The Dangers of Risk Taking

By Kate Riley March 22, 2011

Once upon a time I was a successful prosecutor with a heavy caseload and an immense knowledge of the Laws of Evidence.  In my leisure time, between preliminary hearings and closing arguments, I devoured shelter magazines and dabbled in remodeling on the side because deep down inside, I loved interior design.  Then I got pregnant, and left my job at the District Attorney’s office.  Then I had two babies.  Then I opened a law practice.  Then I started a blog ~ a blog about what I love.  Then I closed my law practice and took a leap of faith. 

I did something brave, something dangerous, something very risky.  I changed course, and I changed careers.  I realized that I truly do love home improvement, great design, interior decorating, and DIY projects.  It’s those subjects that keep me awake at night, not memorizing the exceptions to the hearsay rule.  

she listened kobi yamadavia


I love the thrill of taking on a new venture and teaching myself something new.  There is always apprehension and fear, but in the last few years, I’ve learned that challenging myself is the definition of taking a risk, and it is absolutely thrilling.  It’s why I experiment with power tools and paint, with recipes and gardening, and then write all about it.  With the risk comes the thrill.  It’s dangerous, and it’s addicting.


Whenever I get the chance, I love to scour Craigslist and thrift stores, looking for something that speaks to me.  Take this vintage cocktail table I found many months ago in the dusty corner of the Goodwill.   There are many of you looking at this table and thinking “Crikey, that’s hideous!  I’d never look twice at that gilded beast!” 

table before


table detail


And then there are a few of you who think like me.  You see something gorgeous in that frame, the hidden potential of a piece that needs just a little TLC. 

gold leaf coffee table


A $5 dollar investment in some ‘Liquid Leaf’ and 20 minutes of my time led to a refurbished piece.  One that glistens in the sunlight, and stands a little prouder if you ask me.   

detail after


This gold leaf table makes zero sense in my home.  It’s glass, it’s gilded, it’s impractical and ostentatious, and I have absolutely no place to put it.  I plan to sell it someday, if I can ever bring myself to part with it. 

I really don’t care that most people would hate it, I love it.  I saw something there, and I took a risk.  I paid $20 dollars to take it home with me, not knowing what I would ever do with it, or if I could ever really make it work in my home. 

Taking a risk means you’re not going to please everyone.  (Oh, the horror!)  It means climbing out a limb and saying ‘I love this thing/design/idea/person’ even when it makes no sense to others around you.  Even when those people open their opinionated mouths to criticize you. 

Taking risks is courageous and dangerous.  And it should be celebrated.  

Beware the dangers of risk taking!

Strange things might happen to you. 

You might stand out from the crowd. 

You might discover hidden talents.

You might venture into the unknown by trying something new. 

Then you will learn something new.  

You might fail, but true failure is never risking anything at all.

Then surely you’ll discover something about yourself you never knew.

Then you’ll be proud of yourself.

You’ll be more interesting.

You’ll have a story to tell.

And that alone is amazing.

Taking a risk usually means your heart is talking to you, saying “Do it.”  But then your head quickly answers back “Don’t.”   Consider that a good risk is when your heart says “Go for it!” and your head says “Are you sure?”.   That’s OK.  That’s where you want to be.  The best kind of risk involves both an equal amount of sense and passion.  Those are the kinds of risks worth taking time and again.

Today, I encourage you to go forth and live dangerously!  Do something that completely scares you.  Be courageous.  Go against the trend.  Bet on yourself.  It will guarantee one thing for sure, you’ll have less regrets when you look back on your life.  Paint your walls that bold color.  Sell your house.  Write that novel.  Change jobs.  Teach yourself something new.  Stretch out of your comfort zone, take a leap of faith, believe in yourself. 

picasso quote

Accept that you might be wrong, but once you determine that the risk is worth the education you’ll receive in the process, then the repercussions of failure are minimized. 

Remember, the risk takers are the ones who are willing to bet on themselves.  When will you start betting on you?  Risk takers are not necessarily the most talented, but the ones who are willing to put themselves out there, and work the hardest.

Beware the dangers of risk taking!  

You just might lead a more interesting life. 

swirl snip

Visit my friend Nester today to see how others are taking risks in their lives too.




  1. I love this post. Thanks for sharing it. I, too am an attorney and left for a while to have my children. I didn’t get back into law until a few years ago. I went back into in on my own terms. I wanted to work part time and from home. I waited a long time, but I finally found something that works for me and my family. In the meanwhile, my husband’s job led us to a new location. Our new house needed updating. I am handy, but didn’t think I had any interest in design. It’s incredible what you learn about yourself when you push in different directions. I ended up designing my new kitchen and with the help of blogs like yours I have caught this diy, design bug. Thank you so much for all you do. You are truly a brave woman!

  2. What a wonderful post! And so true. Any risk I’ve taken I’ve never regretted, whether it was joining the Peace Corps, following my heart, and hopefully eventually changing careers. Thanks so much for th inspiration!

  3. I’m always listening to the voice that says “no, don’t do it, you might fail” . I’m tired of hearing it. Thank you for this post!

  4. Kate, I have been reading your blog for several months now…I now find myself checking every single day to see what you have come up with next. You are truly an inspiration and I found your blog just when I needed it most…when I was thinking about leaving my job just as you have. I wasn’t a fancy lawyer…haha…but I was a marketing professional who had already gone through several other careers (math teacher, owned a cleaning business…yada yada…) and my passion too, has always been interior design. Well, in January, I took the same leap of faith, I left my job to get into the design field. I had no idea what I was going to do, but I just felt it in my heart (and thank God I have a very supportive husband!!)…..

    Anyway, I was scared like heck, but the jobs started pouring in…I got myself a little part time job at Calico Corners…I absolutely love it!!! And just the other night I was contacted by a big time interior designer in my area to become her part time assistant…I start tomorrow.

    I am absolutely in love with my life and there is no way it would have ever happened if I wasn’t willing to take that leap of faith that I was oh so scared to do!!! I pondered it for about 2 years and I’m a true believer that everything happens for a reason…I’m so glad to be starting this new journey!!

    Reading your post this morning…I almost felt like we could’ve co-wrote it!!! It is absolutely how I feel and I want to give you kudos girl!!! YOu are amazing and I’m so glad I get to have a little visit with you every morning before I go off to my new fantasy land of fabrics (that’s how I feel every day when I walk into Calico…haha!!). Thank you Kate!!! And someday, when you have your own furniture line, paint line, and whatever else your talented self comes up with…I hope to partner with you on my fabric line, accessory line and whatever else I can come up with (Dream Big, right??!!!)!!! I didn’t know your whole story as I learned today, but when I stumbled upon your blog, I had a feeling that’s how it went down…lots of courage and taking a chance on yourself!! Thank you Kate…you’re an inspiration to all of us!!

  5. Thank you so much for this I so need it! I am always striving to learn something new. Its a evolution of yourself.

  6. Thanks for this! I always need this encouragement. I recently did a very small craft show, it went about like I expected, but I was still a bit dissapointed. Its okay though, I am going to try again. It is amazing how somethings happen by chance, and lead to something big. That happened to me, and now I can look back and see that the risk was worth it, and I now want to take another! Thanks for the encouragement, I needed it!

  7. This is an awesome post. I can totally relate to everything you said. I’m taking risks with my career right now, and I’ve never been happier. It’s amazing the weight that lifts off your shoulders when you decide to be true to yourself and follow your heart.

  8. Truly inspirational…………. a must read for anyone who wants to follow their heart.

    Thank you so much for sharing this.

  9. This is exactly what I needed to hear this morning and it made me tear up. Your posts always bring me excitement and inspiration! I believe that even the toughest goals can be reached through hard work, a leap of faith, and a positive spirit. You are a lovely person and have touched so many through your blog. Thank you!!!

  10. Loved this post. I took a risk last week and had my dining room painted black and I LOVE it. Now I think I’m hooked on following my heart and taking a few risks. This week I may finally get that short haircut I’ve been threatening to get for 2 years! LOL, it’s not giving up a career, but it’s a risk.

  11. Bravo! Your risk certainly paid off, didn’t it? Features on other blogs, magazines, TV…looks like you made the right choice. I’m not a risk taker by nature, but I have learned that when I do step out and take a chance it might not always pay off…but it’s better than wondering “what if?” Thanks for sharing, Kate. And I happen to love your liquid leaf table! :)

  12. Thanks for the post and encouragement!…..In fact, I just got my very first sewing machine this weekend. Sewing is something that has scared me forever and I’m taking in on front and center!

  13. Kate, I love this! About a year ago, you and I exchanged emails (I’m a lawyer going through that wanna-be-in-design identity crisis) and you spoke many of these same words. They really and truly have meant so much to me. Since then, I’ve started my own blog and it has brought me worlds of happiness!! I absolutely agree- take that risk!! It is well worth the effort. And even if the gamble doesn’t pay, you can at least say I TRIED!!! : )

  14. Don’t you think it’s always the things you DON’T do, rather the than the ones that you DO that you regret? Most of the time when you think, “I really shouldn’t (go to Paris, have another piece of cake, use hot pink)”, you really should!

    Good for you for making these hard, and wonderful choices…and lucky for me that I get to read your blog!

  15. Great post. I just recently blogged about the ‘why do you blog’ question that is asked of me often & I couldn’t agree more with what you blogged about today. Taking risks makes us learn & grow. Thanks…..Karen

  16. beautiful post today…thanks…I’m taking risks right now too…it’s when I’m taking risks that I seem to be the proudest of myself..even when I fail trying.

  17. I loved this post. It was SO inspiring, as are you. I love your blog and your projects and have been following them for a while now, and you always come up with something great and are truly an inspiration. So, I send to you all the best all the way from Finland :)

  18. Thank you so much for this post! You have no idea how badly I needed to hear it!

  19. What a wonderful post! Thank you so much for writing it! So many of us are afraid to take a leap of faith and follow our hearts! You are very brave…and inspiring!


  20. What an inspirational post, I love it! Hubby was nagging me about this ‘ugly’ secretary desk I made him go with me to pick up yesterday–this post just made me stand a little taller. I love it and that’s enough for me. :)

  21. I too am taking risks everyday and writing about them. Fellow Nester follower as well. But you said it so much better than I could. Love reading what you have to say. Us risk takers need to stick together.

  22. Thank you, Kate for these inspirational words! I often struggle with the yearning to want to do something totally different, but my head usually wins over my heart. I have been struggling with this the past little while and your post couldn’t have come at a better time. After reading it I feel more optimistic and excited than scared and hesitant. Thank you x10!!!


  23. Fabulous post! I needed to see this for that extra encouragement with my home projects. There wpuld be no life in life without risk.
    PS: I love the table and think it looks amazing. I loved it before you beautified it, but i was also looking at it on my iPhone; maybe the iPhone was also hiding some of the beast in this beauty. :)

  24. I’ve never been “moved” to comment before, but had to here – I like that piece! Metallic tables are in! It looks good in that room!! The finials give the metallic a traditional flair, I think it’s great!

  25. I so needed this right now. I’m in the process of a big career change (leaving the corporate world and working for myself) and it’s not always sunshine and cupcakes. Sometimes I really doubt myself and what I’m trying to do, but then I read something like this and I remember that I’m definitely not the only person who’s ever taken a chance.

  26. {Raises hand} I am another fellow lawyer who is in the process of making the transition from a full-time corporate law career / part-time photography business to a SAHM with a (hopefully) full-time photography business. I agree, it’s terrifying, it’s risky, it’s nervewracking, and it’s stressful, but it’s also unbelievably satisfying to say I LOVE my job / I LOVE what I do…even if it barely pays the bills. Money truly cannot buy happiness. I am living proof of that. Thanks for this post. It speaks to my heart today.

  27. Thanks for sharing! You just never know what your future will hold. Maybe some day you will get back into law in a different angle. I have a degree in interior design but left when my children were born. Now I’m getting back into but in a new direction. I enjoyed reading your post…I definitely could relate. I’m sure a lot of people could too.

  28. So true! A forensic scientist turned cake designer (and now DIY junkie!) I can relate to these major life changes. Here’s to jumping in and taking that leap of faith – following what your heart tells you. Thanks for an amazing blog…. And I love this table!

  29. Thanks for the inspiring post. I agree with you totally but there is a line between doing what you love and making a living. I stayed up for hours last night making curtains (thanks for the post about your son’s room btw, I used your ideas for curtains), I loved every minute of it, but I have to come to work in the morning, making curtains just won’t pay the bills.

  30. One heckuva risk, Kate, but I think all your readers are certainly benefiting from your passion. However, if I ever get into legal trouble, I’d be happy to benefit from your secondary skill set.

  31. What a wonderful post Kate. Without risks, there are no rewards. I recently went back to school and am learning a whole new set of skills, it’s scary but I’m loving it and am thankful everyday that I made this choice.

    K. Keller


  32. i am de-lurking to tell you = i love you. and not just because you have a great name ;) You are saying what my heart has been saying! i am actually actively trying to transition careers shortly – and it’s the exhilaration greatly supersedes the scary! I am also learning so so so so SO much from your ‘risky’ adventures as we are doing some home improvement in preparation for kid #2. I love all the diy and creativity! Not enough creative outlet and i get CRANKY! thanks for all your inspiration.
    also that table, if it were me, i would toss some pretty fabric under the glass and brighten it up! Well i would think about it and then hope you would do it to show me how HAHA :)

  33. At the moment I’m sitting in my very grey, corporate America cube (obviously being unproductive) reading this wonderfully inspiring post. Lately I’ve been thinking of taking a leap to start a side business to fulfill my inner creative soul. You may have just inspired me enough to do so. Thank you! ;-)

  34. Very well said! I am always a risk taker when it comes to trusting my own design choices. Most people around me always question my design choices but I truly believe when it comes to design, you need to do what makes you happy and not try to please everyone else. I might be wrong once in a while but when it’s done right, it’s thrilling and rewarding.


  35. FWIW, I Really like the table!!
    This week’s risk theme on the blog circuit hits home for me as I’m looking at some major life changes. Where should I go, what should I do??? Focusing and then committing to the right thing is exciting, but tough!

  36. I love your message. I wish I could re-invent myself too. But in this economy and with bills to pay, it it just too tough. How do you go from being up there in salary to way down there? I have been a stay at home mom for 5 yrs, and now I need to get back in to the same position. Not my choice but the timing isn’t optimal for a “risk” right now. In the meantime, thank you thank you for for all the inspiration to feed my passion for home decor.

  37. I’ve always read your blog and loved it… but today it truly spoke to me. I have been at the same job for a little over a year now and I love it…but yesterday I received a phone call from a guy that I had met at a marketing event, whom I gave my business card to…long story short, I have an interview with his company TODAY! He thought enough about me to throw my name into the mix for a management position. Exciting, yes! Scary…double yessss! Until I read your blog today (blessing in disguise) I wasn’t sure if I was actually interested if offered the position. You know how you get comfortable with those you work with, you know the ins and outs of everything at your office…and then you take a new job and you have to completly start from scratch. ANYways… I am going to take you up on advice and take a leak of faith and see what happens..even if i’m not offered the job, I will know that I completely stepped out of my comfort zone, and that’s the first start. So, I just wanted to say, ‘Thank You’!

  38. I am so happy I found your blog! it’s wonderful! i love how you transformed that coffee table into something so beautiful and expensive looking. I will definitely have to try that liquid gold for my next project.

  39. When I got my first place, my family thought I was crazy. But I knew I could turn it into something special. When I wanted to paint the walls of my bedroom brown, they said “No way!” and then loved them. Same when I painted a sunporch floor in wide stripes. I love taking risks.

    Have you ever read the Apple ad about risk takers? I can’t find the full text, but it’s phenomenal.

  40. Thank you for your post. It gives me courage to get my new blog really underway. I have been really nervous about what others will think about what I post, and if I can get followers. But this gives me a tremendous amount of courage. Thank you! This risk you took was well worth it!

  41. What a wonderful way to start my Tuesday! Thank you for your post…I needed that. You are very inspirational and I love that you traded in your career for your passion.

  42. Great post. Your story is such an inspiration. I’ve always wanted to take a stab at writing a young adult book (Beverly Cleary is my childhood idol). And you’re right, sometimes you just need to step up and take that risk!

  43. Growing up on the south side of Chicago, with all of my family in sometimes walking distance, if not a short car ride away, I’ve always lived my life “safe”. Yes, I went away to college…got my degree…backpacked Europe for a few weeks…got married…had two children…chose to leave my career as a teacher to stay home with our boys. But…as a thirty-something stay at home mom with both boys in elementary school, I find myself constantly thinking, “we are only blessed with ONE life…ONE chance to live it the way we want…and it has to be for ME…not anyone else…ME!” (and our family, of course!). My husband and I are in a position where we have an open invitation, whenever we see fit, to move our family across country to Seattle. We’ve vacationed there…love it there…it would be a good move for my husband and his career…and this TOTALLY excites me! My heart is screaming “Just Do It!”…but like you said, my head always brings me back…back to “What will my family think?…Will the boys be okay?…If and when we decide to move there, when should we make the jump?”…and the list goes on and on. I truly feel in my heart it’s the right move for our family, for so many different reasons. But….????

    Kate, you inspire me and I truly thank you for this post. Everything you mentioned with regard to risk-taking is SO true! It’s exactly how I’ve been feeling and your gift of words has helped put it all together. We’re still in the middle of making our decision to move, and I’m not sure what we’ll decide, but I know whatever path we take, risk is an important part of reaching our fullest potential!
    Jen xo

  44. Beautifully put! I dream of making the switch from what I do to what I love. You inspire me! Oh, and I would totally take that table. LOL! I see it’s beauty too.

  45. i’m a huge follower of your blog however not much of a comment poster but today’s message grabbed me right from the start. just yesterday i was reflecting on the same Kobi Yamada quote in the first picture; it’s on the cover of one of my journals and speaks to me just as your post did.
    fear of failure has left me on the safe path for many years and just yesterday i took my own first leap of faith starting my own blog as a way to challenge myself and get my voice out there.
    you’ve been a great inspiration and today’s post was a perfectly timed reassurance.
    thank you kate.

  46. I think you may have wrote this for me, although you did not know it! I am also an attorney. I have been practicing for almost 5 years (really?!). As hard as I try, I cannot shake the nagging feeling that this is not my life’s calling. I cannot stop dreaming about writing that novel I’ve been meaning to write for years and years, nor can I stop spending endless hours learning how to become a better photographer. The things that bring me greatest joy are things that allow me to tap into my creative side. Practicing law does not allow me to do that. In fact, I think it is sucking the creativity out of me!

    Anyway, thank you for writing this. Now I just have to find the courage to follow my instincts.

  47. I love the table and love your blog! Thanks for sharing from your heart. Your words are the encouragement I needed today. I discovered decorating blogs about 3 months ago, and have just started my blog so I can share my projects. I’m not very computer savvy, and I’m learning how to use my new camera, and at times it’s a bit overwhelming. However, I love the design blogs and gathering ideas and tips. Thanks again for your words of encouragement.

  48. Ok, I love the message of this post- but I also LOVE this table! I have been looking for a brass/glass table just like this to fix up myself, and I can’t find the perfect one! Oh Kate, you always seem to have the best luck at thrift stores :)

    And really, thank you for sharing your story. You are such an inspiration!

  49. Amazing. Thank you for this!

    I took the leap last Fall, left my secure job at an amazing Institution, and now I paint art full time (along with the blog, DIY, and constantly rotating decor in our teeny home). It’s even led to interior consultations and side jobs – I pinch myself every day! It was absolutely terrifying, but I love every second SO much.

    You put it very well – it’s what I try to tell my friends, but doesn’t come out the same. The leap afforded me more time to demand myself to work harder, keep going, and make it work!

    Thanks, Kate!

  50. Thanks for the inspiration today. With Spring upon us, I think its the perfect time to take the leap and live dangerously.

  51. Kate,

    This may seem risky, but I call it beautiful! I love a little gold in my home, too. Thanks for the inspiration!

  52. Great post! You have taken some great risks. Your story is inspiring. And I love how your table turned out. Sometimes I just get something that doesn’t make sense in my house but I have a vision for and go with it.

  53. Thank-you so much for this post! I am going to be graduating soon and cannot seem to make up my mind about what I want to do. This post definitely reiterated that I need to do what I am passionate about, even if it requires taking a huge risk.

    This made my day.

    Mandy of Kini Style Files

  54. Thank you so very very much for posting this!! Can’t tell you how inspiring it is!! And you do rule!!

  55. Thank you for this! I just quit my law job because I was sick of being so incredibly miserable, and I am still trying to figure out what it is I am supposed to be doing. These kinds of leaps are really scary, so it is reassuring to hear stories of those who have made it to the other side and found where their talents and passions intersect.

    (Love the table too!)

  56. OH!!!
    I love the story!
    What a testimony to chasing your dreams!
    I love love love the Beware the Dangers of Risk Taking wording!
    I am going to print it out and hang it some place conspicuous!
    I am gluing fur on a chair today!!
    HUGS to you–you brave, inspiring, risk-taker you!

  57. Wow! i’ve read yuor blog & looked at your pretty photos for a while now, but had no idea of your background. It’s so cool that you do what you do(and love!). :)

  58. Loved the table, but even more loved your beautiful sentiments. Perfect thing to read this morning after a busy weekend away from home and with an intense desire to get back to the things I love and dream about. :) Thank you for reminding us, through your example that doing what we love IS possible and we should RISK to get there.

  59. Risk is scary. My husband and I have been given an opportunity that will make us change course. It will be hard. It will challenge him. There could be some repercussions from changing course…I am glad you wrote this. I needed it, an extra push to not listen to logic…

  60. speaking of risk taking – today, i am telling my boss that i am turning in my notice soon. thanks ladies! all of these DIY blogs have changed my life and the fact that i have lost the desire to be a scientist…I would much rather be home with my kids & dabble into design!!!

  61. Just the words I needed to hear after I decided to paint my home office, (some would say and will say), a crazy green color! it’s what i wanted for so long, and I attribute my leap of faith to you and your fellow bloggers for giving me the inspiration and courage to design to “MY” hearts content.
    Thanks Kate!
    There is a special place for you up above ;-)

  62. Great post! I once had a job in finance that sucked the life right out of me… but I stayed in it for years and years because I worked hard to get where I was. I didn’t know what else to do at that point. Then I got pregnant and planned on going back part time. When my maternity leave was over I thought – why in the world do I want to work in a job that I just hate when my life is so wonderful now!?? – Yes, those new mom hormones were still flowing… but I quit and stayed home and have been a stay at home mom for 7 years now. I have never been happier and I have been able to pay attention to the things I love doing. When I do decide to work outside the home someday, it will be in something creative. Life is just too short to be unhappy.

  63. Truly inspiring, Kate. Your blog is my absolute favorite. These words are so true! Cheers to you for your courageous spirit (and gorgeous home)!

  64. No wonder I’m drawn to your blog! For years I “practiced” law, never really enjoying what I was doing. I tried other things, and finally, almost a year ago, found my life’s calling in fundraising for a children’s hospital. It gives me more time to do fun things on the weekend and explore my creative side. Thanks for taking the leap away from the law and inspiring me with all of your creative projects!

  65. This post really spoke to me. I have been thinking a lot about taking risks…perhaps a business endeavor sometime down the road, and I loved what you had to say here. No guts, no glory. I love it.

  66. As a former IT engineer turned portrait artist. 9 months now. Sometimes I feel like I have to slay my fear DAILY. Thank for an encouraging post. I’m glad I’m not the only one working hard to follower her dream.

  67. Wow, you are one busy lady, how do you find time to read all these amazing comments from such wonderful women (oops men too? not sure)! I found you blog a couple months ago while in bed sick with the flu and have been obsessed with it since. I recently turned 40 and a mother of 4 and work part time at our local community preschool. I have been feeling the need for change and have been inspired by all you beautiful rooms and pieces you do. I have recently been taking some risks, shopping antique stores, thrift stores, craigslist (another obsession) and started my own little collection of projects. My husband and my children think that I have lost my mind but I assure them that it is not lost, but growing and finding more passion for things than I ever really knew I had. So your post today made me laugh and feel great. I believe in GOD for sure and your post today said to me “I hear you, and GO FOR IT GIRL!” Maybe I’ll send you some pictures someday!

  68. I love this post! I’ve always lived my life with this thinking and am definitely the odd one in my family. But I have never regretted the risks I’ve taken and my life is much fuller for it. If I got hit by a bus tomorrow at least I know that I didnt sit idly by watching life pass me by. :) good for you for embracing what you love!

  69. What a wonderful post! I happen to have the best legal job a “lawyer mom” could ask for, but I spend my free time devouring interior design blogs and magazines; hunting for treasures at thrift stores and auctions; and performing do-it-yourself projects. (Thank you for giving me a new appreciation for spray paint!)

    I recently took a small leap by setting up an Etsy site for some of my favorite vintage home finds. I will probably never quit my “day job,” but this provides just the creative outlet that I needed. Thank you for your daily dose of inspiration!

  70. thank you so much for such a heartfelt and personal post. Like all these other lovely ladies who have been commenting, it really spoke to me. In a year I’ll graduate college with a degree in a field I no longer want to work in. I don’t know what the heck I do want to do but I’ve been trying to do some positive self-talk about risk-taking and following my heart because I want to prioritize my happiness. So this was excellent timing. I’ve stalked your blog enough that I knew you weren’t always a blogger and diy-er but it was great to see you write it all out like this and encourage RISK. Also, I just finished reading all the comments, most of which are mini-success stories from other risk-takers. So, as of today, I declare myself a risk-taker. I’m going to go out on a limb and try to find what works for me, not what everyone else wants me to do. Thank you SO MUCH, Kate!

  71. wow. funny how things are like this are coming so hard and fast at me lately…other’s stories, uplifiting advice, etc, etc…i am not an attorney but a legal assistant. and only a legal assistant (again) for that steady paycheck after i became a single mom. but my creativity is screaming to be set free! i walk in my studio and miss it so. if only i could figure it out financially….sigh….but it’s so strange….i feel like getting back to my heart’s work is right around the corner. and more than just here and there around homework, dinner, bath, book, etc (for the little) and a bit of sleep (for me). a body of work! and the time to create it! i want to spend my days in the way i was created to spend them…but until then i live vicariously through you and others like you! thank you for showing us it’s possible!!

  72. THANK YOU! I really needed this reminder. I’m vascillating between two worlds; one safe yet boring and one full of risks and adventure. Your post today gave me a much-needed nudge in the risky direction. I am inspired!

  73. I loved reading this. You really did give up quite a bit to follow your heart and I’m so glad for you that it is paying off. Someone said to me recently, “I would never spend the time you do writing for that blog unless I was getting paid a lot of money to do so”. She wasn’t the first person who either didn’t understand what a blog is…or why I would want to write one. When I try to describe my blog to some people, they look at me as if I must have way too much time on my hands if I am willing to spend it setting tables or taking pictures while I cook. Why is it so hard these days for people to understand that some things you do just make you happy, make you feel good. If there happens to be a pay day (or maybe a few sponsored items to review) that’s the bonus.

  74. Wow! As I read this I was thinking, “Is she talking to me???” Out of the blue today I was offered a new job with my current employer. All afternoon I have been trying to weigh the pros and cons. I think I am just scared of change and stepping out of my comfort zone. I really just need to go for it! Thanks for writing this, it completely hit home for me!

  75. Thank you! This post is just what I needed to hear… I have some exciting plans in the works and can’t wait to see how following my heart turns out! Your post is true inspiration :)

  76. I got a similar coffee table off Craigslist for $15. Never thought to add liquid gold leaf, but I am going to now that I saw your transformation! Our Rocklin Goodwill never carries anything good, so I stopped going. I believe you have said that your in Sacramento, right? You probably have a better Goodwill near you!

  77. What an inspiring post. Thank you! I’m actually working on a project right now that intimidates me–but that’s when you know you’re growing right?

    Warmly, Michelle

  78. I just love reading your blog every day! Thank you for your encouraging words!

    I ACTUALLY HAVE THE SAME TABLE, which I also paid $20 for (seems to be the going rate… ha ha ha) off Craigslist. I wanted a bit of metallic and glass for my living room, and was looking for something smaller and square to fit my space. I was prepared to spend much more, but this little number was PERFECT (in potential at least). My quick fix was to sand the damaged brass plating, and spray paint it metallic gold, and that worked well. However, the paint is chipping. I was just about to sand it again and prime it with car primer, then repaint it gold (based on a tip from Emily Henderson of HGTV). However… I love your gold leaf idea! Can you give me more “how-to” info? Did you do anything to prep it first? Did you put a coat of poly over the gold leaf?


  79. Thanks everyone!

    Hey Leigh Ann, So glad to read someone else loves it too! The Liquid Leaf is an oil based product. I cleaned mine really well but had no chipping so I went straight to the paint. I would lightly sand away anywhere where your gold is chipping then use either real gold leaf which is slightly more expensive and tedius but will give you that crackled look, or the Liquid Leaf, dabbed on lightly (almost like sponging) with a dry brush for a mottled look, or thicker if you want a smooth even finish.

    I didn’t use a protectant, but you might wish to, especiallly if yours will get handled or touched a lot.


  80. what a wonderful post! As a relatively new blogger, I have recently had some people unsubscribe from my blog and on my FB page. My normal motto of “be myself” went out the window and I had hurt feelings thinking “they don’t like me” and worrying about the ideas I was posting, etc..
    Reading this brought me back to reality and knowing that I do what I do because I love it, it makes me happy and fulfilled and I’m not doing it for anyone else….and that’s what matters!

  81. You said this so beautifully. Thank you for the encouragement…

    Be blessed fellow gal with a spray paint can & a heart for others!

  82. Taking a risk certainly paid off for you, in spades! Thanks for this post. It reminds me that adventure is what being alive is all about! :)

  83. After working in the corporate world for more than 10 years, I decided to quit my job to be a full time mom and work online. Anything is possible if you were hard enough at it. I now own a successful web site that helps support our family, and I am not missing a moment in the lives of my three precious little boys! It was a huge risk to take, but even with all the ups and downs it is soooo worth it. I have been home now for almost 6 years. I would like to add, however, that raising my boys is 10x harder than my full time job was, LOL, but much more fulfilling.

  84. SO inspiring! I just started to follow your blog and I am addicted!!! You have motivated me beyond belief. I am a design student taking a semester off because I am a new mom but you have given me a whole new outlook on design for my own home. I have a new apprecitaiton for bloggers :) thank you for writing and sharing your ideas. I truely appreciate it!!

  85. I find your description of yourself and how life led you to where you are today very familiar. I know I am unique and it is wonderful that folks like us can identify with one another. I am soon going to be a medical practitioner. That feeds one side of my soul but my creative side yearns for something different. Cooking, creating, and transforming bring an undescribable joy to my spirit. Thanks for sharing!

  86. There’s something about your blog that keeps me coming to it everyday! I check it like I check my email, facebook and bank account…addicting and inspiring!! Thanks!

  87. Excellent, excellent post. Risk-taking=zero regrets…a wonderful way to live life.

  88. Today I took a risk. It wasn’t in home decor-but it was standing up for myself against my abusive former spouse for the first time in my life. You may not realize how your words could have transpired into something more the way that it did for me, but I am grateful for them and the empowerment they lent me!

  89. I can’t tell you how much this post speaks to me. As long as we’re talking about criminal law careers, I work for the Public Defenders Office as a paralegal and was told last week that another round of layoffs are coming (I survived the first round because of my seniority), but this round might be it for me. I love criminal law… but there has always been a hole in my heart because I’m not at home taking care of my family everyday, and that’s my first love. I spend my breaks and lunch hours reading blogs like yours, and blogs of others like Edie who mixes family, design and homeschooling, and my heart aches for it. So, I may not be taking the risk voluntarily, but change is coming for me. Thank you for reminding me that changing course, changing careers, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You’re amazing Kate.


  90. I can’t tell you how much this post speaks to me. As long as we’re talking about criminal law careers, I work for the Public Defenders Office as a paralegal and was told last week that another round of layoffs are coming (I survived the first round because of my seniority), but this round might be it for me. I love criminal law… but there has always been a hole in my heart because I’m not at home taking care of my family everyday, and that’s my first love. I spend my breaks and lunch hours reading blogs like yours, and blogs of others like Edie who mixes faith, family, design and homeschooling, and my heart aches for it. So, I may not be taking the risk voluntarily, but change is coming for me. Thank you for reminding me that changing course, changing careers, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You’re amazing Kate.


  91. you. are. my. favoritest. person. ;)

    LOVE the table. once upon a time, when I worked for a boring graphic design firm, who only gave me crap jobs, I got into trouble for forgetting about a job I had in the wings, and planning out my dining room, instead. OOPS.

  92. Wonderful post. I’ve been trying to find some furniture to fix up. I did redo a small bookcase. It was fun spray painting it. Thanks for the inspiration!

  93. Wow! You wrote EXACTLY what I have been trying to nut out for the past year. I worked for 10 years in IP Law, left to have a baby and have now reached a point where I know I never want work in that field again and want to do what I love – design and making things with my hands. Your words have given me inspiration and encouragement. I stumbled upon your blog by chance and love it. Thank you all the way from Sydney, Australia! Kate x

  94. This post could not have arrived at a better time! I started blogging recently, opened a store last month and was just offered a full time position by a co. I used to work for back before I was a stay at home mom!
    I know I love where I am right now, but I need to look at all options.
    Thanks for the inspiration and confirmation that I am on the right path!

  95. I love this, this is why your allowed into my inbox everyday.
    This is post is whyI love my bloggy sorority!
    A loyal fan, a new blogger, and a sista. you rock & inspire me :-)

  96. What an inspiring post! One of my favorite quotes is by Anais Nin: “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” I love your blog. You inspire me. So glad you took that risk.

  97. Dear Kate,
    Thanks so much for this wonderful post!!! I am turning 39 in a couple of weeks, have never taken exercise seriously before so I recently decided to join a spinning class (hardest thing I’ve ever done!) and my husband who used to be a cross country runner has started to train me. I can feel my body getting stronger as the days go by and it’s the most empowerful thing I’ve ever experienced!! I’m taking a risk and I’m loving it!!

  98. Thank you so much for this post. As so many others have commented, it came at the perfect time for me as I just made an important and exciting decision to buy a vacation house It is risky but it has so much potential. I finally feel less nervous about it.

  99. Just a note to say “Thank You” for your inspiration. Truly a deep and caring post that has touched a lot of heart strings. I’m so proud of Debbie for standing up to the bully! You have surely made a difference in her life today! Your courage shines on us all.
    Good luck to Debbie, may she have the courage to continue this new path!

  100. Thank you. I am also in the process of changing career and I feel I know exactly what you say! I love this inspiring post :-)

  101. Thank you so much for your story. Just like you, I secretely live in a design world, outside of my corporate banking job. It consumes my outside life. Your refreshing account of how you were able to successfully transform your life, serves as my inspiration to begin taking those same steps. Thank you, Thank you, Thank You!!! I don’t think you will ever know how much of an impact you have had on me by sharing this…

    Conspiring to deisgn,

  102. What a lovely post Kate! Thank you!

    P.S. Just this past Friday I finally got the house I was trying to buy and over the weekend my BF and I stripped every ceiling in the house of its NASTY popcorn covering and replaced it with a nice new “knock down texture” look! Talk about taking a risk! Neither one of us had any inkling of what we were doing, but it looks wonderful and I’m proud we took that risk! :)

  103. love the picasso quote! reminds me of another quote of his that i love, “if you know exactly what you are going to do, why bother doing it?”

  104. Thank you so much Kate for that inspiring post. It has meant a lot to me and maybe just maybe….. I might take that risk.

  105. The timing of this post was perfect! I took a big risk 7 years ago when I left my advertising career to start a floral and event design company. I could completely relate to what you wrote about heart v. head. And, oh, were there naysayers! I found myself nodding all the way through your post and then – the coup de gras – you posted one of my top quotes! My mantra. Thank you, Mr. Picasso, for summing up it up for me, and thank you, Kate, for reminding me. As I take my next big leap into blogging, I look to you as a continued source of inspiration. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Oh, and the table is great!

  106. I love this post! I’m also an attorney that had my own practice, then quit to stay home when my son was born. I’ve got some big new dreams for my life, and sometimes that can be a little scary. Thanks for your words of encouragement about taking risks!

  107. I have been following your blog for sometime now, dreaming that one day I, too, will be able to create and do things I love, but this time I felt I HAD to leave a comment! This post did something to me. It spoke right to me! I wish I’ll be able to believe in me one day and remember that I was not allways useless and that other people also believed in my potential. Anyway, what i really wanted to say is THANK YOU for making me dream and maybe I’ll push myself into some risk taking in the foreseeable future! …Strange what an unknown person on the other side of the world can do to you! PLEASE keep up the good work (btw it’s great what you do with the ALMA project, too!) and allways enjoy the fruits of your creations! :)

  108. Fantastic table. Thanks for the tip on the liquid gold leaf. I’ll keep my eyes open for gold now at the Good Will! x

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