Lizzloves's Blog

Spreading love and sisterhood…

LizzLoves Rehab Addict Nicole Curtis February 24, 2014

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This past weekend, my to-do list had two home improvement projects that made me a little nervous: treat newly uncovered hardwood floors and fix a broken toilet.

 

Now, I’ve been doing or overseeing several projects over the past 9 months, but sometimes the beginning of a new one still makes a whisper of doubt pop into my head. But this time I smiled and got over myself when I remembered one of my new heroines: Nicole Curtis of HGTV’s “Rehab Addict.” 

 

Nicole is a Minneapolis-based flipper — she buys old homes, restores them to their original splendor and then sells them. But don’t get it twisted, she doesn’t just oversee and call the shots — she’s a hands-on part of executing everything. Self-taught in her craft, Nicole is always ready with her goggles, tools and work boots, diving headfirst into all the projects. And she’s damn good at it. You might not guess it by her size, but she’s not shy about wielding any power tool or scared to try a new method to ensure the integrity of a project.

 

I admire Nicole’s style and the quality of her work, but most of all, I love that she’s savvy and smart with her approach — from the extensive historical research that she puts into all her homes, to the efforts she makes to keep the work budget-friendly and authentic. She goes to great lengths to preserve the finishes that set  historical homes apart. She makes sure that she and her crew use all available original materials that are found in the house, but when that resource is exhausted, she makes regular trips to salvage yards and antique stores to find materials that will match the era of the home. Vintage, reclaimed, repurposed…Nicole gets creative, but lives up to her self-proclaimed title of preservationist.

 

She’s admitted in the past that she gets very emotionally attached to her projects, but all I see is some serious passion at work. Even if your home decor/design taste is more modern, you won’t be able to ignore her spitfire energy and can-do attitude.

 

So, the next time I get nervous about a home improvement project, I’m going to just picture Nicole fearlessly taking a sledgehammer to a wall. If she can do that, then I can, too…or at least I can try! 🙂

PS: The hardwood floors look great! 

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LizzLoves Surf With Amigas June 26, 2013

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The other day I spent an evening on the beach at the Jersey Shore, wiggling my toes in the sand and taking in the sights, particularly the wetsuit-clad surfers who were braving the chilly waters. Suddenly in the distance I saw another surfer join the wave riders. From afar, I could see the figure was much smaller than the other surfers and the surfboard was almost twice the size of the person.

As they got closer, I realized…it was a woman! I was so excited, I stayed to cheer her on (in my head, at least!). Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to see her catch a wave before I had to leave, but I was giddy watching a girl holding court among the guys.

That surfer girl made me recall a very cool woman, Holly Beck, who I saw on episode of HGTV’s “House Hunters International.” Holly, a former pro surfer, was searching for a place to launch her dream of starting a surfing school in Nicaragua, especially for women. She knows, first hand, that it can be tough as a woman on the waves. As a kid, Holly was told that surfing was for boys, so it’s a good thing she didn’t listen. She now makes it her business, literally, to inspire women to hang ten with confidence and a sense of adventure. Now the school, Surf With Amigas, is so successful that they’ve even expanded to offering retreats in El Salvador and the Philippines.  As part of their program, SWA also offers yoga, local outings, hikes, and, most importantly, a unique sense of supportive sisterhood.

If you’re not up for a trip to Nicaragua, then there are a few other awesome women-run, women-focused surf schools out there, like Surf Diva (California & Costa Rica) and Las Olas Surf Safaris (Mexico). Surf’s up, ladies!