Lazy Update

I promised a write up with before and after’s on Instagram,  I will still do that, I’m just not organized right now. I will share the before and after of the kitchen- All I did here was change the curtains. That’s it. Instant room update! I liked the old ones fine, not a thing wrong with them but over the course of 7 years, my taste has changed a bit and I wanted something new. I’m thrilled. This update ran about $150, I don’t know if that’s more or less or about what you’d expect, just throwing it out there.




And here are the new panels!





So, photo overkill, I know. But the way my house is laid out, you can see these windows form almost everywhere. So, that’s it, easy as can be! Total new look, or matching look, since I got the same ones that have been in my living room.

Curtain’s are West Elm.


Cold Needy House

This post is ab0ut crap I want to do around the house, and the cold is, well. Fuck the fuck off vortex of north pole hell.

So, January.  January and I have a love/hate relationship. I love the promise of the new year. With the new planners and blank calendar. I get excited about what’s ahead.

The hate is, Christmas just ended and man, I probably shouldn’t redo the house right this second.  But the ting is, once that tree comes down and all of the holiday cheer is packed up in Rubbermaid and crammed under the stairs, I get sad. The house looks so, empty. So I clean it, helps a little, buy a new plant or two, better. But I can’t sit still. I must “fresh start” all of the things.

Mike made (earned) Tenure! Capital, T, you guys! He did it. 7 years of kicking ass and he got the promotion he’s been working for. Im so proud of him and how hard he works for our family.  Super exciting. and HEYOH, more money.  I remember when we moved here I had a list of shit I was to have when he made it.


fancy camera

a refrigerator made in this century

You get the point. Except the money kind of comes monthly and not in some publisher’s clearing house five foot check with balloons.  So, damn, fresh start all of the things is going to be like, normal life? Wait.  I wanted the big check and balloon version.

I did what I do and made master list. I chose a few reasonable things.  I’m told the fridge and stove will have to wait, damn kids, pay for your own college!

So, god this is a long non-story.  I got new curtains for the living room last summer and they are awesome and I love them but they don’t really go with the current vibe. I’ve been tweaking crap in there but the bottom line is it’s time for new pillows and art over the couch. I grabbed my bag of fabric and started pawing over it all, looking for something, anything, that I already owned that might help. I actually came up with something I loved, and all I would have to so is sew some pillow covers.


I hate sewing pillows.

A lot.

The next day when I started thinking about all of the sewing and of getting the sewing machine out and putting it away every day, and I probably could only work when both kids are at school. 4.5 hours a week. hmmmmmm

Thinking face, thumb twiddling.

Etsy! I know the name of these fabrics, I bet I can get them already made.  So much for using what I have and not spending any money. AHEM. Whatever.  They should arrive next week sometime, and then it is ON!

In the mean time, Nate’s old bed has been crammed in Ben’s room since October. It is leaving today and then I can put his room back together. Eventually we will un-toddler bed the crib and use it as a headboard for the queen set we have. Im sure Mike’s parents will visit in the spring so this should be happening soon’ish. This is AWESOME, you guys. I have no idea where my head has been for the past 3 years regarding this room change, I never in a million years considered using the crib back as it’s made to be used, I was going to sell it all. Keeping it means we will have a faux guest room! Which is huge. Mikes parents sleep in the play room when they visit, there is no bathroom in the basement. Now they can stay upstairs where it is warm and less dungeon like and just across the hall from the bathroom. No shoes or lantern needed! This makes me happy.

The other thing, and it’s small, is repaint the kids vanity and replace the light fixture with the one I purchased 3 years ago (!) – I painted it green, a color that I love when there is natural light hitting it, but in the bathroom you don’t really notice it. I want it to stand out more, I have an idea. I’m excited!


13 gold stars if you read all of this rambling fueled by many diet cokes.


Come and knock on our door

we’ve been waiting for you…..

I’ve shared countless photos of my house over the years, here and on Style Lush but one thing that continually happens when I have guests is they can’t figure out which room is where. Is the kitchen on the left or right, is the living room in the front or back? So, I made a little video tour. In all honesty, I did it because the house was fairly clean and I needed a distraction yesterday afternoon, didn’t we all?

Welcome, take off your coat and stay awhile!!

1st floor home tour

Paint never lets me down

I never know where to begin after a (another) long absence.

A lot has happened since I last posted, the biggest and most important? The grass has sprung back to life and the trees are beginning to bloom.  Winter was so long, and spring break was snowy and both the boys and Mike were sick and it was pretty bad. But we are on the other side and it is glorious! I feel like this every year when the seasons change. I come back to life, too.

A few weeks back I mentioned some painting and I got some of it done. Our house is really open, but not in that typical open plan way, the entry,  den and dining room are practically one space. Because of that I had a horrible time of deciding what rooms ended where and where to stop painting. Years back I painted the living, kitchen and hall the same color but I left the entry and surrounding walls the flat cream they were when we moved in. Because the paint is flat, I’d pretty much washed most of it off in the past years so I threw up my hands and painted the rest the same color. It looks so much better, I wish I had done it to begin with. I also painted the support beam and while it didn’t magically disappear (I wish) it is a little less in your face.

Here are a few before and after’s.

Looks like I used a flash on the first one, the coloring is more accurate in the after shot.  You can see the hideous post and the surrounding walls were not painted.  I think it’s much better now, there’s more flow. (the paint stops in the 2 story foyer, I’m paying my guy to finish that so I don’t die falling off my ladder)

Here you can see the angled wall on the left was unpainted as well as the wall surrounding the front door, on the right it is finished.

I guess I didn’t get this angle before but the wall with the door (that goes downstairs) and the wall going up were not painted.

It just makes more since now. After all of this time wondering what to do, the answer came from knowing there wasn’t another option. They didn’t look right the way they were so I knew they weren’t going to work any other color either.

I have paint to do stripes on a wall between the dining room and kitchen but I’ve yet to start it. Mike parents are coming for Memorial day so that should light a fire under me, I need to do the upstairs railing as well.  I’m also seriously thinking about ripping up the carpet on the stairs because it is just impossible to keep it looking nice and after this, its never been the same.  That could be my next big project.

Good stuff, working on the house always makes me happy and painting always makes things look so fresh. Totally worth the effort.
Ace Hardware sponsored this project, I had a tiny baby food jar of this color and they were able to match it for me in Clark+Kensington paint. It took a few tires but they didn’t give up, the weren’t going to send me home with anything but perfection. It’s like they know me. The paint worked awesome on both the wood beam and the walls. I also used this brand on my kitchen makeover, seen here.

Spring Dreaming

It is beautiful today! Cold but gorgeous. The past week brought an ice storm along with snow making the clear blue sky so very welcome!

It has me dreaming up my spring to-do list both inside and out.  Our yard last year was left untouched, I had pots of flowers on the front porch but never got around to planting anything. I’m planning making up for it this year.  One thing I’ve wanted since we moved in is window boxes full of color, hanging ferns, new foliage on either side of the front door and new cushions for the bench. I hope this is the year I can actually sit on said bench with a book while the boys ride their bikes. I KNOW, I said I was dreaming….

Loving this look for the pots next to the front door!


As for inside, I’ve been tweaking every room over the past few weeks. Finishing the kitchen inspired me to keep going. On the list for the coming weeks is painting the UGLY support beam in the foyer, painting the foyer itself , painting the spindles on the upstairs balcony and finally doing something with the mini-hall between the dining room and kitchen. More on that soon, I think I have a solid plan, some ideas just take 7 years. (gah!)

I got a really cool bird cage at a second hand shop recently and was SO in love with it, and then I brought it home and well, I still hate birds… but I love the cage. I tried to stage it with plants and books, etc. but it doesn’t work, it looked cute but it doesn’t work in my house, at all. In a desperate last ditch I put on the ledge above the front door and a new idea was born. The birdcage isn’t staying but I’m excited to start collecting what will go there. (this post is becoming a tease, isn’t it?)

So, basically I need to book a few new jobs so I can fund all of my ideas. Inspiration, it only sounds free.

Moving on

Have you guys heard? Friday, February 1st is the last day of Style Lush, not just my last day, the last day. So sad.

I’ve been writing for Style Lush since its first day, and I’m so proud to say that I will also publish my last post on its last day. That site has become such a big part of my life. Nate was just 2 when it launched and I have found my way as a writer, mom and someone who can present herself to the world, albeit in a target heavy wardrobe, but still. I found my bearings in this new life of mine on its virtual pages and I will miss it so much.


The good news for you is I lose my outlet! I’ll be back here with clothes and shoes and makeup and whatever else I would have talked about there, will now live here. I hope that I’ll be around more, too. I miss it here, which isn’t new, I just tend to “write” my posts in my head while I’m falling asleep at night and then when I get up there’s no time for actual writing. I’m going to try to make more time.

If you follow me anywhere else, you know I just painted the kitchen!  And as always, there are more projects in the wings. Ones I hope to share here.

So, let’s get this party started!

Is there anything you want to ask me? Anything at all, ask away and I’ll answer it all in a post in the next few days!

Merry and Bright

You all know by now that I’m a homebody.  I’m a Cancer, and a decorator, I mean, where else would I rather be?  And I just love the holidays, this time of year is the best (and worst, so homesick!) and I can’t help but want to add a little touch of magic to all areas of the house.  I usually just put these all on flickr but figured I could share them here in one shot. So, here it is, our happy holiday house.

The first room on the left is the dining room:

There’s a little hint in the powder room:

The kitchen:

The living room:

Nate has a tree I didn’t shoot and I probably should have done the whole house at night- each window has an electric candle. Oh well, hope you liked it!  Happy Holidays!!




I’m painting my dining room tonight. All day I’ve been itching to start but I KNOW that as soon as a start to prep, much less pour the paint, someone will puke or step in it or do some toddler type something that will derail the entire thing, so I’ll do it after they go to bed tonight.

I wrote a few weeks ago that I’d grown tired of the gingerbread spice wall color, it’s going a slate grey that Mike and Nate are both calling blue and my camera agrees, it’s darker and it’s not orange- and I can’t wait to see it up.

Lets pretend that I have a bag of money…if I did, I’d make it a bigger makeover.


I’d get new chairs for the head of the table. Saw these in the store today and I NEED THEM! The fabric looks much more mod and less granny in person- brass nail heads across the back and around the "arm" area.

I’d get 4 of these.

4 of these!

I’d set them on this.and this!  8x10

I cover the top of my table in cream vinyl with a nail head trim.  (I know it sounds crazy- but it would be fab!)

And I’d have a bar cart.

bar cart

And it would all live happily ever after. I can picture it. It would be awesome, if only I can find that bag of money… I bet it’s hidden in the same place Ben’s stashed my clog.



I love my dining room. I look at it a lot, my desk  faces it. I actually look at it more than the tv. I’m tired of it though. I love the warm gingerbread walls but I am a person drawn to contrast and while the color is gorgeous and saturated and amazing at night, it blends with the curtains, the table, hutch and picture frames. I want more contrast but I want to keep the warm moody feel of the current color.

My first thought was navy but the bathroom next to it is navy and I don’t want it to be the same so I decided a dark grey. Charcoal or pencil lead, something like that. I found a few in my paint decks that I liked but I went and grabbed a bunch of swatches anyway. And now I’m thinking. I love 5 colors. Two of which are DARK, one is cracked pepper (a flat black) and the other, weather vane an inky black, then there are three greys.  Honestly, all of them make me want  crown molding for even more contrast with the white!

Would you paint a room in your house this dark?

I love this room SO MUCH!

black dining room style


here are the ones I’m working with (down to 4 now)



Dreaming of some free time

My head is spinning, my body is still.

I waste a lot of time during a day. I get the daily stuff done, laundry, cooking, dishes, etc. I make lists, draw floor plans and dick around on the internet though, too. I do these things because I like to but also because they are interpretable tasks. I can pick up where I left off or not at all.

I have a lot of things I am in the mood to do. I am craving projects like mad. I want work on the kitchen, paint the dining room and hall. I want to do the spindles on the catwalk upstairs, I want to purge and organize and empty things out before the holidays and new toys come in. I want to start Christmas projects.

I typically do work at night, design projects for Haute House and writing for Style Lush. I could do some of this stuff at night, actually, the Christmas projects I can, for sure.  But refinishing and painting the kitchen isn’t something I want to do from 9-11 pm on a Wednesday.

It was easier a few years ago, before the kids were fighting over air, now it’s exhausting to get things started just to have to clean up and do it again the next day. I’m going to have to figure out how to balance it. I need to stay creative, I need paint under my nails and a pin cushion on my desk but hot ham, it is hard with these little people. I find myself dreaming of when they are both in school, and then I stop myself , I can buy stockings and a tree skirt, lets not fast forward to much….

Any tips on how I can get more of my stuff done during the day?