My life lately (via Instagram)

Two words for you: retail and holiday. If you’ve ever worked in a retail store during the holiday season, you know exactly why my blog has taken the back seat. It gets crazy, ya’ll! I’ve really enjoyed working at West Elm though, and the more I learn to balance work and life, the more I love it. The times I want to quit, and walk out screaming “Forget, retail!” is when I let the current circumstance determine my emotions and actions. Once I breathe and think positive, my perspective begins to refocus, and I remember, “Oh yea. I am in control of my emotions. I can choose to make this experience rock!” I truly believe we have a choice in everything. We can choose to make the best of any situation. We can choose to be happy.

Even though I’ve been working like a madwoman and the ‘ole blog has been low on my priority list, I’ve been doing some other fun things outside of work to keep me sane! Here are some photos from my Instagram feed to show you what else I’ve been up to…

From left to right, top to bottom:

1. The other day I was feeling VERY crafty. I painted two landscape paintings, crocheted a plant cozy and a candle cozy, and made a yarn wallhanging (pictured). It was a pretty fabulous day. There are more pictures of the wallhanging on my Instagram, including the full piece.

2. This is one of the above mentioned landscape paintings along with a couple lovely succulents and a rock Charles got in India. This 4×4″ piece is the first painting I’ve created in LA. Sadly, I had to leave all my art supplies back in North Carolina due to space constraints in my car, but I finally purchased a few brushes, paint, and some canvas to get the West Coast party started! Thanks, Blick!

3. I attended the opening of One Tribe at Woven Accents last week.  The installation was created by our Visual Manager at West Elm, CJ, in collaboration with RTH and consisted of over ten eight-foot wooden figures dressed in antique rugs from all over the world. Many of the rugs were over $15K each! We looked. The figures were like deities, and the tribe evolved the more you stood there observing it. You should swing by and take a gander while it is still up!

4. I saw photos of ice-cream cones from MILK while living on the East Coast, and I finally tried it out for myself! I had the nutella ice cream, and it was oh so delightful!

5. I also checked out Sqirl a few weeks ago. Pictured is the polenta special with a fried egg on top. We’ve been three times now. IT. IS. AMAZING!

6. For Thanksgiving, Charles and I joined our friends Robby and Brandi for a swim at Deep Creek Hot Springs. It is about an hour and a half north of LA (although it took us THREE hours to get there due to Turkey Day traffic). Beautiful scenery. Lots of naked bodies. Loads of fun! Haha.

7. This is me enjoying the sunshine at Griffith Park on my day off. A shameless selfie. That is all.

8. We hosted a DIY Holiday Garland Workshop with designlovefest at West Elm LA! Here is Bri’s post telling you all about it! I must say, it is very cool to be living in the same city as and bumping shoulders with designers and bloggers I read about while living in North Carolina. Surreal!

9. Charles bought me a rock climbing gym membership for my birthday (because he is the BEST!), so I am now climbing consistently again and getting stronger! LA Boulders is where it’s at!

Thanks for journeying with me! Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!

XOXO,
Rachel

Craigslist Finds: Pensacola, Florida

“Pensacola, Pensacola, Pensacola!” When I worked at Columbia University my coworkers would tease me with this phrase. Apparently, I talked about my hometown often. I haven’t lived in Pensacola in over 11 years, but I still have an 850 phone number, and my personal email includes “GCFL,” which stands for “Gulf Coast for Life.” I am one of the few that didn’t move back after college (many never left in the first place) – which I am completely happy with, because I love experiencing new places – but, man!, I sure do miss that small, beach town and the wonderful people who live in it. If you’ve never been, you should make a trip. The white sand beaches alone are worth the visit. Contact me if you need some suggestions of things to do or places to eat.

Although I’m not in Pensacola, and I can’t get there anytime soon, I figured why not troll Craigslist and act like I am there?! I also thought my friends in Pensacola may want some love and suggestions on pieces they should snag. This one is for you Gulf Coasters!

chair and table

Bamboo Chair – $40. Sold. (Not really.) Keep in natural or paint it black. Add a sheep’s skin, and BAM! It is awesome.

Mid-Century MOD End Tables – $175/pair. Add personality and color to your space with this duo. These would be great in an eclectic space or modern beach home.

waterskis

Vintage Florida Cypress Gardens Water Skis – $75. Yes. These are great for adding a vintage touch to your home. Maybe for a boys room or in the living room? Hang stacked horizontally after giving these guys a good bath.

tufted chair

Antique Tufted Chair – $50. It’s obvious why this chair is only $50. The fabric is hideous. Can it maybe be OK if reupholstered in a regal blue velvet? I mean the shape is interesting, and the sheen of the velvet my show those curves off in just the right ways.

couch

Thrive “Taylor” Mid-Century Modern Sofa – $1,800. Custom-made, mid-century modern sofa! A lovely piece. A bit pricy, but Thrive is a great company that makes great furniture. Please click on this link just so you can see the lamp in the third picture. I DIED. I mean, come on. It’s a bit weird, right?!

I will admit, folks, it was HARD finding worthy pieces on Craigslist Pensacola! I KNOW people in Pensacola have taste, ya’ll. Maybe they own the fab pieces and aren’t willing to give up the goods. Oh well! Hope you like the above items I found.

Cheers,
Rachel

Like It // Love It:
Terrace Bar Cart by West Elm

Looking for the perfect bar cart? Look no further! West Elm has the Terrace Bar Cart by West Elm for $399…or…you can get the very similar Threshold™ Bar Cart by Target for less than half the price ($129.99). The West Elm cart has glass shelves for a glam deco vibe, and the Target cart has wood shelves for more of a mid-century look.

You can use a bar cart not only as a cocktail station but also as a side table, entry table, kitchen cart, music center, plant stand, and SO many other things. Check out Victoria’s (sfgirlbybay) One Cart, Three Ways post to find out other uses and to learn how to style your cart.

likeitloveit

Happy hosting (and toasting!)!

Rachel