Monday, December 15, 2014


It's no secret I love Ikea. Okay, maybe I am mildly obsessed. On a recent trip to Ikea I noticed this Norrlida frame and immediately thought of several uses for it and at $9.99 I snatched it up. I thought it would make a cool tray but decided the perfect use would be a chalkboard over my bar cart. I took it apart and painted the backboard with chalkboard paint. When I put it back together I just put the glass behind the backboard so it would have the same thickness. Tim did need to add a wire hanger to the back. I do believe there might have been some inhaled chalk dust in the process, but I am really liking having it above the bar cart. After the holidays I'll use it for drink recipes or menus.


The shelves came from Target and bar cart is from Crate and Barrel. All ready for the holidays!

More Ikea hacks and love coming soon.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


Awhile back I posted about the making of MR BIG SHOT, a mixed media painting of my father-in-law when he was a young whipper snapper here and here. Well, he got accepted into the Summation 2014 juried show at the Escondido Municipal Gallery and received an Honorable Mention. It was one year ago that I entered my first art exhibit and the director of the gallery purchased New York, New York. I just have to smile a little.



Tuesday, December 2, 2014



Please excuse the metaphor, but we just gave birth to a beautiful, brand spankin new kitchen. And boy are we proud..and exhausted. I was so over the plastic drop cloths on the furniture, layers of construction dust and tripping over tools I was pushing for a finish date of Thanksgiving. It's 95% complete and the last few days we find ourselves just staring in amazement at the results of our many months of DIY hard labor. We've been taking a boatload of photos, grinning ear to ear and rubbing our sore muscles.

There were many times I wondered if this would ever become a reality. I have shared a little along the way about this fixer-upper we purchased three and a half years ago. We spent the first couple years mostly repairing and dealing with the more serious issues. Lots of scrubbing, painting, tearing out and replacing HERE and HERE and much more I haven't shared. But the kitchen was by far the biggest eyesore. The previous owners slapped lots of lipstick on this pig to no avail. And lest you think I exaggerate; here's what happens when the seller slaps latex paint over oil. Looks okay until you wash it and the paint rolls off. 

The wood cabinets and pretty much every other surface was also painted using latex paint with the same results, but with the added touch of dog and human hair mixed in. I'm sparing you those images. You're welcome.

The counters and floors had ugly beige/brown 70's tile with dark, thick grout that looked dirty no matter how much bleach was used: 

tile changes between kitchen and breakfast room
chips in tile
Not grossed out yet? No problem. Take a gander under the drop-in cooktop. We had to take it apart and fix some burners just to use it. 

cooktop grime
Same with all the appliances. The refrigerator melted the ice and froze the fruits and veggies. The oven door was so filthy it didn't even shut. The sink had never been caulked and sealed, so when we turned the disposal on the sink shook violently. Some of the kitchen knobs were stuck onto the drawers only by the paint, no screws, so they came off in your hand. 

inside drawers
The kitchen drawers; I promise that is as clean as I could get them. By now you get the idea. As an interior designer who loves to entertain I dreamt of a remodel. I planned, researched, saved my pennies and collected ideas on my Pinterest Board, just waiting for the day we could pull it off.  


Lighting isn't the best and I took these with my cell phone. I'll be sharing much more in upcoming posts, as I share what materials I selected and some DIY's. But I was just so excited to finally show you what McGyver and I have been up to. We were literally putting finishing touches Thanksgiving Day and had guests for dinner. A huge accomplishment and it felt so good and rewarding.


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