This summery placecard has left me itching to throw a tiny housewarming party. Do you throw housewarming parties for yourself? Is that socially acceptable?


As of today, my mother has an empty nest and I have a new address.

A piece of me is*elated* to have my long-awaited place of my own. But another part of me is rather emotional about leaving. I've never moved in my life. I have every squeaky floorboard memorized. My dad's powertools are, um, 50 feet away and ready for action at any moment. My bedroom walls have at least 5 different colored paint coats, and memories to go along with each layer.

Bittersweet is the name of the game this weekend. But, this girl is 21 years old...it is time!

So goodbye, aqua bedroom and memorized squeaky floorboards. Goodbye, sidewalks I used to chalk. Goodbye, corner of Mercury and Eddy. I will miss you all.

Hello, cute one bedroom upper. I'm seriously digging you.



My officemate and I were pondering the ancient tomato pincushion this afternoon. Why tomatoes? And why the strange extra strawberry/cherry tomato? AND WHY HAVE WE ALL CONFORMED?

I researched these questions, and none of the answers are as exciting as the recent non-conformist pincushion explosion which can be seen all over the internet! Chet and Dot's shop offers some fresh and unfussy cushions, while Sheasy has whipped up some quirky little cactus cushions. Love them both!

These bottle cap pincushions are a great way to use up scraps and are from are a nice step far, far away from the, er, produce section.

(Photo by Modern Charm)

like riding a bike.

Given my recent efforts at reconquering the bicycle, I appreciate these towels ever so much.



Oh, dear valued readers. I know you are out there and thank you so much for reading. Thanks to cookies, I know exactly when and where and how many times you are reading...a little voyeuristic, I know, but it makes my heart skip a beat when everyday I see that someone new (or old) read me. You are valued. The fact that everyday a group of people take the time to read what I have to say...is much appreciated :) Drop me a comment sometime. I love your thoughts! Also, if you blog, send me your blog link. I'd be ecstatic to read about your life!

(A little park Gabe and I love)

So sorry for the lack of exciting new posts of the the last week or so...life has been crazy. Driving to the airport at 3 am, packing 22 years worth of items, celebrating birthdays, graduations, weddings, finding everything a single girl needs in her home and learning to ride a bike (truly) has taken up vast amounts of time. But, let me tell you what, I am more inspired in my life than I ever have been. Inspired to be someone new, to be who I always have been but in a new way, to learn something new, to use what I already know, to meet new people, to further appreciate and love those that I know...I am all around inspired.

Its not true what they say about adulthood. It isn't terrible. It doesn't suck. At least it doesn't have to :)



This bedroom makeover from diy day-lab is far from dull. Love the lack of matchy-matchy colors with the grey/blue walls! Lately grey has really caught my eye. Its a fresh twist on the neutral palette which normally consists of tan...and white. There are so many more personal touches in this room, you must check out the blog. So cozy and bright.

Day-lab also has a store full of sweet vintage finds...a fun browse :)



I love love letters, whether they're mine or not. A few days ago I ran across the book Other People's Love Letters, and have been fascinated with the idea ever since. Some of them are bound to be a tad tawdry I'm sure, but there is nothing quite like the mystery and romance of the anoymous written word!

Thankfully, after a young romance ended I listened to the voice of reason and saved all 28 handwritten notes that were given to me. Yes, twenty-eight pages of letters, which I rediscovered for the first time tonight. After a few hours of reading, mine are now carefully straightened out and tied in twine...waiting for my someday children to laugh them to pieces!


How fun is the Illoiha fitness center's funky twist on rock climbing? The fitness center, located in one of Tokyo's posh shopping districts, has lined it's walls with tightly secured mirrors, birdcages, deer heads, picture frames and shelves. Maybe just a little poke at shabby chic decor? This may be the first esthetically pleasing indoor workout yet!

I'd be willing to break a sweat for this.


fickle friday: see through?

I can't lie-I'm a little confused by the sudden display of lucite (glass/plastic) coffee tables. Its not so much the design aspect that weirds me out...but more so the fingerprints, filthy smudges and dust I imagine them accumulating in, say, 5 minutes? Aren't we supposed to be making our lives easier?

Target ran a mirrored table a few months back, and it just looked so...80's-tacky that I couldn't help but crack a few leg warmer and Scrunci jokes. Am I way off on this trend?



I dig the entire Ginger Blossom fabric collection by Sandi Henderson. The DIY portion of my brain is going CRAZY with thoughts of reupholstered chair cushions. In my world there is nothing quite like an old wooden chair paired with a hip and updated cushion.

Sandi also has a brand-spanking fresh collection, Farmer's Market, which features three mini-collections: Spring, Summer and Fall fabrics...all popping with color, but in a very cozy and mixable way.

This may just inspire me to fix up my 1950's beast of a sewing machine and put that foot pedal to the metal.

puppy love.

Slacker. I am one. As you may have noticed by the lack of posts for the last two days.

But, I have a great excuse.

I've been dog sitting for a co-worker since Monday. When I dog sit, I cease to exist. I cuddle up in my co-workers house, snuggle the puppies and watch The Style Network. NON STOP. My best pal out in San Francisco left me a panicked voicemail last night, very worried and wondering where I had gone...and then continued to call Gabe to make sure I was alive.

I am still alive. Just being consumed by puppy love :) How can I not be? Look at that lil' face! That's Jake, or Jakerboo as I call him. Because I just can't handle normal names when speaking in munchkin/pet voice.


sweet tooth

Since neither of my parents come from wealth and, as far as I can figure, my ancestors were almost entirely German immigrants, I've always assumed there wouldn't be many heirloom pieces falling into my hands anytime soon.

However, several years ago this glass cake stand was given to my parents by my grandmother. Assuming my grandmother had simply downsized her kitchen, I never really asked about it.

The other day, while flipping through an old Real Simple, I came across an article about cake stands and thought the subject would make for a cute blog post. I snapped a couple quick pictures of my fav cake stand and decided to e-mail my grandma to see if she had a fun little memory I could include.

And, wow.

It turns out that this cake stand was a wedding gift to my (very German speaking) great, great grandmother, who lived with my grandfather's family until she passed away. After making several family trees...and crunching the number for a few minutes, I believe this makes the cake stand at least 80 years old!

Definitely heirloom-worthy.


Resisting a bouquet of inexpensive tulips is tough...especially when I can pay with pocket change!

Did you know that during the 17th century, the Netherlands experienced Tulipmania (seriously...thats the historic term...) and a one little tulip bulb could cost up to SIX times the average yearly income? Apparently tulips became such a hot little item, that they were quoted at the stock exchange in many Dutch towns!

I left these in Gabe's apartment in hopes that they'll distract me from his, ahem, relaxed cleaning schedule. I doubt these little blooms will be the start of anything epic, like weekly dishwashing at the bachelor's pad, but they sure are chipper. I cropped out the basin full of dishes...amazing what a little Photoshop can do :)


a bit of whimsy

I love the puddles and earthy smell that rain brings even more than I love sunshine. A few weeks ago after a night of showers, two co-workers poked their heads in and commented that it smelled like worms outside. And they thought it was disgusting.

I never realized that the smell I was smitten with was actually...worms. Suddenly the rain's whimsy factor took a giant tank in my book...

But at least the rain is a great excuse for investing in a cheery umbrella, like these from pare*umbrella.

(Photo by BlendedSplendid)


a little DIY...

Yesterday's thrift sales gifted me this amazing $10 find...a handmade desk. The woman selling it was rather attached. Her father made it years ago, but she no longer had the space to keep it. Knowing I needed a workspace for my new apartment, I was drawn to its clean lines and multiple drawers that I knew could cover a multitude of cluttery sins. So, the last 24 hours of my life have been spent with a belt sander in hand, and surfing the internet for eclectic little colored glass drawer knobs.

Oh, yes I'm makeupless and wearing a giant black work shirt...so be cool, internet. We can't all be glamour goddesses.


to market, to market...

In keeping with my promise from the beginning of May, I've been at the Farmer's Market whenever possible. I especially adore the few stands that carry the unexpected market finds like beeswax lotions, soap and candles.

Or Stinky Sheep sachets, by Riverwinds Farm, which in truth do not stink at all but smell remarkably like fresh lavender. Brimming with colorful skeins of yarn and wool, their booth caught my eye with its fetching mittens, hats and sweet little flower pins.

Also...a certain market connoisseur has recently informed me that our market in Eau Claire rivals Julia Child's beloved Santa Barbara market.

Snoot, snoot. :)


on the heels of thursday...

Is it already Fickle Friday? I'm not complaining...

Something that's left me especially torn:

Uglydolls. Did a little research...there are over 20 different Uglydolls, each handmade and with its own personality description. Urban Outfitters and Nordstom have started to carry them, and the knock offs are all over the internet...could this be the next big fad?

Half of me is terribly freaked out by them. My mind is boggled wondering what they actually are, who they're marketed towards, and why they look so darn angry. And the other half of me wants hug each one til glows. Oh, and high five the creators for making something new and different.


hello, beautiful.

Tonight during a particularily in-depth and insightful training about MRSA and contagious diseases in children, all I could think of was this typewriter from Three Potato Four.

And how quickly I could raise $495. Legally.


take it outside.

Is it unnatural that I'm still mourning the complete lack of patio space at my new place? Perhaps.

If I had the space (and cash...lots of it), these fabulous outdoor furniture sets by
West Elm would be a dream come true. Love that the pieces lack the typical wicker look. Wicker is great, but it can feel almost blow-away-in-the-wind flimsy! Without being weighty or impractical, West Elm pulls off a cozy and anchored vibe. Very contemporary and hip.

That couch lands at number 3 on the list of places I must snooze before I die. Helllooo, catnap!


As much as I wish could exhibit some self-restraint and filter out the kitten photos...I'll be honest. It is simply not possible. If pet photos completely cheese you off (I understand)...but you should probably just skip me on Wednesdays, because today I am declaring (WITH ONLY A SLICE OF SHAME) that Wednesdays here on Rinse*Repeat are officially Ned'sdays!

Ned's new favorite item, Mr. Potato Head glasses, officially go wherever he goes. He likes best to carry them in his mouth to the top of our wingback chair, where he then snuggles next to them. I, however, do not allow him to play with them while we're gone because I'm afraid he'll choke or poke his eye out.

This blatant exhibition of OCD tendencies explains exactly why I can never have children...



Gabe's mom, Becky, recently surprised me with these sweet little soaps! Love when she sends Gabe packages because sometimes there is something lovely tucked in for me....like fresh lavender or bouncy earrings.

Handmade thick slabs of soap, like these by Savor and HelloCrafty leave me searching for the nearest sink and craving a good, hearty lather. So enchantingly fresh.


Last night I watched a lil' Nightline segment about Dooce, only the biggest 'mommy blogger' in Blogland, and had a major coronary when I caught a glimpse of the exact same vintage fan that I purchased a few months ago on Dooce's desk. The picture above is my fan... after at least two hours of harsh scrubbing,

Needless to say, no one got anything out of the segment from that point on. Other than that DOOCE AND I HAVE THE SAME FAN. Times twenty.


bright and white

With the day off today and nothing pressing to do, I made a little trip to Minneapolis with plans to visit the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Who knew museums closed on Monday? Not this girl...

Plan B went into effect, a trip to IKEA. These little handblown bud vases, available in white, green, pink or cream were a total steal at $4.99/pk of 3. Can't wait to actually get some buds in them, rather than the few green branches I could scavenge from the yard!


Words cannot express how much I would love to cash in on all my vacation time and spend the next two weeks never leaving this Nate Berkus bed.

Each time I visit Linens and Things, Gabe has to convince me that YES, the employees WILL notice your lumpy body sandwiched between the covers, and by the way, theres a good chance that Linens and Things gets very dark after close. Move along.


to mom

Hello Mom,
Today is your day, at least thats what Hallmark tells me. Personally, I'm of the belief that everyday should be your day...some would call that unrealisitic, I call it deserved.

Throughout the years, you always dreamed of staying home full-time and building this perfect life. But, I can honestly say I'm so glad you didn't. I can't imagine growing up with a 'perfect' mother. In a spotless house, where painting my room aqua at 3am was unacceptable and driving me to three play rehearsals in one night was too much work. You and Dad have encouraged and supported my various, and at times strange, creative whims.

I know in the past you haven't always felt like a great mom. You thought because you missed a volleyball game, or corrected papers until 10:00pm, that suddenly Dana and I were bound to get caught huffing spray paint behind the dumpsters at school. And, when asked why, we would barely choke out, "My mom...makes Hamburger Helper...five nights a week..." You were there for the big things, and made up for missing some small things. That is all that I remember, and all that matters.

Its amazing how much better mothers get when you grow up. They become friends and confidants. In the past year, I've confided in you and found strength in your wisdom. I think daughters get better as time passes, too. They become a respectful, intelligent friend and a great fashion consultant. You've given up turtlenecks and switched to bootcut jeans just this year! BOOTCUT, mom. That is big stuff.

There really isn't much to say other than a simple thank you. But remember, in 30 years, I'll be working three jobs to stock your Sudoku stash and keep you in Depends...so it all comes full circle. You obviously caught the better end of the bargain stick :)

All my love,


...brings may flowers

My co-worker received these ravishing, deliciously potent flowers from Brent Douglas, only the most magical of florists in the Chippewa Valley. I shoved my face in them countless times. Classy, I know.

If you're a floral gal, make sure to check out Apartment Therapy's Saturday Morning Flowers at the start of every weekend to catch tons reader submitted bloom pictures. How cheery!


fickle friday

Dear Vintage-Inspired Kitchen Appliance,
I love you . You make my palms sweat and my heart beat fast. You are fresh and oh-so-hip. But...I can't help but think you are slightly clunky and (please forgive me) decor-limiting. And maybe just a passing trend (I am sorry to be so blunt)?
Please do not hate me.
All my love,



Completely digging these simple jewelry trees from IKEA. I almost picked one up a few months ago, but Gabe sweetly reminded me that I am soon moving and trying to keep the box count to a minimum.

They're only $4.99...so I may need to pick a few up after June 1st.


in love.

Domino's Stuff You Went Nuts For features 70 of the magazine's biggest hits from the last year and has completely inspired me! I'm head over heels for lighter shades of aqua paired with greens, creams and pinks. I am, however, not in love with the chair on the right in this photo. It reads a little grandma to me.

But the rest...I'm sold. Its probably in my best interest that I'll soon have a miniscule expendable income, or I'd be tempted to do some hefty shopping this weekend!


I can't help but share these pictures of our adorable kitten, Ned.

Somedays I can barely wait for my lunch break so I can race over to Gabe's apartment to snuggle my kitty. Love that lil' cutie.


charmed, i'm sure.

I finally stopped at Vintage Hearts (sorry, no website), a little shop in downtown Eau Claire that I've been eyeing for the last year. Packed in between a few office buildings and a slew of college bars, its easy to miss, but what a find! The inside, although small, is just as cozy and hip as the window display-perfect for a 10 minute lunch break browse.

Items that are obviously handmade charm the heck out of me, so I picked up a cute handmade makeup/accessories pouch, which looks a lot like this one from bagsbymelanie.

This experience brings me to a pertinent question: What are the photography etiquette rules in boutiques, specialty and antique shops? I'm frequently struck with a case of 'shutterbug' while exploring these places, because everything is so wonderfully displayed...but can never quite bring myself to whip out my camera inside. I love taking window shots (like the one above) but I can't help but feel like I missed out on some prime photo opportunities by being too timid to ask.

Your thoughts?



Usually Mondays are mundane, but today was somewhat special.

My boss, Renee, greeted me this morning with three adorable polka dot tins, and an apology for her belated Administrative Assistant's gift (we get to things when we can in our office!). Inside the tins I found an absolute jackpot of vintage jewelry, picked out by Renee and her 9 year-old daughter Sophie! It was such a sweet, personal gift...it made me all warm and gooey inside :)

(Love these and almost lost them in the brush while crouching among barbed wire and foliage...)

(This necklace is my favorite because the little orange jewels remind me of carrots from a mixed vegetable bag. In a really, really good way.)

Today was a reminder that although sometimes the 5 o'clock hour can seem lightyears away...I am so blessed to work with people who understand some very important concepts about life. Such as:

  • Sometimes my officemate and I DO need Bagel Bites at 8:30am.
  • Kittens get sick and need multiple visits to the vet...during work hours.
  • Nothing brightens a day like the "Who Wore It Best" pages of an US magazine.
  • Some things are important enough to drop everything and Google.
  • Yes, dear boss. I will borrow your Grey's soundtrack til the day I die.

Then my boss proceeded to allow me to take tomorrow afternoon off. And gave me a Bette Midler CD. What a wonderful day.


a few purchases from crafted together...

These hair pins by Vintage Recreations may be my favorite purchase. Can't wait to wear them! It was tough deciding on an item, since nearly everything at VR's table was a vintage piece repurposed into a more modern, wearable piece.

Deux Amis Designs lured me in with these adorable vintage buttons turned magnets. It seems the fate of cute magnets to look lovely, but lack the ability to actually hold a piece of paper for more than a nanosecond. But, I gave these the test...they hold strong! I don't plan on keeping them on my teapot but they looked much better there than on a bland white fridge.

I made it my mission to collect a business card from every artist/crafter with fabulous wares...this is just a peek at my card pile!

To say this event was a hit would be an understatement! Another Crafted Together is being planned for October...so you can imagine my excitement :)


fickle friday...

Each Friday I'll be posting with a trend that's left me completely on the fence. Read on and cast a vote!

Here's a fad I just can't decide on. Wall decals, like this one from Blik, are popping up everywhere. Could this be a fun option for making stark white walls sparkle or adding punchy personality to a drab pad? Or are wall decals completely over the top and overdone?

Stop by next week for another installment of Fickle Friday :)



Last weekend I picked up a little invite to this Saturday's Crafted Together, an indie craft market in White Bear Lake, MN that boasts over 50 local artists and crafters! Luckily most of the vendors have online shops, so I did a little window shopping (pun definitely intended) to make sure it would be worth the drive.

Here are a few things that caught my eye (starting at the top left, continuing to the right)

  1. party-worthy cloth napkins
  2. bright and cheery brooch
  3. a fresh little print ready to be hung
  4. one heck-of-a hugable onesie
  5. vintage buttons turned bobbies
  6. day to evening ear candy
  7. a calendar I'd acutally use
  8. juicy summery stationary
  9. beautiful baubles

I'm imagining this event will be amazingly like browsing Etsy live and in the flesh. Only without that creepy glazed-over computer screen stare. Oh-so-amazing.


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