Friday, July 25, 2014

Let's Get Personal


I don't often do reflective posts because I don't think anyone gives a shit hoot, but today I'm getting personal so deal with it. The big 3-0 is coming…DEEP BREATH...(sorry to my many friends who have crossed the threshold)…& it's impossible not to look back at the last 29.5 years of my life & ask myself a load of big personal questions & some not so important smaller questions.

Am I happy with who I've become?

Am I where I thought I would be professionally? 

Am I where I thought I would be emotionally?

Have I been a good daughter/sister/friend/partner?

Have I learned anything from my many many mistakes?

As if these weren't exhausting questions, what about the next 30?

What do I want to accomplish?

Will I decide I really don't want kids or will I change my mind?

Will I ever stop saying "it's OK" when someone apologizes for something that clearly isn't OK?

Will I ever lose those pesky 5 10 lbs?

Oye.

To answer the first half: I think so, yes, yes, almost, I hope, definitely yes.  There…that wasn't so hard.  While I should elaborate, I want to focus on what I've learned so I can make the most out of the next 30. Truthfully, do I care about turning 30? Nah, not really. I'm actually excited for this next chapter of my life because overall my life has just consistently gotten better over time.  I have grown up & finally learned to let go of things that just simply don't matter.  I no longer care if I'm not everyones best friend. I no longer care if people don't like me.  I no longer care if I (sometimes) stay in on the weekend & become a hermit.  I no longer care what people from high school think of me.  I no longer care what my old boyfriends are doing with their lives. I simply don't want to waste any more time or energy caring about things that don't matter.

This new way of thinking is going to seriously be tested as I start work up again. This season I am in a new position & it is going to be incredibly challenging & slightly terrifying. It's SO easy to get wrapped up in work & think that if a show isn't going well, I suck at my job, my boss is disappointed, I'm going to get fired & my life is over.  This isn't actually true, but I will need to remind myself work isn't EVERYTHING on a daily basis. Now, will I continue to work my ass off? OF COURSE because I want to do well for ME & to prove to MYSELF I can do it.  Plus, who wants to suck at their job??

So, instead of making some type of bucket list for all the things I want to accomplish/do in my 30s, I'd rather just make one single promise to myself & that is to spend more time working & growing my relationships with J, my family, my friends & myself…oh, & the pups of course & spend ZERO time caring about things that simply don't matter .   Bring it, 30.

Friday, July 18, 2014

My Top 5 Awe-Inspiring Art on a Budget Websites!



I absolutely love love love art. I love the way it can completely transform a room from flat to fab with 1 (maybe 2) nails. I love mixing & matching bright abstract pieces with black & white photos. Everything just seems so much more INTERESTING.  What I don't love? Paying a fortune for it. Now, do I think artists should be compensated for their talent?? OF COURSE I DO.  My taste & style just keeps evolving, so having art that is interchangeable it super important to me.  I have a love for art fairs, which seem to be much bigger in the midwest than the west coast & I have invested some $$$ in a few pieces. But it is also nice to have a few pieces that are el cheapo. After I posted my Tips & Tricks to Creating a Gallery Wall, I received a few messages asking where I found some of my art. So today I thought I'd share some of my favorite online sites for art prints that won't break your wallet.  All of these prints are under $50!

Sure, everyone knows Etsy, but it may be he most daunting. There are SO many options which can be exhausting, but it makes me feel better knowing I am working directly with an artist.  Most sellers also offer custom work for really fair prices. Here are some prints from some of my favorite shops.

1 /  2  /  3  /  4  /  5  /  6  /  7  /  8


Minted is a site I learned about through some other design blogs. What's great about Minted besides being low cost, they also offer multiple framing options for each print.  They also offer other paper/party products. Here are my favorites!



One of my absolute favorite sites is Society6.  Society6 is another print website that works directly with artists. It is similar to Etsy in that there are multiple artists contributing to the site, but there are not individual shops. This site has thousands of pages of prints, so here are just a few I'd love to have.



REDBUBBLE is a similar site to Society6 except even cheaper! Kinda hard to believe, right? REDBUBBLE also has about 9000 images, so I picked just a few for you to check out.



The last site I want to share has a much smaller selections of prints, but she is selling her prints for a cause.  Made By Girl, run by Jen Ramos is a site I heard about from other bloggers. Jen sells prints, original art, stationary & more to raise money so she & her husband can adopt a child. How could you not want to support that!  Jen has some great black & white prints that really glam up any space.








Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken


Who's ready for a healthy & fantastic dinner that takes just about zero effort to make? ME ME ME.  When a person is feeling uber lazy (aka me all the time) what does that person do? Drag out their best friend, the slow cooker. If I could date my crock pot & not get weird looks in public, I probably would. My good friend, Lindsay, sent me this recipe a while back & I regret not making it sooner. Super easy to put together, super tasty & super healthy! Sorry, I'll stop using the word super.  Anyways, you can serve this over rice, pasta or alone if you want. I served it over brown rice to keep things healthy.  Thanks to skinnyms for the original recipe!





Serves: 4
Cook Time: 4 hours & 15 mins
How difficult was this for Rachel? E.A.S.Y.

4 Boneless chicken breasts
2 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1 medium onion thinly sliced, not chopped!
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp basil
1 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp thyme
1tbsp olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste





Combine all the seasonings & garlic in a bowl & mix thoroughly.


Drizzle olive oil in the bottom of the slow cooker.

Season chicken w/ salt & pepper & then place in the bottom.

Place onions over chiken, then top with tomatoes & seasoning. Try to sprinkle the seasonings as evenly as possible. I did mix them a bit with the tomatoes.


Cook on high for 4 hours.  I did move the chicken around just a bit once during the 4 hours.

Enjoy!






Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Lately Loving: Mix & Match Seating


So the bathroom remodel is in full swing. If you don't know what I'm talking about, catch up here. Today is electrical day & it is my favorite because it is quiet! Anyways, on with todays post. The more & more I see this trend incorporated into homes, the more & more I *swoon*. Sigh. I love the idea of mixing up the seating at a table because it really gives the space a unique & eclectic look…something I totally dig. It's fun to be playful with your furniture & step outside the traditional boring box.  What's great about this trend is you can either keep the effect minimal by choosing all the same color chairs, but in different styles like this:

Source: Daily Imprint

Or maybe you're feeling a bit more daring? You can get crrrrrazy & do something a bit more diverse like adding a bench with a fun pattern like this:


Maybe you want something in-between? How about matching 4 chairs on the long side of the table & then matching 2 chairs at the ends?


There are so many different ways to incorporate this trend to fit your personality. I thought about implementing this trend in my dining room, but after having one hell of a time painting my table (stay tuned), I'll stick to just drooling over other people's tables.  

How FUN is this table with the different fabric cushions?? This IS something I COULD do with my table. Hmmm…


If crazy colors & patterns aren't your thing, you can incorporate this trend a bit more subtly. With maybe a pop of pink, because who doesn't love pink?

Source: Flare

But back to color…drool.


I love the idea of sticking to one particular style, but finding different chairs within that style, like this industrial table:

Source: Brown Bobbin

Another way to implement this trend while still keeping it quite simple is same legs, but different seat. Stunning.


If modern & sleek is more your vibe, this table pulls of the mix & match trend perfectly.

Source: Houzz

If tons of color is too much, you can always do 2 chairs in the same pop of color like this table. I LOVE the detail on the black chairs!

Source: Mix and Chic

Think this is a trend you'd try? I'd love to hear your thoughts!!


Monday, July 14, 2014

Chaos in the Cabin…Big Bear Edition Vol.1 (FINALLY!)


To say I'm behind on blogging about summer travels would not be a lie. Over…uh…Memorial Weekend, after 3 years, I finally made it up to Big Bear, CA.  It may not seem like much of an accomplishment, but trust me, it was. Our friend Matt recently purchased a cabin with his dad & due to my hectic work schedule, I was never able to go see it.  Matt had been going up to BB for years & has taken J many many times on guys weekends. So to say this was an anticipated trip would be an understatement!  Luckily, Matt likes our pooches so Sat morning, J & I loaded up the car, packed the pups & the 4 of us were off!

The drive was absolutely STUNNING. Looking at mountains never gets old.


This was Fig's first road trip (with us) & laying in his bed in the back was a a bit of a struggle. 


We met up with our friends in BB & decided to do a little off roading in Matt's beloved Jeep.


That evening Matt helped me prepare my overnight Slow Cooker Egg & Hashbrown Scramble for breakfast the following day. Let's be real, I told Matt what to do & he basically made the entire dish.


After stuffing our faces with eggs the next morning,  we went out on a hike to burn off some calories. To get to the hike, we strolled through the neighborhood & saw some amazing homes.




Entering the hike..


Duke & Fig were really into it...


Until the heat & elevation became too much for Duke & he had to hitch a ride. Much better!
He really has that over the shoulder pose down.


Later that afternoon, Lauren & I headed into the charming "downtown" area to do a little exploring.


And discovered the wonderful people of Big Bear love their bear-themed knick-knacks.


Then we stumbled upon the greatest little antique shop where Lauren found these awesome bar decanters.  How FUN are these???


It wouldn't have been chaos unless there was a bit more cooking involved. I decided to make my favorite, Enchilada Lasagna because it's an easy dish to make vegetarian for Lauren. However, we had gone to the store the day before for ingredients, but I didn't think to ask if Matt had a pyrex dish.  So back to the grocery store we went. But look at that gooey goodness…there are vegetables in there somewhere.


Sadly, we headed home the next day but it was an awesome way to spend Memorial Weekend & I can't wait to go up again. Thanks a ton Matt & Lauren for hosting us!






















Friday, July 11, 2014

Bathroom Remodel: Happy Demo Day!


Is there anything more beautiful than a dumpster being delivered to your home?? Hooray! It's Demo Day!!!  If you've been following the past few months, you know we One Week Bath is completely gutting our bathroom & redoing the entire thing in ONE WEEK. To get caught up to speed,  check out the details here.  Call me a nerd, but I cannot wait to go pick out some new bathroom accessories. I mean, who DOESN'T get excited for a new toothbrush holder or a trash can??


This will be the one & only photo of the process I'm going to share until the bathroom is done. I'm sure in a week you will ALL be on the edge of your seats just waiting for the big reveal.  As a relatively new home owner, this is by far the biggest project I've tackled & I'm sure it will come with some headaches. So far the only issue we've had is the sinks we initially chose were on backorder, but luckily, Sarah, our design consultant, was able to find almost the exact same sinks from another company, phew!  One reader did ask if One Week Bath was sponsoring my remodel posts. I WISH!  I'm not cool enough to have sponsors yet, but maybe someday!

Have a favorite place to buy bathroom accessories? Is that a silly question? Maybe. But I'm thinking maybe something with a pop of color? I'm open to suggestions!




Thursday, July 10, 2014

My Name is Rachel & I'm a West Elm-a-holic



Hello my name is Rachel & I am a West Elm-a-holic. I may have gotten a tad over excited this morning when I received an email from West Elm saying 1000+ new arrivals. Just what my wallet heart wanted!!  After spending a solid hour looking at all their new items, I thought I'd share some of my favorite things. Other blogs I follow are always sharing their favorite beauty products or fashion trends their ogling, so why not share some of my favorite home goods! Now comes the challenge of staying away from my addiction so J doesn't leave me (I kid I kid). Good luck to me.

Also, before we get to the goodies, West Elm is currently having a 20% off bedding sale & an extra 25% off select clearance items with the code: EXTRASALE













Lastly, one of my favorite print shops Minted has teamed up with West Elm & the results are awesome.