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awfully big adventure Posts

rosedale apartment tour: living room

I’ve mentioned that we’re planning to find a new place to live this spring. We’ve officially given our notice to our apartment complex and it’s time to find a house to rent! As much as I am SO BEYOND ready to say goodbye to apartment life…I am also me which means I’m already getting sad about leaving our first home together. What better way to indulge this nostalgia than with one final room tour, complete with before photos? (If you missed them, I’ve already done tours of the patio, bedroom, and study.) 

The Rosedale Apartment- Living Room

The day we got our keys! I remember walking in and feeling like it was HUGE…all 800 square feet of it. We were coming from my Tiny Apartment (500 sq ft) that we shared for about 6 weeks, so walking into this place that was over 50% bigger was so great.

mcm teak credenza by europa furniture

It was big enough that the furniture from my last place felt super dinky. These bookshelves were a great proportion to act as a TV stand/storage at the Tiny Apartment, but here they were dwarfed by this big wall. (This is actually the photo Matt sent me when I was standing in front of the credenza I wanted to buy and needed to know how big it would be on the wall, hence the tape measurer.) And the big, heavy, slightly too small to be comfortable chair that we never used but I kept because I liked the lines of it is now gone. It was a post-KonMari casualty. 

The Rosedale Apartment- Living Room

And then we found a much better solution. There’s a whole post about it here if you want to learn more about the ‘denza!

I made a trip to Ikea for some basics, like the plant in the bottom left that is now plant heaven, the faux sheepskin, and the hanging light over the couch. There’s also a whole post on great Ikea staples if you’re planning on making a trip!

I haven’t talked about this a ton, but when we first moved into this place it was my first time designing for myself AND a live-in boyfriend. At first I was reserved, trying to stay with more neutral pieces and to tone it down on the accessories. Then we enter this phase, where I can now CLEARLY see that I was pushing my boundaries. Good God. I like stuff but MAN. That’s too much of it. Points to Matt for never, ever complaining. 

a cheerful black accent wall

Getting rid of the furniture we never used (and re-homing the peacock chair to the patio) was definitely the way to go here. It feels way less cluttered/suffocating, and the black wall helps ground the colorful art. Obviously there is a whole blog post on the black wall. It was one of those projects that was super great because it was super easy, low cost, and high on impact. When we move, 95% of my tears will directly stem from nostalgia and 5% will be related to the fact that we have to paint this wall back.

And here we are today in Primary Colorville! I joke, but I’ve really found a love for primary colors in this space that I didn’t really know I had before. Full disclosure: we neeeever use the hanging light over the sofa as I have an allergy to overhead lighting. (This is not true, if you want the actual truth then please read this essay by David Sedaris. I agree with every word.) I just like the shape of it. 

Yellow tulips never hurt the situation. For a more detailed post on the couch and rug, head here. I’ll miss this cozy spot and this light-filled room. When we first moved in, I actually had the thought that there wouldn’t be enough room for art because of all the windows. I’ll never worry about that again – the light is definitely one of the best parts of the room.

Finn’s spot. 🙂 We’re dog-on-the-couch people, and specifically bought a sectional so all three of us could fit. No regrets.

Grateful for that evil eye talisman warding off any stink eyes cast our way, for that tiny perfect table that fit in that impossibly small little nook, and for hydrangeas that stay pretty for so so long.

Things this spot is good for: naps, snuggling with a dog named Finn, binge-watching The Office, staring at the wall opposite of this and thinking about painting it black, blogging, reading The Nightingale, working from home, scrolling through Instagram for hours, and watching The Shining for the first time. 

Had to keep one little corner where I let myself go a little crazy with accessories. Do you not keep a disco ball with your sandals in a hot pink basket? 

A nice shot of Leif and where the black wall ends. More importantly, this is the where Finn sits and waits for Matt to throw him toys.

Just a few small updates to the black wall since I posted it- I moved a bit of art around, added another piece of art, added the aloe vera, and we installed a sound system (hello subwoofer on the right!) You can actually barely see the three speakers sitting on top of the credenza- black wall FTW!

I’ll miss you, little living room! Who else gets as nostalgic as I do during a move?

Sources below for the stuff that is still available or wasn’t purchased from Ikea, Craigslist, or vintage stores. FYI, this doesn’t always work in readers or email view, so you may want to click through and read the post in a browser.


marfalous: marfa in 36 hours

We got back on Sunday from a great weekend in Marfa. It was our first time, and it was so fun to experience the quirky little West Texas town together. We are obviously not experts, but I want to share how we did Marfa in 36 hours in case any of you are looking to plan a similar trip. We felt like 36 hours was definitely brief, but in a “leaves you wanting more” kind of way and not a “well this was way too short to enjoy” kind of way. Major, major props to my friends for pitching in with recommendations — we would have been lost without you!

A note on the drive from Austin – > Marfa…it really wasn’t that bad. When you say out loud “13 hours in the car over a weekend” (6.5 hours each way), or “900 miles,” it’s easy to puke get intimidated. But with music, podcasts, and road trip snacks, it went by really quickly. The drive out there is sooo pretty, there’s very little construction to deal with, and in most places the speed limit is 80 mph. Pew!

awfully big adventure stellina

Eats & Drinks:

Bar St. George: Our first stop on the way in for wine and “real food,” and our last stop after dinner on Saturday night for more wine (and more wine) and conversation with new friends we met at dinner. It’s pretty and modern and apparently not at all lacking in wine supply.

Do Your Thing: This place was the Marfa-est. Tucked away in essentially a shack, they served up deliiicious coffee, quiche, and toast to start our day on Saturday. They don’t open until 8:30, which I think is kind of hilarious for a coffee shop and yes I was mad about it at 6:45 a.m. on Sunday when I needed coffee and we were leaving town, but then I remembered their quiche and I forgave them.

Food Shark: Super delicious Mediterranean food truck with plenty of outdoor seating where we grabbed lunch on Saturday. You’ll see everyone you saw at Do Your Thing that morning, but you won’t get brave enough to talk to them until you see them again at dinner. 

Hotel Paisano: The gorgeous historic hotel where the cast of Giant stayed during filming. We heard the food was “eh,” so we just stopped by for a drink on the way to dinner. The inside was a little stuffy, but the courtyard was perfect. 

Stellina: Just the gosh-darn cutest little restaurant, conveniently steps away from the Hotel Paisano. To be fair, most things in Marfa are steps away from each other, but when you’re wearing heeled booties every step counts. I digress. Go here! The menu was perfectly petite, the food was great, it was always buzzy and busy but never overcrowded. 


awfully big adventure prada marfa

Star Party at the McDonald Observatory: We did this on Friday night and it was so fun! The gist is this: you head up to an observatory run by *The* University of Texas at Austin. For the first hour, you sit outside and a guide shows you constellations, planets, satellites, etc. with a military grade laser pointer which kind of blew my mind. Then for the second hour, you can look in their massive telescopes. We got to see Venus, the moon, a NEBULA which is creating stars…Oh frick, my nerd is showing. Anyway, it’s a 45 minute drive from Marfa up into Fort Davis but very worth it. We lucked out with a pretty clear night and it was cold but not freezing. I highly recommend it. (p.s. Book tickets in advance here as they do sell out.)

The Chinati Foundation: Because we were only in town for 36 hours, we opted for an self-guided tour. (The guided tours are a minimum of 2.5 hours, we just didn’t want to commit to that.) We timed it so that we’d be able to see all three of the installations available for self-guided viewing. The installations were so cool and we both nerded out on the history of the property. If you want to fall down a similar nerdhole, here’s the Wikipedia article on what the property used to be. 

Prada Marfa: The pretend Prada store in the middle of the desert that I’ve been ogling images of for years and years. Being there was kind of like seeing a celebrity in public. I didn’t know what to do with myself. It was even cooler in person. 


awfully big adventure el cosmico

El Cosmico Provision Co.: I mentioned in my last post that I’m on a buying freeze when it comes to stuff for the apartment, so I wasn’t super interested in shopping. But…I couldn’t not get this poster that I’ve eyed for years.  


awfully big adventure marfa airbnb

Airbnb: There are several cute hotel options, but we wanted to try out an Airbnb. (This one, specifically.) The price could not be beat, the location was amazing, and though it was pretty minimally outfitted we knew we wouldn’t be spending much time there. A bonus was the huge gorgeous courtyard that the guests are invited to use. And the local beer the host stuck in the fridge for us. 🙂

awfully big adventure fort davis

Next Time:

These are all the places we either tried to go to and they were closed, or didn’t get to, or didn’t even know we wanted to get to but realized once we were in town: Marfa Burrito, Rotunda at City Hall, Garza Marfa, Moonlight Gemstones, The Capri, Dixon Water Foundation and Big Bend Brewing Co. (not in Marfa, but in Alpine on the way in.)

If you are at all interested in design, history, desert landscapes, historical architecture, or feeling like you’re on the set of a Wes Anderson movie, I highly recommend a Marfa visit. Have you been? Am I missing anything?

Marfa Texas in 36 hours
How to do Marfa in 36 hours

currently: february 2017

Ah, February. We’ve had a tumultuous relationship in the past, but that’s mainly due to cold weather that’s been nonexistent this year. Do I like February now? Do YOU like February now? What is happening? Anyway…it felt like we squeezed a lot into the wee month between two fun weekend visits from family, soaking up as much gorgeous patio weather as possible, oh and being completely out with the flu for a week. Both of us. So that was fun. We’re referring to that time as Flumageddon. Here’s what the rest of February entailed: 

ABA patio weather frose

Making: Little house updates for spring. The patio got a new rug and some new plants, the entry got a new mirror, and I’m feeling some spring/pre-move cleaning coming on. 
Cooking: Loved these verde enchiladas — warm enough for “winter,” but light enough for the 80-90 degree days we’ve been having. Also, I want to lick the plate every time I make this honey soy glaze. I serve it over salmon, brussels sprouts, and a little bit of white rice. 
Reading: I read Big Little Lies during Flumageddon, and I don’t know if I was just cranky from being sick or if it really did just kind of drag? The ending was really entertaining, but so far the show is bringing the story to life in ways that the book just didn’t for me. Probably because of the gorgeous beach houses and Reese. Always Reese. I’m halfway into The Light Between Oceans…my library rental expired before I finished it, so I need to check it out again. And this post inspired my next read: In Cold Blood. I’ve never read it!
: To not kill the plants I bought for the patio. I’ve gotten pretty good at keeping indoor plants alive, but outdoor ones are harder for me. I have roughly a 10% success rate. This makes no sense to me. Plants belong outside. Why is this so hard??
Enjoying: Finn’s warm, blocky head resting on my leg while I write this. <3 
Listening: I have been ridiculously obsessed with this song since being captivated by this choreography video. Also, queueing up some new podcasts for the long trip to Marfa this weekend: Revisionist History, Sword and Scale, and 2 Dope Queens.
Needing: Nothing, guys. I put myself on a buying freeze for house stuff until we know where we’re going to be living next. Seems…adult?
Smelling: A lemongrass peppermint mix in the diffuser. So yummy!
Wearing: Gotta ditch my normal work-from-home uniform of leggings and knits for cool-girl outfits if I want to have any street cred in Marfa. Here’s a few things I’m packing, including this hat that Matt is not a fan of, which cracks me up: this kimono in coral, these boots in Desert Calf, this necklace, and this top which is sold out and in looking up this link I found this top which I now want and it’s on saleeee…
Loving: The Kristin Ess shampoo and conditioner from her Target line. It’s sulfate and cruelty-free, it smells so yummy, and the bottles are so cute. Most importantly, I’ve been having some decent hair days. 
Watching: I’ve seen The Office so many times, but Matt had never watched it from the beginning, so we’ve been watching the whole thing. It never, ever gets old. 
Bookmarking: This page for new date night restaurant ideas, this tool to turn photos into digital copies, and this adorable Marfa community forum that a friend shared for our trip. You can find daily restaurant menus, closures, a lost and found, etc.
Feeling: Excited!! Have I said Marfa enough times in this post? 

ABA east austin succulents

I always struggle with the currently posts because they are 100% me flinging what I’ve been up to and my opinions at you. I decided I want to end each of these with a question to get to know you all better so that there’s equal-opportunity opinion-flinging. I recently saw a friend ask this question on Facebook, and the answers were fascinating. Here’s the question: What is a song that makes you cry? Mine are Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s Somewhere Over the Rainbow and Norah Jones’ Carnival Town. Answer in the comments!