Spooky Halloween Bottles (free printable!)


Halloween is one of those excuses to have a little goofy fun with your decor. It doesn't have to be jack-o-lanterns and severed heads or anything, just a little off-center. This year I decided my inspiration would be more 'Disney's Haunted Mansion' than Nightmare on Elm Street.  

(Let's be honest. Nightmare never 'inspired' me. It kept me up for days!) 

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{ a little wall-hanging trickery }

When I was posting Izzy's elephant room update, I shared a trick on my instastory that apparently isn't as universally known as I thought: the masking tape wall-hanging cheat. 

Well, here you go, in all of it's that-totally-makes-sense-face-palming glory. Because I'm sure I rolled my eyes and said, "of course!" the first time I saw this, too. It's a game changer and you will from henceforth be able to hang with confidence! Promise.


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{ the elephant room }

Last summer, whilst the middle one was away at camp, I completely made over her bedroom. Top to bottom, I painted everything, including all of the trim (window sashes and doors, casings, etc), which had been a disgusting dark tan from the mid '80s. To say it was long overdue was understatement. 


In the spirit of all my makeovers, it went until the final minutes and there was a VOILA and then it was too late to take photos because, well, she is a bit of a slob and that recommenced immediately upon arrival.

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{ where I paint every day } The Living Room

There is a good chance if you stand still in my house for too long, I will paint you.

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It's no secret that paint is the easiest and cheapest way to transform a room. But I also happen to LOVE painting interiors. Trimwork, especially. I don't tape; I delight in my steady hand and precision. There is surely some kind of obsessiveness that goes with this. I don't mind. I'm happy with my angled Wooster 2" and a cup of coffee in hand. 

I love that this house needs more cosmetic work than real reno work because that means Mr. Wooster and I get lots of time together while the girls are in school. 

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{ new + old }

I am experiencing a full-fledged mix of emotions these days, friends. 


We are in our new-to-us-old-home, in our new town. Our charming neighborhood has welcomed us and embraced us with open arms. This summer has been cool enough to throw open the windows and enjoy fresh air.


Our things are slowly finding new spots in this place, and it is beginning to feel like we live here.


 I am absolutely in love with our little screened in porch, just off the living room.  Jay and I sit out there almost every night. 


The girls have already made friends and had sleepovers. Aside from Annmarie's fall from the zip line and consequent broken arm, surgery, and hospital overnight on move-in day  (great story! we'll tell it forever!)  this summer's move has been much more fun than they expected. 


We live a few houses down from their wonderful school. They can't wait to start back in twelve days.

See? On the whole, feeling very, very blessed.

And then August hits me like a truck.

On Sunday, August 3, it will be three years since I held my baby girl.  

[Commence with chicken bone in the throat and ugly, snotty tears.]

In twelve days when Annmarie begins kindergarten, I will be left with the reminder that Darcy didn't make it. That a stupid knot strangled the life out of her before anyone could do anything. And it hits me. I should have a three year old at home with me.  The quiet will echo. 

Deep breath. 

In many ways it is good that this was the summer of the big move.  My oldest starts college at the end of the month. She chose to stay close to us, which is nice.  (And, YES, we are insisting she live on campus.) Annmarie gets to start school at the same time as her peers. Fidget is young enough still that transitioning to a new school is more of an adventure than a nightmare. This is a new city for all of us. Columbus is a fresh start and has plenty to offer.  


We uprooted Darcy's rose bush from our Missouri home and brought it here. (That was kind of a funny adventure. I wish I'd taken photos of our traveling rose.) It's called an August Bloom, even though it blooms all summer. I'm sure we will find the perfect spot for it in the garden.

I needed to get out of that old house. Away from the heartbreak. The distraction of the many (MANY!) projects in this house will be good for my healing heart. I am looking forward to journaling that renovation process here. Is there anything as fun as before and afters? 

I also want to thank you for reading this far. The blogging community that I've called home for the last seven(!) years and the life-changing friendships I've made in that time mean the world to me. People are awesome. 

Have a wonderful day, friends. Hug your babies and be kind to yourself. xo

I'll be on the porch. 




the one where we throw a grad party because someone insists on growing up

moving. packing. pre-K graduation. houseguests. awards assemblies. HS graduation.  family beach trip. temporary housing.  softball double header wednesday nights. dance recital prep.

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That's our May and early June. And everyone I know seems to be in the same kind of spot... spinning around, noticing the gorgeous spring weather... unable to really appreciate it very much because life is just so crazy! I'm trying to be present when I can. There are milestones I don't want to forget, glossed over in the fog of a big move. 

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Last Friday, we threw a grad party for my eldest. Since it would be our last shindig in this house, I really wanted it to be something for her to remember.  

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In classic miss-chris-fashion, we worked right up until the last minute, so any photo evidence of this party was taken while the first guests were arriving and I had just barely emerged from my bedroom, showered and dressed.  

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Just keeping it real, friends. (we had a faux photobooth with my camera and a remote.)

Her school colors are navy and silver, but she is a huge fan of hot pink, so we incorporated that into her party as well.  Candy, flowers, tissue tassels, balloons... pretty simple. 

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We gorged ourselves on Chipotle and Sushi, a regular Japanese-Baja Fusion buffet.  Which I totally think is going to become a Thing. 

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And it was delicious.

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The Fig Tree Cafe, a local KC award-winning bakery took care of our dessert needs: salted caramel bars, lemon-bars, white chocolate mousse mint brownies, oreo cookie brownies, and a variety of mini cupcakes.  

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Yes.  Yum.  They were AMAZING. 

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Our weather had been gorgeous and warming leading up to the week of this party, so I rented some tables and linens for outdoor seating.  It ended up being a little cooler than expected, but I was glad for no rain!  No tornadoes! So I'm considering it a win. 

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It really was wonderful. And she is pretty pumped about the future, too. 



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I am so blessed with this girl. My first. My inspiration and purpose during many difficult years. She has a big heart and a creative, unique spirit. She is going to do big things. Just you wait and see. 


(...and she is surrounded by love-able goofballs. Lucky girl.)

{ planning }

I'm feeling a little like I am able to breathe these days. 

We had someone make an offer on our house. We are in contract on a new home.  Questions are getting answered and grey areas are coming to light. This move has been in the works for 18 months and we are in the home stretch.  

Can I say that again?! THE HOME STRETCH. 

I'm so punny. 

And, since I have spent the past year and a half readying my home for sale, I am quite over making design choices that are 'neutral' and 'vanilla' and 'universally appealing'.  In fact, the pendulum might be swinging the exact opposite direction.  

I am craving color. And texture and bold choices.  

What's funny about it is that we are moving into a very tradtional, somewhat historic, classic stone tudor house.

So of course I'm thinking PINK.  (Not orchid, the Pantone Color of the Year. Personally, I think they got that one wrong.)  More like the deep fuschia of a bouganivilla vine.

And navy.  

Or Indigo,  as we are calling it in 2014.

navy blue + pink + brass


And antique brass (just as I spent a year covering up and replacing shiny 90's brass).   

I am obsessed with the idea of a navy -- sorry -- an Indigo velvet sofa and a bright modern overscaled piece of art over it. And a fanstastic pillow.  The mister has no idea what is coming. 
Just in case you were wondering...