HGTV's Celebrity Holiday Homes & a Giveaway!

Dear friend Amy Anderson of Parker Etc. and I had a grand ole' time hosting a diy event at the Chelsea West Elm last night. We were sprawled out in the middle of the store and taught a group of 10 ladies how to make holiday diy monograms. We got off to a hilarious start (which I'll tell you about next week) and ended up with some really darling monograms! More on that later. Today though, on this dreary rainy New York Friday, I have two big updates for you!! 

This past September, I filmed a segment for HGTV's Celebrity Holiday Home's in New York! My wheels had been turning ever since reading about Emily Henderson's experience on the show. Fun fact: I adore Emily Henderson. Never met the girl, but she just seems fun and driven and normal, and not too bloggy if you know what I mean. Anyways, this, was one of my favorite projects to date, for many many reasons! I'll have full recaps to share next week, but in a nutshell . . . I had two on air assistants of my choosing - Brooklyn Boy (he he he, like he had a choice!) and a good friend of ours Billy, who were hilarious together and kept all of us dying laughing; My mom flew up to act as my behind the scenes stylist / calmer-downer / producer / pillow arranger / ornament hanger / diy & crafter extroidinaire; Our production team was fantastic; AND I got to work with the spirited and lovely Kathy Najimy from two of my ALL time favorites - Sister Act & Hocus Pocus! 

A little post - reveal photo with Kathy!   

A little post - reveal photo with Kathy!


Here's the exciting part - the segment is finally airing!! Set those DVR's for next Friday, December 13th on HGTV, 8pm eastern. Don't worry about forgetting, I'll remind you lots!

I thought it might be fun kick off the segment airing with a little somethin-somethin, so I've teamed up with one of my FAVORITE and formerly Brooklyn based designers and friend, Jessi Evans of Orchard Made for a giveaway!! I'll be giving away one of these fabulous limited edition handmade calendars from her etsy shop -- > 


Isn't it just lovely? What a great way to start the new year! Maybe I'll secretly win the giveaway . . .  kidding . . . kind of :)

To enter the giveaway, please SHARE this blog link on Facebook or Instagram and leave a COMMENT on this blog post :) The lucky winner will be announced next Friday, December 13th at 12pm and this darling floral calendar will be on its way to you the next week. 

I think thats enough for one Friday, so . . . ready-set-dvr's-go-enter-the-giveaway! 

Queen Latifah Behind the Scenes

FINALLY. I'm getting to this blog post. About a month ago I had the VERY fun opportunity to be a DIY / Interior expert on Queen Latifah's new daytime show. I was in LA for a week shooting field pieces, redoing thrift store finds and filming the on-air portion of the segment.  I thought I'd loop you into all the behind the scenes goodness. (That's always fascinating to me!) So I'm finally here (could it have taken me any longer?) with pretty sick iphone pictures and details of what the week looked like! 

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Let's start with the field piece! I flew in on Saturday and we spent all day Sunday shopping our way through a Thrift Store, Yard Sale and Flea Market.  

 My assignment was to find pieces who's identity I could totally transform. We're not talking a simple coat of paint here. Our goal was to really change the intent of the piece. Plus, I had to find two of each item I planned to transform. You know for TV magic. Ultimately, we needed one piece completed to reveal on stage and one piece to diy with Queen Latifah. Finding two of every potential interesting piece wasn't a challenge at all. NOT.

Here are all the purchases! See, two of everything. Boo ya! 

Here are all the purchases! See, two of everything. Boo ya! 

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The next day, the wonderful team brought all of our purchases to a big tent set up in the back of the Sony parking lot. There wasn't much planning for what I would do to all these pieces since we were buying them on the fly. Of course, I hit up Pinterest for some quick inspiration. The biggest piece I bought was a large antique desk with a leather top. It was really beautiful and I didn't want to totally mess with it's integrity.  So, I decided on a simple greek key pattern, let me show you.

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Materials: Painters tape + primer + paint + hardware + gold spray paint

Steps 1 - 3 involved painstaking taping. I didn't use a level, just my eyeballs, to create this simple iteration of a greek key pattern. 

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Step 4 - 5 continues the tape up to the top 3 drawers and starts with a coat of primer followed by a coat of white paint. A helper picked up a bunch of hardware from the store. We ended up with two different pulls, so to sync them up, we sprayed ALL the hardware with the same gold spray paint. 

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And here's the finished desk, complete with mismatched hardware! I loved the way it turned out actually, it was a really simple and quick way to update the desk.

We finished all the pieces outside in the beautiful LA weather and the art department whisked them away to the stage. A few days later, it was time for the actual show! Now this part is always pretty hilarious and fun. First, you're taken to your green room (sounds so shi shi, doesn't it.) (Sound guys hate those big clunky necklaces I always wear. Whoops.) 

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Now, you've got to look around and see who's in the neighboring green rooms. The day I was filming, I saw Avril Lavigne's name next door and Valerie Harper in the hair and make up room. GEEZ! And here I am doing crafts . . . anyways! My favorite part is up next . . .

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Once is time, you're lead to the set and get to watch from back stage for a bit while they prep the next segment. Which means I get to see everything on stage! What a feeling of accomplishment. To give you a better idea of the before and afters, here are some handy little side-by-sides found on the QL site with a handful of DIY tips from yours truly.  

Materials: Gold Spray Paint + Fabric (curtain) + Staple Gun

Materials: Gold Spray Paint + Fabric (curtain) + Staple Gun

Materials: Gold Fringe Upholstery Trim + Hot Glue Gun + White Paint

Materials: Gold Fringe Upholstery Trim + Hot Glue Gun + White Paint

Materials: Gold spray paint + Foam + Quilting Batting + Fabric (curtain) + Spray Adhesive

Materials: Gold spray paint + Foam + Quilting Batting + Fabric (curtain) + Spray Adhesive

Materials: Pourable gold paint + Funnel

Materials: Pourable gold paint + Funnel

Materials: Pale Blue Spray Paint + 3 Lights with cords

Materials: Pale Blue Spray Paint + 3 Lights with cords


Boy, finished projects are the best! After I revealed the finished pieces to the LOVELY Queen Latifah, I got to show her how to make the pieces herself. Now I have to pause right now and say that Queen Latifah was one of the NICEST people. She was warm and delightful and so fun to meet / diy with. She. Is. Awesome.   You can watch the diy segment here! 

The whole experience was such a blast! Then I had to go and break my d*mn ankle and put everything on hold for the moment. But pending a dr. appointment tomorrow, I hope to be back at it very soon! Hope you enjoyed the behind the scenes look. Happy Halloween!!

Thank you to the fabulous producers at the show - you make everyone look good! 

Part II: Remember when I was on HGTV...

So we've made it through half way through the week.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

  • Work Day and errand running with Rob (a production guy) and Daniela (a producer)
  • I'm loving this whole process. I get the biggest kick out of the crew. They are so great and helpful. The teamwork is is unbelievable.
  • Take a 5 Hour Engergy Shot with Rob and Daniela. It was my first. It does nothing but make us feel sick. Ha.
  • Lots of errands. Which I'm eating up. Living in New York, you don't have the luxury of just jumping in the car and driving to Walmart or Ikea. But in LA, you do! We venture to Ikea. I make Rob and Daniela get hot dogs and cinnamon rolls at the Ikea Cafe. It makes me laugh to even type that. Finally the gross feeling from the 5 hour energy subsided.
  • Stop by the house. Check out the fabulous progress and head back to the hotel!
  • Ivy and I have a fun dinner across the street and process through EVERYTHING. I love having her here. It sounds corny, but it was the biggest blessing.

Friday, October 2, 2009
  • What in the world. When did the week happen? How is it already Friday?
  • Final day of shopping. Off camera. We hit up Home Depot, Home Goods, the Walmart... I even have room in the budget for a giant flat screen TV! woo woo.
  • I feel like I hit my stride today. Everything is bought. The room is progressing so nicely! The crew and I are now friends, and not just co-workers. I'm getting really sad about the experience winding down!
  • Lisa continues to pop out of no where with wonderful bits of advice. For instance, "Don't feel pressured to buy something at every store you go into. Sometimes, you need to just shop for inspiration!"
  • Almost paint this beautiful piece of Danish wood furniture the homeowners have. What color? Lacquer royal blue. But I decide not to. You're welcome Shea Family.
  • The day is dwindling. We make an ice cream run and wrap things up. I decompress and make a to do list with my 2 producers. While we are sitting at the kitchen table we start hearing very questionable noises coming from the empty upstairs. Surely its the cats... Or is it? We get creeped out. Time to go!
  • Get back to the hotel and hear about Ivy's day. She was gallivanting all around the city! Such a big girl!

This is the only picture of us from the whole week. Ha.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

  • It's the reveal day!
  • For the first time, I'm stressed. It's a little chaotic. But we manage. Hope I wasn't too sassy with anyone.
  • The next few hours are a bit of a blur. The weather was crisp and lovely. The reveal was exactly what I hoped for! Everyone was so kind and affirming. In my final end of day filming, I almost teared up! Which, if you know me, is a big deal. I'm not a crier. I was relieved everything came together. So full from this experience. It was ALL and more than I had hoped for. So thankful.
  • I have the rest of the day with Ivy! We drive into Santa Monica and meet one of my crew friends for mexican. We walk around. Shop. Laugh. Talk. It was a perfect last chapter of my LA experience.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
  • Ivy leaves at the crack of dawn.
  • I leave around 11am.
  • Goodbye for now HGTV experience! Hope to see you again!

Ok kids. I think I'm finally done talking about this experience. I'm sure you're relieved. If you missed the final product, although I don't know how you could with all of this constant blogging of mine, you can watch it right here.

Let me know if I missed anything!

Part I: Remember that time I was on HGTV...

View from the hotel room. The sky is exceptionally blue in LA.

The memory is sharp in my mind! Now. But will I remember all the details and quirks of the experience in a couple of months? Or a year? Probably not. Hence, why I'm going to jot down some of the details here. On the blog. Ha. Bless you for reading.

Check out those freshly painted nails. OPI - Let them eat rice cakes.

Monday, September 28, 2009
  • Work half day. I'm jittery excited. Got my big girl suit case packed and my camera charged.
  • Fly out of JFK and into LAX. Flying in and out of these huge airports, coast to coast, feels grand and epic. I feel small. But confident.
  • Steve the PA picks me up from the airport. I trust he's actually from HGTV and not here to abduct me in his Honda Accord.
  • We rendezvous with the producer at the studio where 'I Love Lucy' was filmed. I mean honestly....
  • Jump in his car and drive out to the burbs where I'll be staying.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

  • I get ready. Make sure my hair is extra TV big and my lips are extra Texas red. I expect the producer at noon.
  • At 12:30, a full camera crew walks into my hotel room. Oh dear Lord.
  • I get mic'd up and pretend like I know what I'm doing.
  • They start filming. I start rambling. They film me getting into the car like 4 times. It's mildly awkward, but secretly, I'M LOVING THIS. We grab lunch. I trip over my gigantic wedge sandals. We get in the car and head to the homeowners house.
  • Lots of hurrying and waiting.
  • Practically get pushed out of the car and WHOA, I'm meeting Lisa. Wait, that is Lisa right....? "Hey you!!", I almost say. Hahaa. It's Lisa LaPorta. She's about a minute big and is darling and warm.
  • I meet the family and present my plan. We chat. And walk around. Chat some more. And then its the end of Day 1. Whew.
  • I go back to my hotel decompress with my mom and then film my "confessional style day wrap up" with the camera set up on a tripod in my hotel room. (See above picture) And that's not sketchy or questionable looking AT ALL.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009
  • Game on. First day of on camera shopping.
  • We hit up the paint store, carpet warehouse and a mod little furniture store. Lots of decision making. Going on instinct and internal processing.
  • I think I could do this all day long...
  • Did I mention my carpenters? Now, I was kind of hoping to get to LA and work with a ridiculously good looking single carpenter, fall in love, get married, and live happily after in our adorable house the he would build and I would decorate. Sadly, HGTV had other plans for me and my carpenter. I did, however, get to work with Eric and Rupert who were fantastic at their jobs but far from datable (married and a lot out of my age range).
  • And guess who flew into LA....Ivy! She gets in late, rents a car and meets me at the hotel. We talk, decompress, laugh and sleep soundly like we were back in our loft beds in Auburn.

More to come tomorrow! Didn't want to overwhelm...

January 23rd, 2010

A couple of months ago I had the ridiculous (in a good way!) opportunity to try my interior design skills on the new HGTV show, First Time Design. To say I had a ball would be an understatement. I loved everything about that whirlwind week in LA - picking out paint colors, strolling through the aisles of Ikea, running errands like a crazy lady.... you know I really didn't even mind the camera crews following me around either! (I unpacked the emotions of the experience a little here if you need some context.)

All that to say, if you're looking for something to do on January 23rd at ohhhhhh say 2:30pm eastern time, then you might want to watch HGTV to see how it turns out!

You can read more here, if you like!