New roof line

If you’ve been around here for long you know we’ve been chasing a water leak for the better part of two years.  Two leaks actually (but the same kind), one in the kitchen and one in the guest room.  The one in the kitchen seemed to have tapered off but the one in the guest room only got worse.  As we’re turning the guest room into a room for one of our girls (and eventually both) we had to officially repair the ceiling and pray we had stopped the leak.  We gave plaster repair the old college try (Lord have mercy).  After one afternoon attempt we threw in the towel for a while which ended up being a blessing.  It allowed it to rain enough for us to see water damage happening to the brand new plaster.  Leak not fixed.  Such a bummer.  We called more people out to look things over and everyone had the same reaction….”we have no idea”.

Well, we had SOME idea.  We knew it had something to do with these two reverse dormers on the back of the house.


Each water damage spot was right below the reverse dormers.  We decided to have the roofing on those redone (we had repaired the window trim as much as we thought was physically possible so didn’t see how any water was seeping in around them).  Blake agreed to do the demo of the project for a little break on the cost of labor.

Upon ripping things apart he quickly realized all the rotten wood underneath the windows.

We had a carpenter friend make a late night house call (angels walk among us) and he told us what he would do if it was his house.  The plan was the same plan Blake and I had tossed around several times but tried not to commit to because it was the most extensive and expensive plan.  We needed to get rid of the reverse dormers and do one solid roof line across the back of the house.

new roof line

This would require taking out perfectly good windows and replacing them with windows that were a bit shorter…like the one on our bathroom (back middle of the house). We still have double full size windows on the sides of the rooms so I don’t feel like we are losing that valuable of window real estate.  This just means we can have more flexibility about furniture on that wall in those rooms!

This project now is going to include a little more demo, redoing siding, resetting windows, taking out and putting back in drywall on the inside, and roofing the newly framed out joists.  It’s just pretty much NOT what my very nesty self wants to be getting into at 33 weeks pregnant.  And I talk like I’M getting into it.  It’s really the husband who is taking the brunt of this redo… But hey, we had central air installed the week before Everly was born so I won’t act like it’s out of the norm for us:)

On the eve of project-stop-the-leaks-2016 here is where we are:


Can’t wait to share the rest of this process once we get it all put back together! For some peeks along the way be sure to follow us on instagram and facebook! Oh and I’ve dropped this tip before here but it’s worth mentioning again, if you’re local, Ken’s Inc. on Wade Hampton is a supply haven! We got the exact windows we were needing for about $100 less than what the big box store was going to charge us (a piece!!).


Need a matching bed.


When we left off last I had talked about some updates we’ve done to the back patio. Let me tell ya…that patio was worth every pain in the A it caused! We spend SO much time out there.  It’s Everly’s happy place so we spend most evenings with the kitchen door open coming and going.  It’s been a while but we’ve actually turned our attention back to some additional improvements.  For starters….a handrail going down the stairs….so you know, we won’t get sued for someone falling off.


It all started again when we were tricked into making some sketchy insurance claim over hail (long story. but the short version is some roofer scammed us into thinking we had hail damage and filing a claim and then it turns out we have NO hail damage) Our insurance company was super duper nice about the situation but when the insurance inspector came out he did happen to mention  he “could drop our insurance all together for not having a hand rail on those stairs” [[insert oh Sh*t face here]].  He also said he wants to be invited to all our parties and when he comes back to one there better be a handrail.  SO, this past weekend Blake drilled through ½ steel in TWENTY different places to get the posts up.  Yall. my man. I don’t even know how he did it.  I “helped” during Everly’s nap time which meant I basically sat there and squeezed motor oil onto the drill bit so it didn’t burn up.  I learned an important lesson Saturday.  When preparing a budget for working with steel you better have a gigantic portion allocated to drill bits.

Ok, this is not what this post is about. This post is about…….our new baby that I’m OVER HALF WAY DONE BAKING!

We are going to welcome a second baby girl to our home in late September.  In the beginning when we talked about where to put a new baby I thought “I’ll figure that out later”.  Now, I still think “I’ll figure that out later” but time is FLYING by! So we’ve decided to dedicate our guest room to one of the babies…or both babies. I don’t know. All I know is that I need to clean out the room and make it available for my ideas.

There is also a leak that we just shake our head out and cuss at under our breath.


We think we fix it, we don’t. repeat.  We had a roofer come out and conclude it’s not the roof.  So we think it’s the windows (this leak has a twin in the kitchen).  Blake has caulked and caulked and caulked and caulked and caulked more. It’s infuriating that we cannot seem to stop this leak.  But obviously there is no point in fixing the ceiling until we do.  My plan is to tear it down and just sit in there during a rain storm and see what is happening.  Blake hates this idea because it obviously would involve a huge mess but I see no other option.  Anyways, this is also not even why I came here to blog.

I came to show you my ideas. First, this room has the smallest closet you’ve ever seen. It’s smaller than a telephone booth.  Obviously with two girls we need more places to put all.the.dresses.  So I found this image on Pinterest which is apparently some store in Europe.


I became totally obsessed with the thought of doing a built-in that I could merchandise up as the closet.  I decided I needed $1000 (and a WHOLE lotta elbow grease) to create the above from this:


My mind stores a second category of ideas called “more attainable” and so I logged this picture below into that file and sent my mom the picture saying I needed an old china cabinet if she stumbled across one. This is not the first time I’ve used an old china cabinet as a closet…


Literally like two days later she sends me this picture and said she saw this in a thrift store but it’s wayyyyy bigger than the idea picture I sent her. I immediately had to have it.  It was as though maybe my two photos could have a baby in the attainable department!


I took some measurements the next day and fell IN LOVE with all the storage. Ya’ll, it’s like a full size dresser on the bottom and then I have shelves up top as well as a place to hang some rods for ultimate merchandising of beautiful little girl things!

The best part was it was something like $290 less 25% off for senior day discount 🙂 (thanks Mom and Dad!) and then I offset it with $115 I made from selling the “primitive” desk I redid in this post so we got this thing for about $100…sounds way better than my $1000 plan 🙂 Obviously I’ll have to paint it white which is no small under taking but I’ve painted worse so it’s fine.

The vibe I’m thinking for the room is a minty green, peach, pink, light teal vibe. Everly’s spirit color was teal so whatever we choose needs to work with that.  For some reason when I think of this baby I see peach and light pink.

Those initial hooks are on sale at world market right now! Go! Run! get yourself something special 🙂

Everly is still in the crib and she’s going to stay in the crib until she gives us obvious signs she’s ready to move to a twin bed. She does have this sweet little twin bed waiting on her when she’s ready though!  I’m going to still put it in the room (along with a crib) in hopes she’ll learn to at least nap on it during the day. And also so I can put some flamingo sheets on it because will there ever be anything more adorable???.  Please friends, if you love me, commit this bed to your mind and call me immediately if you ever see another like it.  I’ve searched the internet high and low but haven’t had any luck so I need your help! I would love, love, love to have the girls have matching beds eventually! That oval space is calling for a fabric inset with a monogram…

Ok, yes, the reason I came here to blog tonight was really to send you all on a hunt for a matching bed.  So now that everyone has their mission I can wrap up this too long post 🙂 happy hunting!


Smooth again.

We left off here in sort of a day dream state about the patio.  I wanted to catch you up to speed because things didn’t go as planned…

We rented a dumpster for a week back in July and tore up the top level of concrete by hand (literally using a hammer…the air chisel was too much power).

It was painful. SO HOT. and there were blisters everywhere.  I don’t know if Blake would agree but I did think it was slightly better than hanging drywall (aka the worlds largest marriage test.)

So, anyways, we finished this tedious chore in a weeks time and then called in a recommended concrete specialist (Evolution Concrete).  They basically told us it was completely unnecessary to do what we had just done because the best option was going to be to add 3 inches of concrete to what was there and just start fresh (as opposed to pouring just a new top layer).  We had no choice at that point but to be thankful for the forced workout and move ahead.


These guys were AWESOME! They came, they saw, they concreted…err conquered!  Even the method of how they kept the concrete from spilling over the edges was fascinating.

We opted for a polished, smooth finish and for about a week I thought I may rub my face on the concrete every morning to just celebrate what I wasn’t having to see out the kitchen window anymore!


It’s hard to see the original condition of the structure from move in day but I did a comparison…hey look, we replaced a wheel barrow that took 10 months to move with a baby!  And the tree has really grown! The branches were actually hanging over the patio pre concrete pour but we cut them back to keep the leaves out of the wet concrete.


We’re settling back into our patio a little at a time using the furniture we have but have some larger plans for phases 2, 3, 5, 43….  The hot tub was a reward to ourselves for accomplishing a financial goal (and made possible by the savings we had using the concrete company we did!).  I wasn’t into the idea at first but now I can totally understand why it’s a necessity for a house renovation (goodbye sore muscles!)


Never mind that area rug hanging over the balcony…it was a casualty of a leaky roof that I’m still in denial about.

I’ll have to post about the way we hung the lights….I swear I’m married to an engineer who lies like a dog to me about his day job 🙂

The upstairs hallway makeover

So I’ve been trying to get this blog back up to par and I’ve realized I pretty much need to start over room by room and catch everyone up to speed.

Housekeeping items: I’ve added a blogs I love tab along the top if you’re interested in meeting some new people! I’ve added a link on the right where you can go to follow our Numbers and Nails pinterest board. I’ve also linked up our Instagram feed so you can follow along in real time.

I wanted to start my update of the house by sharing the upstairs hallway/railing progress. I’m mostly starting here because I could locate all the pictures easily 🙂

So here was the hallway when we bought the house:


It felt pretty haunted to me…

And this railing. While I can appreciate the old feel it was so, so dangerous!

before 2

For scale, Finley (70lbs) could have walked through it and it barely came up past Blake’s knee caps.


You might remember in this post we found this abandoned outdoor railing at an antique place down the road.


Now this stuff had probably sat outside for a year…and was ROTTING and we aren’t sure if snakes played on it. All we knew is that we wanted to make the upstairs safer and we didn’t have a ton of money to do it with so we took a chance on this stuff. I think we paid $25 (…maybe $35) for everything.

We reused the original 4×4 posts because they were sturdy and went through the floor. However, we had to make them taller. Here is how Blake managed to blend our posts together. We also cut off all the rotting pieces and managed to piece everything together to make 1 set of new-ish railing.





Here we are after a couple coats of primer. In this picture you can also see we hadn’t yet started the upstairs master renovation. You can see the old railing was left in place where the future bedroom wall would be going.


Here is that same view once the wall came out.


And for fun this is what me almost having a heart attack looks like. Blake was confident the 1 million nails we put into our new railing were enough to hold him up 🙂


Next we decided to paint the hallway a really light neutral color. It actually looks white now that it is all painted but here you can see the color against the actual white walls and it’s very different! We love how it turned out. It gave the space that clean feeling we had been searching for since we moved in.


We both felt that painting the top of the rail black would give it a more polished look. See how it looks compared to just white railing on the right? Bleh. Also, this is a serious testament to what caulk and white paint can hide.



We also added a black handrail going down the stairs …you know…to bring the house up to code… 🙂

before and after 2

Here is what our upstairs hallway is looking like these days!




Another big item we did up here was add the same track lighting we used in our long dark hallway makeover. Before there was just a bare bulb exposed in the middle of the room. We installed these on a dimmer switch and they can be turned off from the top and bottom of the stairs which is a huge convenience!

Before and afters for dramatic, blog worthy, pin worthy effect

before and after

I’m not finished up here. I want to do a painted floor out in this space. Like a painted on rug or some type of design. Search for those things and tell me you don’t start drooling…. For now, we are keeping the carpeted stairs but I told Blake my goal is to have them replaced with wooden treads by the end of the year.

For safety, we’re installing a gate at the top and have the half door at the bottom to keep little one from falling.

All in all we are really proud of what this space has become!

If this hallway wasn’t enough you can keep on reading here about the downstairs hallway!!

Just Say No

I spent a large amount of time as a kid attending D.A.R.E. presentations. Just “say no” they would tell us.


Over the past 26 (almost 27) years I have drawn my own conclusions on what to say no to. Much like this collective chart I have 6 things I generally need to say no to.


1. Watching infomercials
2. Visiting animal shelters “just to look”
3. Running
4. Scary movies
5. Picking out clothes the night before
6. Day by day CHALLENGES.

I think we’ve learned, together, these are not for me. I will list below the remaining 15 favorite things about our house and then we will move on to bigger and better things…like how I have made the upstairs hallway look like a place people might actually want to visit!

1. The street—I love our street name. West Arlington Avenue. It makes me feel like I could be a cast member on Scandal.
2. The view out the back window—when the leaves fall I can see the mountains.
3. How the vent in the bathroom is perfectly positioned so that it makes my side of the rug warm
4. The entry alcove and window
5. Having laundry in the kitchen—I thought I would hate this but I actually love it. I see it and therefore I do it….sometimes.
6. Pantry doors—ever since I painted these puppies black in this post I love them
7. the holly tree outside—at Christmas I can keep fresh decorations for free!
8. the Christmas trees in the drive—There are two Christmas trees growing between our house and our neighbors house…I want to put lights on them this year!
9. Lighting—there seem to be light sockets where I want them to be in this house. The other day I looked up and there was a light in a closet I had never realized before.
10. Never thought I would say this….and may retract it when we have kids…but the closed concept. I feel cozy when I can sort of close myself off into a room.
11. closet built ins—sooo nice to have open shelving. I already don’t like to fold but this is one less step than folding AND opening the drawer/stuffing in.
12. arches—I think it gives the house character
13. Halloween on our street—300+ kiddos looking to us for candy! We’re excited that Halloween can be a fun experience for our own kids some day
14. Grass in the front yard—true green is totally rocking out and our grass is actually starting to look like we aren’t embarrassed anymore
15. Window in the door in the kitchen –It’s the kind that have the blinds built in between the glass and you can open, close, raise or lower them… yes, dog proof and lets in so much light when I want it to.

So there is that! Now let’s remember the upstairs when we moved in. It was frightening. I remember hating the pictures of it online because it looked haunted to me. It wasn’t inviting, cozy, functional…really just the beginning of a horror movie.

before 3

It’s not AS bad here with the light on….

before 2

You might remember (I know it’s been a WHILE) but we tore out the railing here and started replacing it with this stuff we found outside of an old antique store.

Well, here is the upstairs NOW!


We are still working on the floor so that is to come but can we talk about how amazing it is to have railing that is actually up to code!?! We paid $35 for the new railing and had all the paint on hand. Funny story…we donated the old railing and walked into Habitat the other day to find it priced for a modest



photo 1

photo 2

Anyways, I’ve even decorated it with some garland and ribbon.


I love how clean the upstairs feels now. I like to stand in the corner of the bedroom and look into the bathroom we put in, into the hallway that’s now bright and warm, and into the diva closet. That’s my happy place. It’s where I go to forget that we have other major issues to deal with and that the room across the hall is actually still BRIGHT purple and teal….

It feels nice to be back in blogland. Work has been a little crazy, other things have been a little crazy but I started thinking the other day…I blog best when I’m busy. I started this blog right before busy season and then the most I ever updated was right in the thick of busy season….I think it’s my therapy to offset the other, more number oriented, side of my brain when I don’t have time to actually go do. When I do have time to go do the things I’m dreaming about I get really wrapped up in them and don’t take as much time to sit down and type my dreams out. I feel like we have so much to catch up on!…like how I was a peacock for halloween and it was the best, warmest idea I ever had.


This dark at 5:30 thing is really throwing me off! It’s 8pm and I feel like I am up past my bedtime…

Dear Renovation, SIT DOWN.

I mean…..this is taking forever. And twelve days.

Just when we think we have like two more things to do probably 50 more things appear. Really. It’s a problem. But we are in the “final stages”. I consider the final stages to bit a pit of hell. You’re tired of working on the same project mentally, physically, emotionally….but yet you are so close and you can see the tunnel that every day you just crawl back to it on your hands and knees begging for mercy that your one last door frame will fit and that this last square inch of skin on your hands will not blister over.

The good news is that I can just imagine the room around me. I am totally like those blindfolded people you see on febreze commercials who are sitting in a room full of garbage saying “mmmmmmm it smells like fresh flowers and laundy…a little bit of lilac…whispy white curtains”.


Yes. That is exactly me during a renovation.

Blake on the other hand. No. not even in the slightest is he capable of imagining himself out of the sawdust nightmare. So I do hope, mostly for his sake, that this comes to a close sooner rather than later.

Things are looking good though. We have successfully connected three rooms together to make a master suite. We have one sliding barn type door, one wall mounted tv, one electric fireplace, and spent 3 hours staining wood for the room. Sounds like a magical palace doesn’t it? I know….these things hardly seem like they belong together but BEHOLD this sneak peak!


Yeah those sconces….$4 at Habitat baby.

For perspective…the wall which you see there is the wall torn down to studs in this picture:


Now that I have given you that sneak peak I will return to the pits of hell and continue wiping 4 inches of dust off of everything, caulking and painting 75 pieces of door frame, crown, dusting, baseboard, thresholds, hanging curtains, dusting, boiling more door knobs, attaching random hardware, dusting.

Folks, we are almost ready to move in!

For the View

Hello blog world! Things have been crazy on the numbers side of our life. But that’s boring so let’s talk about the nails side of life…

First off…things are slow moving in the upstairs. We basically only get to work on this in any time we have left on the weekends.

…we knocked out a perfectly good wall. It’s like that saying for skydivers…”why jump out of a perfectly good plane?” …it’s obviously for the view. Same principle here. …Sigh.

door 2

I went back and forth and back and forth on this and then one night we just went for it. I actually love it. Although it’s mess fest 2013 right now I try to picture myself getting to see this every morning.

I’ve already planned to make myself this:


As seen on this blog. I’m so excited I can have a bathtub that’s actually connected to our room. Don’t think I won’t rig up 3 mirrors so I can watch the tv in the bedroom in the bath. Bubbles & Bachelor…yes please.

Anyways, the real issue lately is Blake’s inability to understand why we need these bar stools for the kitchen we haven’t touched and probably won’t until 2020 and the kitchen doesn’t even have a bar stool height eating bar they could fit under. ….I know, I’m bewildered at why that isn’t a priority for him either! men.


So I went home a couple of weekends ago and visited two of my favorite places to shop. Today I’m sharing with you photos from The Nichols House in downtown Sylva.


It’s so my style it’s not even funny!! I think the reason I feel so at home in the space is that it’s a) in an old house b) everything sparkles c) there is so much juxtaposition I could kiss it.











It’s just delicious. The variation in textures and the delicate with the manly. It’s just so, SO good. You sort of have to be there to understand so go visit!!

Next time I’ll share my other favorite place, Finders Keepers!