House Tour: Living Room


We’ve been doing a lot of projects around the house including painting and rearranging. After doing a tour of our kids room, I realized I’ve never really done a tour of our house. So, here is our living room, freshly painted in Sherwin Williams Greek White and Hep Green…

It’s always hard to tell in photographs but this room is actually an irregular pentagon shape. The wall with the windows is angled. It’s quirky and makes furniture arrangement interesting but we love it. It’s probably most obvious in the picture below.

Our newly refaced faux fireplace that no longer has skull-cracking sharp corners.

Sources: Bookshelves and TYLOSAND sofa are from IKEA several years ago and no longer available. (Can’t remember the name of the shelves, sorry.) Everything else is from estate sales, yard sales and thrift stores. We got the three American By Martinsville tables at a thrift store for $5 a piece—one of our best finds. They’re worth 20-50x that according to eBay sales we’ve seen. I fell in love with the triangular clock at an antique store. Unfortunately it needs wound once a day and ticks really loud so it’s mostly just decoration. The painting was done by Jason and me several years ago on Valentine’s Day so we call it the Love Painting. I made the “Lovely Day x 3563” poster for Jason as a gift for the 10th anniversary of our first date. Back then he wrote me a song called Lovely Day. Jason found our front door at a local salvage yard and refinished it himself.


New Patio Dining Digs


I wanted to follow up Last Monday’s finished fence post with a report on our favorite new spot to eat meals at home:

We had actually planned on building a new wood table this summer using these plans. But, while we were at IKEA a few weeks ago and possibly feeling a bit exhausted by all the projects we’ve been doing lately, we saw the perfect patio table (VINÖ). Suddenly, $180 sounded like an offer we couldn’t refuse.

Being the cheapsakes that we are, we refused to pay $60 a pop for the matching outdoor chairs and instead found some simple metal and plastic folding ones (JEFF) for $10. (6 for the price of 1? Thank ya!)

Please note, this table is the easiest IKEA assembly ever! The legs fold out and then 2 wing nuts get screwed on. It took 1 minute. We were so pumped that we moved on from there to start assembly of the KURA bed—coincidentally, the most complicated IKEA assembly ever…

Anyway, we’re loving how the fence creates a cozy, defined space around the patio and garden.

Our first dinner on the new table: shish kabobs with shrimp, onions and peppers; corn on the cob and sweet tea. Perfect.

Even more perfect because I got to share it with this guy.

Yay for one more project checked off our to do list and to a summer full of relaxing on the patio!

Phone Photo Friday


Everybody has days like this sometimes…

Preparing for Foster Kids: Bedroom Tour


Our kids room is done-done-done. Ready to go. Just add kiddos!

I’m kind of in love with this room. It was so much fun to put together. It’s a mix of new and old. It’s a mix of patterns, textures and colors (mostly blue, green and gray … our favorites). It’s a mix of gifts, sentimental items and things purchased especially for our kiddos.

Sources: The walls are Ellie Gray by Sherwin Williams. The bed, crib, rugs (machine washable bathmats!), stuffed spaniel, stuffed vegetables, twin duvet, under bed storage box and book ledges are from IKEA. The twin sheets, lamp shade, and (shower) curtain are from Target. The alphabet animal poster, puzzle blocks, and alphabet flash cards are from Petit Collage (I won from a giveaway on Design Mom). The green quilt on the bed was a wedding gift handmade by a friend. The reading chair (reupholstered), night stand (painted), green crib sheet from Pottery Barn, stacking ring toy and full length mirror (painted) are all from yard sales. The yellow lamp is from a thrift store. The xylophone is from an estate sale. The Gee Wiz game on top of the dresser was a gift from an antique store given to us by a friend. The monkey poster is by French Paper gifted from the same friend. The mobile and toss pillows are handmade by me. The color wheel clock is from MOMA given to me by my Uncle Bob many years ago. The dinosaur is Jason’s from childhood. The chalkboard door was painted by me. The folding chair is from a yard sale. The dresser is from Target purchased second hand from craigslist (we’re still looking for a changing table height mid-century replacement). And lastly, the blue Sekova guitar originally belonged to Jason’s mom when she was a teenager and was the guitar Jason first learned to play on as a boy. In high school he painted it blue. It’s not playable now but I love that it’s finally displayed somewhere. It means a lot to me. I’m so proud of my incredibly talented husband, who is now living his dream as a professional guitarist.

Here’s the floor plan. It was quite a puzzle fitting a twin bed, crib, chair, dresser and night stand into a 10 x 11 room while still leaving some floor space for playing. Once we put the KURA bed together we decided to flip flop it and the night stand with the reading nook and wall mirror in my original plan. It just worked better with the design of the bed.

A Picture of Our Lives Right Now


I may have over-promised by calling this a funny story. We’ll see… if nothing else it’s a long story.

Last week when I met with our home study writer for my individual interview, we realized that Tuesday was our only option for the next/last appointment. I opened Jason’s calendar to June 14th and said, “Oh, that’s our anniversary.” Ms. Lady insisted we couldn’t have our appointment then. “But it’ll only take an hour, right?” I suggested. I mean, we’re not real fancy anniversary celebrators anyway. We go out for dinner. Sometimes exchange a small gift or a card. Well, she was not having it. No way was she going to interrupt our anniversary evening. It’s an off-deadline (less intense) week at my work so we settled on Tuesday morning and I’d work from home the rest of the day.

Jason and I have a tradition of getting either fondue ($$$), usually at the Melting Pot, or sushi ($), usually at RuSan’s, on our anniversary. It’s a ($) year so we made tentative plans to go out to a movie with our Living Social coupon (2 tix for $9!) and get dinner at RuSan’s, our favorite sushi place. Perfect, easy date night.

Then, on Monday I got a call from our electrician asking it was OK if she came Tuesday evening. I hesitated for a few seconds, then said, yes. Why? Because 2 weeks ago, while Jason was installing a new track lighting system in our kitchen, we had an electrical explosion. (See picture above.) The result was some burned 50-year-old+ wiring and no lights in 2/3 of our house. (The problem was likely some brittle old wires had been arching and eventually touched.)

(Our temporary bathroom light)

It took a week and a half for our schedules to line up so the electrician could even get out to our house to diagnose the problem. (Rightfully so, people who don’t have power to essential appliances like A/C or refridgerators get priority.) So when she asked if she could come Tuesday night, you better believe I didn’t mention to her that it was our anniversary.

(Running power to my cloffice)

Change of plans. Since I was working from home yesterday, after our 20-minute home study appointment Jason and I exchanged gifts (he got me a handmade-with-local-stone necklace and earrings from his recent trip to Alaska) and I gave him this “card.” Then, we dropped off my car to get the brakes fixed. After work, we went out for a geriatric dinner (translation: it was 4:30 pm) at RuSan’s so we could be back in time to meet the electrician at 6:30pm. And guess what? She got caught up longer than expected at her previous job and wasn’t able to make it out last night. Sigh.

(My pretty present from Jason)

Jason asked me if this was all ok. My response: This is a perfect picture of our lives right now. And a memorable (though not bad) 8th anniversary for sure!

8 Years


Happy Anniversary, Jason. You are my best friend, my biggest encourager, my rock. You make me laugh and feel loved like no one else. I think we’re a great team. Like peanut butter and jelly, you and me. I’m so glad to be by your side on this crazy adventure! I’ll forever be your wifey and you’ll always be my right hand man.

All photos by Beth Rose Photography

(One more photo and “8 Things We’ve Learned in 8 Year” here.)

A funny story about how we celebrated our anniversary will be coming tomorrow.

Modern Wood Fence — Finished


I was going to do a little photo tutorial on building wooden fence gates but Jason had to go and build these while I was at work. I’m really not upset but you’ll have to go somewhere else if you’re looking for a step by step.

Let’s just celebrate together that the gates are done!

Our weedy yard is on the other side of the fence along with our fruit trees, ugly black compost bin and our vegetable garden (behind the compost).

The gate pictured above is so tall that from the inside we couldn’t reach over to unlatch it. The solution was to add a pulley chain to the gate latch. I got all handyman on it and went to hardware store myself to buy chain and eye hooks. See what I did here?

But then I got all woman on it and used a paperclip to attach the chain to the latch because… it worked. And it was easy.

I realize the paperclips are not really a great long term solution. Did I mention this is not a step by step tutorial? I’m pretty proud of myself, though. Just pull to open. I think Jason will be pleasantly surprised when he gets home. I hope the paperclips last that long…

This section of fence separates our patio from our driveway. (Once, a long, long time ago this was all just one big concrete parking slab.)


This path leads through the gate into the yard (where the compost bin, fruits and veggies live).