...because home doesn't happen overnight.
04.18.14 / Made Me Smile

hey you're awesome

How was your week? I felt like mine was full of busyness but I have nothing to show for it. Oh well. There’s always next week, right?

A few smile-worthy things to take you into the weekend…

*A DIY kitchen makeover that looks way more expensive than its $500 price tag.

*A modern, family-friendly deck.

*My new hanging planter arrived. You can never have too many houseplants, can you? The correct answer is no. No, you can’t.

*Long live the library! And one man’s photographic essay of interesting American libraries. (We visit our local library weekly. It’s such a huge part of our lives!)

*My favorite movie of 2013 is now available on DVD. It’s also one of my fave movies of all-time.

*On a similar note, if movies were written by kidsWarning: they’re snort-milk-through-your-nose HILARIOUS.

*Proud mom moment.

*The coolest video on instagram this week.

Have a very hoppy weekend! ;) And hey, you’re awesome.

image: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

04.12.14 / Made Me Smile

coffee table book

We spent a lot of time outside this week. Sans coats! Sans gloves! Sans boots! It was warm and wonderful and, for a moment, quieted the thoughts of a beach getaway. Do you even know how much easier and quicker it is to get three kids out the door when all those winter accessories aren’t needed?! It’s awesome. More little things to smile about…

*My new coffee table book. It’s been on my wish list for a while and I finally snatched it up. I haven’t cracked it yet (warm weather to blame) but I can’t wait to sink my teeth into it.

*I discovered Sweeten this week. Have you heard of it? It matches experts with New York homeowners for the purpose of tackling a renovation. I really love this project.

*Getting lost in Dwell magazine’s pinterest account. I like to think of it as “dream house research.”

*Searching #fiddleleaffig. It’s like porn for houseplant lovers.

*Standing barefoot on the new bathroom floor.

*Thinking of your home as a place to learn. I can sooooo relate.

*I think a reader said it best after seeing Mabrey in action. ”The biggest, ugliest, BEST toddler toy ever.” (Gotta love grandparents and their reputation for buying the biggest, loudest toys.)

real life

A glimpse at what my house really looks like most of the time.

I hope you have a sunny weekend! We have a few DIY projects planned but the most important activity on the schedule is watching this classic with the kids.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

04.05.14 / Made Me Smile

made me smile

I feel the need to apologize for being a lame blogger this week. I’m sorry. I had planned on posting more but recovering from The Plague, occupying my kids over their spring break and trying to keep up with everyday household stuff took almost everything out of me. Clearly, I am not Superwoman. Even so, lots to smile about this week.

*Whilst browsing black hexagon floors for grout inspiration, I came across this bathing beauty.

*I grew up in a red metal barn. Bring on the nostalgia you lil’ mini-barn.

*A hall closet-turned-kitchen. Say what?!

*Steve’s co-workers in New Zealand now have a quake-proof building in which to work safely. (I’m pushing for relocation.)

*Being left-handed has its perks.

*I’m dreaming of a cozy beach getaway.

*Clean sheets and open windows are right up there with red wine and chocolate.

*My favorite acoustic trio, Nickel Creek, is back together after a seven-year hiatus. I’ve had their new album on repeat all week. It makes for some good house music.

Fun fact #1: By far, the best concert I’ve ever attended was Nickel Creek featuring Fiona Apple.

Fun fact #2: Nickel Creek covered Britney Spears’s “Toxic” several years ago. It’s beautifully hilarious and definitely worth the listen if you’ve never heard it.

I hope your weekend is full of smiles and glimpses of spring. This winter is like the annoying houseguest who just won’t leave. Good thing I refilled my supply of vitamin D. Vitamin D-induced smiles count too!

image: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

bday 2

On Saturday, we celebrated Mabrey’s and Everett’s birthdays with extended family. (Mabrey turned two on Sunday and Everett will turn six on Monday.) Their birthdays are close enough to warrant a joint celebration – at least with extended family. Mabrey and Everett have such a close, unique relationship. They don’t mind sharing the spotlight with the other. At least for now.

On my kids’ actual birth days, the goal is to make them feel as special as they are. For us, that doesn’t mean oodles of gifts or an expensive party for all their classmates or even matching decorations. Extra cuddles, some balloons, a special gift, favorite foods, revisiting their birth story, maybe a visit to their favorite park and saying “I can’t believe you’re X years old already!” is all it takes. And we always read Dr. Seuss’s Happy Birthday to You!

bday 3

It got me thinking about how other families celebrate birthdays. Back when I working as a pharmacist, one of my co-worker’s had a Birthday Hat. It was a big, obnoxious (in a good way) hat that each person wore on their special day. They have pictures of each family member wearing the hat each year on their birthday. Such a fun tradition!

Growing up, my family took pride in singing the most horrible, drawn-out version of “Happy Birthday” you’ve ever heard. Loud, off-key, out of sync – that’s the stuff! The worse, the better. It’s always funny to see how non-family members not accustomed to our tradition react to the rendition. Usually, they look on in horror!

bday 1

How do you celebrate birthdays in your family? Any unique traditions? I’d love to hear ‘em.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking