Keeping Up With Mrs. Smith

When a perfectionist moves into a fixer-upper…

Caturday #6: Working Girl

When Baby Girl heard that Mr. Smith was moving his office into the room at the top of the stairs, she wasted no time applying for a job of her own.

Little did we know our kitty had such aspirations!

I mean, she’s talked about going to Cat College for ages, but her parents aren’t ready to send her out into the world just yet.

Thankfully, nearly all feline job positions are work-from-home which allowed Baby Girl to land a sweet position as “Nocturnal Analyst” with the Maiow Clinic.

Would you like to see her application?

cat job application

“No tears or rips in the ears” is a big plus with the Maiow Clinic since the organization is an upstanding research center that focuses on the health and well-being of felines.  They can’t be hiring alley cats with torn ears, for crying out loud!

The minute she was hired, Baby Girl set up her workspace in the northern window of…

30-Day August Upgrade Room Challenge

Have you ever procrastinated on a project for so long that you can’t recall why?  I personally can’t remember why I’ve spent so long putting off finishing our enclosed porch.

Dreams of sunny tea parties and autumn suppers and cozy naps and morning coffee in this space (which we call the “rumpus room”) have danced in my head for the past four years, and it’s about time to make those dreams a reality.   For motivation, I’ve joined up with Serena over at Thrift Diving for her 30-day August Upgrade Room Challenge:

august room challenge

I only have 30 days to upgrade this space, but the good news is the easy part is over.  Last November, most of this room was destroyed by fire and received a top-to-bottom remodel.  Considering that our rumpus room had previously been a hot mess of sagging vinyl siding (yes, siding on the INSIDE!) and would have cost a fortune to fix ourselves, the…

Rice With Milk and Sugar

Would you believe that the most Google-searched topic on this blog is “rice with milk and sugar”?

bite of rice

For those of you are unfamiliar with / slighty horrified by the thought of pouring milk and sugar on rice, you’re missing out on a creamy, comforting dish that we Hispanics can’t get enough of. :)  The traditional version is called “arroz con leche” and is more of a rice pudding prepared with cinnamon and raisins.  The quick version that me and many of my friends enjoy, however, is what you see above.

I first shared my love for this dish three years ago when all I had was a flip-phone camera to take pictures with.  In the end , my camera didn’t matter because before I could even snap a photo, I had eaten my entire bowl.  Unacceptable!

This favorite treat o’ mine deserves a little more attention than that, so I think it’s time for Round Two!…

Four Years of House Projects

Our fixer-upper has survived a lot of house projects over the past four years in addition to a mini tornado and even a fire!

Meanwhile, Mr. Smith and I have changed jobs, changed cars, experienced loss, made waves, made new friendships, and traveled.  Even the cats seem more wise and savvy.

Since living in a fixer-upper can be discouraging at times, I like to assemble an album of our progress every house-iversary.  It’s a way to motivate and assure myself that, yes, there is still more to do, but look at all these projects that have been completed!

In case you are new to this blog or just like seeing progress within a home, here is what has been accomplished to date (not including all the little projects in between):

The First Four Years

July 2010: Removed popcorn texturing from ceilings

popcorn texture removal

July 2010: Replaced doors


August 2010: Replaced plumbing


October 2011: Replaced roof


October 2011: Sanded and …
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House-iversary Special: When A Fixer-Upper Is Scary to Live In

I’m just gonna say it:

I’m sort of afraid of my house.

Four years ago, we spent our first night in our house.  Even though it was summer and we didn’t have an air-conditioner, I covered up from head to toe in a blanket because I just knew some creature was going to crawl out of the walls and chew on me.

For the first several months, I was afraid to live in our foreclosure.  The place smelled musty, the carpet had weird stains and since few of our light fixtures worked, the place got really dark when the sun went down.

To help me cope with the fear, I devised a small plan of attack and shared it on the blog.  May you find my tips helpful in your own creepy house. :)


I’m just gonna say it:

I’m sort of afraid of my house.


It’s actually not too bad during the day…it’s when it gets…




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