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It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Saturday, December 15

Vintage Santa
 Just a quick little post to share a few snippets of the holiday cheer going on around here...
What could be more festive than tree-flavoured beer?
I dug out my Christmas ornaments...
And hung them from the (sad little) curtain rod with care...
Sorry for the iPhoneness - I lost my camera. Again.
Then, we decked the parental tree...
And I DIY'd a few Christmas cards because I couldn't find any I really liked. I used cute stamps and inkpads from Inkwell Boutique and white cardstock/envelopes I found on clearance at the art supply store.
And then I DIY'd some gift wrap. I don't know about you, but I LOVE kraft paper. If I could cover everything in kraft paper, I would. Ask my friend, Vic - I wanted to wrap all of her books in it last weekend, haha. But I wanted to jazz it up a little, so in addition to using some super on sale festive ribbon I picked up at Michael's, I figured I would reuse my new stamps to create some paper. At first, I just used the stamps haphazardly after everything was already wrapped, like so:
But once I got into the swing of things, I started to use the stamps to create patterns before I wrapped them up. I just cut the paper to size, stamped it up, and then wrapped, like so:
Why yes, someone on my Christmas list IS getting bacon bandaids.
I think they turned out pretty cute! Easy, fun, and personal. My favourite kind of DIY ;)
I hope you get the chance to spend time with the people you love this year. With all of the tragedy that's happened recently, it really puts everything in perspective and makes me appreciate how lucky most of us are. Happy Holidays xo


Monday, December 10

As I alluded to in my last post, I've been at a new job these last few weeks, and acclimating to a full-time work schedule is taking some time. BUT, because I have a new office, I ALSO have a new space to decorate! Some of you may remember that I did a few posts on decorating your office back in the summer (here, here, and here), before I actually had an office of my own (beyond the little nook in my old apartment). Those posts were definitely fantasy... This one is reality, haha.

I'm working for a healthcare/education institution and as such, have a pretty standard office. Greyish carpet, white walls, wood-veneer corner desk with hutch, ergonomic wheely chair, florescent overhead lighting, no window. It's really all quite glamorous ;) Given that I've always maintained that an aesthetically-pleasing environment will make you work more productively, I obviously wanted to make the space my own. But this time, I had to be realistic. Terrible. No painting the walls, replacing all the dated office furniture, or you know, installing a window, haha. Here's the before:
Mismatched furniture, before I moved the second desk.
Blurry photos courtesy of my dang iPhone.
As you can see, the set-up was pretty bland and boring.

My first order of business was to deal with the terrible lighting. It was AWFUL. Seriously gave me a headache. I stole (with permission) a never-used floor lamp from the meeting room down the hall and ordered a task lamp for my desk. Instantly, the room felt SO much better. It's amazing what lighting can do.

Next step was to bring in a bunch of reference books to store in my hutch. Decorative AND useful!
Then, I rummaged around all the stuff I had in storage and came up with this:
I got the vintage print in NYC a few years ago for $4 - such a steal. I also ended up deciding to bring in an additional framed print from the same place after I took this picture (the Eiffel Tower poster you see in the after photos). I also brought in a Janet Hill print I picked up last spring and a cute vintage owl container I bought on Etsy a few years ago - it holds thumbtacks. A couple of framed photographs, a mug, stationery & pens, and hand cream round out the collection.

Here's what it looked like after everything was set up/hung up in my office:
I'm not sure why this one is so bright - the real lighting is closer to the lighting in the photo below.
Totally professional "retouched" white board ;)
Sorry for the blurriness - I didn't realize until I went to add this photo to the post.
This redo was affordable (I already owned everything I used) and super easy, and made such a huge difference in the feel of my office. It's a really nice place to work now and I think my productivity has definitely increased. It really doesn't take a lot of time or money to make a space your own. Is it my dream office? Of course not, haha. But it's definitely a lot more 'me' than the office I walked into a few weeks ago.

This, That, & The Other Thing

Wednesday, December 5

So I've been absent. Again. I know. I have a backlog of project ideas and absolutely no time to do them lately. Hopefully that will change soon as I get acclimated to my new schedule. In the meantime, here's a little TT&TOT post to get you up to date with what's been occupying my (minimal) free time lately.

This website. Emergency compliments for when you're having a bad day ;)
This book review, found via a FB friend. I cried, I was laughing so hard. Mostly because I definitely read that book. And LOVED it. I really want him to review some more.
The fact that JBeib's mom looks like she's my age. I mean, I know she was a teen mom. BUT. STILL.

People who caption their pins on Pinterest with "Pin now, Read later." It honestly drives me NUTS. I realize that it shouldn't matter at all to me how other people caption their pins. I get that. But it's just so NONSENSICAL! Half of the time the pin doesn't even lead to where it's supposed to! WHY are you pinning something you've never read? You're never going to go back and "read later." It just doesn't happen. READ IT NOW. Decide if it's worth pinning. THEN, pin it. I know. I've given this way too much thought. I can't help it.

ROYAL BABY!!! And also, "Suri Cruise's" reaction to the royal enfant.
My Young House Love book!!!! I devoured it when it arrived. Lots of awesome ideas. A few questionable ones. But with 243 projects, there's bound to be a few ;) The material on the cover feels a little budget, but the contents MORE than make up for it!
As for what else, I've been up to - here's a quick recap via Instagram.
I wore these:
#ootd #shamelessselfies
And then, one of these beauties:
To this fabulous place for my favourite holiday event.
Experienced the wonder that is The Drawing Room with its exquisite drinks (and their exquisite price tags). This one was called 'Sun Through The Leaves Of The Poplar Trees." Obvi, I had to order it. Pretty much the best drink I've ever had.
 And spent a few Sunday afternoons like this, watching this and this.
And finally, on a much much more serious note - my best friend's momma is pretty sick right now. She's one of the strongest, smartest, and bravest ladies I know. She's raised two phenomenal kids all-the-way and is in the process of raising a pretty stellar third. She has a lot to fight for and could really use your thoughts, prayers, good vibes, and anything else you're able to mentally aim her way. Life is precious. Don't forget it.

xo V

Update: Momma R is doing SO much better - she's going home! Thanks so much for all of your thoughts and prayers. It made a world of difference. xo

All Together Now

Monday, November 19

Hey friends!

I've shared snippets of my bedroom over the past few months but have yet to post photos of the room in its entirety. Now that my headboard project is finally complete, I thought I would show you the whole room and share some of the little storage solutions I came up with.

First, a little backstory is probably necessary. This won't be surprising to those of you who know me in real life (or who have read this post), but for anyone new, hopefully this will give you some context. I've recently moved back to my parents' house temporarily. My plan is to be here for a year, pay off some student debt without incurring any more, and figure out what I want to do next. I've been in grad school for the last five years, and although it took me awhile to realize it, it never felt quite right. Not like me. So I decided to take a break, move back home, and see if I can find something out there that I like doing more than what grad school was training me to do. I'm lucky enough to have a super amazing family who may have privately thought I was crazy but were always vocally supportive of me following my heart. So basically, I've condensed my one-bedroom apartment life into a one-bedroom-no-apartment life. And I couldn't be happier :)

Even though this space is temporary (and very small), it was really important to make it feel like my own if I'm going to be happy here for a year. I basically emptied the room of everything that had been in it while I was away (My parents were using it as a guest bedroom). The only parts I couldn't change were the wall colour (out of respect for my Mom, who loves it), the mirror (which was hardcore bolted into the wall), and the closet door. If it were a more permanent space, I would probably paint the walls a charcoal grey, but for now, this purpley-grey from my teenage years will do just fine ;) Here are a few "before" pictures. I forgot to take them before the room was completely emptied - but this will give you an idea of the space.
View from hallway
Apparently, my camera lens was dirty.... Oops!
Old box spring I had yet to move.
Here is the after, filled with the minimal furniture that I kept from my apartment. The desk and dresser were Habitat for Humanity Restore finds in Windsor. The desk is actually next on my major project list. The desk chair was a Kijiji find, also in Windsor, that I sprayed pink (and needs to be touched up, thanks to moving damage). Bed linens are HomeSense. Pillows are Ikea & Home Outfitters. Curtains are Wicker Emporium. Lamps are HomeSense. Art is from Etsy, Wall Blank, and HomeSense clearance section (of all places).
In the photo below, you can see that some of my art is hung fairly high up. I initially intended to hang the frames a little lower but realized that because of the minimal pass-by space at the end of the bed, I would have knocked the frames off the wall every time I walked by if they weren't up high enough.
I love the way this space feels now. It's colourful and girly and exactly what I wanted.  I think that people too often underestimate the impact their environment has on their moods and they don't make temporary spaces their own. It was fairly easy to make this room feel like my space, and yet when I leave, my family will be able to revert it back to a guest room with minimal work.
Here are a couple of storage solutions I came up with:
(1) Hair products/Toiletries/Etc. are kept in the rolling cart on the left, updated in this post.
(2) Although not a storage solution, the shelves were part of the original decor and couldn't be removed due to chipped paint underneath. I updated them with decorative paper here.
(3) The dresser houses casual clothes and fabric boxes underneath hold socks/etc.
(4) Low fabric box holds hair tools and slides under bed easily.
(5) Low Rubbermaid container, without lid (originally meant for gift wrap, I believe) holds all of my bags and slides easily under the bed.
(6) Over-the-door hooks hold all of my scarves.
(7) Jewelry is stored on hooks and in a desk drawer, as shared in this post.
(8) Makeup is stored in jars & a bowl underneath the window, as shared in this post.
(9) More clothes (& shoes) in the closet. In order to illuminate the dark inner corner, I mounted an inexpensive halogen light that you press to turn on.
So, that's my bedroom! Very colourful, very feminine, very me (at this point in time, haha). Hope you liked it!