the continuing home tour – { master }

By Moriah on April 20th, 2013

So here’s a little twirl around our room. And no, it’s not usually this clean, usually several overflowing laundry baskets aline the far wall.

I read a post once about doing the master room first – creating it first, cleaning it first. Good idea in theory, hardly ever happens in real life. (I’m guessing.) I wasn’t thinking I’d even have our room completed this year but Andy recently decided he’d had enough of not having a nightstand on his side and said I was free to go buy the ones I wanted. I got lamps, too, because what good is matching nightstands without matching lamps?

A few steps inside the door, looking left:






This is the Sorrento desk I inherited from Nanny:


A little peek into the bathroom…



From the far side of the room, looking back – closet behind door on left (horrid mirror needs to be replaced), and door to living room on right:


And then just sort of a backed-up general view from the door:


continuing home tour – master bath

By Moriah on April 4th, 2013

Our master bathroom might be one of Steve’s top career masterpieces to date. And I get the daily benefit.

(I should also point out Nicky has spent her fair share of hours in here, notably scrubbing a blue stain off the etched bathtub he found for a steal of a deal. I know she also helped lay the tile. Girl power!)

What you see coming in from our room:


A little to the left:


And to the right:


Shower (otherwise known as Single Reason Andy Bought This House):


Sinks (I would have preferred a vanity but couldn’t convince Steve to change the plans):


My messy storage (Ican’tbelieveI’mshowingyouthis):




More to the left:


And in the back:


Yep, we love.


By Moriah on February 4th, 2013

So now we get to the kitchen. Obviously one of my favorite places, although I don’t love to cook like my friend Nicky does. Her husband Steve designed the whole thing — chose colors and appliances and everything. And he has really really good taste. The only thing I can take credit for is the washer and dryer, which you can’t even see in these photos. ;)  And the painting, I also chose that. ha

This is coming in from the back door, you enter into a little entryway that is my laundry room (which is why I was adamant that the washer & dryer had to be stainless and match the kitchen):

Looking back:

The view looking in from the dining room:

This one you can see the laundry room, just off the kitchen, and then the back door.

I’m sure eventually I’ll put something lovely on top of the two shorter cabinets but I haven’t decided what to do there yet.

This is what you see coming into the house, I didn’t realize I didn’t have a shot of this view until I was editing photos that night and snapped one.

And then looking into the dining area from the kitchen:

Um yeah, we love it. And no, it doesn’t stay this clean.

{for eating}

By Moriah on January 30th, 2013

The kitchen doesn’t have any seating so this is it, where we eat. And we make the kids sit on the bench.

(for reference, the table is 94″ x 46″)

From this last shot you can see how to the left is the family room (with the huge blank wall I haven’t decided what to do with yet), the arch is the stairway, and to the right is the kitchen. (Up next.)

{more from upstairs}

By Moriah on January 25th, 2013

I straightened up half of the upstairs yesterday, so I’ll share it next! This is (obviously) the tv side of the playroom…

Best. Rug. Ever.  (From Overstock.)  I made the curtains, fabric from IKEA.

The pillows are brighter in real life.

(The one below, behind the purple, is actually a true red.)

Our downstairs is VERY traditional so it was fun to go more modern and fun up here.

And then the kids’ bathroom, also upstairs:

(Otherwise known as the room that doesn’t stay clean, ever.)

{girls’ room}

By Moriah on January 19th, 2013

This room was a lot of fun. I showed you a sneak peek of something I did for this room, so it’s fun to show you the finished product. (Also completed while my mom was here!)

For some reason it was really hard to get a lighter shot of this first view, even though it was sunny and in the middle of the day. I tried to lighten it the best I could, just imagine that it’s actually brighter in the room.

Dress ups!

(The missing drawer is out being repaired since it fell apart.)

I’ve always loved these fairies, they were in the girls’ room at the old house and they were the one thing I kept:

And, presenting the PINK CLOSET! (Andy teases me this is the reason I bought the house. Which may or may not be the case.)

I’m a little hesitant to share these except I get asked about their clothes all the time. And it IS my pet hobby. :)

(There’s more in the laundry, yikes.)  This closet is soo cool – it slopes down on either side along the roofline. Perfect for playing and hiding out.

Also the only area in the house we put carpeting in. Arianna sets up her baby beds back there and plays in peace. So funny.

So there you have it! My The girls’ room!

{boys’ room}

By Moriah on January 18th, 2013

I am FINALLY ready to start sharing photos of our house. My mom was here for a long visit and so I was able to do some projects that otherwise wouldn’t have been done. (Stripes in the boys’ room being one of them.)

Their room is almost complete; I only need a couple more things, like a lamp.  Drew’s been begging for one. I also have some flat wire airplanes that I’m going to hang from the ceiling.  And maybe add a couple more things on the walls, we’ll see.

Most of Drew’s furniture was from Nanny. There is another twin bed hiding in the closet, saved for Ethan.

I should have removed those huge storage tubs, what an eyesore. They are broken anyway and are gonna be tossed. Oh well.

Drew’s big dresser and nightstand were also from Nanny. I love that.

As you can see, there are two closets in here. They are sort of cut-outs into the attic, with very sloped ceilings. Fun little places to hide and play. The entire upstairs floor has a sort of loft feeling.

The girls’ room is pretty much done as well, I’ll try to share it soon!

Couple of Things

By Moriah on August 13th, 2012

Winner for the Veggie Tales Penniless Princess dvd is Athena! I will be in contact with you girl!

Soo, apparently we’re not fake-selling our house, they want to buy it! We’re fine with either way, kinda thought we’d keep it as a rental but this is super great too. Their home inspection is tomorrow. I need to wrap my head around the fact that we are MOVING in a MONTH! And school will be just getting underway around then also. BUSY. (Mom? Are you coming?)

It’s a little bittersweet. We’ve had FIVE babies in this house, lots of memories! And we’ve done soo much work on it over the years and I LOVE the tile in the bathroom. But it’s time to go. We need more space desperately and it will be nice to be closer to our church and Andy’s office (even if we’re moving away from the kids’ school; guess we can’t have everything).

And I’m also happy for the buyers – they are expecting their first and it’s kinda like seeing ourselves 9 years ago. This is such a great house for a new family.

We’re just not a new family anymore. ;)

the other side

By Moriah on August 5th, 2012

Fun times in Florida.  I’ll put some more photos of that up soon.  We came home to our van fixed and the tile fairy had come!

I don’t know why we didn’t do that 8 years ago. The main thing is it is not slippery at all.  The first photo makes it look more tan but it’s really more of a gray/white.  So nice to come home to work being done and we never even saw the mess.  We wanted it in before we have renters…

We got back in town last night and unpacked everything and put it all away immediately.  I love starting a new week fresh!

Oh, hi!

By Moriah on July 21st, 2012

Well. So I know this is what I said. But the truth is we can’t make it much longer and we found a bank that will approve us before the 2-year minimum (tax return documents, upon changing job industries). So we close on our new house hopefully mid-September. Happy and relieved don’t even BEGIN to describe it.

The story is, our good friend Steve (of Nicky & Co. fame) owns it currently and is doing all of the renovations. Andy actually represented his purchase. We’ve been thinking about buying it from him and wala! now we are. :) :) :) A couple of sneaks (keep in mind it’s currently under construction):

More has been done but I didn’t take any photos when I was there on Friday.

(Yeah, that’s gonna be a moving nightmare. VERY narrow staircase.)

Wood fireplace that actually works.

(I’m gonna have to watch Nicky when she comes over for dinner. She told me she wanted to steal my front door.)

The back. (Upstairs is a girls’ room and a boys’ room on either side and the middle is the playroom/family room and a bathroom.)

SO! Not what we were planning but a HUGE blessing, sent straight from heaven and is crashing down on our heads. We don’t deserve it. We don’t deserve anything.

But I could not be more thankful.

the go-to muffins

By Moriah on January 28th, 2011

My mom made a lot of from-scratch goodies when I was growing up, but she must not have been a big fan of the muffin because the only ones I remember were blueberry, from a box.

I, on the other hand, always seem to have spotty bananas around, which no one will eat. And I find banana bread + kids = too many crumbs. They can handle muffins, though. So we make these all the time and are a huge hit with my kids. (And us parents too, quite frankly.)

Banana Walnut Muffins
(adapted from the recipe in the red & white check BH&G cookbook)

1 3/4 cups flour (I usually use some combination of organic and/or whole wheat pastry)
2/3 cup organic sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon (sometimes I use a teeny bit more)
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 beaten egg
1/2 cup organic whole milk (actually, I usually end up splashing a little extra in if the batter seems dry when I go to mix)
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted down
3 small/medium spotty bananas
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
(1 tbs milled flax, optional)

Mix all the dry ingredients in a big bowl. Smash up the bananas (I think it’s easiest to do on a plate with a fork). Add in bananas and all the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well.

Line muffin tin with foil muffin cups and I usually lightly spray with oil. (Paper liners really stick badly to banana muffins for some reason.) Spoon batter into the cups, about 2/3 full. 400 degree oven for 20-22 minutes. It usually makes 14 for us.

Serve warm with BUTTER. :)

{rosette lampshade}

By Moriah on January 25th, 2011

One of the things I don’t like about our bedroom (besides the fact that it’s tiny) is we don’t get a lot of natural light. It’s in the back of the house, which gets little morning sun, and there’s also a tree that shades one of the windows. Sometimes it can feel like a cave. Which is just depressing.

I did keep a little lamp on the nightstand but one of the kids accidentally knocked it over and it broke. Actually, I think that’s happened twice. However, I had a store credit to Homegoods for months and months and would periodically check in to see if they had any lamps I liked.

Finally a couple of weeks ago they had one (clearanced, even!) that would work. I hated the shade though. I tossed it in the attic and kept looking for a cheap shade to match.

But then! It dawned on me out of the blue one day that I could re-do the shade it came with.

Old shade:

Ugliness ripped off (also had to fix one of the bars; yay for glue guns):

And then I just tied strips of white cotton muslin (that I already had) around the sides of the shade and glued rosettes I made (out of the same fabric) onto the front. (Google “rosettes” and you’ll get a ton of different tutorials if you’re ever interested in making some. Super easy.)

Yeah, much better, I know. Now I just need to plug it in. ;)

pizza, homemade perfection

By Moriah on January 19th, 2011


I hadn’t made homemade pizza in a long while, but we decided to make some a couple of weekends ago. I got the sauce recipe from my cousin Vangie – it’s a lot more like the sauce you find in Italy than American pizza sauce. It’s just a large can of whole peeled tomatos, drained, chopped right into the pan and sauteed in olive oil. That’s it! (I use my pampered chef chopper, handy tool that it is.) So, so good.

Andy requested it again this past weekend and that time we were sure we had some fresh basil on hand. Yuuuuuuuuum.

In-A-Pinch Meal Talk, cont.

By Moriah on July 20th, 2010

So apparently there are a lot of breakfast-for-dinner types reading this blog.  I don’t make that often since we usually have breakfast foods for… wait for it… breakfast! Plus it’s not really Andy’s preference.

(Although, I’m not sure why that matters now that I think about it, since he’s usually working during the dinner hour anyway.)

I WAS surprised that there was only one person who said taco salad, because that’s our other in-a-pinch meal.

taco salad

(Okay, I’ll try to refrain from snapping photos of my food from now on. It’s just so tempting since food actually, you know, SITS STILL.)

I don’t use anything fancy, just fresh salsa mixed in with ground turkey or beef. Add spinach or whathaveyou and tortilla chips and top with cheese and the kids are good to go. (I add more to mine; my kids have a gag reflex when it comes to sour cream. They do love guac, though.)

And, this was mentioned at least once too, whole wheat pasta and [jar] spaghetti sauce is a close third. (With pureed spinach, of course.)

Oh – I do have one more question: do you have dessert regularly? Do you give your kids a treat after they finish their evening meal? If so, what?

Are you a keeper or a tosser?

By Moriah on July 15th, 2010

Madeline’s already asked me about two different toys that I “misplaced” in the garbage bin yesterday.  (Why must she be so thorough?!)


After the tornado consignment sale blew through our house, well, it was one of these times.  Something had to be done.  Ellen (“the girl who watches my kids” – whom we LOVE, by the way) offered to watch my kids (along with her sister) at her neighbor’s pool for the afternoon.  Which meant that it was the perfect opportunity to purge the toy boxes.

And boy, purge I did.  It felt goooooooood.

(I’m still avoiding Madeline about those toys.  She’s 5.  She’s got to forget sometime, right?)

It never ceases to amaze me how different my attitude and outlook on life changes (for the better) when my house is (mostly) in order.  Neither Andy or I function well in the midst of clutter and toy chaos.  I doubt many people do.  And, as I’ve said before, in a small house you need LESS STUFF.

{Sometimes, I put her hair up just to remind myself how beautiful she is.}






{Most SOOC.}

PS: don’t forget Fun Mom Friday is tomorrow!

And it’s up!

By Moriah on June 30th, 2010

Yesterday, ALL BY MYSELF, I drug the remaining top-bunk box down from the attic, and started getting the bed set up. Andy had to pick up an extra bolt (one of the included ones was stripped or something) on his way to work, but we were able to finish last night. The kids were so excited they barely paid attention to their bedtime story.


(That photo doesn’t show the depth well, but it’s really a full on the bottom and a regular-sized twin on top.)

Arianna slept in there, too, in the crib. She woke up once (at 2 a.m.), nursed, and then slept the rest of the night.

(And there was much rejoicing.)

space small, space beautiful

By Moriah on June 29th, 2010

For a while now, I’ve been trying to clear our tiny house of all the excess and clutter. When you have a small house, you just need less stuff. And for what stays, I want everything in my house to be stuff that I love.

This is a little project I did a few weeks ago. I don’t have a before picture, but, I used to have this white juvenile lace(sorta) runner on my dresser top that I never really liked. It finally occurred to me to update it. (But I was also “determined not to just settle on something nice at Target.”)

I found this online, out of stock, but VERY thankfully, our BB&B had it in-store. (And I had a coupon.) It happens to match my walls perfectly (a little more celery than the photos suggest.) And I LOVE how it turned out.


The flowers mostly run along the front edge, except at the ends. It’s reversible and the flip side is green with white flowers (which was too much against my green walls.)


I also found this doll on clearance at Hobby Lobby, perfect for keeping some necklaces:


Something that used to bother me (my dresser) now makes me smile every time I walk into our room.

So, remember the bathroom?

By Moriah on May 22nd, 2010

We went from this:


To this:






(I usually have white yarn bath mats but they get dirty-looking so easily. I finally got some darker ones at BB&B.)

The new tub:


The crumbled wall I showed you at the top of this post (looks a little different now):




That’s right! I finally got my lazy rear into gear and painted the trim in the bathroom. It’s not a perfect paint job (still some problem areas from the silicone caulk) but hey, it’s DONE.

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