Comments (2) Life, Lately


Earlier this week, I turned 25.

This year has been full of change, growth and lots of good. Last year, I started this blog, and it’s been a blast. I’ve learned a lot and made thousands of new friends, but in the process, I realized that I was stretching myself thin for no good reason and that the pseudonym wasn’t doing me any favors.

At one time, I was managing two names, two blogs, two Instagram accounts and constantly explaining that this blog was by me, Sabrina Smelko, but that I also had a separate site,, for my work. I separated my working presence online into two sites and I’m now on a mission to end that confusion.

I, Sabrina Smelko, am Hands and Hustle, so why not make Hands and Hustle simply Sabrina Smelko, who I am? That’s a great question… I originally started this blog under the name Hands and Hustle simply because I didn’t want to subject my existing followers to my playlists or photos of my living room or dog. I thought, “they follow me for my work, and they shouldn’t have to be subject to that,” but I’ve realized my work is a part of who I am, and I needn’t be shy of letting it, or my couch, represent me.

So I’m throwing mis-placed politeness out the window and importing this blog, Hands and Hustle, into this blog, on As of January sometime, I’ll make this URL redirect there, and operate under to make my life easier.

Sure, I’ll lose subscribers and my followers, but I hope you all take a moment to RE-SUBSCRIBE to my NEW BLOGLOVIN‘. I’d hate to lose my pals who’ve bookmarked this site, so please take a mo’ to update your bookmarks or whatever you use to flag this blog. It’s a hassle, but I need to do this for myself.

Also, in consolidating my sites and taking the time to bridge all of Hands and Hustle followers and blog into this blog, you’ll also see a change in terms of content. I’m going to post what I want, when I want to, and it will include a lot more personal content in terms of my work as an illustrator, designer and Editor for I’ll share more of my process and personal thoughts and feels, and any blogging I do for other companies will be linked to once a week if you want to check it out, but this is my blog otherwise.

Long-winded explanation aside, with my birthday week under my belt, I want to do a giveaway and be pin-twins with someone out there! The talented Rachelle Letain gifted me with two of her foliage pins (which are gorgeous), and I’m giving away one of you. To enter, follow me on Instagram, follow Rachelle, and follow my new BlogLovin’ then click here! (Must be within Canada, contest ends TOMORROW, winner will be announced on the weekend).

Foliage Pin (by Rachelle Letain) Giveaway!

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The Big Reveal of My Kitchen Renovation

Comments (3) Home & Lifestyle, My Home / Studio



Yesterday was the first day I woke up to a 100% finished kitchen, and boy, did it feel good! Making coffee and looking around at my new, shiny, surroundings felt surreal. I can’t believe that just four short weeks ago, this was an entirely different sight, but mostly, I can’t believe it’s done!

Here are a bunch of before and after photos of my kitchen:







In just one month, my space has gone from dysfunctional to very functional (with plenty of additional dysfunction and disarray in between). The flow of my kitchen is now seamless and easy. There are no more walls separating my kitchen from my living room, no more bumping my head on the overhead storage, no more wasted space, and finally the room to actually fit a dining table to host more than one couple at a time (Christmas, you’re happening here this year–yikes)!


Before, my appliances were clustered tight together making for difficult dinners, and now, my Frigidaire Professional® appliances are not only placed perfectly, but they’re top of the line when it comes to performance, durability and design.



When it came to the decor of my kitchen, my love for modern, eclectic and bohemian styles could really shine. I love mixing things like glass, steel and stone with warm textures, rich wood and plenty of trinkets and plants. The off-white shaker-style cabinets, counter-to-ceiling white subway tile (which, yes, I did by all by myself in 24 hours in a panic), and stainless steel appliances paired with wood bowls, open shelving, and wicker, cork and brass accessories help warm the space up.

I honestly can’t believe just four short weeks ago, this hadn’t even begun. It’s like my mood-board has come to life before my eyes in just one month.






Though some days during this renovation, I doubted that I’d be able to finish it all and have it come together, thanks to Leon’s Furniture and Frigidaire Professional®, and the many hands that helped me along the way, this fully loaded, home-chef worthy kitchen is finally mine to live in and make food in, which isn’t going to be hard with appliances this smart to do the thinking for me!



The Gas Range, Over-The-Range Microwave, French Door Refrigerator and Dishwasher were some of the last things to be put in place. They were the final — and most important — touch to wrap this renovation up!



Just in time for my birthday, and with Christmas around the corner, I can’t wait to sit back, relax, and simply enjoy my space again. For a long time, my house didn’t feel like home — it felt like a project — but now, I have more of a connection to my space than ever before, because my hands did this work! I’m so proud and happy and I couldn’t be more thrilled with the result. Even Piper has a pep in her step!


Thanks to everyone who made this possible. I really hope all of you enjoyed this renovation series! 🙂



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Happy Dance: My Kitchen Renovation Progress

Comments (1) Home & Lifestyle, kitchen reno, My Home / Studio

One of the most fulfilling feelings is seeing something you imagined, created and worked hard for come to fruition. This week, my Frigidaire Professional® appliances arrived and were installed, and it wasn’t until they were put in place and installed that I began to see the big picture coming together! Up until now, it’s been hard to visualize and determine how my final space would look and function, but I’ve been forcing myself to trust my gut and stick to my plan — and boy am I glad I did. The appliances are not only gorgeous, but their placement has proven to be super functional and their layout feels natural and intuitive, so I am thrilled.


I have yet to cook a large Italian meal, but the few things I’ve already prepared (such as fried eggs and roasted chicken) have been scrumptious. I can really tell the difference between the power and durability of my old set of appliances and my new ones. In doing this whole renovation, my end goal has been to not only have a more functional kitchen overall, but to finally get some grown-up, durable, high-performing and reliable appliances. Though it’s only been a few days living with my new appliances, it’s safe to say that they exceed my expectations and needs.


Let’s be honest: most refrigerators can often stand out like sore thumbs and can be a necessary evil in the kitchen, but my Frigidaire Professional® french-door refrigerator blends seamlessly into my cabinets. There’s no unnecessary knobs or handles (thank goodness, I terribly dislike gadgets and gimmicks) — even the controls that are necessary are hidden on the inside of the door. The aesthetic of the fridge, inside and out, is sleek and minimal.


Because it’s counter-depth, it sits back and takes up less room, while still offering plenty of customizable storage inside with SpacePro Adjustable Crisper Bins and Slide-Under, Flip-Up Shelves. One of the many features it offers is a PureAir® Filtration System to remove odors and keep food tasting like it should, but if you asked Piper what her favorite aspect it, it would be the automatic ice-cube maker.


Next up, my Front-Control Freestanding Gas Range with powerful burners for maximum flexibility and performance. It has a PowerPlus Convection oven, and preheats in minutes. It also comes with a handy temperature probe and warns you when a certain temperature is achieved when cooking meat or fish — which will come ion handy as I’m hosting Christmas at my house for the first time ever. Eek!



Directly above my gas stove is an over-the-range microwave unlike any microwave I’ve ever seen. It doubles as a Convection Oven which you can actually bake in — I’m talking everything from cookies to an entire chicken! It also has PowerSense™ Cooking Technology which automatically senses the ideal time and power level to cook at, and an adjustable timer so you can add or remove time rather than having to cancel a cycle and restart (like I’m usually guilty of doing).



And last, but certainly not least, my Dishwasher (!!!), which I’m admittedly the most excited for as I never had one before. I love that the control are hidden inside so you don’t have to see them, and so you don’t accidentally start or cancel a cycle, but one of the most impressive features is the PowerPlus® 30-Minute Wash cycle, so if you only have on set of plates or dishes and you have guests over, you can wash everything and have it ready to use again in a half hour.


My plumber just installed the drain line yesterday and I’ve already used it twice, and I must say my dishes have never looked cleaner. This baby is not only fast, but powerful as heck! It even has special jets, AKA PrecisionPro Wash Zones™, to target those hard-to-reach areas of things like water bottles and delicate stemware.


Powerful performance and intuitive function of my appliances aside, I am most impressed by their overall design and aesthetic. All of the handles and knobs are consistent across the series, the control panels are hidden and discreet for a de-cluttered, seamless look, the stainless steel is Smudge-Proof (even with Piper poking her nose around them) and even the font used reflects the professional, sleekness of the pieces. As a visual designer and illustrator, I’m pleasantly surprised! It’s obvious that plenty of thought went into each piece, both individually and as a cohesive family.


But as I’ve come to expect in a renovation, for every bit of good news and progress, there’s an equal amount of issues you run into. I did run into some hiccups this week which came in the form of my back-splash. In last week’s post, I gabbed about my existing white subway tile back-splash and adding to it, but after visiting the store I purchased it from merely 6 months ago, I was burned to learn that the dye lot had changed and the colour and size was different, albeit ever so subtly. In the end, I made the tough choice to rip out my old back-splash (which was glued down so well by me months ago that the drywall came with it)! This meant re-dry walling, plastering, and sanding – which meant more dust, just when I thought the mess was over! But sometimes, blessings are disguised as curses, because though it was upsetting, it gave me the opportunity to choose the perfect tile for the new space and be able to line it up better than it previously was. And I must admit, it looks fantastic!

I cannot wait to show you guys how this has all come together! Next week is the big reveal and I’ll be sharing oodles of photos and a video of my finished kitchen and dining space! Heading into this weekend, it’ll be the first day in a month that I can sleep in and take the day off. Yippee!

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON LEON’S NEW BLOG, HELLO YELLOW. Have a look around for plenty of DIY, recipe, home decor goodness.

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Hustlers: Jeremy Watt, Co-Founder of Province of Canada

Comments (1) Hustlers


Since last year, I’ve been following the made-in-Canada lifestyle brand Province of Canada. I may be biased as a Canuck, but there’s something quintessentially comforting and familiar about their product line, but yet it still maintains a high-quality, culturally relevant vibe and aesthetic. And for just about as long as I’ve followed them, I’ve been email-chatting back and forth with Jeremy Watt, the Co-Founder, about their start and what POC is all about, including some banter about Instagram, manufacturing, and Drake. Enjoy our brief, candid chat after the jump!


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