gettin’ my groove back

This is KK:



Pop quiz. KK is:

A) My neighbor.
B) A super hero incognito.
C) An actress.
D) An inspirational life coach, organizer and style guru.
E) All of the above.

Imaginary confetti is raining down on you if you picked E, all of the above. Go you!

So what makes KK my super hero? She’s one of those rare people who seems to get it all done without making anyone else (me) feel badly about themselves. It’s a neat trick.

In 2016, KK orchestrated her family’s move back to New York from L.A., Type A husband and anxious 11-year-old in tow. Their apartment is next door to mine, and while KK usually keeps her apartment looking like this:



And her last renters left it like this:
























Wha wha whaaaah…

Upon her return from the left coast, a quick two weeks of COMPLETE FREAKIN’ chaos ensued. The family of three somehow crammed itself into  – no joke – tk square feet of available floor space as construction workers rebuilt closets, refinished the floors in the master bedroom (twice) and painted the whole place. Then the magic commenced.

About 30 hours after the construction crew cleared out, KK somehow managed to set up her son’s entire room, clear enough of the living room to arrange the furniture and clean EVERYTHING of construction dust.

But back to me, because, to paraphrase Amy Adams in Julie & Julia, “What is blog except all about me, me, me all the time?”

In the presence of a home keeping whirling dervish like this, I figure I’ve got a few choices: Move away, sprawl out on the couch and binge watch “Fixer Upper,” or go with the contact high. I chose the latter.

In the space of a few weeks, I washed my windows, painted a wall, refurbished my kitchen cabinets, combed my closet for two loads of stuff to donate to charity and “Rejuvenated” my entire apartment’s hardwood floors. Oh yeah, I also stripped a cedar chest, oiled my baseboards, painted the bathroom vanity and started to installed an Elfa organizing system in my front closet.

The evidence:


In the process I learned:

1) Pickling wood is a b*tch. I was forced to strip the cedar chest a second time after pronouncing the experiment a failure, comme ca:



2) I have more energy and determination in KK’s presence than outside her sphere of influence.
3) Rejuvenate is a miracle product. Here are my floors, looking practically new:


You can read more about that here:

5) Painting a down-at-heel vanity is one of the biggest bangs for your buck out there. Two coats including the paint shopping and prep in an afternoon and my bathroom felt like I’d done half a renovation. (Three cheers for Benjamin Moore’s Bittersweet Chocolate, if you like the look. Are you reading John Petersik? I foresee a candy-themed “What’s Not” paint color quiz in Sherry’s future!) I love the way this turned out:


I also found that getting so much done (entirely on weekends, I might add) begets getting more done. I moved on to give my bedroom a touch-up coat of paint. Downside risk: Getting a little TOO in the groove meant I pretty much missed several weekends of beautiful weather outdoors, which is definitely something I will work to avoid in the future.

So what about ya’ll? Any inspirational forces surrounding you? Any home improvement projects planned to usher in 2017? Would love to hear!

6 thoughts on “gettin’ my groove back

  1. Love the idea of a home contact high! Nothing huge planned BUT we ended 2016 completing a goal of mine: to finally hang something up on our mantle. It had only been 2.5 years of emptiness after the mirror from the previous owner fell while we were on vacation, leaving a stupid hole. We never could decide what to do. Then we found some Seinfeld art and it was a no brainer. Made a fun collage and covered the hole!

  2. First of all: Is Amy Adams in Julie & Julia a Must See?
    Second of all: I have the Exact Same Knobs on your dresser in my SC Kitchen? Coincidence? Conspiracy? Also several have fallen off and I don’t know where to get more.
    Third of all: Next time you go all whirling dervish could you do it at my house?

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