Hey everyone! I’ve been silent on the blog this week because I’m working away in the house, trying to finish a few larger projects. I’m working on the second bookcase in the living room (can’t wait to share that whole tutorial! It’s taken us forever to finish, but it’s really not that difficult), and doing tons of patching and caulking and sanding trying to get the hallway/stairs ready for paint. The prepping-to-paint phase is the least glamorous, but it has such a great return when you get that beautiful, transformative coat of paint on there. Hopefully next week I’ll have a few things to share!
A Great Approach to Home Renovations (and LIFE really)
I’ve been reading Manhattan Nest for a while now, so I am already a big fan of Daniel Kanter. A New York City transplant fixing up his beautiful, old (1865) home in Kingston, New York, he has impeccable attention to detail and a commitment to the integrity of his historic home. He does not do things halfway, ever!
But he recently wrote a great post about the beauty and value of doing a small project. Sometimes in the blog world, we are all focused on huge renovations and dramatic before and afters. A small project that increases the functionality of a room and makes your life a little better/easier is always worth celebrating (even if it is imperfect!). Daniel retrofitted a beautiful antique armoire with shelving to hold his television and linens in his bedroom — a project that took him a couple of hours, but makes his daily life more comfortable.
I was inspired to finally get over my fears of using the drill (yes, I was DIY blogger who had never used a drill by myself! Glad I got over that hurdle FINALLY), and hang up a couple of brass hooks in my closet to hold my summer scarves that have previously been sitting in a lump on my closet floor. THEN, today I put a big anchor in our wall and hung up a mirror that’s been leaning, waiting to be hung. It feels especially good to finish a few long-time to-dos when I’m in the midst of days-long projects that won’t be finished for a while. Thanks, Daniel!
The Best Chili in the World
This steak chili recipe changed my life.
Okay, maybe I can’t go that far, but I have never had a better chili and this might be up there in my top three things I’ve ever made, period.
Intensely rich and flavorful without being too spicy, with steak that falls apart after cooking for six hours. So rich, so filling, just delicious! I cooked two batches at once because I wanted to bring some to my grandparents — the batch in the Dutch oven came out better than the batch in the crock pot (although both are scrumptious). I will definitely be making this again!
The Best Gold Spray Paint
Metallic spray paint is a tricky business. There are so many ways it can go wrong. Too shiny, not shiny enough, weird texture, or a noticeable tint.
I’ve purchased two different gold spray paints recently that have been terrible (Rustoleum Universal Metallic and Krylon Metallic), and before wasting my money on another, I Googled “the best gold spray paint,” and found this post on Anika’s DIY Life.
I really like how she showed all the painted miniature pots next to each other in front of their respective paints — super helpful! Just as she wrote, I found that the Rustoleum Universal Metallic was completely matte (which makes it look much too brown), and Krylon Metallic has a very noticeable pink tint (if you’re looking for rose gold, that’s the one for you!). I completely agreed with her top picks, and will be hunting down some Rustoleum Metallic Gold this weekend!
An Inspiring, Insightful Book for Moms of Boys
I found the book Mothers and Sons: In Their Own Words at the thrift store a month or two ago. At first glance, it did look really corny to me, but after flipping through I was intrigued to see really minimalist photos of mothers and sons, from average people to Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her sons or Bill Clinton and his mother. Each picture is accompanied by a small passage written by the mother, the son (or sons), or both. The passages quickly convinced me that this book was not cheesy at all. It brilliantly showed so many different types of relationships between mothers and sons with a lot of nuance. There were vast differences in age, and it was interesting to compare the way a 2 year old might describe his mother versus a 50 year old. There were a lot of differences, but also a lot of similarities in the way sons think of their mothers and vice versa. I love the fun and loving relationship I share with my two boys, and it was fun to read how that might evolve into great, understanding friendship as they grow up. Okay, maybe it is really corny, but other boy moms out there — you will love it!