Q & A With Kristi [VIDEO]

It’s Q & A day! And I decided to answer your questions in a video.

I’m a Chatty Cathy, so the video is pretty long. If you don’t have the patience or desire to sit through the whole thing, you can find the questions that I answered listed below the video, as well as the time marker in the video where I answer each question.

Unfortunately, I accidentally skipped two questions, and then I had some late additions. So I’ve written the answers to those questions in the post below.

Having trouble seeing that video? You can click here to watch it on YouTube.

In the video above, I cover the following topics:

  • 00:40 – When you were young and thinking about you would do as a career, what was it, and how did you arrive at what you do now?
  • 03:30 – What did Matt do before he became handicapped, and does he have a career now?
  • 06:55 – Updates on Cooper, Peeve, and Felicity Smoke.
  • 10:17 – How do you like the new carport?
  • 11:00 – What/where would you recommend doing/going in Texas?
  • 10:40 – What is in Matt’s game room?
  • 15:50 – What project have you done that makes you smile the most?
  • 17:50 – Tell us how you and Matt work together. I’m guessing Matt does some work for your business, but what else does he do?
  • 19:40 – How do you and Matt remain so positive while dealing with M.S.?
  • 22:15 – How involved is Matt with your business? Does he have his own work?
  • 24:00 – What is your history with Matt? Where did you and Matt meet?
  • 27:20 – What was your original profession?
  • 28:30 – Why did you go to Turkey?
  • 30:15 – How is the keto diet going?
  • 35:00 – How do you so efficiently make decisions, in spite of imperfect choices, and just move on with your project?
  • 38:40 – Which product do you use for filling cracks and nail holes?
  • 42:00 – What was your first ever big scale building project and who taught you woodworking skills?
  • 49:00 – Info about my blogging career.
  • 56:30 – What resources do you recommend to get from greenhand to your level [with DIY]?
  • 58:10 – I’ve noticed that you seem to say “artwork” instead of “art” exclusively. Is there a reason?

Phew! That’s a lot of rambling! 😀 But I accidentally skipped over a couple of questions, and then had some late additions. So I’ll answer those here…

I would really like to know how you became so talented. You can basically do EVERYTHING. Did you grow up with a family of DIYers?


I answered the last part of that question in the video (around 42:00), but let me just say something about talent.

I don’t believe that talent is something that we’re born with. In fact, I think it’s so rare for someone to have innate talent in an area that we even have a special word for it. We call a person like that a “prodigy.” The very reason that prodigies are impressive is because they’re not the norm.

The rest of us have to actually work at things. Practice, practice, trial, error, practice, error, practice, error. But with enough practice, we’ll finally get it. Some of us may get it sooner than others, but we all have to put in the time.

But most of all, we have to be okay with mistakes. Without mistakes, you can’t learn. So many people are afraid of mistakes, and take it almost personally, as if making a mistake is a character flaw. So you have to reframe how you look at mistakes. Mistakes are amazing learning tools.

So how did I become so talented? I tried lots of different things that interested me, I made a ton of mistakes, and I didn’t give up. (Anyone remember the big pile of crown molding scraps I created when I was learning how to install crown molding during my kitchen remodel? It was so frustrating, but I stuck with it, and now I can cut and install crown molding with no problem. Those mistakes helped me learn all of the ways that don’t work, until I finally found the way that DOES work. 😀 )

Do you consult Matt on decisions when you waver between two or more ideas or do you keep questions like that to us?


When it comes to design decisions (i.e., things that affect the structural design of our house, like adding on a carport, or putting a doorway in a load-bearing wall, or adding on to the house), I always consult Matt first and see if he has any strong opinions one way or another. If not, then I take the question to the blog.

When it comes to decorating decisions (i.e., this color or that one, this fabric or that one), I almost always bypass Matt and bring it right to the blog.

Matt has made it clear over our almost-17 years of marriage that our houses are mine to do with as I please. And generally when I ask a decorating question, his response is either, “Whatever you want is fine,” or, “I doesn’t matter to me.”

While Matt loves to see the things that I create, and he’s definitely my biggest cheerleader, he has zero interest in the actual process of decorating or the decisions that go into it.

What do you use to take care of your hands? Wood, sandpaper, paints, solvents, cement, glues, etc., have to do a number on your hands and nails.


I don’t do anything special. I’m not particularly fond of special products for skin, face, hands, etc., because most of them contain chemicals that I can’t pronounce and don’t sound natural. So I keep it simple.

If I’m using oil-based products (stain, poly), I try to remember to wear gloves. For everything else, I just clean up with soap and water, and then if my hands are looking a little dry, I use some coconut oil to moisturize.

Now my fingernails are another story. 😀 Let’s just say that manicures would be wasted on me, so my fingernails almost always look tragic.

How do you stay so motivated day after day? Do you ever have days that your body hurts and it’s a struggle to get out of bed?


I don’t really have days when my body hurts so much that I don’t want to get out of bed, but I do have days when I don’t want to work.

But over the years, I’ve learned to give myself flexibility in what I work on from day to day, and that generally keeps me going. I may wake up one morning and not feel at all like I want to install window trim, but it’s rare for me to feel like I don’t want to do anything at all, unless I’m just feeling exhausted and need a day to rest.

My creative brain needs to be fed on an almost-daily basis, and so there’s almost always a project of some sort that I can find that needs to be done that will keep me interested for the day and keep me moving forward.

Now that’s not to say that it’s just all fun all the time. There are certainly those days when I don’t want to install the trim, but it absolutely needs to be done. In those cases, I generally try motivate myself with a fun and creative project after the not-so-fun work is done.

So right now, the trim in the back entry of the studio still needs to be finished. For some reason, I’m dreading it, and having a hard time making myself do it. But yesterday I told myself that if I just get it done, then I can spend some time on a fun art project for the walls in the back entry. Getting the not-so-fun projects out of the way so that I can get to the fun stuff generally motivates me to get it done.

How do you handle housekeeping and cooking along with all the work you do on your house and writing your blog? Do you ever take time for yourself?


Housekeeping is one of the things my brother helps me with. 🙂 (I talk more about my brother in the video around 22:15.) He comes every Sunday and cleans, so that’s one big thing off my plate.

As far as cooking goes, Matt and I generally do intermittent fasting with one meal a day. That makes it soooo much easier and frees up so much time for me. I cook one meal a day (and often a very simple meal), and that’s all the time I spend in the kitchen. Back when we were eating two or three meals a day, it was so discouraging to me how much of my time was spent cooking and eating every day. If for no other reason, I love intermittent fasting just for the amount of time it frees up every day. (Of course, there are health benefits as well. 🙂 )

And as far as taking time for myself, I try to do that every day. At the end of almost every day, I head to Sonic, where I order a tea and sit in my car for about 30-45 minutes while listening to an enjoyable podcast and scrolling through Instagram.

It’s a small thing, but it’s invaluable to me. I spend my days thinking about and working on projects, editing pictures and writing blog posts, taking care of Matt, taking care of my pets, etc., so those 30-45 minutes at the end of every day are when I can get away by myself, turn off my brain, know that I won’t be asked to do anything or help with anything, and just be. It’s a small thing, but it’s necessary for me.

And that’s it! Thanks for the questions, y’all! I had fun answering them, and hopefully y’all got a little more insight into my life and the blogger behind the blog. 🙂



Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Re: Cooper’s energy:

    I know it may sounds crazy since you have one dog with lots of energy, but have you ever considered having another dog? Another pup that can run around the yard and play with him all day when you can’t might be great for his excess energy.

    If you aren’t up to the full commitment, maybe consider pet sitting, day-sitting, or even fostering for a local rescue group! Rescue groups are always looking for vacation fosters or even day-time situations for dogs that maybe can’t last all day, which might work out well for you since you are at home most of the day.

  2. Wow! Thank you so much for this video. I loved hearing you answer all of these diverse questions. An enjoyable hour. 🙂

  3. I got a thrill, reading about your going to Sonic every single day for an iced tea and personal time. Your relaxation/decompression ritual is so cool!

  4. Isn’t she ADORABLE? Looking at her just makes my heart smile. She has the most kissable lips. SMOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOCH!

      1. He cracks me up! I have to say I peeked to see if he had a FB page, and laughed at some of the funnies there! But some I didn’t get….. I’m too old I suppose. I get that he can share the laughter with you, and can see the devotion between you both. Awww! As for chat rooms – I remember them, and found a great friend through one about 6 years ago. We finally met last summer!

    1. It’s a Kylie Jenner lip kit. 😀 It’s the Bare Velvet lip kit. But sometimes (as I did in the video) I wear a gloss over it. The gloss is a cheap grocery store one. It’s Rimmel Always Lovely lip gloss.

  5. That makes complete sense re: art/artwork! Thanks for answering my silly question. I had to skip to that bit b/c no time to see whole vid right now…but Matt is right–you are so lovely!

  6. Enjoyed your video very much.

    You remind me so much of my cousin’s wife. You look a bit like her & sound very much like her…mannerisms & word patterns.

    My dad was a builder, so I know about tools, but I’ve become more nervous to take on a project as I get older. For one thing, it takes me SO much longer to accomplish anything! I’m overwhelmed by how much needs painted in this house so, yesterday, I ordered a paint sprayer!!! Can’t wait to play with it!

    Thanks for all the information you share.

  7. This was a wonderful enlightening post. I think some people assume bloggers just put out some pictures and words and call it a day. From what I understand it is very time consuming and can become frustrating as tastes and trends change daily for the viewing audience.
    I LOVE COLOR and you have such a talent for making certain colors work together beautifully. I think you underestimate yourself as some of us just aren’t born with your talent and we know we will never have that talent but may have talent that others don’t have. My mother was very talented and my sisters all inherited that gene in one way or the other. But as my aunt said…..we all can’t have the talent.
    People like you and I are needed to buy the things the talented people make.
    So Kristy you keep on producing and we will keep on reading and some of us will even learn a thing or two. I think the videos showing basics like caulking ( with an L) will be well received as that is something we all need to know how to do or maybe do better or easier.

  8. Kristi, thank you for sharing your life with us and being so transparent. I admire you more and appreciate your talent more knowing you are self taught. You are an inspiration. Blessings to you and Matt.

  9. Thanks for answering my questions! I love the idea of doing more videos. A few videos I’d like to see your take on would be:
    -best tips for using your Critter sprayer for a smooth finish
    -your acrylic art process
    -before and after tours of your rooms (if you have any old footage, or just for the new ones you work on)

  10. Forgot to say, thanks for answering my questions and for sharing yourself with us. It was fun to watch, felt like I was sitting across the table (desk!) from you. I would have to have several drinks of tea to do that or I would be coughing more than talking!

  11. Loved the video and all your insight. You truly are an amazing DIYer. Thanks for sharing this with us! Looking forward to more videos after July 18th 😉

  12. I have a few questions. Do you ever run into Chip and Joanna when you are out and about? None of my business, but could Matt apply for social security disability since he is unable to work at all? I loved your lip color in this video. What did you like about Turkey, just seems like a place I would plan to go to intentionally.

    1. I don’t ever run into them, but my mom is good friends with Joanna’s mom. She’s known Joanna’s parents for probably 20 years, at least. And yep, Matt receives disability.

      Oh, Turkey. I love it so much, but I don’t know if I can explain why. First of all, you can go to Istanbul — one single city — and visit two continents. 🙂 It’s one city that spans two continents. But I love the culture. The people are amazingly hospitable. The food is amazing. The Bosphorus is beautiful. The Grand Bazaar and Spice Market are must-see spots. It’s just an amazing place!

  13. Kristi, that was very enjoyable. Love that we can see you in a more personal light.😀
    Have you ever given thought to doggie daycare for Cooper? Just a couple of times a week could take care of a lot of energy! They typically spend the following day sleeping, they are so tired from playing. Or if he likes to fetch, there are automated ball throwing machines you could teach him to use, or a permanent playmate is always an option😉

    1. My brother is an amazing guy. 🙂 To be clear, cleaning is one of the items I hire him to do on a weekly basis. He works for me (not as an employee, but as an independent contractor) and while most of the work he does for me throughout the week is blog-related, it also includes helping me keep my house in order once a week.

  14. I missed being able to ask my question so I will ask now if its ok. You look great from your keto diet so I was wondering when you were going to update your cover photo?

    1. I’ve thought about it, but I’m still not quite where I want to be to go to the effort for new photos. But hopefully before the end of the year, I can get new photos.

  15. I started following you about the time you started on your pantry. Amazing!! I would really like to see a video of using the critter sprayer. I have one and must be doing something wrong. Seems I had to thin the paint A LOT or it clogs up. Way beyond paint manufacturer thinning recommendations. It sits on a shelf because I just don’t know how to use it properly. I’d love to hear your pointers. Thanks so much for all of your sharing. I look forward to your posts.

  16. Hi Kristi, my cat turns 17 in a couple of weeks. She was born in my living room, all those years ago. We adopted a female rescue dog back in 2005, she absolutely hates water and we live on a small lake. She has been attracted to critters in the water while she hangs out on the dock, and this has caused her to fall in the shallow water recently. I took her outside and rinsed her off, you would have thought she was being punished. She spent the rest of the day shaking and hiding under my bed. Really enjoyed this video, sending love to you and your dear family from Tyler, Texas.

  17. Thank you for this video! It was so fun to get to see your personality “live” as it were.

    I would LOVE a video on how to handle a table saw. Those things scare me to death! I have known several people who have lost (parts of) fingers. Do you have basics on how the wood moves through it, what it is best used for, safety tips, etc.? That would be AWESOME!

    Also, for the person asking about hands, I have found two tips online. First, when you use anything oil based (like stain), rub oil (I used spray cooking oil) on your hands before washing. The stain literally came right off. Second, to keep latex paint from sticking to your hands, apply hand lotion before you start messing with paint. Then, when you wash them the paint comes right off with the lotion.

    Thank you, again, for the fun video!!

  18. Hi kristi loved getting to know you😊
    I would like to see a video on how to do molding I have no idea how to cut so it lines up correctly also u said u are bad at blogging and instagram and such so why not let Matt take that over meaning posting pics and such since he has a love of computers?
    U cud even dictate to him through out the day and he cud do the blog for you

  19. I loved this video! Thank you for doing it! I’ve followed you since you first started working on your house. You bring so much enjoyment to my life. I look forward to each new blog. You continue to amaze me with each new project. I felt like I was enjoying a visit with you while watching this video. Love to you, Matt and your pets!

  20. Thanks so much for taking the time to put together the video! It was enjoyable, relatable, informative and encouraging. You really have a talent for extemporaneous speaking and I’m very much looking forward to more videos!

  21. Hi Kristi,

    Loved your video. Thank you. I also would like to see videos on how to use power tools as I am also scared to death. I also would like to learn about the caulking and wood filling. But mostly, I would like to know what you decided about the Sonic ice machine in your house. I am also addicted to the Sonic unsweetened iced tea

  22. This was wonderful, and I found myself smiling and laughing right along with you. And I agree with Matt – you are adorable! Thank you for doing this Q&A. I’m looking forward to more!

  23. Hello Kristi,
    I found your site when googling “how to frame a door” and was thrilled that you had step-by-step instructions (from your hallway bathroom). Mine turned out great thanks to you. I’m in the midst of a major bathroom remodel (quotes I received were over 50K – ridiculous!) so I decided to work on myself with your site as my inspiration. I’m not artsy at all, more engineering minded which brings up the question of what materials you use for each project. Is this something you could add in the future, either via site or video? i.e. “1/2 inch MMR drywall brand X used for walls in bathroom, 5/8 on ceiling, cement board brand X for tub surround.” You have a lot of info on the colors and fabrics but I could not find any on the actual materials. There is much conflicting info on framing and drywall out in google land and as a female trying to expand DIY skills it would be great knowing how and maybe why you chose the product you are using. Sites run by women always seem to have better explanations and I love yours. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your inspiration!

  24. I take my coonhound to Doggie Daycare a couple days a week and he loves it – they have a structured day with certified dog trainers that work with the dogs during playtimes and then there are quiet times for them to rest. His behavior is so much better and he is learning how to get along with other dogs and to listen and obey. When he comes home, he is exhausted and just wants to sleep.

  25. What a fun video! It kept me company while I was outside watering the flowers and working on the landscaping 😊

  26. I love that you and Matt met online! Because that’s how my husband and I met in 1999, on AOL (remember them?). When we hear a sound of a dial up modem we’ll joke and say, “Awww! They’re playing our song!”.

  27. Thank you for the sweet video about you. I enjoyed it. Also, if we are putting in requests, I would love a future YouTube video on:
    1.) How to use the Kreg Jig- I was actually thinking of it, the moment you said it in the video… I have one and haven’t had a chance to use it yet.
    2.) what tools you prefer, as a woman. (Affordable and lightweight ones). I have had great luck with my ryobi stuff, but I’m on the verge of replacing them as they age. I’ve really struggled to find comfortable tools for my hands. Especially sanders- they kill me after 10 minutes.
    3.) this is kinda dumb, but I have struggled twice with appropriately putting/using two tools over the years, and as a result I hate using them, bcs I think I duffed it. (Ie my scroll saw and handheld WORX saws are always cutting slightly crooked, no matter how much I try to anticipate it. And the manuals are garbage.) sorry for the book!
    Thanks! 🙂

  28. Thank you for sharing about yourself and Matt and your fur babies! Enjoyed the video and getting to know you and your blog!

  29. Oh Kristi, I have meant to let you know that I enjoyed every second of this Q&A video. You mentioned how long it was and I didn’t want it to end. I truly hope you do more – often!! As far as what I would like to see in a video is pretty much everything you do. I, personally would love to know how to repair holes and cracks in walls and woodwork and how to finish it the way you do. I would like to know how to properly use tools – good grief, just everything you mentioned and more. I suck at using caulk and if I am going to paint a wall (or anything) that I repaired, I can see the repair clearly. I would also like to learn about board and baton (so) and the beadboard type of ceilings that you do. Oh I just need it all, lol! Thank you for all you do. I love reading about your journey and I never miss a post!