About The Blog

Plaster.  Marriage.  Remodeling.  Gardening.  Sinks.  Paint.  Demolition.  Reading.  Writing.  Construction.  Laughing.  Dirt.  Dust.  Mess.  Sheetrock. Frustration.  Renovation.  Tile.  Noise.  Progress.  Lack of progress.  Joy.  Failure.  Faucets. Flooring.  Disappointment.  More noise.  Restoration.  Old stuff.  New stuff.  Budget.  Over budget.  Chaos. Obsession.  Panic.  Hilarity.

Over two years ago, my husband and I bought an old house.

Husband and wife restoring an old house.  Construction, DIY home remodeling.

We moved from a pristine, Arts and Crafts, 1920’s home.  To a disaster 1890’s Victorian.
We have lived here while rehabbing.

It has been:
Good
Bad
Ugly
Heroic
Beautiful
Extraordinary
Crazy-making
Horrendous
Fantastic

The Internet has become part of my life in a way that it wasn’t before. The last two years, I’ve spent an insane amount of time hunched over the computer. The access to ideas, inspiration, fixtures, tile, advice… has been invaluable.

The sites I’ve found most valuable are personal, house-centered blogs.  The ones with actual content. And actual homes, with real projects, real experiences, and real limitations. Not just gorgeous pictures and pristinely decorated, unattainable spaces.

I found myself wanting to be a part of that experience—to share the process of what we are doing with our home, with people who are similarly inclined.
I’m so glad you’re here!
Victoria
April, 2012

39 Comments

  1. Martha
    January 12, 2014 @ 3:50 pm

    Hi Victoria
    I’ve just spent 30 minutes hidden in my office browsing your blog. I even locked the door so the kids can’t interrupt my thinking (ok, maybe it’s been an hour). It’s been a joy discovering your ideas, experiences and successes. I can relate to the elation and frustration you write about. Over the course of 9 years, we remodeled an entire house in Aptos, CA, only to put it on the market three months after it was “done”. Never in my wildest dreams would I have expected NINE years to get it just right, much less let some other family enjoy it. During that time, I kept track of purchases in Quicken, (I actually use Quicken like a marital diary – my husband and I have used it since our first year of marriage and it tells us what we’ve done and how much it cost since 1998). But, I have never had the guts to run the report to see what my remodeling Grand Total was. Sometimes I thought that was a sign of unhealthy financial management, others I figured it would assay the guilt of not having recouped a nickel when the house sold (it was bad timing, not bad design). Now, we’re settled in a new town, in a new house. Experience had told us to find the “perfect house” that needed “no work”. Apparently nine years and gobs of money did nothing to satiate the need to redesign, repaint, remove, redo. I even avoid using certain rooms as a way to hold back the temptation. But at the end of the day, I know it’s just a matter of time before I start picking off the wallpaper that gives everyone vertigo. And I’m just thankful for all the people who do really weird (can I say stupid?) things to houses that I get to change (fix?) and pour my heart into. Thanks for your writing and the energy it takes to create this wonderful blog. I really admire you… Martha

    Reply

  2. Laura
    October 4, 2014 @ 8:00 pm

    Hi Victoria,
    LOVE the blog! It has instantly become my favourite! Just got my husband to read the portal to Downton Abbey/Narnia Craigslist post — in an attempt to show him that my Craiglist obsession could be worse 😉 (I totally love that wardrobe though). Can’t wait to see what you guys do with the kitchen!

    Reply

  3. Kim
    June 25, 2015 @ 9:20 am

    It took us 10 years. 10 years. 10 YEARS! to “finish” our house. That included an entire summer with my refrigerator on the deck and no stove, the year when we went to Italy rather than put in flooring, the wallpaper disaster, the hunt for replacement wallpaper since the original was no longer available ANYWHERE. The scrapping of the wallpaper and deciding to do Venetian plaster instead. The elegant and understated gold plaster bedroom plan that became a garish carnival tent orangy-gold in execution that I pretended to love afterward, knowing that to hate it meant tearing out the drywall or living with plaster dust and months upon months of power sanding of those indestructible plastered walls… The planned “pond” in the yard that became an empty pit that nagged at me for six years until I filled it with excess mulch and yard waste, thus insuring the perfect conditions for colonies of wasps to live…and finishing all this gloriousness in time to sell it in a short-sale, thus ensuring that we never, ever, not even once lived in a finished house. And we would buy it back in a heartbeat if we could, even with the wasp pit, the gold-ish bedroom and all. Even though the new owners have killed my lavender hedge I so carefully grew and, through inattention or simply not giving a crap, allowed my herb beds and rose garden to die. I would still move there tomorrow and remove the drywall from that bedroom and…sigh.

    Reply

  4. Amanda B
    August 24, 2015 @ 6:55 pm

    I am so stoked to have found your blog via Pinterest. I grew up in Cinnaminson and know your house well. I used to trick-or-treat there and remember it being for sale for so long. At the time the house was for sale I was too young and did not have the money to do what you are doing.
    I love reading and living in Riverton through your eyes now that I am in the Metro Detroit area.

    Reply

  5. Kathy
    December 25, 2015 @ 11:21 pm

    Hello Victoria,
    You and I are sisters under the skin. Incredible. I was laughing so hard at the subtle way you approach Paul to join you in Craigslist adventuring. I was reading the 15 foot mirror post. And then, I shared it with my husband. I did the voices and everything! He stood expressionless, shaking his head. Somehow, he missed the hilarity of it all. Did I mention that we spent Christmas Day slathering polyurethane on our reclaimed wood ceiling? Yeah, that was my idea. I ran across a fellow who was peeling the cedar siding off his house, convinced him to give it to me (for FREE!) and spent several weekends, trimming, de-spidering, and yanking incredibly well-seated nails. Now that lovely wood is my living room ceiling. I’m, ahem, WE’RE doing our darnedest to turn this 1977 rancher into a farmhouse. And so, I think my husband has nothing but sympathy for your husband. I’ll keep stopping back. I love to laugh.

    Reply

  6. Lauren
    September 9, 2016 @ 2:04 pm

    Oh my god, girl. Your blog is crack. Seriously – stop feeding my addiction. Well, actually it’s not an addiction – It’s an addiction I -want- to have, but currently don’t because I’m poor and I don’t have a Paul. Everyone needs a Paul, I think. I’m pretty much my own Paul, but without Paul-level skills. I just read your blog and pretend like I’m Paul – in my head. It’s fun up there…

    I live in a 1982 monstrosity with literally. every. ceiling. vaulted. Yes, even the freaking bathrooms. WTF? Like seriously… WT actual F? I’ve come to think of the elevated cobwebs and clearly visible spiders as decorative. I’ll just live in the Beetlejuice house. Why not? It’s totes retro. Oh, did I mention the stamped plaster ceilings with stalactites of cobwebby plaster dangling down like looming daggers of death? I just don’t look up most of the time.

    My DIY renovation dreams were crushed in 2010 when I moved into my house with my then-boyfriend-now-husband and I was addicted to watching the DIY network. And I applied to be on one of the shows. And we were. And it was a nightmare and awful. Master bathroom. Still not done. Functional, but not pretty. Don’t care. Too much trauma. We actually broke up for about a month after the filming crew left, lol.

    Anyway. Looooove your blog. Love your writing. And I too am the boss and the “I know exactly everything and why don’t you just shut your mouth and pick up the hammer and do what I say?” person.

    Reply

  7. Cecelia Weeks
    July 9, 2017 @ 9:28 am

    Please! I want to subscribe to your blog!

    Reply

  8. candace ford
    August 29, 2017 @ 3:28 pm

    I have not seen a blog post since the parents got a beach house or something like that. Are you still blogging? Are they not reaching me? ARRRRGH!

    Reply

  9. judith aboy pulido
    November 5, 2017 @ 4:21 am

    I just lost my husband from cancer six months ago and this will be our first Christmas without him… I know.. I know… I will get to the point hahaha… I need to make a bow for my DIY wreath and came across your blog… And guess what? I smiled reading it while taking notes how to do it… Especially your last tip — don’t redo it…. I will keep you posted of the result… Happy thanksgiving and wishing your family a cheerful holidays…

    Reply

  10. Katie Guarino
    June 12, 2018 @ 1:37 pm

    I’ve been inputting my email to receive posts via email, but don’t see any (not even in SPAM). What would be the email address they are coming from? Just love you and your posts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply

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