What I’m pinning this week.

I mentioned before that I’m on my eternal quest for frugal home goods. I’m treating this blog as an online journal of sorts, and right now, I’m in furnish-the-house-for-as-inexpensive-as-possible-mode. My husband and I will be taking a trip to the West Elm, Pottery Barn Outlet on Friday, and I’m trying to get my A-game in place. I love pinning items from catalogs before a big sale (i.e. President’s Day is this weekend), in hopes of finding a screaming deal on said items.  I came across the West Elm and CB2 catalog, and pinned the heck out of them. BTW, if you are on Pinterest, give me a follow 😉 I’ve decided to break it up into sections: Affordable (0-$100), Middle-range ($100-500), Save for later ($500 + up). CB2 is offering a few different sales this weekend, including 30% off bedding (check out the Forma pillow down below), and West Elm is offering 20% off everything with code: HAPPYCART . HOORAY!!!!!!!!!!!

West Elm

Middle-range ($100-$500)

Mid-Century Turned Leg Tabletop Planter

Bower LED Floor Lamp

Save For Later ($500 + up)

West Elm Drake Reversible Sectional

West Elm Emmerson Reclaimed Wood Dining Table

Mid-Century Show Wood Chair


Affordable (0-$100)

Moda Large Cement Planter

Palazzo Marbleized planter

Trigg Wall Vase

Forma Pillow

Middle-Range ($100-$500)

Liquid Basket

Sable Acacia Chair

Save For Later

V Bookcase-Room Divider

Elston Rattan Credenza

Thanks for stopping by!!!





Shower Curtains for Under $40

Now that renovation is nearing an end, I feeI like I am on an eternal quest for frugal home finds.  There are definitely certain items that I will save for such as a dining room table, a tan leather couch, and an outside table. However, when it comes to small things, I would like to find stylish, and affordable items to make my dollar stretch. Last week my objective was to find a shower curtain, and it turns out, there are many options for a good shower curtain under $40.

Shower curtain #1 // Shower curtain #2 // Shower curtain #3 // Shower curtain #4 // Shower curtain #5 // Shower curtain #6 // Shower curtain #7 // Shower curtain #8

Next week’s search will entail pretty soap dispensers. I never cared about this before, but I now feel like even something little, can make a big difference. Hoping to post a big home renovation update sometime later this week.

Thanks for stopping by!


What We Are Reading Lately

My kids love to read, and we are always excited about finding good, fun, new books. Our favorite place to shop is the “Friends of the Library” bookstores; I love being able to buy a book for each kid for $1 total, Dave Ramsey would be so proudl!! Over the holidays, we have discovered quite a few wonderful books that the kids are stoked about.

1. On The Construction Site: Both of my kids love this book, but Owen really LOVES this book. So much, in fact, that I know the book by heart. If your little one loves construction and all things with wheels, I would definitely by this book. Part of the fun of this book, is that the pages are translucent, so if you are reading with low light, and have a flashlight, your kid can illuminate the contents of the next page! So cool!

2. Maple: A lovely book about a little girl, and her journey on becoming a big sister. I may or may not cry almost every time I read this book to the kids. I can’t help it.

3. The Dot: An inspiring book about encouragement and persistence. Vashti thinks that she isn’t an artist, until her teacher empowers her by affirming her first art project, and the rest is history. Vashti then turns around, and encourages a student that admires her artwork.

4. The book With No Pictures: Definitely a favorite in this house. Both of my kids have been requesting this book by name. It’s great because it makes us, the parents or readers of the book, say ridiculous things, and the kids LOVE it!!!!!

5. Ada Twist, Scientist: This book is about a young girl that engages everyone around her in her curiosity and her inquisitiveness. I like that this book affirms kids that it’s ok to ask questions, and explore the world around them.

Those are the top hits at the moment. I’m sure more will be coming to mind soon. I’m currently going to delve into “How To Talk So Little Kids Listen,” because my friend Jess suggested it, and I can use all the help I can get 😉

Thanks for stopping by!

Deconstructing the Powder Room

Let’s start by taking it back…..waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back. I’m not sure when the previous owners of my house renovated this bathroom, but it feels like it had been awhile. Our home was built in the 70’s, and we speculate that it had been renovated once before. The powder room is located in a hallway close to the most foot traffic downstairs, which makes it a great location where our guests can take a load off, literally 😉 The funny thing about it was that you would open the door, and BOOM you see the toilet (located on the bottom right corner of the before picture), and lots of mirrors. Not just any kind of mirror, but more like the mirrors you would see in a maze at the carnival, where it keeps going and going, and you can see hundreds of reflections of yourself. Quite peculiar indeed.

I imagined making this small powder room feel more open by painting it white, and minimizing what we have on the walls. It was also important for us to relocate the toilet so that it wouldn’t be the first thing you would see. I love natural wood, and loved the idea of having a vanity that brought warmth into the bathroom. My friend Laura suggested making it a floating vanity, which we did, and we absolutely love. It allows you to see more of the tile, and it makes it feel more open.

I love a good deal, and I pride myself on getting things on sale. I will list the sources of our renovated bathroom below with the disclaimer that I bought whatever I could on sale. Even if it was a curated item, I still asked the owners if their products ever go on sale, because it never hurts to ask, and a few of them would not only tell me yes, but when it would go on sale. I had been researching various design websites, pinterest, and home decor shops for months deciding on how I was going to design our bathrooms. I did splurge on a few items, because as amazing of an opportunity this was to renovate our home, we are not doing it again anytime soon.  What I also did below is list a more cost-friendly/frugal version of some items.

Powder room:

Sconces: We purchased the brass finish with the opal shade.

Mirror: I LOVE the brass finish on this mirror.

Sink faucet: Holy moly, these are beautiful, and nice, and we are so thankful that we knew someone who got us a great deal on them.

Vanity: Our was totally custom, but I’ve linked another floating vanity which is just as beautiful.

Drawer Pulls: Love these, and they were affordable!

Cement tile: Kyle and I both instantly loved this black and white tile. We went with a black grout.

Letterfolk board: Love that you can change the message every day, month, or never 😉

Frugal version of the powder room:



Sink Faucet


Cement Tile


There will be a furnishing the powder room post coming in a few weeks to months-ish. As soon as we can get settled, work some extra shifts, and buy little odds and ends for this bathroom.

Thanks for stopping by

Something is Missing, and Removable Wallpaper

Hello week 13 of the home renovation.  I can’t believe it’s been 3 months! Holy moly! The great news is that we are getting super close to being finished. The last major things that need to be done: installing the flooring to the entire downstairs and painting the downstairs. Both, fairly time consuming projects, but the last ones!!!!!

About 4 weeks ago:

When we moved in:


I have been very pleased about how the bathrooms have come out except for one……the one we call Nana’s bathroom. It has white walls, white quartz countertop, white cabinets, brass pulls, black and glass sconces, and black, hexagon tile on the floor. I asked my friend Laura for her opinion, and I think she explained it perfectly saying that there are so many different shades of white, that it does look a bit peculiar. She recommended: wallpaper behind the mirror, changing the mirror to a large, round mirror to fill out the space better, and changing the sink faucet to a black one. For now, I am going to start saving to buy wallpaper and a round mirror, and I will change out the faucet later on, when everything settles!

Here are my top contenders for wallpaper, most of these are removable. I want to be able to easily replace the wallpaper without great difficulty and repairs. Check out my pinterest for more options 😉

Wallpaper #1

Wallpaper #2

Wallpaper #3

Wallpaper #4

Wallpaper #5

Wallpaper #6

Wallpaper #7

Here are a few of the mirrors we are considering…..when they go on sale 😉

Mirror #1

Mirror #2

Mirror #3

That’s it for now! I’ll post more updates as it moves along! Thanks for stopping by!

Thinking About Doing Some Home Renovations? Start Here.

Before Demo Day, my husband and I had already been preparing for our renovation, for at least a year. We are still in the thick of our home renovation, hopefully more like the tail end, but with construction……sometimes you just don’t know how long things are going to take.  First, it was figuring out the scope of our project combined with making our budget, then it was: how do we get our objectives done? Do we need an engineer? City permits? Tile? Flooring? Bathrooms? Plumbing? Hiring a contractor? This is just the tip of the iceberg! Although we are still undergoing our home renovation, and have alot to learn, I do have a few tips for those of you who are looking to start the process at some point.

1. Make sure your relationship is on point! You heard me. If you are doing the renovation by yourself, then this will make the decision-making process infinitely easier since you don’t need another adult full of opinions to agree with you on a slew of major decisions. If you are married, or dating, be sure that you and your partner have a strong, solid foundation going into the renovation, because the process can be straining on your relationship, more so if you have children. Major decisions need to be made where you are both on the same page: budget, style, scope of project, colors……soooooooooooo many decisions! There have been many days that have gone by where my husband and I felt like ships passing in the night: I would be watching the kids all day, or at work, and he would either be at work, or at his second full-time job: our house. Granted, everyone’s situation will look different, and I’m sure there are some renovation unicorns out there, but I’ve never met anyone that said “redoing our home was a skip in the park.” I would highly advise against doing a renovation if you and your partner are having a difficult time, as it will make things much more difficult.

2. What is your budget? Plain and simple. While you are planning your budget, I would also be sure to include a category called: “unforeseen expenses” and put a lot of money in there. My husband is excellent with details, and planning, and we still had many things come up that we didn’t budget for, because we have never done this before. We used the same app that we use for our monthly budgeting: “YNAB” it stands for YOU NEED A BUDGET.  We simply created a new budget for our home renovation, put the total amount we were willing to spend at the top of the budget, and split everything up into the appropriate categories.

3. What is the scope of the project? One bathroom? The kitchen? The floors? If you read a few posts back, our project didn’t start out being as big as it turned out to be. What we decided in the end was how many projects can we get done, knowing that we will already be inconvenienced without a kitchen. For many people, it may be one room at a time, and doing the project without a contractor, a la “DIY” home improvement!  We knew that we couldn’t do this because our goal was to be efficient of our time and money. With 2 little kids, and both of us working, it was worth it to pay a contractor to manage the project, and have it done in a few months, instead of prolonging it over many years and doing it ourselves. This was our mental process: Let’s do the kitchen, well if we do the kitchen, we need to open up those walls and make the dining room, living room, and kitchen, one big room. Well since it’s all one big room now, we should redo the floors to make them all the same. Let’s do the upstairs floor also since we want to get rid of the carpet. We absolutely have to do the stairs, since both the kids can fit through the current railing and it’s not up to code……and on and on. As our renovation is nearing an end; I am very happy to say that I am glad we did so much, because I don’t want to do it again anytime soon.

4. Who do you need on your team? Do you need to hire a general contractor? Are you making major structural changes and need to hire an architect and/or engineer? Do you need a designer? Are you going to need to pull permits? Before you hire anyone, I would have the 3 above questions answered. I would also decide if you will be hiring an interior designer first. My husband and I had decided that we weren’t going to, because we had a good idea of how we wanted to change our house, and where we wanted things to go, and because we had no room in the budget for an interior designer. Even with our design ideas, we still ended up changing things around once we hired our architect because things had to follow codes, and he presented different ideas to us that we liked. Pinterest, and Instagram, can be great resources for those of you that decide that you won’t be hiring a designer.

In my opinion, the biggest decision that will effect your renovation process is hiring the general contractor. I would interview them, visit homes they have finished, talk to those families whose homes they have completed, and do that for a few of their projects. I would interview at LEAST 3 different contractors, until you have found “the one.” I have heard horror stories of contractors not showing up, not completing projects even though they have collected payments, etc. Make sure that above all else, that contractor is comfortable having completely OPEN communication with you, especially when it comes to big decisions. We had a few instances where decisions that we thought were important, were made without us. We cleared that issue up after some discussion, but overall, we have had a good experience with ours.

5. What are the supplies you will need? For us this list included: Porcelain tile for downstairs, engineered hardwood for upstairs, appliances for our kitchen, accordion door and window, 9 new windows, a front door (that was so generously gifted to us), sinks, shower heads, faucets, tile for all the bathrooms and showers, kitchen backsplash, mirrors for all our bathrooms, sconces for the bathrooms, pulls for the bathroom vanities and pulls for the kitchen cabinets. I’m sure I’m missing at least 20 other things. My husband also did many behind the scenes things like soundproof/fireproof the upstairs floor when our house was down to the studs. Renovations usually require many supplies, and I still don’t have all the ones we will be needing. Backsplash and stools are still in the mail. Furnishing this house will be a whole other thing that we will save up for in our second wave of finishing the house. If you aren’t hiring a designer, then more then likely, you will be purchasing most of your supplies, especially if you have special preferences towards anything I listed above. I figured, I’m only going to do this once in my life, so I’d like to pick all these details together with my husband. It’s fun, and time consuming, and can be expensive. We had no idea how much to budget for things like cabinet pulls, and vanity mirrors, and sconces.

6. Will you be living through it? Let that permeate the air a bit. On one hand: if you live through it, construction takes longer, you and your family are inconvenienced longer (which may not be a big deal if you are only doing one room), and you save money. If you don’t live through it, total construction time will be shorter, your family will be inconvenienced less time, BUT you have to figure out where will you live? With family? Renting a place? Splitting time? Trailer in your driveway? What to do? My suggestion is, if you have kids, move out. If you don’t, stick it out.

There are many more things I can talk about regarding construction, but these are a few questions to answer when you are thinking about starting the process. Have any specific questions? Had a totally different experience, or perspective? Shoot me an email, or leave it in the comments below!

Thanks for stopping by,


Instagram Accounts to Follow for Home Inspiration

I have no previous experience in Interior Design. Nothing. I bought a handful of stuff for both our current home and previous home. It didn’t excite me, and I had no idea what I was doing. Now that we are considerably more invested in changing our home, it feels like I’m studying for the Boards of Interior Design (is that even a thing?); I’ve spent countless hours on Pinterest, different home instagram accounts, and home decor websites. All of this research, comparing, and contrasting, culminating to the final product of our home. It feels like alot of pressure because it’s not what I’ve been trained in.

Thank the Lord for people who do know what they are doing, and who share their experience, and imagery with the rest of us. Here are a few of the people I’ve been following. Would LOVE to hear if there are any other people/stores I should check out.

Studio Mcgee

Beginning in the Middle

Laura Helmick

Audrey Crisp Interiors

Becki Owens

Chris Loves Julia

New Darlings

Would love to know what accounts you follow that I don’t know about!

Thanks for stopping by!


Home Reno, Before Pictures

This renovation started out as a kitchen remodel. Once we figured how inconvenient it would be to live through a kitchen remodel, we started adding on different projects, and it turned into something much bigger then originally anticipated.

This process has been a huge learning experience as well. My husband and I have no previous experience with renovating/construction, although my husband is incredibly handy. From picking a contractor, to budgeting the project, to deciding on design, it’s alot, and it has been overwhelming. Decisions constantly need to be made, otherwise we hold up construction. We are also both very excited! We can’t wait to have people over when it’s done.

The remodel started on 10/16, and we were quoted 6-8 weeks of construction time, that would put us back in our house by christmas. I have been praying that this would come to fruition, but I’m not sure if it will. Either way, I’m looking to my other friends like Laura (happily went through renovation while having a newborn), and a neighbor that I ran into who was in construction for a year, and lived in a single room with her 6 family members. They are my remodel-unicorn-idols, and I need to remember that the discomforts we have now, will be well worth it when it’s over.

Here is the scope of our project:

*New stair railings, and the addition of 2 stairs.  Our current stair railings are not to code, and our kids can fit through them.

*Extension of our front entry. We are bumping out the front door about 8 feet, and adding a dutch door.

*New floors throughout the entire house. We are doing engineered hardwood in the rooms upstairs, tile in all the bathrooms, and porcelain-wood-looking-tile downstairs.

*Kitchen renovation. This includes inserting a 6 x 11 island, and adding an accordion door and accordion window. We also removed two walls: the wall between the kitchen to the dining room, and the wall between the kitchen and living room.

*Bathroom renovations and one bathroom addition. We are changing all of our current 2.5 bathrooms to a more up-to-date style, and adding a bathroom upstairs for the niños.

*Extension of our master closet. There was a weird, long, narrow, closet upstairs, this is the space we are using to add a bathroom for the kids, and it backs up to our current closet. Busting that wall and voilá, we got ourselves a walk-in master closet.

*Patio addition. Still unsure of what kind we are going to do, but it’s a must to cover up the quartz countertop that will extend outside of our kitchen.

*Window additions. We are adding and swapping out a total of 11 windows. They will be black-framed. They are Milgard windows, and this is the piece that everything hinges on. Originally they were supposed to arrive the beginning of November, but we got a call saying that they won’t be here until December 1st. Hopefully they come sooner so we can get this show on a road!

*Painting whole interior of the house (except for the bedrooms, and possibly the playroom.)

*Redoing the fireplace.

I think that’s it. Holy moly.

The following are some pictures from the advertisement of the house. I always said I had an orange kitchen, and you can see why….it was totally functional, just totally orange!













Next post I’ll be talking about my favorite instagram and pinterest inspirations for our house, since I have no experience in interior design. Eventually, I also want to touch on: picking a contractor, when and why do you need an engineer, realistic expectations, budgeting a renovation, and anything else that comes up.

*If there are any questions you have about any part of the renovation process. Or if there is anything you want me to write about, please feel free to leave your question/comment in the comments section.

Thanks for stopping by!

Reno Day 27, and Hello There!

Hi! I’m Lauren! Also known as Kyle’s wife, Owen’s mama, and Emma’s mama.

Apparently, I don’t take a whole lot of pictures by myself, because this is the only one I could find after looking for 10 minutes.

A few things you need to know about me before we proceed: I love chocolate, dance parties, sweet-coffee-drinks, telenovelas, running, taking way too many pictures of my family………….and all things holiday related 😉 I’d love to decorate for Christmas on November 1st if Kyle was cool with it.

Kyle and I purchased our dream home a few years ago. It’s a fixer upper, and we knew that when we bought the home. Now, after living in it for a few years, we pulled the trigger and started renovating our home. It started out as a kitchen renovation, but it turned into a house renovation, we are doing something in every room except the garage and front yard. We are excited to keep a journal and have a space to share the transformation of our home.

This will be the 5th blog I’ve had in 6 years. I have a hard time committing, and sustaining, except when it comes to watching netflix series, or downing a box of trader Joe’s Bon Bon’s…no problem committing there.

We took the above picture when we were pregnant with our first child, and we had just completed Dave Ramsey’s baby step 6. At the time, we were living in our previous home.

A few more things to know about me: I’ve been married to my fireman-husband for 8 years. I think he’s dreamy.  I have two kids: Owen is 3-years-old, and Emma is 2-years-old. I love them dearly, and admire their ability to test my patience daily.  I’m an emergency room nurse! I’ve seen alot, It’s the perfect job for me because I am the nosiest neighbor around, except for my husband….he’s pretty nosy, and he will happily admit it.

Thanks so much for coming by, we hope you stay awhile!