My Home Renovation: Hello Lovely Fixer Upper {week 1: reflections}

It has been one week since we bought the love shack,

and we’re weary yet determined to get the place breathing.

There were a few OYs in my last post, and I didn’t

even tell you about the injuries we sustained (husband’s

wrist may be broken, I sprained and smashed my thumb,

our son was a bloody mess…).

Yet since I’ll ever be your transparent

and true sister in bloghood, I cannot leave out

the other side of OY…those grateful YOs, if you will.

Because, YO! Life is beautiful,

and feathering our new nest

is truly a small thing.

Yo! Fun Finds.

I have had a blast scoring special finds including

this old clawfoot tub we drove to Madison, WI to rescue.

It is petite, and I imagine it adding a layer

of vintage romance to the master bath which

currently looks like this:

Another fortuitous and romantic find?

This original signed oil by William Halquist…

Purchased from the niece

of the sweet girl with the bob, she was thrilled

it would live in a happy home.

Yo! Stepping away from the sledgehammer.

Life has been busy with college graduations…

Doesn’t my mom (visiting from Arizona) look amazing even in the midst of chemo!?!

…girlfriend time,


I read Parker’s stuff, and I think: 



reading books that feed my soul

and help me grow,

and lots of  fun visits from my granddaughter,

an adorable hedgehog named Penelope

owned by our son who teaches high school English

in a town an hour away.


Yo! There is art to see!
I don’t want to obsess over paint swatches
so much that I miss out on summer.
There are plans to to soak up the sunshine, spend time with family,
visit my favorite Japanese gardens, and see art like this
(by my friend Brennen…now exhibited in a very cool
cafe in town).

the windows are not my favorite feature but i think they are staying…suggestions welcome!

Yo! Bringing friends along on the journey helps!
Although I never planned to blog regularly
during this process, I now understand why so many
folks do: there is an accountability and structure
involved that serves as a nudge to keep going.

There is something special about documenting
and sharing the lovely AND the unlovely sides of
renovation (though I am not sure ye sophisticated
hello lovely brethren truly care to view the inner guts of
a forlorn bathroom subfloor beneath the love shack).

a window seat in the kitchen

our youngest is a hippie and was literally hugging these trees as he measured
their circumference and distance between them for slacklining
 (tight rope walking that morphs your abs into a six-pack).

Yo! I’m grateful for you.
Thank you for following along, and I will
read all of your comments and listen to
every bit of loving advice you share.

Let’s finish this week strong,
knowing Rumi is right!

Please come join me
in this DIY adventure by
clicking here for all my fixer upper update posts!

Peace to you right where you are.




  1. July 3, 2015 / 6:38 pm

    What a beautiful setting! Congrats on your new place!!

    • July 4, 2015 / 4:32 pm

      thank you, anne! it's small but private!

  2. July 3, 2015 / 10:50 pm

    Wow lots of good things happening your way…congrats Michele. I love the bones of the house and with you working your magic I know its going to be incredible. Penelope is so cute and congrats on all the graduations..good stuff my friend:) And yes your mom is beautiful and looks so happy!

    • July 4, 2015 / 4:33 pm

      penelope should have her own blog–she is a character who is slowly socializing and getting used to my baby talk. sort of. thanks, tina. i need your input desperately with so many details!

  3. July 4, 2015 / 6:42 pm

    Love following along with your journey and know that I am in California cheering you on. Go! Michele Goooo!! Your Mom looks fantastic, give her a hug from the stranger in Calif.
    xoxo Happy 4th to YOU and yours.

    • July 6, 2015 / 1:29 pm

      you're a gem, designer of lovely! will do.

  4. July 5, 2015 / 7:06 pm

    I have no advise that would really mean anything. How wonderful to have that window seat in the kitchen! I rather like it that the windows have the arched area over them – letting in a lot more light.

    • July 6, 2015 / 1:30 pm

      thank you for that, karen. i am trying to adjust my perspective about the windows. for example, thinking of them as church-like and holy (i have problems). 🙂

  5. July 6, 2015 / 8:49 pm

    Sorry I'm so late reading this, what can I say renovation demands… I've gotta say with all your Yo's you sure you're not a Philadelphian??? I look at your photos and see so many splendid possibilites, I feel you will soar in this house in a rustic, modern European style that will feed your soul and fuel your mind with ultimate possibilites. Enjoy Michele, it will be a so rewarding.

    • July 10, 2015 / 10:44 pm

      hahahaha. THANKS, VERA!

  6. July 8, 2015 / 1:58 am

    Oh I love the painting of the girl with the bob. The colors and her face are soft and peaceful. I also love your kitchen window seat. They are always so charming and remind me of An english cottages. If only the sea were just outside the window. Yet you have a lovely forest of green to view. I can understand why your hippy son hugged the trees. I hope you will plant roses and wildflowers in your cottage garden. I can see wild roses here.

    • July 10, 2015 / 10:45 pm

      the garden is already wild so i guess we are on the right track! seaside would be a dream!

  7. July 8, 2015 / 7:51 pm

    First, can I tell you how much I love your recent posts? That photo of you with that giant weed is utterly adorable –who is that young thing?–and honestly it's just nice to see all the parts of your life. Yes, your mom looks amazing, the girlfriend time looks replenishing, and the house has some real charm. Although I did have to look away at that toilet pic, but hey, I love all the destruction going on. Sounds like you've got some talented workers (hubby and boys) who can keep the momentum going. Personally I've noticed a downturn in my reno energy. Maybe it's good cause it gets me writing about other things, but lately I can't bring myself to take photos of my "messes" anymore…I'm sure there's an ebb and flow to it all. By the way, my son and his Crew buddies had a tightrope at their last apartment too. Funny, I didn't know that was so popular.
    sending hugs from the beach,

    • July 10, 2015 / 10:49 pm

      oh leslie, i feel you. it's the end of week 2, and the adrenaline? gone. things are getting much worse before they improve. and exhaustion is REAL. i can tell i will need to balance all the physical stuff with creative endeavors and fun just as you are doing. thank you for your candid sharing, and now it's time to hop over to your blog! xox

  8. July 11, 2015 / 3:54 am

    Congratulations on your purchase. I have been in my home 2 1/2 years and it still feels like I just moved in….lots of projects underway! I totally understand…..

    • July 18, 2015 / 3:30 pm

      oh it's so good to have kindred spirits in the mix to offer comfort and cry with me!

  9. July 11, 2015 / 5:22 pm

    oh this is the most favorite thing I could think of doing…a fixer upper. You are going to have an amazing place in short order I am sure. Excited to follow along. One dayI hope to do the same thing. xo

    • July 18, 2015 / 3:31 pm

      oh, amy, if i can muster up HALF your creativity and talent, then the project will be a success. i have so enjoyed following your journey and am honored you are along for the ride.

  10. July 14, 2015 / 2:24 pm

    Your new home is charming! Yes, you are updating it, but great bones. I love the window seat and all the stonework. And what a beautiful setting! xoxo

    • July 18, 2015 / 3:32 pm

      thanks for saying that, loi. it would have helped the kitchen design to eliminate the window seat but i wanted to preserve it. and the stone work? thank goodness there is SOMETHING we can salvage!

  11. July 16, 2015 / 10:03 pm

    Penelope is adorable, and so is your clawfoot tub! I love that your son hugged the trees – those two trees are the perfect distance apart and straight and tall!


  12. July 16, 2015 / 10:03 pm

    Penelope is adorable, and so is your clawfoot tub! I love that your son hugged the trees – those two trees are the perfect distance apart and straight and tall!


    • July 18, 2015 / 3:33 pm

      haha! you would love my kids, cindy! come for a visit.

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