Bye, 2016

5 January 2017

Wait, it's 2017? Already? HOW?! This past year has flown by. Do you remember being little when the length of a year felt like an eternity? I remember the feeling of Christmastime lasting for a couple of months, now I'm lucky if I'm in that spirit for a week. It's definitely something I miss the most about being a child, that warm Christmas feeling that swallowed you up. I remember making a Christmas countdown with my childhood best friend and I swear that countdown never went fast enough. Every year I try to commit to enjoying the season rather than speeding through it, but it never happens. Maybe next year. ;)

Saying "2016" out loud sends a lot of people into a rage or it sends them running in fear. It was a scary year, there were a lot of deaths, a lot of destruction, elections all over the world were big 'ol shit show, but I was one of the lucky ones who had a good year.

My 2016 highlights: 

1. I got married! Luke and I had a super small backyard wedding at my Aunt Michelle's house on June 11th. We invited the people closest to us and kept it as small as possible. I don't even think we spent more than a couple of hundred dollars on the wedding (dress and cake included). I don't like being the center of attention (hello, anxiety) and having a big fancy wedding was never something I dreamed about. None of that cliche "my childhood dream wedding" business over here. If it weren't for the guilt of not giving my mom the chance to have a wedding for her ONLY child, we wouldn't have done anything at all.

2. I traveled to the UK twice and discovered my new favorite city, Edinburgh. The first time we went we traveled up and down England and Scotland. We visited London, Nottingham, Bath, the Cotswolds, Lacock, Sheffield, Edinburgh, parts of the Highlands, Luss, and Glasgow. It was a Christmas gift to my mom (and to us) and it was one of the most amazing and exhausting trips of my life. That trip cost probably around $10k but it was worth every penny. Luke and I planned a second trip to Scotland for our honeymoon, we went in September. We booked a lovely Airbnb in the Old Town of Edinburgh right on The Royal Mile and spent a little over a week there. We took a couple of day trips to the Highlands again and we even visited Loch Ness! One of our day trips took us across the border of Scotland/England, and we visited Alnwick Castle that was used for a lot of the Harry Potter films. Edinburgh will always be my favorite though, I'm constantly trying to talk Luke into booking another trip there (ps: I think we'll end up going again this year). We've even talked about moving there one day - if MM (Luke's company) ever opens a UK office, we're already signed up to go.

3. We met up with a lot of friends! We always see Luke's best friend Atwood, but we got to meet his girlfriend Ruby last year. She's super sweet and she's from Canada, so we got the opportunity to take a road trip to Montreal for a weekend. Not only did I meet Luke on Tumblr back in 2009, but I also met a lot of other great people who I still consider friends today. In England we met up with our friend George (Twikki) for the second time, and we got to see one of my best friends, Naomi, and her boyfriend Ollie and their little son Eric. Naomi and I have been close friends since we were 14/15 and I've visited her three times now. When we were in Scotland we met up with our friend Pete and his girlfriend Ayden of Little Blog of Horrors. On our second Scotland trip we met up with Lauren in Stirling, another old Tumblr friend. I see the faces of these people on social media nearly every day so it didn't feel like our first time meeting a lot of them, it was lovely! I'm hoping to see some of them again this year.

4. I discovered my love for genealogy while researching my family history through I've helped solve a couple of family mysteries for people and even been in contact with previously unknown family members! These people have helped me through some ancestry road blocks and I'm so grateful for them. Through Ancestry I discovered the Find-A-Grave and World Archives Project volunteering programs which I am now a proud member of. 

5. Luke got promoted this year! He has so much passion for what he does, I really admire it. He started working for a company called MM.Lafleur in 2015, it's a professional women's clothing company in NYC. Luke is an engineer for their website, and he LOVES his job. I never pass up the opportunity to brag about him, I'm just so proud I can't help it! There wasn't really schooling for what he does, and since we've been together he has taught himself almost everything with the help of some of his friends and coworkers and has been working his way up professionally. I won't let anyone take credit for his achievements, they are ALL his own. 

6. I hit 10,000 Etsy sales this year and my little business turned five! 10,000 sales in five years sounds like it's not much, but the first three or so years of having my business I had only made it to 1,000 sales. Two years on and I've passed 10,000, not counting duplicate items that Etsy doesn't count towards the total or items sold at craft fairs. I think the total might be up to at least 40,000 items I've made. That's INSANE for one person! My little hands are weary but busy, and that's all I could ever ask for.

I get a bit bored while I'm working, making things you already know how to make or have made hundreds of times before can get a bit dull. To keep me busy I spend a lot of quality time with Netflix, and binge watching TV shows is my favorite thing to do during my work day. 

Some shows I've completed this year:

  1. Making A Murderer
  2. Gilmore Girls - LOVE, Luke is also obsessed.
  3. Roswell
  4. Outlander
  5. Penny Dreadful
  6. Scream (MTV's version)
  7. Shameless - This show is insane but I love it.
  8. Charmed
  9. The Carrie Diaries - Not normally my thing, but I oddly enjoyed this.
  10. Black Mirror
  11. The Crown
  12. Medici: Masters of Florence - A good chunk of the Game of Thrones cast is in this, amazing show if you love historical stuff.
  13. The OA - AMAZING, go watch it. 20x better than Stranger Things.
  14. The Last Kingdom - Luke and I just finished this together, we're going to finish watching Vikings next.
  15. Versailles - Another historical drama favorite, I'm bringing this one to Luke next. I'm his show tester and only bring him the best ones.

We've also seen a good amount of movies this year. Some of my favorites were The Hateful Eight, The Revenant, Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children, The Girl On The Train, and Fantastic Beasts. I love Eddie Redmayne so damn much. What were some TV shows or movies you enjoyed last year?

1. Glencoe, Scotland // 2. My new rings from Luke // 3. Alnwick Castle, England // 4. Apples we picked // 5. Last selfie of 2016!

Overall, I had a pretty wonderful 2016. I don't expect anything from 2017, I don't have any set goals but I do have some things I'd like to do/get done this year. I hope everyone reading has a lovely year. <3


The Always Anchors Office

7 October 2015

During the week I spend around 10 hours in my office each day. I've found that creating a fun, personalized environment really helps my productivity. If you're spending so much time in one space, shouldn't you try to make it a place that you'll love to spend time in? I think so! My office is a space that I believe represents my style relatively well. I love cute, brightly colored things just as much as I love vintage and antique pieces. In my office you'll find a lot of DIY projects, art prints, and vintage items. Welcome to a little tour of my home office!

* Apologies in advance that this post is a bit picture heavy!

This room used to be a little library. Unfortunately, it didn't get much use and my small business started getting too big for our living room. After coming to peace with the fact that the library would have to go, we started brainstorming ideas for a desk that would fit this small loft space. Luckily, I've been blessed with a very crafty mother who is able to make things that I wouldn't even believe were possible, like my custom L-shaped desk for example. We used some wood and an old IKEA bookshelf to create a desk that fit this tiny room perfectly and to my needs. I'm able to use storage bins underneath without them being seen from the front because we were able to close that part off (this is helpful because as soon as you come up the stairs, it's the first thing you see). I really wanted to keep one of the old IKEA bookshelves for extra storage, so we built around the shelf, which also gave support for the desk itself. After everything was nailed in and sturdy, we painted it a nice white, added a wallpaper to the back of the bookself, and I've been using it for a year now! 

Mannequin: Hobby Lobby, $50; Suitcase: vintage gift from a family member; Fabric storage bins: Target, $13 each; Wire organizer: Target, $20; Flowers/Vases: craft store flowers and spray painted sparkling water bottles. 

I think little details are key to bringing a room together. I tried to incorporate as many matching colors as I could for my office supplies, and what I couldn't find, I made or adjusted. The nesting boxes are by Nate Berkus from Target, around $13 for the set (I don't think they carry these anymore). The middle size box was all gold, which I wasn't too fond of, so I got some fabric that resembled the other two boxes and glued it on. I think it's a pretty close match! The gold-flecked mason jar is from Target, $2-$8, there are 3 different sizes. I use these to hold scissors, markers, and pens. The tape dispenser was just a basic black one that I painted with a thousand coats of a glittery gold paint, I love how it turned out! The little bunny girl is a business card from the amazing shop called The Midnight Rabbit, two of her art prints are displayed on my main wall. My favorite detail of them all is the little Hershel Funko POP! vinyl figurine supervising everything, I can't describe to you how much I loved his character in The Walking Dead *sobbing*. The gorgeous piece in the right photo is something I found at my favorite antique store, the Antique Marketplace in downtown Hammonton, NJ. The beautiful flowers are painted on velvet with acrylic paints. Unfortunately, the artist's name is worn off on the side of the painting but there's a business card taped to the back with the name "Virginia Hayes" from Vineland, NJ. A quick internet search hasn't allowed me to go any further than that. 

Top 2 prints and center print: Charmaine Olivia from Society6; $20-$60; "Be Brave" print: The Digital Studio, $11; Gemini girls & deer print: The Midnight Rabbit, $10 each; "The Earth Laughs in Flowers" print: Lily & Val, $19, Elephant and fox prints: Freeminds, $18.72 each. Faux taxidermy bunnies: Stitch of Whimsy, $75+ (follow her on IG @stitchofwhimsy for many more adorable creatures!); Glitter feathers: DIY project with parrot feathers (my grandparents used to raise them, no parrots were harmed for this project!), glue, and glitter. 

Fun fact: The center frame is an antique one that I found at an antique store, it still has its original tin photo of a (creepy) baby inside behind the Charmaine Olivia "Ava" print.

What are some of your favorite things in your workspace?