Month : June 2013

san francisco pride: the window displays

I just returned from a fantastic first trip to the city of San Francisco. The purpose was to attend a graphic design conference, which always puts me in a heightened state of awareness to the graphics around me, but during this visit in particular, to this city, during THIS historical week, there was no denying the images of pride bursting at every seam of this city.

I have more to share about my trip, but wanted to post these various store windows around the Union Square area. It’s amazing to see so many national retailers step up and give prime sales space to such an important issue. I only managed to snap photos of a handful, but these colorful window displays were EVERYWHERE. I couldn’t help but feel as I walked around that history is happening right now. These days will be the subject of the history books our children and children’s children read years from now. I’m so happy I could capture a tiny bit of it in some photos.



This one stopped me in my tracks. The artwork drew me to this side of the street, but it was the words that really sucked me in. Well done, Levi’s.

Levis 2


Some were a bit more subtle, like this simple hashtag decal on Lululemon’s storefront window.



This San Francisco based bakery, Câko, specifically iced dozens of real cupcakes in the colors of the rainbow. (And hell yes this one is taken from inside…I was in line ordering!) 🙂


Crate & Barrel’s windows were right in the middle of a construction zone, so it was tricky to stop and snap, but I was equally moved by their spin-off store, CB2’s display around the corner.



There were so many more, and in such a bustling area, it was difficult to stop and get them all. But I did manage to get a quick shot of one of my faves at Macy’s, keeping it simple and to the point:


The icing on the cake was leaving the city yesterday. Upon the news breaking, pockets of people throughout the airport burst into cheers and clapping. A friend put it beautifully: “Humanity just got a little more humane.”

Happy Thursday.

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peonies | life in yellow

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bringing spring (now summer) to the living room

It’s been a while since I talked about our living room, which I last shared, looking like this:


I haven’t really blogged about this space since my initial post, pre-bookcases…when storage/display space was scarce and I didn’t yet have anything on the walls. The room felt (and looks in photos) so much smaller pre-bookcases.

Page built the bookcases in time for me to decorate this room for its second Christmas. I loved adding lots of bright red accents in here…

xmas | red and green

…but after the holidays when I went *crazy* with the red, I was ready to see something new and different. And fresh for the changing seasons.

I love the green we already have in here (and with tables and lamps in the color, we are a bit committed to it, for now), and it plays well off the accents of yellow in our kitchen (bar stools, the mixer, and the rugs). I wanted to find some colors that would work well bringing the two together – an aqua blue/green, a jade green, or even some teals. So of course, I went back to trusty color source Pantone, and upon looking at the Spring “hot colors”, I instantly saw the palette I wanted:


living room update | life in yellow

Ahhhh. So fresh and airy.



Between tax season and paying for a knee surgery this spring, I knew any “freshening” in this room had to be on a budget. So challenging myself to keep it under $100 for the face-lift, I picked up a sample can of paint for the canvases, a can of spray paint to re-gloss the bookends…


…ordered the camera pillow cover on Etsy for a pillow form I already had on hand, some half-off Hobby Lobby supplies to make the topiaries…


…and a $5 vase at TJ Maxx.





I also ordered the black/white cabana stripe fabric from Etsy, and used it to wrap a canvas and my recipe binder, for some bolder black/white pieces in the bookcases.



Other details like frames, pillows, etc we already owned and were recycled from other spots in the house.


Finally, a small order on Mpix and I had some fresh, more recent, photos to fill a couple frames in this room, as well as update our photo wall in the entry. (And as a final nod to my Pantone obsession, I framed a paint chip of what else but the Color of the Year!) It’s so nice to change things (even little things) up once in a while!


Love how fresh and new this space is feeling for the changing seasons!


working on my green thumb

azaleas | life in yellow

I’ve always had a rather black thumb. It comes from a lack of patience/attention to detail, and sheer forgetfulness. (What? Plants need water on a REGULAR basis?!)

potted annuals | life in yellow

But I’ve thrown myself into it a bit more this year. I spent some time asking some pros and reading up on kinds of shade and invested in some legit gardening supplies. I even know the difference between annuals and perennials thankyouverymuch. The crazy thing is rather than initially viewing it as another chore or something to look after, I’m actually enjoying it as a new hobby.

More than anything, I write this post to document that A – you CAN learn what you’re doing, even if plant world seems foreign, and also B – that second photo is of the flowers I potted two months ago – and are still alive and kickin! Proof!

flowers | life in yellow

I’m already thinking ahead to garden goals for next year. I would love to pot some herbs on the deck next year (mmm, fresh herbs for cooking!) and would also like to plant some peonies. The above pink pretties came from a neighbor friend. How awesome to have fresh ones around the house all summer next year?

What is everyone else planting this year??

decked out

While summer seems to be taking its sweet time getting here (grrr!), I’m doing everything I can to nudge it along, planting some flowers out front, and around back, we’ve been sprucing up the deck.


We started by sealing it this spring with a clear Thompson’s water sealer. You would think we’d have done this our first summer in the house, but like a lot of things with new construction, you can’t do much the first year in terms of maintenance. In this instance, the deck can’t be sealed until the fresh wood is completely dried out, which takes at least a year. We tested it by drilling into the underside in an inconspicuous spot, per the suggestion of our home warranty guy. Good to go, and just in time, as it has been a VERY wet start to the season.


With the sealing done, I strung some lights around the railing. Loooove me some white lights year-round.


I’ve never liked the standard light fixture that was installed back here. It was your standard coach light design, not bad, but the size in particular was what bugged me. It seemed too small and rinky-dink. So Page installed something a bit larger and with more coolness factor. Love it.

decked out | life in yellow

A couple new Target finds brought a little color back here. We added the door mat…


…and I’ve long wanted a beverage tub and stand for keeping cold drinks on hand during get-togethers. I love that the Target tubs have a built-in bottle opener on one end. I was on a role with my color scheme (inspired by the citronella lamp my mother-in-law gave us last year that we love!) so I grabbed a coordinating dish towel to have on hand when the beverages are a-flowin’.


Gotta run. There’s a hottie on my deck who’s offering to pour me a glass of wine!

three decades of three generations.


My mom, grandma, and I started the tradition of a three generation photo around the time I was ten or eleven. We decided to update the picture again when I was in college (again, we can’t remember if I was 20 or 21) and it was so fun to see the comparison (and all-around improved hair styles!). As much as we love these more studio styled photos, this time (I’m now 29) we wanted a more “real life” take on them, so of course I called my talented friend, Megan, (who will be closing up her business this summer to take on a new adventure in a new city). I’m so proud of her but selfishly am bumming hard! It has been such a special experience to have family photos taken over the years by someone who knows you and “gets” you and your crazy family members. 🙂

It was a very special afternoon and the weather cooperated beautifully. We began by sharing a bottle of champagne (everyone is more comfortable in front of a camera that way, aren’t they?!) and we headed out with Megan around downtown Des Moines for lots of laughs and, thanks to Megan, beautiful and treasured photographs. From the outfits (and of course a good amount of bling) to G’s silly props (she brought fake flowers to reenact her wedding day shoot LOL) I can’t wait to share some of the shots in the coming weeks. Thanks, girls, (all three of you!) for such a fun and memorable afternoon…I’m so happy we’ll have photos to help us remember it!