I found two big bunches of garden roses on sale at The Fresh Market for just $7/each. Wish this picture was scratch-n-sniff so you could smell its remarkable fresh and sweet scent.
Good news guys. I'm no longer in the Post-Adolescent Idealistic Phase, PAIP for short. Whaaaat up Clueless fanatics. You know, that time when your attitude and style was largely trend driven? You didn't hesitate to try drop-crotch pants (guilty) or the brightest cardigan to mimic dear Blair Eadie (guilty, again) while simultaneously trying to save the world. I know I'd still be in this phase if I seriously considered overalls. The difference nowadays is instead of spending time looking at everyone else's closet, I funnel that energy into my own. More often than not, I buy and get excited for essential pieces in different variations. For instance, a basic tee in every color not in the rainbow but found in the forest or someplace Earthy like that.
Since graduating from PAIP, it's been delightfully easy to get dressed daily and pack for trips. On my most recent travels, I'd basically pack the same items in a small carry-on: denim, basic tees, a skirt, some kind of jacket, sandals, and pumps. From there and like my grocery-buying strategy, I just mix-and-match for the appropriate weather. Sure, I can be a perpetual outfit repeater but one less closet dilemma makes for a happy traveler. No muss, no fuss.
Have you survived PAIP? Still navigating it? I'll share more fashion horror stories if you do!
In my previous career choices, I never hesitated to jump right in to streamline systems and to implement processes that make things work better. Whether it was education, IT, or operations there was a common sensical approach to solving problems. Working for yourself (or trying to!) is a different animal. One without a clear formula and with a different kind of stress. There are no set work hours so days bleed into one another. My biggest challenge has been trying to structure my days so I can be productive because every minute is valuable.
While the sunroom with its beautiful, historic French windows (pictured right) is easily one of the best features in my apartment, it's been sitting stale since last August after a failed attempt at making it an office. Instead of looking forward to working here, I use it as an excuse to go to coffee shops. Such a waste of money!
Somehow the stars aligned and the West Elm fairies sensed my desperation for a functional and inspiring workspace. In addition to the craziness of opening their first store in New Orleans, they decided to sprinkle some love my way by helping me tap into my home office's potential.
When it comes to home decorating, I am two things: minimal and a scaredy cat. Take a look at the before picture. The large 40" x 60" canvas on the bottom right has been sitting blank for two years because I'm afraid to commit!
Fortunately, the best thing about West Elm is how easily their products integrate into anyone's home without sacrificing personal style. With their help, we added dimension to my space by layering objects in a way that doesn't clutter the room. They also taught me how a few great investment pieces like the desk and chair can go a long way. It's incredibly satisfying to see a room come to life simply by following through. Guess you have to live that concept in every possible way!
I couldn't be more in love with the results and thrilled that I get to work in this space every day. A million thank yous to the wonderful West Elm team for making my office dreams come true and helping make the process of building the dream so, so much more inspiring!
West Elm Metal Truss Work Table
West Elm Vines Wool Rug
West Elm Oversized Adjustable Rod
West Elm Mobile Small Pendant
West Elm Grommet Curtains
West Elm Gilded Fern Art
IKEA Kallax Shelving Unit
IKEA Ranarp Table Lamp
West Elm Hive Vase
A Pair & A Spare Printable Calendar
Sherwinn Williams' Extra White Paint in Matte
Unless you've been living under a rock in New Orleans, I'm sure you've heard news of the West Elm store opening on Magazine Street. Having a physical store here adds so much to our growing retail landscape and not to mention we can now get first dibs on the always promising sale section! I personally couldn't be more excited to welcome them to The Big Easy and to partner with them to bring you the latest on their launch! It's going to be HUGE.
Up first -- we are giving one lucky Upperlyne reader (and a plus one) an exclusive invite to the grand opening party on Wednesday, July 23rd from 6-8:00 PM AND a $50 West Elm gift card! There will be yummy bites, music, good people, and a special guest appearance that I'm going to keep tight-lipped for now. To enter, simply fill out the form below. Additional entries for leaving a comment here, sharing your entry on Twitter, and/or re-gramming my Instagram post and tagging me @juleytl and #westelmnola. The winner will be announced here on Monday, July 21st. Hop to it!