Archive for the 'Home Improvements' Category

Published by PaintingChef on 05 May 2014

On inadvertant life skills and why sometimes Michael’s trumps Lowe’s.

We remodeled our kitchen. It’s almost done. We didn’t kill each other.


But that’s where I’ve been.

Such a lie… I’m a lazy and terrible blogger and just between you and me… I’m a little sick of being like “parenting is hard and four year olds are assholes and seriously… what did I used to DO with all the time I wasn’t putting someone in time out?”

Pictures of the kitchen to come, I promise but first, let’s talk about tile and why I can’t lift my arms above my shoulders anymore.

Out of the two of us, in our little world, Patrick is by far the handy one. He can build shit. Whatever I need, he can build it. He knows how to do things like change out sinks (which he did) and convert a can light to a gorgeous pendant light (which he is about to do) and install a garbage disposal (check). He can do wiring and plumbing and carpentry and painting and installing wood floors. He can change the size of a gorgeous built-in entertainment center so that it never stops looking like a gorgeous built-in. He can do all these things and I’m really damn lucky.

But this weekend? We learned that he cannot tile a backsplash. I’m not sure who was more shocked by this revelation. Him, when he realized that there was something seemingly simple that he was just struggling with or me when I put two and two together and came to the conclusion that I was going to tile the backsplash.

Life skills translate in funny ways. Patrick had all the right tools and followed the direction exactly on how to spread that tile glue gunk but it just wasn’t happening. It was clumpy and awkward and he was getting really frustrated… really fast. But the more I looked at it, the more it looked familiar to me and then it dawned on me…

Dude. This shit was just like icing a cake. I took a look at all the tools he’d gathered, laughed my ass off, and dug through the boxes that have become our kitchen over the past couple of weeks and found my favorite icing spatulas. Yup. Offset icing spatulas. You can do Lowe’s and Home Depot all you want baby… my tools of choice? Fucking Wilton.


**Image stolen from

We managed the project with only one really big fight and nobody broke anything. I only dropped tile mastic on the dog once, we made 5 trips to Lowe’s (I only forgot to change out of my pajama pants for one of them) and had hamburger helper for dinner at 11:30 Saturday night.

You’re jealous. I know you are. Sometimes I can’t believe that nobody has wanted to make a movie out of my super exciting life yet.

Published by PaintingChef on 06 Dec 2012

I’m like Oprah with her favorite things. And I want to GIVE THEM TO YOU!!

There are two things that I really love. Well. Okay. Not true. There are many, many things that I truly love. Shoes, obviously. That look Dylan McKay gets when he’s thinking about his pretend-dead daddy. A good book on a rainy day. An overly full glass of red wine. Spending all day making soup on cold Sundays in the winter. Well placed profanity and making Patrick just a little crazy.

But the two loves I want to talk about today are baking and DIY Home projects.

And how I’ve teamed up with my friend Jacque and her adorable husband Matt at The DIY Village to give you a kick ass chance to win something adorable and some delicious goodies to gorge yourself on while you admire your cute new wall art.

Intrigued? YOU SHOULD BE. Check out these pictures…

So that’s a 12×12 Pottery Barn inspired Santa Wall Art handmade by Matt and Jacque, Six Chocolate Chip Sandwich Cookies and a full pound of Salted Caramel, Pretzel and Reese’s Bark from the Bad Kitty Bakery. And entering is CRAZY easy!!

(There are links all over this post but they are almost the same color as the rest of my text and I’m not tech savvy enough to know how to change that… so you have to look around…sorry!)

1. Go to Facebook and like both Bad Kitty Bakery AND The DIY Village.
2. Go to the DIY Village and scroll to the bottom of the post to enter. The widget thingy takes a second to load but it is AWESOME…

And that’s it! The giveaway runs from 12/6 through 12/12 and is open to people in the continental United State only (shipping is way complicated… sorry Canada… can we still be friends?)

While I have your attention… I want to ALSO direct your attention to the Bad Kitty Bakery Holiday Gift Box. Seriously… You need to send these to your relatives. And your clients. And your neighbors. They are magical. I know because I put unicorn dust on them myself. These things are in them…

Wouldn’t you like to know what those are? You know what? You should go learn about them. You know… after you enter the giveaway.

Giveaway! NOW! GO!!

** Also? Patrick and I are about to refinish our kitchen cabinets. We will probably kill each other. With stains and wood strippers and random orbit sanders. We also do a lot of standing around in the basement and waiting and have taken up playing darts. I am predictably awful.**

Published by PaintingChef on 30 Nov 2012

Home Improvement.

“Hey… when I leave here I’m going to run by Lowe’s and Home Depot and return those cabinet door handles we decided we didn’t like.”


“Can I do anything else while I’m out? Do you want me to go ahead and pick up a stripper?”

“Blink… blink…”

“For the cabinets. A wood stripper.”

“Blink… blink…”

“STOP THAT! You know what I mean!”

“No. I do not need you to pick up a stripper. Wood or otherwise. The sheets in the guest room are dirty.”

“You’re no fun.”

Moral of the story kids? EMBRACE ADJECTIVES. They may very well be the difference in you driving to Lowe’s to return cabinet pulls and being found in a bloody pool with a very stabby stiletto in your eyeball.

Published by PaintingChef on 11 Jan 2012

The saga of the purple room. Part possibly one but maybe two of potentially eleventy billion.

My darling husband is an engineer and all that that implies. When he took up with me a dozen or so years ago, he was suddenly exposed to a world of clutter and disorder and haphazard “organization” the likes of which he had never seen. I? Was familiar with his breed as they are rampant in my family tree. He didn’t have that luxury. Bless his heart.

But over the years, we find a common ground and we find a way to live with each other. He only throws the sledgehammer at me if the piles of junk mail hang around longer than a week and if I get angry while he cleans up behind me in the kitchen, I make an effort to avoid organs when I stab him. We are thinking of starting a side business as marriage counselors. Or at the very least, getting a reality show.

All this aside, we do manage to exist in the same house and are both still very much alive after doing so for a decade. (FUCK I’M OLD) But over the course of a decade, couple tend to… accumulate things. Many things. And eventually, those things need a place to be things and do the things that those things do even if all they are doing is sitting in a box with other things that at some point seemed related but now all you have is a box with a picture frame, three Barbie dolls (Joan Jett, Debbie Harry and Cyndi Lauper and I LOVE THEM but I have no idea what to DO with them), a book on calligraphy, 4 issues of Martha Stewart Living and a sushi mat.

But there were many of these boxes. LOADS of them. And stacks and piles and leaning towers of things that had all been jammed in this one room whenever company was coming over and I was suddenly embarrassed to be kind of clutter-y. Rinse and repeat and suddenly we were finding ourselves in a single room, always keep the door closed, hoarders situation that we were no longer able to ignore.

So we spent a weekend cleaning out what had come to be known as The Purple Room. And that bitch turned out to be a LOT bigger than I thought! I once again have a place just for painting AND? AND!! AND!?!? I just stole my ballet barre from my parents’ house and Patrick is going to put that sucker up on the walls. Well… after we rip the weird foam sun down from the wall, sand them and paint over all the strange birds and picket fences and odd little things painted all over the purple walls. And put up mirrors behind the barre. Oh, and after we pull up the totally ruined by a formerly non-housebroken dog and put down hardwood. And find a new desk that isn’t secretly a kitchen table. And maybe re-cover a chair. And put up a television.

Shit. now I’m exhausted. Can we just close the door again? Stupid engineers.

Published by PaintingChef on 28 Nov 2008

In an earlier life I was also thankful for the paint fumes…

Yesterday I was thankful for wine. And pie. And then for wine again. And then I was thankful for my bed and my pajamas with no waistband. Because after all that wine and pie… waistbands were not my friend.

But that was yesterday. Today my thankfulness is different. I am thankful for my house that is far, far away from the crowds of crazy shopping fools. I am thankful for the internet because it allows me to shop on the insane shopping day without putting on pants. Because I’m still not in love with pants.

Speaking of being in love with something… I am also thankful for paint. Look! Green! A decision about the green kitchen has been made. The green walls stay. I love them. The cabinets will be refinished to match the dining room furniture.

And also on the thankful list? My cozy, cozy living room with its new brown walls. Milk chocolate to be exact.

And here is the big red couch where Patrick and I sat this morning and calculated just how many tons of butter, flour and sugar I will go through when I commence the Great Christmas Baking Extravaganza of 2008.

I’m thankful for that couch.

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