It’s All Going Accordian to Plan

I have a good friend, Chris, who has this phrase tattooed on his arm, surrounding an abstracted accordion (obviously). I couldn’t help but think of how pertinent this mantra has been for me lately! Life has been really unfolding quite nicely recently. In fact, one of my coworkers said, “as soon as you started going to church, life really got good!” It did, didn’t it 🙂

In my usual vein of full disclosure – right after I wrote all of those posts about impending change, everything changed. My projects at work were wrapping up and my boss approached me and said that they loved me, but if I wasn’t planning on moving back to Philadelphia, then I should start building my life in Charleston. I have to admit, I was totally upset. I knew that I had been wanting this change, willing it, even, and I’d talked enough about being ready for the next step in my career, but when it was happening I didn’t feel prepared. In all of this emotional confusion in the morning, I met up with the wonderful man I’m seeing* that same afternoon for a work event his company was hosting.

*Side Note: I’m considering calling him The Soldier (named aptly for his current Civil War hairstyle that, oddly, I’m extremely into,…still debating due to our Union-Confederate backgrounds lol)

Anyway, as I was saying, after The Soldier totally calmed me down and got me excited for what was coming next, we made our way to the event. On the way, he asked me if I would like to make our relationship official. Squeal! Of course, I said yes! I had to laugh, because for YEARS my job has been the one thing that has remained constant, while my relationships have had a high turn over. And then the SAME EXACT DAY when my job ebbs away, I gain a boyfriend. Oh Universe…you certainly have a sense of humor 🙂

I’m so ready for this relationship to grow. Being with a man who treats me like a priority, balances friendship with romance, makes me laugh for hours, shares the same values and goals, and wants to spend quality time with me, make me genuinely excited for this new life that is blossoming for me in Charleston.

In other incredible news, through a series of networking events, I was informed about a job opening that could be a perfect match at a firm I had been eyeing for years. I applied on a Wednesday night, got a call from them on a Thursday morning, they set up an interview on a Friday, and sent me an offer by Tuesday. And I consequently cancelled an interview from another firm the same day. Talk about a memorable Memorial Day weekend!

So, now I have a boyfriend, and a new job, and incredible friends, and as an added bonus, this is all coming right at the tail end of my 32 years, and I’m SO excited to ring in 33 next week for my birthday with all of these joyful gifts pouring into my experience!

How has your month been?

❤ The Huntress

Bloom Where You’re Planted

Photo Cred: Julie Livingston Photography 

Raise your hand if you’re guilty of avoiding obstacles like “if I close my eyes, it will go away”. Yeah, me too.

I’ve been talking about change for the past few posts, and as exciting as it can be, it can also be a little scary.

Since moving to Charleston, I’ve felt ready to become more involved in the blogging culture here. I’ve been fantasizing about having fashionista girlfriends that wear flower crowns and post filtered group shots of ‘The Crew” wearing them on Instagram. I pretended that there were already so many bloggers here that it didn’t matter if I wasn’t one of them, so…I wasn’t one of them. But, then one Friday night, I decided to buy some new preset photo filters and was determined to install them on my phone, even if I wasn’t sure what the heck that even meant. And I did. And then I started following more bloggers and commenting on their posts.  And then other bloggers started reaching out to me and inviting me to events. And then I signed up for a flower crown-making event and found out some of my new blogging friends would be there. And suddenly, I’m with new fashionista girlfriends in a filtered group shot on Instagram.

After being involved in the Interior Design community in Philadelphia, I’ve felt ready to be more involved in the close-knit design community here in Charleston. I’ve been craving the kind of creative girlfriends that meet up at a new hotel just to touch the flooring to determine if it’s actually reclaimed hardwood or a fab laminate. So, I pretended that I didn’t work here anyway and all of my reps are in Philly, so these contacts aren’t helpful now. But then, my projects started wrapping up at work and the opportunity to start building my career in Charleston opened up. And then I contacted a group on social media to become more involved. And then an architect sent me a message saying her team could use some help with new projects and ‘could I send over some of my work?’ And I did. And then I signed up for the group’s networking event this week at a reclaimed wood vendor. And suddenly, I’m with creative women who are meeting up downtown to touch reclaimed wood flooring.

I moved to Charleston because although my career was in full swing,  I was ready for the rest of my life to begin. And now that it has, I’m ready to really blossom and bloom where I’ve planted myself.

 

 

The New Normal

I’ve got a thousand incredible things happening to me now. Yet…the past few months I’ve been feeling uncomfortable, as if I’m shedding an old skin that doesn’t quite fit. “New patterns, new patterns”, I keep repeating to myself, “This is good! This is healthy! If you’re feeling anxious, it’s because you’re on the verge of change!”

This past Christmas, my younger brother said to me sadly, “It doesn’t even feel like the holidays. Is it always going to be like this now?” You know what he means. While the kids have all grown up and moved away, the traditions have diminished and faded out with them. New traditions with new family begins to emerge, but it takes a while for these new things to feel like old traditions.

On the eve of my 30th birthday, I sobbed into my pillow. This might not seem surprising, as it’s extremely common for women to “turn 29” multiple times, but I was actually really excited for what was to come in my thirties. Yet, I couldn’t help but mourn the loss of my twenties and all of the things I wished I had accomplished during that decade. And then – once that was over – I felt fierce.

I recently met an incredible man who is all of the things I’ve ever asked for – witty, handsome, intelligent, romantic, adventurous AND committed, thoughtful, hardworking, respectful, handy, emotionally intelligent, masculine, introspective, amusing, responsible (except for earlier this week when all of my banana pudding that I accidentally left in his fridge mysteriously vanished…lol), good listener, practical, easy going, close with his family, wants to get married, wants to have children, and insanely laugh-until-you-cry funny. Meeting him has got me all kinds of excited for what could be.  He makes me feel calm about moving forward, not scared or nervous. I trust him. I knowww – this is kind of a big deal for me *squeal* If this is really what I’ve been waiting for, it’s time to kiss goodbye every man of my past and any other that could be a man of my future.  If this is really what I’ve been waiting for, it’s time to slow down the momentum of “Are we there yet?” and coast into “It’s happening now!” All this joy has just got me reflecting on where I am now and respecting what’s got me here.

Work has always been the one thing that has been consistent in my life. Whenever the rest of my life was incredibly amazing or incredibly unbearable, my job has kept me sane. Since our company is growing, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to take on more exciting projects. With that comes new challenges, some of which aren’t as as easily hurtled as I would have hoped. I know that getting out of your comfort zone means that you’ll make mistakes, and be stressed out, and be critical of yourself. And I am all of those things. But, I’m trying to be nicer to myself while I’m learning, more constructively critical of myself while I’m improving, excited while I’m experiencing the opportunity to learn, and grateful while having a knowledgable team surrounding me. But, yeah, its uncomfortable while I’m figuring out how I fit in here.

When I moved into my beautiful Southern home, I had 2 neighbors with apartments in the same house. One had been here for several years and we bonded over our creative fields and the removal of rogue lizards in my apartment. The other moved in a week after me, and we met when I invited him into my bedroom…to dispose of a cockroach at 1am. These were the first people that shared my space when I moved in to this new town, and they both moved out this week. I don’t know them well enough to keep in touch, but I knew them well enough to feel a sort of emptiness when they left.

My family just experienced the loss of a loved one, so that has been weighing heavy on my heart. The feeling I have knowing that people I love are hurting is…hollow. I just talked to my cousin today and she said it would “take a while before everyone is comfortable with the new normal.” And I couldn’t have said it better.

That’s exactly what this feeling is – getting comfortable with the new normal. It’s big, and exciting, and sad, and scary, and fun, and uncertain, and exhilarating, and reflective, and melancholy, and new, and all of those things. Yet, we have to embrace it, but not too tightly, because as soon as we get used to our new skin, we’ll shed it again.

 

Hanging Out At…Terrain at Styers

IMG_8139I realized that I have been checking out some cool places lately. So I’ve made a new category for all of my posts documenting the fun places where we can “hang out” at together!

I have been wanting to visit Terrain at Styers for a long time now. It’s owned by Urban Outfitters, so you KNOW it’s going to be amazing…Finally, I had my opportunity to get myself out there, so last weekend, I took myself on a nice brunch date there 🙂

First, I strolled around the greenhouses and outdoor areas:

IMG_8140 IMG_8141The mantle with the greenery was such a sweet idea to bring some character to a weathered shed.IMG_8142The smell of a wood burning fire was so welcoming on this warm winter day. It stayed in my hair for hours after I left!IMG_8143 IMG_8144IMG_8173IMG_8171And then I checked out the little Mushroom House:IMG_8149IMG_8151 IMG_8152It was being set up for a private gathering later that day. A woman was setting up in there, so I could only snap a few clandestine shots before I snuck out of there 🙂

Then, it was off to the cafe!IMG_8150 IMG_8153Again, sly photography-but you can see the beverage bar area made of what looked to be wood boxes. S0 garden-y…IMG_8154Even the way they used the white birch branches inside of a “house frame” was theme-y in a good way. It felt like a whimsical bird house!

Once I was at my table, I enjoyed the gnomey rustic-ness of the dining area.IMG_8157 IMG_8158IMG_8156I was a little disappointed when I tried to order my meal. I asked them to substitute potato hash and bacon with apple fritters (obviously), and they got themselves into a kerfluffle just trying to figure out how they were going to do that. And when my meal came out, it was missing the hash browns and sausage, but came with bacon. Not too big of a deal, but the waitress said nicely, “Usually, we charge extra for custom orders, but since we’re not busy, we’ll make an exception”…When I read their menu, bacon, sausage, and apple fritters were all the same cost, so I’m not sure who it cost them more, but anyway…I ordered their Breakfast Board, which was 2 overlays eggs, a petite salad, 2 pieces of challah toast, bacon, and my apple fritters 🙂 I also got a cherry vanilla homemade soda. I splurged a little bit on my calories, so sue me…IMG_8155Loved the wood slice plate that it was served on, and the receipt came in this sweet vintage kite book. Overall, my waitress was nice, the food was good, and the atmosphere divine. IMG_8160IMG_8159Next, I visited their shop. Which was stunning. In fact, I was so inspired, that I created a whole model apartment concept after this polished rustic look for work…


IMG_8172IMG_8170 IMG_8169 IMG_8168 IMG_8167 IMG_8166 IMG_8165 IMG_8164 IMG_8163 IMG_8162 IMG_8161 Finally, I crept around the wedding pavilion.IMG_8148I did think that the ceremony spot looked a bit weathered, and I hoped for the spring brides’ sake, that they would repaint the structure…but right across the brick paved walkway was the reception area…IMG_8146IMG_8145IMG_8147Luckily for me, they were setting up for a celebration, so I got to see it in all of its glory.IMG_8175IMG_8176 IMG_8174 IMG_8177That is one lucky couple. It was gorg!

Overall, I thought it was beautiful! I have to say, I am REALLY looking forward to going back in the spring (which is mere weeks away!) when more flora is blooming. An updated post may follow…

I hope you liked tagging along with me on my weekend adventure 🙂

World Market Visit

I get lots and lots and lots of emails about different vendor’s websites and whatever 20% off promotion they are running that day. It gets to the point that even I tune out to the deals. But one email, in particular, caught my eye…the Grand Opening of a World Market…right around the corner from Iron Man’s hood!

So, obviously, I went. It was an absolute mad house. Which is why I fit in perfectly 🙂 Here is what ensued…

 

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First up, some animal friends!

Look at those sweet fox spoon rests. (A few years ago, I had this wacked out dream, where a little puppet fox was playfully chasing me. Ever since then, I developed a soft spot for foxes…I know, I’m not normal)

Check out that rhinoceros lamp base…My hand is there for scale. They’re so mini and dainty, that they’re an accessory themselves. I never had a dream about a rhino, although I Want A Hippopotamus for Christmas

When I was a little girl, my aunt took me and my cousins to a farm. They had lots of little pink piglets that had just been born, and I fell in love! So, as an adult, I try to pay a sophisticated homage to my childhood love. This piggy chalkboard is just the ticket!

And who doesn’t love a good whale bookshelf?? A nautical delight!

Ummm, I can’t even. The gold wire frame lamp base, the magenta lamp shade, the driftwood floor lamp base for only $199.99! But the piece(s) de resistance (for me) were the chandeliers. Specifically, the beaded wood one in the left hand corner. This is also 200 bucks. The best part is that it works with just a regular plug-in cord! LIKELIHOOD THAT THIS WILL BE PURCHASED TO HANG OVER MY DINING TABLE: Very High-Extremely High

And now on to the colorful pretties…

The pillows, rugs, and placemats got me longing for spring. And that magenta chair was so perfect for their color palette this season. That fab floral kimono was so bohemian-ly beautiful, I couldn’t help but imagine myself wearing that, sipping a coconut drink through a straw on a porch while a tropical breeze rustles through my hair…if I can’t be in  a beach paradise, maybe I could be sitting on this playful linen settee with colorful buttons. It even has a matching bed! The glass vases are always something I see from other vendors, but the prices are so good here, there’s no competition.

And here are some lace inspired pieces…

The beautiful lattice towels were so lush and lovely in person. And the incredible carved screen was a dream. I had considered buying this for work a few weeks ago, and it was really stunning when it was right in front of you. It’s time like these when I wish I had a whole house for all of the furniture I dream about (and obviously a ginormous closet for all of my clothes too!) Also quite stunning was this metallic dresser. So pretty!

And some other beauties that caught my eye. A wooden desk, a mix-and-match desk (that rivals IKEA’s), some geometric terrariums, and a whimsical arrow tote (similar)!

I can’t leave out the food either! A whole stash of Kinder treats-yum! And these perfect square dishes for snacks or soy sauce, for when I learn how to make sushi…I loved this wood-handled silverware. It was so earthy, but modern. Which is also why I loved these marble and wood cake stands. It made me want to eat blueberry lemon cupcakes be a baker. Although I couldn’t find this chunky wood and metal dining table online, the rustic wooden slab chargers (things you put under plates to stop the eater from making a mess) and ginger beer were things I thought Iron Man would like 🙂

And one final image, so if you weren’t sure how great my trip was, this should confirm it 🙂

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Yes, Genevieve Gorder was the guest of honor!

You would be happy to know that I DID NOT purchase anything! Or maybe it wouldn’t make you happy…believe me, it’s not because I didn’t see anything I liked. You all know I can ALWAYS find something that I like. The line was super long and I plan to come back, Bed, Bath, and Beyond (World Market’s parent company) gift cards in hand!

Provenance

On Friday, me and my co-worker visited an amazing place called Provenance in Philadelphia. They are making us a custom made desk for one of our properties, so we went to go over some of the details. They had SOOO many cool things, I couldn’t wait to start looking around!

See the Church spires in the first photo? How cool would that be flanking the doorway to your boudoir, or maybe the entryway to a garden? My mind was spinning!

The next photo was originally a mold for steel beams, but obviously, I was spying it for a possible coffee table. They priced something like that for $200! But unfortunately for me, this piece was not for sale 😦

The Electric Company sign was so cool, I don’t know exactly how this could be used in a home setting, but I certainly wished there was an “S” in the lineup…

And can we talk about those mantels for a second? Hello, lovelies! I have been really wanting a mantel for my bedroom. The wall is small and too narrow for  dresser, but just perfect for a narrow snuggly mantel, complete with white twinkle lights for the wintertime 🙂

They just had so much stuff…an entire warehouse full of reclaimed wood, old doors, and stained glass windows and entire panel walls from Churches. So freakin’ cool.

I asked them where they get their things and they said sometimes it’s salvaged, sometimes things are given to them, and sometimes they find things on their own. What a cool job, right? A treasure hunter…And, it turns out that one of the fabricators happened to be a graduate from my alma mater (although much younger than me-eek!), so he was super helpful for our upcoming work project.

If you happen to be in the area, check them out!

Provenance: 1801 North American Street, Philadelphia, 215.925.2002

 

 

 

Art.com SALE!!

Now, I NEVER post while I am at work, but I had to let you all take advantage of this sale…

art.com sale

Art.com is having a 45% off everything sale today. Just use the code ‘HOPPER’. I just bought a piece for work, but I am seriously considering buying something for myself…

This got me thinking…Is it fate that Iron Man’s credit card was accidentally left in my wallet from over the weekend??

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