When I decided to focus on this blog again, I thought that I would be posting more often. It’s a delicate balance between experiencing life on a daily basis and documenting it afterwards. There’s so many pictures on the camera and so many weekends spent taking short trips or running errands around home.
The last post I mentioned slowing down, but lately I’ve found it difficult to focus. I keep forgetting to complete little things and have a million to-do lists scattered across my desk, on my phone, taped to my wallet, etc. You can’t imagine how many times in the past month that I’ve walked into the bathroom and realized there’s one sheet left on the last roll toilet paper. What is happening? I keep blaming it on Venus and Jupiter. I am an absolute champion at multi-tasking at work, and I keep making mistakes in that capacity too. So what is on my mind?
I make it a point to focus on one thing at a time when I come home from work. I don’t even like to listen to the radio while cleaning or making dinner because I don’t want to be distracted. Silly, maybe, but it helps me appreciate the present.
So, instead of jotting down the weekly mundane tasks and categorizing my day into routines, I revisited a list of goals that I made earlier this year. Everyone keeps making 30 before 30 lists (and I’m past that mark!), but I wanted to make a life list. Nicole of Making it Lovely had a great list, that I found inspiring. So here’s a few things I look forward to accomplishing … big and small!
  •  Live in a big farmhouse
  • Drive to Alaska
  • Return to Japan
  • Own two dogs at once
  • Expand our family
  • Learn how to drive a stick successfully
  • Have an outdoor movie night
  • Go camping
  • Have a successful garden
  • Keep an orchid alive
  • Volunteer for a charity on a regular basis
  • Learn how to sew
  • Start running
  • Become a yoga teacher
  • Attend a Baptiste week-long bootcamp
  • Obtain a PMP
  • Be a regular contributor to a yoga magazine
  • Become more handy around the house
  • Open a yoga studio
  • Stop depending on recipes so much
  • Climb Mt. Washington
  • Read 20 books in a year



Look who wanted to say hi!

P.S. Duke is doing wonderful.  After a tough first year of life, he's a chill little man ... for the most part :)


What happens when we stretch ourselves too thin?  It hit me last night that I was exhausted.  Sheer exhaustion … as in, I’m going to lay in bed and cry for an hour, take a nap at 6:30 p.m., and finish throwing a fit at 9:30 p.m. in time to order crappy Chinese food and watch episodes of Wings on Netflix.  Last week, I was sick and everyone kept asking what was wrong, but it was merely the fact that I had worn myself out ala Lindsay Lohan style when she kept going to the hospital for exhaustion and needed shots of vitamin B.  Yeah right, it was drugs, but still.  I wanted to expand on what I shared Monday about slowing down.
I am so fixated on the end result that I miss out on small pleasures.  Jon asked for a list of my schedule, any planned dinners for the week, projects that need to be done, etc., and I freaked because I realized that I’m busy for the next month.  Why did I allow that to happen?!?!  The other day Jon said, “can we spend one Saturday or Sunday in our pajamas doing nothing?”  And you know what I did?  I checked my calendar.  And you know what else?  According to my calendar, pajama day wasn’t going to happen until mid-March.
That’s bullshit.  I am making a conscious effort to SLOW DOWN!
A friend shared the best analogy ever while I was talking about being upset that I hadn’t reached a personal goal.  Although I understood why, I felt defeated because I wasn’t where I thought I should be at a certain point.  My friend said, “it’s like planting flower seeds and yelling at them when they aren’t growing fast enough or tall enough.  Everything grows at its own pace.” 
I had this mental image of me standing in front of my flower bed yelling at the peonies to shape up damnit!  But we don’t do that, so why do it to ourselves?  Why do we enforce so many goals daily, monthly, yearly?  Do we really need to own a home by a certain age?  Do we really need to make a certain amount of money by a certain age?  Does anyone really give a shit if I roast a chicken for dinner or make a sandwich?  Do you care if I had dinner on the table at 7 p.m. or 10 p.m.?  Seriously, what does this accomplish?  Why are we so apt to be in control and not just let things unfold as they should?
Speaking of letting events unfold naturally, I need to clear something.  I am asked all the time why I "don’t have a baby yet.”  Someone said to my husband and me, “If you like children so much, why don’t you have one?”  First, I find those questions unbelievably rude for a multitude of reasons.  Secondly, if we were supposed to have a child at the age of 25, then we would have.  If we are supposed to have a child at the age of 40, then so be it.  It is okay to let life guide you.  It is okay to reach big decisions naturally.  It is okay to realize that each flower grows at a different pace, and everyone is okay exactly where they are.  Yes, I have to constantly remind myself of that.  I understand that this is a grandiose example of what I’m attempting to say in general, but I want to emphasize that I would like to focus on the present and enjoy each day because constantly running towards one achievement or the next wears me out.
However, goals are definitely important.  I have list of goals that I was planning on sharing with you.  I feel there needs to be a happy medium though.  Is the desire of achieving goals getting in the way of enjoying simple pleasures?  Are you bored when you’re not “doing something?”  Why aren’t you comfortable with simply sitting still?  I’m not, so this is just a question, not an accusation.  I told my yoga colleagues that I’ve been so obsessed with ticking off the to-do list as quickly as possible that I haven’t absorbed the person I’m becoming.  I know why I pile on so many goals and milestones, because I don’t think I’m good enough.  All that gets me is a sick day and the feeling of being a ginormous stoner because I can’t even think.
So this is my declaration to slow down, to be more purposeful, to absorb the day’s events, to live in the present, to take care of myself, and to enjoy the ride.


I’m back.
It was nice to take a break from the blogosphere and spend time thinking about my intent for this space. I read the post I left everyone with last August. Well, I read it a lot actually, and many things still ring true. Moving forward, I’m not going to post for the sake of having content. You may notice some changes. I’ve simplified everything, including links to the right. I love everyone that I previously linked to for the inspiration they gave me, but I need to create my own inspiration, you know?
Bangs, a beard & ballyhoo is now unscripted and organic.
If I feel like sharing a nugget from my yoga teacher training journey (more on that in a second), I will. If there’s a cute picture of Duke, you’ll see it. If there’s a lamp I’m dying to buy, I’ll share it. But nothing is going to be compartmentalized into weekly features or whatnot. I can’t roll like that anymore because it’s a fa├žade. That’s not who I really am. I’m not Julie, the design aficionado any more than I’m Julie the home owner.
I’m just Julie.
That means if I’m focused on gardening, or eating, or discovering something really cool about myself, or reading, or photographing my life, or pouring over websites looking for the perfect reading lamp, or just being Julie, that’s what you’ll see. On that note, the past six months have been eye opening. I’m in the final stretch of a 200 hour yoga teacher certification, and I hope to become an apprentice at a Baptiste-affiliated studio. One major thing I’ve learned is that I am good enough to do whatever I set my mind to. Yes, it took me 32 years to figure that out. I also learned that I need to slow down and enjoy the ride instead of always focusing on the next goal. I want so badly to be the best, and I’ve been knocked on my ass recently, which is humbling. What does being the best or most popular mean anyways? It’s definitely not living authentically. Life isn’t about rushing through milestones. It’s about appreciating what you have every day. So here’s to a new Bangs, a beard & ballyhoo – a chronicle of all things beautiful that I love each day.


I'm coming back. Stay tuned.


Bangs, a beard & ballyhoo began as a chronicle of our cross country journey and a place to write about decorating our new space once we arrived in San Francisco. I had this grandiose idea that it would be wildly popular, I would make a shit ton of connections, and eventually become a reputable blogger. In hindsight, I think I wanted to start a blog because of the many bloggers that I admire. Their passion is amazing and inspiring. For those of you who may read this as bloggers, please do not think that what I’m about to say is a criticism because I really love this community and what it has to offer.

I’ve realized that just because I respect and enjoy those individuals doesn’t mean I have to do what they do. There’s a reason that I enjoy reading what they share and that’s because they are truthful, open, dedicated, and devoted.

When it comes to blogging, I don’t embody those qualities. Until recently, I was not open about my personal life on this blog. I’m not very dedicated or devoted. I find myself posting for the sake of having content rather than being excited about what I’m sharing. When I first started blogging, I was so busy focusing on what I could plan to do in the future that I wasn’t experiencing life in the present.

Also, I don’t do anything to drive readership. There’s no etsy shop, or design firm, or a craft.

Why did I have a need to share the details of my improvement projects, or travels, or life in general? If I am truly honest with myself, it was probably for pure popularity. Seriously. I really think in the back of my mind that I was thinking, “Hey world! Look at this cool shit I did, bought, and acquired. Look at this awesome picture I took and this amazing place that I’ve been. Look at this incredible dog! Don’t you love him!?” That is purely egotistical, and it’s insane to me that my driving force was validation because I don’t need that. I think it's competitive, in a sense, which I vehemently dislike. I feel happy, grateful, complete, and supported when I come home everyday and see Jon and Duke or join my friends for dinner.

Why am I sharing my life in a public forum? I really don’t know. I’m not that type of person. I mean, I will always have something to say, but at this point in time, I’m not sure that I want to do that publicly. Also, it’s pretty obvious that I’m not doing this to sharpen my writing skills because I barely write anything in my posts. I have a graduate degree in creative writing for goodness sake that I don’t even utilize (an entirely different issue!). If I really wanted to write, I would be … in a different genre.

I’ve realized that this blog has become an extension of myself that isn’t me. As much as I love having visitors, I no longer feel the need to share details about our house, or our travels, or what happened throughout our day. I’ve been pondering the concepts of “What does this prove? How does this make my day better? What am I really trying to accomplish?” I keep coming back to the fact that this blog was not a product of passion.

My dad recently said, If you want to be someone important, then do something important.

Doesn’t that ring true on so many levels? I have been thinking about that repeatedly … against many situations that have nothing to do with this blog. It’s time to do something important and rejoin all of you when I feel comfortable sharing.

So this isn’t goodbye. It’s a vacation. You can still keep up with Jon and I through flickr and pinterest.

Much love to all of you for your support!



The dining chairs

Remember last week when I mentioned that I had a project for the dining chairs. Well, it happened. It happened in a major way.

Once I restored the wood on the chairs, I was on a desperate hunt for fabric. You may remember a few posts about the direction I wanted.

The entire time I had roughly seven yards of Kelly Wearstler Edo Linen sitting in the hall closet, which was graciously given to me by the infamous Design Junkie (who has such an amazing eye by the way). You may remember that this fabric was inspiration for our save the dates. That's how much I love this fabric. Guess what? I pushed my own envelope and used it. I was so afraid of pattern and color on these mid-century chairs because I wanted to stay true to their original aesthetic. Sometimes you have to say who gives a rat's ass.

Take a look at the chairs before. You can see more of the grimy fabric and neglected teak here.

Behold the after! Now, here's a ginormous shout out to my dear friend Ellen of VintAge Before Beauty because she kindly reupholstered every chair ... and she ROCKED IT!!!! I keep telling her that every time I round the corner into our dining area, I stop and stare at how awesome everything came together. Ellen is amazing. Her etsy shop is in constant rotation so check it out frequently.

Okay, on to the chairs for real.

I still need to finish the dust cover and cover the screws holes with wood plugs, but summary of this project: I "got by with a little help from my friends!"

Many, many, many thanks to everyone involved.


I'm here!


I have something pretty cool to share tomorrow, but for now today is going to be a great day. I know it!


Julie's bored

Forget Duke's boredom! It's so lonely around here without Jon. All of these chairs and no one to share. Whine, whine, whine. So lonely in fact that I had to put away the cushions and save them for another sunny day. Jon, come back already!


Duke's bored

Life's a little dull when Jon's traveling, and it's just me and Duke. Every night, around the time Jon usually gets home, he runs around the house looking for him. Then, he stares out the window waiting for his car. Finally, he gives up and mopes around the rest of the night. Case in point, see the pictures below. I bribe him with rawhide bones, which is what's covering his nose. It's not chapped, just caked with rawhide. A little vitamin E oil always does the trick. See, I even contributed a helpful dog hint today! I have to admit, I mope around as well. Jon's the Paul to my Linda.