From DIY home decorations and design to her top hosting tips, author Leslie Saeta is spilling the details from her famous Hollywood home! Don’t miss Leslie’s top kitchen recommendations, the best book for the beginner home chef, and her favorite DIY craft of all time.
IN THIS EPISODE YOU WILL LEARN:
- How to make big $ renting your house to Hollywood
- What happens during filming in your home
- The number one design element Leslie loves about her kitchen
- Why you need Leslie’s AMAZING new book
- Leslie’s favorite DIY crafts
- How to Rent Your Home for Movies: https://my100yearoldhome.com/rent-your-home-for-movies/
- A Home To Share Resources: https://my100yearoldhome.com/a-home-to-share-resources/
- Ratio by Michael Ruhlman | Paperback: https://amzn.to/3z9MtNA
- Design an Efficient Kitchen Around These 4 Work Zones: https://hammersnhugs.com/design-efficient-kitchen/
- DCS Appliances: https://www.dcsappliances.com/us/
- How to Make a Free Motion Embroidery Stitch Pillow: https://my100yearoldhome.com/how-to-make-a-free-motion-embroidery-stitch-pillow/
- A Home to Share by Leslie Saeta | Hardcover: https://amzn.to/3Ds0ARe
ABOUT: LESLIE SAETA
Leslie is the author of the book, A Home to Share and the popular blog and Instagram, My 100 Year Old Home. One of Leslie’s favorite pastimes is crafting, and she has been making things her entire life. She learned to sew when she was eight, followed by knitting, crocheting, macramé, embroidery, quilting, decoupage, stained glass, glass bead, jewelry making, and paper flowers. In 2012, Leslie took up painting and became a full-time artist and instructor for eight years until she created My 100 Year Old Home.
CONNECT WITH: LESLIE
- Website: My 100 Year Old Home: https://my100yearoldhome.com/
- IG: @my100yearoldhome
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That feeling of seeing how I made my friends feel just by setting a table is what this book is about, and it’s how you could make your home perfect for you, your family, and your friends, and how you could entertain and create that magical feeling just by doing things different. Welcome to the Imperfectly Empowered Podcast with DIY Healthy Lifestyle blogger on a former empowering you to transform your life. One imperfect day at a time. Hello and welcome back to the Imperfectly Empowered Podcast. I’m your host, Anna Fullmer. Today on the show, I am really excited to introduce you to a friend of mine. Her name is Leslie Sada. Leslie is the author of a Home to share and creator of the award-winning blog, My 100 year old home where she shares entertaining and home decor inspiration right from her Hollywood famous. Home here to share with us her expert advice on DIY home decorations and design to create a home you love, welcome, author, and influencer Leslie Sada. And you are still perfectly centered between your bookcases. We’ve been having some technical issues, but when Leslie came on I noted she is like perfectly centered between her bookcases and it is also Hint, hint, the front cover of her book, That’s right. . It’s a great, I’m so. Oh my gosh. No worries. Technology. Well, welcome to the podcast. Thank you. This is so exciting. I had a blast reading through your book and for anyone listening and watching who does not follow me on Instagram, I shared a video. It came like late one night, and then I had. I’ve taken it out and put it on my kitchen table, and the next morning I came out to breakfast and my son was there eating his oatmeal while flipping through Leslie’s book, . He’s the youngest fan. I’m so touched. It was so cute. And then he’d flip there and he’d go, Mm, I like that . So anyway, it’s for all ages. It is. That’s very true. Very, very true. Yeah. Yeah, it’s, it’s hard to believe it’s actually finally out. Writing a book takes a really long time and a lot of work. Such a long time. Yeah. Mm-hmm. and so many moving pieces that, cuz you’re dealing with publishing companies and agents and mm-hmm. . Yeah. Photographers list, part part goes on and you know this, you know, this is, Our job takes a lot of time, so I right. Used to work like 70 hours a week and in January I said, This is crazy. I have to cut it down so I don’t work past six o’clock anymore. But while Good for you, I was writing a book. It was a secret and it was on top of my regular job for six months and it was really hard. Really, really hard. Yeah, it was great. I loved it, but oh man, it was, Really tough. Yeah. Yeah, it’s a lot. And then you have deadlines. I always like to press the rewind button a little bit. Like so many of us in the blogging industry, this is not where we started our career. Tell me a little bit about where you started before My 100 year old home before the blogging and influencing world, and how that kind of transitioned into what you’re. I’ve pretty much been in marketing my whole life until, let me see, I did huge, big corporate event planning for like 25 years. Mm. I didn’t know that. And that is kind of where I get this entertaining, wanting to throw an amazing party because I was doing that for a thousand people or 350 people in some remote island somewhere all over the world. And I did that for a really long time. So I loved that. But I eventually made a switch and started painting full time and. I started out painting with the pallet knife and painting seascapes and things, and eventually I moved over to painting very large abstract paintings, and I taught all over the us and then I started teaching art marketing workshops for artists because, huh? So many people needed help. And I was doing really well, selling my art and thought, if I can share this, it would be f. So one day I was watching Fixer Upper on TV and hence that’s probably why we now have a house in Waco, which is an Airbnb. But I was watching and I thought, Why is there no art on any of the walls in these houses that she redo? There’s, there’s signs and there’s old window frames. And I thought, I’m gonna start a new Instagram and I’m gonna call it my a hundred year old home, cuz our home is over a hundred years. And I’m going to eventually introduce a collection of abstract art that I think would look great in farmhouse style. So I did that and three weeks after I, now I did a lot of research. I found all the top Instagrammers who are in the farmhouse kind of community, and I copied their hashtags and did various things. And three weeks into it, I was at the grocery store one night and my Instagram blew up. I actually thought maybe I’d been hacked and it turns out better. Homes and Gardens had shared a picture of the front of my home. And in doing that, I got 10,000 followers in one day. And long story. Never did the collection. . Yeah, I just kinda around with it and um, have been doing it for five years and started a blog shortly thereafter. And I am going to start painting some paintings for our beach house cuz we’re doing a remodel and abstract art will, and it’s a whole new color scheme, so I’m gonna replace all the art that was there before. So that’s so fun. So we do need to see some of. On your Instagram and your blog. I wanna see that. I promise it’s fun. I just, part of me is like, Oh my gosh, have I forgotten how to paint? Cuz it’s been a long time. Yeah. Well and it’s hard because you like, Oh, don’t wanna speak for you. But for me, I mean I started blogging because it was fun. Mm-hmm , it was sort of the creative escape that I needed cuz I was in medicine. But then it became a job, which is a blessing. You want to like your job, but it is still different when. Paid to do. What’s fun, It’s still a job. So it’s like you, at some point you need to have something that you just do for fun. There’s no dollar signs attached to it. Mm-hmm. There’s no like payroll attached to it. Yeah. So I love that. And we need to all have something like that in our life. So it’s your beach house art. It’s like everything I’ve loved to do my whole life is now involved in my job. I mean, I can’t believe I wake up and I get paid to like create things, right? I mean, that blows me away. It’s so wonderful. Yeah. So I know how lucky I am and I’m just kind of on the journey. I, there’s no destination , just having fun on the journey. Which I love. Yeah. And you have what’s really fun too about your home story and you say this on your blog. In fact it was, I think it was right when I started blogging. I found you pretty early on. Mm-hmm. , cuz I had just started in Instagram and the post that you were sharing on Instagram was actually about how your home is Hollywood famous and sort of its own star in the filming industry. Mm-hmm. . And that was really fascinating to me. And I. I remember seeing the front of your home and being like, Oh, I, that home looks familiar to me. Mm-hmm. Anyway, tell us a little bit about your Hollywood Famous home, and I have to share this. We were watching a movie called Raising Helen, for those of you that may be familiar with that. with my girlfriends in Chicago. This was after I had known Leslie for some time and I was watching this movie with my girlfriends on a getaway trip and I was half asleep and suddenly this shot comes up and I was. That’s Leslie’s house. . Yes. Not like I doubted you that it was in it, but I was like, Oh my gosh, there’s her house. You know, it’s really cool because we, we live in Southern California, so obviously they do a lot of filming here, although there’s plenty of other hotspots around, it’s not all happening in this area. And before I tell the story, I wanna tell you, I did write a blog post. Something about how to film in your house or filming or movie. So find it because since I wrote that post, at least 20 people have reached out and said they did what I said and suggested and they actually have done filming in their home. But, um, and we’ll make sure that goes in the show notes, you guys, It’s um, do you remember the title again? Cause I think you have a couple. It’s how to film. Let me, I’ll find it. Gimme one second. I’ll look at, It’s just, it’s kind of fun because it is something that is really lucrative. It’s called How to Rent Your Home for Movies, How to Rent Your Home for Movies. So the, my editors will make a note to put that in the shot. So anyway. It’s something that, it happens a lot in town and I have a lot of friends that have done a ton of filming, and this was 20 years ago. We went on vacation. We came back and someone had slipped a note through our door asking us if we wanted to film a Kevin Costner movie. I’m like, Uh, yeah, but we had been gone too long and missed it. So I reached out to the LA Film Commission and they sent me all the addresses of all the location scouts in Los Angeles. There were like 300 of them. So I put together a flyer, you know, me and sent it out. And suddenly people started reaching out and we were doing a ton of filming, probably too much, but we loved it. It was really fun. And when we did Mad Men, we recently did a movie with Ben Affleck called The Way Back. Where our house was, his sister’s house, and they filmed here for a week and literally it’s on, It’s on camera probably for five minutes maybe, but it’s just been really fun. Now you have to be the kind of person who can handle a hundred people walking into your house and moving everything out and resetting it and maybe painting it. But I always said they couldn’t do any more damage than my children, and they fix it, and my kids don’t. Right. It’s good fun. I love, and it’s really fascinating. I think I understood for the first time reading that post, and you’ve written a couple, but one a several years ago, it blew me away how in a film, what appears to be one house could actually be a studio plus multiple other homes. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. Which is so fascinating. It’s like why not just stay in one house that still is like, Everyone thinks our house is the father of the bride house, which it is not. That house does look it from here, but they use three houses for that movie. The front, the inside of someone else’s, in the backyard of someone else’s. So it’s so interesting. Yeah. I had someone knock on the door yesterday for a TV commercial, uh, or TV show that they wanna do on a continuing basis, starting in January, and I’m like, Okay, let’s talk. Who knows? Yeah. Yeah. Now explain a little bit, because this is fascinating. I think a lot of people find this interesting, what the process legitimately looks like to have a crew come in your home because you have to actually vacate the specific area, Correct. That they’re filming in. And how’d you do that with three boys, You guys? Leslie, as three boys. They’re grown now. And when I say grown, okay, here’s another story I have to tell . This is actually really funny. So when I first met Leslie, you mentioned something at some point about your son playing volleyball, and we’re a big volleyball family here. My sister’s a head coach and so I was like interested in, and I saw this picture of her family at her son’s wedding. And then I was like, Wait, her son plays for the, It was like the. US national team. Yeah. And I was like, Oh, you must be really tall. And then when I was reading more, I realized why I was so confused is that Leslie herself is very tall. Cause I’m looking at, I’m like, I look really short in our family photos, , But you’re still very tall because in comparison, your boys are like, How tall? They’re tall. Well, okay, I’m five 10, which is tall. That’s tall. Yeah. I’m five three and my boys are 6 5, 6 6 and six seven. So that makes me look short. And every photo, people always meet me and they’re like, Wait, you’re so much taller than I thought you were. Yes, because it’s like the nba. You don’t realize how tall everyone is until someone of of my stature walks out and you’re like, Whoa. So anyway, all that to say, this woman has raised three boys who have literally grown quite, They have, They’re very tall. Yeah. But anyway. Yeah, to answer the question about the whole filming, um, there, there’s a lot of ways that someone can find our house. There may be a, a location scout. It may be a company that represents homes, that gets films and TVs and commercials to come in and look for homes. But once you sign a contract on the day of filming, prior to that, you wanna go through and remove any breakables that you would absolutely be crushed if something broke. Although in 20 years, we’ve probably broken five things. So it’s not like it happens and they come in and take pictures of every, every single part of your home, cuz they’re gonna put it back after they film. They bring in layout mats and put those everywhere and then they start taking things out of your house in the rooms where they’re gonna film. And I did at JC Penney commercial probably 10 years ago. And they took 100% of everything out of the first floor of my house. And that freaked me out cuz the truck pulled away and I was like, I can’t even imagine. . I know. And then I’ve never done that cuz usually it’s a couple rooms in the backyard or whatever. I’d be looking for my kids. Like with one of my kids stuck in there, . Exactly. Now we have only moved out one time. And we’ve filmed probably a hundred times in 20 years. So what happens is you have to be quiet, which with children is an issue. Cuz if they’re filming sound, you can’t make any noise. Mm-hmm. But, and especially with Covid, we’ve had to, we’ve just gone to the beach house when they’ve been filming because at that, during covid we couldn’t even be in the house. Right. But now, um, I can just be upstairs on the third floor in my office and be productive. Come down and have lunch with the crew and it’s just, it’s, it’s, it’s still been fun for us. Yeah. There are times when I’m completely freaked out and I can’t believe we’ve done it, but they always put it back just like it was. So, yeah. What’d you do with your young boys in the years? Well, normally they film to seven, like to 7:00 PM usually, sometimes. And so they were at school, at practice? Yeah. Yeah. We managed to. It’s so interesting. It’s crazy . Yeah, but I love that. I think you just, you never know. I think it was cool because it’s a way that very few people probably think about, and I will say this, you guys start thinking when you watch movies, don’t think you have to have a specific type of house. Oh, absolutely. They need so many locations for these films. I just had a director last week tell me, Mm, your house is too nice. I’m like, You can dumb it down. Come on, It’s okay. He said, No, the windows are, everything’s too tall. And I’m like, Okay. But the main reason we do it is it’s incredibly lucrative and I have to mention that. Don’t do this for free. You know, it’s funded a few college educations, which has been very nice. Yeah, I mean, I love it. It’s, This is true Leslie Fashion, which is why Leslie, I’ve already told several people, You’re my spirit animal . Oh my God, you’re too funny. I’m like, Leslie is going to be God willing me when I grow up. I love it. Like you hustle hard. You’re so creative. You’re always thinking outside the box and you’re willing to just throw stuff at the wall and see if it sticks. I, why not? Right. What do you have to lose? Yeah. Other than maybe a couple pieces of your sanity, but you can get back. No, that’s. That’s true. And I’ve had some real dinger ideas that didn’t work, but most of them are just fun and different and I don’t know, I, I still work too hard. I need, I probably don’t need to block seven days a week. And I hear that. Yeah. Yeah. Twice a day. And there’s a few lessons eventually I’ll figure out, but for now I’m having fun, so I can’t complain. Yeah. And my best friend in the world works with me. Mary Liz. Yes. I love this story. I love this. This is inspiring to me. So we literal. I keep saying, how long have we known each other? And it’s like, mm. 28 years. And she started working with me, oh my gosh, almost exactly two years ago. And we have so much fun. she totally kept me sane during the book, you know, writing and everything. And she helped me more than I could ever, ever imagine. I couldn’t have done it. She’s so upbeat and enthusiastic. I love her. I met her at the conference this past summer at the Haven Conference and she is what, how fun to work together. She’s amazing. So, um, That has changed my job cuz now it’s so much more fun and we love it. We kind of gang up against my husband now that he works at home more than he used to. And it’s just we have, we have a blast. It’s really great. I love that. Yeah. That is so sweet. Again, it’s creative. It’s a way to be able to support somebody that you’re good friends with while also offloading. Yes. Work on yourself. Tell us, so you mentioned, I have to of course touch base on this. You said that you’ve had some ideas that. As you said, I think dingers that did not work out so well. Which one comes to mind as one that you’re like, Ooh, this one was, they’re mostly DIYs that I thought were amazing and it’s crazy that I can’t, but there’s probably like 30 of ’em, right? I’m not kidding. That you think are gonna be wonderful. Even these darn, um, cookies I’m sharing tomorrow. These cookies that I made for Halloween. I mean, it was really tough. I mean, I had ’em in the freezer trying, you know, I was doing royal icing and I’m not a cookie decorator. I don’t care what anybody says. I am not. I’ve probably made cookies less than 10 times using royal icing. Right? And it, it was, there was one point in time where I almost just threw ’em all in the trash. I’m like, No, come on my sleepy patient. But you know, you have these great ideas and you think it’s gonna look amazing, and you’re like, Wow, that’s really bad. Really. And, but more importantly, you do something, you’re like, uh, okay, I’ll post it and then it blows up. And I’m like, Right. I give that. That’s the truth. You’re not, I don’t care. You like seo your post, you’re like, I know is such a great keyword. And then it’s, and then you actually go and you look at your posts and the one that you see is ranking. You’re like, What? What? How did that happen? I know. So I I, it’s nice to have Mary Liz to kind of bounce ideas off of. Yeah. And um, the key though, in this business, you guys, it’s all about the photograph. And so if I, That’s probably the biggest challenge is um, even now that it’s getting a little darker in the evening, if I’m getting close to where I know the light’s not gonna be good, it’s tough. It’s really tough cuz I use so much natural light in all my photos. So, But I tell you, if you have a good photo, anything can do well. It’s kind of crazy. Yeah. That was one of the earliest things that I had to learn was better photos, getting rid of the yellow. Yeah. And making sure you’re using natural lighting. Yeah. That was a lesson learned. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. Your, yeah, your photos are gorgeous. You do a great job and you use mostly your iPhone, although you’ve upgraded to a big girl camera, right? No, I still use my iPhone, but book, my publisher gave me a budget to hire a photographer because everything had to be done on, obviously on a, um, camera, super high resolution, and it. So nice. We styled everything and then it was a mother daughter team, and the daughter’s, the photographer, the mother’s, the stylist, and they would come in. That’s fun. Tweak things a little bit. Mostly candlesticks. The funniest thing about, there’s so many candlesticks in my photos in my book, it’s crazy. Yeah. And they may look straight like this, but when you angle over here, they’re crooked. And so I, I’m not telling you Natasha, probably straightened candles a. Three more times easily. And is, you mean like the taper? Are you saying the taper should straighten? Oh, absolutely. Those taper candles and just little things. We can’t have things on on, on top of each other. They have to be just a little bit apart. So many things we learned, and Mary and I laugh, we’ll set up table and we’ll both be sitting there trying to straighten the candles in the photo, but. I know it’s crazy, but the photos, the book are gorgeous and I’m so thankful. So thankful. They’re beautiful and there are so many, But you guys, this is a, For those of you who have not bought her book yet, which you will by the time we’re done talking about it, it is heavy first of all because there is, there’s 200 plus pages, right? There is, yeah. And there’s like tons and tons. Full page photos that are just gorgeous. Yeah. Other thing I wanna mention, that page you were just on is the resource page, and at the very top it gives you a link to go to We, Okay. I’m sorry. Mary Liz went through every single page, the book, and linked online. Every single thing you see. So if there’s something you like, now it may be vintage and it’ll say, Sorry, it’s vintage, right? There’s no, you know, we can’t give you a source for that, but you can go and find everything in the book that we use. That’s awesome. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So for people listening and watching and also note to my editors, you can write this down or click on the show notes cuz my editors will put it there. Mm-hmm. , that link is www.my 100 year old home. Dot com slash. A home to share resources. Yeah. So you could also just go to her blog and search a home to share resources. But we will make sure that that link is also in the show notes. I, I, I wanted to do that and I wanted to put it online so that if something changed, we could go back and fix it. Right. But I mean, if you just look as you just showed at the cover items for all this, I mean, it’s insane. I love it. Yeah. So, and every page is like, Well, and when you go through the book and you learn about Leslie’s fetish for like dishes and old silverware, and it’s no wonder that there’s so many, so many things cuz she also hosts people all the time, which is. Yeah, lovely. We are going to dive more into her expertise, some of the things that she’s sharing in her book, some of her favorite home design, DIY tips, entertaining tips, Right? When we come back from this break, you have tried it all. Worried you will never lose the extra weight or reclaim the energy you once enjoyed. Want to achieve fat loss without spending hours in a gym or eliminating entire food groups from your diet? Well, now you can In the virtual faster way to fat loss. With Anna, my six week fitness nutrition program, you will learn how to pair effective 30 minute workouts with all natural evidence-based nutritional strategies to leverage what you eat and when you eat, to reset your metabolism and burn fat fast. Even that stubborn belly. I am a dual certified nurse practitioner, passionate about teaching sustainable strategies to promote fat loss and prevent disease. I have cheered on thousands of clients who have done just that with the Faster Way program. In my six week program, the average client currently sheds seven inches of body fat. 93% report more energy and 89% state that their mental health has improved. 100% of clients report. They feel this program is sustainable. Curious to try the program, but not sure if the strategies will work for you. Try the the Faster Way strategies for free. Head to www.hammersandhugs.com and sign up for my free seven day Fat. Accelerator course today and start your own transformation story. All right. We are back here with Leslie. Okay, Leslie, we’re gonna play a quick round of this or that speed round to get two options. First thing that comes to mind. No stress. Would you rather go to a garage sale or a thrift store? Thrift store. Do you have a lot of thrift stores in la? No. Mostly I was gonna say this. Mostly flea markets. Ah, flea market. Oh, interesting. Favorite vintage ones, so yeah. Yeah. Hmm. Like the Rose Bowl, Ventura, Long Beach. They’re big and really interesting. Are they once a year type of flea markets? Are they Once a month. Oh, once a month. Yeah. Yeah. Hmm. Third, another reason for me to go out that direction. I offered ages ago to help Leslie redo her beach house, and I never heard back. It’s done. Come visit me. Oh, is it done? No, when it’s done. End of the year. Oh, when it’s done. Yeah. Yeah. That’s so fun. Uh, I love beach houses. Okay. Would you rather candy or baked goods? Um, what you, what was the first one? Candy or baked goods. Oh, baked goods. What’s your very favorite baked. Probably cookies, sugar cookies, just like, And you have a recipe for sugar cookies. I know I’ve seen it. I do. I’m sharing it tomorrow, but you have to know something about me. I haven’t had a sweet or dessert in seven years, so my husband’s my taste tester. All right, Mr. Sada, where are you? ? You tell me what your favorite of her baked. Good. Exactly. . Yeah. Well, let me ask this. What is your number one most popular baked good recipe on your blog that the general public seems to live? Sugar cookies, cuz I’ve done your sugar cookies. I made some a couple weeks ago that had, um, metallic edible dust on them. Oh, fun. And they were gorgeous. So, yeah. I mean, and, and some of the cakes I’ve made have been really popular with some fun kind of decorating. It’s all about, it’s all about the decorating when it comes to dessert. So it’s been fun. Yeah. Well, you guys need to check out all of her baked, baked goods, . Okay. Now this is, this is a difficult question. Would you rather. Decorate or would you rather craft? Oh, craft for sure. You’d rather craft, you like making. I do basically. Yeah. And I, I like teaching. I mean, that’s the, I’ve told you this before. It’s all about not showing, it’s about sharing. And I, people say, How did you get so many followers on Instagram? And I, I really believe it’s because I didn’t say, Look at my pretty living room. I said, Look at my pretty living room and see those pumpkins. I made those by putting napkins on them and see that I, Let me show you how to arrange those flowers with flowers from the grocery store. So crafting. I, you know, I did a, I started crafting when I was like six years old and I haven’t stopped mm-hmm. , so it’s just gotten better . Yeah. Did your mom, was your mom crafty? She sewed a lot and she taught me how to sew, and that’s kind of how I started. Yeah. But she put up with me because it was, I always had to have a project, and I know I drove her crazy. Yeah. When I was like young. Oh, I, I know I did. So yeah, that’s my oldest actually, which I love that spirit about her. But there’s times that I’m like, Can you just ask me first? Because she’s like in the kitchen and she’s throwing stuff together, and my daughter has this mindset that you don’t need. All the ingredients, like you just get creative and throw whatever together and it will turn out like the picture. And I’m like, you can get creative, but there’s a reason it needs baking. Powder . You need to get her the book called The Ratio. The Ratio. Oh, it is a cookbook, but it’s all about understanding the ratio of things you make. So like salad dressing. As long as you have the formula for how much oil and vinegar you need, you can make salad dressing. It doesn’t matter what you put in. And the same goes for baking and the same goes for making whatever it’s called, the ratio. You would love that cuz it’s like still freeing her creativity. Yes. Yeah. And it, and it makes it, you can go through it, it’s kind of like a formula. It’s like the chemistry side. You can make any kind of sauce you want. You just have to have the right formula. And it doesn’t tell you, it just says kind of the category of what it is. Right. I love that. And, and her defense, she sees me do that all the time cuz I’m constantly tearing apart recipes and like right exchanging. But I’ve had practice obviously. Yes. So I’m like, oh, you just used all of these ingredients and it tastes terrible. Um, but anyways, , I, I’m glad that she enjoys it. Okay. Would you rather decorate for fall or Christmas? You know, that is really hard because for this one would be very hard. So my fall colors this year are pink and orange, and I have had Leslie takes every opportunity to use pink that she possibly can Cause I have three boys, a husband and a male dog. Hello? Um, no, and a male dog. So I have to say, I have to say that. I would’ve instantly said Christmas a hundred percent. Cuz I love it so much. Yeah. But you know, fall this year has just been incredible. Yeah. I say both. It’s a tie, which never until this year has that been the case. The other problem is with Christmas, it is such a massive. Project in my house. Yeah. That there’s a lot of kind of, uh, anxiety that comes with it. . Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . Cause it’s like, you know, 10 Christmas trees and, I mean, there’s just so much stuff. But anyway, you need to like hire some college student who wants to do some. Interior design work. And have you have The last couple years we’ve hired, um, a guy who sadly went to college, but he would, we have everything in the eaves on the third. He’s sadly educating himself when he could be down know guy home and getting a baseball scholarship. What a loser. These people come on. I know he, he’s a son of a friend of mine and we would pay him to go upstairs and bring everything down for us. Absolutely. And then he’d Absolutely. And would like put the trees together. Mm-hmm. . And then we would more importantly have him. Take the step down, pack it up and put it back upstairs. So, yeah. Cause that’s the really annoying part. Oh yeah, it is. It is. And it happens in November, like early. Yeah. Yeah. When do you take your Christmas down? Um, usually right around New Years. Yeah. Same. Some people are passionate about leaving it up really long, but, but I’m like you, I put it up early, so. Want to leave. I know. I’m kind of over it. I know some people don’t take it down until end of January, but we’ve, we, yeah, I mean, as an influencer we’re kind of like a store. We’re giving ideas early. Right. And um, I shared a Christmas box yesterday that I curated for a company and someone wrote, Please wait till Thanksgiving. And I was like, That’s not my job. . I know. It’s just everything is early . This is a new world. I mean, people don’t understand the business. Absolutely influencing. And I didn’t, I definitely didn’t. And so it’s just a completely different, People don’t realize that this is, this is the new marketing really. Yes. Our influencers, Yeah, definitely. First thing that you notice about somebody’s smile or their hair? Uh, definitely smile. Yeah, definitely. And, and coffee or tea. Oh. Coffee for sure. same, but only one cup a day. A big cup, but only one cup a day. Wow. Well, I’m on cup three. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. No, I’m, I’m a one cupboard for sure. and I eat baked goods. So Leslie really should be your inspiration here, Not me. Okay. I will ask this one though, because this one’s gonna be a little more controversial maybe for you. Would you rather create a recipe or create a craft, a craft? Yeah, definitely. Just overall, Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I like cooking, don’t get me wrong, but it’s a little more when she says she likes cooking, by the way, let me just qualify that , this woman cooks, like for one event, she cooks like two dozen recipes for one event. So when she says she likes cooking, she’s basically like basically a expert home chef . We started hosting a Christmas party 34 years. We’ve been married 36 years. I love that. And we have like 40 friends, so I made all the food of course, and decorated so small and over the years it’s just kind of gotten bigger and bigger and I still kind of have myself in that position where of course I have to cook all the food. Yeah, it six massive or jurors and desserts and it’s definitely dinner. And now it’s like 250 people. So there’s a Where you host, Oh, you’re in California. That’s true. Yeah. I’m instantly thinking like, bur cold. Where’s everyone going in your house? No. Yeah. No, it’s, it’s in the house, but, and we put the back, the bar on our back porch and put curtains up and everything, but Gotcha. It’s, there’s a chapter in my book about this party and it also talks about the color coded spreadsheet and into something that saved my life that I’ve come up with and you’ll have to read about it. But I also just hosted a book launch on the day my book came out. And to an oddly enough, like 252 people came and I did all the food again, and that was really hard cuz there were so many other things I had to get done. Yes. But the color coded spreadsheet totally saved me and these color coded spreadsheets, I, I love her color coded spreadsheets. She was also a sticky note fan until she decided to. Move away to the electronic. I still use sticky notes. Good for you. . Like maybe one day. What? Like I said, you’re my spirit animal. This is like, Leslie is my inspiration. Moving forward. One day, maybe I will use technology instead of my sticky notes. Oh, you’re, No, it worked great, but really with two people working and traveling and everything. Yes. We had to go electronically, we had to do it. So I was literally just on that sheet. Just so you know. And I can explain this the color really quickly in like two minutes. Her entertaining spreadsheet’s. Awesome. Like, yeah, talk about it cuz this is a great, I do something similar, but not as extensive. It’s a great entertaining tip. Yeah, it takes everything I have to do for the party, but mostly the rest, the menu. And so if I’m making crab cakes, it’ll have crab cakes and then next to it it’ll say, um, make patties, make blem and di sauce. And then it’ll have the day of the week before the party, and it’s color coded so I know it, which day I have to do it. Now, if you take 27 menu items and you have all that plus all the other things, decorating, you know, all the things for the. What I do is every day I know what I have to get done, and as long as I get it done every day, I know I’m gonna be fine for the party. And it takes that stress away that you’re like, I have so much to do. I don’t feel that way anymore. And it’s kind of, I totally made it up. I don’t think it exists anywhere else, but it’s fantastic. And it’s in the book, so you’ll see. Yeah, it’s a great, I mean, like I said, I do something much smaller, but especially for any recurring event that you host. Mm-hmm. , it’s a great way to also take notes. I. So many times when you’re at a group event and somebody’s like, Oh, so we made, how much of that? And was that enough? And then they never write it down. Yeah, no, I have all that. What was, What was the point of the mental expenditure? So, for me, I have not nearly as organized as Leslie’s, but for me, I do like a plastic sheet with a piece of printer paper. Mm-hmm. . And then for every recipe I have one sticky note. And then I have like a little, and for me I write down everything Cuz like you said, I have to like light candles at four 30 literally is on my, put music on at I write it all down. So when you have 24 recipes, Her electronic color coded version. is a fabulous, but then it’s printed and hung all over my kitchen for sure. And just that every day going through and crossing a thing items off is just the most amazing feeling. So let’s talk about your kitchen for a second, cuz her kitchen is like, if there was a magic button to everybody’s home where you post it on Instagram and you’re like, everyone’s sure to like this. Mm-hmm. . It’s for Leslie, her kitchen cuz it is beautiful. And tell me what your favorite things are about your kitchen, if some, So somebody like me, So we’re currently in a rental house right now. I don’t know if you know this about us, but we finished up our last fixer upper right. We’re in a rental house and we are literally just waiting for our forever property. The goal has been to build, right? It’s why we flip three houses and, mm-hmm . So of course I’m in heaven cuz I’m designing all of these rooms and the kitchen is my favorite. What would you tell me based on your kitchen experience is a must in designing. Forever Kitchen. Well, funny you would say that cuz the first chapter in my book is called A Timeless Kitchen. It is, and it’s a fabulous chapter and it’s all about, I mean, the kitchen’s by far the most expensive room in your house. There’s no doubt. You know, with cabinets and countertops and appliances and everything, it’s the biggie and it’s all about making those decisions. Very wisely. I mean, my kitchen is 23 years old and most people think it’s brand new. Mm-hmm. . And of course it’s white, but I, um, the other thing no one knows is my cabinets are two inches taller than the standard height . Oh, that is interesting. Your base cabinets. Yes. Yes. That makes sense. I told my architect and he fought me and fought me and I’m like, We’re not gonna sell this house. Okay. We’ve been here 23 years. I am five 10. My children are science and it is so wonderful. My best friend Mary Lucy, works with me is five feet tall and she never complains. So I think it’s fine, but um, cause she’s like this , she’s in the kitchen, she’s reaching up. That’s brilliant. I have two dishwashers. I have two work areas, which I think is really important, especially if you like to entertain. Tell me about the two dishwashers. This is always like I’ve, I’ve gone back and forth with this one because I’m afraid I would just constantly live outta my dishwasher and never put dishes away, which actually sounds kind of nice now that I say that. No, it’s, You know what, It’s for the entertaining times. Yeah. And when you have Thanksgiving and there’s 30 people, Right. It’s so great. Cause oh, by the way, I put everything in the dishwasher. Everything, including. My sterling silver, I use my sterling silver every day. We have two um, drawers per silverware. One has the sterling in it, one has the silver plate, and I use them both every single day, which I love. Yeah, the two work areas with the two dishwashers I think is really important because there’s times when we’re all as a family cooking, right? And as your kids get older, I really wanted to be able to have that sense of. Family. Mm-hmm. . And it’s been fantastic. So we love, So you have your two work zones. Um, for those of you not familiar, I’m talking about my work zones. If you have not listened to that blog post or podcast episode, you wanna check that out. But I always design my kitchens and work zones. So what you’re saying is you have two work zones, and you have a prep sink too. Mm-hmm. I think I saw in your mm-hmm. . Yeah. So then you have a dishwasher by both work zone. Correct. By both. By both things. And then we also have an island, and in the island we have the, um, power strips on the side. Right. Absolute lust and trash in the island, which is another absolute must. Yeah. So it’s been, I saw my cousin has, I don’t, I don’t remember seeing this specifically, but he actually has an opening in his island on the top so that you can literally just push stuff off of your countertop right into the trash can. Mm-hmm. , I thought that was, it doesn’t look as pretty cuz there. Cut out in your countertop. I don’t, we It functionally makes sense. Yeah, no way. I mean, it would be great. I just opened the drawer, which works thing, but um, like people are like, How come you don’t have a sink in your island? Why don’t you have your oven on your own? Mm-hmm. . I’m like, No, we are a big buffet family. Yes, we always, cuz I have these children that eat massive amounts of food and I could never preserve them, you know, the right amount of food. 6, 6, 6, 5, 6, 7. That’s a lot of food. . I know. So we do buffet, buffet like almost like every single night and parties and everything and it’s, it’s so great. And so that’s what the, the island is for, which is fantastic. Well, I, that’s encouraging to hear you say cuz I just redesigned for. The millionth time. Our kitchen, Future kitchen. And I actually did that. And then I was reading your book and I was like, Okay, Leslie’s telling me this is a good idea, so I’m going for it. I basically emptied the island. It’s just a flat. I had a sink there. Yeah. I moved it. So now it’s all on the perimeter. Mm-hmm. . Yeah, that’s yeah, too. Yeah. That’s wonderful. Good for you. I love that. So think ahead is what she’s saying. Intentional design. Two dishwashers. And guys, if you don’t have a dish, two dishwashers, now you can. Retroactively redesign it to put one in. That’s not a massive. Undertaking. You just get rid of your base cabinets and it’s not an absolute must have either one. Dishwasher, of course, I think is super important. Sure. No, it’s just worked out that it’s been a really great option and I, I don’t know. I love our kitchen. It is so great. . Yeah, and again, to reiterate in her book, she has a lot of specific details, even just from a design standpoint. Mm-hmm. Of things to consider if you’re looking at remodeling your kitchen or wanting to make it more efficient. She has so many great tips. Um, I have to ask this because you, you do cook so much. Mm-hmm. , are you a big fan of your stove? And if so, what stove do you use? Cause for people who really love entertain, this is a big Yeah. Ticket item. I made one mistake with my stove. It’s a. I think it’s a, what is it? I don’t know how wide it is. Uh, 40. I’ll have to look, but it’s got like 42, 48 I think are the common something. Maybe 48. It’s got one big oven and one small oven. And I never use a small oven cuz you can’t even fit a casal edition at huge, huge mistakes. So I would do just one with just. You know, so it’s bigger, but it’s a d Hs. And at the time I decided not to get a Viking just because the cost was so expensive. Mm-hmm. , and I think I’ve had it re in 23 years. I’ve had it repaired minor things like twice. Wow. And I, I love it. It’s great. I love the convection option, but I like the fact that it’s an option and you don’t have to do it all the time. Mm-hmm. and it’s been. It’s absolutely been great. D Hs. I’ve actually not heard of that one. Yeah. Wait, we have the same barbecue too. I’m sorry. Dcs, What am I saying? Dcs? Dcs. I haven’t heard of that either. Okay. So we love it. Dcs. Yeah, we love it. And the key about a kitchen is you guys think about timeless because you don’t wanna go with something trendy that in 10 years you might be, Oh, I don’t like the blue cabinets I use. Mm-hmm. . And you can, It’s like my whole house. Everything is. Neutral. Most everything is like offwhite and, but there’s a ton of color in my house because they bring it in accessories. And you don’t have to redecorate before you decorate every season because it’s all basic. So it’s, Yeah. And she actually, you talk about some of your design tips too, and like DIYs that you can do to add color like pillows. Yes. And even. Candle stick, makeovers. . Not the actual taper, but like the base. Yeah. So many things. Elevating it. What is your number, number one favorite home project that you have ever done? Whether it be a craft or just anything like what is your absolute favorite project? It’s probably been those free motion stitch embroidery pillows. Mm. Cause I totally made it up. So I, on Pinterest I saw people that were making like scrapbook and they were putting fabric down and then sewing this way on their machine where they could actually move it around and like make an object with a sewing machine. And I realized how easy that was to do. You just need a special foot and you just have. Turn something off. So the, it’s called the feed dogs that normally make, when you sew, make it go straight. You get rid of those. Yeah. And then you pull it and push it however you want. Hmm. And I wanted to make these pillows and I started painting, you know, where that came from. Different, very kind of simple shapes of things, and then going back and stitching on top. And I’ve probably made. 12 of those pillows. Very seasonal. I just made one with pomegranates that I love and it’s very freeing and I, I absolutely love it and I totally made it up. That’s why I like it cuz there’s a lot of things you see over and over and overnight. Yes. Everywhere. There’s a few of them trending right now, but I really try to do things that are, um, a huge twist of maybe something I saw or something I just completely made up. Mm-hmm. , it’s fun that. So free motion pillow. Yeah. It’s just to check that out stitch. Yeah. And you can just, if you just put pillow, you’ll, you’ll see them very, I mean, they’re quite prevalent on my blog, . There. I love it. And there’s so many, you, so many unique craft ideas, and what’s great about a lot of the crafts that Leslie puts up is that they’re doable. Mm-hmm. , which sounds odd to say, but the reality is there’s a lot of DIYs out there that you’re like, I don’t have two weeks to do one project. Yeah. Well, where years are, and I know I probably take for granted the fact that I’m confident that I. But I did a, a pumpkin pillow and a 4th of July pillow. And in order to help everyone get the design, I used a cookie cutter. So I used a pumpkin cookie cutter and just kind of stamped the design on them and then painted it in. And with the 4th of July one, I used a star. And so it, I’m trying to give people ways to not feel like they have to be an artist to do this, right. And the thing about the free motion pillow is when you stitch it, it looks better. If it’s not perfect, looks better if you’re kind of outta place. And my whole goal with everything I do, Is to have it be creative, have it look amazing, Not be hard to do and not be expensive. That’s, yeah. And you do that beautifully. And in the book, I mean she shares a lot of the ins and outs of creating sort of that high end home look. Mm-hmm. , but that is on a budget and also warm and welcoming cuz ultimately, As we see here. Yeah. The goal is to share the home. So you want it to be something that people feel like they can walk into and you do such a beautiful job, not just on your blog, in your book. And Leslie is, she is truly as wonderful in person as you’re seeing here on the video. I’ve been privileged to know you for a couple years now. . Yeah. I’ve come a long way since I first met Leslie . We both have. It’s been quite the journey, but, uh, what is one thing that you would want somebody to know about your book that maybe they have not heard yet, and where can they find you to learn more about the amazing Leslie Sada and her 100 year old home? Okay. I get asked all the time, Why did you write this book and what, what is it, What does it teach me? Or what does it. Everyone that’s listening, and I’ll tell you a story. So many of the tables and the things we did in the book, we did them, and then we took them down. You know, there was no one to go enjoy that beautiful farm to table. Dinner, unfortunately. But there’s one event that we did, and I’m, you’re gonna know what I’m talking about. It’s, it was a table we set in the backyard for 40 people. We, I took some vintage lampshades and we put floral foam around the bottom and put fresh flowers in them. It’s truly a spectacular table. I mean, it’s really unbelievable. I thought, there’s no way we can set this up and not have someone enjoy it. So I sent out an email to all my friends and I said, Hey, I’d love to invite you over for dinner. It was the, I did it for the day after the photo shoot, and I said, But it has to be potluck because I can’t cook all the food. Mm. And so everyone’s, everyone said yes. And like, in fact, 38 people RSVP’d. So it was perfect. So we did the whole photo shoot and it was spectacular. And the next day, People started coming in and it was fortunately at a time when it was darker early, and when people showed up and the lights were hanging and the candles were on, I mean, there were tears in people’s eyes and so many people were like, You did this for us. And I’m like, Well book too. And they’re like, Book? What do you mean book? You’re writing a book. And that feeling of seeing how I made my friends feel just by setting a table. Is what this book is about, and it’s how you could make your home perfect for you, your family, and your friends, and how you could entertain and kind of create that magical feeling just by doing things different. And maybe it’s just doing a dinner in front of your fireplace for your family. Mm-hmm. , It doesn’t have to be as elaborate as a dinner for 40 people, but that feeling of, of my, the people I love the most. Family and friends coming over that day. It was, is exactly what this book is about. So, and it is, it was pot luck and then the food was fantastic. Yeah. See I’m all about the potlucks. , yeah. Well, you know, well, you know what happens in when the environment is like that? Nobody cares. Remembers the food. Yeah. It’s right and all. It’s just, they’re sitting there in the backyard and the lights are hanging down and the candles and there’s these gorgeous. Kind of like chandeliers with fresh flowers. Yeah. You know, vintage lampshades. I mean, it was amazing. It was really fun. Well, and it creates that culture of community. Yeah. It’s like you’re setting up the ambiance so that people can. Even enjoy the other people that much more and feel special. The space. Exactly. But you wanna create that for anytime anyone comes to your house. During the pandemic, my three boys and my oldest son, his wife came and lived with us for like three to four months and Mm, every three days I created a huge party. Sounds like you for content and it was so much fun. There. I remember one time my daughter-in-law saying, I can’t believe you did this for us. We’re just your family. I’m like, No, you’re the most important guest I have. And anytime I can pull something out and make it fun and different, makes it all worth it. So well, you, your boys should be very, very proud of you. I know that they are, and you have been an incredible example, not just for your, your family and the people you love, but for many of us. Hopefully you know how much you are valued and loved in our little community here, but it’s an honor to have you on here. Everyone needs to go check out Leslie at my 100 year old home, a home to share. The link will certainly be in the show notes on the blog post on Leslie’s site. And it was an honor to have you here. I can’t wait to see you again in real life. I know. I know. I know. Yeah. We’re gonna get you out to California. You have to come out and see. I would love it what it’s done. Anytime. Anytime. Or when it’s not. I’ll hammer some nails. I’ve done that once or twice. . I’m heading out there to go take pictures of the tile installation in the bathrooms. Oh fine. Yes. Oh, well. Soaking some sun for me. Oh, it’s gonna be 84 there. It’s gonna be 96 here. It’s, That’s amazing. Well, it’s like 50 right now here. I know. It’s crazy. So it was an honor. Thank you. Thank you so much. Uh, you’re amazing. That’s all I can say. You are simply being my friend. Oh, thank you. You really are. I appreciate this. Thanks for listening to this episode of the Imperfectly Empowered Podcast. I would love to hear your thoughts from today, head to your preferred podcasting platform, and give the show an honest review and let me know what you think. Remember, you cannot be redefined, only redeveloped, one imperfect day at a time. Your story matters and you are loved.