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.

Kitchen_before

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.

Before_faucet

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

That was EASY!

clean_break

YUCK!

The other side of the counter… not so much

prying_last_piece

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!

spackle

half_spackle

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.

cuttingMat

My tools

Cutting

LOVE.THIS.PATTERN!

sink_trough

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

first_piece

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!

table_side

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.

fridge

 

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:

spices

 

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.

utensil_holder

 

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!

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.

 

then

now

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.

then

now

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.

If you wanna be my spice rack

If you want my future forget my past,
If you wanna get with me better make it fast,
Now don’t go wasting my precious time,
Get your act together we could be just fine

I am so excited to post my first start to finish project, not just a “work in progress.”  I have wanted to update my spice rack for some time. And when I say spice rack I mean jumble of random spice jars that live in a cabinet that was too high for me to reach or see what I have.

I had to stand on my tippy-toes and hold the phone over my head to get this picture.

Dysfunctional Spice and other kitchen food items

First things first, as I was packing up I threw away old spices or anything that I had either never used or hadn’t used in a very long time. So that was about half of the items in here.

And I ended up with this:

I had about 30 various jars; some blends some individual spices. And apparently I have a LOVE of Cayenne Pepper because I had THREE jars of it!!!!

Then I did a little research and found this site (Custom Magnetic Spice Rack). And promptly ordered a set of 24 – 6 oz containers. I started with 4oz but upon further review of the website I read that I actually needed the 6 oz not 4oz because they were by volume instead of weight… yadda yadda yadda I got them in the mail a few days later!

Aren’t they pretty!

Now whenever I have seen these online people have had pretty labels on them. In the interest of “get it done already” I went with what materials I had on hand. That would be my trusty label maker. When I bought this thing a 5 years ago I never understood why it came with silver label tape. Well now I do! It blends perfectly!  I came up with what I think is a pretty ingenious idea of putting a label not only on the front but also on the top of the container. That way if the lid gets separated from the jar they can be matched!

It took a LONG time, and was pretty tedious to affix the labels but I’m soooooo happy now that they’re done!

The artsy angle

All my lovelies.

Not sure if its evident from the color variations of photos, but I started way early in the morning and finished after the sun went down.  OY!

Here is why I love this solution and am SO excited to bring it back to the other house.

  1. It frees up my cabinet for food items that I normally keep in my basement pantry and I inevitably forget about.
  2. While it takes up significant real estate on the fridge, it is nice and neat and does not look cluttered
  3. I can take constant inventory of my spices & blends
  4. While cooking, it’s RIGHT there!

Next on my to do (in the kitchen) is to create a hanging organizer for my measuring spoons and cups. I’ve seen some things on pinterest that peaked my interest,  we’ll see if I’m up for the challenge.

In closet progress news…. I ordered wall paper! I’M SO EXCITED! I ordered two actually because I wasn’t sure which one I would actually go with. My gut says to use to blue, and keep the other one for the kitchen backsplash as it’s more neutral… but I’m not sure. We’ll see how hard it is to hang.

What do you think?

  or  

I’ll tell you what I want, what I really really want,
So tell me what you want, what you really really want,
I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna really really really wanna zigazig ha.