Tuesday, August 14, 2018

9 Budget-Friendly Ways to Incorporate Terrazzo Into Your Home

Ah, terrazzo! I've been having fun watching this material blow up in the design world. If you're new to this term, terrazzo is a material used most often in walls and flooring, created from small, irregular bits of marble, quartz or glass, and poured with a binding agent. The result is a texture that can vary quite a bit depending on the materials used, but can mimic a mosaic look or even a confetti depending on the size of the pieces.

Terrazzo counter, image via dzekdzekdzek.com

While the design may feel new and fresh for home interiors, the fact of the matter is this technique is incredibly old. According to a few sources, terrazzo was invented as early as the 16th century in Venice. Workers who were creating larger mosaics were left with some odds and ends, strangely shaped pieces of marble, which they decided to put together to build terraces. Later, they discovered the marble shined the best when coated with goat's milk. What an origin story!

Terrazzo floors, image via Pinterest
The technique wasn't brought to America for bit, though. In 1890, Italian workers were building the Vanderbilt home on Fifth Avenue in New York, and they used terrazzo. Then, like trends do, it took off. Throughout the 1920's-1940's, this was used in quite a few public buildings (think courthouses, state capitols, etc.) because the material is very durable. Most recently, designer Sarah Sherman Samuel decided to put terrazzo floors throughout Mandy Moore's home.

Due to the materials used and the durability of terrazzo, it can be a big commitment for homeowners — and nearly impossible for renters to get in on the trend! Here are a few budget-friendly terrazzo-inspired pieces I've found online if you want to incorporate a piece without making the commitment.

Terrazzo credenza, image via Domino

Terrazzo vanity tray, image via Neiman Marcus
Terrazzo drawer pulls, image via Anthropologie

Terrazzo desk, image via Domino

Here are a few more I've found that I'm liking, though I've seen everything from terrazzo shower curtains to bowls, and everything in between! I especially love the pour over dripper below — how cute would that look on a counter! What do you think about terrazzo? Would you put it in your home?

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

A Pretty Fair Day

Flashing fluorescent lights, all the food you can eat, and a ferris wheel. The Ozark Empire Fair is currently happening — once a year, the lot near Hillcrest High School is transformed into another world. Here, you can see all the animals you've heard live on a farm, and maybe even pet them if you're up to it! It costs $9 to get in, and in my opinion, the price of admission is worth it alone for people-watching. I went to the fair with some of my pals this weekend, and while we didn't get to see the animals, we did check out most of the snack options. We ate fried foods, rode the ferris wheel, and finished our evening off with more fried foods. Anyway, here's some photos of all of us being goofs at the carnival.

The ferris wheel turned out to be a lot more intense than we expected it to be! It was quite a bit faster than other ferris wheels I've been on. That coupled with a swinging car and a peek off the edge might require some dramamine. Aside from the crazy rides, the corndogs were a highlight, and I have a feeling I may be stopping at Sonic for the next 50-cent corndog day.

Allison's one mission was to find deep-fried Oreos, which became all of our mission. She was nice enough to share once we found them! They paired perfectly with a jug of root beer.

You may have gathered this already, but if you can fry it, they will at the Ozark Empire Fair. Between the five of us, we tried corn dogs, XXL corn dogs, fried Twinkies, fried Oreos, fried green tomatoes (I ordered these and I was not disappointed), and a giant turkey leg which we all tried a bite of!

That's all! A quick trip, but it was certainly worth it.

Outfit details: Gifted scrunchie (similar here), Anthropologie top (Previous season, similar here), Vintage jeans (similar fit here), Anthropologie bag sold out (similar version)

Monday, July 30, 2018

How I, an Extrovert, Work From Home

When I first took the leap into full-time freelancing, I envisioned a dreamy setup where I’d casually roll out of bed onto my yoga mat at 6:00 a.m., make some avocado toast, and be ready to hit the inbox by 7:15. What this self-employment fantasy of mine failed to neglect was, ahem, one small thing: my personality.

The problem with my thinking wasn’t necessarily the early rising (I don’t crave waking up before the birds, but I can if I need to), but rather the solitude of it all. I love me some solitude, but I’d rather have that quiet, meditative time at the end of my day instead of the beginning. Enter: the definition of “extrovert”.

There’s lots online about introversion vs. extraversion, but I hear people misusing the terms a lot, too. For instance, being an extrovert doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t value alone time, and being an introvert doesn’t always mean you’re shy. It’s more about how you gain energy and what motivates you. So, a simplified guide is extraversion = gains energy around others, and introversion = recharges alone. Here are some links to helpful pages explaining the two: Wikipedia, Changing Minds, Meyers Briggs.

I loved working from home for about… two days, and then I realized it was a little lonely. Since I gain energy from being around other people, I was feeling drained in a way where I’d given everything I had to the project I was tackling, but never felt the “nailed it!” factor I was accustomed to aiming for in work. I would finish my workdays feeling like I’d just run a marathon, and possibly (probably) had forgotten to eat lunch. Over the last year, I’ve tried a few different approaches to switching up my work-from-home routine, and here are some successes I’ve found.

Keeping the House Clean
To me, a cluttered workspace or desk is a huge distraction. And when you’re working from home, sometimes the dishes are in view of your “office”! My desk at home literally faces a wall, which isn’t the most glamorous view, but it helps me to focus in on what’s in front of me when I’m working there. It’s just my computer and that brick wall, really, so I’m less likely to get distracted by my housecleaning chores.

Run an Errand/Phone a Friend
Often, if I have an errand to run that fits in with my work day, I like to do it first thing in the morning. This motivates me to get up and out of the house, seeing other people gives me energy, and I can come home and get to work on my project with more vigor. If it’s not an “errand day”, but I know my energy is low, sometimes I’ll call my mom or another friend just to say hi. It’s like the morning chit-chat you have with coworkers, kind of! For a while, I Skyped with my friend Hallie who also owns her own business, and that was a good motivation to get out of bed and get dressed, too.

Set a Timer
I don’t always use this trick, but I pull it out of my arsenal when I find I’m hitting a wall with my productivity. I’ll set a timer and say to myself, “I’m going to work on this project for 40 minutes”. The timer isn’t always set to 40 minutes, sometimes I vary it depending on the project at hand or how much time I’m trying to save. A set amount of time that I’ve committed to being free from distractions — no Pinterest, no phone, etc. will always help me get going on a goal, and 9 times out of 10 I finish it faster than I would have without the timer. It kind of feels like I’m participating in a race on a game show. How fast can this freelancer edit her photos without compromising quality?? Stay tuned to next week’s episode, airing at 9/8 Central! The same magic somehow works when I light a candle. I can't explain it!

Listen to Podcasts
Pretty sure “listen to podcasts” is a tangible step in every element of bettering your life. It feels that way sometimes! There’s such a variety of great content being produced on this platform; I’m putting it out there — we are officially in the golden age of podcasting. Anyway, I can’t always listen to podcasts while I’m working because a lot of my job is writing, but sometimes I turn ‘em on while I’m doing photography projects, and I always smile when I do.

Don’t Actually Work from Home
So, this may sound like cheating, but most of my success “working from home” is really just working from a coffee shop. I’ll go to quiet places where there are people around — coffee shops, sometimes my parents’ house… I’ve even been known to work from a restaurant or two. I find that I gain energy by being in the same room as other people, and knowing others are working in the same capacity helps me to stay on task. The key to being an extrovert is that I don’t have to talk to every single person in the coffee shop. Sometimes just seeing others, maybe eavesdropping in on their conversations 😉, and knowing I’m not alone in the world does the trick.

It’s been a journey, but now that I’ve been at this freelance thing for over a year, I feel like I’m getting more into the swing of things! Cheers to waking up (semi) early and chasing your dreams, however that looks for you.

P.S. If you’re new here and are thinking, so what exactly do you do for a living?, here’s a link to my portfolio site.