For Katie the Warrior, Renovation

Lillian’s Big Girl Room! And a Tear-Worthy Quilt.

For a while Lillian would sob about her walls before bed. She desperately wanted to be surrounded by purple. As someone who delights in beautiful spaces, I couldn’t ignore it! She loves purple so she should get to have a purple room.

Before you think I’m a really awesome mom, she wanted dark purple. Like a purple crayon. Well, I said no. I thought she’d grow out of it, and it would make the room look like a dungeon. So I took Lil to the hardware store and got a few samples. I painted them on cardboard so I could move them around the room for a few days. We ended up with Benjamin Moore’s “winter gray”. It’s a muted purple that really goes with everything. And we both love it!

What do you think of the color?

(Notice the handmade mermaid by the one and only #katielaughlin!) (The framed Lilly Pulitzer bathing suit that Lillian wore at three months old will always be SOMEWHERE. I love it!)

Next up! Judah was given a collection of limited edition Aden and Anias swaddle blankets from my sister. He is a teddy bear lover so didn’t get attached to blankets like Lillian or myself. They were sitting in a drawer taking up space but I couldn’t give them away! Judah had just turned one when my sister sustained her brain injury so I really treasured any memories from that short time.

So I emailed out a few crafty friends and asked for their advice. To make a long story short, my friend Betsy turned them into a quilt/throw blanket and I ADORE it! I’ve snuggled up with it several times already and just love to glance at it as I walk through my house. I’m hoping one day it will live on Judah’s bed but I’m telling you I MAY have told Dan I want to be buried with it. What can I say? I’m attached!



We’ve been doing a few cute little things to the house lately I’m going to share. First up:silhouettes!

A few years ago my family went on a big trip to Cape Cod. Lillian and Ephram were 1&2, Kate was 8 months prego with Vera and Judah was just a dream. Dan and I decided to drive from 9pm-5am (I wouldn’t recommend it!). Our bodies and our marriage barely made it there but my dear family took Lillian with them for breakfast while Dan and I took a nap. They were walking around the town and happened to walk by a toy store with a guest doing silhouettes. They came back with one of Lillian and I immediately got teary! He captured Lillian so sweetly and it was an instant treasure!

Fastforward a few years to sweet Judah and Vera joining our family and we have been on the lookout for a silhouette artist to complete our collection. I was scrolling facebook one day and saw an ad for a Guest artist at the local mall. So we went! It was equally precious and a joy for my mom to get to take the picture in for Kate to see. Funny enough the two artists are brothers! Erik and Karl Johnson. They both travel a good bit for their work so check out their sites for their schedules, I highly recommend both as they captured our kids perfectly.

The two silhouettes are now hanging proudly in my foyer and I love them! Since Lillian was about 15 months when she got hers I wanted Judah to be a similar age-18 months is close enough!

A few other fun decor changes coming soon to the blog! In addition, the old tenant is out and a new one moved in just a few days ago to our rental property. I’ll share a few tips we’ve learned our first year as landlords once we’re completely finished with the process.


Tiny Updates

First up: I’m all about clean countertops. I want everything hidden. Coffee pot, toaster, etc. they must live in cabinets. At my old house we had this neat mail sorter we used for veggies just above the island.

I had our veggies in bowls for the last year and it was making me nuts! So here it is-my homegoods find:

We fell in love with the house when we saw the sunroom so I like how the wood in the holder brings in the wood ceiling.

Next up: oh the clock. When we moved we lost all our yellow so these shutters I covered no longer worked. 

They were truly a labor of love and I have really enjoyed them the last five years!

I found this awesome clock at a Pier1 sale. My mom got it for me as an early Christmas present.

What do you think? Christmas is slowly making its way into our home. We could use some Christmas cheer early this year.

I’ve been working on (read sobbing through) a thanksgiving post for this year. Stay tuned!


Living Room: Update

Again, I forgot to take before pictures. Please notice the same color that is in every room of our house found in the listing.

I never panic order. I’m calculated, prepared. D is the opposite, it constantly blows my mind. I swear he’s the only person in America who doesn’t know what they want when they walk in Starbucks. So I was looking at the accent wall color we had chosen while we were in the parking lot at Lowes and I sent Dan in to buy it while I waited in the car with the kids as it rained. I called him within 30 seconds saying I needed options. It was just too dark. So he brought me 20 charcoal paint colors out (like a total stud) and we chose one in the car. Like crazy people who don’t know how the paint will look in the actual room. Crazy. We clearly live life on the edge.

Even crazier. He comes outside with paint and tells me he chose a different color. What? Excuse me, what?
He tells me they couldn’t get our Sherwin Williams paint color because they were out of the base  but he put the chip next to the Valspar options and chose the closest one. What? Anyway, we took it home and I put it on the wall and loved it! It’s Valspar’s Ocean Storm The other three walls were straight drama too , Modern Gray by Sherwin Williams. I don’t know if Lowes just can’t make this color well even though it’s a Sherwin color and they sell Sherwin? Either way it looks white. No other way to put it. White.

At the end of the day we love the room. Check it!

I got the end tables from a Facebook swap group and primed/painted/distressed them. Pretty cute, huh?
 Because it’s cruel to leave Jay for a moment!
I’ve been living at Target lately. This console was half off when I got it! D got me these sweet lamps I’ve been eyeing for MONTHS! I found them on sale so “Happy Birthday” to me! I picked up the pillows on a whim.

Finally. This rug. I went back and forth with it but I ended up LOVING it.What do you think?? Do you like the room?


Master Bedroom

So, more of the same. I chose to paint my master bedroom the day before we had 35 family members over to celebrate my kids birthdays. Because really, nothing like a little pressure.

As you can see, the same paint as the rest of our house was in our bedroom. Check out the before pics!

 Don’t you love the small rug in our big room?! Our last house had a tiny bedroom and the rug was perfect. Now that we moved it looks absurd.

Anyway, we decided on a navy paint that a friend suggested from Benjamin Moore called Newburyport Blue. I’ve always been desperate for a navy room with coral and white accents. It all started with my first visit to Nantucket and I was overjoyed D agreed with the colors for our room. I chose these curtains from Walmart and really love them. All of our white furniture is from IKEA but I totally lucked out with the free writer’s desk off of a local swap Facebook page. I’m going to get a few more decorative pieces but so far I think it’s looking so great! What do you think?

This final picture is definitely the most accurate for the navy color!

Next up! Living room


The Dining Room: Painted!

Oh it’s been a crazy winter. Never ending, crazy but I’m starting to see the sun. Both of my babies were born in the spring so this intense expectation is not lost on me.

I’ve inherited an annoying trait from my mom. Growing up we’d host some kind of event/holiday/party and something major would have to be done with minutes to spare. Painting, new furniture, some kind of landscaping. I always do this but I really thought up a doozie at Christmas with a kitchen renovation. My poor husband. Now we are planning on having a joint birthday party for my kids and the house must be painted. So the last few weeks I’ve been driving a few dear people crazy with my incessant questions about colors and decorating. I took the plunge last week and got the dining room paint, it’s Benjamin Moore’s Louisburg Green! I cut in one evening and rolled the next. Here we have it:

First pictures from the listing because I somehow forgot to take a “before”.

There is truly nothing wrong with this paint color except that it’s in every room of the house. Oh, and they painted around furniture so we are out of luck using our furniture!

Next up: the pictures with the new paint! Please excuse the fact that we live here…with littles.

     This first picture is pretty dark-the second is a more true representation of the green.
 I really would like to get some light-colored decorations to brighten it up but first things first, I’ve got a living room to paint. We also are planning on D making a farmhouse table but we need civilized children for that. Give it a year or five! Probably in time for another party, haha!

Next up:the living room!


The Great Reveal!

 That’s a wrap, folks. Poor D has been slaving away on this backsplash and finished just in time for my Christmas present! He hired my cousin to come paint my kitchen. It’s just like him, gives me the third degree about not wanting to paint which is one of the few things I can do when it comes to home improvement then he spoiled me by hiring someone to do it. He’s a keeper.
Back to business-here’s the wainscoting we used for the backsplash. It interlocks so comes out perfect! We chose a light fixture from IKEA. Our kitchen is oddly large and is spaced a little strangely so the track lighting helped us to get the light everywhere we needed it.


 (After!!)  I love the way it all turned out! What do you think? We still have a few small things to do but it’s pretty much done; just in time for Christmas! And no ugly table!

Check out part 3!


Why People Hate Holidays

I’ve been there and I’m there. Life is going great as I get ready for Christmas, then a few little things happen. Hurt feelings, poor expectations, bizarre stressors and before you know it: meltdown.

This is 100x magnified as a mom. There are already so many feelings. The birth story of Christ put me over the edge before I had kids but now you can just forget it; mention Mary and I need a pack of tissues. So I’m blessed with these kids I’m obsessed with and now Christmas is no longer seen from a recipients perspective but as a giver. God gave his son and I could never give mine. So, like I said, lots of feelings.

Then there’s the pressure. We don’t have enough going on in life so we decided to host Christmas. I’m actually really excited to do this but it is some serious work! Add to that an unrealistic kitchen renovation deadline and some tears could start to well up.

 (Our half-done backsplash 😁)

Then today happened. D came down from the attic to find Elle had escaped her crib. He came downstairs to tell me and who do I see but my sweet girl pressing her face up against the glass to the sunroom. “I just woke up”. good try, kid it’s been exactly three minutes. She escaped again. Clearly she figured it out so I decided that in the midst of D putting the kitchen backsplash up we HAVE TO BUY A BIG GIRL BED. TODAY. So off we go to IKEA, with a friends toddler in tow. I allowed myself to ponder for three minutes of my drive there that my precious two year old has outgrown her crib and the tears are flowing. So we get there and sit on all the mattresses and pick one. We go down to get it and they’re sold out. So we have a discussion 🙄 in front of the IKEA guy and decide we will get the cheaper one and exchange it within the 90 day period to the one we actually want. Because it’s so easy to exchange a mattress when you own a Homda CRV.

Fast forward an hour to D setting the bed up. He puts the mattress in the bed and it falls to the floor.
 Did I mention we were supposed to decorate our Christmas tree today?

 Yep. Look at this poor room. Things coming and going.

I put Jay to bed, picked up some burgers at Red Robin because clearly, I have no food in the house. Elle asks me to snuggle on the couch and like every day, I’m brought back to planet Earth where I’m a character in a bigger story and am stressed about things that matter zero in the grand scheme of my life being a vapor. She asks me to scratch her back. She still needs me. Even if I put a deposit in for preschool yesterday and bought her a bed today, she’s still a peanut.

The kitchen will get done-even if it’s not by Christmas. We will someday sleep again even though Elle has way too much freedom in a real bed. Goodwill will take my living room tomorrow so I can breathe again. Elle will maybe forgive us if she has back problems from this crap mattress. It’s all nothing. A blip. The golden years, people say. Be easy on yourselves, loves. Elle told me today she “wuvs King baby Jesus”. The moments will always matter more. Go scratch a baby back-it’s the best.

And for crying out loud just look at this kid. (D has a thing about glasses and hats. If they are in the general vicinity of a baby he must experience them together. Exhibit A: Jay wearing protective glasses)


Quick Sunroom Update

Hey Friends,

I’ve been getting lots of great feedback from my favorite things post. Check it out for some creative gift ideas!

On to the good stuff. We are hosting Christmas this year and I was looking at our sunroom with dread. It sold us on our house but the paint was not kind to the eye.

Yes, that is a brick(ish) color on three of the walls including the window frames. Then it’s a cream color on the 12foot high brick wall.

It was really not showing off the room! So we decided to hire my cousin to paint the room (he’s super affordable, let me know if you need some painting help in the Baltimore area). So we settled on the Sherwin Williams color, Sea Salt. We used the kitchen color, Benjamin Moore’s white dove for the woodwork. We LOVE it!

It looks mighty blue in some of these but it’s really a blue/green/gray.

Don’t mind Jay there just being a dreamboat! We’re unfortunately going to have to put the blinds back up until we can save up for some kind of window treatment. I’m loving the windows now that they’re defined so I hate to cover them!

Let me know what you think! Any window treatment ideas??


Kitchen Renovation: Part 3

We’ve been busy bees around here! check out our before pictures here and the plan here.

This week has been a bit chaotic! We’ve  been living with a torn apart kitchen which can get a little overwhelming. Luckily, we’re on schedule!
Down to business:

  • Countertops were measured! Now they will be delivered in less than two weeks!
  • The rest of our hardware was delivered! What do you think?   I’m totally loving it! And I installed all of it myself which makes me love it more!
  • I may have changed my mind again with the paint. It’s looking like “white Dove” by Benjamin Moore. I can’t even talk about the hours spent at hardware stores and Pinterest. This somehow leaked into a hunt for the perfect tattoo for my 30th birthday which is in 18 months. 
  • The lovely table stuck to our wall is gone!    Look at that extra space! I see dance parties in my future.
  • The floor is in!      

Do you see the progress?! We only have less than three weeks until the deadline so it is time to buy some paint!

The next kitchen update will be the great reveal!