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Over the last weekend and the better half of the week prior, Scott and I dodged town and headed north. Together with our Chicago family, we spent our days on the northern tip of Michigan’s mitten in Burt Lake – taking over Grandma’s cabin with our bottles of sunscreen, jars of local jams and chocolate bars for nightly smores. (We say Grandma with love, as she’s not really our momma’s mom at all; see more about our Chicago clan right here.)

What started out as a chilly first few days, ultimately turned into sunny, blue blue skies. Fake almost, as if we were vacationing in a postcard. We shopped around Petoskey, caught the Olympic opening ceremonies at the local bowling alley, spent countless hours on a boat and ended every day with a bonfire.

As summer enters August (and our thoughts seem to naturally turn to the looming fall), it felt so good to have no agenda. We have a full month ahead as we simultaneously gear up for the Shop‘s busy season (yes, we’re already thinking of the holidays!) and wind down as we soak up and enjoy these dog days – and we have a few more travels on the agenda, too.

We’re still playing catch up this week – here’s hoping we’ll feel a bit caught up by the afternoon – but those missed days of work were well worth it. Are there any last minute getaways on your calendar? What have you been up to?

You can also check out our first visit to Burt Lake right here!

  • Susan @ Jubilee Furniture - July 31, 2012 - 10:57 AM

    Absolutely gorgeous photos, Kim!

    Is it just me or in the photos of Scott in the boat and the dog also in the boat – do they almost have the same expressions on their faces? Made me smile!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - July 31, 2012 - 11:12 AM

    Susan, thank you! And it’s not just you – we all had those looks on our faces every time we got on the boat! In Scott’s defense, he was singing along to our jam box, but he just looked so happy and cute, I couldn’t resist posting the photo.ReplyCancel

  • Kati @ so happy home - July 31, 2012 - 6:43 PM

    Those photos took my breath away. I’m a silent reader (and instagram stalker), big fan, and now insanely jealous of your lovely vacation. Also, can you tell us more about that amazing pink brick building? And pink trash cans to boot! I feel relaxed just peeking at your holiday. xoxoReplyCancel

  • Kim - July 31, 2012 - 7:15 PM

    Hi Kati, thank you! I recognize your name from Instagram, so, hello! The colorful buildings and pink trash cans are located in downtown Petoskey, about a 20 minute drive from the lake. We spent an afternoon there on one of the rainy days, shopping and stashing up on fudge and buckeyes. Aah, wish we could go back right now…ReplyCancel

  • Jen - August 1, 2012 - 2:24 PM

    Gorgeous & Jealous. Yep. That about sums it up!ReplyCancel

  • hazel @ sensational house - August 2, 2012 - 6:03 AM

    Some stunning shots there, makes me so jealous being stuck in the rainy UK. At least I can live vicariously through blogs like yours ha!ReplyCancel

  • Trude - August 3, 2012 - 9:56 AM

    Wow, it really does look like a postcard! Absolutely beautiful. I’m so jealous! Next weekend we’re heading up to the mountains for an overnight so we can actually see the Perseid meteor shower, but that’s about all I have planned! Although I’ll probably be forced to get away sometime in September…extended heat does that to a person. :)ReplyCancel

  • Kim - August 3, 2012 - 1:15 PM

    Trude, a night in the mountains sounds wonderful!ReplyCancel

  • caroline - August 5, 2012 - 4:43 AM

    I love those pastel buildings. And the lake looks beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • rachael - August 6, 2012 - 11:59 AM

    Stunning pictures Kim! You’ve captured up north perfectly. Thinking we need a whole week next year!ReplyCancel


Along with our living room tweaks will come some fresh, new art for the walls. We’ve had the same portraits and prints leaning on our shelves for the last few years, and (surprise, surprise) we’re itching for a shake up. We fell for these fun, quirky donuts at the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival, made with love by hometown artist, Jennifer Keats, at The Donut Shop.

But ooh! Decisions!

We’re leaning towards the perfectly imperfect maple (my favorite; Scott begs to differ) or the cheery strawberry sprinkles. Maybe both. Either way, we know it’ll inject some playfulness into this nuthouse.

Which would you choose? See them all and grab a dozen (why not?) at The Donut Shop.

All images via The Donut Shop.

  • Carrie @DreamGreenDIY - July 30, 2012 - 9:24 AM

    My favorite is the sprinkles…YUM! Now I know what I’ll be craving for the rest of the day =)ReplyCancel

  • Julia [Chris Loves Julia] - July 30, 2012 - 10:13 AM

    At first, I thought striped all the way! But then when you mentioned the maple one, I fell for its warmth. Everything about it is comforting. Can’t wait to see where you end up!ReplyCancel

  • Jillian - July 30, 2012 - 12:06 PM


  • Caitlin @ Desert Domicile - July 30, 2012 - 1:20 PM

    Team Strawberry Sprinkles!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 30, 2012 - 1:59 PM

      Jillian and Julia, I’ve been trying to convince Scott of the maple, but he’s just not going for it!

      Carrie and Caitlin, those sprinkles are great, aren’t they? They look like a Simpsons donut!

      We’ve finally made our choice though, and you’ll see soon enough…ReplyCancel

  • Kyley - July 31, 2012 - 5:44 PM

    omg you have no idea how bad I want a donut right now! :)ReplyCancel


Working in such tight quarters with a few fuzzy co-workers, while fun (and yes, I talk to them all the time), can pose challenges in cleanliness. I like my studio fur-free, so we vacuum almost daily, and before punching out, I usually take a damp cloth to wipe everything down. The biggest challenge, however, are the walls.

While Scott and I are both smitten with the barely-there pink studio color, Diana by Olympic, we aren’t the biggest fans of the flat finish. We’ve used a flat finish everywhere else in our home, but we’ve always stuck with Behr brand paints in flat enamel (which we love for its easy wipe-ability in our pet heavy home). The finish of the Olympic paint doesn’t seem to withstand the slightest brush against the wall (boo!), so I’ve found myself touching up small patches over time – not my idea of fun.

We’ve learned from this mistake (although, is the mistake choosing Olympic in the flat finish or not going with our tried and true Behr?), but since we don’t plan on repainting the whole room soon, I decided to keep my quart of Diana on our open shelves – at the ready for the heavier scuffs.

I picked up a $1 Ball jar from the hobby store, sprayed the lid with Rustoleum chalkboard paint and filled it up. Now, the real challenge is training Jack to no longer spend his days holding up the wall. Rather, would it hurt for him to ship a package or two?

Speaking of pet hair, one of our biggest questions we receive is how we maintain it in our home. See how we do it, right here!

  • Rachel H - July 26, 2012 - 10:10 AM

    Genius! I’ve been thinking about doing this, and the chalkboard paint lid has me wanting to can all my paint tonight!ReplyCancel

  • Kaitlin - July 26, 2012 - 7:27 PM

    Genius! I think you just solved our paint can storage problem!ReplyCancel

  • Katherine - July 27, 2012 - 12:11 PM

    Huh… Definitely a cute idea, but can I ask you a question?

    I am currently in the process of picking out paint colors and finishes for my entire apartment. I hadn’t looked at the Behr paint line yet… Why did you go with flat paint for the walls, rather than eggshell? All the “experts” are telling me to go with eggshell, for its wipe-ability. I bought a bunch of pint samples, and we’re puzzling over the eggshell because depending on the how the light from the windows hits the walls, the eggshell paint is really shiny. Not sure if we like it, do you know what i mean? Is that why you went with flat and not eggshell?

    I must look into this “flat enamel” paint now. It’s a flat paint that can be wiped clean?? wow! Behr is from Home Depot, right?

    Thanks! (LOVE your blog!)

    • Kim - July 27, 2012 - 1:06 PM

      Hi Katherine! Great question. We also feel that eggshell is super shiny, which we can’t stand for ourselves. Behr makes a flat enamel, which is inbetween the flat and eggshell. It has the look of flat paint, but can be wiped if needed!

      We only use eggshell in the bathroom, and for everything else we go with the flat enamel. We think the flatter finish looks more sophisticated, and even with 3 pets in our home, we have no problems keeping it clean!

      The pros at the store also told us to go with eggshell, but we’re glad we didn’t listen. And yes, Behr is from Home Depot. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel