Before + After | Nightstand

Months ago I was zipping through Glen Ellen on my way to meet up with wedding planners Melanie and Susan and I slowly cruised by a yard sale on my way.  I craned my neck and thought, nah, don’t bother. But as all of us gals loaded in my car, I casually mentioned it and enticed them with “It’s on our way out” and it was an unanimous vote that we had time to make a quick stop. We all found some treasures, including this precious little wood nightstand for $5. Sold!

I just completed its transformation from very bold green to a moody grey. The new knob is difficult to see in this photo but it’s an antique brass style with a baby blue knob. Anthropologie of course.


Before you gush too much… the finished piece is still a bit rough. Yes, it looks 100% better than it did before, but what I’m not showing you is all of the time I spent trying to chemically remove the green paint for a smooth starting point. It didn’t work. Correction: it was working but not fastest enough for my impatience so I gave up. And while doing so, I learned quickly how shabby-chic came about. I suspect it went just like my process… half way through stripping and scraping and sanding, someone decided it was a drag and called it good. I only took it one step further by painting over the half green, half white, half natural wood and called it done.

It will likely live in the guest cottage and I hope our guests enjoy it.


My List

Last month I chatted about lists. (You can read it HERE if you missed it.) I was trying to find my list for that particular post but it mysteriously and temporarily disappeared, but I’m happy to say that I rediscovered it. I cannot stress enough on how making a list of goals, dreams, plans, etc really helped me take one step closer to accomplishing my hopes.  Here is my list I made sometime in 2012 – I think in the summer.

my list

Mike and I sat down and gave priority to about 6 things that we had to have in our lives. I made note of them. These were mine. The items on my list are exactly what we now have, sans pool, but I have not given up on that dream. We have the space and are still working out the logistics. Here is what has happened to date… I wanted either a more urban home or sprawling land. We kind of have both. Time together on this project. My new office is a dream! We have a detached guest cottage that includes a bathroom. Our patio is so pretty and perfectly shady for warm summer days.

What will be on your list?

“I feel like I’m in a Clint Eastwood movie.”

cowboy bath

When we were building our Ashland house, we had it all planned out. Mike purchased a very cute 18′ travel trailer and we parked it on a level spot on the property. It was our temporary home. It had a tiny bathroom and running water and the neighboring blue porto-potty was setup for any construction crews. Every base was covered.

During the first week in the snowy mountains, all of our trailer plumbing froze. Plan B. We switched to jugs of water for dishes, we begrudgingly slipped on our mud caked snow/work boots to trudge over to the porto-potty to do our business (midnight trips were horrible) and then the cherry on top… we specifically joined the local YMCA gym for the use of the showers and we went into town 2-3 times a week to clean up. I’ll never forget the look of horror when we’d hand over our membership card to the check-in desk. You could feel their eyes burning through our backs as our muddy and paint-riddled clothes made a straight bee-line to the showers. We never once set foot on one piece of exercise equipment.

So when our current bathroom wasn’t done in time, our new setup was a piece of cake.  We had two necessary needs. A place to bathe and a toilet.  The good news is the toilet in the detached guest cottage works, so that covered that. However the shower in the guest cottage has no hot water-heater (currently) so cold showers were out. So Mike hustled right up to the very last minute and got us hot water in our beautiful tub. We have to take baths, but it’s kind of fun. (Fun, since we only had to do it for a short while.)

Mike was in there scrubbing away on our first night and I peeked in and asked how it was going and he said, “I feel like I’m a Clint Eastwood movie.” Yep, it does. All we need is a shotgun leaning against the wall and a saloon girl to come in with a copper tea kettle with more hot water.

Donate or Ditch

I’m a very organized person and I’m exceptionally capable at just looking at a space or nook or room and knowing what will fit. I’ve met my match.

On paper we moved from about the same size house. 2 bedroom 1 bath with a detached 1 bedroom with garage storage, etc. But somehow it’s not translating so I’ve been forced to make some new decisions. Our guest room is loaded with boxes and so is our garage, yet our house looks and feels pretty complete. Sigh.

Despite my strong propensity for not collecting, and my massive pre-purge on Craigslist and my yard sale these last 2 months, I’m forced to really hunker down and decide what is important. Do I need 6 salad bowls, 7 bud vases and 11 candle-holders? I like to use the earthen-ware for my macaroni salad; I like to use the glass bowl for Mike’s annual cranberry sauce; I like to use the floral ceramic for a green salad. I mean really!! It’s all too much and just not necessary. I plan to keep 2. I’m fairly certain the earth won’t fall off its axis if I use the same bowl for macaroni and cranberries.

So I’ve made a vow: donate or ditch!

I challenge you to do the same thing. It feels good.

The other challenge I’ve been working on is to donate or ditch the things that I just don’t like. On a daily basis I dig through my pencil cup searching for my 2 favorite pens; passing over the dozen that I don’t like. Do I need 18 pens? No. So yesterday I tossed all the pens and pencils that I always avoid. The same is true with my lingerie drawer, kitchen utensils and pantry.  It feels good.


But… I’m human and I do cling to a few last things that I really don’t need. My CD collection. They’re all imported into iTunes and they’re backed up on some cloud thingy so why do I keep them? I can’t help myself, so I plan to keep them just a little longer. And I justified it by hiding them in a piece of furniture that only gets open once every 3 years because I forget what I put in there. Maybe by 2016 I’ll be ready to let go.

Time Capsule

My time capsule is all put together and ready to be covered up in the walls!  It includes:

  • Misc photos of us and family with full names, dates and locations mentioned.
  • A local newspaper and national newspaper.
  • A real estate and bridal magazine.
  • And then I included a few pages from my blog that tell our story.