Stories from Cuba & Vlog Episode 25

Two weeks ago today, at 3 am on a Thursday morning, I hit publish on my big announcement post as we ran out the door of our San Francisco apartment, headed to the airport for a 10 day adventure in Mexico and Cuba.

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I’ve cut and compiled the footage into a five minute video documenting the experience into what will be the first of many travel vlogs. It’s so nice to finally be able to share the person by my side and watch our relationship grow and evolve through each story:

For three days we stayed with my sister and her fiancé in a small beach community called Puerto Aventuras, an hour south of Cancun.

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It was wonderful to catch up with them and indulge in some R&R after the past hectic month of packing and moving, but we were soon ready for the real adventure—Cuba.

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We decided to take the same free spirited approach we both practiced while in Asia last year: no pre-arranged or scheduled itinerary—just arrive and go with the flow.

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Don’t get me wrong—of course we did our due diligence prior to arriving by researching laws and logistics, and speaking with many other travelers so we knew what we were getting ourselves into. But my favorite experiences have always come from those left to chance, where I’ve been able to take spur of the moment opportunities that have come my way, and had I not done that, I likely wouldn’t be where I’m at today.

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But let’s talk about Cuba.

There’s so much to say about this amazing country. As soon as you step outside, you feel as if you’re in a time capsule. The modern cars we’re used to seeing are replaced by classic 50’s and 60’s American muscle, bicycles and horses.

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It’s the world’s largest auto museum, unfolding right in front of you.

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Colorful, crumbling buildings full of history line the streets of Havana and locals dressed in equally brightly hued clothing wander about in every direction.

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We hailed a cab in front of the airport, asking if he knew of someone we could stay with for the night. In Cuban communities, everyone knows everyone—they’re all familia. Ten minutes later we were dropped off at a doorstep, greeted warmly by a smiling woman who lead us upstairs to our room.

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Casa particulars are the preferred and most common means of accommodation in Cuba. Hotels are few and far between outside of Havana and don’t provide the cultural experience you enjoy by staying with a family in their home. For $30/night we had a private room/bathroom, a rooftop balcony overlooking rooftops and the sea, and a friendly hostess who told us everything we wanted to know about her country and its people.

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While there was no hot water and most of the public restrooms had no toilet seat or paper, it felt luxurious compared to many of my accommodations in Asia. And it’s not just the old cars and buildings that keep this country frozen in time, but the lack of technology and internet access. It’s slowly becoming accessible to locals, but as tourists we were off the grid during our entire stay… and it was a nice break from constant information overload. We had only each other and a rich, diverse and beautiful nation to focus on.

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When we first planned to visit Cuba a few months ago, we committed to learning as much Spanish as possible to get the most out of our experience. The country is not overrun with tourists (yet) and there’s little English spoken, so we wanted to make sure we could communicate with them not just on a level of necessity, but learn from and share with them, as they don’t encounter too many Americans.

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Lucas had studied Spanish in school and knew enough to get by, but we both practiced daily and I found myself holding entire conversations with locals by the end of the trip. I honestly didn’t expect it to make such a difference but when that language barrier is eliminated, it opens up a new world and really changes the entire experience. I’d highly recommend learning the local language for anyone planning to travel to a foreign country.

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And speaking of the people, they are some of the friendliest out there. They absolutely love Americans, as proven by the countless U.S. flag attire worn by locals walking the streets of Havana, U.S. baseball memorabilia and clothing, flags, air fresheners and stickers on the cars.

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As one local said—our governments may be enemies, but the people are friends. We embrace one another and we’re treated like family when we’re together. The way it should be.

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And in Cuba, unlike many parts of Asia, you can walk the streets alone at night and feel safe. Perhaps it’s due to their government history and influence or the fact that the tourism industry hasn’t exploded yet, but the locals insisted that you won’t find guns or violence on the streets like we do back home, or the pickpocketing and scams that are prevalent in other tourist destinations. And while still cautious, we definitely had that sense of security.

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After two nights in Havana we were anxious to head south to a coastal town we’d been hearing about by the name of Trinidad.

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The unique charm of Trinidad is like no other place on earth. I was in love after the first glimpse of cobblestone streets, pastel hued buildings with Spanish tile roofs and families gathered on porches along the sidewalks.

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Much more quaint, quiet and slower paced compared to Havana. It felt like home.

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Our taxi dropped us off at a casa where our hostess made freshly squeezed juice from the mangos we picked on the side of the road on our way there.

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This may be a bold claim, but the mangos in Cuba are the best in the world—even better than Southeast Asia.

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But my love for Cuban food ends there, sadly. We’d heard the warnings about Cuban cuisine before traveling but I was still hopeful—my tastes are easily satisfied and I couldn’t wait to try something different. But ‘different’ and ‘Cuban food’ are oxymorons, because here, every meal is more or less identical.

A sampling of the food provided by our casas:

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At first glance they’re impressive spreads with a wide variety of colors and tastes. And the meals themselves were tasty—however, seven days of the same food when you’re used to having any cuisine in the world at any given moment can become disheartening.

The fruits and meats are generally fresh and organic which is wonderful, but their imports are limited so they make due with what they have access to. Veggie portions are small, and “seasonal vegetables” consisted of 4 thin slices of cucumber, defrosted green beans and/or a few slices of tomato and cabbage. You have to applaud the creativity though—one breakfast included spaghetti in mayonnaise with chunks of pineapple.

My insatiable sweet tooth suffered the most when I learned it was near impossible to order anything chocolate, and the one dessert I ordered appeared to be mango pureed with ketchup and cheese.

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The drinks, however, are another story. Every bar claims to have the best mojitos in town and you can order them freshly made all day for $3. Rum is cheaper than water so we may have over indulged ourselves a bit… which I didn’t mind considering the water had an interesting taste and included bonus ingredients like dry residue, sulfates and chlorides:

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Coffee and cigars are Cuba’s most celebrated exports, so naturally we had to test them out to confirm the claims.

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We’re not exactly connoisseurs of either, but we sure had fun trying them out with locals under a straw hut in the countryside during a horseback ride trip to a waterfall.

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I could make this into a novel, but the vlog captures this trip better than words can so I’ll end with a few favorite and noteworthy memories and photos…

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-Making friends with locals in the streets of Havana, practicing our Spanish and exchanging stories while sipping mojitos

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-Our taxi driver pulling over on the way to Trinidad, climbing mango trees and devouring them on the side of the road

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-Sipping local beer while listening to live Cuban music in the outdoor courtyard in Trinidad

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-Jellyfish attacking both of us on the beach

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-Waiting out a thunderstorm under a hut while eating a giant fish, practicing our Spanish and sharing rum with the locals

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-Local musicians singing Happy Birthday to Lucas at midnight in the middle of the street in Trinidad

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-Swimming in a waterfall while drinking mojitos, playing music and making friends from around the world

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-Dance club inside of a cave

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-Late night standoffs with multiple large crabs in our bedroom

-Snorkeling in coral reefs and a lagoon in Playa Larga

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-Smoking a cigar on the porch of our casa on our last night under an intense lightning storm

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Traveling as a couple is completely different than traveling alone, as expected. I didn’t think I’d enjoy it as much but when you find someone you’re so compatible with, who has the same sense of adventure and excitement and desires, who you can share every beautiful moment with that you can’t put into words—those moments, that pure feeling of joy is multiplied. And there’s no greater feeling that I’ve had in my lifetime than this. These are the best days.

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Get out there while you can and seek out a new adventure. Days are precious and life is short.

Until next time…

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A very special introduction: Vlog Episode 24

In last week’s vlog and blog post I finally shared that I had made the decision to move to San Francisco rather than continuing to travel. What I didn’t tell you was the reason I chose to stay.

I’d like to introduce you to someone very special…

Lucas and I met in Vietnam last fall. He was also on an extended solo travel journey and we connected after learning we lived just hours from each other.

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I came home with plans to travel full time once the house was sold, but something was stopping me. The same something that told me to change my life last year. The one I swore I’d never ignore again, so here I am in San Francisco with the most amazing, unexpected souvenir I could ask for.

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While deep down I knew this was the right decision, it has not been easy to let go of the life I gave up. I was so scared I’d never get to feel that surreal state of being experienced while in Asia, and that the most defining journey of my life would become nothing more than faded memories.

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Those memories became painful to think about, let alone talk about to others. I had to unfollow every social media account sharing pictures and stories from the places I visited, to avoid the sickness in the pit of my stomach each time they appeared on my screen. I often wondered what I’d be doing in this moment if I’d stuck with the original plan—where I’d be, who I’d be with, what new sights and sounds I would be surrounded by. The “what-if” has been the most difficult thing I’ve had to come to terms with, but then I look back to exactly one year ago during the most painful decision of my life. The one where I listened to that quiet voice telling me to let go of the vows I made six years ago—the decision that lead me places I never thought possible. Your intuition doesn’t always lead to the easiest path, but if you stay on it, eventually you’ll understand why.

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Two days before moving to San Francisco I was on a lake, staring into the sky and it hit me. It was the feeling I couldn’t put into words—the same one felt while floating in the ocean in the Philippines and in the streets of Vietnam and in the plane above Bangkok. For a moment there was pure clarity—I was whole and complete. For those few seconds of bliss, everything in life made perfect sense.

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It was the first time I’d experienced that feeling since Asia, and it was only then that I was able to let go of my hesitations about not continuing to travel. And now for the past week living in my new city I’ve felt it every morning—that split second when I wake up smiling because reality is more beautiful than anything I could dream of.

I can’t predict the future, but right now, I’m exactly where I belong.

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I’ll be out of the country for the next ten days with limited contact, but will check in when I can on instagram, facebook and snapchat @ jennasuedesign. And the following week will begin a new era of more personal vlogs, now that the secret’s out :)

Here’s to new beginnings…

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A Complete & Final House Tour

As I finish unpacking boxes in my new San Francisco apartment, I wanted to take a moment to pay tribute to what I’ve dedicated myself to over the past 2.5 years. Countless days and nights of blood, sweat and tears to create my dream home. It has been a rollercoaster—those of you who have followed me from the beginning certainly know this. But it’s a ride I wouldn’t trade for the world, because it got me to where I am today.

I spent 13 hours last week going through the archives, gathering up every before, during and after photo and video of this house. I sorted and organized the highlights into a comprehensive Before & After House Tour video, including plenty of never before seen footage. This is the compilation of the entire experience dating back to November 2013, from start to finish:

And just for fun, here’s a shortened room by room before, during & after breakdown. As always, you can find complete room details, photos and sources on my Home Tour page, or via keyword search on my blog.

Foyer:

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Kitchen/Dining:

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Living Room:

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Deck:

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Laundry Room:

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Guest bathroom:

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Studio:

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Garage entry:

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Master bedroom:

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Master bathroom:

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Guest bedroom:

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Downstairs:

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Whew, that’s what about 800 days of hard work look like! I’m curious—do you have a favorite room or project? It’s impossible for me to choose just one since I’m emotionally attached to every room in a different way. So let’s break it down with a little Q&A… feel free to share your favorites in the comments!

Biggest transformation: Laundry room

Best selling point: Tie between the kitchen/dining room and the view

Favorite place to spend time: Master bedroom

Most popular/shared online: Guest bathroom

Most expensive/time consuming: Kitchen/dining room

Most frustrating DIY: Master bedroom ceiling

Most enjoyable DIY: Rustic wood projects for guest bath

So many memories here… both good and bad. Am I crazy for wanting to do this all over again right away? Maybe. But next time I’ll hire out most of the work and it won’t take over two years :) Let the house hunting begin!

Once again I have to let you know how much I appreciate you reading, commenting, sharing and reaching out to me over the years. It means a lot to know that I have friends all over the world who care—not just about the pretty pictures, but the person behind them as well.

When my life turned upside down last year and this blog became a diary as I was trying to figure it all out, I knew I’d lose a lot of readers. But to those who stuck around, thank you for being there. To be honest, I didn’t think I’d be back here talking about home renovations, but there have been changes happening behind the scenes which have made me re-evaluate my future.

You already know about the move to San Francisco and decision to begin rehabbing homes, but there’s more to the story. It has been a while since I’ve opened up to you and I’m finally ready to share. You’ve seen glimpses of my personal life through my weekly vlogs, and starting with the next vlog you’ll see more of the full picture.

This might be my biggest reveal yet, so make sure to check back here on Thursday. See you soon…

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Saying Goodbye: Vlog Episode 23

This is it, my friends. The last full day. Tomorrow I’ll be walking out of an empty house, taking with me a car full of boxes and the memories of two and a half years spent building a home.

As I sit down to type these words, for the first time I realize that the renovation of this home was a metaphor of my own personal transformation. Walls were torn down so that new foundations could be built. Lessons were learned and new skills gained. At times it was messy and exhausting and I wanted to give up. But tomorrow I’ll leave this house a changed person—a more improved version of myself. Tomorrow, this house and I will start over from a much better place. It took a lot of work to get us here, but the investment is always worth it in the end.

Today I’m sharing the last moments spent in my home. Oh, and there’s a couple big announcements in here…

You may have been able to guess the move to the city, as I’ve been staying there almost every weekend. But I’m also thrilled to embark on this new path of investing in and remodeling homes. A lot of thought has been put into this decision as I’ve had to evaluate the direction of my life after starting over. There are more factors involved and I’ll share more about that soon. For now, I’m focusing on settling into the new place, then I can devote my full time and attention to the next renovation.

The properties I’m looking at are near my current home which is a few hours away from the city. I’ll have to commute quite a bit, but I’m used to it at this point. I’ll work with my team of contractors who I’ve come to know and trust over the past couple years, along with squeezing in DIY projects when possible. But the timeline will be condensed for a fast turnaround to sell, and the process repeated. And of course, it will all be documented on this blog so you can continue to follow along!

On a more somber note, I’m taking Susie with me but sadly, Biscuit has to stay. It breaks my heart to leave her behind but she is mostly an outdoor cat (she was ownerless and living in the yard so we took her in) and she would be miserable stuck indoors in a noisy city. The new owners have graciously agreed to adopt her and love her and I know she will continue to live happy and free where she belongs. It’s going to be difficult to say goodbye tomorrow.

My new place is an apartment in a great location in San Francisco. You may have seen it pop up on this blog already…

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…or at the end of last week’s vlog, or instagram and snapchat and facebook. Trading in a mountain view for bays and bridges. A very different change of pace from this sleepy little town. Bring on the action.

The next blog post will be published from my new home, and you won’t want to miss this one. I’ve put together a complete house tour video, including some never before seen before, during and after footage and images. It’s a great way to have the entire renovation documented in one place and I can’t wait to share it with you on Monday.

This blog may be five and a half years old, but life is just beginning and the best is still to come. I’ll be sharing some behind the scenes action from the move over the next several days on Snapchat @ jennasuedesign, so feel free to follow along and say hello!

Here’s to new adventures,

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Guest Bedroom Reveal

This has been a long time coming, hasn’t it? As promised, the day has finally come to reveal the last unseen space in the house.

The poor neglected guest room had been empty/unused the majority of the 2.5 years since buying the house, as guests normally used the daybeds downstairs. Here’s how it looked before we bought it:
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Right after moving in the carpet was ripped out, and new floors put in (don’t believe the wide angle lens making the room look huge—it’s small):

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At some point down the road a mattress & bed frame, a couple old night stands and a dresser were placed in there and that’s about it. I never bothered painting or attempting to decorate as other projects took precedence.

Then the room was emptied as it came time to sell the house, and I couldn’t simply ignore it. So I borrowed a bed, dresser and mirror, purchased an inexpensive rug, night stands, a chair & chandelier, and grabbed curtains, linens and picture frames from storage. The space was pulled together in a matter of days—and by far the most inexpensive “makeover” in the house.

You don’t have to get fancy to create a calming, put together space…

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The full size bed takes up the majority of the room (that’s how small it is) and Susie sure loved having a new spot to sunbathe in while it lasted.

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Or hide under the covers…

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Fair warning, Susie tried to photobomb this entire shoot.

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A lot of you have been asking about where the bed came from. It was borrowed from a friend and it’s an antique purchased many years ago—sorry to say it may be one of a kind!

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Instead of purchasing a mattress, I borrowed my dad’s air mattress (there’s a helpful staging tip for ya) and dressed it up with old pillowcases and flea market blankets.

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$20 side tables from Ross flank the bed and they’re topped with Ikea lamps purchased years ago. Custom roman shades from Amazon were hung in the window, along with simple striped Ikea curtains.

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The dresser is also an antique borrowed from my parents, and an Ikea chair sits in the corner.

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The large empty wall was filled with frames and art I pulled from around the house.

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A pretty crystal chandelier adds a little sparkle.

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Oh, and this rug from Rugs USA might be my favorite thing ever. It’s like a giant wool knit blanket.

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And that wraps the tour!

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Source list:

Bed – antique/unknown

Dresser – antique/unknown

Metal mirror – antique/unknown

Bedding/pillows – flea markets

Side tables – Ross

Lamps – Ikea (discontinued)

Flowers/pots – Ikea

Chandelier

Rug

Woven blinds

Curtains

Wicker chair

Art on dresser 

Wall art – My shop & Minted

Wall art frames – Ikea & Minted

So there you have it—the quick and simple makeover you’ve been waiting months for :) And the very last reveal you’ll ever see from this housee… sniff. But onwards we go.

The next vlog will show the final shots of the home as I finish packing up… and the big reveal of what is next for me. There will be a lot more opportunities in this new future, and I can’t wait to share the news! Enjoy your last week of June and don’t forget to check back in a couple days for the announcement,

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A Bachelorette Weekend in Sonoma: Vlog Episode 22

Last weekend, over a dozen girls from across the country came together to celebrate the upcoming marriage of a very special person—my beautiful cousin, Amber:

It was exactly one year ago this week that I stayed with her in Seattle to clear my mind before making the biggest decision of my life. I hadn’t seen her since and we certainly had a lot to catch up on, so I was thrilled to have the chance to reunite with her in nearby Sonoma wine country.

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Memories like these are why I started making vlogs. A once in a lifetime event that passes in the blink of an eye will now live on forever, shared with friends and family and future generations. Documenting life’s experiences—from milestones to small everyday details often overlooked—captured through my own eyes and perspective, has become my mission. The only way to make sure I’ll never forget what I saw, who I shared it with, how I felt in those moments.

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I could go deep on this, and I’m in the middle of projects that are the most important work in my life so far… but I’ll save those for a later date. For now, I hope you enjoy a few minutes of lighthearted & happy memory making with new friends :)

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On another note, packing has officially begun in this house! The movers are scheduled, storage unit is ready and I’m soaking up the last 8 days I have left here. On Monday I’m finally sharing photos of the finished guest bedroom for those of you who have been wondering. Then some more big news about the future is coming your way. Exciting times ahead. Enjoy the rest of your week!

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A Rooftop Deck Summer Block Party

Today is officially the first day of summer! It already feels like the middle of the season with the warm weather we’ve been getting, but at least we can enjoy the extra sunshine on the longest day of the year.

Warm weather calls for outdoor entertaining, and of all the Wayfair projects I’ve done over the past two months, I was most excited about this one. It’s also the last of the video series! Watch here:

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I was asked to show a summer block party setup, and instead of using my own home, I decided to switch up the location and use a friends rooftop deck in San Francisco. It was a blank canvas with a stunning view of the city and bay, just begging for some love.

So Memorial Day was the date, and the often cool & cloudy SF weather decided to bless us with beautiful blue skies.

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The deck space is quite roomy so I decided to divided it up into two spaces—lounging and dining. There were already two barbecue grills along with a table and chairs, so I needed to bring in everything else to execute my vision.

First up, the lounge:

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I fell in love with this hammock when I spotted it on Wayfair months ago, and had it ordered in advance. I think it’s the star of the space.

I shopped my own house to bring in other elements, such as the navy & ivory diamond rug, leather pouf, and a few pillows and blankets. I also picked up a 4×6′ outdoor flatwoven rug with a fun pattern:

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Cushions were placed on the floor for additional casual seating.

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On the other side, we have the dining table…

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There was no shade anywhere, so I used an extra large umbrella for sun protection.

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To give the table some personality, I repurposed items I already owned along with outdoor dishes & glassware.

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Turkish towels were used as runners (a great option for outdoor tables where an umbrella is blocking the center) and wood slab plate charges from my spring tablescape were brought in.

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You can’t even tell these aqua goblets are plastic from afar! Non-breakable items like these are perfect for easy cleanup and stress free entertaining.

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I coordinated them with these fun melamine plates with a hand painted look. I don’t normally decorate with aqua but thought it tied in nicely with the blue water in the background.

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Simple white napkins were used for a clean look, and topped with fruit for a pop of cheerful yellow.

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These lemons serve double duty as napkin weights and name tag placeholders. There are a few restrictions when decorating outside—especially on a windy rooftop deck—so something with a bit of weight was needed!

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For the nametags, I printed out each guests name on paper, cut it into a flag shape, wrapped it around a skewer stick and inserted each into a lemon. Super simple, and emphasizes that refreshing summer feel.

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Extra pillows and blankets to cozy up with when the sun goes down are the final pieces to an inviting outdoor gathering.

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Although most of the time was spent staring at this view…

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Here’s what I used:

Hammock

Large rug

Small rug

Leather pouf

Large floor cushion

Patio umbrella

Turkish towels/runners

Wood plate chargers

Melamine plates

Aqua wine glasses

Green striped pillow

White ruffle pillow

Pom throw blanket

And that wraps up Wayfair’s Inspiration Insiders video series! I’m so thankful I had the opportunity to challenge myself and keep those creative juices flowing after completing my own home—and now it’s time to focus on packing and preparing for the next opportunity.

In last week’s vlog I shared that the official move out date was July 1st, which is only 10 days from now (eek!) so I’m anticipating many long days and nights ahead. Still working on some important videos, posts and news to share during this time, so make sure to follow along on snapchat @ jennasuedesign, instagram and facebook so you don’t miss any announcements. I’ll take all the support I can get!

Happy Monday and see you in a couple days for Vlog 22: Bachelorette Party edition :)

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The City and the Sea: Vlog Episode 21

This week marks the official start of a whirlwind life transition, as I now finally have an official move-out date, revealed in today’s special vlog episode:

I received confirmation over the weekend, and now the chaos begins! My to-do list is growing by the day and there are many projects I’m hoping to wrap up before the big move, including a detailed Before & After house tour video for you guys, along with another special personal project I’ve been putting off for a while—in between packing and planning and continuing to run the shop.

It’s a lot to take on in just a very short time, but I enjoy a good challenge. Change is good. And there are plenty of exciting transitions on the horizon, which I’m looking forward to sharing with you over the coming weeks 😉

This weekend I’m headed to Napa for a quick break from the moving madness, and you can follow the adventure on my snapchat @ jennasuedesign, or check in with me on instagram & facebook.

Have a beautiful week & weekend, and see you back here Monday!

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Summer Deck Refresh (& Video)

One of the things I’ll miss most about this home is the outdoor living space. The view is what originally sold me on this home, and the back deck has seen many memorable days and nights.

Apart from adding furniture, a grill and TV over two years ago—nothing else has really changed out here aside from the occasional pillow swap. So when Wayfair asked me to demonstrate how to mix and match patterns, I decided to show the deck a little love for one last hurrah. Click to watch (and thumbs up and comment if you can!) below:

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A fun patterned rug was brought in (I’m all about the rug layering lately) along with a few new pillows and blankets. Bringing new life to the space was as simple as that!

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The look could have gone in many different directions, but I used the rug as my jumping off point for color scheme and style.

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With navy blue as my primary color, I brought in greens, browns and khaki for some variation without overdoing it.

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The patterns play off of each other nicely and there’s a good mix of them to create interest.

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Solid cushions tie it all together, and a wide range of textures complete the look.

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Small details (including greenery, real or faux—a must for every space!) add the finishing touches.

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While shooting these images I realized that the colors I used were all exact matches to the landscape in the background. I don’t think I could have planned that better.

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Biscuit approves.

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Source list:

Furniture set

Brown rug

Patterned rug

Rattan stool

Woven round tray

Striped green pillow

Blue/white damask pillows

Navy herringbone pillow

Olive green pillow

Green scalloped edge pillow

Beaded lumbar pillow

Pom throw blanket

It’s sad to think I’ll be giving up this space soon, but I have a feeling the new owners will love it just as much as I did. At least I still have the memories :)

Next week is my last Wayfair video! The timing works out well as now I have more time to focus on getting a plan together for moving out (still don’t have an exact date yet though, unfortunately). Anyone have any good moving tips? I’m relocating almost everything to a storage unit so I need to be as organized as possible to reduce future headaches. Any suggestions are welcome!

Vlog Episode 21 is coming up next. Enjoy your last official week of Spring!

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Spring Cleaning & Camping: Vlog Episode 20

Even though summer is still a couple week away, we’re feeling the heat here in the California foothills with temperatures looming around 100° for the past week.

As I continue to wait for an official move-out date, reality is setting in that my days in my home are numbered. This weeks vlog captures some of the last footage of this house before it’s filled with boxes and empty rooms.

My spring cleaning routine is followed by the first camping trip of the season in the gorgeous Emigrant Wilderness in the high Sierras—making this episode one of my all time favorites:

Less than 60 miles from home, the Kennedy Meadows area is one I’ll definitely be returning to when I come back to visit.

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A day of hiking & exploring, followed by camping, s’mores, girl time and horseback riding is a recipe for a great weekend.

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And the night sky… sigh.

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The stargazing here can’t be beat.

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Anyone else have any camping trips scheduled this summer? I’ve got the bug and already started planning the next one!

Heading back out to the (much colder) Bay Area this weekend for a family celebration, and I’ll be back Monday with details on a recent back deck update. Until then, catch me on instagram, facebook and snapchat (@jennasuedesign) and say hello!

Happy almost summer,

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