Welcome to our Home/Projects


This (sorta) Old Life:  Home/project tour

We think of ourselves as a better living blog, and for us, a better home is the vehicle to a better life.

Of course, “home” isn’t just the house we’re living in. It’s all the things we do in and around the four walls of our shelter.

So, while our home tour is mostly about our house, we’ve thrown a few other “rooms” as well–keeping house, parenting, and food.

We hope you’ll stay and explore awhile. Clicking on the thumbnails will take you to posts about our projects.

thissortaoldlife living room/library header

This is a combination of the living room and designated dining room, but we’re using it as one large living space. We call the dining room our library. It’s undergone quite a transformation in the time we’ve been here:

thissortaoldlife Living room 3 stages

Little projects and tweaks over time have added up to a big difference. You can read all about them by clicking on the photos below.

cork floor installation

Cork flooring

thissortaoldlife salvaged 70s light

Library light (take 1)

thissortaoldlife credenza wall

Painting begins

thissortaoldlife entry light

New entry light







thissortaoldlife living room and library

Living room paint reveal

thissortaoldlife button bird thrift store art

Thrift store art collection

thissortaoldlife salvaged door coffee table

Salvaged door coffee table

thissortaoldlife striped chair

Chair fail

thissortaoldlife library light

Library light (take 2)







thissortaoldlife braided wool rug

Thrift store rug

thissortaoldlife close up of mantel

Fireplace mantel project

This (sorta) Old Life: Vintage school-desk style chair, side view

Vintage school-desk chair








thissortaoldlife kitchen header house tour

Apart from the new cork floor, we haven’t done a whole lot with our kitchen yet. While there’s lots we talk about doing, it’s a warm, light-filled space that feels pretty good just the way it is. Removing the rest of the wallpaper and painting is the next thing on our list in this space.

thissortaoldlife cork flooring in kitchen

Kitchen flooring

thissortaoldlife kitchen wall with wallpaper

Removing wallpaper

thissortaoldlife zipline art gallery

Zipline art gallery/how-to

thissortaoldlife zipline art gallery photography

Creating a photo gallery

thissortaoldlife kitchen light update

New kitchen light














This (sorta) Old Life: Master bathroom

Our master bathroom is the only room in the house that we’ve fully renovated. That wasn’t really by choice:  A few leaky tiles back in January quickly turned into gutting the bathroom. That’s the only thing that was quick about the project!

Although it’s been a long and often difficult project, we love how it’s turned out. You can follow the long saga here (thumbnails in chronological order):

thissortaoldlife shower demo

How it all went down

thissortaoldlife cane with tub thumbs pic

More balls than brains

thissortaoldlife cane tile restore pic

Progress report

thissortaoldlife home reno serenity prayer

Serenity prayer for home reno


thissortaoldlife bathroom plumbing

Plumbing and lights






thissortaoldlife bathroom pipes

More plumbing

thissortaoldlife plumbing done

Plumbing done!

thissortaoldlife tile saw research

Tile saw research


thissortaoldlife designing a tile wall

Designing with tile seconds






thissortaoldlife screwing board in

Work/life balance

thissortaoldlife restore haul

Vanity search

thissortaoldlife diagonal stripes tile

More tile design


thissortaoldlife stuck master bathroom vanity

Vanity removal






thissortaoldlife bathroom tile wall green stripe

Tile wall is finished!


This (sorta) Old Life: Stacks of tile

Tile installation how-tos

This (sorta) Old LIfe: Dark master bath renovation

Master bath reveal


This (sorta) Old Life: DIY custom towel bar

DIY towel bar






This (sorta) Old Life: Bathroom storage solutions

Storage solutions

This (sorta) Old Life: How to build a drawer shelf

Drawer shelves


This (sorta) Old Life: DIY bathroom art from aluminum photo prints

Aluminum photo prints

thissortaoldlife family room header house tour

For nearly a year, our family room hasn’t received much love, attention, or traffic. Other projects were more pressing, and it was a pretty bleak space (and chilly in the winter).


We’ve begun to give it some love, and now it’s getting lots more traffic. We’re looking forward to continuing to make this a space we enjoy hanging out in.

thissortaoldlife family room with paint swatches

Painting, pt. 1

thissortaoldlife family room after collage

Painting, pt. 2

thissortaoldlife family room art

Quick fix lessons

thissortaoldlife family room retro green chair

Scoring on craigslist








This (sorta) Old Life: Karlstad sofa assembled

So much for retro

This (sorta) Old Life: DIY clock face

DIY clock




thissortaoldlife exterior spaces header

As the weather turns warmer, our attention has shifted to our outside spaces.
Coming up soon: Painting the exterior of our house.

thissortaoldlife red front door

Red front door

thissortaoldlife grill deck with wood side table

Vintage grill re-hab

thissortaoldlife flowers not planted

Thrifty deck make-over

thissortaoldlife DIY adirondack chairs

DIY Adirondack chairs

This (sorta) Old Life DIY solar chandelier

DIY Solar Chandelier








thissortaoldlife keeping house section header

These are projects about the stuff that fills our rooms–how we choose it, organize it, and take care of it. We’re definitely still learning in this area!

thissortaoldlife shower sponge

10 housekeeping tips

thissortaoldlife mid-century china cabinet

Letting a good deal go

thissortaoldlife garage 8.10

Killing the junk beast

thissortaoldlife craft drawers

Organizing craft supplies

thissortaoldlife vacuuming

Family chore time







thissortaoldlife one ladder

Tackling big projects

This (sorta) Old Life: tidy desk

Mail center








parenting section header

Our kids are smart, funny, creative, and…challenging! (Aren’t all kids?)

Parenting them has always required lots of energy, creativity, and thought–and joining our families kicked the whole parenting thing up more than one notch.

We’re still figuring out how to write about parenting while respecting our kids’ privacy, so we don’t have a ton of posts in this category. But we do touch on some aspects of it, sometimes. Here’s what we’ve learned so far:

thissortaoldlife screentime family

Screen time manifesto

thissortaoldlife football

Fall weekend

thissortaoldlife twister

The gift of family

thissortaoldlife grace face

Making dietary changes


thissortaoldlife 2 kids at river

Family time management






thissortaoldlife vacuuming

Sunday family chores





thissortaoldlife food header

Our food posts have been dominated by Rita’s need to go gluten-free, discovered in late winter this year. As that journey has unfolded, we realized gluten was just the tip of a food/eating iceberg.

thissortaoldlife soup stock pot

Let’s get real

thissortaoldlife canned chicken broth

Game of Five

thissortaoldlife rita sticking out tongue

Going gluten-free

thissortaoldlife fresh pot biscuits

Gluten-free gets hard


thissortaoldlife blooming rhodie

New season of eating






thissortaoldlife bite out of klondike

Getting kids on board

thissortaoldlife coffee shop treat

Beliefs & eating

thissortaoldlife lime chicken tacos

New food love






thissortaoldlife quinoa pasta bowl

Real simple food

thissortaoldlife how to choose wine

Choosing wine

thissortaoldlife grilled tenderloin

Home-made marinade









And that’s it–so far! We hope you’ll keep coming back to join in our fun.

Subscribing is easy!




  1. Tina
    Mar 15, 2013 @ 04:14:32

    I am LOVING your blog!! It’s great to know there are other people trying to find balance and letting your home be a HOME. I often get compliments on what I’ve done, but truth is, I just go with what I love and can afford and RUN with it!!! Keep up the good work!!!!!

  2. Emma (Broke Ass Home)
    Apr 09, 2013 @ 05:36:56

    Rita, I love your house!
    Emma (Broke Ass Home) recently posted..And a Roof over our Head!!My Profile

    • Rita
      Apr 09, 2013 @ 18:33:56

      Thank you! Definitely a work in progress, and will be for a long time. We love it, too.

  3. Kenz @ Interiors by Kenz
    Jun 06, 2013 @ 19:44:10

    I’m so happy you introduced me to your blog! I LOVE IT! I think you and I will become fast friends. I’m looking forward to lots of good juicy projects and posts!
    Kenz @ Interiors by Kenz recently posted..IBK + 1My Profile

    • Rita
      Jun 06, 2013 @ 21:56:49

      Thanks, Kenz! So glad you hopped on over. The feeling is mutual. :-)

  4. Anya
    Jun 20, 2013 @ 08:24:51

    Rita, I absolutely love your blog. I chanced upon it a couple of days back, and might I add that I’ve been glued to it ever since. The posts give a real sense of being…if you know what I mean. And more than anything thing else, the feeling of creating a warm home, an environment where a person can really just thrive is what I get from your blog.

    I have got a little blog of my own. It is centered around clothes, outfits and all the good fashion stuff. You might want to check it out. http://clothesandcreativity.blogspot.in/ Would really like your feedback on the same.


  5. Joe -- Plumber
    Jul 25, 2013 @ 19:37:24

    This is really an organized way of putting them together. You should compile all these into a book!
    Joe — Plumber recently posted..Common Dallas Plumber MythsMy Profile

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