Lifestyle

An Affordable Modern Barn Door

An Affordable Modern Barn Door

From the moment we moved into our house back in November, we knew that we needed to get some sort of door for our guest bedroom. Even though there’s a flight of stairs separating the bedroom from the main floor, we wanted people to at least feel like they have SOME privacy when they stay with us. At the entrance of the stairway, we have a massive opening that’s much larger than the standard doorway. That said, getting a normal door was out the window. Leo then had the brilliant idea of putting a barn door there – we had enough space on the right side to allow for a sliding door. It was the perfect solution!

We fell in love with the modern doors at Rustica, but couldn’t get ourselves to pull the trigger on a $2K+ door (we needed a custom size and that drastically increased the price). The other option was getting one at Home Depot or Lowe’s, but they didn’t have that modern look we were hoping for or the color palette we had in mind. Both Leo and I wanted a rustic look but with a modern edge, otherwise it wouldn’t mesh with the rest of the house. This one we found on Etsy couldn’t be more perfect, and they nailed the color too! We wanted a grey distressed color that would make our floor & walls pop (& goes really well with our sputnik light). You can shop the hardware & barn door we bought here – custom made barn door, Etsy | barn door hardware, Home Depot.

PS – remember the dresser in our hallway from my DIY post? It’s looking even better now with the hallway additions!

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My Spring Bucket List

My Spring Bucket List

It’s so refreshing to be out and about the last few weeks. I’m officially out of hibernation! I even left the house without a jacket on a couple of days last week. I find it so liberating to not have to match a jacket with my outfit (#firstworldproblems)! Bottom line is, I love spring because it means warmer weather is on the way. Here in Chicago, it’s the time of year when you actually start seeing other humans that live in the city. Where were these people all winter? Likely hiding under blankets on their sofas like everyone else.

I like to put together a “bucket list” for each season (except I realized that I didn’t do one for winter, probably because the last thing I want to do is leave my house when it’s 15 degrees out – haha). Here’s what I have on my list this spring!

PS – this pic is from summer 2 years ago – I forgot how short my hair was!

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Monday Mindfulness

Monday Mindfulness

I can’t believe it’s already April! I’ve been in good spirits the last few days because we had a weekend of beautiful weather here, after two weeks of nonstop rain. It’s amazing how much weather can impact your mood and outlook. The gloomy days were really getting to me, and I found myself being negative and just not motivated. I knew it was happening, and I felt like I couldn’t get myself out of that funk. I’m glad I got a taste of warmer weather…I’m starting to feel like myself again!

The last month or two, I’ve tried to become more mindful of my emotions, and what triggers both negative & positive emotions for me. I know for a fact that the weather was one thing that was bringing me down. Knowing this was happening, I tried to do more of what makes me happy. Working out, cooking, spending time friends & family. I realized that something as small as hearing an old song that brought me back to a happy place could change my day. I know it sounds trivial, but it’s so true!

I’m also trying to focus on giving off positive vibes and surrounding myself with those who do the same. I realized how important it is be around people that make me happy. Now that I’m older & wiser, it’s much easier for me to identify unhealthy relationships in my life. I’m consciously spending more time around those who make me a better person, and also (for the first time in a long time) letting new people in. Here are a few articles around the web that inspired me the last month –

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My Favorite Things to Buy at Trader Joe’s

My Favorite Things to Buy at Trader Joe’s

I’ll be the first admit that I legit like grocery shopping. Is that weird? I don’t get to cook everyday, but I love going to the grocery store on the weekends to stock up on my go-to snacks and whatever recipes I’m making that week (really it’s “recipe”, singular, but I shoot for the stars). I also enjoy hunting for new stuff to try, and Trader Joe’s is one of my favorite places to do this. They’re always introducing new items to the mix – I’m like a child in a candy store when I shop their “new in” section. That and the section where they have the samples. I love samples.

I’ve been a Trader Joe’s shopper ever since I graduated college, which feels like forever ago (because it is). They’ve been popping up everywhere in the city which is amazing. Rumor has it, they’ll be opening on in Wicker Park soon – heyoooo. Cannot wait. Since I’m a long time T Joe’s shopper, there are specific things I always buy from there, on top of the experimental purchases I throw in the mix. Below are my favorite things to buy from Trader Joe’s (all of these items are Trader Joe’s exclusives). I’ve linked to the items that aren’t pictured so you can easily find them!

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How to Clean White Sneakers

How to Clean White Sneakers

Wearing: ASOS jeans, Lacoste sneakers, Larsson & Jennings watch, vintage jacket

I’m sure you’ve noticed, but I’m a BIG fan of white sneakers. Basically, I don’t know what I’d do without them. I wear them when I feel like being comfy (which let’s be honest – that’s most days) – and I love that depending on the outfit, I still feel stylish rocking them. The only issue with white sneakers is that they only look good when they’re crisp and clean. Scuffed up, dirty sneakers are not a thing…yeah, I know, wouldn’t it make our lives easier if they were? I’ve got a few hacks to make my sneaks look brand spankin’ new, or at least close enough. Here are three things I regularly do to clean my white sneakers (and keep in mind that sneaks don’t last forever, so if you’re past the 2 year mark, you prob need to pull the trigger on a new pair):

PS – If you’re on the market for new sneakers, check out my roundup of favs!

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Healthy Snacks to Stock Up On

Healthy Snacks to Stock Up On

Confession – I LOVE snacking. I love food in general, but snacking is one of my guilty pleasures. Sometimes (well, most times), I just want to munch on a little somthin’ somthin’. Depending on what I have at arm’s length, it can be a bad situation. Knowing I have this habit of hitting up my pantry every few hours, I try to keep only healthy snacks in the house. That way, even though I feel a tad guilty about snacking, I’m comforted by the fact that I’m at least putting healthy stuff into my body. These are the healthy snacks I resort to on the reg –

Siggi’s Yogurt: I’ve tried most yogurt brands, and Siggi’s is by FAR my favorite – I even like it better than Fage (sorry, Leo). My favorite is the plain one, but I’ve tried most of their flavors and there isn’t one I don’t like. Their yogurts have less sugar than most brands on the market, and significantly more protein (even when compared to Greek yogurts). Their plain yogurt is 0% fat, and it’s still as creamy as ever. I typically eat it with honey and fresh blueberries, sometimes adding some cereal or granola for a little crunch.

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Our Modern Kitchen Remodel

Our Modern Kitchen Remodel

As most of you already know (I’ve only been talking about it nonstop the last few months!), when we bought our place in August of last year, we knew we had a lot of work to do. The condo needed some SERIOUS love, as it hadn’t been updated in about 20 years. Though remodeling can be exhausting – literally the number of decisions you have to make is mind numbing – I found it to be so so worth it in the end. There is something special about having your place just the way you want it, minus some potentially regretful decisions (which we did have too haha).

I’ve got plenty of projects to share with you guys, but wanted to kick things off with one of our biggest ones so far, the kitchen! When we bought the house, the kitchen was super dark. Dark cabinets, counter tops, a green-ish beige paint color on the walls. We wanted a more modern, minimalist feel, but one that still felt cozy & warm. I feel like coziness can get lost in modern homes, so we kept that in mind as we made our kitchen decisions. Ready for the BIG REVEAL?!!! Here’s our completed modern kitchen remodel…

PS – You can now see our kitchen reveal featured on Shutterfly!

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Dresser DIY Makeover: Leather Handles

Dresser DIY Makeover: Leather Handles

Our little house is FINALLY coming together. I don’t feel like I’m living in boxes anymore, so that’s progress…right?! We put up our art on the walls a few weeks back, along with installing bookshelves in the living room. Most of the furniture we ordered is in – I can’t wait to show you what the living room looks like once it’s all done! I need to get a few accessories to cozy it up a bit, and I’m waiting on my desk too. Exciting stuff!

One thing we knew we’d have to be creative with in our place was closet space. There isn’t a ton of it, and both Leo and I have way too much stuff – more than either of us would like to admit (he has more than I do, truth be told). We found that after much trail & error, there was no way both of us could fit all of our stuff in the bedroom closet. As much as I hated the idea, we had to put a dresser in our hallway, underneath the stairs.

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Monday Mindfulness

Monday Mindfulness

I came across this photo this weekend and smiled. It’s from Leo and I’s first trip to Greece together back in 2013 (I can’t believe that was three and a half years ago!). Here we are being goofy after finding a miner’s cart in one of the mineral mines in Milos. One of my favorite past times is too look over old photos –  they always bring back happy memories & beautiful experiences. They remind me of the people & places I love.

I know I’m not alone when I say that some of my most memorable experiences occur when I’m on vacation or out of my every day routine. This is probably because I’m disconnected from the stresses of every day life. Vacation amounts to ~10% of my overall time – and it saddens me to think that the rest of the time I’m not doing what I can to make the most of every moment. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anxious mess on a daily basis, but I could be doing a better job of practicing gratitude & not taking time for granted. I’ve decided I’m going to try to do a better job at this…thinking about now and not wasting all of my time worrying about the future or what I could’ve done differently in the past.

The articles below inspired me to be grateful, present and not take happiness for granted. I hope they inspire you to do the same!

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How to Find the Perfect Bra

How to Find the Perfect Bra

My entire life, I’ve struggled in finding the right bra. Let’s just say things never started off on the right foot. I blossomed at a young age, and by the 5th grade I had to make the move from training bra to the real deal. At the time, I hated the entire process and the changes my body was going through. I felt like I was the only one struggling to find a bra that I felt comfortable in and gave me the support I needed (real talk – I needed ALL the support I could get). Later on, I realized that these struggles weren’t unique to me, they’re #girlstruggles.

All women have trouble in finding the perfect bra fit…you’re not alone ladies! Here’s how to find the perfect bra for you…

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