DIY + Home

Resolutions + Reflections

A little less than a week from now, we will kiss 2013 goodbye and usher in 2014 amidst clinking glasses, confetti and fireworks. It is around this time that we often hear phrases like “clean slate” and “blank canvas” used. While in the past I have welcomed the fresh start that a new year offers, I’ve opted to change my frame of mind for 2014.

This past year has been a dazzling, exciting, at points terrifying, crazy awesome, beautiful adventure. The lessons learned were some of my hardest yet; the highs were higher, the lows a bit lower, and the in between moments were meaningful and memorable. Adhering to one of my resolutions (more on that in a hot second), I tried to think about what my year would look like in a doodle. Here’s what I came up with:


Colorful, a little chaotic and filled with big themes and big dreams.

The idea of trying to wipe away any parts of 2013 to prep for my “clean slate” doesn’t make much sense to me. I’ve always believed in resolutions, but we shouldn’t just crumple up our old year and toss it away every time our calendars mark January 1st. This cycle is exhausting and doesn’t allow us to reflect on what we are doing right. We’ve all got changes that need to be made, things we want to do differently, goals, and aspirations. But all of these hopes and dreams don’t just follow the cut-and-dry 365 days per year pattern. We are constantly learning, growing and evolving; the things we discover and experience each passing year always carry over, whether we like it or not.

So, in the spirit of this new frame of mind, I’ve come up with a few of my own resolutions, based on what 2013 has taught me. Some are fun, some a bit more serious, but undoubtedly all will inspire positive change.

1. Add a pair of colorful frames to my accessories collection.



While this might seem like a pretty silly and minor resolution for most, it stems from and embodies a bigger goal. This year I chopped off my hair, wore some pretty outlandish outfits and made sure I had fun getting dressed every morning. I want to maintain this joy in my wardrobe in 2014 by pushing the sartorial envelope even further. These frames from Warby Parker are at the top of my list of must haves, along with more hats and crazy hippie jewelry. Since this year will be my least predictable yet (anything after May is a big, bold question mark), why not roll with the theme and start dressing like a vagabond consistently lost in a field of wildflowers?

2. Master a handstand (and other crazy balance poses) in yoga.

As mentioned before, yoga has become one of my favorite things. Once I’m back in the district, buying a month long unlimited membership to my neighborhood yoga studio will be the first thing at the top of my to do list. Namaste ya’ll.

3. Learn to budget.

As I stand at the brink of adulthood, I’ve realized I should probably start to actually manage my money, rather than just cast my fates (and bank balance) to the winds every time I pull out my debit card. Better to start now to save myself from one less rude awakening on my road to fiscal independence.

4. Kickstart spring cleaning.


It was recently brought to my attention that some of my nearest and dearest feel that I am a bit of a pack rat. Now, in my opinion the word pack rat is just north of hoarder and harbors a pretty negative connotation. I like to think of myself more as a collector of things that I really like: sweaters, shoes, costumes, candles, art, yarn, coins… you get the gist. However, considering I am going to be packing up and moving somewhere fairly soon (and hopefully won’t need a super sized UHaul to do it), it might be time that I start to curate my various collections with a more discerning eye. Just like budgeting, this will no doubt save me from a lot of additional work and dust bunnies in the months ahead.

5. Add a bit of design (and other cool things) to SLB.


As mentioned above and shown in my 2013 doodle, I want to actively work to include more design related things on SLB. This might be just a documentation of my current projects (some of which you can see here) or simply sharing something from the interwebz that catches my fancy. Considering it has become such a huge part of my life, it doesn’t make sense not to include it. I also want to start rolling out little mini upgrades for you all (perhaps a SLB Spotify playlist anyone?) so get excited.

6. See more shows.

If you guys hadn’t noticed from the frequent music heavy posts, I really love discovering new artists. I love going to concerts. Even if I’m not familiar with the band playing, there is something so magical about joining a bunch of people for this collective experience. If I do know the artist, that feeling is that much more powerful and resonant. I’ve been fortunate enough to see some pretty cool shows in 2013, and I want to keep that trend going and growing. The pie in the sky concert dream? Coachella 2014 would be a pretty sick grad gift. Just saying in case you’re reading this mom and dad.

It’s the day after Christmas and I am vacationing with my parents in southern California. For the first time in a long time I am relaxed, well fed and have fully caught up on sleep. It’s moments like these when the world stops spinning quite so fast and I get a chance to just exhale. It is a blessing in disguise to not know where exactly I am going to be a year from now; it allows my imagination to wander even further, trying on all sorts of possibilities to fill in the “what” and “where” blanks. January 1st will mark the start of my next great adventure (otherwise known as facing the imminent “real world”), and I can’t wait to share that crazy ride with you all.

Hope everyone has had a fantastic holiday season filled with laughter, love and well wishes.

Many more adventures to come in 2014, but none forgotten.

To Build A Home


Growing up, my mom would decorate our house in a way that was far beyond your typical Pottery Barn catalogue. She tiled our fireplace and back patio by hand. A vintage wooden spaceship (meant as a type of rocking horse for a child in the 1950s) hung from the ceiling of our kitchen with christmas lights strung around it — that was our “chandelier”. Most furniture was vintage and picked up at a thrift store, antique store or the curb outside someone else’s house, then repurposed in some way.

An upbringing surrounded by this DIY aesthetic instilled in me what I like to refer to as “nesting syndrome” — regardless of where I am living or how long I will be there, I cannot fight the urge to make a place my own. Build a home, so to speak. Even if that home consists of four walls and 100-square feet of floor, you can bet I will hang lanterns, cover all bare wall space with art or a quote or a cut out from a magazine and find every possible way to make the space as much a part of me as I can in the time I have there.

I am in the brainstorming phases of this process right now and my weekend will be spent hunting for supplies and materials to outfit my teeny apartment with some homemade decor. Below are some of my favorite DIY projects that I can’t wait to try:

1. Teacup Candles

2. Crayon splatter painted canvas

3. DIY Wall Confetti

4. Dixie Cup String Lights

5. Tulle Pom Poms

If that wasn’t enough, one of my best friends passed along this link to 38 Anthropologie Hacks; happy crafting, everyone!

More DIY adventures to come.

This + That

Last night I went to First Friday in downtown Las Vegas with my sweet ma and pa. This part of the city is inspiring to me — something about the mix of concrete and neon, old glamour and graffiti, mid-century architecture converted to new galleries and art spaces, made the whole experience feel more authentic and fulfilling than wandering around on the strip.

Photo Credit: Madeline Beard

Photo Credit: Madeline BeardPhoto Credit: Madeline Beard

Photo Credit: Madeline Beard

Photo Credit: Madeline Beard

Photo Credit: Madeline Beard

Photo Credit: Madeline Beard

Photo Credit: Madeline Beard

This morning I finally completed a long anticipated DIY project. What feels like eons ago, I wrote about a gorgeous floral camera strap that I spotted at Fashion Week. I wanted to add it to this year’s Christmas list, until I showed it to my mom — she pointed out it could be easily recreated with some festive trim and the strap I currently own. So, after a bit of Googling, I ordered trim from this Etsy shop and got to work. Here’s the result:

Photo Credit: Madeline Beard

Photo Credit: Madeline Beard

Photo Credit: Madeline Beard

Photo Credit: Madeline Beard

An added bonus? The left over trim makes the coolest floral headband.

Photo Credit: Madeline Beard

Photo Credit: Madeline Beard

On my schedule for the rest of today: pinning, sipping of tea, and perfecting the art of lounging. With only 72 hours left at home, I am soaking up all of the down time I can get. Hope you all enjoyed this weekend’s edition of “Selfie Saturday” — maybe I can actually make that a thing? Or better yet, “Mirror Pic Monday”? Ahh, I can just imagine the hash tags.