2011 was a big year.  I lost an aunt and a grandma, I started a(nother) new business, and we bought our first house.  Honestly, if this is our only house ever, I will be happy.  My mom has lived in the same house since I was three, and I lived there with her until I got married at 23 and moved to San Diego.  I thought I’d miss living close to my family and friends, but I love San Diego, and I don’t have any plans on moving away from this sunny-almost-everyday place.  So sunny, we had to get shutters on all our windows.  Actually, if you look at the picture below, taken from my bedroom, you can see the reason we needed shutters was because our second floor looks out onto the sidewalk.  Tricky, right?

So sunny through that vintagey filter. Also, the messy bedroom looks much more chic that way.

I had every intention of posting blogs as our house was being built, as we picked out the tile:

Matte subway, of course.

and the carpet, and the washer and dryer:

Electrolux, obviously.

If not for all 12 of you readers, then for my own memory.  Unfortunately, I’m a major procrastinator with blogging (and lots of other things), and it’s hard to figure out what to write about, and what people care about reading.  I like to read blogs about DIYing and renovations, although I’m learning that my husband, Ryan, isn’t much into actually doing major renovations ourselves, but rather, paying a professional to do it instead.  I tried recently to get him excited about laying our own hardwood floors, or maybe cutting plywood into strips to actually MAKE our own wood flooring, like this:

do it yourself wood flooring using plywood

Via: Frugal Farmhouse Design

That whole kitchen floor cost something like $12!  Or $300, whatever.  Either way, that is a STEAL.  Totally Sarah’s Summer House.  So we’ll lay the plywood flooring, and then we can PAINT them, and they’ll look just like this, I’m sure:

Via: Pencil Shavings

Via: Pencil Shavings

Reclaimed wood flooring was what I really wanted when we set out to look at flooring a few months ago.  We originally had looked at some flooring like the picture below.  When the price came back at about $25/sq.ft. installed, that went out the window.  Well, maybe we could find reclaimed wood and install it ourselves.  I’ve seen plenty of Nate Berkus, so I really should be able to do it with a little patience and some Pinterest tutorials.

Via: Houndstooth and Nail

I Googled ‘how to find reclaimed wood’, and the article I found said, “It is really quite easy. Most barn owners will happily give you there [sic] old dilapidated barn just to get it out of the way and cleaned up.”  Okay, San Diego barn owners, anybody have some old barn wood I can take off your hands?  I’ll pick it up and take it somewhere to be kiln-dried (UCSD Crafts Center?  They used a kiln for our ceramics there.  I’m sure it’s totally the same), to get rid of any termites.  Max also pointed out that fire gets rid of termites, too.  And old barn wood.  After it’s kiln-dried and termite-free, I need to find someone to teach me how to hand-plane it (note to self: should have paid more attention in Design Crafts- was too busy engraving “Snappleye” into plexiglass), because with all the nails and various other bits of metal that have been shoved into it (character!  They give it character!), it can’t be machine planed.  Then we’ll just take a few leisurely weeks off of work to install it, on our hands and knees, matching up random sized pieces of wood here and there like a splintery puzzle, high-fiving over saving so much money by DIY-ing, and we’ll have a Pinterest-worthy reclaimed wood floor in no time at all.  And then we’ll be featured in House Proud on Nate Berkus and we’ll say, “it was really quite easy.” Or we’ll kill each other in the process.  You know, either one.

For some reason, Ryan didn’t find the idea of installing our own floors as exciting as I did, so we got a quote on some really pretty acacia wood floors on Saturday.  The sample the owner brought by looked something like the ones on the bottom left/in the middle.

Via: Marlo’s iPhone, taken at Click On Floors

The price was pretty reasonable, and they looked SO MUCH better than what’s there now (vinyl, carpet and baseboards that have been completely wrecked by bunnies):

Carpet and baseboards lovingly distressed courtesy of Rocky and Cinnabun.

I think we’re going to do the wood in the downstairs and on the stairs. We considered having wood flooring put in upstairs, but agreed we’d rather have some nice, soft carpet (read: not the scratchy, padless carpet that came with the house- see above picture) in the office and bedrooms.  And it might save us a tiny bit in price (but maybe not if I get that eco-friendly wool carpet I found..)  Now, to keep the bunnies from eating the baseboards…any suggestions?  Maybe they’ll just have to live in one of these:

Via: Heather Bullard

And THAT- we could totally do that ourselves.

I stopped blogging.  But not to worry, I’m back!

To kick things off, there’s a giveaway going on at The Give-Away Diva until August 18th!   You can enter to win one of the following necklaces:

Annabel II- $34

Maribel I- $34

Maribel IV- $34

I hope to be doing more giveaways soon, cause who doesn’t love a giveaway?  But I’ll try to blog more often than just when there’s a giveaway going on.  I have taken a ton of photos with the intention of posting them to this blog, but I always forget to upload and edit them in time for relevance.  Here are a couple from the catalog:

Here is my cousin Kayla, visiting from Texas, and me- shamefully covering up my unpainted toes.

And here we are in front of an amazingly beautiful house that was for sale! For only 3.2 million.

So, I have been meaning to write about this neat nail polish my lovely husband bought for me while we were shopping on Balboa Island.  It was in the coolest bottle, and I couldn’t decide which color, so I got both.  And a topcoat that creates a matte finish, which may have been around forever, but I thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread.  Let’s not talk about how much these cost…ahem, fourteendollarseach, ahem…let’s just remind the readers that I never find nail polish I like.  I have a tendency to try on 10 different shades on all 10 fingers, list the names in my phone, and then not really care about any of them enough to go back and buy one.  This time, I tried on 4 different shades on 4 fingers, and then kept my hand folded so people wouldn’t think I was indecisive.

So, I bought two colors I decided I’m really into this summer.  Let’s call them Summer Peach & Fruit Punch.  Not their real names, but close enough.  They’re made by a company called Butter London, and all nail products are ‘3 Free’, meaning ‘No Formaldehyde, No toluene, and No DBP (Phthales). Ever.’  So, you know, it would have been irresponsible for me NOT to buy them.  For the economy and for my health.   I have the orangey one on my toes currently, and if I had sandals that weren’t navy, I could match a few more outfits.  It’s still kind of coldish here, so I’m usually in ballet flats, anyway.  And no more open toed shoes at work, because it’s a paper store (read: death trap), and their reasoning is, “what if a box falls on your feet?!”

Anyway, back to my summer colors.  The second bowl from top here I like to call Grapefruit.  I bought it and two tiny bowls at Anthropologie the other day because it matched one of the polish colors.  Not sure if I’ve ever mentioned, but I have about twenty of these bowls in assorted colors that will look awesome one day when I have a house with glass front kitchen cabinets.   Maybe that house in Balboa.

Here’s what this shelf looked like last week, with Max’s birthday gift wrapped in some awesome Paper Source paper next to a picture of him, and a very Martha Stewart pitcher of garden roses and ranunculas.  I figure if I just show small snippets of my house, everyone will think my whole house looks like this.  And it does.

Cupcake kit by Meri Meri.  So cute!

A giant cupcake turned carousel- so creative, Williams Sonoma.

Inspiration for my wedding cupcakes, via Martha Stewart- of course.

Well, those are adorable. Snickerdoodle cupcakes, via Martha Stewart.

Cuppies, via Yes, Please.

Enter to win a cupcake kit from Saint Cupcake!

And while you’re there, enter to win $200 in free jewelry from me!

Welcome to my new WordPress blog!

And now, a giveaway at The Bright Side Project:

One lucky winner will receive a $200 gift certificate to Marlo Noel. For a chance to add some beauty to your jewelry box, please answer the following question by March 1, 2010.

This is a photo collage of Marlo Noël Jewelry used for the Bright  Side Project giveaway

Just visit The Bright Side Project to enter:

What piece(s) of jewelry in Marlo Noel’s Etsy shop would brighten your day? How would you wear it or who would you give it to?

Go now and make sure I get 300 comments to win an ad on their site for March!