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Month: June 2011

The new house. the office aka Lana Bella HQ

The new house. the office aka Lana Bella HQ

Ok so you probably want to see where I’m working from these days! It has been a messy work in progress while I worked around unpacked boxes. Made more hectic by the 450 individual containers of salves and 300 lip balms all made & labeled by me in the past 10 days while managing FIVE children, 2 dogs and a cat. Before you say it I’m not super woman. Honestly I’m struggling with time for everything and quite often feel like I am suffocating. Finally just this afternoon was it finally together enough to be presentable and not something to be ashamed of for not getting to yet.


Like everywhere else in the house it was a blank slate all white walls except where their were mirrors. Unlike in the dining room I didn’t hide them in here its the darkest room of the house and they bounce light. There is also no before picture so think boring and white.

This is the view pretty much when coming in. Did I mention there are french doors leading to my office. I love that when open they allow me just a little extra feeling of being with the kids while they are just down the hall in their play room. Its a dreary day today so it looks dark in here but the wall color in here is sherwin williams springtime. I think like in our bedroom I may need to add a second coat, but for now I’m living with it.

On the right when you walk in you can see orders being pulled on top of the shelves. The bins are full of salves & balms, prebagged teas, body butters and deodorants.  So I guess its the mini ship center.

My still a little cluttered desk is straight ahead,  with the postal scale & printer there on the right and  a fresh cup of coffee thanks to lexi.

To the left are the drawers of soap and packaging supplies. Note the weird mirrors. On the dresser I’m listening to some pandora and working on some aromatherapy roll ons!

Finishing up the tour is the closet that is on the same wall as the entry door. You can see jars of herbs and essential oils and misc raw materials and bulk product already made.


There you have it the new HQ of Lana Bella. I’m really grateful I got almost of my artscape prep done before the move now because it really is allowing me the time to enjoy the pool.

The new house. Family and Kitchen

The new house. Family and Kitchen

The other major living area on the 1st floor is the kitchen/family room. Like the dining area its also located on the back of the house away from street noise (HA) and with two huge slider or window/door combos looking out onto the patio offers me the ability of sitting here on the couch writing this post while still being able to glance over at the boys trying to catch lizards.


Ok another combo room we will start with the before of the kitchen & family room. Note again the family room was the same white as everything else was.


I went with sherwin williams heart of palm in here for the entire space and couldn’t be more delighted in how the color changes through out the day.

Ignore the clutter on the fridge we are still getting settled.  You can see the door to the TINY pantry to the left of the fridge and some of my vintage aprons hanging on the wall.

The rest of the kitchen because of the big open area that I’m standing in to take the picture it seems so much roomier than it is. The layout is different than what I’ve had ever before and in the right corner next to the stove is one of those big cabinets to hell. You know those ones that have a teeny opening but go all the way back to the wall. The sinks are also a bit shallow for what I’d like but all in all I like it. Most of the kitchen was painted by me with a 1 1/2 inch brush too because there really wasn’t much to paint.

From the family room into the kitchen you can see the big open area near the slider and the fridge.  Also the pictures were taken before Steve left but he was packing so thats his macbook bag there on the couch.

From the kitchen. With so many more of us now we added the old day bed into the mix for extra sitting and possible guest visiting.  Its still amusing to see how much spare space we have in the shelves here now because so much of all of our storage was over taken by the business before the move. The entire right side was shipping supplies, paper, ink, labels for products, etc. Now its magazines and some odds & ends for now.

The day bed. This is also the bedding I picked for Lexi a few summers ago when she was visiting her dad. The green of the sheets/quite are really similar to the wall paint at points of the day.


So there you have it. Now you have seen all of our main living areas. I’ll finish up with the 1st floor tomorrow. Then maybe a pause to finish up the series about Lexi’s quilt.


The new house. Dining and the learning/play room.

The new house. Dining and the learning/play room.

Ok I’ve taken a gazillion pictures of the new house. We are still unpacking and working things out but this is were we are at so far. I’ll go room by room over the next few days showing you all we have done.

We were pretty lucky in this adventure to have the use of the giant garage to store our boxes and so much of our stuff so the rooms were really empty while we painted. The rooms are in no way done they still need curtains but I’m taking my time and pondering what I want for them, and deciding on the decorative touches to complete things.  We also started with REALLY blank canvases like all white ceiling to trim.

This is a really big room for us. Its about the size of our entire first floor in our baltimore house, maybe not quite as long but about 1.5 times as wide and the natural light is AMAZING!

This is a picture of the play/learning area of the room though it was all white when we got here.

I know small picture, and yes that is an entire wall of mirrors.


Are you ready for the after. I am stunned on the change a little paint can’t make honestly. I’ve painted before but it was already after things were moved in or fairly settled before not as the main part of the transformation process.

The kids “genius bar”, the train table and toy storage. A small glimpse of the new craft table in the far left.

The other side of the room showing the train table, toy storage and the now unused coat rack. You can also see the front door & Finn’s car seat waiting to be installed in the suburban. There is that craft table again this time to the right.

BOOKS! To utilize space and cover up some of those mirrors we put the book shelves there. Yes you do actually see there of the 4×4 ikea expedit shelves there, and yes they are mostly full. Our dining table to the left and the craft table to the right.

The other angle you see the dining table to the right and on the opposite wall you see the 3 hanging wires for artwork, cards, pictures anything the kids hang really. You also see the two places that now need to be sanded and repainted because Rory & Finn tried to use one of the wires as a zipline. You also get a teeny glimpse into the kitchen & family room from here.

For the sake of having one picture from the same place as the original here you have it. You can see the craft table and Rory’s nest (papasan chair) from here. For perspective I was backed up to the train table taking this picture. There will be enough room for all the kids to sit at both craft and computer tables. They are currently short one bench because ikea has been out of stock.

I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into our living spaces. Oh the paint! I almost forgot the color is Chartreuse by sherwin williams custom tinted at 50%.

We’ve moved! and why I’m so far behind in shipping

We’ve moved! and why I’m so far behind in shipping


Rory, Jack, Finn, Aidan & Lexi

Remember a couple months ago when I said there were changes coming? WOW I wish I had known really how much my life was going to change in mid may.  I had literally just sat in the tub for my weekly soak. The time I hide myself away in the tub to soak when I get the chance is absolutely sacred to me its something that makes me feel so good mentally & physically. Steve knocked on the bathroom door, it had been a hectic day I told him to go away. He opened the door instead and came in the look on his face was frightening. I thought something had happened to my gram and my mom called him to break the news for me. What he said instead was even more shocking. “Tara died.” WHAT? My anxiety level not only hit the roof in about 30 seconds but soared up on past it. You see Tara was his ex-wife, the mother of his oldest child.


This all happened literally eight days before the movers were showing up at our house to pack everything and move us to Miami. So in the course of eight days I finished making 65 more pounds of soap for Artscape, rearranged our already cramped too small Baltimore rowhome to store the contents of a seventh person and said person, dealt with emotionally supporting my husband through the loss of his ex-wife and the custody disagreement that followed, researched grief support and books for the 11 year old boy that would now be living with us and panicked.

My entire timetable at this point was thrown out a window. Who knew that just adding one extra child to the mix when we already had four would throw everything upside down. Most days Aidan is in good spirits. The way our household works is however completely different from what he was used to so there are some bumps everyday. He is encouraged by his own health and wellness due to some of the changes.

We will get through though its all been so much slower than I had anticipated and I’m so very sorry for the excessive delays at this point on shipping things. Its been three weeks now since we arrived in our new home and yesterday my husband left leaving me alone for the next 45 days alone with 5 children. We are adjusting. The pool helps.


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