Sunday, November 25, 2018

Christmas List 2018

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1. Running gear is always on my wish list! I love all Brooks apparel and these pants in ‘black/ocean wave’ are so cute + such a steal.

2. My laziness is about to show here! I have a Shark robot vacuum for our main floor and it is AMAZING! I love knowing that our floors are getting cleaned at 1 PM every day (nap time!) and it would be awesome to know the same thing was happening upstairs as well. This particular one has great reviews for carpet.

3. Again with the Brooks running apparel! I somehow only have two long sleeve running shirts so this one in black would be a great addition.

4. This cookbook looks like it has lots of yummy, low calorie recipes. Double win!

5. I adore Reese Witherspoon and I’ve wanted this since it came out. 

6. We were visiting family over Thanksgiving and this book was on the coffee table. I quickly flipped through it and was admittedly very intrigued. I’ve never been an avid watcher of their show and I’m not particularly drawn to farmhouse style, but I do love decor and this seemed to have a wealth of knowledge. 

7. I wear the same jewelry every day. My wedding ring (duh), my mom’s original wedding band (she got a new ring for an anniversary and I’ve worn it since the day I got married), my Maya Brenner ‘G’ necklace, and pearl earrings. I look the look of a few dainty bracelets, and this pearl bracelet would complement my earrings while still being simple enough for every day wear.

8. I keep seeing this dryer raved about and anything that makes styling my hair easier piques my interest.

9. Silk pillowcases are supposed to be anti-aging. Enough said!

Stocking Stuffers 2018

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Stocking stuffers are one of my favorite parts of Christmas shopping! I love searching for small things that let someone know you were thinking of them but aren’t going to end up in the garbage. For me, stocking doesn’t necessarily mean “cheap” as much as it is the size of the gifts. Finding stuff for my 3 year old is easy (she gets excited about anything if you call it a present!) but my husband requires substantially more thought. These are all things I’d love to find in my stocking this year. 

1. I wanted a set similar to this one last year but it sold out before I could snag it. I looked at this exact one when I was in the Northpark Nordstrom with my mom a few months ago but didn’t get it knowing I was going to put it on my Christmas list. I wear contacts and traditional eyeshadow can really irritate my eyes. I think these would be a great alternative.

2. I live in slippers. If I’m at home, there are slippers on my feet. These look cozy!

3. I was never a believer that socks mattered at all until I ran over 8 miles. Now, I’m a sock snob and these Balega ones are the only ones I’ll run in, but so far I only have two pair.

4. I’ve read amazing things about starting your day with a gratitude journal. I think this would be a great thing for me to implement in 2019!

5. I’ve also read how sweet (and hilarious!) it can be to record your kids answer to a question a day. This book would be a fun keepsake and tradition to start with Gracie.

6. I love these hair ties! They don’t crease my hair and they don’t pull.

7. These are all the rage right now and I’m all about anything that says anti-aging.

8. My favorite lipstick formula. I love any shade of pink.

9. I love these facial oil sets. I love getting them this time of year because they’re basically 2 for the price of one. They’re so moisturizing which is wonderful for my dry winter skin!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Kitchen Remodel

We decided shortly after moving into our house that we would really like to update our kitchen when we were able to. It was 100% functional as is, just out of date compared to current kitchen trends. The light oak must have been in it's prime in 2000 (the year our house was built) because it's on the floors throughout the main level, all the kitchen cabinets, and the banisters. I painted the banisters black about 1.5 years after we moved in and constantly wavered on whether or not I was capable of doing the kitchen cabinets myself. I did a TON of research and finally decided to go for it in April of 2017. (Yes, over 8 months ago!) It took me right at a week from start-to-finish and that was working on it primarily after putting Grace to sleep at night. Andrew was out-of-town at the time so I did it completely solo! I followed the Young House Love tutorial down to the exact brushes and paint formula that they used and can not recommend it enough! Their site is a wealth of knowledge for anyone trying to learn home improvement things to do on their own. I ended up choosing the Benjamin Moore Advance paint formula (their recommendation and the recommendation of a ton of others!) in the color 'Simply White' and I absolutely love it.
Our backsplash was an interesting shade of cream that I originally debated color matching the cabinets to, until my husband smartly convinced me that basing the cabinet color off the part of a remodel that would be the cheapest part to complete (backsplash), if it's not what I really wanted, was not worth it. He was SO right and I would have not been happy in the long run with cream cabinets! I have wanted a bright, white kitchen for as long as I had really been interested in house d├ęcor. After I painted the cabinets, I decided to see what our current backsplash would look like painted in the same color. It was going to be a couple of months until we had the countertops and backsplash redone and the cream backsplash against white cabinets was driving me nutty! Worst case scenario, we were planning to replace the backsplash anyway so no harm, no foul there, and best case scenario, it turned out fine. It turned out great! I was honestly so happy with it that we didn't end up replacing the backsplash when we had the countertops done. I painted the backsplash with one coat of primer and then two coats of paint the same color/formula as the cabinets.
We chose to replace the laminate countertops with 'Black Pearl' granite. Originally, we were keeping the exact shape of the countertop/bar area the same, but that ended up not being an option. We had a raised bar and after the granite was installed it became glaringly obvious that the thin piece of wood that had supported the laminate bar was not thick enough to support heavy granite. So, the raised bar ended up being cut down to countertop height and the granite was extended to create a counter-level bar. It actually opened up the space quite a bit and we're very happy with how it turned out!
When I look at the before and after pictures I am so incredibly thrilled with how it all turned out! On top of the cabinet, backsplash, and countertop update, we also chose to removed the dated pendant lights that hung above the bar area to further open up the space. There was also wooden blinds added to the windows above the sink and replaced the tie-up curtains with the same curtain panels that are in the playroom, living room, and dining space, so all of the main areas of the house. I think it really helped the entire house look cohesive! All in all, I couldn't be happier with how it is now, and even though it was a lot of work AND chaos, I would absolutely do it again in order to get to this finished product.

{Basically what our kitchen looked like when we bought the house. However, the appliances had been updated and were all stainless steel instead of white.}

{This was the exact state of our kitchen when we bought the house, just not from the best angle. This picture and the one above are both from old house listings.}
{The only before picture I actually took myself.}
{After one coat of primer.}

{Before painting the backsplash. You can see how cream it looked in comparison to the fresh white!}

{After completing the cabinets + painting the backsplash.}
{Finished project!}

{New faucet and sink that we LOVE!}

{So crazy to see how far it has come!}