guilty conscience


i told myself when i started working on the house this time around that i would take it one project at a time. i told myself that i would knock out a room before i shifted gears to something else. i told myself that i’d feel better if i did it that way so that i wouldn’t have a million half-finished projects everywhere.

well. fuck that. the reason i haven’t been back to this little space with an update is because i can’t get myself to finish the bedroom doors. currently, they’re propped up in the living room with only 1/4 sides scraped of paint. i really really want to have it done. i do. but i’m so tired of doing it & want to move on to something else but then my guilt takes over & i think of all of the other millions of tasks on my list & get completely overwhelmed so then i think about binge watching criminal minds while laying in bed & all my desires for productivity go straight out the window. speaking of windows. i also really want need to get our windows in shape before winter, now that it’s not so hot outside. the reason why i haven’t done it is totally valid in my mind but also embarrassing. i’m terrified of bugs & once you step outside the safety of my home right now, you’re guaranteed to be swarmed with all kinds of things, some of which i don’t even know what they are & they send me right back inside. we stopped having the house/yard sprayed last year & while it’s been nice for our wallet, it’s not so nice for me & my hate for creatures. i know, i know. i have to suck it up, be an adult & get the fuck over it. someone come help me? i mean, who doesn’t enjoy scraping caulk from old windows? (i actually kind of find it enjoyable.)

the only thing that’s been accomplished over the last couple of weeks is that we finally found a new lawn guy yesterday. it is a luxury that means a great deal to us. ryan started work part-time at a second job so that we can meet some financial goals a little faster (like being able to pay for the more expensive needs of this house) & the last thing i want is for him to spend his non-working hours doing yard work that he hates.

in non-house, more relaxing news, this second job also gave us the opportunity to fulfill some of ryan’s dreams; a truck & boat. it’s something that’s been in our “5-year plan” for a long time so it’s been really awesome to be able to do it several years earlier than expected. we had our maiden voyage last weekend & although we didn’t catch any fish, spending the morning on the water, just the 2 of us, was something that i’ll never forget & can’t wait to do more of.

until next time, i’ll be dreaming of the water & wishing it was the ocean.


ikea dreaming


i’ve been hit with a pretty bad cold for the last week (& still going) so my house hasn’t been touched which i think is killing me more than the cold is. i leave for dallas in the morning with my bestie (i can’t believe i just said that) for a short trip to see our favorite musician, david ramirez, & do a little shopping. no trip to texas is complete without hitting a few places that oklahoma doesn’t offer – ikea, urban outfitters, world market & hopefully in & out burger. side note: i once made my husband drive us 4 hours just to eat in & out burger because i had a ridiculous 2 week craving i couldn’t shake. aka, i have a problem.

anyway, all of the anticipation leading up to our trip has led to me spending a lot of time on ikea’s website & i wanted to share a few things that have been catching my eye. some have been around for a long while, while others i hadn’t seen before. i already have a few of these things on my list to look at.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12

quick little update


i hope everyone had a nice long holiday weekend. we celebrated ryan’s 30th birthday a little too hard friday night & i don’t think i was fully recovered until sunday morning. oops. we had a great time though & spent the rest of the weekend relaxing, celebrating his birth & fishing (a very regular event at our house).

i still have a couple of things to do before i can do a bedroom “reveal” but it’s coming along & i love it so much. for me, minimal = relaxing so it’s perfect. i get that it’s not for everyone. here’s a little sneak peek:

bedroom closet-door

i spent a couple of hours over the weekend prepping the closet door & admiring these handles. i’m assuming that they are original but i could be wrong. i hated them when we moved in because i tend to hate anything that sparkles. haha! i’m glad i let them stick around. i’m missing the knob on one side so i need to find a decent match OR i’m thinking about using a spindle on the inside. it would definitely be cheaper than finding a nice glass knob that looks right. i’m anxious to get those plates cleaned up. i’ll be trying the crock pot method to remove the paint from all of the door hinges & hardware.


this picture is not exciting but it was SO exciting to mark off my list. sometimes the little tasks can be the most daunting. here’s what’s going on here. 1. the back door got its last coat of paint. 2. the trim also got its last coat which means i could finally push the washer/dryer back against the wall so that it wasn’t blocking my wall-mount dryer rack anymore. 3. the weather-stripping got replaced. it’s been on my list for 5 years. the gap on the left side of the door was big enough that you could see outside & i had to block snow from coming in during storms. (terrible, i know.) 4. i replaced the dog door flap! i wish i would’ve known how easy it was going to be a long time ago. our last one was torn in several places, didn’t seal shut & couldn’t even be cleaned with magic erasers. the new one is such a huge improvement.

anyway. september is a busy month for me. i’m out of town for the next two weekends so i know my progress will be extra slow around here. i’m hoping that i can still find the time (& energy) to knock out a couple of the tasks that i fall asleep thinking about….

  • buy high grit sandpaper & black paint for doors
  • sand kitchen/living room/bedroom air vent covers & spray paint white
  • replace air vent cover in bathroom with new
  • prime the bathroom walls/ceiling
  • spray paint ikea cart black
  • spray paint shower curtain rings black to match new black rod
  • scrape/prep bedroom doors for paint (& then paint!)
  • boil door hardware to remove paint
  • spray paint snake plant pot that i hate white
  • pot my new birds of paradise tree

guys. i’m not going to lie. i’m a spray paint virgin but i hear that spray paint solves everything, right? that’s what the internet tells me so i’m going for it. wish me luck.


let’s talk bathrooms


the bedroom is pretty much done but i’m interrupting all of the bedroom talk to tell you about my bathroom because as of last night, i think it’s killing me.

my bathroom was disgusting. like i was embarrassed & i was the only one home to see it. so last night i scrubbed it clean from top to bottom, primed the shower walls/ceiling & took out the old target bookshelf we’ve dragged around with us for the past 8 years. it was satisfying until i was finished, put everything back together & then stepped out of the room to look. i had a little panic about how ugly my bathroom was. i’ve never LOVED our bathroom but it’s never bothered me. maybe it’s because the rest of the house is finally coming together & seeing this pretty untouched space made me realize how much love it really needs.


proof. i’m embarrassed to even show this. my best friend kept trying to reassure me that it was fine. i am aware that this might be dramatic but nothing about this is fine. if it wouldn’t have been 9:30pm on a work night, i’d have been in there, paint brush in one hand & ripping down the shower curtain with the other. why was i ever okay with keeping that paint color from the previous owners? why did i think that shower curtain looked okay? better yet, what did i even see in that shower curtain to begin with? why did i buy orange towels? where do bloggers put their laundry hampers & how do you get a pretty one that won’t cost you your first-born child?


1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12

this is my goal for the overall look. white walls, black accents & plants (surprise!). i’m either going to spray paint my blue ikea cart or buy a new one in black. the topic that is up for debate is paint. i’m really tempted to paint the ceiling black. am i crazy? my gut tells me that am & that i should do it.

if i had money, i’d start gutting this room immediately. i seriously cannot wait for that day to come. one day i plan on having black hexagon floor tile with white subway tile on the walls/shower. until i can afford that, i’m breaking the renovation down to three phases; each one being a step towards the final project & complete overhaul.

phase one: (done!)

  • paint everything
  • replace the shower curtain, orange towels, hand towel hoop, toilet paper holder, air vent cover & storage
  • restore the door, replace the hinges & paint it black

phase two:

  • replace the sink with a basic cabinet sink & black faucet
  • new lighting
  • anything else from phase one that we couldn’t afford

phase three:

  • new flooring
  • gut shower & redo with white subway tile & black hardware
  • every other disaster that is going to come our way when we start ripping shit out

that’s about it. i can’t stop thinking about it. i need to clean my house for ryan’s birthday weekend tonight but my heart is telling me to prime those walls…. we’ll see who wins.


bedroom update


i did not anticipate our bedroom taking this long. last week i started to feel like it was never going to end. i was never going to move past those windows. this week though, there’s a light at the end of my tunnel & i’m running towards it. let’s start where we last left off.


day 5

i needed to see major progress before i lost my shit so i pressed pause on paint scraping & primed the walls. i felt so much better after this.


day 7

day 7

i think i spent 4 hours scraping three pieces of trim to get here. i wanted to die but felt so victorious to have 1 window down*. this is also when i officially came to terms with the fact that i have given myself lead poisoning. i did remember to wear a mask 50% of the time so that counts for something right?

you can see all of the colors our woodwork has once been. the green is the first coat, then you can see a little bit of yellow on the top of the trim as coat #2, the beige that you see on the window sash under the white was coat #3 & then the white was coat #4. i didn’t scrape all the way to the wood. the green doesn’t really budge & once sanded, it’s great for paint!

*the trim is done. the inside window frames & sashes will be done later on down the road when it’s not 100 degrees & i do a full rehab, inside & out, of the windows. for now, i’ll put a roller blind in the window & it will mostly hide the unfinished parts.


day 10

major progress on the second window. i scraped until i literally couldn’t anymore after mowing & weed eating the yard with ryan. i hope my arms come out of this project looking so beautifully sculpted.

day 15

day 15

sorry for how shitty this picture is. it was really late at night. i didn’t have much time over the weekend to work so not much progress was made. i ended up having to scrape the right side of the closet trim because the paint was chipping pretty badly. i also got the first coats of paint up on this wall & cut in around the entire room.

2016.08.24 2016.08.24(3)

day 17

day 17

this is where i am now. i painted the ceiling and the 2nd & 3rd coats of cutting in are done. the doors are removed for future restoration (can i call sanding, repainting & redoing the hardware a restoration?).

walking by this room has made me so happy the last couple of days. i was getting really sick of it until i got that first coat of paint up & now it’s so bright & beautiful. i can’t wait to get in there & finish it up.

things left to do:

  • caulk, caulk, caulk!
  • second coat of paint on walls
  • one or two more coats on window trim
  • one or two more coats cutting in
  • install roller blinds
  • decide whether i want blackout roller blinds only or our current situation of light filtering blinds + curtains
  • replace all outlet & light switch covers
  • move bedroom necessities only back in (rug, mattress, tv, nightstands)
  • find a solution for the tv that fits with the room better
  • restore windows (sand/repaint frames, replace window sash chains)
  • restore doors (scrape, sand, paint black, replace hinges & door knobs)
  • eventually: add floor length mirror leaning against wall w/stool, linen duvet, bed pillows & shorter/more unconventional nightstands. paint closet.

shit. writing it out made it sound so much more daunting.

bedroom inspiration


i thought i’d take a break from scraping windows to stop in to share my inspiration for our bedroom. like most people, my style has changed significantly since my first apartment but it’s been focused on the same styles pretty consistently the last several years. thank god the fleur-de-lis & audrey hepburn portrait phase didn’t last long & that there’s little, to no proof of this phase beyond my own nightmares.

i started looking through my pinterest & realized that i might as well just re-pin the same spaces over & over again. the same reoccurring theme is in all of them: white walls, black accents, linen textiles, plants, wood floors, low furniture, natural light, neutral color palette. i skimmed over my bedroom folder & saved the ones that really jumped out at me & immediately began regretting our bed…

easy like sunday morning


1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10

thanks to my windows, my arms are tired & my hands hurt when i close them but looking at these photos makes me remember why i’m doing it. i want the most important room in my house to also be the most comfortable. hopefully i can get our room put back together over the weekend so that i’ll be one step closer to having the room i envision.

& if anyone wants to make any linen textile or plant donations, i am accepting. 🙂


windows ruin everything


when my sisters & i were kids, we were expected to do daily chores before our parents got home from work. i was an expert at finding ways to cut corners to make it look like i had done them correctly when in fact, i’d probably wasted more time trying to get away with a lie. the goal of tricking my mom became so serious that i once raked the shag carpet in our den in one direction to make it look like i had vacuumed. little jana was a little shit. i’m going to continue to blame my dad for those deceptive traits.

my family home

my older sister, mallory & me outside our family home in 1995

“as long as it looks okay, it is okay” could’ve been our family’s theme song. i was raised in a house poor, working class family that was exceptional at making sure we were perceived a certain way. we lived in a nice, suburban neighborhood in the nice part of town in a nice 1978, 2400 sq ft ranch; well outside of our means. when your income goes to making sure that that suburban roof stays above your head & food gets put on the table, you simply can’t afford to properly keep up with the maintenance of that dwelling. you do what you have to do to give the appearance that things are good. you cut corners. you paint over rot instead of replacing it. you cover the termites. you learn that fresh paint can make anything look better. this is not a slight towards my parents. they did what they thought was right at the time to make sure their kids were given a better life than they were & i’m thankful for that.

unfortunately, i unknowingly kept that theme with me through adulthood. i bought a house i couldn’t really afford (the mortgage yes, but not the maintenance of an old home) & got into the mindset of, “just make it appear that everything is okay”. do what you have to do, right?

this week i set a goal for myself to repaint the dogs’ room & swap it for our bedroom. our current room is the hottest room in the house & it’s 112 degrees outside so we’ve been sleeping in hell. ryan is traveling for work this week so it was perfect timing to surprise him. only, if i’m going to swap the furniture, i should probably take this time to mark some things off my long to-do list & slap some paint on the walls too. at minimum i think i should paint what will be our bedroom (currently the dogs’ room) because i’m pretty sure my dogs don’t give a shit what color their room is, but i do.

this week i decided to grow up, break the cycle & do things the right way, even if it really sucks.

day 1

day 1

i got the room cleaned out while hank followed me around as close as he could get because where the fuck is dad? i spent a lot of time telling hank to move while i shuffled around workout equipment & crates. i did manage to get the baseboards along the two walls shown above, as well as both doors trim, sanded. i decided i’m not going to paint the doors right now. i think it will be easier to take them off the hinges to prep & paint them when it’s a little bit cooler outside.

please take note of what our floors actually look like. this room is probably the worst of it, at least.

day 2-2

day 2

day 2

this wasn’t exactly my plan. my plan was to finish giving everything a light sanding & get the walls primed. the problem is that a piece of chipped paint on the window sill was taunting me & before i knew it, i’d spent 3.5 hours scraping paint & had very little show for it. i call this the giving-myself-lead-poisoning phase. who needs safety, right?

i started to regret my decision to go so hard on the windows because i really just wanted to have a pretty room when ryan came home but then i kicked myself in the ass for trying to take a shortcut again. when it comes down to it, i know it won’t be worth it in the long run if i don’t take the time to do it right. so removing that paint i go. i even got on the internet to learn more about old windows & how to restore them/make them more energy-efficient. thanks to daniel, i can’t fathom replacing them anymore because all i can do is hear him yell about the monsters that get rid of original windows.

day 3

day 3

scrape, scrape, scrape, scrape, scrape. 3.5 more hours & i am so sick of how long it’s taking even though it’s so satisfying to do. i actually kind of enjoy it but at this rate, it’ll take me a month to get these windows scraped. time for plan b. try paint stripping gel again. i remembered hating using it on our back door but apparently i’d already forgotten just how much i hated it. i applied a coat of gel to all un-scraped areas & then finished sanding the detail on the trim of the baseboards by hand.

day 4

day 4

i wasted an hour trying to scrape the trim that had gel on it. barely anything budged. i immediately regretted my decision to apply it but there’s nothing i can do now. i decide not to mess with the windows right now & only focus on the moulding. i’ll tackle the windows in a couple of months when it’s time to restore them & replace the broken sash chains. i got the remaining baseboards sanded & applied another extremely thick coat of gel on the painted mouldings. i needed to see progress so i cut in around the entire room with primer. i was hoping to get all of the walls primed but you know, i work 8-5 so my time is limited.

today is day 5; the final day. the day when my husband comes home & sees our new beautiful rooms & all my hard work & then weeps with gratitude. the rooms are beautiful, white & fully put back together. i even managed to start on the closets! and then i wake up & realize that i’m a failure & it’s all a lie. instead, ryan gets to come home to our dogs living in the middle of the living room (as well as everything else that came out of that room), dishes in the sink, dust covering everything & me hyperventilating in the corner from the anxiety of it all.

this is the second cycle of me & projects. i get really motivated, go all in, hit a wall of dread & anxiety at 50% complete & then spend weeks wallowing in my despair that it’s never going to be over.


tour: part IV, finale


**i’m sorry for any of you that have been experiencing technical difficulties with this site. it has been a headache the last 48 hours & i hope that it’s resolved now. as i’m new to this whole website thing, there’s a huge learning curve on my part.

anyway, on to the final leg of the house tour. i promise this is the last one. i’m over it just as much as you are.



the hallway was the same poop brown (even the ceiling!) from the kitchen when we moved in & i painted it charcoal because i knew it was dark enough to cover it without priming. this is also known as being a lazy piece of shit. i give myself a gold star anyway because i did at least have the decency to paint the ceiling white. i’ll be honest & tell you that i did that three years ago & have never finished it because i’m a disgusting human being. it needs a lot shit-ton of touch-ups.

the built-ins are great for storage, even if using the drawers are a headache. they aren’t on tracks. they are literally just wood boxes shoved in holes that screech the entire time you pull or push them. i will get around to refinishing them & making them a little nicer eventually but you know, minecraft still exists. the question is, what do i do with the walls? my first thought is to just paint them white (surprise!) but if i white out the entire hall, will it be too much?


2009, previous owner's

2009, previous owner’s

we have one bathroom that is small & cute. the size doesn’t bother me. ryan & i both use it at the same time & it’s fine so that’s all that matters. i’m just glad we don’t have to work around pink or avocado tile like a lot of people in old homes.

we’ve really not done much of anything to the bathroom except replace the shower head & change the shower curtain a million times. we’ve also taken down the roman blind & put up window film instead. i love the natural light in there.

my main annoyance in here is that although i love the look of a pedestal sink in an old home, it’s cracked & i wouldn’t mind getting a little built-in storage action so i can take out the bookcase. the best part of the bathroom, and maybe the entire house in my eyes, is by far, the floor. the original tile is beautiful & admittedly, it’s been there for me through a lot of drunken sick nights. i will be so sad to see it go. i’m pretty positive there are a lot of things wrong lurking just beneath the surface so a gut remodel is most likely in our future. i’m actually looking forward to this day because i think it sounds fun & i have so many ideas. except, how will we survive without it while that’s happening? what do people do when they remodel their only bathroom?

north bedroom

2009, from the listing

2009, from the listing

we use the back/north bedroom as a dog room because dogs come with a lot of shit. especially when one of them is 75 pounds and therefore requires a crate the size of a crib. the former owners had a king size bed & huge chunky wardrobe just to the right of the door squeezed in here & it was ridiculous.


this was our bedroom for the first several years until our miniature australian shepherd died 3 years ago & we just needed a change. those yellow walls annoyed me so much.


one night, we were sleeping peacefully & the plaster ceiling fell on our heads. okay, it only fell on ryan’s. so we had to rip it all down & put up drywall. i later discovered that you’re supposed to take down the lath too. oops. does anyone else love the lath ceiling or is it just me? i wish i could’ve just kept it bare.


there was one thing i knew for sure. i couldn’t stand looking at those yellow fucking walls for one more day so as soon as the new ceiling was ready for paint, so were the walls. i painted it the same blue-grey i used in the living room at the time with a darker “charcoal” wall (it’s totally navy).

IMG_3291 IMG_3289



now it’s just a room dedicated completely to our dogs, my clothes & the only thing i own just for sentimental value; the rocking chair my great-grandfather made. the red ikea bookcase is perfect for storing our dog food (bottom shelves), my pajamas & unmentionables (baskets), the printer & what few books we have remaining after our purge (top shelves).

the best part about the bedrooms is that they both have really good-sized closets. it’s really hard to photograph such a small space but i think this still gives an idea of how deep they are. above the racks, there’s a shelf with about 1.5 feet of storage room. i keep extra 30 pound dog food bags up there. we’ve found that it just makes sense for each of us to have our own closet, rather than having half of our things in each. this is all of my clothes & shoes for year round. like most things in my life, i don’t like to over think shit so i try not to with my wardrobe either. if it’s black, i’m happy. ryan’s closet looks pretty much the exact same, just add 500 million more shoes.

south bedroom


2009, from the listing

2009, from the listing

the thing that most confused me was that this room was painted slightly different from the other. i don’t understand the choices in that.

i pretty much never took a picture of this room for 6 years! i don’t have a single one & there’s a good reason. it always looked like shit. we had a roommate for a little while shortly after we bought the house & all i remember is that he only ever had one little lamp on next to his bed. it then became “the awkward room” for 3 years until we moved our bedroom in there. the awkward room was essentially storage. the dogs crates were in there & various other furniture (old couches, dressers, chairs, guitars, etc.). pretty much, if we didn’t know what to do with it or didn’t want to look at it out in the house, we put it in there & shut the door. then ollie died & we made it our bedroom but i still never took a picture until now.


& because i took these on 2 different days between laundry, you get to see our primary bedspread (found here) & our back-up (similar here). this is my favorite room. i spend a lot of time in here & even though i disagree with the paint color, i am so comfortable in this room. i think a lot of it has to do with the fact that there’s not much in it, it gets the best natural light of the whole house & we splurged on linen sheets awhile back & they definitely live up to all the hype. the worst part about the room is that it’s the hottest room in the house.


i have a lot of plans for this half of the house & plan to execute them under my husband’s nose while he’s gone for work so who knows, maybe he’ll find out via this blog.


tour: part III, the living room


next stop on the tour is the main living space(s). you open the front door into a huge open room that i find to be a little awkward in size. because of this, it has been rearranged a million times & i’m sure it will never stop.

2009, from the appraisal

2009, from the appraisal


the fireplace doesn’t work & i have no clue when it was last in working order. i think it would be really awesome to get it running again. i vaguely remember the realtor saying that something was wrong with the gas line running to it. that horrendous faux-texture paint job above it KILLS me. i have no clue why anyone would paint anything in that way, ever. i’ve always been curious what’s behind the drywall. is there a beautiful brick chimney? i’m also guessing they covered it for a reason. or is this like the desk situation, part 2?

2009, previous owner's shit

2009, previous owner’s shit

the picture window is one of my favorite things about the house. it’s an original single-pane, inefficient, steel window with side casement windows (covered by the curtains in the picture). the problem is that the window-seat seems to make a really great place to dump things. it’s currently full of tools & paint as you’ll see below. i’ve always wanted an upholstered cushion for it but at 11′ long & 2′ deep, i would have to have something custom-made which is way more than i’m willing to spend. i could try & make something myself but i haven’t sewn in several years, so is that smart? i don’t know. i just want to cover up the tile countertops (same ones from the kitchen). then again, when i get wood to replace the counters in there, should i just get a piece for here too? but will it hold the weight of people sitting on it? or more realistically, several 5 gallon paint buckets?


let’s just pretend that the early days of over filtering & focusing your pictures for instagram never happened. i’m acknowledging how horrible it is & now let’s never talk about it again.

the first year in our house we did what every young couple does needing to furnish an entire house on a budget. we let ikea & target throw up all over the place & thought it was so awesome. six years later & only two items remain from this time. our style has changed so much since then. i didn’t even mind the green paint on the walls.


in 2013 i painted the walls “grey” with teal accent walls (gross). the grey was really more blue than anything else but it really helped to lighten up the space. i never really liked the tv mounted above the fireplace either so i was happy for that change. i was starting to understand at this point that i don’t like feeling like i live in a cave.


the next year i got creative & moved the living room to the back nook. i think it’s my favorite furniture placement to date. notice that the window seat was collecting piles back then too. it’s never-ending. we ending up getting two 8×10 jute rugs from west elm (similar here) on clearance for $300, which i felt i couldn’t pass up that kind of deal at the time. i loved that green rug when we first got it but it has not held up well. it is unraveling in many places & is extremely stretched out.

i seem to have zero pictures of the other side of the room from this time. sorry!



*please ignore this mess. i specifically remember taking this just to send to my bff to show her that we got our new couch.

at the beginning of 2015, we made our first “adult” purchases. first, we replaced our beloved ikea karlstad with the peggy from west elm (mistake #1) & then we bought a fake eames lounger (mistake #2). within a year, the sofa has probably 10 missing buttons, the fabric has dulled significantly & it’s very wobbly. i’ve been so disappointed in the quality of the product. i can’t believe that our ikea sofa held up better than this one. it already needs to be replaced, whereas the karlstad withstood 6 years of 6 different dogs jumping all over it, a million house parties & dozens of sleep overs. we even got a couple hundred bucks out of it in the end. we won’t be so lucky with this one. the lounger is.. well.. beautiful at first glance but i do feel a little guilty about buying it now. not to mention that the leather on the seat ripped at the button within 6 months. live & learn or some shit?

but then this happened! ryan’s back went out while he was in the attic & he ended up straddling a beam because of it (ouch!). i had to move our living room back to the other side so this could be fixed. it turned out to be a good thing because it’s what finally motivated me to tackle painting the whole house & finally paint the woodwork in here. it also made it impossible to ignore that horrible light fixture.

my wonderful, professional painter of a step-dad came & patched the drywall for us, while also re-texturing the entire ceiling so it would all match. it had been patched in several spots over the years. it was incredibly nice of him & if you ever need a painter in the state of oklahoma, i’ll be more than happy to put you in contact with him.

2015, february

2015, february

the plastic came down & i decided that now was the time to get to work on the woodwork. this is the worst project i’ve ever done. it took so long just to prep one stupid window for paint. it pretty much went like this: sand until my arms died, cry, wipe clean, patch wood, sand, sand, cut off my arms, sand, cry, clean with deglosser, sob. it didn’t take me long to realize why i had put it off for so long & i’m embarrassed to say how long this took me.

2016, january

in eleven months (ELEVEN!) i had gotten this far. in case you couldn’t tell, i hadn’t even painted the entire room. you can see where i stopped above the hall door. but dammit, it just felt so good to have those windows done. i was obsessed with the walls being white too (i still am). what happened was that my laziness kicked in hardcore after i got those windows done & it was almost impossible for me to motivate myself to pick up a paint brush.

2016, march


in march i finished painting & dropped everything in place. i was happy because i loved the way the white completely transformed the feeling of the entire house but i wasn’t satisfied with the placement of anything. over the last year, i’ve kept taking more & more things out of my house. i got really into the KonMari method, right along with the rest of the world, but it bled into something so much deeper & more important to me. it has really changed my life. i started realizing that by removing all of the stuff from my physical space, it started making my mental space less anxious. i did some serious purging. soon after, i started listening to the minimalists podcast & it has taken me even further. i started getting rid of everything. minimizing physical & mental clutter has become something i need to do for myself. i’ve started living so much more intentionally because of it & now try to focus my time only towards what is really important to me, what i value & what my goals are.


2016, august*

2016, august*

i started by getting rid of things like our dining room table that was seldom used. i don’t want a table just because that’s what you’re “supposed” to have, nor do i want things on my wall for that same reason. it’s also why i don’t have a guest bed or a dresser in my bedroom. i’m glad that i could pass those things along to people who can get some joy out of them. i’d encourage everyone to only keep things (& people) around them that truly bring value to their lives. otherwise, what is the point?

*the window seat pile keeps growing. there are so many paint cans on there. and tubes of caulk. and gutter repair kits. and grass seed. and a donation pile. how do i stop this madness?


a few minor things left on the to-do:

  • finish painting ceiling / second coat on entire ceiling
  • find a better storage solution for my home repair tools that doesn’t include putting them in the garage
  • drop off our donation pile
  • refinish coffee table in seating area (craigslist find for $20)
  • replace brown rug with 9×12 rug (this or this)
  • fix fireplace
  • fix the wiring on one of the recessed lights
  • change door knob & lock?
  • finish prepping hallway doorway (i removed the door & popped off the trim) for paint

today, i feel pretty good about the space. a room is never done but i feel totally okay with where we are now. one day we’ll get the floors refinished. they are original which i’m thankful for, but they’re in pretty rough shape. i have no idea what kind of wood they are. how do people even know these things? i’m hoping that it’s pretty enough to just seal them once they’re sanded down & not stain them.

just talking about purging is making me itch to get home & add to my donate pile.

tour: part II, the kitchen


so. i watched my first episode of fixer upper last night & realized something about myself. i love old homes. yes, i live in an old home, i bought an old home on purpose; i never loved them before. i did not appreciate them. i did not care about their charm & original details. i just wanted a home that didn’t feel like it was falling apart & i always thought that meant a life in a cookie-cutter suburban home unless you had the big bucks to build your own. i used to dream about being out of this house because i despised living in something that i couldn’t trust to keep me sane. now i only dream about being out of this house because i want an adventure in another life. anyway. as i’m watching chip? is his name chip? please don’t name your kid chip. as i’m watching that dude rip out ALL of the character & original everything from this 1930s home, i’m getting angry. i never realized how much i cared. it also really bothered me how much shit they threw into a landfill & how they decided to use 75% of a budget for an extravagant, professional grade kitchen. i don’t know. i just felt oddly protective of my house afterward. it was strange. i think all of the back-reading i did on this & this really rubbed off on me. i love anna & daniel’s perspective on old homes & i guess i’ve grown to see it the same way. look people, i’ve evolved!

i bitch about that to say, it really got me thinking about my kitchen. my kitchen is the thing that everybody comments on when they come over for the first time. everyone thinks it’s cute. everyone but me (because i obviously refuse to love anything). there are things about it that i don’t hate but to ooh & aah over it? give me a fucking break. i realized watching fixer upper that the things i don’t like about my kitchen are the things that were done to “update” it (counters, backsplash, flooring). i want to fix that.

i spent 4 hours scrubbing it from top to bottom & the pain in my shoulders is proof. i’m choosing to believe my pain is from cleaning & not from the hours a day i get sucked in to playing minecraft on my laptop. it’s probably from minecraft. i am a child.





when we were house hunting, i remember being thrilled to find one that had been opened up a little. apparently i didn’t try sitting at the bar when we looked at it because i would have discovered then that the counter depth is too shallow for your knees to fit underneath it. i also managed to ignore the poop brown walls, the laundry room in the kitchen & that it had tile countertops. i’m a professional ignor-er.

the upper cabinets are original though which is nice buuuut i hate them. i think it’s because i know that they’re cracked in the back, even though nobody else knows. i think once i redo them & replace the hardware, i’ll be happier with them. the bottom cabinets were replaced at some point & they don’t match the style of the top which bothers me.

2009, before


on the other side (looking towards the front door) are original cabinets & although they are great for storage, they don’t function well. they’re very low & they all stick. i need to put some sweat & tears into them & sand them down a little. we used them as a pantry for awhile but i really didn’t like having to get on the floor to find a spice. right now i’m using them as tools/paint storage because our garage is “the point of no return” so i avoid storing things in it. one day i’ll remedy that…. maybe. maybe i’ll just torch it.

desk, before

the POS “built-in” desk that was added was a mess. the cabinets were only 10 inches deep (useless), the top wasn’t painted correctly & it wasn’t even sanded smooth. we never used it for anything more than a place to drop shit we didn’t want to put away right then anyway.

a couple of weeks ago, i mustered up the courage to start painting the kitchen. this was my least favorite paint color in the house but it took me seven years to paint it. the thought of moving appliances made me quit before i started. i figured the best place to start was this side of the kitchen since there are no appliances to move. as soon as i started i had an overwhelming NEED to remove the desk. i sent this picture to my husband with the words “i wonder how hard taking this out will be….”. i’m sure he sent me back something to the effect of NO. if you’ve never lived in a house with plaster walls, let me tell you, they are the devils work. they make everything so much scarier. you never know how much damage your wall is going to take from something as simple as hanging a picture, let alone ripping out a cabinet. whatever ryan did say back, i ignored it & said fuck it.

desk window

turns out, it wasn’t even built in! nothing was screwed to the walls or each other. *insert eye roll* this makes me very curious about what this space was originally. was it a banquette? once i saw how easy the removal was, my heart dropped because i just knew they had to have done it for a reason. there must be something horrible hiding behind those cabinets. nope. nothing. the walls are in fine shape. the molding is all intact. the only thing back there is where our cable drop is for internet & i knew i could find a better solution for our router that didn’t require so much bulk.


i still can’t believe how much of a difference the white makes. it’s just off-the-shelf Behr premium plus white in eggshell. a lot of bloggers say how horrible it is to “find the right white”. people seem to put themselves through agony finding the right shade. i decided i wasn’t going to. probably not the smartest decision but i really didn’t want to overthink it. i literally went to my local lowes & told the paint guy, “i just want a 5 gallon bucket of straight white paint. show me where it is”. i didn’t even attempt to look at paint chips. so far, i’ve painted the living room & kitchen, floor to ceiling, with the same white & i love it so much. i also didn’t bother using a different shade or sheen for the trim or ceiling because i’m a rebel.

i know white rooms have been really popular the last couple of years & are also getting a lot of hate because people are “so over it” already. guys, calm down. unless you live there, why do you care? people like what they like & i personally love an all white room. i always lean towards a minimal design & white fits that for me. i’ve tried to do the whole boho-maximalist thing a couple of times. i love it in other people’s spaces but when it comes down to it, i just really hate owning a lot of shit.


anyway, when i was done i moved this white cabinet from IKEA in here, cut a hole in the back & put our router, microwave & other various small kitchen appliances inside. problem solved. if i were a good blogger i probably would’ve removed the dog water bowl before i took this picture but this is real life & my dogs drink a shit ton of water. this is the least conspicuous place in our house for it.



this side wasn’t as bad as i thought it would be. moving the fridge isn’t too hard. moving the washer & dryer was a beast but i did it because i’m stubborn, impatient & don’t like help if i think i can manage it. i’ve moved those things over & over again at this point. it doesn’t get easier in case you were wondering. my favorite part about this side being white? the brick. don’t ask me why, i have no answer that makes since. it just seems to make such a difference being white.

the worst part about his process? this motherfucking door*. i’ve never stripped paint before & now i never want to again. the paint was in such horrible condition that i didn’t have a choice but to start from scratch. i spent hours & hours & hours, over multiple days, trying to get this paint off. our house isn’t well ventilated & i don’t own a real respirator so after reading some reviews i went with Citristrip stripping gel. i think i applied it to every spot at least six times. if i was lucky, each application would get 1 layer of paint off. the directions say to paint it on, wait 15 minutes & then scrape it off with a putty knife. HA. i found 2 different ways that kind of worked, depending on how much time i had to work on it, neither of which matched the instructions or video tutorials on “how easy it is to use”., 1. apply in one foot sections at a time & immediately start scraping. repeat. 2. put on a really thick coat, wait at least a day or however long it takes to dry & then come back to it. usually, it would start bubbling and i could peel the layers off by hand. i preferred this method but it took for.ever.

*it makes me sad now that this door had a dog door cut in it. don’t get me wrong, i love my dog door. but but but but. this is such a beautiful, solid wood door & it sucks that they just cut a hole in the middle of the panels. if you couldn’t tell, the dog door could use a replacement too. it’s permanently disgusting.

in the end i got it done & i’m still really happy with the results. i still have several things left to-do but just having fresh paint is so satisfying!


i’m at a stand still on what to do above the stove. i was thinking about doing a pegboard to hold pots & pans & whatnot’s but i can’t decide on whether it would look cool or trashy. do you paint it the same color as the wall to make it blend or a dark color for contrast? i would like to use the space as some sort of storage. or do i just hang a big piece of art? help me.

that fancy trim & light above the sink have to go. i can’t stand them. some days i just want to rip down all of those cabinets but like i mentioned before, i’m too terrified to see what kind of shape the plaster walls would be left in & i really don’t want to budget for drywall.

i want to replace the countertops myself like daniel’s at manhatten nest. i absolutely love the look of his mini-overhaul. i keep telling ryan that i could do it & it’d be easy so he doesn’t need to worry about it. i don’t know if he believes me. i think i’ve decided that i should paint the bottom cabinets dark & i’ve already got the color picked! it’s really hard to keep white cabinets looking clean when you have 3 messy dogs that run in & out of the kitchen a million times a day to access the backyard. i think having a dark base would really help with keeping things looking cleaner on a regular basis. thoughts?

things left to do:

  • apply one more coat of paint to the back door
  • apply one more coat on the trim surrounding the door (& then move the washer & dryer back closer to the wall)
  • add storage (pegboard? shelves?) above stove
  • replace black roller blind with a properly fitting white one to match rest of the house
  • cut off trim detail above window
  • replace light above sink
  • sand cabinets down & repaint
  • replace the hardware on all the cabinets
  • replace counters with wood
  • replace air vent cover
  • tile backsplash*
  • replace stove with stainless steel to match the other appliances*
  • find a longer beautiful rug to cover more of the floor*

*more of a pipe dream unless they cost $0, but a girl can dream

two more for cuteness factor alone because apparently hank was unhappy with the amount of time i took to snap these pictures so he decided he’d plant himself in the middle of them.

you win hank, you win.

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