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

summer greens

It’s hard to imagine these jade and fern plants as 3″ babies. They once lived in a wall planter near the kitchen sink but it wasn’t long before they outgrew it. I transferred them to a large outdoor planter last summer (Mabrey was itty bitty!), brought them inside for the long winter then put them back outside earlier this summer. I can’t believe they’re still alive. And they aren’t just living – they’re thriving! Some of the biggest jade stems are now over 3″ in diameter. They are erupting out of the planter. I can’t say plants living to overtake their containers has ever been a problem for me. It’s a good problem to have.

More good things…

*You can buy happiness (and it’s cheap).

*A local NPR program name-dropped the company, Human Nature, more than once today while discussing green roofs and softscaping. Out of curiosity, I visited their website and, lo and behold!, they designed many of my family’s favorite local parks.

*I fell down the virtual rabbit hole ogling this kitchen remodel.

josie moran's farmhouse living room

*Doesn’t Josie Moran’s cozy, homey farmhouse just scream FAAAAAAALLLL?!

*DIY. It’s a family tradition.

*As if moving wasn’t stressful enough. (I dare you to keep a straight face.)

*The sweetest pregnancy announcement.

*On the other end of the spectrum, why haven’t you had kids yet?

*I’m flattered to be included in the current issue of Rosieteapot magazine. Have you ever wondered what the mirror image of my bedroom looks like with a cat in it? Well, it made the cover. (And, no, we didn’t get a cat.) I also answer (surprisingly hard) questions like “what is happiness to you?” and “describe your perfect day.” I still can’t get over the fact that Rosie publishes the e-mag all on her own. She is one busy mama!

Have a happy weekend!

images: 1) Dana Miller for House*Tweaking 2) Melanie Acevedo



That moving story is UNBELIEVABLE. It made me sweaty just reading about all her stress.


I love jade plants! I picked one up at Ikea last year and it looked beautiful and lively and vivacious for about 6 months until one day it crystalized and collapsed. (major sad face) I would love to know your secret to keeping it alive so I can replace mine without fear of history repeating itself. How often did you water it? How much sunlight did it get, etc? Inquiring minds want to know!

I hope you have a great weekend!


Looove Jade. Youve been on a roll with your plants lately Dana. They look awesome. I have no clue what id do if i had to deal with black mold AND my belongings being destroyed at the same time. Your family is awesome and so is that kitchen. And a huge congrats on your feature! Totally well deserved. Im waiting to see it in Atomic Ranch or Domino:)


how do you keep those beautiful ferns alive and thriving???? i have one that’s turning brown on me!!! i thought those were super easy to care for!!! ugh! help.


Another beautiful pregnancy announcement!



AH! Adorable.


That kitchen remodel link you shared is great. Lots of ideas that I can use for my home.


Hi Dana,

Was wondering if you came across my email regarding exterior house/roof colors. Would love to get your imput. Karmen


[…] last week I mentioned we didn’t own a cat. Then, in a strange turn of events, there was a kitten in our […]

[…] on themselves in the name of a good cause, “Things That Make Me Smile” blog posts like this one. I mean if you can overlook what is going on in the Ukraine, Venezuela (is that still happening?), […]


I’m a little late reading these, but this is an especially good Made Me Smile list!
I never really thought about the people doing it, but I love the work Human Nature does. UC’s campus, Washington Park, and Theodore M Berry park are some of my favorites!

Loved the Lifestyle & Design kitchen! Pin all the images!

Also, I love reading this and seeing you say you don’t have a cat but knowing you got one a week after you wrote it.


[…] Upon meeting the kitten, we learned a little more about her. The story goes that my cousin’s nine-year-old daughter found the kitten and (what they assumed to be) her sister in the woods behind their house. The kittens were super scrawny and barely breathing. They brought them inside and gave them food and water. For a few weeks, they lived in the garage, grew stronger and learned to use a litter box. But the sister eventually ran off leaving this kitten alone. Heartbroken for the lonely kitty, my cousin brought her inside until she could find a home for her. (They already had four cats and a dog as it was!) That’s where the text message came in. And that’s how I ended up with a kitten on my desk not even 24 hours after declaring we didn’t own a cat. […]