Our DIY Entryway Bench

We built a bench in our entryway and it feels so good. Hehe, I just sort of jumped right in without any pleasantries or warning. I’m a tad excited about this project, can you tell? Behold, our refreshed entryway:

It feels like a whole new space. Ah, the power of diy.

As you can see, we weren’t using this space in a functional way. Besides not being functional, it was so boring. Major snooze factor. There wasn’t any storage, no hooks for coats, and no mirror to check your hair when you leave. Doesn’t everyone do that? I knew it needed all these components, but I wasn’t sure how to implement them.


So a couple weeks ago, I was on instagram one evening and came across this image from a favorite blogger of mine. Gorgeous, no? That floating, simple bench would be perfect for my blah entryway! This is why I love a good diy blog – so much good content to be shared for others to use.  She had a link to her blog with a genius set of instructions. I showed them to Nate and he thought we could handle the bench portion of the project – no problem.

We followed the instructions she provided without any problems. Her instructions were thorough and easy to follow. So, because I documented our steps and took photos along the way, I will include our step by step process. This is a great project that could be modified to fit a number of different spaces and homes.

First, we picked up some project boards and had them cut to size right at Lowe’s. We also grabbed some stain, poly, a couple 2×4’s, and two brackets. For staining the boards, I followed the instructions from brepurposed.com and she swears that the perfect stain recipe is two coats of special walnut with one coat of golden oak in between. I don’t have very much experience with staining, so I thought I would give it a whirl. I stained the boards outside with a lint-free rag and let them dry overnight. After they were dry, I applied a couple coats of poly.

To decide how high we wanted the bench to be, we measured our dining table bench from West Elm. It seemed to be a good height and even moved it over in the entryway space to have a visual aid to help.

Next up, attaching the 2×4’s to studs in the wall for the framing of the bench.

Then we attached a piece of the project board to the top of the framing.

To make sure that the bench was sturdy and extra strong, our next step was adding two 2×4’s across the top of the project board.

Finally, the top went on and we attached the brackets that the front piece would be screwed into.

We screwed in the last piece from the back so there aren’t any visible screws from the front. After this step, we got the nail gun out and used finishing nails to secure the piece all the way across. After that, done!

To make the bench even more of a work horse for us, I added three baskets underneath, one for each kiddo. I have room for a fourth basket but for now, I left some space for some taller boots. The baskets have been a life saver to corral coats, backpacks and shoes. The hooks were a cheap amazon find and help to finish off the space. I bought a mirror from Target a while back and hung it up above the hooks.

We love how this project turned out. Maybe love isn’t a strong enough word, maybe obsessed is more accurate. Now, we have the itch to get started on some other diy’s around here, so stay tuned!

Project Porch

Spring has sprung here in Texas which means the temps are high, the bugs are plentiful and the storms are frequent. We have been enjoying the lovely weather and never get sick of a good thunder storm, but the bugs…not so much. Lucky for us, our house has a screened porch; the perfect solution for being outside without being bothered by pesky mosquitoes.

But until last week, our porch looked like this.

Whoa. That’s a lot of flesh-colored paint. I love updating spaces like this because it really shows what a difference some paint makes. And that’s all we did, with the exception of rearranging some furniture and adding some plants. Paint!

Last summer, when we painted the exterior of our house, we skipped the porch. Why you ask? I’m not exactly sure but I am going to blame the hot temps. It was summer in Central Texas and I was almost five months pregnant with Urban. First on the to-do list was painting the siding to match the rest of the exterior. If you’ve been following along, you might already know we chose a charcoal color with some metallic undertones. It sounds crazy but the metallic undertones are bronze and they are lovely. Kind of like the way that oil and water swirl around and in just the right light you can make out little rainbows. Only the paint on our house isn’t an environmental hazard. We LOVE the color. We love it more and more all the time and have even had neighbors knock on our door and ask us what color we used. I will never get sick of that!

The rest of the walls were painted a bright white, and on the floor we used a stormy gray color. We started out painting the walls with a brush and roller until we were ready to lose our minds and rented a paint sprayer to apply the second coat. If we were doing this project all over again, we would definitely rent the paint sprayer from the start. To paint the floors, I went around the edges with a paint brush and then Nate rolled the rest. I always do the cutting in and he always does the rolling. It’s become a thing. I know, I know, we’re crazy.

The rest of the project was fun. I used things we already owned to decorate the room (I say “room,” but I mean porch) except a new outdoor rug, an outdoor light, and a plant stand. Remember my chandelier that got bumped from the dining room inside? She found herself a new home on the porch and I think it’s a perfect fit.

The table and chairs were put back on the opposite side of the porch because originally, I placed them on the same side as the bump-out with the windows on the house. The more I thought about it though, it makes waaaaay more sense to have it on the other side with more space. Duh. Now that side has a seating area with a rug. Also, plants. And more plants. My plants love Texas. Plants that I used to kill in Oregon thrive here. Must be all the sunshine and humidity in the air. Like living in a greenhouse.

Isn’t it looking so much better? And the best part is that we are now using this space. Nolan and Grey have been using the space for playing and we’ve even had dinner together at the table. Yay us!

Finally, I know I always do this but it’s just too much fun, so let’s look back at where we started:

And now:

Dear paint, I love you so.


The Bathroom is Done Done

A few weeks ago, I shared our finished bathroom with the promise that I would be back with some pictures of the space with all the accessories and art. So today, I will honor my promise (even though technically, I think I’m a bit late on my delivery) and show all the fun details that make the bathroom feel complete. Drum roll please:

We are very pleased with the finished product. And I use the word finished loosely because it seems like I am never quite done tweaking things. Nate hates that, but I loooove it. Tomato tomahto. I have to say, this was my favorite part of revamping a space…all the little details.

When the mirror was hung, I was nervous it was all wrong. And it would have been an annoying error to make because I had already painted the frame a flat black so there was no turning back and returning to the store. To remedy this, I brought in as many black elements as I could. All of the other pops of black help make the mirror feel less chunky. Now, it feels much more balanced to me and less like “look at this mirror with a giant black frame.” The basket on top of the toilet, the towel hooks, toilet paper holder, and hand towel ring are all black.

I thought that hooks for towels might be a fun change of pace from the old towel bar. And now that they’re up; our kids can actually hang their towel up on their chosen hook. When the old towel bar lived there, the kids would haphazardly throw their damp towels up on the bar. The messy towels drove me nuts because it looked sloppy and the towels couldn’t easily dry. Nobody likes a damp towel.

We installed a shelf above the toilet which is a nice spot for a few decorative pieces and a tray to wrangle bobby pins and Nolan’s hair barrettes. I had a lot of fun completing my first “paint by numbers” picture and framed it in an inexpensive wood frame from Target. Also, notice the black brackets on the shelf? I thought they complimented the mirror nicely.

My little vintage rug that we found at Round Top last fall fits perfectly in our little bathroom and I think it makes the room feel special. It’s perfect for a bathroom because it adds some color and pattern. I also like that it’s low profile so the door can open and close over it but it’s heavy enough to not slide around.

The light above the vanity is a galvanized steel finish and I like its casual feel. It is our preferred light for the bathroom as it casts a soft light directly onto the vanity.

That’s about it for our main bathroom. We can check this off our list and call this one done. One last time, let’s look back at where we started:

And now we look like this:

And speaking of making good progress, our master bathroom is looking a lot like our main bathroom these days. We have two bathrooms in our house and they are located right around the corner from one another. When we started planning to update them, we decided early on that they should have the same look and feel since they are so close. It seemed odd to give them each a completely different design. They aren’t quite twins but maybe they could be sisters?

We used all the same materials that were used in our main bathroom. Same tiles on the floor, same countertop, same sink, you get the idea. Here’s an old shot I dug up of this same spot right after our move.

So what do you guys think? Is there anyone out there who recently took on a similar DIY bathroom project? Any first-time tilers who are contemplating getting started? Were you as nervous as we were? Really, once you dive in it’s not that scary. I’d love to hear from you so feel free to leave me a comment below:-)









updating our light fixtures

I was thiiiis close to entitling this post, “The Great Light Switch-Out” or “Switching Up our Lights,” but I decided to spare you of my clever puns. This past weekend was President’s Day and with the extra day off we were able to start work on the second bathroom and update some lighting around the house. So let’s start today with a photo of my new favorite view:

Since we moved in and got busy scraping our popcorn ceilings, we took down all of the existing overhead lighting (boob lights galore). Nearly every room was left with the remnants of this problem that I have been conveniently cropping out of all house photos.

I felt a little stumped about what to pick since we would essentially be choosing lighting for the entire house. If I made the wrong choice, it would be on such a large scale that I was scared to pull the proverbial trigger. I liked this light and when it finally went on sale, Nate convinced me to order them up. So order we did, and when they arrived, we were impressed with the quality and the size. The only worry that we had about these guys was that they wouldn’t be big enough and look skimpy or cheap. However, they look lovely and really compliment the black door hardware.

Since we were on a lighting roll, I decided that I was going to play a sort of musical chairs with some lighting choices that we previously made. When we moved in, the dining room looked like this:

Then, I found a cool fixture on sale and the space was transformed to this:

I like this fixture very much but after a while I started feeling like it wasn’t really “us.” Maybe it was too small for the dining room? Maybe it felt a little “fancy” for our house? Still not sure but when I saw this light, I knew we had to make another change. Nate was not exactly thrilled to be changing our dining room light again but I have assured him that this new light is here to stay.

It feels just the right size for the dining room and with the natural bamboo, it feels warm and adds some texture. I don’t have a rug in our dining room because my OCD doesn’t afford me such a luxury with our kids eating there on a daily basis. The number of gold fish crackers, crumbs and spaghetti noodles that I sweep/clean off our wood floors is crazy.

But I didn’t stop there. The entry lighting situation went from this (sorry about the dark photo):

To this:

I can officially put a fork in it and call the entryway finished. It’s one of the smallest spaces in the house but I am still calling this a victory. It’s funny how many revisions a space has before it starts to feel right and I can move on to something else. Sometimes it’s hard to put your finger on what’s working and what isn’t.

The pendant that lived in the entryway has now found a new home in the master bedroom. Told ya this was musical chairs for lights.

So that’s the jist of what we have been working on around the house. I am down to just a few final touches in the bathroom and we are just waiting on a sconce to arrive (I know, I know. More lighting?). I will update the blog accordingly as soon as that comes. As a little bonus, I have some photos to share of Urban. He is already three months and has been busy terrorizing me all night and looking adorable all the time. Look at that bald head…it smells as good as it looks.


our bathroom makeover reveal

It’s a happy, happy day. The day where we finished our bathroom makeover and I no longer have to hide my face in embarrassment when a guest uses our bathroom. The total span of this project was completed over the course of a week during evenings (hello crazy house with homework, dinner, a newborn, and a bathroom under construction) but we have been making plans and gathering our materials for several weeks now.

First, we should remind everyone how things looked before we started. I often hear many tales of DIY about how things have to get worse before they get better but I am confident our bathroom looked pretty scary from the get-go.

Here’s another shot of the room put back together. Although I still haven’t added any accessories, the room is mostly done. I have been shopping for some towel hooks, a vanity light, and some decor. Maybe a shelf or some art for above the toilet? Next week, I will be back with photos of the finished space with all the accessories and decor. You know, the fun stuff!

We found the mirror above the vanity for $30 and I painted the frame with a flat black spray paint. I am planning on bringing other black, metal elements in the room with the aforementioned accessories like towel hooks and a hand towel ring. Hopefully, that helps the mirror to not feel so crazy and heavy. But check out the little dot detail around the mirror…we loved how it mimicked the look of our new penny tile backsplash.

We began the bathroom overhaul with a fresh coat of paint for the vanity. Our vanity isn’t what I would choose if I were doing a bathroom from scratch, but it was installed right before we moved in. So I decided it would stay and we would do our best to freshen it up. After a coat of the new spray chalk paint from Lowe’s in Woolen Stocking and some new knobs from Hobby Lobby, the vanity was done.

Next up was new flooring. One of my favorite bloggers used this tile a while back in a kitchen that they remodeled for one of their readers and I have been obsessed ever since. Look how lovely it is.


We love this flooring so much. First, it’s a very affordable option with a very high-end feel. Although it’s a vinyl product, it has a marble look and feel and we’ve had neighbors over who thought it was real marble. I feel fancy just typing that. We were surprised to learn that the vinyl was thick enough for us to use grout between each tile much like you would with a real stone. A couple other perks would be that it was easy to install because you don’t need a tile saw and it’s warm underfoot unlike real stone which can be quite cold on bare toes. Also, the tiles have quite a bit of texture so no need to worry about a kiddo slipping on them when they hop out of the bath still covered in soap and bubbles. Try not to judge me for my terrible photography skills. This room is a challenge to take photos in with zero natural light and super tight quarters. Just sayin…

After we removed our old counter and sink, we discovered we were going to have a problem with the texture on the walls. There was no texture behind the old backsplash. Our house has crazy texture on all the walls. When I think of it, it reminds me of the meringue on top of a lemon meringue pie. In the recipe, it always says to whip the topping until you have stiff peaks. Our walls are covered in those stiff peaks. Ugghhhh. This left us with two options; try to recreate the stiff peaks and extend them down to the top of the new counter or cover this problem with a new backsplash. It didn’t take us long to decide we would trying our hands at tiling. #aintnobodygottimeforthat

We went shopping for tile at The Tile Shop and had such a good experience. Their sales peeps were so helpful and knowledgeable without being pushy. I found the section with the penny rounds and fell in love. I fell hard and fast. The problem was (if you consider lots of beautiful options to be a problem) going to be deciding on just one! Nate was actually the one who helped me to keep my head out of the clouds and suggested we go with a crisp, white, ceramic style. They quickly set us up with everything we would need to get this project done. We will definitely be shopping there again.

The rest of our materials were all bought at IKEA. We chose a butcher block style countertop, a vessel sink, and one of their faucets. We did a lot of research before we decided on butcher block for the bathroom. Like everyone else, we worried that it might not be a good fit because of the moisture in a bathroom. But as long as we watch for signs of damage or rot, and use a product like polyurethane or waterlox to seal it, then the wood should stay moisture free and beautiful. The butcher block we chose is a new product at IKEA and has a herringbone design in the wood. We love the extra detail.

We were on a tight budget to do this project and decided early on that the tub and shower surround would have to stay. It’s actually in good condition and we knew that replacing it would eat up a good portion of the budget. So we shifted our focus to just the cosmetic updates, and I am so happy we did! Now for all the fun shots of our finished bathroom…

We are feeling pretty proud of ourselves for completing this project all while keeping our kids alive and managing to stay married. Next up, we have been busy FINALLY replacing the overhead lighting that we took down when we scraped the popcorn ceilings. And yes, I realize that was months ago.


Switching things up

Yup, I have already changed up our new office area. I guess I can’t help myself. I am a compulsive tweaker…err or a lady who likes to rearrange things around the house. Does that sound better? Last time we left off, it looked like this.

There wasn’t anything wrong with the office area but then I was cleaning out Nolan and Grey’s closet last week and I came across some old shelves that I had shoved in there when we moved. I remember thinking that I might use them in the kiddos’ room but we ended up going in another direction when we hacked some IKEA shelving. With all that new storage, they didn’t need any more shelves. Maybe these babies could be fun above my new desk? Yes!

I just threw some random decor on them so don’t be surprised if they look different every time these new shelves pop up in pictures. Also, notice the chair? Nate surprised me with this chair after he read the last blog post. What a guy! I guess it was easy to tell which chair was his favorite choice. I love it though. The cushion is surprisingly comfy and the warm wood is just lovely with the modern, bright white desk.

The little cactus is the only new addition and I picked it up at Target. It is FAKE! You would never be able to tell. Seriously. I am a bit of a fake plant snob and this is one of the best ones I have seen. Makes me reconsider everything…not really. But I am definitely going to give some more faux plants a try. Maybe the shelves need some books? Or my mom suggested a chalk board or cork board. That could be cute. Weeeee!

The other project that we did is probably the easiest DIY that anyone could ever attempt. Okay, there is a super long hallway when you walk in our front door opposite of the wall that I stamped with my tribal stamp a few months ago. This naked wall was driving me crazy (not in a good way) and I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. My solution was to hang some art and call it a day. This is how it turned out.

I liked it just fine but it kinda bugged me because I wanted our entryway to be both pretty and functional, no? Welp, I took down the gallery wall and started looking for some cool coat racks. It didn’t take long before I spotted this beauty.


I love the industrial design but even the extra-large option wouldn’t be long enough for the wall. So, Nate and I decided that we could just make our own and this would allow us to customize the size. We had some old boards in the garage left over from an old headboard project and the rest of the process is as simple as finding the right hooks and affixing them to our board. Done and done.

So simple. So easy. And I love it. Here’s a few more pictures of the updated spaces so you have a point of reference.

We have lots of projects lined up so stay tuned for baseboard trim progress…finally. Also, we are still working on some bathroom updates. Whew. I think we might be on a roll! If you’ve noticed that my posts have become sporadic, you’re right. Here’s why.

New Year, New workspace

Happy New Year friends! It feels so good to be back to normal, well, a new kind of normal for our family of five. Our Christmas break was packed. The baby and I flew to Oregon to be with my sister as she had her baby girl in the middle of the biggest snow storm I have ever seen. She is happy and healthy and I am so grateful that I was able to be there for the special occasion. Nate and the kids drove up to join all the fun when they finished up school for the holiday. Our time in Oregon was spent with all the family we could cram into my sisters’ house and the cousins played in the snow, went ice skating, and ran around like hooligans. This was our best Christmas yet!

Even though my break was full of sleepless nights with the new baby, I feel energized and eager to begin this new year. We have so many projects planned in the next few months, it’s very exciting. Our house has a long ways to go but at the same time, it feels like we have turned a corner and our little place is taking shape! Let’s do this 2017! Thanks for hanging in there as I reflect for a second.

My time off wasn’t just a swirling blur of bottles and diapers. We still managed to get a few things accomplished. First, Nate and I decided that some new appliances for the kitchen would be the perfect Christmas gift to one another. Aren’t we exciting? Some people go on vacation, we buy dishwashers. Although it isn’t a DIY project, it does really improve the overall feel of the kitchen. Is it weird that I want to pet the new refrigerator?

A few months ago, we bought a new range and hood and planned on replacing the refrigerator and dishwasher just as soon as we saved enough for them. Well, that time is here and I couldn’t be happier about it. Appliance shopping is my idea of a good time. So. Much. Pretty. Any big purchases we make, especially when it involves electronics/appliances, Nate does the research and I narrow down the options based on appearance or other practical aspects that I experience with every day use.

The other little project is a shared office of sorts or workspace for Nate and me. Nate often finds himself doing some work from home and it isn’t unusual to find him answering emails or checking his calendar from our home computer. He usually just does this from our dining room table but with our kids spending close to an hour every night doing homework at the same table (that’s a whole different issue…don’t get me started), it made more sense to make a designated space that he could work from, separate from the kids. I also have enjoyed having this space for photo editing, blogging and emailing. It’s a win, win, win.

There is an awkward corner behind our sectional in the living room that I have been scratching my head over since we moved in. Previously, I just shoved a shelf in the corner and I was using it to corral random decor that I didn’t know what to do with. That solution quickly began to feel like a waste of space and with three kids and only 1,648 square feet of living space, why would I waste a single inch of it? Enter workspace idea!

The desk is a parsons desk from West Elm that I scored off of Craigslist. I have always admired this particular desk from West Elm so when I found one for cheap on Craigslist, it felt like it was meant to be. I am still hunting for a chair and have been stealing a chair from the dining table until I find the right one. Here’s a couple of options that I am considering:


I spotted this chair at World Market and was thinking that it might be perfect. I love the rich color of the wood and the upholstered seat is super fun. Since the desk has such modern lines, a wood chair might be a good way to bring in some warmth and texture.


I love these acrylic chairs. I have seen them a million times and they seem to work in just about any kind of design situation. That’s super appealing to me as I could just move it somewhere else if I got sick of it or didn’t like it for an office chair. Hmmmm….oh the choices.

So those are just a few of the things we have been up to around this house. Like I said, I feel so good to be getting back in the swing of things around here. Oh, and we have some exciting progress to share that’s been happening in the bathrooms. If you’ve been following along you may remember our bathrooms were in serious need of attention. You might have blocked those pictures from your memory though and I wouldn’t blame you for that.

P.s. Be sure to check my house tour page because I FINALLY updated it!

Freshening up our drabby old kitchen


The last few weeks have been a whirlwind. We have had our spare time filled with football games and house projects galore. My parents’ are coming into town on Wednesday to meet this new baby of ours. With my c-section scheduled for Friday morning (yes, as in three days from now…gulp), we have been rushing to try and squeeze in a few last minute to-do’s. The kitchen finally got some much needed attention as we made a few simple(ish) updates and gave the cabinets a fresh coat of paint. Other than the addition of our new range, and the new floors, not much had changed in this space. Here are a few pics to jog your memory.




The first thing that needed to be done in the kitchen was very obvious to us from the first time we saw the house. Notice in the second photo, the bank of cabinets above the sink that obstruct your view into the dining room? Yes, those had to go. And go they did, way back in August, in fact. While my parents were visiting, my mom and dad helped me tear these suckers out one morning while Nate was at work. It was fun to send him a picture surprising him with our little demolition session. After a lot of debate and going back and forth between leaving the soffit and taking it out all the way to the ceiling, we decided it would be easier to leave it. Taking it completely out felt a bit like opening a can of worms since the rest of the kitchen would be staying as-is. So, our solution was to texture it to match the new ceilings, paint it, and add two can lights.




Our next big kitchen goal was to find a way to dress up the space around the lonely refrigerator. I always thought it looked unfinished and a bit out of place just sitting on this wall all by itself.


I have seen quite a few tutorials online about building a simple surround for a refrigerator with a cabinet above, to give it a more permanent, built-in impression. And the best part was, we had a cabinet that we took down from above the sink that was the perfect size for the refrigerator space. So, I ran this idea by my dad (yes, this project was also done back in August during their visit) and Nate who immediately rejected it and told me I was nuts. But, after some online research and some serious convincing (picture me with a power point presentation, pie charts and a pointing stick) they reluctantly gave my idea a whirl. Here is what we came up with.




After the addition of trim, caulking and paint, I’m very pleased that I pushed these guys to help make my built-in refrigerator dreams come true.

The last goal for the kitchen before baby was some paint for the cabinets and add some pretty hardware. I decided early on that white was the direction we were taking because if you follow along, you probably already know that I am on a quest to brighten up this place. So, white cabinets felt like a very natural way to go. We aren’t reinventing the wheel by painting our cabinets. Pretty much everyone who lives on the planet is well aware of the power of paint. Amen. Just look at the difference it has made for our little space.









Painting the cabinets was a pretty straight forward process. I used Annie Sloan chalk paint and I loved using it. It was perfect for this pregnant lady with virtually no odor and low VOC’s. It’s environmentally friendly and my favorite part was that it’s water soluble. So, if I found myself running low on paint, I could mix it with some water to really make it stretch. Brilliant. With the painting process complete, I sealed the cabinets with the Annie Sloan wax which leaves you with a rich, almost velvet-y finish. I love the finished product.


P.s. Unless I go into labor before Friday, I should be back with a nursery tour! I am putting finishing touches on the sweetest little space for our new guy and I am so excited to share. Stay tuned…

P.s.s. Also, I am going to get our house tour page updated so you can see all the good progress we have made lately.


the floors are in…and they are so good

It’s Tuesday. I have to keep reminding myself that it isn’t Monday because my kiddos were home from school yesterday so Nate and I could attend parent-teacher conferences. Originally, we were kind of dreading this experience but it was actually fun to see what they have been up to in school. Nolan has been writing some very creative stories and Grey is the class story teller. Surprising? Not one bit.

In the last post, I detailed what we did over the weekend while we were kicked out of our house while our old floors were being removed and the new ones laid down. When we got home, the floors were down and this lady felt like it was Christmas. We actually ended up short about 60 feet of material and had to wait a few days for the boards to come in and have the rest installed. So, the dining room has only been complete for a few days as it was the area that was left undone when the crew discovered there was going to be a slight shortage.

We did a lot of research about flooring options before we made our final decision when it came to materials. I decided early on that I wanted a natural material to bring some warmth into the house. If you follow along, you probably have heard me complain about the lack of natural light in our house. Because of this, we were quickly able to rule out all the options on the darker side of the color spectrum. Think light and bright! After looking at tile, bamboo, laminate, and even real wood, we decided that our sweet spot was in the engineered wood group. Once we had that decided on, it was easy. We quickly picked a 5” plank, hickory wood. It was light, it had a ton of texture, and it’s perfect.

Whew! With. All. That. Said. Let’s go in and look at the new floors!


Notice the addition of some yellow mums and a few pumpkins to the front entrance? I am trying to force Autumn to arrive (and stay) here in Texas. We are back up in the 90’s but with cooler mornings and evenings. The weather is flirting with the idea of changing seasons but just can’t seem to commit.


The variations between each individual plank of wood adds a lot interest. We haven’t installed our baseboard trim yet. Nate is planning on getting this task done in the next few weeks. I considered not sharing photos of the floors until the baseboard was installed but I was just too excited to wait! Our cat, Artie was very curious about the photo taking process this morning so you will see him popping up all over.

Here is a little reminder of what our entryway looked like when we moved in.


I took this picture on move-in day at the end of May. The best lesson I have learned through keeping this blog is that documenting the process of fixing up our house has been the best way for us to keep our momentum going. Buying a fixer upper and living in the space with kids and real life happening while trying to update the house is tricky. Very tricky. But, looking back at how far we’ve come is so uplifting. Go us! My parents bought a 1916 craftsman style house when I was four and lived there for twenty-six years all while fixing up the house and raising five kids. It would have been so cool to be able to look back at all the projects and work they did on their house in the same way that we will be able to look back on our first fixer upper. But let’s get back to the floors….#pregnancyhoromonesareforreal



Some of our furniture hasn’t been moved back into the house. We have been relying on neighbors and Nate’s buddy from work (Thank you, Jimmy!) to help us move the heavy pieces back into place. As I am exactly one month away from my scheduled c-section, Nate won’t let me help him move a thing. In the meantime, our furniture is sprinkled around the house, in the garage and even in the screened porch.




This is our empty dining room. Our dining table is still outside on the screened porch but the kids have been having loads of fun eating their meals all over the house in random spots. We’ve even laid blankets on the floor for an “indoor picnic” which was the fan favorite. Kids can somehow turn the inconvenient aspects of life into something fun and exciting.



Told you Artie would be randomly photo bombing. I picked his food dish up off the floor to take this picture so I think he was sitting there trying to figure out where his dish ran off to.

The kitchen cabinets are next on my to-do list. I think I am going to give them a fresh coat of white paint and then add some new hardware. But what? Polished nickel? Gold? Oil rubbed bronze? I have been seeing the most beautiful photos of kitchens and bathrooms with polished nickel pulls a la Studio McGee. Hmmm…stay tuned.

Here is the last space with new floors. We left the carpet in the bedrooms but plan on replacing it with something newer, cleaner and prettier. Trust me, I wanted all the carpet to go away. But, I think we made the right decision in keeping it because we didn’t feel we would see a return on our investment.


And just because you know how I love a good, look-back on where we started. Here ya go. You’re welcome.


So those are all the dirty details on our floors. How we picked them, the process of demolition and installation, and the difference it’s made in our house. Also, they seem very durable so far. We haven’t really changed the way we live on our floors since installing them. We did run out and buy some felt footies for the legs of our furniture, but that’s it. Maybe I will write an update on how they are holding up after we have lived with them for a while?

Hope you have a great week!


My 5 current crushes for the nursery


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Happy Monday! It is finally cooling off and raining here in Texas and I am thrilled. This has been a very hot, long summer and I am ready for Fall and the cooler temps that come with it. Bring on all the pumpkins! Over the weekend, my seven year old, Nolan, asked me why I haven’t been getting the baby room ready? She is right, it’s time to get busy. I have all things nursery on the brain. Isn’t the one above just dreamy? We have about seven weeks left until my c-section and this very slow moving lady needs to pick up the pace.

Here is the space. Yikes. Since we have moved into the new house, we have used this room as a dumping ground for extra art and frames.


I want the nursery to be a simple space with just the necessities. The room is small (about 10×11) and I want it to feel modern, open, and without a lot of frills. This is our third baby and we have learned our lesson about buying all the things. We went crazy when Nolan was born and she had every baby item on the market. She had swings, bassinets, strollers (yes, we had more than one), toys, activity mats, and on and on and on. We scaled back when Grey came along and he had much less. This time, the plan is to start with just a few of the basics. If we find that we absolutely cannot survive without a particular item, we will add as needed. So, I started putting together a small list to accomplish this simple, open space. As always, I kept the price points at what I thought to be affordable. Big impact + small budget = my cup of tea.

  1. First, lets start from the floor and work our way up.


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This rug is fun and its low price tag makes it not too precious. I think this is perfect to inject some pattern and ground the space. I think a 5×7 would be just the right size and allow me to place the other pieces of furniture around it.

2. Obviously, I need a crib for our guy. Nolan and Grey used the same crib and it looked worn out by the time Grey grew out of it. Think teeth marks, dents and a squeaky mattress from jumping.


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This crib has clean lines and with its bright white color is perfect for our small room. My sister bought this very same crib for her daughter, Finley, and has loved it. Finley approved!

3. Crib bedding is hard. I looked and looked for something that was cute for a baby boy but not over the top with monster trucks or fire engines.


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 It might be hard to tell from the picture, but this pattern has a small feather pattern. Cute, huh? I thought so. I haven’t ordered from Land of Nod before, so I am excited to test them out in the nursery. I want some of these for my bed!

4. This changing pad and cover is another Land of Nod find. There were so many options that I may end up changing my mind again. But I was drawn to this one because of the fun pop of color it would bring to the space.


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It seems like the baby gear is so much cooler since I was last in the baby game. Like those yummy pouches that I see so many toddlers happily devouring. What?! I’m not even sure if those were around when Grey was transitioning to baby food. Maybe they were, but I wasn’t privy to them.

5. This mobile could be cute in a boy nursery, girl nursery or maybe I plan on stealing this from our baby when he’s done with it and hanging it in our living room.


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 Nate thinks this mobile is perfect as it pays homage to our time here in Texas. Nolan and Grey were both born in Portland so this is a cute reminder that our new baby is a Texan. I wonder if he’ll have an accent?

So that’s my list of baby finds for the nursery to come! Grey is donating his old dresser to his baby brother that will house his clothes (ahem…that we have yet to buy) and his new changing pad. It is an IKEA dresser we bought a couple years ago that we stained and painted the drawer fronts white.


Don’t you love a good list? I sure do. Something about having things laid out in print helps to ease my type-A tendencies. During my whole pregnancy, I kept telling myself that I had plenty of time to get going on the baby’s room. But, as Nolan pointed out, my window is closing.

P.s. Our new floors have come in and are being installed on Saturday, this Saturday! I took lots of horrible before pictures of our current flooring situation so you’ll be able to appreciate my crazy enthusiasm. Take a deep breath….eeek!