Makeup Vanity DIY Project

Introducing my new and improved vanity space in all its glory! I'm so pleased with how it turned out, and I love having my own lovely little corner of the world to enjoy the art of makeup.

Total cost: approx $320 for furniture, supplies and accessories

  • $100 for vanity and $30 for stool, found separately on Craigslist 

  • Paint and supplies from Lowes (the color is Dorian Gray from Sherwin-Williams in semi-gloss)

  • Drawer pull hardware – Amazon

  • Light-up makeup mirror – Amazon

  • Lamps – Amazon

  • Perfume bottles – Amazon

  • Jewlery organizer – Amazon


Come on the journey with me!

Cubs win!

I watercolored a little celebration art for my Chicago friends, after their team won the World Series (for the first time in 108 years)!

I thought last year was exciting, when my hometown Royals won the series for the first time since i was born. I should make some KC art soon :) but for now, go Cubs!

  I have no idea how anyone follows sports regularly without having heart issues.

I have no idea how anyone follows sports regularly without having heart issues.

Start Swimming

I just joined a gym with a pool! I know how to swim, for fun or survival, but would love to get into athletic lap swimming for exercise.

Goals: develop more variety in my workouts, and tone up like crazy before the wedding. Lose about 10 pounds and get those Michelle Obama arms.

My Amazon wish list is ready to go...just waiting for my next paycheck!
 

Edit: I love it! Swimming is lovely

Kitchen Progress | Part 1

We're in the process of updating the kitchen! Here's what we've accomplished so far:

Cabinet color: Tres Blue  |  Wall color: Icy Avalance

 

Next round of goals for the kitchen:

Catio Bench Project

I love cats and want to keep ours indoors - but also wanted to be free from the smell and mess that comes with litter boxes in the house. 

We came up with a solution for a subtle outdoor hutch that doubles as a bench on our front porch, accessible via a small cat door in the living room. Harlow and Bogie figured it out in 20 minutes, and love having a small hideaway with some fresh air in their bathroom!

Choosing Chips and Picking Paint

Paint chip selection is a whole thing, but I love it!

Colors always look look a bit different (bolder/darker) on the walls than on the chip.

Before looking at paint chips:

Look for inspiration online. Once I had a collection of interiors that I was drawn to, I could start to identify themes and make a mood board. 

- Consider the feeling you're after. I wanted a darker blue (dark enough that the black appliances would visually disappear) but something that wasn't too bright or overwhelming. Something that felt cheerful while also relaxing and elegant.

- Obviously take your chips home and compare under your actual room's lighting.  Check out the colors at different times of day.

- Select a few favorites and get samples to paint swatches on your wall - it's worth it. I liked trying our two favorites + one darker. I think people can be too fearful of dark paint...some visual contrast is good!

- Live with the colors until a clear winner emerges (or if you think you need to go back to get another sample). You can consult with friends, but I think you'll know in your heart which color is the right one.

My Top 10 Travel Must-Haves

1. Solid Shampoo/Face/Body Wash Bar - Gone are the days of worrying about air travel spills or your liquid allotment. I've been loving Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve Co. and their organic Neem & Tea Tree Body & Hair Shampoo ($8.65).

2. A Good Travel Pillow - My REI Self-Inflating Travel Pillow ($19.50) is soft and velvety, rolls up small for easy packing, and has silicone strips on the back to keep it from slipping down (great for window-seat leaning)! It's nice that you can adjust how inflated it is, so your neck doesn't get stiff.

3. BB Cream/Sunscreen Under 3oz - It's handy to have double-duty beauty products for packing light, getting ready in a hostel, and having fewer liquid products to be hassled about. Lumene Bright Now Vitamin C BB Cream ($13) doubles as SPF 20 sunscreen and a nice light foundation. 

4. A Good Travel Purse - Nobody has dared to try to pickpocket or mug me, possibly because they are aware of the security that comes with my Travelon Crossbody Shoulder Bag ($40). It has 3 locking compartments, slash-proof construction, cut-proof shoulder strap, and RFID-blocking card and passport slots. Plus it's water-resistant (perfect for my time in London), has a good amount of pockets to stay organized, and looks pretty chic for a travel purse!

5. Trusted Traveler Memberships - If you travel frequently, these programs are well worth looking into. Basically, you can be pre-approved for clearance to get through border control faster (as an American, being able to use the UK/EU ePassport gates is a dream come true). All it takes is an application, an interview, and a fee. I have memberships with the US ($100, good for 5 years) and UK (£70, good for 1 year).

6. Selfie Stick - Don't judge, it's an incredibly helpful accessory for solo travel! I have short T-rex arms, and don't like handing my iPhone to strangers that may not speak English in touristy areas. I also don't have faith in their photography skills. A sturdy bluetooth Selfie Stick ($13) is a more reliable solution.

7. A Good Hat - Dry shampoo is great, but I think hats are better. They make you look accessorized and styled with even less effort. Enjoy a bit more sleep, or more time out enjoying your destination (and looking foxy in your photos). A simple Wool Hat ($22) makes you feel like Carmen SanDiego while you tour the world.

8. Kindle - I'm a big fan of packing lots of books while keeping my purse light with my Kindle Paperwhite ($119). It has great battery life and the adjustable back light is brilliant for any lighting situation, from bright beaches to dark hostel bunks. I'm also a fan of syncing my Kindle with my home library account to "check out" e-books for free, from anywhere!

9. Eye Mask & Ear Plugs - I love to sleep. I don't love when travel noises keep me from getting a few extra hours of precious rest – you need maximum energy for adventures! Drown out crying babies and let your neighbors know that you don't feel like chatting by going to your quiet dark place! I love my Sloth Sleep Mask ($24) from Appendage Accessories on Etsy.

10. Universal Outlet Adapter - With two USB charging ports, 1 standard plug outlet, and the ability to plug in throughout the US, EU, UK, and Australia my FosPower FUSE WorldWide International Adapter ($11.95) is one of my favorite and most essential travel gadgets. I've used it in 8 countries with no issues, and love the peace of mind that I won't find myself lost in the world with a dead phone.

Happy Travels!

xox - Erin

 Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic

Taking On 100 Projects At Once

 My face right now...

My face right now...

March 1, 2015: I moved to Portland, Oregon.

October 1, 2015: I moved to London, to live abroad for 6 months and see more of Europe. 

December 1, 2015:  My boyfriend Eliot closed on a house right outside Portland.

January 2, 2016: Eliot flew out, proposed in Scotland, and turned himself into my fiancé!

Now I have a wedding to plan, a house to update, and no fewer than 100 creative ideas floating around my mind as I enjoy my last couple months abroad. I've been pinning like a madwoman, as I can't actually start on almost any of these new projects until I'm back home. On April 1 (or maybe the 3rd or 7th, depending on how jet-lagged I feel after I land back in PDX) Eliot and I can start picking paint swatches and visiting wedding venues together!

Last year I moved 5 times, eventually sold my car, whittled my belongings down to just the few bags I could bring with me overseas, and added a ton of new stamps to my passport. Inspired by everything I've seen on my travels, it's time to come home. After this recent nomad lifestyle, I'm getting excited to nest. I miss my guy and I'm craving space to create.

I'm a graphic designer who works from home full-time. While grateful for the opportunity to work from anywhere, I'm eager to set up a real office that isn't 2 feet away from my bed. It sounds nice to work on some new creative projects with my hands. I dream of unpacking my sewing machine and getting back into oil painting, to craft some curtains and make artwork for our new home. I look forward to finding my way around power tools, learning how to refinish furniture and tackling DIY interior design projects. I want to refresh my wardrobe and continue this minimalist lifestyle, surrounding myself with only belongings that bring me joy. I want to stay organized. I can't wait to piece together our dream wedding! I'm excited to create a kitchen that will inspire me to be a more ambitious cook. With a house to call our own, we'll actually have a chance to do serious grown-up things like home renovation and landscaping. Last night I got excited about a vacuum and an electric tea kettle, because apparently this is my life now! With enough space, an adult budget, a sense of fearlessness gained from travel, and an amazing partner to work with, it feels like anything is possible.

This blog is meant to be a place to collect all of my upcoming projects in one spot, and hopefully share some ideas and inspiration along the way! 

xox – Erin

 

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." - Ferris Bueller