Our Cottage Farmhouse Kitchen Tour: Before & After

Before!

When we bought our house, I originally planned to stick with the oak cabinets. We did however plan to take down the wallpaper and replace the counter tops. The counter tops were Formica and had been painted yellow. The yellow and oak clashed a bit too much, and I just wanted something much more neutral for the center of our home.

We found ourselves with an extra week before we were to move in due to a hang up with the flooring crew. So, Josh decided to charge ahead and renovate the kitchen. The cabinets were really well built and solid. But, the varnish had started to wear off which lead us to the decision to repaint the cabinets!

I had fallen in love with the all white Cottage Kitchen look and Josh was really drawn to the more Modern Farmhouse style, so we combined our tastes and went for it!

It took us about two days to sand down all the cabinets (with an electric sander), then Josh and our parents primed the cabinets, then painted them with three coats of pure white.


A good friend of ours did the white on white subway tile for us. We also replaced our kitchen sink with a deep double sink, a hook faucet, and my favorite addition: our vintage replica light over the sink. It has a rubbed copper look which we both love! We tied in the modern farmhouse look with over sized silver drawer pulls and a modern kitchen light. You can see those in the video below.



We also replaced the dining room light with a farmhouse fixture. I love it! We found it at Lowe's, and it was such an awesome deal. We were both impressed with the lighting options there.

Here's the link to a full kitchen tour if you are interested:

Savoring Spring


A few pictures from around our yard...


I planted tomatoes this year. They seem to be doing well. A bit too well, because a certain little girl thinks it's fun to pull the tomatoes off. I have to move the planters farther from their play area, I guess. Ha ha!


I'm having fun watching my rose bush take off! There are so many blooms, now. If only I could get our front yard roses to bloom again. They were doing well, but the blooms fell off after a rough storm. I'm not familiar with raises roses, so any advice? Maybe they will come back.

Hope you enjoyed our little backyard tour. Happy Wednesday

The Weight of Grief


A few months ago an acquaintance posted an image titled "the weight of grief". As I viewed it, then, I didn't connect with the power of the image. It was that of a man weighted down by a heavy cloak.

Fast forward a few months, and that image keeps coming to mind.

Over the last two years, I've become acquainted with grief. It has come like slow billows, tiny waves, etching away at pieces of my heart. 

It wasn't until the other day, as I cried, really cried, for the first time in a long time, that I realized, grief has weighed me down for a time now. It has come in many forms, but mainly through the losses that life has thrown my way.

The loss of friendships. Even at 32, those losses never come easy. I have found myself wondering about the "could have been's" and the "why's". But, life, just happens. People move. People change. And one day you wake up and realize that once was is no longer. It's bittersweet.

The loss of my Mimmie. This year, I found myself at odds with Easter. It's normally one of my favorite holiday's, but it hurt. I would rather have had her here, watching my girls grow up. Needling me about my girls sleeveless dresses (she much preferred they wore sleeves and sweaters!). I know this is purely selfish--she is no longer in pain. But, still. The loss is so deep. Much deeper than I had ever imagined. And if I am being honest--I wish I had spent more time with her that last day. If only I had known--but, I didn't know.

And that's the frailty of life. Here one minute, gone the next.

I've questioned myself a bit about the fleeting-ness of life. Am I really living the life He has called me too? Am I dawdling too much? Do I tell my loved ones how much I care? I have so much work to do on this little 'ol heart of mine--rather--he has so much work left to do on me.

Around The Winding Road, To The Lake We Go


One of my favorite things to do, is go for long drives with the windows down (and the radio turned up of course!). Especially, when the weather is nice. Yesterday, we did just that. We worked our way around the lake...through the spiraling roads, and up, up, up, the mountain top, only to work our way back down to one of my favorite spots: the Marina!


Evie was all about feeding the fish. I think we went through about six bags in less than 10 minutes! Ella, however, was not about to let go of her sippee cup even to feed the fish. She was happy to just watch her sister. ;) It's fun watching the girls experience new things!


After yesterday's adventures, I've decided on a few things: We need an Airstream, a boat, and a hammock. And a fire pit to make S'mores! I think Josh might agree. Just maybe. ;)

Things That I Love Vol. 1


So, I was absent from blogging there for a bit because I forgot to renew my blog. I do that EVERY year. You'd think I'd remember or have some way or reminding myself. I'll just say my procrastinator side is a quirk of mine...

Speaking of quirks, I thought I'd share a few random things that I love.


I really, really love fresh flowers. They just have a way of bringing joy to any room in our house. It makes me a feel a little more domestic, too. Ha! ;)


Vintage books! Old, worn books have always had a little place in my heart. I can remember visiting flea markets and book sales as a teenager always eager to find a new title to browse. It's been fun collecting them for my kids! There's something extra beautiful about illustrations from way back then.


I really love latte art. Someday, I would love to learn how to make latte art myself. Summer hobby, maybe? Do any of you know how to make beautiful latte's? Teach me your ways, please. ;)


I love Christmas. I love planning for Christmas months in advance. I'm already trying to figure out new traditions to add to our December festivities. I love the music, the lights, the gifts, the buzz everywhere (it's the only time of year I don't mind crowds!, I love the cheesy movies!

What are some things that you love??? Linking up here. :)

New York City: The Food!


I saved the best for last. Just kidding! But, the food was definitely fun. ;)


At the very top of my list was Serendipity! Thanks to the movie, I've crushed on this little restaurant for a long time. It's just as quaint and quirky as you think it would be!


The frozen hot chocolate was delicious! The best part was all the whipped cream and shaved chocolate. :D :D :D Do you see a theme here?


The other stop on my list was Magnolia's Bakery! I had seen them featured on Food network, and of course several bloggers have shared their love of Magnolia's!! ;)


It was only a block from our hotel, so I may have had two servings of Banana Pudding (it's what they are known for according to some)...


We also tried their chocolate chip cookie...it was chewey and gooey. Just how I like 'em...


Another highlight was the Shops at The Plaza. They have a food court with all kinds of amazing goodies. I wish I had taken a picture of everything, but my favorite part was a piece from the Lady M Cake Boutique. I didn't even know cake boutiques were a thing... ;)


Layers of crepes and cream...so, so good. :D


On our last day, we visited Amy's Bread located at Chelsea's Market. They've  been voted one of the top bakeries in NYC. After eating there, I can see why. Their pastries are very flaky and melt in your mouth good. We also enjoy a slice of their cake...


It was dense, moist, very flavorful, and the icing was really good!


We enjoyed eating in Little Italy at Paesano! The pasta was fantastic. It felt very authentic, and my husband was pleased. He's all about Italian food and it passed his personal test. ;)


Then we had dessert around the corner at Ferraro's. :D


Last, but not least, we enjoyed New York Cheesecake of course! Our first slice was from Junior's (that pic is on Instagram), and while it was good, we both loved our cheesecake from William Greenberg! It's part of the food hall at The Plaza. It was very dense and creamy.

And that about wraps up our trip!!! I'll be eating salads for  a few weeks to recover. But, what's a trip without amazing food?? Hee hee.

Show & Tell Tuesday: Memory Lane!

Two posts in one day? Well, I've missed blogging, and the topic over at Show & Tell this week is about Memory Lane!! I loved my childhood, and had a pretty typical 80's & 90's life. Things I loved growing up...

Watching I Love Lucy




To this day, I love watching this show. And no matter how many times I watch an episode, I laugh just as hard as I did the first time. I was about 6 years old when I fell in love with Lucy's antics. I remember "Nick at Night" would have marathons, and I was record them on VHS tapes. :D

Collecting Lisa Frank



I think every girl growing up in the 90's was obsessed. I loved the notebooks, folders, pencils...you name it! :)

Playing With Play Doh



I loved Play Doh. I loved squeezing it in my hands. I loved the smell! They should make some kind of car scent called Play Doh. I would buy it up by the bulk. Ha!

Reading...Sweet Valley Twins, Babysitters Club....


I was a total bookworm as a kid. Going to the library was my FAVORITE thing to do. Still is, to be honest. I really loved reading Sweet Valley Kids, Sweet Valley Twins, Babysitters Club, and so many more. ;)

What did you love during your childhood?

NYC: The Sights!



We started our walking tour of NYC at 8:30 in the morning! It was a fast paced tour, because the goal is to see as many iconic places within nine hours. Yes, it was an exhausting day, but well worth it. :) Here's the video footage:



It was fun getting to see Lady Liberty! She's quite the giant.


This was the view from the boat as we headed to the Statue of Liberty! Quite a site. Also, the boat ride was a bit rocky. ;)


We stopped at Wall Street for a few minutes. It was crazy busy.


We visited the 9/11 Memorial Pools and saw the iconic World Trade Center One. They are in the process of building the others. It was a humbling moment to see the size of the pools, and the names.





We also visited the Empire State Building. Visibility was low, but it was still fun to see the site where famous movies have been filmed (the entire time, I was thinking about Sleepless in Seattle).


The highlight of the trip for Josh was visiting Little Italy. Josh was in heaven! I'll share about the food later! It was really beautiful.

 
My tourist husband. Hahaha. And yes, he's got a lot of Italian in him. ;)


We ended our last night with a buggy ride through Central Park. It was magical! Not exaggerating. Honestly, I think Central Park and The Plaza were my favorite parts of NYC. :)

We saw tons of other sites, most of which were on my IG: Times Square (ick), Rockefeller Center (beautiful!), Radio City, Trump Tower (whoa, the guards!!!!), Broadway (saw Aladdin), Grand Central Station (I cannot believe I didn't take very many pictures...it was beautiful!), SoHo, St. Patrick's Cathedral (gorgeous), and several other areas. :)


Anniversary in New York City!


Well, we did it! We finally made it to New York City. It has been on both of our "lists" of places to go. One afternoon, back in February, we made the decision to have our first mini getaway without the kids. *deep breath* We decided on three nights. Just long enough for some "us" time, but not so long that this mommy heart might explode. It really was the perfect time for us. We chose The Warwick. Something about the lights, and the name just screamed classy. And it was!! Oh my goodness it was so, so beautiful. I forgot to take pictures on my big camera. There are a few on my Instagram though!


We hit the ground running the first night we got there, but I didn't take any pictures. We dined at Tony's which had the best Fettuccini I've ever tasted. We also visited Times Square....which was the ONLY thing that I did not like about NYC. They can keep those lights and crowds and strange things. I'll take the other side that feels like you are stepping into a 1950's movie. Anyway, I digress, my #1 agenda while visiting the Big Apple was to see The Plaza. It was beautiful. So, so beautiful! I am still star struck over it! I had purchased a little pink purse just for the occasion. I wanted to visit the Eloise store for gifts, and to see The Eloise portrait. It was all so delightful. I feel like a kid again just thinking about it!!


Josh was a good sport and let me have my fun. ;)


Josh talked me into brunch during our stay there. I'm so glad he did, because it was soooo romantic. The music, the lighting, the window table...





We visited Central Park twice during our visit. Once during the day, then once at night. Both were so nice. I couldn't get over how beautiful the park was!


I just couldn't capture an angle that gave it justice. After walking around a bit, we started to make our way to another bucket list item....Serendipity!!!!


It was so good! So so good. All that chocolate...and that whipped cream. I was geeking out the entire time we were there. I think Josh may have rolled his eyes a time or two. Can't blame him too much. I need another one...


All that shaved chocolate...


Our first full day was fun, and I fell asleep the minute my head hit the pillow! ;) Up next, Josh got to cross off his bucket list items...and allll the food. ;)