Sep
23
2014
Family Room Sneak Peek / The Design Confidential in Collaboration with Joss and Main for a Curators Collection Sale Story Interview

It is official and my collaboration with Joss and Main is live! They created such a lovely sale using my spaces as inspiration and crafted a fabulous write-up about The Design Confidential. It is such an honor to partner with them in this way, especially since I shop there often, in real life.

Sep
22
2014
The Design Confidential in Partnership with Joss and Main Curators Collection Sale Story Interview

Yes it is true. The Design Confidential is taking over Joss & Main, the sale site with crazy good prices on products you love and need for your home. It will happen tomorrow night, 9/23 at 9 PM and I will be regularly stalking and lurking around over there for about a week. I actually feel pretty excited about joining up with them because I frequent their site in real life.

The Design Confidential in Partnership with Joss and Main Curators Collection Sale Story Interview 2

I will be sharing a bit more about a collection of pieces they have curated for all of you, tomorrow, and sharing the gorgeous write-up they have done on me and this site. It feels pretty special and I hope you will check it out when it is live. You will need to sign up for their site to gain access to view the sale, items, and story about this little lady. No purchase is necessary for membership and you can set your preferences for email contact so you will never feel like you have suffer through something you do not want!

If you do not already have access to their flash sales, I urge you to sign up and get the scoop on heavily discounted items you would be paying full price for elsewhere, anyhow, and to view the details of this fun collaboration. It is fleeting and will only be accessible for a short period of time so you should not wait to check things out. Plus, I always love the company when I am flying in uncharted territory. Let's get lost in retail paradise together, shall we?

Sep
15
2014
Styling Secret // Easy + Inexpensive DIY Over-Sized Art Solution

I frequently find myself in an art quandry when I am styling a space or decorating a room in my home. I happen to like (actually love) big huge pieces of art so much more than I like several smaller pieces. For those of you who might have searched for affordable art options, you know how hard it is to find great original things in large sizes. There are meellions of gorgeous, nay amazing, works by fantastic artists out there for affordable prices, but my gawd every time I stumble upon one of these beauties it turns out to be no larger than a 5x7 or 8x10 print at the very most! Gah.

Tulum Art Print and Sand and Sea Beach Image for Styling Secret // Easy + Inexpensive DIY Over-Sized Art Solution

Here are the deets //

  • // I find my images on sites like Shutterstock (there are many, this just happens to be the one I use). I essentially signed myself up for a revolving account there, that renews whenever I reach 5 downloads and I pay a slightly discounted rate of $49 for all 5 downloads combined. Each image ends up being around $9-$10 for the large size, which works perfectly for high quality prints in the size I generally need.
  • // Once I download the image, I alter the size, crop things out, adjust color, or altogether make the image my own, in photoshop. I tend to work with a 20" x 30" size most often since this is the largest most economical size for me when it comes to both the frame and the printing.
  • // I send my images over to Sam's Club (again there are many other sites that offer this, I just happen to use this one) and upload them to their photo printing department and set to print in a 20" x 30" poster size for $8. This size works beautifully with the 24"x30" IKEA Ribba frame which is in the neighborhood of $20-$25, I think. Many printing sites will print poster sizes for dirt cheap and at least at Sam's Club (my only experience with this), the print quality is pretty amazing and printed on extra large photo paper (not thin poster paper). You can also print an Engineering Print in an even larger size for around three dollars, but these are generally best for black and white types of images that will benefit from a retro copier kind of look. They have my prints ready in an hour and that makes me ridiculously happy when I am working on a tight schedule (so always).
Pink Blue Peach Macro Agate and Cool White Neutral Adriatic Sea Images for Styling Secret // Easy + Inexpensive DIY Over-Sized Art Solution

Prints in Order of Appearance //

There are soooo many amazing images and I have meellions saved to lightboxes for easy pulling when I need them. So basically I have Shutterstock and Sam's Club on speed dial and I call them at least every other week, sometimes more! Eek. 

Living 
Aug
01
2014
New Beginnings // Back to School Blues + Red Hot School Supplies

My oldest little guy is starting first grade in just a couple of weeks. To say that we all have mixed emotions about this would be an understatement. If you follow me on instagram, you might remember this from earlier in the year. Well this year will officially mark the first time he is away at school all day, for five days of the week.

New Beginnings // Back to School Blues

1 // Backpack 2 // Name Labels 3 // Reusable Sandwich Bags 4 // Binder 5 // Incredible Ideas Notebook 6 // Lunchbox 7 // Stapler 8 // Pencils 9 // Notebook 10 // Address Labels 11 // Glue Sticks 12 // Backpack 13 // Cute Notes 14 // Mommy Contact Card // Hanging File Folder 16 // Let’s Get Together 17 // Post-It 18 // Mesh Sorter 19 // Backpack

Aside from getting him all of the typical things that are necessary for school - like cool pencils and binders - this school year I plan to super-size the idea of back to school shopping and not only round up some fun items for him to sport to class, but to make sure these things are unique and personal just for him.

For those of you who have boys, I know you feel my pain when it comes to finding items for them - once they are elementary age - that are deemed ‘cool’ in their eyes, are fashion forward without being too trendy and still boyish by nature without having superheroes or weaponry all over them. So in my quest to make this experience extra special for him, I online shopped my heart out and managed to find some fabulous supplies that fill these requirements. From special notebooks that inspire him to cute notes I can sneak into his lunch, I hope to remind him that I adore him and that I am thinking of him while he is away for the day, without completely embarrassing him with uncool or babyish things, of course. I gathered up some gorgeous gear in blues and reds to keep things tough and boyish and then made it interesting by breaking that up with greens, yellows, and the uber-fab black, gray and neutral as a base.

New Beginnings // Back to School + Red Hot School Supplies

1 // Brilliant Thoughts 2 // Glue Sticks 3 // Lunchbox 4 // Colorful Comic Thank you 5 // Pencils 6 // 7 // Sharpie Gel Highlighter 8 // Red Backpack 9 // Desktop Organizer 10 // Eraser 11 // Reusable Sandwich Bags 12 // Slide Into Fun 13 // Worthwhile Notebook 14 // Backpack 15 // Hanging File 16 // Red + Yellow Notepad 17 // Post-Its 18 // Binder 19 // Tape

While he is certainly growing up right before my eyes, he is still very young and because of this there are a few things I can do to make both of our lives easier and also more fun at the same time – especially since most of his free time at this age involves his social life and school itself isn’t particularly homework heavy yet.

  //  I created a mommy contact card that he can carry with him, just in case he needs to get ahold of me while he is out and about.

  //  To help him during his pre-phone calling years, I ordered a series of ‘let’s get together’ playdate cards. He can give these to his friends and they can pass them along to their parents so we can set something up for them. Otherwise, it’s fairly difficult to arrange for playdates once the parents no longer need to pick their kids up and drop them off at their classroom. Six and seven year olds aren’t really able to coordinate this on their own yet. 

  //   I made a gorgeous ornament from Tiny Prints to use as a backpack marker and I’m hoping it will help him to know which is his. It’s no fun to come home with the wrong one when there are several that look similar, and these little guys don’t pay much attention to what they are grabbing. I can’t tell you how often this happened last year, eek.

  //   Cute name labels should help him keep track of his supplies.

  //   Personalized address labels should make it easy to keep in touch with his friends and family who have recently moved – there are quite a few, and having his playmates become his pen pals definitely makes the loss less difficult.

By helping my cutest guy get all stocked up on school supplies, whether he truly needs them or not, I think it’s made him feel like a big kid who actually does need them and it seems like he is beginning to get excited about joining the ‘big kid club’ of school-goers! He may still be a tad nervous about the whole thing, but I know once he is there and settled in on his first day, he will be just fine.I just hope my attempt at creating some fun around an otherwise not so fun series of events and new situations helps ease his transition a bit, because it is breaking my heart to see my independent little guy, prefer to be home with his family. He normally dives right in with gusto and loves every second of anything that involves other kids. Apparently even he has a limit on his fun meter.

This post is sponsored by Tiny Prints, where every choice is a stylish choice.

Jul
26
2014
Piet Boon Bath for Room Envy // The Bathing Sophisticate + 5 Things

Wow, what a summer it has been so far! I hope you all are enjoying this break from the school year and the warm weather is kind to you. Maybe you are even making the most of things and wandering with a carefree mind. Regardless, I hope you make amazing memories wherever you may go. As for me, I am knee deep in projects and living vicariously through gorgeous images on pinterest and a complete and utter room envy. The places I find myself drawn to most, right now, seem to bring the lovely tranquility of vacation and travel into the home environment.

Piet Boon Atrium View for Room Envy // The Bathing Sophisticate + 5 Things

One // In my past life, I was a makeup artist. And by past life, I simply mean my former life, but the one that feels like it is so remote and distant now, that I hardly recognize it as my own. But, a makeup artist I was indeed. I used to do makeup for weddings and photoshoots, even for the Kings Royal Court Dance Team - which any of you who follow sports might know is our NBA team's group of dancers (cheerleaders of the professional dancy persuasion for the Sacramento Kings). I was fortunate enough to get to head out to the arena prior to each home court basketball game and style the girls for the night, then watch the game from the tunnel. We did touch ups either before or after their halftime performance and would be very up close and personal to the team goings on, heading into and out of the locker room (this is where the tunnel leads essentially), and with any celebs that were getting a bit of in person hang time with the team without having to be center stage out on the floor while they are watching the game. It was quite fabulous, if I do say so myself. 

Two // I wasn't always in an artsy profession. After my stint as a makeup artist, I worked in the Commercial Real Estate industry with an emphasis on Retail. This would be shopping centers and restaurants, all the places you shop essentially. I worked with a team at CB Richard Ellis, which is one of the largest commercial brokerage firms in the world, and certainly one of the most esteemed. We did both leasing and sales, and we worked a crazy amount of new development projects from the ground up. This basically means we did quite a bit of dirt dogging and land assemblage, then found the developer that would best suit the project and worked the sales of pad buildings and leasing of inline space throughout the entitlement process. My team also had quite a few tenant rep accounts which means we were instrumental in creating their roll out plan for entry and expansion into new and existing markets. So, all those stores you love to see come to your neck of the woods, that is because of a group like mine that helps plan out the retail tenant's master plan for locations in an area. 

Piet Boon Bedroom for Room Envy // The Bathing Sophisticate + 5 Things

Three // I'm scared of the dark. Yep, I know... It's like I'm 5 years old with this one, but I truly don't like the dark and I have a bit of trouble seeing in the dark to top it all off. I have difficulty seeing the various shades of black and gray and discerning uneven pavement or ground if I am walking at night outside... like through nature.  I'm sure you can guess how often I do that, pretty much never, but I have in the past and it's a bit of a nightmare. 

Four // I'm also terrified of things that are vast especially if they involve water, like the deep ocean or extremely large creatures that live in the deep ocean. The book turned movie, Life of Pi, would be my worst nightmare ever... In fact, the whole Tiger aspect of the story line would be way less scary to me, than being adrift on the open ocean. I know, go figure. 

Five //  I'm utterly fascinated with the concept of space, the universe, and the beginning of time as it relates to our existence. Though there is something of a fear that I associate with this since it registers as one of those things that is vast and frankly blows my mind a bit, but I absolutely love hearing new theories on this and learning about the new tidbits we discover and either prove or disprove about this subject in general. 

 

Living 
Sources
Jul
21
2014
The Design Confidential Wander + Be Free Print

It has been a crazy couple of months and I'm glad to be slowing down just a tad. With a million and one projects all converging on me at once, my baby seester's wedding and all the festivities that come with it, I haven't had a moment to stop and catch my breath. Of course this means I haven't had as much time to enjoy summer and my babies like I planned to. Since this my favorite time of year, I plan to soak up every last second of it before we start the schoolyear and are reduced to weekends and weekday evenings.

The Weekend Agenda // Wander + Be Free at Round Hill Pines Resort

We had the fabulous opportunity to do exactly that... to wander and find new places to explore with no precise plan and an adventurous spirit. It was such a lovely day for all of us, and since it happened to be the day after my sister got married we were fresh on the heels of exhaustion and in much need of relaxation. My cousin 'Loo Hoo' was in town from Florida, for the occasion, so we were chomping at the bit to get out of town for the day and leave our worries and our stresses behind. 

We actually started out with a fairly precise plan only to find that we weren't alone in our ideas and quickly needed to find another fun adventurous alternative for the day. If this hadn't happened, we never would have stumbled upon one of Northern California's greatest beachy treasures, as far as I am concerned. Living just outside the greater Sacramento area we are fortunate to be near the ocean in one direction as well as the mountains in the other. But our mountains just happen to rest alongside the gorgeous Lake Tahoe with fabulous beaches and beachfront marinas, quite often to be found with dining and roving waiters serving drinks. 

It's not the Mediterranean, but it's certainly one of our greatest little gems out here in the west. 

The Weekend Agenda // Wander + Be Free with Penn on the Beach

There are dozens of beaches that line the lake's edge, but one of our favorite's, thanks to this little segue of ours that day, is definitely Round Hill Pines. I never even knew this place existed and I suppose it's not surprising since it only recently reopened after sitting vacant for a very long time. Formerly a fabulous Resort and Marina in it's heyday, it is currently under renovation and should be ready take on it's former role as an adorable lakefront series of cabins, complete with tennis court and swimming pool, sometime in the very near future I hope! It was so very perfect for our little family with our wide range of ages and had a ton of fun for the older kids too (me of course). You can rent kayaks, paddle boards, jet skis, and large floatation devices that seat many people at once! I couldn't even guess what those are actually called, but I'm sure you know what I am referring to. 

The Weekend Agenda // Wander + Be Free with the Boys Relaxing and Playing in the Sand

After our day at the beach we headed into town, which had live music happening in multiple spots, and we had amazing food at one of our favorite places to eat. Just perfection... 

Have any of you had the chance to wander + be free? It was lovely to get to know my surroundings a bit better, there is such beauty here that I don't often take advantage of. 

Kiddos 
Sources

The print at the top is something I made from one of my photos that day. To me, it is everything that is summer and carefree fun. You can purchase it here

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