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  It's hard to ever really declare something as "done." Usually things come to a point where you've "done enough" or where anything else you do is really just nitpicking or when you're just so over it you can't do any more. It was like that when I launched my new site last year. It came to the point where I'd "done enough" to go live, even if the site was far from ready. I just couldn't put it off any longer. Yes, even still, I have a laundry list of things I need to fix and, yes, I still have...

I have a buy-once philosophy: I don't like spending my money on things that I know will only be temporary, that I know I'll want to replace eventually or upgrade. Sure, things wear out, things break, things go terribly out of style, not much lasts forever. Things, sometimes, have to be replaced. But the key phrase there is "have to." There's a difference between replacing something because it no longer functions and replacing something because it wasn't what you really wanted in the first place. Replacing a placeholder. I try only to buy things with the intent that I'll have...

It was my first time in Europe. My first time out of the country. I'd tagged along on my friends' three-week backpacking trip - eight cities in six countries- a pace that now has my quivering. Paris was our last stop. And, like many American girls who had never traveled before, Paris was my dream. The Eiffel Tower was my dream. Seeing the Eiffel Tower, the symbol of romance and beauty and all things European, up close and in person, was my dream....

I spend way too much time in my bedroom. But there's really nothing more comforting than crawling onto a queen-sized pillow-top mattress, covering yourself in a thick comforter, propping up a million pillows and reading a good book...

East Meets West (Elm) — my teal, aqua, and gold mid-century modern meets global-inspired living room.   Over the holidays I had seven extra days off from work, everything from Christmas Eve through New Years. Combined with the weekends, that was eleven days off in a row. Eleven days where I didn't have to think about work. I thought about maybe traveling somewhere over the break, but I couldn't afford a trip and have had so many things I've wanted to work on that I decided to stay home and use the time off to catch up on my life. In preparation I...

When I was young, maybe eleven or twelve years old, I got a cactus. I named my cactus Mr. Bean and put it near the window of my bedroom. And it sat there, for a while, until it eventually died because I never remembered to water it. Let's back up here: I killed a cactus because I didn't water it enough. I killed a cactus, the one plant in the world notorious for not needing all that much water to survive, because I didn't water it enough. That's about how green my thumb is. In the years since, I've killed many plants. All of...

Not much has changed in my living room since I last checked in five months ago. I guess I added the fig tree (I have a FIG TREE!) and the side table-turned plant stand. And I added the ugly-but-ever-so-necessary air conditioner. But really, not much else. The room needs a rug to tie it all together (but, quite seriously, I'm waiting until I can afford to go to Morocco and buy a rug from there...

I live in Chicago. I think that's official. I've been here for seven months. I have a job. I have an apartment. I have furniture in said apartment. I think that means I really, truly, live here. It's something I'm totally fine with until those times I'm not. Until those times where I realize I could be on a beach instead. Or somewhere warmer or colder than Chicago depending on the day. Or with my friends at a conference in Spain. Or, literally, anywhere else in the world. But then I remember that even when I was traveling I spent half my...

If you've watched as many home decorating/real estate/DIY shows as I have you've surely come across an episode where a homeowner encounters a pink bathroom. And you can probably guess what's coming next. The homeowner opens the door, eyes widen, eyebrows raise, and the side of the lip stretches back. "No," accompanied by a throaty laugh is usually the first words out of his or her mouth. And then the realtor or contractor assures them it can be painted, it can be renovated, it can be masked. So you can also, probably, imagine my reaction when I was looking for an apartment,...