Hello Ireland

Today we arrive in Ireland and words cannot express how excited I am. The plan is 4 counties and 2 cities in six days, ugg we are such tourists. We believe in making the most of every minute when traveling especially when going to such a beautiful country as Ireland. We like to stumble upon places to go but here are some highlights.

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Day 1 Dublin– Trinity College, Guinness tour and Whelans Pub from P. S I Love You.

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Day 2 County Cork

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Day 3 County Kerry-Ring of Kerry & Skellig Micha

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Day 4 Doolin Aaron Islands & Cliffs of Moher

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Day 5 City of Galway – Erye Square shown here displaying the Tribes of Galway, Quay Street and shopping.

1/Dromoland Castle, County Clare, Ireland pictured over lake.

Day 6 County Clare– Traditional Irish music, Dromoland Castle and visit Shannon.

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We can’t wait to see the rolling green hills, listening to traditional Irish music, Guinness and buying Aran sweaters/jumpers.  Have a wonderful weekend and look forward to sharing our hundreds of pictures with you when we return.

cathy

 

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Georgian Style: Giannetti Home

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Today our House Tour is a classic Georgian Style home designed by Giannetti Home. I am consistently inspired by their work and philosophy,” We believe in homes with emotion, the power of natural light, in a modern sense of space, in a simple palette of materials and the power of antiques to convey history, that classical proportions hold the key to beauty and that a little romance is a good thing”, Gianetti Home. As I finish packing for my trip to Ireland I am going to let this beautiful home speak for itself in all of its splendor.

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I hope you have enjoyed our House Tour today, classic charm coupled with modern influences and stunning architectural detail is always a winning combination.

cathy

Images via

How to Distress Furniture like a Pro

After years of trial and lots of error I recently published an article tilted, “How to Paint Furniture like a Pro” and the response from readers was huge. One of my favorite things about blogging is that I can share the many lessons I have learned working as an interior designer with everyone and these are techniques that I have fine tuned over the past twenty years. Several readers wanted to know if I had tips for distressing furniture and the answer is absolutely, slightly more technique involved but doable for sure.

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1. Access Your Piece:-The first step in any furniture painting project is to look over the piece for possible repairs and type of finish/color of the piece. Decide the look you want for the piece; will natural wood show through the distressing or a base coat of paint.

2. Sand Your Piece– Lightly sand the piece using 220 sand paper, use a coarser paper for a more rustic look. After sanding wipe the piece clean with a tack-cloth.

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3. Prime Your Piece- This step is optional when distressing but I typically prime all of my painted pieces to be sure that the paint adheres properly to the piece and is durable.

4. Paint Your Piece– If you are not happy with the base color of the piece (wood finish or existing paint), choose a base coat for the entire piece. If your overall look is distressed white or a color, paint a darker brown as a base. If your piece will be black go for a lighter base or sand down to the natural wood when possible. Then add your final color of paint. Designer tip– Paint a few layers of paint that were reminiscent of the period the furniture is from to add vintage character.

5. Wax Your Piece (Optional)– Use candle wax and rub it onto the surfaces where you are looking to achieve the distressed look. I recommend the natural places where distressing will occur; corners, edges, curves and legs (same tip when sanding). Be sure to rub off the wax residue that accumulates. With this technique I like to paint a top coat and then once dry use a scrapper for distressing the spots where wax was applied. I use this technique most with my rustic cottage pieces.

6. Sand Your Piece Again– I love this part, let your inner artist come out. Sand layers using a power palm sander, try using different grits of sandpaper for various effects.

7. Glaze for an Antique Look (Optional)- Once you are satisfied with the amount of distressing it’s time to apply a glaze. I recommend Minwax Express Colors, just remember that the glaze will stain the wood if this is the look you are after. Wipe off the piece with a damp cloth.

8. Protect- Apply a clear coat of poly to keep your piece looking like the day you created it. Sit back and admire.

These techniques can be applied to furniture, kitchen cabinets, mill-work and doors. Don’t be intimidated you can do this my friends and you will be so proud of the results!

cathy

 

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Happy Summer

ayumHello Friends, as we dive into the first day of summer I am thinking about some of my favorite summertime things; no school = no homework, lazy days in the backyard by the pool with the kids, days on the beach, barbecues with family and friends, vacationing by the lake and yes popsicles, a classic sign that summertime has arrived. The juggling act as a working Mom is in full swing for many of us as we strive to balance creating a fun summer for the kids and managing our careers but somehow it always seems to work out and I am so thankful to those amazing people in my life that jump in and save the day with support. I saw this artwork at a gallery in Soho this week and it made me smile. As I was admiring this iconic sign of summertime I was thinking about what really matters this summer plain and simple, spending quality time with the ones I love.

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My kids are huge fans of fudgesicles and this recipe from A Pretty Life in the Suburbs was a real home run, I try all recipes before I write about them. We have been making fruit popsicles for years but this was our first go at a fudgesicle and this recipe rocks.

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When we make fruit pops, layering is not a technique we have tried before so when I spotted these Firecaracker Pops I had to share the tutorial from edible perspective because it was so fresh and easy with a wow factor result and taste.

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Just like the fudgesicle recipe, making pops in disposable cups is fun and easy for kids especially if you don’t have a popsicle mold on hand. Cherry is the all-time favorite for so many us and fresh cherries make it scrumptious. This recipe from Valdirose, a beautiful European blog,  is a true classic and one we will be making again and again.

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Today we are diving into Summer with High School Graduation parties, a Christening  this morning and then off to Ireland Wednesday, all good stuff. What are some of your favorite things to do in Summer and ways to keep the troops happy, I can use all the help I can get.

cathy