I love the direction I’m going in the kitchen. I love that it is stylish but still neutral enough that it’s not BAM IN YOUR FACE. Modern but still takes more traditional elements. And the blue cabinets will have my love till the end of time.  However, it’s still a little sparse and kind of stark looking with all of the cool, light colors.


I’m interrupting my own rambling to write down that Michael just laid down next to me and in his best Regina George voice said, “You can rub my back now.” I’m so proud that he a) has been listening to my adapted version of the “You can go shave your back now.” line of fame and b) knew it was from Mean Girls. Marriage. I think we are doing it right?


Anyway. The kitchen. I think it is modern but would take some traditional, girly decorations really well. I hung some embroidered tea towels my grandma gave me as a wedding gift. They are perfectly vintage and special to me. They now proudly hang on the kitchen wall and Michael and I both are very careful to not get any splashes or juices on these keepsakes. They bring in some pastel elements that I think look really great in the kitchen. So I plan on making some nude curtains and decorating with some pink Depression Glass and maybe – just maybe – paint those owls a different color. Just to give them a little more of an updated look. I still need to convince Mikey.


That book is called “CAT NAMES.” A birthday present to Michael from Drew. Makes me laugh.


Modern hardware, modern backsplash, clean counters…Loving it.


I’m really happy I’ve been able to decorate with meaningful keepsakes. Those owls were either my grandma’s or bought on a vacation Michael and I took together. I dream of a home reflective of our lives. Past, present, those who’ve passed and those who are still here. I think we’ve made a good start.



Chalkboard Paint Is Always A Good Idea



One Friday, I spent way too much time scouring pinterest to add pictures to my Kitchens I Lurve board. I know. My life sounds exciting, doesn’t it. I kept seeing awesome chalkboard walls in kitchens and thought it was a stellar idea. So on a whim I just decided to go to Home Depot and pick up a quart of chalkboard paint.

I sacrificed my most favorite part of my kitchen (the corner) for this project. I still have mixed feeling, because looking at that corner made me happy, but i figure I can just repaint it if I ever find my pretty spontaneous decision does not suit me anymore.

Goodbye, corner I love…


Goodbye, nice, normal kitchen wall…


Welcome, chalkboard painted wall! You will give us much entertainment.


Doing this was easy as pie. Basically, you take the paint. You paint the paint. On the wall. Mind blowing. I did two coats. Jiggawhat. Then I let dry.


Then, you take chalk on its side and drag it across the entire surface of the chalkboard.  Make a long-armed man do this for you if you have one at your disposal. Burrito-wrapping him in a blanket is optional. My house is cold, yo! We like to save money on billz!


This is how we roll. I made that quilt in high school. Again. My life is awesome.

Then, erase what you just did. No, really. Erase it. With a wet rag. It comes right off. It looks as though you never wrote on it. But that is what the instructions said, so that is what got done. Apparently it leaves a residue on there that makes the chalk stick better? I wouldn’t know, I’m not a scientist.


You can do lots of things. Like draw woodloand creatures. That have important things to say. And nature to perch on.


Or you can write celebratory sayings on the wall. And draw hearts like a teenager. I love the hearts.

Or you can just leave it blank and have a black wall. Because you’re edgy.

Or, get REALLY CRAZY and paint the inside of your pantry cabinet. You know, for lists and stuff. Or inappropriate pictures. Just for surprises. The choice is yours.


Fun times with this chalkboard wall to come.



The Doors…Love Me Two Times

Hey, look. I made a band reference. But this post is actually about doors that swing open and shut. You know, actual doors. That got painted two times. With love.

I thought it was clever.

Anywho, I did a post on painting the door to the garage in the kitchen yellow. It wasn’t my cup of tea. And Michael would look at the door, then look at me, then shake his head and say, “I don’t like it.” Point taken. So I took the advice of our Chemist at Law friend Jeff (yeah, he is getting his doctorate in chemistry only after deciding against law school. Smarty pants…) and of a couple commenters and painted said door the same color as the cabinets. Then I went hog wild and painted the back door the same. In short; shazzaaam! I like it! Michael likes it, too. (Mikey likes it….)

Finally, a success story.

Here is the back door. I could not, for the life of me, get a good picture of this door because of the backlighting. I was so close to asking Michael to go outside and hold a blanket in front of the window but I didn’t want to weird him out. He already puts up with too much. I spared him and took a strange-angled picture instead. It’s just a door. I’m sure everyone gets the jist of what it looks like, I was more concerned about getting the color it was already painted. A strange, off-white tone that was (the)clash-ing. Another band reference, ftw!

Yeah the door had gotten dirty. Embarrassing!

Okay, here is the new door color in the kitchen. Goodbye, yellow fellow. Hello, blue hue. Crappy picture. I never said I was a professional. It looks soooo muchhhh betterrrrr. For realsies.

And now here is the back door, all painted and whatnot. I really like it. Now all I need to do is whiten up the trim around the window and paint the floor trim white. But that will be saved for when I have my white paint on doing another coat of paint on the trim. Whenever that happens. Maybe next year…

I officially fixed a DIY disaster and got a home-run on the first pitch with the back door. This is the time of year for miracles, right? Because it must have been a miracle. I’m not that good.



A post…finally.

I’m Erin and I have a confession.  I suck at blogging.  That’s right.  We should probably just call this Cara’s blog that I occasionally post on.  I’ve only spent one entire weekend at my house since August, never seem to leave work on time, have dirty laundry piles in my guest bedroom floor (that’s right – it’s shameful), and haven’t mopped my kitchen since May (and I love to clean!).  Sometimes this poor little blog takes a back burner to my very busy life (sorry, poor little blog).  But let’s just try to move forward and forget about how I never post, mmmkay?

This post is nothing super special.  It’s not going to rock your world but it did brighten up my kitchen.  I was thinking that my sink area looked a little bare.  Boring.  Lonely.  Not cute.  And since I stand there a lot, I decided it needed to become not bare, not boring, not lonely, and cute.  Here’s a before shot:

I don’t even have a soap dispenser.  My last one bit the dust back in May, and I haven’t had a chance to replace it (see “busy life” disclaimer above), so my sink area was definitely looking plain Jane.  Solution?  Mason jars (my go to decorating item) and a chalkboard (50% off at Hobby Lobby!):

It was looking better, but that chalkboard desperately needed some paint.  Enter craft paint (also on sale at Hobby Lobby!).  I chose blue because it would go with the blue mason jars, the sweet blue rug I found on clearance for $9 at Target, and just because I think blue is the greatest color ever.  Along with white.  And yellow.  Anyway, I taped that bad boy off and got to painting:

Pretty simple project.  I let it dry overnight and – voila! – my much happier sink area:

And with the rug…my sweet, $9 rug!

So there you have it.  I’m pretty happy with my decision to go the cliche chalkboard-in-the-kitchen route.  It’s the next best thing to having a window above your sink and I’m not gonna lie – it’s kind of fun to doodle with sidewalk chalk.  Yep, the six-year-old inside me is still alive and well!

Anyone else have a chalkboard in your kitchen?  Do you make your house guests write a phrase or draw a picture before you’ll feed them?  Because I’m thinking about doing that…could be interesting.  People do crazy things for free food! :-)



An Official DIY Disaster

You know that door post I did? And how I wasn’t sure if it was a disaster or not? Well. It officially is now. I just think it is the wrong shade of yellow. But in the spirit of salvaging, I thought maybe I could add some accents to tone it down a bit. Enter epic fail.

So I still have some paint that I used to paint the kitchen cabinets…a beautiful smoky light blue color. I thought by tying in the color of the cabinets I could coordinate the door and hopefully make it a little less jarring when I saw it. So I taped the door off using Frog Tape (I admit, I was swayed by my blogging idols to try it… I’m disappointed with the stickiness) and got to painting.


Picture my eyed bugged out of my head, my mouth wide open making a “eeeeeeew” noise after I removed the tape. What the crap happened?! My pretty blue color ended up looking GREY. I couldn’t have gotten a more pure grey color if I had tried. And I have tried. And failed. Hard. It was a sad day. So it’s kind of a slap in the face that I got a perfect grey shade on total accident. Life lessons. Not to get dramatic or anything.

You can kind of see the cabinet color compared to the door. Sooooo not the same color. ???? CAN ANYONE ELSE SEE THIS?! I feel like I’m taking crazy pills (I invented the Piano Key Neck Tie! I invented it! ((Sorry I got carried away on my Zoolander quoting)) …)


SoOoOo. This is officially getting marked as a DIY disaster. But I am not afraid to try again! I only spent 3 dollars on paint for the door, I can and will do it again! See that? Bravery.  I’m still going to try yellow, but this time it’s going to be more of a subdued sunflower. Picture a sunflower in late October. A little bit frosted, a lot bit wilted…not quite so poppy in color and not bright enough you need sunglasses to be in your kitchen…

See the pretty yellow floral pillow in this picture? Maybe more along the lines of one of those less poppy yellows.

This is my new inspiration. Focus, Cara. No more bright yellows! NO!


Snap Crackle POP

And I mean a pop…of color!

I’m back from my vacation in Atlanta and ready to get back to posting! I will do a post about the trip later, but for now I just have something short and sweet I whipped out this evening on a whim.

The kitchen leads into the garage and the door has always been kind of blah. Once we painted the trim white, the non-white door stuck out like a sore thumb and needed some help. So on a whim I decided to paint the door YELLOW. I immediately thought of sunflowers…don’t know why but that was what I was thinking. So off to the Depot I went. And low and behold, I chose a color called – wait for it – Sunflower. I know, right?!
Here is our before:

A door full of blah.

So I got out my materials…

And painted on some POP.

It is a little crazy. I haven’t decided if this is a disaster or not…it is SO BRIGHT! I’m waiting to see it in daylight to make my final decision.
Anyone else done something completely on a whim, like painting your neutral kitchen door BRIGHT YELLOW?!




Cleaning Out My Pantry

That’s right.  Why clean out your closet when your pantry is this hot mess?

Now how about a shot with the doors closed, just so you can soak in all of its ugliness:

My eyes.  They burn.  Believe it or not, I looked at those pantry doors for a whole year and a half before I finally decided something had to be done about my food storage situation.  Replacing the doors to match the kitchen cabinets was out of the question ($150 a door?!  I don’t think so!), and since the existing doors no longer closed (either the doors had expanded or the pantry itself had started to shrink), I decided I would need to get creative.  When my creative side failed me, I decided I would need to get brave instead.  You know, brave enough to go doorless.  I weighed the pros and cons of having my pantry contents exposed for all the world to see, but ultimately decided I had enough cabinet space to store the ugly stuff, then would do my best to “attractively” display the rest.  I took down the doors, did a little wood filling and sanding where necessary, then started priming.

I’ll save you dozens of pictures of my priming saga, and just bore you with words instead.  In an attempt to keep harsh vapors out of my innocent little house, I decided I would prime with water based primer.  Six coats – yes, six coats later, y’all! – I still had wood stain bleeding through.  I think I might have started pulling out my hair from frustration, I’m really not sure.  That’s when I finally decided to just use the oil based stuff.  Bring on the fumes, baby!  One coat later and my pantry was ready for painting.  Lesson learned.  After I let the paint cure for a couple of days, I did a little caulking.  I can be a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to house projects, but tell me the caulking doesn’t make a HUGE difference:

Everything looks flush and seamless.  I love it.  Then it was time to start filling up those shelves!  I did my best to keep it practical and useful but still cute.  Cute is very important in my world.

In the end, I couldn’t have been happier with my decision to go doorless.  And I’m constantly tweaking this little space – rearranging, bringing something new in, moving something old out.  It’s just so functional (storing all of my spices, snacks, crackers, baking supplies, etc.) and fun.  (Did I really just call my pantry “fun”?  Wow, I need to get out more.)  I consider this inexpensive and simple project a major success!

So what about you guys?  Anyone else going doorless?  Or maybe you’ve actually cleaned out a closet lately?  Do share!


So You’ve Been Together Six Years…

What do you do to celebrate?
Since we’re poor (Oh hai, new couch. Oh hey, trip to Atlanta) we decided to forgo a Fancy Pants dinner. So instead of wearing fancy pants, we celebrated wearing comfy pants. You could even say Thanksgiving pants, if you’re a Friends fan (thank you for that reference, Mr. Tribianni).



Man, that plate is photogenic. Michael would not let me take the picture until he had placed everything juuuust right. He even rearranged the bacon so you could see the eggs better. Eggs, bacon, toast, chocolate chip waffles…NOM.

Did I mention there were also hash browns? OMG. Crack.

We keep it classy over here, especially on days as big as our “Six Year Day.”

Is it weird that we still celebrate our dating anniversary? I’m not gonna lie, I plan on always celebrating. I feel a bit jipped to only be able to say, “Oh, I’ve been married for 4 months” when we’ve actually been together six years. That counts, right?

Anyone else love breakfast for dinner?


Kitchen Glizted


The kitchen cabinet painting finished. See exclamation points. Now after Phase 1, 2, 3, and 4, it is time for the reveal!

Yes, the refrigerator is gigantic.

I got those owl jars at Goodwill a couple years ago for 10.00. Score!

I love the way the cabinets look in this post. They seem like brand new doors! Oh and that sweet plate? I painted that at a local pottery store – and they even gave me a free session for being their favorite piece of the day!

Here is my “Hmmmm.” spot – the fake drawers underneith the sink. Do I glue the hardware on? Do I leave it as it is? I just haven’t figured that out yet. Oh, and if you hadn’t already spied the broken light switch cover, don’t worry. That is going to be replaced. Eventually.

I catch myself staring at this little corner a lot. I just love the way the colors look together. The floors, the blue, the green/gray, the silver…it is just yummy to me.

So there you have it! There is the kitchen cabinet reveal! It has changed the whole look – it is bright and airy which helps since the space is so small. The kitchen is far from being done, however. Here is a rundown of everything I still plan on doing.

Kitchen To Do’s:

Paint the door to the garage – I’m mulling something that will pop. Yellow, maybe?

Switch out bisque lightswitch plates. Seriously, what is with the bisque?

Add knick knacks to the tops of the cabinets – because let’s face it…I have an abundance of knick knacks.

Maybe add some crown molding to the tops of said cabinets. We’ll see how good the knick knacks look.

Add some decorative “feet” to the bottoms of the cabinets.

Paint the owl jars – this is an argument with Michael because he likes them the way they are. We’ll see.

Get rid of the mini blinds and find something a bit more fashionable.

Decorate the dishwasher.

Paint underneath the cabinets – overkill, I know.

Clearly the kitchen is far from done but it is also far from what it was. I can’t get over the difference; the floor, the colors, the cabinets, lighting…much improved, I think.  And the cost made it even more worth it. Here is a bit of a budget break down.

Kitchen cabinets and hinges: Free! We stuck with what we had. Whew.

Sander: Free! Luckily, Dear Old Dad lended me his electric sander which saved me a lot of time and some sanity as well.

Primer: Free! Kind of…we were able to use primer we already had from our trim painting project. But we did spend about 15.00 for it several months ago.

Paint: $12.63 – How you might ask? Because the cabinets were painted with the same paint used in the hallway! I was able to finish the entire gallon and only needed to buy a quart to put on that last coat. Not bad, not bad.

Hardware pulls:  $40ish with tax added in.

So in to-tal my little kitchen facelift cost $52.63! Fist pump!

However, getting to see this transformation?



Kitchen Glitzen’ Part IV

The kitchen make-over is almost complete and I’m here to give one more update before the final reveal! Enjoy the sneak peak – it turned out amazing and I can’t wait to show it off.
Our cabinets before had no hardware to grip. This was not ideal – the cabinets got dirty easily and it was hard reaching under the cabinets to open them. Hardware was a must for my kitchen glitzen’. For years, I’ve loved the look of long, silver bars as handles. I know it might seem kind of trendy, but I love the clean line it gives and I figure if I’ve lusted over something for several years then I wouldn’t be making a bad decision to use them. I went to a store called Surplus Warehouse on a mission to find toilets (what a glamorous life, I know) and found treasure instead…my dream hardware pulls at an amazing price. Each box had 10 pulls for just 14.00. That averages out to about 1.40 a pop! Not bad considering you can spend upwards of $4.00 for the same knob pulls at a place like Lowes. That meant I could get all the pulls I needed for cheaper than I budgeted. Score! I saw, I swooned, I spent. About $37.80 to be exact.  Armed with my knobs, home I went to put them together!

I figured I needed a tape measure, a pencil (X marks the spot!) and a drill. The whole process was pretty easy.

My box of happy.

Supplies. Don’t mind the foot and subfloor. My apologies.

For the drawers, all you need to do is some simple math calculations to figure where you will need to put your pull and a level to make sure it is on straight.

Work in progress.

Once you’ve made your pencil mark, you’re ready to drill!

Michael drilling.

So there you have a short post about adding some “sparkle” to cabinet do0rs AKA adding hardware. I love how much they’ve helped the look of the whole kitchen and having the pulls will help keep the cabinets clean as well!