Budget Kitchen Refresh

I’ve been putting off sharing this post, because my kitchen isn’t exactly where I want it. I was hoping to remove the bulkhead above the sink and change out the light. Instead there is a hole in the bulkhead and a light (that I’m not even sure I love for this space) sitting in a box. But I’m here, sharing and celebrating the in between and taking a cue from some of my favorite bloggers, Chris Loves Julia, and loving my home as it is.

This kitchen refresh, completed at 5 1/2 months pregnant, 95% solo, was really meant to be just a little lipstick to marry the kitchen to the spaces I’ve already tackled - the living room and the sunroom. Eventually I would like to gut and rework the whole space to give the kitchen more square footage, but for the time being, I am happy with the progress made.

Budget Kitchen Refresh

BEFORE

Budget Kitchen Refresh Before
Budget Kitchen Refresh

WHAT WE DID

  • painted the cabinets using Valspar Cabinet Enamel in Origami White by Sherman WIlliams

  • switched out the hardware

  • removed cabinets on either side of the sink

  • added open shelving

  • painted backsplash - Ultra White by Sherman Williams

  • painted walls - Polar Bear by Behr


Budget Kitchen Refresh
Budget Kitchen Refresh
Budget Kitchen Refresh

I am no stranger to painting kitchen cabinets, this is my fourth, yes fourth go round, including a budget rental makeover, our last house, and my mom’s kitchen for the One Room Challenge. This time around it went very smoothly. I cleaned them really well with TSP, then gave a light sanding. Next I primed with Valspar bonding primer and rolled on the Cabinet Enamel in Origami White.

For the back splash I also used the bonding primer directly on the tile. Then I used a semi-gloss gloss paint in Ultra White on top. It’s only been two months, but it’s holding up really well.

Floating shelves - Target / hardware - Amazon / bowls - World Market / plates - World Market / pottery plates - World Market /


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A Weekend in Charleston With Kids

Back in June we took a family babymoon to Charleston. We had originally planned for a bigger trip, but decided to scale back and drive to Charleston for a long weekend. It was a lovely city and we would highly recommend.

We left Thursday afternoon and drove about 8 hours and stayed in a hotel somewhere in middle Kentucky. We drove the remainder 7 or so hours Friday morning and arrived in Charleston in the afternoon on Friday.

We checked in to our hotel, The Holiday Inn Historic Downtown Charleston. I often opt for hotels over Airbnb, as I know Ollie’s favorite part of any vacation is the pool and finding an affordable, centrally located Airbnb with a pool usually isn’t realistic. The Holiday Inn was a great place for us to stay, it was a stones throw from King Street, which is the main shopping and dining area, it was clean and nice, and I already mentioned the pool.

Charleston-With-Kids.jpg

Friday night, we did some light exploring of King Street and grabbed dinner a cute Italian race car themed wood fire pizza restaurant, Monza Pizza, then we grabbed ice cream and headed back to rest up/

Saturday was spent exploring much of the city. we started with an amazing acai bowl at Playa Bowl. We shopped our way down King Street including a darling farmers market and art fair in Marion Square. Of course, high on my list was the charming homes below on “rainbow row.” These beauties did not disappoint. This street was everything I hoped Charleston would be including palmetto trees, beautiful flower boxes and charm charm charm!!

Charleston with Kids

We took a playground break at Hazel Parker Playground, then continued exploring down the stunning waterfront district and to the beautiful park at the southern point of the city, White Point Garden. We stopped for a bite at a hoppin’ spot, perfect for lunch,especially with kiddos, Brown Dog Deli. After A LOT of walking we headed back to the hotel for a swim and to rest up before dinner.

We got a hot tip to check out Basic Kitchen for dinner, and it was great spot. Not only was it super duper cute, but food was delicious and so fresh. In fact Ollie had a grand time photographing the garden.

Charleston with Kids
Charleston with kids
Charleston with kids
Charleston+with+Kids
Charleston with Kids
Charleston with Kids

Sunday started with breakfast at a cute little spot, Another Broken Egg. We made our way through the Charleston City Market, a cute spot for souvenir shopping. It was definitely a little too crowded for us, but a must hit for artisan Charleston-themed trinkets. Our main attraction for the day was taking the ferry to Fort Sumter, the site of the start of the Civil War. It was interesting, especially for older kids and the boat ride and views were top notch.

After the boat ride we headed back to the hotel room for Ollie to enjoy the pool and to rest up before dinner. Our last meal in Charleston was a well designed spot, called The Rarebit, with mid-century inspired decor and serving American comfort food for a great price. And finally, dessert (for our second time) at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream.

Charleston with kids
Charleston with Kids

MUST SEE SPOTS

  • Rainbow Row

  • King Street

  • The Battery

  • Fort Sumter

Charleston with Kids
Charleston with Kids
Charleston with kids
Charleston with Kids

We loved our visit to Charleston. While we didn’t do too many kid-specific things, our kiddo still had a great time. He loved exploring and was happy just to have swimming time at the pool. It was a lot of walking for a woman 6 months pregnant, but I made it. The food was great and the city definitely charmed my pants off. If I were planning this trip again, the only thing I would do differently would have been to give us one more day to drive over to the beach.

Clean Beauty Update

It’s been a minute since I’ve talked here about my clean beauty journey. This pregnancy has brought out major skin issues, my psoriasis has flared to a level far beyond any flares that I have experienced in the past. I continue to use my topical steroid, but want to limit the use as much as possible because I am growing a little one. One option to combat psoriasis during pregnancy is called light therapy. Essentially you go into a tanning-type chamber, without the harmful rays. You start off going for 1 minute and build up to a few minutes and the UV rays are good for healing the skin. I avoided this treatment because I found out my insurance would charge me a a $40 copay each visit (twice/week). I got some new info that in fact they would not charge me a copay. So I began going to light therapy twice a week. It was true that my insurance company did not charge a copay, but to my dismay they did not cover the treatment in full, thus I received a bill for over $500 and promptly stopped this treatment.

All that to say, I had to find other, less costly methods, to offer relief for my skin problems. I had already switched most of my shower products, but so previously I had been looking for great clean make-up options. Because of my skin issues, I shifted focus to finding products that could help heal my skin. Currently, my psoriasis is still flared compared to pre-pregnancy, however the products below have offered some relief.

Clean Beauty Favorites

Koki Eczema Cream - I found this locally made cream at a market a few weeks back. Normally in the summer I just use a light body oil, as opposed to a heavy skin cream, but since my psoriasis has been flaring, I have been altering between this eczema cream and the Psoriasis Honey Serum, and so far it’s working great.

Maple Holistic Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo - This clarifying shampoo naturally gets rid of build up. Because my scalp is a place where I have particularly bad skin issues this shampoo has really helped. I was hesitant to make the switch because I love the smell and feel of the other Maple Holistic, Silk 18, shampoo I use, . But now I have converted to mixing it up and using the Apple Cider shampoo once or twice a week.

Dr. Bronner’s Organic Shave Soap - I didn’t start using this product to help improve my skin, but rather for the sake of my plumbing. For years I have used coconut oil to shave my legs. It works great and smells great, but leaves my shower a mess! Once I used up my latest jar of coconut oil, I set out on a quest to find a clean shaving product. I already love Dr. Bronner’s soap, so I gave this shave soap a try. I love it! My shower is so much cleaner and my legs feel fresh on the daily. My biggest complaint is that it is tough to squeeze out of the bottle.

Psoriasis Honey Skin Serum - I have been using this product for a little more than a week, in lieu of my argon or coconut oil I regularly use post shower in the summer months. As I mentioned above I rotate between this light oil and the heavier eczema cream. Out of the gate is a great combination. The oil has a lovely, light honey-sweet smell and leaves my skin hydrated without feeling oily at all.


Second Trimester Maternity Style

It’s incredible how pregnancy can both fly by and be so slow at the same time. I am currently 32 weeks. This little peanut’s due date is just two months from today! Second trimester went as well as any could possibly go. I was able to stay up past 9PM (thank the lord). I still got out there to run. Though these days it’s definitely morphing into a walk more than a run, but proud I’m still at it. I had a few rough days with discomfort on the top of my bump, but nothing major. Overall I have felt great. So good, I finished my sunroom, gave my kitchen a refresh and worked on the yard and took a family trip to Charleston.

As far as being ready for baby. I have a lot of work to do! I’ve shared the progress on his room. But that’s about all I’ve done. In the next two weeks I am digging into all the leftover baby stuff and evaluating exactly what we need!

This trimester I out grew most of my clothes. I really only have a handful of actual maternity clothes from Oliver. A pair of jeans, and a couple of out of season dresses is about the extent of it. I have been living in my flowy wardrobe and wearing a few pieces I kept around from the days when I first moved to New York and gained some weight. Here are three looks that have gotten me through the second trimester.


LOOSE JUMPSUIT


Second Trimester Maternity Style
Second Trimester Maternity Style

yellow jumpsuit (similar) / sandals (similar) / bag (similar) / hat / sunnies


LITTLE BLACK DRESS


Second Trimester Maternity Style
Second Trimester Maternity Style

dress (similar) / sandals (similar) / sunnies (similar) / bra


FLOWY TOP & MOTO PANTS


Second Trimester Maternity Style
Second Trimester Maternity Style

top (similar) / jacket / pants (similar) / sunnies / clogs / bag (similar)


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Light Wood Dresser Round-Up

Over here on the hunt for the perfect light wood dresser for the baby room. I thought I had found it in the Morris Dresser from Urban Outfitters. It’s the perfect size for a changing pad, modern lines, light wood color and the price is right. It was the first piece I pulled the trigger on for the nursery and it arrived broken. I also ended up thinking the color was more yellow than I liked, so I decided to return and restart my search. This wood tone is definitely trending, but it is not out there in a big way, especially in real wood furniture. You see this tone a lot in cheap MDF furniture. The tone compliments neutral color palettes not only for nurseries, but I could absolutely see it in a California modern guest or even master. For the room I’m working on, I haven’t made any official decision, but I am leaning toward the Nash from West Elm.

Light+Wood+Dresser+Round-Up

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Modern Front Porch Updates

I have a lot, and I mean a lot of projects that I want to tackle on our exterior. At almost 30 weeks pregnant, I am running out of steam, especially for big jobs like staining our two story wrap around deck. This summer is all about the little things. I started with our front porch. There are still things I want to do here, don’t look too close at the stairs. But I removed the dated corbels, added some modern elements and pops of black to update this grey, 80’s porch. There will always be more to do, but loving the direction things are headed.

Modern Front Porch Decor

BEFORE


Front Porch Before
Modern Front Porch Decor
Modern Front Porch Decor

Baby #2 Nursery Plans

I am super excited to share my plans progress and plans for the baby nursery. It took me some time to find the starting point for this room, but it is moving in the right direction.

One of the things that is staying as we transform this room from the playroom to the nursery is a daybed I made. I cannot believe I never shared this amazing DIY with you. It is based on this tutorial by A House In The Hills. I made this day bed to be both a cozy hang out spot and a guest bed. After I finished I bought a cheap-o mattress from Ikea, as I didn’t know how much use the bed would get, so I didn’t want to invest. Autonomous invited me to try out their mattress and I knew just the spot that needed an upgrade. And upgrade it is! This mattress is about four times the thickness of the Ikea mattress we had! The quality is a dream! I am picturing myself napping here with a baby in my arms in a few short months. One of my favorite details is the anti-slip pad on the bottom. It is a great feature for a house with a four year old and a slick wood platform bed.

Autonomous Mattress
Autonomous Mattress
Autonomous Mattress

The room is starting to come together, and here is what I’m working toward. You may remember some of the inspiration photos I shared a few weeks back.

Here is my design plan for the room. I am planning on making a few special details that aren’t pictured here, but this is the vibe, neutral and relaxed with lots of sunny touches.


Nursery Plans

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Happiness Project Month 6

I love this monthly check in with my Happiness Project. While I haven’t been documenting in public and private on the daily. This blog post I’ve been doing each month prompts me to set my goals for the month and reminds me to keep the focus at the front of my mind.

In May my focus was on attitude. While I was very far from perfect, I feel like I made improvements and saw positive changes within myself. I did not start each day with a 10 minute meditation like I strived to, but I did check in with myself often to check my attitude. I did not do one act of kindness every day, but I did do acts of kindness regularly. I felt a shift, however slight, in my negative thoughts toward scarcity of time. Here were the goals I made and how I measured up.


MAY - ATTITUDE

  • start each morning with a 10 minute meditation, focusing on my outlook and attitude for the day
  • take mental note of negativity and complaining
  • resist raising my voice to my family
  • do an act of kindness each day
  • let it go. Whatever it is, let it go.
  • Do all things with love

my bridesmaids and I, photo  Lizzie Photo

my bridesmaids and I, photo Lizzie Photo

In June I will be focusing on friendship. I feel lucky and grateful for all the wonderful friends I have in my life. But it’s not without work. I have never taken my friendships for granted and always put in the effort to keep in touch. When I was younger I took it very personally when a friend canceled or didn’t make it to a party. I’ve always felt that you get to choose where and how you spend your time, and if someone doesn’t put in the effort it means they don’t value the relationship. I struggle with those feelings to this day. But it’s only gotten much, much harder to make that time as we’ve gotten older. It really takes time and commitment to keep relationships alive. I am grateful for the technologies that make it so much easier to keep friendships going throughout the years and across the world, despite our busy, full lives. This month I am committing to fostering those relationships that are so dear to me, I am planning on focusing on friendships, new and old.

What are your favorite ways to honor your friendships?


JUNE - FRIENDSHIP

  • Call or text one friend each day
  • send something in the mail to a friend each week
  • reach out to make a new friend
  • schedule a date to meet a friend I haven't seen in a while
  • do one thing to cultivate a young friendship