These are Frequently Asked Questions:


Since Extreme Makeover: Home Edition wrapped, many people have been asking me what I’ve been up to. Well…I’ve been having fun, working on projects, and reconnecting with friends and family that I haven’t seen in years! I was on the road for almost ten years, and now I’m really focusing on projects I can do while staying at home. Yay! Together with MY TEAM, we’ve been doing our own projects and wanted to share these projects and fun times with all of you. So welcome!
We originally wanted the site to be called “Eat, Play, Feng-Shui” (EPFS) and we bought those domains, but then we realized that many people, including us, couldn’t figure out how to spell Feng-Shui!!! So we parked our site here at
We wanted to focus on the three things in life we love doing: Enjoying / Creating yummy food, having fun, and renovating / remodeling / hacking our home(s). So everything on the website will ultimately fall under these three headings.
We have been flipping properties (yes – even in a “down” market), throwing themed parties, helping out a charity and taking care of our kids… and by kids, we mean our three cats and two dogs. Now that we have this site up and running (YAY! Woo-hoo! FINALLY!), we can share it all with you guys.
I’ll start with the oldest…

Mercury is a beautiful, blue-eyed Tabby/Siamese mix resuce kitten who is 14 years old. She was my traveling companion on EM:HE, uses the toilet, and is my #1 snuggler.

(Link to Mercury blog).

Eros is a handsome poly-dactyl Highland Lynx kitty we got on Valentine’s Day in 2010 when he was just a couple of months old. He fit in one hand when we got him and now he’s 20 pounds! He was already named ‘Eros’ when we got him, which fit with our theme of Greek/Roman gods.

(Link to Eros blog).

Juno is a spunky 2 year-old Golden Lab Retriever who still thinks she’s a lap-dog puppy. We got her a year and a half ago when I was hosting an auction. She was one of the auction items. My goal was to up the price of the auction, but no one out-bid me. Thus Juno came home with us!

(Link to Juno blog).
Juno was a bit lonely, so we headed down to the Animal Shelter and adopted:

Ceres, a white lab mix. She was a skinny little thing and was literally one day away from doom when we took her home to live with us! At 70 pounds, she’s now Juno’s playmate and is in LOVE with Jason. She’s about 3 years old.

(Link to Ceres blog)

Last but not least is Simba… our baby Highland Lynx kitten. Though he’s over 2 years old, he still seems like a kitten at only 8 pounds. He is my little bud – follows me everywhere at all times of the day. So why 4 Greek/Roman names and then Simba? We were originally going to name him ‘Hercules’, but he was a little skittish and looked so much like Simba from the Lion King, so the name just stuck (And maybe, just maybe, Jason had a little to do with it, as he wanted to name Eros – Simba).

(Link to Simba blog).
Now you’ve met the family of furry friends!

Growing up, I was always interested in arts and crafts – and that’s what I say that carpentry is today – just larger arts and crafts! Instead of building things out of popsicle sticks, now I’m using 2×4’s! But the truth be told, I didn’t really become interested in carpentry; rather, I became interested in fixing up homes. In the year 2001, I started a rent-to-own company in which I bought homes, fixed them up and rented them out. Out of necessity (mainly, the need to save money), I fixed them up myself.
That’s a hard question to answer! I love tools! I feel that tools really level the playing field for me out there in the man’s world of home construction! I love that by using a tool, I can take on a job that typically can only be done by the strength of a man. So as hard as this is to narrow down, I will narrow it to my top 3 tools.

The first one is a dual-arm, radial compound miter saw. This is a life-saver when I am remodeling homes on my own with moldings, crown moldings and chair rails. With the sliding arm, it cuts regular 2×4’s on up to 2×12’s!

My second favorite tool, that’s a little more portable, is a small, 12-volt drill (or screw gun). With the interchangeable heads, it allows you to be versatile, drill holes or fasten screws, all with one small tool.

Third would have to be my jigsaw – it’s great for creating fun things for kids rooms.

I am definitely hoping that I can encourage women AND men! I feel that no matter who you are, when you tackle a project, it gives you the confidence to go out and tackle more and more. It really empowers you! This reason is one of the main reasons that I wrote my book, The Tuff Chix Guide to Easy Home Improvement. I wanted everyone to know that it’s not difficult to take on these projects themselves. Many times we just need that little vote of confidence to attempt something. Once we have attempted something and succeeded, it continually opens the door to new opportunities. I am hoping that if nothing else, I can inspire women and girls to follow their hearts and do whatever they want to do – even if it’s typically thought of as a man’s world.
I have so many heroes in my life – mainly the strong women that have raised me!

My mom is an amazing person who taught me to be strong, told me that anything was possible, and taught me how to be ethical and honest in all my dealings.

My step-mom is equally as incredible! She taught me how to be a strong woman in business, and how to never let anything stop me from achieving my dreams.

My grandmother, who continually inspires me today with her wisdom, laid the groundwork for strong, capable and loving women in my family.

I was blessed to have these amazing role models throughout my childhood, and still even today.

Although I love doing whole-house “flips”, my favorite rooms to design are children’s bedrooms. I can be as creative as I want to be, and EM:HE allowed us to take that creativity to the extreme! I got to live vicariously through these kids and design rooms that I would have LOVED as a child. I will miss that part of EM:HE a lot because when we are flipping properties, we have to design more conservatively so that the home will appeal to a larger audience.

What do you think? PINK OF COURSE!

Oh yes…carpentry is just one small area of DIY that I dabble in. When I was fixing up homes, I was doing all sorts of things including plumbing, drywall, roofing, siding, flooring, and even electrical. In fact, electrical is still one of my favorite projects to tackle. I especially love putting in dimmer switches as they are a great way to create mood lighting for that special space, plus all your friends are very impressed that you did it yourself!
I’ve always been a tomboy. I grew up with my cousin, Chet, and hung out with all the kids in the neighborhood – which happened to all be boys. I never liked dolls. I loved the doll HOUSES, but not the dolls. So if I wasn’t re-arranging the furniture in my doll houses, I was out rough-housing with the boys – playing football, jumping bikes, skateboarding, etc. My dad was a professional race car driver (a drag racer) so going to the race tracks were among some of my earliest memories. I might have a bit of the racing gene in my blood – oops!
Working on a show that gets to change people’s lives every day was truly amazing. It was an honor and a blessing! Even before the show, I volunteered with organizations like Habitat for Humanity, and I loved the way it felt to be able to help people by doing work with your bare hands. The show was so much like that! I loved my time on the show, the families we were able to help, the memories I will have with me a lifetime, and the amazing people I met over the years! There are two great compliments that I still get from being a part of the show – 1) That we inspired someone to help in their own neighborhood, and 2) That I’m a role model to young women. What a honor!
I currently work with, and have worked with them for many years. This amazing organization builds home for our military men and woman who have been injured in battle. I love that I get the opportunity to help those men and women who insure our freedom. We helped many military families over the years on EM:HE, and now thanks to this great charity, I am able to continue to help those in need. I learned many years ago that the importance of having a safe, comfortable home can make all the difference in someone’s life…It was my dream to help as many families as possible, and even though EM:HE has closed production, I get the opportunity (and honor) to continue to live this dream!
Most forms of carpentry have come pretty easy to me – I credit it to the fact that I did so many arts and crafts projects my entire life. What I realized is that the hard part is getting over my FEAR of something being difficult, not that the project itself was actually hard. The more I tried, however, the more I conquered and the more I was willing to take on.
My main reason for starting Tuff Chix was to provide a need that was not currently being met in the marketplace – the need for proper work gear that actually fit women. Plus, I wrote my book because I wanted to teach women what I had learned – how to take care of themselves in the DIY world. I want to show women that they are strong and capable and can do anything they set their minds to.

My personal design style is a cross between modern and Victorian romantic. My own house is a lot of deep reds, cast iron, and grandiose furniture.

I am a huge chocolate fan (Twix or M&M’s in particular) or if I am in the mood for something salty, then I revert to a snack that my friend, Fluff, introduced me to – Ritz crackers, cream cheese and sweet pickles. It sounds weird I know…but it’s so yummy. Probably my favorite snack, however, is cake batter. I’m a weirdo! I will literally keep a box of cake batter nearby with a plastic cup and a spoon…just add a little water and it’s an instant snack! Sure, it’s a little odd, but oh so good!
My FAVORITE thing to do is to spend time with my family, friends and pets. Although I love staying home since I haven’t been able to do that in so many years, I do love traveling to exotic locations. Throw in a little home remodeling and race-car driving every now and then, and you have all of my favorite activities!