Friday, December 25, 2015

My Little Loft Christmas Tour and a Peek into My Heart

I woke up, this Christmas morning feeling more peace in my soul than I have felt every day accumulatively over the last year and half...While so much of my life has been through some tumultuous change and some difficult transitions, I am at complete and utter peace. That is more than I can even begin to ask for, this Christmas day. 

For the most part, I have my health, my beautiful and loving family (all around the world) and the greatest friends and pup a gal could ask for. I have experienced altruistic love in a way I never imagined I could. Most importantly, I have my faith and the never failing love of my Heavenly Father. When all else fails, people leave, and material things fade, I have Him.

I celebrated my 30th birthday this December. I am not at all where I thought I would be, but I am just where I need to be. In 2013/2014  I had most everything I worked hard for and dreamed of stripped away within an extremely short period of time. My 28th and 29th year were years of loss, change, and rebuild. I am grateful for the fire I have been walking through... Gold is refined by fire and I am being refined as well. When I felt completely alone and helpless, God was there. He sent strangers, absolute angels to come and pick me up and out of the pit. God has big things in store for me, for you... for all His children. I am grateful for this. 

While things may not be just as I hoped they would at this point in my life, I am grateful for this process. I am grateful for every blessing, grand and small in my life...for I AM BLESSED. I am overwhelmingly grateful my Father and Savior was born to save, protect, heal and love me unconditionally. There is no greater love than this. No beautiful home, shiny object, Christmas decor or material possession can compare to the beauty of His love. The decor I work on is only a manifestation of the inspiration I feel from His love and protection. Design is the desire to recreate (but can NEVER come close to) the peace, comfort and joy I feel from being in my heavenly Father's presence. An attempt to re-create that sanctuary I am in when I am with Him. Nothing compares to HIM.

I had no Christmas tutorials for you this December... no recipes and no DIY's. I was busy working and focusing on rebuilding. I am beginning to feel like me again for the first time in an incredibly long time. Not the old me, but the me I was always supposed to be. I am starting to get my spark and inspiration for life back. 

Nothing is certain. Life is not void of pain and struggle. It doesn't matter what you possess, what you do or where you travel to... None of that matters in the grand scheme of things. It's the joy in your spirit that is the greatest thing to strive for. I don't know why certain things happen as they do, what I do know is that God's love and peace, even through difficult times is everlasting. 

Welcome to my little loft this Christmas Day and I challenge you to think about the things you are grateful for. Even when everything seems to be troubling, we all have things to be grateful for. I make so many mistakes on a daily basis and fail at being a great Christian example sometimes. This is not me preaching, just speaking out the emotions that are overwhelming me this crisp Christmas morning.

Even though I struggle with being eloquent and articulate, thank you for letting me be raw and share my feelings today. I am grateful for your continuous love and support. The kindness, e-mails and well wishes that I have received from my readers is incredibly touching to me. Once again, I AM BLESSED.

Merry Christmas, darlings.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Minted LOVE

It is that time of year when folks are getting hitched, babies are being born and kiddos are growing up and leaving the nest. Or, if your like me and you have none of those things happening in your life but you drool over gorgeous branding for your business, home decor, stunning invitations and even menu cards for your spring time soiree,  Minted is the most incredible resource for you. Wow, that was a long winded sentence. Anyhow, I am serious you guys... they have it all, for everyone. I have spent the past couple hours crushing over their products and I had to share them with you...It would be an utter crime not to. My eyes are burning from staring at these beautiful images on my computer screen for so long (kidding not kidding).

Minted recently introduced their 2015 Wedding Collection and have added rose gold pressed foil to their invitation line and IT. IS. STUNNING. You can even get foil pressed business cards too! I will be doing that in the VERY near future. 

Check out some of their many shimmering (and non shimmering) treasures!

 They also have a huge selection of party backdrops, fabric, home decor, art and a zillion other things I need... Yes, I said need.

Aren't these Menus awesome?!?!

What do you all think? Are you as crazed over these as I am?
I knew you would love Minted, my friends... And yes, you're welcome. 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

My Little Loft ~ Living and Dining Room Reveal

I have been working my fanny off (although it doesn't look like it's any smaller because I have been balancing out my exercise with truffles and wine), getting my place set up here in the United States. I am living in a loft that has been converted into an apartment and it is finally feeling like home! I was hoping to achieve a Parisian apartment look that was eclectic, classic, relaxed, comfortable and elegant all at the same time. This look is European, eclectic, expat-chic!

 I think the thing that I am enjoying most about designing this space is watching my European treasures and antiques take on a different look and feel than they had in my old German barn. While I desperately miss that barn, things do feel fresher and brighter with all the sunlight I get in this loft, My whole barn had a total of 3 small windows (although the kitchen had some lovely french doors)!!! Eventually, my super awesome landlord is considering putting in faux old beams! Soon, it will have the old world character and charm that I adore and yearn for so much! 

 Here is a quick look at what my loft looked like before. As you can see there was originally a half wall on the left and we turned it into a full wall and added some bead-board. 

 While the neon beer signs are super adorable and charming, I decided to ditch them this time around ;)

 And here is my loft now!

It is the perfect size for Penny and me and there is plenty of room for entertaining!

 My charcoal grey chairs make a nice divider between the two rooms and help create a quaint little conversational area. 

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know I can't go without a mantle or fireplace in my home. I think it makes a room instantly warm, cozy and a romantic looking, even if it's not a working one. I hung my old kitchen rug over my mantle and I love the pop of color it adds to my otherwise very neutral room. I antiqued a mirror so it had an old smoked look to it and placed it behind my mantle so it will reflect the flickering flame from my candles. 

I am slowly converting my French Louis armoire into an espresso bar. I will also be showing you how I am doing that and how I have also hidden a little fridge in my apartment so it doesn't take away from the design. 

Pages from a couple 160 year old Parisian books that were falling apart, make the perfect art when placed behind glass. 

I used some letters that I discovered (that were exchanged between two lovers) in my French armoire as art in my dining room. 

 The rest of my incredibly old Parisian books in an old dough bowl make up the centerpiece for my dining table.

I am sure excited to have this main room finished so I can start having guests over for coffee and or cocktails! Here is a picture my girlfriend, Haley took last week. 

The fluff angel and I are tired from all this setting up and unpacking, but there are still more rooms to be done! 

Until next time! Tchüss!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

My Little Loft {Coming "Home"}

You know the feeling you get when you come home from a long vacation and you crawl into your very own bed? Or when you visit home after a semester away at college? That deep sense of home and belonging that your mind, body and soul have been craving for so long? I am not talking about a social belonging (although that feels great, too), but a place, a nest that reflects your personality and passions 100%. 
After living out of suitcases and boxes since last May (in both Europe and California), I am finally able to set up a space of my own and feel that deep comforting peace that comes with being "home" that I have longed for. For me, "home" isn't a specific location in the world, but a place of my own where my mind can rest and can feel a calmness and serenity.  I need to be in a place where I can host others, so hopefully they can find a peace and calmness there too! This last year has been a crazy whirlwind, to say the least, and I have finally arrived "home".

My household goods arrived from Europe the day before Christmas Eve, and I am having an absolute ball setting up my little loft with treasures that I was able to bring back from Europe. With every box that I have been unpacking, I have been reminiscing about all the adventures I went on to find these beauties and the unique history and stories that come along with each of them. 
I am currently trying to cram all my things into one small space and make each thing cohesive with the next. I want my tract-home loft to look like a Parisian apartment, so that I can feel inspired and as though I am in my favorite place in the world... Europe. I am wanting eclectic, European charm to ooze out of every pore of my teeny tiny rental. A place that reflects my personality and soul. I call this "Eclectic Expat Chic."

I can't wait to share the process that I will be going through to set up my space and make it a place that will be warm, welcoming and relaxing. My loft is still under a little bit of construction, but I just had to share a few vignettes with you now, because frankly, I am just too excited! It has a little ways to go but I am making headway daily. I will have loads of DIY's and before and afters coming soon....
Like this smoked, antiqued mirror behind my mantle!

...And how I am turning this armoire into an espresso bar (without messing with it's integrity)!

The absolute most important piece of a home is being able to be around people you love... I have learned no matter where you go in the world, if you have an open heart and mind you can create a home and family anywhere. 
What makes a space "home" for you?
Cheers to being there!

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