Dresser Help

For the past few years Kevin and I had a loveseat in our bedroom. It fit perfectly into the nook of our bay window, and provided a nice little reading and lounge area. But because I’m not exactly the tidiest of people, the loveseat was more often used as a place to store all of my clothes and laundry. We’ve probably only really “lounged” on it a handle of times over the past few years, yet despite that sad fact, for the longest time I was adamant about keeping it. I would tell Kevin that once we moved into a bigger place we would be oh so happy to have it.

I’ve been saying that for over three years now.

With the skyrocketing cost of rent in this city, I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that we’re not moving anytime soon. And so we decided to replace it with a big dresser, in the hope that it would help me get a bit more organized and make our room a little bit nicer. And so far, it has!

This is not my dresser, but posts without pictures make me sad, so there you have it.


But here’s my dilemma… what do you put on top of a dresser that’s not up against a wall? The dresser is right up against our bay windows, so I can’t hang anything behind/above it, which is what I would usually do. I scoured pinterest for ideas, but everything I came across was with the dresser against a wall. What can I put on top of it that will brighten it up but not make it look cluttered, or distract from the bay windows? Outside of a cute vase I’m kind of stumped.


BeckyAugust 6, 2013 - 7:34 am

It’s a bit cliche, but I really think a vase with flowers would work well. (Some sort of BIG flower like sunflowers or gerbera daisies–LOVE THOSE!). OR maybe a candle? Honestly I think the possibilities are pretty endless. All that cutesy stuff you see on Pinterest that you never know what to do with? Do one of those!

PS-I really love your blog! And if it is possible to “look up” to and admire someone via blogging I’d say you’re that person for me! I’m in my 20s and you’re 30 so I learn a lot from you about life, love and living! Thanks for being you.

Laura ParkerAugust 6, 2013 - 10:39 am

I feel you on using a cute chair to pile your clothes onto. I think you could do a variety of things. You could get a cute wire basket to place on top to put nicknacks in. YOu could make a jewelry tree out of manzanita branches. Or you can do a cute see through jewelry box that Pottery Barn sells!

Lisa @ Two MartinisAugust 6, 2013 - 3:24 pm

What about books supported by cute bookends? Or even small stacks of books? Hopefully you already have a few you can use so you won’t need to buy anything new!

LaurenAugust 6, 2013 - 4:02 pm

You could do a jewelry box, pretty picture frames, stacked coffee table books, a tray for your jewels, candles… so many options!!
Lauren recently posted…Splash of Red

nicole marieAugust 7, 2013 - 4:20 pm

i’m terrible at decorating but i’d say one little flower and vase and maybe some flatish things like a cut tray plate thingy to keep your watch and bracelets in

Michelle LimAugust 7, 2013 - 4:51 pm

You know, a super generous friend of mine gave me a really great HAND-PAINTED picture of a bowl of fruit (or something fruit-related), and I think it could really bring some life and color to your room. So, just let me know if you’d like it and I would be happy to let you borrow it. ;)


LoraAugust 8, 2013 - 9:36 am

Suspend* an empty frame from the ceiling above it. Adds interest and also “frames” the view out your windows.
*with fishing line so it is invisible, or cool ribbon/cord/twine for dimension.

BTW, it cracked me up that you posted a photo which isn’t your dresser because a post w/o a picture makes you sad.

What A Difference A Decade Makes

Awhile ago I came across this little video on BuzzFeed, about life in your 20s vs. life in your 30s.

I’ve been 30 for less than a year, so when someone talks about being in their 30s, I assume they are talking about other people. People much older than me. I still think of myself of a youthful 20-something! Despite the fact that I’m, well…. not.

But as I watched this video I realized that *gasp* maybe I am actually old!?! I might only be at the beginning of this decade of life, but based on this video, I sure am living the 30s lifestyle! I LOVE naps. My once Olympic speed metabolism apparently now resembles that of a crotchety geezer who can barely walk. Wine parties? Let’s be honest – what party do I go to that’s not a wine party? And the subsequent hangovers? Ohhhhhh the hangovers. That zombie and I could actually be twins. As for facebook, not a day goes by that there’s not some new preggo announcement, and God help you if you tag something unflattering or inappropriate on facebook…. wrath be upon you!

The only part of the video I didn’t relate to completely was my emotional state. Apparently, I’m still working out some of those pesky little issues from my 20s, such as, oh, you know, just the occasional bouts of crippling anxiety, self doubt, and complete and utter confusion. No big deal.

But hey! I’m getting closer to acceptance every single day, so that’s something.

Watch below and see for yourself:

What a difference a decade makes. It’s true.

What decade do you identify the most with?

KariJuly 31, 2013 - 6:46 am

I totally relate to this! I turned 30 about 6 months ago and still cannot face the fact that I’m not in my 20s anymore. Where did the time go? When I used to go to bars in my 20s, I’d always be wanting to dance, even when it wasn’t a dancing atmosphere. I had so much energy. Now when we go out (which is few and far between), I’m content just lounging because my feet hurt:) Surprisingly, hitting the 30 mark did not magically make me know what I wanted from the next decade, though. I guess I accept myself more, but I still have no idea if I want kids, where my career is going, etc. Now I just feel more pressure to make these decisions since I’m getting so old. I wish time would just stand still:) Well, here’s to being 30! (ugh, just writing that made me feel horribly old.)
Kari recently posted…CRAFT FAIR DAY

Julie / BoundJuly 31, 2013 - 10:23 am

Most definitely the 30′s, but I’ve felt mostly this way my whole life. I told Matt I think everyone has a “true” age, where the trappings of life and other people catch up to where you already are inside. I think mine is 32 (semi-established, maybe having a little kid, still have the rest of my life wide open) and his is 52 (still active, but happiest with an espresso and the Economist).
Julie / Bound recently posted…If I Were Six Again

LauraJuly 31, 2013 - 10:54 am

I feel ya! I turned 30 in March and at first it stressed me out but now I realize the best years are up ahead. Google “I don’t know about you but I am feeling 32″ for a good laugh :)

JessicaJuly 31, 2013 - 5:16 pm

This is totally me vs. my hubby! But I do get terrible hangovers!

JeniAugust 4, 2013 - 5:45 am

30′s are the best! I think confidence and self acceptance trumps everything else (except maybe age spots and wrinkles..)

BrendaAugust 5, 2013 - 6:43 am

I’ve been following your blog for a solid 3 months or more now, and I absolutely love it! You never fail to disappoint. As a woman in my mid-twenties I can somewhat relate to this and it seems I have a lot to look forward to as I approach my 30′s. Thanks Serena for keeping me entertained!! Much love from DC!!

It’s Friday I’m in Love!


A few things I’m loving this particular Friday…

Orange is the New Black.
I started watching this last week and I’m almost done.
It is so good. Sooo good.
I only have one episode left and I don’t want it to end.
There are so many great characters….
Morello, Red, Sophia…
I even love crazy eyes!
Have you been watching?

The Royal Baby.
Like much of the world, I watched as Baby George made his
grand entrance into the public eye.
And of course, I couldn’t take my eyes off Princess Kate.
And what I really loved that while she looked fantastic,
she also looked…. like a woman that just had a baby.
She didn’t try to cover her post-baby belly like most celebrities do.
And I think that is wonderful.


Jennifer Lawrence.
I thought my girl crush couldn’t get any bigger,
but with this video it has.
I totally want us to be BFFs.
Jennifer, want to hang?

Apparently this story has been around for awhile,
but I only recently learned about it.
It’s about two teens who are hopelessly in love.
And the reason this is so “interesting,”
is because while they look like ordinary teens,
they both happen to be transgender.
And I just think the fact that we are celebrating this
and their love is so inspiring,
and makes me feel like we really are making progress
when it comes to GLBT equality.
And that makes me happy.


And that’s it.
Happy Friday friends!
What are you loving today?

Michelle LimJuly 26, 2013 - 9:00 am

I’m loving the fact that we’re FINALLY going to Tainted Love tonight. I think you forgot to mention that in your post. But it’s okay, I forgive you. :)

nancy @ adore to adornJuly 26, 2013 - 9:33 am

Love the links this Friday! I’m in total agreement with you on how FAB Kate looked after giving birth. As any woman I’m sure understands, you look how you look the day afterwards and I don’t think there’s any weirdness to it except that it might surprise people who have never given birth that you don’t magically “deflate” afterwards. =) On a more serious note, can I please look like her with that hair the next day? I’m sure my version of the next day would equate more to a “hot mess.” =)

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LauraJuly 26, 2013 - 9:43 am

Hey lady! Fellow San Franciscan here! Found your blog through Two Martini’s and look forward to following along. I always love finding other bloggers in my parts of the world! Happy Friday!

MoJuly 26, 2013 - 10:50 am

Did I even tell you that we watched the whole season of OITNB in two days last weekend? We couldn’t stop. SO good.

I also agree with Michelle up there :)

DJJuly 27, 2013 - 3:17 pm

I’m currently typing REALLY REALLY LOUD (I think the caps helped) trying to wake Y up from his nap so we can watch the 6th episode of OITNB. Obsessed. Except I can’t eat during it (my favorite TV-time activity) because every other scene makes me want to vomit. Maybe the show is a good diet.

PS We were trying to figure out what to call it out loud, since the official title is WAY too long, and Y suggested That Prison Show With the Titties. Still too long, but definitely rolls of the tongue easier.
DJ recently posted…Rebirth Brass Band in Minneapolis

eileen ragan | leaner by the lakeJuly 29, 2013 - 7:48 pm

Literally queuing up Orange Is The New Black THIS instant on Netflix. I watched three episodes before our trip to Michigan and I’ve needed a fix since the moment we got back. Finally getting a spare second (or hour!) before bedtime to indulge in an episode :)

And hell to the yes for J.L. I watched too many (aka not enough) youtube videos of her after her acceptance speech and seeing her in Silver Linings really sealed the deal.
eileen ragan | leaner by the lake recently posted…#birthweekend.

KariJuly 30, 2013 - 8:26 am

I just found your blog and am so excited to follow along! After reading your “about me” page, I’m hooked:) Hope you’re having a great day!

Julie / BoundJuly 30, 2013 - 9:53 am

Hells to the yes on OITNB. Watched the pilot episode last night, and now am obsessed.
Julie / Bound recently posted…If I Were Six Again

A Hood River Holiday

Sometimes when I travel to other places in the U.S. I tend to discount it, thinking that because I’m not leaving the United States it’s not “real travel.” But when I went to Austin a few months ago and fell so completely in love with it, I started to realize just how silly that is. And I felt that way again this past weekend while in Hood River. There are so many great places in the U.S. that I’ve never been to, and just because I’m not crossing any international borders to get there doesn’t make it less of a travel worthy experience. Hood River was no exception.

We flew into Portland airport Thursday afternoon, and from there we met up with Gretchen and Derek (two of our best friends, who you may remember as the reason we went to Austin), hopped into a rental car, and drove the hour north to Hood River. The drive was less than an hour, but it felt much shorter because we were so enchanted by the views. Every direction you looked you were met with some sort of outdoor stunner, from snow covered peaks to waterfalls to fields full of wildflowers and lavender. The natural beauty of the area was breathtaking.

Chris and Rachel’s wedding was Saturday and it was insanely beautiful. I’ve been to a lot of weddings, and their venue was easily one of the most stunning wedding venues I have ever seen. Pictures to come, but in the meantime, here’s a rundown of our Hood River mini-vacation:


We decided to forgo the usual hotel room and instead the four of us rented this condo right in the heart of downtown Hood River. It could not have been more perfect. The location was great, we had a balcony that overlooked the gorge, and the condo was more than big enough for the four of us (granted, coming from our tiny SF apartment, that’s not hard). As far as other accommodations go, Hood River is super small, so there are not a whole lot of hotels right downtown, but most of the wedding guests stayed at the Hood River Hotel. Located directly across from our condo was Villa Columbia B&B, which looked like a good option as well.



The best meal we had was at Apple Valley BBQ in Parkdale, about half hour away from Hood River. I don’t eat a lot of meat, so when I do, I want it to be good, and oh man, this was GOOD. Sooooo good. The ribs fell off the bone and the pulled pork was just to die for, and the BBQ sauce was so delicious that if we were checking a bag I would have brought home ten bottles of it. We also ate at Big Horse Brew Pub. The food was nothing spectacular but it was worth it for the views and ambiance. For breakfast, the breakfast sandwiches at Knead Bakery were a fantastic quick morning bite.


For such a small place, there are a shocking amount of pubs, bars, and wineries. My personal favorite was the wine bar The Pines 1852, which we went to on Thursday night and was full of “cotton heads” and “white hairs” as Derek and Kevin so lovingly described them. Lots of old people dancing. I loved it. As did Gretchen, and the two of us tore it up on the old people dance floor. Pfriem Family Brewers was right on the gorge and had a really cool warehouse vibe. The welcome party was held at Springhouse Cellar Winery, yet another really cool and beautiful outdoor venue. Double Mountain Brewery had some great beer (and the food looked good as well!). Waucoma Club was our late night spot two nights in a row.

Things To Do

On Friday we drove the Fruit Loop, a 35-mile drive that took you through wineries, farms, orchards, and more. Our first stop was Mt. Hood Winery, a winery so stunning you felt like you were in a movie. I hate to say it, but it almost put those in Napa and Sonoma to shame.

From there we stopped at a few farms and orchards, including Draper Girls Country Farm, where we attempted to pick cherries but quickly realized that this was much more fun in theory than reality. We made a quick and rather unsuccessful stop to Foothills Alpaca Farm, and ended our day at Hood River Lavender.

On Saturday we attempted to find a place to go swimming, which took us to Mosier Swimming Hole. Once we realized that you pretty much had to hike down a small but extremely steep cliff to get to it, we decided to do something a little less adventurous and instead hung out at the easily accessible and far less terrifying Koberg Beach.

Getting Around

This is easy: Rent a car. While you can walk to bars and restaurants, you’ll need a car if you want to do any sort of exploring. Which you’ll want to do.



On Sunday we spent most of the day in Portland. After being told by multiple people that I “HAD TO GO TO VOODOO DOUGHNUTS” I decided that I had to go to voodoo doughnuts and forced everyone else to come with me. And so we went. And waited in line for 30 minutes. And then proceeded to buy far more donuts than was necessary. And then felt insanely sick and gross after eating the said donuts.

And the thing is… I feel like I am going to get scorned for saying this… they were just okay. They were good, don’t get me wrong, but… I’ve had better donuts. Dynamo Donuts in SF puts them to shame, in my opinion. Perhaps I am just a doughnut snob? (also – is it donut or doughnut? so confusing!)

Later in the day we had lunch in the Pearl District, wandered around the Alphabet District, and had drinks on Alberta street. It was a nice day, but I’m glad most of our time was spent in Hood River. It was just a great little place.

Have you ever been to Hood River?

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Julie / BoundJuly 23, 2013 - 7:23 am

The Fruit Loop?! That gets 80 points just for awesome naming. This trip looks like so much fun. The whole time we were in Seattle, Matt was like, “oh, I really want to go back to Portland, it was so great,” which of course made me want to extend our trip, but he wouldn’t. Rude. And now I want a doughnut to soothe my troubled soul. And I don’t know how to spell it, either.
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JeniJuly 23, 2013 - 8:26 am

What a fun itinerary. Oregon looks amazing from your pictures!! Incidentally my fiancé just got back from Portland for his bachelor party and the pics I managed to steal a look at had Portland/Oregon in quite a different light ;)

TheresaJuly 23, 2013 - 10:48 am

There are so many places in the US I would love to see! But you’re right, for some reason I often only consider a vacation to be a trip outside the US. I don’t know why that is, there are so many amazing places right here! It looks like a wonderful weekend, and you had such amazing weather too!
Theresa recently posted…Adventures in Santa Cruz

LaurenJuly 23, 2013 - 12:53 pm

What an awesome weekend!! I need to go back so I can do all the things on this list… well maybe minus the donuts :)
Lauren recently posted…Christmas in July

BethJuly 24, 2013 - 7:58 am

One I’m incredibly jealous you went to voodoo donut & two that lavender farm looks amazing!

nicole marieJuly 24, 2013 - 9:48 am

honestly what traveling in europe has taught me is how many amazing places there are in the US that i still havn’t been too! places practically in my own backyard like santa barbara, big sur, the redwood forest… so many amazing places i want to see!

love that picture of you guys on the truck… adorbs!

eileen ragan | leaner by the lakeJuly 29, 2013 - 7:52 pm

I’ve been waiting for THIS POST! Amazing. Everything looks just incredible. Cannot wait to plan our itinerary this weekend and comb through all your details here. Looks like a fantastic time. I need to be at that lavender farm, stat.
eileen ragan | leaner by the lake recently posted…#birthweekend.

Anxiety Be Gone! | SpillerenaSeptember 26, 2013 - 10:16 am

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Happy Birthday To Me! | SpillerenaDecember 12, 2013 - 9:29 am

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RachelDecember 12, 2013 - 1:11 pm

Oh my gosh I’m just seeing this post! I was on my honeymoon already when you posted this. It’s so great to see all the fun things you guys did on your visit. Also fun to see Hood River and that weekend through someone else’s eyes. I want to go back and just be a tourist there next time! Glad you fell in love with it like we did ;-)