Category Archives: At Home

Holiday Home Tour

All the fancy blogs are featuring home tours right now, showing off beautiful, festive, creative holiday decorations and handmade wreaths. In that spirit I decided I should share what we’ve pulled together in our home. Please excuse the junky iPhone-at-night photos and don’t let those distract you from all the glory.

I had every intention of using this DIY to Christmas up our fireplace, using our existing ampersand in the middle. I suppose it's possible I could get my act together to do it in the next four days, but that seems unlikely. So this rendering will have to suffice.

I had every intention of using this DIY to Christmas up our fireplace with a “Merry & Bright” sign, using our existing ampersand in the middle. I suppose it’s possible I could get my act together to do it in the next four days, but that seems unlikely. So this rendering will have to suffice. And the moving blanket and toys give the hearth that lived-in look. Pro tip: you can just haphazardly throw in a clipping from your Christmas tree on top of fireplace logs, giving you instant “I sort of tried” seasonal greenery.

The stockings were hung by the football with care...

The stockings were hung by the football with care…

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On the day I set up this table, it looked adorable. Now it looks like this.

Here's my tutorial for creating a wrapping station in your house: throw the rolls of paper you borrowed from your mom into the Pack-n-Play (Pack-and-Play?), which for some reason you can't remember has been dragged into the living room. Voila!

Here’s my tutorial for creating a wrapping station in your house: throw the rolls of paper you borrowed from your mom into the Pack-n-Play (Pack-and-Play?), which for some reason you can’t remember has been dragged into the living room. Realize you’re out of scotch tape. Voila!

I like to leave unwrapped, un-taped packages strewn about the house, to experience the will-they-or-won't-they thrill of being accidentally discovered by the gift recipient.

I like to leave unwrapped, un-taped packages strewn about the house, to experience the will-they-or-won’t-they thrill of the gift recipient accidentally discovering it.

For our tree, we went with toddler-proof chic, only decorating the top half and weaving all the lights deep inside and on the back. The great thing about this is that it kinda looks like you were drunk when you did it. 'Tis the season!

For our tree, we went with toddler-proof chic, only decorating the top half and weaving all the lights deep inside and on the back. The great thing about this is that it kinda looks like you were drunk when you did it. ‘Tis the season!

I did make a really cute advent calendar/card holder, though.

I did make a really cute advent calendar/card holder, though.

Merry Christmas, y'all.

Merry Christmas, y’all.
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Tiff’s Treats

We are now a two egg-laying-chicken household.

It’s impossible to be certain if it’s Tiffany or Lucille because their breeds lay the same color, but the day before the egg appeared, Tiffany was VERY agitated, jumping up and down from the nesting box over and over and over again. So we’re giving her the credit.

The egg name is a nod to Austin’s favorite homemade cookie delivery company of the same name.

That’s her pride and joy there on the right.

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She has kind of a crabby personality. Can you tell?

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UPDATE: Well look who is monitoring the blogosphere for mentions! Thanks for the Twitter shoutout, original Tiff’s Treats.

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Ginger Snapped!

It finally happened. Five months after we adopted these little gals:

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one of them finally laid an egg. Ginger, the one on the far right above, gave us this blue beauty this morning:

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And because we are ridiculous people with a fondness for nicknames, we have decided to call this chicken’s eggs Ginger Snaps. We already have names for the other chickens’ eggs, which I’ll reveal with unnecessary drama when they start producing.

I also grabbed a couple of Ginger portraits, because that’s what one does on milestone occasions. Congratulations, Ginger. You’re a woman, now.

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Friday Night Mess

I read on some blog that if you clean your kitchen every night , you’ll feel a lot better about your house in the morning. I gave it a shot and found it to be mostly true. I’m nowhere close to a neat freak, but I do get a sense of satisfaction from looking around the kitchen when it’s clean and sparkly, especially after I use the Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day countertop spray in basil. Really I clean the kitchen mainly so that I can smell that stuff. It makes me feel like one of those goofy women in the Febreeze commercials.

BUT.

Friday night is different. Friday night is for the mess. And I love it. The dishes can wait. No need to prepare bottles or clean pump parts. I’ll get to all that later. The glorious later.

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My Next 5 Pinterest Projects

I’ve been busy with some freelance work, traveling and visitors, and still getting settled in our house, so it’s been awhile since I tackled a new Pinterest project. I’ve got dozens of good ideas saved just waiting to be tried, which is another way of saying dozens of good ideas I’ll probably never get to. So I decided to pull out five that seem both intriguing and easily doable, must-have conditions for my current lifestyle.

From my "Next" board.

From my “Next” board.

  1. The Butt, Thigh, and Belly Workout. Because I just had a baby nine months ago. And because it’s already been nine months since I had a baby.
  2. Watermelon + Cucumber Juice. Because I have a juicer and because YUM.
  3. Open shelving above the dishwasher. Because it’s pretty and anti-clunky.
  4. Key Lime Pie Froyo Pops. Because my dad and stepmom gave me popsicle molds for my birthday!
  5. Fire log. Because I don’t care that it’s 100 degrees outside, I just discovered that you can just build a little fire in a log!

Happier than a Chicken with a Frozen Watermelon in July

"SO GOOD," said Ginger, with her eyes.

“SO GOOD,” said Ginger, with her eyes.

Doesn’t that sound like it should be some bizarre Southern saying? I just Googled it. It’s not.

But it should be. Because it’s 97 degrees in Austin, Texas today, I just put out half of a frozen watermelon for the girls, and they WENT TO TOWN on that thing. I imagine they felt like I did when I was served a watermelon mimosa on a recent Saturday at El Chile. Which is to say, perfectly delighted, heat be damned, long live summer. And watermelon.

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Camden’s Room

Just a few weeks ago we moved out of state for the second time in five months. But before we left Monterey for Austin, I did manage to snap a few pics of Camden’s nursery. (Please excuse the crappy color balance – the room only had one window and not much light, and Photoshop is just not as good at cuddling as Camden is, so I don’t want to spend much time with it.)

It was the tiniest room in a tiny house, but we absolutely loved it. We didn’t want a theme, per se, but we wanted the main colors to be various oranges and blues, with burnt orange and mint as the primary hues. We also focused on foxes and vintage items.

But my favorite part of the room is the collection of handmade items–quilts, art, cards, furniture–more than 10 pieces crafted by me, Travis, family, and friends. It made the room feel so special and personal, and we were touched that so many people spent time and talent creating things just for our little guy.

Bedroom door. Sign made by Sarah Ling.

Bedroom door. Hanger sign made by Sarah Ling, and I added the paper fox mask. You know, for mischief.

Like I said, tiny room. So this is the closest I could get to showing everything. Mobile by me. Blanket on crib by Melody Westervelt.

Like I said, tiny room. So this is the closest I could get to showing everything. Mobile by me. Blanket on crib by Melody Westervelt. Light, super-duper Black Friday $7 deal from Anthropologie. Carpet tiles from FLOR.

Changing table IKEA hack by Travis. The drawers are meant for bathroom cabinet. He added the wood planks on top and used pipes for legs.

Changing table IKEA hack by Travis. The drawers are meant for bathroom cabinet. He added the wood planks on top and used pipes for legs. You can’t see it very well, but that ABC (C being for Camden) to the left of the window was made by Angie Satterly.

"Camden" fabric letters made by mom, for my baby shower. The onesie on the left was a cotton anniversary gift from Travis in 2008, when we first started trying to get pregnant. So delighted to finally get to use it. Dog tail hooks from IKEA. Burnt orange high tops from H&M.

“Camden” fabric letters made by mom, for my baby shower. The onesie on the left was a cotton anniversary gift from Travis in 2008, when we first started trying to get pregnant. So delighted to finally get to use it. Dog tail hooks from IKEA. Burnt orange high tops from H&M.

"C" print from a great little paper and print store in Seattle. "Home" canvas by me (Pinterest project) and Doodle and Maeby MS Paint portrait by James Alvarez. Flag bunting made by Courtney Rock.

“C” print from a great little paper and print store in Seattle. “Home” canvas by me (Pinterest project) and Doodle and Maeby MS Paint portrait by James Alvarez. Flag bunting made by Courtney Rock. The fox blanket, from Dwell, was a total splurge, but it is so soft and lovely and the perfect size and thickness.

My no-sew suspender curtain! Another Pinterest project. I even got blackout lining on there. Hopefully it can be reused in his new room.

My no-sew suspender curtain! Another Pinterest project. I even got blackout lining on there. Hopefully it can be reused in his new room.

There are lots of other little details in the room, but these are my favorite. "No whining," "Man up," and "Be nice" instruction cards, also from the Seattle paper store.

There are lots of other little details in the room, but these are my favorite. “No whining,” “Man up,” and “Be nice” instruction cards, also from the Seattle paper store.

 

Winter-Spring

Living in Tucson, we don’t really have winter like the rest of the country (part of why I love it here). It’s really more like winter-spring. Crisp and sunny during the day, cold and dry at night. Cool enough for scarves and tights, but I’ve only had to wear my real coat maybe twice this year. It’s kind of glorious.

Anywho, I wanted to make a wreath in honor of winter-spring, and came up with this little number

Isn’t this little guy ADORABLE?

It’s just a straw wreath from from Michael’s (with the wrapper still on), wrapped and wrapped and wrapped in yarn. Google “felt flower tutorial” for the little buds. It’s weirdly relaxing to spend an hour wrapping yarn around a wreath.

I also made a winter to-do list. I made a vacation to-do list awhile ago that included things like reading a magazine in the park and practicing curling my hair, and decided it was a fantastic idea that I should keep doing going forward. It’s basically a to-do list that gives you an excuse to do fun stuff and makes you feel super accomplished for doing things you know you’re going to do anyway.