My Little Secret

I have a little secret… Are you ready for this?

As much as I love beautiful things and to create amazing projects and styled photo shoots for WhipperBerry, my home DOES NOT live up to the standards that I set for my blog.  GASP… I know!!

I can't tell you how many times someone has said, "I can't wait to see the home of WhipperBerry!" I then have died a little inside knowing that they would be soooooo disappointed.  Seriously, I have gone to great lengths to NOT have people come over to my house who are aware of my work on my blog. 

Case in point… This last summer I went on a road trip with Shelley from House of Smiths and Jen from Tatertots & Jell-o to San Diego for Blogher.

img source | Blogher 2012 from House of Smiths

Starting at the top and going clockwise | Jen from Tatertots & Jell-o, Amy from Living Lucurto & I Heart Faces, ME… Heather from WhipperBerry, Shelley from House of Smiths and Angie from I Heart Faces.

I can't tell you how much anxiety that produced knowing that two very talented home bloggers where coming to pick me up at my plain Jane, cluttered and TOTALLY OUT DATED home. I very quickly devised a plan so that they didn't need to drive all the way to my house.  They could stop for a bite to eat and my husband would drop me off at the restaurant. Whew… major crisis averted.

This has been a serious source of stress for me for the last little while.  Not that every home needs to look like a professional designer came in and waved his or her magic wand and created this amazing oasis for your family to live in.  It doesn't!  It needs to be a place where you feel comfortable and can take pride in knowing that you've created a warm, inviting home for your family and guests.  That will mean very different things to different people.  I knew that my home did not live up to that for me, and I had trouble with that.  Especially since I've put myself out into the blogging world.

I'm sure you've noticed that my photos are VERY controlled. I have a small corner in my kitchen that I set-up to take all of my pictures. One of these days in the near future I will show you how to set-up a small scale photo studio like the one that I created.  It will be another mind blowing shocker of a post!!

How did my home get this way, you ask? Well, we moved into our home 8 years ago and at the time I was 7 months pregnant with little miss Em our third daughter.  We had made the big move away from family in Colorado to the wilds of Las Vegas and that was HUGE in and of itself. We actually had the chance to buy our home brand new and got to pick all of the cabinets, flooring and such.  The problem… WE HAD NO IDEA WHAT WE WERE DOING… and we were trying to keep our costs as low as possible {we were being cheap!} Therefore we ended up with a home that didn't look like much.  It has been WONDERFUL, don't get me wrong. It has been a fabulous place for our family, it just doesn't have the look or feel that I would love to have.

Over the years we have struggled, like so many of you, with debt and money woes.  This was another factor to the state of our home.  We have spent MANY years creating debt and then  working our way out of it. We have been debt free for several years now, but that has been a BIG struggle.  I am, what Shelley would call, a SUPER CONSUMER and my husband is a SUPER SAVER. The two don't mesh very well in most cases. I ADORE him so I've worked hard to learn how to curb my spending appetites. So… It's very important for us to stay out of debt {mostly because I enjoy being married to my super sexy husband!} But… I subsequently have had to put blinders on.  I don't look at home catalogs, or go shopping at home stores.  I don't look at my friends new furniture too long. I don't look at our furniture and drive myself crazy longing for something I know it's not the right time to have. I have learned to be happy with what we have and when we have the opportunity, I try to spruce things up the best I can, while staying true to our financial plan.

Well, we've finally hit a point where we can start to make some much needed updates to our home and I am soooooo excited.  I am planning on doing a good portion of the work myself with the help of my sweet husband, however there was one big GINORMOUS task that I knew was just too much for us to chew.  Flooring!! I am not going to go totally into it in this post, but I thought I would let you know what I am up to right now.

Yesterday, if you were following me on Twitter or Facebook, you would've seen my flooring play-by-play.  We started demo of the existing flooring after packing up the bottom floor of the house this last weekend. Big job I must say!! Here's the whole bottom floor of the house stuffed into the garage…

And here is the photo of our SHOCKING carpet!!

As much as I would LOVE to say, "check out that shadow!" I can't… That's what the Vegas heat will do to your carpet.  Not really the heat itself, its the outside heat that causes the asphalt to be in a bit of a soft state all the time, thus causing you to track all kinds of crud into your house.  It doesn't matter if you are a shoe Nazi and stand at the door demanding that everyone remove their footwear before entry… This just happens. 

I have a fantastic friend at T-Brothers Tile here in Vegas who is going to help and transform this floor nightmare!! Don't let the name fool you, T-Brothers is soooo much more than tile.  They are your one stop shop for tile, wood, granite counter tops and so much more.  They even have someone who will clean and re-seal your grout if you need it.  They've been on the DIY Networks Kitchen Crashers show and you can see the whole episode right here.

The T-Brothers crew came over yesterday and started the demo and here's what it looked like…


We had the trifecta… tile in the entry way, carpet in the living room and office and LOVELY linoleum in the kitchen.  The demo team was loving us!!

Here's what it looked like at the end of just 5 1/2 hours…

Clean as a whistle!!

I will have to stop there, but don't you worry! We have so much to share as my sweetheart and I transform our home into something we will LOVE to call our home.  Who knows when we are done maybe I will invite Jen and Shelley over for a girls weekend here in Vegas without the panic attack!!

So… what's your little secret? What do you try and hide from friends when they come to visit? Or do you even let them walk in the door?  I would LOVE to hear your story.

keeping it real… my toilet is currently sitting on my front porch!


  1. says

    It’s nice to see that someone’s carpet looks as awful as mine. And I have the tile in the entry way thing going on to–counting down the days to wood floors. In the mean time, I’m seriously considering painting my subfloor just so I don’t have to look at my ugly carpet! Can’t wait to see how it turns out, I’m drooling over the picture of the wood that you tweeted.

  2. says

    Wow, its so good to know that other people are like me!! I hardly EVER invite people over because I feel like my house is cluttered and my kitchen counter always has my crafts all over it!! You are not alone! There is so much I would like to do to my house to update it, but baby steps:) I can’t wait to see your floor when it’s done. How exciting!!

  3. says

    *HAHA* I had to crack up at the end with the toilet pic. Hooray for new flooring too! It’s great that you guys are at a place where you can start jazzing up your home, can’t wait to see after photos. I can definitely relate, we bought a small crappy fixer upper to keep our mortgage low and we’re like oh we can take care of everything this house needs. I was embarrassed to have people just pull up to my house, forget coming in. I was actually depressed because the tasks were just so much and I never felt like it was a “home”. After living there for 10 years and unable to keep up, my ex husband took over and I moved into a newer house without so much to do. Now it feels great and I love having company over. I’m sure you will feel that same feeling once it’s done :) Good luck!

  4. says

    Ahhhh!!!!!!! Can’t even begin to explain how this post hit home for me. I am SO embarrassed of my not so beautiful house, and wouldn’t even DREAM of inviting a blogger into it. I can’t really fix it up since it’s an old tiny little house….I guess I COULD, but my hubby and I don’t want to put money into something that is just plain old and ready to crash. So unless someday we build a new one, this is what I have and I do everything I can to help people not to know what it’s like. Thanks for writing this. I’m glad I’m not the only one!!

  5. says

    i LOVE that your toilet is on the front porch!!! hubby and i are talking about doing our whole downstairs with wood flooring and when we said we would put everything in the garage i said the toilet has to be the last thing out and the fist thing in and that is heavy, we should just leave it on the front porch. he thought i was nuts. i am showing him this!!!

  6. says

    Ugh. I know what you mean about the floors getting nasty here in Vegas. We moved here two years ago and no idea! So our living room carpet was awful. Luckily, it was falling apart around the edges so the owners of the home replaced it (but only in the living room). I can already see the 2 week old carpet getting dirty- and I am the shoe nazi for sure!

  7. says

    I LOVE this post!! So often we only show our “best” to the blogging world, and it is beyond refreshing to see that other people are real people too! I’m super happy for you and can’t wait to see the after pics!
    Laurie @ Gallamore West :)

  8. says

    I love that you kept it real with this post! My home was built in the 60’s, and absolutely NOTHING has been remodeled. We have lived here 5 years, and just don’t have the finances to change anything. I never invite people over because I hate how it looks. Imagine pink tile on the walls in the bathroom. My kitchen has a chocolate brown oven and separate chocolate brown range. Oh, yes! I have a cake blog and can’t even take pics in my own kitchen. So, I am totally understanding your “very controlled” photos!! There, my secret is out. :0)

  9. says

    Well, let’s just lay it all out there. Let’s just talk about the elephant in the room. We bloggers don’t have time to deal with our homes….if we don’t want our blogs to suffer. I mean….that is the dirty little secret….right? My house is a mess and needs major overhauling. When I am not blogging, I am on Pinterest getting ideas…….anything but actually doing something about the mess and the grannyish outdated house. I keep telling myself… steps. One project at a time. Today…..I actually took the first step…..and a very baby one at that…. to paint some bar stools….Yea me! And yea you for getting to remodeling your kitchen! Does it count that you have a great blog? YES It does!

  10. says

    oh, heather. i love you! i can’t wait to see that amazing new floor..and after living in small apartments and yucky digs, i so totally understand where you are coming from. you are amazing and i can’t wait to see all that you have up your sleeve. i was laughing at your very controlled photo comment. i think many of us can say the same thing.:)

  11. says

    Loved this post. Your garage full of furniture reminded me of when we replaced yucky carpet with hardwoods in our last house. We arranged to spend one night at a hotel because the flooring people had to put some kind of seal on the concrete that needed to set overnight before putting down the new flooring. (There was no way to move around to the bedrooms and bathrooms without walking on the treated area). Once everything was moved to the garage, I pressed the garage door opener button and of course it broke. I am not talking pull the manual chain broke. I am talking metal tracks coming down from the rafters. Guess how much sleep I got at the hotel that night thinking that all my furniture was sitting in an open garage and it was all going to be gone when I returned the next morning…. Luckily I was wrong and it was worth all the stress.

  12. kristie says

    My home is far from what I want it to be. Yay for Honesty. And I still think You are Awesome. There is so much I want to do, but we are on a budget. I love doing little things that make me happy. Good Luck with your new floors. Glad you hired someone to do it for you.

  13. says

    I really enjoyed your heartfelt post! You are not alone! (And its really good to know that I’m not alone either! LOL) We bought our 1905 Victorian with the idea of fixing her up… Self-employment + Poor Economy + One Income = NO $$$ The lengths I have gone to keep people away! LOL! Picture old outdated asphalt siding painted a hideous Carolina Blue (what WERE they THINKING????) with missing siding around the windows from where we replaced all of the windows. Saving money to replace the siding has turned into 4 years with the house looking like that, as the economy tanked. ARGH! And inside? Kitchen is mid-remodel and has been for 2 years… Hardwood floors are a wreck… I don’t even want to walk wearing shoes on the upstairs carpet, much less barefooted! GROSS! I started my blog 8 months ago to give myself a kick in the butt to at least do what I can to the inside with lots and lots of paint and thrift store finds. I was seriously depressed over the state of our house. Now, not only did I get moving on it, but I also feel pressured to have the “perfect” home because I’m a blogger. Like I need MORE pressure??? But, the good part about it is, I’m getting it done one room at a time with lots of support from my blog friends. I’ve got 3 rooms down… Only 5 more to go, with 1 in progress. Just don’t ask to come see it! ;)

  14. says

    Yay for new flooring and double yay for being disciplined enough to stay debt-free. Your new floors will be beautiful, can’t wait to see them, and hopefully more of your home in the future. :) I have so many projects scattered here and there, my house is embarrassing. I can corral all the junk into one place (or a few places), but before I know it, I have projects scattered all over again. Mostly I need to figure out an organizational plan, but how??? I drive myself crazy.

  15. Mattie says

    Heather, I love you and your honesty. Now you know why I have not invited you over or even tried to get together when you come into town. I am really excited for you ! I dream of wood and ornate trim in my home, too! It is sad that we woman or the way we are. I wonder how many lost opportunities of friedship I have had because I didn’t or wouldn’t open my home to them. I am working on it every day BUT it is hard.Love you and your blog!

  16. debbi says

    Thank you Heather for your openess and honesty about life in the real world. !! Way to go to be out of debt that will.reap many rewards in your future lifestyle. !! While I love and follow all the same blotters you mention, I feel that I.fall short of yge magazine spreads and just try my best to keep up and do something creative and inspiring as often as possible for fun. Can’t wait to see your new floors. !! Keep up the good work. !’

  17. Geri says

    Hi Ladies….do you realize that MOST people are in the same circumstances? However, we always think that other people are better organized, cleaners, decorators,(insert whatever else here). When we do visit someone at their homes it is usually for an occasion, so they have cleaned, repaired, etc. And, then we think that everyone else is totally together. Just to let you know everyone is NOT better than you. So, stop trying to live up to what you think everyone else’s standards are, and enjoy some friendships. Just think, Shelley and Melissa would have been thrilled to be a support system for you. Ladies, let’s just support each other and stop believing we are not good enough. Also, thanks for your bravery in this post. Keep it up.

  18. Lisa says

    Wow! You are brave and soo inspiring! I feel the same way (except no blog for me!) . It’s so much work and unless one has tons of disposable income most people have to do things in stages and around all the other real stuff that happens in out lives. This was a very refreshing and validating post! Thanks
    PS You are quite funny, everyone could use a giggle or two!

  19. says

    I can sooooo relate to this post. And the fact that your husband dropped you off at the restaurant to meet them…yeah….that would so be me!! Thanks so much for posting. Love the honesty and realness in this post!! And I about died at the toilet…LOVE it!! (And been there, too!!)

  20. says

    Hey! Great flooring project! I noticed that you mentioned that you were going to write a blog post on how to create a small scale photo studio! I can’t wait to read it. I’m just starting out on my blog so that would be a HUGE help! I’m excited <3

  21. Trina says

    hahahahaha *gasp* hahahahahaha

    I love it! My grandmother has a saying, “A messy house is a home well-loved in.” While she was the most prim and proper little lady, when you live on a farm there’s more than tar and asphalt that gets brought in from outdoors no matter how diligent you try to prevent it. Her home was (and still is) always neat and tidy but there are just some things that can’t be prevented. So no need to be embarrassed, you have a “well-loved home”.

  22. says

    Oh my goodness! This is all so familiar. I have rooms that are okay and rooms that are forbidden to people outside the family. Every member of my family has a floordrobe instead of a wardrobe! I can't be creative unless I'm surrounded by my stuff….I teach giftwrapping…you can imagine the 'stuff'!' We moved to our house from a house with no garage. We have a double garage now…yet it's so full of 'stuff' we can't park a car in it!

  23. says

    I can’t believe I haven’t read this yet, but it’s exactly how I feel! Oak-tastic cabinets and trim, vinyl in the kitchen and some areas (KITCHEN) don’t reflect my style at all. But, this is our right now home, and while we love it, we know we won’t be here forever. So I dream, and Pin, and plan. And I cannot wait for that time when I feel like the interior is still a busy hot mess, but looks like my hot mess!

    xo, Tanya

  24. says

    THANK YOU for keeping it real! I am a super consumer… married to another super consumer so we are trou-ble together! I also show on my blog very “styled” photos on a simple white background using a white train table *gasp* and 2 white mats…My house hasn’t changed much at all since we moved in 2005… in a cookie cutter neighborhood. But you know what, by God’s grace I am content with wall to wall carpet, ikea furniture etc. I come from a 3rd world country and seriously, my home is amazing compared to where I grew up. Thank you again for featuring my spring printable! I’m coming around my 1st year anniversary of being a diy & crafts blogger and it has been the most creative and rewarding experience! I hope to “see” you again in the blogosphere ;) all the best,
    Ursula @ kraft&mint

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