House Beautiful

Tag Archive for 'Matt'

California, here I come!

When people go through major life changing events, they usually do things like repaint the living room.  Take a tropical vacation. Chop their hair off… (oh wait, I did that).  But then I also quit my job and went all Under the Tuscan Sun and decided to move to Cali.  Cause why the hay not?

Here’s the thing:  Big scary life changes force you to re-evaluate what makes you happy and ask yourself what you’re really doing with your life.  Big scary life changes also help you grow a pair.  I had a highly coveted, cream-of-the-crop medical sales job that was next to impossible to get.  I worked with the kind of people who feel like your oldest friends after you’ve known them for 5 minutes.  It was a great gig that was feeding my bank account, but not feeding my soul.  Because there was always a lot of this stuff floating around in the back of my mind:

…all of which were amplified by Karrie shouting those poignant quotes into a megaphone next to my ear on a daily basis.  Because right after my “Boycott Tuna, Save the Dolphins” aspiring marine biologist phase passed in the 5th grade, I knew I wanted to be an Interior Designer when I grew up.  I didn’t even really know what that meant… but apparently in high school, it meant Care Bear sheets and bedroom walls wallpapered in magazine clippings.  So hot.

But seriously, here’s what I *did* know: I knew someone’s home was an artful extension of who they are as a person…  Of all the things they love, and all the places they’ve been.  I always understood – even as a tween in braces – that your surroundings have a profound effect on your psyche.  They can either inspire you or bog you down. They can soothe you, invigorate you, or make you nuts.  They can evoke melancholy, or they can envelop you in all things warm and inviting.  I always wanted to be the person who got to create the sort of haven for people that evoked the latter.  But then life took over (as it often does), and by the time I blinked, I was 32.  In a job I was lucky to have, but did not love.  I found myself envying the people who were getting to do what I’d always wanted to do. I found myself spending all my spare time refinishing furniture, agonizing over fabric swatches, repainting the powder room and helping friends redo their houses.  It took ONE serendipitous email from an up-and-coming designer in San Diego and ONE football-field-sized rug being pulled out from under me to tip the scales and prompt me to decide that – BANG – it was time to make a big change.  So… holy $#*+.  Fire up the U-Haul.  Here we go.

Today is bittersweet, because while I love a fresh start and a great adventure (!) I’m also leaving behind a life and a person that I love more than anything.  I will miss having my family so close by, and I will miss my girlfriends in Columbus terribly.  I will miss the cherry tomatoes that grow wild alongside our house in August… that even push their way up through the cracks in the driveway.  I will miss this picturesque, quintessentially Midwestern neighborhood full of shady trees and waving neighbors. I will miss this beautiful house that we became a family in, and where we hosted almost every holiday… these walls were always filled with laughter, warmth, hope, and so much love.  I will miss leaves crunching under my feet in the fall, the smell of bonfires, and football season.  I will miss the garden that we built last Spring, and the jungle of basil I used to make pesto out of in the summertime. And, my God. I will miss him every day.

But maybe Dan in Real Life said it best:

I want to talk to you about the subject of plans… life plans and how we all make them, and how we hope that our kids make good, smart, safe plans of their own. But if we’re really honest with ourselves, most of our plans don’t work out as we’d hoped. So instead of asking our young people, ‘What are your plans? What do you plan to do with your life?’, maybe we should tell them this: Plan to be surprised.”

Columbus… it’s been real.  California… here I come.

(Get in, Gus!)

xoxo,

Gift Guide: For the Guys

I’m going to get put on the naughty list for saying so, but every year, I look at the gift guides out there for dudes, and every year I scratch my head and wonder: Cufflinks in the shape of guns… hokey plaid everything… and things like soap that smells like charcoal.  Are those really what the guys we love want from Santa? Maybe they do…  What do I know?  I’m a chick, and I love doilies and things that are sparkly. So to make sure this list is on point for you guys, I enlisted the help of my other half (and Elf for the day), Matt.  Hey, Sugar!!

Matt’s got snooty impeccable taste in everything, and nearly every gift idea below has been taken for a spin in our house and gotten a serious stamp of approval.  Here goes!

1. Donegal Wool Cable Cardigan – Matt cannot get enough of these.  Nor can I. DILF sweaters (did I say that out loud?) like this one make *every* guy look a little more handsome.  I picture the men who wear them rocking cooing babies by the fire, sipping coffee at the kitchen table, or chopping wood in the front yard. Classic cold weather staple for any guy.

2. Bowl Tickets – Enter the Holy Grail of Christmas Gifts for Guys…  especially if they’re lunatics about college football like someone I know, who galloped around the room 18 times screaming last Saturday when Auburn turned Ray Finkle’s missed field goal into touchdown and history-making gold.  Even I shed a single tear.

3. Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Energizing Scrub – Matt loves using this to slough off dead skin in between shaves.  It’s also apparently “tingly and clean and smells really good.”

4. Moscow Mule Copper Mugs – I dare you to show me a guy who doesn’t wanna drink that delicious vodka / lime juice / ginger beer concoction out of these.

5. Go Pro – These are hi-def (1080p), waterproof, have built-in Wi Fi and are straight up AMAZING.  And at under $200, I feel like I’m straight up stealing. If you’re not familiar with GoPro, check out this YouTube video.

6. Marled Socks – Great for wearing under boots, or just lounging around the house.

7. Lululemon Post Gravity Pant – Buy these for him, then steal them every Saturday morning.  Everybody wins!

8. McLerran Leather & Flannel Boot – Matt got these earlier this fall, and they look KILLER with everything.  Classic with handsome details and a little edge.

9. Clary Sage Candle – you wouldn’t *normally* think to buy candles for the fellas, but this one is earthy and clean.  Email info@nathanturner.com to purchase.

10. Fit Bit - Definitely stuff yourself silly this Christmas, then after January 1st, wear this all day & all night to track your steps, distance, calories consumed, calories burned, etc.

11. Forage Haberdashery Handkerchiefs – or pocket squares…  whatever.  Here it is from the horse’s mouth:  ”I wear my pocket square with my suit after I’ve taken my tie off but still have to meet clients out for dinners. It’s a little more dressed-down, but still kind of a classic cool look.”  Personally, I dig that there’s an old school, dapper, gentlemanly quality to them.  I loved the ones pictured from Nathan Turner’s shop in LA. Email info@nathanturner.com to purchase.

12. Eco Heather 3/4 Sleeve Raglan Shirt – insanely comfortable (Matt and I both own one) and look H-O-T on dudes.  This one comes in a GREAT color combo and is on sale for $20.  BANG.

…Need more ideas?  Last year’s list is still full of solid picks…  especially the Big Green Egg, Ugg slippers, the Arcteryx jacket, and the Maps Rocks Glasses.

Happy Shopping!