Category Archives: Life & Love

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.

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).

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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!

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June 24
Back to real life.

July-September
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!

October

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

Happy 2014!

Happy new year, everyone! It is absolutely mind-boggling to me that one year ago, I was preparing to go back to school in a week. Fast forward a year and I am preparing to throw myself into my final thesis quarter with everything I’ve got for ten more weeks. THEN I AM DONE! I have been terrible about showing you all my work with the exception of the first quarter or so, but I promise there will be a final portfolio in the works this quarter with the highlights. I managed to pull off another 4.0 quarter and couldn’t be more pleased! But enough about school… let’s get you a bit caught up on the goings-on around here.

The Christmas season was more of a whirlwind than usual for me this year. Between completing many holiday string art orders (all of which had to ship by the same week as my finals…), completing finals/projects, and then mixing in the usual holiday craziness, I was doing everything imaginable to keep my head above water. However, once I finished everything on the 21st, we were able to enjoy a relaxing Christmas week with both of our families! We flew to New York on the 22nd, then to Nebraska on the 26th, and finally back to Los Angeles on the 31st. We spent the entire trip seeing old friends, relaxing with family, and (as usual) getting spoiled by everyone’s incredible generosity. After getting off the plane, we spent New Years Eve cooking an amazing surf & turf meal, playing our new Wii (WOOOO!!! My arm is killing me…), enjoying many cocktails, and embracing a wonderful night in together after a lot of traveling! New Years Day is the anniversary of our first date, but I have a bunch of fun things to post from that, so it will get its own post later! :)

Let’s see… what else has been happening? Or I guess not really happening over the past few weeks… wedding planning! We took a mini hiatus from planning in December for the most part due to the madness (see paragraph above!), but we did manage to draw, design, order, and prepare all of the Save the Dates. I plan to address them today and get them in the mail shortly. I will have a bigger wedding update post shortly, where I will share some of the fun stuff that we have accomplished for our big day!

Finally, I missed my second blogiversary on December 12th since I was up to my ears in finals and string art, but feel free to look back at some of the fun post from last year!
First Blogiversary – Day 1: New Layout and Survey!
First Blogiversary – Day 2: A Day in the Life
First Blogiversary – Day 3: Big News!!  (This is one of the top three most popular blog posts to date when it comes to comments!)
First Blogiversary – Day 4: The Year In Review
First Blogiversary – Day 5: Survey Results, Your Questions Answered, and a Little Something Special!

I am hoping to have at least one fun second blogiversary post for you over the next week, so stay tuned!

While there is a ton more to say about the past month and the upcoming few, I think this post is long enough for today. I don’t start school until late next week, so you will be hearing from me a lot until then! See you tomorrow with a recap of our New Years celebration and resolutions.

P.S. Before I leave you for today, I wanted to give a little shout out to our late December/January sponsors: Hammer It Out and NCF Furnishings. They were sweet enough to sponsor Our Cozy Cubbyhole during the holidays when I never posted, so I threw in all of January as a little thank you to them. You will hear more about them soon, but I wanted to give them a little love today too! Thank you!

We Set the Date!

Happy Friday! Sorry for the late hour of this post, but while I was taking photos for it, THIS happened:

Look ho happy this dog is! Almost as happy as we are!!! :)

Look how happy this dog is! Almost as happy as we are!!! :)

We got our kitchen back (in case you missed it, our neighbor’s apartment flooded on Saturday)! They are still finishing the drying process from the other side of the wall, but we are pretty much done with everything inside our unit. The apartment suddenly feels huge now that everything has been moved back to its original place (that’s another reason this post is late… I went on a put-our-house-back-together binge).

I digress. The happy news I planned on sharing with you all today was that we have officially set the date and picked the location for our wedding!!SetTheDate_Featured

As you can see by this adorable engagement gift from my two beautiful cousins (and bridesmaids), we have an official countdown going! I won’t make you do the math… we are getting married on June 14, 2014!

First of all, can you tell all of these photos were staged outside, since (at the time) the house was still in shambles? Secondly, the super cute embroidered quote was an engagement gift from Laura & Dave. We also received an amazingly thoughtful gift from my Aunt Kathy, who framed the lyrics to our engagement (and probably first dance) song and decorated the frame with our names, the vineyard name where we got engaged (and it’s lovely sunflowers!), and some pictures of our mugs.SetTheDate3
It is so sweet… I cried when I opened it! Anyway, this wasn’t meant to be a gift parade, but these three thoughtful gifts deserved a little shout out!

Anyway, so the location where we are getting married was actually the one I posted a few weeks ago. This will be the view from both the ceremony and the reception:

It's impossible to pick a bad venue when you are dealing with these views...

Minus the porta potty and grape nets!

I probably won’t post many more pictures of the venue for two reasons. First, I want there to be a bit of a surprise for those who are attending! Secondly, rather than go with a big, fancy vineyard, we chose to go with a small, intimate private family vineyard property. We loved it because it is like working with a totally blank slate, and the beauty of the event will be the location/view (obviously) and the imagination we put into making it feel like a truly personal, one-of-a-kind celebration. I am certainly not saying that the pictures aren’t much to look at (Ummm… hello, look at that view! And it’s not the only one…); I am simply saying that it will be hard to show you “our” venue until we have injected our imaginations and personalities into it!

Hmmm… what else do we need to cover? We have decided on a photographer, a cupcake baker, and potentially the caterer. I have also decided on the exact dress style I want, and am waiting to receive fabric samples for the dress that I think could really be the one! In fact, for the observant folks in the bunch, the pretty lace in all of the pictures above may or may not be my stunning “something borrowed…” the gorgeous veil my mom wore in her wedding that I have always loved.SetTheDate2And all of this wedding planning means only one thing… if you know me even a little bit, you KNOW that I have a spectacularly organized wedding binder. Thank you Martha Stewart Home Office!SetTheDate4_WeddingBinderSetTheDate4_WeddingBinder2

Yes, there are three rows of tabs. So what? Want to know my favorite part of the whole binder?SetTheDate4_WeddingBinder3Have an amazing weekend, everyone! :)