My What a Handsome Dresser That is!

How the heck are ya? I’ve been too busy in Teacher Land lately to check in – I apologize. For the past couple of weeks the blog has been the absolute last thing on my mind. I’ve had parent conferences, report cards AND standardized tests jammed back-to-back. Seriously, who comes up with these schedules?!

Some of you might already know that this is my first year teaching 4th grade (usually I teach 5th grade…and will be again next year). It’s also the first time I’ve experienced the “long composition” test. Basically, students plan, write a first draft and then a final draft of a creative story in one sitting. A sitting that can, for some (diligent) students, last 7 hours. My kiddos were such troopers and worked right until dismissal time. I’ve never been so proud of them! My heart was in my mouth for the entire day…as a teacher, it was so awful to feel so helpless. I’m sure they all did a fantastic job though!

During times like this, stress relief comes in the form of DIY projects. I recently received a sample of Velvet Finishes paint and was super excited to try it out.

Have you heard about Velvet Finishes yet? It’s a revolutionary new paint line that makes painting furniture a cinch. 

velvet finishes

Velvet Finishes was created by interior designer Kellie Smith after not finding the finish and color palette she was seeking for a client. There are 21 amazing highly saturated colors in the line and the finish is that of a low matte sheen – like velvet!

The color I chose was handsome which is a dark blue but not quite a navy. And handsome it is. I took an old beat up dresser from this…

old dresser

to this… in less than two hours

velvet finishes handsome on dresser

Velvet Finishes patent-pending formula is a DIYer’s dream.

It’s super easy to use with minimal prep and no waxing.  No special tools needed. The darker colors tend to be thicker than the lighter.  If you want to thin the paint simply add water. Apply thin, even coats and allow paint to dry thoroughly before applying another coat.  Never apply more than 3 coats in 24 hours. 

Instructions are on the website and can be downloaded for printing. 

Did I mention you do not need to wax??  WooHoo!!

Kellie had told me that it would not leave any brush marks upon drying, so, despite the (wise) advice of applying thin coats I decided to really test to power of this paint and literally sloshed it on quickly thickly and probably not that evenly. Here’s some video evidence to prove it:

(Yes, the quality is awful. I tried to paint with one hand and record with the other.
It doesn’t work. But you get the idea!)

 Even with such aggressive application, the final finish is, well, velvety. There is not a brush stroke in sight:


I picked up some new (and cheap) drawer handles on Ebay. I love how the brass looks against the blue.  I also picked up some faux flowers at AC Moore (on sale!). Pink is another amazing color against this shade of blue.

blue dresser

I really love this paint. If you’ve never painted furniture before, go this route. It’s 100% foolproof and is guaranteed to provide richly-pigmented results in only a couple of coats.

Think this blue is handsome? Some of the 20 other shades are pretty fantastic too. You’re going to be majorly crushing on this line up:

Velvet finishes paint colors

Custom colors are easily achieved with recipes available on the website!

It’s so nice when a quick project can make such a huge transformation. My guest room feels much brighter and fun now! 

Which Velvet Finishes paint color is your favorite? What furniture item would you like to makeover in your chosen color?



A Smidge of Bathroom Progress

Did you know it’s March? Maybe it looks like spring where you are but here in Boston there’s still a good foot of snow covering my lawn. Driving to work yesterday morning it was 6 degrees and my poor students haven’t been allowed outside for recess in over a week. I’m in such desperate need of some warmth and sunshine…SO I impulsively booked a trip to Miami for April vacation and it cannot come soon enough. Brian has never been before so I’m excited to introduce him to the madness of South Beach! I guess that means the bikini diet starts now too!

miami view

Dreaming of seeing this view shortly

Over the weekend I bit the bullet and started painting the master half-bath. I’ve known for some time exactly how I want this bathroom to look and since I had a half gallon of paint left over from a previous project, I was able to get right to work. You gotta love a project that costs nothing (for now, anyway!).  

The bathroom transformed from this terracotta terror…


…to a much softer space

bathroom painted

bathroom wall

The paint color is Behr’s Reflecting Pool, the same grayish-blue that we used in our main bathroom. I used the paint and primer in one option and I was amazed at how easily the orange walls were covered with just two coats of this paint. 

Next step: Remove the white tiles and replace with a fresh glass tile backsplash (yes, it would have been easier to do this first, but whatever!). I’m planning on painting my laminate countertop, which I’ve never attempted before, and then swapping out the sink, faucet and medicine cabinet for something a little more modern. Eventually I’ve got plans to build some drawers for some added storage too. 

I’ll keep you updated as I make more progress! 


Brass is Back

Have you noticed that brass is everywhere lately? From lamps and drawer hardware to mirrors and accent tables, brass is back with a vengeance. It’s not the shiny cheaper brass that you associate with years past, though. The new brass is darker with a beautiful patina. It’s mostly being marketed not as “brass” but rather as “gold”.

I’ve recently begun layering some gold pieces into my living room and I’m loving how it makes the space seem warmer and somewhat classier!

I’ve picked out some of my favorite pieces for you to oogle over. I’ve already picked up #6 from Target and I’m totally in love with it!  

Brass is Back

1. Layla Grace – $173 | 2. Target – $63.99 | 3. Kirklands – $14.99 |  4. Target – $52.49
| 5. Zincdoor – $488  | 6. Target – $48.99 | 7. National Builder Supply – $100.00 |
8. Zincdoor – $458| 9. One King’s Lane - $219 | 10. Layla Grace – $623 

Are you planning on adding some new-age brass to your home? Or have you always loved brass? Let me know in the comments!!

My Beauty Essentials

Happy Monday everyone!  Today I’m back to work after a glorious week off and I thought a change of pace might be fun for everyone. I did a major cull of beauty products over the weekend, which made me think it would be fun to share the products that I swear by with you guys.  These are all products that I’ve used for at least a year (some I’ve used pretty much forever) and that I genuinely love. All of these products have been repurchased multiple times, which for me, is the real telling sign of a favorite item.

my beauty essentials


  1. Nars Sheer Glow Foundation (my summer foundation)
  2. Dior Skin Nude (my winter foundation
  3. Benefit Girl Meets Pearl (beautiful shimmery highlighter for cheekbones and brow-bones)
  4. Benefit Boi-ing (my ultimate concealer)
  5. Icon India Oil (since using this, I don’t even need to conditioning my hair. I wash, towel dry, apply a small amount of oil, comb out and blowdry. My hair has never been in better condition)
  6. SmashBox Camera Ready BB cream (this is my every day foundation. It has a spf of 35 and looks very natural. Great  for the beach, too!)
  7. Simple make-up removing lotion. I’ve used this product since I was 12. It’s the only makeup remover that cleans my skin and doesn’t cause irritation.
  8. Josie Maran Argan Oil (my daily moisturizer. Absorbs easily and has drastically improved my skin)
  9. St. Tropez Self Tan Mousse (fool-proof self-tanner – I’ve used this religiously for the  past 12 years. Only faux tans for this pale skin! If you’re a self-tanning pro, then Xen-Tan also have awesome products that I love!)
  10. Batiste Dry Shampoo (the best dry shampoo out there)
  11. Nars compact duo – Laguna & Orgasm (The most amazing bronzer & blusher EVER!)

I hope I’ve introduced you to some wonderful products that you’ve never tried before. If you’ve got any specific questions pop them in the comments section and I’ll be sure to respond!


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