Friday, August 23, 2013

a spruced up kitchen = a happy mama and surprised daddy

My mister made plans to go with his father, his best friend Mike and Mike's dad, Tim, up to the good ol' boundary waters. If you aren't from 'round here, you may not know what that means. Well, honestly I don't really know what it means either... other than it's all woods, you bring canoes for the river (or rivers?), and it's pretty rugged camping. I didn't grow up with a camping family, so it's all a little foreign to me. But hopefully as the boys get a little older, I will  learn to be a mountain mama camper. But I don't eat fish or wild game. And I only drink bottled water. So probably not. But maybe.

As Matt made camping arrangements and took inventory of his camping gear, I was secretly planning my own adventure. And no it did not only involve chick flicks and Ben and Jerry's with Steph (Mike's wife). I got this crazy idea to have my husband come home to a super clean house and a spruced up kitchen! I sent out an e-mail to some of my close friends asking for help with cleaning, projects and childcare. I know time is scarce and if someone's got time for projects and cleaning that it will be spent on their own houses, but I took a chance.

I ended up with childcare for about 18 hours straight. Mom and Brian took the boys Friday evening and would return them at noon on Saturday. I got a friend to put in cleaning time with me Friday night, and another friend to help do a morning shift on Saturday before the boys got home. It worked out perfectly!

Wednesday night after he left, I got right to work. I wanted to change the color of the kitchen. It was a pretty boring super light-grey-almost-white. And next to the white cupboards, it was pretty blah.

Here's a before picture. Excuse the massive pile of dishes.
I went out and got some paint. I decided on a mustard yellow. I hated it...

So I got scared and did a trial on the opposite side of the window of the same color that is in our dining room, it's like a Moroccan Red or something...

And I wasn't feelin' it. So I trusted my gut, and went back to the yellow.

Yes I worked on it while the children were around. And yes I let Eli do the dishes so that he stayed out of my way. And yes it was around 4pm and he was still in his jammies. And yes he needed a diaper change, but I had paint all over my hands (and splattered on my unwashed dishes.) Good thing I am not a professional painter. 

The yellow ended up growing on me, so I finished the job at 3 a.m. and let it be.

Steph and Jill came over Friday night and while very pregnant Steph watched Netflix and sorted toys, Jill and I went to town on the upper level. We cleaned under beds. We dusted. She cleaned behind my toilet. She taught me the incredible magic of the magic eraser. Areas I thought I would have to paint were cleaned up with a few swipes of this amazing little sponge. Crayon was removed from walls and doors. Scuff marks gone from the doors and base boards. All the cleaning that never gets done, got done. It was beautiful up there!
We may or may not have watched Sisterwives
and eaten a pint (or two) of Ben and Jerry's...
Then I went to bed at like 3:30 a.m. and woke up by 7:45 a.m. to open the door to Sarah at 8 a.m. Sarah is an incredible friend, she brings so many gifts to our friendship. She has an amazing eye for design and decor. She was blessed with a brain that can create order and function in any area. She loves color, and pretty things. She is resourceful with things that are already just laying around. She does wonders with spray paint. She is also a blogger, so we have fun supporting each other on our blogging journeys. On top of all of that, she is a strong mama who loves Jesus, and adores her sweet family. Her house is always open to her friends, church family and her community. She pretty much has a coffee shop in her house. Seriously.

Isn't this amazing?
Here she is with her husband, one of the pastors at my church. Look at her cute new bangs! 

I needed help getting my kitchen in order. We have very little cupboard space, so we have an open air pantry that is sorta tricky to keep in order. The tops of the shelves were getting pretty cluttered with knickknacks and bulky items. Organization does not come naturally to me (well, maybe it's the maintenance part) so I needed to call in the pro to help a sister out.

Pretty cluttered.

Baking things/pasta/rice shelf. No order.
An area for daddy's meds and supplements, an area for untouched cookbooks,
an area for frequently used seasonings and avocado halves, an oatmeal and vinegar area...

There's a banana/avocado area, a goldfish cracker area,
chips/bread/peanut basket, baggies/oatmeal/honey area...

Too much stuff.

After Sarah and I had some breakfast and coffee talk, we got to work. We cleared off the top of my cupboards and all the shelves. Sarah wiped down the shelves and even cleaned out my microwave! Now that is love. I cleaned the top of my cupboards over the sink. People, I don't think this had been done in 5 years. And we have only lived here for one year. It was Nassssty. Like an inch of greasy kitchen dust. Don't judge.

Next Sarah helped me to assess my knickknacks and decor. We slowly placed things back on top of the shelves and cupboards until the perfect arrangement was made. Next we organized my pantry shelves. I collected as many containers and baskets as I could find, and Sarah worked her magic. Four hours later we scurried to finish before the children arrived. 

Sarah took beautiful pictures of our end result and you can check them out over at her blog An Inviting Home by clicking here.

Here is how the rest of my kitchen turned out! I am still on the look out for some more fun things to hang on the wall, we'll see. Sometimes less is more... but sometimes not:) 

I took this today. It was way cleaner the day Matt got home.
I still need Matt to hang that shelf that is sitting on the counter, next to the water jug.
I need some lessons on staging nice pictures for house tours...

Matt liked the kitchen! I thought he would not like the yellow, but he did. And of course the first thing he commented on was our beautiful clean microwave. I humbly gave Sarah all of the credit for that part! He never even saw the scratches Sarah was fretting over when she accidentally used the scratchy side of the sponge on our stainless steal fridge. Everytime I see the scratches (which is barely ever!) I am reminded of the day when my friend came and helped me out:)

I was so grateful for my little kitchen make-over, and the friends and family that were able to help out. Other than the $10 for the paint and $4 for the magic erasers, I didn't spend anything and I was able to get rid of a lot of the clutter that served no purpose. 

My kitchen is organized and it looks pretty. I spend a lot of time in that kitchen, and since we fixed it up, I enjoy being in there so much more now. I even stay caught up on dishes better than before, and I think that it's because I enjoy the way my space looks now, especially when it is neat and tidy.

Make sure to check out Sarah's blog to see how our project turned out, and to take a look at her house tour and her extensive DIY project gallery

Be encouraged; with very little resources it IS possible to re-create a space to be beautiful and functional. 

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