My Bathroom

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Disclaimer: Yet again, the photos for this post are pretty bad. I wanted to wait for a sunny day to take them so I could have better light, but then I saw the forecast for this week, and decided to just jump in. Apologies

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So, as some all of you may know (let’s be honest, my readership is comprised entirely of my friends and family; it’s cool) Brian and I have lived in our apartment in Austin for almost two years now. Over the course of that time, I’ve worked my way through each living space updating the furniture/art/layout in an attempt to arrive at a modicum of aesthetic merit so I can live without the horror of slightly irksome ugliness hanging over me all the livelong day. You think I’m joking right now, but oh no no no, I am not.

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I am totally the sort of person who fixates on that one tiny ugly/flawed detail until it eats away at my mind and I go crazy straightening picture frames, coordinating coffee cups, color-coding my bookshelves, or just poking as many of those stick-on flowers (see above) as I can reach every day in a futile attempt to get them to re-stick themselves to the wall. It’s a problem. (P.S. It is totally annoying me that the arrow that is supposed to be pointing to my burnt out buld is instead pointing to the vacant space just right of said bulb. Geez.)

This is not to say (in any way) though, that I live in a perfectly pristine, beautiful, and flawless home. My apartment is chock full of things that annoy the pants off me on a day to day basis. Are my throw pillows too matchy matchy? Are my faux Eames shell chairs trite and trendy? Should I destroy all sentimental knickknacks/tchotchkes and live in a perfectly white cube with just a tatami mat and artfully placed vessels of water scattered throughout? Designing a space is hard. Like, first world hard.

So, anyway, what all this poppin’ off is leading up to is… my bathroom. It is the one room in the house that I haven’t touched practically at all since moving here two years ago. This is partly due to the fact that our bathroom is tiny, so there’s really not a lot of opportunity for molding it into an interior design pièce de résistance. Additionally, most of the things present in the bathroom are beyond my control — as a renter, I can’t retile, or install new fixtures, or alter the flow of the space so it has a smidgen of utility.

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Basically, I have to work with what I’ve already got, which, if I’m being fair, isn’t half bad. I’m a fan of the nod to the house’s architectural origins with the vintage-esque tile work and sink, I like that there’s at least some storage available, and random components (like the old furnace directly in front of the toilet, for instance) keep things a little zany/zesty in there — which isn’t something most bathrooms can claim, am I right? (My bathroom is way zestier than yours.)

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It does have its demerits, though. Most of that storage space I just mentioned? Really a-functional. The hybrid bathroom/hallway layout? Totally cramped. The design elements that I consciously chose to purchase several years ago and then placed in that bathroom when we moved here? Not really my style any more. It needs a revamp, on a budget, and with the knowledge that it will basically be almost exactly the same when it’s done, as the space is so inflexible. While the arabesque shower curtain isn’t ugly per se, and the floral bathmat looks cute directly out of the wash, and the muted mint towels don’t necessarily detract from the space, I’m just not feeling it any more. Here’s a quick collage I put together (my first blog collage! Major milestone!) with some ideas:

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  1. Ikea’s new Tvingen shower curtain. So cute! But also simple, bold, modern design. Good.
  2. Mur “small fry drops” wall decals. So, apparently the Ikea shower curtain was designed for “families with children,” and these decals are clearly marketed with a child’s room in mind, and…
  3. Land of Nod’s rain cloud bathmat = also for babies. What the heck? Can’t a gal plan an overly themed bathroom without ruining her grown-up cred? I guess not.
  4. Black toilet seat, for a little more vintage flare. Plus, the toilet seat currently installed is totally janky.

Additionally, I want to change out the mint towels for charcoal gray ones, which luckily we already own, and then add some color with bright accessories and hand towels. Kind of like this (though clearly my bathroom will never be that cool):

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So, what do you think? Will it be the awesome, modern yet playful bathroom of my dreams, or will it become a land where only children will happily frolic? Are any of you planning small revamps for spaces in your own homes?

P.S. I’m still trying to work out the kinks in my blog’s layout and design. It’s clearly horrifying right now, but I apparently lack the know-how needed to make it sweet. Maybe sometime soon it will look slightly cool, but until then enjoy lovely dashed lines, whimsical serif font, and bright blue links.

Krause Springs

So I’m still working up the motivation, courage, and general wherewithal to start writing in this blog. I think about writing in it fairly frequently, but the actual sitting down and typing something up, like, for real? Not so much.

One big thing that is seemingly holding me back is the photos. Oh, and also, the writing. Oh, and the blogging in general. All of those things = major hurdles. No, but seriously, the photos. The camera that I would have likely used to take photos for this blog broke on an elephant trekking expedition in Thailand, and honestly that camera was fairly crappy anyway so I’m not really sure how well it would’ve worked out. But, now I’m without any camera and all I’m left with is an old Iphone with a busted screen. Frankly, it’s just not cutting the mustard.

Case in point, I went to Krause Springs the other day with full intentions of taking loads of photos and writing up a super awesome, funny, cool post about all the crazy hi-jinks I got up to while I was there (swimming and reading Anna Karenina on my Kindle, mostly — Crazy!) Buuuttt, when I looked at the crappy photos my crappy Iphone captured, I lost all enthusiasm and fell into something similar to a very moderate and easily manageable form of depression.

Here, look at these crappy photos and tell me they aren’t crappy. I dare ya. Image

This is the main swimming area at Krause Springs (which is just a 45-50 minute drive west of Austin). There is a cool little waterfall with a spooky black cave behind it, a bluff off of which you can jump into the water, and a sweet rope swing. All of that? Great. This photo? Horrible.

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After swimming around a bit, Brian and I took a short walk down one of the side trails because we heard there was another cool waterfall down away from the main swimming area. The waterfall was a little lackluster, but these marshy pools were pretty alright by me.

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When we came back to the swimming area, these kids were jumping off the rope swing. Now, in general, the photos from this trip suck, but I kind of love this photo a little bit. That kid looks amazing.

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And, looking back towards where we went on our small hike you can see the spectators watching brave people jump from the cliffs while they (the spectators) sit in the comfort of their inner tubes and pound their beers. Stay classy, guy at the center of the shot.

So, yeah. The photos are lame but Krause Springs was pretty cool. If ever you’re headed out to Hamilton Pool and can’t get in because of the line, I definitely recommend driving up the road for about 15 more minutes to swim it up over here.

OK, srsly.

I want to write in this blog. I think I would be good at it, I think it would be fun, I think people would like it, and I think I need some practice writing regularly again. Let’s go!

So, plans. At first I thought this blog would be a hodge-podge of stuff I find interesting that maybe you, potential (and currently nonexistent) reader, would find interesting too. Over the course of the past two years though, I’ve become quite the blog-reading connoisseur and for me, personally, I tend to enjoy blogs that are more focused around one particular theme (whether it be home-improvement, cooking/baking, fashion, DIY-craftiness, whatever). This is problematic for me as a would-be-blogger, though, as there is no one dominant theme that I am A) super knowledgable about, B) ready to 100% commit to, or C) already actively focused on in my day to day life. Soooo… I think my nascent blog will begin as a carefully curated hodge-podge of stuff I’m interested in (in case you’re wondering, a carefully curated hodge-podge is wayyy different than just an ordinary hodge-podge).

Mostly, I think I’ll try to write about the following things:

A) small home-improvement/DIY design things. My current apartment is tiny and pretty much finished. If I were a smart person, I would have truly started this blog when I first moved to Austin and you all could have come along with me while I transformed my apartment into the super awesome space it is now (kidding-ish).  There are still some nagging unfinished and unpolished areas though, so perhaps I’ll blog about whipping them into shape.

B) Vegetarian cooking/baking. I don’t claim to be a food cooking wizard and I’m certainly no baking badass, but I think I’m fairly good at finding a recipe, deciding whether it sounds good, deciding whether it can be made vegetarian, tweaking the shit out of it, and then producing and eating the final results. Maybe you want to know how to do that, too? Don’t worry, I can show you!

C) DIY projects/cool ideasOn occasion (mostly rare occasions) I get crafty and make something cool. Sometimes I also get crafty and make something lame. Maybe if I started blogging about these occasions they would become more frequent and the cool to lame ratio of my craftiness would start to tip in my favor?!

D) Fun stuff to do in Austin. Austin already has some good blogs that document current happenings and city-related issues. I think I would approach this section, though, from the perspective of someone new-ish to Austin who still is looking for all of the good shit to do here. According to a recent study, ten jillion people are moving to Austin every year, and those jillions of people might like camaraderie in the form of a blogger who also recently moved here and is in the process of tapping into what makes Austin supposedly a million times better than anywhere else in the US.

So, there you have it. Blog plans [sort of] in the works.  I’ll be back (hopefully).