...because home doesn't happen overnight.
02.22.16 / Liked & Linked

flying solo

dream house

Layne rocked his first solo flight last week and now he’s obsessed with flying. Every time I open my laptop, it’s on the Delta home page. I think I may have a future pilot on my hands. He checked out a half-dozen books on airplanes from the library and devoured them in one evening. He told me he found the jet he’s going to buy when he’s older. It only costs $350,000,000.

He asked Steve, “Dad, how do I make a lot of money really fast?”

Steve was like, “If I knew…”

It’s fun to see him thinking about his future at this age, pondering all the things he wants to do, all the places he wants to visit. I’m so proud of him for not flinching a muscle flying unaccompanied. (He flew to DC to visit my sister and her husband. It was their Christmas/birthday gift to him and one he’ll never forget.) Fun > fear. I don’t think I was that courageous at eleven. On a side note, all I see are his ginormous man feet in that picture!

If I had to describe our weekend in one word it would be restorative. It was sunny and mild and we spent nearly every waking hour outside. The fresh air and warm sunshine were invigorating. It was just what I needed to pump myself up for another week of single parenting ;)

Over the last several weeks, we’ve been exploring surrounding neighborhoods. With no big house projects on deck and cabin fever grabbing hold, more than once we’ve found ourselves piling into the car to do nothing more than drive. We’ve lived in the area for 4+ years but are just now discovering all these quirky little suburban pockets sprinkled with midcentury gems. They’re so dreamy.

Steve and I fell in love with that sprawling ranch above. I liken the footprint to the shape of a lightning bolt. It’s so unique. There’s a detached garage (in the foreground on the left) with an open breezeway connecting it to the main house. Vaulted ceilings, stacked stone fireplaces, skylights and floor-to-ceiling sliders grace the main living spaces. There’s even an indoor greenhouse! The house sold a few months ago but is currently empty. I keep driving by checking for signs of life…or a for sale sign. #housestalker

A few links…

*I can’t get enough of this DIY cabin. The recycled paper countertop is beautifully simple.

*Just when I thought I’d seen everything shibori…shibori backsplash tiles.

*I fell down the virtual rabbit hole at Brit’s place…on her blog and instagram account. I’m so intrigued by her review of RTA (ready-to-assemble) cabinetry. Definitely bookmarking it!

misfit kitchen

*Such a pretty kitchen. The laundry room ain’t bad either.

*An interesting podcast on the art of living with less from the authors of the memoir Everything That Remains. A documentary about minimalism is in the works. (Some fun six degrees of Kevin Bacon-esque facts: The authors went to grade school in Lebanon, Ohio, where our previous McMansion was located before moving further north to Dayton, Ohio, where our current home is located. They recently moved to Montana.)

*I love the look of the integrated handles on the MÄRSTA doors and drawer fronts, but I haven’t experienced them in person yet. They weren’t on display the last time I was at my local IKEA. Have you seen them? Thoughts?

*I caved and started using this organic self tanner on my ashen body. It’s phenomenal!

One more week until March!

images: 1 & 2) Dana Miller for House*Tweaking 3) The Misfit House



Hi Dana,
Coming out of lurkdom to comment for once! I was not a fan of the MARSTA drawers. They looked great from across the store, but for me were a real disappointment up close! They have a strange plastic feel and the faux wood inside the handles is even more plastic. : /


Hey, I can’t remember how old Layne is, but you might consider looking into junior Civil Air Patrol for him. My fourteen-year-old joined last summer and really likes it. It’s kind of a combo of military (Air Force) and scouts, with a rescue bent. Anyhow, they do regular orientation flights and the boys get to take control of the planes. They fly out of Wright Borthers Airport, over by Austin Landing. Your young pilot could be in the air soon!


I guess if I had read for about three more seconds, I would know his age. Oy. Anyhow, I think they’re eligible to join CAP at 12 or 13.


I seriously have GOT to read all the way through before commenting! I didn’t know your previous McMansion was in Lebanon! That’s where I live now, AND we moved here four years ago, so I guess coming in stage right as you were exiting left. Would you mind messaging me the address? I would love to see where it is, how far you were from me, and possibly indulge in a Sliding Doors-type fantasy where we are bffs. (If that is way creepy, you can totally decline.)


I always love the links you find, and the fact that you stalk nearby houses! I do that too.

I just found this site: http://circaoldhouses.com/ and am OBSESSED. Have you seen it before? Check out the homes in Ohio — you’ll be dreaming about them forever. :)


I always worry about the self-tanners getting on my clothes and making them look dingy – have you had any issues with this?
So glad that Layne had a great “first flight” – my son did this too, at a very young age, and he loved it! The flight attendants took such good care of him – I was the one who freaked out (on the inside) every time he flew!!
Leah; )


Hi Dana – thanks so much for taking the time to check out my blog/instagram and sharing – you know how to make a girl feel good! And clearly we love our RTA cabinets and highly recommend them, especially for people that aren’t afraid to play with tools…
p.s. My seven year old already has feet as big as mine – don’t you wonder when boy feet will ever stop growing?!


I always adore these posts. I love hearing about the simple things going on in life and the links are always so interesting. So glad you continue to share these posts.


Congrats to your son. I think you have an adventurer on your hands.


I am an uneasy flier, every little lurch or bump scaring me so much. Brave boy! Of course, at his age he would never admit fear! Yes, he does have rather large feet-I noticed as well. ;^)


Dana, please, oh please, do not refer to parenting with an out of town spouse as “single parenting”. You are married with a loving spouse who cares for you and your kids and provides emotional and financial support! Being blessed with those things and lacking only physical access to your husband is nothing like what it’s like to truly be a single parent. When married, stay-at-home moms refer to being a “single parent” when their husbands are traveling, it is truly an insult to actual single parents. Please know this is not an attack- I imagine you’ve never thought of it like this. :)


We checked out those IKEA drawers…they look really cool from a distance, but I felt the wood grain effect looked really fake, which turned me off. Maybe if they did a painted look in the cutout, I’d be more into it, because it’s a really cool idea.


That was my concern when I noticed that the inserts are actually foil stickers :(


Layne’s shoes are already too big for me!


I’ve been using it for about two weeks now…maybe 4 applications total? I don’t want a “tan.” I just want a healthy glow instead of the gray hue that took over my skin this winter. It’s worked so well with no problems getting on my clothes, towels or bedding. I apply after showering and exfoliating with a loofah. I did splurge for the recommended application glove which keeps my hands from turning colors. I use it to apply like a lotion. I don’t usually have a ton of time to sit around and wait for it to soak in…I maybe let it absorb for 1-2 minutes and then get dressed (clothes or pi’s depending on the time of day). I’m really happy with it. It doesn’t look out of place at all – just glowy and healthy.


No, you’re right! I am well aware that my weeks without Steve don’t even compare to true single parenting. That was what the ;) was for, so I really hope single parents don’t think I’m undermining their responsibilities and hardships. I definitely didn’t mean to offend anyone and, if I did, I apologize.


Oh no. This is bad. Very, very bad. (In the best way possible, of course.)


Really?! He would love that.


That’s what I was afraid of. Great concept, poor execution?


Someone owns that beautiful house but they’re not selling it or living in it? Blasphemy.


Thanks for the self tanner recommendation! Do you apply to your face and neck too? Any tips on avoiding a weird line if you don’t? I’m always afraid of an orange face or a weirdly separate head-neck.


I looked at these over the weekend. I thought about buying some real wood veneer and making my own inserts. That said the doors themselves felt… hollow?.. compared to the others.


I use it sparingly on my face and neck…mainly on places that would be hit naturally by the sun…forehead, cheekbones, bridge of nose, etc. I haven’t had any issues with actual lines. It produces a nice glow, no tan lines!


I know. It’s so empty and sad. I would totally keep it company.


Oh wow, thank you so much for this information – I think I may have to give it a try! My legs haven’t seen the light of day in such a long time….: D


I recently heard it referred to as “solo parenting” when your spouse is out of town. I’ve adopted that for when I’m alone with my 3. ;)


I like it.