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,

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 décor 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,

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,

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,

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,

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,

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,

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,

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,

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,


Over the weekend I noticed our window sill lookin' a little bare, so I went to Joanne's and picked up a few supplies to make a BOO! sign to fill the empty space.  Here's what you'll need:

[Gold paint, wood letters, halloween paper, ribbon and whatever else you want to embellish with]

First, I flipped over my halloween paper and put the letters down reverse-side as well.  I used an exacto-knife to cut out the letter shape in the paper.

Next, I painted the letters gold (just in case the sides or backs of them showed)

Then I hot glued the paper onto the front of each letter and hot glued the letters together so they'll stand upright on our window cill.

This looked a little plain to me, so I embellished the sides with a string of craft pearls I found laying around my room:

I also hot glued some green fabric onto the back of the letters to pop the orange color.  So now it resembles a pumpkin, ya know, with a black bow.  For personality.

I put it next to my Painted Bottles which you can learn how to make here (:

Simple and fun! 

Here are some other fall decorations that happened over the weekend:

My grandma sent us these candles with all my roommates initials.  So sweet!

And some fall colored flowers, because flowers always brighten my day!

Happy Monday! What do you all have planned for your week?

I'm linking to these beautiful blogs:

Love and Autumn,

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