Archive for October, 2014

One Room Challenge Week Five

Welcome to week five of the One Room Challenge.  We are getting there.  As a refresher, I’m working on my mom’s pool house.

There was good news and bad news happening this week.  One of the bad news things is that I just wrote the entire week five post and then it mysteriously deleted.  Damn you, technology.  So I’m thinking this post will be short.

Other bad news, the coffee table won’t be arriving in time.  It was scheduled to arrive Oct. 1st and then the date has continuously been pushed back to where I’m questioning if the table will ever come.  You’ll just have to imagine this beautiful table on the big reveal.


Ugh, the experience is making me bitter with Anthropologie.  But, not bitter enough to stop shopping there.  Not even for one milisecond.  Damn you, Anthropologie.

Also, my mom has not made any final decisions on the art.  She wants to see the entire space put together and live with it for a bit before pulling the trigger on an art piece.

Onto the good news, I found a very pretty mirror at Home Goods that will be the place filler until the art decided.


As you can see in the mirror’s reflection, the painting is done except for touch ups and it looks great.  Mom really wanted a warmer white, I had originally suggested Decorators White which is a true white.  We went with Swiss Coffee which has a bit of warmth to it and that was the right choice since this is a big space with a lot of white.  It was hard to photograph correctly and so it comes looking less white then it really is in person.  I love the two blues on the doors and trims.

photo 2-3

photo 1-4


In other good news, the upholstery pieces are in and they are awesome; just awesome.  I walked into my upholstery shop and my jaw dropped to the ground.  I see my upholsterer pretty much weekly when I’m working full time and I don’t think he’s ever seen me so taken aback by the beauty of his work.

I went back and forth on wether or not to show you my favorite piece of to save it for week six.  But, I’ve got to give you a nugget to bring you back next week.  Please come back cause you’ll get to see more of this beauty…


A little back story here. I’ve been massively obsessed with Christopher Farr Cloth Carnival ever since I started blogging in 2009.  Here’s some proof with a very early post.  I have presented it to clients who have gone with other schemes instead.  I have priced it out with my own home but my pockets aren’t deep enough yet.  And I have waved the little sample in front of my mom’s face for years now slowly hypnotizing her until one day she took the bait and agreed to have her sofa reupholstered in Carnival.  Mom, I love you more then words can say, one reason being for your fabulous taste in fabrics.

When I sent my mom the above photo from the upholstery shop, her response in all caps was, “WOW!  THAT IS FUN AND WILD  I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE IT”  All caps equals major mom approval.  Happy client, happy decorator.  I really can’t wait to show you the reveal next week, until then please go read all the massive talent at the link up party, here.

October 30, 2014 at 5:45 AM 15 comments

Taking a Chance

I was wandering around Pinterest, gazing at all things pretty, when I slammed smack into this photo and I couldn’t take my eyes off of it…



The look was achieved by the always fabulous, always maximalist Miles Redd.

I began to dissect the photo and I thought to myself there is no way I could convince a client to throw that many wallpapers, patterns and valances into one room.  They would all think I had gone mad.  So bravo to Miles for having the fortitude to execute such daring beauty and bravo to the clients for handing the reins to Miles, letting him do what he does best.

That’s it. Y’all can carry on now.

October 28, 2014 at 5:25 AM 3 comments

My Motivation

I have seven pounds to go until I reach my pre-pregnancy weight. It’s actually a much easier number to deal with then last go around, so it all feels manageable.  Perhaps a little too manageable.  I think I’ve been sitting around hoping that the weight would just come off on its own.  But, my body doesn’t work that way, at least not in my 30’s, it doesn’t.  Losing the weight alone wasn’t motivating me to get off my a$$.  So, it was time to get some true motivation going.

What will get me up and moving?  Wallpaper.  Obviously.  I set a goal for myself that if I exercise at least three times a week for four weeks in a row, then I can buy wallpaper for someplace in my home.  If sometime during the four weeks, I don’t meet the three times a week goal, then I start all the way back at week one.  If I half ass a workout, it doesn’t count as a day.  I’m entering into my third week of consistent, difficult exercise.  The wallpaper is motivating me.  To get me through the tough workouts, I think of wallpaper.  I’m obsessed.  It’s strange.  It doesn’t make sense.  I also had an ikat dream lastnight.  I kid you not.  How many people literally dream of Ikat? #decoratorproblems

The wallpaper obsession has brought me to so many different papers and looks.  Our house is exploding with wallpaper samples.  This week I’m on a William Morris inspired, botanical kick.  Here are some faves…

Trustworth Studios:







Abigail Borg:




Josef Frank:




3c58717b0f9a53374fe454caec6c6723What will I buy once the exercise is met?  I don’t have a clue.  There are just so many choices.


October 27, 2014 at 5:34 AM 5 comments

One Room Challenge: Week Four

Delivery!  It’s kind of the best word ever, isn’t it?  Nothing like a good mail day.  We’ve got loot to show.

As a reminder, I’m redoing  my mom’s pool house.  You can read about the first three weeks here, here and here.

Before I get to the delivery, let me back up.

You see those green wicker chairs that were in my mom’s pool house.


They are great comfortable wicker chairs and so we thought about repainting them white and reupholstering them.

However, neither my mom nor I wanted to go through the agony of repainting them.  I’m a lousy DIY girl at my finest and I’m not at my finest with a baby and toddler following after me currently.

So, when you don’t DIY, you buy.  Am I right?  Enter a pair of these fab Serena and Lily chairs for replacement.


They are super cute and actually way more comfy then I thought they would be.  Win, win.

Where did the old chairs go?  Oh just to my own back yard.  Ulterior motives much?  Thanks mom.

Speaking of delivery, there was another batch of beautiful chairs that came through the mail.


Actually, they arrived about a month ago in preparation for the one room challenge.  You see, they  sell out FAST!  They are sold out again.  I ordered as soon as they were back in stock from Overstock and they went back out of stock in like two days.  I kid you not.  But they are beautiful and I’m very impressed with the quality and price…

photo 1-3

The final delivery…this jute rug from Ballard Designs

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As a refresher, here is what it replaced…

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Because nothing spells pool house like a persian rug that you plucked from your husband’s office in the early 1990’s.

Jute is bringing on the California summer time vibe, such an improvement!

The paint is still underway.  The doors are painted and the trim is done but the doors need to be hung before they whitewash the walls and ceiling.


Come back next week when, hopefully the painting will be all done and we can move the furniture into place.  Fingers crossed.  This is all so crazy fast.  Please check out all the other great participants, here.

October 23, 2014 at 5:11 AM 8 comments

Chambray for All

We all love a good chambray.  Chalk it up to an American spirit or a tomboy at heart, whatever it may be, we all just feel cozy and cute in chambray.  I think it calls to both my inner cowgirl and my inner prepster, speaking to all my dichotomies.  Such a wonderful material shouldn’t stay restricted to our bodies.  Set chambray free and plaster it all over your walls or drape it over your bed.  Bring it on home to live a while….



carla fahden




miranda brooks



In my mind, I picture Grace’s nursery walls in a textured chambray wallpaper.  Perhaps someday it won’t just be in my head but that last finishing touch that I still long for.  Until then, I get to live vicariously through pinterest.

October 22, 2014 at 5:22 AM 5 comments

A Day in the Life of Two Under Two

I wrote this a month ago but never hit publish because I never got around to proof reading it until now – such is life. So here was my update on two under two when Grace was six weeks old…

Every couple of days, I think that I have the energy and state of mind to write a blog post about how wonderful my two little girls are and the feeling of happiness that we share.  Literally, every time, I think, “today is the day I write the post” something awfully trying goes down and the happy post flies out the window.

Yesterday morning, I woke up thinking that during Josie’s nap time, I would write a post.  The morning was filled with all things wonderful to post on.  Sister snuggles, little loves and girly giggle time.  It felt blissful.  Truly.


Then, came time for our post office appointment to get passports for the two girls:

We arrived, waited in line, while Josie attempted to free her little hand from my death grip so that she could run straight out the door.  When we finally made it to the window, I told the lovely clerk that we had an appointment.  She told me that they weren’t ready for me yet and I had to wait.  Awesome.  Because 19 month olds are great at waiting.

Eventually, they were ready for us and we got to deal with an extremely rude clerk, who we’ll call Grumpy.  Grumpy was certain I didn’t have all the paperwork.  Oh but I did.  Ha ha.  Obstacle one accomplished.

After reviewing all my forms, and to her chagrin seeing that I had all necessary documents and that she would have to deal with the stressed out mom and screaming children, Grumpy asked for our passport photos.  I told her that it clearly states that her post office takes passport photos and I wanted to get them there.  At first she adamantly refused saying that she didn’t want to deal with taking a baby’s photo.  And I should go to a studio.  What the hell?  A studio?  What studio?

Grumpy finally lamented and said that she would attempt to take passport photos of my kids.  At this point, Josie is free of my grip and has been running around the post office while I chase after her.  I’ve finally picked her up.  Grumpy is looking at me and my children in a very judgy way.  And then she goes, “And girl, you are pregnant again” and shakes her head in disapproval.

Ummm…did you just call me pregnant?  You are literally entering Grace’s birth date as Aug 7, 2014, that was six weeks ago.  I thought maybe she meant something else – like I was just pregnant…cause I was.  So I ignored the comment in an effort to get on with the show.

Grumpy took us to a back room to take the passport photos.  I was relieved to have Josie trapped in one room where she couldn’t run out the door.  Josie, on the other hand, was super bummed to be in a little room so began the real waterworks.

With Josie crying at the door, it was time to take Grace’s passport photo.  Grumpy had the photography skills of your 98 year old grandmother – slow and shaky.  Grace’s eyes had to be open and her hands had to be down by her side.  At this point, Grace is sleeping so I’m yelling “Grace,” snapping my fingers, picking her up and literally trying to pry her eyes open as Grumpy slowly snaps a photo five seconds after Grace has opened her eyes and moved her hands.  Grumpy is frustrated by my “uncooperative” six week old.  This shenanigan of attempting to get a useable photo continues for 45 minutes.

By this time, we are well into nap time for Josie.  I’m finding myself prying open the eyes of my newborn while singing “Old McDonald” at the top of my lungs while my toddler melts around me.  At my near breaking point, Grumpy turns to me and says, “do you know what you’re having, a boy or a girl?”  I look at her and say, “I’m not pregnant.  You’re taking pictures of my newborn”

Seriously?  How is that even scientifically possible?  Did I get pregnant two weeks after giving birth and I’m now a month along?  Hell no, lady!  But thanks for pointing out my fat while my toddler melts and my newborn is “uncooperative

50 minutes into failed attempts of taking pictures of my motionless baby, Grumpy needs to move on to the next passport customer and a different clerk comes in to try to take Grace’s photo.  This clerk was extremely happy, we’ll call her Peppy.  Peppy picks up the camera, Grace quickly opens her eyes and has her hands down.  Peppy snaps the photo and lightening speed and we are done.  Houston, we have a passport photo!  And the best photo ever..

photo 1 (22)


Amazing, right?  Grace will thank me for this pic one day.

Now, it’s Josie’s turn to stand still, look at the camera and keep her hands to her side for a passport photo.  At this point, she’s got snot running down her face and she is looking like a complete mess.  But, for some reason, Josie relinquishes her quest to go out the door and she stands in front of the white screen in perfect position for the passport photo.  Peppy turns to me and asks if I want to clean up her face first.  To which I blurt out, “no. just take the picture now.”  She quickly snaps the photo right before Josie bolts out of the way.  Relieved to have a photo, we both hoot and holler.

Of course, it can’t be that easy.  Grumpy comes back and looks at Josie’s photo and says that some of the hair is out of the shot and that it needs to be redone.  What?  You mean her massive curly hair that pokes out every which direction?  every tip to every strand of hair needs to be in the photo?

I’m very proud of my coaxing skills as I can lure a 19 month old back to a passport screen station and then snatch her book away as not to have it in the photo.  Luckily, we had Peppy Snappy McSnaperson behind camera and she gets the exact shot that we needed within the split second before toddler melt down.  Amazingly, all the hair made it into the photo…


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It’s now time to leave the little room and to go back out tot he main lobby to have Peppy enter in the paperwork to the system.  As I’m carrying Josie back into the lobby, who is now an hour and 15 minutes past her nap time, Josie sees a man waiting in line  who resembles Graham.  Not only does he have Graham’s build, hair and complexion, he is also wearing the exact outfit that Graham wears every Sunday – a 49ers jersey and shorts.  He is the doppleganger of all dopplegangers.  Give me a few beers and I would think it was Graham.

Upon seeing this man, Josie is literally trying to leap from my arms and into his.  She is wailing, “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy”  As if Daddy came to save her from the torture.  But the man is not even looking at her, cause he’s not her daddy.  Josie is getting more and more crushed that Daddy is just blatenly ignoring her.  I keep saying “That’s not daddy” but you can’t reason with an upset toddler.  So the cry for “daddy” continues until the man finally leaves the post office.

20 minutes later and Peppy is finally done with filling out the necessary forms.  I have written checks and I’m now signing the final receipt.  The end is in sight and I’m picturing my reward of nap time.  Just as I’m about to be done with the place, Peppy look at me and she excitedly says, “are you pregnant?”

With a lump in my throat, I pack up my kids, attempt to suck in my stomach and make the four block trek back to the car.

That night, over a giant glass of wine, I say to Graham, “Oh my God, what if my passport is expired?”  He reply, “No way.  It takes a really long time for a passport to expire”

Feeling weary from the day, just before I crawl into bed, I think I’ll check out my passport.  Passport lasts ten long years.  However, mine expires Oct. 16, two weeks before our trip to Mexico.

Back to the post office I go.

This, my friends, is a day in the life of two under two.  I must be grade A crazy because I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  I love these two little bandits with all my heart…

double take

October 20, 2014 at 7:08 AM 9 comments

One Room Challenge Week Three

As they say, “It has to get ugly before it gets pretty.”  Or, they say something like that.

The painters are in and making a real mess of the place.  Behold my mom’s pool house –

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What are all those stacks of doors on the left hand side?  Well, “we’ll just repaint the trim of the interior” turned into “we’ll paint the entire interior” which then turned into a discovery that all the doors were rotting from moisture from the pool which turned into replacing the doors which turned into repainting the exterior as well.  It happens.

There are a lot of doors to replace too…

pool house

The walls and ceiling are getting repainted to a nice beautiful white – Swiss Coffee, which is a go to white that I use all the time.

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All those doors and all the trim are getting painted two different shades of blue.  I’m very excited to see this place drenched in white paint with, for lack of a better word, “pops” of blue.  Here are some inspiring white pool house spaces while ours is in process…




House of Turquoise



I’m so excited for the paint to be finished.  For now, I just wait.  Next Thursday I’ll be discussing lovely deliveries that have been arriving.

Please go check out all the other fantastic one room makeover participants, here.

October 16, 2014 at 5:24 AM 8 comments

One Room Challenge: Week Two


Welcome to ORC, week 2!  As a refresher, I’m redoing my mom’s pool house, you can read about it here.  Everything is coming together and I’m really excited!  This has been a dream of mine because we are using some of my favorite fabrics.  And since I’m doing this for my mom, I get to visit all the time.  So, it’s pretty much a gift to myself.

We have the plan finalized.  I’m not going to give it all away because what fun would that be?  But, here is the fabric plan I presented…


Tweaks have been made to what I presented.  The pink is a no go.  Bummer!  My mom is not a pink lady.  I am.  However, I am absolutely thrilled that both patterned fabrics are happening in a big way.  I am beside myself with excitement!

With the major pieces decided and ordered, we’re onto deciding about art.

My family is big on art.  Judging by this first image that I showed you from my mom’s living room.


All the walls in my mom’s home are covered with large pieces of art.  However, there is one wall that has been bare.  The pool house wall, above the fireplace.

photo 3-12

Sad, sad wall.

Ultimately, this is my mom’s home so she does get to make the final decision but I have made some art suggestions.

Paul Ferney

Paul Ferney

Paul Ferney is a favorite artist of mine.  He’s also a very nice guy who I’ve commissioned to do pieces for me several times.  And he’s local, based out of San Francisco.  He recently did an amazing series of beaches on the California coast. I’d ideally like one of those.

Going Personal


My dad, who passed away five years ago, was a character, to put it lightly.  One thing he would always do is swim with a speedo on.  He wasn’t some major sport fanatic or a crazy talented swimmer, no, he just loved a good costume.  One of his favorite speedos was one he picked up in Australia.  I’d love to frame the speedo and get a really large matte for it.

Slim Aarons


This is a pool house.  We are in California.  Wouldn’t one of his famous Palm Springs prints be so fitting?

And there you have it.  My choices.  My mom hasn’t committed to any of them so we may be without art on the final reveal.  Ultimately, it’s her choice and art can take time to pick.  What say you?  Which one would you choose?

Take a look at what others are doing here.

October 9, 2014 at 4:10 AM 16 comments

Grace: Two Months

I don’t know where the time has gone.  But somehow Grace is already two months old today.

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Grace has reached that perfect baby stage where she is just so scrumptious and edible that I’d like to hit the pause button for a little bit and revel in all things baby Grace before she grows up too fast.

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I think of Grace as our little trooper.  She handles Josie remarkably well.  Josie is a wonderful older sister but she gets excited and frustrated, like how 19 month olds do, and I can’t always interfere quick enough so there has been some toddler fingers in Grace’s eyes, etc.  But, Grace just sort of gets on with the show and doesn’t make a big fuss about it.  She is a great baby and we are very lucky!

She even puts up with mommy forgetting to support her head in the pursuit of a “mommy/daughter” matching photo…

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Oops!  Looks like my girls were really into this.

We’re so happy to have our sweet Grace in our lives and we’re thrilled she puts up with us goofballs.

October 7, 2014 at 5:16 AM 1 comment

One Room Challenge Week One

Hi all,

Peeking in from the throws of mommy hood to try out the One Room Challenge Linking Challenge.  I’ve always had great fun watching the One Room Challenge from afar but I thought it was time to pony up and give this challenge a try.



To find out what the One Room Challenge created by Linda of Calling it Home is all about, check it out here.

So here we go.  Who is my lucky little client?  That would be the Kakerator.  My mama.


My sweet mother has volunteered  given in to my begging to redo her pool house.  So hold on to your horses while this room gets a refresh…



The upholstery is stained and tired and it’s just not the bright functional space it once was.  However, it’s time for glory days again for most of these pieces of furniture with some new hipper clothes (fabrics) on.  The space will also get repainted to go with the new scheme.

We are going for a pumped up palm beach chic color frenzy look.  A la this fab place done by Ruthie Sommers…


Lucky for me this little client of mine isn’t afraid of pattern or bold pieces.  Case in point, take a look at her sofa in her living room…


Isn’t her sofa rad?  It’s always been a love of mine, as my mom knows.  And then, the vintage Clarence House print showed up in this years Design Showcase in SF.  Mom – you are so trendy right now.


So there you have it.  I hope you stick around for the next six weeks.  I promise we’ve got some fun in store.  Hope to see you back here next week for a progress update.


October 2, 2014 at 5:34 AM 9 comments


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