Woman’s Day feature + behind the scenes

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It’s been a long wait but 5 months after the initial email from a Woman’s Day editor, I am excited to show you our Woman’s Day makeover feature + behind the scenes pictures. This day was such a phenomenal experience and I am so happy that my family got to be in on the experience as well. Before I start though, today is my husband’s birthday! Happy Birthday honey!

Woman's Day feature + behind the scenes

The Woman’s Day January issue hits news stands today and I will admit, we are all buying a few copies to keep in the memory box. A little over 5 months ago, I received an email from an editor at Woman’s Day asking if we could chat on the phone about my family and our renovations. After a few email exchanges we spoke and during that call she said, “well Jessica, I am actually going to be in the next town over from you in a couple days to attend a wedding, would it be ok if I stopped by to sneak a peak at your home?” At first I thought she was kidding but she was serious.

This is cute Ayn-Monique who showed up 48 hours after our phone call.

Woman's Day feature + behind the scenes

One thing I have learned in the last year of blogging is TV people, newspaper reporters and magazine editors work in like a 24 hour span of time. Everything is quick paced and changes fast! So long story short, Ayne-Monique showed up in July and notified me the next day, that they would love to feature my family, kitchen and dining room makeover. When I told everyone in my family that they would be arriving in mid September, spending two days to shoot and bringing a hair and makeup crew for all 9 of us, they were not sure if I was telling the truth. ha. The kicker was when I told them that Target was supplying their spring 2013 decor lineup and I would get to keep some of it! I had a tough time believing that also but more on that in a minute.

3 weeks before the shoot, fedex and UPS arrived 2 or 3 times a day multiple times during the week delivering packages from Target and a variety of other sources. Everything from rugs, dishware and home decorating items. It was insane.

Woman's Day feature + behind the scenes

The fedex guy Joe, laughed at me every single day for about 2 weeks. One of my neighbors, who happens to be good friends with my parents, came over about 1 week into packages being delivered and said, “Jess, does Tony know you are buying all this?”. Crazy man looking out for my husband. He was relieved when I told him I wasn’t buying it but confused when I told him Target was sending it! ha.

Woman's Day feature + behind the scenes

After about 2 weeks, our family room was filled with boxes stacked literally to the ceiling. We had a tiny path to the tv and couch and that was it. A lot of it was used and a lot of it was sent back to Target. I love how they coordinated with what I already had and added some fun pieces to the mix.

Woman's Day feature + behind the scenes

Woman's Day feature + behind the scenes

The middle of September arrived and a crew arrived bright and early one Tuesday morning to start setting up. They were here for about 9 hours and when they left, our home had been transformed to gorgeousness! The kitchen and dining room looked beautiful. It is amazing what professional stylists can do with a room. They did a great job coordinating the accessories with the wing back chair I reupholstered. The next morning, the same crew arrived along with hair and makeup, the photographers, caterers and more Woman’s Day execs. A crew of nine plus us nine, makes 18. It was fabulous fun chaos!

Woman's Day feature + behind the scenes

Above from the left, Bob the photographer, Ayn-Monique ready to give birth from Woman’s Day, Sara from Woman’s Day and Stephanie from Woman’s Day.

Woman's Day feature + behind the scenes

Aren’t those red chairs adorable?  My gram below getting her hair and makeup done.

Woman's Day feature + behind the scenes

My step daughters and son getting their hair and makeup done. My son was not impressed with having his hair done. ha.

Woman's Day feature + behind the scenes

My son somehow managed to evade the camera all day. He was hiding with the ipad trying to be good :).

Woman's Day feature + behind the scenes

My husband in all his glory, getting his hair in makeup done. My gramps and dad opted for just powder but not my husband, he opted for the full treatment.

Woman's Day feature + behind the scenes

Me, my mom, dad, gram and gramps.

Woman's Day feature + behind the scenes

The girls doing the hot cocoa shoot with their dad as the rest of us are eating, drinking and chatting.

Woman's Day feature + behind the scenes

Woman's Day feature + behind the scenes

Miss Stephanie from Woman’s Day was so funny! I had to capture and post some of her faces when she didn’t approve of a picture.

Woman's Day feature + behind the scenes

At one point during the day, Sara from Woman’s Day said, “where are the two Freds?”.

Woman's Day feature + behind the scenes

Yes, this is what my dad and gramps did all day on the couch. I’m not kidding.

And that’s a wrap! The issue hits stands today and I cannot wait to get some extra copies. The online feature will be live on the Woman’s Day site after the new year at which point I will be coordinating a giveaway here on the blog from Target as Woman’s Day will be hosting another giveaway from Target on their site.  Thank you to Woman’s Day for our makeover feature on our dining room and kitchen and to Target for letting me keep so many of the beautiful items! I will show you our kitchen renovation, the blue glass back splash I installed and it’s new look after the holiday’s but in the mean time, you can see it in the January issue of Woman’s Day 🙂

Meet Jessica

What started as a hobby, Jessica’s blog now has millions of people visit yearly and while many of the projects and posts look and sound perfect, life hasn’t always been easy. Read Jessica’s story and how overcoming death, divorce and dementia was one of her biggest life lessons to date.


  1. How exciting for your family & you – congratulations! I’m running out this morning to buy an issue!

  2. Congrats on the feature Jessica~looking forward to reading it! It must be so hard to keep this under wraps for so long~glad you are finally able to share the behind-the-scenes.

  3. jessie smith says:

    Wow! So what are you getting for Christmas?? What FUN!!!

    1. Thank you aunt Jessie! I am cooking the feast of the seven fishes for everyone Christmas eve ! You wanna come 🙂

  4. Jessica,

    Oh my, so incredibly exciting for you and your family! I can not imagine!!! What a fabulous Christmas present!!!
    Congrats to you!!! 🙂

  5. Deb Cazzetta says:

    I am so happy for you. You have done wonderful things with your house. I think you and your husband are special people. I think it is important to keep family together. I hope you and your family have a great holiday!

    1. Thank you Deb! I agree that keeping family together is key. Hope you have a wonderful holiday as well 🙂

  6. Jessica, what fun! Wow, so funny what the fed ex guy said about you shopping 🙂 Hahaha! I can’t wait to see your home in print. Loved seeing all the behind the scenes photos.

  7. Oh how fun!!! So excited to go grab a copy and brag that I know you ;). Congrats girlie!!!

    1. Oh my word two comments in one week from the o’l wise one 🙂 ha. Thank you and you can say that “you” are my o’l wise one!

  8. Angela Murad says:


  9. I love the 2 Freds! What an exciting day, and an amazing honor. Congrats to you!

    1. Thank you Brenda! Yes, the two Freds are characters for sure. Pieces of work 🙂

  10. Congratulations! My mom gets WD and I can’t wait to read your feature when I’m there at Christmas. She also gets This Old House and I saw you in that the last time I visited and looked through her magazines.

    1. Awww thank you Paula! It was a fun day and my family really enjoyed seeing themselves in the magazine. It was certainly a day for the memory box 🙂

  11. Congratulations Jessica! Sounds like a great experience for you and your family!! I get my copy of Woman’s Day delivered on my Nook but because of your article I am going to also pick up a hard copy.

    I have a very soft spot in my heard for multi generations living under one roof. My grandmother lived with us for a time and my children learned so much from her in her very golden years. She was 1 month shy of 93 when she passed http://kathydecosmo.blogspot.com/2012/01/anna-banana-my-nana.html

    I am now following you http://pinterest.com/katiesheadesign/ and https://twitter.com/katiesheadesign Look forward to pinning & tweeting with you.

    Happy Holidays to you and your family!! God Bless 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Kathleen! That is great that you had the opportunity to live together. Wow, your gram lived a long life 🙂 My other gram (my mom’s mom) use to live here with us as well and passed away last summer just shy of 93 as well. It is such a great experience all around for the kids and adults. I think more and more families are doing it and it’s a gift as far as I am concerned. Thank you so much for stopping by and lets keep in touch!

  12. Very cool. I really enjoy these behind the scenes photo shoots that all the home bloggers do when their houses get featured. It is so darn interesting. So thanks for sharing. It all looks great. And fabulous loot to boot! ha!

  13. Where was I? How did I miss this post? UHG! YOU ARE A ROCK STAR girlfriend! What a great post! How fun to see all the behind scenes! Mega Congratulations because you certainly deserve it!

  14. This looks like so much fun. Jessica! I saw the magazine and your home looks phenomenal. Congratulations!

    Have a wonderful Christmas,


    1. Hey Jessica, I swear I responded to you but my comment is showing? hmm. Thank you so much for your kind words and hope you have a great Christmas as well!

  15. You must be so proud and excited–I’m excited for you. Congratulations! A a very new bogger, I can only imagine the hard work you put into your blog –its beautiful and oh so inspiring! Congratulations!

  16. Wow–congrats that is so cool! Yes, its crazy how quick of a turnaround media works under!

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