Saturday, January 31, 2015

the sweater saga, part 7 + sweater #22

previously, the sweater saga...
part 1 / part 2 / part 3 / part 4 / part 5 / part 6

I'm not at all an expert, and I'm not saying you have to , or should do, the same. But I find myself leaning more and more towards less. I've accumulated a lot of stuff in my 20-some years, and have some sorting and tossing to do, as I always will. But my goal is to never be a "manager of stuff" - keeping things just because I MIGHT someday, in 30 years, need it. For one thing. One time.

But, instead, keeping around and actually using the things I use and wear and enjoy every day, as opposed to things that the maintenance of stresses me out - you know, a 90% piece of furniture, instead of a 10% piece. Or appliance. Or feature of my home.

And this argyle sweater is the perfect layer on top of my bulldog tee. I just love my little sweeties so much, I wear them on my shirt. They're so stinking cute, you guys. Olaf runs circles around me when I get home and can't wait for me to play tug of war with him. And a little update: we adopted him with several infections - ears, eyes, and skin (fungal & bacterial). He's got quite the pharmacy, but it seems to be helping!! Hoping we can get his skin issues sorted out soon, so he's not quite to itchy.

shirt: J. Crew Factory
sweater: from a friend (J. Crew)
pants: J. Crew Factory
flats: Target

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

house pretty - guest room

I'd like to share a few home improvement projects here on my blog. Don't worry - this won't become a big DIY blog, or decorating blog, but we've made a few changes to our house since moving in over a year ago, and this seems like a good place to share.

I don't have all the technical terms for everything we did and used, but I've done my best to gather all the information and keep it simple. If you've got more questions, please leave a comment or send me an email:

This was our guest room a few months after we moved in. Nothing fancy.
guest room before
In Colorado, pine beetles invade the pine trees in a forest, and eventually, the trees die and can become fuel for a forest fire. Bad news. However, the inside of the pine trees get this pretty blue color from the beetles, and some entrepreneurial folks have started to chop down beetle kill pine and sell it. Which is pretty smart - each piece of lumber is different, kinda pretty, and very "Colorado."

One of my mom's friends was fixing up a condo that they own, and they had found some beetle kill pine at The Home Depot and used it to cover a wall. It looked pretty cool and rustic, and we thought we'd give it a shot. My mom's friend used the boards horizontally to cover the entire wall - we decided to instead go with vertical and only as tall as a chair rail. The boards are six inch tongue-and-groove boards, so they fit together easily.
air compressor (Sears)

One of the first things we did was purchase an air compressor (I think the Mr. thinks of projects to do that require new power tools to get the job done...funny how that happens).

Then, we measured and purchased the boards from The Home Depot. The side we faced-out has a groove in the center of the board, but the other side does not. We chose the side with the groove to add texture. In the meantime, we pulled off the existing trim and cleared a lot out of the room so we would have space to work.
The Mr. used the air compressor, nail gun, and finishing nails to hang the boards on the walls.
Then, we ran into a snag.


Beetle kill pine doesn't come in trim. And most of the other trim options we looked at didn't really "go" with the look of the room. And, since these boards are technically flooring, they're much thicker than standard trim, so any trim we did find wasn't deep enough to "cap off" the boards on the wall.

Following me?

We searched and searched. And finally, about six weeks later, found some rough cut beetle kill pine at a local lumber yard.
local lumber place for the trim
trim - rough cut beetle kill pine
more rough & unfinished than the boards
the trim after the first couple routers, unsanded
the trim after a rough first sanding
the final trim
And then there was lots of sanding and puttying for the chair rail to really be finished.

We love love love how this turned out. Originally, we thought about doing this to every bedroom in our house, but the trim proved to be such a problem (the Mr. had to free hand the trim with the routing table), that we decided against it. Instead, we think it's a nice touch on one room - a very "Colorado" touch. And if you can't tell, we love Colorado.

Our biggest expenses for this project were the lumber, the air compressor, and the routing table. BUT, we've since used the air compressor and routing table several times on different projects, so those were investments we'll continue to use. I didn't know way back when that I'd be posting this, so I don't have a cost breakdown - whoops. 

And here's a list of the tools we used for this project:
air compressor
nail gun + finishing nails
sanding block
routing table
circular saw
palm sander
putty knife + putty

So, that was our first project in our house. And we're slowly adding more to our reportoire...

Monday, January 26, 2015

the sweater saga, part 6 + sweater #21

previously, the sweater saga...
part 1 / part 2 / part 3 / part 4 / part 5

Picking up where I left off yesterday...

I'm finding it refreshing to have a few dresses that look great, no matter what, and are basic enough to be styled in an infinite number of ways, as opposed to 20+ dresses that are each "ho-hum" and don't do much for me. Or a closet full of pieces that are "meh," instead of a smaller collection (perhaps a capsule wardrobe?) of knock-out pieces that get worn every day.

I've become a lot more open and willing to wear my "special" and favorite pieces more often. There’s no point in having a great fitting skirt, if it only gets worn once or twice a year for special occasions.

Instead, shouldn't I make an effort to look nice and presentable and my best every day? Or at least most days of the week, instead of once or twice a quarter? I've gotten rid of lots of cheap jewelry (not all, but lots), and enjoy wearing my diamond studs from my parents day after day (they really go with e'er'thang).

At times, it's hard for me to choke down the cost of something nice - like my Frye boots, but, they'll last forever and I love them. They go with everything, and I find myself dressing them up, down, and casually. The only time I don't wear them is when the snow or precipitation stands a good chance of ruining them. 

still to be continued....

button up: from a friend (American Eagle)
sweatshirt: Old Navy
statement necklace: WalMart
skirt: J. Crew Factory
booties: Old Navy

Sunday, January 25, 2015

the sweater saga, part 5 + sweater #20

previously, the sweater saga...

So, I have all of these things and stuff and luxuries that are very nice to have, BUT, moving forward, I'm trying to not contribute to them. Instead, I'm trying to focus on making the most of what I already have, without adding more. I don't like having 18 hair products to choose from, or several types of shampoo. This winter, I've been wearing the same 3 pairs of shoes over and over + my snow boots, when it's gross. I rotate the same few coats, and I lean towards my favorite scarves over and over.

Having some options (less, but still some) seems to make me a happier person. Currently, I've got several books on my nightstand I'm working through - and I’m trying to power through them so I can have only one book I'm in the middle of. And reading for speed to get through an enjoyable book isn't great.

It's the dilemma of too much/too many/too many choices, eating away at my being able to really enjoy one book at a time. Or one bottle of lovely perfume. 

still to be continued...

dress: J. Crew Factory
button up shirt: c/o Aéropostale
patterned tights: WalMart
boots: The Frye Company via Nordstrom

Saturday, January 24, 2015

two scarves + sweater #19

I wore sweater 19 to a winter farmer's market with my friend, Chelsea (below). The weather was nice-ish, but I still needed a little something extra, so I wore two scarves. I tried to loop them together so it would look intentional, rather than "I forgot I was wearing the first one and threw another one on top." Cause trust me, these two scarves were on purpose.

my friend, Chelsea - isn't she cute?

shirt: Eddie Bauer
cardigan: c/o Aéropostale
striped scarf: thrifted
knit scarf: made by me
jeans: c/o Aéropostale
shoes: COACH via DSW

Friday, January 23, 2015

favorite neutrals + sweater #18

Neutrals and favorites today, for a quick little post.

See you soon(ish), friends.

sweater: Old Navy
scarf: Target
pants: c/o Aéropostale 
boots: The Frye Company via Nordstrom

Thursday, January 22, 2015

sweater #17

Hi, quick post for you today.
Having a busy couple of days, so keeping it short here.

linking up two outfits over here today

turtleneck sweater: GAP
monogrammed pashmina: from my sis-in-law
green pants: from a friend
nude flats: Old Navy

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

in the mens' section + sweater #16

This sweater brought my total number of sweaters to 31. It was the last addition. And the greatest. I mean, a bulldog with his tongue out, just like my boys. And the one on my sweater is wearing a bowler hat. Is that not terrific.

It came from the men’s section at Target, and without sounding weird, I feel like the men’s section of any store is the place to shop. This sweater is so warm compared to most of the ones I already own. I didn't have to wear 18 layers underneath it to stay warm, like I do with some of my current sweaters, which makes me look like a wrinkley bulldog anyways...

sweater: Target
polka dot button up: Old Navy
skirt: Target
fleece-lined tights: Target
boots: c/o Aéropostale

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

a new addition + sweater #15

So, we got another dog. Ever since my sweet Cali girl passed away in September, Turbo has been an only dog child. I can't tell if he loves it, hates it, or really has no idea... (he can't really hear, see, or smell, so who knows if he even knows his old companion hasn't been around for months, or if he relates the extra attention he's been receiving to her absence).

Back to current events, the new addition is another white male bulldog. He's 2 years old, and the sweetest pup there ever was. The two of them together melt my sometimes-grumpy little heart, and then explode it into a thousand little warm fuzzy hearts. I'm not going to share his current name, since it's probably going to change, but just know that he's so active, and he runs, and he jumps, and he plays, and he brings so many smiles to my face every day. And his head is so big, and his little wrinkley face is so expressive.

But my Turbo is still my handsome boy and grumpy old man and snuggle buddy, don't you worry.

cardigan: rue21
tank: c/o Aéropostale
belt: thrifted
scarf: from a friend
pants: Target
boots: c/o Aéropostale