Potty Emergency!

Does anyone else remember that episode of Animaniacs? *crickets* Just me? Oookay…anyway.  (Oh, also, I say toilet about 3,000 times in this post. Fair warning.)

It’s taken me a little while to be able to write this post. What should have been a relatively straightforward toilet replacement turned into an existential crisis that I’m still working through. Maybe writing it out will help. So y’all are my diary today, mmmkay thanks.

It all started out with our hall bathroom toilet leaking a bit from the back bolt on the tank. I wasn’t sure what the issue was and I’d been wanting to upgrade that toilet to something taller anyway. So I used the leak as an excuse to buy a new one.

Original Toilet

I found a great deal at Lowe’s on this model and lugged it home on Friday night. Yeah, that’s right, I know where the party’s at on a Friday. I started the installation on Saturday morning. I suppose now would be a good time to tell you that I’ve never done any plumbing work before and was pretty nervous. Anything that has the power to completely destroy my house (water damage, electrical fire, zombie apocalypse, etc.) tends to freak me out. But I prepped with tons of tutorials beforehand, so I was also hopeful.

So I got in there and got to work removing the existing toilet. No problem. Heavy, but totally manageable.

Toilet Removal

I also took this opportunity to paint the wall behind the toilet. This isn’t going to be the final color that we use in this room, but it’s a hell of a lot closer and it worked in a pinch.

Paint Behind Toilet First

Putting the new one in is basically the same process in reverse.

New Toilet Install

  • Put the wax ring on the new toilet base, and smoosh it straight down very carefully
  • Bolt base to floor
  • Bolt tank to base
  • Reconnect water
  • Stop breathing
  • Turn water back on slowly aaaannnndd….
  • LEAK!!!

No, not take a leak. The same back tank bolt was leaking. Sigh. I immediately shut the water back off, took a short break for lunch and minor panic, then headed back in.

I re-tightened all the bolts and the leaks appeared to stop, so I slowly turned the water back on (again) Slowly, slooowly, no leak, no leak, okay, alright, no leak, greeeaatttt! So I flushed to test it and GUSH! All the water came pouring out the bottom and I officially gave up.

My friend Jeff had been talking me through the leak issues, but this was the final straw. I needed help, which is super hard for me to admit. So while Jeff was on his way over, I ran to Home Depot for a new wax ring and the liquor store for some Grey Goose, which I believe is the standard payment for emergency DIY-gone-awry assistance. (Sidenote: Home Depot & Lowe’s should really stock booze. Either for the harried DIY-er, or for a gift for their stellar friends who come to their rescue. Really guys, get on that already.)

Jeff arrived and popped off the floor bolts, lifted the toilet and *cue Psycho shower scene music* I LEFT THE EFFING TOWEL IN THE HOLE!!!!!  First I was laughing, later I was crying. I felt like the biggest idiot and failure. I couldn’t believe I had made such an utterly stupid, careless mistake. Days later, I’m still being hard on myself.


But I digress. Jeff was my hero in getting the toilet re-installed properly and I am so, so grateful.


I’d like to talk more about how to handle the inevitable ups and downs of DIY. Lord knows I’ve had my fair share of both, but this one hit me really hard. But I think we’ve all had about enough of toilets for the day. I’ll save that for another post.

For now, I’ll leave you with this, from a very thankful heart.


2013 Family Yearbook

About a week ago, I finally made myself sit down and finish the family yearbook I’d started earlier this year. If you follow me on Instagram, you know I love me some day-in-the-life candid shots. I think those tell the story of your life way more accurately than some staged photo. Those small, real-life moments are what make life special and memorable.

So this year, I rounded up some of my favorite photos and told our 2013 family (and friend) story in a hardcover photo book. There are many companies from whom you can order photo books, but I’ve been a Shutterfly user for years and I get all kinds of coupon codes from them. I waited around until the free photo book offer popped up in my inbox (and it does pretty often) and made my move. I wasn’t expecting to get this post up so quickly, but I made it, ordered it, and they shipped it within the week. Amazing service!


In just a few years, Shutterfly has made their photo books so much easier to customize, which I really enjoyed. There were almost too many choices! I’m very happy with how it turned out, and can’t wait to make this an annual tradition!

I ordered the 8×8 hardcover book with 20 pages. I don’t know why I absolutely love this photo of me and Wrigley so much, but I knew it had to make the cover.

Family Yearbook Cover

I had some family pages, including some of our last special days with Madeline.  I guess it’s appropriate to write this nostalgic post today. Our sweet girl passed away a year ago today. Miss her to pieces still.

Family Pages


Some DIY pages, since that is such a huge part of life ’round these parts.

DIY Pages

Some friend pages (aka, the chosen family). That second one also made me even more eager for summer to get here!

Friends Pages 1

Summer Page


A page for the Hanson shows in October, of course. Be glad I didn’t make an entire Hanson book. 14 year old Lisa may have done that.

Friends Pages 2

And there’s plenty of puppy love to go around.

Puppy Love

How do you organize your favorite photos?



Note:  This is not a sponsored post. Check out my policy on that biz-nassss over here.

Organizing and Guest Blogging!

It’s another exciting blog day today because I was invited to be a guest blogger for the fabulously fashionable Lisa Fergus. Lisa’s blog, Stilettos and Diaper Bags chronicles her always stylish adventures as an entrepreneur, fashion blogger, wife, and kick-ass mom.

sadb guest post

Now, I realize I’m none of those things, especially all that stylish. So those of you who know me, you can stop snickering now. I dress myself just fine, thankyouverymuch. :) What I may lack in style, I make up for in home design, decor, and organization. I’m so pumped to be on her blog talking about how I keep my jewelry, purses, and shoes in check. As everything around here, it’s still a work in progress, but I dig the direction it’s heading. Head on over to her blog and check it out, then stay tuned back here as I continue the transformation! Thanks for having me, Lisa!