before & after | the craftsman part 1

Two years ago we bought our first home. I remember the day we moved in was a family event with every Nelson and Grush helping us. It was momentous for us- 5 months pregnant standing on the porch of our first home where we would start our family & create so many memories within these walls.

We got right to work trying to do as much we could before Ivy’s arrival. The dining/living area was first. The original wood floors were painted white, but preserved all these years under carpet. Billy sanded them down and they are one of my favorite things about our home. A lot of the molding was torn out, but these big picture windows were still intact, so we re-created the molding throughout the room from wood found at a salvage yard and stained it to match. I will forever love old homes and restoring all the character and history they hold.

The day we moved in ^ 🙂

What’s worse than a faux brick wall- answer: brick linoleum (which was in the kitchen)

Throughout the demo process, the reoccurring question was, why!?, Why would you board up these cute little windows? The entire downstairs walls were covered in these tongue and groove cedar planks + popcorn ceiling + the biggest brick hearth you’ll ever see. I like to call the theme the original owners were going for, ‘medieval dungeon/I love sconces’ and they did such a good job. It was so dark, but now it’s filled with so much light!


Billy just got done tiling and building a new mantel for the fireplace. Our goal is to always stay true to the style of the house so we added these wood details to make it feel craftsman. We still have a few things to finish in this space, like window hardware, trim around the marble hearth and finding a way to hide all the TV cords…ideas welcome!

We’ve been in this house a little over two years and it’s been a slow process renovating our first home. I love being able to share all the hard work we’ve been doing though, so stay tuned for more. We are finishing the backyard, last details in the kitchen, then onto the laundry room and bathroom!









sweet magnolia handmade

My dear friend, mama, maker, Julia of Sweet Magnolia Handmade. There are not enough beautiful words to describe this lady. I loved spending time with her in her happy place where she creates the sweetest, softest baby things. Check out her instagram and etsy here!

homemade soap + essential oils

You know those moments where it dawns on you that you’re officially an adult or mom or … old? Like when you see high schoolers and they look like babies or when you get excited about things like a new vacuum, coffee pot… and soap. I’ve been experimenting with essential oils and making our own household products. I love all things natural and herbal. It’s so interesting how we are given all these plants, each with their own purpose, able to heal any ailment; from cannabis oil curing children’s seizures who are seizing up hundreds of times a week- how miraculous, to tea tree oil curing diaper rash and any fungus of the skin, aloe vera curing perioral dermatitis and frankincense curing cancer. I’m fascinated!

There’s so much to learn and play with. I’d love to hear how you use your oils too and I’ll be sharing once in a while what I’m doing over here.

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To make soap all you need are these foaming soap dispensers, Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap, water and any essential oil you like. I use Eden’s Garden ‘cleaning’ in these bottles to wipe down surfaces in the house, floors, counters, everything. We don’t even have any other cleaners and it leaves everything so clean and smelling amazing, plus it’s non-toxic, double plus, it’s way cheaper to make it yourself. In our hand soap, I like to change the scent for the season, so for these winter months I’m using ‘fighting five’ (thieves), but my favorite blends are this, this and this.

To mix: for both the spray bottle and soap dispenser, I fill the bottle first with warm water almost to the top, then add a couple tablespoons of Castile soap and 10-20 drops of whichever essential oil you fancy. That’s it!

*Jazz hands*



a year on film

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Being still has been such a challenge for me this past year. I am usually reflective and reminiscent as the year ends, but when I think back it all just feels swept up like the wind. How has it come and gone so fast? Looking back at these photos, oh how she has grown, though each day feels the same, there’s been so much change, so much. I cannot even process it all and even now, I find it so hard to quiet myself and just be. That’s something I want to be intentional with in this new year.

Our wild girl has grown from a baby into a toddler this year. From crawling, to standing, walking, now running. First words, first kisses, first steps, first plane ride, first beach and salty waves, first mountains, picnics and waterfalls. And so much more to come!

Life as three is more different than I imagined. It’s way harder, but also more beautiful in ways I’d heard it could be but couldn’t really imagine because we had never experienced life outside of us before. How my heart, my love, joy has grown is something otherworldly.



Love! You will cherish these pictures even more as time passes. What a beautiful year!

I think it’s called MuMu. 🙂 There’s a link to it on my photography website if you look for their wedding:)


I’m curious, where is the bridesmaid dress you are wearing from?

the good stuff

At the end of every year one of my favorite things is to come up with a reading list for the coming year. My list was a bit different for 2016 as Ivy is becoming a toddler- I’ve been more interested in learning about parenting(help!) and how to nurture her ever changing brain. These are my favorites from this year and about all I had time to read with my beautiful wild child.



A Natural History of the Senses– Beautiful. Im still making my way through this one, but so far it’s a piece of art that quenches my creative thirst and every word drips from my lips like honey. Also, wouldn’t you just buy this because of the cover? Yes, Im that person!

Windows of the Soul–  I read this every year-the words are something my heart needs to hear over and over. After I read this for the first time I bought multiple copies just to give to all my friends, it’s so good!

Milk & Honey– poems. pain. love. strength. beauty. Rupi Kaur is a goddess.

Unselfie– EVERY parent and teacher needs a copy of this. It’s about empathy, teaching this to our children and how instilling this value can change their life. There are so many tools in this book to help our children succeed in the right way. It’s fascinating. I can’t help but think about how incredible it is to read a book like this, something someone has spent their entire lives doing studies and research for, and I get to devour it in a few days. What a gift!

Quiet– understanding introvertness (I made that word up apparently) It’s packed full of information about personalities and people. It’s helped me understand myself and so many others. It talks about how historically we’ve been shaped to think an extrovert personality is more desirable, but that the qualities of an introvert personality are actually really valuable and have shaped history and our country. It’s hard to explain this book in a few sentences, but theres a lot of good stuff in there!

The Whole Brain Child– a must read! This book has made me feel 100% better prepared for the years ahead and understanding the development of our child’s brain while giving me tools to help nurture. I love this quote from the book.

“Too often we forget that discipline really means to teach, not to punish. A disciple is a student, not a recipient of behavioral consequences.” – Daniel Siegel

and Big Magic– no description necessary. Just read it, do it, buy it, magic.

and here’s my stack so far for 2017!