House Beautiful

Archive for the 'Bios' Category

Well hello, California.

Hey kids!!  It’s been a minute, huh?  #whoops.  Wait, before we start, go ahead and hit play on this sucker so we can getcher mind right:

K.  I kinda don’t know where to start!  I think the last time I blogged was back in 1847 when I was shoving out of the deep dark hole that became my life in Columbus – behind the wheel of a 27 ft. U-Haul.  Since then, I spent some QT with my parents in the homeland, hammered a lifetime supply of Pizza King, then threw Gus in the car and drove across the country…  which was surprisingly not awful.  If I hadn’t had books on tape, I might’ve thrown myself through a plate-glass window, but other than that, the trek that took 4 days and 38 hours was peppered with old friends, tumbleweeds and cacti, a peaceful sort of solitude and a million things I’d never seen before.  It went something like this:

All packed up, thanks to my Dad, who packed 900 pounds of my $#*t into a 2 pound bag – or UHaul trailer – with scientific precision.  Stevie B is a wizard.

My navigator is ready to roll!

Illinois and Missouri were dismal, so I couldn’t show you any pictures that wouldn’t make you want to punch yourself in the face.  Then came Kansas…  THIS is everything you ever needed to know about Kansas.  The end.

Gus thought it was a snore too.

Never have I ever been more excited to get the flip out of Kansas and cross the border into Colorado.  I remember driving on the flat, yawn-tastic road that I thought would NE-VER end, and then the hills started getting rolly, and I literally went over one and (GASP!) – there were massive, majestic Rocky mountains in my face.  I stayed in Denver that night, where an old family friend put me up and fed me homemade lasagna and sang me Happy Birthday.  It was divine.

I had glorious plans of driving west from Denver through the mountains to Salt Lake to see another old friend – and that drive allegedly boasts some of the most beautiful scenery on this side of the Mississippi, but I wasn’t sure that hauling a U-Haul trailer through steep, winding mountains packed with ice was wise.  So, we audibled south through New Mexico…

…which *literally* made me feel like I was on the set of No Country for Old Men, and Havier Bardem was about to come out from behind a prickly bush and waste me with an oozie.  It was real creepy there for awhile.  And by awhile I mean like, 600 miles.

And then it got REALLY pretty after Albequerque.

Arizona was stunning…  especially at sunrise while I was sipping hot coffee and listening to John Denver.  It was like a little slice of desert road tripping heaven.

There were about 9 million Hopi Indian roadside markets that I would’ve given my left nut to have stopped at, if not for the fact that I was pulling what felt like the Titanic behind my car and on my 9 millionth hour of driving.

Plus, by Day 4, my favorite co-pilot was losing steam.

Day 4 was also my birthday…  heeeeeey.  I’m still not totally on board with selfies, but we took one that day to commemorate – somewhere along Route 66.

Rolling into Cali was REAL fun, and it was around then that I started to get a little tickle in my shorts.

FINALLY, we made it to San Diego.

When I turned the key and walked into our new (dark, empty) place, I could not possibly have anticipated the overwhelming wave of sadness and “oh $#*%, what just happened to my life?” feeling that hit.  Like a ton of bricks.  I don’t know if I’ve ever felt quite that alone before. But then, one of my new roommates came home, helped me unload the entire U-Haul at 8:00 at night, and took me to In & Out Burger.  That 900 calorie burger + the kindness of a relative stranger was soothing to my crippled little soul…

Also soothing were the next several days, which were filled with trips to the Del Mar dog beach to let my little nugget play in the ocean…

…A trip to LA for my birthday weekend to see Karrie…  who greeted me at the door with a glass of champagne, had Velveeta on the stove, and also had this birthday basket on my bed.  I mean…  she’s a total slampig, but she’s also the most gracious, generous friend, and never expects anything in return.  I mean, look at that.  An Hervé Leger dress from RTR, a hydrangea plant for my new yard, the new Domino, an extra box of Velveeta, and a new book??  I can’t take it.

We did my birthday dinner at Gjelina with a fab group of girls.  And if you haven’t had the Butterscotch Pot de Crack Crème there, then you haven’t lived.

Karrie and I made our Uber driver on the way home super sorry he ever picked us up.  #whoops

We also did a long canyon hike one day, and I almost had 17 heart attacks every time GusGus got too close to the edge.

What else…  after a few days in Santa Monica, my right hand man & I came back to SD to get settled before I started my new job.  Did I tell you I moved in with two boys?  Yeah.  We’ll just call my new digs “The Frat House.”  And at the frat house, I did a little tjuz-ing:

…And planted a mini-potted garden outside with the essentials:  basil, a lemon tree, a jalapeño plant, and Karrie’s hydrangea bush.  It’s not the luscious jungle that we planted last year in our Ferngully of a backyard, but hey.  Shit happens and this works just fine.

On that note, there were a lot of heavy sighs while I unpacked the contents of the beautiful house (and life) that I loved so much…  followed by yanking up my big girl pants and pressing on.  The past few months have been surreal, to say the least… and what happened has been the biggest and most unwelcome lesson I never wanted to learn and the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  But moving here was 100% the right thing, and I know that now…  I knew it before, but it’s finally starting to feel like the right thing, too.  We’re finally settling in and it’s starting to feel like home.  Sorta.

PS:  Check out that stunning, embroidered John Robshaw Jammu bolster pillow that Karrie and Melissa bought me for my birthday.  I cried.  Partly because it was so overwhelmingly kind, and partly because it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen… in all its pink grapefruit and pea green glory.  Gus also thinks it doesn’t suck.

San Diego is a gorgeous place.  People told me before I moved here that the weather is perfect, and it is indeed PERFECTION.  Cool mornings and nights which means you always sleep with the windows open, and warm, sunny days, EVERY SINGLE DAY… and nice people!  I’m talking in rush hour traffic, they let you in and smile and wave. Never have I ever.

You know what else is REAL fun??  My new JOB.  Ehhhh mah GAH why did I wait so long to bust into the design field?  I went to work as Kristin’s assistant at Anne Rae Design.  Here’s my new boss lady:

You can call her Kristin…  or Anne Rae…  or Nado (tornado), which is what I call her. She keeps introducing me as her “Co-Pilot,” which is insanely gracious and also insanely inaccurate, seeing as how she’s a bonafide, super bad ass designer, and I’m a babbling design enthusiast with a blog just trying to learn the ropes.  But that should tell you something about the kind of person she is.  I met Kristin through Karrie years ago – she’s a fellow Midwesterner and an MSU Design School grad who had an overflowing plate fulla business and needed a hand (or five).  She could’ve hired 1000 people more qualified than I am, but she took a chance on me, and I will be forever grateful to her for that.  In other news, look how cute our office is (!)  Or, a sliver of it.

We just moved into it last week, but we’re getting ready to hang this chandy and window treatments in that fabric.  I die.

And here are snippets of a few projects we’re working on…  one is for a lovely lady who loves all things Tuscan, so we’re giving her Tuscany with a modern, sophisticated twist:

Another is a handsome man cave that we’re calling the “Out of Africa” room.  This shot of fabrics scarcely does it justice…  picture grasscloth on the walls, tufted leather chairs, and a sliding barn door to the bar (all Kristin’s genius work).  And among other things, an oversized ottoman in that Grey Poupon Mustard-colored mohair velvet from Schumacher, which makes me let out a little pee every time I touch it.  It’s luscious.

And on that note, this is the longest post EVER and I’m sure everyone needs a bathroom break.  Hope you guys are having a great weekend (!) and now that I’m settled in and Karrie’s wet her whistle and blogged for the 1st time this year, we should be posting a lot more fun stuff a lot more often.  Holler.


2012, in all its glory… and Julia Sugarbaker

Hi guys!  We know it’s been awhile…  hope y’all had an AWESOME holiday (the emphass-is there is on “hol-i-day,” not “Christ-mas,” because remind me to tell you how many times I wished the *same* lady in December a “Merry Christmas!” after she told me like, 7 times that she was Jewish.  Shalom!  Whoops.)  But alas, isn’t it the merry sentiment that counts??  Anyhow.  Despite Kar Bear and I having full-time gigs (she as the Senior VP of a production company, me as a Medical Device Sales territory manager), this blog has always been such a wonderful creative outlet that feeds our little souls.  So, dang it.  We are ramping it up in this piece in 2013.  And before we start rattling off 2013’s resolutions & such, can we rap real quick about how totally outrageous 2012 was???  Here’s what went down on my end:

1 – TONS of quality girl time.  A Big Chill-esque birthday weekend in Venice Beach, CA with all my favorite people under one roof…  I nearly wet myself.  Anna Maria Island in November for Karrie’s 1st wedding anniversary, San Diego for work, etc.  Bliss.

2 – Got a job promotion and moved from my beloved Windy City to Columbus, OH, in June, where I shacked up in this sweet little Who’s-The-Boss lookalike, idyllic house.  Said casa came complete with a tons of character in the form of arched nooks and newly restored, limewashed-pine-looking doors, a Saturday Farmer’s Market at the end of my block, a cherry tomato plant growing like wildfire on the side of the house (this excites me to no end), a budding herb garden in backyard, and never-ending design projects inside.  Bliss.

3 – I became an (honorary) auntie to this little booger, whose nursery I collaborated on with his madre earlier in the year.  He’s so precious I could eat him with a spoon.

4 – I fell cuckoo-for-cocoa puffs (and I mean, game over) in love with this kid, and life has never been the same since.  We had one of those epic, no-holds-barred, 4-hour convos on our 1st date, after which I felt like I’d known him for a few years, not just a few days.  He’s totally ridiculous on a dance floor, totally smokin’ hot, bear-hugged my dad and sat in my mom’s lap the first day he met both of them, and has the best laugh of anyone I know.  He’s also the other half I never knew I had.

5 – SOLID vaycay time in Mexico, where I made plenty of bad decisions that my parents wouldn’t be proud of…  like doing shots while hanging upside down (1st photo, #3), partaking in a little harmless cliff-diving, and winning an obstacle course drinking contest at Mango Deck – a rip-roaring fun but not entirely savory beach front establishment.

6 – Hosted Thanksgiving for both my and #4’s families (and refinished that $40 table from Craigslist on Thanksgiving Eve.  My step-dad asked me if his plate was going to stick to the polyurethane – bahahha).  My favorite part of the day?  It’s a tie between watching our grandparents – both widowed – engage in a little harmless, G-rated flirting.  That and the random chiming-in of people around the dinner table with all the things they were thankful for.  Warms my little heart to no end.

7 – Moving is the WORST (!!%^#$&@!!), but the best part about it is getting to decorate a new space.  And so I did.  Yahtzee!

Here’s to a very Happy 2013 to you!  I hope it rocks your face off and is full of SO much joy and laughter and fun.  Thanks for reading our little labor of love over here still, you loyal little nuggets you.  And if you have a sec to weigh-in (oh I’d be so grateful if you could!), please let us know what you’d like to see/hear more of from us this year – DIY Projects, Recipes, Goodwill Hunting, Inspired DJ Playlists, Interiors, Entertaining, etc.??  And on that note…

We’re also kicking around the idea offering Design Services, including E-decorating packages…  would you guys be interested in something like that?  That’s when – instead of hiring an expensive decorator, you tell us what room needs tweaking, send us some pics and measurements, tell us what your favorite color is, all that good stuff…  and for a much more wallet-friendly fee, we send you back inspiration boards, floor plans, fabric/paint/wallpaper samples, and resource lists based on your budget.  Below is what I did for my living room in Columbus…

And the nursery I did for my friend Vani’s little peanut…

Does that sound like fun??  For more insight into what my design sensibilities (that sounds so suhnoh-bay, doesn’t it?) look like, here’s my COVET LIVING PINTEREST PAGE for the gandering.  PS:  Gandering is totally not a word.  Alas, below is a screen shot of one of my favorite boards, California Dreaming, which I usually bulk up every grim, frosty Midwest winter when I’m dreaming of easy breezy decor, salty ocean air, warmer days and casual living.