Monday, August 26, 2013

a room of one's own

Hi, everyone. Apologies for the radio silence. After moving and unpacking and dealing with my grandmother's illness, it was all I could do just to go day by day. In the time that's passed, we've moved and unpacked 95% of our items. There's one box left in our bedroom that's waiting to be unpacked for when my shelving unit arrives (it was sold out at IKEA when we went). I finally got my vanity, and it's not quite set up exactly how I want yet, but it's a solid start. It sits to the left of James' dressing rack, which I think is a nice play on his & hers. Waking up in the morning and seeing this makes me incredibly happy, with everything in its place in our room.

Happy Monday!

Monday, August 12, 2013

the present state

We're in the home stretch, you guys. It may not look like it by this picture of our living room, but I swear, we are ::thisclose:: to being packed and ready to move. And I. cannot. wait. Living in boxes has led to way too many occasions where I stub my toe/bang my knee/hit my elbow simply because we're running out of room as we try to pack our lives in convenient, portable boxes. Moving is expensive, so we've been trying to watch how often we eat out and have resorted to just making quick (cheap) meals in our kitchen while simultaneously packing said kitchen. We left out two mismatched plates to serve us for the next three days, and every time we make something, we have to wash it out so it's ready to be used by the other. It kind of reminds me of college.

And to continue the theme of chaos and randomness in our lives in this blog, I wanted to mention a review of sorts on two things I recently purchased:

This tote is made of vegan leather, and while I usually prefer real leather, this bag is so soft and so light, and I have no fear of scratching the "leather" since the polyurethane can handle some beating. I've been eyeing the Pashli from 3.1 Philip Lim for awhile, and the zippers of this tote are definitely a nod to that. AT was having a friends & family sale where everything was 40% off, and in addition I had a $40 gift card, so this tote cost me $18.80 + tax. At that price, it came home with me to be my low-maintenance work tote. It retails for $98, which I think is a little high, but with a promo like 30% off, I think it's a worthy piece. The straps are long enough to fit on the shoulder, yet not too long to be ridiculous as a hand-held tote or on the crook of the elbow.

There are four functioning zippers in total - two in the front and two in the back. When they're unzipped, they reveal a tan/dark brown/white polka dot pattern, which I thought was a fun touch. The inside only has one zippered pocket in the back in the same polka dot fabric as the zipper insert. I don't mind not having more separation too much - more pockets would have been great, but not a deal breaker for me.

And the second thing: 

I purchased this wallet with a gift card I had been saving. After endlessly muttering to myself about how great it would be if I had a wallet that would hold my phone and my credit cards, I finally went out there and bought said magic wallet. There are plenty of these phone wallets out there, but I went for this one because I liked the slim profile, the button closure, and the detachable wrist strap. I also liked the fact that this was in saffiano leather, a hardier leather that would stand up to constant use (and some drops!).

The inside is also leather and comes with 5 credit card slots (1 being the ID slot with a plastic covering). I like that this limits the amount of cards I can carry, but the slots can easily store 2 or 3 cards each if you want to carry more. The left side of the wallet has a pocket for the iPhone. It's built for the iPhone 5, but my iPhone 4s fits securely in it, too, and I've heard other people tell me that their Samsung Galary can fit in it as well. The back has a zippered pocket for coins. There's no explicit "cash" pocket, but I just use the little slip pocket behind the credit card slots as the place for the random bill or receipt. I've only had this for a week or so, and I already don't know how I managed without it. It's so convenient for on the go and for those out the door runs.

Happy Monday!

Friday, August 9, 2013

there'd be days like this

Apologies all around for being MIA. I received news from home that my grandmother had suffered a stroke earlier this week, and everything's just kind of stopped as I try to process it all. She's the best person I know, bar none, and the thought of her going through this right now while I'm so far away and can't be there is heartbreaking. I feel like there are too many emotions churning inside me, and I'm just trying to keep them all contained until we get more news about future plans for therapy and recuperation. On the plus side, she's going home today, and I know my aunts and uncles and cousins will take such good care of her. 

I hope I haven't made you too sad; it is Friday after all. This weekend, hug your family members a little harder; make them feel your love a little bit more. It matters.

Have a love-filled weekend.

image via

Monday, August 5, 2013

vanity on a budget



While being up to my eyeballs in packing boxes this past weekend, I kept reminding myself of the fact that I would end up with a little "vanity corner" in our new place just to keep myself sane. I've made do over the years without a proper vanity, but since I'll now be living with two guys with only one bathroom to share between the three of us, I decided it was high time to invest in one. Moving expenses add up quickly, though, so I wanted to keep things as cost-effective as possible. Thank God for IKEA

I wanted a vanity that had built in storage, could double as a laptop desk when not in use as a vanity, and could fit in a small space to keep our room from feeling cluttered. This dressing table ticks all those boxes - sleek lines and a long drawer for lots of storage. All of my makeup can easily fit in the drawer, but to add some more storage options and counter space, I'm set on getting this storage unit. Just the thought of 9 streamlined drawers to hold both my jewelry and beauty supplies, as well as some office supplies at the bottom is making me smile right now. Everything will be tucked away and out of sight, yet easily at hand. I already have this chair, but I wanted to showcase it for those who are in need of budget friendly chair options (this stool is under $50 and this one is $5.99!). I intend on hanging a giant mirror above the dressing table, but for touch ups, I'm getting this mirror. Lastly, containers are a must. I have four of these stackable trays from The Container Store (1 large, 1 medium, 2 small) and love them, so I'm planning on adding 2 more medium and 2 more small ones to keep everything in the drawer organized. This candle dish would be perfect to display my perfume bottles.

For my dressing table, storage unit, some organizing trays, the mirror, the dish, and reusing my chair, I'm on track for just over $300 after tax. 

How do you organize your makeup?

Friday, August 2, 2013

this weekend

It's Friday once again, and I'm totally ready for it. This weekend will be full of cleaning, dumping, and packing. We're moving in less than two weeks, and we are nowhere near packed. We keep saying we'll do it every night after work little by little...yeah, that didn't work. We'll probably actually stick to our guns and buckle down all next week after getting a much needed jump start this weekend.

When I'm not packing, I'll also be putting on the last touches on the move of this blog to WordPress. I've been wanting a more streamlined look for awhile and finally took the plunge to see what I could find over at WordPress. I've settled on a theme that I think is perfect, and I'm working on finishing up some posts. Sometime around the new year, I hope to customize the new theme fully and make it more my own, but for now, it's quite lovely as it is. I'm so excited, and I hope you'll come over and see the new digs.

I've also gotten back into the swing of wedding planning. It was kind of overwhelming at the beginning thinking about everything that comes with planning a wedding, to the point where it stressed me out and I stopped thinking about it for awhile. But then James and I had a talk, and we decided that we wanted our wedding to be a fun affair, with great friends and family, great food, and beverages aplenty. We want it to be a party where everyone was happy along with us. So we've decided on an indoor backyard wedding of sorts. I want a simple dress and great shoes, with my hair down and flowing, like it would be at a summer backyard BBQ, just a little more elegant and romantic. Last night, we stayed up late and picked songs for the wedding, including curating a list that will make up the mixed "tape" that will be our favor for our guests. We sat there on the couch side by side and listened to our relationship in song. Definitely one of those moments I'll remember forever. 

I hope you have a fantastic weekend.

image via

Thursday, August 1, 2013

h&m home



 You've probably heard by now that US customers can finally shop H&M online. I'm thrilled at the sheer convenience of it all, but I'm really most excited about finally being able to shop their home line. The aesthetics are right up my alley - lots of clean lines, grey, glass, and rustic touches. If you do decide to shop online, there are some good things to know: shipping is a flat rate of $5.95 (but use code 0549 for free shipping on your first order, valid until Aug. 15), there's a 30-day return policy on most things, return shipping is $5.95 unless you're returning because the item is faulty, and online returns cannot be done in stores. That last bit has me meticulously thinning out my cart to only the pieces I know I have a high chance of keeping. Happy online shopping! 

metal box || bath rug || storage baskets
  tablecloth || glass jar || candle || apron (how adorable is this?) 
stout glass vase || slim glass vase || table runner || wooden box