The Urge to Purge

I spent some time on our closets this past weekend and HOLY COW it feels great to have them pared down and re-organized.

Both of our closets were getting to a breaking point (literally and figuratively). Every time I opened my closet I told myself I would clean it out… and I never did. It got worse, clothes kept coming in and all of a sudden I’ve got 100 hangers packed onto a rack that should hold maybe 75. You know, real life problems. *rolls eyes at self*

I don’t have a great “before” pic of these closets, so this one will have to do. This is how the closet looked in the office makeover reveal. The racks are packed tight, shoes are overflowing, there are hangers in every color (including a nice shade of rust-stained taupe) and baskets full of… stuff? things? scrunchies? Yea, probably scrunchies.

I was somewhat severe in deciding what to toss in the donate/sell pile—if I hadn’t worn it in a year, it went bye bye. This knocked out a good 25% of my clothes. This rule also applied to jewelry, belts, shoes, handbags, etc. A little shout out to a pair of pink Delia’s flip flops I found lurking in the back of the closet. I’m thankful to be ending our almost 10-year relationship. Smell ya later. 

Here’s a small sampling of the pile as the result. What you can’t see is the kitchen, which has become our donation/sale pile base camp. It is scary.

Anyways, the re-organization itself wasn’t a groundbreaking process. I bought 130 huggable hangers in platinum (these), re-hung the “stay” clothes and organized by color—that’s it.

I did the same thing for Aaron’s closet, which is in our bedroom. This closet is functional for the most part. Two years ago the shelves gave way under the weight and my dad helped us DIY a closet system, so it’s nice and sturdy. It just needed a little bit of re-organization.

Sorry these photos are so cropped in! This closet door doesn’t open all of the way thanks to the B.A.B.* (another problem for a different day) which makes a wide angle très difficile.

And while these closets aren’t big by any means, they work well for us! They force us to organize on a somewhat consistent basis and we have no complaints about that.

Most of these clothes will be heading to either donation or being sold at an upcoming garage sale. In fact, if you’re a local, you should stop by the sale! Aaron and I will be a part of a huge, multi-family garage sale here in Kentucky. Here’s the Facebook invite with all of the details if you’re interested! It’s April 26-27.



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*Big Ass Bed :)


The Kitchen: Chapter One

Welcome to the official Chapter One of our kitchen makeover. I’ve got some “renderings” (a.k.a. fauxtoshop) to share today as well as some exciting news on the appliances. I know, lots of planning and talking, not a lot of doing. It’s killing me too! But I know myself and I know any sort of makeover will become chaotic if I don’t start with a plan.

Before we go any further, let’s talk tile for a minute. We’re going to move away from the Moroccan tile backsplash idea. We’re so bummed about this but we can’t figure out a way to make it work. There’s a couple of reasons:

  1. We’re not digging the look of painted tile for a backsplash. We have painted tile elsewhere in our home (like our fireplace surround) but it doesn’t feel right for the backsplash in our space. We’re worried about the added texture and the very good chance it may look more DIY than what we’d want.
  2. We could bypass the painted tile thing by actually appropriately firing the tiles. But this was sort of a dead end for us. For at home, it’s a time issue (would take us weeks to bake 75 sq. ft. of tile) and the studio option—actually taking the tiles to a studio to fire—is not affordable for us (and a little bit of a time issue).
  3. Real Moroccan cement tile is our DREAM backsplash tile and as much as it kills me to say this, this is not our dream house. It would kill us to leave it behind.
  4. I’m having a hard time finding a pattern that doesn’t conflict with the black and white wallpaper in the kitchen. Even the most subtle of patterns was looking a little too hectic.

All of this to say, we’re 80% sure we’re going to do the tried-and-true subway tile. It’s clean, it’s bright white, it’s quick to install, it’s inexpensive and it adds a little bit of pattern without competing with the wallpaper. Now, I said 80%. That’s because a reader (thank you Joanna!) sent through this patterned tile option and we both really like it. We’re waiting for a sample to come in to see how it looks. 

OK, moving on, here is basically what the kitchen looks like today (this is an older picture—look at the living room (aah!)—but the kitchen hasn’t changed). We’re ready to ditch the black walls, the hunter green cabinet trim and the speckled laminate countertops.

Here’s what’s in our minds for the makeover.

Gosh subway tile, even though you’re my number #2 choice, you make things look so good. There’s a reason you’re as popular as you are. And I think we would do white grout, not grey, so much less contrast than what shows in the photo above.

Anyways, some details on the renderings.

We’re removing two of the overhead cabinets. We won’t lose storage, it’s just that our closed storage will become open storage. These shelves will hold our plates, bowls and glassware. Closed storage will be reserved for the Gladware (a.k.a. the festival of random lids that happens at our house), cooking spices, oils, etc.

The countertop will be IKEA butcher block, mainly because we’re able to install it ourselves, we love the color and it’s the most affordable. We’re going to waterfall it down the vertical edge. I know that’s a trend these days… we’re hopping so hard on that trend train.

We would love to do a farmhouse sink, but we’re having a hard time finding one for a 30″ cabinet in our price range (less than $400). The IKEA double bowl farmhouse sink is way too big and the IKEA single bowl is a mystical unicorn that seems to have disappeared from Earth last Fall. We may end up with an undermount stainless sink. So it would look like this:

Which I’m not too mad about.

The other option we considered was two-tone uppers and lowers. Specifically, keeping the lowers their natural oak. It would look something like this:

We didn’t love it. Mainly because the butcher block doesn’t play well with the light oak, hence the reason for the white countertop used above. This option was an easy no.

Now, going back to the lead option.

If you look closely you’ll see the dishwasher has been upgraded. That is what our new appliances will look like! We’re going with the GE Artistry series in white and we are SO EXCITED to get these bad boys in.

Here’s a couple of reasons of why we chose these:

1.) Most importantly, they look awesome. We love their retro styling, the chrome handles, the throwback GE logo, etc. I love when appliances can bring more to the table than just function.

2.) They come in a high gloss white. In fact, the color options are black or white. No stainless, no taupe, just gloss black and gloss white. I love the simplicity in that. This is such a small room and I wanted the appliances to flow in to the rest of the white cabinets, versus a stainless appliance that breaks up the color even more. The gloss white will add some modernity to the space that I’m really excited about!

3.) The fridge fits our fridge space. As simple as that seems, it’s been a big deal to us. It has been next to impossible to find a modern fridge that meets our space requirements. It’s a little larger than the fridge we have now, but it still fits into our cabinet space AND it has a bottom freezer, which we’ve never had. The fridge is actually our favorite appliance. We love the look. The hidden controls on the dishwasher might be favorite thing #2 (can you tell we’ve been living with older appliances in this house?).

Now, here’s the really exciting part. Aaron and I aren’t the only ones excited about this makeover. GE is too! That’s right, THE GE, as in the maker of these appliances. They reached out to me a few weeks ago, just as I began talking about the kitchen makeover and wanted in on the project. And total transparency here: they are providing the ENTIRE Artistry appliance suite (*drops dead on the floor*) to us in exchange for a little time here on the blog. I KNOW! I’m blown away too! It’s a partnership that made so much sense to me. I love the style of their Artistry series, they like me—it’s a match made in heaven. 

Color me excited, color me surprised, color me thrilled… with all of the above! This kitchen makeover is officially underway!




Turning 30 in a few weeks

I’m just two weeks away from the big 3-0 birthday (I accidentally typed “2-0″ just now… I wish!).

I can’t decide if I’m looking forward to it or dreading it. I guess it depends on the day. On one hand, I know I have so much to look forward to. On the other hand, I have a feeling that once 30 hits, 40 isn’t too far behind! It will go so fast from here! (Who am I kidding, it’s already going fast…)

Aaron and I’s birthdays are close to one another’s (he’s turning 30 too) so we may throw a party—we’re not sure yet. His view of his 30th birthday is much more relaxed than mine: “Meh. It’s just another birthday.” Typical, level-headed Aaron (thank God for him!).

In a futile attempt to distract myself from the upcoming milestone, I spent some time putting together a birthday wish list. I think Aaron and mine’s birthday gift to each other will be gutters (oh joy) but we’ll definitely do a dinner/wine night of some sort! At any rate, this round-up was fun to day dream about….

1.) Naked 3 Palette – Consider me fully bought in to the Naked franchise, along with the rest of female population. I’ve only ever tried Naked 1 but the colors in this palette look awesome. Brideface used a few of these colors on me for my sister’s wedding.

2.) Pink Leather Tassel – I’m one of those women whose keychain is a 3 lb tangled monstrosity. My current keychain “tassel” is a pink dog toy rope, no kidding. I’m well overdue for something a little less crazy.

3.) I Woke Up Like This Tee – I find this hilarious, as I definitely do not wake up like this. Or that. Or anything human-like. And yea, I’m a sucker for cheeky tees in general.

4.) Spot Dot D’Orsay Flats – I’ve pinned these a million times so maybe it’s time to give it up and just buy them already. Does Madewell do birthday discounts?

5.) Sewing 101 at Sewn Studio – I’m determined to get into a sewing class before the summer hits. Plus, it would help me knock out one of my 2014 goals.

6.) Handyman Help – This one is directed right at you Dad! A great birthday gift would be some help and guidance installing kitchen counters, sink and faucet.

7.) Geo Hanging Planter – I love this planter so much and it would look great in the corner of our office.

So that’s it! Any fellow thirty-somethings out there? I salute you for making it to the other side. We’re right behind ya.



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