Tuesday, November 29, 2016

home: shiplap living room fireplace solve

The wall above our living room fireplace cracks every two years and regardless of how much effort I put into repairing it, the house is still going to settle itself and bring that crack back. After some deep Pinterest research, I found the solution to this pesky house challenge: shiplap.

My DIY guidance came from the ever fabulous Jenna Sue and her directions for creating the shiplap look on the cheap with inexpensive plywood (watch her YouTube video). Cut it down to the right size, place on wall and paint, and you have some killer shiplap treatment without the pain points. I was ready: I measured, I walked into Home Depot, I got lost twice ...

... And I saw it: a single piece of plywood siding panel that looked exactly like shiplap, and with two measured cuts, I had the exact size I needed. Now if only I could find someone ... SIR?!

After the struggle to fit it into my little SUV, I spent a bit of time sanding it down to get a smoother finish. You may want a more weathered look and not need to do this, but since my mantel is more classic, I needed to put in the work.

Originally, I tried screwing the panel to the wall. Fail. Here's what worked:

  1. Identify the studs and mark them where they won't be covered with the panel (in this case: on existing mantel).
  2. Add liquid nails on the back of the cut panel.
  3. Measure each side of the hanging mantel to make sure the panel is perfectly centered.
  4. Place in final location and nail the panel into the studs. 
  5. Use plastic wood to cover up the nails (and the holes leftover from trying to get screws in there); let dry and then sand down.

After I knew that the panel wasn't going to crash down, I added interior pine shoe trim to the left and right sides with liquid nails. I waited a day for everything to dry, and then finished off the edges with paintable window/door caulk (make sure it's paintable!!).


Paint, paint, paint. After adding a primer coat of paint, it took an additional four coats of semi-gloss white paint to fully cover the wood. And then my mantel looked dingy so that needed another coat to blend into its new partner. And don't get me started on my crown moulding ... that's a project for another weekend.


Need more shiplap inspiration? Here is a post from HGTV featuring - you guessed it - Fixer Upper inspiration. 

Monday, September 12, 2016

holiday: open the door for fall

Sorry I've been gone for so long. This weather has fully inspired me to pick-up the glue gun and take my creativity to blog, home and soul. It's time. And with the burlap prepped, I'm ready to share again. And this time, I'll give it a little more energy.


Monday, February 1, 2016

home: 929 kitchen now completed!

This is my last kitchen renovation post; 598 days after taking sledgehammer to old cabinets. With a fresh start to the year - and multiple empty threats to my brother - we are finally done.

The last few projects were just cosmetic and we were living just fine with running water, electricity and an oven for more than one year. And I finished the backsplash exactly one year ago during the NFL playoffs (when the Pats where in a better place). But staring at me were small unfinished projects. I'm happy to finally take these pictures (and breakdown expenses below)!


But before moving on, let's remember where we started:


Again, let's return to this beauty:


For those of you eager to know how we did it on a tight budget, here is the breakdown:
  • Home Depot Hampton Bay Shaker Cabinets = $1,030 (a lot of my counters came damaged and we received additional discounts)
  • Electrical upgrade including needed permits: $6,000 (this included more than just the kitchen)
  • Insulation, dry wall and supplies: $467
  • Sink and faucets: $454
  • LG oven and microwave (Best Buy): $1,000
  • Crown moulding and supplies: $412 (see post here)
  • Quartz counters (Granite Expo in Emeryville): $1,170
  • Marble backsplash and supplies (Lowe's): $600
  • Hardware knobs and cup pulls (Home Depot): $50
  • Ikea floating shelves (2 cut into 4): $30
  • Disposal fee for old cabinets, counter: $43
  • Other supplies and labor: $1,250
  • TOTAL: $12,566
We already had the refrigerator and dishwasher, and the recessed lighting and skylight were already there, so we walked into this project with a few perks in place. Ultimately, we finished the bulk of the work in 4 months, and then the other projects took time and a little patience. But today, we are done!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

home: window sill got me moving

Ten days off work for the holidays is a gift. The brightest spot was a rare trip to Nordstrom to return a dress that my mom ordered online, and after swearing that she purchased it in September, we found the purchase on my card ... from March. It took me 9 months to return the dress! What have I been doing all year?

So, let's reprioritize. Work smarter, not harder. Be present. All of that. But more importantly, return that stuff earlier and mark it off the "to do" list so that we are walking around with less baggage. Yes, less baggage.

Like our kitchen. We started this DIY project a year and a half ago and although we are living in a perfectly functioning kitchen, there are little incomplete projects, including a window sill. My brother was supposed to help me but cancelled at the last minute. So as any stubborn Portuguese woman would do, I decided to finish this thing myself!


I had all of the tools. I know how to follow instructions. I take BART every day to work. There is no reason I couldn't make a window sill for my kitchen! And really, I want to give a big thank you to Kim and Scott at Yellow Brick Road for walking me through the steps needed to just get this done. And my sweet friend LS for the birthday gift that sits on the ledge.

On to the next project! Happy 2016 friends!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

wedding: Kristin & Guillermo

Slowing down for the holiday has given me the time to reflect on the year and take score on the things I actually accomplished in 2015. This was a slow wedding year for me, but heavy in connection. This LA-based couple saw me in action at a friend's wedding and we clicked. From our long phone calls to our first meeting at the most luscious Catelli's Restaurant, we had so much fun putting this intimate event together. I am so thankful for the people I met through this couple, and adding these pictures today ignites my deep love for weddings like never before. Cheers to 2016!

See more of this beautiful wedding here.

Ceremony and Reception Location, and Catering: Catelli's in GeyservillePhotography by Winter Tree Studios | Music by DJ Jeremy Productions | Day of Coordinator: Debbie Cotton Celebrates

Sunday, September 20, 2015

home: fresh fall mantel

This is the time of year where my creativity gets into full swing! Every free minute is spent sewing, styling and gluing all the way to the New Year ... and then I resolve to be more creative. And although I stayed indoors this weekend to avoid the scorching heat outside, I got busy with Fall. 


Since I was avoiding the football action in the familyroom, I also learned how to create stop motion so that I can show my five fans how easy it is to create a festive and warm mantel for the season.


A big thank you to Xanthe for providing such a great tutorial on how create stop motion without me visiting three different sites to understand the language or software. This is the beginning of a beautiful addiction.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

wedding: Astin & Dylan

From one wedding in April 2014, I met an incredible group of women that asked me to help with each one of their weddings, and for the first time, I was in the same room with three couples that I was lucky to work with last year. From the moment I met Astin and Dylan, I looked forward to every meeting, email and phone call because they were so energetic and full of love that I couldn't be more proud to work with such wonderful people. In just a few snapshots by the talented Kelly Boitano you'll see an honest reflection of the glamour and love found on this wedding day!

Ceremony and Reception Location: Firehouse 8 in San FranciscoPhotography by Kelly Boitano Photography | Catering by California Rose Catering | Music by Tony Martinez (DJ Teen Wolf) | Floral by Edgar Tamayo | Getting Ready and First Look at the Phoenix Hotel in San FranciscoDay of Coordinator: Debbie Cotton Celebrates