you too can have this wild sense of accomplishment.

I ordered my tree on Amazon. Yup. It was $18 and came in a little box. These trees can get pricey in big box stores so I figured worst case scenario I was out the cost of lunch.

(It's up to $35 right now, but I believe it fluctuates.)

I was pretty surprised when it showed up intact. I was half expecting to get shipped a twig.

Things I've learned while caring for my tree:

- Put it in a bright spot- but not too much sun so the leaves don't cook

- Spin your tree around when you see all of the leaves tilt toward the sunlight (every 3 weeksish?)

- Only water it when the soil is dry to the first knuckle of your pointer finger. Basically, for me, this means I water my tree once a week. 

- Dust the leaves every so often...they collect dust just like shelves do.

- WHEN YOU WANT BRANCHES, chop the top of your tree off. YES! Chop it OFF! I recently learned this trick from my mom, plant goddess, and it worked! My tree did nothing for about 3 weeks and I was convinced I killed it. But then! Just on Monday...

I count 4! 4 new branches! So now, instead of my tree growing straight up with one long trunk, it will stem out and begin growing multiple branches. 

Before getting this plant, I heard they were notoriously hard to care for. I really haven't found that to be the case...and this is coming from a girl that just killed her mint plant. (Mint is notoriously hard to kill. No idea why mine died. Story for another day?)

Go forth and Fiddle Leaf! I believe in you!

SALES! SALES! SALES!


EVERYTHING IS ON SALE!

Handbags:

Henri Bendel: Classic wardrobe addition.

Rebecca Minkoff: I've always wanted one of these.

Kate Spade: I love the buckle on this one!

Michael Kors: Work tote WITH a shoulder strap?!

Marc Jacobs: THIS. and THIS.

Clothing:

J.Crew: They still have Liberty collabs in stock.

Zara: This is a fun twist on a skirt. Pull off leather in the summer. This with some black skinny jeans could be wonderful.

Banana Republic: I want someone to pull this off at a wedding. And I want this one for daywear.

We can't forget about my new favorite store: Abercrombie + Fitch. We haven't talked about this yet- and in fact, a whole post could be devoted to my rediscovery of them. They're different now. Probably not ethically which is a bummer, but their inventory! They have SALES! Right now I love this, this, this, this, and this.

Shoes:

Anthropologie: Really love these. 

Steve Madden: I've been wanting platforms. Perfect for weddings.

Nordstrom: Love these. These would go with everything.

 

What am I missing? HAPPY SHOPPING!

Floating Shelves Next To the Fireplace


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A few weeks ago, while Phil was out of town, I built us some floating shelves next to the fireplace. It was a real girl power moment for me- which is why i'm taking a moment to gloat here. 

I'm done now :)

Above, you see where we started. Beige, arches, and a weird narrow wall next to the fireplace.

Todayyyyy......

We built a tube in the fireplace to run all of our TV and device chords through. They had been sitting in a jumble on a cheap target bookshelf since we built up the fireplace and I was sick of looking at them.

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Beauty and the beast right here.

The final product is much better. But I'm still stuck- I still have some ugly chords and devices to hide. Right now I'm working with a foam board hut I fashioned to get them out of sight. It kinddd of works but then again, I feel like I'm lying to myself.

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Finding a solution to hide everything is probably top of the list project wise. Maybe a breadbox looking thing could work? The shelf is pretty narrow to follow the contours of the fireplace. 

Stay tuned!


All art by allieschmidt.com, vases from Target, frame from Target, pillows self sewn.

PSA: Double Decker Cookie Cake


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The VERY BEST thing has happened to mass retail bakeries. DOUBLE DECKER COOKIE CAKE! I had no idea this beautiful creation even existed until a few weeks ago. Who needs a cronut when one of the best desserts has just been brought to the next level? 

Where can you find it, you ask? Sam's Club! For $18 for a sheet cake!!!

No wonder Mrs. Fields (RIP) is going out of business. 

This makes me seriously reconsider my Costco membership...

Straw Bags for Under $50

I've been wanting to get onboard with the straw bag trend but it seems like everyone I love was at least $100. I'm not going to pretend like I think this will be a lasting trend. My 7th-grade purse was a wicker purse with watermelons on it. I think that was the last time I considered a bag like this. 

Anywho- I've rounded up a few options I think could make the final cut for my closet.


This one has redeeming qualities because once it's served its purpose as a purse- it would work really well as a blanket basket in the living room or a pot cover for a plant.


This looks like a fun take on the wicker bag- I love the shape of it. It reminds me of the more expensive versions i've been falling for. 


This one looks like it could sass up any outfit. I'm on the fence as to whether or not the colors would drive me nuts if they weren't matching my outfit. Or if it would drive me nuts if I matched too much. Probably too much baggage for a little bag but I loved it all the same.


This one probably takes the cake for me. Super affordable. Looks a bit more durable than the more open weaves above. AND it's a Target, a store I go to at least once a week so it has the potential to be an instant gratification purchase.

Sign me up!

My Netflix Queue


What are you watching these days? I found a few shows worth binging-

Travelers::

The last surviving humans discover how to send consciousness back in time to the 21st century. Inhabiting seemingly random people, the "travelers" work together to try to save the human race.

Love::

When his cheating girlfriend leaves him, people-pleasing nice-guy Gus moves into a trendy apartment complex inhabited by lots of college students. A chance encounter introduces him to wild-child Mickey, also recently single, and who despises her job in radio. Though wildly different, the two are drawn to each other. In the end, their differences may be what help them figure out just what love is.

Riverdale::

Now this one is trashy and good to watch while doing something else too like sewing/painting/crafting.

While navigating the troubled waters of sex, romance, school and family, teen Archie and his gang become entangled in a dark Riverdale mystery. Based off of the Archie comic series, you recognize all your favorite characters.

......

I'm also still loving some of the older series that came out with new episodes-

Orange Is The New Black

House of Cards

 

 

 

Let's Make Mondays Interesting


The Roman Forum on our trip to Italy

Hi friends! It's been a little while! Here's hoping we don't have such a big break again :)

A website of dad jokes..

The museum of failure.

I complimented my friend on a few pieces she was wearing and they were all from here. Kate, you have a great taste.

Best romcoms of all time. I love so many of these movies.

Wonder is becoming a movie!!

Gorgeous , beautiful, wonderful, trash can flowers.

Scientists carry some prettty weird things onto planes.

Happy holiday Monday!

On my Nightstand: May


I'm really excited about my book selection this month. Everything I chose has really strong reviews leading me to think I have a few page turners. 

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

"n a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet—sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair, and are soon cloistered in a premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors—doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price. As the violence escalates, Nadia and Saeed decide that they no longer have a choice. Leaving their homeland and their old lives behind, they find a door and step through. . . .

Dead Letters by Caite Dolan-Leach

"Ava Antipova has her reasons for running away: a failing family vineyard, a romantic betrayal, a mercurial sister, an absent father, a mother slipping into dementia. In Paris, Ava renounces her terribly practical undergraduate degree, acquires a French boyfriend and a taste for much better wine, and erases her past. Two years later, she must return to upstate New York. Her twin sister, Zelda, is dead.

Even in a family of alcoholics, Zelda Antipova was the wild one, notorious for her mind games and destructive behavior. Stuck tending the vineyard and the girls’ increasingly unstable mother, Zelda was allegedly burned alive when she passed out in the barn with a lit cigarette. But Ava finds the official explanation a little too neat. A little too Zelda. Then she receives a cryptic message—from her sister.

Just as Ava suspected, Zelda’s playing one of her games. In fact, she’s outdone herself, leaving a series of clues about her disappearance. With the police stuck on a red herring, Ava follows the trail laid just for her, thinking like her sister, keeping her secrets, immersing herself in Zelda’s drama and her outlandish circle of friends and lovers. Along the way, Zelda forces her twin to confront their twisted history and the boy who broke Ava’s heart. But why? Is Zelda trying to punish Ava for leaving, or to teach her a lesson? Or is she simply trying to write her own ending?

All Over The Place by Geraldine DeRuiter

"Hilarious, irreverent, and heartfelt, All Over the Place chronicles the years Geraldine spent traveling the world after getting laid off from a job she loved. Those years taught her a great number of things, though the ability to read a map was not one of them. She has only a vague idea of where Russia is, but she now understands her Russian father better than ever before. She learned that what she thought was her mother's functional insanity was actually an equally incurable condition called "being Italian." She learned what it's like to travel the world with someone you already know and love--how that person can help you make sense of things and make far-off places feel like home. She learned about unemployment and brain tumors, lost luggage and lost opportunities, and just getting lost in countless terminals and cabs and hotel lobbies across the globe. And she learned that sometimes you can find yourself exactly where you need to be--even if you aren't quite sure where you are."

We Were The Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter

"It is the spring of 1939 and three generations of the Kurc family are doing their best to live normal lives, even as the shadow of war grows closer. The talk around the family Seder table is of new babies and budding romance, not of the increasing hardships threatening Jews in their hometown of Radom, Poland. But soon the horrors overtaking Europe will become inescapable and the Kurcs will be flung to the far corners of the world, each desperately trying to navigate his or her own path to safety. 
 
As one sibling is forced into exile, another attempts to flee the continent, while others struggle to escape certain death, either by working grueling hours on empty stomachs in the factories of the ghetto or by hiding as gentiles in plain sight. Driven by an unwavering will to survive and by the fear that they may never see one another again, the Kurcs must rely on hope, ingenuity, and inner strength to persevere. 

5 Minute DIY: Running Medal Holder


For all the races i've run, I;ve never had a great place to put my medals. For the last 5 years, they've hung on a coat rack on the back of a little-used door. Without fail, when that door was opened, the cacophony of clanging metal startled me every time. 

Sooo....8 years too late, I present to you, my medal hanger.

You'll need:

Leather

Scissors

Dowel Rod (saw to cut to length)

Nails

Cut 2 leather pieces into 2.5 inch x 7 inch strips

Fold them in half and hang them on the wall with brass nails. I found studs to nail into and I suggest you do too.

Once you hang the loops, thread your dowel through the loop.

Hang up your dowel.

Thread those medals and call it a day! It actually takes 5 minutes. 5! whoopie!