Things that Make Me Happy!

It's been a minute since we did a Things That Make Me Happy post. I think it's because I've been in purge-overdrive for the past year and Things have started to feel like a weight to me. Like, I still love to shop till I drop, but the result of that has me feeling weighed down and burdened. What prompted the whole purge mind set was that we've been playing with the idea of moving for the past year. We may, we may not and with us being away in New Orleans on and off the past year it's opened us to the possibility we may have to make a full move there (or we may not!) at some point and if we can minimize the work involved in getting to that point by letting go of non-essentials, well, we would be making life infinitely easier. 

Even if we don't make any sort of move, the purge has been life changing, and I'm in no rush to clutter up life and the house again. BUT I'm still human, and when something cool or cute catches my eye it occasionally comes home with me. 

Here are the things making me happy lately:

House of Marley Speaker. Ok, this is the cutest and best thing I've gotten in a while. I've talked before about how music is pretty much always on in our house, and a big part of our daily life, and this makes it so easy and portable to bring music to any spot. Wren loves connecting the bluetooth to her iPad and rocking to her own creations she makes in Garage Band (our Christmas gift to family this year was a CD Wren and I made of our own music LOL, it's super funny and entertaining, trust me!). In the spirit of April being Earth Month, I adore that House of Marley is an eco-minded manufacturer. If we are bringing new things into the house it's important to me they are quality things that are in line with our new mantra of making do with less. 

Katye Landry Jewellery. The perfect minimalist pieces are pretty much the only type of jewellery I rock, and Katye's designs the definition of that. Plus, I love that she's a fellow Canadian girl! I'm bringing a few of her creations to New Orleans with me in a couple weeks, because in that crazy heat I have only a handful of simple outfits planned (the less clothing the better in my experience LOL) and these pieces will add a little interest without feeling heavy. 

This necklace is gonna get a ton of wear with the rompers I have lined up.

 this stacking ring is pretty much my favourite thing right now, it looks so good with more rings, but also is interesting and beautiful on it's own.

The sunny mornings are making me unreasonably happy this time of year! I'm just trying to enjoy and savour these days because I know we are about to jump into a busy, hot and humid Summer. A good coffee in a clean kitchen is at the top of my favourite things, ever. Did I mention I'm bringing our expresso machine with us to New Orleans this time? LOL I just felt lost without it last year. I can get by with 2 pairs of shoes, but without my Breville I'm hopeless.

This is easily the thing that has made me the happiest lately! My beautiful friends, Ben and Erin, of Home Town on HGTV stopped by the house we did for Big Easy Reno to take a picture!!!! How humbling and sweet of them to stop by and send me this amazing moment. Aren't they the most attractive couple ever? Yeah, I'm approaching stalker territory with my love for them, but they really are the greatest. 

And my final purchase of late is this one piece bathing suit you may have seen me post on IG. It's from Forever21 and when I saw the colours I was like 'I LOVE IT! but am I ready to do a 1 piece again?' it's been about 20 years since I had my last once piece, but this one won me over. Between a trip to Ship Island, and our time at the cabin I decided to try and get my bathing suit collection up to at least 3 so I don't have to wear a cold wet suit. Seriously, that is one of the worst feelings and I did it too much last Summer.

The last instalment in today's post is an appearance by our old friend, Dusty Doodle. Wren hand't seen him all Winter and he made his first appearance of the season last weekend when his lovely owner dropped him off to say Hello! Wren has always been infatuated with this sweet little man and could play with him all day. Unfortunately he isn't a fan of all our other furry family members (no surprise there).

Hope you are having a happy week! xoxo

TV Talk 1.0

I know I briefly mentioned that we are headed back to New Orleans again in this post a couple weeks ago. I said I wanted to bring you all along for the ride so you can get a feel for just how much work and planning goes into getting a TV show off the ground, and well, here is the first official instalment of just such an update! I can't talk about everything (obviously) but I will happily share everything else, so feel free to ask questions in the comments if you want to know more about anything in particular!

So, we are planning 2 new episodes right now. Why two? Why not one? Why not 10? Well, a LOT of research went into our first episode after it aired and HGTV has decided they would rather have me helping local New Orleanians with their homes! Fun, right? I am so so thrilled with this shift from our original concept of following me and my flips. I mean, I love flipping, but I've actually NEVER managed a renovation or design for a client and while it seems a little crazy to do it for the first time LIVE on camera, I actually can't think of a better time or way to dip my feet in the waters. Because of this shift we got the green light to try out the new concept with two episodes to see how it feels and comes across on camera. And then hopefully we'll get the go ahead for a full 10 or 12 episode order.

The actual steps required to get us on the ground and filming are very extensive and I am so thankful for the many kick ass ladies (and a couple guys) working hard at our production company. These amazing women handle the budgets, approvals, permits and have just started the hiring process for our production team. We also are getting ready to open up casting for the houses we will be working, and our casting director and myself have been talking to homeowners that have graciously reached out thanks to a couple of my super incredible NOLA friends who have spread the news on the low and gotten word out about our return (THANK YOU, M!). Once we lock down our houses and homeowners the pre-shooting design work begins!

I've also been combing through a ton of websites for rental options for us. I know where I roughly want to rent, but am open to maybe being adventurous and living in the Quarter if the right unit came up. But I have Wren already enrolled in a few Summer camps in NOLA and I would prefer to live closer to the area the camps are in so that she can still hang out and play with any friends she makes at camp from the neighbourhood. I'm hoping we'll have something locked down shortly, but short term rentals aren't always easy to find that meet all your needs. 

So yeah, I am thrilled/excited/ready as can be to get down there. Let the craziness begin! 

The Master Bath Face Lift Begins

So, here is a rarely shared spot in the house (I can count maybe 2 or 3 times TOPS that I've shared our bathroom since I started blogging in 2008!). Our master bathroom is VERY 1980's, like the rest of our house was before we started overhauling it. But it is probably the single least likely spot for a guest to see so it has remained the on the very bottom of our priority list. It probably was not wise to neglect this space, since we actually spend so much of our time in here. It's a really spacious bathroom, and everything is good and functional so we aren't planning on gutting this space. A little facelift is the perfect solution. The plan is to give the vanity a makeover (paint wood, new counter top, sink and faucet), remove the wall paper and then paint the whole room, and remove the old mirror and light and replace with something fresh. The biggest job in here is that we are actually replacing the shower surround and door as well due to needing to access some drainage under the unit, so we are going to do a nice new fibreglass kit and a new glass door. Quick and easy, versus tiling it all. The biggest single cost on tiling it all isn't the tile itself, but the fact we will have to have a custom glass door made and installed and that would easily run $1500-$2400 (shower glass is crazy expensive guys, I've yet to find a way to get custom glass on the cheap LOL). So a kit it is, since they usually run $500-$700 for the surround and door. 

There are a handful of 'special' tiles around the jacuzzi I will be replacing. But the grey tiles in the bathroom themselves aren't offensive or anything, my biggest beef with them is they dark beige grout. It's not grey, it's not a proper beige. It just looks like evenly worn out old grout (it's actually in great shape, just an ugly colour). So I decided to be adventurous and re-seal the grout with a colored grout sealer. It was probably risky for me to try this for the first time ever on grout I didn't want to rip out eventually but I was feeling impatient and excited to start the makeover so I spent a day last week working on it. 

Here is the grout as it was.

Here is was after going over all the grout lines with the sealer. I used a tooth brush to apply it all, and it took about 2 hours to get the whole floor done. Then I let it sit like this for an hour.

And here is the final result! I used a mister to spray water on the tile and gently wiped away the sealer that was on the tiles. Then we closed off the bathroom for use for a full day before walking on it again. What a difference, right? Pretty dramatic! It definitely has me excited to tackle the rest of the bathroom and bring it up to date.

I will definitely share as the progress continues! xoxo Holly