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Blog Love

18 Mar

I’m a blog addict.  Kind of like I’m a chair-buying addict.  I read DOZENs of blogs daily with google reader.  (Let’s have a moment of silence for Google reader’s demise…… looking for a replacement, any ideas?)

As part of the Blog Boss e-course that I’m taking, this past week’s homework was to analyze 8 blogs that rock and why.  Since I’m such a blog whore, that’s a pretty easy task, so here goes!

lovely indeed

First of all, the design of this site grabs me and pulls me in.  It grabs me so much, in fact, that I hired the designer for this site (who happens to be the blogger Chelsea’s hubby) to do the redesign of this lil’ ol’ blog here.  I love the creative simplicity- it let’s the content take charge.  The pictures are always phenomenal, but so are the DIYs.  Chelsea doesn’t ramble on and on like some other bloggers (present company included, and don’t get me wrong, I loves me some blogs that DO ramble…), so the writing is always well-thought out and from the heart.  Did I mention the pictures?  I did?  Well, they deserve to be mentioned again.  The photos are always amazing and somehow elevate even the simplest subject.

house tweaking

Look, another simple, yet well-designed blog!  Guess what I’m drawn to!  Pretty pictures, a nice layout, honest content.  I’m easy to please.  It definitely helps also, when the blogger has an awesome sense of style like Dana does.  The blog’s tagline says it all “because home doesn’t happen overnight.”  Amen!  I love Dana’s honest style of blogging and the way she welcomes her readers into her life.


We all know I have a huge blog crush on John and Sherry (like when I went to their book signing here).  Talk about honest blogging (I’m seeing a trend!  I like well-designed honest blogs!).  John and Sherry blog from the heart and it shows in all their projects and posts.  They can make any DIY project entertaining and seem achievable even for the DIY novice- they literally wrote the book on it.  I’m just waiting for them to realize that we should totally be BFFs in real life.

a beautiful mess

Another blog with stylish simplicity!  Well, I know what I like!  I’ll admit, I’m not as much into the food posts, though.  I like eating amazing food, I even appreciate amazing food styling, but I prefer to look at pretty pictures of rooms that inspire me instead of food that I don’t get to eat.  Luckily A Beautiful Mess doesn’t disappoint with that either.  What I appreciate most about this blog is the style.  Every pic has style, every DIY has style, every giveaway… well you get the point.  The style of the blog is consistent and, well, beautiful!


I’ve also admitted to my girl crush on Emily Henderson who’s on the HGTV show Secrets from a Stylist, but did you know she has an awesome blog too?  She gives some great behind the scenes peaks of her show and glimpses into how she sources all of the amazing pieces that she uses in her designs.  That girl can style her way out of a paper bag, she’s that good.  As with pretty much all of these blogs on this list, the blog is simple, stylish, honest and just beautiful to read.

decor and dog

You can’t help but love Michelle’s personality.  Well, maybe you can, but I certainly can’t.  This is another one of those honest blogs that I just keep coming back to.  Plus it has a cute dog.  Aren’t cute pets always a perk for blogs? I hope so!


Another BYW Blog Boss student, I was obviously drawn to the name.  I have a thing for the word ‘serendipity’ I guess.  I also have a thing for simple and consistent blog designs, so we can put a check in that column too.  I love the iPhoneography posts- what a great way to visually chronicle the year!

the making home

A creative blog with vintage flare, and also another BYW Blog Bloss student.  She has such a great bio- visual, but still simple and personal.  The fonts- oh the fonts…. Fonts rank almost as high as blogs and chair-buying on my list of addictions vices.  The well-styled DIYs don’t hurt either.

I guess the bottom line is this:

    • I love blogs that are visually interesting, but simply styled (usually ones that are DIY or decor-centric)
    • Honest blogging will keep me coming back for more



Blog Block

14 Mar

This week has been tough mentally with the flip.  I’ve been going and going and going, but I’m running in water.  It feels like I’ve been laying floors FOREVER, but I’m ecstatic to say that the hall and kitchen are done! (well, with the exception of door transitions and trim, but that’s in progress).  I’m working out my floor ‘tutorial’, but surprise surprise, laying hardwood floors is not easy to spell out, but SOON, I promise!

I get very one-track-minded with projects, and with the magnitude of flip house projects, I’m more one-tracked than usual.  My own house’s projects are suffering and I’ve been constantly at a loss of what to write here that’s not centered on the flip.  Maybe you can help though!  What do you like seeing here or what do you NOT like seeing here?  I know you guys like DIY’s the best, but I can’t DIY all the time, so what else tickles your fancy?  Would you want to see others’ DIY projects that I come across online, or do you like (or not like) when I show you an awesome room that I’ve pinned?  Tell me what keeps you coming back!

Hopefully I can start a few series posts and pull myself out of this mental rut.

to do list

Check back tomorrow for Clark the flip house’s Week 4 update!!

image via typographyserved via pinterest

Happy Day

14 Feb

Happy Flip Day!  or Valentine’s Day, whichever you prefer.

Since Hubby and I are so romantic, we’re buying each other a house for Valentine’s Day.  One without a usable kitchen and a dilapidated bathroom.  So romantic, no?  We even plan to top off our v-day date by starting some demo after we get those keys in hand.  Is it getting too hot in here for ya?  I need to get used to the glamorous life of a house flipper.

first flip house

Stay tuned tomorrow for a slew of “before” pics!


Slow and Steady

12 Feb

Well this is weird.  Today is the second day that I don’t have to get up for the 9to5 and I’m not on vacation.  I am now self employed.

I am self employed!

Someone needs to tell my brain this, though- I totally had dreams the  past few nights about the office.  We don’t close on our first flip until Thursday (so you’ll have to wait until then to see it), but I have some prep and planning to get started on- like pricing out a kitchen!  I think the hardest part for me about self-employment will be creating a daily routine.  I’m sure I’ll figure it out, though.  Let me rephrase- I KNOW I’ll figure it out.  Hubby’s commented that he’s seen me more confident in the past few weeks talking about this flip than he has in a long time.  Bring it on!

In other news, I adopted the most adorable brass turtle box last night.

brass turtle 1

brass turtle 2

brass turtle office

He came from an awesome design shop in Boston, Twelve Chairs and just screamed “Take me home!”  I figure he can be cute and useful as a business card holder in my home office that I’m still working to get all set up.

Big News // Flipping Crazy

28 Jan

I have BIG NEWS!!! I’ve been absolutely dying to share this news with you, but I needed all the pieces to fall into place first.  Nope, not preggo- I’m not drinking that water just yet…

For years I’ve said that I studied interior design because the idea of sitting behind a desk all day made my skin crawl.  After 6+ years of doing just that, the effect is still the same.  I had a great job with great people and I love design, but finally admitted to myself that the corporate side of design is not what makes my heart sing.  Way to trust your instincts, Karen.

So I quit my job to start flipping houses.  (Holy cow, actually typing that sentence is surreal…)

inhale exhale

I just gave my 2 weeks notice at the 9to5 to start our new venture.  Hubby and I are flipping crazy (pun intended) and I think we’re just crazy enough to make it work.  We’ve been talking for years about how we’d love to get into house flipping, well, now’s the time!  We close on our first flip house on Valentine’s Day!!!!

Hubby’s staying at his job so we can fund this project and I’ll be doing the day-to-day project managing and as much manual labor I can handle.  As funny as it sounds, the scariest part of this for me isn’t the second house that we’re about to own, or the pressure to fix it fast, it was actually quitting my job.  Change is scary, and this one’s a BIG matza ball.  A very good and exciting matza ball!

those who do

So excited to get this adventure started!

 images via 1/2

What I Did on my Winter Vacation

4 Jan

After a low key (in a good way) Christmas, Hubby and I took a long weekend to go visit his sister in NYC.  She lives right by Yankee Stadium in the charming apartment that I gave you a peak at here.

bronx sub

What was great about this little trip was that we had no real agenda (which is a bit out of character for my type A personality..).  We did a lot of wandering the city both with our resident tour guide/hostess and without.

nyc street

le pain feet

Aside from visiting his sister, Hubby decided that this mini-vacation’s priority was food.  The first night the 3 of us banned together to cook a delicious meal of NY strip steak, mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts in a red wine reduction sauce.

chelsea market

cm spices

It was a great way to start the weekend, but paled in comparison to the following 2 evening’s meals. If you’re looking for good meals in NYC, you can’t go wrong with Iron Chef restaurants.  Y.U.M.

Iron Chef destination #1: Morimoto’s.  I don’t think I can accurately describe the amazingness.

morimoto wall

The design of the restaurant was dramatic, the food was dramatic, even the toilets were dramatic.  Yup, the toilets.  All I’ll tell you is that they’re Japanese toilets.  I’ll leave you to either visit the restaurant yourselves or google it.

morimoto cocktails

We were “those people” who took pictures of every plate.  Can you blame us??

morimoto montage

The following night’s dinner was spent taking in one of the newest Iron Chef’s food: The restaurant, Butter, features Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli as executive chef.


Definitely a much more chill vibe than Morimoto’s.  Forget the drama, this place is warm and rustic and the food definitely followed suit.  (Did I mention YUM?)

butter montage

We did do things other than eat too!  Hubby and I saw Peter and the Starcatcher on Broadway (AAAAAMAZING) and checked out the Picasso exhibit at the Guggenheim.  As a designer’s first trip to the Guggenheim, I think I was studying the museum itself as much as I was the artwork.  Awe.


And there was much wandering.

nyc townhouses

Hubby and I visited Central Park for the first time and strolled through it as snow started to fall.  Very ethereal.

snowing nyc

Beautiful until it started to switch to rain… and we got wet.. and cranky… but that’s when we used the wonders of Broadway to uplift our spirits.

If you know anything about me, you can probably guess that sprinkled amongst our wanderings and eatings was shopping- mostly thrift.  We MAY have visited almost every Housing Works Thrift Store in Manhattan.  Hubby got some vintage records to add to his collection (and play on his Christmas gift), but the one thing I REALLY wanted to buy, I couldn’t.  <pout>.  This vintage cabinet needed a new paint job and a little bit of love, but I think it and my kitchen are soulmates.  Sadly the first day we went to this store it wasn’t yet priced and for sale… and naturally by the next day it was sold.

hw cabinet

And now I’m on a mission.  My kitchen NEEDS a fantastic statement piece (preferably one I can hide our recycling bins in).  Craig and his list are now my new best friends and I’m scouring the site daily for something that makes me dance like this one did.  Seriously even the picture of it makes me dance.  Darn you Housing Works for not wanting to sell it to me!  You think it’s possible to find it’s twin?  I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

Did you do anything fun over your holiday break?

New Year Reflections

2 Jan

After a breather from the 9to5 and the normal everyday to create new holiday traditions with my family, it’s back to the routine.  Hopefully better than ever.  I’ve never been one for resolutions, so let’s go with reflections instead.

2012.  It was good.  No complaints really, I got a lot accomplished and some really good changes happened…. Really good, but it still felt like it was building up to something and never quiiiiite got there.  Hopefully that ‘something’ that 2012 was building up to was 2013.  I’m ready, 2013, BRING IT ON!!!

all in

The gears are moving in several ways and I’m not quite ready to share yet, but 2013 has the makings to be an A.MAZ.ING year.

image via etsy