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Invented Charm Posts

Mid-Century Condo Tour: Kitchen

A couple weeks ago I hinted that I’d be posting a home tour, so here we are, part one: the kitchen!

Our home is a 1958 Spanish revival/Mid-Century modern condo. The roofs are all red Spanish tile and the stucco is white, plus there are cool Mid-Century details like the metal awnings, and huge windows that flood the space with natural light.

Photo by Laurent Leger Adame

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How to Recover After a Stressful Season and Live Well When Life is in Limbo

I’ve been struggling again and I worry that I rely too much on Sesame Street to entertain my kid while I make food or put on makeup. I shared previously some tips on how to manage stress when you feel like you don’t have any free time, so I thought I’d write a follow-up post about how recover after a stressful season and how to keep living life even when everything is in limbo.

I feel like so many things were put on pause while we got ready to put our home on the market. Though we have no real timeline for the move, we know it’s imminent. In the first few weeks our place was listed, we had multiple showings and open houses and I was just trying to survive, but now things have quieted down into a slower pace and I feel ready to be part of the world again.

One of the key things I advocated in my post was simplifying during times of stress or particularly busy seasons and figuring out what commitments you can forgo while you’re under pressure. But what happens when your schedule isn’t so tight anymore and you feel like you have room to breathe again? Do you just revert back to the way things were before? Or maybe you’re living a new normal and you have to figure out what you want your life to look like now.

five tips for recovering from a stressful season and living well when life is in limbo

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An Easy and Affordable Refresh for Your Kitchen

As I’ve shared previously, our house is currently on the market. I’m working on a tour of my home to share, but first I thought I’d post about how we got our place photo-ready and welcoming for potential homebuyers. At first when I scoured the internet for useful tips, I was scared off by intimidating DIY projects and the pervasive belief that only houses with granite counter tops and high-end appliances will sell. I decided then to approach the process of getting my house market-ready with a strict budget, quick timeline, and a lot of elbow grease.

This post is first in a series about how to do an easy and affordable refresh on any space in your house. You don’t need to spend a lot (or any money). You’ll see how I’ve repurposed many items I already had, borrowed some, and spent money carefully on things for a real visual impact. I believe it’s absolutely possible to make your house your dream home without a serious renovation or the help of HGTV experts.

affordable and adorable ideas for an easy kitchen refresh

Ten Kitchen Projects for an Easy & Affordable Kitchen Refresh

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Lessons Learned from my First Capsule Wardrobe

Back in July I posted about my casual summer capsule wardrobe. It was my first foray into building a capsule collection, and it was a huge learning lesson. Overall, I really enjoyed the simplicity of getting dressed everyday. I have already begun planning my fall capsule wardrobe, but before I share it, I want to reflect back on what I learned this summer.


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How to Manage Stress When You Feel Like You Don’t Have Any Free Time

I want to share that as of this week, my home is officially on the market! It’s been quite a challenge to get everything ready, but I’ve learned so much and I can’t wait to share more about the process. In the meantime, I’d like to offer some ideas on how to manage stress when you feel like you don’t have any free time, a topic super relevant to yours truly.

We all are busy people juggling work, social, family, home, and financial commitments, but there are times in our life when already full schedules may explode with even more obligations. When I’ve looked for support via the internet or in casual conversation, I’m often met with unhelpful advice about the importance of creating routines. People tout their morning routines, bedtime routines, work out routines, and money management routines as some sort of miracle cure for whatever ails you—but the last thing I want to do when I’m pressed for time is create another routine or try to improve upon one that has already been a struggle to maintain.

During times of stress I advocate for simplifying life as much as possible. Cut back to the bare bones so that you have more time to dedicate toward whatever is in front of you. Maybe you’re transitioning in your career and you’re overwhelmed because you have a lot to learn in a short period of time, or perhaps you’re approaching a significant date (graduation, surgery, wedding, travel, etc.) and it’s keeping you up at night with worry, or there’s a big life change (birth, adoption, moving, etc.) on the horizon causing feelings of anxiety. Consider what you can give up and let go of to give you peace of mind.

Four Things to Do to Manage Stress When You Feel Like You Don’t Have Any Free Time

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Kindness and Friendship

even the smallest gestures of kindness can bring us back from the darkest places

I have been working my bum off to get our condo listed, and it finally will be next week! Phew. I couldn’t have done it without the amazing support and encouragement from my family and friends.

Stress, anxiety, and fear have a way of giving us tunnel vision, but even the smallest gestures of kindness can bring us back from the darkest places. I have received beautiful comments, a thoughtful card, and an amazing care package from various friends. They all touched me, lifted me up, and brought me to tears (that’s what happens when you’re running on caffeine and sheer force of will). My parents came through for me in a big way when I got to my breaking point. We couldn’t have gotten our place ready without them. I’ve even become better about asking for help from my in-laws.

I sent out a bat signal and so many people answered it. And why did so many people answer it with their time, help, support, meals, and cups of coffee? I’d like to think they’re just returning the love I put out there in the world. Thank you, you lovely humans.

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Essential Beauty Staples for Everyday

I shared some of my favorite summer products earlier in the season, so I thought I’d do a little follow up post about essential beauty staples I finished up recently. I’ve been saving my empty bottles and I’m going to provide a short review. I like to purchase from a variety of price points, some higher end and other more affordable options. I also don’t tend to be brand obsessed or loyal and am willing to try new things. I plan to make this a series so I can share what else is in my arsenal of beauty supplies.

everyday beauty essentials

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Take Back Time for Yourself

it's okay to say no until you're ready to say i can't wait

Last week I shared that I’ve been really struggling with our impending move, and it felt really good to unload. Unfortunately, my body decided to completely shut down in response to the stress. I got a nasty cold/sinus thing, and it pretty much knocked me on my ass since last Thursday. I haven’t left the house other than for essential appointments, errands, and coffee runs. I felt like a zombie. Continue reading Take Back Time for Yourself

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Sometimes You Have to Pay Yourself in Lattes


sometimes you have to pay yourself in lattes (1)

It’s been a challenging couple of weeks in my casa. I think I’ve mentioned it before, but a move has been in the works for a while now.

We’ve had some setbacks, and it’s been a real bummer. I think people mistake an unprompted move as a statement against the community or city in which you live. But my town is undeniably beautiful, with a lot of remarkable perks. If money were no object, we’d probably stay, but we live in the real world where things like the cost of housing, food, child care, and education are outpacing our earnings. We have a lot more family and friends in Northern California, the cost of living is more affordable, and my partner has the opportunity to work remotely. It makes perfect sense that we would sell our one bedroom condo and move, but that doesn’t mean that the process is easy or without considerable pain.

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