Just a little something to keep you inspired on this Monday 🙂 What steps are you taking toward achieving your dreams today?
Wishing you a happy, healthy and productive week!
Last weekend, after returning home from New York, I was really adamant to finish something. I’ve got a list of DIYs coming out of my ears, but really wanted to get one done, on the books and out-of-the-way. Enter… our outdoor space. When viewing our place for the first time, I was THRILLED when I stepped outside and my question of “oh, so this is a shared space?” was answered with “no, this would be all yours”. Literally, you guys. I was shaking with excitement. I couldn’t get Jake on the phone fast enough. I am obsessed with gardening (thanks to my mom for that gene) and I take no shame in enlisting friends to care for my little green kids as much as they do for Lily whenever I’m away. Having a space that was so much bigger than ever before to create my own little garden by the beach?! YES please. Thankfully, after borderline stalking our now landlord, we got the apartment and I couldn’t wait to go to town. We have a patio directly off of our bedroom as well as yard (glorified patio – not pictured) up some steps and behind our duplex. Sold. However, said patio was hideous when we moved in. HID.E.OUS. Enter exhibit A:
I told you. Steps that needed to be stained, some RANDOM paint job going on there with a mixture of white and beige… But she had potential! It was SPACE. Real, live outdoor space of our very own that could be transformed into whatever we’d like. The first thing on the list was to figure out what in the heck to do with the cinderblock walls. Paint them? Ideally, I wanted it to be a living wall to wake up next to (all Cameron Diaz like in The Holiday with electronic blinds that open with the sun shining in), but that seemed like a pretty lofty goal for a rental. So, we needed to think of something else. While running into Ikea one day for heavens knows what, I stumbled across the Applaro Outdoor Panel and knew I’d found a solution. I figured out how many we’d need, bought them and since we got carried away with unpacking, traveling for work and life in general, there they sat until last weekend. And then, finally came my little garden.
If you’re in a situation like us, here is what you need to create your OWN apartment garden with roughly $150.
Ikea Applaro Outdoor Panel – Pot hooks included (3) $39
Ikea Socker pots (8) $0.79
Ikea white pots (2) $10.99 (no longer available online, but next size up here)
Masonry anchors + Bit $7
I already had most of the plants and the lanterns, as well as a drill and a level to make this all come to life, but factor in another $100 if you’re starting fresh.
Step 1: Hardware – I knew I was going to need a masonry bit as well as concrete anchors so I was able to find a package that included both the anchors and the right size bit to drill pilot holes for the anchors. I bought some longer anchors too just in case the 1.25″ anchors were too short so that I wouldn’t have to run back out to the hardware store.
Step 2: Place wall panels where you want them and make sure they’re level. Since I was doing this by myself and since the panels were going to be resting on uneven brick pavers, this was honestly the hardest part.
Step 3: Drill your pilot holes and screw in anchors to attach your panel. This is pretty self-explanatory, but just make sure that you stop every once in a while to give your drill a rest. I have a pretty inexpensive drill and while it’s amazing for the price, drilling through concrete/cinderblock is entirely different from wood or anything else I’ve ever done in the past. And for the love of god, be CAREFUL when removing your bit. It was SO hot from the friction and of course I wasn’t wearing gloves (idiot) and burned my fingers. I’m fine, but that was no fun.
Repeat until all panels are attached! YAY! Minus all of the crap to the left, the space is already starting to look so much better! Now, time for the pots. I decided to use the Socker pots from Ikea because a) they’re inexpensive b) they’re cute and c) they’re the perfect size for herbs and that is what was going in them. However, they don’t have holes in the bottom for drainage or for hanging them on the hooks so you have to drill those manually. Just make sure you use a bit suitable for metal.
Step 4: Put your little plants in the pots and hang on your wall! You’re almost done!
Step 5: Dress up the weird empty bottom area without rungs with plants, lanterns, candles, pumpkins if it’s October… get creative! Or, if you have the space, Ikea sells a storage bench that can attach to the wall panels.
Tadaaaa! I still need to re-pot the larger rosemary plant as well as the olive tree AND re-stain those darn steps, but I think she’s looking pretty cute for just a few hours of work.
And for good time’s sake… before and after!
I’m a huge fan of Bri Emery over at DesignLoveFest and her “Dress Your Tech” series is my absolute favorite. I LOVE this desktop put together by Lauren Essl and it’s available as a free download over on Bri’s blog. Simply put, these words of wisdom came when I really needed it most. More often than not, I’m running at 100 miles per hour (October has been a complete blur) and I find that I beat myself up over absolutely everything – not responding to an email fast enough, not working out enough, not getting to the office early enough… I think it’s imperative to constantly strive to create the best version of yourself, but it’s also so important to remind yourself every once in a while that you are enough. You can not do everything and all anyone expects of you is for you to do your best. Whenever I find myself wallowing in self doubt and on a downward spiral of feeling like I’m not enough, it’s usually my wonderfully honest and direct boyfriend reaffirming what I’m already feeling. He has a really keen sense of when I’m headed into one of these lows and is so amazing (although I don’t always appreciate it) at letting me know to take a moment for myself to clear my mind. I’ve realized that what sends me to this point is usually an overall lack of writing down my goals and keeping lists of what I want and need to accomplish. Trying to organize it all in my mind simply doesn’t work for me when things get hectic. I’m looking forward to taking a step back with some time to reflect this weekend in Michigan. The good ole’ midwest always knows how to put things in perspective for me 🙂
What do you do to help remind yourself to slow down?
You guys! I’m in New York right now for Bridal Market for work and I seriously can not stop smiling. I just love it here so much. The hustle, bustle, the crisp autumn air, the architecture… everything. Give me a warm coffee in Union Square, some riding boots, an hour to explore on a chilly fall morning and I’m a happy girl. I’m running around like a mad woman for the next few days as our company is the one and only wine sponsor of the Martha Stewart Weddings party this year (pinch me!!!), but I’ll be sure to check in soon. Hope you all have a great weekend! xoxo
image via me! (Flat Iron 2012)
I’m sorry, but did someone say it’s OCTOBER?! Where has this year gone?? 2013 has been so busy, frustrating, rewarding, exhausting and completely all consuming, but I miss blogging so much that I absolutely must make the time for it. I’m a firm believer that if you aren’t doing what you love, than you might as well be doing nothing at all… I LOVE this little creative outlet of mine and it’s time that I start showing up here every once in a while. My goal is to post every few days (even if it’s just a short snippet, update or something currently inspiring) and see where it takes me, but I can’t wait to hang out with you again 🙂
I haven’t forgotten about you… I promise. I’ve just been a bit of a busy bee and this year took off by storm. Truthfully, this blog used to be my creative outlet and now my job involves so much creative that sometimes I feel like I’m filled to the creativity brim by the end of the day. I’m a lucky girl 😉
I do have a few exciting things in the works that I can’t wait to share. I’ll be sure to post a few fun updates next week. Have a great weekend!
Hope you’re having a great week!
Just over a year ago, our kitten was born and since we adopted her from the West LA Animal Shelter, we don’t really know much about her early days other than that she was found at about 2 1/2 months old wandering the streets of West Los Angeles alone. I had been begging and pleading Jake for months to let me get a cat since he travels so often and he was adamant that we’d never have one because of his allergies. For whatever reason, I was feeling a little down on my way home from class one day last May and decided that a trip to the shelter to visit the animals would cheer me up. There was a playroom full of tiny kittens that weren’t available until the following week and then a feline room for the larger cats that I almost never stepped into, but something lead me into that room that day and I’m so glad it did. With her tiny paw reaching out at me, I met Lily for the first time. I convinced the man working there to let me take her out and hold her and from the moment she nuzzled up against me and started purring, I knew I had to take her home. The following morning, after Jake met her and there were thankfully no signs of an allergic reaction, we made her ours and she’s been an absolute joy in our lives ever since 🙂
I’m a firm believer that animals truly lift our spirits and offer unconditional love to those who need it most. There are vast studies that show that with weekly doses of “pet therapy” patients in both nursing homes and hospitals show great improvement. Additionally, having a pet has shown to do wonders for your stress levels and health. Lily’s little spark-plug personality has been nothing short of fascinatingly entertaining for both of us and she’s been the perfect little addition to our home. For that, I’m starting my first “Thursday Thanks” post with her.