I feel like that title is kinda yelly, but the actual name is all caps.  Just know that I whispered that word when I wrote it to counteract the situation.

ANYWAY, guys.  You know how much I love paper projects like origami, fake taxidermy and supporting crafty crowdfunding (side note – initially typed crowdsurfing and then I was like “Wait.  That’s not right.”).  Well, I found the mother of combinations between all of those things.  PAPER TROPHY.  What am I talking about?  This:




Guys.  That’s paper.  And it comes pre-cut and pre-folded so that you can easily assemble it into this bit of amazing. Ummm…yes, please!  I mean, if I had a bigger place, I would love that giant gorilla.  There are actually more choices on the indiegogo campaign site.  I would like them all, but I’ll surprise you with the one I got.  It’s gonna be good!!

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Let’s Do This

Viking star

So Ryan and I are going on vacation!  I’m particularly excited because this is the second big vacation we’ve been on since we’ve been married.  “Big” meaning somewhere we can’t drive to or someplace where we’re not visiting family.  We’re going on a fancy cruise (read: not Carnival) that sails from Venice to Istanbul, stopping in Croatia and Greece.  Yes, I remember my first Venice experience.  Yes, a bird did just poop on me the other day.  Yes, Ryan has done research and has confirmed that the canals are literally Venice’s sewers.  Yes, someone casually mentioned that I might be kidnapped and beheaded by Isis in Istanbul.  That all being said…LET’S DO THIS!!!

First order of business – I need ALL new clothing and travel accessories.  Okay, no?  No.  But that is how I’m behaving.  It’s like I’m traveling to the North Pole.  I feel like I need cultural/weather-appropriate clothing.  NOTHING I have is acceptable.  At least that’s how I’m pitching it.  I ESPECIALLY need to find the perfect traveling outfit.  I don’t think it’s appropriate to wear sweatpants and a sweatshirt on the plane.  I don’t know why.  It’s so comfy.  If that’s how you travel – power to you.  I feel very slovenly wearing that.  Like I will be picked first in a “pick the American” game that I ASSUME all Europeans play with a look of disgust on their faces.  And the older I get, the worse my legs swell when I travel, so that might well include compression socks.  No joke.  They work.  So to give you the complete picture – I need to find the perfect juxtaposition of  stylish and comfortable while hiding the one thing that will legitimately help me not die during the long, long, rage-inducing international flights.  Ummmm…tall order.  But I’m on it.

Another layer in the clothing planning – the cruise itself.  It lists the dinner attire as…elegant casual.  I have no idea what that means.  Is that like black tie business casual?  Or would a denim ball gown be okay?  No matter what it is, something is perfectly clear – Ryan has nothing to wear.  Ryan wardrobe basically consists of a few suits, jeans, t-shirts and plaid short-sleeved button downs.  He will argue that he has more dressy shirts which he calls his “club clothes.”  The fact that he calls anything “club clothes” should make it obvious that the clothes are from the early aughts.  So you know what that means?  I get to drag his clothes-shopping-hating-self all around and help him pick things out.  While I know this will be awful because he’ll be a big crabby pants, it also means that I can FINALLY get him some dressier clothes from this decade.  It will also be funny because at some point he’ll always accuse me of trying to make him into a hipster wearing skinny jeans. Ummmm…yeah, no.  Skinny jeans look good on no man.  But he gets very huffy about it.  Classic Ryan.

In my search for all this perfectness I found some great websites.  Travel Fashion Girl being my favorite.  Not only does she talk about fashion (doyoyoy), but she has a great suggestions on what to pack in your carry-on, little things to pack in your suitcase that you never thought you’d need, and how to pare down your wardrobe.  I’ve also rediscovered my love of Amazon.  I mean, I loved Amazon to begin with, but now…I’m a maniac.  The prime shipping!  The customer reviews!  The low prices!  Ryan has been working in San Diego for the past few weeks and leaves at the butt crack of dawn on Mondays.  This past Monday there was a package by the door.  From Amazon.  Someone delivered  a package sometime between 10pm and 5am.  I mean, the heck?!  I don’t know, maybe it was a drone.  Whatever, it was awesome.

This weekend I’m going to try to make some aromatherapy items to take with, so I’ll let you know how that goes.  I saw a tutorial and promptly bought all the items on Amazon which were there before I received my conformation email.  J/K.  I’ll stop with the Amazon plugging as they hardly need it.

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My Workspace

You know how Apartment Therapy has home tours where they always have them write something about what they love about their space?  They usually say things that make my eyes roll (because I’m a terrible person) like “Living here makes me feel free to be the artist I am inside.”  Actually, I think I just nailed it.  Right off the top of my head, I nailed something irritatingly sappy, yet completely true.  OK.  The ones that really make me mad are the ones that say “I love how all the light in our apartment makes me feel like I’m sitting on a cloud.”  I don’t know.  I didn’t nail the second one.  But most of the time they’re just jealousy-inducing (you know that I live in black hole, right?).  That being said, I recently ran across a company called WeWork.  They are a coworking company which means that rent out amazing and modern office space (more like cool lounge space full of awesome) from something as small as a desk to an entire private office.  And I’m not being overly dramatic when I say amazing.  Seriously.  Click on the link and see the office space – don’t just glaze over it.  Click on it.  I’m making you SO CURIOUS, aren’t I?!  The ones here in LA include…free beer.  I think they might have to put a cap on that for Ryan.  They’d lose their shirts.  Anyway, they asked me to show what I love about my workspace which went along nicely with some of the things we’ve changed in the apartment that I wanted to show you.  Because…my entire tiny apartment is my work space.

So, let me say what I love about my apartment.  I love that, even though it is VERY small, we have learned how to make our entire living space a workspace.  I sew on the dining room table, I stitch on the couch, I fold origami on the coffee table.  I haven’t shown you it yet (don’t get too excited), but…Ryan created a desk for our bed which consists of a plain, old door, so that I can make the bedroom my workspace.  Granted, it was only so he could play his PS4 in the living room while I was in the bedroom watching old Poirots).  And we have gotten creative with storage.  So, instead of the “normal” showcase of a workspace, I thought I’d just point out parts of our apartment that I like the most.  Some of them are new to the blog, so it’ll be the very first time you’ve seen them.  Can you contain your excitement?!

First, the living room.  I think I do most of my work here because…I like to watch TV while I work.  And the newest “change” in the living room is something long-time(ish) readers will recognize.

new couch cover

We have a new couch cover!  (Side note – I could not stop Ralph from jumping on the couch every time I went to take a picture.  He’s a total camera hog. And I didn’t even realize Ted was there too.).  I know…the Tangerine Dream is no more.  The gross reason – Ted (being from the land of Barfur), had hairballed it so many times on it and it just was becoming harder and harder to clean.  So we checked out Ikea’s catalog and found a cover we really, really liked.  The beauty of having an Ikea couch is the fact that you can pretty much have a whole new couch every couple of years.  And Ryan’s herringbone coffee table looks fantastic with it, right?!  And notice the mod cat bed and “bear skin” rug for Ralph and Ted?  The only way I could get them to lay in it was by cutting up the felt from the cat cave and putting it in there.  Because…they apparently love the feel of felt on their butts, just not while being inside a cave.  Total jerks.

The always inspiring shelves:

shelvesI love these shelves that Ryan made.  What started as something to cover the wall heater turned into a great accent wall.  Maybe people think this is too busy or straight up weird, but you know what – EVS.  I love them.  A wall where I can rotate different display items and pictures?  Yes, please!  And in an apartment where wall space is limited, it’s nice to have a place to display the projects you make!  Like the Royal Tenenbaums cross stitch pattern I just bought and will show you when it’s completed!

The dining room (aka sewing table)

dining room

Not only do I love the fact that we swapped out the chairs that came with the set (no, we did not toss them out – they’re in our storage space) with these Eames chairs, but this table becomes GINORMOUS which means I can do something like quilt a queen-sized quilt more easily than I could with this tiny round table.  I say “more easily,” but we all know it’s still awful.

After the more “workspace” specific areas I’ve shown above, I also wanted to show you guys some of the new things we’ve gotten since the hiatus.


We got a new entertainment center!  (Sorry, this is the best picture we could get – the black hole we live in…).  Remember when I wrote that post about wanting a mid-century credenza?  Well, Ryan’s family was listening because THEY MADE US  ONE FOR OUR ANNIVERSARY!  Well, when I say “they,” I mean my brother-in-law who owns a woodworking business did the physical making.  It’s solid walnut and it makes me feel like a grown-up (if that’s possible).

kitchen lightWe finally got rid of the leaded glass ceiling light and got something a little fancier.  Actually, this was gifted to us by a friend and I love it so much that it hurts a little.  But as much as I love it, seeing this picture of our dumb rental kitchen tile makes me sad.  But just look away from that.  Look at that shiny light!  Isn’t it pretty?!

ceiling fanAlso…a new fan!!  I’ve been DYING to get rid of the matching light/fan set forever, so we finally just went for it.  I don’t know why we hesitated so long as they aren’t that expensive.  And I love it!

Another thing WeWork asked me to show is my DREAM work space.  So…here goes.

mid-century desk

Photo credit.  I can envision myself right now sitting at this desk writing this blog post.  I’ll also take the giant brick wall.

modern workspace

Photo credit.  I might be…sewing in here?!  Forget the dumb books!  Think of all the fabric I could store there!  That table is a great width for a sewing table!  The lighting…I can’t even think about it.  And the Womb Chair.

conference room yellow whitePhoto credit.  And if we’re going to live in the world of unicorns and leprechauns (aka Imaginationland), then this is the conference room where my staff and clients will be clamoring for my opinion on…everything.  And I will say things like “DALE!!  WHERE’S MY LATTE???!!!”

waiting room

Photo credit. And this would be my waiting room.  Yes, I realize that the style is kinda running the gamut (I mean, this waiting room doesn’t really jive with the conference room), but whatever.  IT’S ALL ABOUT ME!

office lunchroom

Photo credit – (No idea.  I lost it in the search and can’t find it again.).  If we’re gonna play this game, I’m going to pretend that my office is SO LARGE (because, duh, who wouldn’t want to hitch their star to THIS wagon) that I would need a staff lunchroom.  Poor Dale.  Actually, LUCKY Dale because this is awesome.


Photo credit.  This would be the super cool pool we have. Because I’m a giver.  Not because I’d want a pool or anything.

Anyway…  Back to the grind.  Is it just me or do you feel depressed now?

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