Sunday, May 29, 2011

Simtastic Sunday: I won?

Okay I don’t know if this theme will stick, but I wanted to blog about this regardless.

I’ve been MIA this weekend due to my dearest friesin’s (friend /cousin; we made up the word to describe our relationship) wedding. It was beautiful and crazy and a whirlwind. But she looked immeasurably happy and I’m so elated for her.

BUT, that’s has nothing to do with the Sims.

As stated in the “Gaming” section above (read: my confessions) I play a lot of computer games, including, but not limited to, various versions of The Sims. Well, I was wasting time on Facebook a couple weeks ago and I saw that there was a contest for The Sims Medieval. They were calling for screenshots of different throne room designs. I thought, “I’ve got one I’m proud of. I’ll just submit it on a whim.”

Here is what I submitted:



Well the results were posted on Friday and I WON! There were three winners and I was one of them! I was so surprised and flattered. I get a signed poster from the Developers of the game. This is probably more exciting to my husband who hopes to work for EA one day, but as someone who rarely wins anything, I was pretty psyched. As my gamer friends would say: Woot!

If you want to see the rest of the winning entries, go here. And if you think you might want to build a castle of your own, go here. And if you don’t know what the heck I’m talking about with this game, watch this awesome trailer with one of my favorite actors, Donald Faison (aka Turk from Scrubs, one of my favorite shows of all time).

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Write On Wednesday: Inspiration

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what inspires us to do what we do. Whether we’re writers, designers, accountants, or whatever. What drives us to get up every day and keep facing the world? I decided to list some of my inspirations for my book, as well as what inspires me to keep going.

1) My funny husband

I have a plethora of embarrassing pictures I could put up here to demonstrate exactly what I mean, but it’s not just his silliness that keeps me going, although I laugh more than a lot of people, I’m sure of it.

But he loves this book as much as I do. And he is constantly giving me ideas on how to make it better, what I should change, and what is good about it. He also loves to demonstrate the action scenes for me. If any of you have done the Plyometric DVD from P90X, think back to the flying Heisman move, and that’s pretty much how he shows me what my characters should be doing.

For those of you who haven’t here’s an example:


Now imagine him saying “So she’s looking at him, all intense-like, and then BOOM she turns around and attacks, totally catching him off guard! And then he’s all like, whoa! I wasn’t expecting that!” etc. while jumping back and forth from leg to leg. He loves action, and while it’s pretty humorous to witness, he genuinely helps me with those tricky-to-write scenes.

2) Google Images (aka The World Around Us)

I know this sounds silly, but when I have an idea in my head of what a setting should look like this is the first place I go. And I usually find something similar from some random website that I never would have found otherwise.

Here are some examples of pictures that illustrate some settings in my book:


This is what the world looks like after a major evil catastrophe. Only there’s no ocean at the bottom, it just goes on and on forever. Woosh.


A forest clearing where a LOT of the action scenes go down. This is almost exactly what it looks like in my head, only there’s a stream gurgling between the trees on the perimeter. The stream is VERY important. 

3) Other Authors / Designers

Especially lately. I’ve met so many amazing people through blogging, and have been so encouraged and uplifted by formerly complete strangers. It’s so nice to know that success CAN happen, and that as long as I keep trying and staying true to myself, I can find the path that’s right for me.  And even better, it’s nice to know that success isn’t based on how many designs you complete in a month, or how many books you have published, but it’s in the realization that you are better today than you were yesterday.

4) This Face:

She makes every day brighter than the last, and I'm constantly reminded that everything I do, I’m doing for her.

So how about it? What inspires you?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Interior Tuesday: Master Bedroom

This might be my favorite room in the house, besides the living room, which will be another week (I need to spruce it up a little before sharing). And like most other rooms in my house it started out pretty rough. At least this one didn’t have former muppet-skin carpeting like the rest of the upstairs. Anyway, down to business:

Here’s what we signed up for:

Master Before 1

And after scraping off several layers of wallpaper, adding some casing at the top of the windows, and a couple buckets of paint, here’s how it turned out:

Please pardon my cat’s tail hanging out from behind the drapes. He loves to sit in the window. The dresser was inherited, the chair is from West Elm, the pillow and rug are from IKEA, and the mirror is from Target. The framed pictures are photographs I purchased in Prague.

Master Before 2

The lamps are from Pier 1, the end tables are IKEA, the pillows are a mix of Target and IKEA, the framed staircase photos are from Paragon. The bed frame is from CSN. And as you can see, my husband has his alarm clock on the left, and I have mine on the right. Here’s another view:

To make our dressers fit in the space I decided to paint them white. They were a gift to us from my husband’s grandmother, but the cherry wood wasn’t doin’ it for me anymore. I wanted to update it while keeping some of the “inheritance” feel, so I kept the batwing brass pulls. I’m really happy with how it turned out.

Notice the sage green trim? That was fun to paint over…

You already know about my tray, the jewelry box was a gift from my husband (I’m trying to hint that I need a new one, since it’s SO unorganized, and therefore closed for the picture). The clock is Target, and the framed photo is another one from Prague.

There you have it! This is where my laundry gathers, my tired eyes get their rest, and where my little girl jumps on my bed to wake me up! I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Have some before’s and after’s you’d like to share? Email me at!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Another Little Project

Do you have that one spot in your house where there’s just a bunch of little things that you don’t know what to do with?

Mine was the top of my dresser. I don’t have a lot of knick-knacks but there are some small trinkets I have that are very sentimental to me and they have just been gathering dust on the top of my dresser next to my overcrowded jewelry box. Well I’ve noticed this whole trend with trays lately and thought it would work perfectly to contain these little items. Luckily I had a tray from way back in design school that I bought for a presentation.


Nothing special, just a festive gold tray (I’m pretty sure I bought it around Christmas time).

I wanted to add some lining to it, to cut down on the glossiness and to add a little pattern. I quickly headed for my stacks and stacks of scrapbook paper and ribbons (another little-known fact, I’m kind of a scrapbook addict).  I found a pair of papers that I liked together and a ribbon trim. This is a big tray, so I needed several items to cover the bottom.


I’m kind of a commitment-phobe when it comes to little projects like these. I wasn’t ready to mod-podge it and make it permanent. My easy fix: double-sided tape. I cleaned the tray really well so the tape would stay in place and  hold tight to the paper and ribbon.


It worked like a charm!


I love how it looks like a scrapbook layout I would do. And the paper ties in with the other accent colors in my bedroom. Time to add the knick-knacks!


Okay you caught me, the candle and perfume are not sentimental, but everything else is.

The nesting dolls I got from a market in Poland. The details on these things are incredible. I once let my daughter look at them but she immediately wanted to put them in her mouth. Now that doll is off-limits.

The tiny Nativity is from Israel and was a gift from my favorite college professor as a thank you for supervising his Freshman classes while he was gone. 

The open box full of my leftover coins from my Europe trip. I’ve got change from Poland, Austria, Germany, Paris, and the Czech Republic (okay most of those countries use the Euro, but not all of them!).

The Eiffel Tower is pretty self-explanatory, but it really was purchased in Paris! Not just from some gift store in the mall, I promise!

The small brown box in the middle was a gift from my other favorite college professor the year I graduated.

And the small porcelain heart box was a gift from my best friend on my 8th birthday when she threw me a surprise party with all different colors of licorice. It’s holding down my two favorite rainy-day reads; Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice. Yup, I’m one of those  girls.

Anyway, there you have it! A little tour of my special souvenirs! And stay tuned because tomorrow’s Interior Tuesday which will show you the rest of our Master Bedroom!

Have a happy Monday!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Fairy Blogmother

It’s late…well for me it is. My toddler goes to bed at 7 so anything past that is late in my mind. And, as per usual, I’m spending my evening blogstalking, trying to figure out what I need to do to get my name out there. It seems like everyone’s breaking through but me. I wish there was a Fairy Blogmother who could explain it all to me.

She’d say “Kadie, this is the way to sell yourself (in a very ethical, professional sort of way, not the skeezy internet way):

A) Stop wondering “who cares?” Because people will care if you give them something or someone to care about.

B) Stop comparing your blog to those that have been going for years. It’s been almost two weeks. Cool your Jets.

C) Stop comparing your blog to those that have been going for almost two weeks. Everyone’s different.

D) Take feedback and rejections as tools for growth. Not as personal attacks. Not everyone is going to love what you do. At the end of the day what matters is that YOU love what you do. That will translate.

E) Your self worth should not be measured in blog comments. That’s just silly.

F) Just. Keep. Writing.

Wow, that worked. I feel a little better. Maybe she’s real! A dream is a wish your heart makes, and all that!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Write On Wednesday: The Intro

I’ve had a few people read my book now and the most consistent feedback I get is, “Once I got to chapter four I was hooked.”

Now I know that my particular story starts out a little slow. But it’s intentional. I wanted time to build a base for the rest of this book, and the two that hopefully come after it. I wanted time to show what a normal, everyday situation was for my characters before the catastrophe hits, at the end of chapter three. For me, books are like swimming pools: I want to take my time getting acclimated to the temperature. I don’t usually like to just dive in to immediate breath-holding. I like time to warm up to the idea.

But does that make me unmarketable? Here’s the problem with the first three chapters being a warm up; that’s all agents want to see right away. So when I get a rejection (like I did again yesterday) I just think “but if you would’ve kept reading, you’d be hooked!” Which begs the question; should I scrap the warm up? People are used to 80-90K words in a novel these days, and my book ends up in the 133K range.

What kind of books do you like best? The kind that abruptly throw you in the deep end, or the kind that let you lounge in the wading area for awhile first?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Interior Tuesdays: My Kitchen

I thought I would get started on the house tour. I already gave you a peek of my daughter’s room, but it was NOTHING compared to the before and after craziness that was my kitchen. We moved in to our house knowing it needed work. But I only signed on the dotted line after my husband promised we’d use our wonderful home-buyer’s tax credit to completely renovate the kitchen.

I’m so glad we did.

Here are the before and afters. Enjoy!

Kitchen 1 before

Are you loving the wallpaper? And how it was not only applied on the cabinet fronts, but also INSIDE them? I should’ve taken a picture of that.

No more wallpaper for us! We replaced the archaic homemade cabinetry with shaker style doors in a honeyed maple finish. The cabinets actually match the wood floors throughout the rest of the house.  We had a brand-new white stove that came with the house, so we decided to stick to white appliances throughout. Plus I love them. Easier to clean than stainless in my opinion.

kitchen 2 before

That is, in fact, an ironing board in the wall. And those drapes were custom made…in 1965. It said so on the tags. Needless to say, they had to go.

I made my own roman shades from this tutorial and a tablecloth I LOVED from Target. They really liven up the space.

The frames are all from IKEA. You’ll be happy to know they now hold family pictures. It just took awhile for me to select the right ones. For the other frames I just inserted coordinating textiles, including a scrap from the same material as the shades. And we painted the outside of the ironing board in magnetic paint, covered with chalkboard paint. Now my little girl scribbles on the lower half and LOVES it.

So there you have it in a nutshell. It was a long month of renovation and planning and last-minute shopping trips, but it was so worth it. I don’t know how much longer I would’ve lasted in wallpaper wonderland.

Have a remodel you’d like to share? Email me!

Monday, May 16, 2011

One Week Down…

Wow! So I’m brand new to this blogging thing (if you don’t count my family blog that I’ve had for three years and has a total of like 10 posts), but I am overwhelmed with the greatness that is out there!


In one week I’ve met so many fantastic people with different interests, unique voices, and so many fun stories. Thank you for sharing and for joining me on my journey!

I appreciate all the support!

So tell your friends to come on over, I’m not going anywhere. And if you have any suggestions / feedback I’d love to hear it!

Here’s to many more weeks of fabulous blogging!

Thank You

Friday, May 13, 2011

My Little DIY Project

And I mean VERY little. But still, I’m excited.

My little girl has a game she likes to play called “ruin Mommy’s decorations.”  Case in point; here’s what the wall above her changing table used to look like:

She will stand up on that changing table while I’m trying to snap a onesie or put her pants on and smack that picture in the middle while yelling “Baby!” I don’t think she realizes that quiet, cute little girl was her almost two years ago (I forget that sometimes too). Most of the time I was able to stop her before any real damage was done. But one day she was too fast for me. She swung at that middle frame and sent it flying.

I gasped. She put her hands on her cheeks and said “Uh-oh!”

Uh-oh is right. Here’s what happened:


Doesn’t her face say it all? (I love that picture. Cracks me up every time.)

That middle frame within the bigger frame used to be centered. It broke off. Miraculously, no glass was broken. So for a few weeks the wall stayed that way with a big ol’ gap in between the two smaller frames. Now I know what you’re thinking: Why didn’t you just glue it back together? Easy fix!

My answer is this; I’ve been dying to do something different in her room and this was just the push I needed to look for another solution. Happily, two days ago on a spontaneous trip to Michael’s I found my answer. Wooden letters, combined with some canvas prints, silver acrylic paint and some scrapbook letters and Voila!


I’m pretty happy with it! And this is WAY more babyproof. The prints are just canvas, the letters are wood, and the plaque that says “bean” (somehow this ended up being her nickname) is wooden. And I am a little wiser now too, and moved the whole thing up several inches. So she couldn’t reach those frames at the top if she wanted to!

The greatest part is that the whole thing cost $10. Less than it would cost to replace the original frame. And it inspired me to FINALLY change out some of the other pictures in her frames so just for an added bonus, here’s a look at the other side of her room with her newly updated pictures…from her first birthday…almost a year ago. Oh well.

Have any of you had experiences with “accident-driven design”?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Write On Wednesday: The Query

I’m new to this. I’m not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, so I wanted to start a conversation about the ever-important query letter. For those of you who are newer than I am, or not in the field at all, a query is a one-page letter that you send to literary agents and/or publishers in hopes to get them to request more of your manuscript and eventually represent or publish your book. From my research I have found that there is a sort of standard format for a good query:

Paragraph One: The Hook. The Pitch. Whatever you want to call it, it’s the one line that supposed to grab the reader.

Paragraph Two – Three: The background, the summary, the BODY of your story. This is meant to give some idea of the setting, the characters and the conflict; without giving too much away.

Paragraph Four: The bio. Your credentials, (umm… does avid reader count?) as well as the title, genre, and word-count of your finished manuscript.

Sounds simple enough, right?

So why is it so hard?

I have two queries I shoot out alternately. One of them I really like and has gotten nothing but rejections. The other one I kind of like and has gotten one request for a partial manuscript (fingers crossed people!) But why? What makes a query good to one agent and boring to another? One agent told me they just “couldn’t get excited” about my concept.

Enter knife to heart.

Any of you published or  represented authors out there: any advice? What feedback have you gotten from your agent about why they picked you out of everyone in the slush pile?

I’d love to hear it! 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Interior Tuesdays: Fun with Fiction

Today I decided to just have fun with life and create a virtual design board for the main characters of my book.

Crazy, right? I know.

But how often do I get to search for Art Deco furniture? Not often enough, I’ve decided. This design was so much fun to pull together. I searched antique dealers, auction houses, and sites fully dedicated to recreating the look of the roaring twenties.


This is just a sampling of what might be in their home. The foyer with the grand staircase is almost identical to what I pictured in my head when writing about the Remington’s home. The scalloped wallpaper is so incredibly fun while still having an air of sophistication (and it’s a vinyl stencil that you can get here).

And how about that mirror? Talk about a sunburst! I think it’s so amusing to see how trends come back into play decades later. I could go on and on about each individual piece here, but I just wanted to do a concept board to introduce my book.

Is there any piece above that you could see in your home today? I’m kind of lusting after that rug.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Beginning

I've been writing stories since I realized I could.
I've been playing video games since the day my brother taught me how.
I've been designing interiors since my very first six-foot-tall doll house I got from Santa.

And now I'm doing them all, as well as raising my beautiful daughter with my wonderful husband. 

Professionally I am an Interior Designer with very little expertise in residential design, outside of my own home remodel,  but loads of experience in commercial and hospitality design. I currently work full-time for a company called Noah's, designing multi-use event centers all over the country. I love my job and the Noah's brand. If you ever want to throw a party and don't know where to host it, check out You can thank me later. 

Personally, on my down time, I love creating little Sim avatars and watching them grow on the Sims 3. I've got several virtual houses designed and uploaded online to the enormously supportive Sim community. My husband is studying to be a video-game designer so we have lots of games at our house. I don't let many people see this side of me. But let it be known: I am a closet nerd.

Passionately, I love to write. I just finished my first novel and will be expounding on the characters, settings, and ideas presented in my book on this blog. The hope is that I can get people excited enough about it  that I can show a publisher just what they're missing out on if they don't sign me. The actual book,  however, will not be on this blog. I'm waiting for that one golden "Yes" answer to come back from a literary agent.  I will be chronicling my attempts at publication here too.

Embrace the ride. Explore my life. Expand your view of the world around you. But most of all, ENJOY!
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