this post is in partnership with Signature by Levi Strauss & Co.
if you follow me on IG stories, you know we do a date night a few times a month. word on the street is that couples who don’t do a regular date night are almost twice as likely to get divorced than those who do, so we decided it needs to be a priority.
signature jeans are all about lasting a lifetime, which inspired me to think about what rituals we have that also withstand the test of time — and i knew it had to be date night. we have a lot of rituals, we order takeout every friday, we turn on the sleep timer every night because we know we’ll both pass out to the TV otherwise, but our date nights are the most important to us, as a couple.
most of the time we just go to our regular sushi spot, where we order pretty much the same thing every time and they know us there now. (pro tip: anytime our parents ask us for birthday gift ideas, we almost always ask for gift cards for the restaurant!) sometimes we’ll do double dates, sometimes we switch it up and go somewhere fancy, sometimes just a movie… but no matter what, it’s always nice for me to get out of the house and to get dressed up cute, because i pretty much spend the entire week in either pajamas or my stained overalls. doing my makeup and putting on earrings makes me feel so fancy nowadays. Read More
so excited to share arlo’s play kitchen!! i honestly don’t think i’ve ever been so passionate about a project. i planned to do this for his christmas present, but once it was done i decided to just let him start playing with it now because he is obsessed. just like me! there have been sooo many iterations of this ikea hack, but i’ve never really seen one before that was truly my arlo’s style before.
when i was a kid i was obsessed with my dollhouse. my mom used leftover wallpaper and carpet samples from our house so it matched (TEARS!). my dad worked in the mall business and at his office there was a model of the mall they did next door. every friday, my dad would pick me up from school and take me out to lunch at the mall and over to his office so i could stare at the model. forever. he would just hold me up and i would just take it all in lol — so i guess i really like miniature things. and a miniature kitchen is no different apparently. the day i finished the kitchen, i pretty much just sat nearby looking at it. so normal.
anyway, i hope that since it’s only early november, you’ll have time to do your own for your own kid (and more importantly, you)! let’s get into the details. there are A LOT. but quickly, in case you don’t know what the original ikea duktig kitchen looks like, here’s a before and after.
arlo is so obsessed with his stuffies lately and it’s the cutest thing! he sleeps with way too many, but we try to get him to choose his favorites and he just has A LOT of favorites. every time he wakes up and i go to get him from his crib, he hands me some of his friends that he wants to bring with him, and then lets me pick him up. sometimes it’s his top three, sometimes he literally hands me a dozen stuffed animals that i have to try to carry along with his giant baby body.
i get asked a lot about his favorites, some of which we’ve bought locally and i couldn’t find online, so they’re not all included here, but a lot are!
wowowow how have i never done a post on my living room this whole time!? well today is the day. i feel like the living room never felt quite finished to me, but it’s not like i’m changing anything so here we are. i get so many questions about everything i thought it would be nice to put everything in one place.
our couch is called the jasper from interior define, a lot of people thought we were crazy to replace our old sectional, but i am so glad we did! our last one was comfy, but we had it custom made for the space before sort of realizing what we really wanted in a sofa — there was only one good spot on the old one, on the chaise, which only fit one person because of it’s depth, and the color was sort of dark and it always looked a bit droopy because the back and the bottom cushions were down. so this time, we really knew what we wanted… a couch wide enough for all of us to comfortably lounge, a light fabric that was stain resistant, and cushions that wouldn’t droop so much.
we ended up getting basically the deepest couch i’ve ever seen. when it first was delivered i actually had a little panic attack that it was way too deep, but now i could never go back. every seat is comfortable, it’s like a giant bed. and arlo loves it so much. we chose one of their kid/pet friendly fabrics called wheat and the natural oak legs (the legs are sooo good). the fabric has been really durable, arlo has spilled on it a few times already and we’ve gotten them all out. the back cushions tend to get droopy because the cats and arlo all like to lay on them, but they’re easy enough to reshape. two of our cats like to scratch certain areas so we’ve tried covering them with blankets and sticky paws, but arlo likes to peel it off of course. i actually didn’t even have this sofa model on my list when we went to see them in person, and it was arlo and gid who were the most into it.
our coffee table is the shroom table from cb2, we’ve had for years now. i get lots of questions about this because the reviews on their site say that it stains and cracks, etc. i saw those reviews when i was buying it too, so we decided to seal it right away. we got this car wax, and applied it liberally all over the top, there are maybe a few spots if i look really closely but i honestly think that worked! it doesn’t really seem to stain for us, at least not yet. i also don’t eat on it, and i’m a coaster nazi, so that probably helps too. there are a few cracks here and there but again, i only notice them if i’m looking closely.
when i got our couch, i was on the longest hunt for the perfect little side table. since our living room is just sort of in the middle of our one big great room, we never have really had the space for side tables or side chairs (we did have a chair for a while but ultimately realized it just didn’t fit), but since our new sofa wasn’t as long, i was sooo stoked to have room for a small side table. i found this one and it’s the perfect height. (it’s sold out, but i also loved this one) i wanted to put a lamp on it (this is the one i planned to get), but immediately realized that shit is not happening with a toddler in the house, so i settled on a fake plant that he likes to toss around sporadically, so i’m glad it’s fake. the pot is from ikea.
we got our rugs from ebay, you might remember the rug under the sofa was in arlo’s room originally. the thing about vintage moroccan rugs that you buy online is that they will probably arrive “vintage”, like every vintage rug or kilim pillow we’ve gotten has had a funky smell. we spent so much time in arlo’s newborn days on the floor that i decided to purchase a new moroccan rug instead and put that rug here. we got the second rug when he was starting to crawl because i wanted him to have a soft play surface out here. i got another vintage one, the size was perfect for in front of the cabinet. i considered selling our rug and just getting a huge 9×12 one to fill this room, but i actually like having the gutter between the rugs in case someone doesn’t take off their shoes and wants to quickly get through the room. (yep everyone here is barefoot and using coasters.) ps. can’t get through one photo shoot without a mysterious cat tail showing up.
i think you can’t go wrong either way, if you decide to purchase vintage or new. we have new ones in the rest of the house and i love them all just as much. i decided to round up some of my favorites in case you’re looking for similar styles.
our TV cabinet is from ikea, it’s the besta — you can customize for your needs however you want, so we chose to have two cabinets in the middle, with drawers on the ends, etc. it has provided a ton of storage and we baby-proofed them using these.
we have the frame TV and honestly it’s the best thing ever, i posted about it back here. i want one for our bedroom too so bad. it honestly changed our entire house, because we were limited in layout options, basically the TV had to be the first thing you see when you walk into the house. so for it to no longer be an eyesore is so amazing. (we have the 65″ with the light wood bezel, which you have to buy separately)
i was debating the faux fiddle for a while, and so glad i ended up getting it because we needed something in that corner but it’s too dark to have a real plant (we tried. a few times). the quality is so good and the height is perfect! the basket is from target (i actually have the same one in our bedroom too) and i filled it with a bag of spanish moss (on top of some old sweaters). arlo does mess with it occasionally but for the most part, he knows he’s not supposed to. we have such high ceilings that the room really needed something to bring your eye up.
the macrame dreamcatcher was made for us for our wedding by our wedding planner. we got married in front of it and i love having it hanging in our house as a constant reminder of the day!
we took two bar stools out for now and put a little table and chairs for arlo in the corner so he can have his own little area. he is loving it!
i hung two frames next to the tv for a mini gallery wall, i got the frames at ikea. the top one is a quick abstract watercolor i planned to replace eventually, and the other is a bunch of our photo booth pictures, in chronological order. the top row is us dating over the years (from back when we were blonde and beardless), then when i was pregnant, and then we’ve tried to do them with arlo every few months (he hates it though lol). we switch some of them out when we have new ones to add in. i love that it’s family photos without feeling like family photos plastered in our living room.
i have always loved pampas grass, ever since i first noticed it all over the property at the parker palm springs. in fact, a few years ago when we were doing our backyard, i couldn’t figure out the name and we went on a wild goose chase trying to track down what they were called. i think i may have even called the hotel to ask like a total dork.
we ended up finally finding out they were called cortaderia and planted one in the back corner… we actually asked if had room for two and the nursery was like UM NO, DO NOT PLANT MORE THAN ONE OF THESE. they were right, they grow like weeds. ours is like 12x the size of when we planted it. it is super invasive, and every time i’ve ever brushed by it i get all scratched up and covered in a rash, so we have to keep it trimmed short, but oh man it’s pretty and it covered a total eyesore of a corner too. Read More
i realized on our recent trip to palm springs that i have been there a zillion times yet haven’t done an updated guide since the ones i posted many many years ago. so i wanted to make one!
obviously i have a real soft spot for palm springs because we got married there, and years before that it was our first weekend trip together. we’ve been together a ton of times and pretty much do all the same things, but it’s sort of our place now. we honestly don’t do a lot when we’re there because i’m not big into exploring too much when it’s 108 degrees out, so we usually just lay low, eat some delicious meals, and relax. here are our faves… Read More
on the reader survey (um… all the way back in january), you guys said you really want a post about the different ways i earn money — so here we are! in late september! i actually wrote this post back then, but am finally realizing i should just finish all the drafts i write. as you can probably assume, blogging is not a way to get rich quick. and there’s a good chance you’ll never get even close to rich, i certainly haven’t! we all follow successful bloggers and influencers who make it look really easy, but they are definitely the exception when you look at how many people are trying. my dad calls me once every few weeks to tell me that the people on youtube are millionaires and i should have a youtube. i think the way he sees it is probably the way too many people do… totally unrealistically!
so while i haven’t figured out how to be a millionaire, i have come up with some different methods for making money, and i’ve been able to sustain a decent amount of money coming in so that i feel ok paying bills and buying things on amazon.
in all honesty i do dream of things like owning one simple shop where all the money comes in from one place and i only have to worry about one thing, and it’s all simple and easy — but that is not my sitch at the moment. and might never be because i also really love the freedom and flexibility of what i do now. and the wearing of the pajamas. Read More
ok i’m really excited about this! i’ve always wanted to do a seasonal bucket list and this weekend we finally did one.
i always have a list of things i want to do, looming in my head or scattered around in the notes app on my phone, but i think having one list full of fulfilling things to do will feel so good. and will make the weekends feel so satisfying. and when you’re thinking seasonally, you actually remember to do all those seasonal things like take arlo to a pumpkin patch or drive to candy cane lane (we have been saying we want to do that for at least 5 years now so let’s see if we do it now that it’s on paper. and also i need a new list because i just noticed i wrote santa clause lane lol) Read More