Getting in the Holi-DIY Spirit

Christmas is around the corner and we couldn’t wait to get our decorations up this year. It’s always been the tradition in my family to throw the Christmas tree and the rest of the decorations up the day after Thanksgiving – ours were up the week before Thanksgiving this year (laughs out loud).

I wanted to do a smidge more this year with the decor without doing too much and decided to check out Michaels for inspiration. “Stairs, lights, this, and that.” I had an idea of what I wanted to accomplish in our space that I love so much, but it would be easy to go overboard if I didn’t control myself.

IMG_4536

Garland and lights were on my mind prior to walking through those doors, so I went straight to the faux-pine section of the store. Naturally, there were way too many choices. I spent quite a bit of time pulling the long strands of garland down to check out the various detail that had been added. In the end settled for four strands – running $8.99 per strand – and left the store with twenty-four feet of christmas garland and lights.

Did you notice how I said I settled? I knew I was going to check out Target’s holiday selection before I reached my car. The Target near our place is usually hit or miss when it comes to any item you may  need. I had to chance it because the garland in the craft store bags weren’t going to help me achieve the look I was going for in our living space. Sure, I can drape my ass off, but I didn’t want that.

IMG_4535

I was pleasantly surprised to find that Target had bundles of garland on sale – $10 for fifty feet! I placed two bundles in my cart and knew right then the garland from Michaels would not be leaving the glitter-sprayed bags in which they rested.

The garland from Target was plain and did not have any of the extra bells and whistles – fake snow, acorns, berries, etc – but I own a hot glue gun! Any extra pizazz I could surely add. My original thought was to wrap the garland and lights on the banisters so this ended up working out for the better.

IMG_4515

In the end I spent about $30 on Christmas decor this year. Last year I raided the dollar stores and Walmart and put my glue gun to work. I preserved those projects and will continue to use them in the years to come. Our tree is from one of S’s first apartments out of college and it works and looks just fine. Our stockings are from the dollar store and look just as  joyous above our fireplace as the over-priced products that fill most store shelves today.

IMG_4519

The point is to work with what you’ve got and don’t be afraid to get creative. I have this ritual before I decorate a space. I scan the internet for ideas, walk every square inch of the space I wish to transform, and hit the stores for supplies to recreate the looks I stumble upon for about 60% less of what you’d end up spending on more expensive decorations.

IMG_4521

So what do you think?! I think I’ll go ahead and wrap up this post so I can get back to Christmas shopping online and this zinfandel.

Advertisements

A Cabin for 2 and a Pup

It was so great to get away,  disconnect, and recharge in Brown County this weekend. Never underestimate the power of a quiet weekend in the woods – with limited connectivity – to put some zing back into your zen. The weather didn’t feel like fall at all, but that’s okay… We’ll keep our soup recipes and sweaters handy for a future fall cabin adventure.

7 minutes

I make it a point to meditate for seven (silent) minutes after a morning yoga session. It’s a great way to workout any lingering cloudiness before you head into the office. I must say, then zen is here today. I’m completely unbothered and calm, but I’m still a work in progress; Only a couple of emails have received a slight side-eye today. If any of you are familiar with corpse pose in yoga, that’s a great position to meditate and process in as well. 

Be zen, 

The Budget Queens Strike Again

So I went to Michael’s to get a couple posters framed over the weekend. The customer service rep at the counter was extremely nice, but there was no way I was paying $110, each, to get both of our Radiohead posters framed.

S and I plan on painting our loft a gray that is slightly lighter than the seal-toned color we had in our first apartment. I have a tendency to lean towards dark colors. Knowing this and the fact that our office/music/yoga space would be painted gray with pops of color throughout the space, getting white frames for these posters was my only goal at the popular craft store.

After learning the price to frame just one of the posters, and confirming the second would be the same or more because it was an odd size, I asked “…so where can I find your standard stock frames and white chalk paint?”

FullSizeRender (1)

Praise be to my mother, for blessing me with creativity and the gift of decor, and for a good sale on craft supplies. I was able to get two frames for $30 a piece and scored an additional 40% off one of those and my paint. I got out of the store for just over sixty bucks; NOT two-hundred and twenty plus. Go me.

S has always been a huge Radiohead fan. I had no idea who they were until they released In Rainbows – making a huge statement across the music industry, instructing fans to buy the album directly from their website for however much they wanted – no label involvement. I paid five euros and I can’t get enough of opening track, 15 Step.

We knew how we’d decorate the loft area in our condo from the moment we saw the space in person. “This space needs to be productive and filled with music” I thought now a little over three years ago. Keep this picture in mind as I describe how the loft space will look – things are rearranged in the living room now, but keep the color scheme in mind:

IMG_1321

 

The space will be gray-walled and trimmed in white. With a funky floral chair, resting on a spicy red rug, bookshelves (filled to capacity) and music art will surround what will be the funkiest corner of a library you’ve ever seen in a person’s home.

Our condo is open and the loft area is exposed, so picture the colors we have going on downstairs, suddenly shifting from chic, shady tones, to a color-punched and bold workspace. I do yoga in this space, S works in this space, and we hangout with friends, the most, in this space. Wait… I’m writing in this space.

The gray walls, paired with bright art and white trim, will make every piece stand out. Eventually I’ll have my trumpet hanging above one of the windows – serving as art and a reminder that I should pull it down and practice more – and my guitar and bass guitar on stands in the corner by the bookshelves.

Our Pinterest Palace is well on its way, I’d say, and finally having these posters framed will kick off the upstairs transformation.

We’re Vinyl Queens Now.

 

 

(We opened a present to ourselves a little early. A record player and a mini stack of vinyl!)

This will be amazing in the loft once we have that space back. We always have music playing  around the condo. Our loft area upstairs is used as our office and chill area. Having music filling the high ceilings will be a great addition to the vibes up there.

We’ve got Solange’s A Seat At The Table spinning tonight.

Upside Down Paschimottanasana

Tonight’s time on the mat was needed to process my rage towards the rogue button that popped off my jeans at work. I haven’t the slightest clue why I was so annoyed – but I was.

Super short story time:

The button on my jeans broke today. I’d had the pair for going on a couple weeks and had already returned and replaced a previous pair from the same brand a few weeks earlier. I wanted to adjust my shirt properly, so I took a few steps toward the men’s room mirror. Lightly tugging at that the denim, I was enraged to hear the button hitting the floor; landing inches from my feet.

Working through each pose, focusing on connecting my breathing with each movement, I decided that the little things can’t get to me like this moving forward. I was genuinely annoyed, but harboring that kind of hidden negativity can be so terrible if it simmers too long. In upside down paschimottanasana pose, I purged the last of my peeved thoughts – concluding that things are finally calming down and all I need is some rest and focus.

If you’re hanging on to some non-sense for no reason. LET THAT **** GO. Take a moment for yourself, get it together, and get ready to squash the next thing that gets under your skin.

I’m usually following a video on Tim Senesi’s YouTube channel if I’m not going through Bikram poses. Tonight’s session:

Be easy, everyone!

That Holiday Feeling…

Now that we have another Thanksgiving behind us, it is high time for Christmas decorations around the (loft) condo. I’d been scanning Pinterest for a few weeks now – mostly checking out DIY wreath posts – and finally stumbled upon an idea for our front door.

img_1895

GORGeous, right?! I was out Christmas shopping when I decided to grab all the materials I needed for the project I’d been craving to execute. When it comes to inexpensive DIY craft materials, Walmart is a source I frequent. Nine times out of ten, I can find everything I need for less than six dollars an item.

The original frame I grabbed from Walmart died when I decided it was a good idea to try forcing the glued glass off the frame with the palm of my hand. The glass came out, but the frame broke. I can easily fix it with the Gorilla glue we have in the garage, but I wanted the project completed today – and repair was not on the agenda. The frame I used in the end came from Target; $19.99. I’ll repurpose the broken frame for another project.

Each ornament costs less than two dollars, the floral pieces were three dollars or less, and my hot glue gun was six bucks. Not bad for a last minute burst of inspiration on what could have been an expensive DIY craft. Just think, if you were to go into Home Goods – love that store, no shade, promise – they would try to charge you at least fifty bucks for a frame or wreath like this. I cut all the floral bundles myself, played with placement of material around the frame before deciding on a look, and finally set everything into place with hot glue.  I couldn’t stop at just my holiday frame extravaganza for the front door – I had to frame it with some candy cane ribbon feels.

img_1894

There’s nothing like the warm vibes of the holiday season. Everything seems more cheerful and light. We can all use a little bit of that feeling right now. I wasn’t able to decorate last year because we were in the middle of an emergency remodel when the holiday season arrived. I’m making up for lost time this go ’round.

img_1898

I had an extra ornament and some scraps from the frame project, so I started scouting places to put my lonely holiday florals around the loft. The concept of hard and soft in decor has always drawn me in. The strength of the stag and the delicacy of the flowers with their bold softness, compliment each other very well on our fireplace. Good pop-of-color moments get me every time.

img_1899

I had some more materials to use, so I put the rest around some candles on the entertainment center – cute.

Does anyone else think Christmas lights around the house set the perfect mood? I like turning off all the lights, except the Christmas lights and candles, and curling up under a blanket. Whiskey or red wine on the coffee table, music playing softly in the background, GQ magazine or a book in hand. I try to do this on a regular basis, but the added warmth of the holiday season puts it over the top. You should try it.

We do have our tree up, but I’m saving that picture for a later post. If you follow us on Snapchat (being_mrj), you probably got a peek there.

Remember to enjoy all the positive people and things around you this holiday season. Soak in that energy.

Be zen and happy holidays,

J.

Clean the Space, Clean the Mind. 

I’m in love with our dark bamboo floors in the loft. I love them more when they’re flashing that clean, just polished sparkle.


Say hello to our creeper dog, Reynold. I tweeted earlier that he just stares at us if he needs or wants something. Creeper dog. He’s actually pretty vocal once we figure out he needs something (haha).

Anyway! For weeks we’ve been avoiding cleaning the floor. Gross, right!? We love the dark floors, but they’re a little more to keep up with on the cleaning front. I’d rather see the dirt and have it shame me on a daily basis, than have it blending in with a lighter colored floor. People always praise lighter wood floors because they “can’t see the dirt as much.” That’s gnarley, in my opinion. We sweep the floors every week, but using the cleaner has fallen by the wayside the past handful of weeks. We don’t wear shoes inside so this helps a ton.

Whenever the floors are just cleaned, I have such a feeling of relief. S and I keep a very clean space, and if things start to pile up or get too dusty, we tend to go crazy; major moods and attitudes (lol).

S is almost done with school and our schedules are almost ready to calm completely down. There will be at least two more fullout cleaning days before the new year. We’ll need the extra zen as S enters finals time 🙂