Count Your Brush Strokes Instead of Sheep

when i can't sleep

Last night, I had a tough time sleeping. I just couldn't get tired enough, and always catch a tough-to-fight second wind around 10pm. So, knowing that I wasn't going to be hitting the hay quite as early as I would have liked, I used my go-to cure for when I can't sleep: painting something. I don't know precisely what it is: the soothing and quiet house, the repetitive nature of painting, or simply knowing that I'm getting something done, but this method seems to work for me each and every … [Read more...]

Dueling DIY: Little Things All Around

gfci outlet

Hey, ever think you pushed "publish" on your post but didn't?  Oops.  Going out one day later than expected, but let's all pretend it's Friday once more... Yeah, yeah, yeah... it's Friday and not Wednesday, I know.  But still - Dueling DIY post comin' at ya. While adding the hardware to all of the cabinet doors in the kitchen is a bit slow-moving, I have found time in the week to get to some of the smaller things, such as adding the little foam buttons to all of the cabinet doors (to … [Read more...]

Dueling DIY: Counting the Hours

paint door

Happy Friday!  I normally mean to post kitchen updates each Wednesday, but if you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you have probably just gotten used to me getting around to things when I do.  I considered waiting until next Wednesday's after pictures to finally have a good post update, but... nah.  After all, since when is this blog just about before and afters anyway? So, even though I don't yet have them up and ready to take those sweet "after" photos for a few more … [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 … [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 … [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 … [Read more...]

Sofa King Excited About My Kitchen Backsplash Tile

sofa king excited

Getting rid of the last of the wallpaper wasn't the only accomplishment over the weekend.  Today's Dueling DIY update is probably going to be the biggest I've had so far.  And I'm sofa king excited about it (if you don't get what that means, just say it REALLY LOUD to your coworkers in the break room and see how they react... ). Ready? BOOM.  Granted, it's not Carrie's mega-huge score of soapstone, but you know what that is?  It's a fully tiled wall.  Next to a countertop that's … [Read more...]

Dueling DIY: How to Prep Kitchen Walls for a Tile Backsplash


Everyone who is finished tiling the kitchen, take one step forward.  Not so fast, Sarah... Today's Dueling DIY update is all about the prep for my tile backsplash.  As you may have noticed from Instagram, the good news there is that yes, I have my tile!  In my possession.  Finally.  And it's going to be awesome.  Just look at these beauties: Classic.  Will let the star (my walnut butcher block countertops) shine.  And even better, they come with built-in spacers on each side of the … [Read more...]