3.18.2017

Milk Paint Cabinets, Shoji White Walls and Lots of Flowers: A Kitchen and Dining Room Update

Hello! I'm back with lots of pictures of my updated kitchen and dining room! Although I realized after the fact that I seemed to take more pictures of the flowers (purchased and from my yard) than of the actual work I've done to the space! I guess I just really love fresh flowers! Here's how things were looking last year with our tiny fridge, curtains hung too low, etc...
I was tired of the orange oak cabinets and island, and wanted a fresh look for our old table as well. Here's how it looks now!
I used General Finishes milk paint in Seagull Gray on the cabinets, and Sherwin Williams Alabaster on the island. I painted the island first, and chose oil based paint for its durability. However the fumes were so awful and lasted so long that I knew I had to use something different for the rest of the cabinets. After some research, I found this blog post about using milk paint on kitchen cabinets and I was sold! I ordered everything I needed through Amazon and still have plenty of paint left for touchups. It was definitely time consuming, even without having to sand, but I just love how much brighter my kitchen looks now!
My sister and brother-in-law gave us this painting and I think the muted blues and grays look so nice filling the space above the fridge. My little fern is still alive too! So far it just gets an ice cube a day, but it will need some diluted fertilizer soon.
As soon as I started painting the cabinets I knew that the walls would need a new color of paint as well. The cool gray cabinets clashed with the warm beige walls and it was a bit overwhelming to think of what a big project I had taken on. The kitchen walls connect to the living room, dining room and hallway so that meant there was a lot of painting in my future!
I did it though! Well almost, I've gone through 3 gallons of paint and need to grab some more before I can finish the hallway. I chose Shoji White by Sherwin Williams in eggshell. It's the perfect warm white, and I even painted my bedroom too! I absolutely hate using a roller and trays though, so I've done all the walls with just a paintbrush. It's been a labor of love I tell you! Especially because I'm such a slow painter. (My bedroom took me 9 hours...) I like to take my time so I never have to tape things off before I start work or use drop cloths (just a trash bag under the paint can). So far it's always worked for me!
Down the line we might update the stove and maybe install a microwave above it to free up space on the counter. I might want to do something different with the vent hood in the meantime though, like using this paint on it. Seems easy enough!
I also haven't decided what to do with our old dining room chairs yet. They're not very comfortable so we may just replace them at some point. As for the table, it needed a little TLC after a hot dish discolored a big spot on top of it. I sanded it down last year and used a combination of milk paint and gray stain until I was satisfied with the results. I finished it with a few coats of clear topcoat to seal it. You can see how it looks up close in the first picture of this post. No scratches or damage to it yet!
We love our Craigslist piano! I purchased a cushioned storage bench to use with it and I love how the color ties in with some of the leaves on the rug nearby. The task light is from Target and it's perfect for brightening up evening piano practice.
I was going to paint our desk, but after sanding it down I actually liked it the way it was! I might change my mind later though, we'll see! The chair is a recent find from Hobby Lobby. It had to meet Ryan's comfort requirement and yet still look good... and this one fit the bill! Oh and our bulletin board still has the thankful leaves and feathers the boys and I made last Thanksgiving displayed on it... they're a constant reminder to be grateful for all that we have been blessed with!
Well alrighty then, that's all I've got to share for now! Until next time. God bless!
-Valerie

2.14.2017

Unblogged Birthday

Is it even a birthday if you don't blog about it? Kidding! Once upon a time I blogged regularly. First I used the blog to record my weight loss journey after I had a baby, then (as I started to enjoy fashion again) I started posting my outfits and participating in blog link-ups. I did a few guest posts for other bloggers, won a lot of giveaways, wrote a few sponsored posts, and commented on a lot of blogs I followed (and got comments and followers in return). It was a lot of fun, but not something I wanted to keep up with in the long run. I'm not fashion forward or creative with clothes. I do want to dress uniquely and feel effortlessly stylish in whatever I wear, but I refuse to waste money just to have something new to post about. As I work towards getting back to my goal size (again!) I want to curate a closet that only has clothes I love, clothes that are flattering and can be mixed and matched with ease. Anyway, the point I'm getting at is that it's been a long time since I was on any type of "schedule" for this blog. I always pop back in now and then to share some family event or random project, but somehow completely skipped Connor's 2nd birthday last year! I did manage to post about Sean's (triple!) 6th birthday celebration but I wanted to get Connor's party up here too.

I didn't have my new camera yet, and only managed to snap a few pics with my phone, but it was a fun day with family celebrating our little monkey. June is coming around fast and I can't believe we'll have a 3 year old soon! There's a lot of things I want to accomplish before summer rolls around again though. Things like:

-finishing all of Sean's first grade curriculum.
-taking pictures of all the projects I've been working on in the house. (SO.MUCH.PAINTING.)
-catching up on my yearly photobooks. (I'm halfway done with 2015...haven't even started on 2016!)
-completing a few months of a modified whole 30 eating plan.
-continuing getting at LEAST 15 thousand steps a day. (LOVE my fitbit charge 2!)
-getting back to piano lessons with Sean, we paused during basketball season and then never got back on schedule.
-taking the group basketball photo that we've been trying to coordinate for months!
-getting a few new plants for the backyard after we lost some to (rare) freezing temps this winter.

First order of business is to get over being sick so I can start work on all of this!