Category Archives: Lifestyle

Master Bedroom Reveal

October 16, 2016

master-bedroom-final-3Wow guys, it’s been a while. I’ve been meaning to post the after photos of our bedroom, but with my training for the Leadville 100 taking precedence, the blog had been put on the back burner way longer than I imagined. Now that my training is over for the year, it’s time for more blogging! If you remember this post about my inspiration and our before photos of our bedroom, I talked about how I had envisioned a very minimal bedroom for us… well it has been done for many months and I’m excited to finally share the after photos with ya’ll. master-bedroom-1master-bedroom-final-reno I love how the acacia floors we put in are almost the exact match to the rest of the living room floors that were installed by the prior owners. I now feel like the main living space has a more cohesive look with the same flooring throughout and not chopped up by the dirty carpet. We finally bit the bullet and purchased a real bed frame after we moved in last year. Such an adult purchase, but one I hope will last years! I repurposed our old side tables and painted them black to match our other accents like our amazing ceiling fan and sconcesmaster-bedroom-final-5master-bedroom_4 We had kept some left over wood from when Zach had built our dining room table and I felt like our bedroom needed that touch of rusticness to it, so I put together this simple DIY table that helps bring together our small mountain gallery wall. master-bedroom-final-6With the bed centered under the window, I always felt like the space on either side was super awkward when it was left bare, so I found these beautiful lanterns and bought some brass chain from Ace Hardware to hang them from the ceiling. One has a huge air plant in it from Ironwood, and the other has a white candle in it. Since the lanterns were a little pricey and I wanted to depart from my need to have symmetry in every room, I ended up doing another DIY inspired from this post on the right side of the bed. So easy and cheap! master-bedroom-final-7Of all the design elements in this room, I had the hardest time picking out a rug, which shouldn’t surprise me by now since almost every room that I’ve decorated in this house or in our Michigan home, finding the “right” rug always stumps me. I wanted to bring in more color, but didn’t want it overly loud, so I decided to go more the “traditional” route with this navy rug that coordinated with our our navy linen duvetmaster-bedroom_6Overall, the design is relatively simple and clean, which creates a very stress free atmosphere. What do you guys think? This was one of the first rooms we had officially finished this year, so I’m stoked to share how the rest of our house is progressing as we’ve come a long way since February!

Master Bedroom (Inspiration + Before)

February 11, 2016

Master Bedroom Inpiration

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Despite all the hard, long hours that go into renovating a home, I truly love the process. From seeing the hidden potential, culling Pinterest for inspiration, to getting your hands dirty and body aching from a weekend of putting in new floors… I delight in seeing our hard work come to life. I’ve always viewed the bedroom as a place that would put me at ease at night, that didn’t contain the distractions the kitchen or living room might. A place that was beautiful, yet very simple and clean. The above images were my source for that look I wanted – an organic modern bedroom. The previous owners took great care of the house, but had filled it with too much “stuff.” I knew the bedroom would feel bigger and updated once we had less furniture and a fresh coat of white paint on the walls.

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom 2

Our bedroom has good bones, but until you start diving into the projects, you never know what you get into. Within the first month, we ripped out the carpet, lament, old lighting, and started taking down some panelling. The goal was to put in acacia hardwood flooring so all the bedrooms would match the living room and hallways, while removing any panelling and poorly spackled walls. During this reno, we ran into a bit of a problem with the panelling on the south wall, which caused us to have to re-drywall the entire section… it wasn’t pretty under the panelling, but glad we were able to fix it, instead of just “living with it.” Below are just a few images of the bedroom “in progress.”

Master Bedroom Progress

Once the drywall was up, walls painted (in my favorite Super White by Benjamin Moore), floors put in, and trim installed, we slowly started to figure out what the heck we were going to do with our awkward closets. Looking at closet systems, I just couldn’t justify the price and hassle to install them. After seeing several cool IKEA hacks for the Tarva dressers, we opted to go this route since we want to eventually put in french doors to hid our messy wardrobes.

Master Bedroom Progress 2

With the Tarva dressers to work on, doors to install, and just a few more minor decorations to add, it’s almost complete. Stay tune for the after photos of the bedroom and more house progress posts soon!

Our New Colorado Home

November 8, 2015

Colorado HomeThe journey towards “finding home” translates very differently for all folks. For me, I’ve come to the terms that home is sacred; I have to have a place of my own that equates stability, quietude, and overall relaxation. As we have slowly settled into our new place (only to rip it all up again a week later) I couldn’t help thinking that after three years in our last home in Michigan, I had never felt as comfortable as I did that first week in our Colorado home. Maybe it had something to do with the size (this new place is about half the square footage and much cozier), that the projects will not take us three years to accomplish, or the fact that I don’t have to try to bend this house to match my taste… looking past all that, I really think it’s about a new perspective. We are putting down these roots that we hope will last a long time, that this place will be here for us as basecamp while we spend time outside of it going on grand adventures.

Below are photos of our new place prior to closing with the previous owner’s belongings. It’s already been well over month, but it’s already been transformed quite a bit. Can’t wait to share more soon!IS5uauju4oyax10000000000ISpp85utt8ok830000000000IShv76cpsps0s20000000000IS9p5utiohk3s20000000000IS1zz50yjjtox10000000000IShb4u0bsz9jx10000000000ISp1aiuvwx0yr20000000000ISph66jhw7igx10000000000IS9d4htgls7q830000000000IShj6tbnp0gn830000000000ISlmvhzkb3dux10000000000IS1725bahkzs830000000000ISt00ts3dcrv830000000000ISdov4sq4wa1930000000000 ISluxgax84jy830000000000ISdgt5he7v4xx10000000000 ISxbrgrdwfu6930000000000

*Photos by Cherry Creek Properties LLC

DIY Body Scrub // Making Time For Yourself

July 5, 2015

DIY Body ScrubProbably one of the top things that a lady in her late twenties never wants to think about or even consider having is a heart problem. For someone who is extremely active, eats a mostly plant based diet, and takes exceptional pride in my health in general, having to see a cardiologist was something that I thought I’d never have to do. About a month ago I started experiencing pretty intense heart palpitations. I’d try to go to sleep or be working and I’d feel a fluttery feeling slowly start to come on, followed by a heavy irregular heart beat. It freaked me out. After this continued for about two weeks, I realized it wasn’t just going to go away and needed to see a doctor stat. On my mother’s side mitral valve prolapse and Wolf-Parkinson-White conditions are prevalent, so I was extremely nervous that I was just now experiencing some symptoms of these, but in the back of my mind I kept telling myself, “Kate, you are way to freaking stressed, it has to be just that.” So after many vials of blood drawn, having an EKG & echocardiogram performed, and wearing a heart monitor for a few days, the doctors ruled out any problems associated with my blood tests and my heart… leaving, as I had guessed, a major stress and anxiety problem. IMG_9776 I was floored to realize how much stress & anxiety had taken a toll physically on my body, that it had literally created irregular heart beats which had in turn stressed me out even more! Over the course of that week I thought about myself more, trying to figure out when and why I had become this stressed. I had seen fragments of stress/anxiety that usually resulted from my perfectionism earlier in my life, but nothing ever this severe. It didn’t take long for me to basically boil it down to coming out to Colorado, a place where we had dreams of “slowing down” and enjoying the mountains. For as much as we have taken advantage of those mountains, it all has seem to come at a compromise to what I had envisioned our life being like out here. IMG_9786I don’t want to say I’m thankful I’ve had these heart palpitations, because I’m not, but I am grateful for the lessons it so quickly shared with me. When compromising my life, my goals, and my dreams creates added stress – enough is enough. I’ve decided it’s time to reclaim my life. It’s time for me to be a little selfish, to put my foot down, and to say “NO.” It’s time for a lesson on self love and making time for myself. IMG_9787I’ve spent time thinking about what I need to de-stress and manage my anxiety, most of which means taking more “me time” seriously. Below is stress management tips and how I like to practice some self love.

1. Quiet Time: As an introvert, having that space or quiet time to myself is extremely important and it’s something I have neglected immensely. For me, it’s decompressing after work for a solo run, cooking by myself, reading before bed, crafting, or just walking our dog.

2. Spoil Yourself: Retail therapy is really a thing people. For me, I love window shopping, not necessarily spending lots of money. It seems to provide sources of inspiration, relaxation, and just a way to zone out for me. Treating yourself to a spa day (either professionally or just at home) is a easy way to refocus on yourself. The above DIY scrub is one of my many handmade body products I love using.

3. Meditate: Whether it’s thru yoga, praying, or breathing techniques, I always feel mentally rejuvenated after a mindful meditation session. My co-worker recently recommended the Headspace app, which walks you thru how to mediate anywhere, anytime.

4. Quality Sleep: I’m a huge proponent of sleep – quality sleep, and lots of it! I know without a doubt my career, health, and running would suffer immensely if I didn’t get at least 8 hours of sleep each night. Whenever I’ve been sick, stressed, or just overworked, getting a few 10 hour nights of sleep on the weekends does wonders for my body and soul.

5. Less Stimulus: This is probably the hardest for me, but I’m actively trying to step away from my computer and phone – to leave work at work, to stop wasting time browsing the internet, and not giving two shits about social media. Work is probably the most arduous, but if it comes between a promotion and my physical well being, the body is always going to come first.     IMG_9790I think half of the battle is knowing and understanding that I’ll always tend to be an anxious person, and that I don’t handle stress the same way others do. This is the game of life, trying to figure out yourself and how to make it all “work.”  So how do you handle stress? I’d love to hear other ways I can practice self love and stress management. IMG_9795 DIY Body Scrub

Ingredients

½ cup coconut oil
– ½ cup turbinado sugar
-Zest of half an orange & half a lemon
-Touch of juice from zested orange
– 4 drops of eucalyptus essential oil

Directions

Whip coconut oil and sugar together in a mixer, until light a fluffy. Stir in zest and add essential oil. Keep in fridge to prevent from melting.

How to Dare Greatly // Moving to Colorado

July 30, 2014

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while DARING GREATLY. // Theodore Roosevelt

In some capacity in our lives, we all strive to dare greatly. To push past all odds, to defy those challenges that others said couldn’t be done, and to be willing to take chances you might not feel comfortable taking. As an overachiever and perfectionist, my constant internal battle goes something like this, “DO MORE. BE MORE. MORE. MORE. MORE!” But, is that really daring greatly? Is attempting to pile more on your plate and perfecting your life really what Theodore Roosevelt was talking about? No. Somewhere in the past two years I realized that my perfectionism had to stop. That in order to drive myself forward I’d need to make some changes. I’d have to become more vulnerable. I’d have to take some major leaps.

Problem is, I’ve never been a risk taker.

Yes, I’m adventurous. Yes, I’m willing to try new things. Fearless risk taker? No, that is not words I’d describe me. If the journey is within my comfort zone I’m all for it. The minute that uncertainty comes creeping in… I’m out. I struggled for years trying to figure out how to get past this. How does one change deep feelings of anxiety? How do you move forward into the unknown? For me, my husband was that bridge. When it came time to be daring, he basically pushed me over the edge. With time, my perception of the ambiguous faded; they became grand adventures.

So we decided the next adventure would be to migrate out west, to Colorado. Packing up my car with the final remnants of my life in Michigan, it dawned on me how calm I felt. I was moving clear across the country to a place where I knew no one! I didn’t have a job and had no clue what my life would look like once I arrived; so why didn’t this scare the shit out of me? It felt freeing and confusing at the same time. What had changed in me? Where was anxious Kate?

Several weeks into the move I started reading Brené Brown’s novel, Daring Greatly, when her words hit me full force. “I define vulnerability as uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure.” This was why I had felt that calm; I had pulled out the vulnerability card and was letting myself be exposed to a world that I had never known. Her words confirmed my perfectionist traits had hindered this process for most of my life. In a world of imperfect people and objects, I will never succeed if I try to make those things around me perfect. It’s not gonna happen. So I remind myself, “Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together.” 

Do I still struggle with trying to create a spotless world around me? Oh yes, and I probably always will. But in order to succeed, to pursue my dreams, and create a happy life, I will have to continue to relinquish that control, unearth my vulnerability, and know that “Hey, it’s okay if it’s not perfect. Move forward.”

Sometimes, a fresh start is all anyone needs. So onward, to daring greatly in Colorado.

Hello ColoradoHello Colorado_1Hello Colorado_2

Kitchen Renovation & Changes

May 23, 2014

Wow you guys. It’s been a while. 
If you haven’t noticed on all my social media feeds, big changes have and will continue to be occurring. About a month ago my husband started a new job… in Denver, Colorado! It’s a long story, but to be short and frank – we wanted a challenge, more opportunities, and place that suited our lifestyles better. So of course this big move meant that we had to sell the house, which we did in less than a day. We spent right up to the showings kicking ass on refinishing the upstairs bathroom and other small pieces to the kitchen. I’m so happy with how the kitchen turned out, I just had to share. Here is a peak back to the beginning of our renovation… we came a long way!!
Since my life has taken this amazing, yet abrupt turn, I’m not really sure where I see this blog going. This blog has been a diary of my life in Michigan and I don’t see it continuing out in Denver. It’s hard to fathom not blogging ever again as I love this outlet, so I’m going to assume I’ll start over on a new blog after I have a handle on my new life in Colorado. Who knows. Right now I’m just trying to enjoy the time left in Michigan. Then onto the next endless pursuit. 

2014 // Let’s Discover

January 6, 2014

One of the biggest reasons I love taking a vacation during the holidays is because it is ALWAYS needed during this season. We all are guilty of it, running ourselves ragged in preparation for the end of the year, so when my parents suggested we take a week off after Christmas to head somewhere warm, Zach and I were all in. We decided that for this trip we weren’t going to pack it full, like all of our other vacations, but spend it solely relaxing on the beach, reading, eating and spending time with our family. And that is exactly what we did. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it, but it seriously took me a couple days to unwind and not feel anxious. Relaxing is really hard for me, but I knew I needed this more than ever. When the cares melted away, I felt like I could just let my mind wander, to think more deeply about my goals, priorities, and where I wanted 2014 to go. This past year has been pretty challenging for Zach and I, but it has set us up for a new year, a year to discover.

So let’s discover ourselves more. Discover what we really want from this crazy life; where our priorities truly lay. Let’s discover our strengths, our weaknesses, and push ourselves beyond those. Let’s discover new realms, new people, and new cultures. Discover unseen talents and buried hobbies. To just discover more.
Continuing with the same theme from 2013, my goal of traveling at least once a month is one of my top priorities. Right up there are: training for my second 50 miler, learning another language, refining key cooking skills, journaling more, less time on social media, minimizing the material objects in my life, and continue practicing eating plant based foods.
I’m fired up about 2014!  I’m slowly figuring out how to live a balanced life while still exploring those endless pursuits, and it damn it feels good. I’ve always considered myself extremely organized, but I’m not always the best of planners. So I’m testing out the app Lift to help remind me each day about my goals. I’m also pretty obsessed with using the Duolingo app as one of the ways to new a learn language. Journaling has also helped me keep track of my thoughts and focus on the direction I want my life to go. What have you found are the best tools to help you reach a goal?
Cheers to 2014! Let’s go discover!

House Update // Living Room

December 12, 2013

Since Zach and I are still in the midst of our kitchen renovation, I thought I’d share photos of our living room! We’ve had this room finished for about a year, but we took our time filling it with decorations and furniture. At the beginning of our house ownership, I was really into the vintage and shabby chic style, but slowly began to take a liking to all things “mid century modern.” Hence the reason for so many pieces stylized like that in our living room. My style seems to constantly change and even though I adore this space, I’m already itching to make it more modern with some natural pieces thrown in for added warmth.  
The cool thing about this space is that a majority of the decor was either gifted, thrifted, made, or repurposed. I painted both pieces of art and repurposed two of the tables, which saved us so much money. Even though the couch isn’t my favorite color, it’s definitely comfy and was only $100! Eventually we’ll end up splurging on a couch that will last years and have a classic look, but for now, this baby works. Probably my favorite piece is the compass my dad gave Zach and I for our wedding. It’s a daily reminder of that wonderful day. 
I’ve always loved to organize and keep my living space clean and simple. We try not to bring in a lot of clutter and only buy pieces that have a purpose or will stick around for a while. This year, we’ve made a point to start getting rid of more “stuff” as we realized life is so much better with less. This word is thrown around so much that I hate to use it, but frankly we have really grown to like the idea of “minimalism” and not letting our things control our time. It’s helped us keep a cleaner house, be more environmentally friendly, more productive, spend more money on higher quality items, and just be happier. As you can see from our space, there isn’t much in it, but we like it better that way. 🙂

House Update // Porch

October 25, 2013

Remember that time when working on our house consumed our lives and was a glaring priority for all to see? Well it’s that time of year when race training settles down and we reassess the needs of this old American Foursquare again. There are plenty of items to tackle, but I thought I’d share the last renovation we did, our front porch! Seriously a year in the making, this sucker has turned out to be one of my favorite places in our house. Not sure how much use we’ll get out of it this winter, but nevertheless it makes me smile everytime I open our front door. 

So what are our goals for this winter? It’s a lofty list, but totally manageable with lots of free weekends ahead. I’m hoping ya’ll keep us accountable. 🙂 

Upstairs
Sand, replaster, & paint the rest of bedrooms (three to go!)
Kitchen
Remove bead-board (and wallpaper behind it) from kitchen walls – DONE
Sand down existing kitchen cabinets and paint white
Sand, plaster, and paint ceiling and walls white
Install opening shelving on either side of kitchen window
Remove countertops and install butcher block
Install a backsplash up to first shelf
Install appliances/lighting that need to be updated
Refinish kitchen and bathroom floors
Have you renovated a kitchen before? 
We are looking to do this on a small budget – under $2000 is the goal! 

DIY // Hanging Plant Holder

June 10, 2013

Back in September I decided to tackle our front porch. Little would I know that it would take me almost a YEAR to have it complete. Along the way I had some serious motivation issues, found out bead board is absolutely the worst/hardest thing to paint, and waited patiently for the weather to warm to finally paint the concrete. So naturally once this massive project neared completion, I went all plant crazy. 
I had been staring at the little hook on the porch ceiling for hours when I painted the dang thing; dreaming about the pretty plant I would hang from it. I frankly think most hanging plant holders are downright fugly… so to remedy that, I made my own. It’s super easy; not to mention cheap! Just the way my hubby likes it. 

1. Cut four equal lengths of 96 inches cotton rope (depending on the size of your planter, you might need to add length or just cut off the excess at the end) I used cotton rope from Hobby Lobby.
2. String the rope through a metal ring and make sure it is located in the center.
3. Tie a knot and make sure it is really tight (double knot if needed). You will now have eight pieces that are 48 inches long.
4. Measure 16 inches down from the ring and tie two pieces of rope together. Make sure these pieces are laying right next to each other. Repeat until you have four knots.
5. Measure 8 inches down from one of the knots taking one piece of string and connecting it to a another piece of string in the knot that lays next to it. You will eventually form a circle of knots after all eight pieces of string are knotted.
6. Measure another 8 inches down and gather all of the pieces together and form a knot.
7. Place the pot in the middle of the holder with the knot in the center of the plant pot base.

Have you ever made your own hanging plant holder? Suggestions on the best plants to put in one? I’m anxious to make another holder for our butler’s pantry soon!