The Newest Adventure Begins

Now that Christmas is over (so sad…) I am going to have a blank slate again. We moved into our new apartment in the middle of October 2016, unpacked and got all the basics down. Furniture placement (for now…), kitchen gadgets all have homes and the craft room is contained in ONE ROOM! Woah. All my clothes are organized in the closet, by style, then color, then sleeve length. My bookshelf is delightfully adorned with brick-a-brak and filled with big books showcasing my favorite designers and photographers with a few vintage finds peppered in.


Not long after that was Halloween, so we decorated for that. Not much, just a few things here and there as we didn’t have time to plan a soirée before the day came. That came down QUICK so I could get all the amazing fall decorations out! Twig wreaths and adorable white ceramic owls and squirrels, mixed in with all the vintage books and gold accents. I found a couple of amazing dried leaf/pinecone garlands at JoAnn’s for next to nothing! Those went up as well! I remember being extra cheery about those because they could be used for Christmas too! Yay for multi-seasonal decor!

The rule has always been that I cannot decorate for Christmas until Thanksgiving is over. This year was a little tougher and my wonderful hubby said he would be ok with Christmas going up a little early if it would help me feel better. It did. He is wonderful. It’s not easy being a decorator’s husband and he is just so amazing! Supporting every whim and my weekly “I want to be a ____ when I grow up” moments. He helps me by letting me be me. How did I get so effin’ lucky!?


We hosted Friendsmas this year…and this picture says it all! We had everyone bring a dish to share (Chelsie, Sara and I made a ton as well). They came over way earlier and we started drinking some was noon…I think…We hung out, ate the food we were making for the party, naturally. Lots of laughing and spilling our drama. Much needed, unintentional, girl’s day.


So fast forward to now, it’s 10am on Saturday. I am sitting in my living room, watching Venture Brothers and trying to figure out what the hell I want to do with our new home! Since we moved in, as you can tell, its been seasonally decorated! NOW WHAT???!?!!??!!

I’ve spent so much time purging and cleansing things that don’t make us happy, we have very little for decor and “stuff”. Half of me is going “I WANT MOOOOORE” and the other is telling me to throw it all away and start over! Back to bones. Can’t do that, but sometimes it seems it would be easier that way.


I’ve discovered Hygge as well.  A Danish way of life that focuses in on calm colors, cozy living spaces and minimal “stuff” getting in the way of you LIVING in your home. As a decorator I feel I am supposed to have something new and different all the time, I don’t need to do that. Right??

I absolutely love how little color we have in our home, but also hate how little color we have in our home. White walls, white and grey furniture, white dishes on display atop the kitchen cabinets and natural wood tones in a couple of beautiful pieces of furniture we’ve acquired over the years.

The biggest obstacle I put on myself is that I can never just “go shopping” for what I want. Mostly because I don’t know what I want until I see it! I tend to “shop” 10-12 times a week at my usual grinds, but rarely do I leave with anything. I’m not a “I want a candle holder and a hammered steel tray” so I just go get it, kind of person. It has to find me. Like little gifts I want to give to our home. I know it sounds silly, but it should’t be in your home unless it makes you happy! And as we all know, if we push it…it won’t work. I know, I know…”Mik, that’s what storage units are for” NO! They are not. They are for seasonal decor and if you’re like me, they are for mountains of projects you plan to get to at some point. But not for things that you didn’t fall in love with at first sight!

As far as how I will decorate the new place, we will just have to see! I have an amazing canvas to work with and I have to remember not to rush it! JUST CALM DOWN! It will all fall into place. I have a lot of ideas scrolling through my brain, I just need to start trying things!

Simply styled bookshelves and art galore!


I’m thinking gallery walls filled with black and white photos and hanging sculptures of all sizes! I also want some floating shelves for different configurations of books and framed photos. I want to allow for constant change as I feel the need to change things! Happens a lot. I can’t remember a time when our home has looked the same for longer than 4 or 5 months.

As you “curate” your home, your taste and style changes. Not necessarily colors, but you may see some new idea for that gallery wall, or fall in love with a bright orange coffee table you see on the side of the road…yes…this is now my coffee table and how it was acquired. You never know when inspiration will strike, you just need to make sure you are always open to it. Let it in and let it take over!

Use common sources like Instagram, use Pinterest, LOOK AT A DAMN MAGAZINE! Domino, Elle Decor and BHG special publications like DIY and I DID IT are great resources for new (and easy) ideas that make BIG impact! Also, every day things you pass by can inspire you, for example, tree leaves and bright green plants have started inspiring me to be more natural in my home. Wood tones, greenery, faux and real! Real stuff is hard because of the cats, but we can put it up on one of the floating shelves instead! PERFECT!

Most importantly, when you walk into your home, you should fell instantly relaxed. Instantly calm. Let the day melt away and let your home hold onto those stressors for you. Take a moment to breathe when you walk in. Take off your shoes, put them away. Spend a little bit cleaning something up or tidying your desk. Then take off your bra and your pants and get in some pajamas and put on Lord of the Rings. Oh, wait…that’s what I’m doing right now. It’s now 7:30pm on Saturday. I have sleepy cats and a comfy blanket. I am about to be done with this update and I will then be snuggling the crap out of my wonderful hubby.


I hope that I figure this out soon, because I’m on STAYcation at the end of the month and I’m ATTACKING this project! Wish me luck! Until next blog…


Read soon.


Post Script.

I cannot thank Sara enough for the beautiful camera she got me for Christmas (LOOK AT THOSE PHOTOS :D ). I am so excited for that part of this new adventure!


what now…


thinking about a world without loss, anxiety and self hatred keeps me awake at night.thinking in general keeps me awake at night. the hardest part about this is that to the outside world, i’m good! I am happy, i smile, laugh and go out with friends. I go to movies with my husband and greet guests at work with a genuine hand. When someone asks me ” how are you “, I answer “good” or “alright” and to them, i mean it. to myself, its a lie.

I am screaming inside. every day. most of the time, at myself.

you’re a failure. you can’t deal with this. what a loser. you’re overweight and disgusting. your husband is cheating on you. or he should be if he’s not. maybe he should just leave. or you should. spare him the disaster. spare him the pain.

you should be ashamed. of you. you don’t have a mom to help you anymore. no one can help you. you’re failing. you are a failure. why can’t you just stop eating? you pig. you are filthy.

why won’t you eat more? you went all day without any food or water, you think that’s healthy? weigh yourself again. watch the scale drop. it went up. loser. don’t even get me started on your debt. student loans. your sad bank account. you are an adult. get it together you loser.

no one respects you. no one loves you. you are an orphan now.

all day. every day. these things are constantly circling. like vultures.

I lash out at the people i love. to me, it would be easier if they were mad at me than to have to be hurt by me. just leave me alone. that is what i deserve.

to be alone. in my own self pity. fucking pathetic.

i can’t even begin to grasp the concept of self control. and that pisses me off even more.

i have always been strong. confident. selfless.

i feel so selfish, which pisses me off more as well. all i can think about is what i have lost, or let go, or failed at. its unbelievable. i miss loving. myself. my husband. my family. my friends. i miss love.







i’m tired of crying for, seemingly, no reason. i’m tired of waking up in pain. i’m tired of being tired. i can’t even enjoy a day off because i end up alone and alone with my own thoughts. it drives me fucking nuts. I feel crazy. genuinely crazy. i’m tired of looking at other women with slender frames and beautiful smiles that go on for days and wishing i could look that way. i’m tired of feeling ugly on the inside. i’m tired of being ugly on the inside. because now i’m ugly on the outside.

i’m tired of getting mad at the cats for being cats. i’m tired of having to apologize to the people and things i love because i fucked up again. let someone down. again.


and again.

i don’t know that i am ready to make changes, but i am ready to try.

the first step is done. i did it. i contacted a psychologist. i feel weak and even more broken.

admitting to myself that i needed to do this was a mental battle like i have never had before. i am exhausted.

i’m not happy about this decision. in the least. but i have bigger priorities that weigh on me. my marriage, my family, my career, and my future children.

this is more than anxiety. its constant fucking panic. panic. panic. panic. panic. panic. panic. panic. panic. panic. panic. over and over and over and over again. and again……

i am ready to challenge myself to change. i have no clue how to do this. and i don’t deal well with asking for help. in any facet of my life.

i had hoped this would dissipate by now. i had hoped i would start healing after mom died. but the truth is, that was the last crack in the framework that I could handle. I was broken long before that. barely holding on. because i had her to calm me. to comfort me. to reassure me that i was doing well. to help me. to love me.

i think about what i used to be. the size i used to be. the woman i used to be. i can still feel her in there. but she is covered in shit. a pathetic excuse for a person. she is broken. i’m obsessive and sad. but not every day.

not even on most days. most days i truly am “fine”. but my brain is on repeat and i don’t like this track anymore.

i hope i can do this.

wish me luck.


here it comes.

well shit. july is almost here.

july 2015 was the most conflicted month in the History of Kala.

mom died.

target + mik was born.

i hate this. i hate this feeling. impending doom, so to speak. like vomit. you know its coming, and you know you can’t do anything about it. you just have to let it out.

well, i’m not letting it out, and now i have hives again. my chest, my neck, my face and my arms. thats a new one. luckily they aren’t too bad on my arms. why can’t this just stop. for fuck’s sake.

everything is replaying in my head. over and over. like a broken record. i’m trying to hold on to every little thing i have left of her.

friday-july 3rd, 2015. fireworks and the party at the shop. mom was in a wheel chair, and her eyes and skin had jaundiced. she was weak and frail. she was still full of sunshine. until i asked her why she didn’t tell me she was in a wheel chair. she broke. i broke. she said she was having trouble standing, her legs would give out on her. she said it was because she had overworked herself. sometimes i wonder if i knew that was going to be the second to last conversation I had with my momma.

saturday-july 4th, 2015. derrick was still in california at this point and i was concerned about mom, or maybe i knew we were getting towards the end, i don’t know. so i went over. she was in her chair, reading a magazine, with her knit blanket around her cold toes. she was still broken from yesterday. she asked if i cold make potato salad. i, of course, obliged. because…potato salad. well mom doesn’t just let ANYONE in her kitchen…including me…she tried to stand to come in and help me, and fell. so we brought in a chair, a table and her work so she could “watch” me in her kitchen while she worked. she couldn’t hold her fork, or her bottle of strawberry kiwi welches juice. she was tired. so tired. I didn’t know it then, but this was the last conversation i would have with my momma.

sunday-july 5th, 2015. she can barely speak. she couldn’t really move. she couldn’t go up the stairs. john and i talked on the phone and i asked him if “this was it” and he cried and told me he thinks it is. we moved the extra bed down to her favorite room and made it comfy. she didn’t say much, mostly sounds at this point. she couldn’t eat, or drink anything. she was alone. in her head. we were there, but she was gone. she was so tired.

monday-july 6th, 2015. I called derrick and told him he needs to come home. today. mom is going fast. i need him. he was home late that night. today, natalie and hans came over. mom perked up and opened her eyes and played with her. it was a miracle. after that, she slept. for hours. she was so tired. at one point, when we thought her mind had gone already, she looked up and smiled. there was “nothing” there. things go drastically worse. she couldn’t take her pain pills anymore without help, she hadn’t eaten, and had barely anything to drink. she hadn’t moved in hours. this was out of our league. we sat with her, napped with her, talked with her, and we cried. i was so scared to lose my momma. i was, still am not, never will be, ready to not have my momma. derrick told her he promises to always take good care of me. i sat next to her and in a whisper i told her that i was ok. she didn’t believe me i dont think. i told her i was going to miss her. she went to sleep. i went to sleep.

tuesday-july 7th 2015. hospice had her all set up. they bathed her, changed the sheets and put clean jammies on her. she looked so beautiful. they taught us how to give her the meds she needed to stay comfortable. they had a little book. a terrible, helpful, little book. they told us mom had hours at best. mom couldn’t fight anymore and that was clear. she was breathing really slow. scary slow. our family stayed. pajamas were borrowed. sweaters were worn. blankets were piled. we all stayed up too late, and then passed out. john stayed with mom. held her hand.

wednesday-july 8th 2015. derrick woke me up. mom was breathing extremely fast now. she was on her way out. i couldn’t watch her leave. i brought a blanket, and laid down on the floor. i covered my head. john talked to her. hospice had told us what we would see when she about to be peaceful.  it was happening. it was heart breaking and wonderful all at once. she fought for so many years. she was so tired. john talked to her some more. and cried. his last words to her were amazing. i will never forget them. she passed right after that. she was gone.

over the next few days, we had a lot of things to get in order. we smoked all the cigarettes as well. i didn’t eat. i didn’t really sleep. we stayed with john that night. we went home thursday. came back friday to start the next step. yes. already.

obituary. funeral plans. and we cleaned her clothes out of the bedroom. too hard for john.

friday-july 17th, 2015. the funeral. the interview. my final interview at target with the district leader was, and had been, scheduled for 8am today. i got a call that wednesday asking if i could possibly change the interview time. i told her what happened. and she said i could reschedule. i needed to think. everyone agreed mom would have been livid and swearing like a sailor if i didn’t do it. so i did it. it went amazing. i was barely in the door after leaving target when i was offered the job. i took it graciously and i was happy. then i got ready for my mother’s funeral. i will never forget that day. the beautiful music and the sweat and tears running down everyone’s faces. she made an impact on every single person that came into her life.

i miss her.

every single day.

the sound of her laugh is starting to fade and i am having trouble remembering her laugh sometimes. i wish i could see her again. i wish i could hear her again. i wish i could smell her perfume without spraying the bottle i took from her bathroom.

i miss her.





Posted in mom

My Creative To Do List

We all have 10 billion ideas. All the time. But what do we do with them? Most of the time, they are just that, ideas. They are inspiration to draw from and motivation to keep creating. If you are anything like me, you want to do it all at once. NO SLEEP TIL’ CRAFTING! (Thanks Beastie Boys…)

I tend to over-ponder and gaze into the future of my crafting adventures. In those daydreams, I have a brick and mortar store, a client list the size of a small country and more creative freedom than I can stomach.

“Someday” I think, “Someday, I will do this for me”. Guess what? I will. Someday.

This is a goal I always work towards, every move I make is geared towards a future I want. An adventure to look forward to each day. I may not have enough money in the bank now, or ANY CLUE where I want to start this journey, but hey, it’s only Tuesday!

To hold myself accountable and teach myself some discipline I am putting my goals down for all to see. Besides, it would be nice for me to have a priority list to reference when I get lost in the clouds.

  1. Clean out your craft room. You need a place to create and the living room floor isn’t cuttin’ it anymore!
  2. Organize your craft room. Where the hell did that (insert thingamabob and/or skidamarink here) go, will be a phrase of your past!
  3. Craft every day. Make something beautiful!
  4. Use Effie’s Garage!!
  5. Don’t collect pieces, let the pieces find you. Furniture takes up space. I know  you love it, and it would be beautiful with a new coat of paint and some antique hardware, but where will you put it?
  6. Turn your garage into a workspace for larger pieces. Put together a mobile station to bring your paint and tools to your garage for larger pieces or messy pieces.
  7. Learn the tricks of the trade. What are the basic things you need to know to run a successful business? What is step 1?
  8. Save your money. Start a savings account and start with 5% of your paycheck. How bad do you want to create for a living?

I could honestly go on and on. I have so much passion for this and I can’t help but feel like I was meant for something bigger and better than a pile of debt and nothing to show from it. I didn’t get a degree, and I don’t need one.

I am talented, creative and ready to elevate MYSELF to a new level of confidence. 

I have the power to change my life.

I have the ability to make myself successful.

Most importantly, my biggest goal in life is to be the best woman, wife and mother I can be. THIS is going to help me get there. I have an amazing hubby in my life and I can’t imagine where I would be without his unwavering support and belief in me and my ability to create. Dammit Derrick I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!

So, starting with number one; Clean your craft room. I am giving myself until the end of April to get this done. May 1st will be the first day in my new and improved craft room!

Here goes nothin!

Wish me luck!

Read soon.


Tissue Paper Garland Adventure

First and foremost, Happy Birthday to my big brother Josh! You are an amazing big brother. You make the world brighter every day just by being you. I love you!

Tonight’s party went off without a hitch! 

Roasted chicken, taters and asparagus! And cake. Such good cake! I can’t take credit for that though…


Even in our tiny “dining room” this worked! We dragged out all the seating we had and it stuffed the room, but it was cozy! 

Making this garland was quite a task, mostly because our cats are “curious”. It was incredibly easy, just time consuming. 

Start with a crap load of tissue paper, any color you want! Grab some scissors and cut your stack into strips of all different thicknesses. (This giant pack is from Micheal’s and it’s only $8 and I used one folded bunch)

After you cut them all, separate them all into a giant pile on the floor. You could use a table if you aren’t a caveman like me, I suppose.

Then dive in! Grab a couple of handfuls and scrunch away until your pile is sufficiently scrunched! 

DISCLAIMER: Your cats may want to help with this step…but crafters beware…they aren’t as helpful as they’d like to think!

Once your scrunched..cut some string to tie your bundles with. Make sure to leave enough slack to tie the bunches to the garland string. 



Once your all bundled and your huge pile of cat crack is gone, tie all your bundles to the garland string using the slack.


See. Easy. And adorable.

 Add a massive balloon with some junk in it to make it even more festive! 
That’s all there is to it!

Have fun!

Read soon!


P.s seriously, watch out for the the cats… 


How the crap do I pick a project piece?

It’s just you, a cart, an idea and a sea of possibilities. Do I grab the accent table that’s missing a leg? What about the table that looks like a shark go to it? How about this dining chair that has amazing detail, but HORRIBLE upholstery?

Buy them all. Seriously. A piece of sand paper, a few tools and some elbow grease can go a long way. Don’t forget about paint, glitter, glue, stencils, stain etc…There are so many things that can be done with “good bones”.

I’m sure you’ve thought to yourself at some point…”What a beautiful piece, but what a terrible color”. #duh ,change the color! You can go all the way and sand the old paint off, prime and the recolor or stain, OR, get a couple coats of kick ass primer on there and you are set to repaint in any color! Be careful of how thick you’re letting the paint get though, you may still want to do a top coat to protect your surface.

I’m no expert, but I do have quite a few projects under my tool belt. A couple of my faves are the end tables in our living room and the headboard in our bedroom. We received two beautiful end tables from my grandparents, they had GREAT bones and the hardware was on point. Original, vintage brass, drawer pulls. I didn’t clean them when I put them back on the table, I prefer the patina.

First, I sanded off the layer of old top coat from the wood, and not perfectly, just a quick 20-30 minutes sanding down, by hand, the really tough areas. Second, I painted with white paint (3 coats-took about 3 days) and did not add a top coat specifically because I want them to show wear and tear and crack and peel as we use them. Third, I put the hardware back on and gave them a cozy home in the living room.

The headboard had its difficulties, mostly because I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I cleared space in the living room, put an old sheet down (we all have one that is covered in remnants of projects past…) on the carpet before I got started. I set all the individual pieces of wood I had on the sheet and started putting the puzzle together. I spent more time working on the configuration I wanted and making sure I looked at both sides of the wood to get the best grain and knots than I did actually making it. Once I got the look I loved, I started connecting. I used nails and then covered over the ends of the nails with a dollop of hot glue to protect us and the wall. I didn’t want to connect it to the wall, and I chose to have it free from any posts. I added eye hooks into the top of the headboard and then hung some hooks on the wall about a foot up from the bed and then hung the board on the hooks! #BOOMDONE

I have found so many wonderful treasures over the years, and most of my absolute favorites came from the trash. Yes, the trash. I didn’t pay a penny for them. Somebody threw them away. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!!?!??!

I also keep my eye out when I’m at the thrift store or a garage sale for good bones. Remember, you can always change it if you don’t like the upholstery or the color. Don’t let that blind you from a possibly amazing piece of furniture.

Things to look for are pretty basic, shape, style, filigree, detail, hardware, genre and condition. If its in terrible condition, unless its under $5, skip the work. If you want a challenging piece, those are the ones to go for…the missing leg, the broken drawer and the glass top table without the glass. If you can get a great deal on them, you can spend more on fixing it up.

Above are some GREAT examples of good bones, in great shape…easy projects. Most likely going to run you somewhere from $5-$20 for the piece. You can do so many things with pieces like these! The possibilities are endless.

Add different legs, reupholster in a crazy printed fabric, or velvet…paint a funky pattern on the tabletop, add a cushion to the chair, carve or wood burn a design and then top with glass or fill with another color of paint! And who says you have to paint the entire piece? Pick and choose certain areas, or stencil a pattern on and leave the rest.

The point is, its yours. 100% yours. Make it work for your space and your style!

Some of the following examples aren’t exactly my bread and butter, I very much lean towards vintage, romantic, farmhouse, white and grey. However…as I said…the options are endless! If you can think of it, there is a way to make it happen!

Now…the opposite…what if you run into a piece thats already done and its crazy cool and you just have to have it…

Typically, these pieces are going to be much higher priced, however, you can still find a great deal if you look in the right places and you look often. That is really the only key to getting those one of a kind pieces, commitment to the hunt. I have found some really amazing pieces over the years that I couldn’t believe someone would get rid of, but they did!

Let the crazy find you. I am a firm believer in furniture and decor finding YOU. Let it catch your eye instead of looking for it. Try this next time you are at the thrift store or a garage sale…stand in the middle of an isle..don’t move, but look. Let it catch you. If it doesn’t…walk away. Nothing was meant to be then. Not today. This is way to find unique pieces that call out to you.

Everyone has at least one thing in their home that doesn’t necessarily “fit” or “go”, it may be a hand me down that has significant emotional value, or just a weird thingy  you found at an estate sale 6 years ago. Keep it and add to the crazy. Its ok to not match every single thing.

Obviously there is more to life than matching.

Go nuts.


Read soon.


How the crap do I style this bookshelf?

Books are magical. Literally. They take you places you never dreamed of, they teach you things you didn’t know you needed to know and they show you your inner imagination in a way you had no idea existed.

Well then why can’t I “imagine” a way to make my books look eclectic? Romantic? Vintage? Like a dusty library?

I have the answer for you.

It’s because it’s not already there for you to draw inspiration from. You actually have to do the writing, so to speak. Think of your bookshelf as the adventure you want to take for the next 2 months, 7 months, 3 years! What does your library mean to you? Is it simply a haven of imagination? Or is it something more?

Alice could be in Wonderland right on the second shelf behind an adorable succulent, faux or not. I have no green thumb to speak of, so Alice would be in a fake forest at my house.

Color? Texture? Age? Author? Theme? Story? Jacket vs no jacket? Stacked or spined? Forward or backward? Up or down? In or out?

Who’d-a-thunk there would be so many things running through your noggin when you are “simply” trying to put books and treasures on a shelf?

#newsflash !! There are a ton.

Let’s start with the basics, shall we?

Pick your theme.

1. Color-arrange your books by color. You can go by ROYGBIV or mint with mint, warm colors vs cool colors, light vs dark or bright vs dull! I have even had some clients ask that their books be painted to fit with a certain color story.

**if you’re like me, you don’t what to risk the books integrity or hurt its feelings by actually painting it, so make a book cover like you did in elementary school and paint that instead! Wax on, wax off!

2. Alphabetically with a twist! Add in big letters to separate your books. You can go by title, author or content. Try a neutral for the oversized letters, and only use letters for the books you have the bulk of, don’t want it to get too junky. Besides, depending on how big or small your space is, you may only have room for 2 or 3. You can get chipboard, paper, cardboard, metal, marquee etc….and then paint them or leave them raw!

3. Thrift store extraordinare. Add in kitchy details, chunky glass and a bowl full of odds n’ ends to spruce up your stagnant shelves. Mix and match your collection and stack or spine your books to create a “market” feel with an upscale look.

4. Eclectic Collector. Who says bookshelves need to be primarily books? You could display your vintage camera collection with books as your pedestals. You could show off your shiny objects with books behind them to create a dreamy landscape.

What about all that milk glass you have from your latest obsession? #gottahavethatmilkglassvase

Stack it up, turn it upside down, line it up or spread it out. Use books to divide and fill space.

5. Leave well enough alone. No twist, no collection, no frills or accoutrements. Just paper and thread and ink. Simply, classically, stylishly, beautiful.

You’re home is who you are. It’s your persona delightfully splattered like a paint brush attached to the hand of a kid on a trampoline who just found out he’s going to Disneyland.

Let your freak flag fly and show off your style! Sometimes it takes a LONG time to come up with, but it’s so worth the wait.

Play! Okay?
Read soon.