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The Dollhouse Floor Plan

The dollhouse is starting to take shape! Figuratively speaking. The actual dollhouse is still very much in its flat-pack form. I’ve been waiting to assemble it because the instructions recommend painting and wallpapering first. So that’s what I need to concentrate on now: choosing paint colors, determining the layout, and deciding which wallpapers to use where. Here’s the plan so far:

I’ve shown the pink/lavender bathroom fixtures to you before, and the dollhouse wallpaper and stair runner choices too. As for the layout, there’s an eat-in kitchen on the first floor, along with a large living room. The second floor will house the bedroom (with a bed like this, perhaps?), bathroom, and nursery. Two kids are sharing a bedroom on the third floor (inspiration photo here), but I’m not sure what to do with the other room up there. I thought about leaving it as an unfinished attic, complete with boxes and miscellaneous stuff strewn about, because come on. That’s funny. Right now I’m leaning toward making it into an office space, or maybe a craft room. Any ideas?

A Lovely Life List

This isn’t a bucket list. These aren’t things I need to cross off before I die. Will I ever accomplish everything here? Probably not, but that’s not the goal. This list exists simply as a collection of things I would like to do in my lifetime. If writing them down helps me focus, and in turn helps me achieve some of them, the list has served its purpose.

A life list should never make you feel guilty for not accomplishing something! It should serve as a compass, opening you up to experiences that you may have discounted otherwise. I started this list in 2010, inspired by Maggie. My hope is that by sharing this publicly, I will hold myself accountable and achieve more than I would otherwise. I tend to do well with public lists.

I come back and edit this post as I cross things off, and I fully expect this list to change as time goes on.



Just Plain Fun

  • Make a dollhouse for Eleanor
  • Finish a paint-by-numbers painting
  • Wear a ridiculous hat to an event
  • Dress up with friends for a showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show
  • Experience weightlessness
  • Beat the classic Super Mario Bros. game
  • Learn how to solve a Rubik’s cube
  • Wear a sequined dress to a party
  • Have the Thriller dance in my repertoire




  • Only wear lovely undergarments
  • Ruthlessly edit my closet down to only my favorite things
  • Find my perfect shade of lipstick
  • Sew a dress for myself that I would actually wear
  • Wear perfume regularly again


Professional / Career

  • Publish a book
  • Be a keynote speaker
  • Have a monthly column in a magazine
  • Start a charitable creative movement (like a chain letter but more fulfilling)
  • Do/create something worthy of being nominated as a MacArthur Fellow
  • Meet Martha Stewart
  • Meet Jonathan Adler
  • Redesign Making it Lovely
  • Sell my designs through a nationwide store
  • Art direct a photo shoot
  • Name paint colors
  • Design wallpaper
  • Judge a design competition
  • Create a proper portfolio for myself
  • Decorate someone else’s home from top to bottom
  • Make enough money to support my family
  • Make an appearance in five forms of media (book, magazine, television, radio, internet)
  • Have my home featured in a Domino-like magazine or book


  • Take a photo every day for a year
  • Start a family tradition
  • Choose a good cookbook and cook every recipe in it
  • Give only handmade gifts for a year

DIY Chalkboard Holiday Favors

I was asked to contribute to her Holiday Guide by Emily Henderson, so I came up with this DIY chalkboard holiday favor. They look cute at each place setting, and you could use them as place cards too.

After dinner, your guests could write their New Year’s Resolutions on them. Then you, as party host, can impose your iron will upon everyone to make them pose with their chalkboards as photo props. Pose, unsuspecting party guests, POSE!

I think party favors can be a little silly sometimes. What do you do with them after the party? That’s why the holiday doodad is removable — so the favor can be hung as a simple chalkboard the rest of the year.

It’s a simple craft that doesn’t cost much, and doesn’t take much time (other than waiting for paint to dry). Want to give it a try? See page 228 in The Holiday Guide by Emily Henderson for a list of materials needed and the full instructions.

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