Friday, June 28, 2013

Mail Organization

This is how our mail (and other miscellaneous papers) are usually organized. Or should I say not organized. This has sort of been a trouble source for us since we first got married. I've tried cute baskets and magazine holders, but those just end up being a giant pile of papers that never get sorted through. Bills, license plate tag registration notices, jury duty summons, coupons. They all end up lost in a big abyss that is our "mail spot".

Sure, half of the problem is that we don't take the time to shred or trash what isn't important, but the other half is that everything ends up in one big pile. It is overwhelming and frustrating to look at and just stresses me out. Especially because this pile currently sits on our precious counter space in our teeny tiny kitchen, which already feels nearly impossible to keep clean as it is.

So here is some of my mail organizing inspiration.

Sources:  Urban outfitters  ||  Rusty Hinge
Sources: Ana White  ||  Old Wood Trader
Any of these ideas would probably be fairly simple to make. I like the idea of the making a cork board out of the letters "MAIL" but I wonder how functional and nice it would look?

Any thoughts?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


This is another re-run post. This is my niece (yes I said niece, not cousin) Jazmin and her fiance Jordan. These are some quick engagement pictures I took for them last year. We are planning to do another photo session (or two) before their big day in May.

I've had to post some re-runs from my old blog this week because I'm working hard right now trying to get everything ready to open my etsy shop on Monday. I'll be selling my very first line of day planners and will be adding stuff to my shop as I go. I'm really excited to be taking this next step!  I can't wait to share more later!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Bow ties

Shirt: H&M // Skirt: F21 // Necklace & beaded bracelets: F21 // Silver bracelet: Old Navy
This is from a post I did on my previous blog, but I love this outfit and decided it was worthy of posting again. I'm currently working on opening an Etsy shop where I will be selling some of my own work. I'll let you know when it is all up and running.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Our home in progress | Living room

As I've said, we just recently moved into a new home. Now that I am out of school I can finally get to decorating everything and working on some big projects. I'd like to show you the whole house and the projects I have planned, but we will just start with the living room. The room that probably needs the most work.

Some things to note: 1) we are clearly not even close to finishing decorating, thus the drill on the shelves.  2) we are getting a new tv that I am hoping to mount to the wall, at least eventually. 3) our living room looks huge in these pictures but keep in mind I had to use a wide angle lens to shoot these.

The painting and sewing of new slip cover may take awhile as these are the most expensive and time consuming projects (aside from the new tv). I picked out a nice soft gray that I would like to paint the walls with. And as you can see my cats have decided to destroy our love seat, which is why I am planning to recover it. Everything else I'm planning on doing is easy and cheap.

 I love this coffee table (Liatorp from Ikea) but we don't have $200 to spend so we would like to build something similar, minus the glass insert. I expect it to cost no more than $50. Side note: we often like to build our own furniture when we see something we like but can't afford. We also made that side table in the first picture with the globe on it.

As you can see everything is beige right now. Hopefully I can change that and bring in more color. I can't wait to start making some progress!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Necklace & Top: Charolette Russe || Jeans: Banana Republic || Wedges & watch: Target || Bracelets: F21
I'm so happy it is summer! Ok I guess there are still a couple of days for the official season to start, but being out of school is good enough for me. For the first time I won't have a job or school this summer. I feel kind of spoiled  very privileged. Hopefully that doesn't mean that I will be sitting on my bum watching TV and eating bon bons (not that Ella would even let me do that). I have lots of projects I need to get done and start making our house look pretty, and most importantly organized.

I'll be back tomorrow to show you the work in progress that is our new home and the plans that I have for everything. It is still a rental so there will be no renovations, just working with what we've got and giving it our own personal touches.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Learning to dress my body type

Sweater: F 21 ||  Pants: Banana Republic  ||  Necklace: Charolette Russe
As I'm starting to face the facts that this is my last year in my mid 20's I've had to learn how to dress my new older wider body type. Especially since I was a size zero for most of my life, minus those awkward tween years. Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in the number on the tag. Eventually I think we all (well, maybe not everyone) learn that trying to squeeze into those teeny tiny clothes we used to be able to wear is less flattering than just buying clothes that we actually fit into.

Following the most popular fashion trends is a lot harder for me. I'm pretty short and I would say I have more of an "apple shape" body type. But that doesn't mean that I have to dress like an old lady. Or that I can't be fashionable. It just means that sometimes I have to opt for things that don't hug my belly, or are too baggy as they can just make me look larger.

Accepting ourselves the way we are is important, but it isn't always easy. Especially with all the beautiful skinny mini's out there looking good with their mile long legs and wash board stomachs.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Ella Bear


This is, Ella, my adorable German Shepherd pup. How could anyone not love that face and those ears? I didn't know it was possible to love a pet so much. She is quickly becoming my best friend (aside from my husband). I adore having someone to follow me from room to room, spending time with me while I'm watering the garden, out on a walk or run, or just cuddling on the couch watching tv. 

Raising a puppy has definitely been more challenging than I expected. Not because Ella is an especially difficult puppy (actually I feel like she is super easy and learns quickly), but because everyday my patients and selflessness is tested. She has quickly made me a more motivated and less lazy person, and I absolutely love that (most of the time).

I'm trying to enjoy every moment of her puppyhood because I know it will go by super quickly. Soon she will be a giant dog that I can't hold in my arms. They grow up so fast don't they?

Thursday, June 6, 2013

A fresh start

Welcome to my new blog, Level & Lace!

I decided it was time for a clean slate. Not just a name change but a whole new blog. If you've previously read my former blog, Knowing Tanya, hopefully you will notice that this blog is going to be a little different. A little more focused, a little less all over the place. 

I have a lot planned this summer and I can't wait to share. Like decorating the home my husband and I just moved into! I'll also be introducing you to one of my favorite bloggers who is going to be working with me on some weekly health posts.

Until then, I need to go play with my new puppy! :)