stella & dot

best of spring — escapes, endeavors, and improvements

simultaneously sunny and stormy

simultaneously sunny and stormy

I haven’t written a general update post in awhile, and I think they’re important.

I was told recently during an argument that I have a hard time “turning off.” That simple observation stuck with me more than whatever we were fighting about, because it’s true. I think I tend to live my life at such a constant break-neck pace — a pace that ensures distraction — because I’m afraid of what will happen, or what I will feel, when I stop. I find that I’m sometimes scared of unstructured time or absolute silence, unless it’s on my own terms. I suppose that’s because I know what feelings seem to creep in during those times…feelings of loneliness, abandonment, and fear.

This spring season has offered several opportunities to reflect on that simple fact, to act on it, and to work at reversing it. The spring, true to tradition, was a time of new beginnings, cleaning (both literally and figuratively), improvements, and escapes. Here’s a look:

1. méxico escape: We booked incredibly-priced tickets to Cabo Pulmo in early May for a long weekend of vacation with Chase’s family. The trip came at the perfect time — just after a major work event, and in the depths of bipolar spring mountain weather. The trip was rejuvenating, but I also came home with the new realization that I have a hard time fully letting go and relaxing when on a brief trip, which is just not ok with me and something I’m going to work on. Regardless, the trip kicked off with an incredible (although belated after a flight delay, three u-turns and misleading road signs) at Flora Farm in San Jose del Cabo. I think I could move there tomorrow and live a happy life between the gardens, orchards, cottages, wine shop, espresso, boutiques, and crazy delicious restaurant. The rest of our Mexico time was spent fishing (although my fishing experience was hindered a bit by a double dose of dramamine), time on the beach, and great food and company. The other lesson I learned: Put sunscreen on your lips. Always.

happy to have made it on the plane!

happy to have made it on the plane!

first stop, flora farm

first stop, flora farm

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shopping for some mother's day treasures

shopping for some mother’s day treasures

had to make a stop at the wine/espresso bar

had to make a stop at the wine/espresso bar

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i think the chairs suited us well, no?

a brief awake/aware moment

a brief awake/aware moment

jenna committing to the fish

jenna committing to the fish

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cabo pulmo bound

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lighthouse beach

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it was a little too crowded…

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Pablo and Ingri

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the cruiser

2. krista detwiler, Stella & Dot Stylist: In April, I signed up to be a Stella & Dot stylist, and I am having a blast so far. I originally fell in love with their products almost exactly a year ago. I hosted a show at my home a few months later, and my admiration for Stella & Dot’s product line and business philosophy grew — I love that Stella & Dot was founded by women, for women. I work in a full-time job, which I’m very fulfilled by, but Stella & Dot offers a fun and flexible addition. My goal is to put some extra cash in the bank for my honeymoon and home improvement purchases. Check out this interview with the founder with my former classmate, Caroline Fairchild, and if you have your eye on some new jewelry and accessories or need a great gift for someone in your life, here’s my Stella & Dot page. Thank you for your support, and keep an eye out for an invite to my “Launch” show on June 14.

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3. home improvements: True to my original Marie Kondo revelation, I’ve been making an effort to make pointed home improvements. I now always have an eye for de-cluttering, and I’ve been able to better prioritize those home purchases that would, you guessed it, spark the most joy. I’ve been doing my best to pair these purchases with my very best bargain hunting so I can strike when the time is right. I purchased these world market atlantic blue dining chairs for a little drama in the dining room (complete with a feather pillow from The Gardens), as well as this incredible west elm chandelier — let there be light! My wedding registry has also created a fun opportunity to imagine my ideal home. Next up, I’m going to paint some walls! Woohoo!

stella & dot plus chandelier

stella & dot plus chandelier

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4. southfork of the snake float: More to come on this most excellent Idaho Adventure, but a group of us took advantage of the three-day weekend and spent two nights on the Southfork of the Snake River in southeastern Idaho. It was an incredible experience with great friends in a beautiful setting, with plenty of yummy camp food and lots of laughs. We can’t wait to go back again this summer for part 2!

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ultimate relaxation

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camp food done right

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hot potato

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parley’s day in paradise

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baby blue

5. wardrobe updates:  Being engaged has done some crazy things to my online shopping habits…Good thing I gravitate toward those sites that have incredible return policies (ahem, revolve, get out of my head). Here are a few of my absolute favorite purchases of late:

enida schutz heel

enida schutz heel

j brand super skinny floral pant

j brand super skinny floral pant

tularosa x revolve charmer plunge romper

tularosa x revolve charmer plunge romper

alice + olivia jaya top

alice + olivia jaya top

nasty gal carousel embroidered dress

nasty gal carousel embroidered dress

breeze to death floral kimono

breeze to death floral kimono

6. may babies and celebrations: turns out many of my favorite people were born in May. I’ve had so much fun celebrating their big days, along with nothing at all — from a “fish fry” to impromptu late night green chef meals, to hikes and dog walks, I am so thankful to be surrounded by great friends and positive people.

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the fish fry master

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coloring with the coloring master

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tori and some beautiful birthday cupcakes

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7. those brief moments: I had a moment when I was driving home from a movie last Sunday afternoon — I’d just eaten a pound of popcorn, had a movie theatre glass of wine, and laughed until my belly hurt. The sun was shining after two days of frigid snow and rain, the windows were down, and driving home was like an instagram sensation. Spring here is both brief and brilliant — the rapid growth of blossoming trees, bright green leaves, bushy wildflowers, and even weeds is the stuff of emo daydreams. Couldn’t tell you what it was, but the perfect song was playing on the radio, and I was headed home to a man (and two dogs) that love me. And basically, that was all that mattered, and in that moment, I was sublimely happy.

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Wishing you all an amazing summer. I know they can fly by, so I hope you can all pause more — like I am trying to — and enjoy the brief moments of simple perfection.

 

sparking joy — spring cleaning

“As for you, pour your time and passion into what brings you the most joy, your mission in life.”  – Marie Kondo

As Krista mentioned in her Best of February, she devoured Marie Kondo’s books “spark joy” and “the life-changing magic of tidying up” and subsequently discarded a massive pile or two that didn’t spark joy for her. I also recently devoured “the life-changing magic of tidying up” during a pedicure that took far longer than usual since I still have a massive callous from negotiating down from Mount Borah last year but that is besides the point. That callous sure isn’t sparking joy in anyone’s lives.

The point is, I devoured the book because I felt like Marie Kondo was my soul sister. She spoke about her childhood obsession with organization, tidying up, and the concept of spaces, and it spoke to the little girl in me who loved nothing more to an extreme or point mental breakdown for everything to be clean and organized. But I truly think that Marie Kondo feels like everyone’s soul sister because everyone probably has that one special, OCD, person in their lives that they just can’t not love.

And in true sparking joy fashion, Krista and I recently learned about a brilliant company called MakeSpace who share our love and obsession with Marie Kondo. MakeSpace is essentially a brand new service in an app, that offers self-storage in these locations. The brilliant part about it is that they pick up your stuff, take it away to a storage facility and bring it back whenever you want it. Now if only it was available in Idaho and we could pack all of the boy’s gear for activities to store elsewhere…

I can definitely relate to this phenomenal idea as I will essentially be living out of three separate cities in the upcoming months. For all our friends in New York, Washington, D.C. or Chicago this is your new guide to making space!

Since we have both been particularly inspired with Spring Cleaning this year we thought we would share some inspiration, Krista’s Idaho-inspired cleaning to-do list and my personal cleaning must do’s from Kondo! Enjoy!

KondoMakeSpace

We love Life in the Green House summed up Kondo’s entire book in this perfectly pink graphic:

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Krista’s Idaho Inspired Spring Cleaning To-Do List:

1. Embrace the season. This is where MakeSpace can seriously come in handy, and it’s an absolutely necessity living in the mountains of Idaho. We have very distinct seasons here — think fluctuations of a full 130 degrees between the depths of winter and the peak of summer. When the spring weather hits, like right now, giant puffy coats be gone! Well, into storage at least. We like to keep out a mid-weight puffy for those Sawtooth mountain camping trips, but it brings us great joy to switch out our Uggs for a pair of espadrilles. IMG_2721

2. Embrace your inner adult. After reading Marie Kondo’s book, I finally felt free to get rid of my “college furniture,” a.k.a. a more-than-likely flimsy piece that I wouldn’t be sad about if it crumbled after a late-night coffee table dance party. The same goes for second-hand gifts from parents — there’s a reason they didn’t want it either

3. Invest in accessories. I find that I’m always drawn to the plain black, white, or gray top in my closet. Before you call me boring, let me finish — I love those pieces most because they offer a blank slate to accessorize. Pair your plain tee with an amazing statement necklace, a pop of color scarf, or your best booties. The best part? Accessories are much smaller and easier to store.

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did I mention that I will be a stella & dot stylist starting next month?!

4. One man’s trash. After my latest closet purge, I created 7 bags of clothing. Two of them went to the Goldmine, our favorite local thrift store that benefits the Community Library, and the other five I will bring to a clothing swap this Saturday (for which I have strict personal rules, more coming). Looking in the bags, I’m occasionally gripped with guilt, because there are some very nice brand names in there. However, they no longer sparked joy for me, and I just don’t wear them enough — be it the fit or particular color. For that reason, I invited a couple close girlfriends to take a look first. It brings me joy to know that they might enjoy my nicer clothes, which is just as satisfying!

keep vs. donate

keep vs. donate

5. Be wary of the “swap.” I am going to a clothing swap on Saturday. My goal is to be as true to my self and tastes as possible and only come home with those pieces that are a great fit and spark joy. Future storage situations rejoice!

6. Find your rustic vs. modern balance. If I had a dollar for every time the boy suggests we mount a taxidermied pheasant on my wall, I could buy the couch we actually need by now. Then again, our home is a shared space, and it’s a top priority for us both to feel comfortable. I’ve found that by reducing clutter on all of our surfaces (do we really need those decorative balls and that metal cow?), we can more intentionally decorate our home to reflect both of our tastes. Our engagement party gift shot skis will soon grace our wall, but we’ve also accepted that a new couch is an absolute next purchase.

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7. Go green. Let me tell you, these winters are looong. By clearing the decks a bit, I’ve created space for some new green friends. Meet Alfred, Penelope, and their mini succulent friends. I invested in some pretty pots so they could look fancy all year round, and I set reminders in my phone to water them.

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8. Be nice to your boots. Before packing up my Uggs and Fry boots for summer (in a clear container, that’s a must!), I clean and treat them so their in tip-top shape while they’re away in storage.

9. Windows to your beloved belongings vs. hiding the ugly. Invest in some clear storage bins with effective tops from your area Target — that will make your storage transition that much easier, and they can easily stack on top of each other. One very important exception to this rule? Utilizing solid storage containers to hide the ugly, for example the eye sore that is my fiancé’s fly-tying table. Yes, that’s a thing, and for the record, I will have my own crafting table one day (although I have taken over 2.5 of our three closets, so maybe we’re even for now). To mitigate the piles of feathers sparkly god-knows-what-it-is and googly eyes, I invested in some simple canvas bins in masculine colors from Overstock.com.

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10. Celebrate in style. I cleaned out  my Christmas bin after reading Marie’s book, and good lord…so much of that just needed to go! I’m only 26 and I already had the most random s**t in there. Pair down your holiday décor and keep only the best and most sentimental. Group them by season as you can to make the most of your MakeSpace service.

Taylor’s Cleaning Must-Do’s:

  1. Keep it simple. Although I’m naturally drawn to a very neat and minimal decorating style, I really realized how few possessions I actually need when I moved to Seattle. I only took what I could fit in my car
  2. Color coded. Now this doesn’t necessarily actually make anything actually cleaner but I think that keeping everything color coded just is far more visually pleasing. From your closet to the book shelf it makes a semi-display out of the ordinary. Plus it makes finding that exact sweater you are looking for that much easier!
  3. Find everything a home. Although finding everything a home, from shoes to books to literally cleaning supplies, it makes keeping everything tidy so much easier. All you do is put it back in it’s home after you use it!
  4. Always wipe down the counters. This is one thing that I do daily that I think just makes any space so much nicer. A clean counter or surface makes any room feel so much cleaner. Plus you may be eating food or what have you off of it so shouldn’t it be clean?
  5. Store likes inside of likes. Pretty much anything that can be stored inside of a like frees up so much space. For example, I always store all our bags inside of the biggest bag. It keeps them nice and compact and then you never have to worry about tracking one down.
  6. Fold your underwear.  This might seem trivial in the big scheme of things but opening my underwear drawer to find everything neatly folded and separated makes it seem like there is just a little less chaos in the world. I neatly fold everything from underwear, socks, sports bras, and the list goes on and on and respectively stack everything neatly. At home I went as far as to divide the space with clear bins giving everything a home. Plus it keeps all those lacies wrinkle free and lasting longer!

Cheers to clean spaces and sparking joy everyday!

krista and taylor

brass blossom