Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Easter 2016


We took a trip to Pennsylvania to spend Easter with our family. It was a nice low-key long weekend with some wonderful time outside, playing on the playground, going for walks and enjoying time with Andrew's parents and brother, David. We also met up with some of our extended family for a quick afternoon of bowling (or as I like to say, bOHLing).

We joined Andrew's parents for church on Easter Sunday then "helped" Marshall look for plastic eggs outside in the grass. Marshall wasn't too sure about all that and the weather was quite chilly and overcast at times. It was extra special because Marshall got to use Andrew's Easter basket that his mom made him when he was a little boy.













It's always a fun time at Gigi and Poppi's house. I can't get over how big Marshall is getting and how much he has changed into a little boy! 

I love the following photos that David took for us. 


 

Friday, April 8, 2016

Kitchen Mini Makeover


While our ceilings were under construction, I seized the opportunity to make a few cosmetic updates in our kitchen. Gotta strike while the paint brush is hot, right? I'm always amazed at the difference a new paint color makes.

I had always wanted a red kitchen and loved the red for over 8 years. Now, I was ready for a change! We went with the same gray that the rest of our downstairs is. Everything has a nice continuous flow throughout our first floor now. 

Here's a look at the red before. It was a warm color and served us well. But, I love the gray and white now! It's so much lighter and open feeling. Hooray for gray





I picked out a new light fixture which makes a world of difference. There was a heavy 6-light chandelier before that overpowered the modest eat-in kitchen. 


I thought this clear glass cake-dish looking pendant was more fitting. It reminds me of a trifle dish! 




The color beneath the chair rail used to be beige. Now, it's crisp clean white. I added a little shelf with hooks (that was sitting in our basement) by the front door, with a message board above. I just love this little entry spot now. Especially with Marshall's little jackets hanging there. 



Another area of our kitchen that needed a major update was the *mirror* back splash. Yes, you read that right. Mirror, mirror on the wall. Literally. It was under the cabinets and behind the stove. Strange. I just couldn't look at it anymore. We considered doing tile or some other type of wall treatment, but the added expense and the thought of dealing with removing (breaking) mirrors, was too much for us with everything else going on. Enter: fancy contact paper. My friend Hilary did something similar in her kitchen and it inspired me to give it a try. I found a pattern on ETSY that I liked for under $20 and one roll was all I needed. It was fairly easy to measure, cut and apply. Done! I love that I can just wipe it clean and it was such an inexpensive quick fix!



 


I had fun designing and assembling a gallery wall where our wooden shelves used to be. Most items were things that I had. The wooden arrow is from my talented friend, Heather. I re-painted the "Welcome" sign and I added new things to the other frames. I found the "With God all things are possible" sign at Tuesday Morning, before the store closed in our area. The touches of gold, wood and white tie everything together. 


Last, but certainly not least, my favorite part was installing a new kitchen sink and faucet! Our old cast iron sink had many scratches (the kind that can't be cleaned, no mater how hard you scrub) and a few small chips from years of use. The two-handle faucet was leaking for a while and was difficult to clean. 


There also used to be a little wooden shelf coming out from the window sill that I needed gone. I convinced Jesse to rip it out for me, even if it left gaping hole. We took care of it. Ha! 


I really like our new single handle faucet with removable spray feature. It's so pretty, too! I was giddy about having this sink installed. It was my early Christmas present. It wasn't an easy job though. This was actually the THIRD sink I ordered. We originally wanted another cream colored sink to match the counter top, but that proved to be a bigger challenge than I imagined. One sink arrived cracked. Finally I ordered a black one, since the price was right, it was available in the style I wanted and it matches all of our appliances. Done. I gotta give Jesse extra thanks for the pain it was to remove the old sink and get this beauty in place. 


One final finishing touch, a new simple white window valance. Which was surprisingly difficult to find (from JCPenney. Thanks for the tip, Jess!). 

That's how we got a "new" kitchen on a tight budget with a few cosmetic updates. I couldn't be happier with the results! Our kitchen could really use a total overall, but that's not a project that we will be doing any time soon. For now, I'm so happy with these updates!