ORC: Tile It Up!

Things are moving right along on the One Room Challenge.  As a refresher, here is the plan for the upper patio area…

backyard plan 2

Bench is built, all cushions are done, rug is ordered.  We ended up changing directions on that beautiful umbrella in the plan because, frankly, the umbrella cost an arm and a leg. Even with husband approval, I just couldn’t pull the trigger.  Which has made Graham oh so proud of my frugality.  I found one off of Wayfair for less than a quarter of the price in a solid gray and it is…wait for it…backordered.  Of course.

Next up on the list…this bar area is getting retiled…


with this tile…


The tilers have already begun and it’s looking so much better.


Of course when it comes to projects, things never go totally to plan.  The plan was to have the tile stop on the front wall exactly where the red tile used to stop and have the white wall for most of the bar front facing wall.  However, this tile is thicker then the old tile and so there would be this weird bump out from the tile to the wall and the only way to fix it is to float the wall which aint cheap.


Then I thought, well, why not tile the entire wall?  Lightly suggested it to Graham and he was on board.

The beauty of the ORC is that there is absolutely no time to hem and haw over our decision.  We both slept on it and the next morning I bought the extra tile.  Now I’m hoping the extra tile will come on time and we will get everything finished in time.  And, most importantly that it’ll look good and we’ll be happy with our decision.

The race is on.  Go cheer on the contestants at Linda’s Calling It Home blog.


April 21, 2016 at 5:29 AM 10 comments

One Room Challenge – Handyman Graham Style

For those of you new to my blog, welcome!  I’m happy to have you here!  I’d also like to introduce you to my husband, Handyman Graham; I will now post a photo of to thoroughly embarrass him.


While he crunches numbers by day, he cuts wood with his table saw by night.

For some background, about a year ago, he found out about the Anna White website and he decided to all of sudden build a table with zero woodworking experience.  As a loving wife, I had little confidence in the whole endeavor.  I thought he was insane for taking it on. He proved me wrong and he built this lovely outdoor table…


You can read the full post on this table, here.

So for our outdoor space that I’m working on, I got rid of the round table and chairs

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and I put Handyman Graham to work.  Thereby, fulfilling the ancient saying, “If you prove your woodworking skills your wife will take advantage.”  He built this outdoor sofa off of Anna White’s website…


For full disclosure, we are not an HGTV show.  He did not build this overnight for $80 total.  Nope.  It took him many weekends and he got it done before this challenge began.  The price also still adds up with the cost of materials.

But, for this week, let me introduce you to our new bench in the space.  Aint she a beaut?! I love the x base back.


(Sorry for the horrible photos)

A bench cushion is currently being made in this fabulous Christopher Farr fabric that I had left over from my first One Room Challenge.


The bench will be paired with two of these faux bamboo barrel chairs.  My upholsterer already finished up the cushions for them and I picked them up and they are beautiful!  The chairs need another coat of spray paint but we’re getting there.


And that’s where we’re at so far.  Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you next week.

Please check out the other participants here.

April 14, 2016 at 4:15 AM 14 comments

One Room Challenge: Outdoor Spruce Up

It’s that time of year again.  One Room Challenge Time (to be read in Oprah voice).  I’m diving in with both feet and I have yet to know if I’ll sink or swim.  The big question is, will my workrooms pull through and deliver what I need to be done on time?  Six weeks of taking a space from blah to (hopefully) wow is a tight deadline.  But, you already knew that.

For those of you who are new to my site, welcome!  Here are pics of my last three One Room Challenges so you can be familiar with my work.

Project 1: Poolhouse Redo


Project 2 – Country Bedroom

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Project 3 – My Girls’ Closet


What will I be working on this time?  Our outdoor space.

Here comes the before shots…

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You see that uninspiring, round table and chairs that’s sticking out in the photo?  Yeah, well that set came with the house when we bought it.  When we were doing our final walkthrough to get our keys, we came along this lovely set of patio furniture and the previous owner matter of factly stated to us, “I’m going to leave this here.  You can keep it or you can have your movers get rid of it.”  And that was that.

The patio furniture we unintentionally inherited, has sat there for far too long and that little space is getting a makeover with this basic plan

backyard plan 2

Also, this little bar-b-que area


is getting this new tile and this hanging lantern

This table will be getting all done up with a fresh tablescape for the reveal photos.


These chairs will be getting cushions made.


I’m excited for the changes coming and I hope that it all comes together in time. The one thing that can’t be changed, that I wish could be, is the hardscape.  We’ll be remodeling in a number of years and tearing up the hardscape at that point.  So, for now, I’ll just work with what we’ve got.

I hope you’ll follow along with me for the next six weeks.  Your support truly means the world to me.

Please check out the other participants in the One Room Challenge, here.

April 7, 2016 at 5:40 AM 11 comments

Big Girl Bed

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For the record, Josie is a “big girl” and I am getting a bit verklempt about it all.  The fun thing is that she’s my little pal and we’re starting to have actual, real conversations.  The sad part is that she’s outgrowing that itty bitty, cuddly wuddly, rock a bye baby stage.  This weekend she officially left the crib and entered her big girl bed…

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All of the bedding hasn’t arrived yet.  Eventually, the quilt that will be folded at the end of the bed; for now, it is layed all the way out.  I scored and the green in the quilt matches the green of the headboard perfectly.  I also love the quilt with the Madeline Weinrib fabric I have on Josie’s stool that she uses to hoist her little body into her bed.  Perhaps, she’s not such a “big girl” after all.

April 6, 2016 at 5:30 AM 4 comments

Lindsey Lane Design

First and foremost, thank you so much for your kind words on my big news last week!  We are so excited!

Our wonderful sitter who comes two mornings a week so I can have uninterrupted work time, is out this week so the girls went up to daycare at Graham’s office today.  Why share this rather mundane tidbit of information?  I just wanted to set the scene that for the first time in a long time I have the house completely to myself all day long.  It’s paradise!  No offense, family.

The purpose for this uninterrupted silence is to do my business taxes.  But, like with any dreadful task, comes the wonderful pursuit of procrastination.  Enter blogging.  Ah, yes, I remember you daily blog.  You were so fun!

Let’s get started.  How about some inspiration?

When debating tackling a God awful Ikea hack, I came across this image as inspiration (a decidedly non Ikea hack) –


The room was packed to the brim with swoon worthy elements, that I had to find the entire house tour.  Feast your eyes on Lindsey Lane‘s work.






That custom scalloped settee may be the most perfect thing that I have ever laid eyes on.  The entire New York City flat feels fresh and fun with plenty of timeless elements mixed in.  What a happy spot to live.  You can view more of Lindsey’s inspiring portfolio, here.

April 5, 2016 at 5:30 AM 1 comment

Bring on The Chaos


Growing up as the youngest of four, I was born into organized chaos.  I want to stress the organized because my parents did a good job at keeping all their ducks in a row.  But no matter how you spin it, three boys and a girl calls for chaos.  There are way more dog piles, interruptions, giggles and farts then your average household.  I didn’t know it any other way and so I grew up loving the chaos.

I now thrive under chaos.  Perhaps that’s why I’m such an incredible mess.  We’ll go with that as the answer.  When things get lackadaisical, I go a little stir crazy.  When things are spinning every which direction, I feed on the energy.

Enter our own little family.  Two littles, 18 months apart, is chaotic.  There are way more diapers, temper tantrums, hugs and snuggles than you average household.

Recently, Josie and Grace have begun to play with each other.  I find myself more and more with a solid ten minutes of quiet time as they recede into their own play worlds together.

Just as things inch towards the lackadaisical at home, I find myself pregnant!!  And with the snap of a finger, or the pee on a stick, we’re back in the realm of chaos.

While I’m nervous for handling three kids, 3 1/2 years and younger, in the end, it’ll just be more chaos.  And I think that makes us really damn lucky.

There will be another dancer; another ball player; another storyteller; another bike rider; another joke teller; another personality; another unique child to love.  And this time we get to experience a boy!!

I’ve always known I wanted a big family.  I just never believed I would get it.

The special thing is that Graham didn’t always know he wanted a big family.  When we were dating, I said that I wanted four kids and he said that he wanted two.  But after Graham became a father for the first time, he was so in love that he wanted more.  When Grace came along he was so happy with two that he wanted more.  I find that beautiful that he loved being a dad so much he wanted to continue to add to the crew.  Although, he too, never thought a third child would actually happen.

When we had Josie, the fertility Dr.’s stressed concern for us getting a second child.  I have a low egg count and unfortunately there is nothing you can do about that.  When we conceived Grace, our Dr told us how the odds were against us for that happening; we had a less then 10% chance of conceiving naturally.  After Grace, we just thought we’d see what happened but told ourselves not to get emotionally invested.  Low and behold, 17 months later, we beat the odds again.  And here I sit, writing a pregnancy post for the third time in 3.5 years.  Just as the other two times, I still am in disbelief that we can be so lucky.

I keep picturing myself absolutely covered in my little chillens and that brings a huge smile to my face.  Bring on the blessed, brilliant, beautiful chaos.


Photo by Pam Hansen

March 31, 2016 at 5:04 AM 6 comments

Easter Tablescape

Mom hosted 18 of us in her backyard for this past Easter Sunday.  It was a great time and so sweet to watch the little ones run around.  There were 7 cousins there and they were all girls so we did a girly themed tablescape.


Mom, the girls, and I went to the flower mart and stocked up for the table and for some gorgeous flower arrangements that my mom made.  We then went to JoAnne’s and got some ribbon to tie bunches of flowers at each place setting.

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We alternated between a fuschia bow and a light pink bow for each napkin going down the table.  Then we pulled out some pretty flower plates that mom got on her wedding day, the fine silver and everything else was white.

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The setting really can’t be beat with a view of the bay.


Fun was had by all, especially the little ones…


Hope your Easter was a special day.

March 29, 2016 at 5:19 AM 4 comments

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