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.


One Room Challenge Spring 2016: Painting and chillin’

Welcome back! It’s week 4 of the One Room Challenge, hosted by Linda of Calling it Home. If you haven’t yet, make sure to head over there and check all the other rooms’ progress. It’s amazing what these bloggers can do in 6 weeks.

To bring ya’ll up to speed, week 1 presented a horribly pink room with a ton of nail holes and cracks in the plaster. Week 2 wasn’t much of an update at all (shame), and week 3 had a lot of progress with patching/sanding/priming the walls.

The rest of the past week was spent fighting off the beyhive because I’m Becky with the good hair painting. Between this bedroom and my dining room, it was a total of 2 coats of primer on walls/ceiling, all the trim/doors, 3 top coats on the ceilings and 1 on the dining room walls. My body is beat – and I don’t have a lot to show for it in the ORC room.

But I apparently have a lot of words to describe very little. Brevity isn’t my thing. I always suspected that was the case, but writing blog posts about paint has definitely proved it to be true.

Since the ceilings are fairly low in here, and one side slopes due to the roof, I decided to go on ahead and embrace that by painting the ceiling black. The room is so bright (which is good), but the dark ceiling gives the eyes a nice place to rest. I likes it.IMG_1242 IMG_1243

Between some coats, I took the opportunity to swap out the light switches for dimmer toggle versions, and installed a ceiling medallion and my Lucent Lightshop fixture. I turned it on and the angels sang.DSC_1250

It’s always a hassle for me to install new light fixtures with this old house. I never know what the ceiling pan situation is going to be like, and the included screws don’t usually fit. It took two trips to my local Ace Hardware (love that place) to get the right length screws that would work with the pan/ceiling medallion – but I was determined to install it.

Rylie was like :’Ummm. You’re having a hard time with that.’

Thanks for that astute observation, sweet little child.

Pink paint color swatches are very deceiving in their paint chip form. I felt all sorts of betrayal.

I chose 5 samples, they all looked rather innocuous on their tiny little squares and in their paint pots – until I got them up on the wall.Valspar Angel's Sigh, Behr Prelude to Pink, Behr Sweet Roses, Behr My Sweetheart, Behr Pale Bud

L-R – Valspar Angel’s Sigh, Behr Prelude to Pink, Behr Sweet Roses, Behr My Sweetheart, Behr Pale Bud

Sorry for the terrible picture. It’s been raining the past several days.

I like My Sweetheart actually, but it went way too peach for this room. Angel’s Sigh is terrible, just terrible.

So – I did what any normal person would do. I deferred to the 5 year old. She chose Pale Bud, the one I had in mind, actually. That will be this weekend’s project. Yaaaaaay. More painting.

Once the painting is done, I can start bringing some things in.

I ordered a rug, this one by RugsUSA. I have my fingers crossed that the “off-white” color works with the paint and upholstered day bed (a craigslist find.) I ordered it when it was 70% off, and then an additional 10%. Woohoo.

The hanging chair arrived! Such a relief that it’s in my greedy possession. The box was too big to get through both my front and back house doors, so I had to take it out and I am pretty sure I heard neighbors laughing at me whilst I struggled. WhatEvs. They’re probably just jealous they ain’t got it like that.

And. The big box provided the kids a lot of entertainment in the back yard. Until they started squabbling over turf and I came out with a box cutter and broke down their house. Life lessons.

I learned a life lesson also. I don’t know how to measure for roman shades. For the depth, I thought it was the depth of the WHOLE window casing, not only the casing directly around the window. So, they are too deep. I’ll have to figure out to how to retrofit them without completely messing them up.

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
  • Hang chair
  • Create storage
  • Make pretty

Not too bad, all in all! I’m actually feeling a little guilty, like this room was too simple for the ORC, compared to how much work other people are doing.

Yikes. I hope that I don’t tempt the fates to mess up my life with that thought.

I can’t wait to see all the reveals in a couple of weeks.


One Room Challenge Spring 2016: Blank slate and good vibes

It’s week 3 of the One Room Challenge and I am feeling goooooood. I mean, sore AF and I killed way too many brain cells with spray paint and oil based primer fumes, but good all the same!

If you’re new to this challenge, Linda from Calling it Home hosts this event twice a year. Bloggers get to choose a room to work on, post the progress once a week for 6 weeks and link up to her site. If you’re someone like me, and can drag a simple project out for 6 months, this is super helpful to getting shit done.

I chose to turn our current guest room into a big girl room for my 5 year old daughter. This way, she can stay in her room, none the wiser that this is a surprise room for her.

I’m so excited to do this for her. She has been so patient and understanding of the house renovations, the chaos, the dust over the past 3 years. She really deserves her own space (free of the dust and chaos.)

This is where my challenge started.IMG_1144


Shudders. So. We bought this 100+ house from some flippers, who purchased it from an elderly woman that had lived there for a very long time and did not do proper upkeep. Or do any updates, as evidenced by the pink/avocado green/pale yellow/6 wallpapers in 1 room/massive holes, etc.

The house flippers’ solution to this was to cover all the surfaces with drywall. Great in theory, but it stuck out 1/2″ at the bottom of the walls where the baseboards were flush with the plaster walls and the window casing was close to being recessed. This probably wouldn’t bother the average person, but when it comes to freaking out about miniscule details, I am exceptionally above average.

I have been going from room to room in the house, forcefully removing the drywall, patching holes and cracks in the original plaster walls/ceiling, sanding, priming and painting.

This is the 6th room I’ve done so far – only 5 more to go. Le sigh.


Next time I start a project and think ‘oh, this won’t be so bad!’, I need ya’ll to remind me that I don’t know shit. kthxbye.

For my pitiful 2nd week post, I had only removed the screws and washed the walls and half heartedly patched holes.

That’s when I discovered this little gem:IMG_3955

It brought so much happiness to my life.

Showing up to the ORC challenge linking party with my hands empty was enough humiliation that I was finally motivated to finish repairing the walls this past week. Although, everyone was so kind of absolve me of my guilt and shame. WHO KNEW THE INTERNET WAS SO NICE?! It makes me want to go sit in a cardboard box of fuzzy kittens and let them climb on me.

I painted out the vinyl windows with some black satin Krylon fusion spray paint and the radiator in matte black. ‘Cause, why not?

Then, armed with 1/4″ drywall, 3 bags of DuraBond/Easy Sand 90 joint compound and 3 rolls of fiberglass window screen – I got down to it.

I addressed the deep holes initially. Those jerks are the ones that need countless coats to build up.

For the ginormous hole next to the light switch, I took some extra lath and screwed it to other pieces of lath for some support and strength.DSC_1197

Then I covered it up with a newspaper – done!DSC_1198

JK. I wish.

I used that to make a general template, cut out said template of 1/4″ drywall and then screwed the drywall to the lath. It doesn’t have to be perfect ’cause it will be filled/smoothed out with the joint compound.DSC_1200 DSC_1201 DSC_1204 DSC_1205 DSC_1206

After it was secured, I covered it with a big square of the screen and gave a once over coat.DSC_1207

The first coat is always the DuraBond, it’s super strong, but a bitch to sand – so I use it sparingly. This will go in the screw holes and the deep holes with mesh screen.

I cut the screen in to long strips, and use those for the thousands of tiny cracks in the walls/ceiling.

To protect my brain from the trauma of the next 3-6 coats, I went in to some sort of fugue state. When I came to, all the holes and cracks were smoothed out.IMG_1213 IMG_1214 IMG_1215 IMG_1225


The sanding wasn’t so bad, actually! It took about 4 hours with an orbital sander and 220 grit. I just kept telling myself that it will all be better once I get the walls primed.

AND PRIMED!IMG_1227 IMG_1230 IMG_1229 IMG_1232 IMG_1234

So, so, so much better.

Can you be kind enough to not notice that I missed a WHOLE portion of the wall with primer? I only realized when I was taking these pictures.

And here’s a bonus picture of my daughter popping in and crying because I asked her to wear sweat pants for T ball practice and she wants to wear a skirt:IMG_1233

What huge gaping hole in the wall and ceiling!? You must have had a nightmare. Shhhh. It’s over now.IMG_1228

That first coat is the oil based primer, which in my opinion is absolutely necessary with so much new mud. It’s the best to seal it up and prevent flashing. That joint compound be THIRSTY and will drink up primer like nobody’s business.

PSA – A deep hair conditioner will keep the oil based primer from sticking to your hair, and coconut oil is excellent for removing the oil based primer on your paint splattered face. Otherwise it sticks like a sonabitch. I didn’t mind the paint all over my body. I am currently at work looking like a mess and no fucks are given.

The next coat will be latex primer, then two top coats – I still haven’t picked out a paint color. I couldn’t focus on a new color until that other pink wasn’t assaulting my eyes.

Question. How do black, pale pink and dark green play together? Yes, no?


My lucent lighshop sputnik arrived and is beautiful.IMG_3965

BUT NOT ONLY THAT. Sarah sent me a message on instagram and let me know that her shop could make me the black sconce (that I never got a response on from a different shop.)

My daughter asked me the other day if I ordered that light that she chose out, and I had to tell her that I wasn’t able to yet. She took it all in stride, because her skills for coping with disappointment are on point – which makes me think I need to reflect on how often I disappoint her. Now at least I won’t disappoint her with this!

They are just the sweetest, ever, and prove that customer service still exists.

As it turned out, the ceiling joist was JUST IN THE RIGHT PLACE for a hanging chair. Why, oh why didn’t I write down the exact location though!? I mean, it was right there in front of my face, and now I’ll have to search for it since it’s all smooth and primed.


I happened to pop over onto Serena and Lily’s shop this past weekend and saw there was a 20% off code and I could apply it to the rattan hanging chair! I was putting off ordering the chair because the item description page said ‘5-7 days’, when I checked out though, it said 2-4 weeks. I got anxious and sent Brit from House Updated a message asking how long it took for her to get it. She was so sweet to respond and told me it took about a week. I got an email about 3 days after I ordered and it will be delivered on Friday! Squeals! CH27-01_5

I waffled, but ultimately chose the natural finish.

Rug and textiles will get selected? Bedding seems to be a tough one for me. I want it to be pretty, but, she’s a 5 year old and doesn’t need $200 Egyptian cotton/silk sheets.

SOOOOO basically, I got $100 off my chair, the ceiling fixture is here and sconce for my daughter is on order and the walls are fresher than a mutha.

This weekend is for painting, cleaning, electrical updates and playing at the park.

Make sure to check out all the amazing work the other bloggers are doing!





One Room Challenge Spring 2016: Week 2 and minimal updates. I’m pretty boring.

Hey all! Are you ready for one of the most mundane blog posts of 2016?!

Let’s get this party started.

It’s week 2 of Linda from Calling it Home’s One Room Challenge. It provides bloggers an opportunity to spend 6 weeks on a room of their choosing, and link up once a week with progress.

Which is why this is so embarrassing…..

Since my last post, I have hardly done anything.

After removing the drywall, I removed all the screws and washed the walls with TSP.

By the way, not very fun or satisfying. It still left horrific pink walls behind.

I started the first coat of Dura Bond 90 to fill it the holes. Then I looked up at the ceiling and all the cracks and was like: nope.IMG_1193 IMG_1194

So I went and drank beer instead and binge watched Love on Netflix.

Buuuuuuut. I need to get it together because I just found out that I’m taking a business trip from May 9th – 12th and will be out of town.neutral-whyyyyy

This weekend will be spent putting all 3-4 layers on all the cracks and holes. If I’m feeling extra ambitious, I’ll try to sand the walls smooth.

I’m dreading that though, for sure. I don’t know what it is, but sanding the walls is what brings me to my emotional and physical brink and usually brings the tears. Could be spending hours holding a heavy, vibrating sander over my head after spending days wielding a trowel. But. Idk. I don’t have a whole lot of personal insight.

I feel like once I get into the painting zone, it will be smooth from there.

One issue that I’ve run in to is this light that has been included in my plan for a few months.il_570xN_821311617_892g

The day after I posted, I went to purchase and the store is on vacation (to work on back orders.) This prompted not one, but two, crazy emails begging to let me purchase the light. I have not gotten any response, which, miffs me a little. I would almost prefer a: GO AWAY CRAZY LADY

Do they not understand the complete mental overtaking that is the ORC?!

This is an issue because.

  1. I like the light fixture
  2. I showed the kid several possibilities and that’s the one she chose

Now I have to decide if I want to find a permanent alternative, or a stand in until the shop is available. And I’m all: no mo’ decisions.

And self flagellation for putting off the purchasing of said light fixture.

Obvs, I haven’t had any personal growth from this because I’m going to put off making a decision. Naturally.

I sure hope to have a lot more to share next week. Until then, check out all the rooms – that are likely more impressive than mine!

And follow along on instagram: tealandgray




One Room Challenge Spring 2016: The kid’s bedroom

I am throwing my hat in the ring, ya’ll.

If you’re unfamiliar with the one room challenge, Linda from Calling it Home hosts the event twice a year where bloggers choose a room to refresh/remodel/design/etc and link their progress over 6 weeks.

It is back breaking, anxiety causing, hysteria awesomeness. The support that is given is truly amazing, like, my heart swells 3 times bigger.

This past fall, I did the challenge for the first time and chose my living room. I am so thrilled with how it turned out, and I know it wouldn’t have happened without the ORC. Casa blanca Clark + Kensington safavieh Casablanca rug

Weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 – if you’re interested.

This time around, I am going to work on a bedroom upstairs for my 5 year old daughter. She doesn’t know it’s for her and thinks that momma is in one of her manias again.

The past several years, my daughter, Rylan, has lived in a prison like bedroom consisting of a tiny bed and chair. We couldn’t even keep her clothes in her room due to multiple outfit changes instead of sleeping. Since she’s at school full time now, and much more independent (read: willing to spend 5 minutes by herself without tears and accusations of abandonment), it seems like the time to give her a space for herself. Especially since she has been amazingly patient with the past 3 years of dust and renovations on the rest of the house.

Of course that sounds way too simple for a One Room Challenge….

BOOM. IMG_1140

Here it is after pulling down the drywall.

When I saw the pink walls peeking underneath, I was all: OMG SHOULD I JUST LEAVE IT AS IS?! IMG_1151 IMG_1150 IMG_1149 IMG_1148 IMG_1147 IMG_1146 IMG_1145 IMG_1144

Kidding. IMG_1141

It is probably hard to tell, but every wall (and the ceiling) are a different shade of pink.

The room is on the small side (all of them are in my house) but it gets a ton of light.

Here’s the plan:img-set


Feminine, but not cutesy, simple and comfortable. Pale pinks, creams, brass and a good measure of black. I figure, if she doesn’t like it then I will just move in there.

A couple months ago, I ordered Ellie Cashman design’s Dark Floral linen and had it made into roman shades – with blackout lining for those occasional naps (hallelujah!) img_3937

These were definitely a splurge for the room, but turns out they complete my soul. So it seems pretty worth it.

When I saw the hanging chair in House Updated’s ORC reveal, I had half a mind to call my mother and use expletives for OBVIOUSLY robbing my childhood of such a necessity. As soon as we get on one of those reality TV family therapy shows, I’m totally bringing it up.

That being said – I’ll only be able to use it in this room if the ceiling joists are in the right place since the room is very angular.

Clothes storage will be done in her closet with some sort of pax system, and probs won’t happen in the next couple of weeks. We’ll have to see where I am on the ‘verge of nervous breakdown’ scale.

For the ceiling light, I ordered Lucent Lightshop’s Cerro sputnik. I wanted to have it plated in copper, but my husband chose brass. After I picked my jaw off the floor since he voiced an opinion, I ordered it in the brass finish. Hanging the light fixture always seems the most pivotal to me – it means all the worst and dusty shit is over and the pretty starts.

Ugh – I wish I was to the point of hanging a light fixture. This weekend will be spent with trowel and plaster instead.

Best of luck to all the participants! I can’t wait to see.



You know when you have an idea in your head and maybe you even have the items in your possession or favorited on your etsy profile for like EVER and then someone else puts it on the interwebs first? Then you’re left there with a bottle of wine and questioning ‘what is life?’ and ‘if I didn’t put it on Instagram, did it even exist?’

And you’re probs burning up with jealousy because they have angelic lighting and perfect pictures. And perfect houses. And perfect hair.

Then you go: DAFUQ am I ugly crying over? I got some motherfucking curtains, yo. Then you dab at your ‘prom just got ruined’ raccoon eyes with your beautiful drapes.

No? Only me?


That’s right. I finally sent my pink linen to be sewn into wonderful french pleated drapes and I ordered beautiful lucite and brass curtain rods to hang them on. IMG_1124

I’m feeling pretty good about that. Good enough to finally paint the second coat of Farrow and Ball Down Pipe on the walls in my dining room in preparation. Those walls have been waiting 1 1/2 years for that, bee tee dub.

The trim was painted out in the eggshell finish. And am I the only one that thinks the F&B paint smells like damp dirt?

MY WALLPAPER WAS INSTALLED. It is more amazing than pictures can portray. I love, love, love it. ellie cashman dark floral wallpaperBetter pictures when I can figure out how to take better pictures of such a small room.

The door is prepped and painted, but scheduling the handyman (whom I quite like), has been a lot of phone tag. Or…. It’s the fact that I gave that task to the husband and he’s like way lower on the neuroticism scale than me.

I bleached my dark brown hair blonde. Like, really blonde. It’s not house related, but it’s about me and this is my blog sooooooo it counts. I have to go back for another session to lighten it a little bit more. It’s most def an adjustment and people were not lyin’ about the maintenance. I am maybe the laziest when it comes to my hair, I can hardly be bothered to brush it, as in I hardly DO brush it.

See the concentration it takes for me to take a selfie? I might have had a mini aneurism.

I had said that I was planning on giving my daughter a newly designed room. These Roman shades showed up in the mail today!img_3937


I mean, they didn’t just “show up”, it took lots of money and weeks for shipment and then customs gave me a hella hard time to get them through. I had to fill out this crazy detailed form, like I’m some sort of textile expert. I am not, if you were wondering.

Since they have shown up right before the spring One Room Challenge is starting, I think I’m going to do my daughter’s bedroom for it! Yay! Crazy! Exciting! Kind of regretting committing to it on the internet!

So far I am excelling at my goal in spending lots and lots of money on textiles for the house.