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 you...my 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.

A blogging break

GDI - blog break

I'm sure you've noticed my inability to post very often these days. I feel kind of uninspired, and I don't want to just plop any old thing onto the screen in order to post. So, I'm going to take a break. Recharge, hopefully come back in a week or two refreshed and inspired :)

In the meantime, I'd love to link to my favorite posts from GDI for your perusing pleasure. xoxo

A super yummy chocolate cake.

A tiny but impactful home improvement tip.

Baby June dances.

A fun place to eat here in Columbia.

One of my absolute favorite kid books.

Our kitchen renovation reveal & the break-down.

A bright red lipstick for fall.

Camping in teepees.

How to make pumpkin spice latte at home.

Ways to unknot your busy life.

Why cooking at home is so great.

Where to find some lovely art.

Movie nights.

The sweetest baby in the world turns four.

While my wild-man turns seven.

Just for fun, pregnancy pictures with Truett.

Planning a Christmas party.

Winter soups.

Love you guys. xoxo

(image via)

Friday tidbits

GDI - coffee pumpkins

Good Friday morning! What are you up to this weekend? If you're on the east coast, I hope you have a safe place to chill. We'll be playing lots of Jenga, cooking & watching movies :) Hope you have a great weekend, and see you back here next week.

Let's do some links.

Good to keep in mind during a renovation.

Oh dear, now I want to make a tiny toaster. Found via swissmiss.

I LOVE this raspberry Halloween costume. I think I'd rather use plastic balls to balloons, though, because I'd anticipate some popping along the way (ahem, looking at wild men like Truett).

Hoping to make these pickled okra later today.

A really simple way to enjoy all those gorgeous heirloom pumpkins. Also, you could save the seeds & try your hand at planting them next season.

Oh! these drawings.

All I want in this life (besides everything) is to do an eating tour of Italy. Holy.bananas.

I just got one of these at Costco and it is the softest, cutest sweatshirt ever.

Off-season but man, these bright pink blossoms just make me feel good.

That's it - have a great weekend!

Hurricane Matthew & other updates

GDI - June tree

Yesterday we got a voicemail saying school is cancelled for the next three days. I was a little confused - because hurricane Matthew isn't really supposed to hit Columbia all that hard - but then I heard it's because we are re-directing our school busses to Charleston for an evacuation. I think everyone is still reeling from last year's 1,000 year flood

My plans are as follows: Halloween crafts, movie night at our friend's house, & lots of cooking. Come on by, if you're looking for something to do.

Also, I'll be posting more regularly to instagram, so follow along if you'd like. 

Also, also, I'm almost done with this book: Eligible (it's a modern retelling of Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice) and it is soooo much fun. Can't put it down. 

GDI - pride & prejudice

(image credit dramafever)

Simplest, spookiest crafts for Halloween

GDI - spooky mantel 2 PB

We did not, unfortunately, do any Halloween crafts this weekend. We played a bunch of Jenga & went to a birthday party, but did not get around to any of these cool crafts. Last year we made two of the bat mobiles, but this year I'd really love to cut out pumpkins, witches and bats for the windows :)

I'd love for the crafts to be simple, old-school spooky & fun to make. Here are my favorite picks.

GDI - hanging ghosts

Hanging ghosts. June is into spirals in a major way - they've been drawing them at school - and I think she would love making these ghosts to hang around the house. 

GDI - Halloween sillouettes

Spooky window silhouettes. It never occurred to me to put orange tissue paper behind the cutouts - genius! (Here are some downloads for those of you who are like me & cannot draw to save your life). 

GDI - tree arms and face

Turn a tree into a spooky tree-man. I have a feeling Truett will be ALL OVER this. I can't find a DIY for this one, but I'm sure we can come up with something. 

GDI - spiders

Make spider magnets! I think double-sided tape would be even easier.

GDI - spooky mantel

Create a spooky mantel - gnarled branches, small (painted) black pumpkins, old candlesticks (thrift store) and a plastic crow should do the trick nicely.

I can't wait to show the kids these projects, I think they'll be so excited :)

(images: hanging ghosts, silhouettes, tree-man, spider magnets, and spooky mantel)


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.