A Little of This & That… Renovating, Decorating, DIY Projects & Family
A Little of This & That… Renovating, Decorating, DIY Projects & Family

If You Have Some Extra Time…

Links to Visit | PepperDesignBlog.com

Happy weekend! We traveled up to the Santa Cruz area (Northern California) for my brother’s graduation on Wednesday night (I flew solo with the girls and am learning more tricks each time! from this last one – pack lots of FOOD. More than you’ll ever think you’ll need) and we are here through the weekend. Looking forward to some time with my family and especially my brothers and sister on my dad’s side (my sis is expecting! woohoo!). Here are a few links from ’round the web that have caught my eye.

This Ikea shelving unit totally blows my mind. From installation to styling to how it integrates into the full room…

This is my kind of summer dress.

Are blue kitchens the next big thing? I love this one. Perhaps as an alternative to painting a bar or breakfast nook area white, too.

The 32 most beautiful & unusual places in the world.

This pancake & pajama party is adorable. What a clever spin on a brunch birthday.

Would you ever wear diy shoes? Kinda cool.

12 traditionally successful people on what success really means.

Remember when I made that prediction about flamingos this year? Well this party is so over the top and pretty I can hardly handle it.

Create your own engineer prints and wall-sized murals.

We are planning a vacation here for our 7 year wedding anniversary at the end of June. A little weekend getaway. I can’t wait.

Enjoy your weekend.

A Typical Day…

It’s taken me a while to put together well-rounded answers, but I have not forgotten about all of the sweet and engaging questions from my birthday week. I wanted to share my first set of questions with you all today, and I actually grouped the questions into four broad areas to help narrow the focus of the four different posts:

1 | What does your typical day look like? How do you balance your different responsibilities?

2 | Where does your blogging inspiration come from? You cover such a wide range of topics, how do decide what to post about?

3 | Would you guys consider moving? Are you or when do you think you’ll be ready to start again?

4 | Tips for working/creating from home with little kids

I thought I’d tackle each of these broad topics in a different post, forgive the lack of brevity, I really dove into these! Feel free to skim :).

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A Typical Day... | PepperDesignBlog.com

1 | What does your typical day look like? How do you balance your different responsibilities? 

Surprisingly, one of the common threads running through my birthday question was what a typical day looks like around here. I actually think that it’s kind of cool to document these sorts of things and totally dig it when other bloggers share their balancing secrets, so I’m happy to let you in on one usual day in our crazy lives.

I’ll preface by saying that most days of the week are pretty different. Mondays and Wednesdays flow similarly as do Tuesdays and Thursdays (because of preschool schedules, nannies, playgroups…) but meetings, classes and sporadic events tend to mix things up pretty regularly. I’ll sort of jump into a typical Tuesday today and consider it to be just about as normal as it gets.

I’m a night owl so Taylor waking me up at 6:30am for her daily nursing session is the norm. I must admit that she’d be weaned by now except that I don’t want to wake up at 6:30, so cuddling and falling back asleep is my main goal at this moment :). I don’t mind that it’s so good for her as well.

A Typical Day... | PepperDesignBlog.com

Kevin leaves for work at 7:30 and I hop out of bed to get the girls ready to go. We make breakfast (sometimes oatmeal or fruit, sometimes toasted waffles) and I spend the first hour of my day cleaning up. Might be unloading the dishwasher, vacuuming the floor (our dog is a shedder), picking up toys, mopping, the usual.

A Typical Day... | PepperDesignBlog.com

A Typical Day... | PepperDesignBlog.com

Once the girls are dressed and teeth are brushed, I walk both down to our neighborhood preschool where Liv will spend her next two and a half hours. Taylor’s nanny will meet us back at the house so that I can concentrate on my first chunk of the work day – and a good cup of freshly dripped coffee.

A Typical Day... | PepperDesignBlog.com

A Typical Day... | PepperDesignBlog.com

We live very close to SDSU, our local state university here in San Diego, and I’ve been taking advantage of an awesome group of girls over there for all of our nanny needs since Liv was a couple of months old. When one girl graduates or heads out on a study abroad program, she usually recommends one of her close friends to take over. They are the best! I’ve some how tapped into one of the sweetest sets of 18-22 year old girls you’ll ever meet. Sometimes I’ll even have as many as 3 or 4 on schedule each week. It’s great because I have the flexibility to work around college class schedules and love that I get to break my day up into big chunks (sometimes dictated by their class schedule) rather than have an eight hour nanny that is with us full time. It’s also very affordable.

I typically settle down for work and knockout a few hours from 9 to noon.

A Typical Day... | PepperDesignBlog.com

A Typical Day... | PepperDesignBlog.com

On Tuesdays my mom picks up the girls around lunchtime for a swim lesson and an afternoon with nana and papa (Liv’s a fish now!). On almost every other day I use lunch as another opportunity to spend time with my little ladies before diving into the second chunk of my work day and another (or the same) university nanny.

A Typical Day... | PepperDesignBlog.com

The girls come back around 4pm and just in time for me to transition to snack time as Liv recounts her first dive from the side of the pool or how her instructor is teaching her to use her arms to swim. Even T takes a lesson with my mom and is such a water baby these days.

At this time one of my favorite secret weapons stops by to play for an hour or two – a mother’s helper. Have you ever heard of one before? I’ll go into full detail in a future post but essentially they are neighborhood girls within walking distance to your home that are not yet old enough to babysit on their own. Since I’m home working in my office it’s perfect, the girls play in the living room or outside and my little helper is an excellent entertainer. She might even help me to catch up on folding laundry if the girls are napping when she arrives (Liv dropped her nap about two months ago – sigh – but occasionally is exhausted enough to give in).

A Typical Day... | PepperDesignBlog.com

I slip in a few more hours at the computer. A typical day at work as a marketing director for me might include working out the kinks for a new print material run, time editing a new training video, consolidating recent market trends for an upcoming presentation, measuring results from a recently launched campaign.

A Typical Day... | PepperDesignBlog.com

By 6:30 or so I close up my computer and the third chunk of my work day to focus on dinner and cleaning up (again). It’s a never ending cycle ’round here.

A Typical Day... | PepperDesignBlog.com

Occasionally we slip in a walk to our local park just before sunset.

A Typical Day... | PepperDesignBlog.com

A Typical Day... | PepperDesignBlog.com

Kevin comes home around 7:30 or 8, we enjoy a meal all together, then off to bed go the girls with their Daddy. A beautiful San Diego day!

A Typical Day... | PepperDesignBlog.com

My last work chunk is usually from about 10pm to midnight. In a perfect world this would be the chunk that I delete despite the fact that I work so well in the quiet of the evening. This is also a lot of the time that I dedicate to side projects. In addition to my job as a marketing director, I’m also helping a local start-up launch a sustainability tracking software tool, working with clients on rebranding, spend time sitting on the board of a women in business group and volunteer here and there when I can. As far as the blog goes, it fits in wherever possible (and I mean that so loosely!). I’ve been living by my editorial calendar to keep me on track but sometimes I’m totally a late night blogger, or I’ll fill in minutes while I’m waiting for a video to render during the day or while I’m watching TV with the hubby. Working from home means I can capture photos when light is optimal, write (usually) when I’m inspired. But as always, It all really does take so much more time than I usually plan for. :)

On most nights I crash somewhere between midnight and 1am, just before setting my alarm to begin it all again the next day.

A Typical Day... | PepperDesignBlog.com

It’s not a perfect system but managing my time like the above is what allows me to work from home, work full time and have an active role in the girls’ day-to-day activities. It’s a total blessing and one I hope to never take for granted. Many say balance isn’t possible – I say that it’s never perfect but that it’s worth pursuing.

Thanks for letting me share a little snippet of real life with you! Crazy how quickly the average day will just fly by…

Stay tuned for more personal question posts coming soon.

Girls’ Room: A New Industrial Brass Wall Sconce

Gold 2 Light Wall Sconce for the Girls' Room | PepperDesignBlog.com

This room is far from industrial, but for some reason the new raw brass wall sconce feels so right in this space. Perhaps it’s that it balances the gold swing arm sconces in the built-in bookshelves so perfectly, or maybe because it’s so simple that it sort of blends right in.

I’ve been on the hunt for the right wall sconce for the space above Liv’s bed for maybe a year. When we first started to transform this room into a space for two girls, one of my priorities was to update light fixtures that suddenly felt dated. When we added the two bookcase wall sconces in December our previous nickel sconce felt glaringly off. Here’s a reminder shot from a few months ago:

New Nursery Bookshelf Lighting | Swing Arm Wall Sconce | PepperDesignBlog.com

I discovered the company onefortythree from another blogger way back when and totally fell in love with their industrial style. I actually first tried this light because I loved, loved that swing neck (and thought it could do something cool here stretching over the bed), but when it arrived and we held it up on the wall it wasn’t right. It felt as though it would swing into the acrylic bookshelves and the jutting out from the wall didn’t really actually work in this setup.

Gold 2 Light Wall Sconce for the Girls' Room | PepperDesignBlog.com

I was really dying to give another light from onefortythree a go though and I was really happy that they agreed to exchange my light for no fee, despite the fact that it’s made to order. It took ages for my next industrial brass double socket light to arrive but when it did I was over the moon. The color worked beautifully with the bookcase swing arm lamps and the double socket style balanced out the single socket style of those as well.

Gold 2 Light Wall Sconce for the Girls' Room | PepperDesignBlog.com

How cool are those oversized lightbulbs, too? They’re exposed so we’ve had long talks with Liv about not touching them… that’s the only downfall I potentially see here, though technically even a shaded light bulb is exposed and reachable in this unusual spot. Still not 100% sure why there’s a lightbulb outlet two-thirds of the way up this wall… it must have had something to do with the previous owner’s furniture placement and I haven’t wanted to cover it up because any light is usually a good thing.

Installation was a pain because the sconce backing is flat, meaning that part of the sconce will sit off of the wall unless you chip away holes behind the backing to allow for the back ends of screws and wires to keep flush with the wall (most sconces have a backing that’s hollow and about 1/2″ deep to hide these sorts of things). I need to do some more chipping since you can see in the above photo that the light tilts out at the top ever so slightly.

Big difference from before though! Here’s a shot from the nursery from about two years ago. I tried to use the wall light as a functioning swing arm for the changing table at the time and it worked out fairly well for late night diaper changes.

Gold 2 Light Wall Sconce for the Girls' Room - BEFORE | PepperDesignBlog.com

But the new guy is so much better.

Gold 2 Light Wall Sconce for the Girls' Room | PepperDesignBlog.com

Adorable Fox pillow c/o Uncommon Goods, chunky mustard quilt from H&M, new tan paint is Hot Springs Stone by Olympic (one of the best tans I’ve ever found, much better than the previous yellow-tan), plastic white ‘spring stool’ from Joss & Main.

Full transformation of this room into a nursery and then a bedroom for two right chronicled right here.

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