Master Bedroom Redecorate: Sneak Peak


A little over a month ago I mentioned a master bedroom redesign we’re planning. Well we’ve made a little progress.

1. We got this amazing 3-in-1 down comforter from IKEA. Seriously, I don’t know why I’ve been sleeping without a down comforter all my life. It’s like heaven: fluffy and airy like a cloud but so warm and snuggly. This smart design has two layers. A thin one for warmer seasons and thicker one for cool weather. The two layers snap together to make one extra warm blanket for cold weather.

2. The new comforter necessitated a duvet cover. While I was at IKEA I found a light gray (almost white but just enough color to not look dirty all the time) cover with a nice texture. I’m dreaming of a clean, white room but I don’t want it to feel unfinished or clinical. Light gray was a nice compromise. This is not the first time Jason and I have made significant purchases from IKEA together by me texting him photos and asking for his opinion. I love technology. (Thanks for giving me the benefit of the doubt, Jase!)

3. And of course, a new duvet cover and comforter beg for the company of new sheets. My only insistance for new sheets was that they had to have a pattern of some kind. Our last several sets have been solid color and the pillow cases and sheets always get discolored in the areas where they’re in frequent contact with hair product and skin oils. And a high thread count is always nice. I suggested orange and white striped sheets (though I couldn’t actually find them anywhere.) Jason wanted dark gray sheets. We ended up finding a set at Target with a gray tasteful retro-modern pattern. Another perfect compromise.

4. Our bed is white. Except that it’s kind of off white. Guess what – next to a clean, crisp light gray off white just looks like dirty white. So now we have our beautiful new bedding on a dirty white bed. Hmm… not sure how to solve that one without getting a new bed. Which is not out of the question…just out of the budget right now. Also, the walls need painted. Next time we’re at the hardware store I’m going to grab a bunch of paint swatches. I’m still leaning towards white or light gray (with orange accents) but with the dirty white bed still in the picture, I’m not really sure what to do! A soft, light taupe white maybe?

5. (Number 4 wasn’t really any progress. Just rambling about what needs to be done. What are these bullet points supposed to be anyway?) We did get one more thing for the bedroom so far: A piece of metal wall art. (Blue cardboard packaging behind it.) I’m pretty excited about it although I’m not sure yet how and where it’s going to work with my furniture arrangement ideas. Goal of furniture arrangement: get rid of shelf behind the bed, add nightstands and an area rug. Is that too much to ask from my small asymmetrical master bedroom?



Swedes Abroad


This weekend we had the pleasure of hosting my distant cousin Marcus and his girlfriend Petra from Sweden. They’re in the middle of a 7 week vacation around North America: NYC, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Toronto, Nashville, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Los Angeles, Hawaii, Cuba, Miami and then back to Sweden. Quite a busy adventure!

My parents picked them up from the airport on Friday afternoon and took them to Centennial Park to see the Parthenon. After that they went to the Nashville Farmers Market for lunch and back to my parents house to rest for a bit. Jason and I met them for dinner at Allium, a delicious new neighborhood favorite with a great view of downtown. After dinner Jason and I took Marcus and Petra downtown Nashville to see the crazy neon signs from the bars, hear music of all different styles pouring out of every other doorway, get bombarded by the crowded streets and eventually end up at Big Bang Dueling Piano Bar. The music was pretty good and a variety of pop music from Elton John to Jason Mraz to Ben Folds. It was good until it got crude. We didn’t stay long as the Swedes were tired and a bit overwhelmed.

Saturday morning my parents brought Marcus and Petra over to our house for a quick tour and some pictures.

After a Starbucks stop we went to the Ryman Auditorium for a tour which was quite interesting. The auditorium was originally built to house revival services before becoming the home of the Grand Ole Opry. Eventually the Opry moved to another venue and the auditorium was renovated by the Gaylord Entertainment and now is the venue of everyone from One Republic (who played there on Sunday night) to Kelly Clarkson to Jonny Lang to Vince Gill. Jason and I saw Dave Brubeck perform there 6 or 7 years ago.

From there we went to Hatch Show Print, Nashville’s historic letterpress shop where all the great country music concert posters were printed back in the day and where most of Nashville’s biggest concerts still have their posters printed today. As a graphic designer this is always one of my favorite stops.

We had to stop in one of the many boot stores downtown. Marcus wanted to try some on just for a picture. Meanwhile, mom and I kept seeing some that we actually liked. I’ve never owned a pair of cowboy boots but I think if I spent enough time in here I could be convinced. This particular store, Boot Country, is Buy 1 Pair, Get 2 Free. Of course, all the ones I really liked were in the $275-399 range. Fun to look anyway.

After lunch at Piranha (which took forever but was good), we walked out over the pedestrian bridge to get a good look at downtown.

We walked along the path of the Music City Walk of Fame on our way to the Country Music Hall of Fame. The hall included lots of facts, outfits and instruments of lots of country musicians that none of us really cared about. Turned out it wasn’t really worth the $20/person admission for us. We all agreed we enjoyed the Ryman more. Serious country fans might disagree.

After that it was back to my parents house for naps and rest before my dad’s birthday dinner and my mama’s yummy homemade cheesecake for dessert. We had planned to go to dinner at Pucketts Grocery where a country band was performing but we were all too pooped. We ended up just visiting for the rest of the evening. It was a fun weekend and I’m so glad Marcus and Petra made a stop in Nashville on their busy vacation. Did I mention we had perfect weather? Sunny and highs in the upper 60s both days. Jason will most likely be going back to Sweden again this summer and I’m hoping we can find a way for me to go along and tack on a few extra days in Stockholm to visit Marcus and Petra again, and hopefully Marcus’ brothers and parents too.

Modern Wood Fence – Step 2: Planning


We decided to put a fence just around our patio and garden rather than the whole backyard. Partly to save money and partly because we primarily use the patio and as I mentioned, we like the feel of a defined outdoor living space. We’ll be using 4×4 treated pine posts, a little less than 8 ft apart, and untreated pine 1″x3″x8′ horizontal planks. Half way between the 4×4 posts, we’ll add 2×4 vertical boards to keep the horizontal planks from bowing and warping. Then, the whole fence will be stained with deck sealer (all the same color). We’ll have two gates: one from the driveway and one into the yard from the stepping stone path. Here are some illustrations I did of our fence design:

We’ll probably come back at the end and put 1″x4″s over the nailed sides of the 4″x4″ posts.


Step 1: Inspiration

Phone Photo Friday


Baby Mama Hospital Bag


My sister-in-law Ginger, who is also one of my best friends, had a baby 2 weeks ago. (Happy 2 week Birthday, Eliza!) I have been thoroughly excited for mama and daddy these past 8 months anticipating the baby’s arrival. When Ginger mentioned that she was hoping to find some new pajamas to wear after the baby was born, I thought it might be nice to put together a hospital gift bag for the new mother – some things to do, something new to wear, some snacks. I couldn’t find much reference online for what to include so here’s what I came up with in case anyone else is looking for ideas for a gift for a pregnant friend:

• a cute tote bag, perhaps that can be used later for baby items (I added a wool felt “e” to a plain white bag)
• a fun kid/parenting/baby/craft magazine to flip through
• comfy pajamas; a nursing-friendly top
• snacks like fruit, granola bars, gatorade
• crossword puzzle or Mad Libs book (I ended up skipping this idea)
• A card or encouraging letter

The new mama seemed to really enjoy the gift. The pjs were reportedly soft and comfy and didn’t rub the C-section incision spot. She said the magazine also came in handy during some middle of the night sleepless times at the hospital.

Any other ideas of what a new mom could use during her hospital stay or the first days at home?

Modern Wood Fence – Step 1: Inspiration


Ever since we moved into our mid-century modern ranch 4 years ago, we’ve been planning to add a fence around all or part of our backyard. It’s not that we don’t love our neighbors—we have great neighbors—but we like the idea of creating an outdoor room. Here are some inspiration photos Jason has been collecting for the past few years:

(Sorry, I don’t know the source for any of these.)



A while back Jason and I found this trench coat at the thrift store. It’s a vintage boys coat actually. A BIG boy’s coat. We knew it didn’t fit quite right but I was dreading the alteration project because I wasn’t sure where to start. I’ve altered pants (slimming the legs or bringing up the hem.) but never a complex jacket. Like the pose? He wanted to emphasize that he felt like a bum wearing the baggy, long trench coat.

After a little research in the form of a Google image search, we decided it was too long. It needed to hit above the knee. (Though you can find plenty of longer mens trench coats, too.) Even these coats were a little too long for Jason’s taste. After snipping off 10″ or so and sewing the hem, we realized it was still too wide. I took in the seam in the middle of the back (not so much that I’d have to redo any of the work across the shoulders), made the sleeves narrower and shorter, and removed the bottom button and closed up the button hole.

At this length it is probably more of a pea coat than a trench coat. All that matters to me is that Jason likes it. It was cheap, it’s vintage and now it fits great. Of course, as soon as I was done he started looking through the other coats in the closet to see what else I could make more fitted.

CBB 3.0 – Update (Plans)


I’m not sure how well these images will come across at the small size but here are the plans and elevation drawings of the house. 12 o’clock is the back of the house, 6 o’clock is the front. The roof is pitched toward the front of our friends’ house rebuild (CBB 3.0).

I made a quick photoshop mock up of what the house could look like with color and landscaping. I think they’re planning on gray tones of paint and an orange front door so that’s where I started. And I just threw in some broad ideas for landscaping. That’s really Jason’s area of expertise, not mine, and I don’t know if they’re interested in our ideas anyway.

Does anyone else love looking at floor plans? Let me walk you through the floor plan of CBB 3.0. The front door is at the bottom of this image. There are wooden steps coming up to the front door from the right. The door opens to a foyer and leads to a family room. To the right of the family room is a dining room and kitchen, separated by the kitchen peninsula with the sink. Off the dining room is a bonus room, which will be a home office and music room. The right front corner of the house is the stairway that leads up from the garage with a coat closet at the top and an entrance to the kitchen. The left front side of the house is two bedrooms, a laundry room and a full bath. The back left corner of the house is the master suite: bedroom, bathroom and gigantic closet (that I’m jealous of!).

It’s a great house plan and I’m so excited for Jeremy and Leila! It’s also be really fun to watch the progress. It’s coming along quickly. More photo updates coming soon! (Thanks, J&L for letting me share your house progress here.)

Radio Silence


I am still here. Or back, rather. It’s been a whirlwind week and family emergencies have taken priority over blogging, work, paying bills, doing laundry, etc.—as they should. The dust is settling now but it’ll take me a few days to get back to normal. Thanks for checking in here everyday. I will be back next week!

A brief synopsis of the past 7 days if you’re interested:

Found out niece would be born by emergency C-section. Hurried to the hospital to wait. Delighted in amazing new addition to our family! Crazy storm. Tired. Irritable. Home late after swerving around many downed trees. Dog had accident while we were gone. Grocery store run. Grocery store closed due to power outage. Sneak into my parents house to steal their laundry detergent. Wake up after a few hours of sleep to a phone call that Jason’s grandmother passed away. Go to work like a zombie. Visit new parents and baby with dinner. (Yay!) Sleep hard. Scramble around to get errands and obligations done on Saturday so we could head out of town. Drive 10 hours up to Erie, PA (our former hometown) with Jason’s parents. Visit family. Attend funeral. Eat funeral food (including homemade ranch dressing … I call it “funeral ranch”. It’s good.) Visit family. Sort through grandma’s house. Scan lots of old family pictures. Buy sponge candy and prenzels at Wegmans. Visit our dear friends for yummy dinner. Wish they would move to Nashville. More family visiting, including a stop to visit Jason’s other grandma, our last remaining grandparent. Let her know that we intend to name our daughter after her one day. She laughs and says she never liked her name. (Also my grandmother’s name. She never liked it either!) Drive 10+ hours back to Nashville. It’s so good to be home. It’s sunny and 70º outside today. I have a lot of work to catch up on and much to be thankful for today.