Category Archives: Blogiversary

First Blogiversary Day 4: The Year In Review

Before I dive right into the year in review post, I want to remind beg you all to take 30 seconds to take the survey I posted on Monday!  The survey will close tonight because we will be sharing the results tomorrow! Thanks so much for helping a girl out!

Now, let’s get into the good stuff! This has been such an incredible year. Walker and I have gone beyond getting settled in our apartment and have really established an amazing life together in cohabitation. Our relationship has thrived and I am grateful every day for finding such a beautiful love in this big, scary world. I watched my awesome brother graduate from high school/start college and have enjoyed seeing my parents flourish as empty-nesters. I stood by my best friend’s side as she married the love of her life and celebrated with two other couples we love as they also tied the knot! I sadly mourned the loss of my Papa and my grandmother but felt closer to my extended family than ever before because of it. I enjoyed my little puppy-companion’s antics and watched Walker and Bo become best friends! And most of all, my family and friends are happy and healthy… what more could you ask for?

When I started up this little blog, I only had the intention of using it as a creative outlet and to keep in better touch with my friends & family on the East Coast. However, it is a year later and I could never have imagined the effect it would have on me. Obviously, the biggest thing I have taken away so far was the discovery that I am capable of and passionate about pursuing a career in interior design, which I talked about in detail yesterday. I blabbed on for long enough about that already, so I will move on. Perhaps the accomplishment I am most pleased with is that this is one of the only hobbies I have actually stuck with for an entire year! I tend to throw myself into a new activity and then drift away once the novelty has worn off.  Not with the blog and I love that! I am giving myself a pat on the back! The blog has also allowed me to develop existing creative skills (painting, crafting, building, writing, etc.) as well as branch out into new creative skills, such as photography and web design.

Another really awesome thing I didn’t see coming at all was meeting a bunch of incredible blog friends from all over the world! There are even a few of them I have become so close with that we are attempting to find some time next year to actually meet in person! #Ohio2013! I feel like I have found my little voice out in the big world of the Internet and that makes me proud. I am by no means a big blog on the block but I am blown away by how many of you lovely readers are out there!

So enough sappy stuff and more about you, my super awesome readers! I thought it would be fun to showcase your favorite things from this year!

Your favorite project this year was the California Love String Art, with 1,015 of you reading that post! WOW!!California_SanFran

Coming in second was my $7 DIY Plant Stand & Outdoor Bar with 757 readers!StandAfter

And in third place is the Mason Jar Hand Soap Dispenser with 484 readers!MasonJarFinal

With the exception of the day I entered the Apartment Therapy Homies, the post with most same-day hits (363!) was my recap of the “Breakfast in Bed” bridal shower I threw for my best friend Laura back in July! Woooo!MrsWitbeckHanger4

My personal favorite post (other than my big announcement yesterday) was the Centennial post, partially because it contained an excessive number of Bo pictures and partially because it gave me a chance to tell you a little more about myself!Bo10_BoGlamourShot2My personal favorite project was the $14 DIY Basket & Twine Pendant Light because it changed the entire vibe of our living room!TwinePendantLamp_Watermark

Most of you found me through Google, Facebook, Apartment Therapy, and Pinterest (my top referrers) but there are some people that landed on my page by searching for some pretty odd stuff on search engines.  Here are a few of my favorites:

treasure hunting in Nebraska – YES PLEASE!
bad bathroom paint job – haha okay… this one makes sense.  The world will never let us live this one down!
bathtub of guacamole – mmmmmmm where!?
dog potty area in backyard – for us it’s called the backyard…
catskill sexy – you mean like the mountains? This one creeps me out.
pomeranian birthday – yippee! Puppy party!
cartoon lion sitting down – hmmmm? Sorry, I do not have one of those.
little gross adorable – ouch… I hope they were taking about Bo.
where is erika? – right here you dingus! ;)

And of course, no yearly blog recap would be complete without the grand total of the yearly pageviews. Of course, the stats are only as of Sunday since they take a few days to process so I will have to come update this official number once stats through yesterday become available. The grand total (as of Sunday) is 31,765 pageviews! HOLY MOLY! THAT IS INSANE! It makes my head spin just thinking about how incredible that is. All of you readers are so unbeliveabley awesome… I am so grateful for all of you and wouldn’t still be posting if it weren’t for you. xoxo

Because you are all so wonderful, I will have a little something special for you in tomorrow’s post, as well as a recap of the survey results and answers to all of your questions! In addition, I will be touching a little bit on moving forward and my blog goals for next year.  See you then!

First Blogiversary Day 3: Big News!!

Oh happy day!! Today is my official one year anniversary since the birth of this little blog! A year ago today I made my very first post and wasn’t sure what to expect out of this whole blogging thing. While I am going to get into this topic more tomorrow, I will share one of the main results with you today.

I have been waiting to make this announcement on the blog since July, when I first hinted I had something in the works.  Shall we recap that post?

Well here it goes: I am so so so beyond excited to announce that I will be going back to school in January to study Interior Design at FIDM in Downtown LA!!! On July 2nd, I got accepted to their 1 year Professional Designation program designed for people who have already earned a bachelor’s degree (this means no gen-ed glasses… just the good stuff!).

So let me back things up and start from the beginning. Since I have already written this once before, I will let past-Erika tell the story in the form of a few snippets from my FIDM admissions essay:

“I have spent my entire life surrounded by fabric, paint, crafts, HGTV, and all things home décor. After learning to sew at age eleven, my do-it-yourself creativity spiraled into paper crafts, art, room painting, refurbishing furniture, set design, and mood boards. Therefore, a college major in Drama seemed like a natural fit and I spent my time focusing on set design, set painting, costume design, and costume construction.”

Sidebar: As many of you know, I was actually pursuing two bachelors degrees (overachiever much?), one in Drama and the other in Television/Radio Production at the communications school. Okay, sorry past-Erika… please continue.

“After graduation, I was offered a job in the television industry and couldn’t pass up employment. However, I began to miss having a paintbrush and a hammer in my hands and decided to find a new creative outlet by beginning a home blog chronicling my own D.I.Y. and home décor pursuits. Not only does the blog allow me to stay current with design ideas and trends, but it has also allowed me to develop my photography, photo editing, writing, web design, and D.I.Y. skills.”

Fun fact: I actually started a dog blog first but that is beside the point.

I was laying awake one Sunday night in June, stressing over just about everything in my life and I decided to ask myself a really honest question. If money was no issue, what would I do with my life? After a long winded answer that revolved around blogging, designing, DIY projects, etc. I had one of those (excusez-moi pour mon Francais) holy-shit-moments that hit me like a Mack truck. I sat right up in bed and thought “Wait a minute! Money isn’t the issue here… I actually COULD do a lot of those things for a living… AS AN INTERIOR DESIGNER!” Duh. How had I never thought of this before as a potential career path for myself? I have been spending countless free hours happily following creative pursuits since I was a little girl that could all play a part in a design career. How has this never clicked before?

Once I put all the pieces together, I realized that I undoubtedly have a passion for all of these design-related activities. However, I lack an education in the field that would guide me to understand how to truly translate that passion into a career. I spent the entire night wide awake and researching design schools. When I saw FIDM’s 1 Year Professional Designation Interior Design Program I was so pumped because it was a perfect fit! I called an admissions adviser the next day.

When I called my mom to talk to her about it, her response was “How have we never thought of this before!?” Like mother, like daughter. :)

The admissions process began with a meeting with my admissions adviser to go over the basics (curriculum, cost, campus tour, etc.) and to get my admissions requirements. I had to fill out the usual paperwork, write an admissions essay, and complete a portfolio entrance project (see a copy of the directions here). This is what I came up with (click to enlarge photos):

Perhaps I will write a more detailed post on this project and my choices in the future (this one is long enough!). Regardless, they liked my essay/project and accepted me to the program! July seems like ages ago now… I have been looking forward to this for so long. However, I wanted to wait until the new year to start school so I had time to save some serious cash.

So what does this all mean for my life? First of all, it means that (as of January) I will be first and foremost a full-time student. School will be my main focus over the next year, despite the fact that it may seriously cut into my social and blog time.  Secondly, this obviously means I will have to switch to part time at my current job. I will be in class on Tuesdays/Thursdays all day and then work the other 3 days. How do I know this?  Well, because I registered for classes yesterday!!! Hooray!

I am more than excited for this adventure to start but a part of me is also really nervous! It is a huge career/life change for me and I will be basically starting completely over. Plus, only having a part-time income in this expensive city is terrifying but I have crunched the numbers a million times and I should be okay. For those of you who know me well, you know I can be meticulous about my budget when I want (or need) to be! All scary things aside, my gut is telling me that I am headed down the right path and I couldn’t be more elated to be following my passion.

While I have a million more things I could say about all of this, I think this blog post is long enough for now. I will leave you with a one additional snippet from my essay that sums this whole thing up and a couple pictures from my registration yesterday. I know this post could spur some questions from you all, so please feel free to comment below, email me, or submit questions on Mondays survey/question form (which I would appreciate you filling out if you haven’t already!). I am so grateful all of your support and love in this exciting time. Xoxo!

“I have always loved being ‘home’ and for a long time I attributed it to nothing more than comfort and familiarity. However, as I have gotten older, I have come to realize that what makes a place ‘home’ is not only comfort and familiarity, but also the personality of the space, the way a space makes one feel, and the memories it contains. The reason ‘home’ feels so wonderful is because it is deeply personal and is the physical manifestation of one’s experiences, dreams, feelings, and outlook on life. The desire to create this amazingly personal oasis at home for myself and for others is the exact reason I have decided to go back to school at age twenty-five to pursue a new career in interior design. I am sincerely excited to study the principles that will allow me to transform other people’s desires and needs into something functional, aesthetically pleasing, profoundly personal, and delightfully unique.”

First Blogiversary Day 2: A Day in the Life

Welcome to Day 2 of Our Cozy Cubbyhole’s first blogiversary celebration.  If you read yesterday’s post, you already know that tomorrow will be the one year anniversary of my very first post so we are partying it up!

I realized recently that very few people actually know what I do for a day job.  So, in true blogger tradition, I decided to do a “Day in the Life” post so you can see what my typical day is like. Without further ado, here is a Monday in the life of Erika. (P.S. Sorry for the quality of some of the pics… I got lazy and used my iPhone for some!)

7:30am – Alarm goes off and signals the official beginning of the week. Booo Mondays. Walker gets up but I lounge in bed with Bo, snoozing at least 2-3 times until Walker gets out of the shower. This is Bo’s favorite time of day… he milks it and gets more than his fair share of belly rubs.

7:57am – Finally roll out of bed!

8:00am – Oh wait, THIS is Bo’s favorite time of day. Breakfast time! And time for his Thyroid pill, which he knows always comes with a little cheese treat!8:05am – Chat with Walker while he gets ready for work.  Every Monday day I suggest we call out sick and stay home to watch movies (we never have… maybe someday he will say yes). We drink coffee that he so lovingly made us while I was snoozing.  He’s a keeper.

8:15am – Walker leaves for work so I settle in with my coffee and my blog planner to edit some photos for the day’s blog post. The post is already written so I insert the edited photos, proof-read it, and hit publish.  After posting it to both Twitter and Facebook, I do a little internet Christmas shopping. I also manage to slurp down some breakfast: a Naked Juice Berry Veggie Smoothie.  A growing girl needs her fruit, veggies, protein, and vitamins!

9:20am – Christmas presents purchased, I catch up on some social media and blog comments.

9:30am – Time to get ready for work! While the shower heats up, I pick out my clothes for the day: jeans and a khaki blouse. Obviously I need a scarf so I pull out two of them that go with the shirt. Then a dilemma hits… which to choose?! I decide to shower and think about it.9:45am – I get out of the shower, pull my hair into a ponytail (I was going to actually do my hair so I looked nice in these photos but then I was too lazy and decided you should see the real me.  I wear my hair like this all the time. Get over it.), put on some makeup, and get dressed.  Realizing one of the scarves made an appearance on the blog a few weeks ago (#bloggerproblems), I decide to go with the green scarf.  Plus it has trees on it so it makes me feel festive. Finishing it off with some jewelry and boots, I snap a quick picture (sorry- self portraits are hard with DSLRs) before running out the door.

A little after 10am – I leave for work and arrive 5 minutes later (everyone in LA hates me for my miniscule commute!)… a little late as usual.  Don’t worry clock-watchers, I always stay late to make up for being late in the morning. This is my building! Oooohh! Aaaaahh! Don’t be too impressed… we only own a section of the first floor.

While most of my building is light, bright, and full of typical offices, I work in this room with all boys:It has no windows and never has any lights on (though I turned them on so you could behold the beauty).  As soon as I walk in, I notice the giant pile of work and dive right in.  This is going to be a long morning…In a typical day, I do everything from editing small projects to babysitting clients. Usually I am running tape to file jobs where we create digital video files for online streaming services or digital archiving. Either that or I am editing a file and sending it out to tape for a broadcaster to air. I spend my day playing with tape decks, Final Cut Pro, and other transcoding software.  NERD ALERT.

I like to think I look like this at work all the time:But I usually look like this… seriously concentrating, in my own little world, and sitting way too close to a several computer monitors:Actually, I sadly think I look like this a lot too:I have a few needy clients that like to call and bug me all day. Just kidding… sort of.

The day is flying by and there is no time for lunch.  Usually I go home and hang with Bo but I had an inkling that today was going to be crazy, so I was smart enough to bring lunch to work. So I go to the kitchen and sneak bites of it when I get the chance. If I forget lunch, I end up eating way too many of the fresh, warm cookies the company puts out for the clients.  I can’t even go take a picture of them because it would be too tempting.  So instead you get a picture of the frozen ones that we have stored by the ton in the kitchen.

3:00pm – Things finally calm down a bit so I sit down with my wonderful, beautiful coworker Jasmine to go over the status of a few jobs.

3:30pm – One of my coworkers was kind enough to offer to help me upgrade the hard drive in my iMac (which I dragged into work). It is horrifying seeing my precious little iMac baby wide open on the table.I am unbelievably relieved to see these two screens when he is done…

Success! I now have 2TB of space and an extra GB of RAM! Wooooo! NERD ALERT AGAIN.  I spend the rest of the day finishing jobs and wrapping up loose ends.

A little after 6pm – Since I didn’t take a lunch, I get to leave an hour earlier than usual.  Woooo! I get home a few minutes later to find these two handsome faces waiting for me:The craziness of my day melts away when I see those mugs.  I love my boys.  Bo is happy to see me because now it is his dinner time.

6:45pm – Call my parents and catch up before they go to bed (the 3 hour time difference is brutal!).

7:30pm – Missed Jeopardy while I was on the phone but manage to snuggle up on the couch with the boys just in time for Wheel and How I Met Your Mother.  Walker pours me a glass of vino!

8:3opm – Dinner time (we eat late on Mondays because of HIMYM)! Monday is leftover day from all of our delicious Sunday cooking.  Today it is Shrimp Parmigiana (we used this recipe and it was unbelievably delicious) with homemade marinara sauce. We make some cheesy garlic toast to go with it and even steal a few scoops of macaroni salad (I know that is a strange addition but we didn’t want it to go to waste!).8:45pm – After dinner, Walker and I are super happy.  Full bellies, a glass of wine in hand, dog on our laps, and a Christmas tree lighting up the room… life is good. We watch a few cooking shows, which makes us want dessert.

9:30pm – We cave and make ourselves some toast with butter and strawberry jam for dessert. We have no willpower.

10:00pm – Call my brother to catch up for a bit while Walker watches Seinfeld reruns.

11:00pm – Get ready for bed and chat with Walker for a bit.

11:30pm – Bo has been sleeping in the bed since 9:30pm and barely notices us join him. We all cuddle in for the night, happy that we survived Monday.


So there you have it, a day in the life of Erika. I will be back tomorrow with a huge announcement so get excited!  In the meantime, please go fill out my super short, awesome survey from yesterday if you haven’t already.  It would mean a lot to me! Thanks all! :)