Be Our Guest…The Guest Room Reveal

Hi there,

I. Am. Calling. It. Done.

Finally, the guest room/office is complete!  Make yourself comfortable, grab a beverage and settle in for a photo heavy post, my friends.  But…before I pull back the curtain on this one, let me remind you of my vision board for the room…

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I’m transitioning from earth tones to a more grey and greige color pallet in my home so I chose BM Barren Plains for the wall color.  If you missed my previous posts about this room, you can read them here and here.  So let’s begin…

After I finished painting the room, SuperHouls performed his magic and added some architectural interest for a feature wall…

I’ve had my eye on this chandy for a while and it fits with my belief that all rooms need a little bling because…

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All that glitters…

I wanted this room to function as both a guest room and a home office space for me. I think I was able to utilize the space in a way that makes it feel cozy and welcoming for guests to stay, but is functional and spacious to work in, or just relax and read a book.

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The feature wall as seen looking into the room from the hallway.

I love the way the animal print chair and rug compliment each other.

When you enter the room, the daybed fits perfectly on the right wall.

When you enter the room, the day bed fits perfectly on the right wall.

This day bed pulls out to a king size bed when needed, and offers tons of storage in the bottom drawers.  I consider that a major score.  Moving along to the other end of the day bed…

The opposite end of the day bed is the plant corner.

At the opposite end of the day bed is the plant corner.

And here’s a close-up of the wall decor above the plants…

The arrow signs are a nod to my heritage.

The arrow signs are the names of the counties in Ireland that my parents are from. A little nod to my heritage.

At the other corner of the room, directly across from the plant corner is the closet door.  I dressed it up with a wreath hanging from a ribbon.  I then added some wall prints that I love…

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Now we are at the home office side of the room.  This space is almost finished.  I have to add a large bulletin board to the massive wall above the desk.  I have a plan in mind but I’m going to give myself a little time to use the room and see if the plan feels right, and if it is the best solution for the space.

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And we can’t forget the faux taxidermy with the gold antlers in the vision board.  Yup, I found him…

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All that glitters...

Those gold antlers!

And here’s one more photo of the room at night with the chandelier dimmed…

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This room took a lot longer to put together than I expected.  The painting and furniture arrangement were pretty straightforward but the decorating took a while to get just right.

Finally, here’s a few close-ups of how I accessorized (my favorite part) the space…

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So, what do you think of my new guest room/office?  Does it make you want to visit and stay a while?  Leave a comment and let me know.

Oh, and, if you enjoyed reading this, why not share it?  And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

Be well,

Eileen

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This rug matches my fur purrfectly. Coincidence? Doubtful!

Apartment Reno: A Final Update (Kinda)

Hi there,

Here we are midway through the summer and I’m finally getting to my final post on the Apartment Reno series.  If you missed my previous posts, you can view them here, here, here and here.

I’m sorry to disappoint, dear readers, but I have no final “after” photos to share on this project, as D & D have decided that they do not want their “private” space shared.

If you have been following me on Instagram or Facebook, you know that I am near completion of the guest room makeover.  I have a few more minor touches and then I promise to post a photo-heavy reveal.

Be well,

Eileen

Floyd

The Guest Room…an update

Hi there,

We’ve made progress on the guest room and I wanted to share a quick update. In my previous post about this room, I shared the design board (or maybe it’s called a mood board) showing my vision for the room. This project is moving slower than I thought (isn’t that always the way) but we have managed to paint, create a feature wall and shop for some of the large and small pieces for the space. If you missed my previous post and want to catch up, you can read it here.

After I finished painting the room, SuperHouls stepped in with his power tools to add some character.

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Since then the rug has arrived and I found some throw pillows and other accessories for the room.image

I also brought my desk chair in to see how it would coordinate.

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And…I found the perfect curtains (that I still need to hang) and I’m working on the chandy that will replace the ceiling fan.

I’ll have more updates soon, but in the meantime please tell me what you think in the comments below.

If you enjoyed reading this, why not share it, or follow me, or both.

Be well,

Eileen

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Tiny Flower Pot Containers

Hey Hey,

We had a beautiful day here in New York after a week of rain. Today was the perfect day to get outside and do some gardening. After planting flowers in our window boxes, we had a few flowers left over and inspiration struck when I noticed these in my kitchen…

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Tolenti is my favorite ice cream these days. If your haven’t tried it, you must. It’s delicious. The containers are great for organizing and storing all our different screws and nails, so I always keep them when we finish the ice cream. I needed two very small containers for the left over flowers so I decided to give them a little sprucing up with some twine and spray paint that I had on hand.  These were so easy and took only an hour start to finish.

With my hot glue gun I added the twine from the bottom up…

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Then I decided I didn’t want to cover the entire container in twine so I used white spray paint for the top half of the containers…

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And then to finish the top and hide the ridges where the lid screws on, I added two more rows of twine.  Then I drilled drainage holes in the bottom…

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…added some potting soil and flowers and voila…

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They are perfect on their new home on the porch…

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Cute right?  I love them!  How did you spend this beautiful day?  Let me know in the comments below.

Be well,

Eileen

I’m linking up with http://www.stonegableblog.com/the-scoop-174/

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Beware of the kitties of the jungle.

 

 

Apartment Reno: A Ray of Light

Hi Everyone,

WOW!  This project has been quite a bit of work for D and D. The good news is…the end is in sight!  Yes, there is light at the end of the tunnel and after this weekend, the corner will be rounded.

This project has been anything but linear. Start cabinets…stop!  Start floors…stop!  Start painting….stop!  Back to floors…wait, let’s replace the bottom cabinets.

Even though I’m just watching from the side lines and offering help and suggestions when I have the opportunity, it’s overwhelming peeps!  Like all home improvement projects, the list started to grow and mama looked around and decided it was time to get some help.

Painters were hired last weekend to prime the whole apartment and the floors have been sanded, stained and just need one more coat of poly.  The kitchen cabinets and countertop are ordered and the sink and faucets have been delivered.  Here’s a peek at one of the painted rooms…

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Ahhhh…the power of paint to transform.

Meanwhile, at the abode, Spring has sprung…finally!

If you enjoyed reading this, why not share it, or follow me, or both!

Be well my friends.

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Apartment Reno: Painting Cabinets and Prepping Walls

Hey there,

SuperHouls and I took a break from the Woodlawn apartment renovation this weekend to knock off projects on our own never-ending “To-Do” list.  I’ll tell you all about that in a future post.  Today I’m sharing a quick update on the apartment progress. D & D have been working harder than they ever imagined.  The cabinet doors have been removed from the cabinets…

cabinets before 1

sanded…

and primed…

doors 2

…on one side.  The paint sprayer worked for about a millisecond and then started clogging.  Yes, we cleaned it…over and over.  After much frustration, D threw in the towel and went back to the tried and true paint brush.  Slow and steady.

Meanwhile, back at the apartment, the other D, my son, was busy spackling and sanding walls in preparation for paint.  It’s that point in the project where everyone is feeling a bit overwhelmed.   Despite checking items off the “to-do” list, the corner still hasn’t been rounded. The best remedy for this?  Make something pretty!  So D & D spent time getting one room primed and painted.  Progress is a beautiful thing.  Here’s a sneak peek at one of the gray painted bedrooms with a vibrant feature wall…

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The floors are being sanded and polyurethaned this week.  Hopefully we will have more “pretty” after photos to share next week.  Stay tuned!

Oh, and hey, if you enjoyed reading this, why not share it or follow me, or both!

Be well,

Eileen

While you’re waiting for the “pretty” after photos…how cute am I?

Apartment Reno: Diamonds & Dust

Hey Hey,

I know.  It has been way too long since my last post and I’m not happy about it.  But…I’m still here and if I have any readers left after my long absence, thank you!  Sometimes, life on life’s terms means being pulled in different directions and that has certainly been the case for me these past few months.  OK, enough about that.  I have news!

My son, D, is moving out in about 5 weeks.  He and his girlfriend, D, are working on an apartment renovation in the two family home where my mom lives.   The upstairs apartment is quite large and there are lots of renovations happening.  I will have all the details for you here on the blog.

They have quite an extensive list of projects to get through, but being new to the world of DIY, they are learning…slowly but surely.  On their list…

  • Pull up carpets and linoleum floor in kitchen
  • Open up wall between dining room and kitchen
  • Remove kitchen countertop, tile and cabinet doors
  • Update electrical
  • Hang sheet rock in kitchen
  • Sand cabinet doors

 

Yesterday, while SuperHouls was working on the sheet rock in the kitchen, D & D were busy sanding the kitchen cabinet doors in preparation for painting.  I really want them to do this on their own but sometimes it is hard not to jump in there to move the project along.

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Getting dust on my diamonds.

Yup…jumped right in there – jewelry and all – just couldn’t help myself.  Oh, and D & D were fine with it because they have all this left on their list:

  • Paint cabinet doors and cabinet facing
  • Sand and poly wood floors
  • Regrout bathroom tile
  • Paint entire apartment

I have lots of demo and before pictures to share.  They have a beautiful vision for the apartment that includes warm shades of gray (maybe as many as 50).

Oh, and hey, if you enjoyed reading this, why not share it or follow me, or both!

Be well,

Eileen

Floyd

The humans exhaust me. I need a nap.

 

 

 

Before the After: Part 4

Hi Friends,

In one more week it will be March!  Have we had enough?  Enough snow?  Enough cold?  Enough slush?  I think so!  The sun is shining today, which is certainly helping me to make the transition back from a week vacation in Puerto Rico.  I’m feeling grateful, relaxed and excited for Spring.  A week of sun and sand will do that for you…trust me.

Today I’m sharing my last post in my Before the After series about our fixer upper.  If you missed the previous three posts, you can view them here, here and here.

Let’s head upstairs today fo some more wall paper.  The previous owner, the daughter of the man who built the house, loved her wallpaper, for sure.  Take a look at how our walls looked after hours and hours of wallpaper removal…

Not so smooth and unless we were going for the textured look, something had to be done.  So SuperHouls sanded.  EVERY WALL.

After sanding and priming we had this…

And you might be wondering where I was during this sweat equity project.  In the bathroom, of course…

removing the wallpaper in there.  The bathroom was truly vintage.  Nicole Curtis would have had a field day with the original cast iron bathtub,  subway tile, medicine cabinet and light fixture…

…sorry Nicole, all gone now.  I wish I had met you before.  We could have had some serious fun together but at the time, I didn’t know.   I could have saved a lot of money too.  SuperHouls would have liked that.  #toolatenow

The final area left to see is the scary basement.  Unfortunately, I didn’t take a lot of before photos.  No need really.  What I do have is quite enough to give you a full picture of this cellar.  Ready?  Come on down…

ooooooo...a scary basement

Stairs down to the basement.

And there you have it.  The end of the Before the After series of our fixer upper.  I’m amazed at how much work we’ve put into our home.  Stay tuned for the after story which will be featured in my next series.

Hope you enjoyed the sunshine today and let’s all keep our fingers crossed that March, while known for coming in like a lion, will be more bearable than February was.

Oh, and hey, if you enjoyed reading this, why not share it or follow me, or both!

Be Well,

Eileen

Wake us up when Spring arrives.

                                                                         Wake us up when Spring arrives.

DIY Board & Batten

Hi Friends,

SuperHouls has outdone himself this time.  God, I love that man and his DIY skills.  Today I’m showing you a board and batten project that we did in our upstairs hallway.  I’ve had this project in mind ever since I saw this image on Pinterest over a year ago…

…and I knew it would look awesome in our upstairs hallway.  I immediately added it to my running list of projects and waited for the right time to present it.  Over the holidays we had some time off and we were going to work on a more challenging project that we decided should wait until Spring. Then I remembered this and SuperHouls, seeing that it was much easier than the originally planned project, agreed to take it on. See what I did there, ladies?  It’s all in the timing.

I researched tutorials and the best one I found was this one by Kim over at Sand & Sisal.  Kim’s tutorial provides a simple, step by step procedure.  We followed it almost exactly, except we changed the measurements of the boxes to fit the height and length of our walls.  So here’s what we started with…

Sorry for the crooked pics but I almost forgot to take the before pictures and then quickly snapped these with my iPhone.   Using blue painters tape to visual the placement of the wood slats was helpful for me to envision the completed project.  The photo on the left shows where SuperHouls placed the first board and made sure it was level.  Once that was done, it was all cutting and nailing, cutting and nailing…

Did you notice the ledge on top?  That’s my favorite part and you’ll see why in a moment.  But before I continue, there is one thing we will do differently for phase 2 (down the stairs).  We will definitely prime and paint the wall below the ledge before installing the boards.  That mistake cost us a lot of painting time that could definitely be avoided.  But that’s what DIYing is all about right?  You learn as you go, and mistakes are simply an opportunity for learning.  We did manage to get pre-primed boards because we’ve already learned that lesson from past projects. :)

Now, you could just go with the vertical boards and make the installation less difficult.  I’ve seen lots of beautiful photos on Pinterest with just the vertical boards and ledge on top.  Of course, I say why stop at good when you can have great?  So we kept going and added the boxes after priming the walls…

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We also had to work around a window so we took this into consideration while planning our measurements.

Once this step is completed, you could call it done, but I love moldings and adding them makes such a difference…

And 3 days later after a lot of caulking and painting, we were ready to pull up the brown paper on the floor, rinse the paint brushes and put the nail gun away.  Ready for the results?

Look at all that character!  Awesome, right?  And you may notice in the before pics that the hallway light in the second picture above did not exist.  SuperHouls decided we needed more light on that end so he wired it in.  I’ll be replacing those ceiling lights down the road, but for now I’m enjoying all the light.

Remember I said the ledge is my favorite part?  It’s perfect for artwork that can be switched out easily.  No nail holes necessary.

Luv. Luv. Luv.

Never underestimate the power of paint and wood to transform a space.  My hallway feels twice as spacious and I can’t wait to take this down the stairs in phase 2.  Did SuperHouls rock it out or what?

Hey, if you enjoyed reading this, why not share it or follow me, or both!

Be well,

Eileen

Linking to Sand and Sisal

Before the After…Part 3

Hello Friends,

It’s February.  This makes me happy because it means: we’ve made it through January in the Northeast; February is a short month and we can do this; Spring is a comin’.

#readytoputmysweatersandbootsaway  #cravingtheoutdoors  #bringonthelongerdays  #getmeinthegarageDIYing

Meanwhile, there’s another storm coming tonight and you may need a little reading material so let me show you my blue kitchen.

The kitchen in our home had its own unique style that…well…I had never seen before.  It was painted light blue.  It had two (no, that’s not a typo) upper cabinets.  The (again, not a typo) lower cabinet had  a red linoleum countertop.  And…the floors were orange linoleum.  As far as appliances go, it did come with a stove.  Dying to see?  Feast your eyes on this beauty…

I mean…really?  Baby blue in a kitchen?  Who does that?  But more importantly, it’s too bad you can see the full effect the floor had on this ensemble.  But, if you have a good imagination, I found one that closely resembles it…

I know.   You’re scratching your head right now and wondering whether SuperHouls and I are dealing with a full deck, but you’ll understand when we get to the “after” photos, which won’t include the red linoleum countertop or old stove.

There’s SuperHouls and Al (our handyman who knew how to fix everything) kicking it to the curb.

And then we were left with this…

It always gets worse before it gets better.  But there were some good discoveries too.  After removing the lower, red linoleum topped cabinet, we discovered that there were original pine floors under that orange lineoleum…Bhooya!  Oh, and since we are all about “character” in a home, we also kept this original built-in cabinet…

original kitchen cabinets restoration

Those two upper cabinets were also kept and reused.  They found a home in the garage.

And ladies, let me share a photo of me (can’t believe I was still smiling) in a sample of my wardrobe for the six weeks we worked on the house…

kitchen demolition

Pretty Times

If you missed my first two post in this series you can find them here and here.

Hey, if you enjoyed reading this, why not share it or follow me, or both!

Be well,

Eileen

Ragdolls

 

Nicole Curtis Ain’t Got Nothing On Me…

Hi Friends,

I love a good find, especially when it’s free. This weekend I was out running errands with D & D and we temporarily got lost while driving from one side of town to the other.  Sometimes getting lost turns out to be beneficial.

As we drove through the streets we started noticing all the fancy houses around us.

“Oh, I like that one.”

“Wow, did you see that one?”

“How adorbs is that porch?”

Continue reading

Boot Camp: Not A New Year’s Resolution

Hi Everyone,

I thought I’d update everyone on how my Boot Camp classes are going.  I’ve spent the last few years running and just running.  I trained for three half marathons and ran several races in between.  This year I wasn’t selected in the lottery for the half but SuperHouls was.  Therefore he’s running without me.  I’m OK with it and I will certainly be there to cheer him on, but for now I’m enjoying boot camp.

I’m not a slave to the scale and knowing that muscle weighs more than fat, I pay more attention to how my clothes fit and how I feel. Running is a great cardiovascular activity but it’s not a full body workout.  As a result, my upper body was pretty weak in comparison to my lower body, but boot camp is slowly changing that.  I am a size smaller and just had some of my clothes tailored…love that!

Motivational-Fitness-Quotes1

The workouts are no joke.  I’ve experienced three instructors and they are all good, but very different.  The word “burpee” no longer strikes fear in my heart and I am constantly challenged with new exercises.  While running is a much more solitary activity, I find I really enjoy working out with a group of women who embrace challenges and empowerment.

A clean diet is essential when you are looking for results.   Now that the holidays are over, I am getting back to eating a more healthy, clean diet and drinking lots of water.  I’m looking forward to continuing to challenge my body to see what it can do, and in the Spring, when the weather gets a bit warmer, I’ll probably incorporate running back into my routine too.

What I’m most happy about is that exercise and healthy eating is not a New Year’s resolution but a lifestyle that I’m embracing.

Hey, if you enjoyed reading this, why not leave a comment, follow me or share this post.

Stay strong,

Eileen

Plank

 

Before The After…Part 2

Hi there,

On my way home from boot camp this morning,  I noticed an open house in our neighborhood.  I love open houses because I get to see the inside of homes I regularly pass by.  Today I saw a center hall colonial home with 6 bedrooms and 4 baths and it brought me back to when we bought our home 8 years ago.  If you missed my first post in this series, you can read it here.

The home I toured had wall paper and carpeting EVERYWHERE.  As I walked through, room by room, I knew…the large kitchen and four bathrooms were gut jobs.  The wall between the kitchen and dining room needed to come down, the basement told the tale of original wiring and plumbing, and the stairs to the second and third floors needed carpet removal and resanding.  Did I mention all the banisters were wobbly?

The bedrooms were spacious but also carpeted.  More sanding.  The 3rd floor bedrooms probably didn’t have hardwood under the carpet since it was a redone attic, so new floors would need to be added there.  And that’s what I could see!  The house was spacious and had a great layout, but it needed a lot of work…just like ours did.

Today I’m going to take you inside to our living/family room and dining room to see what our home looked like when we bought it.  Let’s get started…

living room from stairs

Isn’t she lovely with all the pink flowered wallpaper?  Did you notice the old metal radiator cover?  All the radiators had them.  If you’d like to see the wallpaper pattern up close, take a look at this…

window seat in living & dining area

Trust me there is a beautiful yard outside those windows hidden behind the overgrown bushes that I showed you in my previous post.  But…it gets better.  There was old pink carpet running up the staircase and 2nd floor hallway, and they brought the wallpaper up the stairs too!

up the stairs

You can see how the decor worked together in this photo of the fireplace…

Fire Place

The room did have a few features we loved and we saw the potential.  The hardwood floors would be beautiful when they were redone, the ceiling (notice it in the mirror in the picture above) was coffered and beautiful, the fireplace was wood burning and structurally in great shape.

I don’t have before pics of the dining room, but I do have some of us working on it.  As I mentioned it was baby blue and the walls needed repairs before we primed and painted.  Below you can see me and SuperHouls working on spackeling the walls.

The ceiling in the dining room had a strange brown grid pattern.  We painted it all white but we knew those brown grid lines were going to take some extra coats.  A friend came to visit during the renovation period to help us out and she got to work too…

doesn't the paint go on your face too

We spent six weeks working on the house between July & August.  Mostly it was me and SuperHouls, but family and friends also helped out with different projects, which you’ll see in many of the pictures in this series.  Wallpaper removal was a big theme but still only part of the cosmetic work.

Hey, if you enjoyed reading this, why not let me know in the comments, then share it and follow me.

Be well,

Eileen

Before the After…Part 1

Did I ever mention we bought a fixer-upper?  Yup…we did.  I recently found our original home photos.  The pictures are from my pre-blogging days.  In fact, I had no idea what a blog was at the time.  Our humble abode has come so far in the past eight years, so what better way to start the New Year than with a series of “before” posts?

After going back through these original photos, SuperHouls and I found ourselves shaking our heads and wondering why we bought this house.  SuperHouls says it was the neighborhood, the backyard and the fireplace that sold him.  For me, it was the charm, the character and the potential.

Our home was constructed in 1923.  It was listed as a colonial  cottage and the first time we laid eyes on it, it looked like this…

front of house

As you can see, the shrubs were overgrown and hiding much of the first floor.  The same in the back of the house…

back of house

There was no door leading to our yard except for the one in the scary basement so we had to walk all the way around the house to get to the back yard.  The window on the left in the above photo eventually became a door to our patio.  We made the patio by pulling up the old slate that was originally our driveway…

down to garage

And we loved the storage space of the detached garage.  

These photos are dated May 27, 2007.  It was Springtime and the azalea bush was in full bloom…

back yard

We saw the charm.  We saw the character.  We had no idea what we were getting into.

Hey, if you enjoyed reading this, why not share it, follow me, or both?

Be well,

Eileen

Romeo & Floyd

I got a playmate for Christmas. Meet Floyd.

One door closes. Another opens. And so begins 2015.

door-open[1]Hi there,

As we sit on the cusp of a new beginning, I find myself reflecting on the blessings, the sorrows, the surprises, and the disappointments of this past year. They all took their turns. They all brought their lessons. They all played a role in making me more…authentically…me.

Beginnings are filled with possibilities, hope, the unknown, excitement.
Beginnings give us an opportunity to effect change; to decide to do things differently; to be better versions of ourselves.

Sweeping in on the heels of endings, beginnings thrust us forward and force us to continue to embrace our flaws…to grow…to evolve.

As we sit on the cusp of 2015, I find myself wondering what experiences this year will bring that will make me more…authentically…me.  Here’s to new beginnings.

Happy New Year!

Eileen

Holiday Decor…A Recap

Hi Everyone,

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.  I also know this can be a difficult time of year for some who are remembering the loved ones who have passed.  There are a few families and loved ones that I have been keeping in my thoughts and prayers during these past few weeks.  I like to believe that they are always with us in spirit.

For us, the last two weeks have been filled with festivities and I’m feeling blessed and grateful…truly.  I am also feeling exhausted and…I’m happy that Christmas is over!  There I said it.  Now we can move on to the fact that I never got my holiday decor post done before the holidays so I’m recapping here and now.  Nothing like the Here and Now, right?  It’s really all we have.

This post will have few words and many photos of my home tour…before I take all the decorations down.  Trust me, I’m ready.

The kitchen…

The Mantel…

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The Dining Room…

The Family Room…

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And finally…the wrapings…

And that, my friends, is a recap of Christmas 2014!  Done!

Be well,

Eileen

And hey, if you enjoyed reading this, why not follow me, share this post, and/or leave a comment below?

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This Holiday Season, #obeytheminiature

Hi Everyone,

This past weekend I went to a dear friend’s opening for the launch of his new business.  Ladies, if you had doll houses when you were little girls, you will be swooning!

Darren of D. Thomas Fine Miniatures is an Artisan and Miniaturist with a passion for all things mini.  I’ll have a future feature blog post for you, promise, but in the meantime, you can check out his blog here .  And his FB page here.

Here’s a sneak peek at what a miniaturist artisan creates..

I Die!

I Die!

Be well,

Eileen

Holiday Cards

Merry Merry Everyone,

I am so behind on getting my Christmas decorating posts up this year.  BUT, fear not.  I am moving along and will share all the awesomeness soon.  Meanwhile, click here, herehere, here and here for Christmas 2013 posts.

This weekend we managed to get our Christmas card photo taken and I’m so thrilled with the results.  On Sunday I informed the family that we were going to shoot the picture, edit it and send it for printing.  Yup…got it all done.  Today I’m sharing some of the moments we captured while posing (aka the outtakes) and my crazy thought process.

I tend to over think things.  My brain likes to analyze, strategize and understand how things work.  Over time I’ve learned to work with my brain, but sometimes it just takes over and the perfectionist in me is off and running.  The creation of this picture began right after Thanksgiving when I started thinking about our holiday card for 2014.  After last year’s card went out, it was suggested by a few that I may have too much time on my hands…

I can certainly see how one might come to that conclusion, but I assure you I do not.

Besides, more time on my hands would mean more posts for all of you wonderful readers.  And who doesn’t want that?  Right?

The cats were not thrilled with the photo shoot last year.  It was rather involved for them.  Al (RIP), the one in the sleigh, was 16 at the time and…well…he was tired.  I put him in the sleigh and he promptly curled up and took a nap.  Romeo (right) was 6 months young, very busy, and curious as to what to do with the large, gold, sparkly balls.  Neither of them appreciated their festive attire.  Between their nonplussed attitudes, the props, the lighting, etc, it’s a miracle I didn’t scrap the whole idea and go old school with a hand written card.

But I get Christmas card pictures of kids and families and etchings of homes and dogs.

I can take a hint.

Holiday photo cards are in vogue.  I want to be hip and trendy too.  So I sent pictures.  Of my cats.

For 2014 we decided on a family portrait (and when I say “we”, I mean “I”).  I had lots of ideas:

We’ll all lay down on the floor in a circle and have Daria stand over us and take a picture of our smiling faces.

oh, or

We’ll go down to the running path by the bridge with a big flowing ribbon.

But what will we wear?

Everyone in blue shirts?  Not Christmassy enough.

Do we all have red or green shirts?  Nope, not really our colors.

Forget them…focus on me…I have that beautiful new dress.

Jeans?…YES!  Black jeans?…YES!  Off-white sweater?…YES!  Lots of pearls and gold jewelry?…YES!  And for Super Houls and Dylan, black jeans and gray shirts!  Romeo’s coloring will fit right in…PERFECT!  We need pops of red…lipstick, shoes, bow for Romeo.

EVERYONE GET DRESSED BEFORE IT GETS DARK!  Daria, grab the camera!

I received my Christmas card order today and I love how they turned out.  I’ll post it on Christmas Eve, promise.  For now, a few outtakes…

D, D & Romeo

D, D & Romeo

How cute are they?

E and T

Me, Super Houls & Romeo

Did you notice the bow on the mantle?  Romeo was much more cooperative this year.  What a difference a year makes.

God Bless my family for putting up with me and my busy brain.

Hey, if you enjoyed reading this, why not share it?…follow me?…or both?

Be well,

Eileen

Outtake 2013

Outtake 2013

Bow Makers, Signs and Faux Taxidermy

Hiya,

I got some interesting responses to my last post, among them, …”a place to hang your wet hat” and “mitten holders.”  As a result, my creative juices are flowing.  BUT, the simple gift from Super Houls is…wait for it….wait for it…

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…a bow maker.

Yup, I’m going to be a bow making fiend this Christmas.  If you’re completely lost right now, read my last post here.  Did you notice the little red dots on the bottom piece of wood along the edge?  Those are inch markers.  I see a bow tutorial in the near future.

Thanksgiving is here and I am so looking forward to a loooooooong weekend.  And although I’m already missing summer, I know the only way to get back to it is to cycle back through fall, winter, and spring.  Winter is not my favorite season but the holidays certainly help and they give me yet another reason to decorate.  The Friday after Thanksgiving the tree gets trimmed and the decorating madness begins.  Super Houls is accustomed to the frenzy.  God love him!

While Friday is the official day to begin…if you’ve met me, you know the wheels have been turning, the ideas stewing and the visions of grandeur flowing.  In fact, I may have already started…just a little.  I couldn’t resist this fur collar for my buck…

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How cute are those bells?  And the keys are the actual keys to the doors in my home.

I also added this white buck to my dining room gallery wall

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And last weekend I made this little sign with some gold glitter craft paper and black glitter letters…

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Happy Thanksgiving.  I hope you all have a day filled with good eats, good company and lasting memories.

Be well,

Eileen

IMG_0608

Burpees Anyone?

Hi there,

I am loving boot camp ladies!  It’s been a few weeks since I started and I gotta tell ya, I’m seeing results already!  Yup, my body is getting smaller, my energy level has increased and I’ve become accustomed to feeling hungry most of the time.  I’m maintaining a 1500 calories-a-day with most calories coming from protein and fats.  Carbs are the lowest percentage of my macronutrients and there’s no white flour, pasta or rice to be seen in my diet.   I’ve been doing 3 classes a week consistently and I’m ready to add one more this week.   The only exercise I’m not loving is the dreaded burpee…

Batman Burpee

Burpees are beyond challenging.  They are downright HARD!  And just in case you’re thinking, What the heck is a burpee?


how-to-do-a-burpee

I hate them.  There, I said it.  Let’s move on…

I’m hungry.  A Lot.  I used to be able to go all morning on a cup of coffee or two.  Now I have to eat in the morning, but not as much.  I find I am hungry more often but need less food to feel satisfied.  Exercising like this and changing my diet has naturally led me to eat smaller portions more frequently.  I think my metabolism is starting to rev up ladies…

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So if you’re looking to change a sedentary lifestyle or maybe just change a routine that has become a bit boring, I highly recommend boot camp classes.  If nothing else, it will help with the holidays coming up.  You’ll have more energy to shop, cook and decorate and you can eat without putting on an extra 10 pounds.  I mean, do you really want to be making another New Year’s resolution carrying an extra 10 lbs or do you want to arrive at New Year’s looking fit and fab?  Just remember…five pounds of fat and five pounds of muscle look different on your body…

fat vs muscle

Enough said?

That’s it from me today.  I’ll check back in after Thanksgiving and let you know if I still hate burpees.

And hey, if you enjoyed reading this, share it, follow me, or both.

Be well,

Eileen

Wonderwoman Barbie

Hi Everyone,

Between college application season, boot camp classes, and life on life’s terms, finding time to post regularly has proven to be challenging, but onward I push.  Today I have a small project I want to share.

I have beautiful Lenox silver that I received as a wedding gift, but I didn’t have a silver chest to store it in.  Several years ago my sister-in-law brought me an extra chest that she didn’t need (thanks Joann).  When she saw I was excited, she warned that it was very plain.

Um…hello…have you met me?  I can work with plain.

I’ve used it for several years – but kept it hidden in a drawer – knowing one day I would spruce it up.  Here’s how it looked when I started…

After a light sanding, I gave it two coats of  Home Decor Chalk Paint in Ebony…

Better, but dark brown was not the look I was going for.  Once it was dry, I applied Home Decor White Wax and Super Houls added some gold nail head trim to the four corners…

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I’m not ashamed to admit that Super Houls may be better at hammering than I am.

The white wax application gave the wood a beautiful weathered gray look and the gold trim gave it some dimension and contrast.  But it still needed something in the center.  I found a letter “H” at the craft store and spray painted it gold to match the trim and secured it to the center of the lid.  Are you ready for this transformation?

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Now the outside is as beautiful as the silver it holds inside.

Now, instead of being hidden in the drawer, it is displayed on our buffet…

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Lovin’ it!

This was such an easy update.  You know, the kind that makes you wonder why you waited so long to do it.  The only thing I may add is a small handle above the lip.

Maybe.

But for now, I’m calling it done!

Thanks for stopping by and hey, if you enjoyed reading this, why not share it or follow me or both?

What do you think?  Handle or no handle?  What would you do?

What do you think?  Handle or no handle? Leave a comment and let me know.

 

Be well,

Eileen

 

 

Thinking Outside The Box

Wonder Woman over Barbie…Bring It!

Hi there,

We all browse Pinterest for inspirational photos to help us get our arses in gear.  I’ve been known to do this on occasion and find myself drawn to specific types of photos, like these…

Run 1

Source: Pinterest

To me this says, “women” “power” “active” “endurance” “speed”.

 

And here’s another type that I look for when I start to lose momentum…

(Source: Pinterest)

(Source: Pinterest)

If she can do it…so can I!

 

And I have, as evidenced here.  Running keeps me sane, centered, fit, and…allows me to cheat eat.  But winter is on the horizon and I hear it’s going to be another tough one for us in the northeast.  Did I mention I hate running indoors on a treadmill?  Yup, I’m spoiled like that…rather be out in the fresh air.

So back to Pinterest I go, browsing away like I have nothing else to do.  All the while thinking about “another tough one” and I spot this…

(Source: Pinterest)

(Source: Pinterest)

 

…and this…

(Source: Pinterest)

(Source: Pinterest)

 

and finally, this…

(Source: Pinterest)

(Source: Pinterest)

Is she for real?

And then I see this advertisement online for a boot camp class offered for a reduced fee.  Hmmm.  There were two locations (one 10 mins. away), multiple class time offerings, a forum for extra support, a daily calorie tracker and women only (not that there’s anything wrong with men).

So what do I do?  I decide to go for it…and sign up.

Uh huh…I did.

I’m committed to 3 times a week, maybe 4 depending on my schedule and if I survive week one (this week).  Last night was my first class.  I sweated, snorted and groaned my way through and was ever so relieved to get to my favorite part of the class…

(Source: Pinterest)

(Source: Pinterest)

I might have been was a bit more sweaty and red-faced.

And since you’re all mesmerized by this point, you’ll be happy to know I’ll be providing weekly updates.  In the meantime, as I take my Advil and revel in the soreness of muscles I forgot existed, this will keep me going…

(Source: Pinterest)

(Source: Pinterest)

Just sayin’.

How have you challenged yourself lately?

And hey, if you enjoyed reading this, feel free to share it, leave a comment and follow me.

Be well,

Eileen

My human exhausts me.

My human exhausts me.

 

White Pumpkins and Plaid Blankets

Hey Everyone,

The temperatures are  s l o w l y  getting cooler here in New York and there’s a hint of fall foliage in the air.  I love to welcome fall by changing my home decor to reflect the coziness and colors of the season.  Today’s post is all about how I accessorize my home for fall.

Sometimes I switch out accessories, but if I love them I’ll keep them displayed and just dress them for the season.  Here I added a simple garland strand around this guy’s neck…


IMG_0546  And this guy got some acorn bells…

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And I love the garland against the white background for this beauty…

IMG_0551I keep my decor pretty simple for fall because I tend to do my most elaborate decorating during the Christmas season.  My coffee table tray display got a few small changes…

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I just added a Yankee Candle (Autumn Wreath) with a few pinecones and miniature apples.  You may have also noticed the striped sherpa throw in the picture above.  Throw blankets are a necessity at this time of year for cozying up on the couch.

On fall weekends, Super Houls and I start our days sipping coffee in front of a fire, with iPads in hand, catching up on emails and social media.  This year I added some plaid (a fashion must have!) blankets…

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And one by the back door to grab on the way out in the evening for smores by the fire pit…

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Yes, that’s the tip of my Ugg slipper on the lower left of this pic. Another fall must have!

The mantle is always the show stopper, whatever the season…

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with lots of white and striped mini-pumpkins…

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And filled a vase with some fall flowers for drama…

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The wreath that hangs on the mirror transitioned from summer to fall with a single red hydrangea blossom.  I literally just popped in there with the white ones…

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Moving on to the dining room…more striped pumpkins and a touch of animal print add texture to the table…and spice scented potpourri makes the room smell deliciously fall.

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Finally, in the kitchen I added some small touches to the window sill to usher in the season…

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And with a nod to Halloween, the inside of the front door got some whimsy…

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I am love, love, loving my black door!

In a previous post I shared a tutorial on the fall wreath I made for the outside of my front door.  If you missed it, you can read about it here.  Stay tuned for a post on our outdoor fall decorations…coming soon.

In the meantime, do you love decorating for fall?  What’s your favorite decor season?

Be well,

Eileen

Romeo Fall 2014

Happy Fall!

And…hey, if you enjoyed reading this, why not follow me?

Designing A Room With A Design Board

You guys!

I’m really excited to share this with you, but first, a little back story.  As you know from my previous posts here, here, here and here, my boy son D has moved out and into his own apartment.  An after post is in the making, I’m just waiting for approval from D & D.

Now that D has officially launched, I’m an empty nester with a new guest bedroom to design.  I struggled with this one but finally decided to create a guest room/office space in D’s former bedroom.  My process for designing and decorating involves scouring Pinterest for visual ideas while also visiting brick and mortar stores like HomeGoods and West Elm to satisfy my need for a tactile experience, and to get a sense of scale.  Being that there is no sense of urgency to complete this room, I have been taking my time in deciding how I want the room to look and feel.  It also needs to function as a welcoming guest room for overnight guests and a work space for me.  It took a while to come up with my color scheme but I knew that I wanted the room to be gender neutral with both feminine and masculine elements.

So here’s the exciting part…I made a design board last night (yup, I did) to keep me on track while I implement this project.  I mean, let’s be honest, can anyone go to HomeGoods and stay focused?  I also purchased the paint for the room and I’m hoping to finish painting this weekend.  I decided on BM Barren Plain.  It’s  a soft, light grey…

Benjamin Moore Barren Plains


The hardwood floors have been newly sanded.  There will be a white board and batten feature wall too.  The contrast of the white trim and gray paint will be a subtle backdrop for the color scheme I’m planning, especially the gold accents.  Because, duh!…all the glitters.   Here’s what I’m envisioning…

  

I plan to incorporate all of these elements into the room.  I already have the desk, animal print chair, black and gold mirror and plants.  I’m in the process of sourcing the rest.  The best part of this room is that I love every single item that I incorporated into the design board.  Wish me look in my quest to source the rest!

I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Do you think the room is gender neutral?  Do I have enough of a balance of light and dark?  What’s your favorite piece?

Be well,

Eileen

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You can never have enough animal prints.