Happy Monday Lovecats!
I know, it’s been a million years, but this summer has been a blast and I’ve been soaking up every minute of it. …And Saturday was just the tip of the iceberg.
My friend (and realtor), Michelle Calkins won an exclusive invite to #PartyAtEms and I was lucky enough to be her plus-one! So a HUGE thank you to Michelle for taking me along for the ride. It was amazing.
First, of course, Emily greeted us as soon as we walked in. Since we are locals, we drove ourselves (a total of 5 minutes from my house to hers) while the out-of-towners met at the village and were shuttled over. The busses arrived a bit earlier than we did, which gave us ample one-on-one time with Emily to talk about living in Lake Arrowhead and all the pros and cons of mountain life.
Emily is adorable, yet totally cool, fabulous, and completely down to earth. She’s exactly how you’d imagine she’d be when you see her in videos or on intstagram, but even prettier and more charismatic in person. Also, she has great legs, just saying 😉
We had wonderful conversations about local Lake Arrowhead life while she gave us a tour of the house. We all agree that there is so much potential here and missed opportunities and we all want to be a part of changing it for the better. I may have gone on too long about it, but I’ve become so passionate about making this place as amazing as it should be, I can’t help myself.
The HOUSE – – – perfection.
Michelle and I walked around taking photos and then I remembered that Emily already has amazing photos on her blog plus a total before/after of the renovation, so you should most definitely go check it out asap!
What I love most about the home is the open and airy feel and flow it has. It’s bright but warm and the perfect mix of modern-rustic. I think I was most taken by the floors and woodwork. She went with a rustic lighter wood (I’m sure she’s got the details listed on her blog) that were the perfect shade. She also used the same wood for the the cabinets in the kitchen, the doors, and closets upstairs. I love that kind of consistency that ties the entire space together. Each room had its own personality but they all felt like they were part of the same space, if that makes sense.
I loved the entryway and living room and remember when she shared the process of renovating her fireplace stone on Instagram. The original look is what I call “Disney Rock”, which are sort of large bubbly river rocks that are common in houses up here. They almost look forced or fake and I’m not a huge fan of them but am never sure how to upgrade the look without ripping it all out and re-stoning. Emily found a plaster that went over the rocks to give it a flatter look that created a really cool rustic/vintage vibe. It turned out amazing.
She also opened up the room by knocking out the kitchen wall and adding an island counter so you can see from the living room through the kitchen and into the large dining room space at the far end of the kitchen, another favorite spot of mine in the house.
The high ceilings and the loft overlook the main living room and the light is amazing. There’s another “den” or sitting room on the other end of the house that leads to the backyard and has a sliding door wall that opens up to let the outside in. I love that.
Again, the entire house is just perfect. I could go on and on, but just trust me, go to her blog and look for yourself. She revealed the entire house this past week and through the weekend.
The food at the party was incredible too, though I found myself over the charcuterie plate most of the time with a whisky mojito in my hand. DELISH!
We all gathered in the living room where Emily introduced her team, showing her gratitude and appreciation for their hard work, teared up when she thanked her husband, calling him “the best dad ever” and then did a Q&A and talked about the renovation, business, blogging etc.
While Emily’s blogging career and success has far surpassed my own, I loved hearing her take on the business since I’ve been blogging since 2007 when the internet was an entirely different space, social media didn’t exist and we were all just beginning to understand the process and power of it all. It was refreshing to hear her take on it all.
Then we all participated in a project about finding our own design style, which was fun. We were given bags with square cork boards and textiles and photos of items to pin to it. It was Pinterest in real time (lol) and a cute little activity that sort of tied the event together.
I met a few more locals and wonderful women at the party. Summer Bellesa recently bought a house up here and is in the renovation process herself. She was lovely in person as well. I think our paths crossed a few times back in my BlogHer/Babble days… I can’t believe how long it’s been!
I seriously had a wonderful time and feel so honored to have been part of this event! Thank you Emily (and team) for hosting such a fabulous party and making me feel totally at home while I was there.
I had to leave around 3pm to pick up the kids and missed the boat ride and dinner at Lou Eddie’s. I would have loved to meet backup for dinner, but you know, kids 😉
Thank you Michelle for taking me with you. I had a blast!!
UPDATE! You can read more about the event on Emily’s blog: Our First Ever Reader Event at the Mountain House