Consider the Flamingo

I love flamingos.  So, so much.  First there’s their gorgeous coloration.

  
I want coral skin.  It’s not fair.

Secondly, there’s their cat-like, spastic behavior.  So many times have I seen a flamingo just standing in the pool, casually looking around, acting cool and collected; then out of nowhere, he’ll turn to the flamingo beside him, and attack.  I’m talking honking, pecking, flapping, the works.  Just as quickly as he started, he’ll stop and slowly walk away, leaving his victim behind like, “Dude.  The fuck.”

  
Also, they sometimes do this thing where they spread their wings, start to make that obnoxious honking noise, stretch their heads toward the sky and walk slowly and ominously forward.  One will do this, then another, and another, until the whole flock is marching in this bizarre homage to Nazi Germany.

  
Unfortunately for this guy, no one was in the mood.

That is how I chose to depict my flamingo; to me it reads elegance, confidence, and a whole lot of pride and egomania.

  
  Just like me.

How Much Gold Can a Girl Have in her Apartment Before She Becomes Donald Trump?

I cannot buy anything more for my apartment this month.

I know that. I really do.

But I figured, well, it doesn’t hurt to look. And that was true, until I saw this piece on Loveseat and felt my heart expand and then break a little at the thought that this cannot be mine.  

  
 
Even if I had the money, it would be ridiculous to get a gold display case, especially since it would only be displaying books. 

  
It’s best not to picture it in my house. It’s best not to imagine myself opening it to select a book to read to my grandchildren one day, because it’s the kind of piece that I would keep and cherish forever, and pass down to my children, and they would pass down to their children once they too leave this earth.

I will tell myself it is gaudy and would be too much in my home.

Yep. That’s what I’ll do.

Though it wouldn’t hurt to look at coffee tables while I’m already on the app…

All Is Fair in Love and Furniture Shopping

A few days ago, I was furniture shopping and I learned something very important about myself. I am a master negotiator. 

The thing is, there’s really nothing to it. Like, literally nothing. I don’t say a word. I stand and look at the piece I want, then look back at the person selling the item, then look back at the piece. Sometimes I make a little throaty-humming noise, awkwardly press my hand to my cheek or neck, and look around. 

Ten times out of ten, the salesperson feels so uncomfortable, they offer to lower the price. This is a really important moment. They’ll expect you to talk, BUT YOU STILL DON’T. Maybe look at them with a scrunched up forehead. Repeat the Tina Belcheresque groan. Cock your head to the side and hunch your shoulders. Stare at them for a minute too long.

Then they fold. They always do.

Your awkwardness is hard to handle and they’ll be more than ready to bow out of the interaction as soon as possible. You can wait it out–you’ve been training for this your whole damn life.

That is how I ended up with these gorgeous pieces:

  
  
The media stand is technically an old record player holder. The front drawers are fake and do not open, so it’s maybe not the most functional piece BUT I DONT CARE I LOVE IT SO GODDAMN MUCH.

And you know how when you were a kid and would go to your grandparents’ house, there was always that one chair you weren’t allowed to sit in because it was your grandpa’s? Like exclusively his? And it was kind of a little too imposing and large and smack dab in the middle of the room? That is the relationship I plan on establishing with this beautiful, golden work of art. 

Now if you’ll excuse me, I must go. I have a lot of sitting to do. 

In High Spirits

You know how in my last post, I talked about how much I adored my apartment and decorating and making it a home? Well my current roommate has told me she will be moving out come July 1, and as most of the furniture in our shared living space is hers, she will be taking it with her. I was fortunate enough to find a new roommate quickly and with great ease, so the stress level has receded, but financially, I was not yet off the hook. When I said most of the furniture is hers, I wasn’t kidding. The couch? Hers. The tv and tv stand? Hers. The lamp? Hers. The chair, the pillows, the dining table, the beautiful grey and yellow rug? Hers, hers, hers, half-hers (we thought splitting that one would be a good idea, and see in retrospect, it was not). The thought of my once-comforting home being depleted into a vacuous room was stressing me out.  I’d still have my record player, but no chair in which to sit and enjoy the music. I’d have my book case, but no couch on which to read my books. And what would we do about the rug? Pull a Solomon and cut the thing in half? 

Clearly, the whole thing was getting to me. Fortunately my new roommate has again soothed my anxieties because she also loves decorating and also also loves vintage, old lady, kitschy chic. Our house may come together much quicker and with less a financial burden than I worried it would because as it turns out, orange floral couches are relatively inexpensive. 

Excited by the prospects of turning my home into a living museum, I found an adorable bar cart at an antique store in OB. She was put in their warehouse and simply forgotten about. I related to her neglect and knew I had to give her a good, loving home.

 Poor thing was covered in dust.

  

But will soon be covered in liquor.

   
Here’s to new beginnings with old things.

Okie Dokie Artichokie

I love my apartment. I really do. When things are going bad, as they regularly tend to, I sit back and think, “well, at least I have my home.” Three years ago, I quickly had to move out of my quaint back house on account of an animal dying and flies swarming the property, and moved in–what was supposed to be temporarily–with my then-boyfriend. His one bedroom apartment was far too cramped for the both of us and a year and a half later I finally left…and moved back into my parents’ house. Nothing humbles you quite like moving back into your childhood bedroom, especially if it was quickly converted into an office and your bed has been replaced with a futon.

After being displaced for so long, I am forever grateful that I found the apartment I am in now. Not only is it my own, but it’s pretty great for North Park standards. With a garage, fireplace, and vaulted ceilings, it has a particularly homey feeling that I needed. I love to decorate and my roommate and I have slowly been adding touches here and there to warm the place up, but the biggest difficulty has been in decorating the walls. Though vaulted ceilings open up the apartment and make it feel even larger than it is, it’s incredibly difficult to fill all that extra space, especially on a retail-manager’s budget.  

After some (read: a year of) contemplation, I’ve decided to paint small canvases with my favorite things and mount them on the wall above my desk. What better way to personalize my space?

  
My first painting is titled, “Artichoke,” because it is an artichoke. While painting it, I became curious about the vegetable I love so much and decided to look it up. Here are some fun facts I learned about them:

1) artichokes are actually the flower part of the plant. If one does not devour it and allows it to bloom, it blossoms a pretty indigo. I don’t know who discovered that, but I applaud their willpower.

2) they are related to the sunflower, which makes COMPLETE SENSE because I love both artichokes and sunflowers very much. 

3) California produces nearly 100% of the country’s artichokes, which makes COMPLETE SENSE BECAUSE I LIVE IN CALIFORNIA. Clearly everything revolves around me.

That’s pretty much it. I realize that really wasn’t all that interesting after having written it, but hey, now when you’re out at a dinner party where artichokes are being served, you’ll have something to add to the conversation you were otherwise awkwardly avoiding. Check back next week for round two of My Favorite Things and Other Worthless Information courtesy of yours truly.

BOO-tiful

I was at Target the other day, and I came across some really adorable plain wooden letters.  I know some of you are thinking, “how can plain wooden letters be adorable?”  To you I say, you obviously have never seen other plain wooden letters. These wood blocks are to others on the market what Kendall Jenner is to her sisters–sleek, elegant, and not super fucked up in comparison.  Here’s a visual–at Michael’s, you can choose between this guy who is a nice font, but made of paper maiche, something that should have no place in this world outside of a middle school science fair:


Or this guy, who I don’t even need to generate an insult for, because look at it:


Even Comic Sans would be embarrassed to have this hanging in its home.  And lastly, you got this pasty mess, courtesy of Joann’s:

What the hell is going on here.
So obviously, when I found a good one, I had to invest in it.  Because it’s Halloween or, more accurately, because I’m obsessive about Halloween, I bought myself a “B” and two “O”s, picked up some orange, white, black, and gold paints from Michael’s for only $1 a pop (they may have dropped the ball on letters, but are still clutch on all other craft supplies), and headed home to decorate.

I don’t have a palette because I’m not a real artist–in fact, I literally had to google “thing artists put paint on” to find out what to call that–which is actually a really common google search–I only had to type “thing art” and it came right up–


See, I’m not lying, it’s true–so I’m not dumb–I just don’t remember stuff I learned in high school art class–or ever.

Anyway, since I’m not fancy enough to own/know of a palette, I just ripped open an empty Digiorno box I had from the night before and, voila, instant, makeshift palette.  You know, this is actually a pretty great display of my resourcefulness, recycling something most would see as useless.  That’s pretty cool of me.

Onto the letters.  I didn’t really have much of a theme in mind; all I knew was that I wanted them to be different patterns, but have the same color scheme.  After playing around, I ended up with an ombred B, one chevroned O, and one polka-dotted O.


Ugh, too cute.  Because they’re the greatest letters of all, the bottoms are just flat enough for you to be able to stand them up; I put mine on our game/book shelving unit next to a jar of candy corn.


At $4 a piece, the letters were a little pricier than some, but sometimes you need to invest in nice things.  Embrace the Halloween spirit, girl.  TREAT yo’self.

The Greatest, Most Beautiful Wreath Ever Made, Ever

It’s a hundred degrees.  And I’m not just exaggerating like that time I said I would LITERALLY KILL MYSELF if Nicholas beat Nina on Top Chef New Orleans.  No, it is actually 100 degrees in October and I will seriously BURN THIS CITY TO THE GROUND if it doesn’t cool off soon.

Because it is too hot to go to the pumpkin patch, I have decided to celebrate Fall in a way less likely to make me collapse of heat stroke.  I have decided to throw on a scary movie, and make an Autumnal wreath.

First things first, set up your fans.  Grab every last one in your home, and position them inches from your body.  Have an ice pack in your freezer?  Grab that too.  Dab it lovingly on your face; clutch it dearly to your breast.  You already feel better, now don’t you?

Okay, now turn on Netflix and peruse the selection until you find something worthy of background noise, something you’ve seen before but it’s been a few years now and you really kind of miss it.  My choice?  Scream.

Now here’s what you’ll need:

A plain wreath


Some faux foliage


Scissors

Your trusty hot glue gun

About 12 inches of twine

Step One: Remove the berries from the stem and glue them to the wreath.  Now don’t worry, the berries are attached to the main stem in little segmented stems; think of the large stem as an artery, the small stems as veins, and the little berries as capillaries.  You don’t need to cut off every berry individually and glue them to the wreath; Lord knows I don’t have the patience for that.  Just slice the veins from the artery and glue the vein to the wreath.  This allows our little capillaries flexibility around the foliage you add in the following steps.  I went and used two whole stems worth of berries because I like them so much.

the veins
All bloodied up with capillaries.

Step Two:  Now remember when I made those mason jar candleholders and told you that some of the materials would go toward a future craft?  THIS IS SAID FUTURE CRAFT.  Any leftover leaves I had from the garland got glued onto the wreath.  They’re malleable and easy to tuck under the berries, so do that when you can.  I decided to cover the full surface of the wreath, but feel like just a handful of them to add some color?  Great.  Do YOU.

Step Three:  Decapitate your flowers, and affix them to the wreath.  I used some faux mums and peonies; they added a nice bright pop of color and, yes, I know it’s a Fall wreath and one would expect pinecones for the larger, statement pieces, but we do live in San Diego–florals are appropriate year round.

Step Four:  Take your twine and tie it to the back of the wreath so you can easily hang it.  Put on your front door and induce jealousy.

What a beauty!

Alright, now for the cost:

Wreath: $4.99

Garland of leaves: $3.99

Two berry stems: $4.98

Mums: $2.49

Peonies: $0.79

The cost of the twine was negligible, probably about five cents or so, as was the glue for the glue gun.  So all in all, you made your very own Fall wreath for under $20, AND got to watch a scary movie at the same time, AND didn’t pass out under the glare of the defiant, blazing sun!  That is literally the greatest triumph in the history of mankind.  And no, that is not an exaggeration.