My New Kitchen

Today I want to show you our new (to us) kitchen! First, a few "before" shots:

Originally the kitchen and breakfast area were painted a nice, sunny yellow. I was thrilled because I thought the color would work really well with my furniture, which it did. Unfortunately, however, once I added my buffalo check curtains (an absolute necessity, as the kitchen faces the back of the house and gets crazy sun) it looked like Big Bird's house. Yellow, yellow, and more yellow.

Luckily, our landlord was OK with us doing a little painting. As soon as I got his approval, I was at the store in a heartbeat! The color? Sherwin-Williams' "Comfort Gray."

Seriously, I had that kitchen painted in a few hours! Nothing like impatience as the great motivator, huh?

The curtains seem right at home now, and I think the new wall color looks great with the trim and the cabinets.

I am also loving the lack of bugs out here in California...we can leave these doors open all the time!
Remember my subway sign? It's got a new home now!

And of course no room (of mine) would be complete without a wreath of some kind. I have an obsession.

The walls seem to change colors throughout the day, as all paints do. Sometimes it looks more gray, sometimes blue and sometimes green. I am really enjoying it!


Our New Master Bedroom

I didn't set out to get the master bedroom done first. Usually that's the last room to get attention, because everything else seems more important! But somehow, things just came together this time, and the master bedroom is done.

Here is the "before," a photo on my husband's cell phone from when we were first touring the house:

Here it is now!
I love the paint color, and it was so nice just to unpack my boxes and start hanging things on the walls. Hooray for not painting! We already had the curtains and rug and everything else, so I just needed some time to arrange and place things how I wanted them.

My husband hung the curtains, which pleased him to no end. (OK, not really. He says the two things he hates most are hanging curtains and painting walls. Not so lucky for him, given who he is married to.)

But given the emotional state I've been in lately, it's nice to have the master bedroom done. It's a respite at the end of the day, and very cozy with the curtains drawn at night.

Next week I'll show you the kitchen, where I've been working my little hiney off!


Thank You!

Hi everyone...

Thank you so much for all your comments. Seriously. We all don't know each other in the "real" world, but it means so much to me that you would take the time to connect with someone in blogging-land who's having a hard time.

So, you'd all be proud of me. Today I wandered in to a little bookshop near my house and asked about their book club, which meets monthly. Think I'm going to try and attend next week if I can. I also have plans to go to a Baby Boot Camp session (although I have to admit that I'm scared of discovering how un-fit I am!) tomorrow. Someone I met at the park last week invited me, and said it would be a good way to meet other stay-at-home moms.

I don't want to make it sound like all my problems are solved, but I know I need to "get out there" to feel connected. So off I go.

And just because I simply can't put up a post without a photo, here's one taken of our little family before we left Colorado. It's a good reminder for me to count my blessings. Thank God we have each other! And I thank God for all of you, too.


The Deck. And also, I'm Homesick.

First of all, I want to be clear that I know I am incredibly blessed. The photos of our new deck will make you hate me.

We decided to rent in the short term because we knew nothing about the Bay area, and buying a house--blindly--scared us. The amazing thing is that we found a house that meets so many of our family's needs, and is beautiful to boot.

Our deck is pretty much the icing on the (already beautiful) cake.

Also, because I don't have to hang pictures and curtains and worry too much about furniture placement, the deck has been easy to set up. It's got a little sitting area, below:

...and a great eating area, with views of the bay.

I love it, and believe me, I know how lucky we are.

Now, the homesick part. We just moved very far away from our immediate family. They are in Ohio and Colorado, basically, with some in Georgia and Pennsylvania. I debated on whether or not to be honest here. I know some of you just come here for the home decorating stuff, and believe me, I don't blame you. Most of us have enough going on in our own lives, without adding strangers' problems to the mix.

But I can't just pop onto my blog and act like my life is perfect. I'm struggling these days. I miss my family. My husband used to work from home in Colorado, but now that we're in California he is commuting to the office every day. My kids are 4 years old and 20 months. I love them dearly but I think we are all just a bit lonely. Nina keeps talking about wanting to move back to our old house. Henry just wants to break everything, as sweet as he is. My sister, brother-in-law and precious niece are left behind in Denver. I didn't even know who to write down for my daughter's preschool "in case of emergency" person, the one who could just drop everything and come to rescue us at a moment's notice, that "just down the street" person.  Adjusting is hard.

I always knew it would be hard. I didn't expect perfection once we moved here, but I couldn't post "perfect" photos of my "perfect" life and "perfect" house and pretend that things are, indeed, perfect. I don't expect you to solve my problems, because I know we've all got them. (But please don't say anything mean unless you want me to be a puddle on the floor.)

But like I said, it's real life. We can have beautiful houses, but we need friends and family to make them home. I know those things will come, with time. But three weeks in to our California transplant, it's pretty lonely around here. And I couldn't pretend otherwise. So forgive me.

At least you know I'll have plenty of time for house projects! I'll be back in a few days with more...


Our New Digs

We are here in California! Almost two weeks ago, the moving truck came and deposited all our stuff in the new house. Ever since, it's been all about unpacking, figuring out where the grocery store is, and keeping the kids from falling over (or into!) the boxes. You know, the usual.

I thought it was about time I showed you a few glimpses of our new digs. Even as I type this, I am struck by the differences between our old place in Colorado:

...and the new one in California:
The house was described as a Spanish Colonial, and it was built in the 1930s. It is so charming! I have had lots of fun imagining how things will look (eventually), once all the boxes and clutter have been removed.

So, in the meantime, I will leave you on our front doorstep, where my numbered pumpkins have already made an appearance. Maybe next week I will get brave enough to invite you into the chaos!


New Use for an Old Blanket

As I was cleaning out my closets in preparation for our move, I came across this blanket. It was my grandmother's, and it sat on one of two twin beds in her guest room when I was growing up. I can remember sleeping underneath it many times! Somehow it was passed to me, and I've been carrying it from house to house for years.

Sadly, when I recently unfolded it I could see holes all throughout, making it not-very-useful for my family today. Still, I could not even think about parting with it.

Instead, (Grandma, forgive me!) I cut into the material and sewed up some simple Euro-sized pillowcases. As usual with my sewing, they will win no prizes for skill, style or durability.

But it's a way for me to keep my special things near me. Still useful. (Even more so, actually, since the blanket had exhausted its lifetime as a blanket!) I am hoping my grandmother would approve!



I am constantly tearing pages out of all kinds of magazines, then stashing them in books for inspiration. You just never know where the next idea will come from! Here's one that popped up in a recent Pottery Barn Kids catalog. It's a shadowbox with a little baby onesie perched inside.

With that as inspiration, I remembered a baseball jersey we had tucked away with Nina's name embroidered on it. Sadly, it's too small now, but I can remember receiving it when she was a baby and thinking "There's no way that will ever fit her!"

So I bought a shadowbox at Hobby Lobby. I added some hooks on the back so I could affix a grosgrain ribbon. I had a piece of scrapbook paper that made a perfect backdrop. And then it was just a matter of folding and pinning the jersey in place.

How cute is that?

I was always afraid of shadowboxes for some reason, but they're quite forgiving and easy to work with. I encourage you to give them a try if you've got an odd-shaped something-or-other that you'd like to save. It's a great way to get things out of the boxes in the basement and up on your walls!


Procrastination Via Topiary

Why is it that, faced with the overwhelming task of moving my family to San Francisco, I start doing little projects around the house? For a couple of weeks over the summer, I was fanatical about getting piddley stuff done instead of the obvious jobs of packing, organizing and moving. Oh, well.

Here's an example of what I am talking about. I love the little greenery ball in this inspiration photo. Can't remember where I saw it, though.

I got some fake greenery from Hobby Lobby, as well as a foam ball. I already had the base, also originally from Hobby Lobby a few years ago.

I cut the greenery into manageable pieces, and then spent some time sticking each piece into the foam. No glue gun, just lots of poking.

Eventually I ended up with a slightly fuller topiary than my inspiration photo, but still...not bad!

So, next time you should be packing for a cross-country move, try this instead.

Maybe it'll look really cute in your new house!