When a project seems too easy, and that stresses you out, and then you tell yourself to shut up and just enjoy it

Now that the dining room moulding is up and painted, it is finally time to add some art! The walls have been blank for years now.

Most of my projects come with a slew of unforeseen problems that require a lot more time, trips to the hardware store and problem solving. Seriously. I just spent 4 hours re-doing the curtain rods in my dining room. I (wrongfully) assumed that the screw holes in the brackets were linear and that caused a slight tilt that made the acrylic bow. Some of the screw holes are off centered. And one cannot simply drill a hole in plaster. Oh, no. There’s an 85% chance that it will crumble and make a massive hole. Which then requires ginormous toggle bolts. And bigger holes. And patching. And painting.

ANYWAYS. Those bitches are secure now. I could probably do pull ups on them. You know, if I ever did pull ups. Or, could do more than one.

After looking at some art online, I decided to order this print from Minted: 'The Good, The Bad & The Ugly' 'minted'In the 24″ x 18″size. Somehow the day that I clicked on the site to purchase, it had an option for no white border and the print covering the whole space? Where’d that option go? Witchcraft.

The colors are beautiful. I was surprised by how much my husband liked it, too. In super healthy relationship fashion, I didn’t consult with him before purchasing.

Since I worked hard on those wall panels, I didn’t want to completely cover them with a large frame.

Then I remembered that I had favorited this etsy shop, some unknown amount of time ago.

Now, this listing is for the acrylic sheets and the hardware. Add in $45 for shipping and $184 is no small amount. Which is not to say that it’s not worth it, but when the shop suggested an option to DIY, I was all over that. I purchased the small brass standoffs for $34 and 2 30″ x 28″ acrylic sheets from Lowes for, like, $30ish?

Since purchasing the sheets from Lowes would not give me the custom measurements purchasing from the etsy shop would give me, I also purchased this Olfa plastic cutter.IMG_1548

Let’s revisit my previous statement about my projects usually taking a left turn. I figured that me trying to cut down acrylic would somehow affect the time/space continuum and a vortex would open and swallow the state of Minnesota. Not accurate? Idk. I’m not a scientist.

I was super pleased when cutting down acrylic sheets was a breeze. Like. So easy.

I added 2″ to each side of my art for the acrylic frame – so I kept the 28″ as is and cut down the 30″ to 22″.

First, I marked off my 22″ with sharpie (keep the protective plastic on).

Since I didn’t have a long enough straight edge, and I just accidentally snapped my 4 foot level, I used a spare piece of lumber. I clamped it all down nice and tight to a table and scored along the lumber multiple times, alternating direction. IMG_1542 IMG_1547

I scored along the lumber multiple times, alternating direction.

IMG_1551 IMG_1552

When I had a deep groove (like 10 passes or so), I unclamped it and moved it so that the excess was hanging over the edge of the table. From that point, it took a very small amount of pressure for it to snap right off. IMG_1554

When my pieces were cut to size, I lined them up together and clamped them down with some spare lumber underneath. I marked off my holes (1″ from the edges) with a sharpie, on top of the plastic.IMG_1560 IMG_1563

Drilling the holes was easy! I used a 3/8 bit and a little water with soap (to minimize friction and chipping) and used medium speed/pressure.

The whole process probably took 30 minutes – and saved a lot of money to boot.IMG_1604 IMG_1606 IMG_1609

I am way over my tentative 6 week dining room ‘challenge’ but I’m feeling really ok about that. I have been working on things at a steady and relaxed pace, without breaking my back (or checking account) and I’ve still had lots of time outside and chilling.

I am having such an excellent summer with my daughter out of school (I’m still working full time, boo hiss) and it seems like maybe they really do get better with age. Years 3 and 4 were particular lows for pleasant interactions. It’s a wonder that any parents keep them past that age.

In other important-to-no-one-else news: the light fixture is still not shipped out. Any inquires are answered with a vague ‘we will ship it out soon’. I’m kind of a lot bummed. I ordered from the company a couple of years ago, and since then, they have gotten a great reputation in the blogosphere. I feel conflicted because I don’t want to make a big deal about it, but the communication is seriously lacking. I feel like if the company is going to be 5+ weeks past the original ship date – they should reach out to the customer and let them know. And probably set new shipping expectations.

It’s the light fixture that I want, so I guess I’ll have to find some inner zen and be patient.'TripleSevenHome Ursula'

I swear, put something shiny in front of me and it takes over my brain and I forget all else.

Still want to read about relatively non-important things?

Cool. I got you.

I finally pulled the trigger and ordered a Modernica Case Study planter to put under the aforementioned artwork.

I was thinking that I would put my snake plant in there, but I quite like it on the credenza. So then I thought maybe a cactus?


There are a lot of cacti varieties.

I’m sure you’re all like: ‘well, duh, Madeline. Everyone knows that.’

and I’m all: NO, guys. A LOT OF CACTI.

If you can believe it, there aren’t a ton of cactus nurseries local to Minnesota. So I’ll have to do any ordering online.

Any thoughts on your favorite cactus? Be sure to include its full and proper name. JK. No, really, please do that.

Then a few days after I ordered the modernica planter. I was like: NO.

That actually belongs with the new fiddle fig in my front room.

Now I need a planter for the dining room. Before the 1st one has even shipped.

I’m the WORST.

I think the retro bullet planter will be just the match for some cacti.


Someone… buy these rugs.


Even though I said that I wasn’t going to get a rug for the dining room, I can’t be trusted and I’ve been looking on ebay casually. I spotted these ones and think the colors are so great, but they are all too small for my dining room.

Since I can’t have them all, my next best option is for someone else to buy them, send me pretty pictures of them and then I can burn in a jealous rage.











What I’m on: July 2016

Making: Currently, nothing. I just finished the moulding in the dining room, my hands are feeling restless and my anxiety is rising. I should take up whittling and carve my own egg and dart.

Cooking: Chocolate chip cookies. You guys, the recipe on the back of the milk chocolate Ghirardelli chocolate chips is so good. I use this ungodly expensive organic local butter (it’s like $8 and super high fat) but they are delicious.

Drinking: As much cheap pinot grigio that I can get my greedy little hands on, per the ush. I wish that I could pretend that I was classy, but, I’m not. I like my $4 bottles of wine. When my husband brought home a $6 bottle once, I almost slapped it out of his hands on principle.

Reading: I just finished The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson, it has a lot more of a religious theme than I usually read, but it was a very interesting take on the traditional love story.

Wanting: Art for the dining room! I saw this piece from Minted and I loved the colors used.

Enjoying: Sitting poolside with a book. Ya’ll. I can sit down on a bench and read while my daughter continues her never ending search for another family to join while enjoying the wading pool. It’s awesome and life is much improved.

Listening: Bishop Briggs – I am looking forward to a full album. It’s so soulful, but bangs.

Needing: These plates and cutlery from CB2 to fulfill all my dining room dreams of a perfectly set table and food that is bountiful and cooks itself.

Wearing: As little clothing as is societally acceptable, tbh. We’ve had a heat wave in MN (high 90s) and it has been HOT for us. I don’t have a/c in my house and had to scramble to install the two little window units that we haven’t used in a couple of years. I was sweating BEHIND MY KNEES.

Watching: I just finished season 1 of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Musicals aren’t really my thing, but the songs are ridiculous enough that it works.

Bookmarking: This post by Mary at ilikeitlovely – I did not know you could paint upholstery with chalk paint (in fact, I’ve never actually used chalk paint. The $30 paint brushes kind of offend my sensibilities.) The pink chairs in my living room are looking a little worse for wear and there is no money for re-upholstering them right now. So I think I might give them a coat of paint and wax and see how that works out. I need another project, anyways.

Feeling: Like this summer is going by so quickly. I am enjoying it so thoroughly, and I think this has been the best summer so far with the kids (fewer tears and petty squabbles than ever before!), but I am sad that it’s almost over and then back to the school grind.


I had a little birdie, her name was Enza…

I opened up the window,



I had that nursery rhyme stuck in my head when I was in a feverish state. Which, FYI, is a sub-par way to spend a week long staycation.

None the less, I was surprisingly productive.

In the month of July, I take a week off of work in observance of my birthday. That probably makes it seem like I make a huge deal of my birthday, but, I actually don’t even expect presents, or endless admiration of my existence or anything of the such. My twin sister and I usually high five and call it good.

It’s just a good reason for me to chill and enjoy some good weather in MN. I usually work on some projects around the house, too – last year I worked on building a pantry.

I clearly don’t know how to vacation or birthday. Next year, someone save me from myself.

Side note: Since we turned 30 this year (I’ve been told numerous times that this is a big deal), we went out clubbing on a whim (after I had spent 6 hours painting moulding.) It was a lot of fun. The recovery was less fun.

The only photographic evidence that this event occurred.

What moulding, you may ask? Ok. So you’re probably not asking. But I’m going to tell you regardless. I’m pretty self-centric like that.

As I was putting up the casing and header in the dining room, I was feeling pretty pleased with myself and ability to cut 45 degree angles and decided to add a little something to the walls.

I went to my local lumberyard to look at what was available. I originally wanted 3/4″ half round – but they didn’t have any available. So I went with 3/4″ x 1/4″ screen, since it was narrow and had an eased edge.

It ended up taking time, but was one of my easiest projects I’ve done, and pretty inexpensive. Way, way less time consuming and physically exhausting than mudding and sanding plaster walls. That shit is just brutal. Oh, wait. I already did that in the dining room. These walls had better appreciate my efforts.

I almost forgot the room used to look like this:043

And that was after a lot of work.

In case anyone cares:

Here are the things that I had to work with when planning the placement of the moulding:

  • 4 walls – 3 windows and 2 large openings to other rooms
  • None of the windows/headers are the same height (besides the two matching windows)
  • None of the spaces are the same width for equal spacing of the panels

Simple rectangles seemed the easiest. I decided to use the spacing of 3″ from walls/baseboards/casing and 6″ (5 1/4″ actual) between the screen moulding. With this, the areas that were largest would get 3 rectangles and the smaller areas would get 1 or 2, dependent on the width of the area. The height was just eyeballing it and shrugging, marked it off and then used the level around the room. It made the maths fairly easy. Space -6″= outer rectangle width (-12″= middle rectangle width, – 12″= inner rectangle width.)

The greatest gift I gave myself with starting this project, was renting this lazer level from Home Depot for 4 hours. I used it to make the painting line in Ry’s room for the One Room Challenge.IMG_1492

It’s super frustrating to get it absolutely level, but once you do, it’s quick to mark out all the lines. It took me about 3 hours in total – but I got 5 absolutely level lines all around the room. I just went around with a marker and short level and traced them.

From there, it was mathing out the width and then cuts, cuts and more cuts. Then even more.

I purchased 53 8′ pine screen moulding pieces and it was 152 cuts that made it up on the walls. That’s not including the maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaany miss-cuts that I made.IMG_1493

I got a ton of splinters, to boot.

Like, I know that an inanimate object like a thermostat just hanging there shouldn’t illicit feelings of contempt and rage in a person, but I am perhaps mentally unhappy, and it did. I am SO happy that I finally moved it to the stairwell in the basement, hidden, where things of shame should go.

Once all the screen was all nailed up with my brad nailer, the holes got spackled, sanded and primed. Then 3 (!) coats of Farrow and Ball Down Pipe in the Estate Emulsion. I had claw hands and had to go over the whole walls with the last coat, because this gallon is a slightly different color than the last one, and it’s still a little splotchy. Thanks for nothing, super expensive paint.

It took FOR.EV.ER to paint.

The radiator still needs to be painted, too, it got a coat of gray spay paint primer (thus the newspaper on the floor.) But I’m giving that remaining paint the major side eye. And that whole radiator sitch, in general. IMG_1502

It’s very subtle, but I like it.IMG_1521 IMG_1513 IMG_1505 IMG_1533 IMG_1536 IMG_1541

Still on the list is building a new credenza, scrubbing the floor, art etc. I am thinking about putting crown moulding up, too, but haven’t decided on a profile yet.

I like the idea of a rug in here, but it would be ruint in nanoseconds.

Also, maybe my light fixture will arrive someday? I ordered it 8 weeks ago, and I’m starting to be concerned that I only ordered it in a very realistic delusional state not based in reality. The lead time was 5-6 weeks, and last I heard, it was supposed to have shipped out over a week ago (did not happen.) It’s been kind of frustrating and disappointing with the lack of communication.

I ain’t mad at those walls tho.



I’m not a complete liar, after all

It was over two years ago when I got the bright idea to widen the doorway between the kitchen and dining room. I had just ordered (some) custom cabinets, jacked up the house and had several supports put in the basement, new appliances, electrical upgrades and installation of walnut flooring in the kitchen.

No concern was given to the vent pipe (the sink was on the other side of that dining room wall) or the fact that it was a load bearing wall. Or… matching the existing moulding in the house.

When the carpenter who was installing the cabinets offered to open up the wall – for a reasonable price – I jumped all over it.

Turns out that I should not have done that, it ended up being a super stressful experience with lots of lasting issues that give me night terrors and a severe case of avoidance to the point that I don’t even want to finish the kitchen (like… dry walling the ceiling.)

That project started after I had ordered the cabinets, there was a 3+ month turnaround time, so I figured I would install a temporary ikea sink cabinet until I ordered the matching custom cabinet.

Major LOLZ.

I ran out of large chunks of money to order the rest of the cabinets.

I guess I should rephrase – I decided to scrape together money and use it to make other areas of my house prettier. Because I don’t actually want to deal with the problems in the kitchen, just pretty stuff. Priorities.

Plus, I’ll never actually have large chunks of money.


That’s not the point right at this moment.

The point is: after the drywall went up – the moulding did not.

It became quickly apparent that I was not going to be able to locate stock pieces that matched the crown and decorative egg and dart. The crown is no longer beefy and solid, and the egg and dart profile is no longer manufactured – anywhere.

I gave up on it.

It looked like this: IMG_1473Sad little misplaced thermostat.

Until I proclaimed my intention to work on the dining room and put the trim back, and by the grace of god, I have wonderful and supportive readers that I don’t want to be a liar to.

One thing I did find readily available at the lumber yard was the casing. Hooray! I purchased, brought it home, and realized that it was 1/4″ less wide than the existing. Fuckkkkk. Oh, well. I used it.

Ok. So.

This likely won’t make any sense to anyone outside of my own brain.

The existing crown is solid, and rests on the top of the 1×6 – projecting 3/4″ underneath for the egg and dart, and a total height of 7″.IMG_1486

Current crown matching the profile projects 3/4″ less, which if placed on top of a 1×6 would not allow the space for any decorative egg and dart.IMG_1489IMG_1491





My solution was to use a 1×8″ board (7 1/2″ actual), and have the crown flush with the top of the board – which would then project 3/4″ underneath.

The whole height is now 1/2″ taller, but, shit. We do what we can. I didn’t feel like ripping it down 1/2″. What.

I hope it doesn’t haunt me in the afterworld.

It was around the time that I had made all my cuts and had it all put together, but not on the wall, that my stupid pneumatic nailer quit on me. What the hell, driver?! Why aren’t you retracting and loading a new nail?!

I ran to my local ace for a metric allen wrench to try to open it up, but 3 of the 6 screws would. not. budge. And, tbh, I have no idea what I would have done with if, even if I did get it open.

A curse filled trip to Home Depot and I have a new one, and the (door? opening?) header is up! And casing!IMG_1478 IMG_1487

That sad little thermostat got moved!

I am still on the search for a comparable egg and dart moulding. I have been to two lumber yards, ordered some from home depot (only to be returned), and have two on order from online to see if they will work.

Since I’m having such a blast cutting those 45 degree angles, I’ve decided to try my hand at some wall moulding? ALL THE MOULDING!

Now, to spackle a thousand nail holes and purchase another $99 gallon of paint – because of course I just barely ran out.

In other news. I am taking a ridiculously long time making simple decisions and stalling on ordering anything else. Do I want an all black modernica planter? A black and wood one? White and black? Do I want to have a ceiling medallion, or no ceiling medallion with the new light fixture? Like, seriously. Not real problems.

I have a week off coming up, it’s become my annual staycation the week of my birthday, and I’m hoping to get some decisions made and some progress. Hopefully the new light fixture will be part of that! It’s been almost 6 weeks since I’ve ordered, but unsure when it will ship.

One last thing, I used to have an Instagram widget and then it broke or something and I have not been able to find another one to put in my sidebar. I am not code savvy. What have other people used to help? Please, save me.







What I’m on: June 2016

I found Molly from Awfully Big Adventure blog from the Spring 2016 ORC and I think she’s charming as all get out.

I stole this (unabashedly) post topic/template from her. I likely will not sound as interesting as her though.

Making: A credenza for my dining room – Well. Rather, I have the intention to.
Cooking: Sautéing fresh spinach in olive oil and minced garlic. I will never get over how much spinach shrinks when cooked. It’s like magic.
Drinking: Newman’s Own lemonade – I love lemonade. I may or may not routinely select which restaurant to patron based on their lemonade. I throw a splash of sparkling water in there if I’m feeling fancy.
Reading: I just finished In a dark, dark wood by Ruth Ware – it was a good read and subtly suspenseful. I’ll most def get her next book.
Wanting: The Gleaming Primrose mirror from Anthropology for my front room
Enjoying: Watching t-ball practice from the sidelines. Ya’ll, it’s a disaster out there. There are two kids that will run across the field, knocking over all their teammates and then squabble over the ball. Ain’t no teamwork out there with those 5 year olds.
Loving: The sunshine! It’s been an uncommonly cold and rainy couple of months here in Minnesota.
Listening: Niykee Heaton radio on Pandora
Needing: This Modernica planter stand – I got a new fiddle fig and I need a stand for it. My cat peed relentlessly in the pot of my last one and it lost leaves until my mom rescued it.
Smelling: Hair products – I’m not used to being fragrant. Since going platinum, I’ve had to deep condition my hair regularly. More maintenance than my hair has ever received in life.
Wearing: A crop top! With high waisted jeans or shorts. – I got pregnant with my daughter at 23 and have since struggled with what ‘appropriate’ attire is. This year, I’ve decided it’s ok to be a mom and show some tummy.
Watching: Southland – I haven’t had cable in 5 years, so I’m always way behind everyone else and have to wait for it to come on Netflix or Hulu
Bookmarking: blanking on this one.
Feeling: Pleased with how quickly my main level gets tidied these days – It used to be pure chaos and disorganization. It made no sense to clean at all. I still can’t find the damned tape when I need to wrap a present though. hjgjkghjfhj.

Keeping the momentum going. It’s way harder than it should be.

It seems to be feast or famine around here (both on the blog and at my house) with projects.

Maybe if I posted more, you all wouldn’t be subjected to 1500 word posts. Sorry ’bout that.

I had so much fun with the last One Room Challenge! Thank you so much for all your kind comments.

I didn’t know that I was blogging for all those sweet words, but it turns out that I TOTALLY am. And fame and cash money. Obvs.

I am thrilled to have given my daughter her own space and even more thrilled that it’s having the intended outcome of her spending time in there and out of my face all the time.

I love having a goal, a blogging schedule and being held accountable with the One Room Challenge. But – it is backbreaking work and fucking expensive.

I’ve already sold many organs to bankroll my wants and needs for this house, and some of them were probably vital. Idk. I’m not a doctor.

I like having a project though! It keeps me off the streets and out of trouble. I have to keep my scope smaller, than say, a whole room remodel and furnishing for a while.

Time to turn my attention back to the dining room!

It is open to the living room and kitchen (still majorly unfinished – shame) and can be seen when entering the house.

I started on it almost two years ago?

It sat with it’s first coat of Farrow & Ball Down Pipe on the walls and trim since then.

This would bother absolutely no one other than me, but the egg and dart and crown moulding on one of the windows was not original to the house and didn’t match the other windows. I could not let this stand – apparently.

So I cannibalized the old doorway trim (from widening the opening from the kitchen) and cut it down for the window. Unfortunately, I forgot the angles are different when you cut on the fence vs. on the flat. It’s definitely not perfect, but wood filler, paint and curtains obscure that fact.

And I don’t seem to have any pictures of that process anywhere? Trust. It happened.

I did put the missing baseboards down in one corner, too. It was only like 7 cuts and shaving an inch off the bottom, yet somehow took me several hours? I’m slow AF. IMG_1125 IMG_1127I used a piece of paper to make a template of the outlet, transferred it the wood and cut it out with a jigsaw. IMG_1135It totally worked! Which was a huge relief since it was the original wood to the house. IMG_1136Last month, I finalllllllllly got the finial coat of paint on the walls and trim, and decided to paint the ceiling too (I loved the dark ceiling in my daughter’s bedroom!) The walls and ceiling are in the Estate Emulsion and the trim is in the eggshell. The gloss really brings out the depth of the color – beautiful.

After painting the dining room and working on the bedroom upstairs – it looked like this.IMG_1425 IMG_1427

Cringe. My house blows up with tools and miscellaneous shit when I work on a project. Spanning two levels even. Ya’ll impressed?

I hope I am not the only one in universe who lives in this state more often than not.


Prepare yourself for some legit real life pictures. No deep cleaning, no sweeping, no styling or moving clutter into another room. #liveauthentic or something.

I spent a little time tidying and organizing and now we are here.IMG_1435 IMG_1438 IMG_1442


I mean, there’s still a shop vac chillin’ in the corner.

Once the room was painted with it’s second coat, I hung my drapes. I love, love, love them.

We will get back to that eyesore of a radiator in a minute.

The fabric is the Altpink linen from Tonic Living. I feel like it’s one of the most perfect pale pinks evahhhh.

I shipped my fabric to Divine Panels on Etsy to be sewn. I went with a French pleat header and chose blackout lining. They did a superb job. The quality is top notch and their customer service was excellent.

The blackout lining is perfect at blocking the light when we want to watch tv during the day, or video gaming for my husband. For this reason, I was given carte blanche with the fabric selection and I get to tell my husband that I spent hundreds of dollars to make him happy. And that I deserve thanks. And endless admiration.

The curtain rods are Lucite and brushed brass from Lux Hold ups on Etsy. I think they let the dark paint and drapes do their thang.

I purchased a new light! Which finalizes my plan to get rid of basic bitch light fixtures on the main level.

I knowwww that I had intended to purchase the Millo chandelier, which I still really super love, but I don’t think it will fit the space right. You know when you want something to work so badly, and you try to force it and then it ends in disappointment/purchasing another/money out the pocket for the first one/reflection on your whole past about where you went so wrong in life? I just avoided that last part.

I went with the Ursula from TripleSevenHome. 'TripleSevenHome Ursula'

I saw it when I was looking for alternative sconce options for Ry’s room, and my heart went all pitter patter. I sent a message over a month ago asking if I could have this made with smoked glass, and it took 2 more messages to get a ‘no’ in response. Once I got that – I finally ordered it.

I think it will compliment the Serge Mouille style light in the living room, and the large globe pendant in the kitchen. I shall call it ‘serge-mouille-large-globe-pendant-love-child’ light. Ursula for short.

It’s going to take about 6 weeks before it arrives – which prompts the Unofficial tentative One room challenge dining room. In which there is no official end date, or blogging schedule and it is totally unstructured. But almost exactly like the official challenge.


Check on possibility and price to swap that behemoth of a radiator with a smaller one. Plumbers are expensive, so we will see. The measurements might not even work. If that’s not an option, then finish painting it. Or, whatever.

MOULDING for the enlarged opening between the kitchen and dining room.

God. How many times have I said I’m going to procure it and put it up? I am a straight up liar face. Give me another chance to redeem myself?

Build storage. The craigslist credenza was moved in here, and it works ok but is deeper than I would like and a little shorter. Something longer, less deep and more room will take its place. And I’m thinking burgundy?IMG_4059

I am getting so good with CAD, don’t you think?

What do you mean that’s just a scribble on paper!? Offended. Get off my internets.

Stock the bar cart for the hypothetical cocktail party that I’m having.

Note to self: stop consuming all the alcohol that enters the house.

I bought the copper Plum and Bow cart from urban outfitters when it was on sale. It’s a good size for the room. I’m glad that I bought it on sale though, it’s not the best craftsmanship known to man.

Paint the piece of chipboard and attach it to the makeshift ikea sink/dishwasher cabinet.

Does anyone want to trade me thousands of dollars for a piece of paper that says ‘MY SOUL’ on it so that I can order the last cabinets and finish my kitchen?

No? Cool.

Joke would have been on that sucker, I got rid of that thing long ago.

Painting it is.

I’m going to miss the hot pink chandelier. I removed the shades and painted the metal on the one that came with the house. My husband on the other hand, will not miss it at all.

TBH. If I didn’t already have the pink drapes, I probably would powder coat the new fixture hot pink.

I’ll have to find another way to test the boundaries of my husband’s love tho.

Give those $10 craigslist chairs a face lift. Maybe some faux black ostrich leather?

Finally. The most important part of the plan.

BLOG about it.






One Room Challenge Spring 2016: Kid’s bedroom reveal!

Happy reveal day! It might be one of my fave days of the year.

If you’re unfamiliar with this bi-annual holiday, it was created and is hosted by Linda of Calling it Home. It gives bloggers an opportunity to destroy a room/home/bank account/relationships/sanity/nails/neglect all other responsibilities/etc over the course of 5 weeks and link the progress in the hopes of a new and beautiful finished room at the end.

And it is awesome.

Except that my body might be sore forever.

This is my second time participating. I did my living room this past fall. Reveal here.

The room that I chose to work on is one of the modestly sized bedrooms in our 110 year old south Minneapolis home, to create a new big girl bedroom as a surprise for my 5 year old daughter.

The beginning:

IMG_1149What a drag.

I didn’t end up getting much done for the second week. Sometimes when I start a project, I get so overwhelmed by the sheer amount of tasks that I go into the fetal position on the couch with wine. I know you feel me.

The original plaster was obvs in rough shape and needed a lot of work as far as patching holes and cracks, missing chunks of wall/ceiling and sanding smooth. IMG_1217This is about the point where I get a faraway look in my eyes and I start mumbling on repeat…. ‘I just have to get the primer up, everything is better after primer, so close’ while I’m putting tin foil up on the windows and donning a garbage bag as a dress.


Someone should put that on one of those inspirational posters with a kitten and a roller.


I ended up doing a drop ceiling with black paint, installed the stellar flush sputnik and my daughter helped choose the pale pink.

I thought that I was keeping most of the last minute details out of the previous post, to make the reveal more special, but no. I am deluded. I was just procrastinating. Let’s call it what it is. K, Madeline?


It was at this point that I had to make finial decisions.

The list:

Paint walls and trim
Scrub everything clean
Fix roman shades (FML) and install (the blisters!)
Assemble day bed, brackets, wood slats cut down (the bed is an antique and amazing. But one of the screws to attach the side piece had some stripped threading and wouldn’t go into the receiving part. I’m a motherfucking do’er though, so I used a hacksaw and removed that part and it worked!)
Acquire mattress and bedding (mattress is a twin and apparently I need a longer one. Le sigh. Why didn’t I take measurements?! Or, assemble previously… or have general foresight)
Hang chair
Create storage
Make pretty

Something as simple as picking a color for the little makeshift storage unit nearly broke me. It left me in the paint aisle practically feral and like: I can’t decisions no more.

I might not even be able to decide what words to use for this post.

Am I forming words?

Hopefully you all understand guttural sounds.


Decisions got made.

Pictures quality proved to be a bummer because it has rained every day for the past week. But, the room looks good. Real good.

IMG_1395 IMG_1397 IMG_1420IMG_1362 IMG_1405IMG_1352

Can we talk about the beautiful floral sculptures?

IMG_1356They are from a shop on etsy called DillyPad. Each piece is a masterpiece. I adore them.

And these dark floral roman shades?!IMG_1419I die.

Details on the antique daybed from craigslist:IMG_1359 DSC_1290Sarah from Lucent lightshop sent me the black sconce, and they gave it to me! For, like, keeps. Knock me over with a feather. I was about ready to pay a king’s ransom for it. The ORC desperation is real. It was super sweet of them.

Their craftsman ship is hella on point. I paired it with a faceted light bulb that I picked up from CB2. DSC_1288

This rug.berber wares "moroccan pouf" "rugsusa braided rug"The pictures online don’t do it justice. The braiding is really thick, maybe an inch wide? Really comfortable.

Pretty things like pillows! It’s the best when you get to clear a room out of tools and paint cans and put pretty shit in there. I love pretty.



The wall between the door and the closet door is kind of wasted because the door opens towards it. I painted a large circular chalkboard here to provide a space for creativity, that takes up no room. IMG_1371IMG_1370


I was so excited to tell Rylan about her new room. I was able to keep her out of there successfully the past weekend whilst I installed, to keep it a surprise. I acted out all the bad teenage movies though, awkwardly cracking the door and blocking it with my body when she would seek out my attention.

When I finished and my husband and I told her that it was for her, she was so happy and went straight to her dad to thank him and hug him.

I was like: what. the. actual. fuck.

Is this real life?!

I mean, he’s cool and all, but he did not make this room for her. He did supply moral support for me tho.

He told her that he should be thanking me (after accepting a pretty stellar hug), and only then did she direct her attention to me – the person who has been slaving, bleeding and sweating for 5 weeks for this room.

Ummm. Did she not see me with her own eyes doing all the work?!

I guess that about sums up what it’s like to be the mom.

I digress.

She was so verbally appreciative after that. I got to hear a lot of “You did all that work, for me?! I LOVE it.”

Then this happened: DSC_1287 So, so totally worth it.

Make sure to check out all the other completed rooms. Mind blowing!ORC



  • Paint colors (Behr Pale Bud, Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black, Benjamin Moore Hunter Green)
  • Daybed – Antique
  • Sputnik ceiling light – Lucent Lightshop
  • Moroccan Pouf and wedding blanket pillows – Berber Wares
  • Other bed pillows – Target
  • Chair pillows and blanket – Home Goods
  • Hanging Chair – Serena and Lily
  • Rug – RugsUSA
  • Roman shades – Fabric by Ellie Cashman design and sewn by Creative Drapery
  • Mirror – Antique
  • Cubby storage – ‘antique’ Ikea and waddell furniture legs
  • Planter – Target
  • Copper table light – West Elm
  • Brass side table – West Elm (no longer available in brass)
  • Pink throw and quilted blanket – West Elm
  • Copper basket – Target (maybe no longer available?)
  • Alarm clock – Teach me time clock (I don’t know if anyone else uses this, but, it is a life saver when your kid wants to wake up at 5am! We just started using it about 6 months ago and now she stays in her room until 6:45 daily)


One Room Challenge Spring 2016: Pre-reveal reveal post

It’s week 5 of the One Room Challenge, hosted by Linda of Calling it Home. That means that next week is the reveal and we all have one more week to pull it all together. I’m so excited to see everyone’s rooms!

Are you all ready to read another 1000 words about paint?


I spend a lot of my life painting. On Friday, I had to tell all my friends that I couldn’t be social ’cause I was too busy painting and deep conditioning my hair. I’m totally kidding, guys. I spend my Fridays painting and deep conditioning my hair…. I don’t have friends.

Here’s how the room started:IMG_1144If you’re curious about the progress from that point, check out weeks one, two, three, and four.

This room is small, but it still managed to take:

  • 1 gallon of oil based primer
  • 1 gallon of latex primer
  • 1 gallon of Tricorn black
  • 1 gallon of flat Pale Bud
  • 1 quart of satin Pale Bud

After I spent all that time painting the walls and trim with Behr Pale Bud (mixed in Valspar Aspire – I think the price and quality of this paint is excellent), they kind of just looked white, and not really pink at all.

Then I realized that I’m not going to waste hours of my life painting, and then stressing about an inoffensive pale pink white color. It’s subtle.

I knew that wine as a coping mechanism for anxiety was going to pay off some day.

Moving on. I went to Home Depot and rented their rotary laser level to mark off the line where the black and white pink would meet on the walls. It cost me $41 and was so, so worth it.

It took some work and precarious balancing on a tiny table to get the bubbles level. Then I saw where the line was on the walls and it was lower than I had envisioned in my minds eye.laser level laser level

Then I was like idgaf and left it where it was.

I’m totally so cold and calculating. I’m practically a super villain.

It only took me about 15 minutes to tape off the line and paint a thin coat of Pale Bud to fill any gaps.

A coat and a half of Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black (again mixed in Valspar Aspire), with paint pole snapping mid-painting, and I was pulling that tape off to reveal some fine lines.IMG_1260

I was like: Danggggggggggggggggg. That’s a crisp line, yo.


My rugsUSA braided rug arrived and I got all excited and put it down before cleaning the floor. The shape of the room, with the slanted door frame and radiator makes it a little tricky for the rug size. I went with a 6×9 to take up as much of the available space as I could.IMG_1275

The rug pad is MIA, but it turns out that this rug is so thick it might not even need one. I’ll still probably want to find out where it is out there in the world, since I paid monies for it. I’m terribly unreasonable.

The off white color of the rug helps the walls look a little more pink in contrast. IDK. I’m grasping at straws here.

After I put the rug down, my daughter saw the room and said “Mom! I love where you’re going with the room you’re working on!” to which I kept a cool demeanor on the outside and was like “fuck yeah!” and warm and fuzzy on the inside.

Another byproduct of the angled door and radiator is this shallow space:IMG_1271

It’s only like 14″ deep and limits what can be put here, without interfering with the whole walking into the room thing. That means a dresser is out. I thought about building something, but, let’s be real, I simply didn’t want to.

I remembered I have this wall thingy from ikea that I bought like 5 years ago. I am planning to put on some furniture legs and paint it. It should tuck right in there behind the hanging chair, and provide a little storage for books and stuffed animals and all the little shit that kids somehow accumulate without having money.

I worked on the roman shades. I was able to use some scrap 1x2s that I had laying around (it’s a normal thing to have scrap lumber hanging out) to make them less deep. I got one all done, and the second one is still on my list. I messed it up the first time, but now I know that I was doing way too much and should be able to fix it pretty easily. Removing all those staples again tho….. groans.

Basically, the room needs to be cleaned and will be prepped for the install. I feel so profesh calling it that.IMG_1266 IMG_1269 IMG_1267

Things left to do:

  • Paint walls and trim
  • Scrub everything clean
  • Rug
  • Fix roman shades (FML) and install
  • Assemble day bed, brackets, wood slats cut down
  • Acquire mattress and bedding (bedding is stupid expensive – even the tiny twin versions)
  • Hang chair
  • Create storage
  • Make pretty

Shit. Did I do anything this week?! List – you the worst.

At least my work trip was pushed back and I will be home the days leading up to the reveal.

Follow along on instagram also, and make sure to check out the other link ups.