Thursday, February 25, 2016

Today on Rue

TODAY ON RUE: I'm sharing a look at our wedding albums from Preservation & Creation.

Click here to check it out!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

My Office... Sort Of.

When we first moved in to our LA home,  I (overzealously) made my office super glam. I hung up temporary wallpaper that I STILL LOVE EVER-SO-DEARLY, but was a little... aggressive. Well. Not aggressive for ME, but perhaps aggressive for other members of the household. (TIM.)  I made the mistake of hanging it on a wall that you can see, at all times, from the kitchen and dining room. So, a fun little experiment that was supposed to be my "girl cave" was actually an invasive decor decision that was always top of mind. Plus, I worked hard to make the living areas a bright, restful space. This room, unfortunately, just doesn't get great light. So, it was a dark, palm-tree-y situation that just... wasn't working. Ya live and ya learn...

So, I very carefully peeled it all off and saved it for another day. (Thinking of adding it to wood panels for a more subdued effect.) Then, I ordered wedding photos from Minted and went to town.

The room was a nursery in a past life, so it already had these handy-dandy Ikea shelves that I shared on Instagram here.

Above the desk, I went big:

(Please ignore the low quality imagery. My phone recently went for a dip.)

These are two of my favorite moments from the wedding. Now, when they arrived, Tim was like "ummm... so you're going to hang a giant photo of yourself above your desk??" and I was like "DANGIT."

Let me explain.

The week before the wedding, we were staying out at my dad's house and every night we'd stay up late finishing up the DIY details. I would go sit with Tim out in my dad's wood shop, where he was painting all of the place cards. At least 2-3 times a night... we'd practice our "first dance." Our song was Monster by Mumford & Sons (with the f-bomb edited out for the big night), and we threw in a few spins and twirls. I just have all these vivid memories of practicing the twirl, with sawdust on the ground and mosquitos buzzing our ears, so it'd be just right with the music.

When it came time to actually have our dance at the reception, I was just... endlessly happy. The wedding had thus far been so perfect, and I was so grateful for everyone who had made the trek to Idaho to be there. I remember being so present during the dance, and just really soaking up the moment as much as I could. I remember it all so clearly, and, embarrassing fact, cry about it a lot because I'm just that sentimental.

So, I felt like this picture really encapsulated that dance so perfectly: the joy, the wind that came to cool everyone off, the soft light. It's not a picture of myself. It's a picture of a feeling.

OKAY, here's a little backstory about Tim, myself, and pelicans. As many of you know, we got engaged in Mexico. We woke up early and wandered down to a set of hammocks right on the ocean to watch the sunrise. As the sun slowly made it's way over the horizon, pelicans were diving into the surf to catch their breakfast. They were so close! You'll have to talk to Tim, but apparently one flew so close to him that he knew it was time to ask me. So, naturally we have a soft spot for the bird.

Flash forward to the wedding day. My dad and mom were eating dinner, and my dad said "The only thing that could make today more perfect is if a flock of pelicans flew over the property. That would be so cool for everyone to see!" But, it was pretty late in the season and he knew the chance of seeing them was sparse.

A few hours later, my brother was making his toast -- an emotional journey in itself -- and at a totally appropriate pause, I heard my dad gasp. Everyone looked up and there they were... almost 20 pelicans flying so close to the ground that you could hear their wings.

I burst into tears. We all agreed my amazing grandma sent them as a party favor.

Somehow, my photographers magically captured it. In the blink of an eye, they captured the most important second of the day. It was no question I'd be framing the photo.

Images by Dylan M. Howell and Sara K. Byrne

Now, back to the office. It's a little bit of a facade. Or a fraud. Whatever you want to call it. Behind the photo is a large clothing steamer, a stationary bike, a vacuum, a super cute West Elm lamp, a well-styled (but what's the point) bookshelf, and... the litter robot.

In the sake of honesty, I'll post some pictures soon. We need to really figure out an organizational solution because that "office" is nothing but a glorified junk drawer. It's a challenge I am equal parts terrified and excited to tackle.

In the meantime, check out Minted's custom photo prints here. It was really easy to order and I am super impressed with the quality and ease of the whole thing. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Mara Hoffman: Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear

It's rare that I feel compelled to blog about fashion anymore, but mostly because of my own sartorial laziness. I prefer to exist in one of the following:

a) blue jeans, white or gray tee, flats
b) black jeans, black top, flats
c) bag-shaped dress, sandals
d) none of the above/my pajamas

This approach came to be after a few startling realizations... all of which revolved around the fact that I 100% do not want to stand out in a crowd. I'm on the tall-ish side (5'7") and most of my friends have always been around the same height. So, when I would wear heels, it's likely they would be wearing heels as well and I wouldn't notice how much taller any of us were. But I started going to events or parties without my usual girl gang (we all live in different states now), and felt like I was TOWERING over people. I desperately hate that feeling, so I reverted to flats. Another time, I wore a bold color combination comprised of a LOT of fabric, and I felt more like a muppet than a Man Repeller. Adios, color.

Essentially, I had to come to peace with the fact that I can still love the bold, colorful styles that so many wear so well... but it doesn't mean it will make me happy when I put it on my body. I am happiest in neutrals. I will never, as long as I live, wear anything remotely close to this again. (Embarrassing!) I am not a peacock by nature, and there is nothing wrong with that. I am allowed to wear the same boring outfits 1 million times if they're what make me feel my best. I really do still feel passionate about clothes and adore colorful, bold patterns. And while I may not *try* as hard as I used to, I still appreciate and admire the same aesthetic from afar.

For example, I've long been a fan of Mara Hoffman (I used to pine for one of these dresses), but I don't know that I would reach for her stuff these days...

Until I saw her Fall 2016 RTW Collection. The glamour of the '70s shines bright in this collection, and I think I'm so drawn to it because of the darker color palette. Her signature prints took on a moody alter ego, and I'm obsessed.

Starting off strong, this dress might be my favorite silhouette from the collection. Would love a closer look, and by closer look, I mean, have it hanging in my closet, begging me to step away from the skinny jeans:

The print below is for sure a stand-out for me. It's like, tropical meets San Francisco meets rock & roll... if that is even a thing. I'm hoping this textile filters down to her swimwear line as well:

Of course, Mara always has to have a wedding dress-esque option, and this one makes me purely devastated I can't go back in time and wear it for my own nuptials:

Finally, this just might be my favorite dress that I've seen, ever. I can see the likes of Rashida Jones wearing it to an awards show... it's got that quirky-cool factor and is just weird enough, but is still one of the more flattering dresses in the line:

Anyway, when I started to see this collection make the rounds on Instagram... the allure of writing about fashion brought me back to the ol' bloggeroo, and here we are.

I've spent the greater part of an hour searching for something similar that I can purchase immediately, but no such luck. Since I've been out of the fashion game for so long, would love to know if you have any favorite designers or brands that channel a similar aesthetic. Nothing too bold... but just bohemian enough to fulfill the little tiny Stevie Nicks that lives inside of me. Let me know in the comments!

[All images courtesy of Mara Hoffman via]

Monday, February 15, 2016

Best. Sale. Ever.

In the latest issue of Rue, we featured an AMAZING Newport Beach home designed by Ashley Clark of sKout. I could go on and on about the wooden beams in the kitchen, the buffalo check dining chairs, the serene living room with cool blue seascapes on the wall... but there was one stand out moment that I couldn't get enough of:

photo credit: Ryan Garvin

I always give Tim a little preview of each issue the night before. Flipping through the pages, I stopped at the bedroom and he was all "THAT BLAAAANKETTTTT!" I recognized it from Anthropologie and quickly began my campaign to buy one. Of course, it came in at a cool $150 and he was like "we absolutely do not need another throw, nor do we need to spend $150." And I felt sad but knew he was right.

This morning, I got an email from Anthro saying they were offering an extra 40% off all sale items with code EXTRA40. I clicked through as I sipped my morning coffee, and BAM SHABAM the blanket appeared, nearly half off the original price. And at an extra 40% off? No convincing needed. A few clicks of the mouse and it's en route to our house as we speak.

I would never be so selfish as to keep this good news from you. Snag a pom-pom blanket of your own here, and check out a few of my other sale favorites below:

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day

“People are like cities: We all have alleys and gardens and secret rooftops and places where daisies sprout between the sidewalk cracks, but most of the time all we let each other see is is a postcard glimpse of a skyline or a polished square. Love lets you find those hidden places in another person, even the ones they didn't know were there, even the ones they wouldn't have thought to call beautiful themselves.”

-Hilary T. Smith

Friday, February 12, 2016

3 Things That Inexplicably Make Me Cry

Oh, hello there. I have had this huge craving to write on the blog, but then get so overwhelmed with what to post about because it seems like a huge daunting task even though it's not at all. I think to myself, "I could share wedding details but which details go first," and then I think, "I could show the before and after of the dining room but where are those pictures," and then I think, "I could just close my laptop and scroll endlessly through Instagram until my hand gets a cramp," and I do that. Sometimes, I even lose complete feeling in my pinky. It's concerning. Not concerning right now, but I have a feeling in a few years we're all going to have some serious arthritis issues.

Anyways, I decided that instead of blogging about something design or fashion focused, I would do something that would just get me writing again and not be so serious. And the result doesn't entirely make sense, but DOES fulfill that creative void... ish.

So, without further adieu... here is a collection of 3 things that inexplicably make me cry. I would have included more, but Tim's still at work and he's the one that keeps track of these things.

1. This video about fog:

Adrift from Simon Christen on Vimeo.

I... don't know either. I just watch it and I get hyper-emotional and the tears just flow out of me like lava. Sometimes, I hear the song (by The Album Leaf) and I start crying then too. It's worth noting that this video made me cry while I still lived in SF, so it's not because I moved away and miss the area. Nope. It's just a supremely beautiful weather pattern combined with a city waking up and voila, I'm teary.

2. This video about a lot of cats invading an IKEA:

AGAIN: how confusing are my emotions? I actually saw this commercial many years ago when I was going through a nasty breakup. I had my little Roxanne, and it just made me realize what a comforting feeling HOME can bring. And for me, home was with my cat. And so, I guess, tears.


This one isn't actually inexplicable. If you DON'T cry during it, you're a monster. I actually hesitated to include this one, because I knew I'd have to redo my makeup after watching it. I once bought 30 iPhones after watching it. (I didn't actually.)

Other things that I didn't have time to track down:
-Essentially ANY commercial that includes a widow, an adorable elderly person, a pet owner, and/or members of the military.
-When people win something on reality TV. (This ranges from talent competitions like The Voice to prize-focused shows like The Price is Right.)
-Any time Ellen cries, I cry.

So there you have it. A super strange, probably slightly off-putting look at who I am. Now that I got this creative roadblock out of the way (did I?!), I hope to be back and typing furiously in no time.

Happy weekend! (Sorry if you also cried.)

EDITED TO ADD: Tim just got home and said that THIS commercial makes me cry more than anything that has ever made me cry. That is true.