PHOENIX, ARIZONA

 
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A few weeks back I left the soggy lands of Portland to travel to red plains of Phoenix, AZ for a few days for work. Though my time there was primarily spent working, I did manage to take a day to do a little exploring and R&R.

Knowing little about Phoenix and being solo, I wanted to do something on foot that wouldn’t just involve going out to eat only. Being a big admirer of Frank Lloyd Wright, I was very excited to remember that he had designed a building at ASU’s campus in Tempe, which was only a thirty minute light rail ride from my hotel.

From photos I have seen I knew what I was looking for, but when I finally came across it while walking the campus it was nothing like I had ever seen before, even for FLW. It looked like a giant copper cake from mars! Adorned with beautiful scalloped edges and layers, it glowed in the early desert sun. The doors were locked so I couldn’t venture in, but I could only imagine the burnt orange carpet that ran through it.

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Another favorite was the H.B. Farmer Education Building. Again with the monotone burnt orange edges with the softness of the globe light and and pops of greenery. This building was definitely a blast from the past that hopefully never gets a modern renovation. As I left the campus I wondered if the students appreciated the architecture and it’s history. Probably not. But hopefully one day some will.

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Since I was going to be in town for four nights I wanted to stay at a hotel that was a little outside of the general Downtown area and that stayed more alive post business hours. I booked my stay at the Found:Re, a boutique hotel in the Arts District. The layout and decor of the rooms reminded me a lot of the Ace DTLA with it’s floating bed and interactive shower.
My room had a nice view of the street and some restaurants so even though I could be up in my room binging on HGTV I didn’t feel isolated.

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After my walk through ASU did a little self-care poolside with a vibrant cocktail. I actually cannot remember the last time I actually laid out and did nothing by a pool. And I forgot how relaxing it was. Must do again soon!

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Being my last night there and making the most of my one day off like a vacation, I took myself out to dinner (rather than ordering room service) down to the hotel’s restaurant Match. So I confidently ordered myself the ribs and enjoyed a night out solo - something I do not do often. Best part, no one talked to me. Maybe it was the ribs. Either way, it was just how I wanted my evening to go.

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Though Phoenix is still not on my top 10 destinations to visit, I was pleasantly surprised with what it had to offer during my short and busy stay. Until next time…

Also tbh, I meant to post this weeks ago but life. Enjoy!

 

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OUR BATHROOM : THE PLAN

 
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So we bought a house! 
In Portland, Oregon!
(oh yeah.. and we moved there.)

Danny and I made a giant leap this year and pulled the plug on moving to Portland, something we have been discussing for years. So what a better push than buying a house. We got serious about looking in August and by September 13 we put our first offer in on a 1920's bungalow located in NE Portland - sight unseen.

(Also, this is my excuse for taking six months to post about our honeymoon.)

Before we even stepped foot inside, we knew this house wasn't our style as-is. It's on the darker side, was possibly "updated" in the 80's or 90's, some walls are blue, some are purple, yada yada. But one thing we didn't know until we got there was really how much potential this home has. And THAT was exciting! We quickly started bouncing ideas off each other and for me, this really is a dream to finally be like Joanna Gaines and fix this house up! Minus the shiplap. 

So, of course, the first thing I focused on was wanting to gut the kitchen... and I wanted it done before we moved in... and I wanted it done now. But as life has it, we ended up having to move quicker than anticipated because we have to work, right? So, we accepted having to live in the house in it's current state for a while.

Now, people told me to "live in the house first" before you start any work, to really get "feel" for the home. And you know what? They were right. Because now we realize the bathroom is the first to go! So here we are.

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This bathroom... wait, let me rephrase that:  This toilet, is a nightmare. I am usually all for old things, but this pull-chain toilet has got to go - and fast! I can no longer pee in fear! I am creeped out by the older linoleum floors and counter tops, the un-centered mirror makes me cringe, the brown-blue combo is dated, and I swear the "lovely" oak vanity was made for really short folk because I am 5'4 and this thing hits the top of my legs. 

Soooo here's the plan!!

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We really want a minimal, clean, and somewhat modern bathroom, but since the house is old, we we want to restore its charm and vintage look while introducing a somewhat modern, updated style. Let's call it "vintage-modern".  

Aside from painting the walls white, we want to remove the stained glass window (and re-purpose it elsewhere) and install a casement window. We'll likely use the large round mirror we purchased from Ikea earlier this year and flank it with vintage-inspired brass sconces with matching brass fixtures (though we may stick with stainless to not be too trendy). We'd like to re-tile the shower with a matte subway tile, replace the floors with a white, hexagon tile and a light grey grout, and replace the ancient toilet with a Toto brand, because, as my Dad told me about his Toto toilet: "That mother-effer will flush anything." Lastly - and my FAVORITE part - we'll be re-purposing one of our many mid century credenzas (I don't have a problem... you have a problem) that I insisted we schlep up to Portland, transforming it into a vanity (this will be a HUGE money-saver), and placing a rectangular vessel sink on top!

If all goes as plan, I may never leave the bathroom!

 

Inspiration photos 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

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OUR WEDDING: DIY PAPERGOODS

 
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With Danny being a fine art screenprinter, it was only natural that he printed our wedding invites. Danny is also a very talented graphic designer - double win. We first thought that we would only be screen printing the invites, but then it turned into menus, place cards, seating charts, and more. Designing (I got to play art director) and printing everything for our wedding was really fun and rewarding, but a lot of work. And we did it... twice.

Since we decided to have a small, intimate wedding in Big Sur and then a larger party in Los Angeles, we had two different visions for our designs. I was so excited to see what we would come up with and to be his right-hand-lady in the process!

For the Big Sur invite, we went for a forest-y, landscape theme to get our guests excited for the adventure ahead. For the party, we re-mixed/re-purposed an existing design from the 1960s. This design was originally used on the cover of a piano song book of the Kink's "Dandy", which we also had Danny's grandma perform at our wedding with her own lyrics written just for us.

The photos here show this invite in particular being printed. I was lucky enough that Danny could print them on a day that I wasn't in the office, so I was able to photograph him work.

I guess you could say green was our wedding color. I had originally wanted a shimmery copper, but we decided that green would be more versatile and less exhausting throughout the series of pieces. Danny mixes all of his inks from scratch to ensure the perfect color, which is a very tedious process. This was probably the longest part of the day besides waiting for them to dry.

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It was so cool to see our creation come to life on paper and see my then future-husband in his zone working on a personal project! We really felt like this special, DIY touch really set the tone for our entire wedding. I couldn't have asked for anything more beautiful.

Danny is LA's best screen printer. I know that sounds biased because I am now married to him, but he really is. His superior organization, clean workflow, and ultra-tight registration make him stand out from the rest. Thank you, Danny. I love you.

Photography by Even Keel Imagery & myself.

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