home SWEET home

Make your next Open House a little "sweeter" with a custom candy buffet!  Your Open House will be sure to stand out with a unique display of sweet treats.  I would suggest using candy that will last for a couple of weeks and use as many pre-packaged items as possible.  You might be concerned that the wrappers might get left behind, but by providing stickers to seal the bags shut, guests are encouraged to take their treats with them.  To create the candy bar as pictured, I used containers that I found at Party City, where I also picked up the blue lollipops.  The twizzlers, swedish fish & bubble gum came from Target and the cute little bags were a hobby lobby find.  I order all of my labels from amazon and picked up a cheap frame at Dollar Tree.


blue lollipops  ○  lollipop container  ○  swedish fish  ○  swedish fish container  ○  twizzlers  ○  twizzler container  ○  bubble gum  ○  bubble gum container  ○  square labels  ○  treat bags

Click HERE to download the home SWEET home sign template.

Sunshine Design

Meet my friend Kelly Hieronymus.  Kelly and I have been friends for over a decade, she is one of my biggest cheerleaders as I am hers.  Kelly is an amazing artist, an incredible designer and a huge asset to our community.  Growing up in a "builder" family (Sunbuilt Homes) gave Kelly the design bug early.  I am convinced that there is nothing that this girl can not do!  If you are looking for custom art, or need assistance in residential design definitely check her out.


Oh, and don't take my word for it...see what other's have to say.

News-Gazette 10/30/2016

Smile Politely 3/18/2016

Kelly on Houzz

texture home

I just LOVE everything about this place!  Opened by two lovely ladies in 2014, TEXTURE home has proven it's value in our community.  From the candles to the restyled pieces and everything in between, I dare you to walk out empty handed.  Did I mention that the owners support local artists?  That love people, that is love.  Visit their facebook page, or better yet, stop by and take a look for yourself!

Rifle Paper Co. Keds

Anyone else as obsessed with shoes as I am?  When my friend Deb posted these Rifle Paper Co. Keds on her instagram, I instantly fell in love and had to have them.  But, these suckers sold out fast!  After (obsessively) watching the nordstrom, anthropologie and keds sites for weeks they FINALLY came back in stock (shout out to anthro.)  I ordered them right away and they rarely leave my feet.  As a REALTOR®, comfy shoes are important and these are so cute you can dress them up to make them "business casual" acceptable.  Seriously, get them, you won't regret it!

"Jerry Style" Wings

"Jerry Style" Wings

-toss chicken wings and drummies in franks red hot sauce
-put in the crockpot and cook on low for 3-5 hours
-put the chicken on a baking sheet and brush with Tessemae's BBQ sauce
-turn on the broiler and put them in the oven until crispy then flip and repeat on the other side
To make them "Jerry Style" I put them on the foreman, just for a minute or two

And Tessemae's Creamy (tho I think it's more of a tangy) Ranch on the side. 


Old Time Meat & Deli

Old Time Meat & Deli is one of the best treasures in all of Champaign.  They have, hands down, the BEST twice baked potatoes I have ever had.  Seriously, I could eat them everyday.  Not only do they carry the best meat, they offer a pretty amazing service perfect for those "I am too tired to cook" days.  Every (week) day after 4PM Old Time has meat off the smoker. It's the perfect drive-thru alternative (sorry you have to get out of your car though.)  All you have to do is walk up to the counter and let them know how much you want, grab a twice baked potato (or two) on your way to the check out and you are one drive (and thirty minutes cook time for the potato) from the most delicious meal.  They have a pretty decent collection of assorted sides and beef house rolls and spreads, that's right THE beef house rolls.  So, next time you want a "this tastes like it took all day" dinner in under an hour, head to Old Time.


pictured: brisket, twice baked potato and coleslaw

pictured: brisket, twice baked potato and coleslaw

free2b sun cups

These are AMAZING!  (totally not Whole30, sorry Melissa) BUT when you haven't had a bite of your favorite candy growing up in over four years, you get yourself a pack (or three) of these.  You won't regret it.  Of course, I got mine at target (okay, this blog is making me realize this target addiction might be borderline problematic) but they have a WHOLE BUNCH of other goodies on their site

Hampden Industrial Stools

A few months ago I decided to to a DIY Renovation on my kitchen, with plans to re-do my "dining room" months down the road.  Well, once I get an idea in my head I have to bring it to life.  It's how I have been for as long as I can remember.  Once my kitchen was coming together, I measured space in my dining area, drafted my design in my notebook and created a rendering of my vision.  I knew the style I was going for and I instantly fell in love with these bar stools from target (of course.)  They truly make the space and bring everything together.  Want to know how I created this space?  Check out the "how to" on my DIY page!



actual photo of finished bar

actual photo of finished bar

rendering of bar

rendering of bar

Welcome Baby Girl

One of my dear friends recently welcomed her precious baby girl into the world.  This was a basket I created for her shower.  The nursery has an elegant rustic style with a bunny theme.  The pail, which was under $5 (thank you Michael's half off baskets sale) was something that could be used in the nursery, and the bunny was just too sweet to pass up.  There is a blanket lining the bottom (I buy a pack of them and use one per basket) instead of tissue paper, and I clipped socks with tiny clothespins to twine rather than using a bow.  The pail is filled with goodies from mom and dad's registry.  The best part is that everything goes to good use and you don't find yourself spending $6 on a gift bag that gets thrown away.


Infuser Water Bottle

We hear it all the time, "drink more water" but this is probably one of the things I struggle with the most.  I don't know what it is, but I can never bring myself to drink enough water.  After starting my Whole30 journey (and ridding my life of Diet Coke) I knew I needed to really make an effort to drink enough water every day, talk about a struggle.  Finally, someone posted these infuser water bottles and I figured it was worth a shot.  You guys, this thing is amazing!  And it works with all kinds of fruit!  My favorite is strawberries, just toss them in the bottom and you're good to go.  So, next time you are at target, pick up one of these bad boys!  Or, order one online here.

Neutrals, and why we love them.

For this post, I teamed up with my great friend Kelly Hieronymus to bring to you the importance of a neutral palette.  These days, you only have one chance at a first impression and usually, it starts online.   When buyers are searching through photos of listings and come across that lime green bedroom or bright yellow kitchen they are likely to skip right past that house because let’s face it, no one enjoys painting.  On the flip side, painting over those lime green walls could get your house from “oh no” to “SOLD.”
Here are some words of advice from Design Consultant, Kelly Hieronymus.

“Choosing a neutral palette doesn’t mean boring.  Use accessories to make your space pop. If you’re color addict, like me, spring for colorful (or plaid! YES, it is making a comeback!) furniture instead of springing for a paint brush.  If you want to add interest to your walls, consider picking up large black frames and ordering posters from Society 6.  A grouping of three 16″ x 20″ frames looks sharp behind a couch or above a mail drop in your foyer.  Also, their prints are inexpensive, so you wont feel so bad if you grow tired of them.  When you do choose to switch them out, you won’t have to worry about changing the wall color, because you will have already selected something that goes with everything!
If you insist on painting your home, pick small areas to paint.  That way if you do choose to bring home a re-finished neon-mint coffee table, changing the wall color is a snap.  And please, please hire a professional!

Colonnade Gray SW7641 from Sherman Williams is one of the best neutral colors out there right now.  It works well with warm woods, and it looks great in cool shady corners.  I have placed this color in traditional homes, as well as super modern… and in my own bedroom! Looks sharp with brushed nickel, and polished brass.”

 Be sure to check Kelly’s work out on houzz. And, in case you missed it, Kelly was featured on smile politely this week.

Her art has been on display at common ground food co-op this month. Come meet Kelly at the Art Reception this Friday, March 25 from 6:30 to 8:30 at common ground.  Her talent never ceases to amaze me and I am honored to have such a great friend to collaborate with.

2015 ROOKIE of the Year Champaign County Association of REALTORS®

KRISTEN LONG was recently honored as the 2015 Champaign County Association of Realtors R.O.O.K.I.E. of the Year. The award is presented annually to a new REALTOR® who has been in the industry no more than two years but who has actively served on Association committees.