Thursday, March 31, 2016

The "New" Kitchen

I'm back today with a decor update. **Before I begin, I will say that this blog will be changing a bit. Instead of mainly blogging about decor and ideas, I will be mixing it up with posts about motherhood, kids, and the like. For a little while now, I have been wondering which direction this blog was going. After a little thinking, and much praying, the decision was made to not only blog about decor ideas, but also family and life things.**  :)

Without further ado, here are the updates to our kitchen.

To begin with, this house had outdated wood cabinets, green laminate counter tops, 1990's kitchen appliances (yes, that means they were about 26 years old!), outdated lighting, wallpaper, and purple walls. However, there was so much potential we saw in this space alone, and we are glad we got to be the ones to update and bring life to this kitchen!

The double doors in the photo below open up to the pantry. I have been waffling back and forth on whether or not to paint those doors with chalkboard paint so that this area can become the spot where we keep our "grocery list". Still undecided about that idea, but I've been keeping it in the back of my mind.

For the record, our painted kitchen counters, are still going strong. Surprisingly, they have held up really really well. There are some minor scratches on our island, but other than that, they still look pretty good and have held up really well!

 The upper part of the walls were painted with BM Gray Owl (mixed at Lowe's) and the bottom portion of the walls were painted SW Alabaster. 
The kitchen cabinets were painted in a darker shade of gray than the walls- BM Sea Haze (mixed at Lowe's). They were originally painted in a very light gray, but I wanted to go darker and one day just went for it. I like them much better now that they are a darker color. Plus, they hide a lot more marks than the lighter color they were before.
All of our appliances were purchased during a big sale at Lowe's. 
The kitchen bar stools (which still need to be cut down a bit) were bought a year ago at a thrift store and recovered.

And just to recap, here is a timeline of the progress made in our kitchen since we have been here. :)

"The Before-Before"

"The During-Phase" 

"The Final-Phase"

Also, so far I'm really happy we haven't painted the wood doors and the wood trim around the door frames. They add a touch of warmth to a space where we have a lot of light and bright. And I do like warmth!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Joy Through a Child's Eyes

My children...
They bring me such joy! I'm sure that sounds cliche, but it's true.
More and more I am realizing that my children are great gifts from God and each day I get to see what joy looks like through their eyes. It's really the little things in life that get them excited and almost anything can quickly put a smile on their faces. It's convicting, yet at the same time, it has been teaching me some things. 

And that is to enjoy each and every moment we are given and to be thankful in all circumstances. (I Thessalonians 5:18)

Believe me...this hasn't been easy. For quite some time, I have been going about my day, each day, not really being thankful for each moment and because of that, I have been missing out on some of the simple things that my kids enjoy. Things like blowing bubbles and watching them float up into the bright blue sky, picking dandelions and blowing them into the wind, snuggling on the couch watching a movie. The list can go on and on really, but you get my point. 

It's easy to be thankful for things that go my way or things that seem easy.
But what about when things get tough?
Like when it's 4pm, and the kids are cranky because they really needed to take a nap earlier in the day but never did, and you still need to prep dinner, and clean the house, etc. etc. 
Or what about when a plan doesn't go your way and because of that, you get more than just a little disappointed?
It's really hard to be thankful in circumstances like that. At least for me it is!
But I have been learning how to do that...and believe me, it has been quite the learning process!

How can you not look into those sweet eyes and not smile- drool and all?!

For right now, I am thankful for these sweet little moments that can be spent with my family and I enjoy the fact that we get to slow things down. 
As far as the lesson about being thankful in all circumstances- well I have a lot to learn about that one. But I'm thankful for God's grace and that His mercies are made new every morning! Without it, there would be no hope. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Helpers in the Kitchen

So yea, it's been a while. The past couple of weeks have been a roller coaster for us with different things going on here and there, but it is good to be able to get back to blogging. All I can say is that the Lord has been working in me in ways I haven't known before and it's been good. While I still love to blog about decor, I feel like things might be changing a bit in what I blog about, so that is why today's blog post is a bit different from the rest. 

I wouldn't say I love to cook, and I wouldn't say I hate it, but I will say that I do enjoy cooking most days and have recently started letting my kiddos help out more and more in the kitchen- not just cracking some eggs open into a bowl and stirring some things here and there. Like I mean, letting them cut up veggies for dinner and prepping tortillas to be put in the oven kind of helping out. 
I had a moment today where before I started cooking dinner I thought, "Why not ask if my kiddos want to help me out?!" So I asked and they, of course, were delighted to help...especially my middle child! Give her a plastic knife any day and she is a happy girl (as crazy as that might sound!).   :)

I started by letting my girls cut up some cilantro on the cutting board and later they got to stir some of the ingredients together in a bowl to make some chicken enchiladas for dinner.

That was fun!

And as you can see, things got quite messy along the way, but I learned that it was going to be okay. Usually, I would have been hovering over them picking up every little bit of something that dropped on the floor, but today, I just let the food fall to the floor and cleaned things up after we were done- it felt a bit freeing to be honest.

(Also, I think these girls would wear their new shirts from their mema every day if they could).

It took a while for my oldest to chime in on helping us out in here, but she really liked cutting up the onions. Since they were using plastic knives, it wasn't the easiest thing to do, but they had fun with it and learned a thing or two about food preparation.

I even let one of my girls spoon the chicken and veggie mixture onto our flour tortillas...she was very insistent on doing it herself so I couldn't say no. I've come a long way people! Ha! She actually did a great job with this part and was so proud of herself. 

I don't know exactly why it has taken me this long to let my girls really help me out in the kitchen. 
Maybe it was the worry that the kitchen would be more of a mess to clean than if I were just working by myself and I didn't want to deal with that. 
Maybe it was the thought that it would take a lot longer to prep dinner if they helped me out and I didn't think I had time for that. 
I don't really know exactly what was holding me back, but I'm glad they got the opportunity to really get their hands dirty, if you will, and learn something new. It was fun for all of us and I can see us doing this a lot more often in the future.

What about you? Do you ever feel brave enough to let your little ones help out in the kitchen, even if it's not prepping something as big as a dinner for 5? If you haven't what is holding you back? Go ahead and let them help, it's well worth it in the end!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Some Updates to the Girl's Bedroom

It's no secret that I like changing things around in our home. Doing so makes me feel like each room has gotten a refresh and it really is amazing how changing up a few small things can make a space feel like new. The girls' room is no exception...I just moved a few things around and added some other things (like a mirror and small dresser) and the space not only looks different but I think also functions better.

The walls are still the same light pink color I painted them last year- BM Mellow Pink. Such a lovely color for a little girls room!

I ended up changing up the frames above their faux fireplace with some special prints that my mother-in-law made for them. I also added the girls' dollhouse under the fireplace...and I'm happy to report that they actually still play with it quite often! In fact, this morning, my younger daughter was playing with the dollhouse and having so much fun with it that she didn't come downstairs to eat breakfast right away.

I also changed out the 3 square mirrors that were on this wall and replaced them with 4 of our favorite family pictures- taken when the girls were much younger.

The IKEA nightstand was also brought in from our room and we stash the girls PJ's in here. It makes it easier to get ready for bedtime now that they can access their pajamas quickly. I still need to figure out how I'm going to paint the dresser. I've got a few ideas swirling around my head about it but haven't settled on anything quite yet.

I really love all the photos that we added to the room. They are really sweet and make their room extra special.

 I'm still debating on whether to paint their closet doors a nice rich gray like we did in the family room.

And that wooden bookcase (which was given to us as a wedding gift) houses a plethora of their books and dolls...they love grabbing books from it to read before bedtime. :)

That pretty much sums up the updated space.
I am still on the hunt for a small rug to go between the girls' beds and still need to paint the nightstand, but other than that, it's a done deal in here! Hooray!

**Oh, and I must mention that my awesome husband switched out the huge blue fan that was originally in here and put it in the kids playroom. I painted one from the playroom and he put that up a few months ago. :) Their room looks sooo much better now that the other fan is gone!! Thanks honey!