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About once a year it seems that I’ll hear some numbers or statistics that make me uncomfortable and a little sad.   Usually they come from the CEO of the Girl Scouts of North Texas, but this year they came from my friends at Smith College.


Last week, I had the privilege of heading up to Smith as a guest of the admissions office. Smith is a small, highly selective women’s college in the northeast and I was extremely excited to visit.


You see, I believe that there’s still a place for women’s colleges in education. I’m a huge supporter of single-sex education, particularly for girls who are still trying to figure out who they are. There’s far too much pressure in a co-ed environment, and there’s plenty of research that supports gender bias in the classroom. If you’re one of the lucky females who was (seemingly) born with a strong self-concept, hats off to you! I like to think I’m one of those women, but I also know that I would have benefitted immensely from a single-sex environment in high school and tried to get myself into one… but that’s another story for another day.


Anyway, I digress.


Like the Girl Scouts, Deb Shaver gave us some staggering statistics, but the one that makes me the most uncomfortable is that only 15% of working engineers are women. 15%. (Further, last year I learned that only 20% of women hold STEM degrees. 20%.)

Girls and STEM degreespinthisimage

We’ve made so many strides (hello, we can even be nominated for President now!), but we still aren’t working in STEM fields at the same rate as our male counterparts. We aren’t even trying.


This bothers me because I am an engineer.


And every time I hear the stats on how few girls stay interested in STEM, I feel like I sold out. I feel like I should be doing more. I feel like that I’m failing to be a role model for those little girls like me who loved science in elementary and middle school and then at some point between middle and high school believe that they aren’t math and/or science people. That they’re too dumb to do math or science. Or worse yet, that a STEM career isn’t for them because they don’t have a strong enough foundation to make it through their freshman year of college – but they don’t see it that way – they just see that they can’t do it. When… if they had more support, they could.


I know they could.

Because I did.

Girl with engineering degreepinthisimage


Here’s the rub though. The problem isn’t just that girls aren’t becoming engineers or going into STEM. The other problem is that girls don’t think they are leaders. Last year, when I heard the CEO of Girl Scouts speak, she gave us these staggering statistics:


92% of girls believe “anyone can be a leader”.


Only 1 in 10 of those girls believe that they have what it takes to be a leader.




I’m sorry, but it’s 2016. Our girls need to know that they can do anything, be anything, and LEAD anything.


Hence the guilt.


I had a professor tell me that he didn’t think I had the mental capabilities to pass his class. I do and I did. I had an interviewer tell me that they weren’t really looking to hire a female. I got up, walked out, and got the job.


I wasn’t always so fearless and gutsy… but I refused to let those experiences become my reality. I pushed forward. I ran headfirst into walls. I didn’t ever believe that I couldn’t.


And I don’t want little girls believing that they can’t anymore.


One of my sweet college advisors pointed out to me that I do a lot to encourage girls in STEM/engineering fields… which was particularly kind of her. But I was still unsettled. I want to do more. I want my own Girl Scout troop. I want to be able to get girls into schools and programs that will keep them on the path for their chosen careers. I want to send them to places where they can become leaders in things that they are passionate about.


I want them to know they CAN and they WILL.


…which leads me to yet another quote from Dean Shaver that didn’t make sense to me until I sat there and really thought about what she was saying.


“Put a women’s college on your list because it’s not about equal opportunity. It’s about EVERY opportunity for young women.” – Deb Shaver, Smith College


You’ll be hard pressed to convince me that there isn’t more truth in that statement than any other statement floating around about equity and access right now.


I say all this to say…. What are YOU going to do to help girls realize the great potential they hold?

Girls I did it and you can toopinthisimage

Man… looking back… what a great day my college graduation was.  The road was H-A-R-D… but I could and I did.  Thanks to my second family for all the amazing photos they took on this special day.  I’m so lucky to have them.  And you.

  • Sara McCarty - AMEN! Love this!ReplyCancel

  • cara - You are the epitome of a girl success story, and it’s so awesome that you are an engineer! I completely agree with you girls need to know that they can do it and they are capable! As a society, we really need to start working on instilling confidence in girls. Great post!ReplyCancel

  • Hena Tayeb - Thank you for this wonderfully empowering post. I agree.. we really don’t do enough to show our girls that they can do anything..and everythingReplyCancel

Our formal dining room reveal is here!  Our formal dining room was definitely one of the most dated rooms in the house with its brass chandelier and carpeted floors… in fact, I installed my own Pottery Barn chandelier because I was so tired of running into the original chandelier… but I loved the room because of its big picture windows and I attempted to set up my office in there before we started the renovation.

journey of doing - Formal Dining Room revealpinthisimage

journey of doing - Formal dining room revealpinthisimage

Now it’s one of my favorite rooms in the house.  We ended up moving a dividing wall to make the room feel less dated and square off the kitchen… you can’t even tell that we messed with it to be honest.

I used Ralph Lauren Metallic paint and the painter ended up spraying it on instead of using the roller technique I learned at the Home Depot workshop.  This resulted in a much more understated metallic look, but it’s still elegant.  (I may end up repainting at some point because there’s a little more of a green undertone to the paint than I like… but it’s still pretty.)  Note: they warned us that it may be really hard to touch up because of that.  Sigh.

My Pottery Barn (teen) chandelier got upgraded in a HUGE way when I found our crystal chandelier on clearance at Horchow.  For less than $400.  I kid thee not.  (We had been planning on ordering one from a Venetian showroom after we returned from our honeymoon… but then I found this one… and it was such a great deal that we couldn’t pass it up.)

journey of doing - Formal dining room revealpinthisimage

I still have quite a bit of decorating to do – as far as figuring out what I want to put on the walls – but the rug opens up ALLLLLLL the possibilities… so I just need to work on it… but I figure this is a really good start.

journey of doing - Formal dining room revealpinthisimage

journey of doing - Formal dining room revealpinthisimage

journey of doing - Formal dining room revealpinthisimage

journey of doing - Formal dining room revealpinthisimage

journey of doing - Formal dining room revealpinthisimage

Formal Dining Room Reveal – Sources

Paint Colors

Walls – Ralph Lauren Metallic Mica at 50%

Trim // Ceiling – Restoration Hardware Seafoam (Benjamin Moore color match)


Chandelier (similar) // Chandelier (similar)


Table and Chairs // Bernhardt Marquesa Collection – sourced from Weir’s

Rug // Dalyn Rossini Ivory – sourced from Weir’s

Drapes // Valencia Scroll in Light Blue – Horchow Flash Sale (50% off!)

Sheers – Voile Sheer Panel in Ivory

Scenes of Venice // Purchased in Venice 2010 from a local gallery, custom framing at Hobby Lobby

journey of doing - formal dining room revealpinthisimage

Wow.  I am so woefully behind on emails… so for all of you who shot me comments, emails, texts, and good juju… THANK YOU!!   I survived Monday… celebrated my husband’s birthday on Tuesday… got the school list on Wednesday… and spent all day yesterday on the phone with admissions friends… and now… oh, look, it’s FRIDAY.

So here’s what you need to know…


ASP Class of 2016 by the numbers…

3,114 seniors

15 high schools schools

34,160 one-on-one counseling sessions

385 small group workshops

97% applied to college

90% accepted to college

59.6% submitted FAFSA/TASFA

$94.1 million dollars in scholarships & grants

So what does all that mean?  It means that we’ll be in 21 high schools next year…. 18 district schools and 3 charters…  welcome to 2016-2017, friends!!

“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the worlds are the ones who do.” – Steve Jobs

Carter 6pinthisimage

Today’s the day.

It’s principal presentation day.  The most important day of my year.

This year, it seems especially daunting.  I haven’t talked much about it because my mind’s been reeling from the fact that the district tried to cut our budget by over 50% last month… a problem that I managed to get fixed… only to be told less than two weeks ago that we couldn’t use results in our presentations and that we were truly being limited to 10 minute presentations.  Oh, and that presentations had to be turned in for review/revisions four days after that meeting.  And our presentations would be “locked” four days before the presentation by the district.  No changing things at the last minute.  No getting new ideas.  Presentations would be reviewed and approved in advance.

They cut multi-year campus trends and results from my presentation.

I won’t get into the number of epic toddler-style meltdowns I’ve had in the last week… but suffice it to say that this changes to presentations aren’t about kids.  They are about adults.  And politics.  And it made me SO MAD.

But true to form… I rallied.  And got over it.  And today’s the day.

Send me all your good juju, please.

And if you need more information on why this is so flipping important to me, please read here, here, or here.  Or watch this video.  Or this one.

With the arrival of the breakfast nook table last week, I thought it was only appropriate to do a full kitchen renovation reveal… because I’m basically obsessed with how our kitchen turned out.  I snagged the before photos from the house listing from when we bought it.  It’s absolutely AMAZING to see the transformation… and even though we haven’t been home that long, it’s hard to remember that our house ever looked like this!  (To be fair, it was down to the studs for a LONG time.)

journey of doing - kitchen renovation revealpinthisimage



While we used an architect for the floor plan and moving of walls, I sourced EVERYTHING myself… and I have to admit that I’m pretty proud of how everything turned out.  I’ve provided a list at the end of the post, but if I forgot something, let me know!  I’m always happy to share where I found things.

journey of doing - kitchen renovation revealpinthisimage

journey of doing - kitchen renovation revealpinthisimage

journey of doing - kitchen renovation revealpinthisimage

journey of doing - kitchen renovation revealpinthisimage

journey of doing - kitchen renovation revealpinthisimage

journey of doing - kitchen renovation revealpinthisimage

journey of doing - kitchen renovation revealpinthisimage

journey of doing - kitchen renovation revealpinthisimage

journey of doing - kitchen renovation revealpinthisimage

journey of doing - kitchen renovation revealpinthisimage

Paint Colors

WallsBenjamin Moore Glass Slipper

Trim // Cabinets // CeilingRestoration Hardware Seafoam (Benjamin Moore color match)

Cabinet Hardware

Cabinet knobs // Drawer pulls


Samsung Quartz – Gentle Gray


Arabesque Fleur Snow Water Jet Cut Glass Mosaic // Aqua Bostik Dimension glass-filled grout


Chandelier // Pendant Lights


Capital Culinarian – actually sourced from Amazon

Refrigerator // Microwave and Trim Kit // Dishwasher – sourced from  Texas Appliance (scratch and dent!)



Delta Cassidy 


Table and Chairs – sourced from Weir’s

  • Biana - You guys did such a great job picking everything out – it’s literally the kitchen of my dreams! xo, Biana –BlovedBostonReplyCancel

  • erin - OMG OMG OMG!!! its AMAZING. i am so in love with all the calming cool colors. its seriously stunning. now i really want to come see it IN PERSON!!!ReplyCancel

  • Kelsey - WOW!!!! You all did such a good job & everything looks amazing!!!! I love a modern white kitchen 🙂

  • Gina - This is incredible! Serious kitchen envy over here! Nice work – it turned out amazing ! XoReplyCancel

  • Stephanie - omg yay for it being finally done! It looks amazing ,I love everything you picked. Such pretty touches!ReplyCancel

  • cara - Wow, such an awesome job! Everything looks beautiful! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Sarah Elizabeth - This remodel turned out gorgeous! I don’t think I would ever want to leave the kitchen!ReplyCancel

  • Katie Elizabeth - I am sooo in love with everything about this!! Well done, lady! Now will you come do my kitchen?!ReplyCancel

  • Kate @ Green Fashionista - WOW! Everything looks gorgeous! I was obsessed with the chandelier and dining set, but then I saw the kitchen. Pure amazingness! Enjoy every single part, it was definitely worth it <3
    Green FashionistaReplyCancel

  • Jasmine - Sara, I am in LOVE with this kitchen! From the stove to the glass cabinets to the spice drawers. Ahhh, so perfect.ReplyCancel

  • Sky - The kitchen looks wonderful! Like a perfect blend between modern and classic elements. Love the chandelier over the dining table. Nice touch!ReplyCancel