January 4, 2013

The cheapest corner of my house

One thing that I refuse to pay a lot of money for is shelving. It just seems dumb. I mean, you end up filling your shelves with other stuff, so in the end you really don’t see a huge amount of surface area. Behold my “entertainment center” that most guests think I had custom made:


p.s. WHO IS EXCITED FOR VANDERPUMP RULES!?!? That’s a commercial for it on the t.v.

Annyhoodles, the “entertainment center” has quotes around it because it’s actually some pushed-together shelves. The middle three are from our old condo, which we got from Ikea about four or five years ago. The ones on the end are from Target. Apparently they’re not online, but versions without the shelves are available here.

Step closer, why don’t you?

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January 2, 2013

Some ways to not go broke

Here’s the dill: most non-filthy-rich people have to prioritize their funny money (which is what I call the leftover dollars after stuff like health insurance, mortgage/loan payments, savings, daycare, charitable donations, yadda yadda yadda). In my experience, people spend in one of the following areas: fabulous vacations, designer clothing, high-tech gadgets, sports/arts/theater events, gambling, fun stuff for their kiddos, or nice cars.

In my case, my house is usually where I splurge if I have extra funds. Still, I’d be a fool to spend more than I need to, and I’ve become pretty adept at mixing cheap stuff with not-cheap stuff to achieve an overall effect of pure awesomeness. And I thought you might be interested in some of the non-wallet-breaking objets I’ve found (that’s “objects” in French, which makes me ultra-classy).

When I was budgeting and scouting out stuff for our new place, I came across this amazing image:

Source: Buckingham Interiors + Design


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December 31, 2012

Gallery Wall Extravaganzaaahhhh

I am sort of terrified of gallery walls. Not because I don’t find them gorgeous – they really are lovely – but because I know that someday I’ll look back and be like, “That was SO 2010s of me.” Tens? Tweens? What are we going to call this decade?

But since moving into our new place, with its eleven-foot ceilings, I’ve had the blessing-slash-head-scratcher dilemma of having to fill huge wall spaces without having to sell a kidney in order to do it. So now I’m the proud owner of not one, but two gallery walls. I know. First I say I’m scared of them and then I go and put two in my house. I’m only showing you one today because I was too lazy to fix the light settings on my camera and the second wall is in a dark hallway.

So here she is, as seen from my bed (that’s what the weird branches in the foreground are).

Bedroom Collage

My Canadian and I thought it would be nice to have the wall in our bedroom covered by pictures and images having to do with our relationship. Nothing you see here cost a ton of money. The wedding prints were actually the most expensive thing up there, but taken as a whole, this wall is priceless to me. I just ordered a canvas print of Baxter to mix in there, too.

Wiggs's Modern Life

You’ll have to excuse my new watermarking skillz. In the age of Pinterest, a girl can never be too careful.

So, clockwise from the far left, in case you’re interested (if not, skip the list):

  • A canvas painting we picked up at a market in France last summer on our post-grad-school trip
  • A wedding photo by the lovely Yvonne Wong
  • A photo of the Seattle waterfront taken by my dad (all three photos in that column there are Seattle images he took and framed for us)
  • A small image of us in an innertube at a family wedding
  • Another canvas painting from France by the same artist
  • Two small photos of us high-fiving the day after we got engaged
  • A larger photo of us being ADORABLE the day after we got engaged…le sigh
  • Wait…I’m confusing myself with this clockwise thing. Okay. I think we’re heading back to the left now.
  • A HUGE, amazing painting we found in a vintage store here in Chicago (Salvage One). We have its partner in our living room. You don’t even want to know how much we paid for it, framed and everything…okay, I’ll tell you. 75 bucks!
  • A pair of photos Yvonne Wong took of us on our wedding day
  • Um…I already told you about the column of Seattle photos
  • A gorgeous painting my uncle did for us for our wedding – seriously, you guys, hit up the artsy people in your family if you’re starved for some original work in your home
  • My grandfather’s handwritten speech that he read at our wedding. Sniff. I read it every day. He’s so awesome.


I was all anal at first about the wall, thinking the frames needed to match and everything, but honestly, it was too much work. I kind of like the assortment. Be sure to tell me in the comments if (a) you have a gallery wall of your own, and/or (b) you think my gallery wall is disgusting/awesome.

Here is my Pinterest with more amazing gallery walls (and other homely inspiration) (yes, I know what homely means but I love using it when talking about my home).

Happy New Year, friends!

December 13, 2012

How I know I’m good at interior design

Do you watch a little something called Million Dollar Decorators? I do. I call it “EM-DEE-DAYYY!” and I have a special dance I do during the theme song. I was watching last night’s episode when I caught a little glimpse of a little something:




Okay, it’s a little hard to see. Here, I took a crappy photo of my TV for you.

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October 14, 2012

Death Cab…psychic


When I was a senior in college, I found myself single for the first time in a long time. I’d had a series of increasingly nasty breakups and I decided I was done playing dating roulette. I was so in love with love, though, that this was a really tough decision. I remember sitting in my dorm room, crying, feeling so alone. (I was totally the angsty drama queen type.)

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September 28, 2012

A few of my favorite things


Pretty sure I’ve used that title for a post before. Deal with it, suckas.

In case you’ve tried to wear flip flops outside recently (and you don’t live somewhere without seasons, like California), you’ve noticed that autumn is upon us. You’ve probably noticed your local ‘bucks adding Pumpkin Spiced Lattes (barf) and Salted Caramel Mochas (gimme) to their menus.

So, in the spirit of the seasons a-changin’, I’ve put together some of my favorite cold-weather-ish things. I will also answer some questions you asked in my previous posts. Continue reading

September 13, 2012

Let’s talk about your face.

I get lots of makeup emails from you people. Even when I was on hiatus, some of you would email from time to time, asking my opinion about random things…which was flattering, considering that I am no expert. You know who is? I’m about to change your life. Click here. Watch her videos. Die with amazement.

Oh, also…since I’m not doing much photography for the blog these days, you’re going to get sick of seeing photos from various events where someone else was behind the lens. For now, all I’ve got is my mom’s wedding, and I have to crop out other people. Sorry.

Anyway, I do have a little update on my routine.

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September 12, 2012




Succulents. They’re everywhere.

You know who first told me about succulents and their awesomeness? This girl. Three years ago. Air ferns on her wedding tables. BOOM.

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September 9, 2012

I’m baaa-aaaack!


…well, sort of. Dude. I spent so much time away from WordPress that I can’t even remember how it works anymore. 

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May 26, 2011

This I believe…

For one of my classes in this, my last quarter of business school, my professor asked us to write a This I Believe essay. I wrote two because my first one was about poop (but I turned both in and got a good grade on both, proving my hypothesis that everyone loves poop and poop is hilarious). Anyway. The second one took some serious introspection and, well, here you go. Apologies for the nerdiness; I attend the business school where fun (and geeks) goes to die. Maybe the essay explains my absence? Maybe not? I don’t know. Also, if you’re getting married and can get Smilebooth, do it. I am the photo booth queen.

Regression to the Mean

Nearly two years ago, I was sitting at my best friend’s dining table, my brain fuzzy with joy. It had been the best week of my life. I was two months away from marrying my soul mate. He and I were living with our two best friends for the summer. I had found twenty dollars on the ground. I was skinny. The day before, I had learned I would be going to the #1 business school in the country. And that morning, another unexpected call, this one from New York: I was being given a book deal. A big one.

I sat at the dining table, wondering what to do with myself. Nobody was home to squeal and jump around with me. I remember looking down at my hands and feeling oddly detached from them and the rest of my body.

Suddenly, I was gripped with overwhelming panic. This was too good. Way too good. Irrationally, I began to fear I’d used up all of my good luck in life. Regression toward the mean – this week’s fortunes would have to be offset by something else, later.

How could I show my gratitude to the Dude in the sky? Maybe he would take pity on me, and give me only sort-of-bad luck to even things out. A stubbed toe, a broken wine glass, that sort of thing.

Later that evening, when I shared the news with my friends and fiancé, we clapped and cheered and jumped around the room like wild monkeys. Another stroke of luck for me: I was surrounded by people who loved me, who were genuinely happy for my serendipity.

The next few months passed in a whirlwind of happiness. I got married, I began business school, I finished the first draft of my book. I somehow managed to stay skinny. We brought home a new puppy, Baxter, and I discovered the unbridled joy and hilarity that come with owning a dog. I got a job.

Somewhere in the back of my mind, though, I kept thinking about regression toward the mean. How could I stay grateful for this unprecedented happiness?

It has been a really bad year. My parents have gone through an ugly divorce. My husband’s family – now my beloved family – experienced frightening health scares. Both of my grandfathers have been in and out of the hospital. I got a bad grade in Investments. Every time I give my dog a bath, he takes a revenge dump on the floor. I got into a wreck in an uninsured car. I gained twenty pounds. Some days I’m so overwhelmed by egocentric self-pity that I can’t force myself to get out of bed.

Now I’m counting on that regression toward the mean. I don’t actually believe some guy is sitting up there in the sky making sure nobody exceeds their allotted amount of bliss. But here’s what I do believe: life regresses to the mean. And that’s wonderful. In times of great joy, the mean anchors me to earth and keeps me humble. In times of great sorrow, the mean is my life vest, keeping me afloat. And when life just feels average, well, that’s because it is. This I believe.