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!


New home decor + improvement inspiration -- three PODCASTS!

There's Pinterest, blogs, Instagram, books... lots of visual media for getting new ideas for home projects and decorating. But I'm a fan of listening to podcasts on my drives and while doing chores, and it turns out there are audio resources for tips, hacks, trend updates, and even design ideas, too! For the past year or so I've been enjoying these and I realized it's high time I shared them with you!

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Useful or beautiful: what to put in our basically-finished fixer upper home

Now that the Stanley 90's reno is mostly "finished," I've been focusing on feeling happy, settled, and calm here. We've had a few free weekends now that summer is winding down and I've had time to sort and get rid of some things like old fabric and sewing supplies, do some yard work, and cook for fun!

It is a weird and new feeling to live in a home that's almost done--yes, we did that in our townhouse... but we are still recovering emotionally from the 10 months of intense fixer upper projects and internal pressure to get things done around here that it's strange to have that free feeling in this home in particular.

So, I've been thinking about what I should do here now that the bones are done, but we have yet to finish decorating every little spot and almost all of our books are still packed in grocery bags on shelves in the garage. 😳

I found this William Morris quote years ago, I'm pretty sure when reading Gretchen Rubin's Happier at Home. (I highly recommend it and her first in the series, The Happiness Project, if you haven't already read it. You can buy them for a few bucks online including shipping and they are fast, fun, inspiring reads.) Gretchen has some of the same issues I do--a longing for "simplicity" and the urge to get rid of everything, but also sentimental attachment to certain objects and appreciation and happiness for things that I engage with regularly.

I've read the minimalist books and seen the Netflix documentary, but I've never been motivated to get rid of SO much of my stuff, everything that doesn't spark joy. When we decorated this house we were intentional about what we put in each room, which means a lot of our rooms are clean but a little bare, and there's still not much on the walls yet. Unfortunately some of our stuff is still in the garage........ like lots of artwork and of course, books... and the office is still a mess. So we still have opportunities to be really intentional about what we put in our home.

William Morris is probably most known as a textile designer in the Victorian era in England. The quote? Well, it solves all my dilemmas about what to keep and what to toss, not based on bare minimum I need or only things that make me feel joy when I pick them up.

“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”

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Styling a backyard tropical party & outdoor entertaining tips with Pier 1

Last month I was invited to be the expert stylist for a backyard party hosted by Pier 1! They held a contest where three winners across the country won complete furniture and decor for a backyard "block party" and three bloggers got to come style the events! I was SO flattered, especially considering the state of my backyard currently, and had a blast working with the tropical-themed Pier 1 goodies! And, I do have quite a lot of experience with outdoor entertaining and enjoyed sharing tips!

The winner chose the theme and Pier 1 chose the pieces. I got to style the winner's open, Central Oregon backyard (which already had a teepee!) and set up seating areas and dining goodies.

I set up the durable outdoor dining table with outdoor-friendly (unbreakable) dishes and drinkware including these fabulous copper wine glasses!
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Dream bathroom reno: big grey hex tile, modern fixtures, and tile--two budgets!

Making over our entire house in 11 months has taught us a lot. One thing I've learned is how to put together a room, with visioning and budgeting, to get the look I'm after! It can take HOURS and hours (like going over our master bathroom choices did), but it can be really fun, too. And it's a skill I am happy to share with others and friends as they do house projects, too!

One of my friends found a bathroom on Instagram that she LOVED for her c. 1960 ranch with its current pink sink, cabinet, and tub. I told her I could help her recreate it! I put together two options, budget-friendly and moderate, and found lots of choices! I'm curious to know which ones you like best, too!

Here's the bathroom. It's by Daleet Spector Design and features this Cedar & Moss sconce and what I assume is a custom vanity painted Benjamin Moore Duxbury Gray, HC-163. The tile is from Mission Tile West and while I haven't found pricing for this one, I'm betting it's pretty pricy since it is hand-made.

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Exterior cleanup and "landscaping" at the Stanley 90's Reno

Until I shared our exterior painting update last week, I'd shared almost no photos of the exterior of our fixer upper cause everything about it was so depressing. The paint colors, the abandoned garden in one corner, the damaged fence, the thistles and scrubby, muddy patches of grass here and there among the moss... a yard was one of the main things we wanted when we bought this house, but ours was not quite usable and enjoyable to be in for quite a while!

So, with a little over $100 of materials and really not that many hours of work, we've got it looking MUCH better and we're almost proud of it and want to be out in it!

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