Today was a big day. I may seem calm and collected in the above photo — and was probably super awkward in person — because on the inside I was FAH. REAK. ING. OUT. Today, I met John and Sherry Petersik of the best blog ever, Young House Love. If you know me in real life, or even just via the blog, you will know that I’m a J&S/YHL superfan. I stumbled on their blog back in 2008 and have been hooked ever since. And spoiler alert: they are just as energetic, positive and charming in person. And now I’m officially on the road to making them real-life friends. Oh wait, was that too stalkery? My bad. I’m normal, I swear! I just think we’d get along with a love of DIY, being thrifty and Empire Records. :)

And yes, John, I did find me a big a$$ coat during our YHL Thrift Shop (Should Totally Be Official) Challenge. More details on that later. Beware, this is a photo-heavy post.


Fur coats and flippy floppies — that’s how I roll, obvs.

The day began at 10 a.m. waiting in a line outside of the Palo Alto West Elm. I was joined by Abigail and Jillian, both of whom I’m pretty sure were led by me to the YHL awesomeness many moons ago. We were joined by other fans in the line, and it was funny how easy it was to spot people who were headed to the back of the line. I was among my people!




Never has waiting in line been more pleasant. There were several offers of sweet snacks on pretty West Elm lacquer trays. Have you ever seen more adorable mini milkshakes? Delicious! Also, who knew they made red cups in shot glass sizes?


At some point we saw John and Sherry enter the building and we waved and John waved back. Is it nerdy of me to say this was a thrilling encounter? Then, I guess I’m a nerd. Around this point we all commented that they look just like they do in their photos and videos. Oh-em-cheese we were going to meet them!


We meandered through the amazing displays, tempting me to bring home this, that and everything. The pillow below and the faux fur throw were really calling my name. I left my gift card at home, so someone is getting ready to do some online shopping!


We passed many a ceramic animal that we saw others picking up to sign, but we had a plan. You see, we went on the YHL Thrift Shop Challenge, based on the awesome song by Macklemore that I’m thisclose to memorizing completely. We found three cute ceramic mugs — only $2.50 each, plus 30% off — and we came up with an awesome plan: SIGNED FRIENDSHIP MUGS! So that we would always remember the day that we met our favorite bloggers.

So when we got up to the front of the line and told them about our thrifted challenge friendship mugs — they were totally stoked! Then we were instructed to hold them up in the photo, as Sherry said, “it’s like we’re on a morning show!” Oh man, Sherry, our morning show would be totally awesome. Let’s do it! :)


After taking the photo I realized it was time to leave and then I just stood there. Mumbling a thanks for coming to California and to have a safe trip home. So awkward, but I didn’t want to leave! Some sort of invisible shepherd’s crook pulled me away and to the guest book where I gushed and drew the world’s worst picture of a mug.

Meanwhile, Abigail photobombed. As the photo can attest — Sherry was permasmiling during the entire book signing. And that’s even after a long day and night of traveling that we saw on Instagram. She’s so genuine and truly made us feel like we were the guests of honor. Love them!


Even though our face-to-face encounters may be at an end, we are one in spirit in our love of rap and thrifting. So here we are adventuring into a thrift store with our $20 dolla bills y’all!


In addition to the aforementioned coat, we found a jumpsuit and an outfit that is all pink — possibly with some gator influences? Jillian was also wearing moccasins that she was in fact walking in, so checkity check on that, too!


Here we are with our purchases at my new favorite thrift store. What did we get, besides mugs? Unfortunately, the coat was $150. Just a smidge over Macklemore’s limit.


Not surprisingly I came home with something blingy — the candle holder below was $4. I also found these woven square chargers that were $7 each that would be perfect as wall decor.


With everything at 30% off, I spent $20.98. While I did go over, I didn’t care to haggle over money that goes to charity. Thrift stores that support charities are the places to splurge, right? I’m not sure if the chargers are 100% complete — I have this crazy idea to add metal silhouettes or letters to the front. I dunno, just a crazy thought.


I’ll finally close out this YHL Love Fest with a big whopping THANK YOU to John and Sherry for the countless inspirations and laughs, advice and tutorials from their site (and now NY Times bestselling book!) since I found them nearly five years ago. All the best to them. Love, your (hopefully not too gushy/stalkery/awkward) superfan!



Last year I made a calendar for some family and friends, based off the style I had seen on Young House Love back in the day. This year, to celebrate the New Year, I decided to share with you as well. Download the 2013 Calendar (save the PDF to your computer) and print on cardstock. I like to trim the sides to give it an interesting shape — about an inch on each side. The bottom has space for notes, too.

See below for thumbnails of what each month looks like. For all those August babies like me who would always get the short-end of the calendar image stick, it’s pretty much my favorite. I tried to make the colors representative of the months. Enjoy and Happy New Year!





Ring  |  Print  |  Nail Polish  |  Piggy Bank  |  Feather

In case you didn’t bring home a gold medal for all the sleep you lost being the best Olympics spectator ever, here are some consolation goodies that can tide you over until your next chance in Russia (brr) or Rio (party!). It was so much fun to watch the world’s best athletes compete and geek out along with me over the Spice Girls riding around like glamtastic hood ornaments during the closing ceremony. What was your favorite part of the 2012 Olympics?