DIY: Kitchen Renovations – Part One

The bigger picture.

Our kitchen is finally coming together, its been a labour of love and planning, now just to add the finishing touches, we will be ready to move on to our next project.

Going back a while, when we viewed the house prior to purchasing it, this is what we walked in to.

The picture on the right shows the entrance from the garage into the kitchen. The floor tiles were having an effect on my eyesight!

The floor tiles were slate with rough grooves and totally unsuitable for a kitchen.

Wall and floor cabinets were the original units built in the 1980’s

Renovation underway. First, take up the floor tiles, then remove all the existing predated cabinets. The curtains had to go!



The floor had to be leveled, popcorn ceiling re-boarded and skimmed. Temporary cabinets in place (garage shelves). Did you notice that there is no sink, dishwasher or range. We were literally camping.

Moving forward –


We have cabinets

Thank goodness I measured the floor correctly, the pattern we designed fit perfectly

DSC00808DSC01690Slowly our kitchen renovation project is coming together. Under cabinet lighting installed. My husband tried his hand at tiling the backsplash. Tiles from Home Depot.

Floor tiles from Tile and Stone Express Douglasville

Appliances from Appliance Smart

The floor tiles we decided to take into the hallway as you enter from the garage and also into the downstairs half bath. More photographs in our next DI Y series.

Kitchen Renovations – Part One. More to come. The finale. Watch this space


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Confessions of a Clothes Shopper

When you are shopping for clothes, are you:

  • An impulse shopper?
  • Or a planned shopper?
    Do you?
  •  Go out with a budget? or
  • Blow your budget?
  • Can’t resist a bargain?

Have you a passion for Fashion?

My confession is that I am all of the above!

On our recent visit to the UK we both did a LITTLE clothes shopping.

First stop

Northampton Marks and Spencer where my husband  bought a linen suit for a wedding we were attending, plus, accompanying shirts and ties (one needs to have choices).


M&S COLLECTION Linen Miracle Regular Fit Mens suit 239 Pounds

My purchases Lingerie. Check out the huge selection of underwear including fitness apparel.

Next stop for my husband Greenwoods – looking for a waistcoat to contrast the suit and shirts just bought.

Both were in the sale too a bargain under 100 pounds all in!

We have just been talking about  how a traditional navy blazer is a wardrobe staple piece that can be worn smartly or casually. I think its quite sexy to see a guy in jeans, loafers and a white tee shirt under a blazer!

Next stop

Navy Culottes, stretchy material, the photo doesn’t do them justice.

Paired with a Cut Out should gold knitted jumper with my gold sandals – bought a while ago from my favourite shoe store Moda In Pelle

Last but not least Primark  – Did I mention we still  had Leeds and London to go?

I love this long shirt style, with fluted sleeves.  Great to wear with cut off trousers, capris or jeans. This particular one was lined too with it being see through. A bargain, too hot to miss.

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Suite Dreams

We all know that a good nights sleep is essential for our personal health and wellness.

How important is that to you?

I am guessing very important.

To relax in a comfortable bed . I am always ready to go to our bed. Right now more than ever, that’s because our upstairs renovations are now into MONTH 4! Another story for another day.

When you are looking for bedding or linens what is it that drives you to buy?

Are you looking for colour to match with your décor? When it comes to bed sheets, do you look for non-iron, Egyptian cotton, the thread count, or just the feel?

Are you a duvet, comforter or hand quilt person?

Personally, I want a little luxury, particularly since we have just renovated our Master Suite. I did search several stores but couldn’t quite get that yes factor. Until that is I got to Macy’s. I was looking for something to go with our décor, had to be clean looking and fresh, style and comfort are key essential ingredients. Throw in a touch of metallic and I am hooked.

This was my choice after searching online and physically searching stores.

The bed sheets are silky, colour match pretty perfect – A kind of Taupe/Grey, with a 550 thread count.


Into the tub before bed to make sure I could really feel the benefit of the sheets on my skin.

OMG this is bliss.

The muted colours of blue, white/off white/silver and grey of the comforter and pillow cases have that clean and fresh feel.

I have a hard time getting away from blue as its my favourite colour. This cleverly designed pattern evoked a sense of calm, freshness as well as style.

Seriously, sometimes paying that little bit more is worth it.

Sweet dreams are made of this. Sleep within minutes. I had just bought the perfect pyjamas in Marks & Spencers while over in England too.

What do you look for when shopping for bedding?

Send out the zzzzzzz’s



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Hair Today

I just love going to my Hair Stylist. A little bit of welcome R & R. Going to the Hair Stylist always makes me feel special, Out with the old in with the new.

You have to have faith in your hairdresser and I do. Hayley at Plum Salon was the only stylist that listened to me and believe me I have been to a few who were twice as expensive and more.

I had decided over a year ago to stop colouring my hair – Yes, I know, you thought I was a natural blonde, but, actually an undercover greying brunette. I had no idea what the transition would be like. Hayley supported my decision and after taking a hard look at my roots told me I had a lot of great colour coming through. Fast forward, she was right, the transition was relatively easy.

Here we are now.

Love the cut and the natural colour.

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The girls in the salon loved my outfit too, so they asked if they could photograph me with the hairstyle and my chic clothes.

If you live in the UK you may recognize the ‘cute’ shirtdress with flared sleeves and ties on the sleeves,  its lined too! Where from? why Pre-Mark-Ey (Primark) 13 pounds. Cropped Trousers TJMAXX $15.

Blue Cork wedge sandals last year summer range from Marks & Spencer.

However, while I was visiting the UK last month, I also bought these Foxglove Leather Bow Boat Shoe Sale price 35 pounds – so comfortable they pair well with this outfit.

I would recommend Plum Salon in a heartbeat, fairly priced and exceptional attention to detail.

Thank you Ladies for taking such an interest in me and my look. I got to be a mature model for a short while. It just shows age is just a number.

Here is a picture of my friend Chrissie who had her locks treated by Haley today.

How sassy is this cut?


Voted best salon in Smyrna GA for the last 3 years and I can see why!

If you live in the area you should seriously go and book a Consultation.

Hair Today!





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Summer Daze

Now you know I love a bargain, I have my favourite shops and I shop online as well as in store

These are a couple my latest online finds.

Zara low heeled mule sandal $39 but reduced in the sale – sold out online.

ASOS  – By Oasis, This glamorous Navy and White Maxi Dress caught my eye with its kaleidoscope, optical illusion of stripes with perfect knife thin pleats, the skirt cascades to the floor, with matching pink belt is so elegant. Teamed with a cerise cardigan for a chilly evening from Marks & Spencer.

This outfit is perfect for summer days and nights. Goes well with cocktails.


Coming Soon Shopping in the UK

What s your favourite fashion summer purchase?

Summer Daze.






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Going Back To My Roots

19389749_10213318753462325_1875531743_nGoing Back to my Roots.

On Reflection – My Journal

I am sat here in our kitchen, it’s quiet apart from the air conditioning, the birds tweeting outside to each other the sound of tapping on the keys of my laptop. Semi-silence, no music, no T.V.

I can think fairly clearly. Therefore, I am taking time to reflect.

This may turn out to be deep.

Who am I?

No I haven’t got amnesia.

I am a wife, a mother, a friend, a colleague, a neighbour.

What else I ask myself?

How do I see myself?

What do I want out of life?

You would have thought by now I would know. But do we ever know? Life is always moving and changing, each day is different.

I decided to go back and look at my Core Brand Values.

What three things do I want to be known for.

This is harder than to pinpoint that I thought. What other people see in you, isn’t sometimes what you see in yourself.

I am

  1. Passionate
  2. Supportive
  3. Authentic

I then decided to research these descriptive words, to see if there was a common denominator.

  • Passionate

Fervent, Zealous, Obsessive, Fanatical, Adoring, Loving, Enthusiastic.

  • Supportive.

Loyal, Kind, Sympathetic, Compassionate  , Understanding, Encouraging,  Caring, Empathetic.

  • Authentic 

True, Reliable, Dependable, Faithful, Trustworthy, Genuine, Realistic.

Oh my goodness, I feel quite humble.

To say that my eventual chosen profession was Nursing, Midwifery and English Law.

I would say a perfect fit with my Core Brand Values

I wear my heart on my sleeve, I dislike injustice, I cry when I am happy, I cry when I am sad.

Proud of my family.

Proud or myself.

Where will this lead?

More to come. I am sure.

On Reflection







Oh my goodness! I feel quite humble.

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Top Secret Project – All is revealed!

It was a privilege to be asked by my friend Interior Designer Rachel Oliver to accompany her to assist with staging a home.

I had no idea what was in store or who would be involved initially until we were on our way there.

I then found out this was a celebrity project with and I was sworn to secrecy who the celebrity was. The entire day would be filmed! This was no ordinary Interior Design project.

I loved the concept of giving back to parents/mother and appreciating wholeheartedly how important family/friends are in our lives.

OMG – This was a day to remember, we were both exhilarated and exhausted at the end of the day, but what a joy it was. An experience never to be forgotten.


This has now led to assisting Rachel on other projects, so stay tuned for the future.

On this Mothers Day, what gift would you give to your mother?


HabitatMuse – Home Staging and Home Décor at your service

Geraldine Street – full of avenues and lanes to discover, on my journey there is so much more to explore.



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Renovation Project Part 2


Did you need more clues or have you guessed that this project is all about?

The Master Suite Renovation.

Time to sit down and plan.

  1. Budget
  2. Preparation
  3. Demo
  4. Measure
  5. Design
  6. Contractor
  7. Pulling it altogether.

This project actually started almost a year ago, by collecting a couple of estimates/quotes for our master suite project. We were shocked at the initial consultation to realize the cost of the project for the bathroom alone and that didn’t include purchasing certain main products i.e the bath tub. Also, the estimate didn’t take into consideration the master bedroom alterations including new flooring , removing ‘popcorn’ from the bathroom ceiling plus the bedroom  tray ceiling.

We nearly had a heart attack when we received quotes in excess of $20 thousand dollars!!

Time for a rethink!

Obviously certain things such as plumbing and electrical work needed to be done to code so professionals were required.

The decision was made to demo the bathroom ourselves after arranging with our plumber to cap off the pipes.

First job,  empty the bathroom and the adjoining closet which bizarrely is entered through the bathroom – design fault number one. Next, take down our King size bed remove all the bedroom furniture and decant to our one functioning guest bedroom  (recently decorated). I hadn’t realized how much ‘stuff’ we had accumulated.

We stored furniture everywhere, wherever a space could be found upstairs. The bed base and mattress on the landing, shelves and mirrors in my husbands office. My newly decorated office area has been demoted to storage, with  clothes rails, shoe and handbag storage – I did feel slightly ashamed when I saw all the shoes etc – hey what is a girl to do with an addiction?

With the assistance of our slightly over zealous plumber the demo had begun!

No turning back now.

Before pictures. The original 1980’s bathroom

Let the Renovation Project begin.

Our bedroom is now storage space for tile, bathtub, cabinets, more tile, doors, faucets, even more tile, the toilet,  sinks, lights and so on.

Once up a time, there was a bath, a shower and vanity units in the master bathroom. Now zilch, gone with a swipe of a hammer and muscle power. The old tile floor though took some time,  layers of cement, chicken wire and tile adhesive  had to literally be smashed  to pieces, really physical work not for the feint hearted – my husband has muscles he had never seen before.

Time to haul in the big guns or at least a General Contractor for HELP!

Phase 1 in progress – time to go shopping!

We spent endless hours on the internet,  searching for a bath tub, vanity units, sinks faucets, shower stalls, shower heads, vanity mirrors, light fittings and so on. Tiles we physically searched for, although some ideas we found on Pinterest, and other sites.

We hired a disposable waste container from where else? Home Depot. Yes, it was filled to the brim.

The entrance to the bathroom and closet were repositioned allowing  access to the closet from the master bedroom as it should have been in the first place.

Popcorn ceilings are now no more in the bathroom, closet and Bedroom.

More Prep work to do before we can see something like a bathroom and master suite.

Shopping for tile, we looked at Home Depot but we wanted more selection and ideas, we chose Floor & Décor, we spent endless hours picking tile samples, returning said samples and searching again and again until we found our style and taste – Modern/Contemporary

The neighbours must have ben curious as to what was going on.

No stopping now. Demo completed, let the rebuild begin.

Stay tuned for another progress report on Renovation Project Master Suite Part 3 and possibly another project added on.


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Remodel or Renovation Project?

Remodel v Renovation. Is there a difference between the two?

Remodel and renovation are the terms that are encountered the most whenever people are going in for home improvement. This makes it clear that both deal with some kind of improvement in an existing structure

Remodeling vs. Renovation

• Renovation is making the existing structure better or modernized, whereas remodeling is introducing a change in the pattern of use of a structure.

• Remodeling changes the functionality of an existing structure while renovation makes the structure new, better, or modernized.

• Remodeling can turn a structure upside down whereas merely changing the paint of a bathroom and installing new cabinets inside it can be considered a renovation job.

• Remodeling is more complex and more time consuming than renovation.

• Remodeling is more expensive than renovation.

Credit: http://www.DifferenceBetweencom

While we can certainly cut the cost by doing some of the work ourselves i.e. demolition and decorating, this next project requires Professional help as it is not going to be straight forward and coordinating different professionals maybe a nightmare.

What are we thinking of doing next?


Its a Renovation, it will require completely emptying rooms, plumbing, electrical, construction, destruction, decorating, disruption!  Any Ideas?


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JOY ECHO – Fashion and Lifestyle


Joy Echo offers minimalist wardrobe essentials, complimented by innovative statement pieces and accessories.


I first met the owner Sherall when she contacted me out of the blue to attend our women’s networking lunch. A beautiful, elegant woman, who designs clothing truly with you in mind, timeless elegance.

The pictures  here are of a Stylescape scarf that I actually won. So beautiful and versatile, so many ways to wear it, completely feminine and unique.

Joy Echo wardrobes allows you to go effortlessly from:-

…breakfast to the Boardroom

…Brunch to Broadway

…Manhattan to Milan with

all the versatility, freedom and impact your lifestyle requires.

Sherrall Wingfield CEO/Designer


Experience the beauty and elegance, one off pieces unique to you, designed for you. Book your appointment.

Contact me for more information



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Habitat Muse: Bonus Room Office Space

I appear to be on a role just now with our home renovations and redecoration.

Now I have decided to spruce up a bonus room above our garage. Quite a quirky layout. It always surprises people when I show them this additional space.

Briefly, as you come through the garage into a back hallway. The kitchen is to the left through our fabulous sliding barn door, to the right is a staircase that opens up to a bonus room above the garage, leading then onto the landing bathrooms and bedrooms.

It kind of reminds me of an era where you would have a live in housekeeper or maid. Ever seen the series “Upstairs, Downstairs.”

This room sold the house for us when we eventually found this property, that is another story for another blog post.

Before Pictures.


After Pictures

Back hallway and stairs


What will this room be used for? I decided it was about time I had my own office space to accommodate both of my passions i.e. Arbonne and Habitat Muse.

Neutral walls. I had paint leftover from the downstairs Powder Room. so why spend more money? The walls were painted with Behr Satin paint called Dolphin fin. The 2 walls either side of the door were Pure White as was the ceiling.  Behr White High Finish Gloss for the bannister and trim.

The Beautiful Gatsby inspired posters were a gift from one of my best friends in England, I will be having them framed, this space I plan to have a meditation area and possibly yoga, but I will have to wait as this space will be required for some storage in view of our next renovation project (more about that later)


20170222_110159Storage and vision boards just visible on the right – unfinished! This will be my Habitat Muse space. Mood Boards, fabrics swatches, tile samples, paint colours, Architects board, Vision Boards.



Office furniture Office Max/Offfice Depot. Office Chairs Ikea20170222_105857-1


At last I have a proper work space where I can dedicate time and space for my Arbonne and Habitat Muse business.

What is our next project? Stay tuned. It’s going to take sometime, clues to follow.

What ideas have you to repurpose an additional space?

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