Home Tour : Halloween Hearth

It’s been ages since I last shared a home tour. But now that I’ve finished up decorating around here for Halloween, I wanted to give a quick peek at our spooky living room.

Most of this stuff is up year-round, so I always find it difficult to do something different for Halloween. I spent the last couple weekends picking through estate sales, gathering up brass candle sticks and old books, brought out my bell jars, and incorporated various dried florals to give the hearth a witchy Victorian flair.

Styling Tips

✳︎ Search estate sales, thrift stores, and flea markets for brass candle sticks and old books (the more tattered, the better).
✳︎ If you can’t find beautiful antique books, upcycle any old books, tea/coffee stain, and display the pages facing out.
✳︎ Unique dried fruits and veggies (like these artichokes) make for a spooky arrangement.
✳︎ Skip the tacky Dollar Tree halloween decor and browse other aisles for creative accents (like these blood-red berries).
✳︎ Opt for ghostly green-grey pumpkins vs the standard orange ones for a more vintage look.

Steal This Look ▾

Hope this gives you a bit of inspo for your own decorating. Happy haunting!

Snowy Adventures with Scout

On New Years Day, we headed up to Mount Laguna for a walk through the forest with Scout. I can’t think of a better way to kick off the new year than breathing in fresh mountain air with the late afternoon sun on our skin. Patches of snow clung to the shady spots in the meadow and underneath the trees. So Scout experienced her very first snow day! And let me tell you – you haven’t seen pure happiness until you’ve seen a cattle dog chasing pinecones through the snow. Not pictured are the handful of photos I took of her rolling uncontrollably and darting through the snow-covered grass, leaving flurries of ice behind her while we died laughing. If there’s one resolution I have this year, it’s to do more of this.

Click to see full photo set ▶

Star Wars Celebration Anaheim

Had so much fun at the Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim this last Saturday! The show was sold out and packed full of fans from all generations. Obviously this year is a special time for the Star Wars universe with The Force Awakens continuing the original saga in Decemeber, so it was awesome to be a part of that excitement and energy, especially after the premiere of the new teaser on Thursday. Definitely didn’t get tired of hearing people randomly shout out “Chewie, we’re home!” throughout the day, haha.

The days leading up to Saturday, I tuned into the live stream to catch the panels from the comfort of my own home rather than waiting in long lines at the con (wish all cons did live streams like that!). We spent the majority of our SWCA experience wandering the exhibit floor, checking out fan-built droids, snapping pics of costumes and set replicas, swooning over fan art (particularly this adorable painting of a creature carousel by Christian Slade), and searching through the stores for ewok action figures and vintage Micro Machine play sets. We ended the night by watching Empire Strikes Back in a huge theater full of die-hard Star Wars fans and it was the best thing ever.

Also, if there’s not enough Star Wars things to be excited about, check out this leaked teaser for Rogue One, the first standalone film in the Anthology series. Bonus – it’ll feature a female lead. Lots of girl power coming up in the new Star Wars movies!

24 Before 25

Yesterday was my birthday, and as tradition, I’ve compiled a list of things I’d like to accomplish before the next one. It’s easy to just let the years pass on by without a second thought, but as I get older, I strive to become a better person with meaningful experiences to look back on. Twenty-four is gonna be a crazy different year for me. I feel like I’m officially an “adult” with real responsibilities – as a wife, a college graduate, a business owner, etc. Twenty-three was all about figuring out what I want out of life and how I fit into the world. Now twenty-four is time to do the work and get things done. It’s time for me to stop dreaming and start doing. So here are a few things I plan on doing this year.

✔ 01. Purge!

Throw out clothes that don’t fit, underwear that got chewed up in the dryer, and socks with no matches. Clean up hard drives and delete duplicate files that are taking up space. Get rid of the unnecessary clutter and let go of things that bog down my mind.

✔ 02. Connect with more creative ladies.

Already doing this! My extraordinarily talented friend Lindsey Clark gathered a few artsy girls together for coffee one morning to talk shop, encourage each other, and overall do life together. I can’t express enough how incredible it’s been to have a group of like-minded women to share my journey with. (I’ll probably talk more on this later in another post.)

03. Start agility training with Scout.

If you haven’t noticed, I’m pretty obsessed with this dog. She is ridiculously smart and so much fun to train. But cattle dogs are a lot more high maintenance than other breeds when it comes to exercise, and they needs “jobs” in order to stay physically and mentally healthy. Heelers were pretty much built for agility and since this little pup is starting to turn the house into an agility course, I want to enroll in some official classes with her this year.

04. Make more photo books.

As we move further into a disposable and intangible digital age, I find myself craving analog. I want to be able to hold my memories and appreciate them more and more as time passes. Joy Cho gives some great tips for archiving your digital photos with intention, and I plan on using Artifact Uprising to make some photo books this year.

05. Learn to develop a WordPress theme from scratch.

I dream of regaining my status as a unicorn (someone who designs and develops). I haven’t kept up with the ever-changing trends in web design over the years and ended up falling behind, especially when it come to CMS. While I can code a responsive site from scratch using static HTML5/CSS, I haven’t quite figured out dynamic coding for WordPress. I’m determined to master it by the end of the year.

06. Take a trip to Portland.

Stumptown is next up on our random trips list. Hopefully getting tattooed while we’re there and visiting old friends (and maybe making new ones?).

07. Finally finish some old projects!

I have notebooks filled with ideas, unfinished drawings lying around, and photos that were never edited. This is the year these projects will finally see the light of day!

✔ 08. Do something special for the important people in my life.

One of my best friends, Ali, has an incredible gift for making her friends feel especially valued. This girl has left gift baskets on my doorstep, sent hand made cards in the mail, and can be counted on like no other. I’ve always been more reserved in relationships, but this year I’m gonna strive to make sure those that matter know they matter.

✔ 09. Get good at stick n poke tattoos.

Some years ago, my husband started drawing on himself with a sewing needle and calligraphy ink. Considering I’m the better artist of the two, he’s agreed to show me how to do it myself and use his skin for practice.

✔ 10. Throw a 90s party.

Nickelodeon style.

11. Attend a design / creative conference.

Whether it’s Yellow Conference, Circles, Designer Vaca, or just a Creative Mornings talk in San Diego, I want to glean more knowledge from other designers, network with my peers, and be inspired by the success of others.

12. Do something outside my comfort zone for my business.

Reach out to a dream client, contact an agency for freelance work, or sell my work in a new-to-me way.

✔ 13. Cope with the fact that I won’t be going to Comic Con this year. :(

Yep, it’s the first time in 5 years my friends and I had no luck getting badges with the new “randomized” registration system. We’ll have to figure out something else to do when July rolls around to keep our minds off it.

14. Start working on a new costume.

Hey, even though we aren’t going to SDCC this year, doesn’t mean I can’t at least get ahead on a new piece for next time. Already been planning a new Star Wars couples cosplay. ;)

15. Plan a special getaway to celebrate our one year of marriage.

How have we already been married for 6 months?!

✔ 16. Break a bad habit.

If I have one habit that annoys the hell out of Dave, it’s my dirty cup collecting problem. I make a chai banana shake every morning and then leave the cup on my desk. Repeat every day for a whole week and I suddenly have an army of dirty Mason jars stationed in my office. As I write this, there’s currently 9 on my desk and two more in the bedroom… It needs to stop.

✔ 17. Master the art of baking one thing really well.

I love to cook and I’m pretty darn good at it. Baking, however, is not my forte. I don’t plan to become a master baker, but I’d love to be able to make one thing right, if not really good.

18. Re-watch every episode of Pokemon.

At least up ’til the original trio separates at the end of Master Quest (season 5). Maybe I’m going through a quarter-life crisis and reverting to my childhood, but Dave and I wind down at the end of the night by watching old episodes from the Indigo League and playing Blue version on my Gameboy Color. And it’s been the best decision we’ve ever made. 216 more episodes to go!

✔ 19. Own my expertise.

I have no fear of calling myself an expert on certain things, but I have a hard time feeling like my knowledge is worth sharing. I’d love to start revealing more creative secrets on this blog and maybe even put together a photography or design related ecourse.

20. Take better care of myself.

While I’m all about loving yourself as you are, I know I’m currently not at my best. Despite swearing I wouldn’t let it happen, I completely fell victim to the newlywed weight gain. It’s time to start getting my money’s worth out of the gym membership I can’t bring myself to cancel. And in the meantime: start whitening my teeth again, plan weekly meals, wash my makeup off EVERY night (not just when I feel like it), keep my nails mannicured, and get a dang haircut more often than once every 5 months.

21. Camp at Yosemite.

Haven’t been since I was a kid, and I know I’d have a whole new appreciation for it now.

22. Do some sort of creative challenge.

I love the idea behind 365 projects, but I know I don’t have the time or discipline to complete one. Maybe there’s something else out there that would still be challenging, but more realistic for my work schedule.

23. Finalize my workspace.

There’s a reason I haven’t posted a home tour in ages, even after moving into a new place… Boxes still line my office floors and cords are slithering around the walls. I desperately need to take control of my creative space this year.

✔ 24. Keep not giving a f*ck.