Life, Updated

This week has already been so hodgepodge, I felt like keeping with the theme today and just going with it.  So, a bunch of smaller updates in no particular order…

So, yeah… Dueling DIY didn’t happen this week.  I guess we can blame the new job.  But, on the bright side, I’m really enjoying the work so far… even when part of it includes over 250 miles of commuting in a single day (just how it’s going to be from time to time when I visit the office; working from home still means I need to show my face there every once in a while, and I can’t stay overnight!).  I’m even learning new things that will make this site even better (um, just as soon as I can actually get around to installing them!).  And speaking of the new job, here are a few more shots I snagged with my cell phone during my last trip.  More to come (the porch ceiling is just so peaceful & pretty; reminds me of The Lettered Cottage).

society south

There were some hiccups in the site not loading at the end of last week & beginning of this one (completely through sheer happenstance that it’s exactly the week I’ve had my attention elsewhere), but hopefully most of that is now resolved, too.  Having my site go down when I’m not able to immediately pay attention to it is almost like walking around in public with no bra:  not enough support and eeeeevvvveryone knows it.

As for the house, things are still happening in the kitchen & other areas (like re-hanging upper cabinet doors!), so that will hopefully be all photographed & ready for you next week.  That is, the doors that are painted.  There are a few that aren’t (ahem, ran out of space to elevate doors = only a few get done at once).  But I’m hoping that I’ll have a few other areas sort of tweaked in that whole “ready for sale” sort of way, so I can show those off and draw several satisfying lines through some of the big to-do list.

As for other life happenings, if you follow on Instagram, you may have noticed that my little sister and I ran Warrior Dash again on Saturday.  Nothing like crawling under barbed wire, scrambling over rusted out cars, and leaping through fire to make a gal feel like a total badass.

While in school, mud runs usually occurred the same weekends as class, so I was psyched to get back to doing them again (I missed out on doing the Savage Race again like last year, but I’m definitely hungry for more later this summer!).  If you want to see more pictures from the last time we did the run together, you can head back to that post here.  I think next time, Em and I will be donning some fun costumes to make the race all the more silly & comical.  What do you think?  Any ideas?

On our way back, we stopped at a farmer’s market and picked up all sorts of things.  One item that kept grabbing my attention was “scuppernong preserves” (not pictured) – a fruit I’d never heard of (and I’ve lived in the south most of my life!).  Turns out, it’s a variety of muscadine grape.  Kinda wish I’d picked up a small jar just to try it!

After washing out all of the mud from the weekend, I got a little me time in at the salon & tried out some new highlights.  They’re taking some getting used to, but I’m liking the lighter look!

And speaking of ideas, I’ll have a few more timesaving-related posts (aka Time Tips) coming soon.

Hope you’re having a great week!

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new stairs

Latest: Project Gallery

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How to Protect an Oiled Butcher Block Countertop During Projects

oiled counter

So, I have this amazing walnut butcher block countertop. It cost me well more than the Ikea butcher block alternative I was considering (about a $400 difference in total cost).  But after that first coat of oil and beeswax soaked into the wood (read about why I chose this mixture here), bringing out all of its gorgeous color variation, I was forever smitten.  I had made the right choice.  However, when it comes to finishing off various other projects in the kitchen, such as the tiled backsplash, there are certain steps that proved to be a little more difficult thanks … ... READ MORE

Dueling DIY: Two Steps Forward…

kitchen tile 2

This week, I've been completely high on the getting-it-dones.  Not only had my dad and I done the first round of scooping mud onto the drywall panels in his dining room, but I'd actually managed to get the grout finished in my kitchen in the same weekend. BOOM.  And I also sealed the grout around the stove, which meant I could finally shimmy her back into her rightful place along the wall.  Like a real kitchen or something. I need to do a little cleaning on the stovetop, and then it's Pancake City. Not only was that part of my productive weekend, but … ... READ MORE

Taping & Mudding (at Mom & Dad’s)


This weekend was pretty productive; I managed to finish the grout in the kitchen (pics on the next Dueling DIY update this Wednesday!) and Dad & I got the first coat of mud on all of the walls in his dining room: The pics were snapped as the sun was setting on day 2,  so most of it was already starting to dry.  Next steps for next weekend will be sanding & another coat of mud (& then one more sanding), and then the fun part begins.  If all goes to plan, our weekends should look a little like this: Weekend 3 (Weekend 1 was obviously putting up the … ... READ MORE

The Big To-Do List in Order to Sell the House


Now that I've decided I'm going to be moving to Auburn (actual date TBD), the time has come to get things in order at my little Ugg-Duck and prepare to sell it. I can't say it's not bittersweet.  I've lived in this house for just over four years now, and only threw one party shortly after the flooring was installed.  Since then, my ex moved out and being alone changed the game considerably.  It's kinda been too much of an under-construction mess to entertain ever again (with the exception of the occasional stop-by).  Which both makes me feel like a hermit and like … ... READ MORE

Dueling DIY: Still Backsplashing


Even though most of my weekend was spent at Mom and Dad's installing drywall, I did manage to eke out a few minutes (basically, in the time it takes Charlie to do her business & do a little playing outside) to get some of the grouting done on the kitchen backsplash. I chose to stick with the white bucket of Simple Grout (see here for why it gave me pause) and hope for better results on a larger wall.  And happily, that's exactly how it went.  So the little nook next to the fridge may not have been the best indicator of how this grout will look all over the room (much … ... READ MORE

Where I’m Going, What I’m Doing


Ok, so I promised I'd get you an updated post today and give you more details about the new job offer and moving plans (if you missed it, here is that first post from last week).  Because as far as this blog goes, both of those things will impact my future posts significantly.  And progress on the house.  And even, as this past day and a half has proven, ALL THE THINGS.  Including my cell phone service (why do simple things sometimes have to turn into a big complicated mess?.  Ugh). Anyway, let's cut right down to a few key details.  I'll try to answer some of the bigger … ... READ MORE

DIY Drywall Over Wood Paneling (at Mom and Dad’s)


This weekend was a bit unusual project-wise.  To begin with, there was a LOT of progress made.  Which I guess isn't all that typical for me (you know how I tend to creep along).  The other unusual factor was that all of my project work wasn't even at my own home.  Instead, I put aside the unfinished business going on at the Ugg-Duck in favor of getting a little something done at Mom and Dad's. Let me explain:  Dad's been a BIG help to me with my home over the years (like here and here and here).  Mom too.  So despite all of the crazy going on with the announcement … ... READ MORE

Am I Ready for This? Nope. Maybe. I think so.

Fall Photo

Dear friends:  BIG EFFING NEWS. It's (almost) Friday, which means it's a day to talk about personal things (I don't know why I picked this particular day of the week, but it seems to fit).  So let's talk about ripping the band-aid off.  Figuratively speaking, of course.  I may share a few injuries here and there on Instagram sometimes (like last month, when Charlie ran around my ankle and gave me the absolute worst leash burn I've ever had), but actual band-aids are almost always gross.  So, no.  I'm talking about making decisions. Taking the plunge.  Pulling the … ... READ MORE

Dueling DIY: “Real Quick”


You'd think that after skipping last week's Dueling DIY update, I'd be all BAM, look at my fully-grouted kitchen walls.  But then you'd be very wrong.  Optimistic, of course, and I'd be grateful for that... but still wrong. No, all it seems I managed to do was this: Which wouldn't have even happened at all if I hadn't just forced myself to do it "real quick" under the premise of needing to have something to be updating you about this week (I guess then I can be happy that the whole idea behind this, however minuscule in actual progress this week, seems to be … ... READ MORE

Home Again


Sorry folks, no Dueling DIY post for you today!  Just got in from Phoenix, AZ this morning after filming for SheknowsTV's 9th season of Homestretch.  I'm shocked they asked me back after the laundry room makeover chaos last time, but apparently they enjoyed my foul mouth and tendency to break power tools.  This time, I even pretended to lick a hammer, Miley style (as a joke, but I wouldn't be surprised if this crazy/awesome crew used it as my head shot). I can't wait to show you the full makeover, but I can't until the season is officially posted on  In … ... READ MORE

Friday Chaos


Today is one of those kinds of crazy days where I've committed to doing six more things than is at all logical, so we're just going to have a completely hodgepodge kind of post today to match.  But somehow, as it does most of the time, things will get done. Maybe not without a little more stress, but it will get done. Even if I have to slap someone, it will get done. And then I'll have fried shrimp tacos, and all will be right with the world. *********** At least I finished putting in the last piece of tile in the kitchen last night.  Which of course, wasn't … ... READ MORE

Dueling DIY: Three Tiled Walls

kitchen tile

As of last week's Dueling DIY update, two walls had been tiled in the kitchen.  The tiny one near the fridge (aka the future coffee station): - and the wall along the sink: Which left only the wall along the stove to finish.  And this wall is precisely why I'm glad that the clock moved an hour forward. Having a little daylight to run a tile saw after work?  Sooooo very nice.  It helps me to justify the annoying scraping sounds I'm subjecting my neighbors to (once the sun goes down, I feel more like I'm rudely interrupting someone's peaceful dinner … ... READ MORE