DIY: No Candy Classroom Valentines

Christmas was all about the kids, so this year I’ve decided that Valentine should be all about Hubby and me.  Plus, Big Boy’s class this year doesn’t allow Valentines.  Instead, every one in the class writes an “appreciation”, essentially says one nice thing about each person in the class.  The teacher then types all the nice comments for each to receive, and keep as a keepsake.  With that it mind, I wont be doing a classroom DIY.  However, you can check out my past DIY No Candy Classroom Valentines with printables, all inspired by school supplies:

DIY You Rule Valentine:

You Rule DIY no Candy Valentine

DIY Have a Colorful Day Valentine:

DIY Colorful Day No Candy Valentine

DIY Stuck on You Valentine:

ReLocatedLiving_DIYValentine_2014_06 copy

DIY Can’t Erase Friendship Valentine:

DIY Friendship Cant be Erased - No Candy Class Valentine with free printable

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INSPIRATION: Black Modern Rustic Kitchen

I’m a big fan of white kitchens. They are timeless, bright and clean, in fact, our existing kitchen is white. But after working on more white kitchens for clients I’m kind of in the mood to switch it up a little at the Farmhaus. What’s the opposite of white? Black. I’m loving the idea of a modern black, yet rustic, kitchen.  Here are some of the kitchens I find inspiring:

black modern rustic kitchen 4


black modern rustic kitchen 3


black modern rustic kitchen 6


black modern rustic kitchen 2


black modern rustic kitchen 5


black modern rustic kitchen 1


black modern rustic kitchen 7


Looking at these images as a collection you can start to notice the elements they have in common: 1) a restrained color palette, 2) a healthy dose of white, 3) wood tones to add warmth. These are all things I plan to bring to the kitchen design. But to get to the finish line, I’m also debating the finer details, slab panel or shaker profile? Hardware or no hardware? Add beams? Floating shelves or ledge? The cabinets are only one part of the design process, but the details are what really bring designs to life.

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Inspiration: Fitness


Last year I kept my resolutions simple, I wanted to get more organized.  I did well, I purged my closet, cleaned out toys, even donated gorgeous furniture I knew I just wouldn’t be needing again (btw – getting rid of furniture was really painful).

This year, I also want to keep things simple with only one resolution/goal: to get more fit. This is a hard one for me.  I’ve never liked exercise.  When I was young and single I used to exercise, not because I liked it, but because it was something productive to do with my time.  Well, fast forward many years later and fitness has definitely disappeared from my life.  Hubby is very diligent about staying fit, but he likes exercise, he regularly goes on long bike rides, he’s even signed up for a half marathon.  Me, I HATE exercise, I would rather watch paint dry than exercise.  So, for me, it’s a really big deal to put it out there that fitness is my goal for the year.  Since exercise and I are not friends, I decided it would be best to get someone to hold my hand as I get things going.  I signed up for a gym membership AND for a personal trainer.

I’ve decided to make fitness my goal for two reasons: 1) I’ve had some health related issues that have really made me appreciate the value of health, 2) our Little Monkey has had a slight obsession with death/getting old after reading Charlotte’s Web at school, and is totally freaked out about the idea that I might get old and die.  I know I can’t avoid getting old or dying, but I know I can do something to not die prematurely.  Sorry if this sounds a tad morbid.

Anyway, I know I will never look like I did in my twenties, but I’m hoping that by doing something now I can be healthy for my age.  Here’s to fitness.

photo via

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Inspiration: Black and White Bathroom

When we first began looking for a country retreat, I had visions of something rustic, simple, perhaps a little Scandinavian. But when we finally found the Farmhaus, I let the space speak to me and help guide some of my design decisions.  This is especially true in the main bathroom.  The original bathtub had a cool vintage tub faucet, and a great train rack style towel rack.  Both are pictured below:


Buying these new would normally cost hundreds of dollars, so instead I opted to save them and use them as the jumping off point for my design inspiration.  I felt these pieces called for a traditional black and white color scheme, something along these lines:





Black and White bathroom




I kind of loved the idea of doing a black claw foot tub and found one that would fit the width of our small bathroom. However, after discussing it with my plumber, we agreed that the fit would be a bit tight and would not leave and room around the back of the tub for cleaning.  After giving up on the claw foot tub, I was dead set on including a graphic pattern, to offset the simplicity of the bathroom.  If you follow me on pinterest, you’ll see I have a whole board dedicated to tile, with TONS of cement tile patterns.  However, after reading about cement tile, I came to the conclusion that it would require a little more maintenance than I am willing to give it.  It’s a farmhouse afterall, muddy boots are going to be a fact of life. Ultimately, I decided to look for a graphic pattern in an easy care porcelain.

The final mood board is a traditional black and white bathroom, with a twist of modern. This is what I’m aiming for.

FARMHAUS Bathroom 2

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Construction: Farmhaus Progress

I’m finally getting around to posting a progress report on the construction that’s been going on at The Farmhaus.  If you follow me me on Instagram you’ve probably managed to catch glimpses of what’s been going on, but now that we’ve passed our first inspection and are getting ready to close up the walls, I wanted to take a moment to show you what’s been going on.  To be fair, progress has been slow, but when you’re doing much of the construction work yourself on the weekends, there’s only so much you can get done each time.

The bathroom is what drove the redesign.  Basically, we wanted to convert what was once a large but strangely dysfunctional bathroom, into two very efficient smaller bathrooms.  One is going to be en suite to the master bedroom, the other bathroom, will be the main bathroom used by the boys and guests who come and visit our new digs.

FARMHAUS - Progress Bathrooms


We hired a crew to do a lot of the demo of the bathroom since we were also having the chicken coop taken out.  After that, we did the “finer” demo ourselves.  Taking out the super-sized garden window was the most time consuming.  We didn’t just want to cut it out and push it out since it would leave shattered glass everywhere.  So we spent several hours taking it down carefully.  Once that was out, we took down the whole wall.  See here for a dramatic video. It always has to get worse before it gets better, and having portions of the exterior wall missing was a little intimidating. However, once the space was fully opened up, I put down blue tape to get a sense of how the bathrooms would function. Sometimes things work on paper, but in reality they feel odd.  I was pleased to see that my blue print translated very well to my blue tape mock up.  Once we were happy with where things were placed we started framing.  But then, I called in the pros.  Hubby and I are more than willing to get our hands dirty, but we felt that plumbing and electrical would be better left to the professionals, who could get it done better and faster.  With the plumbing and electrcial roughed-in I was able to call my first inspection.  I was quite nervous.  Not only is the remodel based on my plans, but we did so much of the construction ourselves.  I had nothing to be afraid of, the inspection went very well and I was given the green light to start closing up the walls.

In the meanwhile, once we finished framing the bathrooms, we moved our attention to the master bedroom.  It had one large window that provided no light and a small door to the deck.  We decided to close up the window and get a larger door to the deck.

FARMHAUS - Progress Bedroom Window

Right around the time I got my plans submitted, Home Depot had a window and door sale which gave me 15% off.  So, I took advantage of the discount and ordered our doors right away.  That’s a good thing because it takes the manufacturers a while to custom make the doors and windows.

FARMHAUS - Progress Bedroom Patio Door

The natural light that comes in through the back of the room is a MASSIVE improvement on the light this room used to get.  Plus, by centering the door, we are able to capture a much better view of the backyard and the pastures beyond.

It’s so exciting seeing things take shape.  I know that once drywall goes in, things are going to start moving quickly so I need to narrow down a few finishes. YAY!


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