Category Archives: Life & Love

A Little Bit of Boho

Happy hump day! Over Labor Day weekend earlier this month, Walker and I took an amazing trip back to Nebraska to visit the Dale side of family. The majority of our trip consisted of some serious puppy playtime for Bo and his parents’ new dog (Pogo the cairn terrier!), delicious home-cooked meals, and wonderful quality family time.


Pogo & Bo = instant buddies :)

Gorgeous Big Sky Country!

Gorgeous Big Sky Country!


We even got a pretty amazing thunderstorm! :)

While we were there, Walker’s mom took us to one of her favorite stores in Lincoln, Ten Thousand Villages. I love visiting this shop every time we are in town because they have AMAZING fair trade home goods, gifts, apparel, art, accessories, etc. handmade by artisans all around the world. The company is a non-profit charitable organization, with many of its employees being local volunteers and all of its profits from sales going directly back into supporting the individual artisans with fair wages. Anyway, my point is that this place has gorgeous products AND you can feel great buying them from such an ethical, honest company doing great things for artisans all over the globe. Twist my arm to spend some dough… ;)

While I could have walked out of there with armfuls of goodies, I restrained myself to one item that fit into my carry-on. I fell in love with this $30 colorful, bohemian rag rug handmade in Egypt that I knew would be perfect for our kitchen. The best part of our shopping experience? I found out that Pasadena has its own Ten Thousand Villages shop just five minutes from our house! Eeeeeeeee! I know where I will be doing 100% of my Christmas shopping this year. When we got home, I paired it with a anti slip rug underlay from IKEA to make our kitchen a whole lot happier.

Kitchen1 IMG_8886 IMG_8903_watermark

We also recently added some DIY macrame hanging planters (the macrame tutorial I used is here) with some herbs and succulents to the kitchen window area, significantly giving the kitchen more life and color. (Side note: I can’t stop bringing plants into the house… the fig tree was like my gateway greenery.)


We have a few more kitchen updates we would like to make, but it is otherwise probably the most complete room in the house! Yippeeeee!

Dear Blog…

*Warning: sappy, sentimental post ahead. Proceed with caution.*

Dear Blog,

I miss you. I spent some time recently rereading several months worth of posts, and it transported me back in the very best way. You were our journal, our photo album, and a connection to our friends and family for years. I feel like the time since has been undocumented and therefore in some ways seems further away from me than even some of the smallest moments from years ago that I just reread. I have been talking to several friends over the past few months about keeping a journal or reading their (grand)parent’s journals, all of which made me miss you. Although it is a public journal of sorts and not a place to share my most intimate feelings, I love that our lives during the times when I blog have been recorded to share and enjoy down the road.

The past couple years since I have posted regularly have flown by and have been beautiful beyond words. School was insanely busy, but amazingly fulfilling and productive towards achieving my occupational dreams. The 10 months of engagement was a blast celebrating and anticipating our upcoming nuptials. The wedding planning is a delightful but frenzied blur at this point… I still have no idea how it all came together! The wedding itself was the best day of our lives. Every single one of my wildest dreams came true when I said “I do!” to spending the rest of my life with the person I love with every bit of my heart. It was an absolute dream celebrating such a special day with the people we love. The honeymoon was stunningly unreal… Barbados stole our hearts. Every minute of blood, sweat, and tears shed at school was beyond worth it when I got the dream job working for Michael. Turns out, I had no idea even then how much I would absolutely LOVE this job. The move to our Pasadena cottage happened so fast, but almost a year later, I know in my heart this home was meant for us. We love our cottage and the little family inside!

The point of all of this blabbering is simply to say that I wish I had blogged all of those wonderful moments as well. Although they will always and forever live in my memory, there is something incredible reading about these memories in my own words and seeing them in photos years later. So, while I can’t promise by any means that this blog will be back in all of its original DIY and project-packed glory (ha!), I want to recommit myself to posting the occasional (or hopefully more-than-occasional) lifestyle (and cottage) updates. I miss you, and I miss what you bring to our lives. Let’s be friends again.



Friends and family, I miss you too! I hope you’ll come hang out with us here again on Our Cozy Cubbyhole. Happy Friday! xo

*Sappy post complete. If you’re still reading this, you survived. Here’s a picture of Bo as your reward.*


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 (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.

We also got our engagement photos taken in May by the beyond-incredible Richard at Clarkie Photography, and they were AMAZING. Check out the highlights here!

Erika and Walker Erika and Walker

June 14
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! ;)

Solvang Vineyard Wedding Solvang Vineyard Wedding Photography Solvang Vineyard Wedding Photography

June 17-23

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).


Winning the trip!

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!


June 24
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!

Yes, we already made her a Huskers fan! :)

Yes, we already made her a Huskers fan! :)

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…

September 21-22

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! :)

Pasadena Cottage 1

Pasadena Cottage 2

These are the original photos we saw posted on Craigslist!

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!

Best. Day. 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!

Throwback to our one of the “before” photos of the old apartment!

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