Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Lipstick Kitchen

We have lived in our house 5 years now. I love our house. It had everything on our wishlist when we were buying. God really blessed us. And it was a blank slate, which was awesome. A realtor had bought it and really did a lot of cosmetic work. The house was built in '88, so all the trim and doorways were brown wood. He painted all of it white, and all the walls were painted a flat taupe. It had new carpet, new marble in the entry, new heating & air, and new white linoleum in the kitchen.

I'll have to dig to find pics of the house when we moved in, but here is an early pic of the kitchen.

Compared to the zero-lot-line we came from, this kitchen was my dream kitchen! Lots of countertops and cabinets!! The other side of the kitchen (that you can't see) is the eating area. It has great bones and great potential.

But then came babies who cost money. And a budget for a new kitchen is put on hold. And like the hubby says, everything is functional. (I hate that word)

So I lived with the cream ceramic tile with scattered fruit tiles for a couple of years. Unitl I couldn't stand it, and painted them green. I wished I would have done it earlier. And I lived with no hardware for a few years, then finally found some I liked from Lowe's.

But the floor. OMG the floor. It was ok for about a year. Then as the babies came, and just living in the kitchen as most families do, it is harder to clean, and the white shows everything! And not to mention the track mark in the floor from the vacuum.

The kitchen is the first thing I see when I walk in the door from the garage. And everytime I walk in, I think about what I want to change. And as much as I am in the kitchen cooking, all I can think about is the changes. Changes that are el cheapo.

My contractor friend came and gave me an estimate to re-do. My 'cosmetic' changes were in the tens of thousands. (Did I mention I'm cheap?) On to the next idea. I had painted my cabinets in our old zero lot line before. I knew I could do it, but just for giggles I got an estimate = $3k. I think I'm in the wrong profession. My mom used a reasonable counter-top guy, so I had him come and give an estimate on low-end laminate = $2500. (enter game show wrong answer buzzer sound)

So...I've researched some DIY projects on blogs and forums, and here is my plan until we win the lotto. I'll call it my Lipstick Kitchen plan. And the total cost should be about $1100. I'll keep ya'll posted on the budget.

Wall color: The current color throughout the house is Asian Jute from Farrell Calhoun. It's been up a few years now, and I'm ready to change it. I want a green kitchen. So I am going to use the same green that is on my tile backsplash b/c I love it so...and greens are sooooo hard to shop for!

Cabinets: I love black cabinets, but my hubby doesn't. I also love the french country cream cabs with a black glaze...so here is my inspiration.

Haven't broke it to hubby yet that I am planning on painting cabinets again...shhh...

I bought paintable beadboard wallpaper from Graham & Brown for the door panel insets, and cabinet ends...see inspiration here at the Southern Hospitality.

Countertops:  The builder grade laminate at Lowe's is really not bad looking...And it comes in all the popular granite colors, and it is el cheapo!! I'm going to use the black labrador color. Yay black! It will hide more dirt than the cream laminate I have now.

Backsplash:  The tile is coming down!!! I don't care what it takes...and pretty sure I'll use the faux silver tile backspash from Lowe's...still not committed to this, though.

Floor:  I've looked at different laminate hardwoods, but even at 1.99 sq/ft., it wasn't cheap enough for me. I finally found some peel and stick vinyl from Lowe's...(I told you this was a lipstick re-do!)And read many positive comments about it on the Garden Web forum. And I got it on sale for .88 sq/ft! yee haw! Can't wait to cover up the white linoleum! My hubby bought the floor for me this week and I cried like a baby! It's the small things in life, you know?? Thank you honey!! I love you!

Light Fixtures:  Scroll back up and look at that fan. ugh. I've been wanting a new fan in the kitchen ever since we have moved in. We did replace the globe with a light kit. But it's FUNCTIONAL! Not sure yet if I will paint this one, or get a new one...we'll see. But I've got plenty of black and brown spray paint (ie, free)!!!

Island:  I don't have one. And I don't want to pay for one. So my idea is to buy an unfinished base cabinet (36x24--nothing too big), use the beadboard wallpaper for the insets and ends, paint it black, slap some countertop on it, and hopefully it will look a little something like this. If I could just have one barstool at the end of the island I would be elated. Two barstools= ecstatic.

So we'll see how this goes! I'm tired of thinking about it...I'm ready to do some work!

The first thing I'll tackle is re-painting the walls. That's easy. Then I'll tackle the cabinets. With some extra time off during Turkey week and Christmas, and New Years...I'm hoping to get the whole kitchen done by the end of January! So stay tuned!!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Working Mom Guilt

Does every mom cry on their kid's birthdays???

My baby girl turns 3 years old today. And I am an emotional wreck. These 3 years have been awesome. We are truly blessed with a precious, smart, beautiful, and funny little princess. And I thank the Lord for each day with her.

And it's times like this when I really analyze how I am doing as a mommy, and if I'm doing a good job, and if she is going to turn out ok.

Being a mommy is the best thing ever, and the hardest thing ever, at the same time. Whether you are a mom who works inside the home, or if you are a mom who works outside the home, the bottom line is we ALL work. And we all have our share of guilt, and our share of always thinking what about me? and what about my wants & needs? Then another layer of guilt of even thinking those thoughts. It's a vicious cycle.

As a mom who works outside the home, I measure time with my kids in hours. During the work week I'm with them 30 minutes in the morning, then I pick them up around 5:30pm. I try to stretch their bedtime till 9, so I can get 3.5 hours with them. Wow--4hours/day. (I have actually never put that in writing) The weekends are precious hours to me. Friday nights me and the hubby try to squeeze a date in. But I'm too much in a hurry at dinner to get back to them that I don't enjoy it.

I try not to plan things on Saturdays, but inevitably, things are planned, and Sundays are busy with church, lunch, nap till 5, then the dinner/bath routine from 5:30-9pm.

The kids are in a christian pre-school. I do not worry about them during the day. I know they are being loved. Truly LOVED. And for that I am so thankful. Meredith amazes me how much she learns and soaks up everything. Her mind is a steel trap (which is good and bad sometimes:) But then I feel guilty that I am not the one teaching her things. But then again she would probably never learn all these new things with me 24/7.

I go through the cycles of:

-I'm a working mom, I'm providing for my children, everything is ok, I'm handling this pretty good.
-I'm a working mom, I don't want to be a working mom, but I don't want to stay home either. I'm not handling this very good.
-Am I really doing what God wants me to be doing?

And my thoughts throughout the day and at the end of the day are...

-Did I kiss my babies enough today?
-Did I tell them I love you enough times?
-Did I give enough hugs?
-Are they going to be scarred for life that I am only with them 44 waking hours a week?

I know the answers to these questions...and I know all mommies ask the same thing of themselves everyday....

So to all mommies...if you don't hear it as often as you would like, You are doing a great job!!! You are a great mommy!

Now off to kiss my sleeping babies one more time...and oh yeah...happy birthday Meredith! I love you!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Amatuer Skills

As far as my hobby list goes, like any girl, shopping would be my number one. Thrift shopping, I might add. I hate to say that I am cheap, but well, I am. My husband loves to deer hunt. I love to price hunt. And I get the same reaction to finding a good deal as he does killing bambi. (no comments please!)

But deer hunting and price hunting is not what this post is about. It's about hobbies. (Did I mention I have ADD?)

Another one of my hobbies I have loved since I was in elementary school is making wreaths. I have lots of memories of me and my friend Nikki going to Michael's and making small wreaths with ribbon and painting little wood thingys mauve, blue, and peach, and putting magnets on the back for our mom's fridges. I was a pro with a glue gun at an early age. Then I gradually made bigger ones, too.

But I haven't made a wreath in a long time...but plan on making some for christmas, and re-doing old ones of my mom's. I bought the stuff to make this wreath like Living with Lindsey for my mom...stay tuned to see how it turns out!

From wreaths, I transitioned into making flower arrangements because I couldn't bear to pay the prices retailers want, when I know I can make the same thing at the cost of supplies. (hello 50% off from hob lob!) And I love to find containers at the goodwill. And mostly, because it's more fun to make them, than buy them! I guess it's about using that creative side of my brain.

I posted some pics of some arrangments on my FB and had some positive response, so I thought I would share here in bloggy land.

This one sits on my dining room table during the year....

I made 2 recently for fall...I can't pick a favorite...I love both of them. One for the mantle (yes, I used to sell Southern Living :) ....

sorry this is so dark :( and whoops, crooked candle! While reading the Nester one day, she talked about layering accessories, so I gave it a shot. Mom says it's too much. And if you knew my mom, you would know what an oxymoron that statement is. And I mean that in a loving way :)

and one for the dining room....I found 2 of these containers at Goodwill for 5 bucks each. Used one container for this arrangement in my dining room....



And used the other container for this arrangment I made for my boss (from the team) for boss' day. (which really looks better in person) This fits nicely in her nook at the top of her stairs.

My cousin had this arrangement on her kitchen table, so I took a picture of it, and copied it. Easy peasy. And it usually sits on my kitchen table, and not the loft wall. (in case you were wondering) Container came from ROSS ($8)

I made this for my sister Melody a few years ago. She lives in Marietta, GA and I miss her so...She already had the container.

And this usually sits on my mantle...(container by SLAH) It might go back up after Christmas...we'll see...

Speaking of Christmas, here is a Christmas arrangement I made last year for both myself and my bestie Julie. I tried lots of different rooms, and different lighting to get a good pic, but this is the best I could do. The container (you can't see) is a round metal, from Old Time Pottery ($9) that I spray painted black.

Some people ask me to make arrangements for them, and I would love to. BUT just be warned things might shift a little :) I use styrofoam (or whatever the green stuff is called) in the bottom of course, but the fillers are usually just stuck in there. I just don't have the patience to secure every stem (ie ADD).

Maybe I'll do a tutorial one day...lol.

What is your hobby??