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Monday, January 27, 2014

Kitchen Remodel Stage 57

When you have a tight budget, costly renovations have to come in stages.

Three years ago we started our kitchen reno.
Today, we are one more step closer to being "done".

It may be a slight exaggeration to say that this is the 57th stage, but it feels a bit that way. In all reality here are the steps.

1) Redo flooring on the main level {this included the kitchen}
2) Add beadboard backsplash in kitchen and add shelving under counter.
3) New kitchen faucets
4) Begin upgrading kitchen appliances
5) Paint kitchen cabinets
6) Upgrade window hardware
7) Finish upgrading kitchen appliances

7.....57, it all feels the same! :)

So here we are at #7.

If you want to see the dramatic before, check out this post here.

This stage began with the malfunction of the dishwasher purchased during stage 4. Almost 3 years ago.
We bought a Fridgidaire. I bought it because it was pretty. Very lame! Its downfall began when my 4 year old fell and landed on the open door....a couple of times. The door then opened all the way to the floor and if you weren't careful with how you loaded it, it would leak. So when the error code came on and I called the company I knew this was the beginning of the end. {Despite the issues Fridgidaire has good customer service!} We were told it was either the vent unit or the electrical panel. When we called a repairman he said, "its almost never the electrical panel". In order to not be wasteful {and I have a really handy hubby} we decided to buy a new vent unit and with the help of Google, replace it ourselves. Ya, that didn't work. At this point we were out the price of the part. If we proceeded with this DW we would have to pay for a service call, diagnostic, parts and labor and that total could be at or near the cost of a new one. Because of the other issues we were having with the old one already we bit the bullet and bought a new one.

We had been waiting to purchase the new stove and above stove microwave. This was important because we have a small kitchen already and we need all the space we can get! We decided to get the rest of the appliances now because of the discount we could get.

We went with Samsung.

We purchased the Samsung refrigerator almost 3 years ago and if an appliance can change your life, this one has! If you have to buy in phases, start here. I am sure I still hear an angelic choir each time I open the doors!

The microwave we had before was in that corner where the mixer is now. Its funny how that small change led to the switching around of my cabinets. My baking items were to the left of the stove but the measuring cups and my mixer were to the right.

Now its feeling more functional and organized!


Now the big question you may be asking is, is it done? Well, I am very thankful for what I have and am happy with it for now, but the last phase of this project is the counter top. It is laminate and has been very durable but it is turning green in places where the sun has shone on it for the past 14 years. Who knows when that will happen. It certainly isn't high on the priority list.

Thanks for stopping by!

I'm sharing this here:

Between naps on the porch

Monday, January 20, 2014

Grandma's Peanut Butter Cookies

There are a bajillion peanut butter cookies out there. So what makes this one so special?

Well, besides the fact that this is my grandma's recipe {and don't all grandma's make them the best}, these cookies are the chewy-est, most tender, and super yummiest, I've ever had. {How do ya like them adjectives?!}

I don't like a crispy peanut butter cookie. You want them tender. 

If you haven't had a tender PB cookie you are so missing out. But don't despair because I'm going to share this recipe with you today!

Here's the basic recipe:

1 cup of shortening
1 cup of peanut butter
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of brown sugar
2 eggs {beaten}
1 Tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups of flour

Mix your shortening, and peanut butter.
Add eggs and sugars and combine well.
Mix in flour and soda till combined.

Drop from spoon on an ungreased baking sheet. {I like air bake pans}. Press lightly with a fork to make that signature "X" shape after dipping your fork in white sugar.

Bake @ 325 degrees for about 15-17 minutes.
They are done when they don't have that sheen on the top, are set and the edges are just barely about to brown. Let them cool a few minutes on the pan then transfer to a cooling rack.

You must serve them with milk!


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Harbor Cottage

I am so excited to be sharing something with you today!

My new friend Shauna has this beautiful cottage that she and her hubby remodeled.

What I love the most about it is that it isn't overdone. Its not pretentious. Its a place that you can walk into and immediately feel at home.
Not everything is new. In fact most of it isn't. Some of the key items came from craigslist. {Seriously, I want to be a craigslist stalker after seeing some of what they "found".}

My favorite room is the kitchen.
They saved money in key ways like getting granite that looks like marble and recycling items such as the pantry door.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Valentine's Wreath Ideas

This past weekend I went on a retreat with an amazing group of ladies from my church. We stayed at a beautiful cottage in a harbor town in norther Michigan. So Pretty! {I promise I will share pics of this amazing place soon.}

We laughed, we talked, and we even got crafty!

For the weekend craft we all made yarn Valentine wreaths. I went in with a specific style that the ladies could customize by using different colors. In the end they all did something different and the results were beautiful!

If you've never made a yarn wreath before they are an easy project and are a great way to add color to your front door. They all start with a foam base {that are even cheaper online than in the stores}, yarn and felt for embellishment. A hot glue gun keeps everything secure.

The original "template"was the argyle heart model. Here Shauna added some of these cute felt flowers.

Isn't Sherry cute? She claimed she is not a crafter but she found her inner craft diva with this cute wreath {and it even matches her shirt}!

Here's how they turned out:

So fun! I definitely recommend doing this with friends.

If you want to make one of these but don't know how, check out this tutorial here.

And to make the felt flowers you can follow this tutorial here.

Come on back this weekend and I will show you this amazing cottage! :)

Thanks for stopping by!

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