Party planning and bridal showers

If you didn’t know, my older sister- Liz- is getting married in August. It’s pretty freaking crazy to think about, and it still blows my mind we are old enough to be having this happen. In any case, it’s been a blast to be a part of the process, and we (my sister and co-maid of honor, Katie, and I) hosted our bridal shower in Liz’s honor this past weekend.

Now I must say, arts and crafts have never really been a forte of the Zabel family. Generally, we are much more practical than we are creative. But, in the case of the bridal shower we KILLED IT… Martha Stewart status. Our decorations and decor came out perfectly, the games were fun (and most importantly, they were minimal), the food was tasty, and champagne was pouring all day. Oh, and I got a job offer in the morning– so Saturday was epic!

Happy last 2 months as a single woman, [future] Liz  Shaw!

xx- Victoria


It’s wedding season…

Well Adam and I have attended our first grown up event: a wedding of one of Adams friends from high school. It was a wonderful retreat for the weekend to Dallas…though flipping hot in a way Californians cannot appreciate. I feel like I now need a weekend to recover from my weekend (that counts as sick time at work, right?). You put on a good and beautiful party, Mr. and Mrs. William Morgan…congrats!

p.s…am I really old enough for this?

xx- Victoria

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Is it too late to say Happy Memorial Day?

I realize I am behind, but Happy Memorial Day (better late than never…?). As much as I freaking love weekday holidays (and appreciate the significance of them, too)- the week following them kicks my ass big time. But, my Memorial weekend in SLO was worth the sensation of drowning I felt all week.

I consider both Adam and I pretty efficient people. After realizing how bad we are at time estimating, getting out of the house on time and overpacking I am quickly becoming aware of how wrong that self portrait is. We planned to leave LA by 7 to get to SLO by 10.. We pulled up at 11:30. Solid start, but at least we were there! My wonderful prior-roommates, current-lovelies- heather and courtney- graciously shared their home with us, which was awesome not only because I got to finally spend time with them again, but also because they are literally in downtown SLO (thanks again!)

For some reason Adam and I refused to acknowledge the weather forecast for the weekend. Even though we both checked before we left and we clearly saw the “chilly and overcast” predictions, we both brought summer clothes. Oh, and Saturday was winter season cold. This ended up being an excuse to shop…(which i was obviously devastated by). We spent the day catching up with friends, eating at our favorite spots, hiking, and hitting the bars (you know how carazay DT SLO is…)

Sunday was perfect and we decided to take advantage of the weather, the wine and Adam’s scooter (which I have named Carol). Mr. Scott Ender has a bitchin bike as well, so our little scooter gang putted to Avila and drank wine at Kelsey winery while peacocks wandered around us (literally). After our adventure we ate some more local cuisine (aka Gus’ deli) then made our way to a BBQ with Adam’s friends from college.

Monday we took off and sat in traffic all damn day. The frustration, coupled with the elation we each felt from our trip back to our good ole stomping grounds, drove us to eat. All.Day.Long. Seriously. Therefore, on the way home we vowed to “cleanse” for 3 days, which was quite possibly one of the worst decisions I have ever made (more on that at a later time).

Most importantly, perhaps, Memorial weekend highlighted I am old. I am that person that comes back and goes to my favorite haunts, tells everyone my favorite dish and restaurant (like anyone cares), and talks about ‘when we were in college…’. Oh, and Adam and I can officially say we met in school? Yeah…I’m ready to use my senior citizen discount any day now.

We are off to Dallas for the weekend for Will and Carla’s wedding…check back soon for more thought-gems :).

xx- Victoria

50 Shades Done

I always start out blogging with such ambition– I’m going to write every day (yeah, right), every week (do-able), at least every month (?). Well shit, sometimes life just gets away from me and the ever important task of sharing my thoughts with the digital world gets sidelined (a tragedy, I know).

And why wouldn’t I start out blogging with a bit of a book review? Don’t get too bored, my books of choice are basically literary porn- which is 100% acceptable due to appearing on the New York Times bestseller list. My read time for the 50 Shades trilogy was faster than the Hunger Games–yeah, they are that good, completely delicious and impossible to put down.

To spare my mom the embarrassment of an explicit recap of these books and how I really feel about them I’ll just say this: READ THEM…with a glass bottle of wine and your man (or woman) nearby ;).

xx- Victoria

The treehouse: doomed to be a blank canvas forever…

After getting the furniture purchased and the “big stuff” taken care of I thought the fun would begin…decorating! Pinterest and apartment blogs be damned because you provide false hope to regular, artistically-challenged, determined-to-be-trendy decorators, like myself. The snapshots of a finished project with a witty quote and instructional step make everything look easy. DIY planter-turned-art piece? Just my after work project. A complete living room overhaul? This weekend. Done. Custom table carved from an entire redwood tree? 1 hour…tops. These expectations are bullshit. Things never go as planned, and decorating isn’t always that fun…

  • It’s expensive. You want how much for that crappy mirror?
  • In LA, you thrift and flea market and swap meet (as verbs). It’s overwhelming and usually pricey.
  • It’s hard to agree on, well, everything. It took two months to buy pillows for our couch.
  • You have to come to terms with the fact that you WILL lose money from your security deposit. WHAT?! We most certainly did NOT put up 10000 dry wall screws.
  • It’s okay to buy some things. No, you can’t recreate that wall art, that chair, that lamp, that table (adam)
  • You can’t always find something cheaper, cuter, more perfect. Sometimes, you should just buy every damn thing you think you need from Ikea while you’re there. It’s not at all convenient to go back.
  • You can do a lot of decorating tasks in an evening. You can do even more if you get off Devour, Apple Trailers, Vimeo, That Kind of Woman, On Sunny Days…

xx- Victoria




I believe in forever

Tonight we celebrated my grandparents 57th wedding anniversary. Yeah, you heard me… 57 years, happily married and still 100% in love. That warrants some damn respect and admirationeven from the love-cynics in the world. Here’s to the most amazing couple I have ever known: because of you, I believe in forever and happily ever after.

xx- Victoria


We do actually exercise

So up until now I realize the title of my blog has been a bit misleading. Though it might appear all we do is eat, argue and craft, we do actually exercise almost everyday, too.

Having moved to LA from SLO we were spoiled- there were awesome hiking trails and walking paths minutes from home and, more importantly, there was parking (2 parking tickets in and I am vowing to walk my ass everywhere from now on). We’ve been trying to find trails and such, and so far we have enjoyed a nice hike at Runyon Canyon (…along with 200 or so of our closest LA friends) and a perfect day at Escondido Falls in Malibu (pics!). When we’re unable to explore we drag ourselves to the beach and run there (life is awful, really).

xx- Victoria






Cal Poly-ers in the real world?

I met my college roommate from FRESHMAN year for dinner and drinks tonight after work. The fact that I can even say that means I am officially old.

Have one of those friends you can go months without seeing, then when you get together you’re able to pick up where you left off? I have Ms. Kelsey Magnusen :)….love you, lady!

I wish all weeks started with a wonderful catch up session, tacos and $4 margaritas. (new recommendation: fishbar in manhattan beach)

xx- Victoria


Hey, surfer boyfriend, maybe don’t do THAT

I’ve never considered myself a neat freak or germaphobe. Being that I lived with a nutritionist-health conscious-sister who was a bit of both (love you, Liz!), I always thought I was pretty laid back. Then, I moved in with Adam and I realized how NOT LAID BACK I really am.

Adam’s chaotic “organization” drives me crazy, but I am slowly getting used to it (note: that does not mean I have accepted it). The germs and bacteria Adam’s filthy surfing paraphernalia treks into our home, on the other hand, makes me absolutely INSANE.

Adam wears his wet suit at least 4/7 days of the week…in the ocean. Do I even need to address how dirty the ocean is? What “lives” in the ocean? How unsanitary it is? No, I am sure YOU understand this. Adam, on the other hand…doesn’t get it. He doesn’t get why his wet suit can’t hang in the bathroom where, by definition, we BATHE and get CLEAN. Nor does he understand why named wet suite can’t hang near the laundry/washer and dryer (read: CLEAN laundry). This is a weekly battle, and though I have not won it yet, I am confident victory will be mine soon.

I am not a surfer (shocking…I know). I like to sleep, I am not partial to cold water and I would rather spend my time at the beach basking in the sun. Plus, surfing involves too much equipment and preparation for me. Thus, I won’t pretend to know WHY wax must come off a surfboard. Something about performance, maintenance?…I don’t actually know- I just know it happened. Last night. In my living room.

Now I could get over the “wax removal” phase just fine. It didn’t really bother me at all–in fact, I quite enjoyed the quiet time (…just kidding, Adam). I didn’t even care when Adam insisted on melting his OLD and USED wax down, using our OVEN that we COOK our DINNER in (solid effort at recycling, love!). What I did mind, however, was opening the fridge to get some water and finding Adam’s old, disgusting, re-purposed wax- wax that had been in the ocean more times than I care to think about-sitting in my nice baking dishes. If you’re thinking, “Oh shit, Adam was dead,” then you’re right…he was (well almost– he was punished, that’s for sure).

Just another day in the treehouse (if you hadn’t heard that’s the name Adam gave our house) learning to live together…and loving [nearly] every minute of it!

xx- Victoria

I make tables like it’s my job

The title is fairly misleading…mostly Adam makes the tables and I come up with all the amazing ideas…

I am feeling pretty Jesse Eisenberg a la Social Network [shout out to Sony :)] as write this with a glass of wine in hand. It’s just been one of those weeks. Hopefully this won’t lead to a farm animal comparison…I’ve got to save some material on Adam for later posts (just kidding, lover).

I know you’ve been anxiously waiting to see our completed end tables (yes, now is the time to pause for dramatic effect). Yesterday was a MONUMENTAL day for team Adam-Victoria Home Renovations. Why? Because we actually- 100%, totally and completely- finished a project! This might seem like a small feat to some of you over-achievers, but I can assure you- IT’S A FLIPPING BIG DEAL. And I’m psyched about it. Guess that calls for another glass of wine…


If you remember, a few weeks ago Adam and I hit up the Pasadena swap meet. After weeding through the overpriced crap we found the above old ammunition boxes and thought they would make cool tables. We bought them, brought them home, then left them (as pictured) in our kitchen…in the way. Then, 2 weeks ago I had a melt down about the clutter and mess and seeming disarray of our house (I just want a cute apartment, okay! Apartment Therapy has planted false hopes in my mind and I can’t seem to shake them). You will soon learn these melt downs are semi-frequent. Sorry Adam.


Post melt-down we finally got our shit together and figured out how exactly we would assemble the tables. A few Home Depot trips later (I am learning it is impossible to go only once/project with Adam) we had our supplies and we were ready to rock and roll. Note: you will notice from the pictures, my efforts and talents are better spent on what I like to call “supervision.”


Adam killed it on all the sawing, drilling and whatever else he did while I was supervising. Can’t be 100% sure there, but I was pleased with the results.


Little elements that you know are important, but don’t really think about start to pop up when doing DIY projects. For instance, leveling the tables…knew that was important, would have maybe forgot to do that if it weren’t for Adam. Another important note here: Adam owned most of these tools already (hence the lack of space in our apartment).


I might not be able to drill, weld, saw, or perform any other carpentry skill well, but I can paint the hell out of a board/piece of wood. BAM.


Something that’s important to consider when painting is how exactly you are going to dry the painted item (especially if it’s black). If you don’t think that far in advance (like us), then I hope you’re an all-around-badass (also like us)– that way you can ninja your way into creating a custom drying apparatus.


The fact that Adam is hand-sawing something in a perfect line in this photo is fairly irrelevant; he’s wearing crocks. You can’t come back from that.


Being that we used wood to keep our tables on the inexpensive side, we thought that “add-ons” would be a cool way to dress the tables up and make them feel edgy and industrial. We picked some cool bolts to attach the wood, and used casters as the feet. Functional and fancy.



You’ve probably noticed a pattern in the pictures. We start out thrilled to be working on a home project as a team, and we are super excited when things go right. By the end, however, we are over one another and the project…and “the bird” is much more frequent than a high-five.


Then we actually finish the project and all is forgiven (for the most part)…well,this was the first time that happened but I am guessing this is how it will go when we complete projects in the future, too.


Our DVD player is hidden inside the amo box, along with remotes and anything else that needed to be out of sight….


And games are in this one. With the shelf we even have room for our awesome basket (thanks, sisters!). AND…what’s even better is Adam took ALL of his Communication Arts magazines out of our house. Yeah…new tables, less clutter and a glass of wine- I am one happy girl. Oh, and tomorrow’s FRIDAY?! 🙂

xx- Victoria