DIY

DIY Serena & Lily Poetto Vase

Serena & Lily has the most beautiful home decor, but it’s so pricey! Their catalog arrives at our house every few months, and I love to sit down with a cup of tea and leaf through it. One of my favorite bloggers, Nesting with Grace, uses a lot of Serena & Lily items throughout her home–if you haven’t seen her blog, it’s drool-inducing–and she often features the gorgeous Poetto vase. I’ve coveted this vase for a while but can’t justify the price tag. This weekend…

DIY

how to paint interior doors

When we moved in, I added some personality to the main level by painting a few of the interior doors. I started by painting a few of the doors Tricorn Black, and I love the way it turned out! I think the black paint makes the hallways look more pulled together and adds to the historic feel of our very old home. About three years ago, one of our sons requested a green door for his bedroom. With the four kids and the dog running around the house and even playing basketball in the hallways (can you believe it??), the…

new counter stools – simple design, natural materials

We finally broke down and ordered new kitchen counter stools. The seat on one of our old stools had cracked in two, but we continued using it for months and called it our “trick stool.” It was all fun and games until a visitor almost fell off the broken stool, and then we had to address the problem. Because our house is so small, the counter stools back up to the dining room table. We already have a lot going on in the combined kitchen and dining room, so I wanted something neutral. Plus, to allow for more…

Visiting San Francisco

We spent a wonderful weekend in San Francisco! John’s dear friends’ daughter was becoming bat mitzvah, and we attended the ceremony honoring this beautiful young woman. We spent the rest of the weekend wandering around the city, eating and drinking. It’s such a magical place. Everywhere we went, I was blown away by the architecture. Seriously, I was standing on street corners gaping at people’s houses. The whole place felt like a movie set. I hung out the window of a cab to photograph some of the beautiful homes on California Street! The…

decluttering more closets

This week I tackled the two closets in our front hallway, between the front door and the kitchen. We don’t have many closets in this small house, and these two are workhorses. We access each of these closets multiple times a day, and it was driving me crazy that they were so messy. Ugh — you can see why I shuddered every time I opened one of these doors. For closet #1, I donated some of our coats and winter gear. Then I corralled my winter gloves and scarves into one basket and put the girls’ winter…

decluttering the whole house

Do you have a Monica closet? I have about five of them!! And they’ve definitely gotten worse in 2021. Plus, one of my stuffed closets was in the basement, right next to the bed where our youngest son now sleeps. (It’s not ideal, but this is what happens when you have a very cozy (small) house. We’re saving for a renovation and would love to make a big bedroom for the two boys to share.) A few weeks ago, right around New Year’s Eve, I stumbled onto Ruth Soukup’s website…

a new planner for 2022

Lately I’ve been really struggling with time management. Do you feel the same way? It’s ironic because, due to the pandemic, many of us have more flexibility to work from home. We don’t have to spend time commuting, and we can easily throw in a load or two of laundry while we’re working remotely. Life should be easier, right? But I still feel like there are never enough hours in the day. I’m always running around buying cupcakes for school, paying bills on the fly, and making dinner, but I…

spice organization

One of my favorite new organizational systems we implemented in 2021 was also one of the easiest: John bought spice jars on Amazon and we decanted our spices into the jars and organized the jars alphabetically. And, wow, what an impact! The set included a pre-printed label for almost all the spices we already owned, plus it included quite a few blank labels for our more unique spices. (My lettering on our blank labels hasn’t held up well, but I think that’s the fault of the white pen I used and not the label itself…

22 things to do in 2022

Are you a resolution person? I don’t necessarily make resolutions, but every January I get the itch to set goals. The new year is arbitrary, I know, but somehow to me it still feels like a good time to take stock and think about my life. Last year I followed Gretchen Rubin‘s lead and started making a “21 for 2021” list. My final list numbered only 10, not 21, but I found the exercise to be really useful. The idea is to think outside the box and set goals, big or small. Last year…

Visiting the Texas Hill Country

Happy 2022! It’s hard to believe that this next year has come so soon . . . the years seem to fly by faster and faster. Cheers to new beginnings and the freshly-sharpened-pencil feeling of a new year. We rang in the new year in Texas with John’s family. They live near Dallas, but we met them and some of John’s childhood friends in the Hill Country, a collection of small, picturesque towns west of Austin and north of San Antonio. The area was absolutely lovely, and the trip exceeded my expectations in every way…