The Black and White Bathroom

It’s done-zo!!!! Well, okay, maybe there is a little touch up paint needed here and there and maybe someone should wash the toothpaste spatters off the mirror. But as it turns out, that someone is too busy doing the happy dance that the shower is finally usable!!!



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Last of the Russian Sage {Living Room Update}

I noticed our near-zero nights are starting to turn the garden. So before the critters and flowers completely leave us for the season, I brought some of our lovely Russian sage inside.

*soft inhale*

Then I realized the last time I posted an update on our living room was THREE YEARS AGO!!!

And it has completely changed.

Oops. My bad.

Here’s lately:

livr33livr11 livr44livr22

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TBT – The Blue & Oak Bathroom

The upstairs bathroom was sick when we moved in. Moldy window, water damage under the toilet, dry rot behind the shower surround. Surprisingly enough, none of these features were highlighted in the property listing.

But what you couldn’t see wasn’t the only problem. Installing new windows, sub floor, and cement backer board couldn’t undo the sickly blue paint, crumbling blinds, faux oak cabinetry.

We’ve been spending a little time tending to the symptoms wrought by bad bathroom karma…and here’s things are today:


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Black and White Color-Blocked Bathroom

There are few projects around the house that I can work on by myself. Because I am apparently dangerous and impatient and must be monitored, especially around power tools and expensive materials.

But paint! Paint is harmless! So when Chris is working his super long days and I’m left to my own devices, the paint closet calls to me. (Yes, we have a paint closet. It’s utterly ridiculous.)

I’m not sure what possessed me…all I do know is that the upstairs bathroom needed to be bolder. When it spoke to me and it said, “Teresa, things in life don’t have to always be messy, in the gray. Some things can be black and white,” I honestly didn’t expect to love it so much, but I do!

So while Chris was away, oh yes I did, I broke free from the gray.



Technically, it’s not black. It’s an off-black in a flat, matte finish. It makes our small, naturally lit, inexpensive bathroom look far more chic. Now I just need to do a little shopping and (with full supervision) tiling and we can call this room done!

The plan:



1. Upper wall and ceiling paint: BM Classic Gray mixed into Valspar; 2. Lower wall paint: Glidden Dark Coalmine; 3. Shower ceiling tile: Murano glass tile in Pearl White; 4. Shower surround subway tile; 5. Peshtemal towels; 6. Gold hand jewelry holder


Now, what else can I paint?



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A Place to Sit and Eat

Gah! It cannot have been a month and a half since my last post! Clearly, you all conspired to push the passage of time at a much more frantic clip than the one in which I’ve been living…

So thought I’d share a more recent look at the new-old dining room…


I know there are a million weird little things that awkwardly stand out. Here’s what I already know:

Well you know the drill. I promise to post again soon and you knowingly shake your head at me. ;)

I can live with your reluctance to believe. Heck, I’ve spent years cultivating it!

Enjoy the summer – it’s passing quickly!




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(Re)finished Hardwoods in the Dining Room

This job is marked “COMPLETE”! Oh, baby, were we happy when we woke up after a full day of top coating (FIVE layers of top coat!) to see these rich, warm, satiny floors! The stain fully erased all of the discoloration and damage in the original oak floors.

Got a couple shots showing the floors and the new bead board ceiling together. Soooooooo pretty. :)

(Advance apologies for the bad photos. Pair bright white paint and dark stain with tons of natural light through a huge picture window with my inability to sit still long enough to learn how to better adjust my camera and this is what you get.)




Still to do in the dining room: install floor trim, paint floor and window trim, hang window treatments, install chandelier, MOVE IN the furniture and BON APPETITE!


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From Top to Bottom (…or From Ceiling to Floor)


While you’re all out camping this Memorial Day weekend, we’re “camping” too. Just…on our deck instead of in the woods. That’s right…no rest for the weary, or however that goes.

We have a good thing going: Chris sands and I clean/stain/varnish. Wait. That sounds lopsided. I knew something was wrong! But it sure beats paining overhead.

Too many fumes,


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Painting Upside Down (and other updates…no pun)

Remember where we ended up a couple weeks ago in the old dining room project (a.k.a. my own personal never-ending nightmare, only more dramatic)? Then got waylaid because we have trouble focusing? (Truth: because between the two of us we somehow ended up with five jobs in addition to volunteer work. Hi, we’re Chris and Teresa and we have trouble saying no.)

Well, Chris polished up the new drywall and installed trim around the perimeter of our new beadboard ceiling. I’ve been painting it, with a brush, craning my neck while working upside down. In the wee hours of the morning. Post-shower, pre-work. Thankfully I have friendly, observant colleagues to point out the paint smeared into my forearms or mushed into my hair. Jeez, I’m a wreck!

But progress is progress, no?


Wall color is Benjamin Moore Classic Gray matched to Valspar. Ceiling is a glossy match to our kitchen cabinets. Window trim has yet to be painted. I’m working on it!

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Happy Mum & Daughter Day?


It’s my birthday…and Mother’s Day. Talk about ironic thunder stealing.

But all’s well that results in a makeover of mum’s kitchen. Trust me. So far: new paint, new stove/sink, realigned and refreshed cabinets, new hardware, bright new tile backsplash and counter, and more!

Before and after pics to come later this summer. It will shock. Promise.

In other news, teaching my first Insanity* class tomorrow! CANNOT WAIT!!!

Bringin’ it,


*Tested it out on the hubs and roller derby sis this morning. Hehehe.

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Once Upon A Time [Things Are Looking Up]

Don’t worry. We haven’t been napping. Except maybe sometimes. Anyone remember back in kindergarten when nap time followed lunch and the floor mats would come out? And we’d circle up for a story then snooze? Kindergarten was way better than adulthood.

don't grow up it's a trap! print // inspirational instant download print // black and white home decor // motivational wall art

(You can purchase the print above here)

While I can’t provide you with a floor mat or nap time, I can tell you a story. With pictures!


Once upon a time, there was a horrendous dining room. Actually, it was once a teeny bedroom – as teeny as teeny could be. Previous owners added on a new bedroom and converted this sad little space into a sad little dining room. Where no one dined.



Then along came the heroes of our story. (It’s my story so I get to be a hero.) They ripped out those crazy diagonal cedar strips – which had taken on a fishy odor – and tripled the size of the window and alas! A giant hole in the plaster was discovered.



But our heroes were not deterred. Well, not much, anyway. They rolled up their sleeves, had a few martinis, and drywalled right over all that business. While this solved the wall problem, there was still an old damaged plaster ceiling with which to contend. Hours spent perusing photos online and in magazines revealed the answer – cover it up! Decoratively! So they did are.



Now isn’t that better?

The end. (For now.)


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Throwback Thursday – The Pink Hallway

Ah, when we bought this place, everything was so…pink.

Fortunately, nothing a little paint and elbow grease couldn’t handle. Check out the upstairs hall then and now:



So long, pink!

Were I a single gal, I’d marry soft, neutral colors.  Wall: Benjamin Moore Classic Gray matched to Valspar; trim: Valspar Daylight (same we’re using in the living room). Cool old door and handle: original. :)

Throw way back!


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Eye Candy Alert: Open Shelving Inspiration

It seems like we eat our weight in legumes, seeds, and whole grains each week.

Beans (of all kinds). Split peas. Lentils. Farro. Steel-cut oats. Quinoa. Flax. Wild rice. Etc.

And what Chris eats in quantity rivals that of an entire army command. He was in the Army, so I know what I’m talking about. We literally buy pounds of the stuff each week. Each weekend I soak and cook and freeze beans for the week.

My secret? Three words: electric pressure cooker.

The easiest way to cook and eat this way is to know what you’ve got at a glance. I’m obsessed with the idea of storing our grains, nuts, seeds, beans, etc. in clear containers on open shelves.

And we’re working on it! Will have pics to share soon.

In the meantime, a few inspiration pics…

open kitchen shelf

[Photo credit]

open shelf in kitchen

[Photo credit]

open shelf in kitchen

[Photo credit]

open shelf in kitchen

[Photo credit]

open shelf food storage

[Photo credit]

kitchen open storage

[Photo credit]

open shelf food storage

[Photo credit]

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Carriage House Lights

How long are you allowed to sleep in and blame it on Daylight Savings? Just curious. But I must say, IT’S HAPPENING PEOPLE! It’s starting to warm up outside!

Which is good!

But also sad…I’m still waiting for all that snow I imagined we’d get this year.

Before our rather disappointing winter began, we were working like stressed little woodland creatures preparing for the season, trying to get our garage primed and painted. You may recall where we started and where we ended up.

Well, we even got as far as choosing light fixtures. These puppies:


They’re pretty cute and the price was right (read: they were cheap). Didn’t get ’em up before the snow.

But! The snow is GONE and the sun is HERE and me thinks it’s high time to start hinting to Chris. Wink, wink.

In my imagination, ours is a cute little English cottage-style garage. Carriage house? Ah, to dream:

Cottage-style garage

[Photo credit]

Oh, fine, let’s be honest. This carriage house is nicer than our whole house. But it would be kind of funny to have to spend your weekend mowing your walls.

“Yeah, we’d love to come to the BBQ but we’re only halfway done mowing our carriage house.”

So fancy,


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Throwback Thursday

Oh hey! You know that tiling pic I posted yesterday from the kitchen? You know, this one:


Welp, ready yourself for this one. Here’s a throwback to what this same exact spot looked like back when we purchased the house:


Oh yes. That is indeed a piece peach-colored laminate countertop mounted over thin air (as opposed to, oh I don’t know, cabinets, because that would be odd). Know you’re loving the kitchen carpet. Oh, and how ’bout that pink hallway? They say pink is flattering. I’ll take their word for it.

I’ll get a current shot of this view to share soon. In the meantime, you should probably stop looking at it. It could probably make your face freeze like that. ;)



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Trim & Tile Time

Ah, consonantal alliteration, I heart thee.

But not in a creepy way. In a nerdy way. Nerdeeeee.


It’s been ages since we’ve updated any of our projects on the home front. Not because we’ve been slacking off.


A little because we’ve been slacking off.

But! We’ve been making little bits of progress here and there.

For instance, repainting all of the trim in the living room. Hadn’t ever done since having the new windows installed and trimmed with primed trim. Wait! Did I not post about that? Whoa…can’t believe it. Because that was a huge deal. New windows throughout the abode. Installed by our friendly local window company.



A pretty pattern called “Jack Frost” for the bathroom…


Anyway, back to business, it turns out white primer is not paint. And it looks gray in person. Also turns out that our old trim color looks yellowish and yucky in person. Dingy.

Good Opportunity to freshen everything right up with some crisp white paint. This color is called “daylight” and is from Valspar. See how much brighter the right side of this door looks compared with the left?


What? Don’t like grainy late-in-the-day phone pics? Too bad. I lost the SD card for my camera. But I’m not gonna cry about it. Weirder things have happened. Seriously…read on.

We also decided there is no time like the present to tile the newer portion of our kitchen to match the original portion.


Yes, that’s an open jar of peanut butter. Yes, I was eating straight from the jar. Whilst renovating. Tiling is hard work. Have to keep my protein levels up and all that. Plus, with all the stashing of kitchen stuff to make this project happen, I lost the bread. Still haven’t found it. But I did find a can of stewed tomatoes on my bedside table. Like I said earlier, weirder things have happened. ;)

More to come soon, I swear! But for now, back to our regularly programmed consonantal alliteration:

Ta, Teresa

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Getting closer to a finished garage!

No one should be this excited about a garage makeover. But I CANNOT WAIT for this job to be finished.

This pic is from this morning – the color is coming out a little dark, due to the early morning light.


You remember where we were as of yesterday. We’re getting closer!!!

We need to shop for garage lights this weekend – there ain’t no way that old shop light is going back up. Not only was it too comfortable a safe harbor for spider and wasp colonies, it buzzed and hummed so loudly when in use that it sounded like we could be causing electrical surges throughout the city. Not the kind of energizing we go for.

Here are some options I like, some of which are too pricey (images link to sources):

Ascoli Wall Mount 2-Light Outdoor Stainless Steel Sconce

Mariner Collection Wall-Mount 1-Light Outdoor Architectural Bronze Light Fixture

Barn Light "The Artesia" 8" Warehouse Shade in 119-Bronze w/ B-10 Gooseneck Arm

Ciao for now, T

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Racing the seasons

So. Here’s what happened.

We waited until the best of summer was coming to an end–the days are now filled with blustery rain and the nights are freezing. And we looked at each other and said, yeah! Let’s start a new outdoor project! Let’s do this!

When you see what we decided to tackle, you’ll understand how we couldn’t wait until the spring thaw to get this going. I hope you’re not eating. This, friends, is our garage. Do not judge. Image

Yeah, it’s gross! We know this. And, to be fair, we inherited it this way. But not for long! Here’s a sneak peek at the side facing into our backyard gettin’ all primed up:Image

Oh, and I painted the side door a glossy black to match the doors on the house.

So far, two different passersby have commented that they primed their house/shed years ago and it looked so much better they have yet to finish the job and actually paint. Fortunately, ours doesn’t look improved enough with primer to tempt us.

Because we lazy.

There are a few hours left of sun, so I gotta go! More later!


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Deck Time!

There’s no going back now—six 20-inch wide, 36-inch deep holes in the backyard say we’re building a deck!

Truth? It’s about time. We’ve been teetering over a rather perilous makeshift set of wooden steps that Chris stapled together in about 60 seconds over a year ago. You read that right: OVER a YEAR AGO!!! But no more! The city engineers approved our plans yesterday and Chris spent the day with a rental auger, diggity dig digging the postholes to clear our 30” frost line. What am I doing to help, you ask? My job is very important. My job is to decide (once and for all!) on the style of railing we want.

While our municipality would *strongly urge* us to do vertical rails with smaller than 4” gaps, we are intrigued by many of the alternatives out there. I really like metal cables. Chris prefers wood. I think we’re leaning toward a horizontal option. “But small children like to climb up horizontal slats and can hang themselves!” shrieks the secretary at the city code office. “What kids?” we ask. She palm-slaps her forehead. “No seriously, we need to know what kids you think are going to come and climb all over our new deck! We’ll want to press trespassing charges.” we respond.*

We’re also toying with maybe putting a privacy wall-type railing on the street side (remember, we’re in a corner house—that’s like having TWO front yards and the resultant lack of privacy).

Here are some examples of what we’re considering…


What are your favorites??? Any ideas we could use???


*All based on a true story.


Image credits: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |5 | 6

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French-Inspired Casual

When I am well, I am all. over. it.

When stuff shows up on my to-do list I’m all like, “Stuff, you’re goin’ down!” And then I attack and stuff is done.

That’s when I’m well.

When I’m sick? Well…that’s a wholly incomparable situation. I can admit that I may not be the sweetest peach when I’m feeling under the weather. And sometimes—only very rarely—I may exhibit higher than normal demandiness. Maybe. Doesn’t everyone’s husband make nightly runs to the store to pick up whatever sounds appealing at any given moment? Yes?

But the main point? When I’m sick, stuff doesn’t get done. It takes total advantage of the opportunity to move right on in and enjoys laughing at me while I lose vitality.

What does get done? So glad you asked. I get to catch up on the most important tasks—reading and TV!

This last couple of weeks as I languished against a particularly offensive bout of bronchitis, I not only watched all four seasons of Ugly Betty (relieved that I can finally check that off my to-do list), I read five ginormous volumes on Marie Antoinette, Kings Louis IV and VI, Marie-Therese (the surviving daughter of Marie Antoinette and Louis VI), and Napoleon Bonaparte. The local librarians told me there is nothing left for me back in that corner.

Marie Antoinette{photo}

#IMayBeCrazy and #IMayBeObsessed. A little.

The surprising result? Inspirations started smashing together for me! That lovely day we spent at Versailles a few trips ago delighting in the fabulously manicured grounds and the sparkly Hall of Mirrors, my obsession with Kirsten Dunst’s portrayal of Marie Antoinette, the 1,500 times I must have flipped through last summer’s July/August issue of House Beautiful in which designer Stephen Shubel declared that his inspiration for his own cottage was “kind of Marie Antoinette in a T-shirt” (more fab a statement I have never heard)…the fact that I love croissants! And wine! I see it all so clearly now—how it charms me when it all fits together just so. And I don’t think this is the codeine cough syrup talking (I know you’re wondering).

Rooms by Shubel:



This revelation, paired with the fact it’s about high time we got our bedroom to looking like two grownups live in there, inspired this mood board for pulling together a bedroom (hopefully) equally sophisticated enough for adults and comfortable enough for a masculine mountain man hubster.


Now all I have to do is translate this into shopping  for bedroom stuff. See?? Stuff again. It never ends, I tell ya.

Oh, and you needn’t the gory details, but please know that I’m feeling much better now. Yes, it appears that I will make it. :)

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Meet my kind-of-a-bada** friend, Andrea:


That’s her picking up her race number for the City of Trees marathon in Boise. She’s a marathoner. Told you she was bada**. Perhaps with a pinch of crazy tossed in for good measure. I mean, choosing to commemorate a distance most famous for having killed its original partaker? But…she was prepared and no sir, this wasn’t her first time at the rodeo. (As if getting lucky no. 3 wasn’t enough of a good omen…)

So here’s my race recap. Ahem…that is, my recap of what it’s like to experience a marathon from the sidelines in a series of eight observations.

Observation 1:

You must be a little nutty yourself to wake up at 6 a.m. and don a shirt this handsome just to cheer on a friend.

Boise Marathon_24

Observation 2:

While there’s pretty much nothing you can say to dispel prerace jitters, acting like an enthusiastic paparazzo can at least create a nice diversion before your runner takes to the starting line (an especially effective technique if said runner isn’t camera shy).


Andrea pre-marathon2

Observation 3:

As it turns out, a cool, handmade spirit shirt will not be enough. Prepare to be outdone by a proud, sign-holding, pink-shirt-wearing dad.

Boise Marathon Sign-Holder

Observation 4:

At the lineup, even (especially?) the runners themselves look as though they’re questioning their own sanity. Your best bet? Just smile encouragingly and pretend like you aren’t going to hit up the nearest coffee shop for a brew and a donut as soon as the starting gun fires.

Boise Marathon 2

Observation 5:

It is good form to cheer your runner on along the course. I met mine at mile 13 and was hence able to jog alongside long enough to point out that she’d broken her own half record (joy!).

Andrea at Mile 13_1

Observation 6:

Boise is freakin’ gorgeous in the fall! And IMHO, this dude, oblivious to the runners pounding around him along the Greenbelt, has the right idea. #justsayin.


Boise Greenbelt 2

Boise Greenbelt




Boise Marathon_08

Observation 7:

A successful race is the result of hard work and preparation. And you will never see a happier face than that of a runner crossing the finish line at a marathon. Especially when she shames her old PR into submission.

Andrea at finish

Observation 8:

A race medal makes for a great piece of bling.

Andrea after marathon

Andrea after marathon 2

So there you have it, folks! Observations from a behind-the-scenes marathon cheerleader.

Congrats, Andrea!

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