If My Life Were A Reality Show…

It would be called, “Puking and Home Renovating,” or perhaps, “30 Days to Create the Perfect Air BnB Paradise while dying,” or maybe, “The First Trimester from Hell Home Decor Challenge.” All of the HGTV-type shows out there are so vanilla  compared to what I’d be serving up. Because for once I’d like to see one of the expectant moms hunting for her dream home abruptly stop the cameras from rolling so she can dodge one of the Property Brothers on her way to hurl. Or better yet, not dodge him. I’d love to see a Property Brother speckled with vomit.

Before I found out I was pregnant, and long before I started my daily dances with the porcelain God, Merp and I hatched this amazing plan. The heat out here in the Santa Clarita Valley, nearing 100 most days was getting to us, and we missed the character and culture and cool breezes of coastal living. All the while, my Mom up in Carmel, California was making a killing on her guest cottage, renting it out to Air BnB travelers non-stop to the point she opened up other rooms in her GORGEOUS mountain estate. We thought: why can’t we get in on the Air BnB action? Why can’t we subsidize a small house in a small beach town we can enjoy every so often with the help of vacationers? So we scraped our plan to pay off student loans and recently closed on the most adorable Spanish bungalow EVER, half a mile from the beach in Ventura, California. Ventura, a town of 100,000 people, is 25 minutes from Santa Barbara, 50 minutes from Los Angeles, and truly one of the only remaining affordable beach communities in all of California.

House of Smiling Sun

I was sooo excited to renovate and decorate and cozy up this little gem before my energy took a nose dive and the sickness set in. Now, the thought of meeting with plumbers and electricians, while scouring furniture stores for unique finds, makes my stomach flip. But I have no choice. And I am so grateful we have the means to do this, I just wish I’d be able to enjoy the process. Want to see the Pinterest board I created, pre-nausea, for inspiration? Have a gander if you’d like.

When I was in Las Vegas a month ago visiting a friend, I found this funky pink chair with the idea that I wasn’t going to play it safe decorating House of the Smiling Sun (our current name for the place). I was going to have fun with color and texture and fabric and light! I was going to bargain hunt and stalk Craig’sList for all the deals. But now, when I look at that pink chair I want to puke. I bought it at a thrift shop a week before the nausea really kicked in, when I was only dry heaving, but now even glancing at it makes me ill. Sigh. And super weird. But just like this pregnancy, I know the new home is a HUGE blessing, one I wish I had the energy and the stomach to enjoy. But, you can’t always get what you want, now can you?

So I ask, where the hell are the HGTV people when you need them!? I’d so love to have them look at my Pinterest board and then do it all for me, while I sit on my couch with Daphne and read The Goldfinch (an amazing book I just started and literally cannot put down).

Anyone have tips for pulling together a house in a month? For surviving home decorating while feeling this sick? For not making decor decisions I’ll regret because I’m so different right now? I need all the advice, and help, I can get.



Add Yours
  1. gradualchanges

    Oh girl I haven’t unpacked most of my boxes since I moved 5 months ago so I’m not the right person to share advice on this one. But my suggestion is maybe you just don’t have it done in a month. Is that possible. I always like to take my time rather than rush to do something. Congrats on the new place.


  2. cassiedash

    Oh, sweet mama, this does NOT sound fun! We took a trip to Hawaii while I was in the middle of my first trimester, sick as a dog (the trip was planned long before I ever got pregnant), and I remember how HARD it was just to pack five suitcases. Putting a house together? Forget it! You are a hero just for attempting. It does sound like a really cool project, and hopefully profitable in the end, but I feel for you. I wish I had some great advice, but all I have is sympathy. And lots of hope for you that the nausea and puking will let up very soon! xo


    • Steph Mignon

      Omg I forget that you have 5 people to pack for! That sounds soooooooo miserable. Truly. We just got back from a trip and it was rough – having a toddler bounce on my belly. My mom is here for a few days – thank God – but I don’t know how I will manage after.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. josamarie

    I popped back in to check on you for the first time in a while (crazy summer from hell here, we were home for more than 2 days exactly once between June 20-September 10 and I had wretched morning sickness myself on top of it. 20 weeks pregnant with a baby girl… I can’t believe my rainbow baby is going to be a big brother, or that he’s now a year and a half old. How did that happen?!) and I’m so excited to see your good news! Lots and lots of healthy vibes your way, and a huge congratulations!


    • Steph Mignon

      Josamarie! I was wondering what happened to you! SOOO Happy to hear about your news as well. A baby girl!? Exciting! I just took the gender test today so we’ll see what I’m having. If you ever start a blog yourself, please let me know as I’d love to follow your adventures in mommyhood. 🙂 xoxox


  4. talkingthroughlife

    There’s an app I downloaded once (I can’t remember the name) when we were decorating. You input all the dimensions and it creates a virtual house then you use the camera on your phone or tablet to scan pain colours and furniture colours and place your furniture in the rooms so you can see what the finished look will be. It might help you make decisions you won’t regret if you can find that app or a similar one


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