Tuesday, July 31, 2012

End of an Era

This last weekend I flew home to Chicago with a heavy heart. After living in our family home for 16 years, my parents have decided to sell our house and downsize. I am not going to go in to too much detail, but lets just I was NOT a happy camper, and was about two seconds away from handcuffing myself to the front door in protest.

The sale was a bit of a shock- my parents had been looking to scale back since all three of us kids have moved out, but the house was not even officially on the market. A young couple had seen the house and made an offer that got the ball rolling- lets just say I officially hate those people now, but whatevs.

If you remember way back when, I mentioned being a little homesick out here in Boston. Yeah that was sugar coating it... I have a pretty severe case of the I-would-totally-live-above-my parents-garage-the-rest-of-my-life-if-it-were-socially-acceptableititis. So this decision to move was ahem...upsetting. I pretty much cried the entire weekend...yeah fun fun.

My parents flew me in to go through all of my things to see what I wanted to keep and what could be pitched, so decided to do a little Instagram-recap of the weekend. The good, bad, and the ugly.

I wanted to capture the view that I woke up to every morning growing up. How many of you are still rocking your Laura Ashley sheets circa 1990? Yes- be jealous... Also notice my wedding bouquet next to my lamp. I can remember so clearly waking up in this room the morning of my wedding and being beyond excited to marry Joey :)

We popped in the old home videos and laughed at my sisters bunny cheeks, my love of the "I've been eaten by a boa-constrictor" song, and my brothers ability to drive my sister and I crazy without getting punished.

I sorted through all the papers and drawings that my mom stashed since I was really little. This is just a sampling of one of the letters I wrote home from summer camp when I was 8 or 9. Let's just say that the homesickness issue started early, because most were me BEGGING to come home. But when I saw this one I could not help but crack up.

After going through the entire box of memories I have discovered some things that still ring true today:

1. I was/am obsessed with cats and kittens
2. I have a legit addiction to candy
3. I can't spell (if you follow my blog with any consistency then you were well aware of that by now!)

I miss you gyes!

I blame my sister and my crazy besties for this one...I had nothing to do with this, Mom!

Apparently, I was a fat teen. Hence why I refuse to show Joey any photos of me between 4th-7th grade. It was not a good time for me and my waistline! Thank goodness we went to separate middle schools because I am pretty sure we would not be married to me right now if he knew my fattie potential.

I can't believe the 18 years of my life can fit into 5 boxes. Honestly, that depresses me to no end. I have taken mental pictures of my bedroom because I have decided that I MUST have a daughter so that I can recreate my room like a little "Katie shrine" with all of my old stuff. Is that weird?? Nooo....

At the end of the weekend, I had to say goodbye and it was really painful for me. I know that it is not the house that makes it home. It's the fact that my parents and siblings shared so many wonderful memories there together. I need to pick up my chin and be thankful that there are many more happy memories to come...but let's be honest...I'm really not that mature and I am still going to pout about it for a few more days!!

I know every time I go home the sting will get less and less, but its hard to imagine not pulling into my driveway and reciting a little tidbit that we always said when we came back home from a trip; "Who's beautiful house is this? I just do not know. I bet they have three pretty kitties..."

Have any of you had to gone through the sale of your childhood home?? How did you feel about it?

XOXO Katie
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Thursday, July 26, 2012


Random post here so bare with me:)

This is a little peak into what I have been up to and lusting over this week...

Pretty Little Liars
Who would have thought that a Fox Family show would be so dang addictive?! I am just finishing up season 1, but I am full blown obsessed with these teenie-boppers.

I NEED to grow out my hair again because I am totally lusting over the ballerina bun. I would love to have an up-do option for special events to mix it up a bit. I saw this tutorial on laurenconrad.com and thought it may be doable in a few months...

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Totally craving kiddie food lately- why do little munchkins get all the fun?? Super basic, but honestly sometimes that is better than a fancy meal when summer is in full bloom.
via Navywifecook.com
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via Happygoodtime.com

I would love to be able to jump on the wallpaper bandwagon, but I just need to figure out if/where I can utilize it in our place. How amazeballs are these??

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via Urbanoutfitters.com

via Houzz.com

I have decided that I want to learn calligraphy. I have seen so many stunning invitations in the mail and on Pinterest lately and I have decided that I want to give it a try. I am on the hunt for a class in Boston, but they seem to be a good chunk of change. So for now I am surfing the web for tutorials, but I think I need/want the one-on-one instruction you get from a live person.

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via Marthastewart.com

XOXO Katie
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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Ebay Baby!

My sister was in town this last weekend and she gave me the deets on where she is getting some of her adorable clothes for work and date nights. She a big advocate for online shopping, but for some reason its just not my thing (funny considering I work for an online clothing company- go figure). I usually like to feel the material and see color up close and personal, but with my upcoming month and its CRAZY schedule I needed to make some quick decisions for some special occasion duds. I am just exhausted thinking about it, and the idea that I needed to go out and find new dresses for the two upcoming weddings is just too daunting to take in.

So where did I turn? Ebay baby!

I have confirmed the purchase of one dress so far, but the time is running out on one more auction soon. I got a blush pink ruffle dress (originally $210) for $20! Not too shabby if I do say so myself. Still waiting on the black empire waist dress's time to run out but so far I'm in it for less than $30.

I put together this inspiration board so I know what accessories I need to keep an eye out for, so cross my fingers that when this baby arrives it will look cute. But how could it not? I totally look just like that model in the pic...hmm yeah not so much:/

XOXO Katie
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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Is This Real Life?

I was chatting with Kerry over at Monograms & Martinis last week because she and her hubs bought their first home (yay!), and she had to make some quick picks for wall colors since they had scheduled painters to come ASAP. I had a flashback to how stressful that can be for a first time homeowner. I remember when we had to choose our paint colors from 800 miles away (we were still in Chicago when painting was done) and only had a paint store swatch as a preview. We got lucky with our choices, but the key word there is LUCKY

So, last week when I came across a website called Favorite Paint Colors, and I could not help but applaud the creator, Kristen. What a genius idea it was to gather REAL LIFE examples of what a paint color looks like. Not just magazine worthy photos- these are people's actual homes and real lighting so DIYers like myself can see what we are in for.

Just in case you were getting worried- I of course have to include one of my all time fave videos...you know to confirm your question..."Is this real life??"

Yes, David, why yes it is!

Pinterest is my obsession- those gorgie pics do it for me every time- but it is good to see what a wall color will look like for all non-professional photographers like myself.

You can search by a color (ex. blue, gray, pink, etc.) and the site pulls up tons of different true to life images of colors used in peoples homes. All images list the exact color and the brand name. You can also search by a specific color name and see if any photos have been submitted with that color.

Here is an example of how it works:
My living room is Rockport Gray by BM. So I searched "Rockport Gray" on Favorite Paint Colors and this image came up:

via Favoritepaintcolorsblog.com (submitted by Margot Smith)
This would have been great to see before the paint was up on the 12' high walls in our living room. Don't get me wrong, I love the color, but it does have a slight taupe undertone that I was not aware of when looking at my swatch card.

So heads up to all of you pining away over paint swatches and sample cards- go check out Favorite Paint Colors before you make the plunge!

XOXO Katie
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Monday, July 23, 2012

Thought So...

Is it sad when you choose which Instagram filter to use based on which makes your legs look less freakishly pale?

Yeah...thought so...

Had a great visit with my Sis and her BF this weekend- just gearing up for a busy few weeks!

XOXO Katie
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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Doin' it Right, AmyLu

I was food shopping this last weekend and decided to try a new chicken burger that was on sale- boy was I glad I did! These things were great!

They are called Burgers by AmyLu, and I went with the Sweet Caramelized Onion Chicken Burger. I have tried the chicken sausages by this company in the past and loved them, so when I spotted this new item I had to go for it.

They are fully cooked, so I just had to toss them on the grill pan for a few minutes and top with goat cheese. I also threw some asparagus and red onions on the grill to balance out our midweek meal.

I was a little nervous because I have had mixed results with ready-to-serve turkey burgers, they are always either dry or way over seasoned with salt and preservatives. But these were great, and I am definitely going to put them into our weekly rotation.

Plus, as just 150 cals per burger I don't have to feel guilty about not making them from scratch!

So I just wanted to give a shout out to my girl, AmyLu. Love it!

XOXO Katie
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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Attack of the Potty Water!

I would say that 99% of the time I am happy that we bought our apartment....and yesterday was not one of those days.

I didn't have time to take a photo, but let just say that at 6pm last night I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to stop the WATERFALL that was coming out of my guest room toilet. All I have to say is thank goodness the water was not dirty, but still it was toilet water- yuck!

OK, maybe that pic is an exaggeration, but that's was it felt like!

I have no idea why it overflowed, but I was putting fresh towels in the bathroom and I noticed that the water in the bowl was really high. And the genius that I am thought, "Hmm weird, maybe I should just flush it and let it drain..." SO STUPID!! The water came POURING out and I grabbed every spare towel ( aka my freshly washed towels that I had just hung up..grrr) I could to catch the overflow.

Once it finally subsided, I had to run down the street to CVS and buy a plunger and cleaning supplies. Note to self: always have a plunger somewhere in the house. Lesson learned...

I was able to get the water to recede with the plunger, and let me tell you this whole experience was really glamours- NOT! I was totally covered in potty water when I realized I still had my fave silver ballet flats on and they were drenched- dang it!

 I texted Joey and told him that he was very lucky to have such a handy girl as his wife because he wouldn't have to come home to Niagara Falls - he agreed:)

Anyone else spend their evening attacking a toilet with a plunger?

XOXO Katie
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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Its The Little Things...

Sometimes its the little details, that not everyone notices right away, that really makes a home beautiful.

I took a walk on Sunday and I passed an old Victorian home in our neighborhood that I had never really noticed before. Something about the way it looked really resonated with me, but it took a few minutes for me to figure out what it was. Then it hit me- this house had a light gray siding, white trim, and BLACK window casings. It was subtle, yet stunning. Maybe the way eyeliner is used to give the eye definition, but not compete with the rest of the face.

This detail has just gone on my "must have" list for my future abode...right next to my garage for mess making :)

 I wish I had has my camera to take a pic, but alas I was too busy burnin' some cals to carry my phone. So I found a few examples of how this small detail can add depth and interest to a room  without taking away from the view.

Via remodelingguy.com
via House Beautiful

via Houzz.com
via Design Manifest
via House Beautiful
via Houzz.com

XOXO Katie

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Mid Mod Makeover

I just can't do it....I just can't resist a good furniture flip!

Especially when the piece has a mid century modern vibe to it. If you remember a few months ago I redid this mod dresser that is now doing its duty as a storage unit in our made over closet for Joey's bizillion pairs of scrubs. Pieces from this era are pretty popular in the city so when I spot one with good bones I nab it up, refurbish it, and then sell it on Craigslist for a little cash.

I picked up this side table at the local thrift shop for a whopping $15. It was solid wood, but the top was looking a little tired, but the 60's styles legs were in great shape so I could not resist.

I gave it a quick sanding with my new palm sander (thanks Mom!),  and it was prepped for primer is less than 10 minutes. And yes, I do sand in the middle of my guest room :) Geez, I need a garage ASAP. I never thought that the top item on my future house wish list would be a garage or basement that I can make a mess...

Two coats of primer later and it was ready to go...

I used Benjamin Moore basic white in a semi gloss finish. The roller worked best for a smooth and even finish. Since the lines were straight and simple, it took only about an hour to do two coats.

I left the drawer in the natural wood finish because it was the only part that was still in great shape, so I just gave it a good cleaning to shine it up.

All done!

XOXO Katie
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Thursday, July 12, 2012


I have a great family that I babysit for in my neighborhood (and yes, I still babysit even at the age of 27- a little sad I know...) but the kids are great. The little girl is 7 and the adorable boy just turned 6. Such good ages for babysitting- they are self sufficient and independent, but still like to play and goof around before bed time.  

Last week I went over and the girl has just started to be interest in arts and crafts. TOTALLY up my alley and I'm not going to lie I was pumped that stage has finally started. We did projects on the family room floor and it totally brought me back to a time when I was foot loose and fancy free.

If you are a 90s kid then you know what these are, and can only imagine how excited I was to do a little craftin'...

Ahhh to be a kid again... maybe once I have kids of my own I will get more chances to relive such fond memories.

XOXO Katie
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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Stalking the CL

Craigslist has been on fire lately around the Boston area. I really don't need anything at the moment, but I can't resist stalking the constantly updating site just in case something screams "Take me home!!"

I will be the first to admit that 99.9% of everything in my apartment is a CL or thrift store find. Keep in mind that I was jobless and living on a mattress and box spring when we first moved here so I made it my mission to furnish 1100sqft with little to no money. I spent countless hours trolling the site and I picked up a few tricks along the way.

Tip #1
Its all about keywords.
I have some go-to words that I search and I can usually get some goodies. (ex. Mid Century Modern, Mirrored, West Elm, Anthropologie, Tufted, Hollywood Regency, Solid Wood)

Tip #2
If its a bad picture, don't even waste your time.
If the seller can't take 2 seconds to take a decent picture, then the chances that they took good care of their item is slim to none.

Tip #3
You can low ball, but don't insult.
I usually offer about 80% of the asking price, but if you offer any less then don't expect a response. You don't look like a serious buyer and they won't want to bother getting back to you.

Tip #4
Abide by the CL law of karma.
If you commit to buying an item then you better show up at the scheduled time and location or call well in advance if a conflict arises. No-shows are just in bad form and the CL Gods will hunt you down.

Tip #5
Don't buy "cheap"
Spending money on second hand pieces from Ikea, Target, Walmart etc. is really not the way to go. When something is super inexpensive originally, then by the time it gets on CL it is on its last leg. At that point just buy directly from the source.

Tip #6
Ask about the sellers pad.
Pets? Smokers? Third floor walk-up?
These are details you want to know BEFORE you make the trek out to pick something up.

Tip #7
Measure 1..2..3 times
Make sure you are positive that the item will fit your space. Ask for specific dimensions because the worst is doing all the grunt work of getting it home and then discovering it does not fit.

Tip #8
NEVER pick up anything alone.
Unless you goal is to end up dead in an alley behind the gas station...then go for it.

These are some postings that I pulled off CL today. If you are in the Boston area then I suggest you nab these up ASAP. And if you do, send me a pic because I will be so jelly!!

 If you have any other tips I would love to hear them- I am always open to new suggestions!

XOXO Katie
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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Too Many to Count...

Sometimes I find myself getting worked up about things that are, in the long run, not what is truly important in life. I have an amazing family, a loving and caring husband, a safe home, and those that I love are happy and healthy.

I am not usually a "quote girl", but this image really resonated with me:

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....I have a lot...too many to count...and I need to learn to take a deep breath and realize that I have more than most, and I need to be grateful for all of my blessings.

XOXO Katie
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Monday, July 9, 2012

Berry Nice Sunday Morning

This weekend was a busy one for us here in Bean Town. Joey was on call all day Friday and Saturday, we had dinner with two of my cousins that were passing through town Saturday night, and last night we went to a Red Sox vs. Yankees game. The weather was amazing and we had a great time cheering on the Sox even thought it made my Dad's skin crawl knowing I was not rooting for his Yanks :)

So, Sunday morning we just wanted to relax at home and make a yummy pancake breakfast. I had a carton of blueberries so I sprinkled them in to the batter and it was so good!

 I spooned on some fat free Cool Whip and fried up some turkey bacon (being totally healthy, obviously :)

Clearly, it was a crowd pleaser... 

And here is a little sneak peek of a project I am working on- keep you eyes peeled for the finished product!

XOXO Katie
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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Seeing the Light

Occasionally, I go back through my Pinterest pins and see trends or styles I have gravitated toward without even being conscious of it. Its amazing to see that I am pretty consistent with my color choices (who knew I was fully obsessed with anything gray and white?), and I need one important quality in my space...it must be light and bright!

Over the last month its been all about lighting. There are so many amazing light fixtures out there and they set vibe for an entire room.

Here are a few that I have pinned lately...

via onekinddesign.com
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via Lonny Mag

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via Moooi.com

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via me- saw this in real estate office in my home town- love!
And thats big pic of my high school in the back- double love!

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via Delightbydesign.blogspot.com

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via 19miracles.tumbler.com

I'm trying to decide if I want to hunt down a light fixture for my dining "space". I feel like the area needs some definition and a chandy might be just what the doctor ordered.

 XOXO Katie
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