Monday, August 22, 2016


Dear Olive,

Our pink bathroom construction days are at their end.

Just in time for the salvation of my sanity, I can finally use a facility absent of prying preschooler eyes.

I couldn't be happier with the finished product.  I'm so glad that we didn't compromise on the vision and even more pleased that Julie convinced me not to try to squeeze a claw foot tub in the space.

The recessed cabinet turned out to be a perfect fit and the contractor even built up the top of the cupboard so that it met the ceiling.  Everything above the glass doors is new build stained to match.  I used this product again to achieve the finish and was reminded of how easy it was to use.

I found a few original pink tiles and we added them as trim to the corner bench to create a cohesive look between the two spaces. 

Our contractor created a recessed alcove for our shampoos and convinced me to upgrade to this shower fixture, which was a great recommendation.

We went with penny hex for the black stripes and on the floors.  We used glossy tile outside of the shower and matte tile inside, apparently so the floor would not be a slippery death trap.

The cupboard opens to reveal a desk, which I painted with Sherwin William's Cyber Space to match the walls.

I organized our towels and toiletries in the desk so that I can use it as a vanity.

Here are some things I've learned in our remodel:  
1.  The right contractor makes all the difference.  Ours had a great attention to detail and was very gracious about problem solving and small changes.

2.  Hire someone else to take measurements.  I suck at tape measuring.  Hiring a designer to map out the elevations was key to preventing the whole thing from becoming a giant sinkhole.

3.  Painting a small bathroom seems easy.  It is not.  It will not take you the 30 minutes you estimate. Because it is small (much like children), it will be difficult and uncooperative.  It will take you two weeks of evenings to complete.  Afterwards, you will have more paint in your hair than on your brush and people will judge you at the grocery store for having black fingernails.  Your character will not be better for this.  Next time: Hire. It. Out.

From the before to the dream to the plan to the construction to the after, consider yourself schooled in pink bathrooming.

Sunday, August 21, 2016


Dear Olive,

This week we got this sweet surprise in the mail from lovely Mabel:

Which launched us into a "last hurrah day" before school started.  The kids got to pick what we did.  This of course involved... Puppies:


A ball pit

Go Karts


 and a swimming pool.

The s'mores gift inspired us to roast dogs and mallows in our pjs.

And we read our bedtime stories by the outdoor fireplace.

It may be back to the grind on Monday, but we sure sent summer out with a bang!

Saturday, August 20, 2016


Dear Olive, 

Last summer I schemed to make a lemonade stand for the kids.  A few weekends ago we made the dream a reality with a garage sale bookcase and some scraps from the bathroom construction site.  

My mom found the bookcase for us and we raided the dumpster for the remaining wood.  The half circle was from our new shower doorway

Here Gabriel models the nifty fold-up feature of the bookcase.  This is especially helpful as Jason has forbade me to cram more bulky crap into the garage.

We painted it.  
Do you think I need a 12 step program for my addiction to yellow spray paint?

We advertised with signage down the street and readied ourselves with lemonade and temporary tattoos.  

We called it "Drinks and Ink" and Ella manned the register.

The kids consumed over half of our product, but overall it was a neighborhood success.

Afterwards we literally closed up shop!

Monday, August 15, 2016


Dear Olive,

We have made some serious progress on the pink bathroom.  It all started Mother's Day weekend.

My Mother's Day gift was Jason demoing.   

Everyone pitched in.

We got down to the wooden lath.

And then the contractor came in and took care of business with the floor.  He also cut through the wall next to the sink into the closet.

You know how you see these people who have little children running around their demo projects and it seems so team-minded?  Well, mine made it four minutes each before we risked tetanus and shut. it. down.  

The progress that involved the professionals was much more exciting.  Here is the closet before and after. 

I know that they likely thought I was crazy when I said I wanted to leave the pink tile.  They were sweet about it, but come on, it does look bad here.

I squealed when they installed the arch.

And the tile and shower bench makes me so happy!

They had to trim down the back of the antique cabinet to recess it into the wall.  Here, you can also see the hex tile stripes in the shower.

We started painting this weekend.  Considering where we started, I'm optimistic.

Stay tuned for the finish line!

Sunday, August 14, 2016


Dear Olive,

I am contemplating whether to have a get-together for my upcoming milestone birthday.  Do you remember the 30th birthdays we threw each other?  Yours was a roaring 20s party (End of your 20s).  I had a baby during it.

The following year, you threw me the loveliest 13 going on 30 Birthday party.

You sent out Razzles with a tape deck invite.

And hosted with pink punch and a candy bar.

Remember... this was before candy bars were cool.

(And also before we had good cameras).


Each guest wore pajamas and received a pair of flip flops upon entry.

They had the chance to make their own hand scrub

And you hired a cosmetologist to do nails and give hand massages.

People waiting in line enjoyed lavender foot soaks.

We capped off the night with an outdoor movie (13 Going on 30).... of course

And then played old school "Mall Madness" and "Girl Talk Dateline" board games.  And drank.

Looking back, it seems so idyllic.  I almost forget that Jason was upstairs passing a kidney stone while baby Gabriel refused to sleep.


See, with all of your effort, I only remember the games and booze. 

What a friend I have in you, dear Olive.