Kitchen revealed

I know I’ve taken a wee bit of a hiatus from blogging, which makes me as sad as it might make you. I’ll go WAY out on a limb and say I’m sadder. I know I’ve discussed my perfectionist problems... for whatever reason I don’t want to share works in progress just the final. I mean, I will of course show the in betweens but I have this THING with wanting it to be final-final.

That being said, I need to start revealing. So without further ado…. the KITCHEN!

Here is where we started…. There was a LOT going on. With the sponge paint on the backsplash and three of the walls. Plus I always have been one to cram my fridge with lots of pictures; our counters were cluttered and we had another photo/crap wall.


For such a small room, we actually did a LOT of changing.

First on my list was getting rid of the sponge paint back splash. I liked it 7 years ago when we moved in, but it was looking dated. After investigating a few option, I settled on wallpaper.  WALLPAPER?! You say? Yes, wallpaper. And here’s why.  Of the options I was looking at, it was the most economical, it offered a wide variety of patterns, if I change my mind I can rip it down and change it AND if we ever do win the lottery and update our kitchen for REALZ I won’t want to cry when the contractors tear it down. Which WOULD have happened if I tiled.


When you look at it like this, it almost doesn’t look so bad!

Behind the sink was the easiest break of all. Popped right off without much work on my part.


That was EASY!



The other side of the counter… not so much


At this point I realized spackling was a must… What I didn’t realize was that I’d have to wait another full day if not more before I could actually HANG up the wallpaper!



halfway there

All spackled up and nowhere to go

Now comes the fun part. Getting the wallpaper on the walls. This wallpaper, thank GOODNESS was prepasted. So all I had to do was put it in water, double it back and then hang it up. Simple right?

It actually was pretty easy. The hardest part was figure out how to best trim the wallpaper so that the pattern remained intact. Once I got my system down I was good to go.


My tools




Yeah I used the sink as a trough, what of it?!


First sheet up, only 10 more to go!

I honestly cannot believe how much easier this was than the closet. I mean, SO much easier. I guess because the pieces were smaller, and it was all at chest level as opposed to standing on ladders and reaching awkwardly over my head. It was done pretty lickety-split.

first_wall outlets

I even got fancy around the outlets

Final_faucet final_whole counter

Gorgeous right?

So now it was MONTHS before we actually got back into the house. So all that sat under the tarps.

The ghetto corner of the kitchen that couldn't quite get the tarp to cover.

The ghetto corner of the kitchen that couldn’t quite get the tarp to cover.

And finally (I will update this with a proper after, but in the interest of getting it out there) …

2013-01-27 15.38.57

Other upgrades you may notice. We got rid of the Pergo Flooring and replaced it with 4″ Wood Planks. “Heart” it. I never had a huge problem with the Pergo like my husband did. BUT I did have a problem with the uneven floors going from the front of the house and then the slant between the family room and the kitchen. All fixed!


I know I’ve said it before but i LOVE this lamp.  Funny story: the light burnt out in it and we let it sit like that for about a month because we couldn’t figure out how to CHANGE the lightbulb. THANK GOODNESS for Google!  Once I remembered the model name/number for the lamp (Eurofase: Pop-2) we were golden.

2013-01-27 15.40.01

You might also notice I pared down on what was on the counter, namely the big-ass coffee maker. I LOVED my coffee/espresso maker however I literally never used the espresso part, and heck I needed the counter space. DONE.



I’ve also greatly pared down what is on the fridge. This is a lot more organized and calming to look at.

Of course the spice rack made the journey:



I know this might seem counterintuitive as I was trying to open up my counter tops; but the one thing I lack even more than counter space is drawer space. I saw these on EBAY and fell in love. They are soooooo splendid.



In general after making the move back from the rental, I had gotten rid of so much unnecessary kitchen junk that I actually feel really good about our kitchen and the organization in it.  I still need a better tupperware solution but aside from that. We’re good!



She’ll tease you
She’ll unease you
Just to please you
She’s got Bette Davis eyes

We are back in our house. YEAH!!! We have been super busy unpacking and implementing all of the plans that we made sooooo many months ago.

I have to say, it is all coming together even better than I planned. As each room gets finished(-ish) I will give a full room tour. We are waiting on hanging artwork until absolute last. I’m not sure if I will be able to wait that long to share.

I want to give you a quick tease of a tour!










Summer Rental – Part 3 twofer

This gallery contains 13 photos.

It’s two… two for the price of one! A little gallery for your perusal. First up the bedroom… you can see the before and after there. It’s pretty straightforward. you might have noticed that in our bedroom there isn’t a closet. we actually use the one in E’s bedroom. this is just my side of … Continue reading

Summer Rental – Part 2: Multi-Purpose Room

Next stop of the home tour is our multi-purpose room.

We treat it as our playroom, dining room, hangout, and hallway. It is the central room in the house.
Here is a crude diagram showing the layout… probably should have done that before but hey I’m new to this!

Our abode, absolutely not to scale, it’s to my best guess =)

I really do have a new found respect and love for ranch houses. It’s not a style I would have thought that I liked but there is something to everything being on the same floor and the kids not feeling left alone anywhere in the house. The’ll even sit in the family room watching TV while I cook dinner or clean the kitchen. They’d NEVER do that at our house. Hopefully little things like that will stick when we relocate back across the street.
Anyway, originally we had wanted to put the kitchen table into the kitchen, but once we were in there was no flippin way that would fit. And I’m so much happier with the storage we gained. Part of me actually is thinking about getting rid of the kitchen table and having us eat in the dining room everyday and putting storage in the kitchen as well but I don’t think that really makes sense. Plus I’m the kind of person that really digs a formal dining room and I totally heart mine. I would hate to let it get all casual. But that’s another conversation all together. This is about the Summer Rental.
We basically decided to line one wall with kid things and the opposite wall with adult things. So we have our kitchen table and a small love seat on one side and all the kid’s toys on the other.

Through the kitchen window

a little less “moody” of a shot

Have I mentioned how much I love this setup! The best part about everything in the rental is that we truly don’t care what happens. You want to draw on the walls, sure go for it. Paint the couch, go for it! (we’re not planning on bringing back either of our couches, upgrade baby!)

All the toys

Originally, G didn’t want to hang anything up. And if you knew G you would know how monumental of a statement that is. Whenever we move anywhere the FIRST thing he wants to do is hang things up. Regardless of not knowing where the couch, bed, chair, bookcase etc are going to go. It grounds him. I respect that… I don’t like it and I fight it tooth and nail as I will plan things out for years before putting a single hole in the wall but I digress… again.. (I do that).
I always had a plan to hang the kids art in the Summer Rental. I think it’s a great way to add some personality for cheap. You know in a child labor kind of way… totally kidding! I have everything that I’ve saved from their school up on the wall. From the time the Big One was a little one until now. I tried to group them together by both theme as well as time.

My favorite part of the whole house!

The only thing I’m truly anal about is the toy organization. Not so much in a “no wire hangers” kind of way but more in a “I can’t be bothered to try to find Perry the Platypus’ fedora every time you want to play with it” kind of way. I broke down and got one of those bin things from Target. The reason I say broke down was because I foolishly thought we could contain all the toys we had in our basement built-ins. However I don’t know if your kids are like mine, but they tend to be a bit more “I need to see it to want to play with it” so all their toys were always out and in bins strewn around the floor. Not very organized. Basically I try to keep the Big One’s toys on top and the Little One’s toys on the bottom. All SuperHero related toys go on the top right, all Transformers go on the top left and then wen have SuperHero vehicles below in the center. After that things start to get wonky. I had at one point had all licensed characters in one bin but that was soon overrun, so then I tried Disney and Nickelodeon/Viacom but that was too ridiculous, even for me. So the only other bin I keep neat is the Little People one. Ironic since I brought all of the kids’ Little People playsets back to the house (minus the figures).

Our toy bins in action

What else…. OH YES. My GORGEOUS lamp that I bought, assembled and hung all by myself!!!!

The dining area was a little dark, so I ordered this on Amazon and 4 hour later I got it up. Every single one of those cones has to get assembled by hand!!!! INSANITY! But I LURVE it! I might actually hang it in E’s room when we move back in. Here it is from another angle:

dining area

So that’s that…. Next up the family room.

Here’s one last shot of the multi-purpose room….

Love this filter on Instagram!!!

Summer Rental – Part 1: the kitchen

FINALLY, I have uploaded pictures of the rental (along with others pictures) so I can start to take you on a little tour. Little because well the house is little, and also because let’s face it… it’s a rental we’re only in here for (cross your fingers) a few months so we don’t want to set too many roots.

Let me tell you a little bit about the Summer Rental. First it’s a ranch, there are 6 rooms: the kitchen, family room, multi-purpose room, then our three bedrooms. I’m not counting the bathrooms, there are actually two! G and I have our own which while it is the size of a large coffee table it is ours all ours.

I’ll continue that diatribe another day. This is about the kitchen.




There is something about this kitchen that automatically makes me want to put on an apron and start cooking. Everything is circa 1967, except the microwave. I’m sure the fridge and dishwasher are newer but they don’t really seem it.

I love these chevron handles

door and drawer handles

Yes the linoleum is a bit dated, and the formica is well… formica but honestly it is super functional.

There are a few things that I have also come to the conclusion of, the most important being that I do NOT want/covet that big white porcelain apron front sink anymore. Here’s why, I have this gorgeous white sink at the rental….

Big… white… beautiful

Unfortunately, this is not how the sink is normally looking. I would have to clean it ALL the time. Do you know how often hubs and I have red wine? And no we do not always pop our dishes right into the dishwasher so our sink tends to look a little more like this…

So if you’re the kind of person who cleans all the time and keeps their sink area clean and neat then by all means take the plunge and get the big white sink… otherwise, I’m more than happy with my stainless steel, I do wish that it was a little bigger but it suits my lifestyle.



you have a little sneak peak into the next room. I have never had a “pantry” and this shelving is usually in our basement but i LOVE having it right in the kitchen. When we head back home I’m going to have to figure out how to get some sort of shelving unit in the kitchen area and free up cabinet space for food. It really helps when doing inventory and food shopping to see everything as opposed to searching for it.

I recently had a conversation with some of my girlfriends about our weekly food routines. Both for our kids and for ourselves. I was stared at like I had five heads when I described how I plan everything out, but it works for me. I plan the whole week’s meals the same time as I do my shopping list. That way I can automatically add it. BTW, i LOVE my shopping list. I found it at Target a few years ago, it’s made by Real Simple…. You can see it on the side of the fridge.

Here is our weekly menu:

weekly meal planning

Of note, my kids eat all three of their meals at school. I know I’m a HORRIBLE MOTHER. After five years, I’m over it and quite enjoy it. The older one eats better there than he does at home and I’m a little worried about next year when he hits kindergarten and is eating breakfast and dinner at home?!

So in their columns that is what I put into their bags to bring to day care. D is on the meal plan for lunch at school so I only send him breakfast and dinner. I send in each of E’s meals so I have to plan all three for her. I try to just make two of things so I have to think even less but unfortunately D doesn’t eat eggs and I try to keep E away from nuggets. D used to eat all sorts of exotic things but then as he got older his tastes got smaller and smaller minded. I’m hoping to reverse that trend but I chose my battles. He’s in his own room and staying there all night… that’s one in my column to be sure! Next up is sucking the thumb.

Anyhoo, I digress…. So for D and E, I put their bags together the night before while I’m cleaning up. I like to be on autopilot at this time of knight so I only have to glance at the fridge pop everything in and put it in the fridge to grab and go in the morning. It works of me. I mix up proteins during the week and try vary the breakfasts.

Then in the adult column we’re on our own. I usually just put down a basic protein I have a ton of side dishes that are ready to go from freezer to microwave to table (thank you trader joe’s). So I only have to figure out a marinade and way to cook it up and we’re good to go. Sometimes I do put in more details if I have a particular recipe I’m trying out or want to use, then I’ll put which cookbook it came from. None of my weekday meals can take more than 20 minutes to cook or else our whole night routine gets messed up. Kids in baths by 7:30; E in bed by 8; D in bed by 9.


Hope you enjoyed the first installment of the house tour. Next up the playroom.