February 16, 2015
Our den was an addition to the original house, added on about two years after it was built (here's what it looked like when we bought it). It's by far where we spend most of our chill time. I love the built-ins, the wood-burning fireplace, the huge windows and sliding door to our patio... but not the faux-slate tiles. When we moved in I bought some neutral cheap rugs from IKEA to create a cozy "island" in the middle of the room. When when we got our bigger couch a few months ago, it seemed... not enough. I wanted that cozy island to become a whole cozy room, with a little more life in it – and the den seemed like a good space to go a little more vivid and out-there since we also have a more chill, mid-century modern "formal living room." Replacing the tile with carpet or wood isn't an option at the moment. I also realized it was the only room in the house without pattern... so I bought that pouf on clearance at Target. But then the pouf looked totally sad and out of place.
It was time to buy some crazy rugs.
One of the many upsides of being a designer is the power to use Photoshop to imagine things. I've done this with paint colors and artwork before, but never shared it. I wasn't even planning on sharing this (you can see my Starbucks cup on the desk in the background, nothing is styled or smoothed or fluffed...), but I'm too excited by how my room is going to look that I can't help it.
This is the beginning of the Great Rug Layering of 2015. I got all three of these on Overstock (though I also love RugsUSA) for under $400 total. I'm honestly not super comfortable with pattern, so I wanted to make sure the combo wasn't too crazy, that the colors tied together well, and just see what it did to the vibe of the room. I wasn't even going to buy the rugs that day... but after seeing this I just had to immediately (I also didn't want to over-think it). The power of Photoshop!
They'll be arriving in the next week or two. Down the road I think I'll buy another, larger jute rug for under my desk / the back half of the room, and maybe some smaller (grey-based?) rugs to fill in holes. But this is a solid, cozy start.
January 28, 2015
I use this blog as a journal, to remember, and I love randomly checking posts from a year or two ago, just to see where I was in contrast to where I am. Last late January I was expanding and contracting during a time of intense change and growth. It was one of those "everything is very bright and a little overwhelming and when will winter end" times, that thankfully has passed.
A year later, things are just now clicking into place (except for that peskily-cyclical winter bit). I can finally look back with some clarity and appreciate, by contrast, the calm of my life right now. We chose to elope and it was absolutely the best decision for us. Micah found a job – and it ended up being better than anything we could have imagined. We were able to start saving up for things again, and bought a big new bed, and a cozy new couch (photos soon). Our house is feeling more like a home. We're both building creatively-fulfilling careers.
I just wanted to acknowledge this period, to validate Past Liz, and to reassure Future Liz. Everything contracts and expands, this too shall pass, just keep swimming, all that. And when in doubt, read the archives of your own silly blog, to see how far you've come. It's always further than you remember.
Labels: winter 2014
January 26, 2015
I've officially jumped on the juice bandwagon, and so far I'm loving it. As per Bon Appétit's recommendation (my favorite magazine subscription right now), I bought myself this juicer a few weeks ago, plus a book of recipes to get me started and keep me out of ruts. So far my favorite combos are (from top to bottom): carrot + grapefruit + ginger, beet + apple, and kale + spinach + celery + lime.
So far, I'm averaging about one big juice every other day. I've been careful to always use more vegetables than fruit (sssugarrr). These aren't meal replacements for me – more like hearty snacks, or a supplement of sorts, to make sure I'm getting enough plant power. I recently worked with a client who was trained as a raw food chef, and during one of our meetings she said, "Raw food is alive, and it will transform you from a cellular level. You're literally putting life and light into your body." It's really stuck with me, and I can totally feel that in those first few sips. So bold and fresh and potent – just the COLOR alone is transformational, no?
As healthy as all this jazz is, my mind can't help but wander off to the delicious cocktail possibilities that my new toy also opens up. We had fresh-squeezed orange juice for mimosas last weekend, and that green juice got me thinking about combining cucumber + lime + maybe a little jalapeño? + gin, or making a home-made Bloody Mary mix...
December 8, 2014
November 18, 2014
I'm working from Oklahoma City this week, missing my husband... and just now realizing we totally missed our six-month anniversary a few weeks ago. What better excuse to post some of our "portraits" (the more candid, the more I like it) from our elopement in May? Here's to another six-and-a-half-ish months (AT LEAST) of boozy adventures and insuppressible laughter.
Additional viewing: part one and part two.
November 1, 2014
I've been hearing about fire cider for a few years, but always assumed it some sort of secret folk medicine that was too complex or arcane for anyone but like, Appalachian witch healers to make. Turns out, it's basically raw apple vinegar cider, infused with all kinds of powerful immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, decongestant, and circulatory-assisting plants and herbs to literally and figuratively warm your ass up and protect it from illness during the cold winter months. And all it really takes to make, is patience.
There are a lot of recipes out there, but they all center around a base of chopped horseradish, onion, ginger, garlic, and citrus. I followed the basic proportions of this recipe, but didn't add some of the "extra" herbs like thyme, parsley, or the peppercorns (though those all sound like awesome additions). Some of the more esoteric recipes also call for making this on a particular moon phase, and burying the jar in your yard for a month for extra... potency. I happened to make mine on the new moon in Scorpio (also known as grocery day), and it sounds badass, so it can't hurt. I'm storing mine in a cool dark cupboard, and shaking it whenever I remember to. There also seem to be a lot of differing opinions on how long the cider needs to "steep" – from two weeks, to two months. I think I'll wait a month (or a full moon cycle), then strain out all the non-liquid, and add raw local honey to taste – and for additional health benefits.
Fire cider can be taken straight, as a shot, or in a tea with hot water and more honey; some even use it in salad dressing. I think I need to taste it first. I actually like the taste of vinegar (and garlic, and ginger, etc, etc), but horseradish is a different story; even chopping that was a sinus-clearing, nosehair-burning experience of its own. Luckily, I've still got a few weeks to get my courage up.
October 30, 2014
A few weeks ago we celebrated the one-year anniversary of buying our house. We strung globe lights around the patio, and continued a tradition that we started last October... or did we only "start" it now, the second time around?... semantics. Anyway. One of the first things we did after getting the keys, and crossing the threshold for the first time, was crack open a bottle of 2012 Fullsteam First Frost, that we had been saving for almost a year. We had kept it through the long home-buying process, and promised ourselves we would open it only once we got a house – or the first frost came. Luckily it was the former.
So this year, on an unseasonably warm night, we enjoyed a bottle of 2013 First Frost. We talked about all the work we've done on the house, and everything we'd still like to do. The top of my personal list was painting the kitchen cabinets, and buying a new, comfier, larger sofa. Since then we've started a "couch fund" (there is something so satisfying about putting cash in an envelope and watching it get fatter and fatter as the weeks pass). I'm planning on tackling at least the upper cabinets over my Christmas break (which is actually the week after Christmas).
And of course, the 2014 First Frost will be released within the next week or two – and we need to stock up for next year.