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!


Reveal, budget, and sources: $1,482 master bathroom reno

I checked back on my calendar--we began demo in our master bath on May 12. We finished it last week. That's 15 weeks exactly. For a good amount of that time the room was almost completely demoed so we didn't have a toilet or sinks, and all our stuff was in boxes on the floor of our bedroom! This was probably our biggest, most intensive room redo at the Stanley 90's Reno and it took... 6-15x longer than most of our other big projects!! But it's done and we are so grateful!

In contrast, we did the powder room and guest bathroom in about 5 days total (see video here!). But in this bathroom, we removed a wall (only wall in the house we ended up taking out, and it was a bigger job than we thought) and redid plumbing and electrical. The drywall was ripped up behind the vanity area for weeks and weeks! Those changes made this way more than the surface-level project we're used to at this fixer upper!

It also took a long time for us to pick the design, and the first vanity arrived cracked and getting the second one delivered by the moving company was a huge mess so that whole process took about 2 months. To catch you up on what the heck else we've been doing on this room:
Oh, and you can see all of the bathroom in its glory in the before pictures here. Gasp.
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Exterior painting update at the #Stanley90sreno

Because of all the work we had to do in the interior of our fixer upper home, getting to the outside work has been a little on the back burner. But, we had an opportunity to get the painting done for a great price earlier this summer and took it.

I haven't shared hardly any photos of the exterior of our home because it was so ugly when we bought it!! But I'm sharing them here, with the painting and minor landscape updates we've done to dramatically improve its curb appeal (and make us happy when we drive up to it each day!).

I shared some inspirations and paint color combinations here, and puzzled over how to make our totally 90's garage-with-house-attached home look classy but still appropriate for its architecture which we're not really changing.

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New fave off-the-shoulder dress pattern + bias pleated bell sleeve

My first bell sleeve dress, and I found a new off-the-shoulder dress pattern that's much easier to wear! I was inspired by a dress I saw on Instagram last summer, and I love how mine turned out! Plus, I used a very cool double-layer organic cotton gauze and it is sooo soft and comfy!

Here's my inspiration! I thought this dress was so cute and different. 

I actually wasn't looking for a flat-front off-the-shoulder dress pattern when I found Simplicity 8296, since I've been using ones that have elastic all the way around, but I think they were out of my size on the other one I wanted so I decided to try this one. And I love it!! It stays in place much better than the really loose elastic styles and I like the more fitted look!

I definitely modified this pattern as you can see in the summary below. I made the bias-cut sleeves just like the inspiration! They're just bias-cut rectangles, pleated with box pleats into the upper sleeve. 

Organic Cotton Plus sent me this fabric and it's different than anything I've ever used. The double layer makes it perfect for dresses or more substantial tops since it's not too lightweight and not sheer at all.
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Finally, a simple, sleek ceiling mount curtain rod

We have a pop-out in the front of our living room with a big window that fills the whole wall. It's very visible from the street and I puzzled for a while over what to cover the window with! We did add bamboo blinds on the lower portion, but I'm a blinds + curtains kind of girl. But it turns out it's really, really hard to find easy-to-install-and-use-with regular-curtains rods that mount on the ceiling rather than the wall or window molding.

Also, it's shocking when I can't find what I need on Amazon, but I had to go outside the Amazon box for this order! I'll share what I found with you, and some other options.

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Removable wallpaper in the downstairs powder room - and Walls Need Love removable wallpaper tutorial! & DISCOUNT!

I am so excited to be sharing this tutorial with you finally and I know some of you have been wondering about it!

Aaaaages ago, I picked out a fun wallpaper pattern for our powder room which we totally made over but had yet to really dress up/decorate. It took me a while to get it up and get the chair rail installed around it, but it's up now and it's so perfect!

The even more perfect thing is I used removable wallpaper (sent to me by Walls Need Love) which was super easy to install and can be removed and even reused! So read on for the tutorial and how you can get 25% off your order!

You can read here about our $391 bathroom reno for this bathroom--that included tile, Kohler pedestal sink, brass faucet and light fixture, and new toilet. But it was so plain when it was done. I loooove the white paint we used throughout the house (Benjamin Moore OC-151) but this bathroom is in a hole with no natural light and four blank walls, and there was nothing to pop against it or stand out. I tried putting art over the toilet but it looked dumb next to the round mirror, not symmetrical and just not balanced. So I picked out a bright removable wallpaper and did a chair rail to separate the lower and upper halves of the wall--and it looks great!

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2017 Street of Dreams inspirations, trends, and lessons

One of my favorite events of the summer is Portland's Street of Dreams!! The past few years Jason and I have gone as a date night and each year/set of homes we've had different experiences and gained something unique from it.

Here are my posts from 2015 and 2016. In 2015 there were 8 or 9 homes and one really special one that was a remodel, one or two really modern ones, and the rest sort of standard over-the-top mansions. In 2016, I noticed quite a few common elements in almost all of the 6 houses (see my 2016 post for the list). Like seriously, we almost stopped noticing barn doors and washer/dryer sets in master closets; they were just everywhere.

This year there were only 5 homes, but each one was completely memorable and different. We actually thought 5 was the perfect number since we could keep them all straight and really take them in.

We toured them out of order, and we gave them our own names, so you'll have to forgive me through this list. (You can read the official order and names/builders/designers here under Show Homes.)

Street of Dreams 2017 Homes

The first we toured was house #3, which we called the "Mature Magnolia" home. Their design inspirations were clear, but the style was not quite ours. I also noticed a lot of different types of flooring in this (and actually a few of the other) homes... given that I have just put a lot of effort into having consistent flooring throughout my home, I wondered about this!!
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Trend that's not going anywhere: black & white check (+ ruffles)! How to Wear DIY or buy one on sale!

Last summer I made this black/white checkered simple dress with a ruffle I added. I couldn't get enough of the buffalo check look, so I also made this top with the extra fabric, and I made this cute full-skirted dress with a smaller black/white check.

Well, I am happy to report that the black/white checkered trend (with some fun accents like ruffles) is not going anywhere anytime soon! I've seen this pattern around this summer as well and when I wore that first dress last night I got several compliments!

I wanted to share a few ideas for getting the look yourself!

So here's mine. It's soooo comfy on a hot day, loose but not sloppy. And the check makes it feel really fresh and cute!
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Three ways to shop for vintage rugs on a budget

I've been on the hunt for months for large and small vintage wool rugs, on a budget. I've seen some gorgeous ones on eBay and some small rug shops but haven't been able to pull the trigger. We now have four gorgeous antique Turkish (I think) wool rugs--my hunt is not over, since I would like them in more rooms!--and I've had some success with some serious budget shopping.

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