Finally, for those of you nine readers (and that is most likely an exaggeration) who have been anxiously awaiting pictures of the basement progress, I now present to you the bathroom. I had originally thought I would show the entire basement in one long post, but I figure why not give the basement the credit it is due. I mean, we have been working at it for over a year now and Parker does think he lives at Home Depot.
So here is what the bathroom looked like when we moved in. I almost don’t want to show this picture because it is so ugly, but it helps to see what we were working with.

Sadly, this was only picture I could find. Yes, that is it, a tiny dark hole with no windows in the corner of an unfinished basement. We knew right away that the only thing that would stay would be…..well, nothing. It was hideous and had to go.
When planning the basement layout the, we decided that we would keep the bathroom in its current location, allowing us to utilize the existing plumbing, however we would enlarge the space to encompass an existing window. You can see in the ‘before’ picture the window just outside the bathroom wall and the beam line. Our new sink would now be centered on that window and the beam line is now were a wall resides, separating the bathroom and one bedroom from the living space and office area.  
So here it is now…  

TAA DAA!!! If you remember a while ago I posted a concept board for what the space would look like, and I am happy to say that I feel like it came close to how I envisioned it. Although, there is still more decorating to do, the bones of it are there. 
For me, deciding on the materials and paint colors is always so much fun. I knew for the basement I wanted to keep gray as the neutral and brighten everything else up with white. Pops of color will be brought in later with accessories and art, that way I can easily switch things if my tastes change. As for the countertops, I had originally wanted to use a carrera marble, however after receiving numerous quotes over $1,000.00, Sage convinced me he was up to the challenge of making concrete countertops. Overall, this countertop cost us maybe a $100, and I love it. Luckily, Sage is a perfectionist and the countertops came out just like him - perfect! He is pretty much the best.  

A couple other things I love about this space:
The faucet: It is awesome. If you have ever looked for faucets with any design appeal, you know how expensive they can be. This one cost us 10 bucks at The ReStore and I love it (I think the fact that it was only $10 takes my love for it to a new level).
The light fixture: This was a toughie. Because we have low ceilings, we really couldn’t do a pendant fixture and sconces wouldn’t work because we did not have the room on the sides. I found this light from Schoolhouse Electric and knew this would be great. It was a little bit of a splurge but still reasonable. And because the light bulb is exposed, I knew I had to use something with interest.
The Tile: Subway and penny tiles. In my opinion, these two tiles will never go out if style. I was a little scared going with the black grout, but it turned out okay…Not the best. And if you ask me if I would ever do it again, I might say no. This was hard to install with matte white penny tiles, and there was a moment when I thought we might have to rip it all out because the black grout had stained my precious pennies. Thanks to vinegar and water, the tiles were saved, but I almost had a panic attack. What did we ever do in the days before we could Google things like, ‘getting black grout off white penny tiles?
Finally, it is time to style the space, and while I love adding the finishing touches, this is always so difficult for me. Anyone who knows me well, knows I have a hard time spending money. Yes, I have a plan in place for the things I think will complete the room, but buying them may take me awhile. Anyhow, below are a few things I would like to add, the mirror being the most important I suppose.
So there it is, folks, the bathroom. Part 1 of the basement progress. Sorry, dear nine readers, for such a long post. I usually try to avoid writing anything of great length since my writing skills are nonexistent, however there was so much time, thought and hard work put into this space, that I just couldn’t stop typing.
Now come visit us! We have a bathroom you can use.



How do you know when you're spendng too much time working on home improvement projects... When you tell your 18 month old son, "Parker we are going home now," and he replies, "Home Depot."

Parker Bennett at Home Depot - Summer 2011

Which reminds me, the basement has come a very long way since I last posted about it. Paint, carpeting, tile, and much more. A new post about the basement progress coming soon!


Lately, he's been loving these boots given to us by Sage's aunt. They don't quite fit him yet, but that hasn't stopped him from wanting to wear them just about everyone in the house. And of course, the less clothes he has on the better. That really allows the boots to take center stage, don't you think?



While most people might have referred to him as a toddler months ago, it wasn't until this week that it became a reality to me. It seems that over the course of just one week, my little chubba went from a baby, to this...

a toddler...

This week we he said "no" to me for the first time. And while it wasn't an angry "no,"(it was very a frequent "nope...nope....nope"), it made me realize that we are entering a new phase, one that involves discipling, tantrums,  opinions, oh no... And I was just starting to get used to where we were at... Doesn't that always happen in mamahood?



Last week I had my eyes checked and decided it was about time that I purchase myself some cute glasses. After browsing Costco (yes, I know, not really the mecca of cute eyewear) and not finding much, I decided to try my luck online.  I came upon this site called BonLook and found that they not only had cute, inexpensive glasses, but that you could virtually try them on. Of course, I tried a few pairs on myself, but then couldn't resist trying a few pairs on Mr. Cute Face. I must say, he looks quite sophisticated, don't you think? And not a pair looks bad on him. I wish I could say the same for myself...I choose the last pair and am curious to see how they look in real life.



And not just because it is June and cold and REALLY raining here in Seattle... It's because California is just plain awesome. I love you, California...

Sage and his parents - 1980

My boys and me



So I have been really bad at posting lately, but trust me, I have been really good at keeping up with my Pinterest recipes of the week. I suppose I tried this one almost a month ago now, and it was more inspired by this pin on Pinterest than actually following the recipe. In fact, I ended up using the strawberry shortcake recipe on the back of the Bisquick box and baked the biscuits right in the mason jars. I guess that is kinda cheating, but oh well. I love the idea of putting desserts in small jars, and since I really like to entertain I thought I would test this out before hosting our next party. I have to say, the results were pretty yummy and looked cute too. 



Our trip to Gasworks wasn’t quite what I expected. I expected to have pictures of Parker looking into the camera with a big smile on his face and the awesome gasworks landforms in the background.  But what I have discovered is that it is nearly impossible to get him to look at me when I take him to a new place. And trying to get him to not roll down those massive hills while attempting to take a photo of him is nearly impossible. So this is what I got… a bunch of pictures of him looking off into the distance and the back of his head.  Still very cute, just not what I expected. Our next visit I will be sure to bring my lovely assistant, Sage.



Lately I have been feeling like I cook the same things over and over again. Tacos, chili, grilled cheese, tacos, chili, grilled cheese…. Okay, we really don’t just eat those three things, but you know what I mean. Sometimes you get in a rut and it’s hard to think of anything clever to cook for those hungry folks in your life. It’s kind of a drag. So, in an effort to be more creative in the kitchen and try new things, I am combining two of my loves. That would be my love of Pinterest and my love of eating (notice how I didn’t say cooking, although I do like to cook).  Each week I will (try to) choose a recipe from Pinterest and test it out in my kitchen. Brilliant, right?

Since we were having a brunch for some friends last Saturday, I decided to start my Pinterest challenge with something I could make quickly and somewhat ahead of time. I decided these egg cups were perfect. I have to admit I didn’t follow the recipe exactly…which I think is just fine.  I scrambled my eggs and lined only the bottom of the cupcake tin with bread cut from a skinny French loaf. I then topped them off with white cheddar, salt, pepper and fresh rosemary that I had in my fridge. While they didn’t look quite at cute as Ms. Martha Stewart’s egg cups, I was pretty happy with the way they turned out. Quick, simple, easy and delicious….just my kind of recipe!



Being from Southern California, one of the things I miss the most (beside my friends and family, of course) is the beach.  People here in Seattle will claim they have beaches, but none compare in my opinion. There is one place, however, that comes close, and that is Golden Gardens.  Since the weather was nice, and Parker had a special visitor in town, I decided it was the perfect time to take venture out. Of course, as expected Parker ran right toward the water… I am pretty sure he is meant to live by the beach (in Southern California), but for now we will have to make do with what we have here in Seattle.



Up to this point on my blog I have not posted much about Bill (that’s what we’ll call him) and I don’t really intend to, because, let’s face it, this space is really about Parker… But for those of you who don’t know him, here are a few bits of awesomeness about Bill:  1) He plays roller derby 2) He LOVES listening to Lady Gaga and Beyonce (awesome for me, not so awesome for Sage I imagine) 3) He sings REALLY loud. With his head phones on. To Lady Gaga and Beyonce (one word - hilarious) 4) He teaches Spanish 5) He does dishes.  Now, I love Sage, but he once told me he was allergic to doing dishes, so having someone else in the house who will willingly pitch in with after meal clean-up is pretty awesome.

Now here is the not so awesome fact about him. Since August, Bill has been making his home on our living room floor. That is a very long time. Too long in fact to have a hamper full of tighty-whiteys (or pink tighties) sitting in your living room.  And while this situation has not been awesome for any of us, I do feel as though Bill has been a pretty good living room guest. 
The good news… a couple weeks ago another bit of awesomeness was added to Bill’s list: 6) He now resides down in the basement.  In his own room.  Where he belongs...  Pictures to come soon!

Goodbye hamper. You will not be missed.



This is what happens when Granny is in charge...

The feet go up on the dinner table.

Granny let's him get away with anything.


As the heavy duty work on the basement is coming to a close (hooray!), I thought I'd share my concept board for the bathroom. Since we would eventually like to turn this place into a rental, my thought is it is always best to stick with classic colors and materials that will never be dated. Of course, I still want the space to feel unique, so adding elements that are slightly different, such as penny tiles and dark grout, an interesting light fixture and artwork, will be necessary. Oh yes, and it will mostly be used by the brother-in-law, so I didn’t want anything that would feel too feminine.

Here’s our progress so far… grout and tiling complete, but still in need of caulk and of course the plumbing (toilet, shower fixtures, sink… minor details).


And here’s the concept board…



It's not often that the sun decides to pay us a visit, so when it does you take full advantage. With Sage and the brother-in-law working in the basement, Parker and I put on our cozy gear and headed out for a little adventure. Okay, it really wasn't that urban, but you must admit Parker is looking pretty urban in these pictures. 

The day's adventure took place at Cowen Park, a few minutes walk from our house. While Parker was more interested in playing with sticks and stomping in the mud, I was able to lure him to my favorite part of the park; the graffiti wall. I just love how the wall adds so much character and color. And of course, it provides an interesting background to photograph my favorite little urban baby.




When I think about you leaving us, my heart hurts. But, I am also happy. Not happy just because I knew you, but also because you helped to shape the person I have become and the mother I am to Parker. To me you were perfect. Loving, patient, free-spirited, hilarious and most of all, selfless. Yes, you were perfect.

I love you, Aunt Jeannette. You are in my heart forever.....



Just thinking about motherhood…..

The last few weeks been frustrating and difficult to say the least, and I realized as I was just about to get extremely frustrated, that my life is no longer my own. I can no longer do what I want, when I want to do it. I am now on Parker time and that means accepting the fact that things will never be as clean as I want them to be, I will start something only to have to stop it a few minutes later and then restart it hours, or even days, after. I have to learn to live slowly. To realize that I am actually accomplishing something, even though the results may not be immediate. Yes, being a mother is a COMPLETE surrender, and this is something I have to remind myself of every day.  I surrender…..  



When we finally decided that we were going to take the plunge and buy a house, the one thing I could not wait to do was decorate. Finally, we could paint the walls and hang wallpaper. Hooray! Unfortunately, I have not done much in the decorating department (I blame this on the basement), but the one room I have put effort into is Parker’s. I couldn’t let him sleep and play in a room with no personality!

Since we didn’t know at the time what we were going to have a have, I wanted to start with a neutral base of black and white and then use accessories and art to add hits of color. I have to admit, it did turn out to be a bit more boyish, but perhaps my subconscious knew something that I didn’t.
This is the concept board I put together to inspire his space. I look forward to showing pictures of how his room has come along! 



When we first saw this house a little over a year ago, we had a few criteria in mind.  First, and most importantly, we were looking for a place to start our new life as a family of three.  A place we could make our home. Nothing big and fancy, just simple and cozy.  Next, we wanted a bit of a fixer upper.  Okay, I’ll admit it; any house we could afford would require lots of work.  Naively, we thought fixing up a home would be fun and exhilarating. We may have been over enthusiastic, but this house fit the bill, and it came in the form of an unfinished basement.  Yes, that means A LOT of work…and so, six months after Parker was born, we began to get to business. 

This has been quite the task to say the least and maybe not quite as exhilarating as we may have first thought, although there have been plenty of those moments. I suppose things would be different if Parker wasn’t in the picture and we could devote all our spare time to the house...but who wants to tear down walls and grind concrete when you have a little chubba angel to entertain you all day. It is hard to tear yourself away...but back to the basement. What we loved about the house was the size of the basement and fact that is was unfinished. Because it is about the same square footage as the main floor, we are able to accommodate 2 bedrooms (one of which will belong to the brother-in-law), a full bathroom, a laundry room and what we like to call the party room.
So this is where we were at the beginning of the project and this is where we are now. It is quite the change, and it stills amazes me at how far we have come. We are about 80% percent done, maybe. Oh, I don’t really know, but we are getting closer to completion… and that means closer to the day I get the brother-in-law out of living room and into the basement where he belongs (I am sure he would prefer it that way too)! I can hardly wait...



I’ll just say it; my baby’s got a sweet tooth.  I suppose Sage and I are to blame for this inherited trait, but as far as I can tell, this is Parker’s only flaw.  He is like Mary Poppins, practically perfect in every way. Watching him eat his first bites of cake was perfect.  He was very cautious at first, slowly tasting the frosting and then taking a nibble of the cake, but after that, there was no stopping him.  He was just so focused. Yep, my baby is ambitious.

And yep, he is also one year old now. Just like that. And it makes me a little sad to think how quickly time has passed over the past year, but I am also so happy. Happy when I think back to the day Parker was born, or to first time I touched his soft little baby buns, or to the day he gave that first smile, and then his very first giggle.  Life with Parker has been better than wonderful to say the very least, and I am so excited to see what will come next.



This is my baby, Parker Bennett. He makes me so happy. He is almost a year old and yes, the thought of him turning one makes me want to cry. Can't he just stay this way forever ? The answer is no....so I soak him in. Most days I spend staring at him as he goes about his business. I am pretty lucky I get to do this.