• inner tubes on a beach living in the moment

    The Magic of Living in the Moment

    Editor’s Note: I originally wrote this post 3 years ago. However, I’ve been trying to spend less time on my phone lately. Or at least be more intentional with the time I do spend on my phone. So far, the least amount of average time I’ve spent on my phone per day is 2 hours. Most of that is work-related, but plenty of it is simply idle scrolling, which doesn’t bring a whole lot of added value to my life. Since this topic has been on my mind and there are a whole bunch of new readers in the last 3 years (thank you!), I thought it would be a…

  • black painted doors
    decorating,  colonial farmhouse

    Painted Black Doors in our Colonial Farmhouse

    Today I’m going to take you on a journey to the places in my home that now have painted black doors. Buckle up, buttercup because there’s a twist at the end of this story that you probably won’t guess! Our Colonial Farmhouse has 19 doors. 26 doors if you count the closets. 29 doors if you count the unnecessary doors we removed. Every single door is different. Even if the doors look similar, they aren’t the same exact size or finish. Some of the doors are painted. Some are stained. I won’t paint a stained door in this particular house. I can’t. It would physically cause me pain. If I…

  • happy list

    Happy List: #172

    Hi! I’m writing this post during the middle of a hot, muggy summer thunderstorm. Perhaps the reason why New Jersey is called the garden state is that all the summer rain keeps things really green? This week I shared all the different ways I used wooden soda crates to organize items around our house. I also wrote about the word halcyon and what it means to me. Here’s the Happy List! KITCHEN SIMPLICITY Scenes like this one make me wonder if we’ve made kitchens too complicated? Or can you only get away with this if it is a vacation home? Although, by that argument, I could use more vacation vibes…

  • sunset over rock wall halcyon


    Halcyon, when used as an adjective, denotes a period of time in the past that was idyllically happy and peaceful. Isn’t that lovely? The word is pronounced hal-sē-en (hal-see-en). I ran across the word halcyon in two different books last week and did not know what the word meant when used as an adjective. When it is used as a noun it refers to a bird. One of the books was a children’s book, so that prompted me to pause and question the depth of my vocabulary. How many words DO I use in a day? Also, this is the second time I’ve read this particular children’s book out loud to…

  • Practical Uses for Soda Crates sunscreen caddy
    decorating,  cleaning

    5 Practical Uses for Soda Crates

    I’m a big fan of using what you have on hand to decorate and organize your home. I happen to own some vintage soda crates, so today I’m sharing 5 practical uses for soda crates. None of these practical uses involve soda. Or pop. Or soda pop. Or Coke. Or whatever that bubbly goodness is called where you live. Such a shame. Practical Uses for Soda Crates #1: Sunscreen Caddy  With a pool in our backyard, we need a sunscreen caddy to control the various bottles of sunscreen and bug spray that summer requires. I keep the sunscreen right by the pool towels, so everything we need for an afternoon…

  • 4th of july balls

    Vacation Week

    It’s vacation week for our family! Well, staycation week. We aren’t going anywhere. We were supposed to be on a plane to visit family, but all of our summer travel was cancelled. Quarantine travel rules between states make leaving New Jersey tricky. Plus, it didn’t seem like a good way to show our love by living in the state with the second highest number of Covid-19 cases and then traveling on a plane to visit people who are considered high risk. I’m showing my love by staying away and that feels strange. I’m holding onto hope that things will get better because I miss everyone! This week we are going…

  • opus 40 on the happy list
    happy list

    Happy List: #171

    Hello, folks! Welcome to another Happy List! In perhaps the most happiest news of all, I have a haircut scheduled for next week! I warned my stylist that I’ve been cutting my own hair, but I don’t think she fully understands that I ventured past the bangs this time. This week on the blog I shared the new way I’m storing books and progress on our front yard. Here’s the Happy List! AN ARGUMENT FOR USING THE GOOD PLATES Don’t save the fancy dishes for special occasions is the argument of antiques dealer Ajiri Aki. Basically, life is too short. Read all the reasoning in this Veranda article. (image: Ajiri…

  • colonial farmhouse front yard landscaping progress
    gardening and landscape,  colonial farmhouse

    Front Yard Landscaping Progress

    Get ready to bust out your high fives because I have front yard landscaping progress to report. In fact, I’d say we are 80% done with the front yard landscaping. Give or take a few percentage points. In fact, let’s not get bogged down in numbers. Let’s celebrate the fact that front yard landscaping progress has been made. Hallelujah. (If you need a refresher on the landscaping plan, you can read about it here or I’ll just catch you up in this post.) I don’t have a true before picture, but here is more or less how our front yard started out: Now this same view looks like this: Much…

  • well bucket book holder

    Well Bucket Book Holder

    I never imagined I’d string these four words together: well bucket book holder. But that’s how my life works, so I just roll with it now. I pinkie swear I’m running out of “I found this left in my house/garage” stories, but that is where this well bucket book holder originated. I found a faux (and definitely not old) well bucket in our garage when we bought the Colonial Farmhouse. I actually liked it as is, but had no use for it at the time. Also, I couldn’t work that green paint into my decor scheme, so the well bucket sat in the garage for a year mocking me. A…

  • galway menlo castle
    happy list

    Happy List: #170

    Happy early Father’s Day to all the dads and dads-to-be out there. My own dad is pretty fantastic! Definitely a keeper. You might even say I take after him in the fantastic category. 😉 This week on the blog I shared our one year house-iversary and the microwave station I created in the hall off our kitchen. If you follow along on Facebook or Instagram stories, you’ll know I also started work on our deck makeover. Just one time I’d like a project to hum along without any glitches. Is that too much to ask? Apparently, it is. Ha! Here’s the glitch-free Happy List. TENNIS RACKET ART This is CLEVER. Artist…