A Beach Cottage Scoop – Interview with Kate

Wed 18th, Aug, 2010

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 Ooh have a I got a treat for you today!

According to my inbox I know you love the interviews I manage to scoop on here & today’s is a good one…none other than the girl behind a very popular blog, the lovely Kate at Centsational Girl (and you can find lots of her great makeovers and projects here).

 I love her style, so fresh and breezy, a little bit more modern than me, I love that, and choc full of inspiration for a lovely home thats attainable by gals like us…

Grab a cup of tea, sit back and enjoy, this sweetie packs in a lot in her life…

So we all know you from your wonderful and inspiring blog but what about the other side of you, what do you like to do in your time off?



Sleep!  Seriously, I love to sleep in until 9 a.m. undisturbed on Saturday mornings.  My hub is kind enough to indulge me on the weekends, isn’t that sweet?  I like to go for a run once or twice a week ~ it helps keep my energy up and clear the cobwebs.

Oh boy that is really sweet…and how funny we must be twins, I love to sleep-in too and Mr BC regularly indulges me in this…


I also love going to movies by myself !  It doesn’t happen very often, but I do indulge now and then.  And lately, I’ve been learning how to edit videos, so I’m making mini movies of our family’s adventures, documenting my kids growth, and remembering how they used to have squeaky little voices when they were very young.  

hmm, I may have to add mid-day movies to my week Kate…good one :-) 

But most of what I do in my spare time I blog about, which is crafting, sewing, baking, or getting inspired by great design found online, and in my many subscriptions to shelter mags. 

 me too lol!


Are you a girly girl?  Where’d you like to shop for clothes and shoes and bags?   

 I don’t consider myself a girly girl in the sense I’m not into spending tons of money on pedicures, facials, getting my nails done, or other kinds of indulgences.  I don’t care for perfume and I wear very little makeup.  However, I am gal who is attracted to feminine touches and elegance in design.  I love to surround myself with gorgeous textures like soft ruffled cottons and silks.  I am always drawn to French inspired rooms, with sparkly chandeliers and white distressed furniture with plenty of curves.  I adore mirrored and metallic décor (in moderation, not overdone) and just about anything that resembles the glamour of Old Hollywood. 

 I shop for basic everyday clothing at local outlets or stores like Kohls.   For classic and stylish clothing for events or going out with friends, I frequent a few boutiques in town, and I also like to shop my local Ann Taylor and Anthropologie for seasonal updates to my wardrobe. 



Tell us one thing we wouldn’t expect about the girl from CentsationalGirl. 


I love musicals and I like to sing in the shower.  I try to make my kids laugh by singing in different funny voices too.  I have a pretty good voice and almost pursued a stage career, but I chickened out and opted for a ‘sensible’ legal career, which I’ve also abandoned temporarily, fancy that.

 wow..so we’ll be expecting a podcast of you singing anytime soon??!!


So you hung up your lawyer gowns to be a Super Blogger, do you miss that world at all? 

 Yes and no.  I miss the intellectual aspect of the law, the legal analysis, the fly by the seat of your pants debate that takes place in a courtroom, that was the fun part.  Whenever I watch TV programs about lawyers, I laugh a bit because being an attorney is made to look so glamorous, when most of what you do as a lawyer, like the long hours of research and writing, is nothing they’d ever show on TV.  I do not miss the long hours or stress that comes with the obligations and burden of proof placed upon a district attorney, but I haven’t ruled out going back to that job someday once my kids are in full time school.  I respect and admire all the hard work that prosecutors do in the pursuit of justice. 

 wow, I can only imagine how both fabulous and stressful that world must be..



Tell us a little bit about the garden at your place?  What have you planted and what has been a success? 


Our garden has taken shape bit by bit over ten years, first the basic design included a lovely lawn and a border of boxwood shrubs.   Over the years we’ve added plants and trees here and there, including fig, apple, and cherry trees.  Our hydrageas never disappoint, we have three different varieties.  I have two dozen French lavender plants I harvest every year.  Our petite syrah grapes are our pride and joy.  We harvested our first crop in 2007 and the next year our wine won a Gold Medal in the amateur division in the Sonoma Marin Fair.  We couldn’t believe our success !    




Well we know it’s been asked before but here’s the old balance question….just how do you get it all done..I’m still trying and failing myself…running a successful blog, being a mum, looking after the house…is there a secret I don’t know about?


I wish I had the secret, I’d bottle it and make it rich!   Keeping the perfect balance in our household is a near impossible task, but I keep trying everyday.   I see it all as a juggling act, and I always have several balls in the air at once.  The priority is always to take care of my little ones first, make sure they are dressed, fed, clean, and keeping them busy with age appropriate tasks.  The blog comes second.  I don’t even sit down to check emails, comments, or other blogs in my reader until my kids have their morning needs met. 


One of the best tools I use as a multitasking blogging Mom is the power of saying ‘No’, especially when I’m feeling overwhelmed or stretched too thin.  I’ve taught myself to feel no guilt by declining invitations to things that are likely a waste of my time or money, such as excessive lessons for the kids, or all the clubs or activities sponsored by the local schools and communities.  I volunteer in the classroom, I attend many field trips, but beyond that, I just say ‘No’, and that has helped me stay sane.  



Do, like me, you have a million and one projects going on around your house at any one time, is you house really as fantabulous as it looks or do you have a room like I do that I call the ‘study’ that is filling up rapidly withi junk… or are you finish it first and keep it tidy kinda gal? 


I’m awful at having a million projects going at once!  Yes, it’s true, we have our share of messes around my house, and the dishes and laundry are never ending.  I believe that’s true for all households.  I often show our house at its very best because I don’t think people are interested in seeing pictures of a mess, after all, that’s not what I want to see when I visit other blogs.  We’re all human, we all have messes here and there, but showing it off all the time just to ‘be real’ isn’t for me.   However I do appreciate a great ‘before’ picture followed up by a fantastic ‘after’ and quite often the best ‘before’ pictures have a fantastic mess!   And I do have a dumping ground, it’s my garage, and it’s always a disaster zone. 


How much do you love your power tools ;-)?


I love my power tools and supply closet even more than my clothes closet!  My tools are often the source of my ability to complete my DIY projects.  My jigsaw was necessary for my upholstered headboards.  My compound miter saw was essential to our wainscoting project.  My sander and paintbrushes and power drill are all important to me.



know anyone ’round here who needs headboard makeover ideas lol???

How did you get into the blogging world…what are the best things about it, what don’t you like about it…do you find yourself permanently attached to cyberspace?


I started writing about home improvement after we survived a huge remodel, which is a little backwards.  Had I know about blogs back in 2006, I would have documented our nightmarish remodel all along, and with the advice of a few readers, kept my sanity more intact!    I love the socialization aspect of blogging, and the ability to learn and be inspired by other creative people.  The part I do not like is the business side and all the bookkeeping required with running a blog that has become a small business. 

 I try to detach myself from the computer as much as possible.  I know that means I miss a lot of what’s going on, but I find my eyes start to glaze over after too much time spent online, and I just need to shut it down, take a walk, pick some flowers, or enjoy my family.   I believe there is just as much inspiration to be found by exploring the world outside my door as there is on a computer screen.  

me too, I now just hit my fave few blogs..even if it means I miss stuff…

Ok, that’s it, hope you enjoyed…go say G’day to lovely Kate

I’m off to do some painting and order that wallpaper…



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29 Responses to “A Beach Cottage Scoop – Interview with Kate”

  1. GREAT interview!! I love that she loves lots of blues. I adore blue, white and shades of gray. I especially loved the basket marked “Lonely Socks”! I was just wishing for something like that yesterday while I was folding and ended up with one sock in each hand that didn’t match. LOL

    But I also appreciated what she had to say about her family coming first, and not letting the computer control her life. I use my computer for work (music stuff & photography) but I have set certain hours that I work, and certain hours for my blog, emails, a little bit of free time for blog surfing, and keeping track of my college kids on facebook. I think I have about 90 kids now at the university that I sort of “foster mom”. But it’s so easy to get sucked in if you don’t set limits.

    And she’s a west coast girl too! Very cool. Congrats on your wine award too Kate!
    God bless!

  2. Jackie says:

    What a great post! Love her blog!

  3. colleen says:

    …Great interview!…Good questions & interesting answers!….BEautiful pictures!

  4. Jacqui says:

    That was a really enjoyable interview, what a great girl! Those pictures are in such wonderful colours. Thank you for the post

  5. Great interview, Sarah! Kate is so creative and talented. I like learning more about her. I also liked how you added your own thoughts throughout the post. I look forward to the next one!


  6. I just love Kate!! Thanks for this fabulous interview!

  7. What a great interview!

    Kat :)

  8. Ldom says:

    Wow. Kate’s place is awesome. I love how the pale blue flows from room to room. It’s my favourite colour, as I find it so relaxing. I love what you blog girls do… It’s certainly stopped me buying as many magazines, as I can now get my inspiration from here… all that money saved can now go on the house. A win win situation. Thanks. Lx

  9. Anne-Marie says:

    Fabulous interview sweet Sarah.
    I am heading over to check out Kate’s blog right now.
    Thanks heaps for giving me another excuse to stay glued to this wretched computer!!

  10. Great interview. Absolutely LOVE Kate’s home. Gorgeous… and I love ALL THINGS TEAL, TURQUOISE, AND SEAGLASS!!! :) Gonna go over and check her blog out.

  11. Hi, found you via Kidspot Top 50 – you have such a beautiful blog! Will be back.

  12. Helloooo my sweet Sarah, so fun to be featured on one of my favorites !

  13. Jane says:

    That was a really interesting interview. Great images and such fresh, honest answers. Thanks! The girl in the brick house.

  14. Thanks for posting this interview and taking the time to contact Kate. I’m a fan of her site and hopped over here for the interview.

    I’m looking forward to hopping around your blog now.

    Thanks for sharing!

  15. Hi Sarah!

    I’ve been following CG for a while now, and I love her blog! I saw that she was guest posting on your site today, and now I am so glad to have found your blog!! Such beautiful pictures and ideas…thanks!


  16. Kristin says:

    Wonderful interview! Always fun to find out new and fun things about bloggers! Now we are all going to want to hear you sing Kate :)

  17. Alexa Cohen says:

    lovely images! <3

  18. Lisa Hogan says:

    I was enthralled by the pictures of Katie’s Designs. Almost everyone has Aqua in it and I have been in an Aqua phase for months. I LOVE the fabric wall treatment behind the cabinet and a lightbulb went off when I saw the Headboard Coat rack! I have a headboard in my garage that I was going to make into a bench but think I like this idea better!

  19. What a fabulous share! I love her sense of style, those little splashes of blue and turquoise colors are fabulous. Also that headboard idea is amazing. I don’t know if Kate is married or single but I do wonder how ladies get their husbands to put up with their style. My husband couldn’t believe I needed a bedskirt on our bed. :)

  20. Traci says:

    Great interview! I just love Kate and enjoyed meeting her at BlissDom. She is as cute as a button!

  21. kathy h says:

    Great interview! I am going to have to check out her blog now! I about died when I saw the box labeled “Lonely Socks”. A few weeks ago I was tired of looking at the lost socks that I had piling up in my laundry basket. I couldn’t bear to throw them away, just in case the partner showed up. I thought I was so clever to put a box in my closet labeled “Lonely Socks”! ha!!

    BTW, I for one like to see the human part of all of you bloggers! I like to see the messes. I don’t know, guess it just makes me feel better that you all are real people too, mess and all! I liken it to the Photoshopped magazine covers….and how I’d much prefer to see their REAL faces!! :-)

  22. Alison Gibbs says:

    Fabulous interview Sarah. Look forward to checking out Kate’s blog.

  23. I love Kate, and I’m so glad you featured her here. She has amazing style! Great interview, Sarah. :-)

  24. Great interview from two wonderful bloggers!

  25. Awesome interview!!! You asked the questions that I would’ve like asked. Great job:)

  26. Amber says:

    Fantastic blog! Absolutely love all the “little” touches created especially the little glass jars and bottles filled with flowers. The different shades of green.