Friday, July 31, 2015


Dear Olive,

After I solved the builder grade mirror problem in our jack and jill bathroom, I had the secondary problem of mismatched cabinets.  I read up on how to DIY re-staining the cabinetry with java gel stain here.

I'm pretty satisfied with how the final product turned out.  The time commitment was only about 3 hours total.  I didn't have to sand or strip the previous wood even though it had a varnish over it.  I just wiped General Finishes Java Gel Stain over the wood with an old sock.

It took three coats of gel stain and one clear coat of satin polyurethane.  I ended up mixing the java gel and candlelight stain to better match the antique mirror.  I just mixed half and half so the final finish wouldn't be too dark.

 I got pretty lazy at the end and put the last coats on after I had already rehung the doors.  If I had known how easy the process was, I likely would have kept the doors on the whole time. 

I splurged on some Anthropologie handles, I'm glad for the final finish.  I'd rather have strong home finishes than jewelry anyway.

And then I found this fabulous birch cloth curtain at an antique store to tie in the mint and red accents.  I didn't even have to hem it!

I've already been eyeballing other wood items in my home to stain.  So satisfying!

Monday, July 27, 2015


Dear Olive,

As I grow older, I am beginning to fall into the camp of valuing quality apparel over quantity.  I've found a few vintage items over the years that have lasted me for the long haul (not to mention those previous generations from whom I inherited the stuff).  Lately, I've been rocking a 1960's bathing suit much like the blue one below:

Although I love it, I'll admit that it isn't a perfect fit.  Also, my husband often refers to it as "Aunt Sally's swimsuit...which is the opposite of sexy.  So, I am presently in the market for a new classic.  In former years, I would have just bought something adequately made from the Target racks, but this is the era of quality; therefore, here are some possibilities:

Ultimately, I decided on this Tori Burch.   

The blue and white will pay homage to Aunt Sally.

Friday, July 3, 2015


Dear Olive,

Summer is out in full swing, and I am ready to join it.  I've wrapped up my work and planned a day out at the lake with the kids.  I dreamed of this:

Instead, it was 60 degrees and threatening rain.  But "forced fun" made it grand.  Hope your summer is full of surprises!