• Home Makeover,  Home Tour,  The Home

    My Cozy Reading Nook

    After I painted my floors, and we were putting the living room back together, I had a conversation with my husband that went like this: G: “What are you planning on doing with this alcove? You’re not going to put that crappy armoire back there again, are you?” Me: “Crappy?” G: (Looking abashed) “Well, no. It’s not really crappy. But the floors are so beautiful and I feel like you should do something amazing with that space instead of just putting a boring old piece of furniture in it.” Me: “I see. Like what did you have in mind?” G: “I don’t know. You’re the creative one. Make something beautiful.”…

  • Home Tour,  Kitchen Remodel,  The Home

    New Kitchen Makeover and Reveal

    Here it is!! My brand new kitchen! I can hardly believe it’s mine. If you saw my earlier post when we returned from our trip to Germany to find my kitchen falling apart. Then you know what a big deal this has been. When we bought this house, the kitchen was literally the cheapest construction part of the house. The cabinets were bottom of the line formica, and there was even a book shelf shoved into a slot where perhaps a wine fridge once stood. We repainted it when we moved in, but that was the extent of what we did really. So, a few years later, and after 2…

  • Home Makeover,  Kitchen Remodel,  The Home

    My Organized Kitchen

    This post should really be called: How I rethunk my kitchen and made it easy to use and AWESOME. I used to think I was doomed to be a slob. Turns out I was just hopelessly disorganized. When I returned from a two month trip to Germany, I had a chance to look at my kitchen with a brand new set of eyes: it was a mess, disorganized, falling apart, and I hated doing anything in it. Out of necessity, I needed to eat healthy, home-cooked foods. My life literally depended on it. But I didn’t want to cook, and I definitely didn’t want to cook anything in THAT kitchen. That’s…

  • Kitchen Remodel,  The Home

    My Budget-Friendly Custom Kitchen Cabinets

    My Custom Cabinets Cost Less and Are Non-Toxic (and NOT made in China) What? How is this even possible?? I had 4 criteria in selecting a new cabinet system for my kitchen: Non-Toxic.Did you know that most cabinets have MDF with fillers like Formaldehyde? These highly toxic chemicals outgas for ages potentially contaminating everything that touches your food (and the food itself). So it goes without saying that if it’s going to touch your food ware and your dry foods, spices, etc, then it should be 100% food safe, right? Not Made in China. It’s not just about keeping jobs here in America. There is a pattern of conduct in China…

  • Family,  Love & Family

    How I Saved Family Day

    I have a confession to make. When my kids were little, I used to yell at them. Especially on family day. Why on family day? Well, I used to wonder about that too. It should have been an awesome day. After all, I had my husband and all four of my kids in one place at one time, for the whole day. Perfect, right? Except it wasn’t. We’d wake up whenever everyone woke up, and meander about doing this or that in the morning. Not in any particular hurry. It was the weekend, after all. We wouldn’t eat breakfast because we already planned to go out for brunch. The kids…

  • Home Makeover,  The Home

    My Hand Painted Checkered Floors

    I can hardly believe I painted my own floors. Crazy, right? With Annie Sloan Chalk Paint actually. It was surprisingly easy once we wrapped our wits around it. This is the traditional way that most DIYers will share on how to paint checkered floors, but I have to confess that my husband had a quicker way that we ended up using when we painted checkered squares in the kitchen which actually took 4 hours from taping the floor to the first coat of polyurethane.  But this post doesn’t cover that method. You can find that one here. The main difference between these two methods is the taping process.  Supplies & Materials:…

  • Home Makeover,  The Home

    Hand Painted Wide Stripe Floors

    Wow! I painted my floors myself! And you know what? It was surprisingly easy. Creating wide stripes is super easy and creates a casual elegance that is just plain yummy. Here’s what you’ll need to get started: Supplies & Materials Pencil T-Square Scotch Brand 3M Painter’s Tape 9″ Paint Rollers Painter’s Trays Padco Floor Trim Pads (Floor Sealer Applicator) Annie Sloan Decorative Chalk Paint (Old White and French Linen) Varathane High Traffic Floor Finish in Satin Finish So, here you go. A nice blank canvas, and a lovely idea of how you want those floors to look. Step 1: Paint the Base Coat Color I painted the floor a base…

  • Home Makeover,  The Home

    My DIY Hand Painted Floors

    What do you do when you have a small budget and 1100 square feet that need new flooring? Why, you paint them, of course. That wasn’t my original plan, but I’m so happy I did! When I had my hardwood floors pulled up, my intent was to restore the terrazzo underneath. However, it turns out that walls were removed at one point, and the floor beneath was unsalvageable. I needed a Plan B, and it needed to be inexpensive, non-toxic, eco-friendly and durable. I’d been spending a ridiculous amount of time on Pinterest finding inspiration and ideas for my kitchen and floors, and my creative side was churning through possibilities. I’d…

  • Life,  Life & Travel

    The First Day of Awesome

    Well, here it is, New Year’s Day. Again… I hope your New Year’s Eve was everything you wanted. I rang in the new year with the love of my life and carefully considered how 2015 will play out for us. This marks the beginning of my new journey of 365 days of awesome, and my new mantra: Be AWESOME (at least a little bit). Every. Single. Day. Last year was good (as years go) and worth a quick recap: Let’s see… I sorted out a long-term health situation which was sucking the awesomeness out of my life. Literally. I went to Europe with my husband for the very first time and…

  • Life,  Life & Travel

    365 Ways to Be Awesome

    This is my Awesome Manifesto; my guide to living a more awesome life. Love yourself. No matter how you feel, get up and dress up. Dance in your living room. Be yourself. Truly and honestly. Take a bubble bath. Light some candles. Get your hair done. Journal. Listen to music. Get a massage. Sing in the shower, in your car, wherever. Write down your goals. Make a plan to accomplish them. Turn off the TV and do something that matters in your life. Get a manicure. Go for a walk, leave your phone behind. Be kind. Read. Make the most of each day and each experience. Exercise. Be patient. Learn to…

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