Category Archives: House Stuff

#IHaveThisThingWith Star Wars

The other day, Joel and I were making waffles and as I watched him pour the batter into our Darth Vader waffle maker, I realized that we have a lot of Star Wars stuff in our house. Like, I don’t think there’s a single room without at least a small nod to one of our favorite science fiction franchises.

Here’s the thing, though… As soon as I moved in with Joel, we were dubbed The Star Wars Loving Couple and have been receiving gifts in the form of The Millennium Falcon ever since. Don’t get me wrong, I am not in any way whatsoever complaining! I love all of our Star Wars crap and I just wanted to do a small inventory of what we’ve collected thus far..


When you first walk into our 1940s Colonial, you are greeted by our Storm Trooper butler, Jermaine. We won him at Joel’s white elephant Christmas party a few years back and love him so much. We even used this dude at our wedding. Take a quick 360 degree look around our living room and you’ll find Darth Vader, at least two photos of me dressed as Princess Leia and Joel as Han Solo, Star Wars books, and Lego versions of X-Wings and a big ass Millennium Falcon.



In the dining room is the giant marquee sign Joel made from scratch for our wedding. We got married 10 days after national Star Wars day, get it? Cool.


Moving onto the kitchen… Would you like a piece of cheese from our Millennium Falcon charcuterie board to go with your previously mentioned Darth Vader Waffle? How about a beer opened with this Millennium Falcon bottle opener or a cup of coffee right out of Darth Vader’s helmet? Fancy a bowl of cereal out of an R2D2 bowl? My personal favorite is our bad ass Storm Trooper toaster. It toasts a picture of the Empire symbol right onto your toast (more like Imperial Crust, am I right?!).IMG_8015



In our master bedroom, there is a giant poster of me with Leia Organa buns using a light saber to stab Joel wearing a Storm Trooper mask. We have Star Wars sheets on our bed sometimes, and 3 Carrie Fisher books on my nightstand.


There’s a Boba & Jango Fett drawing (by me) on the gallery wall lining our stairwell, a Pop Art inspired painting of a Blaster (done by my super talented sister-in-law, Laura) hanging in another room, and Han/Leia hand towels in the bathroom. The best part is, even though I don’t think I’ve named all of the Star Wars stuff in our house, we are definitely not drowning in it. Although we, obviously, have an undying love for all things Star Wars, it’s more of an Easter Egg hunt for small things than a home decor “theme”.


Since we might be at capacity for Star Wars, we will be happy to go back to accepting gifts of things with cats on them. KThanksBYE.

It’s Only Natural: Bathtub Cleaner

There are two types of people in the world: those who get grossed out by the thought of sitting in a tub of one’s own filth, and those who think that there’s nothing more relaxing than a nice, hot bath. I have always been, and always will be, one of the latter. I. LOVE. BATHS.

Growing up, my designated Saturday chore was to clean the bathroom. Part of which was to scour out the bathtub (that our family of 8, minus my dad who has been a strict showerer his whole life, used) with Clorox and Comet. I definitely inherited my mom’s “bleach the living shit out of everything so all the germs will die” mentality, which I have been trying to get away from for a while now. Last time I was in Texas visiting my parents, my sister and I made a deal with our mom that if we cleaned the whole house she’d pay for us to get manicures and pedicures. I volunteered to take charge of my old stomping ground, the bathroom. When it came down to cleaning supplies, instead of handing me the usual harsh, germ murdering chemicals, my mom pointed me in the direction of the kitchen to grab three things: vinegar, baking soda, and dish soap.

Although I had been into finding natural replacements for products for a while at that time, I was still doubtful of how well this technique would work; especially when compared to the lethal combination of Comet and Clorox. I was shocked to see that using natural products actually works so much better than the other stuff! Bonus points for not having to open a window because the fumes are burning your eyes. Here’s how to clean your bathtub using natural ingredients:




  1. White Vinegar
  2. Baking Soda
  3. Dish Soap (optional, you could use water instead*)
  4. Scrubber Sponge
  5. Elbow Grease (but not that much)


How To

  1. Squirt (ew “squirt” is one of my least favorite words ever) some dish soap into your bathtub and use a damp sponge to spread it all around.*
  2. Sprinkle baking soda onto the soap (you really don’t have to use the dish soap, but it helps the baking soda stick to the sides of the tub)
  3. Spray vinegar onto the baking soda and watch it fizzzzzz for a couple of minutes.
  4. Using the scrubber side of your sponge, scrub your tub. The chemical reaction of the baking soda and vinegar should do most of the work for you.
  5. Rinse your tub.

Et viola! This technique has gotten rid of all sort of bathtub gunk, even purple hair dye splatter and glitter bath bomb residue!



Take a bath, wash yo-self. Take a bath. Show me whatcha scrubbin’ with….


Cats Vs Christmas Decor


Joel and I are pretty much the epitome of “cat people”, but somehow when we adopted Peter and Dee last October, we got stuck with the most dog-like kittens I’ve ever met. Sweet Dee loves to play fetch with wrappers. Peter Nincompoop loves belly rubs and chasing his tail. Thank God they don’t have to be walked outside to poop or I’d contemplate a no refund return of these assholes (KIDDING, OBVIOUSLY, WE LOVE THEM WAY TOO MUCH!).

Last November, we put up our Christmas tree as a family of four and didn’t think much about what our children cats would do about it. The next morning, on my way to turn on the coffee pot, I screamed as I cut my foot on something. When I turned on the lights, I saw that our floor was littered with broken ornaments. Cool! A few days later, after getting into the habit of turning the lights on before going downstairs, I saw a trail made of tufts of fur leading all the way from the tree up the stairs and into the bathroom… It was the stuffed raccoon ornament my mother-in-law had given me the year before, torn to shreds by Peter. Lovely!

Somehow, these little dummies were smart enough to do all of their dirty work when we were either asleep or at work. We’d come home and they’d practically say “it wasn’t me” when there’d be cat sized gaps in the Christmas tree (cat translation: “meow meowwww meow”). The cycle continued until we put away our Christmas tree early, before New Year’s Day whereas it used to stay up until Valentine’s. Womp Womp.



“I’m gonna tear that shit up later” -Peter

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Well, call us crazy because we not only put up the tree with our old glass ornaments, but we surrounded the kitty house with lights as well- definitely a recipe for disaster (see also: the fate of the cat in Christmas Vacation). The only preventative measure we took this year has been leaving our little Yoda dressed as Santa ornament in a cabinet far far away because Peter Boy will eat him; that and we now have a spray bottle that is used if they even look like they’re getting any ideas about messing with the tree/lights…

So far, so good. I’ve only seen 2 broken ornaments and the gold sequin tree skirt (it’s actually the sweetheart table tablecloth from our wedding) is only sometimes askew. Maybe our babies are just growing up! Most likely, though, keeping the spray bottle pointed at the tree through the night is helping to stop Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb from acting out…


Cats-2, Christmas Tree-0, Spray Bottle- (too many to count)

Eye Eye Eye Wall

Among my 5 siblings, I was dubbed The Artistic One way back in the day. Since The Bossy One and The Cool One were already taken, I was more than happy to accept my fate as the only one who can wield a paintbrush. These days, saying “I was an art major” is one of my favorite pretentious things to say to people who never even asked.

One thing this artsy fartsy gal has been in desperate need of is a space to create. Besides past bedrooms and art classrooms, I haven’t ever really had my own designated space to paint or draw. I’ve always gotten by portably, setting up shop as I go and cleaning up when finished. I have fallen asleep with paper, pens, and markers scattered among my bed many times.

Joel and I always knew we’d have some sort of office space in our home, but didn’t start putting it together until recently. In our three bedroom home, we have our bedroom, “the middle room” (where we have a very big/comfortable but hideous sectional, Joel’s stationary bike, a TV, and two stinky AF litter boxes for our children cats), and our guest room. Since we will probably have to take a wrecking ball to the side of the house to get the giant sectional out (seriously don’t know how we got it in there in the first place), the guest room is underway to double as an office.

Last weekend, I started getting the ideas for our office space/guest room out of my head and into, well, the room. I told Joel I wanted to paint some “out there” murals and he didn’t even bat an eye when I told him my idea to paint an eye print on one of the walls.


I still have a few touch ups, but it only took me a few hours and about $10 worth of paint to finish this. I am loving it. It’s creepy in the coolest way possible.




The inspiration for the wall came from my friend’s Instagram account who had photos of similar eye street art somewhere in Spain. I’m really excited to be working on this space in our home and I feel pretty hashtag blessed to have a husband who is so on board with my wacky decor ideas. Most importantly though, our guests aren’t going to be able to shake the feeling that they’re being watched when they stay with us. That’s so funny to me… Eye can’t stop laughing.


How To Be A Good House Guest

Two weeks ago, my mother-in-law/BFF, Sheila, and I flew to Nashville, TN to attend my beautiful sister-in-law’s baby shower. After flying out of a blizzard and straight into a thunderstorm (a plane ride deemed “too bumpy” for us to be served our complimentary Chardonnay) a relaxing 38 hours in a new city was just what the doctor ordered. Since all the rooms at Laura’s house were filled with friends (and one perfect baby boy), Sheila and I had the pleasure of staying with Jeremy and Elsie Larson. I’ve been crushin’ on The Larson House via Instagram for a while now, so it was truly an honor to get the invite to actually sleep there. My main goal for the weekend (besides feeling Gummergal‘s baby bump as much as possible) was to be a good guest and not embarrass myself. I can’t speak for E or J, but I think I did a pretty GD good job… For the most part, anyway.








Although we’ve been Internet Gal Pals for a while now, I couldn’t help but think it might be, idk, a little weird not only meeting Elsie in person, but staying in her house. Would it be like sleeping in a museum? Would I be allowed to touch stuff? Would her dogs like me? Would my habit of waking up early annoy the shit out of everyone like it usually does?  I soon realized that this would be my first time being a real guest (staying with family or long-time friends doesn’t really count) in someone else’s home and I’d have to be on my best behavior.

Full disclaimer, it wasn’t even a little bit weird and the Larson Dogs, Dolly and Suki, totally love me. Elsie Larson, YOU REALLY ARE THE HOSTESS WITH THE MOSTESS.

The weekend went by so quickly, but I made the most of my short time in Nashville. Most importantly, I now have some good tips on how to be a good house guest…


I mean, how freaking cute are these Palm Springs themed shower treats?!




  • Don’t quote obscure movies or TV shows, no matter how funny you think you’re being. Example: Elsie gave Sheila and I a tour of her home and when it was over, I turned to her and said “your house has a real ass on it” (a quote from an episode of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia). I got a polite smile from Elsie and an elbow to the ribs from Sheila.
  • Watch where you’re stepping, you clumsy fool. I kept walking into all the cactus and getting poked.
  • Do take advantage of all the cool mirrors. If they didn’t want you to take mirror selfies, they probably wouldn’t have bought them.
  • Make your bed! I never, ever make my bed at home, but it seems like a polite thing that people do, so I did it.
  • Make yourself at home! I definitely did wake up early to sit in the living room, kick my feet up, and read my book like I do at my own house every morning.
  • Don’t just slink out into the night when you leave like some kind of cheap hooker, say goodbye to your hosts.
  • Resist the temptation and don’t snoop (even if going through medicine cabinets is one of your favorite things to do).
  • This should go without saying, but don’t steal anything… we know that pink ukulele is calling your name, but buy your own on Amazon. GET OUT OF HERE, YOU CAN’T EVEN PLAY THE UKULELE.






A big thank you to Jeremy and Elsie for letting us stay with you and for not thinking it was weird that I took so many pictures inside your house…. Oh, you do think it was weird? We’ll work on it next time!


Master Bedroom Before/After

It’s been quite some time since I gave the world a peek at our renovated 1940s home. To refresh your memory, I began in our cute little main bathroom that, like our kitchen, was a total gut job. Now we are moving on to a room that required some serious cosmetic upgrades: our bedroom.


The first things to go were that sad, Eeyore looking ceiling fan and the purple paint with Princess trim in our closet (we think the last family used it as a nursery). Our bedroom was my big project and I had to be so, so patient with it because Joel and I didn’t live together when he moved in.  I couldn’t just throw in feminine touches all willy nilly. After I painted all of the walls, ceiling, and trim plain old white, I had to suspend my dreams of the potential this master bedroom had, and let Joel have his brown sheets and mix matched side tables.


One day, 1 year later, I snapped and brought home paint samples. For those of you who asked how I got Joel to agree to light purple walls, I gave him only two options: pale lilac or pale lavender and he chose the one he liked best (Sweet Bianca by Bher). After I painted, a lot of other things started falling into place. A cool light fixture to fill the hole that the ceiling fan had left. A new bed, rug, ladder bookshelf. At my bridal shower we got our new matching bedside tables, lamps, and Frida Khalo pillows (thanks, Sheila!). Joel put in the window trim the week before our wedding. What an improvement!





I love our bedroom so much! It’s where I would hide and nap when I didn’t want to help with other home renovations. It’s where the 1,466 candles led me with Joel waiting to propose. It’s where all of our friends would drunkenly gather during our wedding week. It’s where I found my missing brother-in-law, just hanging out reading a Wes Anderson book at our wedding after party. It’s where we get to sleep every night. It’s HOME!







One of the other questions Joel and I both get asked a lot these days is whether or not we let our kittens sleep with us, to which I have only one answer: “No, I am the only animal allowed in the bedroom…” It’s funny because we’re newlyweds. Another question is do I regret getting all white bedding? Only about every 28 days… Okay, I’ll stop being gross now.

This room is  Mid Century Modern on a budget. We saved a lot of money by purchasing almost everything from Wayfair, Amazon, and Target. The geometric rug was a big splurge from West Elm, but it’s the only one. Most of the art and knick knacks are vintage finds! We love this cozy space (especially when it’s clean enough to photograph)!


Summer Simmer Pot


Breaking news: simmer pots are not just for Fall/Winter! Yeah sure, having your home smell like an apple pie filled heaven in mid-November is amazing, but why do Spring/Summer seem to get left out of the mix? I took to Pinterest to look up Summer Simmer Pot recipes, but only found a handful as opposed to the hundreds that were popping up for Autumn (like this simple, yet intriguing one by my Instagram gal pal and DIY kween, Elsie).

I can see why people might not be into the idea of a Summer Simmer… It’s so hot and humid here in Pittsburgh, and when our air conditioner was on the fritz last month, the mere thought of turning the stove on made me sweat. But that’s all fixed now, so I took my Sunday afternoon, inside of our cool house, to test drive a summah simmah.

When you think of the scents of summer, what comes to mind? IDK about you, but I want to make my house smell fresh and citrusy from March-August. So the Citrus + Mint + Floral Simmer Pot was born!



Here’s what I used:

  • 1 grapefruit
  • 2 clementines
  • 1 lemon
  • mint leaves
  • rose petals

I used the peels from half of each fruit, then sliced the rest and put them in a medium size pot. After filling the pot halfway with water, I added the mint leaves and rose petals (the daisies in the pot were just for decoration. I took them out before I turned on the stove). Voila! The rose and mint is really subtle, but the combination smells amazing! Now all I have to do is keep adding water for my house to instantly smell nice and fresh.


Think of all the different combinations you could use too! Rosemary + Vanilla, Coconut + Lime, Lavender + Lemon! I was also thinking about Fresh Cut Grass, but maybe it wouldn’t simmer so well. Hey man, they can’t all be winners…