Thursday, November 20, 2014

If You Give a Girl a Kitchen...

 Have you all read the children's book, "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie?"  Well, we have pretty much been living a grown up version of this for the past 7 days, and for those of you who don't know the premise, it starts with something small, which very quickly snowballs from one thing to another, leading the main character of the story (me and my family) incredibly exhausted but very happy. 

The past week went a little something like this...

Last week, I spoke with the incredibly talented, beautiful, and lovely Sarah Winchester, from Sarah Winchester studios, who agreed to come and shoot our home on Wednesday the 19th.  That same week I wrote this post about how I was dying to do something with our kitchen cabinets, since the whole thing no longer went with the rest of our house. 

This is a picture from the morning of. 

On Thursday, I reached out to a few contractors who were available to paint the cabinets.  Early in the morning I spoke with one of them, and by noon the first coat of black paint was going up on the cabinets.  There is nothing like the thought of a professional photographer coming to your house, to really get the ball rolling, right? 

On Friday, I again met with our new contractor, after expediting the hardware, and both of us were concerned about how the finish on the cabinets was coming out.  I wanted a glossy black, and while they were definitely black, they weren't really drying right, nor was the paint sticking like it should. Late Friday night, we spoke about the project continuing through the weekend, and she mentioned that since they would still be doing the cabinets, if I really wanted the butcher block countertop of my dreams, this would be a great time to do it. 

Well, if you give a girl a new kitchen...

After a brief pow wow with my husband, we decided to go for it, and by Saturday evening our kitchen looked a little something like this. 

In the middle of the night, I woke up, and pondered whether we would have enough butcher block left over to also do the vanity in the boy's bathroom, which we have truly hated since day one.  Early Sunday, we touched base, and to my delight she said that "yes, it could be done! " Good bye horrible, horrible marble!  On Sunday, or Monday (at this point I was delirious) the countertops went on, and I tell you, they took my breath away they were so good.  For the boys vanity, I picked up a quart of Navy BEHR paint, and when I saw the final outcome, I gasped, stating that I would have chosen navy from the beginning (obviously, given my obsession) if I had known I was re-doing the countertops.  I guess the paint was going on so well, that she said if I wanted to go that route with the upstairs cabinets, this is absolutely something that can be done. OH MY GAWD, was the response I used. Oh, and at some point we also ordered a kitchen sink (it's all a blur.)

Here's a little preview of the boy's bathroom.

Tuesday, the cabinets were painted at her house.  At ours I laughed, I cried, I cleaned an entire apartment full of construction dust and debris, but dammit, I had stunning countertops. 

 On Wednesday, literally at the crack of dawn,  the cabinets were installed and the final touches were being put on as Sarah was walking in the door.  The hardware arrived a day late, leaving my sister and I to install it, which somehow us amateurs were able to do, and the rest, as they say is history. 

I'm not going to give away the full reveal (I know, such a tease) but here is a little peek at the final outcome. 

Just seeing this picture brings a tear to my eyes! This little (turned big) project really was the last piece in my 6 year renovation.  It's like what people say about the number of children they have, you only know you are done when you KNOW you are done.  I can unequivocally say there is not one thing I would change in my home, and I can only hope that we never move.  Every inch reflects my personality so perfectly and I feel so incredibly blessed and grateful that I get to call this my home.

Tonight, I get to cook in this kitchen for the first time, and I can tell you that nothing that could make me more excited!

So, so much more to come... stay tuned!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Really, really, really, REALLY long hair.

 The other day my sister and I were flipping through the channels when we were both stopped in our tracks when we fell upon an old Sex and the City episode.  No, it wasn't the actual content (although, c'mon, it's still pretty good even though it's definitely on the cheesy side) but what had both of the wheels in our head spinning was her hair... her really, really, really, REALLY long hair.  Obviously, she was wearing extensions, which I personally won't be getting ever, but it did make me question whether I should give long, long, long hair one more go.  It's not that I don't love short hair, but you know, you always want what you don't have.  I'm not sure I have the patience to really go for it, but it's definitely one to file away for the future. 

Here's a little long hair inspiration.  Proof that young or old this is one style that is always on trend. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

One Last Thing.

You know, I'm a firm believer that if you don't like something in your home, just paint it.  It's the easiest and by far the cheapest way to bring new life in to a space and if you are willing to do the work yourself, you can essentially change an entire room for less than 100 dollars.

Which brings me to my next, and final project in the house.  After going back and forth, my husband has finally agreed that it's time to have our kitchen cabinets painted.  This one actually pains me because when we bought our home, it was a demolished space and we could have done anything in here.  At the time I had no idea what I was doing, and basically copied what I saw in every model home around the country.  The standard, cherry cabinets, gray marble, cherry floors.  Totally and completely beautiful, but 7 years later, now that I've actually found my style, our kitchen sticks out like a sore thumb when combined with the rest of the house, which is anything but traditional.   If I could do it all over again, I would absolutely go with navy cabinets, white marble and brass hardware, but since you can't go back in time,  I've figured that the least expensive way to breathe new life into our space is a fresh coat of paint on the cabinets, coupled with some fantastic new hardware.

The question then becomes what color?  Of course, I would love to do navy, but I don't think it would look that great with our backsplash (which I still love with ever fiber in my body) and the dark counter.  Originally, I planed to just match the blueish turquoise in the tile, but now I'm thinking the way to go is something more dramatic. Way more dramatic.


But not quite black.

Black with dark blue undertones.

Inky Black.

 After a lot of thought, I  think it will be the best way to mask the counter that I'm not in love with, and will also add so much drama to the space, especially paired with the brass hardware.  The more I think about it, the more excited I get! The black also will make the kitchen so much more modern, which will blend so much better with the rest of the house.

I've looked it to it a little bit, and I was surprised at how affordable it can be to have your cabinets professionally sprayed. Because these are newer, And without and damage, the whole thing can be done rather affordably and quickly! 

Okay, I'm sold. 

This is not something I'm planning on tackling before the holidays, but you can bet by the time Summer rolls around our kitchen will be looking shiny and new!  Here is the current state of the space.  Again, it's totally, perfectly just down't really go with the rest of the house. 

I am absolutely keeping this tile backsplash, and will probably have this somewhere in every house I live in for the rest of my life.  

The inspiration. This is exactly the color I'm looking for. 

Right now, these are the top three color contenders. They look much lighter on the screen than in person. In person they are dark, dark, dark. 

F&B Pitch Black

F&B Off Black

FB Blue Black (the frontrunner.)

The hardware is pretty much my favorite part of the plan, and I'm absolutely going with these babies from Schoolhouse Electric. 

Can you guys see it?  I think it's going to be really fantastic.  I'm not going to lie, I'll probably paint one or two cabinets myself just to make sure this is the right choice (versus going with the obvious creme) and will make sure to let you know how it turns out! 

Out of everything that we've done with the place, I have to say this is the one I'm most excited about!!!!

To be continued...

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

On Skin, Part 2.

 Last year I wrote about my decade long struggle with adult acne, and how this product pretty much changed my skin and how I felt about my appearance in general.  I still use it every day, and believe that if there is one miracle product this is it.  Well, I think there might actually be two miracle products because after getting my first facial since Gray was born, the woman enthusiastically recommended that I use a serum, specifically this serum, to help with the dullness and fine lines that I was complaining about and OH MAH GAWD, this stuff is a miracle.  Seriously.  I basically cleaned out my beauty arsenal leaving only the Acnefree, the serum, and a light moisturizer with SPF (I love this one) and that's it.  Every morning I wash my face, apply 4 drops of the serum (which at first feels a little matte and sticky) and after that has absorbed, apply the moisturizer.  The serum only needs to be used in the mornings, and lasts 2-3 days, even after washing your face.  I've been using it for about a week now, and I cannot believe how amazing my sin looks.  Dewy without being oily, uniform with no colored tint, and my fine lines have basically disappeared, leaving behind plump, soft skin that I haven't seen since my early 20's.  I seriously feel like I have been photoshopped, without taking a picture.  It's that good.  I have never used a serum before, so maybe they are all that good, but this one is oil free, doesn't contribute to my acne situation, and is lightweight. As I said, a miracle product.  If you are looking for something to reboot your skin, I cannot recommend this enough!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Weekend Links.

Happy Sunday!

What are you all up to this chilly weekend?  I've spent the majority of it watching my little man on his skateboard, which is fine by me, given that this change in daylight savings has unfortunately brought forth a new surge of energy in the boys, and I'm just happy to have somewhere for him to expend it!  All of a sudden our home seems very small when two big boys are running through it like tasmanian devils  After a long day outside, last night we all piled on the sofa and the boy's watched Home Alone for the first time.  I have seriously never seen these kids laugh so hard!  I have a feeling we will be doing exactly the same thing tonight with the sequel! 

Whatever your plans, I hope you all had a great weekend. Here are a few fun links on this lazy Sunday. xo

Awesome. (not)

GIRLS is coming back in January! My excitement is palpable.

A great gift for the burly men in your life. My husband is definitely getting this in his stocking this year!

Instant wardrobe updates, from the experts.

I love these little glass shadow boxes.

A natural fix for A.D.H.D.  This is one of the best articles I've read on this in a long time.

It's November, which means there are more than a few men rocking some abnormal facial hair. A TED talk from the man behind the movement.

After an inspired trip to a market in chinatown on Tuesday, I made this, this and this. All three were so good! Tonight, I'm going to try out this one with some ground tofu in lieu of the turkey.

A pre-k teacher, and the trouble with lockdown drills. While I agree that it's better to be prepared, I am still so incredibly disappointed that we live in a society that accepts this as routine or normal.

On Winter skin... ever since I read this I've turned down the heat in my shower.

An easy alternative to a gallery wall.

The 5 worst states for women.

I love the emoji. In fact if I could just communicate with them, I probably would. Emojipedia is the ultimate source for what they actually mean.

25 famous women on their college lives.

These hats are stunning! Sadly, I have learned over and over that I hat person I am not but for those of you who are, you can't go wrong here.

New life for Jenna Lyons' famed Brooklyn townhouse. I loved this side by side comparison.

I have a serious girl crush on Nicole Cohen, and even more so on her awesome book that has tear out pages to be used for decoration. What a genius idea, and a great way to get inexpensive art in your home.

Finally, I loved watching my favorite bloggers compete in the one room challenge this year.  This roundup slays me.  I cannot believe that this is what people came up with in just 6 weeks!  That dark bedroom... I die.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Curent Style Inspiration: Maja Wyh

It turns out that you can only pin the same girl about 10,000 times, before you have to take the time to figure out who she is.  Well, for me, the current "she" is Maja Wyh, and let me tell you, after stalking browsing her website I have found myself so inspired!  Talk about Maja (pronounced MAJ- ahhhhhhhhhh) Style! See for yourself...

Besides the obvious, perfect body, perfect hair... I think the thing that I am the most drawn to is how she is able to elevate everyday basics to a whole new level that I like to call "rockstar chic."  It seems like the key to this look is lots and lots of slouchy layers, a killer pair of heels, and a keeping a slim silhouette on the top or bottom.  Can you see the wheels in my head turning... hey I can do that! 

I also love how easy this style is to recreate, and on a budget!  You just need a great faux fur vest, like this incredible one from Zara (which I have and love), a pair of super, super skinny jeans, like these from Madewell, a fierce pair of round sunglasses, topped any pretty much everything else you already have in your wardrobe.  I mentioned before that lately I feel like I've been in a bit of a fashion rut, and I think this is just the inspiration I needed to break out of my comfort zone. 

 WWMD? (What Would Maja Do) Answer: rock it!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


 That's a wrap! Another Halloween down in the books and like most things with these boys, it just keeps getting better and better each year.  On Friday, we met up with our best friends as planned, and despite the cooler temps, and a last minute costume change by me (yes, a cat again... 8 years running) we were all bursting with excitement and ready to hit the mean streets of Beacon Hill.  5 hours later we all piled into a taxi, exhausted and starving, but filled with candy and great memories of a great night. Here are a few photos from the night that was. 

The cat and the bat.

My little stormtrooper.

Batman plotting with local law enforcement.

Our crew. There are no words for how much I love these guys!

Me and my (spider) girl. 

Showing of their loot (minus about 20 pieces that mysteriously disappeared in their bellies.)

Now that Halloween is over, we are still trying to get the most out of Fall before the freezing cold weather arrives (Let's not even mention the fact that it snowed last Sunday) and volunteered to rake leaves at the LM's school.  The big kids were responsible for the actual raking, which suited this guy just fine, being left with all the piles for himself. 

Who says yard work isn't fun?  Boys doing what they do best... going fast!

Does anyone else feel like Fall is just flying by?  I feel like we are going to blink and Christmas will be here ! I know two kids who won't mind that at all! 


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