New House Diary: The Kitchen Sink

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New House Diary I’m back with another edition of New House Diary. Today I’m thinking about the kitchen sink.  I have traditionally loved a simple under mount, ceramic, divided kitchen sink and it seems to be my go-to choice. But I always think it would be fun to branch out–to be different. To be gutsy when it comes to my sink. And yes I know I might grow tired of it, but sometimes taking a risk can be a good thing, right? So here are a few options I like, some of them simple and some definitely gutsy! A single bowl stainless steel under mount…


(via Better Homes and Gardens)

 An apron-front ceramic sink… 514cbd99e428d80590ef564fca05531e

(via Savor Home)

A marble apron-front version… a9ac3877c8a00cbcf20787958d1054ac

(via Quintessence)

A brass beauty (but a bit deeper than this one)… eea68784ee138529d3632103eb45dc74

(via Restart Firenze)

Or it’s Stainless steel relative… 4d2dda74c47f1b86d664e4788f4e832d-2

(via Evers and Anderson)

And I’ve always wanted to have the courage to use one of these fabulous Jonathan Adler colorful sinks. I think the cobalt is spectacular. 8c21bb7cb20a6680bd447930e5d41292

(via Jonathan Adler for Kohler)

So it’s time for you to weigh in. Which sink is your favorite and which do you think looks the most like me? Please leave me a comment and let me know. We’ve almost made it through my kitchen selections and we can move to some other spaces in my much in need of renovation home.


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Tobi TV: Designing a Kitchen with Style

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Today on Tobi TV we’re in the kitchen. And that’s perfect timing since I’m still designing my own kitchen.


In this segment I show you how I worked with existing finishes and spiced them up with paint, lucite and COLOR! Take a look…

Here are my Tobi’s Top Tips for adding Style to your kitchen…

1. Update your dated or tired kitchen with the latest paint. I chose gray for this kitchen. It matched the existing granite and Gray is still a BIG color trend in Design.

2. Add some “WOW” to your space. I used lucite in the barstools, towel bars, and cabinet hardware. It’s one of my favorite materials and it makes this kitchen fun, glamourous yet still functional. I even designed the custom corbels to support the existing countertop and the refrigerator handles.

3. Update your backsplash. There are SO many gorgeous tiles and stones that are perfect for updating your kitchen backsplash. In this room I used Carerra marble tiles and laid them in a herringbone or chevron pattern for a bit more fun. The backsplash is a perfect place to use marble if you are afraid of having it on your countertops because of possible spills and stains. This way you can embrace this timeless AND trendy material in your home.

4. And finally punch things up with COLOR! You know how I love color and in this kitchen all layered in gray, I wanted to make a splash with an accent color. I chose a bright sunny yellow and I think it does the trick.

So what do you think? Do you like the outcome of this remodeled kitchen? To see the before and after photos, visit this recent blog post. It’s pretty dramatic. And be sure to leave me a comment here to let me know why you love this space. Feel free to share this post with your design-loving friends, especially if they are dreaming of a kitchen renovation.

Happy Tobi TV Tuesday! xo,

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Soulful Sunday: Keeping Burnout at Bay

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Running a business, being a mom and following your dreams can be challenging. But life is what you make of it and I have a habit a going after what I want especially when it’s not easy.



But everyone (even me) needs a break. Everyone has to replenish. Everyone must turn things off for a bit or your new best friend will be burnout. And I hear she’s not a girl you want to get to know.


I have been planning my vacations a year ahead for years now. If not, I would NEVER take a break. There is never a good time to get away. There is never a time when our clients, our team and our projects think they can live without us. But the thing is, if you never take vacations and breaks from work you will end up with a mandatory vacation thanks to your health. And if you think you projects can’t live without you know, just see how they survive when you are completely out of commission. And rest assured, all your worries will still be there when you get back whether from vacation or from the hospital, so if you take some time off, you really have nothing to lose.


Travel feeds the soul. Not having a schedule clears your mind. Often my most creative ideas come when I am on vacation.


Disconnecting from the world helps you connect with yourself like never before. And which connection is most important to your long term success…being connected to everyone and everything or being connected to your innermost desires, creativity and self?


When is the last time you did something that made you truly and totally happy? And if you can’t remember then you already know it’s been way too long. Joy should be a regular occurrence in your life. Otherwise what are you working for?


So what would it take for you to really relax. And what would it take for you to start planning your vacation a year in advance and putting down a deposit so you can’t change your mind? Or better yet, what would it take for you to plan a month off once a year, or a week off once a quarter. And I mean really off–not checking emails, not taking calls, completely engaged with yourself or your family or friends?


If you are ever going to be able to adopt this mindset, you have to stop telling yourself all the reasons it won’t work and come up with one good reason that it will. You have to change the way you think. You have to look at things differently.


I just spent two weeks with family and friends at the beach. I didn’t really blog.I hardly checked in with my office. I took daily 5 mile walks, daily bike rides to the beach, spent hours sitting by the ocean, enjoyed a beachfront bonfire one night listening to the waves and gazing into the sea with the moon reflecting and the stars shining, laughed and played with my 9 year old and celebrated her birthday, ate snow cones, let my hair dry by itself, drank fruity cocktails and ate fresh seafood and shockingly nothing collapsed while I was away.

Could you do this? What would it take? It’s not as hard as you think. The hardest step is just taking the leap. Next year, I just may go for a month! ;)


Now leave me a comment and let me know what you are doing to keep burnout at bay. Or if you are close to burnout, use this as an opportunity to hold yourself accountable and tell us where you are booking your vacation and when, and then go make the downpayment. You are so worth it!

And trust me, you will thank me when you are feeling refreshed and renewed. xo,

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Last Day at the Beach

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10467965_911160465576751_1731956361_n So it’s our last day at the beach and early tomorrow we will make the 12 hour trek home. But boy have we had a great time. I was joined by my family last week and great friends this week. And after the wonderfully busy year I’ve had in 2014 so far it was a very welcome break. 10454000_677271755653891_716544297_n We had our fair share of sugar with friends. 927689_316120011879592_1966957139_n Enjoyed tomatoes and watermelon daily including this fab salad from Georges at Alys Beach. 10483455_1442461456004209_1013943301_n And spent plenty of time catching waves in the gorgeous Florida waters. So a big thank you for excusing me from the blog for a couple of weeks. I will get back to normal next week feeling relaxed and happy.

xo from Florida,

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