transformation thursday: man’s catch-all

my hubby recently said that our house was a little fluffy. he likes it, but it’s just fluffy.

i wasn’t sure how to de-fluff our house, so i went right out and looked for new pillows for our couch that were not fluffy, but i came home with ruffled linen pillows.

oops. de-fluffy fail.

i tried. i really did. our house was built in 1913, which i guess classifies it as a victorian (?) and so, it kinda just decorates itself.

well, yesterday i noticed that some of his non-fluffy, man stuff was starting to accumulate in places that were not its home. (do you do that, too? give things a ‘home’ and if it’s out of its home, then you find it a home? please say yes.)

i remembered that i had that old desk sitting in our garage that i found on the side of the road (those that follow my Instagram, may remember?).


the desk was in really bad shape. the top of the desk had come completely loose, the bottom was falling off. plus, it looked like it had sat outside and been beaten up by the elements.

the drawers, however, were in great shape!

so, i took one of the drawers, cleaned it up and then sprayed it with some spray paint.


(Rusteoleum heirloom white is one of my favorites!)

we had some scraps of wood in our garage, so my hubby cut down a few pieces and then used his nail gun to attach them to the drawer.


(i decided to spray the wood pieces in this light blueish green color.)

of course, i sprayed it after it was nailed into the drawer, which got all over the heirloom white that i had sprayed. i had to go back over all of the inside and outside with more paint. i decided to use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in ochre. then i lightly distressed the shelves. (rookie mistake)

and this is what i came up with….


a man’s catch-all!


i added some plaid wallpaper that i found at the thrift store and wrapping paper from TJ Maxx.


now everything has a home,


and my man has a spot in our otherwise, very fluffy house.

(thanks, for putting up with my fluff babe! love you. xoxo)


house tour tuesday: the surprise bungalow

i have a surprise bungalow for all of you.

actually this house was a surprise for me, too!

see, i walked next door on Sunday to go check in on my neighbors and see how they are coming along on their house.

remember, the big yellow?


it is now the big green!

it is looking gorgeous, inside and out. i can’t wait to share all of the fabulous details the new homeowners have poured into this house. it’s going to blow your mind. at least it did mine. just a few more weeks and this beauty will be done!

in the meantime, my sweet neighbor called up her old neighbor (who also happens to live in old towne Orange) and asked if i could feature her house.

she said, “yes.” so, today we drove over and i took a peek.

oh holy moly. i think my jaw was in the locked open position for the whole tour.


it’s in a part of old towne that i dearly adore. most all of the houses are nicely fixed up and the pride of ownership is very prevalent.


even their garden was beautifully done. (i think i need to take some lessons from them on how to have a green thumb)


when we first got there, i was greeted by the homeowners on the front porch. i instantly felt comfortable by the husband and wife duo.


we chatted for a bit and then they welcomed me into their home.


i was amazed by the amount of space i saw when i first entered. from the outside it looks like your classic old towne Orange craftsman. as soon as i walked through the door, i could see the amount of time and love that had been poured into it.  not only was the house meticulously restored, but it was made into a better version of itself!


the living room was full of beautiful textiles


and old furniture (look at that old scrubbed pine coffee table! drooling!)


the more we entered, the more i loved it. of course, it wasn’t too hard to love, since the wife and i have similar taste. i loved all of her decorating choices.


even her vignettes around the house reminded me of something i would have in my home (or actually have…hello, eggs in a nest!).


what i noticed most about the home was that it had a cheerful, bright feeling about it. it invited you in and made you want to stay awhile. it completely reflected the same feeling of the homeowners: bright, cheerful and inviting!


as we made our way through the house and into the kitchen, the wife and i started talking about design (a subject i could go on and on and on about and i do …i love it so much).


to my surprise, she loved it just as much.

it’s rare for me to find someone who not only loves design, but loves to talk about design so much!

i was thrilled!


we had a great time talking about the different materials she used and our mutual love for repurposing old things.


while we were talking, she shared how she wished she had chosen to go into the design profession.


my heart almost burst. i felt like i had met my long lost twin.

see, i had that same wish and it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that i decided to go for it; to follow that dream.


i told her about some of the design jobs i had gotten. how i used to feel so nervous about going into a field that is so competitive and wondering if i had what it takes (she shared those same concerns).


we continued to walk through her house, talking and sharing while i admired her style and her very obvious talent in decorating (and crafting! look at those awesome pom pom flowers! i want to make some.)


while we were talking, she mentioned she had thought about wanting a blog. a design blog, but she wasn’t sure if she should or where to start.

“um. yes. yes, you should! i will help!” i replied.


and that’s when i stopped taking pictures.

i thought it would be best for her to share the rest of her home on her blog (there are lots more amazing spaces!). her new blog. her new design blog. because she has what it takes and i think she should go for it.

it’s never too late to follow a dream.

as i was leaving, this caught my eye…so, i took one more picture.


my heart was full and happy.

(ps. thank you G & D for inviting me into your home. i was excited about getting to see a beautiful home, what a surprise to also meet two beautiful souls! and G, i’m looking forward to working together. lets chase those dreams!  it’s not too late.)

diy chalkboard art

chalkboards are everywhere right now. it’s definitely a hot trend and one i was glad to jump on board with!

i love the utilitarian look of them and how they can fill a room with a message.

after seeing a post on how to make one, on one of my favorite blogs (check it out, this girl has style!, i decided to give it a go and make one myself.


to my surprise, it was pretty easy. it took about an hour.

here’s what you’ll need…

1. chalkboard (you can purchase pre-made chalkboard in the lumber section at Home Depot, and have it cut to any size. or just use a piece of mdf or any piece of wood and chalkboard spray paint by rustoleum)
2. chalk
3. chalk eraser or cloth
4. tape
5. ball point pen
6. chalk pen (optional)


no. this does not mean put salad dressing all over your chalkboard. it’s to fill all of the microscopic holes with dust powder, so that when you go to erase it for the next time, it doesn’t leave the message behind. i have no idea where or when i learned that or if that is even correct. that’s just what i’ve been telling myself. In some cases (or most), your message might still be visible. oh well, i season my mine anyways, because i like the white, cloudy, used look it gives the chalkboard. (feel free to skip this step. it’s a personal preference)


to season your chalkboard, use a piece of chalk on its side and rub back and forth, covering the whole surface. then wipe the chalk away with an eraser or cloth.


(clearly, i forgot to take a picture of my original piece of paper. oops.)

there are many printable quotes on the internet. Pinterest is a great source. i found mine on the blog: or you can create your own with a program like Microsoft word, or any word processor.

once you’ve decided on the best quote, print it out on regular 8×10 computer paper.


i took my quote to Kinko’s and asked for a ‘drafting copy.’ you could also take it to Staples, Office Depot, any place that has a big copy machine. pretty much just ask them to enlarge it to the size you would like. it might be the easiest to measure the size of the chalkboard and give the salesperson those measurements and they can enlarge it to that size.


using the chalk on it’s side (just like when we were seasoning the chalkboard) rub chalk all over the back of the paper. you won’t be able to see the chalk, but just keep rubbing and make sure to cover all of the letters.


after you’ve rubbed chalk all over the back side of the paper, flip your quote over and tape it to the chalkboard, quote side up.


(side note: do you notice the cute lil’ footprint in the middle? my son managed to photobomb this pic!)

take a ball point pen and trace the letters of the quote. making sure to press down firmly. this step will transfer the quote to the chalkboard.


peel back the paper a little, to make sure the quote transferred. it will be faint, but still visible.


after all of the quote has been transferred, use a piece of chalk or a chalk pen and trace the quote on the chalkboard ( has a great post on different types of chalk!).

and viola’! you’re done and you have a great piece of chalkboard art to display in your home, or give as a gift, or for a party.

clearly, the uses are endless.


have fun!

come have some coffee with me tomorrow morning as i tour another cute little old house in old towne orange for house tour tuesday!


house tour tuesday: our home

i know i hinted last week about being ‘green with envy’ or ‘tickled pink,’ for our house tour this week, but you’ll have to stay tuned. i also said i would actually post ‘house tour tuesday’ on tuesday, not wednesday. but see, i haven’t gone to bed yet, so it’s still tuesday to me. what can i say, i’m a night owl!

Anyhoo, (haha..get it? i’m an owl. ok. moving on), i thought i would give you a glimpse of our home. it’s only about a minute long and i only have two rooms to show you (because these were the two that were clean).

and though i still have quite a few projects to do and painting to finish, i thought i would go ahead and share our space and the place we call home.

i don’t think i’ll do much talking tonight. just let you look around. before i do, i want to add, that our home has been created using either hand-me-downs, thrift store finds, Craigslist finds, consignment store purchases, or side of the road finds.

it doesn’t take a lot of money to make a house a home. just some patience, a little creativity, and a hot glue gun! (heh)

with that being said….welcome, come on in.

our entryway/dining room
















our family room










our little hallway




thanks for stopping by! come on back (when the rest of the house is clean 😉


over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go

actually, there are no rivers or woods on our way to grandmother’s house. unless, you’re counting the Santa Ana river, which is kind of a river.

who are we kidding, not really. it’s more of a sewer river. ew.

instead, we take the 55 to the 91, exit Lakeview and head North.

when i was little i used to say we were going to the ‘country’ when we were headed to my grandmother’s.

she lives in Yorba Linda. it’s hardly country, but the properties are spacious and there’s a lot of dirt, so i guess in my mind that qualified for country.

it’s ‘the land of the gracious living.’ or so it says on the sign as you enter the city.

i think that is about accurate.


really, it’s everything a kid could ask for in a place to grow up, but when i was little, i thought it was kinda boring.

there were no friends to play Barbies with and the boys (my brother and his friends) never let me play on the tractors with them.


(i bet this boy would love to take his mama for a ride on the tractor!)

to entertain myself i would find the key to my grandma’s little shack and pretend it was my home (it used to be my dad and his brother’s playhouse when they were little).


i would sit inside with my dolls and think about how i would decorate it.

i loved how tiny it was.

when i was in my late teens, i would go over to my grandmother’s house two or three times a week. i loved hanging out with her.

we would pick lemons from her trees and make homemade lemonade.


i liked to wear my overalls (what? it was the 90’s. totally acceptable) and go into her grove


and pick avocados and make fresh guacamole.


(side note: they’re usually much bigger than this, but avocado season is over. these buds are just starting to grow for next years crop.)

sometimes, i would help deliver the avocados to the nearby restaurants.


(this is my grandma and step-grandpa’s old truck. isn’t that the cutest?!)

other times i would help my grandmother with her garden. (it’s a wonder i didn’t kill all of her flowers. i did not inherit her green thumb!)




through the years, there have always been two areas of my grandmother’s home that i love best.

the first is her red barn.


there are treasures both outside



(this used to be the water trough for the horses. waaaaaay before my day.)

and inside


and up in the loft of the barn.





my grandmother likes old stuff, too! (can you tell?)

she also likes to collect stuff (genetics are powerful, aren’t they! 😉



the second area i love is her basement (yes, this is in California and yes, that is rare). it was the mecca center for fun and is full of cool treasures!


whenever we had family gatherings here, we would head to the basement to play pool.


(this is a map my great-grandpa made and would mark off the places he traveled with little red pins.)


(my grandfather was a commercial pilot, so he and his family traveled often.)

i loved and still love to admire her collections.


she loves coffee. (yup, she’s definitely my grandma.)

and though she was never a smoker, she loves these colorful little tin cans.



yup. my grandma is pretty cool, if you ask me. she even has a directors chair that says, “hustler” on it.


i think out of all of her collections throughout her life though, her most favorite are her family.

we love you, GG.




i like it when you call me big papa

i actually don’t like to be called big papa. nor do i like to be called papa. that would be kinda weird.

my son, however, nicknamed my dad papa when he started talking and it has stuck.


we had a fun day celebrating papa and got to do some of his favorite things.

you see, my dad has a thing for old things. (the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!)

and i guess you could say he likes to collect stuff, too!


(side note: some of these are other family members. loving old things runs in the family!)

for as long as i can remember, my dad has always loved old cars.


i have memories of my dad fixing the old cars and cleaning them, so they would shine!


i have heard the story often of when he was in his teens (or maybe it was his twenties?) how he restored an old model A with his father (my grandfather).


he worked hard on it. every square inch inside and out was loved back to its original.


his dad, who was quite the perfectionist, taught him about the details.


and growing up, my dad liked to teach me about the details, like mohair seats and ceilings (that are kinda scratchy, but i guess that’s what they did back in 1931 and there is just something fancy about mohair seats!).


he would take me for rides when i was little. and when i got older, he taught me how to drive them. (they are double clutch. good thing there were no cell phones back then!)


now that my dad is a papa (grandpa), he is enjoying teaching my son all about the details of these old cars.

i couldn’t be happier.


my son is just like his papa, he loves old cars, too! and he, especially, loves his papa!


Happy Father’s Day to a great dad and papa!

also, a warm and loving Father’s Day to my hubby! we love you, tons! thanks for being such a great daddy to our son (even if you don’t like to take pictures!)

IMG_1203at least i got you to laugh, doing my little, “kutchy, kutchy goo” tickle under the arm thing!


transformation thursday: the train table and bubble butt

tonight i really wanted to tell you about a train table my hubby and i transformed, but you see i have a problem.

what’s the problem?

well, as i was starting this post and thinking about what to tell you on how we transformed it, a song kept popping into my head.

you might be wondering what the song is. i’m not even sure i’ve heard the song before. in fact, i’m pretty sure i haven’t. i heard it plenty on our walk tonight with my lil family though. you see, my hubby likes to randomly break out into song.

tonights song?

bubble butt.

have you heard it? (apparently it’s pretty popular and considering my hubbs is a high school teacher, he typically is informed of the trends before me.)

see, i wanted to tell you about this train table that we got from a friend of mine. And how we transformed it into this awesome farmhouse looking coffee table.

after transformation


how when we got it, it was red and huge and didn’t really fit in our tiny little old house. So, we decided to work as a team and make it into something that would fit in our living room and with our decor.

before transformation

red train table before

(photo borrowed from: thrifty decor chick because i was too impatient to take a before pic)

but then it happens. my mind gets overtaken with…..

bubble butt, bubble bubble bubble butt, bubble butt. bubble bubble bubble butt.

uh. why?!

why, that song! is it even a song?!

see, i wanted to tell you about how we made it. how we painted the bottom a creamy white by Annie Sloan and made a new top with dark walnut stain.


bubble butt, bubble bubble bubble butt.

there it is again.

let me try to get through this….

i wanted to also tell you about how we still use this table for trains, puzzles, or play doh. how my son loves to sit at it with his little stool and eat lunch.


but no. this random song pops into my head like a bad case of turrets. (no offense, of course, to people who actually have turrets. i totally feel ya. it’s not fun).

so, i’m sorry. sorry, for not informing you better on our little train table transformation.

okay. i’m going to bed and praying this song goes away.

remind me to tell you sometime about how he changed all of the words to ‘Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer.’

i’m still recovering.

(love you hubbs *muah* but, please maybe a different song next time, huh?!)