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Summer is coming! It’s really true! Every summer I crave simplicity: in my schedule and in my home. Don’t you? I love the idea of cleaning out a few cupboards and packing things away so the house feels more like a summer getaway. Especially in a small home like ours, streamlining is something we have to do constantly to keep the house feeling sane. This summer I want to take the process a bit further and think about streamlining the color scheme as well. How does blue and white and beachy sound to you?

Bodie and Fou1 Bodie and Fou2 Bodie and Fou3

I am always inspired by Bodie and Fou, and their new happy summer home section nails the sort of breezy, seaside look I am after — I’ve been utterly in love with this cotton pendant light for a while now, and I just fell harder. Unfortunately, the shipping fees from the UK make it impractical for me to order anything from here in the States, so for now I will have to drool.

What about you? Do you like to streamline your home for summer? What colors do you crave during the warm months of the year?

(all images: Bodie and Fou)

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Breakfasting

Strawberry Pancakes

A weekend ritual. Bixby helps his daddy crack eggs and mix batter — from-scratch pancakes with strawberries on top. Warm maple syrup from a pitcher. Flowers on the table. Juice. Hot coffee. Sun streaming in, and good company. Weekday breakfasts may look a bit different, but on most Saturday mornings, this is our thing.

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Sometimes Simplicity Means Letting Go

eggs Chickens Egg Carton Chickens on Table Table

For the past two years, tending to the chickens has been a twice-daily routine in our house. We loved watching their antics out the kitchen window and gathering fresh eggs each day. And most of the time, we really didn’t mind the work. But by this spring, our small city yard was feeling like it belonged more to the chickens than to us. Between the coop and chicken yard, little room was left to play, plant our vegetable garden, or simply hang out.

So, several weeks ago we made the decision to find the chickens a new home. I expected it to be a long process, but the perfect home came along the same day I placed an ad on Craigslist, and it felt meant to be. We brought our “girls” to their new home and helped them get settled in, and while it was sad (and I do still miss being able to look out my kitchen window to check on them) it feels like the right decision for us.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to me to live a simple life, and this simply wasn’t it. At least not now. I am looking forward to a busy spring and summer of digging garden beds, planting veggies, laying a new patio for an outdoor kitchen, designing a new perennial bed, and generally spending as much time as we can outdoors in the fresh garden air … without worrying about stepping in chicken poop, or protecting our young plants from hungry beaks. And I admit, the thought of not having to trudge out to the coop to break ice in the chicken’s water each morning next winter is a big relief!

If any of you are struggling with something you feel deep down it would be best to let go of, I urge you to listen to that little voice. We miss our chickens, and I would love to raise chickens again in the future. But right now, for us, this was the right call.

xoxo Laura

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Miss Mustard Seed’s Marvelous Milk Paint

Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint1

Try saying that five times fast! I’ve been thinking about painting some furniture with milk paint, and as I was looking into it I came across Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint. I’ve adored Marian, AKA Miss Mustard Seed’s blog for a long time, but I hadn’t checked in for a while (okay a long while) and had no idea she was mixing up her own gorgeous colors of milk paint! Hallelujah!

Mustard Seed Milk Paint2 Mustard Seed Milk Paint3

As you can see from these samples, her eye for color is spot-on. I think you really couldn’t go wrong with any of her 18 colors — the ones here just happen to be some I am considering using now. Looking at the full list, my brain was exploding with creative possibilities. (What else can I milk paint? Give me all the milk paint!!)

Mustard Seed Milk Paint4 Mustard Seed Milk Paint6 Mustard Seed Milk Paint7

Here is a bit more about milk paint from Marian’s site, for those of you not already in the know:

“Milk Paint is an ancient all-natural paint containing basic ingredients including milk protein (casein), limestone, clay and natural pigments. When absorbed into the surface, Milk Paint will never chip or peel when applied to a raw wood surface. It is suitable for both interior and exterior applications and is naturally mold resistant. Milk paint provides a completely breathable coating and is ideal for painting wood, plaster, drywall and a variety of other surfaces.  It is environmentally friendly, non-toxic and contains no VOCs.”

I’m curious: have you ever tried milk paint? What was your experience? I’m planning to paint two new unfinished Ikea kids dressers and one vintage teak mid-century coffee table. Wish me luck!!

p.s. – In other news, I was beyond thrilled to see that one of my Houzz columns made it onto Nicole’s Honor Roll on Making it Lovely on Friday … I’m still pinching myself!!

xo Laura

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New From Pretty Pegs

Have you heard of Pretty Pegs yet? This company makes really cool furniture legs designed to fit standard Ikea furniture. Totally genius. If you haven’t visited their site lately, they have some new designs that are definitely worth checking out. Let’s have a look…

Prettypegs.bed-legs

otto Pretty Pegs Pretty Pegs Laure Joliet photo of Bri's home via sfgirlbybay - Ikea credenza with Pretty Pegs

I spotted Pretty Pegs some time ago, but as I wasn’t in the market for Ikea furniture, I didn’t give it too much thought. But now? Oh, now things have changed. I am planning a pretty major fauxdenza/extra-long desk/storage unit made of Ikea kitchen cabinet components to fit the space near my front door that has so far been very much underused. One piece I have been struggling with in the planning phase is what to do about the legs…and then this morning, I saw this gorgeous credenza with Pretty Peg legs on sfgirlbybay, and my heart leaped. The Ikea cabinets and counter top material I plan to buy from Home Depot cost so little that I think a splurge on Pretty Pegs could be reasonably justified.

What do you think? Have you seen (or used) Pretty Pegs? Which ones would you choose for a credenza/desk?

(photos: all but last image, Pretty Pegs; last image is the home of Bri of designlovefest, photography by Laure Joliet via sfgirlbybay)

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