Master Bath & Bedroom: Week 2

Week 1:

Master Bath/Bedroom Demo Day 1 |

Week 2:

Master Bath/Bedroom Week 2 |

It’s a little messy in there but SO much progress has been made! It took a week to fully gut the room, two days to install a beautiful reclaimed wood beam (that we stumbled upon at a lumber yard), a few days to move plumbing for the bathtub and shower, and another few days to prep the tub surround for a quartz fabricator who is getting started today.

I’ve been going a little crazy trying to race back and forth between tile shops as we make the final decision for the materials for the space. Much of what I had in mind back when I shared my inspiration board is no longer available (either due to lead time or stock) and that was a little devastating initially. It means A LOT more work and many more decisions that needed to be made asap. We’ve had to start from scratch in finding the right glass tile, ceramic tile, cement tile and quartz – but in the end it worked out perfectly because I’ve fallen head over heels in love with what we’ve chosen. It’s definitely the right direction for this bathroom!

Master Bath/Bedroom Week 2 | Tile Ideas |

It feels like choosing tile and fixtures should be easy, but then I’m like a kid in a candy store in any tile shop and my head starts spinning. In a good way. There are so many amazing options that it’s sort of paralyzing.

What did we choose?

Cement floor tile: Agadir by Cement Tile Shop
Glass shower wall tile: Ponza in the Islandia series by Arizona Tile in 4×12″
Ceramic subway wainscoting: Glazed and unglazed ceramic white tile in 2.5×11″ (source to come)
Quartz (for the tub surround and vanity countertops): White Zeus Extreme Quartz by Silestone

Here’s an example of my crazy indecision. Out of all of these green glass tiles (sourced from all over), I couldn’t find the right one. Ponza (the one we chose) is in the upper right corner as a 4×12 (amazing how light will affect the look of a tile as well, compare the below with the above) – in the end it’s a beautiful shade and the right size of tile to offset the 2.5×11″ ceramic tile (which I’m most in love with – wait until you see it installed!).

Master Bath/Bedroom Week 2 | Tile Ideas |

As for the floor, it’s probably a bit of the surprise element but I could go on for days about cement tile! I’m in love with cement tile floors and was so happy when Kevin agreed. I’ll share a few inspiration photos – I’m so excited for this tile in this space, it will absolutely be a focal point in the bathroom.

While I’ve been oggling tile samples, Kev had been hard at work prepping the shower. First he removed the subfloor:

Master Bath/Bedroom Week 2 |

And then he built a recessed subfloor for the shower so that when the hot mopping team (a waterproofing that seals the shower pan) came in, the new shower floor would be even with the existing floor.

Master Bath/Bedroom Week 2 |

Master Bath/Bedroom Week 2 |

On the tub side of things, the surround was built out and hardibacker was applied (after re plumbing the space) to prep it for a solid surface quartz countertop. We LOVE quartz for many reasons (it’s what we chose for our kitchen) so although it’s more of an upfront investment we know that it will stand the test of time and look absolutely amazing.

Master Bath/Bedroom Week 2 |

To help keep the costs down, Kev developed the following rendering and we sent it out to 7 or 8 fabricators in San Diego and then chose the one that we felt was the most reliable at the best price.

Master Bath/Bedroom Week 2 | Tub Surround |

And so the saga continues… next up is more plumbing, all of the electrical (which has been started), drywall and then the pretty stuff :).

PS you can start the master bath/bedroom renovation journey right here

2015 Family Calendar (and a Downloadable Version)

2015 Family Calendar |

I started this little project just before Christmas (and before Marley joined us) and I’ve finally just recently finished it :). I’m actually happy this project has taken longer than expected because it’s given me an opportunity to reprint a few months and add a few photos of Marley as well.

I was initially inspired to create a family calendar after seeing this one ages ago, but I wanted a simpler design and one that I could maybe even adjust year after year. It took me a while to put something together. So long, in fact, that I posted the project on Fiverr to speed up populating all of the calendar dates (love that site!).

Here’s a look at all 12 months. Check out those cuties!

You can download my version here if you’d like (you’ll need InDesign to adjust the photos, but if you’re familiar with the tool it’s as simple as deleting my photo layer and adding your own).

2015 Family Calendar |

I printed the calendar on thick watercolor paper, punched a small hole at the top of each print out and strung them together with a little snip of wax baker’s twine for our kitchen’s cork board command center. I made a few sets as gifts, maybe a late Valentine’s Day present now? :)

2015 Family Calendar |

I really love how they turned out! Makes me smile to look back at some of my favorite photos from 2014 (this calendar is the perfect size for Instagram photos, too).

Hope that you had a special Valentine’s Day and President’s Day weekend!

60 Minutes of Play a Day Challenge – My Thoughts

60 Minutes of Play a Day Challenge |

You might remember that last week I set a little goal for myself to dedicate 60 minutes a day to one-on-one play with the girls.

My biggest goal of this challenge? To turn off technology while I was focusing on quality time. I wanted to challenge myself to live in the present, to practice focusing fully on the three little girls that make my life pretty special (and in such a way that they knew that they had my undivided attention).

So that’s what I attempted. I spent time each day turning away from my iPhone (and with that work and personal emails, text messages, Instagram updates), and turning towards the girls.

I’ll admit this right off of the bat – my initial challenge mentioned that I wouldn’t count one-on-one time that was already a part of dedicated routines around the house (cooking dinner, reading stories at bedtime). But that was near impossible, and what I learned is to take those sometimes mundane tasks and find ways to make them extra engaging (I’m already making dinner, after all) so as to appreciate them more.

I was a bit surprised (and a little relieved) when I saw the comments and discussion that came in after posting the challenge last week. Most of the moms that shared their thoughts announced with surprise at the amount of time that I was challenging myself to. I’m sure working moms felt the time to be an incredible crunch in their day when, as one mom pointed out, she only has 2.5 hours of time with her kids post-work and pre-bed anyways (and there’s still dinner to make and the pj routine to get through). 60 minutes is overwhelming. And I totally get that. I’m sure stay-at-home moms probably thought the number a bit low (this week I observed one mom at the park who stayed in the sandbox with her one-year-old for an hour straight, totally engaged in his world. I was really impressed.)

60 Minutes of Play a Day Challenge |

Here’s what I learned:

1. 60 minutes is a long time! I literally timed myself the first few days just to get a gauge of what my current habits were. I most succeeded in tuning out the ‘noise’ when I broke that hour into chunks. Sometimes that was a twenty minute chunk after breakfast, sometimes that was a five minute chunk during the crazy of a busy afternoon. It’s amazing what five minutes of engagement in the middle of a busy sretch can do.

2. I nixed the rule to not count routine activities within two days. Once I counted our cooking time, activity book or coloring time, reading time and park time, I focused on making those activities centered more around the girls. For example, during meal prep I encouraged Liv to scoot up a chair and help me build the salad. While adding fruits and veggies we talked about what we were doing or our day.

3. I didn’t become discouraged when I couldn’t meet ‘my goal’. This was an experiment after all, and if some days we spent a full morning with a play group but there was no mommy-time, that was okay. If I had to answer work emails for four hours straight and had to skip the park, so be it. If I was sick in bed, I abandoned it all together.

4. I was able to focus on activities I dig! Art projects, reading new library books, going on walks, taking the girls on little Starbucks dates when I had just one with me. I wanted to engage in what the girls wanted to do, but we parents are crafty about being able to shape that.

60 Minutes of Play a Day Challenge |

60 Minutes of Play a Day Challenge |


I loved reader Frannie’s comment about quiet observation and “wants nothing quality time”. Janet Lansbury explains that it’s not so important that your quality kid-time is actively engaging, it’s more that you’re just present. Towards the end of the week this was ever true for me.

Sometimes for me setting a goal (amount of time, pounds, number of items, etc depending on the challenge) helps to keep me focused on building better habits. Having this minute goal to reach each day encouraged me to creatively find ways to invite more play. Not so much as any sort of strict rule, but more as incentivization.

I will have to come up with a new strategy when I’m back to work full time (this won’t work then!), but for these next few weeks I’m liking the idea of building habits of encouraging myself to use the free moments that I do have (whether they were two or 30) to ignore distraction and to enjoy the play.

Hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day and President’s weekend!

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