Civil War-Era Home Renovation (Update)

So, here is what we are up to on our Civil War-Era Home renovation.

Brance has been stripping the paint off of the original stairwell in the entry. You wouldn’t believe how many layers of paint were put on this beautiful mahogany wood in over 100 years. Well, maybe you would. But, pinch me, I can’t believe how gorgeous it looks in all its natural glory!

Mahogany Banister

I am thinking we will either lightly varnish OR, more likely, wax the wood once we are all through. I am also thrilled with how nicely it goes with our door. Ahhh, I am getting so exited about seeing it all pulled together.


I thought I would go ahead and throw this light fixture pic in. I am considering one like this for our foyer. I am definitely transitional in my style (with a bit of rustic thrown in for good measure) and since our door and stairwell are both traditional, I am looking for something more contemporary to help balance everything out. What do you think?  I’d love to know and please, please  share/show any ideas you might have!


Initially, I was leaning more toward a pendant light, but a semi-flush light is really striking my fancy these days. Who knows. I have some time. Hopefully not too much ;).

We spent most of today Continue reading

Martha’s Vineyard

Taking the ferry to Martha's Vineyard

imageimageWe have been enjoying some time away from Boston. Haddie celebrated her 7th birthday on Monday, so we let her choose where we would spend our little family get away. She chose Martha’s Vineyard because she is really into islands these days and she had fond memories of a day trip we took to the island two years ago. This was second to Hawaii, but I still think she is having fun, ha. The only thing better than an island for her is an island with a volcano.

Speaking of Hawaii. Haddie was super excited at dinner tonight when we sat next to a couple at the hotel restaurant who actually live in Hawaii. She had a lot of questions for them and they were very sweet to answer as many of them as they could. Of course, she let them know she was saving her change to go sometime in the future. It’s really cute. We have to figure out how to get that kid there someday!

imageimageTomorrow is our last day. We are only spending three days, but we have fit in a lot of fun so far. We have visited all the major towns on the island, enjoying their little downtown districts. It’s cute watching the girls saunter up the sidewalks deciding what stores they would like to visit. They are especially fond of bookstores and any store with toys. Although, still being April, many of the stores and restaurants have yet to open.

Continue reading

Spring is here, kind of

Spring Tree


The house we are renting while we finish renovating our new home doesn’t have a yard. This is one of the downsides to city living. So you can imagine that we are really excited by the fact that our new house DOES have a yard. I think where we have went without one for so long now (4 years), we will REALLY enjoy and appreciate having it once we do. But in the meantime, if we want to get outside, we take walks. And hang out at the park or the beach (we’re looking forward to beach weather!).

The girls and I thought yesterday was a funny day. We saw this beautiful tree in bloom, yet it was cold enough we all needed warm jackets! One of the things I am finding, living here in Boston, is that the weather can be tricky to gauge. The buildings often block wind or shade the sun and give you a false impression of the temperature. So we usually dress in layers we can remove or take a jacket or sweater, just in case. I remember Continue reading

Happy Weekend 3.12.15!


We got back to Boston from our travels late last night after driving all day. We put the girls to bed and both had the munchies. But what to do? The grocery store was closed, so we were forced to rummage through our refrigerator which had sat unopened for 3 weeks. Eek!

Olives last forever. Okay, good. Aged gouda with a sell-by date of that day. Phew! Carrots and celery? At least they weren’t rotten or shriveled up like the rest of the produce we tossed. We decided to give them a try. And of course, wine Continue reading

I am back and Happy Weekend!

imageHappy Weekend! I am sorry that I wasn’t able to get a new post up this week. We were traveling and visiting with family, which was wonderful. I just didn’t have a spare moment hardly to devote to the blog and unfortunately I get carsick if I work while riding in the car.

Our travel landed us first in Charlottesville, VA for my dad’s partial colectomy. The surgery was successful and there is no more cancer. We feel incredibly grateful! I wasn’t sure Continue reading

“All that deep, deep, deep snow, all that snow had to go”

South Boston Sidewalk after Blizzard

Sidewalks in South Boston have become more like tunnels. The snow in the picture above is piled up taller than Brance on both sides!

South Boston Snow Pile After Blizzard

There are enormous snow piles on almost every corner. Sometimes they block off the sidewalk entirely, so people are mostly walking in the streets. And to think we are still supposed to get more in the next couple days! All I can think of is the opening lines from the Dr. Seuss book, The Cat in the Hat Comes Back, that the girls love me to read… Continue reading

We’re getting more…

Snowy Sunset Southie

Snow!!! Yes, I know; shocker, right?

The funny thing is that just a couple of days ago, I was bemoaning the fact that we hadn’t had a real snow yet this winter in Boston. And, well, now we have had a couple VERY real snows folks and one right now that is supposed to leave us with another hefty amount of white fluffy. I don’t want to complain, but this might just be too much of a good thing. Although, I know two sweet little girls who probably would say otherwise :).

Trash Day Southie

Similar to the abundance of snow with nowhere to go, we have another kind of abundance Continue reading

A week off TV, what do you think?


We’re taking the week off TV. It wasn’t something we planned for, it just kind of happened. For better or worse, I am a wee bit impulsive and often commit to things I haven’t completely thought through. Not a good thing, I know. I realized Sunday afternoon that living in a cold city where getting out in the winter, especially with all the snow, is tough, plus homeschooling thrown into the mix, we had come to rely on TV more than I would like. Not a ridiculous amount, just more than I felt comfortable with.

TV watching history

When Brance was a kid his parents got fed up with the miserable programming on TV (this was the 70’s!). His dad and mom actually Continue reading