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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Tile Scheme | Diagram Worksheet | Subway & Marble Hexagon

I'm headed over the house this morning to meet the tile installer.  Tile was more of a beast than I expected.  I went to a fancy tile place initially and picked out everything I wanted.  The total was $4,500 and I about fell over... and that didn't even include installation.  It is easy to get swayed and distracted when shopping for tile - there are so many pretty options, I see why people can go overboard.  I almost did!  Well, I didn't "almost" because that wasn't anywhere near where my budget was.  When it came down to it, I referenced back to my inspiration board and realized that I really just like simple and clean and I needed to stick with my original plan.

At the beginning of the project we were really clear on our priorities and keep revisiting that.  I knew that my priorities were kitchen cabinetry, fixtures, hardware and trim.  I kept reminding myself that if we went over on everything there would be nothing left for extra fun at the end in finishes and fixtures - where the fun stuff really happens.  Things happen during construction (hello, replacing water main and sewer line...), but for the most part our contractor (Noblit+Didier) was prepared for everything and our budget seemed to be padded for those unexpected problems.  So, what we thought seemed high on the initial bid were just realistic.  I'm so glad we decided to use a contractor that is a straight-shooter.  Our trim and fixture budget is also thankful : )

 This is the inspiration for our shower.  I almost went with marble subway tiles for the walls, then I came back to this photo and remembered how I loved the clean look of the subway.  That little reminder saved almost $1,000 : )   If it were something I really wanted I would've just gone ahead with it, but at this point in the game I have found that we really have to keep our priorities to keep us in budget.  $1,000 is a drop in our no-yet-overflowing bucket, but 10 drops could add up to no furniture or landscaping when we move in!

We are doing a simplified version of this - no seat, no window, but it will feel very much like this.  

We bought most of the tile from Home Depot, except for the floor hexagon because they didn't carry a 2" marble in a honed finish.  By hunting around for tile and ordering the bulk from Home Depot we saved almost $2,500+ on tile.  Adding that to landscaping and furniture budget : )

I made a diagram of each area for the tile installer.  There were a lot more complexities when ordering that I wasn't expecting, like where I'll need a bullnose edge, what should the curb be made out of, how will the cornice merge with the wall...

This diagram makes sure that he will know exactly what goes where, vs. just assuming, which I'm finding out is always the wrong answer.
I've made a Blank Template for those of you who are in the same boat.  You can download the template, here.
Walls : Biscuit Daltile Subway (Home Depot)
Floor : Hampton 2" Hexagon in Honed (The Tile Shop)
Shower Heads (we'll have two) : Danze Opulance in Polished Nickel (

Did you notice the Shower Bottles from the spring collection slipped in there ; )  For those of you that have emailed, I hope to have the out-of-stock items restocked by the end of the week - stay tuned!

This is the inspiration photo for the tub, but again, we are doing a simplified version.  We are using 12x12 pieces of marble to create the deck (top of tub) and the splash.  I think the larger pieces on the splash (wall area) will actually be a cleaner look vs. subway tiles.  We are using a cornice trim piece on the top of the splash and on the front of the tub deck to create a finished look and ad a little fancy.

I'm obsessed with the fixture from Signature Hardware.  It took me a very long time to find something that looked classic and simple without being fanciful.  It is in a chrome finish, but since it is not right next to all of the polished nickel finishes it will be ok (hopefully!).  We've compared them in person and they look very very close.  It was $268, which was a relief after looking at $800+ polished nickel tub fillers.

Deck & Splash : MS International Grecian White in Honed (Home Depot)

This is a similar layout to the world smallest bathroom that we squeezed in our old walk-in closet.  The shower will be in the corner, and the vanity to the right.  We are doing the same scheme as in the master bathroom.  Because it is such a small bathroom, I wanted the prettiness to overshadow the size.  
There you go!  All of my exhausted tile and shower fixture research in one tidy post.  There was a lot of running around town and comparing tile swatches to make sure ordering from various sources would work out ok, but the savings was hugely worth it. 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Spring & Easter Collection | Wooden Brushes, Bottles, French Blue Linens, Wooden Eggs, Little Lambs

The Spring Collection

Can you tell that I am completely itching to get into our new (old) house?  I'm literally day dreaming of putting all of our things away in fresh clean cabinets and cupboards.  Vowing to keep everything tidy and organized... at first, at least.   

This entire Spring Collection is all about Spring Cleaning in a new way.  I'm not talking about cleaning out your closet, or your basement - no one wants to do that.  I'm talking about taking twenty minutes and updating and freshening things you use everyday - adding a little luxury and style to your home keeping, dish washing and laundry routines.  

See the entire Spring Collection, here.

Set of All 6, $18.50

I love utilitarian design - things that are purposeful, and beautiful.  I'm not big on "decorations" for the sake of decorating... Anyone else feel the same?  I can't wait to have these beautiful wooden brushes next to my sink.
These brushes are made in Germany by a very old, family run business.  They are of superb quality and very durable.
Each collection includes 6 brushes : 
- Soft Scrub Brush, Long Handle
- Rigid Scrub Brush, Long Handle
- Bottle & Vase Scrub Brush, Long Handle
- Copper Pot Scrubber, Short
- Vegetable Brush Scrubber, Short
I didn't just stop at brushes...

Half of you are going to think I am crazy (you have too much time on your hands, blah, blah...).  The other half are going to say - "Yes! This is what I've been looking for!" just like me.  I have always wanted clean, fresh bottles with clean fresh labels for every single bottle in my house.  As I am still in daydream mode, I thought it would be the perfect time to do this for myself... and like most things, I thought if I want it, there is likely a group (of you!) out there that are on the same page.  

It took me about 20 minutes to fill all of the bottles from my collections (Kitchen, Cleaning, Laundry & Bath and Shower) and it was so gratifying to get rid of all of those brightly colored, tacky bottles designed to grab your attention in the Target aisle.  Now, when I look under the sink, or in my shower, or in my laundry room I am no longer confronted with those red, black, green, orange and bright blue labels, but these soothing clean bottles.  Everything already feels more organized.  They can also help us reduce our footprint by buying in bulk (less packaging to recycle) and buying in bulk means running less errands... something I detest.  Have I convinced you yet?  You know you will love them.  
I designed the packaging to be subtle and classic - no bright colors or distracting labels to take away from your beautiful kitchen.  These bottles come empty, ready to be filled with your favorite products.

Dish Soap : I like to use an all natural, unscented soap and add my own essential oils (I'll share a post at some point), but you can use your favorite... maybe one of the brightly labeled, but works really well kind. 
Counter Spray : I usually fill mine with 1 part meyer lemon counter spray to 3 parts water.  This helps me stretch the price of the counter spray (so I don't feel like I have to skimp when using) and it is nice to not have such an overwhelmingly strong scent.
Hand Soap : You can put any of your favorite hand soap in here.
Pots & Pans : I fill mine with Bar Keepers Friend liquid.  I like having it in this little squeeze bottle versus that big messy bottle with the powder.  The liquid version works just as great.  Along with the Mr. Pot Scrubber (part of my Kitchen Brush Collection) and Copper Scrubby, you'll have everything you need to keep you pans looking great.

Disinfecting Spray : You can put any Antibacterial spray in this bottle - like Lysol.  
Floor Spray : I like to use good ole fashion Murphy's Oil Soap, 1 part oil soap + 6 parts water.  I use it spray my wood floors and use a microfiber mop brush on a daily basis.  A water and vinegar mixture works great, too. 
Glass Cleaner : I dilute windex for my window and glass cleaner... I don't like the overwhelming chemical smell of the full strength.  

Linen Spray : I like to fill mine with 1 part lavender scented spray + 4 parts water.  It works great for ironing or freshening sheets and towels.
Stain Treater : You can put anything you'd like in here (like shout or clorox), but I use 1 part Dreft liquid laundry detergent + 3 parts water.  I spray anything that looks like it might have a stain when it goes in the hamper and before it goes in the washing machine.
Bathroom Cleaner : I put Soft Scrub in this bottle with the squeeze top for cleaning the bathroom.  I will keep it in the laundry room, because that will be next to our bathrooms.  

Shower Bottles, Set of 4, $16

I can't wait until our new shower is tiled and completed.  This set of four bottles will look so great and clean in the little nook we have planned - I'm so glad I don't have to put giant liter bottles in there.  These bottles are 16oz. so they hold half of a 1 liter (the large size that salon stores carry) and lasts me about 2-3 months.  It also frees me up from buying product based on the packaging - now I can buy based on the the best scent and features instead of the label. 
Shampoo, Conditioner, Body Wash & Body Lotion
While browsing around some European blogs for linen inspiration, I stumbled upon a particular blog that was everything I was looking for.  She is a Norwegian woman living in a charming country cottage.  She was talking about her newly discovered love of ironing (not something I share with her!) and her collection of linens (this I do!) - a big stack of fresh blues and whites.  Her eclectic stack of blue and white linen tea towels was so chic and effortless, collected, seasonless and timeless, and I thought - Yes, that is what I'm looking for!  
I collected these from a couple of sources, so I just wanted you to be aware that there are variances between them, but that is part of the charm : )
Top to Bottom : 
- French Blue Stripes Towels, 100% Fine Linen 
-French Blue Gingham, 100% Fine Linen
- Classic Provencal Stripe Towel, 100% Linen (from LinenMe, Lithowania) : Soft and thick, luxurious linen for special use.

French Blue Window Pane Plaid, Set of 2, $18

This towel, the French Blue Window Pane Plaid, is from a new source.  It is 100% linen, but a thinner linen for everyday use - specifically glassware.  It is less expensive than the other linen of linen tea towels, but just as high quality.  You'll need a big stack of these - go ahead, clean out your entire drawer of raggedy tea towels.

Woven Throws, $88-95

These Throws are absolutely luscious.  They are so so so soft, heavy and cozy - a blanket that you'll love curling up with in your favorite chair.  The colors are beautifully perfect for freshening for spring - pale blue, heather grey, navy & cream.

These Wooden Eggs, Stands and Cups are made by the same workshop that makes my Wooden Candle Holders.  I love how they look scattered down the table, or they would look great on a mantle, too.  I'm planning to have Emma help me decorate the large "Goose Eggs" to give as gifts.  Of course, you could paint them a pale blue or white, too.
Hen Eggs & Stands : Small Eggs with Stands, Set of 4
Goose Eggs & Stands : Large Eggs with Stands, Set of 2
Egg Cups : Set of 4 egg cups for real eggs (easter/decorated or for breakfast!) or these wooden eggs.
Creamware Platter, Set of 2, $45

My Collection of 6 Creamware Platters have been so popular - many of you are hanging them on your wall as an entire collection.  I thought you might like a set of 2 platters to keep in your cupboard to actually use ; )
These Creamware platters are medium-sized and work great for serving entrees or an appetizer.

For table settings at home I love little flower arrangements.  Large flower arrangements seem to fancy and it is hard to make them look fresh-picked.  These little creamware pitchers filled with daffodils, nestled amongst wooden eggs and candles sets a wonderful table for Easter or any spring occasion.
I am looking forward to using them with 1 or 2 large peony blooms in just a couple of months.
Blue Bunny Tags, Set of 10, $5

Every season I design a new set of stationery and each season I say it is my favorite - but this time, I mean it.  

I LOVE these sweet cards printed on thick natural white cardstock in a pale, muted blue with the white bunny showing through.  The Blue Bunnies come in a Small Hanging Tags and folded cards and look so sweet tied on a treat bag or an Easter Basket.  

Blue Bunny Folded Cards, Set of 10, $5

The Folded Cards are great for place cards at Easter.  I was going for something classic, but clean - can't wait to set a table with these, the wooden eggs and bunches of daffodils. 

Little Lamb Copper Cookie Cutters, $15

I've always loved the Little Lamb sugar cookies that were featured in Martha Stewart many years ago.  I had my "shapers" create a similar lamb for us this season.  We plan to make and decorate some next week - I'll share the post.  Emma has plans for pink icing and marshmallow wool...

Above photo from

As always, I've packaged them with a printed card of my cookie recipe and tied with an Everyday Occasions logo ribbon - a great gift. 

You all know about my love affair with Vermont.  This all natural "Tim's Easter Grass" comes from a farm in Vermont - they are passionate about the environment and the waste that occurs from packaging, like plastic Easter grass.  This grass is 100% natural and smells like fresh hay - a very authentic smell for Easter morning : )

1 box = grass for 2 baskets

Whew!  I hoped you enjoy this rundown of everything new in the store this season.  I'll be sharing inspiration posts in the next month with Easter Table Settings, Baskets, Sugar Cookies and Recipes.  Thanks for coming along for the ride!
Happy (almost) Spring!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Emma's 1st Father Daughter Sweetheart Dance

Where have I been?  Whew - I'm not even sure.  For starters, Disney World.  Yah.  We went with my entire family and had a magical, exhausting, wonderful and crazy time. But that was almost a month a go.  We may still be recovering.  I am still recovering.  Emma still wakes up every morning and tells me about the disney world dreams she had : )

We came back to full swing mode at the house and I've had to spend many of my "work" hours running house errands, collecting (and returning...) tile samples, researching faucets, light fixtures (still) AND putting together a really fresh and fun line of new spring products.  In fact, this post was a complete accident.  I was uploading the photos for the new products that I took this morning and I noticed that I had not yet sorted or edited the photos from Emma's 1st Father Daughter Valentine's Dinner (maybe because I'm so bogged down with a zillion photos from the disney trip that I am trying to get into a book...).  So, in a way I'm procrastinating this evening (but we'll still call it "work") perusing through these fun Emma photos.  I guess it is not too late to share Valentine's photos, right?  I mean... the blog is still sporting the V-day header and banners... oops.  I'll be getting to those tomorrow - sorry!

There are entirely too many photos for this little occasion, but it seems like we've been a little whirlwind lately and it was fun to pour over these and spoil myself with too much sweet girly Emma.  I hope you don't mind.

Since she is now 3, this was the first year she was able to attend the dinner for girls and their dads before Valentine's Day.  We went out and bought her this very sweet pale pink dress (Janie & Jack) - we told her she was going to a ball : )

When she was a baby, I took so many upclose shots and sometimes I forget to take them now that she's a big girl.  Time is flying and I feel like I need to capture those squishy baby cheeks while they last.

She selected her own accessories.  Frozen necklace - she thought it most appropriate, it was a ball, after all.

Of course, every fun smily shot was blurry - but what is new.  Someday I'll get this camera figured out!

This is usually the smile we get when we ask for one.

Followed by something like this.

And it is always a good idea to practice some moves before the big dance.   I'm sure this is Shake It Off or Mariah Carey's All I Want for Christmas Is You.  Her current faves.

Mike's Mom always has such fun seasonal decor - here she is waiting for her "date" under the heart.

Perfect spinning dress.

Corsage time!


He's convinced it is a treat, I'm sure.

They are starting to become little buddies.  He has bedtime duty with her and helps to keep her "comfany" (as she says) while she goes to bed.

Her date has arrived fresh from the golf course on a rare 60 degree day in February.

I never did get one of them both looking at the camera : )

When we went to the floral shop to order the corasge, she told the very sweet man there that she wanted it to be in her hair.  He thought she had to be the most fabulous 3-year-old he'd ever met.

After a couple of attempts trying to get something to stay in her hair, she settled for a "bracelet" and a single rose behind her ear.

We got it at "The Little Flower Shop" in Westwood - for locals interested.  It is a really cute little shop - Chuck Matney's new adventure.  It is right next to HiHat Coffee and Annedore's Fine Chocolates - officially Emma's new favorite spot to stop after school

They're off!

My roll.  We did get a couple of photos of the three of us (one of the perks of temporarily living with your in-laws) but I looked positively frightening after the day playing outside.

Won't this look sweet next to a similar shot of her in the back of a limo heading to prom... or her wedding, Lord help me!

Of course, I wasn't allowed to go, but this was the first update I got from Mike :

"I asked her if we should eat dinner first and she literally laughed out loud."

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