Bathroom #2 Before & After

The layout of our second bathroom upstairs was handy because it has a door into the master bedroom and one into the hallway. Thankfully, the cigarette smell from the former owners did not come up into the upstairs bedrooms and bathroom, but the bathroom definitely needed some updating.

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For starters, there was a linoleum floor (gross) that we knew had to go. Next up there was a super outdated vanity that was in bad shape, and I did not want to put my toiletries in it’s drawers.  The shower door was rusty and had lots of calcium deposits, along with some super 80’s gold trim, and the shower tile seemed greasy and dirty. Luckily, the toilet was brand new, and the tub seemed to be in good condition so we set out to work in phases.

Our first step in the updating process was to put in actual tile flooring, a new vanity, and remove the gross shower door:

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We went with a dark cherry vanity, found a matching medicine cabinet, put in a neutral colored tile, framed the mirror with crown molding, and a white shower curtain.

My husband and I knew we needed to get the tile updated in the shower because it was grossing us out – no matter how much we bleached, scrubbed, and overall cleaned the shower tile, it was no use and still felt dirty. Finally the process began and we were thrilled to see it transform. Here’s the before and then all the changes:

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We needed additional light in the shower so we added in a light above, which has completely changed our shower game at home :). Our favorite transformation yet, we are so happy with our completely updated upstairs bathroom!

Xo,
Neda

 

Bathroom #1 Before & After

We had lots of projects in mind when we first purchased our home, and the first one we had to tackle was the bathroom downstairs – we think it was the ‘smoking room’ because it smelled horrid in there, even after the many layers of specialized odor blocking paint I could still smell it. We decided to re-do the shower because we think the stench had gotten into the grout (don’t smoke!!).

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I mean it was just tile on tile on tile, and SO gross. It had plenty of potential though! Thankfully the vanity and the light fixture were relatively new, so we kept them. We decided on a gray 12×24 tile with a mosaic band and a hexagon marble looking floor :).

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I can’t stand mirrors with no frame, so we framed the mirror with some of the crown moulding to give it a finished look.

We painted it a few times – originally wanted it to be a grayish purple, but it turned out to be like a pastel purple and we hated it. Then we decided on a light blue tone with whites and grays.

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Although it took nearly 2 years to get it to where we wanted, we are SO happy with the result. The last think we need to get is a custom shower door, since it’s not the standard size – that can wait since no one ever uses the shower downstairs :).

Xo,
Neda

4th of July BBQ

My husband and I were so excited to host a 4th of July BBQ at our home this year. We finally finished some backyard updates to make it a much more functional space, so we were ready to host our friends and family for a fun day outside :).

When we started to plan, I told myself to “keep it simple”, which always proves to be a struggle for me. I end up getting too excited and buy way more booze/food/decor than necessary, but what can I say? It’s who I am. I kept finding cute 4th of July decor ideas and couldn’t help myself.  In keeping with theme, we had some red linens and a fun banner from Target for our beverage tables:

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I also had to try a fun ‘boozy’ treat (since there are TONS of ideas online) – I settled on some vodka soaked chocolate covered strawberries and they were a huge hit. It was super easy to prepare and make, just soaked strawberries in vodka overnight, drained the vodka (SO good with ice and sparkling water!), patted the strawberries dry and dipped in melting chocolate and topped with some pretty sprinkles.

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We had a lot of red, white and blue decor throughout the backyard and the house, which made it a festive place to celebrate the 4th!

We decided it would be so fun to have a little impromptu water balloon fight after lunch, and things quickly escalated – after we ran out of the first 60 or so, there was a Target run and two huge boxes of Buncho Balloons were purchased (maybe 400+ water balloons in total!). If you haven’t seen those yet, they are the COOLEST thing – a way to fill and tie 35 balloons at once! Where were these when we were kids??

Hope you had a nice time celebrating!

Xo,
Neda

Engagement Party

My now-husband Saam and I both love to celebrate and entertain as much as possible, so when we got engaged, we knew that we wanted to party with our friends and family! We had a cocktail party at a lounge in downtown San Jose called Fahrenheit, which is no longer open. I am always looking for an opportunity to come up with a theme and decor, so we decided to go with black, white and gold – my husband is a huge Oakland Raiders fan so the black and white was a hit with him and I love gold, so this was a good compromise and ended up becoming our primary wedding colors,

I knew that I wanted to use sequined gold linens at our wedding, so I ended up purchasing 10 of them to use for various events (including our wedding) – they were super expensive to rent at the time (and still are!) so buying them seemed to make the most sense. We used a few of them on the cocktail tables at our engagement party to add some sparkle. I also accumulated a bunch of iron wrought tabletop candelabras from my former company’s holiday party, so we used those as centerpieces.

One of my friends (who ended up doing all of the stationary and paper goods for the wedding) designed some really sweet prints that we hung up, and we had some gold tassel garlands strung around the space. We also got some large 36″ balloons with tassels for fun :). One of my favorite personalized touches were the foil printed cocktail napkins with out names and our wedding hashtag printed on them – we loved them so much that we knew we wanted more for our wedding.

It was a great night spent with some of our favorite people, and kicked off our engagement with the first of many celebrations. I highly recommend having an engagement party if possible because it really sets the tone for the rest of the celebrations going forward!

Xo,
Neda

Storybook Baby Shower

When I was in college, I joined Delta Zeta sorority and during my 4 years as an active collegiate member I met some of my best friends. Shortly after graduating in 2011, one of said besties was pregnant with her first baby, and it was so exciting to plan a shower for her. While I was always considered somewhat of a ringleader/bonfire hosting/vacation planning/always trying to keep my schedule packed type of person, this was one of my first true events as a ‘big girl’ post college – this ones an oldie but goodie.

Hosted in her mom’s dreamy backyard, the theme was “Once Upon a Time” /storybook. The colors were blues and brown, and I repurposed these really cool water bead centerpieces as a focal point.  Mind you – this is when Pinterest has just started becoming a thing – I saw cupcakes in a jar and knew they would be a fun and unique favor for guests. I’m sure there are WAY easier ways to make these now, I just remember them taking way too long (also because I’m too picky about presentation)!

In keeping with the storybook theme, the goal was to incorporate books and story telling. My friend had a cricut so we made 3 garlands that were folded to look like little books strung around the pergola. We played a few games and had an activity where each guest prepared an 8×8 scrapbook page for mommy and baby to keep.

It’s hard to believe that this shower took place 6 years ago, but I remember it being an experience that I loved and wanted to continue being a part of whenever I could. Today, I am a part-time Event Assistant with two local wedding and event coordinators in the Bay Area to help feed my love of events and design. Stay tuned for photos from other events I’ve worked with!

Xo,
Neda

Our First Home Sweet Home

We bought our little home in July 2015 and it is our pride and joy! Let me start off by saying that our home buying experience was exciting, exhausting, and expensive. The Bay Area is known for it’s obscenely priced and competitive real estate market, so it was a stressful process from the get-go. With an excellent realtor, lender, and a LOT of luck, our offer was accepted on our very first try (that is NOT a normal thing to happen around here!).
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The previous family that owned the home wasn’t exactly the cleanest, and unfortunately there was a smoker among the pretty crowded group – there were roughly 4 adults and a child living in the 3 bedroom, 2 bath townhouse.  Our work was cut out for us, but thanks to our obsessions with HGTV shows (Flip or Flop, Fixer Upper, you name it!) we were so ready to take on the challenge.

Here are some of the listing photos (we like to call these the “before”):

We had lots of projects in mind, and the first was to get rid of that cigarette stench! One of my uncles was kind enough to help us paint the entire first floor with a stain/scent blocking primer, and then we painted it a taupe color. We also decided to get crown moulding installed throughout the first floor to give it a little more character.

We had a wishlist of items that we wanted to tackle over time including:
– Downstairs Bath Remodel
– Upstairs Bath Remodel
– Install Recessed Lighting
– Create a Functional Backyard
– Install Ceiling Fans/Lights in Bedrooms

As of today, I think we have hit all of the wishlist items! I will post some “afters” in future posts to show how far we’ve come 🙂

Decorating has been a whole other process of trial and error – it’s fun but never ending and always evolving. One day I like the color of curtains, and the next I hate them – crazy me at it again. Is it just me or is this how it goes when decorating your home??

Xo,
Neda

 

 

Engaged!

My now husband and I got engaged on August 15, 2014 – the original proposal surprise was let out of the bag (and scheduled for the following day) so my husband and bestie schemed to ACTUALLY surprise me :). Me, being my crazy self, already knew which wedding photographer we wanted to work with. I first became acquainted with Amanda Tung of Amanda Wei Photo‘s work at my friend’s wedding in 2012. The photos were stunning and I knew to keep her in my future wedding vendor wishlist.

We scheduled our engagement shoot in September with the goal to have 3 separate locations/outfit changes, but we only got to do 2 that day. Amanda was nice enough to let us do another session at our final location – she truly is one of the most talented, kind, and amazing people we’ve ever met! Our photos turned out beautifully (as expected) and I find myself looking at them over and over again – I couldn’t wait to work with her for the wedding and future shoots!

The first location was in the courtyard at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in downtown Los Gatos, CA. We loved the pretty setting, beautiful archway, and ‘secret garden’ feel. Lola the Corgi was also part of the shoot here, and we are so grateful to have gotten photos with her :). The second location was at Capitola Beach, with its iconic colorful beach houses and pier. The final location was at Wrights Station Winery off Summit Road in Los Gatos – a place where we are wine club members and are obsessed with the grounds (inside and out!).

It would sure be nice to look like this in all my photos, but it takes a makeup artist and professional photographer to achieve such results ;).

Xo,
Neda

Other Half

I met my husband Saam almost 15 years ago – I was 16, we were at a mutual friend’s birthday party, and to be honest, I didn’t even remember meeting him then (which he never lets me live down). We reconnected a few years later at a different party, where he was just the center of attention. I was drawn to him by his energy and sense of humor. We ended up getting together on New Year’s Eve nearly 10 years ago and the rest is history :).

We are definitely a complimentary match – I’m really Type A, overly organized, structured, analytical, and he is much more easygoing, fun loving, chill, and relaxed. Our relationship is built on love, lots of laughter, and dreams for the future. While it definitely hasn’t been rosy and rainbows all the time, we make a great team. We are coming up on our 2 year wedding anniversary and I sometimes can’t believe still how lucky we are to have found each other.

Speaking of my Type A personality – it’s time to figure out anniversary plans! We are trying to keep a tradition to getaway for our anniversaries, and hoping to visit San Diego for the weekend 🙂

Xo,
Neda

Lola the Corgi

It would only make sense to introduce Lola, our 4 year old Pembroke Welsh Corgi – she is truly our furbaby and the sweetest member of our family. She is sassy, smart, and super stubborn (which I’m sure comes from me!). My family has a love of the breed, which started when my brother introduced us to his Corgi named Samson (who is now 10 years old). There is just something about these dogs with their huge ears, stumpy stature, and hilarious personalities that got us hooked.

Here are some of my favorite photos of Lola (and her cousin Samson):

 

I admit that I’m a little bit of a crazy Corgi lady – I have to stop everything I’m doing if I spot anyone out and about with their stumpy hound. Any other Corgi lovers out there?

Xo,
Neda

 

 

Adventures in Baking

I’m convinced there is a distinct difference in people who can cook vs. people who can bake – I am the latter. I took a cake decorating class a while back and learned some basics to take my baking to the next level, so clearly went a little crazy and so did my sugar intake :(. Here are some fun treats I’ve made over the years!

 

 

I have since lessened my baking frequency as I try to get as excited about cooking (which really isn’t that fun to me). Why can’t we just survive off treats??

Xo,
Neda