With thoughts of Mexican sunshine, palm trees, and salty air still swirling in my head, I am SO ready to spend the remaining Summer outdoors. Which means I really need to get to work on the mess that has become my backyard. I suppose I’m exaggerating a bit – it really isn’t all that terrible, but it could definitely use a little personality. A trellis with grape vines in the back corner, some lavender and wild flowers, a small privacy trellis along the patio with some flowering vines creeping up…yes, that would do quite nicely. But the pergola, dear Lord, that’s a whole different story! It needs work.

Backyard Pergola Dining Chippy Side Table on Pergola

Currently, it consists of a hand-built table that my husband threw together out of old pallets found behind our house, cheap plastic chairs gladly passed along by my father, a glass-topped bistro table I had in my old apartment, an awkwardly sized vintage table I bought for a dime simply because I liked the chippy turquoise, and some decorative wall piece I found at Home Goods many moons ago. The chairs at either end of the table are actually lovely chairs purchased on a whim at Arhaus – a definite splurge considering we had no actual plan or space for them. I don’t even think they were meant to be outdoors, but there they reside nevertheless.

So one of the projects I have in store for the summer is a complete overhaul of said pergola. I know I just gave myself the challenge of spending less in order to travel more, but 1. this is already a project in the works, and 2. it’s kind of like creating a travel destination within the home, yes?

Seriously, I could make excuses all day, but there is nothing better than sitting outside with a beer in hand, watching your dogs and child play, all while being slightly protected from the blaring sun. Am I right?! So while we don’t have plans to enclose the pergola, we do have the thought to roof it. Honestly, I’m still a little torn on the idea, but this is what is currently in my head:

 Bohemian Styled Pergola

via Country Living

Still minimal, but with a boho (almost Mexican) vibe. Which means lots of greenery! Unfortunately, I don’t have the greenest thumb in the world, but I’m working really hard to remedy this.

I was also thinking about adding outdoors curtains to soften the space a little, like this, but with a more lightweight, airy fabric (maybe mosquito netting?):

Make Your Own Outdoor Pergola Curtains! (click through for tutorial)

Image via A Beautiful Mess

And string lights are most definitely in order. But other than that, I’m kind of at a loss / totally open to wherever the wind shall take me. Should I build a corner bar in the far right corner or should I build extra seating? Should I hang some kind of fun, quirky seating in the left corner…?

Outdoor Hanging Chair Options

Images via The Merrythought and Broste Copenhagen

Or should I simply dedicate that space for all things green? I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions!

ps…how about this for a little backyard inspiration!


Phew! That last post was a bit of a doozey so I’m going to keep it simple this time around.

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned my slight obsession with Mandi over at Vintage Revivals. A genius that woman is! Most recently, she morphed what was already a pretty awesome space into something TOTALLY different. I mean, it doesn’t even look like the same space, right?

Living Room Makeover @ Vintage Revivals-2-2

Loft Living Room Makeover

I actually love living in the country (I actually live near downtown Charlottesville, but coming from DC, it feels like the country!), but oh how I long for that urban getaway! Feeling a bit inspired by Mandi’s glorious transformation, and after daydreaming for longer than I care to admit, I decided to create a new Loft Living eDesign…
Loft Living
  1.  Leather sofa – I love how it’s already distressed, but it’s a bit pricey – HERE is a cheaper option that I have no doubt your butt will naturally distress!
  2. Balloons over Manhattan – This photo is fantastic and it adds a little color and whimsy to the space. I would suggest ordering the largest size possible, or requesting a custom size.
  3. Wool rug – I think this rug is beautiful and absolutely perfect for the space…if you have the cash to spare. BUT, very unfortunately, most of us don’t so you can find some cheaper options HERE and HERE.
  4. Rattan chairs – LOVE these chairs. They are so simple yet so versatile and stylish.
  5. Arm chair – Gotta love Jonathan Adler!
  6. Leather pouf – some cheaper options HERE, HERE, and HERE
  7. Side table – Currently unavailable, but THIS is a good option. Or THIS.
  8. Coffee table – Threshold is killing it these days!
  9. Lateral file cabinet – A dual-purpose piece is always a YES in my book, particularly for small-space living. This streamlined filing system can serve as a console table while keeping all the paper clutter at bay!
  10. Herb pot / Cactus garden / Ceramic hedgehog planter / Himmeli hanging planter – A little dose of happiness. There is nothing like plant life to make a space feel more alive.
  11. Trio pendant lighting – the naked bulbs keeps the space open and airy while still providing enough light.
  12. Tripod floor lamp – sold out at Ethan Allen, but here are a few more options: 1, 2, 3, 4
  13. Bookcase – This provides the necessary shelving without looking too heavy. It also adds another dose of whimsy.
  14. Throw pillows – no longer available, but here are a couple of pairings: 1/2, 1/2, 1/2
  15. Faux brick wallpaper – The character that brick can add to a space is second to none and, if done in moderation, instantly reads “loft.” I’m partial to the whitewash, but the distressed red can work just as well!

Are you daydreaming yet?

If you would like to see more of my eDesigns, please head on over to my Etsy shop!


Get 'Er Done TO-DO copy

15 months into motherhood, I still find myself a bit scatterbrained  more often than I care to admit. Unfortunately, I can no longer blame hormones or lack of sleep so I’m simply going to blame motherhood and assume that it will be a long term affliction.

To whip myself into some kind of working order, I created what I like to call the Get ‘Er Done! Series (I live in the Shenandoah, surrounded by country, so I guess a little redneck has rubbed off on me…).  This series includes everything I need to keep my personal and business to-do’s within reach and in one place – for me, this is a huge improvement from the handful of moleskins I had scattered about!

I’m going to assume (or maybe hope?) that I’m not the only one out there with my head in the clouds, so to keep us all a little more grounded, I thought I’d share with you what has worked well for me so far…head on over to the new site for the downloads!

Traveling with Baby: Tips & Tricks

These are the kind of memories that get me through weeks like this one….

Hawks Caye Beach w Watermark

Can you believe Mother Nature dropped more snow on us?! In Spring (#springfail). Oh how I long for warmth!

Luckily, I managed to escape the wrath of Mother Nature earlier this month with a week’s worth of vacation in the Florida Keys. And my God, it was heaven and so very much needed. I’m quite certain that if I didn’t escape, my brain would have exploded by now.

I was pretty nervous about traveling with a 4 month old though and spent the week prior to vacation packing, repacking, scouring the web for travel tips, and checking my list twice.

In the end, Little G was an angel and heck, I give myself props for packing like a champ and having everything go amazingly smooth!

I’m sure some of this was pure luck, but I did manage to learn a few things along the way:

Traveling with Baby w Watermark

1.  Try to book a flight during baby’s normal sleeping hours. Our flight departed at 6am, which meant a 3am wakeup, but it was SO worth it when Little G slept through the entire flight.

2.  Bring your car seat and stroller. Both of these can easily be checked at the gate for free. Simply drop off as you board the plane (make sure they are both tagged!) and pick up on your way out. That way, if you have need of a rental car or taxi, you can travel with your baby safely!

Family Photo Copy

3.  Be courteous. Most passengers seem to be pretty sympathetic to the plight of traveling with baby, but in case your angel turns into the devil reincarnated somwhere mid-flight, come prepared with earplugs for you and everyone around you. A box of earplugs can be purchased for just a few bucks at your local hardware store and I promise, those few dollars can go a long way!

4.  Purchase a new, fabulous toy for baby only to be used in times of desperation. Again, if the devil seems to be inhabiting your baby’s body, this is the perfect time to pull out this never-seen-before toy that amazes and distracts your little person.

5.  Call the hotel ahead of time and see if they have up-to-code cribs. If so, reserve one and have it ready to go in your room upon your arrival. The less you have to pack, the better! Believe me, your suitcase will already be bursting at the seams.

6.  Pack at least 2 outfits per day for baby (and 1 for your diaper bag) and a few extra light-weight blankets. I used one of these blankets as a fitted sheet for the crib since I knew it had been washed with hypo-allergenic detergent. Be sure to throw one in your diaper bag as well – the plane can sometimes get chilly!

7.  If you’re breastfeeding, also be sure to pack a nursing cover in your diaper bag. Nurse on the plane at take-off and landing. This will distract baby from pressure changes.

8.  If you’re traveling to a warm, sunny location (and why wouldn’t you?!), pack a few light-weight long sleeve shirts for baby, a few UV protectant, rash-guard shirts, sunscreen, and a couple of sun hats. I also brought a UV protectant play tent for beach time (it’s super light-weight, portable, and easily fit in our suitcase, but large enough for me to sit in to nurse).

G and I in Tent

9.  Try to keep baby’s routine as much as possible. Schedule mealtimes during naps – again, this is where the stroller comes in handy! My husband and I really lucked out with this one. We went out to eat for lunch and dinner every day and managed to actually enjoy every single meal as Little G slept in his stroller beside us. But be prepared to leave quickly! We payed the bill as soon as we got our food. You know, just in case…

10.  Keep an open mind and know that vacationing with baby will be different than any other vacation you’ve ever taken. You’ll be spending a lot of time in your hotel room (so you may want to splurge on an upgrade…). You won’t be able to go parasailing or scuba diving or zip lining. But you will be able to watch and experience your little one discovering this whole new world around him and that, my friends, makes the hassle of traveling with baby in tow entirely worthwhile.

G and I 2 w WatermarkDo you have more tips and tricks to add? I would love to hear them!

Living in Motherhood: Part 1

For those of you that have followed me for a while, you’re well aware that I’m a bit of an interior design aficionado. Seriously, I could oogle Pinterest images for hours (and actually have when baby has fallen asleep on me!). There are a lot of images that speak to me though, and I have yet to completely define my style.

What I have learned, however, is to go with my gut and not let any one style limit me. And to be realistic. I would love an all white interior, or at least mostly white, but with 2 dogs, a cat, a baby, and a husband that doesn’t often take off his shoes when home…not possible.

Living Room

image via I Suwanee

I love the girly glamorous, but getting my husband to agree to crystal chandeliers, gold trim, any shade of pink, or faux fur…not possible.

via First Home on Tumbler

I love the fresh cottage, Pottery Barn-like style…but I have also discovered that it is possible to have too much of a good thing.

Vintage-style living room

via House to Home

What I hope to create is an eclectic style of all of these things, a style that is cozy and comfortable and fitting for my newfound lifestyle. Most of all, I want a style that makes me smile – and looks good messy. Because let’s face it, who has time to clean with a baby on the move?!

Boho chic living room | Living room decorating | Ideal Home |

via House to Home (UK)


via Oh Joy!

Now on to the baby-proofing…any tips and suggestions?

In His Hands…(and 1-4/52 Weekly Portraits)

In His Hands

1/52: “To see the world in a grain of sand, to see heaven in a wildflower, hold infinity in the palm of your hands, and eternity in an hour”   -William Blake

I must admit, motherhood is one of the most rewarding yet challenging roles I have ever assumed. Every day is a new experience, every hour is a new demand, and every minute is an absolute delight. There are definitely moments I doubt myself and this enormous responsibility. Many moments, in fact. Raising a child is hard. But at the end of the day, it is also immensely satisfying.

I can’t deny that I have become frustrated at times. There is very little time for myself, for my writing, for this blog, for showers, for the multitude of little things that I would like to do, but then I take one look at his face, his curious, smiling face, and realize that it really isn’t about me anymore. It’s about him, and I’m ok with that.


I recently stumbled across this beautiful blog and immediately knew that like Jodi, and as my son grows right before my eyes, I want to capture as many treasured moments with him as possible.

Greyson 2

2/52: I am learning to appreciate the uncertainties of motherhood, but there is one thing that I am certain of: this little guy holds my heart in his hands, for infinity and beyond.

Thus begins my own 52 Project for 2014: a memory keeping (and making!) journey that I hope to look back on year after year with love and bittersweet nostalgia.

I’ll be posting a portrait of the week every Monday and linking up with Practising Simplicity every Sunday going forward. I hope you can join me (and excuse me as I play catch up)!

My Guys @ Grace Winery

3/52: “Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies” –Aristotle

G in Jumperoo

4/52: “Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one!” – Dr. Seuss

My Everything…

I knew motherhood would be one of the most exciting, satisfying roles I could ever undertake, but to truly put into words how I feel is impossible.


Truth be told, I didn’t feel an overwhelming sense of love and attachment the moment he was in my arms. I felt a sense of relief and awe, but a large part of me felt numb and incredibly humbled – it was all a bit surreal and I couldn’t quite fathom that this tiny being was mine.

Was I really allowed to take this perfect little person home?

But that love and attachment grew day by day as I began to accept that this little man truly was mine; that he was a part of me, dependent on me, and ready to be filled with all the love and joy and experience that I could offer. And dear God, I have a lot to offer.

Staring into that little face, my heart fills with an indescribable joy; my love and happiness are overflowing…

Greyson 1

…and I am so thrilled and grateful to not only embark on this journey into parenthood, but to share this journey with such a remarkable man, husband and father.

Daddy & Son 1

Daddy & Son

I am a lucky girl indeed.

Greyson & LambWelcome to the world Greyson Rhys! You are my everything and I can only hope that one day you will realize just how much you are loved.

Hello October.

Hello October

I can’t believe it is October already. With the cooler weather and the turning leaves, it already happened to be my favorite month, but now – now it becomes that much more special because it is the month my son will be born. My little Greyson. My mini man, my heart, my soul.

It seems like yesterday that he was just a part of my imagination. Then, one day, he suddenly became a reality. I didn’t know he was a HE at the time, just a tiny bean growing in my belly. But eventually, that little bean did become a boy, and he just kept on growing. And now, with only ONE week to go (hopefully…), it’s amazing to think that this reality will become even more real. And tangible. And squishy! I will finally have this wonderful baby boy in my arms. It’s mind-blowing, actually.

I can’t wait to revel in the joys of motherhood. And I know that it’s not all joyful – there will be some hard, hard days. And even harder nights. But they will all be meaningful and full of purpose, and to me, that will make them joyful (please remind me of this after a few weeks of no sleep…!).

via Marshalls Abroad

With this small shift in perspective (motherhood, that is), I now find myself drawn to an even wider variety of blogs. Blogs that are not only about home décor, DIY, and fashion, but Life in general, and Love, and Family. It’s so exhilarating to peek into the daily existence (and struggles) of a mother…

via Fairytales Are True

IHOD-Happy Baby Wrap

via In Honor of Design

 photo _MG_2612edit.jpg

via The Weigands

via Steve and Jess Marcum


via Day Dreaming Mama

…and it’s encouraging to read that despite these picture perfect images, every single one of these mothers had – and continues to have – her share of doubts, insecurities, and imperfections. Despite those bad days, weeks, and even months, they survived, and they remain fabulous mothers.

Almost There

Hello October. I look forward to the many challenges and unconditional love you will bring!


Ok, I’m starting to see a bit of a pattern here – first, I paint a fun little stripe on this dresser:

Antique Dresser Green

Then I go and buy this oh-so adorable diaper bag, and then up go the stripes in the nursery:

Nursery in Progress

And today, I actually find myself wearing not one but two layers of stripes! Do you see where this is going? I think it’s leading to a bit of an infatuation…

Yes, I can’t deny that my eye has been drawn to the bold pattern of stripes: rugs, curtains, couches, clothing, shoes – you name it, and I probably want it in stripes. Perhaps it’s the heat of summer, or the dramatic bundle of joy that’s about to enter my life, or maybe it’s simply a way to escape the many realities pounding at the back door, but most recently, I’ve been gaga for even bolder and sometimes whimsical stripes of black and white.

Pinned Image

(By the way, this amazing room reminds me of this gorgeous bag currently on my wish list!)

Not just any black and white, of course, but black and white with that bright, happy pop of color. There’s something so surreal and positive about this combination – it’s empowering! But as empowering as it is, it does not have to overpower a room.

The rug in the room you see above, for example, is most definitely bold, but instead of the eye being drawn directly to the rug, it is ever-so-slightly diffused by the pop of turquoise and the whitespace above it – the eye is first drawn to the rug, then up to the turquoise table, and then further up to the patterned throw pillows (which pop against neutral background of the couch), and then finally to the whitespace and elegant artwork. Now imagine this whitespace filled with a colorful collection of art – whoa! A little too much going on there, eh? Without a focal point, the eye doesn’t know where to land, and what is individually bold and beautiful simply becomes a jumbled mess of color.

Allow the stripes to become center-stage by creating a bold white-space around it.

If you’d prefer to add stripes a little less in-your-face, consider the smaller pin stripe. And rather than using whitespace as a separate focal point, create a neutral background.

Pinned Image

For example, the gallery of artwork you see above is simple and elegant. It has in it a touch of color but nothing that overwhelms the senses – the blue floral painting with gilded frame being the most eye-catching (which the blue throw pillow on the couch draws the eye away from). And despite the stripes, the natural color of the rug maintains a calming presence. The bold stripes of the couch now becomes diffused by the natural, earthy tones surrounding it. The eye is initially drawn to the couch and as it sweeps across the rest of the room without another focal point to land on, it then takes in the whole picture – the layers blend together to create a glamorous yet relaxing atmosphere.

Give the stripes a more easy-going presence with a neutral, earthy backdrop combined with smaller, thinner stripes.

Of course, if your home is anything like mine – down-to-earth and rustic with a cottage-y feel, you may feel like there just isn’t any room for the boldness of black and white! But don’t give up hope my friends, there is always room…

Pinned Image

You can add a lightweight and naturally textured throw rug at your back door. What an amazing juxtaposition with the otherwise distressed and rustic detail! And that pop of red – oh my.

Pinned Image

You can add it to wicker to maintain that cottage look with a slightly glamorous twist.

Pinned ImagePinned Image

Or you can add it into your tablescapes – indoor or out.

Pinned Image

You can create a little glamour just for the bedroom…

Pinned ImagePinned Image

Pinned Image

Or you can simply wear it!

So tell me, how do you plan to infuse stripes into your life?


Well hello my friends – I can’t believe it’s been a month since I last blogged! (Time flies when you’re having fun). Yes, I’ve been in full nesting mode and have been working on a handful of projects that I’m excited to share with you.

First, I have finally made progress on the nursery! You see, I’ve had an idea in my head from the moment I realized I was expecting, but have been dreading the process of actually bringing it to reality – specifically, the painting process. Sure, I do paint for a living, but painting multiple stripes on multiple walls does not sound the slightest bit appealing to me. Add to that a 100 year old home with crooked walls and floors and it’s a recipe for disaster!

But one rainy day I decided to go for it – if it didn’t work out I could just paint over it, right? And after much measuring, taping (a roll and a half of frog tape, to be exact!), and more than a few hissy fits, things finally began to take shape…

Nursery Progress 1 copy

(ps…I love, love, LOVE this diaper bag I got from Skip Hop!)

A day and a half later, the straight-ish lines were complete and the crib put together…

Nursery in Progress

And now comes the fun part – the details! I can’t wait to start shopping for the baby blankets, artwork, and pops of color…10 more days until I find out the gender!!


Obviously, I’ve had baby on the brain, but I have also managed to complete a few projects not at all baby related.

Like this dresser that sold in less than a day, and it’s now very lonely counterpart…

Dresser & Nightstand Set

Or this outdoor table (built by my wonderful husband) that I painted in ASCP Old White and stained using an aged vinegar and steel wool mixture…

Patio Table

Thank goodness I put on multiple layers of spar urethane before the downpour! Now to purchase new chairs….

And as usual, I have a few other projects that I’m working on simultaneously that I hope to finish after this non-stop rain!

Projects Galore

With a little help from the dogs, of course!

But back to baby….almost 21 weeks (on Wednesday)!

20 Weeks copy 1

20 Weeks copy 2

20 Weeks copy 3

Obviously this was taken on a productive painting day!