Do-It-Yourself – Small Bedroom, Chic Storage

We live in a really nice apartment however, the bedrooms are kind of small.  The master is so small, in fact, that we don’t have room for nightstands on either side of the bed.  It took a couple of months to figure out what I was going to do – I needed my cell phone (alarm) and my book within reach.  Just like so many other people, I turned to Pinterest to get inspired.

I decided that shelving was the way to go, and would have to be above the bed.  But, the ceiling is shorter there so I needed to create height, as to not crowd the space.  Below is what we came up with.



For height, we bought an inexpensive curtain rod ($20, Bed Bath and Beyond) and found sturdy gold curtains ($15, Home Goods) that matched our gray and gold motif.

For the shelves, I wanted art – something that still created that elongated effect, while being useful.  Below are the materials and how to make it:

  • For each frame, we needed  two 24-inch and two 12-inch pine pieces about 5 1/2 inches width ($6, Home Depot)
  • A white tint-based stain in slate ($19, Home Depot)
  • Sandpaper
  • Antique gold nail heads ($10, Joann Fabrics)
  • Wall decals ($10, Target)
  • 8 wood screws
  • Triangular hanging plates (small joint braces with holes for screws)
  • Drill with the tiniest bit
  • Hammer

Building the Frame

  1. Sand out all the rough edges of each piece
  2. Line up your pieces with the 12-inch pieces being on the inside of the 24-inch pieces
  3. Mark where you want the screws to go
  4. Drill tiny holes to the length of the screw (not all the way through), so that the pine will not split when screwing in the wood screws

Making the Frames “Art

Stain the wood to your desired color (will take at least over night for them to dry)



Mark out pending nail head placement with a pencil, measuring 1-inch apart for each nail head.

Push in/hammer in nail heads onto each mark


Hang the shelf by inserting wall mounts for at least one of the two holes on each side of the frame, and then screwing it in (we only used one hole on each side).



Apply the decals and you’re done!


Comic Con MTV Fan Fest Awards

There are so many cool things about San Diego (and call me the nerd that I am) but Comic Con makes it even cooler.  It’s the one weekend a parade of celebrities and die-hard comic/sci-fi fans come together in throngs, to celebrate nerd-dom to the “nth” degree.  Walking around downtown, for even an hour, was more entertaining than any Halloween party I’ve been to (and trust me, I’ve been to some crazy ones).  HOWEVER, a random stumble onto an MTV awards event was somehow, someway satisfying something on my bucket list.  Although not the Grammys or the Emmys (both of which are still on my list), it was still chalk-full of actors like Channing Tatum and Megan Fox, as well as musicians, such as G-Eazy and Linkin Park.  Below are some quick clips and photos from the show.  A HUGE thank you goes out to my friend who lives in the condo complex, overlooking that event.  If it weren’t for him and his rooftop, we would have never gotten to “experience” the three-ring circus it was.


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Free Fall Attraction/People Watching Before the Show


(To see more clips from G-Eazy, click here.)

Linkin Park


Singing Lullabys to Animals

Living in downtown San Diego has enormous benefits, such as being able to walk to Balboa Park.  This past Saturday, we decided to walk to the San Diego Zoo, thinking we’d get to see some great animals close up and in action.  Little did we know that their nap time is from 3pm-6pm and although not of human audible level, I could swear there was lullaby music playing throughout.

Check out our photos from the zoo, as well as the walk there – Balboa Park boasts some amazing rose and cactus gardens!

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24 Hours in L.A. – Trapeze Recital!

This past weekend, my husband and I went up to Los Angeles to see my sister and her boyfriend, perform in a trapeze recital on the Santa Monica Pier.  Since Antonio had never been to Los Angeles before, I took him on a little tour.

Admittedly, we never shy away from taking pictures.  As the saying goes, “You get out of it what you put into it.”

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Below are the videos from the The Trapeze School New York (TSNY) Los Angeles Trapeze Recital on the Santa Monica Pier.

Alexandra’s First Trick

Alexandra’s Second Trick

Ben’s First Trick

Ben’s Second Trick

Life. Love. Happiness.

Our first month and a half, living in San Diego has been all about adventure.  It’s so wonderful to live in such a beautiful place!

San Diego Bound: We Made It!

About a week and a half ago, we woke up in Las Cruces, NM VERY excited to be in the home stretch of our road trip.  Although it was another 10-hour day on the road, it was probably the most beautiful.  We went through desert, where we saw the impact of the drought (ever see a decaying cactus or ones destroyed by animals, looking for water?), abandoned homes, majestic mountains and plains, sand dunes that seem to pop out of no where, crumbled hills that look like they can fall apart with one strong wind and of course, miles of ocean.  We are so happy to be in our new home, although it still hasn’t quite hit us yet :-)

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San Diego Bound: Third Stop – Las Cruces, NM

Driving from Grapevine (Dallas), TX to Las Cruces, NM is a much more beautiful drive.  The terrain changes into so many different things, over the course of 10 hours.  You go from farmland, to hills, to buttes, to canyons, to mountains, to desert.  The clouds are so low that you feel like you can touch them.  The mountains are so old that you fear one strong wind will blow them down.  And, the closer your creep to Juarez, the more you see how so many people live – in complete and utter poverty.  We saw lizards and cacti, dust tornados, unusual inhabitants and lots of scenery that looked as if they jumped out of paintings.

But then, we got into Las Cruces, NM.  This little town has changed quite a bit, since the last time I was there, almost eight years ago.  We stayed at Hotel Encanto (which I highly recommend), which was a surprise when we walked in – so incredibly warm, inviting and charming with huge nods to the town’s Catholic roots.  Check out the pics below.

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What I really wanted to see was a place on the other side of town, called Mesilla.  I’ve been raving about this little town ever since I first saw it.  The Mesilla Plaza has been preserved, just as it was in the 1800s.  This is the town that Billy the Kid was tried and many mysterious deaths took place.  It’s a charming Spanish town with oddly, a huge French influence (check out the link below to learn more).

But, the most incredible part about this town is Double Eagle.  It was a private residence until 1976, complete with a haunted room and now serves as one of the best restaurants I’ve ever been to.  Much of the decor is original, including the vast amount of art work.  And, each room is completely different from the next (to read about each, click here).  Unfortunately, there was a private party in the hidden salon so no ghost hunting for us!  Check out our pics below.

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San Diego Bound: Second Stop – Dallas, TX!

Getting from Nashville to Dallas is not my favorite drive.  It was beautiful through Memphis, over the bridge on the Mississippi River and onto Arkansas and then… it stopped.  It made me understand what the “Kansas” was doing in this state’s name, mainly because they share the same physical characteristics – plenty of flat land and nothing around for hundreds of miles.  When you see a cow, it gets a bit exciting.  And then, you go under the overpass with that big huge star and the Texas state shape and you know that civilization has begun.  From there on, it was huge ranches with even bigger homes and plenty of modern-day conveniences, such as rest stops that were actually open.  After 12 long hours, we got to the Gaylord Texan, feeling rewarded for our efforts.

The Gaylord Texan is outstanding in its own right.  Although not as big as the Gaylord Opry, it’s distinct in its character, which gives it its own larger-than-life feel.  Modeled after some of the most iconic places in Texas, it was like taking a trip around the state without actually having to endure the miles of highway and the splatter of bugs.  Although a quick stop for us, it was totally worth it to come here.  (We even happened to come here during Artwalk Week!)  Check out the pics from our trip today, as well as the hotel.


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San Diego Bound: First Stop, Nashville, TN!

We began our trek across the country today with our first stop in Nashville, TN.  I now get why people love it here – everyone is friendly, up beat and certainly loves their country music (not to mention their southern cooking).  For me, this was a place on my “bucket list” – especially to take in a show at the Grand Ole Opry  - a place country music stars aspire to perform at.

We decided to stay at the Gaylord, which happens to be the largest non-casino hotel and conference center in the U.S.  It is the most charming hotel I’ve ever been in and certainly gives you plenty of things to do and see. Our stay included:

  • Taking a river boat ride through 4.5 acres of river IN the Gaylord
  • Grand Ole Opry show (the coolest thing about it – it broadcasts live on its own radio station (located in the Gaylord’s Magnolia wing) – you even see the announcer on stage, reading the sponsor ads).
  • Dinner at Jack Daniels’ saloon (I highly recommend the chili)
  • Wandering through the tropical forests and hidden waterfalls throughout the entire property

Check out our pictures below.

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A Date a Weekend: Hillwood House and Museum in DC

I am totally obsessed with social history and the story of Marjorie Merriweather Post has me fascinated (click here to read this book on her life).  What I hadn’t known was that her former estate in D.C., Hillwood House, was open to the public as a museum.  Naturally, it wasn’t much of a surprise, as she loved to entertain and show off many of her collections from around the world – particularly her obsession with Russian culture.

Unlike Dumbarton Oaks, the house and its grounds are 100% open to the public and what this house and the grounds contain is absolutely extraordinary.  In all my years of touring museums in the United States, I have never laid eyes on a more impeccable property that is so rich with history and detail, you almost wonder what it’s doing in the U.S. in the first place (some of the collections remind me of the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London, as well as Versailles).

I wish I could have captured every single thing about this house and the property, as every single room and its contents are so different from the next.  And while fascinating, the grounds captured my attention even more.  The only word to describe the landscape is “peaceful”.   If you have a free Saturday, I highly recommend taking a tour.

Below are my shots from my tour.  I’m steering away from my usual black and whites because the color is just too rich not to share. Click on each image to enlargen