Before and After: Bathroom Revamp

I decided to tackle one more project before year’s end: a revamp of the bathroom. I mentioned back in August that I woke up one day and decided I hated everything in there. Not sure where that came from, but I definitely think I’ve made some improvements.

Here’s what it looked like before:

IMG_1392Now, this is not a dramatic reveal – there’s still a lot I’d change, but you can only take a rental bathroom so far. (For instance, I am DYING to replace that mirror/light fixture, and I’d get rid of the checkered floor too.)

Here’s where I’ve landed for now:

DSC01981While I still need a few things (top of the list: a basket of some kind to put on top of the toliet), it already feels more spa-like, and I love that. The white shower curtain allows for more light to come through, and I bought these awesome new towels – Hotel Collection from Macy’s, if anyone is curious – that have made a huge difference.

But my absolute favorite part of the “new” bathroom is my gallery wall. I took a series of photographs in college in different barbershops around Bloomington, Ind., and I’ve always wanted to display them. I finally made it happen, and I couldn’t be happier! Plus, it meant I didn’t have to buy expensive artwork and could splurge on those towels I mentioned.

Maybe I’ll paint someday; there’s no doubt it could use it. I also attempted to recaulk part of the bathtub – turns out caulking is not my foray. I still have a lot to learn… I’ll save that for 2015!

“New” Living Room Wall Art

I’m finally getting around to doing a couple small projects around the house, and one big thing on the list has always been to get some artwork up on the living room walls. I’m having a hard time figuring out what I want to put on navy accent wall (it’s such a beaut on its own!), and I’d quickly DIY’d some wall art for above the couch before a party – a temporary solution that’s now been up for months. Far too long. (It was inspired by this, but I just drew on some butcher paper instead of burlap.)

DSC01036Outside of indecisiveness, I’d also been running into a budget problem – as in I didn’t have one. This time of year money is tight! So I started brainstorming about what I could make or what I already had.

And it hit me: My postcard collection. When I studied abroad, I decided to start collecting postcards. (I didn’t have much room in my suitcase to take back anything else.) Since then, whenever I travel, I pick up postcards – not usually the cheesy skyline shots but something more artistic, and a lot of the postcards are prints of famous photographs that I like (I was a photo minor in college).

An individual postcard doesn’t make much of an impact on an expansive white wall like this, but there’s some power in numbers. Check it out:

DSC01887I didn’t have the money to buy frames for each one (that’s the goal down the road), but I also didn’t want to ruin the postcard by using some kind of adhesive on the back. I used clear photo corners, and they’re holding surprisingly well! I thought maybe they’d peel off, but this has been up a few weeks now, and I haven’t had to replace any of them yet.

DSC01903One of my favorite things about this is that as my collection grows so can the gallery. I can also easily swap them out whenever I feel like making a change.

DSC01895Ready to embrace your collection and show it off? Apartment Therapy has A LOT of thoughts (including this and this) that might help you take the leap. Let me know how you’re displaying your collections!

(Images: Please don’t judge too harshly. The sun hasn’t been out here in what feels like a month!)

On My Mind: November Edition

grace-71. Back in August, I talked about how I woke up one day and decided I hated my bathroom… Well, I’ve finally gotten around to giving it a bit of a refresh (reveal to come soon!). I’ve been looking around for artwork, and I happened upon Grace Lee, a Toyko-based Australian artist. Her drawings are so whimsical and fun. I thought the one above would look adorable in a bathroom, but I also really like this one and this one.

2. I’m sure people have moved on to the next big thing in impractical footwear by now, but I have to admit: I kind of still love UGG boots. (For the record, I was NOT one of those college girls who wore ’em with yoga pants and a North Face jacket… I was way too broke for that nonsense.) For someone whose feet are always cold, they’re a godsend. But after last year’s polar vortex madness, my pair got so much salt in them that the left boot literally cracked… I’m thinking it’s time to upgrade. Luckily, UGG just came out with a water-resistant boot. It’s about damn time! What took so long?

3. Kudos to Linda Merrill of Decorative Surroundings for putting together an awesome Pinterest board of design resources, including guides to pillow sizes, molding styles and chair backs. Ever wondered the difference between a camelback and tuxedo sofa? She’s got ya covered.

4. Do you guys have a morning routine to kick off your day? Not like brush your teeth (hopefully you do do that), but, say, take five minutes to stretch or download a news podcast to listen to in the shower? I’ve started making the bed as soon as I get out of it, and I’ve really grown to like it – it brings a sense of order to one little corner of my life. I’ve been debating moving my phone away from my nightstand… haven’t gotten there yet. Apartment Therapy’s 10 Things to Do the First 10 Minutes of Your Day offers some good ideas, but I’d love to hear yours.

5. And, of course, how could the holidays not be on my mind? The stores have been pushing Christmas on us for the past three-plus weeks already! When do you think it’s appropriate to bust out the tinsel? Tomorrow is Dec. 1. I know what my plans are : )

(Image: Lamington Drive)


Weekend Rewind: Exploring Kansas City

I’ll (mostly) let the pictures do the talking here, but we had a blast in Kansas City! Like I mentioned, I’d never been before, and we snagged roundtrip flights for less than $70—and then a helluva deal on two nights at the Westin—so off we went exploring…


It’s a great foodie town: We ate at two places with James Beard ties (and didn’t break the bank), drank at an underground speakeasy-of-sorts, ordered waaaay too much (in a good way) from a BBQ place in a gas station and still had time for a sampler at Boulevard Brewing. Needless to say, any weight I lost during marathon training has returned! But whatever, it was worth it.

Three of my must-sees, in no particular order:


Stroud’s. This soul food mecca has A LOT of things going for it, including family-style pan fried chicken and sides, Coke with maraschino cherries, red-and-white checkered table cloths and—and—bottomless fresh cinnamon rolls for dessert! It was ridiculous. And amazing. Oh, and did I mention it’s housed in a renovated log cabin from the 19th century?

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. This is a badass art museum—including impressive modern and Indian art collections—but the real kicker is that it’s free! Save time to explore the grounds, including KC’s iconic shuttlecock sculptures.

Oklahoma Joe’s. This is the aforementioned BBQ-joint-in-a-gas-station. But don’t let the ambiance fool you—this is some DAMN good BBQ.  For the record, all of that food pictured… it was mine alone. I ended up taking ribs home on the plane, and if I could’ve carried on more than 3 oz., I would have snatched up a bottle of OJ’s BBQ sauce for sure. It’s thick and tangy without overpowering the meat.

Honorable mentions: Extra Virgin (pricey, but stop in for Happy Hour deals 4-6 p.m.), Weird Stuff Antiques (strange location, strange items) and Boulevard Brewing (free 40-minute tours with tastings).

On the wish list for next time: Mexican food, Swope Park, Rye brunch and Town-Topic Hamburgers.


I Want That Wednesday: Silver Ridge Studio Prints

I’ve coveted this print for, quite literally, years…


I can’t even remember where I first ran across it at this point, but I think it’s so beautiful. I love the colors and her freckles. And I’m crazy envious of her voluminous ‘do.  I guess I haven’t snatched it up only because I’m not sure where I’d put it right now. But you will be mine some day, Rosa. You will be mine.

And maybe some of your stylish friends can come too…

Watercolour prints by Silver Ridge Studio, $35-$250/each,

(Images: Etsy)


I Want That Wednesday: Maddie the Coonhound

If you haven’t been able to tell from my Instagram or Weekend Rewinds, I’m a huuuge sucker for my family’s dog, a vizsla named Coco. I would definitely have a dog of my own if my landlord allowed it, and it’d almost certainly be one from the sporting or hound groups—pointers, weimaraners, plotts, etc.

So that’s why I’m especially smitten with Maddie the Coonhound.


It’s not actually Maddie that I want (well, sure, if she was up for adoption, I’d be all about it), but what’s more feasible is a few of these great photographs from Maddie’s owner, Theron Humphrey.

Is she not irresistable? I can tell just by looking at her that she’s a “Velcro dog” like Coco. I’m not sure how he gets her to hold still for so long though! Coco is a wild woman so I rarely get a good pic of her.


Humphrey is also doing this awesome photo essay called Why We Rescue, about 50 people across 50 states who have adopted pets. Check it out. (And make sure your sound is on!)

Maddie the Coonhound prints, $20 each, Maddie on Things

(Images: Maddie on Things)

Disclaimer: “I Want That Wednesdays” are a series of posts that, well frankly, are just of things (decor, fashion, food, etc.) I like. The products featured are never sponsored; they’re simply items I’ve come across that I’m crushing on and that I thought you might enjoy as well. Let me know if you love it/ hate it/ can’t get enough of it.

I Want That Wednesday: Snoogs & Wilde Prints

Yesterday I alluded to the fact that the newly painted living room isn’t really ready to be shown off yet, and part of that battle is replacing artwork. (I moved two large paintings that were originally in the living room to the dining room, so it’s pretty bare.)

I’ve start looking around on Etsy a bit, and I’m loving the watercolor art from Snoogs & Wilde:

44e514f8f362a4485e8aea99f74c7371With the new dark accent wall and my mostly mid-century furniture, I don’t want the room to feel too masculine (hello, Don Draper), so I appreciate prints that add softness without screaming Girl Power! The colors are beautiful.

And affordable is always good. Each of these prints are between $24 and $38. What’s your favorite source for art on a budget? Send me your suggestions!

il_570xN.560170194_eut0(Images: Etsy)

Disclaimer: “I Want That Wednesdays” are a series of posts that, well frankly, are just of things (decor, fashion, food, etc.) I like. The products featured are never sponsored; they’re simply items I’ve come across that I’m crushing on and that I thought you might enjoy as well. Let me know if you love it/ hate it/ can’t get enough of it.


Throwback Thursday: Middle School Bedroom

I’m not embarrassed to say I had a crush on Freddie Prinze Jr. growing up. She’s All That? Swoon. He may have been a terrible actor, but you have to admit he was pretty damn cute. HuffPo agrees with me. And Buffy.

But what every tween may not have had was a FPJ and Heath Ledger handmade poster. Oh yes, I caught on to Heath waaaay before the Brokeback Mountain craze. 10 Things I Hate About You? Still love it.

DSC00501Sorry, I should have given you some kind of warning before throwing that hideous picture out there. But you can see my hunky man collage on the left. What you can also see is a SHIT TON of other stuff. I was definitely a hoarder. I still am a little, but I’m a recovering hoarder.


I think I was a hippie child? I’m seeing glow-in-the-dark peace signs, psychedelic art work, tie-dye curtains… and then some chili pepper lights? Not sure where those fit in. Add a bit of an Asian vibe and some athletic gear, and what we have is beyond a hot mess.

DSC00500Also, check out all the dolls and Beanie Babies… ah, they threaten to come alive and take over! So. Many.

DSC00503I think my mom told me one time that this was their furniture when they got married. They waited 10 years to have me, and I was probably 13 at the time… You can do the math there.

Anybody else willing to share their embarrassing first attempts at design?

Design Inspiration: “Float”

I’m really enjoying exploring the Loop—and even a bit of the South Loop—now that my job is downtown. I’ve never actually worked in the Loop proper, so the last time I hung out in this part of the city is when I moved up to Chicago for a summer in high school (shout out to Columbia College’s HSSI—one of the absolute best things my parents let me do). I can’t believe I’m going to admit this, but that was 10 YEARS ago! Omg…

Anyway, much love goes out to the Chicago Loop Alliance and their offshoot Pop-Up Art Loop. It’s an organization that creates partnerships between artists and property owners, transforming empty storefronts in the Loop. Temporary gallery, exhibition and interactive space is created at no cost to the artist and in prime real estate. What a good idea! (They also host gallery walks and an alley party, among other initiatives.)

photo 2As you can imagine, the work is always changing, but my favorite right now is Noah MacMillan‘s “Float,” a mural that wraps around the southwest corner of State and Adams. They say, “The artwork, which is the largest of its kind in Chicago, depicts a surreal parade winding through downtown Chicago, in which colorful sea-creature floats appear to swim through the streets.” You know I have a soft spot for all things nautical…photo 1