Everything Grows with Love

 

If you follow Design Crush on Instagram you may have noticed our on-going quote project, where I’ve hand-written one a day for the past several years. Quotes are something that I’ve collected, first written in a journal and then on Pinterest board, since junior high school because when someone is able to capture a thought or feeling that I haven’t been able to put into words myself I like to hang onto it.

 

 

If you’re also into the smart words of others, you’re likely to enjoy Everything Grows with Love as much as me. This squat little book from Workman Publishing is edited by the co-founders and creative directors of Flow Magazine, Irene Smit and Astrid Van der Hulst. If you’re not familiar with the wonderful-ness that is Flow, it’s a magazine that celebrates creativity, imperfection, and life’s little pleasures.

 

 

Similarly, the pages of Everything Grows with Love are full of hand-lettered and illustrated graphics by twenty contributing artists covering musings on life, love, and friendship. The affirmations, motivational sayings, and quotes will remind you to appreciate the small moments, be present, think happy, and appreciate the people around you.

 

 

Valentine’s Day is known for being *the* day for romantic love, but it’s also the perfect day for reminding others just how much they mean to you. Everything Grows with Love makes a great little gift or alternative to a traditional card. It’s a book you’ll want to keep around and return to whenever you need a smile or a bit of inspiration in your day.

 

 

Take out your favorite pages to frame or hang on the fridge. Mail one off to your long distance BFF. Or play Secret Saint Valentine and drop a few copies in the mailboxes of unsuspecting neighbors. Everything Grows with Love is just one of those gift that’s good to have handy for birthdays, engagements, or just someone who just needs a little pick me up.

 

 

This post sponsored by Workman Publishing. All words and opinions are my own, as always. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Design Crush creating fresh content!

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Accounting Confessions of a Businesswoman, Part 4

 

I’ve barely started this post and I already feel naked. Last year was difficult for a multitude of reasons, and the hard and fast truth of it is that my business was one of the bigger ones. I won’t sugarcoat it or try to distract you with pretty words – although maybe some nice photos might help? At times this journey with FreshBooks has felt like picking up the rug only to discover the dirt underneath, or putting on makeup to hide the flaws. It’s made me take a very real, very deep look into my future and the future of this site.

 

 

Blogging is a funny business. It’s not even one that existed in a professional capacity when I started Design Crush almost eleven years ago, and it’s definitely not a career path I planned for myself. But I fell in love and absolutely adore what I do here, and at times probably border on being a bit of a workaholic because of it. But what was once one person sitting behind a desk or on a couch or at a dining room table putting something out into the void of the internet is now a career that includes teams, financial backers, and the dreaded pivot to video. Algorithms seem to change with every week, decimating audiences that have been hard-fought for. Then there’s the game of comparison, and reminding oneself that someone else’s endgame isn’t going to look the same as your middle. So is this my middle or am I nearing my end? Who knows.

 

 

What I do know is that even ten years later I’m still figuring it out as I go.

Last year I was able to get the financial side of Design Crush on lockdown with the help of FreshBooks, and I can honestly say that thanks to them I don’t hate dealing with money nearly as much as I once did. Having all of my invoices present and accounted for on a platform that’s well designed and intuitive with a slew of other features that I actually use has made it loads less painful. It’s so gratifying to see the charting of my earnings throughout the year, and time previously spent on my finances can be dedicated towards making those numbers go up! (Because no, product offers unfortunately do not pay the bills.)

 

 

Like I said, I’m far from having it all figured out. I don’t want to hire a team or have financial backers or pivot to video, and I never did. But one of the most important qualities any small business owner can have is adaptability and I’m certain some changes will be inevitable. And when they show up I’ll learn to roll with the punches just like I have over the last decade. (DECADE!)

Thanks for coming along with me on this four part journey! It’s been eye-opening  and mildly nauseating to say the least, but I wanted to give you an honest look at what goes on behind the scenes and through my mind – usually at all hours of the night. If you missed the first three parts of the series with FreshBooks you can catch up here, here, and here.

 

This post sponsored by FreshBooks. All words and opinions are my own, as always. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush creating fresh content!

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Rethinking the Living Room

Minerva Wall Mirror // Harmony 2-Piece Chaise Sectional

It’s been a minute, well about three and a half years, since I did anything major to my living room. I’ve updated the floor rug and throw pillows and some other little things a few times, but nothing big. Lately I’ve been getting the itch to do an entire overhaul. Not that it’s in my budget at the moment, but it’s worth daydreaming over for a bit. The first piece I’d bring in would be this couch that I’ve had a crush on for years – I love how welcoming it looks. And a big round mirror over the mantel would make the room feel larger and add a nice focal point.

 

Chuck Log Holder // Aaron Aged Brass 3-Light Floor Lamp // Cast Tripod Side Table

My fireplace doesn’t work at the moment, but I still enjoy a stack of logs nearby and this holder could double as a magazine holder if I get bored. A sweet little side table could either be used for its intended purpose or a plant stand. Didn’t you know that I love pieces that are multifunctional? This brass floor lamp will add some cozy light to the room.

 

Ash Connections 5-Shelf Bookshelf // Laini Throw // Rattan Bowl Bullet Planter

I have a lot of books and love putting the on display, so a trio of these shelves should do the trick. (All lined up in a nice little row, of course.) Plants run rampant in my home, and one of these large bullet planters would hold a large palm nicely. A pretty blanket would bring in a simple pattern and some texture.

 

Stand Table Lamp // Victrola Gramophone Bluetooth Speaker // Warwick 3-Door Media Cabinet

If you haven’t noticed, lately I’m heavily drawn towards a mix of wood and metal in neutral tones. This little table lamp combines all three very nicely. An updated bluetooth gramophone ties together the old-meets-new aesthetic I tend to gravitate towards, and the media cabinet gives a place for all other electronics in the living room.

 

Motion Lines 3 Wall Art // Eden Cross Base Standing Planter // Hayes Leather Storage Basket

No room is complete without art on its walls, and I really like the simplicity of this piece. A pair of these standing planters would flank the fireplace nicely, don’t you think? And a decent sized basket works hard in any number of ways, including holding blankets and pillows.

 

Brass Tray Coffee Table // Vintage Distressed Rug

The edge on this coffee table is a unique feature that I really like, as are the thin brass legs. The navy blue in this large floor rug ties in perfectly with the hues in the rest of the room without being overwhelming.

 

Chelsea Double Sconce // Rose Quartz Coaster Set // Roar + Rabbit Chair

The third source of light would be ideally situated in the corner of the room, directly over the crook of the sectional – the best reading spot! A pair of chairs that make a statement in pale pink finish things up, while a set of quartz coasters check off a necessity. Here’s to dreaming!

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2018 Reader Survey

 

It’s that time of year! Each January I ask you what you like, what you love, and what you could do without here on Design Crush. Filling out the reader survey should take less than five minutes of your time and it helps me plan the future of the site so I can give you all more of what you’re coming here for. Thank you in advance!

Take our 2018 Reader Survey!

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All About the Face

 

 

Sometime last January I started something that I should have tackled years before: a legitimate skincare routine. As a teen I used the old standbys containing plenty of benzoyl peroxide, and in my 20s I relied on face wash and Oil of Olay. Hardly a regiment that was prepping my face for the years to come or protecting it against the elements encountered on a daily basis. But with the uncertainties looming in 2017 (R.I.P.) I needed to feel control over something, and that something turned out to be my face. According this article in the New Yorker I wasn’t alone either, scores of you turned to skincare as a coping mechanism. My biggest takeaways? That just because your skin may feel oily you still need to moisturize and that serums are worth their weight in gold. Nearly twelve months in and I’m feeling much better about my complexion and continue to search out products to add to my routine. What are your go-tos?

 

1/ Fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask  2/ Boscia MakeUp-BreakUp Cool Cleansing Oil  3/ One Love Organics Brand new Day Microderma Scrub + Masque  4/ Kiehl’s Daily Reviving Concentrate  5/ DR JART+ Water Fuse Ultimate Hydro Gel  6/ Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel  7/ Farmacy Honey Drop Lightweight Moisturizer  8/ First Aid Beauty Eye Duty Triple Remedy Overnight Balm  9/ Garnier SkinActive Moisture Bomb  10/ Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask

 

11/ Charlotte Tilbury Goddess Skin Clay Mask  12/ Herbivore Blue Tansy Resurfacing Clarity Mask  13/ Disco Kitten I Dew Care Mask  14/ ILIA Cucumber Water Stick  15/ Indie Lee Squalane Facial Oil  16/ Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask  17/ Lapcos Clear Toner  18/ Lovely Day Hyaluron & Bloom Pink Clay Mask  19/ Malin + Goetz Acne Treatment Nighttime  20/ Herbivore Mini Facial Oil Set

 

21/ Milk Makeup x UO Charcoal Cleanser  22/ Herbivore Brighten Instant Glow Mask  23/ Glossier Priming Moisturizer Rich  24/ Radha Beauty Rosehip Oil  25/ Simple Hydrating Cleansing Oil  26/ Rose Clay Facial Mask  27/ Sunday Riley U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Facial Oil  28/ Tea Tree Anti-Imperfection Night Mask  29/ This Works Stress Check Face Oil  30/ Glossier The Super Pack

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Let There Be Porch Light

 

This is the story of a porch light fixture that was supposed to be an easy self-install last spring, but my 117-year-old house has something to say about that. Namely that the electrical needed revisited. No sooner had we removed the old fixture that it became abundantly clear that something was amiss – the grounding wire was charred and literally crumbled when touched and there were two black wires rather than one white and one black.

This is the end of any novice’s electrical work ability, and I’m not one to mess with anything that has the capability of burning down my house.

 

 

I had picked out a fairly low-profile three-light, energy-efficient, LED Vance outdoor fixture back on April 14th. April 14th. The heads swivel a little for light placement and I loved the modern-meets-traditional design of the piece.

 

 

Luckily an incredibly competent electrician was referred my way who was able to get the job done, as well as correct a few things that weren’t up to code. So maybe this was actually a blessing in disguise? Not burning a place down is always a good day in my book.

 

 

The LED lights are wonderfully bright and much improved over the old one-bulb fixture that had most likely been hanging up there for decades. And I not so secretly love how my little collection of decorative gourds are on display until all hours.

 

 

In fact, here are a few more gratuitous photos. I couldn’t resist adding geometric shapes with some paint pens to these two.

 

 

And I’d really like to turn that Hubbard squash into a crow’s face before October 31st rolls around next week.

 

 

I’ve also been wondering whether or not that butternut squash will last past next Tuesday so that I might cook with it? Only time will tell! Now let’s talk about how long it will take me to box in those scrollwork pillars…

This post sponsored by Lamps Plus. All words and opinions are my own, as always. Thank you for supporting the brands that help Design Crush create fresh content!

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