Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Day I Turn 20 & a Guest Post From My Dad

It's my 20th birthday so my Daddy is guest posting for me (:

Happy Birthday Michaela!

How cool that I get to be the guest blogger on this special day.  Yesterday you were just a teen, and now you’re a 20 something.  Well, okay, just 20, but man you’re something!  Seems like just yesterday mom and I bought you this bike for your 4th birthday:

  It was also about then that we discovered your fascination with floor plans and building home interiors.  Here's how it all started...

Like most small children, Michaela received a set of blocks very early in life.  You know the ones – primary colors – red, blue, green & yellow.  She loved playing with them, but not in the way our friends’ kids played with blocks.  Most kids would build up, but Michaela’s creations never broke one or two inches in altitude.  Instead, she would build out.  Without fail, 100 out of 100 of her building projects would be A FLOOR PLAN.  First it just represented her room, with furniture, of course; then our whole house, grandma & grandpa’s house, and then on to creative “dream homes” only visible in her minds eye – until they appeared on our floor!

She would spend hours creating room after room.  Elaborate entries, step down living rooms, gourmet kitchens, and lots & lots of walk-in closets – a girl has to have room for her shoes!

Michaela would even scheme of ways she could improve the layout of our own home.  Walls we should move, rooms we should push out into the back yard, and ceilings that needed to be vaulted – as if all it would take is a trip to Toys R Us for a bigger set of blocks.

As toys go, blocks were cheap, so we kept adding to the set.  But somehow she never had enough.  It was not uncommon to see other block-like games, such as Dominos and Jenga, used in her construction.

Again, I want to emphasize, she was not building houses like the other kids.  Not one time did she ever put a roof on.  These were straight up “birds eye view” floor plans.  Occasionally, she would put people in the finished product to try it out, but the people were only blocks with eyes and a mouth drawn in.  Her goal was not to “play house”.  She was clearly in it for the Interior Design!  The only thing as satisfying as creating the floor plan was giving the grand tour to anyone who would listen.

So Michaela, on this, your 20th birthday, I am so happy that you are doing one of the things you were clearly born to do.  Continue to create & design, and do so to God’s glory.  I’m glad to have you as a daughter, and proud that in some way you just might be a “chip off the old block”.



Thanks, Dad! Couldn't have asked to be brought up in a better home.  I love you and mom with all my heart and feel so blessed to have spent the last 20 years of my life with you!

{My Dad, Keith Warner, is a regular contributor to several business blogs and runs a business that offers virtual offices nationwide. To see him as the star of a hilarious video on social media, go here. I filmed and edited it (: I promise you'll laugh.}

Love and Birthdays,

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Orange and Black

Today we're having a family get together.  It started as my family birthday party, but has quickly turned into viewing the Giants in the World Series.  Which is totally fine with me.  Because well, we're baseball fanatics.  I have so many memories of watching my little brother play tee-ball, pony and high school baseball.  I am beyond proud of him.  He plays with integrity and determination.  And he's really good, too (:  I always feel a sense of home when I watch him play, or watch any baseball game for that matter.  So today we are celebrating the Giants and my 20th birthday which is on Monday!

We decorated for the occasion:

Today the plan is to beat the Rangers.  Sorry Texas ladies!!

Happy weekend (:

Love and Orange, Black & Parties,

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Guest Blogger: The Little Brick House

Hi everyone! I'm so excited to share with you one of my favorite bloggers.  I found her blog a while ago and have been lovin' it ever since!  Kasey has the cutest Little Brick House and an adorable little boy, too! She's crafty, stylish, and funny, so she's going to show you a piece of her home since I'm cramming for a midterm and flying home to California today (:

Why hello everyone! How are you all doing this fiiiine morning? My name is Kasey and my sweet bloggin’ buddy Michaela invited me over to her corner of the interwebs to do some guest posting [Thanks Michaela!]
First I want to say how much I love Michaela’s blog. One of the main reasons why I love her blog is because she is in Design School. I myself have always been interested in Design. All things design but with the pressures of college and talking with career advisors, I ended up going down a different route. –Biology. Now there is nothing wrong with Biology, but reading Michaela’s blog and looking at all her lovely pictures has inspired me to go ahead and follow what I truly love… Design!
So today I want to talk to you about ‘Big Boy’ rooms. What exactly is a ‘Big Boy’ room? It’s the room that has been transitioned from ‘Baby’ room to a room that fits more of your child’s personality. For my household, we transitioned my son’s room over the summer. He will be 3 in February and just in the past year he has developed such a personality. His personality is so big and broad now you would think we should just skip the whole ‘Big Boy’ room and go straight to the ‘Man Cave’! [Seriously].
So let’s take a look at the room waaaay before any of the transitioning took place.
Excuse the explosion of toys and plain walls. We had just moved into our new house and with the ‘Big Boy’ room in mind, we skipped going all out on any kind of new d├ęcor since we still hadn’t had an ‘official’ plan for the new room in mind just yet.

After some paint, a new toddler bed [c/o Toys R Us], a few small accessories here and there and some DIY wall art, the room is now mostly fit for a toddler.
We didn’t want to be committed to a specific theme, so for the bedding we went with something plain. It’s actually twin size bedding, folded in half [c/o Target]. The paint is Valspar Aqua Frost, and for the windows, none other than some trusty shower curtains! I know, I know… but honestly, their inexpensive, made of 100% cotton and work just as good, if not better, at dressing the window up vs. the traditional curtain panel.

Before I go any further I have to give a big shout out to the Goodwill’s out there. You are so utterly awesome and have saved me so much money. Even though at times I feel like I have to dress down to visit you, and that you might blast me with the “sweet” essence of Must and a side of some cheap Stetson, the minute I walk into the door, you have never failed me.

That my friends was a dresser I found at our local Goodwill for $20.00. I snapped up the tag, ran to the register and paid for that baby, dodging customers, running around obstacles of furniture, clothing racks and 80’s style wedding dresses, complete with massive shoulder poufs, and loaded it onto the back of the truck.

With a little elbow grease [great excuse for an arm workout], paint and some new handles, it’s as good as new. Total cost after paint and accessories? Roughly $35.00. Beats paying for a brand new $350.00 dresser that will more than likely be made out of pressed board, glue and staples.
Some very inexpensive wall art. 6 Frames at $1.00 each from the Dollar Store, and some flash cards that I ‘borrowed’ from Jayden’s massive stash of cards. Framed and hung to spell out his name and presto.. a nice, fun way to display some art on the wall.
….Something was still missing however. After a few weeks of staring at the walls, the bed in the corner wasn’t working and my inner Picasso came to work in the form of a ‘Tree’ complete with little Hooty Owl.

Jayden has proudly named him ‘Glasses’ because he thinks the Owl is wearing Glasses  :)

So there you have it. A bright and cheery Toddler room, fit for a 2.5yr old little boy. The reason we went with the ‘white style’ walls, light curtain panels [a la shower curtains], and neutral bedding, is so that his toys, wall art and other accessories could be the ‘Pops’ of color that the room needs, without looking to ‘busy’ and ‘cramped’.
I hope you enjoyed the tour, it’s been a pleasure, and again I want to thank Michaela for inviting me over for the day. It’s been a ton of fun [and also my first time ever as a Guest Blogger.. W00T!]. Have a wonderful day everyone!!

Thanks, Kasey!  Jayden's room is too cute.  My favorite part is the tree, and the dresser is awesome, too! Go check out Kasey's blog.  Ready. Set. GO!

Love and The Little Brick House,

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Let's Talk About Nail Polish

Any time I walk into the beauty supply store, it's inevitable that I will walk out with a new nail polish. How can I not when the rack of beautiful colors are magnetically pulling me toward them?! (Maybe that’s why I have close to 60 polishes.) Some call it “addicted” or “obsessed”.  I prefer “hobby”...

 Something about a new nail polish color makes me smile.  Lately, my new favorite color is the perfect hue of lavender.  If you know me, you know I’m infatuated with the color purple.

  I’ve always thought being the one to name nail polishes or paint colors would be so great.  I mean really, sitting in your office coming up with the most bizarre phrases to name a bottle of polish or a can of paint, that half the time, don’t have ANYTHING to do with the real color.   I’m really thankful for whoever does name the polishes cause it gives me a good laugh:
Charged up Cherry
Chapel of Love
ChicaGO Get A Manicure
Chocolate Mouse

Here are some of my favorite fall colors:
Dark with a matte finish is perfect for the season.  Dark purples, browns and grays are a great alternative to the harshness of a true black.  I also love a simple pink with a gray undertone, like the one above. 

Here is the OPI collection called "France":

Looks divine!  I'm in the mood to get my nails done, what about you??

 If you’re having a bad day, it’s nothing a manicure can’t fix.  I swear, works every time!

Love and New Nail Polish,

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I'm Dreaming of...

This living room:

{Room by Sarah Richardson, of Sarah's House}

Everything about this room is elegant, simple and girly.  And I like those three words.  While I was looking through Sarah's portfolio, I was immediately drawn to the gallery wall.  Often times we see black and white frames and family photos in a asymmetrical gallery wall format, but this one is unique.  I love the personality it gives to the room through the use of color.  I also love the contrast of the high ceilings with the low statured furniture.  The texture of the rug and stripes on the ottomans gives the room warmth.  The mirror over the fireplace is off-centered, which I actually quite like because it's unexpected and gives room for a tall plant, like she places here.  The mirror itself also points to the dramatic heigh of the ceilings.

This room is for the books.  Or my inspiration folder on my laptop (: What's in your inspiration folder? What are your favorite elements of this room?

If you missed my inspiration images from last week, go check out this undeniably beautifully textured kitchen.

Love and Dreaming,

Monday, October 25, 2010

I need YOUR advice!

As you may know, I'm in an interior design drafting class this quarter.  I love it.  This last Friday we received a new assignment.  We were given this floor plan:

And must renovate accordingly:

The Gray's family are newlyweds and this is their first home!  It's not too big, and they don't have children yet, so a small office area is sufficient.  The goal is to make the space flow well and have it appear bigger than it is.

Keep all exterior walls, but completely rework the inside.  (All interior walls are free game).
The porch must stay and the built in window seat must stay.
The windows can be moved.
There must be access to the backyard.
Only need to keep one eating area.
Must be at least one bedroom, one bath, with small office space nook or separate bedroom for den.

So, this is where YOU come in!  I want to hear ideas! Where should I move the kitchen and living room?  Should I do a great room (open floor plan)? Should I add a powder bath to add extra value to the house? I want all your thoughts! I have some ideas of my own, but I'm probably going to draft it multiple times before finding the perfect floor plan, so the more ideas the better! Come on ladies, tell me what ya got (:

Ready. Set. Comment!

I'm sharing this with:
Lowercase Letters & The Girl Creative

Love and Drafting Delights,

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Confessions of a Perfectly Imperfect Girl

Last week my blogging friend, Kerry, who's also in design school, wrote a beautiful post.  It's about how it's so easy to think that all the author's of blogs you read have it all together.  There are often many beautiful homes, projects, and families out in blogland that I can only hope to be blessed enough to have someday.  But just because us bloggers post cute pictures, adorable crafts and room decor, doesn't mean we have it together.  I believe that since we let each other into our homes and lives, we can better encourage our readers by letting a little of our real selves out there, too.  Because everyone has their imperfections.  And it's refreshing to hear about them!  {read other's posts on this subject here.  Here's one of my favs.}

So rather than call them faults or negative qualities...let's call them quirks and attributes that make you unique!  Here are a few of my little quirks:

First, you should know I actually try really hard to make it look like I've got it all together.  I don't, though.  And I hate crying in front of people, other than my mom.

I laugh loud.  Really loud, actually.

I'm a clean freak, I feel like I always need a plan, and I'm organized.  I'm overly obsessed with cleaning dust off places where dust should not be. You know the show FRIENDS?  I'm Monica.

It's true, I dont like rain.  And yes,  I live in Seattle for school.  I'm learning to adapt.  And even though I miss my family and struggle with being homesick, I know this is where I'm supposed to be.  

I'm an accident waiting to happen.  I used to break everything I touched.  I'm getting better now, but every once and a while there's a mishap.  And I roll into hysterical laughter immediately so anyone who saw it happen will laugh, instead of getting mad at me for breaking it.  My mom caught onto this tactic a few years ago.

I watch too much TV.  All of HGTV, Say Yes to the Dress, Project Runway, Quints by Surprise, The Bachelor/ette, Glee, and yes, Keeping Up with the Kardashians.  You name it, I watch it.

I'm told I'm picky.  I like to call myself "Plain Jane" or "simple" or "I just know what I like".  This mostly comes into play with food.  I order the same thing at every restaurant. Why?  Because I'm 100% sure I'm going to like it!  I'm Sally in When Harry Met Sally.  I'm the girl who orders like this: 
"Can I have the Caesar salad with no tomatoes or onions or anything really.  And oh, can I substitute the Caesar dressing and get Ranch instead?"  Waiter: "So would you like the House Salad instead?" Me: "No thanks, I like the romaine lettuce that the Caesar comes with."  Really.

I have a hard time focusing on the present moment.  I'm fast paced, I can make my mind up in a few seconds, and this leads to me constantly thinking about my next move.

I need to make more time to thank God for what he's done for me.  Last year I learned how precious life is in a very surreal way, and truly witnessed the miracle of life, love and God's presence.  I need to remind myself how blessed I am.  I'm so grateful to wake up each morning, healthy and happy and doing what I love.  Sometimes I forget to express my gratitude for that.

So when I blog, I want to be real.  I want people to know the true me, so we can better encourage one another.  So, while my life is no where near perfect, blogging about pretty things and designs that inspire me are things that keep me sane.  I have a place where I can share my passion with tons of other super-talented women! 

Here's the cool thing about our quirky tendencies: they're kind of like design.  A house you walk into that looks perfect in every way makes me nervous.  I can't be myself, I have to make sure to keep my hands by my side so I don't break anything.  Imperfections to a space, much like imperfections in our own lives, is what gives personality and character to any given thing.  Be yourself.  Because you are beautiful just the way you are.  And that's freeing, dontcha think?

I love this picture because we're all laughing so hard and I, of course, ruined the picture by kicking my friend.  But it's perfect in it's own way.  It has character and holds a special memory.

Love and Being Unique,

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fashion Friday #5: Classy & Fabulous

It's fashion Friday!  Here's what I'm wearing:

Blouse: Lush
Belt: Franchescas (new favorite store)
Jeans: Citizens
Shoes: Gold Ballet Flats, Nordstrom

Tonight I'm going to an interior design event for students at an incredibly prestigious architecture and design firm in down town Seattle.  It's called NBBJ Architecture.  We get to go and network with other designers in the industry, do a quick project, and dress up, of course!  I wish I had this dress to wear tonight:

Oh well...I can keep dreaming (:

"A girl should be two things: 
classy and fabulous" 
~Coco Chanel

I love this quote, because she gives us license to be fabulous.  Be yourself, whether it be simple, girly, lazy, or crazy.  But always feel fabulous.  Then you'll have enough confidence to knock 'em all dead (: Remember you are beautiful.

Love and Ruffle Dresses,

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Buttons and Blog Swaps

Hi fellow bloggers! I just got a button and I adore it (: 

If you like anything you see on my blog or want to feature it, grab my cute little button on the right hand sidebar and go for it.  Also if  you're interested in a blog swap, please let me know through e-mail! I'd love to hear your ideas (:

Have a fabulous day!

Grandma's Vintage 80th Birthday

This summer my mom, aunt and I planned my grandma's 80th birthday party!  Since she was born in the 30's, I thought it'd be fun to do a vintage themed party, reminiscent of that decade.  We had lots of fun putting it together!  My aunt and I did the decorating and my mom did food and some decor as well.  Planning this event reminded me how fun it is to put parties together, and made me think that Event Planning could always be a fun avenue to go down (:  I was the Event Coordinator at my high school and it was really great being able to plan the dances, pick the flowers, choose the location etc.  

The party featured pictures of movie stars from the 30's, lots of pink, red and white roses, black table cloths, beautiful glass plates, our great grandma's silver, delicious cupcakes, a fun memory table and a pianist even came to serenade the party with hymns and music from old musicals.

So, without further ado, here are some pictures from the day!

Our living room with our baby grand piano.  It's 100 years old, and I love it (:

Memory table when you first walked in.  Included my grandma's sisters old hymnal, pair of old gloves, pearls, pictures of grandma, old doll clothes and the yummy cupcakes!

Red Velvet were the perfect cupcake because they are so southern...and my grandma grew up in Alabama!

Cupcakes by BreCakes.  

Isn't she cute?!

Outdoor seating area we created with a rug from Pier1 Imports and our coffee table from inside with a vintage bird cage on top (:  Some colorful accent pillows top it off.


Candy Table.  All the candy were sweets that were invented in the year she was born!
Party Guests
Even Shasta enjoyed the party (:

It was lovely.  Happy Thursday!
I'm linking to:

Love and Parties,

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Peek into my Inspiration Folder

I apologize in advance that I don't have the sources to many of my inspiration images, but I started getting these before I started my blog, so I didn't think about it :(  But, nonetheless, here is a fabulous kitchen that I won't stop dreaming of until I have one exactly like it someday:

 I just adore the contrast in the white cabinets with the darker island.  And the choice of fireplace stone is so warm and cozy. The combination of that and the vaulted barn ceiling would have me stuck in the kitchen for hours! I love the texture found in the space-- I think that's what really gets me.  The bar stools, back splash, wide plank rustic floors, stone, and ceiling is what gives the space character.  

Don't you think this would be the perfect breakfast nook to the kitchen above? Check out that table!  I will have that table in my house when I grow up.  Ah, I love saying that...when I grow up...I feel like I'll never stop saying it.  Even when I'm 80 (: 

What does your dream kitchen look like??

I'm linking to this lovely blog:
A Few of My Favorite Things

Love and Dreaming of White Kitchens,

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Adventures in Cleaning out the Work Room

Last week I was in charge of cleaning out the work room in the interior design department.  I was nervous because there is so much stuff in there! But it turned out being SO fun!  Endless samples...everything from wood floors, textiles, countertops and mosaic glass tiles.  Here are some pictures I snapped while I was hard at work (: Rule number one: always have your camera with you!

I'd love to use this tile in a girls bathroom for the shower tile work or something. And of course have these beauties on the counter.  At all times.  Such a fun color!

I also turned in my second drafting project.  It's a kitchen plan:

So, to sum up: One, I love the work room; two, I love my hand drafting class; three, I'm so grateful to go to such a wonderful school for my major.  It's awesome, really.

Love and Design,
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