my living room facelift!

When we bought our home, a big part of what appealed to us about it was the charm factor. It’s a 1958 brick homestead cabin (with an addition that makes it a 2.5 bedroom) and it came with two 50 year saguaros in the front yard! There’s lots of other vintage charm too, like beautiful exposed beam high ceilings. But unfortunately, although it was very recently renovated- the contractors that worked on it had much different taste then we do and they essentially turned this unique little gem into a boring Home Depot showroom.

Because of our (extremely) limited budget we’ve decided to focus attention first on the living room & I wanted to give you guys a progress peek! I’m calling it a “facelift” versus a “renovation” because there’s so much I’d love to do, like knock down walls and install windows, but for now (due to that darn budget) we are keeping things more surface level.

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My lovely friend and super talented photographer Merrill was over recently shooting a story about me for Noble Carriage and I asked if she would take some shots of the living room too, and lovely human that she is – she obliged! Thank you Merrill!

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Okay so here’s the current state of the living room! So mad at myself for not remembering to take many before pictures, but this should give you an idea:

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achieving excellent mom style in 5 easy steps

I once read that motherhood is a process of slowly letting go. You transition from those infant days where your baby is totally dependent you and you control every aspect of their environment, to toddlerhood where they gain a measure of independence and start making some choices on their own, on to childhood, and teenager-hood (is that even a word??) and eventually adulthood.  Basically as a mom I think the goal is just prepare them to fly the from nest the best you can and hope they make it into adulthood healthily and happily.

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I am currently in the bittersweet stage where my own little baby transitions from babyhood to toddlerhood (she just turned two). I really truly loved every second of Prairie’s babyhood, but one thing I am enjoying about toddlerhood is that I am starting to care more about myself again. For me, this mental leap started about when she turned one. Honestly, for the first year of her life I was just wrapped in lack of sleep, hormones, & love and I didn’t give much thought to anything else. (Clearly, everybody is different so I am only speaking to my own experience here.) Anyhow, when I eventually came down off of that newborn emotional roller coaster I was ready to start caring about myself again, and part of that was caring about my style. (Of course, caring for yourself and your interests outside of motherhood extends way beyond your style choices, but in this post that is the aspect I am focusing on).

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1 look 4 ways

One of my favorite things about my foray into instagramming and blogging has been the opportunity to support women who are doing cool things. So needless to say, I am beyond excited about this project I just did with 3 of my favorite bloggers- Paige (@paigechristensen), Erin (@calivintage), and Melissa (@melissasonico), styling looks from the Pre-Fall collection by one of my favorite (woman owned, made in the US brands) – Esby Apparel.

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We all wore different color combos of the Rose Top (mine is Tomato) and Lucia Seamed Ankle Pants (mine are Camel) from Esby.

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working from home in the middle of the Mojave

Man, 2017- what a time to be alive. I am honestly not the most tech savvy person. That being said, Andy & I would not have been able to make the move to Joshua Tree if it wasn’t for the internet allowing him (and now me too) to work from home.

As convenient as it is to work from home, it can be a little frustrating because our internet runs much much slower and spottier out here then what we were accustomed to back in San Diego. So when eero offered to send us their Home Wifi System to test out I was like heck yes.. well okay tbh  I was like, “what is that thing I do not understand” (remember not tech savvy), but then I showed it to Andy and he was like, “YES! We need to try this!” And I was “well, it is small and white and not a mess of tangled cables- so sure let’s give it a shot.”

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decorating with fresh flowers (coupon in post)

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As I complained about mentioned in my last post, Andy isn’t really the type to buy me flowers. So when the nice folks at Markett  marketing agency reach out and offered to send me the bouquet of my choice from Bouqs you better believe I jumped at the chance. (Oh, and I *might* have initially told Andy that I wasn’t sure who sent the bouquet lolololol.)

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a letter to my partner

Now that we have a child of our own, holidays have taken on a new meaning for me. With Father’s Day around the corner I am reflecting on both my own childhood and my current relationship with my partner Andy.

Andy is a lot like my own father in that he isn’t really driven by gifts. Sometimes I think we speak different love languages in that way. He’s not much for a grand gestures,  like flowers or surprise parties, but he makes coffee for me each morning, does most of the cooking around here, and always offers to take the baby when he can sense I’m tired out. And it’s those everyday, simple, little acts of kindness that make him such a wonderful father in my eyes. He always has time for our daughter and he’s quick to attend to her needs without complaining.  He does lots of the diaper changes, and has often taken her from a restaurant to play outside when she’s getting antsy and left me to finish my meal in peace.

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a couple of photo editing tricks

Besides questions about Joshua Tree, perhaps the most common question I get asked is about my pictures. What camera do I use? (iPhone 7 plus), what filter do I use? (usually VSCO M5 &/or Color Story Glitter Guide Tori), etc etc. Honestly, I am generally inclined to just give people a quick brush off kind of answer, and it’s not because I am trying to be mean, it is because I’m no expert and feel unqualified to give advice. Recently though I’ve had a change of heart. My friends Kim and Nicole started an Instagram project called #ThEditRoom where they share their tips for editing. Granted, they are both way better editors then I’ll ever be, but seeing how thankful people were for the info, and given how much I’ve enjoyed their tutorials, made me realize that I have learned a thing or two that might be useful to share. So today I am gonna show you a couple of apps that allow me to fix small things that can ruin an otherwise pretty great picture- backlighting and objects that need to be removed.

Here’s the picture I need to fix:

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Such a sweet moment I  captured of Prairie and her cousin Lola playing Ring Around the Rosey- but that dumb sign keeps distracting me, and obviously it’s a little backlit.

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