Wednesday in Photos

>> 4.16.2014

After being enveloped in negativity, today proved to be a great day!

I'm going to write more about it on (never)homemaker, but I put myself on a diet. Well, not really a diet diet, but I did a loose food diary a couple weeks ago and realized my eats had gotten so terribly monotonous. I was also eating a ridiculous number of calories. As I prepare for pregnancy number two, I really want to diversify the foods I'm eating to get the best nutrition and to stabilize my energy.

Day 1? Seriously fantastic. I ate some tasty foods -- and better yet: My energy was incredibly stable all day long. I didn't feel the need to supplement meals with sugary stuff because I got lots of delicious protein, etc. I love taking photos of my daily plates from time to time to marvel at all the healthy stuff on there.

And a lot of this food is frugal + from Aldi!

Today was also the long-awaited girls painting + wine date night! (WHOA!) Obnoxious selfie, but I felt GOOD putting on makeup -- complete with red lipstick -- and heading out in my spring clothes. Yeah. It may have only been 35 degrees, but I already packed away my cold weather stuff in warm weather optimism when the temps were near 80 the other day.

Anyway, we painted!

And drank delicious Asti!

And had fun without our kids!

You may remember I painted at this studio once before. It's always a treat to get out a bit. My friend Aynsley is awesome, and it was so nice to get a chance to chat with her without the usual interruption. (Love those adorable toddlers, but they can make adult conversation difficult.) She even taught me a thing or two about painting.

My issue? I don't know when to STOP! I find little things I want to correct and end up making even bigger "mistakes" -- sigh! I ended up painting sleeves on my girl's dress because I added this weird black lump on her arm. Aynsley finally convinced me to leave it alone.

I'm going to have this picture in Ada's room. It's called simply "girl with balloon" (descriptive, right?) and we call Ada balloon as a nickname (long story!). So, it's perfect. I want to wake her up and show her right now. Or maybe not a good idea. Definitely not a good idea.


Like I said, I've been switching my wardrobe from winter to spring -- and it's glorious. I'm hoping to get a full post up soon about how I've simplified my options by packing away + culling a lot of clothing I don't normally wear. I've weeded my denim collection to these four items (two thrifted, one bought on super sale at Gap Outlet, and one purchased at Target) for the next few months.

Less to choose from = less time spent wondering what to wear. Plus, I tend to favor the same items over and over (and over) again. Makes less laundry, too! My goal is to get my wardrobe down to like 30 (inexpensive, easy to care for) items. I don't know -- it's sort of difficult to imagine having so little clothing, but also incredible liberating.

How many clothing items are in your closet? 

Do you, like me, have a goal to cut down on that #?

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Why To Depersonalize Your Spaces + Examples

>> 4.15.2014

I guess I should clarify. In my small house rant yesterday -- I'm not calling YOU boring if YOU like a house painted in shades of white and tan. I got a little kick-back on Facebook for my bad attitude (sorry), so I just wanted to address it if the sentiment was more widespread. I stand by my frustration that people in the starter home market don't tolerate chipping away like they -- well -- should. People coming through our place who can't see past a chalkboard accent or dark grey walls puzzle me.

It takes maybe $45 for paint and supplies for a whole room. Maybe an hour or two to do the work. I've done this process multiple times (while employed full-time) since the walls were originally covered in floral wallpaper and a faded peach color. So, yes. I'm getting beyond annoyed that the light cosmetic work seems too Herculean for those looking for a house in our price-range. Boring isn't the right word.

Is lazy a better one? (I didn't think so.)

Anyway! Some of you have asked me to write about this (while I'm sure others are bored to tears!) -- I just wanted to show how depersonalizing does make a space more appealing to the masses. Here are the examples we're tackled . . . so far.


We painted over the chalkboard wall, cleared out the extra play stuff + furniture. I did leave up the crazy no-sew curtains. We could go a step beyond and stage this more as a bedroom, but I think this is a good compromise.


I took down all our personal photos that were colorful and, well, personal. Patched and painted the wall. Took out Ada's booster seat. It was a small change, but it looks less cluttered somehow.


And you know the whole story with the kitchen. Shelves were crazy functional . . . but definitely not cool with buyers. I get it. So, up the cabinets went. Out with the black accents. It's sort of vanilla, but I think it's much less of a sticking point now.

If you have a more spastic (or eclectic?) "style" like we do -- you might consider washing it out before putting your place on the market. I'm not the best decorator, but even I can see how less is more. Most of the houses we've looked at to buy have actually been empty, so I guess I just didn't think about it much before listing.

I do wish we had done this stuff before the initial push of interest started to wane (it's already waned). Thankfully we do have a showing scheduled with some out-of-towners next week. We also signed up to do two more open houses on consecutive weekends just to get people in to see the changes. We just need to get people in here to see what we've done. I sent the new photos off to our realtor to post with our listing info.

We'll see what happens! I'll be back with lots more parenting and fun stuff and quiet about the house stuff for a while. Again, I do apologize to anyone I offended with my "you're boring" comments. You're not boring, we can just agree to disagree about the level of work people should tolerate or expect to do on a starter house.

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8 Things + People Are Boring

>> 4.14.2014

It's Stephen's long-awaited spring break. Time to enjoy the sun! Time to relax! Time to . . . uh . . . no. We haven't done any of that yet. After more chatting with our real estate agent and no showings in over a week, we're painting some things, replacing our bathroom vanity (it had a crack that turned into a canyon overnight!), all while also helping my parents move.

But that doesn't mean our weekend was a total bust:

// 1. Ada loves posing for the camera these days. She was really hamming it up -- and I wanted to snap some photos before we painted over her beloved chalkboard wall. I hate white-washing our house, but we're just done. We want to move and appeal to the masses. Unfortunately, there are just too many people in the world who love boring shades of tan + don't understand it only takes 30 or so minutes to paint a wall.

// 2. Stephen and I regularly make THE LOVER sandwich as a treat on weekends. If you haven't checked out that mammoth recipe yet, I'd highly recommend it. It's made of sweet potato fries, avocados, Tofurkey, swiss cheese, and we've even added pesto to the mix.

// 3. I also got to eat my favorite childhood meal at my favorite childhood restaurant this weekend. A cheese pizza bagel with a chocolate brownie + peanut butter frosting on the side. Good old Native Bagel in Wellsboro, PA. I WILL be back. Soon.

// 4. Yup. That's my progress before adding another coat of paint for good measure. Seriously. The guy at Home Depot agreed with us that people looking for houses these days lack vision and discipline. In other words: People are boring. It's called sweat equity, said boring-people. And I don't have any delusions that these small steps will make us sell any faster. Boo. #endrant

// 5. We had to make an unexpected + unfortunate couch donation this weekend. (Not a story worth telling.) But the positive: We got to check out a new thrift store! I found these adorable, like-new NEON jellies (spelling?) for Ada. If she's anything like I was as a girl, she'll wear them till they fall off her feet. She's also gone up a size recently -- size 7!

// 6. Art projects with daddy are the best according to Ada. Stephen took her out to look for bugs and collect pine cones, which they then painted and stamped and generally had a lot of fun with. It's been so gorgeous out. Hard to believe we might get snow this week. Again. #vortexforever

// 7. My mom and I drove down to PA so I could help with phase one of my parents' move yesterday. We left early with our load, so we got to enjoy the sights of my old stomping grounds before getting to work. So much has changed, yet so much remains almost entirely the same. I'm looking forward to sharing it all with Ada when we head back for a visit on Friday.

// 8. Oh, and I -- too -- busted out the summer sandals this weekend. So many of you guys were asking on Instagram, and they're really awesomely comfortable Birkenstocks. I've only ever owned one other pair, so when I saw them at my hometown's department store (which is where I bought my first pair), I just had to make them mine.

Mine? They're the Mayari in Black, but I was so torn with the gorgeous red sangria color. And now I see they make it in a gazillion other shades as well.

Off to put on the second coat of paint. Stay tuned for more fun stuff this week. And be sure to check out this tasty CHOCOLATE CHIP ZUCCHINI BREAD recipe. It's vegan!

Like what you just read? Browse more of our posts + recipes on Pinterest. Chat with us on Twitter or Facebook. And you can always email us with your questions and comments.

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