Before & After: Part 1

So if you follow on insta, the cat is out of the bag…we have moved! Again! I hope someone out there is saying Bless her heart because moving and remodeling two homes in two years is, well, hell. BUT. Things happen as they may and here we are. Before I dive into our new adventure too much, I wanted to share some before and afters of the remodel we said goodbye to. Anyone interested in moving to the lovely little town of Edenton, this little gem of a house will be for sale at some point.

Front Exterior

This was her original curb appeal. Not bad. We redid the landscaping, planted lots of grass, etc.

We bought this house sort of on a whim. We like to do things like that. It is in one of the best locations downtown and has great water views. So anyway, we felt it would take a couple months and we would whip her in to shape. HAHAHAHAHAHA. It took 7 months. SEVEN. Oh yeah, and about half way through…guess what I’m pregnant! Anyway, it was sort of a nightmare but we all made it through.

Why did it take seven months you ask? I’m not even really sure. We had a dreadfully cold winter. It snowed multiple times (in eastern NC this is abnormal). The electrical work was a bear and it took a while to find someone to do it. Our carpenter worked after hours. We did a lot ourselves. Needless to say, it was a learning experience. Let’s get to it.

BEFORES – I don’t have that many. We start demo pretty much the first day we got the keys.

Before - LR Wall

Immediately we knew this wall had to go. BuhBye.

Before - Living Room

The glorious living room. Note: Covered in wallpaper. All cornflower blue trim. Everywhere. Positive note: good floors.

Before - Kitchen

Oh that kitchen. It is making me nauseous thinking about it.

Before - Middle Room

This is the other side to that wall we removed. SO MUCH WOOD.

Before - Sailboat Room

This wood was actually really pretty heart pine. I love the warmth of wood, but can’t handle the darkness.

So this isn’t the most enormous post ever. I will do the other half of the house later. Now for the good part.



To our surprise, there was a full chimney behind that wall so we knew we wanted to have it exposed. Because this was a load bearing wall, we had to have a new beam with some supports.


Mike and I did all the wainscoting ourselves. Our carpenter added the crown molding. We refinished the hardwoods and stained them a darker color. Wall color is SW Sea Salt.


We added french doors to open into our tiny office.


We wanted a totally open floor plan so we chopped off the bar from the original kitchen and added an island. Island was purchased from IKEA.


I installed the backsplash myself! Granite is Blanco Gabrielle and I loved it. A great mix and warm and cool tones so really versatile.


We added recessed lights throughout. We painted our existing cabinets SW Agreeable Gray.


New appliances of course. We had a tv mounted over the fridge where cabinet doors used to be. Since we never use the cabinets over the fridge we used a scrap section of wall we had cut out from somewhere else to close the cabinets off. We added a door on the side to still have some storage and added outlets inside the cabinet to make everything appear wireless.


This is the one room where we kept the natural wood. It gets a ton of natural light and I loved the traditional feel it gave the house. That pendant light on the left was over a small table where you could eat and gaze at Queen Anne’s Creek.


Standing in the kitchen looking toward the front of the house into the living room.


Unfortunately there were not hardwoods throughout the whole house, so we had to do something different behind the fireplace. We used one of the many new types of laminate flooring that look a lot more expensive than they are. Will I do laminate again? Probably not for my main living area. While it holds up incredibly well to dogs, I would still rather have real wood.

So that’s the main living area. I kind of miss it! Especially my kitchen. New kitchens are just the best. Next post I’ll share the rest of the house!

Five Things

Because it’s Friday and Jessica inspired me to blog.

I have not had major issues with what I call my stomach ulcer in years. Until now. (I don’t know if it is in fact a stomach ulcer because I don’t go to doctors, duh). It could be the excess coffee and booze. That tells you how things have been going around here. I cannot wait to not have so much going on. It feels like it has been years since I have felt settled. Le sigh. More on all this later.

Sloan has gotten ultra clingy. It is sometimes really sweet. Like when I got home from work the other day she wrapped her teeny arms tight around my neck and gave me a kiss!! I almost cried. It is also sometimes really annoying. I can’t get ANYTHING done other than play with her, hold her, stroll her, etc.


I finally went blogger basic and got the Lisi Lerch turquoise tassel earrings. When am I ever going to wear these monsters? I mean, I love them but they will probably be for sale soon. Some PYT will get a lot more use out of them than this old hag.

Side note: I ordered mine from Design Darling and they came in a white box in an envelope. No pretty packaging, no receipt, no note, nothing. I guess I’ve gotten used to these smaller boutiques really having impressive packaging, because that matters right? I had this exact same experience from Mini Moxie baby moccasins. I waited 8 weeks for these little mocs. And got no email response when I asked, very politely, when they may show up since they were a Santa present for Sloany. I finally stalked her instagram and saw where she had replied to several order inquiries there. They finally showed up, after two months, smushed in an envelope. No thank you, sorry it took so long, nothing. I guess I understand you were probably swamped from Christmas orders, but still. Have something generic printed and thrown into the shipping envelope. Anyway, customer service is a pet peeve. And pretty packaging.

I cut my own hair this past weekend. I am constantly getting the itch to do something different with my hair and just can’t wait for appointments sometimes. I think I will cut bangs once it gets cooler (like Reese). This current stagnant humidity and bangs do not mix.

I straight up stole a pair of the Jack Rogers Lilliana sandals via Amazon for $38. I have no idea why they were that cheap, but one day I was just perusing and saw them and of course purchased immediately. Now I’m checking the site regularly just to see if I can snag another pair for cheap. I love them. They are so much more comfortable than the traditional Jacks.

Happy weekend!

OTC Makeup

I have recently gotten a little obsessed with makeup. Which is weird because I don’t wear much and it is so humid and hot that wearing anything is a challenge. As a result of watching a lot of youtube videos I have discovered some drugstore ‘dupes’ of great designer makeup products.


1. Maybelline Master Prime Primer – I bought the illuminating version and really like it. I, personally, prefer the texture over the Smashbox primers. It is more of a thin lotion consistency. The illuminating part is not overpowering. I often do not use this over my entire face, but more over areas were I have larger pores or want more highlight.

2. Maybelline Master Conceal in 20 Light – This is supposed to be similar to the MAC Pro Longwear concealer which if you watch any makeup tutorials on youtube, this is a favorite for concealing/contouring/highlighting. I squeeze a little onto my finger tip and then rub my two fingers together to warm the product. I use this predominantly under my eyes and it absorbs and blends nicely.

3. e.l.f. small stiple brush – I love this brush for applying foundation. Particularly in the summer, I blend my foundation (I use Revlon PhotoFinish) with a moisturizer and then use this brush to work into my skin. I like that I can apply very little product evenly over my face and build coverage as needed. I always used to my fingers but I prefer this method and feel like I can use less product.

4. Suave Dry Shampoo – this is an old favorite. I find the smell of the new versions of the Suave dry shampoos to be atrocious, so I stick to the original. You can’t beat it for the price.

5. Tarte ShowStopper palette – This is not a drugstore product but a brand new palette that I absolutely love. I really don’t need anything else in my makeup bag…it has it all! I’ve been a huge fan of Tarte matte bronzer ‘Park Ave Princess’ and recently LOST mine which sucks. Kate @ Small Things Blog had this palette on her instagram feed a few weeks back so I looked it up. It contains my favorite aforementioned bronzer, a fantastic highlighter (think dewy versus sparkly), a full size blush, and great pigmented eye shadows which can be used for a natural daytime look or a smokier eye for night. See my instagram feed for a pic of the colors! The palette is a little smaller than a CD.

I am too lazy to link all these items, so you’ll just have to google if you want to see prices/buy. Sorry. No liking to knowing it over here. #badblogger #duh


I want to blog, I really do

I don’t know how I used to do this every day. There are many nights sitting in a hotel room I think to myself, oh I should blog…but then the words just don’t come. Or if they do…I end up deleting it. I’m not sure what it is but it’s like I’ve lost my voice. Or maybe I just don’t have anything to say anymore. I’m so boring!

My wardrobe is far from interesting these days. Madewell tshirts, jeans, workout pants, pajamas. Repeat.

I did order this bathing suit from Target. The bottom is backordered for like a month, but the top came quickly. It is cute but kind of itchy. I’m not sure if I’ll keep it. The quality is meh. And I just realized the whole suit is no longer available online in black. I like the icy blue, but be warned the material is not very thick.

Another Target find…several weeks ago I bought this top…didn’t think I was going to keep it…then forgot where I put it…then found it weeks later. And now I’ve worn it three days in a row. It is very swingy and great for summer.

I brought two dress options to wear to a wedding this past weekend. The one I did not wear I saw on another girl at the wedding. Crisis avoided!

I’m currently taking a 12 hr driving improvement course online because I got a speeding ticket. FML.

I spilled red wine on my beige sofa tonight.

Tomorrow is Monday.

Blonde Beauty

I have a hair appointment tomorrow morning and I cannot wait to be blonde again. This short stint being a brunette was fun for a hot minute, but like most things shiny and new…it faded quick. Literally. The color right now is a coppery hot mess of grossness. I hate it.

I have been getting BirchBox for quite a while now. Every time I think it is starting to suck and consider canceling, they hit me with a good box. Tricky little minx.

The Amika Nourishing Hair Mask is really really good. I haven’t tried a lot of fancy hair masks, but this one is definitely the best of any I’ve received in my BirchBox or tried over the counter (aka drugstore brands). It smells amaze and my hair felt great and truly healthier after using. Win.

I, personally, really liked this tinted “all-in-one” moisturizer by Mereadesso. Supposedly it acts as a moisturizer, primer, serum, and eye cream. Plus it is tinted so that is an added bonus to even skin tone. I just really liked the consistency and how it felt on my skin. I can’t say it offered a ton of coverage, but enough for errands and to avoid looking homeless.

A friend of mine is selling Beauty Counter products and she sent me a bunch of samples. Two of the products are so so good. First, the Lustro Face Oil 2. I legit want all of the oils. I’ve had some cheap face & hair oils and they definitely do not have the same consistency nor absorption as good ones. This one smells good and absorbs perfectly.

Second, the Nourishing Cleansing Balm is one of the best products ever, particularly if you have dry skin. It seems strange at first, but it literally melts into your skin while removing dirt and makeup, and then your skin feels so supple and hydrated.

If you are feeling mature and wanting to invest in your skin, these are great products and a great line in general. My wrinkly old face needs all the love it can get.

I’m sure I’ll share my blonde roots tomorrow on insta (oxymoron…?)

Hope none of you were injured trying to procure some #LillyforTarget!


I’ve never known the weekends to fly by as fast as they are doing so as of late. Sunday nights I lie in bed and open the ‘work folder’ in my brain. Ugh. Le sigh. Blegh. And Monday mornings I blog to put off said work.

We had a quintessential spring weekend at home. Yard work, cooking, cleaning, sudafed, and other miscellaneous chores.

Our laundry room was one of those rooms we didn’t touch during the big reno. It has been like a mosquito in my brain, so I decided to start the project this weekend. The prior owner of this matchbox must have really loved green. It was like 50 shades of seasick in this place. The outside is a pale puke green. The exterior doors are a tired hunter green. The laundry room is literally three shades of green; a shade on the walls, another shade for the trim, and yet another for the floor. It is ridic. I have started with the trim and even getting one coat of white has made such a big difference. No longer does it make me want to reach for my dramamine. Now if Sloan would just let me work for more than 15 minutes at a time I might be able to finish it this year.

Speaking of Sloan. She is 7 months old now! So insane. She is rolling over like a circus act. Sitting up really good. Loves to squeal, especially at the end of the day when she is getting crazy from no sleep. Yes, she still hates napping. She is still sleeping great at night so I’ll take the good with the bad. She has liked most foods she’s tried and insists on trying to feed herself which gets interesting.

IMG_7199It’s a mutual kind of love with these two…

Coming soon to the blog, I’m finally going to share some before and afters of Project Matchbox aka our house.

Sloan’s Nursery

I am finally getting around to sharing Sloan’s nursery! It is by far my favorite room in the house. It has so much natural light, it is bright and cheerful, and who doesn’t love a big bold floral print? I certainly do.

We had already painted when we found out we were going to have a baby, so I just kept it. I liked the idea of the room being really white to really make the windows stand out. The paint on the walls is SW Westhighland White. It is what I call a warm white.

full roomcrib curtain detail flower frames gtf to sleep lamp and shoes pillows shelves sloan kelly embroidered changing table sideSources: Crib // Jenny Lind; Changing Table // Amazon; Crib Sheet & Skirt // Serena & Lily; Cornice Fabric // Waverly; Tassel Panels // Serena & Lily; Glider // Enchanted Cherish; Lamp // Nicole Miller via HomeGoods; Pillows // Furbish; Flower Prints // Snoogs & Wilde; Garden Stool // Sams Club; Diaper Pail // Ubbi

My thoughts…If you are looking a glider on a budget you cannot beat the Enchanted Glider which I ordered from Walmart. It is super cheap and so comfortable. I didn’t want an obnoxious color and this was perfect.

The super cheap changing table I ordered from Amazon is kind of a piece of junk, but I knew I wouldn’t be using it forever.

The Ubbi diaper pail is worth every penny.

I Heart Florals

I go through phases with Asos where I will not browse the site for months, and then, like now, I’m checking the new arrivals daily. There are some pretty gorgeous floral print dresses available right now and I only wish I had numerous reasons to wear them. Or to wear a dress in general. Or heels. Or makeup. #smalltownmomlife

IRREGARDLESS, I have picked my faves below.

floral dresses asosSo many gorgeous prints and silhouettes. Liz is wearing the bottom left dress on her blog today and it is super cute, le duh. I actually ordered the navy one because it seemed versatile and casual enough to get some real wear out of it, and I love this style dress in general. Makes me think of Strawberry Wine.


It can’t get warm fast enough around here. Except for the fact that my legs may see the light of day…not pleasant. We have a couple weddings coming up and I just ordered this dress from Asos. Hopefully it won’t be a disaster. It is a little bit weird. We finally got a couch. We sold our blue sofa & chair months ago and have been sitting on…basically we haven’t been sitting. Due to crazy animals and a baby, I decided to go the cheap route and got the Ikea Ektorp with the chaise. I am pretty much in love with it and it cleans like a dream, Rolo hairs vacuum right up (even though he is technically not allowed on it). Now for some fun pillows, a garden stool, new end table, new lamp, new drapes. New house? It never ends.

IMG_6846When I get the motivation to take the pictures I’m going to finally share Sloan’s nursery! Speaking of Sloan…she is 6 months old already. I was playing with my dusty old real camera the other day and took some pics of her (but not the nursery…smart). Love her baby blues.

DSC_0343_edited-1 copy

Baby favorites

Sloan is a few days shy of being a 5 month old! I figured before she was doing crazy stuff like sitting up and eating real food, I would reflect on her teeny baby phase and share the items I found most useful. I’m totes an expert now.

Baby FavoritesHonest Diapers | I must say these have the best absorption and least leaks. I have twice now found coupon codes for bundles (250+ diapers) making the price just as good as Pampers/Huggies, plus they are shipping right to my door.

Gerber Newborn Knit Burp Cloths | These are super cheap and extremely soft and absorbent. I wish they made them as blankets and sleepers and sleep sacks…etc. I always reach for these first.

Boba baby wrap | I have the Boba but really any wrap will do. Baby wearing is a great way to quiet a fussy baby and allows you to get something done, like pour a glass of wine. I am contemplating the Ergo baby carrier…anyone have thoughts on this they would like to share? Better than the Baby Bjorn?

Sound machine | Sloan is an excellent night time sleeper and I think part of that is because we have instilled a pretty strict bedtime routine since day one. It is the only real routine we have established so far, but it seems to be working. I only play the sound machine at night and I think she associates it with bedtime. Plus since we have a teeny tiny house it helps drown out some of the noise we make until we go to bed. We start bath time around 7, then jammies, then food, then bed. Snoozefest. She usually wakes up somewhere around 630-7am.

Dr. Brown’s Bottles & Bottle Warmer | Sloan had some mild reflux and after trying a couple other bottles, I really found these to result in less gas. Since I had to exclusively pump, the bottle warmer was a life saver.

Fisher Price Rock N Play | When every single other one of these lists features a Rock N Play…just buy it.

Stroller | Strollers vary widely and I ended up with the Baby Jogger City Mini GT for several reasons. I call it an all-terrain stroller as it can be used on most any surface. It is not a true jogging stroller in my opinion, but guess what? I ain’t jogging. It is insanely portable. With one pull it collapses and I can transport it between home and the grandmothers’ houses with ease. Most any car seat pops in with an adapter. It is relatively small which is a huge factor for us since we keep it in the house (and often stroll her around inside when she is fussy). It was a reasonable price…not the cheapest but definitely not the most expensive. Plus it came highly recommended by mom friends and friends of mom friends. My best advice is to think about what you really need it for and go from there, and also to try it out in the store.  The Wise Baby blog is great for when you are trying to figure out what to register for/buy. There are tons of real moms with a lot of these type lists plus product reviews.

A pretty basic list but Sloan is a good and easy baby. One thing I will add is an iPad…and from there a Netflix, Amazon Prime, and/or HBOGo subscription. Feeding/pumping can get pretty boring especially in the beginning because you are doing it so often and having something to watch helps pass the time. Something else I will add is have some professional pictures taken. I know it is another expense, but this time when they are tiny just FLIES by and while our phones capture a lot of everyday life, it is nice to have real photos. This is one thing I didn’t do for newborn Sloany but luckily my amazing friend Meredith, who did my maternity photos, came to visit when Sloan was about 4 months old and took some pics. Hooray! Ok, lastly I recommend subscribing to Lucie’s List and have some friends/family you can ask for advice. It has definitely helped me figure things out along the way, and sometimes it is just good to be able to discuss the hardships of baby rearing!

What other go-to things have saved your sanity? Do tell.