Lighting Plans | Kitchen

One of the rooms we are focusing on first is our kitchen. Clearly I don't need to explain it further after this before photo right?
So here is a list of what we HAVE done:
-Ripped down those valences
-Painted the walls (I called the yellow "daycare" yellow 😂) Benjamin Moore's Edgecomb Grey
-Replaced the faucet
-Replaced the pantry door knob
-Tore down the cabinet over the dishwasher and installed open shelving
-Began painting the cabinets
-Added under cabinet lights
-We pray everyday that the appliances die before our home warranty is up 😂😂😂 (sorta kidding, sorta not).

We are NO WHERE near being finished, but here are some progress photos:

We are s-l-o-w-l-y but surely painting the cabinets. It is definitely a process. Each cabinet needs to be scrubbed, deglossed, sanded, primed with 3 coats and then 3 coats of paint- and that's PER SIDE. Whew. I have purchased all the hardware (knobs HERE and handles HERE). By the way you can save a TON of money from buying hardware on Amazon!

The next task in here as we continue painting cabinets is LIGHTING! I am so flipping excited... I think. Our goal is to have all new lighting by the weekend of day light savings (so when it gets dark super early my kitchen will actually be bright). 

Our house is MAJORLY lacking overhead lighting. I guess that wasn't a thing in the 90s? Our living room has NO overhead lights, my office has NO over head lights, and the kitchen has an 80s box with fluorescent lights and a ceiling fan that doesn't spin. The fluorescent lights are dead, and I REFUSE to spend money on fluorescent lights when I hate that thing so much. 

So here are ceiling shots: 
(We are currently painting those 4 cabinet doors...)
So my plan is to add 4-6 recessed lights in 2 rows (either 2 rows with 2 lights or 2 rows with 3 lights. I am hoping the fluorescent light comes down without a HUGE hole in the ceiling that would be the middle of 3 lights (with one recessed light to the right and to the left) and then 2 or 3 more using the ceiling fan hole, leaving a space in the very middle of the room over the island. I'll come back to that in a minute.

Four to six recessed lights, then I want to add a pendant over the sink centered on the window. I REALLY wanted to have a wall mounted fixture above the sink, but unfortunately there isn't enough space. This is the fixture I was ready to buy:

But the ceilings are just too high (9 feet) and the wall is too little. 😥 So I continued my search for the perfect light! I came upon this BEAUTY!
I wanted it to be VERY clear so as not to obstruct the view outside. The glass is seeded glass which I love. It helps hide dust and looks so fresh and clean. I LOVE the shape of this fixture- it makes me think that Thomas Edison must have had a light like this in his studio! Also I bought it when it was $22!!!!! What a steal.

I'm not done! I told you I wanted LOTS of lights! So we have plans to extend the island (at the minimum we want to double the size-- maybe make it 2.5x's the size it is now). Of course we will get granite within the next 2 years. I want to make the island so the kids can pull a stool up and sit and so we can fit at least 4 people around it. We also would love to add shelving to the side and big chunky legs. I'm thinking something like this: 
Is that not GORGEOUS? 
Here is an island shot currently: 
The oak is KILLING me and we are using outdoor patio furniture for the kid's table. We'll look back at these days and laugh! But I can't wait to get a gorgeous slab of granite and to extend that counter! 

Then centered over the island I would like to add a chandelier as a focal point for the room. There is so much going on with the patio door to the sun room, all the cabinets/appliances, island, etc. so I need ONE place to focus on. Here is the chandelier I am eyeing: 
So that is the plan! 4-6 recessed lights, a pendant over the sink and a chandelier over the island! I can't wait to get our electrician in and to get everything wired and ready! 

*contains affiliate links. Affiliate links are a win win. They provide a direct link to the  products I love, and they help support the blog! Read my disclosures here

High Five for Friday | Favorites

So it's actually Saturday... but I like the alliteration of Friday Favorites, so I'm going ahead with it.
I missed last week, so I really wanted to update this week because we have done SO MUCH!

My birthday was the 4th, and we were planning a trip out of town to see family. We canceled at the last minute because of bad weather (traveling 12 hours in 2.5 days to spend all day inside didn't seem very fun). Our kids were DEVASTATED to not see grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, so we decided to have a staycation at home. We basically planned (at the last minute) fun stuff for every day that weekend. Our weekends are usually VERY chill so this was for sure out of the ordinary for us.

Day one of our staycation involved going on a drive through animal safari. It was GREAT. So much fun for our kids and for us! I loved that the animals were free to roam ACRES of forest and grassland. It was so fun to get upclose and feed them. The highlight for me was the zebra and giraffe. They also had a little zoo area that had a SLOTH--which is also a favorite of mine!

Day two of our staycation we went to a local waterpark. It was SUPER fun and cheap and our kids are still talking about it!

First day of school!! It rained on Luke's first day of school, so inside pictures it was! He started this year at a University Model School where he goes to school 2 days a week and is homeschooled 3 days a week. It's an adjustment and we are getting used to it but so far it has been SO GOOD. We just love it! Emmie started pre-k 4s this year!

JUST CAN YOU EVEN. I said earlier that giraffes and sloths were my favorite-- but BELUGAS take the cake. They are 100% at the top of my list and I could actually sit and watch them swim for HOURS. Leave me at the tank and come back and get me when everyone else is ready to leave. Josh surprised me with a beluga experience for my birthday and I died. Like went to heaven. They are absolutely my favorite and to be able to experience them up close was incredible. I plan to do a whole post about the experience. We have almost 100 pictures that I'll pick my 10 favorites and share. For now though I'll leave you with this:

We are SLOOOOOOWLY working on painting our kitchen cabinets. We started at the end of July and I lovingly refer to my mom as my project manager. She'll come over and tell me "we need to do this, this and this today" dealing with the cabinets. I'm such a procrastinator that it would take me a year to finish. I am very thankful for her help and motivation. We are almost done with 3 of these doors and this coming week we'll be moving on to the other 4! I will say that I AM SO SICK OF LOOKING AT MY DISHES. So glad we don't have open shelving!

Exterior To Do List

Our house is going to slowly become ours as we work on things that desperately need to be done! Thankfully the house itself if in great shape-- it just hasn't been updated since 1998. 

I actually love the black shutters, neutral siding, and the overall architectural style of our home (hello-- that's why we spent a lot of money on it). Although compared to the area/neighborhood we feel like we stole this house (price per sq.ft.). 

I thought it would be fun to keep a master list of things we'd like to update as we go. We spend nearly every weekend in the yard doing SOMETHING, so I can't wait to show you how it evolves. By the way this photo was taken before it even became ours last April. Also I will link back to this post as we accomplish items on our list.

- Replace exterior lights with something bigger.
- Paint garage doors the color of the siding (Sherwin Williams: Perfect Greige)
- Add carriage hardware to garage doors
- Remove bush on far left and plant a new bush there and to the right of garage.
- New front door.
- Paint new front door.
- Remove blinds from foyer window (above front door).
- Trim tree limbs.
- Sod.

My Organized Make-up Drawer

One of the things I absolutely love about our new house is the size of our bathroom! We have never had a sizable master bathroom in any of our houses-- and while this bathroom is the LEAST updated of any bathroom we've had, the bones are there people! I spared you from seeing the mauve "accent" wall and floral border 😆

The counter is soooooo long. And while storage isn't optimized to it's potential, it's not horrible as is. We eventually would love to rip this builder grade oak vanity out, add an amazing unit with tons of storage and DRAWERS, and nice thick stone counters. But for now we have other pressing items where our budget is going (new sod out front and hiring painters for the 18ft. foyer ceiling).

Phase 1 in this bathroom will be keeping the main items (vanity, tub, shower) and upgrading with paint, new faucets, towels, rugs and art. Phase 2 will be a gut to replace the vanity, make the shower bigger, etc.

I'm not kidding when I say this was the FIRST space I tackled in this house. I needed SOMETHING to be in order and organized. I asked begged for the only drawer in the whole bathroom as a place to store my makeup so it was easily accessible and out of site. I had to store my makeup on the counter in our old house and it really cluttered things.
The drawer had contact paper from 1998 in it. And I swear it smelled like a nursing home. I ripped it out and put some elbow grease into cleaning that nastiness.
...sorry you can't unsee that.

I knew I needed some sort of organizers and cute shelf paper to cover that up. They make adorable contact paper/shelf liner with gorgeous designs, but I was REALLY feeling the sophistication of this black and white buffalo check wrapping paper. Wrapping paper will not hold up for the long run like actual shelf liner will, but for now I love it.

I so badly wish I could link this beautiful paper for you-- but I literally bought it on a Navy Base during their after Christmas sale... so.... good luck with that 😁 I did link a VERY similar one below (in tan). There are still tons of cute options! That white washed "wood" gives me all the heart eyes!

I bought #1 for another project in a different part of our house. OR use your favorite wrapping paper like I did!
                                               {1}*                                                     {2}*
                                               {3}*                                                       {4}*

I tried to separate my makeup by kind to figure out what I actually had and how I needed to store it. I measured the drawer across and mentally tried to figure out what size bins would work. Ultimately I decided I'd rather all the same size so I could mix and match laying them vertically and horizontally.
These are the acrylic drawer organizers* I chose:
I was pretty limited on the height of the organizer since these barely clear the top of the counter. My biggest piece of advice is to measure, measure, measure! Width wise my drawer was a little over 18inches and these acrylic organizes are 3in. wide X 6in. long. So I knew I could fit 3 length wise across or 6 vertically. Or a combo of vertical and horizontal (which is what I went with!). 

I am obsessed with how EASY this helps me get ready in the morning! Clockwise from 12o'clock I have my mascaras, matte eyeshadows, an entire bin for concealer (!!), my foundation/face prep/bb cream/moisturizers, my eye palettes/bronzers/blush in the middle, shimmer eye shadows in the center, lip stuff on the left, sample size creams/stuff on the far left and then eye liner/brow liner pencils! I love how this gives me a LIMIT. I literally can't fit anything else until I use through my products. To my defense I have a light bronzer and dark (summer/winter), along with BB cream and foundation that I keep 2 of for my tan face and pale face.

I literally pop my drawer open in the morning, get to work on my face, finish-- put everything back in it's place and close the drawer! So easy! I am obviously a Younique presenter, but am NOT a sales person so feel free to shop here (and ask me any questions!).

*contains affiliate links. Affiliate links are a win win. They provide a direct link to the  products I love, and they help support the blog! Read my disclosures here

High Five For Friday | Favorites

I have felt SO WEARY this week. I really pushed myself in my business and personal goals at the end of July, so I am having a hard time recovering and being motivated this month so far. Knowing that summer is ending is so so so sad. But...

TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY! The older I get the more I realize how special birthdays are and how often we take them for granted. Not just mine, but my husband, kids, parents. A few friends have battled cancer and lost loved ones and it's a gentle reminder that we are never promised another!

So today I'll enjoy turning 31. 

We sold one of our houses (we owned 3 houses for 3 months 😂). My IRL friends are probably so sick of hearing me talk about it but SERIOUSLY this has been 4 years coming. I feel like some people effortlessly sell houses-- they cross the proverbial finish line, renewed and with energy remaining. We on the other hand just finished a marathon, bleeding out as we crossed the finish line. But WE FINISHED. Glory.
Long story short we bought this a year before the recession. We refinanced at the depths of the recession and moved 6 months later. We had to hold on to it because of how we refinanced so we rented it for 4 years. Renting is never ideal when you live 2+ hours away and it just became a burden.  We were under contract 3 times, 2 of those obviously didn't work. It was exhausting and an emotional roller coaster that I am so glad is behind us. I wrote a sweet post here about what this house means to us and truly how I will remember it.

Last weekend we got to see my college roommate and her sweet family! We had lunch, got to catch up, and let our kids see each other. They live an ocean away so it's always so wonderful to see them!

I enjoyed every second of making these sweet teacher shirts. I can't wait to offer them next summer in my shop!

I made sheet pan nachos twice this week (because the first time they were SO GOOD). Link to my Pinterest cooking board is HERE and a link to the actual recipe HERE.

Younique released their brand new one step mascara to the public this week! I haven't gotten my hands on it (the singles sold out in 30 minutes!!), but I WILL. Can't wait to try it! ONE STEP. They also released a lash serum that I also can't wait to try.

We are heading to the beach this weekend to see family! While public schools went back earlier this week we don't go back until next Tuesday. So many happy and sad feelings about this situation!

July Reads

I was never really a reader growing up. It wasn't something I enjoyed and I pretty much only read the things I had to read-- which made reading even more painful.

I really fell in love with books in college in my Children's Lit class I had to take. We went back and read elementary level books and I saw the joy in reading for the first time.

I set a goal last year to read one book a month-- so 12 books total for the year. I am brutal with books and if I lose interest or I am just not into it, I just quit reading. It's not worth my time. But I pretty much destroyed my 2016 goal (in a good way).

Since this has been my year of rest, I wanted to up the ante. I set my goal earlier this year at 2 a month. You can see where I am currently here.

I really enjoyed my July line up so I thought I'd share! I can't always read 4 books in one month (no idea how people with small children read tons of books), but with our more relaxed schedule I was able to!

I fell in love with Karen's books the summer after I had Luke. He slept a lot and I had a god bit of free time and our church had a library full of her books. I ended up reading 17 that summer alone (!!). Since then I have followed her new releases and this is the latest book in the Baxter series. It was just as good as I expected and I can't wait to grab her book coming out in November. Also I have slowly started purchasing the compete series on Ebay (and when I see them at Goodwill) and have begun rereading!

2. A Fierce Love

I am in an online book club and this was the July book that was chosen. I'll be 100% honest and say that I was slightly turned away by the concept of the book. Who wants to read a fairly deep, spiritually heavy book in the summer? BUT I WAS SO WRONG. This story is Shauna's personal story about how her marriage was almost torn apart by an affair and it is real and raw and I ended up really enjoying this book! If anyone thinks this could never happen to them, I would HIGHLY encourage you to think again.

3. Better Than Before (the Amazon cover is different than the book I read but I checked the table of contents and it's the same book).

I learned so much about myself while reading this book! There are a few really great concepts in this book. It took me a while to get through it because it's just a lot of information, but I see some of my personal quirks as I read this. I had read like half the book and felt that I would have been fine putting it down because I feel like it circles back and covers topics again. Not the most thrilling read, but definitely helped me figure out why habits are so hard for me (hello procrastination!). If I had to rate it, I would say this was my LEAST favorite book this month, just because I really had to focus when I was reading and it took me the longest time to complete.

4. Chase the Lion

This book is amazing. Hands down. I read Circe Maker by this same author so I knew I liked his style of writing.  He does talk about some of the same stories in this book as Circle Maker but he come from a different angle. Also In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day is the book he wrote first, so this book is sort of the second in the "series" but you can read it as a stand alone. But I felt very encouraged to chase my dreams and especially as I began to feel weary from summer it was a great reminder to keep pushing.

Steals and Deals | 8/2/17

It's no secret that I am literally obsessed with Amazon. I think my delivery people eyeroll me everyday. I typically get 4-5 shipments a week and I don't buy out of convenience (although it is convenient). I buy there because THE PRICES ARE CHEAPER if done correctly. Also remember that Amazon prices fluctuate daily (sometime hourly) so if the prices are different than what I have quoted that's just the name of the game. Please note that this post contains affiliate links. Affiliate links are a win win. They provide a direct link to the  products I love, and they help support the blog! Read my disclosures here
I wrote a whole post on how to Amazon here, but I thought I'd share a few current deals! Just a reminder that IF YOU CAN "subscribe and save" an item, it's usually cheaper if you can wait.

I re-evaluate my subscriptions every month. Sometimes there are better current deals and you can delete the old subscription and get a coupon for the new subscription (coupons will only be applied on the next order).

Here is an example on my July order that arrived the other day:
Kleenex- I saved $1 simply by deleting my old subscription and redoing it.

I am a Silhouette girl and it's always a happy surprise when the sticky mats are on sale! I've heard that you can use this mat with a Cricut but I've obviously never tried. The regular price is FANTASTIC and the Subscribe and Save is the lowest it's ever been!

Silhouette Cutting Mat: $8.17 ($7.00 subscribe/save)

I wish this had been on sale 2 years ago when we really struggled with bedtime/waking up in the middle of the night. I know many mamas who have had success from this "ok to wake" alarm clock. The average price is around $27 for this and it's currently $22! It stays red when kids are suppose to still be in bed and then turns green for whatever time is appropriate for them to "wake" or come out of their room. Emmie can now read a digital clock so we don't have a need for it- but I seriously considered it a few years ago!
OK to Wake!: $22.79

Full disclosure- I have an Apple Watch Series 2. But I researched fitness trackers HEAVILY and had I not snagged the Apple Watch (I got mine refurbished), I would have bought the FitBit Alta. I love how sleek it is while still telling time and keeping you on your goals. I wanted so desperately for it to go on sale while I was looking (it hovered right at $125), but it's been on sale for a few days now!

FitBit Alta: $99

I shared this amazing deal HERE but it is STILL ON SALE so I thought I'd mention it again! This laminator is priced at the lowest price it's ever been!
Laminator: $17.88

I am absolutely INTRIGUED by these after I saw them used on a blog I follow for meal prepping! They hold the ziplock bag in place while you fill them up with goodies. They typically hover around $11 and they are $6.73 for a 2-pack currently as an add on item. I typically put "add on" items in my cart and wait until I have $25 worth of stuff and then snag them. Can't wait too long though because Amazon prices are known to fluctuate!

Baggy Clips: $6.73