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Dating Sucks: Everyone Is Looking Up

Dear Dating Diary, Something I’ve noticed about myself is that I’m constantly comparing myself to people who are more successful than me, who have more money, who are more in shape or seemingly happier. There is a natural human tendency to compare ourselves with other people we perceive to have more or be more than ourselves. This permeates into the dating world and affects the way we interact romantically, but today’s conversation isn’t confined to dating. It’s more about an issue I see in myself and in people around me. The issue is that we can basically never be satisfied, that…

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What I’m Up to in My Studio JK I Don’t Have One

Dear Artist Diary, As I’ve already blabbed about here, I made a New Years resolution to have an art show this year, so I’ve been playing around with what kind of paintings I’d like to make for it. A little background: I studied art in both undergrad and graduate school (I wanted to be an art professor but then realized academia wasn’t for me because all my grad school professors hated their lives and wanted to die). I have an MFA in painting, but I haven’t been consistently making art for years. In doing some post-break-up soul searching over the holidays,…

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A Spring Refresh at the Beach House

Dear Decorating Diary, Remember when I had short hair and looked like this? And posed like a wax figure? I added that photo in for literally no reason other than that I need you to know that I exist and I’m talking to you from INSIDE YOUR COMPUTER. One of my favorite (and most popular) Homepolish projects of all time is a beach house I designed for a client a few years ago. It’s a minimal, bright space in Venice, California and the best feature is the views of the ocean you can see from many rooms in the house. When…

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My Life Burnt to the Ground So I’m Building a New One!

Dear Reader, I realize this blog has been realer than an episode of Degrassi: The Next Class lately. And I feel kind of bad about that. I’m not trying to push my problems onto all of you. However, one thing that really bothers me in the world of blogger/influencer types is people who promote a perfect, unattainable version of themselves and leave out all the challenging stuff. Life is not all walking down the street, making a quirky face while holding balloons then going to a trendy eastside cafe to grab a latte. In the MY-LIFE-IS-PERFECT-AND-BETTER-THAN-YOURS echo chamber that is lifestyle blogging,…

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Dating Sucks: How to be a Good Friend During a Breakup

Dear Dating Diary, I was in a coffee shop yesterday, in a part of town I never go to (near Burbank? I have no idea where I was) and I ran into someone I hadn’t seen in a long time. It was a close friend of my ex-boyfriend’s (X). I was at this guy’s wedding six months ago. We had him and his fiancé (now wife) over for dinner a few times. He wasn’t a best friend or anything, but definitely someone I’ve shared a drink and a laugh with more than once. But I kind of froze when I…

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Chateaulando: Planning The Kitchen

Sources: Delta Brass Faucet, White Tile from Cosmos, Ikea Wooden Countertop, Upper Cabinets (Color: White) and Lower Cabinets (Color: Clay) from Semihandmade, LG Refrigerator, Park Studio Cabinet Pulls, Drawer Pulls from MyKnobs, Bertazzoni Range, Bosch Dishwasher. Dear Renter’s Diary, It’s pretty impossible to find an apartment that is perfect in every way. Usually if the kitchen is great, the living room is too small. Or if the bathroom is spacious and sun-filled, the bedroom lacks a window or adequate closet space. So when I came across my new apartment (after being beat out for two similar apartments in the area) I…

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The Sublime Ceramics of Eric Roinestad

Dear Ceramics Fetishists, Something I scream about pretty much on a daily basis is how much I love anything made out of clay. Like if I could marry a ceramic man, I’d be the happiest person in the world. So when I stumbled upon the incredible work of Eric Roinestad (I literally stumbled upon it, while drunk, at a party at his house), I knew immediately that I would never be the same again. These pieces are delicate and earthy and unique. They basically look like if ancient Greek vases weren’t ugly. Yeah, I said it. I think Greek vases…

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Winter Hometown Tour: Yosemite

Dear California Diary, Los Angeles actually had winter this year. Like buckets and buckets AND BUCKETS of rain. And while there are people here whining about how cloudy and cold it is, most people are just really thankful for the wetness. The last five years have been nothing short of apocalyptic here. Hot winters, no rain, dust everywhere, everything brown and dry and brittle and ready to start on fire at any moment. It felt like that scene in ‘Terminator 2: Judgement Day’ where LA explodes into flames and Sarah Connor is a melting skeleton clinging to a chain-link fence, screaming her…

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Dating Sucks: Getting the Most Out of Rejection

Dear Dating Diary, In my life, there’s one thing I’ve probably fixated on more than any other topic. Rejection. I don’t know where this started. Was it in fourth grade when all my friends rejected my friendship because I was “different”? Was it in high school when all my pyscho friends and I became obsessed with which colleges we’d be accepted and rejected by? Or did it come sometime later, at the conclusion of my two significant relationships, both which ended in rejection. I guess all relationships end in some degree of rejection. Rejection is everywhere and I think about…

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Black History Month with Angela Belt

Dear Black History Diary, I was thankful when Angela Belt, Homepolish designer extraordinaire, stylist, and blogger asked me to share my thoughts about Black History Month and what contributions by Black artists and designers meant to me. Part of me felt awkward making broad statements about the contributions of African Americans to art and design. But Black History Month is for everyone, and should be about celebrating the creativity, contributions, and sacrifices Black Americans have made to make our country what it is today. It is a time to express gratitude. I am such a fan of what Angela is doing…

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Meet My New Place: Chateaulando!

Dear Future Houseguests, I moved almost two months ago and whenever anyone asks me how my new place is, I immediately respond, “TERRIBLE.” I’ve basically turned into a cartoon of a cranky old man and/or an old witch who lives in a tower and screams terrifying things when children pass by. It’s not that I’m not thankful that I found a cute apartment to live in, it’s that I bit off a bit more than I can chew by basically deciding to renovate it myself, alone, in agony. It makes literally zero sense that I’m spending so much time and…

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Inspired by Austra

Dear Music Diary, I’ve been obsessed with Austra, the Canadian band headed by Katie Stelmanis, since I heard their song “Lost It” in 2011. I had no idea they weren’t mainstream superstars until last month when I bought four tickets to their LA show and kept inviting friends only to have them be like “WHAT’S AUSTRA???” I found this completely baffling because Austra’s music is so amazing that I figured I’d been late to the game when I first encountered them six years ago. But no, literally none of my idiot friends knew who they were. I ended up finding some people…

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The Colorful World of Hey Sosi

  Dear Andy Warhol’s Diary, I know you’re not accepting submissions anymore, especially not ones written on the internet by strangers and not submitted over the phone, but I have to tell you about the lovely work of Sofia Schizas, who works under the nom de paintbrush Hey Sosi. I came across her work on the site/app/cool-kidz-club Tictail and was immediately in love. Her prints are playful, illustrative, and filled with color. They somehow manage to be both completely silly and sophisticated at the same time. Originally from Cyprus, Schizas lives and works in Barcelona. Which brings me to the fact…

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Dating Sucks: Which App is Applicable?

Editor’s Note: To those of you who read my post last week about my breakup, the change in tone here might feel a little jarring. I actually wrote that post over a month ago, and I’m doing a lot better than I expected. There are a lot of tumultuous things going on in my life (some I can’t mention here yet) so I’ve been in a state of rediscovering my goals, both professional and personal. One of those goals is and always has been to communicate with people (THIS MEANS YOU) so the tone of this blog, while staying in…

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My Friends Have a Hilarious Webseries You Have to Watch!

Dear Diary, Sometimes I hate living in Los Angeles. It’s annoying, there’s too many people, they’re always in your way, it’s hard to park, AND SO ON. I dream about moving to Ojai and living in a giant ranch house with a pool, a luscious garden filled with olive trees, and a pottery studio where I’d finally get the chance to realize that I’ve been a gifted ceramist my whole life but I just never knew it because no one bought me a pottery studio. I’d invite my closest friends over for dinner and we’d eat exquisite French cheeses off…

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The Gorgesous Works of Ben & Aja Blanc

Dear Design Diary, In the world of art, furniture, and objects that I often find myself exploring, it’s very rare to see something and go “GADZOOKS! Never seen one of them before!” But I exclaimed this very thing the first time I saw the beautiful work of Ben & Aja Blanc, who are known for their fancy-fringe mirrors but also create furniture and other home objects. Their work is whimsical and unique without being kooky and annoying, which is a difficult balance to strike. The couple, who met as grad students at RISD, have a clear talent for creating practical…

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What I Left Behind

Home life and “nesting” have always been hugely important to me. From a young age, I  always decorated my space. Starting with my bedroom at age seven, which I painted myself and chose the window coverings and bedspreads (both had a Mickey Mouse pattern, my mother sewed the curtains herself). My childhood bedroom underwent more makeovers in my high school years than I did, and my college dorm, in an old brick “castle” in Upstate New York, was likely the most sophisticated, grown-up space on campus. Making my space beautiful has always been one of my closest-held hobbies, so it…

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Hommemade with Homepolish!

Photography by Zeke Ruelas Dear Hollywood Diary, I love my job at Homepolish but every once in a while I get the opportunity to do an exceptionally fun project. Our recent collaboration with method home is one such example. Here’s how this went down: I had been wanting to do a Homepolish web series forever, so I came up with the concept of crafting with friends. Each week, I’d invite a friend over to Orcondo (RIP) and we’d make something together. This combines my two favorite things: making stuff and making friends. I had a great idea for a web…

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An Epic & Easy Party Appetizer

Photography by Jess Diab and Orlando Soria Dear Party Diary, I had the honor of being invited to a party hosted by Anna Camp, Skylar Astin (of “Pitch Perfect” fame), and American Express last week. It was in a fancy mid-century home in Beverly Hills. The party was filled with tips and tricks from Anna and Skylar about how to host a fun holiday. There were crafts, there were drinks, but most importantly, there were celebrities wandering around giving tips on how to have the most epic holiday season ever. This is the view from the pool: Ugly, right? There…

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Achieving Perfect Holiday Shelf Styling

Shelf styling is something clients ask me about all the time. Mainly because it can be intimidating and confusing to people who don’t spend their lives doing it professionally. But the thing is, quality styling is much more a result of experimenting and exploring options than knowing exactly what you’re doing. Whenever I put together shelves, I basically just keep playing around, moving objects and experimenting with new compositions, until I am happy and satisfied with the look of the shelfie. (Of course, if you’re still intimidated, you can always hire a Homepolish designer to play around FOR you. WINK!). Shelves tend to…

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Seven Tips for Simplifying Holiday Decorating

Photography by Tessa Neustadt Courtesy Homepolish I’m the type of person that enjoys decorating for the holidays, but not all people are like me. Every time I invite a friend over to decorate with me, they get bored within minutes and start playing with their phones while I maniacally keep crafting, adorning, and festooning the house from top to bottom. Clearly, there are some people who would prefer to get their decorating done as quickly as possible. So today I’m going to share some tricks for how to simplify the holiday decorating process while still making your house as cozy…

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Five Fundamentals of Christmas Tree Design

There’s a first time for everything. And the first time you decorate a Christmas tree on your own is definitely a learning experience. The thing that surprises most people is the number of ornaments you need to make the tree look full and balanced. (Hint: whatever you think you’ll need, triple it.) But there are a lot of other lessons to learn about tree trimming. Today, I’ll be sharing my tips for creating a festive tree that looks balanced, considered, personal, and (most importantly of all) beautiful. This year, I opted for a giant, white tree from Wayfair. And don’t judge me for…

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Small Shop Highlight: Amber Interiors Shoppe

Photography by Jess Diab and Amber Interiors Dear Design Diary, If you’re a designer or a design enthusiast with an Instagram account, a computer, a phone, eyeballs, and any combination of the aforementioned, it’s literally impossible to avoid the beautiful, beachy work of Amber Lewis, founder of the Amber Interiors blog, principle of her own design firm, and businesswoman extraordinaire. When I found out she had a shop, I knew immediately it would be one of those painful stores where you go in and just want everything. And so when I sent Hommemaker Editor Jess Diab on assignment to check…

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Creating a Festive Holiday Tablescape

Winter is the perfect season to invite friends over for conversation and coziness (to combat the chilly weather and moody skies). As you may know by now, I’m a big fan of holiday decorating, hosting, and fun times with friends, so go figure this is my favorite time of year. Today, we’re talking about how to create a festive tablescape to spice up your holiday home, for both everyday use and for dinner parties. One of the most frequent questions I get from clients about dining tables is how to style them for daily use. It’s not like you’re going…

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