What A Year!
Hey there strangers! Happy Halloween! Guess who it is… ?!
I know it has been about 10 months since I have posted around here, but after the next few paragraphs, I hope you understand why! I will keep the recap fairly brief, mostly because I am lazy and a lengthy recap has scared me away from updating the blog sooner. So short-ish and sweet it is!
January – March
I started working part time as I finished up my last quarter at school. It was my thesis quarter, so it was absolutely beyond insane with all of the work I had to accomplish! But the thesis project, which was broken up into three parts (residential, commercial, and business/portfolio components), went extremely well. I managed to pull off an A, making my final GPA for FIDM a 3.98! Woooo! If you would like to check out a bit of my work, I have a rough portfolio set up at portfolio.ourcozycubbyhole.com (the website functionality isn’t great but you can get a good idea of what kept me busy!).
March – June 13
Once I had finished up my coursework, I switched over to working full time at the home decor shop (Kulture Bomb) where I had been working part time. I worked very hard to help transform a small e-commerce site into a brick and mortar shop on Melrose Avenue. It was very exciting! We opened our doors unofficially in the beginning of June.
In addition to working, I was wedding planning like crazy. Because of thesis, very little planning happened after December, so there was a bit of a mad dash on my part to get everything organized for our big day. I loved every second of it! Whoever said wedding planning wasn’t fun was doing it wrong. Yes, the last week was nuts… but that’s all part of the adventure, right?! Since our venue was a blank slate (with a KILLER VIEW!), we planned everything from the layout of the space, to the food, music, and decor of the day. We truly got to make the day very personal and exactly the way we envisioned it.
I married the love of my life and my best friend at Doll Pond in Santa Ynez, CA!!!! The whole weekend was a like a beautiful fairy tale, watching our friends and family from all over the country mingle and bond in the small Danish village of Solvang. Our wedding was everything we wanted and more! It went off without a hitch (except the getting hitched part, obviously), and there is absolutely nothing I would change if I could do it all over again! Walker and I had the best day of our lives, and the memories will stick with us for a lifetime. I am getting teary-eyed thinking about that amazing day over 4 months later! I couldn’t be more proud and grateful to be Mrs. Dale! :)
Check out the photo highlights here!
If you would like to see a longer slideshow set to our special tunes of the day or to see the full gallery of about 900 photos, send me an email and I will happily send links to either! At some point, I will do a much longer wedding post with lots of photos, but today is not that day! ;)
All-inclusive honeymoon in Barbados, courtesy of Wheel of Fortune! Seriously, guys, this trip was like a dream. After all of the commotion of the wedding, it was divine to kick up my feet with my new husband and drink rum on the beach! We also went swimming/snorkeling with sea turtles followed by a booze cruise, went on an incredible submarine tour, had a wonderful champagne breakfast in bed, went zip-lining through the forest, and were treated to a private romantic dinner on the beach on our last night on the island (all thanks to our wonderful friends and family who gifted us these unbelievable experiences).
While we were in Barbados, FIDM had our commencement ceremony, and I officially graduated summa cum laude! I was a valedictorian candidate, but couldn’t apply since I would be napping on the beach in Barbados and couldn’t give a speech… oh well. However, I was lucky enough to win this year’s Sally Sirkin Lewis award, which honors one “outstanding Interior Design student who demonstrates exceptional creativity and innovation in approaching Interior Design projects.” My work was judged by a panel of industry professionals, and I couldn’t be happier to have my work/portfolio speak for itself (while I swam with turtles in the ocean)! I felt so accomplished, happy, relaxed, and in love in Barbados!
Back to real life.
In July, two of our best friends in the world had a beautiful baby girl named Lyla, so Walker and I became an auntie and uncle! That little peanut is so precious, and it has been amazing to watch our friends turn into such incredible parents! It is crazy how quickly Lyla has grown up! We saw her about every other week, and it was nuts how much she changed in those two week gaps!
In mid-September, I interviewed for a job working for an absolutely incredible interior and furniture designer, Michael Berman!! He was going out of town for a week and would be in touch afterwards, so I patiently waited, fingers crossed for this amazing opportunity!
In all other aspects of life, we went back to normal for the most part, enjoying married life! We managed to put away all of our wedding gifts into our tiny apartment, but made looking for a bigger home our new project. We had absolutely no success in three months, so we were about to come to terms with the fact that we would have to make our place work for a while longer. Until…
On Sunday, September 21, at 3pm, I saw a house for rent in Pasadena on Craigslist and emailed the owner some questions. Her assistant called me back a few minutes later, saying the ad had only been up for two hours but there had already been a huge response, and she was planning an open house at 5pm. As she answered my questions, all of our wish list boxes were being checked off. I started to get excited… this place sounded perfect for us! So I dragged Walker away from football to check out the place, swearing to him that it would be worth our time! I love it when I am right! :)
We were head-over-heels with the place from the moment we walked into the gate and saw the yard! Then, we stepped inside the cottage, which is the rear house on a property, and fell even more in love. However, we were a little disheartened that there were about 15 other people at the open house who seemed to be circling the new landlord like vultures! Once we started chatting with the her, though, I felt like we really hit it off. I got the feeling she really liked Walker and me, meaning we could have a shot at the place if my gut was correct. We left the property, knowing it could be so wonderful as our next home!
I got a call from her later that night, saying that, after the open house, she was sending out three applications to the people she thought would be the best fit for the house. However, she confided in us that she had reported back to the owner that we were her favorite candidates for the place! We immediately filled out the application and send it back that night, crossing our fingers for good news.
The next day, I got a call… WE GOT THE PLACE!
30 minutes later, I got another call… I GOT THE JOB!
Ever. Since. June. 23. (See wedding and honeymoon above.)
We were so thrilled for both pieces of exciting news. I was felling so lucky I even went out and bought a lotto ticket (but I had already used up my luck that day… fine with me!!!). Needless to say, we popped a bottle of champagne that night… we had a lot to celebrate!
Once we got all of our ducks in a row for the move, we had to do exactly that: move. Ugh. It is incredible how much crap we managed to shove into our tiny Burbank apartment over the 5 years lived there. However, we spent the month packing and getting organized in order to make our move on Saturday, October 25, as smooth as possible. Once all of our stuff had been moved into the new place, we cleaned up the old apartment. On Tuesday the 28th, we turned in our keys for the Burbank apartment.
As I stood in the empty apartment on that last night, so many memories flooded back to me. It looked exactly like it did when I first fell in love with it 5 years ago: empty and full of potential for a great little home. I moved into that apartment with Bo only months after arriving in Los Angeles.
It was the first place where I lived on my own.
It was the place where Walker and I shared a glass of wine after our first date because we were having too much fun to end it after lunch.
It was the first place Walker met Bo.
It was right by the front door where we had our first kiss.
It was the first home we ever shared once Walker moved in.
It was through blogging about making the apartment a home that caused me to realize my true passion and change careers to interior design.
It was the place we came home to after becoming engaged.
It was the place we planned our wedding.
It was the place we came home to after becoming husband and wife.
There were so many firsts and big moments that we had in that cozy apartment. It has seen many new jobs and life changes. It has seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. It has put up with my DIY abuse for years without complaint. I basically grew up from a clueless college grad to an empowered and beyond-happy adult in that place. We all felt very attached to and sentimental toward that apartment, so as I looked around inside of it for the last time, I cried and cried. It was hard to say goodbye to such a great old friend. It was certainly good to us!
The only thing that made walking away from the apartment easier that night was knowing we had a beautiful new cottage to go home to just 15 minutes away… a cottage we knew would hold other “firsts” and beautiful memories.
I know that the reason most of you decided to even read this post was because you were hoping for pictures of the new place. Sorry to burst your bubble, but those will come very soon! This post is long enough for today, and I haven’t unpacked my camera cord yet! ;)
To Florence, our cozy Burbank cubbyhole, we will always love and remember you! Thank you for everything! <3