New Year, New Look

I change my hair, my walls and even my blog often it turns out. 
I spent today doing some  redesign around these parts. I realized I do this every year.
So much for branding...

So here are the headers from the past few years. 
(Google "wayback machine" if you ever want to see old incarnations of websites.)
I found 2 of mine, but I can't find my first header from 2009.
It was a scan of specked coral fabric from a bag I found at Target.

So here are the years in review:

I also had a pink orange and red version of this too.


Have a safe and exciting New Years!
See you in 2013!


We have been knee deep in demo (with a break for Christmas) this past week.
It is starting to take a toll.
I woke up today from a crazy dream that I was 8 months pregnant (and the craziest part was that I could see inside my stomach and the baby was a bag of frozen hamburgers and a big frozen turkey). 
wtf. nuts, I know.  
I'm also exhausted and PMS-ing, 
and my house is a mess and covered in plaster dust, 
so I am not fun to be around at the moment.

I have made an angry swear face montage for you:

yes, I have lost my mind, 
but my hair actually looks pretty damn good all things considered.

 I am just a *teensy* overwhelmed.
Kind of: ""  We just started ripping our house apart without a real plan.  
I am overwhelmed with emotions... excited, nervous, grateful, crazed...
I know it is gonna be great eventually, but I am just pooped.  Having the kids home on break is tough.  Danger lurks everywhere, and I think I am most tired just from trying to keep them away from it.

I have been in design mode every free second (and there aren't many) 
drawing exterior window plans for the new windows, 
floor plans for future kitchen and baths 
and scouring my Pinterest for ideas of what to do.

The possible window plans:
Reality + LVL beams: 
 The shop vac & broom are my new besties.
 I am constantly in clean, search for sharp objects, wipe down and vacuum mode.
When I am not doing that its make popcorn and hot cocoa mode for the kids.
Poor things have been good sports during all this.
 This was yesterday:
Rip out sunroom windows and take off rotted deck:
 I got to beat things with a sledge hammer... so much fun!
The sunroom turned into a nightmare when we opened a wall.
Hello carpenter ants- seriously gross:
They had eaten all the exterior beams (but didn't touch the house for some reason- thank goodness!)
so the whole sunroom came off.  

Huge thank yous to my Dad, Eric, Mike, Jill, Ryan and Florentine for joining in the demo party.
This would never happened without them.
 I am trying to pull together an eventual patio/ gardens and fire pit look for that area.

The silver lining of losing this room:
a shit load more natural light here...
I am off to find my happy spot.  
I will be back with a plan & pictures of what I am planning to do once I find it.

New Year's Project

Its almost that time when we start reflecting and resolving.
I have been giving a lot of thought to many things lately and I decided to screw my resolutions.  
I always have similar ones anyway...
eat better, exercise, get organized, bah blah blah...

I am throwing that bullshit out this year and just going for the bucket list.
There are a lot of things I want to do... write a kids book, design wallpaper... so I need to get cracking.
I am turning 40 in a couple years, so I might be "mid-lifing" here.

Regardless, I made myself a pretty little bucket list book, with a happier name.
I plan on giving each idea or 'to-do' its own page.   
I can write out what I want to do, and then when I do it I can blurb about the experience/ success/ failure as well instead of just "checking it off".

This is how I made mine...
My husband gave me this leather journal in my stocking this Christmas. 
Its by Martha  Stewart and you can get it at Staples here for $9.99.
Also comes in many other sizes and colors.

I started by using a ruler and a Gold Sharpie-*I love this marker* (also from Staples)
and I drew a frame in the center of the cover:
 I was inspired by this book cover I found on Pinterest. 

Actually was planning to do this pattern on a wall in my house, but it has since been demolished.

I found some random coins to use a templates-including those of the chocolate persuasion. yum.
I started at the bottom and traced half of the coin. I made marks at the half points of the coins, and on the bottom center (see the faint black lines?)

I then lined up the marks up with the centers of the previous rows and traced the next row:

*keep the tip of the marker away from the actual edge of the coin by using the plastic edge above the marker tip as a guide. I found the ink bled under the coin if I got too close.

 I took a quarter next and centered it in each scallop and traced again.
I decided too keep this simple and call it a day here:
 I ate my chocolate and named my book...
screwed up my lettering and tried to hide it. 
I was never good with handwriting or lettering.
 So I took a piece of decorative paper and cut a new title area out and glued it on.
(Glue is still wet and visible here)
Also changed my title and raised my own bar...
You only live once, right?

Christmas Recap

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!  
I am so sad to see it over.  It really is my favorite time of year.  
I love the build up, excitement and anticipation.  Watching Home Alone & the Santa Clause endlessly in all their versions and sequels, baking cookies and keeping the fireplace roaring.
It is my most domestic season for sure.

We spent Christmas Eve at my parent's new house.  Talk about home for the holidays...
 They moved in officially the end of the summer, but I can't get over how cozy it is and how much it reminds me of their last place.   My Mom decorates like a madwoman for the holidays and I just love it!  My father had been working like crazy too, renovating their bedroom and bath, building and fixing whatever my Mom dreams up.  Their entire place was like a wonderland. I need to take better pictures with a real camera before they take their decorations down.

My favorite room- 
(please excuse Instagram filters on some of my pictures)

She had decorations everywhere. 
The kids loved it1

Even their bedroom was decked out:

BTW, they finished pulling this room together. 
Here is a much better after of the floors and room:

 We recently hung grasscloth in their dining room as an anniversary present.
 I really makes it so much warmer.

For dinner we have a big family tradition.  
We are part Czechoslovakian, 
so every Christmas Eve we do a meatless dinner consisting of three different soups 
followed by pirogies 
(think ravioli, but replace insides with mashed potato & cheese and then sauté with onions 
and top with sour cream- SO good and SO fattening!)
Anyone else out there do this?
 This year I made the pirogies.
Definitely need to make more, great winter meal and actually really easy to make.
Let me know if anyone wants the old school recipe.

After we all were stuffed, the kids passed out in front of the tree.  
We carried them to the car and tucked them in at home.  
Visions of sugar plums:

(The night before it was a similar scene, 
except visions of hammers and demo smashed through their heads.
They were exhausted from all the work they did!):

Santa came!

 Presents were had:
Pure chaos amongst more chaos:

 Big boys and their toys:

and we managed to pull off a Christmas dinner for 12 in our demolished house 
with a vintage oven that wanted to quit really badly.
A serious miracle!  

I am so thankful to have been able to spend this holiday with so many friends and family and have another year of memories.  I am off now to sadly take down a good deal of my decorations to make room for more demo.
(The electrician is here as I write this rewiring.)

Be back shortly with some inspiration!

Christmas Miracle/ Nightmare

All depends how you look at it.
I know most people think I'm insane, and I very well might be, because this scene- a day before Christmas Eve- makes me really happy. 
 The normal person would be stroking out I'm sure:
 We just kind of jumped in and demolished our house. It a f*cking mess, not gonna lie.
But its cool, because I have been waiting for over three years for it to happen.
And when my husband happens to say "lets knock down some walls, I have a few days off"-
I go with it.  Remember, it took over two and half years for him just to be OK with my 
painting the kitchen cabinets.  So I grab these moments by the horns.
Its in the blood.  My kids want hammers for Christmas. 
And they want to have a company where they just demo stuff- no fixing.

I spy a Christmas tree from my kitchen.

 The bar area yesterday
(we managed to salvage a good deal of the built ins and all the antiqued mirror inside):
Bar area today:
 View from the family/dining area yesterday:

 Its was a family affair.  
My Dad came by to lend a hand and teach Thomas how to smash stuff:
It is all cleaned up and pulled back to "livable" again.
Now we wait for the electricians and plumber to clean up the wires/heating mess.
And then the fun really begins!  I won't bore you with the details since nothing is set in stone.
We had a plan, but have already tweaked and changed a few things now that we really have a sense of the open space.   

This is all a Christmas miracle in my opinion.

Have a very Merry Christmas, I am off to happily dust my tree!


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