Kitchen Change, part 1

One of the things that annoys me most on episodes of House Hunters (to which I’m hopelessly addicted), is when someone walks into an otherwise perfect house and complains about the stupid stuff. If I hear, “Oh, I just couldn’t live with this paint color” one more time, I’m going to throw something at the TV. Same goes for a woman looking into a huge walk-in closet and saying, “This works for me, but where are you going to put YOUR stuff?! {insert awkward chuckle here}.” Oh yeah, and any couple EVER talking about a man cave. Blegh.

Anyways, back to the point – easy changes.

One of the things that I totally hated about our kitchen when I first saw it was the cabinet hardware:

A full view of all the golden goodness.

The cabinets are fine, the granite countertops fantastic and the layout is perfect (now that we moved the island).

A close up view — it’s like a tacky gold chain around a slimy guys neck, right?!

But I just couldn’t deal with the gold/brass hardware knobs and drawer pulls. I’m not a big fan of gold in general, and the cabinets looked like King Midas came over and molested them. And honestly, nobody wants to be molested by King Midas.

It would be such a shame to trash it all though, because it was really nice heavy stuff and I even liked the shape of the knobs. Since I hate wasting something that is perfectly good (and spending money when I don’t have to), I decided to change their color.

YHL did a great tutorial of it over the summer here, so I decided to try it out. I’m kind of lazy though, so I knocked out a couple of steps.

First, I grabbed my handy screwdriver and removed all of the knobs and drawer pulls throughout the kitchen. While opening each cabinet and drawer to remove stuff, I found the wine I had put away when I was pregnant. YAY, wine — just what I need to complete this project!

Bling bling baby!

So I filled myself a glass of wine and moved the next stage – poking holes in an old piece of cardboard and sticking all the knobs and drawer pulls through it. As I poked each screw through the cardboard and threaded the knob on, I made sure to only tighten it halfway. This way I can shift everything back and forth in between painting coats to ensure I don’t miss any spots.

Once all the knobs were connected to the cardboard, I grabbed my trusty Windex and a paper towel. I cleaned the yuck off of each knob and also cleaned the front of each cabinet so that there was no goo left when I went to return them to their original positions. At this point I was supposed to use a deglosser on the knobs, but I read the warnings on the back of the bottle and freaked out about how toxic it was, so I decided to skip that step.

First coat — a little less “bling” and a little more “heck yeah”

The next phase of the project was to get out my snazzy spray paint – like YHL, I used Rustolium’s oil rubbed bronze primer and paint in one. I took my three pieces of cardboard outside and sprayed the first super thin coat on everything. Oh, and don’t worry it always looks pretty terrible at first.

I let the first coat dry and then went back about 20 – 30 minutes later for a second coat. And then 20 – 30 minutes after that for a third coat and so on and so on. After a couple coats started getting good coverage, I flipped the knobs down so that the other sides were visible for painting. And then I sprayed yet another coat.

I probably applied about 4 coats, waiting for them to dry between each one, before I was happy with the finished product. And then I applied one last coat to make sure I didn’t miss any spots. There is nothing worse than finishing a project, cleaning up and then realizing that you needed to get all your supplies out again to do one more thing.

Ooohhhh. Ahhhhh.

Once that last coat was done, I left the finished knobs outside for the rest of the day so that they could fully dry. I brought them in at night and left them in the sunroom that night and for the whole next day while I was at work.

And they looked GORGEOUS! Well, as gorgeous as some knobs can look.*

I put them back on the cabinets and admired my handiwork. Well, actually this part didn’t go quite as smoothly as I would have liked.

Ooopsie!

Even though the freshly painted knobs passed the scratch test with my fingernail, I accidently dropped two of them on the granite countertop and it smashed the paint right off of them {insert sad trombone noise here}. No big deal though, I just stuck those two knobs back through the painted cardboard and give them one more coat of paint so they look just as good as their little knobby friends.

Check out the before and after – much better, right? For just $6 worth of spray paint it’s a HUGE improvement. Actually, let’s call it a medium-sized improvement because this is just part 1 of my kitchen changes for the week.

I worked on part 2 all day yesterday and I can’t wait to unveil it here (hopefully) tomorrow. I would have been able to post about it today, but I miscalculated and ran out of supplies before the project was finished {insert grumbling and cursing here}.

Here’s a little hint though…

 

 

{Insert end of blog post}

Ps. I’m really liking {inserting things} today.

{insert groan because you’ve just realized that I am a massive dork}

*Does that sound dirty to you? Because it totally sounds dirty to me and I’m kind of snickering at that sentence…

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I’m Kind of in Love with an Organized Closet

I’ve never had one of those huge walk-in closets. I’ve always wanted one, but have never been lucky enough to have one of my own. It’s probably a good thing though, because I wouldn’t know what to do with all that space and would probably just have a ton of clothes that I don’t wear crowding along the racks.

In our townhouse, I had a closet in my bedroom AND a closet in the office.  So, I’d have all of my current season clothes in my room and all of the off-season stuff put away in the office closet. Now that we’ve moved, I’m back to having one closet. I could take over a closet in another room, but I’d rather just cut the clutter and become a bit more organized.

So if you’d like to join me, here are my tips to spring cleaning your closet:

Here’s my insane amount of boxes of off-season clothes. What’s funny is that I pretty much wear the same thing every day.

Take Everything Out of Your Closet & Drawers and Throw it on your Bed
And I mean everything – underwear, socks, t-shirts, jeans, work clothes… the whole kit and kaboodle (or kitten kaboodle if you’re a cat person). Then, I go and get my off-season bins of clothes and dump them on the bed too.

Spreading everything out into a great heap of mess does a couple things for you. First, if you’re like me you’ll look at the shear mass of crap you own and decide to get rid of a lot of it. Second, it makes it easier to get rid of stuff when it’s already thrown on your bed in a pile.

Take a Deep Breath and Get Ready to Purge              
Okay, now is where I usually bring in a trash bag and a couple of empty boxes. I also have the now empty off-season clothes bins to put things into for the next season.

Start Sorting
For each piece of clothing, you need to decide whether to keep it, throw it away, or donate it.

I ended up with two big boxes of clothes to donate and one bag of trash.

Ask yourself:

  • Is it in good condition?
  • Does it fit?
  • Does it look good on me?
  • Have I worn it within the last 2 years?

If the clothing passes the test, put it either in your drawer/closet for current season stuff, or in a labeled bin for off-season stuff. If it doesn’t pass the test then it goes immediately into the donation pile or trash bag.

Pat Yourself on the Back & Immediately Go to Goodwill
Yay, you’re done! Great job, you totally rock and now you’ll be able to reach into your closet and grab clothes that you will actually wear! Take all the plastic bins of off-season clothes and shove them under your bed or in another room’s closet.

Ahhh, an organized closet feels so good!

For the boxes of clothes that you’ve decided to donate – make a quick list of what each box contains so that you’ll be able to get a receipt back for your taxes. Then, load the boxes into your car and immediately take them to Goodwill, The Salvation Army, or your choice of places to donate them.

Trust me – DON’T WAIT and do it now. Otherwise, you’ll think it’s a good idea to go back through the box and pull stuff out that you’ve already decided to get rid of!

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Maternity Leave Superlatives

It has been exactly 8 weeks since my last day at work. Part of me feels like the time has gone by supersonically fast and the other part feels like it has been forever since I’ve been there.

I go back to work tomorrow and I’m surprisingly feeling pretty okay about it. But what in the heck have I actually done in the last 8 weeks?

In the style of my favorite blog, here are my Maternity Leave Superlatives:

Most Productive: Using the time that I was stuck at home without my baby to unpack the house do home improvement projects. One of my favorites is the den!

Most Repetitive and Annoying: All the calls I’ve had to make to various insurance companies. After having Jack I kept receiving bill after bill for things that should have been paid through my insurance. After literally dozens of calls, we finally figured out that although my doctor’s office updated my plan number, they did not update the claims address. Now, the bills are finally being paid and I no longer have to freak out when I get one in the mail for thousands of dollars.

This is my Nana from my wedding in 2008

Most Heartbreaking: The death of my grandmother.  She had fought back so many times before, and I really thought she was going to pull through again this time. I’m just thankful that she was able to meet Jack before she passed away.

Most Amazing: That I rock at being a mommy. Somehow I found this deep pit of patience that I’ve never had before. I can magically deal with the cries and screams and somehow know how to make it all better. I really thought I was going to be bored out of my mind at home for these last 8 weeks, but I’ve enjoyed every single minute of hanging out with Jack.

Winner of the “I said I’d never do that” Award: After years of saying that I was never going to be one of those people who posts a zillion pictures of their kid on Facebook, I can now say that my foot is firmly lodged in my mouth because I totally do it too. I try not to be too obnoxious about it, but with our family spread out all over the place it really is the easiest way to keep in touch with everyone.

Happy (Belated) Easter!

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