I’m BACK!!! And some more kitchen progress!!

I’m back to blogging! I know I’ve been MIA the past few weeks. Summer is busy! I also have been struggling with some health issues that have prevented me from doing many projects worth blogging about.  But, I have my issues under control-finally. It’s all attributed to allergies..who knew? I will never take feeling healthy for granted again. My heart goes out to those people who live in pain on a daily basis. I experienced it for 2 months and that was long enough. Praise the Lord for modern medicine!

So, we have made some major kitchen progress. There have been quite a few bumps in the road, but I feel like the end is finally in sight! Just to jog your memory, here is the kitchen on move in day:

Here is how we lived with it for 3 years:

Here is the process of ripping out those hideous appliances and countertops:

And here we are today!

Yes, those are NEW countertops and appliances…finally! And if you look closely, that is not the tile on the backsplash, it’s actually just the wall with some of the leftover glue on it. Installing new tile is the next phase of our journey.  We also repainted all of the cabinets and installed new ones on the bottom to make all the new appliances fit. I’m experimenting with leaving some of the doors off the top cabinets for an open shelving look.

I’m loving the granite counters. They are actually more gray than this picture implies. The specs are subtle, which is what I was going for. Part of the counters actually have to be redone because there was a mistake with the installation (not our fault, thankfully!), but it will be fixed soon.

We also extended this corner of the kitchen counters. Remember what it was before?

And now it’s all one long slab of counter space!

I can’t wait to get those doors back on, rip out the ugly speaker system and put in the white subway tile.

Oh, and remember that little red table I bought at an antique store?

Now it sits in the kitchen nook with a few fresh coats of white paint!

It feels sooooo much better to have made some progress after lots of hard work.

I will be back tomorrow with a fun kitchen-related tutorial!

Artsy Updates

I finally have hung up the gallery wall I’ve been working on! I love that it can always be changing and added to. 

I love that each piece has a story behind it! I used the same method to hang up the frames as I did with my plate wall.  All of the frames were ones I already had and spray painted white.  I spray painted some of the mats as well.

I also updated the window in the entryway with some pictures and double sided tape

I’ve also been working on switching up the mantle which I’ll share later!

Color Dipped S + P Shakers

Have you seen these color dipped utensils around? These are from Anthropologie:

If you google it, you will find dozens of tutorials to make your own. I plan to make a batch soon (I bought the bamboo utensils today!)

But, I did do my own version. I found these wooden salt and pepper shakers at the thrift store. I thought they had such a great shape.

I covered the tops in plastic wrap and taped off the area that I wanted to be painted.

After a few coats of teal glossy spray paint, they now look like this!

I love how quick this project was. I can’t wait to “dip” more things! 

(I recognize that spray paint might not be food safe, so I taped off any areas that might be touching the salt and/or pepper just in case I do actually use them.)

June Vintage Finds

I’ve been doing a little garage sale-ing and thrifting this summer and thought I should share my favorite finds!

I found this little number at a local antique store.  I’ve actually been eyeing it a for a few months and decided our new kitchen was the perfect excuse to finally purchase it!

Oh, and there’s more inside!  Aren’t they adorable?

I scored this little vintage suitcase at a antique sale that one of my neighbors has a few times a year. It was $3 and is the cutest size. It’s perfect for Lula’s doll things.

If I were a business woman, I might even use it for a briefcase. But, I’m not. :)

I found these plates a thrift store to add to Lula and Jane’s plate stash.

This little retro Playskool wooden puzzle came from a church garage sale. A few pieces are missing, but I couldn’t pass it up!

I scored this tiny doll-sized radio flyer wagon at a thrift store for a few bucks. It’s so cute! I don’t think the girls really care about playing with it, but at least it looks cute in Jane’s room!

Finally, my biggest purchase was this solid oak table and benches.  I found this at the same antique store as the yellow canisters. It’s the absolute perfect size for the breakfast nook in our kitchen. Small and narrow. The benches push under it perfectly, to save even more space.  The table is very solid and sturdy. It’s a tad more country than my normal style, but I’ve already been at work sanding and painting. I think it was a good purchase! 

 Hopefully I will have an “after” photo to show you next week!

Good Music Monday

I love good music. I always have.  In middle school, I was all about Christian bands such as the Supertones and D.C. Talk. Sometimes, if I was feeling really cool, I would go to see them at a church concert. In high school, I was all about the local band scene.  Who remembers hanging out at different “coffeehouses” every weekend? I don’t think they even served coffee! My college days were spent driving from Manhattan, KS to Lawrence or Westport every other weekend to see bands like The Get Up Kids, The Anniversary, Death Cab for Cutie and dozens of others.  I secretly judged anyone who listened to anything that was on the radio and owned tons of band shirts…(but everyone knows never wear the shirt of the band you are seeing to their concert, only the posers did that). 

By the grace of God, I now realize that I’m not as awesome or cool as I thought I was. I’m really not cool at all. I go to maybe one concert a year, if that. But, I still love finding good music.  And I’m still not a big fan of music on the radio, but I don’t judge others who are radio listeners, I promise!

I thought I would share some new (to me) music that I’ve been loving lately thanks to Spotify. It’s been so fun to find new artists for free and try them out before buying the album. If you don’t know about Spotify, you have to check it out!

The Lumineers

The Lumineers just make me smile.  Ho Hey sounds like summer to me. I believe they just have one album out and I’ve really been loving it.

Gregory Alan Isakov

Gregory Alan Isakov is seriously so good. He’s not a new artist, in fact I don’t  think he’s come out with a new album since 2009, but I have just recently been listening to him. I’m a sucker for mellow, folksy sounding music, and anything involving a banjo.

The Middle East

The Middle East is another folksy band with a hint of poppy sound.  I’m actually not totally in love with all of their music, but I really love one particular song, Blood.  It’s so good.  Reid saw them open for Mumford and Sons last year and attests to the fact that they are good, but Blood is by far their best song.

Welcome Wagon

The Welcome Wagon is comprised of married couple Thomas Vito Aiuto and his wife Monique.  Vito is a Presbyterian pastor in Brooklyn.  It’s a very Sufjan-ish sounding album (Sufjan Stevens actually helped produce it), but with gospel themed lyrics. I love how quirky yet thoughtful it is, and how awkward the album cover is. Funny.

After listening to clips of these bands back to back, I’m noticing a theme. They all sound a little similar. I really do love the banjo.  Happy Monday!