This is how we design...


Scribbles from me, marc and franca.
Empty (jumbo) bottle of cheap wine.

.....and I think we have a layout.

p.s. that is marc's roadrunner wine glass.

First Sketch


We held off putting pen to paper until last week. We'd like our house to fit well on the site and feel natural, so we couldn't draw anything without a site.

Now that we have a possible lot, we allowed ourselves one sketch. 

A funny thing happened:  Marc drew exactly what I was thinking. 

I guess I shouldn't be too surprised. We've been talking in abstracts about this new house design for a while, and heck, we did just finish a 6 year DIY renovation.

Still, the extent to which our visions match was pretty astounding. At one point I exclaimed, "Can you see inside my brain??" I'm sure we will bicker over the final layout and details, but it is nice to know that at least our overall parti is nearly identical.

Things won't start in earnest for a month or so, but for now I'm happy with these first doodles.

Future? Wild Abandon


It is not what you think, but I'm not going to tell you what it is just yet...

Bed sheets Begone!


I finally took my new-to-me car to Ikea to get the final stuff to make this rental more  tolerable.
This included Tupplur blackout shades to replace our uber-klassy gray flannel bed sheet "curtains" and Franca's dangerous old corded ones that came with the rental. Now I just need to figure out how I messed up the tension on half of them.

I didn't make the installation perfect (gasp!). They are not exactly centered and are face mounted (due to the size & the interior storm window frame), but they work well. In a rental, that's all that matters.

Plus, Mina loves the view while getting her diaper changed. ;)

86 Empty Photoshoot


Here is a photo slideshow by the amazing Kalyn Livernois.

Email me for her contact info.

I got this idea of a weird, creepy photoshoot of us in an empty 86 house in my head and couldn't shake it. Things got crazy and the only time we had to do it was THE DAY we had to have 86 completely clean and empty.

It is a testament to Kalyn's talent that these photos turned out so cool.
I gave her some really vague ideas and no direction.
Mina was tired, wet and I didn't have a clean diaper.
I had just given Franca homeopathic cold medicine which included a sleeping agent.
Marc was trying to clean the basement out and kept getting dirty.

Literally everything was working against her, but she made it work. I love the photos! They are weird, silly and a little creepy? Exactly what I wanted! Now I'm dreaming of the "during construction" shoot we can do at the new house.

Clean Slate


I decided to start with a clean slate with this blog.
There are a bunch of reasons.

getting rid of the original house
starting over
refocusing my life
resetting priorities

The past 6 years have been a very, very trying times for me. Rewarding, yes, but So. Damn. Hard. During that time I've ignored my marriage a bunch (not tonight honey I have drywall dust in my crack), taken my friends and family for granted (can you come visit me and work like a dog the whole time?) and neglected my kids a bit (please please sleep a little longer so we can finish this insulation and take a shower for once!).

I love my husband. 

It takes a pretty strong marriage to survive 6 years of DIY renovations. It's time I put down my damn phone and play cards with him. (that is not a euphemism fyi)

My family and friends mean the world to me.

My family. I can't even express it. I wish everyone had a family like mine. Recently more than ever, we've banded together as this amazingly unit. Never before in my life have I realized so vibrantly that I stand strong because I have this family behind me. Maybe I should go visit them, give them a big hug and then help them with a project for once?

The girls.

Oh man. I love my girls. It's time to put down the hammer and pick up Mina. It's time to take Franca to the aquarium instead of Home Depot. 

I started this blog just to update friends and family on our renovation progress. I've always been an extro-vert, but when did I develop the need to publish my whole life? 6 years into blogging l I find myself doing stupid filler posts and being bothered by low page views. How did that happen?
Somewhere in those 6 years I joined the Blogher network and started running ads. I've never really done product reviews or accepted freebies, but even the ads seemed a little "un-me" to me.
Plus, I'm not kidding anyone. I'm not a good blogger, and every part of my life is not that interesting. I'm not going to get rich doing this and don't want to. You know what I want to share? Building a house.

So gone are the ads and the filler posts.

I'd like to stop over-sharing. I need to stop living my life thinking about making things "blog-worthy". I'll post when I have something rental/house/lot related to share.

I have also deactivated all the old posts. It might be stupid, it might be blog-suicide, but I just don't give a shit. It's not my house anymore and I don't think it is right to keep all the details of it up on the internet for everyone to see. One of the things that always bugged Marc and I about 86 was how the old owner and her kids would show up, they'd lurk, they'd drive by. It never felt like "our" house. I don't want to to that to the new owners.

That being said...

if you would like any info or have a question about an old post, email me. I can search for it. I'm also keeping the before and after slideshow up there at the top under the original link just because I'm proud of it and I don't think it is too revealing.

So there you have it. Clean slate for the future. We have a solid lead on a ridiculously exciting lot. We are talking building materials and layouts. I'll post it when I have time and get some stuff together. 

One last thing I want to say is I don't want to slight the friendships this blog has allowed me to forge and the creative outlet it has been.

It is just time to step back, reevaluate and then move forward again on my terms.

Please bear with me.


Please bear with me while I work through some things.



That title has been 6 years in the making.

It's official. 
86'n It has been 86'd.

I'm happy. I'm sad (finally). 
I'm elated. I'm anxious. 
But most of all I'm TOO DAMN SOBER right now.

We have the nanny until 4:30pm. 
Time to go celebrate with a whiskey sour or two!



In brief moments between loading and unloading trucks, Marc and I have been feeling like weirdos.

You see, we aren't the slightest bit sad about leaving this house we have shed tears, a bit of blood, and a whole lot of sweat in. Both of us can hardly wait for the moment when we shut that door for the last time.

Don't get me wrong. We love the house. We are proud of what we have done. We are just SO OVER our lives as renovators with kids.

The last couple of months have been hard. Popping Mina's pacifier back in her mouth with a paint brush in the other hand. Trying to get Franca to play in the other room so you can just finish the last bit of work with the nail gun. We Are Over it. OVER. IT.

The only fleeting moment of sadness came while saying goodbye to our neighbor. She told us how she remembers the previous owner standing in the front yard with her infant son. She just went to his high school graduation party. She then said how she had hoped she'd get to see our girls grow up. Sigh. My heart sank. Good neighbors are hard to find. 86'n It doesn't just have good neighbors, it has great neighbors. 

While I fully admit the new handshower is freaking amazing, we are going to miss our neighbors the most. 

Closing is tomorrow morning. Marc is still over at the house finishing up last project.  (Ridiculous) I'll pop by later to drop off a bottle of bubbly and a welcome to Asheville card.

And that's it.

I'll close that door and with it start a whole new chapter in our lives.

Here's to tomorrow.