highlights of 2013.

2013 2014


happy 2014!

i’ve said it before, & i’ll say it again!, yearly recaps are always my favorite kinds of blog posts. its a small way to sum up your year & to see how much the last 365 days have brought. as i look forward to the New Year, i am humbled & grateful by all of the wondrous events of 2013. here’s the rundown of ours:

january: I started out the new year with a bout of the flu. we hosted our first blog giveaway! we installed the west elm hanging capiz chandelier over our dining room table. I framed my diy polaroids for our bedroom walls. amanda & I met john & sherry from young house love during their book signing tour! I diy-ed campaign dressers for our bedroom.




february: I did lots of diy-ing for valentine’s day {here, here, & here} I celebrated my birthday! we bought a kitchen island. I tried to be better about getting in front of the camera!



march: I tried my hand at painting an antler {& was so impressed with the results!}. we took my 91-year-old grandmother to target for the first time! amanda & I diy-ed framed house keys on maps. we sold jez the jetta & bought a new car.




april: we updated our bathroom vanity with a converted antique sideboard. we updated the closet doors by stripping off the old paint in a crock pot. we celebrated our one year anniversary in our house & I reviewed all of the house diys!




may: we finally got some good weather in seattle! I painted the ceiling & hallway walls. we celebrated aaron’s thirtieth birthday with a beer tasting party! we had a fun-filled memorial day weekend. we were featured in west elm’s blog front & main.




front and main

june: aaron replaced our toilet. sadie was featured in the seattle dog spot blog. my parents visited for a long weekend en route to the olympic peninsula. my diy his & hers maps were featured. we finally got some summer weather!


seattle dog blog thank you

july: we celebrated the long Fourth of July weekend with a holiday parade, fireworks, & time with friends. I made a nine layer ombre cake! we replaced our kitchen track lights with globe pendants from west elm. we road-tripped to idaho for my ten-year high school reunion. we started growing our first eggplant.



august: we celebrated our three year wedding anniversary. the blog got a Liebster Award Nomination. I diy-ed the tiniest baby hats for our friends’ new baby. we road-tripped to hood river, oregon to celebrate my cousin’s wedding.





september: we went to the husky vs. bronco game to kick-off labor day weekend complete with husky-style tailgating {via boat}. we took advantage of the warm weather & cleaned up the front yard with a fun game called love it or lose it. we celebrated sadie’s ninth birthday! I attended the Alt Summit for Everyone blog conference.



october: I attempted to start doing fashion posts again. we celebrated our two year blog anniversary at emerald city diaries! I finished up with the #embracethecamera challenge. we went to the pumpkin patch & carved pumpkins with friends.



november: aaron joined a team for movember 2013. we snuck off to hawaii for thanksgiving.



december: I reviewed some of my favorite weekend in pictures pics. I participated in A Pinterest Christmas for the third year {see this year’s projects here, here, here, here, & here}! we celebrated Christmas in indiana with aaron’s family.


reflecting back on this year, i am reminded how blessed we are & also how different this year has been than the year previous. it has been such a wonderful year & ringing in a new one is a bit bittersweet.

how was your 2013 – was it a year to remember, or are you itching to start 2014 already?


see past yearly highlights for 2011 & 2012.

a year in review {house diys}.

it is hard to believe but we have been in our house for a year – can you believe it? while it doesn’t seem like yesterday that we were moving & packing & unpacking, it definitely doesn’t feel like its been an entire year. {where does the time go?}

i thought since so much of this blog is devoted to the work we have put into the house, it would be fun to do a review of all of our house projects over the last year. {also, this is making up for the fact that i have been horrible about keeping the house tour tab up-to-date.}

here we go! {are you ready for lots of pictures?}

{entryway} – chalkboard paint



{living room & dining room} – paint color, curtains, west elm light


{bathroom} – paint color, Ikea light, vanity

SONY DSCSONY DSCbathroom light april 2012

bathroom light september 2012SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSC

{kitchen} – paint color (walls), painted cabinets, painted countertops, painted tile, kitchen island, roman curtain




{bedroom} – paint color, roman curtains, closet doors


phew! it is hard to believe we did all of that in just one year. we still have lots of things on the to do list, including some bigger projects that we are saving up for! reviewing all of these projects makes me thankful that we have such a fun house to work on & enjoy. it was scary to make the decision to buy a house last year {it felt so grown-up!} but we have loved every minute of it & learned so much.

what sorts of projects have you completed in your living space? do you ever go back & review all of your hard work?


updated closet doors.

now i am sure you are thinking “updated closet doors, doesn’t seem like much of a blog post.” am i right? well, you are. except that we have been “working” on the closet doors for some time now. remember back in november & december when we painted our bedroom? well, that is when we took off the closet doors & they haven’t been up since. needless to say it is a big deal around here that we have closet doors again!

as you can see from the pictures below {the befores} whoever had painted the doors before we moved in decided it would be wonderful to paint all of the hardware too. {seriously, who does that?} so when we took down the doors to be painted from their original yellow to white-ish {the color of our trim} we decided it would be lovely to restore the hardware. once we got the hardware off the doors {hinges, hinge pins, & faceplates} we soaked them in a crockpot full of water & a bit of laundry soap. {the crockpot was a $5 steal from the goodwill that we will only use to soak old metal hardware & other crafty things.} it took two rounds of a low crockpot, but we finally got all of that paint off!






what an improvement, huh? it is lovely to have the hardware back on as it should be. you know, all metal-y & not all paint-y. plus, a bonus because i got hooks in the inside of my closet – yay! we picked up three of these hooks from anthro & while they aren’t exactly the same metal as the door hardware, it keeps with the antique-y look. i do put my clothes away, but it is nice to have a place to hang your twice-worn jeans or put together an ensemble ahead of time, don’t you think?


have you been updating any of your hardware {buying new or refinishing old}?


my weekend in pictures.


{aaron & i made the snapshot of the day at work with a pic taken from our machu picchu trip.}


{double dinner date at ciccehtti, the sister restaurant to my very favorite serafina.}


{this may have been the best play of the night in a fun round of cards against humanity.}


{we dined at portage bay – one of our favs! – for breakfast this weekend. twice. yep, saturday with aaron’s cousin nathan, his wife kendra, & ben & sarah, & then again sunday with our friend jerry.}


{you may recognize that art from a pillow we used to have. well, after sadie murdered the pillow, i salvaged the art & framed it.}


{saturday night at kenmore lanes with nathan & kendra. it was quite the happening place!}


{back to some painting on sunday afternoon. priming & painting our closet doors that finally made it back up after removing & soaking all of the paint off of the hardware.}


{we needed a pick-me-up to make it through our sunday evening grocery trip. thank you starbucks for being in our qfc store.}


{i love the spring as it means fresh bouquets of flowers in the house every week!}


{aaron surprised me with a subscription to real simple.}

we had a really fun weekend working around the house to finish up a few never-ending projects & also seeing lots of family & friends. aaron’s cousin nathan & his wife kendra were in town & we had such a blast with them on saturday. it is hard to be so far away from family sometimes, but awesome when we can all get together! the rain returned to the emerald city as it normally does this time of year. while we are bummed that the temperatures have dropped, we are hopeful that the continuing rain & showers will help our soon-to-be-planted grass seed fill in our lawn in a few rough places. how was your weekend?


diy campaign dressers.

it probably isn’t a surprise that when aaron asked me what i wanted for christmas that i asked for supplies for a diy project. seems like diys & stuff for the house tops the wish list these days. while there are a few lots of things that i am eyeing or wanting to do for the house, i decided that i needed to upgrade my dresser.

if you don’t recall, this was my dresser.


there wasn’t anything particularly wrong with it & it functioned well. however, i don’t find it very aesthetically pleasing & it was way too tall for me {i had to jump to see my jewelry!}. so, when deciding what i wanted to replace the dresser, i focused on maintaining functionality & height {or lack thereof}.

naturally, i found a diy on pinterest a few months back that immediately caught my attention.

DIY Campaign Dresser

{original pinterest link – DIY: Campaign Chest}

i basically followed this tutorial, but changed the dresser base & the handles {more about that in a bit}.

supplies {for one dresser}:

{sidenote: when we went to ikea to buy the dressers for this project, i was sure we were going to buy the rast dresser that was used in the tutorial. however, when we got to the dresser section of the store, we realized that the rast dresser is tiny {see how it compares to sadie} & could be used as maybe a nightstand or kid’s dresser. so, on the spot we had to punt & decided that the tarva dresser, which was also raw pine wood, would be a good alternative. it didn’t have quite the same lines as a “traditional” campaign dresser would with its top & legs, but we just went with it.}


i started by assembling the dresser & priming it.


i assembled the drawers. then aaron sketched out the back of the drawer hinge & hand-routed the drawer fronts {thank you husband!} so that the drawer pulls would lie flat. {sidenote: the tutorial uses campaign-style handles that lie flat against the drawer without routing. i couldn’t find these anywhere!}


i primed the drawer fronts & their edges, & then painted the dresser & drawers. i ended up painting three coats {mostly with roller but brush where the roller wouldn’t fit}. i really wanted these to be high, high gloss, but since i wasn’t willing to use oil-based paint i didn’t get the high, high gloss. we decided that since these dressers would get so much use & also to help boost the glossiness we should put on a coat of polycrylic. we were able to get a polycrylic {see the link above} in a gloss that was pretty low VOC. i followed the instructions & put on three thin coats.


after drying for just over 24 hours, we attached the hardware. this was a lot of work, but so worth it to see ikea dressers turn into pseudo-campaign dressers.


after the brass corners were placed & the handles were set, we were able to move them to their new home! {sidenote: there is a pretty big difference in color between the pictures above & the pictures below. i tried my best with my very limited knowledge of how to use the camera’s ISO & f-stop, but the grey color in the pictures above are the best representation of the color of the dressers.}




while these are pretty non-traditional looking campaign dressers, i am really happy with the result. now i just need to find the right mirror/art/jewelry hanging combination for the wall above the dressers – any suggestions?

what are you storing your clothes in – dresser, armoire, closet?


diy framed polaroids.

a while ago i posted about the polaroid project where i made “polaroids” out of pictures of parisian french doors. i really liked the way the pictures turned out, but i didn’t love that they were just stuck on the wall. the pictures came down along with everything else over thanksgiving weekend when we painted the bedroom & i finally got around to finding a new way to display the pictures {i framed them!}.

this was super easy. i picked up two fjallsta frames from ikea. i knew i wanted big picture frames & decided the square frame was what i wanted. i also picked up some poster tack & two heavy white posterboards from target.

i opened up the frame & took out the mat. i traced the outside of the mat onto the posterboard, one for each frame, & then cut. {this is what the second picture is, i know its hard to see with the white on white.}


then i measured the inside {back} of the frame to figure out how much of a margin i would need to leave between the edge of the posterboard & the edge of the pictures. i left a one inch margin on the left, right & bottom edges, and a one-and-a-quarter inch margin on the top {the extra 1/4 inch was to account for the washi tape}.


then i added a small wad of poster tack to the top corners of each picture. the washi tape was already on the tops of all the pictures.


i placed the four corner pictures first & then filled in the rest of the grid.





& then the frames went back onto our bedroom walls as a fun reminder of our trip to paris!

what kind of art are you framing & hanging on your walls?


a fresh coat of paint: bedroom edition.

over thanksgiving break, our other big painting project {in addition to the bathroom} was our bedroom.

our bedroom’s original color was yellow with yellow trim. yep, lovely. {thankfully, our bedroom has the 11 foot ceilings & picture rail like our living room.}


it took me a long time to figure out what color i wanted in this room. i tend towards grey {& deliberately chose not to paint our living room grey as it is the biggest space in our house} but i wanted to brainstorm a little more & not go for something so easy. at the same time, i wanted to keep the color pretty neutral as it is the place we sleep, as well as match the citrine color of the new roman shades.

it took until we were at the paint counter at lowe’s actually buying the paint for us to finally figure out the color. the winner was woodlawn sterling blue from valspar which is a light blue-grey. this color is also part of its national trust historic color collection as is the carolina inn club aqua by valspar color of the living room. i used the allergy & asthma paint which is a little spendy, but highly, highly recommended. i have used this paint all over the house – it is no VOC & has great coverage.

after priming the trim & walls, & painting on the wall color, we finally had beautiful not-yellow walls!


the pictures really don’t do the room justice – it is so awesome in person {not that i am biased or anything}.

we still have to finish painting the insides of the windows {requires warmer weather} & also finish painting the closet doors, but just the paint on the walls is a vast, vast improvement!

have you updated the color in a room recently?