Kitchen & Dining {Before & After}

I have waited a long time to share photos of our newly remodeled kitchen and dining room! Like with all of our projects so far, I have to give MAJOR kudos to my husband. He gutted our kitchen to the studs pretty much by himself. It’s taken six months, but I finally feel confident saying our kitchen is finished!

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The before kitchen had your classic orange and yellow wallpaper, and dark brown cabinets. There was no dishwasher, so we added one in where the refrigerator used to be. We built a new space for the refrigerator, and built our cabinets all the way to the ceiling. We also added canned lights to the ceiling to brighten things up!

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There was a wall between the kitchen and dining room that we removed, which has really opened up the flow between the two spaces.

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In the dining room, we ripped out carpet, painted the walls, and I took the old yellow cabinet you can see in the above “before” photo and turned it into a china cabinet.

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So tell me what you think of our bright little kitchen!

Here are a few more goodies from the process…Happy homeowning!

Weekend in Review

This was one of those weekends that managed to strike JUST the right balance of fun, productivity, and relaxation. They are rare, but OH how I love them.

Pre-weekend, I presented at a small conference on Friday here in Columbus. Lots of schools from across the state were represented, and we ended the day in a “networking” happy hour. A great start to the weekend, if you ask me.

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Friday night included a nice dinner out to celebrate the end of a crazy week, followed by TV and early bed time. Yep, I’m a dork but IT WAS AWESOME.

I got up early Saturday, knocked out a 3.5 mile run (a big deal for me), as I’m training to do a 10K in early May. The hubs and I went to breakfast, I finally used a groupon to Krema and got a ton of nut butters, and a few other miscellaneous errands. Then I did a bunch of random reorganizing and throwing away of old crafty things and home decorations. Downsize, downsize, downsize.

There might have been a nap, and then some basketball watching with friends. A healthy dinner at home, red crinkle cookies, and an Ohio State loss in basketball, but NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP in wrestling. Holla!

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Sunday brought CBS Sunday Morning, coffee, church, lunch, groceries…and since it’s basically spring, I freshened up our living room a little with some new green/grey/blue/yellow potpourri and candles. You like? What did you do this weekend?

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Christmas Tree Decorating {an art}

Below, you will find my opinion about decorating Christmas trees. I do not have photos to share of this year’s tree quite yet, but it’s not so different from last year’s, to be honest. Enjoy! Just a few more days until Christmas!!

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There is something my mother can do with a Christmas Tree that I can only hope to replicate someday.

The lights, the decorations…it is truly an art in our home. Today I want to share with you a few tips I’ve picked up from my mother over the years… Let me warn you that these photos do not do it justice. In real life, this tree twinkles and glows. It simply cannot be beat!

1. Not multi-colored, but not monochrome. Rather…two colors. White & Red. (can you see the colors in here?)

2. Ornaments must go deep into the tree, not just along the edges.

3. Some should be homemade…

4….and some should simply be beautiful.

5. The topper does not need to be a star – bows will do.

6. Not only should you have ornaments, but you should have sparkling birds, twigs, and other squiggly garnishes.

7. Decorating…

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Thanksgiving Table 2014

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For real though, setting the table for a holiday is my FAVORITE THING. Even more than baking the wonderful holiday treats.

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I kept it pretty simple last year, with a burlap runner and pumpkins. This year really wasn’t too different, except that I found a new pretty table runner and pumpkin candle centerpiece at Home Goods. Man, I love that store. I also had some autumn potpourri that had pretty much lost its scent, so I transferred those to my pretty little stands.

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Also this year, I made Ree Drummond’s Pecan Pie (WHICH WAS AMAZING) and also my favorite, super easy peanut butter pie (not pictured here). And yes, that’s a store bought pumpkin pie. Sorry.

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This is just a random close up of my new table runner and the pretty little detail on my very simple china.

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All this to say, you don’t have to spend a lot of money or do anything fancy to have a pretty, cozy little table. Just take things you have an switch them around. Put pumpkins or flowers in a wine chiller or vase. For Christmas, put ornaments in bowls or cake stands. The options are endless. Have fun with it! Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with your loved ones!

 

Bedroom Decor

FINALLY after living in our house for over a year, I feel like our bedroom is decorated. As I’ve mentioned before, we have left the walls in our rental white, partly because I’m scared of committing to color, but mostly because we don’t want to put in the effort to paint. That said, I’ve decorated our home with colors and fun items hanging on the walls here and there. And our bedroom was last on our list. It was SO WHITE and was really bugging me, so I finally cracked and went for it.

A few things that helped spruce it up.

1. Painted Canvases. Couldn’t have been simpler. I bought white canvases, and used blue, green, grey, and white paints to literally throw color all over them. Good enough for me! (I am NOT a perfectionist…)

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2. Curtains. WHAT A DIFFERENCE these have made. We have this big window, on a white wall, with white blinds, and it just always looked so naked to me. Now, I’m on a budget, so while I could have bought fancier curtain rod and such, I’m SUPER happy with this pop of color.DSC_0006

3. Random decor. These are things I already had, but didn’t have a place for. A few chalkboards from the wedding. An “R” that wasn’t being fully utilized. An embroidery hoop with random fabric in it. A sweet little paper Wisconsin from my mom on our first anniversary.

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4. My upgraded piano bench. Still one of my favorite projects, besides the house divided wreath, of course. I love this bench, and have used it as the color inspiration for the rest of the room. (It’s not in the photos above – sorry – but it’s in the room!)

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Scrabble Family Decor

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My most recent favorite, 10-minute project. Seriously, so quick and sweet!! I loooooove it! #nerdalert

So if you want to make your own, here’s what you need:

  • Scrabble letters (check ebay, etsy, etc to find a bag of letters)
  • Chalkboard contact paper OR chalkboard paint OR a roll of magnet backing OR paint
  • Glue
  • Frame

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I wanted to use what I had already at the house, and that included a roll of magnet backing. I cut a rectangle of it to cover the glass of a frame I had sitting in my basement. Easy as pie. Then I simply glued my letters on, and voila!

Seriously, the hardest part about this project was deciding how I wanted to arrange all of our names… After that, the rest was simple! Even you can do it – I promise 🙂

Summer Throw Pillow Face Lift

So, this isn’t exactly a crafting project, but I have “home decor” in my head as “crafting,” so here I am posting it anyway. Our home is SOOO cozy, and I love it. Our living room is especially great, which is convenient since we definitely spend most of our time there. Recently though, it’s felt a little dark. Black couch, maroon chair, dark pillows and blankets…it was time for a little spruce up for summer. Now, it’s just a few throw pillows (which, for the record, my husband has now learned are MUCH more expensive than you would think), but I think it makes a big difference…

Our couch and chair before:

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Our couch and chair after:

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I went with mustard yellow, burnt orange, and dark red pillows so that they still match the red chair but add a bit of brightness. What do you think? Did I do okay??

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