DIY Knitted Dog Blanket - Free Pattern

My dog Reggie is actually quite small, weighing in at a whopping 13 pounds. I only clarify it because he actually photographs much larger, something that more than one person has remarked upon. People who see photos of him and then see him in person are usually quite surprised. Even though I am not sure it's directly related to his size, he does always seem to be cold in the winter. He will usually just hang out in his bed or underneath a chair - two spots that are right next to the heating vents. Since he loves the green blanket I knitted, I decided to knit him dog blanket to go with his dog bed.

Small Knitted Dog Blanket - DIY

I used the seed stitch for this blanket because it adds some texture and is so easy to do. While I am not sure this size blanket would fit every dog, this has worked perfectly for Reggie. Sizing it up wouldn't be too difficult either. As it stands, this blanket is incredibly easy to complete.

Pattern Details:
Knitting needles size 13 with chunky yarn (I used Lion Brand Chunky Yarn in Wheat)
Cast on 100 stitches.
Row 1: K1, P1, K1, P1 - continue until row is complete
Row 2: P1, K1, P1, K1 - continue until row is complete
Row 3: K1, P1, K1, P1 - continue until row is complete
Row 4:  P1, K1, P1, K1 - continue until row is complete
Continue Row 1-4 until you reach row 70
Use row 70 to cast off.

Note: for a larger dog, just increase the size. Cast on more stitches and go past row 70 before casting off.

The good news: Reggie seems to really like it!

DIY Knitting - Small Dog Knitted Blanket - Free Pattern - A Detailed Palette

Apartment Transformations: The Bedroom

You know how in mystery novels or maybe even dramatic-thriller type movies, there's that often repeated line of "things aren't always as they seem"? Of course, that isn't the only variation that's used, but I think it's been done quite a lot throughout the years. That's honestly how I feel about the internet sometimes. I am not writing anything new, as we all know that most people share only their curated "highlight reel" on social media. I know that I myself tend to do this, and I think it's really only natural. That said, I think it can be really easy to look past that knowledge when it comes to interior design. To me, it seems that many people who I follow decorate and redecorate at almost a lightening-like speed. It seems to all come together so quickly and I am left feeling inspired, but also desperately wishing that my own pace could follow suite.

After asking a few accounts about how long it took them to get to where they are, I found that I was completely mistaken. Most replied with "years!" and I was reminded that it's never actually completed as quickly as it may appear from the outside looking in. I then found myself wondering if that's what people think about the things I share - that this all happened essentially overnight or that I somehow quickly decorated when in fact, it's been quite the opposite. So I wanted to share some of the biggest transformations that my apartment has overcome throughout the three years we have now lived here. Since there have been quite a few, I decided to first share the bedroom today and to share the rest later on throughout the month.

The Bedroom

What I started with - wood floors that had seen better days, awkward windows, and stark white walls.

Bedroom - A Detailed Palette

The very first iteration - we used what we had and even at the time I was not over the moon about this set up. In fact, I really hated it, but had to put up with it for a while. I wanted better curtains and a more restful space overall, but not only had to find the right pieces but also had to work within the confines of my budget.

Bedroom - A Detailed Palette
Bedroom Dresser - A Detailed Palette

I really loved yellow and gray and updated the space accordingly. The duvet cover really helped to make the space more soft and restful overall, and I think it was one of the best purchases I've made for the bedroom when it comes to how impactful the color change really was.

Bedroom - A Detailed Palette

We grew a bit sick of the yellow and changed things up a bit yet again, this time with just a touch of the color. I still wanted to update the curtains and really wanted a tufted headboard to replace the old and rather beat up one that we had. Unfortunately, these headboards were incredibly expensive and every DIY I looked into for tufted headboards seemed much too complicated.

Bedroom - A Detailed Palette
Bedroom - A Detailed Palette

Then I finally found one on sale and made the purchase. It inspired some new styling overall and it completely changed the look of the room. Longer curtains were finally added as well.

Bedroom - A Detailed Palette
Bedroom - A Detailed Palette

I finally painted the dresser as well, keeping with the gray color palette and bringing about more of a soft feel to the overall space.

Bedroom - A Detailed Palette

An update to the living room brought the old TV and shelf into the bedroom. The cube shelf was also painted the same gray to keep things consistent and harmonious. 

Bedroom - A Detailed Palette
A Detailed Palette - Bedroom

Which brings us to the most recent version of the space.

Bedroom - A Detailed Palette
A Detailed Palette - Bedroom
Bedroom Transformation - A Detailed Palette

It certainly has come a long way - but all of this took quite some time. Time is necessary, I think, for you to find just what you're looking for. It's something I need to remind myself of often as I am not the most patient person in the world. Still, I am so proud of all the work I've been able to tackle in this small space all while working within a pretty limited budget.

Thanks for following along my bedroom decorating journey today. Hopefully this inspired you, but also made you realize that everything takes time even if it may not seem so - especially when it comes to decorating!  Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Ideas for Shoe Storage

With our current space being pretty limited on closet space and having limited room for any sort of entryway, we seem to be drowning in shoes quite a bit. In my attempts to find a solution, I've found a few shoe storage ideas that I love. While not all of these are ever possible for me, I thought they were quite chic and clever and therefore also share-worthy.  

I am thinking that whatever I get will have to be pretty simple. I really like the option below as it's streamlined and effective, while still looking quite cute overall.



This idea is a tad more rustic, but I love the overall use of the wall space to create a small, but efficient entrywall.



Love the idea below. A pile of shoes is rather unappealing to me and I think I would like the ability to be able to tuck them away when they aren't in use.



I'm hoping to find a solution to our abundance of shoes rather quickly and inexpensively. I will be sharing more soon!

Have a great Monday and start to your week!
-xo, Rachel

How I Styled My Home Office Desk

Desk Styling - A Detailed Palette

I believe that we often underestimate how much of an impact styling, organization, and design can have on how we behave in certain environments. A really good example of how design can drive behavior is the way a grocery store is designed and organized; it's literally organized in a way to drive sales and make you spend as much money as possible (i.e. impulse buys near the checkout). It's incredibly interesting, of course, but can also be applied practically. I think a great example of designing to drive behavior is your desk surface, and since I was recently told by a friend who was visiting how much they loved the "home office" portion of the apartment, I thought I would share how I approached styling the area. I have outlined the styling approach and the items I have found to be essential in keeping my desk space tidy and a driver of both inspiration and productivity.

Task Lighting: I know it's a bit obvious, but there is a reason why every desk ever has a task light. I wanted one that was stylish, but would still get the job done, so I went with this gold task lamp from Target. Task lighting is so important because good lighting in general is important so that you can actually get stuff done. Natural light is recommended in terms of productivity, but even if you don't have an office with a window, task lighting can help.

Practical Easy Reach Items: Pens, pencils, scissors, rulers, notebook, planner, headphones - these are practical items that I typically leave on the desk surface. To me, these items are necessary to have within easy reach - I don't want them buried away in a drawer. Consider the items you use all the time and consider their placement. Maybe for you it's a pile of reference books, a calculator, and pens. Whatever the case may be, having these items within easy rach ultimately just saves time. It's not clutter when it's useful.

Creative Storage/Layout: Since I had the space (my desk surface is rather large, which is lovely), I sort of split my desk by halves. When looking at it, you can see that the left hand side is more focused on everyday items, while the right-hand side has more of a focus on creative items I use often enough to have them on the desk, but not every day. I like having it broken up this way and think it gives a little bit more flow and organization to the desk as a whole.

Sparks of Inspiration: The small gallery wall above the desk, along with some of the decor like the fresh flowers, fox candle, and miniature Eames chair, not only help to give the space more personality, but also help to serve as sparks of inspiration. The corkboard that I customized features two of my favorite color palettes, photos I took in England, a photo of Reggie, and a picture of the home where one of my favorite authors, Jane Austen, wrote many of her novels. The other images around the center corkboard include a photo I took of the Eiffel Tower, a certificate of achievement from work, sketch of Reggie completed by Andy's mom, and a quote. While some of these things may seem a little stereotypical, they are honestly things that I find really inspiring and that's why I added them to the space. Yes, I totally get that quotes especially can come off cheesy and so many people have photos of the Eiffel Tower, but I picked these items because of the personal stories and the personal sentiments they hold for me and encourage you to do the same when it comes creating your own sparks of inspiration.

Storage: This is vital for actually keeping your desk surface clean. Thankfully, this desk has six drawers and I use each and everyone of them to stow away items that I need, but only once in a while, such as paperwork, calligraphy supplies, charging cords, etc.

Have a great Monday and for those interested, a shop the look section is below.

These are not the exact pieces (as some items were found and others are now sold out), but these items can still be used to capture a similar look.

2017 Vol. 2: Life Updates and Travels

Minneahaha Falls - A Detailed Palette

Firstly, I have some rather exciting news - I have recently gotten a promotion at work! As my job is something that demands quite a lot of my time and focuses on two of my main passions (interior design and social media), this promotion comes as a huge milestone to me, and I am incredibly excited about it.

In addition to the good career news, I recently ventured to Minneapolis/St. Paul for a friend's wedding a few weekends ago, and Andy and I made a stop at Minneahaha Falls. Due to the unseasonably warm weather, the waterfall was actually flowing, although some portions were still frozen. It was really beautiful!

Minneahaha Falls - A Detailed Palette

For Valentine's Day, I got my dream bag. It's by Henri Bendel... and it's convertible. It transitions from a crossbody bag to a the chicest backpack ever. I travel quite a bit, including both personal trips and work trips, and this bag works wonderfully for both professional and more casual settings. 

Henri Bendel - A Detailed Palette

Last weekend, a few friends were in town, so we made a stop at the Milwaukee Art Museum, I haven't been in some time, and I was delighted by some of the new exhibits and installations. The modern design space was my absolute favorite. I loved seeing some Eames, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Wegner designs in the museum space.

Milwaukee Art Museum - A Detailed Palette
Art Museum - A Detailed Palette
Milwaukee Art Museum - A Detailed Palette

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Chair Crush: Vintage Channel Back

I have yet to purchase anything from EBTH, but I can say I spend quite a lot of time browsing the site and their official Instagram account. They recently shared this chair on Instagram, and it stopped me in my tracks. 

Channel Back Chair - A Detailed Palette

I have developed a love for channel back chairs. Channel back refers to the rivets on the chair - the design reminds me of a pleated skirt, something that is quite the rage in fashion right now. The channel back gives off a more vintage vibe, especially the case with this chair, as it is also armless and asymmetrical.  



These chairs also have a decidedly art deco vibe, but without going too overboard - something that I really appreciate as it makes it easier to mix these armchairs with other design styles.

Have a great Monday!

Four Years in Milwaukee

Four Years In Milwaukee

"I live in Milwaukee." "I'm sorry." 

The line from Bridesmaids isn't too much of a stretch for how people often react to Milwaukee. In fact, I used to be one of those people.  

Of course, I now feel differently. It's a bit crazy that I have already been in Milwaukee for four years and while it was definitely an adjustment when I first moved, as I imagine every move is for a recent grad, I'm really glad that life brought me to this city. I'm taking a look back and sharing some of the big changes and life milestones that have taken place during my time in Milwaukee. 

Found Employment

So many things have changed since first moving here. Firstly, it was October 2012. Secondly, I was desperately looking for an entry level position after my internship ended. While I had a part-time role proofreading, something I had maintained during my internship, it was definitely not a great situation. Think more of "a living paycheck to to days before a paycheck" situation. The idea of being able to pay off my student loans was laughable. It was honestly a pretty dark time filled with a lot of anxiety and uncertainty and bad interviews followed by a lot of rejection - something I am sure many recent grads can identify with.  After struggling for about four months to find a full time job (a time-frame that definitely felt longer as I was experiencing it), I finally landed a contract role at Kohl's Corporate. It was short lived, due to the nature of the contract role, but it helped me finally get my foot in the door, gain the ever elusive experience and led me to my first full time role, my first "big girl" job with benefits at a mid-grade office furniture retailer. I honestly will never forget the relief I felt on getting that official job offer or how amazing my experience there was. Of course, no job is perfect, and it was not the exception, but working for a smaller company allowed me to wear many hats, the people were so incredible, and it ultimately led me to discover my passion for interiors and design. Plus, struggling through those four months really gave me an appreciation for and positivity about my new job - something I'd like to think is still present and notable in the role I am in to this very day. 

Adopted Reggie

I had desperately wanted a dog as soon as I had graduated, but knew it would be impossible and irresponsible to adopt one when my situation was so precarious. But after two months into my full time role and living with Andy for quite some time, I couldn't wait anymore and decided to seriously look into getting a dog. Of course, we thought it best for me to take on all the financial responsibility for the dog just in case anything happened. The last thing we wanted to happen was to break up and fight over who got to keep the dog.

Andy found Reggie a few days after and we went to visit him with the intention of only to meeting him. Of course, as soon as I saw his sweet little face, I knew he was the dog for me. I adopted him that very day. And we immediately stopped at the pet store to buy everything we needed after the adoption was complete.

Reggie - A Detailed Palette

Launched This Blog  

As I stated earlier, my first real job was about content creation for a mid-grade office furniture retailer, I was exposed more to the whole world of interior design and learned more about furniture in general. I almost immediately developed an appreciation for the beauty and detail that design showcased; that appreciation soon turned into a passion. I became engrossed and soon followed so many interiors brands and bloggers on Instagram who inspired me every day. After playing around with my own personal style in my first apartment, a move to a second larger space with Andy prompted me to launch this blog as a way of categorizing the progress of my space and evolution of my style. It's been a passion project for sure, but one that has evolved to include more personal and lifestyle items, along with the interiors focus. I also think that this blog has helped me showcase my passion for interiors and home decor in such an accessible way - something that few other things could showcase so easily. This, of course, was a factor in landing my current role at Kohler. Passion for Interior Design was part of the job description, and I could easily show just how much I cared and loved the topic.

Learned to Knit

To keep myself sane during those 4 months where I was only part-time employed proofreading, I actually taught myself how to knit by watching youtube videos. Since funds were so limited, I couldn't go out much or spend much, but I did want to stay creative. Four years later, I knit nearly every day, a little bit here and there - although the weeks definitely vary. It has been a life-changing hobby in all actuality and is something that I not only thoroughly love, but allows me to be creative in a unique way.

Knitting - A Detailed Palette



For the Dream Home: Volume One

For My Dream Home - A Detailed Palette

I have decided to start a new series to keep track of all of the things that inspire me/items that I would like to keep earmarked for my dream home. While I am not sure I would ever build a home, and I am a huge fan of working with what you have, there are some things that are worth adding in first and building around.

Ceiling Medallions

While I generally gravitate towards eclectic styling and modern furniture, I really love classic architectural details; ceiling medallions of course fit into this category. I'd love to have at least a few of these in my future home, especially with some spectacular light fixtures.  





The Briolette Sink from Kohler

Disclaimer: I work at Kohler, but I am not writing in official capacity- this is not being written on behalf of the company. All opinions below are my own. 

With all of that out of the way, there is only so long you can stare at beautiful photos of sinks before you become personally invested and one of them makes it onto your "must have in my future home" list. I LOVE this Briolette Artist Editions sink. It is honestly nothing short of stunning in person. I think that having this in a master bath or even a powder room would be just so amazing.  

The Briolette Sink - A Detailed Palette


I especially adore this faucet paired with the Briolette sink and consider both as serious contenders for my future dream home.


2017 Vol. 1: Discoveries Worth Sharing

2017 Discoveries - A Detailed Palette

I am hoping for 2017 to be a big year, and I am really looking forward to crossing some items off of the bucket list. Ultimately, though, I am aiming for making the most of the day to day as well. In effort to streamline and just improve, there are a few discoveries I wanted to share.

Tone It Up Member

Tone It Up - A Detailed Palette

I became an official Tone It Up member at the end of 2016 in effort to be prepared for 2017 and the goals I wanted to accomplish. Tone It Up has become a much larger priority for me, as my health and fitness goals have become something I really want to focus on. I have been working towards following their nutrition guide and really changing and adapting my lifestyle overall into one that is more healthy and embraces alternative options to the not-so-nutritious options I am usually faced with. It actually hasn't been too hard, which is amazing. It really just requires more planning. I now meal plan and meal prep on Sundays. It has been SUCH a game changer.  It actually ends up saving me more time later on in the week and makes staying on track so much easier. Meal planning and prepping has definitely given me a different perspective on eating healthier and if anyone out there is struggling with the goal of being healthier, I highly recommend both Tone It Up and meal planning with the recipes that they have as part of their nutrition plan. Most of the recipes are easy and delicious... and I am an extremely picky eater, so that means a lot coming from me. 

Wireless Headphones  

Beats Headphones - A Detailed Palette

I got the Beats Solo3 wireless headphones for Christmas in rose gold, and it has been a total game changer. I never thought that it would impact my daily life as much as it has, but between working at my desk and working out, it has been so nice to have wireless headphones. Working out especially - I never realized how freeing it would be and how much better my workouts would be because of that. If you're running, doing HIIT, or any other workouts while listening to music, I highly recommend looking into getting pair of wireless headphones. 

Passion Planner

Passion Planner 2017 - A Detailed Palette

I had a Passion Planner in 2015 after winning an Instagram giveaway. I'm 2016, I had a different planner and really missed the Passion Planner layout. So for 2017, I purchased a Passion Planner, and it's just as amazing as I had remembered it to be. If you are looking for something to help you stay organized, you can actually test drive the Passion Planner layout for yourself. by printing it off from their site. I love the 30 min breakdown layout and the extra space of "infinite possibility". Plus, this is one planner that I find really supports and has the space available for goal setting and journaling. It's a really great set up overall.  

Hope you all have a great start to the week!



Bedroom Update: Full Length Mirror

The mirror has arrived and it has been added to the bedroom, right next to the dresser. I am still debating on whether or not this is the final placement, as the original idea was to have it on the wall in the bedroom where a stud could support it, but I am no longer sure, as I really like the look of this mirror as it is.

Mirror Update - A Detailed Palette
Mirror Update - A Detailed Palette

I chose this mirror with the idea that it would really complement the artwork we already have in the room, and I think it really does! I also really love the juxtaposition of the straight lines of the mirror and the curved, a bit more traditional lines of the bottom of the dresser and the hardware..

Mirror Update - A Detailed Palette

And of course, I had to share a little selfie with Reggie and me. :)


Have a great Monday!
-xo, Rachel

Sleeping Better in 2017 with SmartWake

This post is sponsored by Verlo. All opinions are my own.

Sleeping Better in 2017 - A Detailed Palette

You may remember that one of my goals for 2017 was to get more sleep and better sleep each night. It's been a huge priority for me this year - so much so that I have even begun setting bedtime alarms to help me stay on track. I also was introduced to the SmartWake by Verlo - an alarm and sleep monitor. It's actually an incredible cool concept - it's designed to actually wake you up at the best time in your sleep cycle i.e. when you are not in deep sleep. Due to the sensor being able to pick up on this, it makes waking up easier, something I can totally get behind because waking up is hard.

SmartWake - A Detailed Palette

I have been using the SmartWake alarm and monitor for over 2 weeks now, and I think it along with going to bed earlier has really helped to make waking up much less of a challenge. The nice thing, too, is that you don't have to worry about oversleeping - you simply set a range of time and the SmartWake alarm and monitor chooses the optimal time in that range to wake you up.

Sleeping Better with SmartWake - A Detailed Palette

So far, unlike my goal to blog on a more timely schedule, my goal to get better sleep in 2017, yet wake up earlier is off to a really great start. I've also been thinking about cutting back on caffeine, but I am not quite sure I can do that just yet! :) I just love coffee far too much.


Top Mirrors - Round Up

So I admittedly have been quite behind posting here and not staying true to my update schedule at all. I am determined to be better about this overall. Even though it is technically off schedule, I wanted to share a much needed update that I am looking to add to the bedroom - a new mirror!

The one I currently have was $20 from Target, is not quite large enough to be floor length, and has definitely seen better days. The top portion is a bit warped and it's certainly not the sturdiest thing in the world. It's an overdue update - so that I can actually see my full outfit before heading into work.

A few of my absolute favorites mirrors are below.

One of the craziest thing about mirrors is the varying price points - I tried to round up a good variation of budget-friendly options and splurge options.

I ultimately decided I wanted a true floor length mirror, one that had clean lines, simple elegance, and one that came in gold in order to complement the rest of the bedroom. This is the mirror that made the final cut, due to the fact that it met all the aforementioned criteria and was totally affordable. While the first shipment did arrive damaged, Wayfair has the loveliest customer service team EVER, and they easily sent me another which I am eagerly awaiting. I can't wait to see how it looks in the space.



Ideally, this new mirror will go in the space below to the left of the dresser.

Mirror update - A Detailed Palette
Mirror Update - A Detailed Palette

I will be updating as soon as I get the mirror!
Have a great Thursday!
-xo, Rachel

Trip to Harry Potter World

Travel - Harry Potter World - A Detailed Palette

I am so glad that I finally made it to Harry Potter World - it is so nice to be able to cross this off the bucket list. It totally lived up to all the hype and the expectations. I do have to say, though, that there was one negative with the butterbeer - it was delicious, but just SO sweet. I wasn't able to finish a full glass. But, with that said, that's hardly a negative. I so appreciated all of the details that were added in and that stayed true to the world the books created.

Harry Potter World - A Detailed Palette
Harry Potter World - A Detailed Palette

I absolutely loved the whole experience - and even got Professor Lupin's wand. They had interactive spots throughout the park where you could use the wand to cast spells. It was all in all an amazing experience and well worth the price.

Trending Now: Rose Gold

I am traveling for work this week in order to attend KBIS - the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show. The tradeshow is for interior designers, builders, and other kitchen and bath professionals and while I am insanely busy, I did want to stay true to my new years resolutions and my new posting schedule. So here is today's post - a post all about a trend that I can confirm (after seeing KBIS firsthand) is still very much going strong.



While the metallics trend has been here for quite sometime, the appearance and sweeping popularity of rose gold is more new. While similar to copper, there is something a bit softer and more, well, "rosey" about rose gold. While its pink tones definitely give it a feminine air, the metallic sheen provides a colder edge. I love this juxtaposition between color and texture, and I think it's ultimately just that that makes rose gold so appealing to so many, whether its related to fashion, interiors, or even your headphones.

Here are some favorite rose gold pieces for your home:

Do you love rose gold, too? Have an amazing Wednesday!
-xo, Rachel

Home Update: Built-In Styling & Knitted Plant Cover

During the time off for the holidays, I took some time to declutter the overall space. After getting rid of a few things and doing some restyling, the whole apartment not only looked better, but also just made me feel better. I've always been more of a minimalist in terms of stuff and the decluttering process just made me realize it all over again. One area in particular really stood out afterwards: the built-in.

Built In - A Detailed Palette

I realized that I hadn't really done much to the built-in for some time and that it was way overdue for a revisit. It's been totally restyled and for now, I am incredibly happy with how it looks.

Built In - A Detailed Palette

I also finally got around to making a knitted plant cover for the other plant on the built in, and I think it looks SO much better. Before, the plant holder was a navy blue that just did not work with the rest of the space. The knitted plant cover basically allowed me to update the look with out spending anything or having to replant/re-pot the plant: a total win-win.

Knitted Plant Holder - A Detailed Palette

To create your own knitted plant cover, take a look at my earlier post.
Have a great Monday!
-xo, Rachel

January 2017: New Home Additions

After the holidays and some rather awesome sales, the apartment has gained a few decor additions as of late. Here are a few favorites that I wanted to share with all of you.

West Elm Dash Blanket
Such a cozy blanket and I love the yarn "dash" detail. Reggie is a huge fan too. I also got quite a lot of new yarn, as you can also see below. I am so excited to create some new knitted items!

West Elm Dash Blanket - A Detailed Palette

Literature Rocks Glasses from The Uncommon Green
These were a gift and came in a set of six. All of the glasses feature the title of the book along with the opening lines and the signature of the author. I absolutely love these and have added them to the bar cart for a little something extra as they feature some of my absolute favorite pieces of literature. There is a cup for Pride and PrejudiceFrankenstein, Hamlet, Jane Eyre, Sherlock Holmes, and The Count of Monte Cristo.

Literature Rocks Glasses - A Detailed Palette

Hobnail Milk Glass Plant Holder + Hydrangeas
Two things happened in almost perfect coordination. 1.) My mom, who is the most avid antiquer I know, found me this hobnail milk glass plant holder. I am not sure where she found it, but she knows I love milk glass and it was such a nice surprise! 2.) I then came across a $9 hydrangea plant in a grocery store. While I know grocery store plants probably aren't super hardy, I love hydrangeas and decided to give planting one a go with this new hobnail milk glass plant holder. I love the resulting look and I am so fervently hoping that the hydrangea thrives. Fingers are most certainly crossed! I have added this to the side table right behind my desk and behind the console table. It's a table I have always felt needed a little something extra, but I never could nail down quite how to style it. I think I've final found the perfect piece of decor.

Hydrangea Hobnail Milk Glass - A Detailed Palette

Have a lovely weekend!
-xo, Rachel

Goals for 2017

Goals for 2017

Happy New Year! No new year is complete though without some new goals to tackle. My list is below.

See More of the World
Ideally, I will be visiting Harry Potter World, hiking Mount Katahdin, seeing Maine for the first time, and finally making it to Canada (I have never been!) by going on a trip to Prince Edward Island. I have wanted to visit Prince Edward Island for over a decade now - ever since reading the Anne of Green Gables series.

Declutter and Simplify
I think I always feel this way after receiving Christmas gifts and realizing that I am going to need to completely reorganize and reassess what I still need and what I haven't use/worn/thought about in over a year.

Read / Listen to 50 Books
I completed this for 2016 and would like to again take it on for 2017. I will admit though that it was only possible in 2016 due to a mix of audiobooks and actually printed books. 

Healthier Mind, Body, and Soul
I have recently signed up for the Tone It Up challenge, which started this past Monday. So far it's going well. I really want 2017 to be my healthiest year yet and want to strive to take good care of myself. I'd also like to practice more yoga, continue to run, better fuel my body, and take moments to relax and to be grateful.

Get More Sleep
Even though it is directly tied to what is above, I felt it was worthy of it's own call out. This year, I am going to try really hard to get to a good place with my sleeping schedule. The plan is to go to bed earlier and wake up earlier, while still getting at least 8 hours. 

I'd like to continue blogging, with the goal of three posts per week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday mornings) and also continue to push myself out of my comfort zone and write fiction for fun. My goal is 5,000 words per week.

Give Back / Volunteer
This year, I am making more of an effort to give back and volunteer.

Stay in Touch / Call at Least Three People Every Week
With my hour commute, there is no reason not to make the most of it. I actually started doing this out of boredom, but I'd really like to use it as a way to keep in touch with people who I don't see or talk to every day. This includes my grandparents and friends who live in different cities.

Go on More Hikes with Reggie
Reggie loves being outside and going for hiking adventures. I need to use this as motivation to get outside more myself. I also got a ton of hiking gear for Christmas and really want to put it to good use.

Take a Risk
I am an incredibly risk-adverse person. That said, I want to branch out more this year either in the form of starting a knitting etsy shop or maybe training to become a yoga teacher. I haven't precisely nailed down what is possible, but I do want to go outside of my comfort zone, further hone a skill, and continue to grow.

Any goals that you are excited about for 2017?
-xo, Rachel

Goodbye 2016

We have officially entered 2017. I love New Year's Day and taking a moment to take stock and actually reflect. It's pretty rare that we have the time to do so, but thankfully New Year's Day is one of those days where you just can't really ignore or avoid the pull to do so. 2016 had a sharp learning curve. It was definitely a challenging year, but like every other before it, it had its good moments and its bad.

The apartment and living situation technically remain the same, but the space is so much better decorated and has really come in to its own as I've been able to get a few new pieces that have really changed the look and feel of the place into something I feel is more reflective of our personalities. All of the home goals for 2016 have been met!

Living Room - A Detailed Palette
Living Room - A Detailed Palette

I read 50 books over the course of 2016 - another resolution, one that I just finished in the nick of time. Here are some that really stood out:

The Outlander Series - first two novels completed
The Kingkiller Chronicles - first two novels of the trilogy completed
Murder on the Nile by Agatha Christie
Death in the Library by Agatha Christie
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

My 50 books - A Detailed Palette

I did take a photography class and I was able to travel to Palm Springs, Joshua Tree, New York City, and LA this year. 

Me at the Parker in Palm Springs - A Detailed Palette

I channeled my inner Agatha Christie and held my first ever murder mystery party - definitely want to do something like that again.

Murder Mystery Party - A Detailed Palette

And of course, no year recap would ever be complete without a photo of Reggie.

Reggie the most adorable puppy - A Detailed Palette

Here is to making 2017 even better! Happy New Years!
-xo, Rachel

Life Lately: December 2016

Life Lately: December 2016

We're almost to Christmas and winter has most definitely arrived in Wisconsin. Life over here has been busy, which is undoubtedly the case for everyone.

I finally learned how to wrap a present. Turns out, the wrapping paper quality does play a role... and wasn't really something I had ever considered. I recommend the Sugar Paper LA wrapping paper - they have a few cute options at Target.

The new year is going to be bringing a lot of travel - including a trip to Harry Potter world. I finally booked tickets and am going with my sister. I am so excited about it that I have actually started DREAMING about it. Yes, actual dreams in which people try to get me to leave before I can have any butterbeer... not going to happen, people!

I am also going to be attending yet another tradeshow for work, and I am in desperate need of new, comfortable shoes. It is so hard to find cute shoes that are also comfortable.

I finally completed the cable knit throw blanket after about five months of working on it. I am so happy with how it turned out and that it is totally done!

Knitted Blanket - A Detailed Palette

And with that blanket complete, I have started a new knitting project with my own pattern. More to come on that later!

Knitting - A Detailed Palette

Have a great Tuesday!
-xo, Rachel

Everything You Need for Winter Running

Everything You Need to Know about Winter Running - A Detailed Palette

One of my friends recently asked me to do a post on my favorite winter running gear. I simply hate running on treadmills, and I prefer to, whenever possible, run outside. In Wisconsin, winters can definitely complicate matters. That said, as long as you're adequately prepared, you should be able to run outside through fall and at least some of the winter. Disclaimer: I am by no means a professional runner; I have however been running since I was 15 - competitively in high school and on my own since, training for and completing five half marathons. 

1. Have the Proper Gear - This means running clothes that are specifically designed to keep you warm and dry in cold weather. This is actually referred to as "ColdGear" so be sure to look for that label when you are shopping. I actually prefer Under Armour and I have found that the cost is worth it, but there are many brands that offer this and at varying price points. I have cold gear running tights and cold gear long sleeved shorts from Under Armour. I typically wear both when running outside in the cold with a puffy vest, a hat, and gloves. The hat and gloves are not specifically for running, but are absolutely necessary. - and you can find options that are designed with runners in mind. While I typically end up taking my gloves off during the run, the hat is especially important as my ears are always the first things to get cold. If I don't wear a hat or any protection for my ears, it does not make for an enjoyable run and they usually just throb in pain even after I am inside and warm.

If you're running when it's dark out, which is way more common due to the shorter winter days, be sure to consider this when shopping for gear. Wearable lights and reflective vest/cold gear are a good way to go. I typically do not run at night and would not really recommend it, especially if you are alone. I also usually run with pepper spray in my vest pocket. While I have thankfully never had to use this, I would recommend that all lone runners consider getting some. I also keep Burts Bees chapstick with me for longer runs and usually apply it before I leave the house. My lips nearly always getting chapped during longer winter runs if I am not careful.

2. Have the Right Shoes - While this could technically be under number one for the proper gear, it is so important that I decided to give it its very own number. Shoes that fit your feet and more importantly how you land on your feet is crucial for making running enjoyable/avoiding injuries. The right shoes are important no matter when you are running, whether in the dead of winter or the height of summer. 

3. Run with the Temperature Drops - I am not sure if that is the best way to say it, but I would say that continuing to run with the temperature drops is really important for your body adjusting to lower temperatures. For example, as it drops from 50s to 40s generally, make sure that you're running during that time. Otherwise, if you run outside when it's 50 and then attempt to run outside weeks later when it's 25 degrees, it's going to feel like much more of a shock to your system - specifically your lungs and throat. While everyone is different and sometimes large temp drops are unavoidable, I have found that this is nearly always the case for me. It's better to let me body gradually get used to temperature changes so I try to make sure that I run with them if I can.

4. Know the Limit - I do not run outside if it is lower than 20 degrees, especially if there is some sort of windchill. That's my limit, and I am sure everyone's is a little bit different. I wanted to mention it all the same because there are just some situations where it probably isn't very safe to be running outside no matter how adequately you are attired.

Another thing to note - I don't think that snowy winter runs are the best time to do any sort of speed training. I always go quite slow to avoid any slips, falls, or injuries. Your body will need a bit more time to warm up for winter runs so don't push too hard to quickly. That's all I have - hope this was helpful and motivating!

Have a great Friday!
-xo, Rachel