Professional before photos


I completely forgot to do the pro-pre-reno pictures! This will hopefully make the end result even more fun to look through. Here they are:













Next up I'll post some of the inspiration + materials I'm buying. xo

PS - I used Chuck Holden photography.


A renovation update

Shiplap Marling 2

I'm SO excited, the renovation is ticking along - the demo is mostly over so my role is smaller - buying supplies, making design decisions.

  Tile shower Marling

The shiplap in the bathroom is almost up, and my contractor has started the tile.

Shiplap next to tile

Here's the shiplap next to the tile.

And if you like the visuals, here's what it looked like before & during demo.

Bathroom shower

Shower down to studs Marling

Happy Tuesday! I'm off to meet the HVAC guys. So not sexy, so necessary.

This is what happened yesterday

Hole in floor Marling

Remember this hallway with the huge hole in the floor and burned out furnace? 

Furnace out Marling

Yesterday I got it fixed!

My hardwood guy - who was the nicest - ripped out that old furnace like it was no thing. Bam! Then he capped the gas line and began work.

Installing hardwood over hole

Almost done...

Finished hardwood:hole

I was so excited with the result.

Hardwoods next to each other

Floors next to each other. The seam is tight which is great & I think once the old floors are sanded & all the floors are stained the same dark color it will look pretty natural. We shall see.

And part. I was pulling nails out of the ceiling in the kitchen, using a step ladder, when the floor contractor asked if I didn't want to use contractor stilts. Did I? DID I?

Hope contractor stilts

Funnest way to rip out ceiling nails ever. 



A non-sexy before and after

Shower before demo

These pictures of the stripping of the shower aren't exactly sexy but they do make me proud. Enjoy :)

Shower Hope about to demo

Shower halfway finished Marling

Hauling that stuff out of the bathub was some of the hardest work I've ever done. 

Shower down to studs Marling

Shower down to studs Marling 2

A new project!

Hope demo:signing day

Oh my goodness, I cannot tell you how long I have been dreaming about this...dream. Truett reminded me yesterday in the car that we'd been talking about it since he was three, at least, because he can remember joining in the conversation. So, almost five years? Like most dreams, for years it was nebulous and then, finally, about a year ago, I began searching in more earnest. 

So, without dragging this out any longer, I give flip project! It's a small house located near where we are now - about a mile or so, as the crow flies, and it's cute, cute, but also kind of a disaster - you'll see. 

I'm vacillating between extreme excitement and extreme terror. I mean, no pressure! 

Here are my Before photos, but I will have someone come take more next week with a wide-angle lens. I figure we'll have some works in progress by then, but at least it will be mostly un-done. And then, when it's done (if it's ever done ;), I'll do the side-by-sides that are the most fun.

Front of house Marling

This is the front of the house, oddly the front door is around the corner on the side. It's common in the neighborhood, though.

Doors side of house Marling

Side of the house where the front door sits & the "back" kitchen door.

Backyard Marling

Huge backyard! Which...good, but, landscaping.

Living room Marling

Living room, looking in.

Door into living room

Living room, looking out.

Big bedroom Marling

First bedroom (of two). Hard to tell here, but it's actually quite large and pretty.

Small bedroom Marling

Smaller bedroom. 

Hallway Marling

Small hallway where the living room, bedrooms, bathroom & kitchen all spoke out. Also, note the beautimus hole in the floor due to a furnace fire. Not only does that have to be fixed, but we have the pleasure of installing an HVAC. Note I said installing, because nothing exists. No duct work, nothing, nada, rien. Yay!

Hole in floor Marling

Here's another picture of the hole, in case you were wondering. Any idea how to get a super heavy, burned furnace out of a hole in a floor? Thanks.



Bathroom shower


Bathroom floor

Yucky bathroom floor. I've already peeled up two layers of linoleum. 

Kitchen back door

Kitchen looking in from the hallway.

Kitchen cabinets

If you take the picture above and imagine me turning to my right, this is your view.

Kitchen linoleum

Opposite side of kitchen. Check out that linoleum, it's a sexy beast.

Hole in ceiling

This hole in the kitchen ceiling came free of charge. Also, it means the roof is rotted and we need new sheetrock. I'm being a lot sarcastic, but I actually do love this little house.

Kids helping

Lastly, my little helpers. Truett's mostly interested in smashing things, while June sweeps way before we're done messing up the room. I love it. 

Celebrating Mommy Ann

Todd family everyone Mommy Ann's memorial

In November my beloved grandmother died. To all of her grandchildren, and greats, she was called Mommy Ann.

Mommy Ann framed photo

It was weird, and hard, losing my last grandparent because I think my subconscious had decided she would always be there: doing puzzles, looking impossibly stylish, cooking dinner with a Tom Collins in hand. When you think of those old-school beauties who walked through life with (seemingly) effortless class, that was Mommy Ann. 


To celebrate, my aunt set up a beautiful party at her house in Cincinnati where we all ate, drank, chatted & were merry & were sad. Georgia put together a slide show that was unbearable to watch, but in the good way. How can someone feel so close and be gone? It's still hard sometimes.

Ella piano

As I walked around the party, catching up with cousins & aunts (there are males in this family, they're just...rare), I kept remarking to myself how much I liked everyone. Not just because they're family, but genuine appreciation for how much I wanted to keep hanging out. And how I kind of wish we hadn't all scattered to the four winds ;)

Molly Georgia pregnant

Here are a few pictures from our weekend, if you'd like to see, and I hope you're doing well. xo

Hope Aurelia angry face

Here's a picture with Aurelia - we were making angry faces at each other, because, at three and a half, she was over it

Zoe June

Ella Truett Henry gun fight

The kiddos celebrated Mommy Ann by...being kids.

Happy almost-weekend

Cambodia Travel & Leisure

Happy weekend to you (with the summertime here, and the kids out of school, I originally titled this Happy Friday! Head slap, welcome to the days blending together of summer :)

Greece Travel & Leisure

I just wanted to leave this link here of often-overlooked, affordable cool places to travel (I'd choose Cambodia).

India Taj Mahal T&L

Cheers to a wonderful weekend (when it does get here)!

photo credit(s) via travel and leisure

Pretty earrings

Quill earrings on

I ordered these earrings from Diadem Boutique a few days ago and they arrived yesterday! (Why is brick & mortar mail still the best?) 

Quill earrings by table

Also, two songs I'm listening to on repeat right now: Dive by Ed Sheeran & this sweet, calm, kind of sad one by Willie Nelson called Just Breathe.  

Two Friday Favorites

Friday links - Manger

I do have a bit of Friday links for you!

One, the GORGEOUS picture above which is, of course, from one of my favorite blogs, Manger. I follow both Mimi & her uber-talented husband on instagram. His photography is so worth the endorphin release :)

Then, randomly, how great do these Swedish dishcloths look? I'm on a bit of a tear to reduce plastic + ugly things in our home, and these fit the bill nicely. 

And, lastly, I've been thinking a lot about parenting this week. I know the young parents in the world right now are overwhelmed and inundated with too much information, but this short article was calming & helpful for me to define ways of being firm + loving. (Otherwise my general advice to new parents is to NOT GOOGLE, or follow parenting click-bait)

Ok, I lied, one more. I love this post from Bunmi Laditan for some comic relief (shout out to Clyde for posting on FB)

Also - for more up-to-date posts, I often post to instagram if you'd like to follow. 

(photo credit from, duh, Manger)

A song

Whoops! Two weeks turned into several months. I keep ping-ponging between wanting to close up shop (Grape Did It) & still, I enjoy sharing so much.

So, to dip a toe back in, here's one of my new favorite songs. It just sucker punches me in the gut.

Tomorrow - maybe? Really pretty earrings I just ordered (and they're cheap!).



so beautiful.


About Me

My Photo Hi! I'm Hope. Welcome to my website all about: style, food, travel & parenting. I live in Columbia, SC with my husband and two bebes.