Thursday, June 27, 2013


       For some reason, with Quincy's arrival, I've learned more about how precious time really is with our little ones. They. Grow. Fast. Like, real fast. And because I have so very much loved my time at home with the kiddos the past few months, I wanted to capture that on film. The other day, while Jon was at work, I laid out a blanket (it was actually an area rug that I bought when I was living in Ecuador) and grabbed the camera. I put some clean jeans on Buzz and a white onesie on Q. Nolan was happy to oblige me (which is rare), and I'm very glad that I took advantage of his good mood. Out of the whole bunch that I took, I'd say only one was in focus and captured both kids at their best. There are shadows, there are closed eyes, and there is fussing. But that's the nice thing about photos of your own kids; each photo looks great, no matter how imperfect it is. I'll let the photos speak for themselves.

And this one was my very favorite.
You might be seeing it again, framed on our wall.
Blessed is an understatement.

       Right now my whole family is in Tahoe for our annual vacay, so I'm off playing at the beach right now. I return to work on Monday, the thought of which has been making me nauseous for weeks. I am extremely attached to my baby girl, and her and I have spent very few hours apart since her birth (I'm estimating a total of only about 10 hours in over five months!).  I'm expecting it to take me (and the family) a week or two to adjust to having me back in the working world. Wish us luck on the transition!

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Master Plan

        We're jumping around a lot on our project to do list. A little bit of Quincy's closet, with a dash of workshop progress, with a touch of bathroom planning. Hopefully you're keeping up. I think that's just how we roll. We're too excited to concentrate on just one thing for too long. For some reason we have kinda gotten an inch to start on our master bedroom. I've been piecing together ideas for a while now, and I think most of my decisions are pretty solidified at this point. So it's full steam ahead with putting our Master Plan into action, and I thought I would share.
       This is how the master was looking when the previous owners were still living there.
Their window treatments were blocking out a lot of needed light, 
and their furniture layout was not the best use of the space.
This is how the room has been looking since we moved in.
Paint samples on the wall.
Hand me down furniture.
A napping husband and dog.
Here's the view from our bed. 
Not exactly the prettiest set up going on.
(Side note: Jon just saw this picture and kinda sorta begged me
not to share this with the public. Sorry Hun, it's reality and bad befores
do make for better afters!)
       What we like about the space: It features a great wood beam ceiling which gives some interest to the room. It also has three windows which seem to let in a fair share of light, and we get to wake up to views of our trees. The room is plenty spacious for us, and though its on the long and narrow side, we've got no complaints. 
       What we don't like about the space: It unfortunately has the same steely blue gray carpet that resides in the rest of the house. The light fixtures are screaming to be replaced. The wimpy baseboards were an afterthought and they never bothered with upper molding. And finally, the master bedroom was never closed off from the master bathroom (that's the opening you can see above on your right).
       So want is the master plan?

1.        For the walls, the top half will be covered in Benjamin Moore's Mount Saint Anne, while the bottom half will be dressed in white planks. As for other colors you'll see in the room there will be lots of navy, taupe, creams, and white. I had toyed a lot with the idea of navy walls, but because I don't want the space to read too dark, I think the blue gray that I've chosen will be a better pick.

2.        I've been stalking these West Elm curtains for a while now. I need five panels to handle our three windows which gets a bit pricey. Each time I go back to see if they've been marked down (which is pretty much daily), I love them more and more.  I'm happy to report that I just ordered them, as they were finally on sale! I'll be pairing them with bamboo blinds, as I plan to add to most windows in our house.
            I finally settled on these antique bronze wall sconces by Crate and Barrel, to replace the very outdated wall sconces currently dressing our bedroom walls. Now I just need them to go on sale so that I can bring them home. Then there's the barn door.  Jon's going to be building us one to cover up the open view to our master bath. Not exactly sure how we want to finish the piece (paint the wood? stain? El natural?, etc.), but we'll make that decision as the room comes together.

3.  Against the far wall will be our sleeping area. We're going to re purpose our current wood bed frame into an upholstered head and foot board, and we'll be keeping my grandma's antique mirror above the bed. Originally I was set on a navy blue fabric, but this neutral linen reflects the calmer mood I am looking to achieve. I've been working on mixed bed linens to achieve a relaxed and layered bed- I just need to order a couple more items!     
       That antique bronze wall sconce is something that I've been dreaming about for a while now, and it's finish will speak to the wall sconces that I've chosen. I've been comparison shopping, and I think this is the one I've settled on. It will flank one side of the bed, while the other side will have a table lamp (I'm trying to balance out the window on the right side of our bed). Finally, handyman Jon's going to be building us custom night stands based on plans that I've found online.

4.  Our room is long and spacious. Because we don't want to set up an office in our main living room and we're kinda tight on square footage in general, we determined that this would be the best spot in the house for an office nook (In this day and age, I think all home floor plans need to include a little space dedicated for an office) . Jon will be building a white built in desk with two work stations, and above that will be a functional and handsome bulletin board, a gallery wall of art and photos, and another one of my pretty little sconces. 
Initially I was convinced that I wanted to paint the walls in a similar fashion
to this room done by Sarah Richardson.
Dark below, light above, with a nice neutral rail to break them up.
I had Jon on board as well.
But then I saw this image
of an in-progress room by Milk and Honey Home.
It sold me.
I've loved this look over and over again,
so why not make it mine.
Delish paint color above, and white planks below. 
It looks clean, and crisp and sets a nice base
for layering in lots of textures and pattern.
This was done over at House Tweaking as well,
and I loved the impact that it had in their mudroom.
       We've decided to wait a couple of weeks before we begin the painting/paneling process. After I've gone back to work, and we've gotten through the Fourth of July, my birthday, and Nolan's birthday, then we'll be getting the paint on the walls! In the meantime, I'm working on collecting lots of the layering elements that I'm hoping for in the room. Some other inspiration images that I've been drawing on for this space are below.
Barn door with oil rubbed bronze hardware.
To balance out the large window to the right of our bed (see image above),
I want to hang an art piece above the nightstand on the left.
I'm on the hunt for just the right piece
that will tie in all of the colors we're working with.
Mixed Bedding and Bamboo blinds.
Relaxed and welcoming.
(This image has been a very popular one over on pinterest, so you 
very well have already seen it.)
Wall sconces. 
Some other bedrooms that I've been ogling over for a while:
I'm thinking that with all of my calm choices,
an unexpected rug like below would be an awesome addition.
This makes me very much want a wicker trunk 
as a sidetable somewhere in our house.
A great mix of textures and a refined casual feel.
Light and airy.
       Are you tired yet? Yeah, me too. We'll call the above phase one, as the floors won't be tackled until further down the line along with the master bathroom. Putting everything together will certainly take some time and energy (both of which are very limited resources at our house), but I think that after the walls are all done, a lot of things will come together pretty easily. Just don't except a big ta-da moment anytime soon, because unfortunately this isn't a thirty minute tv show. 

What do you like and dislike about your sleeping quarters?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

1st Annual Camping Trip at the Lake

       I love me some tradition. Tradition was a gift that my parents gave to me, and it is a gift that I very much hope to give to my children. I think that it's one of the greatest things that we can leave to our kids, and it really only takes a little bit of energy and time to make. For several years Jon and I have gone up north the first weekend of October for a group golf weekend organized by some Tahoe City locals. And for several summer's now my whole family clan (including lots of little cousins) has come to Tahoe to stay and vacation for a week.  Jon and I are also hoping to keep up a tradition for our little family, of traveling to the coast around Easter time. For several years, Jon and I have been talking about starting a camping tradition with all of our friends, and by golly, this year was the year to get it going.
       All of our friends here work crazy varying schedules. This isn't a Monday-Friday kinda town. Lots of people work weekends, during the holidays, or overnight, so sometimes it's hard to wrangle us all together at a convenient time. A couple of months ago I started the process of organizing a group camping trip so that we could get it on every one's calendars early.  We decided on early June, before every one's summers got too busy. We settled on Sugar Pine Point campground, which is on the West Shore of Lake Tahoe, and about an hours drive from our neighborhood. We figured with a close location, people could come and go from work if they had to. It ended up being only a one night trip, but it was loads of fun while it lasted. The days prior to the trip were unusually hot, but that all changed once we got to camp.
One of Nolan's best friends, Isla, was there. 
These two are turning out to make great playmates.

They got dirty and wet.
Just as they should.
Hmmm...I wonder if these two might be going to prom together in about sixteen years?
It wouldn't have been a camping adventure without a bear
checking out our site. 
This little guy got scared when the guys approached
and he scurried up a tree. 
A tree RIGHT above our tents. 
Luckily, we gave him enough space and he came down in time for us to go to bed.

The next morning was a lazy one. 
Lots of coffee was had.
Pajama's were worn.
The youngest of the tots was Lyla girl.
Somehow my child ended up far dirtier then any other being there.
Including the four dogs.
I definitely took advantage of all of the willing hands. 
Quincy got passed around a lot. 
It was a wonderful little break.

Good morning sunshine.
Jon was a little rough around the edges when the sun came up.
Did I mention that I was the only one there not pregnant.
Yep, the four other ladies were all expecting.
More wine for me.

Quincy made an exceptional camper.

Don't act like you don't have a friend that dresses like a rodeo clown too.

Buzz was in heaven the whole trip.
       After most families had cleaned up in the morning, some of us headed to the beach while some headed home. At the beach, we were met with lots of big imposing thunder clouds. You could see rain in the distance. We tempted fate by sitting on the beach waiting for it to reach us. Luckily, it didn't. 

       After some beach time, a few of us headed back for lunch at the campsites. And wouldn't you know it, we pushed our luck just a bit too much. As we started to pack up our site, it started raining and hailing. Jon and I threw the kids in the car, while we huddled under a tree, trying to pack and organize what we could. Let's just say, it was a mess. After twenty minutes of a downpour, our campsite (and tent) were under water. We high tailed it out of there as quickly as we could, and were very happy to see our house (and dry clothes) when we made it home. This is our third camping trip in a row where we have been caught in the rain! Hopefully next year we'll fare a bit better!