Beach day in Pescadero

Last weekend we really needed a break from all the projects around the house, so we decided to get out of town and take a hike. Except that when we arrived at our starting point, Bean Hollow beach in Pescadero, we realized our hike was going to turn into a day at the beach. So we went with it. 

I knew that Harper, being the adventurous soul that she is, would want to go in the water. But I didn’t realize just how much she would like it, or how eager she would be to walk into some pretty strong waves. 

So we took turns holding her while the waves splashed over her little legs. She kept signing “more” over and over. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen her do that for anything other than food. 

It’s a pretty long drive to Pescadero, but we really liked that beach. It seemed less crowded than most beaches around here, and it had lots of interesting rocks and birds. 

Mike even found a sea anemone. 

The people there seemed really friendly, too. One guy even came up and offered to take some pictures of Mike and Harper. He did a great job!

Afterward we drove to Santa Cruz and had dinner at Pizzeria Avanti. I was a little skeptical when we drove up to this worn strip mall, but the restaurant was nice inside and the food (artichokes, padron peppers, and a sausage pizza) were excellent. 

My sister is coming in less than two weeks and we’re already planning our next adventure to Big Sur!

Mom’s bathroom reveal

The bathroom is finally done!

We had some delayed gratification with it because just as we had all the pieces ready to install, we found a problem with the sink plumbing. We also decided to get help installing the toilet, so we had to have our contractor come by twice before it was all said and done. But it is done, and it is gorgeous!

Just so you can appreciate what an incredible transformation it was, here is what the bathroom looked like before (sorry for the bad photos).

The decor in there was probably as old as me, if not older. Plus, the floor around the toilet was rotted from a previous water leak, so that had to be fixed.

We started by having our contractor remove the ugly tiles and replace the wood subfloor. Then we stripped the dated wallpaper and painted it a lovely blue-gray color.

After having watched a LOT of home improvement shows and read plenty of home improvement blogs, we decided we could lay new tile ourselves. Mike watched some YouTube videos and asked our contractor a bunch of questions and he felt confident he could do the work. The tile turned out to be one of the easiest DIY projects we did, and I think it completely makes the room.

We wanted a kind of antique looking floor, and I love the way the hex tiles complement the more modern style of the other pieces in the room.

The medicine cabinet is from Lowe’s. The sink cabinet and faucet are from IKEA. I love that the cabinet has dividers inside the soft-close drawers.

Harper has already discovered all the goodies inside.

We went on a wild goose chase for a super low-flow toilet and ended up finding it at Lowe’s.

I know it’s a small thing, but it’s amazing how much new outlets and light switches can improve the look of a room.

We are so happy with how this bathroom turned out. We keep asking each other, “Have you looked at the bathroom today?” It’s like an instant stress reliever.

Our last two big projects are the garage organization and the main bathroom remodel. We were just going to redo the bathroom floor and replace the toilet and sink/medicine cabinets. But now we’re wondering if we shouldn’t just redo the whole thing while we’re at it. So we haven’t decided what to do yet, but at least we know we can do the tile ourselves and we’re confident we can improve the style about a thousand percent!

Oh, and if you’re wondering about the cost, it came in around $2,000 for the whole project. I don’t think there’s any question it will pay off in the long run. Here’s the breakdown:

subfloor replacement: $800
help with installation: $300
toilet: $150 (though we’re looking into a rebate that would make it almost free)
sink cabinet: $250
faucet: $70
medicine cabinet: $45
tile + supplies: approx. $250, can you believe that?
wallpaper removal: $20
paint and trim: $65
towel bar: $25
toilet roll holder: $21
outlet + light switch: $25
corner shelf: $35 (can’t find the link but it was Threshold at Target)
Total: $2056

Vintage costumes in mom’s shop

Just had to share some fun items my mom has in her Etsy shop right now. Great options for a Halloween costume party, perhaps?

This mid-century party dress is gorgeous. All you need is a pair of pumps and a highball glass to go with it.

This burlesque outfit is just so great. Not sure what occasion requires it, but someone has to have it.

This Victorian capelet is perfect for an 1800s costume or some kind of Tim Burton character.

And oh my gosh doesn’t this crazy quilted pantsuit crack you up?

We think someone might have sewn it themselves from a ’70s pattern.

Anyway, lots of fun stuff to look at, and she’s adding more all the time.

A few more updates

The house is still a work in progress, but I realized I hadn’t shared some other projects we finished. First, Harper’s room. 

After we painted and replaced all the outlets and light switches, we did some decorating. We added a blackout roller shade from Ikea, which has been great for naps.

Then we put up all the artwork that had been in her room before, including the family photos above her crib. We had to downsize one shelf since her room is smaller than before, but I think everything fits in there perfectly now.

In the kitchen we had one small but very important project. There was a broom closet that randomly used to house a fuse box. The space was pretty much useless, so we painted the inside and added some homemade shelves. Now it’s a great pantry.

And then outside we added some furniture to our deck. Before it was pretty blah, though I loved the built-in bench.

We ended up getting a super bargain on a huge table, nice umbrella and two chairs at Target by purchasing floor models that were half price at the end of the season.

We also added a storage cabinet and a grill, so the deck is a great eating/entertaining space now.

Next up we’re finishing mom’s bathroom, which has been an absolutely incredible transformation. Can’t wait to show you pictures when it’s all done!

18 months

Harper is just about to be 19 months, but I can still get in under the wire!

She is really turning that corner from baby to kid lately. Thankfully she still has that delicious pudge and adorable toes, but in other ways she looks more grown up every day. 

She’s big on imitation. Loves to wear our clothes, which is so cute.

Her hair’s long enough to be pulled back, but whenever I try to do it she just pulls it out.

She’s gone through phases of wanting to sit in her car seat in the middle of the room or climbing up into her stroller just to hang out.

Her appetite is unbelievable. Sometimes it seems like she eats as much as we do.

But I guess you need a lot of calories to fuel toddler energy.

The best part about this age is watching her starting to form language. She has new words all the time: brush (for brushing her teeth), bubbles, duck and various other animals and animal sounds.

Hearing her teeny voice across the room just kills me.

Unfortunately it turned out that we could not escape the 18-month sleep regression. But I think we’re so used to sleeplessness now, it’s just part of the deal.

Harper has a doctor’s appointment soon so we’ll find out how much she’s grown. After several months of going down on the growth chart I think she’s catching up!