This is one of those rooms in which one can’t appreciate the after without noting the atrocious before, including baby blue sink and toilet that was impossibly positioned (you can’t see it but it’s behind the raised shower). Seriously, there’s no way an adult male could have done any business on that thing.

Here is the before:

basement 14

Here’s the after:


In terms of decor, the After bathroom would be snooze-ville without the magical hands of Mandi at Living for Pretty. Given her entry way stencil experience, she graciously said she’d help make my ikat stencil dreams come true. Without her, I would’ve collapsed in tears several times I’m sure. But because she was there, I had to be on my best adult behavior.


There used to be a hallway AND a bathroom taking up this same space. Tristan combined the spaces and now you enter the laundry room on the other side of the ladder shelf you see. The angled door helps keep the space feeling open.


View from the door


View from the shower


These are regular sheer curtains with a white plastic liner behind. We mounted them as close to the ceiling as possible to make the space feel light and big.



I’m really happy with this double medicine cabinet you see here. I was surprised to see how high-end medicine cabinets can be and was initially super opposed to the idea. This one has mirrors on the inside as well and is SO convenient.



The larger photos weren’t working of the light fixture, which I LOVE, so here you go.


This vanity is by Martha Stewart at Home Depot and the color is Sharkey Gray. We liked it so much we painted the entire basement Sharkey Gray!

I am loving our peaceful new bathroom with good storage and new plumbing! And I’m happy with how the stenciled wall came together. I’m on the hunt for some bright orange and magenta bath towels to freshen up the color palette even more.




I’m really excited with how the downstairs living room came together. We first put this design together while living in the upstairs unit, which we are now remodeling. We used 90% of the same furniture as upstairs.

Here are the original inspiration pictures for the design concept:

Living Room Inspo

Living Room T&T

Here’s what it looked like before:

basement 9

basement 7

I mean, ICK, right?

Well thankfully my hubby can handle a hammer, and VOILA!

Here’s what it looks like now:



We have since finished the trim around the front door



Tristan ordered extra kitchen cabinets to make the TV build-in. We love!



A refurbished dresser-turned-shoe cabinet and side table. This was my first experience with chalk paint, my new obsession.




View from the kitchen


So what do you think?

IMG_0043 updated



House Tour: Downstairs Unit Reveal

Well, the time has come when I’ve finally had a clean house and fresh flowers simultaneously. Therefore, I was able to complete the renovation pictures of our splashy new downstairs basement!

Come on In!

First up: The Living Room.

Tomorrow: The Bathroom.

Monday: The Kitchen.

Tuesday: The Bedroom.

Join us, won’t you?



3 Cinco de Mayo Tablescapes


For the last two years, the weekend coinciding with Cinco de Mayo has not been a night of Coronas and mariachi bands, but rather a Mexican-themed auction to benefit our mission trip to Tijuana.


Tristan and I aren’t going to Tijuana this year due to a forthcoming Europe trip, and will be attending a wedding in lieu of the auction this year. But my heart is with our team who is working hard on the auction details, and our fearless leader Colleen, who has been bringing folks down to  build homes on some of the poorest, roughest terrain in Tijuana for 20+ years.

Some images from our previous trips:

Last year, I was in charge of the auction decor. It was a great opportunity to implement this festive tablescape I saw at the International Food Bloggers Conference many years ago, put together by Hostess with the Mostess.



The budget for decor was $300 and I wanted that to include both fresh elements as well as reusable pieces for future auctions. I paired down the centerpieces to 4 items each – runner, mason jar, glass vase and can. I also copied the baby blue, royal blue, orange, red and pink color scheme.

My right hand gal, Diana, and I scoured thrift stores for three months straight looking for scarves to use as table runners and clear glass vases. We needed 28 sets – one for each table. Diana scooped up the cans and mason jars within one week. We then had a team craft day to deck out these centerpiece items with paint, paper, tissue fringe, baker’s twine and washi tape. We also threw on some leftover tassels from my wedding, because why not? We made a tissue garland and I used the printables from the inspiration post to make signs. I picked up a flat of succulents the day of the auction from Home Depot and 48 flowers from Pike Place Market.

Here are two centerpieces as examples.


Here you can see the tissue garland and two of the signs at the entrance.


Each table had a unique scarf:


My friends came out to support us – thanks, girls!:


The scarves were the largest investment and weren’t quite as cheap from thrift stores as we thought they should be. We ended up cutting some of the larger scarves in two or three and spent around $175 total at thrift stores (including the glass vases, which generally cost around $1 each). The succulents were $70 and the flowers were $40. There were light tissue, tape and paint costs which I covered as a donation (and kept the leftovers).

Here are some other of Hostess’ fiesta-esque tablescapes, for further inspiration:



A Fiesta First Birthday Party (cute little donkey and pom pom placemat!)


Fresh and Sophisticated Dinner Party (love the cabbage and color scheme!)

Whether you are planning something special for Cinco de Mayo or just want to pep up your next Mexican feast, Hostess has some great ideas and your local thrift store has some great cheap supplies.

If you would like to learn more about St. Paul’s of Shorewood’s annual Mexico mission trip, click here. This year’s auction will be held Saturday, May 7 at Seattle Lutheran High School and includes an authentic Mexican feast, wine and Mexican dancers for just $15 a person or $25 per couple. It’s a steal of a deal, for a good cause! Tickets are available at the door or in advance by emailing colleencrandell [at] hotmail [dot] com.

Adios, amigos.



Magenta Baby Shower Invites

I wanted to share the invitations I created for the baby shower I tri-hosted six months ago. (I highly recommend tri-hosting, by the way – one person for food, one person for decor, one as life-saving floater). The shower was at my home and I was in charge of decor and design.

I was inspired by this diaper invitation, but REALLY did not want this to turn into a $200 card making project as mine have a tendency to do.


My cost-saving strategy was to dip in to my existing paper and ribbon stash as much as possible. But of course I still ended up at Paper Source for some non-negotiables such as envelopes and scalloped paper. But I was able to use standard printer paper for the diapers, and forced myself to make sheer ribbon cute, since I already had it. I’m much more of grosgrain girl these days.

Making the template took the longest amount of time, since I needed to modify the size and shape to accommodate my paper size.

Amy Shower InviteAmy Shower Invite 2Amy Shower Invite 3Amy Shower Invite 4Amy Shower Invite 5

Ta da!

I am pleased with how they turned out, given that I made compromises on the materials and didn’t just buy myself out of it when I hit a few roadblocks. Paper Source is 3 minutes from my house, so I really needed to stay strong🙂. I am definitely embarrassed to admit how hard it was to resist.

If you’re a crafter like me, you may have a craft supply stash but never truly use what you’ve faithfully kept all these years. I feel inspired to revisit old craft supplies for future projects before immediately investing in the perfect ribbon/envelope/cardstock combo.




Boho 30th Birthday Party

Boho Bday

My dear cousin Christy turned 30, oh, a YEAR ago, and I am finally documenting the evening affair on this blog. Is it too early for #TBT?

Christy is two years older than me, which made her the perfect candidate for my only child self to follow around and idolize growing up… that, and her inspiring fashion and interior design sense that always pushed the boundaries but somehow came together swimmingly. I’m sure I was very annoying to her for many, many years.

As one ages, two years becomes a very small age difference and for the last 10+ years we’ve been very close friends. Her and her sister rolled out all the bachelorette and bridal shower stops when I got married a few years ago.

Christy is now a working mom to an adorable 5 year old.  I just sensed that if she was to properly celebrate her 30th birthday, some outside intervention would need to be involved, and I was more than happy to return the party-throwing favor. (more…)


Reading Rainbows

I spent today at the Tulip Festival and it was so colorful and delightfully spring-y that I was inspired to bring my blog out of winter hibernation.


I will post photos from today at some point, but in the mean time, here is a collection of rainbow-inspired images I’ve been filing away for a rainy day. I just knew they needed to cuddle together on a blog post somehow and the time is now. Even though today is far from rainy!







and last, but certainly not least…


You go Lisa Frank.

On that note, I will leave you.