One thing Leo and I had been debating over for weeks was whether or not we pull the trigger on new speakers. With all of the other house expenses, we wondered if it was worth it to replace speakers that were fully functional…eye sores, but functional. After a lot of thought (& a lot of Pinteresting), we decided with a little love we could make our speakers more of statement piece by painting them. We desperately needed color in the our living room, so we decided to go with a retro mint green color. I secretly love this color so was ecstatic that Leo was into it too!
We wanted to make the process as simple as possible (aka avoiding priming, sanding, sanding again), and decided that chalk paint was our best bet. The end result came out so good I just had to share! Below are the steps on how to paint speakers if you’re looking to try this at home –
It’s been a while since I last wrote a mindfulness post, and I’m realizing that I’m having a hard time writing it now. Why? Because I haven’t been very mindful lately. I’ve been caught up with work, the million house projects we have going on (do they ever end?), trying to make time for my friends, family & Leo. Summer felt like a whirlwind…I haven’t had a moment to just take it all in. Not because I didn’t have the time, because I didn’t MAKE the time.
On Saturday afternoon, I went to my mom’s for a bit to hang. I haven’t spent a lot of time at home in the last couple of months, and I was really starting to miss it. I think what I miss the most is the simplicity of life back when I lived there. When I was a teen, all I wanted to do was grow up and get out of that place. Now that I’m older, I wish I had embraced that period of life for what it was and enjoyed it a little more. And I thought about how 10 years from now, I’ll likely be saying the same thing. How do I prevent this from happening? We’re all guilty of constantly thinking ahead – “when I do xyz, things will be better”, “I can relax once I accomplished abc” – that we don’t take time to soak in the present.
Now that we have more space, we actually have a separate room for our visitors. Yes, they even get a door to their bedroom! It’s a weird thing to not default to the air mattress in the middle of the living room situation (which is what I did all of these years). I think you officially become an adult when you have a guest bedroom. Your friends don’t have to change in the bathroom, or have all of their personal belongings out in the open for everyone to see. Yep. Officially #adulting.
Since this is a new phenomenon for me (& Leo), we’ve had some fun brainstorming ways to make our guests more comfortable. Leo has many friends that live outside of Chicago, so we have frequent visitors at our place. It’s basically like a part time Air Bnb…so we figured, why don’t we make it feel like one? Here are few things we’ve done to help visitors feel more welcome in our home…
All of the dishes we have in the house have simple, minimalist designs. I never thought I’d need or want anything else! Until, earlier this year, I came across these adorable salad plates at West Elm. Leo and I both fell in love with the silly portraits of various animals dressed as humans, and we immediately purchased a few that happened to be on clearance (this was right around Christmastime).
Since then, we’ve noticed that with every new season the designer, Rachel Kozlowski, comes out with a new set of plates. The attire changes as the seasons do – from birds in pullover sweaters in the winter, to sharks in bikinis in the summer. She recently released her fall line, and they’re more colorful than ever. We couldn’t help but buy every single design this season, they’re just too cute. We’ve slowly built a collection of about 15 plates – it’s been nice to switch things up and add some color to our kitchen cabinets! You can shop the dishes below –
For years now, I’ve been trying to get off of anti-perspirant deodorant. Yes, I was still using it until recently…but I swear it’s because NOTHING else worked! I can’t be a smelly, sweaty mess. It’s just not an option. I’ve been on a serious hunt for the best natural deodorant. I’ve tried so many varieties, including Arm & Hammer, Toms, and that weird crystal one because my mom swore by it growing up and I was a curious child (it smells like salt and it’s as weird as it looks). Bottom line is, I might as well have gone au naturel because I sure smelled like I did. TMI, but I’m trying to make a point here!
Okay, I’m sure you’re sick of hearing about my deck at this point..but I’m so so so happy it’s DONE. Yes, the timing is not ideal, but fingers crossed we get a few more months of solid weather. We had friends in town last weekend, and it was so nice to all lounge around and lay out in the sun (because the only sun I got this summer was in Greece). Much much needed chill time! PS – I’ve always dreamed of having one of these egg chairs in my outdoor space and I FINALLY got one last week. It’s overkill but kind of amazing.
Since we’re basically living on our deck every Saturday afternoon until the end of summer (at least that is our goal), I want to make sure the time we spend up there is stress free. After a few tweaks here and there, I’ve come up with a list of necessities for the ultimate deck experience.
We hit a big milestone since my last post – our remodeling work in the house is officially complete! We spent the last few weekends finishing up our deck. Yes, we made the decision to replace planks & re-stain our deck ourselves (with the help of a few very generous friends!). Are we crazy? Potentially. If we weren’t crazy before the project, we definitely lost our sanity throughout the process. Let’s just say there were late weeknights spent painting planks using our phones as lights…#homeownerprobs.
The thing I’m most excited about is that now we have time to focus on the more fulfilling home projects (because, let’s be real, the projects never end). I’m talking selecting art, rugs, pillows & throws, indoor plants…just pure decorating. The best part of it all! The first place we’re starting? Finding the perfect coffee table. It’s LONG overdue.
As with many of our other furniture purchases, I didn’t realize all of the intricacies involved with finding the right coffee table. There are definitely guidelines to keep in mind as you shop around – so I wanted to share a few that we are considering in our hunt for our coffee table match! We haven’t found the winner yet, but I’ll be sure to let you know which one we pick. Below are four things we’re considering when shopping for our coffee table – I’ve also linked to a few tables I’m loving currently. Which one do you like the best?
The worst part of going on vacation is always the aftermath…coming back to reality. I tend to reflect on all of the beautiful places I visited, and am saddened that I don’t have the flexibility to spend more time seeing other parts of the world. To my surprise, coming home from this last trip I found the transition to be slightly less difficult.
I thought about why my vacation blues didn’t linger as long as usual. It could just be that I’m getting older and am becoming more of a homebody, but I don’t think that’s the case. I think that I’m finally in a place where I’m able to recreate the things I love about vacation at home (outside of exploring the world, of course). It’s more about that excitement and ability to decompress. I’m excited about our new home and spending time enjoying it. I’m excited about summer in Chicago and exploring new restaurants, bars, and summer events. I’m excited about hosting friends and sharing our home & city with them. I’ve learned to plan better (aka learning to say “no”) so I’m not overcommitting – definitely a source of stress for me in the past. Bottom line is, I don’t feel like I’m only happy on vacation, which is a good thing!
I realized I didn’t do a mindfulness post in June, so it was hard to pick just five articles this month! So many good reads out there! Below are a few links across the web that have inspired and motivated me the last couple of months –
Those mornings you spend staring hopelessly at your closet, feeling like you have NOTHING to wear…we’ve all been there. A closet full of clothes with nothing to wear – how do you get around this? Considering most of us are on a budget, buying a whole new wardrobe is just not an option. I used to face this conundrum often, until I recently revamped my closet. It took me a weekend to do, but now I wake up excited to wear what I have and I no longer have the urge to buy more (which is rarity for me!). Don’t get me wrong, I have still been getting little things here and there, but more accessories than anything. Have I convinced you that you need to do this yet?!
Now, put some time aside and prepare to fall in love with your wardrobe all over again. The steps I followed are fairly simple, they just take time and energy. Grab a glass of rosé, put on a good playlist and GO!
We’ve finally wrapped up construction in the house! YAY! It’s SOOOO nice to not have contractors in and out constantly…and after hours and hours of cleaning, I’ve managed to get out the dust. We’re starting to feel settled, which is an unfamiliar yet very welcomed feeling. There’s so much open space now that we don’t have boxes, equipment, paint and other random stuff laying around. I can’t handle clutter – I was losing my mind towards the end there! Anyway, I’m ready to move on from this stage to more fun, exciting things like home accessories.
Our next project is furnishing our deck. One recent discovery (& a warning for those of you who are as clueless as I was) – outdoor furniture is EXPENSIVE. Like, way more than you’d want to pay for furniture that is going to be sitting outside taking on the elements. Another thing I’ve never spent too much time dwelling on is outdoor lighting. I always thought it was just…THERE. Yeah, not the case. We realized we needed more lighting ASAP after having our first BBQ a few weeks back – we all had our iPhone lights on to avoid face planting down the steps and/or dropping the delicious food/cocktails we had just carefully crafted.