First Day Dress pattern NEXT week!

by Dana on June 26, 2014

I’m so happy to report that….the First Day Dress pattern will be available NEXT WEEK!
It’s been a long time in the works.
And you guys have been patient. Thank you.
The pattern ranges from size 2 to 10 years old, with 5 different looks, and 4 different lining options.

I have most of the sizes tested and covered.
But I need 3-4 people to test sizes 8, 9, and 10. 
If you’re interested please leave a comment and include your email address.
Timeframe is short and would need to happen in the next few days.
* UPDATE:  I have enough pattern testers for the larger sizes now, but thank you THANK YOU all for offering. You guys are so great!


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Hi friends.
I hope your summer week is off to a good start!
And if your name is Melissa, with a #78,  it’s off to a really good start.
YOU are the winner of the Forest Feast book giveaway!  I’ll email you with more info.

And thank you guys for entering.  I’m so happy you love beautiful books too—that makes me want to share more!

And for those who didn’t win…how ’bout a consolation prize?
Me, Kate, and Kelly chatting it up at Baby Lock headquarters?….along with fantastic words of wisdom from Nancy Zieman, a quilt we made out of sugar cookies, and the realization that I talk way too fast? (no wonder my dad never understands me).
That kind of stuff?

Then just hit play!
It’s the Common Threads video by Baby Lock.
Virtual high-ten to anyone who understands exactly what I say….


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the Forest Feast

by Dana on June 19, 2014

I think I just found the most beautiful cookbook every cooked.

Although simply calling it a “cookbook” doesn’t do justice because it’s more like art and cooking combined.

And I don’t even remember how I found it.
But it had something to do with Instagram. I stumbled on the feed @theForestFeast, and I couldn’t stop scrolling through the gorgeous photos, and the scenery, and just, the everything.
So I clicked over to the Forest Feast blog and oooooo!  More of the same gorgeous.
I wanted to jump into every photo, and enjoy a feast on Erin’s magical deck.

But instead I emailed her to see if I could review a copy of her book because I know you guys will love it.

And here it is! for you to peruse and enjoy.

Each recipe page is a true work of art…from the props and food set-up, to the graphics, to the photos, and most importantly—the watercolor fonts and illustrations.  It’s such a clever design. And just beautiful.

It’s one of those books that you want to buy for everyone you know.

I’ve already purchased two more to give as gifts this summer.

Cause everybody loves pretty food photos….and also pretty house photos.  I love that Erin included pics of the northern California forest and outdoor deck where she lives and entertains.  I think that makes any cookbook or sewing book feel personable and unique.  We love to see where the magic happens.  And for a moment—pretend we can jump into the chalk drawing with Mary Poppins and spend an afternoon in your world.

Want to join me??
Today we’re giving away a copy of the Forest Feast cookbook to one lucky person!

• Leave a comment, that’s it.
• Only one entry per person.
• Open to US residents only.
• ONE winner will be picked via
• Giveaway ends Saturday 6/21/14 at 10pm (Central Time)


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Remember those barstools I asked you about?
You guys were fantastic with the feedback!  Holy comments my friends.  Loved it!  And your ideas were super helpful with my decision making process.
So to give you an update…YES  I did choose a fabric, and I bought 9 yards of it, and now I just need a free moment to sew them up and share the final results.  So more to come on that….

In the mean time, let me show you some home details…..some of those specialty items that felt like a risky move but I totally love them.
If you’ve missed my other posts, our family spent the last year building a custom home in the Austin, TX area.
We didn’t physically build it ourselves—we hired a custom builder to do the hard part; we were along for the decision-making ride.

Check out my previous posts documenting the whole process:
We’re building a new home!
Groundbreaking Party
From foundation to frame 
Stucco, shingles, and a pretty paint job 
Sheetrock, paint, and a double-decker deck
We moved!…and an ode to the old house
Tile, Flooring, Countertops, and Color 
Guest Room makeover

In my last post I shared most of the tile in the house.
For three of the bathrooms we used Interceramic Bold Tones 6×6 tiles:

And I originally planned to do the same in the kids bathroom, in True Yellow color.

But at the last minute I got cold feet and wondered if I was being too boring (of course you might already think I’m crazy for using green and teal in the other rooms).

And yes, maybe I should have just used white tile everywhere and painted the walls a fun color.
I realized one day, while being sucked into the Houzz vortex, that the home photos I loved most were the ones that took risks and used color and texture in ways other than simply paint color.  Of course I love paint too (check out our Guest Room to win a Sherwin-Williams gift card if you haven’t already).  But I wanted to give the house some unique features….without thinking about resale value, which is what people are constantly telling you as you build a custom home.  “Remember, you have to sell this home one day.”

And you just wanna yell “Can I please live in it first?!”

For the kids’ bathroom I mixed it up and chose a 1×1 mosaic glass tile called I Love Color—is that perfect name or what??!

And one day the tile guys showed up.  And the Lego tiles went up!

Felix and his cute black glasses did a fantastic job lining up the squares.

And he never seem annoyed when I asked “can I take your picture?  And if it’s not too much trouble….could you peel some of it back so I can see what it looks like? And….”

He just patiently sponged and peeled and eventually,

….grouted all those little tiles in white.

And one day it was done!

And Clara drank water till it was gone.

Oh I love this shower!
It’s like a wall of confetti!
Or sprinkles.
Or Tetris?
Name your specialty, and this crazy shower’s for you.

Now while Clara drips herself dry, let’s go downstairs and talk about Wallpaper.
After building such an open floorplan, I really wanted the dining room to have a bit of separation, so it felt like it’s own room.  And I’ve always wanted wallpaper somewhere in our house.

I’ve just never been brave enough to do it.

But I decided again—you only build a home once!  Okay, hopefully more than once because I’ve really had fun doing this.  So why not use wallpaper? It’s just paper!  And there are so many cool options out there.   If I hate it in 5 years, I’ll pull it off and we can start over.   That’s the fun of home decorating.

So I pinned a bunch of ideas (see my boards here).  And went with something from the Sherwin-Williams store.  Did you know they carry wallpaper?  You can check out books/samples from their store.

And you can also find our particular paper on various sites online.  It’s called York Wallcoverings Bistro 750 Trellis Wallpaper (click the link for other color options from Wayfair).

I was so excited when those rolls showed up on my doorstep.
And when it was the right time in the building process, we hired someone to cut, paste, and hang that trellis up.

Oh how I love hiring people.
It’s so great to see it all happen in a few hours time……


I love it!
I think it really fits with the rest of the vibe in the house.



The geometric shapse are subtle and the green ties in with the green front door.

Now I need to decide which table will go in the space.  I’ve taped out an IKEA option…we’ll see what Casey thinks.

And that’s an update!

More Lookout Lane details to come…

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