Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Kitchen Month - Progress Report

April is a little more than halfway over, so I thought it'd be a good time to check in with a Kitchen Month progress report.  Dennis and I have been pretty busy trying to check things off my massive to-do list, and I'm really pleased with our progress.  Sometimes when I put together a to-do list that extensive, it seems so overwhelming that we don't end up doing any of it.  But not this time!  I think we've both just decided to ignore the length of the list and to get done what we can.

So, what's been keeping us busy the last two weeks, you ask?  Lots of stuff  Let me break it down for you.
  • paint the kitchen cabinets  in progress
  • finish unpacking the few kitchen boxes that are left (i.e. find an appropriate home for everything)
  • finally bring over the remaining kitchen stuff from the old house (I know, I know, we still have stuff at the old house)
  • only put functional/pretty things on the new open shelves
  • write a post about the new open shelves
  • clear counters
  • post about our solution to our Ikea pantry that didn't fit (and yes, that happened almost a year ago SPOILER ALERT:  we didn't have to tear out the ceiling)
  • post about the new cabinets behind the stove
  • (maybe) sew curtains (or at least pick fabric?)
  • finish installing the quarter round
  • paint all trim
  • purchase and install crown molding on new cabinets to match slightly less new cabinets
  • purchase and install toe kick under new pantry cabinet
  • purchase and install plinth between pantry and wall
  • install new kitchen lights
  • purchase and install above fridge cabinet (I know we can't afford this right now, but I can dream)
  • build catwalks (again, we aren't going to have the money/time for this, but it's part of the long term plan)
  • install tile backsplash (again, no money, but part of the long term plan)
  • make/purchase spice rack* (again, money)
  • post about our "mudroom" solution at the back door
  • hang clock and wall art
  • get wall art from old house (I know, I know)
  • make snack station and spot for Jack's kitchen toys
Painting the kitchen cabinets:  This project is in progress.  It's the biggest and most time consuming thing on our list (that is actually attainable because of finances), and it's taking a little longer than I hoped.  And if you follow me on Instagram, you'd know it's taking way longer than I want.  I made sure to schedule time for painting and listed it on our family calendar, but then that weekend, we were presented with too many fun options and I only ended up painting for part of the time.  Yes, I'm an adult, and no, I don't know how to say no to fun.  I know I'm about 75% done with this project and have been doing a little work here and there between Jack's naps and when Dennis can take on baby duty (ha ha, I said baby "doodie").  I'm going to make myself finish before next weekend because my mom is coming for a visit, and I really don't want our entire house to be Crazy Town when she's here.

Finish unpacking the few kitchen boxes that are left:  Yes!!!  Done and done!  And I found out that I actually have room for everything in the new kitchen and in the overflow storage in the dining room, plus enough room to bring over everything that's left at the old house.  I am beyond excited about this!  Unpacking and painting are two of the biggest things I wanted to accomplish this month; it'll be really great when I actually finish painting and get to put the kitchen back together.

Install new kitchen lights:  We bought the lights for the kitchen over a year ago.  I have no idea why it took so long to get them installed, but Dennis did the job last night, and they look amazing!  Our old kitchen light was an industrial fluorescent light.  It was nice and bright, but also ugly, an energy drain, and the quality of light was, well, industrial.  When we picked out our lights, we agreed we'd rather trade a little brightness in the kitchen for some aesthetics and style.  And while our kitchen is no longer as bright, it's much more pleasant.

Make snack station and spot for Jack's kitchen toys:  This is one of my favorite things in the kitchen.  We're trying to follow Montessori principles with Jack, and having easy access to his snacks is important.  Now that he's walking, he would walk up to the fridge or pantry and knock on the doors when he was hungry.  Now he has a dedicated place where his snacks are that he has access to.  I decided to put them on the shelf of the rolling butcher block next to the stove.  The shelves are open and at Jack's eye level.  I still need to get some spill proof bowls so I won't have to open packages of snacks; he'll just be able to eat when he's hungry, but for now he's able to bring me whatever snack he wants when he wants it.  I also put all his kitchen toys on the other shelf of the butcher block.  Jack is definitely very interested in the butcher block now.

Now that we're making progress on some of the big things, the rest of the list isn't quite as daunting.  Once I finish the painting, I can put the kitchen back together, and that includes arranging the new open shelves with only pretty things, clearing the counters, and finally getting the rest of the kitchen stuff from the old house.  All of which will have a pretty big impact on the overall look and feel of the kitchen.  Dennis is about to start his 7 nights of night shift, and once he comes off that, we can finish up the quarter round, paint the trim, install the plinth, and maybe do the crown molding.  We're going to come in just under the wire by the end of the month, but either way, I think we're making terrific progress!  And if some of the projects bleed into May, that's okay, too.  I think the important thing is that our motivation is finally back!

*we thought we were going to have to buy and/or build spice racks.  As it turns out, we are going to be able to repurpose some shelves Dennis made me for my extensive coffee cup collection at our old house.  I managed to drastically reduce the number of coffee cups I own and ended up having plenty of space for them in one of our cabinets, so the coffee shelves will turn into our spice rack.  I just need to figure out a pretty way of displaying the spices.  I want to find old tin McCormack spice tins, but I think they might end up being too expensive on eBay.  I'm open to any suggestions!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Fashionable Baby - Jack's Spring Wardrobe

Spring has finally sprung which means Jack's wardrobe needed to be updated.  I'm not going to lie; I love shopping for that boy!  It's amazing just how many cute baby boy clothes are out there.  It's a good thing I had a boy, though, because if I was buying for a girl, I'm sure we'd have to mortgage the house by now.  Dennis made the mistake of saying while I was pregnant, "I want our kid to be fashionable.  I want them to look good and have nice clothes."  Challenge accepted!!  He denies that that was ever said, but I remember!

This spring everything seems to be pastel and/or nautical.  I'm not usually a pastel kind of girl, but we actually had somewhat of a winter here in Houston, and the weather is so nice and spring like right now, and I basically just got caught up in the spring-ness of everything.  I tried to buy outfits that I could mix and match as much as possible to get as much bang for my buck as I could possibly squeeze out.  And I made sure to shop during a huge sale at Carter's.  There are still a few more items I want to add to Jack's spring wardrobe, but this is a good start for now.




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