Our home

Little things I'm so glad to have done. Clockwise from top left: fixing a broken picture frame, organizing my makeup, simplifying our key ring, hanging a jewelry organizer, installing a flagpole bracket. Does fixing a broken photo frame have anything to do with overall happiness? I'm starting to think it might, at least for me. Little to-do list items tend to clutter in my mind. I think this is a result of being a details person and from my love of efficiency. I notice the little things as I go about my day: I see that the door out to... Read more →


After years of dreaming about it we finally have a modern and water-wise desert front yard! Here's what our front yard looked like before: Not terrible but to me there was no personality. Although we've been wanting to replace our grass and get trees for just about as long as we've owned the house (almost 10 years!), the cost of the project kept it from being on our priority list. But a couple of years ago we decided we were tired of watering grass that wasn't even that healthy looking and paying someone to maintain it. Plus, we felt eager... Read more →


On Thursday we'll drop the boys off at our neighborhood school for the first time – a new chapter for our family. And with that my brain is switching out of summer mode and into school mode. It's hard to call it "fall" since temperatures will still sit comfortably above 100 degrees for a while but it won't feel quite like summer any more. Especially once the university students return in mid August and Chris's work starts to ramp up for the year. We had a great summer and packed in a lot. We traveled for three weeks to Texas... Read more →


This might seem strange, but I'm already thinking of Christmas...next year. But then you remember it's ME, and planning for the distant future is my jam. And actually this idea came from Erica, my seasonal decor mentor. On a holiday podcast episode a couple years ago she mentioned making notes about what worked well and didn't during the holidays. Then she tucks that note into the holiday decor to find it next year. Isn't that such a genius future high five? Obviously I loved this. So I wanted to collect my thoughts and notes and what worked well, and didn't, this past Christmas. Read more →


Our grocery bill has gone through a lot of changes in the past few years. We went from feeding two people to three and now four. At the same time, we started to prioritize our savings. So even as we need to feed more people we are frequently looking at what we spend on groceries and trying to see how we can do a better job. We shop at Trader Joe's on a weekly basis and just recently bought a Costco membership after careful evaluation. Chris and I worked up a spreadsheet with every item we normally buy at Trader... Read more →


On our way home from work most weekdays we gain a small pile of artwork and scribbles by way of preschool/daycare. Cedric comes home with a creation or two per week but Dashiell is downright industrious. Each day there are freehand drawings, photocopied coloring sheets full of color, a letter-of-the-week-themed creation, and sometimes something large and folded into thirds. One time it was a truffala tree! Especially as Dashiell starts to express his own creativity and imagination each piece of his work feels precious! But if we start collecting now we will surely need an entire storage unit to house... Read more →


I had strong thoughts about how we'd handle screen time with our kids even before I was pregnant. I'd love to share an update on how we're handling screen time with the boys. In short, they get very limited screen time and our approach is essentially as I imagined it would be. Among my in-person and online friend circles my sense is that our family is among those that have the most restrictive screen time rules with their kids. I wanted to share our approach to screen time not to make anyone feel guilty about the screen time their kids... Read more →


Last year I read Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin and I still think of it often. Erica and I even discussed it in a Girl Next Door Book Club! In the book, Rubin outlines four habit tendencies - Upholder, Questioner, Rebel, Obliger - which describe how a person responds to internal and external expectations. (You can take the quiz here to find out your tendency.) I'm an upholder and respond equally to internal and external expectations. In other words, I love goals and enjoy meeting them. Surprise!! I had so many lightbulb moments while reading about my own personality... Read more →