Autumn in Los Angeles

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Rings H&M / Sweater H&M/ The watch was $10 from a costume jewelry store. Forever21 has similar styles / Nails OPI ‘Midnight in Moscow’

There is nothing better than the beginning of Fall. The air becomes crisp and fresh, the sky is a bit more whimsical and grey, and the world seems to be buzzing with new beginnings. The leaves change, cozy oversized sweaters get pulled out from the back of the closet and the prospect of good food, family gatherings and the holidays seem just around the corner. Continue reading

‘Man Made’ Book Review

Every once in a while you stumble upon a book that is completely wonderful. You find yourself getting lost in the story, giggling and saying things like “Oh my God” and “awwww” out loud.

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Man Made by Joel Stein is definitely one of these books. Joel, a man who recently found out that he is going to be a father finds himself both over joyed and completely freaked out. In an attempt to become the best father possible, he goes on a quest to figure out what it reeeaally means to be a man. The journey is insightful, painfully awkward and hilarious. Joel’s one-liner commentary of the world around him is laugh out loud funny and the love he has for his wife and son permeates the entire story making this book impressively poignant, funny and heart-warmingly sweet.

I have a feeling you’re going to love Man Made. Pick it up and let me know what you think.

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5 Tips for Decorating Small Spaces

 

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~ My teeny tiny Hollywood Studio ~

 

1. Use Vertical Space

I think forgetting to utilize vertical space is the number one reason small spaces tend to look cramped and cluttered. Some examples of this theory include: The kitchen. Pots and pans can be hung on the wall for an industrial chic look. Or, Ikea makes kitchen wall racks that can house everything from spices to dish soap and spare towels in a way that can look stylish while still being functional. Under the sink in the bathroom is another area that benefits greatly from this rule. Double tiered storage racks can be found in stores like Ross, Ikea and Target and are a great way to keep things organized and also visually appealing. The living room. A vertical shelving unit, like this one from Ross, is a cute way to store items with out taking up a lot of space.

2. Use Prettier Storage Containers

Replace ugly plastic storage containers with pretty baskets. In a tight space, there is not a lot of room to hide ugly storage containers so if they must be out for all to see, they might as well be part of the decor. I use baskets all throughout my apartment to store everything from candles and books, to my blow drier. Tuck pretty baskets away on bookshelves and no one will know they’re doing double duty (and please people, take advantage of all of the pretty AND AFFORDABLE baskets that can be found at places like Marshalls and HomeGoods, there is no reason to spend a lot of money on a basket).

3. Paint

A lot of people shy away from dark colors in a small room but it can often make the space feel warm and cozy. White walls can feel sterile so instead, choose a deep shade for the walls and accessorize with lighter furniture and accents that tie the light and the dark together. In the first picture above you can see my walls are a deep blue-grey and the couch is cream colored. I used throw pillows that accent the grey tones in the walls and the earth tones in the floor and surrounding furniture to tie the whole look together. Don’t forget that you don’t have to paint all of the walls the same color. I have one dark accent wall and the others are a lighter grey.

4. Every Piece Of Furniture Should Be Multi-functional

In a small space, storage is key and there is no room for gratuitous furniture. Every piece must have some sort of storage. For example, the TV stand should have drawers and/or shelving. The coffee table is also a good place to sneak in some extra storage space as many come with a second tier or a compartment inside. Even your bed can be utilized as a place for storage. Places like the Container Store and Walmart have rollaway containers for out of season items like bulky sweaters and winter boots that easily fit under the bed, leaving you with more room in your closet.

5. Use The Right Light

Light is so important, especially when it comes to creating a homey feel. Small rooms or apartments can feel stuffy and cramped but soft, cozy lighting can make all the difference.  Sheer curtains that allow some sunlight to show through make for a peaceful space during the day. At night time, opt for table lamps and candles to create a warmer, more inviting glow to the room. Overhead lights tend to be harsh and can give a sort of static feeling to a room. Dim lamp and candle light also help create a relaxing space for you to unwind after a long day.

What are some of your tips for decorating a small space? Let me know in the comments below.

5 Bad Day Remedies

tumblr_inline_mr6csrwn921qz4rgpAs someone who really takes the time to appreciate little moments, sweet gestures, time spent with friends and perfect afternoon sunlight, I find that it’s easy to be happy most days. There are days though, like the one I had recently, that are just plain bad. It happens. We wake up on the wrong side of the bed, we are suddenly clumsier than usual, people decide to drive slower than ever for no explicable reason. Our patience is tested on days like these and if you’re like me, it’s a test failed.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I believe in letting good find you and being open to letting it in. Which can be difficult when you’re having an off day. It’s so much easier to remain grouchy for the entire day and curl up on the couch with a ton of junk food, but that really does make me feel worse. I wake up the next day, sick from the late night binge and then yet another day begins on a bad note. For this reason, I try very hard to remedy my bad days. I let myself cry if I need to cry, I go for a run if I think that will help quell the anxiety, I cook myself a delicious meal (or if cooking sounds miserable, I’ll order out) and I slip into a hot bath with a glass of wine and good-for-your-soul music (like Etta James or Louis Armstrong). Before long, I’m feeling better and my crumby day becomes a thing of the past.

5 Ways To Remedy A Crumby Day

1. Want to feel better fast? Scroll through pictures on your phone. It will instantly take you out the here and now and remind you that your life is awesome and that you are loved, special and more than this moment.

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Los Angeles, Fourth of July 2012

 

2. Take a hike!

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Runyon Canyon, Los Angeles

(Or a walk around your neighborhood, go for a jog with your dog in the park, or drive to the beach and walk along the sand) Just get outside and do some light exercise. Get moving, take a long deep breath of fresh air and though it might be difficult, take a moment to be grateful for something. You’ll feel so much better, but don’t take my word for it….”Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy…” – the ever fabulous, Elle Woods

3. Get some Alone Time In

If you have kids, ask your partner to take them to dinner and a movie. If you have roommates, tell them you’re having a rough day and need some alone time. Close your door, turn off your phone and relax for a while. Finding time alone when you’re having a bad day is important because the feeling that one more person needs something from you can be unbearable when you’re at your wits end. You can’t be useful to others when you feel like that, so take some time to rest and recharge before re-entering the real world.

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~ Skim latte, oatmeal scone and no where to be ~

 

4. Make yourself dinner. I like to make myself something that is both healthy and comforting. Mexican food is a great way to do that because it’s delicious and satisfying but also easy to lighten up.

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I made these tilapia tacos after a very long day, paired with a cold beer and followed by a relaxing bath. I went to bed feeling calm, peaceful and taken care of.

5. Last but not least, the bubble bath.

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~ Twilight Woods from Bath and Body Works makes the best bubble bath~

You must have candles, dim lighting, good music and (at the very least) a cold glass of ice water.

I always put a little Neutregena Body Oil in my baths so that the warm water doesn’t dry out my skin. A put a bit more on before toweling off and follow with a rich, great smelling body butter before putting on some comfy pajamas and getting into bed.

I wake up soft, well rested and ready to make the day better than the last.

How do you remedy a bad day? Let me know in the comments below!