24 January 2016

One down, more to go

Welp. It's done! The first little chunk of new kitchen cabinet-ness.
Every time I look at it, I smile.

I am going to get knobs, because while the idea of wine corks turned knobs is cute, it's not really that great in real life. I'm not loving it. Minor detail.

23 January 2016

Pillow Power Again

New pillows happened again today. Because I got tired of the old ones. Yawn.

I was tired of them last month and was going to make some tartan ones for Christmas, but nobody had time for that. So now I'm really tired of the old ones.

Today while my brakes were being fixed, I went to JoAnn's and picked out some fabrics that caught my eye. No color scheme, no theme, just what I liked. These 3 made it home.

Can I just talk for a minute about the hot peach with gold pineapples?? I love it. The pictures don't do it justice; it's kind of like summer in a fabric.


Also the blue is fantastic and slightly  nautical. The lady cutting the fabric was like, "This is cute."
And I was like, "I know right?"
And she was like, "No this is really cute."
And I think she may have gotten some after her shift was over because it was even on sale.

The black/white just felt classic. It's a heavier fabric, too.

So using this tutorial, which I don't even need to refer to anymore, new pillow covers happened. I spent about $40 on fabric, which Chris scoffed at, but then I reminded him that if I had gotten all new pillows it would be well over $100. So shush.

Except I only made three this time because I got pillow-happy last time and there are too many pillows. I don't really use them, and most of the time hubs uses only 2 and the rest get thrown into a corner and take up half the couch. So three this time. If I need more I can always make more.

Ah, new look.

15 January 2016


Hoo. The paint fumes bothered me more than usual today.  Maybe because at work some serious fumes were coming from the Histology lab. Fumes all day!

BUT now I have a better looking cabinet.

It's requiring multiple coats and it's time consuming, but I like how it looks so far.

06 January 2016

Much better

First coat of stain. You have no idea how happy I am that you can see a difference!

P.s. Doors are staying the same for now bc apparently it's a pain on the ass and you have to order them and it takes 3-4 weeks to arrive.

Who has time for that?

Who knew you couldn't simply walk into home depot and buy a door?? The search continues.

In the meantime, they get stripped and sanded and stained and put back on!

04 January 2016

The Great Disappointment

Ok. So in my head this project went a bit differently.

The kitchen cabinets are in good shape. The shelves themselves are solid wood, and the boxes are perfectly good. Someone bought quality stuff 30 years ago.

The doors are all falling apart after 30 years of use, so I figured I'd keep the bones and get new doors for a budget-friendly facelift.
I'd strip the stain on the kitchen cabinets, maybe sand a bit, to reveal beautiful blonde wood that's not a tad bit orange. Clearly the previous owners chose the wrong stain color. The plan was to simply strip away the 80's and paint the bare wood with a clear coat to make it shiny and protect it.

No painting, no re-staining, and the natural wood would look great with darker counter tops. Minimum effort, maximum output. The house we rented had a similar kitchen and I really loved it. Embrace the natural beauty of wood and put a farmhouse spin on it. I'd end up with a kitchen looking something like this.


Really. What was I thinking.

Here's what actually happened.

I started on a small section to test my theory and perfect the technique I'd use on the rest of the kitchen cabinets. I started with the bar.

Taped it all off, carefully sprayed a stripper that promised to remove stain. I just needed to let a second coat soak in, then scrub with soapy water. Which I did. Then I sanded to remove the last bits of extra stain.

After hours of work, I stepped back to take a look, and...

WOMP WOMP. It looks EXACTLY the same! Just a bit less shiny because the top coat is gone.

I couldn't even. I looked at it from different angles, turned a few lights on and off, then I just started laughing. Then I texted my sisters, who couldn't stop laughing. Ashley said it's like that scene in Beaches where Hillary dyes her hair the exact same color.

The door in the photo was removed, and remained untouched. I put it there for comparison, hoping to find a difference. Nope. None. Well, shit.

So what now?

Well, I have a few options. Listed in order of cheapest to most expensive.

1. I can stain a darker color to cover up the dreaded orange. Hopefully a staining project won't result in a bizarre color or a huge mess. Also since I plan to replace all of the doors, color matching might be an issue.

2. I can paint them. I'd most likely hire someone to do this, after stripping and sanding all of the rest of the cabinets so the job is easier for the contractor aka Carlos or Jose or I forgot his name... who painted the rest of my house. Because I'd want it done right and I'd want it done in oil-based paint for durability. And I don't mess with oil-based paint. The house would probably smell to high heaven for a few days/ weeks. I've always loved the look of white cabinets and a farmhouse kitchen look, but it's not exactly high-end and I've got to think about eventual resale value. Plus I feel like white cabinets would get really grody really quick and I'd constantly be cleaning them. Maybe nix the white but go with another color. Cue more research, aka pinterest.

3.  All new cabinets. Which is a huge undertaking and kind of squashes my "little by little" approach. We'd have to save up and completely demolish the kitchen to do that. Which will probably never happen because, life.

It sounds like painting might be the best of both worlds, but I haven't completely opted out of staining them. I'd have to pick out my cabinet doors and see if the doors and existing cabinetry would stain the same. If they do, then we're golden.

Ha, we'll see.

I can't believe I spent 3 hours and they look exactly the same!

02 January 2016

Double trouble

I am so pumped to be their aunt! This is going to be fun with two of them.

01 January 2016

Resolutions: 2016

Happy, Happy New Year 2016!

The best part of blogging is getting to read posts from the last year and see how so much has changed, because when you're in the midst of change you don't see it.

It's funny how I see myself in such a different place now than I was last year. Like I said, this should be at least a little bit true every year.

Last year, my main goals were:

1. Fix the tummy. With some perseverance, I'm happy to say things are MUCH improved. Not perfect, but soooo much better. Lemon water is my new (drug-free) best friend, btw.

2. Exercise? Moving on...

3. Make others happy. It was hard at first, but it became more natural to make small efforts on a daily basis. I honestly feel like a happier, better person because of it.

4. House Projects: Fence and bathroom, check. I even painted the LAST bedroom. Go me. Every room has been painted!

This last year was full of ups and downs. New jobs and babies and scientists in the family were sprinkled in with broken wrists and tragedies and cruddy days and some random adventures.

This year. I feel good about 2016. I'm in a good place right now, most notably because of the better balance of work and home. I regret none of the major decisions I've made this year. That's a nice feeling.

Personal goals:
1. Eat more vegetables. It might be a more realistic goal than exercising, since I've gotta eat.

That's all I've got right now. So I better make it count, haha.

2. House projects: KITCHEN. Rather than tackle this huge expensive project all at once, I'd like to try and complete it with a series of small projects. It will depend on how much we can save, but I'd like to see some kind of progress this year. At least the countertops. I don't want to find myself in the situation where we fix up the house years from now only because we're trying to sell it. I want to enjoy these improvements!

That's it for now.