January 7, 2011


"We can not direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails."
Since I decided 2011 is the year of Hatch… I have resolved to focus on getting all of my little “chicks” in a row… starting with my office.

My “office” is technically half of our 3rd bedroom. However, my side has always been occupied by a 30 gallon fish tank with an obnoxiously (and somewhat gruesomely) large sucker fish named Eugene residing in it.

Eugene was my boyfriend’s fish, though he wasn't named (and therefore loved) until I showed up! Since I have this weird obsession with naming things, (Example: my camera is named Gertrude, or “Gert”, and our garden praying mantis is Leroy) I named him Eugene! Don't ask where I come up with this stuff, I have no clue.

"Fearless is not the absence of fear. Fearless is living in spite of those things that scare you."
Eugene was archaic & creepy. He’d lay on the bottom of the fish tank with his mouth hinged open, waiting for something to swim into it. As if that wasn't disturbing enough; I thought he was dead, and subsequently "broke the news" of his passing to Dustin several times because he would literally lay frozen for hours on the bottom of the tank with his eyes and mouth wide open.
(Sense the forshadowing...)
Plus, since there were no other fish in the tank, he had grown close to “Moby Dick" size… which made his very existence apocalyptic! (Confession: I may have made Dustin move him from the living room to the office in the first place because looking at him all the time was giving me nightmares)

Shame on me… I should not speak ill of the dead. When we returned from Christmas in Marquette, our house was a frigid 37 degrees. (TIP: Don't forget to have fully charged batteries in your thermostat when leaving for several days in the dead of Winter).

Needless to say, Eugene didn’t make it through the “Big Freeze of Christmas 2010.”
R.I.P. Eugene
Moving On:Choosing to see the silver lining… I blissfully started to plan the cozy layout of my office dwelling, which was no longer dominated by dear, sweet, charming Eugene.

While we were still mourning the tragic death of our beloved fish, I dragged Dustin to IKEA to pick out office furniture for the right price!

Side Note: There is a large fly in my office right now trying to dive-bomb me! Eugene would have a tasty dinner tonight if he was still with us.

Instinctively, I almost always have an idea of how I want to layout an area. I have a tendency to measure, plan out, research pieces, and usually draw up plans for even the smallest of designs before I buy what I need. In this case I would need an L-shaped desk, lots of storage, and plenty of room for posting bills, reminders, and schedules.

I am constantly looking for the most inexpensive way to design something. Not really just because it costs less, but because it’s more fun and creative that way. Plus, if YOU design it, it’s bound to fit your style, personality, and most importantly your needs.
"For fast-acting relief, try slowing down."So instead of buying an overpriced L-shape desk for my area, I made one by placing a bookcase adjacent to an inexpensive desk top with attachable legs. This little configuration fits my side of the office perfectly, while also providing tons of storage!
Now with that out of the way, I could focus on my favorite part... decorating!

For those of you who have started your own business, you know, it can be exhausting and overwhelming at the very least! It requires a lot of persistence, and patience. (Thankfully I have one of these) And it can become very draining.
"Success is getting what you want,
happiness is wanting what you get."
Along with my focus on Hatch this year, I am focusing on finding as many ways to inspire and encourage myself as I possibly can… as a way to keep up the positive attitude. Because, let’s face it, life is tough. And so is running a business… especially with a full time “day” job and remodeling a house on top of it.

I don’t know about you, but I need some inspiration on a daily basis!

While perusing the $1 bins at Target a few weeks ago (I ADORE $1 bins! I will be doing a blog on the fortunes of $1 bins in the future), I stumbled upon an adorable calendar filled with bright colors and designs.

ADD Tangent:
I joke all the time about how distracted I get with colors and patterns. I basically become a bright eyed, freaky computer-like child in a trance-state who can only say “Oooh, look how pretty!” every time I see something that catches my eye. Then I mindlessly drop what I’m doing and walk to the object of my affection. I might drool a little too. It’s pretty funny, Dustin laughs at me every time.

Alright, tangent over… what were we on?

Calendars? Right.

Alright, so this calendar I picked up not only had bright colors, but it also had a different inspirational saying for each month.

At the time, I had no idea what I was really going to do with this calendar, but I knew I liked the pictures, colors and sayings, plus it was only $1 (and I can always find a use for anything that costs $1), so I got a few.

Turns out, they were perfect for some design inspiration too!

I decided to pair 4 of my favorite sayings/pretty pictures (which just so happen to be the 4 quotes in color dispersed throughout the beginning of this blog), with bright color paper and square matted frames, to serve as the focus for a main wall in my office.

Now, my boyfriend wasn’t sure why I needed to frame them when I could just use some sticky tack to put them on the wall.

My response to him was this: "Toto… we’re not in college anymore."

Not only that, but I think it is important to “fake it until you make it”… in other words, believe you are going to be a success by “dressing” for it in anyway you can.

This is the purpose of my wall-spiration, and what my office now represents!

Since I spent only $20 a piece for these awesome frames… I got this project done for under $85.

Not only that, but because I bought most of my desk accessories from the $1 bins (Actually now $2.50 bins… exsqueeze me!?), and made an L desk by putting a bookcase and a simple desk next to it, I redid my whole office for under $250.

I think that’s pretty damn good!

BELOW: Check out the completed office and then the Tip of the Day!
If you have a wall-spiration, I’d love to see it!
Send me your pictures!

~ Stephanie Alicia
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