Hello, hello! I missed everyone and am very excited to be back to the blog this morning. Happy February- I hope yours is off to a lovely start, as we’re already one week in. I figured the best way to kick off the week and month is with a new Noteworthy post… especially as I’m slowly easing back into work this week. I have updates for you, inspiration, fun links, recent purchases, and lots of goodness packed into this one. Click through and check it out- it’s a shorter one, if you’re looking for a quick read!
First, I want to send a big thank you to everyone for your kind words, thoughts, prayers, and positive energy sent my way last week. January honestly felt like a heavy & stressful month over here, but once again I was reminded of friendship, kindness, and positivity. Thank you for that! My surgery went well and I spent the majority of last week in bed reading (check out my book selections here), watching TV, and working from my laptop. I discovered I’m pretty terrible at bed rest and lounging, but I’m still trying to take it easy until my doctor officially releases me- hopefully in a week or so. Anyway, thank you for checking in! It really meant a lot to me. I’m thankful to be back this morning.
Since January didn’t exactly go as planned (thanks to my unexpected surgery), I owe you a renovation update. My office reveal is scheduled for this month! It’s happening. I’m just waiting on Emmett to finish my desk (which is pretty much done), and then I’ll add some finishing touches and photograph. I can’t wait to show you! I’m really pleased with how things came together, and now that I’m feeling healthy again- I finally have the motivation and focus to grab my camera and get creative.
We’re already onto our next project… the entryway! If you missed those plans, check them out here. Emmett said he’d like to dive into tiling our entry as soon as I’m cleared by my doctor to lift and be active again. It’s going to be a two person job, and I’m VERY ready to see that beautiful French cabochon tile installed.
I also started designing our laundry room renovation, thanks to down time in bed. It will be a bit before we tackle that space, but it has been fun to dream and scheme. If you’re curious about my inspiration, check out this Pinterest board!
Does anyone have any fun travel planned for the year ahead? This time of year always turns me into a wanderlust. I enjoy planning weekend getaways or activities, or we’ll usually save up and take one big vacation each year. I just like having things to look forward to- especially during the winter months. Emmett and I had flights booked to Europe for next week- Amsterdam and then to Switzerland for skiing, but sadly we cancelled our trip for obvious reasons. We’re hoping to visit family later this year, do some more diving, and then we’re celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary this fall and are crossing our fingers to make it back to Italy. That would be incredible, but who knows what the future holds. If the last two years has taught me anything, it’s not to get too terribly attached to a travel itinerary. Ha! What are you excited for this year? Do you also enjoy planning things to look forward to during the winter months?
You know I have a soft spot for vintage lamps. If you ever find a vintage lamp that doesn’t work or needs rewiring, this tutorial is really thorough. Pin this one for when you need it! I’ve had to rewire some of my vintage lamps and it’s easier than I expected.
I’m probably one of the few people who is wishing for winter snow, but we need it here in Utah! Despite the warm mild winter we’re having, I’m still following my regular February rituals… stocking our house with fresh florals, burning comforting candles, spending time in the kitchen with new recipes & cookbooks, as well as indulging in some delicious chocolate. How is your winter shaping up? I can’t believe we’re already into February. January went on & on, but now I feel like time has suddenly sped up.
I was intrigued and clicked into this article, 8 DIY Projects You Really Should Know How to Do Yourself … just to see if I could do everything on the list (proudly yes). Can you?
Believe me when I say you don’t want to see my *most* recent purchases because they’ve all been medical items for my recovery (boring). Instead, I’ll share five fun purchases I made in the last month or two that you might enjoy…
- An inexpensive scarf // Somehow over the years, it became my look to tie a scarf on my bag, purse, work tote, or sometimes even my keys. I love switching it out seasonally, but I always have one tied to my bag- it’s a fun and easy way to dress it up, personalize, and add a fun moment to your wardrobe! I love this simple striped one, and have started collecting vintage ones as well.
- A comfortable lounge set- top & bottoms // After finding out I was having surgery, I wanted to order a super soft, cozy knit lounge set for the hospital (that looked more presentable than an sports tee paired with Emmett’s borrowed sweatpants). These are my new favorite- I’ve been living in them. I ordered a size medium top and a large pant, which fit great with plenty of room. I’d highly recommend! I’ll throw a long cardigan over top for added warmth, and I still feel semi put together despite basically being in pajamas.
- New glasses // I had Lasik over a decade ago, so I exceed 20/20 vision during the daytime, but one complication post Lasik… I have trouble with my vision at night. Long story short, I’m no longer (legally) allowed to night drive as of a couple months ago, but my doctor gave me special nighttime lenses to help me see at home- which meant I got to pick out new frames. I landed on these and love them, if anyone is in the market for new eyeglasses.
- Crystal vase // We’ve been getting amazing new arrivals & shipments in the Tuesday Made shop lately, so I treated myself to a HEAVY crystal bud vase for my fresh blooms. It’s pictured earlier in this post, but I love the way it captures & creates light prisms on my wall. I love its timeless aesthetic! Be sure to check back for Wednesday’s blog post- Peggi is sharing an amazing roundup of gorgeous bud vases.
- My favorite swimsuit // If anyone has spring (or spring break) travel plans, I wanted to share my all-time favorite swimsuit. It’s flattering on all body types, I feel secure & confident, and it’s such a classic look. The five star reviews don’t lie! This summer will be my third season wearing this suit and it still looks brand new.
I just renewed my subscription to World of Interiors, and wanted to share that magazine with you again. It’s definitely my favorite design publication that arrives regularly, and is always packed full of inspiration.
I’ve been helping my friend, Laurie Anne, with her new house renovation from afar. We keep in touch via Marco Polo and she said it’s like having a personal designer in her pocket. Hah! Her questions have been providing a fun distraction while I’ve been lounging. If you’re looking for your own “pocket” designer, check out The Expert. Lots of my talented designer friends are on the platform and it’s a great way to get quick advice from professionals. Sadly, it has been a few years since I’ve taken on interior clients or consultations, simply because of time. I’m asked about it often and while I wish I could help everyone, my recommendation is always the same… check out The Expert. Their IG is packed full of interior inspiration.
Looking for drapery ideas? This article, 55 Curtain Designs to Inspire Your Next Makeover, was actually very well done and is perfect for brainstorming. There are lots of beautiful examples to discover.
Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day… how is that only a week away? It’s not a big deal to us, but we definitely use it as an excuse to eat at our favorite local restaurants. I actually have my post op appointment on Valentine’s Day, but Emmett promised after the doctor we could grab Italian at my favorite spot. I’m calling that a win! I also will take any excuse to eat chocolates and display pretty florals around the house, which I’ve already been doing a lot of lately. If that’s your thing, you can find my gift ideas, winter styling items, and cozy home decor that I’ve gathered here.
Looking for an amazing home tour? I really enjoyed this one! It’s the perfect example of modern meets traditional and it’s packed with antiques and intricate millwork.
As I’m in planning mode for the year ahead, I’d love to hear what types of blog posts and projects you’d like to see in the coming months. It’s really helpful and insightful for me, so if you’d drop your thoughts in the comment section below, I’d really appreciate it! I’ll try to tackle as many topics as I can. I’m trying to get super organized this month, and part of that plan includes getting my blog calendar in good shape. I want to make sure I’m sharing posts that are educational, entertaining, helpful in some way, or inspiring.
Thanks again for your kind words, well wishes, and for being so patient and encouraging while I was out last week. I’m doing much better and I have a feeling February is going to be far better than January over here! I’m just pretending the beginning of my new year starts now. Here’s to a great month ahead… spring will be here before we know it. Have a good week, friends. Thank you for being here!
PeggiFebruary 7, 2022 at 5:25 am
Good morning!!! Welcome back! Happy February! All the salutations! A Noteworthy post is the perfect ease back in routine. So many exciting projects on the horizon. Of course, I’m at peak excitement over here about your office reveal, and I will eagerly follow your entry progress-once begun. But I must admit to geek-level anticipation for your laundry room design plans! (My Cool Points just plummeted with that revelation…) The organization, the cabinetry, the tile! Ha. What a bummer that you had to cancel your travel plans! I definitely enjoy dreaming of tropical travel at this time of year, although I’ve yet to enjoy an island breeze. I’m hoping for an AZ trip soon and a voyage home in summer, but, as you said, I’ve learned not to get too attached to plans… So many folks recommend World of Interiors! I might need to swap that subscription for one of my others to find fresh inspiration. Speaking of inspiring, I love all of your posts, but my favorites are the ones that really work my “design brain.” I adore Design Eye Training, 10 Pins and your Design Discussions. I’m always fascinated by in-depth explanation of…well, most things! Any time I get a glimpse of your thought process and insights, I’m a fan. Here’s to beautiful, uplifting and healthy times! Take it easy, friend.💜
SarahFebruary 8, 2022 at 1:03 pm
Hi! Thank you, Peggi! I’m excited to be easing back into my normal routine over here. Being back to the blog feels so nice! While I was laying around in bed, I just felt like the laundry room would be a fun space to start designing, so I went for it. I’m really looking forward to having a dog wash someday. Such a dream! I love hearing about your travel plans. Arizona and Maine sound like the perfect trips for spring & summer. I’m anxiously awaiting Laurie Anne to finish her house, so I can plan a trip to Phoenix. Thanks for your blog feedback- that is super helpful as I’m planning and getting organized. I enjoy drafting all of those posts, so I’m glad to hear they’re fun to read. Indeed- here’s to a beautiful, uplifting and healthy month! I’m excited about all of those things. Hope you’re having a good week :) xo
LaurenFebruary 7, 2022 at 8:02 am
Welcome back Sarah! I’m so glad you’re feeling a little more like yourself. That is wonderful news. The office reveal is going to be incredible and while I can’t wait, I’m nerding out over watching the entryway transformation, especially your plans for the stairs. I browsed your laundry room board and there is major inspiration packed in there. We do have local-ish travel plans this year: the kid’s first ever trip to Disneyland (hopefully spring break), and a trip to the central California coast for our 10 year anniversary in June. We will likely do some weekend camping trips through the summer too. Like Peggi, I greatly enjoy 10 pins, Design 101, and Design Discussions. I also love FBMP finds. One suggestion for topics would be a “How To” for styling. Particularly styling difficult spaces. For example, styling a long dresser (my current slump), or dressing walls with high ceilings. I’ll admit that’s a huge conundrum over here. The only strategy that makes sense so far is to divide the wall space in vertical or horizontal thirds. Vertical thirds makes sense for doing a large scale gallery wall, while horizontal thirds makes more sense for larger scale art, etc. Tips for styling such difficult areas of a home would be fantastic. Maybe even a “tips and tricks” for accomplishing tricky tasks-for instance, how do you swap a can light bulb that’s 30’+ high, when your ladder is only 15’? Inquiring minds would love to know a trick to accomplish these pesky situations without a professional, and any new fun equipment that goes along. (Lauren says buy a different ladder, Jeff says don’t worry about it. HA!) Thank you for the magazine suggestion! My AD subscription will be up soon and I was already trying to brainstorm new inspiration. As you ease back into your normal routine, know that you are still in my thoughts and prayers. I hope you have a wonderful week ahead. Xo
SarahFebruary 8, 2022 at 12:59 pm
Thank you, Lauren! I’m definitely feeling better each day, and am ready to get back into my regular routine. Emmett is a little anxious about the staircase millwork, but I zero doubts he’ll figure it out. Ha! I’m just ready to get going on the entryway. Your travel plans sound fantastic! Oddly enough, I have never been to Disney. I’ve heard nothing but amazing things though. I also love hearing that you two are also celebrating your 10 year anniversary this year- how fun! Thank you so much for your feedback on posts and things you’d like to see this year. It’s really helpful as I’m planning the calendar and trying to get organized. I love all of your ideas! I had a good laugh at, “Lauren says buy a different ladder, Jeff says don’t worry about it” because that is definitely us too. I really appreciate you keeping me in your thoughts and prayers! Hope you have a great day! xo
ColleenFebruary 7, 2022 at 9:28 am
I’m so glad to hear you’re feeling much better Sarah! Yay! Welcome back 🥳
Fresh flowers and chocolate are my two favorite things so I will definitely be celebrating Valentine’s Day and maybe some wine too ☺️ We are going to a wine and chocolate pairing with some friends so it should be fun!
So excited for your office reveal this month, I know it’s going to be smashingly beautiful 😍
And your entry way will be too! Those tiles are going to be stunning 💖 sounds like a ton of work but I know you and Emmett are super hero renovators so it will be perfection.
Wow! A 10 year anniversary coming up for you two 🥂 Amazing! A trip to Italy sounds dreamy ❤️ I hope to get there one day, its on the bucket list 😝 Wishing you a restful day and so glad you are on a great road to recovery ❤️🩹
SarahFebruary 8, 2022 at 12:55 pm
Thanks so much, Colleen! I’m so envious you’re going to a wine and chocolate pairing- that sounds incredible. We’re definitely going to order a nice bottle of wine with our Italian dinner. We’re really excited to get started on the entryway soon. I’m hoping my doctor clears me next week, then we can get going. We haven’t book Italy yet, but that’s our tentative plan. I’m super excited! I hope you’re having an amazing week so far :) xo
BrittanyFebruary 7, 2022 at 9:29 am
I’m glad you’re doing well and recovering from your surgery! I’m excited to see the office reveal and enjoyed how you did progress posts throughout. I think that would be great to continue for the entry and your eventual laundry room renovation.
Speaking of Switzerland, have you been watching the Olympics? Now that I’ve actually tried skiing, I’ve been totally enthralled by the amazingly talented snowboarders and skiiers! I think my favorite events so far have been snowboarding slopestyle and the downhill ski races. For travel this year, I’m hoping to do a quick 2-3 night ski getaway, somewhere near-ish to some good shopping so I can shop on my day off from the slopes :) We also want to go visit my sister in Raleigh, NC and plan to drive and hit up DC and Philly on the way there / way back. She is traveling for work, so we are trying to visit her in each place she rotates to. Last year we went to Marquette, Michigan and got to kayak in Lake Superior!
We are usually pretty low-key for Valentine’s Day. This year we are hoping to do takeout from a great local Italian place with a prix fixe menu for two. We also like to add to our board game collection for 2. I think we will add Azul this year since I’ve been hearing good things. I know you guys are big into board games, too, so I’d love to hear if you have any 2-player game recommendations. We have Code Names Duet, Ticket to Ride, Targi, Patchwork, Forbidden Island, and Kingdomino. And cribbage of course!
SarahFebruary 8, 2022 at 10:34 am
Thanks so much, Brittany! I’ll definitely continue the process posts for our next projects… I enjoyed those, too. I LOVE the winter Olympics, and have been trying to watch as I have time. The skiing, snowboarding, and skating events are always my favorite. Emmett & I actually both use to ski slopestyle, and hit the jumps & rails back when we were younger. These days we stick to alpine skiing and backcountry, but we still love watching that event. Plan a trip to Utah!! I know that isn’t super close, but you can’t beat our skiing here. Boyne Highlands in Michigan is fun, Snowhoe West Virgina, and Jack Frost Big Boulder in PA are also nice East Coast spots. We used to have season passes at Mad River Mountain when we lived in Ohio for a bit. Your travel plans sound so fun! I’m envious you were able to kayak on Lake Superior. That sounds dreamy! Your Valentine’s Day plans are right up my alley. We like to keep things low key, too. As for 2-player board games, we love Ticket to Ride, Hive, Patchwork, and card games- two handed euchre (but 4 players is better) and we also like cribbage. Hope you’re having a great week so far!
Danna FFebruary 7, 2022 at 11:52 am
Happy to read you are feeling better. You’ve given us some really good peaks into your new office and the reveal is much anticipated! I am excited for your new entry and the makeover you & Emmett have planned. I checked out your laundry room pinterest board…great inspo! I spied adorable dogs and a past laundry of yours! Loved them then love them still!
Your comfy lounge set is adorable and looks cozy. I love scarves and pulled out an old Ralph Lauren one this weekend to wear to a barn dance with my son for his fraternity event. I am so happy I kept it. There are several from your Amazon selection I liked. Need to check out the swimsuit. We are headed to Florida at the end of April for my husbands reward trip and our 27th anniversary. Cannot wait!
“Pocket designer”…we need one of those! You must have read my mind lately. I have thought about trying out The Expert but also need one close to start the process on paper. My question is how should clients (home builders) convey their ideas so that designers understand what they are looking for? Also, what should we not say to designers? I really want to have a good experience and not offend a designer or builder since this is our first time building.
Have a great day and make sure you rest so you heal best! Ha, quirky sentiment but true!
SarahFebruary 8, 2022 at 10:12 am
Thank you, Danna! I loved our previous laundry room. Despite the small size, it was so functional and beautiful… I miss that space! How fun that you went to a barn dance for your son’s event. That sounds like a great time, and I know you looked beautiful in your scarf! I’m also glad to hear you have a fun trip planned for your anniversary with your husband’s work. Hope you two enjoy it!! April will be here before you know it :) I love your designer questions. I think it’s more about finding a designer that is a good match for your aesthetic and personality. I always recommend over communicating, share plenty of images you like and be able to articulate what is attractive about those images to you, and just be really honest with your designer. The nice thing about the Expert is it isn’t a full service design experience… which is great for builders or DIY renovators, because they really just help with the overall design and you’re able to manage your contractors, make decisions, and alter the plan as needed. I think as a designer (during my experience tackling client projects), my biggest frustration was having to rework design plans over and over (which is expensive) because the client didn’t effectively communicate- or they said “just do whatever”, when they actually have have a lot of thoughts & preferences. Share all the things! The more info, the better, so your designer can really understand your wants, needs, and turn them into something that is beautiful and fits your vision. I hope that helps! I’m always here if you need to run something by me, or need a second opinion. I’m so excited for your build- it’s going to be amazing! I’m still trying to take it easy this week. I think I overdid it yesterday- I lifted some boxes I probably shouldn’t have. Lesson learned. Ha! Have a wonderful day, Danna! xox
Danna FFebruary 10, 2022 at 11:05 am
Thank you Sarah for the advice. Yes, The Expert is good for extra design ideas. May use them after our plans have been made…especially exterior. We had our 3rd interview/meeting with a builder yesterday and he talked non stop about how hard it is to get materials; price increases; etc. I walked away feeling defeated and overwhelmed. I know it is a crazy time for building and getting supplies but I have always felt that if you really want something you will work hard to make it happen. I am trying to boost myself up today! Can you tell? I will definitely seek your opinion because you have such sensible and wonderful taste. Hope you are feeling better each day. Hugs!
SarahFebruary 12, 2022 at 12:30 pm
Hi Danna! I’m so sorry your builder meeting left you feeling bummed. It is a crazy time, but it will happen and will be worth the wait :) I’m here if you need me! Keep your chin up- you’ll have a beautiful home and I’m super excited for you. Hope you guys have a wonderful weekend! xox
AbbyFebruary 13, 2022 at 11:16 am
Hi Sarah. I would love to see a blog about how you source items in a more general sense. I find myself paralyzed by indecision when I need to purchase an item for my house. I have struggled with both small items and large ones – lamp shades, rugs, picture frames, and couches. How do you find quality items? Where are your go to shops? How do you decide what is “worth” spending a little more on? How much stock do you put in reviews? I love looking at blogger round ups, but I’d like to learn to find things on my own.
SarahFebruary 15, 2022 at 7:13 pm
Thanks so much, Abby! I really appreciate you taking the time to share- that’s super helpful. I’ll add these topics to my blog calendar :)