Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals. I'm a recovering former vegan and vegetarian, now healing with a nutrient-dense mostly Paleo diet, and love at-home CrossFit and yoga workouts. I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

New mom to baby Otto born April 2018!


I got the vacuum everyone is so excited about! Pros, cons, how we're using it

It is incredible how EXCITED people get about vacuums. I'm excited, too!! It seems like all of a sudden, I've been hearing SO much about this lightweight, cordless vacuum and everyone is so into it, and I guess it's good timing cause I have an old, dusty house, fall leaves outside, and an almost-mobile baby.

This post is not sponsored but contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of the product links I will make a small commission at no cost to you. Thank you!

No matter how much I might need it... I was not looking for a vacuum when I started seeing Instagram stories and posts about these a few months back. @farahpro, @thegoldhive, and @diyplaybook all shared about how much they love their vacuums!! Farah's was particularly funny... she shared in her stories that she modeled one when she worked for Overstock and now she is so hooked she fully admits to loving her vacuum. Even friends in real life have mentioned these to me, like some friends at our housewarming party who had just bought one and were so excited about it!

There are a few different models of lightweight, handheld-convertible, cordless vacuum from Dyson. The ones I considered were the V6 Animal, V8 Animal, and V8 Absolute. I get analysis paralysis so I tried to read some comparisons and see which one was best for me, but I got overwhelmed. And decided in the end that 1) any easy-to-use-vacuum was better than our current options which I don't enjoy using and rarely use, and 2) I didn't have $500 to spend (like on the Absolute), but I wouldn't mind spending less than $200--I found the V6 Animal refurbished on eBay.

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Great modern traditional lighting fixtures under $250

I shared in this post some of the chandeliers/dramatic light fixtures that I'm thinking about for our dining room, and I've been doing a lot of research in that area lately! We are going with a bit of a "modern traditional" style in this home, different than my slightly boho, slightly Cali contemporary look of our last house... a nod to our 1937 home's historic nature but not taking it back to what it used to look like! I love the old + new mix and tons of neutrals in the modern traditional style. (Emily Henderson defined it well in this post.)

So, I've collected quite a few light fixtures--chandeliers, flush mounts, sconces, small pendants, the works!--to help you get that "not-quite-minimal-not-quite-country-a-little-modern-monastery" (Emily's words) look on a budget. These are gooooood, too! I wish I had a place for more of them! And meanwhile, I'm still deciding on our dining room fixture!!

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First, some inspiration. I LOVE these rooms and they are inspiring me as I decorate several rooms in our house!
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The making of a master bedroom--and how your space can evolve with your style!

Wouldn't it be nice if our bedrooms were always serene, beautiful, and a reflection of our personal style?? Unfortunately many times the master bedroom is the last room to get updated.

Ashley's master bedroom has evolved over the years but her latest update finally merged form and function and made it feel like a real retreat. In this week's episode of the Your Home Story podcast, we talk about her DIYs, splurges, functional improvements, and how the space evolved--and is now her dream room!

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Collage protein-added super easy gluten-free oatmeal!

You hardly need a "recipe" for easy instant oatmeal from scratch, but I have been doing this off and on for months now and just think it is such a good partial breakfast solution I have to share!

This post contains affiliate links.

I stopped eating oats for many years but have added them back into my diet with no issues, plus they say they can help with breast milk production--big plus for me since I went back to work.

I love adding collagen protein to things (smoothies, treats, baked goods, drinks... see more on my recipes page!) AND it's a great supplement to help with hair, skin, and nail growth--I need that right now with my postpartum hair loss!

Also, this simple recipe below takes 1 minute to cook for a single serving, and not much longer to assemble. SO fast and easy.

This recipe is great for anyone, but especially good for pregnant or postpartum moms!
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Modern traditional dining room table styling - 3 ways - plus, lighting options

A couple weeks ago I shared on Instagram that I did not own a single vase. I made it my goal for the weekend to buy one and lucky me, I found ONE vase that I liked at HomeGoods and brought it home!

Well, since then I've been to another HomeGoods (coincidence? Probably not) and bought the glass vase I've been wanting a while (here's a similar one).

And, vases aren't the only option for our dining room centerpiece... I played around with three different ways to style our dining table! I'm going for a "modern traditional" look (as defined by Emily Henderson)... we have most of the furniture, but still need lighting and some pieces on the side walls.

I also put together some mock-ups of the lighting I'm considering and would love your vote!

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1. Small vase and greenery

I styled this beautiful Portugese pitcher vase with sprigs from one of the many, many bay leaf bushes we have in our yard. So it smells nice, too! This look is super simple and clean, classic mod-trad, with greenery that works in any season.

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FIRST steps when you move into a new space!

Rent or own, fixer upper or brand new custom, any time you move into a new place it's exciting but also probably overwhelming! You want your home to look and function the way you like, but there's SO much to do. (I know, I am doing it right now.)
How to choose what to do first? And which improvements are much better to do sooner than later? This week on the Your Home Story podcast we're sharing our tips on what to do first (including when to bring that measuring tape and when to start shopping!) and what to wait on and why.

We talk about...

  • Getting rid of stuff before (and after) you move
  • Taking before photos!
  • Cleaning and what to hire out
  • How, what, and when to take measurements
  • Light bulbs
  • Painting
  • Minor updates like switch plates
  • Window coverings (check back to our episode 22 for more on how to choose them!)
  • and LOTS more!!!!

Some repairs for issues that came up in your home inspection can also be first on the list, unfortunately (boring things like replacing an old garbage disposal, we've had to do that the past two houses!). One inspiration we mentioned is Ashley Goldman of The Gold Hive, who revisits her inspection report annually. (Here is her before tour & floor plan, cool to see!) Here's her house tour.

Remember you can join our Facebook group here and follow us on Instagram here!

Listen to this episode here or in your podcast app!
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