The Master

April 17, 2013


Finally snapped a pic with the curtains in place, greenery back, and the new cabinet and French doors. Loving how this breezy room is shaping up!


The finished product

January 11, 2013


A lot of sanding, a few coats of paint, new knobs, some contact paper, and finally I have the storage solution I envisioned for my sweaters as well as a few other odds and ends. Beautiful!


Now & Then: The avocado, a.k.a the Charlie Brown, tree

November 7, 2012

Avocado tree

Hard to believe three years ago I was planning to rip this Charlie Brown tree out of the yard. When we moved in the house it was a scraggly bunch of sticks. The picture on the right is actually after it was pruned the year we moved in and it had started looking respectable.

I’m glad we kept it. Last year from late winter through early summer, we had quite the bounty of beautiful avocados. And as you can see from the picture, a couple of prunings later, this tree has filled out quite nicely. No longer can I call it the Charlie Brown tree.


Bar vignette

October 22, 2012


I’ve had this photograph for nearly 10 years and just finally framed it.



September 12, 2012


New knobs, a few coats of paint for a distressed look (but mostly red) and this will make a beautiful storage space for my sweaters.


The Vision

August 21, 2012

kitchen vision

So last week, instead of just thinking about the kitchen, I spent the better half of my morning concocting a mock of what the kitchen could look like. My husband joked, “Can we just post that picture on Facebook and say that’s what we did?” Joking aside, he liked it, and now I think it’s time to get started on sourcing products, stripping cabinets, and all of the fun that comes with. (more…)


Slow Evolution of a Kitchen

August 16, 2012

As I’m beginning to think about what the next steps are for the kitchen, I realized I’ve never really posted any pictures of the updates we’ve made so far. While they’ve been minimal – a coat of paint, new appliances, little decor – they’ve still helped the kitchen come a long way from it’s almost-not-functional sponge painted days. (more…)


Functionality, inspiration, & most of all prettiness! in the office

July 13, 2012

Office Cork Board

The house projects that I’ve put off for so long are slowly being ticked off my list. The latest is my over-involved office corkboard, for which I picked up the corkboards late last year. Then they sat in the garage, wrapped in their plastic, until a few weeks ago when apparently a bee buzzed into my bonnet and I decided what the heck! Let’s get started on this project!

Why would a simple corkboard hung over the desk be such a complex task? Well, in true Madd Hatter style, I couldn’t do simple corkboard.

First: It needed to be the width of the two cabinets that are above the desks.
Second: I might not always want to stick a tack through something – maybe I needed some magnetic areas?
Third: I like to write quick notes to myself. A white board might be useful.
Fourth: It needed to be pretty.
Fifth: It might as well be inspirational while I was at it.

And now you get a sense of why my projects typically snowball into some daunting task that I’m not anxious to start let alone complete. (more…)


The ultimate test tube spice rack

July 5, 2012

Test Tube Spice Rack

Since I first laid eyes on a test tube spice rack, I’ve had an slightly nutty obsession with having one. I believe it was in high school when I first saw them, and they seemed soooo expensive back then. And even then I understood how impractical the they were — at most they held 40 spices, and the tubes were tiny. So as I moved into my own place, graduated college, started making my own money and could actually afford one of these spice racks (plus, they didn’t seem quite so expensive later in life), I still refrained from purchasing one due to those drawbacks.

After we had lived in our house for a while, I started revisiting the idea of having a test tube spice rack. For one, my spice shelf was a mess, and I had an overflow bucket of spices above the stove. Second, after having a house, I’ve come to realize how many different items you can track down on the internet these days for purchase. Large test tubes? Not a problem! A rack for 100 of these? Well, that posed a bit more of a problem, as such a thing didn’t seem to exist. (more…)


The orchid that not only survived, but thrived

September 8, 2011


I’m notoriously bad with plants. In my younger days, I actually managed to deflate a cactus within a week. Not kill, but deflate. I definitely had not inherited my mom’s green thumb.

Then I moved to California, and all of that changed. Pretty much anything grows here. Of course, I still have my problem plants. Spinach didn’t like my garden, and cucumbers don’t like me either. Since bringing basil with white flies into the house, my herbs don’t stick around so long. The orchid however…

Friends gave us this orchid when we moved into the house two years ago. I had anticipated enjoying the flowers and then losing the plant to my brown thumb. Somehow this guy just keeps coming back and blooming, bigger and better every time. Right now there are 11 blooms fully opened on it (all of them, this photo was taken a week or so ago when they still hadn’t all opened). (more…)