Updates and Other Things

By Kate Riley February 22, 2012

Hello everyone, I’m in between projects today with a few different things going on so here’s a list of random thoughts and miscellaneous updates.  But first if anyone is seeing a old gray header on the site up above from 2009, please just hit Control + F5 to refresh your screen.

1.  I’m a pinning fool on Pinterest lately, and have a lot of new boards over there. I’m going to help my friend construct some built-in benches for a corner breakfast nook, so dining spaces are on my mind.  Speaking of Pinterest (and general *pinch me* topics) I was asked by Better Homes & Gardens to contribute to their boards and since it’s my favorite magazine I wholeheartedly agreed so you can find all those pins here and here – I hope you’ll follow along!

2.  Lover of all things paint that I am, don’t miss my latest article for My Colortopia on Three Steps to Choosing the Right Paint Color

three steps revised


3.  My friend Danielle just launched a new website today called The Everygirl, I’m very excited for her.  The site is all about female entrepreneurs, businesswomen, and bloggers with a focus on all sorts of things from budget-friendly fashion to interior design features.  I’ll be guest posting there next week!

the everygirl button

4.  I’m in a furniture refinishing frenzy right now, just finished up a dresser last week and now I’m working on some end tables and a pedestal table too.  All of these pieces are for friends – I’ll be sharing those makeovers in the next week or so. 

Here’s a sneak peek of the after! 

furniture redos

Kidding.  Of course those are the befores…



5.  Thank you so much for all of your suggestions from last week’s anniversary post, you gave me such great feedback, and I’ll be tackling some of those suggested topics like small space decorating and a day-in-the-life, etc. 

6.  Perhaps you’ve heard that Google is making changes to their GFC Widget on March 1st, apparently it will only work for Blogger hosted blogs as far as I understand.  I still have an active Blogspot account even though I’m hosted by WordPress so in all likelihood my sidebar widget will die. 

gfc no more

If you happen to be one of those nice readers who follows this blog through GFC, there are some alternatives for you. You can of course visit the home page.  You can also find all posts on Facebook if you like my page there, I try to remember to Tweet them too, and then you can subscribe via email or by RSS feed right in the upper right corner of the blog under Subscribe – are there any other ways you follow this blog I should know about? 

7.  In entertainment news, I was so upset that Modern Family wasn’t on last night and then I realized it was Tuesday. See, those 3 day weekends totally confuse me, I never know what day it is when there’s a Monday holiday. But with that logic you’d think I thought it was Monday not Wednesday.  Nevermind.  The point is I really love Modern Family, for me if I had to choose a favorite character it’s a toss up between Cameron and Phil, both are played so brilliantly.

And everyone’s so obsessed with Downton Abbey these days and I have yet to watch it, which is weird because I’ll watch just about any British period drama with an great ensemble, so tell me why I should be watching because apparently I missing out big time. I’m scared to begin, from what I’ve read, it might force me to disappear for a few days and watch all the episodes in my pajamas.  Not that that would be such a bad thing.

I also love The Good Wife, and have been watching it since the first episode, but I take issue with the plot because hello, you’re never in trial the very next day. Why are they always in trial the next day? That never happens. I hate to be the one to tell you but TV is NOT like real life.


The Oscars are coming up this weekend, I’ll watch for the fashion most of all. I haven’t seen many of the nominated films, I did see ‘The Help’ and ‘Midnight in Paris’ and liked them both. I also saw the previews for both Albert Nobbs and The Iron Lady and honestly how do you choose between Meryl and Glenn in those roles, it’s impossible.  Have you seen those films? Who should win in the leading lady category?  Did you know Ellen is reviewing the Oscar films?  I wish she’d review all of them for us!

That’s all for today… have a great one.


kate signature image





  1. Do give Downton Abbey a try – you won’t be disappointed! My 17 year old son turned me on to it (if you can believe that!!). We have been unable to disappear in our PJ’s and watch it completely, but let’s just say any free moments we plan ahead so we can use any free time on it – we’ll be all caught up as of tonight.

    Love love love your blog – I follow on Facebook and am always inspired! :)

  2. My husband, also an atty, won’t watch any law tv shows because he too gets frustrated! I love the good wife as well, but what about the judge crying on the bench about the occupy group across the street? Like that would ever be ok! Off now to check out your friends new site…

  3. OK, I’m probably going to look like a complete idiot, but what exactly is going to happen March 1st? So many blogs I read keep warning about whatever the heck it is but I just don’t understand whatever the heck it is! Does it mean I won’t be able to “find” you if I don’t officially follow you – or other blogs? Again, I am REALLY technically inept so if someone would be kind enough to explain in English (small words please lol) I’d really appreciate it.
    Thanks a million.

    • Hey Denise, GFC is a widget offered by Google which you can display on your blog, but also allows you to follow all the blogs you’ve joined inside, here are more details on what it’s about:
      I don’t use it myself to follow blogs, so others will have more precise information about how exactly it works, but basically if you’re one of the people who does use this to stay current on your favorite blogs, it’s going away for all non-Blogger blogs, so those WordPress or TypePad blogs won’t be available to read inside GFC. I think. :) Can anyone else elaborate?

  4. Definitely be prepared to immerse yourself if you’re going to start Downton Abbey! It’s so terrific. I watched the first two seasons in a week and a half while my husband was out of town – and in the evenings as I work full time. Needless to say, there were some late nights! With such long epsidoes “just one more” can quickly get out of hand. On the plus side, with such long episodes so much happens in each one!

  5. Oh Kate! You are truly missing out on TV’s greatest treasure…Downton Abbey. If you go to PBS.org you can watch the episodes in order. If you no longer can find Season 1 at PBS you can find it online at Netflix. And I promise you will want to watch each episode more than once. There are a lot of single lines which add to the story. But please, don’t get so wrapped up in it that you forget to blog!!!

  6. Hi from New Zealand!

    Google Reader is another great way of subscribing to blogs – especially if you follow a lot of them (lets be honest, who doesn’t follow a heap!). It allows you to view all of the new posts for all of your subscribed blogs, all in one screen and you can just scroll through them – saves so much time!

    Agree that you should definitely be watching Downton Abbey – it is superb!

  7. Downtown Abbey is wonderful. I ordered the first season on DVD form amazon and ended up watching the whole first series in one sitting. Totally addictive. Both season 1 and 2 are available on DVD. You won’t be disappointed!

  8. One more to chime in for Downton Abbey. Trust me, once you’ve seen it, you will wonder what took you so long! I was so obsessed I had to go to seedier places on the Internet to find season 2 before it was available in the US, as I had to watch it as soon as I could! Go watch it. You’ll be glad you did!

  9. Kate,

    In due respect, you must stop everything you are doing RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE. Sit down. Watch Downton Abbey starting from Season 1, Episode 1. Keep going until you tearfully finish the last episode of Season 2. Don’t worry about kids, dinner, cleaning, husbands, or blogging. We will all understand. Come back in a few days in love with Downton Abbey and write a post on how you are planning to move into Highclere Castle (the real Downton Abbey!) And then throw a big party in your new castle and invite all of us :-)

  10. Please, please, please do a post on these benches you’re helping your friend build! We’re planning to build some in our kitchen this spring and have been looking for inspiration.

    I’ll be heading over to pinterest soon to get your new boards added to those I’m following.

  11. I just finished watching Downton Abbey. So amazing. I especially loved the season 2 finale. :) I started watching it last week. Conveniently(?) I got sick and missed work and so I watched it on Netflix and PBS.org. It really is fab. :)

  12. I too love Downton Abbey. In addition to the characters and storyline, the sets and costuming are outstanding. I would wear every hat that has ever been shown! It is also nice to simply watch a quiet and reserved drama without language and violence (some I guess) that is nonetheless compelling! Oh, and Maggie Smith rocks!

  13. I finally started watching Downton Abbey a week ago. I have one more episode to go. I very, very rarely watch TV, so this is major for me to watch a show so obsessively lol. Definately worth watching. Even my hubby and kids (2 girls, 4 and 7) LOVE it, and we all watch it together. I love it as it’s not only just a great period drama, but it explores the lives of both the servants and the Lord/Lady of the house. It is fun, heart wrenching, funny in parts and also beautifully shot. Betcha won’t stop once you start watching one episode =)

  14. My computer isn’t cooperating and your blog isn’t loading all the way for me so I’m not able to see whether you have the Linky Link on your sidebar. Brent, who created the links for linky parties, designed it as an alternative way to follow. I added it to my blog although I think I’ll be ok because I’m on blogspot…but I added it just in case, you never know what Google’s going to do next!

  15. You’re so funny and accurate! My husband is an attorney and I have been (in my past life after degree in accounting and before middle school teacher and definitely before stay at home mom) a paralegal at a fancy schmancy silk stocking law firm at the top of Sears Tower in Chicago. We would all laugh at “The Practice” — the law show of the day at how what happens in a single episode takes about half a year in “real law firm” time!

  16. Kate,
    Long time lurker, first time poster here. But when you asked for reasons why you should start watching DA, well, I had to sit up and chip in.

    1. The sets: dreamy, elegant, elevating, charming and in the servant’s quarters, delightfully utilitarian and spare, yet so comforting. With your eye for decor, the sets are enough to get you going. But there’s more:

    2. The characters: winning, comic, and deftly performed by such engaging actors, the characters are not relics from your typical stuffy British costume drama — they’ve got life, humor and verve, and they constantly flout the conventions of a Masterpiece series.

    3. The plots: no dreary pallid drawing room faux-dilemmas, but alternately subtle and rollicking twists that sometimes seem too wild and delicious for BBC.

    4. The lines: nobody delivers a one-liner like the Dowager Countess. And in this world of cheaptastic reality shows, a well written series is such a treat.

    So give it a try.

    I got turned on after season 1 aired, so I watched it in big gulps over a week this summer. When Season 2 started, my girlfriends and I decided to make it a weekly event so we DVR’d it and we set up the tea service and tissues, so we have sustenance and comfort. It’s been the highlight of every week. So give it a whirl, and I’ll bet that after the first one, you’ll stop, call up your bestie, and invite her over to re-watch the first, and get hooked on the rest.

    And thanks for all the brilliance of your blog. As a DIY’er and lawyer myself, I’m in awe of your talent and committment, as well as your good grammar and correct spelling. Nothing ruins a good day on the interwebs like typos and misspellings.

    Good luck, enjoy DA, and thanks!

    • Thanks Cecelia, you must be reading quickly, there’s always a typo or two in my posts that I catch days later *sigh* thanks for the big thumbs up on DA, I LOVE that you have a weekly event with your pals, wish I could join but I’d be utterly lost, better get caught up so I can join in on the conversation!

  17. Yes I heard about Linky too, I will be in a real fix if i can’t get my dose of blogging lol I don’t go on Facebook, I know I’m an alien, but i do have a Twitter account……

    Have not tried Downtown Abbey yet, but I can’t wait I hear we are really missing out !!! I hate to admit this but here goes, I am ADDICTED to the Kardashians , I love it !!! My hubby thinks I’ve lost my mind !!!

    All the best and as always thanks for all the good information you give us Kate :)

    All the best,
    Kathy :)

  18. I’m heading over to your new boards right now! That is so excited that Better Homes & Gardens asked you to contribute! Congratulations :) Oh, and your friends are some very lucky people to have you DIYing their furniture.

  19. After hearing my sis go on and on about Downton Abbey, I gave it a try (maybe to get her to stop bugging me?). Well, thank goodness for a holiday weekend – I watched the first season over 2 days (I did get out of my pj’s though) and am almost through the second season. It is very addicting – I mean it’s an excellent show! Oh, and Modern Family – LOVE it – my favorite sit-com of all time!

  20. You’re seriously like the 800th person I’ve heard mention Downton Abbey just in the past week, and I decided at about the 400th person that maybe I should check it out. Haven’t yet, but am excited to! And I also love Modern Family….Phil and Cameron are some of my favorites; Manny makes me laugh too! Congrats on the BHG gig–too cool :)

  21. I follow your blog via e-mail and love it. I just never liked google connect nor reader (It’s just not the same) I saw on another blog something about a linky (?) option. Thank you for The Everygirl link. It looks lovely.

  22. The Everygirl website looks super fun! My hubs will be out of town in a few weeks, for a few weeks. I plan to watch season one of Dowton Abbey!

  23. Yes, you absolutely have to stop right now and watch Downton Abbey! I jumped on the bandwagon a week or so ago, watched the whole first season in a few days and now I am on to the second season. I am restraining myself to not watch this season so quickly because I know I will be sad once I finish it up and have to wait until next year for season three! Hope you watch it…ps you will love the decor! Ahhmazing.

  24. Oh my word, my husband and I are right there with you with the holiday thing. We kept thinking that it was Thursday today (and should be thinking it is Tuesday instead). Crazy frustrating.

  25. I hope you caught Modern Family tonight…it was a good one with the “bad boys” (if you didn’t watch yet, you’ll know what I’m talking about soon enough). Cameron is my favorite–so well acted!

    Downton Abbey is just hands-down amazing. Great set, great costumes(!), GREAT story (genuinely interesting and not fluffy crud that they churn out these days, and yes, I realize I Tweet about The Bachelor every Monday night), and how can you go wrong with fancy aristocrats with fancy British accents?? Some interesting twists and turns, and the show has real heart. One of my favorites.

  26. Yes to Downton Abbey! Funny, I didn’t know one person who watched it/talked about it last season and now everyone is talking about it if not watching too!! I’ve been watching since day one, it’s such a thrill!! You get so lost because it’s sooo good, plus there are no commercials so it really is like watching a movie every week! You’ll definitely have a hard time catching up because you won’t want to stop once you start!! You may ignore household chores (not that I’d know from experience!!) and other things to get lost in this wonderful world!! You won’t regret it though!!

  27. Oh, Downtown Abbey is awesome! I couldn’t stop watching it. I watch it on Netflix! The upsetting thing is that we have to wait til the end of this year, I beileve, to get the second season. LOVE Once Upon a Time on ABC! It comes on Sunday nights. I really can’t imagine anyone not liking that show, even my husband loves it! Surprisingly, a show called Psyche on the USA Network, which I get on Netflix too, is amazing! Anyone that was a child of the 80’s and teen of the 90’s will love that show!

  28. kate-

    i know a lot of bloggers follow via bloglovin’ and now, linkyfollowers seems to be rising as well. i am dubbing 3/1 doomsday, even though I am not on wordpress. Yet.

    in regard to the oscars, run out and see george clooney in the descendants. the book was phenomenal, and the film was directed by alexander payne {of sideways, election, etc}.

    now off to see what all the fuss is about on this downtown abbey…

  29. I’m excited about the Oscars. If there’s ANY justice, Viola Davis will win Best Actress for The Help. And Octavia Spencer will probably get best supporting, though Jessica Chastain (also from The Help) was fantastic. I want Brad P. to get Best Actor for Moneyball but I have a feeling George Clooney will steal.

  30. Like you I kept hearing everyone talk about Downton Abbey. This past weekend after a few home and garden shows on Hulu I convinced my husband to let me watch Downton Abbey. It was really good and I will definitely be checking out other previous episodes.

  31. I don’t know why but I’m not really into Downton Abbey. Being a lover of British period pieces, I thought I would love it. I guess there was just too much… drama. Maybe you’ll like it though. I might be the odd one out :)

    I <3 Midnight in Paris!

  32. Definitely definitely give Downton Abbey a try! You will end up marathoning it in your pjs, but it will be delightful. The acting is amazing, the costumes are gorgeous, and unlike most period dramas the servants have just as much life and plot as the upper class. Plus, it’s man-friendly because it’s not strictly a romance. My husband vehemently dislikes period dramas, but he ended up loving Downton Abbey.

  33. As great as Glenn Close and Meryl Streep are, I am sooo rooting for Viola Davis. The woman is amazing in everything she does and The Help is no exception. She truly deserves the win this year!!!!

  34. Kate, Downton Abbey update. I just went on PBS.org and the site says only 11 more days to watch it online. Sooo, get into those pj’s and wallow.

  35. LOVE Downton Abbey! I watched the entire first season via Netflix when my hubby was working nights last summer and was SO excited that the 2nd season would be airing on PBS – never thought I’d be saying I would be looking forward to watching a PBS program – but yes, if you generally enjoy Period films, you’ll adore this series – GREAT story line, excellent character development, amazing acting, and the decor and costumes are fantastic!!

    A few other blog following avenues I’ve recently learned about are ‘Linky Followers’ and ‘Bloglovin’ I don’t know much about either, personally, but here’s some links:




  36. Thought I’d better add that there’s a Downton Abbey Christmas special to watch after Season 2- it’s the best episode!

  37. Just talked about Downton Abbey at my sewing group today….A great show and so wonderful that it is showcased on PBS…kudos to them…

    Looking forward to your upcoming projects!…They are always spectacular!

  38. Kate, I love how you transform your furniture. I have started a blog on thrifty finds and you have inspired me to experiment more with transforming some of the pieces I have found. If you have any tips for me on starting blogs and getting support, I would appreciate it. If you have time, please check out my blog. Thanks!

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