Monday, March 2, 2015


I have been working a lot lately. 
 Someone asked me today..."do you really work?"  (it was a man) 
 My answer was yes, of course I work!  (my inner self said something else...) However, it got me thinking, is it really work if I'm doing what I love?  Which is helping other people create spaces that they love!  In that case, nope, I don't work :)
One of the recent projects that I have not been working on,(:-))  has been helping Larry and Maureen Fuse redecorate Gelato di Riso.  My kids beg to go there after school almost every day.  It's right down the street from school, so its a great place to stop in for an afternoon treat. 

 I did not take any before pics, but here are some in-the-process pics.   Gelato is in an old building with exposed brick walls and some of the original plaster in tact, so we went for a more rustic feel.  

It's kind of a mess right now, but we are under construction people:)

I designed these benches to create more seating ( so you can hang out and eat even MORE gelato).   Charlie from Reclaimed Furniture Art built them.  Can you see yourself sitting on them with some coffee visiting with a friend...reading a magazine...playing chess...

Charlie also had this door from a building in north St. Louis.  There is an opening between the main eating space and the kitchen prep space that wasn't needed.  The rough door was a great way to carry our rustic theme into the finished space and to cover the unused space.   We sanded it to rough it up even more,then wiped on a dark furniture oil.  It had the existing hardware, so we left it on for added interest.  It's rough and imperfect...exactly what we were going for.  

I had paneling installed to help protect the walls from chair dings, and after its painted a semi-gloss it will be easier to clean, you know, in case sticky gelato fingers touch the walls...come on, you know you've done it! 

I'm heading back tonight to prime the paneling so that tomorrow we can paint and move to the serving area.  I designed a new counter/display that Charlie is building...can't wait to see it in the space!  When it's all finished and set up I'll do another post, but if you're in the St. Louis area, you could stop in and see it for yourself.  Have  some gelato while you're there.  Tell them I sent you :)

Thanks for reading...

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Gotta Keep on Movin...

So it's been a, a long while, since we have written a blog post.  There are a few reasons for that.  Last March, my hubby earned a job promotion.  Wahoo!  In another city... in another state...Sniff.  Very excited and happy for my husband and what the promotion meant for him professionally, and what it meant for our family personally.  But my heart broke just a little, for the family we were leaving behind.

 We moved to Michigan and knew no one.  Little by little, we created an extended family that were our friends.  The people we are related to will always be our family because we are bound together by our ancestors and blood.  A friend family, that is created through circumstance, chance and luck, has had an other worldly effect on my life.  I was so lucky to be shoved out of my comfort zone (though I didn't feel that way at the time) and into a place where I needed these people in my life, and "someone" put them there.  What an absolute blessing.  "Someone" (God) thought that I was special enough to have this caliber of people in my life. A lot of them. I know that I am special in my own right. But as I write this I want to recognize those that came into my life and helped to write those stories.  "Do you remember that time..." You have taught me how to be a better friend, mother, and wife. oh and wine drinker. and margarita drinker ( is it summer yet?). and cook. and entertainer.  You are some of my favorite people.  And you know who you are.

So, we moved. The process is another 4 blog posts.  Or 10.   IT WAS A PROCESS!  Shortly after our house sold, Kim T. decided that she needed to move as well.  Not to a different state, just across town.  She will tell you about that adventure.  Then, Kim M. found a house that was perfect for her family on the opposite end of town and down a gravel road :) and they moved right before Christmas. She also has some stories to tell.  

My goal this year is to write some more blogs. Help more people decorate and feature their projects here.  Also, to create some new stories, with some new friends as well as creating some new stories with old friends.

And to lose 10 pounds.
Thanks for reading,

Thursday, June 27, 2013

CRAZY, with some Slang :)

Stating the obvious here, but we haven't posted in a while. 

Why you ask?  We are cra-cra busy y'all!  You would think that with summer upon us our lives would slow down and we would have a lot more time to blog on a regular basis.  Not so my dear friends.  My children were done with school June 6.  Lil Miss Peanut is a dancing diva and on the competitive team at her dance studio, so the week following school being out (which by the way is a crazy week in itself with all of the end of the year activities, ugh.) we were rehearsing for three nights until 9:30pm, followed by three nights of performances for the actual recital, until late.  It sounds as though I'm complaining...I'm not, and neither does she.  We love dance, otherwise I wouldn't put up with that craziness...yo. :)
Packed up for a night at the dance recital!

Flowers for Lil Miss Peanut aka Dancing Diva who totally rocked it at recital.  (can you tell I'm one proud mama?)

While we were amidst our crazy recital week, I was also cleaning my house, doing laundry, and last minute shopping/organizing for our annual family trip to Bethany Beach, DE.  And packing, and packing and packing.
Little Man packed his essentials: 5 swimming suits, 2 pairs of shorts, 2 shirts, his pillow pet, and a pail and shovel.  (don't worry, I made him pack his tooth brush too:)

 I did take some pics and write a blog in my head about prepping for our 10-13 hour car ride (actual time 11 hours and 25 minutes), but it never actually made it's way into my computer.  Sorry, but my brain and body were too tired.   We have another family vacation, with another long car ride ahead of us, so I'll save it for then.  Stay tuned...
Thanks for stopping by!
P.S. We also celebrated Father's day.  To all the Dad's out there, doing what you do best, I hope it was a great day!!!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Five times a charm

         Look at the base of the light switch. Proof that I paint too much. Yellow, brown, cream, and red :)

I painted my kitchen last weekend for the fourth time since I moved into my home 8 years ago.  When we moved into our house it was a spec home with lots of white walls.  I have trouble when it comes to paint and commitment, but at least it is a fairly cheep way to redecorate.  Although when I paint it does lead to other redecorating.  Just ask the other Kim.... I think her total house redecorating started with painting either her kitchen or living room.  She got new furniture out of the deal, but I don't think I'll be as lucky.  Anyway, I love love love the color red and so about four years ago painted my kitchen red.  It turns out my favorite color was making me depressed because it was too dark for my space.  I have black granite counter tops and a dark back splash (which I would change but it is not high on the list of to do's).  So it only took me six months to pick out a new color and I am really happy with how it turned out.  I went with Shermin Williams Silvermist in Duration semi-gloss.  Next step is to paint the oak cabinets, courtesy of Jess.
 I liked my red but it was too dark for the space.  Lived with sample colors for a few weeks.

    After. Shermin Williams "Silvermist"

   After. Space is much brighter.

Painting Tips.
1. Buy a sample first and live with the color for a few days.  See the color during the day and night.
2.  Don't buy cheep paint.  Let me tell you why....
     - When rolling your walls you will end up with a bunch of those little clumps of
        paint. Then you have to go back and pick them off and roll over the wall again
        to smooth it out.  Good paint doesn't have those clumps or balls of dried paint in
        the can. 
     - It is more durable.  This is important when you have kids.
     - It gives better coverage.
     - Rolls on smoother.
3.  Make sure to prime if:
    - you have new construction (aka fresh drywall)
    - dark existing color
    - Primers can be tinted to your paint color.
4. Cut in first then roll
    - I have painted enough that I don't have to tape off the trim and ceiling, but if you aren't
       comfortable with that Kim and Jess say that frog tape is the best.
    - Use a 2" angle brush to trim out around ceiling, door frame, and base molding.  Do not buy 
      cheep brushes, the bristles will fall out.  If you take good care of your brushes they will last a
      really long time.  I buy the Purdy brand, you can find them at Lowe's.
   - Use a cup with a rubber band over the opening to get rid of excess paint see pic below.
5. Use a drop cloth to protect floors and keep a wet work towel handy in case of spills.

                            I use old plastic cups and a rubber band to get rid of excess paint.
Wiping off excess paint.
Trimming out ceiling.

So that's my kitchen and I hope to post pictures of painted cabinets soon.  Happy painting. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Project Progress-Master Bathroom: Painting the vanity tutorial

It's been so nice out lately that I have been distracted.  My master bathroom vanity has been sitting for days, waiting to be put back together, waiting for shiny new handles, and for her beauty shots to be taken and posted on the world wide web.  
 Today it is rainy and cold (again).  So, while my bathroom is far from finished, I thought I would tell you about how I took it from this
To this...(say it in a French accent)
Now, there are a lot of tutorials in the blog world, and I researched a lot of them (you should see my Pinterest page).
 Before I go on, a little background, ages ago I worked in a Benjamin Moore paint store for three and a half years. I was the wallpaper chic (dubbed by my co-worker) but I learned a lot about paint, adhesion, and the processes you need to go through in order to end up with a good strong finish.  I also have a grand sense of adventure when it comes to painting...after all it's just time and paint:) And for the record, in my painting experiences, I have yet to screw something up. whew.
I was told these cabinets could not be painted by anyone but a professional, because the finish is baked on in a factory.  I love it when people tell me I can't do something.  I just knew with the right products it could be me...a mere mortal-non-professional-stay-at-home-painter.

I was using a primer that states you don't need to sand before you use it, but (and I admit it) I was a little nervous about this process.  So I sanded the doors and drawer fronts and the surrounding vanity.  I didn't sand a ton, because I am not a patient person and I wanted to see if this was going to work...
So I took these and applied the first coat of primer...
You might not be able to tell, but that is 1-2-3 Primer by Zinsser.  It is a bonding primer and I use it on everything I paint.
I used two coats of primer.  I started by rolling with a foam roller, but I didn't like the texture it was leaving behind, so I brushed it.  (LOVE Purdy 2 1/2 angled sash brush). Now I let it dry completely for two days before I started the painting process.  And to test that it worked I took my nail and tried to scratch some of the primer off of the side, where it's laminated (WHY do they do that?  Solid wood fronts and a fake we aren't going to be able to see the difference. ) AND it didn't scratch off.  So I could move to the next step...Painting.
I prefer Satin Impervo.  It's oil based, which is super stinky, but it's really worth it in the end.  The finish is beautiful and practically indestructible.  Apply two to three coats, whichever you prefer.  Let it dry in between coats and you may want to give it a light sanding in between, but I didn't. (if you sand in between coats, you need to wipe with a tack cloth before you do your next coat)   Rule breaker...that's me. Not really, I follow the rules a lot, it's just impatience on my part. 
 After waiting 4-5 days (it takes longer to fully cure, but you can handle it carefully after about three days) it was time to put on the handles and knobs.  I purchased some plastic templates for $4 a piece from Lowe's (one for the doors and one for the drawers)  and started the process of figuring out where I wanted them to be placed.
Kim helping me find the center :)
 In the end I went with the drawer pulls attached higher.  I think it gives them a more polished look...what do you think?  

I still have several small projects to finish until it's all the way done and I can give you the grand reveal.  But for now, I am ecstatic about the results and am ready to tackle the kids bathroom, the powder room and the kitchen. Yeah!
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mother's Day Bliss

My hubby and kids really get into Mother's Day...and I am going to tell you...I LOVE IT!!!
I love seeing my kids being thoughtful, and the excitement on their faces as they learn the joy of giving...(helps that I'm the recipient though...right?) The hubby let me sleep in, brought me coffee in bed and made a great breakfast of blueberry muffins with streusel topping, omelettes and fruit. 
Little Miss Peanut wrote me a beautiful poem and made a necklace at school. 

(sorry, I can't figure out how to turn this picture)
And my Little Man made me a leopard print, duct tape rock...
Then, while I was writing this, the UPS man delivered this box...
It contains the most beautiful gift a mom could ask for...
A paint sprayer!!!
Oh the possibilities and the projects on the horizon...
well...time for me to get to work!
P.S.  I hope you all had a great mother's day filled with time with your family, time to yourself, and blessings from the people who surround you in your life. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Project Progress-Master Bathroom

Last time we talked, I was in the middle of a lot of projects around my home.  One of those projects was making a decision about what color to paint the master bathroom.
Remember this?
 And this....
Well, it has become a full blown makeover/facelift for my master bathroom.  I have jumped in with two feet and after a week of hard work, I can see a light at the end of the tunnel.  First, I had to make the decision about the paint color.  I chose Kentucky Haze by Benjamin Moore in the Aqua Pearl.  I love Benjamin Moore!!! and Aqua Pearl is perfect in bathrooms and kitchens.  It's pricey, but so worth it.  I love being able to easily clean the walls (when I clean...which isn't very often...but when I do it makes it easier :)
I couldn't just stop there...I have been wanting to paint my oak cabinets, which are in my kitchen, powder room, master bath, and kids bath.  Countless people have told me, don't do it, you'll ruin it, you need a professional...blah, blah, blah.   Did I listen to the naysayers? 
in the middle of painting...
But I rarely listen to people when I know I'm right! (bwahahaha)
(I do...listen to people...I'm really very nice, which is not reflected in the above statement, so laugh along with me)
...and, I am right, the primer is a bonding primer and when I tried to scratch it off, as a test, it didn't.
 Sorry for the's all part of the creative process.  I will post a tutorial about products I used and the process soon.  But on to the other progress made in the master...
We hung shower rods, a mirror I bought at Home Goods, and my hubby surprised me on mother's day with a pretty exhaust fan to replace this...

 For the record, I do not care for the shape of this type of ceiling fixture...but it's better than the square builder grade fan we have, so I am happy!  Bob the Builder is coming later today to install it. (yes, that's my handy man's name:)  
I'm off to clean the master bathroom and put a second coat of paint on the vanity...soon, very soon, I will be able to reveal to all of you lovely people my shiny new bathroom!!!
Thanks for stopping by!