Feelin’ haze-y

I know in my last post I teased you with the promise of a new kitchen wall color, which got delayed due to new windows.  I’m making good on that promise today!!

First off, can I just say that painting (and any project in general) takes 10x as long when you have to work solely during nap and bed times?  Painting the kitchen BC (that’s “before child”) would have taken approximately a weekend to finish.  Painting the kitchen AC (“after child”) took almost a month- taping happened one night after bed, then the walls got painted during a weekend, then I had to travel for work so we took a week off.  Then the ceiling finally got painted over another weekend.  I suppose if we didn’t mind being sleep deprived, we still could have gotten it done in a weekend, but I like my sleep thankyouverymuch!

I wanted a color that was lighter than our original color (Behr’s Mother Nature) but that wasn’t a tan because the office and living room are both a shade of tan.  I also wanted something with some grey to it, but not too grey.  It had to play nice with our counters and cabinets too.  I grabbed a million swatches, and painted a few test stripes on the walls (those are a good motivator to get to the actual painting process- we could only stare at those stripes for so long).  I don’t usually spend this much time deliberating on a color, but I really didn’t want to have to paint the kitchen again- there is SO much taping involved!!  I *finally* settled on Behr Mountain Haze for the walls and Behr White Clay for the ceiling.  And oh boy do I love it!! The color is still a little bit green, but looks greyish at night.

It’s actually still not 100% finished- there’s some paint to be scraped off the cabinets, and we have a project in the initial planning stages that we *hope* to complete this summer at some point (right now we’ve switched gears and are focusing our energy on the outside since it’s nice enough to be out there.  We’ll move back inside once the stifling heat and humidity show up).  It’s finished enough for photos though!!  Warning- I did not stage anything.  And there are toddler hand prints all over the dishwasher (I didn’t even bother showing you the fridge because the outside is kind of scary looking right now- I curse our stainless steel appliances on a daily basis…)

Anyway…I know you really just want to see the photos, so here you go!  First off, the dining room side:

Oh what a difference some paint and a new window makes!!  That window is the exact same size as the old window, but it looks SO much bigger.

And, just a reminder (again) of how far this room has come…

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Oh yeah…so much better!  We got a new rug awhile back too for the dining room portion- we did have 4 (!!) rugs in there and it was just getting ridiculous when we were vacuuming in there.  One big rug is much more manageable.  The colors tie in well with the curtains and wall color (the rug came first though).  And it goes well with the living room rug too.

And the kitchen side of things:

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This photo is probably the best shot of our counter tops I have- it really shows off the detail and true colors (Corian in “Burled Beach”).  I am still in love with them.  You can also see we added some new pets to our family- 9 neon tetras and 2 corydoras (aka cory catfish).  B loves to watch them swim, especially at feeding time, and has quickly learned to sign “fish”.

Another quick reminder of what this side of the room used to look like:

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It’s amazing what a little paint can do.  It feels so much lighter and brighter in there, which is exactly what I hoped to accomplish!

I’m excited about the next project we are doing in this room, but I’m keeping that cat in the bag for now.  I’m hoping we’ll get it done this summer but the way our projects have been moving lately, it might be more like fall.  We’ll see.  No promises!!

What do you think?  Have you painted anything recently?

A drool worthy kitchen

My parents have had the same kitchen for the past 30+ years- super dated, galley style that’s small and cramped.  They’d been talking for years about re-doing it, but just recently took the plunge, using John Erwin remodeling**  in Olympia, WA (check them out if you’re in the area- they’re a certified green business and members of Olympia’s master builders- and they do amazing work).

The kitchen turned out so beautifully, it’s hard to believe it’s the same space.  I thought I’d share with y’all how it turned out- I haven’t seen it in person, but the pictures are lovely.  Care to take a virtual tour?

Here’s the original kitchen- old and outdated- ouch there’s a lot of orange going on in this photo!

Here’s the exact same view of the new kitchen!  As you can see, they did away with the wall ovens and separate cook top in favor of a range- the burners are gas but the ovens themselves are electric (pretty snazzy).  They also opted for a micro-hood to clear up some counter top clutter.  Speaking of counter tops, they actually chose the same counters that we have- Corian’s Burled Beach.  They photograph fairly boring, but trust me, they’re GORGEOUS in person.

Continuing with the tour…


Here’s what the kitchen view used to look like as you walked in the front door (this was during demolition, obviously).
  
Here’s what it looks like now- two nice big openings.  They couldn’t fully open it up because the wall is load bearing.
 

 As you walk up in the kitchen from the front door, there’s a lot more cabinetry and an appliance garage to store things in.  Plus a drool worthy fridge- so jealous!

They had their pass through widened- before you had to sort of bend down to talk to anyone in the living room.  You can see they like the craftsman look- and they have a lot of wood paneling.  Who else thinks they should paint their paneling??  Is it just me??

 A view of all the counter top space they gained- and the pretty tile back splash they had installed. Plus all that lovely under cabinet lighting!  It’s all LED- they managed to find warm LED light strips which is pretty cool (I’m not a big fan of the blue LED lights).

 And a close up view of the back splash tile, wall color and counter top- probably the closest approximation of all the colors.

 Isn’t it beautiful?  I’m dying to see it in person- it’s so weird to have the kitchen that I grew up in no longer exist!  They are so lucky!!

Linking up!!

**Disclosure statement:  I was not paid or compensated in any way by this company for my opinion- I just think they did a great job and wanted to show it off to y’all.

Dare to DIY: My thanksgiving table

Happy Monday everyone!!  Today I’m participating in Kim at Newlywoodwards Dare to DIY party- this week it’s showing off your holiday table.

Ok, big confession.  We don’t eat at the table, except if we have guests.  I’m hoping this tradition will change once we have kids, but for now it’s just easier and more comfortable to eat in our living room.  This doesn’t mean we plop down in front of the TV- we usually sit and chat about our days, do dishes and THEN plop down in front of the TV- true story!

Anyway- because we don’t usually eat at the table, I like to decorate it.  Which means there’s not a lot of room for plates!  So I didn’t set it for these pictures- but I’m showing it off anyway.  Here’s what our table will look like for Thanksgiving this year (sorry y’all- I refuse to put up Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving- I will do another post showing off my Christmas table though)

Not terribly exciting, I know.  But it puts me in the fall mood!  My mother in-law made the small orange pumpkin runner.  The green runner came from my friend’s wedding a few years ago (and you’ll see it make it’s reappearance at Christmas!)  Then I put down a leaf plate, some silk leaves and mini gourds.  The vase in the center used to have acorns inside it as well- we have 5 million acorns in our yard, so I thought they’d be a great vase filler.  I washed and dried them- and they molded.  Gross.  So I tossed them.  The mini gourds don’t need acorns in there anyway, right??   The candlesticks are a thrift store find- they’re a really pretty milky green with swirls of clear green in them- you can kind of see that detail in the picture below.

And that’s my fall table- ta da!  I hope you like it- and if you have a tablescape to share, link it up to Kim’s link party!!

Spooky, scary…

Happy Halloween!!!

Today’s blog title has absolutely nothing to do with my post, except that it’s Halloween.  And it makes me think of this song from 30 Rock.  Go watch- I’ll wait.

This weekend we got hit by some chilly fall temperatures (finally!!!), which always puts me in the mood for cooking a big hearty meal.  So I made my go-to Sunday dinner- pork roast.  My husband repeatedly asks for this dinner, and I make it several times a year (even when the temps are NOT chilly).  I love it because the pork will make an entire week’s worth of dinners, but I don’t make the same thing every night.  Here’s the dinner line up for the week:

Sunday:  Pork with roasted veggies
Monday:  Leftovers
Tuesday:  Cubed pork with mushrooms and gravy over rice (hands down husband’s favorite meal- he would eat this every day if he could)
Wednesday:  Leftovers
Thursday:  Pulled pork sandwiches (simmer pork in crock pot with bbq sauce and shred) and sweet potato fries (using home grown sweet potatoes!!)
Friday:  Leftovers

Yesterday I cooked my pork.  I love doing this on a Sunday- there’s nothing better than a lazy Sunday with football on and the smell of pork cooking in the oven.  Seriously.  My dad gave me the following recipe for the pork and I do it the same way every time:

1 pork shoulder (I usually get 7-8lbs which feeds us for a week)
Olive oil
Salt
Pepper
Dijon mustard

Preheat the oven to 250.  Wash your pork shoulder and place in a large pan on a rack (or directly in the pan, depending on whether you have a rack or not).  Drizzle with olive oil (2-3 tablespoons?) and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Then slather with dijon- don’t hold back here!  I use almost a whole jar of dijon.  It should look something like this:

Cover your roast with foil and bake at 250 for 1 hour.  After an hour, bump your temperature to 270 and bake until the roast is at 165 degrees or greater.  It usually takes mine an additional 4.5 hours to reach this temperature, so around 5.5 hours of total cooking time.  Out of the oven it should look like this:

Yum.  That dijon forms a beautiful crust on the outside of the pork and adds a nice flavor (not overwhelming).  Once my pork finished cooking, I threw some veggies in the oven to roast.  My dad has the ability to roast veggies in the same pan as the pork, but every time I try to do that, they end up dry.  So I cook mine separately.  I did carrots, red potatoes and some small sweet potatoes from the garden, tossed with a little olive oil and salt and pepper:

 They turned out great, including the sweet potatoes.  I also made this brussels sprouts recipe, which was just OK.  My husband ate the brussels sprouts which is kind of a big deal (he does NOT like vegetables), so it must have been decent, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the roasted apple (which smelled SO good but just tasted mushy) and the balsamic vinegar.  All in all it was a decent Sunday feast.  Of course I have no after photos- we were too hungry to pause for picture taking after smelling that pork all day!!  I’m looking forward to leftovers tonight!!

I hope everyone has a safe, fun filled Halloween.  We haven’t done anything Halloween related this year- we didn’t even buy/carve pumpkins!!  I guess we just weren’t in the spirit this year. Oh well, there’s always next year.  I’m kind of hoping I can score a couple of pumpkins after today for cheap, to put on the porch as a fall decoration.

Spicy!

And how was YOUR weekend?  haha

Actually mine was pretty spicy- food wish anyway.  My jalapeno plants decided all of a sudden to grow a million (no exaggeration here folks, none at all…) peppers all at once, so I picked as many as I could on Saturday.  See:

Then I chopped them up and pickled/canned them- because there was no way we were going to consume that many before they went bad!  I used some pre-mixed dill pickle spice and just diluted it down from the guidelines with a little extra water, to make sure they didn’t taste like dill pickles instead of jalapenos! 

For dinner on Saturday, I made spicy open faced pulled pork sandwiches, using leftover pork from a pork shoulder I cooked a week ago- we have been eating that all week.  Usually when we do a pork shoulder, we do 2 nights of sliced pork with roasted veggies, then 2 more nights of cubed pork in gravy with mushrooms, over rice (my husband’s favorite- he would eat this every day if I let him…) and then I cook the remaining in the crock pot with bbq sauce and shred it.  This makes for a fairly cheap (and delicious) week of meals.  For our sandwiches, I used Williamson Brother’s BBQ sauce– they’re located a little under 2 hours from us (their bbq is delicious) and you can buy their sauce at the grocery store.  I tried out their spicy chipotle sauce this time and it was really good.  I topped the pork with spicy habanero cheese (can you tell we like spice at my house?!?) and it was spicy enough to get a good sweat going!  I wish I’d taken a photo but they were inhaled by both of us!

My garden has also been producing an abundance of sweet potatoes, which I’m super excited about (if you remember, they’ve been taking over my garden with their vines- I was going to be sorely disappointed if there wasn’t any potatoes in the ground after all that!!), so I decided to make sweet potato fries, via a recipe that I pinned on Pinterest.

The sweet potato harvest so far!

The fries were decent- they could have been a little crispier but I’d definitely make them again.  The dipping sauce added more kick to our day of spice- cayenne, sriracha sauce and mayo- yum!  Again no pics because those were inhaled too.

We finished off the day with a fire and s’mores in the backyard- I love where we’re located because we can have a fire and no one can even see it.  It’s just barely cool enough out for a fire, but who can resist s’mores?!?

Kirby enjoyed his first s’mores fire- we’ve only had him about 3 months, so he’s new to the whole backyard fire fun. 

I hope everyone had a great weekend- ours was excellent, although I’m still breathing a little fire after our day of spice- ha!