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Ol’ Glory


Everything looks better with an American flag. 

(All pictures taken in Thousand Island Park, New York) 

One Room Challenge, Week Three — Work in Progress


 Welcome back!  It’s week three of the One Room Challenge, and I have some serious progress to report.   Woo hoo!

As you can see below, we got the first coat of paint on the walls (my husband cut in and I rolled).  We also decided to take down the old Casablanca ceiling fan because 1990 called and wanted its crap back.  And to be honest, if the ORC stopped here, I consider it a success!  As far as paint goes, we still have another coat on the walls and two on the ceiling to finish.  I am absolutely loving the color (Benjamin Moore Fanfare).  It feels exactly like you are in the middle of a whispy cloud.  I can’t wait to use this color again somewhere else.



Here’s a shot of the ceiling for you.  My favorite part of painting a ceiling is seeing the color the paint takes on at a different angle, even though you are using the same paint color.  I am liking the moody gray that magically appeared.


 Also done this week, I purchased a cool bench from Homegoods to accompany the vanity.  If you are following me on Instagram (user name: ada_marie) you already saw this beauty:


 You can see the tag still on it because when I got it home, I measured her and realized that she’s about as wide as the vanity, so I am going to leave my options open and wait until the vanity comes to see how things look together.  I am thinking that I may have to return her (sob!!), even though I love the color of the fabric, the texture of the wood and the nailhead trim!

Also, I removed the desktop computer sitting on the floor.  Keeping it real for you — it’s been sitting under this window for 11 months.  Baby steps, people.  This is what happens when you move with a crazy 10 month old.  Eeeeek.  Matt shortened the cable TV wire, added a power strip and tacked all of the wires to the back of the chest of drawers.


 More progress:  I ordered the rug ($334.10, 15% off), the additional sheepskin throw rug ($33.20, 25% off), and the desk-turned-vanity ($136.88).  With the bench purchase ($157), I have spent $661.18. I didn’t factor in taxes and shipping in my budget, but I would like to stick close to my original $850 budget anyway.  I have $188.82 left to spend on two panels and two bamboo shades for the windows, and maybe some DIY art supplies.  I am going to have to get creative with styling what I already have (mirrors, pillows, accessories, etc.).

So, this week I hope to finish the paint on the walls and ceilings, start receiving some of my ordered items and adjusting course if necessary, and hunting for window panels and shades.

I have loved this challenge!  What do you think so far???

{If you would like to check out some of the other linking participants, click here.  Also, check out my other ORC posts: Week 1, Inspiration Photos, Week 2}

One Room Challenge, Bedroom Inspiration

YES! to:
barely-there blue walls, white furniture, white linens, natural woven shadessimple window panels, sheepskin layered on seagrass, mellow art, big mirrors, a feminine vanitySpartan styling.  

NO! to:
fussiness, anything dark or heavy, window treatments that block natural light, clutter, too much furniture,
TVs (ok, a girl can dream).







I’ll be back with my design plans and budget later in the week.  For my original post on the One Room Challenge, click here!

{All images can be found HERE}

One Room Challenge, Week One – Better Late Than Never


Have you heard of the One Room Challenge (ORC)?  It involves lots of bloggers making over one room over a 6 week period.  I am hoping that this will get me back to my regular routine of posting (at least once a week!) and get my creative design juices flowing.  We have been in our “new” house for 10 months and I probably could have picked any room for the ORC.  Life’s been busy and the house has gotten the back burner!

I chose our bedroom for the ORC.  Here is an introduction to the space and the iPhone pics of the “befores”.  I picked up, but didn’t style (obviously after you see the pictures!)….


 This is the view from the hall.  It’s a long rectangular room.  The door on the far wall is our closet.




 I love the natural light in the afternoon.  The windows look out at our backyard.   Notice the desktop computer on the floor and the missing dresser pull?  Niiiiiice.


 The door leads to the bathroom, which LBH could use a ORC of its own.



 I will be back later in the week with my plan for the next five weeks, inspiration pictures and (meager) budget for the room.  My biggest challenge is going to be nagging motivating my husband to paint the walls and ceiling.

Five and a half weeks and counting!  Wish me luck!  Eeeeeeks.

Updates and related ORC posts: 

One Room Challenge, Inspiration Photos


So, thank you.  I heard from so many of you via insta, Facebook, blog comments and texts yesterday.  Your support is bottomless and so appreciated.  Also, it seems that a post on our challenges having a second child is overdue and would help so many of you.  I think I am ready to talk about it.  🙂

But for today, I am enjoying, embracing, celebrating…summer.  Ahhhhh.








{All images can be sourced here}

On Blogging and the Big Switch

So, I started this blog in May 2009.  My oldest daughter, and only child at the time, was 22 months old and still napping twice a day.  I was practicing law by morning and blogging by afternoon.  In 2009 and 2010, my blog was going gangbusters.  I was posting everyday of the week and on Saturdays, had giveaways coming in faster than I could post them (remember CSN anyone?), had weekly requests for e-design services, and was on the brink of monetizing the blog with serious thoughts of quitting my day job and focusing on  giving interior design a try.  I was so happy and fulfilled to be part of a community with a group of creative people who validated my design ideas and supported my vision.  I felt satisfied, relevant, stretched, challenged, stimulated, full.


{Picture of my oldest with her pacifier and fave stuffed animal from this post dated July 3, 2009}

And then life got in the way – we had trouble having our second child and I became really down.  And then I got pregnant with our second child and was cautiously and anxiously optimistic.  And then my husband was working an hour away and I was worn out.  And then my second pregnancy got complicated and I was scared to death.  And then we had our second baby and I was suddenly the mother of two – I was blissed out, elated and overjoyed, but utterly exhausted.  And then we moved from our second  “starter house” to our probably “forever home,” which is so exciting but is full of pressure to make smart design decisions that will stand the test of time and to move on from quick, cheap DIY solutions….  And the blog became much quieter with each change.

But I haven’t stopped scheming and dreaming and thinking of blog posts nearly every day that will resonate with my readers and my fellow design bloggers.  I really miss interacting with all of you and creating posts that stretch my design vision and focus my mind on the details of life.  Despite my absence, Pinterest and other blog rolls and websites have kept readers coming to this little corner of the internet.  One day last week, ~265 people clicked over here from Pinterest in one day.  Mostly to check out this post that I wrote on our DIY roller shades:


and this post that I wrote on our DIY bathroom facelift:


And a bunch of readers are referred to the blog daily from this post that Cathy Green wrote on our previous house:


So, now here I am, over 4 years later with an almost 6 year old and an 18 month old.  My mornings are still full of practicing law, but my afternoons are full of swimming lessons, playgrounds, birthday parties, playdates, trips to the pool, laundry and  snacktime.   Some days I feel like the luckiest girl in the world, and other days I feel stretched so thin that I may just become invisible and disappear.

But for now, I would rather be present and living in my real world than posting daily (and likely half-heartedly for the moment) on the blog.  I am doing a lot of updates with posts on instagram (ada_marie) and Facebook.  And although I am “private” on insta, I will accept any normal-looking follower (not looking at you, creeper dressed in an orange Speedo from Hong Kong).  In fact, a lot of my favorite bloggers have almost stopped blogging altogether and have become “insta” sensations, leaving me to wonder if Instagram has replaced blogging?


{Insta post showing the new paint in the hallway – Farrow & Ball Blackened – and the new paint in the dining room – Farrow & Ball Elephant’s Breath.}


{Insta post showing the progress in the family room with my fave Home Depot $34 sunburst mirrors.}


{Insta post of the **living!** hanging plants on the back patio.}

All this rambling began with a thought to post a simple reminder to move your Google Reader feeds somewhere else as of July 1st, when Google Reader will become defunct.  I just switched mine over to Bloglovin and it was much easier than I had anticipated – it moved all of my feeds for me.

I will still be posting here and I hope that my schedule and sanity will allow my posts to become more and more frequent.  If you are still reading, thank you!  Every comment posted here or on instagram or facebook motivates me to get back to regular posting.  Someday!  I did not intend for this post to become so personal and so long!  🙂

Summer, Ferns and Porches

Iced tea, pasta salad, flip flops, dining al fresco, watching thunderstorms from the porch…. It is the last week of preschool and we are ready for summer around here!

I love the look of ferns on a porch in the summer.  I am thinking about investing in some ferns to hang on our front porches and a few for planters on the back patio…..  I just have to keep them alive!!











{Images from Pinterest}

House Tour and Retrospective

Hi y’all.  It’s been one heck of a start to 2013.  I got on a blogging roll, and then became completely sidetracked by life — my dad had a big health scare, my husband and I were sick with a mean, nasty virus for almost 3 weeks, and both kids got the stomach bug at the same time.  Whew.

So, I think I mentioned that we had professional photographs taken of our old house before we moved.  Interior designer extraordinaire, Cathy Green, is featuring our Westover Hills house on her blog right now.  The pictures were taken by, her sister, the amazing Beth Furgurson.

The photos made me miss so much about our old house…

I adored the front porch and our red door.


{This picture was taken as we drove away on the day of closing.  Yes, they asked to keep the porch furniture and we agreed.  Pumpkins were complimentary.}

I loved the pane-less windows and the feeling of living in a treehouse.


I am so proud of all of our DIY projects, most of which remain with the new owners.

Back Camera

{Our DIY roller shades — remains the most pinned blog entry on spark!}

But most of all, I loved the house because of the people who lived there and all of the memories we made during the six years under its roof.

Back Camera

{Clare and her playroom}


{Sleeping Julia}


{Lazy summer days in my beloved orange kitchen}


{Dad reading with his girls before bedtime}

So, pop on over and see the professional pictures and Cathy’s really nice blog post.

And, stay tuned for pics of what’s been going down at the new house.

Follow me on insta for real-time updates (ada_marie).  🙂

You know you are old when…you envy mud rooms.








{Source for images}

What’s Cooking – Menu for the Week

Hi!  This week, I am starting this challenge to kick-start our dinner routine in the New Year – 7 new recipes in 14 days.  Here goes this week:


{Image via Dinner: A Love Story}

Sunday (New Recipe): Split Pea Soup with the leftover Christmas ham bone, crusty bread, simple salad.  This was really good!


{Image via}

Monday: Cooking Light Southwest Sausage and Rice and veggie platter with dip.


Tuesday: Giada’s Quick and Spicy Tomato Soup, superfast drop biscuits and Ceasar salad.

Wednesday (New Recipe): Baked Ziti with Sausage and Mushrooms (from Dinner: A Love Story cookbook).

Beef & Broccoli

{Image via Emily Bites}

Thursday (New Recipe): Emily Bites Slow Cooker Beef and Broccolirice.

Friday: Cooking Light Turkey Tetrazzini, Greek salad.  

Saturday: Out of Town

What’s for supper at your house this week?  I would love for you to share your favorite quick and easy dinner recipes.  I need 4 more new recipes next week to complete the challenge!