Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

Photos, contracts, and buying happiness: This week in review

I don't normally do wrap-up update posts, but a bunch of little things have happened this week and I wanted to share them with you concisely! Exciting things are happening, and I'm trying to recognize that and be proud of myself, appreciative, and low-stress about it all. Tall order, actually. ;)


First... new photos, always exciting. Over the weekend my dear friend (and our wedding photographer) Becky, Studio 623 Photography, snapped some headshots of me since it was seriously time for a new one. Here's the new one! You'll see it on my Twitter, Pinterest, etc., too.

Also in photo news this week... I was "interviewed" in the fabulous Dianne's Image-Only Interviews on CraftyPod. Check out my images in response to her questions about creativity, crafting, and keeping my sanity!! ;)

It's not a photo, really, but image-wise... my zigzag vs. chevron post from earlier this week generated some interesting comments! I see what some of you mean, but I dunno, I think a chevron is just one arrow thing, and a zigzag is multiple arrow shapes... I guess that's a little different than the graphic I found, but you got the idea. Have you weighed in yet? ;)


Okay, so, also super exciting this week... my book is coming along, but will pick up even more steam when I get my BERNINA delivered and get some training on it at my local BERNINA retailer. BERNINA is generously providing a machine for me to use in the book--their machines are fabulous, and far better than my plugging-along-vintage ones, so I'm very excited to use the loaner in my book projects and photos! This week, I signed my official contract with them and FedExed it back. I'll pick up the machine in a few days!!

Another exciting contract I got settled this week was one with Kollabora. (If you haven't joined yet, DO. It's an amazing resource for sewing, knitting, and crafting with projects and techniques from your favorite bloggers and Kollabora's pro team. Great for beginners and those of us who just love a little more inspiration!) Kollabora is providing a lot of the materials and tools I'll be using in the book. They sell a lot of stuff you might need on their site, so makes it really easy to get great tools without being overwhelmed by all the auxiliary options online and in craft stores!

Buying happiness...

Okay, it's safe to say this last piece of news is NOT as exciting as the other few. But it's kind of a revelation; that is, I'm working on some goals and ideas and I think a couple of this week's purchases help me with that. So, I've been reading and immensely enjoying The Happiness Project, a NYT bestseller from a couple years ago that I'm sure you've heard of... I had, too, but never paid much attention. Then at one point I put it on my library hold list and it popped up last month. Couldn't have been at a better time, either--I've been way too stressed lately and really could use a lesson in chilling out and being happier!

So I started reading the book and loved it right away. It's not the world's greatest book or anything, but it's speaking to me. I guess I have enough in common with the author that a lot of it really makes sense. Anyway, I geeked out a little and have been flagging tons of pages with memorable passages I want to come back to. So I bought the book for myself right after Christmas and now I won't have to remove the flags and return it!

The author made and wrote about her journey to achieve 12 resolutions, one for each month of the year, and I'm up to July: Buy Some Happiness. Obviously not in a shallow way, but thinking about how to spend money in a way that boosts happiness. I did the perfect example of this this week, and I am normally so bad about it! (She identifies overbuyers and underbuyers, and I'm the latter--I buy the smallest amount possible and then get stressed out when we're low on toilet paper or soap or whatever, when I should have just bought enough in the first place, or never want to replace things and then they break and I get upset...)

So, typically an underbuyer, I have put off buying matching lamp harps for the lamps in our bedroom for ages. It was a tough decision for me to buy matching lamps in the first place but I've always really appreciated them and I'm glad I did. But, I just had a mismatched collection of vintage lamp harps from Goodwill, and the ones in our bedroom were different sizes and too tall. Every time I looked at those lamp shades, I felt a little inadequate, like I ought to provide better for our house. Small thing, but still, it stressed me out a little!

Well, this week I did it. After work on Wednesday, husband was busy, I could take my time getting home, I went into Bed Bath and Beyond and bought two matching lamp harps. I hope I've emphasized the weight of this statement enough. This is ground-breaking. I never go to Bed Bath and Beyond. Everything is like three times the price it is at Marshall's, and there's too much As Seen on TV stuff, and there are too many choices. ;) But, I keep sort of half-heartedly looking for lamp harps at the big JoAnn or Target or whatever and not finding them, so I knew what I had to do. I used coupons, too, don't worry.

Now our lamps are the same height, and I put one of the gold lamp harps on a new lamp downstairs, whose shade was wobbling precariously down by the bulb and taunting me as well... now my house is a little more complete.

C'mon, do you know how I feel?? Are you an underbuyer or an overbuyer?

Well, as long as you don't think I'm too neurotic now after my lamp harp rant... ;) have a good weekend, and see you Monday!!


  1. So much good news in this post! Beautiful picture....and you are already lovely so that was easy for a photographer. Congrats on the new machine coming, how very cool. And I too loved the Happiness Project. I fall in the overbuyer category so living and enjoying less is my mantra. Somewhere in the middle is equilibrium and peace.

  2. Thanks for the reminder to buy things that improve your quality of life (even if it's something "silly" like lamp harps). I needed to be reminded of that.

  3. I completely get where you're coming from! I am an underbuyer when it comes to my house and decor (husband does most of the shopping, so he keeps us stocked on TP and essentials). I find it really hard to put out money when I can make-do. However, as your harp situation illustrates, making do doesn't make you feel as good about your space. You put a lot of effort into your house, so splurging on matching harps is a good decision, I think. Congrats on all of your good news!

  4. Congrats on the good news! Can't wait for your book ~ so exciting!
    I think I buy just enough for most things, except fabric. There's too much right now! I need to start going through it before making more purchases.

    1. I know how that is! Wish I could use all mine up!

  5. I just googled lamp harp- had no idea that is what they were called. Good for you. I am usually an underbuyer because i am so thrifty but have started stocking up on things like TP and pantry essentials. It feels good to know you have things on hand when you need them. And it feels good to have your house exACTly how want it. Why put up with lamp harps that are too tall when it was SUCH an easy fix? And you will enjoy the results for YEARS to come. Keep up the happy vibes.

  6. You are so pretty, I hate you. ;)

    I also didn't know what lamp harps were. I grew up in a home where lighting wasn't a huge priority so I didn't have that exposure. My dad was an electrician, so that might be why. Haha.

    I am an overbuyer, I guess. I think I need a whole range of products for different things. Not just a lot of one particular product I use regularly. I feel as though I need all kinds of useless things like hand wipes or different types of cheapy facial masks. Maybe I do need those things...I haven't gotten it figured out yet.

  7. I LOVED the Happiness Project book - it really made me open my eyes to a lot of things I was not 'noticing' in my life. It spoke to me as well and loved all the common sense in it. Now that you are reminding me of it I think I will read it again to start my new year off to a good start...Abby is right you are gorgeous! Congrats on the book!

  8. You are totally right about buying happiness being something we have to focus on! I grew with an overbuyer (and borderline hoarder!) and therefore didn't understand how to shop any other way. Then after about two years on my own, I realized that my extra stockpiles of bathroom supplies, canned goods, etc. were actually making things more stressful by overwhelming my one bedroom apartment!

    Now, I try to think of it as a balance carefully considering each purchase, and erring on the side of underbuying. I only buy things I love, and spend more on those items that would make it more stressful for me to buy cheaper or DIY.

    However, like one commenter, I definitely have a stockpile of fabric. I JUST wrote about my latest shopping trip too!


    FYI, I love the new picture! Is the dress you're wearing the "reunion dress that wasn't"?

    1. Wow, what a lot of amazing stuff you just got!

      Always good to find the balance. That's my goal for a lot of happiness project ideas!

      Yes, that's the dress!

  9. Congrats on all your success! I love your blog and have been reading it for sometime- I need to start making some of these amazing projects you have and I will be purchasing your book!

    1. Thank you, thank you! I'm sure you'll do great on the projects!

  10. Your new headshot is wonderful! Love it!

  11. Susannah,

    I hope, hope, hope that at some point you will do a review of the machine that Bernina is loaning you. My machine was my grammas so its 50+ years old and it does fairly well, but I would love to have, once in my life a new, good machine. I think I'll start saving right away and maybe in a couple of years....

    Anyway, I really enjoy your blog, and hope to see a machine review!!


    1. I absolutely will do a review (or several little ones) of the BERNINA! It's been great so far and I'm exploring more with how it works as I do the book projects, and hopefully some personal projects soon, too!



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