A Night In

A Night In featuring Rejuvenation | brittanyMakes

It’s not often you see bloggers post evening or nighttime photos of their homes. We’ve been trained to only post beautiful, bright, naturally lit photos always striving to produce images equivalent to what you see in magazines. But, in every home (especially a blogger’s home), is a well designed space that is loved and used and lives through a normal nighttime routine just like any home should – whether it be cooking dinner in the kitchen, watching your favorite show before bed, or just overall decompressing on the sofa with your iPad, etc. I was really happy to hear about this idea Julia and Kim had about highlighting the home in a different way. These pretty ladies got together and thought ‘hey – let’s highlight these cozy spaces that we use routinely every evening, and share these spaces and our routine with our readers!’ I was totally into this idea, and became instantly grateful they asked me to join in on the party.

A Night In featuring Rejuvenation | brittanyMakes

My son Zano’s bedtime routine is one of those nighttime rituals I relish. I’m a working mom, I commute at least an hour each direction every day, and most of the time don’t get home from work until 7pm. It pains me not to be able to spend more time during the day with Zano, but I’m comforted that he and I have a routine every night, something special between him and I, something I seriously don’t want him to grow out of!

A Night In featuring Rejuvenation | brittanyMakes

Of course each evening begins with dinner. Zano eats dinner with us, he eats what we eat and it’s usually no thang. No time for two dinners in this house! After dinner is an immediate bath (unless he’s miraculously kept himself clean), then brushing teeth, then a little bit of play time. I’ve learned it’s easiest for Zano to make the transition to bed time if he thinks it’s his idea, so I ask him questions like “do you want to read this book in bed?” or “which stuffed animal do you want to sleep with tonight?” Things don’t go so well if we say directly “OK time for bed!”.  Zano loves books, and is at the stage where he wants to read them to me. Even though he can’t read yet, it’s the most adorable thing! We end the evening tucking him in bed with his stuffed animals. I curl on the end of his bed with him holding my hand until he falls asleep. Gah! My heart! I fear the day he no longer wants to hold my hand for bed.

A Night In featuring Rejuvenation | brittanyMakes

We recently transitioned Zano to a big boy bed about 5 weeks ago. He did it on his own, the day I put sheets on the bed was the same night he proclaimed he was going to sleep in the big bed. I didn’t want to question/jinx his enthusiasm, so we went with it and he’s been sleeping in it ever since! One of the great things about graduating him to a bigger bed is the fact we can sit (or fall asleep) next to him. Cuddle time is important to us mamas!

A Night In featuring Rejuvenation | brittanyMakes

Making a space special for Zano was important for me, since in just a few months he’ll be sharing his room with his little sister. I wanted Zano to feel comfortable in his space, and have ownership in the things that are his. This is his big bed! His nightstand! His book shelf! The overhead light in our room can be too much during bedtime so I wanted to add a light that helps transfer the mood of the room from PLAY to SLEEP. Lucky for us, Rejuvenation offered to help us create the coziest spot in our home even cozier. Even luckier for Zano, he got the light of my dreams!

A Night In featuring Rejuvenation | brittanyMakes

I had been lusting hard over the new Cypress lights from Rejuvenation, and felt the Cypress Double Swing Arm plug in sconce was perfect in both style and function for Zano’s side of the room. What I like most about this lamp (besides that luscious brass!) is that the switch actually allows you to have either the top, the bottom, or both lamps on at once. We can swing the lamps at any 180-degree position if we need one of the light sources pointed elsewhere. Also, the plugin option offers so much freedom. We’re not sold that this is the final resting place for Zano’s bed, I definitely wanted the freedom to re-position this fixture should we move his bed to another wall. The plug-in option totally gives us that freedom.

A Night In featuring Rejuvenation | brittanyMakes

Lucky Zano, right?! I keep telling him he has the coolest mom.

Lucky for you, I’m not the only blogger sharing A Night In! Check out more of the coziest evening spaces from my favorite bloggers ever:

A NIGHT IN | Rejuvenation

A Big Boy Bed for Zano

Modern neutral navy boy nursery | brittanyMakes

With a baby on the way and no plans to buy a second crib, we had to start thinking of a big boy bed situation for Zano. At first I considered getting him a toddler bed, but ultimately decided to pursue a twin bed mainly for the fact I didn’t want to have to go through this process again in a couple years when he’d outgrow said toddler bed. I felt if we invested in a bed now he’d essentially be set until he’s a lot older… maybe even until he goes to college! Not only did I have longevity of the bed in mind, I also had to consider having this new bed fit cohesively into this soon-to-be shared space.

My favorite, although sometimes discouraging, part of the design process is ‘the hunt’. Typically before I begin a search, the first thing I do is talk budget with my husband. This kinda helps prevent me from becoming emotionally attached to an item that is WAY outta my price range (we’ve all been there).

Antonio and I agreed a budget of around $300 for a twin bed was a good price point. With that budget in mind, (but also kind of setting that information aside), I started my hunt for the perfect twin bed.  These four topped my list for style cohesion and looks, but as you can see not all of them were within budget.

Modern & Timeless Big Boy Beds

sources, from top L to bottom R: Mid Century Acorn bed (this one goes on sale frequently, but currently it’s full price) // black steel platform bed // gray tufted bed with tapered legs // Nesttun bed from Ikea in white powder coat

It may seem backwards, but I don’t always start out searching for an item only within a said price range. I like to narrow down on the style and look of the item I want, then do a “second hunt” for finding items that are less expensive but very similar in style and form. My friend Reichel is a master at doing this.

Now, I already knew two of my top beds were within budget, but I wanted to see if I could find the other two for less, somewhere else. First, I found a very similar gray tufted bed with tapered legs.

Modern big boy bed // gray tufted with tapered legs

The Mid Century Modern Tufted bed from Overstock

Then, I also found a nearly identical bed to the West Elm Mid Century bed, for much much less!

mid century platform bed

The Alton bed from Living Spaces

Now, the computer screen shows very different colors, but the I’m pretty much convinced the Alton line at Living Spaces is the exact same line as West Elm’s Mid-Century line. Don’t be fooled by the color “cherry” on their website. As you can see in the photo below, it’s closer to a light walnut! I also noticed Living Spaces even sells those coveted dressers & nightstands you’ve seen from West Elm. I’m considering this as a replacement dresser/changing table (our current campaign dresser is too big for the room #sadface).

My favorite bed from the original plan happened to be the Mid-Century bed from West Elm, so it was a quick decision for us to move forward with the Alton bed from Living Spaces. *Please note, this post is not sponsored AT ALL.

Here’s a peek of the bed in action! Although we’re still playing musical chairs with the furniture to get the best placement…

Living Spaces Alton mid century bed // brittanyMakes

At a $300 price point it was worth taking the risk to order online without seeing it in person, although Living Spaces is popping up with showrooms so I’ve heard (there’s one an hour from me).

Do you think I nailed it or what?!

XO, Brittany

Investing in the Future

The Vintage Rug Shop

My husband and I are always, and I’m not exaggerating, always, talking about what we want our future to look like and how we are going to get there. Positioning ourselves this way is sorta in our DNA, and I know that they say opposites attract, but like-minded folk attract harder I’m sure of it.

A little tmi background about us: my husband and I both went to private college, both graduated with finance degrees, and both came out with obscene student loan balances, and both pursued careers in the business industry. We’ve each spent the last ten years of our careers climbing out of this student loan hole. We budget, we plan, we strategize, we tweak, we dream, we plan some more. It might take time, but we make shit happen.

I started blogging at a time where I felt my life was lacking in the creative department. The mundane routine of an accountant (every month is the same cycle!) was getting to me. I used to be so creative! I was a self taught hair stylist during college, cutting & styling friends, teachers, strangers (!) hair between classes. Ask my best friend – I used to blow her hair out every morning! In high school I spent my free time making fashion jewelry by hand and selling my designs at boutiques in Sonoma and Petaluma. As a kid I used to host craft nights at church with the woman’s group. I was a few years into my career and it hit me – I used to have so much more time to spend being creative, yet I had chosen a career that was the complete opposite.

I didn’t want my future to only consist of financial statements and debits and credits, I had to do something about it, and I chose to take a blind step towards something I could do along side my day job: blogging.  Blogging opened this door to a creative frontier, I’ve discovered things about myself that weren’t prevalent before, such as an insatiable love of design and interiors, the thrill of thrifting, and the value in connecting with folks who care less about balance sheets and more about paint swatches and space layouts. Ever since I chose blogging, I haven’t looked back. 

It was a tough reality to face, but blogging alone wasn’t going to change MY career path. At the end of the day, my husband and I shared priorities that meant I wasn’t going to be that blogger who quit her job to become a blogger full time. Major kudos to all who have done it successfully! I envy you! It just wasn’t going to happen for me. If I ever want to change my career path I need to do something bigger, something riskier. It was this moment, about a year and a half ago, that I decided to harness this entrepreneurial ability that I carry and make something of it. I am a creative AND a business person, surely there’s something I love doing that can be turned into a business! It was at that moment when I started planning the launch of The Vintage Rug Shop.

The Vintage Rug Shop opened on 10/1/15, my 30th birthday. My original intention was to run the shop and the blog as separate brands, separate sites, separate everything.  It soon became a lot more work than I anticipated, and about 6 months into launching the shop I realized just how tough it was to run TWO businesses: blog & shop. Ever since then I’ve been figuring out how to bring them both together under one virtual roof.

There are some changes happening soon that I wanted to share today! The short version: I hired a designer and web developer to re-brand and re-design my two sites with the intention of wrapping both the blog and shop into one pretty site. We’ve been working together since April, and soon, SO SOON, we will have a new site for you to experience! I seriously can’t wait. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without the success of the shop and the support I’ve received from all my readers and customers. Thank you!!! This is the biggest investment I’ve ever made into this blog/shop venture, and I can’t shake the feeling this is the investment of my future. 

There you go folks! A seriously long winded story. Thank you so much for reading and for all your continued support! I can’t wait to unveil the new site!

xo, Britt

A Much Needed Vacation (part 2)

Santa Monica Beach

It was a little over a week ago, yet already seems like forever, our little family of 3 (soon to be 4!) spent two days in Venice Beach recuperating from 4 exhausting days at Disneyland. Every trip to Disneyland we usually follow with a few days in San Diego. I lived in San Diego for so long it’s usually my excuse to pretend I live there again for a couple days. This year we decided to mix things up, head somewhere new but still local, plus I had never been to Santa Monica or Venice Beach so it was the perfect time to make an adventure out of it.

Sidecar Donuts

Being connected with like-minded creative folks through Instagram, I’ve accumulated a hefty list of places I’d like to eat, shop, visit, sleep, etc. Sidecar doughnuts was on top of the list! My best friend lives just blocks from the Costa Mesa location. It was great playing catch up while stuffing my face with the butter & salt doughnut.

Indigo macrame ceiling at The Butcher's Daughter

The Butcher’s Daughter was another one of these ‘must visit’ places. I love how they dub themselves a “vegetarian slaughterhouse”, my husband was surprised that literally everything, even the sausage pizza, was vegetarian. He ordered the breakfast burrito and it was SO GOOD. Zano ate the avocado toast. OK, I’m hungry now.

venice beach CA

We spent the second day exploring Santa Monica and the rest of Venice. I had never been to the Santa Monica pier, it’s exactly what you think it is 🙂 We walked the promenade, shopped a little, came back and walked Abbott Kinney. We shopped at Urbanic, then my husband ordered 3 pairs of glasses at Warby Parker (honestly it’s so much easier to try them all on in the store vs. mail order). After, we walked the Venice canals, which were so fun to explore. We played the game “which house would you move into?” We walked a total of 10 miles that day! Needless to say, we definitely made room for a big dinner.

The Tasting Kitchen Venice

We ate at The Tasting Kitchen for dinner with one of our good friends and man, this place! It has to be one of the nicest dinners we’ve had in a long time! What was so amazing about this dinner is, after a long weekend of making decisions after decisions, this spot specializes in making them for you! We chose the 3-course meal (which was a lot of food!) and the chef decided what he wanted to serve us family style. We literally just sat there, talked, enjoyed each-others company, and received delicious surprise after surprise.

We had a really great time together, exploring a new place without having to travel too far. Our hotel was central to everything, which made it super easy to enjoy the neighborhoods without having to fight to find parking.

It’s been a week and I already need another vacation!

XO, Britt

A Much Needed Vacation (part 1)

Disneyland Starbucks wall garden

My husband, Antonio, is 5 months away from completing his MBA program. His last class is actually 2 weeks after our baby is due – talk about good timing! We (I should say he) basically hasn’t had a weekend off in 13 months. That’s 13 months of homework, weekend classes, night classes, no vacations, no video games, no lounging around on the weekends, basically, no fun at all. After 13 months his program finally offered a “summer break”, which I say in quotations because it was essentially only two weeks without class. Not completely a break but, after realizing we hadn’t really gone away for the weekend or taken a vacation in over a year, we decided to make something happen. Antonio really wanted to take Zano to Disneyland, while my idea of a vacation was to relax at the beach. We compromised and planned a full week away with the first half at Disneyland and the second half recuperating at the beach.

California Adventures Park

My husband and his family are, in my  book, die-hard Disneyland goers. I know there are fanatics out there which are on a whole different level, but his family “vacations” to Disneyland which isn’t exactly my idea of a vacation. Disneyland just sounds like a whole lotta work to me. I’ve grown to appreciate it more every time we go, we really do create some fun memories. And nothing beats bringing your 2 year old to the park for his first time. My goodness, Zano was in shock! He got to meet his favorite characters: Mater & Lightening McQueen.

Zano meets Lightening McQueen

Zano meets Mater

Zano rode so many rides, more than I would have thought a 2 year old could! It was blistering hot and sooo crowded, so we spent a lot of time popping in and out of air conditioned shops and restaurants to keep us sane.

Its a Small World Ride at Disneyland

An all time family fave is It’s a Small World, there’s just something so joyful about this ride. Zano loved it too, I think we took him 3 times!

Cactus at Disneyland

My favorite part of exploring the parks is checking out all the design details, from the plants they chose for each area to the wall treatments on the buildings. Even Starbucks had a hidden garden wall (first photo in the post) that, unless you were paying attention, you could easily miss. Good design is everywhere, even at Disneyland.

Diamond wall shingles at Disneyland

We’ve gone to Disneyland so often we’ve come to know the best places to eat around the entire park, and actually plan our day around it! Here are our favorites:

  1. the Cobb Salad at the pink restaurant, just at the end of Main Street before turning right to Tomorrow Land (the Fried Chicken is pretty killer too). Perfect first lunch, we always hit this place up first for a meal!
  2. the Sun-dried Tomato Pasta from the Italian kitchen behind the Mickey ferris wheel at California Adventures, perfect for dinner
  3. the Mediterranean food (any of it!) right next to the Italian kitchen, I love the greek salad for lunch
  4. Chicken Skewers from the hut across from Indiana Jones, the different sauces are out of this world, a great protein snack when you’re not quite ready for a full meal
  5. Pineapple Whip from the dole stand in front of the Tiki Room. The line is always obscenely long, go into the Tiki Room waiting area and order from there, there’s usually little to no wait
  6. Breakfast Burritos at the cafe in Tomorrow Land. We grab one of these on the day we use our Magic Morning pass
  7. Beer at Flo’s Cafe (this is my husband’s favorite spot for beer)
  8. the Banana Hefeweizen at the beer stand directly across (left) from the chowder cafe in California Adventures (my husband’s second favorite spot for beer)
  9. Outside of the park: we love the Ya Ya Gumbo and the Beignets from the New Orleans restaurant in Downtown Disney, as well as the Italian pizza from Italian restaurant

Now that I’ve made myself hungry.. consider these spots next time you visit Disneyland!

XO, Britt

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