The living room is done! Featuring City Home decor. Plus GIVEAWAY and discount code!

6.29.2017

Decorating an entire house in a few months has been a daunting task for me this time around. Maybe because I didn't have as much mental energy for it cause I was also working on hardcore reno projects like painting doors and trim, installing baseboards, tiling backsplashes, and redoing bathrooms. It's taken me 9 months of living at the Stanley 90's reno to get the living room, the first room you see when you walk through the front door, complete!

I worked with City Home in Portland for some really special pieces to complete the space! And, they're offering a giveaway and discount for you!

I've been slowly assembling pieces for our living room including our slipcover, this art, and a rug large enough for the space. But it was really looking pretty plain.

We hadn't had a coffee table in years, but City Home has a TON of cool ones and walking around their store looking at all of the expertly styled living room seating areas, I was sold that we needed one to complete the space. (We chose this one.)

How to pick and freeze strawberries! A local farm u-pick win

6.23.2017

I've blogged before about how I love berry picking, how I didn't do it as a kid but have discovered it as an adult, and how it really says SUMMER to me! But I never had made it early enough in the season for strawberry picking until last year. We had an amazing experience last summer and did it again this past weekend! Here are our tips for how to do a u-pick strawberry trip, and how to freeze all those delicate, fresh berries!


Being out in a quiet, open space, feeling the sun on your back, being surrounded by the sweet smell of homemade strawberry jam... what a fantastic summer experience!

Blue stripe circle ruffle tie neck sundress

6.21.2017

I've participated in Melly Sews's Sundressing series for several years now! I LOVE kicking off summer sundress season with a DIY. This sundress is definitely the summeriest thing I've made this year!

I usually modify old favorite patterns, and this time was no different. I used Simplicity 1355, which I've made several times before (see them all here), with several changes... you'll see below.

Why we chose to install our own flooring (and how we did it!)

6.19.2017

When we were shopping for our current home, and looking at houses from dirty fixer-uppers to recently updated nicer homes, one thing I was hopeful we'd get was a chance to redo the floors.

It's crazy, and it sounds like a lot of work, but I really wanted to be able to give our new home consistent floors throughout. I am not a fan of carpet and really wanted to do click hardwood or laminate in every room! (Unless we ended up with a home with original hardwoods.) Well, lucky for me, the #Stanley90sreno needed new floors everywhere, and I got my chance.

We installed 1,574 SF of Select Surfaces click laminate flooring by ourselves in this home--sharing how and why in this post!!

Jason and I had installed laminate flooring in my parents' rental units twice before. Different brands and rooms, but both products from the big box store. One had an underlayment attached; the other didn't. Both times were small rooms, which took a while, but got faster as we went on. We learned it was definitely doable, but hard work. We looked at the cost of installation and it's usually about $2-3/SF, which may be even more than the cost of the flooring. Our reno has been a serious DIY effort, and we've been able to do more to our home faster by doing the work ourselves. We did the math and committed to laying the flooring on our own.

For the brand, though, we went back and forth on varieties, brands, and underlayment-attached vs. separate underlayment. But then Select Surfaces provided the flooring for our home--and turns out it is WAY better than either of the other two we used, and thankfully went so much faster!

I shared here how I was torn on the color, and how we decided on the dark one we went with. We did Vintage Walnut (you can buy Select Surfaces at Sam's Club, here's our color), rather than a hand-scraped; I find the "hand-scraped" look has uniform dips that make it look like laminate.

DIY laminate flooring install


We removed all of the carpet at our fixer upper on weekend 1. (See the before photos here--yikes.) The flooring is the brand new line by Select Surfaces and didn't arrive till 2+ months after we got the keys, so we painted the subfloors and lived on those for a while. Oh, also, it was delayed a week by a snow storm right before Christmas, so frustrating!

The flooring arrived on two big pallets, which were REALLY heavy!

Swingy black floral open shoulder flutter sleeve dress

6.16.2017

That's a lot of words!! You can see I tried to cover as much as possible in naming this one.

Feels like almost every Friday night the past few months, getting dressed for dinner out, I've found myself saying, "man, I need more cute flirty date night tops!" Now that we've finally had some nice weather, it's been instead, "man, I need some more date night dresses!" I have lots of cute cotton ones, white and blue and gingham, but not a lot of summer-ey night out-ey ones. So I made this!

I had some of this black knit, the ultimate pretty floral, from this project, and turns out it was just enough to make a short, swingy dress with open shoulder fluttery sleeves.

The ultimate relaxing afternoon! Oregon wine country

6.07.2017

Despite living in Oregon most of my life, I had never gone wine tasting until last year!! I'm not much of a drinker at all, so it never occurred to me as something I would enjoy. But we have now had two fabulous, extremely relaxing experiences and kicked off our summer with a much-needed break from house project at Van Duzer Vineyards last weekend!

I am a pretty high-stress person. I put too much on my calendar most days, and get anxious when things take longer than planned. Especially with our fixer upper projects in high gear right now. My poor husband supports me, but it's hard on him too that weekends can be pretty stressful. He recently noted that it might be nice if I was as driven and diligent about finding time to relax as I am about getting things done.

But now we've found wine tasting. The way we've done it, we go to one vineyard on a mildly warm afternoon, dress up a little, and sit outside drinking our samples overlooking a pretty view, listening to the music, talking about the future. We take the back roads through beautiful Oregon wine country on the way there. This past weekend we stopped in cute downtown McMinnville on our way home for dinner. Basically we took 6 whole hours off of stressing about the house!

Blackberry coconut lime protein smoothie recipe!

6.05.2017

It's almost berry-picking season here in Oregon and I'm pumped!! But we still have some frozen berries in the freezer from last year and the Oregon Raspberry and Blackberry Commission asked me if I had any ideas for a blackberry smoothie with some new flavors. Well, I do!

I make a lot of ice cream-ey natural protein smoothies and I love to play with add-ins and base flavor variations. Frozen bananas make this one extra creamy, but the dominant flavors are fresh-tasting blackberries. Using canned coconut milk gives it extra coconut taste, and the lime juice makes it tangy and SO summery!

This smoothie has me excited to get out picking again this summer and freeze more berries for the year! If you don't have access to a u-pick farm, check out the freezer section of your grocery store and you may find Oregon berries there any time of year. Berries freeze super well and don't lose any flavor, and are great in smoothies and other uses right out of the freezer.

The Oregon Raspberry and Blackberry Commission supports hundreds of Oregon growers of raspberries, blackberries, Marionberries, and other caneberries and wants to spread the word that we can eat Oregon berries all year long!

I use unflavored protein powder so there are no mystery ingredients, and you can make it dairy-free and legume-free for strict Paleo or nut-free!

Navy eyelet lace ruffle off-the-shoulder top

6.02.2017

It's finally getting to the time of year when I can wear a cute top out to dinner and not freeze! Maybe even a dress. I'm getting excited for summer sewing, and made myself this top to start it off!

Last summer I feel like the off-the-shoulder trend really kicked off, but it's still here and I'm glad, cause this style is really fun to make and wear!! There are quite a few cute patterns out there but last summer I made McCall's M6558 up several times (it's from 2012), and have learned some modifications to make it a little cuter and more current!

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