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

made me smile awesome 2

Despite the rough start (DIY fail + technical bloggy problems = no bueno), I was able to crack a few smiles this week. Take the good with the bad, folks!

*House Beautiful’s kitchen of the month is more like the kitchen of my dreams.

*I spy many Ikea pieces in this fresh and cozy apartment. (If there were an Ikea version of “Where’s Waldo”, I would slay it. I can spot an Ikea item from a mile away.)

*That’s it. I’m moving to Australia.

*Ever wonder what happened to Genevieve Gorder? (She was my favorite “Trading Spaces” designer back in the day.) Well, apparently, Genevieve has been very busy renovating her home. I love her house tour in Design*Sponge at Home so I can’t wait to see the full-on renovation.

*DIY paper towel holder.

*Coolest. dad. ever. (Besides my husband.)

*Chocolate oatmeal no-bake cookies make everything better.

*I grew up on 12 acres of rural land and explored the woods all day every day until evening when my mom would ring the dinner bell. We had a huge, vintage schoolhouse bell on our porch that my mom would manually ring to call us for dinner. I’m thinking of continuing the tradition with my kids, albeit with this suburbia-friendly dinner triangle.

*Mabrey’s awesome shirt. Plus, outtakes…

made me smile awesome

I hope you have a weekend full of smiles! We’re celebrating Everett’s and Mabrey’s birthdays with family then attempting Round 2 of tiling in the bathroom that just won’t finish itself. Keep on keepin’ on, my friends!

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image: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

03.21.14 / Made Me Smile

spring morning

It’s spring (!) which means the morning light in my bedroom turns from cool to warm in a matter of minutes. I love witnessing the transformation. I’m like a plant following the sun around my house throughout the day. Are you the same?

A few more things that have me smiling…

Building houses with a giant 3D printer. Those Dutch folks are always one step ahead.

All kinds of good stuff happening in this eclectic modern home.

Playing house.

Prefab homes are becoming more accessible and more affordable.

We have no plans to add on to our home but Steve has mentioned building a separate modern outbuilding. I wouldn’t mind something like this. (Be sure to check out the custom shelving which incorporates a horizontal window and clean-up sink.)

A magnetic sink rail answers the question “where to hang the dishcloth in a single basin kitchen sink?”

The premier of American Dream Builders airs this Sunday. Will you be watching? They had me at “Nate Berkus” and “Erinn Valencich.” (If you have a half-hour to kill, watch this interview with the can-do-no-wrong Nate to learn more.)

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Do yourself a favor and carve out time this weekend to do / make / eat / drink / see something that makes you smile! We’ll be laying tile in the kids’ bathroom. Eeeeek!!

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

03.14.14 / Made Me Smile

friday afternoon

Friday afternoons are one of my favorite times of the week. Mabrey naps. Layne gets home from school, does his homework then reads. I mill around and tidy up until Everett gets off the bus. I help Everett with his homework and then Mabrey usually wakes up just in time for snacks with her brothers. We do “Family Fridays” which consists of Steve picking up dinner on his way home from work and watching a movie or TV show with the kids and letting them stay up a little later than normal. Since I don’t have to prep dinner, my Friday afternoons are spent cleaning up from the busy week, reading, playing with the kids, planning weekend projects or catching up on my favorite blogs. Friday afternoons make me smile.

A few more things that have me smiling today…

*The spring issue of TRADhome – specifically the kids’ room on page 91 and the mix of traditional + modern in the bedroom on page 102.

*This cozy cottage.

*Temporary tattoos for grown-ups.

*A french coffee press for surviving the time change. (My inner clock is still “off.”)

*What one dad and a community did to bring a teaching garden to life at a public school in Texas.

*One woman’s mission to bring healthy foods to low income families.

*Big, bigger, biggest.

*The Nano House book. Ever since we downsized, I’ve become somewhat obsessed with living small. It must be rubbing off because my nine-year-old keeps stealing this book from me. He then proceeds to tell me all about the “epic, tiny houses.” (His words, not mine.)

I hope you set aside time to do something that makes you smile this weekend. I’m hoping to check off a few little things on my to-do list. Checking things off makes me smile, too.

image: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

03.07.14 / Made Me Smile


I’m not gonna lie. This week was rough. But finding a few smile-worthy things helped me realize that my bad weeks aren’t all that bad. Here are the *much needed* things that made me smile.

*My $4 pot of tulips bloomed! One question for any green thumbs out there: what do I do with it now? Can I transplant the bulbs outside? I’m clueless.

*Lulu’s modern princess mood board created by her awesome mommy using my Polyvore tutorial.

*This beautiful children’s book (my current fave) would make a great Easter basket gift.

*Boy meets art.

*A calming live-work apartment.

*I borrowed this Thom Filicia book from the library and now it’s on my wish list. In the book, Thom shares his personal story of finding, buying, renovating and decorating a lake house. (The foreword is by Tina Fey. How crazy is that?!)

*Lastly, somehow I stumbled upon the #sharemystyle hashtag. Australian residents are taking pictures of their personal spaces and posting them via twitter or instagram with the #sharemystyle hashtag for a chance to win a featured spot in Inside Out magazine. Warning: the real life eye candy is addicting. (I’m not sure whether to say “you’re welcome” or “I’m sorry” for sharing this with you.) See my favorites below.

share my style faves

See what I mean?! Gah.

I hope you’re able to find some smile-worthy moments this weekend. It’s going to be sunny and mild today so I’m taking the kids to the park after school. I can hardly wait!

images: 1) Dana Miller for House*Tweaking 2) Inside Out magazine