cottage life {kitchen refresh :: (more) progress}


I think I mentioned in my last kitchen update that I bought paint for the walls. I ended up choosing Flagstone from Martha’s new line of paints available at Home Depot. This picture really, really doesn’t do it justice. It’s a warm, yummy gray/brown tone. I am in love with it, and would happily paint every room in my house this color. The color on the right is the old green/gray, and the color on the left is Flagstone. Again, this picture really doesn’t give a proper view of the rich hue of this paint. I haven’t even gotten one full coat on the walls, but it will happen, soon enough.


While Zack and I were up north, we stopped at the giant-mega-huger-than-huge Menard’s Superstore. This store–it’s like nothing else I’ve ever seen. It has a grocery section! You can now buy lumber, paint, windows, patio furniture, carpet, plants, toys for Fido, Carhardt pants, and food to stock your kitchen in one convenient location! Ahem. Anyways, I finally found a shade that I liked for the window in the kitchen. It’s a bamboo roman-style shade, and I think it will look really nice as a backdrop for the new pendant light.


I also (finally!) found something for the grasscloth. It isn’t really grasscloth, but instead wallpaper that looks like the real thing. At the end of the day, I think that this is a much more cost effective option, and it will be much easier to mount behind the glass on the cabinet doors.


The cabinet doors are now all painted, and I have started putting the hardware back on and re-hanging the doors. The glass hasn’t been put back in yet, so in the meantime, I just reach through the holes to grab dishes. It’s so convenient, that it has me thinking open shelving would be a really nice feature  in a kitchen!

I still have to finish painting the walls and some trim, hanging the doors, installing hardware and the new shade, as well as putting in the grasscloth. Yes, there’s plenty of work to be done, but the light is shining at the end of the tunnel, and hopefully, in a week (or two?) I will have an after picture of the whole thing for you to see!

pieces of life {northshore escape}


This weekend, we got away. We jumped in the car, and headed to the North Shore of Lake Superior. We sat on the beach, and skipped rocks.


We rented a room with a balcony and a view, and we napped on the giant king size bed.


We walked out to the lighthouse, and goofed around like a couple of kids…


…kids who are very much in love.


We watched the sun set, and then dined at a great Italian restaurant. On Sunday, we slept in late, then ate waffles for breakfast. It was just what we needed.

b*style {eat, wear, listen}


When I find something I like, I tend to obsess over it to a certain point. Thus, I am putting together this little feature to show you my current must-haves with you. These are completely random, and I am not getting paid to mention anything here. Quite simply, these are three things I am just plain crazy about right now.

First of all, Kemps Fat Free Frozen Yogurt. I mean, it’s practically health food, but it tastes like heaven. Low cal, fat free, creamy, delicious and totally in my diet!! I have been eating this stuff up. It’s a painless switch to make for ice cream, and your waistline will thank you.

The Goody StayPut line of hair products is pretty much amazing, whether you are an athelete, on-the-go, or just want your hair outta your face. I use these headbands for working out, and they have also come in especially handy during the painting projects I’ve been tackling.

I am the type of person who find a new song and then keeps it on repeat for, oh, two or three hours. Yeah, I know. Bad habit, because a few days later, I can’t even stand the sound of it. Call it what you will, but I am thinking this could be a sign of a slightly OCD personality. Anyways, my current favorite song is The Wind Blows by The All-American Reject. Listen to it, you might like it!

That’s all for today, folks. I do plan on doing this feature every once in a while, because it’s always fun to share the latest and greatest things I’m going crazy for.

cottage life {kitchen refresh :: let’s talk lights}


Last night I went to Home Depot to get paint for the walls. I also took a detour through the lighting section because, well, let’s be honest… the lighting situation in the kitchen needs some attention. As you can see by the lovely photo above, the fixture above the sink is was a sight to behold. Between the horrible clear glass shade and the brassy base, intervention was desperately needed.

Fast forward to the scene where I am at Home Depot, wandering the lighting department, looking for a dark bronze pendant. I can see it in my head, I’ve found it online (only on specialty lighting sites for mega bucks), now I want to find it in this very store, in my budget. Unlikely, but I was hopeful. It helped that this particular Home Depot seemed to have an extended section of lighting. As I rounded the last bend, ready to move on to the paint department, there it was!! Shining, and beckoning to me. Its beautiful, dark bronze finish calling out, and its $35 price tag lighly fluttering in the breeze from the nearby ceiling fans. It was a rapturous moment. I scooped it up, grabbed my paint, and hightailed it home to install my prize.


Nevermind the fact that it was now after dark (daylight savings, you were no help in this situation), and I’ve never done any wiring or electrical work. Oh, did I mention that Zack was gone? No worries, I was undeterred. This story does have a good ending, which I can summarize by saying “thank heavens for little brothers (in-law).” Josh met me at the door and proceeded to install the new fixture, by the light of a headlamp. He’s the greatest little brother around.


Here is the new light in all of its glory. It truly is all I hoped it would be, and more. I love that it picks up the dark finish of the new hardware, and ties in well with the vintage feel of the cottage, while still giving a modern vibe. The kichen already feels cozier, and more polished. Once I finish up painting the walls and doing the trim work (ignore my sloppy smudges on the wall, I have more detail work to do), I think this baby will really shine. Stay tuned for more kitchen progress!!

cottage life {kitchen refresh :: (slow) progress}


I took this picture Sunday afternoon evening. Moments later, I grabbed the drill and went to town removing doors and hardware. A few minutes after that, our kitchen looked like this:


Please ignore my messy cabinets, and don’t judge me on the contents. Anything unhealthy, I am blaming on Zack’s little brother who lives with us. Sorry, Josh. Anyways! As is usually the case, we had the unrealistic goal high hopes of breezing through the painting process and having a re-assembled kitchen by the end of the night.


We started by sanding all the doors. This took longer than expected.


Next, we started painting the doors with a light beige paint that we had matched to the lower cabinet doors. This also took longer than expected. Much, much longer.

If I was brave, I would show you a picture of what my house looks like right now, but really, it looks like something from a war movie. The kitchen is no where CLOSE to being put back together. I put a second coat on a half of the doors tonight, and finished installing the hardware on the lower cabinet doors and drawers, but I have a long ways to go before things are put back together again. Oh, and for the time being, the dining room table is in the living room, covered in plastic with doors haphazardly stacked around it. There are also plastic tarps everywhere, random paint cans and stir sticks, power tools, and piles of paper towels scattered across the floor. It’s rather charming. And not even close to done (did I mention that?).


Oh, and the hardware? Well, turns out the lovely pulls that we originally chose do NOT fit with the pre-drilled holes in our cabinet doors. Since I wasn’t in the mood to drill 35 new holes, we decided to pay an extra $1 each for these lovely numbers ($3 a piece total). I actually like them better than the original pulls, and find them to be a nice blend of modern and traditional.

Despite the minor setbacks and fact this project is going to take longer than expected, it’s really been a blast! Zack and I are having a great time working on this together, and seeing progress on something we’ve talked about for awhile. I know the kitchen won’t be complete for awhile, but I do look forward to having doors on the cabinets again sometime soon. In the meantime, I am happy to have paint on my hands and the chance to work on my home together with my husband!

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