22 Nov

Is it weird that I am posting a photo of someone’s kid? Probably. But have you seen this article yet? It is heart m-e-l-t-i-n-g. If it doesn’t melt your heart, you need a cocktail (it’s Friday, I won’t judge).

Screen shot 2013-11-21 at 9.53.01 PM

In other worlds, this face melts my heart (don’t worry, this is actually my fur-baby). Gratitude this week goes all to Nellie. That face cures EVERYTHING. I grew up with a dog and my mom always joked my first word was “dog”. These little creatures make my world go ’round and I am so blessed we now have our own in our lives.


Every morning she is full of energy, just so damn excited for the day. Every night when we get home, she is so excited we’re home. Consistently, every single day. Could you imagine if we lived life consistently happy & excited? I caught myself frustrated with her the other day and when I truly thought about why I was frustrated, it was simply because she was being a puppy….curious, energetic, not listening. I decided I should take note from such an enthusiastic thing who is simply curious and excited about everything on this planet (specifically the leaves in our backyard). Would it hurt to be a little more enthusiastic about life, regardless of what it is? Maybe just for one day…let alone every single day?

Have a curious & positive weekend!

Carpe Diem,


Thanksgiving // Give Thanks

20 Nov

I love how gratitude suddenly sits at the forefront of our lives around the holiday season. Unless you’re the Grinch, everyone tends to become a little nicer and little more thankful. Next week, I’ll be sitting down with 20 members of my family to say grace and be thankful for our delicious meal, but more importantly the fact that we’re all together. It is one of my favorite holidays of the year. Here are a few ways to keep your tabletop looking fab while still giving thanks:



This has been all over Pinterest and for good reason! It is SO easy. Simple kraft brown paper from your local art store & a sharpie is all you need. I love this for each place setting, plus when you actually have to write something down it makes you think a lot harder about what you’re truly thankful for.


I can’t remember how I stumbled upon Lindsay Letters but I am officially obsessed with her shop. I adore this “Let our lives be filled with thanks and giving” print. It makes a wonderful hostess gift at only $20.


Another version of writing what we’re thankful for from the Glitter Guide. What I love about this is actually the gold colored pencil…even your writing utensils can be chic…duh, why wouldn’t they be?


Another simple print and at only $10 for 8″x8″ you could even put these at each place setting for guests to take home (if you really love your family that much….who knows).

Whether you’re gathering with part of your family, your entire family or friends who have become family, I hope it’s day filled with relaxation, reflection and a whole lot of sweet potatoes (covered in marshmallows).

Carpe Diem,


image sources 1/2/3/4/5

Thanksgiving // Tabletop

19 Nov

I admire the abundance of epic Thanksgiving tabletop designs out there in this world. They’re beautiful and highly designed, but…where do all the sweet potatoes go?! Seriously, though….where does all the food go? Buffet style? That works. Regardless, I ohh’d and aww’d over these and only hope my Thanksgiving table looks like these someday.

Ciao Darling Thanksgiving Inspiration 1

I love the combination of simplistic plates with gold chargers and gold flatware. The other element I love about this table is it is actually functional! The long garland centerpiece is flat & mobile. Set food on top of it (ex: the cheese plate above) or easily move it about on the table to make room for plates of food.

Ciao Darling Thanksgiving Inspiration 2

That candle centerpiece gorgeousness….hellllllo! Ah-maz-ing. Again, love the simple style plates with the gold chargers. Don’t forget about those little gold pumpkins; the easiest and quickest way to upgrade your table from ordinary pumpkins to fab pumpkin (Yes, I just said “fab pumpkins”). Add one striped table runner and voila!

Ciao Darling Thanksgiving Inspiration 3

A simple yet tailored detail in many of these photos is the silverware tied with pretty ribbon. Anyone can do this with a few bucks worth of ribbon. Springs of rosemary add another layer of texture and color, also only a few bucks. Let’s not forget about those stunning wooden chargers…you can find similar chargers/cutting boards here for $15 each.

Ciao Darling Thanksgiving Inspiration 4

The vintage glassware helps make this table top so chic, but all you need to accomplish most of this look is charcoal napkins, charcoal ribbon, paper tags (cut brown craft paper, punch a hole to tie ribbon through and write each guests name) and more springs of rosemary.

Ciao Darling Thanksgiving Inspiration 6Last but not least, I adore this light, bright and colorful autumn table. So often fall is over barren with deep jewel tones, so I love this alternative while still using the classic “fall orange”. Best way to achieve this is to have a local floral shop re-create this concept or do it yourself if you’re Martha Stewart.

Tomorrow, I’ll be sharing ideas for my favorite aspect of Thanksgiving: what we’re grateful for and why we’re celebrating in the first place.

Carpe Diem,


image sources 1/2/3/4/5


15 Nov

Today’s Gratitude Post is easy. It’s easy because today marks a significant anniversary for Mr.Riggar and myself.


The same girlfriend who took this very first photo of Zach and I also gifted us a 2003 Gran Reserva bottle of Spanish red wine for our wedding, which we will be cracking tonight at dinner for our 10 year anniversary. We certainly are not the same little kids in that photo (thankfully we don’t look the same either…) but after 10 years, I can say I certainly feel the same way. I know in another 10 years we won’t be the same people but I do know, it’s not going to matter. From love-drunk teenagers, to crazy college kids, to entering the “real world”, traveling the world together, getting married and now owning a home and being fur-parents…it’s been an awesome decade. And we’ve only just begun. So yes, this Gratitude Post was easy today.

My advice for the weekend: tell someone how much you love them. It’ll make their day and I bet it’ll brighten yours as well.

Carpe Diem,


BurnCycle // Get The Look

14 Nov

I’m pretty stoked how BurnCycle’s front seating area turned out. Although there are not many elements, we (okay, maybe just me) heavily debated those elements. Compared to every other detail involved in opening a spinning studio & starting a company, this was very minuscule, BUT we needed a seating area and it needed to be awesome. See the inspiration here & the final photos here. Here’s how to get the look:

BurnCycle Shop List

Bike Lights // DIY comin’ at ya next week. You won’t believe how simple & cheap it is.

Benches // These are knock-off Barcelona benches from

Terrarium & Leafy Plant // I stopped into a local flower shop in the Pearl District (hey, Sammy’s Flowers – you guys are wonderful!) and purchased a pre-made terrarium for only $39. The best thing about terrariums is they are really hard to kill. Really, really hard to kill. Bingo! We picked up a few Medrone branches from Sammy’s Flowers for the photo shoot, but a Fiddle Leaf Fig would be a more permanent option.

Orange Lacquer Tray // We needed a pop of color on the clear coffee table against the neutral rug, which made this orange tray from West Elm the perfect solution.

Orange Pillows // Another pop of color on the minimalist style bench. I love the oversized scale on these and guess what? They’re Ikea.

Acrylic Coffee Table // We wanted something simple, modern & almost non-descript…enter the classic acrylic table from CB2.

Jute Rug // I love these rugs for multiple reasons, mostly because they offer great texture while being neutral & simple. Although Jute is uber durable, it is not soft (which is also why it works in a spinning studio where everyone always has shoes on…hopefully). We got this one from Target, but for a home, my personal favorite is this super soft wool/jute combo from Pottery Barn.

There ya have it! What do you think? If you’re in PDX, swing by BurnCycle for the best work-out of your life and to see this beloved seating area (obviously, the latter is exactly why you’ll go).

Carpe Diem,


*image source for terrarium (how gorgeous is that online shop based in Seattle?)

*image source for fiddle leaf fig unknown, found via Pinterest


13 Nov

BurnCycle has officially been cruising through its first two months of spinning and guess what? They’re ordering more bikes this week thanks to continuously sold out classes. Before there were spinners on the bikes though, the space looked like this:


Also known as Banner Bank. Now, that glass room is gone & the majority of the space above is the actual spinning studio. We converted the back storage room area into two bathrooms; one large locker room for women with 2 showers and a separate small locker room for men with 1 shower.

With a lot of demo, a thick coat of new paint, and some killer branding, this lovely corner in the Pearl District now looks like this:



There are three elements in this build that made the world of a difference: polished concrete, white walls and a black ceiling. None of which existed before we got our hands on it. Yes, I literally debated concrete stain options with the builder. No, concrete doesn’t just naturally look like that despite preconceived notions (how annoying, right?). Of course, the furnishings & awesome lighting make a huge impact as well.  I’ll be sharing how to get “the look” of the little seating area tomorrow (with the rad-tastic cheap sources)!

I’ll also be sharing a DIY on the ah-maz-ing bike lights! All my sisters idea & executed by my pops. When I say tomorrow, I promise tomorrow. Unlike last time when I said “soon” and that was 2.5 months ago. I’m back on the blogging bandwagon. Pinky promise.

Carpe Diem,

*All “after” photos by the crazy-talented Ty Milford. Go now & drool over his photography. Killer branding by the also crazy-talented Laura Schalk.


6 Sep

Hello all! I am off for the weekend to celebrate two dear friends from high school getting hitched. It’s been a long time coming since they first met (literally, it was the 7th grade), so there is much celebrating to be had. It’s down in McMinnville at a beautiful vineyard with a stunning view; needless to say it’s going to be gorgeous. Just cross your fingers this PNW rain goes away!

It’s going to look a little something like this….



Yellow! Yellow! Yellow! A tricky color, but the Bride did a stellar job using it..wait ’til you see our bridesmaid dresses!



The Bride & Groom are big wine connoisseurs, so there will be lots of little accents of wine involved…and lots of delicious wine to drink. 1e0395f6d2c2c6f174aa22978cd22af5 4e3cc13cee594f3d206d665e16e79de7

Yes, there will be outdoor chandeliers. I can’t wait to see her vision come together, but as with all weddings, the details are just details and I can not wait to stand by their side while they vow their lives together and cheers to happily ever after.

PS. Yes, we also have a hashtag for the event, hence #cheer2thewhittakers…easy way to see all the photos people take at the wedding!

Carpe Diem,

*Click on image for original source.


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