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October 11, 2010 / fiftypairsofbrownboots

The Master Bedroom

I am so insanely happy to be in this apartment. I feel a tickle of joy when I wake in the morning, that may have to do with the San Francisco air and light flooding in during these fantastic Indian-Summer days, or may have more to do with the fact that this oft insomniac is sleeping! Either way, I feel content.

I had questioned this move.

As a woman in my late twenties it seemed a little post-grad(ish) of me to move back in to 400 sq feet on a whim, with my family and soon to be first nephew!, my newly purchased home, even my boyfriend back in Sacramento. I am independent enough, but I cannot help but feel a small buzz in my head asking when and how I’ll settle in life – especially as pics of rings and stories of engagement circulate amongst my inner circle of friends.

But I’ll tell you, I do not question it now. There was something in the depths of me (yes dramatic, but true) that kept pushing me toward this city. I’ve ignored enough of these sixth-sense, female-instinct, manifest-destiny, whatever-you-call them inclines in the past. And the thing is, you don’t necessarily know that you’ve missed a window or a path when you have. But you sure as sh*t know when you’ve jumped on. And I am on “it.”

The featured image is of the sleeping nook. I’ve kept it simple (and lighter items above my head in the case that there are  *knock on wood*  ground shaking events) and the Ikea Expedit shelves (that I mentioned here) serve to divide the space without blocking any light, and also give me reachable storage for books at my bed.

September 29, 2010 / fiftypairsofbrownboots

my 400 sq feet in San Francisco

breakfast nook

Here we go!

lovely view of the Chevron station - but I have to appreciate these bay windows and light!

me, and my stuff everywhere

The view from two streets over. And the reason I moved 🙂

September 21, 2010 / fiftypairsofbrownboots

how a baby comes out

She didn’t ask her class how they thought her baby would come out. Kindergartner’s take it upon themselves to make a connection from whatever the subject of the moment is to the subject of the moment on their mind. And, these kids are constantly thinking about babies because, well, my sister the kindergarten teacher is pregnant.

In what reminded me of the scene from the (classic) movie Kindergarten Cop, starring none other than our California Governator, my sister relayed how, in a discussion about the letter D and how D is for “Doctor” the conversation quickly turned.

One child is certain that the doctor’s will “rip her open and take her guts out” another one corrected, that no, (and my sister relays the statement as this girl did with some serious one-up attitude) “hello, the baby comes out of her mouth.” The third child had it correct that the baby comes from “down there” but his graphic “bleeeeeeehhhhhhhhhh” vocal description and frantic hand gesturing in generally the anatomically correct area, was a little too much for the already nervous first-time-mother-to-be 🙂 Intellectual debate terminated.

September 21, 2010 / fiftypairsofbrownboots

new boots

So I have these super sensitive feet. Thin skinned see-through Irish feet.  I am not just blister-prone, I am a blister-factory. No joke. If 1000 people write 5-star reviews on Zappos about the supreme comfort of a pair of innocent looking shoes, I am #1 to get a nasty walk-inhibiting blister.

Point being, I care about comfort.  Another point, slightly off-topic, is that rocks my world. But back to the topic of newness:

New boots, new shoes, new anything = discomfort for me.

And it follows, or leads or whatever, for life generally.

So, I am officially moving to my studio in SF this weekend. I had been looking for months for the perfect apartment, but found excuses not to pull the trigger on every single one. Too small, too large (I seriously said this about a place that was 600 sq feet) wrong location, too many Art Institute students, etc. etc. And I can pretend I wasn’t half aware the entire time that my excuses were thinly veiled means of avoiding commitment to this new place. Coupled with a fea that I had overhyped the whole idea of San Francisco in my head to the point where nothing would be good enough.

Anyhow, as is my nature. I stood in analysis paralysis for months, and then – BAM – walked in to a place, walked out five seconds later and signed a lease.

So, I am really moving. Like, officially on the hook for this place for a year.

And although I haven’t measured (how could I in the five seconds total that I actual stood in this place), I am pretty certain it is in fact LESS than  400 square feet large. So this will be both an exercise in creative use of space, and a forced fake-it-till-you-make-it attempt at comfort with newness.

Posts will follow with pics of the new space and attempts at both closet organization and room division (I work from home this teeny places needs to include an office!!)

July 8, 2010 / fiftypairsofbrownboots

inspiration: small space

Recently, as I have been prowling Craigslist for my own little 400sq feet of heaven, I am simultaneously tabbed on the Apartment Therapy blog.

This particular home tour: Natalie’s house tour SF made me feel a) anything about 400 sq feet is a mansion!  – and b) excited about paring down my stuff in the most manicured-eclectic way to create this killer “I live in a chic hotel ” feel. Which, I think will not only brighten my own perspective on the whole space-challenge, but also serve a fun “getaway” spot for my family when I am not around.

I also like the way that Katie here: Katie’s house tour SF talks about using the living space for her accessories with such limited storage. Another new way to organize the closet — use other spaces!!

In the vein, I have these IKEA Expedit Shelves, and the IKEA Branas woven Baskets:


like the west elm version but cheaper

storage basket closet

hide in plain sight!

which will be used both to divide a room and to expand closet/storage!

Here’s how I used the Expedit shelves in my current (larger) place (sorry, thought I had a better pic):

expedit bookshelves storage

in this case, no need for a room divider, but boxes under tv and behind couch are still used to display and store items

June 24, 2010 / fiftypairsofbrownboots

closet space

not my closet

The grass is always greener on the other side. Or, rather, the closet is always larger and more organized  in someone else’s house.

I envisioned as a younger woman that every time I moved, I’d be moving to bigger and better closets (okay, you get the metaphor). And, all cards on the table, I romanticized that by this age I’d be into nesting and building a home and a life with someone else.

Not the case.

Here I am at 27, having recently purchased a house in my home town of Sacramento – a house with 1800 square feet and ample closet space I may add,  ready to pack back up again and move to <400 sq feet in San Francisco.


I want to live in San Francisco.

Oh, and, despite best efforts to remain blissfully anti-relationship during my tenure here in Sac-town, I’ve found myself a man. A good one.

And yet still I am still barreling down this path that I’ve chosen, packing boxes and telling my new boyfriend that – hello – lots of people can make long distance work, it’s a modern arrangement!

Since when did life become location,location, location? What do I expect from San Francisco?

I fear that LA did this to me. Gave me this insatiable desire for the bigger and better that may never exist, simultaneously giving me a negative account balance and intense anxiety over my looks.

I’ve found some semblance of normal here in Sacramento. My family, a slower pace, parking spaces, a kitchen worth cooking in, and … closet space.

I’ve been perusing closet organization sites to whip myself back in shape for apartment living. And I came to this one from that is revolutionary, and, well, simple in a why-didnt-I-think-of-that kind of way. I’ve always organized by color or by category and never been very happy with how that works for me. This idea will help me to “shop my closet” to bring out some of those never-worn pieces and still save time. Check this idea out:

real simple video link for closet organization

And, one more little tip I loved since my boots always find their way back to the floor. These inexpensive boot hangers (idea is from Apartment Therapy, thank you!!)  will be hanging in my next closet. One step closer to closet nirvana.

June 24, 2010 / fiftypairsofbrownboots

the heel height

One of my all time favorites for price and function

It goes without saying that there are no stilettos at work if you are a Kindergarten teacher. And a stripper is likely reducing her tips in flats.

I am a 5’11” female. So, naturally, my boot and shoe collection consists of flats and 2-3″ heels to stand out but not over. Although, who am I kidding, I still stand over.

I’d like to be one of those girls that rocks the 5″ heels on a daily basis. I look at the petite ladies who do with some serious envy on days that I am feeling the full effect of my three-standard-deviations-above-average height.

I’ve had dreams where I wear 10″ heels to a meeting and see myself in this dream as if it were a movie scene, in the third person, with a head off-screen and everyone straining to to look at this monster of a woman.

I don’t like to feel like a freak-show.

But I LOVE tall heels.

So, about a year ago I found a wonderful outlet to exercise (literally) my love of heels in a totally sexy and self-empowering way. S-Factor: is the brainchild of an actress who played the part of a stripper and found herself in the best shape of her life while preparing for the role.

I found myself confident, in-shape, and the proud owner of gold 6″ stripper heels 🙂 And, you know what? I’ve started to add more heel in my shoe collection. Male ego be damned.