Master Remodel.

We finally finished our master bedroom remodel, and may I just applaud professional home flippers because they must be the most patient humans alive.

It was a journey, but we couldn’t be happier with the outcome. Before we go into a full explanation of the project, a little background…

  1. Our home was a 4 bed, 2 bath upon purchase. And though 99% of the time it’s a bad idea to remove a bedroom, we decided to do it. For one, most of the homes on our street are 3 beds/2 baths or 2 beds/2 baths, so it wouldn’t be a terribly unwise move to eliminate the fourth bedroom based on the comps. Also, two of the four rooms were tiny and we really loved the idea of having a true master suite in this home.
  2. Another thing to know: all of the bedrooms were initially off of a really long hallway (seen below). This presented a small problem…If a baby ever graced our household, we would’ve had to walk all the way to the end of the hallway on creaky wood floors just to get to our room. Rumor is that babies are sensitive sleepers, so creating a separate entrance to the master suite was a must. Thus, we moved the entrance of the master suite to the living room.
  3. We fall in the category of people with a laundry closet, and said closet also landed at the end of the long, creaky hallway. When we combined bedroom #3 and #4 to make a master suite, the laundry area would have kept us from having a roomy walk-in closet, so it had to move. Because of these factors, we moved the laundry closet to the entrance of our new master suite.

    Clear as mud? Pictures will help…


Original hallway that led to the four bedrooms, one bathroom, and the laundry closet (on far right).
A more up-close look at our old Laundry Closet. No need for me to expound much here; it obviously was not a pretty sight.
Demolished hallway. Now, the hallway only includes two bedrooms and a bathroom…oh! and a fun, little addition…
A linen closet! We were barely able to sneak one in, but we are so thankful for the extra space. If you’re not impressed while reading this, you probably live in a newer home than we do. Let me tell you: homes from the 1950s have very little closet space. Even this infant sized closet brought tidings of great joy to our household.
The shortened hallway. Still looks a little long, but I promise it’s a much shorter, less creaky trek.


The picture below is not great, but it’s the only one I could find with the original built in bookcase. Yes, that charming little bookcase unfortunately got the boot, but for good purpose—it became the new entrance to our master suite.

Bye bookshelf; Hello new entrance to our master suite
There you go! New entry to the master suite complete.

If you walk inside the new master suite entrance, you’ll first be welcomed by a tiny hallway (with doors on both ends) that houses the new laundry closet. Though we would’ve loved a full laundry room, that was just not possible with this house (but at least this new laundry closet is a bit of an upgrade!).

Our washer/dryer basically had to make a 180 and move up a few feet. Sounds like a simple project, right? Surprisingly, it was one of the most time intensive parts of this remodel. A whole breaker panel had to move, along with so many pipes, etc. It took a good, long while (and a pretty penny), but the new location of the laundry closet is much more practical, so we are happy folk.
So fresh / So clean / So complete


The pictures below will make this part of the remodel look much smaller, simpler, and faster than it actually was. In all honesty, Creighton did the initial merging of rooms as soon as he bought the house three years ago, but it wasn’t until this past summer that we finally tackled the rest of the project (trim, bookcase, closet, bathroom, entrance change, laundry closet, etc.). We still have a ways to go when it comes to decorating, but it’s getting there!

Master bedroom before
This was the other bedroom that was combined with the original master to create our suite.
And the two became one…
Flash forward to this summer. I’ll spare you the demo pictures and jump straight to the framed project.
A little paint to make things sparkle.
Voila. A finished project. To help with perspective, the door to the left leads into the small hallway/laundry closet, the door in the middle is our master closet (see more pictures below), and the door to the far right is the master bathroom.


This master bath was quite petite when we got our hands on it. We knew that we’d never be able to have a huge master bath, but our hope was to make it feel light and airy by extending the shower and sink out a bit.
We wanted a double vanity and rewrote the plans many, many times to try to get it to work, but alas…it just did not work with our space. That being said, we actually love our new vanity—one sink and all. We added a mirrored wall above the vanity (instead of a decorative framed mirror) to create the illusion of a larger space and to allow two people to get ready at once without fighting for the mirror.
I was certain I knew the exact finishes I wanted for the master bath—French blue penny tile, white cabinets, and marble-toned quartz countertops. But when we went to buy the tile, the white penny tiles were a whopping $10 less per sq/ft than the blue. My love for a good deal won out, and I’m honestly so glad it did. With the switch to white tiles, we decided to bring color to the vanity instead and settled on this greenish shade called Mizzle by Farrow and Ball.

There you have it! A long project (and a long blog post), but I do hope you enjoyed. Thanks for following along.

Currently listening to “Singin’ In The Rain” by Gene Kelly

He Said/She Said (January 2021)

I’m pulling this series from the 2016 vault and reintroducing one of my very favorite things…

The book review.

I got out of the habit of reading the past few years (blaming Creighton for that one—he came into my life and suddenly doing anything with him was more fun than reading), but thanks to 2020 I had a lot of extra downtime and went back to my bookwormy ways.

So without further ado, my January reads…

“Yesterday I knew I had no future, and that it was impossible for me to accept my life as it is now. And yet today, that same messy life seems full of hope. Potential. The impossible, I suppose, happens via living.”

-“The Midnight Library”

“The Midnight Library” was the number one fiction book on Goodreads last year, so naturally I had to give it a shot. I’d label this book a mix of “It’s a Wonderful Life” and a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book, and I did love the heart behind the primary message of the novel. That being said, it was pretty obvious what was going to happen about 50 pages in. Though I did enjoy it, I wish there had been more depth to the protagonist’s story…or even a few final chapters that showed progression after her trip to the library. All in all, though, a nice story.

“You mistake love. You think it has to have a future in order to matter, but it doesn’t. It’s the only thing that does not need to become at all. It matters only insofar as it exists. Here. Now. Love doesn’t require a future.” 

-“IN five years”

I read somewhere that this book “tried really hard to be better than it was,” and I agree with that sentiment. The first half of “In Five Years” felt nearly identical to “One Day in December” by Josie Silver, but then it takes a deep dive into grief that leaves the reader confused and frankly, just plain ol’ sad. In the end, I didn’t like any of the characters and was angry at how the plot unfolded…but I did also cry at one point, so there’s that.

“Why was I crying so much? Because I think it finally dawned on me that I have a child who will never know her grandmother, the person who was the closest to me in the world. And I was about to start this journey with my daughter by myself without the help of my mother. …Then, I realized the one thing that would bridge all three of our lives was our faith, this intangible thing that had been passed on to me and that I would now pass on to my daughter. Somehow, through this ritual, I had transcended the impossible distance between me and my mom.”

-“Nothing like I imagined”

I am a huge fan of Mindy Kaling’s writing. It is her best professional talent, in my opinion, so I was thrilled when she released this series of essays. And though I did enjoy her other books better, these were still as charming as ever. The essay, “Help Is On The Way” where she described her on-going friendship with her daughter’s nurse was definitely my favorite!

Currently listening to “Sunday best” by Surfaces

To My Most Faithful Friend.

There are those natural stop points in your year. Some make you reevaluate (New Years), some make you remember (anniversaries), and some make you appreciate (birthdays).

Today is a day of deep appreciation for my sister, Sarah, as she celebrates her 33rd birthday.

Let me tell you the story behind this picture of her…

I was living in Nashville, all of 22 years old, and was doing what I thought was my dream job (but hating every minute of it). By that point, my dreams of grandeur about this young adult season of life had popped, leaving me feeling lonely. Really, really lonely. I remember being in a sad head space leading up to that day when my most faithful friend drove up for a visit.

I have a theory that we revert back to our childhood selves around siblings, so naturally I acted like the goofy little sister, while Sarah (graciously) laughed at all my jokes and played along…as she always has. Bless that poor girl’s heart. Her visit was sunshine on a literal cloudy day, as well as a cloudy season of my life.

Sarah has a way of lifting your mood, simply by allowing you to be the truest version of yourself unapologetically…and the cool thing? She thinks you’re great! And she thinks you’re tiny apartment is charming! And that park down the street? Oh my goodness, she can’t get over how convenient and happy it is! She is the ultimate hype person who will cheer you on—through the good, the bad, and the very, very ugly.

We all need a “Sarah” in our life, and today, I’m so thankful she’s in mine.

Happy birthday to my girl!

(Currently listening to the BIRTHDAY PLAYLIST that I make for Sarah every year…see below!)

Weekly Rundown.

A lovely Friday to you!

Covid has obviously not cramped Princess Beatrice’s style at all. Who needs thousands of wedding guests when you can have thousands of flowers? Still daydreaming about this pretty scene.
  1. For those in need of a fool-proof summer recipe, look no further than this: turky + feta meatballs with lemon orzo salad (c/o Hello Adams Family Blog). It’s easy, summer-y, and consistently good. Honestly, I’ve never been much of a meatball fan, but I do like these (and Creighton says these are top-notch, while still feeling light). What really gets me is the lemon orzo salad. If dinner parties were a thing in 2020, I’d be making a side of that all the time!
Image c/o Hello Adams Family Blog

2. Creighton sent this article from Apartment Therapy my way last week, and it’s too cool a story not to share. The article features the home of a woman who has a rare disease called Grapheme-Color Synesthesia, or in other words, her “brain “sees” letters and numbers as having specific colors.” So, her brain associates specific colors with words. For example, here are some color schemes associated with the words that best correlate to each room in her house…

Image c/o apartment therapy

Check out the article to see how the homeowner decorated each room of her house with colors that “meant something.” My favorite of her rooms was the sweet little sunroom below.

Image c/o apartment therapy

3. My beloved sister Sarah is moving home to Texas after an 8 year detour in Birmingham, Alabama. She’s set to arrive in her new home of Austin tomorrow, and believe me when I say that I’ve been counting down the days. Here’s to you and your new adventure, Sarah!

4. I’ve worn this cute new headband every day this week. How much do I love it? Let me count the ways: it is not too big or bulky; it covers quarantine hair; and it looks like the Mi Golondrina ones that fancy girls wear, but it’s cheaper. win, win, win.

5. This last Sunday night, we experienced the most beautiful, full double-rainbow while grabbing some ice cream at Andy’s frozen custard. Just a small, but timely reminder of hope.

Currently listening to “Seven” by T-Swift

Weekly Rundown.

It’s Friday, friends! Here are some highlights from this week…

Photo from
  1. It’s no secret that the band formally known as The Dixie Chicks has been a love of mine since the single-digit years of my life. Well, the girls are back with their brand spankin’ new album “Gaslighter,” and I’m here to tell you it’s good. Even if you’re not a fan of country music, you should give it a listen. The song “My Best Friend’s Weddings” is so sad and wonderful all at the same time.

2. A few weeks back I took a stroll around my favorite Marshall’s in Dallas (which also happens to be sketchy as heck) and found these whitewashed wicker ottomans for only $50. I love a good deal, so they made their way back to the Dryden home (though I still haven’t decided if I’m keeping them for good). Currently they’re living at the end of our bed, but I think they’d be cute under an acrylic console table too.

3. It’s been a minute since I’ve loved anything I’ve read, but I am definitely intrigued by “The Guest List,” a thriller written from five different perspectives. Only 30 pages in, but so far I’m hooked. That Reese Witherspoon really knows what she’s doing, huh?

4. Not much else is going on here in Dallas, Texas. Our city’s Covid numbers are shamefully high, so Creighton and I are hanging at home a lot and enjoying time together. It’s such a funny season of life (and let’s be honest: we’re talking “strange funny,” not “haha funny”), but I keep seeing glimpses of God’s loving kindness and faithfulness during this time. I am confident that He is loving us well through this.
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have trouble, but take heart; I have overcome the world.”
-John 16:33

These are the glory days, folks!

Currently listening to “My Best Friend’s Weddings” by The Chicks