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February favorites.

february favorites

With the turning of the calendar page from February to March, it’s time to bundle together the best products, places, media and everything in between from the last month. Here are 9 things I found myself loving in February…

1. Tom Bihn backpack

I was floored when I opened this early Valentine’s Day present from Chet. I just couldn’t get over the adorable pattern and perfect pocket placement. I’ve been wearing it around the whole month and it does NOT disappoint. You can read my full review of the bag and see some pictures of me sporting it in the wild HERE. I can not thank my thoughtful dude enough for this spectacular present. We have many day-trips and ultra-light adventures ahead of us. And we shall be so wonderfully well-equipped!

2. Downton Abbey

While I had previously seen most of the first three seasons of this show, I convinced Chet to watch it from the beginning with me. We just started the 5th season and I never want it to end! In case you’ve been living under a rock, the British drama follows the lives of the Crawley family and all its servants as they go about their business, upstairs and down, in the large country manor estate known as Downton Abbey. The show begins with the 1912 sinking of the Titanic but now in season 5 we’re all the way up to 1923. It’s quite fun to track the actual historic events that play out alongside the fictional lives of the Crawleys. Bonus to our nightly viewing? Chet does a bang-up impersonation of Mr. Carson, the Crawleys’ beloved butler, and will often chime in with his own commentary.

3. WKU forensics alums

In February, I traveled to Bowling Green, KY to spend some time with the current WKU Forensics Team and a small group of alums. We had a great weekend coaching speech and catching up. This team was such a big part of my life for 7 years that I love any excuse to step back into that world for a few hours. I saw some amazingly passionate, intelligent, and inspiring speeches and even played a few rounds of flip cup. (When with your college pals in a college town…..amirite?)

4. He Named Me Malala

I was selected this month by 21st Century Fox to receive an advanced screening copy of the documentary, He Named Me Malala. I pretty much cried through the whole film and really hope lots of people tuned in to watch the TV premiere. It was a profoundly impactful film made by filmmaker Davis Guggenheim exploring the life of Malala Yousafzai before and after her attack at the hands of Taliban. You can read more about the film HERE.

5. Save-the-Date cards

Initially, I wasn’t too on board with the whole idea of sending Save-the-Date cards. Wouldn’t it just be easier to hop on the internet to spread the word about our selected date and send out invitations later? But then again…I LOVE sending and receiving mail and I just couldn’t let the opportunity to send some mailbox cheer pass me by. I ended up designing them myself with the free photo editing site PicMonkey. I’m REALLY happy with how they turned out and think using PicMonkey and printing them on cardstock was a wonderful budget-friendly option. I’d be happy to post a tutorial about how I whipped them up if you’re interested!

6. My notebook

I snagged this notebook from Target when Chet and I were in Lafayette for Christmas. While I’m a huge fan of Moleskines and the Baron Fig Confidante, I’d sort of come to the conclusion that I wanted a hard-back spiral-bound for my day-to-day, planner-ish notebook. I like to have my To-Do list out all day and while other notebooks claim to “lay flat” they don’t always do so, or they do but they take up too much desk space. I also like to dedicate a whole page per day which can seem a bit wasteful when using a higher end notebook. I started this notebook, along with a new notebook system, on January 1st and it’s been really helpful and easy to stick to. I use a modified version of the Bullet Journal system. I prioritize daily spreads over anything else and I don’t index but I implement a lot of the other strategies. When this one is all used up I think I’ll continue to stick to this type of notebook!

7. Shakespeare’s First Folio

The book that made the bard made it’s way to Florida International University this month! Chet and I got dressed up and attended the opening of the first folio exhibit at The Frost Art Museum. It was amazing to see so much Shakespeare programming and hype occur at the university and in Miami while the book was on display. We loved taking a peek inside but only wished we could hold it in our hands and flip through the pages. Think of all that history!

8. New living room couch

Arriving into our humble abode just in the nick of time to make this favorite’s list is our new couch! We headed out early last Saturday morning to beat the crowds at Ikea and came home with all sorts of goodies. I’ve had my eye on a grey couch for some time now and I think we chose a great one! We poked around online to find a few contenders before heading into the thick of things but then ended up going with this one instead! It is super comfy and a great place to lounge with the sliding glass doors pushed open for a cool breeze. (Don’t mind the wrinkles in the photo above. It was only just born when I snapped that pic!)

9. Rooibos Chai Tea

My mom is always hooking me up with fair trade goodies and in February I was loving this chai tea she sent. I love brewing up a mug when the weather is a bit dreary or for an evening treat when there’s no dessert in the house. It’s just the right level of spicy and sweet with delicious notes of vanilla. YUM!

 

Showing off my new home workspace!

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home office

The folks at WeWork, a co-working company that builds communities to empower people to do what they love,  inspired me to share my current workspace and what I love about it. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect! This past weekend, after a morning trip to Ikea and a good few hours of flat-pack furniture assembly, I got to work setting up my NEW home workspace! I thought I’d give you guys a peek at the finished product. I’m already SO in love with it! I can’t wait to spend my days creating and writing at this gorgeous command center. I knew I wanted a color palette of white, gold, and Tiffany box blue so the Micke desk was a perfect fit for that aesthetic. Add to that my custom desktop computer, a few gold trinkets, and some stationery from the Target dollar spot and – wam BAM – the perfect little corner for productivity. Shall I show you around?

Mounted monitor.

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My monitor was painted white to match this mounting arm, a feature which allows me to position based on my viewing needs. And since my work-space is in our bedroom, those needs CAN include watching Netflix in bed.

Bits and bobs to keep me smiling.

bits and bobs

I’ve picked up quite a few desk accessories from Target over the past few months, including; post-it notes, page flags, bulletin/chalk board, and owl pushpins. All super affordable. I believe everyone should have a few desk trinkets to personalize their space. The stone was a gift from a co-worker. It says “Trust” and is the perfect size and shape for rolling around in your hand when you’re having a good think. The dino skeleton was a present years ago from my friend, Katie. And the gold wheel was thrifted. I’m sure it used to belong on a contraption that spun around but I just liked the way it looked and it functions quite nicely as a coaster. The bird mouse was a must-have as soon as I saw it.

Custom computer.

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Chet built me my very own computer, including painting it to my aforementioned color scheme, and presented it to me for Christmas last year. I’d say not many people are lucky enough to have a computer cute enough to proudly display on top of their desk LET ALONE such a tech savvy individual as their BETROTHED!

Plenty of drawer space.

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A big selling point for me for this particular desk were the 2 large drawers that run the whole length. They’re the perfect place to stow my notebooks, stationery, cords, current reading materials, folders, and adult coloring book(!).

Thanks so much to WeWork for encouraging me to share this post. I always find other people’s creative spaces quite inspiring so it’s fun to have an excuse to show off my own!

If you’re a freelancer (like me), run a small business or startup, or work remotely, and you’re interested in joining a coworking community, do check out WeWork. They have lovely office spaces located all across the world and offer tons of benefits.

Details – Desk/Ikea, Office chair/Ikea, Bulletin board/Target, Owl pushpins/Target, Mouse/Amazon, Wedding notebook/Moleskine, Purple polka dot notebook/Moleskine, Grey notebook/Baron Fig, Kindle case/Amazon, Blah blah blah folder/Target, Secret Garden coloring book/Morris Book Shop

P.S. Check out Chet’s home office setup, too!

Brighten your living space with these style accents.

Take a room from white to bright!

Are you daydreaming of updating your living space? I’ve recently found myself ogling brightly colored furniture pieces on, Chairish, a website which specializes in curating a vast collection of vintage decor. Design lovers could find themselves scrolling through pages of fabulous accent chairs for hours! Now that we’re moved in to our brand new apartment, I’ve definitely got the decorating itch. The white walls and tiles feel like a blank canvas just waiting for broad strokes of color from cozy throw blankets, colorful art prints, and furry rugs. Well, if you’re in the same boat, here are 7 eye-popping pieces to take any room from white to BRIGHT!

  1. Accent chair duo
  2. Triple wick candle
  3. Copper and marble clock
  4. Striped throw blanket
  5. Geometric watercolor print
  6. Copper pablo balls
  7. Table lamps

My modest art collection.

Today, I thought I’d show you my extremely modest art collection. All of these pieces make me smile, bring me inspiration, tell a story, and have happy homes on my walls. They are all extremely affordable options to adding a little color and personality to your living space. From maps to prints torn out of books, screenprint shop finds to upcycling a speech trophy…perhaps you’ll find an idea that suits your taste.

Living Room

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Chet and I found these little foxes hanging out in a thrift store in Bowling Green last summer. A Print Mafia piece, these babes have a special place in my heart. And it’s no mistake that my computer matches this print perfectly, Chet custom painted it with this print in mind(and his computer is orange!!). We love these guys!

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Way back in 2002, I lived in Ireland with my family for a spell. We lived in Dublin but we spent a lot of time hiking along the cliffs of the seashore and around the Wicklow mountains. This is a map of some of those peaks. I like that the folds are still visible. I like that at some point it was probably shoved in my Dad’s pocket before it made it’s way across an ocean and into this frame.

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These second-hand framed prints informed the color palette for this room. I love the yellows  and blues and oranges and greens. 

Bedroom

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My mandala-making sister gifted me with this creation back when I was TV-less and the only thing that happened in my living room involved a mat. I called it “the yoga studio.” Now that I’ve scored a TV, this hangs in my bedroom right next to my dresser so I can look at it while I’m getting ready for my day. A gentle reminder to create my own sunshine. 

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I love bees and I love pretty much everything Cricket Press does. I also have a ridiculous love of hanging things with binder clips. (Is it tacky or cute? IDK.) I bought this tiny print at the Woodland Art Fair along with one featuring fireflies for my sister, Katie. 

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When my mom and sister went on a trip to Europe a few years back I requested a painting of the Eiffel Tower that they could buy for me off the street. They did not disappoint. I felt like a real grown-up when I took it to Michael’s to be professionally matted and framed. It’s pure luck that my bedroom wall color matches so well…it was painted that way when I moved in. 

Kitchen

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My favorite Picasso. Bold and fun colors in my kitchen, please!

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I cut this lil abstract number out of a free Bowling Green publication (probably during some vision boarding phase). I received the  frame with a printed certificate inside for talking pretty at Berry College one weekend.  When I was about to chuck it (whoops!) I noticed the reds matched exceptionally well. So I slapped that puppy in the frame, on top of the certificate, and called it a day…and also called it art. 

Dining Room

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My favorite Chagall. Read: Goats. Sidenote: My mom took us to a lot of museums growing up when I was really too bratty to appreciate them. I’m #blessed to HAVE a favorite Chagall. So, thanks Mom. 

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Who doesn’t love Bill Murray? This beautifully-sweatered Bill was popped out of the Bill Murray coloring book gifted to me by my brother and given a frame all his own. Because Bill Murray does not belong on a shelf. 

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and always and forever, my Gordon Lightfoot “Summertime Dream” album. 

Dwelling Envy.

While the snow we got a couple nights ago was beautiful and all, I’m starting to feel the effects of Winter. The early dusk, less than favorable temperatures and general cold, wet, dreariness has resulted in a lot of time cooped up indoors. Namely, in my little one bedroom apartment. More than just a sense of going stir cray, I’m getting sick of looking at it. And binge watching all the HGTV shows the Gods recently decided to pop onto Netflix hasn’t helped either. I just want to completely DEMO, RENO and DECO (that last one’s a bit of a stretch but go with it) the shit out of this place. Here are some apartments I’ve been ogling on one of my fave internet time-sucks, Apartment Therapy. They have me turning green with “dwelling envy” but are fabulous for a bit of design INSPO (ok I’m done, sorry). Take a look!

The Chicago Apartment. 

Chicago Apartment 1

Chicago Apartment 2

Chicago Apartment 3

Chicago Apartment 4

The Vancouver Apartment. 

Vancouver Apartment 1

Vancouver Apartment 2

Vancouver Apartment 3

Vancouver Apartment 4

The Paris Apartment. 

Paris Apartment 1

Paris Apartment 2

Paris Apartment 3

Paris Apartment 4

I love the sophisticated vintage vibe of the first, the ethereal simplicity of the second, and the Scandinavian retro aesthetic of the last. It’s so hard to pick a favorite! Which would YOU choose?

 

My Old Kentucky Home (Bar)

My Old Kentucky Bar
 
 
 
 
 
 
Because I’ve never lived in very large abodes, my design aesthetic works within the restrictions of doing more with less.  I love pieces that can be re-purposed into multiple uses. I love smaller elements that can work together to create an over-arching theme or feeling. And I love building unique spaces within my home from the stepping stone of one great source of inspiration. Enter the fantastic website Chairish. This site allows lovers of home decor, like myself, to buy and sell used furnishings in a super easy way. Everything in their online store is curator-approved and there’s literally something for every taste, price point and home. I think it would be fabulous to pick one killer piece of vintage furniture as your starting point in a space and draw in other (cheaper) elements to build on the look. To show you how, I’ve chosen these vintage, wicker back bar stools as the foundation and pricier statement piece for my dream Kentucky Bourbon Bar. I then pulled inspiration from the likes of Etsy, Target and my local liquor store to find frugal-friendly elements to round out the look. Of course, not many of us have a dedicated room for a bar in our houses or apartments–I think this look would work great in an apartment where a counter serves as the divider for kitchen and living room or even in a studio (just throw the stools up against the wall for some easy added seating for entertaining)! This will make your space feel bigger because it will add the feeling of having an additional room within what was once just two, or even one. And honestly, having a little home bar is the quickest way to making your space feel chic and grown up. Even in the smallest, dorm room-iest of apartments put a little bar cart in the corner and your space is screaming metropolitan and classy to me. Just check out these studios. And these homes.
 
 
Alright, wanna take a closer peek at a few of the items?
 

Bourbon rocks glasses. Simple and to the point.

Horse bottle opener. A hat tip to horse country.

“Sun shines bright” Kentucky print. Gives meaning to the bright yellows and blues.

Firefly lantern lights. Would look great twinkling along the counter, on the wall or around a window.
 
 
If it’s in the budget, I also love this ceramic cocktail set because it looks like a classy take on a Moonshine jug and this bamboo bar cart because it calls to mind Derby parties of yester-year. And of course, the bar would be fully stocked with Maker’s Mark bourbon, Corsair gin and wine from the Old 502 Winery.
If you’re looking for a fantastic statement piece for your home, I highly recommend clicking on over to Chairish.com. (I’m also loving this teal mirror, this minimalist desk, this brass elephant, and this whimsical bookcase.) I’m certain it will spark some design inspiration inside of you! 

Kitchen dreaming. (Farm sinks are my jam.)

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The kitchen of my dreams definitely involves a farm sink. Utilitarian (think of all the things you can do in that big basin–wash fresh vegetables straight from the garden, strain huge pots of spaghetti noodles, give your farmer’s market bouquets drinks of water in their accompanying quirky vases), bright and a great focal point amongst a slew of cabinets. I used to think not having a split basin sink would be an annoyance for the no-dishwasher life. However, after moving into an apartment with a deep, white sink I’m a total convert. What do you think?

farmsink1 farmsink3farmsink5 farmsink2


Bar Cart Bling

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I think it’s about time I classed up the joint with a set of these bad boys. Every bar cart needs cute, matching highball and rocks glasses.

Full disclosure: my bar cart was my Grandma’s microwave cart in a former life…but you work with what ya got.

What cocktails would taste best in these polka-dot beauties? I’m thinking a Dark and Stormy  and some nice bourbon on the rocks.

(Glasses via Bed Bath & Beyond)