Wednesday, December 9, 2015


It took 7 months. SEVEN months to renovate our upstairs bathroom! No one should ever hire us to do any type of renovations in their house because it will probably feel like watching paint dry. But I don't care. We have a NEW bathroom and I am singing "hallelujahs" every time I step into this gorgeous new room. 

It was the one room I wanted renovated when we moved into our charming fixer upper. I cringed every time I saw those red laminate countertops and the dingy old bathtub/shower combo. I still cringe just thinking about it! You might recall my joy at destroying this room back in May with a sledge hammer and crow bar - pure bliss! 

I look back on these last 7 months and I think about all the steps it took to get to this reveal - it was quite the process.   
  1. DEMO - fill our 4th dumpster and chuck that tub out the window
  2. BEAMS - reinforce the old beams with new
  3. PLUMBING - re-do all the plumbing, including a new waste pipe 
  5. NEW WINDOW - replace the old window with a new, smaller transom window 
  7. SHEETROCK all the walls & ceiling
  8. SUB FLOOR & TILE - install new layers of plywood flooring & tile floor with grout
  9. SHOWER TILE - pick out the tile, put the tile with the cement board & grout
  11. BATH TUB - order online, install plumbing, hook up
  12. HEATERS - install new baseboard heaters
  13. PAINT - prime & paint (x2 because I changed my mind on color)
  14. INSTALL POCKET DOOR - this included putting in the framing
  15. SHOWER MIXER & FAUCET install
  16. SHOWER GLASS DOORS - order online and install
  17. INSTALL OLD TOILET - we splurged and got a new toilet seat!
  18. VANITY - design, build & install with new sink & faucet
  19. TRIM - baseboard trim, window trim, shelves, and door trim
  20. MISC - order and install hooks, toilet paper holder, towel bar

There you have it - just 20 easy steps to this bathroom reno....did I lose anyone?? I know, there are always a surprising amount of steps and things that go into a reno. We have now gutted and rebuilt 6 rooms in our house and each time it is surprising to realize just how much time and energy it takes. My favorite is when the UPS guy pulls up and says, "You know you guys could have built a new house by now, right?!" Yeah. Thanks. Noted. Next time (if there is one!) we will be sure to build in the charm to the new. You don't have to tell me twice;) 

It's all been worth the effort though, in fact, sometimes when it takes longer than expected the results are all the more sweet. And that is certainly the case here. 

Check out these before & afters...

It's hard to believe that this is even the same space. We completely transformed the space and used every inch possible. I think our friends had their doubts that we could actually fit a shower, tub, vanity AND toilet in this small space without feeling like there were millimeters of space between each. Somehow we made the space work. I credit both my husband and the pocket door! It's hard to believe how much space a door takes up until you tuck it much space was opened up! 

This floor tile was not exactly what I had envisioned, but when we got to the Tile Shop, Andrew picked it out. I had wanted a white hexagon style, but I figured I'd entertain his idea. I didn't want to admit it at first, but when we compared the two, I also loved the grey stone look. It also has an awesome texture! It was not super easy to install because of the pattern, but well worth the effort. 

With winter upon us, this bathroom is gonna be my saving grace. You will find me with a book and some bubbles in this claw foot tub for the next few months! 


Wall Color: Sherwin Williams "Silverpointe"
Floor Tile | The Tile Shop
Claw Foot Tub & Hardware | VintageTub
Shower Base | Kohler
 Shower Glass Doors | Original Frameless Shower Doors
Shower Tile | Lowes
Sink | Kohler
Monogrammed Towels | Ralph Lauren
Mirror | Brimfield
Hooks | Moen

Monday, November 30, 2015

Bathroom Vanity Reveal

Three years ago my dad helped me load up a U-Haul to move all my belongings from Virginia to Rhode Island. In the process, he started loading it up with things he'd had stored away for years and was looking to get rid of. As a brand spankin' new home buyer with next to nothing in homely possessions, I pounced at just about everything that was offered.

Andrew, my then boyfriend, shook his head as the U-Haul was unloaded at our new place. Three wooden antique sleds, an antique fan, boxes of my childhood crap, furniture, "gently used" rugs, and two ancient walnut doors. These walnut doors had been in hiding for 25 years...25 years since my dad acquired them from someone else looking to purge.

Well, these walnut doors have never looked better. It's hard to believe that Andrew was able to chop up the doors and make something like this. I can't begin to put my mind around this kind of ingenuity, talent, and ability to create something out of nothing. 

We are so thrilled to have this special piece in our new bathroom and in AC Grayling's portfolio. It's a far cry from the red laminate countertop vanity and "gold" faucet in our old bathroom.

Vanity Sources: 
Kohler Vessel Square Sink |
Hansgrohe Faucet | Hand-me-down
Classic 6" Thin Pull | Pottery Barn
Plumbing | Home Depot
Epifanes Matte Varnish | Jamestown Distributors

Full bathroom reveal coming later this week!! 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Adult Carnival Party

A few weeks ago we celebrated Andrew's birthday. I personally love the fact that his birthday falls on election day in the beginning of November. It's in between the craziness of summer and the craziness of the upcoming holiday season. Which makes it the perfect time to throw a party.

It's kind of become a trend now for the past 2 years, to throw a party for Andrew's birthday. When Andrew turned 40 I did a Budweiser theme which was as you can imagine got rowdy. So after the night of drinking 40s I promptly drove us to Newport at 4:30am to run the Pell Bridge Run (5 miles!) and ring in the next decade - clearly a bad idea on my part but memorable non-the-less.

Last year I went with the fall theme and cooked up a big pot of chili and had a DIY grilled cheese bar, the ultimate comfort food as the leaves are changing and winter is knocking on the door. It was also a crowd pleaser as it was kid friendly and smores could be devoured in the backyard.

This year I bounced around a few ideas on my favorite time waster, Pinterest. I finally came up with an Adult Carnival theme. Invitations read: HAB - Hire a Babysitter. No kids allowed. Sometimes adults need an excuse to be kids free for a night, and thats what we did.

We had all the carnival favorites, ring toss & darts, as well as some spins on the classics, Bobbing for nips and mango margarita snow cones were the highlights. My personal favorite was the cotton candy machine  and the homemade kissing booth. I mean, who doesn't love spun sugar?!

We didn't just serve sugar though…I served all the greasy, "fat free" favorites you get at a carnival - tator tots, soft pretzels, popcorn & peanuts, corn dogs, and sliders. Carbo load.

And to finish it off, everyone won a goldfish for the night. The kind you get in the bag at the state fair and it dies the next day…that kind. Except we still have 5 living and swimming in a bowl in our bathroom - I guess that plan kind of backfired on us.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Fleeting Season

I went for a walk on Sunday at the "golden hour". Besides the early hours of the morning, this time of day is undoubtedly my favorite. It is a combination of things really, but mostly it's the light.  The rays of light as they dance on the fields down the street from our house; the fierce glow as the sky lights up before going completely dark; the shadows that creep into places in my house that only beg to be lit up again.

It's also the feeling of another set of hours gone, productive or creative or wonderful or NOT, another day in my storybook. Another season that will be erased with time.

I think about it often. Seasons. Time. Nature. Light. Dreams. Life's simple things.

I always tell myself that in "this season I will do this"...And then life happens and suddenly one season has turned into the next. I always feel that way. That these seasons in life are fleeting. That I can't quite grasp it all. I try. I take a LOT of pictures. It is my way of holding on. Of seeing. Of being present. Of remembering. And of creating my storybook.

But seasons are not just falling leaves or christmas trees or budding tulips and glorious warmth from the sun...there are seasons in life as we all well know. Seasons of sadness, success, pure joy, relief, transition, and grief. At one time or another we have all experienced these seasons.  They evolve and change and take on new forms just like the leaves.

And what I came to think about on my walk, was how things change with every season. That even when I try to hold on to the present, the next season is coming full steam ahead. No reserves, no hesitations, the change is imminent.

I feel this way about fall. That I could drink the crisp air, watch the leaves fall, pick apples, and watch that golden sun set, one more time, forever.  But it's not forever. Nothing is. It's for a season. And fall my friends, it is fleeting. And I have been determined to capture that feeling. With the only way I know how…in my photographs.


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