A Day in the Life

By Thursday, February 4, 2016 14 No tags Permalink 0

You know what I have NOT done since I switched from jewelry-making to house-decorating? Told you about my average day. Of course, “average” is just a buzzword because the extreme flexibility of being self-employed makes everyday different, but you feel me. Sometimes I get questions from people about how I fill my time if I don’t go into an office, and most of them are genuinely curious, but occasionally I run into somebody who implies that because I work at home and don’t have kids I must sit around painting my nails and eating tacos all day. FALSE. I have to work just like everybody else. Maybe I’ll stop if money starts falling from the sky, but until then, girlfriend has to hustle.

So, let’s take a peek at my typical workday. Here are the main things I did yesterday:

DIY standing desk

This was not yesterday. None of these pictures were, because I forgot to take some.

5:45 a.m. //  Ugh, I’m awake. The only inconvenient thing about having one car for two adults is removing  myself from my blanket burrito to drop the Hubster off at the gym by 6. Sometimes he drives himself, but I need the car today for a meeting and I’d rather not walk back to it later in my fancy shoes. I think about going back to sleep for an hour when I get home, but I’m too hungry and make breakfast instead.

7:02 a.m. // Computer tasks are first. I’m bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in the morning, so I dig through my inboxes and reply to any clients who have questions, read and comment on design blogs, and make some product selections for one of my freelance projects on Laurel & Wolf. Boom. Off to a good start.

9:01 a.m. // Let’s get dressed! The red shoes make another appearance.

red shoes

10:00 a.m. // The client meeting I had got rescheduled last minute because of a sick child, so now I have bonus time. I throw some chicken into the crock pot (and make myself a snack), go to the grocery store, and buy some materials for a DIY project that I forgot to get yesterday.

11:58 a.m. // I log into a webinar about generating client leads online–that’s probably the most stereotypically “business” thing I’ve ever written–and eat my lunch while I sit there. That’s right, SIT. The standing desk is all alone in my office because I’m eating my frozen burrito and learning about new business strategies from the comfort of my bed.

2:00 p.m. // It’s cloudy, but I attempt to take some outfit pictures for my final mix-and-match wardrobe post anyway. I wanted to get this done last week, but I kept waiting because I thought the clouds would go away. Of course, THEY DID NOT so now I have to fiddle with the camera.

DIY Tassel Necklace

The last time I documented a non-costume outfit? Summer.

2:47 p.m. // I upload the outfit pictures onto the computer. This is always an adventure because my photography (and modeling) skills are mediocre and I usually end up with a bunch of weird facial expressions, or I’m standing in a shadow, or everything is slightly out of focus. So I delete all of those and edit the keepers.

3:21 p.m. // Time for second lunch! Like a hobbit, I need to have multiples of the same meal. We still have random food leftover from the party this weekend, so I make another dent in that. I creep on other designers’ Houzz profiles while I eat and make notes about phrasing. I also check my analytics.

4:02 p.m. // More assorted computer tasks. I’m moving pretty slowly now and kind of veer off onto Pinterest for a while, but that’s what happens when you start working at 7.

5:49 p.m. // It’s my turn to go to the gym. We do everything in groups–no running around on your own, which is probably for the best because I wouldn’t know what to do–and it’s a full-body workout every time. Today is Sled Day, which means we pull around a metal sled with extra weight on it and, according to my heart rate monitor, I burn 682 calories(!!).

7:17 p.m. // We use some of the crock pot chicken to make nachos! I almost never do any work in the evening since my creative juices spring forth in the morning, so after we chow down it’s time for a little Netflix, a FaceTime call with my sister, and then lounging around with the Hubster until I accidentally doze off with the lights on because I’ve been awake since 5:45.

And that’s my day.

What does your normal schedule look like? Do you stick to a routine or do you let the wind carry you? Who else works from home and gets snarky questions about how you can’t POSSIBLY have that much to do? (Bite me.) Anybody else gets up at the crack of dawn like a farmer?

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

By Tuesday, February 2, 2016 15 No tags Permalink 0

Here we are again. Valentine’s Day. Historically this has not been my favorite holiday, but I seem to be getting soft in my old age because I don’t find it so terrible now. And I’m not even a newlywed or experiencing any kind of schmoopy life change, like a baby. Perhaps this is the final hallmark of adulthood and my training is complete.

Anyway, I have a Valentine’s Day gift guide for everyone today: men, women, kids, yourself–basically any potential Valentine is covered.

Valentine's Day Gift Guide 2016

bunny  //  ring dish  //  family portrait  //  necklaces  //  rings  //  chocolate robots  //  cookies  //  card

In terms of gifts that will be appreciated by everyone, we have the cookies and the snarky Valentine. Tasty food is always wanted, because hello, but I want to note that those cookies are sandwiching whiskey-infused chocolate. You’re welcome. Speaking of chocolate, nobody has ever gotten me a chocolate robot and I’d like that to change. (I almost wrote “chocolate frog” because Harry Potter still has a firm grip on my brain.) Their tiny, gold leaf hearts are adorable. Also holding his own on the cute end of the spectrum is the stuffed bunny in his finest Valentine’s Day socks. The little kids I know would be ALL about him.

For the ladies in your life, we have dainty diamond rings if you feel like a splurge, teensy heart necklaces if you’re watching the budget, and a jewelry dish for the practical. I have little jewelry receptacles all over the house and cannot recommend them enough. Finally, for dudes, there are a lot of Manly Man gifts around even for Valentine’s Day, but I think any guy would be touched to get a family portrait. Beard wax and a bottle opener can wait for his birthday.

What Valentines are you giving this year? Are you making anything? I did buy my husband a card, so that’s a step above what we normally do (which is nothing). What’s your favorite thing here?

Tiny House Tour: Frazzled Edition

By Thursday, January 28, 2016 14 No tags Permalink 0

Things continue to be very busy at Casa Ronchetti. We went from the chaos of the holidays right into a basement flood (it’s better! pictures coming soon!), and now we’re getting ready to host 35-ish people for our joint birthday party this weekend. I’m so excited! I’ll write a real post about it after the fact, but know that we’ve set up a makeshift photo booth with a gold backdrop and found a way to play N64 on the projector downstairs. Faces will melt.

We’ve never hosted anything this big, unless you count our wedding–which I don’t because that was at a venue and not our house–and I’m learning quickly that there’s MUCH more prep involved than I expected. Just buying all of the food was a process. After it’s over, I’ll be ready for a brain vacation to regroup. In the meantime, to ward off the stressball feelings I get when I think about the rest of my to do list, I’ve been looking at tiny houses.


Do you ever do that? I briefly talked about this habit of mine a while ago when I thought I might be going through a phase, but nope. Looking at houses smaller than ours makes me feel calm. And it’s not like we live on some palatial estate, we’re only rocking 1,600 square feet, but I’m back in a place where having less house and fewer things to wrangle sounds mighty appealing.


Apparently this is my new coping mechanism! Simplicity beckons! I can think of worse things to do, so I’ll just roll with it. This yellow box of sunshine is called The Burrow and at 1,000 square feet it isn’t TINY, just small. When I stand at my desk scrolling through little houses on Pinterest, this is around the size I want for my future self. Big enough to entertain guests (maybe not 35 of them, but whatever), yet compact enough to make life easy.

What up, gray accent wall? You set off the stairs nicely.



Look at this galley kitchen with its adorable white cabinets and gray countertops. Galleys get a bad rap, but I’ve always liked them because a good one will shoehorn a lot of functionality into a small footprint. This one has a nice layout with the cooking zone on one end and prepping on the other, so you could absolutely tag team a meal.


Tiny desk nook! I’d have a heck of a time downsizing my office to fit in there, but considering that I’m in the middle of cleaning my entire house for a party, having less stuff to put away is REAL tempting. If I can purge my entire wardrobe like a boss, I can probably do it with the rest of my belongings, right?

Anyway. I’m down the rabbit hole again. Ha. Do you ever dream of simplifying when you’re extra busy? What do you like to do when you’re frazzled? Have you ever had a few dozen people at your house? Tips? Aaaah!

Pictures: Small House Swoon