Archive - My Life RSS Feed

Thirteen, Fourteen, and Fifteen Months Old (Calvin’s Monthly Photos)

Calvin is walking, hooray! His vocabulary is growing, his teeth are numerous (he went from six to twelve, maybe more, all in the last couple of months), and he has had his first haircut. We also have a change of outfit for these photos. Bodysuits are for babies, and we have a toddler!

Calvin's Monthly Photos, to Fifteen Months

Here are Calvin’s latest monthly baby pictures! And do take a look at the little Christmas tree my kids elegantly decorated.
Continue Reading…

Hello, 2016

2015 felt a little flip-floppitty. Right? All ideas and not enough follow through. Enough of that, I say.


Nicole and Calvin Balch

I get super excited at the start of a project. So many possibilities! So many directions this thing can go in! But then, ugh. If I do this, I can’t do that. And I certainly can’t do that if I do the other. Too many possibilities. Too many directions this thing can go in.


I’m entertaining this novel idea. It’s called “start a room, finish a room.” I know! Here’s the thing. Every single room in this house is going to be in need of at least some minor repair by the time our house has been completely rewired. But once that’s done! The house is all ours again to do whatever we want with! (I am maybe just the teensiest bit excited about the prospect. Can you tell?) Of course, we’ll have spent all of our dollars on colorful tubes of metal and plastic that hide in our walls by then, but hey.


All right. That’s the deal. And look at that, I have one of those fancy one-word-mantras for the year.

Happy new year! Hello, 2016. You’re gonna be a good one.

A Look Back at 2015

2015: Year. Of. Many. Rugs. (Kidding! Sort of.)

Living Room with Blue Loloi RugMoroccan Pink and White Beni Ourain Rug

It was also the year my sister got married, I taught at Columbia college, and I did a few TV spots for WGN and WCIU (Chicago stations). I also worked with two publications — first, when I styled the coffee table three different ways for Make it Better Magazine, and then when the house was featured in the Christmas issue of HGTV Magazine.

Making it Lovely's Home Featured in the Christmas issue of HGTV MagazineMaking-it-Lovely-Make-it-Better-Magazine

Around the house, we’ve been in maintenance and repair mode. Rewiring is underway now. The carpeting in the bedroom closet was removed and replaced with solid oak, and I haven’t written a post about it yet but the hallway flooring was just finished this week too. Outside, we dealt with a few issues: removing wood rot from the railing, addressing the peeling paint near the furnace vent, and having a few window sills and plinths replaced. I also wrote about our attempts at pruning, and growing grass in the shade of our “beautiful mature ash tree.” I loved that tree. Sadly, the village removed it last month because of emerald ash borer.

Repairing Subfloor and Replacing Wood FlooringMature Ash Tree, Lost to Emerald Ash Borer

We finished Calvin’s nursery earlier this year when he was just a couple of months old. It took a while because we had to knock down walls and reconfigure the hallway to turn the second floor’s former kitchen into a bedroom. Doors were moved, plumbing was taken out, walls were added, wallpaper was stripped, walls were painted. Big changes! I also continued my monthly photo project with Calvin, but instead of sharing them here every month I switched to quarterly updates. Of course the most fun ones are when there’s a full year to look back at.

Calvin's NurseryCalvin's Monthly Baby Pictures Series

We got a new bed, a new-to-us table, and swapped out the lighting in the double parlor. Plus there were all of those aforementioned rugs (not all of which were mine to keep). Two steps forward, two steps back. But mostly forward! Hey, sometimes done is better than perfect. (I need to remind myself of this often.)

Vintage Red Console TableDouble Parlor Pendant Lights

I had fun adding drawing and painting into my posts, putting together some tips on designing with tile, and continuing to add to my Making it Yours series. I still love all of these clothes from a few months ago when all the fall collections came out (I wore that tie back trapeze dress yesterday and felt cute), but 2015 is also the year I accidentally dressed like Velma. Jinkies!

Sketching DesignsAccidental Velma

And with that, I’m signing off until the new year. Brandon is taking Eleanor and August to see Star Wars today, we’ll be preparing to host family for Christmas, and then the plan is to enjoy a little time off. Just the five of us, plus a rotating crew of electricians. (I’m just glad the work is moving along.)

Thank you for being here, and happy holidays, everyone! Can’t wait to see you again in January!

Page 1 of 16112345»...Last »