Happy One Year Californ-ia!

cal-ia luv_first_birthday

Can you believe it, it’s been one year already! Congrats to a wonderful first year!

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Beach Bedding

Beach Bedding
I have a wonderful announcement to make! Kevin and I are finally beach home dwellers! We’ve been saving our pennies and waiting for the perfect home. January 1st, it happened. There it was, all perfect and darling—as if skies opened up and there was a sun beam cascading brightly upon it. We couldn’t be happier with a quaint little beach condo and I squeal and break into a happy dance every time I walk through the door.

With a new home comes many ups and downs. You have the packing. The re-organizing. The, “you can’t possibly call that a closet” type moments. But with the bad, comes the very much fun stuff. The drinking of wine on the new ocean view patio. The chucking of your boyfriend’s favorite t-shirts…or at least the ones he hasn’t hidden from you. The purchasing of mew decor because the old decor just no longer suits your new home, or at least you say it does not—that, my friends, is a wonderful move type moment.

Since Kevin and I have never really had “big-kid” type bedding, I convinced him it was time. He gave me full range as long as it, A) Was a duvet cover (he loves his comforter) B) It was pink and C) Nothing to frilly and ruffle. I can handle that!

So a researching I went, on the hunt for the perfect beach home bedding. I knew I was more than likely going to spend some coin, so I wanted it to be perfect. After weeks of looking at magazines, online and at stores, I decided a good beach bedding set must have the following (enjoy my inspirations!):
Whites
Nothing is fresher and cleaner than ocean air, nothing except a newly washed bright white bedspread. You want your ocean home to remain airy and bright, and nothing will help you accomplish this more than whites. Whether it be white linens, a duvet cover, or a quilt, make sure you incorporate bright whites into your mix.

cute white post bed
Ocean Hues
Along with whites, another thing I found in common with ocean bedding was the complimenting color. When you close your eyes and picture your favorite beach resort, you’re more than likely picturing sandy beaches, blue-green waters and creamy sea-shells. Rarely will you ever see deep burgundies, emeralds and blacks. Stick to blues, greens and grays, and maybe even a punch of coral!

better homes

Lofty-ness
When I say lofty-ness, I want you to picture sleeping on a cloud. Nothing makes you crave your bed more than a pillowy stuffed duvet or a two-foot thick down comforter. Just thinking of these makes me want to take a nap! Maybe sure, whatever you purchase, reminds you of a bed of cotton candy. A tip I learned from Pottery Barn, if you crave the lofty-ness you tend to see in home decor stores, use not one but two comforters in your duvet cover—that’s what they do to get that magical pillow look.

White Bedding

Texture
Another way to get the pillowy looks and break up the colors a bit (especially if you’re using many of the same hues together) is to add a bit of texture to your ensemble. Pintucks, pleats and chunky throws are an easy way to break up the monotony of your bedding and add a little extra sumtin.

Texture Bedding

Prints
Add a print. Add any print. Have fun looking for a unique print. Even if only one of your bedding items has a print, whether it be a throw pillow, sheet set or even a rug, jazz up your set with a print. Fun prints will keep your bedding set from looking like a bed-in-a-bag set that four-hundred other neighbors down your street have.  Be original.

Anthropologie Bedding

Fun Pillows
I believe that the pillows on your bed are the true representation of who you are. Pillows are like the eyes to the bed’s soul, so-to-speak. Too much? Even the most conservative bedding owner can have a fun pillow. It’s also your chance to get creative. So whether you are the bed-in-the-bag owner or just love the popular West-Elm pleat everyone seems to have, it doesn’t matter—you can still be different and create a whole new theme simply by your pillow.

Fun Pillows

The Result: My Beach Home Bedding:

Are there Beach bedding traits that I forgot to mention or think I should add, let me know! What are your bedding inspirations?

Happiest New Year!

Happy New Year!

2014 to date, will go down as the single best year of my life. I lived. I loved. I exceeded goals I never thought were possible.

Here are my top ten achievements for 2014.

  • Paid off my debt
  • Started my own business
  • Started my own blog
  • Received a Promotion
  • Lost 10 pounds

Aside from my student-loan debt (which I consider more of an unappreciated limb attached to my body rather than an actual loan) I have paid off all of my financial debt. This was the number one goal I set for myself last year. If you would have asked me a year ago if this was something I thought I would be able to achieve on my own, I would have laughed you out the door. Hard work and commitment is what made this goal a reality and I cannot tell you how proud of myself I am. It is a true accomplishment and it almost brings me to tears how happy it makes me. It truly is the best feeling in the world.

A few of you may already know, but I started my own Etsy business this fall. I love Etsy and since I have always been one for independent arts and fashion, I thought I’d take a try at it. What started out as a few pieces of jewelry and a scarf, soon turned out to be a real, working, breathing business (so much in fact that it, sadly, no longer constitutes as a hobby to the IRS…but that’s a whole other story!) I worked my tail off this holiday season fulfilling orders, and although I made a decent penny, the lessons I learned, good and bad, were invaluable. I am a better business woman because of this experience and I will undoubtedly use what I have learned in my everyday professional career.

Enter Californ-ia. I’ve always wanted to start a blog. Not to make money. Not to have a blog to have a blog. I love to write. I love to cook. I love to craft. I started a blog to give myself the added boost I needed to break away from everyday life and spend time committed to the things that I truly love doing. Stop and smell the roses so to speak…and then accidentally kill them by over-watering them and then post it for my friends and family to see. I’ll admit, it’s time consuming and I sometimes sit and stare at a blank computer screen hoping words just magically appear, but at the end of the day, I love Californ-ia. It’s my own and I am proud of it. It helps keep me on track towards being the person I set out to be!

2013 was a hard year to trump professionally as I was promoted to Director of our lead generation and marketing program and was named my company’s Employee of the Year. I am excited to announce that, this year, I have been promoted to Assistant Vice President and have also been invited to serve on our Presidential Board. I am humbled and I am honored and cannot wait to see where these endeavors take me 2015!

Last year, this time, I was a fatty. No, I am not one of those girls who screams, “I’m Fat,” (pouty lip/annoying voice) just begging for attention. I’m just saying that I was 15 pounds heavier than I had EVER been. And all you short girls out there, you know exactly what 15 extra pounds can do to a girl—Hello Beefcake! Kevin and I made a conscious effort to eat healthier and gym it up—and none of that sissy aerobic five pound hand weight crap either—REAL lifting. I’m happy to say that I am currently back to my college weight, and by God, I’m going to keep it that way!

So there you have it. My quick down and dirty run down of 2014. 2015 has some big shoes to fill, but I have a feeling I’m already on the right track. So if you have any tips for me, whether it be a new workout plan for 2015 or something you think is awesome on Etsy, please let me know! Having goals is one thing but my support system and encouragement from my friends and family is what made it possible to reach them.

Happy New Year, Everyone! Here’s to 2015!

The Bitch is Back

Elton JohnSaturday, my company was lucky enough to snag tickets to Elton John’s debut concert at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Like many greats before him (think Celine Deon, people) Elton, from this moment forward, will call Caesar’s his new performing home. Although never a huge Elton Fan, I think everyone can agree that this concert is a bucket-list type of concert. Twenty years from now, I’ll be able to tell my kids that I’ve seen Sir Elton John live…and they will roll their eyes and care less just as I cared less when my mom talked wide-eyed of Janis Joplin. Like me, my kids will learn and someday appreciate.

Granted, I don’t know all of Elton’s songs, and I’m not going to pretend as though I do, but luckily his set list was one that I, and even Kevin, could move along to:

  1. The Bitch Is Back 
  2. Bennie and the Jets 
  3. Rocket Man
  4. Levon 
  5. Tiny Dancer 
  6. Your Song 
  7. Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters 
  8. Better Off Dead 
  9. Indian Sunset 
  10. Blue Eyes 
  11. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road 
  12. I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues 
  13. Philadelphia Freedom 
  14. Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me 
  15. Hey Ahab 
  16. I’m Still Standing 
  17. Crocodile Rock 
  18. Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting 

And for the Encore (drum roll….) 19. Circle of Life. Kevin whispered to me about half-way through the song that he wasn’t sure if he recognized it to which I responded, “What?! You’ve never seen the Lion King?!” I bet you can guess what we did when we got home on Sunday…

I’ve never been in the Vega’s Colosseum before (Rome’s, yes) but I can easily say that this quickly became my favorite venue. The décor and architecture is gorgeous and it’s really quite intimate, not like the gigantic, crowded, a monster-truck-rally-was-featured-the-night-before, type of auditorium that I am used to. Elton couldn’t quite hit the high notes we were hoping for, but for 67, he could certainly still pull off sequins and Rocketman, and let’s face it, that’s what you’re really in it for.

Mom & Dad, Meet San Diego

Sailing TripNow that I’ve been in California now for a little over a year, it was time to invite the parents out. I think they’ve been eager to see what I’ve done with my life (since it has been a dramatic change from the old one) and I, well, have just missed having them around.

They arrived on Wednesday (my dad’s birthday) and we took it easy. I had cooked up a storm the night before (ribs, tri-tip, garlic mashed red skins, asparagus, scratch creamed-corn and my household famous cornbread) and enjoyed it with a few beers and cocktails before bringing out the candle lit red velvet cheesecake—compliments of Cheesecake Factory.

Thursday, they first full day, was booked to the nines with a lot of “firsts” for all of us. Mom and dad finally got a tour of my office (my first real big girl office) and experienced first-hand what the fuss has been about—my view. Ocean, skyscrapers, and my completely stocked snack drawer. Their daughter is a city girl.

The tour was followed by San Diego’s seaport Village (which I find completely adorable) lined with knick-knack shops and eateries. I had my eye on a mint colored Roxy flop hat and I think dad could tell I wasn’t keen on spending the money on it. He snatched it out of my hands, ran it over to the counter and before I knew it, said darling sun hat was all mine. I rocked that Roxy hat the rest of the day—and plan to follow suit all summer (just bought a new bikini at Nordstrom’s to match that little hat, but that’s another story…)

Back to Thursday… My dad’s side of the family has always been Navy so we made sure to see the USS Midway. This carrier is located seconds from my office but this was my first tour as well. I found it very interesting for one major reason—this ship sailed at the same time as my grandfather, Dan Schremser. It was nice to be able to visualize something that was such a big part of his life.

Following the Midway was my favorite part of the vacation—a surprise sailing adventure around the bay. I, like my parents, had never sailed before, and knew it was the perfect San Diego experience for them. We saw seals, dolphins, submarines, an ocean sunset and the bottom of a few too many bud light cans. Sailing was followed by a four course fondue dinner…and more drinks.

We continued the rest of the weekend with more exciting adventures. Mom and dad took a day to themselves and went up to Carlsbad to see the flower fields and an even better view of the ocean. Saturday, dad was finally able to see the John Wayne star, the Hollywood sign and Beverly Hills (and I was able to take a picture with Jennifer Aniston’s star!) We continued eating our way through Sunday with a champagne brunch (Kevin and I showed mom and dad how we do mimosas) and explored the San Diego zoo. Mom and dad surprised me with a stuffed Otter, to which I named Otto who has since taken Kevin’s place as the little spoon in our bed.

The night was topped off with a Kip Moore/Lady Antebellum concert—lovely outdoor venue, sprawled out on rented lawn chairs (Thanks, Kev!) drinking more beer and snuggled in blankets. All in all, a wonderful end to a perfect vacation.

The only part of our trip that wasn’t perfect was the absence of my little brother. We even agreed as a group we couldn’t visit Lego Land without him. BUT, I know there will be a next time—hopefully he’ll get to experience it with my parents next year when they come out!

Hello March!

March calendar

Spring is in the air and one of my favorite months is well underway. There is just something special about the month of March!  Not only is March my birthday month (the big 29 this year) but who doesn’t enjoy wearing party masks on Fat Tuesday, office bracket wars, welcoming the out-like-a-lamb type weather and drowning one’s liver in Guinness, celebrating the one heritage every American can agree on—thee St. Patrick’s Day.

Not only will this month be full of holiday celebrations, but we’ve managed to somehow jam pack it with other amazing activities as well. Our March, abridged:

  • Tool Concert (A very thoughtful Valentine’s Day gift from my love)
  • Our first Sailing attempt
  • USS Midway Museum
  • Hollywood (I’ve been in California for two years and have never actually been there)
  • The San Diego Zoo (again, it’s in my backyard and I’ve STILL never been there)
  • Las Vegas trip, courtesy of my company
  • Elton John Concert (SUPER excited about this one!)
  • Lady Antebellum Concert
  • Last but not least… My Birthday!

I am also very fortunate that my parents will be joining us, here in San Diego, to help experience many of these adventures. I cannot wait for them to get here and they cannot wait to start soaking up the 70 degree weather—I’m actually fairly confident that’s what they’re really coming out here to see. I’m sure it will be a “Hi, Bye, we’re going to the beach now,” kind of vacation for them. Oh, how the roles have changed…

Stay tuned for upcoming posts and photos, highlighting the sights, laughs and epic fails of our March adventures!

Iowa, Meet California.

CA + IA = Love

 I’m an Aries, and aside from that meaning that I am bull-headed and gorgeous (and perhaps a smidge arrogant) it also means that I am a procrastinator. So I bring to you (Hi mom!) my blog…a blog I meant to publish five or six years ago.

When I first considered writing a blog, I was, let’s say, youthful. You’ll soon learn that I am an avid cook, so I envisioned starting “twentysomethingkitchen,” a blog for us youngsters that actual know how to use a meat tenderizer and own coriander. Now that I am nearing 30, I didn’t feel that “twentysomethingkitchen” would give me nearly the longevity I’d been hoping for and “Thirtysomethingkitchen,” is, well,  not nearly as catchy. Truth be told, I really don’t want to be the thirty-year-old cougar creating jalapeño poppers for bikini clad bank tellers.

So this brings us to Californ-ia. (Welcome mom!) A blog dedicated to my Midwest up-bringing and my West coast horizons. I am looking forward to burning chicken, failing pinterest projects, wearing socks with sandals and making you look at all of the photos I’m going to post documenting my disasters.

So let’s get started! I hope you enjoy my adventures—I know I’m going to!