Archive for October, 2015

One Room Challenge: Wallpaper Is Up!


My wallpaper hanger told me that you can get addicted to putting wallpaper up in your home.  Yep, guilty.  Once you start, you can’t stop. It’s just so satisfying and transforming.

As a reminder, I’m redoing my daughter’s walk in closet.

Heres where we were at last week…


And now, the same shot this week with the addition of Osborne and Little Best In Show flocked wallpaper…


It’s squeal worthy for me and my little girls.  I really am making my big girl dreams come true in my little girl’s closet.

I had originally wanted to change out the existing closet bar with a lucite one but then I had it priced out and it’s hilariously expensive.  Guess what 2 year old does not get a $600 lucite closet bar?  The existing one will get painted either pink or black this weekend.  Thoughts on color?

I still need to paint out the closet bar, change out the light, put up their little tote bags on the far back wall for a dress up space and sew cafe curtains for that cute little window.

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Not much left to go…we’re chugging right along.

Please check out the other participants here.

Also, I wanted to let you know that I’m guest posting over at the wonderful blog Aquahaus.  It’s breast cancer awareness month and I’m talking about my cancer scare as well as sharing pink in my home.  This subject is very near and dear to me so I’d love it if you checked it out.  Plus, you’ll get sucked in to Celine’s amazing blog and cool style.

October 29, 2015 at 5:34 AM 14 comments

One Room Challenge: Picking a Paint

What’s a One Room Challenge without a few tears?

Just like there’s no use crying over spilt milk, there’s no use crying over dried paint.  But my eyes did well up with tears and a few ran down my cheek.

But before we get into this week.  If you’re just joining in today – I’m revamping my girls’ walk-in closet for the six week challenge and here is the plan…


The few tears happened because I can’t get this damn pink paint color right.  I’m frustrated and tired.  Twice now I thought I found the right color painted out a bunch of the closet and then I hated it, which means repainting all of that work as well.

The first time, I had my local paint store color match the Sister Parish fabric that will be used as the window drapes.  The color ended up feeling like hospital pink and I just hated it.


The second time, I thought I had the correct color for sure and then my mom walked into the closet and said, “oh” and not in a good way.  She tried to backtrack but the honesty was right there in her gut reaction.  The pink ran too cold and will make the paper look dirty.


All my work was not paying off…


The best looking pink with the Best in Show wallpaper is a dusty pink because of it’s cream background but I’m not a fan of dusty pink.  Here in lies the problem.  So I sampled and sampled and sampled paint colors.  I obsessed.  And then I got stuck in analysis paralysis.


Enough is enough.  My mom stepped in with the gift of a painter and the gift of the painter coming on a certain day which means that decisions needed to be made.  Thank you, Mom!

I decided on Rosey Outlook by Sherwin Williams.  It may have partially won out from the name alone.  I’d love nothing else than the girls to have a rosey outlook on life.


The walk in closet as of now…


I’m thrilled with the color and I’m so happy I bit the bullet and decided on a color.

Also, some tips that I learned along the way for pink paint: usually pick the paint that is at the top of the paint strip; pink tends to build on itself and it can intensify quickly.  Also, if you want to go a little lower on the paint strip, trying cutting the paint and adding in 50% white.

Next step is the wallpaper installation.  I can’t wait!!  You can check in on the other participants of the One Room Challenge here.

October 22, 2015 at 5:02 AM 8 comments

Love at First Sight

It was love at first sight for me and my outdoor coffee table.  When you know, you know?  Alas, the coffee table played hard to get with a very steep price tag.  So, I visited often, I never forgot about it and I waited.  This past Saturday, the shop at Filoli, where I spied my coffee table, had 50% off sale for the entire store.

You want to know who showed up on the shop’s doorstep two minutes before opening?  This lady.  One swipe of the credit card and he was mine.

He’s a faux grass bench (technically) but throw a tray on and he’s a table.


Now, we’ve got Graham’s daybed, two faux bamboo chairs (that used to be our dining room chairs, and a coffee table…


I hate our hardscape but there’s nothing we can do about it until we add on.  I’m considering a sisal rug as a part time solution.

Remember how I chatted about buying fabric to make a seat cushion?  Well, shocker, I was unable to pull the trigger.  I had decided on this scheme.


But when priced out it was beyond what I wanted to spend for something that sits outside in the harsh California elements.

Now that I have the coffee table, I’m reconsidering fabric options.  I’ve been reading Anna Spiro’s coffee table book and it’s been inspiring me to try going crazy with pillows – tons in different patterns.  Something along these lines pillows wise…


I do have quadrille zig zag left over from my One Room Challenge so I may use it on the club chairs.


Since the coffee table is officially mine, I’m hoping it’ll give me the kick in the pants needed to finish off the space before El Nino hits.

My sister in law was with me when I bought the coffee table and she thought it was very palm beach/kentucky.  So we’ve decided that I’m going with the Palm Beach Derby look.  I envision a derby party in our future.

October 19, 2015 at 4:14 AM 2 comments

One Room Challenge: Week 2

Thank you for the encouraging comments from last weeks post.  They really made my day and added to the pressure a bit which is actually a good thing.  I hope to not disappoint.

So I’m redoing my daughter’s small walk in closet and here’s the plan:


My question for you is – what’s your pattern?  What do I mean by that?  What’s the pattern that you’ve been dreaming of for your home – be it in form of wallpaper or fabric?  For me, it’s Osborne and Little Best In Show wallpaper in the flocked version.

I remember when I first laid eyes on the paper way back in October of 2010 as a young newlywed living in a Chicago rental on a student budget.  It was mearly a pipe dream then and so I blogged about it and dreamt about it and waited.  Then two years ago my brother and sister in law redid their home and papered their bathroom with the flocked Best in Show paper.  I was that much closer to my pipe dream.  The second it was installed, I drove across the bay to Oakland and attempted to hug the walls and then I stood there for forty five minutes or so naming the dogs on the paper.

And now, my dear friends and family, it’s my turn.  The famed paper is in my home that we own and can put permanent wallpaper on the walls if we want to.  It’s happening!!

Josie, my oldest daughter, was in a princess costume when the paper arrived.  I found it so fitting that she should be dressed like royalty when the paper arrived all the way from England.


There’s a catch…isn’t there always?  My wallpaper installer, whom I trust with my life and love and adore and really can’t speak more highly of, is in high demand in the silicon (everyone’s redoing their homes) valley.  He can only come on November 12 – the very day that the One Room Challenge reveal is and that was me booking him three weeks ago.  I am on his cancellation list so I’ll be called if anybody cancels.  Everyone please pray for a cancellation!!  Come on baby!!

On with the rest of the plan.  I will be painting out the woodwork in the closet pink.  I thought I was taking a bit of a risk when I came up with this idea and then I ran across this mudroom by Katie Rosenthal and it made me feel all the better.


The pink will match the Sister Parish fabric that’s in the above mood board; the fabric will be used for cafe curtains for the window in the closet. At least that’s the hope.  A good pink paint is impossibly hard to find.  I’m still throwing samples up on the walls.  I think I’ve narrowed it down to the paint (50’s pink by Benjamin Moore) and this weekend I plan to paint the closet.  Since all I’ve done so far is order things.


It’s time for me to get painting, while I do that, please check the other participants, here.

October 15, 2015 at 7:36 AM 3 comments

Tablescaping in an Apple Orchard

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You know you’re living a great life when you have too many friends and so you either have to have a 70th birthday party the size of the wedding or split it up into two fabulous parties.  My mom is that lucky.  We had her first 70th birthday party with family, close college lifetime friends and wonderful, supportive friends that she’s met traveling, post my dad’s passing.  Round two will be in November.

The party was held at our special family ranch and we had a long sit down table in the apple orchard for 70 people.

This was my largest tablescape by far and so quite a bit of prep went into it.  We wanted to go for a fall palate and that was dictated by the orange plaid napkins that I got at Pier 1.

IMG_6375       On top of each napkin, we placed a menu and little wooden pigs that I found off of ETSY and strung with bakers twine.


Down the center of the table, we placed pumpkins, pomegranate buds, gourds and greens, all of which was foraged from the ranch.


We also put out mason jars filled with popcorn kernels and candles


 It was such a fun weekend and a fabulous dinner, not to mention the food was out of this world – it was a pig roast.  Yum!

I couldn’t have put this beast of a table together without the prep work help of my mom, and the day of help with my Aunt Brenda and sister in law, Bridget!!  Thank you ladies for helping to carry pumpkins, cut down branches and place one apple after another after another after another.


Also, it must be noted that Grace matched the napkins.  You know how I love a theme.


Also, the girls and I had a trio of vests on cause I can’t resist matching.  I just can’t.

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After dinner was dancing in our barn.


It was a wonderful night and best of all my mom had a blast!!

October 13, 2015 at 5:51 AM 6 comments

One Room Challenging Once Again

It’s the One Room Challenge time.  I look back at my past One Room Challenges and I literally don’t even remember doing them.  The first one I did – my mom’s pool house, Grace was like six weeks old and Josie was 20 months.  What was I insane?  Here’s what I did…


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Then I did it again with a country bedroom when Grace was like six months old and Josie was two.  Here’s what I did…



Now, Grace is a year and Josie is 2.5, this should be no problem comparatively.  But, for whatever reason, I feel more tired.  Why is that, people? Everybody told me this mothering stuff gets easier with time.

Well, no one ever says The One Room Challenge gets easier.  So like a fool, I’m going in, fully aware of the stress to transform my daughters’ closet in six weeks time from start to finish.

I have gained wisdom with experience.  It’s a much smaller project than my past challenges.  And, my God do I love designing small spaces.  You have to be so exact and deliberate with every choice…some of which will be bold and oh so fun.  I hope you stick around!

Here is the closet in it’s current state…



It’s attached to my oldest daughter’s bedroom; here are some pictures of her room from my Instagram to give you an idea of the style.

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Next week, I’ll be sharing my plan. And for those of you new to the One Room Challenge it was created by Linda of Calling It Home.  Anyone with a blog can join and the challenge is that you have six weeks to decorate a space from start to finish.  See what others are doing here.

October 8, 2015 at 7:44 AM 8 comments

Children’s Book Nooks


From the bottom of my heart, thank you for contributing to my brother’s classroom book fund.  I was absolutely overwhelmed by the kind outpouring and donations.  We had filled up his asking donation by 9:30 that morning.  You guys made me cry happy tears which are so much better than the exhausted tears I’ve been shedding with the double whammy stomach flu that has run circles around my house the past two weeks.

You’ve given beautiful gifts to those young children.  Thank you so much.

There is tremendous power in a book and it’s so wonderful for a child’s imagination.  If I had the space, I would create a book nook for my girls.  Here are some inspirational spaces…





I’d also then take over their book nook with a cup of hot tea, an oversized wool sweater and a good old fashioned paper back novel.

October 2, 2015 at 11:05 AM Leave a comment


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