January 20, 2014
We’ve got more progress to report from the front lines of the Camp Davis renovation project.  This time it’s cabinetry.  And an island – a huge one.  After a few weeks of using the courtyard as a refrigerator, cooking everything in the microwave or on an electric griddle and washing dishes in the bathroom sink,

October 29, 2013
We made another trip to Camp Davis this past Sunday to check in on the contractor’s progress and it looks like they are nearly finished their side of the renovations.  Drywall is up, floors are down. We are in the middle, hopefully soon and often. Here is a shot of the soon-to-be kitchen with the

May 1, 2013
[It’s somewhat fitting that this would be my first post in over a week.  I’ve been busy, and when that happens I start worrying too much about getting things just right instead of just done.  My old boss used to always tell me not to make “the perfect the enemy of the good.”  I’m guilt

March 27, 2013
Maybe Spring is a bit fickle right now.  Maybe, after all these years, I’m still coming to grips with how the four seasons teasingly play out in the mid-Atlantic region. April is just around the corner, and the days are finally long enough to count.  Winter may still be hanging on by a thread, but

March 19, 2013
You may have noticed that things around here a looking a tad different than they used to.  I decided on a little face-lift for the website.  Nothing earth-shattering from a design standpoint, just a few things I wanted that the previous theme couldn’t give me, specifically the full-width content option (as if this blog really

February 1, 2013
I’m not a superstitious man.  Not necessarily.  But since having children I’ve grown to believe- no, I’ve grown to accept the fact that my outward acknowledgments control the fate of things around me. The classic “Jimmy Jinx” is one in which I mention, in the moment, that the kids are being good or sleeping well –

January 14, 2013
It’s been a really, really long time since I’ve made any progress on our bedroom build out.  After Ruthie was born all the building progress (predictably) stalled out.  That was six months ago.  For much of those six months it didn’t matter.  Loren’s room was more or less complete, so we didn’t have to worry

December 18, 2012
After a long hiatus over Thanksgiving break followed by a weekend stolen due to having to do “real” work, we managed to get ourselves out to Camp Davis for the first time in what felt like forever this past weekend.  As usual, the big plans we had for the projects we could accomplish between Friday

November 28, 2012
[First, a quick note: This is my 200th post.  That’s kind of crazy.  I’ve spent a good amount of time putting this blog together – often too much time – but I’ve been happy to document this last year in great detail.  If the ol’ memory takes a nose dive as I reach the age

October 30, 2012
I’m linking up to another Pinterest Challenge today.  Last time I tackled the chalkboard “blacksplash” (you can see that here). In case you are new to this, here’s a quick rundown.  The Pinterest Challenge is simple: Actually *do* something you recently pinned.  There is no theme, no difficulty-level expectations, nothing.  Just try something. While Katie Bower

October 26, 2012
We’re headed back to Camp Davis this weekend for a chance to slow things down a bit.  Since Natalie returned to work we’ve had some rather hectic weekends, and a few days of being totally disconnected is much needed at this point. On the topic of Camp Davis, I almost forgot… When we first came

October 1, 2012
We’re back from Camp Davis with more progress to report.  In addition to replacing the roof over the Studio we completed the siding on its northern-facing portion.  That is a huge deal for a number of reasons (for starters, that’s one less side subject to the elements this winter), but what it primarily represents is

September 25, 2012
The tin roof over top of the studio at Camp Davis is no longer.  We spent a long weekend at Camp and my dad and I ripped off the old leaky roof and replaced it.  I’m not going to type a lot for this one – the pictures speak for themselves, and my hands are

September 14, 2012
I’m tired of buying crap. No, that’s not it.  I’m tired of buying crap and then later complaining that the crap I bought is crap. Yeah, that’s more like it. In an effort to curb this recurring problem, Natalie and I made trip to Community Forklift just outside of DC in Edmonston, Maryland.  It is

June 25, 2012
Natalie has made it to 36 weeks – the last of the big milestones we were hoping for with this pregnancy.  That means more likely than not, we are out of the woods if this baby decides to come a little earlier than the standard 40. by

June 21, 2012
We’ve already made substantial progress on the build-out, having nearly completed Loren’s half of the baby rooms, but things have slowed since Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease took over our household.  Still marginally hobbled, I thought I’d take a little time to show you the “e-build” of our bedroom. For my project designs I’ve been

June 15, 2012
It’s the first thing he asks for in the morning.  It’s the last thing he relinquishes before bed.  All day long, it’s all he seems to care about. “Skoos” – or Screws as you or I might know them – Loren is completely obsessed. It’s not unusual for a toddler to develop a possessive obsession,

June 11, 2012
Despite being a bit mum on the subject, I’ve been buzzing along with the progress in Loren’s room.  This past week saw some major gains. We have finally retired the wire curtain divider! For just under the last month or so, this is what separated our room from Loren’s: It was enough to keep us

May 30, 2012
Last Thursday I completed framing Loren’s room, and now I’ve taken a big step toward closing-in the whole contraption.  Continuing with the Ikea “Hack” concept, I cut down the old flimsy shelf-backing material from our Billy Bookcase to fit the new width and then attached it using trim-screws. The material was fairly easy to work

May 29, 2012
The other day Nat and I discovered this sizable hole in our sub-floor hiding under a piece of metal at Camp Davis: That’s how I was going to start this post:  “The other day…”  Then, while looking through my old posts for a link to this discovery I realized that “the other day” happened a

May 24, 2012
Daily progress or Groundhogs’ Day?  I’ve been sucked into the time warp that is trying to finish this bedroom build out before the second baby gets here.  Nat is now 31 weeks along.  She feels great, things are looking positive for making it full(ish) term, but we really have no way of knowing just when

May 22, 2012
This weekend we kicked it with friends and slowed down a bit after a hectic last week.  It was a much needed break, but I’m afraid my brain stayed in slow-mode well into Monday.  Surely the rain didn’t help – and Loren and I were both a little stir-crazy from staying inside so much.  But

May 18, 2012
Here we are at week’s end.  I wish there was a way to go back in time and help myself understand that having children really meant firmly placing your finger on the fast-forward button of life.  I’m constantly in awe of this new sense of time.  On the one hand, it’s no longer worth the

May 17, 2012
You can see the first couple of posts on this Bedroom Build Out series here (Settling In), here (Framing Loren’s Crib), and here (Completing Loren’s Crib). I’ll get to the next step in the build out in a second, but first a little catch-up is in order: I’ve been working my rump off this week.

May 16, 2012
In the midst of running around last Friday I realized that all my tasks amounted to a mini-thesis of what this blog is all about.  I wore just about every one of my many hats in the span of 24 hours: from cooking to stay-at-home-dad-ing, to building in small spaces, to client meetings and creative

May 15, 2012
My father-in-law is something of a mad scientist when it comes to carpentry.  He’s converted their basement into his carpentry lab, where he toils away building things both beautiful and functional all year round.  He just can’t help himself. We’re lucky enough to be beneficiaries of this hobby of his.  For the last several Christmases

May 14, 2012
Over the weekend I pulled off a small miracle: I finished building Loren’s crib.  Why is this a miracle?  Normally when I have to make a second trip to the hardware store in order to finish a project, it’s common for a few months to lapse in the meantime.  Not so with this crib.  Instead

May 11, 2012
Wednesday we began the process of converting our room and settling in for a longer than planned stay in our little apartment.  Since then I’ve been hard at work with the beginning of the build out.  As Loren is already here and his little brother or sister not yet arrived we decided to start with

May 10, 2012
A while back I showed you how we were managing the transition into a smaller space, but we neglected to let you in on how we arranged the whole three-people-in-one-bedroom situation.  Here’s a little update for you. It’s kind of hard to imagine that the three of us have been sleeping in the one-time band room

April 30, 2012
It’s almost poetic that I’d finish last week analyzing priorities then finish off the weekend staring at this: That metal plate covered a two foot square at the foot of our side entrance door at Camp.  It has been one of those things that we acknowledge as a problem, but would just as soon cover

April 26, 2012
Spring has sprung.  We all knew that.  Then it sorta went away for a while.  But now it’s back.  Thanks to this super mild winter and early Spring, we’ve had gardening on our minds for a while now, planting herbs and building planter boxes, but this little bit of information is about to take us

April 18, 2012
This was supposed to be a post about cloth diapers – which we use and really like – and the installation of our new poop* sprayer** attachment I was going to add to our toilet this afternoon. *Or “diaper” sprayer if you happen to be in marketing.  But let’s be honest, no one is aiming

April 16, 2012
This weekend was unexpectedly productive.  Despite staying put in DC on Friday night – just allowing ourselves some downtime – and leaving for Camp Davis way later than we hoped to on Saturday morning, we managed to pack a lot into just a few short days.  We cooked *real* meals, cleaned the gutters, did some gardening,

April 9, 2012
This weekend we finally got over the hump that was moving and unpacking.  With our lives back in order we were finally ready to move forward again. We’ve had this stack of 12″x12″ sheets of paper we purchased from Joanne’s or Michael’s back when we were decorating Loren’s old room.  They came in a lot

April 3, 2012
I just discovered that Campbell’s Soup is “following” The Book of Jimmy’s Pinterest account (meaning they are watching my pins).  It seems they first stumbled upon my pinboard for The Tin Can @ Camp Davis, which makes sense when you think about it.  Campbell’s Soup, The Tin Can – it’s sort of their thing. Pinterest

March 13, 2012
Storage space is at a premium in our lives.  In our new place there is a little nook next to the fridge, that (was) home of three built-in shelves. Unfortunately, these little brackets were no match for just four of our cookbooks (granted, two were Bittman cookbooks and one was the King Arthur Flour Baker’s

March 12, 2012
While on a quasi-hiatus this past week I almost missed the news of an upcoming Pinterest Challenge being hosted by Young House Love and Bower Power.  Fortunately, in my crazy moving/remodeling tour I had inadvertently completed the task without realizing it had ever been assigned. The Challenge is simple: Actually *do* something you recently pinned.  There is no theme, no

March 12, 2012
I didn’t think I caught it. At least, I wasn’t too confident I had. I’ve been without camera for a week now. That sort of thing normally stinks. It’s even worse when you’re hellbent on capturing all your first born’s movements, and still worse when you’ve recently started a blog that sort of relies on

March 7, 2012
We decided to put up a Craigslist ad for our apartment yesterday morning.  We’ve been in a weird limbo lately – slowly moving out of here, taking our time, with no real timetable to abide by.  I think posting the rental ad was the spark we needed to get moving on all this.  Otherwise, I

March 5, 2012
We lost our camera bag.  Which means we also lost our camera charger.  Still have the camera, however, so it could be worse.  A new charger is in route via Amazon (the company) as we speak.  In the meantime, our camera battery is officially exhausted.  That means I’ll be relying on the photo archive and

March 3, 2012
Mason Jars.  Cheap, versatile, durable.  What’s not to like?  Through the generous donation of a friend we have cases and cases of them. Of course, our number one use for the mason jar is as a drinking vessel.  From water to wine, and every lovely beverage in-between (mint juleps maybe?), if you’re at Camp Davis, you’re likely

February 29, 2012
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve been working on my mother-in-law, Mary’s, basement in an effort to take it from a complete blank slate unfinished space, to a livable, multi-bedroom finished and furnished product.  Predictably, progress has been slow.  Fortunately our original timeline of completing the job by the end of March is

February 27, 2012
Over at DIYDiva, Kit is crowd sourcing ideas to help her change up her way too big entry way in her soon-to-be new old “Liberty House.”  I feel her pain.  That 16′ x 19′ room (or world’s biggest hallway as she rightfully calls it) is just begging for a solution. It turns out I’m a lover of

February 21, 2012
While I didn’t have much time to work on the Hytte this weekend (outside of installing one light fixture and the remaining curtain rods – I guess I got a little done after all), I did manage to snap a few pictures of our previous progress. We’ve got the Hytte to the point of being

February 21, 2012
Coming back from Camp Davis after a long weekend is always a mixed bag.  In many ways we’re excited to re-connect with the rest of the world (did we miss anything important?), see friends, and otherwise get back to “normal” as best we can.  Of course, leaving is never easy. Yesterday we found ourselves in

February 16, 2012
We didn’t make it down to the National Building Museum like I hoped (shocked, right?).  It was raining, there’s plenty we need to do here, and the nap that Loren was scheduled to take around 11 didn’t actually start until 12:30, which means he was down until 2:45.  That’s great in itself, but it doesn’t

February 15, 2012
I finally made it over to Community Forklift, the recycled building material warehouse on the edge of Hyattsville, MD.  I only learned about it six months ago, but I’ve wanted to visit every day since then.  So when I finally printed off directions, finally got Loren in the car, and finally started driving their way,

February 11, 2012
When we first purchased our condo one of the main selling points for us – as eager home renovators – was that both the kitchen and bathroom had yet to be remodeled.  Of course, over time, the biggest draw back to the place was that the kitchen and the bathroom had yet to be remodeled.

February 8, 2012
Before I get into the bulk of the renovations we’ve made here in our little DC apartment over the past few years (slowly, painfully), I wanted to highlight a simple change we made that added a lot of storage in what was otherwise dead space above our refrigerator. Cruising my Reader this morning I came

February 7, 2012
That title may or may not be made-up Norwegian. This is the Hytte post I mentioned a few weeks back.  The Hytte is our little guest house at Camp Davis.  Well, I guess it would be considered a guest house if we weren’t busy hogging it outselves.  When we’re hosting a crowd (aka my immediate

February 6, 2012
This weekend I found myself back over at Nat’s Mom’s house, this time doing a lot more than just shopping for materials.  After almost a full day two weeks ago, this was all I had to show for my efforts: That’s right: some track and only sixteen inches of wall framing completed.  Yikes.  Oh, and

February 1, 2012
As promised, what follows is a little bit of the interior details from MacMurray Ranch in the Russian River Valley. Let’s go ahead and start with that seemingly modest barn behind the giant redwoods: You’ve got some drool there on you. I love the contrast between the painted white beams and the stained roof beams.

January 31, 2012
Over the summer Natalie and I had the incredible fortune of going to Napa and Sonoma County for some serious vineyard tours.  We were part of a small group of three couples led by my friend Mike (of rock wall fame), who works in the industry here on the east-coast.  The entire trip was incredible

January 30, 2012
There’s certain DIY projects that are almost too easy that it’s silly.  You stop and wonder, “why didn’t I think of that?” Or if you did finally think of it, you wonder, “why didn’t I think of that before?” This is one of those projects.  We inherited it from the previous owner of Camp Davis

January 27, 2012
We’re off for a long weekend at Camp Davis, West Virginia.  We’ve got a few of my brothers and their kids coming down with us – which means the food talk started a few days ago.  Waffles, pancakes and western omelets will start off our days at breakfast.  Saturday night should see brined split-chicken under

January 24, 2012
Uh, right.  Sorry about the title.  I’ll be working with a lot of metal studs – 89 to be exact (that is, if my first set of calculations can be trusted).  I’m also working on a house other than my own this time around. by

January 24, 2012
I have a hard time thinking up gift ideas for Natalie.  We’ve been together almost 15 years.  That’s a lot of gifts.  We’ve also decided to cut back drastically on the amount of money we spend on each other for Christmas and birthdays. by

January 23, 2012
You can see my previous post about converting our bedroom closet into my “office” here.  It turns out that while the office was a huge success, it created still another need: a closet to replace the one I’d just eliminated. Again, this is a 600 square foot apartment we’re talking about here.  Every little bit

January 21, 2012
That’s how we built this wall.  Only those are stones, not bricks.  And rather, that’s how our friend Mike built this wall. by

January 19, 2012
This is the room where our son Loren sleeps. We live in a tiny apartment in DC, so every inch is important.  It’s also really easy to over-do a small space.  That said, small pieces can dwarf a small room.  So with that in mind we chose the less-and-big is more approach. by

January 18, 2012
As I mention in my Getting Stated post, I’m a stay-at-home-dad as well as a part time lawyer. Living in a 600 square foot apartment requires a little creativity if you expect to fit your whole life in such a little space. Fortunately, we were just crazy enough to convert one of our bedroom closets

January 14, 2012
Being transplant city-folks (sorta), we’ve grown comfortable in tiny apartments.  Our first place in DC was a basement apartment. It was a studio, maybe 400 square feet.  Dark, cold, but affordable and close to school.  In April 2007 we got the courage (and inexplicable financing) to buy a place of our own.  Something above ground,

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