I’ve gotten real with you guys before so this won’t be totally new… I’ve talked about my struggles finding work that I love, my new best friend Prozac, and everything in between. I’m still constantly figuring it all out, and I’m not sure I’ll ever stop.

That being said, shit is about to get real, I’m going to open up big time and talk about my general health patterns over the last 30+ years. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed lots more cooking and exercising…

Ok, so let’s do this.


For the record, I’ve tried but just can’t get into cauliflower…. I’m getting better with ginger, which I used to hate.

I’ve always been athletic and associated myself with a healthy lifestyle and strong body. However, when I take a step back, I realize I’ve been unhealthy and overweight more often than I’ve had my six-pack. As I inch closer to 38 in August and the inevitable 40, I’ve been thinking about who I want to be a lot more than normal (and trust me, I think about shit A LOT). When you have that feeling of time running out, it makes you think. Not that 40 is old, or I plan on dying anytime before 100, but it does put things into perspective and makes me really think about how often I use that horrible phrase, “I’ll do it later”.

Speaking of my best friend, Prozac, I’ve also been trying to pay closer attention to what it can and can’t help me with. Like most people, I thought my food addiction and weight issues would be solved along with my depression and obsessiveness. Nope. It has helped me a lot with certain things, but if I’m going to get fit and stay there, it’s going to take a concerted effort, not a higher dosage of any drug. And what it’s really going to take, more than anything, is admitting to myself that it is important to me.

I just don’t want to wait any longer… I don’t want to wait for the “perfect” time, the “perfect” attitude, the best drug, etc. I’m done waiting…

I was starting to run a little more consistently, taking Bishop with me and trying to have more fun while being healthy… then, boom, I sprained my ankle pretty bad. I was super bummed and feeling defeated, yet again. Whether it’s an injury or just myself getting in my way, there’s always something.

Then, about a week later, I was just relaxing after work scrolling through Instagram and came across the account of Hannah Bronfman. I had started following her after seeing her on the Garance Dore blog, but hadn’t really paid super close attention until that evening. I scrolled through her images for at least an hour! I was left with a feeling of ‘I CAN!’, rather than ‘I can, later’. Oh, and fuck my ankle, I’m starting NOW.


My staple breakfast of almond milk, rolled oats, bee pollen and blueberries. The best!

I was intrigued by how healthy she ate, never imagining anyone being able to do that consistently, But I could tell she made it a way of life, more importantly a priority. She looked so confident and happy, which seemed to affect every part of her life (of which I saw a lot of in an hour). She seemed to appreciate food, which is what I’m trying to do lately. I loved how many resources she shared, both about fitness and healthy eating. I was also so impressed by her athletic body and challenging workouts that seemed to range from running to pilates, to crossfit type stuff. I’m usually not impressed by thin bodies, but strong and athletic will grab my attention every time. Which is ironic, because my whole life I’ve been self-conscious of how muscular I can get when I’m in top shape. Weird.

What attracted me most about Miss B was that she was very into a healthy lifestyle, but it wasn’t her whole life. Usually, when you see someone with an amazing body and healthy eating habits, they’re a yoga instructor or dietitian, amiright?

So, the combination of approaching 40, hating my right ankle, and coming across Miss B’s Instagram account, it all clicked!…

For the last month, I’ve been doing all different kinds of workouts, anything I can do with a bad ankle (which is much stronger now). I’ve also been cooking so much and eating better than I ever have before, even when I was thin. More importantly, I don’t feel hungry or deprived in any way because I’m eating so well balanced. I’m not counting calories or following any fad diet. Naturally, I’ve lost a little weight, but I have a LONG way to go before I have my six-pack back!


I’m doing Crossfit a couple times a week, but also incorporating a spinning class, Pilates and a cardio/kickboxing class. If I don’t get to the gym, I’m doing jump-rope and walking lunges at the park. I’m eventually going to add a hip hop dance class… can’t wait for that one!

Keep in mind, I do everything 110%, which is great when I’m doing things that are good for me or working on a cool design project. But when I’m, what I call ‘off season’ (both mentally and physically), I also go 110%. This means, I eat everything and don’t exercise, as if I’m on a mission to gain weight. I’m not, of course, I just go with the immediate gratification and lie to myself that being fit is not important to me, being relaxed and happy is. Wait, but I’m never happy when I’m unhealthy. In fact, I usually feel physically and emotionally like shit!


Before: July 5, 2015

Because I’m getting super real here, I’m sharing my scary before pictures and invite you to follow along as I get healthy, inside and out, mind and body…. for good this time!

Hold me to it guys! Comment below if you want and follow along closer on Instagram and Snapchat (@prettyhautemess)…

I also created two new boards on Pinterest, if you’re interested: EAT SMART and WELLNESS.


UPDATE 7.29.15 : I’ve lost 20lbs. I have about 20 to go….. Stay tuned for my “after” picture!


Monday, May 25, 2015

Hermosa Subscription Box

In addition to a full service architecture and interior design firm, the couple behind Studio Argente has also developed a design shop which includes a bi-monthly subscription box.

Farnaz and Steve Reneker’s beach-side warehouse is located in Hermosa Beach, California where they host monthly events to explore new ideas in design, art, culture, and lifestyle. They give back to the community by donating proceeds to local art education programs.

Which makes this design-lover subscription box all the more cool. While you’re supporting Hermosa Design to continue doing good work for their community, you also get some pretty cool stuff delivered to you.

Hermosa Subscription Box

I received this box full of beautiful things that help my everyday routine look better. My first subscription box came with a tote bag, matching wallet and a very sleek thermos. I love them all and actually use it all, unlike other subscription boxes I’ve signed up for.

Head over to Hermosa Design for more information on what they do and to subscribe for their design delivery…

Monday, May 4, 2015

I’m alive, promise! I miss blogging, but the best part about having a blog is that it’s always there when you need it. This post has a dual purpose:

1. Let you know where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to.

2. Let me know where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to.   …Lot’s has changed in these first few months of 2015. All good.

Busy / Pretty Haute Mess

Image from Cig Harvey

I started a new job a few weeks ago. I KNOW, I know… what about all that freelance talk and finally being free..? It’s technically still freelance, I just get to go to a pretty office with brick walls on my own schedule.

So, I’m the type of person who doesn’t take anyone’s word and must experience something to know if I like it or not. This tactic is a potential waste of time, sometimes years, but at least I always learn something. Many people told me freelance wouldn’t work for me, but I had worked a full time job since graduating college, so I had to see what this working-from-home-in-pajamas-thing was all about….

Turns out, not so great… I learned right away that too much freedom for me is not actually fun. I realized that I actually prefer structure and deadlines. Odd, I know. And while I know I’m not great at socializing and networking, for some reason I thought things would be different. Nope.

I don’t regret leaving my last job for one second, but I’ve been eager to get back to work, as weird as that sounds. I need to be really busy to feel great. However, I’ve gotten pickier with jobs, it must be the right job in a smart, creative environment… I just won’t settle anymore.

Dear Naps

Racerback tee from Look Human

So, this new gig which is helping me stay really busy is a graphic design position in an interior design firm. I like it, but we’ll see what happens, I’m always looking for the next adventure.

Needless to say, I’ve been busy lately. My new job has me working long hours and I’ve held onto all my other freelance work as well. But it’s all good, busy = awesome.

Nowadays when I’m not at work, I’m blogging for Design Milk, Nest Studio or Euro Style Lighting… And sometimes for Pretty Haute Mess.

See you in another couple months…….. Just kidding.

Friday, February 27, 2015

When I cut my hair a couple years ago, I loved it… and still do. I’ll probably never have long hair again. I loved the cut even more after it grew out a little. Then, like I do, I had to go fuck it up. I even tried coloring the front blonde. Yup.

So, the last several months have been rough, but I’m finally in recovery. I got a simple cut again and I’m just growing it out now.

Here’s what I’ve learned…

Short Haircut / Pretty Haute Mess

Image from Hj i

Cool cuts like this one above is super hard to maintain actually. And it must be styled, you can’t just rock bead head, which is my M.O.

The key is finding a cool cut that’s versatile in both style and length. So, no matter how much effort you feel like putting in your hair on any given day, it will look ok. And also, if it grows out a little, it’s not a total mess, but rather just a longer version of what it was before.

Here are some cuts I like (the top right is what I just took to my stylist last weekend).

Short Haircuts / Pretty Haute Mess

Images from Hair RomancePinkula, Adi Barsan, Vogue UK

And for the record, this is who I want to be when I grow up…. Kate Lanphear.

 KATE LANPHEAR / Pretty Haute Mess

Image from Stockholm Street Style

Thursday, February 26, 2015

I’ve been working on my place for almost a year now, re-designing it and making a small 1-bedroom apartment look rad. Most importantly, feel like home. Toward the end of this process, I wasn’t interested in spending any more money, but I had several pieces of art that I really wanted to display. I knew if I framed them and maybe bought a couple more, I could create a gallery wall. I even had the perfect space, a long hallway with an empty wall.

Art Wall / Pretty Haute Mess

Let’s take a step back… This is my first gallery wall and I’m pretty excited about it. All through college, and even after, I’ve never really settled into a place because I never knew how long I was staying. Turns out I was right, I’ve had about 15 apartments since moving to Los Angeles in 1996.

But that’s not the only reason I’ve never had an art wall… I’ve also never had a clear enough sense of my own style to even make art purchases. So, the work I’ve done to the apartment feels especially good because it’s the result of finding my own design personality over the last few years.

Turns out, the extra money spent on framing and purchasing a couple more pieces of art, was totally worth it. It made everything else I had done throughout the apartment suddenly feel complete. The long, empty hallway made the whole place feel unfinished. I decided to not look at it as just the hallway, but as an opportunity. There’s wall space there, use it. So I did and I’m really happy with the result.

Art Wall / Pretty Haute Mess

I didn’t use any of those cool tricks, like putting up construction paper, marking spots and then nailing. Nope, that would be smart. My method was simply arranging and re-arranging the art in Photoshop. Once I was happy with it, I sent a picture to my phone and kept that nearby as I nailed. I started with the large piece in the middle and worked my way out on either side.

Don’t be fooled, while this may seem like it went smoothly, there are several holes behind some of those pieces.

Your takeaway from this post should be:

  1. Hang art on your walls.
  2. Use whatever method works for you, even if that means no method at all.

If you’re interested, here are the different sources for each piece.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Color System / Pretty Haute Mess

I’m really into a moody blue lately… When I scrolled down to this image in Instagram, I just had to stare at it for a little because the color combination is amazing.

While putting together color schemes isn’t always the easiest thing to do, I find that sometimes taking them apart is the best practice.

Image from Carlein Kieboom Instagram

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

You guys! I woke up at 1:30am, which is per usual lately (although sometimes it’s 3:30am, but I digress)… Opened up Instagram, like I do. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love the internet.

Modern Living Room - Bemz

All images by Bemz

Whether I’m finding new friends in the design world or discovering awesome new resources, I want to marry the internet. Scrolling through Instagram I found Bemz, a brilliant company that allows you to customize your upholstered Ikea furniture (and lots of other stuff in your house).

I was especially excited because the second week I bought our sofa, Miss Jolie (our cat) puked and I cleaned it so emphatically, I rubbed the black right out of the sofa cover. So then, I took off the whole chaise cover piece and took it to the cleaners. They of course completely fucked it up and the bottom corner pleats have never hung right, nor do they fall all the way to the ground anymore.

More recently, I got a dollop of white paint on top of the middle back cushion, Miss Jolie has puked a few more times and she’s destroyed the back left corner because I don’t trim her nails enough. The sofa is so comfortable and the color black successfully made it a little more modern, so I love it. But damn I wish I could get a new cover….

Pink Sofa - Bemz

Modern Kids Room - Bemz

Of course, Ikea still sells the EKTORP series and several (horrible) cover options, but no more black. I actually love it in white, but I have Miss Jolie and Sir Bishop (our dog)… so that’s a big NO. So, I can’t just buy a new black one…

UNTIL NOW, thanks to Bemz! They even have several different options in black that come in different textures and types of fabric. My current sofa cover actually looks a bit more like super dark grey or even a black’ish-blue due to the course texture, but it was the only “black” option.

Bemz even does bed skirts, bed spreads, bed frames, headboards, ottomans, poufs, drapery, cushions and chairs.

Bed Skirts - Bemz

Now, before you get all excited, there’s more. Bemz has partnered with some well known textile designers to create custom covers in really cool patterns, such as Marimekko! These are a bit more expensive, but so worth it!

Marimekko - Bemz