It’s A Madhouse

February 23, 2011

The last 48 hours just about did me in.  But I keep coming back to that famous saying, “That which does not kill you sends you to the madhouse.” 

You see, I got this phone call many weeks ago. I was just returning home from Tahoe, and heard a voice on my answering machine, saying something about a magazine and “. . . your home is lovely and we’d like to talk to you about a photo shoot . . .”  I listened and listened and thought, oh geez, one of my friends is crank calling me, ha ha ha ha. 

christmas ideas mag 2Then I listened some more and this lovely voice sounded completely legit.  So I picked up the phone, and guess what?  It was Better Homes & Gardens.  Wow.

So for the last two months, all my Christmas stuff has still been up in my house. 

I’m convinced that my neighbors must think I’m absolutely cuckoo.  I can hear them now.  “What’s wrong with that family?  It’s February, for goodness sake, take your Christmas tree down!” 

So I’ve suffered the shame of the neighborhood for a photo shoot in BH&G’s ‘Christmas Ideas’ magazine, taking place in my house on Thursday!  “Excited” does not begin to describe.


I had a huge dilemma a few weeks ago.  When one resides in California, where does one find fresh real cedar garland in February?

fresh cedar


One does a lot of research.  One makes friends with an online resource. 

Thank you Lynch Creek Farm for coming to my rescue!

lynch creek farm


However one cannot decorate their home until fresh greenery arrives late Monday, which only allow for Tuesday and Wednesday to basically recreate Christmas in your home for a magazine.  Aaaaaaahhhhhhhh.

The last 48 hours put me in extreme survival mode, as evidenced by the collection of coffee cups in my car console. 

coffee cups


There have been mad dashes for spray paint and wired ribbon.  Searches high and low for felt and truffles.  I’ve been precariously balanced on top of ladders and barstools, hanging greenery like a mad woman. 

It’s a bit chaotic, can you tell?

balance on high boy

This is not staged.  This is my life. 

Then mommy brain kicked in.  It’s been two whole months, how the heck did I decorate again?  I could use some guidance here.  Hey, that’s right I have a blog, refer to online pictures. 

apothecary jar

This photo reminds me of something… what is it?

Oh yes. 

“The claw . . . The claw decides who will stay and who will go!”

.I’m s .I’m sorry, I’m just a bit punchy right now.

Yet there are miles to go before I sleep tonight. 

presents to wrap


As of now, I’m going underground.  I am unreachable for the next 36 hours.  And if you really love me, since I’m supposed to be ‘dressed in party attire’ in the kitchen shot, you’ll tweet me at 12 p.m Pacific time Thursday with this:  “Don’t forget to wear your Spanx!”  

Thanks, you’re a true friend. 



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135 Responses to “It’s A Madhouse”

  1. GREAT post! Although you think you are in the madhouse, your post put a smile on my face! I am sure that you will pull it off even better than at Christmas. Throw on some Christmas songs to get you in the mood! good luck!

  2. Erin says:

    Wow, this is fantastic news. I am sure you house will look amazing. Can’t wait to see how the pictures turn out. Best of luck:)

  3. Carmel says:

    How exciting! Spanx- ha ha – so funny!

  4. Michaela says:

    You’re so adorable. How exciting, girl! You’re going to rock the shoot. I’ll tweet ya!

  5. Wow… that is so exciting! Your Christmas decor was just beautiful. Congrats and good luck!

  6. I love it! You can do it and it will be lovely and of course, we can’t wait to see it! Congratulations on the wonderful feature!

  7. Charlie says:

    I love BHG! And I love your blog! How fun!!! Congrats. :)


  8. How exciting! You will be ready and you will be fabulous!

  9. How exciting! Congrats Kate!

  10. Kacey says:

    So exciting! Yay, you! You’ll pull it off amazingly. Congratulations!

  11. lana says:

    hahah centsational girl does it again! no short skirts :)

  12. Caroline says:

    Hahaha those people at Better Homes and Gardens have great taste :) Good luck with the photo shoot. I’m sure you are going to do great and hopefully you’ll have some fun too.

  13. Congratulations! I can’t wait to see your home in the magazine.
    Also, Congratulations on being mentioned in Flea Market Style! Very nice!

  14. This is amazing I am so so excited for you and I can’t wait to get my copy one day and say oh my gosh I kinda know her :)

  15. Rhonda H says:

    What a wonderful experience!!! Hold it together!!!

  16. jenn says:

    Yea!!! That is so exciting, though I can imagine how stressed you are. You’ll get through it; your house will look gorgeous, and then you can enjoy.

  17. Oh my friend…that is so exciting, and madhouse? I bet you did it with grace and style as usual. Now isn’t there some way you can kill two birds with one stone after all that decorating? Christmas in February party? :)
    So thrilled for you. You SO desire it. xoxo

  18. Nancy B says:

    All the best, Kate. You surely deserve it. And won’t you just love Thursday night when you can finally relax. Keep your thoughts on that.

  19. Jody says:

    Great post, been following for a while now. Great tips, ideas, and inspiration Thanks! Oh and love the random pizza crust in the photo!?!? Too funny!


  20. Shannon says:

    At least you have an excuse for keeping your Christmas stuff up. I just pulled mine down on…ummm….Monday. And only cause I was having a family dinner (Monday was Family Day up here in Canada). And the Christmas decor all came down 1 hour before they arrived.
    Good luck with the photo shoot! I am sure it will be amazing! Remember, when they take your picture, 3/4 turn towards the camera, chin down, eyes up and heads always slightly tilted. It’s the pose Paris Hilton always uses in her mugshots and they always look professional lol

  21. I just have to laugh a little…

    I think we’ve all been there….good luck creating Christmas!!! Now, did you wrap empty boxes for gifts under the tree? Cause I would totally done that.

  22. Sheila Osena says:

    Hi there CG! Well, let me just say that despite your “rush” for BH&G, you will still come out of it a winner! You always win when you so love what you do–whether running on a magazine deadline or on your leisurely time! Good luck to you–for sure it will be a splendidly Christmassy in your home! Cant wait to see how it turns out. Shine like you always do^_^

  23. Allison says:

    Congratulations, Kate! You’ll do another fabulous job! I look forward to seeing you in lights in the magazine. Have fun tomorrow!

  24. So exciting. You deserve it. Merry Christmas!
    Mary Ann

  25. Karen says:

    That is great news, but I didn’t know they made you do all of the work,I thought people came in and decorated and styled and you posed for the pictures…shows how much I know.LOL

  26. How amazing! I’m really happy for you!! I can’t imagine how crazed you must feel doing all that yourself! Thank goodness for your photos, they were picture perfect!

  27. This is very exciting! I love BH&G. Just so you know, I still have my Christmas dishes in my hutch and I’m not even doing a photo shoot! I’m sure your home will look fabulous. Put your Centsational Girl Cape on and get it done! oh, and don’t forget spanx. I am lacking in the tweeting skills.

  28. Chandeen says:

    I am so happy for you!! This is great. Its like having a friend in my favorite magazine. Enjoy!

  29. That is SO cool! I can’t wait to see how it all looks. Whoo hoo!

  30. Awe!!! THAT IS SOOOO EXCITING!!!! OMG!!! You will be amazing!! I AM SURE! Ahg! I can’t wait!!!!!!!!!


  31. GawgusThings says:

    What an amazing opportunity! All the stress will be worth it when you see your gorgeous house in the magazine!! Hope it all goes well :) x

  32. Amy K says:

    BREATHE….you will be fantastic! Congratulations! I’m looking forward to seeing the issue.

  33. I can not wait to get that magazine!!! Now remember…SPANX, SPANX, SPANX!!!

  34. modern jane says:

    OMG bless your heart! That is so much work:) I’ll be thinking of you over the next few days.. and congratulations, that is pretty great news regardless!

  35. Kate, congrats on the magazine shoot!

  36. What fun!!!!!! Crazy, yes, but fun!

  37. Susan says:

    Good Luck, it’s a big job but sooo worth it in the end! Congratulations! Work hard and rest later :) Susan

  38. Congrats, Kate!!! (And, Merry Christmas!)

  39. Traci says:

    OH my, Kate!
    secondly…hang in there!
    thirdly…your gonna rock it!


  40. Congratulations! That is awesome!

  41. Lori says:

    Congratulations, such exciting news.

  42. Keri T says:

    BAHAHAhahahaha….you go girl……..remember your own advice…breathe!!! What a great opportunity – love every second of the experience – good luck!!! SMILE

  43. Holly says:

    oooh, such exciting news! I love Better Homes and Gardens! Hope everything goes great for you today, and I hope you have some down time planned for after all this is over :)

  44. Ruth says:

    How fun!! I’m sure you’ll pull it all together in your usual fabulous style! Your inside out prisoner sock cracked me up this morning!!

  45. Kasey says:

    How awesome! I don’t tweet so I will just tell you here – Don’t forget to wear your spanx! [although im more than sure you don’t even need them ;) ]

  46. Monique says:

    Congrats! Nice to hear Better Home and Gardens is recognizing your great decorating style.

  47. Nancy says:

    I have a subscription to BH&G and will be looking forward to seeing your home’s pictures in it. Congrats on being chosen.

  48. Wow!!! Congratulations, Kate!! I guess it goes to show that the big guys are paying attention to what’s going on in the Blogosphere. :) I know you’ll look fabulous, and so will your home! I can’t imagine how crazy it must be right now!

  49. Theresa says:

    congrats!!! how exciting I am so happy for you! I bet it is a mad house righ now, but when it’s all done you will be so happy with what you have accomplished. :)

  50. Nadir@StitchSense says:

    WOW!!! That’s so amazing! Congratulations! Here’s hoping everything goes well. Just remember to breathe… :-)

  51. casey says:

    HOw incredibly exciting but, also how nerve wracking at the same time!! I often get hyped up trying to get my house looking tip top when friends come over for a get together but, if I had the masters of BHG coming over for a photo shoot I would be frantic. Bless your heart!! Your home is gorgeous and you deserve this honor!! Congrats!!

  52. Kate says:


    I spray painted my first heirloom white piece the other day, made me think of this blog

  53. Alicia says:

    How exciting! I can’t wait to see the magazine. Congratulations

  54. Heather N says:

    Don’t forget to breathe, breathe, breathe. Good luck. I can’t wait to see the magazine.

  55. Gretchen Gale says:

    Hang in there Kate! If anyone can pull this off, it’s you! :) how rewarding it will be to see your house in BHG!

  56. Hi Kate-

    Congrats – I am so excited for you – your such a pro hang it there it will all look fabulous. You said earlier this week that you were considering training for a marathon – well just think of the prep for this as your decorating marathon.

    My best- Diane

  57. Ha! I can totally relate, not with the BHG feature, but with the insanity. I’m doing projects and shoots for Easter for HGTV, June for Cottages & Bungalows and I’m still finishing up Christmas decor for another HGTV editor. I swear I will never want to decorate my house for the seasons again!

    I’m so excited for you, Kate. BHG is big time. :)

  58. Debbie Guess says:

    Congratulations Kate!!!! It is Thursday morning now and I guess there is a flurry of activity at your house. Enjoy it and the fruits of your labor. I can’t wait to see it I know it is beautiful.

  59. Tracie says:

    that is so fabulous! Cannot wait to hear abou it!

  60. xin says:

    Good luck, Kate! Cannot wait to read it. Do you know when it will be published? It’s a little bit confusing. Christmas decor now? Is it for next Christmas?
    Anyway, wish you all the luck. And if anyone can pull this off, it’s you.

  61. tracie says:

    congrats!! :)

  62. Maria Killam says:

    Kate, congrats, you totally deserve it, you are an inspiration to us all! And so funny, I loved your post today!!

  63. stephanie says:

    Ooooh. I can’t wait! I love BHG!!!! This will be an issue I will FOR SURE have to purchase!

  64. Claudia says:

    Congrats, Kate!!! Looking forward to that issue!

  65. Kristin says:

    Love, love, LOVE you, Kate! Fantastic posts this week (as always, but something special about this week). Best of luck!

  66. WOW!! Thanks for taking a mini-break to fill us in on the madness. I know you’ll come through and everything will fall into place. Can’t wait to see the issue!!

  67. Okay so #1- CONGRATS!! Jumping up and down with excitement for you right now!! Holy cow that’s awesome
    #2- Your Toy Story reference made me laugh out loud….at my desk…while at work. My office mates now think Im nuts.
    #3- The inside out sock kinda sorta made my day. Just sayin. And only because life has been so crazy lately that I realized Im currenty wearing not one but TWO pairs of underwear. Haha yes….as in put one pair on, ran around and forgot…put a second pair on. Yep…

  68. pam says:

    Kate–so happy for you! What does Mr. Husband think of this opportunity? I know you will succeed, and we can count on everything being beautiful, as well as you! Blessings!

  69. Andrea says:

    So cool! Congrats to you for the millionth time….can’t wait to see the pictures/article in BHG. Be sure to take some time to rest after all the excitement! Excited to hear all about it too. Have a great rest of the week.

  70. Amy Wolff says:

    Congrats, you deserve it. I wish I could make rooms over like you do!
    You are amazzzzzzzzzzzzzzzing!
    Good luck!

  71. Denise says:

    WHOOT!!!! You go girl, you deserve it! I’m sure you will make the house look extra loverly. Be sure to let us know when the issue hits the stands.

  72. Andrea says:

    so exciting and well deserved! Next time you need cedar boughs, call upon me! I have a forest of Cedars in my yard =P

  73. Roxane says:

    How fabulous! Congratulations!! I’m sure you’ll have an exciting time. :D
    Can’t wait to see it in BH&G!!

  74. Leslie says:

    Yay!!! This is so exciting to hear, and I’m so glad I have a subscription to Better Homes and Gardens. I will be awaiting the December issue… it seems so far away. Congratulations!

  75. Swapna says:

    Good Luck…!! May the photo shoot go very well… will await your recounting of this experience :)

  76. Jacquie says:

    Oh, Kate…..what a wonderful blessing! I will look forward to seeing BH&G next season with your home featured. I can’t imagine having to decorate again in February! I wish you the best. But you will do great and creative things. You always do! :D

  77. Sheri says:

    How exciting!!! I’m so happy for you and can appreciate all the random things you did to get ready that aren’t on the average persons list of “things to do”! Congratulations! It will be extra fun to see that issue!

  78. Beth says:

    You are too funny! It’s going to be fabulous because you rock!!! Good luck!
    Spanx rocks!!! Except for when you have to pee. ;)

  79. elz says:

    How amazing. I can’t wait to see the photo spread. You deserve the recognition. Hope it is a wonderful experience.

  80. Katrina says:

    Yay!! This is wonderful news! I loved your house decorating from Christmas last year it was lovely — can’t wait to see and read about you in the Mag! :)

  81. Hi, friend! SO incredibly excited for you, how exciting and fun and just a chance of a lifetime. can’t wait to open that mag and say, I know that girl! xoxo

  82. superbk says:

    Go Kate go! So excited for you. I’m sure you’ll look fabulous, spanx or not. ;)

  83. darcy says:

    So exciting!

    I’m rooting for you!

  84. Jen C. says:

    Wonderful news!!! You totally deserve it! I hope you have a nice relaxing treat planned for next week. :-)

  85. What an honor! I hope it’s a great day today and I’m excited to see your home featured in the magazine.

  86. Lila Ferraro says:

    Yay! That is so exciting! I can’t wait to see the pictures in all of their glory! Congratulations!
    Lila Ferraro

  87. Heidi M says:

    Wow, Kate– I don’t know how you do it all! Just think what a blessing it will be to {take off your Spanx} and put your feet up when all is said and done. Kudos!

  88. R. Pyper says:

    Congratulations! Can’t wait to see the issue. When it’s all said and done, you really should do a post about the whole process — how the interview went, if the writer came with the photographer, how you decided what to wear, if they “restaged” anything, etc.

  89. Oona says:

    Good Luck! Have fun! You will look beautiful and the house will be amazing. Just breathe.

  90. Margaret says:



  91. kate blue says:

    I’m just smiling AND laughing!

  92. Ann says:

    Good luuuuck! Rooting for you!!!

  93. Cass says:

    Oh my gosh, unnerving but totally awesome! Congrats!! :)

  94. Minnesotamom says:

    Congratulations! That is so fabulous. Praying you were able to sleep and that all goes well. :)

  95. DeeDee says:

    You are so deserving of the spread. Your home and ideas are wonderful. May I ask, in the photo with the coffee cups in the car, was that a Coach coffee cup holder, or was that just your Coach bag next to the cups??? Thanks Kate!

  96. Praying for you to get through it with flying colors and your brain intact. You can do it! Excited for you and looking forward to that issue!

  97. HannahJ says:

    LOL- you are a total trip! What an exciting thing to be stressed about- seriously! It will look fabulous when you are finsihed- without a doubt!

  98. Heather says:

    I love this post! Little did I know this is what your Tweetpic was all about last night. Yes! I love how a blog is a little visual diary of our home. This is such an awesome experience for you… you crack me up! Can’t wait to see the photoshoot!

  99. Judy says:

    How exciting and stressful. I’m sure you’ll be amazing…as usual. I’m very excited to hear all about it.

  100. Rachel says:

    Wow! Congrats, thats super exciting! Cant wait to see your home in print :)

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