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!


Simple fall decor ideas around our house

I'm not sure if the first official day of fall is the equinox or the first rainy Sunday I buy pumpkin stuff at Trader Joe's. It sure feels like fall after this weekend. I'm drinking their fall spice tea as I write this and it's cold and rainy outside!

I honestly don't usually do much for seasonal decor other than around Christmas, but this year I'm inspired by the warm tones and fall branches I've been seeing in my Instagram feed and I'm jumping in while there's still plenty of time to enjoy my festive fall decor before the holidays.

I still don't want to go overboard; that's just not me. But I like to add a few bits of seasonal vibes here and there in our homes, keeps it feeling fresh and makes me happy!

I went to JoAnn this past weekend and bought some fall florals. I combined those with some pottery, plaid, and wooden decor I already had for a  natural-plus-orange themed fall look that will work for Halloween and probably even Thanksgiving!

Simple fall decor ideas around our house

I fell in love with these cotton stems (here's a similar one I also love) and added mini pumpkins (similar) in the same color.

TIP: Especially when the seasonal colors you're using are not common elsewhere in your home (I don't use much orange, red, purple, or yellow), stick to only one or two new festive colors to keep everything feeling cohesive.)
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What we can learn from show houses - including my Street of Dreams 2019 trends and faves!

If you’ve ever wondered what a modern mansion is like inside, or what you’d choose for your home if money was no object… listen up!

Ashley and I both visited multi-home tours of show homes in our areas and this week on the podcast we're talking about elements we liked, trends we both saw at the respective tours, regional differences, and what we can learn by visiting these elaborate, massive homes!
A light-filled modern formal dining space Suzannah saw this year (source)

Links and favorites:
  1. Re-loving the decor book Habitat by Lauren Liess
  2. Parade of Homes that Ashley went to
  3. Street of Dreams that Suzannah went to
  4. Suzannah’s blog posts from previous Street of Dreams events: 2015, 2016, and 2017
  5. Walk-in pantry with hidden door in cabinets
  6. The angled sliding door treatment Suzannah saw
  7. Some of Suzannah’s photos from the show this year: here and here

You can find us on our blogs or connect with each of us on Instagram:

And you can join our Facebook group here to connect with other listeners and ask questions!

Listen here or in your fave podcast player:
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Two recent functional updates: coat closets and more!

Functional updates make me so happy. Spaces for coats, bags, things leaving the house, etc. can get messy easily, so you'll enjoy learning two different approaches for improving function in this post!

On the Your Home Story podcast today, Ashley and I are both sharing recent functional updates we've made to these spaces. I brightened up my back entry by doing lots of grunt work and it is so much better than where it started. Ashley took her over-filled coat closet and purged, painted, and built a bench to help transform the space into something that they use and love. Tune in today to be inspired to tackle a mini functional update of your own.

Blog posts and photos that we talked about today:
  1. My kitchen reno
  2. My scary basement stairwell makeover
  3. DIY mudroom projects
  4. The start of Ashley's coat closet - Circa 2018
  5. Ashley's coat closet makeover reveal

You can find us on our blogs or connect with each of us on Instagram:

And you can join our Facebook group here to connect with other listeners and ask questions!

Listen here or in your podcast player!
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Affordable blackout curtain DIY and how we keep our house cool in the summer!

I know this is the time of year when we all get excited for fall, but let’s face it, it is still summer over here! It's been in the 80s and 90s the past couple weeks, including a couple days at like 97 last week when we ran our air conditioning, something we really only do sporadically here in Oregon. Despire the facts that we have an old house, so the insulation is not the greatest in all spaces, and we have some huge east-facing windows that we love in the winter time but that can make it pretty warm in the summer.

This is actually our first home with air conditioning, and the home I grew up and didn’t have AC either. That means I have a lot of methods and tips for keeping a house cool! We try to save energy and only run ours when it’s really, really hot and doesn’t cool down overnight.

One key piece of this puzzle especially in our current home with large windows is blackout curtains! I finally ordered some and hemmed them and they are a great budget-friendly option! I’ll share that DIY, plus our methods for keeping our house cool, in this post!
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Merging style and function in bonus rooms

A bonus room is a hardworking space, that needs to accommodate lots of functional pieces you might not always want to see out. Toys, video game consoles, workout stuff, even utility equipment like a water heater sometimes... plus, these rooms may have special needs like light-blocking curtains or extra seating. How to make a space that works for the fun, relaxing uses it accommodates and looks good/fits with the rest of your house??

We're tackling that question today on the Your Home Story podcast! This week's high-energy, fun episode will get you inspired for updating your family’s bonus spaces.

A “bonus room” is a multi-purpose space that can be used as a family room, sewing or hobby room, game room, home cinema, office, or den. They can be super functional or catch-all, to the point of not matching the rest of your home’s style. But we have tips! Hear about our bonus room experience, what’s worked well (and what has us feeling embarrassed!). (You can see my last one in my townhouse tour here.) We talk about bigger projects for adding character and function, plus simple decor updates you may not have thought of.

Rooms and links we covered:
  1. Critical simple elements to think about like lighting and what kind of storage you need for the activities you do in the bonus room.
  2. One of our favorite bonus rooms on Instagram, with these great before/afters!
  3. Inspiring bonus room added over a garage, with kids’ spaces integrated
  4. This beautiful daylight basement bonus room with hanging chair
  5. A cute home gym space
  6. DIY home gym organizer

Here are a couple images from this beautiful bonus room makeover--read this post to see how they covered their utility equipment and laundry room!
Image source

You can find us on our blogs or connect with each of us on Instagram:

And you can join our Facebook group here to connect with other listeners and ask questions!

Listen here or in your podcast player!
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Getting my body (strength) back after baby, and my go-to workout!

I've shared here and there how parenting has been a huge shift for me. One of the reasons was my struggle with back pain and feeling like myself. I did lose the baby weight quickly, but I would still say I’ve had a hard time getting my body feeling the way it did pre-baby. With having a newborn, buying a fixer-upper house, moving, going back to work, having Jason go back to school, having Jason move to a city three hours away for six weeks, more work on the house… for the first six months or year of Otto's life it was really, really hard for me to work out regularly, and I was still dealing with that back pain for a lot of that time. (See my 3-month postpartum update and 6-month updates.) But I’m very, very happy to report that I have gotten into a fitness routine again and it’s so easy and manageable to fit in--I can even do it in our living room, because you know our garage gym is covered in tools right now!

Getting my body (strength) back after baby

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