Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Thanks to the boss at work...I ended up with the perfect idea for a new color scheme/pillow combination for the living room.

And thanks to Mom G-K's superb sewing skills...my plan became a reality!

As a housewarming gift, Julie purchased some awesome place mats for us (among other things). She suggested that they'd make great pillows and that she'd seen it done before with the exact same place mats.

Great work Mom G-K! Thank you!!!!

Back Stairs - Completed (sort of)

Long time...no blog!

Well here's an update for you.

Michael (finally) finished re-building the stair outside our back door. It looks great too!

Only thing missing is paint to match the rest of the staircase.

I'm impressed. I'll be more impressed when there's PAINT. I suppose it's just a detail though....

Friday, November 12, 2010

Update on the Gourds

I tossed the suckers the other night. They were bad-looking clutter. Dust catchers if you will.

I also purchased some pumpkins made out of twigs a few weeks back. I was thinking...sort of fall-ish without being overly fall-ish. Turns out they shed little twigy pieces everywhere and I don't like holiday decor. What a realization! After sitting on our dining room table for a month, I returned them. Typical.

I hate clutter (aka stuff.) Enough said.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Fall Wreath

As you all know, I typically associate wreaths with Christmas. Being Jewish, I never really considered the idea of having a wreath on my front (or back) door. Growing up, we got creative with "door decorations." There was the "Blank Door," void of all decoration. The year of the Fall-ish leaves as "door decorations." And then there was the year (or was it years) of the always famous "Hanging Ears of Dried Corn" as door decoration. This decoration served several purposes; to feed the squirrels and chipmunks, to alert us to someone coming though the door, and my personal favorite, as a constant source of ammunition for both neighborhood and family mockery.

To get to the root of our whole disdain for wreaths, we have to travel back in time to when we were living in San Mateo. One day Dad K arrived home from one of his many trips with a "gift" for Mom G-K. I say "gift" because we weren't quite sure if he thought this gift was supposed to be received with great surprise and happiness or rather, with shock and horror. Let's just say, it wasn't received with a smile and a great big "THANK YOU, I LOVE IT" reaction. Let me take a moment to describe this "gift" to you. It was a wreath. One of the ugliest things I've ever seen in my whole life. (Sorry Dad K, but it's true.) It was made from dried leaves. Mixed in with the leaves, towards the bottom of the wreath, was a rather oversized stuffed hand. Yes, you read that correctly. No one would allow said "gift" to be hung anywhere in any public space in the house. We (us kids at the time) wanted that "thing" as far away from us as possible. Just think...that hand could potentially attack us in our sleep! HUGE STUFFED HAND! So...the wreath lived in Mom and Dad K's bedroom. It moved from bookshelf, to office chair, until one day, Rajah attacked that wreath. He knew it had no place in our home, so he tore it apart, shredding that hand, ensuring we wouldn't have to live in fear of that wreath for one more day! Victory over "The HAND!" Thank you Rajah Boy! I hope there's an endless supply of rawhide bones and doggies to listen to you bark your head off up there in doggie heaven. You deserve that much!

Anyhow...the point is, what does one do with a blank door? Put a wreath on it of course? What's more welcoming than a wreath? Something seasonal, but not Christmasy. Hmmmm....time to get creative!

I purchased this at AC Moore:

And turned it into this:

All I used was a glue gun and wait for it...coffee filters! 179 coffee filters to be exact. Oh and a recycled ribbon from my gift wrap stash. Add in a front door and here's what you get!

What do you think? Should I add a giant stuffed hand to it? Dad K, what do you think?

Raking...Raking...and More Raking...

Last weekend we spent most of Saturday raking the yard. Fun times! No really though, great excuse to be outside and burn a few calories in the process. The main reason for this "must rake this weekend" attitude was that the town picks up yard waste twice each fall and we were about to miss our pick-up opportunity. Since we don't have a pass to the yard waste dump, we didn't want to miss out. Here's a little glimpse of our experience.

Our day started like this...
The husband told me to get out of bed because we needed to get to work on the yard. He got dressed and went downstairs. I followed, went straight to the "mud room" put on my coat, shoes, (and gloves!)...and headed for the great outdoors. After about 30 minutes of raking I started to wonder why it was that I was outside all alone. Interesting! I went inside and discovered that the husband had parked himself in his usual spot on the sofa with a mug of coffee, dirty breakfast plate discarded on the tray, and his sock covered feet resting comfortably on the ottoman. I just stood in the doorway for a few minutes taking in the sight, wondering what on earth he was doing "relaxing" when he made me get up early, not to mention why he hasn't offered me any breakfast. How rude! Finally he looked up and said, "There you are, where have you been?" To which I responded, "Don't you remember how you told me I had to hurry up and get outside so that WE could rake the yard? Well I've been outside raking!" Blank stares followed this exchange. I turned around and went back outside. A few minutes later, someone followed me outside.

You can imagine how the rest of the morning went.

Here he his acting like he did all the work. Not so my friends. Not so! Lazy.

For the record, the whole yard is covered in leaves once again.

Friday, October 22, 2010


A couple weeks ago (sorry I'm a bit behind) I started a little (insert-failed) project. I'd read about it somewhere and thought it would be a fun little seasonal project. It all begin with some plastic gourds from AC Moore. Because plastic gourds are tacky. I wanted to alter them a bit, but still maintain the (clearly) fall aspect of what gourds represent.

What did I plan to do with them? Spray paint them of course!

First I primed them...

Then I sprayed them with glossy white spray paint. I was going for a white ceramic gourd look. Sadly, even after re-priming and painting again...I deemed this project a colossal failure. I do not understand why, but for some reason the original color on the gourds kept popping through. Failure.

I had intended to display these gourds on a raised white cake plate as a quasi "Fall Vignette" without being all "fall-ish." You know what I mean!

But alas...this failed project won't get to be shown in all it's glory because I've given up on it. Sigh.
See what I mean?

Black Out Shades = BORING!

When we moved into our house, every window has a blackout shade. Seriously, every window. Of course they were covered by all those wispy curtains as you may recall. The curtains were the first thing to go. Next up, at least 1/2 of the blackout shades. Ok, so I appreciate having them in the bedroom, but could one pick out an uglier window treatment? I don't think so!

I'm throwing around some ideas for "dressing them up." Yes I could replace them, but I'm budget conscious. Also, I think by dressing them up (in our bedroom at least) we can get away with having them up for now, thus allowing us to focus our energy, creativity, and budget on other rooms, such as the living room! (or we could always spend said budget on an ipad - no wait, that'll have to wait a few years. sigh)

I'm set on the idea. In terms of execution I've done a few "practice runs" on one of the old dining room black out shades. Yes you read that correctly, they used to be in EVERY room, dining room included. Weird you say? Yes, I agree!

Anyhow, I haven't found a good way to execute my plan yet. I've tried 3 different types of glue. No luck. Either they stick at first, but then don't or they leave a mark you can see through the ribbon. Perhaps I'll have to paint them. I've seen it done so I know it works. Or perhaps a different type of ribbon. Any suggestions?

Here's the look I'm going for. Clean, simple, tailored, graphic. If it works...it will look great with our brown/ivory themed bedroom.

What do you think?

Dresser Makeover

Everyday I wake up to this sight:

It's the sight of Michael's dresser. Yes, that's correct...Michael's dresser. Not mine. In fact, that whole side of the room has been deemed "Michael's". Anyhow, the only thing missing from the photo is the piles of clothes that usually sit on top of the receipts, cards, and "things." Notice the open drawer. Without fail, there is ALWAYS at least 1 drawer left ajar. Same goes for the kitchen cabinets, or any other room for that matter when "Hurricane Michael" goes through any room. If you stop by our house you're sure to find at least one pair of his shoes in a random spot in the living room and another pair in the kitchen. No, not the mud room...the kitchen. (I'll stop now because I'll probably get yelled at if I whine about the other messes he leaves in his wake! :P )

Ok moving on...

What happens when you take the furniture above and add a little of this:

A couple before shots:

And this one so you can get a sense of what I deal with every single day!

Add some time spend doing major cleaning of the dresser. EW! Removing hardware, using some wood filler to fill the old hardware holes, a bit of sanding, etc...

Here's the dresser after 2 coats of primer:

And here comes the after shots! A couple quick side notes first. Although I selected a mocha tinted ivory colored paint, it turned out a bit too white for my tastes. Perhaps it's just all the darker browns and earth tones in our bedroom that make the ivory appear so much whiter than the swatch?! In any case the after is so much better than the before. I selected new, more contemporary hardware as well.

Last thing, and I'm pretty darn proud of this fact: I did this ENTIRE project ALL BY MYSELF!

Ok I'm done talking...here you go:

Learn from my mistakes:
1. Old sheets should never be used as a substitute for a drop cloth. They are NOT the same thing (even if Hurricane Michael tells you they'll work just the same.) You will spend HOURS scraping paint of your beautifully refinished hardwood floors. UGH!
2. Always plan for your project to take much more time than you imagine it will take...because it will take twice as long.
3. Changing the dresser does not change "Hurricane Michael." I'm too embarrassed by how the dresser looks in action to actually share an after-in-use photo. Some things never change.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Guest Room

Just a little teaser today...

The guest room looked like this a couple weeks ago...

You may remember this bedding from our (previously my) room in Brookline. And if you've known me for a while, perhaps you even remember this bedding from my college years! EEK! Truth be told, I love blue. I always have. However, I'm just not into it anymore. As you have seen, there is no blue anywhere else in the house. Amazing isn't it? I recently discovered other colors. And let me tell you...I prefer OTHER COLORS! I still love blue, but not in the house! Weird.

Let's not forget to share our "thank you's"...Thanks Mom G-K for making me all the pillows! I have a few other ideas up my sleeve that could use your sewing expertise. Wink. Wink.

Anyhow, some changes have been made to this room since I took these pictures. We leave the bedroom door open, and it's the room you see right into every time you come up the stairs. You can imagine how tired I was of seeing that blue bed every time I went upstairs. Something had to change.

First, I removed the icky blue curtains. Sorry previous owners, but those curtains were past their prime. They didn't even go to the floor. How last decade of them!

Second, I changed out the bedding. Thankfully the bed skirt still works!

Next up, curtains. Sadly we had a curtain rod hanging disaster over the weekend, so final pictures will just have to wait. I also emptied the contents of Michael dresser for a dresser makeover project (pictures will be on their way soon) and all the clothes got relocated to the guest room bed for the time being. Thus...it's a mess and I refuse to show you "really messy house" pictures. I don't mind sharing "sort of messy house" pictures, but I draw the line at "really messy house" pictures.

So for now, all you can do is imagine what changes I might have made.

p.s. Mom and Dad B have already seen "Stage 1" so don't spill the beans...

p.p.s. We need headboards in both rooms!
p.p.p.s. We need nightstands with lamps!
p.p.p.p.s. We need a dresser or somewhere for guests to put their things!

In time...

Garden Update

See this guy?

We ate him! And he was TASTY!

We also ate this guy:

It was a bit before his time perhaps. The temperatures were supposed to drop below freezing so we figured...better eat him before he dies off.

We also have a bunch of these...

Sadly I don't think we'll actually get to eat any of our tomatoes this year. They're still so green! Sigh. Next year...

I consider this my "year of experimentation and learning." This is really just the year to get the soil ready for next year! ;)

Progress on the Home Front

It's been a while! Oops. We've been busy! Very busy! That will continue for a few more weeks. Sigh.

In case you were wondering if we've been neglecting our house entirely...we haven't. Well sort of, but not really. Michael did some projects on the home front while I worked. Hey...somebody has to pay the bills! :)

He was astonished by my reaction to this project...

As in I didn't notice that he'd done anything! When I acted thoroughly confused by his prodding me to point out the fabulous job he'd done...he was ummm shall we say...hurt?! Oops. Apparently we USED to have cracks at the back of each stair. "You could have fallen through them" kind of cracks (He tells me.)

Michael filled the cracks! Well Done Michael.
(Um did that really qualify is a necessary project?! He couldn't believe that I'd never really noticed or cared about said cracks.)

Here is the end result! We are all very proud of your job well done Michael!

He also filled the hole around this light fixture. Looking good!

In other casa happenings...this thing is not one of our friends anymore!

It got clogged. ugh. But thankfully did not overflow thanks to my husbands fast reaction time! Nice work! We borrowed the neighbors snake and fixed the sucker. Who needs to pay a plumber when you can DIY it!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Look at me!! I got featured on:

Thanks Lindsey for featuring my little project on the best blog ever!

Here's the link:


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Color Coordination

Did anyone notice that apparently we color coordinate without even realizing it?!

(check out our Bermuda pictures)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


We had a great time on our trip! As I'm sure you all know, we made it out of Bermuda just in the nick of time!

We had several pleasant, relaxing days while on the ship. We sat by the pool and read, took naps, went to (bad) shows, and ate (a lot!) It was a much needed break from reality! Of course

Bermuda was beautiful too! We had a great time riding around on our scooter, seeing the sights, relaxing, and of course...eating!

Here are some pictures from our trip:

We stopped to watch the sunset:

We admired the beautiful scenery:

More admiring... (don't worry we found much nicer beaches where we actually went swimming!)

We went on a fun segway adventure:

We went to Crystal Cave to see the incredible stalactites and stalagmites:

We also went on a fun catamaran cruise to a beautiful cove for an afternoon of snorkeling and kayaking. (Is that a word?) I've never seen so many fish in my life! Those closest to me know that I have an irrational fear of fish! That's right, snorkeling was terrifying (at first) and then it was fun! There were literally thousands of small fish that were all around us...all the time! I told you, it's an irrational fear...but it cannot be denied. We saw a TON of fish and a school of baby squid. That was pretty neat! They change colors! And because I know you're all thinking it...the answer is no. They do not provide child size snorkel masks! Bummer!

We also indulged in one too many SWIZZLES-ask Michael about that one!

Surprisingly we both came back from our trip with nice tans and with a good report for our dermatologists-lots of sunscreen was used and no one got burnt! That's different!