Growing up

Questions from a 20-something: Vol 4

Hey guys!! It's been a long time! But, as always, I've been doing a lot of googling & I think it's time to bring this series back.

There are a lot of questions I have on the daily, some answers are an easy google search away. Some, though, are harder and more thought provoking. But you know what? I usually figure it out, and I thought you might benefit from what I’ve found. So here we go: five of my recent questions AND answers. 

Ian the cow

How can I get my fresh flowers to last longer?

Trim the stems and change the water every other day. Am I the only one that didn't know this?? The bottom of flower stems get really brown. That's bacteria, guys, and it blocks your stems from drinking water. If you just trim the stems a quarter inch every time you change the water, flowers will last much longer! Bonus tip: stems die at varying times. Pick them out as they die so bacteria doesn't spread to your other stems. Bonus tip #2: make sure your stems are naked below the water line. No leaves or buds, just stems!

Is it possible to be emotionally abusive.... to yourself?

YES. It is actually very, very common. Often we are the most abusive person in our lives. It does a lot of harm, including preventing yourself from ever reaching your full potential. Emotional self-abuse usually stems from a place of low self-esteem. It takes a lot of time to change the conversations with yourself, but it is very important to do. Try writing one thing that made you happy, or one thing you did well, every day for 100 days, as an easy way to start changing your mindset. 

What happens to a zit if you don't pop it?

The body takes care of it! Your body treats a zit like an infection – because that's what it is – and will attack. Eventually the zit will dry out! This is not true for black heads though... you have to get rid of that ish on your own.

Why do some medications make you gain weight?

While I can't say why your specific medicine is causing weight gain, I did find a few common answers. Some meds increase your appetite and cause you to eat more. Some meds can slllllooow your body’s metabolism. And some meds affect how your body stores and absorbs sugars. Woof-nation. I started taking a medicine two years ago that contributed to a twenty-pound weight gain – in one month! It was bananas! But I guess, just keep on keepin' on, right? You're taking the medicine for a reason. 

Are the calorie counters at the gym accurate?

Short answer: no. Long answer: some machines are better than others. *Assuming you enter your weight and age into all machines* The elliptical's counter is the least accurate, often overestimating calories burned by 40%. Yikes. The other machines really depend on your technique. If used properly (i.e. without relying too heavily on the handles) the stair stepper, treadmill, and stationary bike are closer to accurate. 

Have a question? I'll look it up :) Just shoot it my way!

Photo by: Diana Lustig // Location: Heath Home

Introducing: Jake

Engagement Photos on the Beach

So I've been keeping a secret, albeit not very well.
I've been seeing someone. A really awesome someone. For the past three-ish years. 

It's been hard to keep it from you! Jake is a huge and wonderful part of my life. & he even works behind the scenes of Ida Street quite a bit – with the code, the photos, the concepts, the editing, and the projects. 

But a really long time ago, I made a rule that I wouldn't introduce any love interests to this blog until they were a permanent part of my life. So I guess thats a nice tee up to what I wanted to tell you today:

We're engaged!

Engagement Photos
Engagement Photos by Natalie Folchi

This summer was very busy, we bounced from one wedding to another, and from work event to work event. In October, I moved into a new apartment! & funny story, my uHaul caught on fire! It was the worst! Trying to figure out that fiasco, and then making the plans for this new place have pretty much taken up all my time. Not to worry though, some new DIY projects coming your way soon!

Later that month, during a hike along the Pacific Ocean, Jake proposed. My family secretly flew in to help us celebrate & literally that night, I lost my voice and started a week long illness!  

Stuck on the couch in sweats with laryngitis, I pressed publish on the first episode of Scenic Route – a storytelling podcast I co-host with my future sister-in-law. It's so fun, and pretty funny, so take a listen ;)

The next two weekends brought our first visitors in this new apartment, including my bestie Natalie who took these amazing engagement photos for Jake and me! Seriously, couldn't you die?! So romantic!  

The work front has been in full swing, too! Part of my job is planning events for our sellers, and Holidays sure are a popular social time. So all that is to say, I'm sorry! It's been a little busy and I've been neglecting you. But I hope you're excited to finally, finally meet Jake. It's been a long time coming. 

You guys are gonna like him. 

Girl in the mist

Annie wearing: dress / shoes / engagement ring.

Engagement photos at Black Sands Beach

Wanna know a little more?

Wellllllll... Jake and I met in 2013 in Cincinnati, which is where we will be returning for our wedding this May. He's a computer engineer, a kind soul, a strong back massuist, a super smarty pants, a builder, a bicyclist & and a great cuddler. He's also pretty easy on the eyes ;)

Black sands beach
Black sands beach
Black sands beach engagement

Jake wearing: shoes / pants / shirt

It's been so fun planning our wedding, and I'm so glad I finally get to share it with you! So I guess that's it! The cat's outta the bag! Send all your wedding tips this way! xox

Photos by Natalie Folchi / Location Marin Headlands, Black Sands Beach / Annie's dress / Annie's shoes / Jake's pants / Jake's shirt / Jake's shoes

Questions from a 20-something

We’re young. We’re learning. There are still some life skills that need to be nailed. Which reminds me, what’s the proper way to nail into drywall, anyway? What happens when the plaster literally separates from the wall? 

There are a lot of questions I have on the daily, some answers are an easy google search away. Some, though, are harder and more thought provoking. But you know what? I usually figure it out, and I thought you might benefit from what I’ve found. So here we go: five of my recent questions AND answers. 

Does food lose nutritional value when you freeze it?

No! For the most part. Food that is frozen at peak nutritional value will not lose any value when frozen. Even self frozen food. Good, right? I freeze my bread a lot.

Should you buy gifts for every wedding shower and wedding you’re invited to?

Yes, this is polite. Even if you can’t go? Still. How much should you spend? Apparently, for the wedding, you should cover the cost of your dinner at the reception. That varies, I know. As a general rule, at our age I think we can slide by with $50. What if that's too much for your wallet? I have a LOT of friends getting married, like, a lot. (yay!) So I'm trying to get creative with my gifts. Your friends understand. Any nice note and thoughtful gift will show your love and appreciation.

Can you order groceries on Amazon?

YES! Some. But there is also a new service I’ve been hearing about called instacart. It has some amazing VC backing. I got a direct mail piece (old school effective!) promoting their partnership with Whole Foods. Then the next day, I saw them announce a partnership in Minneapolis with Target. I think they are only in a few cities right now... Including SF. About to try it out fo sho.

Which form of caffeine will affect me the fastest?

My coffee connoisseur of a sister told me, as far as coffee goes at least, a Black or Red Eye gets the most in your system the fastest. That's one cup of coffee with the addition of a shot (or two) of espresso. Now as far as the battle between coffee, soda, energy drink, etc.. I'm not sure. Do you know? 

 Are elephants like super smart?

Apparently so.  That's probably why it is a compliment to say: "You have the memory of an elephant." Neat.

So that's all for now! I'm a never ending spout of questions though, so I'll have more for you coming up. And if you have any questions to add to my list, send them on over! :D

Photo: iPhone5s / Edits: Snapseed and VSCOcam



Six & a half months ago I moved into an apartment entirely on my own.  It's a 450 square foot box that I've lovingly referred to throughout this blog as The Studio. I know I've shown you little corners of it.. but  I think it's high time I invited you inside  :D Welcome to my cheerful little world!


This is The Studio. My studio. This is where I write to you guys almost every single night &  where I binge watch Netflix like it's nobody's business. This is where I'm learning to cook & budget & figure out who I am & how to succeed. This little ole box is what inspired the rebranding of the blog to Ida Street.  I love this little studio.


They say everyone should try to live alone for a little while they are young.  I think it just encourages dangerous habits. (Who else ate half a pint of ice cream for dinner tonight? Nobody even knew!  Until I just told all of you....). 

I'm kidding (not about the ice cream). Living alone is a really big rite of passage. You learn how to survive when the electricity goes out every week for a month. You find out that 55 degrees is a pretty acceptable temperature to live in -- mostly because its the one you can afford. & cooking actually isn't so scary. & crock pots are a girl's best friend. 


But mostly, when you live alone, you learn about yourself. & that's some pretty good company.  Anyway!! Sorry to get all sentimental on you guys! I just really love this studio. Want a quick tour?


Remember way back when I told you about Building the Corner Coffee Bar? It's still here. & I still love it. This is where I sit when I'm working from home. A perfect little place to work & look up to people watch the inhabitants of Mt. Adams.


With less space in the studio I had to get creative about surfaces. Purses went on the wall. Hats went onto hooks. & pictures went onto the fridge. (Here's that post on Instagram Fridge Magnets.... that was one of the first things I did here!)   & don't worry guys -- my drafting table did fit. I made sure of it.


One thing I didn't realize until I lived alone is how your space unconsciously becomes... well you. 

It's where your life unfolds & where you can be you. The un-make-upped, unassuming, un guarded self. I love that. It's how a 450 square foot box can become your home. 


Photography: Mintwood Photo Co.

P.S. I've had this post in the works for a long time. Since July. While my slightly messy morning routine definitely delayed the process (it's not true that a small space is easier to keep clean!!), the real push to publish came from Urban Compass. They're a real estate platform focused on connecting individuals with the neighborhoods, apartments & homes  that best fit their personality. Thank you for asking me to share my Starter Story & finally invite you all inside the studio. I'd love to hear about your first homes in the comments :D