Thursday, January 31, 2013


The world needs more kissing booths!

Not the creepy carnival kind, of course. The fun kind - you know, where you get to pay $1 and kiss a cute girl or boy for charity.

I set up a pseudo kissing booth area in our front hall for the kiddos to get in the Valentine's Day mood. It was kind of a spur-of-the-moment thing, which meant the booth "area" was crafted out of simple props that we found in the craft drawer and a few printed signs. 

Here's a few shots of some of the silliness that occurred:

I have a feeling this won't be the last time Abbott willingly (and quite happily!) agrees to be a kissing booth participant.

Watch out girls...

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


There's another man in my life.

He's good looking, smooth, easy to use, and always dependable. 

Before you get all 50-Shades-of-Grey on me, let me clarify: I love Benjamin Moore. Specifically, Benjamin Moore's Linen White. Yup, that would be paint.

Benjamin Moore & Co. was started by two brothers way back in 1883, and both men have both long since shuffled off this mortal coil. So, obviously, the
two (bona fide) fellows in my life have nothing to worry about from those Benjamin Moore dudes.
THE Benjamin Moore.
He's sexy and he knows it.
Although I typically use the Benjamin Moore latex paint (round of applause for the Super Spec line), I recently found out that they make a new oil-based paint that still allows for soap-and-water cleanup.  I may have to try the oil based version out soon, since alkyd paints are so dang durable and have such a nice finish. (But gosh darn it, latex is just so much easier to use.) 

Anyway, after it became obvious over the Christmas holidays that we needed some more storage space in our dining room, I became the "Craiglist Cruiser" for a while. Not the sketchy wierdo type of Craiglist Cruiser or anything, but a legitimate peruser of "fine furniture." (Or what some poor ignorant souls considered as "fine furniture." I know my tastes don't always match other peoples, but it's amusing to see the value people place on their hideous junk.) Every day I would do a quick check of available hutches and sideboards listed in our surrounding area.

Then, just last week.... Bingo! I found the right sized piece (!) at the right sized price (!) for my pocket book.  I emailed the couple who listed it and we went to check it out. We got the piece home and I immediately knew what color would be gracing its shelves.

(Weird sidenote: we actually made friends with the sweet couple we bought the furniture from after we met them. How crazy is that?!
They had initially been worried whether we were actually going to show up because everyone else who contacted them had been a total scammer. He is a professional pilot and she is an Emory University graduate student and it turns out we had a ton in common.  They even helped us load it into their truck, using moving blankets and special furniture tie downs, and then followed us to our house to safely deliver it for us. We stood around talking like old friends-  for probably way longer than we should have. And then it was kinda hard to say goodbye...  Chris mentioned later that it seemed like we all should have gone out for lunch together or something.  We've kept up via email a bit and although I don't think we are all going to be the best-BFFs-of-friends or anything, how funny is it to say "yeah, we all met on Craigslist!")

Here's the brown beauty before her DIY makeover.
Benjamin Moore Linen White has become my go-to "white" color for a variety of items in our house. Our kitchen cabinets got slapped with a few coats of semi gloss when we first moved in, then I updated our master bathroom cabinets in the same tone, then I couldn't resist painting the twin beds in Abbott's room, as well as an arm chair in our front hallway. The list of our furniture coated in Linen White goes on and on...

A perfect example of reverse psychology:
I intended to let Evie be a part of the process and "help" where she could- but nope, she didn't want anything to do with it. (Except for posing like Vanna White whenever a camera was around.)
But the projects when I don't want her help, guess who's all up in my business?
That's a three year old for you, right?!

La petite ballerina in her pink sparkly shoes.

Somebody somewhere is gasping at this picture and saying
"Don't you dare paint that antique! It's fine just as it is."
Oh, well. Sorry to disappoint if you think that.  You know how dark colored clothing is supposed to be slimming? Well, the exact opposite is true when it comes to furniture. Dark furniture tends to draw in your eye and looks huge, which in turn makes your overall room look smaller.  Eh, at least that's my opinion.
First coat of primer. This is where they separate the men from the boys, folks.
The point of no return. Once you slap that paint on, it's hard to take it off.
This about the time you start thinking, "Uh-oh, what have I done?"

And then the next coat of paint goes on and you think,
"Okay, this is getting a bit better."

And after a few more coats of paint, some new wood stain on the counter,  convincing the hubby to help lug it in from the garage after the kids go to bed, reattaching the hardware, .... VOILA! , we've got storage space!

The House of Target provided the lovely new (inexpensive) door and drawer pulls.
Of course no makeover can ever be complete without a critic to judge the final product.

"Yup, lots more storage space, Momma!"
Woo-hoo! I like it.
I thought about distressing the paint a bit, but I realized that throughout the course of daily use in our house from both myself and the kids - we'll have it distressed in no time. Ha!
Something else I learned from this project:
It ALWAYS helps to have a big manly-man to help power-lift your stuff around the house.

Check out my hubby in Falcons' red, sporting Tony Gonzalez's game-worn jersey (#88) with his work team at Kimberly Clark:

Platform leader by day, furniture mover by night.
(I hope they don't realize that his heart first belonged to the New England Patriots. Yes, we're a house divided.)

Adios amigos! 
- Katie