DIY painting

DIY Artwork

I have a fun project to share with you today!

DIY painting

My bedroom has been a work in progress for years now.  It feels like it’s finally starting to come together.  One of the last things I have yet to tackle are the bare walls.  They need a little sprucing up. I have spent days trolling the internet for artwork I like.  And, although there is plenty out there, it’s very expensive- especially for a statement piece.  

DIY artwork

So, I headed to my local craft store and picked up supplies to make my own artwork.  I’m so happy with how it turned out I wanted to share with you.  All in all, the supplies cost me about $40.  


What you’ll need:

  • Canvas (got mine on sale at Michael’s Craft Store)
  • Gold Leaf Kit
  • Paint (I ran out of paint for this project and had to head back to the store to buy more, which pushed the cost of the project from about $30 to $40)
  • Brushes
  • Letter stickers
  • Gold paint for touch ups (you may or may not find this necessary)
  • measuring tape and a pencil

Begin by figuring out where you want your quote to be on the canvas.  I chose a quote that my husband and I say to each other often.  
DIY artworkMeasure out where the letters will go and mark it with a pencil.  Then, place the letters on the canvas to see exactly how much space they take up.  Mark the boundaries with a pencil. Use the measuring tape to make sure the quote is not crooked. 

DIY painting DIY artwork

Remove the letters and begin your gold leafing.  Gold Leaf only within the boundaries of the letters.  Follow the package directions.  Glue. Gold Leaf. Sealant.  Do not rush this process.  Allow the sealant to fully dry and be sure to do 2 coats.  This will protect it from the adhesive of the stickers.  (I did rush the process and only did one coat.  Sure enough, the stickers pulled up some of the gold leaf) 

DIY artwork

After the second coat of sealant has fully dried, apply your letters.
DIY artwork

Now the fun part. Paint! I knew I wanted my painting to be abstract (a decision that was made due to the fact that I have little to no artistic ability). The colors I chose were jewel tones since that’s the color family I want in my bedroom. And lastly, I knew I wanted the painting to go from dark to light. So, with an idea in mind, I began mixing colors and slapping the paint on.
DIY artwork

There is no right or wrong here. That’s the fun part! And, if you don’t like how it’s looking, then just wait for it to dry and paint over it.
DIY artwork

I had some gold leaf left over and wanted to incorporate it into the painting. So, I added flakes of it to the wet paint.

After the paint has fully dried it’s time to remove the stickers. Carefully peel off the letters one by one. A few of my stickers pulled up the gold leaf with them, so I used some gold paint to touch up where it was missing. The stickers also pulled some of the paint around the edges, but I liked how it made the letters look.

The finished product:

DIY artwork

DIY artwork

I love how it turned out! And I love that if I get sick of it I can just paint over it and create something entirely new! Just think of the possibilities! I was thinking a cute piece would be gold leaf, flamingo stickers and pink paint. …hmm…maybe I’ll have to do that next for my office!

AC Hotel Portland

AC Hotel Portland

Guess what lovely readers? There is a new hotel in Portland! It’s cool, hip and cozy and we had the privilege of staying there to test it out for you. Someone had to do it. You’re welcome.

The AC Hotels are a Marriott chain of smaller boutique hotels, and they have just opened one in Portland. Boutique hotels are different because they are typically smaller, stylish and more affordable.  Yes please! AC Hotel Portland

Our first stop was to get some food and drinks.  Because the hotel is small they do not have a full restaurant.  But they do have a full bar. (priorities. JK!) And you can order smaller eats at the bar.  Not enough for a full meal, but more substantial than a bowl of nuts.  And the bar is absolutely stunning!  The drinks were fabulous! The food delicious!  

AC Hotel PortlandAC Hotel PortlandAfter food and drinks we headed back to our rooms.  The rooms are minimalist yet luxurious.  And the beds are sooooo comfortable!  

AC Hotel PortlandA few notes about the room: Everything was clean and beautiful. However, don’t expect to have a nice soak in your tub because those don’t exist. Showers only.  Also, don’t think you can order room service because that also doesn’t exist either.  Of course, you can order anything you want at the bar and take it upstairs to your room.  I won’t judge if you’re in you pj’s.  

The next morning I headed down to grab breakfast.  A limited hot breakfast menu is available in their daytime restaurant.  But it was a little more than I would normally eat in the morning so I headed to the very cool coffee shop.  It’s hidden behind an amazing piece of art that opens up in the mornings to reveal a coffee bar.  The coffee bar serves up Water Ave coffee specially made for the hotel.  AC Hotel Portland
AC Hotel PortlandThe staff was incredibly friendly and helpful! If you’re looking for somewhere to stay for a staycation or for a place to recommend to friends and family heading to Portland, we recommend the AC Hotel! It’s conveniently located downtown on 3rd and Taylor.  

My Week Driving A Prius Prime

About a month ago Toyota reached out to us and asked if we would like to drive the all new Prius Prime for a week and blog about it.  Sounded like fun to me!  So here I am telling you all about it. 

The Prius Prime is unique to the Prius family.  Although it is still a hybrid, it also has the capability to be 100% electric.  A full battery can get you a distance of 25 miles.  Not super impressive, but if you only drive it in the city, still very practical.  And it is built to be the most efficient hybrid out there.  I was excited to drive it because, as a real estate agent, I live out of my car. Without further ado, I give you my week…

Day 1.  The car is supposed to be dropped off at 1 pm but I find myself waiting and waiting…. The night before, I had gone with a friend to a Prius Prime meet and greet to learn about the vehicle.  We got to look at the car in person.  The one they had on display was a light pearl-silvery color.  So, I was a bit surprised when they (FINALLY) showed up to my apartment with the car in a bright blue. I believe the official name of the color is blue magnetism.  All I can think is blue steel. 

my week driving a Prius Prime

Blue Magnetism covered in ice.

Since the car took so long to get to me (not Toyota’s fault they use a company to deliver the car) my afternoon was thrown off.  So, I didn’t get to drive it around very far that day.  I drove to my office where a co-worker immediately says, “who’s new Prius???”.  To which, I reply, “mine! …well, sort of…it’s a loaner.”  He replies, “So, I can make fun of the color??!!”  HA!  Blue Magnetism strikes. 

Day 1 began with 50 miles on the odometer a full tank of gas and almost a full charge. 

Day 2.  I’m so excited to drive the car around!  First of all, my little Mazda is dying a slow death.  The air conditioning hasn’t worked for 2 summers now.  It makes a weird clinking sound.  The check engine light flashes at me occasionally even though I strenuously work to keep the oil changed and full.  So, to say my week driving a Prius Prime was an upgrade seems like an understatement.

I drive it all around town! I meet with friends in the morning.  Then, clients in the afternoon and run some errands.  That evening friends have my husband and I over for dinner.  They live out in Happy Valley but the drive doesn’t feel far because I haven’t made a dent in the gas and the drive is so smooth.  A girl could get used to this. 

Day 3.  My day begins with meeting clients at a house.  I love that when I get into the car I can put the address into the GIANT multi-media display and the car tells me where to go.  You may think that when I say GIANT display I’m exaggerating.  Well, I’m not.  It’s like having an I-Pad on the dash.  Seriously, I wondered if I could watch a movie on that thing.  The navigation system is super helpful for my job- as I don’t always know the quickest way to get to an address.  And, I like that the car tells me where to go and shows me where to go. There is a small projection from the dash to the windshield that only the driver can see that always tells me my current speed, at times the speed limit and an arrow showing me which way I need to turn next to get to my destination.  

The day is winding down and I need groceries.  My husband jumps in the car with me and we head to the store. I’m excited because I really want to plug the car in and my local Fred Meyer has a charging station.  (Since I live in an apartment building there is no where for me to plug the car in.  Normally, one would just use an outlet in their garage.  And, yes.  I see the irony that I rent an apartment and work as a real estate agent)  We get to the parking lot of Fred Meyer and I pull into one of the charging spots.  However, the charger wont reach the car so I need to back the car into the spot. 

The Prius Prime has a rear camera.  Why do I find the rear camera so confusing?? I end up parking the car all wonky and my husband can barely stand it.  I try once again but use only my mirrors and I park it correctly.  (I guess I’m old school!)  We get out to charge the car and discover we need a Blink account.  Ugh! No charge today.  

Day 4.  Jury duty.  I have to be at the courthouse before 8 am.  I leave my apartment at 7:15 and make it downtown in about 10 minutes (thanks to the efficient directions from my car’s navigation system).  I pull into a parking garage and see a sign that says charging station on level 8.  I’m so excited because I will be at the courthouse all day- the perfect situation to get a full charge!!!  When I finally make it to level 8 of the garage I see it’s a Blink station.  Again.  I need an account.  Ughhhh!!!!

Side note- something really funny happened at jury duty that day. Check out my little snapchat video… 

Day 5.  Second day of jury duty.  We get released early.  It’s like getting out of high school detention early! Yay!!!  I call my husband from my car to tell him the good news.  Hands-free calling is another bonus I get with this car that I don’t have with my own.  It makes my job much easier.  

I am aware that my week is coming to an end soon.  I create a guest Blink account and head back to my local Fred Meyer.  I park the car (less embarrassingly) and get out to charge the car.  The man in the car next to mine gets out and begins talking to me. “Oh the new Prius Prime! Nice! Have you charged it yet? Does it have the quick charge? You’d be surprised how far these chargers reach. Yeah, if we were in Japan you’d have the quick charge.  Do you have a Blink account? Did you download the app? Open the app and I’ll show you how it works! Click on the arrow! See? That’s where we are. Now touch the Blink screen. Ugh oh. It’s not working? Yeah.  That’s the problem with the Blink stations…” I barely get a word in. I find out he is on some sort of board of electric vehicles. No surprise here.  I am unable to charge the car. Again. 

Day 6.  I don’t have to show houses till the evening so my afternoon is free.  Husband calls to ask if I want to meet for lunch.  Yes, please!  He ends up coming home and we drive to Pho together.  He asks how I like the car.  “I love it!”  Husband asks if it has the parallel parking feature where it parks for you.  “Yes, but I’ve been scared to try it!”  He convinces me to try it.  So, I pull onto a side street and find a spot in between cars that seems large enough to not scare me.  I push the button and the car prompts me to pull forward as it measures the distance.  Then it starts to park the car.  It whips into the spot AND UP ONTO THE CURB! I totally freak! Never using that feature again. 

I show houses that night and take advantage of every amenity I can.  I make phone calls from the car.  Seat heater on.  Navigation system gets me to all the houses on my list.  I switch between my preset music stations and turn the sound up when I hear a song I love.   The car is the perfect temperature because I have it set to a balmy 78.  Ahhhh do I really have to say goodbye to this car tomorrow? 

Day 7. The company that was 2 and half hours late delivering the car ends up ironically being an hour EARLY picking the car up.  I check the odometer.  273 miles. Guess what?  I didn’t even use up half a tank of gas.  And that was without ever charging the car! 

I’m thinking my next car will be a Prius Prime

Our Favorite Fall Candles

I’m doing my best to embrace fall.  It isn’t easy, though.  Fall is a reminder of what the next 5 months have in store for Portland: cloudy gray drizzly cold days.  Ugh. 

 I know, I know, I shouldn’t be such a Debbie Downer. (sorry if your name is Debbie)  I need to dwell on all that makes fall great.  Scarves, pumpkins and cozy nights in.  Speaking of cozy nights in, there is nothing we love more than lighting a few candles and wrapping up in a warm blanket with a good book and a glass of wine. (ok, maybe that’s just me but I’m pretty sure Melissa would love that too.)  So here are 9 of our favorite candles perfect for feeling cozy and embracing fall. 

favorite fall candles1.  Limited Edition Black Amber by Bridge Nine Candle Co. 

2. Boulangerie Pumpkin Souffle

3. Moss and Thyme by Smith and Hawkin

4. Warm Apple Pie by Bath and Body Works

5. Voluspa Maison Blanc

6. Capri Blue Autumn Acorn

7. Amber Jaipur Destinations Candle

8. No. 4 Teakwood and Tobacco Soy Candle

9. After Hours Candle by Catbird


Aaaaand in case you’re feeling crafty or just would rather make your own candle stay tuned for a fun giveaway. 

Road Trip to the Grand Canyon and More!

Originally when I was planning this vacation I went back and forth about whether or not I would make it a blog post.  Ultimately I decided against it.  It was just that all my photos would be low quality (camera phone), there have been a million blog posts already written on these places and I just didn’t feel anyone would be that interested in what I had to say.  Read More

You Got This Girl!

T SwiftOh hey there sister! 

Today I wanted to write a post about life and stuff. 

There is no DIY tutorial, no recipe and no makeup trends in this post.  

Just me on a soap box.  Consider yourself warned.  And if you’re still interested, please read on. 

You may or may not have noticed that our blog posts have been sporadic at best lately.  I consider it mostly my fault.  Melissa is a rock-star and continues to be a driving force for making things happen here.  (you can thank her for the sweet and salty paloma among other things)  And she sort of amazes me because life has been really busy for her lately. (buying a house is stressful to say the least) Plus, she has a day job and spends A LOT of time doing volunteer work.  What I love about Melissa is she continues to feel inspired and considers the blog an outlet for her creativity.

I on the other hand have found myself feeling uninspired and blah. Even a bit unhappy.  Don’t get me wrong.  My marriage is great and I love my family and friends.  However, this winter my health took a downturn.  I was working basically 2 different jobs and struggling to make ends meet.  I would work a long day, get home and crash on the couch and eat junk food.  It was easy to make excuses.  After all, I was in pain and tired and I truly loathe confrontation- a necessity if things were going to change at work.  Also- and this is probably the biggest part- I wasn’t spending as much time giving back to others as I had in the past.  

A moment of clarity came and I realized things had to change.  If I wanted to get back to that place where I felt inspired and happy I needed to take control of my life.  No one else could do it for me.  

So it started small.  I would spend time each morning focusing on my personal spirituality. (we don’t speak about religion on the blog because we don’t think this is the platform for it, however, I couldn’t leave that little nugget out because it makes the biggest difference for me personally)

Even though my joints were sore I would make myself walk each day.  Being outside is mentally and emotionally healing.  Cooking healthier became a priority.  

Finally, I came to the decision to quit my second job.  I was in a bad situation at work and I needed to address it.  The idea of having this conversation with my boss literally made me sick to my stomach.  When I say I loathe confrontation I’m not exaggerating.  Plus, change scares me.  But it was simple: do one thing that terrifies me and be happy or do nothing and remain in a bad situation.  

And so I had the talk.  It was terrifying.  And then it was over.  

I now work for myself. (real estate, in case you were wondering.)  My health is not fabulous but it’s manageable.  More time is now spent in volunteer work and helping others.  Which is the best kind of therapy in my opinion.  Please know that I’m not saying I’m perfect now.  I still struggle to get out of bed before 8 am.  (I’m not a morning person!!!)  Choosing a salad instead of fries is hard.  But I’m feeling happier now.  And along with that comes inspiration.  Which, by the way, is the whole point of this tangent.  

While on my laptop, scrolling through Pinterest and sipping a cup of coffee I came across a familiar image.  I clicked on it and it was from an old Tumblr account I used to keep up.  Completely forgot it existed!  And so, as I was looking at all these beautiful images on my old Tumblr I felt inspired to write this post.  My hope is that you feel inspired as well.  

Sometimes in life we find ourselves stuck in a rut.  Things aren’t terrible but we know they could be better.  Well, girlfriend, I’m here to tell you, the only thing standing in your way is yourself.  You got this!


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