LIFE II 30 before 30 Update

It’s time for my first progress report on my 30 before 30 list! My 30th birthday is fast approaching and there’s still quite a bit to do. But I think it’s all manageable (except maybe the 15 pounds...). Here’s where things stand right now: 

 Desert 2 District Design II 30 before 30 update

Desert 2 District Design II 30 before 30 update

Isn’t it funny how easy it can be to put off fun things you really want to do? Travel takes time so I’m not surprised I still have some travel left on my list, but it was surprising to me that some things that would be fairly simple for me to do (and that I really want to do) haven’t happened yet. I’m going to move host an art night and take a figure drawing class to the top of my to-do list since I’ve been wanting to do those for so long!

Do you have a 30 before 30 list? If you’d like to report your progress, I’ve made a blank version of this design available for download. Just click here and right click on the image to download! If you report your progress, I’d love to hear what’s on your list and how it’s going! 

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LOCAL II Elizabeth’s Gone Raw

This week’s D.C. illustration is a new favorite of mine—Elizabeth’s Gone Raw

Ever since I went vegan about a year ago, I have been wanting to try this restaurant, which offers a raw vegan tasting menu every Friday. We celebrated two years as D.C. condo owners in June and Elizabeth’s Gone Raw was the perfect place to celebrate.

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Desert 2 District Design II Elizabeth’s Gone Raw illustration

I was totally blown away by each course. My non-vegan husband was equally impressed by the variety and depth of flavors throughout our meal. The setting is also very classic, yet homey, and the service is exceptional. I can’t wait to go back and think this will be my go-to celebration spot from now on.  

Scroll through a few of the dishes we were served during our visit. The menu changes constantly so you’ll always be trying something new with each visit. Thank you for a beautiful meal, Elizabeth’s Gone Raw! 

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LOCAL II SUNdeVICH

Weekly D.C. illustrations are back and I’m starting off with one of my neighborhood favorites— SUNdeVICH!

 Desert 2 District II SUNdeVICH sandwich shop in Washington, D.C. 

Desert 2 District II SUNdeVICH sandwich shop in Washington, D.C. 

Although our neighborhood has a great selection of higher-end eateries and bars, there are a limited number of fast casual or takeout places. Luckily, the small selection we do have is excellent and that includes this neighborhood sandwich shop. As a plant-based eater, the menu options for me are a little limited, but I LOVE the veggie options they do have. I almost always order the Cairo, which has hummus, cucumber, brined veggies and walnuts. It. Is. Delicious. I have been assured by my omnivore husband that the meat options here are also excellent, so there’s something for everyone. 

I also appreciate that SUNdeVICH works to keep things local, with local, fresh-baked bread and locally-sourced produce and meat. They even have their own veggie and herb garden on their roof. 

Have you been? If so, what’s your favorite sandwich? I also love getting your recommendations!

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LIFE II 18 in 2018 Update (with FREE downloadable template)

It’s been too long since I both posted and updated my progress on my 18 in 2018 list. Now that we’re officially halfway through the year, I thought an update was due. 

For those of you unfamiliar, I first heard the idea to make a list of 18 things I want to do in 2018 on the podcast Happier with Gretchen Rubin (and I’m actually listening to the latest podcast as I type this!), and I immediately loved the idea. I have always liked new year’s resolutions, but found it hard to keep a lot of resolutions that were focused on habit change. The 18 in 2018 list has been so fun and rewarding for me because it enabled me to put more “resolution”-esque goals on my list with very concrete, one-time experiences or to-dos that were easier to achieve. Speaking of which, on to my 18 in 2018 updates sketch.

 Desert 2 District Design II 18 in 2018 updates

Desert 2 District Design II 18 in 2018 updates

Putting this together, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I’ve done in half a year. Most of what’s left on my list is planning travel, which I love to do so I think I should be able to get that done without too much difficulty. I’ve fallen the furthest behind on my spin goal, so I’ll need to make that happen soon. In terms of my habit goals, I am definitely making progress, but need to keep the momentum going the rest of the year.

If you’d like to use my template, you can download the image here (visit the link and right click on the image to download). Just print it and you can create your own progress report! 

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LOCAL II Crumbs & Whiskers Cat Cafe

 Desert 2 District II Crumbs & Whiskers Cat Cafe

Desert 2 District II Crumbs & Whiskers Cat Cafe

As you'll know if you follow me on Instagram, I am a huge cat lover. My husband and I have adopted two cats together--Data and Mo--from different animals shelters in Arizona and D.C. and I love to support animal adoption and organizations that help homeless animals. Naturally, I've been in love with Crumbs & Whiskers, D.C.'s first and only cat cafe, since it opened and I'm so happy to spotlight them today!

 Desert 2 District II My visit to C&O

Desert 2 District II My visit to C&O

Not only is the cafe beautifully designed, light-filled and full of friendly staff, adorable cats and punny merch and coffee drinks (I loved my "Meow You Doin" coffee sleeve!), but they also do so much to improve the lives of homeless cats. To date, they have gotten 627 cats adopted,  donated $22K to animal charities, and saved 1,394 from euthanasia. 

They also give cats a lovely home while they await adoption. All of the cats at the cafe are available for adoption--and believe me, it'll be hard to not fall in love with one of them while you're there. 

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LOCAL II Farmers & Distillers Spotlight

Desert 2 District Design II Farmers & Distillers illustration

This week's spotlight is a new favorite of mine. This company has multiple D.C. location, but each one is unique, and the one I like best and that happens to be in my neighborhood is Farmers & Distillers

The company itself is very unique, with an emphasis on family farms and sustainability. The company is majority-owned by family farmers. At this new location, there is also a craft distillery and they serve signature cocktails with their own liquors that are made on-site in the middle of the city. Farmers & Distillers is located on Massachusetts Avenue NW near Chinatown in Washington, D.C. 

 My Impossible Burger, complete with vegan bun!

My Impossible Burger, complete with vegan bun!

One major reason I've become obsessed with this restaurant is that they are one of the few locations in the city that serve the Impossible Burger. As a fairly new vegan, I still have meat cravings every now and then, and this "burger," which is made completely from plants, TOTALLY satisfies it. Even my omnivore husband prefers it to their regular burgers. It is so. good. And it makes me happy that this restaurant serves it and is has created a menu that can also cater to people with different dietary restrictions. I highly recommend trying it, but even if you're not interested, Farmers & Distillers has a huge, delicious menu, which makes it the perfect place to go with bigger groups or to take people from out of town. Let me know if you go and, in particular, if you try the Impossible Burger while you're there!

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LIFE II 18 in 2018 Progress Report

 Desert 2 District Design II Progress over Perfection

Desert 2 District Design II Progress over Perfection

Happy Thursday! I am trying to keep myself on track with my 18 in 2018 list by doing these periodic check-ins. I am a forever perfectionist so it's hard for me to be OK with incremental progress that isn't 100% perfect 100% of the time. This mantra helps me. 

Here's where things stand since my last check in:

Desert 2 District Design II 18 in 2018 Progress

It looks like I haven't added much, but the one I checked off last was a HUGE one for me--launching my online shop!

I've been wanting to do this for a while, but I've been intimidated by the technical aspects/little tasks that are all part of launching the shop--setting up Paypal, getting a postage meter, taking and editing photos of my artwork. But I chipped away at my mountain of tasks and gave myself a deadline by announcing my shop launch. And somehow... it came together! 

So even though I don't have much else to update, checking that one off the list was a huge accomplishment for me. I've just got to keep repeating my mantra above--progress over perfection.

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LOCAL II Olde City Farm & Garden Spotlight

 Desert 2 District Design II Olde City Farm and Garden

Desert 2 District Design II Olde City Farm and Garden

The first day of spring was earlier this week and, even though it snowed that day, it got me excited to visit one of my favorite places in D.C.--Olde City Farm & Garden.

The farm and garden, located on Rhode Island Ave. NW in Shaw, is the perfect outdoor oasis in the middle of the city. I love to go there get away from city life and wander the rows and rows of plants. It's a large space that's full of all kinds of plants--from vegetables to flowers to trees for your landscaping project--and extremely knowledgeable and kind staff. They love what they do and it shows. Their selection also changes with the seasons so you can get pumpkins in the fall and a fresh Christmas tree in the winter. 

They also are a wonderful community space as well and they host all kinds of fun events, including yoga classes and arts festivals. You can find me there a few times a year during their festivals, along with other awesome D.C. creatives and local businesses. I'll be updating my fairs & events page with upcoming events soon if you'd like to follow along. 

The farm and garden is still closed for the winter, but you won't have to wait long to visit. They reopen at 9am on March 31st. Can't wait to stock up for my spring garden!

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LIFE II Painting Our Wedding Ceremony

 Desert 2 District Design II Painting our Wedding Ceremony

Desert 2 District Design II Painting our Wedding Ceremony

My guy and I are celebrating a special day today--our wedding anniversary! 

Desert 2 District Design II wedding photos (taken by Studio 19 Photography)

Two years have really flown by, but I can still perfectly remember the sunshine, the slight breeze and the butterflies in my stomach on our wedding day when I saw this view filled with our friends and family and M waiting for me under the arch my dad built. I wanted to do something special to celebrate and re-create our wedding ceremony space in paint. I had been thinking recently that I've never actually painted anything for him. Many of my friends and family are probably getting sick of the number of paintings and handmade gifts I've given them over the years, but since the two of us have been together so long and share finances, we tend to travel in lieu of gifts. But this year, I decided to do something special and I have to say that I get the same little butterflies in my stomach every time I pass this on the wall. It reminds me of our beautiful day in the desert two years go.

I meant to create a process video, but did remember to take at least a few process photos so you can see the scene materialize. 

I tried my hardest to keep this a secret from M, but (1) I'm terrible I keeping surprises and (2) we share a small apartment and my small space studio is directly in front of the door to our bedroom, so he knew about halfway through the painting, but he was really touched and we're both happy to have such a special day memorialized in paint. 

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LOCAL II Morris American Bar Spotlight

DC Spots

Morris American Bar

Last week, we went to Morris American Bar on a date and we are hooked. We love the whimsical yet classical design, the ambiance and music and, of course, the cocktails. 

Located in the Shaw/Mt. Vernon neighborhood of Northwest D.C., Morris is tucked away on 7th Street between New York and L in the Convention Center. It's a small, intimate space that you could miss if not for the fantastic sign that I painted above that greets you and points you in the right direction. 

 Desert 2 District Design II Morris American Bar

Desert 2 District Design II Morris American Bar

We were seated at a little table in the corner with the BEST hooded rattan chair and a great view of the bar. I love how everything in the bar is this lovely baby The service was fast and attentive. We ordered from the menu (which changes monthly), but they also offer to make a custom drink for you based on your tastes and preferred spirit. 

My husband got a play on a Manhattan that was fantastic and I got a champagne mojito. I had never thought that mint and champagne would go together, but it was delicious and would be perfect for a sunny day. 

We love this new spot in our neighborhood and will definitely be back to try next month's cocktail menu. I'd definitely recommend stopping in for a cocktail for or two!

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LOCAL II Buttercream Bakeshop Spotlight

 Desert 2 District Design II Buttercream Bakeshop Interior

Desert 2 District Design II Buttercream Bakeshop Interior

If you've seen this interior in person, then you're probably lucky enough to have sampled some of Buttercream Bakeshop's delicious baked goods. Located on 9th Street NW between M and N in Shaw/Mt. Vernon, this is one of the sweetest (in every way) shops I've been to in D.C. They not only have creative, delicious baked goods, but also adorable decor, fresh flowers for sale, and Compass Coffee (featured here)--what else do you need in life?

If you're looking for baked goods for an event, they can help you there too. Their instagram is full of beautiful confections--including most recently CACTUS CAKESICLES! I am constantly inspired by their creativity, artistry, and flavors. And, if you're newly vegan like me, they always have at least one vegan treat for you. I've been loving their Mexican chocolate cookie lately--delicious, rich chocolate with a little kick of spice. 

They are also located just around the corner from Shaw Yoga (featured here), so if you need a treat before or after class, this is the perfect place to stop! 

Heading out to explore some more of the city! Where should I go next?

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LIFE II 18 in 2018 Progress Update

 Desert 2 District Design II Stay Sunny

Desert 2 District Design II Stay Sunny

If you found this blog through my instagram, then you probably know about my fondness for list-making and goal-setting. It's probably not a surprise that I'm a Virgo. Although I've always loved goal-setting, I haven't always been the best at tracking my goals, especially long term goals. I often set grand goals, make progress, and then decide that I did enough or I'll lose interest and move on to the next project. 

This year, I am trying to see my 18 in 2018 (AND my new 30 before 30) lists through. So, to give myself a little accountability, I'm going to do periodic updates on my progress on both lists. Tackling my 18 in 2018 list first...

 Desert 2 District Design II 18 in 2018 progress

Desert 2 District Design II 18 in 2018 progress

I actually surprised myself a little with the amount of progress I made so far this year! I've made the most progress on my art and home-related projects, with a huge amount of help from my sweet and handy husband. I have my new art space all set up (which I LOVE and use daily), we made new side tables, and after a ton of deliberation and months of searching, we also finally ordered a new couch to replace our $50 IKEA couch that we've had for 3 years. 

I've also made a little progress on my travel goals--we went on our first international trip in years last month, spending a blissful three days in Playa del Carmen

I'm making progress on my monthly and weekly goals as well, although I'm doing better at some vs. others. Date nights have been a wonderful new tradition. I don't know if any of you are as obsessed with Google calendar as I am, but they have a new "GOALS" feature where you can tell it you want to set aside an hour (or any amount of time) for a goal once a week (or whatever frequency you want) and it'll find time on your schedule for you and create recurring appointments. It really made finding time for date nights easy for me, as an overly scheduled person, and we haven't missed one yet. 

I've also been doing my at least monthly spin classes thanks to Classpass, but injured my shoulder fairly seriously in the last month and am finding it hard to get back into my routine now that it's finally starting to heal. I am also really struggling with the bedtime routine. I'm great about it for a couple nights and then I'm back to somehow staying up until one in the morning and slogging through the next day.

Do you have any ideas for how to get back into a workout routine after injury or how to make a bedtime routine stick? If you have a list, I'd love to hear about your progress too!

Have a sunny weekend!

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LOCAL II Compass Coffee Spotlight

Happy Saturday! I'm continuing my new D.C. local biz series with one of my favorite coffee shops in the city--Compass Coffee!

 My Compass Coffee soy latte from a coffee break earlier this week.

My Compass Coffee soy latte from a coffee break earlier this week.

I'm actually sipping some of their coffee right now that I brewed this morning. I  love the vibe and design of their brand, but what keeps me coming back is their delicious coffee. I make a lot of coffee at home, usually a big batch of cold brew that I use throughout the week, and their coffee is great no matter where you make it/how you brew it.

I painted their 7th Street location, which is the original and the place they roast their coffee. It's a lovely location, but if it's not near you, there are now so many options for you to get your caffeine fix from Compass. They have a bunch of other locations AND their coffee is served in a lot of other local businesses, like Union Kitchen Grocery and Buttercream Bakery.

If you do have a chance to go to one of their locations, I highly recommend their nitro cold brew coffee. I honestly haven't had anything like it elsewhere. It's the perfect light coffee for a warm day and since it's cold brew, it lacks the acidity or bitterness of traditionally brewed coffee, which keeps my stomach happy.

If you're like me and like to brew your own coffee at home, they have fantastic coffee and a helpful labeling system so you can choose the coffee that most suits your taste. I am also a little obsessed with their canisters and have a small collection of them that I re-use for all kinds of things, including pen holders (you can actually see one hanging in my art area post--I've just covered it in old paint palettes) and planters. This picture is from a few months back, but you can see my little plants growing happily in their Compass Coffee canisters.

 Desert 2 District Design II Compass Coffee canister window garden

Desert 2 District Design II Compass Coffee canister window garden

Let me know if you check them out! If you have any other ideas for how I can re-use my canister collection, let me know in the comments as well. 

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LOCAL II Shaw Yoga Spotlight

 Desert 2 District Design II Shaw Yoga Spotlight

Desert 2 District Design II Shaw Yoga Spotlight

I'm starting a new series that I'm really excited about--each Saturday I'll illustrate one of my favorite D.C. small businesses and share about it here. My business is still a baby, but I've been so overwhelmed by how supportive and amazing the small business and art communities in D.C. are so I want to keep spreading the love.

First up... Shaw Yoga!

This place has become my yoga home. We're lucky in D.C. that there are so many great studios and teachers to choose from. Before I found this studio, I bounced around from studio to studio, trying out their new member specials (most studios have a 1-2 week special price for new students) or hopping around via Classpass. I started at SY in a similar way, purchasing their new member special ($20 for 2 weeks of unlimited yoga!) and I was hooked. There's something so special about the teachers here and the community that the owners, Parker and Liz, have built. I've been going to classes, volunteering (even updating the chalkboards!), and making friends, there for over a year now and it has truly become a home away from home for me. 

If you're a fellow yogi or aspiring yogi, I highly recommend checking out this studio. They are tucked away in the cutest alley, Naylor Court, off of 9th Street NW, between N and O, across from Sundevich. If you're on 9th, turn left into the alley before you get to A&D.

I painted their illustration before they got their beautiful mural (painted by the talented Billy Colbert), but you won't be able to miss Ganesh welcoming you to the studio!

 

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STYLE II Playa del Carmen Anniversary Weekend

 Desert 2 District Design II Playa del Carmen packing list

Desert 2 District Design II Playa del Carmen packing list

Last weekend, my husband and I celebrated 11 years together in beautiful Playa del Carmen.

This was my first time visiting this region of Mexico and I was just blown away. The weather was gorgeous, the ocean was so warm and bright, and the city was so vibrant. I can't wait to go back!

Today, I'm sharing a couple of the outfits I put together from this packing list. Thanks for following along! 

I was totally obsessed with this beautiful piece that hung in our room. It's making me want to add more bright colors to my painting palette and to try to paint whimsical patterns like this.

 Desert 2 District Design II art selfie

Desert 2 District Design II art selfie

Desert 2 District Design II outfit no. 1

outfit

no. 1

I found this lovely high-waisted skirt at Unique Thrift, a gigantic thrift store in Falls Church, VA, and paired it with an old Old Navy cami and Charles David sandals (found on consignment at Clementine in Richmond, VA). If you're ever in Richmond and have some time, I highly recommend Clementine and their sister stores. If you can't make the trip, they actually also have an online shop as well! Some great finds there for sure. I threw this on before heading out to explore Playa del Carmen.

Desert 2 District Design II outfit no. 2

outfit

no. 2

In the afternoon, we headed to the beach and then came back and hung out at our hotel's rooftop pool. I broke out my new Poppy Apparel swimsuit and threw on a thrifted cover-up and my favorite hat from ThredUp. This isn't a great photo of my swimsuit, but it is seriously so flattering and comfortable. I highly recommend it if you like the high-waisted style. Use code "desert2district" for 10% off your order at Poppy Apparel.

Desert 2 District Design II outfit no. 3

outfit

no. 3

After washing up and grabbing dinner, we ended the night with a couple cervezas on the roof. I paired my comfiest thrifted cut-off shorts with this off cold-shoulder top (originally from Nordstrom Rack, similar here). 

Thanks for following along! I'll be rounding up a map of the places we visited on our trip soon. I'm thinking this is a good time to try my hand at a watercolor map...

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2/18: DIY Tiny Space Art Studio

Desert 2 District Design II DIY art studio

DIY

Tiny Space Art Studio

Guys, I cannot tell you how excited I am to be checking this off of my 18 in 2018 list! Thank you, Gretchen Rubin, for the idea of creating this list because it has seriously motivated me to work on all kinds of things I have been putting off. I FINALLY have my own, dedicated art space and it is just such a joy. I had put this off for a long time because I didn't think we could possibly have space for me to have a "studio." We live in a 760 square foot, 1 bedroom condo in D.C., so I was pretty certain there was no chance. But, we had a blank wall leading into our bedroom. When I started painting bigger pieces that didn't fit on my music stand or kitchen table, I would sit on the floor there and lean the canvas against the wall and I started to think that I could really fit everything I needed right on this wall if I just used the space wisely. I am SO incredibly happy with the outcome. I love having my supplies accessible, but organized. I love just seeing this space every time I walk by. It keeps me motivated to paint every day and I look forward to being here at the end of each day so much. 

My husband and I (labor was 99% my husband, but I consider myself the brains behind this design) were also able to put this together in a weekend, so it was relatively simple. The total cost of supplies was around $120, and we have some extra wood from the shelf that we'll be using for upcoming projects. 

 Desert 2 District Design II Tiny Space Art Studio

Desert 2 District Design II Tiny Space Art Studio

SUPPLIES

  • Wall-mounted drop-leaf desk (we purchased this one)
  • 2x6 board, cut to the length you want (ours is 32 inches)
  • 2 brackets and screws (we got these)
  • dowel, cut to the length of your shelf (we got a 3/4 inch wide dowel)
  • 3 screw eyes that fit around your dowel
  • S hooks that fit your dowel for hanging your supplies
  • sandpaper
  • sealer or wood stain

STEP 1

Mount your drop-leaf desk. I have seen projects to make your own, but given that it was relatively inexpensive, we decided to buy ours and followed the instructions that came with the packaging to install it. I like to work standing up so I had M mount it so I could comfortably reach everything while standing barefoot, but you could easily set yours up to chair height.

STEP 2

Gather your supplies and have the hardware store cut down your dowel and board to the length you want. 

 Desert 2 District Design II Tiny Space Art Studio

Desert 2 District Design II Tiny Space Art Studio

STEP 3

Sand your board and apply a sealant. I just used some matte spray that I already had. You could also stain it if you prefer that look.

STEP 4

Mount your shelf, using the two brackets and screws. M pre-drilled the holes and then used an electric screwdriver to mount everything to the wall. He also used a level to make sure everything was even.

STEP 4

Screw the screw eyes into the bottom of the shelf where you want the bar to be. It helps to pre-drill these holes as well if you have an electric drill. Add the dowel. You should be able to slide it through easily.

STEP 5

Add the S hooks and your supplies. Now get creating!

Desert 2 District Design II Tiny Space Art Studio

Heading back to the studio...

See you soon!

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LIFE II Date Night Ideas (2/18 in 2018)

 Desert 2 District Design II Heidi Nielson

Desert 2 District Design II Heidi Nielson

I've been working on checking things off of my 18 in 2018 list (inspired by the wonderful Happier with Gretchen Rubin podcast) and one of the most fun things on my list is to go on weekly dates with my husband. We've been married for almost two years, but have been together for over 10. As you can imagine, it's easy to get into a routine when you've been together for so long. Our weekly date nights have been so fun to plan and have been a wonderful way to spend quality time together, usually doing something new. 

I've collected a few of my current favorite date night ideas. We've cooked new recipes twice now (including these vegan carrot "hot dogs" and this vegan spinach artichoke pizza). We've gone on walks around our neighborhood, went couch shopping and stopped in at a new-to-us tea bar & cafe, and we're planning an indoor camping night for this weekend! It's been a blast and thinking ahead to the number of dates we get to plan this year prompted me to round up some low-cost date ideas so I'll always have a resource to look back to when it's July and we're on date number 28 (and to hopefully give some of you some ideas as well!). Here are a few I'm looking forward to:

  1. Visiting museums! We're lucky to live in a city full of some of the best free museums, Washington, D.C. I can't wait to visit the Hirshhorn's upcoming exhibit, PULSE or see some old favorites at the National Gallery. Even if your city doesn't have many free museums, most museums offer one free day each month, often on the first Saturday or Sunday of the month.
  2. Getting outside. I'm especially excited to hike some new trails this spring/summer and to check off another item on my 18 in 2018 list---camping! I'm excited to go to Shenandoah National Park, but am also looking forward to visiting some smaller state parks in Virginia and Maryland as well. When we don't have a full weekend to spare, I am definitely looking forward to renting bikes and riding around the monuments. 
  3. Trying new activities together! I just heard about Bad Axe Throwing opening in D.C. and am excited to check it out. Other ideas: splashcycle at the Watergate hotel, renting a kayak or stand-up paddle board, or playing the indoor mini golf course at H Street Country Club

What are your go-to affordable date ideas? I'd love to add more to our list!

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STYLE II Phoenix Long Weekend Trip

 Phoenix Trip Packing list - illustration by Heidi Nielson of Desert 2 District Design

Phoenix Trip Packing list - illustration by Heidi Nielson of Desert 2 District Design

I've been illustrating my packing lists for a while now and it is one of my favorite traditions. I used to hate packing, but now I kind of look forward to it because it helps me visualize my outfits and gives me an excuse to draw tiny clothes and traveling essentials. 

The last time I posted one, one of my lovely Insta friends suggested that I post some outfit pictures from my travels to see how I styled the clothes I packed. I didn't have time to do all of my outfits from my trip to Phoenix, but my long-suffering husband took photos a couple photos for me. So here goes... facing my fear of having my picture taken head on!

OUTFIT

NO 1

Here's a second picture to see the full outfit.

I like to travel with separates that all pair together so I can reuse pieces. I ended up wearing these boots twice and the vest twice. The boots are thrifted from Goodwill, the vest is thrifted from ThredUp (similar here, this is seriously one of my favorite sites EVER), and the dress is from asos (purchased a while ago, it doesn't look like it's available anymore). 

The weather in Arizona was just beautiful. Definitely makes me miss the desert. I certainly can't wear this type of outfit (at least without a coat and tights) in D.C. this time of year!

 

OUTFIT

NO 2

We spent a wonderful, beautifully warm and clear day with my family out in the desert. My family is very into the outdoors and adventure so we spent the day riding ATVs, hiking around, doing archery (my family has some interesting hobbies to say the least) and making food surrounded by the Superstition Mountains. It was FANTASTIC.

I wanted something comfortable, but still stylish and unique. Poppy Apparel totally delivered with this super versatile jumpsuit. I seriously wear it all the time--it's so comfortable. It looks like it's also not available anymore, but if you want to check out their other clothes, I actually have a discount code for you all! Use code "desert2district" to get 10% off your order. In addition to this jumpsuit, I got an adorable high-waisted swimsuit that I can't wait to take on our next trip. 

Thanks for tuning in for my first style post! What are your thoughts--packing list or no packing list?

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1/18 Resolutions: DIY Simple Side Tables

DIY 

SIMPLE WOOD SIDE TABLES


I recently created my list of "18 in 2018" inspired by the wonderful Happier with Gretchen Rubin Podcast and I'm proud to say that I checked off the first item on my list--making side tables for our living room! 

My list is kind of all over the place, but quite a few of them relate to making our home more personal, intentional, and calm. One thing that can make our house less calm is having lots of clutter. My husband has nicely observed to me, "you sure have a lot of art supplies around the house" (and not quite as nicely says when other people ask where I make art: "Everywhere"). So, to try to manage the clutter making art creates, I made it a goal to make two simple, inexpensive side tables with storage capacity. 

Enter wood crate + sand paper + wood stain and ... voila! You've got a super simple side table. I'm really happy with how these turned out, and they cost a grand total of $15 each. I ordered two of these wood crates and this wood stain from Michaels (it's really easy to find 20% off coupons for Michaels as well so you can save even more). Then my husband and I set to work sanding them down. They were fairly rough, so you'll want to spend some time sanding before staining to make sure you don't get splinters when taking things out of your new side table if you make your own. After sanding, I used an old rag to apply the stain. The stain recommends adding some kind of sealant on top of this, but I haven't yet gotten around to doing that. At some point, we may also add legs to the tables, but for now I'm going to count these as DONE!  I'm happy with them and my husband is VERY happy that my collage supplies are tucked away in their new home and not covering all of the available surfaces in our small apartment.

Do you have a list of 18 in 2018? Are any of them to make something for your home? Let me know in the comments!

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Welcome!

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

I'm Heidi, the creator and owner of Desert 2 District Design. I moved to D.C. in 2015 after spending most of my life in Arizona. I absolutely love D.C., but found myself a little homesick and missing some of my favorite desert plants (cacti, of course), the endless sunshine, and the laid-back vibes of the Southwest, so I started painting as a way to unwind and to bring some of the desert to my new home. It's been almost a year since I started my Instagram account, and I've been so surprised and grateful to find this beautiful and supportive community of artists and art lovers. 

If you know me from Instagram, you probably know that I love to paint (mostly watercolor), letter, bullet journal, and collage. I'm hoping to share more of my art here, but to also share more of myself--my love of travel, reading, cooking delicious vegan food, and yoga. 

I hope you'll follow along and say hi!

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