Friday, February 5, 2016

Design Before and After: An office makeover

Shortly after Conrad Architecture and Design became a legitimate business, my friend Steve asked me to design the interior of his office where he works as a financial advisor. He had recently moved, and when I walked in it was pretty much empty. Below is the BEFORE picture.

Because of the line of work Steve is in, the carpet, wall, and desk colors were dictated for us, so I added a palette of black, grays, and browns to provide an elegant and modern feel.

Steve was interested in having an area where his clients would feel comfortable meeting with him in a professional yet intimate setting, rather than sitting across his desk, so I gave him a round table to give the meetings a less hierarchical and more inviting feel. The table came from CB2, and the chairs are from Wayfair.

I added a credenza to hold and display books, family photos, and personal items. An Ansel Adams print plays nicely against the green colored wall, while the beige wall displays a clock and an oversize mirror that gives dimension to the room. The credenza is from CB2, I found the mirror and clock at Nordstrom Home, and the lamp is from Target.

Lastly I gave the office a clean waiting room with 2 scooped back chairs from Target, a Simon X coffee table from Pier 1 with a glass top to be able to appreciate the table leg detail, and an area rug to delineate the space and bring the items together. The rug is from Wayfair and the wall art is Steve's.

We also added {this set} of 3 dot coat hooks next to the door to use as a place for outerwear and we were done! As you can see, even when you have to work within a given frame of color choices, you can still have an elegant and inviting environment. Yay design!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

XC Ski and Chill

First things first, let me assure you, I am done with the existential posts for the time being. I appreciate you letting me indulge in some very much needed self-care, and now I am ready to move ahead, both, with life and this blog. 

On that note, this weekend we went in search of snow, which is something I never thought I would say living in Alaska; but since the snow seems to only favor the east coast at the moment, we had to do what we had to do: leave Benjamin with Mike and Sunny, pack our cross country skis in the car, and go north.

This is my YAAAAAAAAAY SNOOOOOOW face. We found it you guys, all over Hatcher Pass. Tons, and tons, of fluffy, delicious powder. It was glorious.

This was the view from our cabin, where we unloaded our gear and immediately waxed our skis because there was no time to waste. 

When life gives you a bluebird day, 25 degree weather, and snow covered slopes, there is only one thing to do: PLAY!

This is my husband after he wiped out. I wish I could tell you I ran to his help, but I was too busy laughing. Wife of the year, I know.

After our legs were exhausted enough, we hit the lodge for some Frangelicos and food.

We played well into the night. I won UNO, and Tim won at life... literally and figuratively speaking.

We chilled in our cabin this morning until the sun came up, and if duty didn't call us back to reality we would still be there right now. 

I'd call this a solid end to January. Let's see what February has up its sleeve.

P.S. This post brought to you by amazing grandparents. We love you Mike and Sunny!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

On a design note: Woven Wall Hangings

I come from a long line of incredible women. My family never lacked for examples worth following of women who pursued careers, became mothers, and also kept up with some sort of artistic trade, even if just for the fun of it. 

Last time I went home I was telling my aunt Mago how much I was into the 70s vibe of weaving art and yarn. I asked her if she knew where I could get a one of a kind piece, and she replied "Of course. I will make you one." It is a known fact that my aunt is the best knitter in my family, but it was a pleasant surprise to find out that she also weaves chunky threads, color-blocking yarns, and even uses beads to give texture and color to a beautiful piece of art.  

This beauty arrived this week in the mail, and I cannot be more pleased, it is not only a one of a kind, gorgeous piece of art, but it was made with love for me by someone whom I love dearly. It does not get better than that. 

On a design note, woven wall hangings are all the rage these days and you can find them handmade all over Etsy, or even machine-made at Target. They are a great way to add interest to any wall, and a great alternative to a picture or painting. 

What do you think? Are woven wall hangings for you?

P.S. Gracias Mago, está precioso. Pero me gusta más aún porque es hecho con amor. Muchos besos. 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Let's take it slow

We were getting ready to do our long run this morning when the sun had not yet come up, I was telling everyone how glad I was I got a head lamp in my stocking for Christmas so it could light my path on mornings like today when we decided to run when it's 14 degrees, and it's pitch black out on the trail. What can I say, runners are nuts.

Someone, whose name I should have known because we have been in the same running group for a year, mentioned how creepy it was to run by herself on the trail last weekend without a lamp, so I said "I'll run with you" to which she replied " Oh, I don't think I can keep up your pace". This is probably a good time for me to mention that I am not a 6 minute mile runner, but in the group we learn to team up with people whose pace resembles ours, we buddy up and encourage each other to give a little more, run a little faster, go the extra mile - pun intended.  So I told her we would take it easy and off we went.

We did not run fast by anyone's standards, we even stopped a few times to walk, but in taking the time to slow down I learned her name, that she is running to honor her sister who passed away, that she has three kids, and is throughly dedicating herself to be better this year.

If you read {{my last blog post}} then you know that my word for this year is selah, and that I am consciously trying to remain in God's love, which right off the bat is proving to be difficult because I am going through a TOUGH time right now and my modus operandi is to busy myself trying to do and fix, to run faster so I can hurry up the pain, to get this season over with. Yet I am called to stay, to feel, to remain in the One without whom I cannot accomplish anything. 

To me it feels like slowing down is losing ground, but it has been pointed out to me that "productivity or success cannot be our goal, we have to ask ourselves 'were we faithful? were we obedient?'" Pastor Mark mentioned in his sermon last week three words that I keep repeating to myself: Identity before productivity. Just like I gained so much from getting to know someone this morning by literally slowing down my pace, I am also getting to know my Savior by remaining, by staying, by feeling, and listening, by finding my identity and becoming who God wants me to be, He is pruning me to give fruit.

At the end of our run, my new friend said to me "you know, I didn't even know I could keep this pace." Even when we slow down and we think we cannot possible be helping, even when we think that we have nothing to give, we are still being used to encourage others and let them know that they too have more to give, if we are faithful.


Wednesday, December 30, 2015


As you probably know by now if you have followed this blog a while, I do not do new year's resolutions. I do however find that having a word for the year helps me depending on the season of life I am in.

2015 Has been a great year. Tim and I have grown closer as a couple, we have sharpened our parental skills compared to where we were a year ago, the three of us are healthy, Benjamin is thriving in school, we opened our own business, I love my job(s), and we have gotten to play quite a bit too. It stands to reason that the next question is "what now?" and I have been chewing and stewing on this for a couple months now.

After a lot of self/soul searching, talks with my close friends, and prayer, I decided that my word for 2016 is SELAH. You can find this word in the bible mostly in the book of Psalms as an interlude between verses. A place to stop and listen. And I am not a theological scholar, but if I have this correctly, Selah comes from the Hebrew word salah, meaning to hang something to measure, to weigh the value of something. 

This year the Lord has fed me and filled me, and now that I am asking 'what now?', He is saying Selah. Stop. Think. Reflect. Remain in me. Which is so very fitting because we just started a series at church that is teaching us to REMAIN. Coincidence? There is no such thing.

So what is next in 2016? It's not about who I will be, it's about who God will be. 

May the new year bring you blessings, love, health, and joy. Happy new year friends, see you next year!

P.S. I have been kind of busy lately, so here's a picture dump of photos that date back to early November.

Back when we had snow.

Halloween. First pumpkin he carved with grandpa's help.

Such a diva.

He's a shoe lover, like his mother.

Amy and I twinning.


Gimme all the cranberry sauce!


And more shoes.

Pretty much the best parent t-shirt EVER.

Group hug.

Tim's Birthday.

Friends since college, my bridesmaids, my friends.

Jammies and the birthday boy.

Birthday selfie.

Sessie (Leslie) and the boys.

Grandma Sunny.

Two things I love: My church, and the piano man.

Hot chocolate, pjs, and movies.

All is bright and calm.

Curly hair problems.


If I fits I sits.

The twins.

Christmas eve selfie.

My people.

Cheese platters are my love language.

My parents.


No way, presents!


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