Cobalt

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 houzz.com and pinterest.com 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:

http://youtu.be/s6bHNwJlK3A

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…

CCOTD:

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

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Kitchen Renovation Phase 2

Kitchen Kitchen Ya Ya Da Da

Hey, hey, heeeey.  So, a lot has been going on this summer, but we are finally entering into a couple weeks of normalcy.  Perfect time to give a kitchen update!  This is the phase where we really saw what the overall layout of the kitchen come to life.  Let’s get visual shall we?  More pictures, less words.  Nobody has any time for that.

So here we go clockwise around the room.

Phase 2 Kitchen Renovation - Fridge cabinets

 

Phase 2 Kitchen Renovation - Sink and Cabinets

Phase 2 Kitchen Renovation - Custom Cabinets

 

Phase 2 Kitchen Renovation - Kitchen Breakfast Bench Nook

Got all that??  I threw in some pop-up video action for you too.

Anyone have any time left for an update on what’s been going on lately?  Don’t worry we’ll stick with the more pics less words thing.

Mom and dad came to visit right after the last time I posted…

South Carolina Lake Murray Mom & Dad Visit

 

South Carolina Lake Murray Mom & Dad Visit - Dad

 

South Carolina Lake Murray Mom & Dad Visit - Mom

 

South Carolina Lake Murray Mom & Dad Visit - Dad and Nick

 

South Carolina Lake Murray Mom & Dad Visit - Me and Mom

Nick had a birthday!!!  Mabel says “I’m yo pwesent”  “My mom made me”.

Nick Birthday - Mabel Bloodhound

 

And I made him this delicious Lemon cake from this recipe

Lemon Cake

Which we brought on the new sailboat and then went out on the lake to raft up with friends and watch the fireworks!

Nick and Emily on the sailboat 4th of July

 

4th of July Lake Murray Fireworks on Sailboat

 

4th of July Fireworks Lake Murray

 

Nick also opened his presents which he should have known were for Cobalt

The next weekend we went up to Rochester, NY for the actual 4th of July with my family.  Cobalt helped us get there.

Cobalt mini dachshund sleeps in the car

After he slept a lot.  Here he goes.

Rochester 4th of July roundup…

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The last picture was the trip home where Emily had to pee and Nick made her go at South of the Border.  Cobalt was not happy.

I think the dogs had the best time of anyone.  Mabel went fetching in the water for the first time…

And Cobalt stole bread from the coy fish, some of which were bigger than he is.  We’ll go ahead and call that your Complimentary Cobalt of the Day….

CCOTD:

 

 

Kitchen Renovation Phase One

Ooops…and A Kitchen Update

Whoops. So May was a total FAIL on the ol blog….

 

forgifs.com

 

I’m not sure what happened to Spring exactly.  Between conferences, a wedding, random other travels and illnesses, it flew the freak by. Let’s do a quick recap and then move on to phase one of the kitchen so we can do that big reveal already.

 

There was Easter, and dying brown easter eggs…
dying brown easter eggs

 

I went to Nashville for work…
Downtown Nashville

 

My friend Merideth came to visit and our friend’s dog sang the blues on a sailboat…
Emily and Merideth on sailboat

 

 

My BEST FRIEND got married!!!!!
efoc at theresa's wedding
mom and dad

 

bridesmaids

 

emily and nick at theresa's wedding

 

We went to Myrtle Beach for Nick’s work…
Myrtle Beach

 

Nick got the gout…

 

My brother and sister-in-law Ben & Courtney, and our friend Naomi came to visit!  Fingers crossed that we got them hooked on moving here….
gang on sailboat

 

girls on sailboat

 

And today…we got a new boat!  More on that when we get it in the water.  But that does bring us up to today, and it’s actually the motivation for my post.  Nick and his friend, Andrew, went to Oriental, NC today to inspect and buy our new boat, and won’t be home until 9ish.  So I of course, think to myself the whole way home from work about all the productive things I’m going to do while he’s gone.  I’ll write my blog, I’ll work out, I’ll do laundry, I’ll clean, etc.  Well, fast forward an hour and it looked more like this:

 

couch fall

Followed by

 

 

and watching Gilmore Girls…

 

Gilmore Girls

 

Whoops. So I decided to do one load of laundry and start my post.  That’s something.
Back to the whole kitchen renovation thing.  We had the best contractor in the whole wide world, and we were actually sad when he left.  Nick said to me “Today is Glen’s last day.  That means he’s not coming over any more.”(insert adult man sadface here).

 

Glen and I worked on the kitchen design together, and between his squashing some of my dreams and replacing them with other neat ideas, we both agreed that we came up with a pretty great kitchen.   Here is a breakdown of what did and didn’t make the cut:

 

Island –  No. I wanted this so I could lean on it and drink wine have more counter space for cooking and gathering around, or even put the sink in it so I could be looking out the window instead of at a wall.  But, it just wouldn’t work well with the space.  It’d be too tight opening the oven door and trying to get around it.

 

Window cut-out – Yes.  It’s in the wall to the dining room – this was Glen’s solution to giving me a view to the outside (front yard instead of back) and a more open feeling standing at the sink.  We weren’t able to open up the whole wall but he cut out a nice sized window that I love.

 

Wine area – Yes. A glass rack and wine bottle holder – This couldn’t eat up too much valuable space in the kitchen so Glen and I found the perfect spot for it between the new fridge location and the…

 

Rachel Ray pantry! – Yes. This is what it was called the whole time, and how we now distinguish it from the bigger closet pantry in the dining room.  It is perfect.  It doesn’t take up too much room in the kitchen and it is so functional.  We can grab things we need while cooking without having to go into the dining room to get them.

 

Slow-close doors and drawers – Yes. I love these and now I assume all cabinets are slow close and end up slamming a lot that aren’t.

 

Farmhouse sink – Yes.  It’s as great as it sounds.

 

Marble countertops – No.  I thought the whole time we’d have marble or marble-like counter tops, but when that was no longer an option due to price and functionality, and I realized I didn’t like ANY of the white granite choices, I started exploring other options.  I actually did end up with a granite, but it is absolute black with a honed finish. It looks a little like soapstone, and I love the contrast it adds.

 

Subway tile – Yes.  With dark grout instead of light.

 

X Mullion glass cabinet doors – No.  Who knew it was so expensive to put wooden X’s on glass doors? So instead two hundred something a piece doors like this:
We went with the much less expensive classic mullion look like this:

 

There were a ton of other details and decisions to make, but I’ll go through those and point them out in the finished kitchen.

 

The first phase of the kitchen happened immediately after demo, and it was so exciting to see our new kitchen come to life!  First was demo, then opening up a wall…

 

 

opening kitchen wall

 

Then the first of the custom cabinets went in!!

 

custom cabinets phase one

 

Including the much anticipated Rachel Ray pantry.  Such a fun first step.

 

Rachel Ray pantry

 

As you can imagine, there have been a lot of Cobalt photos and videos taken over the last 2 months…so it’s a little hard to choose.

 

Your long awaited CCOTD:
mom and cobalt at jakes
Mom and nini at one of his favorite spots, Jake’s, where they have “Yappy Hour” and dogs are always allowed on the back deck area!  He says Mom, I want to go to da pwace wheyoh ev-wee-one pays attention to me and fwohs da ball fo me a wot.  

 

What? That could be a number of places but this time it was Jake’s.

 

 

Pallet Shelves in 5 Simple Steps

And then it was March.  That means there are only 11 month’s left of my twenties.  And only 2 months until my best friends wedding. And only 7.5 months until my best friends wedding.  Riddle that.  So, let’s get right to it.  Time’s ticking away.

Easiest rustic project ever.  Pallet shelves.  I was first inspired by these, which I am sure many of you have seen all over Pinterest.

Ready…

1. Grab a pallet shelf from outside of a store and run like hell to your car.  Or walk, because no one cares.

2. Pry off middle boards on one side to expose the “shelves”.

3. Sand down the splinters a little, or don’t, it’s rustic.

4. Screw that thing into the wall.

5. Style away!

Pallet Shelves

We actually had another pallet shelf so I wanted to try making smaller ones out of it and staining them.  Basically, imagine that pallet above with all the boards still on, then cut across horizontally right under each of the “shelf” boards.  Then the top vertical boards were cut down to just a couple of inches to hold things in, and the back boards left taller as the “back”.  This will all make sense in the photos 🙂  Sorry this one’s so small, don’t know what’s up with that.

After they were cut, I sanded them all the way so they could be stained.

sanding pallet shelves

Then we stained them, and I didn’t take pictures of that, because, I didn’t.   But, we used a paint sprayer and it was way easier than using a brush to get in all the little nooks, which is what I started out doing until Nick decided to bring out his glorious sprayer.  Oh. My. God. I almost deleted that sentence, but instead I’ll give it a Lorelai Gilmore, dirty.

Alright, here is the final product in the old apartment because I still haven’t decided where they should live in this house yet.  I am pretty sure they will go in the dining room, but that still needs to be painted.  It has been taped off and ready to paint for…like…a long time.

You wouldn’t have known this, except that I’m telling you now because I like to voice my frustrations, that it’s been almost an hour since I wrote that last sentence.  Yeah, blogging behind the scenes, it’s exciting stuff.  It’s like the bonus features that come with a dvd, which are always disappointing.  The point of this story is that I have NO IDEA where the after pictures of these shelves went.  So you will have to settle for random appearances of them in the background.  Like this one on Nick’s birthday…

pallet shelvesCobalt says, Oooooh pwesents, fo me?! 

And this spooky one.  The shelves got dressed up for halloween…

pallet shelves

OK that’s it!  Go DO!

CCOTD:

I don’t usually do the throwback Thursday thing, but I can’t resist.

Cobalt little baby

Pwease uppies mom, I’m too wittle.

Cobalt’s Mom is Old…Plus a House List

So last time we spoke I was 28 and talking about doing more.  I’m sure you thought I quit this thing by now, but actually I just got the dreaded plague that’s been going around.  When I’m sick I feel like anything that takes any effort will likely kill me and I should only lie around and do nothing.  But fear not, I survived.  I also survived turning 29, and it really wasn’t as bad as I thought. Turns out, next year is going to be the one that sends me over the edge.

I was also lucky enough to turn 29 with an already 29 year-old pretty bestfriend of mine 🙂

best friends

Lorryn and Daniel live in Savannah which is one of my favorite places in the world and only a couple hours away now, so we have been trying to make the most of that.

All-in-all, turning 29 was great because for one, it meant Lorryn declaring she totally knew how to wobble, and proving it:
lorryn dancing

Plus it was one of the last chances to act like this:

birthday boss

birthday shots

No, that’s not a birthday crown.  It’s worse.  It’s a hat that says “BOSS” that was put on my head by Lorryn, who took it off the sweaty man I’m dancing with.  Who is not Nick.  Don’t tell Cobalt, he would be weally ashamed.

OK, getting to the point of this blog already,
Me and Nick birthday dinner

I think we left off with me saying that tomorrow I would post my intentions, aka house list, aka liste de maison if my mom was making my practice my french.  Well tomorrow ended up being a week later.  Woops.  Here goes.  This is an actual list that I wrote up one day that I am using as a starting point for this most official blog list.

house to-do list

Lay off, I realize I misspelled furniture and maybe other things.  I’m talking to you Dad. And Theresa.

Big/possibly contractor worthy stuff:

Renovate kitchen
Replace upstairs carpet
Close off small back door for french doors and open up tiny hallway
Hide TV wires behind wall (vertical studs in the way of drilling it ourselves)
New fireplace mantel
New kitchen door to garage to swing opposite way (want it to swing out into the garage instead of into the kitchen so we can make use of the small wall it swings in toward now)
Renovate master bathroom
Move washer/dryer laundry situation to upstairs hall closet (in the garage now)

DIY Projects

Painting part 1 – living room/stairway/upstairs halls & master bedroom
Painting part 2 – kitchen, dining room, guest room, office
Re-paint front door
Replace teeny tiny fans in the bedrooms
Replace living room fan
Remove kitchen fan
Refinish dining room table (This was Aunt Karen’s)
Find or refinish small round table for kitchen
Remove way-too-big mantel
Re-stain stair railings and paint spindles white
Whitewash brick fireplace and paint decorative trim white
Replace counter tops & paint vanity bases in Harry Potter bathroom (powder room/half bath that is basically under the stairs) and guest bathroom
Remove wall paper in HP bathroom & mater bathroom, and paint both (Maybe beachy white planks in HP bathroom?)
Fix peeling guest tub
Replace master bathroom vanity
Add shelves/storage to all 3 bathrooms & replace hardware
Paint and organize all closets
Replace all light-switches and outlet covers (current ones are all spray painted navy blue)
Maybe one day replace all the door knobs
Refinish or replace some bedroom furniture to better coordinate – would love a big comfy winged headboard
Finally invest in some chalk paint and paint the random pieces of furniture that have been on my to-do list forever

  • Guest dresser
  • Small bedroom dresser (did this once with regular paint and it is slowly showing layers underneath)
  • Mirror
  • Entry table
  • Hutch (This was Aunt Lulu’s)
  • Office shelves

Smaller crafties/decorating

New guest bedding
New pillows/pillow covers for living room
Remove outdated fireplace cover
Get fireplace tool set
Choose fabric for kitchen bench cushions & get custom made to fit (maybe DIY but that might be ambitious for something I want to last a long time)
Frame pretty fabric for some wall-art
Paint at least 2 of my own paintings and 1 drawing for the walls
New pictures for frames/fill ones that currently, seriously, have been hanging up with the artwork that came in them…for about 6 months now.
New lights for living room

Yard

General yardwork in front and back yards
Get new hanging plants for the front of house
Remove leftover parts of a treehouse in the backyard
General yard sprucing, and mayyyybe plant some herbs??
Power-wash house and back deck

Alright, before I go into some full blown anxiety, I’ll just stop now and reserve the right to add to/edit as needed.  Did anyone actually read this whole list??  Thoughts/advice?  I definitely struggle with the whole getting overwhelmed and freezing up and doing nothing instead of just doing something…thing.  Hopefully this will hold me accountable and keep me motivated.  Speaking of…I’m going to the gym after work tomorrow, even though it’s going to be late.  Hopefully next time I write that won’t have been a lie.

Finally, before this old-tima bids you adieu….

CCOTD:
“Oooohhhh bohfday pwesents!!!  Must be fo me!!!”
Image

Any guesses who wrapped them? 😉  And yes, Cobalt opened both of them all by himself, which was far more enjoyable than me doing it.