Author: torieandtristv


I’m really excited with how the downstairs living room came together. We first put this design together while living in the upstairs unit, which we are now remodeling. We used 90% of the same furniture as upstairs.

Here are the original inspiration pictures for the design concept:

Living Room Inspo

Living Room T&T

Here’s what it looked like before:

basement 9

basement 7

I mean, ICK, right?

Well thankfully my hubby can handle a hammer, and VOILA!

Here’s what it looks like now:



We have since finished the trim around the front door



Tristan ordered extra kitchen cabinets to make the TV build-in. We love!



A refurbished dresser-turned-shoe cabinet and side table. This was my first experience with chalk paint, my new obsession.




View from the kitchen


So what do you think?

IMG_0043 updated



House Tour: Downstairs Unit Reveal

Well, the time has come when I’ve finally had a clean house and fresh flowers simultaneously. Therefore, I was able to complete the renovation pictures of our splashy new downstairs basement!

Come on In!

The Living Room.

The Bathroom.

The Kitchen.

The Bedroom.



3 Cinco de Mayo Tablescapes


For the last two years, the weekend coinciding with Cinco de Mayo has not been a night of Coronas and mariachi bands, but rather a Mexican-themed auction to benefit our mission trip to Tijuana.


Tristan and I aren’t going to Tijuana this year due to a forthcoming Europe trip, and will be attending a wedding in lieu of the auction this year. But my heart is with our team who is working hard on the auction details, and our fearless leader Colleen, who has been bringing folks down to  build homes on some of the poorest, roughest terrain in Tijuana for 20+ years.

Some images from our previous trips:

Last year, I was in charge of the auction decor. It was a great opportunity to implement this festive tablescape I saw at the International Food Bloggers Conference many years ago, put together by Hostess with the Mostess.



The budget for decor was $300 and I wanted that to include both fresh elements as well as reusable pieces for future auctions. I paired down the centerpieces to 4 items each – runner, mason jar, glass vase and can. I also copied the baby blue, royal blue, orange, red and pink color scheme.

My right hand gal, Diana, and I scoured thrift stores for three months straight looking for scarves to use as table runners and clear glass vases. We needed 28 sets – one for each table. Diana scooped up the cans and mason jars within one week. We then had a team craft day to deck out these centerpiece items with paint, paper, tissue fringe, baker’s twine and washi tape. We also threw on some leftover tassels from my wedding, because why not? We made a tissue garland and I used the printables from the inspiration post to make signs. I picked up a flat of succulents the day of the auction from Home Depot and 48 flowers from Pike Place Market.

Here are two centerpieces as examples.


Here you can see the tissue garland and two of the signs at the entrance.


Each table had a unique scarf:


My friends came out to support us – thanks, girls!:


The scarves were the largest investment and weren’t quite as cheap from thrift stores as we thought they should be. We ended up cutting some of the larger scarves in two or three and spent around $175 total at thrift stores (including the glass vases, which generally cost around $1 each). The succulents were $70 and the flowers were $40. There were light tissue, tape and paint costs which I covered as a donation (and kept the leftovers).

Here are some other of Hostess’ fiesta-esque tablescapes, for further inspiration:



A Fiesta First Birthday Party (cute little donkey and pom pom placemat!)


Fresh and Sophisticated Dinner Party (love the cabbage and color scheme!)

Whether you are planning something special for Cinco de Mayo or just want to pep up your next Mexican feast, Hostess has some great ideas and your local thrift store has some great cheap supplies.

If you would like to learn more about St. Paul’s of Shorewood’s annual Mexico mission trip, click here. This year’s auction will be held Saturday, May 7 at Seattle Lutheran High School and includes an authentic Mexican feast, wine and Mexican dancers for just $15 a person or $25 per couple. It’s a steal of a deal, for a good cause! Tickets are available at the door or in advance by emailing colleencrandell [at] hotmail [dot] com.

Adios, amigos.



Magenta Baby Shower Invites

I wanted to share the invitations I created for the baby shower I tri-hosted six months ago. (I highly recommend tri-hosting, by the way – one person for food, one person for decor, one as life-saving floater). The shower was at my home and I was in charge of decor and design.

I was inspired by this diaper invitation, but REALLY did not want this to turn into a $200 card making project as mine have a tendency to do.


My cost-saving strategy was to dip in to my existing paper and ribbon stash as much as possible. But of course I still ended up at Paper Source for some non-negotiables such as envelopes and scalloped paper. But I was able to use standard printer paper for the diapers, and forced myself to make sheer ribbon cute, since I already had it. I’m much more of grosgrain girl these days.

Making the template took the longest amount of time, since I needed to modify the size and shape to accommodate my paper size.

Amy Shower InviteAmy Shower Invite 2Amy Shower Invite 3Amy Shower Invite 4Amy Shower Invite 5

Ta da!

I am pleased with how they turned out, given that I made compromises on the materials and didn’t just buy myself out of it when I hit a few roadblocks. Paper Source is 3 minutes from my house, so I really needed to stay strong :). I am definitely embarrassed to admit how hard it was to resist.

If you’re a crafter like me, you may have a craft supply stash but never truly use what you’ve faithfully kept all these years. I feel inspired to revisit old craft supplies for future projects before immediately investing in the perfect ribbon/envelope/cardstock combo.




Boho 30th Birthday Party

Boho Bday

My dear cousin Christy turned 30, oh, a YEAR ago, and I am finally documenting the evening affair on this blog. Is it too early for #TBT?

Christy is two years older than me, which made her the perfect candidate for my only child self to follow around and idolize growing up… that, and her inspiring fashion and interior design sense that always pushed the boundaries but somehow came together swimmingly. I’m sure I was very annoying to her for many, many years.

As one ages, two years becomes a very small age difference and for the last 10+ years we’ve been very close friends. Her and her sister rolled out all the bachelorette and bridal shower stops when I got married a few years ago.

Christy is now a working mom to an adorable 5 year old.  I just sensed that if she was to properly celebrate her 30th birthday, some outside intervention would need to be involved, and I was more than happy to return the party-throwing favor. (more…)

Reading Rainbows

I spent today at the Tulip Festival and it was so colorful and delightfully spring-y that I was inspired to bring my blog out of winter hibernation.


I will post photos from today at some point, but in the mean time, here is a collection of rainbow-inspired images I’ve been filing away for a rainy day. I just knew they needed to cuddle together on a blog post somehow and the time is now. Even though today is far from rainy!







and last, but certainly not least…


You go Lisa Frank.

On that note, I will leave you.



Blue Chinoiserie + Pink

Also known as Hosting My First Shower(s).

Hello and good evening. I’ve had a few moments of adulting over the last month, namely hosting my first bridal shower and my first baby shower.

I knew the bride-to-be liked blue chinoiserie (um hello who doesn’t?) and her wedding colors were navy blue and blush pink. So for the bridal shower, I decided to “invest” in blue chinoiserie vases and dishes at thrift stores and decorate with blush linens and flowers. Here were my inspiration images:

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At that point the baby shower was already scheduled for a few weeks following. The mommy-to-be likes bold colors (her wedding colors were kelly green, black, white and gold – YES.), so I knew I wanted to do bold blue glass with magenta accents. Here were my inspiration images.


79ee94b77eb511eacade3ae5076f069bYou can see the blue glass and blue chinoiserie can kind of mix-and-match. #bonuspoints

I figured that combinations of blue and pink would always work for bridal and baby showers to come, and I plan to reuse these same items for years.

And as you know, I was already able to re-purpose the blue pieces for my blue and orange Halloweenhere’s how it turned out.

Stay tuned this week for some snapshots of each shower. I’d say a “grand reveal,” however these aren’t styled shots nor was there a professional photographer. The reality is that I am hosting a real event, not a styled shoot or “blogger party.” As such, I have real concerns other than taking Pinterest-worthy photos. Like making sure there is clothing on my body before people arrive. Trying to hide a few last-minute objects. Not burning anything and does the house still smell from what I burned earlier? Background music. Taking Saran wrap off of the food. Trying not to cuss. Etc.

Here’s another inspiration image for the road.

blue and white with profusion of pink peonies

Check back to see how everything turned out!




You guys, the IRIS movie is now on Netflix. I missed the debut during Seattle International Film Festival, so I’m thrilled to now have access, to say the least. I just found it tonight and I’ve already watched it twice. Thankfully I’d already set aside my favorite Iris looks for a rainy day blog post. It’s the ultimate night.

In case you aren’t familiar with the film, it centers on Iris Apfel, 94-year-old style legend – The Rare Bird, she is called. Her mantra is “More is more and less is a bore.” If you know me or this blog, you’ll understand why I am obsessed. Poor Tristan.


But, Iris was featured on the Simpsons… so Tristan isn’t totally uninterested.


As a former textile designer, she has an appreciation for fine designer goods with attention to craftsmanship and quality fabrics, but loves to hunt for treasures in street markets near and far, thrift stores and rummage sales. She says, “I get more of a kick out of the process than I do in actually wearing the look.” I feel so understood! YES.

Here are some of my favorite looks of hers.

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Iris Apfel attends the premiere of "Iris" at the Paris Theatre on Wednesday, April 22, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP) ORG XMIT: NYAK101

Iris Apfel attends the premiere of “Iris” at the Paris Theatre on Wednesday, April 22, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP) ORG XMIT: NYAK101

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A museum curator caught on and recruited her to make an exhibit at Metropolitan Museum of Art filled with looks she put together and accessorized. MoMa! That’s a huge deal.
enhanced-10437-1426271243-15 mosaic2571756 iris apfel

You could even be Iris for Halloween!


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But she does mention, “It is better to be happy than well dressed.” Yes, truth! But dressing up is so much fun.

Does she, or does she not, inspire you to just accessorize a little bit more?!



21 Fresh Preppy Fall Looks

fall looks2

You won’t find any puffy herringbone vests, monogrammed scarves and/or statement necklaces here. Instead, I’m thinking preppy as in classic, uniform-inspired looks, but with a twist – add way too many pearls, some fur/leopard, contrasting plaids and a surprising pop of color. Things like that!

Here are 21 outfits that can show you what I mean. Mostly pulled from Atlantic-Pacific, one of my favorite style blogs, but with touches of others.

     Fresh Preppy Fall Looks via Torie and Tristan (21) Fresh Preppy Fall Looks via Torie and Tristan (22)

 Fresh Preppy Fall Looks via Torie and Tristan (15)

Fresh Preppy Fall Looks via Torie and Tristan (2)Fresh Preppy Fall Looks via Torie and Tristan (16)   Fresh Preppy Fall Looks via Torie and Tristan (12)

Fresh Preppy Fall Looks via Torie and Tristan (7)Fresh Preppy Fall Looks via Torie and Tristan (11) Fresh Preppy Fall Looks via Torie and Tristan (10) Fresh Preppy Fall Looks via Torie and Tristan (9) Fresh Preppy Fall Looks via Torie and Tristan (8)

Fresh Preppy Fall Looks via Torie and Tristan (1)  Fresh Preppy Fall Looks via Torie and Tristan (5)  Fresh Preppy Fall Looks via Torie and Tristan (13)

Fresh Preppy Fall Looks via Torie and Tristan (14) Fresh Preppy Fall Looks via Torie and Tristan (17) Fresh Preppy Fall Looks via Torie and Tristan (18) Fresh Preppy Fall Looks via Torie and Tristan (19) Fresh Preppy Fall Looks via Torie and Tristan (6) Fresh Preppy Fall Looks via Torie and Tristan (20) Fresh Preppy Fall Looks via Torie and Tristan (23)

Do you hate me for being sick of the puffy vest and monogram? I’m sorry. I get a little gutsy when I can hide behind the blog and don’t have to tell you to your face. 🙂

Have you seen any cute preppy fall looks that should be added to this list?



Easiest Halloween How-To Ever: Poison Bottles

Poison BottlesThe poison bottles were so easy, it’s almost not worth a blog post.

  1. I spent about a month collecting interestingly shaped bottles and jars. I ran them through the dishwasher and Goo-Be-Goned them to make sure there was no remaining adhesive goo.
  2. Once dry, I sprayed them with a few coats of Krylon Looking Glass separated by around 15 minutes each.
  3. Other than the fancy mirrored spray paint ($10), I really didn’t want to spend money on these, so I copy and pasted some labels off of the internet into a Word doc (I’m sure there were copyrights on some, so I’m not providing my doc – but here’s some on Google image)
  4. I printed the doc, cut out the labels and Mod Podged them on the painted jars. Even easier would’ve been to buy some Avery white 8.5 x 11 shipping labels and print on those. But when the mood strikes, you make it work! I haven’t had any issues with rippling or peeling thus far.

Poison Bottles

And that’s it!