New House

Kitchen Renovation Phase 3 - benjamin moore white dove painted kitchen cabinets and absolute black honed granite counters

Kitchen Reno-vate-vate-vate-vate-vate-vate-vate

It’s like I’ve got this music in my mind…

Happy Fall Ya’ll.  That’s what I would say if I were from here, but I’m not, so I would say Happy Fall You Guys, or if I was on my blog I would say nothing.  For two months.  Can someone be my accountability keeper?   I’ll speed up the kitchen stuff since who cares anymore about every little step. Unless they’re Cobalt’s little steps, then I care about them.  They’re cute and they go tick tick tick tick tick tick tick on the wood floors as he trots to you.  Hey, who’s still reading this? Here’s our white kitchen…

kitchen renovation benjamin moore white dove

And here’s our new window!!

kitchen renovation benjamin moore white dove

And here’s a mini dachshund!

kitchen renovation benjamin moore white dove

That’s Nick.
kitchen renovation benjamin moore white dove

I promise I’ll take better pictures, but these are all old and terrible. Things started moving pretty quickly once the kitchen was painted.  We went back and forth between Benjamin Moore White Dove and Benjamin Moore Simply White, but I ultimately liked the slight softer tone to White Dove.  It felt less stark.  What didn’t move quickly was my decision-making.  I’ll pause and let everyone be surprised and confused.

The counters made my brain freeze up the most because I envisioned white in my head all along – either marble or something that looked like that.  Well, guess what? Marble is expensive and high maintenance, and I guess between me and Cobalt there are enough high maintenance things in our house.  The most durable and cost-friendly option was granite, but all the white granite options had too many other colors speckled in them, or they just seemed more beige/grey than white.

I liked a couple of the white quartz options, but those were a lot more expensive than granite, and seemed almost too plain. Basically granite was too busy and quartz was too clean/modern looking for me.  So, I switched gears completely and considered black for a contrast against everything else white in our kitchen.  I didn’t like the shiny/sparkly factor to the black granite though, so I started considering soapstone…also more expensive.

Then, finally, after hours and hours of neglecting my loved ones and being a slave to and on my ipad, I found a new option!  Honed granite. Basically the polishing process stops before the buffing stage and you get a matte finish instead of a slick shiny one.  So I went and looked at some slabs again, and loved it!

absolute black honed granite

Done. Phew. Then there was the hardware to choose.  Which meant there was a lot of this.

benjamin moore white dove subway tile and honed granite

But, what does it look like in the sunlight?

benjamin moore white dove subway tile absolute black honed granite

This went on for many hours. I had narrowed it down to black or brushed nickel.  Black to match the counters and brushed nickel to match the appliances. (I was also trying out a light blue wall color in that photo, and you can also see the quartz sample on the right.)

This seemingly small decision was by far the hardest to make.  I called my friend and got her husband, one-year-old, and lab-doxie involved, and we were basically split down the middle.  So naturally, I polled Cobalt and Miles.  You can see the results here:

Cobalt helped, and Miles was pretty pissed that I was clearly trying to feed him metal instead of food.

Ultimately, I chose…….

the brushed nickel!  Not what I originally thought I would choose.  Actually, my first pick was a more aged finish that didn’t even make the final two because it just didn’t work with the rest of the materials.  I thought the black hardware would pop out a little too much in the small space, and I liked how the nickel ones added some more shine and matched the appliances.

Our next challenge was to find a kitchen faucet.  We knew we wanted a pull down sprayer, but most of those come with the goose-neck style faucet which would impede our new kitchen window. It was actually fairly painless to find a shorter one at a decent price, and the good news is that Cobalt really liked it.

delta cassidy kitchen faucet

delta cassidy pull down kitchen faucetIt’s Delta’s Cassidy faucet if you’re curious.

delta cassidy kitchen faucet

Nick liked it too.

fireman likes delta cassidy kitchen faucet

Now that we have that covered, if you’re wondering where I’ve been for two months, the answer is all of the places. Beaufort, Orlando, Ocean City, Charlotte, and Folly Beach – where we looked at wedding spots!!  I’ll share that with you next time once I sort out how much of the wedding planning  I want to write about.  A. I don’t want to give it all away, but I do want to share the process.  B. It will be a small wedding so I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings who’s not invited, but I do want to share it with the people I love, all of whom we may not be able to invite.  and C. I hate to even mention it, because I don’t like to ever recognize or talk about it, but I know there are plenty of not nice people out there wanting to hate, hate, hate.  And I don’t want to share it with those people.  Any suggestions?  Please comment your advice so I can sort this out. Meanwhile, I’ll just keep cruisin…


In honor of Cobalt’s 6th bufday a couple days ago, here are all the toys, which are all his.  Not anyone else’s.

Cobalt mini dachshund loves toys especially his yellow long dog

Cobalt mini dachshund loves toys especially his pumpkin long dog

Cobalt mini dachshund loves toys especially his green long dog


The Before Tour

Well, it’s Thursday night so I went to a fabulous happy hour followed by bar-hopping Thirsty Thursday specials.  No, scratch that, I’m having a glass of wine watching Real Housewives on DVR while the smallest dachshund sleeps comfortably on my lap.  Quick, someone ask me how old I am while I can still answer 28 for another day and a half.

I figure any good DIY blog doesn’t jump right into house projects without sharing before pictures and a list of intentions.  Cobalt originally wanted to give the tour, but he calls every room “my room” so it gets confusing.  I’ll lead the way instead.

Living room:
living room before

living room empty

living room long view


Eventually, I’ll try to become more of a real person and use a real camera instead of my phone.  Maybe when I’m 29.

Moving on, the latrine.  Which also happens to be where we wash the dishes from which we eat. Sort of disgusting a multi-purpose room.

half bath

The blurry dining room:

dining room

dining room

Master bedroom:

master bedroom

master bedroom

Master A bathroom that is connected to the master bedroom that is my least fav room in the house:

master bathroom from bedroom

master bath

master bath vanity

Any tips for removing wallpaper?

The office…we’ll just keep this door closed for a while:

office before

Guest room…we’ll get to this when we have our first guests and are forced to at least make the bed:

guest room before

Guest bath…sorry future guests (aka Lorryn & Daniel), we probably won’t have gotten to this room by the time you visit:

guest bath

And finally, the kitchen…

This is the view from the small hallway between the living room and the kitchen where the oh-so-fancily wallpapered half-bath and door to the back deck are located:

kitchen view from living room hallway

That’s me, talking to our realtor, balancing on my heels like a 5-year-old because I was sick of wearing them all day.

This is the view walking into the house from the garage door:

kitchen before view from garage door

That’s me hiking up my pants because I didn’t know Nick was taking pictures.

This is the view from the dining room doorway into the kitchen, where you can see the kitchen window nook that looks into the backyard.

kitchen before window nook

That’s me blinking and biting my lip.  Thanks Chief.

So there you have it.  The official “before” house tour.  I’ll show more when I dive into projects in each room, and hopefully the pictures will suck less – either in quality or in lack of me awkwardly being in them.  There are a few little spots still missing from these photos like the upstairs hall and the backyard, but I promise to over-share later on.

Oh, I almost forgot about that list of intentions I was going to share.  But, Cobalt says he isn’t getting nearly enough attention/snuggles so I’ll post that tomorrow.  Without further adieu, your Cobalt of the day:

The real frankenweenie. 

cobalt zombie sleeper

No day like a snow day.

Here goes blogging.  What better day to start than a rare snow day in South Carolina? I’ve thought about doing this for a while, just like I’ve thought about a million things that I want to do.  As it turns out, life is flying by and I’m turning 29 this weekend. WHAT.  So I’ve decided to make it my goal to do more.   Less thinking, and visualizing, and list writing, and more actual doing.  If I combined all the time I’ve thought about a project, or working out, and all of the other things I want to eventually do one of these days when I have some free time and things settle down…I’d have house full of  completed projects and six-pack abs.  Or, I’d at least be further along than I am now.

I’ve been waiting for life to settle down for a few years now.  Why doesn’t anyone just warn you ahead of time that it never will?  That could have saved me a lot of waiting.   But I do feel more settled than I have in a long time.  I’m finally in a really good place and I’m excited about the future so why not document it?  If nothing else, it should serve as motivation to keep me “doing”.

Fast forward through a lot of things to where this story picks up – I moved to Columbia, South Carolina in June of last year, and then moved into a house Nick and I bought last month.  That marks the 6th move Cobalt (Cobalt = mini dachshund, love of my life, sweet baby angel, Nick = boyfriend, he’s cool too) and I have made in less than 2 years.  Long story 😉 We love our new house, but there is a lot on our wish list to make it feel more like ours.  We’ve done a few small things so far, and are in the middle of a kitchen renovation so I’ll be sharing all that here.

Cobalt wants me to show you the house already.  So here it is the day we bought it

Our New House

And moving in (don’t miss the bottom right corner)


And today…

snowy house
southern snow

southern snow

So there you have it.  A first glimpse of the house/life/dachshund you’ll soon be sick of hearing about.  Cobalt says, WHAT?? I have so much more to say!!

So, here’s your CCOTD (Complimentary Cobalt Of The Day)

Owwite, tell me all yoh pwoblems, I’m heowh to wisen.
(Alright, tell me all your problems, I’m here to listen.)
Cobalt still has a little twouble pronouncing his R’s. And sometimes his L’s.
Cobalt therapist

Until next time, cheers to doing.