Aug 26, 2014

White "Farmhouse" Kitchen in the Making!

Photo: White kitchen time for open shelving, a baker's rack makeover, and accessories!
White on white kitchen!
Progress is happening, albeit slowly, in the kitchen! I'm shooting for somewhat of a farmhouse/cottage kitchen...without changing much in the room. I'd love to have a farmhouse sink (sigh) and new cabinets and different tile, as well as all new appliances...but they're just not necessary nor in the budget. And if we decide to sell the house, it just won't be worth our investment. So this is a purely cosmetic makeover.

I finished painting the walls today (started taping a week ago). It's totally out of character for me to start a painting job and not just go all gung-ho into it and try to wrap up in a couple days. My energy just hasn't kept up with me and the time isn't always there, so I'm learning to work with it rather than get too frustrated or push myself too hard and then wind up exhausted (and likely with mistakes).

(That unpainted trim in the photo will be painted. The previous owners trimmed the cabinets but left this one end undone. Since they cut the trim incorrectly, Brad had to also replace the adjoining piece. They're done and on, and just need painted!)

Supports for open shelving
If you follow on Instagram you may have seen that I finally convinced Brad to build open shelving at the end of the cupboards (mentioned wanting to do it here but Brad didn't think he could find the studs with the plaster walls...I proved him wrong here). I'm SO HAPPY!!!  The corbels are purchased and just need painted (they didn't come unfinished and the black was cheapest, so that's why we went that route). The shelves are built and I'm debating paint or stain for those. The corbels will be painted the same color as the cabinets/walls so that they blend in. We have nice weather this week so I hope to get the shelf project and the baker's rack wrapped up before the holiday weekend.

Once those things are complete and in place, it's just a matter of reorganizing and accessorizing! The blinds over the kitchen sink broke, so eventually I hope to make a roman shade for that window, but I am ok letting that wait for cold weather days when we can't do some of the other projects.

Can't wait to show you when it's all done!

Aug 22, 2014

Why You Should Never Cheat On Your Diet. Ever. {Fitness Friday}

Ok, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration and not how I'd feel in everyone's circumstance, but let me elaborate.

Pretty sure I never expected to find Cookie Monster on my blog, but he was always one of my favorites. ;)

A couple weeks ago I updated you on my lack of progress on the anti-candida diet that I started to clear up a skin condition on my legs/ankles. I made it 11 glorious days, was so proud and felt great. Until I hit PMS during a week that we happened to have extra treats in the house, I wasn't even really craving anything. But the cravings kicked in...and the cookies were there. I resisted...and resisted...until I no longer could resist. I cheated with one cookie. And then about three more. 

I managed to get mostly back on track the week that followed, but was not giving it my all or having 100% adherence to the diet. And with a diet like this, for the reasons that I'm on it, I have to be consistent and not cheat

That "little" cheat led to another...and another...because I have found I'm an all-or-nothing kind of dieter (and maybe in other areas of my life, too). When I cheat on a diet there's a "well, damage is done!" mentality, and I know I'm not alone. 

I get so angry with myself, especially as it's been so difficult getting back on the diet consistently. I had the momentum going, and had I stuck with it would have been over a month in...and that much closer to being able to reintroduce some of the foods I'd had to give up. That much closer to clear legs. That much closer to not being woken at night by insane itching. And probably that much closer to my weight-loss goals. 

I read KariAnne's post last week about her diet struggles and before I got to the end was like, "Yes, we're in the same boat!". But we weren't...because she stayed strong. She kept her goals and her progress ahead of her desire for Pringles (and Pringles are pretty hard to resist, if you ask me!). 

So if you're trying to eat better or are on a diet for whatever reason (I should say, whatever healthy reason!), take it from me and KariAnne...that cookie or those Pringles will only bring you immediate guilt and disappointment, so step away! Grab a glass of water...or three...busy your mind, and never, ever, EVER cheat on your diet! 

Aug 21, 2014

What I'm Working On...

I'm trying really hard to get back into daily blogging, but I also want to get away from posting just for the sake of doing it (hence why no post yesterday). I'd rather post two quality posts a week than five crappy ones. (Can I get an amen?) I've been less-than-impressed with myself the past few months as my busyness has creeped into my productivity and therefore my better blog posts. But we live and learn and I'm moving on from here, and while I can't post project pictures every day, there are a lot of projects going on...and I will eventually share! So I thought for today I'd just touch base and let you know what I'm working on right now...

  • Last night we completed the ALS ice bucket challenge. Not really a project but it was a "to do" after I was nominated by my brother, and it was a hoot! Check that off the list! 
  • I decided to sell my mint desk so I've been working on moving the contents elsewhere. I think I've found a spot for everything that will still make sense and be accessible from where I work (usually the couch and coffee table!).
  • While my pegboard command station was cute and semi-functional, there were many unused aspects. I'm in the process of transforming it in a way that it will be more utilized. It's going to get a new paint job eventually as well. 
  • Still working on painting the kitchen. Actually I still haven't taped half of the woodwork off. We had hoped to camp this weekend but it looks like it's going to be hot and rainy, so I should have an entire weekend to paint. Sad about camping, thrilled to have time to get things checked off the list!
  • I haven't started on the baker's rack that will go in the kitchen but that's also on the docket for the weekend. 
  • I've been a Mary Kay consultant for about three years now, but I haven't pursued it as a business in a long time. I love (and will still use) the products, and I love the discount, but decided that in the long run I'm probably not making it worth what I'm saving. The little bit of inventory I have (it truly is minimal and at least 30% is stuff I will use myself) is taking up valuable storage real estate, and most of the people that order from me are family that I give a large discount to. By the time I pay for shipping and/or make deliveries here-and-there, I just don't think it's worth my time and money. Soooo...I have decided to sell of my remaining inventory, put in one last order for my customers, and resign as a consultant. I spent some time this morning making a list of inventory so that I know what I have to get rid of, and will be emailing customers today!
  • I've also been trying to get back on top of blog organization and training. I have a slew of online courses to watch, and managed to squeeze in a few training emails/blog posts this week. I love learning and always want to improve on the things I love doing, and I just haven't had a lot of time to do that lately. I hope to gradually get caught up with those things and implement what I'm learning as I go. I'm utilizing my new planner to schedule blog posts (with flexibility, however, because life happens!) and have lots of other things on the brain that I'd like to do as well to make me better as a blogger and make my blog better for my readers. 
Aside from those things, it's the normal daycare week, planning our 4-H meeting for tonight, learning new Jazzercise routines, grocery shopping, school drop-off and pick-up, and housework! Just a few things keeping me busy. ;) I'll try to always post on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook if I am not going to do a blog post so that you know I'm still alive. ;) Lots of stuff in the works so there will be lots to post once I can get it all done!

Aug 19, 2014

Project Status, a New Planner & Fall Dreaming

After the daycare kids left yesterday I managed to finish taping half of the kitchen. I'm just working with the fact that my energy at the end of the day is limited and that there's other stuff to be done, and therefore am allowing myself to do this project (and all the others) over the course of several days. Tomorrow I have a completely free evening, so hopefully paint will actually hit the walls by then!

taping kitchen woodwork
I have some other organizational projects in the works that were prompted by back-to-school organizing, but a combination of waiting for supplies to arrive, waiting on the hubby to finish his part, and just a lack of time to do everything are causing them to take longer than they should I'd like. My pegboard command station is getting an overhaul, I plan to do a desk switcharoo and have a couple organizing projects planned for the kitchen.

MomAgenda Desktop Planner
My new planner arrived yesterday and I was soooo excited! I got a little ahead of myself because I can't stand not immediately filling one out. I started using some stickers I'd been hanging onto, and then thought that maybe I should have gone a different route. I love color coding and all the adorable washi taped and color-coded pen planners out there, but I also think that sitting down with a tote of pens, highlighters, markers and tape is not realistic for me for the long haul. #aintnobodygottimeforthat  I'll start where I'm at and maybe try some things along the way and see how it goes. My intention is to get everything in one place: Calendar, family activities, daycare schedules, blog planning, to do's and meal planning. The coffee table has become my permanent desk and the less books/binders on there the better, plus now that school's in session I have car time to work, so the less bulk to haul the better. And while the Google calendar was working for me for the most part, I really missed not being able to see everything at a glance. I figure if I'm going to have checklists and notebooks anyway, it just as well all be in one place!

I know I'm not alone in that I'm totally craving fall. I'm ready for pumpkins and open windows and jeans and smells of cinnamon and baked apples. I am trying to hold out until Labor Day to change decorations but since we plan to be gone the next couple of weekends I may do it a bit early this year (and I am a blogger after all...have to share early! ;)). I started scouring Pinterest for inspiration, though I haven't pulled out my fall decor to see what I already have that I can use. Here are some things that I am inspired by...

I picked up a grapevine wreath at a garage sale for $1 and thinking maybe a combo of these ideas...
Custom Fall Autumn Grapevine Wreath by ChristinSmithDesigns, $35.00

fall grapevine wreath with burlap embellishments "welcome"
I also want to do something different on the front porch. I knew I should have grabbed that $5 garage sale chair...!!!

This one is simple and doable for my small patio.....90 Fall Porch Decorating Ideas |

Stamp/stencil letters onto burlap, stuff and sew up!  Orchard Girls: Top 12 Fall Decorating Ideas
...and maybe I'll use my branch lights in a vignette this year...!
Use rice lights to make this display!!!
You can see more fall Pinspiration on my board here!

Aug 18, 2014

The Fun of Moving Stuff Around

While our childless weekend wasn't nearly as productive as I had planned, I managed to buy paint for both the kitchen and the baker's rack, and I did get some other household things done. I was SO EXCITED to find some cool paint products for the baker's rack...can't wait to finish it and share! Unfortunately things heated up in the midwest again this weekend and it's supposed to be hot all week, so I don't anticipate painting outside in the next several days. I'm trying to focus my efforts inside, instead, and moved things out of the kitchen and began to prep for painting the walls in there.

When we had overspray issues while painting the kitchen cabinets (which I've realized I still need to share a tuturial and tips's coming...), I decided that instead of touching up the grey-blue that was there, I was in the mood for a clean, white kitchen all around with pops of color. I find that I'm craving that look all over my house, so gradually things are changing up all over the place! I've used Sherwin-Williams Creamy now for walls and furniture (and color-matched it at Ace for the kitchen cabinets) and I just love it. It's a great warm off-white, and lives up to its name! So I headed to the Sherwin-Williams sale yesterday and picked up another gallon of it (along with a sample of a pink that I'm going to use in Faith's room...another makeover I can't wait for!). Brad and I had a little too much fun the night before out with friends and were slow moving Sunday (hey, Faith was at the in-laws and we really don't go out much ;)), so I only got as far as clearing the room and beginning to tape. #itssomething

Older photo of the wash basin I use for a coffee station

The baker's rack that is going to get a makeover and take its place

The plan for the baker's rack that I bought (photo above) is to put it in place of the antique wash basin that I use for a coffee station. I wasn't sure how it would work but I moved the wash basin out to the living room between the front door and the love seat. I've been wanting a sofa table or something there, both for a place to sit stuff when coming in or out of the door, and also to serve as a side table by the love seat. I was so happy with the change! I'm not a fan of wall-to-wall furniture, and we are pretty much to that point, but when things fit well and are functional and provide added storage, it makes me soooo happy!

(It was naptime when I took the pic so not the best lighting...sorry. And my photo-bombing dog.) 

The Creamy paint on this piece goes well with the other white end tables in the living room, and since it's short it doesn't block the view or the light from the window. It's another great alternative for my no-entryway issues. In the kitchen it served as a coffee station and the drawers held cloth napkins, entertaining utensils and other linens. Those will find another home (in the baker's rack, probably), so now I have some added storage to work with. I've been contemplating selling my mint desk and just using the table I brought up from the basement. Having both in the room between the kitchen and living room is just too much furniture (which I predicted but we needed to move stuff out of the basement to prepare for the work that's going to be done down there). When Christmas comes furniture space is even more of an issue to make room for the tree, and I like the idea of having a bigger workspace that I can use both as a desk and as a craft/sewing table. As much as I love mint, I always feel like the color just doesn't work with what I've got going on everywhere else. If I wind up getting rid of it, the wash basin will probably become the spot for holding envelopes and mailing supplies, and some other things that currently have a home in the desk drawers. I'm excited for the possibilities!

Sometimes a simple rearrange, or repurposing furniture from one room to another, can make such a big impact! Before you go shopping, shop your house first!

I have some more organizational things in the works prompted by back-to-school, so stay tuned for those! A lot going on!!!

Aug 15, 2014

Blissful Top Five

WOW. Somewhere along the line I forgot that a) I had graphics for my Friday series', and b) that I had changed the name of this one from "Week of Bliss" to "Blissful Top Five". It's definitely been an "off" several months! Well, whatever you want to call it #andreallywhocares, here are the highlights of my week...!

1. School's back in session! At the risk of sounding like a horrible mother and daycare provider, it's been so nice having a couple less kiddos (and the accompanying noise/mess/mouths to feed). And Faith clearly is enjoying school and it makes me happy when she's happy! 2. I have been back in the organizing swing lately and finished a coat closet makeover just in time for back-to-school! It's working well so far and I've gotten great feedback on it with the HomeTalk community! 3. Faith and I enjoyed a little snuggle time and Sleeping Beauty early in the week. Phone down, laptop closed. Just me and my girl. Priceless. 4. Today is picture day at school. Not only did Faith let me curl her hair (which she hates having done), she also decided she likes this top I got for her (that I LOVE). She's definitely a mini-me here. ;) 5. Sunshine. On a baby butt. What's not to love??

And I meant to put this in the top five but forgot...I ordered a planner. After months of (mostly) successful use of my Google calendar online and on my phone, I decided that I just need to be able to more easily glance at a week and a month. With daycare and Jazzercise and 4-H and dance and everything else, I want to be sure I'm not missing something. So I went back to my favorite MomAgenda planners, but this year am trying the larger Home Office version instead of the smaller size spiral planner. Getting a new planner always makes me giddy so I'm anxious for it to arrive so I can start writing things in!
MomAgenda Desktop Organizer
I also had some other back-to-school organizational things that didn't quite get done this week, so I'll try to wrap those up for next week. Brad and I have a childless weekend to enjoy each other and friends and work on projects around the house, so I'm hopeful we'll get a lot done! #whoamikidding #totallygoingtonap

Aug 13, 2014

1st Day of School!

Faith and our little daycare friend, Lily, started school today. Faith's now in 2nd grade and I just can't believe how fast she's growing. #sayseveryothermom I've been anxious for this day as the summer has come to an end and the daycare kids have grown more restless...two at school means a little more peace and a little less fighting. And this is the first year Faith has been excited to go back, which makes me super happy. I love knowing she's having a good time and wants to be there, and that she's loved at school.

Today was an early dismissal, though, so laid back and quiet this day was not. We had Jazzercise, then ran home for snack, then about an hour later off again to grab a picnic lunch (beautiful day for a picnic!), and then get the girls. Naptime is always cut short these days, so this is the extent of the posting that I'll get accomplished. ;) I also forgot that my sister was dropping in on her way back from a meeting, so once she left I just had enough time to shower and sit down to write this before my first kiddo goes home for the day.

Tomorrow should be very relaxed...just two kids, nice weather (I think!), and nowhere to go. I think we'll enjoy a long walk in the morning. This fall-like weather that we've had this week has really put me in the mood to be outside, despite our lack of a tree and shade in the backyard.

Tonight is Coffee & Crop night, and I have high hopes of getting my scrapbooking momentum going. I have two long scrapbooking weekends planned for September and October, and I'm anxious to really get caught up. #whoamikidding #aintnobodygottimeforthat #istilltry

Off to catch up on email for the day! Back tomorrow! ;)