Wall to Wall Be Gone

 

If you asked what my biggest interior design pet peeve is it wouldn’t be ceiling fans, it would be wall to wall carpeting. I despise the stuff with the fire of a thousand suns, which of course means it’s covering the majority of the floor on the second level of my house. So when Quick•Step flooring reached out to me about participating in their RoomUp Blogger Challenge it was a no brainer to say (and not scream) yes!

 

 

Aside from flat-out not liking wall to wall carpeting, most rooms upstairs weren’t an issue. The guest room door stays closed, the bonus room stays relatively pet-free, the bathroom is tiled, and my small office was floored with the leftover laminate from downstairs. But the master bedroom is a different story altogether, because that’s where my two elderly cats spend most of their day and I’ll say no more about it than that. The carpeting either had to be replaced (no!) or new flooring put down.

 

 

I requested four different flooring samples from Quick•Step‘s extensive collection, and once they arrived let the pieces sit on the floor in my bedroom for a few days before making a final decision. Pop over to Quick•Step Style to read more about which option I went with and to see more transformations from other bloggers participating in the RoomUP Challenge! I’m looking forward to revealing my full bedroom makeover with you next, and you can see a little sneak peek below.

I truly love this product and would love for you to love it, too. So make sure to enter the RoomUP Sweepstakes for a chance to win up to 500 sq ft of Quick•Step flooring to transform a space of your own!

 

 

This post sponsored by Quick•Step. All words and opinions are my own, as always. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush creating fresh content! Get more inspiration from Quick•Step on Facebook and Pinterest. You can also download their Style My Floor app to visualize their floors in your own home.

4

Work + Play in Palm Springs

 

That’s not a postcard.

For most of last week I was in Palm Springs for Alt Summit, a conference I’ve proudly spoken at more than a handful of times. I’ve grown used to heading to Salt Lake City every January for the event, so when it was moved to The Saguaro in southern California for 2017 I was more than a little excited. Five days away from the Pennsylvania winter? Sign. Me. Up.

 

 

I opted to fly into San Diego rather than Palm Springs because one of my best friends, who was also going to Alt, lives there. Fly across the country and then roadtrip for two hours? Yeah, sure. And even when it turns out to take three and a half hours because of rush hour it’s okay, because I got to see two Sizzler restaurants. (Did you know they still exist? I didn’t.) That first night there was a lovely poolside party that we lasted about a half hour at before going back to our room where I finished slides for a panel the following morning.

 

 

One of the biggest travel perks for me is not having to make breakfast. And in this case I got to eat it with a (different) good friend before heading over to hair and makeup for my 9am panel.

 

 

If you’ve ever wondered what I look like A) speaking on a panel B) after roughly 4 hours of sleep C) with too much bronzer on D) and my jacket falling off, well, here you go! Dreams do come true.

All joking aside, our talk on making old content new again went fantastically well. I always think a successful panel teaches the panelists as well as the attendees, and this one did just that.

 

Justin Hackworth

The good thing about speaking first is that any pressure is off immediately and you’re free to explore and enjoy the rest of the conference. All of the colors of The Saguaro made for some amazing photo backdrops, and I busied myself popping in and out of other talks, catching up with blogger friends I rarely get to see, and chatting with sponsors.

 

 

 

 

Lunch was always held outside in the California sun, which was still blazing even in 70-something degree weather! One afternoon the parking lot was filled with the most amazing cars, each one armed with a small business owner ready to share their story.

 

Justin Hackworth

Justin Hackworth

The main portion of the conference ended Thursday evening with a great keynote by Todd Oldham. Yup, that Todd Oldham. I’m happy to share that he’s personable, down to earth, and very direct – three qualities I look for in everyone I meet.

 

 

 

I spent the last day hanging out with other longtime bloggers discussing the nitty gritty of our industry. Where it’s come from and where it’s (maybe) going, best practices and new concerns, etc. It rarely happens that so many of us are together and we definitely took advantage.

 

 

 

But my favorite thing, a bucket list item in fact, happened on the drive back to San Diego that evening. A stop at the Cabazon Dinosaurs! You might not know, but I am a deep down dino nerd. It was chilly and crazy windy when we stopped, I think we were out of the car for all of ten minutes and I managed to snap at least fifty photos including one of me hugging T-Rex’s leg. If you hop over to Instagram there’s more proof…

Until next time, one of my favorite places on Earth!

1

#365quotes2017

 

New(ish) year, new(ish) 365-days project on Instagram! This is my third go around doing #365quotes and I’ve taken it back to the basics, just me a Sharpie and a sketchbook. Each day’s original #365quotes2017 written quote is for sale as well, a new thing. All you have to do is email designcrushing at gmail with which date you’d like to purchase and if it’s unsold it’s yours! (SOLD is added to the caption of each one as it heads out the door.)

PS: A special thank you to everyone who has left a kind comment letting me know how much they look forward to each day’s post!

 

 

 

 

 

0

#365quotes2016 + Mixbook

 

2016 was the second time I completed my 365 quotes project on Instagram, and it would be a shame not to document it after all the time put in. So I teamed up with the creative folks over at Mixbook to help make it a reality in the form of a hardcover photobook that I can have as a longtime reminder.

 

 

After deciding on a square 8.5 x 8.5″ photobook I chose to start with one of Mixbook’s templates – Minimal White – rather than work from an entirely blank slate. The platform is really simple to use and allowed me to change page layouts and fonts once I began, as well as add pages (up to 399). There’s also the option to add things like stickers and backgrounds to further customize your project, so all-in-all you have complete control over your design.

 

 

Each page of my photobook has the same vertical off-center layout because I wanted all 365 quotes to have the same weight and presence with the exception of the cover. This seemed like the obvious choice since they were all the same shape when initially shared on Instagram and I wanted to retain that integrity.

 

 

I was also happy to learn that Mixbook uses only the highest quality heavy-weight papers that are ethically sourced from sustainable forests and certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and the Rainforest Alliance. Huge bonus!

The end result is just as I hoped it would be, clean and minimal with each quote stealing the show from the page before. (Now what else can I make a book of?)

 

 

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

1

January Desktop Calendar Download

 

Check it out – our first new column of the year right out of the gate!

My favorite desktop wallpaper always includes a calendar, the more minimal and modern the better. Last year I never really found one that I loved, so this year I decided it was time to design one of my own instead. Each month will bring a new desktop calendar download with a fresh color scheme.

Download here.

 

2

An Easy Holiday DIY for You + Your Cat

 

If you share your home with a cat (or three) they’re in the Christmas tree half of the time it seems. I took a cue from them and created this two-for-one DIY project inspired by their antics and Fancy Feast Feastivitieshandmade gift guide for cat lovers.

Fancy Feast Feastivities is a celebration of the ultimate ways to delight cats and cat lovers during the holidays. This year’s theme is all about inspired holiday entertaining, so you’ll find the gift guide contains plenty of gifts for the cat-loving hostess in your life. The creativity of the makers involved pushed me to come up with something I knew my cats would love playing with, rather than buying something they’d probably bat around for five minutes and never look at again (like real kids!).

 

 

Your cat can play to their heart’s content with their mega glitter pom pom toy, while just the addition of ribbon turns it into a sparkly decoration that can bring a festive touch to a doorknob or tree branch in your home. I plan on making a few more of the smaller ones to add to the outside of gift boxes as well because they’re just so happy looking!

 

 

Supplies
• glue gun and glue sticks
2-inch styrofoam ball (for the cat toy)
• 3-inch styrofoam ball (for the decoration)
• various sizes of glitter pom poms
• ribbon
• catnip

 

 

After heating up your glue gun, start by distributing the largest of the pom poms evenly over the ball’s surface and gluing down. Work progressively through the other sizes (I used three different ones), using the smallest pom poms to fill in any leftover spaces. If you’re working on the larger decoration, make sure to leave a small space to attach a ribbon for hanging with the hot glue as well. Allow to cool for five minutes before placing in a closed ziploc bag with catnip for a few hours. Your own ornament should be ready to hang after those five minutes as well.

 

 

My cat, Peanut, especially loved this toy. He batted it around the room for at least ten minutes, picking it up in his mouth and giving a good shake before putting it back on the floor and running around the room like crazy again. I may need to make two more for the other cats! And if you have any of the larger pom poms leftover I guarantee your felines will go crazy for those on their own as well.

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

0

Holiday House Tour

 

Some of you mentioned wanting to see more of the house after our curb appeal preview and office tree – ask and you shall receive! (Well, some of the time at least.) I’d mentioned keeping things more minimal than usual this year, and I have to admit just how good it feels. It doesn’t feel like the entire place has been upended and I’m not dreading the breakdown of it all next month. Am I onto something here?

 

 

 

I made room for a few of my favorite decorations on the bookcase in the living room, two pink bottlebrush trees that I’ve had for more than a handful of years and a few unfinished wooden trees with my reindeer friend who can’t stand on his own.

 

 

The hall closet door has become the place where all holiday cards are gathered as they arrive. I love watching it fill up and overflow onto the wall! It brings a little dose of joy into an otherwise neglected corner of the house.

 

 

 

The mantle and hearth are simple yet festive. My favorite shade of poinsettia – faded red – sits atop the mantle and a strand of battery-operated mercury glass lights are strung below. The mercury glass gets carried down to the floor with the addition of my growing tree collection, I’m currently up to four with the tallest standing around two feet.

 

 

 

A little bit more mercury glass on the dining room table and a big pitcher full of eucalyptus and greenery. It lasts throughout the season and then some when watered regularly! The little canvas snowman on the credenza makes me smile, which is the only reason I looked for when decorating this year.

 

 

The bathroom off the dining room has one of my favorite wreaths on its door, a grapevine decorated with pinecones and felt mistletoe. There’s also a vase on the counter with a bunch of dried evergreens that I’ve left up since last Christmas, simply because I like them.

 

 

Last year I bought my friend and I this same wooden owl, and mine is proudly perched near the cooktop in the kitchen. He brings a much needed dose of color and merriment to an otherwise undecorated room as well as a reminder of her.

 

 

And finally – the tree. This is the first real tree I’ve ever had, a Norfolk Island Pine, and insisted that it be potted so that I can either plant it outside or keep it potted indoors once the season is over. It’s giving off a lot of Charlie Brown vibes, but I really love it. It has not one but two tops, can’t hold heavy ornaments, and can barely support the two strands of lights on its branches. But the charm. In spades, for days.

So there you have it! Not the most heavily decorated place, but all the things I love which is really what it’s all about.

0

10 Tips for De-Stressing This December with Rescue Remedy

rescue-remedy-3-design-crush

 

I’m so stressed. It’s something we hear someone say or think to ourselves at least once a day. Stress is one of those facts of life that can seem inescapable at times, especially during the holidays. December has been a hot point for me since at least college, when I associated it with finals and traveling. Today the sources are more along the lines of budgeting for holiday gifts and the uptick in Q4 blogging, but it’s there nonetheless, from mid-November through the New Year I just can’t seem to shake it.

 

rescue-remedy-1-design-crush

 

This go ’round I’m partnering with Rescue to try and help ease stressful moments. Developed by a doctor nearly 80 years ago, the Rescue brand aims to help you keep calm, cool, and collected when you’re feeling anything but. I’ve been reaching for three of their products throughout the day for the past month – black currant Rescue pastilles at my desk, Rescue Remedy spray when I’m on the go (I keep it in my purse), and Rescue vitamins by my bedside before bed. Each provides gentle, non-habit-forming stress relief just when I need it. Their lines even includes products for children and pets, so there’s literally something for everyone when they need to calm down.

 

rescue-remedy-2-design-crush

 

Let’s talk about some other ways to step out of the red zone when you feel stress and anxiety make themselves known. Along with Rescue products, my go-tos are pictured through the post – lighting a relaxing candle, making a cup of tea, or taking a moment to pick up some flowers.

Eat well. Your immune system becomes compromised when you’re stressed, making it harder to recover if you come down with something. Reach for dark greens, herbal teas, and proteins.

Go outside. Sit on the porch or go for a hike, just get some fresh air. Be present and try and let go of whatever is getting under your skin, even if it’s only for a five minute walk around the neighborhood.

Learn to say no. Whether it’s to a project or a night out, know your limits and respect them. Mental health is just as important as physical and you need to know those limits.

Try meditation. I’m loving the Headspace app for short ten minute stints. Focusing on little other than breathing does wonders for centering yourself before getting back at it.

Talk it out. Reach out to that friend or family member who inevitably makes you laugh or reminds you how good you have it. In this digital age we sometimes take human contact and its effects for granted.

 

rescue-remedy-4-design-crush

 

List what you’re thankful for. Don’t let negative, stressful feelings get the better of you. Instead take a moment to think of what you’re grateful for, what makes you smile, and what brings you joy. Make it in your head or jot things down to hang up as a reminder when you most need it.

Get moving. In whatever way you feel most comfortable – if you have dogs take them for a walk, if you belong to a gym make it part of your routine, if you like to run chart out a course. By increasing your heart rate you’re like to eliminate built up anxieties in the process.

Stay hydrated. Take a five minute break in between tasks to drink a glass of water. Even better, keep a carafe on your desk so you don’t have an excuse not to. Infuse it with fruits or herbs if plain H2O just isn’t your thing or as more of an incentive to drink more.

Go to sleep. It’s what our bodies require to recover from a multitude of things, including stress. Make sure you’re getting the appropriate amount of hours every night, and if you can swing add in a thirty minute power nap a few afternoons a week.

Put it in perspective. Chances are whatever is stressing you out isn’t the end of the world. Make plans to volunteer at a food bank or animal shelter, make a donation to a charity you believe in, or just realize how lucky you are to have humankind’s basic needs available to you.

 

rescue-remedy-5-design-crush

 

This post sponsored by Rescue, find out where to pick up your own stress relief here. All words and opinions are my own, as always. Thank you for supporting the brand that help Design Crush create fresh content!

0

Shop to Stop Diabetes

shop-to-stop-diabetes-design-crush

 

It’s been awhile, but about two and a half years ago I shared with you that I’d been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. This past May my numbers finally leveled out where they need to be which was fantastic news, and it felt like something to be celebrated because a lot of hard work and self-control went into getting there. Since that first day I’ve become well-versed in not only the disease but in the ways to support a cure. Hopefully the world will see one in my lifetime, and that hope is owed in no small part to the American Diabetes Association.

This holiday season I’m teaming up with the ADA and their Gift of Hope program, an annual holiday gift catalog whose funds go to support their mission to fund research to prevent, cure, and manage diabetes. The program began in 1971 when several Minneapolis area parents of children with diabetes wanted to do something to fight back against the disease. They started selling holiday cards to raise money and since then the program has raised more than $26 million. No small feat!

There are lots of lovely gifts to choose from – I have my eye on this tote, a portable picnic blanket, this all-natural cookbook, and these plaid dish towels for the holidays. The Believe decoration above is getting wrapped up for my aunt who loves Christmas more than any other holiday!

This post sponsored by the American Diabetes Association. Please consider shopping with Gift of Hope this holiday season. It’s a cause near and dear to my heart that affects me directly, thank you for supporting the brands that support Design Crush!

0