nightcap: the paloma 

Some years ago, my husband and I hatched a crazy plan. We decided to get rid of (almost) everything we owned, sell the house, and hit the road.

I’m not sure why. Probably we watched Fight Club too many times. We read too many blogs about the ‘Digital Nomad’ lifestyle, and we have trouble with moderation. We’re intense people, both of us, and whatever we do is pretty much all or nothing.


So we did it. After many, many trips to Goodwill, and a small storage unit for the few things we kept, we hit the road. It was me, the husband, and (this is the ‘aha!’ moment) our five year old and one year old. It was a terrible idea. I mean it was an incredible idea, but it was also….really, really stupid, if you get me.

We had grand plans to head west to California, then north to Canada. As it happened we quit after our second stop, Austin, Texas. But first we spent two months in Baton Rouge with my best friend and her family. It was a sweet summer. Some of my favorite memories from that time are the days she and I were able to get away together. Mother’s Day was one of the best. And our happy hour drinks on that day included one I had never tried before, but which immediately became a personal favorite: a sweet sister to that most well-know tequila drink ever, the Margarita — the Paloma.

Every season I come up with a couple of staple cocktails to rotate through, but I pretty much always have the ingredients for a Paloma on hand, at least in the summer. Try the classic version with grapefruit & lime below, or mix it up with blood orange juice, sliced jalapeños, mezcal, or pretty much whatever you can think of.

fullsizeoutput_3549

What’s your staple summer cocktail? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Paloma

Ingredients

  • 1 grapefruit
  • 3 limes
  • 3 oz. of simple syrup (I make my own by bringing a 1 to 1 ratio of sugar to water just to a boil, either on the stovetop or in the microwave)
  • 3 oz. tequila (I prefer silver)
  • club soda to taste (roughly 4 – 6 oz.)

Directions

  1. Juice the grapefruit and limes, reserving a couple of slices of ime for garnish if you’re fancy like that.
  2. Add simple syrup and tequila.
  3. Pour over ice.
  4. Add club soda. Enjoy!

on knowing yourself + defining your style

bamboofence

Recently I had a long conversation with a good friend about home design. We were exchanging ideas for each other’s houses. After I responded to her first few suggestions with, “I like it but that’s not really my style,” she stopped and looked at me, semi-exasperated, and said, “Then what is your style?”

I was immediately stumped. And not so much because I don’t know what I like as much as because I don’t know how to describe it. The matter is further complicated by the truth that what I’m drawn to is always changing, or maybe more accurately it is evolving.

livecolorfully-2

A short couple of years ago my friend and I had enjoyed watching Fixer Upper together and talking rustic farmhouse decor, or browsing Pinterest for ideas involving mason jars and pallet wood. But as the design world has moved on, so have I. When I brought this up with my friend, she seemed taken aback. She said, “I’m not sure you even know what you like.”

She wasn’t being rude or mean — she was frustrated by not knowing what to look for that would please me. But she hit at a sore spot for me personally.

I have seen the movie Runaway Bride more times than I know. It was a favorite of mine as a teenager. You might be surprised to find out my husband is possibly more fond of it than I am. From the earliest days of our marriage, whenever I was particularly indecisive about something he would quote Runaway Bride and ask me, “What kind of eggs do you like?”
The eggs trope got tired real fast for me. I’ve been told more than enough times for my own liking that I don’t know my own mind. Some of the criticism is fair — I have lacked confidence, I have been unsure of myself.

But some of it isn’t fair.

climbingivy

There’s a difference between not knowing who you are, and acknowledging that you are constantly evolving. As we grow older we (hopefully) grow wiser. We come to know ourselves better and more fully. Sometimes this means discovering something about ourselves that was hidden to us previously. Sometimes it might mean learning that we had been operating on a misunderstanding of who we thought we were. It’s okay to accept that and be open about changing or appearing to change. And in those cases, I don’t think it’s fair to accuse someone of being fickle, or wishy-washy, or not knowing what kind of eggs they like.

It’s a tricky path to walk sometimes, treading the line between being flexible or easygoing on the one hand, and not being a total doormat on the other. Or finding balance between making choices which reflect something external (what I assume others want me to prefer) versus internal (what I actually prefer). When you are too focused on pleasing others, I think (and I say this from experience) you run the risk of eventually not being sure you know yourself at all.

Now to bring this back to the design world. On the one hand, it isn’t fair to say that I don’t know what I like just because I would buy a different sofa today than I would have bought 3 years ago. And it isn’t fair to say that just because I couldn’t come up with a great label/adjective for my style (“It isn’t RUSTIC FARMHOUSE anymore Karen, it’s CALI-SCANDI-BOHO-MINIMALISM.”) But on the other hand, if I’m the kind of person who finds that what they like changes all the time…maybe it is somewhat accurate.

Version 2

It’s one thing to point out that what’s hot now is fluid, trends are always changing, and to say that’s why your personal style evolves. But it pays to be sure that you can sift out your own voice amidst the ever-changing tide of What Everyone Likes Right Now.

Version 2

 

 

 

 

weekend link fest – 08.05.17

pinkombre

qúe es en tarnación — i actually have the morning to myself, out in the world. i’ve got a hot hour and a half to gather my thoughts here, and if you’re like me — a stay-at-home parent with several (so they tell me) small children, you know what a gift this is. (and a chance to realize that i no longer have any thoughts, just mush where my brain used to be, but that’s beside the point.) also. if you haven’t tried the pink ombré drink at starbucks yet, go do it. i’m usually not one for sweetened drinks, or really anything besides straight black coffee (hot in the morning, iced in the afternoon, naturally), but this drink has won me over. it’s perfect for those times when i’ve had too much caffeine (read: every single afternoon) and need something refreshing. i think it has tea, coconut milk, lime, something hibiscus…whatever it is, it’s crisp, only lightly sweet, and delicious.

moving on. because i love you all so much, i’m sharing with you some of the beautiful and strange things i’ve enjoyed on the internet this week. no need to thank me, you’re very welcome.

abmdarkstormypopsicles

to drink: dark and stormy popsicles from a beautiful mess. we’re using the term ‘drink’ loosely here, but i’m so perma-hot and thirsty (thanks summer) that a cocktail frozen into a popsicle sounds just *perfect*. these get extra nostalgia points from me — the first mixed drink I ever had was a dark and stormy, made for me by my grandad. anytime the dark and stormy comes up the husband and i always (fondly) quote him, “would you like to try a darrrk and storrrmy?”

to read: mental wellness by bri at designlovefest. in which bri passes along some great tips for keeping check of your mental state. this is a subject that hits close to home for me. i’m always always struggling with anxiety, and often feel mentally/emotionally fragile. i love it when people share openly not just about their struggles with this but also how they fight the good fight. i know for me personally, calming rituals and small indulgences mean a lot and keep my spirits up. bri touches on intentionally creating time in your morning to start the day peacefully — this is something that i know would help me, but that i have not been able to accomplish so far. something to work on…

annesageupdo

to style: hair tutorial: easy + pretty updo, from annesage.com. i’ll affirm the pretty part, but i’ll have to tackle it myself before i can comment on the easy. i’ve always been hair styling-inept personally, but now that i’m approaching middle age (haha), i’m ready to try. no time like the present, right??

to eat: pasta with tomato cream sauce from the pioneer woman herself. we had this for dinner last night, and suffice it to say nobody stopped to take a picture. we added tofu and bacon, for protein and deliciousness, respectively. and we went heavy on the fresh basil, because of course. carb overload? absolutely. regrets? none.

byredomojaveghost

to buy: mojave ghost by byredo. i am admittedly desert-obsessed at the moment, so did the name get me? yes. did the packaging get me? of course it did. but does it smell as good as it looks/sounds? you betcha. *smitten*


it’s time for me to head back to my rowdy crew. i can’t believe it’s already sunday. let’s finish this weekend strong, okay? be well everyone, and buckle up for safety.

 

7 Furniture Brands That Are Changing the Way You Will Buy Your Next Sofa


svenhomepolish

via homepolish

Quite often a home’s design centers around the family room sofa. At least it does for me. Most of my design and decor-related thoughts these days have to do with picking out a couch. Maybe you feel differently, but for me the couch is the axis around which the rest of my design scheme spins. Once that’s decided I feel like the rest of it will fall into place pretty easily.

caitlintheeverygirl

via The Everygirl

Given these feelings, you might not be surprised to hear I’ve put a fair amount of time into sofa-related research lately. Initially I didn’t really know where to look. The only sofa we have ever purchased is from Pottery Barn. I wasn’t sure what style we were looking for exactly but I knew it wasn’t Pottery Barn this time. I checked out Crate and Barrel, West Elm, Ikea, CB2, World Market, even places like Haverty’s and La-Z-Boy. We looked at Room and Board, Overstock, Wayfair, Joss & MainMacy’s,…and many more places. I looked locally, and across the country. I looked at different ends of the price spectrum, and considered all types of different styles of sofas. I had moments where I focused on quality craftsmanship, and moments where the only requirement I had was either that the couch be (in my eyes) beautiful, or absolutely cozy, or both.

I felt like I started to notice some patterns:

  • a furniture retailer would offer sofas I thought were cute/stylish but they were out of my price range
  • a furniture retailer would offer sofas I thought were cute/stylish and they were affordable but the quality seemed likely to be poor
  • a furniture retailer had prices that were affordable but offered nothing I found cute/stylish

At some point in all of this Sofa Investigating (a job I’ve taken way more seriously than necessary), I stumbled on the Sven sofa by Article.

I don’t remember how I found it, but it was love at first sight. But what’s more – and more closely related to the point of this post – finding the Sven introduced me to a segment of the furniture industry that I wasn’t really aware existed up until that point. I don’t know how you might label them, but they have in common that they are more or less online-only, they tend to cater heavily to millennials, and they are disrupting the Way Things Are Done in the furniture industry.

 

preston2joybird

via joybird

For some I know the idea of buying a couch without first sitting on it might sound scary or off-putting. But there are compelling reasons to consider it:

  • Not having to leave the house to shop for furniture. Let’s be honest — who among us wants to put on pants or (even worse) talk to people when they don’t have to?
  • Cost savings. No brick-and-mortar stores for the company equals better prices for the consumer.
  • Disruption factor. There are plenty of articles buzzing around on the internet about the (long overdue) change that is coming to the furniture industry. In April inc.com featured an article entitled 5 Industries That Are Prime Targets for Disruption and listed ‘Furniture’ first.  I’ll be honest, this appeals to me a lot. After all, what industry couldn’t stand to be revitalized now and again?

Without further ado, here are seven furniture retailers changing the way we shop for furniture.

1) Joybird

joybirdscreenshot

Joybird started in 2014 when four former employees of the now-defunct Thrive left to create their own furniture startup.

Notable: Joybird’s sofas are handcrafted. Each sofa is made to order. Which leads me to the next point — customization. Sofas come in many different fabrics. Their website boasts over 1000 combinations of fabric and frames from which to choose.

Price range: Middle of the road. Sofas range from $1,199 to $2,649.

Return policy: a generous 365 days.

Due diligence: A quick internet search turns up plenty of mentions of how long it takes a customer to receive their Joybird order. It feels unfair to consider this too much of a negative though, given that each couch is made to order. Sofas are manufactured in Mexico.

Favorite: the Preston sofa, modern and elegant.prestonjoybird

2) Article
articlescreenshot

According to Article’s About page, the company started in 2014 when four software engineers, very literally chilling out (GET IT??) north of the Arctic Circle, decided to go Silicon Valley on the furniture industry.

Notable: Quick turnaround time. Some online reviews mentioned receiving their sofa in the same week they placed their order. Shipping is a low flat rate of $49 regardless of order size.

Price range: Middle of the road. Sofas range from $699 to $2299.

Return policy: 30 days.

Due diligence: Most reviews I could find were positive, but some raised questions about quality. A bigger issue I saw was customer service complaints — although this is where I need to note that Article seems to be extremely responsive on social media channels and online forums — see this (crazy long, and still active) Houzz thread. Sofas are manufactured in Asia.

Favorites: the Sven in this leather is my number one contender for Family Room Sofa at this point.

svenbyarticle

3) Benchmade Modern

Screen Shot 2017-08-01 at 10.39.31 PM

Benchmade Modern was started in 2015 by former Pottery Barn designer Edgar Blazona. He sought to engineer a solution to complaints he heard from friends about frustrating interactions with furniture companies, emphasizing faster delivery while retaining quality and customization.

Notable: Their website boasts “the easiest and fastest way to buy a custom sofa.” I can’t attest to that, but it’s true that Benchmade Modern does offer a fair amount of variety in the way of customization. Sofa size can by customized by the inch. Benchmade Modern offers “200 plus fabric, leather, and leg options.” Also, I love that they provide (at the customer’s request) free actual size sofa printouts to get a true-to-life feel for the size of your sofa before ordering. They provide free delivery on every order.

Price range: Middle of the road. $1,729 to $2,369

Return policy: 100 days.

Due diligence: Sofas are manufactured in the US.

Favorites: the Skinny Fat Sofa, Benchmark’s signature sofa. Check out those fluffy side cushions.

skinnyfatsofa

4) Roger + Chris

Screen Shot 2017-08-01 at 10.35.26 PM.png

Roger + Chris is the brainchild of HGTV alum Roger Hazard and husband Chris Stout-Hazard. They launched a furniture company as a joint venture to utilize their talents and, according to the About page of their website, because it was fun. Can I repeat that? They started a furniture company because they thought it would be fun. I love them immediately.

Notable: Most winning Bios possible — just go read them yourself folks and see what I mean. (Yes, I am absolutely referring to the quotes from their mothers that they are “relatively likable.”) Also, I haven’t called them (yet), but the site says that if you call for a design consultation you will speak to Roger or Chris. I think that’s pretty darn cool, don’t you?

Price range: Middle of the road. $1374 to $2199.

Return policy: 5 days. Yikes. No pressure consumers…

Due diligence: I didn’t find any sofa reviews. Sofas are manufactured in the US.

Favorites: If we’re being honest here of course I love Roger + Chris’s Natalie sofa, which is mid-century modern in style and features a tufted single bench cushion with bolster pillows. Of course. But I honestly think many of their couches are absolutely beautiful, and for the sake of showing you something that isn’t quite so similar to Article’s Sven above, I’m going to put Bobby here, especially in this blue velvet fabric glory.

bobby

5) Interior Define

Screen Shot 2017-08-02 at 11.41.04 PM

Interior Define was founded in 2014 by Rob Royer. According to this New York Times article, he was looking to fill the “yawning abyss in the furniture market between the inexpensive cookie-cutter couch and the luxury lounge.” To that we say, well spoken Rob, well spoken.

Notable: Interior Define really does offer beautiful sofa designs. Everything they do is elegant and stylish. They have free delivery on every order.

Price range: Higher, $1000 to $4200.

Return policy: 365 days.

Due diligence: Reviews seem postive overall. Sofas are manufactured in China.

Favorites: The Sloan is their signature couch, and it is beautiful, and I know the luxurious blue velvet is influencing my decision here, but I love the Caitlin.

interiordefinecaitlinmodvelvetoxfordblue

6) Campaign Living

Screen Shot 2017-08-01 at 11.05.29 PM

Started in 2015 by former Apple engineer Brad Sewell, Campaign Living markets furniture that “lives, moves, and grows with you.” Portability is emphasized, as the couch is designed not merely to be easily assembled but also easily disassembled. It fits neatly into two sleek boxes to facilitate pain-free moving.

Notable: Cute and unique website design (check it out and see what you think)…some (me) might call it *overly* cute and frustrating to navigate, but I can let that go. Campaign Living pays particular attention to quality — materials are sourced as sustainably as possible. Wooden legs, for instance, are solid hardwood from the Midwest.

Price range: Affordable, the sofa is $995.

Return policy: I couldn’t find any information on their return policy.

Due diligence: So far only three items are offered — a chair, a loveseat, and a sofa. And the collection is sold out at least into the summer. I wasn’t able to find any reviews. Sofas are manufactured in the US.

Favorites: Uhh…I guess in this case, it would have to be…Sofa?

Screen Shot 2017-08-01 at 11.14.08 PM

7) Capsule

Screen Shot 2017-08-03 at 12.12.25 AM

With their tagline of “Good design for all,” Capsule emphasizes making good design accessible to everyone.

Notable: Serious style and elegance. Free shipping on every order.

Price range: Affordable. $899 to $2199.

Return policy: Ah, there’s the rub. At merely 7 days, this short return period feels stifling compared to the more generous time frames offered by the other companies we talked about. It feels a bit paltry given that one is buying the sofa sight unseen.

Due diligence: The About section of their website mentions “long-term relationships built with factories across the US and Asia,” so take that to mean what you will.

Favorites: The Remissa Sofa — so cozy, but still elegant.

Screen Shot 2017-08-01 at 11.24.23 PM

 


 

All of these companies have great design in common. Most of the couches offered are modern in style, or cribbing off of mid-century modern. I don’t know about you, but as I said above, I feel like all too often we are forced to make the unsavory choice between affordability and style. It excites me to see companies attempting to fill this gap, and offer beautifully designed sofas at budget-friendly prices.

I also love the emphasis on using quality materials. Most of these companies at least appear to try to make an effort to source their materials responsibly. I have swatches in my home from five of the brands I listed, and I’m happy to report they are without fail beautiful.

Thanks for following along here! If these companies interest you, I’d encourage you to take the time to also check out Sixpenny, StemKardiel, Burrow, and Maiden Home.

If you own furniture from one of the companies mentioned in this post, please let us know in the comments below what you think!

7 Furniture Brands Changing the Way You Will Buy Your Next Sofa // napkinsoup.com

 

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

weekend link fest – 07.29.17

bgdpaintedtile

Jess’s painted tile from Bright Green Door — isn’t it amazing?

Hey guys! I hope you’re having a great weekend. I’m just chilling over here, getting stuff done and taking a breath before next week hits hard.

Here are some of the things I’ve been loving this week:

Best drink: The frosé is *the* drink of the moment. It’s popping up everywhere right now. I have yet to try one but I’m pretty sure that’s going to have to change, and fast. Watch out for a featured recipe here on Napkin Soup soon. Until then, give this one from Kate La Vie a try.

Best DIY: Ever since I saw this project I can’t get it out of my head. Jess’s painted tile at Bright Green Door has to be the coolest diy project I have seen in awhile. It looks like it must have been a ton of work, but what a transformation. It changes her entryway completely. Great work Jess!

Best room makeover: Heidi’s new bedroom for her boys. I’m totally digging how she created a monochrome palette that still feels very kid-friendly. I know my boys would be thrilled with a space like that. It’s all good — the board and batten trim, the brick wallpaper, the chalkboard wall with the moon. But my favorite might be the sweet little details like decorating with Legos and Star Wars Tsum-Tsums. Also — I might have to copy those book racks on the sides of the dresser — what a great idea! Head on over to Honeybear Lane and check it out.

Best makeup review: I don’t know about you, but my makeup routine could use a serious reinvention. I’ve slipped into full Mom Mode and really phoned it in for years a long time now. But I’m over it, and feeling completely ready for renewal in that area. Elsie’s shakedown of her makeup routine at A Beautiful Mess might be just the inspiration I need to change things up. I hate thinking about the toxic stuff I paint my face with (so usually I just try not to think about it, haha). Her reviews are so thorough, and I love how she emphasizes trying to find cleaner products. I might just work through her list one item at a time.

Best dessert inspiration: This Boozy Mudslide Icebox Cake over at Sugar & Cloth. I’m seeing heavy cream, cream cheese, Kahlua, Bailey’s, Trader Joe’s Mocha Jo-Jo’s…I mean what is not to love here?? My birthday is on Monday…I’m just saying.

And that’s it for today. What are you drinking/eating/watching/reading/inspired by right now? Comment below to share! Until then, stay safe, stay hydrated, and use sunscreen.

SaveSave

5 hot home decor items that are everywhere right now

This post contains affiliate links.


Do you ever feel like you’re seeing the same decor pieces over and over? Yeah, I do too. Some evenings I scroll through Pinterest or Instagram and get confused thinking I’m looking at the same picture repeatedly, only to realize that some of the homes I’m checking out are just decorated *that* similarly.  And that’s not necessarily a bad thing — sometimes the item is so good it deserves its popularity. Here are five items that seem to keep popping up everywhere I turn:

1) That rug. That one Moroccan rug. 

homeyrug

via Homey Oh My

Oh you know the rug I’m talking about.

thatrugagain

via .

It is absolutely ubiquitous. I say that with all possible respect — in fact I plan on buying it after we move.

homepolishrug

via homepolish

After all, as far as I can tell, it might be the only rug there is right now.

rugsusarug

Tuscan Wool Moroccan Shag Rug, rugsusa.com

2) The correct planter if you’re going to have a snake plant (and who are you kidding, of course you’re going to have a snake plant)

IMG_3441

via houzz.com

Absolutely the correct choice for the hottest must-have plant (snake plant) in the hottest category of must-have plants (succulents).

modernica-ceramics-cylinder-large-wood_1

Case Study Cylinder, modernica.com

3) Replica Eames shell chairs.

styleandsugardining

via styleandsugar

This one speaks for itself. Since their 1950 debut by American powerhouse designer couple Ray and Charles Eames, they’ve never really gone out of popularity. But right now they are *the* hot dining chair. And really, with a sleek and simple design like this, when is it ever a bad choice?

IMG_3447

Set of 4 replica Eames chairs from UrbanMod, amazon.com

4) Large round mirrors

Especially in entryways –


via Amber Interiors

or bathrooms –

Screen Shot 2017-07-27 at 10.18.57 AM

via Leclair Decor

and sometimes family rooms –


via we love fashion

but wherever they are, they look great.

infinitymirror

Infinity Brass Round Wall Mirror, cb2.com

5) Hanging chairs

girl-room-hanging-chair-pouf

via houseupdated.com

I can’t help it, I’m admittedly in love with this one. I am scheming how many hanging chairs I’m allowed to have in my new house.

Hanging-Chair-Double-Serena-Lily-Unique-Seating-8-683x1024

via nestingwithgrace.com

We’ll see if I can get the husband on board with one, for starters. But seriously, can’t you just see your kids chilling and reading all day long in one of these?

hangingchair

Hanging Rattan Chair, serenaandlily.com

Chime in in the comments section below and let me know what hot decor trends you feel like you’re seeing everywhere you turn!

5 Hot Trends in Home Decor

SaveSaveFollow my blog with Bloglovin

morning musings: seeking balance amidst the chaos of motherhood and life

Raise your hand if you feel like you’re making it up everyday. I know I do. I feel like an Imposter Adult, like I’m just pretending as hard as I can, and hoping no one will notice me trying to blend in. In my head everyone else knows exactly what they’re doing, and I’m the only phony in the crowd. It’s hard to stay positive with a mentality like this, where you’re constantly fighting to suppress an inner voice telling you you’re a loser.

But occasionally the clouds in my mind part and I get a glimpse of someone else struggling with the same things I do.

I see another mom scrap her plans for the day because the baby is fussy and the older kids are belligerent.

Maybe it’s one of those days where you have so many things to get done, like taking care of the house, making tedious but important phone calls, running errands, whatever. And for once you wake up with plenty of energy or maybe you just had the right amount of coffee. Then it turns out somebody has a fever, or someone throws up. And all your mojo is gone, just like that.

Or maybe you didn’t wake up ready to kill it, maybe you got up on the wrong side of the bed. And you can’t quite seem to quit being short with everybody. You’re crabby and irritable, and spending the day taking care of your babies only exacerbates it. And you know you should do better — you know you have to do better — but some days you don’t have it in you.

Or maybe it’s just that dull part of the afternoon where it’s not quite dinnertime but all of your people (and you as well, or maybe you most of all) are just done. And you make some popcorn and park everybody in front of the tv for a bit just to catch your breath before the next wave hits.

When I’m being more honest and rational, I recognize it’s not just me. I believe most of us struggle with these kinds of days, some of us more than others. Being a parent is straight up exhausting. As rewarding as it is, it does sap you of a certain kind of energy. I think the wiser women and men among us remain aware of that, but we would all do well to remember it.

For me personally, I have found in the nine years since I embarked on this parenting journey that I need to make time to be alone. I’m deeply introverted, and being with people, especially my kids — even though they’re my favorite people — drains me; physically, mentally, emotionally most of all maybe. My husband is super helpful and I love that he looks out for me, and never minds hanging out with the kids while I go out. But that said, my favorite way to recharge is when they leave, and I get to be by myself in my house. It almost never happens, and I find myself often teetering on the edge of burnout.

via geologo

I put a lot of pressure on myself to live in a way that is (at least relatively) balanced. And rarely do I feel as though I’ve achieved that. I feel a sense of failure haunting me pretty much all of the time. I can remember my mom telling me years ago that ever since she became a mother she felt like guilt was always with her — she had a mental image of a giant ‘G’ for guilt just hanging out over her head, sometimes shrinking, sometimes growing, but always there. I can relate. I don’t think that’s a great way to live, but it probably is unavoidable to a certain degree. I wonder if maybe a healthier path is to try to make peace with the fact that we will never be exactly balanced. It might be inevitable to feel sometimes like you’re giving more than you even have to your people, and other times worry that you’re neglecting them by doing something that nourishes yourself.

There are seasons in life, and I feel like I would do well if I could internalize an acceptance of the ebb and flow of life, instead of trying to be everything to everyone always.


If you’re like me, and you constantly struggle with balancing and prioritizing your life, I want you to know you’re not alone! Chime in below in the comments and share some of the ways you look for balance in your life. Take care of yourselves out there fellow mamas. Until next time.

 

 

step aside, rustic barn door: 5 sliding doors for the modern home

doorbeckiowens

via housesevendesign

If you are as tired as I am of seeing the terms ‘distressed’ and ‘reclaimed’ slung around on Pinterest, this post is for you. The husband and I decided that we would like sliding doors attached to our media center in the new house to hide our TV when it’s not being used (I say “hide,”…if we’re being completely accurate I’d also have to add “protect from the children”). Casual searches turn up plenty of rustic, barn door-inspired variations. But, as our decor style is less vintage farmhouse and more modern bohemian, we have had to look a little harder to find ideas that we both feel like we like.

doorinteriores

via interiores minimalistas

This glass-paneled number is so sleek, but probably a little too stark to match up with our style.

doorsdecordeprovence

via decor de provence

I love this one. The color and design are great. I’d probably add a large dramatic pull, either gold or brass.

doorseinteriors

via einteriors

Also very pretty. Again, I’d go for larger pulls on the doors.

doorscuyana

via popsugar

And this one might be my favorite of them all. I’m completely smitten with natural-colored wood these days. I love how clean this design is while still being interesting. But, at the risk of becoming predictable…I’d still put a much bigger pull on this door to add drama. Probably a bar pull…something black, and sleek. What do you think? Chime in below in the comments!

fullsizeoutput_336c

setting up house: the dining room

This post contains referral links.

west coast style beach dining room

via Homepolish

Let’s talk about ideas for the dining room.

I haven’t been able to get the picture above out of my mind. It clicked for me so immediately that I decided I’m going to use it as the basis for my dining room decor. The table is gorgeous is it not? The whole photo makes me think of California beaches. It feels breezy and light to me in a decidedly West Coast way. The table is really the lynchpin of the decor here. It’s a live edge table from Los Angeles-based retailer HD Buttercup. I think it’s perfect (that exact one, and not one similar to it — here’s looking at you Husband), but as it is probably out of my budget at the moment I’ve been asking myself if it’s necessary in order to achieve the feel of this photo. And as much as I love it (and it pains me to say this), after a small period of grieving, I am finding inspiration for other looks that I could one day deem acceptable.

scandinavian style minimalist dining room

via Nordic Design

modern dining room with eames and bertoia replica chairs

via Inspired by This

scandinavian style white dining room

via pretty nice

scandinavian style minimalist dining room

via boho deco chic

scandinavian style minimalist dining room

via style and sugar

And I know, you’re right, of course you’re right — I have a problem with the Eames style chairs. But no worries, that’s easily solved. They’re happening.

Here’s my board based on my dining room needs: bright, natural-wood colored table, a little color, some live greenery, a pretty but simple buffet, and of course, the white Eames chairs:

modern boho dining room inspiration roundup board

sources: urbanmod eames side chairs / hdbuttercup live edge dining table / 2xhome eames armchairs / zgallerie print / westelm audrey dining buffet / target metal wood & leather bar cart

Share your thoughts in the comments!

SaveSave

morning musing: on setting down roots

IMG_3099I found a quiet moment this morning to sit and jot down a few design-related thoughts for the new house. As I may or may not have mentioned here before, we will be taking very little that we already own with us when we move. The truth is, over 14 years of marriage and five different addresses, we haven’t accumulated much. We’ve never truly set up house in any real sense. We always felt like wherever we lived was temporary, and we were thinking about where we were going next. That feeling of impermanence (and its friend, instability) has gotten old. This time we’re setting up shop.

IMG_3100For a brief time we were nomads. We decided we would get rid of (nearly) everything we owned and just travel. We were going to cross the country, taking our time as we went, and figure out where we belonged. I think it was a combination of having watched Fight Club and Away We Go too many times. Or leftover fevered brains from having had our second baby within the last year. Whatever the case, we tried.

IMG_3101

Over the last few years the sense of Not Belonging Anywhere has gotten to us. After giving up our short-lived vagabond phase, we returned not home but to the town we grew up in, near family. We accidentally had another baby. (Happy) oops. Making friends (and getting to keep them) sounds great. It feels like a good time to settle down for awhile.

IMG_3098

And that’s going to take some furniture. (These are the lengths I’m willing to go to to justify shopping).

IMG_3029

Happy Monday everyone 🙂

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave