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Monday, November 30, 2015

Treehabilitation

If you've known us for at least one Christmas you know we have Christmas trees. MANY Christmas trees. I love Christmas and decorating for Christmas and I never met a Christmas tree I didn't want to adopt. I stopped counting at 40 trees. Our house is small, but I can always make room for another Christmas tree!

As we were unpacking the Christmas kitsch over the weekend I noticed some of our trees were looking a little sad. Prelit trees were burnt out, pink and white trees were taking on a decidedly brown tinge. It was depressing. Getting rid of them wasn't an option. It would feel like tossing out a member of the family. There are memories associated with those trees! I looked into flocking them, but it seemed it was either going to be very messy or very toxic, neither of which excites me much. Then I got the bright idea: what about spray paint? I wasn't looking to paint every needle on the tree. I just wanted to give them a nice facelift. Well, I'm pleased to report it worked great! I used Krylon CoverMaster Paint + Primer, then finished them off with Krylon Glitter Blast. I'm so pleased with the results! And think of the creative possibilities! You can't find a pink, purple and silver tree in any store? Create your own! The world is your fabulous Christmas tree oyster!

During:



After:



I have one left to decorate! Stay tuned!


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Powder Room Redo: We Have A Sink!

After several weeks with no sink, the third sink we tried in our powder room worked! Paul valiantly installed it today, solving some plumbing problems along the way, and I'm so thrilled to have a sink again!  I will never take sinks for granted again.  All that's left to do in the powder room now is more tile cleaning, paint touch ups and decorating!  I'll definitely be giving thanks for the end of this project this Thursday!

Our wonderful, beautiful, fabulous, WORKING sink!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Bundt Cake For Hire

I got another cake baking gig! This time the challenge was a cake for someone who doesn't really go in for sweets and a bundt cake was mentioned. I made this golden pound cake and sprinkled it with powdered sugar. I'm pretty happy with it. It isn't perfect, but it looks pretty darned good and the batter was great when I scraped the bowl after putting it in the oven!


Monday, November 16, 2015

Thanksgiving With The Family

Here's a little preview of what we have in store for Thanksgiving here at the Kitsch-en! As you can see, Glendora and Uncle Sid (Glendora's father) will be in attendance.  Glendora is bringing the Hot Dog Casserole and the Franzia Merlot (her favorite, in case she hasn't told you). Uncle Sid is bringing his usual complaints.  Tomorrow's episode will be all about taming Thanksgiving tension for holiday hosts and next Tuesday (November 24) Glendora will pitch in with a few turkey day tips of her own!

Hot Dog Casserole and boxed wine: Glendora's perfect Thanksgiving!

Family time!

Glendora has generously shared the recipe for her casserole. It looks so charming next to the turkey and all the trimmings on a Thanksgiving buffet!

Dead Easy Hot Dog Casserole

One batch of your favorite mac-n-cheese
A bunch of grilled hot dogs, sliced in half

Make the mac-n-cheese.  Plant the hot dogs. Put the whole thing in the oven for about 15 minutes at 375 degrees, or until it starts to brown. Serve with Franzia Merlot.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Powder Room Redo: Seeing Sparks!

I'm THRILLED to report that almost all of the tile is DONE in our powder room! All that's left is the tub surround, which needed a new backer board and which Paul is working on as we speak! After that, up goes the tile, then as soon as it's dry we can grout it all! Tiling the walls took forever, but I'm pleased to report that we got it done in under 24 hours. I cannot WAIT for this project to be over, but after this we're moving on to the fun parts: a new curtain, a new sink and hanging art on the walls. A lot of touching up and cleanup needs to happen, but that's okay - there's light at the end of the tunnel!

It's the 4th of July in our powder room!

Monday, November 9, 2015

A Visit to Philadelphia

Over the weekend we took a desperately needed overnight trip to Philadelphia and it turned out to be just what the doctor ordered! It sounded like a lot of fun when we originally signed on for it, but as we got busier and busier and the nightmare of our powder room redo got worse and worse we began to have second thoughts. However, we'd arranged to shoot our next episode there, so we pulled ourselves together and made the trip and were really glad we did!

We began at Reading Terminal Market, which is chock full of fabulous little eateries and merchants. It can be overwhelming, due to the crowds, but we gamely got in line at DiNic's, which we'd seen on TV was named as having the best sandwich in America - their roast pork.  We got one with hot peppers and broccoli rabe and it was really great.  We followed that up with a Whoopie Pie from the Flying Monkey Bakery, which was also fabulous.  We were even ushered into seats by our friend Jeff, who'd organized the trip, which was nice after a long car ride.  We shot some video and headed off the The Yachtsman, the tiki "dive bar" which was the centerpiece of the day.

The Yachtsman is celebrating their first anniversary and we were fortunate to be able to shoot there. They've done a lot with their little space, including a fabulous hidden space called the Pineapple Room, whose lighting scheme I plan to steal. The drinks I tried were amazing and I'm happy that we'll be sharing one tomorrow on our new episode! A huge thank you to our friend Jeff Westlake for organizing the event! If you're in the DC area, be sure to check out his Tiki Thirstday nights for great drinks, food and company!

After that we walked over to Joe's Steaks & Soda Shop for cheesesteaks and pizza fries, which were perfect after a few tropical libations.  It was a very meaty day, but so good!

We spent the night with our friends Beth (a.k.a. Mod Betty, from the fabulous Retro Roadmap blog) and Cliff in their adorable home about a half hour outside the city.  We also got to see their fantastic, newly restored vintage travel trailer, which made me very envious!  They were wonderful hosts and can't thank them enough for their hospitality.  We capped off the visit with breakfast Sunday at The Fisherman, a local eatery/time capsule that we've now been to twice and highly enjoyed both times. Order the scrapple!

Here are a few shots from the weekend. Can't wait to return!


The Yachtsman, Philadelphia

Two yachtsmen at The Yachtsman. I'm not sure I trust them at the helm!

The Fisherman, Phoenixville, PA

The Fisherman is ready for Christmas!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Powder Room Redo: TILE!

It's not grouted, since we have to wait for the mortar to dry, but our powder room floor is finally tiled! It felt as though the day would never come, especially since I don't think either of us thought that the floor prep would take two full days. Next up: tiling the walls, which will probably happen around the middle of next week, due to our schedules. But at least we can replace the commode. The little things means so much.

Tiling...

Tiled!

In other news, we're planning to do our second live "Velveteen Lounge Kitsch-en" broadcast tonight at 9:00 EST. I'm planning on making some "cold medicine" for the broadcast. I really need to kick this cold in the...wherever...since we're headed to Philadelphia tomorrow for a marathon day of fun activities.  If you'd like to join in the broadcast, but don't have Periscope, click here for download info. It's easy! 




Thursday, November 5, 2015

Powder Room Redo: Hell Doesn't Have Tequila Shots

I admit that I reached a point today where I didn't know whether or not I could go on. Everything to do with our powder room redo is taking five times longer than it should, if there is a roadblock to hit, we hit it, and it's all becoming a bit too much. This is all on top of our work on the show and Paul's job, which he really needs to do if he wants to continue being employed. Also, I now have a nasty headcold. I hit rock bottom. However, there was a point when I was trowling cement over the floor when Paul brought me a tequila shot. He also plugged his phone in and played Devo. Between Devo and the tequila, I realized that it could be worse. Not much worse as far as the house goes, but worse in general. Tomorrow we'll have tile on the floor and probably a couple of walls, too. Eventually this will all be behind us. Our episodes will get shot, we'll have Thanksgiving - life will go on, although it doesn't feel like it at the moment. Right now all I want to do is mix up a cocktail, watch the worst classic TV I can possibly find and forget we ever took this on!

Always trowling mortar...

Next stop: tile!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Powder Room Redo: Slow Descent Into Madness

Remember how I said that, just when you think your room couldn't possibly look worse, it does? Behold today:




Truth be told, it's not quite that bad right now. We currently have no commode OR sink in there, but it's cleaned up, the giant hole in the wall is filled and spackled, Paul is laying the floor leveling compound as I write this and I'm confident that we'll have tile tomorrow. Either that or we'll be abandoning this house tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Powder Room Redo: It Looks Worse!

Oddly enough, the more work that gets done in our powder room, the worse it looks! It's a strange phenomenon. But Paul has been prepping the floor all day, getting ready for the tiling process and, oh, boy, it's a process!


  • Leveling compound
  • Mortar
  • Subflooring
  • More mortar
  • Tile (in what feels like the distant future)


I have tremendous hope that tile will happen this week. Stay tuned!

He works so hard.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Stream Con NYC

We just attended Stream Con NYC this past weekend, which was a convention for digital content creators and those involved in that industry, as well as for fans of such content. My head is swimming now with information and possibilities.

One thing we learned at VidCon (a similar, but much more established, convention) in July is that our audience, by YouTube standards, is old. Old in this case means over 30. If you've ever watched an ad before one of our videos you know what I mean. If it's not for incontinence products, it's for osteoporosis meds. That's what YouTube thinks of folks over 30. Next stop: the nursing home!

In the meantime, I look at our audience and see a bunch of vital folks, ready to have a good time. Many have disposable income and time on their hands. They travel, party a lot, buy good liquor, eat out at nice restaurants, entertain and spend money on things like turning junior's room into a man cave or mom cave after he goes off to college. It just doesn't align with the decrepitude the digital world sees in the numbers and stats.

However, we are faced with a unique issue in promoting our show to folks who don't "live online" like the younger set. It can be a real challenge getting folks to subscribe to our show, even though they love it and watch every week, because they're just not in the subscribing habit. It doesn't cross their minds. Kids get all of their entertainment on their phones. The over 30 crowd still pays for cable in many cases. Kids watch live streaming on Periscope and YouNow, both of which are turning kids who just talk to their phones into millionaires. Over 30: What's Periscope?

It can be really frustrating, since I love our show and know others do as well. We've been recognized on the street. We get good reviews. We were on TVGuide.com, which is as traditional as it gets, but at least it shows we're legit. Public TV stations (again, traditional media) download our show and send us messages if we miss a week. All of that means a lot to us and keeps us going, along with our love for what we do. But I'm not going to lie: I want to make money at this and that will happen when we reach a MUCH wider audience. We need to reach the folks who love cocktails and food and fun. I think that's a lot of people. But how to reach them when Facebook won't put YouTube videos in peoples' news feeds and YouTube won't promote you if you don't already have big numbers?

Time to put on the deerstalker and begin to crack this mystery.

Here are a couple of shots from the weekend. I'm looking forward to attending more of these conventions in the future, since we clearly need the advice!

Stream Con NYC

Halloween party at Dailymotion