Posted on May, 24. 2013 Category around the house Tags
My camera is at the office, but I wanted to take some photos to share my favorite things about my new apartment. I love it there–it’s bright and cheerful and neat and clean. I’ve now been there a full week and I’m moving my next round of furniture in a couple of days, and that’s when the dining room will finally be done and I can have my first party! Anyway, apologies for the phone pictures, but I wanted to share.
This is the view from my computer in the dining room. The lamps, table, and blue couch are from my great-grandmother Edna’s house, and the chairs, mirror, and rug were mine. The little gold clock on the end table chimes every quarter-hour, which quickly after I moved in became one of the most familiar and favorite parts of my new routine in my home. Those giant windows are fantastic–I paid a little more than I wanted to for this place just because I thought that wonderfully cheerful sunlight would be so worth it.
Alice’s favorite things to do right now are puzzles–she has a set of four Hello Kitty puzzles that all fit into one box, and she does all of them at once on the long table. We still have that ever-present “creepy baby” that was fished out of an American Apparel dumpster by one of my neighbors at my former office downtown. The glass top on the table is perfect for playing with modeling clay, and the candle is that “Volcano” candle from Capri Blue that is the best-smelling scent ever conceived.
I had to rescue this old luggage from Edna’s house, too. Imagine all of the places she and her husband traveled with these handsome bags! There was also a powder blue set that I wanted but it was a little sticky and I wasn’t sure how to clean it. I love looking at the bags stacked up like that and they also work well as storage–right now they’re containing extra sheet sets. The clock was in her kitchen and I have loved it since I was a child. I am really liking having clocks in my home–I never have before.
Picked this reed diffuser up from Target–I think citrus scents make a place smell so clean. Got a little Instax camera there to use at my first party.
These chairs are so dear to me because they’re the first major furniture purchase I ever made myself as an adult. I coveted them for over a year from Birdhouse Interior Design next door to my old office, where they had been fixed up and recovered with this beautiful red animal-ish print. When they eventually went on sale I made them mine. They’re low, so I can sit on them with my feet flat on the floor–unusual for me at 5’0”. Made for me. The print on the wall is by my favorite Zakka artist, Shinzi Katoh. It was a gift from my grandma.
Here’s a look into my bedroom. There are lots of windows and built-ins in this room–two big bookshelves, cupboards, a dresser, and two closets. The bed nestles in snugly in the center of it all, the headboard at the north-facing window. I don’t have curtains yet so I tacked up a tablecloth in the wooden windowframe. The bedspread is another big, very special purchase I made after a year or so of thought. It’s from an antique store in Spirit Lake, Iowa, and I wanted it forever. Last summer I finally took the plunge and made it mine, but I have never had it on my bed until now. I love how it reflects the sunlight and casts a rosy glow on everything else in the room. And, of course, my first round of books that I’ve moved. Many more to come–these are just some of my favorites, including a small selection of Berlin travel books that I’ll be re-reading in the next few weeks.
My favorite jewelry. A place for special possessions. That little card with the empowering statement is from Psychic Suzanna, my friend who when I first met her predicted that I’d live to have four husbands and “many lovers.” I tell myself that a lot–”The future is changeable and the past has no power.”
A quick tour of my favorite things in my new home wouldn’t be complete without featuring the chenille flower design on this towel from Edna’s house, my Free Gift With Purchase tin from Clinique, the pewter hand mirror from my other great-grandmother, Frances, and the mirrored tissue box I mounted on the wall. It’s not the nicest bathroom, but the tile is charming and there is enough room for what I need. In the lower right picture you can see how some of the built-ins are in my room.
The dish cupboard! I’ve collected mismatched dishes my entire adult life, and this is the first round of plates and cups that I moved over. I might stick with fewer dishes in the cupboard because I don’t have a dishwasher here and I don’t want too much of a backlog if I get lazy about the dishes. Better to just have a few sets maybe. Or I can always store the others to keep on hand for parties. The gold and black tumblers and pastel coffee cups are from Edna. The small glasses are monogrammed with an “H.”
Speaking of parties, here’s my party drawer! Napkins, coasters, wine accoutrements, matches and ashtrays (for the red brick porch), tea lights and birthday candles. In that tin “Liebe” box are little German love notes that I put in Alice’s lunchbox.
This big bulletin board will sit on top of the blonde buffet table I’ll be moving in next week. Right now it’s just on the floor, collecting all of my favorite photos, ticket stubs, notes, and treasures. I kind of like the radiators for now. They remind me of the college dorm I lived in. In fact, a lot about this place reminds me of a dorm, as most of my 18-22-year-old male neighbors act like we’re all living in one.
Here’s Alice’s bed, which will also work as an occasional guest bed. The cabinets next to her bed are huge and fit all of her books and favorite toys. This room is a little bare yet–two matching wood dressers are coming in next week. I do super-love a horizontal stripe in a muted color. The chenille pillow on the bed is from Meg Duerksen, who is now selling beautiful canvas pieces that I think I’m going to get in on.
That’s the apartment! The main things anyway. Once I take my nice camera home and get finally settled in, I’m sure I’ll post more all the time. I’m excited to entertain here, make things here, sleep here, cook here. It’s a nice little nest.
Posted on May, 24. 2013 Category in my closet Tags
The Cherry Blossom Girl has long been a favorite fashion blogger of mine–the inspiration for the new background on my blog is clear!! We have to name a lot of pieces for Hello Holiday, and we often refer to people who are on our minds when we’re titling new inventory and writing product descriptions–this one is for Alix, the Cherry Blossom Girl. D’accord, pourquoi pas?
Posted on May, 21. 2013 Category questions from you Tags
Q: What are your favorite albums right now? (Via tumblr)
A: My favorites of all time are Paul’s Boutique from the Beastie Boys and 36 Chambers from the Wu-Tang Clan, and right now I’m also really into the Icona Pop EP, Visions from Grimes, Loudspeaker from Destroid, and the Psycho-Social album from Jedi Mind Tricks. I tend to either listen to hip hop or electronic dance-type things. I’m also really into Spotify and we listen to a lot of 90s at work obviously. Because, what else.
Q: You usually have a goal poster up in your room, at least I know you did before in your old house. Do you still do that, and what goals do you have in the next year? (From Amanda R.)
A: I just looked back over my goals for 2012 and I dropped almost all of them! Most of them I don’t even care about anymore, or I started pursuing them and realized they were totally the wrong direction. I did a lot of traveling and speaking, which I really wanted to do. I also tried harder to take care of myself and make decisions that were right for my happiness and well-being since my personal life influences my business so much. I like to write down things I want to do–I think that’s good–but I try not to keep rigid goals in front of me at the moment because it makes me lose sight of the opportunities that come out of left field and end up being more fun or valuable than anything I had initially envisioned for myself. Just a different tactic I’m trying. It seems to be a positive thing. This year I’m committed to writing my first book and doing a lot of travel. Other than that, I see where my work takes me.
Q: How do you balance your time between work and home? I know that’s a really common question, but when you like what you do, I think it’s toughest to do that. (From Jaclyn)
A: One thing that I hear many speakers talk about lately is a reference to “work/life integration” instead of “work/life balance.” I like that approach because you’re right–when your work is fun, and when you WANT to be working, you’re not going to come home at 6 and say e-mail is off-limits or anything like that. My favorite thing about my job is the flexibility of being able to use my resources to best serve myself, my customers, and my community. And that manifests in many different ways–I’m not saying I have tons of extra time to get flexible with, but that I can choose how I use it. For example, I love being able to take my daughter to work every day–I moved into my office when she was two weeks old, and now she’s three years old. I usually have a lunch meeting every day that she comes to. But I really love having the ability to use my time in the best way possible–is there a customer having a problem? I can take time to solve that. I can take time to make a customer’s order REALLY perfect. I can take time to give advice to a friend or ask for help from a mentor. I can take time to blog, Instagram, tweet–it’s all integrated into my day. So I guess what I really love is that I’m always busy, and I never waste my time. My time working isn’t wasted, and the time I spend with Alice isn’t wasted.
Just three simple ones today.