The Grand Reveal: Queen Anne Cottage Bathroom!

I’m so excited to share the first AFTER photos of our upstairs unit in the Queen Anne Cottage … tempered slightly by the fact that we moved before the unit was fully staged, and these snapshots are pretty bad.

As a reminder, these were the key inspirational images (full inspo post here):


Here’s the befooooooooore:

And here’s how it all came together! I’ve included pictures “in the nude” and with accessories, some super-imposed.

1- West Elm, 2- Houzz, 3- Wayfair, 4- Macys, 5- Misty Lee Cosmetics, 6- Lucky Clover (does not include liner), 7- Ballard Design, 8- Overstock

Sink – OfferUp << Check OfferUp, Craigslist, Let Go and search terms like “vintage trough sink,” “antique sink,” “retro schoolhouse sink,” etc. We paid $75 for ours unfinished. We paid a small fortune to get it and the clawfoot tub refinished, but we are so thrilled with the results.

VanityDragotta Designs on Etsy << LUUUURVE their stuff, and the owner, Jonathan, is super easy to work with and great at customizing pieces to your liking. We were in a pinch to get the vanity in before the sink was refinished, and he rushed the order for us over Christmas! Cannot say enough good things :). Here’s a better shot of the vanity before we added handles/towel bars from Wayfair.


Tile FloorTile For Less … I look forward to any rendezvous with my gal Rainbow at the SoDo store. She suggested a linen finish to add warmth and I love how it turned out!

Medicine Cabinet – Amazon


1- Lucky Clover, 2- Lowe’s, 3- Etsy, 4- Macys, 5- Ribbon Bazaar and Amazon, 6- Barneys

Well folks, what do you think? It’s weird to sum up hours and hours of research (me) and manually labor (Tristan) into a single blog post and essentially two photos, but I’m hopeful that you get the jist.

Would love to hear your feedback! 🙂




Torie & Tristan Do VOX DOCS!

Not this weekend but next, Tristan and I are embarking on what I would call a collision of, like, five fabulous things I’ve always wanted to do.


First of all, we haven’t gone away for a weekend together where visiting family, working, or last minute sickness wasn’t involved. Even our first official “vacation” as a married couple was a mission trip to Tijuana. I’m ready to STEP IT UP.

Second of all, film festivals. How does one go to a film festival? Here in Seattle, we have SIFF, which I hear about each year. And peripherally, I have acquaintances and professional contacts who attend or sponsor the film festival…but no one who I’m close enough with to ask the question – HOW? Hence I’ve never gone. Does one just Google & buy tickets? How do I pick a film that won’t be too art-y and/or make me feel dumb?

Third, wine tasting in Leavenworth, the only part of Cascade Valley Wine Country in which I have yet to imbibe. I visited Leavenworth in December with some girlfriends and popped my head into the new Hard Row to Hoe tasting room, which apparently is just one of 26 walkable wineries in the cute Bavarian village. So I’m ready for more!

Thus I present – The 2015 Vox Docs film festival. When a former client presented us with the opportunity to go, I knew it was a match made in heaven.


Hosted at the Icicle Creek Center for the Arts in Leavenworth, Wash., the March 20-21 festival is all about showcasing the best documentaries of the year. Documentaries! My very favorite! I mean, after all, isn’t this blog basically a documentary? Hmmmmmm…

Here’s what’s great about documentaries… it’s hard for them to be too abstract or art-y for me when they primarily analyze and present facts. That’s not to say they aren’t still highly creative and artistic, of course.

In case you’d like to come and hang out with Tristan and I, might I entice you with the lineup? I’ve pulled the highlights from each movie’s description. Sounds pretty juicy!

Friday, March 20

Keep On Keepin’ On – 7pm opening night film with special guest, Justin Kauflin 

Shot over the course of five years by first time filmmaker Al Hicks, KEEP ON KEEPIN’ ON depicts a 23-­year­-old, blind piano prodigy, Justin Kauflin, and music legend and teacher Clark Terry, now 93, who was Quincy Jones’ first teacher and mentor to Miles Davis. Terry broke the color barrier as the first African-American staff musician at NBC – on The Tonight Show.

Saturday, March 21

Point and Shoot – Noon

Winner of the Best Documentary Award at the Tribeca Film Festival, POINT AND SHOOT follows Matt VanDyke, a timid 26-year-old with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, who left home in Baltimore in 2006 and set off on a self-described “crash course in manhood.” He bought a motorcycle and a video camera and began a 35,000-mile motorcycle trip through Northern Africa and the Middle East. While traveling, revolution broke out in Libya, and Matt joined a new Libyan friend in the fight against dictator Muammar Gaddafi, and was captured by Gaddafi forces and held in solitary confinement for six months.

Life Itself – 2pm

Based on his bestselling memoir of the same name, LIFE ITSELF, explores the impact and legacy of Roger Ebert’s life, from his Pulitzer Prize-winning film criticism at the Chicago Sun-Times to becoming one of the most influential cultural voices in America. The filmmakers were granted unprecedented access to Roger and Chaz during the final four months of his life. In that time, they captured Roger’s fighting spirit, his sharp sense of humor, and the ways he directly inspired filmmakers, family and fans.

Citizen Four – 5pm

CITIZENFOUR is the chilling firsthand account of the Edward Snowden saga that plays out like a modern day spy thriller. CITIZENFOUR places you in the room with filmmaker Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald’s during encounters with Edward Snowden in Hong Kong, as he hands over classified documents providing evidence of mass indiscriminate and illegal invasions of privacy by the National Security Agency (NSA).  CITIZENFOUR not only shows you the dangers of governmental surveillance—it makes you feel them. After seeing the film, you will never think the same way about your phone, email, credit card, web browser, or profile, ever again.

The Overnighters – 7:30pm closing night film with special guest, Jay Reinke

The Overnighters documents the tiny town of Williston, North Dakota, where tens of thousands of unemployed hopefuls show up with dreams of honest work and a big paycheck under the lure of the oil boom. However, busloads of newcomers chasing a broken American Dream step into the stark reality of slim work prospects and nowhere to sleep. Local pastor Jay Reinke risks everything to help them.

Oh Em Geeeee! I’m so excited. I’m probably most excited for the The Overnighters, as my dear friend Bre and her husband having been navigating the Williston oil boom since they got married in Oct. 2013. She talks about her experiences on her blog, Bon Bon: The Life and Times of an Oil Boom Wife. Did I mention she lived in a trailer with a newborn in -15 degree weather?! And, two hours to the nearest Target.

Tickets for are weekend pass are just $45, which includes access to all five films and the opening night after party. Individual passes are also available. Purchase tickets here:  http://www.voxdocs.org/tickets/ Lodging, childcare info and more is here: http://www.voxdocs.org/directions/

We’ll likely spend Sunday doing some light wine tasting before heading back over the mountains. And of course, I have to visit the adorable boutiques I found on my last visit.

Join us?



Life Update

No, nobody’s pregnant. But there’s a lot going on around here! In early December, I rather suddenly decided to quit my job and venture out to start my own business. Tristan, meanwhile, has been in a very busy work season and in his spare time, hard at work on our basement. Oh yeah, the basement. Turns out I’m not as interested in the behind-the-scenes prep work. So, even though a lot has changed, it’s not exactly what I would call “blog-worthy” at this point. We had to raise our house slowly over the course of two months in order to install a new beam. Now that that’s completed, it shouldn’t be long before we’re ready for tile, cupboards, sinks, painting, etc. – you know, the fun and pretty stuff! I’d imagine I’ll feel more motivated to share updates at that point. 🙂 For the first time in my adult life, I opted to skip holiday decorating and a tree, since our house is in flux anyway and I’m an all-or-nothing kind of gal. But in the haze of new business meetings, filing my official business paperwork with the state, breaking two cell phones in two days, and my laptop crashing the moment I got my work desktop created and organizzzzed…there were some fun, festive moments.  Oh, and the cherry on top was when Tristan’s car got broken into and his work laptop was stolen when while on our way to get MY new laptop. But back to those festive moments: I went on my first girlfriend’s getaway since being married. Three friends and I ventured over the mountains to a Bavarian village called Leavenworth, which is basically the Christmas capital of the world:



During the tree lighting, it’s WAY too crowded. This picture is pulled from their website, but is completely accurate…EVERY SINGLE DECEMBER DAY.

Leavenworth 2

It’s kind of hard to tell, but there are lines to get into the stores.


Out to dinner at Visconti’s

Tristan and I are actually headed back out to Leavenworth next month for the Vox Docs film festival…more on that later! I also participated in a gingerbread house making contest, which I won (yay!), despite feeling very ill-prepared. People clearly had done some Pinterest research, and brought stained glass made of sugar and green hedges made of Rice Krispie Treats. I brought frosted mini wheats.

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When I saw this experiential event produced by Sound Excursions, I knew I needed to go. Crafts? Wine? The smell of pine? COME ON!

1221141321c_edited Wreath Making 1221141317 1224141201a

And, I did manage to throw like twelve New Year’s cards together (i.e. late Christmas cards). I still have dozens of leftover Thank You cards from our wedding, so I repurposed some of those.

1231141204 1231141159

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Anyway, here it is practically March and nothing has changed. I’m still acclimating to my new business (which I’m happy to report is going well), and as I mentioned earlier, we are still renovating. This month, we also started preparing for our second annual Tijuana mission trip. We do have some other exciting trips planned, and I’m starting to have an interest in the kitchen again, so I do hope to post more frequently in coming weeks and months.

Come back and visit!



DIY Manicure 6

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared a  DIY manicure with you all. These posts started back when Tristan and I first got married, and I needed to address my shallac manicure obsession, and the false belief that I could no longer reach my toes to do my own pedicure. In case you’re new to Torie and Tristan, here are the previous manicures (full disclosure: Tristan not involved):

Earlier this year, I came across this fun nail/outfit combo on Atlantic Pacific, and was immediately brought back to ages 8-12, when I did all sorts of crazy nail polish combos.

Atlantic Pacific

I borrowed a few nail polish colors from a co-worker to complete my ombre look.

Multi Color Manicure

This manicure was tons of fun and very easy. Here’s how it turned out:

Multi Color Manicure via Torie and Tristan

What do you think?

I’ve been spoiled by the best pedicures ever from Kerrie at Salon Rae, and will never be able to self-create the same results. But I have come up with some tricks to make the DIY pedicure process less daunting. Also, I’ve taken a giant chill pill and realized my toes don’t always have to be perfectly painted.

When I’m getting ready to do a pedicure, I break the process out into three mornings (>5 min each).

  • Morning one: Clip toe nails before getting into shower. In shower, scrub toes and pumice feet with a gadget like this. Apply lotion.
  • Morning two: Remove prior nail polish. In shower, scrub toes and pumice feet. After shower, file toenails. The shower has softened the skin and nails, making everything easier. Apply lotion.
  • Morning three: Following shower, apply lotion. Use skewer and cuticle stick to clean cuticles and sides of nail beds. This is my favorite part. It makes such a difference and makes it feel like a real pedicure.
  • The evening of day three is when I typically paint my toenails. They are primed and ready, so the process goes quickly.

And that’s it!

Happy Monday.

-t (Tristan had nothing to do with this post)


Orondo Ruby Sparkling Sangria

Orondo Ruby Sparkling Sangria  - yum

Tristan and I hosted our first BBQ last Thursday night, and I had the opportunity to use my Orondo Ruby cherries as appetizers that doubled as a centerpiece, and in a festive drink. I am a huge sangria enthusiast, but had never tried a sparkling sangria, nor had I attempted to make any form of sangria. When I came across this recipe and picked a bunch o’ cherries on my recent trip to Orondo, I knew my moment had arrived.

Turns out, it’s not that hard! Here’s my Orondo Ruby Sparkling Sangria recipe.

  • 1 bottle chilled bubbly
  • 4 ounces brandy
  • 4 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 thinly sliced pear
  • 1 thinly sliced apple
  • 1 12-oz. clamshell of Orondo Ruby cherries; pitted and sliced in half

1. Combine pear, apple, and Orondo Rubies with brandy in bottom of a pitcher. Add sugar, cover and chill for 30-60 min.

2. When ready to serve, pour Champagne over brandy and add more sugar if desired (we didn’t).

Orondo Ruby Sparkling Sangria (1) Orondo Ruby Sparkling Sangria (6)

You will still have some leftover brandy-soaked fruit at the bottom of the pitcher after all of the sangria has been poured out. This is no problem. Simply pour a cheap bottle of red wine over the fruit, add ice, and BOOM! Red sangria. I’m serious, the fruit had soaked up so much brandy that my “red sangria” tasted quite authentic, as if I had actually tried.

Orondo Ruby Sparkling Sangria (10)

Arguably the most pleasant surprise of the evening was popping the leftover brandy-soaked Rubies straight in my mouth. They had absorbed just enough alcohol to have a bit of a bite, while still retaining their sweet flavor and crisp exterior.

Next up, I’ll share with you the national award-winning recipe that Tristan and I recreated as the main course – Strawberry BBQ Bacon Burgers.





Torie and Tristan About Town

It’s been a quiet month on torieandtristan.com, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been busy gathering material.

We recently attended a friend’s birthday party at Local 360, and were greeted with a balloon art bonanza courtesy of the birthday girl’s friend:

balloons everywhere

There was quite a range of balloon art talent that, frankly, Tristan and I did not possess. Who are these people, and how do they all seem to have acquired this skill?!

There was the corsage (modeled by me):

flower corsage

The poodle walking around on a leash:


The crowning of the birthday girl:

crowning of girl

… And us, trying to twist a brown balloon. It started to look like intestines. Then, as all of our twisting unwound itself before our eyes, just…poop.

But! Wasn’t there a dog nearby?!


Poodle Poop by Torie and Tristan

Ta-da! We rewarded ourselves with another cocktail.

These hats were made for us.


I mean, do y’all know how to do balloon art? Are we just behind the times? Maybe these friends are all parents of small children, or clowns.



Top 3 Ways to Live With Less

My mom and I are different in that she is a saver and I am a spender. She has a natural inclination to save her money until she finds an item truly of value. I agree with this concept in principle, but just seem to have a broader definition of “value” and therefore my savings have historically been scarce. This doesn’t mean that I compulsively blow all my money, or that I can’t understand having a savings or preparing for the future financially (Tristan and the angels rejoice!). It does mean that I have a lot of things.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned a bit more about what items are worth spending money on – I have a better sense of what style of clothing is most practical for my lifestyle; I no longer have an eclectic college decor palette and have instead edited down to certain colors and textures; I research thoroughly to know whether a particular item is truly an amazing deal and/or hard to find. I’m better at distinguishing the ACT-NOW-CRUCIAL-PURCHASE feeling from the ooooo pretty! impulse feeling. Does that make sense?

Back to my mom. One way she has majorly influenced me is by giving me a love of purging. She is constantly getting rid of unnecessary items for the sake of “being tidy.” I too love editing; partly because my petite apartment sizes to date have necessitated it (and I like the challenge), and partly because I firmly believe that we are more creative when we have less options. For instance, we both loved this tiny RV-sized apartment (click the picture for a photo tour):


That website led me on a several hour tangent looking for tiny inspiring homes. I found this video from Life Edited founder Graham Hill on his 400 square foot Manhattan apartment that is six rooms in one and can host a dinner party for ten:

Here’s a quick 5-minute video where he explains how Less Stuff Leads to More Freedom:

I’m constantly looking for new ways to push myself in this area. Getting rid of clothing can be tricky, because we’ve all told ourselves that most trends eventually come back around and our currently outdated sweater could one day be vintage fabulousness. I personally am pretty ruthless when it comes to getting rid of clothing (and Buffalo Exchange has rewarded me) and am fortunate to have had very few regrets. Here are my top three tips for living with less if you’re a spender like me.

TOP 3 WAYS TO LIVE WITH LESS - Torie and Tristan

1. Temporarily store it. For the last two years, I’ve only unpacked half of my fall/winter clothing from storage. The pieces that are packed away, I don’t miss. The pieces that are in my closet, I completely love. I am used to living without the extra clothing, but without the anxiety of getting rid of them altogether. I then enjoy looking at the options in my closet, finding new creative outfit combinations, and actually being able to move the hangers on the rack (…).  I feel far more comfortable getting rid of the items stored away at the end of the season. I’m currently doing a similar experiment with my candle/candlestick stash.

2. Make a list. Us spenders are not going to just stop buying things to “live on less” – no fun at all! But figure out what you tend to buy extra of and make a shopping bucket list. For me, this is clothing. I have a bucket list of 10-12 classic items that I completely love and am slowly procuring. There is no deadline, so I have a lifetime to find a way to get a St. John suit, but I still have a sense of purpose when I’m shopping. I also have a “trendy” shopping list for each season (so, 4x/year). I used to do this in jr. high and high school, when I had to strategize how to get the most out of my clothing allowance.  When I started earning my own money in my early 20s, I went a little crazy with the clothes spending, and I have since returned to having a seasonal list to help me focus. This type of list helps you take advantage of trends in a thoughtful, less impulsive way. You can even develop a fashion mood board for yourself. And limit the amount of daily deal sites you allow yourself to subscribe to!

3. Focus on upgrading versus adding. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve honed in on what types of clothing are most suited for my lifestyle. As such, many of my purchases are replacing and/or upgrading current items in my closet. I do work out, but do I need 12 college T-shirts for the gym? Or, would I prefer a small rotation of cute sport bra tops from Lulu Lemon or Zella? A less expensive example of this would be DIYing furniture you already have. It looks new, but it’s not taking up any more space in your home. When I’m thrift shopping, I almost always check the sweater rack to see if there’s a cashmere version of a sweater I already own. The black jersey wrap dress I recently purchased has replaced a cheapie jersey swing dress with holes from overuse. And so on. You already know you’ll wear/use the item, so it’s a safe use of a shopping obsession. 🙂

You might have already seen this gal’s amazing DC studio apartment tour, which proves that one doesn’t have to be a minimalist to live on less.

425 Square Foot Apt

Here’s a shot of my old 400 square foot studio apt. I’ve posted a full tour on the Torie & Tristan Facebook page.

Torie Studio 5- Torie and Tristan

I’m also totally loving the Tiny House Swoon website right now.

Do you have any tricks for getting yourself to live with less? I’m well aware that I don’t have all of the answers. Do you know me personally and find it hard to believe I am such an avid purger? 🙂



Thrift Store Dress Find

I went thrift shopping on my birthday last month, and had an extensive wish list. I spent $60 that day, and got a few items on my wish list and several other gems that I didn’t know I needed. This dress is one of those gems.

BR Wrap Dress 2

Banana Republic Wrap Dress, available here for $39.50 (originally $98; I paid $6). Here is how I styled it, trying to experiment with the “pilgrim trend,” as seen on Who What Wear:

Thrift Store Find -Torie and Tristan

White bow blouse – Instyle Essentials; available here. Textured tights – Nordstrom; similar here. Shoes – KORS; available here. Jewelry – earrings (old from Nordstrom), ring (old, like maybe even from Claire’s!), bracelet from Ebay (similar here).

And here’s the look in action at last night’s event:

Seattle Refined

Not in a pilgrim sort of mood? Here’s another way to wear the wrap dress, which is more practical and quite simple to copy:

BR Wrap Dress

Image from Petite.About.com

What do you think of the pilgrim trend? Some looks I like, some iterations are a bit too literal for me.



DIY Manicure #4

Metallic Ombre

Metallic Tip - torieandtristan  Metallic Tip - torieandtristan

Metallic Tip - torieandtristan

At the last family get together a few weeks back (okay, it was Thanksgiving),  all of the girl cousins decided to pretend it was a slumber party and go in the hot tub, watch a movie and paint our nails. And whenever there’s high schoolers involved, let me tell you – the glitter nail polish quota goes up, by like, a million.  Here’s our stash:

DIY Manicure 4 - Torie & Tristan

Ever the strategist, I thought this would be a good time to try a sparkly metallic look I’d seen on Pinterest. There was a Husky football game the next day, so I thought shades of purple and gold would be appropriate. I started out trying to do purple with a gold french tip (see third example photo). Two fingers later, when I botched my attempt at free-hand french tip, I re-strategized. Ombre look! Way easier to execute.

Here’s the after photo, with my mug o’ cider:

DIY Manicure 4 - Torie & Tristan

I chose that picture because it conveniently shows the nails I had yet to pick off.

DIY Manicure 4 - Torie & Tristan

I failed to remember that I can’t handle manicures that aren’t smooth. Remember this manicure I did? So, like, a day later, my nails looked like this:

DIY Manicure 4 - Torie & Tristan

Ug. Oh well. I’ll give the trend another go when I grow up and stop fidgeting all the time.

Up next: the final DIY manicure trend in our series, Sally Hansen Salon Effects.