Aesthetics & French

Guys! IKEA has black matte flatware now. Black. Matte. Flatware. All of my aesthetic dreams are coming true. How long have these been a thing and I’ve not known about them? I was watching this YouTube haul and they were one of things that Suzie bought. Love at first sight. So I went on the IKEA website to read the reviews, and they’re pretty good except that a few people say the black finish has started to rub or chip off, and that would really piss me off. So, I’m looking at reviews from other stores trying to find a set that holds up to wear because BLACK MATTE FLATWARE! I guess I should have known that these were a thing because a while back when I went to price refrigerators, black stainless steel fridges were making a splash.

Did I just say “making a splash”?


Anyway, for an hour today I’ve been working on French pronunciation and mouth and tongue placement. You have to really enunciate, practice in a mirror if possible, and do speaking exercises like just saying “oooo” or “eeeee” continuously. I’m home alone right now, and I’m still embarrassed. But what’s a little humiliation when trying to reach an important goal, right? What’s gonna be really embarrassing is if at the end of this year I’m still having to think about and translate everything I want to say in French. So…discomfort now. Happiness later!

Joyeux Noël !

I just finished wrapping my goddaughter’s and sister’s Christmas gifts, one of which is a pair of cashmere overalls. I know it’s kinda silly to buy cashmere for babies, but I couldn’t help it. They’re so cute!

via Zara


How could I deny them something so soft and beautiful?

I ordered a dresser a couple of weeks ago, and it was finally delivered. I was so excited until I realized that the box was missing the screws to put the legs on. It was annoying, but like “first-world problems” annoying, so I didn’t spiral (but I wanted to!). I called the company I bought it from and they told me that they’d give me a partial refund if I’d figure it out myself. I’m obviously paraphrasing here. But, of course, I jumped on that, because I’m cheap and also resourceful. So yesterday, I did indeed figure it out myself, and now I have a gorgeous dresser at a discounted price!

This is it, by the way.

Safavieh Zinnia 3-Drawer Chest

I mean…how gorgeous?!!! I love this thing. Merry Christmas to me. Since we’re on the topic of clothes and furniture, check out my new blog . I’m going to be talking about all of my decorating over there.

I’ve gotta run to the farmer’s market. I need a bunch of different spices to make my Christmas dinner contributions. Usually, I have one of my friends (he’s an amazing cook) make a big tin of macaroni & cheese for me, and then I just tell everyone that I made it. I have very little shame about this kind of thing. But I decided to make the macaroni myself this year. Because I’ve been taking cooking classes for a while, I’m feeling a lot more confident in the kitchen. We’ll see!

The grocery store is gonna be a zoo, so I’d better get it over with!


Glamping in Johannesburg

I’m redecorating. I’m going for the look of a five-star luxury modern African hotel suite. Now… I haven’t exactly nailed down my vision one-hundred percent, nor am I one-hundred percent sure of what I’m talking about, but I’m getting there. Have you heard of glamping? It’s kinda how I would envision glamping in Johannesburg… But in my house… In Atlanta.


Like this vase? It has to be in a luxury Johannesburg hotel, am I right? Probably. I got this one from Target, though, if you’re wondering. Same for the artificial leaves, but I can’t find those to link.

Right now I’m trying to find a breathtaking and unique rug, but it hasn’t happened yet. There are a lot of rugs out there, and I’ve worn myself out looking for one. I don’t want to look at another rug for at least a week. Who says it all has to be done at once, ya know? The selective perfectionist in me really wants it done in time for Thanksgiving, but the realist in me knows that it’s impossible. The lazy lump in me is happy to let the realist take over for now.

Where’s your favorite place to shop for home decor and furniture?


Mint and Cement

Should we keep talking about my apartment?

The alternative is listening to me spiral about almost every. single. thing. in the news at the moment. Take it from those closest to me, a spiraling Kristin is only fun for about 20-30 minutes. After that everyone starts to discuss nonviolent ways of sedating me.

When I’m feeling hurt, dismal, overwhelmed, anxious–basically any volatile cocktail of negative emotion–I like to throw myself into a time-consuming project. Some people say that avoidance is not a healthy coping mechanism, but…I avoid those people.

After making a nice dent in my Goodreads reading list, photographing and listing all of my unwanted clothes on Ebay, and binge-watching Marcella and Stranger Things on Netflix I needed something else to do.

ENTER: Decorating. Hi, old friend!

After perusing Pinterest for an embarrassing amount of time, I had a plan. It started with this gorgeous coffee table that I’ve been attempting to talk myself out of buying for months because it ain’t exactly cheap.


But this time I went ahead and bought it because 1) I love it, 2) I couldn’t find anything similar at a cheaper price, 3) I’m obsessed with concrete decor right now, and 4) WHY THE HELL NOT?!

I’m trying really hard to stop being a cheapskate. There’s a line between frugal and cheap-as-fuck, and I stepped over it a long time ago. I’ve realized I was just being cheap out of a fear of never having enough (See! After avoiding my problems, sometimes I try to deal with them!). One vestige of growing up poor, and I need to let it go.

The day after I ordered the coffee table, I went to the actual West Elm store because I was feeling spend-y. Almost immediately after walking into the store and picking up a vase I got an alert on my phone from Mint. I don’t know if you guys have heard of Mint, but it’s a budgeting and savings app. You enter your monthly budget and your savings goals and it helps you stay on track.

The alert said (I’m paraphrasing here) “you’ve just exceeded your monthly decorating budget by a shit ton.

I thought, GODDAMMIT, MINT, JUST LET ME HAVE THIS! I really wanted the vase that was already in my hands.

Alas, Mint won, and I left the store empty-handed.

However, I still had a decorating goal to accomplish so I headed to Ikea because, you know, lower prices and all that. I walked in, bought an ice cream cone for ONE DOLLAR (that really soothed the tightwad in me), then happily skipped off to find a bookshelf and desk lamp.

After an hour of deciding which bookshelf I should get, I went downstairs to load it onto my cart. Mid-loading, I got an alert from Mint: You’ve exceeded your monthly restaurant budget. Because of an ice cream cone that cost one dollar!


Guilt-ridden as I was, I bought the bookshelf and lamp anyway. BECAUSE I NEED THEM, MINT! YOU HEAR ME? I NEED THEM!

Thank God it’s a new month, guys, and Mint is off my back for now.

I’m starting August off slow with one paintbrush and a bottle of gold leaf. Got big do-it-yourself plans for them.

I also just received my new coffee table and it. is. everything. Totally worth the digital harassment.