Ariel and Alder
Happy Friday Friends!

I took another *wee* break from writing and creating new projects on this blog because like I mentioned a hundred times we moved houses but ALSO (!!) because I have some really fun things lined up for late summer. Stay tuned for more of that next month.

When we moved to our new place one of the things I loved most about our unit was the fact that we had a walk up, a front door, and a huge porch for our plants. One idea we threw around to DIY the space was adding lights but we put it on the back burner until a very intriguing project idea from Jasco Products came my way. They just released lights that change color, yes you heard that right they CHANGE COLOR. As a color loving maximalist this thrilled me and I knew I had to share these with you guys.

But we before we jump in, here is something I want you to know about this post! 

This post is sponsored by Enbrighten Seasons Color Changing Cafe Lights by Jasco. All opinions are my own and I only work with brands that align with Ariel and Alder standards. #ColorCafeLights


Our porch is a pretty simple space, and with the help of my brother we were able to install these beauties in about twenty minutes. My brother is a perfectionist when it comes to home improvement and as a result the lights are perfectly aligned with our overhead beams. What a gem!


Something awesome about these lights is the way they hang, it made it super easy to keep uniformity when stringing your lights or screwing them into various surfaces. If you need some ideas for hanging or installation, this pinboard really helped me brainstorm!



After a quick installation, things get wild fun and you can customize the color of your strand! What's so awesome about this is you can select up to two colors from the color remote, or choose from the presets, you can even dim the lights if you want a simple white look. The remote is also a small size and will operate up to 750 feet away, this thrills me because I don't have to go outside to turn them on and off and can use it from the window.


There are colors in the presets for various holidays and occasions like Christmas colors, Fourth of July, Autumn, Halloween, and even Pride! We got them in June so ours have been set to a vibrant rainbow for a few weeks :)

Here are some of the pre-sets that I have been loving and can't wait to use them for future holiday seasons!

Christmas/ Holiday Setting

Halloween/ Autumn Setting

Summer Setting

I love these and think they are such a great addition to our little porch, I put this post under the DIY category because this is an easy little project to get you ready for summer evenings. Here is a link to these color changing lights if you think that they would be a good fit for your outdoor space!

xo,
Natalie
I was looking around my house the other day and identified a few key things that I really loved and had made it through the many purges of college-hood, to then conclude that many of these things were gifted to me by my Aunt Laura. Cute little felt penguins for our christmas tree, perfectly broken in pillowcases that she made me one summer. It became a topic of dinner conversation how interesting it is that things gifted to us by someone older and wiser can turn into our favorite things as we age ourselves. One gift Laura gave to me that went beyond just sticking around was my Glassybaby votive, the little lavender one she bought me when I was eighteen caught fire and turned into a full blown obsession. 

What the heck is a Glassybaby? 

This is a question I get all the time and to sum things up quickly they are handblown glass votives that are nearly perfect in color and proportion and they are very very coveted here in the Pacific Northwest. They are on the expensive end of the spectrum, so if someone gifts you one it probably means they like you or wanted to do something extra nice ;) ha!

Each votive is made by hand and the company has a sustainably conscious background. The votives come in almost every color known and illuminate beautifully. You can read more about the Glassybaby story here. The whole thing is very "Seattle" and it's easy to get hooked after just one. 

After 3+ years of using my original lavender one, I made a pilgrimage to the Lake Oswego store to look for another. Still being in school, the fifty five dollar price tag felt extra real and I realized some shoes might be a better purchase. That was when the woman in the store told me about the seconds sale, an event where "almost perfect" votives are sold for twenty two dollars in a warehouse and a  serious case of FOMO set in. 

For the last four years my college town was an hour away from Portland and the sale started early in the morning. So if I had attempted to go, I would have had to get up way early (4am-ish) on the weekend to attend. When we moved back to Portland last month, I knew I had to go to one. 

Last Saturday we got up at 6am, got some coffee, and headed to the seconds sale. Here is what I learned in the process and a few tips for you if you ever have the chance to attend one.

1. Get there at opening

The sale is at multiple locations in the upper left portion of the United States (see here for a list) and at some of the more popular ones like Seattle people will camp out overnight and line up super early. I went to the sale in Lake Oswego so getting there 30 minutes prior to opening worked just fine. Basically, just get there early enough to ensure that there will be a good selection of colors. For reference, here was our schedule for the day. 

6:00- Wake up!
6:45- Dog walked, dressed, out the door.
7:30- Starbucks acquired
7:45- Arrive in Lake Oswego, wait in line
8:00- Doors open, shop the sale
9:00- Brunch downtown

2. Bring a flashlight, socks, but not a large purse

Bring a flashlight and socks in your purse. A flashlight, because each Glassybaby transforms when illuminated so a flashlight mimics this effect and socks to keep your votive safe during transport. They will give you boxes to pack with, so do not bring a large bag or backpack. It will only bump other people when the tables get busy.

Knocking other people around in a warehouse full of glass = party fowl.

3. You don't need to buy a thousand, be selective

One thing I only half anticipated was the frantic-ness of the event, everyone is hardcore eyeballing the tables and moving as fast as humanely possible. It's more than a little stressful and it's easy to get sucked in. I think unless you are getting some as gifts, it is totally possible to spend your time at the sale looking for the perfect one or two to take home with you instead of filling up a whole box. If you are there picking up a bunch for friends and holiday gifts, then feel free to ignore this advice :)

4. Bring a friend

This one is simple, bring a friend and make a morning out of it. It is way way better to have someone to talk to in line and compare colors with. Cameron didn't quite fully grasp the concept of people loosing their mind over colored glass cups but tagged along with me anyway and it made the wait far easier to tolerate plus I then had someone to hold my selections while I searched. 

To summarize: Get up early, get caffeine, and have fun searching ;) This sale is really fun if you get an opportunity to go. 

Happy hunting!

xo,
Natalie
I know I have been complaining about moving houses non-stop for the last few months so I apologize in advance if this just sounds like more of the same but you guys I am so tired!! We started the home searching process in March, started packing in April, and finally moved in May/June so it really does feel like I have been "moving" forever. 

I have moved before, and will most likely move again...but one thing I really didn't anticipate was moving during allergy season! I needed to keep my meds out where I could see them during the process and in between homes, I even ended up needing them in the moving van. 

When faced with any organizational/coordination/ logistical issue, I often drum up a DIY project to serve as a fix. In this case the box pictured below (coupled with an incredibly handy prescription delivery service) is what I came up with worked like a charm. I toted it around to both houses with my meds in tow and was easily able to spot it from far away.

If you are like me and allergy medications are a seasonal occurrence, it gets really easy to forget to go to the pharmacy and refill in time. Todays blog post is sponsored by Phil, a company that delivers prescriptions right to your door so it's one less thing you have to worry about. It really came in handy during this move and saved me from having to switch pharmacies in our new neighborhood. It also gave me the time to completely focus on the move and not worry about my eyes swelling shut because I needed to get a prescription refilled. 

If you or a family member need recurring medications (even for seasonal allergies) here are some things to note about Phil as a service:

1. Phil is essentially free to you as the customer. It's the same normal copay you are used to paying plus free delivery. It's also stress free because they contact your old pharmacy and takes care of the paperwork for you. 

2. If you are concerned about staying local, Phil works with community-based independent pharmacies that are in your area. These pharmacies will deliver to your door on time, answer any questions over the phone, and deal with the heavy lifting so you can focus on other things. 

And once your meds have been delivered to your door, you need somewhere to keep them right? Which brings me to the DIY project portion of this post. You guys this box was so great for keeping my allergy meds out and visible once Phil delivered them to me pre-move! I didn't need to worry about sneezing my head off in the U-Haul.

To understand what a transformation this box really is, we have to take a look at the before photos. I needed something with a handle, and used this reference photo as my inspiration. I ended up finding this blue metal tin at Goodwill for $3.99 and thought it was perfect for this project. After a scrub and general cleaning it was good to go!

What you will need for this project: 

- Thrifted metal tin or box
- Xacto knife
- Assorted craft paint in colors of your choosing
- Cardstock
- Paintbrush
- Scissors
- Mod Podge
- Painters Tape


To spray paint your tin you will need to cover anything you dont want painted in painters tape. I managed to do this somewhat precisely by cutting out the shape of the metal findings with an Xacto knife. Make sure everything is covered and then spray away and allow to dry. It is possible you will need more than one coat of paint so make sure to snag a spray paint that has a built in primer. 

I love this "painters touch" brand from Home Depot and choose it over the stuff sold at the craft store. It bonds to metal, wood and plastic so I use it in a variety of projects.




Transformed! Once your spray paint is dry and your tape is carefully peeled off, you are ready to make the colorful "medical cross" to adorn the front off the box. If ever in an emergency, this cross lets someone know that medical supplies are inside. I used my box for my allergy meds, but put first aid supplies and band aids in it as well just in case.

You will need to paint an abstract pattern on your cardstock that you will later cut a sampling from. For this step little instruction is needed, just paint a vague pattern you like with colors of your choosing until you have an abstract pattern that you are satisfied with. Let dry for an hour.



Above is what I ended up with for mine, I went back in with black and white to add the dots. 

Cut out your cross (I just searched for an image on Google and printed it out to scale) and then pick and area of your pattern to sample.

The final step is to moge podge your cross on and seal it in. I found it easy to just paint glue on the back and line it up to place it. Then I used a thin coat of sealant to keep it in place and uniform. 

After that, you are done! You have a very functional and very cute medical box to keep medications and first aid supplies in. I love how this one turned out and I will be keeping this box in my pantry for future seasons. 

Thank you again to Phil for sponsoring this post! The timing was truly perfect. 

If you are interested in switching your medications to Phil and getting them delivered to you, first time customers currently get $20 off their co-pay (or $20 off meds if uninsured) while supplies last. Check it out here.

xo,
Natalie

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group and Phil, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #PhilRx http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV
When choosing a place to live, I would always opt for a space with some character over something pre-fabricated but (and this is a really big but) I live with someone that appreciates a modern environment. Over the years Cameron and I have discussed what we eventually want in terms of a renovation on a purchased home but while we are on the renting stage of our life we have determined that a "new" apartment complex is the ideal and stress free choice. So right now we are trying to strike a balance between new and old to keep both parties engaged in the decorating process. 

We have lived in a modern complex for the past two years and while I have loved our time here, we didn't really do much with our space. Mostly because college got in the way, but also because the storage and layout of this particular unit was slightly strange. I am so stoked to get started on a new space and really think about some minor DIY additions. 

One idea we have been tossing around for awhile? A false fireplace!

This first came up when we were living in the dorms at OSU and my building had old fireplaces in select rooms and most common areas. I thought this added a central focus to the space and was the perfect place to put things. These particular fireplaces were bricked in, which is what made me realize it's really more about the mantle than the fireplace itself.

Two apartments and one move later, I am more convinced than ever that we need one. Here are some inspirations sources and DIY projects that I found this week.


I particularly like the color and size of this one by A Beautiful Mess, definitely more modern than I might like but the tutorial itself seems easy to follow and I love when people choose bold colors.

love this stacked log idea by Hunted Interior


Tile pattern idea by Veneer Designs

I really felt like if I wrote down this idea I would hold myself accountable and actually work on it this summer, hence this blog post full of beautiful photos and ideas that most definitely aren't my own. Thanks for reading ;)

xo,
Natalie
Well guys, It's been a year with our dog and we've managed to keep her alive. While I wouldn't recommend getting a puppy and then moving three times, we managed to do it and I am so happy she came along with us.

Baloo is really a gem, and the kind of dog I pictured having with me in my young adult life. She is syrupy sweet, loves to run and play, but is also quiet and snuggles on her bed while we work or watch tv. I think different types of people require different types of dogs but man we feel like we one the lottery with her! It took me awhile to write this post, mostly because I just can't fathom how a year has passed since we adopted her. Here is an update on how the last year has been for us, and for her!

To read the post I wrote from when we first got her, click here.


Highlights from the year? 

1. Taking Baloo to the Oregon Coast, the mountains, and the forest to experience different running/jumping/playing terrains. The forest is probably her favorite and our least favorite because she loves to drink in the mud puddles after it rains.

2. Hikes, Walks, Ball Throwing, and Runs. One truth to having a dog is that it gets you out of the house more often and it gives you a concrete reason to go outside. 

3. Meeting other dog owners, there are a few people I will really miss from the Corvallis dog park scene when we move to Portland. 

Trials from the year?

1. Baloo chewing on absolutely everything during her puppy phase including our wall, yikes. If you have a pup with a similar problem, this spray works wonders.

2. Baloo waking us up in the middle of the night to politely inform us that she had upchucked her entire breakfast, lunch, and dinner and that it had leaked out of her kennel and onto the floor. What a thrilling night that turned out to be.

Things our girl is great at:

Running, hopping, meeting other dogs, chewing only her toys (thank god!), snoozing, letting me know when the postman is at the door, going to and from her crate, waiting for her food. 

Things our girl could work on: 

Alert barking, leash pulling, being scared of the postman/tall friends with beards, sniffing strange cats, running at birds, drinking mud.

Some things that I have learned through a year of raising a puppy: 

1. Having other dogs and other people visit is critically important to the dog being well socialized. Baloo is really shy around people and still has a ways to go in this department, I can't imagine what that would be like at this point if we hadn't already started introducing her to a variety of people. With other dogs she is much less shy, but having the experience/ knowing her behavior lets us know when she is distressed around another dog and when she is the one thats bothering. It really helps at the dog park and I am glad we socialized her so early!

2. Puppies will chew, play, run, and destroy. Start with cheap supplies and make investments in your dog as they age into an adult. When we first went to the pet store in preparation for Baloo it was so tempting to get everything and anything adorable. I was really glad in the end that we went with "what would work" and now that she is an adult have better items for her. She chewed her bowls, bed, toys, and anything else she could find to aid in her teething. Go with the cheap things initially, and keep anything you value out of reach.

3. Crate training is amazing! If you do it efficiently your dog will view their crate as a den and voluntarily spend time there. Baloo loves hers, especially at night when she winds down.

4. Rescuing a dog was the way to go for us. I had black labs growing up so when we were discussing getting a dog my first inclination was to head to a lab breeder and pick a puppy. In the end Cameron convinced me that we could find a great puppy to rescue at the Humane Society, and it turned out to be the right path both for us and the dog we were saving. Baloo came from New Mexico as part of a second chance program here in Oregon and knowing her now I am so glad we opted for a rescue over shopping for a dog. I feel so guilty knowing I could have taken a home away from a dog by shopping for a specific breed. To read more about our individual adoption case, click here

Thinking of adopting a dog or cat? Here are some helpful links to find your new family member :)



I linked a little video we made about life with her at the 6 month mark, and I have also linked some fun things you can shop that support HSUS in the process. 

We love our girl, and I can't believe it's been a whole year with her. If you have any helpful puppy tips feel free to leave them in the comments below for other readers considering a puppy. Every dog is completely different!

xo,
Natalie


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