We couldn’t be more excited to share with you our newest addition, which we lovingly call our Tree House! If you follow us on Instagram, many of you know (and saw the tiniest of sneak peeks!) that we recently became the giddy, proud owners of an adorable home in Lakeside, Michigan.

It’s been 11 years since we’ve moved to Chicago (can you believe this was almost one year ago?), and during that time, we’ve spent a handful of weeks with friends and family along Michigan’s inland lakes or the shores of the pretty Lake itself. It’s incredible how just an hour or two in the car can make you feel a million miles away from the city bustle, and we’ve always said to one another, wouldn’t it be amazing to own our own tiny slice, too? After our getaway to Sawyer this past spring, the urge only intensified, and before we could stop ourselves, we began working with a Harbor Country realtor, recommended to us by a kind reader (hi, Jen!). Along the way, we put in an offer on a home we ached for, lost it to a cash bid and did our best to convince ourselves that it wasn’t meant to be.

Several weeks later, our realtor encouraged us to check out what would – spoiler! – eventually be our lake house. Truthfully, we almost didn’t give it a chance. We had seen it pop up in recent listings, but more than once, we skipped over it simply because of the shabby vinyl siding and overgrown lawn. There was a big red flag  (no central HVAC system) and smaller ones as well (only one bathroom). But! It was a half mile walk to Lake Michigan, a handful of miles from the dunes and a quick bike ride to shops and eats. Despite the less than stellar exterior, the inside was bursting with cuteness. Everywhere you looked, it was cute ceilings, cute doors, cute floors! The heavily wooded lot lended more privacy than most homes we had seen, and it’s also where her nickname came from: Tree House.

Initially, we told our realtor that we would drive up to see it in person, if only to officially eliminate it from the running. But as the story goes, once we were inside, we didn’t want to leave. What we thought would be a quick pop in turned into an hour long walkthrough, in which we asked countless questions, FaceTimed our parents and snapped photos on our phones. Since losing out on the house we thought was The One, this girl was the First One we’d seen that made our hearts beat wildly, our palms sweaty and our speech come out a little too quickly. The entire drive home, we talked over each other, already making plans for the bathroom and kitchen. That same day, we put in our offer, and several days later (and after quite a bit of negotiating), we were under contract!

Our Tree House is an hour and a half drive from Chicago, and it’s located on a quiet street with friendly neighbors. It’s estimated to have been built in the 1920s or 30s with a footprint much smaller than we thought we wanted; coming in at just over 800 square feet, it has two bedrooms, one bath and the sweetest sleeping loft. We’re convinced that it was on the market for as long as it was for the same reasons that we almost passed it by – no furnace, overall size and (very, very) sad exterior. That said, it was well under our target budget, and the location couldn’t be beat! It was also the only house we had looked at where much of the interior charm remained. The majority of the original doors and windows are still in place, including glass knob and old brass hardware, lived-in flooring and a tall, exposed loft ceiling in the main living space. There’s quite a bit of fixing up in its future (which might be an understatement), but we can’t stop literally(!) dreaming about the possibilities.

Alright, enough already, let’s go inside! KEEP READING >

  • Stacy G. - September 19, 2017 - 6:17 AM

    Oh yes! What a cute house. I can see why you chose it. It is a treasure wrapped in vinyl siding. :)ReplyCancel

  • Jen - September 19, 2017 - 7:02 AM

    Yay! So excited to have you as neighbors :)ReplyCancel

  • Julia | Chris Loves Julia - September 19, 2017 - 8:27 AM

    It’s perfect. You found her! Even though we’re still on a frustrating hunt ourselves, this makes me so excited for the possibilities. And for you!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 19, 2017 - 9:21 AM

      Yours is coming. I can feel it. xxReplyCancel

  • katie - September 19, 2017 - 8:49 AM

    Sooo cute! It looks larger in the photos, maybe it’s the loft? Big enough for a cozy weekends with friends or family, but small enough that it’s manageable – sounds perfect to me!

    We’ve been half looking ourselves, also in the Michigan area. We are in Columbus though so more of a drive for us. I’m jealous that it’s under 2 hours for you – I think we’re looking at 5-6! My husband’s family had a lake house when he was growing up, so we would like to have something similar for our own kids. Many things would need to work out for us, but still, fun to dream.

    Can’t wait to see what you do with it :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 19, 2017 - 9:05 AM

      How exciting, Katie! Always fun to dream.

      The loft isn’t included in the square footage, and that extra sleeping space and all around adorableness definitely helped in a huge way!ReplyCancel

  • Jordy Sirkin - September 19, 2017 - 9:13 AM

    This is adorable! I cannot wait to see what you two do with it.ReplyCancel

  • Ashley - The Gold HIve - September 19, 2017 - 9:14 AM

    This is so thrilling. I have dreams of owning a cabin in the woods, but until then, I’ll live vicariously through you. There’s so much potential here and I can’t wait to see what you do with it. Is there a nearby lake you can hit golf balls into from your front yard – a la your La Jolla retirement goals?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 19, 2017 - 9:17 AM

      HAHA! the beaches of Lake Michigan are 1/2 mile away. Do you think we could make it that far?! (La Jolla, you’re next! In… 30 years.)ReplyCancel

  • Kathleen - September 19, 2017 - 9:16 AM

    That area of Michigan is my favorite place in the world (my parents have a place in New Buffalo that I go to any chance I get). There is so much to do but also just a great place for relaxing and enjoying nature. I love it during all times of the year and I’m sure you will too! Looking forward to watching your renovation!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 19, 2017 - 9:58 AM

      We love hearing this! After sharing a mini tour on our InstaStories, we received so much feedback from others that have a special place in their heart for this part of Michigan. We are over the moon.ReplyCancel

  • Cait - September 19, 2017 - 9:27 AM

    This is so exciting! I can definitely see why you chose it! Looking forward to following along with the transformation :)ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - September 19, 2017 - 9:48 AM

    Wow! So much potential. It’s going to be amazing. :D I’m looking forward to watching this project progress!

    Just curious if you’ll get the kitchen floor tested for asbestos?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 19, 2017 - 9:53 AM

      Good question! We think that the 80s/90s vinyl is laid on top of the original flooring, which might be hardwood, in which case, we should be safe. However, it’s a great point to bring up that we could get a professional opinion on.ReplyCancel

  • gigi - September 19, 2017 - 9:49 AM

    How exciting and fortunate. A great spot for a family.ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - September 19, 2017 - 9:50 AM

    OMG I’m in love. The inside vs. outside of this place is truly magical! I grew up going to a cabin my grandpa built in western Wisconsin that had a sleeping loft, so this brings back SO many wonderful memories. How exciting for you guys!!!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 19, 2017 - 9:55 AM

      Right?! The outside is so unassuming, and then walking in, we were like, whoooaa. And I love that memory, how special!ReplyCancel

  • Daria - September 19, 2017 - 10:36 AM

    This is SO exciting!! Congrats!ReplyCancel

  • Eric - September 19, 2017 - 11:34 AM

    Congratulations! Mazel tov! It always amazes me when people find a new house. What they think they like never turns out to be the one, and it’s always for the best. I can’t wait to see what you do with the place and what you decide to tackle first!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 19, 2017 - 12:43 PM

      Thanks! And right?? On our wish list was at least 3 beds and 2 baths with a bonus space, and what we got was 2 beds and 1 bath – but we DID get that bonus space! Plus, it’s even closer to the beaches along the lake than a lot of the homes we were looking at. We are still pinching ourselves.ReplyCancel

  • Jodi - September 19, 2017 - 11:34 AM

    SO CUTE! And those beds??!! Adorable. I love the Sawyer area. I spent a lot of my teen years at Warren Dunes. :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 19, 2017 - 12:44 PM

      Those dunes are the dreamiest! We’re only a few miles down the road. :DReplyCancel

  • Paige Flamm - September 19, 2017 - 2:05 PM

    So excited for you guys! This house is so cute and I can’t wait to see how you make it your own!


  • Andrew Angell - September 19, 2017 - 2:21 PM

    Love that you have a Lakeside cottage. We too have a Lakeside cottage. Our was built in 1883 and is located in Lakeside, OH. Welcome to the cottage owning family!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa Hayward - September 19, 2017 - 2:43 PM

    I’m so excited for you all!! and I can’t wait to see what you guys do with this place!ReplyCancel


sofa | gray pillow (similar) | Xbase pillow | velvet pillow | throw | sconce | table | mini planter At the start of summer, we sold our DIY dino prints for a song, making back just enough to cover our supplies. (Can you believe we made those three years ago? Our living room has…
  • Ashley- At Home with Ashley - September 14, 2017 - 8:41 AM

    Awww- I loved the dinosaurs, I think I started reading around the time you did those. But I totally get moving on and updating and simplifying. I am so impressed with your frame building skills!ReplyCancel

  • Debra - September 14, 2017 - 9:21 AM

    I absolutely love this one-it’s so zen and tranquil. I would totally just sit in the doorway and stare at it. :-)ReplyCancel

  • Brittany W - September 14, 2017 - 9:23 AM

    Thanks for sharing! Your new print looks great. How/Where do you sell your home goods? I’m not a huge fan of Craigslist, so I would love to know if there’s an alternative. Thank you!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 14, 2017 - 9:28 AM

      We just use Craigslist! Good photos go a long way, and pricing items to sell does, too. If someone needs to pick it up at our home, we always make sure that we’re both here together, and we’ll usually carry the item to our entryway (or the front porch), so they don’t need to go through our whole home.ReplyCancel

      • Kim - September 14, 2017 - 9:28 AM

        I should also say, we’ve had some success with Krrb as well, but it’s more of a concentrated audience. We’ll list there if we’re looking to get top dollar.ReplyCancel

  • Katrina - September 14, 2017 - 11:04 AM

    Thank you for this! I have a wall itching for one big print and I was dreading having to fork over a billion dollars for a huge piece of art. This feels like a much more cost effective way to get the look I want!ReplyCancel

  • erica barraca - September 14, 2017 - 3:02 PM

    damn! i came here with the hopes the dinos would be for sale, but alas someone beat me to it!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 14, 2017 - 3:10 PM

      Doh! I feel like we’ve let you down a lot this week, Erica!ReplyCancel

  • AmandaKB - September 14, 2017 - 3:53 PM

    Awe, I loved those dinosaur prints! I totally understand wanting a change, though. It’s sweet you chose a picture that is meaningful to you :) It’s such a calming photo. Thanks so much for the fantastic tutorial!!!ReplyCancel

  • Laura - September 14, 2017 - 8:55 PM

    Just a tip for those that are WAY less diy handy, art.com has a service called “photos to art” and basically you can upload any image ( I didn’t use a photo I used an image I downloaded from the Getty’s open content site) and get it framed (even with a mat if you want). The best part is that you can select massive sizes.. up to 56″x42″. It looks expensive online but they have crazy 45% off sales on every random holiday with free shipping PLUS coupon codes. I recently got a 33″x48″ framed print for under $100. The print quality is amazing and the frame is sturdy. It literally shows up at your house in a massive box ready to hang. Granted, you don’t get to tell your friends you MADE a frame ha!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 18, 2017 - 10:22 AM

      Ohh, great tip, thank you, Laura!ReplyCancel

  • Paige Flamm - September 15, 2017 - 8:36 PM

    We did DIY frames for a project on our site last year and I was shocked by how easy it was! Such a great money saving option since frames can be so pricey!


  • Gaby - September 18, 2017 - 10:30 AM

    Equivalent of framed wallpaper IMO. Team dino! Great frame tutorial though!!ReplyCancel

  • Ashley - The Gold HIve - September 19, 2017 - 9:16 AM

    This looks so great! I can’t remember if this is the print I voted for. All I remember is I was on team Scott.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 19, 2017 - 9:18 AM

      If you were on team Scott, this was NOT the one you voted for, haha!ReplyCancel


The Holiday Annoucement Update: WOW. We sold out (and then some) within 30 minutes of this post going live. Thank you for being the most supportive, amazing readers a girl could ever ask for. Please excuse me while I let this all sink in. For this time of year, we’ve had an unusual rush of…
  • Kate - September 12, 2017 - 8:31 AM

    Kim! I first got to know you through this lovely blog of yours but I got to know you better through The Pet Shop. You painted three (3!!!) of my dog, Wilson (nobody can ever accuse me of not being utterly ridiculous about my dog). I love them to tiny bits and you were the absolute sweetest and kindest person to work with. Literally the first thing I did when I read this post was go click on the shop to see if maaaaaaybe I should get a fourth. Sadly, I missed out but my sincere congrats to the lucky peeps who got one because these paintings are such a treasure. If life and time brings you back to The Pet Shop, we’ll be here waiting. Otherwise, I’ll still be reading along to see more nursery updates, bookmark paint colors, and remind myself that I’m not handy in the slightest!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 12, 2017 - 9:02 AM

      KATE! This is so, so sweet of you to say, and I’m honored to have painted Wilson’s many sides. (I think my favorite miiiight be the bunny ears!) Thank you for sharing your experience, because it’s one I won’t forget either.ReplyCancel

      • Kate - September 12, 2017 - 9:42 AM

        I mean – I love them all but pretty much everyone who sees them stops and sighs over the bunny ears. It’s my niece’s favorite in particular! No joke – that painting has inspired her to go AS Wilson w/bunny ears for Halloween (we’ll see if her 4 year old brain remembers that by October).ReplyCancel

  • Leah - September 12, 2017 - 8:37 AM

    I purchased a pet portrait for my mom a few years ago of our beloved little wiener dog Ringo. She adores it and it has a prominent spot on the mantle at home :) I’ve always wanted one of our pup Luna, and sadly just missed out, as they sold out while I was entering my payment info 😭 Thanks so much for your amazing art, it meant a lot to us after Ringo passed! So excited for all of the excitement and changes coming to your life, I can’t wait to keep reading about your sweet family!ReplyCancel

  • Debra - September 12, 2017 - 8:53 AM

    I’ve enjoyed my gorgeous Pet Shop painting of Ray and photobomb Julius for well over a year now. I’ve had it on my dining room buffet and gaze at it during every meal. About a week ago I moved it to the bedroom dresser where I can look at it even more often. I’d have to say it is definitely a prized possession and I feel fortunate to have gotten it. Best of luck in the next endeavor.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 12, 2017 - 9:29 AM

      I had so much fun with that photobomb! Thank you for the kind words, Debra.ReplyCancel

  • Jaclyn - September 12, 2017 - 8:53 AM

    Darn! Wish I would have seen this post sooner, I’ve been wanting to commission one of these for our dogs! Oh well, maybe when and if you start painting them again :)ReplyCancel

  • Stacy G. - September 12, 2017 - 9:02 AM

    That last photo, though. sniff sniff. Goodbyes are hard. Doors open. Doors close. This is such an exciting time in your lives. Enjoy it!ReplyCancel

  • Hannah - September 12, 2017 - 9:14 AM

    Darn! Waited too long to order one of horse #3!ReplyCancel

  • Megan - September 12, 2017 - 9:15 AM

    I wish I would have seen this earlier. I was waiting until my next paycheck to purchase one. My golden had surgery a couple weeks ago which prompted the strong desire to get a good portrait.

    Hopefully I will be more on the ball in the future.

    Congrats on your baby girl!ReplyCancel

  • Natalie - September 12, 2017 - 9:49 AM

    I will always treasure your painting of our pup, Olive! It’s so special to us, and I know it will be forever. Thank you for all that you’ve done for people like me and for the animal world.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 12, 2017 - 10:45 AM

      You guys are making me teary again.ReplyCancel

  • Nicolette - September 12, 2017 - 9:52 AM

    Gah! I am so sad! I have been hinting at my boyfriend to get me a portrait of my pup for ChristmasReplyCancel

  • Nina - September 12, 2017 - 10:10 AM

    I’ll never forget my escalating happiness at seeing the box arrive from your studio to the moment I saw Zelda’s amazing portrait inside. I loved working with you on that then and now for Cooper’s portrait (I’m so glad I requested his a few weeks ago). I’ve loved seeing your pet shop reveals over the years. You’ve made a lot of pet parents happy and helped rescues too. That’s a lot to be proud of. Bravo!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 12, 2017 - 10:44 AM

      Zelda! Such a sweet pea! Looking forward to adding Cooper’s portrait to your collection.ReplyCancel

  • Deena - September 12, 2017 - 10:21 AM

    I will cherish my portrait of Vegas FOREVER. Thank you so much for that.ReplyCancel

  • Bernadette - September 12, 2017 - 10:31 AM

    OH MY GOODNESS! I am so glad I ordered my painting a few weeks ago (and oddly enough, just emailed you the photos before coming over here and reading the news). This is very bittersweet – we were planning to order another painting of our two pups together after Christmas. If you have any favorite pet artists you’d recommend, I’d love to read a post about them. Though none of them can replace you – you have a special talent with capturing personality.ReplyCancel

  • Tim Stephans - September 12, 2017 - 10:37 AM

    If our house was on fire, I would grab your Stiles portrait on the way out.ReplyCancel

  • Paige Flamm - September 12, 2017 - 11:46 AM

    I didn’t know you guys had this shop! Excited to see what new ventures you take on in the future!


  • Heather - September 12, 2017 - 12:09 PM

    Ugh! I’m completely disappointed that we have not gotten around to ordering a painting of Hank. We absolutely treasure the painting you did of Mojo. I hung it in my cube (while home renovations dragged on) and was frequently asked if it was a photo. Your work is completely amazing!ReplyCancel

  • BEcky - September 12, 2017 - 3:55 PM

    Awww shoot! I had been procrastinating on ordering a portrait of my first “baby” (and had planned to give one or two as gifts this year too), but saw this post too late…as a mom of a human kiddo now too, I totally appreciate your need to scale back though! If you ever decide to re-open the shop I will definitely place some orders. All the best to your growing family!ReplyCancel

    • Hilary Taylor - September 13, 2017 - 9:55 AM

      Ditto! I had it pulled up and was procrastinating. I really appreciate your modern style and, as a reader of the blog, haven’t really looked into other artist. Kim, it is a weird ask but if you know of any other awesome pet artists out there, would you be willing to share?ReplyCancel

      • Kim - September 14, 2017 - 8:26 AM

        Hi Hilary! I admire a lot of different styles of pet portraiture, but I definitely recommend starting with an Etsy search, as there are many talented artists to support there. More specifically:

        Megan makes adorable watercolors (we almost bought a few for our own pets, and still might!): https://www.meganlynnkott.com/
        Lili has been a longtime favorite: https://www.doggiedrawings.net/
        And our friend Claudia does pet work on the side, too: http://www.pupsketch.com/ReplyCancel


We waited until I was almost at the 13 week mark to tell our family we were having a baby. It was fun having this big, exciting secret between the two of us, and although we wanted to tell everyone we love right away, we were cautious. Part of this was nerves, some disbelief (the pinch me moments…
  • Carol - September 8, 2017 - 6:58 AM

    CONGRATS!!! So excited for you!
    (FYI, you’re looking at the space between her legs. There’s nothing extra hanging out so she’s a she!)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 8, 2017 - 8:59 AM

      That’s what we figured! But there were so many other things on the image – ha! We love that the tech literally outlined her body shape on the image, and still, we were holding it every which way to figure it out.ReplyCancel

      • Lu Ann Freeman - September 8, 2017 - 9:47 AM

        I always find this type of U/S so amusing, I always imagine the baby sat on a copier ala Bart SimpsonReplyCancel

        • Kim - September 8, 2017 - 10:04 AM

          OMG YES. Yes, exactly!ReplyCancel

  • Katya - September 8, 2017 - 7:03 AM

    I recently came across your delightful blog and today, I have to say, a little tear of happiness rolled down my cheek for both of you! I am so looking forward to following your story over the next months.

  • Natalie - September 8, 2017 - 7:21 AM

    So this is kind of crazy, but I bought that EXACT same brass rocking horse at Value Village in 2015 when I was pregnant with my girl! She has recently just having turned two become very interested in it and likes to move it around the house different places. I can tell you that all of the dreams you have for that bebe become a reality so quickly. Also, you re making me realize that I really need to polish that poor horse. Yours is looking much nicer than ours. And, congratulations!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 8, 2017 - 10:04 AM

      Small world! We haven’t polished ours up yet, but it could still use a little. ;)ReplyCancel

  • Stacy G. - September 8, 2017 - 7:23 AM

    What a sweet way to tell the family and to find out your sweet baby’s gender. :) I’m so happy for you all.ReplyCancel

  • Jess - September 8, 2017 - 7:31 AM

    Ahhh yay, congratulations! We are also expecting a girl and we are so excited and so terrified at the same time. I grew up with 4 brothers and all male cousins so a little girl is definitely out of my comfort zone!ReplyCancel

  • Karen T. - September 8, 2017 - 7:42 AM

    So so so fun! I can feel your joy and there is nothing better than sharing it with loving grandparents-to-be and family. Congratulations and can’t wait to see the scary room’s transformation. What a lucky and loved little girl!ReplyCancel

  • Emily - September 8, 2017 - 7:46 AM

    Congratulations! I’m so excited for you guys.
    I could never tell what was what in those ultrasound pics either!ReplyCancel

  • pat - September 8, 2017 - 7:46 AM

    I am SO SO happy for you! I cried too! You are my blog BFF!!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 8, 2017 - 9:01 AM

      I haven’t stopped crying since we found out! I’m just one big misty tear, haha.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - September 8, 2017 - 9:04 AM

    So very happy for your little family. Sending lots of good wishes!ReplyCancel

  • Paula (cousin) - September 8, 2017 - 9:07 AM

    So happy for the two of you!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Melanie - September 8, 2017 - 9:08 AM

    Well this is awkward. Just burst out crying at work….

    Congratulations. My heart is overwhelmed for you both.

    (might just be in the baby mood – a close girlfriend who has been dying for a 2nd and who’s husband said no just told me she is pregnant and over the moon)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 8, 2017 - 10:06 AM

      So much baby goodness in the air.ReplyCancel

  • Becky - September 8, 2017 - 9:09 AM

    Congratulations! I had my first (also a girl!) on Thanksgiving day last year, and had the same reaction when she was born and I found out her gender. Being a girl-mom is definitely something else, so special. Best wishes on a happy, healthy rest of your pregnancy!ReplyCancel

  • Whitney - September 8, 2017 - 9:21 AM

    Congratulations! What a joy to get to surprise your family with the wonderful news!ReplyCancel

  • Samantha - September 8, 2017 - 9:27 AM

    Congratulations!! I did a crazy ugly cry too when we found out the genders of each of our kids! We had a girl first, (and two boys since) but there’s nothing like having a little girl first. I was touched by your story because I too had trouble get pregnant with our 2nd and 3rd babies, but it happened finally. It’s great that your sharing your sweet story :)ReplyCancel

  • Ann - September 8, 2017 - 9:28 AM

    Nana is glassy eyed reading this lovely post💚.ReplyCancel

    • Robbi - September 8, 2017 - 6:08 PM

      ditto, Ann! I’m not even related and I feel like a newly informed grandma… Like when M and Rob told me about Alyx. Its so special!!ReplyCancel

  • em - September 8, 2017 - 9:42 AM

    Oh, KIM!!! Congratulations :) I had a big long congrats note typed on your last baby post but for some reason I never hit post and it got lost along the way…anyway, I’m so happy for you guys, you’re going to be an amazing, super fun MOM!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 8, 2017 - 10:05 AM

      Thank you, Emily!! Hope you guys are doing awesome! XOReplyCancel

  • Sammy - September 8, 2017 - 9:47 AM

    YAYYYY! so excited for you both!!ReplyCancel

  • Brenda Wegner - September 8, 2017 - 9:53 AM

    So, so happy for the three of you!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - September 8, 2017 - 9:56 AM

    Congratulations!! Your little girl is already the luckiest to have you two as parents!ReplyCancel

  • Gloria - September 8, 2017 - 9:58 AM

    AWWW!! So exciting! And I have that same brass rocking horse that I got with my sister to give to her whenever she’s expecting too! So excited for you guys and baby girl!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - September 8, 2017 - 10:25 AM

    First time commenting, although I have been following your blog FOREVER! I take a lot of inspiration from your home!
    Congratulations on your baby girl! Having been through the heartache of years of infertility myself; announcements from people that struggled in the same way make me really happy.ReplyCancel

  • Kyley & Ammo the Dachshund - September 8, 2017 - 10:27 AM

    Congrats! Little girls are so much fun! I wanted a girl so bad and was so excited to find out we were having a girl last year. I pictured her spunky and wild – playing in the dirt, riding her ponies, and keeping up with all her boy cousins. And she’s EXACTLY that and so much more. Enjoy the journey! It’s so hard, but so much fun.ReplyCancel

  • Jaime - September 8, 2017 - 11:04 AM

    Many congratulations to you both! Enjoy the adventure!ReplyCancel

  • Kat - September 8, 2017 - 11:26 AM

    A GIRL!!! 😍😍😍 so exciting & fun!! I’m so happy for you two, and your comment about slumber parties & high school dances brought back so many happy memories 😊ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 8, 2017 - 11:32 AM

      Some of the best moments of my whole life was with you and the girls!ReplyCancel

      • Kat - September 8, 2017 - 2:19 PM

        I agree wholeheartedly!! 😄ReplyCancel

  • katie - September 8, 2017 - 11:29 AM

    Yay! Such an exciting time!! My little girl just turned one, but I can still remember the moment that we found out we were having a girl. It somehow makes things seem so much more “real”! Best wishes to you, and congrats again!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa - September 8, 2017 - 11:33 AM

    I have tears in my eyes. Thank you for sharing this sweet time. It’s such a refreshing picture of what is good in the world. Your daughter’s going to be so well loved.ReplyCancel

    • Katie - September 8, 2017 - 12:20 PM

      Well said, Lisa. Ditto! Hearty congratulations and best wishes.ReplyCancel

      • Kim - September 8, 2017 - 12:26 PM

        So sweet, thanks, guys!ReplyCancel

  • AmandaKB - September 8, 2017 - 12:38 PM

    Awe, how sweet! Congratulations :) Such a blessing to be able to tell your families in person and share that special moment with everyone together. I also love how you guys had enough patience to wait and open the card at a special dinner for two instead of ripping it open as soon as you got to the car after the appointment. I don’t know if I would have that much restraint. He,he.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 8, 2017 - 12:57 PM

      We both immediately had to go back to work after the appt, so we left the card in the car where neither of us would be tempted to touch it!ReplyCancel

  • Emma - September 8, 2017 - 4:59 PM

    Happy Happy Joy Joy!! How wonderful. And what a lucky little girl she will be :)ReplyCancel

  • Nikki - September 8, 2017 - 5:03 PM

    Congratulations! Your story is very similar to ours! I understand all the emotions! Our families thought we were joking too! We just brought home our little girl. She is awesome!💕ReplyCancel

  • Shasta Lewis - September 8, 2017 - 5:51 PM

    I’ve been reading your blog for years now (I remember and loved that BRIGHT green in your condo! And then the chalkboard wall! And the custom built in shelves in the teeny office!) so I’ve been a huge but quiet fan for awhile. I just wanted to say “Congratulations!” loud and clear right here on your upcoming baby girl! We also had unexplained infertility for a few years until I got pregnant last summer after months of treatments. We welcomed our daughter this last April, so I am OVER THE MOON that you’re also going to welcome a girl here in a few short months! Thank you for sharing your life and your home(s) with us, and congrats again! I am hoping for an easy pregnancy and a smooth delivery!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 8, 2017 - 5:53 PM

      Thank you so much for following along all these years, Shasta! We love hearing from longtime readers – wow, that bright green wall brought back all the memories! Congrats to you as well :DReplyCancel

  • Mollie - September 9, 2017 - 9:22 AM

    Congratulations!! I’m so excited for you and Scott and your growing family!ReplyCancel

  • Colleen - September 10, 2017 - 9:52 AM

    YAYYYYYYYY!!!!! Congratulations!ReplyCancel

  • Alexis - September 10, 2017 - 12:27 PM

    Congratulations! She’s going to be the luckiest girl with the sweetest family and the most adorable room :)ReplyCancel

  • Emily Wenzel - September 10, 2017 - 11:32 PM

    We didn’t find out what we were having…it’s not for everyone, and I’ll be honest that I wanted to find out at least a dozen times, but my husband really wanted to wait. I went along with it because I was 90% sure we were having a boy. I was READY to be a boy mom. There are only boys on his dad’s side of the family, and very few girls in mine. So imagine how surprised we were when we had a GIRL! In fact, we had a solid boy’s name chosen for months, but were still debating girls names while I was in labor. :D


  • Liz - September 11, 2017 - 1:00 PM

    Congrats!! Teared up as I was reading! I’m 14 weeks with my first and can’t wait to find out the sex. Love seeing maternity posts! Would be interested in seeing any baby must haves (or what you guys pick for strollers, car seats, etc) if you are willing to share!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 11, 2017 - 3:19 PM

      We’ll definitely keep it in mind! We have a steep learning curve ourselves!ReplyCancel

  • Trude - September 13, 2017 - 5:20 PM

    That is so amazing, congratulations!!! What a way of telling everyone, love that story! I’m at 18 weeks now and can’t WAIT to know for sure. <3ReplyCancel

  • Ayanh - September 14, 2017 - 12:22 PM

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! So happy for you!!!
    Been following you since I found your home tour video in youtube and following your ig immediately. Loving your story & loving your amazing home!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 14, 2017 - 12:24 PM

      So happy you found us, thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Meg - September 16, 2017 - 3:58 PM

    Congratulations! I’m a long time reader who so appreciates your thoughtful, down-to-earth writing and I’m so happy that this part of your lives is working out so well! Excited to see what you do with the baby’s room, too. I’m very newly pregnant myself for the first time (hooray!), and already I’m thinking about protecting the baby from potentially hazardous stuff while doing house projects. Not sure if you’re interested in answering this question, but what kinds of precautions have you taken while you’re working on your house? I’d love to hear how you’re handling that if you feel like sharing (I’ve definitely done some Googling, but it would be nice to hear a first-hand experience from a responsible person!).ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 18, 2017 - 8:48 AM

      Thank you for the kind comment, Meg! Glad to hear from you. As for precautions, luckily, we haven’t tackled too many hazardous type renovation projects since I’ve been pregnant. When we paint, we’re using low or no VOC paints (like in the garden unit), and when things are ultra dusty or we’re using chemicals to clean things (again, like in the garden unit), I wear a mask and goggles almost to a fault! I use this mask, which I love for it’s smaller size, and it’s way heavier duty than the disposable ones you normally see. We have some larger renovation coming up later this year, and I’ll be sitting those projects out, but I will be documenting them!ReplyCancel


As a part of our whole backyard overhaul last year, we built in DIY raised planter beds. Although we were sure to insulate them (before filling them with a literal ton of soil and compost), we were a bit nervous that all our effort would be wasted on our cold Chicago winters. We’re still learning how…
  • Katie - September 6, 2017 - 9:15 AM

    I use to leave my stone crop (or Autumn sedum) alone cause I read that winter birds like the flower clusters (or maybe the bugs that hide in them?)
    They become dried straw by the winter and can easily be cleaned upin spring when you get your beds ready. While I’ve never seen birds around my plants they are very hearty. In 4 years time I was able to divide the plant once and have 2 very hearty happy huge plants. I love that plant, it’s probably my favorite perennial.
    Also, I think coneflower should be left to dry out and reseed itself.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 6, 2017 - 9:58 AM

      It’s definitely my favorite that we’ve had experience with, too. Now dividing plants… that’s something we’ll have to warm up to eventually!ReplyCancel

    • Ryan - September 6, 2017 - 4:16 PM

      I also wait until spring to cut back the sedum. It’s one of those “winter interest” plants in the yard. If you’re looking for more of the echinacea leave it to re-seed. I have more than enough after doing that for a few years and just pull it up and compost or give it away if it’s growing where I don’t want it. I didn’t find the white coneflower to be as hardy or prolific as the purple though. It’s great to see everything going together so well. I have a big overflowing mess but I think it’s time to start being more selective about which plants are allowed to stay and which might need a new home.ReplyCancel

  • Jaclyn - September 6, 2017 - 9:28 AM

    Love the patio garden! I have a sweet spot for Sedum and Echinacea, so pretty and hardy! I don’t really have a green thumb but my mother does and she is my consultant. She recommends cutting back perennials in early spring :) BTW, we just visited Logan Square and did check out Lula’s on your recommendation after which we went to the farmers market, we tried to go to Parsons but it was a two hour wait and didn’t get a chance to go to Scofflaw. We loved our visit and will definitely visit Logan Square again!ReplyCancel

  • Jaclyn Michniak - September 6, 2017 - 9:34 AM

    Love the patio garden! I have a sweet spot for Sedum and Echinacea, so pretty and hardy! I don’t really have a green thumb but my mother does and she is my consultant. She recommends cutting back some perennials in early spring :) I do agree with Katie that the Echinacea should not be cut, and I don’t usually cut back my Sedum either, definitely cut back the Clematis though! BTW, we just visited Logan Square and did check out Lula’s on your recommendation after which we went to the farmers market, we tried to go to Parsons but it was a two hour wait and didn’t get a chance to go to Scofflaw. We loved our visit and will definitely visit Logan Square again!ReplyCancel

    • Jaclyn - September 6, 2017 - 9:38 AM

      Did think my first draft posted (said error), sorry for the duplicate!ReplyCancel

      • Kim - September 6, 2017 - 9:57 AM

        I’m so happy you loved our neighborhood! Parsons can get CRAZY unless you’re there on a rainy day or an off-hour, but even then on the weekends, it’s typically packed. So fun though!ReplyCancel

  • Lori - September 6, 2017 - 9:38 AM

    You can spray paint your allium seed heads with spray paint! I’ve seen even botanical gardens do that, and depending on the color you choose, it can blend in or make a really funky statement. Here’s an example I found online: http://www.beautifulbotany.com/Story%20Archives/Plants/Annuals,%20Perennials,%20Bulbs%20&%20Houseplants/Bulb%20-%20Graffiti%20Gardening%20-%20Turning%20Alliums%20Into%20Art.htm

    I’d wait to cut things back til spring, personally, especially the stuff that looks good during the winter, like dried flower heads.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 6, 2017 - 11:18 AM

      Interesting! As soon as you mentioned it, I remembered seeing something similar. I don’t know if I’m brave or funky enough to do that to ours, but it’s still a neat option!ReplyCancel

      • Carswell - September 6, 2017 - 11:51 AM

        I would deadhead those alliums.

        I don’t know what kind you have but some of them are voracious self seeders – and you will find them turning up everywhere, including between your patio stones.ReplyCancel

  • Erin Frost - September 6, 2017 - 9:50 AM

    Hi, I am a horticulturist in downtown Boston, Ma (I think we have a similar zone). I also do a lot container gardening and designing. I found the liner your architect suggested to be very interesting. It looks like you have strong sun for the afternoon which is basically full sun? The hydrangea might burn out a bit because it does not like the afternoon sun but looks great so far. The sedums and plumbago (and herbs) are well suited to those conditions. You can cut the flowers off the alliums, if they suggested a good variety they should bloom in the Spring and the Fall. The echinacea will be slow to take off but should grow faster in year 3, like most perennials.
    As for winter, I generally recommend that you choose a few plants to keep for winter interest and cut back and clear out the dead leaves on the rest, add a layer of compost for moisture and fertilizer. If you don’t clean up, insects and pests will make it their winter home and then it’s hard to get rid of them. Also don’t forget to water in the winter, containers dry out in the wind and if there is no snow it can kill the plants. I replace a lot of dried out plants in the Spring for people who forget to water.

    • Kim - September 6, 2017 - 9:59 AM

      SO helpful, thank you, Erin!ReplyCancel

  • Haley - September 6, 2017 - 10:01 AM

    It looks GREAT!!! Does your renter have an area to do a little planting? I just ask because my husband is obsessed with his little container garden and I know he would be so sad living somewhere without the same option. Just made me curious about other renters.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 6, 2017 - 10:06 AM

      While our new renters did like the backyard, they admitted they wouldn’t be using it much, if at all!ReplyCancel

  • Amy - September 6, 2017 - 10:19 AM

    Your garden looks so nice!

    Coneflowers often follow the perennial “sleep, creep, leap” rule (not much the first year, little bit more the second, then BOOM – they take off). So I would wait and see what they do next year before making any decision on them.

    Your hydrangea should be trimmed in early spring to encourage stronger branching and prevent it from getting tall and gangly then flopping over. Start by removing all sucker branches at the base of the plant. Then prune all the branches back about 3-6 inches. It also encourages blooming throughout the shrub, rather than just on the tips of branches – and who doesn’t want more blooms?

    I would probably remove the blue rug junipers you planted – they have a tendency to choke out everything around them. Yes they only get 6 in. tall, but they quickly spread to 6 to 8 ft. wide! That’s going to take out everything in both of your beds. Another trailing plant would be more desirable.

    Otherwise, great job and wonderful low maintenance garden!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 6, 2017 - 11:17 AM

      Phew, that’s just what we did with our hydrangea this past spring! And thanks for the warning on the blue rug junipers – we’ll be keeping an eye on them.ReplyCancel

  • Ryan - September 6, 2017 - 10:35 AM

    Your planters look so great, Kim! Very impressed.

    I don’t know much about most of the things you’ve planted, since a lot of it won’t survive the Austin heat, but I have a ton of Coneflowers in my yard. Mine bloom in late spring and come July the bloom stalks turn black and crispy in the summer heat. Once they’re completely dry, I snip off the seed heads and crush/scatter them around my garden where I want additional plants to grow. I don’t have to worry about winter here, so it doesn’t matter when I scatter them (they’d probably do better if I scattered them in the fall, but I have no patience). I usually compost and mulch over all the seeds in the fall and they all come up in late February when the weather starts to warm up.

    Good luck!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 6, 2017 - 11:17 AM

      Ooh, great suggestion for the coneflowers! Thanks, Ryan.ReplyCancel

  • Vanessa - September 6, 2017 - 1:37 PM

    I would remove the allium seed heads, but others might not. That is more of a visual preference than a “should.” You can try it one way one year and the opposite the next year to see what you like better.ReplyCancel

  • Mary - September 6, 2017 - 5:33 PM

    Your containers look very lush. I live in a townhouse that has a small area that allows me to plant some things. It’s mostly shaded by mature trees.
    I have come to realize that gardening is an expensive hobby. I’m not very good at it & much of it dies. But each Spring I’m buying more plants & keep plugging away at it. Your cute pups must be your good luck charms.ReplyCancel

  • Tari - September 7, 2017 - 7:08 AM

    It looks great! If you’re looking for a low, hardy plant that spills over the edge, you should try the sunsparkler dazzleberry sedum. It’s a stone crop with blue-purple stems, and hot pink flowers that bees LOVE. It’s one of my new favorites. http://www.monrovia.com/plant-catalog/plants/3628/sunsparkler-dazzleberry-sedum/ReplyCancel

  • Eva Burgess - September 12, 2017 - 11:47 PM

    Great plant selection. You could think about adding some grasses and bearded irises for a different leaf texture and height.
    I can’t wait to have a garden againReplyCancel

  • Ann - September 16, 2017 - 12:02 AM

    Your garden is so lovely. We are also in Chicago, also in the city. I just had my whole garden replanted hoping to have a low maintenance perennial garden…. but the neighborhood doggies have also been enjoying it! If you find any puppy tolerant plants, please post them!ReplyCancel