Wednesday, September 24, 2014

an update from the land of chaos (i.e. the new home)



Hello friends. Today I thought I’d give you an update from the new home, even though my photos are pretty unexciting. It’s slowly dawning on me that if I wait until a room is completely finished I’ll never post again.

So here it goes. Acceptance. This is my house right now, and it’s not pretty.

(and gulp, I miss my Fall decorating…)


last year’s Fall mantel

Thank goodness my parents came for a visit and stayed for five whole, glorious days and helped me get back on track. My Mom said, “Leslie you’ve got to focus on one room at a time.” And I know what she means, it’s pretty chaotic around here, with me starting projects in just about every room.

Are you good at moving? Because I’m giving myself a big fat “F” for unpacking. I prefer to move on to the painting and decorating instead of opening up more boxes of stuff.

But after they left I felt so revitalized again… because my parents—who are both 73 years old are ball of kinetic energy.

When my Mom is at home she’s at the gym every morning before most people are outta bed. Seriously. So together we got some things done.

My Dad, …well he can do just about any home project. But it’s his attitude I admire. He’s got amazing stamina for his age, and we have to literally make him stop once he starts something.

He showed me how to use an electric saw and we both did this to my little backyard:


The previous owner let the Ficus trees grow into a jungle.

Some of them were still in their pots. For a gardener like me, that kind of neglect makes me sad. But my Dad took one look and just started cutting and sweeping and all of a sudden, the jungle seemed do-able.

And now I have my very own saw.


He also hung my Ikea curtains for me in the dining room. This is the one room in the house that’s making definite progress.


And here’s my Dad taking the cabinet doors off before he installs the bead board.


If you remember, we removed the old, broken microwave off the wall and had an ugly spot left.

Because our plan is to remodel this kitchen I didn’t want to invest in a hood.

So bead board it is for now.


I’m painting it later today. It’s not my favorite paint job, because those grooves make it tough but I’ve got a good brush.

Before my parents came I fixed up Patrick’s room for them.

New bedding and pillows. Fresh flowers. We even moved a TV in the room.


I also prepared our upstairs bathroom for their visit.

This was the bathroom tub and tile before re-glazing. Pretty disgusting right?

After it was re-glazed, I gave this bathroom a coat of BM’s Brilliant White and bought a cream colored rug. Nothing like shiny white tile and fresh paint to update an old bathroom.


after re-glazing

I chose re-glazing instead of replacing the tile and tub because of budget. I would’ve loved to renovate this entire bathroom but there’s so many other projects first. As soon as I find a new curtain, I’ll share some pictures.

The one thing I love about this house is that all three bathrooms have Toto toilets. They also have the same granite on all the counters which is not a favorite of mine, but oh well.



Do you know the talented Debra from Common Ground?

She recently relocated too and had to paint her chandelier because it clashed in her new surroundings. Funny how that works. I’m seeing the same thing with items I’ve brought from my old home. Suddenly they look out of place here.

Right now I’m still feeling my way around here, trying to figure out what stays and what goes.

This is the chandelier that came with our house and while it’s nice, it doesn’t work in the room.  But until I find the right replacement, I’m stuck with it so I’m trying Debra’s idea.


This was an impulse buy.

I saw these jars while standing at the paint counter at Home Depot and thought I’d try to paint my chandelier last night.


After one coat; Hmmm…I’m not loving it….but I’ll finish tomorrow and let you know.

I’m also painting the beadboard too and hope to have a kitchen update soon.

As far as the visit, I was thrilled at how relaxed my parents were the entire week. We had so much fun just hanging out together.


patrick, papa and michael

Each grandson spent time with them, we ate delicious food at some cool restaurants and went to the Huntington Beach Pier at night to find out about the fishing.


Here’s my Mom taking a break from talking to everyone she met on the Pier.

She’s a tiny thing, only 4’11 but she’s a spitfire.



Later we watched some beach volleyball that was being televised





while Michael fished with Papa.



During their visit, my mom and I had coffee and chatted each morning before everyone  else got up and

I think those early, peaceful mornings might have been my favorite part of their visit.



Before I go I have to share this cute message.

When I was driving through Newport Beach I grabbed my cell phone and snapped a picture of this giant chalk art on the side of a building. Isn’t it great?

I had to smile when I saw it.


Tell me.

What’s making you smile these days?





I’m sharing this post with these friends:






Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

It looks like you had a wonderful visit with your parents, Leslie...they do seem like they have lots of energy! I love the changes you've actually have accomplished a lot! It is going to be beautiful!

Vickie @ Ranger 911 said...

I think you've got a whole new attitude after the uplifting visit from your parents, Leslie! Isn't it wonderful to have supportive parents?! It looks like you're enjoying the sunny ocean locale and things are falling into place quickly (in my opinion) in your new home. It's going to be gorgeous!


Lou said...

Your parents sound awesome!! Love the idea of being 73 and at the gym each morning. That is the future of older age. And as for house projects; I am right there with you. To say it's getting me down is an understatement. It is totally and utterly under my skin!! Arrgghhh will those builders ever leave??? Somehow heartening that others are in the same boat. Lou x

awal.ny said...

How wonderful that you were able to spend time with your parents. Remember all that you have done not what is yet to be done. You have come a long way. Good luck and yes I did smile. I always try to make at least one person smile each day. Have a wonderful week. Alaina

Marilyn said...

First, I think you are being too hard on yourself. Your home is perfectly lovely and once you make the changes you've decided on, you will feel better. Rome was not built in a day, ya know. :-)

Emjoy the process!

Marilyn (in Dallas)

Kim said...

Thank you for the poignant reminder to kiss life and accept it just as it is. So wonderful that your parents came for a visit and are helping you with the new house. Oh, the possibilities! I'm so excited to see what you do with your new place. LOVE the picture of your boys with your dad! =)

Karen said...

You are making great progress. How fun to have such great parents who are willing to roll up their sleeves and help. My mom was that way, I can't tell you the number of rooms she painted with/for me.
Everything is starting to look more like you and your family. I like the preliminary color of the chandelier.
The promise of cooler weather and fall/winter are making me smile.

Gypsy Heart said...

I would love to meet your parents! Of course, it goes without saying that I'd love to meet you! :) I'm so glad they're so fit and active and you've shared some special moments with them. Treasure that ~

I know your home is going to be gorgeous when you finish. Your Mom is right ~ one room at a time. At least try that with the unpacking. I can have a project going in every room and then I'm in overwhelm.

What's making me smile? We're having cooler early morning temps and in the high 80's rest of the day. Hopefully, the latter will change soon too. Lots going on around here that makes me sad but trying to focus on all the good!

P.S. I would have loved to fish with Papa too! :)

Calypso In The Country said...

Love this post and I wasn't the least bit surprised to read that your mom is such a "spitfire"! Sounds like you had a wonderful visit with your parents. You have a nice jumpstart on some exciting projects. Great idea for the kitchen by the way. Oh - and I love both quotes. They made me smile and you did as well. Always enjoy my visits here!

Carla from The River said...

Your parents sound so fun. I love it, 73 and still going strong. Our friend Marv, my gardening mentor. You may have read my posts about him. He turned 86 this year. Tuesday he headed out for his annual drive to see the Autumn colors. Get this, he drives from Wisconsin, to Maine! :-) I just love it, the passion to live life in its fullest. And he has been through so much, but continues on with a great attitude.

I am so excited to see more of your home.
Have a great weekend.

chillcat said...

I'm also trying to accept my extremely unruly house and yard. I've had trees chopped down along the canal and they were much like those you chopped down with your new saw. Plus I seem to have spent the whole summer spinning, and the house full, so there is so much to pull back into line.
I didn't do the painted I wanted to.
I just wrote and wrote and ran away to literature festivals!

Unknown said...

Looks like you're well on your way to settling thanks to some amazing seniors!!

My house is full right now too as my sister is visiting from the East Coast. She needed some family time before her husband starts chemotherapy in a week. So we've been chilling with my other sisters as the last days of warmer weather lingers.

Unknown said...

It's so much fun to see your house in progress, Leslie! Your style is already starting to shine through. How fun to have your parents to help with the project and also enjoy some good family time in your new town. I'm loving the details. Can't wait to hear how that chandelier turns out. Happy for you! Have a wonderful weekend!

Blondie's Journal said...

I'm smiling at your post. Your love of family is so infectious! Your parents have a very obvious influence on you, I can see that in your writing, I love the progress you are making!! I think you are enjoying the process. I am a "fly around the place" girl too. A little here and there, but your dad is room at a time. It's're buying a quart or gallon and see a color you want for another room...just get a sample card...Pinterest stuff. Keep a folder. Oh hell, you know this!

I'm so happy to follow along and thank you for finding the time to comment. I'm doing rather well and all will be good soon! :)

Jane xxx

Unknown said...

you are quite amazing at transforming spaces so i am eagerly standing by and waiting for all the pics- no pressure. :) what a wonderful time to have spent with your mom and dad. i love that you had those morning moments and coffee with your mom. so special!

Jennifer said...

You're so blessed to have your parents, and to have them help transform your new home!! You describe your mom as an spitfire. It seems the fruit doesn't fall too far from the tree. It's exciting to see your new home come together. Happy weekend!

Debra@CommonGround said...

Hi Leslie, wow, you're making great progress, and sounds like the visit from your parents was just what you needed! Thanks for the shout out, seems like that was just one of a million projects! Friday we started painting the kitchen will take a while, but it will make a huge difference. I'm so glad you're enjoying the area you're in, looks like a great get-away can be had each weekend! xo

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

Your parents sound so adorable! You are lucky to have them. And I couldn't help but notice your mom's cute shoes. So glad you had a good visit and are feeling rejuvenated! I think the house is coming along nicely. Just remember that it's a process. It's going to be so you, just as it should be!

Town and Country Gals said...

just found your blog and have had fun browsing thru! Sounds like the visit with your amazing parents was just the shot in the arm you needed! I'm from S Cal and have lived in HB, Fountain Valley, Orange and Yorba Linda where my sister and Mom still live. Renovating is a huge job but with huge rewards! Looking forward to seeing the end results!
I'm your newest follower and would love for you to visit me! My last post is on a shop in Laguna Beach we visited when I was out there in Jan.
Will be back often!

Art and Sand said...

I can identify with the feeling rushed, behind, scattered, etc. I am so far behind in reading blogs, thus the one comment about all of your posts I just read through backwards.

I am loving what I am seeing in the dining room.
The one post a day through October will be fun for me to read, but I don't think I can make that challenge myself.

I am taking on a new challenge and am meeting with a personal trainer on Tuesday. My motivation - my aunt's 90th birthday which by her request is a family kayaking trip. Kayaking isn't new to me, but I realize that this body has to last at least 25 more years if I want to see 90 and I want to be as physically active as Aunt Kay.

Love the table setting ideas, but with our weather lately, I am still into beachy table settings.

I love your writing style!

AntiqueChase said...

see I even missed this post!! I'm so behind.

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