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On The Day Your Ex Gets Married

Annie Butler

Advice

I'm entering my fifth year of blogging. I don't talk about it, ever, but those five years = two serious boyfriends. 

Blog Boyfriend #1 got married a few weekends ago.  I didn't expect to feel any way about it. I knew it was happening, and I knew the date it was happening, but I kind of thought the page would just fall away from my mental calendar without a second glance. I mean, I live 2000 miles across the country, and I've only kept contact with one or two of our mutual friends in the three years since our break up. There was a very small chance I could stumble on a photo from the big day on social media -- but even then, I'd have to go searching for it.

I didn't think I would notice. 
But guys, the day came, and it was WEIRD.

So, how should you feel on the day your Ex is getting married? Any way you damn please. It's strange to think about someone you once shared your life with, permanently pledging their life to someone else. 

I am so, very happy in my current relationship. I am so, so thankful for my past relationships that brought me here. I feel good that my Ex found a fulfilling life partner. But it's still weird.

So, on the day your Ex gets married, here's what I suggest:

  • Acknowledge it. It's happening. It's weird. You noticed it & that doesn't mean anything besides the fact that you're a human being. 
  • Be grateful. I believe in fate, which means your Ex is your ex for a reason. There's something else in store for you.
  • It's okay to be a little nostalgic.
  • But don't forget the reasons it didn't work.
  • If you ARE dating someone, be honest with them! I told my current boyfriend what was going on. He nodded. He said, "Yea, I bet that IS weird."  And then we had an amazing day. We ate donuts, hung out with friends, took blog photos, drank too much coffee, followed it up with a few dark and stormies, chatted, walked, explored the city. It wasn't until the end of the day, laying sunburnt in my bed, that my mind wandered back to the wedding, just for a fleeting second.
  • If you're NOT dating someone: make plans! There are a lot of people in your life in the present. There's no reason to dwell in the past. 

And know this: when your Ex pledges his life to another woman, well there's no more permanent kind of closure in the world! Ha!


Photo: Nikond3200 35mm / Edits: Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop

Annie's Studio Kitchen Tour

Annie Butler

Ikea Grundal Kitchen Bars

Long awaited and slightly spoiled by my SmallCool Contest... the "after" photos of my tiny little SF kitchen! Let's first take a trip down memory lane. Remember what my kitchen looked like when I moved in? Here's the "before" post and a few photos below. 

Apartment kitchen before and after
Before and After

This is honestly my favorite space in the apartment. Not just because it's where I cook dinner (Cough. Excuse me. Where I warm up pizza from the Whole Foods Refrigerated Section.), but also because it was the first room here in SF that I got "done."

That's a funny word, because of course no room is ever "done." A space grows and changes with your needs and taste. But, this was the room that I focused on making me right away. Moving here was really hard. I mean, I'm so happy I did, don't get me wrong. But living 2000 miles away from my family and everything I know -- that was a challenge. I really needed to make something here in SF mine, and I wanted to do it as quickly as possible. I did it here in this tiny kitchen. 

Que end of the sappy part of this post :D Anyway, you can see for yourself how the space evolved in the photos below. But I also wanted to point out a few of what I consider the "big impact" items:

  • Removing the cupboard doors. I did this RIGHT away. It's super easy, for you other renters out there. Literally just unscrew the hinges. Of course, before I move out, I'll have to screw them back on, but I absolutely think removing these doors opened the room a TON.
  • HANG EVERYTHING. Literally, everything. I hung pots and pans, I hung knives, I hung the paper towels, I hung plants, I hung baking supplies, I hung my pictures (as magnets on the fridge). There is one drawer and two "food" storage cupboards in this kitchen. That's not enough room for anything. Utilizing the wall space was imperative.
  • Draw the eyes up. It's true what they say, if you put something above the natural line of vision, your eye will travel up to see it. This layering of height helps the space feel much larger. I did this through the art above my cupboards and the hanging copper plant rod (a DIY I can share here, if you'd like!).
  • Speaking of the plants, Greenery. I've never had plants before, but now I have three succulents in the kitchen, two herbs the wall, mint in the corner, and an air plant on the fridge. You might think I'm crazy for saying this, but I feel like they're like my little pets! It's so fun to watch them grow. The plants add some needed life into this tiny kitchen.
  • You might notice I don't have a microwave.... so that's my final tip. Challenge yourself. I didn't think I could live without a microwave (ugh, pampered much?), but it actually is totally fine. I use this awesome wok that I found at a Thrift Store to make oatmeal in the morning and heat up leftovers. Those were pretty much the only reasons I ever used a microwave anyway! It feels great to save the space the microwave would have taken up.
Cute Tiny kitchen
Tiny Kitchen solutions
Plants in a tiny apartment kitchen
Small kitchen solutions
Tiny kitchen

Photos: Diana Lustig | Sources: Ikea Grundtal Kitchen Rods (pots and pans); Urban Outfitters Swan Watering Can; Bed Bath and Beyond Paper Towel Holder; Target Trash Can; Ikea Magnetic Knife Bar; Ikea Double Tiered Drying Rack; Hanging plants, Hanging Shelf and Modern Planter DIY's; Amazon Le Parfait Jars.


Red Maxi at Presidio

Annie Butler

Girl in a red dress

Hi friends! So many things to update you. 

  • First: thank you so much for your votes for my little studio apartment in Apartment Therapy's #SmallCool contest. I ended up in the top 8 for the teeny-tiny division, pretty neat! I'll have an official tour to share later this week. 
  • Second: Happy Mother's Day! (Belated). It was the first year I didn't get to tell my mom in person, which was hard. Luckily, there's face time. 
  • Third: Shout out to all the college graduates out there (including my little sister, and my photographer's little sister too!). So proud of you! I can't believe I graduated four years ago. Seems like a lifetime, and also like yesterday.
  • Fourth: Here's a new outfit post! Finally! It's been a while, I know. 

I'm really feeling the maxi dress trend this spring. I got this one at a little boutique in Haight Ashbury for $20! I love how easy it is to wear a maxi dress --  no jewelry or extra styling necessary. Yet, for it's effortless-ness, the maxi can also look very formal. 

Besides wearing this in a field, gallavanting through the Presidio, I can easily envision wearing this red maxi to a bridal shower, or even Rehearsal Dinner. 

What do you guys think? Feeling the maxi trend this year? I have so many sitting in my shopping carts across the web. Like this one, which I've been debating for weeks; and this one... OBSESSED. Who knows, you might see these gracing Ida Street some time in the future :D

Girl in a Red Dress
Red dress
girl in a red dress
Girl in a Red Dress
Girl in a red dress walking through field

Red Dress: Ducks in a Row, Similar
Motto Jacket: Similar from H&M


Photos: Jake Heath, Nikond3200, 35mm / Edits: Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop / Location: Presidio

Call for Voters: Small Cool

Annie Butler

Hello! Hi! Howdy! I'm really pumped because 1) I finally get to share some photos of my apartment with you and 2) I'm a contestant on Apartment Therapy's Small Cool Contest this year! It's kind of a dream of mine :)

That's why I'm here, actually. I would really love your vote. 

If you feel so inclined, please click on this link and "favorite" my entry on apartmenttherapy.com. I'm in the teeny-tiny division! 

If you don't have an account with Apartment Therapy, you can submit your email to receive a new url in your inbox to cast your vote. The contest is over this Friday (May 6) at 9am PST. After it's over, I'll take you on an official tour of my kitchen and studio. 

Love you guys so much!


Photos: Diana Lustig / Edits: Adobe Photoshop

5 years ago...

Annie Butler

What were you doing five years ago today?
You might have been in college, like me, studying for finals.
Or, instead of studying, starting a blog.

in-thekitchen.jpg

Yep. I've been blogging for five, whole, crazy, entire years. For better or worse, every embarrassing memory, style of writing, emo fashion post, and a little random poetry, are documented in this site. Much of it is buried, thank God, but you can still find it. It's a matter of searching the right terms in my search bar. (Lucky for you, I linked some of my most embarrassing ones at the end of this post 🙈.) 

So let's see, where was I five years ago? Well, I was 20 years old. I was at the end of my third year of undergrad. & I thought certainly, life was as complicated as it would ever get.

HA.

That's one really neat thing about blogging. Every year, I get to look back at my old posts, use a time warp (that I will hopefully find by next year) to smack myself in the face for thinking homemade filters were a good photo edit, and revel in the fact that I've grown up.

I barely recognize the girl I was when I started this blog five years ago. 
So, I guess that's the lesson I want to share: everything changes.

Including this blog!  Feast your heart out on the embarrassing posts of my youth. & from the bottom of my heart, thank you for taking the time to visit me here for these past five years. It's been a true honor to travel this journey with you.

girl baking
girl baking
  • When I was into rhyming, and I guess, really loved the beach. Here
  • Then, for a little while, haikus. Here.
  • My second ever fashion post, also around the time I stopped using capitalization. Here.
  • Then I started to draw. Here.
  • & omg my first power tool. Here.
  • When I thought I was finally an adult.... because I did my laundry at the laundromat. Here.
  • I pretended to care about sports: here, here, here and here.
  • I confessed a crush on ee cummings (what?! ya big weirdo) here.
  • Then I decided to write and illustrate my own children's novel. Here & here.
  • I got all emo about graduating here.
  • & then I actually graduated here.
  • I kept on drawing here.
  • I went back to Miami University as an alum, here.
  • I took ridiculous photos in front of construction sign here.
  • I posed in front of the side of a house here....
  • & in a parking lot behind my office here.
  • I used wrapping paper for a background (and it looked horrible) here.
  • & then told you guys all about my embarrassing posts... HERE!

I love you so much. Thanks for five tremendous years. xox


Photography: Jake Heath, Nikond3200 35mm and Kit Zoom Lens / Edits: Adbobe Lightroom and Photoshop


DIY: Hanging Side Table

Annie Butler

Easy DIY hanging Shelf

Hi my name is Annie and I hang things from the walls. 
Hiiii, Annie. 

This is how my imaginary addiction class scene goes when I play it in my head, because guys I am addicted to hanging things. It's an age old rule that in a small space you need to make use of vertical height. But in all my small spaces, I've never been quite so into it as I am now.

Anyway, this DIY hanging side table is the simplest project I've ever shared.

Find yourself a piece of wood scrap. Got it? Good. Now use a power  drill and bit to drill a hole in all four corners. Cut four very long pieces of rope and feed one end through each hole of your board. Tie a knot on the ends to keep the board in place.  Using a  level, gather the other ends of your rope and tie them to a cup hook in your wall. Done.

Confession: I decided to do this one night after my sister and I did a nice number on a bottle of wine. Yea. I did this entire thing in about 10 minutes, while I was tipsy. That's how easy it is. 

Wood Scrap: Had
Rope: Had
One Cup Hook: Had
Total: Free! 
Or if you're starting from scratch, about $10

Easy diy hanging shelf
Easy diy Hanging Shelf
DIY hanging shelf

Annie's Studio: Before

Annie Butler

Got 20 seconds? I'll take you on a tour of my apartment!

Annies Small SF Apartment
Annies New Small Apartment

Okay, there it is. Haha. Small, huh? I stood inside one closet to take the first picture, and the opposite closet to take the second. These are from "before." Before I walked down the street and bought a mattress; carried a bed frame six blocks uphill; built my kitchen table; and recreated the standing desk.

When it's empty like this, you can really tell how little it is!

I won't lie to you. It sucked at first. As a homebody, one of my life rules is this:  fall asleep in a space where you feel comfortable and everything else will work itself out. I was not super comfortable when I first moved in this space. I was living in a brand new city, had just sold or donated all of my belongings, and was facing a pretty major culture shock. 

I found out pretty quickly I was going to have to grow some thicker skin. There's a lot of noises that go on outside my window at night. A. LOT. I thought by living and working downtown Cincinnati I had been exposed to a fair amount of homelessness and/or mental illnesses. Not true. It's extremely heartbreaking and still upsetting every time I pass a woman or man sleeping in front of my building.

It was a big change, and it was hard. I really wanted to give up, but I didn't. And one day, after several months -- well, I ended up making this space a real home. 

I love my apartment now. You've seen a lot of the updated space through my other blog posts, but I'll write up an official documentation soon. And don't worry, in the end I did get that thicker skin. I've got mad street cred now. Well, more street cred than when I moved in, at the very least 😏.


Photos: Nikond3200 Kit Lens/ Edits: Adobe Lightroom

DIY: 4ft Copper Accent Planter

Annie Butler

Copper Accent Modern Planter

So I fail at taking "process photos" & I'm sorry! To be honest, I wasn't sure this would end up being a DIY I wanted to share with you guys. They don't always work, you know!!! (For example, yesterday I tried to make a hanging-mason jar-coffee bean-candle-thing. Yea, had to blow that one out when I started smelling burning paper instead of the vanilla cappuccino I envisioned. Whoops!)

But, I actually really love this planter, and it was relatively easy. So I'll try my best to explain what I did. 

Like most of my blog posts, this one started with a problem. See, the only place plants can get light in my apartment is the kitchen. And my  windowsills are maxed out with succulents. Que Laura's cute pink window box planter from ABM! I knew I would need one taller (four feet to be exact - to lift my plants over the stove), and skinnier (to fit into a random weird corner in my kitchen), but still this idea seemed like a solid solution. 

So... To Michael's I went! I found a plywood box that was the perfect size for my little corner (8x8inches). It so happened to have a bunny face on it, gotta love that Easter clearance! The bunny face made painting this box kinda sad -- and difficult, ha! It took three days and three coats of paint to get that face covered!

But when it was dry, I bought four 4ft x 1/2inch copper pipes from Lowes (these are in the plumbing section). Across the aisle were matching copper brackets (actually called "pipe straps") that fit over the pipes (meaning, they were also 1/2 an inch). I got 12 of those and carried my loot home on Bart.

Using four c-clamps and a level, I clamped my pipes to the box and stood the whole thing up to find the height I wanted. While the pipes were still clamped on, I used a piece of masking tape to mark each pipe A-D and added corresponding tape on the corners of the box. STILL clamped and standing, I took a permanent marker and drew two lines on each pipe, marking where the top and bottom of the box should be in relation to the pipe.  

Finally, time to make those pipes into legs! I unclamped everything and took Pipe A and matched it with Corner A. With the box on it's side, and using the lines I drew on the copper pipe to measure where I needed to place it, I laid pipe straps on top of my pipe and used a power drill to drill right through the holes of pipe strap#1 and into my box. I screwed bolts into the holes and secured it with a nut to hold that first pipe strap in place. Then I followed this process for pipe straps #2 and #3, alternating between drilling holes and screwing in the bolts. Woohoo! One leg down, three to go! 

Once all the legs/pipes were screwed in place, I stood the planter up to make sure it was still balanced. According to my level, it was a little off. So I took a hammer and kinda, tapped the box into place (remember, we haven't actually screwed through the pipes at all, so this method works!).

Later, I added floor scratch pads to the bottom of each of the pipes. I've since found out about "end caps" and may look into this to top of my copper pipes.

Finally, to make this into a real planter, I stopped at Lowes again. There I bought a plastic garden pot that would fit inside my box (meaning the pot was under 8 inches tall). I brought that home and painted it to match my box (which has handle holes, since it was an Easter Basket in a previous life 😁). After the paint dried, I dropped the plastic pot into my Bunny Box and Voila! A modern looking, copper accent 4-ft planter!

I planted mint in this pup because mint apparently doesn't need a ton of sun and it's fairly hard to kill. I had big dreams of my apartment smelling like mint every time I opened the door, but so far... nothing to report. Still though, I can't wait to make mint adorned drinks all summer :D

Four 4ft x 1/2 inch Copper Pipes: (Lowes) $52
Twelve 1/2 inch Copper Pipe Straps: (Home Depot) $7
One 8x8inch Plywood Box: (Michaels) $12
24 nuts/bolts: (Amazon) $7
One Plastic Pot: (Lowes) $2
Felt furniture pads: Had
Paint: Had
Sweet Mint: $2
Potting Soil!: (Lowes) $5
Total: $87

^^ My DIYs always end up costing so much more than I think they will. I can't really compare this price to a "store bought" version, because I honestly haven't seen anything like it! I guess that's my favorite part about DIY-ing, you always end up with something one-of-a-kind :D

Cute Modern Planter DIY
Cute DIY Planter
Custom DIY Modern Planter

Photos: Nikond3200 35mm / Edits: Adobe Lightroom

No-Stitch Skirt Repair

Annie Butler

You have an amazing skirt. You wear it out on the town 4 or 5 times. Then, you pull it out of your closet and the thing is TORN. This was the fate of my fave off white skirt from these posts (throwback!) when I pulled it off my skirt rack a few days ago. I was devastated. But I wore it anyway with a long black shirt so you couldn't tell 😉

But I want to keep this skirt in rotation, so I decided to try my hand at mending it with stitch witchery.

how to repair a broken skirt without sewing

Long story short, it worked. I took some of the extra stitch witchery I had from lengthening my curtains, placed it between the torn layer and the built in slip beneath, dampened a cloth and patted with the steam setting on my travel iron. 

no sew skirt repair

I mean, I wouldn't say it's "good as new," but I totally will wear it this way without fear of increasing the tear and/or getting called out. 

Of course, this method only works on clothes that are made of two layers. But if you find yourself owning a skirt, shirt, etc that fits the bill, I'd definitely encourage you non-sewers to try it out!

no sew skirt repair
no stitch skirt repair
no sew skirt repair

Photos: Nikond3200 kit and 35 mm lenses / Edits: Adobe Lightroom

Annie's Studio Kitchen: Before

Annie Butler

Annies Studio Kitchen Before

Here it is, in all it's glory. The tiny kitchen in my SF studio. 

Things I love: The natural light. The fact I have a stove/oven AND a real room for the kitchen. Those were pretty much my only requirements while I was looking for an apartment. You'd be shocked, but a lot of the studios I was looking at had hot plates for a stove top and no oven in sight! No joke! It would've been microwave meals for a year... if I could even find room for a microwave 😉

 More than any additions in this room, I mostly decided to rearrange the furniture. Since I can't really make permanent changes, my plan was to open up the room as much as possible. The cool thing about this starter studio is that nothing was really attached to the wall (looking at you, tiny stove), so I could just scooch things around as I wanted. I took off the cupboard doors above the fridge right away and immediately added all my art from home above them to draw eyes up toward the ceiling. I clearly don't have a ton of storage, so I planned on using the wall space and hang whatever I could.

Anyway, my tiny kitchen is still a work in process, but my theory was to finish one of my rooms as fast as I could, so at least one part of my apartment would feel like "home."  I'll show you some pics soon! xox

Little Studio Kitchen
Tiny Kitchen

The Easiest Way to Upgrade Your Lingerie

Annie Butler

Underclub Co the lingerie subscription service

I have the ugliest underwear. I so wish I was kidding. My time and money have always been more tied up in the clothes that people actually see to invest in something as hidden as panties. But, I'm almost 26 years old, and my laundry sometimes stays a few minutes too long in the shared washer in the apartment basement. So when Underclub Co invited me to their Pop Up Event, I decided it might be a good idea to go.

Basically, Underclub is a subscription underwear mail delivery service. It searches the area for the best, most luxurious panties, and sends them to you in the mail once a month in a neat little envelope. You can order for yourself, or gift them to your friends (helllLLooOOO best bachelorette party gift ever!). You even work with a stylist so the underwear you receive are the style and fit you like best. Read a little more about it here.

Slowly but surely, Underclub will reinvent your underwear drawer. It's the easiest way to try new brands, new styles and new fits without taking a single moment out of your day. Plus, in my case, I can walk a little more casually to the washer and dryer when I'm running behind.

As my birthday comes rounding the mountain and I enter my late-mid-twenties, it might be time to invest in some grown up undies. Especially if it is only a click away. p.s. soon-to-be-bachelorettes out there, sorry if I just ruined my gift surprise... 😉

Underclub Co the lingerie subscription service

I received free product while writing this post.
Photography: Nikond3200 35mm / Edits: Adobe Lightroom

Questions from a 20-something: vol 3

Annie Butler

We’re young. We’re learning. There are still some life skills that need to be fixed. Which reminds me, my skirt just ripped -- is there any way to fix it?

There are a lot of questions I have on the daily, some answers are an easy google search away. Some, though, are harder and more thought provoking. But you know what? I usually figure it out, and I thought you might benefit from what I’ve found. So here we go: five of my recent questions AND answers. 

SF view of China Beach

Can you post emojis from your mac keyboard? 

YES! From the new macs, anyway. Press control + command + spacebar inside a text field (tweet, Facebook post, etc) to open up an old version of the emoji keyboard that is on your iPhone. Warning: the emojis will probably change to the format of your platform. ie: in gchat they change to the gchat emojis.. which are equally awesome and sometimes animated.

Can I freeze glass

Food expands when it freezes, so as long as you leave room for it to expand, your glass should be fine. To be safe, go with tempered glass or canning jars. My glass storage containers from Bed Bath and Beyond are freezer safe. Or you could also freeze individual meal portions of soup (or whatever) in plastic bags for easiest future dinner options. When you’re ready to eat, simply run warm water over it for thirty seconds or so, cut the bag and warm in a soup pan! 

How do you "Hand Wash" clothes?

I have an embarrassingly huge section of my closet filled with dirty clothes that are waiting to go to the dry cleaner or are marked "hand wash only." Now. Sometimes I risk it and wash these clothes with all my other gear. But, this weekend I'm going to try to hand wash. Here's what to do (I just looked it up): Fill up your sink with warm water (or what it says on the label). Add a teaspoon of detergent. Submerge and gently swish around the clothing . Drain the sink and refill with cool water. Push the item up and down until the soap is gone. Done. <source>

my tiny apartment is so damp, what can I do?

Hi there, El Nino. How long are you planning to hang out? Guys. My apartment is old and DAMP. I'm not kidding. Usually, I can keep the windows open and things are fine, but when it's raining for 10 days in a row...... buy a dehumidifer. It is the only answer. I got this little guy on Amazon and haven't turned it off for about 6 weeks. No joke. I have to empty it out about every other day, but when it's raining outside and my windows are closed, this little puppy keeps things dry.

How do I add line breaks in my instagram bio?

Omg, I have been SO jealous of the people that do that:

.
.

#hastags #allunderthecaptionbreak #line.

So how do you do it? NOTES! Yea, go on your iPhone Notes app and write out your hashtags how you want them to appear. Copy and paste to Instagram and your line breaks will hold. Also works in your insta bio 😉. <source>

Have a question? Let me know! I bet I can figure it out :D & in the meantime, let me know if you found any of these useful. 


Photo: Nikond3200 zoom kit lens / Edits: Adobe Lightroom

Leather Booties Round Up ($140&under)

Annie Butler

Six out of seven days a week I wear leather booties. I have dark brown booties, light brown booties and I'm on the hunt for black booties. I've been a little obsessed for over a year.

Recently my sister wanted some help looking for booties of her own. We found a TON and I wanted to share our favorites, because there are some pretty sweet deals out there.

Images are links!  Enjoy!

Red Lipstick and Pixilated Photos

Annie Butler

Suppppaahhh pixilated. Yea, I know. A few days ago I ambushed my photographer for these photos. The sun was setting fast and I was running late. I ordered myself an Uber X -- a real luxury, because I always opt for Muni or Uber Pool to save those dolla dolla bills, yo -- and rushed to his apartment. When I walked in, he was rocking wet hair and getting ready to attend the ballet. But still, I made him run outside with me because I was wearing makeup and wanted to document the rare occasion. 

Initially I was planning to title this blog post "how to wear sneakers with a skirt," but, we actually didn't get any decent photos to show you. There's one dark and shadowy photo below, which can kind of give you an idea. But, my advice for the subject is this.... sneakers + skirt = IN. I walk past an Anthropologie Window every day after work and it's all the rage on the mannequins. And as we've discussed before, wear it with enough confidence, and no one will ever question you.

In other news: Daylight Savings Time is this weekend. I've been eating this overnight slow cooker quinoa oatmeal for a week. I found some great thrift stores on Haight Street, and I'm in the process of building a hanging shelf for my kitchen. Can't wait to share more with you. 

Sending lots of love. 

Sneakers and a skirt

Photos: Jacob Heath, Nikond3200 35mm | Edits: Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop | Glasses: Frameri Twain in Rye | Cape: TJMaxx, Similar | Shirt: Sold out, Similar | Skirt: Old, SImilar | Shoes: Thrifted, Similar

A One-Weekend Itinerary for Portland, OR

Annie Butler

Heaven is a place on earth.
vodoo doughnuts

I didn't know much about Portland when we booked our trip to the city a few weeks ago. I had heard of Voodoo Doughnuts and seen a few episodes of Portlandia. That was about it.

So, I asked my cool older sister what her top suggestions would be, and then posed the same question to a few coworkers and friends. Portland is a popular destination, apparently, and suddenly I had suggestions out to Wazoo.

In the end, my travel buddy and I each decided to pick a "must see" from the suggestion list, and then we chose one together. These three activities became the backbone of our itinerary. It was a pretty fun weekend, all in all, and I thought I'd share our little schedule for those of you thinking of a visit to the City of Roses.

Day One:
Land at 8am
Brunch in downtown Portland
Walk through the city
Moltnomah Falls (this was our jointly picked activity)
Dinner in Boise (East Portland)
Drinks at a few of the breweries nearby

Day Two:
Sleep in
Voodoo Doughnuts for brunch (this was my activity)
Pearl District for drinks, breweries, coffee shops, shopping and dinner (this was my travel buddy's activity)
Powell's City of Books (while walking through the Pearl District)
Fly out at 9pm

Other tips: Rent a car, it's so worth it.  Bring a jacket, an umbrella, and a beanie 😋. It will rain, and it will likely be cold. There will be a line for Voodoo, but it's a shorter line at the location across the river! You'll love the Pearl District. Wear walking shoes and comfortable pants for spontaneous hikes and lots of brewery drinks. Let me know how it goes :)


Photos: Jake Heath and Annie Butler; Edits: Adobe Lightroom

Ikea Hack! Making Cheap Succulents Look Boutique

Annie Butler

potted succulent diy

I do NOT have a green thumb. I'm about as far from it as you can get. Like, I kill succulents and cacti on a regular basis. But that doesn't mean I don't want to be a plant person. My black thumb just means I have to find greenery on the cheap. That's where Ikea comes in. They have alllllll kind of succulents for just a few dollars! On a recent trip, I came out with four different plants, and four vases to boot. 

My friend suggested that I add rocks to my deep vases and avoid tons of unnecessary dirt.  So on my way home from work one day I stopped at Michaels for a few different styles of rocks - these are usually in the back aisle by the fake plants. I love the way it turned out, and the bonus about having a glass vase is that I can see that I don't over or underwater my succulents ---- I have a feeling that is what has killed them in the past. 

Anywayyy, how do you like this look? Could you guess these were Ikea succulents? With only a few extra dollars, do they look super boutique? I hope the latter :D

Hope you had a phenomenal weekend. xoxoxox

cute succulents
pretty succulents diy

4 Ikea Succulents = $12
3 Short Square Ikea Glass Vases = $9
1 Tall Square Ikea Glass Vase: $5
4 Bags of Colored Rocks (Michaels) = $13
Total: $39

PS: Like my little studio set up (below)? Ha! Blogger life. 

Photos: Nikond3200 kit lens and 35mm | Edits: Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop

Beanies and sneaks: Keeping it weird in Portland

Annie Butler

Girl in beanie

One of the reasons I wanted to move to the west coast was to explore the country. I love Ohio and the midwest, but from there, so much of this beautiful country seemed really far away. Not anymore!

This weekend I took a flash trip to Portland, Oregon. On early Saturday morning (4:30am) I left my apartment  in the TenderNob for a 6:15am flight with Alaska Airlines. By 8:30am I was in the City of Roses :D It was sooo beautiful and sooo fun and I feel extremely lucky that I was able to take a weekend trip to such a cool city. I got back on Sunday night around 11:30pm. If you'd like to hear about the flash trip itinerary, shoot me an email or comment below. In the meantime let's talk about this fun little outfit. 

Portland is a lot colder, and wetter, than SF and I really didn't bring the right jacket for the occasion. Or at least, that's how I justified buying this beanie when I ducked into a local boutique Sunday morning to get out of the rain. If I'm being honest, I was mostly jealous of all the cute, beanie-wearing-locals strolling the sidewalks around me. They looked so warm and stylish and I partially bought this beanie to feign being a hipster and fit in. No regrets.

This athletic look is a little different than what I usually sport (sorry, I had to pun), but I kinda love it. What do you think?

sneakers

Photographer: Jacob HeathPhotos: NIkond3200 35mm | Edits: Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop | Beanie: Filson'sGlasses: Frameri Twain in RyeSneakers: Thrifted, Similar | Jeans: Took from my mom, but I think she got them at Sam's Club!  | Jacket: J.Crew Factory Old, similar | Cardigan: Anthroplogie Old, similar | Shirt: Nordstrom Rack Sold Out, similar | Purse: Madewell

Blue Lace Dress

Annie Butler

Blue by the water

This past weekend was the first weekend in a while I got to be at home base. After an unexpected trip to Ohio, followed by a weekend in Tahoe, a little sun and sea was exactly what I needed. I spent a few hours in Alameda at a Restoration Hardware warehouse sale, where after 80% discounts, I still couldn't afford anything, to Ikea where I COULD afford many things, and a brewery in between (: 

On Valentine's Day, I went on a walk along Ocean Beach to Lands End and had a little picnic in the panhandle. It was an amazing contrast to last year, where I spent the weekend and week snowed into my apartment on Ida Street. Ahh! Seventy and sunny beats snowy ice any day :D

Anyway: this blue dress! I saw my bestie Natalie wearing it and instantly fell in love. I bought it on discount at Free People and waited the arrival anxiously. After I tried it on, I realized it was much shorter than I usually wear my dresses, so I added some tights and a long coat. I've been trying to get back into the floppy hat too (it's been a while, huh?) and thought a trip to watch the sunset in Marin would be the perfect occasion. 

How do you like the boho look? Sending you lots and lots of love and warmth from the west coast. xox

Free people blue lace dress by the water
Free people lace dress
Wilderness
Blue lace dress by the water

Photos by: Jake Heath; Nikond3200 35mm and kit lens / Edits: Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop / Dress: Free People 2015  < on sale in white and black / Hat: Target 2014 [similar, JCPenny] / Jacket: J.Crew Factory 2014 [similar] / Tights: J.Crew 2014 [similar]

Lengthening Your Curtains DIY

Annie Butler

Lengthen your curtains DIY

My apartment looks straight across a skinny alley into someone else's kitchen. After a few awkward encounters (picture me waving at strangers while they cooked, or Tom Cruise's scene from Risky Business lip-sync-dancing in my tighty whities), my options became 1) keep the blinds of my studio closed and live in a dungeon or 2) buy some kind of curtain.

News flash: curtains are expensive. And also, you're supposed to measure the window before you buy. 

After a long time of speculation and non-measuring, I found myself in the curtain aisle at Target yet again in a fluster, decided to screw it, picked up three packs of curtains that "I bet are the right length" and marched them home. It seemed crazy expensive, but for a while my problems were solved! But, shortly after I threw away the receipt and packaging, my friend came over and said "aren't curtains supposed to hit the floor?"

Ummm,..... What? Are they? I don't know! So I researched. And most do. And I became kind of obsessed with it. The idea haunted me like three soft, white, 95 inch, fluffy ghosts. Every blog I read, every Apartment Therapy post I stalked, floor length curtains were everywhere, and mine fluttered softly 1.5 feet above the ground. Then the blog gods smiled on me and I stumbled upon a post about lengthening curtains. & even though Katie only needed a few extra inches, and I needed several more feet, I realized it was doable, and I could either give it a try or spend one hundred more dollars on new curtains.

So.......  with a seam ripper I removed the bottom seam of my curtains and then measured the amount of length I needed, width and height, to get to the floor. At JoAnn's Craft and Fabric Store I picked two fabrics I wanted to layer at the bottom of my curtains and an "apparel trim" (but it took me a few trips around the store to find out they were called that) to add to the very bottom. I got all those cut at the cutting station for enough fabric for my three windows (little tip: you have to pull a number, like the deli, to get in line at the cut station). At home, I used fiskers to cut and pin together the first curtain and sloooooowwwwly stitch the entire thing together. It took f.o.r.e.v.e.r. I'm not kidding. Ten hours. TEN. After I finally finished I decided there had to be an easier way, and I ordered stitch witchery on Amazon. 

It saved me like, a million hours. Basically, it's magic. You cut your stitch witchery like it's scotch tape. Then put it between your fabrics, and with the wool setting on your iron, and a damp cloth on top of both fabrics, press down firmly. Let it dry. Then you're good! Even with a small table top ironing board, it cut about 16 hours off my time. 

Seam Ripper: $3
2 yards of fabric one: 9.99/yard = $20
2 yards of fabric two: 14.99/yard = $30
4 yards of lace apparel trim: $20
Stitch Witchery: $4.36
Iron: borrowed
Total: $77.36

As it turns out, it would have been around the same price for me to just buy new curtains. But, I still feel really proud of my creation, and I'm not sure what I would have done with three old curtains stuck in my closet, anyway. Plus, like all my DIY's, I love that these are completely custom made and  no one else in the world has them. I would encourage you to give it a try! 

Let me know if you do! xox

^^^ with stitching.

^^^ with stitching.

^^^ with stitch witchery.

^^^ with stitch witchery.

lengthen your curtains DIY
^^ blurry... it's hard to balance on a stool with your camera in the air above your head 😋

^^ blurry... it's hard to balance on a stool with your camera in the air above your head 😋

Lengthen your curtains by layering DIY

P.S. This is what the curtains used to look like. 


Photos: Nikon D3200 35mm and kit lens; Edits: Adobe Lightroom / Chair: Move Loot / Side Table: DIY / Pillow: JoAnn's / Rug: Rugs USA / Lamp: Ikea 

On Saying Goodbye

Annie Butler

Girl at sunset

I guess, as we get older, the more life we experience, the more deeply we love, and the more deeply we lose. It makes living life an incredibly intense and satisfying experience, and it makes losing someone very painful.

When I moved to California, I left most of my deep loves in Ohio. In these six short months, I've experienced two great losses. Grieving from two thousand miles away is not an easy task. But, grieving from two feet away is no easier.

In my opinion, saying goodbye is the hardest thing we will ever have to do. Especially when the loss happened too soon. It seems unfair, and leaves us asking questions we can't always find answers to. 

But it gives us lessons, too. Like these: Life is short, love fiercely. People are warm, hug tightly. Money is to fly home unexpectedly, save wisely. And when the rains come down, and they don't stop, and life feels hard: crack open a cold one with the people you love. For when life brings you down, friends will hold you up. 

xox