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, Week Two



Here is the plan, y’all:


{Clockwise: Benjamin Moore FanfareWoven Shades and PanelsLayered RugsPB Teen Glam Vanity StoolTarget Hamilton Desk}

Per the advice of the amazing Sunny Goode (see post here), I am using Benjamin Moore Fanfare in the bedroom on the walls AND ceiling.  I am going to use that simple Target desk above as my vanity (I like that I can repurpose it later as a true desk or console and it’s not a “vanity only” purchase).  I would love a fun vanity stool.  I may try to save myself some pennies and find one at a thrift store to repurpose.  I am going to bring some texture to the room with the seagrass rug and the sheepskin hides on either side of the bed and the woven shades on the windows.  I love the simplicity of the white panels.  I have considered trying an ink block stamping in silver or gold to fancy them up, kind of like this:


I am going to try my best to use what I have to complete this makeover.  We bought the paint a while back, and I have white bedding.  I am going to repurpose some lamps, mirrors and frames and attempt some DIY art.  Here is my wish list and budget for new purchases:

  1. Target Hamilton Desk.  $129.99
  2. 9×12 Seagrass Rug. ~$300
  3. One more 2×3 sheepskin rug. ~$30, but going to stalk HomeGoods for a $19.99 one like the one we already have.
  4.  Vanity Stool.  $179 (but hoping to DIY or repurpose)
  5. 2 Bamboo Roll Up Shades.  $55 x 2 = $110
  6. 2 White Panel Curtains.  $50 x 2 = $100


Below is the latest progress — it’s not much, but can you see it?  Matt fixed a big crack down the middle of the ceiling in preparation for paint.  This is happening, people!


What do you think of the plan?  Can I do it for $850?

Check out the progress on the other One Room Challenges here!

{Check out my other One Room Challenge posts: Week One and Inspiration Photos.}

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

the best of birchbox

Do you Birchbox?

In case you have been living under a rock these days, it is a monthly subscription service that delivers 5-6 high-end, well-vetted beauty samples to your mailbox for a cost of $10/box.  When the box comes in the mail, my 5 year old and I jump up and down and run inside to open it up and see what surprises are inside!

I signed up for Birchbox in May 2012, and have received 13 boxes to date.  I have ordered about 1 full-sized product for every box sent to me, which at about 20%, is a pretty good success rate!  There are a number of ways to accrue points on the site for discounted products, such as writing reviews and ordering full-sized products.  Also, all orders over $50 ship for free.

Admittedly, before signing up for Birchbox, I never routinely spent more than drug-store prices on most of my make-up and beauty routine.  And, I had a routine that I was happy with — I wasn’t thinking that this service would shake-up my products, but I was so wrong.  I like that I can tryout a product with very little commitment, and if I like it, I do not mind paying more for a product that I know that I will use a lot.  I estimate that 60% of my beauty routine has morphed into Birchbox products!

Here are my favorites, so far:


 Nick Chavez Color-Saver Sulfate-Free Shampoo, $22.  This leaves my hair so frizz-free and smooth, even during the summer in the South!


 Beauty Protector, Protect & Detangle, $21.95.  This product replaces conditioner in the summer for me!  I spray this on my damp hair before I blow dry it and it leaves my hair really shiny and smooth.  It smells like vanilla and cotton candy!  I have given my 5 year old my trial-size bottle and we use it as detangler on her hair – she loves it too!


 theBalm Hot Mama Shadow & Blush All-in-One, $20.  I use this as blush and it is the perfect amount of color, bronzer and illuminator.


 Vasanti Brighten Up! Face Rejuvenator, $34.  I use this face wash twice a day (even though it says to only use it 5 times a week) and I love how clean, soft and smooth it leaves my face.


 Coola Classic SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer for Face, $32.  This is the lightest, most effective and yummiest smelling face sunscreen I have ever found.  I mix it with the next product every morning in the summer.


 Jouer Matte Moisture Tint, $38.  In the winter, I mix this with my moisturizer for a great overall tint with no shine or oiliness.  In the summer, I mix it with my sunscreen during the day or wear it alone in the evening.  It is such a light-feeling but full-coverage, tinted moisturizer.

Do you subscribe to Birchbox?  If not, here is an invitation.  If so, what are your favorite products??

happy independence day







Happy Independence Day!  I have always loved July 4th, but this holiday has taken on a new meaning for me since my husband was deployed to Iraq 8 years ago.  It was a challenging year for me (and him, of course) that taught me that our freedom comes through the labor, dedication and sacrifice of countless men and women who are nameless and faceless to most of us.  The silent moments of fear, loneliness and anxiety endured by service men, women and their families are invisible to most of our country, including me before Matt deployed to a war zone.

Since 2005, I cannot sing the Star Spangled Banner without tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat, nor can I pass a service-person without imagining the network of parents, wives, husbands, children, neighbors and loved ones that are thinking and worrying about him or her.  Thank you to all of the brave men and women who are fighting and have fought for our independence and their loving and supportive spouses, families and communities.


P.S. For past 4th of July posts, click here (2009), and here (2010).

{Image sources can be found here}

trendspotting…boston library lamp sconces










at first glance, i thought these boston library lamp sconces looked too futuristic (kind of like a double-jointed insect hanging off the wall…), but now i am craving them in every space that is missing a little bit of extra light and interest.  i especially love them paired with paneled walls in a beach/lake/river house, above built-ins, in a nook too small for a lamp or used in the place of a bathroom vanity sconce.  i really love the bronze and oil rubbed bronze finishes.

here are a few retail options:


{Circa Lighting, Boston Functional Library Wall Light, $315}


{Farmhouse Electric, Princeton Senior Wall Sconce Light Fixture, $199}


{Restoration Hardware, 20th C. Library Sconce Double Aged Steel, $229}


{Pottery Barn, Barclay Arc Sconce, $149}

What do you think – do you like the look?  Is it growing on you?

{image sources here}