Break it Down Now

In the week between Christmas and New Year’s, my husband and I had a ton that we wanted to accomplish. There were so many little, around-the-house to-dos that seemed to linger on our lists without ever getting done. So. We did them. We each chose one task each day. That was it. And little by little, we knocked it out. It reminded me of this list, which Meg made a zillion years ago. It’s daunting to think of “finish house” as a to-do, so you’ve got to break it down. Seeing this again is making me want to take some time to think through what the smaller to-dos are in each room so we really can get a bit closer to “finishing” our house.

house list.

(This image is lost somewhere in Meg’s archives, but her blog is here.)

On Updating Essentials

Tis the season for coveting material goods, no?

I was thinking in the shower the other day, that my husband’s and my marriage has outlived our towels. This is no small feat in that it means we’ve been married for a long time. But it also (mostly) means that we need new towels.

Waffle Towels parachute home

Cup of Jo posted these gorgeous waffle weave towels from Parachute the other day, and a quick search told me they must be in right now because you can find them anywhere. Out of all that I’ve seen, these are my favorite, though, because they look less like towels and more like blankets.

I’ve always gravitated toward #allwhiteeverything, but the possibility of gray is intriguing me. Agonize with me, dear readers, what color towels should we get?

Mondays, Am I Right?

Dear readers, so far Monday is kicking me in the pants. I had a meeting this morning, and Gooplet went and woke up even earlier than usual, throwing off our morning mojo. I said I’d bring coffee to the other two folks I was meeting with, and ended up spilling half of it down my sweatshirt and jeans before I arrived. Oof!

Looking for a bright and colorful way to display your favorite trinkets? Try making this easy Rainbow Ledge DIY to give any room a pop of color!

This is your reminder that Shutterbean’s Intentions for the Week posts are the all time best, and if you read the comments, you’ll see I’ve got a call with a home organizer to schedule. Here’s to being more functional and less hot mess.

(And I’m currently obsessed with all things rainbow, especially when it comes to our basement. This image is from Land of Nod, but I can’t recreate it because the green bar is sold out! What’s a girl to do?)


Renovation Tips and Tricks

Dear readers, I’ve got houses on the brain. This past weekend I got a sneak peek at Sous Chef Lauren’s new (and newly decorated) house, and we’re almost to the finish line of our basement renovation here at La Moneda. Wooden Nickels asked if I think I’m finished making big changes at our house for a little while, and while there is something my husband and I want to do to this place in the long run, it’s not likely to happen until preschool tuition payments are a thing of the past. Just gives me more time to plan and save and dream. If you’re thinking of renovating, dear readers, I strongly encourage you to do it. Here are my words of wisdom, even though you didn’t ask.



Bite the bullet: If you’re thinking of an improvement, big or small, and you have the funds to make it happen, do it! There isn’t going to be a convenient time, and you might have to live with your in-laws for a year, and the front door slamming open and closed 85 times a day might cut nap time short once or twice, but do it anyway. If you have a vision, or an idea you stole from Pinterest or HGTV, and you’re excited about it, make it happen!



(Even if you won’t be in your house forever): As I said above, there are always reasons not to make a big change to your house, and it not being your “forever house,” is certainly at the top of the list. But a couple of thoughts on that. One, I can’t tell you how many people in my very own neighborhood have told me, “We thought we wouldn’t be here for so long, but…….” insert any number of job/school/life-related reasons here. We all think we know where we’ll settle down and sometimes life happens and we end up somewhere else. And also, your happiness is worth it. If there is something you want to do to change a space, and it will bring you happiness to see it completed, you should do it. Even if you’re only in that space for six months, or a year, or five years, if seeing a change would make you remarkably happier, make the change.



Work with someone you love: We’ve always been happier with our renovations when we’ve had a great relationship with our contractor. The man who was in charge of our first big addition had a great sense of humor, and we loved chatting with him. I baked him chocolate chip cookies when he was working in the snow, and never felt silly asking him questions or sharing things I was worried about. Similarly, one of his subcontractors still does handyman work for us because we love him just as much. When we were planning our kitchen, we had two estimates, and though we loved the woman behind one of them, we ended up going with someone who gave us a lower quote. Dear readers, one of my biggest regrets in life is not going with the pricier kitchen company, because we got what we paid for when it came to customer service on that less expensive quote. I wish we had spent more (it’s wasn’t like it would have doubled the cost), and gone with the person behind the steeper numbers.

guest room.


Have patience: It’s not news that no matter how much you love your contractor, the renovation process will take longer than he or she lets on in the beginning. But patience remains important as you fill whatever space you’ve just designed. What we’ve found, being in what we are almost certain is our forever home, is that when you’ve designed a space exactly how you want it, you’ve got to show some judgement when it comes to filling the space. When I was in an apartment, and when we owned our first home (aw, #tbt to Casa Glass of Milk), there were times we bought things on the cheap, to fill a need quickly. Those things do not have a place in the forever house, at least not parts of it that are renovated exactly how you want. I’d rather live with a light bulb hanging from the wall until we find the perfect fixture, than slap something up quickly, and let it be just okay for way too long.

On Drinking the Kool Aid

When I was little, there were weekend days when Wooden Nickels would declare we kids had to clean our rooms. Ughhhhhhh. I dreaded those days. You never quite knew when one would hit, and while I’m sure she was strategic in planning them, in my (hyperbolic) mind, we were missing out on soooooo many activities that would be a hundred times more fun. FOMO is real, even for an 8 year old.

It was on those days she taught me about pitch-it moods. You know, when you’re looking in your pantry or closet, or that random shoe basket by the door, and you think, this all has to go?

That’s a pitch-it mood.

As I grew older, I would try to go through my room and clean it up on days I was in a pitch-it mood. Those were the days you could make the most headway.

©AlyssaRosenheck2016 for Rue Magazine with The Home Edit and Alyssa Rosenheck


Dear readers, I don’t know how else to tell you except to say I’ve been in a pitch it mood for about two months now.

I’ve been thinning out the vast collection of crap in my house in the small increments of time made available to me by the whims of my toddler, and the moments my husband can devote to taking care of him.

When your pantry shelves are narrow, pick product that takes advantage of every square inch.


Without a doubt, I am drinking the decluttering Kool Aid. But here’s the thing. I am drinking it, again and again, every day. Decluttering is not natural to my hoarding tendencies. It feels strange to purge and purge and purge until there is empty space on a shelf. But if Gretchen Rubin is right that “outer order leads to inner calm” (and I totally think that she is), then it’s what I need to do. I need to watch The Minimalists documentary. To read Simplicity Parenting, and of course, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Even if these aren’t things I’m going to dive into in full, I need to keep inundating myself with messages that I don’t need more. I have enough. Here’s what my Kool Aid has consisted of lately:

home edit


Tracy’s Intentions for the Week posts.

YHL Podcast Episode 45: Why We Got Rid of Half the Toys in Our House

YHL Podcast Episode 60: Game-Changing Organization Tips from the Pros (Those pros are Clea and Joanna from The Home Edit, and all three pictures are their gorgeous work.)

Sorta Awesome Podcast Episode 39: Seeking Rest, Finding Delight

Minimalism (documentary)

Loving My Actual Life, by Alexandra Kuykendall

Emily Ley’s spring cleaning list and simplified challenges.

La Moneda, an Update

Dear readers, we have owned La Moneda for three years now, and lived in it for two of them. Let’s do a little #tbt here. This is where we started.



Since then, we’ve made upgrades both big and small, our first being, of course, to almost double the size of the house. Before too much longer, we’ll even have a finished basement! It is the most exciting feeling to think that almost all of the major interior renovations we wanted to do have been done.


And it has sent me into overdrive when it comes to the idea of “finishing” the house. I’m so glad Gooplet has gone from being a newborn, to a super-curious toddler in that time, because it’s changed my vision for our space completely.


By completely, I mean my vision now includes more colors than simply blue and white.

front hall.

I love seeing Design Mom’s “Living with Kids” series, and even more, I love reading the homeowners’ takes on their spaces. While ogling this one the other day, I thought a lot about a question I’m pretty sure Gabby asks with every feature, “What do you want your kids to remember about growing up here?” I hadn’t given it a moment’s thought because I’m not a fancy blogger whose home would be featured on Design Mom.


But then I realized I should absolutely give it thought before I take one more step toward “finishing” this house.


So far, I can tell you for sure that we don’t have designated spaces just for kids or grown ups. Gooplet doesn’t get his own playroom, my husband doesn’t have a man cave, and that craft room I’ve always dreamed of isn’t happening either. That’s not a choice I would have expected to make, but let’s be honest, parenting has thrown me for enough loops that I’m already over it. I want my kids (well, my kid) to remember that home is where we are together.

What about you dear readers? If you have kids, how do you want them to remember their home?

(Clicking on the pictures will take you to their sources.)


The Cutest Prints

I found this Etsy shop while browsing Pinterest the other day, and dear readers, I’m smitten.

The prints are ones you download and print at home, which means the price is absolutely unbeatable.

When my son was born, I put together a collection of illustrations from children’s books for a small gallery of frames in his room. But I think it’s time to replace them with some trucks and trains.



A friend came over once, and noticed I had a lot of “things that say things” on my walls. She is 100% correct. I love words, and surrounding myself with especially good ones is a habit of mine. I was mindlessly scrolling the internet this past weekend, and finally bit the bullet and purchased this piece.


I’ve been wanting something for the exposed brick wall in the kitchen/living area of our house, and this is exactly the right size and sentiment. Can’t wait for it to get here.

ps, Here’s some more of what’s on our walls from earlier this year, when I challenged myself to get some art with pictures instead of just words and mostly succeeded.

To the Window, to the Wall

Yep. I went there. And I did what Gretchen Rubin told me to do in The Happiness Project and I indulged in a modest splurge.

PB Teen Katie Daisy "Sunshine + Salt Water" Watercolor Surf Art at... ($129) ❤ liked on Polyvore featuring home, home decor, wall art, multi, sea home decor, sun wall art, wood wall art, surf home decor and wooden wall art:

My absolute most favorite tip to give anyone trying to make a house a home is to put art or photos on the walls.

"How about Jupiter?" - Limited Edition Art Print by Maja Cunningham in beautiful frame options and a variety of sizes.

You could be living in a sea of milk crate furniture and those damned IKEA pegs that help you line up shelves, or you could be dreaming of the zillion dollar curtains you’ll have some day on your naked windows, but if you can pull it together enough to hang art, things will start to feel homier.

mother embrace by Kate Ahn at

The beginning of June marks 2 years since we moved into our house. 2 years! And funny enough, we’ve just made a couple of changes to the layout in terms of where we want furniture and how best to use our space.

Wanna know where we got something, or what paint color we have on the walls? Browse each room in our house with shoppable links to get the look yourself.:

Mid-summertime Limited Edition Art Print by Emily Jeffords | Minted 30" x 40" $325.:

So I’m looking at our first floor with fresh eyes, and stalking the mailbox every day to see these pieces arrive. I’ve got a couple more personal items on the way from Framebridge, and then I’ll bust out my hammer.

Flamingos – Signed Acrylic Painting Print by CatCoq. Artwork Printed on 8.5"x11" High-Quality Archival Paper. Tropical Flamingo Wall Art

*Clicking on these items should take you right to the sources.