Monday, July 30, 2012

july's guest blogger!

this month's guest blogger is julia! here she talks about her recent move, and how unpacking has made her feel inspired & 'at home'.

Hello! I’m Julia Tsarpalas, a graphic designer and lover of everything adorable. 

I just moved 2,500 miles away from Chicago to Los Angeles to pursue my graphic design career. Not unlike Tabitha, the past two weeks have been full of unpacking, cardboard, and getting settled. As a self-proclaimed tv addict, plopping down in a new city with no cable was a little daunting; then I discovered online tv marathons. Terrible choice (for productivity). But one fateful day, a week after I moved in, my internet went down. As much as I hated it at the time, praise the interwebs for going out because it was really good for me. I was forced to unpack more, and subsequently rediscover some of the things that really make me happy, such as reading, organizing, and stuffed animals/knick knacks. I graduated from college in 2011 and kept many of my (favorite!) decorative items packed away. Unpacking suddenly turned into a game of finding what else I forgot I owned. As I evaluated the finds, I noticed what a vast array of items I had: a clock from my grandmother’s house, a lamp from my childhood bedroom, modern furniture from college (from CB2), posters I designed throughout college, my favorite stuffed animals from both childhood and now, and little hand-painted German knick knacks.

1. Handmade, German cuckoo clocks
2. Some of my favorite coffee table books: visual, informative, and adorable
     3. An assortment of my favorite knick knacks from across the years, including the Lowly Worm and giraffe from my childhood toys (the Hello Kitty clock is the loudest (cutest) alarm clock I have ever heard, but it does have the best “Goood Morrrning!” when you press the button)

My point is this, if you start to collect bits and pieces you love throughout your life, one day you’ll take a look around and realize that, even 2,500 miles away, home isn’t that far away. Some might say this is materialistic, but I say more power to you! Not to worry though, I’m not asking you to become a hoarder or even really realize you’re collecting these items. If you can acknowledge what makes you happy about a particular space or time in your life, even in retrospect, you can draw from that energy and recreate it. The items don’t have to be expensive, in fact, the more personal items, hand-made or gifts, are often the best. It could be as simple as mimicking a furniture arrangement from a space you love. Does the space you love have a lot of light? Look for windows in your home or get lots of lamps! Does this space feel warm and cozy? Incorporate blankets, fluffy rugs, or my favorite: soft lighting and stuffed animals. Does the space smell a certain way? Find a candle or even just a fabric softener that you enjoy to infuse the space with a subtle mood. Whether you’re a designer, painter, dancer, writer, or even just a dreamer, it’s important to surround yourself with things that inspire you, things that make you want to go out and do something. Every night now, when I get home, I’m excited to be there, happy to be there. Those two feelings are paramount in creative beginnings. I still have one empty wall above my futon. I’m thinking I should probably design a few more posters for the space. And you know what? Bring it on!

4. Various pillows that I thought were pretty awesome and an old blanket that my great-grandmother crocheted, accented by         the Moonlight Sonata futon cover  
5.   5. My most-recent and all-time favorite stuffed animals. The Jellycat Gator and Giraffe have been my most-recent acquisitions after I obsessed about owning the gator for at least a few years of my life. And yes, I’m 23 years old. No shame. The lamp serves as one of my favorite sources of light; it casts a warm familiar glow on everything and invites me to curl up in bed with a good book (and my Jellycats)
6. My bookshelf is a mixture of books about design, art, and writing. Books written in German from children’s book to novels. Books from my childhood with images I’ll forever cherish, and frankly never forget. Those books inspired me when I was little, and they continue to be a source of motivation as well as a study in illustration techniques. The bottom shelf holds board games and the childhood stuffed animals that I simply could not get rid of. Maybe eventually I’ll weed them out, but until then, they make pretty adorable bookends
7. My life in short: a childhood nightlight next to a Vera Bradley photo board from college next to a graphic, colorful Kleenex box
8. 2 posters from my portfolio. The one an example of bright, bold color and typography and the other a constant reminder to just stay calm. When the going gets tough, take a deep breath, and do better than you ever thought you could. That way, you’ll just keep surprising yourself. There is nothing more satisfying than proving to yourself that you could. A little bit of positive reinforcement along the way, even from yourself, goes a very long way.

if you’re interested in what julia is doing, both in life and design check out her portfolio site [] & her blog at [].

music monday.

happy monday!

today i will be spending the morning/afternoon at amelie's - an adorable french bakery/coffeeshop in charlotte. their walls are full of refurbished items, pictures of france & quirky pieces of art. it's a great place to find inspiration :]

passion pit ~ take a walk

Saturday, July 28, 2012

sneak peek.

it's been three weeks since we've moved, and about 75% of our apartment is put together. there are still a couple of unpacked boxes, and a long list of to-do's... BUT i thought i would give you a sneak peek of a couple things that are on display thus far.


Friday, July 27, 2012

recap friday.

happy friday!

1. my sleep bear.

2. i was coffee bean of the week! that means i got an extra break & lunch money! pretty exciting stuff, guys.

3. ash is a mischief maker sometimes.

4. the sun was playing hard to get this week.

5. but there was at least one day that i was able to spend by the pool.

6. dinner on the lake :]

our week was chalk full of work, sleep & outside time. how was yours? today is our day off, so we'll be relaxing, exploring & unpacking the last of our boxes. 

hope you have a great weekend! <3 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

the lazy 5 ranch.

on thursday, adam and i visited lazy 5 ranch - an outdoor/drive-thru zoo about 45 minutes north of us.

yep, that's right. a drive-thru zoo :]

the four mile wide zoo is home to over 750 animals - including zebra, deer, ostriches, giraffes, pigs & all different kinds of cattle.

we had so much fun driving through the zoo and seeing all the animals eating, sleeping & playing in their natural habitats. i would have thought that the majority of the animals would have kept to themselves, but some of them weren't shy at all. one antelope was so hungry that he tore the food bucket out of my hands!

needless to say, it was quite an adventure. if you're ever in the area, you should definitely take a drive to the lazy 5 ranch :]

Thursday, July 19, 2012

home inspiration.

home inspiration.
home inspiration. by tttbelll on
one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight

decorating is one of my favorite things. and now that we have a blank slate, i have been browsing the interwebz for some inspiration. hence the inspiration board :]

what i am envisioning is something modern and industrial, with pops of color. adam and i both love clean lines, dark woods & stainless steel. we also love bold color [well... adam loves bold color - i just like the idea of it]. so we're going try to mesh the two together & see how it looks.

wish us luck!

Saturday, July 14, 2012


the rain in charlotte has made me slow-moving all week - hence the quiet on the blog, lately. we've been unpacking little by little, while trying to regain our energy from our long days at work. a. has been having to get up around 3:30am every morning to get to work by 4 - so that's been quite an adjustment. i can't wait until we are set in our schedules, but that will take some time.

in between storms the other day, we saw something swimming in the pond out back. we grabbed our cameras & sent out for an adventure.

we ended up finding a shy family of beavers in the pond! we saw two big ones [which we assume were the mommy & daddy] and one baby. much to our avail, they stayed in the water swimming & eating, so we couldn't get good enough pictures. but now that we know they're there, we'll visit more often.

today i will be exploring the city a bit, and then going in to work a short shift for someone who is sick. then both adam and i will be working tomorrow. 

hope your weekend is full of nature, sun & less work than ours :]

Monday, July 9, 2012

music monday.

happy monday!

hope you have a terrific week <3 

the lumineers ~ ho hey

Saturday, July 7, 2012

right this second.

LOVING: charlotte, the sunshine & having a pool close by :]

READING: middlesex by jeffery eugenides. i haven't read much, since i've been busy packing/moving - but it's been pretty interesting thus far. i'm also planning on reading the kind diet by alicia silverstone.

WATCHING: cable! we haven't had cable in a long time, so now we're playing catch-up. also, a. and i went to see spiderman this morning. unfortunately, we weren't impressed. 

ANTICIPATING: how tan i'm going to be!

LISTENING TO: casey abrams. the weepies. walk the moon. birdy. the spill canvas [always].

PLANNING: on unpacking my closet tonight. wish me luck!

WORKING ON: setting up some sort of routine. by the end of the month i want to have an 'almost' set schedule. it's difficult to have something set in stone when you work in retail, but i would love to try. i really think i would be more productive.

WISHING: i could afford to fly back to chicago, detroit or grand rapids next month to see family, friends & the spill canvas in concert. 

what are you guys up to this weekend?

thank you to allison for inspiring this post :]

Friday, July 6, 2012

recap friday.

hey y'all!

[just kidding... there's no way i will ever say that ;)]

we made it to charlotte in one piece & we're loving it! the heat is definitely something to get used to, but the southern hospitality has made us feel right at home.

here are a couple snapshots that i took this week - if you follow me on twitter and/or facebook, you may have seen some of these already.

1. the sunset view from our kitchen.

2. BBQ!

3. pool-ing instead of unpacking :)

4. our boxed filled apartment.

5. the appalachian mountains.

6. an early morning in kentucky.

7. hundreds of wind turbines in indiana.

8. sunshine guiding our drive.

hope everyone has a great weekend! we'll be sight-seeing, unpacking and spending our spare time at the pool :]
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