Construction: Farmhaus Progress – Part 2

Finally another Progress Report about the Farmhaus remodel.  It’s about time.  There’s be a lot of progress since my last report, getting here has taken A LOT of work.

Remember that dramatic video of Hubby making a wall crash?  Well we had to rebuild it. Not only from the interior but from the exterior too.  The windows went in, we added flashing and waterproofing… and then we had to shingle. I actually found shingling to be quite therapeutic.  On a nice sunny day, it took on a zen like meditative rhythm, but I found that once it got to the mincy bits that required a lot of measuring and trimming, it wasn’t so meditative.  But we got through it and now we can say we know how to shingle.


On the inside, the big step was getting the drywall up.  For this we hired some help, because we knew from past experience that we are not great at this step.  Seeing the bathrooms with walls was huge. It really gave us a sense of the space.


Once the walls were in and prepped, I knew I could start tiling.  I’ve never tiled before so I wasn’t quite ready to undertake both bathrooms by myself, so I decided that my contractor would do the main bathroom and I the master bathroom.  That way I could ask questions and get pointers along the way.  Let me tell you, tiling isn’t as easy as they make it look on HGTV and it takes time. A lot of time when you are laying each small tile. I think I might even write a post just about tiling as a first timer.


In this shot, I did a dry fit of the floor tile in order to manage my random pattern. Even when something is random, you have to be deliberate and plan.


So after tiling, I thought grouting would be a piece of cake. Not true.  That too, was not as easy as it looks.  Anyway, it’s all done now.


So, while I was toiling away in the bathrooms, Hubby got to work in the bedrooms, stripping all the old trim, cleaning up the floors.


He then put new trim around the windows, installed shiplap walls, and installed the underlayment and the new white oak floors. Under my breath I was kinda cursing him, because each time we finished a day of work, he got to look back at a completed job, where as I toiled over wet tiles… Did I mention I was toiling over tiles?


So what do you think?  The lighting and bathroom fixtures have to go in, but the space is looking so much more civilized. I can’t wait to have this phase of the renovation completed so that we can start sleeping there at the weekend and continue working on the house while the kids play in the field. We wont have a kitchen/living room/dining room for a while, but for some insane reason, I think that wont take as long.  Call me crazy.


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Celebrate: A Cozy Valentine

Lately, in California, we’ve had a lot of rain because of El Niño.  I’m grateful that we are finally getting rain, but this weather definitely has me all bundled up and looking to stay warm and cozy.  While our weather is nowhere near as cold as the blizzard that just hit the East Coast, I imagine that in most parts of the country getting cozy, at this point in time, is sounding really nice.  So, here’s my little recipe for a sweet, simple and cozy Valentine:

Cozy Valentine

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All it takes is a card full of kisses confetti, a toasty fire and a yummy hot chocolate. Lucky for me, Hubby makes the most yummy hot chocolate.  Here’s a quick recipe for you.


  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar ( I like mine not too sweet)
  • 1 cup milk or any combination of milk, half-and-half, or cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (for a little something extra)


Whisk together the cocoa, sugar, and about 2 tablespoons milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until cocoa and sugar are dissolved. Whisk in the rest of the milk and heat it over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until it is hot. Stir in the vanilla and serve.  Optional: Top with freshly whipped cream or a floating marshmallow.  Go here for super cute, ready made XO marshmallows.

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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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