Sophisticated Stairway

Happy Tuesday, friends!  I promised to post pictures of some projects inspired by my recent visit to the Magnolia Market & Silos so here we go…

For three months now I have been staring at this as I head to our basement:

Not so cute, I know.  In order to save some $$$ during the build, I asked the builder to just have paint-grade stairs installed and I would worry about finishing them later.  I was dealing with a bit of decision overload and wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do with the stairs yet.

My original plan was to stain the stair treads and paint the risers white like this:

Our stair way takes a similar turn to the one pictured above with a landing and two more steps before you enter the basement.  My super sweet hubby installed hardwood on the landing when I was in Texas.  “What a nice surprise to come home to, honey!  Now I have to finish my part, huh?”  Nuts!

I had started finishing the stairway more than a month ago by staining the upper hand rail and that is as far as I got with my Finish The Stairway Project.  Staining is STINKY, y’all!!!   I got halfway through that hand rail and had a pounding headache but pressed on to at least finish one part!  Staining all those stair treads sounded excruciating to me at that point and so I stopped with the rail and waited for inspiration…  Fast forward to when I was in Waco–we visited quite a few housewares and antique shops other than Magnolia, and my favorite was The Findery.  They had these amazing black stairs and it got me thinking, I could totally paint my stairs black–problem solved!  I looked up a few more inspirational photos online just to make sure it would look ok paired with our current hardwood floors and white trim:


Yep, I like it.  Give me paint and a brush and I’ll paint all the day long, no more STINKY staining for this girl (except the shelf above that landing because I promised the hubs, oh and also the other hand rail 🙁  Boo!… ).  Saturday at noon I quickly taped off the white trim before I lost my nerve, grabbed my brush and the can of floor and porch paint and got to work:

One coat of black paint on.

I had the second coat slapped on before bed that evening and I even made soup, did laundry and went to a fundraising dinner in between.  Sunday I got to wake up to these babies:

So. much. better.

Oops, looks like we need to do some fingerprint clean up there on the right… 😉  Real life here at building house|making home as always, folks!

And yes, that would still be tape on the wall from when I stained the railing over a month ago–again real life… 😉  I still have some touching up to do on the wall and trim above the landing as my husband had to lower the entire landing in order to install the hardwood–yikes–I’m sure glad I wasn’t around when he realized that little hiccup!  I plan to install a runner on the stairs similar to this:

Crossing my fingers I can find an economical runner that looks similar.  As you can see our basement stairway leads to…. the basement (um, duh.  Not sure why I needed to tell you that…) which is unfinished at the moment.  My hubs is very talented in the areas of basement finishing and saving money on house builds 😉 so we decided to take that project on ourselves instead of having the basement finished during the build.

Finishing the basement after you have lived in the house for a bit has the added benefit of knowing how you use the spaces in your new home and what you are lacking as far as areas for specific activities and extra children to sleep and what have you.  We plan to have two bedrooms for our two oldest sons, a family room, workout area and a bathroom in the basement along with keeping some areas unfinished for storage and a furnace room.  Here is where we are at in that process:

We decided to start with a bedroom for our senior in high school so he can have a room to himself before he graduates… cutting that one close as he’s done in June ;-).

I wanted to bring the cottage feel down to the basement by planking his ceiling and painting it white.  He has a really nice-sized window in his room and it really doesn’t seem like it is in the basement at all.  The photo doesn’t show that well, sorry!  There is a little “shelf” on two walls of his room that we will finish off with a stained plank of wood to match the flooring we plan to install.  That will be a nice little detail in the room and a spot to display trophies and memorabilia… and his high school diploma… ;-).  I am waiting until my husband is done taping the drywall (a few more days of that) and then it’s time to paint!  Ceiling = white and walls = most likely Light French Gray by Sherwin Williams and the floors a lighter laminate wood.  The look will be similar to this:

I have one more project reveal from the weekend involving more, you guessed it, BLACK PAINT!  Once I open a can of paint, nothing is safe ;-).  Stay tuned for the reveal later this week!

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Have a great week and I hope you come again real soon!


What I Learned in Waco

Hey friends!  Can you believe it is Friday already?!?  I know I promised to post some more pictures of my recent trip to Waco, TX earlier but this week has flown by!  Like seriously, I think I lost a day or so somewhere…  😉  Anyway, I’m back with more pictures of Waco and the Silos and other good stuff.  I wanted to pass along some tips if you are contemplating a trip to Waco soon since I learned a few things last weekend.


Our group of five arrived at Magnolia HQ on a Friday morning around 11AM.  We had to drive in from Dallas where we had landed late the night before or we would have opened up the place at 9AM. 😉  I was pleasantly surprised that we didn’t have to wait in line to enter the store (however there was a long lineup for cupcakes at the Silos Baking Co.).   Saying that, the store was PACKED!  There were long lineups at both checkouts and here is a visual:

There is an initial show floor when you enter with a guest book to sign immediately to your right (don’t forget!) and a check out area on the left.

To the right of the guest book table is this view towards a “kitchen” display area:

I think I have found a kitchen vent hood cover solution!

That’s right, honey… you thought you were done in the kitchen when I had you lower those shelves, didn’t you?  😉

And then various gardening and housewares displays and vignettes:

I ended up purchasing one of those sweet little creamers on the bottom shelf of the tiered stand on the left.


Then if you head straight back, there is another show floor on the lower level.

Photo credit for the above and a few others: my Mom (Thanks, mom!)

with another super cute checkout counter (showing the no line situation on Monday morning).

You can then head outside to play games on the astro turf,

grab some food from the food trucks and sit at the lovely covered tables to enjoy

or head over to the precious little seed supply shop for even more home and garden goodies:

We used our Friday mid-day visit as a sort of scouting session to see what was for sale at Magnolia Market so that when we went shopping at the other places in Waco (on Saturday) we knew what was available only at Magnolia and what you could purchase elsewhere (without standing in line…).

We went on a Waco Tour on Friday afternoon to get the lay of the land–it helped us map out our Plan of Attack for Saturday and Monday ;-).


Saturday morning we were up bright and early to head to the Silos and arrived around 8:30AM.

We stood in line for cupcakes from the Silos Baking Co. for about 30 or 45 minutes (estimate) but they do have a good system where they have employees handing out order cards as you stand in line so that when you come up to the counter your order is ready to submit and everything goes quick.  I guess we could have showed up for 7:30 AM when the bakery opens but, hello, we were on vacation!

I had a lemon lavender cupcake.  Yum!

It was a nice, sunny day on Saturday so we sat out on the patio enjoying our cupcakes and coffees.

It was CRAZY TOWN in the Market and on the grounds on Saturday so after our “breakfast” we decided to hit the other antique and home goods shops in Waco.

The Findery was my favourite!

They were even handing out free glasses of wine for National Drink Wine Day–did you even know that was a thing?!?  Me neither!

We walked through quite a few other antique and home goods shops in Waco and they were definitely worth the visits

but they all started to blend together after a while….

We hit a popular local eatery, Health Camp, for a not-so-healthy lunch break ;-).

I don’t think I have ever had a BLT with so much bacon on it…

Definitely need to hit the treadmill a few extra times this weekend!  Cupcakes and BLT’s and onion rings, oh my! 😉

On Sunday we worshiped at Austin New Church, ate lunch at True Food Kitchen and then hit South Congress Avenue with some of my sister’s high school friends.   I’ll post more on the sites we saw in Austin and Dallas later.

Monday morning we were back at Magnolia Silos nice and early and stood in line so we could be one of the first to enter the shop at 9AM.

Y’all, even the washrooms are cute!

This strategy definitely paid off as there was no line when I was ready to pay for my choices (#shiplap t-shirt, kitchen timer and creamer) .

I got a black one…  ♥

Look, no lines!!!

We headed back to Dallas later on Monday in order to view the Arboretum and catch our evening flight back home.

Planning a visit to Waco soon?  Here are a few things I think you should consider for the best trip outcome:

  1. CUPCAKES:  Be at the Silos Baking Co. by 7:30AM if you want cupcakes.
  2. DON’T GO SATURDAY:  If you can, plan your shopping at Magnolia Market for a day other than Saturday and show up early (I suggest 8:30AM as they open at 9AM).  You can walk around the grounds while you are waiting for the store to open.  It is not open on Sunday FYI.
  3. SCOUT FIRST:  Scout the items at the Magnolia Market before you head out to the other stores in Waco–lots of stuff is the same.  Then you can revisit Magnolia knowing exactly what you want to purchase and avoid lines (I only bought things at Magnolia that had “Magnolia” on them or that I couldn’t find elsewhere).
  4. TAKE PICTURES:  Take lots of photos at the Silos as there is so much to see it gets overwhelming.  I took so many pictures of things I want to incorporate into my own home or decor projects my husband can do I can do myself instead of buying them ready-made. 😉
  5. BOOK A WACO TOUR:  Book a tour with Waco Tours at the beginning of your visit.  It helps to plan the rest of your stay.
  6. PACK LIGHT:  Finally, bring an extra suitcase leave some extra room in your suitcase when packing so you have room for your purchases ;-).  See this post where I planned a capsule wardrobe for the weekend so that I could leave as much space as possible in my suitcase to take my purchases back home.

Hope you found these tips helpful and I really hope you can plan a trip to Waco soon if you are a Fixer Upper fan like me.  It was fun and super inspiring to see everything in person–even if I didn’t get to meet Chip & Joanna!  😉

Have a great weekend and I hope you come again real soon!



Still Spinning from the Silos!

Welp, I’m back.  My head is literally spinning from all of the visual goodness and inspiration in Waco this past weekend.  Or the spinning could be due to the fact that I am running on about 4 hours sleep (max) today.  Coffee tasted especially good at my desk this morning ;-).  On to a few teaser photos as you don’t really care how tired I am today, do you?


You guys…… it was CRAZY TOWN there!  We went for the first visit (we went three times over the course of the weekend) on Friday morning around 11AM.   It was quite crowded in the store, at the food trucks, in the seed shop and of course, the bakery.


There wasn’t a line to enter the silos (because ALL THE PEOPLE were in the store) but there was a long line up at the Silos Baking Co.  I’ll bet those people waited over two hours for their cupcakes…  Not judging–we went to the Silos three times in in four days…  Just saying…



We heard later that weekend that Friday was the very first time they had ever sold out of cupcakes!  We waited until Saturday morning (second visit) to grab some goodies from the bakery–I had the Lemon Lavender cupcake–it definitely did not disappoint.



White pitchers on display – Erin, this one’s for you ;-).



We decided to scope out items to purchase and then come back on Monday morning (third visit) when the lines were smaller to actually buy ;-).



Our smart thinking strategy totally paid off – I was the only customer at the counter on Monday morning and the shop had been open for 20 minutes already.  However, there were a few items that sold out on Friday or Saturday and one of my friends wasn’t able to purchase what she had her heart set on.  Silos Lesson #1:  If you love it, buy it on the first visit ;-).



The outdoor area was a fun mix of games, food, gardens and rustic industrial inspiration.



Future chicken coop inspiration:



Really…. even the seed store floor is to die for…



So many new ideas and project inspiration!  I get tired just thinking about all of the potential projects–ok, maybe that’s just the lack of sleep ;-).  But Waco was worth every bit of lost sleep and gained pounds.  More photos tomorrow, folks!  Thanks for clicking in the top right sidebar to subscribe to my blog!







What to Wear – Waco Edition

I am getting so excited for my Women Gone Wild Weekend impending trip to Waco, TX!  As I pack my suitcase, I am striving to keep the clothing items to a minimum so as to save as much room as possible for my Magnolia Market purchases ;-).  We plan to be there three nights and four days so I plan to pack a few basic pieces to mix and match as needed for whatever events/outings may come my way.  Having a good plan is key in situations such as this where I could potentially get out of control.  I am prone to overpack on occasion–a girl needs to have options, right?  The weather this weekend looks to be partly cloudy and in the mid-seventies.
Based on the forecast and the places we plan to go, here is what I plan to pack:
Untitled #2

My 21″ x 13″ x 8″ suitcase will contain:

TOPS: 1 denim button-up top, 1 striped t-shirt, 1 gray long-sleeved top, 1 black cable-knit sweater, 1 teal/navy print tunic (not pictured)

BOTTOMS:  1 pair black skinny pants, 1 pair navy crop leggings, 1 pair skinny jeans

SHOES:  1 pair brown leather boots, 1 pair black or navy converse, 1 pair black suede booties

OUTERWEAR:  1 light tan leather jacket (I can layer the black sweater over or under something if I need to)

ACCESSORIES:  tan or black purse, teal statement necklace, gold locket necklace, gold hoop earrings, silver circle drop earrings, black & tan belts

EXTRAS:  undies, pjs and swim suit

Here’s hoping I can keep it to these items and not throw in any extras at the last minute “just in case”… not that I’ve ever done that before or anything ;-).

Can’t wait to post all about my trip when I get back!  Waco, here I come!

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Monday Miscellany & you had me at “Waco”

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend!  I had so much packed onto my “To Do” list for the weekend–and basically not much of it got done.  Darn, I had such good intentions:

  1. staining the stairs to the basement
  2. organizing the deep freezer
  3. filling the bird feeder

4.  packing my suitcase for this weekend (more on that later)

5.  and other good wife & mom stuff.

Despite the many items that didn’t get done, I did manage to make cinnamon rolls,

make Valentine’s with my youngest,

clean, cook, chauffeur, cheer my hockey player on and entertain friends

–all of this while dual-parenting (my better half was out of town for the weekend).

Not a total weekend fail, I guess.

Hey, let’s go back to the packing my suitcase hint and talk about THIS weekend.  I’m leaving this Thursday for a WILD GIRLS’ WEEKEND IN WACO!  Yep, I know you are jealous.  I get a few extra days off this weekend due to the Family Day holiday here in Ontario.  By the way, Canadians are THE BEST at inventing holidays so we can work less and party more–I love that about Canadians ;-)!  Anyway, I have been using this random February long weekend for the past few years to do something fun with the ladies in my life and this year my mom thought it would be fun to go visit Chip & Joanna.  She had me at “Waco”…  😉

Magnolia Market – Silos in Waco, Texas

We are signed up for a tour with Waco Tours and David who was featured in season #3 – remember that hunky bachelor?  Yep, NOW I KNOW you are jealous!  I told mom she can ride shotgun ;-).  I’m not 100% sure we will actually get shown around Waco by David himself but here’s hopin’!  We will fly into Dallas on Thursday evening, stay in Waco for a few days, go to church and visit my sister’s friends in Austin for a day and then return to Dallas for sight-seeing and fly out late Monday night.  Stay tuned for all the details about our Wild Waco Weekend when I return next Tuesday.

So you know that lots of productivity experts say if you really want to get into Super Productive Mode you need to pretend like you are going out of town in a few days and list all the items you would like to get done before you go?  Well, I don’t need to “pretend”, people!  Hoping I can at least get the bird feeder filled, freezer organized and a few stairs stained before I pack my suitcase.  #notrealistic #couldhappen #whocaresillbeinwaco  😉

Happy Monday!

♥ Tina



What are you reading?

Hi, my name is Tina and I’m a bookworm.  I have books on my nightstand, books by my bathtub, books in our office, books in the kitchen, books in… well, you get the point.  I actually received a trophy in grade school for reading an insane amount of books.  For reals.  #nerdalert  Also, I am the facilitator for a book club.  I know what you are thinking….  “Book club……, riiiiiight….”  But I want you to know this is a real, monthly, we-actually-discuss-the-book-using-the-provided-discussion-questions book club.  Not that there is anything wrong with the chatty,-get-together-and-drink-wine book clubs out there.  Just wanted to clarify.  😉


So this month my book club is reading “The Mistress of Nothing” by Kate Pullinger.  I’m halfway through.  I love it.  Kate’s description of Egypt is wonderful and delicious and dangerous and stifling all at the same time.  I SO want to go to Egypt now.  That’s why I love reading books, in fact.  For those of us whose income or life situations don’t allow for frequent international travel, books provide a way to travel anywhere you want to go in the world sans passport or airline ticket ;-).   So I’m currently floating along on the Nile River heading to yet another Pharaoh’s tomb right now FOR FREE.  I’ll let you know how this one turns out in the end…. on second thought, I won’t let you know.  You need to go and find this book and read it for yourself – CLICK HERE!

Another book I am enjoying at the moment (even though I am on my second read-through) is:

Do you struggle with exactly how many candlesticks to display on your mantel?  Are you confused as to why you just organized your Tupperware drawer and only two days later it is again a disaster zone?  Melissa gets it.  She writes in such a humble and lovely manner and speaks to my desire to make our home streamlined, yet comfortable, efficient, yet cozy.

Amen.   CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE.  So, this brings us back to my affinity for self-help books that I spoke about in this previous post.  I don’t know why, but I always have at least two books on the go and one of them is ALWAYS a self-help sort of book.  I think the reason is that these types of books are easier to come back to after a few weeks days as opposed to a work of fiction where I may forget a few details and need to go back to re-read to get back into the story.  I don’t know.  I’m weird, I know.  Anyway, I think that from now on whenever I do a “What are you reading?” post, I’ll talk about a work of fiction as well as a work of non-fiction.  That sounds completely fair and just to my all-types-of-books-are-good self.  Equal time for both types of books.  Is there a trophy for that? #wavingthenerdflag #bookwormsunite

Leave a note in the comments right now – I want to know what YOU are reading and if you would recommend it!

Thanks for stopping by and come again real soon!  PLEASE subscribe to my blog by visiting the top of my sidebar menu!  I want to know if there are other nerds out there be friends with you!


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