a kitchen refresh

10.12.2015

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Roughly six years ago, we DIY’d our kitchen remodel on a shoestring budget. Because we were operating with minimal funds, we saved money where we could, mainly, in that we had cheap laminate countertops installed.

After six years of cooking in a cave-like kitchen (what was I thinking painting it dark brown?), it was time for a facelift. The countertops were starting to pull away from our 85 year old walls in the wintertime and there were a few pieces that were chipped. And I really, really wanted a backsplash. Scrubbing walls is no fun.

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This was one time we did not DIY. We used a local kitchen remodeling company that made the process so easy breezy. They gave me an allowance for the sink, faucet, countertops, and tile and I was like a kid in a candy store. We picked the Danze Parma faucet in chromeand for the countertops, I went with Silestone in ‘Pulsar’ and a basic subway tile with light grey grout for the backsplash. The countertops have the slightest movement of both grey and an orange-ish brown in them, allowing me to pull the color from the cabinets and pulls and incorporate a grey color into the room. So I went with Sherwin Williams Analytical Grey for the walls.
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(Oh look. My sink is dirty. I am quite embarrassed, But not enough to go back and retake the photos.)

Probably the hardest decision of all were the light fixtures. The kitchen was done in May and it wasn’t until September that I finally found light fixtures that I liked. I finally found two that matched what I was looking for (ORB finish, craftsman-esque, flush mount) at Wayfair. I went with the Feiss Hounslow above the sink and the Kichler Ladero for the main fixture.
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And now I can sit back and relax and enjoy my kitchen while I cook. Until its time to clean up, of course.

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Fifteen.

10.06.2015

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I met Chris the summer we graduated from college. I am certain he does not remember it, but It was August 1996 and we were at a house party. I recall pointing to this guy who was completely and totally obnoxious and asking my friend Lisa, “who *IS* that dude?” She answered me with, “oh, that’s Tait. You’ve never met him?” So this was the infamous Tait I had heard of over the years. The one whom my roommates invited to our parties, but never came because he had a girlfriend (or something like that). And probably because we were younger folk.

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Over the next year, I saw him more frequently, as I started hanging out with his crowd more often. Yet I still viewed him as this insanely obnoxious dude. As the months wore on, I began to enjoy his company more and more. I realized what a nice guy he was and that he brought out the fun, adventurous side in me.

One weekend in spring, a friend and I went to Madison for the weekend to visit Chris. On the drive home, he lamented to me that Chris would be excellent boyfriend material and I wholeheartedly agreed, secretly wishing he was my boyfriend material.

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I think back to those days…how fun and carefree dating was. But also how volatile our relationship was. Oh my, how we’ve grown up and how we’ve grown. I was 25 when we bought a house and moved in together. I remember being hit with the thought of, “Oh crap. Now what happens when I’m mad? I have no where to go!”
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I think back to when all 3 kids were young and we were struggling to find our ground and lost sight of us (I shared about that here). And I look at us now. It still isn’t easy. We still have our moments. And we still have to work hard. But fifteen years? That’s something. And its something worth putting work into.
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Cheers to fifteen, babe. Here’s to fifty more.
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Friday Finds

10.02.2015

Happy FriYay friends! This girl is looking forward to the weekend. I am here today, wrapping up the week with some interesting links I’ve found floating around the internets recently.

Ah. The world of Instagram and the over-stylized shot. Do you ever find yourself rolling on the floor laughing, thinking that there’s no way that the person actually happened to sit down with those specific items? These pictures show what really happens in the background of stylized Instagram shots

Is raising kids without religion healthier for them? There are always people that will disagree, but research has shown that kids raised sans religion display less susceptibility to racism and peer pressure, and are “less vengeful, less nationalistic, less militaristic, less authoritarian, and more tolerant, on average, than religious adults.” And the list of benefits doesn’t stop there. What are your thoughts after reading the article?

You say you’re pro-life, but really…are you truly pro-life? This author wrote a thought provoking piece on the subject. I never really thought about it from this standpoint, but she hits the nail on the head.

Last week, Beautycounter brought attention to the fact that current regulations in the cosmetics industry are antiquated and that we need to take action to change this.

This resonated with me because so many of us take great measures to be careful with what we put into our bodies, but we do not pay attention to what we put on our bodies. But we should. Because our skin is our largest organ. Educate yourself and spread the word about the Personal Care Products Safety Act. Because its time, people. #themoreyouknow

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That time I met Public Enemy at my local bar

9.29.2015

Whatever your opinion of Public Enemy, you cannot deny that they’ve had a huge impact on many people of our (my) generation. They were one of the first rap groups who used their lyrics to expose discrimination and to express their (at that time) radical political views, while encouraging social activism. To reach a whole generation of folks? This was and is huge.
So when I had the opportunity to attend a private 5 concert lineup this weekend hosted by a close friend, and the headliner was Public Enemy, I was stoked, to put it mildly. Plus Sponge and Hot Action Cop were there and we saw them last year and they put on a phenomenal show.
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Will I win the Best Parent Award for allowing my 11 year old to sit front and center…and go onstage…with Public Enemy? Probably not. Will he remember this night forever? Likely so.

I mean, he got to meet both Flavor Flav and Chuck D! He tells me he also met DJ Lord, but I don’t have photographic evidence…

I mean, how often do you find your kid on Flavor Flav’s twitter?
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I was thoroughly geeked out
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My kid has awesome friends. We have awesome friends. Such generous, amazing friends that are so incredibly giving. I loathe using the word blessed, but Sunday I woke up tired as hell, feeling blessed.
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(for some amazing press on this event, there were two articles published here and here)

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Refusing to wear a bra

9.23.2015

Remember reading Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. In the book, Margaret prays to God for things she desperately wants.  Things like, “I just told my mother I want a bra. Please help me grow God. You know where.”   Or the chant that Nancy (the one who actually lied about having her period) has her minions repeat while stretching their chests, “We must, we must, we must increase our bust!” Who does that? Who WANTS boobs to grow or to rush their period or lies about having that death sentence? Its funny to think some girls really get excited about those things (and some do. My girl has a friend who was stoked to get her first bra and can’t wait to get her period. crazy girl). I’ll admit it. I am not a fan of boobs. Or bras. But since I have them and I nursed 3 children with them, I wear them out of necessity. Or, maybe its out of vanity? So now here I am…with a daughter on the cusp of 12…who, *gasp*, needs a bra. And she is flat out refusing to wear one. I’ve been trying to figure out why. I mean, I know its not like Margaret + her friends day + age, but its not like its an uncommon thing. Several of her best girlfriends wear bras, some for over a year now. Punky_Brewster_Bra

While I didn’t anticipate her being giddy to get little buds, I had  imagined that buying her first bra(s) would be an exciting event…you know, we’d go to the mall, get pedicures, get starbucks…that kind of thing. But nope. Nothing like that. She wanted nothing to do with bra shopping, and when the bras came home, she shoved them to the waaaaaaay back of her underwear drawer. This girl…she’s so different than her brothers. They will talk to us about annnnnything and everything. But she’s quiet. Getting her to try and talk to me about why she’s being so resistant isn’t working. I suspect she is apprehensive about her changing body and the fact that she’s growing up (and living in a house with omggrossbrothers), but again, she won’t talk about it. Crap. If this is what bras are like, what’s the whole period thing going to be like? Shoot me now. Or maybe she just wants to join that whole #freethenipple campaign. Haha. Kidding. Totally kidding.

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