Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Let Me Take a #Shelfie!

Styling bookshelves is one of the biggest home decor trends right now.  It also happens to be one of my favorite things to do! Bookshelves aren't just the best place to store your library of books, but they're also the perfect place to show off your personal style!

I purchased two galvanized metal shelves from IKEA, called the HYLLIS for $15 a piece (deal of the century!) They reside on either side of my entertainment shelf (that my dad made for me.)  The shelves are pretty sturdy considering how inexpensive they were, and  can hold a decent amount of weight, though I probably wouldn't put anything super heavy on the top shelves just in case.

The color scheme of my living room involves multiple shades of grey, mixed with gold and silver metallics and touches of white and black.  I added pops of brighter colors with flowers and books (since they are bookshelves, of course.)  There are plenty of pictures of friends and family, as I like to be surrounded by my loved ones, but any kind of art to add interest is always a good idea.  You'll find plenty of knick-knacks scattered about my house, especially on shelves.  Growing up, my grandmother collected hundreds of tiny figurines, which I guess is a trait that I inherited (though I'm not quite to her level, yet.)

The most important thing to remember when styling shelves is balance.  I like to use books to create platforms that create visual interest, and also add color and personality.  On my shelves, you'll find books ranging from street style anthologies to great American novels.  Creating different levels on each shelf allow the eyes to naturally move across the display, which is a big rule in visual merchandising.  

I hope you like my shelves, and I would love to see your #shelfies! What do you like to store on your shelves?  Do you have a special collection that you like to display?  Lemme see them!

xo, Jodi

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Becoming a Homeowner

If you would've told me a year ago that I would be a homeowner now, I would have laughed in your face.  But here I am, sitting on my couch in the home that I own typing away on my little blog! Buying a house was the craziest thing I've ever done.  I'm only 26 (I was 25 when I purchased).  The house is in my name only.  If anything goes wrong, it's all on me.  No landlord to call, just my bank account and my insurance agency to fall back on.  Scary right? I love owning my own home, though. Any decisions are my own, including if I would to rip fixtures off of the wall, fill a wall up with nail holes, and paint whatever I want. (Also, I can have as many pets as I want! CAT LADY ALERT)

My homeowner journey started randomly.  I was living in a small, old apartment by myself.  I had been dating my boyfriend for a while, and knew that I wanted to live with him eventually.  However, I was tired of small apartments and I wanted to move ASAP! So, I got this crazy idea that I would download a house hunting app (I chose Zillow; would recommend) and began my search.  I started seeing how affordable owning a home could be, and got serious about it.  I would search for at least an hour every day on the app.  Then, I got word that a friend had become a certified real estate agent. I contacted her and she started to help me set up visits to all of the homes I was interested in.  That is the fun part of house hunting.  Some of the homes were great, but the neighborhoods weren't.  Some neighborhoods were wonderful, but the homes were falling apart.  After a month of searching and visiting I was starting to lose hope.  I was searching in the fall, which is not peak home buying season, so there weren't a ton of homes on the market to chose from. But, the biggest tip I picked up from searching during that time period is that people are motivated to move then, meaning they are willing to make deals to get out quickly (i.e. they need to relocate for work and sell quickly) so if you can find something in the fall/winter I would say it is a great time to buy.

One day,  I opened my app and saw the perfect house.  It was in a part of town that I was familiar with and knew was safe, it had great hardwood floors, central air, classic fixtures, and a great yard.  I instantly sent the link to my realtor and was scheduled for a visit within the next few days.  When I finally was able to visit, I knew it was the right house immediately.  I was in love with the layout and the room it provided.  Before leaving, I told my agent that it was the one and wanted her to put in an offer ASAP!

Fast forward to now, where I'm sitting in the living room of that house.  Is the house perfect? No.  The basement is leaky and I'll probably need a new roof soon, but I don't regret purchasing it.  Those things can be fixed, and I'll be able to make all of the decisions.  I've already remodeled the living room/dining area, master bedroom, and bathroom.  I plan on tackling the kitchen next, which I'm the most excited for.

My home will be an ongoing focus of posts for this blog.  Stay tuned if you love home decor! I'll do some posts documenting the room transformations I've already completed, and I'll document the ones to come, too! I'll also post helpful tips on saving money for a down payment and renovations.

xo, Jodi

Monday, August 29, 2016

5 Places I've Been (& Why You Should Visit, Too!)

I've never met anyone who doesn't love to travel.  Exploring new places makes everyone feel adventurous, even if you're just checking out the new grocery store down the street.  A break in routine is always welcome for me, and I'm hoping for one to come along soon! While I daydream about all of the places I'd love to visit, I though I'd share some of my favorite places that I've already visited.

1. Paris.

"Paris is always a good idea."  I'm sure almost every female is familiar with that famous quote.  I'd have to say, I wholeheartedly agree.  My trip to Paris was painfully short, as I was traveling with my high school.  In the day and a half I spent in Paris, I was able to see most of the major tourist sites.  Of course, my favorite was the Eiffel Tower.  I saw it first during the day, and it was amazing.  However, my tour group was on a metro train at night traveling toward the center of the city when I saw it through the window gloriously flashing its lights. I have to say, that was probably the most beautiful site that I've ever seen.  I had seen the flashing lights in movies before, but trust me, that does it no justice.  It took my breath away.  Seeing the Eiffel Tower at night should be on everyone's travel bucket list.

2. New York City

I sobbed the first time I saw Manhattan.  I could feel the energy of the city all the way across the water in Staten Island.  A friend and I decided to road trip to NYC during spring break our junior year of college.  We drove all night, and arrived on Staten Island where we stayed, around 5A.M.  When we got to the ferry, we were both awestruck by the beauty and might of Manhattan.  We stared from across the water for about 20 minutes in silence before we decided to board the ferry, and join the herd of businessmen and women heading to work.  The subway was my favorite part of the city.  It seemed like magic; every stop lead you to a part of town that was completely different than the last.  How can so much culture fit on one island? NYC is a city I think everyone should experience in there lifetime.

3. Literally anywhere in Italy

Italy is gorgeous.  GORGEOUS.  I visited three cities in Italy during the same high school trip as Paris, and I loved all three.  During the whirlwind trip, Italy was the country in which we spent the most time.  Rome was the first stop, and it was much different than I had imagined.  The famous Roman Ruins are in the middle of the city, surrounded by modernity, which was the most shocking part for me.  After Rome, we traveled by bus through Tuscany to Florence.  Everyone else on the trip slept the entire bus ride, except for me.  I was shocked at how everyone could sleep when there were hilltop villages, rolling vineyards, and the greenest grass I'd ever seen passing by the windows.  They really missed out.  Florence was architecturally my favorite stop.  The Duomo and the statue of 'David' are my top two must sees in Florence.  Also, do yourself a favor and stop in a gelato shop (or five). The last city was Pisa, where the leaning tower was the main attraction, of course.  However, it was the pizza from a small restaurant here that was so amazing, it ruined the food for the three following years for me. 

4. Jekyll Island, Georgia

Jekyll Island is the perfect place for a relaxing getaway.  Great for families, couples, or anyone looking for a solo trip, this little island offers anything you could want on a vacation.  Being an island, there is plenty of beach available for swimming, sunbathing, sports, or just a nice seashell walk.  There are bike trails, yummy restaurants, shopping, and even a small historical section.  There's a great tour that touches on Jekyll Island's ties to Alexander Graham Bell where you can also see some architecturally amazing Southern mansions.  This was one of my favorite vacations as a teenager because of the feeling I got from the island that made me want to unplug from reality and just exist.

5. Laguna Beach, California

As a teen in the early to mid 2000s, I became familiarized with Laguna Beach through MTV.  When I visited Los Angeles in 2014 with a friend, we had some extra time and decided to take a day trip to Orange County.  The drive from LA to Laguna was so pretty.  Palm trees lined the highway, and once we exited, we were passing through desert-like hillsides filled with cacti and other leafy vegetation.  Located along the famed Pacific Coast Highway, Laguna reminded me of a small town from back home in the midwest, only wayyyy cooler.  The houses ranged in size and extravagance, and there was a large local shop movement.  We ate at a Mexican restaurant with an ocean view after hitting the beach.  THE BEACH. Holy cow.  I knew once I saw it why they decided to film a television show there.  Amazing rock formations blend into tide pools, and attractive lifeguards line the beach in high chairs.  It really is like a scene out of a move, err, reality TV.

Please excuse the quality of some of these photos.  Some were taken many years ago, while some are of iPhone quality.  I wanted to use my own photos so you could get a real sense of each place and how I saw it.  I hope you enjoyed, and I hope that you have become inspired to get out and travel!

xo, Jodi

Monday, August 22, 2016

'Get to Know Me' Tag

I kind of just started writing and posting to Instagram without really letting you know who I am.  The purpose of this post will be to do just that. What better way of introducing myself than through a blogging staple: a tag! I've always loved doing tags, especially back in high school when MySpace was all the rage.  Tags were my favorite way of letting out all of that teen angst.  Here I am as a 26 year old still doing them! I hope you enjoy, and feel free to use the tag yourself!

25 Get to Know Me Q’s
1. What is your middle name?: Lee.  I hate it.  I plan on changing it to my current last name whenever I get married.  That's what my mom did, so I feel like  it's kind of a family tradition?
2. What was favorite subject at school?: I loved any art class and history.  Anything that lets me be creative, I automatically like.  As for history, I just find the past interesting.  I minored in history in college, and sometimes think of studying history in grad school.
3. What is your favorite drink?: I mainly drink water. But, I love a glass of lemonade every now and then.
4. What is your favorite song at the moment?: I listen to a wide variety of music.  Anything from Drake to Band of Horses to Fleetwood Mac.  I'd have to say my current favorite is 'Cold Water' by Major Lazer ft. Justing Bieber and Mo.
5. What is your favorite food?: Anything sweet! I have a major sweet tooth.  Cupcakes are my biggest weakness.
6. What is the last thing you bought?: Some Christmas presents for my boyfriend.  I know its only August, but I'm trying out a new plan of attack as far as holiday shopping goes.  I figure it will be less painful if I space out the buying of gifts versus spending a ton at once. I'm just afraid I'll forget about things that I've purchased and hidden!
7. Favorite book of all time?: The Great Gatsby. As I said above, I love history, and America in the 1920s is my favorite time period.  
8. Favorite Color?: Pink!
9. Do you have any pets?: I have two perfect cats! I've had Kika for 5 years, and got her while I was in college from a family who posted an ad for free kittens on Craigslist.  I adopted Lina in February from a local no-kill shelter.  They didn't get along so well at first, but they can at least tolerate laying on the same couch together now.

10. Favorite Perfume?: I actually really need to buy some new perfume.  But, my go to is 'Daisy Eau So Fresh' by Marc Jacobs.
11. Favorite Holiday?: Halloween! Creepy things are my favorite, and I love dressing up.  In October, I'm sure I'll do a post of some of my favorite past costumes.
12. Are you married?: Nope! I'm in a serious relationship, however.  My boyfriend's name is Andrew, and we went to the same high school but never really interacted.  Some mutual friends set us up on a date the night before Valentine's Day in 2015 and we've been together ever since!

13. Have you ever been out of the country, if so how many times?: I've been out of the country twice.  The first time was in middle school, and I went on a cruise to The Bahamas.  The second time was in high school, and I went on a school trip to Italy, France, and England.  I count Switzerland because our train got caught in a blizzard while passing through the Alps and we were delayed by about 5 hours.
14. Do you speak any other language?: English is the only language I speak fluently, however I took French throughout high school and for two semesters in college.  I'm currently trying to learn conversational Japanese, as I'm hoping to travel there soon.
15. How many siblings do you have?: I have one half-sister.  She's 15 years older than me.
16. What is your favorite shop?: I've always been a big fan of Forever21, though I feel weird shopping there now as I'm well past the age of 21.
17. Favorite restaurant?: I would have to say Eli's BBQ.  It's quickly becoming a Cincinnati staple, and was recently named one of the nation's top BBQ joints.  Everything I've tried there has been amazing
18. When was the last time you cried?: Well, I'm currently PMSing, so it's not hard to make me cry. I typically don't show emotions too often, but during PMS week, all hell breaks loose. 
19. Favorite Blog?: I've always been a fan of What I Wore. Jess is a fellow Hoosier alum, and I had the pleasure of working in the same studio as her during an internship in Bloomington while in college.  She has an easy going style, and I've loved her home renovation posts.
20. Favorite Movie?: I've always been a fan of The Nightmare Before Christmas since I was a child.  I love Tim Burton's animation style, and as I said before, Halloween is my favorite holiday.  A more recent favorite has been Silver Linings Playbook. Jennifer Lawrence definitely deserved the Oscar she won for that film.
21. Favorite TV shows?: My all-time favorite is The Office. I watch it every night while I fall asleep.  I've seen the entire series over 40 times completely through and it never gets old.  Other favorites are Game of Thrones, Parks and Rec, Golden Girls, The Nanny, Sex and the City, Dawson's Creek, and Bob's Burgers.
22. PC or Mac?: Mac all the way!
23. What phone do you have?: iPhone 6
24. How tall are you?: 5'5"
25. Can you cook?: I like to think so.  I don't particularly like to cook complex dishes because I don't like clean up.

I hope this post gives you guys a better insight into my life and who I am! It was a lot of fun.

xo, Jodi

Thursday, August 18, 2016

30 Before 30

In June, I turned 26 years old.  I feel like I'm moving swiftly towards 30, which frightens me.  I love my 20s.  The first half was crazy while my second half has started out calmly.  I've accomplished a lot of my life's to-do list, but there are so many more things that I want to do.  This post is my vow to complete a list of 30 things that I've always wanted to do/try before my 30th birthday in 2020.  Granted, I have 4 years to accomplish this list, but some things are going to require some planning and saving.  I'll post updates as I complete them. 

My 25th birthday!

Jodi's 30 Before 30!

1. Visit Tokyo, Japan
2. Attend a concert at Red Rocks in Colorado
3. Learn to watercolor paint
4. Enroll in a yoga class
5. Attend NYFW
6. Learn to bake from scratch
7. Perfect the smokey eye
8. Sell/Show a piece of art
9. Get LASIK eye surgery
10. Experience Christmastime in NYC
11. Improve my photography
12. Host a Thanksgiving dinner
13. Explore at least one National Park
14. Compete in a race/competition
15. Take a girls trip with friends
16. Get a new tattoo
17. Conquer my fear of donating blood
18. Attend an NBA game
19. Go to the Kentucky Derby
20. Take a graphic design course
21. Find a career that I'm passionate about
22. Eat at a 5-star restaurant 
23. Perform karaoke 
24. Splurge on a fashion item I've always lusted after
25. Volunteer
26. Beat a video game
27. Learn an instrument
28. Visit a Disney park as an adult
29. Learn to play one of my boyfriend's favorite games with him
30. Take my friend's children for a day so they can have a spa day 

I'm excited to take on this list! Wish me luck!

What are some things on your 30 before 30 or bucket lists?

xo, Jodi

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Blog Overhaul!

Hello? Is anyone out there?

I've been away for a while! A LOOOONG WHILE! I've been feeling like something has been missing creatively in my life, so I'm jumping back onto the blogging train! All old posts have been deleted because I don't want this to be a blog strictly about fashion anymore.  I want this to be a place where I can share my journey through life and all things that I love.  

Excuse the mess here while I redo a few things for you all!  Here's a terrible cellphone quality picture of my kitties as a peace offering for now.

xo, Jodi

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