Friday, July 26, 2013

Kitchen Update

This is what my kitchen looked like when I bought my house on March 15th.  Since then, not much has changed.  This orangy-brown is gone and is now a very light gray.

The light gray has made a big difference in how the kitchen feels, but I'll tell you what - those maroon counters?  Yeah, they are really bringing things down.

Yikes, talk about yikes.  Hey, I know that maroon counters are what some people love, but this just isn't me.  Not in the slightest.  

When I bought that house, the counters were first on the to-do list.  I knew I didn't want anything expensive - just a quick fix until I really make up my mind about what to do in this kitchen.

When Mom and I took our huge spend-a-ton-of-money trip to Ikea, I purchased these countertops.  At $69 each, they were right in my price range.  Black would not be my first pick, but I didn't like any of the other options and this will be a nice switch from the maroon.

I'm also looking forward to upgrading the sink and faucet.  The most amazing faucet has been sitting in a box for over a year now.  I can't wait to use it.  It'll be nice to not be squirted by a leaky faucet ever time I turn it on.  That got old about 3 days into living here.  Charlie's not a fan of it either.  Every once in awhile the leaky faucet manages to squirt water over the counters and onto her.

This sink will get a nice upgrade as well.  

Along with counter, sink and faucet upgrades, I'll also be getting...drum roll please...A DISHWASHER.  Oh my goodness.  I could not be more excited.  The dishwasher will be replacing that set of drawers on the far right of the sink.

But I don't want to lose those drawers.  So we are going to move that set of drawers to the left of the stove and then the cabinet that is there will be gone.  In such a small kitchen, you may be wondering why I'm willing to lose cabinet space.

I'll tell you why - because I hate doing the dishes.  Also, I have plenty of room.  When Mom and I were moving me into the kitchen, we purposefully left the soon-to-be-leaving cabinet empty.  Not only that, but I have several upper shelves that are empty and, while I was moving stuff out of the kitchen, I discovered an empty drawer.  Like I said, plenty of space.

While half of the kitchen is getting some major upgrades, the other half will be staying just as it is.  Minus the uncovered outlets and a little decorating, there's nothing left to do over there.

The large windows in here are pretty awesome.  I'm excited to figure out some neat ways to decorate them.

This is Charlie's section of the kitchen.  Her water bowl and little rug.  I had to put a rug in here for her or she was always under my feet while I was cooking.  Now she has a dedicated place to sit so she's not under foot.  Her rug of choice has lately been the living room rug, so I might be able to move this sucker.

The lights in the kitchen are some of my favorites in the whole house.  I have big plans for this sucker.  What I really need to learn is how to take off and put on lights because there are a lot of lights in this house that could use some love.

This archway in the kitchen is also one of my favorite things.  Random fact - my clock is an hour off schedule.  Didn't even realize that until I took this photo.

LOVE this light.  LOVE the shape.  LOVE the milk glass look.  All it needs is a little spray paint.  Actually, this light may be coming down.  I have two small chandeliers waiting to be hung and I'd love to put one of them here.  If I don't use it here, I'll put it somewhere else in the house.

When I come home on Saturday, I'm going to walk into a kitchen that is under construction.  My dad said "You may not have a sink for a few days."  My reply - "No problem, I don't like doing the dishes anyway."

Thursday, July 25, 2013

July in iPhone Photos

July has been crazy busy, am I right?  I tried to relax as much as possible, but I wasn't super successful.  The best part of that is this - the things that kept me busy were wonderful things.  

So here is my July - brought to you by my iPhone. 

I keep the AC pumping at night because I always get so hot.  Charlie does not love it.  When I can see that she's cold, I put her under the covers.  Lately, she's started going under there herself.  When I put her under, I put her in the same direction that I am sleeping.  When she goes in herself, I end up with her butt in my face.

Charlotte and Frank moved into their new home in July.  When I took this photo, they were still in the painting/renovating process.  Cam's room was the first to get attention.  He loves that chalkboard wall. He shows me his room just about every time I go over there.

This little baby has become very independent.  When they were still living with my parents, it became evident that the dog toys had to be put away.  Hannah liked them more than Charlie.

Our little lady is growing like a weed.  

This was my first 4th of July in my new home.  The local fireworks show is a one minute walk from my house.  This was the first time in my life that I wasn't stuck in traffic after a fireworks show.  It was amazing.

Doing the dishes has become a chore.  I mean, I've always hated it, but the romance of doing dishes in my own home kept me going for a few weeks.  The romance has died and now I'm back to putting it off for as long as possible.  

The misery is almost at an end!  My dad is going to work on the kitchen this weekend! Hurray!

Charlie has been loving her new perch.  I'm still not loving this set up, but hey, whatev.

The decor in my cubicle was elevated just a tad.   I purchased this chair several years ago.  It's been floating around ever since and no longer matches the style of my home.  I brought it to work and it has been getting a lot of attention.  It's nice having it there instead of a black chair.

This mac and cheese was very good.  A little too cheesy for me though.  I know, I can't believe I'm saying that either.  I mean, this from a girl who has cheese for breakfast.  It was all just a little too thick for me.  Live and learn.

Wandering around Target landed me some pretty sweet office supplies.  These little guys are small binders for calendars.  It also comes in regular binder sizes.  LOVE them.  I bought the blue/gold for me and picked up a few orange ones for Est.

This clipboard/notepad comes in 3 different designs.  I bought all three.  How do you pass this up?  It has made grocery shopping so much more fun.

I made myself a little breakfast station.  A few weeks ago, I found a link from Real Simple for 10 easy breakfast ideas (sorry, thought I pinned a link but I can't find it).  One of the breakfast ideas was an apple, cheese and nuts.  So, you're telling me that I can eat cheese for breakfast? Everyday?  YES.  Every morning while Charlie is doing her business, I slice myself an apple and some cheese (I skip the nuts).  Best breakfast ever.

 Charlie has really been enjoying her chair.  She's asleep on it right now.  I left a large picture frame on the chair earlier today and she managed to get comfy anyway.

I went into Joann Fabrics just to grab something quick for my mom.  I couldn't go in without checking the fabrics.  I loved this one!  What a great pattern!

 This book caught my attention when I was in Urban Outfitters a few weeks ago.  I found it for much cheaper on Amazon.  I've been reading through it.  Some of the techniques are way too advanced for me, but there's a breakdown of many different types of stitches that I'm anxious to try.

My boss told me she wanted to come see my house and I was very excited to show her!  Luckly, I had enough time after getting home from work to do a sloppy clean up job.  Does that make sense?  Well, luckly she didn't look in the closet because that is where the bedroom mess ended up.

This is a photo of Charlie on her first trip to doggie daycare - a.k.a. my mom's house.  When I can't get home right after work or when I'll be hanging out with the fam after work (instead of heading home), I drop Charlie at Mom and Dad's house.  Then I get her after work.  Charlie loves spending the day with my mom.

The rain is not Charlie's best friend.  More often than not, this is my view on a rainy day - I shove her out the door and wait for her to pee so I can be there to let her back in.  But she doesn't love the rain, so she turns right around.  Then I end up outside with her.  Wasn't a fenced in backyard supposed to put rainy potty trips to an end (for me at least)?

This girl.  She is too cute for me to handle.  Being an aunt is pretty much the best thing ever.  I'm trying to get her to say my name, but I'm not making much progress.

This was the day Char and Frank were officially moving.  We were watching the kids while they got the house ready.  While we were sitting and waiting for them to come get the kiddoes, it occurred to me that I don't have a picture of all three of us.  I got about 5 photos in these few seconds, but this is the only one that's remotely close to a photo of all three of us.  I love it.

Char and Frank moved out on a Saturday.  The very next day, we packed up this entire kitchen.  Monday, this kitchen was gone.  Talk about good timing!  It would have been hard to be kitchenless with kids in the house.

This is what that kitchen looks like now.  See that line going across the floor and the beam above it?  That's where the old wall was.  The entire room behind that line is new.

I have one major problem with this renovation: I always got out of doing the dishes because there seriously wasn't enough room for two people to do it.  My excuse is gone.  Sigh.

Out of everyone, this pup used the deck the most.  All you had to say was "you wanna go on the deck?" and she'd come sprinting down the hall.  She was very confused when it was no longer there.

My dog has never liked water (hence, her tense relationship with rain).  When I draw myself a bath, she heads for the hills.  She's so curious about it, but if I even step in her direction she runs away as fast as she can.  This is where she parked herself - close enough to know what's going on, but still ready for a quick getaway.

Side note - how do you say "draw myself a bath" without sounding weird?  Just read it again in a British accent and it'll sound better.

As I was getting in bed, I scooped up my pup to have a little cuddle time.  I plopped her on my stomach and there she stayed.  I had the phone pushed up against my nose to take this photo, she was so close.  That little beard is so cute.

The West Elm Color Event was last Saturday.  I went with a friend, Regine, who is also interested in home decorating and DIY.  I had no idea what to expect, but I loved how it went.  Basically, there was a stylist there that gave us advice on how to add color to our home.  I showed him pictures of my bathroom and we talked about accent colors, wall colors, curtains, shower curtains and general decorating tips.  I loved it!  I left with so many ideas.

We talked about doing a Navy on the top of the walls (above the board and batten).  When I saw this color I was smitten.

That night, Char and I headed to Ikea.  Note to self - don't go to Ikea on a Saturday night.  The As-Is section was practically empty!  We had a nice trip though.  We closed the place down.  It closed at 9, but we didn't check out until 9:15.  Whenever I'm in a store after it closes I just feel awful - I've been that employee who's dying to go home and there's one person that's taking forever.  But the people at Ikea didn't seem mind.

We have totally been slacking off on trash duty lately.  Mom and Dad aren't used to having Charlie around anymore, so a trash bag was left within her reach.  Sadly, this was the 2nd of 5 trash bins she would get into within the next few days.  Luckily, there was nothing gross in them.

Pantone? At Lowe's?  How exciting!  I've been a frequent Lowe's visitor and this is definitely new.  I had been struggling to pick a navy blue in Valspar.  When I saw this, I knew they would have what I needed.  Even better, it wasn't called Ocean Siesta or Nautical Dolphins or some other lame name - it was called Navy Blue.

Sunday afternoon, I walked out of Lowe's with three "navy" blues.  The one of the left was out immediately.  The one in the middle is Pantone Navy Blue.  I was oh so disappointed to see that it looks like purple.  The option on the right is my future bathroom color.  It's a deep, rich blue with a hint of aqua.  I'm in love.

When Char and I were at Ikea, I purchased this boring, beige rug (good thing we took Mom's van).  Mom stopped by to drop it off a few days later.

I wish it was a slightly different color, but I couldn't pass up the price.  It has made a huge difference in the way the living room feels.  It's so much more cozy in there.  Charlie loves it!  Our play time has been much more enjoyable.

She also loves to lay on it.  When I'm in the kitchen, she sits on that spot.  I thought that was interesting, seeing that I have a rug for her in the kitchen.  But my baby is a bed snob and I think she likes this one better.

Then it occurred to me, she sitting in that spot so she can enjoy the rug and see me at the same time.  Ok, really?  How cute is that?  I'm going to pretend that she sits there just because she loves me and not because she's keeping an eye out for dropped food.  #wishfulthinking

So there you have it - my July (so far).  It's been crazy packed and this weekend will be no different.

Friday night with my girls, Saturday bridesmaid dress fitting and helping Dad with kitchen reno and then church and a baby shower on Sunday.  It's going to be a fun weekend!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Sleepover With Cam

Cam is three now and his new favorite thing to do is talk.  He talks and talks and talks and talks.  He asks questions until there are no questions left and then he thinks of more questions.  We had a long discussion the other day, for your sake and mine, I'll only write down his half:

Are you going on a date with Mommy?
Where are you going?
Why are you going to Ikea?
What are you going to buy?
What shelf are you going to buy?
What does it look like?
What are you going to put on it?
And what else?
And what else?
Why are you buying a shelf?
What does it look like?
Why are you here, Aunt Ginner?

All of this talking made our sleepover on July 3rd very, very fun.

His talking and question asking is at it's best when you're in the car.  He talks about everything he sees - "Oh, der's a rusty old tow truck.  Mater is a rusty old tow truck."  Of all the things he said in the car on the way to my house, this was my favorite:
"I waited for you. And I waited and waited and waited and waited. Der were neighbor cars but I didn't see you and den you came!" 
Seriously. This kid. I just love him.

This is his "cheese" face.
Date night's with Aunt Ginner are very exciting because she doesn't know how to cook, so you get to go out to dinner.  Ok, well I know how to cook, but cooking for anyone is stressful.  Besides, I knew he would want to go to "Friendly's House."

Having dinner with a 3 year old is interesting.  You can talk for only so long and then you run out of 3 sentence conversations to have and questions to ask - so we colored (with quite a bit of determination, actually).  This may sound strange, but it was fun to sit together without talking.  It's fun to just watch and see what he'll do.

Date nights with me are also exciting because we get to watch movies.  His tv time at home is carefully restricted (as it should be) but with me, there are no restrictions.  That's where he sat for almost the entire Incredibles movie, even though I asked begged him to sit with me.   In this photo, Charlie was just dying to lick his face.

I finally got him to cuddle with me during the movie.  He held his hand like this for several minutes.  Who knows why.

He found a flashlight in my room and the shenanigans ensued.  Who could have guessed one little flashlight could stall bedtime for so long?

Moms, that's who.  I'm sure any mother would have known not to hand a flashlight to a three year old at bedtime.  But guess what, I'm an aunt and we're allowed to do that (when the mom isn't around).

Sleeping on the floor didn't last long.  He was up in my bed in no time.  The only reason he even started on the floor was because I was afraid he would fall off my bed.  But how do you say "no" to those eyelashes?  So I grabbed my extra pillows, lined them up on the edge of the bed underneath the fitted sheet and we were good to go.  With me on one side, pillows on the other and Charlie between his feet - this boy wasn't going anywhere.

At 6 am, I woke up to "it's time to get up. It's time to get up." being whispered in my ear.  Only this kid could get me out of bed at 6am.

Along with breakfast, he got to watch some Handy Manny.  I sent this photo to my family with the hashtag #spoiled.  It's the truth.  I don't get to completely spoil him too often, so I have to go all out when I have the chance.

We took a walk at around 7:30.  With high humidity and temp, we weren't out very long.  We headed for a playground, but I apparently went to the wrong one so there was nothing for him there.  Now I know better.

Back in the house we relaxed and tried to stop sweating while watching Cars 2.  I had watched it myself awhile ago, but was unimpressed.  Cam on the other hand, couldn't stop talking about it.  My first reaction to the movie was "Lightning is barely even in it."  Cam could not have cared less, his favorite car is Mater and this movie is all about Mater.  I've got to hand it to you, Pixar, you know what you're doing.

He had to hold his Francesco and Lightning while watching the movie.  Anytime they were racing in the movie, he made his cars race on the floor.

I wish I could remember all the funny things he said that night, but there's one thing I definitely won't forget -

As he sat in his car seat, holding his new Mater and being squished by his mattress he said "Thanks for going on a date with me, Aunt Ginner."