There’s a running discussion over here—to hire out deep cleaning or continue doing it ourselves. I’m team hire. Kev is team DIY. I posted about our debate last year here on Instagram, and boy did you have your opinions. “Hire it out! It’s worth every penny.” “Outsource. It’s been wonderful for our marriage.” “No one will clean your house like you do.” “I would never hire cleaning out.” “Wait, you can hire out deep cleaning?!” I just assumed you could hire out deep cleaning, more like hoped you could hire out deep cleaning. Maybe you can’t? Come to find out, you can, and you can’t. Here are my findings. Read more

When we started designing our home, I was pretty sure every room would be as colorful as Hal’s turned out to be. Either my color palette was refining itself, or I just couldn’t pull off more than 3 colors at a time. It’s probably the latter. Because in my junior year as a graphic design major, I was reamed in front of the entire class over my color palette choice on a magazine redesign project. I am not so great at pulling off a lot of colors at one time like Jenny Komenda, one of my favorite designers. So we renegotiated a rug, a large piece of framed art, and a couple bright pillows from downstairs to Hal’s room, and they felt right at home and like a cousin to her bathroom.   Read more

Before we moved in, the only spot of color in the house, outside the vintage green pendant in the kitchen, was Hallie’s blue vanity. Brittany, who worked with us to design our home, picked out the color. My brain was so decision fatigued by this point in the building process, after seeing a swatch on a screen, not in real life, I said “Love. Let’s do it.” And we did it.  Read more

Chambray work uniform from The Faux Martha

I have a work uniform. Maybe you’ve noticed? And since I work from home, it’s my around-the-house and out-of-the-house uniform too. Chambray every single day is my mantra. “Mel, shouldn’t you consider another fabric?” Kev says as I pick up yet another chambray top. I said the same thing to Kev a couple months into dating about the color of his clothes. He only knew the color blue. I resonate with that boy now. Read more

Lemon Olive Oil Pistachio Cake from Love and Lemons Every Day

My friend Jeanine from Love & Lemons makes the prettiest cookbooks. They’re bright, delicious, happy, and so well designed. Like a magazine and cookbook all in one. Even Kev, not the cook of the family, got lost in her new book, Love & Lemons Every Day. Maybe not as lost as he got in her Lemon Olive Oil Pistachio Cake after work, where he hacked into this tiny work of art with a dull metal spatula. “Gimme that spatula, Kev.” I followed suit.   Read more

Butternut Bánh Mì Pizza from The Faux Martha

When we lived in Oak Park, IL, when we were young and alive, when we didn’t have enough money to take the train downtown to Chicago, I stood next to the continental divide sign, legs spread wide, imagining I was standing on two magnets pulling water to opposite ends of our coasts. Would I spilt in two like the water? Turns out I’m not that malleable. Not nearly as malleable as a recipe. We’re straddling two seasons right now, standing in muddy, dead grass with glints of green over a slice of Butternut Bánh Mì Pizza, between winter and spring. Read more

Do you have Hotel Bathroom Syndrome at your house, too? Symptoms include: toiletries scattered across the bathroom counter all day long. Dangling, tangling cords. Glasses, lotion, and a pile of rubber bands without a home. In fact, nothing has a home, unless you count the bathroom counter. This is Hotel Bathroom Syndrome—living in your bathroom as if you weren’t staying.  Read more

Citrus Fruit Salad with Seedy Honey from The Faux Martha

“Mom. Mom? Mom?!” She’s met her quota for the day, and it’s not even 8:30 am. Currently, this word no longer makes sense to me from its overuse. Motherhood is a never ending game of fielding questions and giving. I quickly make breakfast before she changes her mind again, while packing her lunch, while loading the dishwasher, while watching the news and missing the snowfall forecast from the latest “Mom!!!” Giving, giving, giving. I hate to admit it, but maybe this word has lost its meaning, too.  Read more

 
 
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