FPF #5 / Maine me

SO parenthood is very time consuming – who knew?  Apparently, just when you figure out the rhythms of the day to day, the steps to the ‘do-everything-one-handed’ dance, babies love to change the record on you.  I’ve got so many things I want to get up on here and am hoping to have a more consistent flow going soon…a nice, easy waltz of posts.

We’re headed to Maine soon for a coastal family vacation.  It will be our first flight with Bo (six hours, cross your fingers) and I’m very excited for him to meet his aunt, uncle and cousins.  Looking forward to lazy beach days, hunting for sea glass, maybe a grandma-enabled date night, and eating our way through Portland (again).  They’ve got a great craft beer scene in town and a restaurant called Duck Fat(!)…enough said.  Lobster rolls!  OK, I’m done.  Also, thinking I’m going to leave the digital behind and take my old Pentax and the Holga instead.  I’m feeling film for this trip (and it’s been a while).

Speaking of film….an East Coast-inspired Found Photo Friday!

ladies beachWhy did the swimming cap ever fall out of style?  The back says “Garfield School friends at [something], NJ 1934″


sailSeriously, this kid has to be a Kennedy.


hippie beachNow that I’m looking at this one again…the dry grass, the hippie garb, it all seems very ‘California’. But, if so, they’re looking to the East, so let’s just focus on that.


Have a fantastic weekend!


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FPF #4 / Go Fourth…

What are y’all up to this weekend?  Yes, I like to toss out a y’all from time to time…it’s good for the soul.  Surely fireworks.  Possibly a picnic or some lounging poolside?  Maybe you’re simply getting the hell out of dodge – a little camping perhaps.

Now that our little monkey is a month old, we’re venturing out to brave our first travels as a family in the most classic of ways – a roadtrip.  Nothing too intense, just a jaunt up the coast to enjoy the festivities small-town style, refresh in the open spaces, and try our hand at travel with the bambino (and all his gear).  California’s central coast will always have a special corner of our hearts.  It was the destination of our first trip together and, later, where we were married.  So, naturally, it’s the perfect place to introduce Bodhi to the joy of the open road – we are very excited to start showing him the world!

With that in mind – a Found Photo Friday with Fourth of July flair:

state parkAmerica’s backyard – our state and national parks.  The back says “Grafton Zimmerman at entrance to Itaska State Park, Aug. 1960″.

cabin A cabin by the lake – the gold-standard Fourth of July venue.  Swimming, water skiing, dock sitting, watermelon and potato salad, coolers brimming with soda/beers, card games, and a DIY fireworks show.

mom beach 1Looking forward to showing our son the ocean for the first time.  There isn’t a more magical place to watch fireworks than from the beach.  It’s one of my favorite California traditions.

parade And no Fourth of July is complete without a parade of course.


Have a safe and happy holiday weekend!  Mind those sparklers – don’t set anything on fire!


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What a Wonderful World

Yes I’ve been M.I.A for a solid month, but for the best of all reasons.  After the hardest, most intense and awesomely amazing 24 hours of my life, our son, Bodhi Everett Liebetrau, was born at 11:17 pm on June 2nd.  At nearly 8 lbs. and 21 inches long, he came out with a hearty cry, a full head of dark hair, and the sweetest face known to mankind.  The heart-bursting tsunami of love and gratitude is unlike anything.  The world is forever changed and magically complete.  We are so lucky.




FPF #3 / The Waiting is the Hardest Part

Happy Friday all!

Sorry for the dearth of posts this week.  I had big plans, but was sidelined by a multi-day migraine – which is an even bigger bummer when you are (still) pregnant.  Yes, six days overdue and counting.   It’s very weird to be going about every day knowing life is about to totally and permanently change any minute.  Just standing around waiting for the call to duty so to speak.  These guys look like they can sympathize:


So with that in mind, some baby-inspired found photos.  Hopefully I’ll have some unfound, all-mine, brand new bebe pics to share very soon (fingers crossed)!

grass baby 1 soilders 1 family

Have an amazing weekend!


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FPF#2 / Memorial Day Weekend ’14

Everyone have big plans for the holiday weekend?  I’ve definitely got a huge event on my calendar – our baby boy is due tomorrow!  But I know that is the furthest from anything you can actually consider a solid ‘plan’.  My gut is telling me this lil’ guy will not be here in time to help his dad on the grill (small dose of reverse psychology perhaps?).

Whatever you’re up to this long weekend – traveling, beaching, barbecuing – have a fun, relaxing, and wonderful time!

And now the 2nd installment of Found Photo Friday to kick off the festivities:

Glamour BeachI love this family.  There’s something about this picture that conjures an effortless 50’s (best guess) glamour for me – maybe because the father looks like Gregory Peck?  I also love the darling little girl rocking the hooded towel off to the right.


BBQPriceless for the ‘stasche alone – it’s tough to see, but worth the hunt.  This is definitely a man who takes a lot of pride in his sauce.  Solid brush technique even decades later.

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Overdue introductions

House, meet readers, readers…this is our House.  The 550 sq.ft cottage below has been home since late 2011 and there is an interesting story of how we came to meet.BackHouse-Layout

We’d logged five years (and one Design on a Dime episode) in our previous small (or so we thought at the time) 1000 sq.ft Silverlake house.  It was our first shared home as a couple, and then as a married couple.  Everything was nice, comfortable, and predictable – the perfect petri dish for urges to shake things up.  Tired of the Los Angeles grind and craving an epic experience, a plan eventually hatched to spend two months traveling New Zealand in the tightest of quarters, a campervan.  NZ’s open spaces, nourishing air, and unbounded beauty seemed like the perfect antidote to the hassles of L.A. and soon the necessary pieces were easily falling into place…until (duh duh duh) our longtime landlord refused to let us sublet.

557500_10151014866916626_963897882_nDesigned and Dimed – the big reveal.

The kind of tedious and time-crunched house hunt that can only happen in a big city ensued.  Luckily, a rental just one mile outside of our desired neighborhood surfaced on Craigslist and, after receiving the above floor plan with an additional size warning (“feedback has been the bedrooms are too small to accommodate peoples’ furniture, if you’re still interested…” ), I did some quick calculations regarding our king bed and scheduled a viewing.  Soon after, we were signing a new lease on a sunny back house with (literally) half the square footage at (almost) half the price.  Two months later, I left my job and we were jumping a plane for what will probably always be the greatest travel adventure of our livesbut that is a post for another day.

Back to the business of introductions.  The timing of this post happens to coincide with Apartment Therapy’s Small, Cool Contest, its annual hunt for stylish homes under 1000 sq.ft.  When we returned from New Zealand, I submitted our own pint-sized place and, to my surprise, it was selected by editors to compete.  We steadily climbed the ranks and, shockingly, ended up winning the division and going on to the finals, where we ultimately came in third.  It was all pretty darn exciting and an affirming bonus to this new less-is-more lifestyle we’d adopted.

So it seems like the perfect jumping off point (for blogging purposes) to show the initial blank canvas photos contrasted with where things ended up by SmallCool2012.  Then we can move forward on here talking about the projects and products, tips and tweaks, that has made living little possible.







THE BEDROOM (the smaller one on the floor plan):






THE OFFICE (larger ‘bedroom’ on the floor plan):



Backroom Office2

There have been many design rumblings, and a few tectonic shifts, over the last two years since these pictures (especially in this back room). Considering our previous 1000 sq.ft. house seemed pretty small at the time and now 550 sq.ft. is totally manageable, I find myself wondering what square footage qualifies as truly tiny.  Our place probably seems like a mansion to some Manhattanites and practically a shed to many of my friends in the Midwest.

I’m curious, where is the ultimate boundary of itty bitty for you?

Other People’s Pictures / FPF#1

As far as attractions go, I’d imagine I’m in the minority in that I would much rather explore a ‘Living History’ museum than hit up a theme park brimming with roller coasters.  Yes, I am admitting right here that I choose actors churning butter and millinery over G-forces and cork screws.  That is lame, I know, but I’ve always found things born in another time and place compelling.  I’m down with anything old that leads me to wonder about a specific little knot in time’s giant macrame –  be it furniture, books (my 1937 inscripted Gone with the Wind would definitely be saved from fire), odd kitchen tools, or buildings (especially haunted ones – yes, I believe).  I like to ruminate on an item’s heyday of usefulness.  I wonder where an old dress might have been worn or think about the generations of families who called an old house home.

This predisposition towards the antique might be genetic – you can’t be the daughter of a historian and not pick up a few quirks – but it definitely drives my flea-marketing obsession.   Thank god for our tiny house or I would be dragging home cartloads of old stuff.   There are close calls for sure.  At one of our recent browse-and-gab sessions, my girlfriends looked at me like I was crazeballs for considering buying an old ledger book (So I like looking at old-timey handwriting and the feel of a thin, delicate paper?!  So What?!  I’ll put it on the coffee table!).   But I digress.

By far, my favorite historical ‘guilty pleasure’ is discarded photographs.  Faces, places, fashions and, if I’m lucky, a date or description written on the back (old-timey handwriting strikes again!), it’s all right there frozen on paper.  These pics are cheap, plentiful, and take up zero space so, naturally, I’ve developed quite the collection…which, good news people, I will now be sharing with you all.

Welcome to Found Photo Friday!  Because, let’s be honest, if there ever was a day you want skip all the reading (now that we’ve gotten introductions out of the way) and just look at a few pictures in between your weekend-planning and clock-watching, it’s Friday.  And, for the inaugural run of FPF, I’d like to commemorate this TOTAL BASTARD heat wave we’re having in LA by sharing a few keep-it-cool summertime ditties from my hoard.  Don’t worry, I’m not trying to covert anyone with this series – you can keep your roller coasters – just maybe slow things down a bit for Friday’s sake, take a breather, churn a little butter if you will.


BeachThis one reminds me of growing up in the Midwest and going to the “beach” at the lake.


PoolPopsicles + kiddie pool = Summer


Ocean 1“Pacific Coast breakers – too cool to swim.” on the back.

Have a great weekend everyone!